I found myself watching a video which had been posted on Facebook of a beautiful studio...I mean this room looked like an interior designer came in with a team of prefessional organizers. There was not a scrap or paper out of place, nothing on the pristine granite counter tops or floors. I found myself thinking that it was obviously so staged, who REALLY works like that?! Well it looked like no one had ever worked in there...at least not creating art! LOL
A few hours later I came across several of my artist friends posting studio table reveals...all inspired by a blog post by Seth Apter who is a fabulous mixed media artist and just about the nicest guy you could ever meet.
Loving that fellow artists were being so real, unsensored and revealing their individual creative messes I felt inspired to run downstairs in my jammies this morning to show mine as well. My main work table actually wasn't too bad for some reason. I recently cleaned up some of the potential avalanches to make room for a vintage tool box I have been painting so in order for you to really get the full effect of what I like to call my "Creative Chaos" I made this little video tour. It is an ongoing work in progress and to be honest I have not spent much time down there over the summer while recovery from surgery so it's pretty raw and very unorganized at the moment, lol.
***WARNING: for my very organized, Type A friends...this may be stressful for you to watch!!***
I have been missing in action all summer to take some much needed time to focus on me. If you have seen me limping around for the past few years, you might have known that I had severe osteoarthritis in my right hip (one of those lovely family traits I inherited). I was told a year ago by my Orthopedic surgeon that it was bone on bone and the pain was only going to get worse...that I was putting off the inevitable and if I waited too much longer to address it that I may not regain full range of motion.
That being said, with the crazy dream/goal of actually being able to put my own sock on my right foot by winter (A feat I have not been able to conquer for about the last 3 years) I made the decision to have a Total Hip Replacement on June 30th. I went to an inpatient rehab facility for 10 days after surgery for intense physical and occupational therapy and have been going to outpatient PT since then. I have to say, although I've had what I consider a few minor set backs, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The extreme pain I had just learned to live with was just GONE when I woke up from surgery...AMAZING!!
My plan was to take off from teaching until October, but honestly I don't think I have much patience with myself or sitting still too long, LOL. Since I have been feeling so good, I started teaching a few weeks ago with a day of classes at Joys of Life Scrapbooking in Pennsylvaia and more this week and next locally at Paper Anthology in Kenvil, NJ. It feels SO good to get out and start reclaiming my life...to get back to my normal lifestyle! I am very very lucky and grateful to have such a wonderful family support system here. My poor husband who had to deal with every pain, struggle and set back, but celebrated with me with every new milestone I achieved! My Mom and sister were an enourmous help taking the kids to the beach for me so they didn't have to lose out on enjoying their summer too. My family is amazing and I love them very much for putting up with me : )
(Mike hanging out with me in Rehab after a long day of PT)
I even did a little doodling while I was icing my hip in Rehab...although Ryan looks a little like he is on pain meds in this drawing too I think, LOL. But I had fun doing it and it felt really good to just doodle for me : )
So I still have to be aware of my hip precautions for about another 2 weeks and I continue to do all of my physical therapy daily. Every day I feel a little bit less pain or stiffness, a little more confident and a little bit more normal. I'm ready and hitting the ground running (yes, maybe really actually running!) mid October with a teaching trip in Arizona then a massive road trip from NJ to Texas , teaching all along the way...and guess what - I WON'T BE LIMPING!!!!!
I'm getting ready to head out to the airport...this road trip is starting out with a flight to Portland, Oregon. I will be teaching at Memories of Time in Coos Bay, OR May 1-3 for National Scrapbook Day, then 2 days teaching at Runaway Art & Craft Studio in Salem, OR before heading up to Washington for a return visit and another 2 days of classes at Urban Scrapbooker! This time I boooked an extra day so I can actually explore Seattle...and of course make the pilgrimage to the original Starbucks!!!
The craziness of my Spring teaching schedule is in full swing and the first road trip of the year was simply awesome!
So after a winter that looked like THIS in New Jersey....
(Yes, that is the view from my front door and that little bit of black under the mounds of snow is my Pathfinder!)
it's probably no surprise that I like to book my first road trip of the year heading SOUTH!!
This trip was especially exciting for me because aside from getting to see relatives and some of my best friends along the way, I was debuting a brand new class series that I had been working on for some time.
MIXED MEDIA BOOT CAMP
consists of 3 different classes or can be done as an all day event.
Paint Boot Camp
Colorful Effects to "DYE" for Boot Camp
Stencil Boot Camp
Using a combination of VIva Decor, Art Anthology and Ranger...along with lots of other products and mediums along the way, the focus of all three of these classes is the "MIXED" media aspect of each technique. Learning not only the basics of each product, but on how each works together with other products to form different techniques and stunning effects. It's all done in a 6x6 format with instructions to go on the back of each little masterpiece so you can create a mixed media technique reference. I keep all of mine in a decorated 6x9" Basically Bare Binder with chipboard tabs to seperate out each class. It works great for me!!
So I set out heading south on March 1st. Here's what my journey ahead looked like...
(if you click on "view larger map" you can see the whole itinerary!)
I debuted the classes at PhotoScraps in Eldersburg, Maryland and it was packed with ladies who spent the entire day with me emersed in mixed media heaven! It was a blast!!
