Thursday, September 15, 2011


The Basics

  • Weeks - 4 (can be repeated with other rooms later)
  • Begins: Saturday October 1st
  • Price - COMPLETELY FREE! (but donations gratefully accepted on a completely voluntary basis)

First things first...


Blitzing is tiring just to think about, doesn't serve a purpose and isn't enjoyable. Anyone who tells you they love housework gets looked at like they're crazy. We would ALL have cleaners if we could afford it. Let's be honest.

We would all love to have studios that look immaculate and could grace the cover of 'What Home' magazine, but in reality, we're creative. Even if we ever attain our dream studio, the chances are it won't stay that way for very long anyway. And us crafty types tend to hoard stuff. I know I have at least 3 shelves full of scrapbooking stuff I haven't used in... well.... let's just say 'a while'.

So... what is it about then?

This workshop is aimed at turning your workspace from a place you cringe at and think 'now, where did I put...?' into somewhere you can't wait to get into and make stuff in. Whether you work in a dedicated studio, out of a repurposed cupboard or need to find a corner of your home to turn into a little workspace just for you, this workshop will help you create a lovely, nurturing environment for your work. In an easy to manage, fun way that won't overwhelm you.

This is not about cleaning and organising, Get that out of your head. It's going to take a month to sort out your space, working in specific, manageable chunks each day. If you do other rooms after that's longer. I'm hope to do my studio lounge, kitchen, main bedroom, spare room, bathroom & hallway. That's 5 months. That's the end of January which sounds like a long time to be cleaning and organising. But honestly, how much will I get done between now and then by putting it off and making cups of tea? Even if I give up after one room, I will still have accomplished something.

This is about nurturing and creating a sacred, artistic space. If you don't have one, clear out a corner and make one. If you have one, clear out the stuff that's in your way and turn it into somewhere you want to be, that inspires you and makes you happy. While we work on each area we'll do other things we 'never have time to do' like listening to albums we love, listening to an audio book or radio program, moving in a way that encourages your body to stretch, whatever you decide to focus on.

Prompts will be given and maybe a link to one song that sets the theme for the day to bring in some different music that you might not otherwise listen to.

    This sounded perfect to me so I signed myself up.  See that highlighted sentence – I did that.  That is what I want out of this workshop.  I can’t seem to get there on my own without getting totally overwhelmed.  This seems like a good way to spend an hour or two a day for a month.





    You can see why I need some help.  And this is after I spent a couple of hours clearing off the top of the desk.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    I’m trying out Windows Livewriter.  I read about it on-line, on Susie Jefferson’s blog to be exact and I thought I’d give it a try.  It is supposed to allow you much more flexibility in writing and publishing blog posts.  I’ve always been irritated by the limited fonts that I’ve had at my disposal.  Not that I want to go all fancy but Verdana is not necessarily what I had in mind.  Sometimes, for some things, you’d like to spice it up a bit. 

    Apparently with Livewriter, I’ll get access to all the fonts that I have on my computer and I have A LOT on my computer.  I’m a bit of a font collector.  Since I’m not very good at hand lettering, I do a lot of computer lettering and transfer that to the work that I do.

    Let’s see how this posts.  Here goes.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    I've been browsing through the book "Plaster Studio: Mixed Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Sculpting" by Stephanie Lee and Judy Wise. 

    I've always been intrigued by plaster and used some spackle as a texture medium in paintings but I've never really tried to seriously work with it until I looked at this book and saw that it wasn't as hard as I thought.

    I'd been to my favourite thrift store, Value Village, and found a pair of rectangular framed canvases that begged to be turned into something else.  I was just going to paint over them but they had such a nice simple black frame that I thought they might be perfect for a pair of plaster panels.  I wish I'd taken a before picture because they were just a pale floral prints that seemed a bit washed out.

    I first primed the canvas to give it a bit of tooth and then spread a 1/4" coat of drywall compound over the canvas and let it begin to dry a bit.  When it was still moist but not sticky, I used a variety of items to deboss the compound.  I used a doily for a sunburst effect and a greek key pattern and other line patterns to create texture.  Then I let it dry overnight.

    The next step was to give everything a base coat of acrylic paint.  I used a neutral colour(buff) since I was still undecided at to my overall colour scheme.  My next step was to use red and yellow fluid acrylics over the canvas, blending the colours in some areas.  When this was dry I gave the canvas a coat of sealant (Mod Podge).  I saw this on a You Tube video.  It allowed another coat of paint to be placed on the canvas and then removed from areas with a baby wipe. 

    I added a coat of burnt umber and some more yellow.  I wiped back areas to reveal the original colours.  When I liked my finished product, I once again sealed the canvas with Mod Podge

    Here are my finished pieces:

    Here is a close up of the sunburst detail from the doily.




    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    I'm so excited!  My sketchbook for the 2011 Arthouse Sketchbook Challenge has been digitized and added to the library.  They did a much better job than I did taking photos.  You can go directly to my sketchbook by clicking here.  There is a page spread missing from the "It's Been a Bad Day" section but I've mentioned it to the support staff so we'll see what happens.  They ask you to look over your digitized book and let them know if anything needs to be fixed.
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