Monday, March 22, 2010

Art Blessing Giveaway!!!

Its been awhile since I offered an art blessing giveaway and I thought this "Vintage Journey Acrylic Cube" would be a wonderful way to bless one of you! Click here to see more pictures of all sides of the cube.

I am always so grateful to receive your support and encouragement as I continue to explore and share art as a healing, revealing and redemptive tool in the revelation of our inner worlds. If you would like to be a part of this giveaway please leave your contact info in the comment section and I will add your name to the drawing! If you would be so kind as to share about this art blessing on your blog I will add your name twice to the drawing (just let me know)! I will draw the name of the blessing winner on Friday, April 2!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Springtime Show and Tell!

I always feel a rising of optimism and hope at the first sighting of the blossoms on the beautiful tree outside my kitchen window. When you add to that a gorgeous "blue sky" day the possibilities immediately expand in my heart and mind! The blanket of "Northwest Grey" is slowly lifting and I am ready for the new life of Spring!
(Click on any image to enlarge!)

After being sick for a couple days it was a welcome burst of fun and energy to have my monthly art journal gang over for friendship, tea and "art gab"! We call our gathering "CAFE" which stands for "Creating Artistic Friendships and Encouragement". We were thrilled with the collage goodie bags Janeen brought us. Jaron gifted us with original ATCs! We love to bring little surprises to share with one another!

We really have no set agenda but to share our latest mixed media creations, whats happening in our art journals and experimenting with a monthly challenge! Karla Dornacher has been working on new illustrations. Her artistic gift and detailed drawings always amaze me! She gifted us with a lovely new magnet design that you can find in her Etsy shop and also shared her new mixed media work! We were all in awe of the personalized paint job she and daughter Michelle Allen did on their "Traveling Art Bags"! You can see more of this project here!

Paulette Insall shared her new inspired works with us. She has risked a new direction with her painting that is truly unique and intensely colorful! You can find prints of her work in her Etsy Shop!

Paulette also brought her newest purchases from mixed media artist Mystele Kirkeeng! Her original handpainted and embellished canvas bags were funky cool! I hear she is getting ready to restock her shop and I hope to add one of these to my ever growing art bag collection! Mystele also has a great series of videos on art journaling techniques!

Teri Owens always brings some fun new idea from her art journal. Our challenge this month was playing with creative embellishments for the edges of art journal pages. Teri used buttons and wire to create these cool techniques! She also knitted these sweet little cell phone mini bags!

I had a great time sharing how to make original trinkets and embellishments out of polymer clay and PearlEx powders! One thing for sure our time always flys when this group gathers!

CLEARANCE SALE ON EBAY!! If you'd like to take a peek, I am doing a little spring cleaning in the studio and have listed several collage lots and groups of inspirational items! You can see some of these items on the upper right sidebar here on my blog or in my ebay Store!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Day of Unexpected Rest..........

I had great plans for the day today but unfortunately I am hunkered down with the stomach flu. So I thought I would share the latest treasures in my art library. I have been swadeled up with a cup of tea and losing myself in the beauty and inspiration found on these pages today (in between waves of nausea...ick). I must admit to being a creative book addict! One of my favorite things to do is share and swap books with my artist friends. Admittedly I tend to be the one to have a collection which is the next best thing to visiting Amazon (haha). You can click on each title to find out more about each of these wonderful offerings from these talented artists! Click on the author's name and you will find their blogs and websites!

God Is at Eye Level: Photography as a Healing Art ~ Jan Phillips

Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression~ Diana Trout

Layered, Tattered and Stitched: A Fabric Art Workshop~ Ruth Rae

Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art ~ Rice Freeman-Zachery

A sweet friend of mine sent me this video recently. The author speaks so eloquently and vulnerably about this journey called "Mothering". As a Mom who is weathering the transition of sons moving into adulthood, I shed a few tears listening and remembering my own travels thus far. Be sure to pause the music already playing on my blog, on the lower right sidebar, before viewing. You can read more of Katrina Kennison's musings on her blog!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thoughts to share.....

A new journal to share. I was asked by one of my dear friends to create a special journal as a gift for a mutual friend who is special to us both. You can click on the image to enlarge.

It was good to experience the moving of my heart through creating again this remember what it is that I love to do and why I love to do it. In all honesty, this last year brought many heartaches and challenges into my life that I have quietly been moving through. There have been times when I have been tempted to walk away from all of my creative endeavors and set aside this relentless passion and vision for sharing art as an expression and tool for the healing journey. But despite seasons that call me away again and again....the unexpected pain of losing loved ones, family and parenting challenges and transitions, health issues or the revelations of new layers of my own story again...the release of writing, art and music calls me back again and again. God won't let me give up. He reminds me to keep going and to keep coming back to the gifts He gave me for my own healing. He reminds me to keep sharing the gift of artistic expression. It brings me joy and hope when it can feel like they are in short supply. We must let go for a time in the seasons where our vision isn't so clear anymore or we are unsure of the next step. Our dreams need to be allowed to ebb and flow, to morph and be reshaped. If we allow it, the difficult times add a new depth and authentic dimension to our passions. But we can't give up. Its good to take breaks and rest. It is wise to give ourselves permission to step away and listen and rejuvenate when our hearts are breaking or we are just tired. But don't give up.

