Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Polymer clay class

These polymer clay pendants were made in my class taught by Kimberly Arden. I've been taking classes from her for years now. She is a wonderful artist and a fun teacher who encourages adapting things to be more "you". (That's how the curlique shape came about. The straightforward shape just isn't really my thing right now.) We constructed the rose and leaf canes in class and then put them together for the pendants. You could either do yellow, purple or red roses so of course I chose yellow because it has orange in it. I still havent put either of these on a necklace, but maybe someday I'll get around to doing that.
I had a very nice relaxing Easter. After I was finished playing services at church we went to my parents house for a nice dinner and just hung out with extended family. We got to catch up on what everyone has been up to and shared lots of laughter. I really enjoyed not having to run between my family and my hubbys (we had spent the previous Saturday with them). Usually I get stressed out from traveling and making sure we see everyone. It was very nice to do it differently this year.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday and a Snow Storm

I started a new art journal today. I have always drawn my pictures in my journal and then either pulled them out and painted/colored them, or copy them and embelish the copy. This new journal is more of a true art journal. I opened it up, dumped a bunch of blue paint on the pages and began. I didn't use a pencil at all, just started painting. I have a bouquet of tulips on my table right now that I was using as inspiration, but I think my painting looks more like poppies. Either way, it was fun to just dive in first thing with paint. Sometimes a new approach works out so well. I'm going to try to do my art both ways for a bit and see if I what I produce varies depending on which way I go. The flower inspiration was from Suziblu's prompt for the week. I've never done her prompts either. I guess I'm just in a mood to try something new this week.
I sent out my first art entry of my life this week. It is for a poster contest held by the Breast Cancer 3 Day. The contest is only open to 3 day participants. Anyways, I worked on my entry for over a month, asked a few people for critiques, worked on an artist's bio, signed my rights away in a waiver and posed while my hubby took my head shot. I FedExed the package on Wednesday and was almost in tears letting it go. I'm not sure what came over me. I made the art specifically to submit, but still freaked out sending it off. I guess I've never worried about someone "judging" my art before and now I know people will be for the contest. Anyways, I was and still am perplexed to my emotional response. I guess I'm just weird.
We're getting another snow storm today. Can you believe it. They're saying 5"+ for my area! I love snow but even I am getting tired of this. I want to see the tulips out in the yard, not in a vase. I want to go dig and tend to my roses. I want to take a walk not bundled in many layers. I want to lay in the hammock with a good book. OK, enough whining. I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter Penguin

I made this piece of art in the midst of the snowstorms we were encountering a week or so ago. I had decided with the weather being so cold and nasty, the easter bunny would boycott us. We were having weather fit for a penguin, so I threw some bunny ears on one and gave him a basket of eggs. It is a bit warmer this week and most of the snow is gone, but I still think the Easter Penguin has a lot going for him. I meant to make him into cards, but I encountered some scheduling problems and couldnt get to a copy shop. I still might take it and make some copies to have on Easter.

I have had incredibly good lessons this week. I'm not sure whats going on with my students, but they were all so enjoyable and attuned to their lesson. If every week were like this one my job would be pure bliss. I started picking out recital music for most of them so for the next 2 months, lessons will be very focused. I hope "summer vacation fever" that usually starts right after Easter will hold off since its so early this year. I'd prefer not to have that struggle quite yet.

I received this in an email today and thought it was beautiful. I loved that I received this message from a MAN who truly respects and celebrates the beauty and power of a woman.

Why Women Cry

A little boy asked his mother, 'Why are you crying?' 'Because I am a woman,’ she told him. 'I don't understand,' he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, 'And you never will.' Later the little boy asked his father, 'Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?' 'All women cry for no reason,' was all his dad could say. The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry. Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the 'phone, he asked, 'God, why do women cry so easily?' God said: 'When I made the woman she had to be special. I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children. I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining. I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly. I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart. I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly. And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed.' 'You see my son,' said God, 'the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides.'

I hope all of you embrace the qualities touched upon in this message both in yourself and in the women around you. Take a moment to reflect on those women who have sacraficed for you and let the goodness of those memories surround you with love.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another card for the deck

Sorry for the long time since the last post. Time just seems to slip away sometimes. I have been doing art, but just haven’t gotten to posting anything. Anyways, for today I would like your opinion again. I made both of these cards with thoughts for the Healing deck by Mother Henna. I'm not sure which would be better for the deck.

