29 December 2008

I Forgot To Mention ...

My wonderful husband bought me an 8G iPod Touch to celebrate his first paycheck from his new job! Between that and my new digital camera, I'm in technology heaven!

It's Here!

My new digital camera is here! It arrived at about 11:30 AM. I had to charge the battery for about an hour and a half, and then I started taking pictures. The first picture I took was of Nana and Frankie -- Nana is the one looking at me with the wide green eyes. She was scared of the flash and ran off as soon as I snapped the picture! Frankie is doing what he does best and most often -- sleeping. Later on in the evening, I took a picture of B'Orange lying on my scanner. He'd been up on the monitor and gotten toasty warm, and then climbed down to finish his nap on my desk.

26 December 2008

I Did It!

I ordered my digi-cam today! Thanks so much to everyone who had input and suggestions. I decided to go with the Canon Powershot SD1100 IS from Amazon. I had a hard time deciding what color to order ... Pink is one of my favorite colors, but I'm not a "cutesy girly" type, and I'm bored with the whole breast cancer product placement thing. My mother-in-law is a two-time survivor, so I should be more sympathetic, but . . . For just $10 more the pink one comes with a printer, so I went with it. Actually, I went with the "Frequently Bought Together" package and got the carrying case and the battery, too, all for less than $200. Since I intend on carrying the camera in my purse, I thought the carrying case was a good idea. I also spent $3.99 for one-day shipping, so the camera should be here by Monday (UPS doesn't work on the week-ends). I'm so excited!

My goal is to take at least a picture a day in 2009, to chronicle my life, and to get better at photography. If it ends up that I really do use my camera, I'll look for a better one at the end of the year.

18 December 2008

Life Styles ...

Wednesday, author Patti Digh tweets, "In life, we are either circumstance-driven or values-driven. Which are you?" This little question has been nagging me since I ran across it. Which style of life do I live? Since I spent much of Wednesday afternoon and evening waiting for UPS not to come -- and getting highly frustrated at the same time -- I'd have to honestly answer that currently, as least, my life is circumstance-driven. But is that what I really want for my life?

Tammy and I talked about this a bit this evening. Living a circumstance-driven life would tend to make you feel less in control of your own life; you'd be too busy being a reactionary to take 100% responsibility for your actions and responses (which leads me to wonder about my frustrations at the UPS man, but that's another blog post). You'd probably have more than your share of drama in your life, as much of your energy would be spent putting out the fires that are inherent in merely reacting to the world around you.

There's no doubt to me that a value-driven life would be much calmer and much more my own. None of that "waking up at the end of my life to find I lived someone else's idea of what life should be" angst. Decision-making would be easier, when you come from a value-driven place. Carrying out the decision, actually acting on it, may not be any easier, but making the decision itself should be. Being value-driven means that you always have a compass, a center, to compare the path ahead of you to; it's easier to know when you're on track that way if you have a map.

But how often do I actually live in a value-driven place? Not, I'm sad to say, as often as I'd like to. More often than I care to admit (even to myself), I react rather than respond. I get caught up in the flow of schedules and to-do lists, and become a slave to daily circumstances. I long to have a life that exemplifies my personal values.

Of course, someone could make the argument that life always reflects our values -- our truest values rather than our professed values. We give time and credence to those things in our life that represent what is truly important to us. If I say I don't have time to list my gratitudes each night, what I'm really saying is that I'm not taking the time to do it; I'm not making it a priority. Instead, my husband/family/art/cats/naptime book/unwinding time/etc is more important to me than taking 30 seconds to nourish my connection to Source Energy. Ouch.

The little decisions that I make on a daily basis -- from the phone calls I chose to return to whether I eat right and get enough exercise -- are my life, and in this sense, an unwitting reflection of my values. It's this seemingly mundane collection of daily activities that really flesh out the framework built by memorable moments -- life is not made up of just the highs and lows, but rather, of all the time inbetween them. So, it's not just how well I held up through the crisis of my father's transition that is me living a value-driven life, it's how I respond to life in the moments when no one (maybe not even myself) is watching ...

I know that I have mixed my verb tenses and gotten sloppy about point-of-view, but I'm thinking off the top of my head. I'm having an idea that I can't quite verbalize because it's late and I'm tired. That, and the fact that I just don't think as well as I used to; I'm just not as smart as I used to be, it seems. It feels like I'm dancing all around my point, but I can't quite see it. Maybe things will be clearer by the light of day.

16 December 2008


"After the holidays" will be here before I know it, so I've started looking at digi-cams again. Right now, I'm leaning toward the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS or the A650 IS. I'm really looking for a sub-compact, so I'll probably get the SD1100, but the A650 doesn't look too big! 

If you have any experience with either of these cameras, please, let me know what you think about it! Thanks!

14 December 2008

A Book Giveaway!

Susan Tuttle's new book, Exhibition 36: Mixed-Media Demonatrations + Explorations has just been released. To celebrate, Susan is giving away a copy to some lucky winner! Stop by her blog to check out the contest. Check out her blog while you're there -- there's some beautiful art on it.

13 December 2008

I'm Not Much Of A Scrapbooker ...

... But I couldn't help but sign up for Kollete Hall's A Life Well Crafted: January over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I have tons of photos and am getting a new digi-cam (I know, you're saying "Finally!") after Christmas so there will be even more pics to do something with. Right now, they are all just stacked in a box, with no rhyme or reason. I thought it time that I learned some of the basics of modern scrapbooking, and I liked Kollette's approach to this class. Actually, I don't think there will be a lot of "traditional scrapbooking" to it. It looks as though there will be lots of journaling -- which I do already in my Morning Pages -- and a bit of introspection. I can handle that.

Today I downloaded the supply lists; I have almost nothing on there. Sunday afternoon, I head out to Collective Journey to see what I can buy locally before I order a bunch of stuff. As much fun as internet shopping is (I joined Amazon Prime today!), I really love picking things like this out the old fashioned way. And any excuse to go to Collective Journey is a good excuse!

What Fun!

Someone from my past found me on Facebook. While I haven't heard from him beyond the initial friend request, he did inspire me to look for someone else from my past. I found an old friend (an ex boy-friend, really) and contacted him. We are having a delightful time, getting to know each other again. At least I am -- I can't really speak for him.  Our four-day-old exchange has none of the awkwardness I was concerned about. We're just chatting away. My husband knows, and fully supports this reconnection. 

Life is good!

Edited to add: The first old friend and I have started exchanging email. He's as charming as I remember him being. Note to self -- Taking risks is good!

12 December 2008

Something New!

Last night at the Redlands Art Association, I bought myself something new. It's a notetaker by local fabric artist Candy Glendening. It holds a standard 8" x 10" notepad (included), with slots for pens, business cards and pens. It's just gorgeous and it's so soft. She also sells scarves, pillows and wall hangings. The top picture is the front; the bottom picture is the back. 

