Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Big Draw

I just found out about the Big Draw and being a sucker for this kind of stuff I signed up. After seeing Gemma's blog I had been thinking of starting doing some drawing again and see what an opportunity I have found. Basically this is how it works, you make a drawing every day and post it on your blog. The drawings can be in any medium, at any size, of any subject, the idea is to just get drawing! You can sign up here Why don't you join in on all the fun.

Danny Gregory's Drawings

Another treat for you today. I really love reading Danny Gregory's blog and he has some great things there today. I really liked the drawings he did of his childhood. What a way to connect to your past, he had such an interesting childhood too. In addition the section on the illuminated Bible is fascinating. So much work went into that no wonder its costs $145,000 for each book. Check it out

Its Nanowrimo time again

Hey all you budding writers out there it Nanowrimo time again. For those newcomers out there Nanowrimo stands for the National Novel Writing Month. This is where you write the first draft of a novel(50,000) words in 30 days. Last year there were over 101,000 people worldwide who participated. Sign ups start October 1st with all the writing starting on November 1st.

Once again I am going to have a separate blog for those participating so please let me know if you'll be participating again. If you are new send me your email address and I will add you to our multi-authored blog.

Its Nano's Tenth year so it is going to be extra fantastic. Come join us, you know you want to. Everyone wants to write a novel; shouldn't this be the year that you start. What better way can you think of spending the month of November than writing with thousands of other people.

The website is new and expanded with better features this year. There are some exciting pep talks scheduled this year too.. I didn't know if anything could top getting an email from Neil Gaiman last year. That is until I saw this years list of authors. Phillip Pullman, Janet Fitch, Brian Jacques, Meg Cabot, Piers Anthony, Katherine Patterson, Jonathon Stroud, Gayle Brandeis, and Kelley Armstrong. Its going to be fun, come join me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Peace Book

This is my last round robin in the series of books I have been working on since last year. The theme was Peace. I focused on how I find peace in my own life.

On this first one I did a technique that I find fun and that is to paint beyond the boundaries of a picture to make it bigger. I love walking on beaches and shores and of course collecting rocks.

I have used this Angel image over and over, I really like her. I found some embossed wallpaper scraps at Lowe's and painted over them. That was so much fun that I may have to just buy a roll of the stuff.

I do love gardens and love sitting on a bench in them and spending some quiet contemplative time there.

This is the thing I do most when I want to feel peaceful. I do a Buddhist meditation that focuses on the breath. I like to use Thich Nhat Hahn's book Blooming of a Lotus. It has very simple meditations that are really easy to do.

I had lots of problems with this one. I think I re-painted the clothes several times and the background too. I was trying to stamp a Roman column on the page and then I added some other things and it kept getting worse. So I had to pull the embellishments off and paint over the page and begin again. I hate when this happens to a project that you are sending to a friend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I love this

I saw this on a writing blog. Prepare to smile and be enthused.

Further explorations in painting faces

In my never ending quest to paint faces I have been trying some of the techniques from Kelli Rae's book Taking Flight. I know I keep talking about it but its my favorite book of late. I thought I would share a little of my process. I am sorry that I did not take more pictures while I was working

This page was one I had pre prepped and it was very textured before I even began. It was probably not the best surface for a face. I had a magazine photo that I used as a reference. You can see it in the background. I made a rough sketch and used several layers of golden's titanium white for the face.

I then added Shiva paintsticks for the face, Titanium white and burnt sienna for just the skin and blended them with my fingers I used Golden fluid acrylics on the eyes and lips, hair etc. the hair is raw umber and raw sienna, eyes are cerulean and some turquoise. The clothes were some fluids and folk art craft paint.

I stamped a background of leaves but didn't like it so I had to paint over it. Plus I wanted to get rid of the number 3. The background is lighter now. Then I used stamping ink with the stamp instead of paint and it worked better. I changed the color of the clothes a couple times. These are the first hands I have tried, they aren't great but at lease you can recognize that its a hand. I think this is the first one that I have really liked. I think its time to work on a canvas next.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mail Art Contest

You know every day I go out to the mailbox and all I see are offers from credit card companies or checks from the ones I have. Yes the mail is boring. Hmm how to fix that, well I could join some swaps or have a contest or beg people to send me mail. So here is my idea. I think I would like showcase Mail Art on my blog and then I will have a vote and who ever has the favorite will win a little surprise. I have a copy of Teesha Moore's Art magazine that I will be giving away and I'll add some other goodies to it.

