Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Oh no, I need a new calendar!

Realizing that I needed a new calendar because the month January was quickly approaching and I knew there was no way I was about to head out into the public to buy one, I decided that recycling my 2013 calendar was the way to go.  I found a free calendar template and looked around for arty scraps that have been hanging around my desk waiting to be used for that "one day" project.  

I also decided to make my collection of tag girls the main feature of my "new" calendar.  Because my tags usually have a busy painted and distressed background, I knew that I'd have to place them against a calm piece of patterned paper so it wouldn't get lost.  After a few adjustments and additions of more found scraps, I was done.  
The tag girl featured for the month of January is Urban Chic.  She was one one of my last creations from a workshop I held at Stampin' From the Heart.  

If you're someone who's taken my classes and have a collection of tag girls, why not turn them into something functional for the time being.  My plan is to feature a new tag each month.  I just stuck a piece of double stick tape behind the tag onto the patterned paper for easy removal and glued the calendar grid onto the previous page. The hardest part is deciding which tag to feature.  Good thing I have more than 12! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Rescued crayons!  I can't believe they were headed for the school dumpster!  They're so perfect and look at those beautiful colors!

My stomach is getting butterflies as I begin to envision lessons that involve paint.  Lots of it.

You can never have too many paintbrushes.  In fact, I need more.  Way more.  Uh-huh.  Really.

Watercolor bottles, not Kool-Aid.  Need to refill and get ready for next week.  I love color.  Am I lucky or what?
OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating calling this the most wonderful time of the year.  For many it is.  Parents.  LOL! 
You only got a small glimpse of what I've been organizing over the past three weeks. 
Beginning very soon (next week) these supplies will be put to good use.  I have plans and I'm excited to get them started! 
You know how some people go scrounging through trash in neighborhoods, dumpsters, etc?  Well, I do my own version of looking for goods.  I wait till the end of the school year and go up and down the halls looking for treasures that have become junk to others.  Well I'm not the only one who does treasure hunting.  Upon my return from a brief vacation someone gifted me with a container full of crayons (practically all of them brand-spankin' new) that she found on one of her hunts down the hall!!!  Am I lucky or what?!  Crayons.  My first exposure to art.
Until next time, keep an eye out for found treasures.  You never know what you're gonna find. 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Tag Girls Finale

In the beginning there were four.

Six years later it would come to an end.
 Everyone worked their magic creating distressed backgrounds on six blank tags.  Angie left with blue paint on her face and it was good.  Carolee left with blue paint on her bangs and purple paint on the back of her pants and that was good too.  But everyone left with smiles and happy hearts and that was pretty good.  It was a bittersweet day.  It was my last class at Stampin' From the Heart.  The doors are closing at the end of this month. 
Many thanks to everyone who came out to do Friday night Make-it-take-its and occasional workshops.  It was fun and I met so many great people.  But HUGE thanks to Karen, the shop owner.  Because it all started when she gave me a few bottles of paint that had just come into her store and she told me "take them home and play with them."  And I did.  And the rest is history. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wishing for more leisurely weeks of summer vacation.

Less than 2 weeks of summer vacation left.  YIKES!

This summer was full of emotions ranging from happy to very sad.
Loosing a friend is never easy.  This summer I lost two.  Feelings of sadness creep in each day so I try to stay active.  But when it gets quiet, usually at night, I find myself grieving.  alone.  And it's hard.  I have tokens, little treasures and memories that I can cling to.  But I'd rather have them here.  In person.
Don't take anyone or anything for granted.  It's easy to get comfortable and then boom!  Your whole world changes.
The above journal page was created with scraps of paper I had sitting on my desk.  How appropriate that they were just the right pieces for me to use as I was thinking of two people who are going through some major adjustments.  The words next to the flower eyeball (yes, I was feeling very creative last night!) reads "Some times you have to go away to see where you have been."  
Hope you enjoy the final days of summer and that they're happy and full of appreciation for what you have. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

I remember that scent.
As I walked up to the house where I grew up the other night, a strong perfumed scent hit me like a ton of bricks and I was immediately taken back to the past.  It was the smell I'd encounter on walks to the park with my siblings on summer mornings.  It was the scent I would inhale as I would began my early morning walk to catch the bus while I was in high school.  And it was the scent that would greet me when I'd return home from a date with my future husband.  
The mysterious perfume would only be available for my senses during early mornings or late at night.  Until two nights ago I had completely forgotten all about it and then BAM!  Sadly, I don't know what it is or whose house it comes from and I've never smelled it anywhere else.  I only know it's one of the best things I've ever smelled and it reminds me of home.            

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Like it or Not....
I never look forward to this time of the year but like it or not it's something that needs to be done.  Never mind that it gets pulled and stretched and mashed it HAS to be done.  And at the end of the day I am thankful that I have something to get checked out.  Still, I prefer mashed potatoes over mashed boobs. 
I'm beginning to journal one thought at a time.  That thought is what came to mind as I got dressed this morning.    
So there I tried to stand with my feet planted on the floor (they were both trying to get me the heck out the door)and my arms outstretched with my head turned and chin up.  Less than ten minutes and four x-rays later it was all over.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The whole time I tried to imagine myself eating a bowl of hot mashed potatoes with a dollop of melted butter on top.  It got me through it.
Stay tuned for my next journal thought.  I  Promise it won't be about one of my body parts.   

