Monday, November 11, 2013

I've Moved!

Change can be a good thing - In this case, a very good thing. I have moved on from blogger:

You can now find my blog @ http://jennifertough.com - All new content and a fresh start.

Hope to see you there,

Jennifer

Friday, June 21, 2013

Found the Soup! ...and more classes

...the missing bead soup! It's been found - finally. As some of you know, we had some emergency renovations take place just after I signed up for the bead soup blog party. When Michelle's soup package arrived, it was stashed in a nice safe place. (or so I thought) It turned up months later in my daughters closet, under a pile of clothes.  I'm currently working on my designs, and I'll be able to post the reveal shortly.  Whew!

In other news, I signed up for yet another online course - I have to say, these online classes are kinda addictive. Video based - I can work at my own pace, at all hours, and in my PJ's. Bliss.

The latest is the Digital Dreams course from Willowing.org (Tamara Laporte)



In March, I was gifted a Bamboo Create tablet for my birthday - but I never really got a chance to use it much (or learn to use it). This morning I finished up the week 3 homework assignment to create a simple digital drawing.


This cute little guy was done completely in Photoshop with my tablet. Not bad at all for a first attempt - if I do say so myself. :-)


Thursday, June 6, 2013

The adventure continues....

I'm now a few weeks in to my online courses - the first two weeks worth of lessons were focused on learning about your supplies - easy for me, as I really don't have too much in the way of traditional art supplies. Any that I did have were for the most part decimated by my artistic daughters. (which i really don't mind at all). I'm making do for now, along with a few basic purchases. Mixed media is very forgiving - you can use anything - which is kinda the point ;-)  I've been hunting through my clay, paper and fabric supplies - all of which are now finding new life.


Both of the following pictures are a part of the two different class projects. Neither are finished, as elements still need to be added. The first is part of the Jane class - and this image is the very first entry in my new art journal that I'll be keeping for the class.  (scuse the fuzziness - too much coffee this morning. I couldn't keep my hands still) lol



This one is on a 10x10 canvas board, and will eventually have more elements added. The next two weeks are all about backgrounds.



In other exciting (and frightening news) - my oldest will be 10 on Sunday .....I'm still kinda in shock. I guess she's now officially a tween. Happy Birthday Maya!

Friday, May 31, 2013

gardens, frolicking, and drawings


Dandelions are everywhere.....They're especially magical at sunset.







The garden is a little slow to bloom - geraniums, bleeding hearts, clematis, and a few blue bells are just starting to peek out. 



As promised, here are my very first drawings from the draw happy course. I am still stoked with these online classes - the intended effect was to spark up my creative mojo, and I'm happy to see it seems to be working. I'm constantly working on 'something'. Yay :-)




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Backgrounds - gazillions of them

I've spent a good part of the entire morning making background papers. These will be used in the coming weeks as part of the Behind the Art Class, and the Jane Davenport classes.



                                                             (this one is my favourite)

These two are created with thick gesso either just slapped on willy nilly, or slapped on and pressed into with stamps on mixed media paper. Once the gesso was dry, I rubbed on some watercolour crayons, and then brushed over them with a very wet brush.


These are again, mixed media paper with a few drops of soft body watercolour paint, then all smudged and spread with a very wet brush. I then used a paper towel to quickly dab and smudge to remove the brush marks, and create the marbled look.



These were made the exact same way as the watercolour ones above, but I used a soft body acrylic paint instead. It's impossible to see the difference in the photos above, but on 4 of the backgrounds I used golden paints, and the purple and orange were made with Liquitex basic paint. The golden paint is a far better quality paint (but expensive), and you can really tell the difference in the finish. The cheaper paints are flatter and more matte looking. The golden paints seem to have a lot more depth. I'm going to have to add more colours of golden to my wish lists - which is expanding exponentially by the minute. ;-)


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Classes, recovery, and missing things

Along with the missing box from Michelle, I also can't find a bunch of various studio supplies. Alcohol inks - gone, credit card - gone (cancelled and replaced), vintaj patinas - gone, assorted craft books - gone. I'm sure a bunch of other items that I have completely forgotten ever existed are also gone. Not worrying too much about those at the moment though ;-)

So where on earth have they gone? My house is not all that big - pretty small actually. I've cleared the basement, the garage, and all of the bedrooms. I can only hope that one day while looking for something else, the wayward box will reappear - and I will finally create something with Michelle's gorgeous components.

