Monday, November 24, 2008

Whart Will You Say Yes To In Your Life?

Suzi Blu's art challenge was, What Will You Say Yes To In Your Life? Many of us in Suzi's group are participating in the 3 Week Challenge, November 23 through December 14, which is based on the book The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path of Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron. This book is guiding us on the journey to discover and recover our creative selves, to encourage our artist brain, and to disarm the logic brain that is the constant critic that stifles our creativity. I say "Yes" to having the courage to let myself take chances in my art. What will you say "Yes" to? Want to join the callenge?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Days of Yesteryear ATC Swap

The theme of this swap was Days of Yesteryear. It was make 3 and get 3 back. This swap was really fun because the theme had so many possibilities.

Because it was so close to election time, I chose to do votes for women. Can you imagine what it must have been like for these courageous suffragettes motoring through the states in an effort to get women the vote? This photo was taken in 1916 in the Nevada desert. It must have been a real challenge traveling in the heat in a car with no air conditioning and wearing those long dresses with long sleeves, and who knows what they wore underneath - corsets, pantalets?

I have always admired Annie Oakley. She was born in 1860 in a log cabin in Ohio. Her father died when she was 9 years old, so Annie shot game to feed her family. She gained the reputation as being an expert marksman. At the age of 16 she entered a shooting competition in Cincinnati where she competed against another expert marksman, Frank Butler. Annie won the competition by one point and also won Frank Butler's heart. They married and performed in a traveling shooting act. In 1885 they joined Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, and Annie was the star of the show for 17 years. Annie Oakley succeeded in breaking down barriers for women with her determination, strength of character, talents, and accomplishments.

The Jazz Age was a flamboyant time. New attitudes, and the philosophy of individualism were epitomized by the flapper culture. Flappers had style; they were "modern". They were considered fast and brazen by the older generation. Flappers wore makeup, bobbed their hair, wore glitzy, baggy dresses that exposed their arms, short skirts that exposed their legs, and wore their stockings rolled down and powdered their knees. They were the flaming youth of America.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gothic Arch Theme

The theme for this week is Vintage Children; here is what I came up with.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Intuitive Collage

Nurture the Inner Child

The Journey

The prompt is to go through magazines and intuitively choose images that catch my attention and elicit a reaction . I started with a background, and once that was glued down I began looking at the various images that I thought I might want to use on my page. I began arranging the images on my page, but was surprised that some of the images I thought would work, didn't. When I was happy with my arrangement, I glued everything in place. I studied my finished collages to see if I could find some meaning for myself in what I had put together.

In Nurture the Inner Child, I see the background as being a setting of peace and serenity, like being on vacation. The dream-like woman represents me and my dreams of what I want to accomplish. The clock tells me that it's a time in my life to throw off any constraints and let my inner child come out to play. The child is standing in the water which represents life - placid on the surface, but with currents flowing beneath. The bird represents a time of stillness to enjoy the process; the butterfly symbolizes freedom to fly with my dreams.

In The Journey, the woman walking on the road is myself. I'm larger than my surroundings because I'm confident I can overcome whatever diversions come my way. In my hand, I carry a plant, symbolizing growth. I am growing and maturing as I am on this journey. I have been on this journey for some time. The various buildings in the background indicate that I have stopped along the way. The mountains represent my inner strength, stability, and endurance. The clouds tell me that I will not always have blue skies, but challenges will come. The stone arch is my protection and shields me. It also emphasizes that the focus is on me - I am the one who decides which direction I will travel. The flower reminds me to see the beauty all along the way. The open door represents new opportunities that await me as I travel along my road.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


My interpretation of the Doodles Sampler prompt.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lost and Found Prompt

Throughout the day on day 1, we were to intuitively collect everyday items that could be worked into a collage. Some of the items I collected were an old postcard of Venice, an Italian candy kiss wrapper, a ticket for a drawing, a child's playing card, an Italian illustration of a baby eating candy, the words Admit One from a dental appointment card, and assorted clip art.

On day 2, I made a border out of my collected items, and on days 3 and 4, I collected affirmative "I" statements that I wrote on the veins of a leaf that I had printed out from a photo of fall leaves provided by Kathryn.

On day 5, I added photos and journaled about what I had lost and what I had found. On the Lost page, there is an arrow pointing to an element with a blue brad in the corner. Under the flap is a secret message. The message was a little fortune that came in a Baci Italian candy kiss and reads: Give me a hundred kisses, a thousand kisses and yet hundreds more, kisses by the thousands.

