The Art of Writing

Do you want to join me in a writing challenge for the month of February? I discovered this challenge on Twitter. The challenge is to mail a letter, postcard, article, anything of interest to someone every day that the post office is open, so it comes to 24 days in the month of February.

All of the details can be found, here. There is also a badge that you can post on your blog. It is shown below.

A Month of Letters


Santos Dolls

Have you heard of Santos Dolls? You can read about the history, here. The name is taken from the Spanish word, Saint. The dolls flourished during the 1700s and 1800s.

I had never heard of them, until I signed up for the Creatively Made workshop. We will be making these dolls. I went to Hobby Lobby today and did not find the supplies I needed for this project. However, I am going to look online and see if I can find the supplies.

If you have made these before, I would love to hear from you or perhaps you can share a link with a photo. Once I have completed the project, I will post a photo.

Photo Courtesy of
Photo courtesy of


The Middle Stage; Altered Book Journal

A previous post explains my current project, which is an altered book journal. I am doing this as part of a workshop. There are several layers that I have applied and I am nearly done. Since I am not quite done, I would like to share the middle stage. It is pictured below.

Middle Stage: Front Cover
Beginning Stage: Back Cover

The front cover started with a collage of magazine cut outs, layered onto one another. Then I painted over those and added another layer of scrapbook paper cut outs, and painted on top of those. I also included some gloss varnish and gesso for more texture. Now I will do some more painting and add embellishments.

The back cover has scrapbook paper of sheet music. I am going to layer a map on top of that. I am not sure about the shape yet. I took a map class yesterday and am going to incorporate what I learned on the back cover.

I will post the final product when I am done.

Have a great weekend!

Personal Geographies

Today was the free webinar hosted by Create Mixed Media entitled, My Journey with Maps. Artist Jill Berry shared her passion and knowledge with map making. The class had some interesting ideas and ways to create maps about family, rites of passage, or actual road trips. Jill uses mixed media to create her maps and also Photoshop.

Jill Berry's Book

Her book is on sale for 50% off until the end of the month through Create Mixed Media. Jill also shared some of her map collection with us. She has some nice vintage maps, maps from McDonalds, etc. It truly was fascinating and inspiring.

During the webinar it was brought up that maps are slowly becoming extinct and probably will become extinct. I have a few maps that I am now going to keep and create some treasures with, especially knowing that they will soon be hard to come by.

Photo Courtesy of Jill Berry; Personal Geography

I would strongly urge teachers to visit her blog or purchase her book. She has projects that could be done with elementary through high school students, great for art and English teachers. I know I am strongly inspired to create a few on my own and then create a lesson for some fourth grade students I am working with.


My original post can be found here.

Altered Book Journal

Well I am still working away with the Jeanne Oliver Creative Workshop projects. Currently, I am working on an altered book journal. I have made these in the past and realized that I have always made them for someone else. As with some projects I was struggling for inspiration and the process was not flowing, I kept painting over certain parts, tearing other parts off and starting over, and then I walked away for a little while.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful muse and it happens to be my husband. He was my muse before we were married too. With his help, I figured out that I needed a purpose other than the workshop to create this journal.  After talking to my muse and watching some inspirational videos from other artists, I decided to make the book for myself.

It will be the place where I write down ideas, questions, wishes, etc. A place other than Evernote where I can store ideas and read through them again. Today has been very productive now that I have a purpose. I am hoping the altered book journal will be done tomorrow so I can post a picture.


Vintage Journal

Photo: Vintage Journal. Credit: Alie Preusser.

The journal featured is one I created in Jeanne Oliver’s Class, Creatively Made. So far, I am really enjoying the class. There are several projects each week that we share with one another. There are guest artist videos and a lot of inspiration. People from all over the world have signed up to be a part of this adventure.

I will continue sharing some of the projects we create throughout the course.


Creatively Made E-Course with Jeanne Oliver

Yesterday I signed up for Jeanne Oliver’s, Creatively Made E-Course. The cost is $48 and it includes many workshops, inspiring video, opportunities to share your work with others, and make new friends.

I am really excited about this and hope it will keep me motivated and give me a jump-start for my 2012 goals.  Sheila, from Blessed and Distressed, is the one that helped me discover many creative blogs, books, and workshops. Thank you, Sheila!

Please be sure to visit Jeanne’s blog for details: Jeanne Oliver Designs. She has extended the registration until January 16th due to numerous requests.

Photo Courtesy of Jeanne Oliver's Website


Gallery Submissions: How To

One of my favorites in Salt Lake City.

Submitting work to an art gallery:

1. Visit galleries and get an idea of which galleries appeal to you. Some galleries focus on new and emerging artists or local artists. Other galleries focus on established artists nationally and locally. There are also galleries that focus on certain genres or demographics.

The best way to get to know local galleries is by participating in gallery strolls. This allows you to get to know the owners/curators, meet artists, and network.

2. Make sure the photographs of your work are high quality. It is best to have a low resolution photograph to email and then a high-resolution photograph to show the detail of your work, this may be requested after the initial submission.

3. Be sure to keep your resume/CV up to date and concise. Gallery owners/curators are similar to human resource departments, they do not have a lot of time to spend sifting through resumes and submissions. They skim quickly so you need to have your best work present.

4. Visit gallery websites and they often have details on how to submit your work or what type of work they are accepting.

5. Do not be discouraged if you do not hear back, keep searching for a gallery, keep working on your art, and network.

Here is an example of a gallery website with their requirements.

Good luck,

I wrote about this topic on my personal blog awhile back and thought it would be a good repeat.

Beadz Galore Free Classes

For those of you in the Kansas City, Missouri area be sure to visit Beadz Galore. They offer free beading classes. The only requirement is that you buy the supplies needed for the class at their store.

Crochet Necklace. Photo Courtesy of Beadz Galore.

I personally would like to learn this crochet technique. There are videos on YouTube and it looks intriguing. Auntie’s Beads has some of the best videos on many beading topics.

My crocheting skills have not been utilized in quite some time, so I will be taking a class in person for this technique and then practice some other techniques watching videos from Auntie’s Beads.