I can either spend the next year completely tearing apart the house while getting angrier, and angrier with myself - or just move on. I'm moving on.

So in good news finally, I signed up for 6 fantabulous classes with Christy Tomlinson, and Jane Davenport.








I am so incredibly stoked. As some of you may know - I've been battling a pretty severe depression over the last few years. It's been a struggle with changing meds numerous times, meds that cause uncontrollable shaking, insomnia, etc, etc. Two steps forward, one step back. Slowly but surely i'm healing. A big step forward was not only getting my G1 (again), but actually finally completing the in class lessons! I'll be starting my in car lessons sometime this week.  The next step in healing is to start actually creating things with regularity. I've made it my personal mission to make something (anything) every day for the next year. A drawing, a pair of earrings, torch something - anything as long as I'm doing something creative. With that, I hope that my creative inspiration will return - forcing it along if I have to. Sitting around waiting for it to return isn't working out so well. ;-)

I've started two of the courses. The Draw Happy mini course, and the Behind the Art class. Both are perfect to start out with. The idea is to 1 - just start drawing, in this case faces. Lots and lots of faces. And 2 - to play around with your art supplies. How they work with each other, how they feel on different backgrounds. watercolour, paper collage, acrylic paint, markers, molding compounds. Anything and everything.  Here are my very first class assignments - nothing too close up, as they are not fabulous. I'm having so much fun though - i don't care. lol. I must have a secret love affair with pink. weird.






Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Slowly but surely ...

Reno recovery .... I am finally getting my new upstairs studio up and running. Things got a little delayed, as I've been hunting (fruitlessly) for the missing box of bead soup from Michelle. I realized a little too late that just hunting through a gazillion boxes was just not working. I'm now bringing everything that was packed up into my studio, and assigning a permanent home for each item. This may take a bit longer, but with luck by the end of the week, I'll have both a fully functioning studio upstairs and downstairs, and I'll have found the box of bead soup! Wish me luck, think I'm gonna need it ;-)




Saturday, April 27, 2013

A huge apology

To everyone involved - but especially to Michelle, my fabulous partner who created the most awesome stuff with the pieces I sent her.

As some of you may know - One of the reasons I've been so quiet as of late is due to some massive emergency renovations we had to complete due to flooding. The renovations were completed about a week ago. I thought I would have plenty of time to work on my challenge pieces, and I put Michelle's box of handmade goodies in a 'safe' place. I've now been up all night looking for them, and have to admit defeat for the day. It is my hope that now that I've gone ahead and posted this, the box will magically appear in one of the many places I've already looked a dozen or so times.  The worst part of this is of course I have a bad habit of putting things in safe places, and after I lost my camera - I thought I had cured myself of that nasty little habit....

I'm still on the hunt, and once I find them - I hope I can create something spectacular that will do justice to her fabulous components!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

one more

Just made one more set of papers. addictive this is...... Hope you like them - I'm off to bed.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

a fun little diversion and freebie!

For my birthday, I was given a bamboo create graphics tablet - what fun! I haven't really been able to get into the studio much over the last few weeks since Isla was sick, and then the disaster with the ceiling.... The tablet has been a fun little diversion.

Earlier this evening, I started playing around in the gimp to create background papers to use in mixed jewelry. I've been having so much fun, I thought I'd share a few of my creations. Feel free to use these however you wish (just don't sell the papers as is!). If you make something with these, I'd love to see what you've done.

Download from flickr.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

bead soup sneak peek

Here's a little sneak peek at the box sent out to my partner Michelle.  So excited to see what she creates with it!






