Creative Jumpstart 2021

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

Thursday, January 19

What a relief!

I've been growing out my hair for the last 3 or 4 years. I started because my husband commented one day that he wished I would grow my hair out - and so I started. It's been driving me CRAZY for quite some time, and what really is the point of having long hair if you always pull it away from your face. I get paint and gel medium in it pulling it away from my face as I work - their were LONG hairs everywhere -- and it generally made me crazy and feel like an old woman with long grey hair. My original goal was to donate it to locks of love -- but I just couldn't wait for another 2 inches to grow.

Needless to say -- I've been wanting to get my hair cut for a while -- just wasn't sure exactly what I wanted and didn't really have the courage to go for it.

Yesterday -- was THE DAY. I am so happy I feel like me again, what a total relief. The husband was a little like, wow -- it's short -- but I think he'll get used to this -- and not having long grey hair in everything will also be a total relief too! ;-)

In other news, I continue to flutter around the house/studio working on Mixed Media Collage that starts next Wednesday -- I feel like I am so behind and piled up with work it's not funny. Hair yesterday, appointment today, shopping tomorrow --- eeeek! I guess I work better under pressure, LOL!
This is a "reject" well maybe not a "reject" in the real sense of the word --  but collage material for later lessons in Mixed Media Collage at My Creative Classroom. 
While each night I plan to work -- I get caught up with the dang television and a glass of wine and never make it to the studio. TONIGHT I must work. NO exceptions - because I've got a lot of work to do before CHA next week!

Well, speaking of that -- I've got to run. Hope you have a great day - and do something drastic today -- it is definitely invigorating! Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, January 18

Last of 2011: Year in Review

One of the things about Art Journaling that I love so much is that you can do as much or as little as you have time for every time you get down to work. In Julie's workshop she does maybe 10 or so minutes a day -- and that's a really great practice to get into. Me, I like to start and finish a page in one day -- which is why I don't journal as much as I want. 

I love how the beginning of this page turned out -- I was doing my best to do a little bit every day but I would start my pages and then get so involved in the creation that I couldn't leave it. I had to try and finish -- or would would spend 5 minutes here and there throughout the day until it was finished....or I would stay up WAY LATE into the night to get it done. ha ha. 

I ended up having to finish this page that day because it wouldn't stop calling me. 
and started on the next page as well. The red on the background turned out so delicious! 

I love using images from old magazines in my journals -- these are from some craft magazines from the 50's. 

The two pages together -- while they are from different "days" I tried to make them work together.

The white journaling is very striking on the black background. I love journaling with a calligraphy (dip pen) and white ink, this is from Daler-Rowney. The inconsistency of the ink and the sound of the tip scratching on the surface of the paper really appeal to me. Plus, this method of journaling has a tendency to be messy -- very fitting for my messy penmanship, lol. 

Well that's it for today -- must get back to the studio and get some work done! Hope you are having a WONDERFUL week, and thanks for taking the time to stop by! 

Tuesday, January 17

Mixed Media Collage

I've been flitting around like a butterfly all weekend working on my newest class, Mixed Media Collage that starts next week at My Creative Classroom. Last night, when I should have gone to bed (11pm, urgh)  -- I started this collage. I just wanted to get the base started and dried so I could get down to business this morning and finish. Well, I had to watch HSN first (Home Shopping Network -- you can watch the short clip here. I made ALL the examples for this segment, woohoo so exciting!) -- because a TON of projects I made for K & Company were on there. 

Anyway, now that I'm done tooting that horn, I thought I would share this little example I made to use for advertising my collage class. 

If you are interested in collage, stenciling, painting, sewing and lots of OTHER fun techniques -- and want to mix them together to create beautiful Mixed Media pieces of art -- this is the course for you! It is starting next week, January 25 -- so go on over to My Creative Classroom and register today! You won't want to miss this fun course.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a GREAT day. 

Monday, January 16

Brrrr, it's VERY cold!

Winter has definitely arrived, especially in Maine! We have a history of having some weird weather, and last week was no exception. It snowed, got warm, torrentially rained when the temps were 28 and the roads covered with snow, and then climbed into the 40's -- all in 2 days-- and now the temperature has fallen to a brisk -1 degrees. Yes, it's finally winter in Maine because our very LONG driveway is now covered in a thick layer of ice. If it sounds like I'm complaining, well -- maybe a little whining but I'll get over it, hehe.

