Monday, December 31, 2007

What would DaVinci Do?

I have been thinking a lot about the materials I use in my artwork. I think it is because I rediscovered my need to create through the path of scrapbooking. When I began scrapbooking over seven years ago (although, in a sense, I have been scrapbooking since I was a kid), all the talk was about archival quality. It took me a long time to let go of the need to use only acid-free products in my scrapbook. But finally I realized that I really didn't care about whether the scrapbooks outlived my great-great grandchildren. I just wanted my boys to enjoy reliving their past (and I know they do because they pulled out their books again today). Now that I am playing with every type of art material imaginable, I find myself wondering how important it is to invest in quality supplies. Did the Great Artists think about the permanence of their work when they created it? I really think that they just NEEDED to create and as they say....the rest is history. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

4x4 Friday - Punchinella

As the new year quickly approaches, I've been looking for different challenge blogs/websites that will help me to keep creating even when I don't think I have the time. One of the sites I found is 4x4 Friday. I decided to get a jumpstart on my New Year's Resolution to create more art and do this weeks Friday challenge. Here is my first 4x4 challenge entry.
I had so much fun making this. It was one of those creating experiences that fed on itself. As I thought about the punchinella (the waste product from making sequins - for those of you who didn't know), I thought of using it like a fence with an animal. After that, it was just a matter of following the various associations that my mind made. I love when things like that happen! And I'm ready for the January challenges because I cut enough 4x4 pieces of matboard to do five more challenges. So bring it on!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Open for Business

I couldn't just let this time of the year go by with the normal holiday busyness. I had been thinking that I needed a bigger studio space for quite awhile but didn't seriously pursue it until a couple of weeks ago. We had some excess furniture that needed to find new homes and I called St. Vinnie's to make a pick up. That was when my brain went into hyperdrive on the larger studio idea. After bringing the subject up with Kurt, we discussed the various options and decided that moving from my current studio in the basement to the other basement room that was twice the size was a good plan. Little did he know that my plans called for immediate relocation. The discussion took place the weekend of the 8th and last week I became the Energizer Bunny, painting walls, moving furniture, cleaning out excess stuff and everything in between. There are still a few bins of supplies that need to be put away but as of last night, my studio is "open for business". I have my work table cleared and all the main supplies in accessible areas. I have been craving some creative time (and although, getting my new studio space ready has be creative, it is not in the way I want) and now I can actually play. For now, you can see my studio pictures and hopefully soon there will be new work posted as well.

Did you notice my affirmations that I painted on the walls before the actual painting began? So many people talk about the need to believe in your dreams and the power of affirmations so I just couldn't resist to put my own mark on the world (or the wall) when I was making my new work space "home".

Monday, November 12, 2007

Building a better Mousetrap

Okay, maybe I'm not building a mousetrap, but I have been building. After having reserved my domain name over a year ago, I decided it was time to actually do something more than have a page that said "Under Construction". Last week I decided to move my domain to a new server and have been actively working on building my website. I'm feeling pretty happy with the overall design that I have set up so now it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty and add actual content. Since I am a novice website designer, I welcome all comments and critiques of my site. The site is If you get a chance to stop by, please let me know what you like, what you don't like and any other suggestions that you may have.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What do you do between answering the door on Halloween?

You make jewelry, of course! Okay, maybe not everyone does but that was what I did between doling out candy to the cute and creepy trick-or-treaters prowling my neighborhood. I have been wanting to improve my beading skill of making bead dangles and I decided it was the perfect activity for when you get interrupted alot. The result of my Halloween handiwork is this Cha-Cha bracelet.

I had posted this in my gallery at and I had a request for here they are (from a newbie beader). The items I used were the following:
  • Needle-nose plier
  • Round-nose plier
  • Wire cutter
  • 7.5 inch large link chain w/clasp
  • headpins
  • pre-mixed Czech glass beads (66 grams-but I have some left over)

Since I was using a pre-sized bracelet chain, all I did was make the indivdual dangles that are on the bracelet (which, if you remember, was why I decided to make this in the first place). Each dangle is between 1/2 inch and one inch long. Each link on the bracelet has two dangles attached to it. One is longer and one is shorter. Each dangle is made by threading the desired number of beads on a headpin and then the headpin is cut and the end shaped to form the loop that allows the dangle to be attached to the chain link. For my dangles, I simply started with a larger bead directly above the head and then added additional beads, alternating colors. The tricky part to the process is forming the loop. Here are a couple of links that show the process: Bead and Button magazine and I particularly like the example in the second link but since I didn't leave a neck on my headpin like they show in the example, I wanted to include both. The process is really the same. Here is another picture of my bracelet that shows it in more detail. Also, I made sure to add the two dangles that were on each link to the opposite sides of each link. I think that after making more than 50 dangles, I feel much more confident in my wireworking abilities. The unexpected benefit of this bracelet has been the soothing sound it makes. It has been compared to the sound of a rainstick.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Creative Process

