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September 27, 2011

my first painting on canvas...

This is my very first painting on a real canvas. 
I am making this one for a very sweet girl who just got her own apartment.
The painting is in watercolor and acrylic...so far.
I still have a ways to go. More layers for sure.
I had to stop for a bit as my youngest son moved back in. I have been busy getting everything reorganized, including my art space.

Tomorrow is dedicated to painting & playing...I can't wait to get back to this one and see where it goes.
In between cleaning & reorganizing I have gesso'd 4 canvases for my oldest son's house and have three hardback book covers prep'd to make book purses out of them.
I'm tired.

Yesterday I got to see Mama Doe and the twins. 
I had to grab the camera and get a couple pictures in.
the twins
The babies are so big and almost ready to head out on their own. I hope they will come back and visit.
the twins and Mama (actually only the top of Mamas head on the far right) running off
Hope everyone is having a good week so far!

September 23, 2011

doodle art + upcycled frame = b-day present...

I missed my best friend's birthday! I know...how could I miss it?
I could say I was so busy, not feeling well or come up with other excuses.
The honest truth is I FORGOT!
Not that it matters to her. She is one of those wonderful people that accepts others just as they are.
She practices unconditional love and friendship.
She doesn't judge and knows she is not perfect either.
She'll gently call me on my stuff and appreciates the same.
I am so blessed to have her in my life.

We live over an hour away from each other so we do not get together often but we talk on the phone at least once a day if not more.
So she is coming up today and I wanted to have something special for her.

She likes my doodles and dragonflies so I thought it would be nice to frame one for her.
I went to our local awesome art and matting store and got the perfect mat:
(The mat is actually a dark maroon with black trim on the inside opening)

I found a funky old 11"x14" frame in my recycle stash:
This poor frame really needed help:

Idea...spray paint!!! I was out of black so that meant a trip to the store...and I could finally get batteries for my camera too! 

Our local K-Mart is getting rid of all their spray paints and selling them at a great price.
I love texture so when I saw a black textured shimmer paint I was sold...and at $2, what a deal!

I sprayed the frame and then sprayed it with another coat of sealer.

The shimmery texture looked great on the frame and brought out the black trim of the mat and the drawing.

I hope she likes it. This was a fun, easy project. I am thinking of doing more for the local Holiday craft shows.

Now that I finally got batteries for my camera, I can post everything I have been working on throughout next couple days!

Today's SHOUT-OUT!

Today's Shout-Out and big hugs go to Deborah at Domestic Empress By Design. Deborah just started blogging this month and her blog is elegant, colorful and chock full of ideas, crafty tutorials and even a delicious recipe for Southern Chicken & Dumplings with the secret to great stock!!! It's hard to believe this Brave Girl has just jumped into the blogging world. Her blog and her style are incredibly professional and fun.
This is one girl whose creative light is shining bright.
So let's welcome Deborah into our wonderful, creative, sharing, encouraging community!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

September 19, 2011

hollyhocks and other flowers...

I took Charlene out for a walk this morning. It was already getting hot and the forecast is mid to upper 90s all week. As much as I love the hot summer sun, I welcome Autumn and the cooler temperatures. As Charlene and I rounded the last turn of our walk, I saw some beautiful hollyhocks growing along the edge of the path and a wood fence. I whipped out my trusty cell phone/camera and got a couple of pictures to share with you today!

The last color of Summer emerging...or maybe the first color of Autumn?

The hollyhocks were just another reminder of how the theme of flowers has been with me this entire season. 
Here are few pictures of what I have been drawing in the past couple days. 
I've been painting also however I forgot to go shopping and get some batteries for my camera.
 I will have to post the pictures of my newest painting adventures tomorrow. 
My cell phone camera just does not do a good job on painting or inside pictures.
journal page
I worked on a couple journal pages...just doodling and drawing lines that are ready to be filled with random thoughts.

dragonflies playing
flying free

I drew dragonflies and flowers, something that feels so good to my soul.

Today I am focusing on painting and starting a couple new book purses...
Oh and getting some more batteries for the camera so I can share!

Today's SHOUT-OUT!
Today's Shout-Out goes to a new eMag, Collage in Color. I saw this eMag advertised and it looked intriguing with video tutorials and interviews from  several of the contributing artists and the ability to zoom in and really look at the details of a project. Plus you can go back to the videos as often as you want.
It took me a bit to download and figure out all the interactive tools of the eMag; probably because I do not follow instructions, actually to be honest I do not read instructions (I prefer to just jump in), so I know that if I can figure it out pretty quickly it really is not hard at all.
I have to say that I really, really liked it! There is even an interactive color wheel!
If you are interested in getting some more information or purchasing click HERE!


September 15, 2011

where did this last week go...

I woke up this morning and realized IT'S THURSDAY!!!!
Where did the week go?
What have I done for the past week?
Let's see...
last Friday was doctors' appointments and getting ready for Saturday.

