Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

So we all made it through another year. It was a good one for me, with lots of changes. I opened the door on a whole new life of possibilities. One where I own who I am and what I do, even if the path is unclear. I made new friends and mentors through retreats and workshops. I started this little blog of mine, that has opened my own doors wider. I am able to share my work, my life , and who I am with people close to me but far away, a well as build new relationships. Suddenly this space doesn't seem so little anymore. Next year hopes to bring more learning and working and travelling and loving life. A body of work to share with you all on Etsy, more photos and fun. Thank you all for the support and encouragement that has been given in large and small ways. I leave you with a few more recent Diana pics that I love and enjoyed taking. Take a look at my Flickr site for lots more. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! Here is a little something I made for the Holidays, and it makes me happy just looking at it. The trout image is a Christmas gift for someone, shhh, don't tell! Oddly I like the pairing of santa and trout, they seem happy together. Some of these images have made their way into my journal on a holiday page spread, which I will share that as it evolves. I hope you
all have a wonderful holiday and are able to spend it with family and friends. See you in the new year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Goals & Gratitude

These are journal pages that I did in Traci Bunker's workshop, Love and Fear, at Journalfest. I started these pages there, and worked on them more later on. They are completed for now, but I wouldn't be surprised if I work back into them some more. We had to make a list of goals and resolutions, then use our biggest one to make a journal page triptych as though this dream is real. As though I am living it right now. My pages are about a dream I have had my whole life, but which has becoming closer into focus as of late. I have always been an artist, so to speak, but it's only recently that I am making it my priority. Figuring out what I do, how I do it, and what that means to me. So the pages are full of words and images to support this dream of mine, down to the turn of the century building in a quaint, funky old town that I hope to live and work in one day.

The green page is a gratitude list made in class that folds over the artist spread. By this time, the work was flowing, and this page was made in a whirlwind. I love what it means to me and how it turned out. Even more surprising is how happy it is next to the other pages. They are different, but connected somehow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

365 Days of Diana

So, I have embarked on a new journey. I have challenged myself to take one photo a day for a year. Sounds simple enough, right? My camera of choice is my Diana+ or Diana mini, which means using real film. Remember real film? Do kids even know what it is, or how to load a camera anymore? Doubtful. So that means between the two cameras, lots of options. Color, B&W, 35 mm, 120 film, lenses, double exposures, single exposures, square format, half frames, etc. Which is exactly why I am on this mission. To see my life in film, learn what can be done with these toy cameras of mine, and to get back to tactility. Tangibility. Pictures to touch, not files to manage. So far it's been a good time. Two months in, only ten to go. Wish me luck and enjoy the ride.

I will be posing my favorite images here from time to time, but check out my Flickr page for the whole enchilada.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Painting Layers

I am so lucky to be taking Misty Mawn's online class, Painting Layers. I am having so much fun, and loving all the techniques. I have always been into image transfers. I have been using blender markers and acetone to transfer since college. The results are great for black and white, but I was never fully happy with the color results. Not to mention the toxicity factor. Gel medium transfers have always eluded me. I have tried and it didn't seem to work for me. The truth is, I just need to see it done to know what was right and how easy it is. Can you tell I'm in love? I made transfers until my fingers were sore yesterday. What we will do in the name of art. But even more than the transfers, I am loving the whole class. Painting backgrounds, building up surfaces with paint, ink, stamps, stencils. I had so much fun, and it's only week one. Keep checking back to see how things progress, and also check out my Flickr site for more images. Off to make more!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Seattle Trip

Here are some pictures from out trip to Seattle and Port Townsend. These photos were taken by Chad and myself with the Toy Camera App on our iPhones. These first ones are day one of our trip, taking the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. It was wonderfully moody and misty. Being in Bainbridge Island in October was like being in the most nostalgic memory of Halloween you have. Fall leaves were bursting with color, pumpkins at every stoop, and kiddos playing in the leaves. Wetness and the rustle of leaves filled the day.

The next day we headed to Port Townsend where JournalFest was held. Another picturesque seaside town will all my favorite things, good seafood, shops, and an old downtown very much like the one I always dream of living in.

After JournalFest we spent a few days in Seattle. We enjoyed the typical things like salmon and clam chowder at the market, ferry boats, just walking around town. My favorite though was Gasworks Park. How did i not know this existed? The imagination runs wild in a place like this! Here you see me with my Diana mini. I am testing her out. She is great to travel with because she is so small and versatile, but we'll see how she compares to my trusty Diana+ once the pictures come back. More on a project involving my Diana and diana jr. coming soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where the magic happens

Here is a little glimpse into my studio. Don't be fooled! This is most definitely an edited version of my space. The clutter is out of sight as is the towering shelving and overstuffed closet. One day I will share those corners of my room, but for now this feels like a good start. A friend of mine made a request recently for images of my home, and I realized how little of my home I actually share. It is such a comfort for me, yet is glaringly overlooked sometimes. I also noticed how much more art I make than is actually represented on this blog. I guess my art, like my home, like life, is a work in progress. I hesitate to share something until it's done, finalized, as if the process is somehow less important than the end result. This space holds all the half finished, just started bits of art that I cherish but don't always share. Sometimes this space groans under the weight of expectations and growing supplies that I place on it. But it's where I go that's just for me. It's there waiting for me at 2 am when my mind is racing. It's my safe haven where I can get the art out, and make what needs to be made. This studio of mine may be messy, and burdened, and over flowing, but it's there as I need it to be.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


