Monday, August 30, 2010

Taking The Plunge

Shoosh, I've done it!  Yesterday I took the plunge ...
with my neighbor into her pool; the water felt wonderful, and the company was nice too.  Afterwards, she joined DH and I for dinner; DH prepared his fabulous Shrimp Alfredo, and I prepared a salad.  It was a nice day and evening.

Earlier in the day, I took another plunge and cut my hair ... even further!  (If you recall, I cut off approximately a foot of my hair a few weeks ago.)  Now, this is it; it's what I wanted.  It's a plunge I'm very happy with, (-:, today.

So, my weekend was filled with plunges.  However, perhaps the largest splashy plunge I took was taken on Saturday evening ...
... when I signed up for Sketchbook Project 2011.  I noticed that the themes have changed once since I've been checking the Sketchbook Project 2011 ("SBP") site ... so I kept hoping they would change the themes again, and include a theme that felt more comfortable to me.  Honestly, I believe the idea of any theme throughout 20(?) entire pages is what was frightening me the most about the project.  I finally said, "okay, let's pick a theme and go with it!"  Can I stick to a theme?  Well, we'll see!

Another plunge taken this weekend, was to make the "executive decision" to have a sale at the shop on Saturday ... while the boss is out of town.  Sales had been down for the week, and so I decided that perhaps a one-day sale would spur some business ... and it worked!  (Admittedly, I emailed the boss Friday evening to give her a "heads up" of my intentions, and give her the opportunity to direct me otherwise.  After all, I need my job!)  The sale was not "publicly announced," ~~ meaning no email or snail mail notifications were sent.  However, I did post it on our Sandwich Sign placed at the storefront, simply stating "Super Saturday Sale!"  During the week, we had received a huge shipment (30+ huge boxes!) of Mark Roberts fairies and merchandise, so the sale was a mere 20% off only on fairies.  As it turned out, traffic was terrific ~~ we saw many new faces in the shop, as well as many regulars.  Once again, it felt like "old times," with people actually out and about, browsing at leisure, and ... willing to purchase!  So, my take on the state of the economy today is that ... with a little "coercion" through a sale of some sort, people are now willing to spend.  I was very happy with the purchases made Saturday ~~ many purchases were made on "non-fairy/sale" items, and we ended with our best day of sales in several months, as well as having many new potential clients come through the door.  Perhaps some of you whom sell your artwork online, at shows, or otherwise, can take this info and use it to your benefit.  Admittedly, sales do not always work, and can even discourage future purchases, as some will say "well, I'll wait until she/they have another sale before purchasing again."  So, that is to say that sales can be "overdone" if used too frequently.  But sometimes drastic times call for drastic measures.

Now I will take the plunge into the beginning of another glorious week, and wish each of you a terrific week ahead.  May your ripples lead to great things!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I did it ~~ I accomplished something today, lol!  Okay, not the best picture, but here's the current piece, in its shadowbox frame, with the babies' name obscured, and the artist's signature as well, (gosh I hate dealing with "boundaries!).  I've added some more clouds, seven birds in the sky (if you look Really closely), a balloon with fish, turtle "tracks," and tide "fluff" on the sand where the waves have left their remains of an outgoing tide.

Here's the image, without the shadowbox.
So, perhaps it's complete, and I actually accomplished something today, on my one day off from work, ... besides laundry, playing with doggies, and making my appointment for blood work!  We'll see where it goes from here...

Time Marches On...

Do you ever ask yourself, "where did the time go?"  I'm asking myself this question today, wondering how some folks get so much done in such a short period of time, and others (like me) have good intentions but get easily distracted from their goals.  I suppose, for me, the answer to that pondering is all about priorities, something I am admittedly not good with.  I used to be a very focused person, but find myself easily distracted today, beginning one thing, then something distracts me (a phone call, a client coming in at work when I'm working on something specific, a doggie or DH wanting attention, for example), and afterward, I forget what I was doing, and begin something else.  Perhaps this is a good thing; it shows me that I will take time to focus on the present ... sometimes ~~ the doggie or DH wanting attention, the client needing assistance, the friend or family calling in hopes of having a listening ear ~~ and am not as selfish with my time today ... perhaps.  Or that's my story, and I'm sticking to it .. with a commitment to begin a "to-do list" so I can get back on track with my goals, when time allows!

