Thursday, May 29

giving back...

Pink Rose Originally uploaded by ~Kim's Picture Gallery~
Two years ago I didn't know what a blog was. I didn't know there was a whole community of artists, or the creative souls that so freely shared their passion, art, and techniques with others. I didn't know the friendship I'd find, or the inspiration that would be just a click away. I didn't know I'd laugh with you, cry over the losses of others I've never met, or the prayers I'd send out because someone in need asked us to. I'm so lucky to have stumbled into this world, and so thankful to have found the satisfaction it brings. I've been so lucky with all of you and your giveaways, that I thought it was time for a giveaway of my own. Now I want to give 3 of you a chance to win, and you'll even get to choose your winning loot! You know I love paper, jewelry, and art journals so I'll give away one of each. Leave your name here and on Sunday evening I'll choose 3 lucky winners. Oh, and if you don't have a link to a blog please be sure and leave your e-mail so I can get ahold of you. Thanks for everything, you guys are the best!

Saturday, May 24

An Artful Journal

Next Saturday I am teaching a small class at Gilding The Lily. The project is An Artful Journal, and is a combination of all of the elements I use in my art journals.

We will construct a book from start to finish, and you will learn a variety of ways to bind your book.

Then we will play with paper and paint, encaustic wax, cut niches, trim and embellish, and learn a few ways to make image transfers without any special product.

We will stitch and sew, glue and glitter, use rubber stamps and more. I will bring boxes and bins filled with trims, treasures, vintage papers and images to share with you all. No two books will be the same.

These books are really my passion, and my most comfortable medium to work with. If any of you care to join me, drop a word here or you can call Gilding the Lily at (714) 680-8893

Thursday, May 22

Simply Me Art

Last week I entered Jamie's BlogAversary Giveaway at Simply Me Art in honor of her 1st year blogging. I have long admired Jamie's jewelry, and am regularly looking at her creations in her very successful Etsy shoppe. So when she e-mailed telling me I had won her giveaway, I was excited to finally own some of her stuff. Just look at all the loot she sent my way! A bracelet with a fabulous rhinestone centerpiece, 2 hairpins that I will definitely use, a great pair of long earrings, and a fabulous ring that is such fun (sorry for the poor photo, China thought maybe it was for her). Jamie also sent me one of her great blue, tiara tee shirts that Rowdy finds very cozy. Thank you so much Jamie, I love it all! If you guys haven't checked out her shoppe, hop on over there and take a peek at her stuff for yourself...
Now I'm off to Gilding the Lily, tonight is open studio night!

Monday, May 19

My weekend in photos

On Saturday I finished my project from Sally Jean's Little Pink Houses class I took at Art & Soul. I knew if I didn't get it done soon, it would end up in the black hole, otherwise known as the drawer of unfinished projects. Can you imagine I actually keep this stuff, and for what? Here's the end result. I'm happy with it, but my roof doesn't quite measure up (Sally warned us of that). I won't be letting Mr Warren inspect it anytime soon, you see he's a roofing contractor. Kinda like "the cobblers children", I suppose.

I also found this little case a few weeks ago at a local flea market, and for $3.00 I couldn't leave it behind. I immediately saw this when I looked at it, so I knew just what I'd do with it. I have to say, again I'm pleased. But mind you none of these are my ideas, and seeing the photo of my case now, I see it is a bit bland, and in need of some sprucing. Why do things sometimes look so blah in photo?!
This was Sunday's view, as we tried to beat the heat...

So what did you do this weekend?

Friday, May 16

where do you find good stuff?

Last year a friend and I got to talking about how it's becoming harder to find great stuff at great prices at our local flea markets. Most of the dealers at the markets make the rounds locally and you can see them every Sunday in a different location. It's their business and many are actually antique dealers. As we discovered the allure of what the markets held, so have others from coast to coast. I can't tell you the number of articles I see on the current trend in flea market style, as well as flea market shopping. Well, we decided we too could shop where the market sellers do... garage and estate sales. So, early one Saturday, with our newspaper and Starbucks in hand, we hopped in the car to see what we could find. We were fortunate in that there were many sales in one small area which made for quick, easy stops.  But we quickly found that what you find is hit or miss, and garage sales really weren't for us, and while I like shopping estate sales my friend did not. So for us, while the prices at flea markets are definitely going up, they still have everything we want in one fun, easy location. We're able to shop them year round in southern California, but this weekend we are expecting a heat wave. So this morning I got online and found an estate sale going on close to home. Here's what I found for $25...

one great old basket, heaps of old patterns, old wallpaper
books, crepe paper
and the sweetest little doll!
So... where do you find your good stuff? Are you an estate sale gal, a thrift store regular, or do you follow the signs to yard sales? 

