Monday, August 31, 2009

Rainbows and my end to summer....

I'm a bit late with this -- the theme was rainbow and was supposed to be to Barb in July... maybe I think that it's still July.... I wish..... Tomorrow I go back to school! I set up my classroom on Tuesday, and then we have meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. The students start coming next Tuesday! I'll be posting more often on my other blog -- Ms Brown's Classroom. My focus is on my health, my home and my school this year, so there won't be as much art.... maybe..... we'll see .... On the other blog I will be posting about school. What I'm doing there, what I'm hoping to do -- I'll post my poems (not my poems, but the poems that I am using in the class), the books we are reading and give peeks of how my kindergarten class works. Cross your fingers that it works very smoothly!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mystery art

Did I tell you that my sewing machine died again? I won't be going back to that repair shop ever ever again.
I've been working on things that I can't post yet..... surprises. Here is a sneak peak of my assembly line....Oh, what will it be????
I had to finish whatever it was on my old Singer. We'll just call it "old reliable" It's a Singer 237 made in the mid 1960s. I hope it never needs servicing because it's built into a cabinet... I normally just have my bernina on top of the cabinet. My bernina 801 has gone to visit the Bernina Head Office for maintenance. I included the spring, washers, nut and bolt that I found on the inner bottom of the machine. Cross your fingers that it doesn't cost a fortune.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pirate Week!

We did the yearly trek to the cottage. Pirate week was the funnest theme yet. Except now I talk funny. (I be goin' to get a drink now). I look exhausted in this photo, but it is the only one that I have that is suitable for a general viewing audience, lol.
We drank lots of pirate grog, ate rats on a stick (chicken) and even performed in a play...
We watched a pirate movie the first night and it coloured the rest of the was SO FUNNY. Don't fall over too shocked, all of the interesting bits were cut out of the movie because we bought it off amazon.....
Anyway, this is my pirate art, please click on it to read our pirate names.... I'm Mattie Sparrow, the ex wife of Captain Jack Sparrow....
Next year we be from Arabian nights, or Hollywood Bollywood....... yaaarrrrrrr

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Winner!

I am finally home! Do you remember my giveaway? A "favourite things" paper pack.
They are also being listed in my etsy shop today for the unbelievably low low price of $10 (plus shipping)
The winning number was 23 -- That is Pam! Congratulations Pam -- I'm off to email you now!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The giveaway and the getaway

***I've extended my giveaway date until August 25! Please leave a comment on my post from August 3I'm off to be a pirate for week. Yar....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Travelling. Yuck.

So, I couldn't get everything in my carry on, so I panicked and repacked at the last minute. I ran down to the hotel lobby (well, as much as you can run dragging a very full suitcase, knapsack and computer bag). the shuttle drove up immediately (WHEW) The shuttle driver was a delight. Very friendly, informative and very very bright (should be doing so much more than driving a shuttle :) He dropped me off at the United Gate (Terminal 2) But when I went to check in they said that my flight leaves from terminal 4 because it is run by Air Canada. It didn't say Air Canada anywhere on my ticket! So I hopped on a bus and cruised to Terminal 4. So I threw my suitcase onto the scale and I was 2 pounds over. Damn. So I moved things to my carry on. Then weighed again and I was 2 pounds under. So I shoved more back in!!! Still, my carry on (knapsack)weighed a ton (really, a ton).
I also had fun in security. I decided to take my cheese home (stop laughing Maija) so I put it in my metal water bottle. They had to take it away to perform tests on it,lol. But gave it back to me, whew, my cheese is safe.....
I worried a bit going through customs once I landed because the guy (how come all of the custom agents look about 17??) asked me soooo many questions. All about art. Next time I'm going to say that I was at a finger painting retreat. But I was fine, and Ray was waiting for me in the sea of faces holding a big bouquet of flowers. It's good to be home. I loved being at artunraveled and being with my friends, but I love being home too. Especially when I came home to this:The poopie got a haircut!!! He looks so much smaller. Ray had the groomer leave a plume for his tail. It looks ridiculous, but I love it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bye Bye, Phoenix

I didn't take these photos, but these things impressed me most about Phoenix (well, Maija impressed me most, these impressed me second most)

Saguaro Cacti:Long birds (this is a roadrunner):

The beautiful homes that are the same colour as the earth:

Art Unraveled

I had a fabulous time at ArtUnraveled! Staying with Maija and Ruth was perfect. They are both so fun to be around. And are perfect roommates! (well, except for the thermostat wars with Ruth, lol, I like warm and she likes cold). I wish that I had taken pictures... at least Maija did :)
Next year, I hope to bring Ray -- or meet him here, so we both can take some classes, and then do some sightseeing.
I saw some wonderful results from classes. I'd love to take a class from Lorri Scott, Stephanie Lee, Thomas Ashman or Alisa Burke.

ArtUnraveled Day 6

It was my last day of classes.
I took a class with Katie Kendrick. She is a lovely person.

