I think my family was a bit shocked to see me sitting at the jewelry bench Thursday evening, as I haven't made any new jewelry pieces since prepping for Market Days last December! As my last minute procrastination usually does, it kicked in this week with the Springtime Tallahassee Arts Jubilee looming April 6. You would probably laugh if you could see the disaster area that lies just outside the frame of this photo. I still haven't quite cleaned up from unpacking my Artful Journey supplies, and there are remnants are various projects EVERYWHERE, evidence of my easily distracted nature.
This week, I've made a couple books, found ways to use up the scraps on my book table, prepped two book covers, and completed a couple art journal pages. How this was helping me prep for Springtime, to which I'm only bringing my jewelry this year, has escaped me, but I'm sure there's a reason there somewhere. I just finished this bracelet this morning and have added it to the pile I started creating Thursday. I hope to have a few more bracelets and several new necklace pieces done by the time I hit the road next Friday!
I've been gradually working through this journal...very slowly gradually, that is! Are you as easily distracted as I am? I am so incredibly easily distracted, it's not even funny. Today, I had a goal to get my studio space cleaned up so I could get some new jewelry pieces photographed and maybe even move on to create a few new pieces I've had swirling around in my head for a while. Well, I unburied this journal in my mess and remembered that I'd completed a few more pages I hadn't share yet, so here I am! The studio is still a mess, though it's better than it was yesterday when I got distracted by using the scraps I had on my book table to make two little books, only one of which is finished, and of course, neither are photographed. See, I can even stay on track in one single blog post!
Anywho, I created this page shortly after a group of shelter staff and volunteers gathered at the shelter one early Saturday morning to film our version of the Harlem shake, dogs and cats included! I cut this dog image out of a magazine, but now that I've used my images in my journal I created at An Artful Journey this year, I've love to create a whole journal with my dog photos. Might be fun to include what I think they were thinking when I took their photo! Your can see our Harlem Shake video here. I'm in the cowboy hat and red boa, Benny's in the red shirt and green beanie cap, and the girls are up on top of the cat kennels shaking the dancing dogs and cats. We had fun!
Happy Monday! I realized that I'm always sharing photos of my shelter pups, but I haven't shared a picture of Isabelle with you in years. Here she is last week enjoying the sunset off the back deck. Remember this cute little puppy? Quite a change, huh? She'll be six this summer (and no, like most chocolate labs, she doesn't miss a meal).
We're on Spring Break this week so we hope to be doing a lot of playing! I'm sure we'll take Izzy and Molly to the beach at some point this week. The month of April for me is the craziest month I've had in quite some time, so I'll have to spend some of this week getting prepared. I have the Springtime Tallahassee Arts Jubilee April 6, our state Student Government Conference in Orlando April 11-14, One Spark April 17-21, and a wedding to photograph April 20 in the midst of One Spark. (Here's my One Spark project page all ready to roll.) The last weekend in April, I plan to do nothing but lay on the couch and veg all weekend. What are you up to this week?
Wow, what a crazy three weeks it's been! I wanted to finally share some of my work from An Artful Journey. Once I returned from the trip, I came home to a crisis at the shelter, so I was absorbed in helping get 15 dogs adopted or fostered or they were going to be put down. We've been working so hard to earn no-kill status each month that we just couldn't let those dogs be euthanized. Thankfully, we found a permanent or foster home for every one of them!
So between the jet lag from the trip, working for those dogs and just general craziness at the day job, it's taken me three weeks to finally get back to sharing some pictures with you. This class was definitely different my other An Artful Journal retreats. Instead of producing a larger body of work like I did the first two years, I came away this year with just one just five-spread art journal. But I learned a lot and still gained immeasurably from the experience.
Each journey I've taken with this retreat has taught me something different. The first year, going there not knowing a soul and as a complete newbie to mixed media, I made many new art friends and found a lot of confidence under the amazing and gentle guidance of DJ Pettitt. The next year, I totally fell in love with paper decoration and book making with the help of Albie Smith. This year, well, this year, I definitely affirmed some things about myself as well as learned a few new things from Orly Avineri.
I will admit, I struggled a bit with this class. And my struggles were tied to the fact that I am just not very good at following rules. It's funny, because one of the trainings I do on campus is True Colors, a personality inventory that we use extensively with our students (take a quick free version of it here). I'm an Orange. One of our qualities, for better or for worse, is that we don't always (actually, we very rarely) follow the rules. We are definitely out of the box thinkers who like to blaze our own trails. This is helpful in many situations, as we discover new ways of doing things because we aren't afraid to take a risk, and it can also hinder in other situations, as sometimes, well, you just have follow the rules. Orly and I had a long one-on-one talk about that, and I think we both learned a lot from each other about perspectives.
In addition to getting a little internal perspective, I also learned some fun new techniques from Orly. My favorite is the way she taught us to work with Tim Holtz Distress Inks and matte varnish. Wow! The mixture gave our pages a beautiful, cohesive finish that made our images just jump off the page. Unfortunately, I also discovered that I must be allergic to the matte varnish because I developed a terrible rash on my hands by Saturday that lasted a good week after we wrapped up. Gloves next time!
Orly also helped me see how fun it is to incorporate my own photographs into my journal pages. Duh. You would think that since I was a photographer before I was an art journaler that I would have figured that out on my own, huh. I want to work more with that, playing around with how actual photographs, rather than color copies, interact with different mediums and varnishes.
The thing that made this trip the most special was sharing it with Courtney. It was fun to see it all through her eyes, and I hope she gained as much from the experience as I think she did. You can see more pictures from my finished journal in this Flickr set. Thanks for sticking with me through my three-week absence!