Monday, April 30, 2012

perfect schmerfic

I thought I was going to have a nice three day break from everyday mothering and such. I thought it would be relaxing.

I was wrong.

The PMC class was intense. The projects had to be perfect. Let's just all keep in mind that I don't do anything perfect. I detest perfect.  

I wanted to huck most of my projects out the window and make a dramatic exit after speaking my mind about the artistic value of imperfect.

But I passed.  And now I know a whole lot more than I ever wanted to know about precious metal clay and it's properties.  And I can go back to making things imperfect and flawed with a whole lot of character.

And there was the fire. I do enjoy working with torches. It's therapy really.  

AND I feel ready to get back to making jewelry.  Now I have more skills to make exactly what I dream up in my head.

If you want to take a class to learn how to get started with PMC, I'm your girl.  

Oh and the other exciting part is I bought a full sized kiln.  I've always wanted a kiln since I was little. It's just one of those things a girl like me needs.

Friday, April 27, 2012


To be totally honest, I'm ridiculously glad it's Friday.

It's been a long week. The babies have been very very busy. Rearranging. Destroying. General mayhem.

I haven't been as dedicated as I usually am to exercising every day. I've been weak on my healthy eating plan.

I have struggled to come up with creative ideas.

I feel funkish and out of sorts. So Friday is a good place to be.

And I'm headed off to a three day course to certify as a precious metal clay instructor.  I'm excited to play with silver again for a few days. Hopefully it will be just what I need to jump start my right brain again.

Have you ever played with PMC? It's a lot of fun. Maybe I'll add a PMC class to Prospector Workshops next time around.

Speaking of the workshops, we  are only a month away! Get registered. Don't wait.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

what a few old papers can do...

The Sugar Daddy had some wood left over from a project he had been working on so I asked him to cut me some squares.

I have been wanting to do this collage project for some time and I finally had the perfect canvas for it.

I'm a little bit of an ephemera nut. I mean I really like old paper.  I find fun stuff all over the place. I'm not above pulling old wrappers out of the trash or picking them up off the ground.  I also have a few sources I buy from that carry really great old items.

I have built up quite a collection and I wanted to share some with those of you who like this sort of stuff as well. It's great for ATC cards, scrap booking, canvas art and package embellishing.

Here are some ephemera elements for you to download and use in your art.

Download the JPG here.

Download the PNG here.

I have created more block collages and hopefully they will be available commercially soon.

I will try to scan and share some of my collection every now and then so check back often!

Monday, April 23, 2012


I love birds. And like almost everything about my personality, I believe I inherited this from my father.

As a boy my father raised show pigeons.  He took up this hobbie again in later years and he became known throughout the world as a champion bird breeder.

He has since decided that he would rather photograph wild birds than raise domesticed ones. He is an amazing photographer of wildlife.  He will sit in the cold for hours to get a good shot of an eagle or a hawk.

My father is also fiercey loyal. The day he married my mother, he became a man dedicated to a life of family goals and aspirations.

When a breeder or a researcher bands a bird, they put a small metal band around their ankle which gives information about who they are, when and where the bird was banded and a number to identify that specific bird.

The Sugar Daddy and I have been married almost twenty years. It will be nineteen years this June. Holy cow. Where did the time go?

Last week I went out to my workbench and made a band.

It states the name of the person who placed the band on my finger. The location and the date.

It felt good to be back at my workbench working with silver.

I had a helper. A grubby little imp who wants to see and do everything I do.

She's my girl. My Bird.  She wanted to be banded too.  Hers says "My Girl". This is what we call each other.

It feels good to be banded. I have a place. Every person should have a place where they belong. Where they are loved and excepted for who they are, faults and all.

Happy Monday. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

the workshops: letterpress

Ahhhhh. Letterpress.

For a person with papyrophilla (love of paper), it's the holy grail.  Ben and I bought our press a few years ago after taking a class in Los Angeles together.  It is one of the hobbies we share, and we have had a lot of fun figuring out the in and outs of our machine. We have a Challenge press which was probably manufactured in the 1950's.

Each student will get a set of Crane 100% cotton, 110lb flat cards and envelops. We are talking thick, gorgeous paper.  Here's an example of letterpress done on this paper:

Students will learn to mix their own ink color, properly ink a brayer and press their cards.

I have designed some plates for students to use to press their cards.  Here are the choices:

Okay! Who's in?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

me too

This piece was inspired by the art of Magic Jelly. We share a love of anything vintage.

I have this friend name Brene Brown. You might know of her. She's become pretty well known over the last few years.  She studies shame and vulnerability.  Sounds morbid, but she's not at all a morbid person. Quite the opposite.

Anyway, a few months back I had somebody leave a mean comment here on the blog and it really upset me. So I tweeted some vague thing about hating being so vulnerable and hurt. Brene sent me a direct message that basically just said she hates it too.

Earlier this week somebody left a nasty comment for Brene. Really mean stuff about her appearance that had nothing to do with the message she was giving.  It upset her. So I direct messaged her that, yeah, it sucks. It happens to me too.

Another really good friend sent me a text saying that her life has completely changed since she started connecting with other people through social media.  She lives in a very small town. She never realized there was a whole world of women out there struggling with the same stuff she struggles with.

Social media is a double edged sword. As you read this, I'm guessing there are other things you should be doing. Chores. It's easy to waste a lot of time online. Believe me, I have internet loafing down to a science. 

