I hope your holidays are filled with family, friends, love and creativity!
I sincerely hope all of my friends and family had a glorious holiday. What a perfect day for my family- visiting with relatives, a BBQ cook out with fresh-picked Ohio corn and lots of laughter and good-natured teasing like only families can do with one another. We ended the day in Wooster with an old-fashioned fireworks display.
Tomorrow is shopping at the hardware store (yay!) and antique shopping, as well as visiting Amish stores. I plan to take Instagram photos tomorrow if you are interested, follow me there.
Here’s wishing you am Artful day!
I’m feeling happy and complete today. I turned in my manuscript for my book yesterday to my editor. It’s been a lot of hard work creating what I hope are beautiful projects, doing the step-out photos and writing the manuscript. It’s also an amazing experience to be having and one I am just so very grateful for. I’m celebrating today by playing around on my computer with some images. This is a digital collage I just made in Photoshop for a new Timeline header on my Facebook Page. The collage is a taken from an assemblage of mine and bits and parts of some Instagram photos I took yesterday when I was shopping in the Melrose District (central Phoenix). The sentiment is how I’m feeling today in general.
What about you? When was the last time you walked on Cloud 9?
Yesterday was my birthday. It’s not a milestone number by any means and I still have work to do, so I thought it would be kind of like any other day.
When I woke up yesterday morning, I grabbed my coffee and my iPad, like I do most mornings. My daughter and I snuggle while I check email and Facebook for 20 minutes or so before we have to get ready for the day.
When I went on my Facebook page at 7:30 am my time, I had so many well wishes that I was surprised. The sweet comments kept rolling in as the day progressed, and by 3 p.m. West Coast time, I was truly overwhelmed with emotion from all the love from my Facebook friends.
I’ve said this often to people who ask about my job. I work from home in my quiet little messy studio making art, writing and working with Susan and the ICE Resin team members. I travel to teach five or six times a year, but I mostly live in my fuzzy slippers and comfy artist clothes.
When I hear from literally hundreds of people birthday wishes and sweet comments about me or my work, I just feel beyond blessed for my life and for this tight mixed-media art community of talented friends.
Thank you Facebook for allowing me to connect daily with these amazing people. Considering that I thought it was a nothing special birthday, it turned put to be one of my best days ever.
Here’s wishing all of you a truly Artful day!
I cannot believe it’s been over 3 weeks since I last blogged. Life is so crazy, busy hectic right now. I’ve been to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee and returned home to some very intense deadlines. So intense, it feels overwhelming when I stop for even a moment to think about them. I’m still doing exactly as I wrote nearly a month ago, I’m still going. Like the Energizer Bunny or the Hamster on the wheel… there is no time to stop.
I went to Phoenix on Friday to take a Stampmaker certification class with PhotoCentric and the Teresa Collins stampmaker kit. I had so much fun! I’ll post some pics and tell you more about it in the next couple of days, I promise.
I need to jump off the computer now because its Father’s Day and my hubby and kids need me to stop working for a bit and devote my time and energy toward them. A balancing act. I feel I can’t stop, but I must. As crazy and wonderful as things are in my life right now, I recognize how quickly the baby is growing (she turns 2 next month!) and how much my son is turning into a man before my eyes. I need to honor my family and, sometimes, let another day of deadlines pile up.
So, until we meet again. Which will only be a few days. I promise.
I invited our neighbor over for dinner this past Saturday because his wife of 35-years is out-of-town and his diet for 3 weeks has consisted of beer, popcorn and cookies. I should have invited him over earlier for a home-cooked meal, but with my husband traveling, I wasn’t doing a lot of cooking myself. Kids are fine with pizza and chicken nuggets. Come to think of it, my neighbor might have been too.
As we were sitting down at the table eating and chatting, Dan asked me what took me so long to be neighborly when he and Barb moved in last year. Honestly, I wasn’t trying to be unfriendly. I was just busy juggling the same thing so many women my age are balancing: work and motherhood.
I may have been slow to warm up, but then my neighbors did a huge favor for me in January, and I’m eternally grateful to them. Since then, I’ve been trying to show my appreciation in small ways whenever I can, like making sure Dan eats at least one serving of vegetables while Barb is out-of-town.
I’ve also come to learn that Dan is a big jokester. He loves to tease me and try to get my goat up whenever he can. My father has the same personality, so it’s pretty hard to catch me off guard. I was trained to think fast on my feet or whither under my dad’s caustic wit.
At one point in the dinner conversation, Dan called me a “magpie.” I laughed and asked him exactly how I reminded him of a funny little black-and-white bird. He said that I can seem aloof at first, but once I get to talking, I can chatter noisely and endlessly. I could tell he felt a little guilty by the surprised look on my face and quickly added: “They’re highly intelligent birds you know!”
I’ve been thinking about the comparison the past few days and realize it’s quite a compliment. I googled magpies and found out they’re notorious kleptomaniacs, collecting anything brightly colored that catches their eye. A magpie snatches up glittering treasures – gum wrappers, tinsel, metal bits, barbed wire, etc. - to incorporate into its nest. Also, magpies are known for swooping down and stealing shiny pieces of jewelry.
As you know from my last post that it’s Spring cleaning time in my studio. Thinking about the magpie analogy, I took a quick picture of my workbench yesterday as I was cleaning up from my recent jewelry-making projects. It’s quite the little glittery nest of stuff, isn’t it?