10 December 2008

Big News!

It's several days -- even a couple of weeks -- old, but I've been keeping it to myself for some reason. Now, I think I can safely share it with everyone. Husband-John got a great new job! He'll be working at Fort Irwin as a Data Analyst. Fort Irwin is about 119 miles northeast of Redlands (about 45 miles northeast of Barstow), so we'll have to move. It's definitely too far for John to drive everyday. Until we get ready to move, he'll probably stay up there during the week and come home on week-ends. 

John went on the payroll December first. Right now, he is at Fort Gordon (Augusta, Georgia) for training. He says the class is interesting and the people he's meeting are pretty nice. I miss him, but I'm happy for his adventure, too. 

I have really mixed feelings about moving. On the one hand, we've lived in Redlands for almost 10 years and that's the (way) longest I've lived anywhere as an adult. I am becoming restless. Our apartment is getting too small for us, so the opportunity to live some place bigger (maybe even with a creative area for me!) is exciting. On the other hand, we have a life here, with friends and family. The clerks at Von's know us by name and we feel comfortable and welcome in the shops and restaurants that we frequent. John's parents are here, and it will be difficult to leave them. I genuinely like and admire his parents and enjoy their company. I'm the treasurer at the Redlands Art Association and I enjoy that work very much. It's very challenging for me, but ultimately, it's a good activity for me. Like I said, mixed feelings ...

If you know anything about the Silver Lakes/Barstow/Fort Irwin area, please either leave me a comment or drop me a note and share what you know! Especially if you know anything about the state of the art community in the area -- I'd really like to know about that. 

04 December 2008

Christmas Cards?

At Collective Journey a few days ago, I bought new stuff! I bought some new rubber stamps and some Christmas scrapbook papers. My intention was to make a few cards for the holiday, but I've been busy, tired, and unmotivated since my purchases. I really want the Stampers Anonymous Christmas stamps that Tim Holtz is featuring in his 2008 12 Days of Christmas! As short as the Christmas season is this year, I think I'll skip the cardmaking and head for Hallmark; maybe I'll feel like making cards after the first of the year for next year!

Thursday Plans ...

Husband-John and I are off to spend the day at Victoria Gardens. We are going to see a live radio performance of the Michael Medved Show, then we are off to explore a bit. The show is being held at the Cultural Center. I've never been there before, so I have no idea where it is. Well, I googled the directions, so I know how to get to it, but other than that, I have no idea where it is! I'm sure we'll have a nice day. 

I've Been Tagged!

A few weeks ago I was tagged by Jill over at Altered Bits from Elinor's Closet. I haven't been blogging much because my life has been incredibly busy. In fact, I'm typing this at 4:53 AM. Not that I'm up that early -- I haven't been to bed yet! For some reason, I'm just not sleeping well these past few nights and I thought I'd get a little blogging in. 

The rules are pretty straightforward, so there's no real reason I haven't responded to my tag before now:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules.
3. Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
4. Tag two of your other online art friends ... Do I still have two friends? LOL!

So here are my SIX things ...

1. My husband and I can't have children, so we have cats -- three delightful cats: Frankie, B'Orange, and Nana.
2. When I got married, I legally changed my name so that my middle name is now my maiden name. My full name, legally, is Cindy Jones Lantier.
3.  I've been to a Presidential Inauguarual Ball ... And it wasn't as much fun as you might think.
4.  I have well over 150 (probably over 200, if I stopped to count) college credits/hours/units, and yet I only have an Associate's Degree. 
5. On January 16, I will have been married for 10 years. 
6. I met my beloved husband in an internet chat room about 14 years ago.

I tag Kristy and Pallas!

12 November 2008

New Storage Unit!

Ignore the "30% off sewing Baskets" -- I just bought this storage unit to help store my art supplies. I'm pretty jazzed about it. I can't wait to start filling it up! The bottom three drawers have lids on them, so that you can just carry them with you when you travel.  Pretty smart idea! I am having trouble getting one of the casters on; I'll try again in the morning and if it doesn't work, I'll take the caster back to JoAnn and see if they can replace it or make it work. I suspect I'll have to take the whole unit back. SIGH. 

07 November 2008

Wedding Bells ...

Dear friends Alison Cuyler and Steve Hutt are getting married tomorrow morning, and we're invited to the wedding! Of course, John is at AT with the National Guard, so he won't be attending. I love attending weddings with my beloved husband and will definitely miss his presence. But, I'll be delighted to see this happy couple exchange vows and start their new life together, even without my own husband in attendance. They are both great people and deserve this so much.

06 November 2008

Guerrilla Art, Revisited

In October, I posted about someone else's experience with Guerrilla Art. Tonight, at Hands-On (a monthly art group that I play with), I worked on tags for my own Guerrilla Art experience. I'm a little anxious about the whole thing, being as how I'm basically a little shy. But I'm also pretty excited about the experience, too. We shall see ...

The Artist's Way Class

As some of you may remember me mentioning several weeks ago, I'm taking a class in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It's a really great class. We just did Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 together. I missed a few sessions while Tammy was visiting, but I went back to class tonight and was back in the swing of things. I'm really enjoying the class. Since it started in September, I've only missed doing my "morning pages" twice. Some people haven't missed any, but some people have missed much more than that! I'm pretty impressed with myself. My MPs aren't always done in the morning, but they are almost always done. 

I'm not sure how much "unblocking" or "recovering" I'm doing, but I think I'm coming to understand myself better. I think I'm also treating myself a little better, too. I've done TAW on my own a couple of times before, but I've never gotten any further than Chapter 8, so we're about to get into all new territory. I'm really excited to see how well I've stuck with the program. I'm not usually one to follow through well with things like this. I hope I continue to stick with it. I think I will. In fact, in my pages today, I kind of "re-dedicated" myself to the process. I'd gotten lazy about doing some of the exercises and tasks -- doing only what was quick and easy for me to do. From now on, I'm going to do tasks that challenge me, and do more of them. Typically, I only do about half of the tasks at the end of the chapter -- the minimum that's expected of me -- although most people seem to do many more than that. 

I think, for the five weeks of class that I have left, I'm going to talk more about the class and book than I have in the past. I'm really excited about the program and would encourage anyone to either take a class in TAW or work through the book individually (there's no reason for a person not to do it on his/her own, other than the accountability that a group could provide). 

I just finished reading Chapter 8 in bed and realized that I needed to blog before I went to sleep! Chapter 8 has a lot to do with time and how we use it to justify staying blocked. The things from the chapter that really struck me was how people use their age to keep them from trying new things -- as in, "Do you know old I'll be by the time I learn how to do that?" -- and how we can approach things by "filling in the form". By that, Cameron means doing the next small thing that presents itself rather than obsessing over the big picture so much. Sometimes the big picture gets overwhelming and you don't know what to do next, or you get caught up in the moment of it and don't do anything next. But if you do just the next small thing, you've done something to carry yourself toward your creative goal. Or, you've just done something creative -- toward a goal or not! Sometimes, taking one small creative action is all you need to bring about the idea for the next creative action. I confess: I'm guilty about sometimes getting caught up in the big actions and not thinking of the little baby steps I could be taking to exercise my creativity daily. 