All you need to do is send me some mail where you have decorated the envelope. This is not a Halloween theme just do what you would like. You don't have to put anything inside other than a note that says Hi Kate here is my entry, signed Whoever. Now if you want to include an ATC or something because you just can't send an empty envelope then that is fine by me. Or I will accept any form of chocolate..... I am going to leave the contest open for a month. I will post mail as I get it and set up a way to vote, I am not sure how to do that yet but I will figure something out. I will announce our winner on October 25. Leave me a comment and I'll send my address.

Patchwork journal cover

I saw this on iHanna's blog this morning and wanted to share it with you. She makes a patchwork paper cover for a journal. What a cute idea that was. Go check it out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

High Desert Writers

It is definetly Fall this morning, its overcast and windy and cold out there. I find that I want to stay in my cocoon I have created here in my little neck of the woods. It seems like a day to stay in my pajamas all day.

My peaches are finally starting to ripen, I hope the weather holds off till the are ready to eat.

Flynn thinks the weather is just great

My swing looks forlorn blowing in the slight wind we are having today. I could be sitting out there just whiling away the day but its so much cooler that I want to be in doors making this,

You know that looks so good I think I will really make some.

High Desert Writers

I have been on the computer all morning setting up the calender for the High Desert Writers. Oh I forgot to mention that we are now an official group. Those wonderful writers that I met last November. We have jumped by leaps and bounds this past week. Not only are we reading each others work but we have a name and our very own Yahoo Group. I have wanted to get some good publicity for NaNoWriMo this year so I spent the morning also sending off emails to all the TV stations here, there are 3 plus the 2 newspapers. Hopefully one of them will do a story on our group and get some new writers out there writing novels.

Artists Creed

I saw this video on Violette's site It really is beautiful so enjoy it. Its on creativity and its by Jan Phillips. She makes awesome videos.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday- Self Care

Its Scared Life Sunday again and you get to see my pretty toes. Ever since I saw someone do this ( paint there toenails different colors) I have wanted to try it. For me it is all about self care. I am into my fourth season of the 100 Day Reality Challenge and I had decided I would spend the next 100 days working on self care.

So what does this have to do with Scared Life Sunday you might ask. With this exercise I think that I can decide what is Sacred. To me taking care of yourself is Sacred in many ways. In the past it was something I didn't spend much time doing. In a busy life taking that extra time to put lotion on your feet or paint your nails or to get enough sleep seems to take too much time. In the 7 days I have been working on this I am finding that when I take care of me, I feel better. It frees me up to be able to do more of the things I want. I find I accomplish more and then I feel better because I get more done. It really benefits you in many ways.

So today do something simple and Sacred for yourself.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Trying new things

Inspired by Kelli Rae's book Taking Flight.(see Tuesdasys post) I tried a little collage on a 4x4 gallery wrapped canvas. I don't know why I was afraid to do this before. Fear is always a silly thing. This piece is all music and old book and scraps from the envelopes of my grandparents letters. Too afraid to try a face on here I thought I might add my grandmothers picture but I think it needs something else. I used the techniques in her book using a brayer to add paint and I really liked that idea. Of course I forgot to clean the brayer so now it is permanently a different color. I also used some alcohol ink. I love it when you buy material for one thing but you can use them in many other ways..

Then I tried a face on this background in my moleskine journal. I tried using those Shiva paintsticks and they were a challenge but only because I think I needed to wait for them to dry before I continued. As a result my eyes went in wrong and of course the nose and face. I think I tried to do 3/4 face but still make the rest of it like you were looking straight on. I also ended up with a lot of smearing which meant I had to go back and fix things and then things progressively got worse. Sometimes it’s enough to say oh this is done, it’s not what I wanted but it’s time to let go of it and try it again another time.

