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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To find my stamps on-line or near you, check out the new page on my blog, over on the left at the bottom of the list! If you carry my stamps and want to be added to the list leave a comment with your store information and I will add you to the growing number or stores that carry my products!

My Artful Life Planner

My Artful Life Planner
Merrymeeting Art House is open for enrollment, click on the image to see the classes I'm offering right now!!

Thursday, December 20

Creative JumpstART 2013

CJSLogo_500

Here we go again.  I am pretty excited to share this with you! Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned I was doing a LOT of stuff but had nothing to show for it -- now I'm showin' a little sneaky peaky of what I was doing!! 

My sweet german friend Nat Kalbach organized another fun project for me to get involved with, it's called Creative JumpStart Summit 2013. You may remember my video from last year....and you may not ;-) 

Anyway, Nathalie had such a GREAT turnout and was so organized in gathering a wonderful group of artists for 2012 she decided to do it again! Can you believe that at the end CJS 2012 had over 4.500 subscribers last year!  I'm shooting for 4600 people by the end of today -- so get on over and sign up. I really enjoyed the daily inspiration during the cold and dreary month of January, I think this year will be even BETTER. I know I took my video a HUGE STEP further and you won't be disappointed!

So here is the scoop, so you can get in on it too!

January is approaching–a month that is full with promises, resolutions and intentions. A month that for many is following lots of holiday celebrations, family gatherings and other end-of-the-year events.

Come join us starting on January 1, 2013 for CJS 2013! Nat invited a group of wonderful, inspiring and creative ladies and gentlemen from around the globe in the mixed media and scrapbooking world to join together for the Creative Jump Start Summit 2013. We are all coming together to show you some ways to get back into the creative groove and how to get your creative juices flowing. We want to share with you “3 Ways to …” help you jump-start your creativity in 2013.

Wanna see who else is participating?? Just watch this ;-D

The Creative JumpStart Summit 2013 Trailer from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.


Here’s what you get and how it works:
  1. Throughout January we will share videos showing tutorials to inspire you –
  2. You sign up for the Creative JumpStart 2013 newsletter HERE and, in January 2013, you will receive  a daily link and password to unlock the view of the materials as soon as they go live
  3. On some days our Sponsors will have a giveaway for you and you will receive two newsletters these days
  4. You watch the presentations and you will be hopefully inspired to be more creative—all for FREE! If you like it you can donate to the cause – check it out here.
So come on—get inspiration from some of the most creative people in the community
What are you waiting for? (Did I mention it’s FREE?)

Monday, December 17

there's a time for LMN....

I know I've been quiet. When I have big struggles going on inside my head and heart I have a tendency to disappear from my blog, email, facebook -- everywhere. I kind of disappear into myself and away from what I do. I know that's not the best way -- but having all the distractions doesn't help me work it out.

My struggles are mostly with myself.
my art.
my career.
where am I going with this.
and even.
why do I bother. sometimes. many times all the time. these are the questions that run like a freight train through my head. why.  who wants it? who do you do this for? you? me? them?
And then I have a day where I can't bring myself to get dressed. i'm exhausted -- both physically and emotionally. Lifetime Movie Network stays on all day.  the couch is my best friend along with my sweet dog that snuggles next to my side and doesn't judge. she just loves me -- pajamas or dressed, teeth brushed or not, for what I am.

and I ask myself. why can't I love me that way. completely. whole-heartedly, unconditionally? why do I doubt and question what I do. why can't I just do it? do all artists have this persistent self-doubt?


on these days I find myself drawing.  scribbling. doodling. finding a place for my emotions to rest. I look at this time of quietness and reflection as a way of letting things rest until they are really ready to be poured.

I've been trying to come to a place of acceptance to where I am now, where I want to go and why I do this. the quietness is a way of letting what I have done in the past mature, percolate. the drawing is sort of a meditation process. a way of connecting with patterns in the world and putting them on paper.

 

it feels like when I let that solitude and contemplation do it's own thing,  art like this happens. yes. I admit it -- I used my pencil but I erased it so shhhhh don't tell Alex. After a day like this I come back refreshed and ready to grasp all that this business has to offer.

I think the lengthy break I took from the brightly painted journal pages i created in the spring/summer has brought me to this. I'm not sure where to go with it now, but I have a few ideas.

I think we all NEED time for inner reflection.
What do you do when you need some time to work out troubles in your life?

THANKS for stopping by - have a GREAT day and stay warm -- it's snowing out there! 

