Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 09:01 PM

Bows4_1It is Thursday evening and that means there are only two more days until Christmas.  It is hard to believe that this year is almost over and a new one will begin within a week!  All of my shopping is finished and I only have a little more baking to do for the neighbors.  For the first time since we have been back in Florida, we will be in our home on Christmas eve.  I am pretty excited about this.  We plan to attend a Christmas party and spend time with close friends.  On Christmas day we will be driving to Charleston to spend time with family.  It should be a fun week!  Best wishes to everyone!  I hope your week is fun, relaxing and stress-free!!

 

California the Beautiful!

TreeIt has taken me a while to post this, but better late than never.  My husband and I vacationed in California last month and found it quite beautiful!  We flew into San Francisco and spent a few days there.  We managed to cover a better part of the city including the San Francisco Zoo, Golden Gate Park, the Wharf and Alcatraz!

After a few days in San Francisco, we headed for Yosemeti.  I am afraid of heights so I found it difficult to make the drive into the valley.  It was awesome to see such beauty in nature!   My favorite time was riding bikes along a twelve mile bike trail through the valley around sun down!

After spending a couple of days in Yosemeti, we drove through Nappa Valley and over to the coast.  We spent a day in Muier Woods, which is home to the Redwood Trees.  This had to be one of my favorite places on the whole trip!  It smelled like evergreen and was lush and just beautiful!  The drive along the ocean was breathtaking!  It was so hard to believe that just a few miles away were the mountains! 

We spent the last day sightseeing and shopping in Sausalito.  This is a quaint little town on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It is worth the trip!

This part of California is just gorgeous and I hope to one day make it back for a visit!

Collaborative Art for Relief "Color of Hope"

AuctionThere is strength in numbers.  A group of noted mixed-media artists* came together to create a unique collaborative work of art, based on the theme of "Hands On" and all of the proceeds of the sale of this work will go directly to The American Red Cross for hurricane relief. 

This one-of-a-kind wall hanging includes elements of paint, fibers, metal, found objects, fabric, paper, and more.  Most of all, it was made with heart.  Each artist explored the concept of compassionate hands, expressing her vision in a wide variety of materials and approaches. Most of all, the artists worked together to affirm their belief that "Art Saves Lives" and that creativity has the power to heal and uplift.

The work in the studio is done, and now the artists seek the visionary buyer/collector who will savor the opportunity to own this singular work of art, plus contribute to an excellent cause at the same time.

*Participating Artists:

Nina Bagley
Keely Barham
Caryn Crimmel
Shirley Ende-Saxe
Sarah Fishburn
Lisa Hoffman
Marylinn Kelly
Karen Michel
Teesha Moore
Lynne Perrella
Lisa Renner
Judi Riesch
Monica Riffe
Michelle Ward 

Visit Color of Hope Auction for all the details and to bid on this beautiful piece of artwork!

Title:  Color of Hope
Size:  Approximately 18" x 40"

Drawing From Life

156898445601a2r2ritdjnw1q6_aa240_sclzzzzI received a wonderful new book yesterday, which I have had on order for some time with Amazon.  It is called Drawing From Life; The Journal as Art.  If you enjoy recording your life in journals or scrapbooks using words and mixed media, you will enjoy this book.  It is a compilation of a varied group of journalists who have shared their own personal journals with author, Jennifer New.  This book is not heavy on instruction, but is a visual treat for any lover of art.  It features information about the artists and the varied techniques and processes used by each to document their daily lives.  It includes travel journals, sketchbooks, naturalists and more!

Visit Amazon.com for ordering information.

A Good Day!

Peacetp_2Good Morning!  Today is Labor Day and I hope you are having a good day so far.  I returned from teaching at Art Unraveled last week and have been catching up ever since.  I leave next week for Atlanta for Altered Jubilee and then come home and fly right out to Virginia for Art & Soul East.  What a crazy time! 

Art Unraveled was a blast this year!  I am sure I feel this way because it was my second year and I knew what to expect, but the atmosphere at this event is fun, encouraging and friendly!  I want to thank my students for supporting me and for being so much fun to be around!  I truly appreciate all of you! 

If you have never attended Art Unraveled I highly encourage you to consider it for next year.  I know it is in Phoenix and it is very hot there in August, but the city is very nice and there is plenty of shopping and dining right near by.   I will say that the heat really got to me this year!  One day it topped 115 degrees.  I know, I know...it is a "dry" heat.  Dry heat or not, it was like being in an oven.  I wear contact lenses and each day was a struggle since it felt like all the moisture had been sucked out of my eyes!  When we arrived in Orlando and were leaving the airplane I was so happy to feel the "humid/moist" air hit me!  My eyes felt better and I could breath.  I am sure it is whatever you are used to.  Many folks tell me that they aren't sure how I can live in a place like Florida where it is so humid!

