Thursday, June 29, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - Open Studio

"It’s open studio week. Create anything you would like and share it with us, along with pictures of where you created it."
I'm late.... this was the challenge for last week, but since new challenge isn't posted yet I guess it's okay. I don't have a studio, but I do have a great spot for creating - a big table, drawers... Unfortunately, most of the time it looks like you see it on the following picture:
Of course, I couldn't create paste papers in that mess, so I invaded the dining room table and the balcony.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tag booklets

Connie and I had our art date on Monday morning. She is a sweetheart - I call her my Santa Clause because she always brings me lovely things. This time there was a bag filled with brushes, double stick tape, brush basin... and my absolute favorite - a selection of old keys. I love looking at them!
We were having fun with distress inks and shipping tags. The technique is easy, messy and I love the results. We started by swiping three different colors directly from ink pads on a piece of wax paper. Then we sprayed them with water and pressed the tags on the inky puddles. The colors blended so nicely! Little stamping over and the tags were done.
What to do with the tags? So many things... This time I decided to make tiny journals. They are all similar, but have different closures and embellishments. I scattered them on etsy, eBay and even my website.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Artwords - Transformation

Another great word from Artwords blogspot! For some reason after reading the word transformation I thought about pregnancy... At first I wasn't sure if it is on the subject, but the more I thought about it the more transformations I could remember (from the time long ago when I was pregnant). I wanted to show transformations from the time we are born (not only we.... everything in nature) and especially transformations we as women go through. My journal entry didn't turn out completely the way I "saw it"... I may revisit it one day when my skills (hopefully) get better.


It seams like I didn't create ACEOs in ages! They are small! Several months ago I was so afraid to try anything bigger than 2.5"x3.5"... it's good to get out of the comfort zone from time to time.
As I'm sure you noticed that English is not my native language. I'm fighting with my sentences all the time. Right now I'm not sure if "Carry the sweet memories" makes any sense... Is it correct? Help...please.....

Friday, June 23, 2006

This and that...

Chrysti is organizing her studio and asked us to share our organizing tips and photos. So, here is my favorite organizational storage piece. I got it on a yard sale years ago. I'm not sure if it was meant for an office or a workshop, but it is very heavy and sturdy. The drawers are very deep and have spacers that can be moved to the position you like. I have so many things in these drawers... beads, wire and tools, eyelets and similar stuff, favorite stamps and stamp pads, cutting tools, bits and pieces... It would probably be a good idea to put labels (I started), but I use it so much that I know pretty much what's in each drawer. Even a better idea would be to keep the space in front of them clear so that I can open them without having to move too much stuff...
BTW - please go and check out Chrysti's blog. She is a great artist and a very giving person. She has a wonderful store on eBay and Collage Images group on Flickr where people share mostly royal free vintage photos. And, of course - Try It Tuesdays!
What else is new in my life? Not much... I decided that it was time for me to go back to the gym regularly. I stopped two months ago and I don't feel as good as when I'm exercising. So, to jump start my motivation again I bought the red iPod holder (I can't exercise without my 'gym playlist') and I have a new pedometer. Everyone is talking about the 10.000 steps we should take daily. I had no idea that it is that difficult. This is what I walked today - 6271 - a most of it was from the gym! I'm in shock!
I don't have any new artwork to show. I can't organize my time now that the school is over. I have small patches of time during the day that I should probably put to a better use... This is what I do - I take my watercolors to the pool and play with them while Hana is having fun with her friends. The time passes quickly... the only problem is that I have no clue how to paint anything decent with them. I'm showing this so that you can have a good laugh... Oh well...everything takes time and it's actually fun to experiment. Hope that everyone is enjoying the summer!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Summer!

First day of summer... extra hot weather. My left arm (the one I use for everything) hurts so bad that I want to cry... but I didn’t because I received a lovely, completely unexpected package in the mail. It made the pain go away. Although I didn't expect a package I could recognize the style on the box before I read the name. Dear Cinda (Turquoise Cro) packed a box of goodies for me! A feast for all senses! My daughter wants to eat the candles - they smell unbelievable good (cinnamon buns & marble cake) YUM!!! I looked with wonder at the five-dollar bill until I read, "ice cream money - treat's on me". Thank you so much! I will eat the ice cream, thinking about you. I hope we meet one day. I love this cyber world because it makes the real world seem smaller, warmer and friendlier.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - In Good Time

