Summer Has Come and (almost) Gone

Not here in Temecula where the temperature has averaged over 90 degrees every day since the end of August. I am so looking forward to the Fall when it will be cool and crisp in the mornings and maybe get to the mid 70’s during the day. I may have to wait until November, but that’s OK. I have an art retreat in October in North Carolina. That should give me the Autumn “feel good” I’m looking for.

The heat has not kept me from creating some new pieces since I last posted to my blog. The Colour Me Positive journal group missed a few weeks due to an emergency in the administrator’s family, but we are rapidly catching up. I will be working on Week 31 and 32 this week and will show those in my next post.

Here are Weeks #26 – 31. Week #31 is a quote that I chose since there wasn’t one that week. We have since caught up and I will be creating a new #31 and #32 this week.

Other creative endeavors include starting Halloween houses for my Etsy shop. One piece done and many more to come.

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Several houses have also been created and I am working on a few more that will be appearing “you know where” soon.

Most exciting of all, I did my first abstract painting based on the teachings of Judi Ohl in  Abstracts In Arcylic & Ink. And, I just started taking her online class, Zen Houses. I am so excited to learn more from her and will also be attending the ReMe Retreat Sandhills in North Carolina in October where she and Jean Skipper, another very talented artist, will be teaching. I haven’t named this one yet, so if anyone would like to make suggestions, I love to hear them.

 

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And one more little piece made with miscellaneous ephemera called Missing Time….

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I will leave you will a fun saying that I found on my favorite site for quotes, WordPorn, since some of my best creative ideas come to me at night.

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It’s Summertime…and the Living is Easy

Yes, it’s been awhile. I think I need to stop apologizing for not writing more often and just accept that I will get to it when I get to it. It’s not that there has been nothing happening, it just that the days pass with such speed. Holy cow! It’s almost the 4th of July! I won’t even say “time flies when you’re having fun,” because it’s such a cliché. However, I have definitely been having fun. Creating new art, working with new materials, spending time watching my youngest granddaughter play softball, and working in the garden has occupied most of my time over the last month or so.

Speaking of the garden. I am growing the zucchini that ate Manhattan. I look at them one day and they are small and not ready to pick. I go back a day or two later and they have become giants. Here’s a picture of my most recent yield. And, I’m growing cantaloupe and have peaches (not yet ripe) growing for the first time since I moved into my home in Temecula.

As for art, my art journaling continues with the Colour Me Positive group and I am still loving creating little houses of varying styles. Here are my most recent art journal pages.

And, the many houses I have created with a 4th of July theme.

And some not related to any holiday…

One of the things that I love doing is taking pictures of funny or unique things that I see on my travels or just toodling around town. These caught my attention over the last month or so. The dragonfly was in my backyard and I was able to capture it with my new zoom lens for my iPhone 6. The truck was seen on a San Diego street and the close-up of the “Create” art is from an art installation at San Diego International Airport. If you ever fly San Diego International Airport, be sure to take the time to see their incredible art installations.

The most exciting thing to happen to me though is having my houses featured in UPPERCASE’s All About You newsletter. It’s the very first publication of my art and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I submitted the houses and really had no expectations regarding the outcome. All I can say is that it gave me a tremendous boost of “I am an artist,” confidence.

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A trip to the Bower’s Museum to see the Frida Kahlo – Her Photos exhibit was incredible. I learned so much about her as both an artist and person from seeing the photographs she collected throughout her life and from which she gained such pleasure. There was also an exhibit of called Spirits and Headhunters – Art of the Pacific Islands that was fascinating. Here are some photos from that exhibit.

Last but not least, a trip to the Blick Art Store in San Diego yeilded some really fun papers and other artsy stuff that I will be playing with over the next few weeks.

All in all, it has been a wonderful month of museums, creating, gardening and enjoying friends and family. I will leave you with this thought from a site I am following on Facebook called WordPorn@thispageisaboutwords.

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A Little Art, A Little Travel, and A Little More Art

Today is the last day of April. Spring Break and Easter have passed us by and Summer is right around the corner. In the last month, I have taken a trip to Seattle with my youngest granddaughter (14 1/2 years old) and continued in my daily practice of doing some type of art, whether it be collage, art journaling or photography.

It’s the 16th week of the Colour Me Positive Art Journal Challenge which means its the 16th week of 2017.  I’m still loving the challenge of creating art based on a quote or thought for the week and filling up one journal after another. It often inspires and informs my other art by prompting me to seek ideas beyond the single quote for that week. I find myself looking online for quotes and inspiration related to the week’s quote which often spurs a new idea for a collage. My favorite online quote source is www.brainyquote.com.  These are a few of my most recent art journal pages.

