Monday, December 19, 2011

Angelic stress busting

Collage by Lani with brand new texture from FlyPaper Textures.

Over at 14 Secrets we have a delightful Angelic exchanging going on.  Participants list what areas they would like angelic energy type assistance with and their partner sends them as much positive angelic energy, art, and ideas as possible.  My partner wished for assistance with stress at work and at school.  Well now the interesting thing here is the more I look for ideas and create little art pieces for her, the happier I get and the less stress I feel.  Pretty awesome experience.

So here's a youtube video I sent her the link for, guaranteed to bust stress just watching it, and if you remember to employ these techniques the next time you are under stress, I have no doubt what so ever that it will work.

Today I sent her this stress busting technique for school and work.  I believe that nothing beats stress like planting seeds of kindness. So I suggested perhaps leaving an annonymous thank-you card for the boss or professor.  Also leave some cookies where co-workers or classmates can find them, with a hand-made 'smile, help yourself, pay-it-forward' sign.  Place extra money in the company vending machine and tape a happy Artist Trading  Card next to it.

Want some more stress busting kindness ideas?  Visit Have any stress busting tips you would like to share here? Feel free, it's lots of fun!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wonderful Inspiration and some is Today Only!

Collage by Lani
OH BOY, want some inspiration and some of it is a TODAY ONLY kind of thing, so read on carefully!  One great inspiration, just in time for the new year, is Gretchen Miller's Art Journaling Revo'lution E-Book.    I immediately got my copy and not only does she have her own inspiring art work but she has included the work of others (including our own 14 Secrets Peep Janet McLeod).  Also Gretchen has tons of inspiring live links in this E-Book, guaranteed to keep you lost but happy for hours! Click here to view more details

The next inspiration is a time limited event, a blogroll to giveaway copies of Jill Berry's Personal Geographies, and today is the last day of the blogroll. 11 blogs in 11 days, including some amazing Artest Teachers, including Carla Sonheim, Judy Wise, Diana Trout, Lisa Engelbrecht, Tracie Lyn Huskamp and Orly Avineri. Have fun reading what they have to say, and get a chance to win if you leave them a comment comment.

So cruise the blogs and try for a free book, or take advantage of North Light's half price offer to buy it, with free shipping. Both these offers end at 10pm tonight.

Finally there's my own 2 for 1 eCourse offering which you can find here.

Now excuse  me while I go visit some blogs, and then I'll be the one working on my personal art journal revolution all evening! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Occupation Sale - 2 for 1 Creativity and Joy

Collage by Lani, texture by Kim Klassen.

Thinking about Occupying Our Art and Lives, I started wondering about the opposite of occupying something.  Being occupied by something else?  Being colonized?  I don't particularly want to be colonized by anyone or anything, not now, not ever!  What I'd like is to be completely in my life, to live and enjoy each moment, each breath, and each daub of paint!

I'm proposing a new eCourse for the new year on this topic.  Meanwhile I'm going to run the current eCourses at a 2 for one OCCUPATION SALE!!!  Sign up for one and send me a message about which other one you would like to be a part of, or what friend you would like to gift with an eCourse.  If you or a friend are interested in art prompts which help build resilience and a happy life or if you are interested in working with collage and photomanipulation, then come play with us!

You can read about the eCourses here but to get the most value, make sure to sign up on the blog (just look for the super secret savings to the right of this post).  Once you have signed up for one course, then email me with your second choice or your friend's email so I can sign them up.  Our next round of courses start January 9!  Do join us if you can!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review of a new Image Transfer book

Collage created from techniques in Digital Image Transfer.

