Monday, December 31, 2012

GoodBye 2012 .... Hello 2013

Unlike many ... I love saying hello to a new year. I don't look back with regrets ... only forward - knowing that every new day is a blessing. I am looking forward to the new year ... taking many more chances with my artwork ... and putting more stamps in my passport! I hope each of you are bringing in the New Year with loved ones, and are safe and warm...and healthy. Here's to a New Year!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quick and Easy Santa

Handmade Collective Group

Meet some of the artists on the Handmade Collective Group!!...and take note of all the websites in the directory - lots of wonderful places to shop for the upcoming holidays. HandmadeCollective LookBook

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Painting Faces - My Diary of Faces Class with Sharon Tomlinson

2012 was the year for me to really push myself in my desire to paint faces - to REALLY be able to look at a photo or portrait painting and capture something as realistic as I can - moving away from the whimsy. I signed up for Sharon Tomlinson's Diary of Faces class - and I've been so happy with the material and my progress. This is a very intense class - and not only have I pushed myself with my renditions of portraits - but I've learned so much about other artists here and abroad. There are a wealth of artists to learn from ... and long after this class is finished, I will continue studying these artists works.

My interpretation a painting by Norway artist Christian Krohg:

My interpretation of a painting by New Zealand artist Charles Goodies:
My interpretation of a painting by Italian artist Giovanni Boldini:
My interpretation of a painting by Bulgarian artist Georgi Mashev:
Weeks 5 through 7 in my journal:
My interpretaion of a painting by South African artist Irma Stern:
My interpretation of a pen and ink doodle by English artist Madge Gil :
My interpretation of a painting by Polish artist Wladyslaw Slewinsky:
My interpretation of a painting by Australian artist George Coates:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Give Away Time!!!

I am the feature of the October Monthly Artist Interview on the Merry Whatever blog! Drop by and sign up to win my Giveaway prize ... and then stop by Wymzee Art Friends Blog and read my story

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week Three: Norway

Week 3 was a challenge .. .painting an elderly face. The artist, Christian Krohg from Norway was the choice ....and here is my rendition of his portrait of Barbara Larrsen.
I had to step away from this painting, and looking at it now on the screen ... I see where I can push myself even further...add more depth to her face.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Week Two: Romania

Hello All! I'm still hanging in there with Sharon Tomlinson's Diary of Faces Class. Week 2 is Romanian artist Nicolae Grigorescu. Now for me, his still of painting is very loose ... and I am having a difficult time ... it's easy for me to add details...NOT so easy to have details appear with no definitive lines. Here's where I am so far with my interpretation of Painter's Wife... almost done...but it's a challenge for me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sharon Tomlinson's Diary of Faces Class

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer so far. For me, it's been nice and slow...sweltering at times in 100+ heat...but other than that - a perfect summer. On the creative side .. I decided I needed something to stretch myself ... and Sharon Tomlinson offered an EIGHTEEN WEEK course called the Diary of Faces - the PERFECT thing for me to keep pushing myself. The first portrait study was an artist named Georgette Chen ... and each of us selected portraits done by this artist to. Here is my interpretation of Ms. Chen's style:
The second week, we are studying a Romanian artist ... and the painting style is so different...very loose .. so I am still working on it ... and will post when I'm done. This class is PERFECT ... and while many of the other students are managing to crank out 2-3 portraits a week .. I am a much slower study ... and I'm taking my time studying the artists each week, their styles .. and then going over Sharon's instructions. I hope all of you are enjoying your summer and doing something creative! Stay cool...and stay creative!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Still Painting My Way Through ...