The middle of April brought a Spring Break trip to Seattle with my youngest granddaughter, Holly, to visit friends and see some of the colleges she might want to look at when she’s ready to seriously consider her choices. Her older sister and my daughter were in NYC visiting colleges on her list that same week. She’s much closer to making the college decision as she’s a HS junior. We visited Western Washington University, Seattle University and the University of Washington. We also went to see the daffodils in full bloom (stunning),  the Taylor Shellfish Farms, where she had her first taste of raw oysters (not sure she liked them), and finished up the last day with a trip to the Chihuly Garden & Glass at Seattle Center.  What an inspiration!!! We had a great time and I took more pictures that I have the space to show you. Here are just a few from the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum. The one of the Native American trade blankets is from Chihuly’s vast collection.

And here are a few others from the trip to the Taylor Shellfish Farm, the daffodil fields in La Connor and a funky junk artist’s home in Conway, WA.

I’ve also been working on a couple of new collages.

And, as an experiment, I had an art journal collage page turned into a poster which I call Rock Your Body and another one turned into blank greeting cards. Both have strong messages of empowerment. I am considering doing more and selling them on my Etsy site,  MyMixedUpArt. What do you think?

That’s it for this post. I end with one of my most favorite quotes from WordPorn. I would just add “to create art.”

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It’s Almost Spring, Easter’s Late, and When It Rains, It Pours…

It really seems like time is flying by faster and faster. As I readied myself to sit down and write this post, I reviewed my last one and could not believe I had not posted since January 8. I think I’m going to have to set a reoccuring date on my digital calendar that says “sit your bottom down in that chair and write.” It’s not as if I have nothing to say or art to share. I have lots to say (some of it not necessarily appropriate for this post) and lots and lots of art to share.

One of the most wonderful things I did this month is meet up with a dear friend for lunch at the Prado in Balboa Park. It was one of those beautiful days San Diego was known for and, of course, Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful places to explore on a sunny, breezy day. A visit after lunch to the San Diego Museum of Art and The Mingei  set my creative soul on fire. The Visible Vaults exhibit at the SDAM  was a recreation of  their most carefully guarded area, a place that is invisible to most visitors—the vaults. You could pull out drawer after drawer of original works of art, some never seen before. The Mingei featured an incredible exhibit of American and European Folk Art dedicated to three centuries of American and European folk art from the Museum’s permanent collection, with many artworks on view for the very first time.

January brought rain and cold temperatures to Temecula which have continued into February, with record rainfall yesterday. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest, I am used to days where it rains for 24 hours or days on end. Not in Temecula. It provided the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Which is exactly what I did.

I’ve also been busy creating new Easter mixed media pieces for my Etsy shop,  www.etsy.com/shop/MyMixedUpART. Spring is one of my favorite times of year. I am inspired by the green grasses and wild flowers that bloom after the rains. I love to decorate my house from top to bottom with bunnies, chicks, carrots, and, of course, the ever-present jar of seasonally colored Peanut M&Ms.

The Colour Me Positive Art Journal group continues to inspire me each week. I really look forward to the prompt and being challenged to come up with just the right work of art to fully express what the quote means to me. Often, I will replace the quote provided with one that has more meaning to me personally, but still represents the intent of that week’s theme.

In addition to further exploring collage/mixed media, I have returned to my passion for photography. In the past, I had participated in a 365 Photo a Day group, but stopped when I took the Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple Year of the Spark class as I wanted to focus on learning new techniques. It’s so easy these days to whip out your phone and capture a moment in time that takes your breath away, catches your eye or just makes you laugh. So, I’m back at it and share here some of the photos I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks.

One of the other things that I have promised I would do this year is share with you the work of other artists that have inspired me in my journey. One of those artists is Cheryl Dossey. Cheryl defines herself as “A late-blooming mixed media artist who enjoys art in any form.” She has been featured in a number of Stampinton & Company’s publications and, most recently, has several pieces in the Spring issue of Somerset Apprentice – Mixed Media for the Beginner. I met Cheryl in the online Year of the Spark class and loved her  assemblage pieces. She is actually the first artist whose work I purchased after starting the class. It was part of her “Mini Homes” collection. Cheryl very happily shared her technique for the homes with me and generously sent me a package of craft house shapes cut from foamcore and a wonderful array of ephemera with which to create my own vision of a “mini home.” She now sells the blank foam house shapes in her Etsy shop and you can find lots of inspiration on her blog. Cheryl’s house is on the left, not to be confused with the “other” Cheryl’s on the right. I love creating these “mini homes” as gifts or to add to my very own collection.

That’s all I have to say and show, so I will leave you with this thought…let’s all remember to be passionate, compassionate, have a sense of humor and, definitely, some style.

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Happy New Year! (and belated Merry Christmas)

Where in the world did the last two months of 2016 go? I have been very remiss in posting and, for that, I am sorry. Chalk it up to holiday madness!

Despite the this being the busiest time of the year, I still found time for my creative self. Since my last post there were the last few weeks of the Colour Me Positive art journal challenge – a total of 53 art journal pages in 2016. I’m actually considering making a book of my adventure in art journaling.  And a few original collages and paintings were completed. I have to say, while collage is still my favorite medium, I am loving learning new techniques and styles.

