Monday, July 28, 2014

my head was in the clouds

i had an awesome weekend learning from the great matt lively. he taught a workshop called "new ideas in painting and drawing" at the museum. it was quite difficult but it was a great lesson about how it's the process that matters, not the perfect masterpiece. at least i learned a lot about painting clouds. clouds seem to be a common aspect of many of his paintings/murals. not only did i get classroom lessons, i actually got to see him at work on a mural. it was one he'd done a while ago but someone vandalized it so he had to fix it and i had the opportunity to hang out, watch and learn! here's a picture of it from his instagram.

the painting i did with the clouds was passed to another student where he had us "collaborate" with each other and do whatever we wanted to it then give it back and work on it some more. not easy but great experience. my classmate added the whimsical golden squares and lines and it made me think of shooting stars so i added the flying pig to it because i really couldn't think of anything else to do :) the other one was an assignment that had a lot of "process" going on. it was frustrating, it was weird, it was a lot of getting out of your comfort zone. i didn't get to finish it, honestly i don't know what i would have done to it to finish, haha

well, i had a lot of fun. i know, i'm a nerd and yes, stuff like this is how i have fun :) i hope you all have a great week & hopefully i will have more "fun" to report later ^_^

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

the making of a zine

if you didn't figure it out already & i may have said this before, i like trying new things :) i recently discovered the art of making zines & decided to make one of my own tonight.

my daughters may be adults now but they need a little friendly reminder that mommy is not their maid. so i thought this would be something fun for me to do and i was right :) i was cutting, pasting, playing, doodling, using markers, washi tapes, and other gadgets. (tee hee, who's the adult here?)

there's a zine making workshop coming up in september that i'd like to take. apparently there is some sort of zine festival around here in october. how awesome would it be if i actually made some of these things to distribute and/or sell? i think it's a great concept and when i searched online i found some as simple as the one i just made and then some that are actually published like magazines with a barcode and everything. well, if only i could think of something to say but from what i can tell, i can say whatever i want in those things :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

learning as i go

baxter! oil on canvas panel

i am thinking about joining the daily paintworks group. i entered the pink baxter in their monthly contest. so exciting :)  there is some awesome competition. yeah, reality check, i have a long way to go. but i'm working on it now!

well, what had happen was.....
obviously painting daily is great practice. and i need all the practice i can get! 

lessons learned with today's painting session:
     1.  i don't think i can handle painting small
     2.  i don't have enough small brushes
     3.  i also don't like the super smooth panel
     4.  maybe hamsters are just not my thing
i almost gave up on this one. i struggled so much. i cleaned everything up. and as i stepped away from it, i saw where many improvements were needed. 
     5.  step back and look at it before you clean up
     6.  take pictures before you start making "improvements" 

at first i hated this one but at least it is recognizable as a hamster.  i'm just happy i actually spent some time painting today. it's just like anything else. the more prepared i am, the more confident i get. and i really love doing it so why not do something i love on a daily basis? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

i love to paint!

1st painting is oil on wood panel. 2nd one was done in oil on canvas.
my weekend was absolutely wonderful. i took a workshop i'd been wanting to do for over a year now. it's a dog portrait workshop offered by the vmfa. the instructor was matt lively and he is awesome.

i didn't know what to expect when we started. i showed up with only drawing materials. but you know what? i love to paint! i was reluctant to paint because it had been so long since i picked up my paint brushes. i don't understand why i have no confidence in my painting abilities. i received a lot of compliments on these but there are so many areas i want to "fix". i am afraid i will mess them up completely if i touch them again. they look really good from far away. when i look at them i am actually amazed at myself and say in steve urkel's voice "did i do that?" :)

so now i am starting to think that maybe i can start a business. i need a job. i love to paint. what's stopping me? i'm kind of excited just thinking about it! well, let's see what happens :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

too much time on my hands

it has been on my list of things to do for 2 months now. there are people i need to thank and a baby shower i missed. i don't usually hand write on the front of my cards but i felt frisky tonight. tee hee   
i used paper and scissors to cut out the elephant shape and put together a portrait of baxter, he really does have googly eyes sometimes :)  then i pulled out the scrapbooking paper and tried to put some things together. 