Enough about my disorganization, and commitment to organize my priorities.  Right now, my priority is to blog about my most recent "accomplishments!"

The above photo is the beginning (and current state) of my second piece using Mystele's Storytelling method of producing a piece of art.  I am in love with Mystele's process of "gut art," and also am so drawn to yellow ochre, what I call teal-ish (blue/green), and red!  However, here I used a more 'true' yellow, and a more 'true' light blue and 'fire engine red.' At CHA, I saw Dyan Reaveley demo a technique of using only horizontal and vertical "swipes" of color to form a background, and I chose to use her technique on this background.  What a graphic, almost graffiti look this gave!  My thought here was to create a "fall-ish" piece," but I'm flexible and will go with this, and the graffiti feel it was taking on inspired the white ink splotches.  What I found most interesting was that I created this piece in the "landscape" position, and saw absolutely nothing in the piece to pull out of it, hoping for a tree, or leaves, or something 'fallish" ... until I turned it to the "portrait" position, and voila!  Do you see a face here???  I definitely see a chin, and a slanted eye!  We'll see where this takes me, as it progresses!  It's being placed near the top of my "to-do list!"

Then, keeping with "priorities," I worked on the piece I've been working on for the dear parents expecting their first baby whom is due to arrive any day.  As mentioned in my last post, I lost myself in the original sketch, so I ran with a new idea.  I learned that the textiles being used in the nursery have a "nautical" theme, with sea turtles, fish, etc., in blues, greens and a touch a yellow.  SO, immediately I thought "why not do a beach scene instead?"

And this is where I am now with the piece.  (I've edited the image to obscure the baby's name, for the sake of privacy concerns.)  The "footprints" were created using the side of my fist, simply to provide an idea of how the finished piece will appear ... once the little fella arrives and can provide his own footprints.  The scripture was chosen by the parents, and I love it.  I'm not totally pleased with this piece yet, feeling that it still needs something ... perhaps a few more 'blank' clouds in the sky, more highlights on the sand, and/or ... I'm not sure, yet.  But I'm liking this much better than the original sketch ... and hope the parents will also.  Mom gets to see it today, and I would love to have it completed, so she can perhaps have the "real" piece to apply her little fella's footprints printed onto before leaving the hospital, if she chooses to do so, ... instead of being applied to a separate piece of paper to be incorporated here, at a later date.  So this is my "priority" today!

Lastly, I posted about my day of artsy-ness with my two nieces from our day together approximately two weeks ago, but didn't take any photos of our time together, and the art they created that day.  My niece has provided me with a photo of the masterpiece my nine-year-old great-niece created that day, and I can share it with you now!
Here she is!  Isn't she cute?  Taylor loves "embellishments" as much as I do, and is not shy about using them; she added the polka-dotted ribbon to the shirt, belt and choker, crystals to the belt, flowers to the background, and dictionary clipping to the background ... all at her own choosing.  I love to hear her say, "Aunt Lulu, can I use some of 'this' on my piece?"  I also LOVE her free style of creativity, and the fact that she made "herself" the sunshine, for she is my sunshine, too!  I hope she will keep this piece of art for a lifetime, and share it with her own child(ren) one day.  They grow up so fast, so I'm sure it won't be long before that day comes .... as time marches on so quickly!

Speaking of time, I suppose I need to get busy now, and work on completing my piece for the proud parents, as I will meet with Mom at 4 o'clock today ... six hours to go!

Wishing each of you more time than you could ever imagine, to do all that you wish to do, on this day and always.  Until we meet again, may all your wishes come true, may you have good health, and may you feel the light that surrounds you in each and every moment!  Each of you provide me with so much 'light,' inspiration and happiness, each and every time I hear from you ~~ thank you for being a part of my world!  Happy Day and Happy Creating to each of you ~~ Jeanne

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inspiring...uninspired day!

Grace is completed .. now ... I think!  I'm loving her!  I've highlighted the birdie, added a wing, darkened its beak, worked on Grace's eyelids and upper eyelashes, and I'm HAPPY with her now.  She is totally 'me!"  THANK YOU MYSTELE!!!..for providing the direction I needed to produce Grace, in this piece of art!  I'm LOVING her!!!

