Color the Quote Challenge at Artists in Blogland/Artsy Mama Interview/The Pulse

A few thing I wanted to share with you that I am excited about!

1.  We are having a really cool new challenge at Artists in Blogland called Color the Quote.  Jessica Sporn has graciously decided to help me with the group and she is running this challenge.

2.  Artfully Carin interviewed me for her arty mama series.  After interviewing 3 artist moms about balancing motherhood and art for Featuring magazine, the tables were turned on me and she asked me several questions.  This series will run on her blog starting on Feb. 2.  Don't miss it!

3.  I answered questions for Seth Apter's series "Tell All" way back in June 2011.  One of my answers will be on his blog this weekend also.  The question was, "“what is the one thing that you know now that you would have liked to have known when you first started to create art?”  I can't wait to find out my answer, since I don't remember how I answered this one!  cringe.  

4.  Check out my newly made-over art teaching blog:  Art is Basic  There are oodles of fun art projects for grades K-6.  I've been working really hard on it and I'm very proud of it.  
5.  Here is something funny.  I've been getting all kinds of new creative spam!!  This one was so over the top I had to share.  The comment was left on a post about 1st graders recycled scrap masks.  I'm glad I was able to help someone who believed their life was over :)  Also, is there any way to prevent spam on a self-hosted wordpress site without paying for a spam service?

"I have to express my appreciation to you for bailing me out of such a incident. Just after exploring throughout the the web and getting tips which are not pleasant, I believed my life was over. Being alive without the strategies to the problems you have sorted out all through your main article content is a serious case, as well as ones which might have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I had not encountered your blog. Your personal natural talent and kindness in handling all the things was useful. I'm not sure what I would've done if I had not discovered such a point like this. I can also at this time relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for your professional and results-oriented guide. I won't be reluctant to recommend your web sites to any person who wants and needs care about this subject matter."

Make Mail Art Postcards By Reusing Old Art

Making mixed media postcards is fun and easy to do!

Here I used a variety of materials:  scrapbooking paper, an image from a magazine, rub-on transfers, ink painted deli papers, markers and more.

Postcards made from recycling artwork

I must confess that I made these two 4x6" postcards by cutting old up old artwork.  See, I have so many paintings and collages in drawers that I have created over the years.  There's not room on my walls for all of them and I've given away others.  Some I choose just to place in my drawers of collage fodder.

Using old drawings, paintings and collages for mail art will give them new life

Find an interesting area of an old artwork and cut it up.   Cut it into 4x6" sections for postcards or smaller for Artist Trading Cards.  Add other collage elements or marks on top to tie the piece together.

I made these for the postcard swap at Artists in Blogland.
Also sharing with Artists Play Room

Don't forget that there is a mail art call at Featuring magazine!

Featuring Magazine in the mail and a handmade book

I want to share with you a few peeks of the latest issue of Featuring magazine (#3).  I was eagerly awaiting my copy and yesterday I received it.

As a thank you gift, Marit sent me this very lovely handbound book.  Thank you Marit!  Sewing books is one thing I have never had the patience for.  The cover is beautiful and has a nice texture.  Those black circles look like they were embossed.

hand bound book

Here is one of the articles I wrote:  The Art of Motherhood.

And the Featured Blogger: iHanna!  There are so many awesome articles in this magazine.

We received this very nice compliment in our emails today and I am smiling from ear to ear over it.
"I just received issue #3 in the mail a couple of days ago, and would just like to say that all of you at Featuring continue to outdo yourselves.  I am still reading the articles in this issue, but have already found Spontaneous Acts of Creation, An artist in Berlin, and your own Three Journals, and Love Me Do, particularly interesting and engrossing.  What continues to amaze me about your magazine is the breadth of incredible art and words you are able to cram into a mere 76 pages, cover-to-cover.  Featuring is helping to create a real sense of community among art journaling, mixed media artists, and others, which crosses not only geographical borders, but artistic borders, as well.  Many thanks, Marit, for all you, and the other members of the Featuring team, do.  It is my belief, that there is not another art magazine, anywhere in the world as vibrant and original as yours!"

Best always,
Mukilteo, Washington

Art Journal Page Using Scrapbook Paper

Materials used:
Scrapbook paper, paints, white out pen, gelato crayons, markers, homemade stickers...

For this page I was purely playing.  I bought some new paints and have been eager to just play around with them and see how the colors blended.

Lately, I've been....

USING and LOVING:  The My Fitness Pal app!  You can track your daily calories through this FREE app.  Tons of foods are already listed or you can add your own.  You can use the scanner to scan a barcode where the nutritional information automatically logs to your account.  Add the exercise you do and it calculates the calories burned.  I really love this app.  It's so easy to use and it's free.  A couple of my friends also use it and you can connect on it and share your food diaries and give each other feedback.  If you use My Fitness Pal, let me know if you want to add me as a friend. 

SLEEPING:  a lot

PLANNING:  the Talent Show for school, the Middle School dance.. it's going to be a masquerade!, my grade reports and Spirit Week.  I've been swamped this month!

FEELING:  irritated.  My eye have been chronically irritated for the past month.  It feels like there is something always stuck in my eye.  I went to the doctor and she couldn't find anything wrong.  I'm going to make a special appointment with an opthomologist on Monday.  Typically when I've been coming home the past week or so I just want to close my eyes and lay down.  I know, I just had my fingers burned and now this.  I feel like a hypochondriac!

