Wednesday, November 30, 2011

29 Ways to be Creative by Sei Ohmori

Sei Ohmori is a japanese architect and graphic designer.
I do these things although I'd replace coffee with chocolate.

I want you to do at least ONE THING on this list TODAY!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gratitude Gift Guide 2011: Cyber Monday

Find Joy, Create Beauty, Be Inspired... and support your favorite artists! 
Here are some deals for you from some of us. We are so grateful to be able to do what we are doing - and grateful to you for making it possible.

For today only, Bead It Like You Mean It is on sale for $15!!! It will go back up to $24.95 Tuesday morning. 

At my Etsy shop you can find notecards, fine art prints, original watercolors, and hand dyed and printed scarves. Follow the directions in the shop announcement for free shipping on domestic and international orders. (fine print - all orders will be shipped USPS first class mail.)

Lyric Art at Etsy

Jill K. Berry's book, "Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking." One of the projects is a map of the heart. There is a fabulous blog-hop giveaway going for this book right now - head to Carla Sonheim's blog today for a chance to win her book.

The publisher is having a special for the next two weeks: Get FREE Shipping and 35% off retail priceVisit and usepromo code SMM106. [Fine Print:  Offer applies to standing shipping in the US only ]

You will love Jane LaFazio's Etsy shop full of delightful original artwork.
or her fabulous DVD

Tracie Bunkers has a great tutorial on making Moldable Foam Stamps
and a fabulous kit to go with it.

Tracie Lyn Huskcamp has a few of her beautiful 2012 calendars left, but you will have to hurry!
Carla Sonheim teaches some of the most popular online drawing classes out there. 
Give the gift of Silly to someone you love! 
Gloria Hansen has a a book for quilters, Digital Essentials, the Quilt Makers Must Have Guide to Files, Images, and More. She's giving away a little giftie with each order - you're going to love it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gratitude Gift Guide 2011: On-line Courses

Find Joy, Be Inspired, Create Beauty

Because you ARE creative. But bringing out that creativity and forming into the vision in your mind takes some time and some messing around and some practice.
Cool thing is, that it's FUN practice.

Here's one that's fun.
Machine Quilting: Free Motion and More

On-Line video course with Wendy Butler Berns

and for you - a discount link for $29.99

Wendy is a friend of mine, and one of the best teachers I know. How cool is it that you can take classes with amazing people like her without leaving home. 

This class has over 4 hours of video broken up in easy to swallow bits that take you all the way through the process. She starts with preparing your quilt, helps you set up your machine - and off you go. She's with you every step of the way.

I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with the film quality. Good lighting, good close ups, and my favorite - she smiles and laughs a lot. I think you will like her course. You get to take it at your own pace, and Wendy is there on-line to answer your questions.

Playing with Paint student work by Cheryl
You could also treat yourself or your quilting friends to a Quilt University gift certificate
I have two classes coming up in a few months:
Playing With Paint on January 20th
Artists Toolbox Feb 17

And a few fun opportunities for you:
don't forget to comment on Ann Fahl's book review for a chance to win "A Black and White Tale"

And a lot of chances to win Jill Berry's book,
Personal Geographies begin today with her blog hop.

Faces on Friday

Most of these are drawn from looking at pictures on my monitor - a couple of them I even traced after getting annoyed that I couldn't get placement right. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Jill Berry

I'd like to introduce you to the artist Jill Berry
Jill Berry

Jill is a graphic designer, book artist, and painter. I love book artists. I love her work with lettering and maps especially.

Recently I got so excited by her GeoPapers Tutorial during the ARTSPARK winter tutorials blog hop that I had to rush off that night and start a new work based on her idea. You'll see more of that later, I'm sure.

I love the color in her work, the boldness, the lines that lead the eye on such a pleasant journey.
Jill Berry
I love that she takes one work and transforms it into something even richer and more interesting.
It's an idea that has me intrigued - and looking at my own work in a different way.
Art Book by Jill Berry
If it it seems like I'm neglecting the quilt artists, don't worry. I want to expose you the the people whose work inspires me. Quilters NEED to look outside of the textile arts for inspiration. There is such a wide world out there to learn from.

I'll be reviewing Jill's new book, Personal Geographies, on December 7th.

At each of these stops on the blog hop you'll have the opportunity to win your own copy so make sure to stop by each one!

Friday, Nov 25 Aimee Myers Dolich
Mon Nov 28 Carla Sonheim
Tues Nov 29 Diana Trout
Weds Nov 30 Gloria Hansen
Thurs Dec 1 Gwen Diehn
Friday Dec 2 Jane LaFazio 

Mon Dec 5 Judy Wise
Tues Dec 6 Lisa Engelbrecht
Weds Dec 7 Lyric Kinard
Thurs Dec 8 Orly Avineri 
Friday Dec 9 Tracie Lyn Huskamp

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Etsy Shop Update: watercolors

I've decided to share my little treasures with you.

More Watercolor Bliss

The kidlets and I end up with stacks of leaves in our grubby little fists every time we head out the door.

