Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oops...forgot to post some pictures of MDS-created memory book!

On Monday, I mentioned the memory book I did for my friend's mom.  I love how it came out and everything was laid out using Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software.  As the letters and photos came in, I put together in one of our designer templates -- took the guess work out of matching colors!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vacation Envy--When's Mine?

Last week, a lot of people I know were out on a "fall break" vacation.  I'm seeing pictures of Disney, cruises, staycations, all sorts of trips and plans and fun.  In college, we did not get a fall break week!  I have to admit, I am tired and would love a good relaxing vacation.  But as a college student, I don't have any time until semester break and that is in December!

Here's my typical 7-Day week
Monday - wake at 6am, take care of the dogs, check email personal, log onto work network, work, work, work, shower sometime in between calls, log off at 5pm, drive to school, class 6:30 - 9:15pm, come home, finish home work for Tues Class, go to bed.
Tuesday -- wake at 6am, take care of the dogs, check email personal, log onto work network, work, work, shower sometime in between calls, log off at 2pm, drive to school, class at 3:30 - 6:15, come home, cook dinner (or get dinner), work, finish homework for Wed Class, go to bed.
Wednesday -- wake at 6am, take care of the dogs, check email personal, log onto work network, work, work, work, shower sometime in between calls, log off at 5pm, drive to school, class 6:30 - 9:15, come home, finish home work for Thursday Class, go to bed.
Thursday -- wake at 6am, take care of the dogs, check email personal, log onto work network, work, work, shower sometime in between calls, log off at 2pm, drive to school, class at 3:30 - 6:15, come home, cook or get dinner, work, go to bed
Friday -- wake at 6am, take care of the dogs, check email personal, log onto work network, work, work, work, shower in between calls, possible dinner and movie with friends, or dinner with my friend w/cancer, or total mental shutdown and somewhat comatose state of mind, or pressure to watch one of the 96 shows on my DVR that I think one day I will have time to watch.
Saturday -- wake at 6am (are you seeing a pattern here?), take care of the dogs, check email personal, catch up on Stampin' Up projects, workshops, etc, homework, drive to school and the art studio, spend countless hours there finishing up assignments, drive home, crash, attempt to catch up on tv shows, fall asleep, try to catch up with neglected friends, come home, crash, go to bed
Sunday -- wake at 6am, take care of the dogs, check email personal, Stampin' Up! team meeting or workshops or prep work, work on school assignments, work on work assignments, crash and burn

Repeat until crazy...

Definition of insanity:  doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result! 

One day my vacation will come!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who Doesn't Love Power Tools?

I admit it readily and loudly -- I LOVE POWER TOOLS!  They are an extension to my ink, brushes, pencils.  They help me realize some of my creative notions stored in my brain.  I want to use them everyday!  One day (soon hopefully) I want to learn how to weld.  I want to use materials in an unexpected way and create beauty from aluminum turkey roaster pans or a birdbath from two satalite dishes sitting in my backyard.  OK, the birdbath hasn't happened yet because I really need to learn how to weld!

This week my group of super creative colleagues in the L-Inked Ladies team (Mandy Grant, SupaStar is the leader) is getting ready for our annual Gifts Galore day on Saturday, October 1.  The projects that we are doing are amazing and fun.  The best thing for me is I get to use one of my favorite power tools to "distress" one of our materials. If you have ever walked through Home Depot and wondered what on earth someone would use a Dremel for, think no further.

I use my Dremel all the time on a myriad of things.  Here is my Dremel list --

1)  clean under my nails in between going for my manicure.  Ok so this is a strange one but anyone who has ever had anything to do with acrylic nails knows that the machine the manicurists use are cousins to our home Dremel kits.  They are a bit more "souped up" and work off a mini engine instead of rechargable batteries.

2)  Make new things look old -- sometimes shiny and new is not the look you are going for.  In prep for Gifts Galore, I distressed about 47 cookie sheets using my nifty little tool! 

3)  Precise Sanding -- I have this idea in my head for a mixed media piece but I wanted to cut some shapes out of the board I was using.  I have another cool tool that I'll highlight in another story but it was leaving my shapes very sharp and almost splintery.  The Dremel smoothed it right off.

4)  Cuts nail heads -- depending on which version you have, you can used the reinforced blades to cut nail heads and other protruding metals. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Digital Studio Helps to Celebrate a Life

On Saturday night my friend, Brenda and her brother David had a party for their Mom, Avis.  It wasn't her birthday but a celebration of her life.  You see, she is battling lung cancer.

