Saturday, June 30, 2007

Song Art Challenge

I participated in this little Art Challenge over at Violette's message board. We were to use song lyrics for inspiration. I used "To the Moon and Back" by Savage Garden. I incorporated some of the things I learned in my retreat. In this piece I used Golden full bodied acrylics, Ranger stamp pads and re-inkers, I took punches and made stencils for the moon and stars, used a music stamp and a brilliance ink pad and threw on some glitter. It was quick. easy and fun. Oh I also used some twinkling H2O's to tone down the white paper of the words.

At the Art Nest retreat I signed up to do Elise's Heart book so I really need to start thinking about what I am going to do for that. I need to do 34 pages so that is going to take some time. I have till Aug 30 but I know making the first piece is the easy part, its all the copies that takes forever. At this point I like to think about how wonderful it will be to receive the book. Then its not so hard to make all the pages, I just need to find my idea and then I can get to it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Surgery and Art Nest Day 2

My surgery is all set for Monday Morning at 7 am. Sarah will be guest blogger that day and report how everything went. I'd appreciate your good thoughts that morning.

Ok back to the Art Nest, Here we all are having dinner, we ate on the deck and it was just gorgeous out.

On day 2 we had a class with Sally Jean. Here is a pic of the necklace we were making.

Here is the only good picture we got of Sally Jean, the others were blurry.

My plan was to do a necklace honoring my Irish immigrant grandparents, I was using their pictures and scraps of envelopes and pieces of their letters. I manged to try soldering some of the pieces but did not finish it. I need to tape some and redo the solder on others but at least it is a beginning. My back pain was just too much by then and I ended up putting it all away for another day. I will get some solder equipment and finish another time.

I am continuing to add more pics to my flickr acount. So be sure to check it out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Art Nest Retreat part 2

The class with Misty was called Spontaneous Art and it definetly was. The goal being to get paint on paper immediately and just do it. She demonstrated on several paintings and it was a joy to watch. We used everything in our work. Paint, rags, gel medium, collage items, rubber stamps, stencils, rubber stamp re inkers, Shiva paint sticks, interference paints, twinkling h20's, watercolor crayons, craft punches to make stencils, even that 99 cent folk art craft paint. What this did was make me realize I can use up some of the old stuff I had for other crafts.

I have tons of photos of Misty demonstrating so I put them in my flickr account for those interested.

This was my first piece, it just a background I will probably ad something to it later.

Then I did this small piece, it had been bigger but the gel transfer I tried did not work so I cut the paper down. I do like making smaller pieces.

I tried her to go with a different color than I usually would and used the technique to make a silhouette. I may journal on the open space or add something else later, I know it needs something else but I am just not sure what.

This piece I really liked, I loved this picture I found years ago and it was fun to use in this way.

This last piece is the technique where you cut out a face and then paint over it. I had a hard time with skin color. She is all blotchy, I do plan to sand down her face and redo, but I still like her. Misty helped me with the arm but I think I need to put another one in and paint the hand.

These pieces were so much fun to do, I can not wait until I can do more of them. Let see if I can think of some other techniques. Misty uses unmounted rubber stamps. The ones that come mounted she pulled off their mounting block. They are easier to use with this technique. Just think about how much room that would save. The Uniball white gel pens are awesome, the are available here I used them to highlight the whites on the butterfly I used. I also like the stablio marks all pencil. We used those for outlining areas. They are available at Dick Blick.

A good transition to painting your own faces is to start with magazine faces that you have painted over, eventually you'll use different images and put them together and be painting your own faces from scratch. I like this ides cause it takes you from through a progression and helps you advance as a better painter. I saw Misty take two different images and put them together in a new way. I could see myself trying that too.

A real bonus was that Misty gave away one of her painting she made in class in a drawing. Julie one of hosts was the lucky winner. Misty also brought work for sale and there were some lovely pieces. I kept thinking about mine and how I really need to get it framed. When I was looking at the new stuff I kept thinking what was it about mine that I loved so and when I got home I thought oh its everything the face the bird the whole essence of the piece. For my new readers look in the archives for Feb 21, 2007 and you can see the painting. I think that is enough rambling for the day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Art Nest Retreat Part 1

Angel,Jen,Rena, Misty, Rebecca Lisa, Laurie and Sue

Julie, Elise, Kristy, Misty, Rebecca, Deb, myself, Sheri, Candice.

The Art Nest retreat was one of the best weekends I ever had in my life. My thanks go out to Candice and Julie who came up with the idea, filled it with their energy and attracted a group of like minded souls and created such a wonderful space to be. We are missing a few people in the pics, the big group one is in someone else's camera. I will post that when I get a copy.

