Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Handing Out Awards!


This Kreativ Blogger Award was presented to me and I must award 7 other creative bloggers with it.In my previous post I did the required "7 things about me".I would like to pass this on to some bloggers whom I think are extremely creative.Some of them I have visited WITHOUT leaving comments so I apologize but nevertheless
I do enjoy your blog.I promise not to be in such a hurry that I don't comment on your lovely art in the future!
Here are the SEVEN:
wild at heart art, vintagepix, textileartand..., spirit dolls & mixed media assemblage,
Kim's Art By The Sea, Forever Jann,and Paper Paisleys.
Just remember--those of you receiving this should kindly award 7 other bloggers and post 7 things about yourself.
Thanks again for the award and for all the wonderful comments that you folks leave me!

My Lucky Week!



Wow! I received another Kreative Blog Award! Thank you Diane.You should check out Diane's blog- Artstanding Stranger She actually bestowed it upon me last Friday but I was missing in action most of last week. This award comes with the instructions to post 7 things about yourself and then award it to 7 more fascinating blogs. I will post 7 things NOW and will post the 7 blogs later today.
7 mostly UNfascinating things about ME:
1. Blogging has opened up my world and has made me want to delve a little deeper into my art
2. I love taking pictures of nature/animals. It always fascinates and inspires me.
3. In my past life (before child) I was a nurse, but art has always played a huge part of my life and I've ALWAYS wanted to be an artist (but nursing was a steady paycheck)
4. Although I'm a free spirited, fun loving Sagittarius, I can sometimes be very
shy and insular.
5. My husband is my bestest friend! And my daughter is definitely my best friend as well.
6. I love my step-children as if they were my very own and I adore the grandchildren
they've given us!
7. With my daughter off in college, this is FINALLY MY TURN! I've been a FULL-TIME MOM & wife for 18 years.I was doing some form of art all along but only if I could
squeeze it between all my other obligations.I was never able to put my art first.
NOW, I CAN!!!
With that said, I must head to my art studio and work, work, work. Hubby leaves for
his business trip and the week ahead is ART, ART, ART.
The photo below is another lucky surprise. DonataFelt at etsy chose one of my
little crazy art quilts for her treasury. Thanks Donata.
Here's the link;
http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=48661


I'll be back later today to announce the 7 blogs that I will send the award to.
Until then... be creative!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not My Idea of Spring!


I'm back in the land of blogging. I feel as though I was gone for a month!I posted last Tuesday but wasn't able to visit blogs like I normally do.
Had a great week with my daughter.Bittersweet since we had to deal with saying goodbye to her horse.
We did however, do just about everything together! She's definitely my buddy, my pal.
We went to see a movie, went shopping ALOT and went to the barn for her to ride Zinardi (the new horse).Although, she is very quick to point out the fact that
"WE HAVEN'T BOUGHT HIM-SO HE'S NOT REALLY MINE! Minor details...
We also made it to the barn where our old horse Dizzy now resides and she looks quite content where she is. She didn't act as though she was upset with us, which would've made it harder to walk away and leave her there.My daughter seemed to handle the whole situation quite well, probably better than me.
Dear Daughter is now back at college with only 7 weeks left in her freshman year.Amazing how fast this year has flown by.I imagine the next 3 years will zoom by as well and she'll be graduating before I am ready!!!
Enough about the joys/pangs of motherhood and letting go! The pictures above and below are not recent ones because my CAMERA is still in the shop for repairs
BUT IT DID SNOW HERE! AGAIN!~ AND IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE SPRING! What is up with that?
Of course I kinda thought~just maybe old man winter had one or two more snowstorms
up his sleeve for this area where I live. Probably just to initiate me into the LONG drawn out winters of the midwest where spring REALLY doesn't appear until the end of MAY! Even though I didn't take these exact photos yesterday, I could have. The birds were really swarming around the house and yard. They were searching for food in the many birdfeeders I have up. Since the weather had warmed up (that is until Sat.)
the birds had vacated the feeders and were content to pick at the ground in search of worms I suppose. But with the 5 inches of snow we got on Saturday night they were left to fight over the food in the feeders.There were a couple of pairs of cardinals and lots of finches all around. Such beautiful little creatures.
My week is going to be glorious! AS much fun as I had with my daughter last week,
I got very little done in my studio so this is the week to be creatively prolific!
My husband leaves tomorrow for business and then is joining some golf friends for a boys' golf outing over the weekend. I will be completely alone except for the 4-legged creatures in the house. I plan to do MANY projects! I will try to post a little something each day. With or without photos. (hopefully I'll have my camera back by the end of the week)I also plan to visit all my blogging friends and maybe search out some new ones this week.
So my friends...make it a creatively wonderful week!
I'll be in touch~

