Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Workshop With Orly - "On the Edge"...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Sorry I've been a bit quiet last week - my dear boyfriend had a death in the family and it was long week dealing with funeral arrangements and spending time with his grieving grandmother...her husband of 69 years (!) passed away at the age of 93, a few weeks before his 94 birthday...

We can only hope to live so long!

I'd also like to apologize for any confusion with some of my blog posts - it seems Blogger made some changes to the system and it was not the best week for me to try to learn a new blogging system set-up! I had a few Sunday Shorts posts set to go, but they didn't register in the new system so as I tried to get it sorted out, they seem to be posting with strange dates on them!

It was a challenging week to say the least but I was happy to support my boyfriend and his adorable grandmother in their time of grief. However, one can be supportive for so long until one needs a respite of one's own. Luckily for me, Orly had a workshop on Saturday, which was a much needed break from the challenges of the previous week...

The workshop was titled "On the Edge" which was a bit apt for me upon arrival! It was different from our usual workshops in that we did NOT create in our journals, but created a series of postcards using cereal boxes, which was a nice recycling project considering it was Earth Day weekend as well.

Here are some shots I took as I went along in the workshop - BEWARE! There is some strong language used in one of my finished postcards that is not meant for young children!!

Creating a background or "wall" for our postcards using found street papers and paint. The postcards would have a 'grafitti' feel to them when completed...

A detail shot to illustrate the areas that were sanded to create texture...

A batch of 4"x6"cut postcards to work with - only four would be completed with the other four to be worked with at home

We had been asked by Orly to bring some black and white photocopies of ourselves to use. This postcard is the one I chose to use with my image of myself...

The image of myself I used with the one being glued to the postcard to create an image transfer. This photo was shot by dear boyfriend - no wonder my smile is so happy! ;)

Of course there was delicious food for our lunch, accompanied with fun and thoughtful conversation with like-minded souls...

Salad, rice with lentils and mushrooms, along with empanadas of spinach, chicken and beef - YUMMY!

After lunch we continued with our postcards. Orly gave us some thoughtful and light-hearted prompts to work with for 4 of the postcards we created. Here are my completed postcards - remember there is some strong language used in one of them!

Top Left: "My Lover" with my image transfer - I love how it turned out!
Top Right: "I keep repeating myself" -  I like the colors in this card a lot
Bottom Left: "This Little Piggy..." - If you click to see a larger image, you will see some strong language for the 'little piggy' near the bottom of the page!
Bottom Right: "I've created a monster..." - I'm not good at making scary monsters so mine has an anime feel. Someone thought my monster looked a bit like Pokemon! Okay, maybe a pissed off Pokemon ;)

And these are the cards I will work with at home...as you can see I have already started another image transfer on the bottom right postcard!

It was strange to not have my art journal with me but it was a lot of fun to recycle an old cereal box to create some mail art postcards, though I may scan these to print on cardstock for mailing. I'm pretty sure the texture of these cards will not go through the USPS system easily!

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In Other News:
I'm taking a break from blogging for a little while. I'm a bit frazzled after the challenges of a funeral and system changes to Blogger all in the same week! I still have a few more Sunday Shorts posts for your enjoyment and they should now be posting at the times scheduled. I think this is a good time for me to take a "Spring Break" of my own and spend time with good friends and making art-full things for myself.

I may be out for a few weeks, but then again, I may return sooner than expected. In the meantime, you be sure to take a few moments to smell the flowers and to drink in beauty!

And remember to keep creating!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Shorts Returns With an Animated Film Favorite!

I've been dying to return to my Sunday Shorts, especially since I've located some favorite animated short films from my days attending animation festivals hosted by a duo called Spike and Mike back in the 1990's...

I thought I'd start with this animated short as it utilizes the use of a vintage typewriter and as you and I now know, I do love vintage things!

I was also struck by the sounds created in this animated film, which is an excerpt from a poem called "Ursonate - Sonata in Primitive Sounds" by Kurt Schwitters. Since April is National Poetry Month, I thought this short film would be a fun way to get back to Sunday Shorts and to celebrate the art of poetry as well =-)

So without further ado, Sunday Shorts Presents for your enjoyment, the animated short film "Primiti Too Taa"!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Art Page for my Art Books...

