Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas to You and Yours...Loving this time of year!

Oh the Holidays! I love them.  We finally got our tree last weekend and the girls decorated it beautifully!  I love watching them, lovingly adorning the tree with the ornaments that they and we have collected over the years. Our tree is a mish-mash of ornaments that they have made in school, or have picked out themselves with their Papa every Thanksgiving (he takes them out to pick out an ornament every year).  It's beautiful! I tried to take a picture of it.  But it just doesn't do it justice!

I am trying to make most of my gifts this year and am loving every second of it. I am keeping busy, busy, buys!  I hope everyone is really enjoying the things that matter this season.  Take time to cherish the moments and remember that it's not all about the hustle and bustle, the entertaining, the decorating, the gift giving and receiving...but more about the love we have for our family, our friends, our neighbors...and for some of us our Blessed Father who gave us the most important gift mankind has ever received,  His Son.  I am so Blessed in this life and am thankful for everything big and small.  Thank you for your friendships, your support, your love, and I hope I can give to other's as much as I have been given.

Merry Christmas everyone! Be Happy and don't sweat the SMALL STUFF!

Love and Hugs

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Today's Little Painting

Here is today's painting I did this afternoon.  I love the colorful face!  I went a little overboard with the markings on her face though. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

50 Pieces of Art in 50 Days...Progress???

Well folks, I am not the most disciplined person in the world and I'm having a hard time keeping up with my friend Jani from This Redhead Can Paint.  She challenged herself to make 50 pieces of art in 50 days and I'm kind of tagging along (lol)!  Her art is pretty amazing!!!

Here are a few of the items I have created so far.  I'm kind of cheating and counting jewelry as a piece of art.  While my jewelry pieces are not always "new" (because I use prints from art I have all ready completed)...they are "re-creations" of my art into something different (that counts right?)!!!

My style of creating art is usually not a "cut and dry" process I can complete in one day.  I am all over the place, so I may sketch something one day, go on to something new....and then 2 days later go back to the first and maybe lay in some initial then I'm on to something new again, come back again and add some background or collage, or more layers.....You get the picture!  But someday I would really like to get to a point where I can just whip up a work of art in one day like Jani can!  I'm not quite there yet!

But it's okay that I'm not quite there yet, because for me it's all about the process, the learning, the practice...So I'm okay with where I'm at right now.  I know in my heart that I am capable of so much more, I just have to be patient with myself and let it happen.  I am so thankful
for websites like Flickr and Youtube and Ning sites like Hands & Heart, Little Glimpses Community Studio, Willowing, Loving Mixed Media and Suzi Blu just to name a few!  There is so much inspiration and talent out there!

If you are new to mixed media or art in general and want to learn more about a particular technique or style I suggest trying an online workshop.  They are less expensive than others, some of the instructors even let you download the video lessons so you can have them forever.  You can work at your own pace, watch the lessons as often as you want and you get the encouragement from not only the instructor, but also from the others taking the class.  I have made so many new friends in the art community online and will continue to take workshops online, probably for the rest of my life!

If you have the passion for creativity, in whatever area it may be, writing, painting, poetry, woodwork etc....Make some time for PLAY....everyday!  It feeds the soul and allows you (even if only for ?a moment) to forget the pressures of everyday life.  It's good for

Happy creating everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Nice and Inexpensive Christmas Craft Project...

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving with friends and/or family.  My family headed to my folks, along with all of my siblings and their families.  We had a great time together!  I wanted to share this great Christmas or Holiday Craft project that my Mom came up with!  The finished project can be used as beautiful table centerpieces for the holidays!

First, my Mom saved all her Kleen-Ex boxes (the cube shaped).  I know I've thought to myself a million times..."I should do something with this beautiful empty box", because the boxes come in all sorts of great designs.  But I've never done anything with them.  My Mom took it one step further and came up with an easy project for the kids to do this Thanksgiving using these pretty Kleen-Ex boxes.  Here are the steps to follow:


Empty Kleen-ex Boxes

Some newspaper or filler for each box
A small jar or jars that will fit inside the box 
Evergreen clippings such as pine branches, sprigs of holly etc..., other greenery or flowers

(you could also use the artificial stuff if you don't have access to fresh)
Wide decorative ribbon with a holiday theme or colors...


