Friday, April 30, 2010
May Day is special and a holiday not every one celebrates. My mother always made a point of making the day special for my brother and I growing up and now. Tomorrow morning the May Day man will ring the doorbell and leave yummy chocolate and oatmeal drop cookies on our doorstep. When I was young he left them in those little green plastic strawberry baskets that you used to buy berries in. He would ring the doorbell and run. A few minutes later my mom, a little out of breath would show up in the kitchen, conveniently near the patio door. It was something she always did for us. Yesterday I found out it was something her mother had begun doing for her and her sister. It's a simple little thing that made the day unique so I want to encourage you to do something too.
Maybe you want to leave a posy for your neighbor, or even just set a dandelion on each breakfast plate. Maybe you want to turn lunch into a picnic, or toss some strawberries into the orange juice. It's up to you. A sweet little note that says "happy May Day", or a May Day kiss on the cheek. If however, you are interested in the May Day tradition as my family celebrates I'll post the recipe below. It's super yummy- I promise!
May Day Cookies
(cocoa and oatmeal drop cookies)
Mix together in a bowl and set aside:
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup coconut
In a small saucepan combine and bring to boil for one minute:
3 tbsp. cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 lb. butter
Add to wet ingredients: 1 tsp. vanilla
Pour cocoa mixture over the oatmeal/coconut mixture. Mix together well. Drop onto waxed paper. Set aside to cool. Work rapidly before they harden. Be careful not to snitch until they've cooled somewhat or you risk burnt fingers!
Yields 20-30 cookies Yum!
(photo of cookies from AllRecipes.com- no photographer listed, photo of May Day celebration from photobucket posted by dymphnasis)
Thursday, April 29, 2010
"Fly"- Collaged Tin Cover
Materials and Tools
Cover to an old metal tin
16-gauge steel wire
Butterfly Sticker- Artsy Urban by Melody Ross
Scrap of vintage book paper
Pencils- 2B and white colored
Clear Acrylic Alpha Stamp Set and Block
Cylinder with 1" diameter
Step One- Using a paintbrush or sponge brush, cover your entire tin cover with gesso. Let dry. Don't worry about even or perfect coverage here. Applying the acrylic in the next step will cover up any text or imagery that's on the tin, but I rather like some of it showing through on the backside. .
Step Two- Choose a color and haphazardly paint the tin with acrylic paint, letting some of the white of the gesso show. I used the pool color by Ranger. It comes in the little daubers. I wouldn't recommend buying all your paint in these little things. I just happened to have it on hand and wanted this color. Much cheaper to buy it in the craft bottles. :)
Step Three- Using your 1" diameter cylinder, wrap the 16-gauge wire around it to form a coil. As you wind, slide off the coils, and continue to wrap until it's your desired length.
Step Four- Using your hands, flatten and then seperate the coils to form loops. Their shape and whether they overlap or not is the result of how much you seperate them.
Step Five- Cut a 24" length of embroidery floss and tie one end to the end of your looped edging. This is to anchor the floss.
Step Six- Use your wire loops as a guide, and with a 2B pencil, place a mark where you'd like to make a hole in the tin's edge. Mark at the point that the wire crosses at the bottom of the loop. That is where you'll be stitching your wire to your tin. Using a crop-a-dile, chomp 1/8" holes into the edge of your tin where marked.
Step Seven- Using your needle and floss, begin to stitch the wire loops to the edge of your tin as shown. Go over and around the wire, and through the hole in the tin.
Step Eight- Then with needle and thread, cross over the wire that is in between the loops and bring your needle to the back of the tin and ready to insert into the next hole. Then from the back, bring it through the loop again, and then insert into the hole. Repeat until entire length is tacked down.
Step Nine- When you've reached the point you started at, cut any excess wire and wrap the cut end around the first loop you stitched down. Finish the piece by adding the sticker. Then cut out a bit of old book paper and using a clear acrylic letters, stamp the word "fly". Doodle with pencils around word. Use a glue stick to adhere below the butterfly stamp.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Finding time to work on my art is always difficult. I'm sure it is for you too. Time spent making art is time away from the family, the to-do list, and other commitments. So it was really wonderful to be able to have some free time this weekend to work on some projects. One of the projects was this mixed media corkboard. The other is this little photo holder. Both are newer versions of previous projects. The photo holder can be found over at Etsy later tonight. The corkboard will only be available over at The Studio at Rush Creek for now while I work on a way to ship that size item.
I've also a new mixed media in the works, a couple of tutorials, and a few more storage ideas to share. SO have a good Monday and see you soon!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Today's to-do list reads:
- Clean up leftover dishes from dinner party
- Play with new collage
- Take my son to the park for a picnic (if weather's nice)
- Cuddle with my kid while reading the latest adventures of Doyle and Fossey, fifth grade science detectives (if weather's not nice)
- Page through some new craft books
- Write a to-do list (check)
- Write a blog post (double check)
Sweet! Two done already!!!! What are you going to do today? Is anything creative on your list? Just wondering.....
