Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Crossing Paths

Not all chance meetings are welcome encounters.

The above photo makes me giggle,
as I can't help but smile after seeing
the expression and body language of
my beloved Blue Jay at this squealing


All is well in the end...

with a coveted treat to take home.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Journaling The Garden Week 4

Last week, I shared the first page spread from
my Garden Journal. But I had leapt ahead of
myself and returned to my Journal this week
feeling like I had completely ignored this lone
page at the beginning of the book.

So, I decided to remedy this by creating an ode
to both the past and the present. There are
beautiful brambles of holly that line the west
side of my home. Evergreen with tiny red jewels
tucked in among the branches.

The background burnished with metallic gold rub-on and
reflective rice paper.

Also, a little treasure I discovered at the office supply
store to help me document each page with a date.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tutorial: A Valentine Sentiment and MORE EXCITING HOLIDAY PROJECTS!!!

With Valentines just around the corner,
I wanted to share a favorite Tutorial for
creating very unique and beautiful
sentiments to give.

1. White wash the postcard using a paint brush
and several coats of white acrylic paint

2. Place muslin fabric over a copy paper butterfly
image. Using a mechanical pencil trace the butterfly
outline and any large details onto the fabric.

3. Paint the butterfly outline on fabric using
a #3 round paintbrush and the appropriate
colors of acrylic paint.

4. One the painted fabric is dry, cut the
butterfly out using small embroidery scissors

5. Layer a silk fabric square on the vintage
postcard, along with lace, a rice paper heart,
and the painted butterfly on top.

6. Sew the silk fabric, lace, rice paper heart
and butterfly to the postcard

7. Add your heartfelt message to the remaining
white-washed area of the postcard.

Starting Wednesday, January 25th follow
along as a group of FABULOUS artists,
share "HeARTfest!!!", even more
fun and easy Valentine Projects to make your
upcoming holiday of love...FAN-TASTIC!

Wednesday, Jan. 25th - Jane LaFazio

Thursday, Jan. 26th - Traci Bunkers

Friday, Jan. 27th - Diana Trout

Saturday, Jan. 28th - Lyric Kinard

Sunday, Jan. 29th - Judy Perez

Monday, Jan. 30th - Kelli Nina Perkins

Tuesday, Jan. 31st - Melanie Testa

Wednesday, Feb 1st - Me!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Join Us in... Italy, Fall 2012!

In September 2010, my mother-in-law, Marylin and I
had the privilege of teaching in Orvieto, Italy at an event
organized by Adventures in Italy (hosts-Bill & Kristin Steiner).

After arriving in Rome, we road the train to a small city
located high upon a plateau that completely captivated
our hearts. As it appeared on the horizon, we were
instantly awe-inspired by its beauty. Orvieto transported
us back thousands of years. Every street, every building
was a tribute to an ancient past, and a people that loved
their heritage. Not only did Bill and Kristin greet us with
the open arms of friendship, but also every person we
met along our journey did the same. Smiles accompanied
Italian greetings sprinkled with broken English, as natives
aided us in experiencing their town.

Passing through the enormous gates of Instituto San Lodovico
convent, our home away from home, invoked a peace beyond
measure. It was as if we were entering heaven, and this feeling
of tranquility continued throughout our stay. Each day, we
spent mornings in a light-filled studio creating, and afternoons
touring the city streets, as well as the surrounding lands. Our
hosts planned activities every day that included cooking with
a famous chef, visiting a vineyard, shopping at the open
market, seeing the magnificent cathedral, picnicking, and of
course, eating the fabulous cuisine.

We are so honored to be invited to teach again in Orvieto in
mid-September 2012. Going to Italy was a dream we never
thought possible. Now to think of returning is beyond exciting,
and we would love to have you join us!

We are taking only a very, very small group, so as to create an
intimate atmosphere that is both personal, and rewarding. And
we truly want to make sure each and every person gets as much
personal assistance and attention through every step.

So Make plans now to ensure you will be part of this incredible
adventure. We already have several students signed-up, so don't wait!

Find out all the

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Journaling The Garden Week 3

It is a bone chilling cold today, much colder than
previous days, with bouts of snow flurries rushing
past the window. Such tiny flakes that are almost to
small to even notice.

I am excited to share my nearly completed, first page
spread in the Garden Journal. All that remains is to
gather my thoughts on paper to add to this remembrance.

The now daily visits from several Blue Jays was a
perfect subject choice for the snowy background

These winged lovelies are painted on muslin fabric
with acrylic paints. Here is a tutorial link so you to
can create your own painted subjects.

Once the paintings were dry, I browsed through
my collection of vintage letters and documents
to find some appropriate collage materials.

