Friday, October 23, 2009

IF - Fast

image
Finally!  I have time to work on another Illustration Friday Prompt! (as well as 10 other things going on right now!)
Today I wanted to do a piece about sending love through the mail--Fast.  Sure an email will send the words I LOVE YOU fast, and a text will send it even faster.  You could Facebook it or even twitter it. But is Fast always the best way?  What about the time when Carrier Pigeons were the FAST way to send mail.

But what if we used good old fashioned air mail to send our hopes, dreams and desires to those we loved. Is that the fastest way to send something so fragile? I live with the person my heart has always longed for so there is no need to send him a letter but I need to make sure he always knows his Place in My Heart.
Place in My Heart
Jenn Mason
October 2009
Gelatin Print, Found Objects, Pen and Golden Threads.
If you're here from IF, welcome!  If you're a regular reader, thanks for coming back.  If you're lost and just happened upon here, Have a great Friday and I hope you get back safely.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All Hands on Deck

facebookAd

I'm so excited to be part of this fundraiser!  If you go to the www.alldecksonhand.org website you can look under artists and see all the amazing boards that were turned in.  If you're interested you will be able to bid on line when the auction starts.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Hello and welcome to the studio!

Well, not the studio but the open studio.
You may have seen the cover of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Fall 2009. You would be looking at my home!

This picture at the top? And the one below it? Both of these are "before" pictures of our home as it once stood just two short years ago. A carriage house turned wood worker shop.

The house was built in 1850 and I'm not quite sure how I got past the claustrophobia of it all and saw the possibilites but we made an offer and started construction the day it became ours.

Eventually we'll get to a couple photos of my studio but first I thought I'd show you some behind the scenes look at the photo shoot for the cover. I had always wanted to know what happened at one of these and now I do!
It's a lot of fidgeting things a round, moving lights and MacGyvereing things into place. Although the space stays pretty true to the actual thing, we had to shift things just slightly here
and there to make sure they looked good on camera.


Here you can see that they already have an idea of the cover layout before we even get a real shot. There were two "advance team" trips out to take photos before we had the hired guns show up.
And show up they did. With full sized computers and screens, cameras and lights. We moved around a ton of furniture just to make room for the equipment!






It was really fun to watch the process and I'm honored that I got to play a role in the September issue.
I'm especially proud of it because it's not just my artwork on the walls that I'm able to share with you but also my home. This was a labor of love of both my wonderful husband Matt and I. We designed the whole house by ourselves and we had a wonderful contractor (Stealth Construction). Who gave us everything we wanted and more.

I'm not sure if it really comes across in the photos but that big wall with all the art on it? It's really on a diagonal.
We designed that wall especially for Open Studios here in Brookline, MA.

The space is big and modular making it possible to move a few pieces of furniture and entirely recreate the space.Starting this month I will be teaching workshops in my home/studio. We've hosted a Soup Crawl, book club and during Open Studios I host 4 other artists in the space as well as a mixed media gallery!



So here are a few shots of the actual studio which sits just off this main room in the photo. It makes it easy to stay in touch with the kids while they do their homework and to work on dinner and a project at the same time. I hope it's helpful to hear that I struggle with all the same things that you do. Finding time to make art, keeping the studio cleaned up enough so that I can find things, storage, etc.
A couple of the things I love are the little nook with the shelves (this is where my under the counter cd player lives) and my closet with a sink! OH Joy! And I love that it has punches of electric green in it too.

If you want to find out what I'm up to please feel free to subscribe to my blog. You can also check out my workshop schedule on my Create Everyday Workshop Blog. My personal artist website is www.JennMason.com and you can find out more about my books, licensed artwork and fine art there!

And my latest endeavor is www.EverydayArtistStudio.com where our mission is to encourage you to live more creatively every day, regardless of family plan, age or career path!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Studio Tour!

In honor of the new Open Studios issue by Cloth Paper Scissors I will be participating in their on-line studio tour. (yes that's my house on the cover!) There are over 50 artists who are sharing their spaces! (let's just say I lost count at 50ish)
Tomorrow all the artists will have their studio pictures up on their websites/blogs.

Come back tomorrow and see my collections of studio and OPEN Studio pictures (or pick up a copy of the magazine and see them in print!)

I can't wait to go visit all the studios!

More tomorrow!

Teaching workshops at the Studio!


I think I am now working on no less than four blogs right now! I hope I can keep them all straight.

