January 29, 2010

Technical Difficulties!

Please Stand By!
A Freebie
for your artful pleasure!

You may be wondering why this week's freebie is an old fashioned test pattern. You may remember this old TV graphic that was displayed whenever a TV station went off the air or was experiencing technical difficulties way back when. When it appeared, it was usually accompanied by the words, "Please stand by!" and a lot of static.

This old graphic just seems so very appropriate for the computer disaster that I experienced a few days ago. Unfortunately, my hard drive died and I'm currently working on my husband's old laptop. No graphics programs or files are available on this computer, but I do have web access and can participate in the "One World One Heart" festivities and have access to email.

Fortunately, I've backed up a lot of my artwork and files on an external hard drive, but it's going to take some time to load in my graphics programs and art files so that I can get back to work creating new art. Bummer!

"One World One Heart"

Many of us have been riding the magic carpet this week, discovering fabulous new blogs, making new friends and entering generous giveaways. Kudos to Lisa for organizing this wonderful event. At last count, over 700 participating blogs were listed on Lisa's site, "A Whimsical Bohemian". Click here to go there and find the list of participants in the sidebar.

My OWOH Giveaway can be found here. To enter, please leave a comment on that post only no later than February 13. The lucky winners will be announced on February 15.

Hope you take some time to go for a great ride!

January 25, 2010

One World One Heart


Today is a day that many of us in Blogland have been waiting for with great anticipation. It's a day of celebration and discovery, and for many, the beginning of new friendships. When Lisa Swifka - A Whimsical Bohemian - founded the "One World One Heart" event in 2007, I'm sure she had no idea of how huge this would become. From 85-90 participants in 2007, last year's event grew to 911 participants. Wow! Thank you, Lisa!

Lisa's original intent was to create an international event, featuring giveaways, that would bring bloggers together from around the world. Participants in the blogging community have an opportunity to meet new people, see new blogs and win a prize or two along the way. As Lisa says, "In the end, it's all about finding kindred spirits". If you'd like to read more about "One World One Heart" or see a list of this year's participants, please click here.

This year's event begins today, and I'm thrilled to participate. My prizes are listed below and both of my winners will be be announced on February 15. What do you have to do to win one of these giveaways? Simply . . . have a blog and leave a comment on this post on or before February 13. Also, please be sure to have a link back to your site or leave an email so that you can be reached if you're a lucky winner. That's it! Easy peasey!

Without further ado . . . . here are my prizes. If you'd like to see the details, click on each of the pictures to enlarge. Good luck and, most importantly, have fun!

First Prize Includes

"Make Art"
5"x7" Matted Print
Professionally printed & ready to frame.

A set of 3 professionally printed postcards
featuring my work
a fabric print (approximately 4 3/4" x 6 3/4")
of the "Think Spring" postcard seen on the right.
You can use this 100% cotton fabric piece
in a collage, embellish it, alter it or
sew it into a pillow.

And . . .

A set of 3 - 8 1/2"x11" - professionally
printed copies
of my handmade
papers for your personal use.
They would be great backgrounds for
your atc's, postcards, collages, etc.


Second Prize Includes

5"x7" Matted Print
Professionally printed & ready to frame.

And . . .

A set of 3 professionally printed postcards
that feature my work.

Thanks for stopping by
and good luck!

Hope you enjoy this great event!

January 22, 2010

Sweet Treats!

Sweet Cupid
A Sweet Treat
PNG Files
For Your Artful Pleasure!

Valentines are popping up in the stores and in Blogland, so I thought you might like an early Valentine treat.

My sweet little cupid was extracted from a postcard that is in the public domain, and I baked the cake just for you!

Hope you have a sweet weekend!

January 20, 2010

A Crowabout Valentine!

6"x6" Collage
(Click on a heart to see the detail!)

I love Valentine's Day! I love the color red. I love all of the sweet, syrupy sentiment, and I adore vintage Valentines. When I saw this week's Crowabout images, I couldn't wait to get started on this week's challenge.