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Mostly because I have been reading "Fearless Creating" by Eric Maisel with a group of fabulous artists that I met through at the beginning of the year. We were all interested in working through "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron and started meeting twice a month to work through her book. We have since finished that book and decided upon the Eric Maisel book to continue our journey for a more creative life. Last Sunday we discussed the first chapter, which I had a really hard time reading and relating to my creativity issues. We are meeting again tomorrow to discuss chapter two, which deals with choosing a project. I don't know if I am just the odd-man out with this subject but I just don't seem to be finding the exercises meaningful. One of the big topics in the second chapter is not discounting the difficult project ideas. Maybe it is the type of art that I do, but I never eliminate any of my ideas. Sinced I have been working on more assemblage and found art pieces, I tend to "see" the start of a piece when I find an object. It may take months before I find the right combination to actually begin a piece. But other times I can see something and know immediately where to start. I may not know much more than the start but the first step has such a strong pull that I "know" it is it right. The perfect example is a piece that I finished about two weeks ago.

This shrine began life as a capiz shell bowl I bought on clearance at Target. I actually bought three of them because I thought they would make lovely candle holders on some black bookshelves I have in my living room. It wasn't until I got them home and was removing the labels that I found that one of the labels was actually embedded in the finish of the bowl. I decided it wasn't worth the $1 or less per bowl to return them to Target but I just shoved them in a drawer and forgot about them. That is until about a month ago when I came across them and immediately had a vision of cutting the part of the bowl with the label off and using the remaining part of the bowl for a shrine. I'm sure part of my "vision" came from my recent acquisition of a Dremel tool and my discovery of all the wonderful things it can do. But anyway, the point of my story is that even when I first started this project, I had little more envisioned than a piece of a bowl on its side. The rest of the piece grew as I worked. So I don't think I ever "give up" on a project. I just haven't found the right starting inspiration. I truly hope that my enthusiasm picks of for the book. I am to be the discussion leader for chapter three, "Belligerent Commitment: Starting Your Work", which I chose because it seemed to encompass my feelings for the book at the time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can't wait for the weekend

The design team and I at are busy putting on the final touches to two amazing events. The first is our Girl's Crafting Weekend that starts on Friday, September 14th and goes through Sunday, September 16th. This is similar to the cybercrops we have held in the past but with a few new twists. Envision three days and two nights at a wonderful bed & breakfast with your best bunch of girlfriends -- there will be a goody bag waiting for you, along with scrumptious meals and fun challenges and games, complete with fabulous prizes. Be sure to check out the message board to get all the details.

The other event it the return of the Scrappin' Survivor Contest. This is our third season (in television terms) and it promises to be better than ever. You can sign up through noon EST on Sunday, September 16th and the contest is open to EVERYONE. The only requirements are to register at the website (which is free) and have at least 10 posts (which can be on the message board, comments to work in the gallery, or posting your own work in the gallery). I have been part of each of the Scrappin' Survivor Contests and have loved every minute of them. And we have learned from the past to make the contest more about scrappin' and less about surviving (because there were a few sleepless nights that first year :-o ). Did I mention that the top THREE winners of this year's contest get to be guest designers for the Scrapbook Society kits in the following months? Love that!!!

One last jury duty was a bust. I sat through the selection process only to be eliminated. Oh well, maybe next time.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Time to get caught up

I know it has been awhile since I posted anything. Part of the reason was our scheduled vacation to Sedona, Arizona and the Grand Canyon. The other reason were the events before and after our vacation. First, a little background. We live in a neighborhood that is adjacent to a marsh and there had been a lot of rain the week before we left on vacation. The one event that we weren't prepared for was torrential downpours with no power. Several years ago we had new drain tile and a new sump pump installed in our basement but on Wednesday, August 22nd, our worst nightmare happened. We had over two inches of rain in an hour and no electrical power for four hours. You can just imagine what that means for a mostly finished basement. We baled water from the sump pump as fast as we could but with the ground already saturated, we just couldn't keep up. This was certainly not what we needed before leaving on vacation. Luckily after removing as much water as we could from the carpet, leaving the basement to dry out for the week with five fans and two dehumidifiers was just what it needed.

