new painting; fun with gift wrap

Voluptuous Discards painting This past weekend, I took a workshop called “Voluptuous Discards” with Lynne Perella. Lynne is an excellent teacher and takes a lot of time with all of her students. I learn a lot from her and I appreciate the attention she gives to everybody’s work. I had taken this class two years ago, so I felt a bit more confident that last time and I just went nuts and had a great time with my layers. I rarely have this kind of time to spend on one piece, so I really enjoyed the process. At the end of the class, we turned our paintings into “easy books”, with some folding and one cut. My flickr set for this class shows each “page” of the book. The book is rather large (9″x14″) so the whole thing doesn’t fit on my scanner bed, but you’ll get the idea.

fun with gift wrap I also had some fun with gift wrap this weekend. My sister Angela turned 40 and I wrapped up a bunch of little gifts for her. I also wrote her a letter describing my story behind the gifts and stamped corresponding tags for each gift. It was fun to pull out my funny, off color stamps. I’m hoping my sister will enjoy opening her gifts as much as I hope she likes the gifts themselves.

funky found object canvas villages

I’m going to be a woman of few words today. I finally finished these canvases I started in Leighanna Light’s class a few weeks ago. I love them! It was fun to take whatever scraps and randomness I had on the table in front of me to create these little rows of houses. I loved “frosting” the canvases with gel medium to create texture. Thanks, Leighanna, for a great workshop!
funky found object canvas village 1 funky found object canvas village 2 funky found object canvas village 3

Moshi Doll In Flight

Moshi Doll In FlightI was searching for something clever to say, other than “Hey, look at the Moshi Doll I made in Leighanna Light‘s workshop a couple of weeks ago!” But I don’t have anything really thought-provoking. I’m so pleased with the way she came out, though. And, as I found last time I took a class from Leighanna, she really helped me stretch myself during the creation process. I’m still in the process of finishing the other things I made in Leighanna’s classes and I love them all.

So, the big exciting news is that Tim and I spent all of Thursday night and part of Friday moving around furniture in my studio/office and I’ve been reorganizing. I’m rethinking how I work, how I used my supplies, and I’m trying to use what I have, both for keeping organized and for creating new pieces. When I’m ready for photos, I’ll put them up. I did sort through my rubber stamps and found a bunch that I don’t use much anymore, so I thought I’d put them on my shop. Come on, you know you need them!

Second bit of exciting news: I set up a Zazzle shop! As time goes on, I’ll add some items with my artwork on them. For now, I just have some basic t-shirts with silly things that randomly came out of my mouth in the past. Check it out!

Squeezing in art

I’m finally starting to realize that I’m not the only woman on this earth who’s busy and has too much on her plate. I know a lot of it is my own doing. I can’t help having so many interests! And having a lot to do is the nature of running a sole proprietorship. This is just the way life is. The trick is in how I handle it. My lists go a long way towards keeping order. Now I’m working on not whining so much and getting a handle on the anxiety that a long to do list brings along with it. Mom also sent me some vitamin B-12 supplement drops that seems to be helping a little.

1st embroidery attemptWork has been super busy, so I haven’t had much time this week to make stuff, but I’ve been squeezing in some reading and calendar journaling (see photos below). I’ve finished the current issue of Somerset Studio and can’t wait to alter some cutlery. And the current issue of CRAFT has the most amazing (and hilarious) instructions on how to make little stuffed monster dolls and I cannot WAIT to start making some of those. I am, however, being true to my promise of finishing my unfinished projects before I take on new ones.

Well, mostly, anyway. I got a wild hair (or hare, whatever) about taking an online class for webby research purposes and signed up for Susan Sorrell’s Doodle Designs class. It’s a lot more embroidery than I expected and I am not really good at it, but I’m giving it a go! My first piece is shown here. It’s requiring me to have patience, which I really need practice with, so that’s good for me.

That’s all I have today. I do want to let those of you who are commenting here know that I finally did get your comments. I forgot to check my inbox for a few days and found I had a pile of comments to approve. It’s funny how I remember to tell my clients all of these things, but when it comes to my own sites, I tend to forget the simplest things!

Below is the work I did in my pal Karen’s calendar journal for January. This is part of a yearlong project via the Calendargirlz Yahoo Group. If you click the photos, you’ll be taken to Flickr, where you can see larger versions.

looking back, just a little, so I can move forward

So, I’ve had this item on my To Do List forEVER. The item? Update my blog with the work I’ve been doing. Of course, first I had to finish the work, then I had to photograph it, then I had to upload it, then I had to write something. Well, you can see how all of this could stymie me. This year, except for the part where Tim and I bought our new house, has been awful. I learned a few things that were good, but overall, I tell you, I could have skipped the whole damn thing!