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August.  Really?
Whoever said time flies wasn't kidding.  The summer months are practically over and since the calendar page turned to August I've begun to think about the past few weeks, months and years.
I spent five weeks in summer school with close to 50 elementary students.  I've come to the conclusion that BOYS are much more talkative than girls.  Feel free to argue with me if you'd like. 
My first group consisted of a class with 2 -3 girls (depending on the week) and 14+ boys.  THOSE BOYS!  That's all I'm saying.  But we had fun as long as I kept the paint circulating around the desks.  Watercolor, acrylic and tempera all made their rounds quite frequently.
My second group consisted of 1 - 3 boys, again depending on the week, and 14+ girls!  These kids did as much painting as the younger kids and we spent the last week painting pages for a journal and on the last day we binded the pages together.  It helped me so much to have an assistant who I could depend on each day.  The journals came out fantastic by the way.  Why no pictures?  I was either running back and forth with paint or helping students to master the pamphlet stitch!  There's just no way I can easily maneuver a camera and paint at the same time.  Or needles and awls.  Let me just say that my heart was very happy to see how these students put together their very first visual journal.  They brought magazines to cut and glue images onto their pages.  YES!  The above image on my journal page came out of a rock magazine several years ago and she was one of my inspirations that began my signature "Tag Girls" way back in 2007.     
It'll be back to school soon.  Two weeks.  Have you seen the latest Target back-to-school commercials?  They've become my favorite new back-to-school ad.  Love the recorder playing old rock tunes and the way slashes of what appears to be post-it notes being thrown across the screen at the end advertising something come together.  See, I don't even pay that much attention to the words, I'm just listening to that rockin' recorder instrument in the background! 
Yes, it seems another summer has come and gone leaving me wondering where has the time gone.  Now that I'm back at home it's time to give my poor cluttered art room a good scrubbing and cleanse.  It looks neglected and I must admit that it's not much of a motivator as far as making art goes. 
So off to my art room I go to begin the decluttering process. Hopefully I can once again get inspired to paint pages of my own, reflect, and perhaps post about it here. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Art Party!

There was an Art Party today and I didn't have to dress up!
It was big fun to get together with a great group of women, paint brushes, paper and glue!
I've been super busy at the day job but now with summer here, I'm ready to have a go with my personal art side.
Having time to work on my growing collection of painted faces and actually putting them to work was a fun experience for me to watch unfold today.  They were accepted with surprise and big smiles!  Thanks for the support you guys.  Looking forward to sharing more with you! 

Friday, June 28, 2013


Is silence really golden?
I haven't worked in my journal since Nov. 16 of last year.  There was a gap in my blog beginning around that same time.  I didn't know what to say.  Things were happening all around me.  There were definitely things to share but I couldn't get motivated to write about them.  I was mourning in silence.
I lost a friend.  Someone who I'd never talk to, write to or ever see again for the rest of my life.  Her last words to me were something like "Have a great time celebrating Raymond's birthday tomorrow and tell him happy birthday for me."  Sometime between the hours we were celebrating my son's birthday and possibly up into the following morning she died.  Just like that.
When a mutual friend told me that he was surprised that I didn't cry or show great sadness at her memorial service I wasn't sure how to take his comment.  I could only explain to him that she and I had spent an unusual amount of time together the last week of her life and I could only guess I found comfort in knowing that.  I had told her of my new artventures that were to take place at school, she treated me out to an early birthday lunch (instead of the following week on my birthday), we spent time shopping, eating and talking all weekend.
I wish I had saved some of the silly messages she'd leave on my answering machine at the job just to hear her voice again but due to bouts of foul language I had to immediately delete them!  HA!  Not cool in a school setting!
The initial sadness has lifted and now I know what the true meaning of "her memory will live on" means because that's what I've been left with.  But there's still that void that will be around forever. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer's Here....

.....and believe it, so am I!
 I've been traveling up and down the school hall with a cart full of art supplies stopping in each class to inject healthy doses of paint, ink, glue, paper and whatever else I can think of.  Below was the seventh grade's interpretation of Romare Beardon's collage art piece "Three Women."  I knew all those scrapbook paper packs I'd been hoarding would come in handy one day. 
What's scarier than a group of 14 year-old students wielding paintbrushes? 
 Answer:  I'll tell you what's scarier than a bunch of 14 year-olds wielding paintbrushes:  a bunch of 14 year-olds wielding SPRAY PAINT CANS!  But didn't they do a great job with their abstract sculptures?  This was the eighth grade's last art project before they graduated.   
Tucked inside the vintage painted folio below are pages holding tag art dolls - all with original painted faces that I've been working on over the past few weeks.  I'm pretty excited about my leap into drawing my own faces to use with my tag art!  I'll share them with you in the coming days.  But you can get a glimpse of one of the tags at the very top of this post.       
The Tag Art Project is a class I'll be teaching on Saturday, June 29th over at Stampin' From the Heart in Los Angeles.  If you're interested in taking the class, e-mail me for more information. 
As much as I've enjoyed preparing art lessons and watching them evolve at the hands of children ranging in age from 4 - 14, it feels good to be free to create my own personal stuff.  Hope you can join me for some fun next Saturday!