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    altered book

    I sat down yesterday afternoon on my studio, and I don't know how I managed, but I finished a whole project on one sitting. Which is really hard for me to do, with so many distractions. Being a mom is not like having a regular job that you get to leave and just have time for yourself. So I was very happy to finish this altered book and finally draw this lady who has been haunting me for a few days, she wanted to be. So here she is!

    She is drawn in one side of an old, old evelope I bought in an antiques shop years ago, with a bundle of other old papers. I like the sepia quality of it, and it takes amazingly well to paint. The necklace is a real tiny shell and in a little door there's another tiny shell (the door can be opened and closed) I bought a bag of these tiny shells at the Habitat for Humanity store for one dollar.

    The picture says "Miami, Fla" on the bottom and "1944" handwritten on the top with black pen. This picture came from the box of old pictures I bought in CA a few weeks ago.

    I like the story this collage is telling. It's a little nostalgic, maybe?


    Big In Japan

    Hello! I can't believe it has been more than a month already since my last post. The summer is almost over, the kiddos are going back to school TOMORROW! I can't believe it, they will be missed! we had so much fun this summer, including a wonderful trip to California that taught me so much, including patience towards airline staff.

    Since I am too busy making a new person and watching over two other little persons, I haven't been very creative artwise but I wanted to share this painting/collage that I thought was going to be so cool and was so inspired to start and haven't found the time to finish it.

    It's going to be called "big in Japan" of course, and my daughter was wondering what that actually meant, and I don't think I was able to explain it exactly, but I tried.

    When we were in California one thing I wanted to do was go to a flea market and buy old pictures and antiques, we found an awesome flea market one saturday morning in Oakland, near San Francisco and I bought a box full of pictures from the 40's for $4!!!! the picture you see in the collage of that lady sitting on the lawn with a big skirt came from that box. I also bought about 20 "play money" coins, that are actually mexican one peso coins from the 1800's for 5 dollars. I could not get the 5 dlls fast enough out of my wallet, and was clutching at the coins as if someone would yank them off my hands and buy them first. I could not believe it, the guy who was selling them obviously had no idea or thought they had no value, since he had labeled them as "play money". I am sure they are not very expensive and were not in mint condition, some of them are not even in great shape, but to a coin collector they are more valuable that just 5 bucks! The design of the coins is so pretty and have so much historic value, I have one or two of the same type of coins that my grandfather had given me many years ago, so I was glad to add to that small collection. I havent taken any pictures but will soon!

    And in case you are wondering how the belly is going, for illustrative purposes, here's a picture of me taken this past weekend at a Foreigner & Journey concert, Rock On!


    Framed chalkboard project


    I had bought this really ugly painting in a yard sale just because I thought the frame looked interesting. I thought maybe it could be a good project for the summer. Last week I took the frame off the awful awful painting, and sanded it

    Next, I knew it needed some primer before painting it, and the only thing I had that works like primer is gesso:

    Next step, paint. I had this cool looking green that I had bought as a sample for the kitchen that we didn't use. I did not like it once it was on the frame, but too late to go turn back now.


    I forgot to take some pictures of the particle board that I painted with chalkboard paint and stapled to the back, but lets just imagine that part.

    Then, I did a quick sketch of a bird with white paint to the upper left corner.

    This is what it looks overall:

    It looks unfinished, doesn't it? mmmm... maybe this?:

    What do you think?


    Project Art Aid

    Pink Peonies, 2011


    On June 17 there will be an auction organized by Project Art Aid, in which I am participating, to benefit the American Cancer Society. The artists were asked to paint a 12 by 12 inch canvas in pink colors. You can see all the paintings on the website

    Please see this video with all the submissions, some of the paintings are really works of art! I am so honored to be partiipating with such talented Charlotte Artists.


    Hello Wednesday!

    Landscape ring

    Today is Wednesday and this is the last week the kiddies will have school, so their vacation is starting and I am a little anxious about all the free time we will have in our hands, I haven't been working a lot on art for the past few months and that makes me feel a little sad. I have not been diligent in showing up to create something, anything. I feel a little dry creatively speaking, and I know part of it is because I have not been working on any projects lately.  One of the reasons is that I am feeling SO TIRED! if you don't know yet, I have been busy making a new person and it is so tiring. Making-a-new-person business is hard, and I know people who don't miss a beat on their daily routines, but that unfortunately is not me.

