Friday, November 30, 2012

Crafty Magnetism

So I was at the craft store for something very specific, when I spied a little something I had to have. Michael's sells these 2 inch square mini canvases in packs of 8. How could I resist such perfect little work surfaces? I bought two packs - one white, one black. I knew they would make great magnets. And who doesn't need another magnet? No one, I tell you. We all need a new magnet every now and then.

I started with the black canvases and just added layers of smudgy colors with my fingers

and layers of stenciled pan pastel dots.

I sat and looked at them for a while. Pause. Pause. Pause.

I decided to draw some lady faces on old paper

and paint them with watercolor paint,

then glue them onto the canvas panels using liquid matte medium.

Next, I sat and stared into space for a bit.

I thought about what I would say to my close friends, family members, and co-workers who have become close friends over the years. The only phrase that came to mind..."thank God you put up with me." So, I wrote that phrase on my magnets using a white Pentel Sunburst gel pen.

I poured a thick layer of glossy varnish over the top of each magnet.

Tomorrow I will attach a heavy duty magnet disc to the back using e-6000 glue.

I'm not sure who will be the recipient of one of these, but there are so many kind folks who have put up with me over the years. It could be a difficult decision. I think I might need to make more.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gray Skies Call for Color

What a dreary day here in Atlanta. Rainy, dark, and damp. My first instinct was to remain horizontal. But I resisted. I knew what was needed. This day called for some color.

I started the morning with some paper painting. Golden paints, acrylic glazing liquid, and metallic paints on gesso-covered book pages.

Splatter brought to you by FW pearlescent liquid acrylics. Love these.

Hmmm. What will I do with these?


Next... a paper garland. Paper garlands always cheer me up. Maybe my brain thinks there's a party on the way.

I think it looks best on Clucky, my studio chicken.

Once I hung my garland, I decided to just hunker down in my studio with some music and my most colorful supplies.

Another supply crush... Caran D'Ache crayons. Sigh. I only have a few juicy colors. I would pick a box of these over a box of Godiva chocolates any day (and I've got a serious chocolate thing.)

Perhaps I was thinking about the new Great Gatsby movie that I have to wait until summer to see (wah), but I think my doodles and papers have a bit of a flapper flair.

As the days get darker for me, I think I will keep fighting the gray with color. It worked!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Little Bit of Sparkly to Get Us Started

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I am ready for Christmas. I had to control myself during the last two Christmas seasons. Two years ago I was recovering from nest removal (hysterectomy) and one year ago I was basking in the sun in Jamaica (I know... rough.) But this year, holy ribbons and bows, I will be home the entire time, ready to force Bing Crosby, cookies made with three sticks of butter, and lots of glitter on all who enter my home.

Even though you are not entering my physical home, you are in my bubble when you visit me here... so you will be subjected as well. But don't be afraid. I will be featuring some holiday sparkly bits, but I promise to only share ideas that can be adapted for all kinds of celebrating.

Today's super easy sparkly -  paper ornaments. Although I am using them as tree ornaments, these simple shapes can also be used as collage embellishments, tied to gifts and wine, or sewn together to form a garland. But why am I telling you crafty folks this? You've probably thought of 6 other ways to use them by now.

Here's the how.

1) Start with about three sheets of old textbook or dictionary paper. Sew shapes through all three layers. I did trees and balls, but I bet you can get more creative than that.

2) Cut each shape.

3) Quick coat of gesso.

4) Quick coat of Golden Iridescent Pearl followed by some spray inks.

5) Once dry, stencil some polka-dots and add embossing power. Apply heat to emboss.

6) Add silver or gold paint if desired, then hooks or ribbons to hang them.

7) Make yourself a cup of hot cocoa.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pre-Turkey Nesting

Thanksgiving is at my house this year - for the first time in ages. I think I am ready. My parents have been here for the last week, so I took advantage of my mom's vast Thanksgiving knowledge and forced her to help me create the official Turkey Day Master Plan. My recipes are not difficult, but keeping everything warm at the same time is such a challenge! 

Most of my in-laws will be here for Thanksgiving. Thankfully they are nice and very forgiving.

I still have to cook and clean a bit more, but who wants to do that when there is a table to decorate?! We are very lucky to have hand-painted china that belonged to my husband's Danish grandmother. There is no way to make this china look anything but beautiful, so setting a pretty table is really easy!

I decided to use a burlap-ish table cloth, jute ribbons, and wheat. I still need to add the silver (needs a buffing) and some fresh flowers. I'm thinking about placing the flowers in small nosegays alongside the candles in the middle.
My bar/beverage table looked a bit dull and the 1960's ice bucket (a treasure from my late father-in-law's bachelor days) didn't look quite right. 

I replaced the ice bucket with a large crystal vase. The lid from the bucket even fits!

I tried making a quick garland from an old patchwork skirt, but I thought it looked too much like a baby shower table.

So I went with a simple jute ribbon and wheat.

These glasses belonged to my grandma. She collected them when she was a young housewife. They came in boxes of oatmeal and soap. The orange pitcher and glasses sat on top of the hutch in her kitchen for over 40 years.

Dusting off these family treasures is a bittersweet act. It makes me miss those who are gone, but I also feel their presence so strongly and know they would be happy to see us "using the good stuff," even if we break it.

I hope this week finds you enjoying the treasures in your life as well. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012


I'm back! What an amazing art adventure. I'm so thankful I got to experience it.

Right now I'm working on getting my creative and family ducks back in a row... more to come. Thanks for all the support and encouragement. I needed it and felt it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fresh Set of Eyeballs

After many weeks of hunkering down in my studio, I decided it was time to get some fresh air. My mission: to escape, just a little bit. Since I only had about 2 hours for my escape, my destination options were fairly limited. I decided to grab my camera and drive around my town using a fresh set of eyes.

It is amazing how things change with a fresh set of eyeballs.

Is this a plain old turquoise water tower?

Or a UFO that has just landed over by the soccer field?


And what happened here?

A historic building with a water leak?

Or zombie apocalypse?

And how about this...
An Ad Reinhardt black painting? 

Or a piece of old plywood painted black?

Purposefully look in another direction ... what do you see?

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Baby is Coming

As many of you know, I am about to embark on a most excellent adventure. Next week, I am flying out to Colorado to tape two instructional Cloth Paper Scissors DVDs. I can hardly believe it is only one week away. So far, the experience has been, well, quite an experience.

I've been working like crazy to prepare my outlines and craft the step-outs necessary to thoroughly demonstrate each technique.

I have packed everything in plastic and plan to ship it all to Loveland tomorrow. Then I will keep my fingers crossed that everything makes it there safely and on time.

Until I fly out on Tuesday, I will be working on the most difficult part of this whole experience...practicing. I never thought I would cringe so much at my own voice and expressions, but then again, I never really realized what a goober I was. The only solution? Periodic Halloween candy raids.

Now that everything is only a week away, I feel a little bit like I did when I was about to have my babies. I am so excited. I don't know what to expect. And I've prepared all I know to prepare. The rest is a mystery... time to enjoy the ride.