Creative Jumpstart 2021

Creative Jumpstart 2021
Join me for the 10th Anniversary of CJS2021

Monday, October 31

Happy Haunted Halloween!!

It's Halloween -- and we have several inches of snow on the ground - how weird! Saturday night was a wild one that's for sure! It started out with rain, then snow and freezing rain -- oh -- and let's not forget the wind. In the middle of that we lost our electricity! I hope that is NOT an indication of the winter!

Anyway, since I get so few trick-or-treaters I like to "fancy" up the candy a little. Not that the kids will notice, but it's something I like to do. A little tradition I guess. This year I thought I would share the quick little treat I put together!

I started with a package of test tubes I picked up on clearance at Micheals a couple of years ago, and I tied a piece of grograin ribbon on the top.

Then I stamped one of my favorite Halloween stamps on cardstock and used my paper trimmer to cut it into a tag. I tied one tag to each test tube with Hemp twine.

Then I tied some cheapo plastic toy to the test tube with twine, on the home stretch!  

The only thing left is to fill each one with candy. I know I'm weird about what I let my son eat, so rather than put loose m&m's or jelly beans (I would have been able to put more) I stuffed them with tootsie rolls, they are pre-packaged and will usually pass a candy inspection.

I had wanted to put rollos, but they were too fat, so I had to eat them. ;-) Then I tried individual Twix and they were too big, and I had to eat those too.  Nothing fit and I had a stomach ache by the time I was done trying, ha ha.

I could only put 4 tootsie's in each container so I filled a little paper sack with candy to accompany each tube. I made up 8 sets of tubes and bags in a half hour or so -- quick easy and cute!

Also wanted to share my cute container! I bought this quite a few years ago, it was a Halmark special. LOVE it.

Hope you have a great Halloween making costumes and taking your kiddos out trick or safe and remember a flash light and to check the candy your kids bring home!

Friday, October 28

More on Art Journaling

One of the biggest challenges I had when I first started journaling was when I wanted to add text to my pages using an ink color other than black or brown. White pens like sharpies, gel and painty pens just didn't give me the look or quality I wanted.

Up to that point I had been playing around a lot in my journals with my Speedball dip (calligraphy pen) pen using only black ink. On a trip to the art store to get more black india ink I noticed they had red, white, blue and  A LOT of other colors.

So, I picked up a bottle of the red and white to experiment with. I am so happy I did, as the white ink looks great on darker pages, and the red is REALLY vibrant -- I used the red on the veins of the flowers on this page. The pen I use is a speedball dip pen with a 512 tip.

If you haven't tried a dip pen, they are really inexpensive, have interchangeable tips and are fun to experiment with. You should try one today! I do like using a Pitt Pen on my pages too -- but recently read that there is a chemical in the paint that can damage the tip of the pen....hmmmm not that they are expensive to replace -- but I want to use up all the ink before the tip dies, so I think I will probably stick with my dip pen for writing on acrylic paint on my art journal pages for now.

Hope you have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by and do something artful this weekend -- it's the perfect time of year to settle into some great artsy routines!

Thursday, October 27

Faux is sometimes the way to go!

I just finished up the last week (Week 5) of my "Mixed Media Workshop Two" Class at My Creative Classroom -- this week we touched on the basics of working with beeswax to create encaustic art. I had so much to cover that I didn't have time (or room) to talk about this fun project.

It's my "quick" fix encaustic -- faux encaustic -- or down and dirty encaustic -- whatever you choose to call it -- it's fun, a little messy -- and not any where near as HOT or as involved as working with hot wax! One of the things I love about working with wax is the beautiful "translucent, thick and layered" look the wax gives my art! I can get that look, to some extent --with Heavy Body Gel Medium from Golden.

I basically make my collage or piece of mixed media art --and apply a couple of layers -- drying in between each coat -- of the heavy body Gel. Sometimes just 1 really heavy layer is enough. When the Heavy Body is dry (takes a long time) it has a bit of the "look" of wax -- but no where near the mess, hazard to my fingers -- because I always burn myself -- or expense that encaustic collage does . BTW, the burns don't stop me either -- I'm addicted to it, ha ha. I don't really notice them until I'm done.

Mixed Media Workshop One starts Friday -- November 4th if you are interested in learning some new and fun mixed media art techniques!

Hope you have a great week, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 25

More Holiday Stuff!

