Saturday, June 30, 2007

I scream, you scream...

...we all scream for ICE CREAM! In the heat of the summer, don't you want to just melt right into a big puddle of sherbert ice cream?! Or at least have your house make you feel like it! When I came across these photos of Tim and Carol Bolton's house in Collector's Style book by Better Homes and Gardens, I couldn't stop staring at how they took off with the whole sherbert palette and made their home into a sweet feast for the eyes! Wow! Since today for the Everyday Notions challenge I'm thinking about color, I thought I'd share some color inspiration for the palette I'm in love with right now. Lets think about how color influences us and why we might be drawn to certain colors at certain times of the year or moods that we're in. I think the pastel candy colors of summer make us feel nostalgic about lounging in the sun at the beach or running out to the ice cream truck to get a cone. They're light and airy and happy! Gather a color palatte that feels right for today and make a collage. What colors do you crave right now? Let the colors work through you.
Do you find certain colors nourishing to you? Do you associate different times of your life with different colors? Do you always do the same color scheme for certain holiday's? I tend to change my color palette. Some years I go with a classic red and green, other times a deeper, primitive yellow and brown for Christmas. This year I heard that pink and turquoise is going to be all the rage. I love black and white at Halloween. Do the colors you need seem to shift? Pay attention to how colors trigger different aspects of creativity in you.In Foolsgold, Susan urges us to, "Invite color into your dreams. When you wake up, paint or draw or cut out the colors of your dream."
Hope you're having a sweet weekend!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Incredible kindness...

First off, a huge heartfelt thank you for all your support and encouragement for my last post. I am filled with joy over all your comments about being true to myself and the universal sentiments that rang true for so many of you. I am deeply touched. I have some really fun mail this week to share with you from a few of my generous blogger friends. This amazing package filled to the brim with goodies and handmade items arrived from dear Carolyn in the UK. This package was sent as a thank you for a package that I had sent her. What loveliness!!
Yesterday my swap came from Kimla. I had posted here about our three-for-three ribbon swap and showed you what I made for her. Well look at the goodies that I received. Wowza!! Gorgeous:) These ribbons look almost good enough to eat. What fun embellishments she used. Aren't they just wonderful!!? Such fun summery colors too!

Then she was sweet enough to send me all of these papers from Paper Planet. I'm going to have so much fun with these!

I was partners with Tammie for Jenny's Bits and Pieces Swap. Love this whimsical creation she made. Just delightful!!! Check out all the amazing work that everyone did for this swap here. So inspiring!
Isn't she a cutie!
I don't think I ever showed you in full the one that I made for her. Here it is below.
Fun, fun stuff. Thanks for all the warm fuzzies everyone!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Everyday Notions: {Fragile and Tough}

Ok folks, are you ready for a real challenge?! This one was pretty tough for me. There's a chapter in Foolsgold about looking for something in your life that's both very fragile and super tough at the same time. Paradoxical. Deeply rooted.
So the challenge is to make a collage or other piece of art that holds things both fragile and tough. These could be images that have symbolic meaning for you or actual objects. Susan says, "This frees you to dig something out that needs to go. It might be something within yourself. A habit, a fear, an idea, a belief. What do you need to let go in your life to make space for something new? "

As I mentioned, this was really difficult to wrap my head around. Finally it solidified in my mind that being a mother/a parent is so very fragile ( ego, patience, worries) and yet so tough (finding strength you never even knew you had). I liked the idea and with it the image of an egg continually came in to my mind. Especially the saying, "A Good Egg". It's always been one of my favorites. So what is it that I need to "dig out" and let go of? Control....the notion that as a mother I have control over my children and their destiny.

Many of you know that I have an autistic almost 4 year old son. The idea that I want to control his life is overwhelming. I wish the autism away every day, but will that make a difference? Absolutely not. What I need to let go of is trying to have control over the situation. Having a special needs child I am so extremely fragile and vulnerable, yet at the same time tough as nails trying to be his voice and advocate. I do what I can and that's has to be.