As a result of the little bit of retrospection I’ve done on 2007, I’m more looking forward to 2008. My big goal? No more PROCRASTINATION. The procrastination (brought on by fear, for the most part) is the big thing that’s keeping me on this terrible treadmill. I’m not going anywhere! Well, that’s all over now. Really.

Here are some things I’ve been working on. You can click on the images to see the larger versions on my Flickr account. Tomorrow, I intend to post about what’s up next.

Happy New Year, everybody! *clink*

A holiday-ish altered assemblage screen I did for the Altered Art Divas 12 Days of Christmas Swap I joined. All of the gifts I received are also on Flickr. The screen is available in two sizes at SunSpirit Studio.
My favorite Halloween card ever. Made with (wait for it…) SunSpirit Studio rubber stamps.
This is the finished plaster house that I began in Stephanie Lee’s class a couple of months ago. I’m really pleased with it! There are a few other items I started in that class, and you can see them in their varying states of unfinishedness on Flickr.
An altered composition book I covered for my sister’s au pair this Christmas. The inside covers are done, too, and I added ribbons for a closure.
An altered book assemblage made in a Michael deMeng class. I don’t think he really dug my penguins and non-deMeng colors, but I do think he was amused!
These polymer clay encased hearts are the result of a class with Colorado artist Tejae Floyd. I am so entranced by these, but my patience level for working with clay is pretty low. You can see a photo of them all closed up here.
A lightbox with layers of glass and transparency, created in the Michael deMeng class “Weird Wonderful Windows”.
I made a bunch of background paper and created a series of ATCs with it. Here’s one of them, used for an ATC lottery.
If I had the energy, this would have been our Christmas card this year. I will probably do a variation on it for next year, because I love it. Stamps from Paper Bag Studios.

Art Unraveled 2007 recap

phew! I’ve been home from Art Unraveled for a few days now, but I still haven’t quite caught up nor have I gotten back into the swing of things. But my box of supplies, purchases and artwork all arrived today, so I’m busy taking photos and scanning so I can write this epic blog post about my week.

Saturday, I flew into Phoenix and Andrea (of SunSpirit Studio fame!) picked me up. We headed over to a restaurant to meet Fran and Angie for a late dinner. Andrea and I then went to Fran’s house to stay overnight. The four of us shared artwork and chatted and hung out until we were all too tired to stand anymore. Andrea and I went to bed, but talked until we fell asleep. This proved to be a pattern for the rest of the week!

Sunday, Fran, Andrea and I went to lunch at Pick Up Stix where I had the best chicken bowl ever. We didn’t hang out a ton because Andrea and needed to head to the hotel to check in and get Andrea’s vehicle unloaded. Boy, she had a lot of stuff for her fabulous booth and make and takes.

Sunday evening was the Meet The Artists event, as well as the opening talk. I had a table and that went pretty well. I was happy to meet all of those people. I almost had a few extra signups as a result, but it never happened. It was ok, though, because I already had 13 signups!

My first class was with Marney, who runs Artella. It was called Blissness Plan Journal and it was a day of taking a more creative approach to a business plan. It was pretty cool and had me thinking about what steps I want to take next in my art and in my web design business.

Monday night, I taught my Websites 101 for Artists class. Boy, was I nervous! But, as my dear friends pointed out repeatedly as I was having small panic attacks, I really know the material and it was all going to be fine. A few students didn’t show up, but the class went great otherwise. The students were awesome, interested and attentive. I am toying with offering the class again next year.

Tuesday was a free day. We went shopping at Apache Reclamation for junk, then met Fran for sushi, then went to Creative Quest in Glendale. What a great store! You should definitely visit it when you’re in the area. We did a tiny bit of grocery shopping, too, and then headed back to the hotel. I had a class that evening with Kathy Cano Murillo, who was awesome. There is no photo here because I’m finishing up the project this weekend and giving it to my husband as his “souvenir”. I will post a photo later.