it's funny, tonight i was watching a movie, i thought about getting these cards made but instead i started cleaning. as i sprayed some windex i wondered why i was procrastinating. i don't understand why i do that to myself. i needed to spend time in my studio. it's fun. it makes me feel good. i love it! 

i have a lot on my mind these days. i have this opportunity now to really think about what is it i want to do with myself & my life. one of the reasons i moved 100 miles away was to jump start a change. i signed up to go back to school in the fall. i'm thinking of art classes again as well as one of those career switcher programs to become a school teacher. i would love to add "art teacher" to my resume :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

washi washi washi

a very good friend is in japan right now and she sent me some washi tape. i love the stuff but never know what to do with it. i also love twine by the way :) i found this project at kudos to all those who are crafty. i am not the perfectionist i used to be but whoa, this kind of work brought back memories of the old me. (tee hee) but i really need to work on my photography skills. (my inner critic still works full time!)

thank you sweet jadea for the surprise packages and letters. i am happy i spent time in my studio tonight. now i need to research some more washi ideas :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"inspiration exists...

but it has to find us working."
--- pablo picasso

this i know to be true. i signed up for a figure drawing course at the museum. i thought it would help bring back some skills i hadn't used in years & help find some of that inspiration. i think i mentioned it before. i have a problem. i tend to procrastinate & tell myself, i don't want to start because i know i will have to stop, and i don't want to stop, but i have to blah, blah blah. i need therapy, right? :)

well, drawing the figure is a lot of fun. i struggled a little in the first class. in the second class i guess with more practice, things were coming back to me. it's one of those "a ha" moments that i love so much! i was actually able to correct my vision, my "art vision" i guess i should call it, something i seem to have lost over the years. once i got going, i could see parts of the body & break it down into simple shapes & pay attention to the relationship in its surroundings. i went into that zone, that happy zone of right brain activity and i loved it!

i plan to take other workshops & classes, hoping to meet more creative type people & explore other mediums and techniques. i have plenty of art supplies, it's about time i use it all up!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

don't believe everything you think

i came across this note today and it made me think :) things we forget posts simple, meaningful messages on post it notes in random places. i try hard not to over think things. my brain likes to analyze too much. i also get too involved in the task at hand then i forget to notice life around me. like when i am walking to the store, i forget to look at the colors and patterns along the way. i forget to actually look at the people who pass me by. i forget to savor the wonderful smells from someone's grill or nearby restaurant. but when i do notice something awesome, i get so happy and then my analytical brain takes over and wonders why i can't do that all the time. i think up so many excuses not to do the things that make me happy, like drawing or painting. i get lazy when i really want to participate in something like riding my bike. it's getting old now. i recently moved from a very comfortable life to add some discomfort and get myself stirred up. maybe some therapy would have been a better option but oh well, too late now. tee hee so, i have photographed in my brain that post it note "don't believe everything you think" and i will refer to it every time i come up with one of my excuses or whenever i get discouraged about anything!

he sits up there often like a little boy with a lot on his mind


Sunday, April 20, 2014

new beginnings

farewell p town
i am going to miss this neighborhood

our last walk on the waterfront
so i took a leap of faith and moved about 100 miles away! i'd been in the same region for 40 years & i have never done anything like this before. things didn't work out with my job transfer so i even left knowing i would be unemployed.(i love being unemployed by the way)  it's funny how i decide to do this just when things were getting comfortable. i was great at my job. i loved my home and neighborhood. i enjoyed living alone with baxter. i enjoyed cooking for one. my living expenses were pretty much in control and not so bad. i started a new hobby, bike riding, &  i had just started with a riding group. i also had finally started doing local workshops & classes for artsy/crafty things. and then, like a magic poof, i left.

well, i moved into a house that is 94 years old! it needed a lot of cleaning, painting, and minor fix ups here and there. so i have been very busy.  i am enjoying this new adventure. it's funny how this move has forced me to realize many of the things i took for granted. i was content where i was but when i looked back on the year 2013, i noticed that i really didn't do much besides work. i don't want to live like that. this is going to be a great summer. i don't live 30 minutes from the beach anymore but when did i ever go to the beach anyway? there are so many places to see and things to do around here. right now i'm going to enjoy this "extended vacation" as i turn this place into my new home.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

every artist was once an amateur...

