Wednesday, September 30, 2009

around the studio

just wanted to share a few of my studio favorites today....

mary englebreit doll, watercolor paint pan
calligraphy pens and paint brushes, hugs from a kindred spirit
bookbinding supplies, vintage button stash

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

celebrate you!

no one in this whole wide wonderful world can be you better than you!! let's celebrate!!

journal page finished using hand-carved stamps, pentel colorbrush, micron pens and watercolor pencils

Monday, September 28, 2009

inspiration monday

not too long ago i received several comments on this post about the painting that hangs on the wall in our living room. there's always a good story behind every great piece of's this painting's story:
back in 1998 my little dutch boy was commuting from florida to quebec, canada, as the general manager of a gorgeous hotel, the Chateau Cartier (he would work ten days and come home for a 4-day weekend. this was supposed to be a temporary 6-month assignment and lasted 18 months. good times....not). during this time, he met a budding artist from brazil, Marcio Melo, who was invited to solo exhibit his artworks at the chateau.

my dutch boy and marcio found that they had quite a bit in common, one thing being marcio's fabulous artwork! this particular painting is of marcio's studio house, located on moffat lake outside of ottawa. marcio knew how fond my dutch boy was of it, so out of appreciation and friendship, he offered it to my dutch boy as a gift....and i wish i could tell you how we treasure this (let me put it this case of fire, i would grab the dog, the family photos and this painting!)

but probably one of the most interesting things about this painting is the way it's put together. the story goes that when it came time to paint this, he didn't have any large canvases (this measures about 60" x 46"), so he taped white paper bags together to create one large canvas to paint on (and then he just painted right over the tape!)! and while we hear so much now about taking care to use archival resources, i just love how marcio was so inspired to paint that he did what he had to do to create the canvas!
to me, that's true artistic passion....he paints because he has to.

you can visit marcio here, and see the photo of his studio house here.

for a larger view, click on photos

Friday, September 25, 2009

perfect balance

this is my idea of a life in perfect balance....heavy on the art, and light on all of the other stuff!

and speaking of art....head on over to gina lee kim's blog and put your name in the hat for her giveaway! wait until you see the gorgeous artwork she's offering!

happy weekend to you!!

journal page finished on fabriano medioevalis paper using micron pens and watercolor pencils.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

and the journal goes to.....

i am completely overwhelmed by your response to my giveaway!! thank you SO much for supporting my little are awesome! has chosen the number 14, which means that doda has a new journal coming her way! (doda, i'll be contacting you shortly for your address!)

i'm planning another giveaway in the near's easy to find things to celebrate, don't you think?! now if i could only figure out a way to serve ice cream, we could really have a party! :))

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

red botanical

i feel like i've been neglecting my etsy shop again. i don't know how i always get so sidetracked....i have SO many things that i want to do and the day is gone before i even get started on my list! anyway, i was out snooping for supplies the other day and saw this paper..... and immediately started to, it went in my cart....automatically.

actually, if you've visited my blog before, you probably already know that i didn't just buy one sheet of this paper, i bought three. that way when i use one, then i'll still have two. there's logic there's when i try to explain it to my little dutch boy that things get sketchy.....

see more details of this journal here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

spill it with carmen torbus

have you heard the buzz in blogland? carmen torbus is offering her first online class, called "spill it"! if you're not familiar with carmen's work, she is a very accomplished, skilled and talented artist! i'm always in awe of her beautiful painted backgrounds and her use of rich, juicy color....and she's definitely not afraid to get her hands dirty (as a matter of fact, i think it may be a requirement!). and how can you not love a class that simplifies things by listing these four things as absolute "must haves":

*something to paint on.
*something to paint with.
*a positive attitude.

head on over here for more details.....and to find out how you can enter her giveaway for free tuition!!

and speaking of giveaways, if you haven't already, make sure you leave a comment here for my journal giveaway....winner to be announced on thursday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

giveaway on inspiration monday!

