January 30, 2015

In My Art Journal

Happy Friday!!

I am particularly happy this Friday because my hubby gets home from being in Taiwan for 2 weeks! The kids have been great with helping out, keeping us fed and clothed since my arm is still broken. We were cracking up at the state of our home, though.  Seriously, between work, school, a crazy dog, and me being out of commission, we have just been keeping our heads above water!

When Mike travels I often spend more time reading than usual, and I end up filling his side of the bed with books, crossword puzzles, journals and such, as I cast them each aside as I drift off each night.

This time, it being the start of a new year, I busted out a brand new art journal and kicked it off by taking an online class with May Flaum called "Finding the Art in My Journal".  Here's the first spread I made:

I applied a few different shades of green and blue to the background, and spread it around with a paintbrush and a palette knife.  A little mist through a stencil, then taped in a couple of blind contour drawings, a little journaling, and called it done...for now.  I will likely return to it for more journaling and/or doodling as the mood strikes.

After working in so much black and white last year, the color and fun of paint and wet media was refreshing.  I'm looking forward to getting both hands dirty soon!  Next week I should be good to go!

Thanks for stopping by!  Head over to May's site, www.craftwithmay.com to check out her art journaling class and several other paper-crafty subjects!  She is true blue and down to earth and an empowering teacher.

Also, sharing on Julie Fei Fan Balzer's site for her Friday Feature, Art Journal Every Day.  So much inspiration to be found there!

Have a great weekend!

January 22, 2015

With Broken Wing

As artists, crafters, creators, makers, we often chat about getting into a creative rut.  One interesting tactic to break free is to limit the supplies at hand, to force new ways of thinking. I decided to ring in the New Year with a fresh challenge, with a different take on that advice:
What if I just limited the amount of hands I can use???
Brilliant!!  But, before I could second guess the reality of the plan, nor the logistics of implementation, the Universe slammed me down on the ice at a pop-up skating rink at our local shopping mall, and broke an arm.

That was December 30th.  Happy New Year.  Ring-a-ding-ding.

Oy.  I was already going to be off of work till January 12th and I had plans.  PLANS!!  Two-armed plans!!  Cleaning, purging, organizing plans!!  And after that, creative and crafty plans.

I asked the Universe, "What gives?  I thought my priorities were SO in line!?!"

Reflect...Analyze...Shut Up...Listen....

Do a little one-handed art journaling.

The One Little Word challenge for January is create something inspired by the word "Sing".  

I tried to sketch a bird with a happy face despite a broken wing.
 It sucked, so I settled with a feather to represent.

Hmmmmm.  I'm still trying to find the lesson here.  Though, I honestly think this was the Universe saying, "Hey, you do too much for the kids.  They need to step up and pull a little more weight around here."  Not that they don't when asked, but not much is really expected of them outside of personal hygiene, their studies, and a couple light chores.   

So, the kids have been quite wonderful, from cooking, to cleaning, to laundry, to just noticing me struggling to open something with one hand and quickly sliding in to take over.  They have made it easy to keep my spirits up, despite the obvious frustrations and limitations (imagine relying on someone else to button your pants and apply your deodorant.  Thank goodness I have developed some new strategies and flexibilities by now.) 

I'll tell you, though, I've been pretty antsy while laid up, side-lined in my arting and spending more time than I'd normally, poking around the web at what others are creating.  
Hope you are living, laughing, loving and playing today!
Thank you for stopping by!

January 11, 2015

Rauschenberg Reaction

I enjoy going to museums.  I enjoy looking at paintings, sculpture, etc. and reading the little plaques mounted nearby with information about the artist and the piece.  Depending on the museum and the exhibit I may be drawn in by the age of the piece, be it King Tut's sarcophagus or a Rembrandt, thinking historically about the materials and circumstances under which the art was able to come into being.

Often I am drawn to the texture of the mediums, a sense of and appreciation of which you just cannot get from seeing two-dimensional pictures of art in books or online.

Alfred Jensen "Reciprocal Relation, Per I, II and Per III, IV", 1969
Oil on canvas

I thought these were painted concrete.
I was so surprised that the texture was, in fact, paint!!

Ok, so--Museums.  Enjoy them, appreciate them, great way to spend an afternoon, right?  Well, NEVER IN MY LIFE have I been so emotionally struck by a piece of art than I was when I came upon this one by Robert Rauschenberg at the Los Angeles MOCA recently.