Saturday, December 15

December Whatevers

Before I get started with my post for the Whatevers, I just wanted to mention that my heart goes out to the family, friends and co-workers in the senseless tragedy in Newtown Connecticut this weekend. I can't even begin to understand how a person could hurt such young and innocent children let alone adults. My prayers are with everyone that is touched by this awful event.
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the WHATEVERS-2
  It's that time of the month -- when we release the Whatevers and this month I've collaged FIVE different vintage photographs together to create this fun holiday page. I was short on time, so it's only a single page this month -- maybe I'll get the second page created for New Year, we'll see. 

  When you are done reading what Newton and Winnie are up to you can click on over and read what Nat and Vicki created!
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Click here to see what Nat made from the photo this month!
Click here to see what Vicki made from the photo this month!
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Newton was pretty happy, all things considered. His father was still away in India and his Mother had just left for several months to join his father in the hospital.     Winnie was driving him crazy. 
He was still in Germany. 
At the castle. 
With his grandparents. 
the Count and Countess. 
urgh.

He couldn't believe it was almost Christmas -- in a short 10 days he'd experience the holiday for the first time in a real castle. Grandfather the Count had taken him to the country to pick out a tree for the castle and while they were out it had snowed. Not a lot, but just enough to remind Newton of home. He really missed home!

Newton, forgetting his troubles more and more as the afternoon wore on, couldn't help but sing his favorite song.

oh christmas tree oh christmas tree, how lovely are your branches. He only knew a few words, so he sang them over and over. and over again.

Finding the biggest, most beautiful tree in the forest really lifted his spirits. But what was wrong with that darn chauffeur. No smiles, no singing -- Andre had not spoken a word since they left the castle.
Oh well, he was just happy Winnie didn't like snow and she didn't like the country either.

Here is how it works if you want to play along:
  • Vicki, Nat and I have made a one-year commitment to each other and picked twelve photos with Whatevers whom we will give a story.
  • Every month – if possible always on the 15th –  each of us will do a post with an individual story that goes along for us with the same photo.
  • If you want you can play along and we will have the photo for you – just right click on it to safe it to download and show us your version of The Whatevers.
  • There are no rules to the story itself- it can be funny, sad, uplifting, breathtaking- WHATEVER
  • There are no rules on the length or the form of the story- it can be a short sentence, an essay, a poem or a soap opera – WHATEVER
  • There are no rules on the art form you choose – it can be a scrapbook layout, an altered art project, an art journal page – WHATEVER
  • Here is a rule though: if you take the photo you have to link back to us and show us your story.
  • These pictures are from our personal stash and are for personal use for you only! If you want to use them for a publication whether a book or magazine in print or digital form please ask for permission!
  • If you want to participate we’ll have a linky list for each Whatever Post.
  • You can also join our The Whatevers -Facebook Page 
Here's the image, in case you want to play along too! 

And one final thing, you can grab the blinkie here if you want to add it to your sidebar:
http://nathaliesstudio.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/the-whatevers-blinkie.jpg 
Thanks for joining me and stopping by today. Have a great day and see you next time! 

Thursday, December 13

Be the Flower not the Pear!

Some of you may remember me talking about taking a painting class in the fall. While I enjoyed the entire 6 weeks -- I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to making art. Quite a few things I ended the night with I didn't like. The one painting I love love love was on a CHEAPO 3.99 wood panel from Wal-Mart that I'm afraid might crack the wood on the top is so thin. Need to fix that somehow...... but I digress.  Learning to paint and painting pretty things are two things that don't always go together. Even the masters of painting painted things they hated and weren't really that attractive. It's a learning process.

On the last two nights I brought a HUGE (20 x 30 I think) wood panel to paint on, along with an idea of a painting that I wanted to use for inspiration -- a photo of a bowl of pears I had taken. I couldn't wait to start -- I was pretty excited to paint my biggest painting to date.

After first 2 hours and 55 minutes this is what I had.



I hated it. But that is an understatement really about what I felt about it. HUGE understatement. It was ugly. super dooooper ugly. Even my husband said it wasn't the best thing I had ever painted, ha ha. I had to promise everyone in class that I wouldn't do anything bad like run over it with my car until the next week.

Anyway, I brought it back on the last night and added more ugliness to it trying to "fix" it. That just was NOT going to happen! Nothing could fix it. It was too planned. To fake. To flat. to ugly. too everything.

