Saturday, March 31, 2012


I got it!

Too bad the sun has come out and the Rooster is crowing. I gotta quit.  But I got it, I GOT IT!!!

Counting and Checking or doing the math

A blog post for Friday Finishes and then a blog post for making plans for the week is not my style.  Motivating but not my style.

It is beneficial so I'm trying not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  It's a big baby!

I was counting on getting some book related things done.  And not the library book I did get done, either.

We had a successful beading day and the homework was to get some necessary supplies for the last projects.  That can be checked off and the tentative schedule is in place.

I did get time to review the beginnings of the artist unique and I have seen some definite patterns developing. My wardrobe was a big clue that things evolve and what intrigues me today, may not tomorrow and that is okay.  I should skip to the end of the book in this next week and take a hard look at what holds me back.  Besides fear, that is. 

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The Altered Book class got off to a shaky start but I'm starting to 'get' it.  First  comes technique and then comes design style.  :{

The home decorating is coming together and I was rather amused that a favorite decorating blog reported that clients are asking for minty greens which looks like aqua to me.  Nice to know I'm in the right flock of chicks.  lol 

I will be taking a big stack of dishes that my mum and I accumulated when I'd take her grocery shopping.  I'd not have gotten so many if she hadn't been doing the buying. I prefer plain white ones with solid coloured accents so the magnolias will be going.  What was I thinking?  We have nothing close to that here.  I suppose what particularly appealed was the fact that the plates were in two styles so I could not be so matchy matchy which appeals to my randomness.  And they did go well with the old rug which had navy, cranberry and the blue greens.  As I said, what intrigues me today may not...

Our guest helped cut the foam for her bed and I am sad to say the sheets were not finished either.  But she was quite happy during the time she spent in the Sunshine room.

I am totally happy with the new computer speed but still haven't figured out the tweaking that upgrades inevitably bring.  Needless to say, I had no new Photo Shop adventures nor doodling.

I'm feeling the push of spring and the flowerbeds.  We have had unseasonably warm weather but the snow flurries have settled in again.   I expect the next lot of warm weather will require me to be outside and trying to keep ahead of the weeds. I need to not waste any time day dreaming here in the Coop and Saucer Playroom when the Dandy lions are starting to prowl the grounds.

So with the resulting tally I'm figuring there is always room for improving the math skills! 

Friday, March 30, 2012


I was in the middle of fiddling with my altered book when the phone rang announcing that the book I requested was in at the library. I read about it on a writing blog I follow. While the glue was drying I sped off to town. And while the glue was drying I began to turn that  library book's pages.  I pretty much turned dry pages yesterday. ;^)

Spreading gesso with a card is way too messy for me. I'll be back to using a brush.

The idea of using ordinary white glue for a raised effect is good but things kinda got out of hand as they spread and sloped and ...

Then there was the problem of just hitting the top of the glue with the paint brush.  ???

It wasn't too hard to ignore the altered book as I was not thrilled and I doubt that this is my style.  I feel I have too many different images and the little duckies on a ribbon were a waste. I need to think things through better.

I've had to quit singing in the rain because the white stuff is sifting down in very large flakes.  I hope some better ideas sift down as well!  But then the next book in the series may be calling my name and I can stick to dry pages. I wonder if the phone will ring again today? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wow, what's my style

I have not had a lot of time in the playroom this week.  I have had a few isolated moments to skim through my new book, The Artist Unique- inspiration and ttechniques to discover your creative signature.
A few have expressed curiosity in it.

Most of us began the creative journey by following patterns and kits or making class samples.  The author Carmen Torbus points out that was is missing is 'me'.    

This book helps identify the 'me' that is buried under all the stuff that is submerged under all our prepackaged project replicas, our excuses and our fears. 

The first section in the book is The Artist's Toolbox.  It follows that an electrician's tool box is different from a plumber's. There would also be differences in an electrician who specializes in wiring houses and one who  wires cars or even computers. 

