Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Greetings From NYC!

Hey everyone.  My plan was to post  some pics from yesterday, but by the time we got back to our room last night  (we're staying in  a motel in New Jersey), I was a walking zombie, no I mean a melted one.  It was hotter than H-E-Double Hockey sticks--okay, forget about being cute--it was hotter than hell!  Today doesn't look much cooler, but a little better.
But we're having FUN and eating good!  Pics to come, maybe tonight-- maybe.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And I Love Paper

We all do, don't we, and don't you think that the scrapbook paper world in the last 5 years or so has just gone crazy with color, textures, patterns, etc., etc.?!   I never was a "scrapper", and I think one of the  reasons  why  was because that I was never that crazy about the selection of scrapbook paper--either just plain colors or too cutesy, but not anymore.  When you go online to see all of the different kinds, you could be looking for a LONG time.  I like to go to Michael's or AC Moore's to just look at the papers for color combinations and inspiration , and I love the big paper pads that you can get with all the coordinating papers. 

And how about  the  2-sided paper?  How cool is that?!   I was at AC Moore's  last week and I found a 2-sided  one that  I really liked,  and it was not my normal colors that I would go for, but I decided to use it for my next piece using only the colors of it  (you know--the 'with one pallette thing' again).

(Love those cupboard doors!)  It's the icy blues--in person, it's actually more of a gray-blue, and the buttery creams, and white!  I never use white, and I put away the black. I usually use black for outlining or edging--I did use brown though.   So the background of this was the one side of the paper--

It's beautiful paper---scrapbook paper has come a long way.  And the flowers  have lots of texture with Golden's soft molding paste. The centers I did with tiny beads and Crsytal Lacquer, which I talked about and showed more on this post.

And how about this vase? --looks like I  finally got that 2-step crackle method down--

No.....that's the other side of the paper--I just added some highlights with paint.

And on the frame part of the door,  I combined both sides of the paper with crackle paste and those little beads again--it almost looks like it was all just painted on.

I'm really happy with the results!

But I still like to paint my own papers, and I've been busy doing just that.  This time, I wanted to use some fun colors.  I've been getting alot of different colors that I've never had before, and what better way to play around with them.

They'll be here waiting for me  when I  get  back!

Because tomorrow I'm leaving to go to the City that never sleeps, The Big Apple (do they still call it that?)---New York City!!  My son has lots of plans for us.  He teaches at a college in New Jersey, so he isn't working  right  now, which  makes it great.  And I'm  going  to  try my darndest to post photos every night, because I want you all to come along with us and have fun too.  I'm not sure about Monday's plans,  except for one.  We're going to the David Letterman show--COOL!  So if you watch on Monday night, I might just be on TV--stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Love Garage Sales

I really do--you never know what you'll find--it's always different every week.  And you ALWAYS walk away with the best bargains.  And if the price is a little too "high", you can always get it to the price that you want to pay for it.  You can't do that in any store!  So a couple of weeks ago, I found this mirror.

It's not really an old mirror, but it has that shabby feel to it--you know the intentional peeling paint (it looks like time has worn it off, but we know better)--but it still looks good this way. So I knew that I could do something with it.
It's a nice size too-about 20 x 14".  But I didn't want to keep it as a mirror, so I just collaged  papers onto the mirror, and made my design on that.

And I drew her face on a piece of sheet music, and I knew that I wanted the music to still be seen.  So it was very  hard  for  me  to just  accentuate her face with not much color.

But I did! --and I'm very happy with the way she turned out.  I love mixed media--anything goes!!

OH, and remember I won another giveaway?--well I wanted to show you.  Alot of you are familiar with Wyanne, I'm sure.  First of all, she has a you tube channel and she has thee coolest videos of her art making process.  And you can't help but love her style.  She definitely has a way with resin--as a matter of fact, she's going to be offering a resin workshop.  And every week she'e been having these weekly giveaways of her art prints, and I was so lucky to win one--

"Meet Me in the Garden"--how much do you love this?!   And here she is in her new home, right underneath of  "Micki"

(kind of blurry---sorry)

And speaking of giveaways, Kelly is having one on her blog.  Remember the charms that she made me?--you can see them here.  Well she'll do the same for you if you win her giveaway--just hop on over there--take it from me--these are very cool!!