Yes! Saturday! An annual event I look forward to every year!
Saturday was the 6th Annual Kacie's Ride for Hope.
This is a motorcycle ride where 
"Bikers unite for an end to Domestic Violence". 
I've been volunteering at the ride selling 50/50 raffle tickets for the past three years.
This is one event that is near and dear to my heart.
Pat Barron started this ride after his younger sister was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend.
The ride raises money for our local domestic violence/sexual assault agency and also spreads the word about domestic violence. Everyone's hope is to someday end domestic violence with more education and community awareness.
You can read all about Kacie's Ride for Hope HERE
To see spectacular photos of the gathering that started in our historic downtown, the gorgeous  putt through the Northern Sierras and the BBQ after the ride go HERE.

Here's a few pictures I took with my cell phone as the hundreds of bikes headed out for their ride.

Hundreds of bikes lining the streets! It was incredible to watch them, hearing the engines echoing off the old buildings. After the bikes all left and everything was packed up me and the other volunteers that weren't riding headed over to the Hall to set up and get ready for the bikes to come in. There was bbq pulled pork lunch with all the fixin's, cold sodas and water, a band, contests and raffle!
It was a great day.

Sunday I was exhausted and laid around watching movies all day. I cannot remember the last time I just laid on the couch and spent the entire day watching TV.

The bad part of laying around all day on the couch is I started noticing all the areas that had not been cleaned for a while, well since I herniated a couple discs in my back.
So I have been slowly doing an "Autumn Cleaning" (you know, feels like Spring Cleaning just different season) for the past few days.

Oh I did make a squeeze bottle for my honey!
(no, not the spouse/partner kind of honey)
I buy local honey in a 16oz jar and wanted to put it into something I could pour out of.
I used an empty plastic agave container like this:

I tore the label off which did not come off all the way and left a papery film on the bottle.
Now that looked really tacky so I got out my markers.

Some doodling, add a little distressed ink, change out the cap and VOILA:

A recycled, not so tacky as before plastic squeeze bottle for my honey!

My heartfelt Shout-Out today goes to Pat Barron, his wife and family and all the other families worldwide that show us how to turn a horrifying family tragedy into an amazing event to help prevent other families from going through what they experienced!
If you didn't check out the website already, you can visit Kacie's Ride for Hope HERE.

So...have you ever woke up wondering where the week went?

Now I am going to (hopefully) spend the rest of the day painting, since I think I have captured all the dust bunnies that have been multiplying under everything in my home.
What are you doing today, or this week?


September 08, 2011

thinking needs action...

Today is another one of those days...
I find myself just quiet and thinking...

There are times when just thinking can be great!
Planning something fun and creative.
Thinking of changes that need to take place.
Thinking of solutions to a situation.

The problem with thinking arises when no action is taken.
When I do this it can be harmful to my soul.
I stay stuck in thinking and start to doubt myself.
Those great thoughts and plans are interrupted by the wonderful inner critic inside me.

Then the cycle starts: 
Thinking too much about a problem...
Comparing myself to others...
Worrying about tomorrow...
What if I'm wrong...

Without action, just thinking is not productive.
Even when the thinking is about a project, or a positive change needed,
action is required.

That is where I think most of us get stuck.

I guess there are as many reasons not to take action as there are stars in the sky.
Fear..now that is probably the biggest one.
Self-Doubt...that would come in a close second on my list.
I actually have to DO SOMETHING?
the "If Onlys'"...now that list could go on forever.

On the other hand, there are very few reason not to take action.
The most important reason for me is that I will stay stuck and always wonder if my thought, plan, dream could have ever come to fruition.
I know...I have done this so many times before.

So what's up with the happy ClipArt at the top of this post?

Today is the SIX MONTH anniversary of this blog!!!!
I am so glad I finally took action and stopped just thinking of blogging.
These past six months have changed my life, my self-esteem and even quieted the inner critic a little.

I knew when I started this blog it had to be for me.
I knew no one may ever read it, and I had to be okay with that.
So I jumped in, really knowing nothing about the blogging world and not even following blogs when I started.

I feel PROUD of myself for getting out of my head and taking action.
I feel BLESSED beyond words for all the wonderful people I have met and continue to meet.
I feel AMAZED that anyone has even read this blog.


For all the support, encouragement, comments and friendship you ALL have given me as I took action, took the fearful leap of putting myself out there.

This anniversary reminds me that all of us, especially bloggers, expose ourselves, our creativity (and at times our inner self and our fears) to the entire world! 
We are brave souls indeed!
And if I can take action on starting a blog by just being me, I can face my fears and take action on my other thoughts as well!
Today I CELEBRATE taking action!

September 07, 2011

my final total alignment invitation...


I finished my last Total Alignment Invitation.
This was probably the most freeing, most creative, most exciting workshop I have ever taken:
no techniques,
no type of art to create,
actually not about the art at all!