Remember those pine cones I talked about last week?? Well, I couldn't stop thinking about them and since I had a Blog Post for the Spotted Canary Expert Blog due on Friday -- I thought I would make something pretty with them!

So, if you take a minute and check out the Expert Blog sometime in the next week or so, you'll get step by step directions on how to make something pretty out of pince cones and glitter for yourself!

I can imagine lots of different things you could do....and then fancy it up with a couple of pretty stamps!

Hope you have a great day -- I've got a VERY busy week so I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be able to do! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 22

Fall via Hipstamatic

Have a great weekend!
Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. 
Stanley Horowitz

Friday, October 21

I know, I said it was EARLY!

I was in Joann fabrics the other day and saw they were starting to display the Christmas decorations and things (and saw some cute tin boxes that I must have for candy making this year) and thought -- OH MY HECK -- it's way too early. Really. Really early.

But then I remembered this image -- that came over the summer -- and I didn't feel like it was so far away! But, more on that in a minute ;-)

Add to that I was working on a free class that we are offering at MCC (remind me, I'll tell you about that another day) of a pretty package topper (could also be an ornament) and I'm in full holiday I got a few assignments that are holiday related...and I made a project for a new blog post for Spotted Canary that was due this morning -- and I might as well put up my Christmas tree next week. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't usually put that up until 12/23 or so ;-)

Anyway, I was going to save this post for December -- but since Christmas is already on my mind -- and it's only -- yes I'm screaming it -- only FORTY.ONE days away -- you might as well see it now. Ha ha. I was pleasantly surprised this summer when I got a copy of Stampington's magazine, Hand-Crafted and saw that they re-ran an article I had written in 2009...the 12 Days of Christmas. I think it's still on news stands if you want to check it out.

Anyway, gotta run, conference call at 9:30 -- have a great weekend see you on Monday!

Thursday, October 20

I KNOW it's early and all.....

I know it's early, but I wanted to share a new class at My Creative Classroom that I'll be working on next week -- I will be teaching two fun weeks. My first week will be ornaments and the second will be a shadowbox, and you will have 4 other weeks with other instructors -- it's going to be a blast -- you won't want to miss it!

Here are the details of what we'll be teaching and a link to their personal blog so you can see  all their awesomeness for yourself!

It's beginning to look a lot like...Christmas! Gather up your holiday crafting supplies and come join four MCC instructors for a wide variety of Christmas projects from home decor to card making to rubber stamping and loads in between. This 6-week class is loaded with detailed projects that will have you creating items to be cherished for years to come.

·        Week 1 with Donna Salazar - Count down to "the most wonderful day of the year" as you create a "Girlie Grunge Christmas Countdown" wall hanging in Donna's signature style. This decor item is made with cardboard, bling and Spellbinders die-cuts using Mix'd Media Inx, Smooch Spritz and Fairy Dust Glitter from Clearsnap. It is sure to be a family favorite year after year.
·       Week 2 with Catherine Scanlon - Hey, that's me! Create five unique and festive handmade ornaments. You'll do a little sewing, a little beading, a little of this and a little of that to create ornaments from classic to whimsical.
·        Week 3 with Sandy Hulsart - Create four elegant masked, stippled, and stamped cards. Using masking techniques create these wonderful one layer holiday cards with softly stippled backgrounds.
·        Week 4 with Deena Ziegler - Create two Christmas cards and a holiday door banner using various techniques and downloadable/printable templates.
·        Week 5 with Donna Salazar - Create "Mixed Media Elf House" tabletop home decor project with cardboard, the Crafty Chronicle, Spellbinders die cuts, trims and stamps using Mix'd Media Inx, Smooch Spritz and embossing powder from Clearsnap.
·        Week 6 with Catherine Scanlon - Make a lovely vintage-style winter white shadowbox that you can adorn with a vintage holiday photo, ephemera or current family photo. Start with a new shadowbox or vintage box/cigar box and transform it to a lovely winter wonderland with glitter, vintage papers, snowflakes and more. This will be another heirloom in the making!

Please let me know if you have any questions! Oh, I almost forgot -- the first class with Donna Salazar starts on November 3rd - and the entire course is 6 weeks long. We know the holidays get busy -- so you will have 12 weeks to complete all the projects and share your work in the student gallery!!

For more information, or to enroll,  visit My Creative Classroom  today!

