Saturday, February 28, 2015

saturday a.m. playtime

just a few works in progress, recycling a few old cereal boxes.

I hope to do some tutorials on the process of these mixed-media pieces sometime.
till then, it's time to trade in my artist's beret for a green barista's apron.  ciao!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

i knew you were trouble...

        Today's Creative Every Day project...some fun with dismembered magazine photos!

Completed as a 2-page spread in my art journal, I made it by streaking a drybrush red and gold background, added carefully cut-out images and words (some stamped letters, others cut out like a ransom note), pasted it all down and added added some thin black liner pen and gold paint pen as highlights.   I love creating goofy paper dolls out of celebrities.  just a kid at heart here!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Coconut Sugar Scrub

Are you tired of dry, itchy skin that gets even worse during the cold winter?
Do you long for a luxurious treatment that leaves your skin luxuriously soft and supple, wonderfully moisturized and exfoliated...but can't afford the expensive spas?
Then look no further, my friend!  Today we are diving into the kitchen and creating a Coconut Sugar Scrub that will delight your senses, soften your skin, and be surprisingly simple and inexpensive to make!  Let's get started!

What you need:

1 cup sugar (I love using raw turbinado sugar, it's nice and gritty!)
1/2 cup coconut oil   (found in most grocery stores with cooking oils, also natural food stores)
1/2 tsp. fragrance oils or all-natural essential oils
(more about these ingredients in a minute...)

a plastic or steel mixing bowl 
rubber spatula
glass measuring cup
plastic 8 oz. jar 

(I bought my jars online from a bath and body manufacturing wholesale company, but you could just wash out and reuse any plastic jar)

About those ingredients:
I used to make soaps and bath products and sell them at craft fairs and online, so I have a plethora of natural essential oils and fragrance oils to choose from here.  There are several good companies online that sell these oils, I happened to use and  You can also buy the natural essential oils at Whole Foods or other natural food stores. 

Coconut oil is also very popular these days for its marvelous qualities on your skin, hair and many other uses for your health.  Refined coconut oil has no smell, but unrefined still has the wonderful coconutty smell that I adore.  Either one is fine.

Step One:
Measure out 1/2 cup coconut oil.  Notice that coconut oil from the jar is thick, like butter.
You need to melt it so it mixes with the sugar properly.  After it cools, it will thicken again.
Place glass measuring cup with coconut oil in microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds.  Stir, and if it's still lumpy, heat again for increments of 10 seconds at a time.

                                                     Here's what it looks like melted:

                                     Pour coconut oil into bowl.

                        Measure out 1 cup of brown or turbinado sugar, add to oil in bowl.

                                     Add 1/2 tsp. fragrance or essential oil.  (I mixed part coconut fragrance oil with part Tahitian vanilla fragrance oil for a beautiful, tropical scent that reminds me of suntan oil!)

                                                                Mix well.

                                             Spoon into plastic jar.

                                                    Pat it down, make it look nice...

Then set it inside your shower. (It is important to use a plastic container, as the oils make it especially slippery in the shower, and you don't want to risk breaking a glass jar in there!)

                                   When you can't wait another minute and just have to try it, get your                                                shower going...scoop up a little bit with your hand...

...and rub into your skin.  Leave on a couple minutes as you wash your hair, etc., then rinse off thoroughly.  Be sure to clean out the shower floor afterwards, make sure you don't leave any oily remnants that could cause a slip.

Gently towel yourself dry, and enjoy your baby-soft skin!

                                      p.s. be sure to take an extra-long shower so your bathroom is nice and steamy-warm as you put on your fresh pajamas!  Goodnight!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Creative Every Day

Just another page in my art journal, keeping up the Creative Every Day Challenge that I'm trying to participate in as consistently as possible.  This was a challenge started by artist Leah Piken Kolidas several years ago, she has a website, an Etsy page for her art, a huge following, and here's the link to her facebook page:

She happens to be a great visual artist,  but her challenge applies to doing anything creative: photography, music, dance, whatever.  So I will try to keep up my creative endeavors on this blog, whether it's my art journal or a silly-ridiculous video I make with my crazy but too-smart-for-her-own-good videographer genius 12-year old daughter!

Anyway, this page is just a few cut-out magazine images to depict my passion: to go into overseas missions in impoverished nations.  Added some oil pastel borders and washed it all down with turquoise watercolors.  Simple, not rocket science, but it's better to get those pictures down in a display than shoved into a file in a dark metal cabinet for years.  Just like my dreams.  I'm tired of keeping them filed away in the dark.  Time to bust them open and see what I can do with them!

