Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Springtime


Nature is amazing. With each season, our earth metamorphoses and brings exciting changes. Spring is spectacular, unveiling itself with new growth and possibilities. A great life lesson!


Springtime Is Here

Spring rains bring floral sprays,
Lilies, lavendar, foxglove, and daisies.
Rainbows of color,
Comehither scents for the bees.

Nature renews what was lost in the frost,
A rebirth of sorts, 
A promise of hope.

Prepare for the future,
The new season is here.
Rejoice in the splendor,
The wonder,
The pizazz!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

This Just In...

Summer is calling and she wants you to answer her by getting outside and enjoying local events in your community! 

Here in Concord, the largest city in the Bay Area's Contra Costa County, we have so much goin' on!



The 28th annual Music and Market series begins Thursday evenings, May 19th through September 8th at Todos Santos Park. Free music, farm fresh food, friends - always fun!

Part of the same music series is the ever popular "Tuesday Night Blues", which begins on Wednesday (did I get ya?!) TUESDAY, July 5th through July 26th.

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Of course, I will be teaching my art journaling and craft classes throughout the summer and participating in a number of events including the Hope Walk, art shows, and the Contra Costa County Fair! See a list of my events and mark your calendar!

I hope to see you at one or more of these "happenings". Tell Summer hello!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Sight/Unseen Gallery Show


May 21 - 26, 2016
I will be included with 13 other talented local artists of the Concord Community of Artists as we showcase our work during a week-long gallery exhibition.

Each of the artists were asked to interpret and express an aspect of their identity. Some are exploring this concept through their ancestry, others are creating work that speaks to their ethnicity, culture or nationality. Each piece will include a written narrative about their inspiration, artistic approach and what they discovered about themselves during the process.

The event will be held at The Artist's Den - 1913 Salvio Street, Concord. 
Click on the link above for full details.

Fabric Painting

Students each painted an element on this canvas


Painting on fabric is liberating and so much fun! Once you get over the initial "blank canvas fear" and move on to the "just jump in" phase, you find yourself in awe of what the creative flow produces. 

At a recent Cancer Support Community's art night event, artist and cancer survivor, Anna, provided students with paint and large cotton canvas pillow cases to try our hands at this cool project. With little or no prior painting skills, each student produced uniquely beautiful pieces. 












Oh what fun we had! Be inspired by this project - get a heavy weight cotton pillow case, apron, or tote bag, for example, some fabric or acrylic paints, brushes, and your imagination! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Signs Of Summer Ahead


Oh, the pleasures of summer! I love the warm weather, long days of sunshine, more time to play outside.

My poem was inspired by sports memorabilia on a table.


Take me out to the ballgame!
Peanuts, popcorn, crackerjacks, and beer.
Signs of summer ahead.

Shorts, skorts, t-shirts, and flip flops,

Children playing hide-and-go-seek in the yard.

Watermelons, pink and juicy,

Oranges with a zest,
Peaches, fuzzy and sweet.

Corn on the cob,

Fresh apple pie,
Barbecued burgers on the grill.

Friends gather at the end of the day

Enjoying the last sunshine
With a dance at the park.

School's out,

Vacation's on,
Everyone can hardly wait
For those lazy days of summer.

These are signs of summer ahead,

My favorite time of year.

Sarah - 2006




Monday, April 18, 2016

Button, Button, Who's Got a Button!


I was thinking about a quick and easy project to teach to my craft class students this week and this idea came to mind. With just a few materials, you can go nuts coming up with ring-bling options! My class had a blast playing with this project. Once we dug through the mountain of buttons and orphaned earrings that I had collected to find the perfect treasures, we had a hard time stopping at the end of class!



Materials

  • Assortment of adjustable ring blanks (found at local craft stores)
  • Various sized buttons, post-style earrings, and/or faux gemstones
  • Super glue
  • Wire cutters
  • Metal file

How To Make These
Using the wire cutters, carefully remove any button shanks or earring findings. Be mindful of flying bits of plastic and/or metal when you make the cut!


  • File any rough edges after you've removed the shanks/findings so that the "jewels" have a smooth, flat surface.
  • Place the button on your work surface, right side down (this makes it easier to see exactly where you will place the ring blank when you are ready to glue)
  • Dab a drop of super glue onto the ring blank and swirl it around to cover the surface.
  • Place the ring blank onto the button back and hold it securely for several seconds for good adhesion.
  • Admire your new fashion creation!