Both the paper and painted elements were
attached to the page using my favorite glue
Golden's Heavy Gel Matte Medium, which dries
completely clear.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tutorial: Chalkboard Tags

I absolutely LOVE this project and am so excited to share
a tutorial with you!

Lately, I have been doing a bit of deep cleaning in my
studio, and I needed a way to mark various bins and
boxes. So I thought I would make some super easy
chalkboard tags to help me organize my supplies.

1. Start with a quart of Valspar Chalkboard Paint.

*Valspar paint can be found at Lowe's Hardware

2. Next gather several plain Shipping Tags that
can be purchased from an Office Supply Store.

3. Remove the string from the Shipping Tag
and gently peel off the top layer of the hole

4. Using a Sponge Brush coat the Shipping Tag
with two layers of Chalkboard Paint.

*The shipping tag curls when painted but
flattens out after the paint has dried

5. After the Shipping Tag is thoroughly dry,
apply a thick third coat of Chalkboard Paint.

6. Once the final coat is completely dry, re-tie
the string onto the Shipping Tag and glue the
peeled layer from the hole protector back in place.

Now, the Chalkboard Tag is ready to use and reuse!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Artfest 2012 - A Final Farewell!

One of the best ways to grow as an artist is by taking a class.
Workshops provide opportunities to hone a particular skill,
try something new or simply explore.

They are also excellent opportunities to connect with others
sharing a similar interest and build friendships, a community
of like minds, like hearts.

Artfest is without a doubt one of the very best artistic
experiences anyone could have. After thirteen years of
hosting this incredible retreat, coordinators, Teesha and
Tracy Moore have decided to bring the fairytale to an end.

For me, Artfest has been truly life altering. I am forever
changed, in profound ways as I gathered year after year
to be part of this event.

Artfest was my, first ever, art retreat, and for many years I
reveled in the role of student. Slowly I began to spread my
artistic wings and gathered my courage to try my hand at
selling my art at vendor night, which lead to the next brave
step of teaching a workshop.

Teesha gave me all these first time opportunities, which
built my confidence and guided me to other, BIGGER
happenings in my life. I know, without a doubt, I would
not be where I am today without Artfest.

Although it is the end of an era, I am thrilled beyond measure
to be teaching for another year, the final year.

In fact, I would like to extend a personal invitation to come
participate in several fun and unique classes I am giving
that are perfect for a first time attendee or veteran Artfester.

I am especially proud of this workshops as they provide
valuable insight and training in the areas of sketching,
drawing, painting, sculpture, journaling, design and
mixed-media that can be applied to future projects.

Thursday, March 29: Technicolor Journaling -
Experience an art journaling color explosion by rendering
subjects using intense, high chroma, deeply saturated art

Saturday, March 31: The Curiosities Within -
Much like a Cabinet of Curiosities, we will create and assemble
a fascinating collection of possible found objects from nature
and explore the idea of sculpture through the manipulation of
paper into three-dimensional works of art. Each piece is displayed
in exhibition format/style and stored in a uniquely weathered box.

Don't wait to sign-up, as space is limited for this final farewell
event. Register here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Journaling The Garden Week 2

With a journal selected and pages prepped,
I am ready to begin recording my unique
garden experiences.

To jump-start my creativity, I made a list of
seasonal subjects to help narrow my focus.

Below is a list of prompts I brainstormed...

-weather: snow, ice, snowflakes, cold temperatures,

- foliage: leafless trees, bare branches, decaying leaves,
pinecones, evergreens, holly, winter berries, poinsettia,
papewhites, amaryllis

- wildlife: deer, seasonal birds (junos, red-bellied
woodpecker, bluejays, cardinals, house finches, starlings,
canadian geese, goldfinches, downy woodpecker,
tufted tit-mouse), possum

- colors: To help identify a winter color palette,
I made a trip to the hardware store to gather paint
swatches, seen in the image at the top.

I also found various texture swatches that were interesting
and could be another good background alternative.

These swatches were made with paint and coarse colored
bits of sand.

These texture swatches are created using a colored
venetian plaster applied in varying directions.

I also stopped by my local craft store to look for
stencils or other products, such as die-cut scrapbook
papers, that could be used as a stencil.

This is a Martha Stewart brand, felt ribbon cut in the
shape of snowflakes. PERFECT! to use for my first

After consulting the color swatches, I picked an
appropriate acrylic paint and use the Snowflake
felt ribbon to make a wintery background on the
first page spread.

Then to add that extra little sparkle, spritzed
the page with hairspray, as a glue alternative,
and while wet dusted iridescent glitter.

Now it looks like a Winter Wonderland!