Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'd like your thoughts

I am wondering what your thoughts are about online classes? I'm wondering if some of my classes might do well as online classes and if I should look into that possibility and explore further. Any thoughts? Anyone? Experiences? Likes/ dislikes?

Revisiting a painting in progress

Some of you may remember my working on this piece. It's been a long time since I've worked on it and posted pictures so I thought I'd show the progression of the piece and where it is now. It is not a piece of my "pretty work" but part of my own personal story. The pain was refreshed as I added on the broken glass yesterday. Lots of grieving in my heart. I thank God that He doesn't leave us stuck in the pain and mess but He redeems. It's part of the process... this piece is just another part of mine.


Shady Ladies Retreat

OK, so if you haven't had a chance yet to check out the Shady Ladies retreat where I plan to teach in April, now is the time! It's creeping up really fast so I invite you to check out the great classes offered by some fantastic artists at a small, more personal retreat! Click the logo on my right side bar! Would be thrilled to have you join me!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One World One Heart Give Away is HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!


Photo

It's that time again! I can't believe a year has already passed since the last, amazing OWOH event!
For this year's give away, I am offering this sweet piece of fiber art titled "Peaceful heart". It is made with a variety of fabrics and textures including vintage bits and piece and a felted heart with the word "peaceful" encased on it under a sheer fabric. This piece has hand embellishment and beading on it. It's seriously so much prettier in real life that the photo!

To enter in the drawing you just need to leave me a comment including your contact information. *(I have already gotten several comments with no way to contact the person if they win! Please make sure I have a way to contact you!) If you want to tell me where you are from, that would be cool to know but not a requirement. The event will end on Feb. 15. At that time, I will use the random number generator and choose a winner! That's it! That simple! And be sure to check out all the other great give aways posted on the OWOH site ( just click on the logo)! There will be HUNDREDS to visit and so many wonderful items being given away! Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you will browse around a bit and "meet" me as I share bits of my life and my art! I'm looking forward to meeting many of you as well! So, let the fun begin!

What have I been doing?


Well, I just finished a painting! I was commissioned to do this piece. It's 10x16. The style was specified as well as the subject matter. Kind of a new look for me... all the sketchy pen work. Fun though! It will be shipped later this week.

This is a fabric composition notebook cover special ordered by a friend.
This has been some of my latest entertainment. Putting bread crumbs out for the pigeons so my cats could be entertained! It's so fun watching them stalking.
And isn't this the sweetest thing? Marvin and Max sleeping together all snuggled under their blankets! Too cute!

My boys spent the night with their dad last night and I got a long phone catch up with my friend, Karen, in Colorado. (Her blog seriously needs to be updated with a recent post! Must nag her a bit...) I was up so late though that I needed a long nap today! LOL! The boys came home early so I really didn't get anything done today since church took up the morning. Oh well..

Some excitement here Friday... Sam took a dive over the handle bars of his scooter and got pretty bruised up and busted part of one of his permanent front teeth off. We were able to get in to have it repaired yesterday and am thankful that it wasn't worse!

Oh, and some good news! I have four classes on the books to teach at
The Creative Quest in downtown Glendale! So if you have been wanting to take one of my classes, now is your chance! Here's the line up:
Monday, Feb. 22 from 10-1
Beyond the bag: create a small book using grocery store bags! For this class, a sewing machine is required. Everything else is provided! This is a great "go green" projects. We will be making a small book but the technique can be adapted for a larger book. The color comes from alcohol inks! Very cool, huh?

Sunday, March 14 from 10-5
"Show of Hands" book: This book is created completely from your own hand! You will collage the cover, use watercolor paper and paint the inside pages (or use your own papers if you choose) and bind them together with a hinged binding. This is a great book for a gift! You can personalize it in so many ways.

Monday, Mar. 22 from 10-1
Watercolor on canvas: Yes, that's right.. on canvas! No need for framing! You will learn to do watercolor painting on stretched canvas. We'll be doing small pieces so we can finish in the time allotment. We will also be detailing with pen/ink. The painting techniques are a bit different on canvas than paper. Canvas is very forgiving with watercolor! Come try it out!