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
|Overflowing and Overwhelming|
|Creating the necessary slack|
|Simply organized and ready for inspiration to strike!|
Friday, April 16, 2010
|Soda Can Flower Pendant|
The Bird and Nest embellished tin can below was created by Faith Meadows' Designs and is part of what she terms her new "tin treasures" line of items. While this can was covered, painted, and embellished it's actual shape wasn't re ally altered.
Then there are the tin tops. What to do with them once you've opened the can and cut them off? I toss them into the recycling with this reluctant "I should be able to do something with this...." feeling. They seem a little large for pendants (although I suppose I could use the tomato paste lids in that way).
But I LOVE the solution picardcreative on Etsy came up with. She creates these outrageous, "sassy girl" MAGNETS out of them. How super clever is that??
So there's a few ideas to get both of our minds whirling... what would you do? Would you create a curtain of tin can lids? Would you stack the cans, make little banks, or planters of them?
Edit: I'm at my mom's and showed her the tin can from Faith Meadows and she loved it and bought it! Thanks Mom for supporting handmade!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I was so wrong. While there is a lot of repetition out there I've found some really fabulous information very easily and quickly. I value that. As a stay at home mom I never know when I'll be able to hop on and do a little searching or how quickly the time that I do have will end. I'll grab a coffee and sit down thinking I have the morning and a scant ten minutes in will be jumping up to transfer laundry, or to get the phone, or rush to the post office to mail a package I forgot about earlier. So everything has to be squeezed into these little increments of time that fall between everything else. Because of my time constraints, I like blogs and e-newsletters, especially the e-newsletters. All this information just lands in my e-mail each morning ready for me to open and scan whenever I have the opportunity.
Of these, I really like Timothy Adams' Handmade Spark e-newsletter. I admit I subscribed so I could get the free blogging blueprint he was offering BUT I've been receiving this daily for about 4 or 5 weeks at least and there is always SOMETHING that catches my eye. He usually includes some lovely Etsy eye-candy but also has some great guest writers sharing business tips, photography information, better blogging ideas and the like.
There's MORE!!! Here are a few yummy looking blogs I found while searching and a little bit about how they describe themselves-
"Here at Meylah, our goal is to help creative folks succeed in building their businesses online. We know it can be tough, but with our weekly entrepreneurial advice and social networking know-how, you’ll be one step closer to success".
This blog just launched but I've chatted with the editor and I think she's going to be worth reading. Here's the description- "Create some buzz with the Buzz Blog! Learn (& share) about indie business topics and other fun stuff for the craftily self-employed! The Buzz Blog is edited by Jen Wallace of Buzz PR and Indie Fixx"
Handmade Business Blog:
The Handmade Business Blog is a collection of posts about selling handmade products online. Site reviews, tips, advice, and tools for use with Etsy and other selling venues. (Squidoo)
The Art of the Business Blog:
"A blog dedicated to artists serious about their business." Check out their recent post about scheduling your social media efforts here.
The other fabulous resource for all things etsy related is Etsy's own blog/community The Storque. They constantly have forum threads running about anything and everything etsy.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I love these moments. It's all about feeling the medium and there's an interaction that takes place, almost like a private conversation between the painting and me. I'll smear some blue and it'll say "oooh ooh- and I need green over here" or "now you need a streak of orange over there". It goes on like that for a while. Sometimes I'll try something and immediately see it doesn't work, or that it might work but only if I do.... The painting or collage is done when the conversation ends. Every once in a while I'll get an insight or inspiration that amazes me and that's when I feel like the Holy Spirit has swooped in and entered the conversation. I feel as if the time creating, and the work I'm creating are both blessed then.
I wonder if this makes sense to any of you. I wonder how your creative experiences go. What does your inner voice tell you as you're working? Mine goes through elation, frustration, (horror sometimes when I do something REALLY off), and eventually I reach a state of satisfaction and peace. Not always, but usually I can get there.
What is your process like? Is it less of a conversation and more of a dance? Or is your experience more prosaic, do you hear a "here-here-here- and here". Never a "oops-NOT THERE!" That wouldn't be wrong, just different than I experience and so I'm curious. What is it like for other artists? Is there a conversation at all?
Just some thoughts I had this morning, that I thought I'd throw your way. Hope you have a fabulous day and Happy Creating!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The second piece, Bloom, was inspired by my new Fossil purse (which I sooo shouldn't have gotten but I really really love it- and I had a coupon). :) But now that I made something inspired by it I somehow feel a little bit better about the splurge.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Step 2: Choose the materials
Pretty fabrics, wire, and embroidery floss are the only materials in this sculpture. The wire is a 16-gauge galvanized and the fabrics are cotton quilting fabrics.
Step 3: Sculpt the image with wire
Following the lines on the actual object ( the daffodil) or the sketches as I sculpt the wire gives me the feeling that I'm actually drawing with the wire. Imagine you're doing a line drawing as you manipulate the wire and you'll get the idea pretty quickly. This gives a lovely free-formed "sketched" quality to the work that I just love.
