Monday, August 31, 2009

Hot Artventures!

This is just a glimpse of the Hot Artventures I was into this past weekend.

Believe it or not, triple digit temperatures had me recently creating an entire set of ABC ATC VERBS! Could it be that I was hallucinating from the heat? Maybe. NO! My friend Soul actually challenged us to create a set of alphabet ATCs featuring verbs. And they were to be completed and sent off by August. Well guess who WAS completing hers in late August? Yes, that would be moi. LOL! I discovered that verbs are easier SAID than displayed on a 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 surface. There I sat with my little dictionary. And there I sat searching for images to go with those action words. And here they are FINALLY heading off to London. Thanks for the challenge, Soul and please, no more verbs. or nouns. or adjectives. or..........

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sky Watch Saturday

When you look outside the window this is what we see. What an eerie contrast - smoke against a beautiful blue sky.

Stand of the roof and the smoke clouds grow.

We're in a drought and we've been experiencing triple digit temperatures over the past three days. The air's been polluted with smoke and the stench of fire hits us when we step outside. A far cry from my blog pal BT where her corner of the world is lush, green and constantly blooming. I love to go to visit her beautiful garden and surroundings.
A few of my blogland friends heard about the current California fires and wondered about my safety. I'm safe from the danger but if you were to look outside our window you'd panic and start gathering the important stuff. The burning area is about 23 miles north from us but it appears as if it's right down the street.
And how are your skies looking today?

Friday, August 28, 2009


Thank God It's Frida! This is something I put together for a special Frida fan. It's a spin-off from a workshop I led two years ago where an accordion book was constructed in the form of arches. I took a tag and gave it an arch before painting it with acrylic paints and adding the Frida image.

Here's my "N" ATC - Naughty Nutty Nude! Doesn't she look excited that it's Friday?!! Or is she excited that Frida's in the house?! LOL! I can see my children hanging their heads in shame for me just writing that. LOL! Both the sprinkler and nude stamps came from the Baby Buggy Rubber Stamp collection. The background was painted using water soluble crayons.

This is my "O" ATC - Orange Orient.

Have a great weekend everyone! Visit blogs, work on a post, make art - life's short, be creative!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I got this colorful and Zetti-like fabric postcard from my friend Bea from . Isn't it great? I love all the stitching details like the grass surrounding the stream and the floral vines coming up from the grass. And I love the way the black printed peaks play against all this color. This is a picture of the Zetti Peaks Trail by the way which she recently hiked. LOL! And yes, it came in the mail just like this. Thank you Bea. Love it.

This next quilted art piece came from my friend Lynn. I actually won this on her blog at I've broken this quilt into three separate shots so you can see all the details. This is the first section. I enjoyed looking at all the various touches throughout like the stitched rose, swirls and tulip. I keep finding new images each time I look at it!

Here's the center section. Lynn stitched a flower pot with a stem growing out of it and it found it's way to the flower head in the dark green section of fabric. You can click on each picture to get closer views.

This is the third panel. I love the way Lynn incorporated interesting scraps from the fabric edge that mostly gets tossed out. I've always loved finding those color bubbles (that's what I call them!) that you can sometimes find on the selvage part of fabric. I never thought to save them and put them to use like this! I'll definitely be looking for "color bubbles" from now on when I go fabric hunting! And I like the way she stitched swirls. And look, there's a name that was probably from the fabric line!

Now you can see the whole piece laid out. I just love everything about this. The soft colors with the dark splashes here and there, the stitching, todo! Todo means everything in Spanish. Did I write that once before in another post? LOL! Thank you so much, Lynn. I have this hanging in my art room along with Bea's colorful Zetti Post Card.

This is my "M" ATC that I received from the ABC group. Mim is the artist who sent this to me. I love this guy with his razor sharp teeth! Thanks, Mim!

This is my "N" card from Marianne. It's a Nautical theme, of course! Great curves, wouldn't you say? Love it! Thanks, Marianne!

I do have a lot to be thankful for. This month of August brings not only a 30 year wedding anniversary for me and my hubby, but 24 years ago I gave birth to an almost 9 lb baby girl who had the nerve to be breached! LOL! She grew up to be a little thing who's finally gotten a taste of the real world. Well, she still lives at home so maybe she's half way there. LOL!
Thanks to my art friends who have sent me pieces of "joy" in the mail. I appreciate each and every one of you. I've been so fortunate to meet some of the nicest people here in blog land and in various groups that I once belonged to. Some of the groups have gone bye-bye but the friendships have lasted. For that, I am extremely thankful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer's End

Look at what I picked up while on my Olvera Street jaunt the other day! The moment I saw this "Art Heart" I knew I HAD to have it! It's made of tin and there are holes punched throughout it to let light flow out. There's a small votive that sits in the back for a candle but we won't be putting a candle in there. My handyman is going to put his electrical skills to use and give this piece of art an off and on switch!

