Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shop Small

Shop Small.
It's a win-win program.
On my side bar, you will see a link that says, " artwork for sale". Click on that, shop away, it will be delivered to you AND THROUGH MONDAY, will include a FREE set of (6) note cards.
So. A set for a friend, a set for you.
A print and a set of cards for you or a friend.
It's fun like that.
OH, yeah....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Ramblings

Happy Thanksgiving!
I have enjoyed reading everyone's day of gratitude post on Facebook this month. I kept thinking I would join in but it just didn't happen.

Driving home from my daughter's house today, I came up with an alternative.
Here it is:

Thirty One Days of Gratitude List.

A good night's sleep.
Leaves that change color, the light in Autumn, hot bubble baths and new life.

A great book.
Friends, family, and really, really looking into the eyes of my children.

Anything old and worn.

Opening my hands.
Peonies and daffodils from Trader Joe's, socks that fit the smell of pumpkin spice and the sea.


The privilege of crying with those in pain and helping to bear their sadness.
Holding my children, cooking for others, gathering, the gift of creativity.

Laughter, loving my husband, prayer, the freedom to worship.

The gift of words.

Here's to a beautiful day whether you gather with family or friends.

May I just add....
If it's a rough day, as holidays can be, take the time to excuse yourself from all the chaos and dysfunction and find a quiet spot.
Think of five things your are really, truly grateful for.
Say them out loud, write them down, text them to yourself.
Tell yourself you are loved and you are enough.

And when all the family get togetherness is over, take the longest, hottest bubble bath ever and have sweet dreams.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Lets talk about hands.
Personally, I believe hands are quite beautiful. Whether they are old and arthritic or soft and smooth. Don't even get me started on toddler's hands.....sticky and often dirty, so full of promise, they are plain wonderful.

Last night, at Bible study, I had my hands held open during a song and a thought entered my head.
I know, I know. I was SUPPOSED to be focusing on the song. Instead, as I stared at my hands in my lap, I started thinking of all the things my hands have held.

Heaven knows I have held enough cups of coffee.

way to spell my name, Starbucks....

Communion, paper, my husband's hand, a camera, newborn babies, puppies. Oh, what a wonderful list! 
My daughter's hairbrush while brushing their hair. Cameras, snacks, books from the library in giant stacks.

brave girl camp

Paintbrushes. Bottles and tubes of paint, stencils, pencils, pens, markers, scissors, crayons, chalk, glitter, soldering irons....

A friend's hand when she is hurting, my children's heads when they were sick, my mother's face as she was dying.

My hands have been clenched in fear, anger and frustration.
They have thrown things, covered my face, slammed doors and banged the steering wheel of my car.

I have even been known to write a thing or two ON my hands.

Here is what I noticed last night as all these thoughts went racing through my head.

My hands are always FULL
 The thought has crept in over and over the last several months to live with 

As I ponder what this means, what it might look like, a lot of emotion arises.

For one, it means a lack of control.
Not something I am particularly fond of.

It can also mean waiting for someone or something to fill my hands. 
Will I trust that God will fill it with good? 
If, as it has been in the past, ('cause sometimes life is just that way)
filled with difficulties,
 will I leave them open for Him to fill them with strength? 
Will I leave them open in surrender?

Surrender ranks right up there with lack of control.

O.K., so I have some IS-SUES.

On a daily basis, open hands means waiting.
Letting the filling of my hands, or my day, come at it's own pace.

Here's a good one:
I have a tendency to clench my hands while I sleep.
This results in my waking in the middle of the night (for various reasons) and when I do, I have to slowly and painfully open my hands. Sometimes, when as I fall back asleep, I purposely lay them flat so they stretch out and find relief.
(ahem. did I mention I have Is-ues? Good. Just checking.)

