Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Happy

This Holiday Season is filled with so many things to be grateful for.  When I look back on the year I can reflect on lots opportunities that presented itself to me and that altered my life for challenging myself.  Change is hard sometimes, especially at my age but worth the effort all around. 
I made so many wonderful friends and contacts and have broadened my world just by reaching out.  I will forever be grateful. 
I also made changes on a personal level by trying to look at life, family and friends in a different way and accepting them just the way they are.  I realized that I can be judgmental and self righteous but where does that serve me...I get to be right in my own mind.  It is after all, a judgment on myself.  That reflection doesn't make me feel very right.  And, I don't have control over anyone and anything other than the way I think.

This coming new year, I will work on Acceptance on a broader scale.  I truly want to know what the word means and how I can adapt to its meaning.  I'm hoping that the outcome will help me accept myself with all my flaws, imperfections and bring more peace into my life.  I believe that, for me, will bring me more happiness.

May Peace on Earth prevail, Enlightenment unfold, and may we all realize that what we focus on is what will present itself.  All it takes is a little courage to take a step for change if only in a thought.

Happy Holidays and a Healthy and Prosperous 2010.

With Love,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Inspirational Retreat ad in January Somerset Studios

I'm so excited that the Inspirational Retreat ad we posted in Somerset Studios has finally arrived at my door step today.  I could hardly wait to get the publication inside and find the ad along with all the classes posted in the Gatherings section.

We have such a fabulous line up of artists all the way through August.  I know that once the classes begin and the word gets out what a wonderful experience it was, it will be the place to come to for inspiration from a favorite artist teachers.

Patience has never been a strong part of my personality and this takes patience as with anything new.  It's been a dream of mine since it's conception to make each workshop a unique, comfortable, inspiring, and a personally rewarding experience.

I've been to many workshops over the years and have felt intimidated, closed up creatively, cramped for personal space and rushed among other things.  Knowing what I would want at a workshop gives me opportunity to prepare a weekend where teacher and student feel that the exchange of give and take is genuine and complete and that each person is getting everything they signed up for and more.  I see so many possibilities and can only hope that the dream becomes a reality.  As they say..."Build it and they will come".

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fairies by Renee

I've been making these fairies for a number of years now and I've decided to make a video on how to create them.

These whimsical little ones are about 5" tall and are fun and easy to make.  The hard part will be making the video and finding the time.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My submission to Holiday Window

I chose a natural theme with birds. I adore bird art which is a popular theme for a lot of artist these days. It always amazes me how different each artist work is.
I used the 6x6 canvas that will keep the window display uniform and did my usual mixed media collage work on them working with all 3 at once.
I then added the birds from 2 different sources. One was a napkin that displayed 2 different birds and one was a photo that I cut out. I added natural and purchased ephemera to each canvas keeping them similar but not the same. I'm pleased with the results and now I hope someone else will think so too.

I have a double shift at the gallery on Thursday and will take photos of how the window looks and post soon.

Holiday window at Ten Women

We just changed the window at Ten Women Gallery and of course, it has a Holiday theme. We decided that each artist do as many 6x6" canvas' as they liked in their own medium. I submitted my canvases along with 3 that had this to say. These are mixed media collage with my calligraphy written with acrylic ink and broad edge pen.

Because we are a co-op, each artist has individual jobs to contribute to the gallery's up keep. Being a calligrapher, I get all the signs, tags, and announcements. It's nice to use my skills to make it all look professional.

I will post my submissions next...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great find at the Rubber Stamp Convention

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Lisa and I went to the Rubber Stamp Convention in Carson. I'm always excited and scared to attend because although I don't need anything, I always find these special things that I just have to have and end up spending way too much money. But, this time I found a little treasure that made my heart sing. Shadow Frames by Darcies.

These little die cut shadow frames that came in a variety of sizes and shapes just called my name. They were not expensive either. The kit had all the parts and was raw chip board to decorate the way you wanted and even had the plexiglass and clips for full assemblage. This piece is 5x5" and I paid around $4.99.

I put a decorative paper for background, cut a heart from a bible page...(I know, blasphemy...but the bible was falling apart and I used it for preservation :o)...I added a ribbon, tied a key and tag then painted the outer frame gold and rubber stamped with flourish. Kind of neat, huh?

