Thursday, December 30, 2010

The week between the holidays

I am not getting any work done. It is really weird being self employed because I love my work and want to do it all the time. This holiday thing is killin' me. You know? I pine for my the meantime here's a pic of one of my favorite coffee mugs.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Art Unraveled/Aug 2-9, 2011

I just wanted to send out a little reminder that it's almost time to register for Art Unraveled. In fact, you can send your registration anytime now. I am going to take at least one class myself; the lineup is phenomenal with lots of new teachers.  In case you are wondering about The Color Class, here is a blog post from one of my students from Squam last year. I am offering a full day class at AU, so it will be even better, yippeeeeeeee!! If you want to paint and understand color, this is the class for you!

And Stratalicious, well, what can I say, I love my rocks. Creating texture in the form of rocks is just funfunfun. I can't get enough of it.

 Any questions? Feel free to email me with the link in the sidebar.

Monday, December 27, 2010

And the party plays on

We just got home from visiting my family for Christmas. Lucky for me I was able to pop into St. Theresa's Textile Trove while I was in town.

I adore how they are decorating their walls as shown in these pictures. Oh how I like that place and you know I don't even sew. But I got a big hunk of oil cloth and I think I'm going to make an apron.

In the meantime I have lots of ideas for projects and classes and yep, even an online class.

So stay tuned as I get myself organized. I want to offer something deliciously different.
But right now I've got more Christmas celebrating to do.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baking and baking and.....

Yep, baking. I must have eaten who knows how many pounds of raw cookie dough this past weekend. Cause you know that's what you do when you bake? Or at least it's what I do. That's why I try to bake early in the day because then I call it breakfast. Seriously. Perfect with coffee.
Grandma's actual recipe
I made my Grandma's Thumb Print Cookies. They are my favorite cookie in the world.  I always put icing in the thumbprint parts, never jelly like some recipes suggest. I mean seriously.....
I am trying to save them for guests...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tarp Heaven

Oh, be still my heart. Check out this tarp!!
I could see using it for all kinds of tasks.
Sanding for one thing. This tarp would help contain the sanding debris. And perhaps I could use it for a Sanding Station in my studio, rather than just sanding wildly wherever I happen to be, thus having airborne yuck yuck fact, my friend Dawson (check out her site, you gotta see her work, by the way!) called me out last week for sanding while I was on the phone. Ahem, what can I say - I am a multitasker.
Anyway, I don't have any affiliation with Lee Valley, but just thought this was pretty cool. It is a nice size at 32" x 32" and also a very good price @$4.50. 
And don't ya know I placed my order before you all rush over there and buy up their inventory.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Art Unraveled/Aug 2-9, 2011

The Color Class
Site opens Friday at 10pm PST. Registration opens January 10th. Last year was my first time at AU and I really enjoyed the experience, so I am thrilled to be back and teaching two classes. Plus I think I will probably take a class or two - Linda has done an amazing job selecting teachers and classes. There are a bunch of teachers I haven't seen before and I feel like immersing myself in the thrill of being a student for a change.......yippeee....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Abstracted Letter Forms

Here are some pieces that I made for Christmas gifts (if you are in my family, stop looking n-o-w) and also for commissions. They are paintings made up of abstracted versions of names, so each family gets one painting for every member of the family. I made some of these for my stepdaughter's family several years ago and they were a big hit. I've played around with the idea since then and added some texture. I think it is fun how the pieces become puzzles and the viewer has to search to figure it out.
I kinda like these names, especially love how they look all pushed together, in a quilt-like fashion.

12-8x8 Abstracted Letter form pieces

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

These Boots were made for walkin'

My very first pair of Old Gringos. With Swarovski crystals, no less. Maybe I little over the top, but I actually think they are pretty neutral, black with brown stitching, golden crystals in silver bezels. They match everything I own.

And they feel amazing on my feet. I was dancing all around the house in them last night.
Thanks to Deb Trotter and Deryn Mentock for introducing me to Old Gringo boots. I can't really blame them for my boot obsession though; that one is all mine.
Giddy Up!!!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

And the winners are.......

Wow, between the blog and Facebook, we had a nice batch of entries. Thanks so much to everyone who played.

So, without further ado......

Prize 1 - Set #1 of my new baby stencils:  CINDY SWAN-EAGAN
Prize 2 - Set #2 of my baby stencils:  BUMBLEBEE
Prize 3 - Both of the clear stamps:  LAURA WEINRICH
Grand Prize - Container of Wood Icing and a set of large stencils: RH CARPENTER

Woo hoo, I am so pleased for all of you, yippeeeeeeee!!!! John and I are such dorks, we probably should have filmed this - we were all in my office, two cats sitting on my desk, one of them on the keyboard. John insisted that I make drum roll sounds when he pulled each name. As an aside, he wanted me to tell you all that he didn't wear his glasses when he pulled the names. 

If you are a winner, post a comment for me or email me with your address. Obviously I will not 'publish' the comment so no one else will see your address. And thanks again to all of you who took the time to link me up. I really appreciate your support in helping me spread the word about my blog.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Little gifties tied up with yarn

Aren't they cute? Cute stuff inside too but I can't tell.

Don't forget to enter the contest. Just one more day, scroll down for details.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 10, 2010

My yearly sick

I have been hit with my annual sinus thing. The one where I announce that it's too bad snot has no nutritional value. Ahem. Tmi I know.

