Welcome and thankyou!

Thankyou to all of you friends and family that are taking the time to check this out. I know I am a BIG TIME NEWBIE in the world of blogging......well actually anything computer wise and otherwise on the big wide world of internet, so thanks for being patient, kind, loving and understanding. Please feel free to help me out with insights and instructions and even suggestions.........just as long as they are nice. (smile)

This is me...............

This is me...............
What a beautiful place I live.....see that lake and mountians behind me!

About Me

My photo
Shasta Lake/ Hayfork (always our real home), Northern California, United States
Love, love, love art. My favorite art theme is Jesters/Jokers, Gemini, Drama masks and gnomes/fairies. I Love my art friends. I Adore my hubby Bill, my 4 kids and my sweet doggie Uno. I love to read, travel, sports, music and most of all I LOVE TO LAUGH.....even at myself!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

hi, I have not fallen off of the planet, lets catch up

Well it has been awhile since I sat down and wrote a few words. some of you probably think I have fallen off of the planet. I figure I better try to catch you up a tad on my life. sorry if things are a little mixed up and crazy.......but that is my life as usual. things have been a bit crazy in my world, not that is not usual, but maybe a bit more than what usually is going on. seems like life is a whirlwind and I am in the eye of a storm at times. I think most of you know that my husband Bill had a second surgery on his ankle. a nice 12 hour wait for me and the kids in an uncomfortable waiting room . it went well this time. he had the first surgery a year ago and after months of casts and lots of pain , it was in worse shape than before, so it was a second trip. so far this one seems to be sooooo much easier on him and he seems to be handling it all so much better. maybe to much better at times, the kids and I have to reel him in sometimes, because he feels so much better and pain free, that he wants to be doing things. I have had to adjust to finally an empty nest and a huge room for my art and a quiet house that I can do art until the wee hours if I feel like it. make many messes in the late hours when I can not sleep, which is often the case with me. now we have the kids living with us to help out and take some of the financial and physical strains off of us. I am so grateful to have them and amazed that we all can gravitate around each other again and not kill each other. we have had to make adjustments and get used to a full house again, but it has went much smoother than expected. I am enjoying the fun times, playing games and doing things with the kids. you do not realize how much you miss that , until you get the chance to have it back. of course then there is the other side of the coin, my beautiful daughter kryston still likes to leave our bathroom looking like a tornado hit it every morning. Tyler my youngest son, loves to leave shoes and socks in the middle of the front room floor every night. but I guess if I have put up with Bill leaving his clothes six inches in front of the laundry basket on the floor, for 23 years................I can enjoy the quirks of my kids again. in all fairness, bill has but up with me always putting the tea pitcher back in the fridge with only a drop left in it. it is his greatest pet peeve. It has become a game I think after all of these years.
OK, enough about my wonderful family, my world of art...............I have had a tad bit of a slump. mostly the changes in my life I think. working around all of the new things and events. I have done some things for some swaps that were a blast. Diane's chunky bling pages......an art deco set of add to the pattern.....right now I am doing some chunky house pages for an amusing muses swap. I think the structure of the swaps makes it easier for me to create right now. my brain is on such an overload that I need to be told what to make and what the parameters are. but I am trying to keep my creative sided brain going......I have started a few altered art projects and have alcohol ink stains on my hands as we speak. kryston has always hated 'my man hands', as she called them over the years. even though we look alike , and sound alike.........those close to us know we could not be more different in many ways. she has always been my beautiful girly girl princess. me just a pony tail tom boy. she has always been my rhinestone, feather, purple and pink sweetie. as a teen she would get so frustrated when I would have my hair up and paint head to toe............'mom can't you fix your hair' and I would reply 'I did it is in a ponytail'............'mom do you have to always have paint and stain on your hands and clothes, you look like a car mechanic and have man hands' . some things never change.......although for almost a year, I finally cut my hair off short for the first time in a very many years. It is in a style she likes, and me too for different reasons. her because it is a 'style' and me because it is not in my face all the time and have to be pulled up while painting etc. I love to still tease her with my 'man hands' though. when she got home from work the other day I held up my very colorful hands and then told her I just finished cooking her dinner. really bill had thrown some pizza in the oven because it was 'football ' night. I don't know if any of you artists out there like me can't seem to work with paint, stain and such without wearing it. it kinda reminds me of when I was in high school and college, playing softball as a catcher..............if my uniform was not dirty, I didn't play hard enough. lol OK I am warped and different, I admit it. I wear my messes like a badge of honer ! lol don' t all of you out there that can not get your fingernails messy.........wish you could. just once, you know.........go wild a little. OK , so then I am a lone wolf that is totally weird, messy art is my thing. I have found that in times of stress, which I have had much of lately, in times of sorrow, in times of emotion...............I can turn to my messes. if i can totally immerse myself in my art, it is a way to let go of the things that hang on. instead of a good cry, or sometimes alongside of a good cry......I pick up my charcoal pencil and just draw. don't plan it, don't use any model or picture...........just draw. and charcoal is the best, because it is messy you know. but I love the boldness of the charcoal, the ability to blend it and move the lines. sometimes a shape surprises me and turns into a drawing that totally surprises me. if I did not have my messes..........who knows, what is your way of totally letting go......do you have anything that can allow you to express the things that are too far down to express in words. the emotions that sometimes we do not even know are there. I think that is why I have always found an art outlet of some kind over the years. I often joke and say it is my sanity, my healing and my therapy. although in reality , that is exactly what it is. my family is my life, heart and soul.............but my art is something that no one can take, alter or change.........unless I chose to share it with them, or give it as a gift. I hope all of you are taking a second to 'de-stress' and have your own time. holidays are so wonderful and a happy time, but they are also stressful and tend to put our brains on overload. try to find a second to have to yourself. I wish the few of you that see this regularly, and any stranger that found my blog on accident.................A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND HOLIDAY SEASON! hugs and best wishes everyone, sandy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Artstanding Stranger: BFF GOLD CARD AWARD

