Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Creative Block. Eeeekkkksss!

Yup. This hasn't happened to me in a very long time. Creative block, go away and never come back! I've been so aching to just be able to have some time to myself and create something, anything. And when I finally had the opportunity, I was stumped. I felt so much pressure. Ok. I now have and hour. Go. Make something! Then I got stuck. I just couldn't find it. So, instead I cleaned up down there, moved a few things around, and called my kidlets down to let them paint and create instead. They had a blast, and I had a blast watching them. Phew, the pressure was off. I'd let them create for me (I will be using their paintings in one of my next projects though, more on that in another post).

Problem is, I have so many products I want to use; techniques to play with; that I didn't quite know which one to start first, so my brain got all confused, and being the Aquarian that I am, I couldn't make a firm decision on what I wanted to do; a journal page, a scrap page, a mixed media something; play with my sewing machine; finish that stitched butterfly and use it on a project??????? I couldn't decide, so I just let it all be.

Then I went on line and found this, by Mary Ann Moss and was totally inspired. I have so many scraps, and bits and all kinds of fabric, and what a great way to declutter and get rid of 'stuff' in an awesome, useful, super crafty way. And I love how Mary Ann calls some of her work, guerilla art. Very cool stuff.

So, now that I've got my mojo back, I'm off to search out all the beautiful little bits to use in this new journal (journey) of mine.

Happy New Year everyone!

Francesca

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

The sights, smells, and activities of our Christmas 2009.
Our usual traditional food; card playing; eating and drinking; and of course opening presents at midnight.
Thank goodness for sisters-in-law who know how to cook, otherwise, we may have had to order out for Christmas!! No joke! The house smelled so yummy. The women in the kitchen cooking up a storm. The guys playing poker. The kids running, playing, and enjoying the chaos. And seeing family we hadn't seen for a while. It was all good.
There was no stress. No troubles. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to do but enjoy eachothers company, and watch our kids have a blast.
Oh, man, what I would do for some more of that breaded shrimp, and rice balls.. soo yumm.
My best present this year: a pair of handmade knit slippers from Helen's mother
Other best gifts: Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison, and Stencil 101 and Stencil 101 Decor by Ed Roth

More later...
still trying to get 30, 000, 000000, 0000 more loads of laundy done!!!!
Then off to bake some Angel Food Cake with Elisa's Easy Bake Oven. I'm more excited than she is.
Francesca

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas to me from me!

New hair cut. Check.
Mondo Beyondo Course. Check.
Drawing and Painting Portratis, with Misty Mawn. Check.
Subscription to Studio Calico kits. Check.

These are just a few things to get me going in the new year. A move towards developing and recreating me.

I'm so ecstatic to be taking this on-line course with Misty Mawn. She's just such an awesome artist, and I just adore her work. Adore. Did I say I adore her work. Take a look at this, and this, and this and this. I wanted to take her courses at Artfest but a few things prevented me from attening: 1) money 2) time 3) and it was completely booked. So, this is my opportunity to learn from her in the comfort of my own home. I'm not sure of my drawing, painting skills, but I sure as hell am going to give it a try. Who knows where this experience may lead. And although I may not be good at this (or I may learn that I am good at it), I'm sure I'll walk away with all kinds of tips and techniques, and useful information to carry forward to other projects. All learning is good learning and NEVER a wasted experience. Soo soo excited. Thanks Misty!!

And I finally took the plunge and subscribed to Studio Calico. O how I've loved these kits forever. I really don't know what took me so long to subscribe. So, I finally did. Can't wait to start creating with these babies. And one day, I WILL make the Studio Calico Design Team (just thinking positively here. smile).

Still haven't had any time to create anything. I'm going CRAZY. CRAZY I tell you.

Tonight. I must create tonight. I WILL lock myself in my studio and create (again thinking positively here. smile again).

If there are any other exciting new courses out, please do share. I'm allllll about learning this year...

Love to all,
Francesca

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hair 2010

Hair.