The agism thing is something that's been bothering me lately. Not that I've said those words to myself ("Do you know how old I'll be by the time I learn how to do X?"), but rather, I look at some of my favorite artists who are several years younger than me -- Kelly Rae Roberts, for example -- and I mourn the time that I have lost by not returning to art sooner or not taking my art more serious these past few years. I look at my age and think "I'm so much older than she is; I'll never be able to accomplish what she's accomplished." That's the form that agism is taking in my artistic life. And it is ocassionally a creative block. Sometimes, that way of thinking keeps me out of the process; it keeps me from opening up to the flow completely.

So, that's what I've been thinking about tonight. I thought I'd blog about it to see if any of you think or feel the same things. Let me know if you can relate to any of this!

I know I'm posting after midnight, so it technically doesn't count as the November 5th NaBloPoMo post, but I've not yet slept, so it's still MY November 5th! LOL! I've already messed up on the chance of winning any prizes (if they are even doing prizes this year), so I'm only worried about the spirit of the game. I do realize that I'm still one post behind, too! At some point, I'll catch up! I promise!

04 November 2008

Quick Post

Just a quick post so that I don't get further behind with NaBloPoMo! John and I proudly did our civic duty today. I'm not sure about John's polling place, but I didn't have a line when I went to vote. It was virtually painless. 

I had my monthly Art Association meeting tonight -- short because of the election returns, thank goodness. I'm not so glued to the returns. But since John is going to AT tomorrow for 12 days, I wanted to spend the evening with him. We went to Chili's for dinner and are going to bed early. First formation is at 0700, nearly 70 miles away!

03 November 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Today has been a busy day. A few days ago, John and I bought two sets of assemble-yourself shelves for the living room and we just got them in the house today. Luckily, a friend had a hand-truck we could borrow! Otherwise, I think we were faced with bringing them in the house piece-by-piece, because the boxes weigh 70-pounds each and we don't park close to our front door. Anyway, we got them in the house easily today. I've got the area where they will go mostly cleared. The nosey little kitties thought that was great fun! They had to sniff everything as I moved it and piled it somewhere else and had to sniff the empty spot. You'd think they'd never seen carpet before, they way they investigated the corner where the new bookshelves will go. Trust me, they've seen carpet! On ocassion, they've even seen clean carpet!

I also spent a good part of the evening studying my voters' guide and marking my sample ballot. I knew who I was going to vote for and how I was going to vote for some of the issues, but on other issues I was clueless. In fact, on a couple I still am. I'm waiting for John to get home so that we can talk over a couple of them. I don't know what I think of Proposition 2 or Proposition 3. The rest I've decided on. 

So, no new art for a few days. John is getting ready to go out of town with the National Guard for 12 days. I'll get the shelves assembled and organized during that time and start planning for Thanksgiving. It will be the second Thanksgiving that we've hosted. We're very excited about it. I think I'll make a homemade cheesecake for dessert. My mother bought me a cheesecake pan this spring and I've never used it. Got a good recipe?

02 November 2008

NaBloPoMo -- Already Messed Up!!!

Since I didn't do so well with The Big Draw, I decided to participate in National Blog Posting Month again this year -- and I've already messed up!!! As many times as I wrote the date yesterday (because of my treasury work with the Redlands Art Association), it just never occured to me that it was the first day of NaBloPoMo. So, I didn't post. Shame on me! I'll post twice today to make up for it, but it won't really be the same.

This afternoon, I worked on closing out the month at RAA. I got to do the most rewarding -- and least fun! -- part of my job: writing commission checks to the artists. It's the most rewarding part of my job because I enjoy seeing how much art we actually sold during the month and writing commission checks is a happy thing! But writing check after check is a bit fatiguing and -- let's face it -- a little boring. During the "M's", I took a break to go to a reception for the current Featured Artist, Leah Balisteri. She had a great reception. Lots of friends stopped by, and she even sold a piece! When I got home, I finished up the checks and decided to post, so I'd at least have one post under my belt for the day. After John and I have dinner, I'll post again so that I've got two posts for today; from here on out, I'll try to get my post-a-day in properly!

31 October 2008

My Featured Artist Show!

I have had people ask about my Featured Artist Exhibit, so I am posting photos of it here. This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Just six months ago -- maybe even three months ago! -- I wouldn't have been able to show my art in such a public "Look At Me!" way.  Thanks to the constant encouragement and support of my family and my mentor, Sandy Davies, and of the people who read my blog and leave positive comments, I've grown to the place where I can do something like this. There is a big art festival in about 10 days and Sandy is encouraging me to set up a small booth. I don't know if I'm ready for that, though!

The above picture is my little corner. On the right, hanging from the ceiling, are three strands of ATCs. There are 45 ATCs total! Lots of hard work, there. Some of them are more simple than others and some are more sophisticated, but all of them are labors of love. You know, how I feel about the art form. 

I hung 14 pieces and had one table top item. Three pieces sold. Yay for my first exhibit!

To give credit where credit is do, my father-in-law took most of these pictures. He took an over-all picture of the exhibit and then zoomed in a little bit on the artwork itself. I thought he did a good job documenting my exhibit. The clipboard with my name on it is one of my altered clipboards, based on a technique taught to me by Martha Foster. I meant to put a price tag on it and mark it for sale, but I never got around to it. The red background with the printed page on it is my biography. Hubby-John wrote that for me. It was very nice.

The bottom left piece is one of the first pieces that I made. I was practicing techniques out of Claudine Hellmuth's first book, Collage Discovery Workshop. I love that book. 

The orange dots on the labels denote that an item has been sold! I also sold the table top item, a paper mache bust that I decorated, again with techniques from Claudine Hellmuth's book. There is a wide variety of techniques demonstrated in my show. I'm kind of a technique junkie. I play with a technique until I'm bored with it (which may be one or two times!) then move on to something else. 

Here is another altered clipboard with my press clippings. I was interviewed by two of the local newspapers. Usually artists have to do their own press releases, but because of the concurrent ATC Show-in-a-show, I was a person of interest, I guess. The book on the table is Life is a Verb. I have some of my collages featured in the book as illustrations to four of author Patti Digh's essays. 

My display area in the Gallery is basically L-shaped. These are the pictures on the short end of the 'L'.  The greenish one with the black frame (bottom left-hand corner) uses a picture taken by TonivS; I got the picture off of Flickr and it's used under the Creative Common License. Thanks Toni!

This picture was taken by Sandy Davies the evening she and I hung my show. We are mostly done, so it was picture time.