i'm celebrating! 305 bloggy posts, 102 bloggy follower friends, 42 "inspiration monday" entries, 372 etsy hearts, and 55 etsy sales! woo hoo!! that's a lot to kick up my heels about, so i made this little butterfly book as a special "door prize" for this bloggy party!

it's filled with creamy mohawk superfine writing paper, some distressed decorative papers, and for inspiration, a little rub-on message here and there.

i bound it using a 4-needle coptic method, making the covers completely independent of the pages, and held together by a flexible "chain" stitch going down the spine enabling the book to lie completely flat.
and.....i'd love to send it to you! just leave a comment, i'll let the computerized random generator choose the recipient, and i'll announce this little book's new owner on thursday!

thanks so much for your visits to my blog....i appreciate you more than you'll ever know!!

edited: comments are disabled for this has chosen the recipient!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

from the top, middle and bottom

a big thank all of you....for your support and encouragement of my blog, my artwork, and my first video attempt!! i value your opinions and suggestions, and have them safely tucked away for future videos!
but, first things first.....join me on monday for a bit of a celebration.....and a bit of a giveaway!!
see you then!!

artwork finished using micron pens and derwent watercolor pencils on fabriano medioevalis paper

Friday, September 18, 2009

makes my day!!

i received a note this morning from my sweet bloggy friend laura over at prairie peasant that she has included my "be happy" journal in her misty morning treasury! it's filled with beautiful and unique items created by etsy artisans.....and i'm thrilled to be a part of such a gorgeous treasury! congrats to all those featured, and thanks SO much laura for absolutely making my day!!
click here for a better view!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

a video and a test

here is the video that shows the making of my "bliss" artwork on yesterday's post. this came about as a means to test some new fabriano medioevalis paper that i received in the mail (julie prichard recommends it for her journal class). as i said yesterday, the final video quality is rather poor and blurry in spots....i've discovered that my editing program needs to be updated, so that's my next project.
in the meantime, please accept my apologies for my overuse and abuse of the word "um" (is that really even a word?)....i'm absolutely horrified at how often i say it....something else to work on for my next video!

i ordered the fabriano cards from dick blick. they are the Invitation Single Cards, Box of 100, item #10073-1070.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

fabriano bliss

julie prichard suggested that we use this fabriano medioevalis paper for our third book structure in her online class, super nova. i ordered a box of this from dick blick....and boy do i love it!
my first project with this paper was giving it a "test run" by creating this little piece using my pentel colorbrush, micron pens and watercolor pencils. and then my second project was filming a video of this entire process, editing it in imovie (huge learning curve here!!), and then trying to do the you tube thing. unfortunately, by the time it reached you tube, the quality suffered and i'm trying to figure out how to fix it before i put it back out there in cyberspace. a way, this is like seeing the finished project before you see the process....kind of like eating dessert before your dinner. no surprise that i would find a food analogy to go with a computer issue....

Monday, September 14, 2009

inspiration monday

muse: a sweet little something meant to inspire the artist, the thinker....or the like.

meet hazel.
i found her at a quilt fair almost five years ago....she asked me to take her home and i gladly accepted. she's crafted from heavy canvas, her arms are made from polymer clay, she has a painted body and her face is hand-stitched. a grapevine halo sits atop her soft and "free form" hair. she's stuffed with fiberfill and sports a fabulous rusty necklace with rusty dangly bells. and while this little art angel can be a little flighty at times, her kooky whimsical nature inspires me to have fun, to trust my instincts, and to follow my heart.
one thing that's always puzzled me, though, is the rusty wire hanger attached to her back....if i were to hang her on the wall, how could she possibly stretch those fabulous tea-stained gauze wings and fly?

