Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Wolf Moon

Its the Wolf moon tonight. This is my full moon dream board for January.  I am participating along with Jamie Ridler  
The first full moon of the year is the Wolf Moon and this is what Jamie says about it. This is the time when the wolves howl. They howl their yearnings. They howl their desires. They howl to connect with one another and to say “I am here!”

She asked these questions:

What are you seeking under this full moon, at the beginning of this new year, as you launch into this new decade? What is your heart yearning for? What is stirring in your heart and soul? What is ready to come into your life, here under the full moon? Howl your desire. We will hear you! To see other dream boards go here

I made some more striped paper and then some postcards for the postcard swap I signed up for.  I continue to love making these papers.

Then I took the left over pink scraps and made a border for a journal page.  I like how it is now,  but I may add something else or just some journaling. Sometimes I have to let pages sit for awhile before I think they are finished.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My daughter the published writer

I just wanted to share with you some great news about my daughter Sarah.   Here is a picture of the two us in Missoula  a couple years ago.  Now back to my news,  as some of you know she is a senior at the University of Montana in the creative writing program.

In April she is going to be published in Scribendi which is a magazine for the Western Regional Honors Conference which is based at the University of New Mexico.  She has been awarded the prize for short fiction for her story Copernicus goes to London the Third. This includes publication of her story,  a $250.00 prize and entrance to their conference being held in Jackson, WY in April.

This group picks winners in 5 categories,  short fiction, photography, art, poetry, and cover designs. There were 487 entries from 13 western states. So this is a substantial honor.  I am so excited for her and this mom is so proud of her daughter that she had to share it with all of you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My weekend

This past weekend my friends Shirley and Cyndi came from Utah for a pajama party and my other friend Cj came too.  We spend the weekend spinning yarns, knitting, felting, eating and any other creative thing we can think of.  Its a pajama party because we never get dressed.  Its a weekend full of fun friends and laughter.

This is my friend CJ, cook extraordinaire. she always makes sure everyone is fed and happy.

This is my friend Shirley   In this pic she is needle felting a little animal. I have known Shirley for almost twenty years. I think we started spinning yarns about the same time. 

This is a shawl Cyndi made me out of an old piece of knitting I didn't like. It wraps around the body and ties in the back. It is an old style pattern that women wore for centuries. Its comfortable and keeps you warm while you work. I feel connected to the women of the past when I wear it.

This is Cyndi I don't know what she was thinking by the expression on her face but she is calmly knitting on a pair of socks.

Here is a tea set Cyndi found at a thrift store for me. There are 2 more cups and saucers. I thought it was so cute.

A close up of the saucer.  I just love it. Cyndi really spoiled me this time.  She also made me a pair of socks which I am having difficulty photographing.  I'll post them as soon as I can get  better photograph.

I love weekends like this, they don't happen that often but I love it when they do.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winter Blues

Today I was feeling the winter blues so I knew I had to do something before I slip into a full blown depression. So I know that art heals so I headed down to the studio. I had those sheets of paper that I made over the weekend and thought what can I do with them.

First I decided to try a journal page so I took the first page and sewed it right into my paper bag journal. Then I added an image and paint and so forth and journaled all about wanting it to be spring.

So that had been fun, then I decided I would cut the paper up and make postcards. Using a postcard as a template, I traced on the back and cut them out. Then I sewed a piece of cardstock to the back for mailing.

Then I did another one and added this bird by gluing first and then sewing it down, before doing the backing.

 Then I added some collage elements to the next one.

Oh this was starting to get addicting and so much fun.

Now I had only one sheet of paper left. I really find red hard to work with. I should do it more often and maybe I will get over that color hump.

and here is the last one. Gee now I need to make more paper.

after doing all these I thought I may as well sign up for iHanna's postcard swap. I only need to make 4 more and that will be a cinch. You can sign up here.

The next time you are feeling down, try doing some Art, its might be just the thing you need to do to get back to feeling great again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Striped Paper

I am hooked at making this striped paper I learned about at Hanna's site. She has a tutorial on her site on making it so I won't repeat it here.

First I made a page with all sorts of colors.

Then I tried all one color and that was fun too.

Next I tried doing the stripes in a different direction, this works great when your paper scraps are not that long.

Then I tried a red page which was harder since I didn't have that many red scraps. So I just cut off some strips of scrapbook paper that I had.

In all these papers I used all sort of things, scrapbook paper, wallpapers, Tyvek that I had painted, old calenders. Its a great way to use up all those small bits of paper.

So what to do with the paper now, ideas are backgrounds for art journal pages, postcards, greeting cards and more. Also here is a warning once you start making these you won't want to stop...