However, I have the day off from work, so I moved on to my "commissioned" piece ... without the same enthusiasm.  What is it with commissioned pieces???  I'm having SUCH a difficult time of making this piece come together!  I much prefer to work "from my heart," hoping an unknown soul will appreciate it, rather than having 'predetermined expectations."  God, help me..and this piece! This is the "very rough sketch" provided to the commissioner...

The "commissioner" provided very few changes ~~ more of a nautical theme, with the airplane being changed to a sea turtle, the soccer ball becoming to a tennis ball, and the car becoming their family cat.  No biggy.  But, my goodness, I've having a difficult time making this "come together!."  WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT???  I'm beginning to think that I'm just not molded for "commission"/specific pieces ~~ like what I create ... or else!

Here are the two blocks I've worked on today ... that I am TOTALLY unhappy with, and embarrassed to share, :(

Why am I sooo critical of myself???  So, I break away to do the MUCH dreaded thing of calling my father ... thinking "okay, perhaps this is what is holding me back," ... and so I just picked up the phone and dialed.  Shew ~~ what a risk.

However, now that the conversation is over, one in which I'm sure he thought, "OMG, she's sharing SOOO much so quickly, I can't possibly get a word in edge wise," perhaps that is what was suppose to happen.  I'm thrilled to say that it went REALLY well (on my behalf), and I'm feeling much better about life, in general, and this relationship, ... and sadly thinking, "if he dies tomorrow, well at least I called him today."  He IS 75-years-old, and in fairly good health, but whom knows what tomorrow holds, right?  And, THANKFULLY, there wasn't that "well, I want to see you" moment in the conversation.  I'm simply not ready to see him; he's hurt me terribly in recent years, as in the past, and I'm truly not ready to open myself up to that hurt, again.  But I can handle a phone call, from time to time ... for now.

K, so this is "Life And Art With Jeanne" for today!  Hope someone, somehow, can find some inspiration here.  In the interim, Happy Living And Creating ... To Each Of You!  May your life be filled with blessings and creative inspiration!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Everyone Has A Song To Sing...

We all have a song to sing ... some silently, some vibrantly, some meekly, some boldly.  Grace sings her song quietly here, as the birdie sits perched on her shoulder, singing its own song, within her ear.  Perhaps Grace is echoing the birdie's song, ... or perhaps Grace is singing her own song to any trumpet that will listen.  I think Grace is singing a song that goes, "listen to your own soul, and move forth thereafter."  However, I will let Grace speak to you for herself here, and perhaps she will say something otherwise to you, ;).

I am in the process of attempting to find my own artistic "style," and am therefore ToTaLy enjoying Mystele's Teaching Process.  She is so freeing, much like Suzi Blu, but in a Totally Different Aspect!  Mystele's leadership is giving me an independent voice, and freeing my spirit to fly wherever it may go ... within my art, and, in life in general.  I SO needed Mystele's inspirational spirit, and her "free style" of finding "my story" within my own art.  For without an inside voice and spirit, what does our art say to others?  For me, I hope my art says, "enjoy each precious moment of life, for tomorrow is not promised, and, if it comes, we cannot have expectations within it, outside of our own means, and that of our Creator's means.  Make the most of today, and Trust your Creator," whomever your Creator may be!

As for life, in general, I had a really great time with other artsy souls this past Friday evening, :), and I am moving along with my commission piece, hoping it will produce its expectancy, (and realizing its future potential, for others, if not), enjoying the close contact I have with with my nieces at the moment (and eating it up, realizing it may not last, with pending outside commitments), and truly enjoying every breath of life at the moment ~~ what a blessing today is!  If only each day could be this good ~~ that is what I am feeling today.  Yeah, not everything is perfect, but it feels so right, nonetheless.  The only thing that doesn't feel "right," is that I'm wanting to contact my father .... without expectancies, and feel that isn't possible ... although I feel I'm on the brink of "breaking away," and attempting it nonetheless.  (Ah, the life of a broken family ~~ too many of us today, unfortunately.)

