Inspiration and Adversity

Well hello again friends, it’s been a while. I’ve missed 2 weeks of The Diva’s challenges and even though I’m going to post my work for the last challenge it is too late to submit it to her site. This makes me sad. I really enjoy working on these challenges, so it only makes me want to try harder to get my work done and submitted on time in the future.

In the past when i have done the challenges I have only submitted ZIA work which complied with the challenge, but as I was reading The Joy of Zentangle by Design Originals the other day I realized that I am not really fulfilling the original steps to Zentangle. Now, did I think I was bad or wrong for skipping working on tiles? No, but I did feel that if I truly wish to become a CZT and to teach the principles of Zentangle then it’s like the old saying goes, “You must practice what you preach”. So from now on I have decided to make a tile for each challenge and, if I feel inspired, I will make a ZIA as well. This is my first tile EVER!

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The challenge was to make your tangle with circles as your string. This is a standard sized tile of 31/2 squared. It was kind of fun to make, but here’s the rub…I don’t feel inspired to make small works of art, and if I don’t feel inspired to do something, then I just won’t do it. I feel so limited and confined by the limitations of a standard sized tile, or an ATC, let alone a twinchie or Heaven forbid an inchie! Do you struggle with these small sized constraints, or do you feel liberated from the daunting task of a larger sized blank page or canvas? I find that the bigger the better for me. I think I’m probably in the minority on this, and if I keep letting the size of a canvas stop me from creating art I will miss out on a lot of wonderful opportunities to trade art with other wonderful artists from around the world. I don’t want to miss out, and that is why I am going to push myself to continue swapping ATC’s with a wonderful group of artists on Facebook. All Things Creative is the name of the group and I really enjoy the encouragement of all of the participants. I am even going to push myself to do a twinchie swap! It’s a wonderful group and I encourage you to check us out.

I was very inspired to make a ZIA with this challenge, as I always am, so here she is!!

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I did my best to make everything as circular as possible. I love her! Do you remember the orange on Sesame Street that sang with a rubber band mouth? Well, that is exactly what she reminds me of, even though it was pure coincidence. I was in quite a lot of pain when I created her and I really found it relaxing to just concentrate on one pattern, twilight zone, for the hair. I don’t know how others feel about just using one pattern, but I find that when I am in pain it helps to not have to think about which patterns to put where. I just pick one and stick with it. And this is where the adversity part of my title comes in on my little post. I want so badly to be a CZT and teach the principles of Zentangle, especially for people who are struggling with pain management, but because I struggle with illness, chronic fatigue and pain which can at times literally bring me to my knees, I also struggle with consistency. My plan for this blog has been to highlight both of my loves/obsessions (Zentangle and polymer clay), but I really haven’t gotten that to work out yet. I hope to post 2 times a week one day for each, but at this moment in time I just can’t promise that. I’m just asking that you stick with me and support me for what I am able to share with you.

And finally, during the first week that I was absent from my blog, I was stuck in bed, but I was not idle. Remember when I said that the bigger the better is what I really dig? Well, I made a ZIA/Watercolor (18X24) for my sister-in-law. I think the proportions of the girl are a bit off, but for my first attempt at something this size and style, I think I’m not embarrassed to claim it! Oh and my sister-in-law was so sweet she cried when I told her I was giving it to her. It now has a prominent place on her living room wall.

 

 

 

 

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“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”  –Walt Disney Company, Mulan

The Diva Challenge #166, Prototype Bangles and a Mother’s Day Surprise!

Well, I started out the week not feeling very well, so I worked on a ZIA. I’ve been working on learning to draw, especially portraits, and this is the girl I came up with. The full view photo was just to blurry, but the close-up gives you the idea of how she looks. My daughter came over on Friday to give me purple low lights for Mother’s day and fell in love with her, so I am making her one for a belated Mother’s Day present. Nothing is more satisfying to me than when the people I love express their love for what I create.