In honor of Halloween and Day of the Dead I wanted to share this little piece with you. I made it as my trade for Journalfest, and all of the images are hand carved stamps by moi. I hope your day is spooktacular and you eat lots of candy, watch great movies, and have fun dressing up!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Back from Journalfest

I am back from the first ever Journalfest, hosted by Teesha and Tracy Moore, held in Port Townsend. Three days focused on what I most love to do (art journaling) was bliss. The classes were so varied as well as the students work, which really shows how diverse keeping a journal can be. The top left image is the cover of my journal in progress. Actually, all these pages are in progress, because very often there is just time to get an idea started, and it gets fully fleshed out later. My first class was Impulse Collage with Anahata Katkin (top center, top right, and bottom left). This was a phenomenal class for me. I feel that I already have a way of working and style that comes through my pages. But it is still forming, growing, and being influenced. Anahata is so generous with sharing her stylistic techniques which allowed me to see more ways of working an image and page. LOVED IT! And the student work was incredible in that class.

Day 2 was Love and Fear with Traci Bunkers (center left and center middle). This class was more internal and emotional, which is what I am about most days anyway. So it felt good to do writing about goals and affirmations and then translate that into pages. Much more work to do, but I am loving the direction these are headed in.

Day 3 was Words and Pictures with Theo Ellsworth (bottom right and bottom middle). Once again Theo got me thinking about drawing and doodling in a way I hadn't before. That there isn't a need to "make a drawing", but rather it can be an organic, growing process. I really learned something about myself. That though I am inclined to journal with collage and paint, drawing is incredibly centering for me. Time stands still when I put pen to paper, and the act of drawing becomes not only a record of my emotions and my life, but an act of meditation too. This is not a new feeling for me, but one I had not fully recognized. My hope is to make drawing a daily morning practice, because it seems to focus me and keep me from getting too scattered/distracted.

There is plenty more to share. Chad went with me to the retreat and it was such a good experience for him. We explored Bainbridge Island, Port Townsend, and Seattle at the peak of fall. So I have more pictures to show later once I have fully reentered. Many thanks to Anahata, Traci, and Theo. Each of you gave so much and I am deeply grateful for the learning and pure joy I experienced in your classes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here are the pieces I made in my recent intro to Silversmithing class. Taking this class was a dream I've had for as long as I can remember. My father made jewelry in the 70's before I was born and when I was an infant. I didn't grow up with him, but I did inherit his jewelry and have worn his pieces throughout the years. I remember wearing them as far back as middle school, looking at the rings on my fingers, the cuff on my wrist, and wondering how they were made. Now I have so much more appreciation for the massive attention to detail and laborious steps it take to finish one piece. And this is coming from a very patient person. It is definitely not a medium conducive to instant gratification. But the zen of sawing, the success of solder working it's magic, and making something from nothing is quite appealing. Needless to say I am about to start my next class.
Look at this crazy weekend weather we had! The trees were still a mix of summer green and fall gold and red when the first snow hit. Beautiful to see those rich colors contrasted with the stark, white snow. Now it is back in the 60's in typical Colorado fashion. It was a bit of an early snow, but so enjoyable. I went on my first "winter" walk of the season taking pictures of fresh snow and autumn leaves in the cold morning. The rest of the weekend was spent in the studio, journaling and painting. Looking forward to many more such winter weekends.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sinners & Saints

This is a pice I did for a Round Robin journal project I am currently involved in. The theme of this journal was saints and sinners, so I chose the image accordingly. It was fun to create the good and the bad using the same angel/saint image. More subtle than the classic icons of evil, and much more human in that regard. Most of us delicately weigh our options, not really choosing between two polar opposites, but doing what is best in that moment. Only in hindsight do we usually see what our mistakes have been, and rarely are they worth regretting. Every twist and turn, every choice brings us to where we are now and helps to form who we will become. The next journal coming my way has such a great theme, Book of Magic Spells. I am so lucky to be able to work on this one during October!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seven Year Anniversary!

Today is my seven year wedding anniversary! Can you believe it? Neither can I. I guess what they say is true, time really does fly when you're having fun. That magical day was one of the best of my life thus far, marrying the love of my life, and seeing my family come together in a way I had never experienced before. Family, friends, divorced parents, stepparents all there for us. Sharing in our moment. Some had never met or had been distanced by years, but the drama was nil. It was just me and Chad and our love, all of our joy, and this special life. Words can't do it justice, but it was a milestone with or without the certificate. Thanks to everyone who has supported our relationship, watched us grow and evolve, and continues to be a part of this life of dreams we are choosing to live.