Tales from the Land of Odd I've always been attracted to the odd and in this class we'll revel in all things odd and curious, especially those that come from our own hands. We will explore line and paint, using a few images done by the masters as our jumping off place, with the understanding from the start that our goal is NOT to copy or try to reproduce those works in any way, but using them as a resource to gather information about color, shape, design, and inspiration to further aid us in developing our own unique style. Much of the day will be spent working on background techniques, drawing and painting faces and people using pencils, brushes, and fingers, and adding elements of collage when inspired to do so. We will work on 2-3 pieces simultaneously to encourage the 'flow' state of the right brain while at the same time allowing one piece to dry while we work on another. This is an intuitive based painting class with lots of technique; it is well suited to all levels, including beginners.

I had no idea what I was doing in this class! I made 3 backgrounds, but this was the one that I finished. It wasn't odd. Well, except for my cute little dog! I like the tree too. The figure seems a bit static. But it is the first figure that I've ever painted...

Monday, August 10, 2009

ArtUnraveled Day 5

Two classes today!!!
First I took Judy Wise --
Stencil Self Portraits
Choose a favorite photograph of yourself at any age and we will turn that photograph into a stencil master that can be combined with collage and used in many ways on a variety of projects. We will each cut our own stencil, then create a painted and collaged background for it. We will discuss how to determine if a particular photograph will make a good stencil, how to make the best cuts, the use of negative and positive space in a composition and how to make our compositions pop. A final layer of beeswax and resin will be added to each piece.
This was an all day class -- it was soooo fun! I cut out this stencil -- I think that my mom took the picture when I was 3! I'll be using this stencil a lot in the upcoming months... And another that I have just finished cutting. I would take ANY class that Judy was teaching. I loved it that much.
In the evening I took a class from Kelly Kilmer.

Goin’ Postal: Mixed Media Mail Art

I love receiving mail and I know I’m not the only one. I’m not talking about bills! I’m talking about layered postcards covered in rich, luscious slathers of acrylic and paper ephemera. I’ve done numerous workshops on mixed media postcards before, but this is a brand new one! I love the feel of making a totally unique piece of art, addressing it to a friend (or myself!) and dropping it in the mailbox. I guarantee you will too after this class!

Finally! I have been waiting for many years to be able to take an in-person class with Kelly. I have taken her online journal class (a most excellent online class -- go to Kelly's blog for more information), and have swapped with and emailed her but I have never met her. Kelly is so fun. Have you ever met someone that you only know through letters or from online, and then you meet them and you have nothing to say??? Well -- it wasn't like this with Kelly! She was "a kindred spirit" lol. I wish that I lived closer to her.....Anyway, her class was great and I tried really hard to play with her pens . My goal for the rest of the summer is to play with my OWN pens. I hope to take a book class with Kelly some day....Here are some of the postcards that I made -- none are really finished....

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Proud Mommy

While I have been away, Lauren has been at Henley -- a major rowing regatta.

Lauren Brown and Christina Malinas are the 2009 Royal Canadian Henley
Regatta champions in the Senior Lightweight Women's Pair.

I am so proud of you Lauren!!!!! (and Christina too!!!)
I think that there are still more events -- good luck!!! (are you wearing your special good luck at Henley socks that I gave you?? I don't see them in the picture...)

ArtUnraveled Day 4

Vendor Day! No classes! Shopping Extravaganza!I bought some supplies and treated myself to a collage by Karen Michel. I was too tired to take her class yesterday (I hadn't paid yet), so I bought the collage instead. I've always coveted her work......

Saturday, August 08, 2009

ArtUnraveled Day 3

Day 3 -- no classes! I helped Ruth with her class in the morning (actually, I didn't help -- I kind of just hung out) (They dyed fabrics)(and sewed up fabulous collages)

then I spent the afternoon here:Then I went out for dinner with Joanne Thieme-Huffman, Angie Platten, Jen, Leighanna Light, Lorri Scott, and Fran Saperstein. Good times for all (thanks Joanne :)

Friday, August 07, 2009

ArtUnraveled Day 2

Day 2 was with Susan Lenart Kazmer (actually it was the evening of Day 1 plus Day 2)

Resin and Everything you Wanted to Know About it!

Learn to cast charms, objects and figurative pieces using flexible rubber molding compound that allows for many undercuts. Pulling your resin charm from your mold is just the first step. Now turn them into dimensional, interesting elements. Learn clean up and finishing secrets such as Patinas for making the details stand out, sanding without creating a cloudy surface and drilling tips. Work with a superior non- toxic jeweler’s grade resin that will never yellow in time.

Learn proper application and safety tips for resin. This hands on workshop offered in a 2 day format offers many ground breaking techniques from creating hand made hollow bezel forms from wire, sheet metal and filling pierced recesses. Ideas for images, text, layering, and creating colorful stone like textures from organic material such as sand, pepper and crushed powders.

