Big sigh … vacation is hours away from ending

It’s Sunday afternoon. This past week was great with all of its painting, enameling and journal making.
I didn’t break out the clay or the bead loom, but I’ll have Saturdays back soon. I think the loom will be a great portable project for the beau’s place. (Never mind the find that I have it in my head to knit a poncho. Am I 10 years or four decades too late?)

Today I feel light on words. (A shocker, I know.)
Here are some photos to do the telling.
I played with resin.

Did more enameling.

 And, had my first real success at making mini mosaics.


Foolish follies in pain(t), part two

Oh, I was bad this week. OK, maybe not bad, but distracted. Vacation days pass so quickly that I have to wonder how I get anything done during a regular work week. Geez …

I did transfer a sketchbook image onto a substrate, per the book Daring Adventures in Paint, (which I began talking about last week), and here it is. Is it my style, or is it a blatantly beginner’s work? Both? 


Morgan and I talked a lot about it. He has a proper background in art. I am driven by the urge to create and play and just kind of run amok all guided by gut feelings. But, he had some good ideas for me. Not answers for fixing my ugly, blobby painting, but for me as a curious crafter.

Daring Adventures in Paint book suggests working on a collaborative painting. I want the squid painting to be that one. And, I want him to be my collaborator. (Always and forever!)

But, lest anyone think I’ve been lounging around, I haven’t. There has been some resin pouring, more enameling 

and even some journal making. Which brings me to the whole idea of a these book reviews. Just today I checked out a book on drawing, two on mosaics, and one by Lynda Barry — just for fun. Typically I request a book — or 10 — and go straight to the hold shelves, check out and head out. today I browsed the stacks, and my discoveries made me happy.

Tuesday evening, in a burst of inspiration to make a journal, I got an e-loan and made this tiny journal. 

I know, I know … Apple ad materials are everywhere, but they were the prototype sacrifice. I’m not hung up on the outcome, rather inspired by the process. I even made journal covers from two CDs that were heading to Goodwill anyway.

But, I rushed myself and messed up the holes I punched. Harrumph!

Long story, long, my point is that I have been dipping into a book or two every day. I’ll finish up the painting book next week. Rebound, the source of the gift card booklet, has a lot of great ideas, but I know that I won’t use many of them. Geez, I feel awful saying I wouldn’t add that book to my collection. (Honestly, some of the projects seemed a little intimidating for my skill level.) I’m glad, however, to say that the author, Jeannine Stein , has some great projects on her website. Like this one. Oh, I really want to make a journal like that. But, I would also like to do some mini-mosaic making and maybe some bead looming in addition to market prep work.
Maybe, I can tend to some of that yet tonight. Or, maybe I’ll climb into bed early a stack of books at my side, and catch up on my craft p*rn.

stamping, painting, beading and enameling

Sunday is project day, and there are a few things to show.

After nearly a year since taking my first and only enameling class, I broke out some copper blanks, enamels, my torch and had at it! (Yes, Morgan, I wore a mask and protective eye wear!) I love enameling. What took me so long to try it again? Laziness? Distraction? Fear? Could be any and all of these things. I don’t think I could have gotten back to it so easily without the help of the tutorial at Beaducation.
The Washington state pendant gives me much pleasure. And, I’m happy to have learned that you can enamel on pre-1982 pennies.
On a less-than-thrilled-note, I got some crazy pock marks on one piece. Hmm … what went wrong?

On Friday, needing something new for the market, I finished a spiral stitch bracelet. There’s something so festive about the colors of the beads. They make me happy. For sure the size 6 beads don’t try my patience (and eyes) like the spiral stitch project I started with size 11s months ago. (It was a slow day at the market, and with only six Saturdays left in the season, I need to decide how many more times I’ll return. Two, I think. At least.)

And, I finished another quad stitch necklace. I love this stitch. Plus, the bead colors look like colors I’d like to wear.

Today I took a class with Kae Pea. We stamped and played with paint. Do I love anything I did? No, not really, well, maybe … It’s a start. I am excited to dig through the stamps I have to see how they can be incorporated into doodles or hand-painted pendants or pins. Plus, we go to try Peerless watercolors. There’s still so much to learn and try! Plus, dabbling in other media feels good after so much time with beads and resin.

I feel like I had my hands in a good variety of projects over the last few days. That makes for a good weekend! Hmm … my mini torch is still out. Maybe I should finish the small encaustic pieces I started last year… Did I say good weekend? I meant great!

Foolish follies in pain(t)

This week I picked Daring Adventures in Paint by Mati Rose McDonough off of my shelf.
I have had a lot of fun laying down color and finding a use for my canvases. It’s been so much fun that I’ve once again let the jewelry making simmer on the back burner.
The book is just so colorful and fun and playful that I want to do all of the exercises! The author feels like the kind of person you want on your side to cheer on your creative endeavors.

The collage exercise, so far, has been my favorite. Maybe it’s because I’m happy with the results.

 Here’s the silver-leaf squid.

I admit, silver leaf and I are not the best of friends. Maybe had I picked a simple shape and not a squid with swirly tentacles to paint with the adhesive and then make all silvery. Twice I tried. Once I painted over everything to start over; once I painted over some of the silver leaf to create more of a squid-like shape.

Here’s something I just started doing. While I appreciate the vague tentacle-like nature of the painting, I still want to paint over it. I think I’ll let it sit for a few days. Maybe I’ll figure out how to save it. Maybe I will paint over it. But there’s no need to be so immediately dismissive of my work. (And, making it ugly also fits into the Kim Werker book I “reviewed” last week.) 

Oh! Just looking at this photo hurts my eyes!!

I really do love the act of painting. In as much as I’m trying to learn some useful techniques, I also need to learn how to let go of the need for perfection. Or, the expectation (wish) that I can master any craft/art on first attempt. Silly me.

Check back next week. I hope there will be a few more images to share — regardless of how good they do or don’t look.

Another personal challenge

My studio has taken on the look of a warehouse. I love being surrounded by my books, beads and art supplies. Seriously, the room is messy, but I find so much comfort amid these things.
I also know that I need to stop amassing and start using. So in addition to going through all of the books on my shelves, I’m also committing to using up what I have and only hitting up my favorite bead suppliers when there’s something I have to have that is somehow, improbable as it may be, not in in my stash.

There is yarn to use. And paints. And beads. There are random bits and bobs. Much of it is tucked away in an organizational plan that made sense two years ago. So many things have migrated in that time. So, I hope to have many Christmas-morning-like surprises. I imagine I will.

I don’t have much to show today. How about these pendants featuring my brother’s artwork?

 When will he get back into his painting groove? Will he ever get back to that space. I hope so.

I should write more, but no. I need to put some exercises from this week’s book into action. And get an order out. And make some thank you cards. I kind of long for some lazy time, but I’m thankful for the people in my life who will get the cards and who place orders. No complaints here.