Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm Published Again! yeah!

On stands tomorrow is Somerset Holidays and Celebrations
Look for my fun Halloween project! It was really great to be asked to write this article. I owe Somerset so much. Every magazine they publish is so inspiring.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Backyard Art Adventures

I'm a bit behind posting news...I've had a few bad days. Headaches and such. Oh well.

Last Sunday was beautiful around here, so I spent the afternoon outside working on artsy fun. I needed some fun painted paper towels for a super secret project. More on that later. 
*hint resin from old post plus paper towels  hmmmm*

So despite the frequent strong breezes, I painted and stamped for hours. Here is a colorful peek :-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Henry Vilas Zoo and a day in Madison

This last Saturday we spent the day in Madison. Our first stop was to pick up a cupcake stand I ordered from Jenny Blasen on Etsy. What a cute idea. I never got to meet Jenny, she was hard at work finishing things for her shop.  Though I did get to meet her family. I forgot to take photo of the cupcake stand but you can see it here. Mine is the taller of the two. 

Then on to the zoo. I love this little zoo. It is still free to park, and free to wander around. They even have decent prices in the gift shop. Which of course the kids had to stop at. I ended up not talking too many photos. It happens all the time, I forget I even have the camera with me! Here are a few pics though.......
Capypara...I love him   A huge (maybe 75 pound) cousin to my cavy, Patch!

Prairie dog enjoying a snack.

Bucky badger is here!

Polar bear enjoying a cool shower.

 Time to feed the goats.

We couldn't leave Madison without going to the Learning Shop, Hobby Lobby, Borders, and having a good dinner out. What a long day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A class with Misty Mawn

The class at Valley Ridge I took this time was "Four Seasons: Mixed Media For All Seasons" with Misty Mawn. 

What a blast! This was a rowdy and fun group. Misty was patient and encouraging. It gave me the nerve to try my hand at some new things. Painting faces! Not me, I've avoided the human form except in a cartoony fashion. I took a life drawing class almost 15 yrs ago and barely passed. Boy was I bad. So I gave up. I know, I know that was the wrong choice. Sometimes I give up too easy. 

I had so much fun on the two faces I painted over the weekend, that I want to keep trying!

The Class

Misty at work

My Autumn painting (11.5 x 9 inches)
This was my first attempt at face painting in at least 20 yrs. 
Not too bad, but I need a lot of practice!

Everyone working hard!

This was my Spring painting/collage called "Containing" 11.5 x 9inches

Friday, August 15, 2008

Off to Valley Ridge and a bit more.

Back to school dotee bird number 5

I'm leaving today for my weekend class at Valley Ridge Art Studio. This is my last class for a while, so I want to really enjoy it!   :-)

This class is taught by mixed media painter Misty Mawn. Check out both her blog and flickr pages. Getting my supply list items together felt like I was going back to school myself.

I'm not quite ready for summer to be over. The kids drive me crazy sometimes and for a brief moment I wish they were in school already. But no, I'm glad they are here with me and I'm crushed when school starts.  

The kids have their new backpacks, notebooks, pencils, and Ethan has a new box of crayons. I guess the fact that crayons are no longer on Emma's supply list is the biggest signal she is getting older. But c'mon are you ever too old for crayons? Never *grins*  That and this year she has a locker. Wow what a change. She's still too young for middle school in my eyes. Emma's only 10 after all. Too fast Too fast!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Baraboo Summer Arts Classic

Look at all of these trees! 
What a nice area around the Sauk County Courthouse. 
The ground was a bit dusty, not enough rain recently.

This was the kids craft area right behind my booth. 
I loved listening to the little excited voices working on their art!

I'm a couple days late, but last Saturday I was in Baraboo, WI. I have never set up at or shopped at the Summer Arts Classic so I didn't know what to expect. Wow, what a nicely put together art fair! The organizers and volunteers were the best. The day was perfect, people were really nice, but sales were slow. I guess this will not be a record breaking year *sigh*

I just don't think people have as much extra income to spend on art....I sure as heck know I don't! Either way I was glad I went and I will apply again next year. My next art fair is in Iowa for Artapalooza on Saturday September 13th in Cedar Falls. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Inspired by Ruth Rae and crafting in odd places

*edit* I added a couple close ups on my flickr page 
See how shallow the water is! I'm standing on the shore while taking this shot.

I recently purchased Ruth Rae's Soulful Doors DVD. I love her work and I frequently haunt her blog. This is a fun project! I highly recommend her DVD. She is a good teacher and explains the process well. 

I didn't have a chance to try anything out until last Friday. Mike had the day off to go fishing. At the last minute we all decided to go. The kids and I would swim, he would fish. So I had about 30 minutes to gather a few things. I had no book to read so I thought to make my own "Soulful Doors" project. I already had a few dotee doll materials packed in a small box. I grabbed cheese cloth, scrim, ribbon and lace. I dyed them apple green using acrylic paint. I shoved them in a bag wet to dry out later. 

So here we end up. On a small beach on an island in the Wisconsin river. A very shallow spot. I hung the wet dyed fabrics out to dry and I sewed away. The kids swam and I sewed (and got sunburned). I tried to stay loose and intuitive using only what I brought with me. 

It turned out very different from the DVD project. Not as fancy I guess, but I was able to finish most of it out on the water. I had to make the bird at home and finish the Teesha Moore inspired stitching at home. Then I painted and old frame, removed the glass and stitched my finished piece onto watercolor paper.

Now I need to figure out how to adapt what I've learned into my own style, something different???? Isn't that the challenge? To take what you learn from others, expand on it, and make it your own.

At about 5pm I went home but Mike and the kids fished until dark. They did well too! The kids caught enough Crappie, White Bass, and Catfish for two dinners    :-)