Thursday, September 30, 2010

Off to the Wilderness

In the morning I'll be off to Yellowstone for  a week.  We'll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary which is the 5th.  There is a grizzly with 4 cubs this year and we are hoping to get a chance to see her. The weather looks good so I hope it holds for the whole week. I have my art supplies and books and knitting packed just in case the weather turns. Soon I'll be back rested and relaxed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Heart of Art

I just found out about this new class offered by Tam at Willowing and Artist Friends  I first found Tam with her early videos long before Ning was even around. She is a talented artist and has a wonderful art group. She is offering this class free. There are so many classes out there and many can not afford any of them. I applaud her for taking her time to give to the mixed media art community.

Over at her ning site there is a video on the class and information on signing up. It starts October 18th and will go for four weeks.  Come on over and join in the fun. I have signed up and would love to have all my friends come over and play.

Wishcasting Wednesday - What do you wish to step into?

Every week Jamie of Jamie Ridler Studios poses a question. Some weeks I like to play along.  Her question this week is: What do you wish to step into?

As usual Jamie gave us a great question to answer. At first I thought of this is easy, I want to step into my new life. The problem is I just do not know what that new life is. Sure I have these vague dreams that I want to be a published author or a better artist but then what comes after that. I really do not know what my dreams are anymore.

So maybe I want to step in to my dreams, I want to be excited about something. I want to fall into bed exhausted and wake up with excitement. I want to know true bliss. I want to explore the possibilities out there and I want to dream big and then live that dream. But alas where to begin...

To see what other wishcasters are wishing for go here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lots of Different Creative Projects

I haven't done a Creative Every Day post in awhile so with the hodgepodge of things I have done in the last few days I thought I would group them together. If you want to see some awesome work check out what other creatives are doing at the above link.

I have been spinning. This is a silk boucle yarn I made yesterday. I had the silk singles all spun and just did the two plying steps required for a boucle.

Here is the yarn close up. I love the texture of it. Its not a color I would normally use for myself but I will come up with a use for it. It feels wonderfully soft.

In today's journal page I had layers of paint on the page but still didn't like it so I sewed to the page this spray painted background. I added the house image from a card from a friend.  The crow on top was from a tag by Violette.  We had been in a charm swap and she added the tag to her charm.  I cut the crow out and then extended the image with markers and embellished it some  more. The walkway way is to represent leaping into the unknown and I had stamped the word leap but it came out messy so I covered it with a butterfly which symbolizes change and growth to me. I had a lot of fun making this page.

Here is another portrait on watercolor paper this time.

I worked on this over the weekend I am  not sure I like the background.  I  think this one needs to sit for awhile.  I have the urge to paint over the entire things so its best if it sits for awhile. With fresh eyes I may know better what to do with it.  I found the words stand with might in the background but then when I went to print them out I printed 'stands with strength' which I think  is what she is doing.  She was found art.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reflections on Eat Pray Love

I finally got around to seeing Eat Pray Love and yes I loved it. It really made me sad in some ways.  What woman doesn't want the time and money to be able to truly explore herself.  I thought here Elizabeth was in her thirties when she did this, how lucky was she.  I am so much older and I haven't had the opportunity to truly find out who I am. I couldn't help thinking just when will be my time. Most of us do not have the time or funds or guts to take a journey like this.

Then it came to me that I could find a way to do this without leaving home. I can explore pleasure, spirituality and balance right where I am.  So the first thing I am tackling is the pleasure part.  I went out and got one of these.

I had gone to the grocery store for a pastry since there are no decent bakeries in this town. They were out of almost everything but this apple turnover. I also picked up a bottle of blueberry pomegranate juice. I sat in the car eating every precious bite and enjoyed it to the fullest. There was the flaky crust and the burst of apples and then the juice was so fruity. I felt a little like Elizabeth eating all that wonderful food in Italy. The next day at the Farmers market I saw these.