A single fancy button is cute enough but try gluing two or three buttons for a stacked look or scattering several tiny buttons around a larger button base. 

The possibilities are endless!



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Beautiful Daffodils


Winter here in California is wet and cold. No, not a brutal cold like in other states but I am a winter wimp and long for warmer seasons. Thankfully, spring is just around the corner! I finger my sundresses and sandals in anticipation of what is yet to come.

The following poem I wrote when inspired by daffodils I saw in a vase.


With seasons changing
Cold weather to warm,
Birds are chirping, bees are buzzing,
And daffodils raise their heads.

Oh, beautiful daffodil!
You have so much to teach us.
With your bright yellow color
And ruffled collar,
We learn to be playful with cheer.

Your golden petals reach out in joy,
A show of pride and peace.
Like spears of sunshine on stalks of green,
You exemplify strength and passion.

Oh, beautiful daffodil!
Let me one day be as you are,
Hopeful, magnificent, glorious!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Crazy Crayon Flower Vase

Lifebuzz 0b02ef81c3695894fc5bff761d651da4 wide 1000

Let's say you have a ton of old crayons laying around at home. They look pretty and you just don't want to throw them away but coloring in books is so "been there, done that". And, you have a lot of time one day. And, you own a woodworking lathe. Hmmm. An idea comes to mind.

Watch what one man does with his crayons and his tools. Prepare to be amazed!

Crayon Flower Vase

Monday, April 11, 2016

Let's Make Spray Paint!

                       

With just a few inexpensive products, you can make your own mini spray paints to enhance note cards, journals, and more! Just how do you do that? Read on...

Supplies Needed:
  • Several travel-sized spray bottles (3-4 ounce size)
  • Several acrylic paints in your favorite colors
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Small funnel (optional)

How to Make This:
  • Carefully fill the spray bottles 3/4 full with the rubbing alcohol. This is where the funnel comes in handy, if you have one.
  • I found that using rubbing alcohol helps to dry the paint more quickly on paper. Tap water works just fine in place of the alcohol but takes a bit longer to dry. The paint quality and color appears to be the same no matter what method you choose.

  • Add paint so that the bottom of the bottle is covered.
  • Once you test your spray, you can decide whether you would like to add more paint for greater color intensity. 
  • Put the spray nozzle back into the bottle and shake her up!
I know you're anxious at this point to start spraying your masterpiece but test your spray on a separate sheet of paper first to make sure you like the color intensity and that the sprayer itself isn't faulty. Strangely, some bottles operated better than others - some sprayed a nice mist of color and others made splotches and drops. I found bottles that work well bought from local drug stores and I've found some good ones just by using my old perfume bottles.

Hold your hand upright several inches up from the test paper and start spraying away. It's magical! Once the first spray has begun to dry, you can spray the area again for a deeper color result. 

Other tips:

  • Use metallic paint for a shiny look.
  • Lay a stencil on your paper, spray it, and remove the stencil to reveal your creation.
  • Spray one color on the page, lay down a stencil, spray a second or third color. ohhhh!
  • Wipe the nozzle after use so that the bottle doesn't get messy or clogged.
  • Other than acrylic paints, I've read that Rit dye and old eye shadows can be used for color. I haven't tried this yet but let me know if you have - I would love to know your results!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Know Her

Oftentimes we forget to check-in with that one person that has been with us the longest, ourselves. We may ignore that small, gentle voice who reminds us to get enough sleep, eat regularly, be nice at all times. That screaming inner speaker that warns us against dangerous situations or decisions. Listen up! You are your own best friend, through thick and thin. Be there for you...and be nice.




Who will be my cheerleader,
My constant companion,
The one who knows me best?

Who can tear me down,
Criticize, belittle, and berate me in an instant,
And is first to console, cajole, and care in the next?

Who thinks I am the wittiest, the most fabulous,
The fairest, the most correct,
The really kindest?

Who knows when I'm lying through my teeth
But understands the need to hide the truth at times?

I pause to look in a mirror.
I know her.





