Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
can't possibly imagine why I would say - THINK SNOW! You're probably sick of it!
Maybe even my fellow Ozarkian's will agree with you, but for me.... I'm THINKING SNOW!
We're gearing up for a major snow storm - well at least for us. They are predicting up to 8" of the white fluffy stuff. It's so beautiful when it snow's here. Our home is located on top of a hill, surrounded by the Ozark mountains, lots of trees and beautiful scenery - just perfect for a gorgeous winter photo.
With just Dana and I home tonight and tomorrow - we'll make the most of it...snug in.. SLED, maybe even make a snowman and when he's not lookin - I'll whop him with a snowball....
I thought you'd enjoy this little guy in celebration of our first snowfall of the year. If it doesn't come, I'll be bummed for sure!
Tomorrow I'll be back with a the Story of the Denim Jacket.......
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I think the team at Design Originals did a fantastic job with the cover don't you? It looks splendid!
So...you maybe wondering what's in the book? Well, here's a sneak peak:
It's technique driven - which means you can take the techniques you learn and apply them to your own design or mix and match them with another design in the book!.
You'll learn how to use the "stinky stuff" also known as Liver of Sulfer in a really unique way. (Sorry, you have to smell the bad stuff...but I promise the results are totally worth it).
You'll also work with a variety of metals such as Pewter, Copper, Aluminum to create jewelry settings, pendants, bracelets and more.
If you are an avid Rubberstamper -there's something in it for you too!
I also put some mixed media in to the mix....so you'll work with a little bit of Friendly Plastic to simulate dichroic glass and then set it on pewter...I promise you'll have fun with this!
The book should be released in March and I would suspect that it will retail for less than $10. So...please email me now to place your name on the "I want my signed copy list..".
Thanks again to all of you who email me regularly with nice comments about the blog.
Monday, January 28, 2008
So with Carol's invitation, Mariah was fortunate enough to get one of the last few segments of the final season that taped later that year. . I was so proud of her. When she came home from the taping her school treated her like a little celebrity with a big write up in the school newspaper. It was definately her time to shine.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Scrapbookers have long used templates for their layouts. They realize the importance of sketching a basic design.
Once you get a good basic template, you can make lots of other designs simply by altering the elements of the layout, using different colors, using different mediums or maybe adding to or taking away from the basic template.
Sketching a basic design can save you lots of time in the long run. And can get the river of creativity flowing in your mind. Templates or sketches are the most basic of beginning design techniques, but for me...and I'll be honest here....one that I forget to use quite a bit. Until recently.....
I plan on taking this journal with me to the CHA show to write down notes, ideas that come to mind, sketches, things I want to blog...just anything I need to write down and remember.
Unfortunately, the time crunch is on ... the projects to do are piling up and the time is fast slipping away! So, I altered the basic design or template that I am using for my More Than Memories class and came up with this design - way less time consuming than designing with no real direction. It still has some basic elements, but it has a few new ones as well. This time I patina'd the copper using stinky Liver of Sulver - great results - really really bad smell! I textured the metal with the Cuttlebug, then a Cuttlebug die cut for the leaves on top. I believe the leaves turned out beautifully. I was a little concerned that the embossing pattern would flatten when I die cut. I am pleased that didnt happen. This time I also included some ArtEmboss aluminum armature wire, vintage ephemra, ooohh and I scraplifted Jen Lowe's Idea with the key...SHHHHH DONT TELL HER!!! It's okay...she's scraplifted from me before...now we just call it by it's new name - LinJeneered! Yeah that's it!
So next time you're wanting to create, try sketching your design first. I promise it will aleviate much frustration. Keep the sketch in a portfolio for future use!
And...stay tuned - tomorrow is 100 day and I'll be back to show you what we've done with our Crafty Kids weekend! I'll also share a new blog that I found - amazing handmade cards and her entry for Hope on a Rope!
Friday, January 25, 2008
That's what happens every time I get into that creative mode.
I went to get one stamp - got three, looked for copper metal, pulled out pewter and every other colored metal I could find, oh and then theres the piles of embossing folders, dies and stacks of ink pads. Never mind the bits and pieces of scraps that are an inch thick on my work surface - I just bulldoze them out of the way.