Moving on to the vacation, it was the first time the boys and I had ever been to Arizona. Kurt had been to the Grand Canyon when he was a child and was really looking forward to showing it to the boys. We ended up going on Monday, August 27th. Before leaving Sedona, we knew that there were storms near the Grand Canyon but after looking at the radar, we decided to go ahead since it looked like it would be clearing out. We did run into rain on the way, between Flagstaff and the South Rim but by the time we reached the first viewing point in the park, it was clearing up. Our first view turned out to be incredibly special -- including seeing a rainbow below us in the canyon.

We had a great time in Arizona. The boys really seemed to enjoy hiking, even though it was pretty hot while we were there. I have to add one more picture from the trip. This one just cracks me up. You just never know when you will find a sign with arms!

Since we've been back home, I've been busy cleaning (and decluttering) the basement, working on plans for the anniversary celebration, getting the boys back into the school routine, and doing laundry. Things aren't going to be letting up anytime soon since I have been summoned for jury duty for the next two weeks. I am desparate for some creative time so I'm trying to think of what I can take with me to do while I wait through the jury process. Hopefully I will have something to show later in the week.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Touching Lives

Today started out as a classic "lazy Saturday" as I listened to the pitter patter of raindrops on the roof. The windows had been open so I had snuggled under my blankets and started my day by enjoying the luxury of sleeping in. As the day went on, I was excited to finally have come up with a concept for a project I had been struggling with and headed into my studio full of energy to complete that and another one that was close to completion. As I was working, I turned on my computer and checked my email. As I was reading through the digest of one of the Yahoo groups I belong to, I was stunned to find out that Vickie Enkoff had died. Vickie was the owner of Creative Chaos Rubber Stamps, of which I had been a customer the past year. I was always so impressed with her products and the service that she offered. She was very open about her health issues on her website and yet as a customer, you always felt that you came first. Although I never met Vickie, her passing has saddened me greatly. I hope that she had some sense of how many lives she touched with her kindness and her love of art. My prayers go out to her and her family.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Little Game - Pay it Forward

I have been spending a fair amount of time in the past week surfing the internet. Some has been related to upcoming changes at, some has been related to our fast approaching vacation to Sedona, Arizona, some related to getting the boys ready to go back to school and some has just been for fun. I came across Alice's House blog tonight and she has started a Pay It Forward game. This is the explanation she had copied from another person's blog that describes the game.
Be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on this post and you win. What, you ask? The winners get something home-made and crafty from me within the next year, but you have to promise to post the same on your blog and follow suit for 3 new people. If you think this sounds like fun, just leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you.

As soon as I read her entry, my mind was a flurry of ideas that I could make to pay-it-forward(PIF). So if you would like to be one of the recipients, post that you are interested and I will get in touch with you. Now, I think I will go hit the studio.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Quick Sharing

I've been neglecting my blog lately and had been experiencing a creative slump. I was debating whether to keep going with the ATC workshop because I had gotten behind. Two days ago I decided that I needed to do something so the ATCs seemed like the best bet (since they are small and don't seem as overwhelming). Since Wednesday, I finished seven ATCs and am back on track with my lessons. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

I thought I could get all these images lined up but it is late and I just give up. The good news is that after all my ATC work, I got the bug to print out some pictures for one of the scrapbooks I started awhile ago, so hopefully tomorrow will see several more pages added to it. But for,th,that's all folks!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Luckiest girl alive

After an exhausting three days walking for floor of the CHA trade show, I'm finally home and ready for a good night's sleep. But first I have to share a bit about my post-CHA stops in Chicago before I headed for home. Both Melynda (from and I love vintage stuff so I promised her a trip to a great place that I had been to many, many years ago before I took her to the airport. So we finished up at CHA before noon and headed to Salvage One. We had a great time browsing through the store (okay, I did purchase some really cool vintage printing blocks). We also discovered a couple of other VERY COOL shops. Right next door, was a great shop called El Paso Import Co.. If you are ever in Chicago, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND checking out this place if you need any furniture or home decor items. Jon, the manager is an awesome guy! As we were looking around the store, I spotted a wicker mannequin that was fabulous and immediately checked for a price. When he saw me looking at it, he said "Do you want that, take it!" It turned out that someone had left it in front of his store just a couple of days before that. So he literally "gave" it to me. Of course, he now has my undying devotion. Don't you just love it?