For those of you who follow this blog, let me point you for a moment to my new blog Create Everyday Workshops that I created specifically for the workshops I'll be teaching from the home studio.
The Fall Semester is themed Handmade Giving and our first class is Chandelier Charming and takes place on October 7th. You can sign up for one class or the whole semester! ($25 or $150 respectively)

As always, you can find me trying to inspire you to live more creatively everyday at www.EverydayArtistStudio.com!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Key to Balance (on a skateboard!)


So, this is a fun video I put together on the Making of The Key to Balance, a piece of art I created for the All Decks on Hand Show and Auction taking place this fall at the After Hours Gallery (www.afterhoursgallery.com) to benefit the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.
All the artists were to create their art on a skateboard deck--and I decided to go all out and create an assemblage.
My daughter needed something to do and likes to help out when she can so I put her to work sanding the board. I always wanted an assistant!

While I am not immediately affected by autisim in my family, I appreciate the struggle families have to help raise their child with autisim in a happy, healthy and supportive environment. I was very excited to be able to help out doing what I love to do--share beauty with the world, on a skateboard no less! I hope that someone falls in love with my piece, "The Key to Balance" which speacks to both this ability to cope with autisim, as well as any personal struggle someone may have. You must take ONE step at a time. You must walk thru some murkieness. You must find the keys or tools to cope and you must take it all with you through your journey. In return, you get to stop pushing and enjoy the wind in your hair every once in a while.

By the way, thanks to Earth Safe Finishes for the products to paint and stain this board. I enjoyed using thebproduct knowing I was being green! I see myself using more of their products in my art in the future! Check them out: www.earthsafefinishes.com

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back from Cleveland

Cleveland ROCKS! Ok, I was actually just outside of Cleveland, sitting in a Clarion Hotel for the better part of the day but day 2 was REALLY fun. I taped a DVD Workshop called Mixed Media Medley for Cloth Paper Scissors. I'm talking FUN. Fun and more fun. Even though I had to wait until the very end of the day waiting for all the fascinating artists that were taping their Quilting Arts TV segments (we shared the same set)--I still had fun. I actually got to watch a lot of the taping of the different segments which was good quality creative time as far as I'm concerned!

Take a look at the video I put together but be warned, I start out without any make-up on!

This week is the last Brimfield of the year and Back to school--double bonus! More pictures to follow! and I promise to let you know when the DVD is available too.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Work Benefits

Just one of the many benefits of doing the work I do.  Don’t ask.IMG_0583.jpg picture by randyh822

This is from the CHA Consumer show in Orlando earlier in the summer.  It was taken in between Booth demos and teaching a class.  Now, don’t you wish you were there?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Studios Cover Shot!

It was quite an ordeal to have the photographer in from Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine but it was enjoyable. We spent a lot of time tweaking, moving lights and eatting scones. ( I ate the scones--I wasn't allowed to touch the lights) The crew was terrific and I loved the behind the scenes look at the photo shoot. And here is the cover! You can pre-order your copy here if you want. I've got a pretty extensive article on how to participate in (and visit!) an Open Studios event.

The piece on the easel is a brand new piece that I created just for the photo shoot and I'm really happy with it. Mostly because it just makes me happy to look at!

In the meantime, I'm working in the studio on preparing for a video workshop for Quilting Arts Workshops.

More about that trip in the near future.
Don't forget, you can read my daily blog at www.EverydayArtistStudio.com where my mission is to encourage you to live more creatively--Every Day.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Free time is a state of mind

the girls go to camp So, as of noon yesterday, I was free.  Why? because these beauties left on a bus to NH for a week at two different Girl Scout camps.  They look happy enough eh?  So why am I posting this on my work blog?  Because their leaving means I have to WORK, WORK and work a little more. 

I’m using the beginning of the week to crank through my class kits for the classes I’ll be teaching in Arizona at I-scrap and Crafty Papers as well as Art Unraveled.  I’ve never felt less free. Oh, and I’m missing the girls.  I’m glad to know that when I pick them up this weekend we all get to go on a well deserved vacation (and work for me) to Disneyworld.  I could use a little glutinous joy.  I hope the girls are having a good time.  I hope they love camp just as much as I did.  I hope I don’t get any more paper cuts and still have time to go for a bike ride.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Trying out WIndows Live Writer

 

So I’m giving Windows Live Writer a chance at winning my heart. I’ll Wheelock and CHA Workshop 080have to let you know what I think when I figure it all out  It seems to be a good way to work on my posts out of wi-fi range and to be able to do spell check, manage photos and more.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Little Sister Megan showing her stuff at the Real Estate One golf outing! (Pictured with Chairman Dick Elsie).

other news...4 1/2 more days of school left. The studio is complete overwhelmed with things to do before the school days have ended. Every year is a new challenge on how to balance fun, work, art, design and my least favorite...housework.