I used to get depressed with Image Transfer books, feeling like I needed to go out and buy myself a ton of new materials to be able to start dabbling.  That is until I discovered Ellen Horovitz’s book, Digital Image Transfer: Creating Art with Your Photography.  Here’s a book for every art room, with transfer techniques for every budget.  Every possible material and supply combination seems to have been considered. This book is quite different from the other books on image transfer.  I no longer feel that the right materials are just around the next corner.  She's got me covered!  In fact this book is so thorough, and generous with images, that it is very easy to follow!   And it seems no matter what sort of digital image manipulation program we might use, no matter what sort of printer we might have access to, no matter what sort of materials we want to work with (from glass to polymer clay to leather and everything in between) we can get ideas for our work and we can actually start creating right away, even as we read!  Both images here were made while testing out some of the techniques in the book.

One of my favorite chapters is the last one, which is a highly creative chapter that includes sections on Cyanotype creation, replicating an early printing process on natural fiber surfaces, instant film transfers, and byproduct art.  “More often than not, artistic souls find the beauty in nearly everything that surrounds them, even in the discarded products from various transfer techniques!” Ellen says. And she's right.

Another great aspect of this book is that Horovitz has access to many very creative students who are very willing to explore and try out methods and materials in new ways, and I suspect willing to compete with one another to see how far they could take these techniques.  They have tried the techniques in their classes and enhanced them, tweaked them, and run with them, and of course we benefit from what they have learned.  The result is a book full of very exciting ideas and images (full color), illustrating the limitless possibilities of digital image transfer.  The text is animated and a delight to read.  I got the sense that being a student of Ellen Horovitz would be an extremely stimulating experience, but for those who can’t take a class with Ellen in person, I would recommend this book as an inspiring consolation for any art room, art studio, or art therapy practice.

Collage created from techniques in Digital Image Transfer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monkey Business

I know I posted Monkey Business over on my blog but I'm in love with Lulu, what can I say?

Fun going on at 6 Degrees of Creativity

The truth is there's a whole lot of fun going on over at 6 Degrees of Creativity!  There are 6 different workshops on offer. Many of us are making sock monkeys, and even threatening to have a little monkey exchange in one of these fantastic workshops.  I had a favorite pair of socks which I liked so much that I hadn't worn them out yet, just kept them for art retreats and grumpy rainy days when I needed a special boost.  They turned out to be perfect for this particular workshop, but I may have to order more of these socks because I think I'm hooked.  Here's my before and after.

After (her name is Lulu)
What do you think?  Fun, eh?  Want to come join our Sock Monkey exchange?  Check out this workshop and the five others here!

Another thing that is going on around 6 Degrees of Creativity is the daily search for 3 good things, and the creation of art based on this search.  Some of us have been enjoying the bracing fall winds that have been blowing through our lives.  William Charlebois's image can be found here.
Wind, scarf, and dog on morning walk with texture from FlyPaper Textures.  
And here's a lovely journal spread all about the finding of good things every day, from Gretchen Miller, who I'm most grateful to for creating 6 Degrees of Creativity.

Gretchen's spread.  (So much sunshine!)

Image from my 3 Good Things board on Pinterest.

Some of us have been enjoying collecting good things on Pinterest so that when we look at our collection of images later, we find lovely brain chemicals and hormones get released.   For more on the topic of the connections between brain chemistry and imagery you can read here.

For more on sock monkey therapy, you can read Kat Thorsen's blog here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oliver Jeffers

I'm going to start an Oliver Jeffers fan club. Wait a minute, I better make sure there isn't one of those already... OK and here's a video about the Heart and the Bottle App!

Monday, September 19, 2011

More on "Finish This Book" by Keri Smith

Collage by Lani
Come on over to my blog for the next installment of my "Finish This Book" experience, which I am totally loving!

(Also if you like my collages, and like to play with collage and photo-manipulation see the eCourse in the right hand column of this blog.  It may be just what you are looking for.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Having a little Collage and Fotoshop Fun!

Collage for Digital Whisper at Ning
 I posted this over on my blog but it's worth repeating here in case you missed it.  There are some nice links here.  It's all about Digital Whisper which is a very interesting looking Ning group.  (Thanks William Charlebois for this link!)  They have a lot of inspiration, challenges, links, support, and other good stuff.  