Monday, May 12

simply beautiful...

For years my husband and son have spent Mother's Day morning taking my Mother-in-Law to church and then breakfast afterwards. They have a special relationship with her, and it's her morning with two of her favorite boys. It makes her happy to have them with her, in the church she has attended over 20 years. This year we celebrated with her on Saturday night, and after returning home my son asked if I would like to go to breakfast with him on Sunday morning. I was touched and moved that at 20 he is starting new traditions, ones that I will cherish and hold close to my heart. Our breakfast for two grew into brunch for 6, pots of steamers, jumbo prawn cocktail, and grilled artichokes! We followed that with ice cream at the beach, and sandcastles and naps on the sand. There isn't a thing we wanted for, and nothing I would change. It was a simply beautiful day with those I love most.

Friday, May 9

Under the Influence

On my second day at Art & Soul, I took a class with Sally Jean. I know how to solder but I have room for improvement, and have always wanted to take a class from "The Queen of Soldering". My dilemma was that there was also a class given at the same time that looked like a ton of fun, and completely intrigued me. I played it safe and signed up for Sally's class. Sally is a pro at what she does, and I was happy to find that I was already using the same techniques she does. She shows you how she creates her little works of art, and even gives you the paint recipe to her famous blue/green hue she is known for. Here is the beginning of my "Little Pink House".
During lunch my friend who had taken the "fun, edgy" class came by and said I would have loved the class she was in. Linda and Opie (the fab, rockin teachers that they are) let me go into the class and check it out. The talent and creativity in the room was amazing! Everyone was working with a block of wood and a doll head, and creating "Who's Your DaDa" babies. That was it, I wanted in! Thought I hated to leave Sally's class half way through, I was a sucker for raw talent, and fun being had in the room just down the hall. After a bit of talking (ok, begging) and a VERY HELPFUL Opie and Linda, I was in. Now don't be scared... I know I am mostly known for soft colors and warm fuzzies, but here is my baby created from what I ran to my room and grabbed, as well as from what so many generous ladies in the class offered for my use. She's not finished, but I love the direction she is taking. She is "The Queen of Bling", and that's her jewelers loop at the ready for her next yummy find. Notice her rusty old lock, that serves as her tote for hauling her loot!

I can't tell you enough the fun I had. Linda told me coming in half way through the class... to "take a deep breathe" and then she was "gonna work me like a pony!" I had a blast making my little Queen of Bling Baby. And oddly enough, though she is very edgy for me, she was probably the least creative of all the work that came out of that class. 
Taking classes that are so far from the norm for me, have really sparked my imagination. Talk about a change in junking plans! I'm on the search for a big box of rusty, old hardware... the next sale I stop at, I'm headed straight for the garage.
PS: These dolls so remind me of Toy Story and what the boy next door does to his toys. All my baby needs is her spider legs! ha ha

Tuesday, May 6

back from Art & Soul...

What a week! I just got home yesterday from 6 days in Virginia at Art & Soul. I can't begin to tell you the fun I had, the fabulous classes I took, and the great friends I made, as well as this one (pictured with Keli) I was able to catch up with.  I met Leslie last year at Silver Bella, and on our last night there a few of us decided we wanted to search out other art events, and really explore this big wide world of art classes and retreats. Within a week, we had signed up for Art & Soul in Hampton. It was truly everything and more I had hoped it would be. I played it safe when choosing my classes, something I wound up regretting just a bit. Everything was perfect in the end, and I was able to squeeze in a bonus class that was a bit edgy, but a definite favorite. More on that later.
The first class I took was with Stephanie Rubiano. I LOVE how she transforms old photos into "Perching Pixies", and that was the theme of our class. If you haven't heard of her or seen her work, check out the link to her Flickr above. Stephanie is a great teacher and I took home 2 complete pixies, and another only in need of his crown and wings. I just love how they turned out, and will absolutely be making more of these!

I wound up staying in Hampton an extra day, and was able to rent a car and see the small town we stayed in. I don't know what it is about my last night somewhere, but after seeing the great art everyone created, and (honestly) after 5 days of "Happy Hour" at The Embassy Suites (boy we are a happy hour kinda crowd!), hearing that a few of my favorite girls were already registered for Art & Soul in Oregon, Keli brought me her lap top and I registered to go with them. I didn't repeat the mistake of playing it safe as far as my classes were concerned this time, and I am so looking forward to learning more, and growing as an artist. 
With so many great retreats and even soft art events going on, I encourage all of you to get there and play! There is something for everyone and it is so much fun! Now go... dream, create, and share! I'll share more later... now, I need a nap.
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