Sunday, February 13, 2011

spray paint LOVE

Finally had a chance to post photos of what i've been up to...

after taking stitched & stenciled with mary ann moss (and after waiting for calm, sunny weather) i got some spray paint and had a great time!

i've been working in my new EXTRA LARGE moleskine journal (photo of my hand to show the size of this monster!)

here's a photo of a how the pages start. with collage from magazines and a couple random colors of paint.

more colorful backgrounds. i like to use journal pages for experiments!

the only thing with spray paint is that it is VERY TOXIC! so the proper mask is very important. i still don't have the right one! mine protects from fumes but not the toxic stuff so i only spray a little bit at a time and only outdoors. and since i don't have the right mask, i haven't been using spray paint--instead i use adirondack spray inks by ranger.

they're also good to use indoors and they are non-toxic. the only thing is that they stain! so wear protective gloves and cover your work surface. i worked outdoors on some valentines for my bay area art sisters group v-day card swap.

the theme this year was "no red or pink". so i used blues, aquas and violets (i am pretty stuck on traditional holiday colors, so this was a challenge! the violet was the closest i could get to red!)

i used stencils and masks so i got a lot of cool results. i just layered several 4x6 watercolor postcards and stencils and sprayed a little here and there. when they were semi dry, i put some masks down (i used some heart shapes) and sprayed in darker colors over that.

i used journals as my work surface so i ended up with a ton of cool ready-made surfaces. can't wait to get journaling again! the weather is starting to warm up and the days are getting longer (thank goodness!!!) so it looks like we'll be spending more time out on the lawn with our art projects. just have to figure out what to do with the little one. she's not one for sitting still for very long! we'll see... ;)


Monday, February 07, 2011

Art Retreat for Moms!

**UPDATE: Registration is now closed. This class will be taught again in April 2011. Also, keep an eye out for the ONLINE version of this class coming SOON!**

I will be teaching an art retreat for moms with my friend Kelsi McMartin this March. In this class, we will be exploring themes of motherhood and finding ways to express our thoughts, feelings, memories and experiences through art and writing. We'll meet on Saturdays from 1-3pm for 4 weeks beginning March 12 and ending April 2. The class will be held at The Loft (Birthing & Parenting Enrichment Center) in Morgan Hill, CA. In this class, we'll be making two projects:

*A keepsake album/journal for our photos and precious memories (kind of like a scrapbook, but with emphasis on visual journaling)

*A mixed-media collage painting (we will explore themes of motherhood as we layer a canvas with paper, paint and personal images)

If you have a Paypal account, you can sign up by clicking on the "buy now" button below. Paypal is a secure site and there is no fee for signing up for an account. You can choose debit, credit, or e-check if you use Paypal. You may also pay the first day of class on March 12 (for the full retreat) or pay for each class that you attend. We will accept check or cash in person or you can always pay before class starts through Paypal.

If you are in the San Jose Bay Area, and you would like to join us, come on over! We'd love to have as many moms participate as possible. All moms of any age are welcome. No art experience necessary--just curiosity, love of creating, or just that desire to get away for a little bit and enjoy the company of other extraordinary women.

I hope you can join us! Please feel free to spread the word. You may post to your blog, facebook, twitter, etc. And if we get enough interest we may offer an online option in the future (let me know in the comments if you might be interested!)

Any questions, please contact me or Kelsi.

Create. Play. Explore!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

i'm still here...

the two i live for. i want to be their mom forever and ever!

it's been a while since i've blogged. i just haven't felt like saying much lately. not that there is any lack of inspiration or time or energy. just the opposite. i find i have plenty of time and inspiration and energy! :) i guess i'm just doing other things and i've also been trying (emphasis on the word TRYING) not to spend so much time in front of my computer! don't get me wrong. i love to blog hop, i love to browse etsy and flickr and occasionally cruise by facebook and see what everyone's talking about. but mostly, i love to make art (mostly messes!) and take walks with the girls and try to be as present in the moment as possible.

i treasure the look on their faces! pure joy and excitement!

do you ever find yourself awake, i mean wide awake in your life? like, suddenly, you are very aware of your senses and surroundings? like that feeling you get when you know you are dreaming, when you are awake in your dream and you can even control what is going to happen next? well, i may not be able to control every waking moment of my life, but i often feel so aware that i am alive and living that i am just overcome with joy and amazement.

