Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just a page or two

This is a page I did for the Creative Challenge on my site. The prompt was I am all of these things. I had done the background previously with gelatos and just drew circles and started adding words, simple but fun.

On this page I was just playing with color, when I added the picture the journaling took over. That is embossed wall paper underneath the picture. The heart is an embellishment using black, gesso, colorwash inks and white gesso. These are both things we will be doing in my class Bodacious Backgrounds next month.

This is all I have time for today.  I hope you are all having time for art today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some great finds

Look at what I found at Barnes and Noble. I got a tip from my friend Jolene. I had showed her the gelatos and how cool they were and she said they look like those gels they have at B&N. It looks like they are being marketed to different groups. These don't have the nice paintbrush or stamp so they are less expensive. When Jolene saw them they were near the teacher section in the store. When I got there two days later they were all gone but I found out they had moved them to the clearance section. I got them 50% off.  This set at 12.95 was a deal but at half price an even better deal.

I also got this set of metallics which were priced 6.95. Sorry about the blurry photo. They have a little sheen to them, don't really seem very metallic, but there was a purple so I had to have that color. There are 4 colors and then silver and gold. I was going to order them online so this saved me a bundle. So you may want to check your local Barnes & Noble. They are marketed as Gels, but they are the same as the gelatos. Thanks for the tip Jolene.

I also found this cool tape at Michaels for a dollar. I got a black one too that is numbers, it just didn't photograph well. I think it would be great as a design element in my journal. I am off to play with my new toys.

Faber-Castell Giveaway

You've heard me rave about Faber-Castell products, well here is your chance to win some of them.  Head on over to All Things Paper where they are having a great giveaway.  You could win one of these.

Or even one of these.

Wouldn't that just be grand. So head on over and enter their contest. This could be the time you finally win something.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I awoke to find a new member in my flock. Some of you know I raise sheep and others don't. We had 2 of our ewe's die last year from old age so now we are down to just three Shetlands. It looked like they found a playmate.

Now this bunnie is cute but a girl has to have her chocolate so I am sure she is not long for this world.

Here is my sketch for Sunday Sketches. I was trying to make the writing in the background look smaller so it would appear to be the pattern in the wallpaper, but I think it could be even smaller.  I'll try that next week. To see what other sketchers are doing head on over to Sophia's blog here

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bodacious Backgrounds

Bodacious Background is done.  I am happy to announce my new class is ready.  Here is a little video telling you all about it.

Class starts May 16 and you can sign up here

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Journal Spilling

I recently got a copy of this book. I was drawn to it because she uses watercolor a lot. I really feel watercolor challenged so trying some of her techniques really helped overcome that block and just play with the medium. She has some great exercises on dealing with the inner critic, something that often plagues me. There isn't a lot new in the book but just some ways of looking at things differently. There are sections on dyeing papers with inks that I am interested in trying too.  I also have never put the inner critic right on a journal page and that might be fun to do.

This was my first sample. I have a small traveling WC palette that had just a little bit of paint left on it. I didn't know what the colors were.  Over the past few years I have been buying some Daniel Smith watercolors.  I thought I would use up the paint and add the new colors. I have about 12 colors now so I think its time to start using them.

This was my second page, I love the swirly nature of it.  It reminds me of those pictures in space.  So maybe I can do watercolor after all. I need to change the thought in my head that says I am watercolor challenged. Now I am going to say I love watercolor and it loves me. I think that sounds a little bit better.

Do you ever buy and art supply and don't know how to use it?  How long does it take for you to really connect with it?  I got some new supplies in the mail today that I am so in love with.  But that is for tomorrows post.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Simple ATC

I made this little ATC the other day. The background was made with ColorWash sprays and then stenciled using a doily. The collage elements are from a set from Zorana. It a set with an angels and birds. I  took the birds crown and cut it down a little to fit the girls head, used the angel wings for a dress and moved the words around a bit.  Its fun taking pieces of art and making them different, making them more your own. Sometimes when you don't have a lot of time for art, doing something small is really satisfying.