By the way, if you haven't checked out the ILove2Create blog lately, definitely do. Melynda has posted tons of sneak peeks from CHA and is giving away fabulous prizes. Okay, time to for me to get some sleep...

Friday, July 20, 2007

At CHA...

Melynda and I are sitting in the hotel bar, sipping drinks and blogging after a long day of walking the trade floor show. I'm exhausted but had to pop in to mention that the ILove2Create blog to see pictures from the show and have a chance to win some cool giveaways (it will be just like you are here with us).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Learning new things

I have to say that one of the things I enjoy more than anything, is experimenting with new art techniques. When I first started with the Artist's Way group I found on, I really did it to focus on becoming more productive with all the different art mediums I already enjoyed. Little did I know, but this group has also given me opportunities to explore other areas of art. One of the "rules" of the group is that we schedule open studios to allow us to experiment with other creative outlets. Our most recent open studio was an art doll/image making class. Here is my final product.This is the first time I have ever attempted this type of art and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I did add some eyes to her after the class was finished but I still feel like she needs more of a face. I have some face molds for polymer clay so I'm sure I will be making a few more of these in the future.

Some of the other open studios we have had were to Play in the Mud pottery studio where we could do hand-building or wheel work, Wisconsin Center for Book and Paper Arts where we learned paper pulp painting, and a workshop on Soul Collage. The picture on the right is one the soul collage card I made at the workshop. I can honestly say that each open studio has expanded my creative toolbox. Next month we will be making mosaics, which is another thing I've always wanted to try.

Tomorrow I am heading to the Craft and Hobby Association trade show in Chicago. I am really excited to spend time with Melynda, the owner of We will be spending the next 2 1/2 days planning for upcoming Scrapbook Society kits and website events. The monthly Scrapbook Society kits are what started me on my recent installment of my creative journey and Melynda inspires me more than I can ever say.

Before I end this, I also want to mention that two of my recent ATCs were selected to be featured on the home page of the Artists of the Round Table Yahoo Group. I have been having so much fun with the ATC workshop (based on Bernie Berlin's book) with the group and there are so many incredible artists participating that I feel truly honored to have mine on the home page. I am also really glad that this week we had a break from our "studies" because I needed a little extra time to get caught up.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The difference a day can make

Yesterday I got results from some blood tests that I had done earlier in the week and found out that my glucose level was consistent with prediabetes. I will admit that I had my suspicions that this was a possibility but actually having it confirmed by test results really hit me hard. To help me absorb what this would mean to my life, I spent my evening working on doing some image transfers using a new technique (at least new to me). It was the last part of my ATC workshop assignment for this week and by the end of the night, I had my assignment done (one day ahead of time - Yeah!).
Here are this weeks lesson, image transfer and using fun foam. I did two image transfers by printing pictures using my Epson inkjet photoprinter. I printed the photos on some cheap photo paper that I picked up at the dollar store awhile ago. As soon as it was done printing, I placed it face down on a piece of wet watercolor paper. I brayered over the back of the photo to transfer the image. The top card shows an underwater scene that I added some acrylic paint to the bottom edge smooth the transition of the edge of the photo transfer. I also added the words "Go with the Flow" over the paint, embossing the words with clear embossing powder that contains glitter. Because the words were written in Versamark watermark ink, it is only visible at certain angles. The second image transfer photo was from Art-e-zine. I love the way it turned out and this photo transfer was the second printing from one photo. My last ATC was supposed to use fun foam to create the dimension but I happened across some chipboard letters that I thought would be perfect and used them to create "SPLASH".

Creating definitely helped me absorb my test results but waking up this morning brought news that one of my closest friend's father had passed away. I was glad to hear that she had time to go see him before but I also knew that she had been under a lot of stress with other things in her life. I spent time this afternoon working on some things for her and came away with a new appreciation for my life situation. I must say that I am very fortunate to have the life I do and I have a new gratitude even for things that I used to feel stressed about.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

My Review of ProStor X-Rack

I had to add this to my blog because it this is one of the best organizational things I have found since having kids. In the words of Martha's a good thing!

Originally submitted at CSN Garage Storage

Perfect for organizing toys, sports equipment and garage supplies, the X-Rack features three mesh baskets and a shoe storage tray for maximum capacity. It's the perfect accessory to help kids keep spaces clean. Put one in the garage, play room, kids room. Quick and easy to a...

