Friday, March 29, 2013

Just Busy Having FUN!!!

I have been busy having FUN this week - actually since last Friday.
Here's a taste of what I have been up to. . .
Friday & Saturday
 I went to the Beth Moore Conference last Friday and Saturday - and ran into Deera a gal that took a couple of my classes - what a surprise to see her in a group of 5000 women!
 This is Deborah in her pretty pink smock from the conference. Thanks for bringing me along - what a great time!
 This is Deborah and me at Rudy's BBQ in Chandler - after a fun day of shopping in Mesa together
 Good Eats! Brisket & ribs - YUM!
 Grad fair at ASU with Lizzy - it is getting real now!
 Inside that bag in her hands is her cap & gown! I can't wait to see her in it walking across that stage! Her cap is going to be a little different than the one shown here - she is putting Mickey Ears on hers!
 This is my baby girl ordering all of her announcements etc. After the grad fair we headed out to Smash Burger - YUM! Have you been to Smash Burger? Gotta love the burgers and Rosemary/Olive Oil fries!!! A food coma ensued right after this.
 This is the 303 on the way home - I have been wanting to get pictures of how pretty the desert is right now. Not the best pictures, as you can see later I have my arm out the car window taking these at 70mph!
 The sides of the roads are just lined with yellow and purple wild flowers. So pretty now, but in the heat of the summer this will all turn to fire hazard.
 This is Lone Mountain - the road that takes me home. I love this road - I love how it winds and the landscaping and all of the beautiful mountains I get to see while I drive. This is so much nicer than when we lived in the city and saw nothing but buildings and signs as you headed home.

Thursday & Friday
 A new canvas was made. It is for a special friend and has lots of symbolism. I sure hope she likes it. We will see this weekend.
 Just some of the details for you to see
 This is it before all of the paint etc.
Not pictured above were play times with the Granddaughters - hanging out with the Hubby (he was off work from Wed to Wed) - Packing class kits - Lots of really interesting Bible study (even learned a little Hebrew this week!) - visiting with neighbors and just having a great time!
Tomorrow  is my Prayer Block class - I am really looking forward to it - it is a fun group of gals in this class. The car is all packed and ready to roll out of here in the morning.
It's Resurrection Day!!! What a wonderful day that is! I will be hanging out with my family enjoying good food and fun
 I hope your week was every bit as good as mine has been, and I wish you a very blessed weekend!
Till we meet again. . . .

Monday, March 18, 2013

There's a New Canvas in My House!

You all know I LOVE canvas art! And so this weekend I decided to stretch my wings a little and try something different. I had wanted to do this all week, but I am trying to watch my pennies so I wouldn't allow myself to go purchase the couple of supplies I was out of. By Saturday I could no longer exercise any self-control and found myself in my car headed toward Micheal's! So after LOTS of hours in my studio, at the kitchen counter, and out on the back patio I am finally finished. I wouldn't say it is my favorite piece, but I do like it and the process was really fun.
So here it is . . .
I am calling it "There is No Greater Love"

I took pictures as I was working to show you the process in case you want to give it a try.
 So this is the beginning - I started off with an image of the Crucifixion  that I scanned out of a book. I laid it down with matte medium and then attached a double layer of cheesecloth to the entire canvas (I cut a hole in it for my image to show through) with matte medium as well. I made sure the cheesecloth covered the sides of the canvas as well and allowed it to be wrinkly. Then I just started crabbing things from my stash - embellishments, hardware, flowers, game pieces and so on. I experimented with the layout of these items until I was pleased.

 This is what my table looked like as I was working - and you should have seen the mess on my floor!
 I moved from my studio to the kitchen counter for this step so I could have more room and access to electricity for my hot glue gun. This is the final arrangement of all of my embellishments. They are all glued down and secure. I used a combination of hot glue, Glossy Accents, Ultimate and the dreaded E-6000 (that stuff makes me so sick - I try never to use it). The hot glue (another of my least favorite adhesives) was just used to hold things in place while the better adhesives had a chance to set. This keeps you moving and keeps you from having to hold on to things while they dry/set.
My Mother came in from church as I was working on this part - and gave me the "eyes" I assured it that I knew it was "ugly" but that it would get better.
These are some detail pictures to show you what all I used on my canvas
 Latches, laces, wings, cut nails, some sort of a gear I have had for years in my stash, keys, crowns and flowers
 Pen nibs, clock hands, bobbins, buttons, a domino, light bulb, clocks and gears and more flowers
 Ornate book plate, clock key, faucet handle, address number plate, key, charms and misc filigree pieces
This is the next step after you glue things down and let it dry real good.
I covered EVERYTHING (except my image and text) with a coat or two of gesso. It really starts to come alive at this point. You are no longer distracted by all of the different colors and textures. They all just seem to come together. It has a very "shabby chic" look at this point.
 This is just another view of above to show you all of the depth and texture created with all of these found objects.