Wednesday, I took Let’s Face it, Be Fearless with Katie Kendrick. WOW! What a great instructor. I didn’t know what to expect, but basically it was intuitive collage and painting where we did these whimsical face paintings with Katie’s guidance. I was having such a hard time with it for a while there, but Katie really was encouraging and helpful. I feel great about my paintings now. Here they are (click image to see larger version in Flickr):

Happy McHapster Babushka I’ll Pout if I Want To

Thursday, I took Profound Secrets of the Burnt and Bound with Bernie Berlin. I learned a few techniques and got to play with Luna Lights paints, which was pretty neat. It was fun to play around with stamps and learn to get more use out of them. Her class featured Michael deMeng stamps. Here’s what I did:

Friday, I took an Architectural Structures class with Jane Wynn, who is the most enthusiastic happy lady I have met in a long time. She was lovely and helped me with the power tools and we built a box for our shrines and she gave us lots of great feedback and ideas for our shrines. I also learned to cut glass! It was really cool. She has a book coming out in the fall, which I will definitely be getting my hands on. I’d also take another class from her in the future. She was swell. Here is my shrine from that class. This was another project where I was miserable for a period of time until it started coming together. I call it “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” The focal point is a non-functioning night light I got years ago when I was really really into They Might Be Giants. I can’t remember exactly who gave it to me…one of the record company reps I worked with at the time. Anyway, I love that nightlight and now that it’s a bit flighty, it was time to retire it and this was the perfect way to do it. I may add a bit more at some point, like a little blue bird in the “attic.” Yay!

Friday night, I took a class called Resist This, which was based on a technique in Bernie’ book. It was a quickie and we left class early because we were so tired. I don’t have photos now, but will update later with them when I finish the pages we started.

Saturday was the Shopping Extravaganza! It was even better than last year, and last year was pretty good! I had fun all day, shopping, and checking in on Andrea at her booth.

I’m pretty sure I’ll go again next year, if I can afford it. I think it’s a good way to rejuvenate one’s creativity. I look forward to the day when I can focus more on art than anything else and Art Unraveled is a taste of what that would be like (minus the 400 other women milling around, of course!)

art from this weekend.

I didn’t do as much stuff this weekend, art-wise, as I would have liked, but isn’t that the story of my life!

Saturday, I met up with the Mile High Book Arts people, and we all worked on our pages for a really cool book we’re doing called “Melange Book.” It’s based off a bunch of inspirations, including a class some of us took last year with Bev Brazelton. We are gutting an old Encyclopedia to use as a cover and we’re making crazy cool pages out of chipboard, fabric, copper mesh, whatever. I only got one page finished, but I painted a lot of pages. I decided to go with a blue theme, because my decision making skills have been lacking as of late. The book will eventually be a book of inspiration for myself…when I have those low points, the book will be there to remind me of how far I’ve come, rather than how far I still have to go.

Then yesterday, we had Art Party at Christine’s store and she showed us how to use Precious Metal Clay. PMC is a clay that’s made of fine silver, with binders that give it the clay form. You mold your charm, pendant, whatever, and then fire the clay. The binders burn off, leaving you with the silver. I made three tiny charms. I’m going to make a necklace with them.

I have a number of other projects rattling around in my brain: Body of Art Challenge for the Artists’ Nook, my trades for Art Unraveled, new work to place in the Artists’ Nook and at SunSpirit Studio in AZ. I think those are the biggies that I have to do before I head to Phoenix. It feels good to write them down. It makes me a little less anxious. I think tonight I’ll be doing some journaling. It may be all I have energy for!

This past weekend, I took three classes with Kelly Kilmer at The Artists’ Nook: Taped Journal, More Than Words and Journey to the Soul. The first and the third were about painting and collage and also making a book to do all of that in! The More Than Words class was all about collage. I love Kelly’s style of teaching. She’s super laid back, throws out tons of ideas and techniques, and offers such support! She’s funny, too. Oh, also, she was patient. I was sick and crazy this weekend and she dealt with me without batting an eyelash. I hope I didn’t annoy her TOO much! 🙂

I wanted to post just a few of my favorites here. All of the photos are on my Flickr site.

 

crazy things artists do

The day before yesterday, I was in a car accident. We won’t talk about that in detail. But here’s where we make lemonade: My automobile is being totaled. Yesterday Tim and I went over to the mechanic’s and got out all of our personal items. I also found some bulbs and pieces of metal and grabbed the CD magazine out of the smashed CD changer in the back. I’m taking a class tomorrow with Leighanna Light at The Artists’ Nook and it’s entitled “Reliquary of Inspiration”. I was originally going to do a shrine for my former dog, Zuni, but decided it would be more timely to do one for my beloved 1992 Ford Explorer, which is about to be laid to rest.

So today, I called my mechanic and asked him to pull off the rear view mirror and save it for me because I’m going to make art with it. He was amused, but I’m sure he thinks I’m a wacko.

And I’m ok with that!