But I believe the good of having the internet out weighs the bad because of one big reason that tips the scales.


I live half my life in total fear of rejection.  I care. I wish I didn't. I wish I could blow off nasty comment and people who don't like me. (Bastards.) 

But I can't.  I care.

And it really helps me to know that other people are as scared as I am.  It helps to know that other mothers worry about not being what their kids need them to be. It helps to know that other artists hold their breath when they put their art out for other people to see.

I have met so many wonderful people through the internet. I have friends from all over the globe. That thought makes me so happy.  I have learned things I never would have discovered if I didn't connect via the world wide web.

For me, the real value in having this network of amazing people is that I constantly hear those precious words: me too.

I've learned to be very picky about what I expose myself to on the web. There are so many beautiful blogs out there, that look like the nuclear family living in a Pottery Barn catalog eating food made by Wolfgang Puck everyday.  I'm looking for authenticity.  I much prefer the blogs where the children are running around the  backyard in their diapers and the mom is still in her pajamas at two in the afternoon. Because, you see, this tells me that I'm not the only freak living in a world of normal people.  

This is not to say that I don't like pretty. I do. I try to surround myself with beauty. It's just that at my stage of life, beauty is peppered with dirty diapers and peanut butter on the bar stools. 

So today, I just want to say to you, me too.  I'm scared and vulnerable and half looney. It's not just you.

This is Brene talking about all this stuff in her second TED talk she did a few months ago.  She's says it so much better than I ever could.

I decided to bump the final workshop class post in order to write about this because it's been heavy on my mind. You can learn more about Prospector Artisan Letterpress class on Friday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

creatively made

I have a friend who designs and sells wonderful, classic clothing. I was her customer before we became friends.

Jeanne Oliver designs are prairie chic, girly, hardware vintage. That's what I call them anyway.  Jeanne has created a successful business around her creative dreams and now she is ready to share with others how she did it.

I'm helping Jeanne a little with this online class.  I am very interested in what she has to teach me. Maybe you are too.

Class starts this evening. You can register here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

cartolina and me

I've been waiting for sooooo long to finally shout this out to the world and today is the day!

I have been working with Fiona Richards of Cartolina Cards on the latest release of cards. Fiona is a delight to work with, and I feel very fortunate to call her my friend. She continues to teach me about industry, art and design. I look forward to making more art to be used on Cartolina cards.

In case you don't already have them, you must download both of the Cartolina iPhone apps.

I use Cartolina Postale all the time to send friends and family love notes. It's so easy to just do it from your phone while you are thinking about it.

Here is a look at the full collection, with the cards I contributed artwork to, and the ones Fiona created on her own. I love the colors and richness of the entire collection together.

You can purchase Cartolina cards in various shops all over the World or online, here and here.

Cartolina cards are eco-friendly!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the workshops: screen printing

Okay! So! Screen printing! Oh my yes. It's so much fun and satisfying. Once you learn the basic concepts, you can create all sorts of custom projects.

Jennifer Dreshler-Vu will be teaching this class. I met Jennifer when she moved to Carlsbad. She is an over-all very creative, artsy girl, but she is a master at design. Her aesthetic is very clean and graphic. Her work always reminds me that less is more.

Students are asked to bring a couple items to screen print. This can be a t-shirt, tea towel, apron, pillow sham, or just a piece of fabric. Smooth, natural fibers work best.  Jennifer will also have some blank items with her students can purchase.

Don't forget your aprons! We are going to be getting messy.

You can see some of Jennifer's items for sale here.

Monday, April 09, 2012


Well it seems I took a little impromptu blogging break last week.  Sometimes that happens. Life happens.

But let me just tell you a few things that are on my mind lately.

First, the Sugar Daddy and I have decided to try to eat mainly vegetarian meals. We aren't going totally  veggie. We still like a steak every now and then, but for many different reasons we want to cut out meat and eat a plant based diet.

This has proved very hard for meal planning! It is so much easier to come up with a menu when you start with a meat.   If any of you out there have a fabulous recipe that is vegetarian that you'd share with me, it would make me oh so happy. One thing though. It also has to be healthy. 

You see my problem? It's really hard to come up with healthy vegetarian options that my kids will eat.

Now, another thing.

The other day I watched as a boy said something mean to my Tommy Bean.  His eyes welled with tears and my heart cracked and broke into a million pieces. The boy that said the mean words isn't a bully. He's just a kid that was showing off.  But I started thinking about bullying and the new film that is out and the controversy surrounding it. I guess they have given the film an R rating because of language and people are up in arms about this because they want children to be able to see the movie to raise awareness about bullying.

Here's what I decided. I won't take my kid to see a movie with bad language, even if it does have a good message. I think those of us with younger kids need to do our own work in educating our kids about being cruel.  In fact, I think this is part of our obligation as parents. We don't need a film to teach these principals.

So when this boy said mean things to my son, I knelt down and looked him strait in the eyes (and fought back my own tears and anger) and told him to remember exactly how it felt and to try to never make anyone else feel that way.

Also, on Wednesday I'll be giving you the inside scoop on the screen printing class from Prospector Workshops. If you are thinking about coming, please get registered soon!

If you are coming from out of town for the workshops, please feel free to leave a message on the Facebook page if you are looking for someone to share lodging or car rentals.