Wednesday, January 27, 2010

*8 Things Times 3 = 24 Things

Man, I have had such good intentions to post *8 Things every Thursday. But it has been three weeks since I last (and first) posted my initial *8 Things (and tomorrow is Thursday, which means week four!). So although *8 Things is intended to be posted every Thursday, maybe I should call mine *8 Things Every Now and Then.

So here goes with the down and dirty version . . . . three weeks ago Magpie Girl asked everyone to post *8 Things: To Stop Doing in 2010. Here's my eight:

1. Eating Peanut M&Ms
2. Procrastinating working out
3. Worrying about what other people think about me
4. Trying to keep my car clean
5. Eating in bed late at night, well, past 8 pm, anyway
6. Drinking lattes (too damn much sugar in them!)
7. Getting sidetracked from making art
8. Avoiding my visual journal

Two weeks ago Magpie Girl asked us to list *8 Things: Artists Who Inspire.

1. Judy Wise
2. Katie Kendrick
3. Destree Rudolph
4. Serena Barton
5. Shelby Koning
6. The Portland Art Collective (a whole group of talented artists!)
7. Tory Brokenshire of Copper Crow Studios
8. Mary Lou Zeek (and her awesome gallery and where I'll have a piece hanging in February - oh, did I say that out loud?)

And finally, last week we were to list *8 Things: Highly Handy Websites:

1. Amazon (I use this alot for research, not just ordering books!)
2. ArtChix (I love their collage sheets)
3. Brainy Quotes
4. Netflix
5. Howard Collins, Attorney at Law (okay, a shameless plug for my husband, but the website could come in handy if you live in the Pacific NW! )
6. Art Media
7. Lil' Gypsy (for all of your costume and vintage clothing needs)
8. Alley Art Studio (for when you're in need of taking a class!)

Whew. Now I am a little more in compliance! This was much harder than I thought it would be, but maybe if I only had eight to do at a time it wouldn't be such a daunting task!

Walking in This World: Discovering a Sense of Adventure

Last night was week four of my Walking in This World: The Practical Art of Creativity 10-week series. Each week we do a check-in with how everyone is feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Each of the ladies shares how they've been doing on their Morning Pages, Artist's Date, and a weekly walk. Occasionally we even talk about the chapter we've all just read. After our sharing time, and a break for tea and a snack, we switch gears and dive into a weekly creative project that I have prepared. Since our theme last night was adventure, I thought it would be fun if the ladies made themselves a fancy walking stick (they had been told in advance to bring a branch that could double as a walking stick). For the project, I brought out fibers, beads, bells, charms, copper wire, and even a bowl full of old earrings so their sticks could have a bit of flair. The process was fun to watch and their finished walking sticks were gorgeous!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inner Dreams: A Glimpse Into Making a Visual Journal

I offered a journal-making class on Saturday at Stampin' Cat Studio in Salem. I love how a pile of paper can become a beautiful, personalized work of art! Come along for a glimpse into my Saturday.

I learned this journal-making technique a few years ago from Diane Havnen-Smith in Portland. I've offered this class several times since then, but we always seem to run short on time, so this time around, I extended the class by an hour and gave us all a 30-minute lunch break. It did the trick: everyone returned from lunch refreshed and ready to do the tedious task of binding (aka sewing) with better concentration and energy. Here is a brief glimpse into how a journal is created. It was a magical time of creation and transformation.

The completed journals - breathtaking!

As I often do, I like to include some of the comments I receive from the participants (like I would share the negative comments!) . . .

Taking your classes is always a pleasure. I love the way my journal came out! Your instructions were clear and concise and made a complicated process easy to follow and understand -- even for someone with a tendency to be directionally challenged!

Perfectly timed, well explained, and thought out. One of my favorite masterpieces to date. I am so very happy.

Oh Dayna, My Dayna. Another fun day - I love your classes! You are the best.

Great class. Lots of patience and lots of help. Nice way of keeping some busy and not making others feel bad for not keeping up!

The whole class was wonderful. I liked the pacing - very comfortable. You were always there to help and coach. Your instructions were clear. You made the class fun and informative. . . . I'm looking forward to making another journal!

So there you have it - another successful class!

Orange Dream Monkeys

The tension was finally over: The Orange Dream Monkeys came together for their first meeting last Wednesday night. I wrote about my dream of having a group of women get together monthly to play in their visual journals in a blog post last December (click HERE if you want to read more about the formation of the group). My dream became reality last week. And I wasn't disappointed!

Since all of our meetings will be held in my studio, we're rotating the responsibilities of being a facilitator. The role of facilitator involves: arriving early to set up, bringing a few snacks, keeping everyone on track for our three hours together, and then staying a little late to help clean up. Well, Bobbie was our first facilitator (we're going alphabetically) and she arrived with SEVERAL BAGS of treats. Yes, plural. She had brought grapes, nuts, hummus (two kinds), crackers, chocolate covered pomegranates, strawberries, spicy mango bits, and pita chips. And she had brought cupcakes from Cupcake Jones in honor of Dawn K's birthday. We teased her that she had set the bar pretty high (and Candace is a little nervous about what to bring next month!).

Oh, and did I mention she brought party favors? She had a gift for each of us . . .

Here are the cupcakes from Cupcake Jones in Portland:

We eventually settled down enough to being playing in our pages. As I wrote in my earlier blog post: We decided that for our theme each month we would keep three jars stocked with one-word ideas, the categories being: Color, Concept, Noun. Each month we'll pick a piece of paper from each of the jars and that will be our theme, allowing us to focus on the color, the concept, the noun, or all three. The name of our group was born out of our three-jar plan; we are the Orange Dream Monkeys, which also happens to be the theme for our first meeting in January.

The pages:

We took time at the end of our meeting to sing Happy Birthday to Dawn K!

Then we drew slips of paper from our three jars so we'll know what our theme for February will be. Looks like we'll be focusing on an imaginary black bird!

PS The folding chairs I purchased for the studio are an off white and a little too pristine for my taste. I'd begun putting little marks on them, but at the end of our three hour visual journaling session I told the ladies to make their mark on a chair -- this is the beginning of some furniture art that I'll report on after each session!