Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Charmed I'm sure

So many charms! I seem to have found a love of making little silver charms. One of the local shops that sells my jewelry set up a "Charm Bar". Whitney, the owner of The Muse, set out bowls of brightly colored rice filled with charms. She also has a board with different types of chains available. It's really a fun idea, because you can mix and match the charms you like with a chain. Here is my bowl of Stacie Jewelry charms at The Muse.

I had a great time last week creating silver charms from precious metal clay. Here are a few that I have finished.

I had a few fun charm requests at the last trunk show I did. I had several requests for turtles, an elephant, and a bumble bee. I made the silver for those charms, just have to finish up with the antiquing and polishing. I'll share the finished charming animals when they are done.

The charms are great for necklaces, to add to bracelets or for anklets. They make a great end of the year teacher gift or a graduation gift. If you would like to see more charms and anklets, take a peek at my Etsy shop. I will be adding more charms over the next few weeks to get stocked up for the summer season.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sharing Treasury's

This week I have been catching up on paperwork, cleaning my studio among other exciting chores. So to reward myself, I sat down with my cup of coffee and created a few treasury's.
Magical Creatures

Wish upon a star
My silver bird charm was even featured in this sweet treasury.
Sweet, sweet songbird

Hope you enjoyed the treasury's today. Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Artist Playtime

Today was a great day. It started off with my daughter and I working (playing) on the Art of Silliness Class that I am taking with Carla Sonheim. She is the author of the wonderful book I mentioned in an earlier post. Well, the class is even more fun! There is a new worksheet to complete each day. The class is all about being silly in your artwork and I have to say we are being silly.

One worksheet the I found particularly entertaining involved drawing creatures from random squiggle lines. Here is the blank worksheet:
 Here is my interpretation of the meaning behind these squiggle lines:

 Here is my daughter's interpretation:
And here is my son's interpretation:
What a fun class! I highly recommend it just for the shear joy of laughing out loud. It's also really fun to check out what all of the other students in the class are creating by looking at the Flicker group photos.

So on to more fun and creativity today. I spent the day with my friend Allison painting, cutting, pasting, drawing and more! We decided to create journal pages using a Somerset Workshop called "Fruits of The Spirit: Lively Layers" from the May/June 2011 issue of Somerset Studio magazine.

It was really fun to do. I have to say it's one of the first projects that involved layering that actually looked layered when the page was complete. Here is my page:

In this last photo you can see one of the really cool techniques of using dye to color a paper towel, accordion folding it, and then sewing it to the page. Here is Allison's page:

I love how the colors Allison used are bold, but at the same time soft and muted. We used an old vintage French text book for the collage portion of the page.

Since I am an on line Ecourse junkie, I thought I'd show you my latest creation from 21 Secrets.  My daughter Madi and I spent mother's day together working on this class called Urban Layer Cake. The instructor's name is Tammy Garcia. Tammy has a great blog called Daisy Yellow a Vivid life with Kids. 

The class explained a process of painting over Fiber Paste using acrylic paints and a credit card. Here is my page:

I love the metallic acrylic paints. I used a embossing heat tool to create the bubbled up look.
Here is Madi's page:
You can really see the metallic paints on her page. She hasn't had the chance to write her words yet. Wonder what she will write? Maybe one of her quotes.

I hope that you enjoyed all of our Art playtime. Hope you find some of your own time to play!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Inspirational Art Quotes by Madi

I've always thought that my 9 year old daughter lived in a past life as an African Queen ruling the jungle and fighting off wild animals. She is definitely an old soul with a fighting passion in her. Here are the quotes that she wrote, hope you find them inspirational.

