Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is there a lesson to be learned here?

I have one simple question - what are you trying to teach me? I mean, there's just no way that this past week, these last few months, this past year can not have some greater purpose. Every time I settle into things just a little bit, every time I am determined to take control of my temper, attitude and life - a wicked little wrench gets thrown into that gear. I don't take hints very well, I can never read between the lines. So, if you would just drop a big neon sign in front of me with instructions, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Devotedly Yours,


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Carolina

Despite being sick and oh so brilliantly setting my I-phone in a glass of water, Christmas was pretty nice. The kids went out of town from Wednesday through Saturday, so it gave me some free time to just do whatever. When they came home Saturday, they had a blast opening their presents. It was nice and stressfree - and the kids got to just enjoy making a mess and playing with their new toys. A nice little bonus for us here - we had snow for Christmas, almost anyway. We woke up Sunday morning to around 6-8" of snow here. Even though I'm not a snow person (I just can't get past the cold), the snow was a beautiful sight. After awhile though, I was ready for it to be gone. I just don't like the cold at all. I mean, come on, I was born in the tropics and grew up in Texas and North Carolina - do I really seem like one for the cold? I do have to give big kudos to our DOT since our roads were pretty clear the next day. I was able to venture out and get some after Christmas shopping done. Oh well, I guess there was one good thing about snow here - extra day off work!
Some pics - Enjoy!

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Monday, December 13, 2010


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I don't like to get personal on my blog, I don't really know why. Maybe it's because I don't want someone feeling sorry for me or thinking I'm complaining. Maybe it's because I can't stand whining and listening to others complain (hence why I have blocked updates from some of my Facebook friends). I feel a lot of guilt when I complain, after all what do I have to complain about? My home (there are people who don't even have a home), my job can be stressful (well, at least I have a job that pays well), I feel very lonely (yet I am surrounded by friends and family), I never have enough money (but I don't balance my check book and still pay all my bills on time). But, there are days when all I want to do is get on here and wallow in my misery, share my crappy day, cuss & fuss and be immature. There are some days that I wish I could just vent on here - about work, the kids, family, just life in general - but I don't and I won't. So, I guess as usual, I will type my post of ranting and raving and crying over my silly little problems - I will let everyone know how much my life stinks and I will never hit publish.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lisa Gets Her Groove Back

Wow, it's been alost two months. What can I say - I've been busy. Ok, not that busy but busy enough. I found some time to volunteer at the Art of Carolinas with the Carolina Mixed Media Artist Guild (which I finally joined, in case I didn't already tell you). I was a very good girl and didn't spend tons of money. I've been packing up lots of clothing and household things to donate - which is making me very happy, no more clutter. I also had a fantastic Thanksgiving, the first great Thanksgiving that I've had in years. All the food turned out perfect and everyone actually stayed for more than just an hour or two. Also, my house is slowly but sure coming back together, enough that I don't mind if someone stops without calling first since the house is actually fairly organized. I've managed to finally reclaim my diningroom. I've been Miss Handyman too, changing the light fixture in the kitchen and the chandelier in the diningroom - all by myself. Shoot - who needs a man?? Not me...though sometimes I think it would be nice...
Since the diningroom no longer looks like it used to, I am not embarrassed to post a pic of the before, when the kids used it as a playroom. This is when the room was actually somewhat clean, if you can believe that:

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And now the after:

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My art stuff is back in the cabinet, all arranged in an "orderly fashion":

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I'm thinking that I may have to find a different cabinet - this one is just not working for me. As you can see on the table, I have my journals laid out getting gessoed. I took a class with my buddy Ophelia this weekend and got motivated to begin creating an art journal. Here are some pages I did in the class:

I guess I'm finally getting back into the groove of life. Hopefully it will continue.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Laying Low

What can I say, I just haven't been in the mood to create. Well, I shouldn't say that I haven't wanted to create, I have, I just have a lot of other things going on that have prevented me from being motivated for much of anything. One good thing, I am finally going to have the house to myself and will no longer have to find somewhere to stay on the weekends. It really hasn't been that bad, but since my ex didn't have a place that he was living in on his own, we both felt it was better for him to just stay at the house with the kids until his housing situation changed. So, he is getting a place on his own and should be moved in by the end of the month. I have been doing a bit of redecorating, though I still haven't finished painting my living room. I have also decided to take over the dining room/playroom. The kids are now sharing a room so I have an empty room upstairs now. I don't have out of town guest so I don't really need a guest room and I didn't want to have to go upstairs when I was in the mood to make stuff, so the toys are going up stairs and my art stuff is going in the dining room. It'll be nice too because that way if I want to have friends over for an "art party", I'll have a good place to hang out and do it in. So, that is my plan for the next couple of weekends. Hopefully with having a comfortable place to create, I'll be a little more motivated to make stuff. Though I have done a few things.