By the way...Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More for Ten Women Gallery

Some book marks to add to a new growing variety of items for Ten Women Gallery. These started as paste paper that I tore into the size that slips in the plastic book mark holders. I collaged and
added the calligraphy. I even added a tassel at the end.

These are ornaments with a natural flare so they can maybe sell even after the holidays...

I purchased a thin piece of wood at Michaels to make this door hanger, used gesso and stenciled a design when dried and layered white acrylic to soften the stencil design. After doing the letters which are also stenciled, I decorated them and put a layer of mat medium to seal. I used glue along the edges and sprinkled glass crystals on top of the glue to give a snowy look. Drilled small holes, threaded with wire, a bead, ribbon, strip of fabric and whalla! That's all she wrote!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Ornaments for Ten Women Gallery

I'm getting ready for holiday at Ten Women Gallery. I'm creating handmade ornaments, greeting cards and mixed media gifts and canvas' for the December window.

I finally got out my sewing machine before it got rusty and it felt good to put needle and thread to my work. It added another dimension. I was inspired by Ruth Rae
who I admire and think is a fabulous artist.

These are just a few of the ornaments.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For Izabella...My Bell

Last year for my birthday, my son Sal, gave me a BD cake with Cinderella on top. His choice of BD cakes was probably pretty slim when he bought it ;o). He also knew I would save the topping to use again...
At Michaels, I purchased a small wooden box just for the cake topping to make a jewelry box for my 5 year old grand daughter, also Sal's daughter, Izabella, aka, Bella, Izzy, My Bell, Bell Bell...

Izabella will be in Argentina with her dad for Christmas. But for Thanksgiving, my hubby and I are taking the smaller grandkids to see "A Christmas Carol" and a stage show in Hollywood style next Saturday and afterward will have a buffet dinner at home with grandkids and their parents to give thanks for all our blessings. I will be giving her the gift that day.

I approached the design by putting gesso on the box first then painted several layers of pink and white until I reached the perfect blend. Izabella adores PINK and I wanted her to love it! I then collaged with childrens music sheet cutting it with a decorative scissors and doing the same with a complimentary decorative paper for the borders.
I outlined with charcoal pencil and dotted with white pen for accent. Using a sponge to a black ink pad I rubbed along the edges to give an aged appearance. I painted the legs with gold acrylic as well as the clasp. And, after adding decorative paper to the inside, I glued Cinderella on top and dress her with trim and ribbon, rosettes and rhinestones. I personalized it "Princess Izabella" then gave it a final coating of acrylic crystal clear to seal.

I attended the Rubber Stamp Convention in Carson last weekend and found a one of a kind charm that had a silver crown and with a white, pink and green glass bead on top...a perfect gift to put on a chain and put inside the Princess Box. She also loves Hello Kitty so I added a few little HK goodies to the box as well.

Bella's mom, Anna, is an artist and a naturalist. She always prefer the hand made gifts to the purchased and I'm always willing to oblige. I feel assured that the gifts I make and give will be appreciated, taken care of and preserved so Bella will have them as she grows into an adult with hopes of her always remembering me. I know how I feel about the few things I have from my mom that I treasure and will pass along as well. I only wish I had realized what is meaningful to me now, back when I was younger.

I could probably come up with a dozen or so quotes that would be perfect for this situation...but all I can think of is, I only know what is important today and I will take it into tomorrow to try and make a difference.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inspirational Retreat sign

Today is Lisa's birthday...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISA! Last night her wonderful daughters threw her an all girls surprise party and it was so fun. We danced our booties off and I have the aches and pain today to prove it.

When we started planning the retreat back in July, she mentioned she would love a sign outside her front door. Thinking it would be a good idea and a perfect present for her I got started on it about month ago to give it to her as a birthday gift.

It's an old wood shelf that I wasn't using...4'x2'...I was quite pleased with how it turned out. This was the first time that I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like and it actually turned out that way. It's gonna look great hanging outside the front door welcoming the teachers and all the students. I'll take photos when it's hanging there.

Monday, November 9, 2009


For my space at Ten Women Gallery Venice, among the things that I create are my mosaic collages in shadow box frames. I choose a word and add the letters to each of the squares so it spells out the word and collage the squares using ephemera and mixed media stuff. The paper is usually paste paper designed by me as I like to keep everything authentic. I add short quotes that relate to the word and coordinate colors to give it an over all aesthetic quality.