READING:  When I have been feeling up for using my eyes, I have been reading a couple books that have been helpful.  The first is Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community.  It's a pretty useful guide for blogging, but honestly the tone was a little much for me.  Also, ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.  Ok, I love the title!  Ha!  That's funny.  The book was written obviously by a professional blogger.  I'm definitely not expecting to become a professional blogger, but it was great to get tips about writing blog posts, setting up a blog and just the ins and outs of it all.  I am going to do the Embarrassment of Riches TBR Reading Challenge.. where you try to knock off some of the books you already own.  I'm pledging to read 24 TBR books in 2013.  I can totally do it! 

WORKING ON:  I've been working really hard on my new self-hosted wordpress blog.  I set up one for my art teaching blog.  Currently, I have about 500 posts from that blog which is hosted on blogger.  I decided to go to Wordpress for the blog because I think the layout is just cleaner and easier to navigate.  I have hundreds of lesson plans up there and this is just so much easier to find specific ones.  It's still not up to the point where I want to move over all my subscribers yet, but when I feel like I have a good handle on Wordpress I'm going to do that.  I don't know if you know anything about CSS or PHP files, but wow is it confusing!  I decided to edit some of them to get specific outcomes and it was going swimmingly.  Changes were being made, things were looking good and then, bam! I made some sort of error and the whole site crashed.  Did I back it up?  No.  Did I even know how to back it up?  No.  So then I ended up having to reimport everything again and start from scratch.  Now I'm going to be a bit more careful about what I edit in those files. 

ORGANIZING:  A homemade postcard swap in Artists in Blogland.  Check it out and sign up to swap 3 postcards.

Now you should go check out Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Every Day!

5 Fabulous Things I am Loving Right Now and 1 That I am NOT!

1.  How to Make Trillions of Dollars... or why American all tired and unhealthy and vaguely dissatisfied with their lives.  It explains a lot!

2.  Fingerprint Artist Judith Braun

3.  Crayon Engraving with Oil Pastels-- Great lesson plan for kids.. so beautiful!

4.  You just never know...
      or why you should try to be compassionate in all your interactions...

5.  Best Art Journaling picture I have seen lately!   LOVE.

And the one thing I am not loving right now...

1.  Anthropologie's racist candlesticks...  I saw this and have been following this story.  Thankfully they decided to pull the candlesticks off their website.  But, really?  Do they not have a design/editorial team that would have realized this could be perceived as racist?   What do you think?  The story interested me in particular because after my grandpa died we sold thousands of his "collectibles" on Ebay.  He was a flea market dealer hoarder and had rooms and rooms of fun stuff.  We came across a collection of mammy dolls.  I think I actually still have them in a box somewhere because I did not want to sell them if they were considered a racial stereotype. 

Watercolor Shapes and a Quote page

These two watercolor doodles were examples for a lesson I taught at school.  The kids made some great paintings too!

 Here I am playing around with a quote.. doing some practice ideas.

P.S.  I have decided (for the time being) to put a hold on the Just Journals link ups.There are plenty of other sharing communities out there right now...  Artists in Blogland (which I run), Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Every Day.. to name a few.

Call for Mail Art!

Featuring Magazine Issue #3 is being shipped out now!  It's not too late to order your very own copy.

We are having a MAIL ART CALL for Issue #4.  Do you like to make mail art?  Check out the details below:

Call for mail art

FEATURING is looking for all kinds of mail art to illustrate an article. If you like snail mail and love to make mail art, you are welcome to send it to us. There’s no ‘reward’ or something so you have to make it out of love for this art form – but then again: creating something beautiful is a reward in itself, isn’t it?

You can send your mail art to:
Sint Wilfriedstraat 4
5643 SC Eindhoven
The Netherlands
Be sure your email address is somewhere noted on the art you send us, so we can contact you. Your mail art has to be in by February 25 (take into account that it may take approximately two weeks for your mail art to get to us if you send it from outside Europe)

Back to School and Cute Ornament Gifts

After the long winter break, we are back to school!  The week before school got out, I was home sick on that Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then, we had a snow day on Thursday and Friday, so it's been about 3 weeks since I've been at school.

When I came back there were some holiday presents given to me by students.  Here are two adorable ornaments I received.

My daughter loved this beautiful bird!

Handmade ornament by a student.  Isn't this adorable?  Love it.

Happy New Year!

Hello all my blogging friends!  I have lots of fun plans for 2012 related to art.  For a Christmas present to myself I bought some new Rheotech paints.  I love them...  I had been trying out random types of paints throughout the past couple of years and usually bought the cheaper ones.  It makes such a difference to have quality paints.  Mixing and blending are smoother, the colors are richer and they layer on top of each other better.  Since the pigments are stronger, the paints will last longer than the cheap ones. 

I signed up for Mindy Lacefield's True Free Spirit year-long class because I've always admired her artwork.  So far, it has been very fun.  She walked through the steps she took to create the picture you see on her class description.  The video aspect of this class is especially helpful to get new inspiration for approaches to mixed media art. 

I made these two paintings.  They are both a kangaroo and baby, but the backgrounds are slightly different.  I was focused on playing with the backgrounds and blending colors.  I like the kangaroo imagery with a mom protecting her baby. It's kind of fitting for my life now.  Next time I will play with the poses and expressions more!