Mixed Media Art. Photography. Inspiration.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Handmade Tote Bag for "Artistic Mother"

I finished sewing this tote bag today and I'm so excited about it!  I'm already planning on sewing more in different styles and colors.  Fun!  To get a closer look, just click on the picture.  I may have gotten  little crazy with the prints, but tell me what you think.

While I was sewing the zigzag onto the ribbon I noticed this pretty stitch on my machine and thought "hmm...I'm almost done, but why not?!"  So I did just a few inches of this pretty flower scroll onto one of the handles.  I like it, very artsy.

This is a picture of the back of the bag, just one solid print.

I made it reversible with a cute pocket on the inside!

 I haven't sewn in many years, not that I was ever much of a "sewer", but as a kid I used to design and sew clothes for my barbies!  Then I stopped sewing for some reason, not sure why.  I tried to pick it back up years ago, but  I guess it never stuck.  I'm so thankful for The Artistic Mother book by Shona Cole, because that's where this project came from, so without her, my sewing machine would still be buried in my closet right now.  And without Trudys' Artistic Mothers Group, I would just stare longingly at the tote bag project, but not actually do it!  Thank you two wonderful, supportive, and talented ladies!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Organizing My Studio

I was getting a bit bummed out lately, because I was trying to figure out what was getting done in my "free time".  I didn't seem to be producing much art.  I'm in this Artistic Mothers group to help me concentrate on doing something creative everyday, but I was doing less...or so I thought....

What have I been up to lately, besides chasing a toddler around?  

I've been organizing my studio.  I realized this is part of my creative process.  I need to get organized, so when I do work on my art, I can find things more easily, and not get so frustrated.  It's taking me forever because...well... I have tons of stuff!!  I have paints, papers, stamps, found objects, jewelry making supplies and tools, etc... Lately I've been concentrating on organizing the collage and mixed-media supplies and I think I figured out what mixed-media really means...lots of stuff! 

 So I bought these cool boxes from Ikea, but I didn't like that I can't see through them, even though they have labels.  I'm a very visual person, so I want to see the contents, not just a word label.  I came up with a solution that I love.  Actually I think it's inspired by something I saw a while back, but I'm not sure where.


I'm making little mini collages on tags with samples of the contents inside, so I can just glance over and know exactly what's in there.

And who says I haven't been making art?  Oh yeah, it was me...oops.  But look how fun the tags are!
 I still have a long way to go as far as organizing, but at least I get to make some more art tags in the process!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Artistic Mother Project # 2

  Here's my journal, which is the 2nd project for the Artistic Mother Group .  Together we are doing the projects from Shona Cole's wonderful book "The Artistic Mother".

 For this project you  take an inexpensive notebook and collage it to make it your own.  What a great idea!  I used one of my hand-painted papers from the 1st project, scrapbook paper, scraps torn from magazines,  and a few assorted embellishments, including gold stars(we all deserve some of these!).  I also used a great old photo of me that I LOVE because it looks like I'm having a blast riding a rocking horse!  This picture makes me smile every time I see it!

Then I found this quote that goes very well with the photo, "We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing".  How wonderful is that?  I added the word play as an extra reminder.

  I took a scrap of my hand-painted paper and formed it into a flower, and added a cute little brown leaf.

Can you tell that I love texture?

Then the final step was to tie ribbon and fibers to the side.  Yay!  Done!

This final picture is for those of you who questioned whether I would be able to tear up my pretty hand-painted papers (Shona ;) heehee).  I wasn't sure myself, but as you can see here, it wasn't a problem!  Yay!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sierra Madre

A few weekends ago my husband, son and I were cruising around and ended up in a beautiful city called Sierra Madre(in So. Cal).  We stopped at a coffee shop then decided to just drive around and see what we could find.

We came across many beautiful buildings, the first of which I neglected to photograph(oh darn, just have to go back;) ), but when I saw these balconies, and the black against yellow, I had to take a few pictures.                                                                  

Then we drove a bit more and I saw this amazing spot, so I made my husband turn around and pull over.  I'm not sure if they're apartments or condos, but they are absolutely gorgeous!

They remind me of something you might find in Europe.   Look at the detail.  I love the driveway!  I'm a sucker for a great pattern!

And great shadows from the tile roof!

Look how pretty the entries are.  It made me want to knock on a door and invite myself in for some tea, and talk about how much we love living here in Italy....oh I mean.....well....a girl can dream, can't she?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Collage With Blue Flowers

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." -Audre Lorde

Here is a collage that I did a few months back.  I had this quote sitting on my worktable for a while and decided that I should put it to use.  I had also been wanting to use this really cool paper tape I got a while back, so what better way to attach the vellum quote, then with the pretty tape?

I started with a 6x8 canvas board and painted and stamped a background.  I liked the blue flowers on the tape, so I started painting similar flowers(they're more blue in person), but then decided to soften them up and not make them as spiky.  Then I used a black watercolor crayon to outline the flowers to make them pop a bit more.

I enjoyed making this piece.  I'm trying to learn to let go and have fun, and not let my perfectionism get the better of me.   Sometimes it's easier said then done, but I'm trying to keep reminding myself that I'd rather make bad art, then no art at all.  It might be a long process, but I need to do this, bit by bit.  Besides, if I don't like it I can just paint over it, right?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hand-Painted Papers for "Artistic Mother"

The first project for The Artistic Mother is to make your own art papers.  Most of these were painted and stamped on plain computer paper,  but a few were done on junk mail.  It was so much fun!  I had a blast!  I already want to make more.  I ended up making 13 of them!

The ones above are some of my favorite colors right now;  peacock blue, light and dark teal, and shades of brown.

Here's a close up of a few of my favorites.  I love the subtle dots on the left one, and the sprays of flowers on the other two.  These will be great backgrounds for collages.

Then I made a few with stronger colors, patterns and contrast.  The brick colored one was actually inspired by Trudy, the host of the Artistic Mother Art Group.  I saw one of her painted background papers on her blog, that was red with a strong pattern stamped along the outside, and fell in love with it.  It inspired me to make my own version.  Thanks Trudy!  Click here to go to her blog and see her artwork.  She also has the complete list of participants in the group if you want to see what everyone else is up to.

Like I said, I had so much fun making these.  I used to paint faux finishes and murals for 15 years, and it all came rushing back, giving me confidence to have fun and play, along with a surge of creative energy.

It reminded me of painting samples for clients and experimenting with different finishes and color combinations.  And the best thing with painting like this is, if you don't like it, just squirt on more paint and go over it!

I've always loved getting my hands full of paint.  I love the feel.  Most of my years of painting I never wore gloves.  Oops!   Maybe it takes me back to finger-painting as a kid.  While doing this project, time seemed to stand still and I was so happy, and I realized something:  If I have paint on my hands , then all is right  in my world.  I need to do this more often.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Artistic Mother

I bought this wonderful book "The Artistic Mother" by Shona Cole recently,  and I love it.  It is a huge reminder of why it's important to make time for your art while you're raising your children.   She  shows you how to make projects that  are inspired by and celebrate your family.

I've just joined an on-line group "The Artistic Mothers Group", that was started recently by Trudy Callan on her blog.  We are going through the 12-week program from the book together, although we thankfully are taking 2 weeks per project, instead of one.  I'm a bit behind since I'm just starting, but will do my best to catch up.

This book and group are the reasons why I finally started my blog.  I wanted to join the group and needed a blog to participate, so here I am.  Yay!

I will post my first project, hand-painted papers, in the next day or two.