Tuesday, January 29, 2013

February Classes

Hey Friends - I just thought I'd take a moment to share my February classes with you and introduce you to my new "Classes Tab" on my blog. It is at the top of my blog, the 3rd tab that says "Classes" (duh). You can check here for all of my classes, photos of the project, dates, times and costs, as well as a supply list to bring with you. I hope this will be helpful for you all. At present I have my 1st quarter's class dates up and Photos for several of the classes. There is also a link to the store so you can call and sign up for the classes. (I do not personally take the sign-ups, the store handles all of that). 
Okay, let's take a look at what I have planned for February. . .
This first one is my Mixed Media Fridays w/ Marta project.
(I teach a monthly mixed media class on the 3rd Friday in the afternoon. It is typically a simple project that focuses on techniques or products and is typically $30)
This is my "Remember Clipboard"
February 15th - Friday    2-5pm  $30
This month we will be turning an ordinary Office Supply clipboard into a functional piece of art. Come and learn how to turn this shinny new clipboard into something that looks old and beautiful. Use it as a clipboard for notes and lists (it is smooth so you can actually write on it) or just hang it up as a piece of art, it works either way. 
Next is my "Shabby Paris  Canvas"
February 16th - Saturday   2-5pm   $40
 This is a backward canvas with a romantic feel (I must be feeling a little romantic for Valentine's Day) Lots of pearls and buttons on this one. I think you will really enjoy this class!
I wanted you to see the tiny pearls that are inlaid in the canvas as well as the fun texture in the background.
So that's what I have going on at The Occasional Artist in February. I hope you will join me for one (or both) class(es)! Be sure to check back often to see what else is coming up. I just did some supply shopping today and even had some online orders show up today!
Like I said last week, 2013 is going to be a FANTASTIC YEAR! I hope I get to spend part of it with you!!!
Till we meet again. . .

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rain = Rust! UPDATED On Sunday

Hey gals, for those of you that live in Sunny Phoenix you know it is NOT sunny out today! It has been raining non-stop since last night! Although I hate rainy days it is the PERFECT time to rust stuff! I have all kinds of stuff sitting out there right now. And they are turning the most beautiful colors! I can't share any pictures with you because it's raining and I am not going out there with my camera. You will just have to take my word on it. So if you have some metals that you have been wanting to age and distress get them out there!
Meanwhile I am warm and dry, sitting on the couch in my very quiet home doing my Bible study and recovering from a quick stomach bug. I hope you are all finding something to do on this rainy weekend.
Till we meet again. . . .

UPDATED: So here is my "pretty" rust from yesterday's rain. I just love how they all turned out so differently.
This is the hardware for my new shelves in my studio. The long "L" shaped things are some sort of industrial support thingies. I decided they would be great shelf brackets. I also bought some really big bolts to attach them with but decided the look of some layered washers would be really cool too. They were really shinny when I bought them (only $15 for all of my hardware!) and that of course would not do so I put them in my favorite sea salt/cider vinegar solution and that made them look so much better. But with the rain yesterday I decided to try for some real rust. And I got it!!!!
 I will also be adding some "Jesus Nails" (that's what I call them, but I guess they are called cut nails or something) The nails will hold artwork that I want to hang from the shelves.
Now if I can just get the weather and the hubby to cooporate I can get my shelf done and hung in my studio.
I hope you are enjoying your Sunday
Till we meet again. . .

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day?

I know it's a bit early, but I have a Valentine for you!
I was playing around in Photoshop this morning and this is what I came up with. . .
(RED Image)
It is just a simple graphic that I would love to share with all of you! It is sized to fit in an 8x10 frame, but you could totally resize it to fit on a card or whatever you want. I also did it in a couple of different color schemes. One in Girlier colors and one that is a little less "Valentinie" (is that a word???)

 (PINK Image)                           (BLUE Image) 

Just leave a comment saying you would like to have it and I will send you the full size jpeg image for printing. But don't forget to include your email address and which color you want in your comment!!!
Have a GREAT DAY!!!!
Till we meet again. . .

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Three Special Ladies

 Actually this is the story of Four Special Ladies (but I only have pictures of 3 of them) that I have gotten to spend the last 2 days with!
Yesterday I had a "play date" with my dear friend Deborah. She makes the most BEAUTIFUL jewelry! We live about an hour away from each other and don't often get to just hang out or a whole day. Yesterday was an exception. We actually spent over 12 hours together!
She was a dear and taught me some wire wrapping techniques and we worked on making some great wire pieces we will be using in one of my upcoming classes. She is a typical southern lady, gracious and generous and just so kind and sweet. She never got impatient as I made one mistake after another with my wires and just encouraged me to keep going. Which I did and together we got them all done.
 These pictures are of my awkward hands trying to get my wires started. (I took pictures of each step so I could remind myself how to do this when I got home)  I was supposed to leave there around 3:30 so I could get to Monkey's cheer performance, but with no visible clock I missed my window of opportunity to get there on time. So I was a BAD Amma and missed it! So Debra and I ended up going out to dinner that night and visiting until midnight! It was such a great day to just spend time with a friend, doing something we both love and chatting about all of those things that only girlfriends can chat about.
I felt really guilty the whole way home about missing my little Monkey's performance and tried to think of a way to make it up to her. This morning as I was leaving Bible study I decided to surprise her at her school. School was just letting out so I was waiting outside the door with her Mom & her Sister when she came out. She was happy to see me and gave me a big hug. Her and I walked to the car together and I told her I was sorry I missed her cheer, she gave me a big hug around my legs and said "that's okay Amma, where were you?" I told her I was at a friend's house and just lost track of time. She is soooo sweet, this is what she said to me "oh Amma it is good that you have friends to play with" then she told me about the playdates she had had this week.
Thankfully her Mom had taken some pictures, so here is my sweet little Monkey right before her performance yesterday. (If you click on the photo there is a quick video my Lizzy took of the performance)
Once we got to the car we had decided to go run some errands together. We stopped and got some lunch and my little Bug had to sit next to me today. As we were eating  she just reached over and started hugging my arm and kissing me.
Thankfully her Mom had her phone out and she snapped this picture of us. I am just so very lucky! Yesterday was spent with a very special lady, my Friend Deborah, and today was spent with three VERY special ladies, my Daughter, my Monkey and my Bug! Life doesn't get much better than this!!!!
I hope your day has been spent with someone special and that you took the time to realize what a gift that truly is!
Till we meet again. . .

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Do you remember the 1965 song (I'm dating myself here - but really I was only 2 when it was released) by the Byrds called "Turn, Turn, Turn"? I loved (and still love) that song! I can remember singing it with my big sister during the summer in the pool. Anyhoo. . .my doodle/To-Do List below is loosely based on that song and of course the original version of it in Ecclesiastes 3:1-12.
I decided that this would be the year I got myself back into some sort of regular routine. I used to be so organized and I got so much accomplished each day that when I went to bed at night I felt I had done all I could. The past few years it seems I can't get anything accomplished. Okay, so that's not entirely true. But it is all or nothing with me these days. I clean like "a-house-a-fire" one day and then nothing for two weeks (gross!). I tried scheduling (I hate that word) something for each day like . . .
Monday mopping
Tuesday dusting
Wednesday. . .well you see what I mean.
Well I would get up on Monday and not feel like mopping - so I didn't. And I didn't do anything else either! Do you see where this is going? Then at night I would go to bed and beat myself because I had wasted yet another day! I hated that feeling!
So this is my new "Project List" (doesn't that sound like more fun?)
I have been at it for 2 weeks now and I am getting so much more accomplished and I feel so much better about ME when I go to bed at night! So what I did is give my self a list of "projects" to do each day (with the week-ends off of course) and gave myself a time limit.
So I only have to cook for 30 min a day,
I only have to clean something for 60min a day.
I get 2 hours each day to be creative and
I get an hour each day to study my Bible.
And 4 times a week I have to take care of business (you know, paying bills, balancing the checkbook, writing class instructions etc).
Now, if I Want To I can take more time on each of these projects. I just make myself do the yuckier ones first. I even gave myself an allotted time to wake up. I am NOT a morning person AT ALL! That is why that is #1 on my list. AND yes it is written in the right order - I can pray in bed as I start waking up. Then I can eat (who am I kidding, drink a Pepsi) once my feet are on the floor - then I can go through the rest of the motions of waking up. It takes me a good hour to become human!
I purposely didn't set actual times (like wake up at 9am) for any project, just a set amount of time so I can be flexible during my day.
It's really working well for me and I find now that
"There is a Time for EVERYTHING"!

I also wanted to share with you one of my February class samples. I will be teaching this on Saturday the 16th from 2-5pm if you want to join us. It is a 9x11 canvas, only we are using the back side of the canvas instead of the front.
 It's gonna be FUN I hope you join us!

Speaking of FUN,
 if you would like a blast to the past, you can click here to listen to the Byrds sing.
Have a great day tomorrow, I will be spending part of it with a dear friend catching up after the holidays and then in the early evening I will be watching my Monkey in her first cheerleading performance! That's right - she'll be cheering during half time at an elementary school basketball game. She's getting sooo BIG!
Till we meet again. . .

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Welcome Friends to my New and Improved Blog!

I hope you will really enjoy all of the changes I have made, both in style and direction. Thank you for being so patient as I made changes and left it stagnant for so long. I believe with all of my heart that 2013 is going to be an outstanding year!!! I can just feel it in my spirit. Because of this, I figured now was the time to make my blog reflect that.

As most of you know I have had some ongoing health problems over the past couple of years. I am happy to report that I feel FANTASTIC and have for several months now! Before I got sick I was a happy little blogger sharing daily the happenings in my life and in my studio. I looked forward each night to getting on my blog and inviting you all into my world. I loved sharing the funny things that Monkey and Bug did that day, or showing you the new art I had created. As I felt worse and worse and was relegated to working on my over crowded dining room table (it was over crowded because my entire studio was on it) I just didn’t feel like sharing. It didn’t seem like there was much worthy of sharing. No one wants to go to a blog and hear how bad someone feels all of the time. We want to go and be inspired or at least be entertained. So slowly I stopped posting on any regular basis. Then I just frankly had gotten out of practice and really wasn’t happy with where my blog was going anymore. There have been A LOT of changes in my life over the past 6 months or so, and my blog just wasn’t reflecting any of those changes.

So here we are, in the first month of the New Year and I am excited! I am excited to share the changes that have been going on in my life. I am excited to share my new blog with you and I am excited to start sharing my art and passions with you once again!

So let’s step back in time to July 2012 shall we, and I will walk you through some of the changes that have been going on with me over the past 6 months.

In July I stopped watching my granddaughters. I just didn’t feel able to do it any longer. I felt so bad all of the time, and I did not want them to remember me as the cranky Amma (that is what they call me). Also, Monkey was starting school, and I wasn’t sure I would be reliable enough to get her to and from school each day.  So the decision was made that Bryanna would quit her job in July to become a SAHM.

I really sweated this decision, but as it turns out it was the best for EVEYONE!!! Bryanna loves being home, the girls love having her home, and Monkey is doing great in school; it has been good for me personally, too.

By July I had gotten really tired of feeling bad. I was tired of the doctors being unable to help. I was tired of not being allowed in part of my own home because it made me even sicker. I remember walking out to the garage one day to get something, and I was half-heartedly praying about my health like I had been doing for months, when I realized I was the problem not HIM! I was doing everything half-heartedly. Working at my health, working at my family life, working at my spiritual life and working at my creative life all with just half a heart! So at that moment I got on my knees in that dirty garage (remember this neat freak had been too sick to sweep a garage) and I prayed like I hadn’t prayed in years! I wanted with ALL of my heart to be well. I wanted with ALL of my heart to be happy and creative and to be in relationship with my Father like I used to be! So I made some decisions and then I worked HARD to make those decisions a reality!
I started off with things I thought were within my power to take care of. Since I wouldn’t have the girls here every day any longer I switched rooms with them. My studio is now in what used to be their play room and vise versa. That was all well and good but I needed furniture (since I had to get rid of all my old stuff) and I had no money. You might think I am crazy but I prayed for it and I got it! (you can read more about that here if you are interested.)