Couldn't ask for better

By sportsmom from Madison, WI on 7/4/2007


5out of 5

Pros: Ample Storage, Efficient, Convenient, Easy to Move

Best Uses: Garage, Space Saver, Storage, Organization

Describe Yourself: Homeowner

I get a smile on my face everytime I go into our garage now. My 6 and 10 year old sons and all their friends never even need to be told to put things away.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

All caught up (sort of)

I have really been enjoying working through the Artist Trading Card Workshop book with my fellow artists at the Artists of the Round Table (A.R.T.) Yahoo group. I just always feel like I am behind. Each Sunday the new lesson is posted so in my mind the lessons go from Sunday to Sunday...And in my world it seems impossible to get them done and posted earlier than the last day. What kills me is the number of people in the group who post their work on the FIRST day. It is not that I don't want them to get them done early. It just causes me a dilema because I want to look and see all the wonderful work people are doing (and believe me, these people are AMAZING!!!) but I also want to experiment with the techniques myself without being influenced by other people's work. So all week I avoid looking at all the cool artwork and then spend hours looking at it all at once after I finish. So here I am posting lesson four and soon I'll be trolling the photos of everyone else.

One of my favorite parts of this week's lesson was that I finally got some color copies of some antique advertising cards that I had bought and used two of them for two of the cards. The first card was to incorporate a page from the telephone book. I had this image of the man and was trying to come up with an appropriate concept when I happened across the yellow pages section for "Process Servers". It seemed to be destiny for this man so the card was born. I used the section from the yellow pages and covered the unrelated part of the page with black ink to draw attention to the "Process Servers" section. I added some stenciled and stamped "$" over the background and then finished off the piece with the man and a piece of gold german scrap.

The second ATC is my version of the tissue paper background. I had some tan tissue paper with line drawings of dragonflies on it and started with that as my base. I attached a piece over black matboard, allowing a few wrinkles to form in the tissue paper. I colored the background with LuminArte Twinkling H2Os and then outlined the dragonfly with a black gel pen, adding highlights with a white gel pen. The flower was lighly brushed with Twinkling H2Os as well.

My last ATC was the hardest for me to come up with a concept. The assignment was to use string but I needed to have the string make sense in the context of the card's topic. That was when I spotted the advertising card that I had copied that was for a corset. I used the add for the background, distressing it with two colors of ink and then stamping the word "CORSETS" at the top with Distress Ink. I added eyelets along the edges and laced the card with copper cording. It is funny how once you find a concept you like, things just flow.

My goal for lesson five is to post it before next Sunday. Wish me luck. :-)

Computers - the ultimate love/hate relationship

I came to update my blog with my latest ATC Workshop lesson, number four, only to find that I never posted my cards from lesson three. Of course, now I remember how the night I had posted them to the A.R.T. Yahoo Group, my internet connection was giving me all sorts of problems. In the end, I lost my connection and never posted it to my blog.

So in order to keep things in order (okay, that just sounds weird), I am going to post my lesson three cards in this post and write a separate one for the ones I finished today. Without further adieu, here they are...
The first ATC, "ROAR", is simply a collage of bits of magazine pictures. The background is made up of three "visually textured" photos and then a center of a large flower (from a Macy's advertisement) was cropped to form the "aura" behind the lion. I added the words "I am woman...hear me ROAR!" in a gold leafing pen.

The second card is a magazine/gesso technique where a magazine photo is covered in gesso and the basic outline of the photo is recreated with a marker. I used watercolor pencils to add my own colors.

The last card is a fascinating technique that Bernie Berlin referred to as Nevr-Dull in her book Artist Trading Card Workshop. Nevr-Dull is a solvent type of product that is marketed for automotive use. Since I didn't want to buy something new if I had a suitable substitute, I tried a few of the things I had around. My first attempt was with a citrus-based solvent that I have used for blending wax-based color pencils. It did work but my samples were nothing that really inspired a finished ATC. I also tried using Transfer Ink by Stewart Superior. This product worked beautifully to remove the ink from the magazine pictures. I had used Glossy Accents by Ranger Industries to create a resist on the magazine picture, outlining some of the major lines. After the Glossy Accents dried, I sprayed the Transfer Ink on the picture, saturating it, and then wiped it in one direction with a paper towel. I like the way that because of saturating the magazine paper, there were slight wrinkles that formed during the wiping process. A packing tape transfer of a Buddha figure and the word "breathe" were added to finish off the ATC.

