Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do You Believe in "CANDLE MAGIC?"

As a child and even to this day, my mother would light candles in front of religious figures for the special intentions of others. Whether it was someone gravely ill or someone moving into a new home, she'd light her candles in hopes of that person being able to face their challenge with the strength provided by the saintly figure.

When I was growing up, we had a picture of the Virgin Mary above our mantle at home. My mother purchased it from, of all people, the Fuller Brush Man! LOL! Imagine that. "I'll take the dust mop and oh yes, that picture of the Virgin Mary." What I found amazing about this picture was that when you walked slightly it would change to Sacred Heart of Jesus. So it went from Mary to Jesus. Two for the price of one, if you think about it. A bargain! LOL! Whenever someone was ill or needed something special, my mom would light a small votive candle in front of our magical picture, say a prayer and let the candle stay lit until it burned out. At our home, a lit candle was a symbol of hope for a special intention.

The picture of Mary and Jesus has long been removed from that wall above the mantle. But there's a statue of Mary standing in a brick grotto in my parent's backyard where the tradition of the lit candle lives on at her feet. That statue is the image I used in my art piece at the top of this post. Do you believe in Candle Magic?

Friday, March 20, 2009

TGIF Artventures

Do you know where you're from? I mean, do you really know where you're from?

This journal topic got me thinking about both my grandmas. I was so fortunate to know each one and to have spent time with them. I spent weeks at their homes during my summer vacations even though we all lived in Los Angeles. LOL! It was so much fun to be at their homes. I baked, made sherbet and shopped with one and played in the cellar or backyard with the rag dolls my other grandma made.

My mother's mom passed away from Lupus when I was 11 and she was 62. During that time there were no meds and you just dealt with it and took precautions. There's still no cure for this deadly disease but more is known about it. It's kinda sad that my grandmother hemorrhaged from a nose bleed. I'm glad that any questions I've ever had about her have been answered by my mother. It's even better that I was able to talk to my other grandmother about her youth and views on life. She was so funny and smart and my children where able to know her until she passed away almost 5 years ago.

I get my creative gene from both grandmothers and my recycling gene from my mother. LOL! The page below is a "before" picture from my journal and on it are catalog library cards that I saved from the dumpster. I doodled on the back of some and then painted the other ones with Caran D' Ache water-soluble crayons. I LOVE those crayons! I should use them more often cause they really give a punch of color. I also used them on my .99 store background tissue page.

I got these from my blog friend Aimee! Aren't these fun? It's a great way to utilize some of those scraps of paper or small images you have hoarding in a drawer. You can click on her blog to the right of this post. She's a great doodle-er and her use of color is mind boggling!

If this was 30 something years ago, I'd be getting ready for that night out. But now it's a whole other story. As soon as Friday rolls around, I know I can do an all nighter with my papers, paints, journal, stamps, etc..! LOL! I KNOW I'm not the only one! You're paints will never stand you up. You're sure to have a great time with your stamps! Your paper and journal don't size you up or notice that you've put on a couple, alright FEW, pounds. LOL! And your glue will stick with you in good times and bad. HAHAHA! Hmmm. I guess that would make my husband an art supply. A Jimmy. LOL!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blooming Color

It's off to the garden on this sunny Thursday afternoon. Don't let the spiderwebs scare you!

Mother Goose and I were trying to remember the name of this rose. I even turned to a couple of my trusty rose books. I'm sure it began with the letter "M" and like the letter "M" it's a mystery to me. LOL! Oh well, the roses are full and smell great.

Last season this rose bush was almost pulled out because it looked dead. You'd never know it by the looks of it now. I think it's a Queen Elizabeth. She was found 20 something years ago at a close out sale without a tag.

Meet Mirandy whose name should be Red Velvet because that's how she feels. Is there a rose called Red Velvet? Somebody start grafting!

This is my Gold Medal. Yes, I really have one and I got it back in 1987!

This is Tiny giving the Bottle Brush Tree a good scratch. Tiny was the runt of the litter 4 years ago and she's the soul survivor of the group. Goes to show that size really doesn't matter. well. LOL!!

Look at what the child found. A fossil! She wants to put a barrier around it just like the paleontologists!