beautiful winter Arizona sunset. i'm fascinated by silhouettes lately. maybe has something to do with a stencil class i took with ms. mary ann moss!

i have been thinking a lot about death and life lately. (nothing morbid, just in a kind of "well, we can't avoid it (death) so we might as well make the best of it (life)!") we lost my dear brother-in-law to leukemia in december. even though i didn't know him as well as i should have, he has been appearing in my dreams a lot lately. and so is his family (he left behind 9 extraordinary and very lovely and loving children and several grandchildren). i feel i should really visit with them more often but sometimes i'm not sure how (my husband and his sister-and-law haven't always been the best of friends!) it's not an excuse, but just something silly that is keeping me from making that necessary step to forming a relationship with my nieces and nephews.

this is the cemetery where my brother-in-law is buried. that day in december was beautiful and bright. in the morning, the entire place was shrouded in a dense fog that began to lift as everyone arrived. the contrast of the green grass and the blue sky made it look more like what i imagine heaven to be.

i think we often get caught up in our every day life and our habits, rituals, routines. we are stubborn creatures of habit! but habits can be broken every once in a while and we can do things a little differently than we've done and really improve the quality of our lives. in just little ways, really. nothing earth-shattering. just picking up the phone to call a distant relative or friend. or picking up a journal and writing down some thoughts. or turning off the tv/computer and going outside for a little while. making time for ourselves and for our family is so important. it is not just a cliche. it also feels really good! :)

maya and grandma linda (kinue) enjoying a trip to the park during our visit to Arizona this winter. i love my grandma! she is the inspiration for the name of my blog/etsy/internet pseudonym. she is going to be 81 years young in april.

i am really super inspired by my friend kisa who has embarked on a year long challenge to do one NEW thing EVERY DAY! even if it's just trying something new for lunch or taking a new route home from work, she's doing it and having a great time along the way. what if we joined her in her daily NEWNESS and just infused our routine with a teeny bit of something different. i saw a great quote on a journal page of one of my favorite artists, Pam Garrison, and it said: "As you grow older, you find that the only things you regret are the things you didn't do." (--zachary scott) isn't that the truth? if you do something new today or this week, let me know in the comments. i'd love to know what new things you've been up to lately.

my little artist/investigator at work. ;) we went on a field trip with my dad to the san jose art museum. she asked the docent so many interesting questions and had some great discussions about her feelings/reactions to the artwork. she built a house from leggo and wrote poems about different works of art.

something new i did this week was go on a hike with my daughter. we went to anyo nuevo reserve to see the elephant seals. technically, i had been there before (once LONG ago on an elementary school field trip!) but the new part is that i had my daughter with me and we enjoyed some long overdue mother-daughter time together. we left the little one at home with dad for the day and had ourselves a nice, nature-filled day out. we went with a group of fellow homeschoolers from our program. and that is going pretty darn well, too, by the way.

i try to treasure these moments i have with them while they're still small.

we started that new educational adventure in november and haven't looked back since! i'm really hoping to continue on through middle school and high school. i know, a lot of people's knee-jerk reaction is, "aren't you stifling her social life?" or "aren't you worried about testing?" or "aren't you holding her back by keeping her out of school?" or "aren't you limiting her experiences by being her only teacher?" and to all of that, of course, i say NO. since we started homeschooling, we've been on several field trips together with other students and their families (studying art, nature, science, social studies); maya has made several new friends with different backgrounds and interests and ages; maya has also participated in many classes with other children (so there goes the "i'm her only teacher" myth as well as "she'll have less chances to socialize"). and there's just so much more to learn and explore! (i didn't mean to start a homeschooling rant/rave just now, but i guess i had to start somewhere.) so if you're thinking about homeschooling, i highly recommend it. if i can do it, so can you. and if you're still thinking i'm crazy or i'm ruining my daughter's life, i'd suggest you talk with some real homeschooling families face to face and i think you'll find that although there are no two alike they all have a passion for lifelong learning.

and at that, it is 1:04 am and it's about time for bed! as i was writing this, i could hear a ton of firecrackers popping off in the distance! i guess it is officially the year of the rabbit. happy chinese new year everyone! and to anyone stuck in the snow: make art, make cookies, make love, make something! ;) and here's wishing you a ton of our california sunshine your way. :)


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