Saturday, May 15 from 10-5
"One Page at a Time": This is the book with my original binding technique I taught at Art Unraveled last August. This binding technique allows you to add pages in one at a time so you can do artwork outside of the book and add them in later or you can add in postcards from a swap or any other type pages. Pages can be paper or fabric. This technique also works well for art journaling because it opens and lies flat to work. Great for watercolor journaling! This was a very successful class at Art Unraveled and I'm excited to teach it again!

I hope many of you locals can join me for an upcoming class!

Friday, January 8, 2010

IT's almost time again....

for One World One Heart! It's the biggest blog give away of the year! I'm working on my give-away piece right now. Stay tuned for all the details for the main OWOH site where you can get your chance to win one of hundreds of prizes from different blogs around the world!

Trying to catch up

Well, I can't imagine catching up with entries here when I'm so behind! I'll try to recap a bit though.

December was the BEST December we have ever had! The college group from church "adopted" the boys and I and brought us a live tree complete with unbreakable ornaments, lights, skirt, everything... just after Thanksgiving. We have NEVER had a tree up the whole month of December. Usually it was put up Christmas eve and no earlier than a week before Christmas. So this year, the boys and I got to enjoy a tree for the whole month! I loved waking up and plugging in the lights first thing every morning. If I were home, I left lights on all day! And I was very thankful for the unbreakable ornaments since Marvin took the tree down completely within 24 hours of it being up. Thankfully, it was a pretty easy fix and the only time it went down! I have to admit though, I really missed getting to see all my ornaments collected over the years. I have many blown glass ornaments which I would no longer have if I had put anything like that on the tree this year with 3 young cats! Sam reminded me that we didn't have a tree last year and that made me sad because I remember so little about last Christmas. However, it made this year's tree even more special and because it was given to us with love, it will always be amongst the best trees ever in 'our' history.

That same day as the tree delivery, I was given a card informing me that we were being 'adopted' to receive the 12 days of Christmas meaning, every day for the 12 days of Christmas, a gift was delivered to us! AND, the mysterious card from the anonymous giver(s) gave me money to buy gifts for my boys! We received many, many gifts this year, even some from anonymous donors or long lost friends. We were blessed abundantly and so beautifully. It was the best Christmas season ever! The 12 days of Christmas givers were revealed on the 12th day of Christmas when our last gift was delivered by 3 young boys singing "on the 12th day of Christmas...." A sweet group of brothers and sisters from church, some of whom I really don't even know other than names, were the amazing gift givers. And to top it off, this Sunday, the women of the group have planned a luncheon for me... JUST ME!!! I feel so overwhelmed, honored, and loved! The men of the group are taking my boys for lunch and helping them build and launch rockets in the park! I still can't even take all of this in. God has profoundly loved us through this season that could have been so devastatingly hard with it being the first with our family not being together and the first without my step-dad.

During the holiday break, I did fun things with the boys and they enjoyed their time off school. However, this week has been refreshing to me having them back in school. I've hiked 4 days and did yoga one so I've got my routine going a bit. Next week other things start back for me so I will, once again, be limited to my exercise time. However, I still have yoga on Tuesday mornings and have been hiking with a new friend this week so she and I have planned mountain hikes for Thursday and Friday. The other days, I have early appts. or work to be at so I can't go.

A few weeks ago, my computer died. I finally got it picked up this week complete with a new hard drive (Thank you, God, for Apple Care) but I still can't get it running. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with a tech yesterday and still can't get it to work right so I gave up. I'm still borrowing my boys computer and when my frustration level goes down a bit, I'll be going back to the Apple store next week for help... unless some kind soul has pity on me who happens to be a computer guru familiar with a Mac. I'm having to set everything up on it again from scratch. I thought I got things transferred from my Time Capsule but nothing is showing up... trouble setting up the e-mail account again, etc... ARGHHHHHhhhhh