I've gotten my writing done and submitted to my critique group finally. We meet tomorrow so I will be interested in comments I receive. Hopefully it won't be too hard to take and mostly helpful. This is a big step for me so I hope it goes well. I have been afraid to show anyone what I have written. I knew that had to change so I suggested our group do critiques to force myself into doing it. I really spent a lot of time on it this week, I find the revision process sometimes more difficult than the actual writing. I found myself re writing passages over and over and then I thought, this is what real writers do. So maybe I am becoming a real writer. The thought of that gives me immense satisfaction.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A couple short videos

For the writers out there : Here is a short video from Kurt Vonnegut on writing short stories. I found both these gems at Pen on Fire

and for everyone else this is so nice. Its called The power of words

I was sick yesterday so today I am working hard at getting some writing done. My critique group meets Saturday so I need to submit something today. I can't procrastinate too much since I am running out of time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Taking Flight

I love this book! It came in the mail yesterday and I love it. Its perfect for a beginner and those of us who have already started. Its part class and part encouragement. She has guest artists and projects and many of them I do not know so its wonderful meeting new people and seeing there work and learning new techniques. I loved hearing Kelli Rae's story and she writes very well. Its very encouraging and has great advice on staying on the Artistic Path. I highly recommend it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some observations on following the crowd

I have been working on these journal pages from Sarah Whitmore's blog Caspiana. I've noticed several things.

1. Is that they took forever to do.
2. I felt a little constrained following the rules.
3. I really didn't follow the rules.
4. I learned something in the process.

By this I mean I had a hard time finding all the things for the squares page, I finally just chose my own things. I didn't do the background in two colors either. I guess that I ended up spending so much time trying to get it right just like she showed that I lost something. I think that the next time I am intrigued by some Art I see where a group is doing the same thing I need to just take the idea and not worry about what others have done. Perhaps if I had thought oh cut out 2" pieces from a magazine of small images it would have been easier.

This page is on your house and a neighborhood. Of course it is not supposed to actually look like your house. Although it took a long time I really like working on this piece. It was visually satisfying and I ended up using lots of different materials.

This page uses the silhouette technique and a lot of random stuff. I had learned this previously from Misty. This is a fun technique but I found all the random stuff was just filling space and it didn't feel like a good page to me.

All in all this experience has made me look at what kind of pages I do and what makes me comfortable and what does not. Its all a growth experience. I am not sure how this will change what I do in the future but it has made me look at things differently. I think that is what Art is all about, you take a look at your world, express how you see it and sometimes you change and then end up looking at your world differently and you then express it again and the cycle begins again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday

I have had these Tibetan flags for awhile and I finally hung them in my yard. Its windy here so they tend to get caught up in the trees so I have to rescue them once in awhile but I like them out there.

I like the idea that they are sending prayers out there to the world. I can walk out in my yard and it gives me such pleasure to see them there.

We needed to straighten this apple tree so I put up another set so we wouldn't run into the rope holding the tree in place. This is a smaller set. I hung this at my campsite when I was camping in New Mexico.

Soon these babies will be ready to eat. We don't get many because the tree is a dwarf but I am sure there will be enough for some yummy apple pie.

I hope you get some time to spend outdoors enjoying the splendor of fall.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another look at the studio

As promised here is the video of my studio. Some of you asked about size and its L shaped and would be 12 X 15 if it were a rectangle but there is a 6 x 8 chunk taken out of that measurement. I hope that helps.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Art Play Date

My friend Kate came over for an Art play date. I forgot to take pictures while we were working. I ended up showing her a lot of Art Journaling techniques. So I have a few pages to share. It was so much fun for me to find someone who likes mixed media like I do. Kate is ready to dive in and create now. I think we will get together regularly to play.

This was to show making a painted background, and then add stamping, collage and embellishments.

This was to show making a background with foam stamps and acrylic paint.

This was using a napkin as background, some masking tape, soft pastels, using a rub on and stamping.

It was great working in a new clean studio. I now have space for another person to work so it turned out great. I have been busily working on some soul journal pages and will post them in as soon as I feel they are somewhat finished. I haven't worked much in a double spread before and I am finding that I like that more than these single pages. It gives you more room to explore and so forth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You are worth the time

I found this video today and love what she says about creating. Enjoy,

Monday, September 08, 2008

The evolution of a studio

My studio is not as big as many I seen so I really have been concentrating on making good use of the space that I have. I didn't have much to spend on this but I like what I was able to do with what I already had.

This is how it all started. Our local Linens N Things closed and I bought this fixture thinking I could use it to store my stamps. It is the one in the middle. It really didn't work for that so my charming hubby said he could build me something.

A closeup of the shelf shows you that I found other things to use it for.

