Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekend Doodle

I started this a couple of weekends ago and worked on it this weekend too. I'm not finished yet, but thought I'd post it anyway.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Art Journal Completed

I finally finished my first art journal. I posted a photo of the cover a few days ago. Last night I finished trimming the cover and sewing the binding. I like how it turned out, but I did have a few problems. My pages weren't folded and trimmed correctly, so the book is a little crooked. I'm sure this is just something that will take practice to master. I think next time, I will use paper that is not so thick and that should help. So here are the photos. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities!




Sunday, January 24, 2010

Follow Up to the Spam Post

Thanks for the comments I received on my last post. It's nice to get some feedback and to know I'm not alone! One thing I need to clarify is that I was joking about comments. I know how to comment, I just am not very good about doing it. I tend to think of a response to the comment, but never type it out. It's as if I think the commenter will just know by telepathy that I've responded! I'm a goofball that way. Sometimes I think I'll answer comments later, but then forget about it because my short term memory is fried!

I do have a question for the listening audience, though. When you respond to comments left on your blog, do you respond on your blog or do you find the commenter's blog and leave your response there. Or do you do both? What is the proper etiquette there? If I respond here, that assumes that the person commenting will be checking back to see if I responded. I check back, but that's because I tend to be desperate for attention and not everyone else is as desperate.

Felicia (one of the two people who left comments last time) wanted to know how to block a follower on Blogger. It's pretty easy, here's how you do it:

From your dashboard, click on the followers link on the upper right side of the screen. A list of your followers will pop up. Click on the person you want to end your following relationship with and you will get an option for "Block this user". Then I think you get a prompt asking if you're sure you want to delete the follower. Then "poof" they're gone! If only we could do that with people who annoy us in the real world. "Click" you can no longer follow me or make comments about my life (or try to manipulate me into doing things I don't want to do).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Spam Followers

I suppose someone with 53 followers shouldn't be too picky about who follows my blog, but I am.  I love my followers and appreciate everyone who takes the time to read what I've written. I enjoy reading comments and as soon as I get a little more blogger savvy, I may even respond to those comments! :)

But lately, I've been getting followers who don't really give a doo doo about what I have to say, or about art or anything I'm interested in. They are spam followers. I was tipped off when the avatar of one of my "followers" was some buff guy who was not wearing a shirt. Don't get me wrong, I certainly can appreciate a well-toned shirtless body. But personally, I like to choose when and who I look at. So I decided to remove him from my follower list (honestly, I suspect if I had followed his links far enough, there would have been some porn waiting for me. I don't want porn on my computer screen or anywhere else for that matter). Today, my latest "follower" must have been closely related to the last guy. He had a similar bod, but had some sort of cartoon character head (and similar spammy links).

At the risk of sounding like a prude, I really just want my blog to be about art and creative things. Things that are fairly joyful and innocent. So Mr. Hot Bod spam follower, why don't you go find someone else who might appreciate your avatar and mysterious links more than I do. I'm afraid your efforts are wasted on me and only make me want to punch you in the face!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We All Could Use A Good Challenge

It's easy to get stuck in a rut and keep doing the same old thing. That might be why I was feeling so frustrated and uninspired last weekend (I'm feeling much better now, by the way). Sometimes it's important to challenge yourself so that you can improve on whatever it is you like to do (writing, painting, cooking, etc).

In my mind, I keep telling myself that I need to go to school and take art classes but I can't afford to go to school right now. I probably wouldn't make a very good student anyway because I have too many other priorities. Technology, being as amazing as it is, offers some great alternatives. I'm taking a 3 week book binding workshop online called: Make Your Own Journal: for beginners. It's being taught by a woman named Leslie Herger of Comfortable Shoes Studio. [As an aside, you can still check out the workshop if you are interested. She's taking participants until January 22. Get more information here: http://artjournaling.ning.com/.]

I have seen a couple of Leslie's videos on Youtube and enjoy them. They are clear, provide a lot of useful information and she is not hung up on everything being pretty and perfect. I think when you aren't worried about perfection you can really crank out some nice art. Anyway, I like having the challenge of trying new things and seeing the techniques Leslie has to offer.

