Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fun with Michael deMeng

We had an art filled weekend with Michael deMeng!

Lots of happy artists creating & laughing all weekend!

I was not able to get pictures of the Weird Wonderful Window workshop. But Tejae has some up on her blog

Here are some pictures from the 2 day workshop Stories of the Discarded: Assem-blooks

It was nice to have two days to create a piece of artwork.
Here is Michael & I

Ok, the only reason this is posted is that I wanted a picture for my blog profile.

After messing around with it, I finally got one to upload. The directions said I could then delete the post but when I did, It took it off the profile!

I give up! You will just have to see this lovely picture of me until it moves along.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Homework with my Second Grader!

Braden is in second grade.

No, Archery was not the assignment! This was him on the beach on the Oregon coast this summer's vacation!

I am sharing this moment of homework with you so you don't make my mistake!

The assignment was to create several different addition problems for a given number.

Like 19, 1 + 18 = 19, 5 + 14= 19 and so on.

He was working very hard and finally said, "Mom, I need cubes." They use counting cubes in school.

So I looked around to see what we had a lot of!

Pennies, No I did not have enough of these........ What else, then across the room I find a great answer..........Lego's!
Oh, boy do we have lots of those!

"Use Lego's" I said....

He looks at me strange..... NO not the ones you have built, the pieces.

So off he goes to find 19 Lego pieces. I go back to making dinner.

Before, I know it, I look back to see how he is doing on his homework and he and his brother are playing with the pieces.

Stop, Those are for homework, Stop Playing with them!!!!

All in All, We got through the homework with Lego's as our Counting Cubes.

With several times of me reminding him to get back to homework and stop playing.

Note to self: Never use toys as counting cubes for Homework!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Creative Jump Starts! Week One

Ok, I know I promised my next post from the Creative Stumbling Blocks posted last week would be Creative Jump Starts but I got a little Blog happy!
The Current Newsletter for The Artists' Nook with workshop info through November is posted on the website

Creative Jump Starts! Week One!

We all need Jump Starts! Sometimes, to do something just so we can move onto the next thing!

I will present this first series of Jump Starts then next week we will add something else to the base pieces we started this week.

Take The Challenge:

For one week, spend 10 minutes each day doing the techniques listed below!

You don't have to start on a Monday- Just start!

If you want to spend more than 10 minutes go ahead. But at least 10 minutes.

Try for every day but don't worry if you skip a day or only get one day in. The more days during the week you can put aside 10 minutes to do these Creative Jump Starts the better.

Consider it your 10 minutes of fun break in life you so deserve!


Decide what size you want to work on. No smaller than 2" x 3" and no larger than 4" x 6". Cut heavy weight paper (something that can with stand wet) like watercolor paper, chipboard, mat board. Don't run out and buy something. Look around your art supplies you already have!

You will be doing several each day so cut about 20 or so. If you use, something like chipboard you may want to Gesso or cover with white paint. I know the blank white canvas! Don't worry, it will all turn out fine!

The reason for adding the white base is so when you add color, the colors are true and don't interfere with the color of the board. With that being said, if you don't care and want to see what happens keeping the board the original color then Go for it!

Here we go:

Do as many base pieces (watercolor paper, matboard, etc) as you can of that technique/layer in 10 minutes. Remember, it is not a race.

Day #1

Paint one color of acrylic paint on the base piece. It can be craft acrylic paint or your Golden paints. Whatever you use. Try different colors but one color for each base piece.

Day #2

Paint with an acrylic paint wash. Put a small dab of acrylic paint on a palette (disposable plastic lid works great) then get your brush wet, pick up some paint and paint a plain base piece. Do several base pieces and put aside to dry. Experiment with more or less water and see what happens. It is fun to leave puddles and see how it dries.

Day #3

Take a dye ink pad, and rub the pad directly to the base piece. Use one color for each base piece. You don't have to completely cover the base piece. Leave streaks, play!

Day #4

Take a pigment ink pad and rub the pad directly to the base piece. Use one color for each base piece. You don't have to completely cover the base piece. Leave streaks, play!