Married seven years, together eleven. Look at these freshy young faces. We are still young, but its hard to believe we were this young when it all began. Funny how life is, how things happen too fast or too slow or opportunity knocks at the strangest times. Looking back I can't believe what I was ready to handle at such a young age, and yet most of the time I still don't feel like a grown up woman. A married woman of seven years who still feels like a girl and is trying to live her dreams every day with this wonderful person by her side. I love you Chad.

Monday, September 28, 2009

To Your Health

It's been a long couple of weeks. I have been staying busy with my intro to silversmithing class and various starts to other projects, but mentally I have been preoccupied. Our close friend, and Chad's boss, has been quite sick. An infection in his hearts' valve turned into open heart surgery this week, combined with a bypass. It was shocking, seeing this happen to someone so active and healthy. But a good reminder nonetheless for us all to look deeper. To know that the surface is just that, there is always more brewing just beneath. It's physical, it's emotional, it applies to ourselves, our family and friends, to strangers. This was a powerful reminder of the value of what we've got, cause no matter what, it's pretty damn good.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tree update

There is potential good news about the old tree. A second arborist took a look and has a gentler opinion. The tree has a decent sized hole from decay, and since the tree is so big the hole is a weak spot and could become an issue. The tree will only decline, but potentially could stand for years. So now it's time for a third opinion and some serious soul searching.

The first arborist made an interesting comparison between people and trees. About how if you are neglectful and don't take care one day it will become weakened and disease can just take root. Healthy trees are happy trees. Like ourselves I suppose. There is already so much chance out there for us not to give ourselves that little extra care we need. So I sign off with positive thoughts and hopes for this old tree of mine. And even bigger faith for a friend who's health was taken by surprise very recently. A person that I do not see every day (although Chad nearly does) but means a tremendous much to us both. A friend, who allowed Chad's woodworking career to bud, and although he does not know it, very often reminds me of family. Here's to getting strong and staying strong.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Giving Tree

I found out today that I will most likely have to cut down one of the 50+ year old Silver Maples in my front yard. This news came as quite a shock, seeing as I had the arborist come over just for a tree trimming quote. I always knew there were issues with this tree, but hope and denial kept me from believing this day would ever come. After the kind man with the bad news left, I crossed the street to get a better look at my home, the one I fell in love with partly for these old trees. I tried to accept this change and imagine how it will look when that magestic tree is gone. Chad sat on the curb with me and I just sobbed. I had no idea how sad I would feel, how painful it is to choose to obliterate something so beautiful and so old. So much older than myself.
I know it's just a tree, and it is better to come down by choice than god forbid any other way. But this tree is special to me, I have a history with it. 2 1/2 years ago a drunk driver plowed through my front yard going 55+ mph and never touched his breaks. He unintentionally needled through the two closely set maples (on the left), barely missing my living room before crashing into my SUV. The driver's car ended up on my front porch and my SUV ended up in my neighbor's living room. It was a blessing that my neighbor was not in his living room and that our car was a buffer that changed the driver's course. It was also a blessing that the driver did not hit either of those trees. Afterwards the neighborhood looked on in disbelief at what had happened and how. How the trees were spared, the driver was spared, my neighbor was spared. I began to see those two trees as angelic protectors. It took a long time for that wound to heal. To sleep at night unafraid and nightmare free. Always outside my bedroom window was the memory and the protector. And now it has to go. I could not have anticipated the grief I would feel at contemplating this loss. And to have to make the decision to let it go myself. But it will be safer this way, and spring will come, and we will plant a new tree and watch it grow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Greece Portraits

A year ago today I was in Greece. I was there for a life changing three weeks, truly a dream come true. These dreamy photos were taken once again with my trusty Diana+ camera, and perfectly capture the bliss I was feeling while there. By today we had been in Greece for a little over a week. We had ventured to Santorini and were now spending our last full day on Sifnos, a breathtaking quiet retreat after the crowds of Santorini. The weather was perfect and we were sad to leave Sifnos, but half our trip still lay ahead of us. I thought I would share some offerings from my trip throughout this month. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Missing polaroid

You know how some days you may really miss a special person or even a place from your life? How you can feel homesick in a way. That is how I have been feeling about Polaroid lately. The news of polaroid abandoning it's classic instant film to go digital is not new news to me. When I found out I started buying small batches the film here and there. And I hear there is a new company trying to keep instant film alive by making their own version to work with our old cameras. Maybe it's just nostalgia. I haven't cracked into my loot just yet though. I made these using Poladroid, which is a pretty satisfying substitute. But I am all about the tactility of something, the rush of excitement as the image comes into being. And in reality, for all the polaroids I've taken, where are they? Do so few actually turn out? So what to do with the remaining film before it expires? Self portraits? Favorite things? It really should go out with a bang, don't you think?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Signs Journal

I have recently gotten involved in a round robin project/circle journal with a group of ladies I met at Artfest. Some I know and others I haven't yet met. We each picked a theme, made our journal, and sent it to the next person in the rotation. Then it will be worked in and go to the next person, and the next, until ultimately it ends up back in my hands. I am so excited by this project. The chance to work with people whose work I admire, make new friends, and be challenged creatively in the process. I am itching for the first book to arrive!