Friday, December 28, 2012

Two Final Challenges This Year

  I knew that once Christmas eve passed I'd again find more time for art. My last two challenges for this year are for the Fall fearless and Fly Challenge #6 and the 2012 366 Calendar Challenge.

  Here are the prompts for the Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge hosted by Jessica Sporn and Carolyn Dube:

Headline Prompt: Divided by God: What does “God” mean to you? How do you access”God” or the divine or the sacred in your life?
Color Prompt:
Metallics - gold, silver, copper, bronze, or all of them!
Quote Prompt:
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart, is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” The Dalai Lama

  I chose to work with the color prompt and the quote prompt (which I seem to have been doing with each challenge so far-a theme within a theme I guess). Just added some thoughts on the headline prompt too.

  I created these masks/stencils out of cardstock. Usually I use a manila folder but this scrap was convenient.

  Here is my finished page:

  Drops of Payne's Grey Golden fluid acrylic, Metallic Plum Folk Art acrylic, and Stewart Gill Byzantia jewel tone metallic paint were randomly applied on the page and sponged around to cover. I painted a rectangle shape in Lumiere Metallic gold using the temple shape as a mask for the center. The yoga pose was cut from white cardstock, edges sponged with black ink and glued down. I "sloppy" wrote the quote in the figure. The temple was decorated with a red paint marker and a rubber stamp painted with orange acrylic. I then drew stars using both a gold leafing and silver leafing pens. The main star and letters are grungeboard I filled in with silver leafing pen. Glitter glue was added to the star. I finished the page by giving the figure a pink sparkly heart sticker.

  In answer to the headline prompt, what I can say for myself is that I access the divine sacred into my life thru nature, thru worship, thru meditation. I have had the privilege of visiting a local Hindu Temple several times, attended Catholic services, Protestant services, a Greek Orthodox service and have been honored to attend a service presented by the Dalai Lama. In all  of these places I have felt a divine presence. I feel that no matter where you are, if your heart is truly open to it, you will feel it.

  I look forward to next week's challenge where the guest artist will be JoAnne Sharpe. Feel free to join us anytime-and you'll also have the chance to win some great prizes too!

  I have participated in Kate Crane's calendar project since the  beginning of January this year. I really am thrilled to have a whole year of little notes to look back on. It's a project I'm continuing for 2013 too so here is January:

  I added drops of Folk Art acrylics over the pages in Light Blue, Icy White, Purple Lilac and Amish Blue then used a credit card to spread the paint. I added some marks with sequin waste and Mustard Staz-On ink, and two different sized bottle caps with black and red acrylic. I used foam letters (Making Memories) which I finger painted with some red, black and white acrylic paints. The foam numbers (Stamper's Anonymous) were stamped with Jet Black Staz-On ink.

  And now it's ready for the New Year! I used white cardstock for the regular squares along with a snowflake-like die(which is actually a doily) using my Grand Calibur die cutting machine. The bird on branch image at the upper left is from Retro Café Art and the image on the bottom rt. page is from ARTchix Studio.
Those yellow sticky tabs you can see at the top right are pages earmarked for each month this year :) I plan on adding a quote next to the bird but I'm going to wait until something jumps at me.

  Before I go I'll share a pic of the two trees I put up this year (please keep in mind I am not a photographer :), along with a photo of Annie-who was thrilled with her new toy hedghog and apple treats:

This little tree is adorned solely with handmade ornaments I have received these last few years from the friends I have met thru art (sorry, except for the plug which I keep up on the table lest our dog gets into it and brings down the tree). I can't tell you the joy it brings me and what it does for my heart. Even that sweet topper was handmade by my friend Cat Dodt-Ellis with it's beautiful handfelted acorns . Thank you all!

  And this is our main tree. We used to have a floor to ceiling one but now that it's just DH and I we downsized. This year I added mostly gold and red- silk poinsettias, fruit sprigs, cardinals and my gorgeous peacock which I have used as a topper since receiving it as a gift a few years back. I LOVE that peacock! Simple, but pretty nonetheless.
   Annie, patiently waiting for yet another apple treat!

 I'm linking up to Fall fearless and Fly, Paint Party Friday, Art Journal Everyday , The Kathryn Wheel, and Show and Tell Saturday #32 at Artists in Blogland.

 Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. May 2013 be filled with abundance and creativity and whatever else brings you joy. Thank you all for making my first not quite year yet blogging experience the best!! XO

  "Be a good human being, a warm-hearted affectionate person. That is my fundamental belief. Having a sense of caring, a feeling of compassion will bring happiness or peace of mind to oneself and automattically create a positive atmosphere." Dalai Lama

Friday, December 21, 2012

Creative Abundance

   First of all I want to thank you for all the get well wishes for my Mom. She is doing much better although it will be another week or so until the flu symptoms completely disappear.

  I have been struggling to feel good about making art and celebrating the coming holidays since hearing the horrific news of the losses of life at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT. I want to share some links to four of my beautiful blogging artist friends who have so eloquently expressed the thoughts of many by using their words, their art and /or photos. Thank you to Jenny (Texterial) , Nancy M. James (Sugar lump Studios) , Patty Szymkowicz (Magpie's Nest) , -please scroll down to the post below Patty's link here to read the beautiful poem- and Shahrul (Such Pretty Canvas) -Shahrul has a link to a quick and easy project to make and send to decorate the new building in which the elementary students at Sandy Hook will return to. Thank you all for giving perspective in continuing to move on the best way one  knows how.

   I knew I wanted to look for a new online class to take for the coming new year but what I didn't expect was to find myself beginning one today! My friend Lenna Andrews (who had taken Julie Fei Fan Balzer's Stamp Carving 101 online class with me) had mentioned a class she signed up for on a recent post on her blog . The description was so appealing to me but I didn't think I could squeeze it in at this time. Well, as synchronicity took place quite quickly and things aligned as I believe they were meant to, I found myself signed up!

  I am now taking the class "52 Weeks of Creative Abundance"  being taught by Christi Wich at The Creative Underground. Here is the description Christi gives :

"52 weeks of do-able creative actions and projects that will help you uncover your authentic heart felt desires and passions, and re-connect you to your sacred truth and creative nature as a woman.
Throughout the course we will embrace what it means to be a woman...mind, body, and soul...and will actively set about creating our best and most joyous life. Opportunities for interacting and sharing with other creative women, whom are also participating in this journey, will be offered as well as introductions to a myriad of creative self care practices that are designed to help you tap into your inner wisdom and unique beauty."

 If you wish to sign up you must first join The Creative Underground group but it's only a click or two away.

  To  begin on the Winter Solstice is wonderful, for although it's the shortest daylight day of the year, it also means we will be gaining a bit more daylight each day after today. And that means before you know it, summer will have arrived :):)

  It was suggested to keep a journal for the class so this is the journal I'm using. I had done the cover quite awhile ago and set this moleskine journal aside to be used "some day". The background collaged paper was created by Helga Strauss, owner of  ARTchix Studio. She offered this master sheet on her blog as a free download. I added three small ARTchix Studio square collage sheet images, added ribbon at the top and bottom and titled it-not knowing what was going to go into it.
   This is the background for the title page and a first pre-class exercise, which was to make a list of about twenty things that feed your spirit and warm your heart. I made a heart stencil and meditating figure stencil to use along with soft colored inks.
  And here's my list:
  I am linking up to Art Journal Everyday and  Paint Party Friday.
  For those of you who will be celebrating any of the holidays this season offers I wish you and yours love and light.
    "Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us."  Johannes Eckhart


Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Hustle and Bustle...Full Speed Ahead!

  I do hope that in the midst of the busiest time before the holidays arrives you take some quiet time for yourself. We all need that.

  This post will be short and sweet. I won't be adding many details so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything. Besides still working on getting the main tree up and getting handmade cards together my Mom unexpectedly came down with THE dreaded flu earlier this week. Since  taking her to the dr. I have been helping her out each day, running errands and checking in on her (as she is alone with her dog) to be sure she's taking her meds, resting and getting enough fluids etc. At the end of each evening I take a few min. to meditate in peace and quiet and it is so very helpful.

  On to the festivities! I'll be sharing some ornaments I had made the other week, some cards I did get finished and ornaments I received in a recent swap.

  These are the cards-very simply done:

  I made these to send to relatives and some friends overseas. The yellow is just the paper I used behind the card while scanning. The image is one of my fave Stampington images. The girls' coats and hats are glittery and I added some dots and swirls of Liquid Pearls on the patterned paper.