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 19

Fall is in Full Swing

I feel so lucky to have a great relationship with my parents -- they live about 500 yards from me, at the end of our drive-way. It's really great that my son can spend as much time with them as he wants -- he often has sleep-overs at Gram's house -- or goes down for a visit, it helps that she usually has great homemade snacks! He helps her in the garden and dries her dishes and helps my Dad with the wood in his wood box. I think of the great times I had at my Grandmother's house before she died (I was 17) and am so grateful and thankful that he'll have the same type of memories, they mean a lot to me. I hope he gets the time to make a LOT more with them.

Over the weekend I was taking my little dog for a walk by their house I noticed my Mom walking around her yard with an old potato basket and filling it up with something. I usually have a camera with me on my doggie walks -- you never know when you might see something awesome -- and want a photo for later.

Her yard is covered with these beautiful pine cones, they look like they are covered in white or silver-white glitter. Which instantly gave me an idea -- I haven't had a chance to execute it yet. Hopefully I will soon. But anyway, aren't these beautiful?!!
I also saw this beautiful red leaf on the road in a bed of pine needles, and today I saw some pretty green ferns surrounded by brown dead ones, the contrast was lovely. I've got a plan in mind for that too. I think Fall is a great time of the year -- I just wish that it didn't have to be followed by the snow and ice of winter!

Well, I do think we are closer to the tribulations of winter -- cause we started the wood stove tonight! So not happy about that! Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a GREAT day!

Tuesday, October 18

Happy Flowers

I've been so busy making art and art journaling, preparing new designs and samples (that I love by the way) for classes that I haven't taken any time to make art for myself. It's easy to loose sight of why I do this -- because I love it -- and get  bogged down in the  other details.
So, Sunday night after I had spent the weekend making samples, thinking about class ideas etc. I decided to heck with it -- I'm making some art just for me! So after my boys went to bed, and Dexter and Homeland were on -- I got started on some play time in my studio. (can you believe something this colorful came about while watching Dexter?? LoL!) I've been creating art for so long that people recognize my style --  I've been thinking a lot about re-making or giving my art a face lift. I want to be unique. I want my art to look unique and something other people aren't doing.
I certainly didn't do that in this piece, but it sure was fun cutting, pasting, painting, spraying and image transfering on this piece. I did it on 200lb. watercolor paper, so it's really sturdy and could handle all the abuse it put it through. What I've known for some time, but realized for certain while working on this piece --  I'm definitely not a whimsical artist, I think that's why I don't like this. But, we must first explore, play and experiment with new techniques, supplies and styles before we can discover our true style, don't you think?
So with that, I must get back to work on finishing up my class for Friday! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 14

Art Journaling Friday

My friend Leslie from Beattie Chicks Makery has started hosting an Art Journaling workshop on Friday mornings in their studio down town -- and today was the first day. Since my plan is always to have Friday's off from work, this schedule totally worked for me, especially since I already had lunch (and dessert) planned with another friend at noon and I was already going to be out and about.

I love the way she starts the journaling process -- it's really unique and no book or magazine I have ever read directs you to journal this way. Leslie has a way of getting the best and the most from people creatively, or at least she does for me. That's just one of the things I love about her, but that's another blog post.

I joked with her at one point that I had a tendency lately of taking my art to the brink of disaster -- and then somehow I turn it around like a phoenix coming back to life and it comes out looking ok. Anyhow, we starting singing that song from whoever country rock band it is "Flirtin' with Disaster" (yes, I know you can hear it in your head now -- it's been in mine all afternoon, LOL. I'm happy to pass it on) and my mission for these two pages was to get it back. From the edge of disaster. No easy task since it was REALLY bad.

Before I added the dip pen details, it was a disaster. I had stamped with some flower stamps with red StazOn and the result was awful! Totally ugly. I was on the brink of abandoning it, and had I not loved the journaling so much -- I probably would have.right.then.right.there. I kept telling myself -- how can you teach that there are no mistakes in art journaling and be so willing to give up on this....and that kept me going too.

And then right when it was starting to blossom (no pun intended, ha ha) I had to go or I was going to be late for lunch at Little Tokyo and dessert at Gelato Fiasco -- yes -- my definition of a perfect day - art, sushi and gelato! I was late, but it was ok because I blamed it on having to circle the block several times in the pouring rain looking for a place to park. 