Okay, I want to share something with you today.  In light of the tragedy going on in the lives of so many in our country, we all have so much to be thankful for.  I have this near my computer where I can see it each day.  I don't always focus on it daily, but I try to do so often.  I hope you will benefit from it.

Rules For Making Every Day a Great Day...

  1. Pray
  2. Think that good things will happen.
  3. Express gratitude to a loved one.
  4. Put your gripes away in a box.
  5. Be patient with an annoying person.
  6. Do something special for someone else.
  7. Do something special for yourself.
  8. Reach out to someone who needs comfort.
  9. Focus deeply on each moment.
  10. Learn from a mistake.
  11. Smile
  12. Pray

Make the most of your day!
:)

New Collage Sheets in the Shoppe

Csbeaufainstreet13_2On a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina I decided to capture the beautiful doors, windows and gates of the city in photos.  I had hoped to use them in my collage work and maybe even some new rubber stamps designs.  As it turns out, I loved how they turned out and decided to make them part of the Paperbag Studios collage sheet offering.

In addition, on the way home I turned off and ventured into Savannah and found some wonderful grunge there!  I found myself venturing down some back alleys and darn near got hit by a van while standing a little too far into the road trying to get the perfect shot!

The images from Charleston are aptly called The Charleston Collection and those from Savannah are called The Savannah Grunge Collection.  All sheets in each collection are titled after various streets in the downtown areas of both cities.

You can see the whole collection by visiting Paperbag Studios.

My Favorite Things...

I created a "Self-Portrait" scrapbook page today for a project I am working toward finishing. I included some of my favorite things in the layout and thought I would share them here. 

Fifty of My Favorite Things in no special order: 

  1. old buttons
  2. hand lotion
  3. sushi
  4. dusk
  5. my husband
  6. the color green
  7. taking hot baths
  8. road trips 
  9. a good book
  10. my friends 
  11. surprising someone with a gift
  12. 70’s music
  13. teaching
  14. fresh flower
  15. shoes
  16. book stores
  17. historical fiction
  18. flip flops
  19. acid wash jeans
  20. handmade paper
  21. The News Boys
  22. brownies
  23. ice water
  24. oatmeal
  25. spinning
  26. church 
  27. birds
  28. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
  29. zoos
  30. sports bras
  31. capri pants
  32. warm days
  33. sour dough bread 
  34. Propel Fitness Water 
  35. a good facial
  36. vintage letters
  37. my IMac
  38. fancy handwriting
  39. weight training
  40. yogurt
  41. acrylic paint
  42. sunglasses
  43. crayons
  44. old photos
  45. ribbon
  46. flea markets
  47. My IPod
  48. Leonardo DaVinci
  49. pilates
  50. my digtal camera   

 

On the Cover of Expressions Magazine!

ExpxcoverWhat a great surprise!  I found out yesterday that my Assemblage Screens project made the cover of the September/October issue of Expressions Magazine!  The article inside is a four-page spread and they did an awesome job photographing the screens.  They are huge and you can really see the details! 

I will be teaching this class in Atlanta at An Altered Jubilee on Thursday, September 15 from 12:00PM to 3:00PM.  Visit Stamp Art Jubilee for more information.

I will also be teaching the Assemblage Screens in Hampton, Virginia at Art & Soul East on Thursday, September 22 from 7:00PM - 10:00PM.  Visit The Art & Soul Retreat  web site for more details!

Has it Been Twenty Years Already?

I attended my 20 Year High School Reunion last Saturday in Charleston, SC.  It was a blast, even if the 80's music was a bit cheesy.  Sorry to anyone who had the misfortune of being in high school and college during the whole 80's decade.  It would have been nice to at least have experienced those impressionable days under the influence of at least two different decades!  I remember when M-TV hit the air.  A friend of mine called me and told me to turn on the TV and there was Mick Jaggar singing "Going to a GO GO" and Stevie Nicks dancing around in a white dress made of gauze!  I was enthralled!  Needless to say, my parents banned us from watching such trash!  I digress!