Hello Dear Blog Readers! Thank you for your comments and messages on my last two posts as I have continued to share things I've been learning about myself. Today, I'm just popping in to share the process of a mixed media art page I began back in March...

I've been sharing my journey of self discovery lately and since I learned how important books are for me in my life I was inspired to create more art pages for my art books as a direct result. You can see the art pages I have been creating in these blog posts here, here and here. Today I'm sharing another "art pages in stages"...

I have a wonderful plastic doily that I found at a local thrift shop and I have used it quite frequently in my work of late. It is quite prominent on this painted and sprayed art page.

First, I sprayed the page with ink spray and added a bit varnish to blend the color in the corners of the page...

Then I used a heavy paint for the large doily and ink sprays with a flower stencil in the other corners of the page. It seems that spraying the first time around made the flower stencil clear and visible, but repeated spraying in the other corners made the stencil image become wildly blurred and blotchy! I decided to go with it instead of deciding it was "wrong"...

I learned long ago that sometimes your materials know better than you do what is needed in your artwork!

When I applied the paint using my plastic lace doily as a stencil, I made sure to load up the paint and it made a great textured surface when I removed the doily stencil...

It could be a birds eye view of a mountain landscape...

I've had quite a few pages going at one time and I'm starting to lose track of which ones are complete! I'll work on photographing the continuing progress of them to share them here with you. Hopefully, I can share them in the next week to come so stay tuned!

BTW: be sure to check back here on Sunday since I've planned a fun return to my "Sunday Shorts" series!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Getting to Know Myself Better Continued...

Hello Dear Blog Readers! I am back to continue sharing some things I've been learning about myself in the past few months and it has been a great journey of self discovery, which also jump started some creative inspiration... 

As I mentioned in my previous post, knowing what my values and passions are helps me to focus on the things that matter to me the most, like BOOKS, ART and FRIENDS. When I saw that BOOKS came up as an answer in nearly every question, I thought I should take a closer look into that category so I made myself a special list to write out what I love about books so much...

My list of what and why I love books SO MUCH...after all, I do own quite a few of them!

Why do I love BOOKS??

INFORMATION - they provide knowledge
WORDS - they provide language and communication
STORIES - they provide shared experience
PICTURES - of places, things, environments
HISTORIES - of inspiring people

I own quite a few books and they are on many topics because I value KNOWLEDGE in many areas, such as human behavior, biographical history, art history and travel, not to mention my many, MANY craft books!

I love words and what can be communicated with them, especially since KNOWLEDGE is communicated through words, and even the etymology of a word can be fascinating...And I love stories of all kinds whether they be historical, biographical or mythological. It reminds me of a quote I once heard:

"People need stories more than bread itself - they teach us how to live and WHY"*

Books provide wonderful information and stories of how we live our lives, whether real or imagined and it is very inspiring to me. It amazes me that so much information can be packed into a page and enclosed in two hard covers and art journals and altered art books can impart just as much information as a written book, though it is usually far more visual...

My second shabby scraps journal cover - I was so inspired I began to make TWO journals!

As I began to dig into what I loved about books, it began to inspire me to work on my journal cover for the shabby scraps ecourse I finally started working on, though I had paid for this ecourse last Spring. In fact, I was so inspired that I began TWO covers! You can see the start of the first cover in this post...

I also got inspired to view some videos by Teesha Moore on how to make a 16-page journal** and after watching them, I made a square shaped journal:

It measures 6" by 6" square and here is an exploded view of my little journal:

I haven't worked in this little journal yet, but I will and I'll share it here with you =-)

Knowing my passions and values has really helped me to focus more on what brings me joy in my life and it helps me to focus on seeing opportunities to bring more of that joy. In fact, it helped me manifest a great opportunity that hones in on my love of bookmaking and includes one of my other skills - sewing. It also helps me put a part of my mission into action:

"to share and ENCOURAGE creativity with others in a heartfelt and meaningful way..."

This opportunity is a great way for me share what I know with others, which is usually better known as TEACHING...