Hope each of you are having a good day, and if not, I hope you can find the beauty within the imperfections, as well.  We were not made to be unhappy!  Be Happy!  Life is waiting for you to experience it, ... along with Grace! Happy Day, and happy creating great art, and a great life, to each of you!!! xoxo ~~ Jeanne

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday The 13th

Admittedly, many will find this post an oxymoron when I say that I'm wishing each of you a Happy Friday the 13th.  Admittedly, I'm a bit 'quirky' with many of my thoughts and philosophies of life, and I've always enjoyed Friday the 13th's.  I suppose that is because I was always told by Mom that I was the thirteenth grandchild (for my paternal grandparents), born on Friday the 13th.  (Okay, so I just found a day/year calculator online, and determined that I was actually born on a Sunday, lol.  So Mom's memory wasn't 'all that,' but I still love her, God rest her soul, and "will go" with her shared sentiments ~~ why change it after 44 years, right?) 
So my philosophy is such that Friday the 13th can be a lucky day, if you should believe in luck.  Whatever ~~ make the best of it!

So, today, I wish each of you a Happy, Fun, and Safe Friday The 13th!  May your day be filled with mysterious blessings, renewal of spirit, much love, and great things all around you!  Whatever comes our way, may we make the best of it! xoxo ~~ Jeanne

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Hairy Play Date

Tuesday nite, and all of yesterday, I have the blissful pleasure of enjoying another Play Date with my Great Niece ... and, unexpectedly, my Niece also, for most of yesterday!  Tay (my Great Niece's nickname) first wanted to do some packing tape transfers, after seeing some in my journal.  Tay brought her art journal with her, and I was THRILLED to see that it is almost completed ~~ an entire moleskine filled with such beautiful art.  Of course, my heart smiled largely when I said, "you're just about ready for a second journal, girlie," and she quickly responded, "I already have another one!"  My kinda girl ~~ having her next project ready and waiting!

I couldn't love this little lady more; she is such a sweetie, and she enjoys artsy things as much ... or more than ... I do.  She is so much fun to play with!  Yesterday was sooo hot and humid, so we decided to set up shop in my kitchen, rather than wait for the a/c to cool off "The Hut," aka my 12x12 "Studio" in our back yard.  No matter were we play, we have fun together.

We had to tame ourselves with our morning play, because I had a very important appointment at noon.

This was how I arrived at the noon appointment.  Well, not exactly; I had all this mess of hair put up, but I had to 'free' it, and let it down, for this appointment.  Tay took this picture, so I could remember the "before," ;).

And this is how I arrived home after two haircuts from a very patient hair stylist.  Isn't it amazing how a good haircut can give us an entirely new attitude?  Tay said something like, "you don't look like my Aunt now.  You look like my Pretty Aunt."  And my niece, Mist, (Tay's Mom) is so much more "hair knowledgeable" than myself, so she gave me a tiny flat iron (so I don't have to attempt to work with this short style using my old 2"-wide flat iron, lol), and a jar of some type of hair product to use so I can attempt to get this look when I style it myself!  They are such great nieces, to sit patiently while this transformation occurred, and to be so supportive of it!

So, then we returned to playing with artsy stuff for a couple of hours, before enjoying dinner together.  I was so excited, and happy to be enjoying a play date with them, that I forgot to take any pictures of them, and the beautiful pieces they created, :(.  I will do my best to get pics of their works of art, so I can share them with you later.  Tay painted a really cute girl with a beautiful butterfly on the girl's shirt ... and embellished the piece with ribbons and crystals!  Mist began painting a piece to use as her new blog header!  This is what I worked on ~~ My Story piece with Mystele!
She's still a WIP, but she's taking on some "attitude" now, and I like the way she's coming along.  I love the text in the background, but will wash it with some color to incorporate it, darken her lips, highlight her cleavage, and add something to her choker ~~ can't decide whether to give her some jeweled, dangly pieces falling down from her choker, ... or a flower coming off it's side, hmmm.  Tay says, "do both!"  To have the vision of a child again with no inhibitions, ahh!

So now back to reality, and the working world I go, with a new attitude, and a new "me," filled with love and inspiration for a new day!  Wishing each of you a joyful day, filled with love, creativity, blissfulness, ... and nice weather! xoxo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"In The Wild," Creating My Story, and GREAT GIVEAWAY

First, I have to share that I've FINALLY signed onto Mystele's Site, and joined the Story Telling Basics No. 1 workshop (after seeing it posted on Lorrie's Blog last week) ... and I'm having the time of my life with it . . . slowly (as my work schedule is complicated currently, and thus 'play time' is a bit limited and instead being filled with catching up on daily stuff, after my recent trip).  However, as much as I want to work on My Story piece with Mystele's wonderful guidance, my card stock was getting a bit low at the shop, so I determined it was prudent that I get some cards cranked out first.  I had this Animal Print paper pack, a gift received at Creative Escape last year, and I love me some animal print.  So I decided to incorporate it into cards.  Not the best cards I've made, but something totally different that hopefully with attract ... someone!  So, I've stepped into the "Wild Side" on this collection . . . and attempted some hand-printing, versus stamping, on these babies.  We'll see how they go!

