Embroidery + Baby #sew #gift

It's been a while since I have received a baby announcement...

I was so excited to find one in my mail box the other day.. I perfected my blanket embroidery skills.. I'm really happy with how this turned out.

The owl is made "on the hoop".. so fun!

Found these affordable labels on Etsy.. Love that dot - dash stitch too!

The blanket is about 34 x 34" square.. with the baby's name in one corner and "Sweet Dreams" in the opposite corner. Sew your label and embroidering onto one side first, and then sew the two pieces of fabric together, right sides facing each other. Sewing minky is a little tricky.. I was very careful to use a lot of pins (about every inch) and to avoid puckering, I pinned two sides, stitched them up and then pinned the other sides using a long, straight stitch. I sewed on the slowest setting. The decorative top stitch was added after I turned the blanket inside out.

Holding Our Book Is Nice, but.... #mixedmedia #acrylic #art

Our book, Acrylic Solutions, mentions a whole bunch of techniques. In our workshops, you get to see us use them in real time! Look at all of this online workshop goodness:

Holiday weekend..that means big fat online workshop sale! Use the code DEALTEN and save $10 off every workshop we offer! You get handouts, great photography, excellent video.... BUT did you know you can come in and ask us questions about your art whenever you want AND for as long as you need to??? That's right! oh..I almost forgot... when you complete checkout? The material is emailed to you INSTANTLY. Boom.

Get in while the gettin's good! Click here to see the workshops.. and don't forget- DEALTEN will save you now through Monday! Happy holiday weekend!

Rain! (Rain Workshop Sale!!)

The last two days have brought a lot of rain to San Diego! Measurable, luscious rain drops.. we hardly ever see it. 

Cheers to falling asleep while listening to big fat rain drops... and to being cozy inside!

...and cheers to puppies who insist on drinking from puddles rather than their water dish..

Since we're indoors... why not make some art with us? This weekend only, save $10 off your purchase! Use the code SAVETEN at checkout! (I'm not a mathematician..but $10 off our classes makes most of them around $58... I assure you...you can't get a better online mixed media deal like this anywhere!)

Click here to see the workshop lineup. I hope to see you there!

Do Not Adjust Your Television Sets...

"Chewie" - 4 mos.

"Chewie" - 4 mos.

Around here, Chewie got his first haircut...

Before, After

Before, After

And we're learning new things every day. He's a really good dog. We're really lucky to have him here.. 

I shot a little video of our latest trick learning session... so fun. :)

Art Journal Review.... #mixedmedia

From my first art journal... 2007. Remember why I started doing this? I wanted to teach myself how to use acrylic paint. Journal was the affordable way to experiment. I was wrapping up my time with rubber stamps and card making..

In the same journal, I decided later on that I although I always purchase sugary collage materials (I'm a Sanrio Child), I didn't think they were a good fit into my art.. I started to experiment with image transfers.

Landscape format called me next... still hanging on to those sweet embellishments...but struggling to find my own voice. By this time, my "voice" was published in a few Art Journaling magazines by Stampington and Co.. that was fun.

Then making my own books... stencils were coming in to play a little more... spray paint too.. I think by this time, the embellishments were making an exit..and making things my own was my preferred method.

Painting the covers of some books.... pushing and pulling between finished fine art and quick page... Art eventually wins.

Still attracted to collage..and less enamored with paint...

And 2015 on the table. What's next? Stay tuned...

It's May Already! Here's a Weekend #mixedmedia Deal!

8 Great Paintings Online Mixed Media Super Workshop

Think about this for a second: I'm going to teach you how to make these EIGHT paintings.. I'm not going to give you any time limits.. I'm going to give you some really outstanding video with every lesson. I'm going to be around to help you within 24 hours every day... and you're going to learn a HUGE number of techniques in each painting..that you can mix and match and mix and repeat and skip or add and use forever in your art.... all for only $68?? Yah...usually...but this weekend only, I'm going to give you all that for $58!!!

Click here for more info. Use the code MAYDAY to save at checkout.

15 Minutes of Fame. Over-crafters Anonymous

It always starts the same way... get an idea. Think about purchasing the things for the idea.. talk yourself out of purchasing because you have every supply known to man...proceed with making the idea. Of course your expectation is set so high, you end up making things twice.. maybe 3 or 4 times even.

There is a severe addiction to Mine Craft here in our house.. if she is not playing it on any number of devices at one moment, she's talking about it. I decided that I would allow her to play the game in 15 minute increments... and she would get 10 of those sessions per week.  After we talked about it, we decided that this rule would apply to all device usage.. (I prefer outdoor activities... especially tennis.) So my intention with these official "tokens" was to give her an allotment every Sunday that she could use during the week. When she redeemed the token, I would use my day date stamp to stamp when she used it on the back.. like an old fashioned library card if you will..