Since it's cold and no one, especially me wants to go outside I've been working on my new iPad bag, wanna see?I don't have a pattern, am pretty much just winging it but sometimes I work best this way!
Here's the front of the bag, no handles yet, I need to make some more fabric or take it to a place with an industrial sewing machine. 
Here's the back, the bottom portion has different pockets, for my phone, a pen and whatever else. 
And the side, that little light spot at the top is where i stitched the tab for the handle and it tore off when I checked to see how strong the connection was, making me decide to take it to someone with a heavy duty machine. 
My iPad and a notebook tucked safely inside, l love the way it looks so far.
The pocket lining, I'm going to line the inside of the bag with this too. 
And the flower with the sequins stitched to it, pretty! I'm kind of at a stand still until I figure out how to sew the strap things on the side. But I am definitely loving it so far.

I've also been working on my new Mixed Media Collage class that starts next week at My Creative Classroom, I have been enjoying the creative process on this one immensely and thing it's going to be a very enjoyable class! I parked myself in the living room 3 nights in a row making samples for Lesson 1 that starts on January 25th and I'm over-the-top excited with them!

I hope it's warm where you are, and have a lovely day -- take the time to do something artsy or crafty today -- it's fuel for the soul -- thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, January 12

On the Work Table

I think I may have mentioned once or twice that I'm a procrastinator, or maybe I haven't, yet, haha. What usually happens when I have a long TO-DO list -- the most creative ideas get a hold of me and I can't let the go. Like this project. I had seen a tapestry purse at the shoe store but it didn't work for what I wanted -- an iPad case large enough for my iPad that is in a lovely Oberon Design tooled leather case so when I go somewhere I can sling the custom case over my shoulder, that makes me happy!

I saw this bag weeks ago and couldn't stop the percolation in my head, i just kept thinking and thinking and thinking about it.

Until yesterday that is, when i had a huge list of things to do for today. Haha. So I got started off the painted bag instead of my assignments. First i ripped the canvas to size and sketched the design, referring to the photo I took for inspiration. 

The I started painting with orange and pink. 
And added some brown to the background. 
While the thick paint was still wet I took a pencil and sketched in the petals of the flower and the stamens in the center. 
And used a pencil eraser to add some color to the stamens.
Whe that was dry I got out the stencils and some paint and went to town. I also added a pretty fabric center to the flower. 
I could hardly wait for it to dry, and when I checked it at bed-time -- and discovered it was dry, stars sewing right away, yes that was at midnight, haha. I couldn't leave it unstitched over night. 
In the morning I added some inka gold over my damask stencil, yes -- it came out perfect. 
This is kinda what it looks now -- kind of because when the inka gold was dry I added some more spray pAint with stencils and then more inka gold on top of that. 

Needless to say, I'm dragging today as it was VERY late by the time I got to bed. I still need to make a thin strip to make a side panel and create a piece to make a pocket on the back, but so far I am loving the beginning of my new iPad sling!

For today, take those creative ideas that get a hold of your brain and put them into action, you'll be glad you did! Have a great day, and thank you so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 11

2011 Year in Review: Aha!

I wish I had taken more pictures of this page in progress. The way it came together was total perfection! I had done an image transfer a few days before using the same trees -- and wanted to try something different with them -- and what better place then in my journal!

For these trees I opened my image file in Photoshop Elements and made it a reverse -- so instead of black trees on a white sky I had white trees on a black sky. You see where I'm going with this don't you? I also made it large enough to cover both pages of my journal and printed it on regular computer paper.

Instead of an image transfer I glued the image right to my art journal using my trusty and MUCH loved UHU glue stick. 
Random piece of Useless Trivia -- did you know that UHU Glue sticks come from Winthrop Maine, yes my neck of the woods. Nothing comes from Maine. ha ha. I didn't know this until my stash ran out and I found out that JoAnn's doesn't carry UHU anymore and I was trying to find out if they were still in business. 
I did seal the image with some type of spray preservative (can't for the life of me remember what it's called) to keep the ink from my printer from running all over kingdom come and my journal pages before I glued it down. 

When I had painted the rest of the sky black and added the orange sky to the bottom of the page and an orange wash to the trees I had to sit down, ha ha -- just kidding. But it WAS a total aha moment for me. I thought I heard Oprah Winfrey say aha in my head. 

It reinforced to me that EXPERIMENTATION is KEY to discovering new techniques and without that my art will always end up looking the same. It reinforced that I need to continue to document my life -- and my dreams -- and that without doing that I -- Yes -- I will wither up and my creativity will crumble away. It reinforced to me that my tiny thoughts, ideas and experimentations can be so totally worth it -- if I just try them. I just have to try. That's it. Two little words. Just Try. Aha - maybe they should be my words for the year. 

When was the last time you had a creative aha moment? What did you discover - and did you document it? 
I'm leaving you with a lot to think about today. Have a WONDERFUL day -- and make it artful! Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, January 9

2011 Year in Review: Making Mistakes

I think the best thing I did all year for myself was take an on-line workshop from the lovely, talented and awesome Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. Her workshop, 30 Days in Your Art Journal was the best on-line class I have ever taken. While I don't work in my journal the way Julie does -- it inspired me to journal a lot more -- and I loved waking up each morning to her video for the day. 