*note: I took these photos through the window which created a kind of hazy look.
took them back in early December when we had our FIRST BIG snow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goodbye To Dizzy; Hello Zinardi


The above photo is my daughter (the college freshman who is home for springbreak).
She is riding her horse Dizzy; or rather it WAS her horse until yesterday. We sold her....
SAD... WE knew we should do it, but we love her alot! Even though she was a bit
crazy at times and she grew WAY TOO BIG for my 5'2" daughter. It was not the right horse for my daughter and we knew it, but we still hated to get rid of her.
WE had no idea she would sell so quickly. Just our luck...We moved last summer and our old house in GA STILL HAS NOT SOLD. We really need to sell that house. Didn't really HAVE to sell the horse right now BUT she sold in less than 2 weeks. AND just as my daughter comes home for springbreak. WITH nothing to do but hang out with her boring parents.
Hence, the reason I scheduled shopping trips, hair appointments and movies.
Luckily, there is another horse 'waiting in the wings' to be loved on by us!
His name is Zinardi and flew over from Holland back in November.
He's a much better size for my daughter AND he's a HE, which means he doesn't have the female hormonal thing working like my dear old Dizzy.
The photo below is my daughter on Zinardi. He's quite a little love-muffin. Likes to
nuzzle and a little nibbling. We plan to lease him for the summer while she is home from college. Not sure what we'll do when she heads back to school in the fall.
It's a 'wait & see' kind of thing.
Anyway, that's a chunk of what's been happening in our household this week.

The week was supposed to be a happy one with daughter home.
First my wonderful camera BROKE, so I can't take photos unless I use my old crappy camera. Then the horse sold, the car had a minor malfunction and we FINALLY got an
offer on our house in GA today! Of course the offer is laughable. It's so far below
the list price that we don't even know what to say at this point.
I'll keep you posted.
We're going to visit Dizzy at her new barn later this week and say a 'formal' goodbye and take pics (with a crappy camera). My GOOD camera should be arriving
at the Canon Service center by Thurs. so maybe, just maybe I will have it back in a few short weeks.The car is fine now.I'll let you know how the home sale in GA shakes out...
In the meantime my fellow friends and artists.
Live your life creatively and definitely with a sense of humor!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Has Sprung!


Yippy! Yee Hah! Woo Hoo! It's officially spring. This was my first winter in northern Illinois and I will have to say I wasn't sure I'd survive. There is nothing about me that loves winter except maybe watching the first snowfall safely indoors with a
roaring fire and a cup of hot tea. I don't like cold weather and I really hate it when the temperature dips below ZERO!
So even though the thermometer doesn't actually register anywhere near spring temperatures today, my calendar SAYS it's SPRING! That's good enough for me--for now.
I know that in a few months I'll probably be complaining of the heat. I was VERY surprised to learn last summer when we moved that the summers are MUCH hotter than I was expecting. So I know in my heart that warmer weather is definitely coming.
Since daffodils don't bloom as early here as when I lived in GA (they were usually in full bloom if not already done blooming by first day of spring)I just had to go out and buy a spring-y looking plant to brighten up my spirit.
Today is certainly a day to celebrate. It's spring AND my daughter is coming home from college today. She is starting her spring break and she's spending it here with dear old mom & dad rather than taking off for FL or the Caribbean. Poor thing...
She's not too bummed about it. We have some shopping trips planned and lots of chatting and watching movies. We'll be having so much fun that I may not post very much next week AND I probably won't spend alot of time in my studio.
Yesterday was a productive day though. I made some ATC's for an exchange at Creative Souls. I did my daily tag (which I forgot to photograph). I finished an abstract painting and started another painting. And the piece I've posted below is one that I've been working on at night. I think I'm done with the beading and embroidery, now it just needs fabric borders and backing. I love the center photo. I took a vintage cabinet
card photo and changed the coloring in printshop, then printed it on fabric.
From there I chose some fabrics that coordinated with the colors in the photo.
Not exactly your grandma's crazy quilting but I like it.
This is a close-up of the central part-will photograph the entire thing when it's bordered and backed.

