Wednesday, September 14, 2011

She Loves She Art

More "she art" to show you!  Some time back, we had a women's ministry summer gathering at church entitled "Singing in the Rain" and our guest speaker was a lovely lady named Amber who shared her powerful testimony about the loss of her 7 year old daughter to an inoperable brain tumor, and Amber's resultant crisis of belief 5 years later.  Her wrestlings with God took her through unimaginable grief, leaving her alone with her questions.  Have you ever questioned God?

Ultimately, God won Amber's heart in a year-long wrestling match when she came to realize that He loves her no matter what.  As a thank you gift for ministering to our group, I made Amber this 8x8 canvas with the bible verse "She can do all things through Christ who strengthens her".  I think I love this canvas more than any others I have done.  It's color palette is soothing, and so is it's theme.

A matching composition notebook  joins the canvas, in the same soothing colors.  I do love butterflies, oh yes I do!  On these types of mixed media projects, they just "fit" the flighty nature of the art, don't you agree?  Butterflies in headbands, hair pony tails, dress trim, and backgrounds.  Flutter by butterflies!

This morning, I am thankful for my creative times.  Time that allows me to reflect and ponder my own "wrestlings with God" and how he ultimately won my own heart.  We all have a story to tell.  We are all stories in the making aren't we?  Today, as I go about my busy day at work and in life, I will remember that "She can do all things through Christ who strengthens her."

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Heart My Art Buddies

What's not to like about peanut m&m's and art buddies?  I found a few more pics of our adventure with Donna Downey, so I thought I'd post 'em!  No project pics (unless you count the m&m masterpiece!). 
Donna is a good talker.  So am I.  That is why my name spelled backwards is YAK.  I am not sure what she is explaining here, but suffice it to say she is a good talker-teacher!  Getting to know Donna was half the fun!  

Being with your scrappy buds is like breathing air -- we need it, don't we ladies?  Our scrappy gang enjoyed a 'licious mexican dinner afterwards.  Arn't we the babes? 

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Dear God", she prayed ...

"Dear God" she prayed, "Let me be something at every minute of every hour of my life. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost." Have you ever worked on a 12x12 canvas? I had worked with 12x12 scrapbook pages in the past, so why not give it a try in the mixed media art world?! (she said to herself) So ... she did.
And it was both fun and freeing to have the opportunity to fill a lot of extra surface area, all around my little darlin' girl. Now, I could have made little darlin' girl BIG, but maybe next time. For now, I like her full profile. I love the uneven ruffle on her dress, hemmed with pearls. (Be warned: I am brewing up a little idea inside my head to make a big profile using only her face and upper body. I brew ideas, not coffee.)
And a notebook to matchy matchy. Guess who is typing on a new laptop? And guess who went to see the movie "The Help" yesterday? I live a charmed life, I do!Now, I must go and "labor" on Labor Day. As in, I have been to 8 states in 2 weeks, and only taken 2 vacation days (in addition to the weekends), all in a car (not in an airplane), and that means the laundry needs done. I just got a telephone call from my High School Math Teaching Son, Keaton, who wanted to know if he would look like a cool High School Math Teacher in a white double pocket dress shirt? The issue was the double pockets, he said. He thought math teachers only wear 1-pocket shirts. So, ultimately, after deep, soul-searching conversation, we decided that he would be a trend-setter. My son, the trend-setter. Yes, I really do live a charmed life, I tell ya!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Got apron? check. Got Shiva Paint Sticks? check. Got some creative mojo ya gotta let out? check. Once I got there, I knew I was ready to rock-n-roll!! Let the sun shine in! This was an experiment. On a canvas apron. With a head full of ideas. And no understanding of how certain mediums would "take" to the canvas. But how are ya gonna learn if you don't try? And so try, I did. The worst that could happen would be a donation to the trash can, right? But it ended up pretty cute!

First, a word about Shiva Paint Sticks - which are oil based - and they stink. Oooh boy, do they stink! If anyone has an idea on how to get the smell out of the finished apron, do share! I've heat set it in my dryer and that did seem to help a bit. But now I'm over the smell -- now I'm just into the cuteness factor!

I used stencils and a stipple brush to add the flowers, later highlighting them with white dots of acrylic paint and yes, I actually sewed on the buttons! ME? Sewing? Unbelievable. Using some of the techniques I learned in the online class, She Had Three Hearts Workshop, I added more texture to the back ground by using stamps and staz-on ink - here and there and everywhere.