SOMEtimes, before I fall asleep, I make a conscious decision to keep my hands flat and open.
What if..
I do this at the beginning of the day and not just before I fall asleep
Maybe even somewhere in the middle of the day, when the pressures mount or I can't seem to make a decision? Open them, lay them palms up, with nothing filling them and...

I'll get back to you on this one.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vintage Equals Happy and A Little Tutorial

I'm so happy in my studio these days and I think I know why.
I'm surrounded by OLD and Vintage.

Now, you know my passion for color and paint. 
But the crusty, and the old, the beat up and well worn...
it has such a special place in my heart.

wreath available at the YMCA show, Dec. 7-8

When I combine the two it's like magic.
When I dive head first into just the old?
It's like smelling the ocean.
Like putting my face into towels just out of the dryer.

I'm carving out TIME to get into this-and so far it's working!!

I have a six-foot table space for the December YMCA show.
Gotta say, it's a fun challenge...

I'm so excited for my table display, I can't see straight.
Layer, layer, layer.
Build UP.

packs of cards for sale HERE.

Look all over my house for things to display, hunt thrift stores, start laying out, mixing and changing....

In my head, I go to sleep thinking about color and paper and I wake up excited to create.
Like the other morning when I woke up at 5 a.m. and looked through Pinterest for display ideas.
I found this little tutorial for paper flowers on this cute blog..
Super easy, super fun.

Gather material:
Hole punches
Vintage book or dictionary.

Punch holes- I use six for a flower.


Unfold and layer, staple together in the middle

Scrunch back together.

Add a little glitter.

"Punch 'n Scrunch"
Done deal.
Next week, I'll show you the card packets.

Gotta get back to the creating...

Linking to:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Friday Ramblings


End of the Year Tennis Banquet.

Opened the Blog Shop

Began Advertising Campaign.

Watched Miss Brenna's final Homecoming Pep Rally.
We are both proud to report that the Seniors won the Spirit Stick.

Homecoming dance with her dates.

And, NO. 
I can't believe it's her senior year.

Got accepted to the YMCA's 46th annual 

Which is having me (happily!) embracing Christmasy-stuff before Christmas.
Now, I know the smart thing is to begin this kind of creating in July. Ha.
Maybe September.
I didn't find out about this cool event until late October and wasn't sure if I would get in. But I could CERTAINLY get into helping with the holiday shopping mode with my blog.
(Hence, my opening the Blog Shop.)

This is where the (sarcastic) fun of the week begins.
Somehow it opened the door to what-ifs and that nasty word, doubt.
I'm beginning to think this is just a part of the artist's world.
Little by little, I learn to recognize doubt's presence so that it doesn't sneak up on me in such a large way. I become stronger and stronger to shut. the. door. on it's presence.

When I embrace the 
that there is 
of us,
(including me)

I begin to get happy.
And messy.
I realize (anew) how I'm surrounded by things and people I love.

happy and messy

I cannot say, however, this is a steady stream.
Three times this week I have seen or heard this:
This life is MESSY.

I don't sleep well or something comes up at B's school, or she isn't super happy about cooperating or the dog gets a haircut and is cold, so I buy her a sweater and while wearing it, decides she can't walk in it and falls over.


Which, at first I find irrelevant to this post and I really just wanted to show you this goofy photo.
But really?
It's part of what ALL adds up.

If I could sit in my art room all day, every day, maybe I could have a steady stream of happy.

it's beginning to look a little like Christmas...

Of course, there are a couple of problems with this.
First, I would probably get horrific Sciatica from sitting so much.
Second, I would be isolated and focused on a very, very small part of life.
Don't get me wrong, ART is HUGE in my life.
It's embedded into just about all I do and how I view things.
 It helps to expand what I learn and how I think.
It gets me out that door so I don't sit in a room forever.
 It actually makes me look at doubt and why it has to even raise it's nasty head.
If I sat in a room and created and never shared, never got outside of my room....

I would miss SENIOR Pep Rallies
and watching
 the leaves TURN COLORS  
and the feeling of melancholy I get when Fall begins to fade.

