Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Creative Offerings

Here's a small (4" x 5") collage for the mixed media book that I am spending way too many hours on...but totally lovin' it! That is DJ Pettitt's image (from a cool postcard).
Hey, look at what I painted when I got home from Weaverville NC today! I had THE most wonderful day with three beautiful and talented women. It was a totally inspiring day! What about you?
What about a little Funky Chicken? Everybody needs a Funky Chicken in their life...
here's one just for you!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Evening of Painting...

"What I did while Mr. Wonderful was gone".
It was just too hot for me to travel with my handsome (and hard working) husband to a ballgame this evening so I stayed home instead and painted.
Well, I drew, then painted, then drew again.
I should just paint and then do my details...
why, that's too simple! I'd rather make it harder on myself, ya know?
I was going to keep these to myself but decided to put them out there in the universe and see what they bring home to me...
I started a "simple" little flower painting (no, really-it was going to be just a quick little painting...) to use in my book (the one that already has countless hours spent on it) (but that's okay - I love it!) and the next thing I knew it was getting dark outside, I missed lunch, dinner and the evening news...
Hmmm...It happened again - lost all track of time, oblivious to what is going on around me...
I'm sure that it happens to a lot of you too. It seems that it just goes with the territory - the life and mind of the artist. Or really any creative soul.
I love it, this getting so wrapped up in what you're doing that the outside world just...goes away...

So - here ya go two posts in one day! After an entire week of daily posting!
And more drawings, more painting to enjoy!
I hope that all of you have a great evening and a restful night of pleasant dreams.
Sleep well my friends.

vintage quilts, signature wraps and Blackberries

Well more seemingly unrelated items...except in my world.

Vintage Quilts...

I've posted a picture of a vintage quilt that I am honored to own.
My grandmother was a quilter, a doll doctor and maker of many many beautiful things. My mom only had three of the quilts that she made. Two of them were utilitarian quilts - made from scraps of old clothing and left over fabric. But warm. They served three generations of my family well. The last one is the one that I posted. It's a needle turn applique quilt that has a beautiful pattern on it. I'll try to get Mr. Wonderful to get a picture of the entire thing for me. But the close up is a small section of the beautiful Flower Tree pattern. I would be willing to bet that it was a pattern - as you can actually see the lines on the fabric around the pieces. Beautiful coordinating fabrics were used - pinks, yellows and a pale brown. There is even some hand embroidery on it. It is so old and worn that the actual quilting thread has disintegrated in spots! But not so worn that the stain from one child's misplaced cup of Kool-Aid hasn't faded...a testament to the staying power of Kool-Aid fabric dyeing! I never understood why anyone would allow a toddler, a cup of Kool-Aid and Grandma's vintage quilt in the same place...
Anyway, I love the quilt, stains and all, and am so glad that it found its way to my home.
I will cherish and use it well...

On to the Signature Wraps...

Last night I worked on another signature wrap. This time I used vintage muslin (from my grandmother's doll making stash), coffee stained lace for edging, scraps of meaningful fabric (from mom's doll dress fabric, romper I made for my son when he was a baby, lace from grandmother stash, vintage button, fabric printout from my buddy DJ and silk fabric from a new friend) and a few beads, baubles and other vintage ribbon. I spent hours trying this layout and then that one. I finally decided (or the fabric did) to go with the one in the picture. I will go back and add some other little bits of things as I happen upon them...

I also worked on the closure for the front of the book. I used scraps of rusted drapery material, piece of a vintage doily and tiny pearl beads. You see the round doily section? Right up under that is a grommet that I put in so that I can later add some ribbon or something to tie the whole thing together. The way I'm going, it's liable to be a big, fat Crazy Callie book...


Big, fat, thornless blackberries to be exact...yum yum.

Bigger and fatter than a quarter (oh a bobbin too!)...did I mention the absence of those pesky thorns? Yep, wonderful.

But what will be more wonderful than that is the blackberry cobbler that I'm going to make as soon as I get enough of those babies!

And another wonderful thing - sharing them with friends that come by...

don't you wish you lived closer now?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Doodle Drawing class pictures and Chickadees

So now everyone is wondering what does doodle class pictures and a Chickadee have in common?
Well, nothing really except that I am talking about both today.
One of the women (thanks Sally!) from my class at Random Arts sent me some pictures that she took in class. So I am passing them on to you. There is one of a tree that I was drawing (upside down actually). I was demonstrating how I draw them all funky looking. And the other ones are of student work.
Didn't they do a great job!?
I am going to schedule another class in August - watch for sign ups!
Scroll down for the Black-capped Chickadee...

Ahhh...you found it! This is a painting that I did yesterday. I was working on the mixed media book from DJ's class and wanted a bird picture to go in it.

I have some from post card images (that DJ painted) that I could use but I wanted to put some of my own art work in the book...

so I found a decorated file folder that my friend Andi (thanks Andi!) gave me that had a cool looking picture of a bird on it.

I sketched it, painted it, scanned it and


Now I have a bird painting to use in my book!

I'll probably do some more painting today as I'd like to make this bird look a little better - more realistic that is.

I hope that everyone has a great day.