Artstanding Stranger: BFF GOLD CARD AWARD

WOWOSA.........I am totally honored and speachless.........ok , I will keep it real, I am never speachless! thankyou girlfriend, you are an amazing artist, and wonderful friend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crazy life as usual..........

ok, so I fell of the planet for a few days.........maybe a little longer. Seems like I do nothing butchase my own tail. We have been moving the kids in to help out. Bill had his second ankle/foot surgery two weeks ago. He is doing much better with this surgery than the one a year ago. but without offending any guys out there, no offense, but god guys are boobs when they do not feel well. to make it even more fun I had a minor surgery two days after bill's. so thank god for the kids. I have been going stir crazy.............I am now sharing my art room with my daughter, so she can stay here. although I am grateful, it does put a crimp in my style. I like to make great big messes when i am working on a project and that is just not possible. plus I happen to be one of those vampire types that does not sleep well at night and often can be found in my 'art cave' at the wee hours working on something to keep my hands and brain busy. kinda hard to do that now unless I want to buy night vision goggles and give it a try. soooo I have been doing alot of drawing late at night while watching brain draining t.v. one can never understand the term 'brain draining' until you see what is on the boob tube at 3 am. normally I have the music on blasting (hubby is asleep in our room on other side of house) and the lights on and can work on any project and bother no one, but the fish in my little desk fish tank. I even have a doggie bed in my art room too, so my doggie Uno can get her beauty sleep while I get none. so needless to say, I am missing my altered art and the messy stuff I love. oh well, lots of worse things out there. I need to learn to be a creature of the moment, not my normal obsessive compulsive self, that likes things to be my way or the highway...........or my normal routine at least. I always love to draw, but I guess I have a short attention or something, becuase I like to mix things up often and do different projects at the same time. I hauled all of my billions (and that is not an exageration) of pens and markers to the hospital with me for Bill's surgery. since they put the most uncomfortable chairs as possible in the waiting areas, it was interesting to find a comfortable way to draw. because I am not a contortionist, and because I am just barely above the height of a dwarf, I had to finally sit indian style in the chair with a lap desk and my drawing pad. I just could not bring myself to sit on the floor in a hospital. I don't know, but it seems the older I get, the more paranoid I get about things. The kids would just stretch out on the carpeted floor, while I had visions of the little green bug, Mr. Staff infection , jumping up and down on them saying neener neener. I don't remember being that way when I was young and dumb. Just like eating out at a fast food place and now I can't stand it if I don't put out a napkin on the table, and I almost have a brain anurism when one of the kids picks up a french fry they dropped on the table and then eat it. I guess it is sad but true, my kids said I am old as dirt and just a big dork. ok this entry will be short but sweet. ok, it is short............ I will add a couple of the drawings from the hospital.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankyou Grandma!

Hi to all my friends and family. A couple of blogs ago I mentioned how I used my art and art room to grieve for my grandmother when she passed away, and how it brought back my love of collage. Although my collage work now is much different than the collage I did way back in high school and college, it still is collage and has just evolved. The medium of collage is so fascinating to me, because it is such an easy way to express yourself through art and an art form that anyone can do. You do not have to be a 'master' artist to do the art form of collage. I have taken my love of the 'old style' collage of blending images in paper form together, and then thrown in a few other mediums and styles to make what I now do almost daily in my art work. Those artist friends that know me well can usually see a piece of my work and know it is mine before seeing the signature or the identification of the piece. I have grown to love the somewhat new art style of 'altered art' , and just melded it with my own style and creative touches. To me 'altered art' is really just collage work that is in a three dimensional form. I think the the 'chunky' styles you see a lot of, now in lots of art work, is also just a three dimensional collage work.
I thought it might be fun to show you the piece of art that started this new love of collage and art therapy for me. I also thought by seeing it and describing some of what I did with it and still do in most of my work, that it might open some new ideas and possibilities for you and your art work. Maybe some of you think that art is not a 'talent' you were blessed with , with this I hope you can see that there are always art talents hidden in all of us. We sometimes need to start with something that is fun and interesting, as well as a lower level of difficulty. Then before you know it, you are making art work that is meaningful, fun and your very own style. I will add a few close up pictures of the collage, so that you can get a feel for the piece and work a little better, as I describe what I did while making it etc. Because of the collage product I used, there is a glossy texture to the piece, which makes the photos difficult. I am also not exactly known to be great at taking pictures, that is my hubbies talent, not mine. But I think you can see enough of it that you will get an idea of what I did.