In the midst of scheduling classes in Phoenix this summer while I'm out at Art Unraveled. Make sure to check back soon!



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look at Me I'm on TV!


This is a show I filmed with Stefanie Girard earlier this year and I'm so excited to see it. Believe it or not we did it in one take and I managed to not trip over my own words! (too much that is!0
It was really fun to work on and have my make up touched up and my mic clipped on. I think I'm just a regular ham.

If you're visiting today, don't forget to go the Craftside blog where they are giving away a copy of my book! YEAH!

Also, don't forget to go to my new website www.EverydayArtistStudio.com where we inspire you to live more creatively everyday!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Brownie Goodness


Abby's Brownie troop makes "Art to Wear!"

Last week I got a chance to work with these lovely ladies on some t shirt decorating.  Because I didn't want to mess with those horrible glitter paints, we used a fantastic iron-on product called Art-Wear Design Sheets byJune tailor. You can feed these sheets through an inkjet printer or color on them with crayons or markers!  That made for a wonderful NO MESS project.  

We finished things off with our very own bling (rhinestone nail heads!)  
It was a big hit and the girls were so proud of their art-to-wear.  All they need is a trip to the local bead store to finish off their Art-To-Wear-Badge.

Thanks for the fun girls!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Nature Inspiration

I met this beauty on Tuesday at my neighbor's garden.  The flower was easily 10" wide and stunning.  The inside was an amazing purple that while being intensely black also had a glowing sense about it.  I think perhaps I've found my pallette for my Halloween line of Brush Strokes!  You never know!


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Brimfield Confusion

Emergency Post!  my dear friend Karin posted this picture of me on her blog and there has been some confusion!  I am the in the bright green jacket on the left and Betty Boop is on the RIGHT!  Not the other way around.  

No worries, that kind of mistake has been made by the most perceptive of peeps.

Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Yikes!


So bad! I can't stand it...
Just thought I'd throw you a bone and share what I've been working on.

You can also check out today's blog on Everyday Artist Studio to see video and more pictures.

But basically, I'm preparing for CHA Summer, the Craft Super Show (following CHA) and Artunraveled.

I'm also doing my part to help the Broadway on the Riverway fundraiser for Wheelock Family Theater.  I got the Silent Auction paperwork duty.  

I'm also working on a brand new idea that involves art, small town New England and teaching...but you'll have to wait to hear more about that later.  

Days are filled with School assemblies, Spring Sings, School Picnics (which I think I have the right to skip because it falls on my B-day --June 9th!), dance recitals and final brownie gatherings.

The days are lovely though and I'm able to hop on my bike and run errands almost everyday.  Now if only I could get my to-do list done so I can make some art.



Monday, May 11, 2009

Here is the lovely Becky practicing her jigs, reels and slip jigs at Inner Space before her last Feis (Irish Dance Competition).

And, I don't know why they have to wear the curly wigs, I just know that they do.  Or at least Becky thinks she does.  She used to have to curl up her hair and put a headband on but she moved up to the school dress and now it's wig time.  She was just born to be curly--as curly could be!

I apologize to all of you who already saw this on facebook.  I need to be better about updating everything at the same time.


Friday, May 08, 2009

Becky Throws in the first pitch at the Red Sox game!


videoWow, how cool is this?  Here is the video of Becky throwing in the first pitch.  Both girls attended the game with their Big Sisters but Becky and her Big, Emily were nominated by Big Sister and got the opportunity to throw in the first pitch.  

This evening was the first BIG event that Abby did with her fabulous new Big Sister and it's quite impossible for me to say which girl had a better time!  I'm so proud of my little girls and I'm so grateful to the Big Sister program which offers wonderful mentoring and positive role models for my girls.  Yes, my girls live a fairly wonderful life filled with Irish dance classes and theater classes (thanks to a Boston College Study grant) but I felt they still could benefit by having a positive female role model who was NOT their mom.  
Thanks to Emily and Anouschka the two most wonderful big sisters a girl could have.  You truly are making a difference!

On another note, we had our last open studios meeting/bbq last night and finished up the evening with our last Salon of the year.  The weather was lovely and we had the front door open and in walked to members of the public asking if our "gallery" was open.  Uh... SURE!  I was very surprised but was so happy to have them there.  We all shared our art and the feedback was amazing and I suppose the night seemed a little magical with the addition of two women walking in off the street.  (Artists LOVE it when weird stuff like that happens).  