As letters, notes and photos came in celebrating Avis, I was able to put together a pretty spectacular (I think!) book for her.  So far, 38 pages and counting so I won't share everything.  There were quite a few friends from High School who sent notes and I was able to find a picture of her high school online. Her family provided me with a lot of great photos.  I decided to use the designer template for elegant occassions (I love the marina mist, crumb cake and early espresso color combination). 

I didn't have a lot of information regarding the pictures sent to me but I decided to use the feature in My Digital Studio that takes all the pictures in your file and loads them right into the template.  You can then alter the page from the original template and remove picures you don't like or move them around.  This was a huge time saver for me.

Because I was working under a tight deadline -- with work, school, Stampin' Up!, and other family obligations, I got to work on the book for about eight hours on Friday night and about 12 hours on Saturday.  If I had to scrap each of the 38 pages by hand, with the same level of detail I had in My Digital Studio, you would probably have multiply 20 hours by at least 10! 

I printed each page (I have an Epson 1400 that prints 12X12 pages and up to 13X19) on Whisper White 12X12 paper and selected the highest DPI for the pictures.  The pages printed beautifully.  The thickness and quality of Stampin' Up! paper is beyond compare.  I would never have attempted to print out on anything else -- no smearing of ink and very sharp, clear pictures.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Girl Who Loves Tom Petty

A few weeks ago, my instructor for 2-D Design told us to bring in a black and white 8X10 photo (or copy of a photo) of someone we knew a lot about.  It needed to be a photo that was not too dark but had a nice arrangement of light and dark. We needed to come up with 20 things about the person in the photo and a symbol for each of those factoids.

I looked at pictures of Iggy Pop, Walter Matheau, Twiggy and came across this one of Tom Petty.  I love Tom.  He is one of the few musicians that I will go to a concert without begging and pleading from Andy.  Heck, I've even bought the tickets myself. is project for 2-D required us to take the photo and grid it into 1X1 squares.  Then, We would recreate the photo by drawing the positive and negative space and doubling the size to a 16X20.  Here's the kicker, instead of using gray scale values based on traditional shading techniques, our gray scale value is created by the volume of the symbols.  Kind of hard to describe so let me show  you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why Do They Call It Still Life?

I have spent at least 20 hours working on a still life for Drawing Class although still life is a bit of an oxymoron.  There is no "life" in a plastic cup, styrofoam ball, milk carton, paper cone and a pyramid.  I have never done a still life before.  As far as drawing, I haven't really done much formal work.  Doodling is not creating a still life.

One of my fellow students has spent at least as many hours as I have creating every shadow and wrinkle in the background paper.  The detail he has put in is incredible and almost photo-like.  He has helped me on my piece, adding that it possesses a great deal of character.  I wonder if that is a nice way of saying it sucks! 

For this exercise I discovered the beauty of a blending stump and blotting paper.  What did I do without a blending stump before??

I have to admit I am semi-impressed with this.  Not that it is the best drawing every but that I completed something like this.  It is definitely a new experience for me.  Does it suck?  You be the judge.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Rebel Without a Clue Rides Again!

When I was young, I had piercings and purple hair and a partially shaved head.  I rode a motorcycle.  It seems that it was a totally different person who did this.  When I think about that time in my life, I think it was like watching a character in a movie, but I was just doing my thing.

Ever since we got the "bling" in the new Stampin' Up! Catalog, I've had a thing wearing them on my nose and acting like I had my nose pierced.  I really like the look of a small diamond stud on my nose.  When we were at the Stampin' Up! Convention, we all wore the jewels on our face and acted like we had our noses pierced. my arms aren't long enough to take a good self can't even see the bling!

Well, take a deep breath but I did it for real last week.  I did not think it fact when I was young and got the cartilage in my upper ear pierced it hurt like you would not believe but this was a little more than a pinch and it was done.  Here is the funniest part, my husband did not notice!  After three days I mentioned it to him.  He must really be blind because he still couldn't see it.

Andy chalks it up to my mid-life crisis.  I think I'll just always be that purple-haired, motorcycle-driving rebel without a clue who is just doing her thing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Courage to Start

I was the last one drawing in drawing class again last Wednesday night.  When the instructor says goodnight for the evening when the "official" class time is over, every fiber of my being wants to packup and go home but I look at my drawing and compare it to the success of the other students and I'm sitting back down on the bench going at it again.  I am the outsider in this class with my face pressed up against the window looking into a beautiful world of artists.

