Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monday Musings

This page has evolved over time. First I put masking tape on it and painted it, hated the color and painted it again. The it sat since I still didn't like it. Ripped off most of the tape and painted with black gesso. Decided to collage over it since it was a smooth page anymore. I like it now. So don't give up on pages as they sometimes can have a 2nd or 3rd life or more.

This is what is on my loom. Its going to be a rayon chenille scarf. The yarn was dyed by a friend. Its almost finished so I should be able to show the finished project later in the week. Sometimes the rhythm of weaving is so meditative, I enjoy sending time doing it when everything is in the flow.

We had high winds and a snow storm yesterday and today its all melting with beautiful blue skies. I didn't even have to wear a coat, weather in the spring is always so amazing in its diversity.

I put myself back on a schedule and although I did not follow it totally today it does feel good to be on track again. I am making some goals for all my creative endeavors and it seems like that fact of writing them down somehow sets their life in motion. I have 2 weaving projects to plan, a writing plan and ideas to finish paintings, make journals and enjoy the classes that I will be taking in April. It feels good to have goals for some reason. Usually I balk at that but it seems different now I am not sure why. Perhaps I can see their use and that they are a tool that really does help me. It makes me feel empowered and ready to go.

How about you, Do you find having goals motivates you?

Secret # 12 Planning to Achieve Your Goals

This is the final chapter for the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. Its amazing how quickly the twelve weeks have gone.

This chapter seemed to bring it all together for me which is what one would expect for the final chapter of a book. I resonated with the sections on Deciding about Sharing your Work and Setting Creative Goals. I think that is where I am in the process. The simple thought came to me if I truly want to be out there selling my work I do need to spend a good portion of my time in the studio, exploring, creating and expanding. Its time to start setting goals for what I want to accomplish and then set about doing them. I also need to come up with some ideas on how I would want to market my work. Its a twofold approach that I had not considered before.

To help in that process Gail McMeekin included a monthly Plans for Today sheet that we can copy for a month and put into practice. I could see using it like you would a day planner. Then there is also that old nemesis procrastination. There is also a procrastination worksheet that looks like it really helps. I see these as great tools to help get you from where you are to where you want to be. I know that this seems simple and straight forward but I think sometimes when we are in the process we don't see the big picture even though its pretty obvious what we should be doing.

I really liked this book and especially the journey I went on with it. At first I thought I was already a Highly Creative Woman so why should I bother with the book. It turned out I didn't know as much as I thought. The journey through this book opened my eyes to many new ideas and concepts. I now know I want to set about making some creative goals for myself that are specific and I have the tools to set then in motion.

If you have been following these posts and have been intrigued by the subject or resonated with anything I have said I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book and do an exploration of your own. Lets live truly creative lives.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The last of the journal pages

Well March is almost over so here are my last journal pages for the month. I have to say I learned a lot taking Kelly Kilmer's class and I highly recommend it. She starts a new one on April 1st so if you are interested just head over to her blog.

March 30

March 31

This next month I am taking Mary Ann Moss's class on stenciling. We'll be cutting stencils and using spray paint, color wash and other inks. This is something I know nothing about so I am existed to take the plunge.

One of the things I did was go looking for items that might be used for stencils at thrift and dollar stores and came up empty, I thought I would stop in a local craft store to look at precut stencils and got a pleasant surprise. I walked in and they handed me a flyer. I said is this something special and she said yes its our anniversary and you get a 10.00 gift card, they also had a 50% off coupon too. I was almost the last person to get one. Lucky me. So I got a 32.99 stencil burner for 6.50 so I can cut my own now. What a deal. Wouldn't it be great if every time you went shopping the store would give you a gift card.

I hope you are having a great weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mishaps at the Dentist

I went to the dentist to get my last crown and after having a shot of Novocaine because the tooth next to it is really sensitive and then doing a temporary fit of the crown. The dentist left for a minute and it ended up being several minutes and I thought oh this is not good. So when they got back I was not surprised there was a problem. The lab made the crown for the wrong tooth. They ended up used the one they made as a temporary crown even though it doesn't quite fit. I need to wait another week for another crown. I sure hope that it all works this time. Its been quite a saga so far.

More journal pages.

March 26

March 27

March 28


I was organizing things to do my taxes and found that Sarah has sent me a hard copy critique of a part of my novel. It was a piece my writers group had critiqued last year. They were all pretty nice but Sarah treated it like they do in one of her classes so it was full of red pen. Some of the suggestions others had made and she had new ones. Some I agreed with an others I did not. As I sat looking at it and how much needed to be done with this small amount the enormity of actually the task completely hit me. Like if I can't write several thousand words well than how can I expect to write the pages needed for a novel.