Okay, now that I finished explaining last week's assignment, it is time to work on this week's....Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Running a bit behind

This week was the last week of school for the boys and you would think that things would have been winding down. Instead, it was even more hectic than usual. Sunday is the deadline for lesson two of the ATC workshop I have been doing. I had time to finish two of the three techniques early in the week but couldn't get to the last one until today. I really enjoyed all three of the techniques in this lesson. The Inky Layers technique was probably the most challenging for me. I always feel like my layering of papers looks forced. I liked the results but I really need to practice this more. I also used the basic concept of this technique without the paper layers (which also produced a lovely background with the pigment inks accented with the glaze). I plan to make a few stencils that I can use for the future out of some acetate packaging that I have been saving.

The last part of the lesson required one of the backgrounds to be used to create an ATC. Because I was running late on finishing the assignment, I don't feel that the two ATCs I created are my best work but they are okay.

Now I'm off to work on my newest project. I joined a book group that is working through The Collage Discovery Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth. I need to work on developing my own definition of "collage". Watch for more of my studies related to this book in the future. :-)

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm it???

Isn't it funny how when we were kids we found all kinds of games to play to entertain ourselves. Some things never change. Even as adults, we look for ways to entertain ourselves. I've noticed games of "blog tag" before and now it is my turn to play (thanks to my friend Edith).

These are the rules.... each player starts with 7 random facts about themselves on their Blog. People who are tagged need to blog 7 facts about themselves and post the rules as well. At the end of their blog list 7 people you are tagging. Let them know that they are tagged by leaving them a comment.
So, time for my 7 random facts:

1. I've become obsessed with watching "The Starter Wife" on the USA network (and it has only had two episodes!).

2. I have a small scar below my bottom lip from when I fell off the sofa when I was 1 1/2 years old and my tooth went through my lip.

3. My "baby" is graduating from kindergarten on Friday.

4. I have developed a sunflower seed habit when I go to my sons' baseball games. If it is a particularly stressful game (like when my son is pitching), I can have a two bag a game habit. I blame my original addiction on my dad and sister. They are the ones who taught me how to crack a sunflower seed and eat the nut in one quick twist of the wrist. :-)

5. I take a two-hour nap almost every day (which will be ending this week since the boys will be home on summer vacation).

6. I hate giving up -- a case in point is the current ATC workshop I'm doing through the Artists of the Round Table Yahoo Group. I made an ATC background using a baby wipe (see my last post) according to the first lesson plan but I really didn't like it. Today I decided that I was going to use it on an ATC and I have to say, I LOVE THIS CARD!!! Check it out for yourself.

7. My favorite thing to wear is The Perfect Tee from Old Navy. I think I own over a dozen in a variety of colors.

So, now it is my turn to tag people. :-) Here are the people I've tagged:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Finished My First Lesson

Last Sunday I found out about an online artists group that was doing a workshop based on the Bernie Berlin's Artist Trading Card Workshop book. It started that day so I spontaneously signed up because I loved the book and really wanted to go through it and try all the ideas (I couldn't have asked for a better way to do it). I joined the Artists of the Round Table (A.R.T. for short) and finished the first assignment for the workshop today. Here are the results of the first lesson.I don't think that the intuitive watercolor technique is my cup of tea. I do like how my sheep ATC turned out but I think the rest of the backgrounds I made will be used for collage style ATCs. This particular watercolor card was made using twinkling H2Os (I am just a sucker for a little bling). The second technique was to create a background with a watercolor saturated baby wipe. This background I didn't make into an ATC because I realized that the key to this type of background (at least for me) is to use one that is not imprinted with little images. However, the paper that I had underneath the baby wipe when I was coloring it turned out beautifully. I used a piece of it for the background on the "Wish You Were Here" ATC. And, yes, I used the twinkling H2Os again for this technique also. The last technique for this lesson was to used Lumiere paints on a paper towel to create a material for an ATC background. I've used paper towels for ATC backgrounds before so I knew that I would love this part of the lesson. I had a great time playing (which I really needed) and can't wait for the new lesson that will be posted on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sneak peek of the June SBS kit

I have been feverishly working on creating samples for the June Scrapbooking Society kit and I'm in love with one of the projects that I did. The design team got the green light from Melynda to post some sneak peeks of our work on our blogs so I couldn't resist sharing this with everyone.

