Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hope for Oklahoma

Hello Friends...

Like many of you I was saddened by the news of the tornado that touched down in Moore, OK this past week. I have very good friends who live close to Moore and waited anxiously to hear if they had been affected. Thankfully, they were not directly affected but they do have friends and family who were. I am sure that we have all seen the devastation that was left in its wake.

This is where a glimmer of HOPE and happiness raises it heads. In the true CAN DO fashion of many artists that I have so fortunately encountered during my online networking, a friend has stepped up to arrange a very special auction to benefit some of those who were personally affected by the tornado.

Heather Ales who lives right down the road from Oklahoma in TX and is a very talented artist, has
"HOPE" cross I created for
the auction
undertaken this task single handedly. What she envisioned as a small auction with maybe 40-50 items has mushroomed into a virtual extravaganza of handmade goodness. Beginning tomorrow and running just 5 days, folks will be able to bid on a plethora of artist made creations from dolls to jewelry, paintings to mixed media artwork. Participating are small local artisans to nationally known artists and instructors. Every day new goodness is being added!!

Please visit the Hope for Oklahoma site on Facebook and check out all the wonderful items that have been donated. Hey, you can start your holiday shopping early!! 100% of the proceeds will go DIRECTLY into the hands of (vetted) needy recipients and Heather will post pictures and share stories.
Below are just a few of the things I have my eye on...

Funky Frida by Aimee Wheaton
Adorable Owls by Doreen Gay- Kassel
Beautiful necklace by Beth Quinn

Gorgeous soldered earrings by Heather Ales

Leather cuff by Emilee Ginger

Thursday, May 16, 2013

rolling along

I'm still here!

Things have been a whirlwind as school finds its last few weeks and I continue to prepare for Open Studios in just a couple more weeks!
I have already lined up Greg to assist me with some bigger projects on Saturday that involve digging out the drills and saws. We'll make our hardware store run and then bust through my list. I might have to make a clay run at some point and then try to just finish up projects so I can start pricing!!
My muse has been all over the place so I have a kind of strange array of works lying on my table. I hope the sun peeps out more tomorrow so I can take some more pictures. I have been sorely negligent in shooting anything more than a few sneak peeks with my phone. What can I say? I like to tease... heehee
Anyway, I did capture a couple of newer pieces when I was photographing the mosaics for my postcards!!

The Secrets
And not to toot my own horn, but I LOVE the way this piece turned out! I started with one of my house shapes and attached it to some particle board my hubby had cut down and went to town. The black and silver piece is a cast off earring from the 80's ;). Ooh its vintage! LOL Even though this is not my usual color palette, I know it works and I am super happy with it. This is the piece that I finished JUST AFTER delivering my artwork to the gallery for the art show and reception. I would definitely have taken this piece, but 'c'est la vie!'
Hope to have some more to share soon...

Monday, May 6, 2013

about learning new things...

Hannah pulls back her bow.
Yesterday I posted about wanting to teach my daughter to embrace learning new things.. no matter what age. So, with that in mind, I wanted to veer off the art topic here, which I will do from time to time, because, well, this is my blog. LOL. Plus, I will probably run out of stuff to write about when I get stuck in a creative rut...

So, today was a Girl Scout Day.. and it was one that we had been looking forward to. Why? Because it involved sharp objects! Yes my friends, today was archery badge day with a side serving of tomahawk throwing!

Greg throws a tomahawk.
Not only did Hannah get to learn all about archery and shoot arrows at targets but Mom did too! And, despite growing up in a heavy Boy Scouting family and being an Eagle Scout, Greg had never thrown tomahawks, so we all got to learn something new.

I get my turn to shoot arrows..
guess what 3 bulls eyes in a row earned me?
Aside from Greg and me, the girls also got to watch their Troop Leader, Emily and Asst. Leader and Mom, Julie participate. I think one of the best ways we can teach our kids is by modeling behavior. Experts tell us that if kids SEE their parents reading, they will be more likely to develop their own love of reading. So, in that vein, I believe that if kids see US try something new, they will be apt to learn to try new things and have more experiences.

What new things are you teaching your kids??
Hannah and her friend throw tomahawks. Watch out boys!
New badges.. Hannah earned her Pioneering Badge and she and I BOTH earned archery badges today!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

the Reception...

Hannah views my artwork installation.
Friday was the Reception for the Open Studios Preview Exhibition at our local Art Gallery. Its pretty exciting for such a small town to have such a nice art gallery in the first place and it was an honor to have my work hung amongst some might fine artists.

My sister-in-law Ceal, took all of these shots with the exception of the last one which my hubby took for me. I was very bad and didn't take any pictures myself of the art that also hung because I was kind of nervous and overwhelmed by the whole thing. 