So yes that inner voice reared its ugly head once more. This time I didn't dwell in the pit though. I came up with a plan, actually I have 3 plans to improve my writing.

1. I am revising the piece and I plan to work on it over and over until I am satisfied and then I'll send it out for a critique again.

2. I am choosing a book to go through to learn from. I will look at how the author develops her major and minor characters, and how she moves the story along, setting, plot etc. I plan to work on one chapter a day. With 13 chapters it will take me a couple weeks but I will have learned a lot by then.

3. I want to write a short story so now I am making a list of some ideas that I have and then I will choose one and go for it.

I feel good about these decisions. We were out driving when I fleshed out these ideas and I couldn't wait to get home to start writing. I think that's a good sign.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What a Wonderful World

Oh I loved this, you can't help but smile afterwards.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Secret # 11 Subtracting Serenity Stealers

In the Next Chapter blogging book group we are now on Secret #11, wow that is hard to believe its almost over. What a journey its been.

Now on to this chapter, its talks a lot about burnout and life situations that take away your creative time. The section I seem to be resonating with is Understanding your creative style. The ones that jumped out for me were:

1. I don't have the skills I need to do my creative work. Although I feel this is true I have been working on this by taking whatever on line classes I can find. The more I do this the better I do get and I just need to remember that.

2. I don't know what to do next. I deal with this all the time, I will start painting a face and its not right so I let it sit and go back to it at another time. Sometimes it takes me forever to want to tackle it. If I wait too long the fear of not being good enough takes over. Or I get the desire to just start something new.

3. I seem to move from one deadline to the next. I tend to get involved in swaps and classes and although they are fun they do have deadlines and commitments attached to them. I find I spend all my time on them instead of other Art that I want to do.

4. I have no clear creative goals Maybe this is really my main issue after all. The only goal I really have is to paint female faces and to start working on composition so I have something else besides just a face. Although I realize that is a goal but it seems so open ended. I mean how do I know when I have reached that goal. What are my conditions of satisfaction that will let me know I have succeeded. These are questions I need to ask myself and then explore the answers. Do I want to paint just for me to express a part of myself that needs expressing or is there another level here. Do I want to be good enough to sell my Art. Am I confident enough to see if anyone would want it. I think all Artists deep down want someone to appreciate what they did or get some joy out it. That seems to be while we are all blogging and sharing what we are doing.

Gail Mc Meekin goes on to talk about a magic wand to remove ten negative things in your life. Wouldn't that be great to have. Some of mine would have to do with the issues I already talked about. Perhaps by going through exercises like this and making changes in the way we think and operate that we really do have a magic wand for change and it is us. We are the magic wand and we just need to have the courage to go on that journey, do the exploring, take the risks and change.

These are my favorite quotes from the chapter.

"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar" - Mary Bryant Native American Leader

"Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aide" -Dorthea Brande writer

"If you play it safe in life, you've decided that you don't want to grow anymore" - Shirley Hufstedler, lawyer

A trip back in time

Day 24, this page really brought back the memories of my trip with Sarah overseas. Lots of good times, I really want to go back. I want to go to Cornwall and I want to go to Ireland and see the land of my ancestors. Hopefully someday soon.

Day 25, I wish that I were on a beach today, I really love this image. I want to take a walk there right now. I envy all of you who live near the beach, go enjoy a walk for me.

Today I am spending most of the day at home, I do need to go to the gym so I will do that this afternoon. I will clean up the studio and get back to a painting that keeps staring at me every time I walk in here. I tend to get stuck, I know the work needs something but am not sure where to begin. I hope that my muse Zoe will show up to play.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making Art Journals

Some of you may have seen this but for those who haven't these are videos on making an Art Journal out of a composition book and manilla folders. Its done by Samantha Kira. You could easily substitute watercolor paper if you like that better.

I haven't made one this way but it looks pretty simple. The ones I have done are using canvas boards as covers but I put it together the same way. I think all Art Journalers at some point start making their own books. They are relatively easy to do and then you can make it any size and also add the paper that you like.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday

I saw this on Swirly Girl and it so nice that I thought I would share on this rainy Sunday, oops I have to change that since its snowing now. I love all the wonderful quotes withing it. Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Making Journals

Today I have been playing with my bind it all tool. Its the tool that binds books. First I made the small book and then went on to make a full size journal. I had a 11 x 15 140lb cold press watercolor pad and I folded the sheets in half and cut the holes in the edge. Then I used the hard back of the pad to make the covers. I will probably decorate them and use this for my next Art journal.

March 23rd journal page from my class with Kelly Kilmer.