I gave it another 2 hours and 45 minutes and hated it even more, but with a palette full of paint that I couldn't waste and 15 minutes left I decided to make some changes, lol!  I grabbed the biggest, stiffest paint brush I had and the dark green paint and went to town. Hiding my dislike and letting my ARM do the work not my brain. I didn't think about pears, flowers or even circles or color. I just let my arm work. and my heart.



And this is basically what I ended up with. You can see a few things left from the original -- but you can't see them in the first picture I shared because I hadn't painted them in yet, ha ha.

The purple on the bottom and the white and the blue circles at the top. That's all that was left of the original. When I left the studio I was in LOVE with it. And brought it home to percolate. inspire. sit and just be.

I put it in a spot that I walked by 30 times a day -- and I often stopped to look at it. I drank my coffee standing in front of it. pondering it. thinking about it. feeling it. being it.

I slowly started adding things here and there to it. An outline in black. Some red instead of blue circles. Some texture in red. stencils. more stencils. some scraping. and then some more stencils. and some sharpie. and some metal stamps. and and and until it was complete. 

And then -- after several weeks and 20 or more 10 minute sessions here and there, it was completely complete. and I love it.

It's the little details that I love. Like this.
and this.
and especially this!
oh, and this too!
So, the moral of the story -- don't put yourself in a corner with a project by completely planning it out with a preconceived notion of what you want it to look like. Feel it and create from your heart and it will be beautiful!

That's all for today -- stay tuned for our Saturday reveal of the Whatevers!! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Monday, December 10

Quickie Holiday Centerpiece Tutorial

I made some pretty centerpieces over the weekend -- and today I thought I would share a little how-to so you can make one of your own if you want!  It's pretty simple and REALLY gorgeous so I'm pretty sure you're going to want to!
You will need:
  • Large Snowflake punch
  • Inkadinkado Stamp Masking Sheets
  • Etching Cream 
  • Paintbrush
  • Vase -- mine is from Target -- the XL Hurricane -- here's the link so you can see what it looks like with the insert
  • Timer
  • Holiday Decorations -- pine cones, bells, ribbon, burlap, floral berries
I started out punching 3 of the extra large snowflakes from the masking sheet paper. Then I peel the green backing sheet off and apply the white sticky part to the hurricane. This works GREAT on old Mason Jars too ;-D I took extra time to measure and place them (3 spaced evenly around the jar) so they were centered in the panels on the vase and at the same height.

Make sure to BURNISH the mask on the glass well to prevent the etching cream from seaping under the edges of the adhesive sheet. Also, when you are applying the etching cream make sure to be neat and tidy while brushing as you only want to etch the area where your shape is.

Apply a THICK coat of Armour Etch covering the entire shape and make it thick too. Wash your brush WELL when you are done. Note: Please be sure to read the health precautions before using the Armour Etch!

Notice how thick I applied the cream?? You can't see through it in the image below!

Set your timer for 5 minutes and go brush your teeth or make your bed or something. Nothing happens if you go over 5 minutes -- but you want to remove the cream before the mask is saturated and starts etching the glass underneath it.

Rinse under warm water -- well. Make sure to remove all the etching cream.
 
Voila, your beautiful etching! 
Decorate your jar as you like -- I used burlap, ribbon, pine cones, several bells and a pretty tag.
Give as a gift or decorate your table with it for an elegant holiday centerpiece you can use year after year! That's all for today -- now I need to go brush MY teeth! Thanks for stopping by -- have a great day!

Friday, December 7

Looking Back...

I know you all thought I fell off the pumpkin truck that ran through here but I assure you -- I didn't. I'm here. Busier than I have ever been -- but I don't have ONE THING to show for all that busy-ness! It's crazy. I'm happier than I have been, I feel like things are happening.

good things. just not artsy things. in my journal. for me.  
which makes me a little unhappy.

One of those good things is; I am planning, prepping, changing, editing a few classes and giving them a little makeover for a re-debut at My Creative Classroom next year when we announce some GREAT changes that I know you will be happy about. We've got a TON of great things coming for 2013. You know, 13 is my lucky number -- right? 

Anyway, in all that planning and prepping I found these images of some projects I made for a class that I WAS going to teach and never did. I think it just fell off my radar. I thought I would share these fun little gems with you today. 


Aren't they fun?? Can you believe I made these in 2009?? They've been lost and lonely for a LONG time.



I think I might add them BACK to my list for 2013.  I forgot how fun they were to make and beautiful they turned out!  We can all use a little more beautiful in our lives, don't you think?

Well that's it for today, I've got a BUSY BUSY month but I promise to try and blog so much more than I have in the last few weeks!

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your weekend!