I like to be a fly on the wall and listen to the conversations of the young artists around me.  There are frequent references to what they did in High School or perhaps another class they took in a Jr. College elsewhere.  The young artists don't trust their talent (the old one doesn't either!) and they freak out because they are not given explicit directions on how to create something.

Sometimes, I muster up the courage to talk to the other students.  I am stealthy and they do not notice my approach.  Miraculously, I appear in front of them and present myself like an appirition that has just materialized.  Sometimes I surprise them that I actually know the band they are discussing or read the book or can offer variables for cosigns (ok that one was a surprise to me since it has been over 20 years since I took Calculus).  I had a lively conversation about Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead which totally took me by surprise because a) someone actually read it and b) we had quite a lively discussion 1950s McCarthy era conservatism  and how it was all a crock what we steriotypically think of  (i.e. Happy Days, lots of virgins waiting until marriage, etc)  Sex, drugs and Rock n Roll were on the scene but the difference between the 50's and the Sexual Revolution of the 60s was that everything that was going on in the 50s was now out of the closet!

I know the other students approach me cautiously.  I am in a group all by myself.  I'm not one of the retired ladies who decided art classes would be a nice thing to do.  I'm certainly not part of the student body that wonders how should I put a resume together?  I'm comfortable with the instructors and feel more on a peer basis with some of them.  We are all in such angst as we are preparing our portfolios to be accepted into the School of Art.  We all use the breaks in class to see how the others are progressing on their projects and secretly compare their talent to our own to figure out if we stand a chance of getting into the program. 

We are all trying to figure out back up plans if we don't get into the program.  And then I think is it already too late for a backup plan?  How easy would my life be if I never discovered that I have a passion for art and that I'm creative and can learn how to do the type of work I always dreamed of doing? 

A fellow student, John, and I got into a conversation about art and courage.  I said that about 80% of the woman who come to my Crafty Girl classes start out with a statement like, "I'm not creative."  I would say 100% leave my classes a little in awe of what they've created.  The key here is having the courage to start -- to put pencil to paper or paint to canvas or ink to stamp.

I have to remind myself to have the courage to put pencil to paper in this drawing class.  Once I've done that, I'm closer to becoming an artist and further from the wannabe.  Its ok that my work may not be something my friends want to hang behind their couch.  Its ok if it is not successful if I understand why it isn't successful and make it work a second time.  The key is to keep on drawing and building the skills.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby You Can Drive My Car...Learning the Foundations of Drawing

I haven't talked about my odyssey to art school very much...probably because I have been so engrossed in it. Do you remember the feeling you had when you were handed the keys to your family car for your first driving lesson?  I was a mess!  I wanted to jump in the car, pull it out of park and drive down the road like I didn't need any help whatsoever.  As soon as I sat in the driver's seat, however, I had visions of children, wildlife and old ladies with walkers jumping in front of the car as I plowed them down.

I am feeling a bit like that in my Drawing 1 class. Don't get me wrong, what I've learned in these four weeks has taken up my drawing abilities a few notches but when I look around and see the artists' works around me, I think I must be an impostor.  But really, I'm in learning mode and trying to drive my new vehicles.

1968 Chevy Camero Super Sport
A pencil is like a 1960s muscle car.  I can use one pencil to draw heavy lines or light lines or a whole scale of grays.  This Camero, I'm sure could lay down some heavy skid marks too!  With Drawing, I am feeling like a 14-year old who someone has just given the keys to this car to and now I have to drive the family to Poughkeepsie.

I'm competing with some young people who have just come out of high school as the best artists i their schools or artists who already have a large body of work because they've known this is what they want to do.  You know, people who can have an idea and know already how to execute.

Like driving a car, creating art requires some preparation steps.  You need to plan how you are going to create this concept just as you would plan to read the drivers book, get your Learner's and get behind the wheel.

We are drawing still lifes in Drawing. This still life is made of plastic cup, old milk carton, paper cone, styrofoam ball and I think a papier mache pyramid.  They are all painted white and gray.  Not so much life in these objects.  But it is not just about copying what you see onto the piece of paper.  You need to examine these objects and look at their bones.  What kinds of forms are these objects? Where is the light coming from and how does it affect the shadows? Where are the highlights and low lights?  What does the negative space look like?  What do you want to draw and how do you want to crop it?