My hands were a MESS in the following steps so I didn't take pictures for you. But here it is all finished
 Basically I just started with a thinned down layer of brown acrylic paint and washed it over the sides of the canvas and just partially over the top - kinda like a "frame" of paint. Next came the sprays - I am not a big "spray" person so my stash of those are very limited. But I used some Glimmer mist and some Dylusions sprays. I even made up some of my own with some acrylic inks I have and some reinkers. Cover your image and your text with some paper towels to keep the sprays off of them. Then just spray it until you like it (be sure to heat set between colors or you will get mud!) , wipe it dab it do what feels right while you are doing it. I even added a little bit of metallic rubs here and there. Lastly I hit some of the high points with a dry brush of white paint. I started from the left side of my canvas and moved right - this way the "light" that you are creating will all be coming from the same source. You could totally do top to bottom or right to left - just keep it going the same way.

Here are couple more detail pictures for you so you can see what changes were made to those embellishments.
 I just love all of the movement on this canvas. It is definitely a technique I will do again. But when I do I will be more careful when picking out my image. Although I love the image I picked, I wish I would have picked a brighter image so that it would have remained the focal point. Oh well, Live & Learn, right?
I hope you enjoyed seeing this and that you will give it a try also! If you have any questions that I didn't answer here feel free to email me or leave a comment.

Till we meet again. . . .

Monday, March 11, 2013

Proud Mama Alert!!!!!

This is my baby girl Lizzy 
 she just picked up her honors cords for graduation today.
That's right my baby is graduating from ASU
Suma Cum Laude!!!!!!!
I cannot tell you how very PROUD I am of her!
She put herself through school all on her own
Kept a job the whole time
kept a PERFECT Grade Point Average!!!!
She is finishing up her internship right now and just took (and aced) her 1st certification test. One more to go, then graduation on May 8th and my baby will be
"Miss Gladden, the high school English teacher"!
And if this is not enough
she is already enrolled in her masters program and she starts that in May also!
This is the best gift a parent can receive -
to see their child do well and accomplish their goals!
Have a great week Friends
till we meet again. . . .

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Don't Forget It's BIBLE Time. . .

Tonight is Episode Two of the History Channels miniseries "The Bible"
The Homeland
We get to meet King Saul and King David tonight and many others - I already have my timer set so I wont miss it.
I am really enjoying this - I might have to buy the DVD set.

Enjoy your Sunday

Till we meet again. . .

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Just a Reminder. . .

This Friday is Mixed Media with Marta

This month we will be decorating Easter Eggs. No stinky vinegar with these, and you don't have to eat them (or throw them away like I do). But you will still get messy hands while you make them!

Friday - March 15th from 12-3pm - $30

You will get everything you need to make a dozen of these beautiful eggs. I hope to see you there!
Enjoy your weekend
Till we meet again. . . .

Friday, March 8, 2013

The 10 Commandments, Passover and the Dentist

Crazy post title tonight but these are the topics I want to chat about tonight. . . .

"The Ten Commandments"
So the other day I reminded you all that the History channel was starting "The Bible" miniseries. I told you all that I was excited to watch it and shared how I loved watching "The Ten Commandments" when I was a girl. Well, I was super excited on Sunday when I realized that another channel was playing the "The Ten Commandments" before "The Bible" came on. It was like being a kid again. I was surprised at how well "The Ten Commandments" has held up over all these years. It is 57 years old and it looks like it was made recently - even Gary argued with me that it was not the original one because it looked so good. I am not a big TV watcher but Sunday I ended up in front of the TV for 6 hours! But I am telling myself it is okay because it was quality TV time.  Did any of you get to catch "The Bible"? I thought it was very well done and I am looking forward to watching the next episode this Sunday.