It's simply glorious here in North Carolina during the month of November.

There are huge flaming trees all above us and individual little works of art in every leaf at our feet.

 I've been taking time every other morning to "meditate with color"

Thanks to Vivian Swift's lovely tutorial on

she it the author of 
A beautiful little book on visual journaling.
the view out my studio window

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude Gift Guide 2011: A Black and White Tale

As we go through this week of Thanksgiving and into a beautiful season of Giving
I'm thinking of things that will help you Find Joy, Be Inspired, and Create Beauty!
I'd like to introduce you to

by Ann Fahl and Jacquie Scuitto
This little book is a sweetly whimsical tale of a cat, told in verse and wonderful whimsey.
Jacquie is known as the quilt muse and her verses have been delighting me almost as long as I've been quilting. Ann's quilts were among the first art quilts I fell in love with and inspired me to begin this wonderful journey as an artist. You can see the specific quilt here. Her work is always inspired by her immediate environment, be it her garden or in this case, Oreo, a sweet little cat that brightens her home. (Inspired!)

My kidlets, who sadly, must make do with loving on all of our neighbor's cats instead of living with one of their own, have been enjoying this book for several weeks now. Stories before bedtime is one of our favorite times of the day. (Joy!)

Your children or grandchildren will love it when you read this book to them. But of course you don't need little ones. Anyone who has had the pleasure of a purring cat on their lap or watched the playful adventures of a mighty little feline hunter will have a smile on their face as they read each verse.

At the end of the tale Ann describes each of her quilts for you and she even has a cat pattern that you can buy in tandem with the book if you want to make your own sweet little cat quilt. (Be Creative!)

Now, you must know I am not unbiased in any way shape or form. I count both Ann and Jacquie as friends. They are creative artists who have been bold and inspiring. They have gone out on a limb and self-published this book, and endeavor I admire and am happy to support. Think, this Christmas, about supporting artists, fair trade, or hand made. It makes a difference. It makes the world a better place.

You can purchase
A Black and White Tale
on Ann's website.

AND!!!! (as soon as I find where the kids have hidden it) I'm going to give away our copy of this book.
Leave a comment telling me what you are grateful for this week... and a way for me to contact you.
I'll let the kidlets draw a lucky winner next Monday.

Tiffa130 on Flickr
A quick note: lest you think I'm hucking rampant consumerism because it's almost Christmas... Nope. My poor, neglected children get one gift from "Santa" (having known all along that it was me and usually been in on what we call "elfing") and one from their grandparents, and one from each other. It's not their birthday we are celebrating after all. We prefer handmade, or something truly thoughtful... not something expensive. We also find a service project each year that they all can participate in. Their favorite being the "ring and run" variety - leaving gifts on a doorstep. Probably because we dress up like spies to do so.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Be Inspired!

Find Joy.
Where does your JOY come from?
My joy - and my peace - comes from gratitude.
It is a blessing greater than I could have ever imagined
to be here, with you, doing this.

Be Inspired.
I am continually inspired by the world around me.
My fellow artists and students inspire me with their creativity.
My family inspires me with their love and support.

Create Beauty.
The world can be what me make of it.
In any small way we can create order from chaos,
peace from sorrow.
Our hands, and our hearts can create beauty.

This week I'll be spotlighting some things that I think would be beautiful gifts for this season but I wanted to start with this. I believe we have been sent here to make the world a better place. There are numerous way we can do so. Shop local or support fair trade projects. Create with your own hands. Serve others with what you have. Give your time, talents, or simply your love.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ARTSPARK tutorials Day 10

The last few ARTSPARK winter tutorials are amazing. I was immediately inspired by Jill's tutorial to start my own project - you'll see more in upcoming days.

November 18: Jill Berry Geo Papers and Projects

Gloria is the techie GURU!!! that I turn to at need and you will love her video.
It is clear and easy to understand. Make time for it! It's worth it!
November 19: Gloria Hansen  Easy Resizing of a Digital Image

November 20: Diana Trout Furoshiko

And here is the full roll - just in case you missed some of us.

November 9: Jane LaFazio  Sketch & Stitch Gift Bags

November 10: Lyric Kinard Beaded Ornament

November 11: Tracie Lyn Huskamp Christmas Cardinal Ornament
November 13: Traci Bunkers Moldable Foam Stamps 

November 14:Melanie Testa Zipper Tute Mania

November 15: Judy Coates Perez Folk Art Inspired Ornament

November 16: Kelli Nina Perkins Whimsical Spool Garland

November. 17: Lisa Engelbrecht Experimental Lettering

Friday, November 18, 2011

Faces on Friday

I'm excited again about drawing faces.

from a photo - freehand
from a photo- freehand

Remember way back when with my "how to draw a face" video tutorial at the beginning of the year? I think I've come a long way with the pics. This is from a photo.

from imagination
These two are from my imagination and scribbled quickly.
I'm just at the beginning of my due diligence. The time you have to put in to "get there."

from imagination

And I'm having fun.
Are you?