Have a wonderfully creative weekend!
Cathy

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A bowl full of heads!


Today was my final wheel-thrown pottery class for this session. I plan to take the spring off and finish up some other projects that are in the works. I will start back to pottery class in late June. It was definitely a challenge. I tend to be a bit controlling with my artwork but THIS class was even more about control and applying a ton of patience. Patience is NOT my Virtue! But it was fun and I learned quite a bit.
The above photo shows some of the items I brought home today fresh out of the kiln.
Except for the hand (that is an old one that I thought would look cute in the picture
since it's a similar shade). The bowl holds a few of the heads I made for future projects. I plan to use them in some art dolls or possibly jewelry.
I thought it might be a good idea to even make a bunch and put them on etsy to sell.
What do you think? I really like the glaze on the pieces above. It's a weathered
patina look.

These pieces also just came out of the kiln today. I love this glaze also. It's a much smoother, polished looking finish. Very nice turquoise
color. My cat, Emmy was checking them out as I was trying to photograph them.
She was sniffing inside them, just being a cat. I ended up getting more of the cat in the picture than the ceramic pieces. She's such a ham. I love her!

That's all I've got today. Maybe finish up some more artwork in my studio tomorrow.
Just realized how late it is--no wonder I'm yawning.
Good night & live your life creatively!
Cathy

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Congratulations to the Winners!


I would like to thank all those who commented on the last post for the giveaway.
Sorry everyone couldn't win BUT I would like to congratulate the three women who did!
The first surprise I ship out will be to Marsha over at Tumblefish. She said she has been a lucky lady of late and here she goes winning again!
The second surprise package will go out to
Becky over at Whymsicalmusings.
The third and final surprise will go out to Terri over at Pringle Hill.
Congratulations to you all and I look forward to making something especially to ship out to you!
Remember you have to 'pay it forward' and create a blog giveaway of your own.
Great concept to spread some warmth and creativity around!
I am so thankful for all the wonderful new friends I've met~ CHEERS!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Surprise Giveaway...


I am the recipient of a giveaway from a new blogger Tammy Moynihan. I will receive a surprise from her sometime during the year. It may be an art doll or maybe one of her gorgeous paintings. I won't know until I open the box. The stipulation for receiving this prize is that I post a giveaway as well. This is a pretty cool idea I think.
SO my friends and fellow bloggers...
I will giveaway Three Surprises as well. I will come up with either a doll, collage,
piece of jewelry, piece of pottery or painting to three people. Tammy's giveaway was
to the first three people who posted on her blog, but I think I will mix it up a little by saying I will draw 3 names from a hat from all those who comment on this posting!I will close the giveaway on Tuesday St. Patty's Day at 6 pm.
Leave me a comment and I'll throw your name in the hat. You will receive a piece of
art in some form from MOI by September 1, 2009. I'm giving myself the summer to come up with 3 special pieces. (also i'm doing a cloth/clay doll workshop-which just might be addictive so you may be the recipient of one of those) maybe!
The above ceramic vases are some that I made. They are cute little small vases, with a crackle raku glaze and most have bright red interiors. I had taken a boxful to a local gallery for the holidays and I just picked up the ones that didn't sell. I
just may sell them on etsy or artfire. Or maybe I'll give one away!
Have a great weekend and leave a comment to be entered!
***Just a little reminder*** If you do leave a comment and ARE chosen you will need to 'pay it forward' and also have a giveaway on your blog.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What If?