And for more exploration in combining photo manipulation and collage, please consider the eCourse which is starting next week.  (The discount for blog readers is over on the right hand side of this post, just scroll down a tiny bit and you will see it.)

The above piece came from this image from Moonchild which is the background for the current challenge.  (I can't wait to explore the other challenges):

Couldn't you just get lost in this spot for a few hours?  Oh, yeah, wake up Lani.  So then I added an old photo, a collage sheet face from ArtTeaLife, and a texture from PaperWhimsy. So much fun.  Thank you Bill!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Something wonderful is going to happen today.

This came from The Brave Girls' Club email this morning...
So do you ever have one of those magical days, that start off with a sweet little warning or reminder like this in the old in-box and gets better from there?  Well today is one of those days around here.  A book showed up on my doorstep, a very mysterious occurrence and when I began to look through the  book, I had to stop everything else.  It seemed to be a book about a person who is naturally curious about life and connections.  She loves to spend time in the library, making connections between various books.  Right away I thought this is my kind of heroine!  Then she finds a book and needs help completing it.  Very mysterious.  So I find I'm reading about a curious person who finds a book much like I found this book and of course I want to complete it.  And this entails a bit of sleuthing training on my part, going out on morning walks, collecting odd bits of information and evidence, which all goes into this wonderful found book. Hopefully soon I will be trained and will be able to finish the book.   Here are some of the adventures so far:

I found 3 naked Burmese boy dolls in an antique store.  (Did they ever have clothes?)

I found this odd sign very carefully posted upside down.  (Who did that? Was it a joke, a mistake?) 
The book came with a disguise and some instructions on what to do. (Fun!)
A little bug I found on my morning sleuthing.  (Is Halloween coming?)
 Maybe you remember the fun we had here at 14 Secrets with Wreck This Journal?   After several of us had read and wrecked our copies of Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal we made our own journals and created several round robins which you can read about right here.

 Well, I can imagine that this new book of Keri Smith's (Finish This Book) is going to be even more fun.  It is so far!  Can't wait.  Want to see more of what is inside?  Click here!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

There's a lot going on around here!

Collage by Lani, with help from  FlyPaper Textures

New eCourses that combine art and positive psychology, resilience, creativity, photoshop and collage are ready to go, starting September 12.  You can read about them here but don't forget to come back to this blog to get your big blog-reader discount (just look at the column to the right).

Six Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist's Life

Have you heard about the 6 Degrees of Creativity?

This is a 6 month on-line group of workshops starting October 10, 2011.  It includes 6 different workshops, offered by 6 instructors from the art therapy community.  We have created workshops which will explore practical and useful hands-on concepts, techniques, and ideas relating to themes about transformation, social change, collaboration, and using art for good.  All these ideas and techniques will work in your life, your art room, and your creative practice.

My workshop is Six Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist’s Life and the little video above may give you a flavor of the material to be presented.  I believe the simplest and gentlest things really are the source of creativity and happiness. I'm sure of it. Those moments when you are actually in your own skin, feeling, being, enjoying your life, those are the deepest moments of happiness and they are free for us to access at any time.  Have you ever felt that sense of possibility and excitement of a magical day unfolding like on the first day of a vacation, or on the first day in a new place when you have no idea what is around the next corner? For me that feeling is a clue to creating a happy artist's life.  If you are interested in how to take the "least thing" and make up the "best happiness" check out "Six Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist's Life" where you will receive one lesson per month.  Each lesson will have a positive psychology principal at its base, and will be easy to replicate in any art room or even in the privacy of your own art journal.  What could be better?  Come join us and start your happy artist's life today!

The other workshops include Examining the Everyday, Creating Gratitude and Affirmation, 6 Degrees of Creativity, Altered by Art: The Transformative Media of Beeswax Collage, and Sock Monkey Therapy!

Oh my!  Spots in these workshops go on sale here, starting September 1!  Oh boy, oh boy!!!

