Monday, January 31, 2011

The Books are here

I received my books, the ones that I ordered. Wow, what a feeling. It is hard to explain really, seeing all the boxes stacked in our foyer. Crazy, I still have to pinch myself to believe I am an author. And you know what? I haven't even said that out loud yet.

So, here's the deal. If you would like to order a book from me, you will need to head on over to the Stencil Girl site where there is ordering and pricing information. You will receive the book, signed and personalized per your request. PLUS (wait, there's more cause I want you to get something special if you order directly from me) the exclusive Stencil Bookmark. The stencil was inspired by one of the book's projects and features abstracted letters which spell "Savor Life's Flavor." The one shown above is my sample. The one you will actually receive is pale blue, similar to the book, but it is 7 mil Mylar, same as all my stencils. Lovely quality, I played around with it over the weekend and oh how I love my stencil manufacturer, yes I do.

I expect to start shipping next week once the stencils are here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lazy Weekend?

I guess this all depends on your idea of lazy. For me, it simply means that I had two entirely blank days on my calendar. You have no idea how rare that is and I don't say this to imply that I am popular or anything so silly as that. I have a problem saying no. It is a completely sentence. Anne Lamott said that when I heard her speak once. I have to tell myself over and over. I also have a problem sitting still.

So. Here I was faced with TWO days. What did I do, you might ask?
  • In lieu of actually buying the sectional sofa that I would like, I re-arranged the furniture in the family room and am trying to tell myself it is just as fabulous.
  • I painted a tie for hubby to wear as 'art' at a fundraiser next weekend (art clothing is suggested). It looks pretty cool really, I will post photos of us after the event.
  • Started working on perhaps my 3rd idea of an outfit for myself for same event. UGH. A seamstress I am not, you all know that. I feel like just wearing the cute vintage slipdress (that I bought (before I knew there was a theme) with my painting shirt over it as a wrap. Hmmmm.....
  • Considered project for my TV gig on Thursday. Took no action.
  • Gessoed 12 substrates.
  • Worked on my first knitted garment, a shawl. It is proceeding well, but I have a long way to go.
  • Cleaned a closet.
  • Called my Mom.
  • Did laundry.
  • Made my fave chicken salad. Here's what you do: using leftovers from a good roasted chicken, pull the meat apart using two forks. This is important. Don't chop it up. Mix with Hellman's Mayo, slivered almonds, dried mixed berries, tarragon. Yum.
  • Cooked dinner. This was unusual because John has been cooking lately. I made up a recipe that was actually pretty good, not to mention quick. I will do it again. Here's the deal: Make some Israeli Pearl Couscous (use low fat chicken broth) and allow to sit. In a deep sided skillet, brown scallops (I wash and dry them, then toss in flour and salt & pepper lightly) in olive oil. Three minutes on one side, two on the other. Put in a 200 oven to keep warm, foil on top. Take a chopped shallot and some butter and throw it into same skillet. Cook for awhile, then pour some white wine (whatever you're having w/dinner - for us it was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc) into the skillet. This will sizzle and allow you to scrape those brown tasty bits (from the scallops) off the bottom. Put chopped tomatoes and chopped artichokes into skillet, add some capers and crushed red pepper to taste. Spritz of Meyer Lemon. Taste and adjust as necessary. To assemble - Place Couscous in a deep bowl. Put fresh baby spinach on top. Put skillet mix on top of spinach and then place scallops on top. Drizzle some Pomegranite Balsamic reduction syrup (if you have it) on top and another spritz of lemon. Serve with crusty bread. It was seriously good. 
  • Ran errands. Note to self - never go to Costco on Saturday.
  • Worked on Blog - see the link to order my book on sidebar - you can order from me or Amazon, but I send a gift so check it out.
  • Worked on Upcoming Classes, descriptions, etc.
  • Did some more stencil design.
Good thing I didn't have anything to do, huh?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Create Mixed Media

Woo Hoo, the site is L-I-V-E!!! You are going to want to make this site a regular stop. I just got finished watching some very cool technique videos - including one of me demo-ing at Art Unraveled last year. There are also instructional pdf's you can read and print, podcasts, interviews, wallpaper, you name it. I am so proud to be a part of this incredibly informative website on my favorite topic ever. Which is, of course Mixed Media. But you already knew that, didn't you? 