This is on the front panel as soon as you walk in the door at the Gallery. Usually an artist puts a painting or other piece of work, but I had ALL my work in the back. Plus, my work is fairly small and I'd have to have put two on the panel to make any kind of impact, and I just didn't have the inventory to do that. So Sandy and I (translate: mostly Sandy) came up with the idea of making a poster out of some of the items that I use in my art. There are lots of papers and rubber stamped images and photo copies of images that I might use in image transfers. There is even some colored cheesecloth!

This was taken the morning of my reception. This is Kim, Tammy and I. Kim is a friend who used to work at Collective Journey. Tammy is my oldest friend and she is visiting from out-of-town.

Finally, here is the reception table. That's my mother-in-law in the background and Tammy in front of her. Tammy is, I believe, looking at the beautiful, colorful watercolor painting of flowers on the wall to the right of the table (It's a Julie Evans.). The gorgeous yellow roses were from my husband. He's in the National Guard and had to be at drill that week-end and so couldn't be at the reception. He sent the flowers to stand in his place. While I'd have rather had the pleasure of his company, the roses were much appreciated!

More ATC Show-in-a-Show Pics

Because of the way Blogger uploads photos, these are in exactly the reverse order from what I mean for them to be! These pictures were taken by Sandy Davies and Adeola, both paticipants in the show and swap. The above photograph is of people standing around talking during the swap. Actually, I think this is after most of the frenzy of swapping had died down.

This is during the height of the frenzy. If you are interested in ATCs and have never been to a face-to-face trade, I suggest you find one! They are tons of fun -- quite exciting. We had tables set out to facilitate in the trade, but in hindsight, I think just walking around with your cards would be better. That's how they do it at the other live swap I've been to.

Here we are, just getting started swapping. The frenzy hasn't set in yet and things are still pretty civilized. We also sold display stands for the ATCs. 

These pictures are of the show in the East Gallery. You can see some of the art work from the regularly scheduled show on the walls. There were five dowel rods of cards hanging in the Gallery. 

Here is my friend, Tammy, looking at some of the ATCs on display.

Tammy and I looking at the cards.

Tammy and I again looking at the cards. The cards were hung on these dowel rods from the ceiling. As I said, there were five dowel rods, three with two rows of ATCs. Two of the dowel rods displayed horizontally oriented cards.

27 October 2008

Hubby's Birthday

Last Thursday (October 23) was my husband's birthday. John turned 40. His parents took us and Tammy to Black Angus for dinner on Wednesday, and then we went back to their house for coffee and bakery cake. Ward, John's father, took several pictures. This one is of our friend Tammy who is visiting from Arkansas, me and John -- blowing out candles. 

After dinner, Ward corralled us into the living room for small group shots. This is me, Husband John, and our friend Tammy. 

This is just me and John, the night before his 40th birthday. I usually dislike having my picture taken, but I love having my picture taken with him.

This is me and my oldest and dearest friend, Tammy. We've known each other since we were about 13 years old. We went to Junior High and High School together. We lost touch for a few years after high school but ran into each other in Wal-Mart in 1989 and have been fast friends ever since. In fact, we picked up right where we left off that night. It's been one of the most suppportive, encouraging and healthiest friendships of my life. She's a great friend.

22 October 2008

ATC Show-in-a-Show

Sorry I haven't written in so long. I've been busy with my Featured Artist Show -- a lot more work than I ever imagined it would be! -- and the ATC Show-in-a-Show at the Redlands Art Association. We had a great time at both events!

On the 11th and 12th, Sandy Davies and I worked hard to hang the show.  We had 127 ATCs and  29 ACEOs from 16 different artists. There was some small controversy about us accepting ACEOs, but as an art gallery, we encourage emmerging artists to sell their work, so we decided to accept them.  The cards were mixed up and hung from dowel rods at eye level in 9-pouch sleeves. In order to really show off each card to its best, we only displayed five in a sleeve -- at the four corners and in the center. To hang the horizontal cards -- of which we had quite a few -- we used regular photo sleeves. They worked out really well. That's me standing with one of the dowel rods. 

The reception and viewing was from 10AM to 2PM (of course, there was also public viewing all week long while the show was up). We took the show down from 2-3, and swapped from 3-4. It was great fun, the swap was! It was mostly very civilized, but it did get a little frantic at the height of the swapping! Some of the artists took the price tags off their ACEOs and swapped them, too.

Sandy and I learned a lot about organizing the show from this experience. We can't wait for next year to do it again. Some of the participants are clamoring for quarter

09 October 2008

More Catch Up!

One more before I go to bed ... John -- The Husband, as I sometimes refer to him as -- was playing with some computer parts he got from freecycle, so I decided to sit with him and draw a bit more. No wonder I was afraid of hair! LOL! But I'm just now becoming comfortable with drawing so I'm pretty happy with how the sketches have turned out. 

Actually, I was talking to a friend today about what makes good art and I'm very happy with these in light of our conversation. For me, what makes good art is when I connect with something higher -- or outside of myself --  when I'm making art. It's about losing myself in ... you guessed it ... the process! It becomes almost a spiritual experience. It's as though I'm channeling the creation of my piece. It's not necessarily about the "quality" of the product. I've said it a countless number of times, and I'm going to say it at least once more -- for me, making art is about the process. If the experience of making art was good, the art is good. That's how I experience my art. 

And for me, the experience of drawing the girls was good. I learnd a bit about my drawing style (I draw better with the paper somewhat akimbo, for example) and I enjoyed the process. I got absorbed in what I was doing, lost if you will. 

It's all good ...

Catching Up

I drew today, finally! These heads would look better with hair, but hair frightens me for some reason. Not hair itself, but trying to draw hair. I'm not very adventurous when it comes to drawing. Maybe the next ones will have hair on them! Shading also frightens me, because I've never done it before. I'll work on that this month, too. Need to work on lips, while I'm at it ... Actually, given my level of skill, I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out!

Tired, But Happy ...

I meant to be in bed by now, but I have a case of restless legs so bad that I can barely stand to be in my skin. Even my arms are restless! I've taken a couple of pills; when they kick in, I should be able to lie down and sleep. In the mean time, I thought Id post an update, since it's been a few days!

I've not posted because I've been incredibly busy! Saturday morning, I led the final ATC workshop before the show-in-a-show next week. As usual, it was a great time. There was an 11-year old boy there, and it was great fun -- and inspiration! -- to be around him. He created with such abandon and enjoyed himself so much; it was good for me to be around that. I still have a tendancy to get caught up in how things look, but this young man just played with the supplies and had such a good time doing it. I need to do that more often!

I came home, unloaded my car, loaded it back up with the Featured Artist items and rested for a bit.  Sandy Davies called around 4:00 for us to meet at the Gallery to hang my show. YAY! That was quite an emotional experience for me. She was great to work with -- full of good ideas, and ever-so-patient. I was tired and so sore I could hardly move, but we worked together just fine. I was afraid that I was going to be a bit bitchy, but I was so on-cloud-Nine that I easier to get along with that I might otherwise have been! We worked until about 6:45 (she had to leave to watch the Dodgers game with her husband) and I stayed for about another half an hour. Things weren't completely finished when I left, but I was done. I had forgot a couple of things, and hadn't thought of a few other things, so I wasn't completely prepared. I came back Sunday and finished up.