Creating my Lost page was very emotional for me, because it brought back so many memories of my grandmother who had passed away when I was 9 years old. I lived with my grandmother and grandfather from the time I was very little, so losing her was a very traumatic experience. The found page was a joy to create because I now have a beautiful little grandaughter. My final step was to add the leaf with the affirmation statements I had written.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Gothic Arches

Bat Girl

Girls' Night Out

Witch's Brew

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Art with Suzi Blu

Project Suzi #1 was to make a crown. I traced my pattern on an old file folder, cut it out and painted it. I used gaffers tape for the design on the bottom. My embellishments are faux rhinestones, little mirrors, silk flowers and leaves, and confetti stars. I hot glued the crown to a plastic headband. The pouffies are made from strips of scrunched up tulle hot glued to the inside of the headband. It's good to be Queen!

Happy Halloween and Welcome To The Party

Welcome to the Soul Journal Halloween Blog Party hosted by Collage Diva and the Yahoo Soul Journal Group! It's wonderful to have you stop by and I hope you will visit the participating blogs listed on Collage Diva's blog. Here is a recipe for Pumpkin Bars that are easy to make and absolutely fabulous.

Pumpkin Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
Pecan halves (optional)

In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil. Add the flour mixture; beat until well combined. Stir in chopped pecans, if desired.

Spread batter in an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Top with additional pecan halves, if desired. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator. Makes 24 bars.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a medium bowl beat together one 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened; 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened; and 1 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Give Myself Permission To...

This prompt was designed to help us listen to our hearts. We may be so busy working, doing daily chores and taking care of others, that we neglect ourselves. It's important for us to make time for ourselves and create art. Our mission was to create a permission slip by writing permission statements enabling our creativity. A few of the permissions I gave myself were to create my own style, to dream, to have patience with myself, to disregard negative criticism, to try new things, to make mistakes, to pack away doubts, and to have no self-criticism. My permission slip is safely tucked away in the envelope until I need to refer to it again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Step Out

The journey continues for our Yahoo Soul Journal group with the first prompt, Instant Gratification. Our instructions were to flip through catalogs or magazines and pull out any images that grabbed our attention. After selecting an image, we were to glue the image on the page leaving room at the top for a title. The next step was to trace around the image and draw lines following the contour. Using gel pens or markers, we were to write in the lines; finishing touches were then added. I loved this picture, because to me it represents freedom in my art; to be bold and courageous, to step out and create with no boundaries, not to be afraid to create for myself regardless of whether my art appeals to other people or not, and not to be affected by negative criticism.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Faerie ATC's

Here are the ATC's I made for the faerie swap that I signed up for

Friday, October 17, 2008

Miss Bella Misfit

We were to do a spread about the time we felt like a misfit. Following Sarah's instructions, I began my misfit character by doodling a random shape on the page using a fine tip permanent marker. I studied the doodle to see if any of those lines resembled a character. This was really challenging to me because I had gotten carried away and had so many lines on the page that it was hard to distinguish a usable shape. Finally, after a few days of studying, Bella took on a life of her own and began to emerge. As you can see, she has decided to be the Dolly Parton of Misfits.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Home and the Neighborhood

Sarah had us recreate our home and our neighborhood. The house we drew was to be a symbolic one - such as what we would have drawn when we were children. I drew my house as a single story, using dictionary paper as a faux shingle look for the roof and chimney. The front of the house is a pocket made from a paper bag that will hold the paper dolls I am still working on of myself and my family. Since I live near an 1849-era gold rush city in the Sierra Nevada Foothills where the architecture is predominately Victorian, I chose to draw my own version of Victorian-style homes for my neighborhood.

Taped Pages

Making these pages was so interesting. Sarah had us gather different types of tapes we had around the house. I used masking tape, foil tape, strapping tape, electrical tape in a couple of different colors, and clear duct tape. I made sure I had some scrunched up areas of tape to add texture and interest. After the pages were taped, I did some sanding to remove the shiny surfaces and expose some of the fibers in the strapping tape. I applied a wash of blue acrylic paint, and wiped the excess off with a paper towel. To give my pages an antiqued look I did another wash of very thin brown paint in some areas and wiped that off. I absolutely love how the scrunched tape areas and textures of the different tapes really show up. I decided to leave these pages as they were and not add anything else because I wanted to be able to make color copies and use them as backgrounds for other projects.


For the inchies pages, Sarah sent us on a scavenger hunt to find images in magazines, or parts of images that caught our attention. We had a specific list of images to look for - a smile, hands, a flower, a bird, something beautiful, something exotic, a chair, a pattern - just to name a few. Background colors and arrangement of our inchies was totally up to us. This was a very fun page to do.

Soul Journal

Sarah Whitmire at Caspiana issued a new visual journaling challenge to everyone with a willing, creative spirit. She urged us to join her on a journey that would let loose our creative souls. The opportunity to go on a journey with daily, guided journaling prompts that would unleash my creative self was a experience I couldn't pass up. The Soul Journal challenge is still open, so if you would like to participate follow this link to Sarah's site