Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Inspiration

We creative types love to be inspired and I wanted to share some inspirational love with you today!

First is the lovely Sherry Brodowsky of Creations from My Heart blog.  Sherry has joined us over at the Mind Wide Open Challenge blog and she wanted to share some thrilling news with me and I of course wanted to share it with all of you.  Not only is this purse GOR-jous!  And not only does it use an image I supplied for one of our Mind Wide Open challenges!  but...drumroll if you please....





it is also going to be featured in the upcoming Fall issue of Haute Handbags!  That is thrilling Sherry and I'm so happy for you!  You deserve it because that purse is simply stunning!



My second inspirational love today belongs to Bonnie Rathjen who I met in one of Joanna Pierotti's classes and then again met up with over at a  KC Willis class.  Bonnie purchased some of our green leaf trim from the Shabby Cottage Studio store and sent me a picture of how she used it.  She is taking another of Joanna's classes and they are using little dresses to create some stunning art.  This is the  adorable dress she created in that class.  Bonnie just opened her Etsy store Boniflowers Studio a couple days ago and I'd love it if you dropped by to give her a little heart love, make her feel welcome over there.




Happy Wednesday everyone!



Monday, September 28, 2009

An Affair of the Heart

Some of you who follow my blog may already realize that lately I've been having a mad love affair.  With fabric that is! ;-)  Fabric has always been a secret vice of mine even though I don't really "sew".  Maybe it has something to do with being an artist and loving color and pattern and texture, but all my life, walking into a fabric store, much like a bookstore or art supply store, puts my heart in pitterpat overdrive.

I believe there is a growing trend in the mixed media world to incorporate more and more fabric in to our artwork and I personally find something magical in transferring images to fabric.  I am doing research and  experimenting more these days with applying my images to fabric in order to incorporate them into my  overall composition of fabric.




If you are playing with fabric, or thinking about it, and want to learn an easy way to apply your images to fabric then you should check out the class being offered by Lovey Johnson-Debrow over at Creative Workshops.  I met Lovey at the KC Willis Collage Camp and loved the work she was doing with her image transfers.



 Using gel medium and transparencies she truly takes away the fear and intimidation one feels when image transfers are discussed.  Lovey makes image transfers on fabric a piece of cake!  If you are not familiar with Lovey's work you need to visit her blog Fabric Photo Memories.  She creates artwork using the most amazingly gorgeous images of African American and Native American women.  And in this workshop Lovey will be teaching you how to use your images to incorporate into your own artwork with fabric transfers!

Lovey is warm and enthusiastic and I love her passion for art.  She does an excellent job at teaching this process.  Just think of the freedom this ability to transfer your images to fabric will offer you!  Adding fabric to my own art has certainly gotten me outside my own box!  You should try it on your box. ;-)





The Fabric Photo Transfer workshop starts tomorrow Sept. 29 and within a very short time you will find yourself successfully doing fabric image transfers.  Remember our classes are all taught through the medium of video so it's like you are in the classroom with your teacher, and with our private workshop forum for each class, you have access to your teacher for questions and problem solving and a workshop is a great way to meet like minded people!  So come visit us at Creative Workshops and sign up for Lovey's class...you won't be disappointed!






Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lord of the Dance anyone?

If you ever were a fan (or still are) of Michael Flatley when he was with Riverdance then you must ABSOLUTELY watch this video and get ready to enjoy yourself!

Wishing you joy and laughter
Gail

Friday, September 25, 2009

FAB Friday and another kitchen update

I hope everyone has had a great week and looking forward to an even greater weekend!   I am working hard to get things done that need attention so I can spend the weekend in my studio.  My muse is busting at the seams.  Plus I signed up to do a one day art show in Raleigh Thanksgiving weekend!  So I am trying to hustle to get more inventory created.  At least I don't have to be responsible for the whole space as I'm sharing it with my best friend Liz.  It's been more years than I can remember since I did a show...and I said I'd never do another one...they are a LOT of hard work.  But I also am one who is always saying "never say never".  Apparently I don't listen to myself on this subject. ;-)

We have another step done in the process of the kitchen remodel. I am so thrilled.  And yesterday I found the exact tile I want for the back splash so another decision made feels wonderful.  Here is the picture.


  Mr. Shabby is now working on the final upper cupboards, then I've asked for an arched "valance type thingy" over the sink, we need to add the tile and I think that side of the kitchen will be done.  I"m real excited because I think we're going to add a small gas fireplace to the kitchen.  I stumbled on it yesterday and fell in love.  We just have to take some measurements to see if we can squeeze it in the corner where we want it.

I spent last weekend in Raleigh with Liz and as always we had a blast hitting the flea market, antique shops, (where I spent way to much money) Joann's fabrics (where I spent once again  way to much money) eating great food and basking in the warmth of a long time friendship.  It was a much needed respite for the both of us and I came home with my battery recharged and I haven't stopped since I got here.  Liz surprised me with a journal that she covered with some of my decorative papers I sell in the store and then painted on them for me. Here are the pictures.  Do I have to even say I was thrilled to pieces!  She is a gorgeous talented painter and you can find her classes over at Creative Workshops with more coming this winter.
                                            



             




I didn't mean to miss Fab Friday last week, it just slipped my mind as I made preparations for the trip.  So again, this week I present you with two FAB (free atc background) images.  And since I have a bad habit of usually working in a vertical format I switched and created these horizontally.  So if you like them, take them use them for whatever you want.  If you don't like them come back next Friday because I never know what will come off the digital drawing board from week to week.






Ciao babies!



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yo! Lissen up!

