About Me

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I am a multifaceted woman, living with intention and passion. I always see the glass as half full (ok, almost always). Currently into: jewelry design, glass beadmaking (aka lampworking), visual journaling, cooking and web design everything. Things that bring me great joy: my family, friends, Scrabble, British period pieces, Shabby Chic, Austin, TX, mini art tiles, autographed cookbooks, chocolate, Chianti, pedicures and beach glass. I don't "do" and/or dig: dishonesty, guilt, intolerance, unkindness, drama and goat cheese (it's a long story, but I love all the other cheeses!) So you now have a teeny tiny little picture of me, with a few warts thrown in. Welcome to my world!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Books I have and Books I want!

     I'm talking about visual journal books, ATC (artist trading cards) and the like. Here is what I have and what I'm using to play lately...

1.  Kaleidoscope by Suzanne Simanaitis has a lot of focus on collage with a myriad of techniques and lots of fun projects to really get your creative wheels spinning...I love this book. My favorite projects include Susan Tuttle's "Exploring the Landscape Within, a self portrait," and Jill Jones' "Set Your Brain On Fire," among so many. Other contributors you might recognize include: Traci Bunkers, Christine Cox, Juliana Coles, Kate Lyon and Pilar Isabel Pollack. It is a great book to sit and read through to get inspired or just pick a random article to read and technique to try. It is a fabulous book all the way around and I highly recommend it.

2.  Alphabetica by Lynne Perrella is another book I have and love. Full of techniques and inspiration through and through. My favorite part of this book are the Artists Workshops with the Masters. There are 14 "workshops," each just two pages, with great examples on one page, and the directions on the second page, along with a list of each artists' "Studio Essentials" and "Influences." The workshops includes "Composition" with Claudine Hellmuth, "Layering" with Lynne Perrella, "Building Outward" with Lisa Hoffman, "Using Vintage Photos" with Judi Riesch, "Attachments" with Lesley Jacobs, "Transparencies" with Sarah Fishburn, "Using Great Quotes" with Linn C. Jacobs, "Faux and Ancient Surfaces" with Lisa Renner, "Working with Fabric" with Lesley Riley, "Building a Surface with Patterning" with Shirley Ende-Saxe, "Metal Tape and Altered Images" with Karen Michel, "Creating with Recycled Papers" with Monica Riffe, "Constructions" with Michelle Ward and "Working Intuitively" with Teesha Moore. The entire book is bursting with inspiration and techniques to try, but the Workshops make it work every penny and then some! Again, I highly recommend this particular book, one of my top five.

3.  Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino is the first book I purchased when I wanted to learn how to create a visual journal. It is full of good basic techniques to get you started and offers answers to any excuses that would keep someone from trying to create a visual journal experience for themselves. The chapters are called "Fear Busters," and each offers several ways to expel that particular fear or excuse. Some of the chapters include: "I have no time," "I can't write," "I'm just not artistic," "I can't draw" and "Nothing happens in my life." I have fallen victim to several of these excuses, so this book was a wonderful starting point for me personally. So if you have never done anything with a visual journal, I highly recommend this book.

More tomorrow...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

44 Things to do before I turn 45

I have been inspired by Spindelmaker's blog post to create my own list of things I want to accomplish before I turn 45 in December. I love lists, they give me something to aim for with the added pleasure of closure as I check off finished items. This is going to be fun! I am going to create the list in no particular order, so I can work on it from any direction. BTW, I am borrowing some of Spindelmaker's list ideas, they were very inspiring...and away we go!

1. Read 10 new books
2. Learn to make bath bombs or bath fizzies
3. Get up to 30 laps in half an hour at the pool
4. Submit work to three magazines
5. Write one letter by hand every week(this is going to be really challenging!)
6. Create art postcards to send to friends and family, randomly
7. Learn to make a good pie crust
8. Can at least 10 different things
9. Bike to Suttons Bay
10. Watch 5 sunrises(meaning I have to get up early!)
11. Go camping at least once
12. Put a flower garden in along the fence
13. Make new glass faucet handles for the kitchen sink
14. Make new glass faucet handles for the bathroom sink
15. Finish the mermaid sculpture I have started
16. Clean and fix up my glass/jewelry studio
17. Clean and fix up my basement
18. Sew curtains for Sophie's room and Tess' room
19. Send anonymous gifts to 3 people
20. Participate in a swap of some kind
21. Finish my new Queen of Tides website
22. Learn to make paper from recycled materials
23. Learn how to silk screen onto fabric
24. Spend 4 days alone with my husband
25. Hang up all my vintage mirrors that have been packed away since our move
26. Have 2 garage sales
27. Volunteer at Cherry Festival
28. Volunteer at TC Film Festival
29. Polish some of the wonderful rocks I've collected, especially the Petoskey stones
30. Add 3 new items to my Etsy shop each week
31. Learn to use the vector portion of Illustrator
32. Watch 10 Photoshop tutorials
33. Write 3 chapters of the book I have in my head
34. Get a tattoo
35. Use my metalsmithing equipment to create some gifts
36. Learn a dance of some kind, something fun, like salsa
37. Sort through old family photos with my mom
38. Create a family tree
39. Take a yoga class
40. Grow herbs indoors
41. Learn to make homemade corn tortillas
42. Make our Christmas cards
43. Make glass beads on average, once a week
44. Create a large mosaic

