Monday, June 30, 2008

We all need watching . . .

Yesterday I took a class with Lisa Bebi at Stamping Details. I was disappointed in the class, but I am happy with the way I was able to save this painting. Isn't it funny how we are? I woke up several times last night so obsessed about the way my art turned out in class and I was so determined that I would be able to salvage it. I know at worse, I can gesso over the whole thing and begin again, but I am working harder these days on making mistakes work for me. When I came home with this piece yesterday it only had the three ladies in the middle, floating in space and time and looking very lost. But as I worked with the idea of adding the nest and eggs, and then the lady on the side, I realized I really liked where these three ladies ended up in this painting. The picture is more dimensional now and I am really happy with the 3-D effect it has. It reminds me that we all need someone watching out for us who is on our side. Sometimes we do that for each other, and sometimes we need a larger force out there who can see the bigger picture.
I am almost done with the third project for Deryn's jewelry challenge, so I am going to end for now and go get that done. I hope you find some time in your day today to play, too!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Live life, Inspired to dance . . .

Today I was working on a little candy tin piece and I was blocked about layering within this piece to get the look I want. I took my walk, no inspiration sprang forth from that activity, but I did work out a very cool texture process using aluminum flashing, chemical patina, beeswax & mica powders! I don't know where that will take me, but I am happy with the piece of metal I created. I'm thinking possibly I can use it in the jewelry challenge somewhere down the road.
The picture I am posting today is the second one I created after reading Kelly Rae's article in Cloth Paper Scissors. I don't know what it is about these girls, but I don't seem to be able to paint enough of them! I keep tweaking them as time goes by, adding shading, elements, etc. There is something very therapeutic in creating them.
Happiness awaits me tomorrow as my BFF celebrates her birthday and we get to open her presents in the morning on the phone. I love our birthday ritual of sending gifts which we put out and look at all wrapped up for several days, and then on our birthday morning, with coffee in hand, we call and open our gifts. I love celebrating life with my BFF!!!
I am still thinking of the 5 things we need to be grateful for and today mine are:
My Best Friend
Little Kitties who love spending time with me in the little art room in the back
The thought of recreating my home to be the home that nurtures my dreams
The color green
Artists Blog sites which inspire

What are your five today?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Project Number Two . . .

All is well and I am happy to post pictures of project number two for Deryn's book challenge. I didn't like designing these earrings so much, but once they were done and I wore them, I actually liked them. They have a little sound to them because the pieces on the inside have movement. I have already been asked to teach them as a class! I love that I have a stash of etched metal which is ideal for the projects in this book! Yesterday I played all day with patinas and I am such a lover of green patina on copper. Today I get to start project number 3, a personal favorite!
Life is good today. I have my walk completed, my front yard mowed and I am playing this afternoon with art projects. I miss my friend Linda who is on vacation, and Linda, if you are reading this, come home soon! I am working a thought around in my head regarding volunteer work. I have done hospice volunteering before, but I am wondering this time around about doing something with art therapy. There is a very cool center in San Diego, but I was hoping to find something a little closer to home. I will have to put my feelers out and see what happens. (I get a funny visual when I think of myself with feelers - the kind moths have!). I'll keep you posted.
For today I will leave you with this thought (and I hope you are still acknowledging five things to be grateful for!), "Being a spiritual being involves being able to touch your invisible self." Let your light shine in the world today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Little Something Shiny . .

One of my favorite artist is Mary Hettmansperger and she has a new book out called Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet. Deryn Mentock, another artist I admire put out a challenge to create all the projects in Mary's new book, and I took her up on it. So this piece is the first project, the Stacked Spinner Necklace. I apologize for the quality of the photos, but it should give you a good enough view to see what this piece is all about. I used textured brass, etched copper and copper that was treated with a chemical patina. I actually think this piece turned out kind of cool, and I really like that it has great movement. I really love the third project, but I will now move on to the second one which is Folded Earrings. Just thought you would like to see what has been occupying my mind and hands these days.

My first visiting artist picture . . .

