Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Journey to Art and Soul

Earlier this month I went to an AWESOME conference of artists called the Art and Soul Retreat. It was held in Hampton which is the town next to mine! I was so excited to find something like this so close to home. I signed up for three classes. I made collages, soldered houses and made a bracelet with beads, shells and beach glass. Oh my gosh I was in heaven and I had so much fun!
Vendor night was over the top. The coolest most unusual stuff, things you don't see everyday and art supplies that I normally have to order onlne. I can't wait to go again.

This is what I wrote as a thank you to Glenny, the organizer of the event. I was really excited when she wrote back and asked if she could art it up and share it with others! This stepping out of your comfort zone stuff has some pretty awesome payoffs.

Here are the things I discovered:

Kindness, friendship, connections, and community
Diamond glaze (can you buy it by the gallon?)
I am compelled to create & there are others that feel that way too
Cardboard cones with ribbons and stuff glued to them sounds really weird but look really cool.
Soldering isn’t so scary! And when Sally Jean (and Mr. Sally Jean) are teaching you how to solder, it’s just too awesome for words!
Wings on stamps (and perhaps a set of my own)
Collage with Traci Bautista is fast and fun.
Liquid water color spray stains your hands for at least three days (and your wedding band makes a nice stencil on those stained hands).
People can and do live their own authentic, artistic lives and for three days I did too.
I love brightly colored hair (I’m thinking aqua may just cover my gray better than the brown dye does….)
Having hands covered in paint and glue makes people wonder what the hell you’ve been doing.
I definitely want that tattoo I’ve been thinking about.
I would gladly trade all my 40% Michael’s coupons to have a store like Collage in my town.
Making yourself step out of your comfort zone to try new things leads to wonderful experiences.
I’m jealous of people who get to be creative for a living.
How to drill a shell and beach glass…oh & etch copper…and bead it all together for an awesome bracelet my friends covet.
Being able to say something like “So do you make ATCs?” and not have people say “What’s that?” is priceless.
Sharing is good (Okay original credit for that one goes to my mom, but it never hurts to reinforce those lessons)
There are other people on this planet that feel the way I do about Sharpie markers and have them in all the colors too.
No matter what anyone says to the contrary I am an artist…if for no other reason than my heart tells me so.
Oh and one more thing….going back to work is hell after a weekend in art heaven!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Little Dab'll Do Ya!

I am a dabbler. I like to dabble in lots of different creative things. The boxes stacked in my mudroom, furniture in my garden shed, the few things in my garage, and many things in my corner of the sunroom attest to the fact that I have my finger in WAY too many pies! But I just can't stop. Besides it's fun so why would I stop. But I can honestly say that I have learned so many skills from all these forays into different arts, crafts and hobbies that have served me well in life.

One of my favorite dabbles was fusing glass with my friends Ann and Kathy. I don't know that it was the glass fusing so much as the chance to share a creative time with some dear friends. I had seen fused glass online and HAD to try it, so before I sunk myself $500 in debt with no place to put the kiln, I took a class. In the lobby of the studio there were these awesome pieces of art. Tiles, bowls, abstract forms all layered with beautiful colors and textures in glass cases. I couldn't wait to make my own. We picked out these pieces of colored glass and stacked them like Jenga tiles while the instructor tried her best to help us understand what the heck we were doing. The end product for me was anticlimatic. Kathy and Ann ended up with lovely pendants, while mine looked rather ugly. The color combinations were uninspired and one even had a strange blob on the end of it...sort of like a weird appendage. The outcome was a couple of hours spent with friends making some really ugly art. And all that with a savings of $435 dollars! Yeah I spent $65 on the class to find out it wasn't for me. I would try it again someday..maybe make a tile or a bowl. Check out this beautiful stuff and if you Google fused glass you'll get 1,180,000 hits to cruise through in your spare time.

Oh and then this past winter my friend Chris caught the soap making bug, so nothing to do but buy a bunch of stuff online, drive to her house (with Kathy and Ann in tow) and make soap all day long. The outcome to this was much more positive, having made soap before I had a better idea of what I was doing. We ended up with lots of soaps to give as gifts, a bunch to donate to a charity craft fair and we had tons of laughter. In searching for supplies we found some really good resources. I found a great site for fragrances called Natures Garden.( Any company that has a fragrance called Monkey Farts is okay with me! Great site for containers on the cheap,
And for molds in all shapes and sizes, Google soap molds for 648,ooo hits or visit one of my favorites, Melt and pour is the easiest method for some good clean fun!

Of course the soap making lead me to the idea of candle making, so I purchased a kit. Well, that one never made it out of the bag. I guess I'm saving it for a rainy day, I'm sure I'll put a call in to my friends to see if they are up for something new!

Blog = Conversation with Self

Trying to think of something profound I have to share with the world...okay I got nothing. When I try to think of something to write about in my first ever blog, a rush of ideas flood my brain. But since I can't write about all of them at once I need to choose just one...okay nothing again. I think the problem is that this is supposed to be a journal online kind of thing, but I'm starting in the middle (of my life) and there is so much that came before. What I would really like to do is just share the things I see that inspire me. The ideas I see that I think are cool, online and off. And perhaps connect with some Kindred Spirits (gotta love Anne of Green Gables). So what if I ramble from one idea or thought to the next? No one will probably read this thing but me. What is that saying "Every journey begins with just one step" so I guess every blog begins with just one word. So I'm guessing my blog will be a sort of modge podge of rambling reflections about everything and nothing, which is pretty much how my thoughts run anyhow.