Robert Rauschenberg, "Interview", 1955

OMG!  How to describe it?? I entered the room.  The piece was on the wall straight ahead.  I can't say what it was in particular that spoke to me, but all of a sudden my hand moved from over my heart to over my mouth.  I flushed, took in a shaky breath, and pinched my nose to hold back a sob!  I slowly took in every inch of it from every angle.  I honestly do not know what my connection was to this piece, but it was so deep, and so strong.  My family, somewhat embarrassed, I think, speed-walked into the next gallery.  But I didn't want to leave.

I wanted to crawl inside.  I wanted to just sit in there and think about every element and detail.   Now I want to study him, get to know him better.  And maybe discover where this deep feeling of connectedness stems from.

January 06, 2015

Out With the Old: Some Unshared Projects From 2014

Hello!  I was organizing some photos the other day, as I was tucking 2014 into bed, and realized I had some projects that I hadn't shared here!  Would you like to have a look-see at some of my favorites?

Mini Albums

I love this mini album I made to record memories of a trip to visit my dear friend Christine in Denver. I adore the rustic piano hinge binding that I made using twigs that I gathered from the birch tree in my front yard.

Another dear mini album is the one I made for my dad for his 70th birthday.  Yeah, the cover doesn't really match the style of the interior pages, but I'm ok with that.  The focus of this project was to express the love I have for my dad, and I think that I conveyed that pretty well.

While presenting in front of a whole lot of family, I didn't want to provide explanation for this "Do Not Poke the Bear" card from Cocoa Daisy.  But, growing up my dad always referred to my mom as "The Bear", and during those smarmy teenage years he would often coach me not to provoke her with my attitude.  :)

Art Journal

I worked quite a bit in my art journal this year, and most everything in it was black and white work. I practiced sketching and shading, and I doodled and journaled.  

Scrapbook Layouts

Here are a handful of layouts to peruse.  I think all the seasons of the past year are represented, though chronological scrapping is not my thing.  My guides are emotion, nostalgia, and pretty paper.

I love that these kids truly love each other.
I hear them say it to each other all the time.

Love this bouquet of dried sage flowers picked up on a local walk.

Blaze loves the beach! It's nice to finally have a kid that enjoys it as much as I do.

Documented Bliss*
*Mine, not hers.

Jillian's costume from Halloween 2013 finally scrapped

Dorking out, just because it keeps me entertained.

Aw, sweet little ol' me.

Off-the-Page Projects

We started 2014 off with a fun commissioned project for our new local scrapbook store.  Anna, one of the other design team members, Mike and I worked together to build a huge magnetic chalkboard for the store's grand opening.  It was so fun to work on this project with Mike.  I must say, as difficult as they were, I truly miss those years where we worked side by side creating and running his bike company.  :)

Photo by Tonya Wade

 Here is a cute little gifty inviting a friend to Tea for Two.  I love that I had a couple of teabags from Trader Joe's whose tags perfectly matched the paper I used.  It's Ginger Pear White Tea, if you are interested.  Pretty good with a vanilla and white chocolate biscotti.

This was a failed attempt to do some free-motion sewing, challenged by the One Little Word blog to create something inspired by the word "aspire".  I didn't continue the piece, annoyed by puckering, impatience, and lack of stabilizer.  But I enjoyed the practice, and will keep at it.

In the meantime I finished these pillows for our sofa, which I hand-emboidered with the artsy look of free-motion sewing.  Mike drew the dogs for me and I traced them onto the fabric along with the words "sit" and "stay".  I crocheted a scalloped trim, and hope they send a welcoming invitation to our guests.

 Aw, here is Blaze modeling how to use one properly.  :)

This is another commissioned piece made for a teacher's retirement.  The kids later added their thumbprints as foliage to the tree.  

I love these little Halloween trees!  My favorite part are the tree stumps made from wine corks.  I painted the corks black and scribbled on them with gold glitter glue--totally looks like bark!!

Also, for the love of all things pumpkin, I crafted these wire pumpkins and tacked them to canvases.  One canvas I painted orange, and the other I left primed white.  I rather like both of them!

Here is another wine cork craft.  I made these cute place cards as a design team project for Craft Envy.  Just a simple circle folded into a rectangle and slipped into a slit cut into the cork.  

And finally, a gingerbread luminaria, which has been on my bucket list for a dozen or more years.  I had seen them in a Sunset magazine long ago, tried, failed, and have long lost the magazine.  I was able to come up with a great "construction" gingerbread recipe online that made for much more predictable and sturdy pieces.

So, there you have it, assuming someone actually made it to the end of tis monstrous post!  It is my intention to share more regularly in 2015.  I will be sure to put out more manageable sized chunks of content.  No one should have to take a potty break in the middle of a blog post!!

Thanks for stopping by!