Day #5

Glue tissue paper to the base piece. It is best to apply the glue to the base piece then stick the tissue paper down. Use whatever your favorite glue for gluing paper. Gel Medium, PVA, Mod Podge. Use any color of tissue paper including white. Create wrinkles in the tissue paper before gluing down. Try not to get glue on the surface of the tissue paper because we will be doing more to this piece next week. And the glue may do weird things.

Day #6

Tear and glue down a variety of decorative papers. The cool handmade papers, scrapbook papers, or even some papers from other projects. When gluing down the papers try strips going across horizonally or vertically, small pieces randomly glued down, or just cover a portion of the base piece with the torn papers.

Day #7

Tear and glue down pages from a magazine. DO NOT cut out pictures. You are creating a background so just randomly tear and glue bits and pieces.

Next, week we will be adding to these pieces. We don't need to know where we are going just have fun getting there!

When you have done your pieces, post a comment to this post that your pieces can be seen on your blog (if you have one)

It will be great to see the variety and the way the pieces will evolve over the weeks!

Happy Birthday, Ian!

Today is my husband's 45th Birthday! Happy Birthday, Ian!

Birthdays are so different when we grow up! Today, Ian will be working all day then off to a Cub Scout Info night he will be putting on at the school.

Honey, Meet me in the Gazebo at 9 pm! I will have a cold beer waiting for you!

This picture was taken while on vacation in Idaho. That is my youngest, Braden, 8 years old.

Ian took all 4 boys on a 2 week plus road trip this summer for vacation. They went to Northern California up the coast to Oregon then onto Idaho. Visiting family along the way!

Here is one more from the trip! What a hunk! I am a lucky girl!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Support Small Businesses

Carolina Moon is a stamp store in Chicago. I am on her Yahoo Group and found out that she was closing.

And today there was a post of Why are so many small businessess closing?

I needed to post!

So here is my 2 cents:

This really hits close to home with me so I had to comment.

First of all, Carolyn, It was sad to hear the news that you are closing. For me, as a store owner myself, The news when stores in the same business as mine really are hard to take.

We love what we do and what we allow others to do, create and grow as an artist. This is what keeps me going.

So the question, Why are so many stores closing?

The economy has something to do with it. We are being more selective on our purchases and It is hard to compete with the big box stores on prices.

What the small stores offer is customer service, learning opportunities and people who share the same interests not only staff but those who come to workshops, classes and shop at the small stores. It is the whole package that the small stores offer.

Yes, you may be able to get an item a little cheaper at the big box stores but if you spend your money with them you are taking away from your small store that really relies on that sale to keep the doors open. Remember, that when you are clipping out your coupons this Sunday!

As for small stores offering discounts.......... It is really hard to do that. The larger stores get items sooo much less than we do that they can offer discounts and it is does not cut as much as into their profits as it would a small store.

I have to laugh at the word profits. To a small store that really means, money to pay the rent & expenses.

So, Shop small business and know your money is supporting the stores that really matter.

This goes for any type of business: art gallery, gift boutique, clothing store, insurance, whatever.

And Carolyn,
This is the beginning of the next phase of your life! We thank you for all that you have given to the Chicago community! And know you are appreciated!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Michael deMeng's Missoulian Newspaper Article

First, I want to make sure you all know why I would be possibly posting something about Assemblage Artist Michael deMeng.

No, I am not a crazed, stalking fan!

Michael & I are business partners in all the Non-Original Artwork. So like, Exclusive Autographed w/Artist Card "Secrets of Rusty Things", Prints, Aprons, Paint Kits, blah blah blah..... I won't bored you with all that.

And I wanted to let you know about this great article about him and book reveiw the Missoulian did....

Finders Keepers Article

Secrets of Rusty Things Book Review

And if you are in the Montana area, Michael will be doing a book signing at:

Liquid Planet in Missoula Friday Night September 14th!

It will be a fabulous time.

Michael will be posting the details on his blog as soon as he returns from Texas!

Great Article, Michael! Have fun at the book signing! I know you will!

One more deMeng note:

We've decided that 10% of the Tarot Card Print sales will go to support the Hunger Project. It is a great organization that is highly rated by charity watch groups. This is an organization that helps fight poverty through some very innovative ways.