Except I have not seen my day/date stamp in about 4 years... the hunt for it enabled me to find the bottle caps pictured below.

Ooohhh... I could make actual "tokens"! Which was my idea in the first place!

I love this idea better.. These will sit in a cute jar on her dresser.. and when she wants to "cash" one in, she can give it to the "banker" - Me.

Bottle caps with scrapbook paper.. Dymo label "15"'s and covered with a thick application of Diamond Glaze. (No affiliation with these products or vendors.)

42,837 Stitches Later #whydoidothis

embroidered dish towel 1.jpg

There was a request for donations from Kate's school... Kitchen themed.

I thought some embroidered dish towels would be a nice touch... but these were extremely labor intensive... and time consuming... so I gave up and bought an item at Target instead for the donation.

It is beautiful though..and I still have one more dish towel to embroider... I need to reign in my "doityourselfitis" and stay under control though..... too many things going.. does that ever happen to you too?

If you're looking to download patterns for your  machine to embroider...I find this website very good. Fair prices, great digitizing. No complaints.

Do Not Adjust Your Set #shih-tzu #supercute

Chewie - Age 4 months.

Chewie - Age 4 months.

We're learning and playing a lot over here....

Eye. On. The. Prize.

Eye. On. The. Prize.

It's very serious business, naturally.

You talkin' to me?

You talkin' to me?

Learning the personality differences between Ichiro and Chewie... For example, Chewie will only roll over to his left...while Ichiro always rolled over to the right. You know...just little things like that. 

Chewie is very shy around other dogs.. he's only been in school for 2 sessions though..and this week was much better than last week...still a ways to go..but we are encouraged.

Photo Storage Tip:

I learned a long time ago that it is important to save only those images that are worth saving. I recommend that you delete  unusable photos from your camera daily... saving only the images that you like and that you can work with. DELETE WHAT YOU DON'T NEED. Don't worry about it...you don't need 75 birthday party images...remember film? We were lucky to get 2-3 good shots and call it a day. It. O. K.

Try to download your images as you use the camera. I kind of get the shakes when people tell me their devices/memory cards are full.. I have a feeling I know what's going on in there. You can create a folder in your organization app of choice (I use Adobe Bridge) and dump the usable photos in there for later. When you have time, go into that folder, edit the photos you like best (again delete what you don't need) and then file them by month/date.

I usually name the edited files something to do with the actual subject or event.. so sorted them this way works for me.. I can search for "Chewie" or "April 2015" when I need to. 

Hope you're having fun too! See you soon..

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Now Open! #mixedmedia

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample

Did you hear? Chris Cozen and I have opened up a great new workshop!

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample.

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample.

It's our BEST video yet! We're both on camera, talking through all the paintings!

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample!

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample!

There are no time limits for class.... we always help everyone within 24 hours..HONEST!

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample!

Collage Fusion Online Workshop Class Sample!

Learn techniques to fuse collage into your art... make it a part of your paintings... not just an afterthought. Take a look at the promo video below:

Re-Stocking Art Cards #mixedmedia #printingplate #DIY

My favorite part about using a craft printing plate is to try to recreate prints that are as similar to my paintings as possible..  Sometimes I pull the same piece of paper 10 times...maybe more.. in order to create that old, layered look I love so much.

The craft printing plate also gives me permission to use colors that I don't normally use in my art... like fluorescent pink? Mama Mia...

Once the prints are dry, I like to cut out "sweet-spots" to use in various projects... today? Art cards. 

I always love to make cards on beautiful paper... so much better than store bought. Don't you think so? See some more cards that I have made here, here and here.

Looking for something? I've installed a "Search" box on the left sidebar.

Earth Day!

I've been waiting for 4 years for this view...

I've been waiting for 4 years for this view...

Four Years... I almost gave up.. I wish I was the Rose Whisperer, because I have no idea why this year these plants bloomed. This is the view from my kitchen window. It faces the neighbors on the west. Four years ago I planted these climbers... and I've waited a long time to see more than one bloom! We'll see if they continue to produce throughout the year. Fingers crossed!

This year, while reading the David Austin catalogue, I became a little obsessed with their photography.. the bokeh in the background.. I am in love.

This is a similar vantage point, with much more depth of field... which one do you like better?

I wish there was Smell-o-blog-vision.. you get the idea...

Happy Day, Earth.

Edit: Speaking of Depth of Field... here is a little tutorial I wrote on how to photograph your art.. Did you ever catch it? I'm a little bit proud that I shot all of the images in our book, "Acrylic Solutions".. (there were 1-3 shots taking of Chris at Northlight) but sad I am not given photography credit.

And so last week was a blur....

Ocean Front, 24x36" on stretched gallery canvas

Ocean Front, 24x36" on stretched gallery canvas

My beloved iMac took a dive last week.. Turns out the graphics card in my model had a recall.. so the repair was covered, but the machine spent a little vacation down at Apple store. It was a little depressing walking by the empty space where the computer sits in my office... I am really happy it's back home.