All in all a great night!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brushstrokes Now Available

Well, here is another one of my babies.  This isn't the curly-headed kind I'm known for, this is the bright, joyful, balloon dog kind of baby.

I created the line using hand-painted boards and individually created icons just like I do in my (much higher-priced) fine art collages.  
The process is so much fun, that I've developed a wedding and baby line (coming out this summer and next winter respectively!)

The line was created not just for scrapbooking but also for card making and other paper art projects.  The 12 x 12 stickers and the rub-ons have multiple of each image so you can make invites or thank yous, place cards or favors.  
The dimensional stickers are just too cute, make a series of birthday cards or use them as special touches to memory pages or books.

The four different papers are all double sided cardstock with bright, vibrant colors.  Pair these with any coordinating solid color cardstock for a real attention grabber.  And while the line as a whole was designed to be a Birthday line, there are many many different parts of this collection that could be used as just wonderfully cheerful paper.  I hope you enjoy!  If you local store doesn't already carry this line, please request it!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Making Art for Kiddos!

This piece entitled "All in a Row" is a piece I completed for the John Pierce Elementary School Auction/Fundraiser.  It measures 20" x 16" and is on a museum quality birch canvas.

I usually use standard stretched canvas but was introduced to these wonderful structures when creating my piece for the Kent Street Project.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them, especially when you need strong support so you can drill or screw into them.
The photo on this piece is an actual toner transfer done with a toner copy, gel medium and a bucket 'o elbow grease.  The photo is a picture of a class at Pierce school in 1905 (the school was already 50 years old by this time!)
The book on the bottom is a front cover from a primary reader circa about the same time and the other images are from the inside pages of this book and a national speller book.  I love the illustration on the right hand side, it's hard to make out here but it's a teacher at a black board and the first thing she's written is a is for ale.  LOVE it!
If you're at the auction, bid early, bid often and bid loudly!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hypocrite

I don't see how I can advise someone to keep up with their blogging or to be consistent with their blogging if I, myself, am REALLY REALLY bad at it.

I do take comfort in the fact that I am running a pretty wonderful new site, www.EverydayArtistStudio.com, that encourages people to live more creatively every day regardless of their age, or career path.  We have already had thousands of visits from over 44 different countries.  We are still in our BETA launch but hope to have even more wonderful additions by this summer.  Oh, and did I mention that there are daily weekday blogs!  

So I haven't stopped blogging, I'm just bad about blogging everywhere.  I'm also twittering not too!  twitter.com/everydayartist

In the meantime, I'm almost ready for Brookline Artists Open Studios coming up May 2 and 3.

This piece to the left was inspired by the piece just below it.  




You may be surprised to know that the second piece is 6" x 6" and was created for my new wedding line I'm working on for Creative Imaginations.  The piece above is 24" x 36"!  My first time working this big with text and boy was it FUN!  Expect to see a lot more of this kind of work in the future.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A kind word...

This week I received both a question about a project in my new book, The Cardmaker's Workbook as well as an unsolicited compliment!  The astute reader was hoping to find a template for the purse pictured on page 59.  Unfortunately the purse pictured was a lovely sticker made by K & Co. and licensed by the wonderfully talented Amy Butler.  

The compliment, well, I'm just too touched not to share it with you!

Dear Ms Mason:
I felt the need to write you a short note after I purchased your book The Cardmakers workbook.   I have been making cards-mostly with rubber stamps--for about 15 years.  I have every book imaginable on the subject and thought I did not need to buy another one.  UNTIL i saw this book.  It is wonderful--the best of all that I have purchased over the years.  I am sure my copy will be dogeared and highlighted before long.  I am already looking forward to applying several of your ideas on my upcoming projects.
Thank you for a wonderful tool.
Best wishes----Gail W.


Thanks Gail!  Your comments made my day!  

Other news at the studio?  Well I'm keeping busy with all the Brookline Open Studios hoopla and managed to get the brochure and poster off to the printer in time!  Yeah.  Thanks, of course goes to my team of designers, editors, runners and proofers.  

Friday, March 06, 2009

Altered Paper Jewelry Inspires

Here's a great link to a blog article from my friend Stefanie Girard at Craftside. I just love how Stef takes inspiration from the books she features.  I think its a perfect way to show readers how to look beyond the pages of the book and make the projects customized for themselves.

Have you tried making any of the projects in any of my books?  If so, email me at Jenn@JennMason.com and I'll post them here!

