Princess Florence and the Most Terrible of Terrible Tea Parties

Princess Florence picked a bad day for a tea party. Everything seemed to go wrong.

Bear got a boo-boo.

She cracked her tea pot.

Flies swarmed her cakes.

She forgot the forks.

Her tea spilled.

She fell in the mud and got her knees and dress dirty.

She tore her dress.

She got a bruise on her cheek.

Dolly’s leg broke.

The flowers were wilting.

And it started to rain.

…Some days are just like that.

*Inspired by the book by Judith Viorst, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Of Days Gone By

Yesterday, I spent the majority of my morning browsing through a local antique mall. This place is a gem and I love how it reeks of oldness. When you walk in, you get hit with subtle scents of old perfume, rust, moth balls, and old books. The combination is very soothing. I love antiquing. The simple joy of holding something in your hand that meant something to someone in years past is wonderfully fascinating. Lately, I’ve been going there not to find collectables, but to scavenge through old books, vintage sheet music and photographs for my mixed media art. Regardless of what I’m searching for, every time I go I find something unique from another time. Another life.

Things I found that I didn’t buy:

A poetry book published in 1779 for $125 – probably the oldest book I’ve ever found. It was locked in a case, the binding was damaged but still intact, and the pages were terribly tainted but still very legible. It obviously was taken very good care of as the condition was not terrible. I actually was tempted to buy this book. Why? This was published in the era of the Revolutionary War. Who had this book? Where did it come from? And how did it make its way to CA which wasn’t a state until 1850?

A periodical featuring Charlie Chaplin for $25.

A newspaper proclaiming the event of JFKs assassination.

Sheet Music of Nat King Cole.

A square bottle of Moonshine (still full) claiming to be from the prohibition.

An early 1900 German to English translation book. Probably brought over during the Hitler Era.

These things caught my eye out of the many things I went through. The journey of America in a few small, forsaken pieces of personal possessions…things that at the time they were published were probably not considered of great importance, but the eras they now represent all played a part in our history in some way.

Tucked away in one of the booths was a stash of old family photographs…all piled together haphazardly in a wooden basket. I spent a lot of my time going through this, as the photos of this particular family really struck me. I have no idea who these people are, but it’s clear they loved life.

A snap shot of young lady in front of a brick building. She’s not the most beautiful girl, but she obviously cared about the way she looked. I love the fact that she smiled. In so many old photos the people don’t smile…I don’t know why, but they don’t. But she is.

A relaxed photo of friends lounging on the grass…again, something you typically don’t find in old photos – an informal pose. They look college age to me…too close in age to be brothers and sister. Maybe cousins? Was this staged or spontaneous? Was this taken on a campus of a college or taken at a park? One girl and 3 guys…not too odd for friends these days, but back then?

And lastly, my favorite. Someone took a photo of this little girl and wrote on the back: “Elizabeth Ann, her bubble gum, and her cat she called “Blondie.” To me this represents the epitome of childhood. Not a care in the world. If it were my daughter I’d probably be telling her to put the cat down because “we don’t touch animals when we have things in our mouths.” I had to laugh out loud. It obviously wasn’t a concern.  And this reminded me not to take life so seriously.

Painting My Way Through Journaling

When I was little, I had a diary that I filled with Lisa Frank stickers. I don’t remember really writing in it, but I remember the bright stickers of rainbows, roses, unicorns and panda faces. I loved that thing. One day I discovered Lisa Frank GLITTER stickers (they were really holographic, but they were shimmery and beautiful). It was life changing. I was discovering my love for color. And then Punky Brewster began to air on TV and all I wanted was to wear rainbow clothes and pig tails with yellow bobbles. But my hair wasn’t long enough, and all my clothes were handy-me-downs from my sister. My sister wasn’t into rainbow clothes.

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. ~Pablo Picasso

Making time for art has become a priority in my life.  I think at some point everyone hits a certain place in their life where they come to a crossroads. You decide to either dwell in the past and on your “failures”, or learn from your experiences and choose to press forward. Someone once told me that everything that has happened in my life is because it was suppose to happen; where I am now is exactly where I am suppose to be; and where I choose to go from there is my decision.

Recently I’ve had to learn to embrace my limitations and work through them. I may not be able to run a business because of my health (I had a successful artisan business last year), but I’m not going to allow that to stifle my creativity. Through art I have been able to thrive, and it has brought me much peace.

I finished painting my tower journal page from Suzi’s Art Journal class this past week, and as I was finishing it, tears flooded my eyes. I know it may seem corny to cry over art, but each element in this painting represents something very specific, and the symbolism manifested itself intensely. Sometimes art is fun and uplifting…sometimes it’s deep and heavy. I think both are important as I am developing my skill…creating sentiment through my art, even if the sentiment is only for me. The depth allows me to find healing.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher

On Monday evening I followed an art-along that taught a background technique, so the following journal page was kind of done on a whim through the inspiration of that. It signifies a lady looking back on her youth remembering simpler times.