Many of my collages begin with a central image, so when I found this little cutie from Lisa Kettell, my heart skipped a beat. It reminded me of my childhood and the cards we bought in Woolworth's (I'm dating myself here!) to trade with our elementary school friends.

I remember trying to choose the perfect Valentine for each of my friends before addressing them with my very best penmanship. We carried them carefully to school and dropped them into a large box decorated with colored tissue paper and construction paper heart cutouts. **Sigh!** Such sweet memories!

May your day be filled with sweet memories too!

Credits: Most of the images are from Nancy Baumiller's Crowabout challenges (past and present) with the following exceptions. Main image of child on horse - Lisa Kettell, Flickr; the word 'happy' - Tumble Fish Studio, Etsy; Victorian heart in bottom border - Goddess of Chocolate, Flickr; heart in upper, left border corner - Ceremony Julia, Flickr; both Victorian 'couples' - HeyJupiter21, Flickr; Victorian tea cup - StMaryGypsy, Flickr; little bluebird - Itkupilli, Etsy; butterflies - Dover Publications.

January 18, 2010

"Art is . . . . ."

"Play Time"
8 1/2" x 11" Collage
(Click on a star to see the details!)

Several months ago (during the beginning of November, as a matter of fact), I posted a blank version of this journal page. It was created while I was taking Nancy Baumiller's collage class, and I didn't have time to finish it before the holidays. So, I tucked it into a "To Do" file, and finally found some time to have fun with it.

Here's a peek at the "before" page:

In all honesty a few months ago I wasn't quite sure how to finish this page; but with the passage of time, came wisdom and inspiration. When I pulled it out this morning, Twyla Tharp's lovely quote immediately came to mind. Her words ring so very true for me. When I'm working and in my creative zone, time has no meaning, and my studio time IS my 'play time'!

May you find your 'play time' too!

Credits: Scalloped border top and bottom - Norma Frances Flickr; scalloped border with numbers - Angellea; cat in the little gray hat - Art Freebies; crown - Tumble Fish Studio Etsy. The remaining images are courtesy of Nancy Baumiller's Crowabout challenge or magazine cuttings.

January 15, 2010

Happy Friday!

(Click on a daisy to see the details!)
Your Freebie!
For your artful pleasure!
A PNG File

The past few weeks have been occupied with DJ Pettit's On-Line Photoshop class, and there are a few more weeks of class to go. The altered photo at the beginning of this post is an example of what we've been learning in the workshop.

Some of the exercises were a bit difficult for me, so it was fun to take a break from lessons to go digging around in the archives of the Library of Congress again. This image was extracted from a lovely old photo of a geisha strolling in a park with two children.
The Jpeg File!

I know that you'll find a beautiful new environment for this little sweetheart. Enjoy!

May your weekend be filled with smiles!

January 13, 2010

Ransom Alphabet

Ransom Letters

In an effort to be a little more creative, I decided to take a tip from Teesha Moore and Nancy Baumiller to create my own alphabet of ransom letters. I purchased a little plastic box filled with dividers from Michaels, gathered my stash of old magazines and books, and started clipping.

Although this was a fun way to spend an afternoon, I learned that I will NEVER become a kidnapper - it's w-a-y too much work! Should you decide to create your own alphabet, I'm offering a few hints.
  1. Do not - under any circumstances - let your family see you do this. They will tease you forever with no end in site.
  2. If you wear glasses, put them on before you start; otherwise, there's a good chance you'll have a headache and/or will go blind.
  3. Should you decide to write a real ransom note, save the following letters - J, K, Q, X, Z. These letters are difficult to find.
  4. Close the windows. One good breeze, and all of your work is destroyed.
  5. Do not drop the box!
Have a creative day!

January 11, 2010

"Magic Wand"

"The Magic Wand"
6" x 6" Collage
(Click on a star to see the detail!)

When my children were small, they'd often come to me with strange and sometimes very imaginative requests. My answer was always the same, "My magic wand is broken today!" Disappointment followed by acceptance would flash across their little faces.

