Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Black Friday

Running a little late today...moving a little slow. I have to say...to all of you who actually go out shopping on this retail named day "Black Friday"...here's more power to you! I absolutely, and always have, refused to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I decided a long time ago there is nothing that important to make me want to brave the crazy crowds and the even crazier traffic. So to those of you brave souls who have been out in it today....Cheers!

I think I prefer to be like these little guys and sit in a branch on Black Friday. LOL Enjoy your free TGIF image, have a WONDERFUL weekend, whether you've shopped or not and I'll be back in a few days. Right now I have a serious case of the sleepies.




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looking for a Photoshop Digital Workshop?

Happy Tuesday! I hope wherever you are is warmer than where I am! :-) I'm excited to announce that I have just added a new workshop over at Creative Workshops! This workshop is actually going to be taught by moi. I'm calling it.........


If you're using your Photoshop or Photoshop Elements program just to crop and resize pictures then this workshop is for you! Not only will you learn how to create and apply your own custom brushes (aka digital stamps) but what you learn in this workshop should then enable you to apply more creativity to your own images. This workshop is video and will allow you to actually see me working the desktop area and explaining everything as I work.

This will be a 3 week workshop with a new video posted once a week. In our last session we will actually make a grungy background and then learn to make a tag and apply what we've learned in the workshop to the tag.

I keep my explanations easy to understand and will be available for questions and I approach teaching from that of a working artist who can sometimes be computer challenged, rather than a techie expert. ;-)

So, if you are like I used to be, and spend more time complaining about lack of Photoshop/Elements knowledge, than time spent using it...then this workshop is a great way to start putting this powerful editing program to work for you and your art!

Workshop begins January 6, 2009.




Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Divine Time

Well I must say I had THE most divine and glorious long weekend in Raleigh. Thanks for all of those who left me a wish to have fun because all those wishes came true. ;-) Even the fact that most of the weekend was rainy and windy didn't dampen our fun and enthusiasm.

Liz and I attended two mini workshops at the Jerry's Artarama Art in the Carolina's 2008. We started shortly before 9AM Friday morning being greeted warmly by the nicest young man who was Jerry's manager. Then we met Patti Brady who was our teacher. Patti is the Art Director of working artists at Golden. We shared several hours learning about their new Digital Grounds products. And we all agreed, even Patti, that the product name is a misnomer. The mediums really have nothing to do with anything digital except for the fact that they allow you to be able to print on any surface you can fit in your ink jet printer.

For instance...if you are familiar with Tar Gel, it is a medium of honey like consistency. If you apply Tar Gel to a sheet protector and let it dry, then coat it with Digital Ground for non-porous surfaces, and let that dry...you can actually peel it off the sheet protector and PRINT ON IT!!!!!
Okay guys can you imagine how the fireworks in my brain went off as I began imagining all sorts of things I could do with these mediums?! I'm tellin' ya....fireworks!
This was actually the only class held at the Jerry's store. The rest of the classes and the trade show was held five minutes down the road at the Hilton. Jerry's had a limousine to take attendees back and forth between the hotel and the store. Cool huh?

Part of the Golden booth at the trade show

We stopped by the Guild table
and of course, because I wanted to take some close ups of the beautiful work by the Guild members, my camera batteries died.

Cheryl Darrow of Ten Seconds Studio demonstrating her gorgeous metal embossing at the trade show. We took a class from Cheryl that evening.

My Liz sanding her embossed metal...she's concentrating here, let's not disturb her!


Cheryl discussing using Ranger Alcohol Inks on the embossed metal. Way cool!

I'm new to Alcohol Inks and now know why so many of you love them! I fell in love with them too and you will soon see them in the store.

I got to meet a fellow blogger while in Raleigh! Jenny S of The Red Bulletin Board who won one of my giveaways in Oct!. She works at her mom's antique store Suzanna's Antiques in Raleigh, and if you are in the area, make sure to stop because you can spend some fun time shopping here, as we certainly did! Jenny is absolutely delightful and it was so much fun to actually meet someone who you've only "talked" to online! See all the exclamation marks? That's how excited I was.
Jenny on the left and a very wet and windblown me on the right. ;-)


Liz and I finished the weekend with some art time in her beautiful studio. You can tell we were having a good time by the mess. :-) And see the collaged papers there? I was working on a background and liked the finished piece so much it has become a new Decorative Paper in the store.

It is called (what else?) Collaged

It started snowing here about midnight last night. Here are some images from my computer room outside my windows. It is still snowing and we can no longer see the road. Looks like a good day to stay inside don'tchathink?


And here is your free TGIF image. Now SHE has the right idea of how to spend a snowy day!




Here's wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, no matter what your weather!




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anticipation

If you go looking for me you won't find me for while.

