Renewing My Blog!

Stay tuned . . . . . .


Yes, Yes, I'm planning on being more active here on the blog.  Soon, very, very soon.  I've signed up for some classes, one is an e-course by Valerie Sjodin (she's here in Oregon) about edges and putting text in shapes AND it's only $15.  I've also signed up for a workshop with her at the end of the month.  Soooo Excited!!!

So for now, here's a link so you can check out her beautiful work and the e-course too:     visualblessings.blogspot

With a smile,   ~ chris


Promises, promises!  Someday I will begin posting again, and now that i've recovered and changed my password . . .  (I can't seem to find a great, secure way to save all the passwords I have. How do you do it?).

First I have to stay off the internet at all the other creatve sites that are out there!  But oh do I have some great finds to share  :D


Finally - A New Post!

I think I'm in the swing of things again, or at least I'd like to think I am. . . . the last couple of years have been an interesting journey. Some good, most not so good. Not sure I'll go into all that this time.
I've taken some painting, drawing and artistic journaling classes though and I'm moving away from art quilts into mixed media & journaling. Don't get that statement confused with the thought that I'm all that great at it.

Really that's why I went with the "artplaywithchris" name. My heartfelt desire is to share this creative play with others! Anyway, I've decided to try and start keeping a record of my play days. Here's some photos to start with.

Additional Note:  after attempting to upload all the photos here, I'm trying this instead. Only thing is I have no discriptions added to the photos yet!

You are invited to view artplaywithchris's photo album: September 28, 2012
September 28, 2012
Sep 28, 2012
by artplaywithchris
To share your photos or receive notification when your friends share photos, get your own free Picasa Web Albums account.


It's Almost Moving Day

Wow, I see that it's been a whole month since I last posted and that's just not right.  But, when you're packing to move and things are displaced. . . well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Anyway, the update on the house is that the carpet will be installed on TUESDAY and I'm so excited.  That's the only thing stopping me from getting in and setting up my studio.

We've gone from too much rain to record heat.  The sprinklers are out, grass and weeds are growing, growing, growing, but so are my creative urges.  When I'm finally in my new and really 1st studio, I have friends who have volunteered to come and help me take my 20some tubs of fabric stash and UFO's, and help me sort, fold, divide and conquer!  This is the space I'm leaving: 

Actually it rarely looked that clean and organized. . . see that pile to the right, that's more like it.  I'll bet when I took this photo I had to move huge stacks of paper crap off the surfaces and they were probably hiding on the floor where you can't see in the picture.  What I really need is 3 friends who will come weekly and sort, file, and put away all that stuff that I habitually pile on flat surfaces.  Oh my.  But I did recently find some articles that may help me in the future and maybe you too if you're a little bit ADD like me.  Check this out: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/6528.html 
As of this date, everything is off the walls and about 1/3 of the light stuff has been moved down to the house.  I'm storing it in the bathroom, even the tub and you can bet that as of Wed. there will be a flurry of activity and I promise to post photos as I move in.

Warm hugs and always a smile,  chris


Alsea Art Farm - Dreaming of Retreats Being Held Here!

. . . . as promised on Kelly Rae's e-course, I will post more info about my proposal to have 1 or 2 nearly free creative retreats (6-8 people) here at what I like to think of as "Alsea Art Farm".  Probably by tomorrow you can expect more information.  Here's one photo to show you what a beautiful drive it is to our property!

From Corvallis to Alsea, this is going up Mary's Peak and there are only 2 miles of curvy road (for those that get car sick)

This is the new home we've been building for the last 7 years and we're almost ready to move in.  I will have a studio upstairs and I'd love to have some play date weekends / small retreats!

This is one view of the river from the back deck.

And this is the deck. . .

We've even hosted 3 weddings so far.

This is the great room (much will be unfinished even as we move in next month)
Below are just a few small shots of the landscaping and special places I love.


Here's the island and a view of the front of the house as you drive up.

The second dwelling on the property is a MF home and it will be empty in about a month. . . so before we get it rented, I'd like to offer it as a place to camp out. . . . it can sleep 8.  It really would have to be like camping (but fancier) you'd have to bring sleeping bags and mats or blowup mattresses, towels and personal stuff.  There won't be any furniture - so just a place to crash.  I'll keep the TP supplied!  There's also a washer and a dryer, a dishwasher (oops no dishes - guess you'll only have the snacks you bring).  A fridge and a microwave will still be there too.  I imagine simple meals will have to be arranged.  Alsea has no restaurant at this time because it's closed and up for sale.  There is gas and a store.

This is one of our two shop kitties - but they're a little shy with strangers.
Our homes are smoke free but animal friendly.

So that's our place - a little piece of Heaven and people who come out here absolutely love it.  The other special spot I don't have photos of just yet is the creek that runs along side the lower end of the property and the patio sitting area.  You can literally sit there with a cool drink, hear stereo creek sounds from two sides as is winds through, the birds chirping like crazy and you just melt away into bliss.  It's my favorite spot to relax!

And there are endless ideas for what to play with, fiber, paints, papers, stamps, photos, you name it.  I also like the idea of renting a workshop from  www.artworkshops.tv
 , oh and here's the best tip I can give you. . . .if you sign up for their newsletter you will get to view free videos with every newsletter.  This weeks newsletter has this video free to watch.  "Beeswax Collage with Claudine Hellmuth"  And I've watched free videos of Sherrill Kahn and Ann Baldwin - both ladies that I've taken workshops with.
If you teach workshops - you need to know about this company!!!!!