The sun called me out this afternoon cause it was shining on spots of color. "YAY, MORE BLOOMS!" my mind cried. So off I went with the camera to capture bits of nature. If this is what winter's been looking like, I can hardly wait for spring. Oh wow, that's in a couple days!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Artventurous Saturday

The day began early and I was feeling pretty good despite the fact that I spent the previous evening/early morning making 22 ATCs to trade at the Carson Rubber Stamp Convention! I originally chose a Frida theme but later added the second design. I like to give people more choices when it comes to trading but sometimes it only confuses people on what to choose. LOL! The popularity of birds was evident as those ran out before my Frida cards. I used orange, hot pink and mustard acrylics as the main backgrounds on my Frida cards. A turquoise acrylic paint was painted around the edges. Stickles (glitter glue) was added on the halo, wings and edges. I used a lime green and robin blue acrylic paint on my bird tag which was later mounted onto decorative paper. I edged the ATC with China Blue Distressed Ink and dropped a small glob of Stickles onto an egg in the nest.

These are the cards I came away with! I'm glad I made the amount I did. It may not look like a large swap for a convention, but from what I understand this year's ATC trade was the largest one! I hope this inspires more people to get involved for the July Convention. I love collecting these little works of art.
This is a display board of Studio Blackbird's awesome ATCs and tags they make showcasing their stamps. This is just one board. Their tiny shopping area is crammed with stamps, ephemera, books and so much more and these displays are surrounding it all. I love their use of vibrant colors.

Here's a group of goodies I brought back with me! Grunge paper is amazing and you can see what it's about at http://TimHoltz.com. He's got amazing demos going on over there. The package of unmounted stamps are his design also. I love this kind of imagery for backgrounds. The book is jam packed with painting, journaling, drawing, etc ideas for art projects. Couldn't leave it behind. Those little spritz bottles will be holding cool sprays of color and sparkle to spray over inked and painted pages/tags. The small glass tiles are the perfect size for my inchies!!!!!!!! YAY!! Another cool idea on what to do with inchies. Remember I had that contest waaay back when on what to do with them? Well, they will look very cool on these tiles and then the tiles can sit atop a bracelet (once glued) that has those little squares to put stuff on. You've probably seen them before. They're plain so that you can adorn them. Anyway, I'm ready to start that project!

Here's another pic of what I bought. Love the colorful papers in the pack. I have a close-up below for you to drool over. The stamps are very weird - just the way I like them. Actually, these are mild-weird because I have some that will give you nightmares if you see them before bedtime. LOL! These stamps are from Invoke and they have lots of cool stamps. Go to http://invokearts.com to get your artsy fix. Those are watercolors and they're translucent and if you paint them over matte colors they will transform into a metallic look. I found some cool monkey head beads, a little dolls head, a white pen....oh, you'll see below cause I have close-ups for you to see.

Here's that paper pack. I love the colors and they'll be used in the future for something fun and exciting!

See that stamp with the roses? It's going to become a crown for one of my altered women. It was a steal at $2! The tiny one next to it was another deal at $1.75. Oh, and how about that altered flower?! I could not leave it behind. I think it'll look great planted in a pot filled with clay and covered with moss. Or maybe something strange to go with it's uniqueness. Any ideas? There's a little white porcelain doll that you can't see very well due to the flash. I have a special plan for her too. She had an accident somewhere cause she's missing an arm. LOL! Oh, sorry out there if you or a loved one is missing an arm. I'm not hatin'. LOL! See the pretty pendant below? This picture doesn't do it any justice. It is an awesome design and the colors are beautiful! It was a steal actually. The person who designed it sells lots of handmade beads and the coolest looking "bead animals, bead people, bead things" pendants. You can check out her site at http://pennymichelle.com . I haven't been there but she probably has her creations for all to see and buy. Anyway, I love this pendant and it's got really pretty stones (believe me, it takes a lot to make me use the word pretty. LOL!). Let's see, we have a blue green stone in the center called Labradorite and it's surrounded by citrine (but they look olive-ish) and something called sapphires. WOW! Set in sterling silver. Man-oh-man, someone was looking out for me, huh?! Cause there was only one, and it was the show special at $21. Yes, really! phew. The description alone has left me feeling loaded. as in high. ROFL!!!! OK, enough.

The day was long and fun and I didn't spend as much as I have in the past. And I even met fellow blogger, Sherry from http://gotart4u.blogspot.com . She really likes Diamond Glaze and last I saw of her she was debating over the gallon or pint. LOL!

