December 18, 2012

Christmas Blessings!

My Christmas Wish

This morning I noticed that only a few items are remaining on the bottom of our Advent Calendar. The days are getting more hectic as Christmas draws nearer, and a New Year is looming on the horizon. Many of you followed my personal journey this year and graciously offered your love and support. I am grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love, caring and generosity of spirit.

My Christmas postcard this year expresses one of my dearest wishes:  I wish you the joy of peace, along with the intangible gifts of hope and faith. 

I'm taking a bit of a blogging break until after the Holidays. It's time to celebrate with family and dear friends to make happy, new memories. That being said, I'm looking forward to fresh starts and new beginnings - both personally and professionally - in the coming year.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful Holiday Season and a very Happy and Healthy 2013!

Many blessings both great and small . . . . . .

Credits:  Thank you to Moonlight Studios for the image of the Queen, to Tumble Fish Studio @ Deviant Art for her crown and the stars and to Dover Publications for the butterflies.

December 14, 2012

Charming Gifts!

 "Here Kitty, Kitty!"
Side #1 

Several months ago I found a few locket frames during a shopping trip for art supplies in a local craft store. Intrigued by the creative possibilities and prospects these tiny frames offered, My Muse swirled with delight in the jewelry aisle and begged me to make a quick purchase. I came home, promptly popped them into a drawer . . . and, quite honestly, forgot about them.

Since I truly believe that handmade gifts are "gifts of the heart", I wanted to create something special as a Christmas present for a very dear friend, who is a professional dog groomer and a loving "cat mommy" too. Enter My Muse, who reminded me about those little lockets.

"Puppy Love"
Side #2

"Miss Kitty" happens to be one of my favorite images. In the interest of "fairness", I had to use one of my "Pups in Cups" too. LOL! After sizing the chosen images digitally, I printed them out and affixed them to their respective backgrounds. At that point the creative fun began in earnest.

Prismacolor pencils, watercolors, Copic markers, Sharpies and oil pastels were added to enhance color. Tiny 'stickers' (fingernail decals - believe it or not!) and glitter added personality and character; and a tiny, silver dragonfly and vintage pearl with crystal charm added femininity. A pretty pink organza ribbon and waxed-cord necklace was the perfect finishing touch.

My little charm is waiting to be wrapped and gifted; I hope my friend will be pleased. I've learned a few creative lessons: Working small can be challenging and rewarding; and, listen to your Muse! She's never "wrong"!

May your Muse dance with creativity and pleasure!

December 7, 2012

Awesome News - I'm Teaching!!!

"Cookie"

Today I'm dancing as though no one is watching, and my heart is singing too. For the past few weeks I've been bursting at the seams because I've been waiting to to share some very exciting news; however, I was sworn to secrecy. Yes . . . . the news is THAT GOOD! Along with 20 other wonderfully creative and talented women, I can finally share my good news about something truly fabulous that will happen in 2013.

Pop the "virtual cork" from the bottle of champagne and throw some glittered confetti! Can you tell that I'm excited?!?!  I've accepted Connie Hozvicka's invitation to be one of her teachers in 2013's "21 Secrets" Art Journaling Workshop!!!! Whoo-Hoo!!! (My Inner Art Goddess is wearing a tiara, throwing more confetti and grinning from ear to ear!)

When I received Connie's invitation to participate, I was totally surprised and beyond thrilled! What an honor!!! I'm grateful to Connie for presenting me with this tremendous opportunity to share my work and my journaling techniques in this prestigious workshop!


To find out what's happening, click on the "21 Secrets" button (above) to meet all of the teachers or click the button on my sidebar. More news and information about the workshop will become available soon, and I can't wait to share all of the magic with you! I've got a feeling that 2013 is going to be an awesome year!

May your day sparkle and shine!

November 27, 2012

Experimenting!

"Joy"

With all of the extraneous excitement we've had in the past few weeks - including a hurricane, a nor'easter, AND a Holiday - not to mention Jim's doctor's appointments and "general life duties", art has taken a back seat. I did have a smidgen of time to spend in my little art room over the weekend, so I made a conscious decision to "play". Yes . . . . . "Play!" Consequently, I discovered a few new tricks and techniques to maximize my precious studio time.