Claudine Hellmuth - a simple transfer technique

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bill's Zine "We Collect Joy"

We Collect Joy cover by Bill.
Do you ever wish that in the depths of winter you had a bit of the joys of summer, or maybe just a bit more of what makes life so delightful?

Bill thought about that and started working on a collaborative Zine for all of us to contribute to, a zine which will be called "We Collect Joy".
So if you had as much free time as you needed, and you were able to share some joy with others, what would it be that you would share? 

Here are some ideas from the 14 Secrets folks (I can't wait to see this zine!).  If I could, I would:
"share scenes of Nature's beauty, faces of children and pictures of animals, mountain moments poetry, nature photographs of the mountains alive with color, words and art to celebrate the joy of life, as much color and light filled joy as possible, a world filled with light and rainbows, laughter, music, the ocean, being surrounded by trees, small children being free, and a walk on the Escarpment where you can experience glorious fall colour, the wide expanse of Georgian Bay and smell the forest and the humus, feel the breeze rustle their hair and know that all is well within Creation."

Isn't that wonderful?

How it's going to work is Bill will create a digital "We Collect Joy" zine for everyone in the group to have.  What will go into the zine?  Our favorite poems, photos, pieces of art that we have created that gives us joy, essays on what "joy" means to us, and/or brand new digital collages all about joy.  Bill has already created the cover for this zine (see above), and hopefully it will inspire you to want to join this digital collaboration.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kate Church's workshop part two

Final version of the doll from Kate Church's workshop.

Here she is in progress. 

She's pretty delighted with life.

And she likes her killer eyelashes, lol!

Another participant's doll (the owner of CatFishMoon)

He's pretty happy with his killer eyelashes too!

Kate demonstrates the finishing touches.

Super workshop!  Thanks so much Kate!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kate Church's workshop in Chester! Wow!

Round one photos with more tomorrow.  Here are some samples of Kate's work.  Very delicate and expressive.  (I'm used to working lumpy and larger, so it's a challenge)

Kate Church's work.

Here's how we started, a peace of sculpey, mixed to Kate's specs and we pulled a bit for the neck, added a beakey bit for the nose and four indentations.

Then we formed the beginnings of a half moon mouth...

Then two dents for the cupid bow lips and a long dent below the bottom lip.  This is how the mouth is created.

A little pinch here and there and suddenly you have a smile emerging.  Magic.  Then you do the same with the eyes, creating little cuts in the clay.
Open these cuts a little bit and pop a glass bead in there.  Create nostrils for the nose and ears and your head will be ready for the very expensive color palette from the dollar store.  So awesome.

And here they are all lined up and ready to be popped into the oven.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The zine is ready

"Never Give Up" collage by Lani with help from FlyPaper Textures.

Over at 14 Secrets we just finished a month of prompts that were very inspiring and sweet. These prompts were a tremendous help in working with our feelings over the loss of a friend, Deb Gilchrist.  I put all the prompts into an eZine along with some tributes to Deb.  If you are interested in a month of art prompts, I'd be happy to send you the zine. Just drop me a line at lanipuppetmaker at mac dot com.
If you are feeling blue and just want or need a little encouragement, this zine may be just the thing you are looking for.

“Love is the spirit that motivates the artist's journey.” - Eric Maisel

"Don't worry. Be happy. Make efforts." - Meher Baba

PS - I totally agree with Jan (paraphrased version):
"This is a special group, with caring members who support and encourage each other in many ways! We provide each other with a wealth of resources, experiences and knowledge from the arts, healing, and life through our virtual environment. We are all willing to grow in artistic exploration and knowledge. We are SO about caring, supporting, and encouraging each other...As artists we realize that this gift is meant to be shared... We are so appreciative of each others' expressions in art and writing as it is a validation of our truth and it is what we as a group are all about. We can be strong and tall branches for each other within this 14 Secrets tree of love."