Anyway, the flower on the top left of the above photo is one of my favorites - as well as one other in the previous photo. Thank you Leslie - you have a way of inspiring me to stick with it and I always create something groovy when I'm around you! Can't wait until next time! If you live locally -- you should come if you can, it's a lot of fun!

And with that, I'm inspired to get my art on. Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 13

Somerset Holidays & Celebrations, 2011

Good Morning!! It's almost Friday -- the one day of the week where I normally don't do any work -- and depending on how much I procrastinate today -- I may or may not have work tomorrow. That's the one thing about working from home that is not a good thing for me -- I'm distracted by laundry, dishes, television (this morning one of the Twilight movies) and I put things off.

I also put off doing what I should be doing to take care of little things like blogging, what I'm doing at this very moment, Pinterest and Facebook. Right now I should be narrating and editing and working on new classes instead of walking around in my pj's sipping on a cup of cold coffee looking out at the rain. Daydreaming, I should NOT be doing that. I have presentations and hand-outs to make, lol. Daydreaming about making art, connecting with friends and getting distracted from the rain by pretty pictures on Pinterest is so much more fun than presentations, video and voice-overs, LOL.

But anyway, thought I would share a little something that I got in the mail a few weeks ago. The 2011 issue of Somerset Holidays and Celebrations -- where I have two articles. THANKS Jennifer for the great page layouts and photo designs, you always make my stuff look good! I appreciate that!

The first article is a holiday article, called Winter White, and it's all about felt ornaments. Seems like forever ago that I made these -- and gearing up to make some gilded versions real soon...planning..buying supplies..brainstorming. LOVE that!  

All these ornaments are made with Spellbinders dies, they make crafting so much fun; wool felt and lots of doodads' a little sewing and some nice smelling stuff to make them delicious! 

I'll share some pictures of the other article soon! Now, I really MUST get back to work. Hope you have a great day, thank you so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 12

Want to Make an Art Journal ??

I know I've been talking about Art Journaling a lot lately -- and well -- I just can't help it! I have been spending a lot of my time working in my own journal for my newest class, Mixed Media Workshop Two over at My Creative Classroom - and well, it's been on my mind a lot.

I think you can find a lot of reasons to art journal...from experimenting with new tools and working through emotional upset... and even better; ways to work out and determine personal goals and how to become a better human being....and I am sure there are many more.

Art Journaling doesn't need to be expensive either -- you can turn an old cereal box and cardstock into a small book to carry with you for drawing, doodling and playing with text.

Take it a step further and use watercolor paper or bristol board for the inner pages and you can add wet mediums (image transfers, acrylic and watercolor paints, collage with gel medium or mod podge and so much MORE) and you have a journal that will stand up to the riggers of adding wet mediums to the pages! 

To get started, determine how many pages you want in your book -- thin or thick -- think about how you want to bind it, and prepare them by folding them all in half and create signatures by stacking the folded papers together (2 or 3 sheets per signature depending on the thickness of your paper). Prepare your cover by trimming down your box, folding it and getting it ready to stitch the pages to it; use a sewing machine to sew or hand-stitch them with wax thread to your cover.

Decorate the cover with papers, tapes and whatever else pleases you and Voila, your journal is ready for some fun art play!  You can see in the pages below that I've done a lot of different types of playing in my journal! There really is no rhyme or reason -- just do whatever you FEEL like doing whenever you feel like it and you will love art journaling as much as I do! For more detailed instructions, read the full post over at the Expert Blog on the Spotted Canary.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you are having a GREAT week so far!

Monday, October 10

A quick piece of art using Joint Compound

I don't have much to share today -- been a busy weekend and I've got a busy week ahead of me as well.

Thought I'd share this fun project I made as a quick demo for my Mixed Media Workshop Two class at My Creative Classroom. Can you see the cracks at the top of the image -- that's because it's done on Joint Compound -- yes the same stuff you use to work on the walls in your house!

This was a super-fun and easy project -- the hardest part was waiting for the joint compound to dry so I could create art on it!

Hope you have a great day -- thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 8

What I did on my summer vacation #5

I did a lot of cooking!! We did the Paleo Diet for the entire summer and I cooked 3 meals a day for 30 days and then at least 2 meals a day for the rest of the summer. It feels great to not eat sugar, grains and processed food much. We've relaxed the rules a bit now, but for the most part stick to the plan most of the time.

My parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary and we had the party at our house -- about 40 people came, it was fun -- but I hate all the cleaning involved with a full house. After the party we took our parents on a vacation up-north. It was a big deal, my brother, nephew and his son flew in from TX and NM and spent the week.
We went up to WAY northern Maine -- up on the Canadian Border for several days, it was relaxing -- NO INTERNET - bummer! It was beautiful and the weather was nice so that was a plus. I brought all my art stuff but just couldn't get settled in to do anything. I just putzed around, it was nice having nothing to do....though I was pretty happy to get home and check my email! I think I need an internet/email/Facebook detox or something. Nope, can't do it.

We went blueberry picking about 5 times. The berries are huge and delicious and you don't have to bend over! My freezer is over flowing with berries I picked this summer, they will make delicious smoothies this winter! I am definitely not looking forward to winter AT ALL!
I had a lot more fun with the Hipstamatic App on my iPhone. This photo was taken at the Library Park in Bath while my son played the drums with the Merrymeeting Band. I do love the way this picture came out,  the camera was pointed directly into the shining sun. Love the red!

You'll be happy to know that this is the last of the what I did on my summer vacation series, phew! I bet you thought that would never end. On another note, has anyone tried the Blogger App for the iPhone/iPad? do you like it? I am wondering if it's just me, cause I really don't. I thought it would be great to blog on my iPad in the morning or before I got out of bed or while I'm on the treadmill, but that's not going to happen. 

Hope you have a great weekend! Do something arty and creative -- you deserve it!

Friday, October 7

What I did on my summer vacation #4

 More Art Journaling, love the way this little inclusion turned out. Did I mention I did a lot of art journaling over the summer?
Took lots of pictures of everything with the Hipstamatic App on my phone. I am so in love with this thing! And look at all those strawberries -- we filled that tray 3 times as full as that.
Got a cool birthday present for my garden from my parents. She surprised me by putting him in the center of my purple and yellow irises with this bow and a balloon tied to him. My apologies if this offends anyone, he's in my garden now blessing the flowers and tiny animals that frequent it -- without the balloon and bow-tie.
This horse (I think her name was Allie??) at the stables LOVED the smell of my Passion Tea. She was trying to lick the outside of the cup -- but I think what she really wanted was to drink the whole thing. She is a very sweet horse, that loved our attention. She would stamp her feet on the wall whenever we walked in the stables to get Babe -- the horse we rode for every lesson. When I stopped to scratch her head and stopped scratching but didn't walk away -- she would nudge my arm with her nose for more scratches. My dog does the same thing. It was very calming to be around the horses, and with all the crap that went down -- going to the stable was just what I needed.

Thanks for stopping by -- hope you have a WONDERFUL day!

Thursday, October 6


I found myself spending a quite a bit of time trying to relax over the summer -- wanting to do something -- so I'd pick up a notebook and start doodling. I guess they call this form of doodling Zentangles. I don't know, but I've been making circles and swirls for a long time and filling pages for a while before I ever heard it called Zentangles. Seems weird that they would be able to copyrite doodling -- but they did and it's a wonderful way to pass 20 minutes or so when you are waiting for someone and don't really have time to start something new. Or -- are trying to stay off the internet but don't have a new book or new works of art going .

Some times my doodles start looking like things other than doodles. Like the one above -- I see a whale on the top of a bunch of waves.

And this one looks like a group of fish.

I've got nothing on this one, ha ha.
A witch with an owls face....or just a witch.

A mushroom and a fish, sorry it's blurry.

A peacock - but my Mother sees a poodle instead of a peacock. I can see both depending on how I look at it. I keep thinking I'm going to add some color to these -- but they are in a crummy old- college lined notebook and done with a pen that runs. If I added color I would want to use watercolor paints or watercolor crayons and I don't think the paper (or the crummy ink) will hold up to the water. I really like working in a lined notebook -- it helps with patterns and partitioning sections off. So I guess they'll stay black and white for now until I find a notebook that has paper with lines that will hold up to water.

It's almost the weekend -- and I've had a pretty busy week, and the boy has a 4 day weekend. Maybe the Fryburg Fair, or just weekend around the house to get things done and caught up on.

I've got 3 classes going at My Creative Classroom -- only one is new -- and another one starting next week -- and another brand new one I need to get ready for enrollment that starts in November.  Geez, I better get busy and get all this stuff done, my housework is starting to suffer, ha ha! Well, thanks for stopping by, hope you'll make a doodle or two today -- you'll never want to stop!