I hadn't planned on hanging my Art Heart here but it works and this will be it's permanent home. There was this big empty space that had to be filled in. I like the way everything plays well together. Instant niche!

Today is the last Tuesday of my summer vacation. School re-opens on the 1st and from now until then my days will be spent in staff meetings, retreats and airing out a closed up library. I've enjoyed my days of leisure and even though another month sounds excellent, I mustn't be greedy. There will be groups of students who expect me to be ready for them and I can't let them down. Getting a child to choose at least ONE book to read during a visit is my goal and proper set-up and display is part of my trick to entice them into the web of reading. WOE, I LOVE THAT! I'm seeing a bulletin board thing happening right now. LOL!!

It's been a wonderful summer spent with long mornings in PJs and a cup of coffee (usually while in front of the computer). It's been great staying up all night without worrying about having to get up early in the morning. And it's been fun living in jeans (when I wasn't in my PJs! LOL!) But I look forward to going back. Sort of. One door closes and another one opens.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Colorful Funday

I love the way the pottery is displayed. This is where the woman of the house did her cooking on hot days. They called it the outdoor kitchen. I call it outdoor grilling on the patio. LOL!!

Old statues where sprinkled throughout the walls of the home. I loved the way this one shone against the white plastered walls.

This is the indoor kitchen where all cooking was done during cold weather. I'll never complain about my small kitchen again.

Amazing that right outside the Avila House are rows of vendors selling colorful souvenirs. I loved the vibrant shades on these guitars.

After all these years of visiting Olvera Street, I never noticed walking under grape vines. HELLO-O! There were little clusters of green grapes dangling. So cool! The buildings to the right were once occupied homes which are now shops.

Oh my, is that a baby doll's backside I see hanging near the upper right side of this photo? LOL!! Such a mish-mash of color.

More mish-mash and color. If you click on the pictures you can see all the extra stuff that vendors cram into their stalls. I think I see Tinker Bell sitting next to Super Mario Brother. LOL!!

Ahh. This was the main reason we drove out to Olvera Street. This is where the taquito was born and it's the only thing we eat when we visit. Definitely worth the drive, calories (what's that?) and wow, would you look at the color!

There is one place that I can always count on for a shot of color, fun, cultural interest and tasty treats. Best part, it's not too far from home and easy on the pocket book. And that place is Olvera Street smack in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. I love it's old charm, smell and vibe. Apparently other people feel the same way I do because the place was alive with visitors. AND it was a Thursday. Oh, and did I mention it was our wedding anniversary? It was. Yeah, 30 years. Where or where did the time go?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Colorful Tuesday

Library Catalog Cards never looked so good. These were on their way to the dump until a light bulb went on.

It seems that not even a cake can escape me when it comes to color!

Beads in an array of color eagerly await the chance to dangle or wrap themselves around my wrist.

Here's another catalog card that almost got away. Here I tried a little graffiti background.

Even muted colors work as long as the subject stands out. This is a post card that I made one summer while exchanging them with Jolene from HippyHippyHooray . It's amazing what we sent off to each other that summer.

Purple and Pink and Ruby and Ochre and Blue and sigh, I could go on and on and on. While going through my files I discovered a few oldies but goodies splashed with color. Goes to show that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies to my art style. That is, when it comes to vibrant shades and hues.

I once played in a group that altered withdrawn catalog library cards on their way to the dump. What an awesome idea to "play green" before "green" was more than just another beautiful color. I still have a decent supply of unadorned catalog cards if anyone would like to have some. I'll gladly mail them to you. Just send me a self-addressed stamped envelope. Oh and e-mail me so I can send you my address. It would be great to see what you create from your cards in the future whether you have a blog or not. Send me your links when your ready to show the world how you've altered your cards OR send me pics and I'll post them here on my blog. Hope there are some enthusiasts out there!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Secret Artventures

OOO, secrets evolved at this table last night!!! Fun Fun and more FUN in the near future. Yes, this is a table! Some will recognize it. Others will scratch their heads. LOL!! I personally love it because, well, it's got personality and loads of COLOR!!

I can't believe we're up to the letter "M" in the ABC ATC swap group. This is my "M" card which I titled "Magical Monarch." I'm getting more comfortable drawing faces although at times they end up with crooked eyes or pointed-to-the-far-right chins. LOL!!! Well, who has a perfect face anyway? Don't answer that.

The below "L" ATC went out last week and it was titled "Liverpool Legends." If you don't know who they are, what planet, may I politely ask, did you come from? ROFL!!!

OOO, there's something secretly brewing in the near future that will bring happiness to many who like to play with art supplies in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas. The bad thing is, I can't share it with you! ACK! Not yet. That's the hard thing about secrets. Rats!

