Monday, January 31, 2011

surrender in progress


this week's prompt "surrender" from illustration friday prodded me to dig "wilderness of the mind" out of the dusty art-chive and give it some more flavor. here's the re-do(odle) in progress, which i had high hopes to finish today among many other things that i've staved off. i hustled everyone out the door with surprising efficiency for a monday morning only to find one block from school that there IS no school, thanks to a teacher in-service day and my spectacular inability to read the calendar. and supposedly a massive winter devil is on its way, which probably means no school tomorrow or wednesday. surrender indeed. i do have a fun secret to share, though -- i'll be one of the teachers for the next round of 21 Secrets, the super duper art journaling workshop hosted by dirty footprints studio. registration opens in march - more details to come! happy monday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

daughter love


i love to gripe both deeply and profusely about my daughters' antics, but i also love to think deeply and profusely about how lucky i am to have them in my life. i gave my exasperation a voice in the bell ringer, but up until now there had been no flip side in doodle form, and my girls deserved better. this one has been in the making for nearly a year, and finally it says exactly what i want it to say. it won't mean much to my daughters at 4 and 8, but hopefully when they grow up it will remind them that i wasn't just the heartless bitch barking orders at the toothbrush station. hopefully they'll understand that they made my life bloom in colors i never knew were possible before they arrived with their brilliant spirits.

so in this doodle, there's no ranting, sassing or gritching. just a whole lotta daughter love. ♥

Friday, January 21, 2011

carving with great effort





oh my carving goodness! traci and her 30 days of carving have brought my x-acto knife out of retirement and a new hobby to my hands. i needed this mindset switch. for me writing and drawing are matters of what to add to the paper, but carving requires thinking about what to take away. it is not easy to get a precise cut, but it doesn't matter; hand cut stamps have a really nifty effect no matter how they're done so it really encourages experimentation. and it doesn't have to take a lot of time, which is essential around here because we keep incurring snow days and holidays. with the kids home, my creating minutes have been scarce.

traci sent me to dollar tree for the erasers, which was a generous and risky thing to do, because we shop at the same one and i have a tendency to buy in bulk. indeed there they were, all with messages of positive reinforcement so i felt downright good about myself even when my first ones turned into the great rubber massacre. the larger oval erasers, though less effusive in their praise than the smaller ones, are better -- they are firmer, cut more easily and don't crumble. so if you have a dollar tree near you, those are the ones i'd recommend, along with the armful of feather dusters and self-adhesive hooks and valentine window clings and puzzles and gift bags and storage containers and all of those other dollar items i didn't know i needed.

thanks to everyone for being so gracious about list it tuesday -- sally has offered to assume the helm for now. i have to admit that i haven't quit making treasuries yet, though, so swing by and share an imaginary snow day with me if you'd like! have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

list it tuesday 1/18: the last one


hi all! well, i think i've run out of steam on the listing prompt. that's not to say that there aren't endless things to list about, but the format isn't pushing me creatively any longer and in fact it's causing a big brain plug-up. curiously i've turned to making strings of etsy treasuries to channel my energy until i can start getting some stuff out on paper again. some people drink, some gamble, i make etsy treasuries. anyway, it's time for a change. i've thoroughly loved all of your lists and have a not-so-secret hope that someone will keep list it tuesday rolling. if you're interested in taking over the host role, send me an e-mail at artsyville (at) gmail (dot) com. if there are multiple takers, i'll do a random draw; if i get none, we'll just wrap it up this week. if you posted a list this week, please leave your link in the comments! thanks everyone - i have enjoyed the listing ride!

Friday, January 14, 2011

water paper paint


Last Friday evening I went to the opening reception and signing for Heather's new book, Water Paper Paint. I can't tell you how excited I was to get this book in my impatient hands, and my wait was rewarded even more than I can say. It is a stunning book. If you read Heather's blog, you know how captivating her work is, how impeccable her eye is to detail, how every word and image she chooses is full of meaning and thought and beauty and life. Water Paper Paint is written in that same style - in every page and sentence there is a world to absorb. Her projects are adaptable to many different forms of art, and they are scaleable to any skill level. Earlier this week the girls and I had some snowy day fun with a few of her suggestions, and in the middle of one technique, my artsygirl said, "I love doing this. I learned it at the Lawrence Arts Center." Of course she did, because four years ago Heather was her very first art teacher. It's not surprising that she still remembers, because Heather's art has that kind of lasting effect on people, quiet yet powerful. Water Paper Paint will reach you, teach you and stay with you in just the same way. It is a must have for the art bookshelf. Beautiful job, Heather. ♥