Happy Friday 13th! I used to be a little superstitious about Friday 13th, but 'knock on wood' I've never experienced anything on a Friday 13th that would scare me into thinking it was a day filled with BAD karma. I say go out and celebrate--it's FRIDAY!
Decided that Fridays' postings from here on out will not have art in them, just photos of family, home, nature. Glimpses into my normal life here on Chicago's north shore.
So today's photos: a peek at items in my studio. I keep that little card above that says 'What If?' propped up by my pens and pencils right in front of my face at my main work desk.


Love, love, love F.W. acrylic artists inks
it's great for using as a dye or paint for fabrics as well as using on canvas and watercolor paper. The link will take you to Discount Art supplies, they have great prices. They have every color in the world and the pearlescent colors are gorgeous!


This is only a SMALL selection of my threads. These are mainly polyester with a few spools of rayon.They are from Sulky & some from Gutterman but I really like Mettler the best. I find it doesn't leave nearly the amount of fuzz/lint in my bobbin area and it doesn't break as easily when doing free-motion embroidery or when using the computerized embroidery module.
Have a fantastic weekend! Hubby & I plan to go to Navy Pier in downtown Chicago for the big Flower & Garden Show that's going on. Maybe seeing that will make it feel more like spring is just around the corner.
Live Creatively!
C

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Semi-Abstract?


By definition abstract means: 1.Considered apart from matter or from specific examples;not concrete. 2.Theoretical;ideal, as opposed to practical. 3.Abstruse:abstract thinking. 4.Considered or expressed without reference to particular example. 5.In art, generalized or universal, as opposed to concrete, specific, or representational;tending away from the realistic or literal.

SO, by that definition I'm not sure what I painted was abstract, BUT it is definitely not what I normally do. I tried really HARD to 'let loose' and have fun.
I DID have fun but feel like I was still trying too hard to control my painting
therefore it doesn't have a 'real' abstract feel to it. As soon as I saw the cactus
form emerging in the above picture I kept adding to it to make it feel more like a cactus. In essence I was being a bit of a control freak!My title for it is "Cactus Moon".

My second attempt below-- I really tried to loosen up.I used an old credit card to apply paint in a big,sweeping motion and then I started seeing leaves appear and so I added a faint version of stems, then I added the moon again. I like the colors in this one. This is titled "Edge of Pond".



Thanks to all who left comments concerning my little health issue from yesterday.
I got the ultrasound report back and everything is just fine and dandy! Woo Hoo!
Still can't figure out why I felt like my aorta was giving birth to an alien but
as long as it doesn't happen again, I guess I'm good. Anyway, thanks for your kind
comments.
Hugs to all!
Cathy

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One of Those Days....


My plan...to go to pottery class, then I was going to spend at least 3 hours in my studio finishing some artwork. Didn't happen! Had some strange sensations in the upper abdomen which sent me to the doctor. Had an EKG which was fine,now I'm headed to radiology tomorrow for an ultrasound of the abdomen to check for an aneurysm!!!
Just checking as a precaution-the dr. isn't really worried so I'm TRYING NOT TO!
Major excitement! So didn't get to the pottery studio and I'm really bummed about that. BUT when I got home from the dr. and was feeling better I went in my studio and finally took photos of my daily tags. I'm behind on getting them photographed.
Then I worked on 2 abstract paintings that I'm playing around with.Very hard to make yourself 'lose control' and just put paint down on the canvas.It's a test for me since I tend to be a bit of a control freak!

After working on the abstracts and photographing my tags I finished the mixed media painting below. I started this a week or so ago and have been adding layers. I think I like it! It's called "The Language of Trees".