Don't forget to check out my new website, www.EverydayArtistStudio.com for inspiration on how to live creatively everyday!  Today is Frugal Friday on the blog--come by and save a couple$$!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Welcome Sadie!

There is nothing that makes you miss home more than funerals and babies.

Today and 10:07 am after 2 hours of fighting to stay in, Sadie Jane joined our family!  Proud mom, Sarah (my sister) labored through the night much to my brother Jeff's dismay and Father's joy (Jeff picked the 23rd on the baby pool and Dad picked today!)

All are doing well, even though Sadie looks a little miffed in this picture and I'm missing home a little more.  Today, for Sadie, I will begin to crochet a pair of booties (since I'm no where near finishing the sweater).  Funny how the creation of a little baby makes you feel like creating something of your own.

Happy Birthday Sadie--Great Job Sarah.

Any one going to creatively top that today?  


Friday, February 13, 2009

The Great Mexican Incident OR Pack Your Assemblage Art into Your CHECKED Bags

This piece which was in the possesion of one of my more generous patrons returned last month to the US after living abroad in Mexico.  In an effort to keep it safe, said patron, took it in her carry-on.  
Airport security is not a fan of assmeblages with vintage scissors attached--and time was not on my patron's side.  Knowing that it would make a good story and an even better blog post.  Libby (aka patron) wrenched the scissors (can you wrench scissors???) from the piece and made it through security just in time to catch her flight.

Now, I don't reccommend you trying this with any of your own art, but I, myself was thrilled with the opportunity to revisit a piece of art with such a great story.  Perhaps I can think of the whole thing as an "art happening"!?!

Uhh, what are the socks for?  Well, dear reader, for future reference, I don't work for free.
I do, however, have a sliding scale and will do restoration work for adorable green knee-hi socks.
Please make note of that.

Monday, February 09, 2009

It's in the genes













I found it totally fitting that I was reading Peony in Love at the same time as Chinese New Year this year.  When I got up and checked on the girls this particular morning, this is how they were dressed for school!  Of course from the front they looked more like antenna than chop sticks but the creativeness was not lost on me!

I do so love how they choose to express themselves and I can't help to wonder if it's nature or nurture.  Not that it matters.  

How do you choose to dress on holidays?  Orange and black for Halloween? red on valentines day? Beer goggles on St. Paddy's day?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Filming in Anaheim


This is a shot taken just before my filming session at CHA. I was creating a short segment for Quayside Publishing to promote my books Altered Paper Jewelry and The Cardmaker's Workbook. It was really fun to get all "made-up" and sit in front of the cameras. We managed to do the whole craft in one take which was a good thing since we were running a little behind schedule and I had a line forming downstairs at the main booth for my book signing. A special thanks to those who stopped by my demos, signings, and make and takes. It was truly lovely to meet each and everyone of you. I hope you all had safe trips home with family and friends anxious to see you again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Charlie's Storm Trooper Angels

videoThe Storm troopers continue their presence at the Creative Imaginations Booth.  With a little bit of art Direction from my art director Sonia, things were kept under control.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Security is tight!

videoMany companies have special parties for their best customers to get a sneak preview of the new products.  Creative Imaginations is no different.  In connection with a new Star Wars license, Storm troopers, Darth Vader, Luke, x-wing pilots and others were on hand to keep the crowd under control.  

You just never know what you'll encounter here at CHA!

What was your most creatively themed party??

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet succulants!

Today I'm in southern California on my way to CHA. Had the chance to stop at a great store in Encinitas called Gardenology. I hope to make a wondeful arrangement they had in the store with some dried beans and faux succulants.

How are you inspired by store displays?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obamicon Me is the new Burger Me

Burger Me was a quote from one of my old favorite tv shows, Ed. www.Obamicon.Me is the site you can go to to create one of these very cool Obamesque pictures! Now that is creativity!
I'd love to see what you come up with if you hit this site. You can even easily post it to your facebook page from the site.

Politics and Creativity? Who Knew!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Moving On...

No matter what your political inclination.  I hope you were tuned in to the inaugaration.  My 3rd grader got to go to town hall with her class to witness history in the making.  I sat in the packed living room of a nearby friend with other nearby friends.  

In trying to keep a "creative" twist to this blog let me tell you what I was impressed by...

Michelle Obama brought a gift to Mrs. Bush
Obama chose to speak humbly rather than poetically
The music by John Williams made me whistle and hum (in a good way)
Yo-Yo Ma couldn't surpress his smile
I wish I could pull off that hat like Aretha
I need to make a trip to D.C. with my girls
I loved the convocation of the Black man, the Brown man, and the yellow mellow man.  (I think he is a brave man for introducing laughter into the service but I so appreciated it)
I am humbled by the means in which we, as Americans, participate in a change of power--with awe and dignity.

