Saturday, May 29

I'm making something

I've had this little project in my head ever since I made these little pretties

in her class at artfest in March.

I will show you when I finish.
soon. hopefully soon.

Wednesday, May 26

Creative Business Tips: Pretty Packages

I love a pretty package.
Especially when it's for me.
All wrapped up.

So when I read this post on Meylah I decided it was time to think about my packaging.
Here's what I came up with.

A hand written note is a nice touch.

After wandering around blogland I found so many beautiful ideas for packaging handmade products.
Here are some flickr groups with some fun ideas:
Nice Package
Etsy Packaging
Crafty Packages
Warning: This could consume the next 5 hours of your life.
It's so hard to stop wandering.

Oh, we had this little visitor in our backyard today.

I trimmed the grape vines and I didn't put them in the yard waste bins.
We were eating dinner inside when we saw him.
Booboo was had a huge smile. He kept saying, "Hi bunny. Hi bunny."

Saturday, May 22

The Big Day

Today was the big day: neighborhood garage sale day.
I've allowed myself to go garage saling once a year.
And today was the day.
remarkable self-restraint for a collector of treasures such as myself.

First I scored this box o' treasure for $1.00.
For everything I could fit in the box.
Here is what I fit in the box...

These cool record boxes full of Vinyl.
I want to use the boxes as my canvas, to create on
and the vinyl... for something wonderful.

Cool fabric to make something fabulous,
Playing cards for art making
and ATC making, which I will do one day.

A game of Scrabble for making those cute little Scrabble tile pendants.
I've been wanting to use a gameboard as a canvas, too.

A cool hanging clock for my studio.
Maybe I'll paint it all funky.
Maybe I'll leave it alone.

Sheet music and chinese books for art making...
Hardback classics with yellowy pages + canvas covers + old book smell.

And this white frame, the perfect size for making a little screen jewelry holder.

The potential in each little object just makes me want to rescue it.
It makes it so hard to let go or pass it by.

Next,I fished what I wished.
After reading this post and this post from two amazing artists that I met at Artfest
I really wanted my own ribbon organizer box.
This is what I found. $1.00
Could it be more perfect?

Here was the best purchase of the day...
a kitchen for the booboo.
I can already see it: black, white, + red, retro diner style.

Three hours & 20 bucks later I came home with
a silver minivan FULL of treasure.
pure booty.

I love sharing these finds with you, because I know you get it.

Thursday, May 20

I am where I am supposed to be

Limitations live only in our minds.
But if we use our imaginations,
our possibilities become limitless.
Jamie Paolinetti

The more I art
(as a verb, invented by Janne)
the more I realize that everything is possible.

Now I just have to figure out what I want.

I've been saying that over and over lately because
artfest kind of turned my world upside down.

i thought i knew what i wanted.

i thought i wanted to make my fortune doing what I love: making art.

But, when I got a little time and space to think about it at artfest...
i don't think that's what i want.

if i had a million dollars...

i would keep my job, part time.
i love my job.
i teach kindergarten 2-3 days a week with the best partner in the world.
i read and sing and paint and encourage and get hugs all day long.
and it's one of the most important jobs in the world.

and i feel about teaching kindergarten,
the way I feel about creating.
I feel like it's where i am supposed to be.
Like i was made for this.

plus it makes me shower
and iron my clothes
and feel like a real person some days.

In my search to find out what I want in my art explorations,
i have to start with what i don't want.
and i don't want what i thought i wanted...

when i consider trying to make a living creating art,
i think i could pursue it
if I put everything I had into it.
but honestly,
i don't want to work that hard.
i don't want to have to make art.
i don't want to have to travel.
i want to get paid for my time.
i don't want art to be another obligation,
but an outlet.

so now, maybe the answer lies in knowing what I don't want.

or maybe it's okay not toknow
just to wander
and linger
and explore.

So, what is it that you want out of this artful life?
Is it what you thought you wanted when you begna this adventure?
What have you learned.

I really want to know...