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Joseph Pearce


(had trouble uploading originals so I re-sized...
you may need to enlarge to get a better view)

This is a piece I just 'found' hanging in the hall coat closet, squished in between all the winter coats we have. Funny how there are only 2 people living in this house and the coat closet is full. Probably because I now live north of Chicago and when I found out we were moving here I went out and bought several coats for various weather(snow, sleet, rain) and various temperatures.Mildy cold, cold, very cold and
FREEZING cold!So that's why my closet is full and I couldn't find this piece until I went in search of a medium weight raincoat yesterday.
Obviously I hung it in the closet thinking I might just hang the piece on the wall in the hallway that the closet is in?? Who knows? Moving in and trying to find a place for everything is frustrating at best but when you downsize your home but not your personal belongings it is VERY frustrating!I've gotten off point here, so...
The above piece is one I did about 4 years ago and at the time I wasn't sure it was "good enough" to show anyone much less hang it up in my house. I did get brave enough
a couple years ago when I did an artshow to put it in the show, but it didn't get much attention. I have a newfound love for this piece, in that it is completely different from any of the others I have done and it was basically an experiment.
Usually the pieces that I end up liking the best are experiments but I don't go 'out
on a limb' much with experimenting. I stick with the old 'tried & true' formula and
then try to expand on that a little. But the above quote is SO true! WE must learn
to lose our fear (or at least I need to learn that) of being wrong in order to create freely. It goes back to what I read over at amusing muses blog & Katherine Treffinger's blog.We must learn to 'let go' and 'lose control' and let our creative instincts take over. That's when we truly create from the heart.

Again I've gone off on a tangent when I fully intended to tell you a little about this piece. I started with a piece of decorator fabric since they tend to be a little
heavier weight. I brushed gesso across the fabric lightly in some areas so the fabric would show through and heavier in some so I could build some texture.
In the heavier gessoed areas I used a tool (old credit card) to drag through and
create 'waves'. On top of the dried gesso I stamped with gold lumiere paint. When that was dry I started adding all the elements.I began with a vintage image printed on cotton, then it grew from there.I decided to try some squares of papyrus paper fused to the fabric with wonderunder.Then on to decorating with embroidery threads, silk ribbons, buttons and the dragonfly is a carved bone bead who is 'journeying through life'.

Rather than finish this traditionally, I chose to finish with raw edges and I didn't sew it with the machine. I stitched around 3 sides with hand stitching and embroidery floss, then stuffed the quilt batting in and finished sewing the 4th side. It hangs from wired ribbon. I've taken close-up photos of various areas so that you can better see the stitching, the gesso and the texture of the fabric coming through the gesso.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a Wonderful Surprise!


I awoke to a rather gray, ugly day. It is raining and has been for over 24 hours.
I went to my computer to check my blog and my wonderful new friend Becky over at whymsicalmusings awarded me with this fabulous award. I am flabbergasted!
I'm not sure I'm worthy of an award but I'll certainly accept it with smiles!
I began this blog just a couple of months ago not exactly sure what to expect out here in cyberspace. I have been pleasantly surprised by all the kind, creative spirits I have encountered. I feel like I have met so many wonderfully talented women in such a short period of time. It has truly opened up my world, creatively and spiritually.I feel like we are all on the same journey in life. We are all putting our hearts and souls out here through our art and through our writing. It's such a joy to know that there is such a grand fellowship of women who are so eager to open up and share not only their art, but their lives with one another.
I'm so new to this blogging thing that I'm not sure if I'm passing on this award in the 'correct' way. I am supposed to pass this on to 8 more people AFTER I share with you 7 things that I love.
So here it is...
1. My dear husband of almost 22 years, without him I would not be able to stay home and create art
2. My dear daughter who is 18 and a college freshman and the best thing I ever created
3. My 2 dear step-children along with their great choice of spouses
4. My 3 dear granchildren courtesy of the step-kids
5. My wonderful little 4-legged creatures who share my life (one horse, one dog, 2 cats)
6. My ability to do what I love, I realize there are alot of people who never get the opportunity to do that
7. My life right now is pretty lovable : )

This award I received is accompanied by the following words: "This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award." I now have to pass this award on to 8 fellow bloggers.
I am passing this award on to new friends whom I think are amazingly creative and have such fun blogs to read. I also want to thank Becky who is a fabulous artist and also
has a fun, creative blog!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Ducks Are Back!