I enjoyed every delicious bite, the apple was crisp and juicy and the caramel was soft and chewy. Now I decided I could really get in to this pleasurable eating... I thought I would try to eat something this way on most days for a month and see how that feels.

I have been leading myself to a deeper spirituality too. I have added yoga to my life and now attend a Spiritual book group that meets twice a month and a meditation group that meets weekly. So those are beginnings in that area.

I think that I will not focus that much on balance just yet. I need to see where the other focuses will take me. After all in her journey Elizabeth did one after another. Of course this is my journey so I can choose to do it any way I want. Since my word for the year is Bliss I truly can experience that in many forms with this experiment.

So the next time you envy someone's travel or experience realize that you truly can have your own version. If you want to travel you may not be able to go to a certain location but you can immerse yourself in the culture by reading about it, studying its art, by cooking the foods of the region, by learning the language and so much more.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Magical Housekeeping

I have been reading this book. Its all about de-cluttering and feng shui and using scents, blessings and much more for your home.  I found out about it at a monthly healing circle that I go to. It is a fun read and the author sounds like she would be great to meet. The group here is doing a Skype event with her next month.  I think that will be really fun to take part in.

I also have had Sarah shows me some things on my computer programs.  I now have the cd covers loaded into iTunes for all my music.  That was so satisfying to have done.  Its great having a computer wiz in the family.

Then I realized over the last few weeks what I have been doing is de-cluttering my computer. I had cleaned up my download files and my documents.  Then bloglines is closing so I moved everything to NetNewsWire which I like even better. Then I changed my email address to gmail which is so much better that yahoo was.  Its a lot of work but oh I love the new results.  Plus iTunes is all fixed, I got rid of a lot of duplicate files and its all pretty now.  I have also unsubscribed to a lot of newsletters that I just never read.  Try de-cluttering your computer it makes your life easier in the long run.

I started a new journal, I know its insane I have 4 different ones going now. When I was at my friend Jolene's she was working in an old book. I hadn't tried that so I went to the thrift store and found a a book called B.F."s Daughter written in 1940. I thought that will do. I glue 3 pages together to make it thicker paper and gesso before I began to play. First I painted the border and then used oil pastels on the background which then I covered with collage.  When I was editing the photo is photoshop elements I thought I'd play a little

Look how the collage looks in aqua.

Or perhaps blue....

Or even purple.  I think it would be interesting to print out these different pages and reuse on other pages.  That is what I love about art journaling, ideas can come out of anything.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday -What do you wish for an abundance of?

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. That is what Jamie says every week and this week is no exception.

This Week she asks; What do you wish for an abundance of?   Well my first thought is money. Sorry to be so materialistic but right now it just seems like it would be wonderful to have enough to take all the classes I want, to travel if I want to not have to weigh the fact if I take this class then I am taking money away from something else. What am I willing to give up to do what I think I might want to do? Its a hard dilemma and one I struggle with. 

Then I thought oh I would like an abundance of time too! I have been mulling on how I want to spend my time now.  When you have a serious illness and its now over with you really start thinking on how you want to live your life differently. 

Now last week I started doing my Yoga DVD and I did it 6 days out of the 7 of that week.  That told me if I really commit to something I can do it.  Now by doing that I was to tired to go for a walk, but I want to be able to take walks too.  Then I really want to start meditating again and have free dance sessions at my house.  I also am doing some bit of Art everyday. Then there is the sewing I want to do and the little kimono quilt to finish and working on a novel and what happened to that creativity book I was going to write. All of that doesn't include that my house needs a major cleaning and I want to reconnect with friends and yada yada  it goes on and on

I am sure all your lives are pretty much the same. It all comes down to choices, we make choices everyday for the time we have.  Some days I feel the time just whisk on by and others it seems like I have done quite a few things on the list and I am feeling great. I don't know what the difference between any of these days is.  Do I really have more time or is my time more focused or am I putting the gremlins at bay on those happy productive days.