Plus, in my last post, I mentioned that I'm taking a mini vacation.  We're leaving on Sunday, and we'll be back on the following Thursday, so that will give us 5 days to visit our son who just happens to live in New York City right  in  Manhattan!  Okay--do I have to say anymore?!   I am so excited!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hey Guys, Have You Tried This Technique?

Wow, I'm pretty tired from this weekend--alot of bloggers out there with some pretty inspiring studios--some of them intimidated me a bit , but you know what?--I still love where this blogger creates!  I consider my art room to be  my assistant helping me when I'm  "stuck".  I have everything on hand that I need in the places where I know  they are. I think by organizing my room and decluttering it has really helped me.  I guess it depends on which is the best way for you--messy? or neat?--whatever!!

And at my party I showed you my work in progress, and I finished it, and I'm very happy with it, although it was very hard to get a good shot of this because it's  a very dimensional piece--

I'm going to show  you a step-by-step of how I put this together.  I started out with this very cool canvas that I found  (with the help of Suzi)  at Dick Blick--

This is a 9 x 9 canvas with very deep sides--2 3/8". I love these--I bought them in the 4-pack.  And then what I did, was turn it over, because I wanted it to be more like a shadobox.   Then I collaged some of my papers and prints on it and also added paint.  Basically, I just covered every part of the canvas.

These are the different pieces that I used to put into it.  You see that yellow block to the right?  (vintage child's block--got it at the antique show), well it was the perfect height to elevate the main heart from the surface of the canvas.  So the technique that I wanted to show you is a fairly popular one. It's using aluminum foil--so simple.  If you know how to use gel medium, then you can do this.  I say gel medium, because that's what I used--you  can  use  any type of glue.  And there are a few ways you can apply the foil also.  The way that I did it this time--I crinkled up a piece of  foil and  then opened  it back up and laid it flat and then applied it with the gel medium onto the larger heart.

Another way of doing it, is to not crinkle the foil and apply it to the surface with extra heavy gel medium and while the gel is still wet, you can take the blunt tip of a paint brush and make designs  into it  or whatever you want.  You just have to be a little careful, because it can tear.  And then another way is to glue down embellishments onto your suface, and then apply the foil crinkled or uncrinkled. You'll get the imprints of whatever you embellished--it also gives great texture..  So after I put the foil on and it was dry, I just put some alcohol inks and acrylic metallic paint on it.  I always put a gloss varnish over that--you get the look of metal--very cool,  very easy, and very inexpensive. Alot of  journalers (is that a word?)  have used this technique for the cover of their journals. And if you click on this for the close-up, you can really see the texture.

So after I assembled the collage, I put the final touch on:

I used a metal picture frame and attached a piece of jewelry that I found in my stash.

And before I was even thinking of making this collage, I was using my Golden paints on something else, and I had some left over, and there aint no way I'm wasting this expensive stuff, so I just painted myself up a paper, which happened to work perfectly for the border and smaller heart.

So if you look at the jewelry piece--a pendant, actually, fairly large--and the paper--they match perfectly.  In person, they really are the same colors, right down to the swirls.  And I painted this paper with no particular thought in mind, and  I didn't even remember that I had this pendant until I found it afterwards.  But you know who did know that I had it?-- Clara!
For those of you who don't know, Clara is my muse.  You can read about her here, and then here  (the image on this one is hanging with me in the studio), and then here.  So, I have to say Thank You to Clara for this part!

And also, I started a new class--not like I have anything else to do.  You know when you go to a restaurant with that delicious buffet, and you have to get EVERYTHING, and your plate is just overflowing?  Well, that's my life right now. So I'm glad that this  is an ongoing class.  It's with Sharon again at  All Norah's Art--
Faces in Technicolor.  I'm going to have to put  this class on hold  until late July.  I have 2 shows back to back next month, and next week, I'm taking a mini vacation.  But this post is getting long, so I'll tell you about it in my next post--stay tuned.

And if you missed my studio tour party, its the post right below this.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Welcome To My Party--Come On In!!