How were you inspired?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thinking outside the book


CHA is just days away and I'm all packed and ready to go.  I shipped off this demo with Fedex today.  I needed to devise an interesting demo for the Creative Imaginations booth and this is one of the three demos I'll be doing.  This project is so easy I can't wait to share it with the people who stop by while I'm working the demo table.  I really have enjoyed the response I've been getting for the Parts and Parcel line.  

This particular project uses three square Pocket Accordion Folios, a full sheet of cardstock and a couple scraps of cardstock.  It makes a great gift and it can be expanded to fit even more folios.  I loved the challenge of staring at the products on my desk and coming up with a fabulous project that could capture the imagination of the CHA attendees.    

What can you come up with when faced with a challenge?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Rational Idea


Every morning I start with a rational idea. Get the girls off to school. Write a to-do list and start checking things off. Every day this doesn't happen. Don't know why. By noon I'm wishing I'd written that to-do list so that I could see what I've accomplished. This is when I cheat.
This is when I start writing the to-do list that I should have written in the morning. This is when I start writing more things on the list than I would have if I had written it in the morning. Because, in the morning that list would have looked so long that I wouldn't have gotten dressed and would have crawled back into bed.
But no, now that it's noon, I add things like. Take a Shower to the list. And Put Away the Cereal Boxes the Kids Left Out. Put The Soda Cans in the Recycling Bin. Put the Checks I need to Cash in My Purse. Fold the Towels that I've been Ignoring. Drink Water.
This way I can check things off and my long list looks impressive. Especially now that it's half done. Which is good. Even though everything that is still unchecked makes up the entire list that would have existed had I just written the list in the morning, I still feel secure.
Just incase the To-Do List Police do a drop by inspection--I can show progress. Perhaps I'll get off with just a warning.
Do you write a to-do list? Do you do anything creative with it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Here's what I would do...

NPR would go on the radio. If it was cd player or an MP3 I would listen to something sing-along-to-able. I would sit at the chair and I would start sketching. Trying to decide what I want to draw. I would use the colors first that weren't that important so that I wouldn't dull the others. (I didn't say there was a pencil sharpener so I have to hoard the sharpness.)

I would probably practice lettering as much as I would drawing. In college we had to "render" type. Not a very useful skill since computers were all the rage at the time but we weren't allowed to use them. Not a great time to be studying Graphic Design. Anyway, rendering type essentially means to draw your letters. You would do this to sketch a layout. I do still like to sketch layouts but for the most part I do it on the computer. The problem with this is that when you show it to someone they assume you're done--looking at something printed on a printer is so deceiving. But I'm getting side-tracked.
I would probably start sketching Hannah, the girl from the children's book I'm supposed to be illustrating but haven't looked at for about two months. That would make me feel better. It would also make me want to invite Libby (the author of said children's book) now that she is living 3 streets away and not 3 time zones.

I would be very content to color--now I just have to find that room.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Freshly Sharpened Colored Pencils


I just love this picture. I wonder what that says about me. Imagine this. You, empty white room with just a chair and a desk as furniture. Simple design, no extra frills. The sun is streaming in through the windows.
On the desk is a large pencil cup filled with these sharpened pencils and a pad of paper. You don't know it yet but that pad of paper is the most wonderful pad with just the right texture for using colored pencils (yes it does matter!). There is a radio too. (So much for the empty white room eh?) and you can change the station if you want.
What do you do? Tell me. Tomorrow I'll tell you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rebel with out Approval OR Clown Witness Protection Program?


So, I know this doesn't even ship until after March, but I just had to share this page that I completed for CHA.  This is made with my new paper line licensed to Creative Imaginations.  The main line is called Brushstrokes and this sub-line is called Piece of Cake.  I'm supposed to wait to show you until the paper is released so that you don't get all upset that you can't run right out and get it.  But, I am a rebel. 

Now, contrary to popular belief, I don't do a lot of scrapbooking.  But I am an artist.  Give me some creative tools and supplies and I'm going to make something with them.  I try to never "DO" boring.  I have absolutely nothing against scrapbooking, some of my books even covered the topic.  I even worked for one of the best scrapbook designers out there, Anna Griffin.  I just don't have time to do it.  Thankfully, everyonce in a while, I HAVE to do it.  This ensures that my girls will have some record of their childhood.  And, what the heck, it's fun too.  Like taking a big stress relief pill.  Ahhhhhhhhh!