If you follow me on Facebook, you may recall that I mentioned that this was my FIRST gallery showing aside from college when I both hung and showed our gallery shows since I practically LIVED in the art department. I took a Gallery Methods class during that time which taught basics of readying and displaying artwork. While that class has served me well over the years, it wasn't much help when it came time to ready some of these pieces for display. I have learned my lesson, that I MUST figure out a method to hang the piece BEFORE I start building the piece because once it is all tiled and built, it can be a b*&#! to prepare.

Anyway, my parents all came and of course my hubby and daughter. I think it was pretty exciting for my daughter to see my work hung in a real gallery because while she has always seen me make art and I have never denied her any art supplies or space to create her own, I want her to know that it is never too late to do things. Its never too late to try new things and to tackle new goals. She can do anything if she sets her mind to it. Whether she is 15, or almost 45 like me, she can do new things and be nervous but feel proud of herself because she just jumped in with both feet.

Visiting with my friends.
The other thing that made me feel amazing was that some of my friends made this event a priority in their lives. I invited all my family and local friends and their kids.. because, let's face it. Art is important!  It meant the world to me that some of my friends took time out of their Friday night and came down to the gallery to support me and cheer me on. My friend Theresa, is a new friend from school. We hit it off quickly and I love her kids. She and the kids all came and gave me hugs and showed me how proud they were of me. They couldn't stay long, but the act of making a few minutes meant a lot to me. My friend Tracy, came with her family too. She was one of the first Mom friends I met here in town and we have kept in touch and now work together. After the reception she sent me a text thanking me for including her in my "celebration". Really, I felt I should be thanking her.

So even though this shot isn't the best shot, it is the most meaningful to me and will serve as the best reminder of how I felt that night. The man in the picture is Mr Kent Child, who is a fellow artist and who, with his wife Kathleen, happens to be my neighbor.  Mr. Child also served as an instructor and Dean at Gavilan College while I attended and after. What was meaningful was that during the reception he took me aside and made a point of telling me how much he enjoyed my work and how much of a gift he thought I had for composition, design and color. He seemed genuinely excited to have a "newbie" participating in the Open Studios process and especially one that brought something different to the table. 

WHY, does this mean so much? Of course everyone likes to receive kudos, but it was the affirmation that I was good enough, from a "stranger", that made it more worthwhile. Of course I value what my friends have to say, but don't you find yourself always wondering if they are "just telling you that to be nice"? I have had to overcome some serious self doubt and feelings of unworthiness during this process. Its different than being published in a magazine or book. Somehow if they say NO it doesn't seem so personal, at least not to me, as to have your work scrutinized in front of you. I know many of my fellow Open Studio artists where wondering what the heck I did when I spoke at our organizational meeting. "Mixed Media and Polymer Clay mosaics".. what?? Well, now they know... :)

Next step is the Open Studios Tour itself. I have just three more weeks to finish everything up and get ready!! Hope to see you there...

Ella's image in my mirror. "Ella" painting by my friend Chenoa.
Me and the pieces that I selected to hang.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Sorry!, Seem to have been missing in action this week. Its been a busy one all around with the daughter STAR testing, the hubby working some weird hours and me cramming for the Gallery Opening of the Open Studios Preview which runs the month of May.

Why does it seem so hard to get 3-4 pieces of artwork ready to show?? I tend to work at a pretty frenetic pace, but I DO have a "day job" so I don't get as many hours in the studio as I wish I did. When I do, I tend to go all out rolling clay, stamping and cutting tiles and building artwork. What escapes my attention is the little things, like painting the packs of pieces and putting on hanging hardware. I need an INTERN or an elf. Such lack of attention causes much panic in these last hours before a deadline. Of course I ran out of hanging wire, sawtooth hangers AND printer ink at the same time. Fortunately heading out to the hardware store and Staples caused me to have to stop and breathe and chill a bit. I am MUCH closer to being ready to take the artwork down to the gallery tomorrow.  Just gotta get my labels made. Once they are delivered I will show you which pieces I decided to take ( I am not sure what will make the cut yet.. lol)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Little BlogLovin'

If you're an avid blog reader like I am, you probably use a service like Google Reader to manage your blog subscriptions, AND you've probably all heard the news the Google isn't continuing with Google Reader which means no more Google Friend Connect. (BOO!)

There are still several ways to follow blogs though and now is the time to start planning and moving your favorite blogs.

I'd love it if you LIKED Short Attention Span Studios on Facebook  or followed this blog on Bloglovin'. You can even import your Google Reader blogs to it! If you aren't familiar with Bloglovin' it's a very simple website that allows you to input all your favorite blogs and read them all on one page.

