Copyright

All photos. ©2005 - 2014 : Catherine Matthews-Scanlon / Catherine Scanlon Designs unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved. Please do not use, copy, or reproduce the photos from this website for any reason without my express permission. THANK you!
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My Artful Life Planner

My Artful Life Planner
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Wednesday, February 29

The Garden of Good

Each day as I work in my art journal I think about the message I want to send out to the universe. Lately I've been surprised, shocked and even a little intimidated with the way that people treat each other. Not only in the artist community that I belong to -- but world-wide. Every where people (I know I'm generalizing -- there are good people out there) have no compassion, empathy or even tolerance for others. 
and it bothers me. A.L.O.T
I'm thinking about this today because my 12 year old came home from an after school program complaining about another kid in the program. The other kid was passing gas uncontrollably during a quiet part of the program -- and laughing out loud and causing a disturbance for the other kids and distracting from the exercise, which was a Unified Movement/Tai Chi/Martial Arts type of program. 

I was really upset with him that he complained and complained about her. 
What I know about the other child is she is challenged in some way, how I'm not sure. But she struggles. And it's my JOB to teach my child to empathize with her. To understand her and to be good and kind to her. Whether or not she struggled in life or not -- it's my JOB to set the example for my child to be good, and kind and understanding. 
In order for me to be a good example, I need to show him exactly HOW I am good and kind and understanding of others. 
I do this by talking with him. And by setting a good example. 


I am showing him the way in the Garden of Good, how to live by the Golden Rule and that there is a reward for goodness, empathy and understanding. I certainly hope it sticks -- and if more parents taught their children this our world would be a better place to live. 

So as you are going about your day -- thinking about how to be successful and working hard at it -- remember to be nice. Thanks for stopping by, have a GREAT day, until next time! 

Tuesday, February 28

Be the Flower

Today is the first time I've worked in my Art Journal since the beginning of last week. I've been SO sick. I don't DO sick very well, sleeping during the day goes against my grain -- and while I didn't sleep during the day -- I did spend a lot of time lounging under the covers on the couch.  And Nyquil. Yes, the woman that doesn't take medicine drank down a whole bottle during the course of the week. It was bad. Last night was my first night without it. That wasn't pretty either. But I did fall asleep on the couch at 8 and while I'm not 100% today -- I would say I'm at 79.5% ;-) and getting better.

I've been thinking about my journal. Daily. Longing to create in it. Because I had SO MUCH time to think about it, I thought about my process a LOT. What I use. How I use it. And I decided that I use to many "things" as design crutches. i CAN paint. i CAN draw. i CAN be the flower ;-)
You are probably wondering what that means, be the flower.  
Well let me tell you. My friend Nat told me a story when we were in Los Angeles and rather than bore you with the entire story -- the moral was we as artists should be the flower and not the gardener. We should cultivate our own beauty. 
I've been thinking about this a LOT. 
So today I challenged myself to create art in my art journal that used only acrylic paint, a paint brush (yes -- just one 1/2" flat wash brush), a 2" x 2" block of book paper, india ink and my dip pen - oh and a glue stick to adhere the book paper.

I'm pretty happy with my page today. Now, the challenge is to REMEMBER to be the flower. Thank you for stopping by, hope you had a great week. See you soon ;-)

Monday, February 20

Do it for Art!

I don't know about you, but I go through spells where I create a piece of art then look at it and say "why do I even bother?". It's not that great. It's not this or that and no one even wants it. I'm not good enough, I can't do this -- so REALLY why do I bother? It's like a little internal tantrum, that inner critic trying to get the best of me. 

I think every artist goes through spells like these. I like to call them the winter doldrums -- ha ha -- but this winter we haven't had much of the weather that causes the doldrums so I'm not sure what to blame it on. But I do know it happens to MOST artists at one time or another.  
 I have to keep reciting the following statement "do it anyway. Just do it, just get your butt into that studio and DO it."
Because the bottom line is really this -- who do we REALLY create art for? 

Is it for our friends?
Or for recognition?
Do you make it to support your family?
Do you make art just because you are good at it?
Or because you can?
Are you trying to impress someone?
Do you really LOVE making art?
Do it for Art. Do it for your heart. Surrender your heart to art -- and see where it takes you! 
Lots of things to think about today, I'd love to know why you make art! 

Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful day, not sure how many times I will post this week as I'm sicker than sick with the flu AND it's school vacation week. 

Saturday, February 18

Working from home

I've been working from home for the last 9 years, it started slowly - and hand-in-hand with being a stay at home Mom. It was easy to balance creating and being a Mom as the time I had to create was quite limited -- when he was having a nap, at pre-school and later on school -- and when I wasn't running errands, taking him to the doctor (he was sick a LOT) and the other responsibilities of being a wife and Mommy was when I made art. It also helped that my studio was in a little alcove in the living room.  

Because my time was limited -- I learned to channel my creative energy to be available when I had time. I'm not sure how I was/am able to do it -- but it happens. 