March 22nd journal page.

I found out on Friday that I have diabetes so the wellness plan I have been planning on going on is of primary importance now. I also went to have my crowns put in and one of them was defective so I had to have another temporary one put in. I have to wait another week for the lab to make a new one. Then I found out that my friend Annette who has been struggling with cancer had died on Monday. The funeral was today and it was a sad time. She was so full of life and truly lived out loud, I am going to miss her.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Secret #10 Living in Abundance with Positive Priorities

We are now on Secret 10, all about Abundance. I really liked this chapter perhaps because I having been working on Abundance for some time. My ideas of what it means have changed over time. I do believe that Gratitude is a major part of it. I've carried a gratitude rock in my pocket and I have written a gratitude list for several years now. I really do think it makes a difference.

There are always quotes in each chapter that are thought provoking. This week I found these to be inspiring.

"Prosperity is having the power to create a life of your choice -- to get what you really want, not just what your handed." - Ruth Ross, writer

"One of the Secrets of a Happy life is continuous small treats." - Iris Murdoch, writer. I especially like this idea small treats are something easy to do.

"We all live in suspense day to day; in other words you are the hero of your own story. Mary McCarthy, writer. Oh I like this one too I do like being the heroine of my own story. It seems to uplift the mundane a little. Its sometimes easy to forget that we all have stories and our lives are interesting to others, we truly are the heroes of those stories.

"Synchronicity holds the promise that if we change within, the patterns of our outer life will change also. Jean Shinoda Bolen, author. I think my focus has been inner change and I have seen the outer respond in kind.

The chapter also had a section on Personal Positive Priorities. I found this to be essential. You really need to know what you want. I have done exercises like these several times and interestingly enough they change. We often find what we may have thought was essential is not so important anymore. We change and so do our priorities, our dreams and desires. I think this is a section well worth visiting yearly or even every six months.

I like the idea of doing a prosperity road map, putting it all down graphically puts it into perspective, makes it real. I believe that visual images have great power. In some sense a vision board is just that, portraying visually what you want to have happen in your life. I've used vision boards in the past few years and truly find they seem to help in the creating and manifesting the life I want.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I learned a few things this week

I drew this on Sunday, I forgot I had not posted it yet;

Some more journal pages to post.

I really liked this image of this planet, the colors in it are so beautiful.

I have learned some things this week that I should have known. When you get those clear stamps you only have to buy one acrylic block. I bought one and some of Tim Holtz's clear stamps and I really like them. What a great idea this is. The block has a grid on it so you can really see where you are stamping.

White gel pens, most of you know that the white gel pen Uniball Signo is the one to get. I was given one at the retreat I went to a couple years ago and then I ordered some from . Now the ones I ordered looked different and they don't work as well but I could never figure out why. Little did I know there are 2 white gel pens made by Uniball, they both say uniball signo on them but they are different one is called the angelic and the other the broad. The broad is the one you want, so now if you ever order from them you now know which one to get. Here is the link

The other thing is to not schedule too many medical appointments in the same month. I think I am starting to get overwhelmed about it all. Tomorrow I will get my permanent crowns and that will be great at least the dental stuff will be over with. I also have to discuss my insulin resistance test with my doctor tomorrow. Since I have to have an appointment for this something tells me the news will not be good. Next week I have a mammogram and ultrasound. I am so looking forward to this all being over with. Once again I remembered that Art heals so I worked on journal pages today. There is something about paint and paper and pen that is calming.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tree Flags

Warning: these are addictive.

Sharon from All Norah's Art posted a video on making these and I couldn't resist. I picked up some medium weight cotton fabric and cut it into 3" wide strips. Sharon used a micron pen but all I had was a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens so I used that to draw the ladies or tree sprites as I like to call them. Then just as Sharon did I used Caran d'Ache neocolor II watercolor crayons to color in the areas. I used a small filbert brush and water to bring out the color. I was only going to try one but as you can see I couldn't stop. Check out her video on the process here

I have to admit this was the most fun little art project that I have done. The possibilities are endless. I had to force myself to stop doing them or I won't get the laundry done or cook any dinner and so forth. I think I will go out and tie them on some of my trees now.

Here they are in their new natural surroundings

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Beautiful Day

I made it to the gym today. I so often have plans to go but blow them off. It feels good to have followed through. It was a beautiful day out, really felt like spring. stopped at Michaels on my way home and was delighted. My store is carrying more Tim Holtz products. I have been wanting to try grunge board for a long time. I got the elements pack that has scrolls, keys, hearts, wings etc. They also had some great new stamps of his that I know I will eventually want to get. My pocketbook told me I had to wait. I also found another script stamp in the clearance bin. Here is a video showing Tim working with grungeboard. It really is amazing stuff.

and now more journal pages.....