The reunion was a lot of fun!  No, there was no one there with big hair or bright blue eye shadow, but we were all a little older.  I always used to think that the day would come when I would be the age my parents were when I graduated and would I feel as old as I thought they were at the time.  Most of us in that room were pushing 40 and it felt like we were still in high school.  I don't mean that in a childish, "do you like me, check yes of no" kind of way.  I guess it just felt the same in a weird as if twenty years really had not just flown by.  We had more wrinkles, less hair and a more mature look, but overall most of us looked about the same and it felt like little time had passed.  It was a pleasure to spend time with "kids" I have known since 5th grade.  Mark, I still owe you that dollar!

On My Trip to California...

I flew into Sacramento on July 14 and after waiting an hour for my luggage it was off to Roseville for a weekend of teaching.  Sandy, the store owner is a friendly lady.  She is married to David and has a seventeen year old daughter, Lauren.  They were very hospitable and were fun to be around.  I appreciate my time with them, which is all part of the fun in traveling and teaching in new places!  I am especially thankful that they indulged my weakness for Asian food.  :)

The store's name is The Stamp Art Shoppe and it is a beautiful store.  The store is bright and cheery and very clean!  Sandy has certainly put a person touch in the decorating and extra touches that the store offers.  The walls are a warm olive green, the stamp cases a bright white and the shelves are made of glass.  Fresh flowers are on display in the store and the classroom.  There are decorative extras such as a skirted sink in the bathroom, art on the walls, decorative mirrors, shelves and other things that made me think of a Ballard Design catalog.

I heard from many of the students that Sandy is very generous and is an awesome store owner.  Sandy even made all the students name tags and housed them in cute boxes complete with candies!

I want to thank all the students who took my classses.  I met a lot of new ladies this past weekend and it was a pleasure sharing my art with you.  I appreciate all the kind words and support.  I hope to see you again on another teaching trip to Roseville.

Keep cool, guys!

UPCOMING:

I am off to Charleston, South Carolina on July 29 for my 20 year High School Reunion.  I was thrilled yesterday to find the perfect dress!  I will write about the whole evening when I get back.  My mom and I are going to Asheville, North Carolina on August 1 to hunt goodies and junk in the many antique malls and stores around the area!  It will be nice to spend some quality time with my mom and find some good art stuff as well!

Fun in Fort Collins

ArtistsnookI just returned from a teaching trip to Fort Collins, CO at The Artists Nook.  Christine and her group of wonderful students were great company for the weekend!  Here are some things that I observed or learned on my trip:

  • The air is thinner that far above sea level.
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Students at The Artists Nook are willing to share very personal information with each other.  Just smile and keep on teaching!
  • You might be asked to wear a pink crown if someone is celebrating a birthday!
  • There is a wonderful group of ladies at The Artists Nook!

Thank-you Christine for hosting me this past weekend.  I appreciate your hospitality!  Thanks to all the ladies who made my weekend a lot of fun!  I look forward to seeing you all again in the future!

Crispy Sweet-Potato Fries

I have given into the urge to share personal things here.  So it seems only fitting that I begin this process by sharing my new food addiction...Crispy Sweet-Potato Fries!

Okay, I discovered this recipe and decided to try it.  Now let me say first that I was not a big sweet potato fan.  Actually, I did not know if I liked them or not.  At Thanksgiving mom makes a sweet potato casserole dripping with nuts and marshmallows and it had never appealed to me!  So, here I am trying something new.  Needless to say I bake these about every other day and eat them as a snack.  They really are tasty and healthy too!  Beware, because they are addictive!

Ingredients:

Makes four servings

  • 2  large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 to taste of ground pepper
  • 1/4 to taste of salt (I like a lot of salt)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Halve the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch wedges or smaller. Toss with the oil, salt and pepper in medium bowl.
  2. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 35 minutes.

Tips:

  1. I like to set the oven on low broil right at the end to make them more crispy!
  2. Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place for up to two weeks...I have not tried this, because I never have any left over!
  3. I like to cut the potatoes pretty thin.  Experiment with widths and oven times to get the "just right potato" for you!

I hope you enjoy this terrific snack!

Until next time, have a great weekend!

New Stamps at Paperbag Studios!

Audreystepatc10

I am very excited to announce that Paperbag Studios just introduced over 40 new rubber stamp images.  The new line offers quite a variety that is sure to satisfy every creative desire!  Stamps are available mounted or unmounted.  The Paperbag Studios web site also features new samples.  Visit Gallery Three to view samples created with the new line of stamps.  Visit Gallery Four to view scrapbook page layouts created with Paperbag Studios stamps.  I hope you will find these new additions a jump start to your creative process!