Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Charity Wings Seaside Soirée 2012

Kat, Kristal, Elena, Trish, Cyndi, Robin, Cynthia, Nanci
Creating Outside the Book Club Friends
This was my 3rd annual Seaside Soirée and I can't believe how they just keep getting better.  Elena Lai Etcheverry and all the Charity Wings volunteers, Sarah Han, Sarah Nedtwig, Kam McCallan, Glenna Ruoff, Jesse Traller, Brooke Sharp, Lura Brown, Julie Wilcox and the Dudes completely outdid themselves.  It takes a lot of hard work to organize an event like this and these good people not only worked far beyond most people's capacity, but also went out of their way to be accommodating and supportive.  We were completely pampered, well fed, unbelievably inspired and constantly encouraged.  

Our home for the weekend.
Beautiful views from the Martin Johnson House at Scripps Oceanography Institution where we enjoyed Seaside Soiree.

Another gorgeous view from the deck of our beautiful location.

Our teachers are first-class artists, and they givingly armed us with many incredible techniques to put in our little bag of tricks. My love and heartfelt thanks go to you Cheryl Waters,  Jen Cushman, Danita, Jennifer Priest, and Michelle Cummings.  Each of you has a special gift of art to share, but also unique ways of teaching and encouraging.  Thanks for making my favorite part of this event so amazing, and for leaving me beyond inspired to step out of my box in my own creations.

Cheryl Waters' beautiful creation that was taught by Jen Cushman
Jennifer Priest taught us how to decorate these amazing dress forms. 

There are many more behind-the-scenes people like Robyn Olszowy who organized a fun swap, and others who volunteer their time to make gifts and auction items, and donate product.  I appreciate them because what they give of themselves truly creates some of the most special moments of the weekend, and that's what makes this retreat so unique. 

Darling name tags were made by Amy Gellar.
Danita taught us how to paint this cute mermaid.
Here is a wall of angel art and a few of the many auction items that were donated by artists from all over the country.

If that is enough, I think what really makes Seaside Soiree an over-the-top awesome event is the group of participants.  Everyone I have ever met at Seaside Soirée has been nice, gracious, and humble and this year was no exception.  The ladies were all lovely, helpful, and fun.  Of course, it starts at the top with our beautiful Elena Etcheverry.  She has a gift for attracting like-minded people who just seem to gel well together and go out of their way to encourage each other.  Seaside Soirée is her baby and she has nurtured it into something that I believe is unlike any other retreat.  I hope to continue to attend this event for years to come.

Friday, October 19, 2012

More About Brave Girl's Club

Alma, Cyndi, Gaye, Kat, Anne, Kathren and Alicia
What's more fun than getting together with a group of lovely, artistic friends.  I feel blessed to be part of this little Brave Girls Club.  We all chose to take the online, Melody Ross, Brave Girls Art School.  We rented a room on Sundays, for six weeks, at our local Michael's.  Then we created projects from the class.  It was fun, inspiring and fulfilling.  I think we all learned new techniques, stepped out of our box a little bit, and unconditionally bonded over creating art.

One of our classes included signs.  Again, totally out of my box, at first I was a little frustrated, but eventually I got the hang of it and had fun.

This sign reminds me that I am Happy!  
It's not that I don't know I'm happy, its just that the world around me gets crazy sometimes and I get sort of sucked into this "oh my gosh what am I going to do!" vortex.  

My sign reminds me that all really is great in my world.

Love this Day!  This reminds me to thank God for all my blessings.

I found these words at Michaels, and decided to switch them up a bit from the quote that everyone is familiar with, which is "Live Love Laugh".  This sign reminds me that if we Love with all our heart, and we Laugh often, we are Living the best possible life.

Another week at the Brave Girl Art School was about jewelry art, and words that have meaning to me.  Alma gave me a piece of a belt and I made this bracelet using chip art tools.  
The words "God's Grace" are important to me because everyone and everything I have in my life, I have by the very Grace of God.  Left to my own devices, I would have nothing.

This week, I believe we are working on scenes.  More about that later.

October Gypsy Book Club

In front, left to right, Kathren, Gaye, Kat, Cyndi, Denise
In back, Elena, Wendy, Robin, Alicia, Tricia, Peggy, Judy, Andrea, Cynthia, Alma

Happy Birthday Tricia!

Last week, Gypsy Book Club met at Stamping Details for the first time.
It was Tricia's Birthday and we celebrated with cupcakes and singing.  

We also enjoyed special guest, Andrea Currie, Craft Wars Winner.  

Andrea brought a make and take, which was a paper mache apple, covered with text book paper rosettes.  The end result was that it looked like a pumpkin with some style.  

As you can see, mine isn't quite finished, but I thought I'd add a face for now and pretend it has hair. 