The next day we did the whole series again at Scrapbooks Plus in Chantilly Virginia, then I QUICKLY headed down to Florida to outrun an ice storm that was coming! (Never a dull moment on a road trip! LOL)
I stayed with one of my best friends Laura, who had recently moved to Florida for a few days before spending the day in Crystal River for classes at Scrap & Stamp Art Studio. (Laura and I were having so much fun I forgot to take pictures!) Then made my way over to Plant City to hang out with my Aunt Joan for another few days while I taught at WhimSoDoodle
I was so happpy that my friend Roxanne Dondanville from the Art Anthology Design Team came to play, giggle and be my helper while I was in Florida....LOVE this talented and extremely funny lady!
From Florida, I started heading north for my next stop in Marrero, Louisiana at Scrappin Friendzee (and of course spent a little time in New Orleans on the way). I have to say...I LOVE the ladies in Louisiana. I laughed for 2 days and we had so much fun!!
From there, I taught at 2 different stores in Alabama...first stop was Kat & Junebugs in Enterprise
LOTS of creativity and smiling faces here : )
Then up to Scrapbook Princess in Moody. Both stores I taught at last year and just had to come back because the ladies here are just so wonderful!
I even got to go home with my own "Keep Calm and Scrap on!" shirts! LOVE it!!
The next morning I made my way over to Georgia where I spent a all too quick afternoon with one of my very most favorite giggle buddies Lauren Ferguson...Damn, I love her and we never have enough time!!
My final stop on the trip was in Greensboro, North Carolina at the fabulous Betty's Creative Studio and it was a amazing end to the trip. Crazy creativity going on at Betty's and her store is as awesome as she is!
The lovely Teena just grinned and giggled the whole day while emersed in painty bliss and as I was leaving gave me the sweeetest goody bag of artsy yumminess to keep me busy during my upcoming hip surgery...made me smile all the way home! Thank you for your thoughtfulness and wonderful gift Teena : )
I was recently honored to be invited to do a Guest Artist Blog post for Altered Pages in Arizona. Their blog is full of yummy inspiration, she has a fabulous mixed media on-line store and also a store front now in Phoenix! You MUST check them out!!
Here's the link to my blog post and fun little canvas tutorial I did featuring ALL Art Anthology!
I know, I know...I rarely blog. I am definitely much more active on Facebook so if we are not already friends, go ahead and send me a friend request...I love being able to see your smiling faces : )
I have a lot to catch you up on so I will spread it out over a few posts while I have some time before my crazy travel schedule picks up again.
So going back a bit...CHA in Anaheim, CA was awesome again. It's probably my favorite week of the year where I get to reconnect with so many friends and store owners but get to see all of the new yummy products being introduced for the year. I have to say, it recharges my mojo and and give me so much inspiration! Just a few of my favorite people that I got to see...
My bestie and Yoda, Robin Beam...
The extremely sparkley and fabulous Suze Weinberg...
The very cool and talented, lovely Dyan Reaveley...
My wonderful and beautiful friend Sally Lynn MacDonald...
The nicest guy in the industry, the inspiring Ken Oliver...
Another one of my besties and partner in crime at the show, Owner of Art Anthology, Stayce DeWid and the extremely funny Roxanne Dondanville (LOVE these girls!!)...
This year was even more special because my husband Mike joined me for the first time so he got to experience the full amount of craziness that goes along with the show...I think he now appreciates all that is involved and why I sleep for days when I get home! LOL
Stayce and I put him right to work mixing paints, setting up the booth...then we dressed him up and gave him and Stayce's husband Jimmy the titles of "Eye Candy" for the booth! (lol) They both did great and we were happy to have some muscle around to help with it all! Plus, Mike made a new buddy!
The booth looked great and we had another amazing response to Art Anthology!
I did a lot of demos at the booth with the new paint lines of Stone Effects and Metal Effects and Craft Test Dummies even came and did a video where I got to show all of the paints including my paint line of Dimensional Crystals!
Stayce and I also co-taught an Art Anthology Class during CHA which was a blast!
Mostly, it was so much fun to have someone to travel with for once and this was actually the first time Mike and I had been away without the kids since they were born! (Thanks for taking them Mom!)
Mike stayed long enough to take part in the Art Anthology company dinner before flying home to relieve Mom from the kids while I stayed to teach at 2 stores in California and hang out with Stayce for a few more days.
A few months late, but there is the highlights of our CHA adventure!
Just a quick note to let you know I just started updating my Spring schedule on the right sidebar of my blog... SO excited to hit the road for the first Southern trip starting March 1st!
Classes will be announced very soon at all locations. I've been working like a madwoman to get in some of the new products just introduced at CHA so it's been a tight turn around time trying to figure out all of the shipping dates, etc for the new goodies I plan to use. Planning on having the new class list out to all of the stores by the end of the weekend so they can choose their classes and get the details out to you all : )
Only a few hours left to get in on the EARLY BIRD RATE for my next on-line workshop starting tonight. All of the details on how it all works is in the On-Line Class tab above and to register, just go in to the Studio Store. This workshop is taught completely in video so it's like having a private class in the privacy of your own home : )
Not only will you learn and be able to make the original version of this project but I've bumped it up a bit (or a lot) for the on-line version so there is a lot of new product incorporated and LOADS of techniques that I never had the time to do in the "in store" class setting!