Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide
if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding,
make even more art. --andy warhol

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I have to admit that this is the second time I have come here today to post an entry for my blog.  Where's the other entry, you ask?  Well, that's the thing.  Nothing happened.  I was uninspired and unwilling to write anything that wasn't at least in some way focused.  Now, I know that some people who have very successful blogs will tell you that they just blog about whatever is in their heads.  Good for them, but they're either (a) lying or (b) have way more interesting empy heads than I do because they still manage to come up with some pretty interesting stories from their supposed nothingness.  Let me assure you -- when I say I've got nothing -- I've got nothing.  Nothing anyone would want to read  -- nothing that I would want to write.  It would be hideous nothingness.  Not the fun/silly/interesting anyway nothingness that these other bloggers talk about.  So I ran away.  But, isn't it amazing how the smallest things can inspire you?  That's what happened to me so I'm back to share it with you before I dash upstairs to start trying to use my inspiration to actually create something vaguely artistic.

As you've seen, I've been all over the place lately with my art interests and today was no exception so I was checking out some of my favorite paper crafting spots and, voila!, I found inspiration.  I will tell you, though, that my primary inspiration came not from the blog itself, but when I opened up a new page to check out  some of the products that were used in a project that was demonstrated.  I love new products!  I'm a marketer's dream in that respect.  Just show me something new that does something I consider cool and I'm there, baby.  I'll be taking one of those and one of those and one of those, thankyouverymuch.  They will go into my collection of other way cool products that do way cool things whether I use them or not.  Today's cool inspirational products were Glubers and Goosebumps by Tsukineko.  (It really adds to the excitement when they have fun names, too, doesn't it?  Or is that just me?)  Anyway, look them up.  I think you'll agree that they are super cool.  Glubers are super huge glue dots that allow you to use them as a base to create flowers or rosettes and Goosebumps is a texturing spray that gives your canvas or paper a mottled and textured effect.  Now I'm sure to be on a wild goose chase looking for them to appear in a store near me.  Unfortunately, the downer part is that, although there are lots of us who are still immersed in scrapbooking, cardmaking, stamping, etc., we have very few local stores left who would be the ones who would carry these newer products fairly close to the time they are introduced.  We live in somewhat of an art supply wasteland because we are dependent on the big chain hobby stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels to find our supplies unless we order them online.  And while Hobby Lobby and Michaels may eventually get these really cool items, even the people who work in the stores themselves have no idea when they will arrive and the reality is that they will probably not get them (if they do) until they have been on the market for many months.  And I have to admit that I'm an instant gratification shopper and I will usually go without something rather than have to order it online.  Blech.  Online may be fun in some respects, but, for shopping, it bites.

Anyway, enough of the whining about our lack of local stores.  The point of this story is the inspiration!  So you go Google "Goosebumps" and "Glubers" and I'm going to get into my art space and make something!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Small successes are the best!

Isn't it funny how the smallest things can somehow give you the most satisfaction?!  As I work toward my goal of actually finishing all of the projects that I started last week at Stampaway, the most recent obstacle to get in my way was a felted heart charm that is to be attached to a very cool bracelet.  Two small pieces of red felt -- seed beeds -- it all looked and seemed so easy.  True, I'm not the most proficient felter in the world.  I really haven't felted much (if anything) at all, in fact.  But, hey, I've watched some felting videos and made a few felted books with my art club girls.  That was fun.  So I wasn't daunted by this little felted and beaded heart charm.  My first wave of success came when I successfully felted the two little red squares I had been given.  It was pretty easy and looked so good!  Now to just add the seed beeds.  That shouldn't be any problem, right?  I'm certainly no stranger to needle arts.  (Refer to my first blog entry with the litany of the many crafts I have explored throughout my life!)  What I may not have mentioned is my amazing ability to underestimate things.  So it really shouldn't have surprised me when I found myself ripping out the stitches from my perfect little red heart after only having attached a half dozen or so seed beeds that were about as crooked as they come.