I've never, ever really been a fan of hair and hairstyles. I have had long hair forever. FOREVER. I'm sure I was born with long hair. I remember my mom used to always put my hair in a big fat braid. I remember every morning, she would get up very early to go to work and be gone before we left for school. But before she'd leave she'd wake me up at 6:00am, make me get up to braid my hair, and then I'd go back to sleep until 7:30am to get up and get ready for school. I wouldn't have to do anything with my long locks 'cause she had already done it for me. Imagine.

I think it's this that set a very bad precedent for me. It's no wonder I don't have the patience to fuss with my hair. I used to use the excuse that I had two small kids and no time, but that just doesn't cut it anymore (no pun intended)! Pure laziness.

So, my point is, I'm sick of long hair, I'm tired of straight hair. I've had this itch to go short. I mean REALLY short for a very long time. But never really had the courage to to actually do it. This is my year to finally let go of fear. I'm just gonna do it. Here it is folks. I've searched high and lo for a short hair cut and I always come back to this same image of Pink (who is of course ultra cool, love her):

Ain't it great?

But will it suit me? Will I like it on me? But it's only hair, right?

Hmm, maybe I need the nose ring too as an extra accessory! Ok, pushing it. I'll settle for those awesome sunglasses though.. laugh.
Now here is my 2nd alternative. I love this cut. Although not as short or as daring as I'm hoping to go. However, perhaps it'll be an easier transition for me to then go ultra-short if I start here:

And, um, yeah, I like the blonde too! Hmm, I've given myself the next two weeks to decide and take the plunge. No more procrastinating. New avatar here I come.

Laughing at my (crazy ass) self...

Francesca

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mondo Beyondo Journal

This is me. 38 year old me. Today, with all my perfect imperfections, I look out the window and wonder what the new year has in store for me. I look forward with bright eyes, and a hopeful heart, and an open mind to what is yet to come. I've honoured the year 2009 and bid it adieu. I've made peace with what I wasn't happy with, and rejoice in all the good that happened. I look forward to a new year, a new start, and more time and opportunities to dream, and to bring dreams to fruition.



As the new year comes, my head is afloat and bursting with ideas and dreams, and things that I want to do; places I want to go; people I want to meet; and so many fears I want to deflate. Mondo Beyondo, here I come.


I'm getting more and more excited about this. And I believe there is going to be a lot of journaling and introspection in this course. To be prepared and inspired to write I've created a journal for myself. I had some pages left over from a previous course and decided to use those, and further embellished. This is what I'll be using this:






Thanks to Andrea Scher, here is my completion ritual for 2009:


1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2009?

For giving myself the opportunity to spend two full years with my children and watch them grow. For becoming a better mom, a more relaxed mom and learning and still learning to just enjoy the every moment. For having the courage to make the decision to go back to my career. It's made me a better mom. For taking the plunge into art and not being afraid to show it off. For the courage to finally call myself an artist. There I've said it. I'm a scrapbooker, mixed-media artist.

2. What is there to grieve about 2009?
Although I rejoice in going back to work, I grieve being the SAHM. It's a conundrum. What I have one I miss the other. There's no middle ground for me. I have to find more of a balance between the two. Part-time work? Financially, not possible.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?
I've had a good year. A learning experience. I am thankful for 2009, and yet excited to see it go, and for the start of a fresh new year.

I declare 2009 complete!

As I stand up, I proclaim 2010 my year of :

1) Artistic Growth: of growing and expanding my artistic knowledge in breadth and scope; of attending Artfest and Journalfest and any other 'fest' I can get my hands on!!

2) Deconstruct and Reconstruct ME: finding ME again. I want to find me again. I somehow lost myself in 'mommydom'. My sister said to me the other day, "go fix that hair and buy yourself some new clothes". And indeed, she's right. I want to find me again. Back to my funky shoes, and eclectic wear. No more of these 'mommy' clothes re: khakis and tshirts. No offence to mom's, but what I mean is no longer just running out the door not giving a heck about what I look like and getting rid of the attitude and excuse of "I have two kids I don't have time for me". No more shirts with stains on them, no more ponytails; but a new and improved 'me'. One that's happy to take photos of myself; of looking forward to getting dressed up in the morning and liking what I see in the mirror. Ya know what I mean?

This is the year of ME.