First you need to decide on what your theme or content will be, no matter what medium you are going to do in artwork, that is the first step. As you already know, with this piece, my theme was my grandmother. I wanted the collage to be about her and her life. She loved her kids and was very proud of her many grandchildren and great grandchildren, so I also wanted to include them in the work. I knew if I tried to have independent photos of everyone in the family, it would end up being a wall mural rather than a poster size piece. That meant I had to go through all of my photos and find those that had her in them and then narrow some of them down to those that were of her with all the kids and grand kids. But I made a point of picking only photos that she was in. Once I had my pictures out and pretty sure those I wanted to use, I scanned them and printed them on non glossy paper. If you do not have a printer or one that doesn't do the quality of picture copies you are happy with, then you can always go to any store that does good quality photo copies. I would make sure that you do some in all different sizes, especially those that have a lot of people or content in them. You need a variety of sizes, and it is easier to fit all of your pictures on a project if you make some of them small. You can use the ones that you like most a little larger, I used some of the pictures of grandma up close and different stages in her life. As you can see in the picture to the right, I used a photo that is larger with a close up of her and her great grandchild.
The second step is to decide what you want to use as a base for your collage item. I chose to do mine on a large piece of matting board. You can do this kind of collage work on just about anything though. You can use canvas, wood items, paper items such as boxes made to collage or paint, paper cards that are blank and ready to decorate. You can even do this type of work on metal items, which I love to do. Just make sure you pick an item that is clean and dry. Some glass or metal items you might need to put a base coat of a preparation product. You can ask at any art/crafts type stores and they can tell you what you need to prepare a surface for collage work.
Once I got the size of matte board I was going to use, what my basic theme (grandma) was picked, my photos were copied...I then needed something that would bring my grandmothers personality out in the piece as well at tie all of the content together. She loved flowers, her family, fanciful things and her religion. She was very proud of her family and was a sentimental person. She liked to sit and tell you stories of her life and things that she was proud of , and she loved to display things around her so she could show them to everyone. I tried to get things for the project that would show her and who she was. Things like roses, fairies , vintage items, and quotes about family and love.
Both of these pictures show some of the items I used to bring out her love of family and give the piece a flavor of what and who she was in life. You can use quotes you like printed on velum or paper. You can cut out images in clip art books. You can also purchase packages and books full of paper image that are designed for doing collage type projects. I also made copies of some of the cards she had saved from family members to cut out and use, but you are not destroying the original item. Using copies of originals are easier to use, because if you make a mistake, or do not like the way it looks, you can redo it again. That is also why you want to use copies of photos, so you still have the originals to save however you choose. I also suggest that you buy an art work fixative spray and use it on all of your copies, drawings, stamping, or hand writing you did to use in your project. If you do this, there is less chance that you will have any kind of bleeding of ink or color in your projects. It is something I just have gotten into the habit of doing, since I use a lot of copied material and my own drawings, and it is so frustrating when you put the finish on and something bleeds. I like to use Krylon Workable Fixatif spray, but there are other brands out there too. You can use buttons, ribbon, old jewelry pieces that are not valuable, lace and just about anything you think makes a project have a 'feel' or personality to it. I chose to use some inexpensive jewelry pieces I had, like a butterfly and dragonfly pin that I found somewhere. I just removed the pin backs from them. The rhinestones made them stand out so well and were things that she would have loved. I also found some old skeleton keys that would give a vintage feel. The copies of the cherubs and fairies were something she would have smiled at as well. There is no limits to what you can use to capture the personality of someone, or the feel that you are looking for.
Now that you have a bunch of images, photos,quotes and other ephemera and goodies set aside, you can start playing around with how you want it all to lay out. I like to take scrap booking paper, wrapping paper, fabric, lace, copies of sheet music or something like that to cover the total base of my item. With this project I used a paper that looked like a crackled old painted item. I do this so that if there is a gap between the items, there is still something with the theme or feel peeking through. You might want to stay away from real busy prints because it can make a project look too cluttered. Even though collage is kind of cluttering things together, you do not want to make it so busy that it is not pleasant to look at. Once the project is finished you want it to be interesting and draw a person into it. When looking at it, the eye should flow over the piece and have a look and feel of continuity. With this piece, many friends and family commented that they loved to look at it, because they can look again and again and still find things they did not see before, and that is the effect I love to have. I want to make something interesting and fun to look at, and also make it pleasing to look at over and over, but I don't want it to be so over done that the theme is swallowed up.
You can make the items in your project blend together nicely by using an embossing powder to the edges of some of the photos and items. You can also emboss stamped images, or write with an embossing pen and then use the embossing powder over it. I used a gold embossing powder over stamped images, writing and just to outline some of the photos. If you do not have the embossing ink and powders to do this with, you can find them in most craft/art sections. You just follow the instructions with the products for stamping and embossing. After I emboss I then use a paintable glitter on the edges of some photos, on the flowers and the wings of the fairies and cherubs. Be sure to let the glitter dry totally before you put a finish over it, so that the glue in the brushable glitter does not look milky when it dries. It will be clear and all you will see is glitter that enhances the area if you let it dry then use a finish.
Use a collage product to adhere what ever you choose as a base cover, such as Modge Podge or decoupage finish. My favorite is Royal Coat Decoupage Finish. I usually use clear, but sometimes, as I did with this project, I use the finish that is sepia colored to give more of a vintage look. It also helps blend all of the different colors of the photos together. If you can't find a colored version, you can add a tiny bit of water based paint to tint it yourself. You can play around with a satin finish and a gloss finish on a small piece and let it dry totally to see which you like better.

After you have gotten the basic lay out with the photos, you can start using the decoupage glue/finish to the base. If you are afraid you will not like the placement and may want to rearrange the photos, you can do what I often do and use a non permanent sticky product to place your items that are going to lay flat on the base(you can move them around again and again until you are happy with placement). Once you have them where you want them you can then use the decoupage finish/glue over them. You might want to know that if you use velum, or a velum with a quote on it , that velum is famous for getting 'wrinkly' after you use a decoupage finish over it. I like the look, because it gives it more character and vintage feel, but some don't, so I would do a trial with a small piece of velum separately to see if you like it, before using it on your project. After that coat dries you can then use dimensional sticky tape, or sticky dimensional sheets with different sizes to apply other photos and items. The foam sticky pieces apply to the back of the item you are placing and attach it to your project. I used it to make some of the photos and flowers etc. stand out and make the project have so much more depth. I then use a good craft glue to attach the heavy pieces, such as jewelry,the metal letters that spell her name, buttons and also ribbon or trims like the tassel trim I used. After the glue totally dries and you have the 'standing out' objects all where they are to stay, use another coat of the decoupage glue/finish over the total project again. It will make your project much more durable and able to even touch. You can not tell by the photos, but the tassel trim I used is actually permanently placed and hard. It gives it a finish that holds permanently, but does not take away from the look. You have to reach out and touch the tassels to feel that they are hard and permanent. They look like they are still dangling free, but are very intact and solid.
I like to take a pigment ink pen, after the project is totally dry , and then write my own words, or outline many of the objects. This gives a flow to everything and makes things stand out and gives the project a finished look. Be sure and use the workable fixative spray if you do use the pen, so that it will not smear and will be permanent. Once the project is totally dry you can decide to frame it under glass, or you can do like I did and just add a matte to frame it. I stamped and embossed images on the double matte and then added the paintable glitter to the inside matte. Once all of this was totally dry, I used the finish over it as well to make it more durable. You can actually wipe the project off to keep it clean, and it will withstand it. It is the same way if you do this type of 'collage' on a box or something else. It is much more durable than you would ever think.
This project was the beginning of many, many more since then. I have learned and grown a lot with each and every one of the things I made after it. But I also look at this daily and each time I do..............it makes me smile. I am happy that it brings her to mind each and every time too. She would be thrilled and excited to know that I did something like this to honor her and to make sure that she is always remembered by those who visit and see it too. I am sure if I make myself look real, real close there would be some things that I might do differently and I am sure it would look better if I made it today, but I would not change it if given the chance. I like that it not only makes me remember my wonderful grandmother, it also reminds me of my growth in my artwork.
Friends in art, sandy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Person Who Can Laugh..................

OK, my last blog was kinda serious, and I try not to ever be serious...........so let's start with a quote .......................'The person who can make others laugh is blessed'.
I love that quote. the next one that is a favorite.....'Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them' lol So I am sitting in front of my computer, which is located not in my art room, but my hubby's play room (kinda like my art room but a man's version) he has all his baseball collection, WW ll memorabilia and such and his own t.v. ...........oh yeah and his fish tank, big fish tank nut too, has three and would have more if I didn't threaten to move out if he does lol. I have two in my art room too, so we have enough fish in our family. My tanks are smaller by a long shot than his. I have a 10 gallon and a 2 gallon. the small one sits right next to my work desk and table and has a beautiful blue fighting fish called Blue Boy.....real original huh. My 10 gallon is full of guppies and mollies with beautiful colors. I decorated the tanks the total opposite of my hubbies, with white gravel and all kinds of beautiful colored rocks and marbles, and all of the plants are anything but natural looking. I love bright colors, so the plants and a castle are all pink, purple , blue, aqua etc. Drives my hubby nuts, because his are all 'natural'........lava and brown gravel, green plants only etc. how funny.............I always said we are ying and yang.......we fit well still, after 23 years of marriage and are almost totally opposite. He is watching his favorite oldie shows right this moment. He tapes every past episode of gun smoke,mash and the one with the ponderosa ranch...............not sure how anyone can watch things over and over ...........so I have my ipod earplugs in as usual and listening to my music, as I type. He puts up with my outbursts of awful singing now and then. you know how you can't sing a lick, just flat when you have earphones in.......sounds like a good excuse to me. My children often walk in the house and catch me singing and dancing to songs, while my back is turned and I can't hear or see them. They say I am a total dork (very lovingly of course) and one of their friends says that they think of me every time the song 'dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me' because they walked in and caught me singing out loud and dancing to it. lol good thing my kids are tough and don't embarrass easily. sooooooooo back to writing about my art, now that I have set the stage and the mood. those of you that know me are laughing I am sure, at the thought of my well rounded butt bouncing around to my ipod music. when I am not on the computer, I plug my ipod into the stereo in my art room. I love to listen to music while I create. I have spent the last few days cleaning my room and rearranging a few things, making more room for the 'stuff' I have still not unpacked since our move a year ago, sad huh. even though I hated the cleaning.........A LOT ( I would much rather make an art mess, then clean one up)......I kinda had fun, like your birthday.......found some treasures that I forgot I had. Bill changed the drawer handles on a cupboard and drawer and then threw the old ones out..............bad boy.......bad! I was wanting them for my altered art, of course he realized his mistake, never ever,ever through stuff away that I might be able to use one way or another someday in a project. That is why I still have boxes to unpack,because I can not throw things away! I can't help it though it is just me............you never know when some little piece of metal or wood might be the finishing item in a masterpiece. I know I can not be the only freak out there that is that way. Someone else must drive their family nuts by making them save everything before they throw it out, so you can see if it is possible art. I have my kids trained to save anything that have a vintage, old type look, or if it is miniature at all. I even hit my son's coin and paper money collection up, figured I could copy some of the paper money from other countries, or countries that no longer exist ( he has a pretty extensive collection that started as a very small kid) , and use them in some of my collages. Both my hubby and son proceeded to tell me that I would be arrested for counterfeiting. It never entered my mind that I would be copying money,may be breaking a law........it was just possible art to me! One of my kids said I would use chewed gum as an art project, if I thought it would work. I hate to say it, but it is probably true, I would use gloves though. Come on admit it, some of you would do it too! Go digging around in your garage, or attic and you never know what you might find that is a treasure. Or if you are like me and hate housework, try looking under the couch, in the back of your closet, on to of the frig, etc. I am too short to see the top of the frig , why should I have to clean it. If you can't see it, shouldn't have to clean it...........that is my new motto. lol And I am real short, so there are a lot of spots that I can not see.................I saw another funny quote that I plastered on my wall in my art wall with all the others I find and that make me laugh and smile every day when I see them. It says 'when there is an endless, insurmountable amount of housework, you just move!' I tell my hubby, who's wood shop is arranged and clean enough to eat off the work bench and has a spot for each tool, that my room is messily organized, but I am at least organized! I know where things are, even if no one else can tell...........lol One must be able to laugh at everything, even themselves...........and that is very easy for me to do. hope everyone takes a second to laugh today.............friends in art, sandy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Art........Hurt or Help?