In other news, I've had reports from some people who have received their copy of my book from Amazon, yippee!! I will soon be announcing a promotional offer for those of you who wish to purchase the book directly from me - this will consist of a signed copy, along with an exclusive stencil that I designed as a gift for people who purchase from me. Crazy as it may sound, I don't have my books yet - or the stencils. Obviously, you all will be the first to know more. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Surprising Prize

acrylic, Wood Icing, collage and china marker on wood panel
The Foundry Art Centre, an arts organization in St. Charles, MO recently sent out a call for mixed media for their "In the Mix" show. I entered and was thrilled when all 3 of my works were selected. So imagine my reaction when I heard my name called at the awards ceremony!? [insert sidebar here - actually I wanted to jump and scream, but I played it cool - had to walk up on a stage and I was happy I had worn my new cowboy boots]

A very cool award - the Grand prize (which I did not get) was a Solo show in one of the Foundry's stunning galleries. The other prize was a 4-person show and that is the one I got. I wish I had kept better track of the peeps who won along with me so I could link them up. Duh. I didn't know any of them cause it was a national show. I certainly admired their work. At any rate, here are two of my pieces.

acrylic, Wood Icing, collage, vintage fabric, china marker on wood panel
All my pieces included parts of an electronics manual in addition to other vintage elements that are symbolic to me - I think if you click to enlarge you can see them a little bit better. The pieces are about communication and how it has all become so complicated, I was hearkening back to a simpler time as I explored the work.

Simultaneous to "In the Mix" is a solo show by Matthew Davey - oil paintings, drawings and sculpture, all absolutely bigger than life - literally and figuratively. Amazing realistic and evocative work with such heart. Both shows run until March if you have a chance to get over there.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's a New Day

What a difference a couple of days makes. This past weekend, I was a freakazoid, just really anxious about all the stuff I have going on and feeling insecure about my ability to accomplish my uber long list of 'to-do's.'

But today the sun is possibly going to shine (imagine that!) and we may even hit the mid thirties. I woke up very energized. And the snow makes it seem bright which cheers me immensely.

I am getting a lot of work done. Stencil design, yum, yum, I can't wait to reveal the new ones. And new classes - Valley Ridge, yep, Kathy is doing it after all, save the date May 13-15 if you are interested. It will be unlike anything I have ever taught, kind of a dream really, conjured up by me and Kathy. I am very excited about it. Should be announced soon, until then mum's the word (sort of).

acrylic, graphite & Wood Icing on claybord
So, in the spirit of my amazing mood, I leave you with new art and one of my favorite songs. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


I enjoy things that fool the eye. And this certainly does....
Happy Monday!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Studio assistant available for hire. Reliable, friendly and curious. Sometimes runs off with supplies. Occasionally loses focus and/or sleeps on the job. Literally.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 14, 2011

Painted Papers and Artfest update

Could my studio be any more of a mess???

Painted loves to do this.
Waxy papers, made with encaustics.
Stencils, at the ready!
I have a lot of projects 'in the works' as they say. Classes, entries, working on marketing for the book, a charity thingie - geez, you name it. I'm going several different directions at one time. So what's new, you say??

Oh!! If you have considered going to Artfest, I got an email from Teesha that she moved my class into a bigger classroom so we can accommodate more students. And guess what? It's not too late to sign up!! There is still room - just pop on over to the Artfest site and make your choices. Even though it says I'm 'FULL' there are a few openings now that I'm in a bigger spot. Yippeeeeeee!!!!! Won't you join us?