It's no secret how much I love color and fibers and when the both combine I nearly faint. LOL!! So, guess what? I'm going to have a colorful fiber give-away to the first 4 people who post a comment about why they get faint at the sight of colorful fiber. The majority of fibers I've accumulated over the years were found either in the yarn dept. or a yarn store. I can't even imagine the kind of scarf that would evolve from all those fibers if they were crocheted or knitted together, can you?! Unfortunately, I won't be sending you a bundle large enough for a scarf, but I will be generous and you will be thrilled! Go leave your comment - NOW!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday's Workshop

Color, color and more color! A requirement for taking one of my classes is that you do not FEAR color. No kidding, just look at all the vibrancy surrounding this little corner!

Judy came to class a newbie. She'd never stamped. Well, she's a changed woman with a new hobby! Stampmaiden has touched some one's life. LOL!!

Would you look at Laura and Gail's bright orange pages. These are not from the Frida mini journal where one would expect bright color to emerge from, but from the Asian Mini Journal!

This kind of artful chaos always brings a smile to my face. LOL! Blue is not the only color birds thrive in. In this little mini journal, they live very well among the vibrant shades of yellow, hot pink, and an orange-melon shade, just to name a few shades of color.

In the end they each walked away with a completed mini journal and a happy heart.

My main goal as a workshop instructor is that everyone leaves with a COMPLETED project and guess what? THEY DID! YAY! Well, one person, who shall remain anonymous, had to leave before the class ended but she did leave with completed pages that she later bound together. I found out cause I called her this morning - Hi Ellie!! So much for remaining anonymous. LOL!!!

It brings me much happiness to see everyone sitting down painting, sharing ideas, laughing, in a nutshell - having fun while making art. When I create a workshop I also want my friends to come away with ideas of their own and they did!!! At the end of the class, Jocelyn was walking around with an idea to create an Egyptian themed book for a friend using the techniques she learned in class. A newbie - Judy, was so happy that she had her own little book and will possibly be putting together something she can call her "own idea!" I know she can do it. Hey, anyone who is brave enough to sign up for a class and has never stamped before is A-OK in my book! This woman is climbing the ladder fast! LOL!!!

I left the shop not feeling tired but excited that everything went well and that everyone left with a smile on her face and with a little journal in her hand.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fiberlicious Artventures!

I finally completed a sample of my bird themed Mini Tag Journal. This is before I could decide which fibers worked with the pages. At this point I only had one set hanging at the sides. By the end of my decision making that too had changed.

I pulled out balls and yards of fiber that I thought would work. Some made it while others didn't - this time!


Here's one more look at the Mini Journals that we'll be putting together in Sunday's workshop. Three themes to choose from: Birds, Frida, or Asian. Cost of worshop is $35.

Why I waited a few days before a workshop to create a sample I'll never figure out. But this I know for sure - I have enough fiber to fulfill my daily requirement for years to come! I can't help myself when it comes to balls of yarn that have things clinging to them. I spent my entire childhood, teen years and young adult life to just a few years ago with my neck up in plain and simple skeins of yarn thank-you-very-much. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just find it more interesting to see and touch bits of blobs, threads, fabric shreds, fuzz, etc, clinging to a strand of yarn. Don't get me started on ribbon. Not the kind my mother would tie onto my ponytail to hide the hideous rubber band that held my ponytail in place. Back then we used "RUBBER bands" not scruchies. And these thick things could make you tear up when it came time to give that ponytail the final tug to make it stand up properly. Where was I? Oh yes, ribbons. I make it a point to check out the ribbon aisle because you just never know when a project will require a length or two. Always best to be prepared is my motto when it comes to deciding whether to purchase an art item and YES, FIBERS - fancy yarn and ribbons, are considered art supplies in my world. So I became a very happy camper when it was time to choose decorative strands to hang from the holes of my mini tag journal samples that I'll be having a workshop for this coming Sunday. It was like taking a trip to the yarn store or ribbon aisle as I held the pages of my tag book against one fiber after another deciding which colors worked best together. In the end there stood an assembled mini journal bursting with fibers. And it was good.

If you're in the Los Angeles area and would like to join me on Sunday for a relaxing day of painting, stamping, gluing and oohing over fibers, give Stampin' From the Heart a call to hold your spot at (310) 391-0466. I have three themes to choose from - Frida Kahlo, Asian Beauty, and Birds. You should bring a bone folder, scissors for trimming, an awl, a glue stick and a black ink pad such as Memories, if you'd like to stamp quotes. Let the shop know which theme you'd prefer so that I can bring your kit ready for you to play with. Oh yes, and a snack for energy. I'll bring the rest (fibers included!).