Ok, so I might edit this within the next 48 hours...depends, something may strike me over the next two days, something I've been wanting or meaning to do and forgot.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Orthodontia and Rainbows

    The weather was as strange as the range between my daughter's orthodontia appt. and the brilliant partial rainbow over my neighborhood this evening. It was overcast on and off, rainy and sunny at the same time, muggy at times and then cool and breezy at others...such a crazy day.

     Tweaked some of my visual journal pages this morning, but won't get more done until tonight. Also going to attempt to make some "cupcake" bath bombs tonight...it takes two days, one day for the base and the next for the "frosting." They are just the cutest things and I love good bathtime treats, I'm well overdue for a good soak in the tub. Spent the day perusing bath bomb recipes along with problems and solutions others posted on various blogs, really helpful. Then I spent the afternoon looking for all the ingredients...citric acid is not so easy to find! It is one of those things I will have to order by mail in the future to get the best price, and that is if, IF, they turn out on this first go through. I will post photos at the end of the day tomorrow or the day after of the final product.

     I'm posting my "Sister Mary Sunshine" visual journal page. This one was created with one of my own photos of me, lol, because I do look at life on the bright side for the most part, I'm an optimist, always have been and always will be. I don't like the alternative...and life is just too short!

     And lastly, a few photos of the train case I am upcycling to use for my visual journal art supplies. You can see the original steel blue color in the photo where the case is tilted up since I have not painted the bottom yet. The lovely blue is the new base color. I will be adding more layers of color and fun down the line. And then you can see all the supplies I can fit nicely into the case in the last photo.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Visual Journal and Studio Cleaning...

So I went out to my glass and jewelry studio to work on cleaning and organizing it further today, but only got about 45 minutes under my belt. Those little wispy spiders are everywhere, and although my shop vac is perfect for sucking them up along with all the dust and cobwebs, it still took a lot out of me mentally. I know, being such a wimp about it, thought I had really conquered my fear of 8 legged things. And I'm not so much afraid as I am edgy. When I come across one and it just zooms out, it startles me, and that is what freaks me out. I don't run screaming from the room or call out to my DH to come and "save" me, but I can only come across so many before it gets to me. I was hoping to have my studio all ready in 3 days, but it is looking like this may take me at least a week...sigh.

On a brighter note, I worked on some more visual journal pages and another project. I am revamping a vintage train case or make up case from the 50's or 60's. It was from JC Penney's and was a really dark steely blue with silver toned metal trim. It is a perfect size for taking my visual journal art supplies on the road. I have almost finished the first layer, two coats of a lovely sleeping beauty turquise blue. I still have to paint the bottom and then use a small brush to get into the smaller spaces so it is completely covered. It already looks so pretty and cheerful, much better than the original. I'll take a picture soon of the paint job when that layer is finished. I am posting photos of two new visual journal pages that I'm working on as well. So having fun making art in between cleaning out the studio and running away from spiders...it's all good!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Visual Journal Pages and Studio Clean-up

I've been having more fun than a barrel of monkeys with the visual journal pages I've created. Humungous thanks to Teesha Moore, her website, blog and "How I Journal" instructions. It has been so exciting to take a blank page and watch it come to life in ways I've only been able to imagine, but didn't know what materials, mediums or other tools to use to get there! I'm in such a great creative space, I want to get my glass and jewelry studio up and going again.

Of course, I've not been in it for over 6 months, so it is a total disaster, with cobwebs, little house spiders and more mess than I really want to tackle right now, but feeling compelled to take control of it so I can use it. I think I can even make a spot to work on my journal pages if I want to...we'll see! Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!