January 1, 2013 brought the start of Life Book 2013 with Tamara LaPorte. What a line-up of teachers she has as well as the lessons she's teaching. Every week is a new lesson with a fun piece to work on. We started off creating a Fairy Art Mother/Father to watch over us during the year.
Birds mean a lot to me for a variety of reasons. My mom used to call me "chickadee" (hence my blog's name), my dad loved birds...watching them, feeding them. I love watching them, identifying and creating art with them. I've had parakeets throughout the years and have one in my studio now. I think it would be so amazing to fly. Plus, flying has many meanings...taking wing with an idea, taking chances, leaving safety.
Our next piece was to show the start of our art journey for the year. Clouds were to contain our blessings and flowers in the foreground was supposed to show some goals. A road and mode of transportation for us to travel were elements as well. Tam drew and painted an adorable car for her travels. Again, a bird came to mind.
My art friends are truly a blessing in my life. It's like being with people who speak the same language but on a much deeper level. They "get" you in a way that family often does not. I do have a friend who probably would never call herself an artist who supports my habit by bringing me interesting bits from yard sales and from her parents' stash of things (particularly the older things...sewing notions, trims, photos). She encourages and believes in me in a way that all of us love. Cheri is named in my cloud. Of course, my family is my rock and while they don't always "get" what I do, they support me and humor me in my crazy art frenzied times. :)
Our most recent lesson was taught by Monica Zuniga in Mexico City. She's amazing and the video was nice as we were able to see where she creates, too. Our challenge was to create an art doll. I doubt that I will be able to stay on schedule with watching and creating for the whole year, but I'm off to a good start. I used Outside the Margin's wonderful Color Mists for the background on Fabriano hot-press paper. On that note, I love Color Mists. You get nice lay-down of color and it's a sheer layer so it's hard to over-do it. They clean up easily off your hands (which not all mists do...some stain terribly). Then I raided my stash of images in files and on DVDs. I mulled over things that have meaning in my life and some things I want to work on and some things are on-going from previous years.
Yep, once again birds. Can't help myself. I'm sure it will change and vary but it's what my muse seems to want at this time. I hope you've enjoyed the journey so far and maybe it will make you think about what you want 2013 to bring for you. I send you my best wishes for a great year.
This journal page started off simple with some paint, a few paper scraps and some writing. Next thing I know, I've stamped with styrofoam peanuts and stenciled some dots, then drizzled paint and fly-specked some paint.
Then for a totally different palette, I went to the tropics for another page...
And lastly, finished a small collage that I started a few days ago. Lots of layers on this one, too. Vintage paper with writing, old cigar label piece, scrap from inside an envelope, and a vintage flower (feels like maybe celluloid) from an old, old scrap book. Then a not-so-vintage fortune from a cookie. :)
This one is not a journal page but done on a square of masonite.
A few years back, Jean Carter mailed me a package of seashells and sand from her trip to Myrtle Beach. I would pull the box out and look at the shells and sand and pack it back up. One day, while at a yard sale, I saw a jar and inspiration struck! It was the perfect size for Jean's gift. I came home, washed the jar and eagerly dumped in the sand. Then I pushed the shells down into the sand. I looked at it and liked what I saw but wanted to go a step further. I had a strand of baker's twine on the table and tied it around the rim. Then I cut out the address label and return address from the wrapping, rolled them up. One went into the tie and one buried in the sand. Added a bit of mystery to it.
Last weekend, I went to an interesting estate sale very close to my home. For $6, I came home with two bags of buttons (some of which are glass), a music box that still works (plays "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head") and I have plans to repaint the outside, some old children's books, a blank book (maybe leather covered) and three doll hands.
I love searching estate sales for old bits of stuff like this. Don't need reams of paper, but prefer the old tattered bits of stuff that I don't feel bad about tearing up. Look for future projects with these things. :)
I'm in a 2-for-2 swap and have really been enjoying working on these ATBs. Like ATCs, they're 2.5 x 3.5 inches but are chunky! Lots of fun!
Then I made a Thanksgiving block, too. Just for the fun of it.
Then, a dear friend surprised me with a canvas that I love! I know she chose some of the things on there just for me...(red, birds, etc) Anyway, she left a little bit for me to add to it so I reddened the dress a bit and put some Tim Holtz paper tape around the sides. It proudly resides in my studio now!
Then a recent photo of Maria, The Princess Pig (who is right now playing with a straw ball in her cage...has a bell inside so it's a giveaway when she's doing that). She was in the floor one day for a run and then took refuge in her hut.
This morning, I was listening to the radio and sorting through some Christmas presents and organizing. I came across my basket of advent matchboxes. I had looked through some of them quickly when I received them but hadn't actually started opening one a day on December 1st. I was so busy getting ready for my Ohio trip to Kari's for the big Diva Bash weekend.
Now, I had time to think about it. I started looking through them and started with one and opened each one, read the verse, looked at the designer of each up until today. Again, I was so touched by Katie Hogue's gift to me of this complete set. It was a total surprise and I felt such gratitude for this new friend. We have many common bonds and her giving spirit has blessed my life with this gift.
That got me to thinking about Kari and all that she and her husband did to get ready for the deluge of crazy women at their house. The preparations for meals, sleeping arrangements and having their house so holiday-ready and festive so early in the season. It was a gift in itself. No one wanted for a thing the entire weekend. Even drawers in the bathrooms and bedrooms had a tag labeled with stamped letters "Guests." It was a clever way to let the guest know where they could find extras of soap, shampoo or even a drawer to put their clothes. Such thought was put into it all.
This again brought me around to how very blessed and thankful for my friends...old and new and how much they have enriched my life. This has been a difficult year in many ways especially with the loss of my father. I miss him but will always have wonderful memories and wisdom that he left with us all. Our country is going through so many changes. Hardly a person alive is untouched by job loss or family members who have lost jobs. Then there's illness or aging parents. My sister-in-law's ongoing battle with cancer has rocked our family's sense of well-being, but she continues to battle on valiantly and with her indomitable spirit.
My friends, Aileen and Jean, stuck by me through some very tough times and I'm thankful more than words can say. The Altered Art Divas are an amazing group of women that have brought laughter and love into my life again and again. I don't know what I do without them. Carla Naron of Collage Cats is another friend I am very thankful for.
I have made friends on Facebook that I look forward to hearing from every day such as Bobby Miller, Laura McNall and Tammy Reniff.
What other gifts could I get this year to top that?
You're not going to believe this but I had not finished typing that but a second when I got a call from European Papers telling me that I had won on the torso that I had bid on! It was the very colorful one that I loved! I can't believe it! Wow!
Thank you all for being there and sharing your stories, comments, your concerns, your love. I wish you the best year in 2010 that you've ever had.
I appreciate your indulging my sentimental mood today.