Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun From Pottery Barn

This new postal cupboard just arrived from Pottery Barn. It has 25 numbered slots so I decided to use it as an advent shadow box for now and add holiday scenes each day. Check back to see more.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Swap Abundance in December!

I love to host and join swaps. It never fails that I over extend myself on the holiday swaps. Everything always sounds so fun and festive that I am afraid to miss out. I hosted three: Holiday songs, Nesting dolls and Christmas house atcs. I participated in Christmas Carols, Christmas inchies, Vintage ornaments, Handmade ornaments, A Year of Color RED atc s and Angel atcs. Sometimes I work all day to get them completed and in the mail. It is all so worth it when all the returned swap packages start to arrive!
My Favorite Holiday songs was a great success with so many gifted artists participating, 24 in all! As the cards stated coming in I was inspired to assemble my new 7 Gypsies atc holder. It gives my cards the perfect home don't you think?

This year I think I participated in every holiday workshop put on by my local and semi-local scrapbook stores. This year the projects were all wonderfully designed and fun to make. What have you been up to this holiday season?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy the day with your family, friends and loved ones. Let us all be thankful for our many blessings. Let us give thanks and blessings to our soldiers far from home protecting our Freedom, Family and Country. God Bless!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Holidays are upon us!

I overextended myself a bit this season as swaps go, I know, so what's new!I am hosting four and participating in four. I am especially looking forward to a Vintage Ornament Swap I signed up to do. I mailed them off last week and am excited to see the other participant's creations. Basically I made vintage Christmas imaged inchies, rolled them in star glitter (fun) and mounted them on silver snowflakes. They were very simple in materials and design but elegant, if I do say so myself! My friend Beth spied the atc holder for me, Thanks Again Beth!

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Swap: Christmas atc Houses 2009

I have hosted a Christmas House swap for the last two years and have always been pleased with the results. The houses are the usual atc size 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 cut in the shape of a house. Some are decorated with a snow capped roof, others hold a holiday image or view into the decorated living room of a tiny family. Last year I designed a Victorian house with tiny wreaths and lights. I then put my collection of atc houses on scrabble tile holders on my mantle to decorate my home for the holidays. If you are interested leave a comment or email me at valerieLmyers@yahoo.com. Let's have each participant make 10 houses to start.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Projects, Purchases and Eye Candy!

I am so looking forward to fall. The cooler weather, leaves falling, warm sweaters and cozy fires. Fall signals the beginning of the holiday season.

My daughter has jumped right into it, she is planning for a Halloween party for her belated birthday, long story but #10 must not be forgotten!

I ordered seasonal ephemera and embellies from Flea Market Studio for several of my upcoming Halloween swaps. She has a unique style in her packaging and creation of artistic items. I thought I would share the lovelies with you today. Every time I walk by them on the table I have to stop and rearrange them. I will post her blog address under friends who inspire me in case you are interested.

I also ordered these cute doll tags from the same vendor. Each has a doll image that is covered with tulle and then machine stitched. Every detail was tended to as even the cellophane packaging was stitched closed. It is such a joy to open an item when an artist has paid so much attention to the details of packaging. However, sometimes it makes it so difficult to open because you don't want to disturb the lovely package.

I have also posted a little closet shadow box I made in a class offered by my friend Lisa Super. I am very pleased with the way it came together. I love the way she transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary by changing the way you look at and use an object.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Bunny Book Goes Full Circle!

Last year I was invited to join a collaborative book project on Beatrix Potter. The theme was her art and of course, Peter Rabbit. Everyone knows my fondness for bunnies so this was a definite yes.We could use a purchased book or bind our own. We had several months to put our books together, design the cover and our first page with an atc. There had to be a pocket to hold a removable atc and a second page, layout style. Originally there were 10 of us in the round robin and we had one month to complete each entry then pass it to the next person on the list. I really enjoyed seeing all the different books and how each artist customized their design for each entry. I especially loved the atc component, some were held in with little picket fences, vines, library pockets, ribbon and even flowers! The project took over a year and we had two artists drop out, one became terribly ill and a mother/daughter team that kept the books for too long. At one point one artist had five of the ten books! Well, we were able to get it back on track and the finished projects were a true delight.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Blog Makeover and A farmer's Market Find

Well, after visiting Karen Valentine's Where Artists Create blog party I decided it was time for a makeover of my studio and of my blog. The studio will have to wait but with the help of my daughter Kaitlyn, my friend Lisa, and her husband, today was the day. I love the cleaner color palette and three column format!