Today I got to go on an adventure! It might not be an adventure everyone else would be excited about, but I really enjoyed myself. Right now I am studying Passion Week (Jesus' last week on earth) in my Bible study time (at Christmas I studied the Nativity). It is a very interesting study but it is also a bit confusing to put all of the events in chronological order. The Jews kept a different calendar than we do and their days run differently than ours does (we do midnight to midnight, they do sunset to sunset) and of course Passion week coincided with Passover then. So, in my quest to better understand all of this history and time differences I decided to call a synagogue to see if I could talk with someone. The 1st synagogue I called was not excited to help this crazy Gentile. But ever persistent I tried another one - they were more than happy to get me in with the Rabbi! So this morning I spent 2 hours in a synagogue chatting up Jewish history, Passover and calendars! Rabbi Rosenberg was so friendly and warm. He answered all of my questions and then some. He even invited me (and my family) to join their Shabbot. I think I will have to take him upon his offer in the next few weeks! I will of course have to go alone - no one else in my family is at interested in any of this. But I think it is always interesting to learn about other people and their customs - and you know what - I couldn't be a Christian if there weren't Jews 1st! Both of us use a lot of the same scriptures - our Old Testament is their Written Torah or the Tanakh.
"The Dentist"
Do you remember in August when I posted about my "miracle" at the dentist? Well, I have another one for you . . . 
Monday I had another appointment for a cleaning and a check-up and to make a treatment plan for the rest of the work I need to have done. I get there and do all of the stuff we had planned to get done. Sadly, when they did all of the checking I have a TON of work that needs to be done - like $11,000 worth of work! That amount is for my whole mouth but to just get the stuff done that is really bothering me is around $3,000. As I left the office I was starting to feel a bit discouraged because frankly I don't have that kind of money. So I got in my car and started my regular process I do of trying to figure what I am going to do about this - Get a job? Sell some art work? Not get my teeth fixed? Then I decided I was just not going to worry about it - I was going to pray about it and let God tell me what I should do (this is that whole faith & trust thing) and I was feeling good about this.
As I am driving (in Scottsdale) I see a homeless man holding up a sign that said "anything will help - God bless you". I ALWAYS give money to people with signs! I just cannot pass them by - I just can't! But this day I thought to myself "I just can't give him anything - I need to come up with $11,000 for myself"! I was instantly ashamed of myself and pulled out my wallet (mind you I am at a red light while all of this thinking is going on) and gave the man some money. After all, the little bit I gave was not going to pay my dentist bill. As I drove away I told God that I would trust Him to supply all of needs and that I would continue to give the way I always have.
When I got home I was telling Gary about all of this and he agreed that we did not have the money to pay this bill. I could see the worry on his face - he is the only money maker in our home. I shared with him that I had faith that God would provide and for him not to worry. The next morning my dentist office called and had talked to my ins company about a claim they had not paid for almost $500 they also told me I had a credit still of $1500. Guess what? The Ins paid it, a check was in the mail to me. Then I was going through some papers for taxes and I found 2 more checks for $300! I could barely believe this! Then to top it all off Gary came home that night with the mail in his hand and says to me "God must really listen to you" and hands me an envelope from our mortgage company with a check for $1000!!!!
Did you do the math. . . I can get the 1st part of my treatment done and pay cash for it all! God is so good!!!! I wouldn't normally share so many details about my finances but I just wanted to encourage you to have faith - to really trust God for the things you need. He really does care about all of the details of your life!
So that has been my week - the Ten Commandments, Passover and the Dentist. All three have been a blessing to me. I hope your week has been as good!
Till we meet again. . .

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Bible

Did you know tonight is the 1st episode of The History Channel's "The Bible"?
It starts at 9pm here in AZ and I have all of my TV's set to remind me.
The Bible is a 10 hour, 5-part mini series. The final episode will be aired on Easter Sunday (Mar 31)
"you can click on the photo above to see clips of The Bible"
I loved watching the "Ten Commandments" when I was a kid. It was a big family event around the TV at our house. Charlton Heston was a great Moses and I loved watching him part the red sea!
When I was a kid there were lots of big Biblical movies with big stars - many are classics now, like
The Bible
Ben Hur
The Robe
The Greatest Story Ever Told
Jesus of Nazareth
and I enjoyed watching them with my family and being able to put faces to the names I grew up reading and hearing about in church. As a kid it just made it all more "real" to me. I really hope that this new movie (mini-series) will do the same for a new generation.
Will you be tuning in to watch it?
Till we meet again. . .

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ahead of the Game for Once!

I am actually announcing my April classes in the 2nd day of March - can you believe it!
Lately it seems I am running behind in getting my samples done and into the store, I decided this week I would be ahead of the game for once! So let me share with you what is coming up at The Occasional Artist. . .
This is April's "Mixed Media with Marta Friday" class. Easter comes early this year but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate Spring. So I made this vintage inspired, shabby wooden wall hanging. Actually it could be hung on your front door in place of a wreath, on a door knob (mine is on the pantry door - no one is sneaking a snack without me knowing it!) or even in a window (it is 2-sided).
I love the black with the soft colors and floral papers and the crinkled seam binding. I hope you will join us for this project.

Two weeks ago I shared with you my newest collection of old books - here is the first of many projects to be made with those books.
This is a Little Golden Book that has been turned into a journal. Who doesn't love a Little Golden Book? And who can't use another journal, planner or sketch book? I have have several titles for you to choose from to make it personal to you.
 You will also get several choices on charms, embellishments, tabs and ribbons to match your chosen book.
I have added a new spine and a binder mechanism to the book so you can change out and add new papers to your journal as often as you like. And we will be using the illustrations in the original book to build the pages and dividers.
 There are 4 dividers in the book that are made out of covered chipboard so they are nice and sturdy, and each divide has some sort of tab on the edge. And just for an extra touch, each divided section starts off with a vellum overlay.
You will also have a choice of different pockets and envelopes to add to your journal.
 Above you can see some of the pockets and envelopes - that I have included. Each one is adorned with illustrations from the story book.
You will also have a choice of papers to add to your journal. There is a "BINGO" card that is a postcard on the opposite side, some Sketch Paper, Smooth Bristol, Lined Paper, and even some Ledger Paper.
You will also receive via email the digital files for both a 2013 and 2014 monthly planner calendar that you can print out on whatever paper you decide. You will also get the digital file for the address book pages that you can print out as many as you want.
The varied assortment of papers, pockets and embellishments will really allow you to design this journal to meet your own needs.  
I hope you will be able to join me for this project - I know it is going to be a FUN class!
Now it is time to clean up my studio  - as you can imagine it is a mess in here!
Have a great weekend!
Till we meet again. . .