I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say here, but I know that I expressed it as I made the piece of art above. The mother's hand and her two "good eggs". Nurturing and fighting for the future of her children. The leaves representing their growth and potential. For some reason making this piece of art jerked something loose in my psyche because I've had an increased sensitivity and moodiness today. I'm not used to making and sharing such personal pieces.

Well, I'd love to see you give it a go...even if it's just in your head. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Personal shopper...

Maybe that's my true calling.. hehe! I had so much fun putting together a box full of vintage goodies for Rosalyn-Sue for a custom order. The thrill of the hunt along with coordinating everything together is wonderfully fun. Here's a peek at some of the goodies I found for her. Hope she likes them!

If you had a personal shopper, what would you ask them to look for?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Coming clean...

Kimla of Whimsy and Delight and I are doing a ribbon swap. She has some fabulous examples on her blog header and I asked if she wanted to swap. She was thrilled and I was so excited about her ribbons that I didn't want just one. So we're doing a three-for-three. Yay! So these are the three that I made for her. They're huge, award ribbon size. I can't wait to see what wonderful creations she comes up with. So on my last post I talked about challenging ourselves to empty something. Whether that's our mind or our dresser drawer. Make room for something new to come into your life. I took one look at my "studio" aka dining room and knew that it needed some serious purging. After a very prolific period of art making things were definitely in disarray (see below...yikes!).
So I emptied things out...reorganized...found some new storage options and am feeling much more open and energized. I started a few new projects this weekend and found myself to be much more efficient and productive with things more orderly around me.
Oh yes....if you were wondering, that is a few Halloween items scattered throughout (below). The silly ceramic faces and lots of glittered frames and trim. I am working on Halloween projects to sell at my vendor table at JustBe...Connected in mid-October. I needed a little inspiration and in my mind it's never too early for Halloween. Yes...I know it's only June.

Thanks for all the kind remarks on how this challenge is working for you. I am wonderfully inspired by you all.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Everyday Notions {Sharing} and {Emptiness}

These are the collages I made as part of the first exercise for the Everyday Notions Challenge. The items in the collages are things that passed through my hands for the first time on that day. Many of the sqares below are from vintage cookbooks and images from old patterns that I discovered that day at a church rummage sale. The trim and the bird above are from an estate sale and were in my daily box I shared here. Lots of fun stuff and what a wonderfully relaxing time I had putting them all together to tell the story of that day. I added quotes I wrote out on vintage ledger paper from the book Foolsgold that really spoke to me on that day.

Both collages above are available in my etsy shop, since part of this challenge for me is making art and then sending it off into the world.

It's been so fun to see the collages that others have posted on their blogs for this challenge: here, here, and here. Join in anytime! I got into the mode of using squares after I had been working on my Bits and Pieces Collage for Jenny's swap. Here's a peek below at the collage I'm making for Tammie. She said she was into red and turquoise lately, so I took on the challenge. What fun bold colors to work with!

So I said that I was going to post an exercise for the challenge on Wednesday's and Saturday's. First off, if you can't get a hold of the book Foolsgold, don't worry about it. I will be explaining as much as you need to know for the exercises here on my blog.
My thoughts for today are on emptiness. In the book, Susan talks about the creative being spawned from emptiness.
"Giving over to silence, waiting, allowing, listening....In the emptiness we might get an inkling- as if something lights up and twinkles- of how we'll begin to form and open to who we're becoming, who we most truly are. We need to leave space both for what we'll discover and what will emerge to discover us."

Notice what is overfull in your world. Bookshelves? Your head? Empty a day on your calender, a drawer in your bedroom, a shelf in your refrigerator, to make room for something new. "For as long as you want, leave everything empty. Soon you'll see the whole world makes offerings."
I'm going to give this a try. Let me know how it works for you.
I'll be back later this weekend with more food for thought.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Everyday Notions: {Day 1} What's in your box?