The June kit contains a Maya Road mini-album that comes in a chipboard book and a package of chipboard shapes that coordinate with the kit paper. As I sat looking at all the goodies in the kit the night it came, I had a vision -- a vision of an angel. Everything that was used to make this project came in the kit except for some rubber stamps (the face and the letters), ink and the feathers. Even though the subject of the mini-album are women that have touched my life but died too soon (hence the name "Girlfriends and Guardian Angels") invokes a certain sadness, looking at this tribut to them makes me smile. I'm sure that each of the three women currently memorialized in the album would smile as well.

Thanks for stopping by...I promise to start posting more regularly (Girl Scout's honor).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Oh my! Almost a month has passed...

I know I said that I was going to get my act together and post more often but I obviously have really not kept up with that goal. I have good reasons (like you care) like a self-imposed computer deprivation as part of my going through the exercises in the Artist's Way book, my work on my kitchen wall (finally painted and wallpaper and looking GORGEOUS, I might add), and my creative craziness of the past week to get ready for the big CyberCrafting Weekend at and the upcoming release of the May kit.

Here is a sneak peek of one of my challenges for the CyberCraft Weekend. It is a needle-felted background with beading. For the beaded mermaid, I didn't have directions, only a picture of one that had been made. That was my first attempt at recreating a beaded piece that was that detailed.

Since some of my creative time was also spent working on my kitchen, I have to also share a picture of the wall that had been "in progress" for about five years. And yes, I am embarrassed about it (even though my mother wouldn't think so). Eeek! I thought I had a picture but I don't so I'll have to share that later.

The other thing that I am very excited about is that tomorrow I can go put the glaze on two pottery pieces I made during an Open Studio that my local Artist's Way group had on the 15th of April. I made a small bowl on the wheel and a small mask that will probably find its way into an assemblage piece at some point.

Well, that is all for now. I need to go finish a couple of beeswax pieces for And the boys will be home from school any minute.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Go Where the Spirit Moves You

I've been working up an idea for a needle felted art piece and finally had some time today to dedicate to finding the focal image that I wanted. After about two hours of searching, I just didn't find what I was looking for. It is so frustrating when things just don't work. So I decided to take a tour of my studio and see what caught my eye. About a week ago, I got some new rubber stamps and one in particular has been calling to me since they came -- an image of Frida Kahlo. I have been working with Stampbord a lot lately because of my design team work at (because that is the technique for the April kit), so I decided to continue on that creative path with my inspiration, Frida Kahlo. I will be the first to admit that I know very little about my muse but I went with my gut and chose colors that seemed to resonate her Mexican heritage. Because she is seen as a cult figure to many, I also chose to give her a pair of gossamer-style wings and a crown made of rays from the sun. As I worked on my 2"x2" piece of Stampbord, I felt like she was coming to life. Unfortunately, the metallic gold of her wings does not come through on the scan of the piece. There is a small shadow box frame that is ready and waiting for her so you may see her soon on the auction block at ebay.

When the vision becomes reality

I'm sure most people can't understand my ecstasy over my new reversible tote bag made from a placemat. I think it is not the item itself but when you have a vision of something that you want to make and it turns out even better than the original vision -- that is why I am feeling euphoric. So here it reversible tote. I'd love to know what you think so please leave me a comment. I will be sporting this new tote to my Artist's Way group meeting on Sunday. You can see that the book and my morning pages notebook fit perfectly along with my wallet.

So now that one vision is completed, I plan to work on my needlefelted collage. Today is the search for the perfect focal image and transfering to my waiting piece of canvas. Stay tuned for further developments on THIS VISION!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Placemat Crafts

Last year I had the inspiration to use some placemats to make a window valance. I was looking for a valance when I found placemats that coordinated with my new shower curtain. My friend Dayna was with me at the time and looked at me pretty strange but knew I would make it work - and I did.

About a month ago I saw directions for making a purse using a placemat. I was very intrigued by it but forgot about it until I saw a Target ad that had a gorgeous placemat. As soon as I saw it I began to obsess on making it into a tote bag, but not just a tote bag but a reversible tote bag. Well, I finished it tonight and am so psyched by how it turned out. I will take some pics tomorrow to post.

We are heading into spring break so I'm not sure how cooperative the boys will be with my artistic time. Hopefully, I can do the felted project that I have been thinking about lately...stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gave myself a kick in the butt

For the last few days I have been in a bit of a funk, both creatively and with everyday life. I've been following the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and when I was writing my morning pages this morning, I realized that I needed to get angry with myself in order to get myself moving forward. I didn't actually devote any time to working on my art, but I did get a lot done which has felt really good. I've gotten a clearer picture of what I want out of life and have now mapped out a path to begin the journey.

