Friday, October 4, 2013

She Matters Art Retreat - Christy Tomlinson Sept 2013

So sad to leave this lovely creative place - amazing memories forever!
First I have to say thank you to a wonderful and talented warm hearted woman - Christy Tomlinson ~ she amazes me - not only because of her awesome creativity but her generous and loving way of sharing this with us.

Christy with Margie and Chrissy - She Matters Art Retreat 2013
It hasn't been very many days since I have returned home from this amazing experience - the "She Matters Art Retreat" - so while I have a need to blog about it while everything is fresh in mind I am also overwhelmed by missing all that this retreat brought into my life ... amazing people, new art experience, and a jump start that was needed in my creativity ... Right now I feel like I can take on whatever I choose to - in the vast art world, the projects in my home I have been leaving, even maybe jump start myself in a few things I need to do personally - health, weight, happiness.

I also want to do a couple posts ... as I am a gluten free blogger as well (another blog I need to get working on) so I want to also blog to my "gluten-free-eating-is-their-way-of life" peeps about how the food and meals went ... once that one is also done I will link to it here.  ;)  I can only touch lightly on all that was learned and shared and I am sure little "heart-felt" pieces of this retreat will show up in my works and life for a long time to come.  :)

Chalkboard Art Class - by Chrissy Gardner (she rocks!)
I have hundreds of pictures, of course ;), about the whole experience so I am working in the PicStitch program to make some photo collages so I can post these into the blogs, there were so many "good soul" moments right from walking in the door ~ so many "aaaahhhhaaaa learning" moments ... not only watching Christy Tomlinson guide us through her process, but also having the blessing of having a Chalkboard Art Class with Chrissy Gardner - she rocks both in her sweet engaging personality and her love of art and passion for Chalk.  :)

Ben and Margie took care of us so well ... delightful

We were also blessed to be taken well care of by Margie Romney-Aslett  (@justagirl on instagram) who spent each day not only helping our awesome Chef Ben Tomlinson put out some amazing good for your soul comfort meals, but adding her lovely thoughtful sweet touches to our table, to make us feel so special.  We were blessed to spend time with these amazingly thoughtful people and I hope make some new friendships I will cherish, and time with Christy and Ben's awesome family - they have 6 wonderful children - 5 fabulous guys and 1 beautiful young lady.  It was a treat ~ truly all the love and good feelings in this home made me homesick for my own lovely little family.  :)

And this is not even getting me started on the all the beautiful new women friends that I was so pleased to meet and spend an awesome week creating and learning beside.  I (Edmonton - Canada) traveled down to the retreat with my friend Melanni (Airdrie, Canada) ~ but all the other women well we were all meeting for the first time and we were from all over - Michelle (Las Vegas), Laurie (Kansas), Fay (Nashville), Iris (Atlantic City) and lovely Shirly came all the way from (Isreal).  All walks of life and experiences.  We all did have one lovely fact in common - we were all inspired by Christy Tomlinson - her amazing sweet nature, her "just try it - there are no mistakes" attitude, her real approach to life, art and love.  Everyone that was in our little mixed group - women, men, kids ~ all had stories to tell and parts of themselves to share - I keep using the words amazing, wonderful, awesome but in truth that is exactly what this experience was ~ everyday from morning to bed time, full of these soul lifting moments.
Right side: Christy, Michelle & Shirly-Fay, Iris, Melanni-Sherri & Laurie :)

Abstract Painting outside, She Art - Paper and Paint, Chalkboard Art
I have people asking me oh I want to see all that you "did" - I think expecting that we cranked out art piece after art piece but this retreat was so so so much more than learning "art techniques" or even "how the artist does it" - it was a learning and sharing of some very personal journeys and how this is translated into how one "creates" art.  She wanted us to really learn that we are all artists, we all create beautiful - sometimes pretty messy ha ha - pieces and that we need to do this from our own soul ... sure Christy is amazing at showing us her process, and guiding us through this - but she wants us to take that "kick start" that "motivation" that "inspiration" we feel when we watch her and then make it our own.  These beautiful women ... these amazing people taught me a lot about "resparking" my love of LIFE - the Retreat was named "She Matters" and honestly the entire experience was so encompassing, so uplifting and touchingly awakening of my ... well LIFE.