“Beauty Lies Beneath” was made for all the times we judge by first impressions or someone’s outer appearance. When we fall into this trap we miss out on getting to know the true person we have encountered. If we keep an open mind and block out judgment we can look with our heart and discover the treasures and beauty present within others.

“Love Unconditionally” was inspired by my dogs. They are always there with a friendly face and soft fur to bury tears into. They seem to know when you need something. They cuddly up right next to you and look at you with their big soft eyes and say “its gonna be alright” or “you’re the best.” Its been proven that spending time with your pets can lower your blood pressure and improve your health. I would love to see a thorough study of what having a pet does for your emotional health.

The text of both is not really on the card yet, I photoshopped it to see what it might look like, so that may change a bit. The “Nurture with Nature” card will be one of my two. Which of the other two would you rather see included in the deck?

In other matters, my Gramma spent some time in the hospital this week. I am very thankful that she is okay and home now. If you are lucky enough to still have your grandparents around you go tell them you love them. In fact, make a point today of telling people what they mean to you. So often we assume that they “know” how we feel, but can one ever get tired of hearing those precious words “I love you”? Embrace what you’ve been given and enjoy it while you have it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mother Henna's Personal Healing Deck

I worked on one of my cards today for the personal healing deck project sponsored by Mother Henna. I'm showing it here in hopes of getting some constructive feedback. I want to add the words "Nurture with Nature" or "Nurture in Nature". Originally I was going to use a monarch butterfuly, but I loved the spots on this one. Its a buckeye butterfly. It is done with acrylics on cardstock. I used the 2.75 x 4 inch size so I wouldn't have to worry about reduction later. The corners will be rounded for the deck, but I was afraid to round them myself in case they wouldn't fit the deck.
I chose the theme of nature because it is a source for much of my creativity. Things I see on my morning walk will often come out in sketches later in the day. When I'm feeling emotional just going out and sitting by my garden helps me work out what is bothering me. There are so many tiny miracles that happen without notice everyday. The transformation element of the butterfly is extremely useful to us when we are feeling uncreative, or in need of a change. If a caterpillar can complete such a drastic metamorphosis, what prohibits us from changing anything? It is very easy to become comfortable with routine. I am one of the worst offenders for this trait. The problem is that my routine can prevent me from branching out to new things, new people and new ideas. Stagnation may be comfortable, but it doesn't help me achieve all that is possible. Watching how things change in nature reminds me that change is not a bad thing. Change is necessary to growth. By embracing the miracles of nature, I open myself to seeing things in a new way and not being afraid to test out new things.
What makes you expand your views or try new things? What holds you back?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another Sunday

I made this mermaid a while ago, but she never got posted. It was nice to have something to show as I've got lots in the works, but nothing finished. She is done with acrylics over a watercolor background. She's got a polymer clay face (from a mold) and some outrageous art yarn hair. The face is off in color from the body, but in real life it doesn't look quite so drastic. I like how her tail hangs over the 5x7 base. I'm not sure what I'll do with her but for now she is sitting on my mantel.

I purchased a spirit doll from Groggy Froggy Lisa last weekend. She arrived a few days ago and she is even more amazing than her pictures were. The colors are so vibrant. She is a definetly a wild woman and I love her.

The young adults of my church have started a new fellowship between services and they are having members share things on a voluntary basis. Today a physician started things off by talking about how even the most educated among us dont know so many things. In particular he focused on the phrase "Beyond Human Comprehension". It is "Beyond Human Comprehension" how vast the universe is. We only see what our eyes allow and to be told that beyond that furthest start there is still an endless universe is simply not understandable. It is "Beyond Human Comprehension" how one person gets sick while doing everything right yet another can do many abuses to their body and remain physically stable. While our human nature cannot explain many things I know there is a greater force in charge. I may not understand why God allows for bad things to happen, but I do know that he is there. I feel his presence always, but especially in the little things like the first shoots coming up in the spring or a squeeze of a hand from a loved one. When things get difficult cling to those little things.

I have many of you in my prayers and hope you feel goodness and love coming your way.

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