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

list it tuesday 1/11: the pantry purge


the weather wimps canceled school for the second day, and i was no longer willing to stay in and play the snow day victim, so out we went to breakfast with our journals and a box of sharpies. artsygirl drew a house for butterflies and i re-lived on paper the horrid pantry purge of last weekend.

if you posted a handwritten list today, please leave your link in the comments. thanks and have a great day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

just waiting to be found


{just waiting to be found treasury on etsy}

i'm probably the last person on etsy to discover the pounce feature -- the one that lets you explore undiscovered shops or those waiting for their first sale. i was feeling lazy this morning and not in the mood to foof with my own shop or anything else for that matter; the timing was perfect. within a few minutes i found a few pieces that i just loved, and from there i was sucked fully into the concept and made a treasury out of my favorite finds, taking in three chocolate chip muffins and four cups of coffee along the way. here you can enjoy the summary of my pouncing without the calories or caffeine. please swing by and say hello to these new etsians if you have a moment!

Friday, January 7, 2011

my mood exactly


i found this drawing in my daughter's backpack and it matched my grouchy mood this morning perfectly - so much that all i could do was laugh when i saw it, and then it made me not so grouchy anymore. wishing you all good moods and a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

not in my nature


While I was driving home from Chicago last week - most of the 575 miles in pea soup thick fog - a feeling of ease was flowing beneath the white knuckles on the steering wheel. For as much as I've tried to bloom where I'm planted, in truth I thrive when I'm on the go. It goes far beyond a desire to travel; the need for movement is packed into every molecule of my body. Whenever I finish one trip my head is spinning about the next; often I don't unpack my suitcase or cosmetic case in between trips for fear of adhering to a place too permanently; I dream of the open mind and the moments of clarity that come with being in a constant state of transition. If my friends and family didn't keep my wandering spirit properly anchored, I'd probably drift off into space.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

list it tuesday 1/4: three words


over winter break i spent an afternoon at the honda dealership, which normally i look forward to doing because i can scribble for a few hours in my journal with one hand and help myself to the coffee and chocolate chip cookies with the other. but this time both enfants were with me and it was soon clear that i was not going to be able to retreat more than one layer deep into idea-land, so i flipped through the journal and my old blog posts, and copied random three word strings from my sentences. it started out as a mindless activity and by the end i was having so much fun that i (almost) forgot that i was furious with my kids for being so loud and making public spectacles of us in front of the service desk. now that the three word strings are free of their sources, it's hard to remember most of their original contexts, so i'm looking at them in an entirely new way and it makes me want to create new lives out of them. little three word paintings, maybe...?

this is how my working journals look - no color, crappy handwriting, boring. i use them simply as receptacles for thought. i have about 10 going at a time (they disappear and reappear in different spots so i have to have lots of them) so they are not linear. often i have to comb through them to find phone numbers and appointments. let me tell you it is a maddening way to live. but it's my way, and i like it.

if you posted a handwritten list today, i'd love to see it - please leave your link in the comments so i know where to find you! happy tuesday!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

new year, new box



the gift boxes from anthropologie this year were way too craftable for me to leave alone. my magazines and paper scraps started yelping the minute they saw one and instantly started jockeying for a spot on the box. the scissors and glue peeked out of their storage bins to see what the devil was going on and suddenly i had a new years eve activity on my hands. after that i worked out for an hour, had three glasses of wine and then this tired crafter zonked out at 10:30. the new year started off splendidly - i found out that etsy tweeted my "this is the year" doodle and then featured it on its facebook page, which led to a nice surge for my little doodleshop this weekend. many thanks, etsy!

as for the resolutions, did you have to make it so difficult? they were all great, worthy, admirable, funny; it made me indecisive. i erred on the side of largesse and chose five: three random and two non random. the winners are: 1) cath, 2) shelly, 3) eden, 4) pattie, and 5) the runaway winner was shelley malone, with her vow to stay on course being awesome, and to take it up a notch by doing epic shit. may we all heed her advice! winners, please e-mail me your addresses at artsyville (at) gmail (dot) com and i'll send your doodles on their way. thanks everyone for sharing your plans and wishes for 2011. hoping your box fills up with wonderful things this year!