I often hear people say that their artwork is their salvation, their getaway and even their sanity. I can honestly say that I probably fit each one of them and then some. Those that know me well know that I used to work on an ambulance......many, many OK.....way to many years ago. I was hurt while on the job and then was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury that I attempted to work through and continue working part time jobs for three years following that. After much pain and severe migraines that seemed to continue to get worse rather than better, it was found that I had severe bone damage and breakage in my neck, which was not what they thought I had injured......unfortunately I was diagnosed originally with just a lower back injury. Needless to say this was a very difficult time in my life and over the years I really struggled with the fact that I could not return to work and was put on permanent disability. I have had two neck surgeries and surgeries on both shoulders as well now. I was always a very active, independent and go,go go type person. So being told what I could and couldn't do was not easy for me, but even worse was the fact that my body betrayed me and I could not do a lot of the art forms that I had always able to do over the years. I could no longer sew, quilt by hand, wood working and even lots of painting forms are hard on me. But me being the rebellious type, I would move to another art form or other trying to at least hang on to the one thing left that was 'MINE' . Now any of you in my boat understand the mine thing, it is very similar I am sure to someone who is taken from the home, family and friends they know, to be whisked off to another country that does not speak their language and they are left to their own means basically. There are certain things that we hold to dearly when our life is turned upside down. Even when we have fabulous spouses,like me. Even when we have wonderful children, like me. Even when things are somewhat normal in their lives.......and yes like me, sorta anyway, we have our 'water wings', our training wheels etc. Mine has always been my art throughout my life. If I am having a bad day, I go into my art room and work on a project. If I am hurting to bad to work on my art, I may just go into the room and play my favorite music, while I admire my collection of other artist's mini masterpieces in my ever growing collection of Artist Trading Cards and such.
We often do not realize how much we rely on our comfort habits to help us through tough times. I was whammied with the loss of both in-laws, both grandmothers and my mother, as well as several family friends in a much too short span of time lately. I found myself shutting the art room door and trying to find a way to deal with the lose of my grandma and between many tears and just sitting still moments, I found myself resorting to one of my favorite high school art forms.....collage. I had done a tiny bit of scrap booking and had seen a lot of the new craze in 'altered art' in all the magazines.......so I combined my love of traditional collage, with a form of altered art to make a very large tribute to my grandmother. I used vintage buttons,ribbon,sewing items that were hers, old lace, tassels and combined everything in a very 3 dimensional art piece that was all a melting of pictures of her over the years. every picture had her in it, her wedding, with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even a few great greats. some of the pictures were very small, some very large, but it took me many, many hours to do. I had no idea til I was done how many days I had went into that room and worked on the project. I used lots of roses and glitter which she loved and antiqued everything to give it a warm and lovingly 'grandma' feel to it. Grieving is something that some might think is easy, but it is not. I am a pretty outspoken person, but grief is something that I found hard to deal with. I did not want lots of people around, or lots of condolences.........although they are always appreciated, I just wanted to 'FEEL' my grandma. When I lost my mother and other grandmother less than a year later, I had the same hard time. But this time I knew what I not only needed to do, but what I wanted to do. I made art that when I look at it, all I see is the spirit of the person I loved and lost. I wanted something that when I look upon it everyday.........I will smile, even if I still shed a tear or two also, I can feel them there in that item. Some might think I am weird or tilted a tad, but I think it is important to have things around us that remind us daily of the loved ones we lost. Even if it is not a huge art piece, it can be something as simple as what I did with a friend that passed. I used one of her refrigerator magnets on my frig. and now every day I see that and think of her. She was a wonderful person and is still a blessing in my life when I look at item, little as it is.
Our worlds are always going to be stressful, sad and hurtful at one time or another, and there really is no better way to deal with it than doing a little art. Those that knit, crochet,sing,compose music, play musical instruments, draw, paint, do photography,write poems,write stories, landscaping,I could go on and on..........really just ask my kids, if you have something that is making your world tilt a little, try doing those things that you love to do. If you used to have any of the art forms as a hobby and think you do not have the time, the money, the energy etc. to get back into it....................I say poooooppppyyy! There are so many groups on the Internet that you can hook up with, groups in your towns and cities. Many organizations and big craft stores hold FREE arts and crafts classes. You can also find many, many used or barely used art supplies for almost nothing on sites like ' Craig's List','eBay' and 'Etsy'. I am sure there are more. I often participate in swap on the www.atcsforall.com site and many times I have seen group swaps for art supplies and even people giving away free art supplies so that everyone that wants to, can try a new medium without spending a fortune. Those people that have no time or energy due to busy schedules...............I say, you got it pooooooppppyyy! I have a great friend who runs a business, works long hours, takes care of her beautiful house, and has a yard that is something out of home and garden. (kudos to her hubby too, because he is a sweetie and great guy) But regardless of how busy or tired she is , she finds time for her love of art. She makes amazing jewelry, altered art, paints, draws, does collage and every other form I am not saying.......a lot of her art she does for the love of it. She trades and swaps, which is out of love of collecting and love of giving too. She also has time to run an art gallery and sell on other sites and joins more art groups than I can read in one sitting and ohhh yeahhhh she blogs and award getting blog too. So if she can do it, so can you.
I think everyone would find their pain, stress, high blood pressure, grief and tiredness a little easier to deal with and maybe even getting a little better if we take just a little time to set aside each day for ourselves and our art. no matter what art form you choose. There are many therapists out there that get paid big bucks to do art therapy with people to learn to equal and balance out their lives. So there must be something in that philosophy..........and if not, at least you have fun anyway!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Trash or Art.........this is the question?