It put me in an artful state of mind all day -- and it was often hard to get to the work at hand (assignments for EK Success or my classes) because all I wanted to do was play in my journal. Coffee+Julie to start my day was awesome. 

Because I wanted to make this a habit that would stick, I went out and got supplies and made a new journal for the class because I couldn't find what I wanted that was ready to work in. 

I was so disappointed when the watercolor paper in my new hand-bound art journal tore at the fold -- on the first day! While it wasn't the best paper in the world -- it shouldn't have ripped and handled the small amount of scrubbing and water I applied to it -- it's SUPPOSED to be made for WATER, anyway. The colors in the washes were so beautiful and I loved the beginnings of it. But, I WOULD not be defeated by the paper, ha ha.  

This is my colorful first page that tore out of my journal before the paper was dry. what a disappointment! I had two pages with pretty color washes like this. I was determined not to waste them! 

I waited for the pages to dry -- and used them to demonstrate to myself that I could salvage something from it, kind of like a phoenix, ha ha. For the left side of my two page spread I tore my mess into small squares and used a ton of gel medium to adhere them to a different journal made from better quality paper.

This is the opposite of balance -- maybe bordering on chaos. The papers all torn --  the journaling a mystery to anyone that will look at the pages which was kind of my goal, in a backwards kind of way. 

Here you can see all the chaos, I am pretty sure I was in a bad place that day, ha ha! 

Hmmm. not sure the ordered page is much better -- but there definitely is LESS chaos -- which was the goal. In case you were wondering how I made the circles, I poured a puddle of india ink on a clean meat tray and then took different covers off various paint jars and other containers in my studio and dipped them in the paint and then "stamped" them on my page. The largest is my Golden Gel Medium and the smallest is a glue stick. LOVE that look -- though all my containers have dried up india ink on the rims of the covers now. ;-)

The completed spread. Pretty -- no. Completed -- yes. Did I feel better when I was done with it -- YES -- WAY better. So, even though I showed you yesterday that I create art all the time -- it's not all pretty and bad things do happen on the table in my studio. 

Thank you for stopping by -- and have an ARTfully happy day! 

Saturday, January 7

2011 Year in Review: Chicken

Chicken, yes I am. But I don't want to be, ha ha. Last fall I had a re-run of an Image Transfer Class that I taught -- and one of my students from Australia couldn't find any Martha Stewart magazines to play with, and I had some duplicates that I tore pages out of and sent them to her. I couldn't part with this chicken, REALLY -- it's an awesome Chicken! ha ha. 

I decided since I was trying to break through and not be such a chicken in the art department and want to get myself and my stuff out there more -- that I would use this on my second spread in Julie's class and give myself a pep-talk about being a big chicken. 

I tried to duplicate the wash from the first day, and ended up loving this one more. See, mistakes do happen for a reason.I'm not sure I would have tried to duplicate this technique if my page from the previous day had worked out. 

I worked a little bit each day -- cause I was crunched for time that week. I hate being crunched for time but I do it to myself -- ALL the time. I forgot to take pictures for a few days -- so we'll get right to the end next. oooops. 

While I don't LOVE the way this page turned out, I do love the message and feelings I got out. And I love the chicken. Gotta love him. Oh, and I love cows too. Not real ones; just pictures and paintings of them. 

Really, what do you have to lose anyway? Nothing. What have to you to gain?? EVERYTHING! 

The letter stamps I used are from Inkadinkado -- and the "9" was a chipboard letter that I applied black acrylic paint and stamped it on there. It's fun making do with what you have. 

So, what are you doing today that's artful? Take a moment and make a doodle on a napkin or scrap of paper -- or tear out some pretty pictures from a magazine and make a collage out of them -- anything to feed that creative fire inside you! 

Thanks for stopping by -- and have a WONDERFUL week! 

Friday, January 6

2011 Year in Review: Sticking with It

Sometimes when I make a new hand-bound art journal I take the parent sheet (the paper I start with -- which is usually 20" x 30") and add color, texture and designs with spray paints, glimmer mist type sprays, acrylic paint -- really whatever is handy and in close proximity to where I am working. I do this before I cut the pages up to make the signatures of the book and bind them together. A lot of times the colors and pattern help with a starting place -- to help me MOVE past the white page that is so overwhelming to me.

Sometimes, though that design gets in my way and I want to get rid of it because I don't want that color or design on my page. You can see the page that I started with above has a nice beginning. But, not what I wanted that day, ha ha. I don't like to jump around in my journal as I use it, so I have to figure out a way to go with what's there. It's another way to stretch myself out of my comfort zone. 