ralph waldo emerson said that and i think he knew what he was talking about :)

everyone knows i like taking these little workshops. i had the pleasure of meeting the couple who runs maple & belmont. they taught a hand lettering class the other night in a neat little shop called kitsch. and as usual, i was having a great time but the class ended so quickly!

it was awesome to see and hear about their process, how they work. it's refreshing to know that they actually work out their products. it's not always an instant success. i wrote my quote down and felt stuck. i didn't really know what to do or how to approach it. when she came by to assist, i could see a sparkle in her eye, corny as that sounds but she was able to visualize so much potential! i wish i could look at the words and see potential design. maybe i can, i know my biggest problem is that i do not practice and i don't take chances.

gifts, i love surprises!
a page from their sketchbook
my attempts, the blue writing was hers
another attempt, hmm
i have so many interests and so many things i want to do and learn. would it be better to focus on just one thing at a time or spend a set amount of time each day or each week on everything. this is just a small lists of the things i am currently interested in:
      * learn korean
      * paint and draw
      * hand lettering
      * hand made cards
      * photography
      * learn the cello
      * read!
      * exercise!
i know, if anyone else came to me whining like this my answer would be "just do it!"

well, hopefully, the winter is finally coming to an end and spring will be here with beautiful colors, fresh air, warm sunshine and inspiration :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

a day in the studio.....

last month i took another technique class with my friend, lisa freeman, who i call the stampin' up queen. she is pretty good at that stuff. i asked for help in making a cute thank you card for all of the people who made donations for my participation in the tour de cure. actually, lisa is the one who made the very first donation! she even loaned me the scrap paper, the stamps, and the ink pad! so tonight i finally got a chance to make those cards. 

i love making my own cards but as i sit in my studio and look at my empty easel my mind starts to wander. i am attracted to it but i always stop myself. i have ideas but my inner critique tells me not to bother because i don't really know what i am doing. i want to take more classes but how many classes can i take before i realize that i do know what i am doing? ugh, what's wrong with me? making cards is an easy clean up and cheap waste if i mess up. even in card making, like the baby shower one below, i tend to be safe and not really give it my all. and how can i be frugal when i have spent lots of $$$ on art supplies that are just sitting there collecting dust? 

one day, i keep telling myself, one day i will get organized & keep a routine. i can list the many excuses why i haven't started yet but i will spare you :) right now i am working on many changes, which for me are quite extreme. i will share them with you soon. at this moment i am very happy i spent time in my studio, my most favorite room of all ^_^
faux silk technique

this is what i found as i was preparing to make a card! i love when stuff like this happens!

my effort at making a baby shower card last month

getting ready to stamp my heart out

thank you lisa!

ah, the work has just begun but it's a lot of fun. i bet you can't tell which one lisa did for me but i can :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

do you wanna build a snowman.....

if you haven't seen it yet, disney's frozen is an awesome movie! ever since the snow came 2 nights ago the song from that movie (do you want to build a snowman) has been stuck in my head. anyway, there is something really peaceful in the air when it snows. winter is not one of my favorite seasons but i do love them. i am fortunate to live in an area where we somewhat experience all four seasons.

so i have been on house arrest for the past 2 days, i really don't like to drive on ice! i live in an old building (most buildings around here are at about 100 years old) and it sucks trying to keep the place heated but i'm fine as long as i stay closed up in one room.

baxter does not like to get wet. he wasn't really impressed by the snow either. we couldn't walk far before his little paws turned bright red. i always end up carrying him back home. and i never knew this before but walking through 6 or more inches of snow carrying a 20 pound dog is a great workout! 
i've been having fun in my kitchen too. i have been cooking random stuff and cleaned out my ice box. i also found things like those trader joe's cha siu bao (chinese style pork buns) in my freezer and had a yummy snack. i am about to go on another adventure and see what i can discover for tonight's dinner.

i really did want to make a snowman but my laziness and reluctance to get wet and frozen kept me inside :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

i did what?