hi gang.........
hope all is well in every one's world. As always, I seem to be doing a lot of nothing, OK not enough of what I want to be doing anyway. I was recently talking to someone, which I will not mention names.......I am not that kind of girl. OK.....yes I am , but not this time OK! anyway , this person was discussing with another person an experience they had. They were talking about a trip they had to make (as a truck driver) to deliver a piece of 'art' and they were elaborating on their opinion of 'art' and what they felt this particular piece of 'art' really was............a piece of s..t , something that a kid could make........I am sure you have all heard someone say it. Of course the topic of art is always one I am interested in and had to butt into the conversation, in my quiet polite way.........quit laughing, those of you that know me, I know you are laughing! I asked Mr. X what was the reason he was not impressed with this recently trucked piece of art. He went on to inform me through his great knowledge and insight of the art world and what it was and should be, and how this piece was just a big blob of metal basically that the 'artist' had welded or melded together, and how in god's name could that be art. He seemed pretty sure that he could do the same type of project with his eyes closed. Even worse was the fact that someone had paid a huge amount of money for it. Not wanting to go to deep into the delving of the art world and what art is to each person, but wanting to at least point out something............I mean, those of my friends and family would be very disappointed if I did not point out something of an opinion ,even if it is unwanted and unsolicited. I gave him the example of Van Gogh and the fact that the artist who now is so impressive and worthy , and his art pieces are impossible to purchase by us little minions. How those of us in the 'real' world by inexpensive prints of the famous artist's work and tack them in our art rooms or frame them and decorate our space with them. And I could not resist the desire to inform this person that this famous artist that, even he knew.........had never made a dime in his lifetime on one single piece of his art work. That I was pretty sure that someone in his time called it junk, s..t etc. I also gave the famous Salvador Dali who many, many thought was a fruit loop when he first started and all of sudden his quite 'unique' art took off. Now at least he was lucky enough to make a dollar or two in his lifetime, but there are many I think that make little or at least not enough trying to make and sell what makes their heart sing.
My son also gave me another reason to pause and then decide to write on this topic. He is the youngest of all 4 children and I admit is often the apple of his mothers eye. But he is also the one child out of all of my children, that I think was put on this earth for the sole purpose of keeping me humble. He does not hesitate to say what he 'really' thinks of an art piece , and often uses words that he knows will irritate me to no end ( and he always seems to be smiling while doing it), while looking through one of my chunky page books that I did in a swap (those that don't know what a chunky page is, it is basically a 4x4 page that is made on a thick piece of board and then done in whatever the theme of the swap is, using mixed mediums and lots of goodies to adorn it) he proceeded to go into a outpouring of knowledge on the level of art and talent of each of the artists, including mine. He proceeded to point out each page and a quote to go with each, 'this one I could have done in kindergarten, this one I could have done with my eyes shut......etc. etc. His girlfriend , whom like myself I might point out received an art scholarship when graduating from high school, spoke up before I could lam blast him , and said 'then you try doing it yourself, let's see what they look like'. I know now why I love her! then I lam blasted him anyway, just like I always do. So many people in this world really do not get it that the old saying 'art is in the eye of the beholder', 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' .....and so the sayings go are really famous quotes for a reason. I have always felt that if you look hard enough you can find art talent in everything and everyone. My family always looks at me strange when I pick up a rusty piece of metal off the ground and put it in my pocket..........'you never know what project I might need it for some day, I say when they laugh'...........or there is the many, many times while suffering through the hours of standing in the tool store, or 'whatever' store with the hubby (because I torture him in art stores and art departments, he says) and my brain starts doing it's own thing and I see an item that is used in mending a something or other as something that would be perfect in my art project. I love to go treasure hunting and look for goodies at yard sales, flea markets, antique stores and second hand stores just to look for that little something that I might find useful someday. All of you out there that are getting caught up in the 'Altered Art' world, myself included..........just hang in there, someday the rest of the world will catch up and catch on too, and it will be priceless to everyone, not just the few. Nothing is more exciting to me than to see how the simple collage work I did in high school and college has transformed and changed into the amazing beautiful art form that it is now.
So the moral of my madness I guess is this..........everyone is armed with the Art Gene, we just have to learn to look for it and enhance it. Many people show their talent in the way they decorate their house, their garden, their yard etc. How they arrange the dishes in the china hutch or on the knick knack shelf. Many show it in the way they wrap a package, or arrange the ornaments on the Christmas tree. Some show it in the way they paint their cars, their walls and how they hang their tools in the the garage. If something does not tickle your fancy, it just usually means you are unsure and unfamiliar with it. Try squinting hard and maybe just maybe you might see what the artist saw when making the piece of art. Art should not be just about the money, although money is nice, and it should not just be about what the public thinks is popular, although popular is nice, it should be about what emotion and feelings it brings out in the artist and the person looking at it for the first time. I tend to be one of those 'sentimental' type artists that loves to make things that make me smile or laugh. I am sure some psychologist will tell you it is the 'inner' child in me that has always wanted to show up, and took a few years to feel safe doing it. But I really don't care why I make it, as long as I love making it. There are so many artists out there that I can not hold a candle to, and I am sure there are some that have just started and may say the same about mine, but the reality is...........art is not what you think it is, it is what the maker and the admirer think it is. Maybe if we all tried to stop and see a little art in everything there is out there in the world, we could be a tad more tolerant of those that are different than ourselves. Maybe the 'Art Feeling' could over flow into our home lives, our work lives and all of our worlds as well. So to my son and anyone else that thinks that some little art piece is so easy they could do it.............I SAY DO IT, AND DO IT NOW, WHAT BETTER DAY THAN TODAY! friends in art, sandy