Don't get me wrong, I do go through spells where my creative energy goes on hiatus for a while -- but often I don't have the luxury to sit and quietly ponder this and wait for it to return. Deadlines happen. Work needs to get done. 
I think this is why Mixed Media Art, sewing, collage, painting, stamping etc. are so important to me -- like a creative crutch -- when I'm stuck on a painting or scrapbook page or whatever -- I switch gears and work in a different medium. It must have something to do with the neurons in my brain -- and doing something "new" kicks the creative ones into high gear, ha ha.
This diversity of mediums really has saved me. From getting bored. REAL bored. 
It hasn't saved my wallet though. 

Thank you for stopping by - have a GREAT weekend and do something new today -- introduce a new craft, medium or supply to your line- up and see how it invigorates you! Leave me a comment and let me know how it worked! 

Friday, February 17

Artful Cards at My Creative Classroom

I haven't been very good at sharing my teaching schedule with you, which I'm sorry for. I struggle with a balance between shameless-self promotion and sharing what I'm up to. I've never been good at tooting my own horn about good things that happen to me in my creative career - even when my husband calls me Hollywood for being on a craft show and a few other fun things like that -- I still feel uncomfortable with it. I think it's the way I was raised. That's my story anyway. 

So moving right along and plunging into it -- I thought I would share my schedule of classes for the Spring Semester over at My Creative Classroom. One is BRAND new, a few are repeats of very successful classes -- and one is a complete remake to update with new product and techniques. 


For my newest offering, I've got Artful Cards that starts March 9. I'm really excited about this class, and I've been wanting to bring it to you for a long time -- but with all the other things I've wanted to offer this one was put on the back burner. Until now -- well March 9th that is. In this class I will share with you all of my secrets to creating beautiful, creative Mixed Media Cards. Artful Cards is 5 weeks packed full of great information you won't want to miss! 

This class was SO successful the first time it ran that I am anxious to share it with you again -- and the ATC Swap that we did was so much fun that I hope to do it again for this course! This class is 4 weeks long and starts on March 23rd. 

This is the 4th of my Spellbinders Classes at My Creative Classroom -- and you won't be disappointed! Each of the 4 weeks I've the split the lesson into 3 parts - beginner, intermediate and advanced. I teach you a technique and then instruct you on how to make three cards using that technique -- you'll finish the course with 12 beautiful and creative cards -- it starts on April 27th! 

In case you couldn't tell, Mixed Media art is my passion lately -- and this course is definitely going to plunge you into the heart of creating mixed media art. This is the second in the series -- and only the second time it has been offered. Again, a highly popular course you won't want to miss, it starts on February 24th! 

I was going to retire this class, but it's been so popular among card makers and paper crafters that I've decided to completely revamp it with new projects, demos and a video here and there. Even if you've taken this class before there is more for you to learn -- this re-make starts May 4th. 

I hope to see you in a class sometime soon, thanks for stopping by -- have a WONDERFULLY creative day! 


Thursday, February 16

i DARE you!

It's funny how the universe has a way of sending out a message right when you (or a friend) needs to hear it. Yesterday I was playing in my Art Journal -- and got into a little FB conversation with a friend about if she had an art journal. She said she didn't, that she was afraid because she hadn't made art in such a long time. I had JUST finished this base to my art journal page for the day -- so I took the picture and shared it with her, I think it was just the message she needed to hear.  I hope she starts making art again. 

But as I worked on the page to add more color, more words, some image transfers, some stamping -- as it began to transform before my eyes -- it became clear to me that it was the message I needed to hear -- RIGHT HERE, RIGHT now. TODAY!
It really is time to think of yourself as a success!
I feel like I am at a cross road. The road to creativity on the left will take me one way, it is a path I have travelled often and has been successful for me. I have travelled it 3,730,705.37 times -- ha ha -- that's really just a random number -- but you get the point. I've kept it comfortable. Stayed on the safe path. 

will you just look at that messy desk!

 Is it time to take a risk? Time to get on the road that's not known or even well travelled. It's thick with brambles and over-grown. It's scary -- just like for many people. But they do it. It's not comfortable, but us creative types -- we're used to putting it out there and getting judged, criticised and the jealousy. We can take it -- I CAN TAKE IT, because I'm tough. Well, not really. I may have a hard coating but I'm really a bowl of mush on the inside, ha ha.
I love those vintage number stamps, they work best with india ink as they are pretty pitted and well-used!
The question du jour is: is it time to make a change. I know it's time to start thinking of myself as a successful artist and designer. But the change part, well I'm still letting this percolate -- there is so much to consider. 

So, I'm going to leave you with that ;-) Thank you so much for stopping by -- the thought to ponder for today -- do you know where your path is leading you? Hope you have a cREAtiVe day! See you next time!

Wednesday, February 15

One Last CHA Share

One of the highlights of going to the Craft and Hobby Association Meeting is getting a chance to meet up with friends you know from "on-line", some face book friends - and always the people that you work with for the places you design for. This year I was so blessed to spend a lot of time with my dear friend Nathalie Kalbach  from Germany. I know some of you know that we "met" when we were both designers for a Kit Club called ScrapMuse. I feel so lucky that we haven't drifted apart and continue to inspire and uplift each other as the years pass. It was wonderful to walk the show with her and talk about the trends, our art and where we want to go with this creative life of ours! We both missed our dear friend Vicki Chrisman, next time girlfriend. ;-)



I was also blessed to spend a little time talking with Heidi Swapp. She really is the nicest, most genuine person -- and very warm and down to earth. It was so awesome to share with her what an inspiration she has been to me over the years. Thanks Heidi ;-)

While it's great to get away and be inspired by new products and great friends -- it's always wonderful to get home to my two sweet men that I missed so much. 