The San Diego Ballet is having their 25th annual fund raising auction on May 9th, and I was happy to be asked to donate a painting to them. I donated "Ocean Front". I really hope the painting does well for them...it has always been one of my favorites.. The lower portion has beautifully layered rust and blue colored texture.

Chewie is doing ok. He started his puppy classes yesterday.. He's very shy around other dogs.. which is bad because to a larger dog, a scaredy dog looks like prey rather than another play-mate. So we're working hard to introduce him to dogs. He's great with people.. maybe he actually is a "wookie". I'm not worried..it was only his first class of 12. His favorite toy this week? The ever popular ice cube.. good times.

It's hard to take time to paint these days.. I'm on patrol following Chewie pretty much all day. I need to carve out some time for something soon though, I am starting to get antsy.

Don't forget we have a great selection of Mixed Media Online workshops available... Layer Love v2.0 and Collage Fusion are open and ready with two instructors. You get immediate access when you register. Click here for more info.

2015 Roses are In!

All signs are pointing to a big crop this year...I am always really excited to see the first bloom. Time will tell what will happen this year... but as of right now, I can open the back yard to rose tours and weddings. ;)

I've got a lot of David Austin plants.. they are scented and visual knock-outs..but they don't last as long as the hybrid teas from the garden center when cut.. so this year I think I have a good mixture of both. Love love love these colors...

Puppy is doing well...smarter and smarter every day!

Total Neglect...and Wheel Spinning

I think this is where we left off.. I wrote these words almost exactly one year ago. Which was about the last time I wrote in this book.. It's funny.. I am looking back through my notes and I was really surprised, because I guess it has been going on for so long that I didn't notice... but I am really surprised that I am still thinking about the SAME things I was thinking about last year. Questions that I have been thinking about... things I want to do...

One major change that I have been thinking about that long, even though I forgot I have been thinking about it that long, is going down in the next week or so. Happily, I got that ball rolling out of the blue this week.. details later.. But the creativity... it's been almost totally replaced by tennis... Except I hurt my knee a couple of weeks ago..so I have been spending more time thinking and thinking.. and then there is that cute dog that came to live with us.....

Everyone is back at school and at work this morning.. so here I am. I can't put things off any longer... I've got to get busy. I do not like sitting idle...

Ever been stuck THIS long?

Our New Puppy....

Hooray! We decided that this boy would come live with us a few weeks ago...but we had some vacation scheduled, so we did not bring him home until Easter. What a whirlwind it has been!

"Chewbacca" aka, "Chewie" is so playful....has the most deliciously scented puppy breath and is.. let's face it... a wild animal essentially. He sure looks cute, but it's hard to forget that he doesn't really know what's going to go down with this person-dog relationship yet. He's 14 weeks old.

It seems that he is learning really fast though.. he's pretty much accustomed to the leash already and enjoys long walks around our block. He loves to be outside... a lot.

Spring Break is wrapping up on our end, so soon it will be Chewie and I at home.. I'm really happy he's here.

PS- he's a Shih Tzu, like Ichiro.. he'll grow up to be about 15 lbs we think.

It's Like Free HBO #mixedmedia #sale #DIY

In celebration of Spring Break (thank god!), we're having a SUPER sale on a handful of our famous Mixed Media Online workshops! I can't remember when we've priced them this low.. You have to check this one out..

These are not trial periods.. they are HUGE full-blown, professional instruction workshops! Each for only $55! Friends..I am seeing a lot of workshops come onto the market for $150-$200... not here....we've got a really amazing deal for you.

If you've been thinking about taking one of our workshops, NOW is the time. They won't be priced this low for long.. if you're looking to round out your collection of workshops, go for it this weekend. 

You're going to feel bad after eating all of that Easter candy.... this is a better treat. It's a mixed media diet. ;)

Class sample from 8 Great Paintings. 8 Paintings start to finish for $55? It's true!

Class sample from 8 Great Paintings. 8 Paintings start to finish for $55? It's true!

Class sample from the Texture Town online workshop. Now only $55!

Class sample from the Texture Town online workshop. Now only $55!

Class Sample from the Chaos and Calm online workshop.

Class Sample from the Chaos and Calm online workshop.

Class sample from the Mixed Media Vacation online workshop. On sale now!

Class sample from the Mixed Media Vacation online workshop. On sale now!

Class sample from the Mucho Metallics online mixed media workshop.

Class sample from the Mucho Metallics online mixed media workshop.

These are only ONE sample from each of the super sale workshops! Be sure to check out the complete listings to see more. We've got something for everyone. Click here for more info.

Happy Easter....happy Spring Break to everyone!

*Offer not valid on prior purchases. Expires Monday night, April 6, midnight pacific.