Remember a few weeks ago I told you I had a present arrive from my BFF? Well, this is the fun picture she made for me! I am such a techno nerd! I just today figured out how to scan pictures into my computer. I am loving that process now that I know how to do it! No wonder all the cool artist keep their work to the 5x7 or 8x8 size - then they can just scan away and make mega prints to sell! Man, I am definitely not on the cutting edge - just push my walker to the side and speed on by! There is a personal story to this picture that makes it all that more meaningful to me, but I think my BFF needs to share that story on her own blog (if she ever starts one) in her own time.
Today is an artful day. Funny how much you can get done when you wake up early! I had a great glass solder class this weekend with 4 very cool ladies. They made teaching feel like it was play time for me, what great energy they had. I am taking Lisa Bebi's class on Sunday at Stamping Details and I am looking forward to posting what I make with her. Especially now that I know how to use the scanner!! After speed reading Bellie Lett's new book, Made in the USA this past week, I am now attempting the Ken Follett tome, The Pillars of the Earth. I am loving that this book is 973 pages long!! I am still working on my jewelry challenge by Deryn Mentock, and so far I am still on project number one. Results to be posted here when completed.
Okay, I will confess, I am a Bachelorette fan. Thank goodness DeAnna let Grahm finally go home last night! That bad boy would only have given her years of heartache down the road. So today, think of five things to be grateful for in your own life and try to make it a daily practice. Here are my five for today:

The heat wave has passed for now.
I took a walk early this morning.
The birds are chirping happily in the backyard.
There's a tunfish sandwich calling my name for lunch.
I have a wonderful art room to play in after that sandwich is eaten.

Wishing you blessings of your own.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Easy summer days . . .

Life is good today. It has the feel of lazy summer days, no high pressure to get a lot done, plenty of time for reading and even the occasional nap! My big concern for the day is the health of the stray cat that hangs out at our house, affectionately known as Siamese Kitty. It is hard for me to diagnose him as he doesn't let me get close enough to touch him, but it appears something may have bitten him in the mouth. Poor guy! It seems he always has to bear the brunt of taking the hard knocks in the kitty world. He has the gentlest of blue eyes and I can tell he wants to be included, but he just can't afford to let his guard down completely. We work it out as best we can, keeping a respectful distance for his comfort.
Last night I was having a hard time getting to sleep, so I got up to read and started reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I don't normally go for this type of book, but I am intrigued by this story of a young man who turns his back on what he knows and goes out into the wilderness of Alaska for a "raw, transcendent experience." There is something that pulls at you to want to know if he found what he wanted. He dies out there by himself, so I don't know if we will ever really know the answer to that one. I typically like happily ever after endings, this is not going to be one of those. Is it a coincidence that I have also started reading Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck? If I start giving away all my art supplies and talking about taking off for the great outdoors, someone give me a wake up call and a reality check please!
So, today it will be a time of reading, a bit of art room play and keeping my eye on Siamese Kitty. My thought I leave you with for the day is this: "Each place along the way is somewhere you had to be in order to be here." Do you like where you are?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Day in the Life

Greetings and salutations! (I always think that sounds so funny!!) Today has already been a very productive day. I have mowed the front and back yard, filled the bird feeders, worked on the weeds in the rocks on the side yard, and am now all cleaned up and ready to rock! Last night I was trying to read the Deepak Chopra book I was telling you about and I swear, my brain felt like it was stuffed with cotton. I just could not wrap my mind around the third secret which is four paths lead to unity. I am not totally dumb, I did get it, but I just had a hard time following the dialogue on this chapter. Secret number 4 is flowing better for me, what you seek, you already are. I will admit, a big draw of this book for me was the cover and the fact that I have not read any of his books before. I should know by now, I can't judge a book by it's cover!! Anyone has been a book group with me knows I have been a sucker for books with cute shoes on the cover and they haven't been the best of books!!!
I am also reading Dorthea Benton Frank's book, Land of the Mango Sunsets. I am a big fan of Dorthea's and there is another book of hers waiting for me after this one, Bull's Island. Her books take place in the south and like Anne River Siddon's, I love them. There is something alluring to me about the life style and the description of the country and the effect it has on the people who live there. I remember one of my fondest memories growing up was reading. In the summer, on a blanket in the yard, in the shade, a glass of Koolaid by my side and I was in heaven. I am so grateful to have been raised by parents who valued the activity of reading and encouraged us to go for it.
So that's where life is today. A lazy summer afternoon stretches before me, I may substitute the Koolaid for a glass of wine, and I think there is a book calling my name . . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What makes us happy