Once I finished this page I realized that the noses and the hats make the party-goers look like they are in disguise--perhaps in the Clown Witness Protection Program.  Do you think they witnessed a Pie-in-the-face and Run?

How do you creatively keep your pictoral memories, are you one of the millions who scrapbook?  Or do you choose digital albums?  Memory art pictures? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Think Big!

I suppose my need for grandness came from my short stint in the great country of Texas. Yes, it is a country, not a state--I'm sure of it. What you see here is my giant version of my Part & Parcel Six folio album. To get a better sense of scale, the originally sized P&P is there in the middle of the picture and that is just over 12" tall. The big P&P album is a hair over 24" square when closed. This is the project I worked on yesterday to send out to California for CHA. In a room where you could fit, um, a LOT of football fields, having something big enough to see from far away helps.

I have a feeling that when we get this up on the wall it will still look teeny--we shall see. It was fun to engineer. Not only did I have some good math exercises doubling all the measurements, but also some physical exercises trying to put together an album over 4 ft wide when open.
Oh, sure, it was fun but I'm also glad it's done, packed and shipped off. I missed the Fed Ex guy when he picked it up. Would have loved to see his face. The box was 36" x 36"! So if you happen to be going to CHA, make sure you stop by the Creative Imaginations booth and have your picture taken with the 8th wonder of the world!

When was the last time you found yourself in a creative conundrum? Did you try "thinking big"?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Endpapers and Warm hands


So tonight I think I'm going to get my Christmas pressie from my dear friend Karin whom I mention in about 50%+ of my posts. Karin made me a fingerless glove for Christmas. Just one. But let me take you back a moment.

Imagine four good friends tasting homemade cookies (and Turkish Delights from Karin!) and exchanging Christmas presents. We had eeked out just enough time to exchange in our busy holiday schedules. As we handed them out it seemed we all had to "explain" or appologize for something we didn't get just quite right. It was pretty pathetic. Even though every gift was received with statements like..." WOW, no one can top this gift this year!" and "My husband doesn't stand a chance at getting me a gift as wonderful as this!", we still found it necessary to explain. The funniest explanation was my gift from Karin. As I opened it she said, "You will see immediately what is wrong with your gift of fingerless gloves...there is only one!"

Karin, dear, dear Karin, had taken the handmade pledge this year and was stressing me out. I couldn't compete. I saw her knitting all summer and all fall. I felt lowly and humble--until I opened my one glove.


She has now finished my other glove, I know because there is a picture of it on her blog. I wore the lone glove for about a week before giving it back to Karin for a short while. It is an endpaper pattern (see the end papers in the background). And while Karin thinks its fitting for me because she knows I am a paper artist, I find it dear because of the fleur di lis on it which can't help but remind me of Karin, the New Orleans transplant (but original New Englander). I can't help but think of her (and Oppossums) every time I wear them.

Bindi finds the Opposum yarn intriguing and I can't wait to wear them. Just today I was trying to think of what outfit I wanted to pair them with at the Craft and Hobby Association Convention (CHA) at the end of the month.


How Lucky am I!?

How Lucky were you? Did you received any handmade gifts this year. I hope so!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Holiday From the Masons

videoWell, we managed to get our Holiday Card/Video out early this year. I know, I know, Christmas was weeks ago. But last year we didn't post the card until St. Patricks day! This video is created on Sony Vegas Software which I'm also using for my new website. This made multitasking sense because Matt could show me how easy the software is AND we could finish the card/video. These days its all about being creative with time!

Have you tried creating digital home movies?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My baby's Baby


My little protege is done! Finally. She has been working on this scarf for weeks. She mastered granny squares but begged me over and over again to teach her how to crochet. The problem was figuring out the perfect way to teach her. I'm no crochet pro but I knew I could teach her enough of the basics to get her hooked. Get it? Hooked?
If you've ever done crochet before you already know that the first row, workinginto the starting chain is the most difficult. This is why I had started teaching her granny squares after a failed first attempt at crochet lessons. Granny squares go right from the first chain row to the fun stuff. But Becky was bored, she wanted to MAKE something. I have to say, the first time I showed her how to do a single and double crochet and watched her try it I could tell she would be good at it. She has that hand-eye coordination thing that isn't necessary to crochet but definitely makes it easier.
This scarf was three different rows that are repeated for the entire piece. No, it's not perfect but it is a masterpiece just the same. I'm totally jealous that her wonderful Big Sister received it as a gift. Thankfully she's worth it! I hope Bec considers making me one some day. I should be so lucky.
What creative pastime have you shared with the next generation lately. Pass it on.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Year of the Ox is a perfect year

I received an email from a wonderful local arts and crafts-a-palooza called Whimsy. I was most inspired by a little blurb at the bottom about this year being the year of the ox.

"The Ox year is a conservative year, one of traditions and values. This is not a year to be outrageous. A slow but steady year. This OX year will bring stability and growth where patience and diligence pays off. Take care of business this year, do not let things slide. Famous OX people - Barack Obama, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher. "

I think in these financial times this is just the right year for us. I think its a year to finish what we've started and learn new things. Dream big dreams so that we can be ready when our year of stability is over.

I intend on being more creative than I ever have been this year--not letting things slide.

What are you going to do this year that's both creative and patient?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Life is a game...and so is my jewelry

Does THIS look familiar to you?  If so that means you must have a copy of my latest book, Altered Paper Jewelry.  This is ALSO the project I'll be making at the Quayside (Quarry Books) booth #2552 at CHA.  I'll be there from 10 - 11 on Tuesday, January 27.

The one we'll be making will be a slight variation on this one.  We'll be using a small ivory colored domino and will be mixing Christine Adolph's Felicity line and some of Marah Johnson's Rock star rub-ons, sort of a "love ROCKS!" themed piece.  I also couldn't pass up a necklace component at the big box craft store the other day.  I'm going to dismantel it into many funky shapped jump rings.  You'll get a chance to drill your own domino and decorate it to your hearts content...heart, get it?  Hee hee... I'm so over worked I'm getting slap happy here.  

When is the last time you creatively re-worked something that you've been doing the same way?
Tell me about it?  was it a recipe?  A new way of organizing your closet?  Driving a new route to your favorite theater (My husband has been doing that with the GPS--I think he likes her voice)?  Do tell!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

You Make My Heart Sing!

Does this card look familiar?  If so then you must already have a copy of my book The Cardmakers Workbook. This is the card I'll be demoing at my Make and Take at the Quayside (Quarry Books) booth (2552) on Monday, January 26th from 10-11.

We'll be using some of Christine Adolph's fabulous Felicity Line of papers which are made of lovely blossoms and hearts and music.

Stop by for any of my make and takes or the BIG Cha class I'm teaching and make sure you pick up one of my eco friendly bags to lug all your convention goodies.  This year my SWAG is green! (well, really its blue--you know what I mean!)

I'm making this heart shaped card so that the participants who make it are all ready for Valentines Day which happens just a couple weeks after.  
How are you going to creatively plan for Valentines day?
(remind me to tell you about our heart shaped pizza one day!)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Question....

Where do you go on line when you want to know how to do something creative (like knitting, crochet, cooking, paper craft, painting, photography, collage, other??)????
Enlighten me...you'll see why in just a few more days?


Monday, January 05, 2009

Love is a...

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

Or so says Voltaire.

This is the Make and Take that I've designed for 3M for CHA.  I'll be there teaching this lovely card (booth 2775) on Sunday, January 25th from 9:30-Noon.

This project features 3M's Post-it Craft Papers.  They are super easy to feed through your ink jet printer and stick just like a giant Post-it note.  This means you can use it for envelope seals too.  The blue paper is just the right shade to coordinate with Paper Source's Chocolate Pinking Edged Flat cards.  Yummy, chocolate.  

If you are in the Brookline, MA area on the 25th, stop by the Main Library to see the Big Show, an art show of works from Brookline Artist Open Studios Members.  The party is from 2-4.

How are you planning on creatively spending your January 25th?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Trying something new--just do it!

videoThis year for the holiday season I invited my daughters and their friends to play secret santa.  We ended the week of secret notes, doorbell ringing and running and little trinkets with a dinner at Fire and Ice Grill.  In all the craziness of 6 kids and two adults picking out their food and such Becky was asked to help cook.  Sure, Becky enjoyed the honor of being asked but it also raised the enjoyment factor for the rest of our table as well.  It took me quite a while to pick out the right place to celebrate.  I knew it had to be creative and kid friendly.  I'm so glad I took the time--memories, creatively made.

How do you make time to do the creatively extraordinary?  

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Years Resolve

I resolve to:
Blog more
yell less
use my brushes more
cuddle with the dog more
eat less
find more quality time for the girls
complain less
walk more
get a physical
teach the girls something
cook more
try something new more
Enjoy 2009!

So far so good!

What are you going to do this year?  Be Creative!