It's a good thing that the Cuttlebug can just sit on my lap while I use it. That was about the only open space around me. (Sound familiar? - or am I the only one who winds up with a tornado after I create??) I don't even want to begin to tell you how many layers of craft stuff I was working on top of...but I think if I had to name it...I'd call it the Empire State Building!
Today more crafty goodness arrived - New Color Box Cat Eye stamp pads! Even the colors are delicious. The fluid chalks work beautiful on metals, though Im planning on using them on craft porcelain - we'll save that for another craft mania day.
Taking the basic designs and patterns from yesterday, I made these additional variations. I was using up some of the extra embossed metal that I had from the Spots N Dots and the Traffic Jam embossing folders.
Im particularly fond of the diamond pattern. I love the way it is suspended and has movement. I also like the way you can use the different square/diamond patterns in the design to alter the look and get different pieces of jewelry.
Tomorrow I'll share the vintage journal that I did using some of these basic techniques along with Ink and just alot of fun ephemra.
Don't miss Monday - I'll be posting the front cover to my new Metal Book! I can't wait to see it myself.
Also for any of you who are in the Chicago area or are interested in the classes that I am doing at More Than Memories, Kasey called me to tell me they are filling up fast! Click here for more information
Until next time on the ArtBuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I can recall the day that my mom taught me to sew on the sewing machine. I was about eight. I made a short set that was black striped with yellow sunflowers. It was a little more sophisticated than my - cut a hole for the arms - barbie clothes. I decorated the armholes and around the legs of the shorts with bright yellow rick-rack. I can just imagine the mind image you are getting. I wore that set to death. I was proud of it. I made it myself.
I also remember the plaster jewelry making set (we didn't have resin, polymer clay or much to work with). You mixed up the plaster - poured it into a mold and out came the "groovy" bead. (literally it made beads withthe words "goovy" and" far out" on them...funny huh?)
I remember putting on puppet shows with the kids next door. We made the characters from popcicle sticks and cut their clothes out of paper. If we didn't have it...and we wanted it, we found ways and things to use to make it. I drew, I scrapbooked in the most basic form, I read, I played outside, I created. We made up games, we played house and bottom line...we were happy and we stayed out of trouble.
Contrast that with some kids today. What's left to their imagination? They play sophisticated video games, sit on the couch mezmerized by young pop star TV shows - for hours on end. Some kids even have cell phones to text message their friends that are sitting just across the room from them. What happened to riding their bikes, playing outside, making due with what they have, using their imagination? Seems to me that this generation of kids always want more....and if they don't have it...They are bored! I'm not saying that any of these things are totally wrong....but I do think they are overdone and over emphasized. What happened to being a kid?
I guess that's why I feel that it is so important to spend time with my kids, teaching them to create. When they are immersed in creating something, their whole world opens up, their attitude turns positive, they imagine. I love watching that process. I love watching the freedom of creativity without fear of a mess up. I love it when they open their heart to me and express to me their intermost thoughts. I love the funny and silly conversations we have, the singing we do and the art we create. I wouldn't miss that for all the money in the world.
It all goes back to my childhood. All in all - It was GREAT! I have wonderful parents who didn't hand me everything I ever wanted. It made me who I am.
Well, this is Wednesday and in just a blink - it will be the weekend. All the kids will be here and I promise I will take time with them to create - SOMETHING! I think we'll be decorating and embellishing some clothes for the summer - maybe when they are all grown, they'll blog about the great time they had, the great memories and pass this legacy on to their kids.
Okay...done with my thought for today.... I'm going back to being a creative kid at heart now...
Tomorrow I'll be sharing some Cuttlebug stuff!!!
Monday, January 21, 2008
In cooperation with the book, I'll be at MORE THAN MEMORIES, March 8th to teach a class called: Stones, Molds, Beads and More! You'll learn first hand three of my favorite stone recipes, how to hand form beads and how to make beads with the bead rollers and how to make molds of your favorite found objects.
I'm still taking reservations for your signed copy of the book - if you havn't added your name to the list - email me now!
And to correct a boo-boo I made in the last blog - I had the dates wrong. Classes will be Friday March 7th and Saturday March 8th! See you there!
