Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting Ready for the Holidays

I am sure every family has holiday customs; ours is no different. One thing I always do is make pie, so it was a special treat this year to have the chance to make pie with my not-quite-two-year-old granddaughter. She was a natural!

I hope all of you had some time to spend with loved ones this past week. That is, after all, what this season is about for me. Now that Thanksgiving is over, my thoughts are turning to December, to winter, and to Christmas, and I begin my preparations.

I continue to be busy making new Magic Baby clothes for my etsy shop. I am having a special Cyber Monday sale, which I invite you to take advantage of. I have artwork, supplies and, of course, my special baby clothes in my shop. For the sale, take 10% off your purchase by using the Etsy Coupon Code at checkout: CyberMondayGAP10. Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Life of Thankfulness

This week the official holiday season begins. With the consumerization of our traditional American family get-together times, I have to mentally take a step back as I am reminded what these times are really about. For me, that means my family.
Since both of my parents died suddenly, nearly twenty years ago now, I have tried to embrace each day with a sense of thankfulness. Their untimely deaths taught me that life is fleeting, and that we can live assuming that there will be a tomorrow. This isn't depressing to me; it's envigorating, a reminder that I need to make "today" count for something.

This week, give it a try: stop wasting time worrying or engaging in activities that do not bring you joy. Focus your thoughts on those you love, and those who love you. Think about each thing you do, each conversation, each moment in the day. We all have choices at our disposal, and that choice may be as simple as reframing our thoughts in a positive way. I'm not suggesting a pollyanish approach to life. We all have real problems we are facing, and struggles to overcome. Still, we can bring love to each day by simply thinking about it. The human brain is miraculous!

So, for me, this week represents a time of focusing my energies on my family. I will be traveling a long distance to be with loved ones, dragging my sewing machine along so that I can fix curtains (a requested act of love.) I will be bringing handmade presents for a two year old granddaughter. I will be making homemade pie as a gesture of love, and joining in the FamJam, our family music time when guitars come out and all voices are welcome.

I wish all of you a week full of love and thankfulness. What will you be doing this week?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chemo Scarf tutorial

Just a quick update: Michelle at just sent a note that she shared my blog link on her blog. Michelle has created a wonderful tutorial for creating a chemo scarf, which I followed to create one for a friend's sister who is undergoing cancer treatment. What better way to say "I care"? Thanks for your great instructions, Michelle!
As you will see when you go to Michelle's blog, I created my scarf using vintage kimono silk and a purchased (and very soft) headband. Sorry I didn't have a better picture, but I wanted to get it in the mail : )
This is just one of many ways to send love!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Playing With Image Transfers

One of Gayle's collages incorporating image transfers
I taught a class this past week on using image transfers. I have loved playing with transferred images since I first discovered as a kid that the funny pages could be transferred onto silly putty! Back in high school and college art classes, we used lighter fluid on printed magazine pages to release the ink and put it onto another surface. I was hooked by the layering, and have spent the last 35 years exploring that process.

From sunprinting to transfer paper, the possibilities are endless. One technique I hadn't played with for awhile is disperse dye transfer. Disperse dyes, paints and crayons offer opportunities for endless playing and experimentation.

Over the next weeks I hope to show you many of the techniques I have loved over the years. Unfortunately, today, blogger is (once again) not cooperating with me as I try to add new images. Does anyone know what is going on with that?

Anyway, I invite you to stay tuned, ask question, share your own experiments using image transfer. Enjoy!

To create this collage, I drew with oil pastel on matboard, then added cyan prints and heat transfers on top.