Sometimes when life gets a bit crazy, I do wish that I had a magic wand to make things better. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a request fulfilled with a small wave and a soft swish of that magic wand?!?

This piece was a gift for a very dear friend. She's readying her house for sale and will be moving later this year. My thought was that a new wand would come in handy for her this year!

My Techniques

A 6"x6" canvas was base painted with a coat of turquoise acrylic paint. Next a piece of a vintage page was added with gel medium along with small pieces of a crumpled dress pattern for texture. All of the collage elements were added and enhanced with watercolors and Prismacolor pencils.

Computer-generated text was added and enhanced with watercolors. Copper colored glitter was added to give the magic wand a bit of sparkle, and the dots were created with a metallic copper pen.

Hope you have a bit of magic in your day!

Credits: Fairy's body from Lisa's Altered Art - Etsy.

January 8, 2010

Little Boy Blue!

Little Boy Blue!
PNG File
For your artful pleasure!

When I saw this little guy, I just couldn't resist him and thought he'd bring a 'smile' to your day. I found him while browsing through images at the Library of Congress, where you can always find a wealth of fun pictures.
Jpeg File

Also, my sincere and heartfelt "thanks" to everyone for leaving such wonderful comments on my recently being published in this month's issue of Somerset Magazine. You've put a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I am grateful beyond expression for your kindness, friendship and support.

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

January 6, 2010

A Crowabout "New Year"

"Happy New Year!"
6"x6" Collage
(Click on the moon to see the details!)

After being on a five week break for the Holidays, Nancy Baumiller's Crowabout Challenge is baaa-ack! Whoo-Hoo and yippee! For those of us who love this group, it's been a very l-o-n-g hiatus. Suffice it to say, several group members mentioned bouts of Crowabout withdrawal symptoms!

If you're not familiar with this great challenge, every Saturday morning (US Eastern Time), Nancy posts a sheet of images to the group's Flickr. The Crowabout members must use at least three of those given images to create a collage which then gets uploaded to the Flickr Crowabout group page. (FYI - I've used approximately eight of this week's images.)

If you'd like to participate, just 'click' here and you'll be taken to Nancy's blog. Leave a message for her that you'd like to join in, and she'll send you the magic password to the Flickr site. It's an awesome group filled with talented artists, camaraderie, fun and good humor.

Hope that your day is filled with good art and good friends!

Credits: All images are from Nancy Baumiller's Crowabout Group except for the following. Little red heart and the blue/purple pieces in the side borders from Tumble Fish Studio - Etsy; butterflies - Dover Publications.

January 3, 2010


5"x7" Mixed Media Collage
(Click to see the details!)

Sometimes dreams do come true and goals are realized. Sometimes, it all begins with the encouragement of a friend. One of my goals for 2009 was to be published in Somerset Magazine. When the "Aubergine" challenge was posted in the Spring, my amazing friend, Marsha from Tumble Fish Studio, encouraged me to submit a piece.

Not quite sure that I was doing the right thing, I closed my eyes and offered a silent prayer to The Universe when I left the post office in June after dropping this piece in the mail. When the new Jan/Feb issue arrived right before Christmas, I opened the magazine with anticipation sprinkled with a healthy dose of trepidation and fear - Did they or didn't they publish my piece?!?

THEY DID!!! When I saw my submission "in print", I simultaneously laughed and cried. What a marvelous feeling! I'm absolutely "over the moon" with happiness and delight.

"Thank You", Miss Marsha TumbleFish, from the bottom of my heart for giving me that initial kick in the pants. And thank you too, my dear friends and faithful followers. Sometimes it DOES "take a village", and my heart is overflowing with gratitude for your support and encouragement. Your lovely comments have given me wings and courage. I've had many blessings during the course of 2009, but your friendship is the largest blessing of all.

Don't be afraid to take a chance and dream big!

Credits: Background - Itkupilli; Marie Antoinette and flowers from the Public Domain; faux writing stamp - Hero Arts.