In addition, I changed the name of my blog, well sort of...I translated Creative Chaos to French. I know it all sounds very continental but fact is there is another artist with the same name for her blog. ..So what do you think?

This week at the Farmers Market where I shop on Sunday I found this wonderful basket. It is amazingly light and holds everything, The leather handle makes carrying even the heaviest load comfortable. I bought it from a man who told me he imported them from Madagascar, how cool is that. It is round but he demonstrated that by soaking it with water it could be reshaped into any shape. He made all types of shapes from the basket, even a heart. I was sold and had to have one! As I was carrying it to my car filled with my edible bounty, I visualized filling it with vintage treasure at my next visit to the Alameda Flea Market September 6th. I can't wait!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Fun Family Vacation times two!

We spent a wonderful week in San Diego and had the most perfect weather! My husband had a conference so we all hitched a ride with him to Southern California. We walked all over town and had a suite overlooking the bay. All day long ships of all sorts cruised passed our window, battleships, freighters, cruise ships and even a paddle boat in the evening.
The day we arrived home we had family visiting from Southern California and where did they want to go: San Francisco, of course. So we packed everyone up and went to the city, tourist style. I had not done so in many, many years so we worked down my sister-in-laws list: Drive down Lombard St, check, ride a trolley, check, harbor cruise, check, Pier 39, check, Chocolate sundae at Giradelli, double check...and the list went on. It was a blast and for the kids a real treat to do everything all in one day! Did you know that Angel Island was the Ellis Island of the Pacific for immigrants of long ago. Or that the Golden Gate Bridge is called such not because of it's color but because it was thought to be the golden gates to paradise by early visitors arriving by sea.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Year of Color...

button_small http://kari-ayearofcolor2.blogspot.com
I love this blog, I told several of my friends about it and they imediately joined, so I thought I would share it with you too. It is not free like most blogs but is very low cost. It is $1 a month paid for all at one time through Paypal.If you join you get all the prior entries for the year so you don't miss anyting joining late. It is just filled with great photos, tutorials from top designers, project swaps and my favorite: a monthly atc swap! Many of the entries remind me of on-line classes I have taken, stressing composition, color theory, design elements and technique. This month the theme is stripes and our guest designer is Cassondra Walters, she is a found object assemblage artist.Her 3-D collages are amazing. I am always pleased with each segment of A Year of Color and usually return to it several times a day for inspiration and just to enjoy the beautiful imagery. If you are interested please contact Kari at the above blogspot.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Journaling and The One Minute Muse!

This site offers some fun, quick ideas for getting started with Art Journaling. It seems to be the current rage. Everyone is making art journals but many, like me are coming up short on what to fill the pages with once the journal is complete. My journal is a 20" by 14" leger my friend Beth gave me. Not to be outdone, it has a mere 340 pages, however, I have only completed a mere 10 pages. Those of you who know me, know I like to work small, very small like in inchie and atc sized art so this is quite a strech for me. I am actually finding the large size gives me permission to be less percise and more free in my entries. Now my daughter's are asking if they can do a page in my "Big Book" journal...I don't know, I am still thinking about it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scrapbook Stores and Kindred Spirits

I lived in Fremont for close to 15 years before I met another artist. I met plenty of mom's with children the same age as mine, mom's at soccer, baseball, gymnastics, the list goes on and on. Then one day I walked into a small scrapbook store, one of the few remaining at this particular time in history. I signed up for a journal making class with a teacher named Traci Bautista, then a little known local artist. Wow,I couldn't believe it, a class full of women painting, drawing, stamping and coloring paper. I was home! From then on I took more classes and met more people, some crafters, some scrapbookers and some artists. Many became friends, some created art groups, some taught but most importantly, all loved to create!
And now as I reflect on the closing of another local scrapbook store. I am saddened by the closing of the store but mostly by the loss of yet another place where the creative gather to inspire, laugh and yes, create. Fortunatly for me I have a rather large collection of names, numbers and emails that I can call to propose an artist's gatering, get a list of upcoming workshops, borrow paint or paper and most importantly: be inspired! Although I was never much of a scrapbooker in the literal sense, I started this inchie, atc, Moo card, book altering, vintage collecting journey... in a scrapbook store. I will always be grateful to the store owners who made this possible. Special thanks to Monica, Sherri, Laurie and Suzy for being the source of such inspiration and the meeting place of so many kindred spirits!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grads, Dads and Charms!