I connected deeply with so many different women on a spiritual, artistic, emotional and physical level that it was truly amazing. Its hard to believe I haven't known these women all my life. I felt closer to some in a mere 4 days than I do with people I have known for years.

Carolyn Myss writes about this in her book Anatomy of the Spirit. Most of our issues stem from our tribe, sometimes its the one we grow up with or join. Those bonds are really strong, that is why its so difficult to leave a church or a marriage or any close knit group. Then there are other who never felt at home in our tribe and our looking for the group they belong too. When I was reminded of this by my friend Ginger I though that is what it is. These women are my tribe, that is why I felt such connection. Thats why there are Art retreats all over, for all of us to come together. enough philosophy I know you want to see some pictures. I think I will just show some candid shots today and then some highlights from classes tomorrow.

Here are some views from the cabin. The place was truly spectacular. I forgot to take a picture of the front, soryy about that. I am sad to say I never made it into the jacuzzi, I kept forgetting it was there.

Here I am with Misty Mawn, who by the way is a fantastic teacher. She is such a sweet gentle soul and the work that came out of her class was amazing. Tomorrow I will post pictures of the class and my paintings.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Sarah

It was 19 years ago today that I became a mother. It was one of those pivotal days that you really don't think about at the time. You know where your life is going to change in ways you can not even imagine. I think Motherhood is like that. You really want to have a child to have that experience of raising a human being. You know that there will be trials and tribulations and sadness and joys abounding. What you don't realize is how it changes you as a person in countless ways. These have been the best years. I loved watching you grow up into a wonderful woman and can't wait to see what the next 20 years will bring. Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Art Nest Retreat

I leave tomorrow morning to head down to Utah for the Art Nest Retreat. Some of you may remember that I had planned on attending The Writers Spa with Jennifer Louden in Taos. It turned up that I signed up too late so there were no openings. I went looking for something else to do and found this little retreat on Misty Mawn's blog. I am starting to get excited, I actually get to meet her and to take a class with her.

I ended up going to 5 stores to find cellophane bags for my trade. I could have saved all the time and made fabric bags. I put the card in the bag and tied it with ribbon and they really look nice. I am pretty much packed. I have a few things to do in the morning and I can head out. It will probably take me 4.5 hours to get there. People arrive anytime after 3 so I plan to leave around 10 or 11. I think this is going to be an awesome experience. I hope I don't get too star struck and act like an idiot.

They have allowed several evenings time for hiking and such and since I can't do any of that I am taking my journals and pens. Hopefully I will be able to create some fun things in the down time. I am all for a relaxing fun creative mind blowing experience. I will report details next week, I'll be coming back on Sunday, see you then.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Wonderful Bird is a Pelican

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill can hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak, Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican (Dixon Merritt)

We went looking for owls but we found these pelican instead. We couldn't see any babies but they could be sitting on eggs, they were far away so it was hard to tell.

On the medical front, I found a physician to give me a second opinion and that is scheduled for the 25th, or next Monday. I also scheduled the surgery for July 9th. Its the first available date that I could get. I will meet with my Dr on the 28th and see what he thinks about my attending retreat. Then I will make the decision whether to go or not. Frankly I am scared to do this but I am also really tired of all the pain and I guess I am willing to take the risk.

I've adding a sidebar thing for Daisy and the Bright Light Award which my friend Lisa gave me so long ago. I don't know why I never put it up before. Thanks Lisa.

I'm off to Michaels to look for little cellophane bags, not sure I want to take the time to go and make 22 fabric bags. It was enough making everything else. Its funny how you finally get your design all ready, and then when you have to make 21 more of them its amazing how long that really takes. I worked on it last night and this morning and they are finally done. It reminded me of the crow book. A labor of love for sure but still a labor, I think I like them, which is good cause I have no time to do anything else.

Quote of the Day: I never had any other desire so strong, and so like covetousness, as that.... I might be master at last of a small house and a large garden, with very moderate conveniences joined to them, and there dedicate the remainder of my life to the culture of them and the study of nature. ~Abraham Cowley

This quote reminds me of Daisy, I like to think of her tending a beautiful garden off in the nethers somewhere.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My trades for the Artnest Retreat

I have made my prototype for my trades for the Artnest Retreat.
I decided to do an ATC with a charm attached. Here is the front and then the back. For the front I used a picture of a nest added a feather and the retreat name and date. For the back I took the Self care collage I did awhile back and reduced it down to an ATC size and then adding some things about me. I used a small hole punch and then attached the charm with some embroidery floss.

