Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Off to Art & Soul...

Today Bonnie and I are off to the Art & Soul retreat in Hampton, Virginia. We'll be teaching how to create this canvas for the Opening Night Party and then we get to play. I'm so excited about the classes I'll be taking. Here they are...
Saturday night is Vendor Night, where we get to shop for art supplies, vintage findings, fabrics, jewelry, rubber stamps and so much more! So I'll share more on Monday when I return...

Monday, April 28, 2008

All Packed and Ready to Go!

I'm all packed and ready to go to Art & Soul. Got my class materials sorted, art supplies together and my clothes packed. Of course I couldn't have done it without my trusty little helper, Juliet. See her in action here as she helps me pick out the perfect spring sweater to bring along!Also changed my oil, got my hair cut, paid the bills, bought some snacks, got some rest, and I'm feeling pretty darn creative. My husband and I are off to a nice dinner to relax and chat before my trip. Now just one more day of work to get through and off I go...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Aprons and Flash Cards and Jewelry, Oh My!

Ahhh, the first rummage sale of the season proved to be rather fruitful. Not quite the selection of the same sale last year. But I managed to land two retro, full-length aprons in kitschy fabric prints, a box of grade school flash cards, and a broken faux pearl necklace that I can repurpose into tons of other projects...all for a mere $2.00.

In "Good News, Bad News" news...wait, let me cry a little...Waaahhhhh...our washing machine broke. Yes, just as I was doing my laundry before my big trip to Art & Soul this week. Right in the middle of the first load. I ended up wringing out all my clothes (which are air dry only!), hanging them in the shower, and putting the big summer fan on them to speed the drying process. But hey, I got these lovely aprons clean before it conked out!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring is Finally Here...Hooray!

What a gorgeous day here on the Jersey Shore. Warm and sunny with crystal clear blue skies. Kinda makes you want to play hooky. It also makes you stand a little taller, have a little extra bounce in your step and creativity gets a kick start and begins to blossom again. With all the beautiful flowers and trees coming alive, it's pretty hard not to be inspired.

It's also the time of rummage sales, flea markets and art shows...hooray! Although I hardly have any room left in my house for newly acquired "trash", it never prevents me from visiting my favorite sources for deals on antiques, ephemera, and junk. I'm a gal on a mission! In fact, at lunchtime on Friday, I'm going to hit my first church rummage sale of the season. I hope you all are enjoying your own spring traditions.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ohh, so very sleepy...

Busy, busy, busy. Not only is it a busy week at work, but at home too! I'm gathering up lots of supplies, found objects, ephemera and stuff for the Art & Soul Retreat next week in Hampton, Virginia. My friend and associate Bonnie and I will be teaching the opening night party on Wednesday, and then we'll be students for the remainder of the week. Fun, fun, fun!

There's nothing like being surrounded by so many creative people who are just as excited about learning new things as you are. I'll definitely need to rest up. Nighty-night!

P.S. That's my wonderful calico kitty cat, Juliet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shhhhh....it's Top Secret!

Today was a fun, creative day at my job. I got to work with the talented artist, author and teacher, Claudine Hellmuth on a new line of products she is creating with my employer Ranger Crafts. I can't say what we're working on, as it is top secret for now. But we had tons of fun reviewing logos, colors and branding for her new products. Everything will be revealed before the Summer 2008 Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show this July.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Tale to be Told

One day, a woman sent me a sweet e-mail telling me she had visited my website and enjoyed my work. Randa had seen my Talisman Bracelet and wondered if I could create one as a wearable memento in honor of her late husband. In 2006, her husband and best friend Michael Zoladz, had passed away from a brain tumor that had been discovered only 4 months earlier.

Needless to say, I was honored to commission a piece especially for her. She wrote me a long letter, telling of the days before the discovery up until the very end. A sad but triumphant story, as her husband had touched many lives before his illness. A father and vocational school teacher, "Mr. Z" continued to teach family, friends and an entire community about life, love and honor throughout his final days.

Knowing all I could about Randa, I was able to put great care into the creation of this bracelet. I learned a tremendous amount about this woman and her amazing relationship with her husband. Every charm on this bracelet signifies something special to them. I even found out that Zoladz means "acorn" in Polish, so I had to make her this pendant in honor of her heritage. I am blessed to have met her and honored to have made this bracelet for her.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Featured Artist at Main Avenue Galleria

The Main Avenue Galleria in my home town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey is featuring me as the newest addition to their co-operative of local artists. Showcased are several of my monochromatic freeform collages, which are available for sale at the galleria and via their website. Many thanks to Norma, the Galleria owner!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a shore thing

I love Mason jars. One day, while at the craft store, I saw them for a dollar a piece. Not knowing how I would use them (although they are perfect for buttons and other baubles), I grabbed a bunch.

Weeks later, I was working on a beeswax canvas with a beachy theme, using vintage photos and shells. I had dyed the beeswax blue for the ocean and thought, hey, I could just pour some of that into a jar, and stand a vintage beach babe right in the middle. Add a couple of shells, some netting, a floating fish and some pearly bubbles, and the project was complete.

A little keepsake of my favorite place...the shore.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Workin' at the car wash, yeah...

It was my husband's suggestion, and I could not turn it down. Wash the 'Stang after work and then go out for a nice dinner. I have to say that it is much quicker washing a car with two people.

Dinner was a coupon found in Friday's newspaper while at dinner. A Japanese Hibachi restaurant called Takara. Because we went in at an off time of evening, we got our very own personal Hibachi chef. Too much fun. And fantastic food. Very nice date overall. I'd give it 5 stars.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

When it's time to change...

Today was a thinking day. I had to make some updates to my website so that I could add access to my new blog. This included adding a "blog" button to my navigator bar, a "footer" with access to my blog and other new pages, and links in the homepage text. With those changes, I had to update every single web page. Whew! I only know enough about Dreamweaver to get by, but it works. Thank goodness!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A walk on the beach

Yay! Finally a warm - and sunny - day on the Jersey Shore. Perfect for walking down to the beach and collecting shells before the first tourists arrive for the season.

I really love the beach. Waves crashing. Seagulls squawking. Soft sand under my feet. Lots of found objects from Nature herself. I'm pretty lucky to have such a wonderful source of inspiration only 4 blocks away from my home.

I found a ton of chestnut astarte clam shells to use in my projects. I like them because they are tiny, a little shiny and can be white, orange or bluish in color.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday is Date Night

Tuesday night is date night for my husband and I. We actually have two, the other is Friday. Tuesday I pay and Friday he pays. Sometimes we plan surprise dates for each other, and sometimes we do ordinary stuff. It's just nice to look forward to spending quality time with each other.

Tonight we did "dinner and a movie". Dinner at a local bar and a movie theater that is right down the block where movies are still $5.00!! Can you believe it? We saw Vantage Point with Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox (LOST) and Forest Whitaker. Very suspenseful. I'll give it 4 stars.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Oh so very happy...

Yay! I finally started my very own blog. Although, I'm not sure exactly what I am going to say.

I'd like to share photos and ramblings about projects I'm currently working on, random thoughts, cool things my husband and I did for date night, cute pics of my kitty cats, and other relevant and totally irrelevant stuff.

Hope you enjoy!