Now, I've got some work to do...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Memorial house art piece...

hXeFLv on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

I  am not usually  a fan of animated gifs but I figured this was the best way to share this piece.
I created this piece kind of last minute for my SIL and her family after the sudden loss of their beloved doggie this past week. Within 24 hours he went to seemingly normal and healthy, to having to be put to sleep because he was suffering. Howie was Tia's first "baby" and her daughter followed a a few years later. I know it was a very tough week for them all and I wanted to create something that they could remember him by once the dog crate and other doggie artifacts get moved outside.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mark Your Calendars

As I mentioned previously, I signed up to take part in this year's Open Studios Art Tour in San Benito County (which is where we live). While I have attended many Open Studio events, this is my first time actually participation as an exhibitor. 

Last night was the first meeting about the Open Studio tour. I met some of the other artists and we got some tips from the director of the Santa Cruz arts league who has over 300 studios participate in their tour! We have a much more manageable 27! We got the first of our collateral.. these reminder postcards and posters to share with friends and business... check it out! One of my frames is on the card!! So exciting.

For those of you who are wondering what "Open Studios" is all about... its a chance to visit the studios of working artists in your area. Many communities host such events. In our county, there is a Preview Exhibition at our local gallery in Hollister with representative works from all of the artists.. sort of an over view of what will be on the tour. 

The weekend the tour itself, folks can get a map of participating artists and visit their actual studios to meet the artist, see their work, their studio and how they do what they do. The artists will also sell their work at this event. It can be very informative and quite interesting as most artists have exhibits or demonstrations of how they create their work!

Needless to say, I have been working feverishly to get ready for the even even though it is still a couple of months away. I know how deadlines can sneak up! and I don't want to be unprepared. There is a long check list running through my head at all times and I should probably write it down so I can actually check things off as I go. 

If you are local to the area, I encourage you to visit the exhibit in May or visit some of the studios the first weekend in June! Hope to see you here!!

Friday, April 12, 2013


This piece is a happy studio accident. I can't even remember the steps I took to get here from wherever I was in my creative process but I like where I ended up!

I am a person that needs positive reinforcement... particularly from MYSELF. I often find myself doubting myself, my creativity, my abilities. I spent several hours in the studios yesterday and I felt really good. I was full of so much  inspiration and excitement that I was practically bursting. When I logged into Google chat to touch base with Joleen, regarding a joint project, we both were "talking" so fast that our conversation was quite jumbled.

But, here we are in a new day and suddenly the doubt is surfacing. Can I pull off this Open Studios thing? Can I get my studio ready for strangers? Can I create enough work to show? Will anyone LIKE it? Am I good enough??

STOP!! Maybe I seriously need a stop sign..???

Well, I decided on a prettier route.. these small wall plaques that combine my handmade tiles and sculpted hearts with affirming words of encouragement. I know I will be making one to hang right by my bathroom mirror where I can see it EVERY morning while I get ready for the day.  These words are ones that speak to me, which words would you choose??

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Clearing the shelves

Started off this morning with a run to the M store. My friend Amber, gave me a head's up on their ad for the week which featured all modeling clay for 87¢ a brick! The regular price for my clay of choice is $2.49 so it was well worth the trip! I felt mildly bad for the cashier who had to price over ride every.single.block of clay I purchased due to a computer glitch. I say "mildly" because while she was pleasant and apologized for the delay, she chomped gum loudly with her mouth open the entire time. Eeew! When I got home, we decided to weigh the bag. 10 pounds of clay to add to the stash. Yes, I admit I cleared several rows of clay on the shelf. I am THAT girl. That ought to keep me busy for some time!

I DID hit the studio for awhile this afternoon. Decided to spend some time stamping out words for pieces. I like to incorporate words and quotes into some of my work :). I think they look so pretty lying in the pan to bake. By the way, I am back to baking in a little toaster oven as opposed to our new kitchen oven. Yay for Target sales. Getting used to baking smaller batches of tile at a time but its nice to be able to just bake it off in the studio as opposed to trekking into the house every time.

Aside from my pile of word tiles, I worked on a mirror I have in progress. Just when I think I have enough tiles made in the right color way and glue them all on.. nope! I need to make another batch of two. Here is a little sneak peek. The palette is a bit different for me but I think it is super pretty.

Oh, and those word tiles.. they inspired a new thing that I am SUPER excited about. But you gotta wait for a bit to find out what it is...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New blog

Welcome to my new blog. I spending more time working on SASS stuff lately so it seemed like the thing to do.
This is basically the run of the mill, first post test as its late and I am working on my new website but should probably head to bed.
At least I will share a picture of one oft newest pieces.