While driving home I decided that we'd have something to eat from House of Tacos because I was suffering from sleep deprivation and I was craving enchiladas. So off to House of Tacos it was. After dinner, I decided it was time to get off my feet cause I'd been on them ALL day. And that's the last anyone saw of me until today. And here we are, a day later and I'm still smiling from my Artventurous Saturday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Report

When I looked at the calendar the other day it occurred to me that exactly one year ago I was in Ensenada, Mexico with a group of artists. It was an art cruise and the day the ship pulled into the port me and a group of women from Portland, OR jumped on the first shuttle and made our way into the lively town. There were lots of American tourists and many cheerful, helpful shopkeepers. The pictures above and below are of a huge two story shop jam packed with lots of art from local artists that we stopped in. I loved the colors and there was so much inspiration everywhere. Click on the photos to see the details.

Fast forward to March 2009 and I'm back at home with no where to go. However, I'm participating in an experiment, if that's what you want to call it, that has to do with seeing things/life through the eyes of a child. In practicing this exercise, I discovered an interesting connection that you can read about below by clicking on the picture. Hint: It has to do with children and artists.

This is probably going to be my last journal entry on "the child." It's been an interesting journey and I think I have child-like behavior when it comes to art related things. I've seen children get very happy when they're working on art projects and I seem to get that way too!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon

A friend gave me a collection of little ceramic pots created by a local Los Angeles artist. I finally found an interesting way to group them. I love the varying heights, shapes and colors of each one. The "Conchita" box came from a "box" swap I was in several years ago. It too was packed away waiting for the day when I would finally know where it was meant to be.

Plain switch plates don't sit too well in my home so it's no wonder that I had to alter one. I didn't feel like painting and collaging like I usually do. This one called for a scrap of paper from my stash. Since my spray adhesive lid refused to come off, I slapped some soft gel medium onto the plain switch plate and then placed it over the paper. I smoothed it out, let it dry and then cut it's opening. This is a fast and easy way to alter your plain switch plates. Does anyone out there alter their switch plates? Will you now?

Momma Cat doesn't seem to give a cat's meow about what I was doing in the next picture. LOL! It would be interesting to read her mind but maybe I'm better off not knowing. LOL!

When I saw the wall lit up I knew it would be a great moment to take a picture of my shadow. I didn't think it would be as detailed as it is. I got the whole cha-cha in this one. Now that I look at my shadow waving, I can understand why Momma Cat has "the look." LOL!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday Visuals

I couldn't wait. The first blooms called me out. And there I stood not knowing what to shoot first. You see, the child crept in and she wanted to play! So much to see and touch!

These are my Intrigue roses. There are so many buds waiting to open! They have an old fashion scent and when they first bloom they're red but as they get older they turn a deep purple-maroon shade. Love them!

My parents gave me this statue of Mary several years ago. She's been out in the sun all this time and she's begun to show her age. I love the aged look she's taken on but I'm afraid that one day she's going to start crumbling. I'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I'll continue to smile as I pass her by. I think I'll make a crown out of petals for her. Doesn't she look like she's wearing one already?

It'll be interesting to see what kind of eggs this hen will bring forth. The child's hoping for some golden ones. LOL! No matter that she's not a goose. There's a hydrangea that blooms pink blossoms under the nest. The leaves are a very dark green and the old blooms are a very dark brown. LOL! Shame shame, I know. Blame it on the child who'd rather play.

This is my Iceberg rose bush that my parents planted about 15 years ago. It's very hardy and the bugs don't bother her. When the buds first come out they're a faint pink color but as it opens it reveals a white bloom.

My aunt gave me a few bulbs from her yard one year and this plant, a calla lily, has multiplied like crazy! It's kind of invasive if you don't divide it. I love the orange blooms that it gives. There are some purple irises and blue-ish lily of the niles that grow next to it and when they all bloom together the colors are a beautiful riot!

Oh look! There's my "50" sneaking around the bottle brush tree! LOL! He got his name because he reminded us of the "50-50" ice-cream bars we used to eat as kids. They were orange and white, remember? I thought "creamsicle" was a better name but I was outnumbered. LOL! He's a real sweetie. Very affectionate.

My Cecile Brunner climbing rose is off to a great start. These little guys have a great old fashion scent. The blooms last a long time too.

E.T. Brown, may he rest in peace. Just kidding!!! LOL! This piece of concrete was removed from the side of our home when we had a wall built. I had to find a proper place for it and it seemed so fitting among the "naked ladies" that bloom around July - August! He seems to love his final resting spot a lot. LOL!

My intention was to take pictures of the first blooms. Well, the child had her own agenda and it included capturing fragments that are sometimes over looked. So there you have it. A little bit of me and little bit of "her."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday's Child

As soon as you enter the front door and turn to your right, this light switch is the first thing you see. Frida does not look purple to the naked child eye (or adult eye) but it appears that way with the camera's flash. Must be the blue paint underneath her image.

As soon as "little Linda" went around the corner this is what she saw. A giant bookcase that held not only books but dolls!

The doll sits way back. Not an easy reach for a child but still an exciting thing to see!

Trying to tippy-toe made it easier to see but still out of reach. sigh.

We had company today and I got a late start on the short journey from my front door to the back of the house. It's small over here, OK?! Small but just right for a child. As soon as our company left, I began to shoot some pics but I had to stop because some of the images were dark due to the lack of sunlight. Even with the camera flash, the dark shadows would not go away. So I'll show you a little of what Saturday's Child's eyes saw. Hope you enjoy the short journey and find it as exciting as little Linda did! To be continued.......

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Artventurous Children

My daughter Gina and I were sad to hear that Sally's, the fabric store, is closing. It's been a part of the Fox Hills community for about 30 years. It survived competition with House of Fabrics when it was in the same mall and it managed to stand tall amidst trendy clothing shops. Like-minded people were always gathered together in Sally's either sitting down pouring through the latest Simplicity, McCall's, Vogue, Butterick, New Look, etc. catalogs, rummaging the clearance bins of buttons, walking in between bolts of fabric taking in the beautiful colorful patterns, textures and solids. Then the postcard arrived yesterday announcing that it is closing and having a 40% sale off everything in the shop. This is not a huge JoAnns type store. It's small and carries fabric, notions, patterns and yarn. Kind of like the basement fabric dept of Newberry's back in the day. We decided to see what we could get and also avoid the crazy crowds that have a habit of gathering on weekends despite the bad economy.

As soon as we entered Sally's we each grabbed a little plastic shopping bin and began searching for that special something that was awaiting us. I planned on hitting the yarn area but someone else had already been there leaving just the fluffy yarn and a few plain ones. Nothing wrong with either one they just didn't call me over to touch them. I headed toward the table with all the large swatches of upholstery fabric. SCORE! It's as though they were waiting for a good home and I could not beat the price. I went through the bin and managed to pull out 7 wonderful squares of fabric. Two are alike and I'm making a runner for a small side table we have. The rest will probably become something like the cover of a book or a tote. Not sure yet but I am sure about being very happy!

After we got home, Gina began to beat eggs, cream cheese, batter and more for her very first pot luck at work tomorrow. She signed up for cupcakes. LOL! BUT, these are not your average cupcakes. Nope. These are the kind that have a cream cheese filling and then topped with cherries and finally dusted with confectioners sugar. Like a child, I looked at them with great anticipation and I was tempted to take one while she wasn't looking but then she mentioned that she'd put one aside for me so I grabbed it and some milk. LOL!! It's like being a kid all over again I tell ya cause I'm sure I was using my child eyes while eye-balling those cupcakes!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Child

If you've been following my blog, you know about the challenge of seeing things through the eyes of a child. Well, the child came home to a dark and rainy house today and had a hard time looking at things indoors. It just didn't feel right and she couldn't get moving. Or was that the adult? Hmm. I guess a child would have run outside looking for puddles, huh? I suppose trying to BE a child is a little harder than I thought. I've been an adult for such a long time.

The picture of my back to the front door was taken one day during fall as you probably guessed from the orange foliage hanging to the side. It's been waiting for just the right moment to be used and that became TODAY. My next challenge is for me to turn around, enter the door and start seeing the inside of the house as a child would. What would a child notice that an adult takes for granted? Stay tuned. You just never know what a child will get into!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Altered Vision!

My friend Bea over at http://dog-in-the-hole-studio.blogspot.com/ challenged readers to see things through the eyes of a child. You know, notice those things we adults pass by as we hurry through our days. Since I was at my mom and dad's visiting on Sunday and I grew up there from day one, I took my camera and shot a couple areas that would have appealed to me as a child. I have to go back and take some more because my favorite of all places now has a gate with a lock! LOL! A sign of the times I suppose. I'm only posting two pics for now but more will be on there way as time allows. I get a little too involved with my visual journaling!

My "child eyes" went into my journal where I had a little fun with them. I'm going to continue this challenge for a week or more. It really is interesting to "notice" the unseen we adults take for granted. Why don't you join me and Bea on this journey while "seeing" things around your home and post about it.