I have been really focused on the changes going on at The Scrapbooking Society alot over the past few months. Yesterday was the big day that the I Love 2 Create went live. There are still some glitches to be worked out, but it is looking great. I am so excited about the kits that Melynda is offering in the store. She has always been such an inspiration and the Scrapbook Society monthly kits have given me the confidence to explore so many different avenues with my art. Right now I am eagerly awaiting the April kit that will feature Stampbord as the technique. This is one of those products that I fell in love with it the moment I saw it (plus I got to play with it at CHA). Even though I bought some after returning from CHA, I am still really excited to get it in the kit. This weekend will be dedicated to work with the kit and making the samples for in the gallery (at least when I'm not driving the boys to soccer games).

Tomorrow I plan to spend some time in my studio so hopefully I will have some fresh artwork to post tomorrow night.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

How quickly a month can pass

I can't believe that I haven't posted anything for over a month. What a bad, BAD blogger I am. Hopefully, I will be building this into my routine, just as I have been making more time for making art. I finally got to play with the Daylab last week and did a couple of image transfers. These I did according to the instructions although I decided to use cold press watercolor paper for the image transfers so there is much more texture to these. I'm still trying to decide if I prefer the look of the cold press paper versus the smoother hot press paper.

This is a picture I took at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

This is a picture of the State Capital building in Madison.

Even though you separate the polaroid paper early when doing image transfers, the pictures were both developed enough to allow me to try my hand at emulsion lifts. Thursday night, I had time (and the distilled water I needed) to try it for the first time. I am in love with this technique. I did both of the same images but using hot press watercolor paper for the base.

Emulsion Lift of Palace of Fine Arts (San Francisco) photo

Emulsion Lift of State Capital (Madison) photo

That was the end of my playing with the Daylab for now. I want to read more about the various techniques that can be done with Polaroid film. I got a book that was recommended by Carol Wingert and Tena Sprenger during a chat at The Scrapbooking Society. The name of the book is Polaroid Manipulations by Kathleen Carr. I have skimmed through it and found so much that fascinated me that I need a weekend to dedicate to reading it. Maybe when the boys have spring break...

Yesterday, I did get a chance to play in the studio. I needed to make 9 ATCs for a swap at The Scrapbooking Society. I decided to try a new background technique called paint scraping. I felt like such a kid swooshing paint across the paper! I love the results and plan to make some more (including one that I plan to use for the background on my blog). Anyway, I ended up making 10 ATCs (the number you can make from an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cardstock. This is a scan of the one that didn't make the cut for the swap (I didn't get the word "Easter" aligned where I wanted it).

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And with that, I say goodnight....

Monday, February 12, 2007

A New Toy!!!

Don't you just love it when you see the UPS man walking up to your front door? It definitely made my day today. Most of today was spent doing those mundane chores we all have -- laundry, grocery shopping, and playing chauffeur to the kids. So when I caught a glimpse of the "man in brown" walking up the front walk, I thought that all my drudgery was being rewarded. AND WAS IT!!! My new toy that I ordered at CHA arrived today - my Daylab Copy System Pro. Unfortunately, I don't have time to play today, but I am definitely setting aside some time tomorrow. Stay tuned for pictures of my first image transfers and emulsion lifts...

Friday, February 9, 2007

Learning the ropes

So now that I have this blog, I have realized how little I really know about making it look the way I want. There are lots of templates to choose from but none of them seem "just right". I feel a bit like Goldilocks -- trying out all the different things I find. I just wish I knew where Baby Bear was keeping his template, because I'm sure it would be "just right". I'm so torn right now. Do I keep trying to make my blog have the appearance I really want or do I work on some art projects that have been forming in my mind. I just got some Stampbord pieces (after playing with them at the Craft and Hobby Association trade show last week) and I really want to try out a few things. Unfortunately, this is the problem I've been having for the past year or two. I have so many pieces of art forming in my mind but I have a hard time finding the time (or justifying taking the time) to create them. At least I got one step closer to passing on some neighborhood association responsibilities. That was my one resolution for 2007 -- to find the balance I need between my family, my art and the rest of life.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The beginning of a new era

According to the last screen, I now have a blog. How weird is that? A couple of key strokes and suddenly I'm a blogger. I've decided to get this party started by creating this blog because it has been over six months since I reserved a domain name for the artist formerly known as a CPA. I've dabbled a little in getting something on the website but have not really gotten anywhere. I don't have time to do much more now, so without further adieu -- here is my first post!