The only problem with the whole art-journal-making-thing is that now I have a new crafting obsession. Which as you know, I don't need. But hey, what the heck!

Here's a photo of my first hand made art journal cover. Collaged with some papers I've been hoarding:





I can hardly wait until we get this week's assignment. I think we're going to get to assemble our journals. I'll let you know how it goes. Until then, go create something! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Think I'm Onto Something

My wonderful husband took my kids away for awhile this weekend, so I could have time to myself. I love having time to myself. I had planned to do art all weekend so I'd have something new and interesting to sell at the artist's market next weekend. The problem is, I was absolutely uninspired to create anything. I hate it when that happens! How often do I get a big chunk of time when I can paint to my heart's content? Not very often. So I spent most of my time yesterday watching some of the 65 episodes of Law and Order I've been recording on DVR (and eating a bunch of crap I shouldn't eat).

Today I sat down to do some work and the same thing happened - nothing. Just all these feelings of dread and self doubt and being uninterested. So I decided to do a few other things. I took a shower, watched a movie, ate some dinner. Then I went back to my room to put a coat or two on some things I want to decorate. I made myself work for an hour, then I decided to do dishes. If I wasn't going to do art, then I may as well do something that will make me feel productive.

While I was doing dishes, an interesting thought occured to me: maybe the reason I'm not a very good house keeper (besides the fact that I don't really like housework) is because if all the housework is done, then I have no excuse not to do art. I keep telling myself that I can't do art because I have all this other stuff to do, but what if that's just a way to avoid the thing I think I really want to do?! Or, what if I don't even really want to do art, after telling myself for years that I do? Wow. Then I thought about how much fun I have when I do have an idea and get it out on paper. Or how much I enjoy talking with people about creativity. And who would I be if I didn't have this one thing that is all mine?

I joined an art journal challenge this month called A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. I'm really excited about doing this because I think it will help me learn things about journaling and inspire me to do some art. The first prompt is asking: what is it that keeps me from doing what I want to do? And all the things I think of, all the excuses I make - everything comes back to me. I'm the one who keeps me from doing the things I want to do. Isn't that interesting?

So, I guess I'd better learn to get out of my own way.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Uninspired - Sort Of

I think it's amazing that when I'm faced with a deadline, my brain (and heart) can not come up with anything to create. I signed up to be in a really cool artist's market on January 22nd (that's a mere 11 days away) and every time I sit down to make something for it, nothing happens. I just stare at all the junk in my craft cave, look at the walls, shuffle papers around, then decide to get a snack. That's it.

I know that about January 20th, I'll start freaking out because of all the things I need to do to get ready, and I'll have a bunch of ideas I want to work on, but I won't have time. It's just the way it goes. I had the same problem in college. I would wait until the night before the due date to start some major paper, I'd stay up all night smoking cigarettes and drinking tea (I'm a non-smoker now, but still occasionally drink tea). I'd write out my paper in long hand, then type it on a borrowed electric typewriter (this was before everyone had personal computers). I almost always managed to get the assignment in on time and get a good grade. It was ridiculous and I'd hoped to out grow it some day. Guess I'm still working on it!

I have managed to start a large drawing for someone I love. I can't reveal who it's for because it's a surprise and I don't want to it for the person if that person happens to read my blog. It's colored pencil with ink outlines. I'm not finished, I still have to add some details, but this is what it looks like now:






So far I'm pleased with it (except for the fact that when I posted it here, I can't get it to post horizontally-which is how it's supposed to be...goofy thing)! The drawing is 17" x 14".

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Biggest Fans



These are my kids - my biggest fans. They think my art is beautiful - all of it. They think I'm the best paper cutter in all the world, really great at coloring in the lines, and they are consistently impressed with most of the creative things I attempt. I know they are easily impressed and wouldn't be considered impartial, but I don't care. I love that they compliment me like I'm the best artist this side of heaven. They are the only ones who do this for me and I know it won't last forever. I'm going to take it in for as long as I can.

Who is your biggest fan? Who loves your work and isn't afraid to tell you about it?