This past month was also one of getting a diagnosis for Sam that he is Highly Functioning Autistic. The Dr. said he was a really difficult case to diagnose because many of the very obvious signs of Autism aren't there. However, now that I've begun reading up on it, I see Sam so much more clearly now. He makes sense to me in a new way. Things that I just thought were quirky things about him all make perfect sense now. I'm even finding that some things I never really noticed before but see now and realize, "Oh, this has been there all along! I never realized it!" He is, however, very highly functioning with his biggest hurdle being in social settings. He's still doing really well in school. He's very, very smart. And I think because I've been able to hand pick his teachers each year, he is adjusting well in a normal classroom setting. This year, he seems more comfortable in the group and his teacher said he's doing really well working in groups this year, etc... But I think going into a classroom where he knew almost all the kids has made a big difference. Also having a teacher who is very structured but a very laid back personality and fun has really been a blessing. I will be choosing his teacher next year even more carefully although Sam already told me who he wants.. and this man would also be probably my first choice because I know the kind of man he is. He's the kind of man who has taken my youngest, Max, under his wing and picks him up to go skateboarding every other Friday after school. He doesn't just watch Max, he boards with him! Mike has been skateboarding for over 20 years! He also is the kind of man who took both my boys Christmas shopping and let them choose their own gifts! (and he really went overboard!) He's kind, patient, gentle, caring, and fun. There's also another teacher, a woman, who really impressed me when I met her in her classroom last year. I'm sure it will come down to those two. Now that I know of Sam's autism, I will have to approach the teachers on a different level when choosing for 5th grade.... even though a lot of my reasons for why I've chosen his teachers in the past have been based on things I already know about Sam which were actually signs of his autism but I just didn't know it.

Both boys just brought home report cards and Sam, as always, is doing extremely well. Max had his best quarter this quarter. Having him on meds for his ADHD have made a HUGE difference!

On the art front, well... I'm in a rut. I feel discouraged. I feel like I'm floundering and need to refocus and gain direction. I feel there isn't enough of me to do what needs to be done. I feel frustrated and scared. I'm trying to take things a day at a time but it is hard. I deeply want to teach and sell my artwork for a living but I can't seem to get going. Teaching once a week to the home school kids has been great. But I can't pay bills on a 4 day a month job! Cutting hair has been incredibly slow. I need to find a regular job for stable income but not having funds for after school care creates a huge problem. Max gets out at 1:50 every day and Sam 2:30. If I could find something part time that doesn't require phones (due to my hearing impairment).... Or if I could get some art classes booked around town and teach even a couple of weekends a month, it would be huge! I'm continuing my Friday art class teaching, which I really enjoy. If I could get another group of home school kids on a regular basis, that would be great. I also have a couple of places in town that I want to take some of my work in for sale. Now that the kids are back in school, I have to get moving on this. Then, I need time to make stuff to sell! And I need to take care of my kids... there just isn't enough of me and enough time to do everything I need to do. Yet, I will trust in God.. He is my strength. He continues to provide and care for me. He knows my path. I just need to trust and keep walking forward. Ahh... but it isn't easy. And that's the truth. Balance... it's a funny thing... something I can't ever seem to find.

Well, I need to get showered and on with my day. I've been in a MAJOR clean out mode and reorganizing. Still have some things to put away and a sewing project waiting for me with a deadline of Monday.

I'll try to be better about posting! I think I'm on Facebook too much! LOL!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Long overdue

An update is seriously overdue. My computer died a few weeks ago and there was a problem with my warranty... which has now been resolved and I get to pick my computer up tomorrow complete with a new hard drive! It's super late for me so I'll go to bed now and do an update on my OWN computer in the next day or so! Thankfully, my boys have a computer so I can take a turn here and there to read e-mail but just haven't blogged. Sorry! I probably have like maybe, two readers left! Oh, and my boys got cameras for Christmas so now I can "borrow" a camera anytime and start posting pictures again! WooHooo! I'll be thrilled for my own some day but heck, just having access in the house floats my boat! A trip to the gardens is in order! Ok, gotta' get to bed... made an early morning mountain hike date with a friend!