Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankfulness


We don't usually do the traditional fare for Thanksgiving but this year, we're breaking with our non-tradition and going with tradition.

Yea, that made sense, right?

The family is still mostly sleeping, except for Richie and I.  We've had breakfast and now the turkey thawed and is going in the oven in about an hour, the cornbread is made and drying for making the dressing.  Pies are in the fridge and the makings for lots of wonderful side dishes are at the ready.

I thought I'd take a quick break to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I have much to be thankful for this year...love, happiness, my family, finding my way in this journey we call life, and for you, my friends.

My wish for each of you is that you all have much to be thankful for, today and through the coming year.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sparkles, Completed

I finally managed to finish my Pretty Girl, "Sparkles." And she does sparkle, even though the pictures don't pick it up very well. (I do have to replace a little blue star in her hair and she has to be sealed...but creatively, she's finished.)

The star she's holding is totally glistening with glitter...and the blue dots you see are a transparent pearlescent paint that you can only see when looking at her at certain directions.

Blah, blah, blah...nevermind.

Just trust me, she looks much different in person...pictures never do capture everything.

The words underneath her say "She lights up the night with sparkling stars"....since you can't read them from this angle, I thought I'd throw that in there. (Thanks for asking, Teale!)

I want to seal her with beeswax but she's big (12" x 24") and I don't have much beeswax so I may have to go with polyurethane for this one.

I dunno.

I am ready to start my next pretty girl...I already have tons of ideas for her.

Mmmm, I love creating art. It makes me feel so good and productive and freeeeeeeee.

Oh, and by the way, I haven't cut my hair....yet. LOL But the day isn't over, either.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Monday, November 24, 2008

Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow

I am tired of my hair (this happens every so often) and think I'm going to cut it all off...VERY short.

Yea, I'm thinking ultra-short...I like short hair, it makes my life easier and I think I look better in short hair. Besides, it leaves me more time for me to make art and create crafty things!

Hmmmm.....I will give it a little more thought but I'm feeling it's a done deal.

Just thoughts.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Homemade Stamps

Just a quickie before dinner but I just had to share my newest homemade stamps.

I started with very geometric shapes in yesterdays post but I got this idea in my head (you know how we artsy-fartsy types are, always dreaming something new up) and thought I'd carry my stamp creating a step further.

These are today's creations in my stamp making venture...

I am loving on all of them but I really like the sunset (or sunrise, depending on your state of mind).

Okay, they're all my favorites...the stars (which will be getting good use in my "Sparkles" Pretty Girl later tonight), and how can you not dig the leafy branch, the leaf, the harlequinesque (yea, made that one up myself just now) diamonds...just all of them.  I really like them.

  And, I'm going to go ahead and admit it but don't go telling anyone I was on here bragging on myself or anything, okay?....OMG I am so impressed with myself and the feather!

This feather is the BOMB!

Look at the detail!!!

Wow, huh?  Yea, me likey!  LOL

Oh, and someone (was it you, Teale) mentioned the durability of the foam and having to use acrylic paints only on them.  Well, before I began my little venture into stamp creating I tested out something to see if I would be able to use them more than once (cause that would really piss me off if I put all this time and effort into something that I could only use once!) and this is what I found....

You are not stuck using just acrylic paints.  If you want to use inks or chalks, you can.  To clean these babies you just have to be gentle and use Simple Green household cleaner.  It won't deteriorate the foam and will clean the ink off like butta!

YEA...these babies will go the distance...trust me.

Now get out there and make ya some, hear me?  LOL

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homemade Stamps - Tutorial

I have been really needing (okay, wanting but still!) some background stamps to use on my mixed media pieces. Well, not just background stamps but all kinds of stamps...I love stamps and they are so quick and easy to use and add interest to the pieces I'm working on...but finances do NOT allow for any unnecessary purchases right now. I mean, if it ain't the electric bill, water bill, groceries or mortgage, it isn't in the budget.

So, I did what any self-respecting artist would do....I put on my thinking cap and got creative!

What do you get when you take the Jenga game blocks that your grandboy has lost a few out of the box...throw in some craft foam you have laying around (that was supposed to be used for some other project you never got around to), a pair of scissors, some Aleene's clear Tacky glue and a heavy dose of your imagination?

Well, with an hour or two on your hands and
some ideas in your head you end up making your OWN stamps!  Just cut out your design ideas from the fun foam sheet, attach it to the wooden block with some of your clear Tacky Glue, and wait for them to dry.  Voila`...you have homemade stamps that you made with your own two hands!

YAY for imagination and ingenuity, huh?

Here's the first set I made and some stamped impressions from the stamps I made today.  They turned out pretty cool, huh?  Yea, I'm likin' 'em big time.

