Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Post Card Swap Received!

Do you remember the Halloween Post Card swap that I talked about HERE? Well, I just got back four post cards in return and I love them. This swap was prompted. That means there were certain elements that we all had to include. I love seeing everybody else's take on the assignment. I also love that our hostess, Sarah, is always so generous about tucking in a little goody for us. =) Well...let's see what I've got!

This one came from Elayne in Texas. I love all the texture and the clay moon.

This one is from Stacy. I love the stitched on ribbon and the detailed memory on back. The paper even felt velvety.

I love the bling and glitter on this one. I also like how she used bubble wrap (I think) to stamp some texture onto the card. This one was from Kim.

Okay, is this one creepy or what??? I love the tree stamp and the orange and black background on this one. Also love the glittery spider in the corner. *shiver* Thanks Lyn!

Here's what Sarah threw in 'cause she's cool like that. So fun!
I would love for some of us to do some kind of swap!! Who's interested??

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Doodle Challenge...

A few months ago, I joined a couple Yahoo Art groups so that I would be motivated to complete challenges and swaps and to learn and share new techniques. I have really enjoyed these groups and have learned so much. This one focuses on Art Journaling. The moderator is Sarah. She is so talented, but more importantly - she is generous. She is generous in sharing her knowledge, her inspiration, her personal art work and even in sharing things like this:

She recently had a doodle challenge over at the group and the theme was animals. Well, I doodle animals for my children all the time. So I doodled some of our favorites and posted them to the site. To my surprise, I was chosen as the winner for that challenge! Woo Hoo! Well, I had no idea what I had won. I was just so excited. This was the package that came for me.

For someone like me, this is a treasure chest of goodness. You can click on the picture to see up close, but there are so many wonderful things here. Vintage ads and comic book pages, stamps from all over, cool napkins and tissue paper, pages from some really neat books of poetry, music and even Alice!

My favorite item in the package was this original art piece from Sarah. I just love that she included this little piece of her. Of course, my girls were all trying to claim it for themselves. Very cool.

A closer shot....

I kept finding more and more treasures. There was a little paper bag that I thought was empty, but when I went through my stash for the third or fourth time, I felt that it was full. These adorable little cards were in there. Love the witty sentiments that go along with the vintage photos. There are also some Chinese playing cards and one with Frida on it.

Then I found the tiniest little baggy that must've gotten shuffled along with the larger pieces. I opened it up to find these wonderful stamps and curious cigar wrappers.
Lots of fun and inspiration in one package. I'm already using some of the Vintage Christmas sheet music for some ornaments I am working on for a swap.
You can follow Sarah at her blog: CASPIANA I know you will be as inspired as I was!

Got my button swap back!!

I love getting mail! Don't you?? not all of this is from the button swap, but I also won a challenge from the same person that was hosting the swap - so she sent it all together. I will tell you about the other goodies in my next post. =) The little package with the angel fairy on it IS from the button swap though. It was an extra goody that Sarah through in there.

So, as you know, I sent 12 buttons in and I received 12 sets of buttons in return. Wow. How creative are these? I loved them all, but especially loved the ones that had a personal touch added to them. There were buttons sewn on material shapes, unique playing cards, library catalog cards, printed and altered images, cereal boxes, altered tags and canvas and even one tied to some really cool yarn. Fun!

Then Sarah added a little package of vintage ephemera. So essential to altered and mixed-media art. Just a treasure for those that use it. Very cool stuff. So glad that I participated. =)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Inspiration!!

I left my art journal on the table. I had just gesso'd the page and was allowing it to dry and I had some paint on the pallete from another project. I came back to my journal to continue working on it and the page was covered in blue and magenta. I immediately called for Marco and he denied having anything to do with it. Of course, he was covered in paint - you could say he was cought red - um, magenta handed! =) I was going to tear this page out, but decided to go ahead and blend it with a little more gesso and then I let it dry. I loved it. It was from my guy and I didn't mind at all. He is my inspiration in the first place! My Curious George. I love looking at the world through his eyes. I added a recent picture from his third birthday and was very pleased with our combined efforts.

Then there's Naomi. This girl just loves to create. She got loads of money for her birthday (as I've mentioned in a previous post) and wanted to buy art supplies with it. Here she is with some water colors. She just turned 5 a couple weeks ago, but she is so independent. She did not need or want any help. She knew exactly what she was doing.

Working hard...

We finally had to get some paper towels out because this girl was on a roll. She was knocking out paintings left and right. When I saw her working on this one, I asked her where she got the idea. She replied, "It's just in my head and I want to get it out." Wow. I liked that! Often times, I will have an idea, but I chicken out and never try it. There will be something that I want to create, but will second guess myself.

Not this girl... She has no fear when it comes to expressing herself. What a lesson she has taught me!

Finished product. I think this one needs to go in a frame - what do you think?

Just a few of her masterpieces...
I am still wanting to hear from you all! What inspires you? Please do share!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

So inspired...

I really, really am thankful for the world wide web. Seriously. I have been making more time for my art. I am definitely on a creative journey. I've started to see that all the doodles, painting, scribbling, pasting, .... there are other people that do it too!!

So, I found Sarah at Caspiana. I found her through a Yahoo group and now I am hooked. She posted a doodle challenge on her blog that I thought was really cool - so I gave it a try. Just to see. I thought it was a lot of fun. I made my first couple attempts at it in my art journal. I liked how the first one turned out, but I loved the second one. Read her directions here, but basically what you do is:

1. Take a thin black permanent marker and just scribble/doodle a pattern. Then take some time to look at your doodle and see if any patterns or shapes jump out at you. Like looking for shapes in the clouds.
2. Now, you darken the lines to pull your character out of the drawing and then run with it. This is what I got...