Saturday, August 16, 2008

' Rencent reading an art friends missing home'

I recently read one of my art friends blog that was about her visiting home and how much it always hurts when she comes home. while I was telling her how much I could relate, in a comment I left her...........I thought wow....there are some bottled emotions there with me still too, sooooo lets blog it. who knows maybe there is someone out there that feels the same way as the two of us. I grew up in a very small and beautiful mountain town of Hayfork California. 23 of my married years were there, including the wedding, we raised our beautiful kids there and included many great foster kids to our family as well. A year ago in Sept. we moved only two hours away to a bedroom city to the larger city of Redding California. that may seem just a little ways to some.............but it is a total world, no a total planet from here. Our wonderful home town is isolated with breathtaking mountain scenery and is almost an hour from the nearest town .....on a very long and curvy road that most 'city' visitors either just hate........or get car sick. Most of the town is related (either actually, or by being adopted into the fold). you always get waves and hellos when you drive into or through town. most people have neighbors, but you 'might' be able to see their house, but you sure don't see them or hear them......unless you visit. Every time I visit it is like this total mix up off emotions for me. I almost hate/love it. To go from such an amazing community and friends, to another kind of community can shock the system. There are things that are totally cool and I love about our 'new' home, like mail delivery to the door, garbage pickup at your drive, great 'big' stores and restaurants right around the block and most of all the ..........omg..........really fast Internet. We had just gotten cell phone coverage within the last few years before we moved , and unless you wanted to pay huge prices for satellite Internet.........you put up with very slowwwwwwww dial up coverage. Now the things I miss so very, very much.......not just the waves and hellos up town, but the fact that when you go to the stores , post office or to eat out.....it was a lengthy thing because you had these wonderful visit with those that you know and love, and they know and love you. Even if you had a few disagreements somewhere in the years past, or even yesterday......you still were a part of their lives, they yours and you still cared about them. Sports of course plays a huge role in the tiny town, since most of the kids have not much else to do........and parents have not much else to do but watch and encourage their kids. At the games you see 3,4 and 5th generation kids playing along side each other, with a spattering of new additions. Then in the bleachers yelling and cheering you see their parents, their grandparents and even a few great grand parents, not to mention the aunts, uncles cousins etc. The coaches are friends, relatives and probably have kids next to yours on the playing field and went to school with the parents watching. We always had what others called a rag-tag bunch of kids with a notorious reputation for being fighters, come-backers, and most of all proud and never give-up to the last seconders. Now I know that my grammar stinks and spelling too I am sure, but that is the way I would describe those many, many kids that grew up in, still live in, or moved from but are still 'from and part of' the family of Hayfork. I miss driving 2-8 hours to the games to be amazed that we had more parents and fans in the stands than the home team, and being ohhhh soooo proud of that. I miss feeling like what is that , that made such a huge part of 'who and what' I am. I miss a little tiny fair, where you could see everything in a couple of hours, but you spent all day and evening there. I miss the wonderful people that, when a crisis or death saddened a family, everyone in the town feels it and jumps to help in any way they can. Someone that has a medical condition that taxes their finances and so a town dinner and auction is held and with only a few hundered poeple even in the the town population, they dig deep and raise thousands to help. When the football or other teams need money to attend a sports camp, many of those kids can't afford new cleats each year, let alone the entry cost to the camps, so the town pulls together and raises what is needed ,so no team mate that wants to attend is left out. If you visit from another town to watch the games.......it is almost always commented that the equiptment and playing fields are so nice and even better than their 'big' schools. That is because most of those working at the schools, once attended them and have emmence pride it how their school looks, it also has to do with a very deep pride in a community for where the kids play and participate.
Even those that do not return often after moving.............they still say their 'home' is Hayfork. I am one of those and I must say, it was much harder to leave and move to another part and step in my life. I have two children that hope to move back some day, after making their way in a career, and I have two kids that say they will never move back............but they still consider themselves part of that Red and Black Timberjack Family, and so do I. We may call ourselves many things, others may joke about the hicks from Hayfork, but I have never had anything but pride of that title. It can not be too bad, since having married a man who lived in and went to school in a 'rival' town.........and if you asked him where his home is, he also would say Hayfork. Like many people who did not decend from their, that moved there, he grew to love the people and consider them his extended family and part of 'who and what' he is as well. That is the best note to leave on........................ lol

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some very exciting and fun news in my world!