Woke up this morning could barely breathe ... funny how a cold will sneak up on you and try and ruin your day.
...well I couldn't let this 3-day weekend go to waste .. so I made tea, took medicine...and popped in on Twitter to see what people were walking about. Big mistake ... I gave my opinion on something and boy was I shut down - but then that is what happens when you put your 2 cents into an on-going conversation, LOL. So...backed out of that convo and decided to NOT let my day be derailed by strangers...and focus on my painting for today.
Her name is Melancholy .. and so far ... she is coming along nicely. I hope you all are enjoying this's a good one so far for me.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Interpreting Dreams .. and Painting My Way Through It All

Last night, I kept dreaming ... I was busy in the dream ... and every time I went to show my identification - I discovered I'd lost it. Not only had I lost my identification...but my credit cards, ATM cards ... EVERYTHING!! In the dream, I grew more and more exasperated - because I NEEDED those things... and EVERY TIME I came to a point where I needed them - I'd reach for them...and they were gone ... and I'd have to replace them again. Over and over.
So eventually, after waking up thoroughly annoyed due to this dream .. I started thinking about it. Before dropping my son off, it hit me what the dream meant - at least to me. Deep down - I feel as if I have either lost my identity .. or that I am in the process of losing it ... losing ME. I told my 14 yr old about it...and he just looked at me, a little startled, and said "That's deep Mom".
The more I thought about the dream, the more I knew deep down that this is how I'm feeling. The past 3 months, I've just been thinking about so many changes going on in my life. My son transitioning from Jr High to High School in the fall ... I broke up with someone I had been seeing for over a year ... it was not a "messy" break up in the traditional sense, but nonetheless, the conclusion of this relationship left me more determined than ever to never have another long distance relationship; never to date ANYONE EVER AGAIN from my past .... and to CONTINUE with my post-divorce life which involves becoming totally selfish - which is so not me. My sister feels my interpretation of my dream is correct. She feels that all my life - since I was 9 years old - I've taken care of everyone. My little sister, my older brother ... my husband ... my son ... and throughout all of that - I can say I have never been the one to BE taken care of. So now, the planner that I am, I am already preparing for Life After My Son Graduates From High School...and I'm wondering is THIS making me question who I am? Is it the finality of a divorce? Is it the break up of a relationship which I thought would be "it" ... LOL
Sigh ... I can honestly say that I am not sad. I just feel so restless ... like I'm just waiting and waiting for "What's Next". And through it all ... the only constant ... is I'm painting my way through it ...what ever "IT" is.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Last Days ....

Where is the time going?'s already the last weekend in April!!! If I have been scarce, it's because I have been on Mommy Duty full-time with my son on the Lacrosse team for our county. These days I am driving to practices, games and gyms - watching my boy slowly turning into a young man.
..and I'm suddenly realizing that in 4 short years - he'll be out of high school and off into the world of young adulthood. SO while I am still working full time, still painting, still exploring ... I am also making sure to NOT miss the sunset of my time with him where I get to see him 24/7 ... the time will fly by quickly....and I don't plan on missing a thing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Coffee Grinder In Progress

I decided to bite the bullet and start painting this unique surface. While I don't have a particular design in mind right now ... I DO know the look and colors I want to use.
I used Jo Sonja Background color Primrose to basecoat surface. After I let it dry, I sanded lightly with a piece of Super Film.
When I am working on faux finish effects in my head, I normally play around a bit on my palette. I used Jo Sonja Kleister Medium, instead of regular glaze medium. Kleister Medium has a longer open time than glazing medium.
This is probably the EASIEST of faux finishes to achieve. I took a generous amount of Jo Sonja Kleister Medium and applied to surface. Then, taking the sea sponge, I double loaded Jo Sonja Red Earth and Jo Sonja Yellow Cadium ... and pounced the entire surface, twisting my hand as I pounced, until I achieved the look I wanted.
I love these colors, and love Tuscan colors in the kitchen and for kitchen accessories. You can add more Jo Sonja Cadium Yellow to brighten it up...or more Jo Sonja Red Earth to deepen ... the choice is yours.