It seems like both of my wishes for more money and time are all about making choices and it seems like if I had these things the choices would be easier to make.  Perhaps I just need to be grateful that I have choices after all.

To see what other wishcasters are doing go here

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GPP Street Team #44 In a Scrape

I decided to play along with Michelle Ward and company and get out the credit card but this time no charges apply. I use scraping tools in my work quite often so this was an easy challenge for me. I use credit cards, putty knifes, palette knives, cardboard or anything that is lying around in my studio.    I forgot to take pictures in progress of the steps so it mostly finished pages.

On this page I scraped on paint and then added stamping. It was so bright I wasn't sure how to make a page ouit of it so I just drew my hand on top and added some words.

This page I had scraped on paint and then tried to scrape over a mask but I kept having disasters so I  just painted over it again. I used stencils and stamps after that. I had this silhouette all cut on and colored with stamp ink.  She seemed to want to be part of the page too.

This next one I remembered to take a pic of first.  I scraped paint and then put a circle of paint over the sections and then scraped that paint into the piece.  I like this technique because after I scraped you could still see the circles.  I got this idea from a quilt I saw recently.  It had all these rectangles of different sizes with circles appliqued over them.  It was a stunning piece and an idea I want to pursue on paper.

After I found these images I just highlighted the circles with charcoal and made some additional ones for words I added.

This piece was done at my friend Jolene's house and its a combination of using my intention word for September from Creative Awakenings: Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art   and scraping.  I had all sort of colors underneath but did like what I had so I just put gesso  over the whole piece. Then I juist statred adding all sorts of fun stuff to the page.

This is a tag that Jolene made me. When we first met I had given her some supplies from my stash. She incorporated the embossed wallpaper into this tag along with some metal work. The words follow your heart are added which was so appropriate for me. Since my surgery I have been wearing a necklace that I bought in Montana this summer. Its a heart with the words Follow your heart ingraved in it. I wear it to remind to do just what it says. This tag hangs proudly in my studio where I can see its message.

To see what other GPP team members are doing go here   Or better yet maybe this is the month you  choose to participate.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sacred Life Sunday

When I was in the Tetons I had this moment that was so meant for Sacred Life Sunday that I waited till now to mention it.
We had about a day and a half of rain and it had finally stopped.  I had just done the dishes and Dave was taking a nap.  I thought I'd go for a walk, so I grabbed a trekking pole for my walking stick and set out.

I walked down to Jackson Lake and when I got to the shore I looked over to my left and looked at the Mountains.  The rain had stopped and the mountains were covered in snow, then the sun appeared and the scene just glowed.  As I looked at the sight, I thought this is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  It was  just me and nature. I have seen the mountains so many times but this time was different somehow. I felt so grateful being alive, being in that place and enjoying the wonders of nature.  What a gift.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Art Journal Playground - 21 Secrets

Have you heard about this class. Its just about to start and it sounds like an Art Journalers Dream. Go here to find out more about it and to sign up of course. Its put on by Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio and she invited twenty other people to take part. 

She is giving away 2 spots in the class which is why I am posting today. I would have talked about it anyways because I always like to share the good things I find online.

I have wanted to take Connie's class BIG but it has just never fit in my schedule with my surgery and recovery time. She is one of the lovely talented ladies who will be teaching. So I would love to learn from her.  I also can't wait to see what my friends Lis Hofmann and iHanna offer in their videos. These are two other awesome ladies I have met on line and love their work. It will be great to learn more form them. But get this there are eighteen other people teaching in the class. I am sure it will perfectly awesome.  There is the well known Samantha Kira, Dawn Sokol, Sarah Whitmire and so many more artists. This class sounds so awesome, check it out here

Baby Wolf Learns to Howl

My friend Carrie showed this on facebook this morning and it is so cute.  I couldn't find a way to embed it so you'll have to follow the link.