If you look close at the image above and compare it to the first image you can just make out the pattern in the upper right hand corner. Even though the pattern on the page set me back for a few minutes, I kept going with it, I think the key sometimes to creating art is to not give up when it gets hard -- but maybe walk away and take a break. Maybe get a cup of coffee, take a shower or even a nap. A nap sounds great right about now, ha ha. When you come back to it something fresh and fun will be there -- waiting -- to emerge. For this page I covered up the design with an image transfer of the pretty flowers, added lots of color and added the letters using a stencil and white spray paint. 

With the completed journaling, more color and letter stencils; I think this page turned out great -- and is proof that sticking with it when the going gets tough is totally worth it. 

So, for today -- think about sticking with it -- or even go back to something you may have abandoned and finish it. It may NOT be pretty -- but the satisfaction of finishing will definitely be worth it! I don't know about you -- but after a while all those unfinished projects start to bug me every time I walk into the studio -- it's better to finish it and feel good than have guilt about it. Guilt in art is NOT a good thing!

Well, thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a GREAT weekend! 

Thursday, January 5

2011: Year in Review: Art Post #3

I don't get a lot of time to make art for myself, but I do make a lot of it. Mostly I create art on canvases and wood boards for the classes I teach at My Creative Classroom -- and they end up in a box in my studio -- because I can't bear to part with it. Making art is very rewarding to me -- parting with it -- not so much. I usually end up giving it away to friends I know who will give it a lovely home -- because I can't bear the thought of it going unloved in a box in my studio, my walls are only so big, ha ha. I also have a thing about  hanging my own art on my walls....don't ask -- ha ha. 

Since most of these pieces are still in a box being unloved, I thought I would share a few of my favorites so you can love them ;-) 
This is a Mixed Media collage piece (on watercolor paper)  that I experimented with for an upcoming class.
A Mixed Media Encaustic piece that I absolutely LOVE -- and yes it's in the box. ;-)
Another Mixed Media Encaustic piece that needs some finishing touches -- brighter colors -- but I haven't had time. 
Mixed Media Collage, delicious colors -- and it's only 8 x 8 -- but not in the box. I gave it to a lovely friend for her birthday and she loves it.
Bluebells -- but I decided they needed to be pink. Loving pink lately!  It's my pink flamingo, ha ha. 
I hope that you'll be brave and share your art with your family and friends -- either by inviting them into your place of art or give it to them for a birthday, anniversary or wedding -- any special occasion or no occasion at all! I always feel that giving a piece of art is better than a store bought gift because I am giving the recipient a piece of me -- and my heart. It's easy to go to the store and buy something -- but it's not so easy to make art! Plus -- a visit to the mall takes a little bit of time and creating a masterpiece has so much thought, effort and love put into it. So much better than a sweater or pair of shoes, in my opinion that is! 

Anyway, thanks for stopping by -- and thank you all for your lovely comments about my Creative JumpStart video yesterday, they were all very heartfelt and meant a lot to me! If you can't see the video you may have to register! Have an ART day everyday. 

Wednesday, January 4

Year in Review: Donna Downey Workshop

Yesterday I mentioned I took a three day workshop with Donna Downey during the summer (my birthday weekend -- it was a perfect gift to myself). When I signed up I didn't realize it was going to be all Art Journaling -- but it was fantastic! The first night she gave us all one of her hand-made fabric journals and we got started right away. 

I really enjoyed the way she ran the workshop -- creative prompts and exercises that we only had a few minutes to work on. We could start a new page or continue working on the one we were using. My friends and I (the two Beattie Chicks whom are awesome) stayed in Portland one night and enjoyed dinner out with Donna - it was great fun and just what I needed to get journaling again. 

The prompt for this one was to first create something with either tape or lines - can't remember -- and then to add numbers. Of course since it was my birthday I chose 45. 

When I got home I didn't let the momentum stop -- I continued to create in the journal she gave us. This was a quick little piece on one of the "inclusions" in the journal. 

When my friend Leslie from Beattie Chicks started doing Art Journaling workshops at her studio -- I discovered a whole new side to my art that I never knew existed. I don't think I have ever created something as cool as this in an art journal before. This is one of my all-time favorite pages -- second only to the page I shared yesterday. 

I created this one on my own -- experimenting with some new white ink for my dip pen -- that I totally love by the way! I love the way that art journaling feeds my creativity and helps me work out personal problems. No one needs to see my journal unless I want them too -- so if I create something ugly I just go with it and finish up the best I can. Sometimes I can turn it around -- and other times I can't. Doesn't matter though, I'm happy just to create -- just for ME! 

Thanks for stopping by -- have a wonderful day!