American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure
i was invited to join a bike team and i said yes!

i really didn't think about it before i answered. it is for a great cause and i have a yearly new year's resolution to be more active and thought this would be a great way to achieve that goal. i think it's been almost 3 years since i've been on a bicycle. and when i took that ride it was only around one block! i am so out of shape. i've only committed to the 10 mile route. maybe after some weeks of riding i will decide to do the 35 mile one instead. who knows? anyway, it's for the american diabetes association TourdeCure. if you go to my web page you can make a donation, click here. any amount would be greatly appreciated! sorry, i have to try, right?  :)

one of my personal bad traits is the inability to make decisions. i was introduced to a guy who is passionate about the tour de cure and has done measurements to fit me for the perfect road bike. it is causing great anxiety because the lowest price i've heard so far is about $1700. and then i have to get a helmet, bike shorts, special bike shoes, and who knows what else. can you hear my complaining? that is personal bad trait #2, i know how to complain and make excuses! i have a very heavy beach cruiser but apparently it's not suitable for this kind of riding. (i didn't know that when i agreed to join). so i've wasted a lot of valuable time pondering over should i buy an expensive bike, should i really do this, should i, could i, would i, etc. did i ever mention how much i despise those words, should have, could have, or would have?

anyway, i am going to overcome my apprehensions. i remind myself that it is for a great cause. but i will not and cannot buy a bike that expensive! i am a registered nurse and personally know many people who have diabetes. i have treated and cared for many diabetics and unfortunately have witnessed many pass away due to complications. my mother was just diagnosed with being prediabetic, i think. she doesn't seem to understand the specifics but right now she is supposedly only watching her diet. i considered becoming a diabetic educator many times but have yet to make that final decision (refer to personal bad trait #1).

please send your good wishes and prayers that my clumsy, uncoordinated, out of shape body will not get injured, at least not too seriously ;)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

bah humbug?

stamping may not be my thing. it's messy. it is not for the perfectionist. ironically, i hand cut the letters, trying to go for a non perfectionist style since the card was so plain & simple, but the ink! the ink! everywhere! and i only stamped one thing! how does that happen? after one card, i gave up. it's ok. i only have one person in mind to send it to. (maybe, i'm still wondering if it's good enough)

i have been wanting to make this card for about 6 years now. sad, huh? but just like every holiday, the time goes so quickly, i never really got a chance to do it. so i found the snowflake rubber stamp in the dollar bin the other day and have been determined to try it ever since. i wanted to make the snowflake with my embossing powder, i had my heating gun ready. well, things don't always work out the way you want them to. i couldn't find the glittery powder! it's been so long since i've worked in my studio.but even just doing one card brought me so much joy!

it's kind of crazy thinking about technology. why send a card or call when i can text or email someone. and it seems the majority of people do not find this method impersonal at all. why call someone and ask them how they are doing when i can just login to facebook and voila! i see pictures and read updates. within a short period of time, i learn all about their current life. no need for that conversation anymore.

i used to take pride in my tradition of sending out christmas cards on the day after thanksgiving. each year my list grew and grew. i always wrote a personal message as well. for some reason, i became selfish. my disappointment grew and my gratitude decreased. my outgoing mail grew larger each year but my incoming mail got smaller. i also did not appreciate a simple signature on the card especially from those i hadn't talked to in a while. at one point, i felt many of the cards i received were just because i sent them one first. this is a terrible way of thinking and i am so very sorry (my perspective has changed by the way) but for a very long time i did not look forward to the holidays not just because of the card thing but i was tired of trying to please everyone. having to coordinate my schedule to accommodate my ex husband's family, my parents, and my brother with his apparent priority going to his wife's family. i selfishly got tired of buying gifts for others, carefully and thoughtfully selecting items for people who did not think the same for me. i would also buy gifts for others just so i didn't hurt their feelings when i gave gifts out to those who i actually wanted to give to. that need for being liked, accepted, blah blah blah, such a sad way to live. i used to tell myself that it was a good deed to give like i did. but in my heart it would hurt because they did not feel the same about me & again, the giving always outweighed the receiving. so every january, i would add up all of my receipts & ponder over the extra $1000+ i'd spent on others. sad, lonely and in debt. betcha didn't know i could be so narcissistic huh? so short story long.....i hated the holidays.