And lastly, I have a few stamping projects I made for Inkadinkado that were on display at the show. I am so in love with this new line of wooden stamps they have coming out from Brenda Walton and Susan Winget. I hope you will love them as much as I do!


Another butterfly card with coffee....yes the line has a couple different butterfly stamps and I am overjoyed by that! 

Also lovely quotes.

and beautiful florals! I am so LUCKY to have worked with these stamps. 

Well, back to my busy week - thank you for taking the time to stop by -- hope you'll take a moment to leave me a comment and let me know what inspires you!  Have a great day -- and do something artful today! 

Tuesday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is one Hallmark Holiday that I love - only because it's a great reason to make, give and EAT fancy chocolates! My family and friends know that there are a few holidays I go all out in my candy making -- and Valentine's is one of them. This year my Mom came down and we made three batches -- coffee, coconut lemon and mint. Then we packaged them up in pretty containers to give away -- and believe it or not -- we didn't eat any while we were making them. -- though I did catch her licking the spoon before she put it in the sink, lol. I've already been warned about sharing THAT photo here so you'll have to imagine her chocolate wart, ha ha. 

Anyway -- here's the pretty packaging we came up with -- down and dirty -- quick and easy. LOVE that. Each one took about 2 minutes. 

Here's the process. First you melt the chocolate and add the flavorings. Then you let that cool and roll it into bite sized chocolate balls and let them cool in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate melts.  


Melt the Wilton Chocolate melts over a double boiler. Make sure it's completely melted and dip each truffle into the molten mixture. Drop the truffles one by one into the melted chocolate. 

 Pick up the chocolate with a fork, tap the fork handle on the edge of your double boiler to remove the excess chocolate -- make sure the excess chocolate falls back into the pan to be re-used. 

Gently drop the covered chocolate down on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Use the fork to cover any areas that didn't get any chocolate. 

Have a helper to quickly sprinkle some pretty decorations on each truffle before the chocolate cools. 

Yummy and so pretty! Use a different sprinkle to identify each flavor. White for coconut, pink hearts for coffee, multi-colored sprinkles for mint -- you get the picture! 

So pretty! You can usually coat one batch of truffles with one package of Wilton Chocolate Melts. A couple of things to consider: don't contaminate the chocolate melts with anything especially water as they melt. This will cause a chemical reaction and covering truffles will not be possible. Only melt one batch at a time -- and wash everything up/dry completely in between each batch to eliminate contaminating your chocolate coating. 

We figured out that between the two of us we spent about $21.00 to make 3 batches -- and fill 9 containers. Three of the containers had 14 truffles each, the others had between 5 and 8. That's a lot of chocolate sitting in my studio today calling my name ;-)
There's no WAY we could have gone to the Godiva store and gotten that many GREAT tasting, custom truffles for $21. Plus, we spent the afternoon together laughing and cooking -- which is always time treasured with my Mom. 

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day -- show the love with some home made chocolates! Thanks for stopping by -- see you tomorrow! 

Monday, February 13

K & Company Projects at CHA Last Week

Just a quick post to share some projects I created using some new K & Company products that were debuted at CHA a couple weeks ago. I always feel so lucky to create projects using their papers and embellishments - they are always so beautiful and colorful, and very matched to my style of creating.  

The first is a scrapbook page, Simple Joys. I don't know who the woman is, she was in a stack of photos I bought at the flea market. 

This second project is like a shadow box -- and the bases of the small collages are from the Tag Stack pad -- I really LOVE the way this project turned out. 

I also created these bird houses to match the shadow box. 

Another product line on a wood frame, it looks so nice in person. 

And last, a little journal for remembering those sweet moments that happen everyday -- so when you scrapbook them the details are close at hand. 

I've got a busy week -- so hopefully I"ll be able to get on here and post again soon. Next week is school vacation week, and I'm hoping for a little snow so we can go out snow shoeing and play in the snow a little! Thanks for stopping by -- hope you have a wonderful Monday! 

Friday, February 10

Your Heart

I gave out some advice to a friend on Facebook this morning. 
It was about getting artsy things done and with all the other distractions (internet, chores, Pinterest, Facebook etc.) it's really hard to get anything done for ourselves because we have so many things pulling us in so many directions.

I told her to turn off the TV, do a few chores -- then do something in her studio -- just for herself -- even if it was JUST for a few minutes.  

Well, I decided to follow my own advice -- and spent a few minutes in my new art journal making this page from bits of collage pieces I've been saving. It really looks much better in person, but I love what it says to me! 

The message from my heart today is  -- are you gettin' what I'm puttin' out there? ha ha! Well, that's all -- lots of fun things keeping me busy today -- hope you have a great weekend. Thank you for stopping by, catch you next week.