Dave made the shelves you see on the wall. I painted them and then organized of all the stamps. The first shelf on the left had wood in front of the stamps and that worked OK for big stamps but not the little ones. The next shelves were made with a piece of Plexiglas in front of the stamps and it worked great. This also shows the new workbench we installed.

The stamp wall continued..

This drawer was a mess. All these jars of Pearl-x and embossing powder were hard to store. I found these wire kitchen drawer organizers and they worked really great. I find you need to look for storage options in different departments.

This is my desk where I sit most of the time. I see that my cork board is a hodge podge again. I guess I need to work on that too!

This is where I store my craft paint and then the clip and store handles all my magazine images. They are sitting on a dresser. I also used the wall to store unused and in process canvasses. The Clip N Store wasn't working for me since I just had too many images. So I broke down my categories and labeled everything. Instead of several sleeves full of female images I now have them grouped into Large faces, medium sized, small images, sporty looking images. I did this with several other categories too. I now have more things hanging there but they are easier to find.

Here is my sewing area. I managed to clear out some areas on the big bookshelf to the left to store some works in progress.

You may wonder how I handled this issue of ephemera. Well I kept the drawers I had been using and I used the ziplog bag organizing system. I used Snack size, sandwich size and quart size.

Here are three of the drawers showing what they look like now. This first one has little bags of all sorts of stuff, like alphabet letters, chipboard embellishments, paper beads and more.

This one has bigger pieces, metal charms and tool, scrabble pieces, and varioius types of tags.

This one has miscellaneous ribbons and yarns. I like this organization and I think it will work fairly well.

After uploading all these pictures I keep thinking a video would have been easier. I still may do one later just as an example of how to organize your craft space.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Book of Hope

It really feels like fall. I almost feel like having a fire but I think I will wait. I have been having a comfort food craving. I am going to make some macaroni and cheese. I have the noodles on to boil, soon I will be grating cheese and making a white sauce and then put it all together. Yumm I can taste it already.

I have been working on this round robin book on the subject of hope. I thought you might like to see my pages.

This is page one I really liked the image of this little angel. I thinking times of despair we all pray even if that is not something we would normally do

I got this image of this girl from my friend Elise and just added words here on living fully.

I liked this quote and the images just seemed to be want to be part of this page. i was playing with color on the background....

I used a paper napkin for the background on this. If you have never used napkins try them as they are really cool. A napkin has 3 layers, you just pull them apart and attach to the page with gel medium

This image just drew me to the idea of hope. I see the women here just discovering something sad and I see her reaching out for hope in the next frame....

So now I move on to work on the last round robin book, the subject Peace. It should be wonderful to work on.

How do you store ephemera

Ok all you collage and mixed media people, How do you store your ephemera? Right now my stuff is in a 12 x 12 drawer that is maybe 2" deep. Yes, there is more than one drawer and of course I can never find anything I am looking for.

I was looking at Zorana's blog this morning and saw she had these photo box looking organizers. She didn't say what she used them for but I thought I wonder if they would be good for ephemera. I am thinking ok a box for things like tickets words etc and perhaps another for brads and metal things and maybe another for ribbons etc and so forth. I don't know if that will work or not.

So anyways please leave me a comment and let me know what you use to store your stuff....

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Heroes weekend

My friends Shirley and Cyndi were hear for the weekend and Shirley wanted to catch up on Heroes so I went and got Season 2 for them to watch. Well Cyndi hadn't seen it at all so we started at Season1 and 34 episodes later we actually finished. During the time we sat and spun yarn and knit and ate and took breaks and had a blast. I loved getting Cyndi hooked on it. I can't wait for September 22 now, that is when the new season starts. If you are a fan the DVD has an alternate ending for the last show. If there hadn't been a writers strike we would have seen a whole new scenario. The deleted scenes also reveal something about Hiro's father that I didn't know previously.

This past weekend Cyndi helped me with 2 knitting projects that I have set aside because of problems so now that I am happily knitting on them I am really thrilled. It was a great time of sharing laughter and of course plenty of eye candy.

Remodeling of sorts is till going on in the studio. Dave finished my second stamp holder and is working on a third. Then I can work on some other storage solutions. I am trying to come up with something to store ephemera and magazine clippings. I still don't like what I have been using. I may go back to keeping them in files again. If there are any brilliant ideas out there I would love to hear them.