Moving onto my "Mystele Guided" piece, this image is the mid-point of my first piece inspired by Mystele's "My Story/Gut Art" style.  I'm almost embarrassed to share this, as there is still SO much left to do.  However, I was TOTALLY AMAZED with finding this figure within my messy background . . . after a day or two of flipping the piece "this way and then that way!"  Finally, it was like "wow, there IS something in this ugly background!!!"  I want to thin her lips, tone down the background, "resize" her hat, give features to the Birdie on her shoulder ... and give her some eyes, lol, but this has been such a fun project to work with ... and I can't wait to get back to her!  Lorrie, and so many others here in blogland, have been inspiring me to learn from Mystele, and I've FINALLY taken the plunge, and cannot wait to work with this project more.

However, before working on the above "My Story" piece, I have been commissioned to do a piece for the kindest pharmacist whom monitors my INR (coumadin/blood thinning level), a pharmacist in the local Cancer Center, whom tenderly puts up with my being "one of the most uncompliant patients of today."  Mrs. Pharmacist is having her first baby, and saw me working on Big Girl's Journal during my last visit, and has commissioned me to do a 12x12 piece of art for her first-born's nursery.  (How exciting!  Can you see my "perma grin???")  Her baby is due in early September, and I'm so excited to be asked to do this piece, so I feel the need to get busy on it.  Photos will follow soon, ... I hope!

Lastly, I want to share with you a GREAT GIVEAWAY opportunity I found on Nancy Lefko's Blog, that many of you may have already seen ~~ but if not, PLEASE CHECK THIS OUT!  A great site of Michelle of Allen Designs with beautiful "whimsical" art pieces.  Simply follow the link to Michelle's site and have the grand opportunity for an awesome item or items from her site!  I'd LOVE to see some of her work within the shop where I work .... and in my home, ;).

Now, I'm off to work where new items are arriving daily, while we are preparing for the 10th Reunion of the local High School that will take place this coming Saturday evening.  So much work to do, with so little time.  But, most importantly, from a 'retail employee's perspective' related to the local/regional/international economy ~~ for the FIRST time in several years, this past Saturday it felt like 'old times' were returning within the shop ~~ we had people in browsing with no intensive purpose, or nothing particular in mind to purchase (i.e., WINDOW SHOPPING AGAIN) and several folks purchasing "just because they liked it!"  I will say that many of the 'purchases' were made using our layaway plan, though I felt "at least they are making concrete plans to take this home [within our six-month policy]!"  From a retail employee's perspective, this was a LARGE step forward, as we've not seen this type of 'shopping' occur in SEVERAL months!  So, hopefully, this will quickly translate into people buying "unnecessary items" ~~ such as ART ~~ again REAL SOON!!!  Let's hope other artists and shops are seeing similar occurrences ... and that we will all experience a boom, if only a mini boom, REAL SOON!

However, before I rush off, I have to add a thought: I can recall, as a child with grandparents that grew up during the Great Depression, I vividly remember thinking "my Grandparents are SO dang 'thrifty' and why so???"  For example, my grandmother would continue to wear a bra that was 20+ years old .... and only throw one away if the elastic was TOTALLY gone, lol.  She didn't buy ANYTHING that wasn't totally necessary, ... unless it was for someone else, :0.  NOW I understand that generation's 'thriftiness' and can see 'our generation' obtaining similar values that we MAY never overcome ... after suffering through the most recent hard times economically.  We now are becoming 'thrifty' also ... but hopefully, EVENTUALLY, our generation's thriftiness will translate into a simple appreciation for the 'upcycled' items, and less about hanging onto the purse strings in general!)

Wishing each of you a beautiful week, filled with much love, blissfullness, and mega creativity! xoxo ~~ Jeanne

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Terrific Giveaway!!!