This is not a bowl of chicken soup but contains the entries for the contest. Oh what, you say you haven't entered yet? Just scroll down to see details.
And back to bed for me!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's a Baby Blog Button

Ok, several of you have asked for it, so here it is.......a Blog Button. I have also placed it on the sidebar where you can grab the code.
And while you're here.....don't forget the CONTEST.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Holidaze are here!! Hip Hip Hooray for a Give Away!

It has been forever since I have given anything away and I am hanging my head in shame at this terrible omission.  But I've got a great idea! I am going to make up for it by offering prizes.  Multiple prizes in fact.
Prize 1 - Set #1 of my new baby stencils
Prize 2 - Set #2 of my baby stencils
Prize 3 - Both of the clear stamps
Grand Prize - Container of Wood Icing and a set of large stencils.
You can pop on over to Stencil Girl Products to see descriptions of all these products in case you don't know what I am talking about. I have also posted a Video there that shows how to use the Wood Icing and the stencils. It goes without saying (although I guess I do say it a lot because I have apparently turned into one of those people who loves hearing the sound of her own voice, oh please tell me it's not true) how much I love the Wood Icing. Rockin' texture that has replaced Molding paste for me which you will understand if you watch the video. 
So, you are probably wondering what you need to do to be entered in the contest.....
Link me up
Yep, that's it. Just put a link on your blog sidebar or Facebook or, well, I don't know where else you would put one, but maybe you all have clever ideas. Then leave me a comment along with the link so that I can check it out.
Mr. John will do the drawing for me on Sunday night and I will announce the winners right here on Monday, December 13th.

Monday, December 06, 2010


My grandson Aidan loves origami. To be honest, I have always had trouble with it. I think it may have something to do with following instructions. Ahem.

But I took Aidan to a demo this past weekend and I paid very close attention, we both did really. And we learned to make these sweet ornaments. We loved making them and Aidan even turned one into a tree topper which was rather clever.
Here is Jasper right before I hid them.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

What is Old is New

I recently took a trip back to my 'old' style work, that being mixed media more in the style of my Common Denominator series. In this case I made an abstract for a group show that recently ended.

Gentle Noble Earth, 20" x 20" on canvas (click to enlarge)
It was weird working on canvas after having done so much work on wood panel and claybord. It was also weird using Molding Paste (I found this huge tub of it when I cleaned recently). I have become so accustomed to using Wood Icing that I had forgotten how long it takes the Molding Paste to dry. Oy Vay am I ever impatient, ha!
So I took this piece to my Critique Group on Tuesday night. I kind of wanted to bring my encaustics, but I had already hung them at the store, along with all the rock pieces. I thought about not even bringing a piece, but instead grabbed this one at the last minute. It was the only new-ish work I had on hand and truth be known I didn't even want to discuss it because it was done already, varnished, had been in a show.
But then, just when I am least expecting it (and I say this not because my group doesn't add good input, but because I foolishly didn't think there was anything to say) I hear brilliant words coming from the mouths of artists who I respect.
And the feedback was all about see that little white square in the middle? If you enlarge you may be able to see my words, from a vintage book page, random yet meaningful, done a la Humument,  meaning that I painted over the words I did not want. I do this in a very random, meditative way and it never fails to amaze me the messages that appear. Words have played a big role in all my work from the very start. I have always suspected it was my journalism degree kicking in, this compulsion to add commentary to everything I do. I have been putting little word 'captions' in my work for over 10 years now. They are wildly meaningful to me, sacred almost. Sometimes I feel like they are the true guts of my work and I simply can.not.stop. using them.
So anyhoo, two people in my group both locked in on the words. One felt they were 'shy' and the other suggested I use more of them for there to be a real impact.
Slap self in head.
Amazing food for thought and now this sends my brain spinning in new directions.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Waxy Meltdown

In a good way, of course! I am talking about Encaustics! Yum. I have been aware of encaustics for years; to be truthful, I have avoided them because it is kind of expensive (for one thing) and I also didn't want to be distracted from my regular work.
Well. I had an opportunity to play a few months ago when my friend Julie invited me to her fully functioning encaustic studio. It was too fun for words. I was instantly smitten.
12" x 6" encaustic with collage
I have been playing on my own now. A lot - yeah, I'm a little obsessive that way. But you knew that. Anyhoo, here is one of my new ones, very neutral, also a mix of smooth and textured effects. And see those little round things? They are palette pieces, snipped from my dried palette - I have a lot of them that I've been saving just because they are cute. I actually didn't even use the painted side here (silly girl) as the back side had a look I preferred.

4" x 4" encaustic, click to enlarge
I posted this one (above) on Facebook and it was selected as the 'fave' by a number of people. That is my new baby stencil there at the bottom. Also at the top of the piece shown above. Wow do I ever love how those stencils work with the hot wax. Anyway, I like this piece too although it wasn't my fave, don't know why.
This one is maybe my fave. I think I mainly like the color, I was mixing the wax right on the palette and loved the way the colors merge up.
4" x 4" encaustic, click to enlarge
One of my favorite things about the encaustic work is the blowtorch. Whoa is it ever cool, well, not really cool, but you know what I mean.  Of course I am making John a wreck about it as I am sure he envisions his absent minded wife with a blowtorch and who knows where his brain wonders. I am careful and responsible though. I wasn't in the insurance claim biz 18 years for nothin'!!
If you also love Encaustics or want to try it for the first time, you might consider attending Encausticamp this year. I will be there (assisting Judy Wise,  oh be still my heart). I think it will be hothothot, literally and figuratively of course.