After stamping the dragon fly images, I went back with white acrylic paint to make them pop. I found a dotted leaf stamp in my stash, which further added definition and texture to my hand-drawn leaves. Mixed media is just that -- mixed. I am loving the journey! Whatever you are doing creativity, I encourage you to go a teensy tiny bit outside your comfort zone ... and just watch how your heart takes flight! Yes, I will get out my stinky Shiva Paint Sticks again. It was just waaay too much fun!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Donna Downey Class - People Pics

Here's our gang, here we are with THE Donna Downey. Aren't we just the cutest chicka's on the block? This picture was taken before class started. I know this because (a) the table is still neat and (b) everything is still in my gallon size ziplock baggie. See it sitting on the table? LOL Here's my traveling buddy Lynn in her new Donna Downey apron! It's a true fashion statement babycakes! Diva -- through and through. Love this girl.

For a quick minute, Sisterpants mistakenly thought she was in a hair salon and was about to give Linda a trim! Look at the look on Linda's face .... priceless! Notice the Welcome Donna sign hanging on the wall? I thought that was such a nice touch. Kudo's to Altered Angel for putting on such a fun event!

Talk about a look on someones face?! Check out Ms. Downey herself! That just cracks me up. It's so Donna. I have no earthly idea what prompted the look, but it absolutely positively most assuredly qualifies as the look doesn't it?!
I wanted to post a picture of Donna that was not the look - so here ya go! She was demonstrating how to use modeling paste with stencils, which adds a very cool texture to your page or canvas.

Take a looksy at Lynn, peeking through the crowd at Donna's demonstration, looking all cute in her fashionista apron! Someday, we are going to find her on the Advanced Style blog - I just know it!

Here's a shot of me and sisterpants! Smiley Sisterpants are we!

The three musketeers - Kay, Lynn, and Sisterpants Joyce. I was having a decent hair day. Don't you just love life when you have a decent hair day? It's all about the hair.

Fun times, fun friends, lots of laughs, good memories, beautiful art, fabulous teacher, very cool scrap book store, lots of learning, reflective thinking, and the presence of peace in my heart. So thankful for it all.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Donna Downey Inspiration Part 2

"Oh for Pete's sake!" I said to myself when I saw this particular Inspiration Journal in the box of available journals to choose from at our 2nd Donna Downey class. It was love at first sight. Why? I have that stamp, both the flower and the outline. I hugged it, and walked away with it. If class had ended there, I would have gone away happy.But it didn't. End there. It ended here. With Donna writing in my book with a nib pen and India ink. In my book. Donna Downey wrote IN MY BOOK! In true Donna teaching style, she said she could not just write any ole' words because it was not HER book, so she asked me what words to write. On the spot - that was me. So I went with my gut. She wrote the words I spoke "Donna said all art is beautiful. She taught me to be brave." And she did. Teach me to be brave in art.

With this brave new art feeling, I colored in the loopy loo parts of the lettering with Faber-Castel markers. So what's the image on the center part of the page? Thank you for asking! It's another technique that Donna demonstrated in my book. Donna Downey demonstrated image transfer IN MY BOOK! You start with an image or picture that you print out on plain ordinary white copy paper and you transfer the image using Golden Regular Gel Matte Medium. Talk about brave! Isn't that just too cool? Next picture is my attempt to write with a nib pen and black India ink.
I wanted to document the day with some art journaling. I like it! I can see myself incorporating my own hand-writing into my art journaling this way. I'll put my brave on as I go, which will more than likely produce some loopy loo lettering! Here's the entire layout, complete with the inclusion page. It's special to me. ... I mean, Donna's page on one side and mine on the other. Melts me.

A close up picture of the inclusion page. All of Donna's inspiration journals come with a variety of inclusion pages - makes it all the more "one-of-a-kind" cool. I thought it quite fitting to add a ruffle made with book paper since Donna had shown us in our earlier class how to gather, oops I mean smish, it into place. The art of smishing! It's brave, baby! Are you beginning to see the YOUnique part of keeping an inspiration journal? Let that sink in.

Donna's Inspiration Journal class is definitely NOT for kit-oriented people. You show up with a gob of your own art supplies, you dump them out in your work space, and you respond artistically to her art prompts which, trust me, are not ordinary. Some people finished pages, others went to a new page each time she grew our mind in a new way. Yours truly is a Type A personality (everything has a place, and there's a place for everything). So, naturally, I would have come down with a major headache if I had tried to skip from page to page. Thus, here's some of my "finished" pages. This layout was the result of some cards Donna handed out - everyone had a different card and we were to take whatever inspiration we wanted from it (shape, size, color). Ironically, at that same moment, my girlfriend sitting next to me handed me a wad of burgundy and olive green felt flowers, stating she didn't like them. My brave kicked in and within 2 nano-seconds I had them glued on the page! Thank you Linda - I love 'em!