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I’ve also been working on The Diva’s Challenge #166. You can find it here: http://iamthedivaczt.blogspot.com/  She created a new pattern and we were to use that pattern and we also have the opportunity to suggest a name for the pattern. When I first saw it, it reminded me of pinball, but I didn’t think that would be a good name, nor did I want my name suggestion to reflect something literal. Much later in the week I made the connection from Pinball to Plinko. Plinko is a game they play on the television show the Price is Right. Contestants drop discs down a board of pegs and it bounces back and forth across the board until it lands in a slot at the bottom of the board that contains a dollar amount that the contestants win. That image/connection to this pattern just  seemed to fit perfectly, so I designed this ZIA for the challenge. It’s kind of like an abstract idea/view of the game Plinko.

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I also thought that even though Plinko is a real thing, it would still be a cool name for a Zentangle pattern, and plus it’s just a fun word to say.

I was pretty busy this week creating stuff. I said in my last post that I would include some polymer clay items in my next post and I’m  not one to go back on my word. I created 4 prototype bangles to see if they would be something I would enjoy making in the future and whether or not people would like them and want to buy them. I got the seal of approval from my daughter, but I would like to know what you think. Please if you would be so kind as to leave a comment regarding your thoughts on these bangles and what you would pay for one. Pricing your own creations is so difficult it is always important to find out what potential customers like and at what price they value your work.

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This bangle was made using a Wilton baking mold, Lumiere paints, and two different types of blue crystals.

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This bangle was made using the same Wilton mold, Lumiere paint and orange crystals.

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This bangle was made using Premo polymer clay mosaic tiles that I made.

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This bangle was made using Lumiere paint and Hampton Art Graphic 45 stamps. Circling the rest of the bangle are jazz musicians. I think in the future I will stamp images into the raw clay to give it more dimension. I was a bit disappointed with the results of just stamping onto baked clay.

As always, Thank you for reading and please leave me a comment!

The Diva Challenge #165 and Some Cool Walmart Finds!

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This week’s challenge was to use the pattern Camelia. When I looked at the pattern it reminded me of the design on Coach bags/purses, so I decided use the pattern as if Camelia was a woman designer drawing a design to use to give to a manufacturer. I even signed it “Designs by Camelia”. It was fun! I love doing the Diva’s challenge. It’s a great prompt to get you tangling.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I have been exploring quite a few different art forms while I’ve been sick, and Zentangle has to be my #1. It gives me distraction from the chronic pain issues I have, and I am very grateful to have found this art form. It has also given me the confidence to attempt to draw and paint just about anything, in a variety of different mediums. It is because of this new found confidence and medical aid that I have decided to become a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher). I want to share this art form with as many people as I can, and I would like to develop a curriculum designed for people who suffer with chronic pain. I have signed up for a training conference in October and I am on a waiting list. The conference is already full, but I am hoping I will be able to come up with the money and go to Rhode Island. I am even willing to sell my car to go, but I am going to try to sell some of my polymer clay items, and maybe some of my drawings and paintings, so if you see something you like please let me know. Your purchase will be going to support a great cause!

Before I share my cool Walmart finds, I would respectfully ask that if you are reading this post, and you hate Walmart, please, please, please, don’t be hateful to me! I get it! I understand how Walmart pushes around the little guy, but right now it is really the only place I can afford unless I use a coupon at Michael’s or Joann’s. I am basically disabled, but I haven’t filed for disability. I have no other way to earn money other than selling what I make, so Walmart is one of my main options to make purchases. So please respect me and my post. Thank you!

Whenever I’m at Walmart to buy groceries I always try to sneak in at least one art or craft supply into my basket. This week on 2 separate shopping trips I found some absolutely wonderful items and I thought I’d share them with you.

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My Walmart has recently started carrying this generic brand of markers. It doesn’t really have a brand name that I could find, but the above photo shows what the packaging looks like. I bought the metallic markers first  4 pens, and I think they were $2.98. They write wonderfully. I have decorated a picture frame, a mixed media painting and the inside lining of the purse above, and it is still as juicy as the day I bought it. The colors are smooth and shiny and I highly recommend them.

The package above contains 2 of each color of markers. They are similar to Sharpie and Bic Mark it markers, but the cost is much different. for 30 markers the cost was less than $7! They work exactly the same as the aforementioned brands and I recommend them!