I just did another podcast, only this time with my fabulous friend Ricë Freeman Zachary, the editorial content guru for Create Mixed Media. I had great time talking to Ricë, such a good time that I wonder if the interview doesn’t go on and on a little too long. (grin) If you are wondering about Facebook and Twitter and blogging and all those kinds of things in order to PR your art business, take a gander over at Ricë’s personal blog, the Voodoo Lounge and listen for yourself.
I’m working on a follow up column on the podcast now, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them here on the blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to work them into the column.
Here’s wishing you a truly Artful Day!
When I was in Houston, my talented and beautiful friend Lesley Riley interviewed me for her Art and Soul Radio on blogtalkradio. The interview airs in 5 minutes. (Don’t worry, if you didn’t catch it live you can always click on the archived link).
Oh my gosh, I’m a little nervous to hear my voice coming from my computer very soon. You see, I’m always the one doing the interviews, not the one being interviewed. It’s a totally different frame of reference to be the one sitting in the hot seat. The one not in control of the questions, but the person who must think about what’s being asked and do my best to sound knowledgable and literate.
Fortunately, I love to talk (grin). I’m comfortable doing public speaking, as long as its on a subject matter that I know well. Public relations, marketing, magazines, publishing, art, artists..those things come easy to me. Talking about myself, well that’s a little more unsettling, and that’s where I’m a little nervous as I watch the minutes click by to “showtime.”
Lesley, however, made it easy for me to do the radio broadcast. Her questions were thorough and thought provoking. The 60 minutes we had together zipped by as if I were speaking to an old friend.
I first met Lesley Riley in 2005 when I was writing the Paper, Scissors, Crop column for Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion magazine. She was the third artist I ever featured in my column, which ran for nearly 5 years. I had just met Lesley then and was so impressed with her beautiful “Fragments” series she was working on that incorporated image transfers on fabric, along with her unique way of mixing textiles. I fell in love with her work, as well as her generous heart and spirit.
She didn’t know it for the longest time, but Lesley became one of my very first mixed media art mentors. She looked at my work back then and gave me a vote of confidence. She told me it was good, gave me constructive criticism to help improve my skills, but most importantly, she encouraged me that as a self-taught artist I had some talent worth exploring.
We lost touch for a few years, but recently reconnected as our paths met again with the new website Create Mixed Media, where she and I are two of the four contributing editors and columnists. When she asked to interview me this time around, I felt as though my career had come full circle. It was definitely a “wow” moment for me.
My life is a blessing. My career, my family, my art. The fact that I’m now getting opportunites to share what I’ve learned is truly icing on the cake. This mixed media community has given so much to me over the past 6 years, that I love being able to give back what I can to help others along the way. I’m sure someone is right now sitting in the same spot I was in 2005, wondering if her art is good enough, special enough, lovely enough to make an impact on the world in some small way. Hopefully, it’s my turn to do for her what Lesley and others did for me.
There are people who have made my journey as an artist easier, people who believed in me long before I believed in myself. My friends Barbara and Brenda, who own the incredibly cool paper arts store in my hometown called Paper and Metal Scrappers are those types of folks for me. They gave me my first job teaching about 5 years ago, and have encouraged me to go forward at every turn.
So, naturally, when I finished writing my book I called Barbara on the phone to express my relief. She told me to immediately call Brenda (who schedules the classes, invites the Guest Designers to come to town and handles the demos, etc.) and set up a date for a book signing. So that’s what I did.
The cool thing is that the date is here. I will be doing a book signing and make n’ take of my own design tomorrow (March 11th) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at my friends’ too-cool-for-school store. If you happen to be in Payson, Arizona pop in and say hello. I’d love to chat.
Regarding the make n’ take, I knew I wanted a mixed media flower embellishment using fabric and resin paper and some other goodies. I also knew I wanted it on the funky side so I started pulling out my scraps. The base needed to be something heavy — like blue jeans. I rummaged through my closet for an old pair, couldn’t find any and then remembered “Dang, I just took a big box of clothes to my local thrift store 3 weeks ago.” I had asked my hubby to go through his stuff, but he just couldn’t make the time that weekend for clearing and cleaning.
Soooo, I rummaged through his closet and found an old pair of faded black jeans, picked up my favorite pair of Fiskars scissors that I only use for fabric so they stay sharp and got to work tearing up his pants. It felt good to sacrifice those saggy-bottom jeans to art!
The flower was looking good, but it was missing some texture and just, well, missing something. I grabbed some bubble wrap from my recent EBay purchase for my upcoming CREATE classes and cut a circle shape. It still needed something so I broke out my white paint and “stamped” some onto the bubble wrap circle. Viola, just the texture I was looking for.
This is what I love, love, LOVE about mixed media. Anything goes and everything can be upcycled from something ordinary and boring into — ART.
Seriously, if you live in Phoenix or anywhere close, take a trip to see me and come play with my husband’s pants. Well….you know what I mean. (wink).
I was so thrilled to have won the Most Innovative Design award at the CHA Winter 2011 show last week in Anaheim. The award came from my art project for the Craft Studio as a CHA Designer member called "A Bird in the Hand".
I used an old cigar box, some craft wire, some paper and some ICE Resin to create a mixed media assemblage to show off my creativity. I had no idea there was any industry award attached to the Craft Studio, so boy was I surprised when I was named the winner.
The best part was not the award itself (which is a rather large and impressive statue) but when Steve Berger, CHA President and CEO announced my name to the 400 or so people in the crafts industry who were attending the Awards Show Banquet. To hear my name spoken aloud was an amazing feeling. Confirmation that my hard work and my passion for mixed media art is making a difference in the world.