Remember to feed your creative spirit - draw, doodle, do whatever it is that makes you tick- just spend five little bitty minutes every day doing something creative and watch the difference it will make in your life!

Dream big folks then stand back and watch the Universe deliver!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wire Wrapped Link- In Rust

I did a post a few days ago about a Bird's Nest that I made...I think I even made the comment that I really didn't need to learn another art form at this point...

Didn't I say that?

Well, I suppose that I am just not that strong...

I've stumbled upon this little thing called
"wire wrapping"
that totally has me in its grip...

I've fallen and fallen hard my friends -
I'd like to blame it on this lady, oh and her too...
But, hey, I was in therapy for years so I can be totally honest here and claim my own weaknesses (claim the blame...sorry, couldn't help it!)...
It is my fault.
I knew that I should have never touched that second piece of wire...
I should have just left that torn strip of rusty fabric on the table...
And definitely left the teeny tiny seed beads in their drawer...

But - I didn't.
And here is what has become of all of it...
in one nice little package...

Oh, the possibilities that I see...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Believe In Yourself Retreat

Last year I went to this retreat in Blowing Rock NC. It is a small retreat, only 50 creative souls allowed, that caters to my kind of tribe members.
It was the first such venue that I had gone to and was totally blown away. I found 50 other people, all in one place, that were just like me! well, close anyway! My husband was shuddering over that little comment...lol...
You should check it out here.
Here are some pictures from last year...look at that awesome project! The first years project was/is being shown in a special article in one of the popular mixed media art magazines..I'll post a link when it comes out. And I am sure that every year after that will eventually find it's way into the same type of publication.
Kristi Steiner and Susan Edmondson are the brain children of Believe. I totally love these creative women!
Click on the links, check out their art work and
go here.
Sign up - there is only about 10 spots left! This could be the year that you join our tribe.
Then you'll be like me, signing up year after year to go back and spend 3 awesome days in the mountains of Western NC, surrounded by God's country, good food, fine wine and Your Creative Tribe.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bird Nest

One of the four day classes that I recently took in Alabama was with

Deryn Mentock - jewelry/wire artist extraordinaire.

We had painted a portrait on a canvas the day before (with DJ) and then she taught us some really cool techniques to make a wire wrap for it.
I have never worked with wire before (unless you count stringing a fence for horses...) so it was all new to me.
Deryn is a really good teacher - she is so patient. It really shows that she wants the students to understand and take new skills home with them.
I'd love to take another class with her - just what I need, huh?
Another hobby, another craft...
Anyway - here is my Bird Nest that I made last night!
Deryn gave us a tutorial on making the nest (go here - get yours).
It is so clear and easy to understand that even I could follow the directions by myself at home!
I added 3 little pearl-like beads that she gave us ( I also bought some of the same color from her) in our classroom kit.
I haven't completely finished my beaded wire framework but I will soon. It's THIS close...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Class Time!

Yesterday was the first "Doodle Drawing" class at Random Arts.
What a blast!
The class was full with little room to spare...and everyone had a great time. I think they were all surprised at their art work - told ya that it wasn't difficult to do!
I took my camera but was so busy walking around soaking up the creative energy that I didn't take any pictures. A couple of the women said they would email me the pictures that they took so I hope to post some later. I was very impressed as I walked around - these ladies never looked back after they made that first mark on the paper...
The class was such a success that we're going to plan on offering another one soon. Keep an eye on my blog and Jane's for dates.
I love to help people create things - to learn new techniques and different ways of looking at the world around them.
I hope that I can share the journal pages that they created - with just a little prompting , just a little guidance - they were both shocked and surprised at how their pages turned out.
Now they can actually draw their own journal pages (or other art work) based on doodle designs!
It's interesting how meditative this type of drawing can be.
What I usually do is draw a bunch of pages (cause once you get going, it's hard to stop!). Then I paint a pile of them - that is just as fun too!
Then when the spirit moves me, I can grab a page and journal to my heart's desire.
I hope that you'll join me next time for this fun and super easy (no stress!) class!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back from Alabama

Well, the classes with DJ Pettitt and Deryn Mentock were absolutely awesome! I really can't even begin to tell you all how much I enjoyed their classes. If you ever get the chance to take one of their classes, please do. Both DJ and Deryn are wonderful teachers, so patient and understanding.
I'll post some more pictures later but for now, the above picture is what I painted in the first class. I did the wire attachment but it's not quite finished so I'll post that later. But I do love the wire on it.
I had a blast while in Alabama -met some really awesome women, ate some delicious food and just generally had a fun time.
I sure did miss my family though! My husband and I usually go everywhere together so that was a little different for me. I did remember to tip everyone that I was supposed to at the hotel (my husband usually takes care of all of that).
I was invited to join a great group (Altered Art Diva's) while in Alabama. This is the group that Joyce Vance is a part of - the lady that organized the entire workshop. What a gal! She did a great job and I, for one, am so glad that she took this project on for all of us.
So, anyway, I am so pleased to have been ask to join their group. The women that I met in Alabama were SO much fun! They know how to have a great time for sure...
I got to spend some time with DJ, Deryn and Ronnie Grundset after class hours. We had lunch or dinner together almost every day. I really love to get to know people apart from the classroom. These are the kinds of relationships that I truly treasure and the relationships that will span the years.
I hope that all of you are having a good day - one filled with a creative spirit.
Enjoy each and every moment as if it were your last.
And show some love - be kind.
Reach out to your neighbor.
Treat everyone the same way that you would like to be treated -
the universe will bring it back to you...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Book Making

