January 31, 2007

Art scraps

I like to keep my scraps handy and somewhat organized.

It may not look like much, a pile of scraps with paint. But these are invaluable to me actually getting anything done!

When I have lots of time/energy to do art I can paint & stamp bunches of papers & alter lots of photos. I keep all my scraps & stuff I couldn't use in other projects. I throw them into a few old cigar boxes, a large one for bigger papers, medium for mid size ones and small (you get the picture). I have these boxes open and sitting at the edge of my painting table. So then other times when I need a background for a pendant or a card or a bit of color for a collage but don't want to get out the paints and make something up, I reach for my own ready made papers. And it beats using pre-printed store bought papers.

Thinking ahead, being organized and not throwing any papers out helps me fit some art into my busy schedule.

January 30, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge - Black &

It took 3 children before I felt the depth of the challenge of motherhood. Laura... "how do keep a wave upon the sand, how do you hold a moombeam in your hand?" She is one of those people born with a force of will that means she must be destined for something great.

She scared me, she rattled every selfish bone in my body. I didn't want to have to work at being a mother, I wanted it as easy as it was with my first 2. I have tried to run from her, but when I did I made it worse. I am no longer running, I am embracing and the more I indulge in being her mother the more her great sweetness is emerging.

January 26, 2007

This is a peek at what I have done for the Nature issue of Somerset Studio. It is called, unimaginatively, Nature Girl. This is not a great photo of it as I can't photoshop it due to the pine needles sticking out. I like the painted stick :)

It is due February 15 and it is for the July/August issue. Somerset must see a ton of art, I would love to go to their office to see how it all happens. I have sent them bunches of stuff and so far everything that was published has come back intact. Can you tell I am a big Somerset supporter? :)

January 25, 2007

I got this book 'Art Stamping Workshop' by Gloria Page after reading it again and again in Barnes and Nobles. I felt a little guilty enjoying it for free so I put it on my Christmas wish list. I had thought about one day carving my own stamps, but felt so daunted by it.

The day after I first read this book in the bookstore I was in Michael's craft store and I saw Speedball carving tools and the rubber Gloria recommends on sale. I bought a bunch of it. But it has been sitting in my workshop for months. On a whim tonight I decided to try it! Wow, it is so much easier than I could have imagined.

The first thing I carved was the eye (Shannon, I was thinking of your awesome collage today... apple and the eye!), then the spiral and then I launched into my self portrait, might as well go for the big leagues now I am feeling bold. Of course, that took a while to do and my shoulders hurt from the tension. But I am so pleased with it that I had to share. I wonder where this new technique will lead me?

January 24, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge. I resolve to be sweeter to my babies. Sometimes I get hung up on the to do list and am something like a drill sargent telling them to put on their shoes, load in the car with an attitude of 'do it now, get a move on'. I have read lots of parenting books that tell me to keep my kids on strict schedules and to obey my voice first time. I have found myself almost resenting their moments of disobedience, not because I am worried about their character but because I thought to be a good Mommy they should obey me and if they disobey it reflects poorly on me (now there is a confession!). I use to resent them waking up in the night as baby sleeping all night was a badge of motherhood honor... Oh Matthew has slept through the night at 10 weeks.... I see now that there is a little more grace in motherhood. Annie is still nursing at night, Laura now comes to our bed everynight. I am welcoming them. They are only little, they need my love, kindness and guidance.... not just my orders.

January 22, 2007

January 21, 2007

Here is a piece I did for the 'With One Stamp' section of Somerset that should be out in the next issue. Somerset mailed me and 4 other artists a stamp and we had to make art with it. I did 9 different pieces for it, I don't know yet which ones will be published. I am so excited to see what the other artists have done with the same stamp.

An update on this piece - it was purchased by Jenny Doh for a gift to a friend! What an honor.

January 20, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge - New Years Resolution: Create More.

