Friday, July 24, 2009

Abstract Distraction

I played around with painting fast, not worrying about what I was making, scribbling with Koh-i-Noor pencils and scratching paint with the end of my paintbrush. I was using The Creative Edge book by Mary Todd Beam as my springboard.

I like it so far. The little one said it might need a person. I think she means vintage image since that is what I like to play with most.

No idea what I'm doing with it yet. It's painted on gesso'd matboard (closest thing I have to illustration board.) Supplies are gesso, acrylic paint and fluid acrylics, vintage paper, modeling paste, stencils, gel pens.

It's about 12X18" in size. Work in progress.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Contessa Treasure

I visited The Altered Page the other day and was delighted to find he was doing a new Buried Treasure collaboration. I missed all the fun the last time so I was determined to play along today. Visit this post to find your treasure map to a list of participating blogs.

Definition of Buried Treasure: an online, collaborative project that invites art bloggers to go into the depths of their blogs and dig for buried treasure. Each participant is asked to repost one (or more) of their favorite posts from their own blog.

I have the hardest time limiting the posts I like. But I chose posts with my favorite things.
We had the best time this holiday, visiting my parents who lived in Atlanta at the time, meeting new people and introducing those from other countries to our crazy american traditions for July 4th. The post also holds some of my favorite art. Here's one piece, go to the original post for more.

2006 recap would not be complete without a nod to my crazy little one and her witcher picker.

May 28th
One fun part about revisiting old blog posts is the normal family stuff. I get to see what we were doing two years ago, how much my kids have grown in that time. My dd is as funny as always though, so she makes my 2007 picks.

October 9th
Some of my favorite art for 2007 was the altered notebooks I made for the pastors at our church. My lovely mother volunteered for me to make something, and THEN asked me. But she knew I would hem and haw and eventually say yes anyway. ha

February 5th
One of my favorite things was starting a nature inspired journal that I exchanged with friends.

2008 was a good year for art. I had the best time making Valentine
cards, wallhangings and canvases. We also went on a scrumptious beach holiday for our 20th anniversary. Some of the pictures are just gorgeous.

May 9th
Experimenting with painting more freely, I made the Caged Bird canvas. It is still one of my favorite pieces.

July 1st
This year my
teen started painting her bathroom in beautiful bright colors. One of my favorite posts because of all the colors. I really need to be braver in color choices.

Thanks to all those who have visited my blog for the last 4 years. It's been a joy to meet new people I call friends.

Come back tomorrow for a peek at the abstract art I played with last night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Am Woman Above Everything Else

I think of this quote sometimes. I forget much of the time that I'm not just a mom, wife, daughter, artist, christian, Shih Tzu spoiler, teen taxi, bill payer, grocery shopper, homeschool teacher, reluctant cook and cleaner. I am a woman. Just a plain one. Not Superwoman, although if I had Linda Carter's body, I would SO wear the suit and claim I was WonderWoman! Sometimes you just can't (and don't want) to do it all.

However, I've been remiss in quite a few things lately. Haven't listed on Etsy, am just now catching up on emails, haven't planned our homeschool year (which starts in 27 days), my laundry pile could rival Mt. Everest. A friend, a new friend mind you, gave me an award and I never answered or posted about it. Another friend featured my art on HER blog and I keep forgetting to mention it! So here goes. Right now I'm catching up on everything. (Except Etsy. I'm working on a few things to list soon. I still have supplies for sale though.) Maybe even the laundry if I don't stumble into it and die.

Linda, over at Visual Smile Gallery liked my Release Perfection piece so much she talked about it on her blog. What a sweetie! Take a gander! Her art is beautiful as well. I love the fat black/white cat, but I'm partial to cats...

Heather, my new friend who found my blog via google, gave me a nice award. You should see the project she's doing with Proverbs scripture. I need to do something like that. I could hang the pieces on my wall and be able to read them everyday for encouragement. Anyway, the award...

Premio Meme Award: The rules associated with this award are that I am to write seven little-known facts about myself, and then pass this award to seven of my fellow bloggers. I'll do my best...

1. I have a word obsession & I love to read. I used to keep a small dictionary by my bed to look up words while I read because I hate not to know something. I love spelling, word games, proper grammar. Anything to do with English? I'm your girl. I'm the person you'll find googling a word the pastor used during his sermon, while he is still preaching (I do it discreetly on my phone of course. )

2. I'm mostly happy, slightly self conscious but you probably wouldn't know it if you met me. I worry about things a lot but when push comes to shove, I'm the stalwart one who steps in and takes care of it all.