Create layers of extraordinary translucent papers in jewelry using a collection of new ideas and techniques in freestanding paper and resins. Learn rubs, burnings, oil pastel and colored pencil techniques. Make charms for jewelry, journal or home embellishments. Students will take home a few molds, complete a handful of finished charms, handmade bezels, and jewelry pieces.

Playing in this class was so fun! I could have done this all week. I was just starting to get into the jewelry making then it was over! I'm buying a dapping block for sure.

We started with pouring resin into bezels and adding stuff. I've done this before.

Then we made silicone molds of different things. I chose a shell, a porcelein doll and a hand that I had. This is the resin drying. Your first pour is a "throwaway" due to offgassing of the silicone mold, and I didn't have time to do a second pour. I'll play with these at home. .

Someone in my class cast some sea urchins -- aren't they fabulous????

She made one into a ring:

Then we finished our pieces -- I dapped this piece of copper, heated it and made some nice patina, then attached my resined piece -- I'm not sure if it will be a ring or a pendant -- it's about an inch and a half across.

Someone made this fabulous bracelet from a glass votive mounted on metal. She resined the label on to make it permanent. The votive was found in the desert. She is part of a group of people who go into the desert and help people coming from Mexico by giving them food and water and other supplies....

No classes Friday and Saturday.... time for a break. I am tired, sick and have a giant cold sore. Travelling doesn't really agree with my body....

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Art Unraveled Day 1

Day 1 I took Mike Jennings class. I learned so much (too much)
Here's the class description:
Dynamic Digital Collage
You will learn to use Adobe Photoshop to create digital collages with sophisticated layering. Find out how to quickly isolate elements from their backgrounds. You will learn to make layers interact with one another using blending modes and painting with transparency. Add depth and dimension difficult to achieve in the physical domain using layer styles and transformations. Master the Photoshop Text tool. Filter your elements for fabulous effects.
Here's an example of what I did -- the images were Mike's, but I manipulated and layered them!

Today, M is for Maija!

Happy Birthday Maija!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

15 books

Susan Williamson read of a challenge to list 15 books that had stayed with her. I only read a few of Susan's, but didn't want to be influenced, so here are mine (in no particular order):

The Stand by Stephen King
Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Emily books by LM Montgomery (brought them to Phoenix for Maija)
Sun and Spoon by Kevin Henkes (because M is always for Martha)
True Colors (the Stampington Publication)
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
From the Mixed up files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by E L Konigsburg
A View from Saturday by E L Konigsburg
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler(I always wanted my piece of land...)
Lamb by Christopher Moore
Wicked --I LOVE books that show an alternate view of a traditional tale...
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Funny that many of these are "childrens" books... but I read most of them over and over and over...
These are books that made a true impact on my life -- they changed me. I am a "reader" I have read many many many wonderful books -- but these are some that have stayed with me and I refer to them often.

And here are some other things that have impacted me this week!
Maija's dogs....they are adorable and made me smile every day!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Trades -- and a Giveaway

My trades for ArtUnraveled are mini paper packs. I'm going to be selling the large paper packs in my etsy shop when I come home. Meanwhile, I've having a giveaway. I'm going to giveaway one of my new paper packs. It includes 20 pieces of vintage paper, some vintage fabrics, trims and string. Just leave a comment on this post, and I'll draw a name on August 12 when I come home!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Off to Phoenix

I'm off to Phoenix to visit Maija. Yes, I am well aware that going to Phoenix in the summer is not a brilliant idea, but after I visit Maija we will be going to the art retreat, ArtUnraveled (also in Phoenix). I'm taking some very fun classes!!!!
But first, here is my name tag -- we make our own!Because m is always for martha! (okay, sometimes it is for Maija too)

I start with an introduction to Photoshop for Mixed Media Artists. Mike Jennings is teaching this one. Mike and his wife Shoshana own Hannah Grey, the online shop -- I've bought lots from here -- please go and visit!! I can play a bit with photoshop, but I'm completely self taught, so it's time to take a class.....
Then I get to play with Resin with Susan Lenart Kazmer. I have wanted to take a class from her for many years. Yay! I've made bezels and have been working with Resin for about 25 years, but it's all about lifelong learning, right? I pull out her book 'Making Connections" every week or so. Her jewelry truly takes my breath away.
Then I take a class called "Stencil self portraits" with Judy Wise. This wil be so fun -- and not too out of my comfort zone. Judy emailed me my adorable stencils (made from 2 photographs of me) and I did a happy dance -- woohoo!
Then a class with Kelly Kilmer! I love Kelly's work -- and have chatted online with her, taken online classes from her and traded with her, but have never met her.
On my last day, I'm taking a painting class with Katie Kendrick, called Tales from the Land of Odd. this one is out of my comfort zone. I've never really painted before. Yikes! But I'm odd, so I'm sure it will be fine, lol.
I'm going to be updating my blog daily- stay tuned! (I'm having a few giveaways!)