Since time was of the essence, I used a photocopy of a background that I'd previously created, added a new image and loaded on more "color". Then the fun began . . . . . I started to doodle. Yes . . . . . "doodle"!!! I used a black marker and gave my hand and mind free reign. I drew and played to my heart's content. Scrolls, loops, hearts, swags and daisies spilled out of my pen and onto the page. It was cathartic and, most of all, it was F-U-N!!!

May your day be blessed with "creative joy & fun"!
 

November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Having lived through a year filled to the brim with many personal issues, there were times when it was difficult to see the proverbial forest for the trees. Through it all, one constant has remained: My sincere gratitude to the Father of the Universe for the gifts that I've been granted . . . both large and small.

After this year's trials and tribulations, I've learned take nothing for granted and now express my "gratitude" for each day's blessings. Something as seemingly insignificant as the morning smell of a freshly brewed pot of coffee or the sight of rainbow prisms dancing across my kitchen floor is cause for celebration. A long talk with a dear friend, the sound of laughter, uninterrupted time spent in thought or working in my little studio are all treasured gifts. A good night kiss, holding hands, smiles exchanged across a dinner table, and quiet moments spent in silence are priceless reasons for expressing "thanks".

This journal page was completed three years ago, and it's still one of my favorite pieces. It features a beautiful sentiment expressed by one of my favorite poets, Kahil Gibran. My artistic style has changed and evolved during the past three years; however, so has my deep appreciation for all of the blessings that I've been granted. I don't need a special day to remind me that I've personally been "blessed beyond belief".

May your Thanksgiving celebration be filled with gratitude and many blessings!

Credits: The composite girl is my image, however, many of the are images from Nancy Baumiller's Crowabout Flickr group with the following exceptions: From Suzee Que (Flickr) - Baby behind the turkey, the wishbone with fruit, and the turkey spoon. From Tumblefish Studio (Deviant Scrap) - All of the crowns, including the one on her head and those used to make the ruffle for the apron. From Dover Publications - The butterflies.

November 15, 2012

A Charming Swap

My Assorted Charms

My mixed media collage Muse seems to have been on vacation these last few months. While she's away I've been playing in different mediums and recently participated in a private art swap involving handmade charms. Any and all materials were welcome, however, utilizing fabric was a requirement for one of the charms.
I haven't made a fabric yo-yo in years, nor have I embroidered recently - skills that my Beloved Grandmother taught me when I was a child. My "favorite" charms were made from tiny bits of plastic fish tubing and vintage pearls from a broken necklace.

Working with a new set of criteria forced me to think outside of the proverbial box, but that's what challenges are all about. They're about finding new methods and means of creative expression.

May you have the courage to challenge yourself creatively!

 

November 6, 2012

"Serendipity"

"Serendipity"

Although I've always been a firm believer of the old adage: "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade!", this past week has tested both my resilience and mettle. Hurricane Sandy paid a visit and, fortunately, left us with very little damage. We lost our power for four days and sustained minor tree damage; however, it could have been much worse. We were blessed . . . . everyone we know and love is safe and sound. Many in our State are still without power and have sustained great loss. Please keep all who've been affected in your prayers.

Sandy's visit DID curtail my creativity a bit. A "powerless" "Geek Goddess" is NOT a happy camper! My art-making, FaceBook and blogging activities all suffered from a lack of electricity and light; however, my creative writing flourished. 

"Serendipity" is a piece that I created months ago. She's particularly relevant to this post, because she was born by using an image that I was not initially pleased with. During her "birth", my printer ran out of ink, and the resultant striations on the printed copy intrigued me. Rather than throw her away, I decided to use the "damaged" print and am happy that I did!

May your "lemonade" always be "sweet"!

 

October 25, 2012

Buried in a Book!

Polymer Clay Bookmarks

Every once in a while it's nice to have an opportunity to play with a new medium. When a challenge was posted in my art group earlier this year to make a bookmark using polymer clay, I decided to give it a whirl.

 Ready for the Oven!

I found my stash of polymer clay, dusted my off sculpting skills and dug my old baking sheets out of the cupboard to try something that was w-a-y out of my traditional "comfort zone".

Carrot

Mermaid's Tale

After the bookmarks were baked, I rubbed and buffed them with a little acrylic paint and allowed them to dry.  Finally, I added a little glitter (because a little glitter "makes magic"), and brushed them with a coat of clear nail polish for protection. 


Finished!

This project definitely tested my skills, but considering the fact that scuplting is NOT my "strong suit", I was very pleased with the results. After all, that's what challenges are for!!!