Kristen Hubrick of Retro Cafe' Art Gallery is having a wonderful giveaway of your choice of prizes.  Join in the celebration of her blog and stop by for a 1, 2, or 3 chances to win!!!

More Rambling on CHA and Art Journaling

Continuing to unpack all the artsy stuff, catalogs, and books received at CHA, I came across this "flower" made at Spellbinder's Make-and-Take that I wanted to share with you.  It began as three floral die cuts (rather large, probably 5-6" for the green layer, 4" for the blue layer, and perhaps 2.5" for the brown layer).  The floral dyes were cut from music sheets and/or text pages, laid flat and spritz with Smooch's(?) new spritzers (much like Glimmer Mist, and admittedly this new product had a problem with the sprayers clogging, that hopefully they will resolve soon).  After spritzing each layer, we scrunged them up individually into nice balls and rolled each ball in our hands as tightly as possible.  Then we unrolled the balls as much or as little as we desired, layered them on top of each other, put a brad through the middle and viola!  A great idea for adding dimension and texture to a collage piece, or even a card!

Before I forget, Ranger has introduced a new misting product also (as have several other companies).  It is called Perfect Pearls Mists.  It is also similar to Tattered Angel's Glimmer Mist (that I LOVE!), however Ranger's new product has a translucent base, so it only adds colored shimmer, instead of coloring the entire surface...if that makes sense.  This product is basically the same thing we could previously make ourselves using Ranger's Perfect Pearls Powders mixed with water in a mini-mister...only now it's premixed, in a large mister and has TONS of Perfect Pearls in the mix.

Moving along, within some notes that I made during the show, I am reminded of a conversation I had with Suze Weinberg regarding my inquiry as to how to maintain a "shiny/polished" finish when using beeswax in collaging.  I had previously discovered that I could "polish" a finished piece of beeswax collaging with a pantyhose/stocking, or even a paper towel, and it would "shine"...for a while, and then need polishing again very soon to maintain the shine.  Suze was kind enough to share with me that if I were to use an "Encaustic Medium," available from Fanne Fernow of Clairvoyant Encaustics, my collaging would maintain a shine!  This medium has a resin mixed with the beeswax, and thus provides a shinier texture.  If you should care to order any, please mention that you heard about the product by way of Suze Weinberg's suggestion.

My notes also reminded me of a brilliant art journaler from the UK, Dyan Reaveley, whom was demo'ing at the Ranger booth.  OMGoodness, her journaling was TO-DIE-FOR ~~ so many interesting techniques and layers within her beautiful journals!  I wish I could have spent hours with her.  Not to mention her accent was fabulous, as was her fiesty attitude, and can be "heard" within her blogging, ;).  If you have an interest in journaling, and/or interesting techniques that can be used with mixed media art, please check out her blog.  She did some wonderful lettering that caught my eye, below:
I mentioned Lisa Pavelka in my earlier post, but sadly, I was so amazed by her work and demo that I didn't take any pictures.  Here, I have borrowed a few of the pictures on her blog.  Her work was stunning.  She has some very unique polymer clay products, even some Steampunk forms/molds that are new, and several books that she has published.  I had never before taken an interest in polymer clay, but she has inspired me to try it one day soon . . . and she was kind enough to send me home with a block of her clay simply for participating in her demo.  Here are a few of the stunning multi-media pieces seen on her blog (a business card holder, and two necklaces ~~ some using real  METAL CLAY!):
Also a big thing at the show, and very intriguing to me, was Zentangles, something most of us have heard of, or tried.  However, I had never tried "zentangling" before...but was "in" when told that if I brought an attempted zentangle to the booth the following day, they would give me one of the books, ;) ~~ that's all it took for me!  Here is a picture of the book company's booth whom was exhibiting for Zentangle at CHA:
So, this sent me off to continue a journal page that I began on the road trip to the show, to try some "zentangling" with the ideas held in my new Zentangle book during the ride home!  I had begun a "cutting edge" journal page, with my first attempt at "Graffiti Lettering," (ha!), and added some "tangles" to it.  I'm hooked!
Below, you can see the "cut edge" and the back side.
The lettering on this last page isn't complete, as I am experiencing much frustration in finding pens that will write on top of the Water Soluble Oil Pastels that I've grown to adore using in my I began to outline the letters with a white gel pen and then watercolor within the outlines.  When complete, it will say "Today, feel the wind blowing thru your hair and experience the pleasure of the moment...ahh!"  So, if you perhaps have a tip for a certain type of pen that works over water soluble oil pastels...please do share, ;)!