Don't give up what it is you know in the deepest part of your soul that God has inspired you to do. Our concept of time and what should happen in its constraints is so radically different than the way God sees time. There is time to wait. There is time to rest, to question, to grieve, to learn, to heal, to reevaluate, to begin again. There is time. The right direction is still through the difficulties and not around them. God's timing, despite my argueing and questioning seems to always turn out to be the right timing. So if you find yourself feeling like obstacles keep gettng thrown into your path, that steps are unclear and that walking away seems easier...dont' give up. Come back to what inspires you and gives you life even if for just a small moment today. Come back to yourself. Come back to who you are and what God uniquely gave you to do that brings the breath of healing back into your body, mind and spirit. Do one small, encouraging, next right thing. In God's time you will know what to do with everything else that screams for clarity, resolution and direction. God never leaves us even when we feel we are wandering. In the meantime...breathe in the present day. Despite all that may be happening inside and out...don't give up. You will be given what you need...just for today.

I heard this song today and was encouraged by the words, the melody and the images it invoked. I hope it will inspire your dreams today. Please turn the music off that is playing on my blog before viewing (on the lower right sidebar "playlist").

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Workshop Fun!

My ever-so-incredibly-creative friend Michelle Allen invited me over for a trial run of her workshop she will be presenting at ArtFest 2010 called "Getcha Paint On". We had a great time getting our hands into black caulking to create cool,textured and raised patterns on wood blocks, drawing out and carving our own rubber stamps to create our focal point, center design and splashing around in colorful acrylics. I also met Reenie who designed a unique piece of her own! Michelle has such an energetic spirit that is contagious and so encouraging to be in the presence of! Just being in her studio is enough to ignite the creative fires! There is still time to sign up for her class if you plan to attend ArtFest!

I wasn't sure where my piece was heading when I began. It was something definately new for me to experiment with and I felt like I was out of my safe amd familiar vintage-style collage work. I had a vision of a sunburst with the center heart piece and the word "Shine". The piece kinda morphed and changed as we played with the caulking and the color went down. As it turned out, I began to play with deep blues, aquas and purples and what emerged felt more like the hope of a heart fully shining and bursting through the night!

So today I hope you will explore a new idea or technique, be brave and open those new paints, risk reaching out to a fellow artist and ask for an art play date, actually try one of the projects in the gazillon art magazines and books you've collected, sign up for that class you always wanted to take or just sit down and play with the supplies you already have and see what happens. You have nothing to lose so let go and give it a try!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Portable Art Studio!!!

I meet with an amazing, spirited and inspirational bunch of gals for a monthly art journaling ( and any other medium we are inspired by) gathering. We share whats happening in our journals, help each other through our creative dry spells, cheer our breakthroughs and share our latest artistic gidgets and gadgets! This past meeting we were thrilled to meet our newest member Janeen who for the last few years was the owner of "Paper Doll", a lovely little mixed media art store in Portland, Oregon. She brought the most incredible, organized, stuffed-to-the-gills, "art studio in a bag" I had ever seen! She inspired another of our gang Teri Owens to do the same and we "ooood and awwdd" over both of their bags. So I promptly drove to Lowes after our meeting where the hardware section carries a terrific assortment of heavy duty tool bags that work perfectly for your "studio on the go"(you can get them at Home Depot too)! I finally got mine organized today and can't believe all that I was able to condense down and fit in the bag! They are so sturdy and have a gazillion pockets and small sections to hold all your art journaling supplies. You can see more funs pics of their bags and ideas here on Michelle Allen's blog!

The trick to making these art bags carry everything you might ever need in a pinch is to take everything out of any bulky packaging and condense down into empty tins you might have and being creative with smaller containers etc. I was amazed at all I was able to toss and space I could save! I am working on a small binder that will house ephemera, images, stickers, lace bits, etc and will slide into the central section as well. The incredible fun about this bag is you can carry it into any room of the house or leave your studio anytime and have all you really need ready to go and at your fingertips!

Having all your supplies for art journaling gathered and ready to inspire really does encourage the creative process too! This is a new page in my journal called "Creative Child". I am enjoying using magazine images of faces as a jumping off place to explore a page and see where it goes! Click on the image to see more detail!


Just had to share this fun project! My youngest son is currently glued to the show "The Cake Boss' and has high hopes to design some fabulous mammoth cake one day. He was inspired for his recent homework assignment to make a creative model of an animal cell. He gave me the shopping list and then went to work designing his rice krispie treat masterpiece! I have been trying desperately (without much success) to give up sugar and I must confess to sneaking several sugar hits when he wasn't looking. He had a great time and it made "homework" not such a chore afterall! Click on images for an up close view!