This workshop was all about unleashing the Creative Force within.

I learned:
How to open my Heart Center 
(this area can be full of junky-junk from life)

 I learned:
to find Balance within.

I learned:
how to get Energized!

I learned:
how to let go and allow my
Total Self Expression
to flow... 

I learned to get Grounded,
connected, be in the moment.

I learned a BIG BLANK page was not scary, it was an Invitation to create!
AND...what I learned from this workshop is that I have a Creative Force inside me yearning to be an artist, yearning to express itself, yearning to connect with the flow, and yearning to tell my story...
and sometimes my critical mind, fear and "junky-junk (as Connie calls it) just gets in the way.

I can (and will) return to these lessons whenever I feel my heart needs to open up, or I'm a little off balance, or maybe needing some energizing, or having difficulty expressing myself or to remind myself to get grounded when I feel disconnected.

I cannot thank Connie enough for generously offering this free workshop and for all the incredible work she does in helping people connect with their own Creative Force within!
I will be forever grateful for this experience.

Time for me to go off and create...

Have a Wonderful Wednesday everyone.

September 06, 2011

a lovely atc came in the mail....

I just love getting a little love in the mail!

Definitely brings SUNSHINE SMILES!

With such a precious kitty cat bringing a wonderful surprise inside the card.

My friend Sandra over at Alchemy-Art Memories and I did an ATC exchange.
Not only was this ATC absolutely AWESOME, the message she wrote in the card was beautiful and something I need to remember daily.

This ATC is "Play" card #5, out of a set of 5.

Since I absolutely LOVE textures, collage and mixed media - 
I certainly LOVE this ATC!

Thank you Sandra!

I hope everyone had a fun-filled Labor Day weekend!

September 03, 2011

saturday's self-expression lessons...

Ever had one of those days were there seems to be a "theme"? 
Today was one of those days.
This morning I was going through my e-mails and there was a new post from Stephanie Gagos' blog Finding Your Voice Of Truth.
I found Stephanie through another blog called Beauty of Sorrow led by Sung-Hee (Regina) Hong.
Stephanie is also a member of Willowing & Friends, a Life Coach, a writer, a creative art journaler and on her own healing journey, just like most of us!
Both sites are dedicated to healing from trauma or dysfunction and both contain incredible stories of healing along with wonderful art.

Stephanie's post title was "The Scream Inside" and I had to read on.
Stephanie wrote about all of us having a scream inside that we need to get out.
It was interesting to me as I do not think I have ever "screamed" in my life. 
I tried it. It didn't work.

Right after that I got into a conversation with my best friend.
I had not told her about the post I had just read. 
We started talking about communication and how hard it is to express ourselves and how easily we can get intimidated when trying, especially with doctors, bosses or other people of authority.

I was still in my pajamas after our phone call.
Instead of getting dressed I decided to watch my next Invitation for Total Alignment.
Invitation 4 was about Total Self Expression!
I thought "you gotta be kidding me, really?".
3rd time in one day with this theme...I think I need to learn something here.

I found myself crying as Connie explained that we all have something important to share
through our stories, our Self Expression.
To paint with Total Self Expression is to SING!
(that's all I am saying...you really might want to check out Total Alignment)

Oh and another part of Total Alignment and FEARLESS (tm) Painting is to paint like a five-year old!

Well, my five-year old self wanted to scribble flowers with the my previously melted water soluble
oil pastel crayons...then add acrylic paint...more crayons...more water...
It started looking REALLY UGLY!

I began an argument with the process.
I thought to myself:
 Can you really mix oil pastels and acrylics without drying in between?
There is NO WAY I can post this painting, even though it's not about the art?
Really, change the colors up again? And add watercolor paint too? Can I do this?

Then I thought about the Intention of the process.

It's not about the art!
It's about allowing my inner Self-Expression to flow out.

I changed the Pandora station to something I could really SING to.

And that's what I did.

There I was, still in my pajamas in the middle of the afternoon, painting and singing to some of my favorite classic rock. Remembering fun times, remembering love and heartache, dreaming, feeling life and the flow!

I was so into the process that I didn't even realize I had been standing the whole time with my back to the large open window that faces the busy street...in my Spongebob Squarepants jammy bottoms!
Moving and singing and painting away!

Hopefully that sight put a little laughter into someone's day.
It sure made me laugh when I realized it.

So I just let it go.
I allowed the creativity inside to flow out.
I allowed myself True Total Self Expression.
I turned the music up and the inner critic off!

And when I was finished, this is what I saw:

Once again I am totally amazed at the process and what comes out when I just let go and allow the Creative Force inside me to flow!

 My SHOUT-OUT today goes out to YOU & YOUR Self-Expression!
The beautiful Self-Expression within you!
May it shine and light the path for others.

Have a Sensational Sunday!