Hi everyone--welcome!  This is my first-ever blog party!   I've been blogging for less than a year, and let me tell you--it's opened up a whole new world for me.  And when I saw the  Where Bloggers Create II  party invitation on Karen's blog My Dessert Cottage I knew that this was for me.  Next to viewing other artist's work, I love seeing  their work spaces, and I'm sure that  the same goes for everyone here at the party.

So let me give you a little history of my art room.  Alot of you who have been here before know all about it, but if you've never been here--I'll tell you.  My husband and I have lived in our home for 30 years raising all of our children here, and now they're  grown and gone (I truly do love my little birdies, but I sure am happy that my nest is now empty : ) So now we have this big old house all  to ourselves--well  I've  pretty much taken it over--ahhh, such is the life of the husband of a mixed media artist.

And my art room is one of the bedrooms that we have--it's the smallest. It was the  bedroom for most of my kids when they were babies--or the nursery (that's what I like  to call  it, because it's so tiny, only a baby could live in it) And a few months ago, it had a complete overhaul.  I painted the walls, put a laminant floor in, and decluttered it (everything else that was in there  has found a new home in other areas of my  house)  so now all that's in it are the things that I like to play with everyday.   Oh yeah, there's one more reason why our home and  this  room, in particular,  is special to me.  This is the house that I grew up in and this was my bedroom the entire time I lived here until I moved out at the ripe old age of 19 to get married.

So enough talking! Let me show you around my art room. This is the one end of my room  where I pretty much store everything. Usually the leaf of the desk is open for ongoing projects that I don't have room for on my work table.

Every flat surface in my room is filled with treasures just waiting for a home in a future  art project (I have to mention that I am a garage sale junkie,and I have a passion for anything vintage)

And in addition to a junk drawer, I also have a junk bowl just filled to the brim with goodies--

I want you to keep in mind, that this  is just a fraction of what I have--remember I've taken over the whole house. And I ALWAYS find that one little piece that will complete my piece of art.

And what would I do without my brushes,  paints,  pencils, crayons,  and all of my "potions"

I'm always cooking up something in my "lab"

More storage space next to my work table--

And right next  to my table is my ever-expanding wall of art--some of it's mine, but most are from other artists that I've met online.  My goal is to fill these two walls from top to bottom and then to move on to the rest of the room.

And finally, here's my work table and what I'm working on right now--

Okay, who am I fooling--we all know that this last photo was staged. When I'm in the middle of  something and that creative energy starts flowing, I can't be held responsible for the uproar on my table surface, and this is a good thing!!   But for the party, I wanted to tidy it up a bit. As soon as I get back to this, the table will be back to being a mess.  And if you want to see the completed piece, come back for the after-party next week  and I'll show you.  As you can see, it may not be the biggest space or the most efficient, but it's ALL MINE, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

This is my little haven.  I'm always happy in here, no matter what may be going one in  my life.  It never fails to inspire me, and I'm always surprised  at what it inspires me to create.

And there you have it--a little glimpse into  my art space and world.  I feel so blessed and fortunate, and I never take for granted  the fact that I'm able to do this full time on a daily basis.  So all those many, many, many, many............years ago before the words  internet,  email,  facebook, etc., etc. were even invented,  I was a content  little  5  year  old girl up in  my  bedroon painting with my paints, coloring with my crayons, and drawing with my pencils, and here I am right back where I started--painting with my paints, coloring with my crayons, and drawing with my pencils--life is good!!

Now we  better get going---there 's a lot more parties going on. We can meet up at
Karen's place  and check  out everyone else who's having their own party.  Have fun--I'm sure we'll see each other  again  during the  festivities  this weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kelly is Kool!

Okay, so here's the deal---I met Kelly (Kelly Berkey Designs) in Suzi  Blu's class.  She makes wonderful jewelry, and she took Suzi's   class to learn more about creating faces, and then putting them into charms to make very unique jewelry pieces.  Well as an added bonus, she discovered that she loves the world of mixed media, but is fairly new to it.  So I've been helping her out with questions that's she has about different techniques and art supplies. 

Her art has really started to blossom  and now she is starting to sell her art pieces as well as her jewelry on Etsy. So  she wanted to thank me, which was so sweet of her.  Do you remember these two?