I can't describe the experience of being the Featured Artist. I have been so moved by it that I've choked up a couple of times. Tears have definitely come to my eyes more than once. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging. I've worked really hard, both artistically and personally, to get to the point where I could do something like this. I've grown so much since I first started dabbling in art. I can remember when -- not so long ago! -- I was embarrassed to even tell people that I played in art, for fear that they'd want to see some of my work, and now I've got a whole corner of the Gallery to myself! Back then, I was certain to make the distinction that I "played" or "dabbled", lest anyone judge me too harshly, but now, I call myself an artist. I've certainly come a long way!

So, I've spent the past few days catching up on things that I got behind on while I was preparing for my show.  I've been terribly busy, but I'm very happy. I'm behind on my drawing, but I mean to get back to that, starting tomorrow. I'll either double up on drawings or draw into November -- or some combination of the two -- to get my 31 drawings in. 

Thanks so much to everyone for their kind comments as I've gone through this Featured Artist stuff. I really appreciate your interest!

05 October 2008

Working Together

I saw this video over at Bad Faery's blog. I just loved it! It was really interesting to see the way the artists played off each other and interacted through their art. The premise was that these four artists were "given 5 hours, along with paint brushes, pens, pencils, a hairdryer, ink, acrylic paint, water color, makers, and collage. The were told simply, 'Do your thing and play off each other,' with each starting in a different corner of the canvas."

Fabulous result!

A better quality Quicktime version is available, too. 

04 October 2008

No Drawing Today ...

Just a quick update before I go to bed ... It's only 2:13AM!

I didn't do any drawing today. I was so busy getting ready for my Featured Artist show (A friend and I are hanging it Saturday afternoon) and for my current ATC workshop that I just didn't have time to draw. And now, I don't feel well. I've been sneezing all evening, and now, the roof of my mouth is itchy. Sounds like a cold coming on, but I just refuse to participate. I'm too busy for the next few days to feel miserable -- or even just "poorly".

So now, I'm off to bed. I think I'll get up early in the morning and finish preparing for my class. I just have a couple of things to do, but I'm very tired right now!

03 October 2008

The Artist's Creed

I recently saw this when I was wandering around on youTube, and now I see it again on one of the blogs I read. Maybe it's time for me to pay attention to it!

The Big Draw -- Day Two

It isn't much, but here's my offering for Day Two of The Big Draw. All I did was draw in her face, but at least it was something! And actually, I did this at 2:45 AM on Day Three! But I was determined to draw something before I went to bed. 

Thursday was just one of those days! John and I hit the ground running, and I barely stopped. My Featured Artist Show gets installed on Saturday, and there is tons of stuff to do between now and then. And because I didn't have enough to do, I decided to make my own guestbook! I just wasn't inspired by the offerings of the local Hallmark store. I bought one just in case I don't get mine finished in time -- or in case I don't like it -- but I'm working hard to get it done. I think a handmade guestbook will be so much more interesting than one that came from Hallmark. I used one of Kelly Rae Roberts' techniques for my guest book. She outlines steps for making a journal out of old hardback book covers. I adapted her instructions for my guestbook. I've got 10 pieces of watercolor paper to bind between my book covers. I'll bind the book with ribbons. I think it will look nice. 

I only have a few things left on my to-do list, so preparations are coming along nicely. I'm a little panicky because there is anything at all to do, but it would be unreasonable to expect that I would get everything done days ahead of time. Many of the things I have to do will only take a minute or two -- I just have to sit down and do them! Friday is my day for that. But the big stuff is done, so I'm happy. 

01 October 2008

Guerilla Art!

This the most amazing idea. I love the story of the dogmum. I may have to make some of these and distribute them. I have a million shipping tags, so I've no excuse -- other than shyness.

This project may have just changed the way I see ART. For me, art is a very solitary activity. I share my art with others on my blog and have even led a couple of workshops, but making art is something I do by myself for myself. Even though I'm the Featured Artist at the Redlands Art Association October 4-October 25, sharing my art in a public venue is something totally foreign to me. I've finally gotten to a point in my art-life where I don't care what other people think of my art. I'm not kidding either one of us -- I do like it when other people like my work; of course, I do! But I make art for me, for the experience of the process, for the joy of creation. Sharing my work online, most people don't comment on it; they just experience it for themselves, one way or another. I like this. I like that my experience of my art is completely separated from the viewer's experience. 

What dneese is doing really intrigues me. Sharing her art in such a public way really thrills me. I especially love that she is catching some people in the act of experiencing her art. This is totally cool!

Thanks so much to samanthakira for posting about it. It made me smile!

I'm In (The Big Draw, Part Two)!

I guess I'm in for The Big Draw

I got Kelly Rae Robert's book, Taking Flight, yesterday and I read it from-cover-to-cover. I've read parts of it twice -- already! I wanted to try my hand at some of her techniques, so I dug out a piece of wood that a friend gave to me and my scrapbook papers. I made a collage background on the wooden substrate and then I brayered a couple of paint colors over it. I rubber stamped over this when the paint dried with a nice, subtle Sepia color. I sprayed Glimmer Mist over the top of it all and let it dry. 

All well and good, but this is still not drawing!

In order to paint the girl on the background, I had to drawn her on there first! I was moved to paint -- which almost never happens to me! -- so I sat there looking at the collaged background for several minutes, trying to figure out how to get the paint on the wood. I obviously needed some kind of outline of what I wanted to paint. This would probably be obvious to the average bear, but for me, it was practically rocket science!

Finally, I just dug a mechanical pencil out of my purse and started drawing. I even cut myself some slack by copying one of Robert's designs in one of the how-tos. No imagination necessary! LOL! Actually, the act of drawing was stress enough -- I didn't need the stress of trying to figure out what to draw along with it! And you know what -- It was easier than I expected it to be. My Grandpa used to say that "the dreadin' is worse than the doin'." How right he was!

I'm afraid to do her face, as I'm pretty happy with the rest of her, and want to stay that way! I drew the outline, and then painted in the skirt and top with colors I mixed myself; the belt is straight out of the bottle of Golden's fluid acrylics. Literally! I didn't even pour the paint onto a palette, but rather, I just mopped up the mess I had created on the lid. I did some more flourish stamping in coordinating colors on the dress. I'm a little behind in the art scene -- I love my flourishes and use them everywhere I can.

I wish the patterns of the background papers showed through more, but overall, I'm pretty happy with it. Live and learn for next time!

And there will be a next time!

The Big Draw!