3. I talk to my Shih Tzu like she is a baby. She's my baby 'Cwemmie' (Clementine.)

4. I'm secretly proud of that fact that at least one of my children will be going into the art field. The 10 year old is still on the fence (animals are a big pull) but I'm working on her. She draws and bakes so well. I'm so glad we made it a priority for them to do art during our homeschool days. I'm proud, like a mom whose child is becoming a doctor. I say, with beaming pride in my voice, 'My daughter is going to be an artist/graphic designer/photographer.' It makes me happy.

5. I don't like to cook, I love to bake; but only if the kitchen is clean.

6. I melt in the heat. Even if I'm not hot, my face gets all red and I feel like I've run a marathon. It sucks my energy. Maybe I should stand in the heat more often to melt off some pounds?! ha

7. I frequently go to bed after a long bout of painting, collaging, etc... without washing my hands or checking in the mirror. I'm usually so tired I forget. I get up in the morning to see that my hair has bits of gel medium, paint and glitter and my fingers are coated with a second skin of glue. And I love it.

I don't know how to pick 7 friends, or how to pick 7 who haven't already done this lovely exercise. So, if you visit my blog on this post, please suggest someone that you think is wonderful enough to receive this award and I will include them on the list and let them know.

For those who were waiting on pins and needles (like that doesn't solicit an EYEROLL from everyone) to know which piece I picked for Diary Project 2010, you'll be happy/sad to know #8 won. I kept trying to look at the others objectively but that one just speaks to me and yells 'CCCOOOLLLAAAGGGEEE!' So since I'm Collage Contessa, I figured it was the one. If you're sorry you did not get to participate, she has extended the deadline a bit and has spaces still available. Check here for information. Deadline is August 1st.

If you're wondering what I did with all this stuff? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was the day my dd ended up going in the hospital for surgery. So it still sits on my desk waiting for me. I still have ideas...

Tonight I feel like painting. Maybe abstract. I've been reading The Creative Edge by Mary Todd Beam and it really inspires me to just paint. Maybe even close my eyes and paint. To quit worrying about lining things up, having a subject or worrying about what I'll do with the piece or if anyone will like it. I want no worry tonight. Just to paint.

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments and concerns about my mother. She is doing wonderfully well and should go home today to recuperate.

Now time to plan/order some curriculum and maybe do some laundry.

(Pic above is of a tin I made a few years ago. Found the image while cleaning up my computer files this weekend. That's another thing to finish doing, cleaning off my computer... *sigh*)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Invasive Glitter

Glitter has no boundaries. No rules, no limits. It can go where ever it wants, do what it feels, adorn whatever it desires. No compunction to conform to the norm of anything. I believe I have glitter in every orifice that is not covered by clothes and even then I'm not too sure because I've been playing with it all day and you know a girl has to 'go' once in awhile. You just never KNOW is all I'm saying. No boundaries.

But to my delight, I've managed to make and like 3 ornaments. Until I adorn them with 'Merry Christmas' or somethng, they could be ornaments just for hanging in a studio or house. They're not your normal Christmas colors. Think Vintage Glam Ornament style.

Some of them have pearl-ex powders which is so fun to play with! The pieces in the middle are natural felt, sprayed with adhesive and then glittered (idea is similar to something in Pretty Little Felts.) I 'think' they're done but you never know. I might tweak here and there. 2 more are on the art desk being agonized over but for now, here's 3 using Red Lead collage sheet images (sheet 'Ancestors 8'). And yes, since I cut off all their legs, of course I saved them. I have an idea for those!

If you have a moment, say a little prayer for my mother who is having some major surgery today. We're off to see how she is doing at the hospital and we'll probably be spending our days at her house (nights we'll be home) helping to care for her until she is back on her feet. (Packing up a mini art bag to take with me just in case. *wink*)

P.S. For all you glitter fans,
I found today a challenge issued by The Crafty Chica. It involves glitter of course and a prize or two! Go see! Deadline is this week sometime.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Red Lead I'm in Love

Over the weekend I mentioned the art store we visited while in St. Louis. It was a weird coincidence, believe me. I had Red Lead on my list of places-to-visit while we were there. Then, not 2 weeks before we were to go, the owners of the store contacted me to be on their Design Team. Apparently they had followed my link over on Audrey's blog.

I'm on cloud nine! I've missed designing for a stamp company and they make their own stamps and collage sheets. DH and I went to the store and I had the best time picking out product to use to create pieces for them. Right now I'm playing with Christmas ideas. No, it's not too early for Christmas. Think of it as Christmas in July.