I was going to go get some colored cellophane to make little bags but then thought I might do small fabric bags. Do you think that is a good idea? I thought I still may see if Michaels has anything appropriate. Tomorrow is another day. I have all the charms made but I do need to make the ATC's. I have everything cut out, I just need to get an assembly line going and put them all together.I think I will add a simple tag to these. Something like a bird or nest and maybe says "a gift for you". I'd appreciate any input. I mean if you were going would this be a trade you might like to receive.

Daisy Lupiin

My dear friend and Glitter Sister Daisy otherwise known as Hilary passed on. Last night I kept having dreams about her. She appeared in them and then I'd wake up thinking this whole thing was a dream and she was still alive and then the realization came to me that it was real. She is no longer with us. It was sad.

I went to church this morning. We have a part of our service where we light a candle for those in need. I lit 2 this morning. One for Claire in the hopes she be recovering soon. The other for Daisy's family and all of us who knew her. We also had what is called a Flower Communion. We put a flower into a communal vase at the beginning of the service and at the end of the service we take a different one home. I put daisy's in for Daisy and I took home a pink rose that was so fragrant it reminded me of Daisy's love of gardening. A nice send off of sorts.

One nice thing that is resulting from this tragedy is that all us Glitter sisters are writing each other telling just how much we care about them. I like that idea, to do it now why you can, seize that present moment. If you haven't heard from me yet, you will it will just take a little time.

The other thing that comes to me is regarding those things we all plan to do but haven't done yet. I am sure their are things Daisy planned to do that will never get done now. I think its time I started writing that book I am supposed to write. I have the art retreat I am going to this week and then I'll have surgery but when all that is said and done, I am going to write this children's book that I have been thinking about for years. My glitters sisters may be the only ones who read it but that's fine. So ladies if you don't hear me talking about this sometime in the next 6 months you can kindly remind me of this note.

Quote of the Day:" Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same." ~Flavia

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A dear friend has passed

I don't know if I can even write about this but I will try. My dear Glitter Sister Daisy Lupin passed away. Her last note let us know she had been ill but we all figured she just had the flu or something. I expected her back at her blog enticing us with wonderful stories before long. Todays note from her daughter was so shocking that I still can not believe it. We are all losing such a wonderful soul. I never got to meet Daisy in person but felt a strong connection and friendship. We all share lives and loves and trials, she offered support and love. I will miss you Daisy!

You can leave messages for the family at Daisy's blog . Please keep them in your heart and prayers.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Decisions to make

I went to my Orthopedic surgeon yesterday, and the problem that is causing my pain is due to a cyst growing on the bone. As a result there is less room for the nerve. He has recommended surgery. It appears pretty simple compared to most back surgery which usually involves removing a disk or fusing.

So I have decided to get it done. The problem has been trying to fit it into my life. I have 6 weeks where I will not be able to lift more than 15 lbs. I have scheduled a retreat at the end of July and then the trip to South Carolina in September. I was thinking of getting it done before the retreat. The six weeks won't have passed yet but I should be on my way to recovery and I will have the trailer to sleep in so I can just do that if I am not feeling good. Or I guess I could cancel the retreat but I really don't want to miss it. Or I could wait till all of these events are over with but I don't think I want to wait that long. Why do things have to be so difficult.

Then to throw a wrench into all those decisions I decided that I would like a 2nd opinion. What a fiasco that has been so far. I called one doctor and they can't get me in for a month. The other chice I call yesterday and they won't even make an appt until I am sure that my insurance will pay. So I call the insurance line and then they tell you their answers are not guaranteed, now what the hell does that mean. I finally give up for the day, I figure when Dave comes home he can find out for me. So he find that yest this will be covered and that there are a preferred provider that I can call. This is the same person I called the day before, so I call again and the only person who can make appointments doesn't work till Monday. GRRRrrrrr....... Now if I have to wait a month to get an appointment with them I am not sure what I will do. They say to get a 2nd opinion and then they make it so difficult to do so. Part of me wants to just skip this and have the surgery in a couple weeks. I am tired of being in that too much to ask. Sorry about all this, I just needed to vent... I will figure it all out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Fiber Arts Gallery

I tried posting this yesterday but I was having real problems with it. The Fiber Arts Gallery is just a showcase for finished items. There are no prizes or ribbons but it is nice to be able to see everyone's work. Remember you can click on them to make them bigger.