Found my shape...water colored it...

Tried out some Stampin' Up Watercolor Wonder Crayons (Earth Elements)

Finish off... I just got done doing the poppy painting, so I still had poppy fields on the brain. =)
I journaled that mommy was not a monster. Just 'cause she wants things a certain way, wants the best for her children, her family, wants the best for her home... She gets cranky or edgy sometimes when things don't work out - but she's not a monster. hahaha
This was my second try and I really like it. This is my SLUG BUSTER. I was getting pretty sluggish in my art room. I got to where I'd rather watch videos of others creating instead of me getting my hands dirty and instead of me feeling challenged to express myself...until the Slug Buster came along. She was not going to have any of that. I thanked Sarah for being an Inspiration to me. My boy has also been hanging out with snails lately...always bringing them in for me to see, so that's probably why both my creatures have slug tendencies. haha. Again, I used watercolor, gesso, acrylic wash and walnut ink.

The other place I've been finding lots of inspiration is at Donna Downey's blog. I would really love to buy one of her journals, but it's a bit pricey for me right now. She posts an Inspirational Video every Wednesday and they are nothing fancy. Just her creating. I was inspired by one of her videos where she did poppies just like this (I am not hiding that my poppies were totally copying hers, but that's what I wanted to do.) - she used some text from a book (Eclipse, I think) and I used some text from Pride and Prejudice of course. =) That's what I made the flowers with. Then I chose words that represented areas that I felt I was growing in or in which I needed to grow...
The colors are super bright and I love it. Lots of acrylic paint, black beads, gesso...oh, how I love gesso...
You can see her video here.

Anyway, I am loving the journey. I am really, really wanting to change up my blog. I'd like to have one blog with tabs and maybe split up my week to talk about my interests more evenly. If you know of a blog or website or artist that you think I should check out - I'd love if you shared it with me. I am on a roll and I love it. Really growing...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Naomi's birthday pick!

My Naomi had money to burn! She got lots of money and gift cards for her 5th birthday and guess what she wanted to buy with it? ART SUPPLIES!!! Hullo! That's my girl. =)

She's only made one purchase so far, but she wanted this finger paint set.

It was so colorful and fun, but the mess! oh the mess!

This was created by Hannah who is 14 and too cool to have her own set but couldn't keep her hands out of her sisters set. haha.

I love it. It cleans up quickly and easily enough. I'm not going to stop them. Would you?

Out thrifting...

...and look what I found!! Well, before I get into what I found, let me first say that I am so thankful for a husband that totally understands my need to "get away" and just do what I need or WANT to do once in a while. As a mother of four children under the age of 14, it is hard to find "ME" time. Know what I mean? It's an even bigger need for me now that I am staying home with my youngest. He is the joy of my life, but let's face it, he is THREE years old. I've got to be eye-balling him every minute of the day or there could be catastrophe. Besides that, I really think he needs more of my attention than ever right now.
So, my husband said that we should schedule in some time a couple times a week where he would totally take responsibility for the kids, the house, whatever and I could go do what I do. Wow! Thank you sweet man! He's a dream, right??? =) Well, I am a simple woman and me having time to myself means that I get to go to my favorite little thrift stores, yard sales, antique shops - without little hands to pick up everything along the way and recklessly chuck it back to the shelf when I say "no, no!"... Sometimes, it just means going to get a coffee at the bookstore and take my sweet time looking at whatever I want... whatever. It's MY time.
So this Saturday, don't rush me!...I'm getting to it.... This Saturday, I only had about $14 that I wanted to spend as I hunted down some yard sales and church rummage sales. I like setting a price that's $20 or under and that makes it a challenge, but keeps me from bringing home just any old thing that catches my eye.
The three things that I am posting about were all found at a multi-family yard sale. About 20 families lined the street with their goods and I was in heaven.
I got these two adorable silver spoons for 10 cents a piece!! These are going to be altered in some way and you are going to see them again...although you might not recognize them next time. haha!

Then I came across this grapevine pumpkin and pear. They're huge! $3 for the pair. I am thinking on putting some white lites in them and keeping them inside my front door. You know how I love my fall decor all year long! =D
Lastly, my find of the day or month or year...haha are these vintage SCRABBLE games!! I have been watching these on ebay, but the shipping for them just make it too much for me. I really just wanted the racks and tiles. You know what I want them for!! For my art room and my altered art!! I got them for $2 a game. I was so happy.

I also got some books for 25 cents a piece...always a good find for me. I can't wait to show you all what I come up with for these new found treasures. Any good finds for you lately? I need to know what all to keep my eye out for - so tell me!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thank you Rita!!

A few weeks ago, Rita was celebrating her 100th blog post and decided to do a give away to one lucky commenter. To my surprise - I was the winner! I felt like I had won the lottery. Well, I guess I did win the Mixed Media and Altered Art lottery, huh? =D
I loved every bit of it, but especially loved the old post cards, envelopes and the cancelled check from the late 1800's. The vintage labels were really cool and I've got all sorts of ideas for the beads, buttons and other items. My favorite item in the bag though, has to be the Lillian Russell tag that says, "She dreamed." Just looking at this tag is an inspiration.

Head on over to Tattered Past and meet Rita for yourself! You'll be glad you did. Thank you again Rita. You were so generous. I will be paying it forward soon, so make sure you all check back!!