Ah, the simplicity of a toddler! I was watching my daughter today as she made herself an igloo out of a large cardboard box…the “egloo,” as she called it, looked more like a tent with blankets for a door, but she was perfectly content pretending she was an Eskimo. I thought it was kind of ironic that she was pretending to be an Eskimo when we live in the middle of the desert. I wonder if Eskimo kids ever pretend to play in sand huts. Not that we live in those here in Mohave.

Oranges, Mixed-Media Girls, and Fairies

I am orange challenged. Or so my hubby tells me. I love eating oranges, but I hate peeling them…when I peel an orange, it turns into a pulpy, mushy, mutilated mess. My hubby? Yes, every orange he has ever peeled in his life is perfect. I have orange issues. I’m accepting that. What does this have to do with art? Absolutely nothing.

On Thursday the USPS guy dropped off my Suzi Blu book, Mixed-Media Girls. I’m officially in love with my USPS guy…he’s old, has grey hair and looks like he’s in his 70’s, but I don’t care…he gives me beautiful things. OH MY GOODNESS this book is fabulous. The pictures are bright and detailed and the step-by-step techniques are amazing.

I want to live in this book it’s so beautiful…a mixed-media girl living in a magical painting. If you are a mixed-media artist…this is an AWESOME resource!

Yesterday I received my latest shipment of art supplies from Dick Blick…after waiting a week and half for them to get here (seemed like FOREVER). BUT, I’m not complaining, because it was worth the wait. I have my shiny new Prismacolor pencils all sharpened and ready to go, and I even made a few new notches in my fabric pencil holder I designed earlier this year.

I’m happy pappy and can’t wait to get going on my fairy faces from Suzi Blu’s Fairy class.

I’m currently learning how to sketch fairy bodies and thought I’d share. Sure, they are not perfect, but I’m okay with that. I’m learning things don’t have to be perfect when you’re sketching. Pencil is not permanent. The proportions of these may not be right, but I’m learning to embrace the process…the best lessons I’ve learned in sketching are from my own mistakes.

Coming soon – my first mixed-media Fairy painting! I can’t wait to get started! Stay tuned!

Take Two

So I started this blog in January…it’s now April and I have a whopping 1 post before this. Obviously, I’m not the greatest blogger. 🙂 I have the IDEA of a fantastic blog with beautiful pictures and inspiring posts…not for sure if this is in the stars for me, but I’m going to try this again. Take two.

I’m honestly still learning to balance it all…my family, my hobbies, my military life (which lately has been more then stressful), my art projects (which are very different then my hobbies), my facebook page, my friends, and now this blog. I wish I could say I had a wonderful, fantanstic reason for not posting…but I don’t. The week after I posted in January I ended up in an emergency facility with heart-stress symptoms…my heart is fine…I’m fine…it was just a stupid reaction I had to some supplements. My body is wierd like that and it took me about a month to recover. Since then I’ve buried myself in art seeking refuge in what I love to do…creating.

In January I stumbled across an article in a Somerset magazine about Suzi Blu and her Les Petite Academy…I signed up about the same time I wrote my last post and wasn’t able to really dive into the class I signed up for (Petite Dolls) because of my health. I knew I wanted to do mixed media, I just needed direction…and WOW did I get it! When I got to feeling better I immersed myself in practicing faces and Petite Dolls. Here is a finished painting I made:

Since then I’ve signed up for A Lovely Dream (art journal class), Portraits, and now her incredible Fairy class that started this month. I can’t get enough of Suzi’s techniques. BUT it’s more then techniques. I have found Les Petite to be a place of like minded artist that find healing through their art. It’s exactly what I needed.

Sancutary Art Journal Page:

For those who know Suzi, you know she is an amazingly unique talent. She is so unique in her teaching approach…she encourages people to not be perfectionist and shows us that through our imperfection beautiful art can manifest itself. She’s awesome…she’s real and she’s honest. It does not baffle me that her outreach is far and vast…she touches different cultures, countries, and ethnicities all over the world with her healing environment. She is bold, but she is passionate and sweet and spunky and hysterical…she has a way of reaching out to you when you are at your lowest and showing you that you are beautiful just the way you are…and that you can create beautiful things. She’s open and not afraid to admit to her own insecurities and in doing so people are drawn to her because she doesn’t pretend to be perfect. She doesn’t put on a facade. I think we see too many people around us “playing” the game of life…playing people…trying to get to the top…competing…backstabbing…using political agendas…criticizing…putting on a front…trying to “one up.” The drama is exhausting. I hate drama and I dislike people who cause it. But there’s something specially different about Suzi…she is none of these things AND she is successful…and I think it has a lot to do with her enriching quirky spirit. She is an original…there is absolutely nothing cliché about her. I love watching her…I love staying up until 2am watching portrait class videos and getting inspired. For me, I’m following Suzi…because right now Suzi makes me happy…but it’s even more than that. She puts a buzz in my soul that causes me to want to be exactly who I am. I am an artist…no matter if my medium is paint or fabric.

Thank you, Suzi, for featuring my journal design on your blog. It’s an honor to be one of your students.

Check out her workshops: