Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Clearly Inspired

The other night we were blessed with this gorgeous sunset.  It was truly breathtaking.
This sunset, inevitably inspired this....

A Doodle journal, a project related to the poetry journal for the Artistic Mother Art Group.  I started to make the Poetry Journal...but it was getting a little more funky than I I went with the flow and created my new "doodle" journal.  I love it!  I still plan to make a Poetry Journal.

back view

and this..............a pendant for the Cloth Paper Scissors Pendant Swap

In addition to my "weekly" goals I was surprised to find out that I had not missed the date to send in a pendant for the Cloth Paper Scissors Pendant I went to town. I decided not to fight the things that I am drawn to (circles, text, colors, textures) and work with them. I pulled a few things from my studio that I haven't figured out how to use and viola! I made the polymer "text" disks several months ago. They never were used the way I intended issues. So there they sat. I knew they had potential. I am so glad that I just went with the flow on this project. I have mailed this little pendant off to Interweave. But I am here to tell you...more are already in the works. I can't wait to show off a finished necklace!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Break the kitchen

To celebrate the start of Spring Break I wanted to surprise the kids with a treat!  I happened to catch a recent episode of Martha Stewart with a segment in the kitchen with a baker from the Baked Bakery making the Brookie .  I am hear to tell you that the recipe was a HUGE hit at our house last night!  It is a combination of a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie!!!!  The kids think I am genius, even though I kindly reminded them that I did not INVENT this cookie, I just re-created it.....regardless, you won't be disappointed.  Now I need to work on a Gluten Free version since I have not had the pleasure of tasting them.  Also, a quick note:  I did not have 4" pie tins in my possession, so I made them in our cupcake pan.  They were smaller of course, which to be honest in the days of blown out of proportion portions.....this size is perfect!  So I filled the well greased cupcake spot half way with the brownie mixture.  After it had chilled for an hour I added "paddies" of the chilled chocolate chip cookie dough.  I had plenty of dough, so perhaps next time I should make them a bit meatier.

Inspired by Alpha Mom I made some salt dough clay for our youngest and her friend today.  There was no limit to their imagination.  They spent hours playing with the clay, which is the easiest thing to whip up.
Salt Clay Dough Recipe:
4 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
2-21/2 cups of very hot water
Mix together, knead until smooth.  To speed up drying process you can put into the oven at 250 degrees.
We painted some of the salt dough to make beads.

After forming a bead shape, they then pressed into some small glass beads.  One thing that happened that would anticipate next time....the dough "rises" to some degree, so some of the holes that the girls put in their beads filled in while drying in the oven.  Not a total loss as they are gems to be used another way...their idea is to use them as "Easter Eggs" for their American Girl dolls.  They plan to hide them for an American Girl Doll Easter Egg Hunt.  I love that!

I sealed the beads with Collage Pauge so that we won't be finding little beads all over the house.
They finished their heads, which they built around a recycled glass jar, with some acrylic paints...I mean a LOT of acrylic paints.  They prided themselves in rainbow colored hair people.  Now we can add some water in the glass jar inside the head and plop in some flowers for a real fun vase!

Bay Icicles

Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow

I mean....where the Icicles Grow......

It is March in Northern Michigan after all.
We have been expecting some more winter like weather.  But...this is pretty
I love the curve of the icicles. 
Nature.  Organic Nature.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jewelry Frame

Another project that I have been working on this week....a frame of sorts for my jewelry.  I lovingly pick out my jewelry at art/craft fairs or make my own jewelry after painstaking picking out beautiful why not show it off a bit more.

Using a cutlery tray, I covered the silverware sections with paper.  Sealed the paper with Traci Bautista's Collage Pauge (I have been so happy with this product, I have it in Glossy and Matte!).  Then drilled some holes to insert screws.  I adhered antique buttons, handmade glass beads (Shelly Heglie and Earthenware Beads) and flea market finds to the heads of the screws.  Viola...a place to hang my bracelets and necklaces.  I drilled two holes to hold a dowel rod to hang my earrings from.  I colored the dowel rod with alcohol inks (love, love, love the purple).  I have another tray that I am working on that will also serve as a shelf for my funky rings....which is a new addiction!

I am really pleased with how this project is turning out....and seeing the jewelry as the pieces of art that they are.  A bonus...I get to "see" the colors that I am obviously attracted to and inspired by!

cupcake sweetness

ohhhhhhh..Spring is in the air.
Lovely little cupcake to sweeten my day.

One of my weekly goals was to create a mosaic cupcake.  Yeah!!  A completed goal.  YES!  This goal setting business is good, very good.  However...a few things I did not account for.  What you don't realize is this was my SECOND mosaic cupcake.  A few days ago I posted that i was going to add a little more to my cupcake.  Yeah, it went horribly bad.  My tweaking......was too much.  I believe Shona addresses this in her Artistic Mother book...knowing when enough is a enough.  Well, it took me until I went tooooo far.  So, i pitched that little lovely and started anew.  Still some more tweaking for the next cupcake, which there will be more mosaic cupcakes.  It was a fun project.  I eventually plan (a monthly goal) to have a group of friends come over to make after another go at it, I hope to have the project ready to go as a "party" idea project! regards to setting "weekly" goals something that I haven't quite figured out...household chores.....yup....I need to factor in some "artful vacuuming" and "painterly dusting".....ahhh it is a learning process.  I will get the hang of it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

sun stripes

Of course, when I snapped the photo of Wren with the shadows...I immediately thought of zebra stripes so I had to dig out the picture from the zoo......just had to.  Couldn't resist.