There is also a skein contest that is judged. There were not many skeins entered as you can see by this picture. I entered 5 and received 1 blue ribbon and 2 reds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thrift Store bargains

In getting ready for this retreat I am going to next week I have had to round up all sort of supplies. Its getting down to the wire so I have had to organize it all and see what is left. I made the round of the thrift stores yesterday and found some great stuff. SARK's Succulent Wild Woman for only a $1.00. I found a kids art book on drawing faces and it looks really good.. I think it will help me improve my drawing. I found music books for the Lord of the Rings, not the movie, this thing is older and has some wonderful middle earth script in it. I found a few novels I wanted to read too. Now of course I did not find anything I was looking for but that
is ok too!

I did find a new Bead Store in town, they had only opened on Saturday. They had the wire I needed for the class I needed so I guess I did find something on my list. Now I am down to collage images and such. I have to go through my own stuff and look for appropriate stuff. I need really small things for the jewelry class and bigger things for the painting and fabric classes. I am going to print out some of my grnadmothers letters and use the text as background or for transfers. I think using actual letters rather than some random script will be pretty cool.

Back to some more on the Fiber Festival. Here are some shots of my friends.

This is Debbie knitting, she owns the motor home we stayed in.

Here is Ginger and she is printing out pictures of her sheep for a display in her booth.

Here are friends Cj and Jan who is from Great Falls.

Here are Amy and Ginger spinning. We got together in the evenings and had a great time.

This is my friend Sue, showing off the beautiful lace shawl she is knitting and then a close up of the pattern follows.

Tomorrow I will show pictures from the Fiber Art Gallery. There were some beautiful pieces entered there.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Big Sky Fiber Festival

The trip to Hamilton and the Big Sky Fiber Festival was filled with both the good and bad. Sales were dismal which is the bad. The good was being able to connect with so many old friends I have not seen for some time. I'll be sharing pics for the next few posts.

Here are the treasures I got.

I got some mohair locks from The Fiber Attic, in ablue green volorway and in a reddish pink colorway.

This was some Buffalo top from my friend Judith, I love the picture she chose for her buffalo, it was great. The fiber is very soft.

Judith new book was for sale so I got a copy, it is almost out of print so all you spinners out there be sure to grab it when you see it. It really is a fantastic book.

There was a lady named Gabe Cyr teaching some altered fabrics classes. She was at a table with this book and had some of the projects on display. They were really fantastic. I can't wait to try a few of them. Especially this accordion book that looked similar to a slinky. I guess I could take pics from the book to show you. Hers was an alphabet book but you could make anything. Here are a few pictures of this project. I can't wait to try making one.

This shows how the paper is folded.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Its Down to the Packing Now

I leave for Hamilton in the morning so today I am packing it all up and trying to remember those 10,000 things I need to do. This morning I decided to enter some skeins in the skein contest so I have to get them ready. I planned on entering Sarah's blanket in the Fiber Arts showcase so I have that tagged and ready to go.

Last night I was weighing fibers and remembered that I really want a digital scale to do this. I popped over to Linens n Things and found a display item on sale 75% off so I got a $70.00 scale for $18.00. That was such a deal and it works great, it weighs both grams and ounces so its perfect. Plus its cute, if a scale can be cute.

Intuitive Dyeing

I have come to the conclusion that this is how I dye fibers. I really don't like to repeat myself. My best work comes when I am tired of dyeing colors people want and then end up playing with stock solution and puring some of this and some of that. Sometimes what results is magical and sometimes not. I figure if you are going to do intuitive dyeing your intuition had better show up too. I dyed the most incredible tussah silk the other day. My camera just doesn't take a good picture. The greens in it are so unique but seem to come out blue when photographed. I need to find a way to photograph fibers better. I am loving the colors so much this fiber is not getting to the sales table. It goes directly to my stash instead.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Quote of the Day: I do my best work and have the most fun when I'm not sure exactly where I'm heading. The process of discovery is exhilarating. (Jill Cohen)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More Wildlife

This is Jack once more, he wanted to learn to spin yarn so he hung out on my spinning wheel.

I am sitting outside our trailer trying to do some drawing. I was trying to draw this half dead half alive tree. Here are my results along with another drawing,

This is Lamar Valley, this is where we saw the wolves and antelope. Look on the highest part of the mountains and that is where the grizzly bears that we saw were.

These are the Sandhill Cranes with their baby chicks, you can't see it too well.

Here is a Pelican, yes their are Pelicans in Yellowstone. Dave took better pictures which follow,

You can see a coyote walking among the Buffalo

Another picture of the Owl. I think that is all the pictures I have. You are probably saying, thank heavens for that. Time to move on to other things now. Maybe tommorow I can post pictures of something else entirely.