Okay I'm being silly with my blog title today. But I was hoping to get a little attention. ;-) In the previous post I mentioned that for us artists/crafters/and-generally-all-around-creative people, that it's not to soon to start thinking about holiday projects. Well I'm still kicking that thought around.

How often have you said to yourself..."Self, I sure would like to learn how to solder so I can make those really cool charms and give them as gifts or sell them in my store!" And Self nods sagely but plays the devil's advocate by replying..."oh that would be wonderful wouldn't it?! But it's so hard to solder! You have to buy new supplies to solder! And who are you going to get to show you how to do it properly? Huh? huh huh?"
Well I've tried my hand at soldering and I can only say that when I was learning I wish Lorraine Stobie had been available for me to learn through her wonderful video class over at Creative Workshops. And I'm not just saying that cuz I kinda like Creative Workshops. :-)

Think you can't learn to solder by video? Think again. It's certainly easier than trying to learn by reading it in a book and looking at those pictures because those pictures aren't moving. I can't tell you how many times I stared and stared at those pictures trying to figure out exactly how they were getting that solder to go where I wanted it! But then maybe I'm just book learning challenged. ;-) Give me a video any day if I can't have the teacher in person!

I tried to find a class locally where I could learn this skill and my only option was a stained glass shop where I would have to actually create some stained glass pieces that I'm not remotely interested in.  I love stained glass but I'd rather support a stained glass artist and buy it than learn to create it since it's charms I really want to do.  So that really wasn't an option.  But I must say, the owner of the stained glass shop was marvelous with me and actually showed me a few things when I stopped in there to check out supplies and classes.  But a few minutes in a busy shop doesn't stay with you when you're trying to remember...did she hold that straight up? At an angle? Which angle?.  A video that I could have watched over and over as she applies that solder would have been more helpful in the long run.

Lorraine has clear close ups and she explains everything so easily, she shows you close up how to get that silly little bead of solder on that narrow little piece of taped glass. When I watched the video my automatic response was OH! So that's how I'm supposed to do it, gosh that's so much easier than I was making it!  Plus Lorraine would have told me exactly what I needed and made my supply costs so much more reasonable...because I had to end up buying a second soldering gun!  Plus buying more copper tape than I needed because I got conflicting information from reading. 

And yes, of course you have to practice.  Now come on, let's be practical rather than wishful...how many new skills don't need some practice?  But watching Lorraine's video you'll be up and running in no time.  Time enough to make those soldered charms for Christmas gifts or add to your store for holiday shoppers!



The name of her wonderful class is called Just Charming ~ Soldering 101



Monday, September 14, 2009

Look What's New :-)

Fall is chomping at my heels!  Even though today is quite warm here in the mountains, we are seeing and feeling the approach of one of my favorite seasons...fall.  I love the change in the weather and watching leaves starting to change their color.  On our way down the mountain and around the lake there is a lone Maple tree that kind of hangs out over the road a bit from the side of the mountain.  It is usually our first indication of the arrival of the new season as we watch its leaves begin to turn orange and red.  The other indication is when I wake up in the mornings and realize I have to put on a pair of jeans or sweats rather than a pair of shorts.  Today is the first day I've had to put on shorts in over a week.  "Ain't it grand!" :-)

So now I know life will start to get crazy busy once again.  Along with everything that will start to pile up on our plates, art projects will also be added to that pile.  When we create art we have to begin thinking about getting projects done early enough so we will be in time for whatever event we are preparing for.   We all know Halloween is usually one of the first events that require our hands to get busy.  And I can tell some of you started a few weeks back as the sale of Halloween Collage Sheets began to pick up.  So I've added a few new Halloween items to the shop for your wonderful creations.

If you're familiar with Craft Secrets then I don't have to tell you how much fun their products are.  These Heartwarming Vintage stickers called Halloween Treats have great color, the die cuts are intricate so no white around the images.  And the images themselves transport us to a simpler time.
As always all our Collage Sheets are also available in digital format with a jpg file emailed to you for speedy delivery!
This is Altered Halloween #2 and spooky-licious!
This one I call Witches and Warlocks
Plus a couple new designs that are not Halloween oriented 
Altered Children #11
and ATC Backgrounds #7
plus a new Decorative Paper I call Red Honeycomb

So come on by Shabby Cottage Studio and see what we might have for all your upcoming projects.


Friday, September 11, 2009

FAB Friday

Just to say I am remembering Sept. 11 2001. I will never forget.

I realized last week that I totally forgot to put up a new image for FAB Friday, and decided I would just wait until today and post two for you. You will find them below. But first I wanted to share something with you that comes from the creative mind and talented brushes of Liz Miller.

This White Witch is an original design Liz has created and I was honored that she used one of my background papers to paint it on. The paper that she painted on is attached to canvas with a border and some fibers attached between the edge of the paper and the canvas. Liz also teaches at Creative Workshops and has two classes up for your pleasure. Learn to Draw Faces and Butterfly Batik where you will learn a wonderful technique of creating Batik look with watercolors. Come check her out, you won't be disappointed.






And here are the two FAB (free ATC background) Friday designs. Remember they are always ATC sized (2.5x3.5") and you can do what you like with them. I will be out of town next weekend so I will try to remember to put next weeks image up early for you.








Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Class Starting



We have a new class starting tomorrow over at Creative Workshops.

It's called Polymer Clay Mixed Media Embellishments and it features not only learning how to work with Polymer Clay, but techniques you can adapt for you own art and also a couple projects just to make the learning fun!

Tag team teachers Ilysa Ginsburg and Kira Slye have 20 years of Polymer Clay experience between them so they are definitely in the know about Polymer Clay! If you've ever wondered how to use this clay, there's no time like the present to learn and work at your own pace within your own schedule.