Francesca

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Project 52, Challenge #5

So here are my two sets of four ATC's using transparencies and the theme 'life, light and bright'.

Challenge 5 – ATCs (4 minimum, series/not, traditional size, foldable extensions?)
Challenge Group 1 – Life &/or Death (funky and dark, light and bright, etc…)
* Required material – Transparencies (part/whole, printed/painted/inked, etc…)

Supplies used:

Transparency: Hambly, 7 Gypsey's
PP: assorted pp from scrap drawer
Bling: Heidi Swapp jumbo crystal brad
Wings: ArtCHIX Studio
Heart: Heidi Swapp chipboard
Alphas: Making Memories
Arcylic Paint: golden titanium white; golden teal
Butterflies: Heidi Swapp
Writing: black faber castell - fine
Staz-On: inking edges
ATC paper: cut from Fabriano cold pressed watercolour paper
Liquitex gel medium


Tip to recreating this project:
Glue random pieces of scrap paer to completely cover the ATC, splash on some white paint, and when that dries splash on some teal paint. When that dries, add on your embellishments. So fun, so easy and so wonderfully pretty. Hope you enjoy this challenge as much as I did!

















For the next set of ATC's:

supplies used: transparency - hambly and fancy pants design (the green one)beads/baubles/pearls - jewellery bits1" circle punchjump ringswire









Tip to recreating these: simply cut down the transparency to standard ATC size, punch out a 1" circle at the top, and adhere beads. Wrap around ribbon two time and tie. Adhere words.

OFFICIAL RULES for GIVEAWAY

The winner of this challenge will receive a $20 Gift Card to shop like a Bad Girl in the Bad Girl Shoppe! Be sure to leave a blog comment here , on the Project 52 site, first!Three Rules to Follow:

Follow the challenge guidelines exactly

Post your project in the specific "Project 52" gallery with the title "Challenge #5 ATC's" before December 19 Midnight Pacific Time (see time converter)

Link your layout to the Challenge #5 Thread in the Project 52 forum
Challenge 5 – ATCs (4 minimum, series/not, traditional size, foldable extensions)
Theme – Life &/or Death (funky and dark, light and bright, etc…)
Required material – Transparencies (part/whole, printed/painted/inked, etc…)

If you haven't yet tried making ATC's, you MUST. This was really my first attempt at ATC's and now I'm totally addicted. Kay, off to make some more, and can't wait to see what you guys post on the Project 52 gallery.
love to all,
Francesca

Happily Ever After

Well. Here it is. My first. Painting. Collage. Err, yeah.


I love the work of Kelly Rae Roberts and was so inspired by her book Taking Flight, that I just had to attempt one of her tutorials. So, here she is, in all her glory. The collage part was fun and came easily, but the face! Well, that took some work. This is on 12" x 12" canvas board.
Although, I did love working on the hair part. I used Goldens: naples yellow, raw burnt umber, and bronze for added umph! Yes, a girl needs to have sparkly, bronzed hair!!

All in all, for my first attempt, I'm liking it. I may give it another try. Now what do I do with her??? is the question. I create all these things, but now what to do with it. Hmm.


Tomorrow is the Project 52 Challenge #5 Reveal. Don't forget to check it out. Lots of artful eye candy to see, and learn. Woohoo, see you then.

Here's to an art-ful Sunday!

Francesca

Friday, December 4, 2009

One Proud Mom

Yesterday night was Xavier's parent/teacher interview. I can't tell you how happy and proud Dom and I walked out of that classroom. Xavier got a glowing report from his teacher. I was also so happy with his teachers enthusiasm about Xavier's progress and showed us all kinds of samples of his work, from spelling books to drawings. It was great. It was the first time I felt like his teacher was truly involved and takes notice of all the little and big changes happening to her students. It was a nice change from the last two teachers. So, apparently Xavier really enjoys math, and is now practically jumping out of his chair to participate and answer questions. How happy was I? Conquering grade 1, next, the nobel peace prize.. heehee

Xavier and his yearly photo with Santa who visited his school for the day! How nice was that, that Santa took the day to do this out of his very busy schedule? smile.

Have a beautiful day,

Francesca