(photo courtesy Cico Books (c) 2008, Geoff Dann photographer)
Friday, January 18, 2008
Then on Saturday Morning we'll cook up some great Faux Stone recipes and create beautiful simulated beads - You'll learn techniques to create coral, cinnabar and turquoise among the few - and I'll show you how to make molds of your favorite objects so you can recreate them and use them in jewelry designing. I'll also be debuting my brand new book - Making Beads and Polymer Clay Jewelry!
Then on Saturday afternoon I'll take you traveling on an Altered & Creative Journey. By the end of this class you will be altered, bended and twisted, inked, stamped, and embossed beyond your wildest dreams! Totally designed with YOU in mind! You’ll learn techniques galore and I promise once you learn them – you’ll go insane creating more and more mixed media art!
You’ll work with paper, metals, Friendly Plastic, Wire, Mesh and more!
So THREE AWESOME CLASSES at one AWESOME location!
Can't wait to see you there! Check out More Than Memories website or email me for more details. And...if you aren't in the Chicago area and still want to take the class...don't worry - I'm working on these for online classes in the near future!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
But onto the story....
The creative life has given me such great memories and the opportunties to meet great people from all over the world. Let me share this small world story.
The story goes way back to 1978 when I was living in Springfield, Illinois. I was in the 7th grade. My art teacher's name was Mr. Biggs. He actually lived just down the street from me, that's how I remember his name. Mr. Biggs was not very keen on paper airplanes. There was a guy in class that loved to taunt Mr. Biggs by making paper airplanes and flying them. He always got in trouble, but I dont think the trouble he got into outweighed the enjoyment that he got from taunting the teacher.
So one day, this kid flew the paper airplane and it nearly hit Mr. Biggs in the face. Mr. Bigg's then shared a story of another art teacher that he knew who had a kid in her class the flew a paper airplane across the room. It hit a kid in the eye so hard that it cut his eye. (OUCH!) Makes your skin jump doesn't it - kinda like nails going down a chalk board.
This story stuck with me - grossed me out and to this day, I'm scared to death of paper airplanes. Now jump to the year 2000. Im working at my shop on "THE PARK" when a lady browsed by my stand. She wasn't keenly interested in what I had for sale. I think she was more interested in the log ride that I was next to. But anyways, I noticed that she had a beautiful pair of earrings on. They looked like polymer clay. So, I commented on them and asked about them. Usually in the course of the conversation, I would ask "Where are you from?" She told me she was from Springfield, Illinois. After telling her that I used to live there, I shared with her the above story.
Guess what's next????... I promise I am not making this up. SHE was the teacher, who was a friend of Mr. Biggs, who had the student who was injured by the paper airplane. Small world...and full circle 23 years later! Who would have thought that polymer clay and paper airplanes would bring this story together?
Yes, definately one of the best perks of the job is meeting interesting people. Everyone has a story to share and if you listen closely - you might just find something about them that you have in common.
Do you have stories to share? Write me!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
The idea came about one day while I was working at my shop at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. It's a theme park set back in time to the 1800's. We all had to dress in period style clothing, which meant, yes....I wore the granny dresses was in costume everyday (wasn't so bad really). Our job was to show how to make "hand made" things. I saw thousands and thousands of people literally every day. (Lots of stories there!)
My shop was located on the porch of the Apple Butter shop. There I made whimsical characters and my most popular sports characters. I tried to have a variety of things that were in the $5 and under category so that kids could take home a cute souvenier of their day at "the city". Among these items, I sold decorated ink pens. I would make cute little canes and decorate the pens with smiley faces, lady bugs, sunflowers and who knows what else. Sometimes it was just a bunch of colors of clay that I twisted together and called them Tye Dye...
I was in the process of defining my "look" I guess you might say with my characters. I really wanted to add expression to my characters instead of them looking like a lifeless bump on a log. In order to do this, I studied caracature and cartooning books. I was always fascinated with caracture artists because they could draw so fast, make someone look at least somewhat like themselves with exaggerated features and bring out their funny side. I noticed that cartooning and caracatures always exaggerated at least one feature of the person or whatever it was they were drawing. I applied that...well...to the ink pens...so when I turned the ink pen sideways...guess what??? My mind saw a looooooooonng really loooonnnngggg body dachshund. I quickly threw together a prototype, then tweeked it a little and VIOLA.... a dachshund...with a "bum" of a cap! I couldnt make them fast enough. One led to another...and to another and to another. The park guests absolutely loved them. So I expanded my doggie styles and made a variety of breeds.