Our way of giving back!

Life Makes Me Laugh!

I love it when Life makes me Laugh!

Yesterday, I was running my errands before coming to the store and as I got back in my car at the post office, I decided to put on some lipstick.

Ok, For those of you who don't know me, I am not a girly girl. God, knew what he was doing when he gave me 4 boys! With that being said, lipstick is not my normal thing.

But, I was talking to Susan Lenart-Kazmer at Art Unraveled and we were discussing how right now she wants to dress more like a boy, tom-boyish (Yeah, Right Susan try and pull that off you hot mama) And I was saying how I want to be more girlish.

With this in mind, I was putting on lipstick as a start to my girliness. So here I am using my rearview mirror so I can color in the lines, I was not driving still parked, I promise!

And this gentleman was walking up to the post office on the sidewalk in front of my car. I noticed him staring at me so I looked at him...... And gives me a thumbs up!

I love it! People are so fun!

Enjoy each and every moment! Mostly, take time to notice those small moments and appreciate them.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Creative Stumbling Blocks

Tuesday Sept 4, 2007

I am going to use my blog more like a blog than store announcements.

If you wish to know the News of what's new at The Artists' Nook then visit the website or to have the info delivered to your email in-box, Sign up for my email newsletters in the side bar of this Blog!

I enjoy inspiring artists that come visit me at the store with ideas, suggestions and problem solving the projects they are working on.

So I want to reach out online, help with those of you who maybe having a

Creative Stumbling Block

I call it a Creative Stumbling Block as opposed to a Creative Block because stumbling block seems more like a brief moment in time. Not as permanent sounding as a creative block!

We all have this happen to us at some time or another. Usually, when we are working on a specific project, trying to get it done the way we think we need it to be......... Ok, this is where we get into trouble. Pushing our artwork into the direction that we want it to be......instead of letting it evolve into what it wants to be!

This phenomenon happens very subtly as we work and before we know it, we are frustrated.
How do we get past this?

Here are some things to try:

  1. Walk away- Some will beg to differ on this. Some will say work through it! But I find by walking away then coming back to the project later that day or the next day, I can see it with fresh eyes.
  2. Evaluate- What is not working...... Are the colors to strong, busy, or just not going together? Does the very large rusty gear you want to attach with only one tiny piece of wire keep falling off? Can you see your focal point or is there too much going on that you need to eliminate somethings? Talk yourself through it and follow your gut!
  3. Look at the items you are working with- I find that if I have too many things to choose from ...... I cannot make a descision! Or It starts to get too busy, too much stuff. It is better for me choose items from my vast selection with the gut feeling of what I want in the piece. I will then bring those items to my work area and try and work with those. Too many times I would find myself so busy looking, looking & looking that the creative process cannot happen!
  4. Pick up, look at your choosen items- Once you have those choosen items for your project, Spend some time with them. No, not lots of time, but just pick them up and place them with each other in different layouts on your canvas, box or whatever your base. This goes for 2-d work too. Place your images, papers around to see what goes together.
  5. Most of all......Listen to your heart, gut instinct Whatever you want to call it. Trust your instincts.

Next Post, I will talk about Creative Jump Starts........................................

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Summer of Learning

I cannot ignore the circumstances that have presented themselves to me this summer.
It is about seeing the positive in what bad news we may get!

What has been presented to me many times in the past 4 months in different ways is that we only have a limited time on this earth!
Sad, I know but really more than that is the appreciation for what we do have, and what is presented to us each and every day!
I have always been good about seeing every positive, loving thing in each person who pass my path each and every day. But we still need to be reminded.
So this is my reminder:
It has been 13 years at least that someone close to me has passed on...... In this past 4 months, I have had 3 people I have known pass on......
3 people diagonosed with illness that could take their lives, 2 will be fine, one it is just a matter of time.
Ok, I just now see the patterns of 3's.
No matter how busy we get, what needs to get done, We must continue to enjoy the small things, the big things and the annoying things that come across our paths each and every moment of every day!
Seize the day! More importantly, Seize the moment!
Love you all,