Now I just have to find some bigger blocks (maybe in the grandboy's toy box?) so I can make even bigger stamps for larger backgrounds!  Uh huh!

Anyone have an idea for how I can make a handwritten text stamp?  That's big one my "want list" but I haven't figured out how to do that one yet.  If you've got ideas or decide to make some yourself, do share...I'd love to see.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging.
Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Sparkles gets a Dress

It was a productive and creative day for me and "Sparkles"...

I finished woodburning, the first layer of the background and she's not naked anymore, either! More shading on her face, some detail to the stars and to "Sparkles" herself.

I'm not minding the grain running through the wood anymore, either. It gives her kind of a rustic/folkart look that I am liking more than I thought I would.

I am finding that I am pretty meticulous and into detail the more I do to her. I still have some detail work to her face to do before I move on to adding to the mixed media effect of the piece. The shading around the edges of her face are a little yellow and dark for my liking so I am going to tone her down a little.

Now, she's finally got her clothes on in this one. You can't see the sparkles in her dress but trust me, they're there.

I'm pretty proud of the shading to the underside of her dress, too. I'm liking my little "Sparkles" girl...she looks peaceful and happy as she hangs the stars in their place in the sky.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sparkles, In Progress

Just a quick peek at the Pretty Girl I have dubbed "Sparkles" that I'm working on....


This is just her humble beginnings...she's been drawn and woodburned but only the slightest bit of color/shading has began on her face.

I'll keep ya updated on her progress.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

SALE and Trial & Error

First, before I forget to mention it...I've decided that I'm tired of the things in my Etsy shop. I want to work on new things but can't find the umph to do it when there are already things done that haven't sold. Sooooo, I'm having a SALE!!! Yes, a pretty good one, too.

Think Christmas Gifts! Yea, load up on some cools stuff, handmade at that, for one of a kind Holiday gift giving. Check it out through the link in my sidebar or you can click HERE. Go forth and buy lots of stuff...clean out my shop and make me start from scratch...please. *muah* Thanks. LOL

In other news....I'm working on a new Pretty Girl...a much larger one...12" x 24" birchwood board is my canvas. I thought I'd be intimidated by starting one this large but, surprisingly, I'm not...I'm just seeing it as more space for creativity.

Yea, it's all in your perception in the long run. And that's a life thing, not just an art thing, either.

This Pretty Girl, Queen of Big Dreams, is an ATC sized (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") piece I've been playing with for a couple of days at bedtime. I have to doodle or draw or do some kind of art before I can sleep. Many nights it amounts to doing some artistic and verbal vomit combined in my art journal but other days, it's things like this girl.

I find that I like to play around with different things and see how they will turn out on my pieces.

With her, I tried some embossing poweder in her hair...eh, not likin' it so much. It's too...too....blunt...doesn't mesh into her hair enough. But that's okay, we try things to see if they work...the ones that do, we keep doing...the ones that don't, we ditch.

I think if I'm going to emboss in the hair it will need to be a more gradual effect next time and not such blunt beginnings and endings.

Oh well...I still like her. Especially her blue-gray eyes. Piercing, aren't they.

Okay, off to work on my BIG Girl.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peace Girl

I spent Sunday and Monday fighting one killer migraine. I HATE migraines. I never had one until 1996 and when I had the first one I thought I was dying...and I've been having them regularly ever since that first one.

Have I said how much I hate migraines? Yea, well, I do.

GAH!

So, I've gotten no creating done for the past couple of days. I start to get all kinds of antsy when I don't get to create some art...any kind of art, even just some random doodles or an art journal page or two. But when you're fighting a head-splitting migraine, creativity just ain't happenin'.

It did finally fade to a dull ache instead of a near-death experience around 11pm last night so I had to get up and add some layering to my latest Pretty Girl. She's coming along nicely, I think....

There is a little glare to the top of the photo but it's not like that in person...and her flowery dress is covered in brilliant glitter, too, and that doesn't show up.

Since I have always been about Peace & Love, she seemed like a logical first full piece to work on. Richie (the hubby) said, upon seeing her, "Baby, she looks like you!"...talk about sweet! That made my day.

The quote at the bottom says "There is no way to Peace. Peace is the way." How fitting, wouldn't you say?

I still have other layering to do but I think I have a good start on her. I love the Peace Dove on her shoulder...what a great symbol of these changing times and my wish for the future. Peace. What a grand wish of mine. Of many of us.

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one."

Yes, oh yes, Mr. Lennon...you are NOT the only one. I, too, dream of it.

Here's her little closer view of her face and the top part of the piece. She's not done but I do feel like I'm actually making progress.

What I am positive of is that I'm learning. I'm learning and creating. Those are the important things.

