Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow - has it really been that long?? It's been a busy summer! We took a vacation with my family in July. Then I got a new computer and have been moving over to it for the last month. I also did a ton of work for an art project at my day job - that doesn't happen very often. (I've taken pictures of it, but I can't post anything until after the contest it was done for is over.) We have also been cleaning out our house for a big yard sale in September. No closets were left unscathed!

I did do a project for Michelle Wards GPP Street team blog to "knock yourself off". I just started "for real" art journaling recently - but I've kept sketchbooks, and "play" books and idea books for years.

I did this page a few years ago at the beach. I always take art stuff to the beach. I get inspired there. My nephews both like to do art with me, so I try to take a variety of stuff. I took construction paper, school glue and scissors for playing around with cut outs, and we had a blast. We also used newspapers - they are always readily available when my Dad's around. Actually, I think I had more fun with the cutouts than they did even - I continued doing them when I got back home.

So, this time, I did an art journal page using the same general shapes. I started with similar colors and I used cutouts as well.

Since the original was done at the beach, and we had just gotten back from there, I used the beach as my inspiration to finish up the page. I really like the way it turned out.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Being in the Flow

I am doing a lot of art journaling lately, and trying to be "in the flow". That has led me to think about when I've been there in the past.

The best time I can think of was when my niece was visiting - 5 or 6 years ago, and we went down to the studio to play. She was probably around 11 or 12 then, didn't know what to paint and was very hesitant. I encouraged her to just start, and ideas will come.

To encourage her, I started doing the same thing myself. I used my paints without fear because I was just playing! I found that painting today and hung it in up in the nearly finished studio, just to remind myself - that's what I want my art experience to be.

I have to think about the process - not the product. There have been so many times:
  • I've hesitated because I was afraid that what I made wouldn't be any good
  • I didn't use art supplies I bought because I wanted to "save" them for when I was really good
  • I got frustrated and set a project aside because it wasn't turning out the way I wanted
  • I stopped a couple of steps into a painting because the next thing I did might be "wrong"

I have now made a promise to myself to do the art, make a mess and keep going even if it's bad.

I've got the mess part down - And I'm having fun!

Monday, June 29, 2009

My first post - yay! No more lurking.
I have been working hard on finishing my studio for the last year. I've decided it will never really be finished, and I'm not going to keep pressuring myself to "get everything done". I realized I was keeping myself blocked - I had to finish the list, but I really didn't want to do the things on the list, so I procrastinated until I didn't go down there at all.
After much creative therapy reading (I'll discuss those in a later post), I've decided to enjoy the process of what I'm doing - with a focus on finishing - not perfect - just finished - small successes. So, I made some tags for my glass shelves.
I've been thinking about these for a while. I saw a post and a magazine article by Deryn Mentock at - she made these beautiful earrings with looped and twisted wire, words cut from books, and epoxy. They were gorgeous leaves attached to the sides of a larger bead. Anyway, I thought I could adapt the idea for my labels.
I twisted copper wire for hours! I twisted, looped, and twisted again and couldn't get any of them compact enough to make a label. Then, I remembered my stained glass supplies. Since it was copper, I used my soldering iron and lead free solder to attach the ends of my loops together. I made a jig from a piece of 2x4 and a couple of nail gun nails that I snipped the end off of. Next time, I'll take the time to sand the top of the nails - I got a nasty scratch on the back of my arm when I reached across the top of the jig.

I switched to a more fireproof surface for soldering after the first few - I didn't want to burn down the house. I cut decorative papers into the same oval shape and stamped and distressed them. I used packing tape transfers for the words (NF and FUS denote fusible and non-fusible). Then, I attached both peices to the sticky side of some packing tape and added the epoxy. When they were set, I cut away the excess packing tape. I used decorative tacks to attach them to the slots of my glass shelf.

I love the way they turned out. I was going for rustic - kind of like the labels on those old locker baskets. I think I got it. And, the interesting thing is that I did get some work done on my list items as well while I was waiting on things to dry. I also did some work in a couple of art journals I have going. It was a good weekend!