I'm going to teach a workshop on book making using fabric as pages =-)

This opportunity is still in the works, but I'm hoping the workshop will take place soon. I'll share more details on how it came about in a future post so stay tuned!

* - This quote is from a movie called "Arabian Nights", which features the stories of Scheherazade, the ultimate storyteller!!

** - Many thanks to fellow art journaler Brian who told me about these easy to follow videos

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Getting To Know Myself Better...

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
What you'll discover will be wonderful.
What you'll discover is yourself.

- Alan Alda

A pendant with a word that comes up in my life often...

Life seems to be a never ending lesson in learning about ourselves, if not in learning about Life and what it all means, and it seems I have been learning quite a lot about myself in the past month or two...

I have shared my experience with the abundance workshop hosted by two wonderful life coaches and it opened my eyes to an underlying issue of feeling unworthy that I was truly unaware of.

At the time this workshop was ending, I came across this video that posed a series of questions to help you figure out what your purpose is, and I have linked to this video quite a lot in the past few weeks! I can say that I learned a little more about myself or rather, I flushed out information about myself that had been simmering under the surface. Let me share what I learned from doing this thought provoking video and some of the inspiring outcomes from it...

A page from my workbook with questions and answers written down

There were a total of 9 questions asked in this video and three answers were required for each question. This meant that a total of 27 values would be accrued at the end of the exercise...

Then I would have to go through the 27 answers to find patterns, which would help me to see where my passions and purpose actually lie...at this time in my life anyway! After completing the exercise, I realized that it might be a good idea to complete the exercise every 2 or 3 years to see how, or if, some of my values have changed over time. After all, I can honestly say that in my 20's, a lot of my focus was on Fashion since I did study it along with learning Pattern Drafting, but over the years, my focus has shifted more toward STYLE than fashion, but that's another post for another day =-)

As I worked my way through the questions, I began to see patterns reveal themselves...here are just a few of the questions that I worked through...

"How do I fill my space?"
The things I most fill my home with are BOOKS, ART SUPPLIES and VINTAGE GOODS - vintage goods could be clothing for myself, items for my home or supplies to be used in my artwork...

"Where do you spend your money?" 
I spend most of my spare money on BOOKS, ART SUPPLIES and VINTAGE GOODS... 

"What areas of your life are most organized?"
My BOOKS are organized, my DVDS (which you might consider books on film!) are organized and my ART SUPPLIES are organized...

Hmmmmm, do you see a pattern here??!?

And one of the last questions I answered:

"Who or what inspires you the most?"
I divided the answers into the categories of WHO inspires me:
Then, I looked at WHAT inspires me:

I don't know about you, but BOOKS are making their presence known in this exercise!!

I looked at my answers, or values, as they turned out to be at this stage of the exercise and I made a list of the three main values and made sub-categories:

The top three things I value most at this time in my life are the following:


The sub-categories of my main list are really details of how they relate to the main values:

BOOKS - I love reading them, I love making them, I love altering them and I've thought about one day writing one

ART - I love mixed media and collage art, I love my supplies and I love buying new supplies as it sparks my creativity; I love traditional art books that tell you about artists and art history, I love working on art projects and I love participating in art workshops, which leads into the last category...

FRIENDS - I love being with my friends, I love creating with my friends and I love my community of friends, and community is important to me

I have to say that I felt the need to add a 'bonus' category of VINTAGE GOODS since this came up almost as often as "friends" did in my answers and this is because I love the ENVIRONMENT of vintage, well worn, well used things - they have a history and a STORY to them...and my ENVIRONMENT, what I surround myself with, is also important to me in my life...
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Seeing these values written down, and the details on how they relate, now helps me to focus on the things and activities that matter to me most, which I hope will bring more joy in my life. I also hope it will help me to see opportunities that will bring the most fulfillment, and maybe even help me figure out a way to live a part of my personal mission:

 "to share and ENCOURAGE creativity with others in a heartfelt and meaningful way..."

After completing the original exercise, I thought I would take a closer look into the category of BOOKS as one of my values, so I made myself a special list and began to write out just what it is I love about books so much...and I'll share that in my next post so stay tuned to find out what else I'm learning about myself!

* - Okay, so I added an extra answer to what should have been three in that question, but my inspirations are all relating!