unfortunately, the holidays still don't excite me much. it's a work in progress. life during the holidays (actually all year long) is so much easier without the ex around. i can list all of the negative aspects about it, such as how horrible the traffic gets this time of year or how people become so rude & aggressive, and blah blah blah. but  today i finally bought a tree. my girls decorated it. i bought some presents & need to wrap them. i love love love wrapping presents by the way. i spent time in my studio and i made that card i have wanted to do for so long. i am spending a relaxing evening at home. i am appreciating many things right now instead of worrying about pleasing others or feeling like i am not turtlely enough for the turtle club.

next year i am going to disney world! it has been a dream of mine to go there for christmas and i plan to make it happen :)

thank you everyone and i hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

visiting the past

a coworker discovered today that i want to be an artist when i grow up. as we talked, i ended up showing off some of my old work. i entered this drawing of "george's shoes" (george was a classmate) into the 34th annual student art show  and it won the award for drawing!!!
it was done in pen & ink. when i first looked at it today, all i could see were my mistakes and then i remembered how much fun i had doing it! talk about going into the right brain mode. it was fascinating! what's crazy is that i did this in 2005. that seems like a long time ago. i can't really explain the emotion this visit into my past created...regret? sadness? disappointment? regret and disappointment in myself for not following through with that dream. sadness for being so close to something i wanted so badly and then letting it go so easily! but i realized i really like this piece and i am very proud of myself! and i know the dream is still there. i don't think it's too late yet ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

new york vacation

i really didn't want to come home and i have decided that i will take a vacation every 3 months. it is mandatory :) so i went to new york to attend a creative cursive writing workshop with one of my favorite bloggers: elvie studio. she is an amazing and talented woman!

my oldest daughter came with me and we stayed in manhatten. i had a great time!

day 1:
     *on the way to new york we had dinner at white castle in new jersey
     *checked in the hotel then got a salad from the fresh & co
     **received a 3 hr service in the middle of the night at a 24 hr spa in korea town (and it was awesome)

day 2:
     *watched the movie 12 years a slave at a loews/amc theatre in kips bay area
     *walked around k town then had lunch at seoul garden
     *did lots of walking
     **visited the MOMA
     *shopped at uni qlo
     *did more walking
     *ordered sandwiches from spreads & got dessert from pret a manger
     *ate & watched tv @ the hotel

day 3:
     **rode the subway by myself (spent extra 40 min cause i went the wrong way)
     **attended the workshop & had lunch at city diner on the upper west side
     *picked up some goodies from baked by melissa
     *with the help of a classmate, found my way back on the subway (thanks so much chi)
     *back to the hotel & rec'd surprise gifts from my daughter (she shopped & walked while i was away)
     *spent an hour online trying to find & decide on an italian restaurant
     **ate a fantabulous meal at trattoria
     *passed out (2 cosmos with dinner was probably too much, tee hee)

day 4:
     **walked back to k town, shopped and browsed then packed a lunch from the woorijip (awesome!)
     *picked up lunch from kyochon for my coworker/friend who graciously let us bum a ride to NY with him
                            (thanks so much darren!)
     *checked out of the hotel & ate our take out
     **walked to and around chelsea in search of banksy (ran out of time but did find one!)
     *got picked up by my friend & it was bye bye new york!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


another attempt at something new.
i attended an intro to zentangle class at the MOCA today. very interesting! i guess m.c. escher was already a pro at this stuff :)
supplies for class was provided in this cute little bag, i love surprises!

getting lost tangling :)

first tiles of all classmates

Saturday, October 5, 2013

meet my new baby!