"Get out the timer and set it for a reasonable amount of time — I am going to suggest 30 minutes, but you can adjust the time limit to what best suits your project, medium and work methodologies, but try to allow yourself less time than it usually takes you to complete a piece. Then challenge yourself to start and finish a piece of art before time is up. The point is not to haphazardly throw something together just for the sake of finishing it, but to challenge yourself to work fast so there is no time for second guessing yourself or letting any pesky inner critics speak their voices."
I didn't set the timer, but all photos in this entry are done much faster than I usually work. Yesterday I sketched some lovely green trees (minus the green leaves) while my daughter was having fun in the swimming pool. Last night... half asleep, I sketched this face on a piece of paper (that I used previously to try out my new spider pens). Today I wanted to draw/paint more trees... so I decided to try the "Inspire me Thursday" challenge and work fast, without second guessing every brush move. And I did. I combined the two sketches and finished this canvas much faster than I would normally do. My inner critic SCREAMED and is still screaming, but I feel some sense of calm... I don't know why. Probably because I decided that however it turns out it will be okay.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Prints, fabric painting, crayons...

I received today prints from my art journal pages. I was amazed with the quality - they are almost touchable! I listed them on etsy.
Other than that - I'm still trying out techniques from "Collage unleashed". Today Hana and I decided to play with fabric. We scraped acrylic paints with old credit cards, stamped, stenciled... This is her piece:
And here is mine:
I also tried 'coloring' paper with melted crayons. It took a lot of time to cover both sides of a 12"x12" paper but it was fun. It was interesting to see that Crayola crayons are far better than Rose Art crayons. The RoseArt crayons had almost no pigment and they were melting in a strange way... I threw them away (that's how bad they were).
Very crazy colors! I have no idea what to do with these papers... but I'm sure that they will be great for something.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Wall hanging

I'm still very much inspired by Traci Bautista's workshop and her book. I had great fun creating this wall hanging. It was very a freeing experience. I used so many things that my desk is in such a mess that I couldn't find a place for my cup of coffee. I have a tiny craft sewing machine and it worked well on all these layers... but now I want a real one so that I can play more. Now only to find a place for it...

It's on eBay.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Important stuff...

I'm back from Las Vegas. It was the best mix of business and pleasure. I got to spend a lot of time with my husband and while he was busy being smart on the conference I had time for myself. I wanted to see the Hoover Dam so that was the first thing we did and it was wonderful! I spent two hours in the aquarium - for the first time in my life without children. I missed pointing things out and saying and hearing "look at this" or "look at that". Still, it was a great experience because I was taking quick sketches in my little moleskin. It was so dark inside that I didn't even notice that I used two different pens... That explains the "quality" of sketches... just joking - I couldn't sketch better even if I had all the time in the world and the best lighting. It was fun!
Today is a special day - it is our 20th wedding anniversary! Half of my life I've been married to my D.H. I'm not big on holidays; any dates that have to be celebrated etc. so there will be no celebrations or presents today. I cherish every single day that we spend together, every sweet word that I hear on daily basis, all the laughs and support and love that was strong from the beginning but seems to find a way to get stronger with every year. In a world where so many people are looking for soul mates I feel very lucky to have found mine so early in life.
Another big thing today... so bittersweet... my baby girl graduated from elementary school! Of course I'm not allowed to call her baby... she is a preteen and wants to be treated like a young adult... but this is my blog and I can pretend that she is still a baby even if I'm well aware that she's not. She can't wait to start middle school and I'm the one not ready for it. The new school is big and scary and different... the kids are also big, scary and different and I guess I'll have to use this summer to 'mature' and allow her to enjoy growing up. Her teacher wrote: "Hana is an incredible artist and should take art for an elective". I will try to get her more active in "Illustration Friday", "Artwords" and similar things to see what she comes up with.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Artwords - Play

I have been thinking about the word play for days... and was getting very frustrated with myself. It shouldn't be so difficult. Is it possible that I forgot how to play? Sometimes I think that all I do is just that - play... but that makes me depressed because you are not supposed to play all the time at 41. On the other hand I have to overthink everything... whether what I created is good enough, what can I do to make it better, when will I stop pretending to be an artist (usually after spending too much time looking at other blogs and websites)... And the 'biggest' thought of all - why bother when I'll never be Leonardo... The answer is simple - because I have to... I love to create... it is fun and challenging and interesting... And this gets me to the topic of PLAY. The workshop I attended yesterday was the right medicine for me - play with colors, textures, materials, pictures... everything. Unleash your creativity and enjoy your art! PLAY! And I did - I created this colorful page with dyed paper towels and other things, I stitched, doodled, colored, stamped... played like a kid and decided that it's okay not to be Leonardo.

Friday, June 9, 2006

My first workshop!!!