In my household - my family - we have had a tough time, the hardest is my dear son losing his dad this July to a horribly fast acting cancer - I think the shock could have been enough to just stop us in our tracks, but you can't can you?  You have to continue on don't you?  I have felt at times that things should just stop, that the world should not keep spinning so fast ... it had left me fighting to keep myself looking ahead to what must be easier moments, trying to keep myself "whole" to be strong for my son and all he is going through.  I was trying to keep my art "washing away the dust of my soul" but I was struggling.  This retreat meant so much to me.  Not only did it feel like a healing of the creative spirit it gave me an inner boost of the strength that I need to fuel my motivation - for everything.

Christy truly made us feel that the "She" (WE) mattered ... I will forever be thankful and yes feel pretty darn blessed (my son has been saying I have been using this word often since I returned home) that I was able to attend and partake in this lovely experience with all these amazing people.

Truly if you have the opportunity to either join Christy in one of the retreats she is a part of ... or even take an online class or two from her or ones she hosts with or for her talented friends ~ take the "leap" - it can be life changing, it certainly was for me.

Biggest hugs out to all of you,
Sherri :)
So thankful for these special people who made this experience magical.  Hugs :)
Christy showing us how to paint "Abstract Paintings" outside  on the beautiful sunny Saturday

Amazing women - old and new friends ~ great memories made - always in my heart now. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mixed Media Journal Class ...

You know what I love about the Art Journaling & Mixed Media Art World??? It is just plumb full of amazing and talented people who all have different styles and techniques to teach ... so so many different products to choose from so one can create their own piece of Art.  :)  As I read, and watch, and take classes and learn more about different Art Journaling and Mixed Media styles I have so much fun trying out different techniques and looks.

I very recently took a class at a lovely little shop in St. Albert called The Inked Stamper - the owner and instructor Dawn was a delight to take the class from, she has a fun quirky down to earth personality ~ and the class was full of laughter and information.  I am rather new to the Art Journaling world - and it is so interesting to see others who have lovely pages and pages of different styles of Mixed Media journal work. 

I am hoping to attend more classes with the Mixed Media theme at Dawn's shop - The Inked Stampers.   So our April Class was entitled "Dylusions Mixed Media Journal Class" ... and this is my creation from taking that class.  :)

 Thanks for taking a peek!  :) 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Doing some more Mixed Media work ...

Now I have been off and on sick for many weeks now ... seems like months actually and so my energy has been low to get creative, but about a few weeks back I decided since I missed my regular cropping time with my friend Dawn due to illness I was going to have her over for a creative Sunday afternoon ... It was really lovely to work away at home, though we didn't get to allot as much time as we do when we go to our Crop nights ... all good, have one coming up so looking forward to that!

Here is a couple pages I managed to create during that afternoon, and when I kept on going by myself in the evening:

Picture on this page:  Credit goes to a very talented artistic photographer named Kaylee Rose Waterfield - the picture itself is of someone close to my heart and I want to show the world how amazing and talented both these young ladies are.  Huge shout out to Kaylee and please go and check out her awesome new website Kay Rose Photo and Design (some parts of it still under construction but check out her facebook page - in her name link above too).

Butterflies: I actually was inspired by my friend Melanni when she on one of my Art pieces I created in her home, and I wanted a butterfly for my work ... she had a partially transparent gift bag that had butterflies all over it, she had received when she purchased something from a store.  She told me to cut one out and modge on my piece. It was so cool ... finished product (the canvas project)... so when I came home not having this cute bag I went to my local Dollar Store and I bought a couple Butterfly window stick ons ~ I seriously love the look on my projects.  As you can see I am partial to butterflies ha ha.

I also took a close up of the beaded paste that I used with a stencil - looks a lot more dimensional of course in real life ... but from the pictures below you can see a bit of the dimension the paste gave to the page.  (warning:  It took a long time to dry completely - and that was using a heat gun at first to have it set up a bit - literally to set hard a couple days.)

I am so enjoying applying the tissue and other elements to my page using the modge or decopage idea, I love that you can truly get all the creases and dimensions in there and love the layering look you can achieve.