I also wanted to let you know that Walmart is now carrying Prismacolor Markers. I bought a 4 pack which includes .005, .05, a chisel tip, and a brush tip. I love them! I think they work as good as Pigma Micron pens. The tips are very nice and write really smoothly. The cost on these is more like what you would pay at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, they were $9.99, but that isn’t a bad price, and still I just think it’s cool that Walmart is carrying a Prismacolor product.

The second item I found of this generic Walmart brand was a journal.

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If I could jump, I would literally jump for joy over this journal. It has 400 pages, a ribbon page marker and it is filled with…graph paper!!! They also carry journals like this in black and with lined pages, which I may buy, but This journal is going to be my Zentangle pattern “Bible”.

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This book will allow me to create a nice pattern book which will look very nice and symmetrical because of the graph paper, and I will be able to use it to look up patterns anywhere at anytime, and later I will be able to use it to teach classes. I can’t tell you how happy this journal has made me. And the cost? $12.98. I think it is well worth it, and I can’t tell a difference in quality than if I were to buy a $30 or $40 journal at Hobby Lobby.

I promise my next post will be polymer clay related. I am working on two bangle bracelet prototypes to see if I want to make more to sell. One is decorated with polymer clay tiles (like a mosaic) and the other is a hand-painted Zentangle pattern. They are almost done so check back soon, or subscribe so that you don’t miss them!

And finally, I would like to add the Diva’s Challenge button to my page, but I don’t know how to do it. I know where to get the code on her page, but I don’t know where to go on my dashboard to add it here on WordPress, so if you know how to do this, please, please, please, leave me a comment with instructions or email me at jossetteholland@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

I’m Back!!!

For those few wonderful readers who read my blog, I appreciate your support. I was very ill and without a legit computer. I was stuck with my phone and my notebook which did not lend themselves to blog writing ease. It has been about 6 months since my last post, and I have explored many other artistic avenues during my downtime. I plan on sharing my projects as I finish them and blogging on a regular basis now that I’m back. I will share some sculptural mixed media, regular mixed media, art journaling, watercolor, and Zentangle, along with any other ventures I take along my artistic path.

I would like to share a Zentangle page I made in my art journal for my first post back. While surfing the web for Zentanglely stuff, I happened upon The Diva’s weekly challenge. http://iamthedivaczt.blogspot.com/ I love having a prompt or specific idea to follow when designing my Zentangle inspired art (ZIA), and this challenge provides a wonderful prompt each week. This week’s prompt was Earth Day. I came up with this ZIA.

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I apologize for the deplorable quality of this photo. I will be working very hard at taking better photos in the future. Here are a couple close ups that may give you a better look at this ZIA. I am going to keep this post short and sweet (like me) lol! I have to pace myself, but please keep an eye out because you’ll never know what I’ll come up with next. Who knows, you might even like it!

 

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The “E” in Earth

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The “A” in Earth

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The “R” in Earth

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The “T” in Earth

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The “H” in Earth

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Perched bird and butterfly

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Flying Bird

Expand Your Art: Expand Your Mind

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Thomas Merton

Just a quick post today. I haven’t made much of anything for the last month, but that is because I have been exploring another passion of mine, acting! I don’t plan to be in some big movie or be famous, but I love community theater. I truly do lose myself in the story line and the characters.  I try to take time out from whatever I’m doing at least once per year and volunteer my time and my talents to a local community theater production.

I talk about this to you today for 2 reasons:

1. For those of you who are local, I would like to bring your attention to this local production at The JACC and to get you to come see the show and support your local arts.

2. For those of you artists out there, who read my blog, as your creative inspiration tip today, I would like to use this opportunity to remind you that art comes in a wide variety of forms. If you are feeling stuck in your art and you are a painter, try something out of your comfort zone like sculpture, or if you are into anime step outside of your zone and give abstract painting a try. You really never know what kind of inspiration you will find! I have found some wonderful inspiration from this play!

And finally, I would also like to tell you, my dear readers, how much I appreciate you, and I would like to invite you to check out http://thingscrafty.com which is another blog I have had the privilege and opportunity to write for. There are a lot of great bloggers working for this site and you will find a plethora of arts and crafts information here.   I post there every other Friday. I look forward to hearing from all of you soon.