Monday, August 31, 2009

MMM: In Stitches

Fabric and batting mounted on 9 x 12 canvas

The first thing that came to mind when challenged to do a piece incorporating Stitches, was a picture I took in Kendra's second year in which she was laughing so hard, she seemed to be "in stitches."

I printed the picture onto fabric with Golden's Digital Ground for Non-Porous Surfaces and attached it -- along with several other pieces of fabric -- with my version of sewing. I used several colors of thread and several different types of stitches, purposely doing so in a haphazard fashion. This technique worked especially well since the last thing I remember sewing was a button. Or did my Mom do it for me?

Well, whatever the case may be, I so appreciate the chance to learn and grow from the prompts given from Thank you for looking! I look forward to next week . . .

She was so excited . . .

She was so excited to start Tot Stop today: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse backpack and lunch box, new dress from her Auntie and shiny red Crocs (I tried for the red Converse but she was not having it -- when did she get such strong opinions about fashion?) make the perfect start to a new school year. Now if only I could be as excited as she was . . . maybe I need a new backpack . . . Could you please hand me a tissue?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rainbows in the Studio!

I awoke this morning to the sound of bare feet pounding the tile that spans our house and a small, excited voice yelling: "Mommy! Mommy! Moooommmmyyyyy! Rainbows in the Studio, Rainbows in the Studio!"
You would think that this was something of a new phenomenon, but we have seen "Rainbows in the studio" every morning this Summer, and it has given us such unexpected pleasure. To a 3 year old, the light that pours into the french doors and through the (once discarded) chandelier crystal that I have attached to an old wire plant basket is simply magic. And she is not alone: I have come to cherish the beauty it brings as much (maybe more?) as she does.
It reminds me that there is beauty in everything, as long as we look for it. Granted, the prism light from a dangling crystal is an obvious source, but there is beauty in everything if we are willing to seek it out. And I think that this is part of what we do as artists -- find the beauty. The beauty of an image, the beauty of words, even the beauty of expressing pain through art before releasing it, it's all there. Sometimes we just need a rainbow (and a 3 year old) to see it.
"To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest." - Anonymous

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MMM: Together

5 x 5 Canvas: "Together"

The First thing I thought about when prompted to do a piece about being "together," was a poem I wrote a few years ago when Dave and I were hoping to become pregnant. We were in the midst of infertility issues and desperate to have "tiny giggles" in the home when I thought of the following words:

Like My Adonis
It's so quiet
But I hear you laughing
Tiny giggles
Sharp, clear
Echoing in the distance
And I see you smiling
Little, full lips
Pouty, perfected
Like my Adonis
Looking at me
Those big, green eyes
Always dancing
Always shining
Always caring
But green, not blue
Like my Adonis
Wrinkling your nose
Barley big enough
For Eskimo kisses
It's so quiet
But I hear you laughing
I see you smiling
Your green eyes dancing
Just like my Adonis
We're ready, little one
It's time to come home

We found out shortly after I wrote this that we would not be able to become pregnant, and that we would have to find another way to have the baby we so desired. We could not be more grateful for the chance we were given to have Kendra in our lives -- by way of adoption -- and now that we are hoping for a second child, this piece -- and those words -- fill me with hope, knowing that our baby is out there somewhere, waiting for us and allowing Kendra to be the big sister she is so hoping to be.

This piece represents our (nearly) four year old looking into the heavens, waiting for "her baby". It was done on a 5 x 5 canvas with acrylic, crackle medium, vintage children's illustrations and ledgers (on which the words are printed), colored pencils, white gel pen, silver, green, iridescent and glass glitter and 2 Swarovski crystals (on the wheels of the toy).

Thank you for looking! I look forward to next week's MMM prompt: "Stitches".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

MMM: Stars

This week's MMM Challenge: "Stars". 9 x 12 Canvas Panel

I made it on time! When thinking about this week's Mixed Media Monday challenge, "Stars", the first thing that came to mind was a mini-book layout I had done for baby Kendra (image can be found on the Flickr badge under Girly Book) using the same quote from Marilyn Monroe, one of my childhood icons:
"I used to think as I looked at the Hollywood night, 'there must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm not going to worry about them, I'm dreaming the hardest'."
To be honest, I was a bit obsessed with her as a girl (I remember spending my first "real" money on an original copy of Life magazine in which she was featured on the cover, her first) so I welcomed the excuse to do this tribute to her.
The piece was done on a 9 x 12 canvas panel, and was made using Gesso (in relief), pearl acrilyc, a (free) image of MM printed onto a transparency which was then painted on the back, chipboard letters (I attempted to copy the old Hollywoodland sign), 2 types of glitter and (of course) a singe Swarovski crystal at the ear.
Thank you for looking! I look forward to next week's Mixed Media Monday prompt: "Together" . . .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

From Concept to Creation

A fabric Swatch from my friend's nursery was the inspiration for this project.

Two 16 x 20 canvases were painted in several layers of beige acrylic and crackle medium. A home decor stencil was layered on top of the acrylic in pink and the bird and branch image was then added, using a projector (from the fabric swatch).