Friday, September 11, 2009

no bowl required

my hips will confirm the fact that i've had a true love affair with ice cream this summer. and this is my all-time favorite way to eat it...... :))

have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

mail happiness

i was greeted by my mail carrier today and she was holding the most fabulous package that was sent to me by my bloggy friend diva over at diva's musings!

diva had a giveaway last week, and surprisingly, i won!! but i must say that this box of goodies far exceeded my expectations.....look at everything that fit into that bag of sunshine!! and it was all so lovingly wrapped in colorful paper, tissue and ribbons!

just look at all of the marvelous treats that diva sent!! my favorite goody of all is the sweet blue bird note card set....printed from diva's original artwork! and just a side note about her giveaway....diva said that she was motivated to host a giveaway because she wanted to celebrate the joy of meeting so many wonderful blogger friends. and it's precisely because of her loving and generous attitude that i follow her blog. thank you so much for the giveaway treats, diva....and thank you for sharing your musings with us!! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

long tall skinny collage

wow!! can i just say right up front that you are the best bloggy cheerleaders.....ever!!! you have no idea how much i appreciate you waving your creative pom-poms.....all of your encouragement and great collage tips were SO helpful and i can't thank you enough!! i put together some collage pages last night using some of my scraps and some of the wonderful bits of happiness that i won in a giveaway from tess several months ago! some of the pages look a little unfinished because i decided to leave some white space for future journaling....and i can always go back and add all kinds of fun stuff to the pages once i get my writing filled in!

and here's what the pages look like inside the book! julie calls this second book in her class the "long tall skinny", and for good measures almost 12 inches tall!

for the covers, i used a piece of favorite paper that i've had in my stash for quite a while....just waiting for the perfect project (i would love to have a journal filled with fabulous little watercolors and ink spots like this!). and i thought that this piece of repurposed black leather would be the perfect finish for the spine.
i learned a lot this week....about collage and about myself. thanks for sharing the journey with me! :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

torn papers

i've got all of my supplies out, ready to make book #2 for julie prichard's class. the pages of this book will be collaged, and i must admit this is awkward territory for me. i've collaged in the past and it wasn't what i would consider to be my most favorite art memory. it was so bad, in fact, that my teacher suggested that the only way to salvage what i had was to tear my finished collaged sheet into lots of smaller pieces, giving me about fifteen smaller collages to go home with (instead of the original one collage). not good. my grid-oriented-must-have-rules-and-structure brain just doesn't process directions like "just tear some paper and glue it to the page" very well. i absolutely adore the look of collage, but my problem is that i overthink projects like this. but i really want to learn new techniques and experience life outside the box, so, okay, here i go....i'm off to tear some paper (does it have to be a certain size?!) and glue it (not too much glue, i'm guessing) to the page (anywhere i want?) oh yes, and to avoid the overthinking part, i'm turning the brain switch to "off" mode. right. now.....

Monday, September 7, 2009

inspiration monday

labor day.....a day of picnics, swimming at the beach, bike riding, family time, laughter with friends, croquet on the lawn, kodak moments, rest, firing up the barbecue, inspiration, sports, shopping, watching parades, arts and crafts fairs, using up the leftover fourth-of-july fireworks, looking forward to fall.....and, according to the fashion police, wearing your white shoes for the last time this year....enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

book of play

you may have already heard the buzz in blogland....julie pritchard's new classes have begun! i've seen so many wonderful things from all of you who took her "layer love" class, that when she offered this class about making books, i couldn't resist signing up! it's been a while since i've created any new books, so i couldn't wait to watch julie's videos, get my supplies out, start sewing up the book block....

and then make the covers out of this paste paper that i painted a few months seems to feed this creative appetite that i'm having for the color orange these days!

julie recommends using fabriano paper for the text pages (which is fabulous paper!), but i decided to use this watercolor paper in my stash. the word "play" was written with my pentel's definitely one of my favorite toys!

i was pretty nervous punching the holes into the cover so i could do a little hand-stitching....once you punch that first hole, though, you get pretty fearless and just go for it!
thanks, julie.... i'm already looking forward to next week's class!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

{to do}

hope you have some fun things on your "to do" list today!

journal page created using micron pens and watercolor pencils

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

my welcome to the club

as a new member of the "30/20 club", for some reason it never occurred to me that i would receive an invitation to this club. i remember a day when you had to be a member of the "40/25 club" to receive this same offer.

do you think they'll let me wait for 15 years to respond?
hee hee

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