A wreath made with various stamps.

Christmas cards made with leftovers from wreath.

I made a few nature inspired cards.

Working on a few Christmas ornaments now. How about you? Doing something fun lately?

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I think at one point growing up, I wanted to be an architect. Like my dad. All that linear drawing and organizing, planning where doors go, columns, room sizes. Yeah, it speaks to my happy brain. But then I grew up, got married and went the domestic direction. However I think about the structure of things sometimes when I'm out. Especially in a city setting. I love seeing the old buildings, the cathedrals, rusting metal fences. Signs.

Have I mentioned my obsession with signs? I love old signs. I take pics of them all the time! Have you been to Universal Studios in Florida?

My family was running around, enjoying themselves there in January, and I kept stopping to take pics of the store signs! ha A lot of them were old looking though.

We also went down St. John's Pass near St. Pete Beach, FL. They had nice signs as well.

DH and I ran off by ourselves last weekend for our 21st anniversary. We went to St. Louis, Missouri. I have driven through there; stayed in St. Charles once and I went to the top of the Arch when I was 16. But that is the extent of my visits. We had no plans. In fact, DH didn't even know. I surprised him with it. We went and wandered around.

We happened upon a food market; Soulard Market. They have these gorgeous stalls of food, you want to taste and take it all home with you.

It was also the weekend of their Bastille Day celebration, so I had the pleasure of shopping in a flea market setting too. The market is in this gorgeous old town area.

The outer structures and details of the local churches, homes, even the sidewalks are so beautiful.

I'll have to tell you about my visit to a St. Louis art store in another blogging.

In these days and times of plastic everything, modern buildings and neon signs, its nice to still find the old way of making things. Have you gotten away lately? Do you have any favorite architecture?

*Note: First pic is a building downtown Kansas City. Love the structure AND the sign on top!

Friday, July 17, 2009

NEED HELP! Diary Project 2010

Thanks so much to all those posted and emailed about my dd's hospital visit. Thankfully she is doing much better, hand is healing nicely and she is packing for a mission trip! We're very blessed for her health.

Wanted to share something I'm working on. I think I mentioned I've agreed to do a page in the
Diary Project 2010. Well, as usual, I'm very last minute. I worked on a few pages last night and am having trouble deciding which I like the best! Can you help me? What do you think looks the best, and my style, not too crowded or whatever? I started out with a simple one that include a row of button flowers. But then since I'm a collage girl, I started playing with pieces. Even got fancy with different numberings. It's due in 2 days, so I need to decide.

Numbers 1 & 2:

Numbers 3 & 4:

Numbers 5 & 6:

Numbers 7 & 8:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!!

Do you have favorite plans or traditions for July 4th? We always find ourselves invited to one friend or another's parties. Our extended family tends to go off on their own excursions and doesn't have a whole group-de-group shindig (No worries though. We get together for every other holiday.) In fact, my parents are torturing me at this minute, viewing the fireworks on their bikes, on the pier down at St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Fireworks are popping over the ocean as I type. If that is not wonderful, I don't know what is.

We're not big fireworks-blowing-up-people either. I mean we enjoy them, but we don't go all out and buy $200 worth like my brothers tend to do. I do enjoy the little things though. The black snakes, the little flowery things that spin after you light them, in all sorts of colors, the white bags of gunpowder stuff you throw on the ground to pop... But my favorites have always been the sparklers. I buy a lot of them and we play with them throughout the year. There is something special about the very first one you use. It's almost a superstition with me, I have to write my name in the air first before I can make shapes and whirly swirlies of any kind.

This year is different for us entirely. We've spent the weekend largely apart as a family. Thursday the teen went to the Dr. about a spider bite, thinking it would be taken care of and antibiotics given. Case closed. So we were shocked to find them scheduling surgery and a hospital stay of 3-4 days. DH has been home with the little one packing for camp which comes on Monday. The teen and I have become quite familiar with hospital staff and all the snacks they have in their secret closet (did you know they had a secret little food closet?! Yum!) All is well with her and we plan to go home in a couple days. It's not the July 4th we anticipated but we're thankful she's alive and they were able to fix her. That's all that matters.

May your holiday be wonderful, surrounded by family, food and wonderful fireworks. We're off to find a good set of windows to peer out of and see the fireworks display across the street. I hope they do one of those wonderful chrysanthemum flower fireworks in the sky that is all different colors. That one always makes me smile.