Well, the day finally arrived with my son graduating high school and as expected I was in tears several times during the ceremony. It was a lovely graduation and a true milestone in our family. Much of my family made the trip from various Southern California cities to watch the first child, grand-child and great grandchild accept his diploma!
The next day my middle child graduated from 8th grade. She sang the star spangled banner and received honor roll, mathematical excellence and voted most likely to succeed by her class. Another memorable evening indeed!
For Father's Day the girl's served their dad breakfast in bed and looked the other way while he played 'World of War Craft' for much of the day. I compared it to my taking back to back art classes which is one way I have celebrated special days ( birthdays, Mother's Day) in the past.
I sent in my "Things with Wings" charms to my friend Michelle in Southern California. This is her fourth such swap. I always enjoy designing the charms and it is always fun to see how each person interprets the theme. I made a fairy charm with shrink art that I attached to a shell charm and also an owl on a button with a glittery foam base.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Crazy Computers and ATCs!

It just died on me Thursday so there it sat until my husband came home. He is a super tech guy and although he was tired took on the challenge with gusto. I was away that evening at an ATC meet-up in Pleasant Hill with many friends from My Daughter's Wish. An amazing mixed media and paper store that closed it's doors early this year. We meet at Michael's the first Thursday of each month and bring our cards to trade. My friend Daniela, a teacher and design team member from MDW, has kept the group together. Challenging us each month with interesting themes and fun projects.One of my favorites was an atc card made from a thick (1 1/2 inch thick) block of wood.

This month's theme was Mythological Creatures! We had a 3D Medusa card, a dancing mermaid, a siren, a gargoyle and a collection of othermythical creatures. Everyone puts so much effort into their creations every month and I feel fortunate to be part of such a wonderful group of artists.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

This year we spent Memorial Day with our family, a family reunion with folks traveling from all over: Hawaii, South Dakota, Oregon and Las Vegas. What made it especially wonderful is we were able to spend it with a real hero, my father in law, Daniel J Myers Jr. A man who dedicated a great deal of his life to serving this country. After graduating from West Point he entered the military as an officer. He fought in two wars, The Korean War and The Vietnam War and earned many distinctions for bravery and valor. Earning for himself the high military rank of Colonel . I am thankful for his service and that of all who have served in the past and present. Thank you for keeping our country safe and our people free. God Bless You!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Please Vote!

In was fun today because at the polls I ran into so many of my son's friends voting for the very first time. The young men, that I remember crying at the gates as we left them at school for the very first time, casting their votes for this democracy we call America. My son went with me but is still a few months shy of eighteen. He said he was looking forward to the next election when he would be able to vote. It is hopeful to see youth out to vote trying to make a difference in their futures and that of their country. It is one of the great privileges of being an American citizen and also one of our best efforts to keep us a free nation for generations to come. So please go out and vote!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mermaid ATC's Postal!!!

I want to thank all the participants in this wonderful swap! The artistry and attention to detail was fabulous! I mailed a group out yesterday , one today and I will send the last out tomorrow. I try to mix and match them the best I can so everyone gets a bit of variety. I hope you enjoy your cards and thanks again for your participation!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mermaid ATCS Due This Week!

Just a quick reminder that all mermaid atcs should be to me by this week-end. I have received some really amazing cards this year. All are wonderful, some whimsical and others artsy! Even one singing mermaid in a box! Thank you all for the amazing effort and creativity you put into your beautiful cards to share.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Family Trip to the Coast!