Friday, January 22, 2010

More pages in my Artbook

As soon as I finished my second page for the Artshine sketchbook I realized I did it wrong. I am trying to make an accordion book and I put the tab on the wrong side. I ended up having to make 3 pages of a sample book to figure out how to put the thing together. Yikes sometimes I find it so hard to grasp the simplest of concepts. So now the back of my page is the front, so weird. If you ever make a accordion book I suggest you make a prototype first with several pages. It will save you a lot of grief.

I finished tweaking this page so now I am ready to mail it out to the next person. I can't believe how long this took me. Life seems to be getting in the way of art this week. I have some friends from Utah coming for the weekend. They are all spinnners so I will be exploring my creativity in a different way for the next couple days.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thankfullness Thursday

I thought I would join in with this group today. My friend Kim posts about this every week. Today I am thankful for all the writers, actors, directors who make wonderful movies. They really lifted me up this week and I am so grateful for their efforts to make good movies with engaging stories that lift the human spirit. I rented a few this past weekend and finally got around to watching them all.

First there was this one which was truly delightful. I remember Julia Child from when I was a kid and I learned so much about her life that I didn't know. I have this desire to grab her book and try some new recipes now. What a delight this movie is.

This one was recommended by a friend. I don't know how I missed this when it came out. What a gem this is, rent it now. You'll be rooting from Billy to achieve his dreams.

Now Finding Forrester is one I wanted to see when it came out but I never got there. Well it has Sean Connery in it so need I saw more. Just kidding, but its about a recluse writer and a young boy who wants to write and the friendship that develops between them. It is really good, I would like even if I was not a writer, its just a good story.

To see what other people are grateful about check here

Do you have a favorite movie? I would love to hear about your favorites.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Working with Goddess Leonie's Planner

I've been slowly working through my 2010 Planner from Goddess Leonie. I do a little at a time. I like to let things mull over for awhile plus I think it helps to think thing over a bit before committing it to paper.

When I did my Goddess Habits list I liked it and then after reading it I decided I want to redo it. I can see that # 8  and 9 are real similar so I can combine them and add another.  I may change the wording a little on some of them. I like the freedom of being able to print out another page and begin again. I really like this list and I am finding that in the morning I start thinking about what is on that list and try to incorporate them in my life. This morning while cooking breakfast I found myself dancing my heart out to Michael Buble' singing Fever. That sure was fun.

As you can see my Medicine Bag of Tools isn't quite full. As time goes on I think about new things to put here.

Here I have added my word of the year to that page. Don't you just love all the colorful illustrations that you get with this book. I think that is what makes it so much fun. If the idea intrigues you just click on the pic in my sidebar and you can get your very own to play in.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Artshine Traveling Sketchbook

I am participating in the Artshine Traveling Sketchbook with 9 other artists. We are all working in each others books. There are women from all over the world participating so that is pretty exciting to me. We have a blog if you would like to follow along with all the fun.

I keep changing my mind on what I want my book to be. At first I thought I would do an 8 x 10 and then just spiral bind it with my Bind-it-all but I changed my mnind. I thought I would challenge myself to do a new type of binding. It will either be an accordion or Japanese stab binding. In this group we send off a template and everyone makes there own page and then sends it on to the next person. We bind it when we are finished. Both of those types of books have at least a 1 inch margin so I could make my decision when I get all the pages back. I like these challenges because they force me to grow as an artist, I get to meet new people and of course get to do a lot of Art for other people. Its the best of situations.

I haven't blogged because I have been waiting to be finished with my pages but that seems to be taken longer than I had anticipated. So you get to see work in progress instead. I did decide on an accordion style book

The theme of my book is Inspired my Nature which I think is pretty broad in scope. This is the second half of the first page.

This page is the work in progress, I need to do some more work on the face and add some words but I thought I would show it anyways. I have a problem that I don't paint fast enough and my paints dry out on me. I try to spray them with water to make them last longer but sometimes I forget and then its too late. So this will wait for another painting session before it gets finished. Hopefully that will be soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My new painted planner

As promised I have been decorating the planner I bought to use this year.  Here is the front cover. First I used gesso but I needed to cover up the indented name on the cover so I used molding paste and then more gesso and added paint and stamping.

The back cover is just a continuation of the same colors. I just used a couple layers of gesso before adding paint.

This is the inside cover, I keep adding things to this page and then wiping them off. Now I think I will leave it blank for awhile and maybe add my goals for the year to the page.

and here is the inside back cover.

My journal page that I did yesterday, I had no clear notion on what I was going to journal on. This idea on bravery seemed to just pop out. Maybe there is some hidden task I really need to start on.