1.  Take your newspaper and crumple it up, place it inside the box around the sides with enough space left to fit the jar into the center.  You could also try putting the jar in first and stuffing the paper in around it.  This step is just to stabilize the jar and keep it from sliding around if the arrangement is going to be moved around at all.

2.  Fill the jar about halfway with water and place inside the box so that it remains centered with the hole in the Kleen-ex box.

3.  Arrange your greens and other Holiday themed things inside the jar.  Make sure your arrangement is full enough so that when it's finished you don't see any of the hole in the box.

4.  Finish it off with a nice wide ribbon tied around the box.

These really were beautiful and smelled wonderful because of the fresh greens.  I had some other ideas that you could do with this same idea.

You could do several of these to place along a mantle, shelf or table and on each box decorate with a letter of a word, such as "Peace", "Noel" etc...

You could use the boxes as a base for those small Christmas trees and decorate accordingly...

You could use the boxes and with a hand crafted doll coming out of the center, make a cute little "Jack in the Box" like decoration.

You could wrap each box or just use ribbon and make them look like wrapped gifts to put along a mantle or shelf.

I'm sure there are a million ways you could use these pretty little boxes for all sorts of craft projects.  If you have any ideas to add,  please leave a comment and tell us about them!

Well, it's official....the holiday season is upon us, so happy creating everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Gifts with a personal touch....I love this idea/tutorial!

I wanted to share with you this great tutorial on making a mini organizer.  I thought these would make such great handmade gifts!  Instead of using scrapbook papers, I would use my own hand painted papers or prints of original artwork, but either way...these are super cool!

The tutorial is really well done as well.  Easy to follow instructions that I think just about anyone can figure out.

If your looking for ideas for Christmas gifts...take a look!  I think these will be fun!

Here's another tutorial that shows how to make it with the pad of paper and pencil...The video quality on this tutorial is a little sketchy in some parts (not sure why that is), but I like the instructions on this one because she goes in to a little more detail...

Have fun!  I'll post mine when I'm finished and let you know how it went!  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out their in blogland!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

50 Pieces of Art in 50 Days...Part 2...The Pear

Well here it is, the Pear to go with the Apple.  I feel like I need to make this a trio as I always think in odd numbers!  An Eggplant was suggested, but I don't know how I would incorporate the deep purple of an eggplant into the pear and apple paintings without ruining them, so....I think I'll just have to leave them as a pair.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

50 Pieces of Art in 50 Days...

I have a friend who has challenged herself to create 50 pieces of art in 50 days....Wow!  She asked if I would also join in on the challenge.  I have a lot of catching up to do!  This is a small 5.5 x 8.5 piece I did today.  It needs a little fine tuning, but it's pretty much complete.  Tomorrow I'm going to try to do a Pear painting to go along with it!  I'll post that when it's done.  Hopefully I'll have enough time!
What about you?  Have any of you ever done something like this?  It seems overwhelming to me, and I have to keep telling my inner critique to "SHUT UP"!  I hate that self-defeating dialogue that goes on inside my head.  I didn't have that when I first started painting, maybe because my expectations were lower?  I don't know...but I do know I'm really struggling lately to produce a finished piece of artwork.  So today's little painting makes me happy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Works in Progress...

Still working, or mainly "practicing" because I have so much to improve upon and learn!  Here are the products of my latest practice session.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Printing On Recycled Dryer Sheets for your Art Projects!

I had to post this tutorial that came up after I watched my own tutorial.  What a great idea and one I hadn't thought of!  You can watch this tutorial to find out how to print images on to dryer sheets and use them in your art projects.  They turn out really cool and translucent, so I can think of a lot of "overlay" uses for them.  Check out this short and easy tutorial!

A New Video Tutorial on Mixed Media Art Cloths!