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
~Harold Thurman Whitman

If you're wondering what I'm talking about here, read this post first. I'm really excited about this new venture and am already feeling things starting to flow and move forward. So glad that some of you are interested in joining me on the journey. The more the merrier!

First off, if at all possible get this book~ Foolsgold by Susan Wooldridge. Get it from the library, the book store, wherever...just try to get your hands on it. I bought my copy this morning and am already starting to devour it. I first heard about it on this post from Teesha Moore. Such a strong recommendation, I had to give it a try.

Turns out it fits into the mindset of this challenge perfectly. The first exercise is straight from the book. Make a small collage box each day with ordinary things from your daily life. "There's evidence of hidden treasure within us all and all around us." Use whatever canvas you like, a piece of cardboard, a shoe box or checkbook box, wood or paper. Sing, tape, glue, paint whatever comes to you. Play, loosen up, have fun!!! Let the objects of your daily life speak the language of the heart. Let them come to life as you arrange them in a collage.Today my box is beautiful. I gathered these items at an estate sale this morning. While standing in line waiting to get in the house, I talked with a young couple that had just bought that very home. They told me about the woman that has lived there, her hobbies and her kindness. When I entered the house, I could tell it was filled with creativity. She had much crafty items, all carefully tended. All the trims were labeled with masking tape how many yards were there. She had boxes and boxes of lovely items. I carefully chose the velvet flowers, hand crocheted trims, glittered bird pictured above. I found the tin box in the basement and it seemed perfect to house all the new goodies I had gathered. This afternoon I will dump them out and start playing with the bits and pieces, creating something that depicts what my world is now. Today this is what passed through my hands. Tomorrow it may be mud and feathers. We'll see. For the next week, I will make a collage each day of Everyday Notions. I look forward to seeing what each day brings.

Please join me in this challenge. Post your daily box on your blog, if you like. Please leave a link in the comments so that we can all visit one another and hear each others stories. Welcome to the journey...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Towards a lightness of being...a challenge

I really need to lighten up....seriously. These words came to mind one day as I was out walking with my daughter. I meant it in the most literal sense, that I wanted to feel less heavy on my feet when they hit the ground, maybe even start jogging. My body, my appearance (got 5 inches cut off my hair), my thoughts, all needed a lift. As we transition into summer here in the western hemisphere, it just feels right to lighten the load.
So I have a challenge for myself- and all of YOU! Over the next several weeks I'm going to post every Wednesday and Saturday something called Everyday Notions. I hope that you'll join me for part or all of it. This will include exercises that will be designed to lighten our mind, our body, our expression of ourselves in our art. The exercises can be excecuted in a journal, altered book, on canvas, or whatever you'd like. They will involve completely ignoring our inner censor, using objects from our everyday lives, thrifting, using different formats, styles, colors and sizes. The results may be beautiful (or not) and unusual. I hope to get a hold of this book, Foolsgold, to help us in this process. I will be coming up with new challenges as we go along, so working on one thing will influcence the next. I have no idea where we will all end up. The journey truly is the destination. So, anyone else ready to leave some of that extra baggage behind?

P.S. To find out a little more about what's going on inside my head, here's a fun interview that Carolyn did with me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Who am I?

Do you like taking personality tests...I do!
Here's a fun one.

I am a Considerate Creator. Read all about me here.

Give it a try, what's your personal DNA?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sweet summertime...

Hope you're having a peaches and cream kind of weekend. Thanks for all the etsy orders yesterday afternoon. Sold out in a few hours. I shipped half of the orders today and will ship the rest on Monday. It has been hot and sunny here in Minnesota. We've been spending a lot of time with the kids at the pool. I still got away this morning to do my usual Saturday morning estate sale run and found some great deals. This kitchen towel (above) was too sweet to pass up.
Found this neat gold easel, perfect to hold my altered books. This is a layout from my Book of Dreams challenge that I led last summer. It says I dream a dream for you.

Here's a close-up of the stand and a very vintage hat I couldn't pass up. I think I'll eventually pluck the leaves and flowers to use on other projects.
This vintage Christmas corsage was 25 cents. I thought I'd spruce it up and it would be perfect for Silver Bella! It has some very old chenille stems and gorgeous pink leaves. Very retro cool!

