Phoenix here I come!
I'm on my way to Creative Escape 2010 in Phoenix AZ!

I'll be teaching a workshop over two days to approx 600 or so attendees! It's going to be an exciting few days and hopefully I'll still have a voice at the end of it from all that talking!

I've only got a few workshops left for 2010. Click here to check my workshop listings!

I'll be tweeting from the road and back in the studio on Monday. See you next week!

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illustration friday: atmosphere
I wanted to work on my dollhouse project idea and blend that with Illustration Friday so here's my submission for this weeks illustration friday theme of "atmosphere"

I created two versions, first in color.....


Then in black and white...


the "atmosphere" of a piece really changes when you convert it to black and white :)

This is my first test of photographing my drawings in the Dollhouse along with 3-d elements. I am excited about it for a first try. I managed to light the fridge up using these lights. They are battery operated and you just twist the end and they light up. Twist the other way and they turn off. I want to try making a little lamp base + shade around this light. In any case it worked great for this picture and the cool lighting it gives off feels very much like fridge light.

I do need to get a better camera. this one is a Kodak 12 megapixel, I notice it's grainy when I zoom in on the image. Any suggestions for a camera? For my purposes a point and shoot would be preferred but with an image I could enlarge up to 11x14 or 16x20 if possible.

Happy Friday!

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new dollhouse project
I've had an idea that had been on the back burner for almost 2 years and finally I am acting on it. The idea is to create a dollhouse environment combining my little drawings along with miniatures, then photograph the scenes to develop a picture storybook. And if all goes as planned some stop motion animation too!

I have no idea how this will turn out but I am excited to have a project that will be purely experimental and just for me.

I searched for dollhouses on Craigslist hoping to find a used one. But there wasn't anything that fit what I had in mind. I'm still on the lookout for old dollhouse furniture that is 1/12 scale, so if you have some you don't want let me know!

After much searching I decided on this house from HomeDepot:

My dollhouse arrived today!

It said it on the package that it was easy to put together but I needed help... Maggie decided she would lend a paw!

Maggie dog helping with the dollhouse

Here it is all together!

Dollhouse is all put together!

and here's the inside:

Interior of dollhouse

I would like to figure out how to install electric so that I can add little lights. First I need to figure out how involved that is. But I'm ready to give a shot!

Working on putting the house together brought back many happy dollhouse memories and crafty projects of making miniature things. I forgot how much I love miniatures!

I remember my Barbie Dream House that I got when I was about 6. My Dad put it together which took hours and hours. I was so excited! I created my own fireplace for that house using a Jello box and covering it in tiny pebbles ( it was 1980 - stone fireplaces were all the rage). That Barbie Dream House inspired a lot of crafts!

About the same time we had a neighbor who had an old dollhouse that she wanted refurbished. My mom volunteered me and I worked away wallpapering, redoing the floors and having a blast!

Here's to my new project and for exploring creative ideas just for fun!

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the art of silliness
In an effort to work in more "just for me play time" I just signed up for Carla Sonheim's new online class called The Art of Silliness. for only $25 she'll guide you through artful creative exercises that you can do each day for a month! I can't wait! Click here to sign up and join me!


chemo care package
If you've been following me on Twitter or Facebook, I had mentioned that my Dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. He starts his treatment on Monday.

I had been wracking my brain what to send along as a care package for him. I looked online and nothing seemed fitting for his personality.

Then I got an idea! My Dad is a gazillion miler on more than a handful or airlines. Having worked in Hong Kong, Sydney, Brussels, and a billion more places all very far away.

I thought hmmmm "an 8 hour Chemo session in a La-Z-Boy would be similar to a transatlantic flight!"

So I whipped up a little tongue-in-cheek parody logo and Chemo Airlines was born!

I went to Target and got all the things one would find in a First Class amenity kit and a few more. Lotion, handwipes, tooth brush + tooth paste, slippers, eye mask, complimentary nuts, mouthwash, bag to put everything in ... then a DVD player and DVD for the "inflight movie"

I created labels for each item and covered up the original packaging with new Chemo Airlines labels. Here's a photo so you can see:


go here to see the photo in Flickr with notes on the items identifying them.

If you look on the right, you can also see a hat that I ironed on the logo using inkjet printable iron on sheets which I cut using a 1" circle punch.

I also included a luggage tag for the bag that says "I'm Flying Chemo Airlines"

To top it all off I altered a safety card that I found online and adjusted:


Although this care package won't make the treatment any easier at least we can have a little laugh and some fun. We're learning from our friend Sean, cancer doesn't like it when you have a laugh!

Here's to you Dad! Love you!!!

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the art girls guide to paris
I have been to Paris 3 times so far in my life, but I have never been with my friend Carmi.

When she goes to Paris she sees it in an entirely new way. Undiscovered jewelry stores, antique markets and little treasures that I never in a million years would have found on my own.

Well now you can have Carmi's guide to Paris and take her along with you on your next trip!

She self published a book on Blurb called The Art Girls Guide to Paris. If you are into art or anything arty you will want to check this book out!

A description of the book in Carmi's words:

"This is the guide book to Paris I wish someone had written for me ten years ago when I first started going to Paris. I have managed to learn more and more about Paris each time I visit. Like any grand city, it could take a life time. For those of you who have followed my travels to Paris on my blog I hope you will be happy to hear that I have pulled all my research and tips into this guidebook!

This book began as a quick email. The email turned into a memo. Then the memo turned into a blog series. All because ten to twelve times a year I get a message which always begins with "Hi Carmi, I know you go to Paris every year, do you have any recommendations for us?"

I think of going to Paris as a workshop. It is my opportunity to see new colours, new embellishments, new designs. This is what inspires me.

Friends and strangers write to me after my trips. They want to know where I stay, where I go, what I eat and most importantly where do I get all the great things I show off on my blog? I hope this book answers many of those questions!

I start this guide with an example of my typical eight day schedule, followed by a lot more detail of the places I visit."


Beware though! I read it, loved it, put it down, looked at Paul and said "when can we go to Paris?"

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Creative Layers Stamps tutorial
Here's another tutorial from CHA Summer using my new foam and clear stamps filmed by ScrapTime!


CHA Summer show - I'm back!
I am back from the CHA Summer Show! Here's a little peek!

First, a how-to video filmed by CraftTestDummy of me showing off my new stamps with Ranger

All set up for my class ....

All set up For class! #CHA

after a short struggle got the PowerPoint to display properly

Got the powerpoint to work! #CHA

My Mom's photo is on the new Natural Sticky Back Canvas packaging

Look Mom! You're on my packaging

Video from Live Teach Create of What's New at the Ranger booth

Lots of yummy paints out for demoing..
Demoing at the @rangerink booth

Me at the Ranger booth.... Suze gave me the white flower necklace. isn't it CUTE!

Don't miss this blog tutorial on Carmi's blog using my new stamps!

Always glad to be back home with Paul and the pets!
Mabel cat in pre-nap mode

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