A couple of things have made my heart very happy this week (and it is only Tuesday!) I received a very cool package on Saturday from my BFF and here's something I think is very awesome. The second the package was delivered, she called. This is not the first time this has happened with us. We definitely have that spiritual connection going on and time and distance does not matter for us. I just love the way the universe works like that! Did I mention that her present was a painting? She had me paint a canvas to use as the background and then she painted on top of that and she made me smile from ear to ear! I'll ask her permission take a picture to post here. There is some writing on the back of it, which I will keep between the two of us, but know that she makes me laugh more than anyone else in my life! I love the perspective God gave to her and the ways she chooses to share that in the world!!
I also found an email in my inbox yesterday from a newer friend who has been hard to connect with this past year, but who has definitely been worth the effort to stay in touch with. I loved that she reached out to say hi!
On Friday I had the best day with Linda! We went to Paper Tales (a new stamp store in San Diego) which was very fun to be in and to help support! Next we went to the Quilt museum and met an awesome fabric artist named Bob Adams who has just opened a new exhibit well worth your time to visit! We lunched at the new restaurant next door, Solare, and then took in the Art Gallery for kids. This gallery is for kids going through trying times, and it was very touching to learn about it and to see the art. Then we were off to India Ink and Dick Blick's! What a perfect day!! I also had a fun PMC group on Sunday that I taught, and I have to say, when I look at this post I can only conclude that my life is very good!!!
So I am off to see Sex in the City today. I have spent some time in the art room cleaning up this morning and it is calling me to come back in and create now that I have some empty space on the counters! I am feeling the need to do a quick skimming off the top of things in there and to let go of some items I will probably not be using after all. If anyone knows of a place that would welcome a donation of art supplies, please let me know.
And because I always like leaving you with an inspiring thought, ponder this for a minute or two today. "Create an inner harmony where your loving soul guides your physical behavior, rather than having your soul always come in second place."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Playing in the Art Room and Other Thoughts

Today was a play day. I have almost finished the mosaic piece I started on Sunday and I really like it. I will post a picture of it soon. Today was a good day for staying in and playing as it was cloudy and cool out. The day was started early at a 5:00 awakening and then some coffee and reading in my SOM and Deepak Chopra's The Book of Secrets. The first secret is the mystery of life is real. DC makes a very interesting analogy of the life of a cell and the life a person. The part I liked the best was, "Your idea of efficiency is to let the flow of life bring you what you need. Force, control and struggle are not your way." He goes on to say, "Cells function with the smallest possible expenditure of energy. Typically, a cell stores only three seconds of food and oxygen inside it's cell wall. It trusts totally on being provided for. Excessive consumption of food, air or water is not an option." I really like this concept.
The second spiritual secret is, "You are not in the world, the world is in you." My favorite part of this chapter is the discussion of meditating on a rose. This is the first book I have read of his and I have to say I am enjoying his perspective.
J had the day off for a dentist appointment so we went to breakfast and sat outside and leisurely started our day.
The most unhappy part of the day is Gwen captured a little bird, twice. Both times I rescued it and it flew away - I always feel bad when the cats get a bird. They have also brought me gophers, baby bunnies, gigantic moths and lizards. Gwen seems to be an exceptionally good huntress. I know she is only doing what comes naturally to her. It makes me feel a bit like St. Francis, having to rescue the animals and setting them free again.
Tonight I leave you with this idea to ponder, "Everything you are against can be restated in a way that puts you in support of something. Instead of being against war, be for peace. Instead of being against poverty, be for prosperity. Instead of joining a war on drugs, be for purity in our youth." It's an interesting challenge, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Clay Play Days Again

Life is good these days. I found myself in Laurie Mika's polymer class this Sunday at Stamping Details. It was an excellent class! I didn't finish my piece, and I am still working on it, but I learned a lot of good information and love the playfulness of this process. I also spent time in Carla's clay studio today and finished constructing my altar box piece. I am so happy with it! I can't wait for it to be fired, glazed and then brought home. It is the longest project I have worked on in quite awhile, but well worth the time and effort! I will post pictures when I get it home. I really like working in Carla's clay studio.
I have been finding myself drawn to shrine shapes and objects of late. I like the hint of spirituality, personal meaning and mystery they evoke. There is much room for personal latitude when working with these shapes and I think I have a few more shrine pieces in me yet! My art has been jumping around a bit lately. I have been working on some fiber pieces, some canvas collage, polymer and some paper projects. I joined the local stamp store's altered book group and the next project is ATC's with a collage theme. I have mine started, but still have some detail to add to them to help them to "pop".
I am struggling with my attitude about money these days. I know we are going to be fine, but sometimes I wonder if I should be back out there in the work force to help make things a little easier. I am resisting that option, but I don't know if that is the wisest choice. I am also trying this on to see if this is a lesson in learning to be content with what you have. I have lots to play with and lots to read, so I should be good for the next year in the very least!
I leave you with this thought, "The first step toward discarding a scarcity mentality involves giving thanks for everything that you are and everything that you have."