I've been doing a little writing:
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A little painting (hm, still don't know about this one):
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A little going to museums and stuff:
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And some playing with the babes:
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And friends, old and new:
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I guess I have been doing more than I thought.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

36 and counting

Last year for my birthday, I made a list, 35 for 35, that had some goals I wanted to set for myself for the year. My original intend was to follow up on them with you this year. After reading the list, I realized that would just make me feel like crap. 90% was a bust. With all the insanity that was this past year, I accomplished nothing. But that's ok - this is a new year and new beginning. So, here is my list for 36 things about me, good and bad (mostly bad), that you may not know:

1. I was born in Puerto Rico, lived in Texas until I was 9 years old and have pretty much lived in North Carolina since then, but I still consider myself a Texan at heart.
2. I'm very competitive. I got good grades in school only because I was being competitive with another girl. Once I transferred schools and didn't have anyone to compete with, my grades dropped.
3. I'm bad at remembering dates, but can remember phone numbers from years ago, everyones bank account number and I have tons of social security numbers stored in my head. Good thing I'm not a criminal.
4. I'm a music snob, although my mother and friends would say I'm just an all around snob, though I really try not to be. I'd say it's an eclectic mix, though still limited - Nine Inch Nails, Tool, PJ Harvey, Bjork, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Melody Gardot and the occasional 80's new wave/goth and industrial...
5. I will start a conversation with anyone anywhere. I have a friend that says I'd talk to walls if they would talk back.
6. I love color and every room in my house is painted a different color, except mine. The livingroom is a Tuscan Gold, the foyer is teal, the kitchen is lime green, diningroom is eggplant purple, laundry room is grey, guest bath is sky blue, kids bathroom is yellow, daughter's room is orange, son's room is green with a touch of blue.
7. I love to drive and will purposely take the long way just to drive longer.
8. I'm a human map. I cannot get lost, though I've tried. Must be all that aimless driving that I do.
9. I really, really hated turning 35 but think 36 will be a great year. Although I'm starting to feel like I look my age now - not good!
10. I love peanut butter banana sandwiches on toast. When I was pregnant, I craved it with the addition of fried bologna. Surprisingly good.
11. I love art but do not have patience to create anything but abstract work. Detail just takes too long.
12. I suck as a daughter, mother and friend. I don't even think I want to bother explaining that one other than to say I'm trying to be better.
13. I am totally and completely unmotivated right now. It is actually 7/19 but I knew it would take me time to finish this silly list so I started early.
14. Now that I'm single, I have reverted into a raging flirt. I am oblivious to when I'm doing it and can't seem to stop.
15. I am extremely curious and LOVE learning about new things. Whenever I learn about something new that interest me, I read up and research as much as I can on it. Maybe that's why, when I was in school, I would go to the library during my study hall period and sit in the non-fiction section and read encyclopedias - for real.
16. I think I'm a slob. I have no housekeeping skills. Granted, my home would never appear on Hoarders, but it would never appear in House Beautiful either. It's not that bad, but I would probably be a little embarrassed if someone stopped over without calling first. I'll just continue to blame my kids until they move out.
17. I am a thinker not a doer. After all my digestion of information and skills learned through books and HGTV, I can tell you how to do something, I just can't show you by example. So, I guess that would make me a great boss.
18. I have an intense phobia of ships. Even just looking at one on TV or in print can get my heart beat racing. I found out about this phobia the day I went to pick up my brother in Norfolk, Va. He was in the navy and when I drove up to the docks or whatever, I was too terrified to even look up (and I was the one driving). He did drag me on the ship, though I got on with my eyes closed. Once I was on and since I couldn't see outside anyway (I was inside the aircraft carrier), I was fine.
19. If I'm walking around downtown, I've been known to begin hyperventilating if I actually look up at the buildings because I'm claustrophobic. Looking out at the ocean when no one is in the water will do that to me too.
20. Though I am extremely social and will become friends with anyone, I LOVE being alone.
21. I secretly wish I was a rock star but alas, I wasn't blessed with good vocal chords.
22. Balloons scare me too.
23. I've just suddenly realized that I'm scared of a lot of things.
24. Shoot, it's my birthday today and I am only at #24. See I told you it would take some time (see #13).
25. And since it is my birthday, my gift to myself is to not finish this list!