Next up, we were to trade places with someone we don't know - and take our inspiration journal. We did. And there we sat, an expectant class. That's when Donna announced we were to create, using someone else's gobs of art supplies! Too Fun!

I got to use water color crayons! And ribbons and flowers and stamps! And I made a new friend at the same time! Here's my finished layout, using my new friend's stuff:

The next layout incorporated some hand-drawing with a charcoal pencil, and using a punch (both the positive and negative). This was actually my first page during the 3-hour class ... and definitely my least brave! LOL

Visit Donna's blog for her Inspiration Wednesday video's, and I bet you can't help but put on your brave too! After taking this class, one thing on my to-do list is kinda weird ... but meaningful to me. Donna had noticed that all my gobs of art supplies were neatly packaged in plastic baggies, which were inside baggies, which were inside more baggies (did I mention Type A personality?). And we did fly there, for Pete's sake, and it was in my checked baggage! I love justifying! But true to Donna's teaching style, she noticed my Type A baggies, and she came along and did the baggie dump, tumbling art supplies all over my Type A organized work space. I laughed, and suppressed the multi-tasking clean up headache that I envisioned would come my way later. And told her I would stick my hand in those baggies and use it to paint something in my inspiration journal. She loved the idea! I do too. Brave chick. That's me!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Donna Downey Inspiration Part 1

I feel like the mom in the commercial who never gets her photo's out of her camera, and her son is stuck mid-air jumping into the pool waiting on the pic! Remember that one? Seriously, my camera thanked me after I downloaded everything! So let's get down to business - Donna Downey business! First up is a GORGEOUS canvas album that we made with Donna at Altered Angels - a newly opened local scrapbook company in the Atlanta area that totally ROCKS. A round of applause for Mary, the owner, who brought in Donna as her first guest artist/teacher. W-O-W. And a big W-O-W for Donna's classes too!

We learned the "art" of gathering - oops, I mean smishing - bookpaper and canvas to make the most gorgeous ruffles. I mean, come on, doesn't it make you want to touch it like, right away? This little canvas album comes blank, ready to be transformed, and transform it we did!

Donna also introduced us to her 12x12 canvas sheets, which you see cleverly embedded on the cover of this album. Ironically, before class started, I was shopping the store with Donna by my side (see why going to these things totally rock!) and I picked up one of her 12x12 canvas sheets and asked her point blank, "OK missy, what do you do with THESE?" to which she instantly replied "What would you do with it, if it were a 12x12 piece of paper?" She's a true teacher, babycakes. Answer a question with a question. Made me think.

Donna's teaching style is another topic -- will save that for Donna Downey Inspiration Part 2. Suffice it to say, you go away "learned". She brought her lovely family to the Atlanta area with her, and thanked us all for "supporting the Downey family". It was a pleasure!

My buddy, Lynn, with her finished canvas album. She traveled with me, 1200 miles round trip, to visit with my sisterpants (pictured below) and do these classes. What a good traveling buddy!

And here is sisterpants, in the flesh, with her finished album. She is the host with the most - trust me ... you WANT to know her. Sisterpants is fun, and kind, and loving, and buys good chicken salad and croissants, and cookies. And she was smitten with blue shimmer paint. Well, I will (eventually) get real pics printed out and into my real canvas album. And it will sit on my real dining room table to remind of the real fun memories. Really.

And here is chubby yours truly.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

She Can Do All Things Through Christ

"She can do all things through Christ, who strengthens her." Phillipians 4:13. A long-time friend of mine is learning to live life as a widow, quite unexpectedly. I wanted to make her something that would stand the test of time as she faces the future. I pray it blesses her days ahead.

I'm crazy loving this little she-art girl. Her braids were so fun to do. I wanted to try my hand at doing a neutral background, and it turned out to be a very fun challenge for me to find ways to make the neutral colors pop. Lots of stamping with black staz-on ink this time. Isn't the bird cage super caaute! It's a stamp that somehow found it's way into my shopping cart from the Donna Downey Studios. How do things like that just happen?! LOL

Getting pretty good at smudging, blending, rubbing, dotting stuff with my fingers. Quite an achievement from a girl who, not so long ago, was known to say "Ewww, do I have to get my hands dirty?!" Ohhh, the things we do for art.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

She Had Three Hearts - Art Journaling

My next big creative adventure is Art Journaling. The same craft buddy who introduced me to She Art (also lovingly known as "Cindy the enabler") has now introduced me to Art Journaling. So a few of us craft buds are taking Christy Tomlinson's latest online class entitled She Had Three Hearts. Here is my journal cover (Gesso'd - of course!).Here’s my mess! The hand-written journaling around the heart says: “The Lord does not look at the things we look at. We look at the outward appearance. The Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) It doesn’t exactly follow Christy's 3 heart theme (world, family, me). While in church on Easter Sunday a few weeks back, I remember the Pastor saying “It’s all about the heart” and it stuck with me. Then yesterday when I was at Borders, I found a Beth Moore book entitled “A Heart Like His” so I figured it was meant to be! I’ll enjoy keeping this journal a lot! It’s a 7x10 size.