May your work be artful and fearless!
 

October 18, 2012

New Beginnings!

Happy Fall!

Can it really be Autumn? Is Halloween only a few weeks away? Ten months have passed since my husband became ill.   It's been an amazing journey of discovery for our family. We've had our share of laughter, tears, frustration and pride. We've experienced more up's and down's than riding a rollercoaster! We've witnessed miracles and have acknowledged the presence of angels. We've made a few new friends and have truly appreciated our old friends' love, generosity and support.

I'm married to an amazing man who's truly defied every "odd" that was placed against him. Together we've taken first steps (literally) and have been establishing a new level of "normal". Jim is up and about without the aid of a cane or walker. He's working on a part-time basis, and although our days are still chock full of  labwork, physical therapy and appointments, we're grateful for every one of them!

That being said . . . . the time has come to dust away the cobwebs from my beloved "Pringle Hill". My blogging sabbatical is over, and I'll begin to post on a regular basis. The plan is to write at least once a week. It's a commitment to myself, to my art and to you. Art does heal. I'm living proof!

Maybe Fall is the "time of new beginnings". In my humble opinion, Spring is greatly over-rated!

May your day be blessed with the sound of laughter!

 



August 26, 2012

New Paths

Crossroads . . .

Jen Cushman wrote a blog post last week that touched a virtual nerve (you can read it if you click here).  For the past few weeks, I've been feeling as though I've been standing at a crossroads. New creative paths and vistas are in front of me and there are many decisions to make - creatively and personally.

Good blogging, as Jen writes, takes time . . . and lots of it. In essence, a good blog post is not unlike writing, producing and publishing a magazine article. Gathering your thoughts, creating the art, staging the photo shoot, processing the photos, etc. It all takes time - a very precious commodity.

When I began my blogging journey, it started very simply and with no preconceptions. I'd no idea of what I was doing, never dreamed I'd have "followers" or make such good friends along the way. I've always blogged for the sheer pleasure and 'love of it'. Truly. Blogging satisfied a creative need. I could showcase my art, play with my photography and write. I've loved sharing my art, my life and my joy. And when sorrow knocked on the door, my blogging friends held me up with strength, love and prayers.

That being said, my heart is whispering that the time has come to close this blog for a long, much-needed sabbatical. I must listen and obey. It's a decision that hasn't been made easily. I need time to regroup and renew - time to explore creative outlets.

Thank you, My Friends, for your friendship and love. It's been an amazing journey. If you'd like to follow my new creative explorations, please 'friend me' on FaceBook.

May your life be filled with artful joy !
 


August 22, 2012

Healing Journal Video


A Peek Inside!

Although the work in my Healing Journal is intensely personal, I thought you might like a peek inside. Quite honestly, doing the artwork and the journaling has been very cathartic for me. There's been a lot to process over the past year, and we're still trying to attain a new 'level of normal'.  It's my hope that my healing journey and art will inspire you.

Jim can drive now, and his physical therapy sessions will end in September. That's all good stuff! His lungs are permanently scarred, and we can still expect unexpected bouts of inflammation. Several health issues have been created, but we're learning how to live our 'new lives'. We're still in each others' arms at night, and that's what matters. We've been given a great gift.

Thank you for your love, generosity and kindness. There's no doubt in my mind . . . your prayers, good wishes and positive energy have carried us to a this point and have cheered us on when we felt we had little hope.

Love + Art = Healing!
 
PS Sorry about the thumbnail - I couldn't get You Tube to cooperate!!! Special thanks to "Swampadelica" for the soundtrack, "Coffee Cup", from their "Sac Passe" Album available on Itunes.

August 15, 2012

Where Real Women Create . . .

No Place to Go!

For the last few weeks, I've been sneaking into my tiny studio whenever I can to work in my Healing Journal. Because of time limitations, there's been no time to clean up (at least that's what I'm telling myself!)Whenever My Muse has spoken, I've tried to listen . . . . and she's been whispering "make art", not "grab the vacuum"!!!

That being said . . . I now have less than a postage stamp space to work in! This is definitely where "real women create"!!!

May you be blessed with  creativity!
 

July 29, 2012

Repurposing & Recycling

Recycled!

There wasn't a lot of time for art this week; however, I did manage to find a little time to write and play in my Healing Journal. Since I haven't had an opportunity to create new images, I've been recycling some of my old ones.