I have always practiced a variety of art techniques...love fiber, love paper, love paint, love fabric, love pens, watercolors...
you get the picture.
I wanted to be able to have ONE THING, one item, one object of art to use all the different techniques on.
I could make a wall hanging and use a lot of techniques...
but I couldn't really carry it around with me, adding to it - could I?
I could write on it but not really use it to journal on, could I?
I tried a lot of different things in my art life.
I think I have finally found the ONE THING
that I can carry around with me (to work on, or look at),
that I can easily teach others (because I adore sharing the joy that creating art brings),
that I can use just about every and any art technique that I know in it -

I have always loved books - especially hand made books.
Love the texture, the layers - the pure joy of the maker that is obvious in the feel of the book itself.
I love DJ Pettitt's books.
Oh my.
Love.Love. Love.
I have stalked her, um I mean followed her blog, her changing web site for awhile now...
That is one talented lady.
In two days (yikes!) just TWO MORE DAYS I am going to be sitting
in a classroom with a few other lucky women.
I'm going to be watching DJ create some magic with fabric, paper, paint and thread.
Oh look! I just mentioned all my favorite things, didn't I?
My new most favorite thing!
Book Making.
Mixed Media Books.
I started taking classes from Sue Bleiweiss and love it!
I'll share a couple of pictures of what I've been up to (besides a studio re-do!) (more on this later) with paper, fabric, paint and thread.
The book signature with the painted faces on it?
Those images were painted by DJ.
She sent them to me as extra little treats when I ordered some stuff from her.
And this weekend?
I'm in Birmingham Alabama with one of the most talented women that I know of.

Go ahead, admit it...
you're just a teeny bit jealous, aren't you?

If you are - contact this lady -
join me in begging to get DJ a little closer to the east coast -
like in Saluda North Carolina.
I know there must be at least 200 of you out there
that would love to take some classes with DJ Pettitt.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

True Love

Sistah Love that is...
I love it that we can help folks out even though they may not be in our hometown. KC Willis (you know from Lip Stick Ranch) is helping out her sistah, Joanna Pierotti.
Joanna's husband, Ron, has had a brain tumor removed recently. We can only imagine the costs involved with this surgery and recovery. No insurance, not a lot of money but a whole lotta love for these special people!
KC is donating HALF of her on line class fees and HALF of the money received from the sale of her art work to the fund to help Joanna and Ron.
Let's show some e-love here, let's help a fellow artist and her wonderful husband. Buy some KC art, take a class -
show some LOVE.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

National Drawing Day

I didn't know this until yesterday, but today is National Drawing Day.
You all know that I love to draw so won't you join me in not only celebrating
but promoting this important day.
Click on this link and see what it's all about.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Classes Scheduled

Well, Jane Powell (Random Arts) and I sat down yesterday and finally scheduled a couple more classes. Check the side bar for dates and links to her workshop site.
I did want to post some additional info about the classes.
The "Doodle Drawing" class is going to be so much fun! You can scroll back through my blog for pictures of various doodle journal pages that I'll be sharing. And I'll be teaching some of my "secrets" to drawing...it's fast, it's easy and it's fun.
We will be covering some ideas about finding inspiration - I promise, you will never look at things the same way again after this class!
We will cover the one thing that strikes fear in the heart of every artist - the dreaded "Blank Page Syndrome". I'll show you how to successfully get right over that...
We'll cover some techniques on coloring your drawings as well as putting all of it together in journal form (we won't be making a journal in this class- just ideas & examples of journals).

Now, to the fiber fix class..."Her Awakening" is a rust media wall hanging.
A true mixed media fiber piece, so if you've been wanting to dip your toe in the mixed media fiber art pond - this is your class.
Super easy - do not allow the use of a sewing machine to scare you away from this class!
It's best if you CAN"T sew a straight line in this class.
The price includes a kit.
In the kit you will find almost everything you need to make the wall hanging! All you need to bring is a sewing machine (I'll have mine to share), needles, thread,and a piece of black felt.
How's that for easy? Between myself and Jane, we'll have everything else you need! Even the transfer for the face! Of course, you can always draw your own...
So - there you have it.
Check out my class schedule - I've got a couple of "demo dates" posted as well.
Good price (free) and great value!

I went to the June meeting yesterday of the Fiber Art Alliance that I belong to. I'm going to try to do another blog post later about that. It is an awesome meeting at a very inspirational venue.
I took some pictures (we'll see if they turned out very good...) but will attempt to post them as well.
If you are a fiber artist (knitting, crochet, weaving, quilting, mixed media...) and you're close to Asheville you should really check us out. We meet the first Tuesday of the month at the Girl Scout Building. This month was a field trip for us. There are so many talented women in the group - and would welcome more!