Step 4: Stitch the fabric to the wire
Adding fabric to the wire creation adds color, substance, density, and pattern to the wire sculpture. Although I love how the sculptures look without the fabric, adding the fabric seems to add to their personality. Each stitch in fact, becomes a little added linear element that creates a rhythmic border around the piece. This is a personal preference- I have lots of customers who prefer the pieces sans fabric.
What's your artistic process like? How do you create? I'd love to know!!!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Prep Work. It kind of says it all right there. Prep is something we do in advance to make something ready, usually in anticipation of a commitment of time or otherwise. Work is the mundane, repetitive things we do in order to achieve something greater. My life seems to consist of a lot of prep and work right now. Here's some of the things I've been working on:
- Wire work- so I can stitch up a few more flowers to send to my editor and designer to play around with as they work on the layout and design of the book.
- Writing up an article to send off to a magazine.
- Researching the blogging world, who's here, which platforms are the best, what are my options with say, Wordpress vs. Blogger.
- Improving my blog. I'm no html genius so it's been going a little slowly.
- I'm saying no to my son quite a bit lately, and taking the time to explain the right and wrong in situations. Really I'd rather not have to, but we're building character :).
- Gardens- I've done a bit of pruning and raking trying to ready the space for spring.
- Home- I honestly haven't put enough time in and the place needs a spring cleaning bad.
- Projects- I've done quite a bit of gesso-ing over old paintings and boxes lately, preparing to paint them. I've also been helping a friend prepare the decorations for an event she's sponsoring in May. Again, the end result is going to be fabulous!
What are you preparing for? What do you find yourself doing now, to prepare for future success? Where do you put your time and effort? Just some thoughts I had this morning.... :)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Now inspiration comes frequently and almost casually. This morning, all it took was a quick glance at a photo of an artist working on her project to get me up and going. The image of what I would make popped into my head in a moment. I see trees waving, spring birds, and deep greens against a bright robin eggg blue with some earth tones thrown in for depth. Now, when I look at my blank paper I can envision the sketch completed. Like Michaelangelo's famous comment about seeing the angel in the stone and carving to set it free, I can now mix reality with the imagined in my mind to the degree that I can "see" them combined. When I look at a wall, I can see the painting I want to put there. I don't have to draw it out to see it any longer, but I used to. My sketches are mostly visual notes now.
Being able to visualize, the instant inspirations, the dozens of ideas; these are all benefits anyone will experience once they've committed to creating. It starts simply, although a bit tediously. Like learning a new language, I put my time in relearning the rudiments of my art. I kept a sketchbook, I drew whether I felt like it or not, I searched out new mediums and techniques. The key, according to many great artists, to feeling inspired, is not a great imagination but the ability to work, whether they feel like it or not. Often the greatest are those who were simply tenacious. They could not, would not, give up. In mind, that means inspiration is the result of motivation. How do you motivate yourself to work? Do you have goals, dreams, aspirations? Is it something you love the feel of doing? Do you have a set time for creating or do you wait to find those times when you "feel" like it? Leave a comment- I'd love to know what motivates you to create.
Here are some of my favorite quotes on the subject. Enjoy!
"Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and work."- Chuck Close
"Don't wait for inspiration. It comes when one is working." - Henri Matisse
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. " -Pablo Picasso
"I'm not inspired every day I go to the studio, but you've got to push yourself. Do it every day and once in a while things will really click. That's the biggest high you can imagine."- Jamie Wyeth
Here's what it says:
Creative Bloom: Wire and Fabric Projects to Cultivate your Inner Artist (Paperback)
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: North Light Books; 1 edition (November 17, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1440303169
- ISBN-13: 978-1440303166
Wow!!!! Pretty amazing!!! The fact that I have a book coming out still doesn't register sometimes. It isn't something that was even on my "someday" list a few years ago. It didn't seem possible. Pretty amazing example of what God can do in our lives!!!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
|Create your own indoor garden|
Here's what you'll learn:
- How to form steel wire to create wire flowers of varied shapes and sizes.
- How to make the most of your stash of fabric scraps.
- How to stitch fabric to the wire forms to create 3D fabric art.
- How to stabilize the fabric.
- How to create bases for your sculptures with recycled corks and hardware store elements.
- All the different applications for these flowers- including standing sculptures, keychains, even jewelry!
|Use your favorite fabrics|
The class costs $24 plus another $10 for supplies. You will receive your own coil of wire, needles, floss, and fabric to work with and then take home. If you have a favorite fabric you would like to use- bring it with! To register either call The Studio at 763.315.3001 or reserve the class online at The Studio at Rush Creek.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Type in "rainbows" in the etsy search engine and you'll find some super adorable art. I love this little clutch by Cut Out and Collect, it screams whimsy and spring.
Springtime Occasions call for a springy statement making necklace like this one from Nez Jewelry. The colors of this really appeals to my desire for all that is fresh and bright.
One more piece, this little mixed media print by Sascalia is the bee's knees in my opinion.;) It makes me want to get out and get gardening. I love all the pattern and color in this piece!!!