This past month I have been working on an Art Show for my church. We have quite a few fine artists in our congregation. I spent so much time working on the show that I really didn't have all that much time to do anything new for it. I just brought down a few of my handwoven scarves and a few older paintings. The opening reception was on Saturday.

Here I am in front of my little corner. I did get some nice comments on my work so that was nice. Around here if it not fine art you never get to see it. We had fine art, mixed media, weaving, pottery, and needlework. Everyone commented on how great it was to see things besides paintings. That was nice to hear.

Now I have time to get back to working on my class and then maybe some of my own work.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Postcards Are Here

 This was the first card I got.  Its from Jenny in Washington. She blogs at Bird in the Hand  Since I love birds so much I really liked receiving this one.

This one is from Kylene in Pennsylvania.  She blogs at Kylene Lynn Photography Its a great message.

This is from Sarah in California, she blogs at Juicy-S. The heart encloses other hearts, a bird and some leaves.  Its a pretty neat card and technique.  I really love it.

This mosaic came all the way from Australia. Genki blogs here. She tore all those little pieces of paper and then made all her cards this way.  Just fascinating.

This one comes from Samantha in Massachusetts. I don't have a blog address for her.

This lovely rabbit hopped to my house from Norway. I just love her. The lovely Laila blogs at In Laila's Corner

This snowflake is from Eva is Sweden. I have no blog address for her.

This one is from  Kim who blogs at Jumbled Hutch and yes she is from Wisconsin where I once lived. The papers on this one are lovely.

This came from Jeanne is Surrey, England. She is actually a blogger that I follow. You can see her blog right here

This is my bonus card sent to me by my friend Kim since she made extra's. How lucky can I be, I just love the colors on this.

I loved all the cards I got. This is a fun swap but unfortunately I only heard from a couple people on where my cards ended up. I put my email address on all the cards but that doesn't guarantee people will respond. I hope whoever got them did appreciate them. This is my second year doing the swap and I would do it again it really is fun receiving cards from all over and meeting new people and their blogs.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I missed doing this last week, so another simple sketch done at church. She looks like a younger girl to me.

To see what others are sketching head on over to Sophia's blog.

I have spent the last several hours cleaning/reorganizing my studio and the end is not in sight.  I am seeing progress so that is good.  Ah I dream of a much bigger space.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Doodle time

I found this wonderful blog,  Peony and Parakeet.  Paivi is from Finland and she makes wonderful Art. I was enthralled with her beautiful papers.  Since she had a tutorial on  making her papers I thought I would give it a try.   It didn't turn out exactly how I wanted but I figure its a good first try.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is so cool

Many of you know I am a big Lord of the Rings Fan.  Just found this today, my inner geek is really happy. I just loved seeing the sets and the costumes in progress.  I can't wait for this one.  Maybe I will have to make another costume to wear to the premiere.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time for self

Sometimes I end up adding too much into my life and there comes a day when you think about those things that need doing and then you are really stressed out.  I try to stop before I get to that point. I often have to let go and step back a bit.  Take a little time to regroup and take a look at all the restraints I put on myself and really decide what is important and what is not.

I have been doing something called the Daily Challenge.  Today it said Take something off your To do List. So I took off the Fake Journal.  I am three days behind and just don't feel like putting the effort to getting back in the groove with it. I will still do it but not in the time frame of the group.

I also decided to skip my knitting group and take the dog for a walk.  I grabbed my ipod to listen to John Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go There You Are.  Its my favorite meditation Cd to listen to when I feel life spinning out of control. Its not a meditation but a book on tape.  The calmness of his voice and thought of meditating like a mountain or a lake always bring me back to the present, to that moment of stillness that I am craving.

