Friday, October 24, 2008

Creative and Motivated!

Sometimes it's hard to be both at the same time... especially with the time and energy constraints of modern life. If I look back, I can see that I was most creative and likely to finish a project when I was in college. Duh, if I didn't, I got a bad grade! But I think it was more than that. Us creative folks can be, forgive the stereotype, a little out there and I believe that I personally benefit from structure. This can be self-imposed (but that's like letting the fox guard the hen house) or imposed from outside one's self. Luckily, one of my good friends turned me on to It's a great way not only to find structure for your creative endeavors but to meet other artists and fun people all over the globe. You join a swap and you're given parameters for your creation, an audience and a deadline ;) I can't tell you how great this has been for me! Here are the results of my first swap, an ATC swap with a Dia de los Muertos theme.

They are both ofrendas which means "tribute" or "offering" in Spanish and refers to the altars made by families for their beloved dead on Dia de los Muertos. The first one is for my grandma Barbara. The images in the card remind me of her. The perfume bottle for her Avon, the dragonfly for the pair of earrings she gave me and the calaca for the many Albee awards she received for her success with Avon. The flowers are marigolds, traditional altar flowers for the Day of the Dead and also represent the love and joy she brought to so many.

The second one is for my grandpa. His was a little harder for many reasons. My grandma died in 2002 and I think I've had a lot of time to process that loss. My grandpa died in 2005 while I was planning my wedding. In order to make it through that time, I had to push aside many of my feelings of grief and guilt. By making this piece for him, I was able to get back in touch with and release some of that pain. I chose the images based on his love of westerns, his free spirit, his love of his country and his stellar personality. You might also notice that my grandpa's card has a small dragonfly, which links the two pieces together. Also, the wire on his card spells out his call sign: W6UBQ.

There are so many lessons I learned through this project! One was about giving your art away. Yes, I mailed the originals to my swap partner. I didn't have to, the rules specify that you can send high quality copies but something told me that I should. Maybe it was another act of letting go. I'm happy that they will be placed in someone's art collection. I have already benefited through the creation and I don't think I would benefit more by keeping them. Anyway, thanks everyone for reading. This is indeed the time of year when we are going into the darkness. I hope you all find healing there.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My first ATC!

ATC stands for Artist Trading Card! I love this idea :) I've been seeing them and hearing about them on scrapbooking sites for a while but wasn't sure if I could work on such a small canvas. Here is my first attempt and I'm pretty proud of it!
I chose the vintage photo because of the look on the girl's face. What a pretty little sourpuss! I attached it to a card that I had painted and stamped. Over the pic, I adhered a snip of fabric with the butterfly and leaf design. The star is glitter and chipboard. The title reads "The Docters said she was just "Too Bright". Is the misspelling of Docters a mistake or a part of the piece? I'll let you decide. The title paper is actually dimensional and rolls up at the bottom.
The story behind the card? Well, as a young teen, my parents got divorced. I was having a little trouble with it and my mom took me to see a therapist. I was off and on "the couch" for many years and I remember at one point a therapist telling me that I was just "too bright", meaning that I saw things in people and in the world that others might not see or might not brood about so much. Ignorance is bliss in other words! I'm not ashamed to say that I've worked hard to become a better person and I definitely encourage people to explore their minds and hearts through whatever means they feel comfortable with. For me, that means therapy and art :) But I still chuckle sometimes thinking about that young girl who stared back at her therapist and thought "I'm too bright???!!!"

bye for now,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Halloween Tree part 2

Just a sneak peek for you this time because I'm still not happy with the pics I've taken of this creation! My hubby did try and help me and we came up with some very atmospheric photos but not quite what I wanted. Here are a few close ups!

As you can see, I'm using everything in my artistic arsenal! Sculpey, beads, wire, yarn, toothpicks (hahahah) and my awesome color printer! Stay tuned for some more pics and of course, more projects! I have MANY irons in the fire right now ;)

Stop the clock!

I wish I could slow down time so we could all truly enjoy and savor this time of year :) As promised, I have pictures of the art that I did for my nephew's Harvest Festival at his preschool. I totally didn't know this but the game we helped construct is called... uh oh. It's gone, I can't remember! Something like pinkle? But a web search isn't helping me here. Oh well, here are the pics, maybe you all can tell me what in the world this game was!

You take a little plastic ball and drop it into the top, it bounces here and there off the pegs and lands in one of the bottom spaces. Now, at a more competitive fair, there might be points at the bottom or you might have to get the ball into one particular slot. But since this was a fun, family festival, every child got a ticket which they could then use to get a prize :) You might be able to tell that the paint ran in some places. I was using gel paints. The upside was that when my nephew helped us paint, I could simply wipe up the extra with a paper towel. As you can see, the downside is that when the boards were propped up to dry... they didn't dry fast enough! Oh well :) Those spots can always be touched up for future festivals. And I have to give credit to my sis who painted the board with the hay bale and pumpkin by herself! We did the tree board together. I have to say that I now feel a little more confident in my free hand drawing skills!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Yep, my favorite season is here and it actually might rain tomorrow! I've already set up my oil incense burner right by my desk. I have a fragrance called "Fall Breeze" from The Body Shop (which I don't think they carry anymore) that always puts me in the right Fall mood. Get's me feeling crafty too! Only I've been working a lot at my day job and haven't had time to craft... until my sister called me to help her with my nephew's harvest festival at his preschool! Yay! She had two white boards about two feel across and three feet wide that were destined to become part of a carnival game. She said it needed some Autumn/Halloween flair! I used these pics for inspiration...

They are all from Microsoft Clipart, how easy is that! Now, I don't consider myself a great free-hand artist but when I have something to look at, I feel pretty confident. So I went to work on those big white boards with just a pencil and eraser and together, my sister, my nephew and I created the cutest Fall scenes! I will post pics as soon as I get them from Sis. I hope you all are taking the time to decorate and celebrate :)