Well, I finally did it.  It took me way too long, as I know next to nothing about using iMovie and it seems like everything I did took forever for my computer to process...but I did it!  So I can cross this one off my list of short term goals to accomplish.   I really want to make more video tutorials on other techniques, so that will be something I'll be working on soon.  But here it is lady's and gentlemen....drumroll please....

A tutorial on how to make larger mixed media art cloths using recycled materials!

One quick little note about viewing this video...because I used a sound track from Youtube, they throw in advertisements at the bottom of the screen.  You can "X" these out at the top right corner of the advertisement itself so that you can see all of the screen.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Domino Pendants...Alpaca Style!

These are a few of the items that I made for a friend to sell at her booth at the Fiber Fusion Northwest event.  I really enjoyed making "alpaca" art!  Alpacas are something I never would have thought of drawing or using as a subject for my art projects....but they are just too cute!  Don't you think?  These pendants were made using my original art prints and old domino pieces.  The last picture shows 4 cute little "mini" domino necklaces...I just discovered these tiny dominos at our local dollar store, and they are  perfect for making child sized pendants!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Beginning of a new work...

One of my biggest obstacles in painting is figuring out what I want to paint!  The more I agonize over what my subject matter should be, the less likely I am to paint anything at all.  It seems the more planned out I am, the more chance of my artwork being unsatisfactory to me.  In almost every instance, my best work comes when I remain UNFOCUSED and spontaneous.

This morning I sat on the floor with books, magazines and pictures of artwork I admire, trying (with no luck) to come up with an idea.  Every Wednesday I meet with another friend who paints.  She is an amazingly talented fine artist who can draw and paint just about anything.  She plans her work, does preliminary sketches etc...and she always produces something amazing! (Huge Sigh...) I simply can't do that!

So I finally accepted my "planning" limitations, threw some paint and three canvases, a few brushes and a bag full of paper scraps for collage into a bag and went on my merry way...with no plan....telling myself to remain focused on being unfocused (Ha!  makes sense doesn't it!).

I promised myself to not be critical and to just start slinging paint....and here is where I am at after an afternoon of painting.  It's by no means complete, and probably will look nothing like this when I'm finished...but I like where it's headed!  This "style" is nothing like what I usually paint and I would have never went this direction if I had a plan!  But so far it's working, and I have to remember to stay true to me.  Having no preconceived notions about what the outcome of a painting will look like, allows me to think outside the box (well at least the box MY mind lives in)!

Monday, October 10, 2011

List of Child Artist Prodigies and their Websites....Amazing Stuff!

Last week I read a book called "Heaven is for Real" (great book by the way...).  In this book was mentioned a child prodigy artist by the name of Akiane.  I had to check out her website and see for myself her paintings that are inspired by visions and dreams given to her by God.  Her work is so awe inspiring and beyond amazing!  She started drawing at age 4 and painting by age 6.  She is now 16 and is known all over the world.  I had never heard of her before last week.

So I started wondering how many child prodigy artists are alive today and what can I learn about them?  I am having fun checking out the miraculous talent that these kids have been given and I wanted to pass along the links in case anyone else is interested in checking it out!

Joshua Johnson

Kieron Williamson

Wang Yani (I couldn't find a website for her, but here is another blog post about her) and the video below is a must see!

Akiane Kramarik
Marla Olmstead

Hamzah Marbella

I'm sure there are many more that I didn't find, but I thought this would be an interesting topic to share!  Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

2012 Planners...Covers made from recycled dryer sheets!

Here are a few more items that I've made using my recycled/upcycled dryer sheet technique.  If you haven't seen my "How To" video tutorial on this technique, you can check it out at the end of this post.

I can't believe how sturdy the end results are!  I wish you could hold these in your hands and feel the texture.  It really has a true "leathery" feel and holds up to the sewing machine so well.  If I were more of a seamstress I would be going crazy with things to make, but unfortunately, the sewing machine and I don't usually get along very well.

These are 2012 Planners that I made the covers for out of art "cloth" using used dryer sheets as my canvas and lots of collage and paint.

I also scanned them before I folded them to make the covers...So here is what they look like front and back before folding them...

If you like these and would like to try it yourself you can watch the tutorial below.  Please post what you create, I'd love to see the results!