Hi my few and mostly far away friends! I wanted to take a second to say that although this has been a really, and I mean really tough many past months, that I finally have something exciting and fun to share. all of the good karma, happy thoughts and fairy wishes everyone sent seem to finally be finding me! (those of you close to me know that I have struggled with a spine issue that makes my life difficult sometimes, and then on top of that I lost the core of my universe, my grandma Hartzog, who was more than a grandma, more than a mom and just very special to me. if that was not bad enough I lost my other grandmother and my mother as well. any way, although I am sad that they are not here to share in my little bit of excitement, I know without a doubt they are smiling and clapping around me.
Several months ago I was pm'd by someone that worked with a band called 'The Dresden Dolls'...........she said she had seen one of my altered art mini lunch box tins and thought the band and singer Amanda would love it if I made some in a similar way but with the bands theme. She said they were going to branch out and form ' The Post-War Trade' which would be connected to the band , but its own entity. They wanted to offer high quality hand made art work. So I designed one and sent it off to them to see if they liked it. they did, and started out by ordering 20. I spent a lot of time making sure that the design was my 'style' but also showed the bands personality. I think I accomplished that. the site is up and running now and they are featuring my item and have a wonderful artist profile feature as well. here is the link to the page of my item......
http://www.postwartrade.com/products/mini-lunchbox I encourage you to take a look at their total site, it is done soooo artful and I love it. (the pictures of the altered mini lunch box above are of the proto type that I did in a shrine style, the bulk order was not a full shrine)
And if that news is not enough to put me on the moon...........I was honored to have two pieces of my artwork featured in the Art Trader Magazine. you can visit the online magazine at
http://www.arttradermag.com/ my items are on page 14 and page 23. It is a tasteful and beautiful magazine that has projects, instructions on how too's as well as featuring many artists pieces. It has really opened up the world of artists and brought us all together with the sites where we all come together also. I know I have grown in huge leaps and bounds because of the influence and interaction of other artists from all over the world that come together to trade, swap, share, encourage, teach and even sale their work. I truly is amazing how the internet has just blown every corner of the art world up and out to reach others and bring us all together. Not to mention bringing some recognition that would never be for those of us that have been in our own very small parts of the world and very unlikely to ever be 'known'. The known part of course is so encouraging and exciting, but just as important to me.......is those of you that will be reading this and sharing in my joy, I could never have met most of you without the crazy, maddening, confusing.........but wonderful world of the internet! sandy

Thursday, August 7, 2008

okie dokie............I survived some of the uploading info!

I truly think that these kind of programs were designed by someone, who sits back and laughs at those of us who feel like we are in the twilight zone! I don't know.....maybe it is just me. I did get some of my art work uploaded, a few pictures and a little bit more info about me. I am not totally happy with all of it...............especially after I took a look at my friend tanya's and eggstudio's. geeeeeezzzzz , mine looks like a kindergartner did it. BUT I did find their page, so we are making baby steps. since I was able to mail of some chunky pages from gnome page swap, I am now trying to catch up on the newest obsession, or should I say addiction....in the art world 'picture profile cards' they are very similar to the rolodex cards we all made and swapped, but you use a 4x6" card and do not put the tab holes like a rolo card. you can store them in a recipe box, but I think that is not as fun, so I put mine in a photo album that you can slide the cards into the slot. I remove the white paper incert they always have (save it for who knows what in the future, but a true artist can't throw anything away) and then you see the artwork and pic on the front and when you turn the page you see their info. I just made a dragon themed one for someone who made me a jester one. I am always looking for ways to do new art and challenges with different mediums. this project is just fun becuase it is a larger size than ATC's. kinda like making the journal pages too. I did a friend themed 6x6 journal page for Ria recently and it was so much fun working with that size. I am going to keep this short, since it took all day just to get the tiny bit done that I did...........I am going into art withdrawels, so must go get a fix. any of you out there that happen to find me by accident or however it works, please add me to your list, and I will keep trying until I eventually get you added to mine, hopefully in the right place. friends in art, sandy

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

OMG........................this is scary for me!

I will try and figure out what I am doing, will take lots of mistakes and mishaps, I am sure. Those of you that are my friends know what a oopsie doopsie person I am. I have been down with a back problem and have not been online as much as usual, I am hoping that now that I am getting back into the swing of things, I will figure this blogging thing out. please be patient with my mishaps, misspelling and other mistakes..................I am sure there will be plenty!

those that do not know me:
my name is: sandy sappington-broschat
my user name: is Artsy Gemini ( in one form or another on my other sites)
Art is my passion and love, next only to my hubby of 23 years and my 4 beautiful kids.
I have galleries in several places. I do just about any form and medium, but altered art (I often call my style ' Altered Collage Art style'. I love collage, drawing, painting and trying to blend different mediums to see what the final effect is. I have been doing art most of my life, into high school and college. now that my kids are all grown and on there own, we recently moved from our real home "Hayfork, CA' to the city of Shasta Lake, which is about 2 hrs from our mountian home. we still live in beautiful northern california. all of our kids are near by except the middle son who is in the army. I am lucky enough now to have a room that is nothing but my ART SPACE and room. I love it! I can start many projects and leave out the mess until I am done. I have decorated it all with some of my art, my kids from childhood, my hubbies photos (photography is his hobby), different art work like the stitchery that my great grandma did as well as many prints of famous artists. I also have my raggedy ann, elf and fairy, jester/jokers collections and many hand written funny quotes. Though my room is not a 'perfect and beautiful' room, it is what I wanted, it is full of things that make me smile, laugh, think warm thoughts of the other artists and finally to inspire me.

'lady jester' ATC

'lady jester' ATC
pen/marker pigment ink drawing