Ever purchased something and "saved" it for later? When I bought this unique piece from artist and designer Phylis Tilford about 6 years ago ... I fell in love with it - but at the time I fell my painting skills weren't up to par. So I "saved" it for later....then promptly LOST it!!LOL Fast forward to today ... I find it ... and immediately wish I would have purchased at LEAST 2 of these! The craftsmanship of this piece is wonderful. I almost want to believe I can actually use it, as the grinder part is fully functional. So ... woulda, coulda, shoulda ... I only have one of these ... and I am not going to post it on ETSY ... I'm going to have to keep this one. I should have bought two!!...sigh

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Wanderings

If you have some time today, get a cup of your favorite brew and peruse the artistry and craftsmanship of some wonderful artists around the web. On the New Handmade Collective, there is a wonderful sweepstakes going on - lots of goodies to be had!!
So make sure you CLICK HERE and enter to win. Also, over on the Merry Whatever blog, tons of talented artists are offering up wonderful pieces of art ... with Mother's Day approaching, you'd be giving a very unique and beautiful gift!
And last but not least, a new group I came across- Etsy Artists of Color who also offer a fabulous selection of goodies on ETSY.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Babycakes Merry Whatever Blog GRAND OPENING!

**TODAY** is the GRAND OPENING FOR BABYCAKES MERRY WHATEVER BLOG!!! Support local and small artisans of color, beginning TODAY!...Monthly features of wonderful designs and artistry will be featured on a monthly basis. You will be able to view and purchase unique hand crafted designs all throughout the year for that special occasion and someone in your life. You also get to meet the designers and support their local handmade efforts in their communities. Stop by daily - you never know what jewel you will find there!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some Things Hurt Too Much To Blog

The world, at least my world, is on fire with the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Bloggers, Twitter, Facebook .. from the very vocal to the very quiet, this has affected almost everyone I know.

For me, I just can't put into words how deep this cuts ... how much it hurts ... because somewhere deep down inside - I DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE people are just this heartless ... this prejudice ... this FEARFUL of boys that look like my son.

How do I prepare my son for this world where at any given moment he could be taken from me? How do I tell him that while we are luckier to be in THIS time, and not the times of my parents and Grandparents ... that we still aren't safe?

I don't preach the evils of prejudice - because too many times I've seen prejudice from my own race. I tell my son that we as a people can be just as hateful, just as intolerant ... as ignorant ... and I feel like I am not arming him with confidence - but with fear.

Many horrible things have happened to me in my life - and I was never physically or emotionally hurt by anyone other than people of my own race....and I feel like it's par for the course, that I can handle THAT.

What I can't handle is the unknown .. that on a rainy day one evening when my son is cold and wet, and he raises the hood of his jacket on his way home ... that in someone's eyes he turns from a kid on the street to a menace to society. It's THAT which makes my blood run cold, because there is no way to prepare for your life to end ... to say goodbye to your child...your only child.

I am not naive, I don't believe we are a post-racial society where there is no prejudice. I think as long as we can SEE differences - there will always be those that judge. That's the reality I teach my son, and I pray that he makes it...that not one other parent - regardless of their race - will lose their child to ignorance.

Today, I just feel we've lost our humanity.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Frustration Brings Beauty ... me.

For some reason what was in my head would not translate to this latest piece. I was SO FRUSTRATED!!!...I just started wiping my brushes off, onto the piece...and when I went to clean my water - I came back and fell in love.

So far ... good ...

Another Piece in Progress For Merry Whatever Group

Think Pink ... think Spring ... I always have trouble with pastels, but I'm giving it a go with my second piece for the Merry Whatever group.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Babycakes Merry Whatever Team

I'm so excited I've been invited to join a team of fellow artists on the Babycakes Merry Whatever blog. I have been busy working on some new pieces, which will be featured beginning April 1st. Each month will be something new and different from all 10 artists ... so stay tuned!

To give you an idea of the types of things I'll be offering ... here's a sneak peek at one of my pieces - it's still in progress - but I'm already attached to it! It will be hard to put it up on Etsy for sale! :)

Friday, March 16, 2012


The Toletown Ezine this month has lots of great projects!...and also features a project that I did especially for all those tags that everyone loves to make, trade and display.