I would miss DISCUSSIONS, especially the difficult ones that, when worked out to the end, bring peace and resolution

purchase this here

I guess what I'm trying to get across is that as tough as some days are, I'm finding(again and again) there is a purpose and a reason for that day's thread to be woven into my life.
And while some of those purposes and reasons are completely hidden and hard and hurtful, if I embrace the messiness, live in it for a while and then get out of my room,
the joy comes.

Not always. Not all days.
Those days I just need a blanket and the couch and my dog and a NAP.
Ummm, quite possibly like today. 
My brain happened to wake me up at 4:45 obsessing over booth decor for the YMCA show.
I promise. I took my anti-anxiety medicine last night.

Here's to 
messes and naps,
falling back asleep in the early morning hours,
art, fall leaves
praying the threads in your life don't strangle you, but rather let you see a beautiful tapestry.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Little Tutorial

As long as I have you covered for 
gift giving, (as in click HERE for the blog store)
I thought I would throw in a little tutorial on freezer paper transfers and working out at the same time.

I saw two of these tutorials on Pinterest.
The links are HERE, under my "projects to do" board.
Sometimes I actually do what I find on Pinterest.
Mostly, I pin stuff and forget what I have pinned.

ANYway, gather some freezer paper, a sheet of computer paper and some spray adhesive.

Spray the NON - wax side of a piece of freezer paper with the adhesive.
Place it on top of the sheet of computer paper, smooth it out and then cut to the size of the computer paper, WAX SIDE should be facing up. 

Pull up some images on your computer.
I have a Mac, so I put images I found at The Graphics Fairy on Pages.
If you have wording, you will need to reverse, or flip the image.  

On a Mac, go to file, then click print.

My Mac is about 5 years old, so it works differently than stated in the tutorials I have pinned.
Click on Layout.

From there, you will click Print Settings and find two boxes marked Gray Scale and Mirror Image.
Click Mirror Image.

Here comes the working out part:

Put your printer in a room upstairs, because there isn't any room for it in your art room.
Each time you hit print, run UP the stairs to retrieve your paper.
Each time you load the freezer paper in your printer, run UP the stairs.
Have the dog follow you each time and you can consider her having had her walk for the day.

 Make sure you load your piece of freezer paper into your printer so that the image will print on the 
waxed side.
It will look like this when printed :

 At this stage, each tutorial said something different. One said spray hair spray onto your materia, one said spray some water.
I first sprayed a piece of muslin with some hair spray.

Next, lay the copy, face side down on the muslin and rub with the back of a spoon.
Again, each tutorial said something different. One person said the back of a spoon worked better, the other said the edge of the spoon was the way to go.

Judging by the way this first color piece came out, I don't think color transfer is the way to go.

The cool deal is that you can spray your piece of freezer paper with some water, wipe off the copy, run upstairs and re-use the same piece of paper for the next transfer.

To turn my colored copy to black and white, I clicked the box for GRAYSCALE, which is above the box for Mirror Image.

Run back upstairs to retrieve the copy.
Do not trip on the dog.

This time I sprayed a little bit of water on the muslin, then
laid the copy face down on the muslin and rubbed away with the back of the spoon.

Not happy with this one, either.

The print seemed to come out o.k. either way, all though it is a little light:

 Wipe off the transfer,
print on grayscale and mirror image.
Run back upstairs.
See if you can beat the dog this time.

This is how it turned out rubbed on the muslin WITHOUT water or hairspray.

I still wasn't particularly happy with it, so I chose a different graphic to see if maybe the color and shading in the original graphic would make a difference.
Print on grayscale and mirror image, run upstiars...
You get the routine.

This time I took longer to rub and used the edge of the spoon, but did not put any water or hairspray on the muslin.
What do you think?

I would love to hear if you have tried this before and how it worked for you.

Happy transferring!