At the same time I started working on my spiritual life. If you didn’t know this already I have been a Christian all of my life (although the past few years my life didn’t really show it) I was raised in a Christian home by 2 Godly parents and I have never known a time during my life that I didn’t know that God loved me. I was even a youth pastor for several years (the happiest time of my life). So I know the POWER there is when you are walking daily in relationship with The Father! I started going back to my church, I started really praying again and I started reading and studying my Bible again. It has been such a remarkable and exciting time in my life to see how He is working in my life!

My art suddenly took a change at this time as well (my Mom calls it “messy” now). It is as if there is a whole new Marta at work here. Not only has the style of my art been transformed so has the content. For as long as I have had a studio of my own (about 14 years now) I have had a quote hanging in there. It simply says “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God!” I have always used this as a guide while I worked on my art and felt as if God wanted me to create (use my talent), but He wanted me to do it for the good of others. This is why I have never taken payment for photos I do for people and why I am always willing to have people in my home that want to learn how to do something or just need some help with a project. But now I see that the content of my art can “be for the good of others”too. If my art can convey a message of hope and of purpose I feel I am using my talent the way God always intended, and I am happy to give Him that gift.

I have taken the time in these past months to weed out some things that are not necessary or beneficial to me in my life. And I have also taken the time to infuse some new things that are. I am working hard at being more productive in all areas of my life. Something that I had sadly, gotten out practice on in the past few years. It feels amazingly good to see my life coming back together and I want to share that with all of you that take time to visit my blog. So there are some changes happening here.

Of course I will still be sharing my art with you and keeping you up to date on classes that I will be teaching. I will still share about the normal day-to-day things that are happening in my little corner of the world. But I also want to share with you all what God is doing in my life. This does not mean you will pop on to Spillin’ the Beenz and find a sermon posted (well anyways that’s not the plan). I just want to share my joy with you and encourage you along the way.

So that’s the plan, the new direction I am going in with my blog. I hope you will enjoy it and visit often! So as you can see there are several new things on the blog – take a moment if you like to look around and click on all of the new links. Not everything is completely finished yet but it’s getting there.  Here are a few of the new things I have added for you. . .

You can access any of these new pages on the right sidebar or from the tabs at the top of the blog.

 ”About Me” page. It is really ridiculously l o n g and just nonsense but there are some funny pictures of my different hairstyles throughout the years and some strange facts you might not know about me.

“Take a Class” page is all set up for you and has all of my class dates through May. Now, that does not mean there is a class sample posted for each of the dates. I mean I am really getting organized, but that is just way over the top! You can check here to see the class samples, check dates and times and get the supply list for the class.

“His Word” page is not finished yet – it is still under construction. But eventually I would like to have some Bible studies available for you there and some other inspirational tools and information.

“My Gallery” Page is also still under construction. But you will find pictures and info on past projects I have done and links to some of my online galleries.

“Doodles” is another page still under construction. But I want to share with you some of the doodles I have been doing. I started doing Zentangles and doodles when I was sick and couldn’t do much else. Trust me I have never been able to draw even a stick figure, so if I can doodle YOU can doodle. It is a great stress reliever and you can do it anywhere!

“Original Art for Sale” is up but there isn’t much on there right now. But be on the lookout I will be adding things soon!

“Kits & Instructions” is up and running. It is just like it was before.

“My Art Journals” Page is also new and it is ready. But it will change as I do more pages in my journals so check back often.

“My Studio Tour” is under construction just like my studio is. When I get the new shelving hung and everything painted I will take some pictures and share with you.

Thanks again for hanging out with me. I promise the next post will have photos and stories for you!  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about the changes.
Till we meet again. . . .

Saturday, January 19, 2013

No Peeking!

I am under construction right now - but I will be up and running in a couple of days. Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Changes Are A Commin'

I haven't left you - just busy making changes.
I hope you all had a GREAT New Year!
See you all soon with the "new & improved" Spillin' the Beenz!