Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Angels, Angels Everywhere!

Do you believe in Angels?  I certainly do, and they've been appearing in my life and in my dreams more and more often since the beginning of the year.  When I heard about a new, upcoming course called Angels In My Studio, it just seemed to be perfectly synchronous with that.

Angels In My Studio is a five month long course that will allow you to connect more deeply with your angels, both in your everyday life AND in your creativity, while learning techniques to help you incorporate angelic energy and forms into your creations.  It's learning techniques, and so much more.

The list of instructors is amazing too!  Sheri Ann Ponzi, Chris Zydel, Susan Risse, Tracy Verdugo, Whitney Ferre, Anna Schuler, Claudia Olivos, KaePea, Kylie Pepyat-Fowler and Lori Franklin - all incredibly creative, talented women!

You can go to Angels In My Studio to find more information.  There are even a couple of introductory videos there.  I think you'll be intriqued and hope that you'll be joining us!

Yes, I'm going to be there, and I'm so excited that I'll be able to be a part of it!  Hooray!! I was notified on 3/18 (which happened to be my 55th birthday!) that I'd won a spot in the course via a giveaway on Susan Risse's blog.  What a beautiful, perfect, happy dance gift!!

There's good news for you too!  Sheri is having a giveaway for people who publish blog posts about Angels In My Studio.  Because I've already won a spot, Sheri has given me permission (if my blog post is chosen) to give two of you a chance to win a place in the course!

All you have to do is to leave a comment on this post by March 31st, telling me why you're excited about the course - and let your angels know that you want to be there!  Be sure to leave your contact information as well.  

If you post a link to this blog post on Facebook, mentioning Angels In My Studio, leave a separate comment letting me know and I'll enter your name twice!  If my blog post wins the giveaway, then I'll pull two names from those of you who've commented. 

Angels are all around us, all the time, in the very air we breathe.  
~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Antique/Ethnic Inspiration Board

After my Grandad passed, I was helping my mom clean out his storage shed.  I found two beautiful, antique picture frames.  I didn't have a clue what I would do with them; I just knew that I wanted them. 

I also had a wall tapestry, hand embroidered and purchased in India and given to me by my ex inlaws, 30 years ago, when they first came to the U.S. as refugees from Afghanistan.

I hadn't displayed the tapestry in years.  Not because I didn't like it, but perhaps because there were so many painful memories associated with it.  I never contemplated getting rid of it, yet it just sat among other things in my cedar chest; neatly tucked away and seldom looked at.

When I decided that I needed an inspiration/bulletin board, it just seemed natural to combine the two.  Who would have known?  One of the antique frames with a portion of the tapestry.  Antique married to ethnic, and I've always loved the bright colors and motifs in ethnic handcrafts.  A blending of generations and culture, even sorrow and joy.

The project itself became a way and a space for healing both the loss of my grandparents and some of the pain I still held from my marriage.  It gave me, first of all, an awareness that those parts existed deep within me as wounds still waiting to be healed.  And, it gave me a way to honor both the pain and the healing.

This is the finished project and it now holds a central space above my desk, next to an altered art vintage window frame.   I wasn't able to capture the vibrancy of the colors, but here it is:

Putting my inspiration board together was fairly simple.  I measured the back opening of the frame, then added two inches to each side and cut the tapestry to measure.  I cut a large piece of foam core board to fit the back of the frame.

With the fabric laying face down, I centered the foam core board on it.  Using a hot glue gun, I attached each edge separately, taking time to miter each corner and checking the tautness of the fabric before proceeding to the next side.

To insert the fabric panel into the frame I simply turned the frame over.  Using the glue gun, I attached one edge of the panel at a time, face down, being careful to keep the panel centered. 

The results, I think, are beautiful.  I'm totally happy with my new inspiration board and love having it hanging above my desk!

I may use the rest of the tapestry fabric to make a cushion and covered armrests for my desk chair.  Maybe a protective mat for the top of my scanner. Or maybe you have an idea or inspiration for me?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mixed Media Paint Chip Canvas

I haven't created very much art lately.  I've been in the biggest, longest flare up of my fibromyalgia in more than five years and it's pretty much brought some things - like making art - to a standstill.
Creativity is so much a part of me though, that I've found ways to nurture it. The things that I've worked on have involved small projects that I can do while reclining; things that are easy to step away from when needed.  Some embellishments made from the pages of vintage books and hymnals.  My first attempt at ATC's.  A bit of beading.

In lieu of having more current art to share, I'd love to show you the mixed media canvas that I created for my daughter during the holidays.  The original idea was found here.

I started by coating a square canvas with gesso, then layering vintage ephemera over that.  To give it a more aged appearance, I used a wash of acrylic paint and water.
I measured the canvas and cut paint chips to fit.  I wanted to create a tile-like effect, so I allowed for space between each chip and laid them out until I had an arrangement that I liked.  Before securing the chips to the canvas with gel medium, I lightly stained their edges with fluid chalk in a medium brown to give an illusion of depth.  I followed up with a second wash of acrylic and water.
I wanted to paint cherry blossoms onto the 'tiles'.  My drawing skills aren't very strong, so I first drew the blossoms out on paper, then used the drawing as a guide for painting on the canvas, using the new markers that were a holiday gift from my kids.
I then added a 3D dragonfly embellishment to the lower right portion of the canvas and finished off with several layers of high gloss to give the look of shiny tile.

I was really happy with the results.  The paint chips really do look like tile!  I'm hoping to make a second canvas to go with the first so that my daughter has a matched set above her sofa.
Has anyone else found ways to use paint chips in their art or their craft projects?  If you have, I'd love for you to share!