isn't he cute ^__^

this was my first attempt at wheel thrown pottery. my friend bought a kids wheel almost 10 years ago and we decided to give it a try since i happen to have a lump of clay in my studio of stuff that never gets used :)

it really was a lot of fun and i'm looking forward to taking a class and using a big girl wheel. i was simply trying to make a small bowl. i discovered that i really have heavy hands. there were a lot of "ah-ha" moments as my friend directed my actions like feeling the difference the water made or lack of it, and how the position of my hands made a different shape in the clay (using palms vs. fingers), etc.

now i must wait patiently as it dries. i think i'm going to use it as a ring/jewelry cup for my friend the chef to put near her kitchen sink. i don't think she has one yet and her birthday is coming up :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

art on the vine

a friend bought a groupon to this class for us.
the owner/artist at takes photos and transfers the image to a canvas. she provides the acrylic paints and 2 hours of her space. it's a b.y.o.b. event too :)

those 2 hours went by at the speed of lightning! i really thought my picture would come out boring because i felt i was simply just coloring within the lines and it'd been about 10 years since i'd used acrylics. but before i knew it, i was adding ranges of values, trying to create chiaroscuro, i was changing the colors up a bit from the original photo source, etc. and then i realized it no longer mattered where the initial drawing came from. i kinda made it my own and i had so much fun! (and i didn't even bring the booze) tee hee

Thursday, July 25, 2013

another lovely stampin' up day

i spent the evening with a friend i call the "stampin' up queen"  she makes this stuff look so easy. if only i could buy everything in the catalog but i need to use the stuff i already own, right? i could have kept going on and on all night but unfortunately it's just an hour class. maybe one day i can talk her into a card making marathon, wouldn't that be awesome?  ^__^

i found the first card she ever made and she had a lot of the initial cards she made years ago. i thought they were cute and innocent. nothing fancy. she kept saying how much they sucked and how she was too embarrassed to give them to anyone. i laughed when i thought about it but i give away all of the cards i make and thought "should i be embarrassed too?". but then i said to myself, "heck no!" i make those cards with loving intentions, they mean a lot to me and i'm going to keep making them. i really enjoy it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

trying to awaken the child within

i seem to have a problem, i buy art supplies & stuff and never use them. for some reason i'm always attracted to those crayons every fall when all of the school supplies are displayed. i actually found 2 packs of the crayola 24s in my studio, never used of course.
i found that cute little book "32 ways to dress a piggy" in a store called franklin goose. (please don't mind the grease stain from the mary janes i added to the bag. by the way, i actually like bit-o-honey's better) anyway, all of those cute little books i have intimidate me. they are cute and "perfect" just the way they are, why would i make marks in them and mess them up? i feel the same way whenever i buy a neat notebook or cool composition book.
i am pleased with my little frogs, the pig's dress is really ugly and coloring the hello kitty was quite boring. i'm going to try again but maybe with pens instead. the crayons seemed different some how, probably not made the same as they were when i was little. i realized i probably need to be more adventurous and try something crazy with the boring hello kitty pages but i think i'm going to have fun with the doodle book   ^__^
i actually caught myself biting my lip as i colored. i think i even had my tongue sticking out the side at one point.

unfortunately, i'm one of those who "always" colors within the lines.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

meanwhile, back in the studio.....

i seem to go through these phases where time just passes me by and it seems to go in full speed. i was thinking of times where i felt my day was longer or more fulfilling. usually those are days where i don't go in to my "day job". doing creative projects, reading, writing, or spending time outside always made my days feel longer, more relaxed, and more productive.

it's been a long time since i've worked in my studio. first thing i did today, cleaned and organized it. then i completed a project i've wanted to do for months. a good friend of mine recently became a grandmother and i wanted to make a gift. she has a great sense of humor so i hope she likes them.

i had the bright idea of using puffy paint. i don't like puffy paint :) it's difficult to work with. everytime i thought i had a smooth and steady hand, a puff of air would burst out and mess things up. maybe that's why it's called "puffy" paint, tee hee. but i must be maturing because i did not get frustrated. i just continued and got it done. i'm not sure what they will look like when they are dry.

i'm sitting in my studio now, my favorite room of the place. i'm really happy right now. i love having all of the messy and colorful paint spots on my hands and fingers. now i'm just wondering what i should do in here next.....