I just got back from a family stay on the California coast. We went to spend Spring break at Seascape Resort in Aptos, California. Only 1 hour and ten minutes from our house but a world away from are usual routine. The weather was beautiful and I was able to really relax. We had a beautiful 3 bedroom villa with a "deluxe" ocean view. I don't really know the difference but they assured us it was even better than a "full" ocean view when we booked it. I guess, as well as seeing the ocean from our balcony, we were able to view it from every room this time. The best part was sharing time with the kids and also being able to relax while they ran around the resort. To the pool, the restaurants, the health club they freely roamed while hubby and I just sat on the deck reading, sleeping, sunning and/or making atc cards ,lol!. Then we all went down to the beach to read, play in the sand and relax. One our last night we enjoyed a campfire down on the beach with all the S'more fixings. A great time was had by all and now we are ready for the final 8 weeks of school before summer and two graduations!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mermaid Swap Due Date Changed!

I have pushed out the due date for the Mermaid swap to April 30th. There are over 35 participants so far. It has been a while since I blogged so let me update you on what I have been up to.

Last month I took several classes from two amazing artists: Kelly Kilmer and Lisa Guerin. Kelly is a collage artist who likes to create and re-purpose books. She takes collage layering to a new level and is quite inspirational in her classes. One of the classes I took with her ( I took two) was called the swatch book. We assembeled stacks of paper from old childrens books then bound them together with a simple pamplet stich. We then collaged on each page with scraps and bits from her wonderful collection. In the same week-end ( you know feast or famine) I was lucky enough to take two classes with paper artist; Lisa Guerin. The first was a gypsy necklace class where we took shrink art to the next level. With clear and white shrink plastic we stamped the afternoon away. It was the second class that rocked my world. I never would never have guessed how much fun I would have making paper dolls. For three hours we created from various stamps. It was great and I learned many new stamping techniques.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Character is What You Do When No One is Watching!

These words have always resonated with me and I have tried to instill them in my children. Always wondering if they get it, well my question was answered by my 9 year old daughter.
She came home upset from school yesterday. She had the second highest grade on the class spelling test. Now she has had top scores and less than top scores but usually has no issues as she believes she studied and did her best. So I asked her to tell me more about it, a possible teachable moment, I wondered? She said that the person who got the highest grade cheated. I told her those were strong words but she said she was angry! Not by the persons score as much as by said person telling others that she cheated and reveling in it to others, who like my daughter, had studied. Yes indeed, a teachable moment! One of the reasons I love being a stay at home mom, lot's of teachable moments before and after school!

I knew the whole (mom) speech of as long as you do your best just wasn't going to cut it this time. So I said that there is a lot of pride to be taken by doing the right thing. So I asked her,"What if you found a bag of money and no one saw you pick it up? What would you do?" She quickly said of course she would take it to the police. Why, if no one saw that you had it or would know you had it? She said because it belongs to someone else, it is not my money to spend. I told her she could buy toys and candy, even things for friends and family. So what did she say (I was so proud) in response?
She said, " She would know in her heart that it would be wrong and anything she bought with the money would not make her heart feel good. She wouldn't be able to enjoy the toys and candy, if she had not earned it or bought it with her own money. So then she turned to me, soft brown eyes looking up, and asked me what I would do? Then she stopped and said, "Mom, I know what you would do, you would give the money to the police too because what you do when no one is watching, is who you really are, in your heart, right?

I had tears in my eyes, motherly mission accomplished. "Yes, sweet child of mine, what you do in any given situation when you can't be caught or seen is called character ( and it counts)! You have to take satisfaction in the fact that sometimes, the only people who will ever know your greatness or good deeds, is you and God!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sign ups continue for 2nd annual Mermaid swap!

I already have over 25 artists signed up for this swap! Don't miss out , many different art mediums will be represented. I have scrapbookers, quilters, watercolorists, needle crafters and mixed media artists all gathering for this swap, this group will certainly create an amazing collection.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Swap Announcement: Mermaid ATCS!