My last rambling for today (perhaps!) is to share with you some lovely stamps discovered at the show by Loralie Designs.  This company began to have so much interest in their girl stamps that they have expanded into serving quilters' needs, as well.  I find lots of inspiration for drawing various sassy girls, hats, hair, clothing, and accessories within their designs, and the stamps themselves provide an easy way to be creative if we are experiencing a creative block, and/or are unable to draw our own girls.  Their stamps are a large 4"x6" size, and can be stamped and then enlarged on a copier should a larger size be desired.  Below are a few photos of some of the samples seen in their booth (some quilt squares, and some stamped and colored images):
Oh, before I cease with this rambling, I just recalled another great product by Elizabeth Craft Designs!  They had the most beautiful "microfine" glitter that shimmers even further when burnished by simply rubbing it with your finger tips after it's applied ~~ and it doesn't come off when burnished/rubbed!  They had tons of "sticky back designs," that were cut outs with a peelable surface that uncovered a nice glued/sticky surface to sprinkle their glitter onto.  However, I feel certain you could apply their microfine glitter to anything you desire and get the same effect.  Loved this stuff . . . but then again, I love anything glitzy or blingy!

But I can't stop without sharing these paper Christmas ornaments.  So easy to make, and they would make lovely package adornments!  They are hung from the back with a thin fishing line, attached under a small paper circle.  (And I'm so sorry that I do not recall what booth these were seen in.)

I PROMISE, this is IT! [laughing at myself, and hoping you haven't lost patience with me]  These were my "finds" along the Highway 127 Yardsale that we attended (a week early ~~ and yes, there were already several vendors set up along the way, through Ohio and Kentucky, mainly!).  I had wanted an old scale for ages, and I finally got one!  It needs a bit of cleaning up, and it will be perfect!  On its rusty tray are a few old dog tags, an old key, and an old St. Christopher that I hope to incorporate into a vintage-y necklace one day soon!
Okay, off with my head...for today, ;)!  That's a rap ~~ I'm off to create and/or do that much needed vacuuming before heading out for the day.  Hoping you found a bit of inspiration here today, and looking forward to sharing in your posts, as well!  Happy Day to All!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Home From My CHA Road Trip!

After a great week on the road with friends (I hope they still consider me a friend...after 7 nites and 8 days with four of us together in their 36-foot RV!), being overwhelmed with artsy stuff during three days of CHA, returning home by way of a portion of the 675-mile yard sale along Highway 127, and 170 pictures later, I am home!  What a great experience this was!  My DH does not like to travel, and I cannot recall us being away from home for an entire week during our 24-years of marriage; so this alone made this week away very special for me ~~ not to mention all that we experienced along the way.

So, to begin to break down of all that I saw, and share some of it with you is a difficult task, but here goes, with my best attempt.  The above photo is of Luminarte Twinkling H20s seen at the Creative Imagination booth at CHA.  This was one product that I knew I wanted to see 'in action," as I had heard of them, but truly wasn't sure about them.  They are wonderful ~~ one of those "gotta have" items for me now!  They are hard cake watercolor paints that have a beautiful glimmery, creamy effect.  I will order a small kit sampling of them initially, and then determine what additional colors I have to have, ;).

The morning of the first day of CHA, I had the pleasure of meeting this lovely lady, Suze Weinberg at the Ranger booth.  Suze was demonstrating Ranger's Melting Pot and Utee Products and, what I loved most, Collaging with Beeswax.  She was so kind to give me the sample she completed for our demo (pictured below), and I will treasure it forever (and most likely, incorporate it into a piece for my keeping, (;).  Also, please check out her blog (linked above) as she has done a wonderful job of recapping CHA!

Then there was Tim Holtz demonstrating his new Vagabond Die Cutting Machine by Sizzix . . . along with various other new "Tim" products.  The Vagabond will cut ANYTHING ~~ paper, grungeboard, cardboard, METAL, fabric ~~ you name it!  And the dies he released at the January CHA are to-die-for. 