 

I am also in the process of creating a number of Valentine’s Day framed collages for my Etsy shop, MyMixedUpART. There will be more in the coming month, as well as some handmade Valentine’s Day cards.

My family and I also took a week-long trip to the Big Island of Hawaii over Thanksgiving. The main reason for the trip was to take my Mother’s ashes home to where she was born and raised. We took a lovely sailboat ride off the coast of the Big Island and scattered her ashes in the waters she loved the most. My granddaughters swam with Spinner dolphins as the rest of us watched. It was a beautiful way to pay homage to a beautiful woman, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Other highlights of the trip included a luau on Thanksgiving day, zip-lining, snorkeling, a trip to the volcano, a claustraphobic (for me) walk through a lava tube, and a visit to the graveyard where my great-grandparents, grandparents and an uncle are buried.

Then there was Christmas which zoomed past and here we are in 2017. Each year my family picks a part of the world or a country from which  our Christmas Eve meal will be based. This year it was Cuba. It was a traditional Cuban dinner with pork, empanadas, rice with black beans, and rum cake for dessert. I have to say it was one of my favorites!

My oldest granddaughter made over 900 cookies for friends, family and neighbors. To my surprise, she enlisted me, the Grandmother who does not particularly like to cook, in last minute preparations – rolling cookie dough, dipping cookies in icing, and putting in the last two cookies and closing and sealing the gift boxes. Her peanut butter cookies are my favorite. And her Cranberry Bliss were to die for.

 

My last Colour Me Positive art journal page for 2016 will be framed as my mantra for 2017. I truly believe kindness will get us past the last very divisive and mean-spirited months of 2016 and help us in the challenging months ahead. While I try my best not to be political on this blog, I want to remind the President-Elect that he too should remember that “where there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.”

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I will end this blog on that note and promise you that I will commit to posting more often in 2017. Lots planned for this year, including a continuation of the Colour Me Positive art journal challenge, a class at Bloknote Acadamy on Water & Paper, other classes yet to be discovered, and lots of creating for my Etsy shop.

May 2017 bring peace, hope and kindness to the whole world.

It finally rained in Temecula!!!

Yesterday was a beautiful rainy day in Temecula, CA, with tons of thunder and lightning. A perfect day to spend in the studio and create, right? No. The thunder and lightning scared my goldendoodle, Zoe, to death so I spent much of the day on the couch with her on my lap. Poor baby. She shivers and shakes and mild sedatives don’t help. It’s very unusual for us to get the kind of thunder and lightning we had yesterday. So, while I pray for more rain, I can do without the drama. I did, however, catch up on my favorite recorded TV shows and a movie. Here’s Zoe at a calmer moment in time.

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I did promise to post my new MyMixedUpART business cards when they arrived. I am so pleased with them. I have always had such uninspiring corporate cards and it was so much fun to create a card that was funky, square and in color.  They came in this really cool square box. I highly recommend the online printing company called MOO. They offer high quality printing, design flexibility and competitive pricing.

I continue to work on holiday mixed media collages for my Etsy shop and have added a few Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas pieces since my last post.

The Colour Me Positive Art Journal Challenge is in Week 43. Scary to think that there are only 19 weeks left of 2016. Don’t despair though, we still have three of my favorite holidays left to celebrate – Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My sister also asked me to create a piece for a good friend’s birthday using photos of her home in Redwood Valley. Using an aging program on PicMonkey, I aged the photos, mounted them on wood and placed them in a shadow box frame with the word “HOME” in block letters . I sure hope she likes it.

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That’s it for now. Have a great week.

Cheryl

 

Happy Fall

I can’t believe it’s the first of October and Halloween is right around the corner. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been very busy producing little framed houses for Halloween and Christmas in preparation for opening my very own Etsy shop called MyMixedUpART. It opened last week and I have had four sales. Here are some of the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces I am offering in my shop.

It’s scary, exciting and time-consuming all at the same time. I’ve had exceptional support from family, friends and, most of all, from the wonderful artists’ community of which I am a part.  For that, I want to say a great big THANK YOU!

I continue to participate in the Colour Me Positive art journal challenge. We are at Week 40 which just shows me how fast 2016 is flying by. I can’t say that I have paid as much attention to my art journal over the last couple of week as I should have. This week was a tough one and it’s not one of my best. It was inspired by a quote from Oprah Winfrey – “When I look into the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.” As you all should know by now, I don’t use a lot of really bright colors in my art. I tried this week and was not too excited by the results. In the spirit of sharing, I will post it and Weeks 38 and 39.

As I write this blog and reflect on the last few weeks, I realize I’ve done a  heck of a lot of work. Other projects were mostly inspired by artist friends/classes I’ve mentioned before including Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted and Herma Starreveld’s Silly Faces.

And, I have designed a business card and labels for MyMixedUpART using my self portrait inspired by the Silly Faces class.

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I will leave you with this quote which seems very relevant to me this week…

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.                                                                                                                                      – Scott Adams

By the way, I keep them all.

Cheryl