Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Back! and a 100th Post Giveaway...

Yes, I'm back from the amazing Artful Journey Retreat and there is MUCH to share and share I will over the next week. I feel like I should have a t-shirt that says:

"I drove to Los Gatos and all I got was a Chunky Funky Coffee Table Book!" 


Trust me when I say that's not all I got...

 The partially collaged cover of my book; I used an old sewing book for my's just a peek for now!

I also got:
  • a speeding ticket (there will be NO pictures of the speeding ticket!)
  • lost, twice! (okay the first time wasn't really lost but the second time was!)
  • wonderful gifts upon my arrival, that I want to share first...

I met my apron recipient for the Apron Swap (arranged by Stella Singleton who made my fabulous apron - thanks Stella!), Stephanie Thiel who had this beautiful thank you gift for me, though she had yet to see the apron I made for her - how sweet is this gift?!??
Cavellini thank you cards and book plates, along with ATC papers wrapped in a lace doily - SWEETNESS!

Luckily for me she loved the apron I made for her!! I didn't get any pics of her in it though - DARN!

Soon after unloading my personal things into my room, I saw Cathy and promptly whisked her away with me to go into town for a quick bite before dinner since I did not have any lunch on the way to the retreat - I just wanted to get there as soon as I could!! And with three more hours before dinner, I knew a bit of food was necessary to keep the 'beast' in me at bay! ;)

When we were unpacking our supplies after dinner, she had brought some gifts for me from friends in Australia, which was an unexpected but lovely surprise...

Cathy brought me a book about's so cool!

Then she gave me a fabulous totebag...can you tell who made it???

It's a totebag from Curly Pops herself!! How cool is that?!?! (or should I say how 'cooly-pops'?!?)

Made from tea towels, this one is keeping with the Australian theme. I just loved the wombat momma and her wombat baby...

Curly Pops, you are the coolest gal! Thank you for this fabulous totebag =-)

As if this wasn't enough, Cathy presented me with yet another gift (yes, the mind reels that there could be more!) and here it is...

beautiful beyond words...
A beautiful collage artwork from Katrina of I Saw You Dancing. It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes...

I was so moved to have received these beautiful gifts from amazing creative women overseas and it was very grounding and empowering to think that I too can inspire others as Kelly Rae and Mati Rose do. It has helped me to realize that I love to encourage creativity in others and that I LOVE to bear witness to the unfolding of creative expression...and that is the story I will be sharing here in the coming week...

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I did mention that this is my 100th post and I have decided what the give-away will be and how it will work...

Since I had a road trip to Los Gatos, I listened to a lot of music so I will make a 'mix-disc' of the music I listened to taking the first song from each album on the drive up to the retreat and on the drive back home...

aahhhh, music soothes the Creative Beast ;)

I will also include a t-shirt scarf made in red; I wore my red scarf to the retreat and it was quite a hit among the ladies!

And a set of my affirmation cards will be part of the package =-)

Now you may be asking:
"Creative Beast, what do I do to win that lovely giveaway package?"

I will ask you to post a comment* on your favorite story from the "Artful Journey Chronicles", but this means you will have to read each story posted! You can include anything you read in this post today =-) but you must leave your comment when I make the very last post and I will notify you when it is the last post. One of the comments will be chosen at random to be the winner...

Many thanks to you, Dear Blog Reader, for visiting this space, leaving your fun and funny comments and, above all, for choosing to honor your creativity! Please keep creating and DON'T STOP!! =-)

* - for anyone reading my blog through Facebook, please leave a comment at my blog if you want to participate in the give-away (; if you have any problems with leaving a comment, then you can send an e-mail at the gmail address you will find in the right-hand sidebar to let me know and i'll try to fix any commenting problems =-) Thanks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And Here We Go...

Tomorrow is the big day, my friends - the day I begin the Artful Journey Retreat where I will make an "Art-Full" book learning from Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose McDonough...and what a journey it has already been to get to this day! I keep hearing how these retreats can change one's life but I think it's fair to say that just registering for this retreat has been life-altering:

  • I 'met' Cathy of Tinniegirl blog, who I will finally meet face-to-face tomorrow
  • I've 'met' Chrissy of cul*ti*vate and will also see her in person tomorrow
  • I've met so many fabulous bloggers, I wish you were ALL going to be there at the retreat!
  • I completed my Word of the Year and, to paraphrase Langston Hughes:

"I put my head out the window and 'Art-FULL Creativity' slapped me BANG! in the face"

  • I submitted art for Patti Digh's up-coming book AND submitted art for a gallery exhibit in Ventura, California, and I hope to hear about the results from each one soon and believe me - I will share all the news when I find out if I'm in. I can't imagine what other art submissions are in store for me this year!

It does seem that "art" is really (finally!) blooming in my life now...

tree in bloom near Leimert Park where I work...

I still have a few more things to do before I can finally rest and (try!) to sleep before tomorrow morning when I hit the road to drive to the retreat. Luckily, I'm staying with my dear boyfriend, Doug, so he will be the last dear face I see before I sally forth to meet with friends and classmates, amazing artists all...

Needless to say, I will be on hiatus during this trip* but the next post will be my 100th so of course special attention must be paid to that!

Until then, I hope your week is filled with Art-FULL Creativity!

*(unless Cathy can loan me her borrowed laptop - thanks Curly Pops!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Sweetie and Me...