Thanks Cindy - I know you're there! :)

She Art Journals

Since I'm so into She-Art these days, I decided to practice by making some for the girls in my monthly swap group. I transformed composition notebooks into She Art Journals. And if they are not into journaling, then it will be a fun place to keep grocery lists! LOL! For me, discovering Gesso has been monumental. My husband might find Gesso'd socks and underwear someday, cuz I'm Gesso-ing everything in sight! The covers of these composition notebooks, once Gesso'd, were a fabulous surface to work on. This first girl says "the more the merrier". Love that. She's a happy little thing.

Little miss hat girl is sporting the number 26 -- symbolic to me because that was my son's soccer number for like-ever. He even designed a line of clothing (t-shirts) all with the number 26.
I love Butterfly girl for so many reasons, besides the butterfly in her cute hair that swoops because the wind is blowing it! LOL I love the red, and I love the friendship theme. Love love love!

Next we have a Flower Child from the 70s who is really skinny. I messed up her shirt, so I just kept adding on to it until it became a tunic. Good thing it finally worked, or we'd have a maxi-dress.

Lastly, I wanted to try a completely different color scheme in the tan-brown family. Love her blond hair piggy tails. When she was done, I sat back to take a look at the girlfriend I had created and said out loud -- WOW, you are a chubby girl! Thus the saying, Think BIG. I kinda relate to this one the most ... I'm just sayin!

All-righty then! This bunch of she-art girls are kinda like a little family to me. The others that I've made were all individually done. I guess that's why this bunch seems like a bunch of sisters. Funny how paper ladies with no faces can have such personality!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

She Art for Mother's Day

This canvas was a gift to my daughter for a Happy Mother's Day. It reads "She was the keeper of her family" which was so very perfect for the occasion! She oh She .... I am on a roll, babycakes! I love the way this little gal turned out. I love the detailed trims on her collar and dress, and dig that cool hat and hair! Can I just say once again for the record, lest you forget, that I am really really really enjoying this paint, art, stamp, mess, cut, paste, draw, doodle, kind of fun! Did you check out Christy Tomlinson's blog yet? I'm debating over taking her next online class -- She Had Three Hearts. I hope you have the most wonderfulest of days! Thanks for dropping by.

She Art Revision

I posted a picture of this little canvas in my last blog post, but I was never really satisfied with how it turned out. So this is my new and improved version! I kinda love it now! No need to toss it out and start over ... just add, and add a little more, and add a little more more. That's one of best things about the whole "She Art" process - there's no such thing as a mistake. Love that! Here's the story behind this canvas. Ever since my mamma went to heaven a little over a year ago, there is a darling lil 'ole 80-something year ole' lady at my church who gives me a hug EVERY Sunday. She hugs me and says "This is from your mamma until you get to heaven too." She reminds me so much of my own mamma -- beautiful white hair, bright eyes and smile, and a fun giggly laugh. Now tell me, isn't God so good! So I added the saying "There's nothing like a mamma-hug" and gave it to her for Mother's Day. The number 87 on the canvas is significant, because that's how old my mom was when she died. So you see, I really do kinda sorta love this piece of art after the revision. The picture below was the first go-round, so you can really see the difference.

Yay for She Art! I am so thankful for my good friend, Cindy, who shared She Art with me. And I am so thankful for Christy Tomlinson's willingness to teach others to have "art in our heart" through her online She Art class. Check it out -- I think you'll be glad you did!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

She Learned About "She Art"

Can I just say ... I am having SO much fun learning She Art! And that's a major understatement. I never ever never ever would have believed that I could do this. But guess what? I can do this! I am taking Christy Tomlinson's online class. It's A-mazing. Her videos are fresh and fun. Her teaching style is hands-on. And it's worth every penny! I can stay in my PJ's and watch and learn. And then go create! Swoon.

I don't yet know what She Art sayings that I want to add to these canvases, but it will come to me. She learned about She Art. She loved what she learned. She was a brave girl. She got her fingers messy. She was proud of her mess. She tried the untried. She knew creativity was good. She was a happy girl.