My first two assignments I got Cs and a comment that I was messy.  Well I am messy.  I'm the teenager learning to drive.  But as soon as I can be comfortable with my vehicle, my 60s muscle pencil, I'll be ready to hit the open road, fiddle with the radio AND talk on the phone! I am the kid who has discovered that she is not going to hit kids, small animals and grandmas while driving the car.  And maybe, I might be the kid who ends up driving the car for a living...err drawing the car?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Zone...

Do you ever have a convergence of time and space?  All of a sudden, the music on stereo is perfect, your chair is perfect (now that you added that great massage cushion!), the ideas are flowing in your head.  You look at the clock and it is a little after 10pm and you think, "I gotta go to bed soon."

You feel your eyes brighten just a bit and your alertness quotient goes up by a thousand.  Those things hanging from your trunk all of a sudden feel weightless instead of the 40-lb logs you've been dragging.  You notice that your shoulders are relaxed and not at ear level and your often curled over back has miraculously straightened out as you sit listening to perfect music in a perfect chair with perfect posture.

That's it  -- you are in The Zone!  You've got your second wind (or third wind if you are like me).  That convergence of time and space transcends exhaustion.  Your endorphins are jumping up and down like you've just completed a marathon.  You finish one project, desing another project, finish a third.

The rings I showed you on Monday were a product of this particular walk in the Zone.  I also designed and created all 20 of my swaps for our L-Inked Ladies unit meeting last Sunday and I sketched out a couple of designs for the Crafty Girls September meetings.  Now if I could only get in the Zone when it comes to cleaning.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life Is Beautiful!

Fall is my very favorite season of the year.  I love the colors and the crispness in the air.  I love wearing sweaters and boots...but I digress!  Colors -- a lot of deep pigment hues.  Think about  espresso, pumpkin, mustard, eggplant, avacado.  My stomach is rumbling a bit!  Is that why I love fall colors so much?  I digress again.

I wanted to use some techniques that would be fun (and teachable for workshops).  The base of the card is from our new In Color Peach Parfait.  One of my favorite techniques is stamping an image with Versamark and then using a clear embossing powder over it. You can do this on designer series paper and then brayer a solid color over it.  The clear embossed image will then be the only images with the designer series paper design.

However, I did not have the fall DSP in the mini so I did my clear embossing on Very Vanilla cardstock and then sponged Elegant Eggplant, Peach Parfait, More Mustard, Cherry Cobbler, and Always Avacado. When you sponge the different colors, really pounce it like you would if you were stenciling.

The stamp set is the new French Foliage Stamp Set from the new Holiday Mini.  I took my largest acrylic block from the colletion and arranged the three different leaf stamps on the large block so I only had to stamp once.  This is great when you want to do a large quantity of the same design and you want them to look identical.

The sentiment, Life is Beautiful, is from the Style Beautiful stamp set. I punched it out using the new Decorative Label punch from the Holiday Mini in More Mustard card stock and sponged Always Avocado around the edges.  Then I punched a 2 1/2" circle and ran it through the crimper tool.  Last, Very Vanilla
5/8" satin ribbon.

Welcome Fall!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fabric Fun!!!!

On the second Sunday of every month, my group of fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators get together under the leadership of Mandy Grant, my upline.  She is such an inspiration to us all.  Not only did she have to get 20 swaps together for our FALL THEMED/HALLOWEEN swap but also 127 for her trip to Founders Circle next week!  AND she's holding this meeting and a scrapbooking club before she leaves.

Hand model I'm not but These are some good looking rings!
Anyway, I got to teach the Make N Take project this month.  I really wanted to focus on our new Fabric that is in the Holiday Mini.  Fabric can be a little scary. I'm the worst kind of non-sewer...the kind that has a sewing machine and thinks she should be able to sew!  I've had this machine for 10 years and I still need to take out the manual to thread the darn thing!

This Fleurette is the best because there is absolutely no sewing and you can use it on so many projects.


2.25" x 7" strip of fabric (of course I love the SU!)
round ring fittings with blank base (I got mine through Etsy doing a search for ring supplies.  Around $0.89 each depending on bulk purchase).
Hot Glue or fabric glue
SU Antique Brads

Sarah and Lienne twist and roll!
You are basically going to fold the fabric in half and glue the corners of one side using hot glue.  I have not tried a cold fabric glue yet but the hot glue does great.  I think I've probably burned the fingerprints off of my pointer fingers though!  Once you have that corner glued together, just start twisting the fabric.  I like to twist on the tight side.  Every few twists, I add a bead of hot glue as I shape the fabric into a rosette.  As you get to the end of the fabric, put a larger bead of glue on the end tuck it on the underside.