I have a pond behind my house and up until late November I had tons of ducks, geese and the occasional blue heron on the pond EVERYDAY. I live north of Chicago and it's been one of the coldest,snowiest winters in a LONG time. So the waterfowl disappeared when the pond froze over.
Well, TODAY they came back! AT least the mallards did.I was tickled to wake up to the honking and quacking of the ducks. Of course as you can see in the first photo the pond is still a bit frozen and they are standing on ice.There is a small area that has thawed along the shoreline. So they come flying in for a landing on the ice and slip and slide all over the place. It's quite hilarious. Then they stroll over to the area that has thawed and take a dip and check for food.
Is it my imagination or do the colors on the mallards heads and feet look very brilliant. I'm wondering if these are youngsters? The photos don't do it justice but the color of their heads is a striking green teal color. And their little feet are such a glowing orange it's unbelievable.
Thought I would share my duck friends with you.As soon as the geese and heron come back I'll show you those as well.Or you can check them out from last fall on my flickr.


FINALLY posting my very first bowls from my wheel thrown class. I'm pretty happy with them. It takes a while to get used to a new studio and their glazes so I wasn't sure how the colors would turn out. But I'm liking them both.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"This is happiness;to be dissolved into something complete and great." Willa Cather


Love that quote! Found it on the bottom of a Celestial Seasonings tea box, back when they used to put quotes on them. Not that my art is great BUT I am truly HAPPY these days because I am dissolving myself into my artwork. It COMPLETES me. I become
so caught up in the act of making something that it's not about the end results as much as it is in the creating, or the journey of the process. I can't imagine not
being able to play around with my art supplies and my fabrics and beads.
I am truly blessed to be able to do this.
The above photo is the "Pair of Asian Pears" I finished last week. I was playing around with backgrounds and these were small 6" square, to I wasn't sure what to do with them. Then I cute out some pear shapes from an asian newspaper and glued them down, put washes of paint over them and VOILA! Asian pears! Of course I got carried away with the washes and shading and highlighting-so much so that you can barely make out the asian text beneath it all.
The next canvas is 12" square and Has layers of papers, paint, stamping and a transfer of the Eiffel Tower. The name is "They Met in Paris".

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This mess of mine...


I can't believe it's been a week and ONE day since I last posted on here. What have I been doing you ask? The photo above is my mess of a desk where I play around with art supplies. I also have another desk that I will post later mainly because it's even messier than this desk so I didn't photograph it. The other messier desk is where I have my sewing machine. Then I have a folding table set up with another mess of works in progress sitting on it. Along with a wire shelf unit holding canvases that are in the process of being collaged/painted on and are currently drying and awaiting more layers.
This mess of mine is what I've been up to since posting last. I've finished a couple of small canvases (a pair of pears) which I will post when I finally photograph them. I've also been working on some unmounted canvas journal pages (which I also have NOT photographed). I've been sewing on the journal pages as well as painting, writing, beading. I've also been sewing small crazy quilts. At night while sitting in front of the TV I've been embroidering and beading my little crazy quilts. My poor little fingers are extremely sore because I've never mastered the art of using a thimble.
On top of all this flurry of artwork, my daughter came home from college for a visit over the weekend and we went to see a show in downtown Chicago. We saw Chicago-it was fabulous!
I really do need to get some photography done tomorrow as I've never showed my pottery pieces which I blogged about back in Jan. Since this is my first-ever wheel
class I can't believe I didn't post my very first bowl when I finally brought it home. NOT too shabby if I do say so myself. Today's class was challenging in that my
instructor was attempting to teach me how to expand my skills. Thus far, I've been
making bowl after bowl after bowl. In various sizes and various bowl shapes! So she asked if I'd like to learn how to throw a vase. Well sure I would! Hah!
I attempted and I made one, BUT it looked nothing like hers. I attempted another and
again I made a vase, but still didn't look like I expected it to. So I made another bowl... This time a BIG bowl for my dog to eat his yummy dog food from.
So I promise to get some photos made and post some progress in this messy life of mine. Until then.... live creatively & messy!