Tuesday, May 18

5 Easy Ways to Improve your Photos

If there's one thing I've learned about blogging it this:
Photographs are Everything.

I completely underestimated this reality
when I jumped into the blogging world.
But little by little, photo by photo.
Reading blog posts + practicing
I just now realized...
I've improved.
and learned a lot
along the way.



Let me preface this by saying...
I don't have a fancy SLR.
I have a little point & shoot.

I don't have any experience in photography.

I don't know how to use Photo Shop.
I got it for my birthday 3 years ago
and I've never taken the time to learn.

That said,
Here are my easy, amateur ways
to immediately improve your photos:

1. Natural lighting. natural lighting. natural lighting.
with the sun behind you.
um, this seems obvious to me now, but I really didn't get it until I saw the difference in my photos.
Natural Lighting
I didn't really need to edit this at all because the lighting was perfect.

This was taken at night with artificial lighting. You can see it's dark + yellowy. If it's the only picture I had, adjusting the brightness, contrast, and color tempurature to take out the yellow, would reallyhelp.

2. Take lots and lots and lots of photos.
Take at least 10 photos for every photo you post.
Pick the best + delete the rest.



3. Spend some quality time with your photo editor.
I just use simple, free Windows Photo Gallery.
Adjust the contrast + brightness + saturationfor huge improvements.
Edited Photo

Unedited Photo

4. Adjust the color tempurature.


5. Crop, crop, and crop some more.


Give yourself room to play each time you take photos.
Photo by photo.
I guarantee,
when you continue to play and learn
your photos will improve over time.
And try not to get overwhlemed
by the really amazing photos
on blogs out there.
It's easy to psyche yourself out...
but they started somewhere, too.

There are so many blogs with fabulous photos out there.
has posts & tips
and she knows what she's talking about.
she uses words like aperture and perspective
and her photos are breathtaking.

Paige's blog makes me cry every time.
every time I tell you.
If it's not the gorgeous pictures,
then it's the sweet, soul gutting copy.
oh and the music.
love her music.

my last favorite blog for the photos is misty mawn
if you haven't been there,
it's pure eye candy.
a sight to behold.

What are your favorite blogs for the photos?
What tips do you have?

Tuesday, May 11

You can't get what you want til you know what you want.

Arfest Revelation #63:
What do I want?

Me: In a perfect wolrd, like a dream world... what would your artful life look like?

Angel: Ummmmm... let me think about it. What about you?

Me: Let me think about it...

I'm still thinking about it.
I thought I knew.
But now I know that...
I don't know.

And I think that's big for me because it makes me give up control.
It makes me open to letting my art take me where it wants to go.
It makes me open to God's plans for me, which I know in my brain are so much better than my plans for myself, but my hands keep clinching my own plans so tightly that it's hard to remember.
It loosens my grip on this gift He's given me and allows room for Him to work.

Somewhere in the Bible(Like the way I quote scripture?)it says...
we wait with eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed...
and isn't that a way more fun way to live?
with eager expectation.
not knowing what God will do each day.

Oh, and it helps me stop this ridiculous striving.
enough already with the striving.
sheesh, you're killin' me.

just make art for art sake.
make art because it's your gift
and gifts are meant to be given away.
make art to make the world pretty.
make art to show the love of God.
make art to avoid folding the laundry.
make art to make yourself smile.

Anyone else struggle with striving instead of being?
or are all you guys past (passed?) that?

I have a secret to tell you.
Just you and only you.
Comments make me so happy.
Really, really happy.
Like when you get an email in your box that says "notification of payment received". that happy.
Like when you're new and alone with no one to eat lunch with
and then someone asks you to eat with them.
that happy.
That's what comments do for me.
And they're free.
I'm just sayin'.

These altered photos on wood were spontaneously inspired by the Port Townsend Coastline. It is so beautiful and so different then our coast line down here in San Diego. I loved the cold, windy, rocky, rugged coast with the pine trees everywhere. Beautiful, I tell you