I cheated, I know, but this was harder than I thought. I do want to say though that I really love my friends. I've had such a nice time - no partying and drinking, just enjoying time with a few good friends. Another year and the only thing I wish for myself is that I continue to grow into a better mother and better artist - nothing else.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pollack and Mondrian have a paint party...

I haven't really had much time for anything but I got inspired after a fun night of ATC's at Jerry's Artarama. I had some string gel sitting around for awhile and just haven't found anything I wanted to do with it so I decided to pull it out tonight. Once I started playing with it, I decided to sling it to make a bit of a random mess. I let the black string gel dry and then filled in some of the spaces with colors. I hope you like.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Art Form??

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Talk about making a statement - I love it. This is the best picture I could take while driving by. The guy spray painted "Screwed by the town of Cary" across the front of his home. Poor guy has had almost all of his front property taken by the town of Cary. Now every time it rains, because of the new grade of the land, it floods in his home and garage. Of course, I don't know the entire story, but the town is now going to be fining him for violating the town sign ordinance. I just couldn't resist driving by and taking a picture to share.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I've been feeling a little up and down about life just not knowing what direction to go. I kinda feel like reinventing myself, becoming the person I've wanted to be but never knew how. I would love to move away and just start all over where no one knows me, unfortunately can't do that with having kids with a person who wants to spend time with his kids. I guess that's really a good thing though. I was going through my bookshelf and found this book. I hadn't read it in a long time and felt inspired by what it said, so I thought I'd share.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be.And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.~ written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I had a full, busy day today - totally exhausted. Before I go to bed though, I wanted to share some pics that I took at Jerry's Art-A-Thon today. Money raised today went to the National Wildlife Federation to help animals affected by the Gulf oil spill. Also wanted to share a work in progress.
Still haven't finished, but I like where it's going. Looks much better in person without the glare.

No Art-A-Thon is complete without my favorite blogger, Ophelia, creating a little piece for auction. It was nice to walk around and be able to watch artist working and to be able to ask them questions about what they were using and how they were creating some of the things they were painting.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Girl with Drill

Did I ever tell you how much I love home improvement stores? I could spends hours, no days, just going down every aisle looking at every little thing on the shelves wondering what I could create with some of that stuff. Yeah, I like to craft, but arts and craft stores just don't inspire me, and as much as I love Jerry's I usually just leave there wishing that I was a good artist and feeling inadequate. So, I managed to spend 2 and a half hours at the home improvement store tonight and left only because it gets a little scary in there once they begin turning the lights off. I decided that today was the day that I was going to organize my little corner of the world. I had gotten a nice looking entertainment cabinet off craigslist for $10, intending on using it for storing my art stuff. I put it together (I don't recommend doing that by yourself) and it was pretty wobbly and pathetic. I threw all my stuff in it and left it for months, 6 to be exact. Since I had the house to myself tonight, I went to the home improvement store and picked up some wood to add a shelf in the cabinet so that I could organize things a little better and some nails to tack in the backing so that it would be more stable. I also stuck some cork board on the doors for adding little nuggets of inspiration. I am so excited about how it turned out - so nice and straight. See for yourself...

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Too much time on my hands.

You Are the Third Eye Chakra

You are insightful and spiritual. You trust your intuition.

You are deeply philosophical. You spend a lot of time thinking and theorizing.

You are wise beyond your years. People turn to you for direction and hope.

You are a clear thinker. You often know what you want to do and how you're going to do it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Garden Delights

I don't have any art to share, but I figured I'd share my garden.

This is my poor hydrangea bush. I didn't manage to cut it down before it started budding in February, so it has gotten a little overwhelmed with flowers. It has overtaken my steps on my deck and it is just HUGE. I went outside to look at it today and it is so top heavy that it is drooped and all the stems with flowers are bent to the ground. It looks like someone sat in the middle of it and flattened it out.
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I did not bother keeping up with the garden this year. In fact, I contemplated pulling it all out. But, I couldn't find another place to relocate the flowers that I had and just didn't have the heart, or time, to pull everything out. Needless to say, it has become overwhelmed with weeds. You can't tell from the pictures since most of the flowers are really tall, but the lower half is just a thick carpet of some weed (don't know what). My neighbors have a meticulous garden and have lawn service done, so I'm sure they are not too happy with the garden, but what can you do. At least it looks pretty with the flowers all filling it in. Good thing I don't have a close up picture of the ground cover, i.e. weeds.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

I've been miserably sick the last few day - so sick that I've broke out into tears a couple of times. I managed to get a severe case of strep throat coupled with mono, which by the way, I thought I was safe from after high school. It was such a severe case that my doctor actually recommended I go to the hospital and get on an antibiotic IV drip because my white blood cell count was so high. That, I told him, was out of the question (have you seen my lousy insurance coverage??). Thank God he was understanding and instead gave me a steroid shot and a couple of antibiotic shots. My butt's a little more sore for it (the shots) but I'm finally feeling better.
I actually started this post on Friday but in my drugged haze forgot to post it, so even though it is dated Friday, it's actually Tuesday (shhh, don't tell). I actually thought that while my mom had the kids and I was feeling better, I would actually do something, but alas - I didn't have as much energy as I thought. Unfortunately I may be able to stay awake for more than 5 minutes but I couldn't stand or do anything else for more than 5 minutes. So, I'll post a few little sketches I've done (practicing) and a painting that looks much better in person than on the lousy picture. Enjoy.

I've had a fascination with yellow lately, mostly in more of a golden/orange tone. Reading up on it, yellow is the color of optimism and happiness and brings out creative thought. The more golden the hue, the "promise of better times". I do have to say that I have felt great about my life lately, so I guess the colors I'm painting with are a reflection of that.
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This is my little nude sketch I did at work on a scrap piece of paper (sometimes I'm on hold forever at work). I've been trying to practice doing a little more realism as opposed to the abstract I normally do. I like creating abstract pieces because I feel more like I am painting my emotions, but I kinda don't want everything to be so emotional. I don't want to feel like I'm going into that dark place to create.
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Monday, June 7, 2010


I have been in dire need of some inspiration lately but I just can't seem to find it anywhere. I finally went to the NC Museum of Art this weekend. It's been closed for renovations and expansions for some time now and just reopened last month (I think). Boy was I impressed. Right as you walk into the new building you are greeted by 3 huge glass scuptures of a sitting person, hanging sideways on a suspended wall. As big as it was, I still wasn't able to read all the writing on him, but what I was able to read sounded interesting.

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If you head to the left, you go into the more traditional classical paintings, although I did find the lovely below there. Take a close look if you can as to what it is made from, you'll be surprised.

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Did you figure it out yet?? It is made from a curtain of individual spools of thread! These were not spools that were half dyed to make it work, they were solid spools of color.
Anyway, if you head straight at the lobby, you enter the more modern contemporary paintings. They had quite a few that I fell in love with, unfortunately I left my cameras memory card at home and was only able to take a few pics with the memory the camera would hold. I really liked this one below.

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Yes, I was a very bad girl and forgot to write down the names of the artist that created these beautiful pieces. Guess that means I'll have to go back another day - darn!
On top of taking a lovely stroll through the museum, I managed to find bargains galore when it came to art and craft supplies. I would say I feel guilty for spending the money, since I swore I'd be a very good girl and not spend money this weekend, but how could I possibly pass up jars of gel medium (regular retail price of $26 - $28) for $2.97 and Liquitex heavy body acrylic paint (reg. price $19) for $.97. Also went to Ornamentea, which I haven't gone to in awhile, and got super excited about doing stuff. They used to be bead focused and have really expanded what they carry.
So, hopefully I'll be back to creating soon enough.

**Update - well, partial update anyway. The first picture is a sculpture by Jaume Plensa called Doors of Jerusalem. There were three of them so they are I, II, III. They are poly resin and lit internally. The words on it are from the bible - Songs of Solomon and Songs of Songs. They are 47 1/4 x 62 1/2 x 80 3/4 (inches). This also happens to be the same artist that tried to donate a $2.5 mil art installation downtown that turned into such a big stink that he withdrew his offer. Guess he still loves us at least a bit. The second pic is by Devorah Sperber titled After the Mona Lisa 2. It is 85"x87" and made up of 5184 spools of thread. This is definitely one that you have to see to get the full effect. I still haven't figured out the last one but think I may be taking another trip this weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunday Night Boredom and Hair Dye

Let me just start off by saying that Sunday night boredom and hair dye don't mix. In the last 3 months I have gone from dying my hair black, to getting blond "halo" highlights, and finally an assortment of red hues. What can I say, I get easily bored.
I don't know what got in to me a few months ago, but I decided to dye my hair black. Now, in my late teens and early twenties I use to dye it black all the time. It looked good and I could pull it off being younger and having good skin. I think people recently telling me that I look like I'm in my mid-20's got to my ego - to think that I could get away with dying my hair black at 35, what was I thinking? I hated it, it made me look older and I swear it highlighted every zit and wrinkle on my face. So, black hair dye has been banned. Of course, even though it was only a semi-permanent color, it still took several washes with Prell shampoo mixed with Dawn dishwashing detergent to get most of it out. Off to the salon for something different. Both my kids are blond and for whatever strange reason, it bothers me that I look nothing like them. So, I went and got some blond highlights put throughout my hair just to make me feel a little better. It didn't last long. I just don't care for blond hair - it's boring. Sorry if anyone out there is blond, I just don't care for it for me. I've dated several blonds, in fact I'd say 90% of the guys I've dated were blond, so on some level I must like it. I think that lasted about a month then I got bored this past Sunday. I forget how horrible the Carolina humidity is on my hair this time of the year, and natural curls don't really help, so I freaked out after I colored my hair. I thought for sure it was fried. It took me awhile to get accustomed to the Ronald McDonald red mixed with DJ Lance (from Yo Gabba Gabba) orange that took to my formerly blond highlights, but luckily red dye doesn't keep it's color all that well and it has faded out a bit. I think I'm in love with it - for

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Aurabella's Art Spot

My corner is coming back. I decided to move some things out of the living room so that I can set up my art space in hopes of feeling like creating again. My ex still has his stuff at my home and I had it all stored in my art area until today. I decided to move his desk, which is taken apart but still bulky, into my foyer area, where my sewing table was sitting waiting for his stuff to leave. I know, it's not the best thing for my guest to walk into my house and see right up front. Personally, I don't care. I kinda decided that I don't entertain anyway and my friends know and love me, they know my situation, so I'm pretty sure they aren't looking down at me for having my home in disarray. Besides, there are worse piles of clutter in my home than in my foyer. So here is part of it already in use.

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I have to brag about my awesome bag (to the right of the pic) that I got at a yard sale for a dollar. Perfect for taking my acrylic inks and whatnot whenever I go to art functions or hang with friends. I love having my space back and it was really nice too because I had room for my daughter, who loves doing "art projects" with mommy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Knot Prayer

I was at a friends house this weekend and saw this prayer posted on her fridge. I'm not one for posting these kinds of things but it really got me thinking about how much I've let little thoughts hold me back from being who I want to be and doing what I want to do. So, I thought that I'd share since I know I'm not the only one that needs a little nudge.

The Knot Prayer

Dear God
Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots, the can nots and the do nots that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots, would nots, and should nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all, Dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart, and my life
all of the "am nots" that I have allowed to hold me back.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Looking for...inspiration

I was so hoping that the nicer weather would inspire me to create some new stuff again, but I just haven't been motivated. I feel like a need a week off of work to just get my home organized and cleaned and maybe then I'll feel comfortable here again and feel like creating.

My ex-hub did bring me a wonderful gift - his trash from work. I'm not complaining. He brought me a nice pile of scraps of Mylar that would've gone in the trash anyway. I always think it would be nice to make those really cool contemporary hanging lamps with the scraps or something, but normally it just gets piled away. One day though, I think I will do a reverse painted lamp covering or something with it but for now it gets used for collaging or journalling. I did start on a journal page with some of the Mylar, but didn't feel like finishing, so no pic today, but I got a pic of 2 new paintings.

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I think I'm rather fond of this painting even though it's very dark.

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And this one is dedicated to my favorite coffee shop. One of the owners has an obsession with cupcakes. Just don't know what that's all about. This was taken before it was done. I'll have to take a pic of the completed one and post later.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lucky Girl

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Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my window...
a clear cool night. I can see the stars.

I am thinking...
of reorganizing and decluttering my home

I am thankful for...
kids that don't argue when it's time for bed and getting some "me" time.