I owe my new found love of mixed media and art journaling to Christy Tomlinson and her awesome workshops ... seriously if you haven't tried taking one of her workshop yet and you are at all interested in mixed media art they are awesome ... she is awesome ... such a real and down to earth teacher.    I am in the "Behind the Art" workshop happening right now ... but haven't gotten past the Welcome message because of dealing with being ill, but oh being in the facebook group for this course it is so exciting seeing all the inspiration and project coming out of this course already!  Can't wait to get started!  :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

A little Art Journalling at the Crop ...

My close friend Dawn and I have been trying to get out to the $5 Late Night Crops at the awesome Urban Scrapbook
- as much as we can - they often have two a month so we are happy if we can get to one for sure and two is a bonus.  Now since I have been captivated by the Mixed Media Art World thanks to Missy Christy Tomlinson I have not been scrapbooking very much ~ a layout here or there ~ my passion lately has been Art Journalling, She Art Workshops, and Mixed Media ... I have had to figure out how to pack and work on Art Journalling pages at the crop.   Now the Urban is not as well set up for this type of art work, simply because they don't have a proper sink for filling up water and washing supplies, there are only a couple plug ins and so I have to get up often to go to a counter to dry my modge or paint ect., but I am working on it and it works good enough ha ha ... I am determined to do the kind of art I am in love with now and crops are a good stretch of time to get some good work done, at home I seldom have 6 hours to allot to sitting and doing my art so crops are a perfect time opportunity to do so.  So I make it work!  ;)

Dawn and I were at the late night crop this last Friday night and I was so very pleased with the page I came away with for my Art Journal ... I wanted to do something vibrant and full of color and use a few different elements like using my modeling paste with acrylic paint ... the red flowers on the page, I also learned an awesome trick from my friend Melanni to stamp images on white tissue paper and then modge these to your art work it gives you a clear image and you can color it once it is down or before hand - I put my little birdie on this way as well as the stamp in the corner.  I had so much fun and can't wait till the next "crop date" with my fabulous friend ... :)


Friday, March 15, 2013

Artsy Girls Play Date Weekend ...

Well I have been under the weather now for going on three weeks now but last weekend I had an opportunity to get away to a creative weekend and I decided to just pack my little sick butt up - including all my cough syrup and lozenges - and hit the road!  ;)  My dear friend Melanni was having an "Artsy Girls Play Date Weekend" and that sounded way to good to miss, so off I went to Southern Alberta.  Gosh we were blessed with a glorious weekend and the drive to and from was seriously soul lifting, beautiful sunshine all the way ~ and the amazing views of Alberta - true rolling hills covered in snow right now but honestly all just breathtaking.  I am certainly an Albertan Girl and I love where I live, yes in all the seasons - but between you and me - FALL is my fave season of the year.

So off I went and I was so very happy that I did ... Not only did I get to meet some new friends - Lynne and Joanne but finally got to have a bit of a visit with my dear talented friend Melanni :) AND I got to spend some quality time dabbling in my new love of Mixed Media ... man I am so loving this
but there is way too much that I would like to do and learn and just not enough hours in the days or days in the week ... working full time makes for busy weekends at home and usually not with creative endeavors - so it was doubly delicious to steal away a weekend and be a playing Artsy Gal! :)

I do find that because I do not spend enough time in the creative world lately that I have a hard time getting my mojo, my ideas, my motivation to flow ... but I figure as long as I keep trying and maybe start just doing a little everyday it will all come in time.  I have in fact started a sketchbook - inspired by artists like the lovely and talented Christy Tomlinson and websites such as Cloth Paper Scissors - I am learning so much, and have been so excited to start putting things into practice.  My friend Melanni introduced me to the amazing talent of Christy ... and I am in the process of two workshops of hers - She Art and She had Three Hearts ~ and very excited to be signed up for a new one she has coming in April called "Behind the Art"!!!

So as I said I have been captivated by the Mixed Media Art World and the tonnes of options and techniques there are to learn.  I am having a great time learning to use multi media products - like mod podge, gesso, gel mediums and pastes ... and having fun with paints, inks, crayons, pastels and more!  And incorporating all my scrapbooking papers and supplies as well :)  Fun Fun!

So a couple projects I managed to finish in my very short time at Melanni's - seriously need to spend longer weekends dabbling ha ha :)

 My mixed media owl - inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest (I love Pinterest for inspiration) - I used book paper to make the trunk of my tree then used craft color tissue crumpled into strips and placed on with mod podge to form the tree trunk.   Using various patterned papers I patchworked together my little friendly Hooter ha ha ... and then layered and shaded ... added rubons, paint, doodles ...

