Monday, February 22, 2010

I've got a good deal for you!

On a gloomy soggy Monday I'm happy.  Why?  Because there is no snow!!!  And yesterday we saw almost 60 degrees!  Plus an old friend called me today and we got caught up on stories.  Let's see...oh yes...Mr. Shabby is out right now getting the wood for the flooring in our kitchen makeover...which means things are moving right along.  I've always said it is the small things in life that make life good. 

 I have a great deal over at the shop on back issues of Cloth Paper Scissors and various Stampington publications. (For those of you having a problem finding the magazines the word shop is the link but you can also click HERE and go directly to the magazine pages)   I received a wonderful deal and so am passing the savings on to my customers.  If you are a magazine addict as I am this is the perfect opportunity to get caught up on issues you missed, or try out a couple publications you've been thinking about. Or just a way to jump start your muse with creative ideas, eye candy and how to articles. 

Over at Creative Workshops a new class has started today!  Like all of our classes we offer, this will be an ongoing video class and is the first of a 3 part series.  Want to learn to paint?  This is a great first step for anyone who ever thought they could never learn to paint!  It is affordable and Liz makes it easy...easy to understand, easy to follow along.  When you are done with all 3 parts of the series you will have painted the design in the 2nd picture.  Yet,. it's not about painting a particular design, or  project, it's about learning the basics so you can begin to paint anything!  The class is MASTER THE DECORATIVE PAINTING BASICS and it is waiting just for you!

All in all not bad for a Monday!  :-)

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Note To Self

Watch.  Listen.
Video by Jan Phillips

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OWOH Winner!

What a wonderful experience the OWOH Magic Carpet Ride Giveaway has been.  I've met so many new friends,  and found so many wonderful new blogs and talented artists I have added to my fav's list.  I enjoyed it so much I plan on joining in the fun again next year.  Over 1100 blogs from all over the WORLD participated in this years Magic Carpet Ride!  How amazing is that?! 
The winner of my fabric collaged composition journal is Martha Brown!
Martha, I have sent you an email.  Congratulations to you and a big thank you to all who stopped by the Cottage on their magic carpets!

Happy Arting on a snow bound day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Studio Shenanigans

Combine an inadequate old oil heater vent and the fact that most all our wind comes out of the south to shake, rattle and roll my studio windows, my studio is the coldest room in the house.  A fact I have mentioned...ahem..a couple times to Mr. Shabby.  His only suggestion is to put a stand alone heater in there which I have resisted on all but the coldest days.  Why you ask?  Well not only is my studio the coldest but it is the smallest (aside from our miniature bathroom).  To add one more "thing" to take up the minimal space I have and to walk around was simply more than I could bear.
But Mrs. Shabby figured it out.  All by herself.  My sister told me I was very clever.  I of course replied, "hmm, maybe". ;-)  LOL  My computer room and studio are separated by a door and the computer room has a gas wall heater so it is nice and cozy.  So what do you do when you need a door on your studio to keep the animals out but it also keeps the heat out? 
Why you do this....

...replace the old wood door with a wonderfully shabby old screen door  you have in the basement!
And the past three mornings my studio has been wonderfully cozy and comfortable.
No more trying to work with icicle fingers!

I also recently got a new toy for my studio.  I tried to talk myself out of it.  I had all kind of reasons as to why I didn't need it.  But who listens to me anyway?  And I placed the order.
Then I cleared a spot on my worktable

Shipping was incredibly fast and I only had to wait three days before these arrived

Nope.  I already have a sewing machine.  Guess again.  Ok, ok you'll never guess :-)

It's an Embellishing Machine aka Needle Felting machine.
What is is you ask?  Well yes, it looks like a sewing machine but what this baby does is mesh  fibers, fabrics, yarns, and more with the up and down movement of 5 barbed needles.  Just as in manual needle felting only with power.  Here is a close up of the needles. 

Sorry for the blur I only had my little camera handy.
So that's my new toy and I'm having so much fun with it as I experiment with different fabrics and learn what it will work with and what it doesn't like.

I had studio time this weekend.  I"m working on trying to get everything done during the week so my weekends afford more time in the studio.  Wish me luck.
This is what came out of that session.

A little something romantic for Valentines

I created the Bustier and the fabric beads with my new toy and a pinch of free motion embroidery. :-)  I covered the canvas in a patchwork creation of fabric.

I hope you like it.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Groovin' in the Studio

Being a business owner and having to focus a lot of time and energies on it, my studio time is often rare, and sometimes elusive.  But this past weekend I had the deck cleared and walked through the studio door raring to go.  I finished a journal I had started earlier and created a new piece of art.

Altered Composition Book Journal

Fun nubby bark-cloth background and the girl image is surrounded by a needle felted piece of silk ribbon and fibers.  I will have to share pictures of my new "toy" in another post.

Fabric Collage Bird Wall Hanging

I created this hoping to hurry Spring along a bit.

I used to list all my artwork in my Etsy store but I've just made a change and hopefully it will work out.  I am now listing  "Art by Gail" in both Etsy and the Shabby Cottage Studio online store (different work in each store). 
I hope all of you who were hit by the latest storm was, and is, able to keep warm.  We were supposed to get some but luckily  it was too warm and so our snow became rain.  I say, enough snow already, let it be Spring!

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Brand New Classes at Creative Workshops!

I wanted to let all of you know that we have just added two new cool workshops over at Creative Workshops and they are open for registration so come check them out!

The first workshop is by the lovely and talented Jodi Ohl who also teaches our Fun with Faux Encaustics workshop and recently you may have seen her published article in Cloth Paper Scissors "A Beginners Guide to Beginning"

Jodi's new class is called Artistic Journaling...Your Way and it starts Feb. 28. Jodi has some great techniques and ideas for you whether you already journal, or are looking for a way to step into this magical world, as this workshop is geared towards creative's of all skill levels! The work shop will be especially helpful for those who are interested in art as a healing tool. You'll find yourself expressing your thoughts through writing and freestyle creativity at it's finest. And you'll learn to do it YOUR way. For a full workshop description AND a sneak peek preview here is a link for you

Our other new workshop is by the equally lovely and uber talented Liz Miller, CDA. If you want to learn to paint, Liz is a teacher par excellence...I know because many, many years ago she taught me and I turned it into a career and if I can learn so can anyone! In case you wonder what CDA stands for it is Certified Decorative Artist and an extremely high honor in the Decorative Painting field only surpassed by Master Decorative Artist and some artists have tried for up to TEN years to get certified. They have to go through a rigorous process and are judged by the absolute very best to be able to put those initials behind their name.

Master the Decorative Painting Basics starts Feb. 22. Liz is breaking this up into a 3 part series and each series covers different basic information leading up to the ability to paint a lovely design (provided by Liz) through what you learn in the class.

Liz holds your hand (via video) each step of the way and she breaks it down to make it so easy to understand. Part Two of the series will start in March and the last of the series in April. If you've wanted to learn to paint and always thought you couldn't...take this workshop! I'm just saying. :-)

Here is the link to the workshop description of the first part of the series.

And don't forget...our video classes are ongoing 24/7 so you can work at your own pace and fit them to your schedule.

Happy Monday! :-)

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