And so it began.  My quest to find something to explain the mysteries of attaching seed beeds to felt in some sort of coherent fashion.  Again, not as easy as you might imagine.  Do you have any idea how many tutorials there are on the internet to explain how to make felt beads?  Apparently, I had imagined any felted projects onto which seed beeds were attached.  But every search I tried turned up dozens of videos and articles about making felted beads.  After a couple of hours, believe me, I was tempted to give in and just abandon my felted heart and just make a felted bead to attach instead!  But I persevered and finally stumbled on something that made some sense to me and headed to my art room to try it out.  Woohooo!  I cannot tell you the sense of success I felt when I ended up with exactly what I had been trying to accomplish.  Check it out below.

Isn't it pretty?!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Collage Specimen Box - Finished!

Check it out!  I spent the afternoon playing with all of the elements that I received in Lovely Linda's Collage Specimen Box class at Stampaway and, voila, I ended up the afternoon with a finished box!  I'm thrilled since I may have mentioned that I'm a bit prone to come home with unfinished projects that I never get around to actually completing.  But today I broke that pattern and I have a wonderful whimsical collaged specimen box that I love.  Here -- let me show you:

Don't you just love it?

The houses are Tim Holtz dies that are embellished with rubber stamps and a variety of other pieces that were in our kits in the class.  I especially like the shingled pink roof that started out as sheets of music, but which were highlighted with a fun new product called Inka-Gold that Linda introduced us to in the workshop.

As I worked on this piece, I had tons of other ideas that I can't wait to try.  I'll keep you posted as I keep playing with these fun boxes!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stampaway 2011

Well, kids, I'm back from what I like to think of as my annual art pilgrimage to Stampaway in Cincinnati and all I can say is, "Wow!  What a time I had!"  We hit town late on Thursday morning and I headed to the first of five workshops that I was registered to attend.  Literally, I arrived one hour before my first class was to begin and, once I left my room to head downstairs to that first class, I don't think I stopped going for the next three days!

My first class was with Linda Crofton aka Lovely Linda who I secretly believe is actually my alter-ego in some form or fashion.  What can I say about Linda?  She makes fabulous projects and one of the reasons I love her the most is because she uses all the bright colors that appeal to the kindergartener in me.  We made a collage using Tim Holtz diecuts inside specimen boxes that were totally messy and whimsical which, of course, means they were great fun even though I uncharacteristically brought ONLY the suggested stamp pads to her class which meant that I was soon having to beg to borrow extra colors from my tablemates!  But that's what makes these classes fun anyway -- getting to know others at your table and sharing not only supplies, but ideas.  I was at a great table with a group of super creative women who made were on their way to making some pretty fabulous collages.  Now, what Linda knows about me is that I never finish a project in class so my box is still in pieces and waiting for me to jump back in and finish it (hopefully, before next year).  What Linda may not know is how determined I am not to let this particular project (or any of the projects from this year) languish the way they have in the past so I'll be getting to it either today or tomorrow.  Gil and I also had the chance to spend a little time outside of class with Linda and her friend, Sharon, which doesn't always happen due to the crazy schedules that everyone is on, but this year it worked out that we could have a little time to visit.  Bonus!  It turns out that Linda may be considering putting on another of her awesome retreats this year in North Carolina and, if she does, I'm sure hoping I get to attend!

Another really good, but intense, workshop that I attended was with Joni Russell of Artful Illusions.  Oh my gosh!  How many people did I hear talking about how worn out they were after her class?!  Honey, we were on our knees.  But no one was complaining....we loved it all.  In years past, it has been books or wire wrapping classes that I've taken with Joni, but she has become as fascinated with making jewelry and has clearly thrown herself into it with abandon so this year it was so much more than wrapping wire.  This time we were making our own elaborate charms to go on a found item charm necklace.  This may not sound like much if you aren't a jewelry person, but it is and her class was a whirlwind of activity.  We cut and punched metal, wrapped wire, dapped, filed and glued to our hearts' content, and, through it all, we were stopping to watch demos put on by Joni, her daughter and her husband in which they showed us how to etch copper and drill glass.  As usual, Joni outdid herself with the work that she put into her class and it showed.  I came home with not only the kit from the class that we attended, but the additional two kits to make up an entire sampler necklace, as Joni referred to it since it covered an entire range of techniques.