I am creating...
new page for my art journal, maybe I'll share

I am hearing...
too many thoughts running through my mind and I just can't shut down for bed

I am remembering...
when things were easier, being young and free

I am going...
to bed soon and hopefully actually sleep

I am currently reading...
no time for reading, would rather play

I am hoping...
for a less hectic day tomorrow at work.

On my mind...
everything and nothing that's important

Noticing that...
all my paintings lately have been so dark, yet I feel so happy.

the person I'm becoming. In just 6 months, I've changed so much, at an age that I thought I knew me. I like who I am becoming, though.

Around the house...
a big mess.

One of my favorite things...

My picture thought...
my latest painting, thought I'd share.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010


Had to share this new technique I found for transferring images with gel medium. I was at the bookstore Saturday and found the book Image Transfer Workshop by Darlene Olivia McElroy. In it, she shows you how to create an image skin from a Yupo painting. So, off to Jerry's for some Yupo and misc. items. I actually had an image at home that I had planned on cutting up and using in a journal, so I decided to just use that. In my lack of thinking and my excitement about trying something new, I didn't realize that the image was on Mylar and not Yupo - but it worked anyway. Before we get started, let me just explain - I suck at following instructions. I just don't listen and I hate reading them. I don't know if I just think that I'm too smart for it or it is just me getting overexcited and just wanting things to hurry up and get done, but my enthusiasm usually wins out and poor results ensue. So just remember do as I say and not as I do.
Here's what you need:
Yupo, Mylar (or I'm guessing any sort of synthetic paper will work that will hold a waterbased image well)
Soft gel medium
Spray workable fixative
watercolor or acrylics (including inks)
Create your image on the paper you are using and let dry. Once it's dry, spray on a layer of workable fixative and make sure it thoroughly covers the image. Allow the fixative to dry completely before laying a thick layer of gel medium. Don't be stingy because once the gel medium is dry, you will need to peel it off the paper. If you aren't generous with it, when you peel it, it will stretch or break easily. Also, you want to make sure the gel is completely dry - you'll know it's there when it is clear. A small word of caution, it tends to stick to itself so be careful while pulling it off.

Here's the results of my impatient skin.

I haven't decided how I will layer this into my journal, but I think I will probably create more skins from the painting that I have and actually follow my instructions for once.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Creating Journal Backgrounds

I am moving this post over from my other blog, Altered Spirit. I've put that blog on hold anyway and have all my art stuff here, so why not share here. I'm actually contemplating making that blog more of a personal journal, which will mean making it private, at least for now. I had the pleasure of attending an acrylic inks demo at Jerry's Artarama, lead by Ophelia Staton, and I showed this technique. I'm sure I read or saw this somewhere, but unfortunately cannot give proper credit since I can't remember where, but I still want to share. I have seen this taught in several books and on websites, but it consist of using baby wipes to transfer color to paper for a watercolor look. It calls for using inks or watercolor liquids, but I had neither, so my tutorial will be with using acrylic paint.
So, gather your supplies:
  • paints. Just two or three colors. Any more than that and they'll end up too muddied
  • container with water
  • spray bottle with water in it.
  • a few baby wipes. Any brand will do.
  • disposable plate for paint
  • paint brush
  • paper, heavyweight. I used 90lb, but next time will probably get something heavier.

Place a few dollops of paint on your plate. Once again I lacked the foresight and just used a grocery bag to set my paint on, so if you don't already have plastic plates sitting around, by all means, use what you've got - no need to add expenses. Dipping your brush in the water container, pick up water to mix in with your acrylics and begin spreading around your plate without mixing them together. Place the baby wipe neatly and completely spread open on top of the paint. Tap the wipe into the paint. While the wipe is still on the paint, take the spray bottle and saturate the wipe with more water. You want it pretty soaked but not super drippy. Pick up the wipe gently and spread it onto your paper. Take a clean wipe and use it to dab on top of the wipe to evenly cover the paper below it. Continue picking up the wipe gentle and moving it around on your paper until it is completely covered in paint or covered how you desire. Don't get concerned while you are dabbing that the paint on the wipe is getting muddled. Once you remove it from your paper, you will see that it is not muddled. I managed to do 2 sheets with just one wipe and 3 colors, without the colors looking bad. Added bonus, when I was getting ready to clean my mess up, I had a bowl full of nasty looking water. I decided to take that water and use it on a sheet that I had gessoed a few days before and just painted the sheet with the water. Turned out pretty nice if I say so myself. The papers are way prettier in person that in the pictures. I will have to post once I've actually put them into a book and done something with them

Lay colored wipe on paper and dab with another wipe

End result, first paper.