I'm headed out of town


for some

and girly time with my BFF extraordinaire Liz

We're going to get our hair done


And we're going to attend a couple workshops



We'll definitely get in some shopping


and some creative art time in her studio

Then Monday I promise to come home.........maybe. ;-)










Friday, November 7, 2008

Contemplating Goodness

My husband has Fridays off. I may have mentioned that before. Somewhere around the end of this month he will have every day off since he has been laid off from his job. We were expecting it but when it actually happens it is still a jolt to the system and even knowing it was coming, I hit the panic button. Most of my sentences in the first two days of the official notice seemed to start with "How will we....." and "what will we do about...". You can fill in the blank with any kind of worry you may imagine.

But then the panic mutes enough so that you can start thinking more clearly. We've been through this before and were even less prepared then. We kept the roof over our head, the food in the pantry and bills paid. Not that it wasn't a struggle. It was. But my point is that I have to remind myself that when bad things have happened in our life, we always got through to the other side, and we were not left on the streets in need of food and shelter and the evil bill collectors did not come and haul us off to debtor's prison. Okay so my worries get a bit creative...I'm an artist, what do you expect? ;-)

This time I tell myself that we are lucky. My husband took early retirement and so we are least in the position of living. Of course I have to now bow to something I thought would never happen to ME....and that's being a senior citizen living on social security benefits. I'm like, when did THAT happen? LOL Then of course the economy takes a serious nose dive just as I'm trying to figure how to grow my business so that maybe I can finally be the bread winner.

So with all that stewing around in my worrisome little head this morning I awoke to the smell of bread baking. My husband likes to experiment with baking bread and I am all for it...anything that involves food without me actually having to be in the kitchen is a winner for me! As I sat here at the computer doing my work I continued to smell this heavenly bread doing it's thing in the oven.

But a short while ago as I came up out of my computer fog I realized I no longer smelled the bread baking. AHA! My brain engaged and led me to the kitchen where sure enough two huge crusty loaves of still warm bread sat perched on the counter. I grabbed the butter and a knife and sat here in heaven after devouring two pieces. And I thought, now this is true goodness.

Then I walked outside where the sun is shining and the day hints at a lovely warmth to come later. I contemplated my excitement of a fun trip out of town next week to see my bff. I found myself being thankful that my husband and I both have good health, that I have a man who bakes and does laundry and puts up with my idiosyncrasies and has supported my art habit all these many years and actually still loves me.

I recalled how in the past there has never been a more true cliche in my life than the one that says, "when a door closes a window opens" and I remembered something I had forgotten....I've always managed to find that open window. These are the things that life is all about. Little things. So in my heart of hearts I realized that no matter what..... we'll be okay. So today I am contemplating goodness and being thankful for the goodness in my life. But I HAVE GOT to stay away from that bread! ;-)
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I haven't had much time for a lot of art lately but I'm trying. These two pieces I'm sharing with you literally came together in blocks of 5 minutes here, fifteen minutes there. So I've worked on both of them since August! But finally I think I will call them done.

Both these pieces are done 12x12 canvas with lots of layers and texture going on in the backgrounds that the camera may not have caught very well.
I wanted to play with beeswax when I started these the end of this summer.

I call this one Night in Paris. At first it had been my intention to use beeswax over the background but I liked the color as it turned out and knew that beeswax would change it so I decided to be satisfied with just the bodice finished in beeswax.






This one is self titled Trust Your Dream. Again I wanted to do the whole thing in beeswax as a finish but once more loved the color happening in the background and didn't want it to change. So the little girl and the box she is standing on & the ticket are the only elements with beeswax on them. Hard to tell in a photo but the heart and the star have been flocked.




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I leave you with this TGIF free image and I hope you can use it and enjoy it. Personally I think this little sprite is contemplating the goodness of the pumpkin pie





Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, It's time to think about Christmas

Let's face it. We have to start thinking about Christmas early in order to get our projects done in time. I just added a new Decorative Papers sub-category in the store called Christmas Papers...original huh? :-)

I think there are a lot of good paper designs in the store that lend themselves well to Christmas projects if you''re looking for something slightly un-traditional maybe in color or design. But the Christmas Papers category has definite Christmas related designs. If you're like me and prefer something in the holiday vein but a little less traditional in color you will find those papers in this category.

As usual, the designs will grow as I have time to create the papers. I added the latest collection of today. I call the design Celebrate Damask and there are 4 slightly different colorways available as you see below and I think they are quite elegant looking.



I have also added two new Collage Sheet Designs:

Retro Christmas



I have things to get caught up with in the photo department so I can share with you. I'm not sure why but for about two months now I seem to conveniently find something else to do whenever I start thinking about picking up the camera and taking pictures. Sound like avoidance to you? It does to me! ;-) But I'm sure it will pass. A vacation might be in order and I do have a short spell out of town coming up next week that I'm SO looking forward to. A real "only fun allowed" type of get away. More on that later and I will get some project pictures up ASAP. I promise, except, gee I think I really have a lot to do this week........ ;-)