Did you see Traci Bautista's book "Collage Unleashed"? I was very lucky to receive the book several days ago and to go to her workshop today. It was just great! I had the best time! The workshop was fast paced and I'm sure that I'll be dreaming all the colors and techniques she showed us. I am going on a trip on Sunday and I can't wait to come back and play with my paints...I feel very inspired right now (just what I needed).
Traci is a sweetheart! You see her here showing one of her collages. We had an opportunity to look through her journals and it was just the thing I like the most - a celebration of colors, textures, different papers, drawings, words, beads, fibers... You could look at them for hours! We had a chance to work a lot, but nothing is finished... these are basically some samples of the backgrounds, or better said - building blocks for layered collages.
Finally - I have to share how she signs her books... Fun!!! If you have the opportunity to go on one of her workshops - don't miss it!

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Shoes, birds and a workshop

For some reason I feel bad if I miss writing in my blog for a day or two. Not that I have anything important to say, but I still have the need to mark the day. I have a new computer!!! An Apple mini! While it is cute, I feel kind of out of place - I've been a faithful PC girl for ages. For some reason the photos look less bright and saturated... I don't know if it is only on my monitor or if Photoshop works differently on Mac. I'll have to ask my husband...
I went on a shopping spree today! That's highly unusual for me... I live in my favorite black clothes all the time... but I really needed something that's not black because the weather is so nice that it is too hot in black. So, I bought a new pair of jeans, some cute tops... green, blue, purplish.
I ordered shoes online (!?!) from Zappos and they came today!!! They are like the ones on the picture but without the silver thing (just black). How cute!!! I wore them when I went to pick up my daughter. I didn't count on the fact that she was on a field trip and that they will be more than hour late. Ooouuuch!

I didn't have a lot of time for creating, but I did play with some 4x4 canvases. They are not finished... I want to write some sayings, but I'm scared now (because they look kind of cute just like this... I think).
And - the big finale - my dear friend Connie and I will have fun being "unleashed" with Traci Bautista on Friday. Hope to learn new things!

Monday, June 5, 2006

What's in a name?

AnnaX shared a fun link today. Check the meaning of your name. I was happy to read mine :-).

(Dawn, Slavic origin)

Versatile, intelligent and artistically talented. You love to enjoy yourself and tend to experience a happy domestic life and material success. You have a methodical and thorough mind and are able to organize large projects easily. Charming and likeable and with more than your share of sex appeal you tend to find yourself in the spotlight and much admired by others. Life is more fun with you around.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

ZNE theme week - Birds and Hats

on eBay
I don't think I ever created an ACEO so quickly! It was almost 11P.M. when I saw on Izabella's blog her lovely entry for ZNE theme week. Somehow I missed even reading about the theme for this month, but when I saw that it was "Birds and Hats" I knew that I had to participate. So, in a spur of inspiration I made the card, scanned it and listed it on eBay just shy of midnight! Search eBay for "ZNE theme week" to see the other entries.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - Functional Art

Another great weekly challenge from "Inspire Me Thursday": "This week’s challenge is to create a piece of functional art. Something that not only beautifies, but that also serves some purpose or function." I need to make a journal, so I was thinking of some book binding technique but then I decided to check the links that Misty & Melanie provided. I found a tutorial for a polymer clay bracelet that I just HAD to try. Of course, I changed the design, but used the basic explanation. Isn't it interesting? I loved making it and I'll probably wear it (or sell it)! How do you like it?

Friday, June 2, 2006

The shade hugs my heart

Walnut ink on wood with acrylic glazes brushed over... never tried that before.
It's on etsy. I used the 'Try it Tuesdays' technique from last week - the tree is laser printed and transferred.

Try It Tuesdays - Easy Plantable Seed Paper

You can see a lovely technique explained this week on "Try It Tuesdays". I am not participating this week. My paper making stash is buried somewhere... But I used to make paper all the time (two years ago) and I LOVED IT!!! I found some old photos to share.
This is how I made paper from fallen yellow ginkgo leaves. It is messy and doesn't look like much, but the result is AMAZING - a soft, beautiful, unique paper with rich fall colors.
Here is one tiny piece of the finished paper (layered over some other handmade paper) where you can see a bit of the texture and color.
And here is something that is easy and fun to do - making paper bowls. They are unbelievably strong. I have used the bowl pictured here for year now - it holds my car keys, change and stuff like that.Here are some other examples - bowls I made for an exchange for the PaperMaking group on Yahoo.Finally - a silly picture of me making blue colored paper... I didn't like the blue color but that was the only pigment I had and I had to try it.