I have been introduced to the words, mark making, during these last few weeks.  I find the term very liberating. Anyone can make marks!  Albeit some make better marks than others,  it is a good place to start.  The author starts with mark making tools and the ones we like to use help identify our signature.  The aha was that there are further variations.  Acrylic paint can be thick and precise.  But it can also be watery and sloppy.  More variations would be how the medium is applied and to what art surface. 

There is a worksheet that asks, what's on your palette? 

A visit to your local garden centre will help identify what flower shapes and colours appeal. 

I was very blessed to take a workshop with Jane Sassaman and I luv her style.  We stylized our favorite flower and made a wall hanging.  Mine was a day lily. 

 The two teal spikes were Jane's contribution.  I need to get over my own fear of wrecking this and finish it. 

A visit to the paint section can reveal what you reach out for.  Unfortunately I have collected every colour and combo available.  I never met a colour I didn't like.  So my challenge was to go a bit deeper and settle on a particular colour scheme. 

I have discovered I prefer low contrast so analogous colours, even monochromatic,  would be my preferred style.

An at home scavenger hunt reveals a lot about colours that repeat in ones life.  I try to stay out of the kitchen so I looked in my closet.  I've simplified my wardrobe to aqua's and chartreuse with a dark neutral.

Then the seeker is encouraged to visualize their favorite spot.

I think it would be the actual beach rather than the water.  Strolling down a beach seems to make me sigh.
What colours make me happiest, comfortable, safe, daring, alive?  What colours scream ME?

Mellow yellow, aqua, and white with bits of purple.   I have saved this calender for years and many of the pages are stuck up on various bulletin boards.  I think it is my style! (giggle)
The bulk of the book is devoted to Discovering Technique.  Fifteen contributing artists, each with their unique style, shares a favourite technique, insights and advice about coming into your own as an artist. 
I'll be trying them sometime soon.  I do have a vague idea of how I want to portray my work but it is good to keep ones options open!

If I were creating art for myself, and surely that is the best reason to do it, I suspect mellow yellow would translate to aged book pages.  Aqua would be a colour wash background sepia photos with  hand written notes in India ink, pearlized buttons stitched unto hand dyed fabric showcasing thread patterns.  This would  just might make me sigh, happily.

So I've begun to identify that I like to work on combinations of fabric, paper, and even canvas.  I like paint or dyes translucent, spread  thinly, loosely, with a big brush.  I'd have outlines and details with a thin black marker.  I would make use of stamps, stencils and some creative paraphernalia.  I prefer analogous colour schemes, in a simple representational style. I'm 2/3 of the way there.

The last section is Defining Your Style.  There is another worksheet with a checklist for skill inventory.  Lots of things we do are not necessarily art related but art isn't created in a sterile vacuum.  Skills we use daily can reveal our unique creative style.

This section also addresses the fears, the routines, the stalls, etc. that stop our creativity.  I am held speechless by the first paragraph as it so identifies me.  I leap in where angels fear to tread and then at the peak of creativity I stall- a victim of my inner critic.

The good news is that I have my hand on that guy's heel and I want to get a better look at him. I'm going to demand to see his credentials with the intent to kick him to the curb!  Besides, I'd like to make Jane proud and finish my day lily piece.  ;^)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beautiful Birthday Beads

Seems I need to keep better track of our beading helper!  Yes, this is me explaining things to our young beader.  She wanted to make a bracelet for her mum's birthday.

She had laid out an arrangement last week which she tweaked a bit.  Then she strung them.  A slight glitch as 3 of the beads have been positioned wrongly as the hole does not run as placed.  We had to decrease the size so one was removed but she liked the placement as it was.  Beauty is in the eye of the beader!  :)  She is actually getting quite handy with the chain nose pliers as she places the finishing toggle on the bracelet.

We found a nice box that we made our own and she is quite happy with her present.  Another bead dazzling beading day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

And so we begin, another week

It has been a busy time.  I'm as bemused as another little person.

Thursday was all about rediscovering neighbourhood friends, summer toys, and chasing ladybugs.

Visitors arriving and  festivities getting  into full party mode with dancing on the table!   Then spring fled and the cold rainy season descended.

What's a girl to do?


