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Sunday, December 31, 2017


Okay, so there's a part of me that wants to totally skip any reference to the fact that my last post was way, way back in the summer.  I guess with the big January 1 hours away I have decided to get back to posting my creative antics.  There are loads of blogs where people mention their regrets about their blogging frequency.  I'm going to just jump right [back] in.  Everyone knows how life goes, so I see no need to even say that I've been living a busy life.  You probably already figured that out.

In August I joined a community share garden, actual they refer to it as an urban flower farm in Philadelphia. It's called Love n' Fresh flowers.  I joined online late in the season and each week, for 4 wonderful weeks, I would pick up a huge bucket of cut flowers. The best part of this deal is that late in the summer I got tons of these amazing dahlias. My neighbor Theresa has beautiful dahlias which I posted about in the past.  These flowers are stunning colors and frankly, they didn't look real.

I took them home and grouped them into half a dozen floral arrangements and shared them with friends at work.  

These are pics of the amazing trove.


If I could name the bunch above I'd have to call it Bollywood.

This last bunch is my favorite.  The flowers look like those honeycomb tissue paper decorations.  I wish there were a way to collapse and preserve them and open them up whenever I want.  Alas, the photos are my only memory now.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Another trip down memory lane

I have to say that organizing my studio is a teeny, tiny bit like being Indiana Jones for a day.  Thankfully, there are smaller spiders and no snakes and it's exhilarating to go through relics of my crafting history.  I never know what I'll find and sometimes it's like a time capsule, where I get the joy of reliving my creative past.  Other times I realize that I have totally outgrown any interest in certain collected treasures which, at one time, were like the holy grail.

Those of you who are artists, who enjoy taking classes might know what I'm talking about.  I took a class once and learned to make metallic ornaments from aluminum trays.  After that class I was obsessed with visiting dollar stores in search of the perfect type of tray.  I used old antique keys at one time and that began an Ebay obsession where I was bidding on boxes of "antique" keys.  

Please don't get me started on old jars of buttons, I could dedicate a post just to that collection alone.  

Anyway, the best find is artwork created ages ago that you really love.  I found this board from my last class at Create an Impression, a rubber stamp store that closed years ago sadly.  I loved teaching classes at my friend Heather's store, which was in Ardmore, PA. I worked at the store for a time, and taught classes and I wanted to advertise. So I started making boards to hang up and I'd attach the sample cards to the board.  I now treasure these, because they are like my own portfolio.  

For this particular class I had the students sign the board for me, as a souvenir of the last class I'd be teaching at my favorite rubber stamp store.  It means so much to find it. The staff, students and customers at Heather's store were the best.  I always felt that Create an Impression was my "Cheers" where everyone knew your name and we were always so excited to see everyone and shop for the newest products.  I met so many great people.  I miss it and it's great to take a trip back.

Here are a couple samples from the class.  The title was inspired by a line of products called 7 Gypsies.  I still love the style, it was so "me" and they had these great clear buttons, so we applied decorative paper to the back with Judikins Diamond Glaze.  I also loved the copper tape, which I put through a label maker to emboss letters.

The heart card below was fun. Using wire, ribbon and other findings (including coffee stained paper) to make a personal card.  Just yesterday I found the jar of instant coffee (French Vanilla) I used to stain the paper and man does that paper smell amazing.  I recall using the mixed coffee to stain the paper but also using the granules on top of puddles making really interesting patters on the paper.  

Thanks for joining me on this trip.  I hope to do more organizing so I was thinking that maybe throwback Thursdays are in order to check out some older cards to get a new take on them.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Happy Summer and it's off to a great start!

I have so much to tell you about!  I'm brimming with news and excitement.

So I actually tended to my email a couple weeks ago and noticed that one of my favorite artists and teachers was blogging about her new book.  The artist is Nathalie Kahlbach who is a mixed media artist and has her own line of stamps, stencils and an amazing blog. She also hosts the Creative Jumpstart online classes, which I was gifted a couple years ago.   

I took a class with Nat at the Create New Jersey retreat in 2014! Anyway, I posted to her blog to enter the contest to win a copy of her book and voila!!  I was the winner!!  The book is called ARtful Adventures in Mixed Media and here's the link to her blog, where I won!!

Nathalie Kahlbach's blog N*Studio

I was so excited when the book arrived I had to take a picture to send to her.  Her book has great ideas and is a wonderful go-to guide for those of us who have been paper artists for a long time and sometimes need a creative prompt to help decide what to work on next.  I love the idea of using photos of what we see each day to inspire us.  

Can't wait to make some art, inspired by Nat's book!!

I've got some fun artwork to post, but I'll keep you in suspense.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Love this!

So I now am addicted to YouTube. It's amazing how much creativity is lying in wait for us.  My pal Jo-Ellen found this video from one of our favorite teachers Karen Elaine Thomas where she uses inks to make a design, then tangles patterns in the white areas (Zentangle patterns specifically).   The technique is called Kumomi. She mentions that you can try to find images in the ink splashes. Her sample is AMAZING!


Of course we had to try it and since we didn't have her specific brand of inks we used what we had (imagine)!  We used twinkling H2Os.

Our favorite color was called Love Struck which is a beautiful deep shade of red. We found that the best way to apply the paint was with a very wet round paint brush so that you get big strokes of color. The package is shown below!

The product may be sold under a different name now.  Below is my finished piece. I had to emulate Jo-Ellen's artwork because it is stunning!!

Here's another work in process but I realized I didn't leave enough large areas of white to tangle. Still looks cool, but a different approach. 

The artwork below was what inspired my piece. Jo-Ellen's is below and you can tell by her quality tangling that she is a Certified Zentangle Teacher CZT!  Her tangles are perfection. 

So I'm including other pieces she made. Jo-Ellen used Microns in various colors, that really work with her H2Os color choices. 

So below is the first step, broad brushstrokes of color. 

Then you outline the white areas and get to tangling them. If you have no idea what I'm talking about when I refer to tangling then look up Zentangle and learn more. It's a meditative art form that encourages mindfulness and is so relaxing. 

After you outline the white areas you tangle a pattern in each white space. If it's a small area you can just color it in. I used black Micron markers for mine.

So here it is, Jo-Ellen saw a dragon that then morphed into a camel in her blue ink splashes and she drew him in! So, fun! Love that little guy!

Try this out for yourself, it's very addictive!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Not quite New Years

The holidays commandeer a load of time so I'm finally returning to post after two months. I've had a lot of wonderfully inspiring time to create lately. My friends and I had our art retreat which is the genesis of the name of this blog Artapalooza!!  We hunker down in my studio and create. 

After receiving a gift of tiny canvases 4x4" I created one today. Coincidentally, the online show Make It Artsy had a segment where an artist showed how to create these using paper scraps and a little paint, plus some tissue paper. 

It's great to hang on to tissue papers, particularly white for these projects. White tissue allows you to soften or correct a work. It also allows you to add a stamped image and not commit until you like it, so that's really helpful. 

Here's mine, which is a quote by Frida Kahlo!

More to follow!