The Big Draw begins today and I have to decide whether or not to participate. For some people, the decision would be easy -- Either do it or not. For me, the decision is full of angst and uncertainty. I don't draw. I mean, I really don't draw. Even my stick figures are awkward! I'm taking SuziBlu's course, so you'd think I'd be drawing some, but no, actually, I'm not. I'm way behind! It's not that I don't enjoy drawing -- once I get into it, I usually do enjoy myself. But I am full of fear and trepidation to start. "It's drawing, it's not brain surgery," I tell myself. But I'm full of doubt and longing when it comes to putting pencil to paper. 

Yep, doubt and longing. I'm very uncertain about my abilities in drawing. I've drawn a decent left hand a couple of times, but I totally amazed myself by doing it. It was an other-worldly experience, to turn out something that I didn't know I was capable of. And to do it twice! LOL! But I have no consistency.

The style of art I enjoy the most calls for drawing. It's the art of Kelly Rae Roberts and SuziBlu. I like the collaged, shabby backgrounds with a hand-painted (draw first) person on it. I feel like by not drawing, I'm holding myself back from experimenting with a type of art that I really enjoy. More to the point, I feel like I'm holding myself back as an artist. Because I don't draw, I don't paint very much, and I love to paint! I love the feeling of the brush in my hand and to watch something transform from a plain blank substrate to a finished product. I love to watch -- and participate in -- the emergence. I love smooshing colors around. But I'm almost as afraid of painting as I am of drawing, because it's based on the same idea -- to capture what I see on paper. That, for some reason, scares the hell out of me!

So, what am I really afraid of? That's a question that I ask myself a lot lately, especially about my art. I long to create like an eight-year old: with utter abandon and love of the process. Some days, I'm pretty good at that, too. But it's because I've carved out an artistic comfort zone, and I stay well within its boundaries. So, what am I really afraid of? Good question ... I'm afraid of not being good enough, of wanting something so badly and then finding out that I don't have the talent to bring it into fruition. Sometimes it's definitely easier to just dream.

For me, drawing is all wrapped up in a bunch of childhood crap. My brother, Richard, is a gifted artist. He can draw anything, even without having a model in front of him to draw from. As a teenager, he was praised and given art lessons, while I was told not to color on the walls. Somehow, I got the message that because I wasn't drawing at the level that he was drawing at, I had no business drawing at all ... Oddly enough, I'm the artist now, and he works at an oil-refinery. 

So, back to the original question ... Do I participate in The Big Draw, or not? Part of me remembers that I'm fairly busy this month and that to take on one more project may not be the best thing to do. Another part of me knows how good for me this experience could be. Maybe it would finally free up my drawing muscles once-and-for-all, or at least loosen them up a bit. I just want to draw and paint pretty girls like Zorana does.

I just don't know ...

29 September 2008

Look What I bought Today!

It's not a very good picture, but then I don't have a very good digital camera! I stopped in to Collective Journey to see if they had their new alcohol inks display in yet; I have a 15% off coupon and want to use it on something worthwhile! I bought two little bags of Triple Chocolate Toffee (by Marich Confectionery -- they are my current chocolate addiction!), and didn't use my coupon, of course! As I was walking out the door, I saw a clear paint bucket full of small sized alphabet stamps from Studio G. I expected them to be $3.99 or so, but they were $1.00 a set! So, I bought one of every set they had -- 11, total! Then I came home and looked for them on the internet and found an eBay auction for the previous series (they came in a pink box; the current series is in a green box), so I purchased four more! I love alphabet stamps, and these are the perfect size for ATCs and inchies. I haven't gotten into inchies yet, but this may lead me there ...

Another ATC Workshop!

After that last long post, I just want to quickly announce that there will be another ATC workshop at the Redlands Art Association gallery! 

Saturday, October 4, from 9AM to 1PM will be our last chance to get together to work on ATCs before the big show. I know some of you have all your cards made -- and then some! -- but many of you do not. Come join us for a chance to work with my supplies and finish preparing for the ATC show-in-a-show that will be held October 11-18.

The fee is $20. Call the gallery (909-792-8435) or stop by to register. If you have any questions, just let me know.

Thoughts On Personal Awareness

I don’t know if it’s a sign of growth or maturity, but I find myself in a most unusual place. My Featured Artist Show opens in less than a week and I still have several things to do: frames to paint, a nameplate to make, tags to fill out, an article to submit to the Redlands Daily Facts and a biography to submit to the Redlands Art Association, a cloth for a small table to buy, a guestbook to pick out. The unusual thing is that I find myself completely at peace about the things I have yet to do. I’m not putting things off until the last minute, nor am I staying up all night to get them done right away. I’m working on my tasks at a bit at a time, spacing them out. This is highly unusual for me! Usually, I’d be either avoiding all that there is to do, or I’d be a maniac about getting it done. Or both, alternately. Instead, I’m working steadily and enjoying myself.

That’s one way I think I’ve grown – I’m enjoying myself in the process of being a featured artist! There was a time when the extra work it involves would have just been an extra pressure, and the event itself would have been something to dread. I’m very process oriented in my art, and it’s been one of my goals to be more process oriented about my life. To enjoy the journey as much – if not more than – the destination. Until recently, it’s been easier said than done. I have goals and dreams and am eager to see them come to fruition. When I’m in that mindset, it’s easy to just focus on the dream and manifesting its outcome. It’s harder for me to remember to be mindful of the small steps I’m taking and to appreciate them. It easy to look ahead, to the accomplishment and fulfillment of my goals, and to forget to look at NOW – the only time there really is.

I was recently talking to a friend of mine and I mentioned that I don’t feel very involved in my own life right now; things are happening rather quickly, and they seem to be happening to me, rather than for me. I assume that this lack of involvement in my own life stems from having all but abandoned my daily practices. It’s been several weeks since I’ve done anything deliberately to participatory. It feels as though I’ve just been along for the ride, reacting to what is put before me.

Until a few days ago, that is. Last week, I started The Artist’s Way workshop at the Redlands Art Association. I’ve been doing my morning pages faithfully and contemplating what I should do for my first artist’s date. Somehow, just the simple act of writing my pages each day (three pages, longhand, first thing in the morning) is putting me back in touch with my Self. In some small way, I feel control over my life again. Not white-knuckle control, thank God, but the kind of control that comes with simply being present. The morning pages make me aware. This stream-of-consciousness writing puts me in touch with my Inner Self and helps me to be more aware of what is going on in my head and in my life. I expected it to take longer than this before I saw benefits, but I’m grateful that I’m seeing them now.

I’ve spent much of my life just reacting to what was put before me, often very dramatically! It feels so comforting and joyous to be participating again in a deliberate fashion. I know that I’m happiest when I’m actively involved in guiding my life, and when I am taking time to enjoy what I’m doing – and doing what I enjoy.