Last April I hosted a Mermaid atc swap with over 50 participants! I received the most amazing cards and it continues to be one of my favorite collections. Here are the details:
each participant makes 8 cards
number 1/8...8/8 make an extra for yourself as you will not get one of your own back
use chipboard or double cardstock
include at least one embellishment (brad,ribbon,fiber,jewel...)
size 2 1/2 by 3 1/2
sign and date each card
Please email me for my address
include a return address label and $2 for postage
mail in a padded envelope which I will use to return to you
I hope you will join me for this swap!
email: valerieLmyers@yahoo.com
Due date 4/17

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A New Do, Inchie Paper dolls, and a Few Good Eggs!

OK, so today a new stylist and a new do for spring! She said I looked 5 years younger, I'll take it! I also finished my inchie paper dolls for a swap I joined on Split Coast Stampers.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fun Finds at My Friends and I

When the flea market is rained out it is always a good day to visit My Friends and , a small antique shop in the Niles area of Fremont! They always have fun found objects and flea market type finds. Last time I was out Junque shopping I found these fun items. A cute doll leg became a vase for some lovely Millinery Flowers. The aqua tool box is a antique find that I toted back from my fall visit to Portland for a class with Sally Jean. The other photo is of some fun vintage Easter postcard finds from the Paper show in San Francisco. I plan to use some of the images on the Easter egg atcs for my swap.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Full Art Week-End approaching!

I love when these come along, where everyday of the week-end holds classes and art with friends. First on Friday is a crop at Picture Me Perfect with friends, Saturday is a class with Carol Wingert and Sunday, if the weather permits, the Alameda Antique Flea market!
At the crop I plan to catch up with my many ATC swap projects. I am also doing several inchie swaps, I just love looking at so much detail within an inch by inch canvas! Always amazing! Inchies were a real show stopper at the Ranger booth at CHA. I saw the photo posted on so many websites after the show, I know everyone loved those tiny treasures. This month I am hosting two swaps: Vintage Easter Egg ATC and The Luck of the Irish ATC! If you are interested email me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lot's of Rain and a New Swap!

Seems like a spent the whole day in the rain. Delivering cupcakes and Valentines for the children's school parties. Dropping of swapped atcs at the post-office. Taking my older daughter's formal dress to school so she could get ready for the dance with a friend after school. Then the usual driving for school drop off and pick-ups. It felt good to finally get home and dry out for a bit! I love the rain when I am at home working on a project by the fireplace, nice and cozy. Not so much at rush hour on the freeway.
I have mailed out the templates for my Vintage Easter Egg ATC swap, I currently have 30 participants. This should be a fun one as I have asked everyone to try to age the paper with various techniques such as tea staining, inking or using vintage paper or tissue. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with for this swap. I even have a few swappers from New Zealand! If you are interested it is not to late, just leave me a comment or drop me an email!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back from CHA!

I had such an amazing time! There was so much inspiration at the show beginning with all the new papers and product coming in 2009. So many samples of art work and projects by artists and designers from all over the country. The best part was that everyone was so nice and friendly. I fell in love with the 7 Gypsy mega booth and all the wonderful products and projects. I even signed up for a wonderful class with them to make a folding gypsy house. I will get a picture up in the next few days. It was exciting to see so much product in one place, I saw many of the folks from our LSS ordering away for the upcoming year. I have a new respect for this daunting task of trying to decide which designs and products will appeal to which customers. Here is a hint from me: 7 Gypsy rules!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting Ready for CHA!

This will be my first time to CHA, I am so excited. I am going to be meeting up with some Yahoo group friends that I have never met in person! I will also be meeting up with some Bay area friends and local store owners down there too.
I have been taking several on-line classes withScrap and Style, SIS TV. I really enjoy the option to check in and out of the class as needed. I am also taking Lisa Pace's Cupid's Workshop where everyday she posts a fun and interesting project for us to complete. Some are simple, others more complicated. She sprinkles in fun ideas to keep your home festive too. Many artists are starting to do on-line classes and I must say I was very skeptical at first but am now totally hooked. An added advantage is you can take a class from an industry leader without ever having to change out of your pajamas!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Swaps!

I have two new swaps for the New Year. The first is an ATC Vintage Valentine card and the second is a Heart page deco swap. Do 6 of each and join in. With the page swap you will have a collection of hearts designed front and back to ring or bind together to make a festive little book for the upcoming holiday.