I've had a few requests from some blog readers who are curious to know what my dear boyfriend Doug looks like. He is not keen at this time to have an actual picture of himself posted on my blog but I'm pretty sure he will be okay with me sharing this image he created of the both of us as "South Park" you can see he has a great sense of humor, which is one of the things I love about him! And since today is Valentine's Day, I thought I'd list the many wonderful things I love about my dear boyfriend, Doug:

  • He has a great sense of humor and playfulness - I LOVE that about him!
  • He enjoys going to the local Renaissance Faire AND he dresses in costume along with me!! 
  • He likes to make stuff - he is currently helping me figure out a way to carry a old toolbox that belonged to my grandmother so I can fill it with tools and supplies for the Artful Journey Retreat next week
  • He introduced me to SUSHI, which I love
  • He loves to cook - he's always happy to make my favorite dish of pesto-covered salmon with roasted pine nuts - YUM!!
  • He is always offering to help me financially, since I don't make a lot of money
  • He gives great back-rubs and foot massages
  • He gives great bear hugs!
  • He puts up with my bad moods (thank you honey!!)
  • He helps me figure out technical difficulties with the computer
  • He helps me problem-solve by finding information if he doesn't know the answer
  • He buys me gifts that are technologically-oriented, since that is his thing, and I could never afford them, such as my wonderful Nikon CoolPix in RED, which I use nearly everyday and has been one of my 'best friends' next to him
  • He thinks my starting this blog has been a great thing for me =-)
  • He is VERY supportive of my creative endeavors
  • He likes to travel and he usually takes me along for the ride
  • He gives wonderful kisses
  • He is very politically informed and loves to discuss politics with me (it makes me swoon!)
  • He knows I'm a 'feminist'  and respects that about me
  • He likes my friends!
  • He likes my mom!!
  • He loves the outdoors
  • He is ALWAYS kind

but best of all...

he loves me, warts and all =-)

and I love him, warts and all =-)

Happy Valentine's Day to the best boyfriend and partner a gal could have! 
OX <3  <3 <3 OX

I'd love to hear some "love notes" about your loved ones, whether they are a good friend, family member, significant other or furry four-footed friend in your life - please share!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Falling into a Vortex..."

It would appear that, much like Jo March of Little Women, I have fallen into a vortex - an 'Art-FULL Creativity' vortex!

I'm currently working on an art piece for this gallery exhibit, but it must first be submitted for consideration and I've been honing my concept for this submission, though it is an idea that has long been in my head and my heart. I've been working on it during the evenings this week and will continue working on it next week in order to submit it by the due date. I'm trying to remember to take pictures-in-progress so I can share them with you all!

In the meantime, I am finally able to share (with assistance from my dear and wonderful boyfriend!) the artwork I submitted last week for the current Patti Digh book project. The book is titled "Four Word Self Help" and I was given a 4-word theme to create artwork for and here is my submission:

Drawing by The Creative Beast

The theme I was given was titled:

"Let yourself be beloved"

The theme was a bit of challenge since this is something I do need to work on in my life and not just with my own dear boyfriend! I've been receiving so many wonderful compliments from you all, dear blog readers, not to mention from some of my friends (new and old!) and it's teaching me to really see and accept the finer points of myself that is a bit hard to do. Dear me, why is it so easy to be hard on oneself??

Another challenge was that we were not allowed to use words in the artwork, and no wonder, since the theme is only 4 words long! I have to say THAT was the biggest challenge of all, since I LOVE to use words in my collage. I'm sure for the "Creative is a Verb" book submission, use of text will be allowed.

However, something about being denied use of words/text for artwork made me go in the direction of a drawing instead of collage and it was great to use a set of pencils that I had purchased in December as a treat for myself and break them in, as well as use pencils from my own collection which I began at the age of 13.

I received an e-mail stating that decisions will be made in regard to the artwork that was submitted and I can tell you that it was a LOT! Participants will be notified in approximately 6 weeks, but even if my work is not accepted for the book, it will be on the website for the book for all the world to see and that is something! I'll keep you all posted =-)

In the meantime, I've stumbled onto some really fun and great music that I've been living and breathing this past week; go HERE to check out the "Upular" remix by DJ Pogo, then HERE to check out his fantastic Harry Potter remix "Alohomora". I think it's some of the most magical music I've heard in a while!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Look What I've Got!

I've been shopping for the Artful Journey Art Retreat! Here are some of the new toys I'll be playing with when I get there...(and sharing with my class mates!):

Tim Holtz Distress Inks and lots and lots of scrap-booking paper! I bought TWO pads of lovely papers knowing I could share with my classmates since I'm not sure I can use so much paper by myself, though it's all beautiful. I bought two pads of the walnut stain ink and one of them is for Cathy to use and take home when the class is over...

I haven't used this stamp ink before but I do a fair amount of rubber stamping so when I saw the "Fired Brick" and "Antique Linen", I knew I'd have to bring those along for the ride - I can't wait to see what they look like on paper!

Lucky for me, this fun scrap-book storage container was on sale and the shop had it in a happy shade of pink! YAY! Goodness, I'm SO excited about this retreat, I might bust my britches before I get there!

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In other news:

  • I submitted my artwork for Patti Digh's side book project this weekend!! With much help from my dear boyfriend, of course! More details will follow soon...
  • I'm nearly finished with the apron for my art retreat swap partner...
  • I've been cleaning old toolboxes to use at the art retreat, one of which belonged to my grandmother...
  • I'll be working on yet more artwork this week for possible submission to this art show...
  • I'm nearing my 100th blog post!! I'll do something to mark the occasion so stay tuned!

Goodness! I've got lots to do this week...I'd better hop to it!!