My time to create starts at about 9-10pm, when my house is in order, time spent with my husband and my kids are in bed (minus Matthew, who is a late nighter like me… I have tried to fight but lost the battle, at least he does his own thing in the evening). I stay up to 1-2am. So that is a long time to myself, 3-4 hours. Often by 10pm I am tired and just want to check emails, read blogs of other creative folks or watch a DVD…. I am resolved to try to do less of that and more in my project center. I have no excuse… I don’t have to go all the way outside to the workshop anymore, as I moved everything in. So…. Yep, more art here. I met every Somerset Studio theme in 2006… and thanks to in the interest of Somerset editor Jenny Doh in my art I have more deadlines to meet in 2007… Yeah!

But more than just doing more creating, I resolve to keep it balanced with the rest of my life. To be ready to create in the evening I have to think a little about it in the daytime. But I can't let that focus lessen my joy in doing my daytime stuff. My friend and artist Shannon Mucha and I have been talking about the balance between art and keeping focused on home/kids/school stuff (not forgetting keeping my husband a happy man:) I am not in a season when I can just do my own thing. Mark, Matthew, Lily, Laura and Annie are HUGE in my life. The flame for both worlds must burn brightly. With prayer and re-visiting my goals and not getting sidetracked into entertainment and laziness I believe I can do this. I am doing it. Little sleep for me!

January 19, 2007

January 18, 2007

I am finally all moved and working in my new creating space. I love that everything I need is right here.

I am working on a stuff for a new section in Somerset Studio called Somerset Workshop. This department started in the current issue (Jan/Feb 2007), where the artist, Connie Govea Stuart shows you step by step how she makes a collage piece. I am working on an altered photo with a stamping technique for a journal cover. I have a deadline of Feb 1 for mine, but I don't know which issue it will be in. I have just finished my submission for the Nature Preserved theme for the July/August issue of Somerset, which is due Feb 15. And after the workshop stuff is done I will turn my attention to Somerset Home. I had 4 pieces in the last Somerset home so I am hoping to do as well again. Work, work work. I love it!

Oh, by the way the hat is covering unwashed hair. Some mundane things just don't get done with 4 kids and lots of art to do. That reminds me... gotta do some laundry also.

January 09, 2007

Art tools

I have been making these soldered glass pendants for a while now. I found the most frustrating part in the process was the glass cutting. I just couldn't get a straight edge. I would get it as straight as I could and any little extra glass I would sand down with my drimmel. Not the best method. Well for a few dollars I just made my life easier by what feels like hundreds of dollars! I got this glass breaking tool called a running pliars. Oh my goodness! I cut a ton of perfect pieces of glass tonight. Yeah! I also bought a new, heavy duty solder iron which I hope will make my soldering better, smoother.

January 05, 2007

My breakfast room studio

I have finally realized that now is not the time in my life for me to be shut away for hours in my workshop. So I am moving my studio back into the house. I have a room right next to my kitchen which I was not really using. It has a set of lovely red built in bookshelves that I am stocking with all my art and craft materials. That way I can truly integrate my art into my life, I can work on something easily when I have a few minutes free rather than waiting for big block of time to come along. I will be able to go do a load of laundry, bring the girls a drink in bed or answer Matthew's 11pm questions and jump back into work with ease.
I bought a great project table from Pottery Barn a few days ago and it is already here! I also got a bunch of 'cottage baskets' that they were selling cheap to hold my stuff, so it can look a little neat when I need it to. I am so excited about this new arrangement. I am really at the center of all that is mine now and it feels good.

January 04, 2007

One of my New Years resolutions is to have more FUN with my kids. I want to enjoy them more. They are only young for such a short time. I want to BE there more.

My son is growing so much, I noticed how big and strong his hands are now, they are not small and delicate like his little sisters. He can do mutiplication and he can beat the whole family at chess. How did this happen so fast? Have I really been there, or have I wasted my time cleaning the house, tidying their toys away, checking emails, wishing I were doing something else, something, anything more 'important' than reading on the floor, playing games, doing flash cards and crafts, indulging in time with them? As the years speed by I want to really LIVE, really live with my little people, so when I look back I won't have regret.


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