Also found this little beaded basket for 25 cents. I'll probably switch out the flowers, but what a steal!This kitchen towel was 50 cents. Love the colors!

Speaking of sweetness, this banner is by Tammy Gilley and it just oozes summertime lovin'. Such wonderful colors. It's on the back side of our front door and I smile every time I look at it.

Hope you have a carefree weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2007

When I score, YOU score...

Oh my goodness, what lovely people you all are. THANK YOU so very much for sharing such enthusiasm with the annoucement that ArtsyMama is going to be featured in the upcoming Artful Blogging magazine. I am truly grateful to have met so many kind, creative people. I feel so much motivation and inspiration from all of you. This blogging community is amazing; we're all rooting for each other, so happy to see each of our successes, absolutely genuine admiration and support. A heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you.Ok, I really don't like seeing my face plastered across my blog here, but I wanted to share a pic of me, since I just got 5 inches cut off my hair the other day. It feels sooo much better. I have very thick, wavy hair and really need a low maintenance style in the summer when the weather is hot and humid. So here I am:) Maybe I should wear it like the little girl in the puzzle above. hehe!
As a way of saying thanks, I want to share some of my latest estate sale scores with you! These items are now listed in my etsy shop! The trims above are all vintage and oh so summery. They are packaged up in a mini muffin tin with vintage buttons and millinery flowers. Check out the shop for a better look.Look at this vintage crepe paper that I found in these fabulous candy colors! Need I say more!?!! That's in the shop too! Finally, the necklace I'm wearing above is also in my etsy shop. This is so cool! Very vintage with bright and cheery birds and leaves. It's just my way of passing on the thrifting love. Enjoy!!Someone else who loves to share her treasures is Donna. Look at the can she made and filled with loads of vintage goodies that she's collected. She's selling them in her etsy shop. Yummy stuff!!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's my turn...

Seems like there have been lots of surprises and very exciting news in blogland this spring. Now I have some of my own to share. I was going to keep this a secret a little longer, but word seems to be seeping out from people that regularly check here. Then Christi emailed me a congratulations, and said that she saw on the web site that there was going to be an article on me. I checked and lo and behold there I was in lights! My first glimpse at the article. So I am thrilled to say that the first ever issue of Artful Blogging magazine that will premiere on August 1st will feature an article on ArtsyMama blog! Woohoo!!!! This will be my first time published and I am beyond thrilled! From what I see in the first two pages (it will be a 4 page article) it looks like it's going to be fantastic:)
More info on the magazine here. It says there will be over 35 bloggers featured, who else is going to be in it? Fess up. I'd love to hear!!

Artful Blogger Summer Bash!!!

In other big news, since I have had so many people commenting on how fun the tea party was and it will be featured in the article in the magazine, I have decided to host a Artful Blogger Summer Bash for everyone that has a blog or reads blogs to celebrate the new publication and a great reason to party with creative bloggers all around the world. The party will be held on Wednesday, August 8th here on my blog. So mark your calendars. It will run much like the tea party, I will have a post that day and link to everyone else that hosts a party on thier blog. It will be fabulous. More info to come!!

Party in a book...

...and I am SO there! This round robin book that Melissa started is colorful and happy and vibrant, it just makes me smile:) It's our Spring Secrets round robin, but this little book is putting me right in the mood for Summer!!
I'm in a big retro mood lately, as you can see here in my pages (above and below)...

Melissa's gorgeous cover!

Here are some of Julie's pages in the book. Speaking of being in a retro mood. I re-discovered some of my favorite retro girls recently. Here's a sampling of some of their fun blogs...

Every Little Thing

Jane's Apron


Picnic by Ellie

Brocante Home

I find it amusing how I read different blogs depending on what style I'm into at the moment. Sometimes it's shabby chic, sometimes outsider art, other times Victorian, right now all about retro baby! Will I ever pick just one??