Well, will you just look at what she sent me for helping her out--

Are these beautiful or what?  I wish that you could all see them and touch them in person--they are gorgeous!   And you know she really didn't have to do this--I love helping anyone who wants it........but  I'm glad she did : )

She will do this for anyone who wants--your art in a pendant, and by the way--these are 2-sided.   When you reverse them, there's an image on the other side too--whatever you want it to be.  This is also a great way to get your art out there in a subtle way.   Ladies always love to admire each other's jewelry, and this would be a great lead-in of your own art.   PLUS, she does sell wholesale AND she will also do personal photos too.   So hop on over to Kelly's blog--http://kellyberkeydesigns.blogspot.com/  and from there, you can go to her Etsy store and also her email is on her sidebar on her blog.   Thank you dear Kelly--this means so much to me!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Heart Playing With Blocks

It would just stand to reason, because I love playing with crayons too--isn't it fun to be a kid again?!

And I've been looking at photos of my work from last year and playing around with them too--

Ahhh--Ranger distress crackle paint--the more I use it, the more I love it!

Well , I'm going to cut this short, because I'm getting ready for my party on Saturday, and you're all invited, and you know what--you can have one too,and you don't even have to get out of your pajamas or wash your hair, because it's a blog party!

Where Bloggers Create II--click on this link and you can find out all about it.  There's going to be ALOT of bloggers to mingle with, and it's sure to be a good time.  So I'll be getting ready for my party, and also looking forward to everyone else's party too--hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Guess What ??!!

Okay, before I start this post, I want to say again, because I haven't said this is in a while.  THANK YOU for all of your visits and comments.  I love coming to my little blog house and seeing what's happening here, and I always welcome visitors.  There was one comment that just made me smile, and it was this:
"There is something about your work... it's like the smell of freshly baked cookies"
That comment made me smile, and that's exactyl how I want  people to feel when they look at my work, so Thank You Cori from Sacred Arts blog for visiting and your very cool comment!  This is really special coming from her, because I admire her art and her talent very much--go check out her blog, if you haven't already.

And now for the guess what part.  You know all these giveaways that everyone has?  Well, I'm the type, if there were  2 names in the hat, the other name would be chosen--seriously--I NEVER win.  Well, I guess you know what I'm going to say next--yep, that's right--I WON a giveaway!!

I won this Golden Fleur plaque from Melanie at Pockets of Inspirations

It's on wood and the fleur is textured with gold paint--it's great for my art room.  Isn't this so fun  to be able to have another part of a blogger in your studio with you.  But wait a minute, I won another one--oh yeah, I did!

This giveaway was from Lorraine at Creative Daily.  First let me show you what it came in--

The giveaway was in this cloth pouch that she made , and see the card (handmade, of course) with a thank you  from Lorraine (no.........thank YOU Lorraine!), and underneath was her unique handmade envelope that everything came in. (BTW, if you click on the close up of this, you'll see that the card has my initial on the upper corner--Lorraine left nothing undone!)  And this is what I actually won--

A textile collage--beautiful fibers and  other collage elements layered just perfectly. And the text on it  "Flowers are the poetry of nature"--love it!   Thank you Lorraine!   But that wasn't all that was in there--she  "threw in some goodies, hoping that I could use them"

Hand-dyed fabrics, lace and doilies--are you kidding me?--I would have been  happy with  this  if  it  was the giveaway.

Aren't these great?  Wait a minute, where you going?!  You didn't think that was all, did you?  Of course not,

I won her from Micki from The Secret Hermit,  This art piece was meant to be mine--for when I get fustrated with myself--I just have to look at  it and read it--"Believe in Yourself"!    I met Micki even before I had a blog.  I met her in my first ever online  class in Mystele's Gut Art class.  We sat next to each other in the classroom and talked alot.   Sometimes we weren' paying attention and it would have annoyed any other teacher, but not Mystele--she's one of those teachers that you wish you had in high school--you would have actually learned something.  I learned alot from this class--to  this day, one of my favorite classes.  And it wasn't just all of the many techniques she showed us--it was more of  learning about ourselves and why we create. 

