Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mosaic Shoe #4 FINISHED!

I finally finished my mosaic shoe, grouted and cleaned. My neighbor loved it, and gave me the matching shoe so I could show what the original looked like. She and her daughter want to learn the basics of mosaics so I suggested we get together in a few weeks and make a stepping stone for their backyard. Should be fun!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mosaic Shoe #3

The only part left to finish on my mosaic shoe is to grout and paint the sole. I'll complete it tomorrow night at class. I was concerned about all the little curves, etc. on the shoe, wondering how I would mosaic small areas, but as long as I used small pieces, it was easier than I thought. The pieces include mirror, glass tile, stained glass, beads and a vintage earring. Can't wait to show my neighbor her shoe after it's grouted!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cowboy Caleb

Oftentimes I have a hard time believing in my artistic abilities, in what work I can accomplish. This past spring, Katherine challenged our mosaic class to do a portrait. Of course, as usual, I thought I couldn't possibly do it, but then I thought "Why not? I might as well give it a try".

Around the same time, I was able to visit my family in Idaho, and took this picture of my oldest grandson. Below is Caleb's photo and another photo of the finished mosaic. I have to say I was very pleased with the portrait, so much so that I've started another of my second grandson and will post it when it's complete! Yippee!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Artfest Trades

The first time at I attended Artfest was because a friend cajoled me into it, even though I was sure that my puny art skills would be the subject of more than a few chuckles. I am glad she pushed me to go. It was all pretty overwhelming the first time with choosing classes when I had no idea what I was getting myself into, planning travel, accommodations, etc. But finally, I had everything in place.

Then, I learned about TRADES. Participants are encouraged (totally by choice) to bring small art trinkets to exchange---little handmade art charms, ATCs, small baggies of art supplies for collage, etc. It can be just about anything. I was scared spitless to make trade items, mostly because I was sure that no one would want to trade with my rinky dink attempts. On the advice of a good friend, I joined the yahoo chat site for Artfest, and that is where I met Joan from N. Idaho. She patiently emailed me with ideas, gentle suggestions, and descriptions of what she'd seen at Artfest in the past. On a trip to see my grandkids, Joan met up with me so that I could see some items from previous years. AND...when I got to Artfest, she not only looked me up, but she gave me a chain to attach traded charms. That's the kind of wonderful, caring people that willingly exchanged trades with me at Artfest, and were kind enough to wait to chuckle until later. {grin}


For the past two years I have had the opportunity to go to Artfest at Ft. Worden, Port Townsend, WA. For those of you who do not know about it, I'll try to explain. Artfest is a gathering of artists from around the world for a 3 1/2 day event planned and organized by Tracy and Teesha Moore, where classes are offered by a wide variety of professional artists. Sign-ups are in advance so that students can bring supplies for each day of classes.
Last year, one of the classes I signed up for was with Sunny Carvahlo. It was a painting class, totally different than any other class I've had at Artfest. We used heat-set oil paints and Sunny was a fantastic teacher--very patient and helpful. I was happy with the results and gave the painting to my baby granddaughter to hang in her room. This year I have classes with Carla Sonheim, Julie Haymaker Thompson, and Susan Kazmer. I can't wait!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mosaic Shoe #2

This shoe is definitely NOT 'made for walkin'! Following Katherine's directions, my shoe is ready for mosaicing, so I wanted to post a picture of what it looks like after preparation and before I begin the fun part. First, I cut the strap off (around the ankle) and then used rigid wrap to cover the entire shoe (except the bottom). Next, I used "fix-all" to fill the toe and heel area. This has been a fascinating process! I can see how these same materials can be used on many other 3-D items before adding mosaic tile, glass, or baubles. I'll post again after I get further along.
Now....what else can I rigid wrap....hmmm....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Online Art Classes

In the fall I had a chance to take online journal making and paper art classes with Julie Prichard, the first online art classes I'd ever taken. I wasn't sure how I would like participating in visual arts classes on the net, or even the mechanics of how that would work, but I was surprised to find that it was doable and enjoyable.
Julie has prepared demonstration videos that can be downloaded in a short period of time and can be watched over and over again. Believe me, I know! Even though her directions are easy to follow, I had a hard time picking up everything in the first go-round, so I watched each video several times. The terrific part is that the videos are available for a full year so if I need to review, I can watch them again. This is one of my favorite pages. : )

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mosaic Shoe? Yep! #1

Tonight in mosaics we started a shoe (a la Laurel Skye's new book). We were asked to bring an interesting shoe, ready to prepare for mosaicing. I stopped by Salvation Army, then I went through my closet and through the spare closet that holds leftovers from my adult kids, but to no avail. I was late to class, not sure what I was going to do, so on a whim I stopped by my neighbor's house and asked if she had any old shoe she didn't want anymore. She laughed and said, "absolutely, I know just the one!" I thanked her, she gave me a hug, and off to class.
Tonight we covered the shoe in rigid wrap (very messy!) with the next step being to fill with fix-all. I'll post pictures on the next "shoe" post. Fun so far!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Journal Workshop with Katherine

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a long-awaited one-day journal making workshop with my favorite local artist, Katherine England. It was a perfect day for a plenare class with beautiful California sunshine and a soft breeze. And trust me, the workshop was just as extraordinary as the day.

The project was to build a handmade journal from scratch with a special "Katherine" flair. The students who attended included a wide range of ages and experience levels and all seemed to find joy in the day. Katherine gave written and verbal instructions and then set students free to rotate from area to area to complete different parts of our journals. When everyone was just about done with the parts, Katherine would call us back together and give us further instructions.

It was such a great day! Here's a picture of my journal. I plan on hanging beads from the linen thread on the front as well as trimming the watercolor paper to fit. Lots of fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Starting off the New Year Right

This is my first posting on my 8 month old blog. Fearful I would make a mistake, I could not post a single word. Over the holidays I visited my energetic DIL in the Pacific Northwest (a prolific writer), and since then I have had an unexplainable surge of courage and decided now's the time. I am.

You might ask why "JUST ANOTHER CRACKED POT"? I have been taking courses in mosaic art for the last 4 years, and I have come to realize broken glass, china, and ceramic items reconfigured can become more beautiful than the original piece. To a mosaicist, broken pieces are an opportunity to creatively use imperfection.

So...I guess that's it. I realize I'm broken in oh so many ways. I am counting on my Maker to take my broken pieces and use them to make something useful and beautiful for His glory. I invite you to come along for the ride. : )