Thursday, January 31, 2013

plunging ahead

Egads - now I'm in deep. These arrived this morning......



These are the frames for the fairy houses. Stupidly, in my excitement and obsession with building a fairy abode - I mentioned it to the girls. This is course brought on mass excitement, and blueprint plans designed my my 9 year old. I may be talented with many things - but a woodworker I am NOT. I can't even cut a straight line. Here we have inexpensive dollhouses to the rescue. Seriously, these were only $35 each! They even shipped from Toronto, so shipping was only $12, and they arrived the very next day.

We're now just waiting for a nice enough day to wander through the woods and the beach to collect tiny stones, twigs, pods, and whatever else we can find. What fun :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Etsy Shop Update

These and more just listed on etsy - http://jennifertough.etsy.com


butterflies and fairy wings


                                                                          Source: followpics.com via Elspeth on Pinterest



This is one of the things on my workbench today. I'm playing around with ideas on how to make them fabulous pendants - a few ideas are flitting around. I'll certainly share tomorrow if it works out as planned. The butterfly wings are fabulous - and came from Altered Artifacts on etsy. 
Next up are some etsy shop updates - sorting now!  Finally.







Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday



We've just come out of a bitter, bitter cold spell - far too cold to spend time in the studio. Instead, I've been bundled up with a pile of books, my tablet and a warm blankie. Thinking. dreaming. planning.  It's a pretty wonderful way to spend a few days.

* I've lost another 3 lbs - down 14 pounds so far
* etsy shop update in the works. I've got a dozen or so items photographed, listing within the next day or so.
* I'm participating in the newest blog hop! Gathering up the goodies, and making a handmade clasp. Can't wait to find out who my partner is.





                                                               Source: purveyor-of-fine-whines.tumblr.com via Jennifer on Pinterest


....and my latest obsession. Fairy furniture, dwellings, and fairy gardens. I'm in love. I'm going to need to build one just to get it out of my system. I'm allowing myself the diversion as it is jewelry related (sorta) - there are beads in there.... ;-)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

11 lbs down!


I mentioned last week that I had joined Weight Watchers after the holidays. I'm thrilled to report that I'm now down 11 lbs! I've been eating heaps, and heaps of veggies - especially roasted ones. I can't seem to get enough of them. This last batch (shown above) I even threw in a few grapes. Yum!!!


Recipe is simple:
Throw a bunch of assorted veggies (whatever you have on hand -potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, beets, onions, broccoli, grapes!) into a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil, or italian seasoning, and toss in a bit of olive oil. bake at 475 for an hour.  Perfection :-)

Not much time spent in the studio - the leaking ceiling kinda put a damper on things. Hopefully I'll have some fun stuff to share next week.

Friday, January 11, 2013

He's a cutie!

A quick little share today - this little guy came out of my kiln the other day, along with some other little goodies! I love how he turned out, and I'm planning some new versions of him as well.

Had a little setback yesterday with a leaking ceiling. Long nasty story for another day (or not!). Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I've still got lots of repair to do around here before I can get back to the studio, With luck, I'll be done at least my part today.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year, New Inspiration




I`ll admit, the last year was a complete washout for me. I was far too distracted to get much done in the studio. I haven`t admitted this to many, but I`ve been battling a severe depression for a few years now. In the last year, I finally got on meds to help. It has taken quite a while to kick in, but the fog has finally lifted, and I`m starting the new year energized, excited about the possibilities I see in front of me - and I`m finally on a diet I know I can stick to.  I bit the bullet and joined Weight Watchers last week.  I`ve also managed to score some fitness games for the Kinect that my kids got for Christmas. I look completely ridiculous dancing around my living room - but it`s so much fun!

Before the holidays, I managed to get in some time in the studio - but I never really finished anything. I now have a huge pile of beads to clean and sort through, metal clay pieces to finish, fire, and polish. I`m off to see what I can manage to pull together. I`m looking forward very much to a year of creativity, and hopefully getting my etsy shop stocked up again.

Cheers,

Jen