Don't worry if you can't absorb all of this inspirational thinking at once...I'm going to include one of her quotes at the end of each of my blog posts. Enjoy! and feel free to share her words!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Artist of the Month - Denice Barlow Brown

I just had to start today's post with this great Mixed Media collage by Denice. Once you get to know her, you'll know why. Before I begin to share Denice's amazing artwork, writing, and sewing talents with you, I must share her incredible family with you. I honestly can't believe Denice has time to get dressed everyday, let alone accomplish all she does. So without further ado here is her beautiful family...
Family photo by Jennifer Grigg
When I asked Denice, how she gets everything accomplished in her busy life here is what she said;

"I have nine kids who range in age from 22 years to 14 months, plus three awesome older step kids. We have so much fun together! There are so many days that I don't get through my To-Do list, that a thousand things get pushed to the back burner, but I think that's true for everybody. I try not to let perfectionism reign on the things that don't matter and focus on the things that do. Creativity is a huge part of our daily life. I home school my six youngest children, and we try to be pretty relaxed about it while also looking for learning in everything that we do. We try to keep it fun and appreciate the strengths of each member of the team, and it is very much a team thing. My older son is a history buff so it's easy for him to teach that to the younger kids. My daughter loves to cook so she often takes a turn in that role. Somehow it works out. As busy as it is -- and some days it really is! -- it is an awesome ride."

Denice and her lovely family live in Utah where she grew up. Here is what she said about living in Utah;

"I grew up in Utah, and it is a beautiful place to live! The geology is incredibly diverse here so we can go exploring for petroglyphs in red-rock country or spend an afternoon crawling through lava tubes from an ancient volcano or snowshoeing in the mountains and still be home in time for dinner. We are lucky enough live right near a beautiful canyon, so we are literally ten minutes from back country -- yet we still get  to enjoy good bookstores and Starbucks! ;)"
A place after my own heart, beautiful scenery, bookstores and Starbucks!  So now that you know a bit about Denice's family life, let's move on to her other creative side. A big first for Denice is the publishing of her very first children's book.
Denice not only wrote the story in the book, but also illustrated the book.  The illustrations in the book are done in pen and ink, then colored digitally. Denice said she really enjoyed working on the book and learned a great deal, especially about the intense amount of work that goes into a project of this size. Since her youngest is still 14 months old, she hasn't moved on to the next book yet. She does have ideas running around in her head and is anxious to get working on them.

Moonlight Message is a story about two young girls who really did exist, is historically accurate and is a great book for teaching personal responsibility to children. Denice was interviewed by Better Children's Books if you'd like to read more about her book and writing process.

If you'd like to purchase her book for your children or as a gift for someone else, you can find it on Amazon.

In addition to writing books, Denice is also a avid journaler. Here is what she has to say about her journaling:

"I am a dedicated journaler and I find I get pretty cranky without daily writing. I am also an avid filler-of-sketchbooks. My favorite medium is probably a good black pen (favorite: Micron Pigma .03) but I am also drawn to really bright color. Recently I have been moving through several series in different mediums, stretching myself to try new things. So the past few weeks I have done studies with design markers, watercolor, and Prismacolor pencils. My sketchbook is a place to experiment. I try to use it as a place to open up and try new ideas, and even more importantly, a place to practice the discipline of daily active creativity -- I have to keep myself creating in small doses or I will quite easily find that a busy week has slipped by without any time for my creative fix!"

Here is a glimpse at some of her journal pages.

I love the combination of soft and sharp lines that can be found in Denice's sketches. She seems to have a way of capturing the softness of an image or design and also the ability to bring in interesting details. Some of her drawings also have a Zentangle feel to them.

Another passion of Denice's is her sewing. Here is a photo of a beautiful quilt that she made for her son.
Denice made this quilt for her son a few years ago. It now resides in her son's college dorm room at the other end of the state. She said that creating the quilt was pure joy, loving every minute of it, from choosing the rich blues and greens with her son in mind, to piecing together each individually sized strip and then fitting squares in, one against another like a puzzle. She said that it came together organically without any kind of pattern. Denice said, "I rarely (if ever) work from a pattern and I love the process of taking bits of fabric and collecting them into a whole. I find it very much like painting and it is a joyful experience."

To learn more about Denice and her incredible journey as a mom, writer, seamstress and artist visit her blog Inkstitch. I hope that you have enjoyed getting to know Denice and her remarkable artwork. Thanks again for stopping by.