March 14

March 15

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trying out the Background Tutorial

I know 3 posts in a day but what can I say. My friend Kate canceled our art date so whats a girl to do. i decided to play on my own. First I finished these 2 journal pages.

Then I tried doing the background tutorial from Karen site that I mentioned earlier today. I didn't like the color green I ended up but I still think I can do something with these by adding other collage items. It was really fun and easy to do. The one thing I learned even if what you think you did is crappy you'll be surprised once you cut it all up into the ATC size.

These 2 I added words to. I added varnish to the first but I think it looks better without. I also used a gold pen to spice up the edges a little.


I know its long but its wonderful and it will make you smile.

The Next 90 Days

I was on twitter this morning and my friend Jen Louden posted this link to a blog called A box of Crayons. I really liked what the author said. Its about looking at how the first 90 days of the year have gone and start thinking about the next 90.

At first thought I really don't think they first 90 have been all that great. If I don't take control and make some changes my next 90 could be more of the same. I think I would like to make the next 90 days extraordinary. How about you.

Here is a drawing I did while at the Doctors office yesterday. I like her eyes, they are a little different than I usually do.

My friend Kate and I are going to have an Art Date today. We'll play in the studio with paint and paper. I am not sure what we'll do but I think it will be fun. I need to start making my matchbox shrines for a swap and then Karen at Art in the Garage has a great tutorial on backgrounds that you make into ATC's. I might try that, I think I have a cereal box that is almost empty.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women #9

Secret #9 Transcending rejection and roadblocks. At first I really did not resonate with this chapter at all. I feel like the newbie who is still discovering what kind of Art she wants to make or what kind of stories to write. I haven't put myself out there yet. I have an etsy shop but I have never put anything in it. I don't think I am at the point where anyone would want to purchase what I have done. I think I am still in the learning stage. I post what I do on my blog so I do open myself up there. People are always nice; I never get any negative comments.

I think the rejection thing won't happen for me until I try to publish something, or offer work for sale and so forth. Any roadblocks that I encounter are ones that I put in front of myself. Whenever I am doubting myself or my abilities I always like to remember Brenda Euland's quote. "Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say."

When I wonder if I should still write or make Art, I try to not do it and it becomes impossible. I get antsy if I am out and don't have a pen and notebook with me. If I haven't done a journal page or worked on a painting or tried a new technique I become depressed. It is like these actions are part of me, the same as breathing. I will always be a writer and an Artist because that is what I do.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

YES Paste to the rescue

Here are a couple journal pages.

March 10

March 11 journal page.

I have started to use YES paste to glue collage papers and so forth. Its pricey but it does a great job. Michaels sells it, so wait for a coupon to get some. Every time I use gel medium or a glue stick I find myself going back and re-gluing some of the pieces. With the YES paste it works the first time. I just spread it on with my finger and it works great.

I spent part of the day working on a painting. Its will be awhile before I can show it. I made some good progress today so that felt pretty good.

In the morning I am having an insulin resistance test done. I don't get to eat until 11 am. It will be hard but I will reward myself with a nice breakfast at Perkins.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Journal pages and a winner

I have been playing catchup with my journal page a day so here are the latest pages. I have been sharing information on what we have been doing but I I can no longer do that since this is from an ongoing class. Although I can not tell what the prompt was, you can still enlarge the piece if you want to look at it.

Birthday giveaway

Well I forgot all about the journal I had planned to give away from my birthday. So without further ado the winner is Gillian of Indigo Blue. I'll be sending off the package as soon as I locate Gillian's address. I think I have it somewhere. Thanks to all who participated.

I am slowly getting used to the huge temporary crown I have. Thankfully its only 2 weeks that I have to wear the thing. Imagine having a wad of gum over your teeth and that's what it feels like. This too shall pass.

I watched a production called the Impressionists. Its a 3 part series I found on Netflix. If you think its hard being an Artist you should see what Monet and Renoir had to go through. It is a very nice production. I found a great desire to paint a landscape after watching it. Check it out, you might find it inspiring.

Friday, March 06, 2009

We are ok, we are alright

This movie is such a delight. Its been done by the Dancing Mermaid otherwise known as McCabe I have signed up to take her class on teaching my own little mermaids this month. I am sure it will be awesome.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Doing Fine

Just thought I would let you all know I survived the dental ordeal and am doing fine. I was in the chair for 2 hours and it wasn't that bad. I took some Advil before hand and I think that helped. I am just sore and tired and trying to get used to this monstrosity in my mouth, otherwise known as a temporary crown. Its like wearing a retainer that you can't take out. Sure you don't have to floss but it still feels so strange. In two weeks I'll have the permanent crowns and that will be so much better.