  This is a series of vintage paper ornaments I made along with cards (which I forgot to take a pic of before mailing) to send to some of the art friends I met online and have  known for at least several years now and  who share a love of vintage images and style:

  Here's a card I made as a sample and have a handful of them partially done-they may get done in time and they may be for next year :)

  I wasn't able to get it to scan right-it's actually on a white notecard. The tree is from Magenta and it was heat embossed with my own mix of powders in greens and sparkle. A peace symbol charm was added at the top and the red strip is washi tape.

  The following are ornaments I made the other week using a freebie collage sheet from Retro Café Art. They offer free collage sheet downloads about once a month. If you so choose you can also use the sheet to enter up to three projetcs (on their Facebook page) for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate or six collage sheets. I think you can still download the vintage Christmas sheet.

  It's too bad you can't see the german glass glitter on the frames which I die cut with my Grand Calibur machine.

  You can probably tell by the one on the left that I printed it and my color cartridge went low. I decided to use it anyway. And the paper frame behind the image was die cut from mirror paper-very pretty and shiny.

  Again, I die cut the frames to make cute little Christmas tags which can double as ornaments.

  I participated in a holiday ornament swap thru ARTchix Studio recently. You can see the six ornaments I made here.

  These are the beautiful ornaments I received back:

  I know the one at the top left came from Sweden! The stiffened doily is all glittery and I have to say-every one of these has some sparkle and glitter and are just so beautiful in person!! They will have a place on one of my two trees along with handmade ornaments I have received over the last several years.
  I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday and Show and Tell Saturday at Artists in Blogland. Stop by these blogs and visit some of the other artists links-pure artistic eye candy!
  Leaving you this week with a quote so apropos at this time:
          "In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." Deepak Choprah

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flowers, Doodles and the Color Red!

   Merry Friday everyone! We had two gorgeous days of 63 F temps ( very unusual in Dec!) so I took advantage and did some xmas shopping. I only have a few things to buy yet but my cards need to get made and the decorating needs to get done. We'll see how far I get :)

  Back in October during the time we lost power I posted about the art I was creating using techniques from Traci Bautista's Doodles Unleashed book. You can see the art and read more about the projects here and here. I have continued to read her book and practice more of the techniques. The following art journal page is the latest one I tried which Traci calls "pipette drawings on tissue collage".

  This is how it began:

  This was a page that had leftover inks and paints wiped on from previous projects. Flower petal and circle shapes were cut from colored tissue papers and glued onto the page. Higgins Black Magic ink was used with the pipette to draw around the flower petals and circles, then I added some doodling. Oil pastels were then used to color in the flowers a bit and for some mark making. Caran D'Ache watersoluble crayons were randomly applied to background areas and spread around with a water brush. 

And this is the "finished" practice page:

  I added some gesso with my fingertip then went over some areas of the flowers, drawing in more doodle lines with the black ink. I did a little bit of spattering with the ink and considered it done.
  Here's a detail pic of the flower:
  I love the depth that is acquired by this technique!
  Also I did another letttering/doodle practice for this week's Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge #5 at Artists in Blogland and hosted by the uber talented Jessica Sporn and Carolyn Dube.

There is a new guest artist for each challenge along with great new prompts and art to inspire you. Oh, and there's always a nice prize pkg with the winner chosen at random just for playing!

  Challenge #5 prompts:

Headline Prompt: Lifelong Fan: What or who have you consistently valued or looked up to in your life? What lessons have you learned from people you admire?
Color Prompt: Your favorite color now or from childhood or both!
Quote Prompt: "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator; but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh." W.H.Auden
  I chose to go with the color prompt and the quote prompt.

  Yes, red has been my very favorite color for as long as I can remember! There are many pics of me in red from the time I was a toddler. I just love the energy of this color. I used  a calligraphy pen and Sharpie poster paint marker. "Laugh" is the last word in the quote above so I started with that. Then I "sloppy" wrote the entire quote over the letters and finished it with some thin, loose doodly lines around the letters. Another fun challenge!
  I'm linking up this week to Art Journal Everyday, Paint Party Friday and Fall Fearless and Fly. I'm currently working on cards and ornaments so my next post may be a festive one :) Have a wonderful weekend!
       " Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal." Source Unknown