Just ask Peace Girl...she'll tell ya...it's all about the process...the Peace and the Love.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Joy & "Rules"

Crafty Blog of the Day: Caspiana
Such a wonderful mixed media artist that is a
plethora of ideas and showcase of beauty.
Drop by and see her...and don't forget to comment
and tell her Barb the Craft Junkie sent ya!

============================================

I woke up this morning in complete and total joy. It's been a long time in the coming but here it is...I am learning to enjoy the journey, the creative process, the ART so much! The more art I create, the more I learn and the more I learn, the more I want to create.

I learn from those artists that I have associated myself with and those I've befriended or been befriended by. I learn from my mentor/teacher, Suzi Blu and the wonderful class/workshop of hers. I learn so very much from trial and error. I learn by doing, trying, experimenting.

I love learning. It is making my art better and my art is making ME better. There is no better payoff.

I learned a wonderful set of lessons from fellow blogger and mixed media artist, Caspiana (Sarah Whitmire) today. I don't think she will mind my reposting of her lessons learned because I think they are an awesome set of "Rules" or whatever you might want to call them and they should be shared with fellow artisans and craftresses!

1. Everything looks better framed (or at the very least, sides painted). An ATC or another small piece of art should have chalk, ink…something, along the edges to frame the piece.

2. Pay attention to all the senses. For example, if your piece is a book, how does it feel in your hands? How do the pages sound when they are turned? Does it smell like an old library or a glue factory? Take all of these things into consideration.

3. Anyone can embellish. Think of this as the “jewelry” of your piece. Don’t stress about it.

4. Anyone can choose pleasing colors. Think about the colors you use together in your wardrobe or to decorate your house. Use what you love and what works for you.

5. Seal and coat. Everything looks better with a nice finishing coat of beeswax, matt medium, Gloss medium, or spray coating. Be kind to your art.

6. Don’t stick your focal point right in the middle of a piece. After you know why, then you are allowed to break this rule.

7. Stamps are tools. Don’t be afraid to get these dirty. Repeat, overlap, and don’t get so caught up on one “perfect” image.

8. Stamps are accents not focal points.

9. Don’t ever fall in-love with one part of a piece and “baby” it. A great teacher once told me, if you find yourself falling in love with one corner…paint over it until it is the same as the rest.

10. Don’t be afraid to get messy.

11. Allow yourself to make mistakes.

12. Fibers are your friends.

13. The one who dies with the most techniques… still dies. Don’t get over whelmed with learning a large quantity of techniques. Focus on one or two and PERFECT them. Make them your own, build on them.

14. Don’t try to plan things out.

15.. Revisit your work. Hang it up. Keep it close. Learn from it.

16. Don’t rework old pieces. Always start fresh.

17. Piece not working out? Paint over it or tear it up and throw it away. You learned what didn’t work…now move on.

18. Just because something works for someone else doesn’t mean it will for you.

19. Keep a notebook with you at all times to jot down ideas.

20. Go to bed thinking about your art. If you do this with intention you will have new ideas and solutions when you wake up.

21. When you see art you like write down why you like it in your notebook. Was it the colors, subjects, use of materials? Refer to this when making your own pieces.

22. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

23. Think outside the box. Use materials you don’t think will work. Make them work.

24. Ask for help when (not if) you need it. Altered Artists are amazing people. We stand out because of our willingness to share and help each other. You’d be a fool not to take advantage of this.

25. You should see your hand in every piece that you make. By this I mean that there should be brushstrokes, doodling or drawing, something somewhere to show a person has been here.

26. Every piece should have at least one secret. You should never be able to see every detail all at once. There should always be a little something special hidden for your viewer to find. The best secrets take years to reveal themselves.

27. Everything is better with Texture. I can’t stress this enough.

28. Everything is better with layers. I can’t stress this enough.

29. Every piece should tell a story. You may not know what that is right away but if after working a while you still can’t find it see rule #17.

30. You know you have succeeded in a piece when you can’t imagine ever giving it away or selling it. And that’s when you should.

31. Allow others to find their own truths in your art. Only explain yourself when asked. and only if you want to.

32. Don’t be afraid to shock people.

33. Know your audience.

34. Take criticism but don’t live by it.

35. No one ever became famous by following the rules and playing nice.

36. Don’t buy into what everyone else is doing. If everyone is making art about Zebras wearing hats then become obsessed with Lions.

37. Speak your own truths.

38. Have no fear.

39. Find refuge with kindred spirits.

40. Live with intention.

41. Do what you love.

42. Break all the rules. (This is one of my favorites!)
These are just such fabulous "rules" that I had to share them. I hope you find them useful, too. Now get out there and create something...make it something beautiful and fun and silly and special and messy and perfectly YOU!

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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