Elena brought an adorable owl make and take.  I love this little guy!

The finale was an ATC swap.  Everyone in this group is an amazing artist.  These are some of the best Halloween ATC's I have ever received.

This is my ATC.  It was created with Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions products by Ranger.  Dylusions is my new favorite mixed media product.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Whew!  Been in a bit of a blog slump lately!  But enough about that already!

Here's a little something we all had an opportunity to make in Gypsy Book Club the other night.  

Our guest was Designer and Educator with Prima, Jamie Severtson Dougherty.  She brought us goodies and taught us how to create this cute little wall hanging...or, journal cover.  I made it into a wall hanging.   It says, 

"I will not allow anything to wilt me."  

I like it, and I like the very talented Jamie.
Go to her website and check out the gorgeous painting she donated to Charity Wings.

That particular quote came from the Brave Girls Art School.  It's a Brave Girl, Melody Ross, on-line class that I have been taking with some of my friends from Book Club.
Starting Funky Flowers Project
Maybe I should have stopped here!

Here's some pics of a few of our Brave Girls.

Kathren and Alicia

Alma and Gaye

Kat and Anne

Completed Funky Flowers

 We are learning how to be good to ourselves through art and words.  I struggled with the flower project.  Maybe I just went to far with it.  I think there was a point when I kind of liked it, but you know how we think more is better.  Hmmm!  I gave it to Cyndi, my book club friend, and she was happy with it, which in turn made me happy.  The pics are important for me because, I'm not usually this hard on myself with regard to art.  I need to remember.

This week we are going to make TRUTH signs. 

You can still sign up for Brave Girls Art School.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CHA Live with Elena from Charity Wings


Have you ever want to attend the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show, (CHA)?  Here’s an awesome opportunity for you to see everything live streaming right from your computer.  Or, you can watch it later as your schedule permits. Check it out here.


a-place-to-bark-animal-rescueLIVE from CHA is a Charity Wings' Fundraiser for A Place to Bark. Buying a raffle ticket gets you an insiders look into the CHA’s Summer Trade Show.


July 17 & 18th, 2012
10am - 6pm daily Chicago time

  • 45 LIVE online Manufacturer and Designer Interviews
  • Interactive Chat
  • 45 Giveaways each with a minimum $100 value
  • Recorded footage to watch whenever you like
  • All you need is an internet connection!

Find out more and purchase raffle tickets at Charity Wings here.

Check out this short video with Elena sharing a little more about this unbelievable event.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Art With the Doodle Girls

I get the opportunity to spend art time with my friends, Anne and Cynthia, once a month. 


This is Anne showing us her sweet card.


On this particular occasion, Anne and I had just gotten back from the Scrapbook Expo and we were so inspired to make cards.

We used a glitter paper that we made ourselves.  Lots of cutting involved, which is not really my thing, but I like the results.  These are mine!


And, these are Anne’s.  We both used them for Mother’s Day.  I think they are cute!


On this day, the three of us worked on a Maura Johnson inspired art journal page.  This is Anne’s.  I love her color choices.  I really enjoyed doing this as you can tell from an earlier post.


This one was made by Cynthia.  The night before, she spent several hours cutting butterflies out of magazines so we would have a nice selection.  I love her placement of the butterflies.  I also really like the way she anchored the girl to the page and to the text with the lines.  I’m going to remember that for my next girl.


What actually started the little gathering of the three of us was a Traci Bautista online workshop with Strathmore.  We met for five weeks in a row and created some very fun art. 

Traci teaches a fantastic art of doodling and I’ve been doodling on everything ever since.


Traci also suggested making doodle art for cards and ATC’s.

TB Week 3 (2)

And, finally, she taught us how to make a “Glam Girl,” which I loved.  Here's the beginning of the painting.

IMG_0310And here’s the completed project, where we actually painted the face right on top of the doodling.  This was so fun!


Another doodle page!


Another doodle page!  I really enjoy doing this!  It’s relaxing!


This is Anne’s doodle page that started out like this!  It looks like it could be finished…but no…


Now it’s finished and a gorgeous piece of art!

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Anne’s other piece started like this…


And, ended like this!  Awesome!

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Here is Anne’s Glam Girl.  Started like this…

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Here’s another step in Anne’s girl.


This is not the actual final painting, but rather this is a 1x1” magnet that was made from the final painting.  Pretty dang clever!

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This is the beginning of one of Cynthia’s doodle pages.

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Here’s more of the same page!

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Here’s another one of Cynthia’s pages.

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This is the beginning of Cynthia’s Glam Girl!  Love her!

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Here are some more of the pages that we created in different stages.

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This is Laurie’s Glam Girl.  Isn’t she gorgeous!  Love her hair!