It is me.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Glue Gun Stencils


If you don't already have a glue gun, you're going to want to run out and get one after you read this! Not only are glue guns handy for tons of projects but making re-usable stencils may be your next favorite craft to try. These stencils are great for use in your journal, making greeting cards, bookmarks, and more. Warm up your glue gun and let's get going!

Here's a list of supplies that I used:

  • Glue gun - either low heat or high heat type
  • Glue gun sticks - lots of them because you're going to want to get crazy making more of these things
  • Non-stick craft mat - a heat resistant teflon sheet (found at craft stores and online - excellent for all craft projects to keep your workspace protected and just wipes clean)
  • OR a non-stick baking sheet or teflon pan would work fine (a piece of glass from a picture frame would work but you need to cover it with a light coat of vegetable spray first so that the glue doesn't stick to the glass and, of course, be careful of the frame's sharp edges)
  • Picture or image outline to use as inspiration - optional

How to make the project:
  • Cover your work surface with the non-stick sheet 
  • Plug in the glue gun and let it warm up for a few minutes
  • If you choose to use an image as a guide, slip it under the sheet so that you can see the outline clearly (The image should be a black or dark image because it can be tough to see through the sheet otherwise. You might try outlining the image with a black marker first to make it easier to see throught the sheet)

  • Once the glue gun is heated, slowly pull the trigger laying the glue down following the outline or try free-handing a design. I found that the heavier the line of glue that I layed down, the more sturdy the stencil became. If the stencil is made too thin, it may break and won't hold up to repeated use.
  • Once you are happy with your design, let the glue cool and harden - it takes just a couple of minutes.
  • Remove it from the teflon sheet and get busy making another design! 









I made clouds, trees, and birds for starters. I liked repeating patterns like bubbles, hearts, squiggly lines, etc. Make sure that the shapes touch each other which keeps the design sturdy.



Try making large and small sized pieces. Large ones are great to fill a journal page or cover a greeting card and small ones work well for a "hint" of a pattern on your designs.




Once you've got some completed stencils, use them as you would any other stencil. I brushed acrylic paints over them and spray misted paint colors over the designs. 



Bubbles and Hearts laid over each other and sprayed with paint

To clean the stencils, carefully rinse them in the sink and let dry. I found that sometimes certain paint colors would stain the stencils. That's ok and won't harm the stencil when you're ready to use it again.

Happy stenciling!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 Summer Journaling and Crafts Classes!


Can you believe it? Summertime is coming! And with that said, get ready for new art journaling and craft classes brought to you by your favorite artist...me!

  
Marla's Plate



My classes have been such a success! I've met and been inspired by really great people in these groups. Some of their work is seen here and on a few of my "Make-it Monday's" posts. Come join us as we learn all new projects and make new friends!





Haley's Wreath















Classes have been
expanded to 1 1/2 hours short (because our classes are never long enough for all the fun we get into!), and Saturday morning sessions are newly available (to get your weekend art on!).

Sandra's Journal
Sandy's Journal 
Art Journaling
Art journaling is a great way to explore your creativity, get your thoughts on paper, and enjoy the process of making your own kind of art. We’ll play with different techniques such as line drawing, watercolor, "windows" and pockets, and layering papers. There’s no right or wrong style in this fun craft for ages 15 and up!

Course #100520 --- May 5 - June 2, Thursdays - 6pm to 7:30pm
Course #100519 --- June 30 - August 18, Thursdays - 6pm to 7:30pm
Course #100754 --- July 9 - August 20, Saturdays - 9:30am to 11am


Lana's Sunburst Flower
  
Nicole's Watercolor Collage

Exploring Crafts
Each week you’ll learn a fun new craft project using low cost materials perfect for home d├ęcor and gift giving. Projects may include jewelry making, decorating birdhouses, Shrinky Dink fun, garden art, altered books, wreaths, canvas painting, and more! Fun crafts for ages 15 and up!
  • Course #100521 --- May 5 - June 2, Thursdays - 7:30pm - 9pm
  • Course #100522 --- June 30 - August 18, Thursdays - 7:30pm - 9pm
  • Course #100755 --- July 9 - August 20, Saturdays - 11am - 12:30pm

Visit www.concordreg.org for more information and to register on-line. Just click on "Activities", and enter the course number. Questions? Email me at kimlawson2000@gmail.com

Let's make something together!

Students' Bottle Wrapped Vases