Spent the afternoon subbing in a middle school art class.  The art teacher I was filling in for is passionate about clay, much like me.  She had a stack of Ceramics Monthly magazines so I took every odd moment I could to pour through the magazines.   I do believe working with clay has been added to my weekly goals!

Last night I started my mosaic cupcake.  It is the sweetest darn thing.  Hope to post a picture tomorrow.  Just a little more that i want to add......just a little more.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mosaic Fun

One of my goals last week was to finish a wine bottle mosaic project.  The timing ended up perfect as we had a Hockey Team Party on Saturday.  So this little project ended up being a hostess gift.  I made a faux cork out of polymer clay, added some wire and beads to create the handy note/photo holder.  I added a Thank You note and photo of the coach with the girls.  I plan to make some more...have a little stash on hand. 

Goals and To-Do Lists

Finally....took my papers to the next level.  I added some text to create some "to-do" and art related.  I also created a "weekly" art goal sheet.  I decided to have some fun with this sheet.  I created a revised one for some dear friends in Minnesota.   To bridge the distance we do art swaps...we have done two charm swaps and the last swap was a "stuffie swap."  For whatever reason...this swap has been the hardest for some of the ladies in Minnesota to finish.  So..... as a joke I sent them the "revised" weekly goal a "monthly" goal sheet since they are feeling very know how life can do that to you.  I added "meet for swap" as a goal for the month.  I also have a very goofy picture of our group at the bottom of the goal sheet.  I have been fiddling with this "photo-shopped" photo of us.  I like to think that I look that funky (and slender)...every time I see the photo I burst out laughing, so i figured placing it on the Goal sheet was fun.  Something light hearted to remind me to have fun with life....but keep reaching for the stars!

Since having "goals" on my mind I feel like I am getting more done.  Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is definitely a step in the right direction!  Hopefully I will be posting a few projects that are on my weekly goal list for this week....  a mosaic cupcake and a "frame" for my jewelry.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Ahhh..the luck of the Irish....the Leprechaun managed to get away safely.....but he did leave a boot behind.  There were some curious moments before the "trap" was lifted...wondering if the Leprechaun was still under there.  Thankfully, we can assume he got away without any injury.

I did get an opportunity to add a layer to my Artistic Mother project papers...... 

Today I will take them another step further.  Adding some details and then the "to-do" list information of my choice.  It has been a fun transformation.  It is a great "first" project to get your feet wet.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!!!

P.S.  I saw a blurb on Elana's Pantry blog about a Cilantro Ginger drink, perfect for St. patrick's Day because of it's green color.  I love cilantro and ginger so I will be trying this out today....keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trapping a Leprechaun

This afternoon, with the sun streaming in, my son helped our youngest set a trap for the Leprechaun.  She has grown up hearing tales of when her brother set a trap when he was in second grade... home with the chicken pox a few years back.  Thankfully, the little bugger escaped the trap (he was lured with a sparkling ring and some coins) however..he did lose a felt boot.  I love these innocent moments.  I know they won't last forever so I thoroughly enjoy them while I can.

We have been blessed with warmer temperatures and SUN, SUN, SUN!  Our days start with a pink, purple wash, then a blaze of gold.  It is delicious.

The sun has prompted this.  Which....I love, but worries is a tad bit early.  I know we aren't done with snow.  It is Northern Michigan!
I haven't been totally neglecting my art...but my time has been compromised a bit, okay a LOT, by the end of the hockey season excitement.  We had a banquet and an exciting season finale with our son's team winning the Championship......very exciting over the weekend.  So...with the regular hockey season behind us and a relatively slow week subbing I have been able to focus a bit more on my art and my "artistic mother" projects.  I have been working on my goals, which I am loving this exercise more and more.  I have been reading poetry:  Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver and Poemcrazy- freeing your life with words by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge.  The Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge book has been helpful in terms of gearing up or rather freeing up to write poetry.  It is a book I bought a few years ago to help inspire the kids to write poetry....I am glad I have it..for me this time!

I also have started to paint my papers for the to-do list project.  I have painted papers for backgrounds before, but haven't used Gesso and I am loving the effects/results.  It adds a texture and depth to the colors.  I love it.  Tonight I will start adding some details (oil pastels, stamps and words) to the papers to take them further in the project.

I stayed with muted colors for this first round.  Once I have played around I might use more bold, pure colors...but the first layer I am quite pleased.

Now to keep my eyes peeled for the Leprechaun!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Setting Goals

Week One of the Artistic Mother Art group......

taking pictures of the kids in motion. I realize how I used to snap a WHOLE lot more pictures on a daily basis when the kids were younger. So it is fun to have the camera out and snapping away. The older two are going to be a little tougher.....but they have been warned I will be taking pictures and for them to just be natural.

Over the weekend I had some frustrating "creative" blocks. I have these ideas in my head and am having a tough time translating them into a physical form. So after many failed attempts on Friday I started the day on Saturday knowing I had to abandon the project for a few days and start a project that always seems to get me into a good rhythm...mosaicing. So I started to mosaic this wine bottle. It felt let go of the one project temporarily and to start something and "see" it coming together.

I am ready to start making "paper" for the Artistic Mother project.  The more I read the book the more excited I get.  The goal setting has really gotten to a good way.  I am feeling empowered.  I have always had "lofty" goals....."try something new".  I have learned that what has been missing is that I have needed to be more specific in my goals.  Maybe obvious for others, but apparently not so much for me.  But now I am "seeing" the light.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clear day

Sometimes you need a clear day to see.
and then create. Lots to create. Lots of inspiration.