See the project with the words LOVE?? ... it's my project for the month.

If you want to see all the projects, go to Toletown and purchase this months issue - it's PACKED with projects at a great price.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fun With Paper Bags...Blast From 2009!

I have been going through my electronic files, and came across instructions for my first paper bag album that I did in 2009! I am a lot better now with paper crafts, than I was then ... but thought it would be fun to share with you...maybe inspire a beginner out there!

List of Supplies

• 3 paper bags (lunch size)
• hole puncher
• Versamark ink pad – black
• Luminaries H20 Twinkling watercolors
• 6 sheets of plain cardstock
• 6 sheets of patterned cardstock
• glue stick or adhesive runner
• paper piercer or large nail
• glass cutting mat
• fiskars paper cutter
• assorted brads
• assorted flower piecing
• assorted ribbon
• small vellum envelope (ATC size)
• 6 blank ATCS
• 6 large paper tags
• black micron marker
• assorted rubber stamp sayings
• assorted rub-ons
• assorted Post It note pads

Basic Step by Step Directions – Assembling Your Book

1.Take your 3 paper bags and stack them with ends alternating.

2.Fold them to form crease line. With bags still folded, along the crease line punch at least 3 holes using a hole puncher.

3.At this stage, it is your choice as to how you “bind” your book. You can use either decorative brads or ribbon. I chose to use ribbon.

Basic Step by Step Directions

1.After deciding on a theme for your book, choose your color paper.

2.When you’ve chosen your paper, cut your cardstock down to size of paper bag pages. (I used a Fiskars Paper Cutter.)

3.With your glue stick or adhesive runner, begin to put your selected pieces of cardstock on the pages of your book.

4.I chose to begin with the cover, but you can start with the inside pages and leave the outside pages for last.

NOTE: Follow Steps 3 thru 5 to adhere the initial cardstock sheets to each page, before adding embellishments.

Basic Step by Step Directions – Embellishing Your Pages

1.I chose a large flower, but you can use any embellishment for your cover. For the center of the flower you can add cardstock, buttons, and glitter or jeweled accents. I chose a flowered jewel accent.

2.Since the theme of my book was Thoughts, for the inside of my book, I decided to use Post It notes, blank sheets of stationary and other things that would encourage the recipient to jot down their thoughts and ideas.

The most important thing to remember in assembling your book?- Have fun!! The ideas are limitless as to what you can create using simple supplies and scraps from around the house. You can paint your book, add ATCS & tags (as shown on the Idea Pages) – just use your imagination!

Additional Page Ideas from 2009 (don’t forget to stick goodies in those pockets!)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Sketchbook Challenge: Playing With Watercolors

Well ... I am still doodling ... deciding to add a little watercolor. I dug out my Twinkling H2O's, and decided to play a little bit. Still don't have the hang of it ... painting with watercolors does not come naturally - not like painting with acrylics does.

I had to walk away from it ... let it dry fully ... and I must say I'm not TOO unhappy with the blending of the colors .. they are vibrant ..and the Luminares always have that sparkly shimmer. All in all ... I think with a lot more practice, I'll get the hang of it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Sketchbook Challenge: Playing With Color Pencils

I have never been a fan of color pencils ... I have never been a fan of sketching ... but the 2012 Sketchbook Challenge is slowly but surely changing that. It's all about the comfort zones we find ourselves nestled in .... and creatively - I've been tip toeing out of mine.

Still sidelined with this sciatic nerve ordeal ... but found myself trying, once again to capture what was in my head onto paper using color pencils.

While working on my piece, titled Faith, it suddnely clicked with me why I didn't like using color pencils ... I'm so used to painting and knowing how to perfectly achieve the look - the BLENDED LOOKS - I love .... that not knowing how to achieve this with the pencils is very frustrating.

But like all things...practice makes perfect ... so here is my most recent attempt with color pencils:

Pencils: Derwent