Now I really need to get to work on a page for a new book group I am taking part. I will post more on that when I get something done for it. Today I am off to my writers group meeting, maybe I'll be able to squeeze in some art this evening.

How about you how do find time to make art on a busy weekend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Ramblings

This is the journal page I did today. I decided instead of Misty's idea of doing pages in the style of our favorite artists I would do my own thing. She was very spontaneous and I enjoyed painting her. The background had been previously done and it wasn't like she was found art or anything like that. I had already done the bird transfer and just built the page around that. With my excess paint I started a few other things but they are only in the beginning stages.

I bought a new planner for the year and surely I can't keep it black. Currently I am gessoing the covers before adding paint and paper and who knows what else. Pictures will follow in a day or two. Last year I used the same style planner and I found I got more things done if I wrote them in like appointments. So that is my plan once again.

I have been having some kind of stomach issue the last 2 nights so I haven't had the energy to do much Art. A friend suggested that I may need some yogurt that perhaps I need some good bacteria in there. I think she may be right, I love it when friends can see a solution and you can not.

I wanted to go out for an adventure with Flynn but just didn't feel up to it. I am headed to the men's shelter for my monthly date to cook dinner. Sometimes it feels good to be doing something for someone else, it helps put your own life in perspective.

I hope you are having an artful day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

CRUSADE No. 36 ~ Braving the Elements

I decided to start participating again in the GPP Street Team challenges put on by
Michelle Ward. This months challenge had us making paper snowflakes and using them as masks and then as elements on the page. In addition I used a bird stencil, snowflake stamps and colored and charcoal pencil. This was a fun exercise that I would do a little different the next time. I was using my paper bag journal and with all the texture it sometimes is hard to get stamps to work. Click on the link above to look at what all the other challengers are doing this month.

I have spent the last 2 days cleaning and reorganized both the weaving and art studios. They are both functional now but what a lot of work. I want to work at not getting things into such a big mess this year. Wish me luck I am going to need it.

Lynn asked on how I did that transfer before painting my self portrait. Its was just a basic gel transfer using Golden Soft Gel Matte Medium. I lather gel on the image, place it face down on the substrate I want to transfer it to and smooth out the paper with a piece of mat board and wait a few minutes and then pull the paper off and the image should transfer. I have been thinking if perhaps I left it on longer I might get better results. I was using an image from an ink jet printer. I hope that answered your question.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January Journaling

I decided to do January Journaling along with Misty Mawn again this year. It is really different, basically a prompt for the week instead of daily. I think I like daily better but here are some pages I did this week.

The theme this week is to use your own pictures, usually when I try this they all end up looking like scrap booking pages. Even though this looks like a scrapbook page I did like using the Japanese paper over black gesso. I stamped Asian words in black but then I wrote over them in gold so they don't show real well.

The stamping I did in the background is so subtle it doesn't show up well in photos. Sorry about that.

Here I tried adding two photographs to see if that would help make it less scrapbook like and added some words.

In this last one once again I don't think the stamping shows up, there are subtle roses int here that look pretty cool in the original piece. After doing these I am ready to go back to journaling my own way. Maybe if I had been taking a lot of pictures it would have been more fun. All my old pictures are on a different machine so I didn't have access to them when I was working on these pages. So yes I did jump out of my comfort zone and maybe I will try this again at another time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inner Wisdom

I found my way back to my art journal once again. This page came out of nowhere, the background was just excess paint a mixture of things. I really didn't like the colors together but when I put this image from a greeting card on the page it seemed to come to life. I like when that happens.

I used my cricut machine to print out the words Inner Wisdom. It has a feature where you remove the cutting blade and add an ink cartridge and you can write instead of cutting. It really ads to the diversity of the machine. Perfect to use for Art Journaling too. The stamps I used also seemed to be intuitive and I like how they worked.

So many times lately when I have tried to journal I just run into a blank I have no idea of what I want to do and its been frustrating, I just need to remember to just let go and be open to whatever happens.

Has your journal been calling to you, maybe you just need to let go and see where it takes you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pondering a few things

Every once in awhile I get a comment from someone I do not know. My usual procedure is to go look at the persons profile and then their blog. Sometimes I can figure out how they found me and sometimes I can't. That part doesn't really matter but I always gain something from this exchange. Sometimes it results in a new insight or a new blogging friend.

I was over at Beverly Baird's blog and in one of her posts she gave a series of links and one if them was to Joseph Campbell's The Heroes Journey It is really good excerpt and although I know all that it says I do tend to forget.