Using leftover water for journal page

Second journal page

Friday, February 5, 2010

Did I do Something?

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Hey - I actually painted something this week - Yea!!! I got a wonderful book a the bookstore the other day called Celebrate your Creative Self by Mary Todd Beam and I found it pretty inspiring. I had bought some acrylic inks over the holidays and didn't do anything with them, so after reading her book and looking at all her beautiful pictures, I pulled out my inks and just had fun putting it on my canvas. I created some texture and effects with some gel medium, aluminum foil, salt, and alcohol. The picture, of course, looks like crap - maybe my next thing will be a photography class. The bright red and yellow in the photo is not dry, so it's brighter than it will end up once dried. Anyway, I just had to share.

Mood: Feeling Good by Nina Simone

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Insanity at its Best

Two post in one day - Oh my goodness. I must be bored. Actually, I'm just feeling slightly...disappointed to put it kindly. Since I love searching for new blogs and am now a single mom, I've been reading other single mom blogs and am left feeling rotten. I must be the worst mom in the world. To read about everyone else's life, it's easy, life is good and their children are wonderful. Not for me. I hate having to raise my kids by myself, I hate not having time to do the things I want to do - there's a lot I hate about my new life. My kids aren't perfect obedient soldiers and I stink at fitting 20 hours of things I need to do within a 24 hour day. I miss my alone time, being able to go out in the evening by myself, having a clean house and getting to relax when I get home. I get mad when I get a call from the school or daycare that one of my kids is sick and I have tot ake off owrk to get them. It annoys me that I get off work at 5pm, the school and daycare are 10 miles away, no traffic and I still don't get home until 6pm. This is my life. I lose my temper, am lucky if I make it to my bed at the end of the night, and never manage to get all the laundry done.
I am a better mother now. I am learning to be patient. I am getting better at planning and prioritizing. I play with the kids more often and I don't let the little things bother me as much. So, maybe one day I'll be as good of a mom as other single moms. For now, I'm just me - an honest mom trying to raise two small kids without going insane in the process.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Time Heals All

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Wow, it's been awhile. I didn't realize it's been since Thanksgiving since I've bothered to update. I'm snow-bound today, therefore bored and looking for something to do. I know it's not much snow to most, but there is ice under that pretty white stuff.
Where do I begin? Well, I am alive and well. In fact, I am more than well, I am the happiest that I've been in quite awhile. Something just clicked for me during the holidays. Maybe it was conversations with friends and co-workers, maybe I just needed time, but I have come to love my new status as a single woman. No, there isn't a new man in my life - no time for that. I think it is just learning to be me again and loving the person I am becoming. I have had countless people tell me that I seem so much happier now so I guess it must be true. The house is officially now all mine and I had to buy a new car. Just the thought of doing this on my own gave me heart palpitations before, but it was a breeze thanks to my wonderful loan officer/financial advisor where I bank (thank goodness for credit unions). So, with this now being "my" house, I have been working on decluttering and making it mine and my taste. I plan on repainting, already got the paint, and just changing the house to be how I've always wanted. I have to say, I can't wait until my husbands stuff is gone so I can get this done.
I have moved beyond my anger toward my ex-husband. In fact, I'm so over my anger that it does not bother me to have to talk to him or see him anymore. I just feels like I'm talking to an acquaintance. It's amazing how much weight is lifted once you let things go. I do have to say that it saddens me a bit to have let go and to feel this happy. It just shouldn't be this easy, but it has been. I am loving reconnecting with friends that I didn't even know cared. It is so true - you never know who your real friends are until your time of need. Thank God for my friends. Unfortunately, I have been cured of the bite from the creativity bug. I just haven't been moved to create much of anything. I haven't even felt like writing (obviously). In fact, I can tell you that I have been writing this post since before Christmas and it is now almost February. I also have 4 post in Draft that I've never posted (guess I'll proofread them and do it some time today). It's the winter - just not my season. Plus I haven't been in a class and I think I've realized that I feed off of other people's creativity. I've joined my local gym and really want to focus on that, so it doesn't leave me much time for other things at night - I have to have some time for the kids.
So, that's it, mostly. Nothing exciting or special, just life moving on. Well, there is that second speeding ticket...
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