One of the things I learned at the Writers Spa with Jennifer Louden a few years back was about conditions of satisfaction,  We were to decide what we wanted to get out of the retreat.  We set those conditions at the beginning and then we were also allowed to change them too.  I decided to also use that idea today. I had set a goal of having my next class ready by May 1st and have been scrambling to get things done. Yes its driving me nuts and putting extra stress on me that I do not need. So I am letting go of that date. Instead of pushing for it I decided to take it slow and just do what I can. If its not ready till June well that is ok too!

So I have had an interesting day because I have done nothing that I had really planned to do. It feels great too! Maybe that is what freedom is all about.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of GrayBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found out about this book on Beth Revis's blog when she interviewed the author and I was intrigued. It takes place in 1941 when Stalin had his reign of terror.  The characters are a family from Lithuania who are deported to Siberia.

I read this book in one day so at first that says something. Second this is a pretty depressing subject but the author Rita Sepetys sets a perfect tone.  She grabbed my attention from the first sentence and never let go.  No matter how awful the circumstance I was enthralled.  I really cared about these people on one hand and the other was appalled that human beings could such horrible things to each other. As I thought about it has happened many times over our history. I still when will humanity learn. Being an artist myself I was enthralled with the drawings Lina made and would love to have seen some included with the book. I also liked the upbeat message in the ending.  This was also a period in history I knew so little about. I am so glad that the author wrote it.  These kinds of books need to be written.  I highly recommend it.

View all my reviews

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Weekend

I had a great weekend with my friends.  I managed to finish plying these skeins of yarn.  The white and the blue green are silk.  The bigger skein in front is cotton.  I really love to spin cotton but do not do it that often.  I have all these great colors of dyed cotton.  This really got me back to thinking about spinning more of it.

So now I have set out this basket of cotton and plan to be spinning it throughout the summer.  I know this does not look like much but it will take hours and  hours to spin up.  I always thought using all these colors in some woven fabric.  I think they would make a beautiful top or blouse.

Then I started working on these socks.They're for my daughter.  I have   one made for awhile and now and it was time to make its match.

Just when I was almost done with the two color pattern I discovered that I had knit them upside down. Oh well, time to rip it out and start over again. So the weekend included some success and some big mistakes. Some weekends are like that. Now my company is gone and house is so quiet. Now I have time to reflect on what I'll do next.  How was your weekend?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pajama Party Weekend

Woke up to a couple inches of snow, again.  Its really beginning to be a pattern.  My spinning friends from Salt Lake City are coming for the weekend. I went shopping and decided to make my world famous Spaghetti Sauce for Saturdays dinner.  I usually just pop a frozen lasagna in the oven but felt like something different this time.

I have some other local friends coming, we usually just combine what everyone brings and that makes our meals.  Shirley will bring great bagels with her, CJ perhaps a salad or a pot of soup and then I supply the  main dish which this year will be spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. There will be other munchies along the way. We always make Amy stop and bring some Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream for those late night cravings.  Sometimes we stay in our pj's all day but its not mandatory.  We'll spin yarns, knit on projects, laugh, eat, watch movies, eat, spin some more, eat some more, maybe take a trip to a yarn shop, eat, and so on.  Its always a fun weekend and the time slips by so fast.

My friend Janet just posted this and it is so good I had to pass it on. Its long but read the whole thing it is full of wisdom on the creative life.  Here is the link

I'll be back posting on Monday, have a great weekend

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dealing with more snow

It snowed again today, we were supposed to get rain but instead light fluffy snowflakes. It seems like November instead of April. So of course this was the kind of page I did today.

This fish jumped on this page, not sure why. It is a piece of wallpaper. Charcoal wouldn't work on the paper so I used a micron pen to embellish the fish.

This page was one of those backgrounds I did not know what to do with. You know how you sit and stare at the color and try to put things with and nothing seems to work.  The combination of the blue sky and the orange seemed to click for me.  I had fun doing art today, how did you spend the day?