My most popular piece is always "Gratitude". And, again it sold about 3 three weeks ago. The gal who purchased it called me to order custom mosaic collages for 3 of her friends each one personalized to their personalities. This is right up my alley. I love custom creating for the challenge of it. This is the first one I did for her...It's called "Balance".

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A gift for Lisa LaRosa

The 15th is Lisa's birthday and I plan to give her the sign as a gift. This sign will hang outside the entrance of the Inspirational Retreat,

Here's some details I added...

This is the very first time I created a mixed media collage where I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like and it came out very close to how I had envisioned.

There are many layers involved. I just kept adding to it to get some depth. When I felt less was more and needed to stop, which in my case is very difficult, I laid down the calligraphy using a brush and acrylic black ink. Several layers of ink went down as well to deepen the black and I sprinkled Schmienke gold powder while it was drying.

This is a piece of wood that I had used as a shelf in the past. It's 4 feet by 2 feet and is the biggest piece I've ever worked on.

I hope she likes it....I can hardly wait to give it to her.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My friend from a Farr

About 2 weeks ago I was invited to participate in an Tag Art Event where you send a piece of your art to a person on the top of the list and add your name to the bottom, etc. You're supposed to receive little bits of magic in the mail. I joyfully did my part and sent off my art to the top name on the list, Diana Frey, a wonderful artist and jewelry designer, come see... ...and promptly forgot about it after she had notified me she had received my gift of tag art. By the way, I'm excited to say that Diana will be teaching at Inspirational Retreat in May with Riki Schumacher, and by herself in July.

Okay, so after returning home from a double shift at the gallery yesterday, I was anxious to get into my studio to continue my calligraphy work. I totally ignored the mail until my curiosity got the better of me after dinner when I realized that there were no bills haunting me to be paid. So off to the mailbox I went and low and behold..."what is this and who is sending me something addressed in gorgeous lettering?" I turned it over and to my surprise, a bell went off in my head to let me know that I was receiving my first bit of Tag Art. And, to make things even better, it was from someone I admire and who's blog I've been following forever it seems.

Jane Farr, calligrapher extraordinaire, my Indiana online friend, was tagged to send to me. Oh, the joy...did you see that envelope?

What was inside the envelope thrilled me to laughter as I explained to Jon what had made me so happy and the tag art. Look at all the goodies Jane sent. This is my drug of choice.

I'm off to play in my journal with all my goodies. Thank you Jane for making my day. Sending hugs and kisses.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Best Blog Award

It's my first and it's from my friend, Lisa. How fun and how proud I am to receive this award. Just because it only took me 5 days to figure out how to put it up on my blog doesn't mean I don't appreciate it....I truly do. So, thank you my dear friend. I am in gratitude.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Grandson

My life long friend Laura, had her 4th grand son in May...her fourth grand son. What happened to all the girls? Anyway, I finally got an opportunity to create a gift for her with the birth announcement she sent. She hasn't received it yet since I just sent it out to her on Saturday. She lives in NY so it'll take about 3-4 days till she receives it. I hope she doesn't come snooping over here to see what I'm up to cause it's a surprise.

This is before it was framed. Hope she likes it....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'm published in "Hand Lettering"

"Hand Lettering" by Marci Donley and DeAnn Singh

Today I attended a book signing at Stamping from the Heart for Marci Donley and DeAnn Singh's new book "Hand Lettering" for which I was privileged to be invited to take part in. I really didn't think it would be as exciting to me as it was. I'm normally a low keyed kind of gal about tooting my own horn but it was kinda thrilling, I must admit. We had quite a turn out with food, drink and demos.

Here are some photos of my work and of the book signing event.

Here are Carrie Imai, the President of our Society for Calligraphy, Helen Chu and a customer buying a signed copy of the book.

Carrie getting ready to do her demo for a well attended group of attendees.

Lisa Engelbrecht and Nancy Campbell, also participants in the book, signing copies.

That's me in the back, next to Nancy, Carrie, Helen and Jane Shibata in the pony tail.

Nancy Campbell, Jane Shibata, Sylvia Kowal, DeAnn Singh, Marci Donley, Karen (owner of Stamping from the Heart) and seated, Lisa Engelbrecht. Oh yes....and me looking at ???

Marci doing her demo and Chris Ewen having a good time on the right.

I created a mixed media collage alphabet book from scratch which is where the photos were taken from.