Oh, how I love anything "Tim-ish," but my eyes were glued to his WATCH (pictured below), lol.  This terribly blurry picture does NOT do it justice; it was so cool and "steampunk-y!"  I assumed it was a watch, but it may have been a bracelet ~~ he was moving around so much with his demo'ing, but I was totally mesmerized by this piece of jewelry, and would have loved to ask him about it...if not for the mob of people surrounding him, and in front of me.

So, I moved on, in absolutely awe of all the fun "artsy toys" surrounding me.  My jaw must have been dropped during my stroll through the entire show!  This first trip to CHA was absolutely overwhelming, and my first day there, I wanted to take it all in, see everything, and experience all there was to take I left my camera in my bag, :(, as I zoomed from booth to booth...until Carl appeared to tell us there was a booth many aisle ahead that we HAD to see.  It was the Graphic 45 booth ~~ many aisles ahead of where we were.  I had heard of them, but never experienced their products.  OMG, what eye candy!  I took WAY too many pictures of their booth, and sample products, so I'll try to minimize it here:

Their product hangers were such a great touch ~~ eventually, I will try to make some of these!
And their Steampunk Hats were wonderfully bejeweled with all kinds of treasures! I could have spent all day at this booth. But there was so much more still to see and experience!

So, ... I moved on.  At this point, I realized there were "Make-And-Takes" going on at many of the boothes, but there was still SO much left to see!  I decided I would spend my second day doing "Make-And-Takes" as the first day was drawing to a close, and my eyes caught a glimpse of the perfect place to begin my second day ~~ Viva Decor's booth, housing two awesome artists, Brenda Abdoyan and Lisa Pavelka!

So we retreated back to our "home on wheels" in our lonely spot within a gravel parking lot perhaps two blocks from the convention center...that happened to be in the direct path of every plane leaving the Chicago O'Hare Airport, and perhaps 2 miles from the airport, lol.  I continuously thought of 9-11, as the planes seemed to be only inches from the us, and the buildings surrounding us.  But what great memories that we can laugh about for years to come ~~ "what did you say?!?"  We quickly learned to wait for the planes to move on before completing our shared thoughts, ;).

Then, there was Day 2 of CHA!  I was immediately on a mission to reach one of the last rows of exhibits where Viva Decor was housed...a booth that held two AMAZING artists.  First up, for me, was a two-hour wait to reach the Make-And-Take of Brenda Abdoyan, creator of Bajidoo Bangles.  Wow, was it worth the wait!  Here are two photos of what I created with Brenda...and I'm SO in love with this process that I bought a kit to make a second one at home, and I'm sure I will be ordering more kits from her in the near future!

Brenda was a lovely lady, with a tremendous background in Henna Art that inspires her work.  She was very helpful and inspiring.  She decorates the inside of her bracelets, as well as the outside, and you can see some of her awesome work on the link to her above ~~ please visit her.  Below is a picture of her and the assistant whom was helping her with the demo, whom was wonderfully helpful.

Brenda was such a happy soul, and so willing to share her experience and art form with everyone.  Here are a few pics of some of HER creations.

She even decorates the INSIDE of her bangles . . . with CHARCOAL and ink!   Imagine ~~ I would smear the charcoal terribly!

Okay, so this post has been WAY too long, but so much to share.  However, it's not complete without a picture of what was greeting me at the door when I arrived home after midnight on Sunday, while DH was fast asleep in bed.
Boomer, my greatest love and large, 3-yr old, black lab is obvious...and first at the door ~~ our first puppy love.  But, if you look closely, between his chin and the door, you can see Gracie's pink nose doing her best to weasel her way into the scene, lol ~~ she is the Yellow Lab we rescued only 7 months ago.  Such a welcoming sight to arrive home to!  Needless to say, they wiggled, pranced, and danced around me after I pushed the door open . . . and then wanted to know "where's OUR treat that you brought back from your road trip, Mom???"  Yes, they received mega treats and mucho love...while their Daddy slept quietly in the bedroom, ;), ... until the "normal" morning hours . . . when he patiently observed all of my treasures and  pictures, ;).

What a great experience this trip was, with so many happy memories that I'm so happy to reach out and share here in blogland.  This being a special trip for me, I hope I haven't bored you with the details.  There is much more to share from the experience, but I'll leave it to this....for now, and wish each of you a totally blissful week of love and creativity!  Hugs to each of you whom have made it through this post, and mucho happy creating to each of you!!!