When I went to the Farmers Market this morning there was a man with a Timber Wolf.  I knew right away this was no dog.  It was grey, had a beautiful coat and the they way it looked at you you could tell it was was not a dog.  The eyes were so different, its feet were much bigger than a dogs and it had such a long body too.

Dave and I talked to the guy and I he had said they start training them at 3 weeks before they bond with their wolf nature.  I got to pet the wolf and although the coat seems like it would be rough it was incredibly soft. The next time I see a wolf in the wild I will remember the look and feel of this one.  What a fantastic moment. 

In hindsight I wish I would of asked the guy if I could get some wolf fiber to spin.  I am sure he has to brush the wolf when he is shedding. Their coats have a down layer which would be wonderful to spin. Oh well maybe I will run into him again.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Art Date

I had an art date with my friend Jolene the other day. This piece was on her wall. I think it is an amazing reminder of who we are. She has a friend who scanned an Art Journal page of hers, had it printed on canvas and then stretched over a frame. I think the idea is awesome. I think I am going to have to paint my own Art affirmation canvas for my own studio.

All the work we did that day is in stages so I will post it at another time. She had her Aunt Ilene come over too. She was just introduced to mixed media and Art Journaling so we were giving her all sorts of ideas. I hope we didn't overwhelm her too much.

Jolene introduced me to to a new kind of charcoal that I really like. You don't sharpen the pencil what you do is tear paper off like a china marker. I can't seem to find a picture online but I got mine at Michaels. I think they are made by Generals and come in a pack with 2 pencils and a small kneaded eraser. I love how charcoal can really make images pop.

Last night I had the family help me move my Art supplies back downstairs to my studio.  It was getting to the point I had the entire table full of supplies and no room to work.  I am doing better with stairs now so I think it will be ok.  I organized it a little but I am thinking that the studio may need an overhaul. It feels so good to be back in my studio again.  Sure I could create Art upstairs but there is just something about the studio that just feels right.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday - How do you wish to come out of your shell

I wasn't going to play along with the Wishcrafters today but changed my mind as I often do.  Today Jamie asks the question.

 How do you wish to come out of your shell?

My first thoughts were well I think I am pretty much out of my shell but perhaps not as much as I think.

In my work with the Creative Awakenings Book my intention for this  month is to  be a fearless artist. I think that coming out of my shell really relates to this also.  I think I have pigeon holed myself into this one space, where I play at art but am not really serious about it. I want to break out of my self imposed view of who I am as an artist. I want to be bolder, to take more risks, be more confident.

On that note here is my latest painting. This was done on canvas board and was an old painting I never finished. She started out as a blond and then a redhead before she became a brunette. Its amazing how much a painting could change.  When I would get frustrated with it I just tried to remember what my friend Zorana said in one of her videos. Its all about playing with paint and having fun and that is what really happened with this piece.

To see what other wishes are being cast today go here

Monday, September 13, 2010

Simple Womens Daybook

I haven't done one of these in awhile so today seem like a good day to start again.

 You can go here to read some more Daybook Entries.

Outside my window...   the sun is shining, skies are blue with just a few clouds it is one of those really beautiful late summer days.

I am thinking… that I when I act like an artist I really am one.  I let go of those inhibitions and can just create and that feeling is so wonderful.

I am thankful for...  .all my blogging friends, they inspire me so.  I was reading Lis blog today and she was talking about Creative Awakenings and I thought I need to get back to that.  Way back when the book came out I bought the little meditation that goes with it. I just haven't made the time to listen and go through the process.  Lis's post made me just go do it.

From the kitchen...I am cooking some breakfast while I type, big mistake as I just burned the bacon, oh well sometinmes uou have to take those hard crusty parts of life along with the sweet tender ones.

I am cranberry colored pajama pants that has white scroll designs on them and a tshirt that does not match at all.