Have I mentioned how much I love the antique brads?  Depending on the size and shape of the fleurette and the ring fixture I'm using, I pick the brad.  You could also you some of our other brads like the silvertone Flower Brads. 

I'd like to take credit for this but there was a demo from one of my fellow Stampin' Up! Demos however after I printed the picture sample, I realized that it did not have a watermark so I can;t give credit to the demo.  If you don't like the ring, think of using these Fleurettes on a barrette or a headband or a pin.  You can add them to cards or gift boxes.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Organizing is good!

The image here has been blurred to protect the innocent!
Ok....I'm going to shock all of you.  Here is my studio space -- this is where I draw, paint, stamp, write, and generally hang out.  I'm in the midst of reorganizing, I guess, but can you really call it reorganizing when things weren't that organized to begin with?  This room ended up to be the wasteland...the room where everything that was thought to be needed but didn't have a space ended up.  See large boxes on futon (left from bedroom, right from various places).  The empty space to the right of the desk is for my drawing table which is still in the back of my car waiting for a strong hubby to bring up!

paper, tools, publications, etc
I have a vision of being able to find everything when I need it and for the space to be so interesting all my creative ideas will flow like a beautiful waterfall on the side of a lava tube in Hawaii...ok I was going to say tap water but that wasn't very creative!  I joked about a picture of another persons craft room where she had so many Stamp sets I said she should instate the Dewey Decimal system.  I'm feeling that way myself...I have my one catalog where I've marked up all that I want and checked all that I own BUT I forget to do that and then what if I checked something becaause I thought I had it but I can't find it?  Anywhoooo, I'm the one looking for a Stamp Dewey Decimal system.  I've already got them organized by the section of the catalog they are in but do I further organize alphabetically or catalog page #?  And before you say this to yourself, yes, I am a freak.  Between my husband and I we have close to 500 CDs that are alphabetized by genre.  This is all me.
forbidden corner - dressers need to leave and
boxes of stuff for garage sale.

It is a work in progress and although I feel like I'm showing my pile of dirty laundry, I will share with you my odyssey to organization.  Is it possible to be a horder in only part of your house?  Don't be surprised if Clean House shows up...or Discovery to film my dog hoarding and my creative stuff hoarding!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I woke up this morning feeling a little melancholic.  Today being September 11th immediately had me thinking of that terrible day and the stun and disbelief we, the nation, had in 2001.  The Twin Towers have a special place for Andy and I as they, in part, were responsible for the reconciliation of our relationship and ultimately of our marriage.  We just celebrated our 16th Anniversary on September 3rd.

The short story is that I won an all-expenses paid trip to New York and the hotel was the Marriott at the Twin Towers.  Nested between the two massive towers, this hotel was the place that Andy met my best friend Rhonda and I to take us to the Statue of Liberty.  This was almost a year to-the-date of our first date (that lasted about five days and is another story all together!).  But we weren't strong enough for a long distance relationship and had a lot of growing up to do.

I had never been to New York City and frankly it wasn't high on my bucket list.  Even though we weren't a couple, I had always promised Andy that he could take me to the Statue of Liberty.  To make a long story short, we made up and enjoyed breakfast the next day after talking all night, at the Windows to the World restaurant that revolved atop one of the towers.

Watching the destruction of the towers nine years ago and the nation move into a mass psychological depression weighs just as heavy on my chest today as it did then.  The mere date of 9/11 supersedes any happy events that may have occurred on this date in the years prior to this disaster or even at the Twin Towers.  I feel bad for those who have birthdays, anniversaries or any life landmarks that occupy that date.

To everyone who lost someone in that tragic day, my heart continues to go out to you.  To my dear friends Jon Neustedter, Kenny Simon, all of the colleagues with us in "Siebel City" as the reports came in -- I am thinking about you.

I pray that everyone remembers the teachings of their respective religions.  Jesus taught compassion and forgiveness. Buddhism views forgiveness as a practice to remove emotions that would cause a lasting unhealthy effect on our Karma. Sikhism sees forgiveness as a remedy to anger that generates peace and tranquility. In Judaism, forgiveness is considered a pious act -- you are religiously bound to forgive.  Islam is a derivation of the word peace (Semitic word slm) and forgiveness is a prerequisite for peace.