    One thing I am proud that I did accomplish this past month was a wholesale order for a beautiful shop in Charleston SC, a magical place, called Out Of Hand, it's the kind of place that makes you think you just stepped into a magazine. I want to quit everything and go live there. I wish I had taken a few pictures of the interior of the shop because their website truly does them no justice! They specialize in wedding decoration but half of the store is the most beautiful boutique I have ever seen. So I was so thrilled when they wanted MY jewelry there!

    My work table is full of half finished projects, briolettes I bought in SC to make more jewelry, a half painted frame with a big plan, a half finished painting, all half way. Sometimes when I haven't finished anything for a while,  I don't know where to begin again. So today I am all out of excuses and I am starting by getting back in touch with you. Hi! did you miss me? I've missed you! I haven't read your blog either for a while, I apologize. I haven't opened my reader feeds in I don't know how long. I have been around facebook a little, on twitter a little, but no focus. that's the key, no focus. it's like I am drifting in the sea on a boat with no sail. I can tell you I feel as queasy as that. Maybe some saltine crackers would help.

    Today I am finishing ONE thing, I will take pictures too. Let's get out of this creative slump.

    Have a great Wednesday!


    How To Nurture Creativity

    Say YES, ring


    When you sit down and do whatever creative thing it is you do, like let's say, painting or writing, does it ever come naturally to you? Is it a joy every time? are you happy with the outcome? Do you ever plan a two hour session and walk away after it with utterly success and a master piece completed? I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you don't always feel this way. And you are not alone.

    How many days and days have you sat down, came to the page, to the canvas, and there's just nothing there, just complete and crushing dryness? and every stroke seems to come out wrong, not the exact right color or proportion. And then you start getting frustrated, and the self doubts start in the back of your mind and pretty quickly they are not only in your head anymore, but staring back at you with eyes of disappointment and judgement.

    And so it can be very frustrating because why is it that artists endeavors have to be so self destructive? why is our self esteem so intertwined with the creative output of our work?

    Well, while I was in the middle of one of these dry spells, I was listening to This American Life, a radio show that talks about anything and everything and they interview all kinds of people. I can't remember the topic this particular show was on, but on comes an interview with Melissa Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. And she was talking about creativity and her idea that it comes from somewhere OUTSIDE ourselves. Like the ancient Greeks and Romans believed in the muse and this spirit who would come and inspire the ideas that wanted to become real. It struck a chord with me because I have felt such a thing. Haven't you? Like an idea that seems to come out of nowhere but makes perfect sense?

    I talked about this with  friend and she told me about the TED talk that Melissa Gilbert gave about creativity, and I am linking it here because really, you need to go listen to that. It makes so much sense to me.

    Her premise is, we are like vessels to the ideas, no one is a genius but has a genius in them, and you HAVE to show up to the page. You must be nurturing it, constantly creating, constantly sketching, writing your ideas, so that when that idea comes, you are ready. Now, get that raised eyebrow back to its place and hear me out, because I really think this makes sense!

    Certain ideas will come to me and I just have to laugh because there is no way I will be able to help them become a reality, so I talk to them and tell them to go look for someone who knows pottery, or movie making, or whatever the idea needs. But then sometimes an idea will come that is perfect for me, and I know that if I don't act on it I know I will see it become real somewhere else in some etsy store or someplace else. I knew I was crazy. Who talks to their ideas? I talk to myself all the time, and I always thought I was crazy, but after what I heard her talk I didn't feel that crazy or alone anymore.

    So next time you are working and you are stuck, you know how sometimes you get so stuck there and the frustration is getting overwhelming, please try to talk to it. Ask it what is wants, how it needs to be, and if you work intuitively you will be surprised on the completely different outcome you did not see coming.

    But always, always be ready to listen to it, have a sketchbook in your bag, don't dismiss it, be it's friend, talk to it. Try it once and you will find you won't feel that frustrated anymore.