One of the phrases that resonated with me today was the following:

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

To me this is a statement that makes so much sense yet at the same time is hard to realize. Since being diagnosed with Bell's Palsey I have been trying to figure what it means for me. I've been told that it is pretty much a stress disease and the way to heal it it to reduce stress. Of course that is easy to say but not particularly helpful.

I find it hard to determine just what is stressful for me. I have cut way back on things so I think that is good. For me it then becomes what can bring back into my life that has me in a quandary. I have this dialogue with myself; can I take a class again, or will this swap I have been invited to participate in cause too much stress. I imagine that I just have to try things and pay attention to how my body reacts.

Then I also think about Joseph Campbell's quote and wonder is this how I have chosen to live out that quote, that my body decided its time to stop to make way for whatever is coming next. I have come across this before, I think it was three years ago when I sprained my ankle and was forced to literally stop. That period of time led me to mixed media and all that I spend my time on now. I can't help but think of that now and wonder if I am entering a similar period or not.

Another interesting thing is that this is in winter which seems to be a time of hibernation of sorts. When I sprained my ankle it was winter too. So perhaps when spring comes around I will find a new purpose or direction for my life.

A little Bliss

As you know my word for the year is Bliss and I experienced it yesterday and it felt pretty good. Everyone should have that feeling in their lives. Months ago I started doing this free form dancing with a few friends. We had one in our group who had taken NIA classes and she was showing us a few routines but then she moved. So now we just do our own thing to the music she made for us and some collections we have made for ourselves.

We had been meeting at my friend Patti's house, she has a log home with a nice hard wood floor. When she had to be out of town we would meet at my house. I have a hard wood floor in one room, its not as big as the other place but it does work for our small group. During December I had my Christmas tree in there and Patti' had work conflicts so we didn't meet for over a month.

Last night we met at my house and of course we were all a little bit rusty but got into the groove after a short time. I was dancing to one of the songs and felt that feeling of bliss come over me. It was just wonderful. Here is the song for you. Another wonderful song that we end with that I really love is The Healing Room by Sinead O'Connor. There is no video on YouTube but you can find it on iTunes, it is from the album Faith and Courage. I usually don't care for her music but this song is definitely an exception.

Here's hoping you have some bliss today.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A song and some paintings

I saw this video on my friend Kelley's blog and just loved the song.I really like the message.

Here are some more portraits from Misty's class.

This one was started with a transfer and then painted in two colors Burnt umber and Titanium white. I added the blue background later using Magnasese Blue hue. I found this exercise to be lots of fun and easier than painting a face from scratch.

This is a self portrait and I also transferred the face on to paper and then painted it.If you look close you may recognize it as my profile picture. I am not very good at transferring images yet. I don't seem to get the entire thing so its really textured in some spots. I mean that is not a bad thing but it make for a challenge trying to paint it cohesively.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Word for the year is.....

After a lot of deliberation I have decided on my word for the year.....BLISS. Originally it was going to be something like finish or completion so I could finish a book but there are so many other facets of my life and I didn't think it applied. I have been thinking about this and saying to myself this is not supposed to be hard. When I did my vision board I ended up saying more joy. So I thought I could use the word Joy but that did not resonate with me. So I moved on to Play which led me to Bliss. I want to experience bliss in every aspect of my life, when I am writing or painting or exercising or just walking my dog. I figure if I am feeling bliss full I will not have any problems completing the things that I want to.

If you have chosen a word for the year Christine Kane has a great free guide here. You need to have already picked a word but if you haven't you can save the information for when you do, that is what I did.

For those of you who haven't chosen a word or feel a little stuck about where you want to go I'd like to recommend the 2010 planner and workbook by Goddess Leonie. I have a link on my sidebar and it will take you to her site where you can find more details about it. I will share a little bit about it here.

Its a 40 page workbook that takes you through releasing 2009 and then embracing the new year. I initially wasn't going to get it because I thought oh its just one more thing I would have to do. Then I saw all these glowing reports and really anything that Leonie does is wonderful. Plus I have been having such a hard time coming up with a word and embracing the new year that I thought the guidebook might help.

Of course I was right, first I did the exercises on releasing 2009 I began to relax about it all. Then when I did my morning pages my word came to me. It was just what I needed. I am so looking forward to working with this book more, discovering just what my dreams and goals for 2010 are. Leonie has made it easy with her colorful illustrations and prompts to get you going in the right direction. So what kinds of things are really in the book you might ask. A few examples are: a list of 100 things to do in 2010, What I'd Like to learn in 2010, or release, what gifts I'd like to give myself and so on. I can't recommend it highly enough. The nice part is it is very inexpensive. Go here for details.