Eventually, I started putting together more caracature characters (say that 3 times...) so they evolved from decorated pens, to doggie pens sideways...well to all those pen sets I put in the POLYPENS book. WHo knew these would be on the Carol Duvall show too???
And that - my clay friends - is the inside story of how the Darling Dachshund pens were inspired and created or as Paul Harvey says..." And now you know?....The REST OF THE STORY --- GoodDAY!"
Friday, January 4, 2008
I was thoroughly intrigued when the book "Scrapbooking on the Wall" was published by Design Originals. The canvas layouts were beautiful and really looked like a work of art.
Mariah has been begging me for about 3 years now to re-do her bedroom into a teen-agery theme. Originally she wanted a beach theme. With soft muted beach colors. We used the colors from a scrapbooking layout that we found in one of the magazines. She really liked the Beachy theme and the colors were perfect. With that layout in hand, we went to WalMart and matched all the colors.
Her room originally was a khaki color and the closet door area you see in the picture was a hunter green gingham wallpaper - way out dated - and so not...in her words...."teenagery". We painted the room a color called Water Dance. Originally we intended on painting the walls by the closet a creamy white with the doors and the inset a sandy color.....which we did....and which we didnt like. We walked into the room and BOOM...the color hit you ...it was NOT this bright at WalMart!!! I kept telling myself..." It will all calm down once we get it all decorated" ...But to me in my creative mind...I just couldnt stop until it was right.
Day 2: We didn't want to spend any more money...so...we thought..."how can we fix this creatively without any cost?" The answer was on the next page of the scrapbooking magazine... The page had been whitewashed. So.... we dry brushed the creamy white over some of the areas on the wall....ahhhh...now it's looking better..... But the inset, we still didnt like. So we decided to go to the much darker grungy color that you see now . While rubbing the glaze over the sand colored inset to make it darker, I happened to go a little crazy and get some on the front area by the closet, so I wiped it off......that was it! Grunge the whole thing!!! So after I finished the inset, I rubbed a brown grunge glaze over the entire surface of the walls in the bedroom. (Oh my aching arms!) Perfect!! It knocked the color down to just the right tone...and we did it with products that we already had.
Day 3: We made another trip to Walmart and while in the scrapbooking section, Mariah noticed some rubber stamps by Autumn leaves which featured flourish designs . She didn't want to spend any more money...nor did I.....so we came home without them. The scrapbook page that now became our inspiration also had flourishes on it. (LIGHTBULB FLASH!!!) I said, "Mariah, we can design our own flourishes and paint them on the wall". That's what we did, we penciled in the design and used a foam stamp for the flower. She loved it. Then we decopauged the dream wooden letters and hung them over the window. Alas...Scrapbooking the wall was finished!!!! I wish the photo would show up the colors better, this is so much better in person when you see the whole thing.
So the room is still a work in progress. It's gone from a beach theme to more of a Friends theme. She intends on making scrapbooking canvases of her friends and her teenage years to hang on the wall and closet doors. A sheer curtain will go up over the window (haven't gotten that far yet) and the trunk will turn into a window seat - we'll cover the bottom pillows and create matching ones all around the window. She has a beautiful view from her room that over looks our little acreage. She loves her room and I think it has become a real retreat for her - so personally hers!
I would love for it to be "completely" finished....but then what would we do with our free time???
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I held one up as if I was going to kiss it - he snapped my picture and I scrapped it - "You gotta kiss alotta toads....before you meet that handsome prince". The opposite page was a picture of him with a little crown on our wedding day... (now what did I do with those scrapbook pages?) It's those memories that inspire me to create.
Expression is especially important when you create. I am a real stickler about expression. I'll even do a face over and over again just to get it right. This froggie was made using my Six Simple Shape Technique. Once you master the technique, then sculpting miniature characters like these becomes a breeze.
All my character books - with the exception of Sculpey Way show you how to create using this very simple technique. You can check them out on the side bar ----------->
And about those toads....well fortunately for me, I did find my handsome prince and I didnt have to kiss any real toads!