Vintage wallpaper, music sheets, french text and nursery images were then torn and added to match the shape of the projected image.

The bird was then touched up with Gesso and white acrylic and the vintage pieces were washed in pink and green, depending upon their location.

When the initial details were completed, a final wash of watered-down white paint (a trick I learned from Pam Garrison) and tan "splatters" were added.

Next, all outlines were highlighted with white ink and green and pink colored pencils.

The last step was to add Swarovski crystals to some of the "flower" details so that the entire piece would sparkle in the light.

The Final piece was given to my friend as a gift for her Baby Shower.

Baby Shower Tea Party

I wanted to share with you some pictures of the Baby Shower that my friends Sherry, Rocio and I threw for our beautiful Girl-Mommy-to-be Gabrielle the weekend before last. We choose the theme Tea Party as we wanted to put on a elegant event without spending the fortune that we normally do on such occasions.

The Tea Party theme worked well as it allowed us to use our personal collections of china, quilts and home decor items in order to transform a patch of grass and cement (oh, and that amazing view!) into a shabby chic inspired world. We rented 3 table rounds of 10, 3 white market umbrellas and 30 white plastic (but pretty!) chairs and then hauled out our own plates, glasses, pitchers, platters for food, and well, anything else we had to add to the feel. We also included any bird accessories that we could scrounge up, as the new nursery is decorated in an aviary theme.

Thanks to Sherry for really making it all happen and to Rocio who created the menu in addition to making all the food, I think that our budget-inspired shindig was one of the most beautiful showers we have ever done. As the party wrapped up, we paused to think about (now that we are all getting older!) how many baby showers may be left in our future. Well, if I have my way, hopefully at least one . . .

For more pictures and detailed shots, please click on the Flickr badge and search for the set titled, Baby Shower Tea Party.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My "newbie-ness"!

MMM Blue & Green Sampler: 11x14 Canvas Panel

It took less than a day for my "newbie-ness" (let's pretend it's a word) to show full force. . . After staying up most of the night in an effort to post my first Mixed Media Monday challenge (the subject being "Blue and Green"), I woke up this morning only to realise that I was too late! I guess that all entries must be due on the Friday of each week instead of the Sunday as I assumed. My first clue was that the winners had already been posted. Sigh . . .

Well, since I can only learn from this lapse in judgement (why didn't I look into that more thoroughly?), I will attempt to post my Blue & Green Sampler to the MMM site anyway -- if that is allowed -- to at the very least let it be known that I appreciate the opportunity to grow from the prompt that was given. If you are interested in viewing more detailed shots of the piece above, please feel free to click on the Flickr badge and search for the Mixed Media Monday set.

By the way, my little friend Camden in the picture above was my Muse for this challenge. The first thing that came to my mind when thinking about "Blue and Green", was a picture that I recently took of him on the 4th of July. And yes, he really is that beautiful. Since his Mom just gave me a hard time for not having given him any artwork, I will pass this on to them. After all, It must have been meant for him all along.

Wish me luck for next week's MMM challenge, the subject of which is "Stars". I hope to have my act together by then . . . .

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So here I am

I'm a newbie. After years of drooling over the blogs I've seen online and in the likes of Artful Blogging, I've finally stopped dragging my feet long enough to start a blog of my own.

My hope is to be able to share my artwork with other like minded paper and collage artists as well as to participate in and learn from weekly challenges such as those found on the Mixed Media Mondays and Inspire Me Thursdays websites. But really, I have no idea what I'm doing. I assume that time will take care of the technical aspects of running a blog that I have yet to understand, but in the meantime, I'm proud to have pushed aside my fear of not having something "perfect" to present long enough to just put myself out there.

So here I am: First and foremost, I am a Mommy. Since I don't know how long I'll be able to use the term "Mommy," I'm going to milk it. For now. My beautiful girl (am I allowed to brag?) is about to turn 4 (really, already?!) and is every bit a goofball. She loves reading, singing, the school she attends twice a week and anything else that an average boy would like. Yep, she would much rather play with balls than barrettes, which is especially funny if you knew how "girly" I am. She adores her Dad (I don't blame her) and on any given day can be found hiding under the pool table waiting for him to get home so that she can play puppies with him. Not actual dogs, pretend ones. More specifically, pretending that she is one. She even has a series of barks with different meanings. Sigh . . .

My husband Dave and I would love another baby (as does Kendra: she wants a brother and a sister -- "boof of 'um") and are currently trying to spread the word about our hope to adopt a second time. Fingers crossed, we will be lucky enough to have an adoption scenario as wonderful as our first. We have an amazing relationship with Kendra's Birth Mom, and although I never imagined as a child that I would be an adoptive Mom (or Mommy), I could not be more grateful for the chance we have been given to raise this baby that I love so deeply.

So, for fear (there's that word again) of boring you with my bio, I will stop there. For now. I have to get started (okay, finish. I tend to take forever on a piece!) on my first challenge for Mixed Media Mondays that I promised myself I would complete and post. So if you're reading this, please be kind. After all, I am a newbie!