Let us honor today with prayers of peace and forgiveness and not acts of hatred.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Photo Snafu! I guess I really am an amatuer!

With the beautiful weather this weekend I went out wandering downtown Atlanta on Saturday.  I started out by Georgia Tech (had no clue it was Game Day!) and a visit to Ultrecht's which is an art supply store.  I saw online that they had a portfolio/backpack.  I'm having the hardest time finding something comfortable to carry my drawing pads and supplies back and forth from car to class.  I'm most comfortable with a backpack but I wasn't sure if this would be big enough for the drawing board and the pad so I wanted to see it in person before I shelled out $65.

There is another art supply store I wanted to check out, too, in Buckhead so I figured I would take a leisurely drive around...stop where I could and take pictures.  If you've seen my photography before you know there are a few things I'm obsessed with in architecture -- doors and rooflines.  With the sky being sooo blue and almost cloudless and the modern angles of many of our Atlanta skyline, I had a plethora of things to photograph.  And boy did I snap a lot of pictures!  oh and buy art supplies! 

Sunday morning, I took the girls out to our backyard which is filled with many trees and plants and I took a boatload of pictures of them running and playing.  We were outside a good 45 minutes and I was playing with my new telephoto lens (25mm-350mm). Because I wanted to capture the action of them running after the ball or wrestling, I was using the action mode on the camera which would take five pictures with less than a second between frames.  I probably shot about 100 more frames before we quit and went into the house.

All this time, I never checked the pictures until I had a few minutes to myself.  I turned the camera on and went into the photo view mode.  To my surprise and disappointment, there were no pictures!  I had neglected to put the memory card back in after I downloaded the last set of photos.  BOOO!

Sometimes in you zest to do something, you forget the fundamentals.  Always make sure you have a memory card in your camera!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gifts Galore--Time is ticking

Sneak Peek at our October 2 Gifts Galore--

This is just a taste of the simply elegant projects you will create at this years, must attend event, Gifts Galore! All attendees will have access to an exclusive website with directions to re-create all these amazing gifts, after the event.  Our goal is gift giving made easy and replicatable.

Look at what you get for the day!

5 Make N Takes

  1. memo board
  2. post it note/chalk board cube
  3. gift basket
  4. jewelry
  5. stationary set

4 NEW product presentations!

My Digital Studio demo: Christmas Calendars made easy

Lunch from Sweet Tomatoes, YUM

Lots of displays - bring a camera

$200 in prizes given away

$150 raffle basket

Extra goodies included in your make n take bag

ONLY 8 days left to register! 
Choose me as your demonstrator!  If you get a friend to sign up with you, you and your friend get a special prize from me (just email me and let me know who your friend is).

The Alternative Path

So I really love my mixed media piece that I turned in for 2-D Design.  It was a concept piece relating three sort of random things about you into one cohesive piece.  So, here it is.  Take it in.  Let me know your first reaction to it -- good or bad.

The colors are more intense than the photo.  My three things were rebel, the many paths life can take and dogs (of course).  I had so many ideas going on in my head and for sure that comes out in the piece.  One thing I really need to do is self-edit.

Let me point out a few things, in the left part of the piece is a very plain green grass hill and a very straight and narrow pathway with the typical milestones in a person's life -- birth, school, career, date, marriage, 2.5 kids, etc. The pathway is all monochromatic which means one color family (alternating path stones in grays) and uses more rectilinear lines to show its formality.  Coming out of the school path stone is an alternative path.  It is more organic (I used glue and sand to construct it) and uses curvilinear line which are more natural.  Along the alternative pathway there are various crops of different places I've been.  Last, but not least, there are various pictures of the girls however I have altered them into other things.  Bailey is a spider, Phoebe is a honeybee, Sophie is a butterfly, Izzie is nesting in a giant flower and Viola is a gorilla looking at a bunch of bananas.  The bright patches of color show my rebel nature as does the change in texture from one side to the other.

Not sure I would hang this in my living room -- maybe my studio!

Materials -- canvas (I think it is a 24X36 so fairly large).  MODGE PODGE  Lots and lots of Modge Podge!  All the paint is actually Copic Markers that I airburshed onto the canvas.  I don't recomend hand coloring canvas with Copics since it is so porous, it will soak all your ink in.  The intensity of the colors is due to many layers of different markers.
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