Monday, January 10, 2011


See my stencils, how cool is this!?!?
Encausticamp is OPEN! Ok,ok, I am not teaching there; I am merely an assistant (to the incredible Judy Wise!!!) but I am so excited to be part of this inaugural event. And I am just mainly hoping that I don't drool over all the amazing encaustic work that I will undoubtedly see. Woo hoo!!! So come join us! Registration is open.

And pictured above, you can see one of Trish's fabulous Encaustikits! They simply rock and I'm not saying that just cause my stencils are in this one, tee, hee. You can order the kit shown for a discount through the end of January. Click HERE for more information. And get details about the discount HERE.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Wax on

Encaustic, I did a couple transfers and used my baby stencils in a few spots.
 And just in case anyone is worried that I am not making any 'real' art, the encaustics continue...... These might enlarge if you click on them, not sure.
I have this push/pull thing with the encaustics regarding the texture issue. I love the texture, don't get me wrong, but I think I overdid it in the piece below. I think what I really like is a combination of a smooth glass-like surface with texture in some parts. That is what I was trying to do with the piece above. I am still playing and really can't get enough of it, you know how I adore a challenge.
I used pigments in both these pieces and felt a lot more comfortable creating my paint that way. I felt like I achieved better layering, more akin to how I use Fluid Acrylics in my other work.

In other news, I just got word from Kathy at Valley Ridge that I will be teaching there this year. Oh my oh my, am I ever dancing around the house about this!!!
May 14-15, 2011 - save the date. is going to be a completely different type of class. I can't say anymore just yet, but I am so unbelievably excited that she is diggin' my ideas. Oh how I adore Kathy, she and I are sooooo on the same page.
Another encaustic, too much texture though, not sure if it is finished.    

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Funky Felt

We interrupt our usual Mixed Media programming to bring you a video on how to have fun with old wool sweaters. This is the project I am doing on KMOV Great Day St. Louis tomorrow. Since time is so limited during the show, this video gives a little more information.

Making wearable things out of old stuff is so much fun. When making the scarves, save every piece because you never know what you might want to make later on. So keep those arms, waist bands, v-necks, etc. I'm hopefully going to play a little more this weekend and see if I can fashion up something more advanced than a scarf. I have a vision of some sort of longish draped vest. Anybody wanna serve as my mannequin, tee, hee.

And, if you want to explore making garments or home accessories in depth, check out this book which is simply excellent - don't you love that cute sweater on the front? I know there is a patchwork blanket in my future. (no affiliation, I just really like this book).

Monday, January 03, 2011

My Crystal Ball

Welcome to 2011 or Twenty Eleven, I guess that's what the cool kids are calling this year.

Paperweight by Chris McCarthy, bowl by Rhonda Cearlock

Three days in, I would pronounce this a glorious year; we celebrated with friends (the boys did the cooking, yippee); I then spent Saturday and Sunday wallowing around in my studio and office, organizing schmorganizing cause that is what I am pulled to do at the start of every year. I suspect it is a disease of some sort. Now I feel cleansed and ready to hit the ground running. You wanna jump into my brain for a second?

I have projects both afoot and underfoot. Cats are reclining on some of them.
My book comes out in about 6 weeks, geez Louise, can you believe it?
I am teaching at world class locations during 2011, also planning my Italy teaching gig for 2013; the year is a temptress and I am drifting after her elusive scent. I am simultaneously filled with energy (hmm, maybe that is coffee?) yet scared shitless. 
Blink. Blink.
It is big stuff. The stuff of my dreams but I am awake, right? 
Pinch me.
I'm still just a girl.
And, in other news:
Here's a lovely article about me that was published last week.
Here's the fall lineup for Squam, holy crap (and really now, what *would* holy crap look like? that's tmi, isn't it?) does this look amazing. Come join us!
And don't forget to mail your registration in to Art Unraveled.