Van Gogh

"I dream my painting and then I paint my dream." -Van Gogh

I just saw this quote and thought immediately of my previous post, sacred ground.  I read that portion of Brene Brown's book with the quote, "Don't shrink, don't puff up. Stand your sacred ground," and that's exactly what happened: I dreamed.  I visualized.  I saw this scene.  A watercolor pale mix of blues and greens, much more beautiful than I actually created, but it was like the morning mist was lifting, and there I was.  On a path. A natural, organic path, starting from my heart. A wide-open, honest, brave heart.  My eyes on my Maker and the path He is leading me on. 

 No more shrinking.  I am made in His image, I am uniquely and wonderfully made.  No matter what others make me feel.  No matter what physical limitations or insecurities try to tell me.  I am His.  I am the size I am, spiritually speaking, and I like it.  

I don't need to puff up.  Bragging is silly and stupid.  I will do great things for the satisfaction it gives me, not to prove anything to anyone.  

And then...I stand my sacred ground.  The ground that is holy because He who is in me, the One that is greater than the one who is in the world, is in me.  His Spirit resides in me.  This is a holy place.  My sacred ground.  

Whether I walk, whether I stumble and fall, I may or may not move forward in my journey at the rate I would like...but I will stand.  If not physically, I will at least be standing in my spirit.  

That was and is my dream.  So I painted it.  I love it when I see my picture before I paint it.  I love when God gives me visions of things to come.  It doesn't always happen.  Sometimes I'm just mushing paper and paint and glue around on the page and only eeking out a small spark of my heart.  And that's ok too. Because it means something else is stirring in my heart, too big and complicated to be released yet.  But it will. Just gotta keep practicing my art, my soul art.

Keep dreaming, my friend...

Friday, February 20, 2015

sacred ground

Creative Every Day challenge.

Just a quick page in my art journal.
Inspired by one of Brene' Brown's quotes from her book, 
The Gifts of Imperfection.

Mostly watercolor pencils, fine markers.

Monday, February 16, 2015

rhythm is an artist

ok i realize this blog is supposed to be about my artistic creations, but i'm widening its borders to include anything i feel fits in the category of art. including critiques of artistic performance.  So i'm cross-posting from another blog, because....

... i just kept thinking about this show i saw last night, recycled percussion.

Wanted to give a better picture of their ladder act, so i found it on youtube. take a look:

and then just another little teaser, shows you a bit more...

yes, it was entertaining.  you left with the thought of, yeah, that was a fun show. i said before, having seen STOMP several years ago...oh there's just no comparison.
as i'll show you in a sec, you leave a STOMP performance with more than just a "been there done that, enjoyed being an observer" kind of thought.  no, when you leave STOMP, a part of it goes with you.  a new love and appreciation for just pure rhythm.  the glory and fun that ANYONE can create on their own.  on their kitchen pans.  a broom tapping out a tune during a boring chore, a ball in sports, bottles of water, hands, feet, sticks, and oh yes, the majesty of loud clattery METAL GARBAGE CANS!!!!   You cannot leave STOMP without feeling rhythm in every next step you take, every physical movement you make, you think, hey this is a rhythm.  even the way your head jerks to look one way, the next.  it's a beat. keep that beat.  add a snap. a small noise.  double, triple it. that's it.  you don't need to be an experienced drummer or tap dancer to understand, to feel that marvelous creation God made when he created the elements of sound and time and how they interrelate. God created the universe in 7 days. actually 6.  so it was boom, boom, boom, boom,boom, boom, PAUSE.  a rhythm.  everything has rhythm!!!! it's so cool!!!

anyway, i know i'm getting carried away here. so go ahead and watch these next 2 youtube videos about STOMP, the first one's a short trailer, the next more of a documentary.  i hope you'll agree, how much better it is to really TEACH someone to fish, (or to drum) than merely to give them one.
happy rhythming!!!

Image result for stomp performance

Image result for stomp performance

Image result for stomp performance

Image result for stomp performance

Friday, February 13, 2015

Intuitive Painting Class (just the pics, to be continued...)

Loved this class tonight.  Still working on that same canvas, learning new background techniques, 
finding some meaning starting to form in its images.
Also learned more about this process of intuitive painting and how it relates
to anything else in life...but I'll get back to that another time.  
It's late. Check back later...i'll update this with a few more thoughts.

                                      yes, that's me in my dorky socks and fuzzy slippers.
                                  call me a frumpy ol' mama, but i love to be comfortable.

Monday, February 2, 2015

time to create!

ahh, it's that time again.  house quiet, asleep.
mind alive. spirit moving.
let's get ready.

candle lit...

music cued up...

heartfelt words to inspire..

yummy hot chocolate and homemade pumpkin bread
to warm and energize...

                                          and a blank space in my art journal,
                                                        begging to be splattered!
                                                                Let's Go!!!

                                                           (to be continued...)