Videos to Inspire Your Bucket List

Go here for  a little inspiration. I can't help but be uplifted by Tim McGraw's song.  I always loved The Last Holiday and now I think I need to rent One Week and there is so much more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday: What do you wish to transform?

On this Wednesday the lovely Jamie Ridler from Jamie Ridler Studios asks a simple question "What do you wish to transform?" My first thought was myself.  Then I thought why do we always want to fix ourselves; are we not just perfect the way we are.

As I thought further on the topic I though ok I want to transform my business self from a beginner who is just testing the waters to one who is extremely successful. I have vision where my classes are all filled to the brim, that I am helping other women to reach their creative potential, where the e-book I am writing sells well, where the creativity book I want to write is picked up by a publisher and is the next best book on the market.  My vision also includes taking the coaches training in August and creating a vibrant exciting practice.  I see all these things but they seem so far away.  I want to jump into a transformation machine where I can make all this happen with little doubt on my part.

So I guess I do want to transform myself in some ways.  I want to be more confident in what I am proposing and doing.  I want that little voice of doubt to go away, I want to stop being influenced by what others are doing. I want to be empowered by my desires and have the courage to take these steps I need to take to make it reality.

To see what other wishers are casting today or to join in yourself, go here

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Peek Into My New Class

I have been working on preparing and filming my next class. Bodacious Backgrounds and More.  I am really excited about this class.  It is going to be so much fun. I am going to cover Color Theory, pulled art, making backgrounds with spray paint and Colorwash and a whole lot more. Since I am including some spray painting I needed to take advantage of the one good weather day we've  had in a week. I headed out to do some sampling in the garage. Here's a sneak at my worktable, and then a few of my samples.

I just love this new paper stencil. I have used it to makes stamps, spray paint and use spray inks. Its pretty versatile.

I love how ithereal spray painting can make things look.


It turns out my black spray paint is having issues, it just didn't come out black like it should. I don't know if it because of the temps outside or what. I may just go get a new can.

I do love the look of spray paint over lace. Here I didn't mind that the black didn't really come out black. The muted shade seems to add to the antique look of things.

I did the butterfly's all in one color I think next time I will try multi-colored.

Some basic circles look good multicolored.

This leaf paper was a  new stencil too and initially I thought it was boring but now with multiple colors I kind a like it.

I love using this alphabet stencil and had been looking for it. There it was in the garage with some other stenciling materials. Do you ever misplace materials and have no clue where they are?

Monday, April 4, 2011

International Fake Journal Begins

I talked about the International Fake Journal Month the other day and although there was not much time I just jumped in.  In hindsight I should have read all the entries for March before deciding what to do but I had already begun so I will stick wit my plan.  If you decide to do this I recommend reading all the entries in March as there is some really helpful information. In fact you could do this any month you felt like it.  Its just that there area a group of people doing it together this month.

I found this small journal in my stash, it was free when I bought my Inktense pencils and I hadn't found a use for it yet. I thought it would make a great travel journal.

I started out with this opening page and came up with a name. I am a young girl perhaps twenty going on her first trip abroad with her grandmother. Its 1921 a time of more freedom for women.

First I purchased an extensive luggage set and get my packing done. Each day I am writing words in my journal and having a little drawing. I realized into day three that she would be using a dip pen and ink so I put away my gel pens.

I am leaving New York to travel to London in two days. First we'll take the train to the harbor and board a ship to take the journey. I drew the image with a dip pen and added watercolor later.  My plans are to challenge myself to use watercolor a whole lot more. I don't know how often I will show this, perhaps once a week and then just the drawings. I think it may be fun to explore new techniques and ideas.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Sketches

So I am back to faces again.  This one taken from a magazine image. I never try to duplicate them.  I mainly use them for the shape or look about them.  To see what other sketchers are doing go here  This is where the lovely Sophia of Blue Chair Diary our host for Sunday Sketches resides.