Aside from collaging inside specimen boxes and making jewelry, I made three different styles of books -- one of which was made to fit inside a really cool little box that was dreamed up by Gaye Medbury.  What can I say?  She comes up with some of the most interesting projects and her style is funky and cool, yet elegant.  I can tell I'm going to be making tons of these little books in boxes.  I've already come home and finished the one I started in class and am in the middle of making another one!  You can see from the photos below why I'm on idea overload with all the variations on this particular project.  I love it!

 Okay, now you see why I'm so inspired by this little gem, don't you?

Aside from attending some truly inspirational workshops, I think I made more new friends this year than ever before and was also able to catch up with several others who I never get to see in person.  It was awesome.

So now I'm home and inspired and ready to work.  I'd write more, but we did so much during the entire weekend that I'm just honestly out of steam, so I'm headed off to make some art!  But, never fear, I'll catch you up on all the other way cool details shortly. 

Later taters!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Interesting-Net

I started out to write this morning about the excitement I am feeling about heading to Cincinnati tomorrow for what I call my annual art sabbatical.  But, as so often happens with me and the internet, I was derailed by the unexpected, but interesting.

As I searched for my ever elusive blog (yes, I lose my blog) on Google this morning my search led me to a call for art by a group here in Nashville that is known as the Music City Sisters.  Since I am really interested in anything artistic that is going on right here in my own neck of the woods and this was a call for alphabet art (which I find particularly enticing given that I am a letter person myself), I cruised on over to the website to check it out.  I was also interested in the group itself.  Their logo is the image of what appears to be a winking nun and the call for artwork specified that the reason for the exhibition was to promote LGBT artists.  I was pretty sure this was not a group affiliated with the church, but, hey, you never know and I had recently heard a report on NPR of how many younger girls are deciding to join convents in Nashville so who knew if this might be a new kind of mission for the group of young progressive nuns that had been highlighted in that story?  After digging around on their website, it turned out that I was right.

Apparently, the Music City Sisters is a group that is affiliated with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence which, as it turns out, is a group started in California in the 1970s, but that now has spawned other 'orders' across the United States.  Their mission (according to their website) is to promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and serve the community.  Here in Nashville (where this order was officially formed in August, 2010), they are hosting a juried exhibition for alphabet art as a way to fulfill their mission.  How interesting is that?  I love it and I hope they have a great response (although I do see that the deadline for submissions has been extended which normally means that they have not had as good a response as they had hoped).  But I have already contacted one of my daughter's childhood friends who I think might love this group and I have plans to contact a couple of others who are artists themselves and might actually be interested and able to meet the deadline.  Hopefully, I'll post an update following the actual exhibition if it actually happens (which I hope it does).  In the meantime, you should check out the Music City Sisters website (  They look like a fun group to have here in the Music City.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hi, my name is Stampchick and I'm a career crafter.

How well do you know yourself?  I thought I knew myself pretty well, but I did not think of myself as a "crafter".   "I'm new to crafting," is actually what I generally think.    But, although it shocks me to think of it, I have been creating some type of  art with rubber stamps for over twenty years now.  In fact, I often consider that rubber stamping is what started me on a creative life.  But I woke up this morning in a new world (as often happens with me, I have to admit) and something made me start to reminisce about all the different crafts I have explored during my life.  Let's see.  There was my latch hook rug phase.  That was fun.  Embroidery.  Then there was tole painting.  What else?  Oh, yes.  That huge cross-stitch phase I went through.  (I've got tons of stuff that I actually finished during that one.)  Calligraphy.  Stencil art.  And along came rubber stamping.  That one has been massive and has lots of branches -- collage; bookmaking; working with wax; shrink art; assemblage art -- I know the list goes on, but I simply can't remember or categorize it all.  And now it has led me to another huge one which is jewelry making.

Hand in hand with this idea of being a "new" crafter, I tend to think of myself as a perpetual student.  Maybe it's because I have explored so many different types of crafting.  Or maybe it's just because I'm so darn humble.  Either way, I've decided to stop being so quiet about it and start sharing what I'm doing through a blog.  It may be a new technique.  It may be a new spin on an old technique.  It may be a new craft altogether.  Or maybe I'll just share about something cool in the art world that I have discovered.  Either way, it should be fun.
I just can't get over that I have never consider myself a crafter when, in fact, it has been who I am all along.  Go figure.