But  I'm digressing.......here they are in their permanent home--

keeping me company in my art room

I'm so happy that I won all of these....but wait...hold the phone...oh yeah....I won another one : )  It hasn't come yet, so I'll wait to show you.  Now mind you, all of these winnings happened in a 2 week period.  So what do you think?--a fluke of nature (remember I never win anything)--maybe, but at least I can say that I've won now.  Hold on there....I just got another email on Friday informing me that I've won yet another giveaway!!!   You'll have to wait for this one too, but  trust  me,  it's a good one!

Now to change the subject.  Just as I'm  getting over my withdrawal symptoms from American Idol and Survivor,  along comes another reality show--Work of Art--The Next Great Artist--same format as the others--someone  gets eliminated every week after competing, but this time, it's with artists--makes for great reality with the added bonus of seeing them in their process of making art.  I miss talking to my blogger buddies about the reality shows--so come on guys--start watching so we can discuss.  It's on the Bravo channel, but if you don't get that channel, you can watch it on hulu.com


Thursday, June 10, 2010

With Help From Jane and Inspiration From Jen

I'm  sure everyone knows Grittyjane--she is such a talented artist.  And she's also very generous in sharing her techniques with us through  her  tutorials.  Her one tutorial is prints on wood, which is basically what I've been doing, but her tutorial  (for only 10 dollars, I might add) has some helpful tips in it--it's well worth the price.

And the inspiration is from Jen, my artist friend that I talked about on this post.  Her website is
 p.s. enjoy your life, and on it she has her wood block prints, and that was my inspiration.  Her's are on  3 x 4 blocks that she cut from a 2 x 4.  So I decided to make my prints on blocks too--thanks again Jen for inspiring (I saw her at Fairport too!)  I wanted to tell her what I was doing, because I would have never thought of doing this.  Instead of getting a 2 x 4 board,  I decided on  a 2 x 6 one, and cut them up so that they would be 4 x 6 blocks. So for about $6.00, I was able to get 24 little blocks.

And THEN..... I was reading Sharon's blog and on this post, she was showing how she cropped her art, and it looked so cool this way.  So when I did my wood blocks, I decided to do this to a few also--

These 2 are actually from just one painting, but now it's 2!

And of course, I have to embellish and finish off the sides--

I want to finish off each one differently, so even though there will be multiple prints, they'll still be a bit different from one another.

So when I look at what I've done with these so far--

as a group--I'm really happy with the direction my art has been going--it makes me smile : )

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fairport Canal Days

That's where I was this weekend--Fairport, NY --a great little town or village as they refer to it there, just outside of Rochester.  This is one of my favorite shows, because I love this town.  It's right on the Erie Canal.

They have a lift bridge there--an angled one--from what I understand, there's not many of them still being used in the country.  Every once in a while, you would here the horn go off alerting everyone that the bridge was going to be  lifted for the tour boat or ferry  that's passing underneath--

I was able to catch it when they were lifting it for the tour boat

But let me back up from the beginning.  My employee (aka husband) and I got there bright and early Saturday morning at 6:00 AM to set up my tent and display.  And my tent is not a pop up tent--it's the kind you have to build from the bottom up--a very sturdy durable tent, that I swear by, and it was certainly tested this weekend, let me tell you, but it came through for me as it always does.  Saturday the weather was warm and fairly sunny, but the problem was the wind, not breeze, but WIND!

The show was set up all over the town (the street shows are my favorite).  I was in this parking lot--

Ready for the show--

A couple more "praintings' that I did last week for the show--

 I have to say, that I've been very successful since I've "debuted" my ladies, which makes me very happy.  You know how you get a little nervous when you introduce your new work to the public--wondering how they'll react to it--it's been very positive!! 

So after the initial rush (I did very well), I took a little walk to take photos, but it was a little tricky, because of this--

It was packed!!

Bayou Billy's--My husband's favorite place to eat!

Some really cool artists there too!
And the town itself  has the greatest little shops there--

So when you do these outdoor shows, the real boss is Mother Nature. After Saturday's 35-40 mph wind gusts. This is what she doled out on Sunday--

A nice, rainy, gloomy, COLD (especially when you only brought sandals and light-weight clothes  with you, because the weather on Friday morning called for it to be in the 70's all weekend)  day : )
But the sun did come out--YAY!!-- at 5:00 exactly, and I 'll give you one guess to when the show was over!!


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