It's amazing how a few doodles and some dots can add new life and creative "sparks" to a journal page. This little guy is a favorite of mine, and I also revamped my original "Miss Kitty".
 
I love her expressive green eyes, and she always makes me smile . If you'd like to add the image of my little musician to your files, click here for the original "freebie". You'll find him at the bottom of the blog post.


My colored markers, watercolors, pencils and gel pens have been working overtime. Who knew that recycling and repurposing old images could be so rewarding?!?! 

May you be blessed with an  artful day!
 

July 22, 2012

Color!

From the Healing Journal

Day by day my husband is getting "stronger" and so am I. There's been a  discernible "difference" in my art. As I continue to  move through my journal pages and express my feelings and emotions, my colors are getting brighter and more saturated, and my spirit is feeling "lighter" too. My idea of keeping a "Healing Journal" is working!


I wish I had the time to thank each and every one of you, my loyal friends and followers, for your continuing love, prayers and positive energy. Your support has been the best medicine in the world!


May your day be filled with random acts of  kindness!

July 15, 2012

Healing Journal


Since most of my day is spent caring for my husband and tending to his needs, my art time is very limited.  I've missed my friends, my images and colors, and my creative time.  Although the healing process has begun, the burden of months of caretaking has taken its toll  - physically, spiritually and mentally.

Having heard the phrase: "Art Heals!", in an effort to heal my spirit, I decided to begin a new art project. Over the past few days I've poured my deepest thoughts and rawest feelings into the pages of a new journal. No thought or emotion is "off limits". This journal is a safe place for me to bare my soul, shed healing tears and assuage my exhausted spirit.

After just a few days of writing and creating, I'm beginning to feel "lighter", and my colors are brighter! This is a much healthier alternative than eating tons of chocolate or drinking wine, and I'm realizing that, indeed, "Art Heals!"

May your day be filled with the joy of discovery!
 

July 5, 2012

A Little Bit of Love "Freebie"!


"A Little Love"
For Your Artful Pleasure
(This is a png file!)

Holy Cow! It's been a-g-e-s since I've had a chance to blog, and I've had to fight my way through more than a few "blog-webs"!!! LOL! 

My husband marked his 5th week home yesterday - Independence Day - and all of the doctors are amazed at his progress. Taking care of Jim has left little time for my artful indulgences, but that's OK. Slowly by slowly, a new routine is beginning to settle into place . . . and hopefully, there will be a lot more time for me to "play".

Having been the lucky recipient of so much "love" has been an amazing experience. Thought you just might like a "little love"coming right back to you! I know that you'll find wonderful ways to use this new image - just remember that she's for your personal use only!

May your day be touched with the joy of friendship!

May 16, 2012

"Chrysaline"

"Chrysaline"

It's no secret that I love rich, saturated color. Generally, my backgrounds are composed of many layers. They usually start with a few "blobs" of acrylics or watercolors dropped and swirled onto cardstock or a substrate, and the "layering process" begins.

Working in a hospital setting has led me to new discoveries and a search for quick methods. There's not a lot of time, material or space to create, and I've found that the old adage: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." applies.

The background of "Chrysaline" was created by using a color copy of one of my original backgrounds as a base to which I've added more paints, stamps and colors. I'm saving time and energy by using what I've already created in a new, re-purposed way. It's a win-win situation!

May your day be happy and colorful!
 

May 10, 2012

The Future!

"Bright Future"

Things have been "looking up" in Rehab lately. My husband has begun taking his first steps - quite literally. Each "little move" is a step closer to the rehab door and home. His progress is steady and remarkable; and, he continues to keep the entire "team" motivated with his dedication. His spirits are bright, and every day brings new blessings, trials, challenges and gifts. We're treasuring each and every moment that we spend together.

Over the past few days we visited our Cardiologist and Pulmonologist. Both are astounded to see Jim's progress. To be honest, he was only given a 4% chance of survival. I'm definitely "married to a miracle". No more doctor's appointments for a month - break out the champagne and confetti!!!

Thank you, thank you, for your prayers, love and support. I wish I had the time to visit each of you to express my heartfelt "thanks" and give you a personal "hug"- blogging remains one of my current "guilty pleasures". We did not get this far alone and continue to feel your "love" and "good wishes". You give us "wings"!

Our future's so bright, we have to wear shades

May your day be bright and beautiful!
 
PS - This is "Sylvia" - my "freebie" from April 30th - transformed! Click here to grab her for your own artful transformation.