And Wahla!  I simply adore the finished product ... so much fun ...

AND then a little WINE ;)  And a bit more motivation ....
And started on my 6x12 canvas ...

 Again the canvas was inspired by a couple pictures I saw on Pinterest ... it truly is my go to place for inspiration ... the only problem is that I see so much that I love it is hard to get the ideas to settle down and flow together.  Inspired also by the techniques of Christy Tomlinson I got my ART on and started my canvas in the style she taught us in the "She Art Workshop"  - I am working on the very first She Art workshop but she also has recently brought out her "Number 3"  - which looks fabulous! 

My finished canvas!  Which I am so in love with - had a place in my home where I wanted to hang it and it was so cool that my little family also loved the vibrant colors and enjoy looking at it everyday ha ha. 
All in all it was an amazingly fun weekend ... spent with some cool and talented ladies ... had so much fun visiting and laughing with them all ... and was inspired by all the cool projects happening around me as well!  Go and check out their awesome blogs and see a little of the amazing ART they also create and let them inspire you as well! 
Cheers :)

Melanni - "My Garden of Eden"
Lynne - "Scrapbook Lynne's"

My fave quote of the day:
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." 
~ Pablo Picasso

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christy Tomlinson's She Art Workshops

 My friend Melanni told me I should check out some workshops being offered on-line by Christy Tomlinson - So I clicked into her blog and signed up for a couple of her workshops ... and haven't been disappointed at all ~ I am loving how the workshops are filled with so much inspiration and have brought out my love of learning new techniques ... and she is teaching them by the tonnes!  She is such a natural and easy going woman to watch, often has me chuckling along with her ...

The "She Art" Workshop is the first one I am working on ... I am enjoying learning the basics of building up a background ... getting messy with applying inks, paints, plasters, stamps, rub-ons and more ...  how she builds layers ... till you get the desired look you want (believe me it is sometimes hard to know when to stop).

I actually created my She Art Girls out of order ha ha - this one I entitled "She can bring Beauty to your eyes" - caught my heart and wanted to work on her first.  I loved the little pantaloons and she kind of reminds me of myself.  I had such fun following Christy's directions and guidance and making a She Art Girl that spoke to me.  :)  She truly brought the beauty of mixed Media Art to my eyes.
She can bring Beauty to your eyes.

The Second one (really the first ha ha) "She loves to Learn and Create" again was so much fun learning to really work with my rub-ons, stamps and stencils - I kind of over did my back ground a bit (I got so into it) that the colors of the girl I was going to put in here did not work and I needed something more vibrant.  I am so please with how she turned out ... 
She Loves to Learn and Create.

The third one I have done so far I actually worked on at a Scrapbooking Crop evening ... believe me some of the ladies present were very interested in just what I was creating.  With this She Art Girl - which I entitled "She believes in Angels" I got into learning how to apply molding paste mixed with acrylic paints and applying on with a stencil.  I had some stop and take a step back moments where things were not going down quite as I wanted them too, but I believe my finished product makes me smile.

She believes in Angels.

That is another thing I love about the Christy Tomlinson's Workshops - is that she makes mistakes or goes down a path she doesn't want to and she lets you see how she adapts or how she works with it.  It is very liberating to know you really can not make a mistake creating your piece and that you can work with what ever issue you feel you might have.  It has helped to free my thinking from a box and let me draw outside the lines so to speak.  I am loving it!

I so encourage anyone who wants to dabble in freeing up their artistic soul, who may need a refresh, or even might like to try something new (like mixed media art) and not sure where to start to take one of Christy's Workshops.  She Art girls are a small part of what you can start to create once you have the tools and ease of using the different techniques :)  I know I am looking forward to applying all I am learning to other forms of art ... I am even applying some of the steps in my scrapbooking pages and hope to do more of that.  :)

Mixed Media Art Rocks ... so looking forward to taking Christy's "Behind the Art" Workshop in April (already signed up) really ready to learn more about the Mixed Media world and how to apply it to my art :)

Okay wanted to show you a little of what I have been doing lately ... back to my little studio ...
Cheers :)