For example, Sunday night, I found myself wanting to paint. Not necessarily to create a piece of art, but to just paint. I enjoy the feeling of the brush in my hand and I enjoy watching something transform. I was able to give in to my desire without pressuring myself to turn out some kind of masterpiece. I painted one of the frames that my father-in-law and I built for my artwork. To some, this may sound like a second-place solution, but it made me happy. I got to play with color, enjoy the process and mark something off my to-do list. Because of my new-found engagement with my Self, I was able to feel what I really wanted to do. Some days, the desire to make art is strong and it cannot – will not! – be denied. But that’s not what I was feeling Sunday night; I just wanted to work with my supplies and experience something blossoming. My frame has gone from plain pine and birch to a gorgeous, translucent Yellow Ochre that compliments its intended art work beautifully. I did create, and because I’m aware of my Self right now, I was able to find fulfillment of my desires.

Being aware is such an important lesson for me – a lesson I’ve had to visit more than once. Hopefully this time, some of it will take!

28 September 2008

I'm Famous!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that a local reporter was going to interview me for an article in the paper about my upcoming Featured Artist Show. The interview process was wonderful -- exciting and comfortable -- and the article is out in today's Press Enterprise. Aside of the fact that I look goofy in the picture, the article is really great. It was much longer than I expected; it goes into more detail than I thought that it would.

Off to have a doughnut to celebrate!

27 September 2008

New Banner!

A few weeks ago, I downloaded an evaluation copy of Photoshop in order to prepare the invitations for my Featured Artist Show. I've not really used it for much since then. I just got a wild hair and decided to try my hand at a blog banner. It's not perfect, but I think it's prettier than the default banner that comes with a blogger layout. I'll have to pay more attention to blog banners and see what else I might come up with. I wanted to include a few of my favorite vintage photos or ATCs, but 800x200 doesn't give you much space in which to work -- and I'm annoyed by those blog banners that take up half the screen (even though they can be fun to look at).

25 September 2008

ATC Show and Swap Coming Up! -- National & International Players Wanted!

Just a quick reminder that there is an ATC show-in-a-show at the Redlands Art Association in October. There is a one page prospectus with all the details (downloadable from RAA)

Here's the deal, in a nutshell: Up to 10 cards per entry. Entry fee is $10. Cash (if you're local), Check, or Money Order (US funds) only. You must be the artist of all cards submitted. Cards can be either ATCs or ACEOs. All ATCs must be available for swap. ACEOs must have their price on the sleeve (20% commission on all sales to RAA). Because of the way the show will be displayed, all cards MUST fit into a protective sleeve. Embellishment is great -- just make sure it still fits in a sleeve.All mediums are welcome. In fact, we'd love a variety of mediums on display.

We'd like to have players from all over the world, so if you are in a non-US country and are interested in participating, just leave me a comment with your email address or email me. I'll get back to you with information on mailing to the US. Basically, I'll take care of the return postage so you don't have to worry with those nasty international postage coupons in exchange for goodies -- ephemera from your country (especially if your country has a language other than English as its national language!), papers, stuff like that. I don't require a great bag of goodies, but I thought that goodies would be easier than trying to mess with return postage. This is how I handle the international players when I've hosted swaps, and it's always worked out well.

The show is October 13-October 18 at the Redlands Art Association. There will be a reception and a swap on October 18. Any artist who is not present will have a proxy-swapper appointed for them.

Check out the prospectus, leave a comment, or email me for more information. We'd love to display your ATCs in our Gallery!

Spore Creature Creator!

While we were out having a snack, John downloaded the Spore Creature Creator for me. Spore is a relatively new game from Maxis (the Sims people!) that allows you to create creatures and then populate the Galaxy with them. It's kind of a Civ or Destiny type game, only it's played with these creatures that you create. I don't have the game -- just the Creature Creator -- but this is too much fun!

A Niggling Idea ...

I'm not sure how I ran across this website -- fate, maybe? But somehow I did, and it's stuck with me. 

Based on the Eleanor Roosevelt quote "Do one thing every day that scares you", Jessie has put together a wonderful project and challenge -- the "Be Brave" project. Jessie decided to live this quote for a month, everyday doing one thing that scared her. She claims that it has changed her life. I believe it! So much of what we aren't doing with our lives is fear-based. We afraid of how we are going to look/sound to others. We're afraid of trying something new; we're afraid of the unknown. It's easy for our lives to become "same ol' same ol'" as we live within our comfort zones, only doing those things that somehow feel good to us.

Us? What am I saying? I'm trying to be more in touch with my life and my thoughts. The reality is -- so much of the way I live my life right now is fear based. I am afraid of how I am going to look/sound to others, so I often don't speak up in a crowd. I am afraid of trying something new; I am afraid of the unknown. My life isn't exactly in a rut, but it's very comforting. I recently adopted the practice of not doing anything that didn't feel good. I think there's room for balance. Doing one scary thing a day sounds like a way to push beyond the growing list of things-to-do that feels like the list of never-to-be-accomplished. 

So, what scares me that I'm not doing? I've got phone calls to be returned, mail that is unopened. I don't write as much as I'd like to, because I'm afraid that it's going to sound like crap. I'm timid in my art, approaching new techniques as something scary. Rather than approaching a canvas with an artist's abandon, I want a complete list of instructions and step-by-step photographs. Originality scares me; my visual journal scares me. The life that I want to live -- big, loud and open -- scares me. I want to live well, as I mentioned in a previous post -- purposefully and consciously.  I live with generalized anxieties, so some days, everything scares me! 

Kal Barteski has, as a headline on her blog, "MY LIFE IS JUST THE WAY I MADE IT: GOOD." How awesome is that? Judging by her blog picture, she's a young woman -- in her 20s, I'd say -- but she's already got that so much together. I certainly believe that our lives are just the way we make them, and that scares me some days. Knowledge is supposed to be a powerful thing, but the realization that my life is what I make intimidates me a bit, because it puts all the responsibility on me. No longer, am I allowed to be a victim of circumstance. It's all on me.

Things are happening really quickly in my life right now -- and for the next few weeks, I'll be terribly busy with company, my Featured Artist Show, the ATC show-in-a-show at the Redlands Art Association. I'm just not sure that I'm ready to take on another practice (is that fear talking?) -- especially one with the power to shake up my life like this one can. But this one, doing something everyday that scares me, is kind of nagging at me. I'm going to try to put it off until the first of the year. Maybe my word for 2009 will be "fearless".

The Artist's Way

I first came across The Artist's Way (by Julia Cameron) years ago. Before I was married, I gave a copy of the book to my at-the-time boyfriend since he is a blocked writer. Over the years, I have struggled with The Artist's Way, because I want to do it right, but have never managed to keep my commitment to the 12-week program. I'd always start out with a bang, and then my interest -- my time commitment -- would decline as the program got harder. I've tried the program several times, one time making it to Week Eight before life stepped in the way of those damn Morning Pages! I don't think I have ever consistently worked through the entire book, even though I've finished it. 