Hunker down with the books, that's what.  A few more days of visiting and then it is more beading, Altered Books, journals, doodling,  decorating options and figuring out some new computer settings for a fast paced home page and a good file system for Photo Shop Elements.  Rubber boots will definitely be giving way to tightly laced running shoes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Finish

Spring Has Sprung

The new Broad Band has been fast.  I'm not spending so much time watching the little wheel spin.  Unfortunately I may have tweaked something I shouldn't have and sometimes nothing connects. :(  I expect a cleaning is in order anyway and  some adjustments to 'my' adjustments by the computer man.  He doesn't do house calls so this'll require a little road trip.  Hopefully this can happen during the weekend and quickly.

A trip to the city involved a few supplies for making my own images for Photo shop Elements.  I'm quite excited about pursuing that.  It'll be more of a priority in the coming weeks.  These are mark making tools and with them I will be able to make my very own images.

I couldn't resist a few experiments.  Lest you think I know what I'm doodling, let me assure you I don't. It took a bit to figure out the cubes.  lol

I also got a new book that is pulling me out of my traditional comfort zone and into my 'want to be cool' but
not so comfortable zone.  I'm hoping it will help identify my own personal style for making art but also for decorating my nest.

The beading choice was also a heads up that I want to and am probably ready to change my colour preferences. 

I'm quite busy making significant changes to see how far I can push my own as well as the Rooster's comfort zones.  I might be alright as long as I don't mess around with the fridge and stove colours! LOL

I am definitely appreciating all the encouragement I am getting. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Flinging

I never realized how much I look forward to spring.

I decorate my house according to the seasons.  I have basement shelves that are designated to each season. I am also very prompt in putting up all my spring stuff and the truth be known it is the most complete.

I have been thinking about my home, my STUFF, and the seasons.  I have also been thinking of creativity.  I do believe it is part of every one's make up.   I had a cousin who could draw well.  So my attempts seemed pretty pitiful.  I decided to figure out home decor;  read all I could, and practiced on my bedroom while leaving art to the so called 'real' artists. I realize now that I have poured all my creativity into my home.  It also means that not meeting up to the family expectations doesn't mean I am not artistic.  Sheesh, you'd think it would have dawned on me sooner than during a 'senior moment'.  lol 

But I'm feeling the burden of all this stuff.  Time to edit.  Time to purge.  Time to move on. 

I'm now ready to try my hand at some other expressions of art, mixed media art, probably with an emphasis on fibre.  In a much bigger way.  Not just little craft projects.  ART!

So lets get this house in order  so I can get on with my  'other'  life.

So the bottom fabrics show where I was somewhat headed.  But the top pamphlet shows where my heart is.  A kids palette? 

Do I dare?  What will the Rooster say?  I'm not sure I care what the chicks have to say.  lol

I need to decide so I can do it and then  make more time for art.  So I'm going to simplify and I think the spring palette, the design ascetic and the simplicity that spring inspires will become more permanent.   Creamy butter yellow, some blue green and some cranberry with lots of white is the preferred choice but traditional or radical will be the question.

Red, Yellow, and Blue is a triad colour combination.  I want the golden yellow, the blue green and the more purple red.
This is a bit too soft but I do like it.

I really like this chalky effect and it gives a bit more options.

If the Rooster wakes up and begins to crow about the changes in colour,  I can deepen them .

I like lots of white and then some accents of black to keep it from becoming too sweet.

I hope that if I stick to this colourway and add different amounts in the various rooms I'll have a whole house that flows.

This image so resonates with me. Artistically!  I'm sure this colour palette will also figure in my artwork.

This is my new book, the artist unique -inspiration and techniques to discover your creative signature, by Carmen Torbus.  It has some good tutorials but they are for exploring what you'd  like as part of your own signature.  This philosophy would apply to my home as well as my art.  I'm quite excited to be discerning the artistic 'me' and not the peer pressure person I personify. 

I'm off to fling the spring stuff all over and I'll be seeing if it carries me through the summer, the fall and the winter as well.  And need I add, into a newly creative world of artistic endeavours?