My camera died

Lots going on today. The kitten my little nemesis did a number today so she is in the dog house. In trying to get her off my table she pulled down my Lumix Panasonic camera. It hit the concrete floor with a bang and now its toast. I turn it on and it says please turn the camera off and then on. I reseated the battery and memory card but nothing works so I guess the camera is a loss. I really liked that camera too, it fit in my purse so easily. Well at least I have my Canon so I can still take photographs.

I have been trying to finish a few things before I have to do the dental thing. Here are more journal pages from Kelly's class. I was hoping to get 3 done but I am stuck on the third one so it will have to wait. This one we are to write about the last gift I received. I recently got a pendant that my sister had made and sent me so I journaled about that. I loved the image of this woman and the tree was so compelling to me.

Here we are to talk about faith and whatever that means to us. Once a gain the haunting look of the woman in the picture called to me. I see her walking out of that mist to some unknown destiny. These pages a fun but challenging. The painting part is easy it is the collage part I have difficulty with but I am staring to feel better about my choices. I like both of these pages.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Apprentice

As you can see I don't mean the Donald Trump reality show. Its Somerset Studios new special issue magazine. Yes its fantastic, yes you want it I know you do. I found mine at Barnes and Noble. It has some things I thought were too basic but others I want to try right away. Sharon has a great article in it. One thing I have never managed sucessfully is doing transfers and their are several artists in the magazine doing them. So its time to try again.

My friend Kate and I were paying hooky from our writing date at the Villa. It was too nice outside to be in a dark cafe. It must have been 50 degrees with the sun shining and the bluest of skies. We planned to go to lunch instead but stopped to see if B&N had the magazine yet. It was funny to see both of us reading our copies while we waited to get a table at Johnny Carinos. It was a fun day enjoying the weather. We ended up at the Art museum seeing a display of prints done from copper plate etchings. Quite a process that was. It was a great day.

Tomorrow I am having major dental work done so I don't know if I will be blogging for a few days. I am having 6 crowns done and have no idea about how long the recovery time will be. I imagine I'll be sleeping a lot in the next few days.

Secret #8 Partnerships

This week's secret is Selecting Empowering Partnerships & Alliances. In some ways I did not really connect with the premise of the chapter. I have never felt inclined to be in partnership with another. Too much of an individualist I guess. As I started to read what other bloggers wrote about this challenge I changed my mind a little bit. I think of it now in terms of it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps it take a village to raise an Artist too.

I am discovering I have some alliances that I didn't think about. In some ways any Artist who publishes in a magazine how they work or gives details on a process in a blog is in alliance with me. As a self taught artist that is how I learn and grow. So I thank all of you for being in partnership with me. The way I give back to them is by commenting and supporting them when I can.

Another partnership is my friend Kate who supports my artistic journey by her guidance and opinion. We sometimes learn new things together and that is so fun to have someone else to do that with.

I don't have a personal coach but I do frequent coaches blogs and I gain help and insight by what they talk about. They help me grow in ways I wouldn't have done alone. I was going to list some favorites but started to realized there are so many gifted women out there offering support it would make this post too long.

I also think that my writers group is a big alliance for me. Without that structure and association with these gifted writers I may have given up that dream long ago.

I think the one thing this chapter has done for me is to look at this idea of alliances and partnerships in a different way. I also now see how having them is essential to my growth and success as a creative person. I also hope that I am offering the same thing to someone else.

Monday, March 02, 2009

New journal pages

I am taking a journaling class with Kelly Kilmer. I will be showing the journal pages that we make out of the class.

This first one's prompt was What are we happy about right now.

The second one is about our own invention and what it could be. I created the magic button that with one push takes you to a place of wonder and awe. Too bad there is no such thing. Well unless you count ones imagination.

I hope you are having an Art filled day.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Pink Roses and a Painting

I took someones advice and bought myself flowers for my birthday. A dozen roses were the same price as a bouquet of mixed flowers so I opted for the roses and aren't they just beautiful. What pleasure I have gotten out of a 6.99 purchase. I need to do this more often. I had a wonderful birthday. A special thanks to all of you who sent me birthday greetings, you are the best.

I had fun playing around with the camera trying to get some close ups. I thought this was just lovely.

Here is a painting/collage that I have been working on. I was trying out Kelly Rae's way of collaging with decorative papers. I was using her wonderful book Taking Flight. Its was a fun project. I really learned a lot. Here's to trying new things.