Over the summer, at the suggestion of someone at The Boundless Living Challenge, I picked up the book and a notebook, and began the Morning Pages again. I can really tell a difference in my attitude when I'm doing the Pages, so I don't know why I resist them so much. My life is much more centered and grounded when I'm working the program, and I seem to participate more fully in my own life. It doesn't happen to me, but rather with me. I'm involved and aware. I've been a journaler all my life, and the Morning Pages have a different feel to me than journaling does. Maybe it's because I do them first thing in the morning; maybe it's because of the stream-of-consciousness nature of the Pages ... Whatever it is, I find the Morning Pages to be invaluable to my well-being.

So, I begin my commitment again! I spent a couple of hours Wednesday evening in the company of other people who were discovering The Artist's Way. It was a delightful time. I've committed to a 12-week course based on Cameron's book. I'm hoping that the classroom situation will keep me on track long enough to make the program a habit. Not just the Morning Pages, but the Artist Dates, as well. I really want to embrace this program, and I'm hoping the support of others will help me.

If you've been reading my blog, you know I'm not really blocked. Right now is the most exciting time in my life, art-wise. I've got a Featured Artist Show coming up and I'm creating up a storm! Mostly, the art is done, but I still feel the creative force in my Soul. I want to stay up all night and get lost in the process of creating. I want to play with my supplies and learn new techniques. I'm happier, creatively, than I've ever been. 

So why the need to "unblock" since that's the stated purpose of The Artist's Way? I don't really need to "unblock" -- what I need to do is learn to live in this moment more often. I know that somedays will be more creative than others, but I yearn to be a person who shows up with her Muse daily. I've read about people who create everyday, and I'm envious of them. I know that if you are painting everyday, for example, some of your stuff is going to be inspired -- and some of it is going to be crap. But imagine how much I miss, by not even showing up on a regular basis? How many opportunities have I had to be creative that I've let slide right by me, because I'm simply not used to meeting my Muse on a regular basis.  How much good work have I missed, simply because I haven't made that commitment, to be creative every day?

So, that's where I am with my creativity and the need to do something about it. I want to live my best life -- and for me, that means commiting to living a more creative life. I want to draw, paint, collage, or something visually artistic every day. I'm a long way from meeting that goal, I know. Hell, I'm a long way from even making -- and being prepared to keep! -- that commitment. I'm hoping that Cameron, with her ideas for 'spiritual recovery' will be of some assistance to me. That much, I'm ready to commit to!

22 September 2008

Stamp Pads Made From Fabric Paint!

I just found this in my internet travels and thought I'd pass it on ... It's a great idea! I'm going to have to try it soon. The tutorial uses fabric paint or silkscreening ink, but it works with regular acrylic paints. The word on the street is that if you are using Golden Fluid Acrylics, you don't need to add the salt, as they are thin enough -- but heavy-bodied acrylics work just fine.


Through a discussion on the SuziBlu Ning site, I discovered Wordle. It's a little widget where you put in a block of text or link to a blog post and you get the most fun little mixed-up soup of words! Above is the Wordle for the my blog. Isn't this fun???

21 September 2008

New Digital Collage Sheets

Saturday night, I was in much too much pain to be comfortable in bed. So, I did what any good ATC artist would do -- I bought new digital collage sheets from Etsy and made ATCs. Actually, I spent Saturday night shopping and making a few ATCs; I made the rest of them today. They went really fast, once I got the images that I wanted to use.

The first new ATC is the Edgar Allen Poe card -- Poe with butterfly wings. That image came from a Halloween collage sheet that I bought from Keeper of the Nest. She is a new seller (in fact, I was her very first customer) and she's very helpful. I also bought a butterflies and moths collage sheet from her that I haven't yet been inspired to use. But I will be; it's just beautiful. 

The images for the second set of ATCs -- the clowns -- came from SuppliesToGo. Excellent customer service. I got them so early this morning that I think she does not ever sleep! I also bought a digital collage sheet with vintage wedding photographs, but haven't used it yet. I'm eager to use them, too!

The third set of ATCs was made with images from a free collage sheet from Kelly Burton. She used to occasionally give free digital collage sheets on her personal blog. Now that she's got collagevisions, I don't know if she still does that or not. This sheet had several pictures of a house and the one sky shot of the lonely tree branch. I loved the tree branch so decided to use it on this simple ATC. These are the two ATCs that I made during my painful Saturday night.

The next ATCs came from one of collagevisions digital collage sheets. She's having a big sale (Buy One Get One) until September 30. These ATCs aren't really Halloweeny -- even though I used focal images from one of the Halloween sheets -- but rather are "celebrating" witchcraft, a topic I remain fascinated with.

Finally, all the little girls are also from collagevisions -- my "get one free". I love this little girl, in all her variations. 

So now, if I've counted right, I have 58 completed ATCs, and that's exactly what I need for the upcoming Show-in-a-Show at the Redlands Art Gallery, the curtain of ATCs at my Featured Artist Show, and a trade that just came up (someone saw my TMTA -- Handwriting ATCs and wants to do a three-for-three trade. Lucky me! She's got some beautiful work!). I could take a break, but I have all these new images to play with!

20 September 2008

New Books!

Today, I went shopping and bought some new books while I was out buying a few new art/craft supplies (like the much needed Crop-o-dile Big Bite!). First of all, I bought the latest issue of Quilting Arts. I'm not a quilter, but this magazine is always full of amazing eyecandy and the current issue has an article on natural dye techniques (according to the cover; I haven't even cracked the cover of the magazine) that I thought might be interesting. 

I've mentioned that I got a new Dover book -- the Leonardo da Vinci Treasury. I've been curious about it for a long time, and when I saw it in Barnes & Noble, I was hooked. It has 206 royalty-free designs, including several color plates. It has several drawings and sketches by da Vinci, including a fair number of anatomy drawings. It comes with a CD-ROM. It's a very interesting book. I've already used it for an ATC. 

The other new book is The New Book of Image Transfer by Debba Haupert. It comes with an image bank, and what looks like lots of different image transfer techniques. I love image transfers, even though I only know a few techniques. I'm eager to learn a few new ways of doing things. The book got really mixed reviews on Amazon, but I'm willing to make up my own mind.

I've also got a couple of more books coming in the mail from Amazon. I recently ordered another Dover book -- the Old-Time Anatomical Illustrations CD-ROM and Book -- and Taking Flight: Inspiration and Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae Roberts. I looked at this book today in B&N and it looks wonderful. Part technique book and part creative healing workbook. I'm really looking forward to getting it!

And, I have a large batch of photos, postcards, and paper ephemera coming from eBay. That should be shipped out Monday, but it's coming Media Mail, so I'm not holding my breath on getting it any time soon. Sometimes those Media Mail shipments surprise me and come awfully fast, but sometimes they tend to lag. Oh well, it will be a surprise when I get it!

Looking forward to all my goodies!