OK, I need to get back to mowing and weeding!  Enjoy that link ;~)


Waiting For Success

I feel it again. . . . The energy inside is swirling like an encapsulated cyclone, ready to burst through, exploding into the atmosphere.  But my past, my hindrances clearly show that rather than exploding through and out into the wide open space of success, it quickly drops to the surface like a glop of heavy lethargic mass of dough without enough yeast to fully rise to even its anticipated potential.  All this repeats itself, over and over till someone quietly refers to the otherwise well known phenomena as half assed attempts on the road to know where.

On second thought, maybe it’s just the caffeine I just put in this decaffeinated body   ;-0
or the beginning of another elevated mood episode!  Who knows – but I better resolve it on my 3 day weekend, because it’s back to work on Monday.

What brought this on so early in the morning?  I guess it was getting Lesley Riley's e-newsletter last night and her reply this morning.  I've been a fan and groupy for as long as she's been out there with her "Fragments" on her first website!  A secret fan pretty much, but always admiring and wowed at her work.  Now she's embarking on a new venture, just opening the widow slightly for those of us who get her newsletter.  It hasn't been launched just yet, but I'm first in line.  Here's some of what she wrote:

Artist Success - Solutions for the Struggling Artist . That's it. That's the name for my new (ad)venture. There's no website yet but we're working on it. I just can't hold back any longer letting you know what I'm up to.
As an Artist Success expert, I'll be working with artists who are unsure of their path; confused or scared about how to get from unknown to known; artists who are trying to discover their voice, their style, their why; artists who are afraid or embarassed to show their art or even claim the title ofartist. From my years teaching and speaking with 1000s of students, I know there are many artists who take all the classes and buy all the supplies in the hopes of discovering their art, but then end up overwhelmed and unsatisfied.
Basically, I am here to help the person I was, so many years ago. I figure if I went through it, there must be others out there looking for direction, for a mentor, for someone to take their hand and show them the ropes, navigate the path, divulge the secrets.

And this is worth repeating here from an earlier blog post of mine:

. . .  a word of caution (to me!) I read a post called "Highs and Lows of Being an Artist" on Lesley Riley's blog today and it reminded me that sometimes what we wish for ends up being more than we wish for - if not monitored and occasionally assessed.  She has achieved success in my mind.  I admire her so much and I love her work!  Not only is she a talented artist but she has the most generous spirit.  I've followed her from nearly the beginning and I even have one of her "Fragments".   It's one of my favorite treasures!  I love everything about it.

We all need to make sure life doesn't overwhelm us and clutter our spirits!
We need to play often!!!

I'm anxiously awaiting further word about her new venture, because at 56 I know I still have time (I just learned about Julia Child's age when she hit the big time), but I battle the knowledge that it's not over until it's over -vs- feeling like I'm slowly leaning on that last leg, when it comes to success that is.


So - I Like Color

OK, this blog always seems to be a work in progress (just like me!) and after I changed the header image to this new one, I ran it by my graphic designer son.  I'm sure he said some complimentary things, and other things all taken as the constructive criticism that I was asking for. . . . but one word is still haunting me.  He thought the header colors a bit "Garish".  I blame my inexperience with Photoshop elements in perfecting a less than perfect image.  (can you see why I'm excited about my new book that I mention below :)  Anyway.

(Update 6/17/10 I removed the banner I was mentioning in this post.  I've posted it below.  I still like it, especially in this smaller version.  The one I have now is temporary - too simple.  I will play around with this one or the idea as soon as I have a bit more time.  If you'd like to leave comments, please do.

Something I should have done from the beginning is to take print screens of each design change I've made.  Oh well, too late for all past ones, but it's a good idea now!)

I already took away the two tiny purple sidebars and now I'm looking at how to make my header less garish.  I just took a class from Jane Davilla and one of her suggestions was to be consistent in branding.  I just don't know how I'm going to do that because I love to come up with new ideas.  Now I have to either simplify or change "Garish" or redesign something entirely different.  Now was certainly not the time to go back to work, even part time.  I simply have less time to play and that's no fun.


I Bought The Book!

Just wanted to say that I bought the book yesterday "Digital Expressions" by Susan Tuttle!  Borders had a 40% off coupon that I used otherwise it wasn't on my "need" list.  But I've had a rough week, so it was a little reward for having endured that.  Now I just need to get myself to feeling better, (in order to thoroughly absorb it) while working my way through some of the exercises and attempting to use an older version (3.0) of Photoshop Elements.  But I am excited!!!!


Book Give Away! Late But Probably Not Last

I've just found this amazing Photographer and Digital Artist Susan Tuttle, who has a new book out!  I WANT IT . . . and I will have it one day, but I hope sooner than later.  I just popped on over to her blog for the second time (yes, I just found her) and discovered that she is doing a book giveaway right now, and it's almost over so my fingers are typing madly so that I can get my entry in.  Who cares about spelling and correct fonts right now . . . .
But do check it out on Amazon.com 
. . . . and watch for my new creations after I totally absorb this book!!!
Did I mention that I love the colors and design of this cover page.  Oh my!