I am intention for September.,  it is to be a fearless artist, more on that later.
I am go to town to get a new print cartridge.  I want to finish printing out my Nanorimo novel from 2008 since I have decided this is the story I'd like to work on. I started printing last night and only got 59  of the 91 pages printed before the ink cartridge died.

I am reading...or maybe I should say re-reading Eat Pray Love and finding it even better the second time.  There are so many insights for me this time around.

I am hearing...the hum of the refrigerator and a farm truck going down the street

Around the to be done but that can wait, too many other fun things to do.

One of my favorite things...  is sitting in my garden looking at all the wonderful prayer flags just blowing in the breeze and thinking of those friends who made them.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  A checkup with my physician on Tuesday, an Art date with my friend Jolene on Wednesday,   lunch with a friend on Thursday and making Art every day. Sounds like a wonderful week.

Here are some pictures I am sharing…

Some views from my trip last weekend.

It rained most of the day but the mountains were soon covered in snow. This is at Jenny Lake.

Then of course I have to shoot pictures of Ravens whenever I see them.

and a close up, you think ravens are black until you can see them really close up. There are brown and blue and even white feathers in there.

I bought this print at one of the gift shops in the park. I thought this raven couple was so cute. Someday I hope to get shots as good as this one.

Here is the collage page I did as part of my Fearless intention for the Creative Awakenings process.  The other thing you do is write about what you chose and so forth and I found the process to be very enlightening. I ended up writing two pages about this collage.  The color red is really predominant.  I kept being drawn to it over and over. I was able to see how each image had a message for me. What a great exercise.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Painting on Coasters

My sister Peggy sent me these paints beacuse she didn't want them anymore, lucky me. Some of them are half gone but the majority are not. What a gift. They are called radiant pearls and have a shimmer transparent look about them.

My faces journey continues with some small paintings on coasters. I started these when we were camping and finished them up at home.

This was a coaster that I covered with scrapboook paper.  I added some stamping with Tim Holtz distress ink in walnut an broken china.  I also covered the edge in ink too.  Then I painted the lady on top of the paper.

In this one I painted a background first and then added the girl and the birdhouse next.  I think the bird should be facing the other direction but he had a mind of his own.

This is another coaster covered with some scrapbook papers, then the face was painted on,

This is a coaster painted with black gesso first, then the face was painted. Then the background was painted and I stamped on top it to give it a look of texture. This face was a real challenge but I think she is my favorite so far.

This is a page in my journal, a work in progress. I was trying to do a different view and really had problems with the nose. I may work on it some more. For me the nose is the hardest thing to paint. If there was an online class on painting the nose I think I would be the first to sign up.

Monday, September 6, 2010

My New Pocket Book

My friend Lynn who blogs at Getting My Feet Wet  is a wonderful artist and she started making these fabric pocket books.  I was thrilled when she offered them for sale. I got mine in the mail the other day.

This is the cover, the theme for mine was the ocean.

This is a close up of the cover.

This is first pocket on the right. The page on the left was made from fabric paper and it feels pretty neat.

 The 2nd pocket faces the other way.  Each pocket has a strand of embellishment that wraps around the button holding the pocket closed.

Now the third pocket is facing upward again like the first one.

The 4th pocket is now going sideways.

This is the inside back cover and you can see more fabric paper.

This is the back cover embellished with shells. I just love all the different fabrics she used.  Many of the beads hanging down are paper beads.

If you are interested in getting your own packet book, check out Lynn's site.  She sells them for 25.00.

This is my journal page I did yesterday. I was lamenting that I wasn't in Ireland like I had planned.

Here is a sneak peak on what I have been working on. I started working on this over a year ago and put it aside.  This is laying on my favorite new toy. I don't know the actual name for it but its basically a padded and gridded ironing pad.  I love it because I can measure on it and also iron on it too. I have it on my kitchen table right now.  Its so nice not to have to drag out the ironing board.  I am determined to finish this little quilt this time around.

In the morning I will be headed to Teton National Park for a few days. See you when I get back.