February 27, 2010

Art of Somersaults

When we lived on the campus of a bible school as children, my sister, some friends, and I formed a cheerleading squad.  Some of the bible students gathered together every Saturday to play soccer.  Whether they wanted it or not, we were there to encourage them.  A little play here and there is good for the soul. 

February 26, 2010

Our Creative Road

I can't believe it, but I actually made an apron.  The words on this apron are a reminder to always enjoy this artful life and remember that I share this journey with others. 

It initially started as a big book cover.  You might see the spine in the middle.  The direction completely changed when I saw that it could become an apron as well.  So I went for the latter.

Let me end by saying that I only wear it inside when I am not cooking or painting.  Someday I'll venture outside with it.

February 24, 2010

For Noah

Marching Band

When you think about a high school marching band, you might think about uncomfortable clothes and may I add goofy hats, pants, and shoes.  You might think about Friday night football games and early dismissal to travel to the game town. Perhaps thoughts go to practicing and performing in hot and cold weather and UIL contests.  Here is what I think about. 

In high school, I played the clarinet.  It took me a while to learn because I was not as dedicated as my sister in practicing.  She played the flute and was always first chair in band.  She was one of the drum majors one year.  My brother played the cornet.   The three of us were all in the high school band for one marching band season.  Although we all hung out with our own friends, it was nice to know my siblings were close by.  Participating in the marching band was the highlight of my high school years.   The funny thing about my involvement in marching band was that I was not very well coordinated.  Okay, let me be more specific.  For the first year, I could not for the life of me march and play my clarinet at the same time.  I had to march. It was a marching band after all.  This was my logic.  If I messed up the marching, everyone would notice.  It would be very difficult to tell whether I was playing or not unless the band director called me out individually (which never happened thankfully.)  If I remember correctly, sometimes he would tell the clarinets and flutes, for example, to perform by ourselves.  That was a nervous time.  The only times I would play was when we stood still for a good while.  Otherwise, I would focus on counting and the steps.  Yes. I know.  Even though I had a difficult time at first, I loved it.   It became easier later on and certainly enjoyed it more.  There. My secret has been revealed.

February 23, 2010

Her Pink Guitar

Since last week, I have been seeing myself at about 7 years old sitting on the courtyard of our last house in Mexico City. I had my dad's watercolors, brushes, and school paper and clearly remember painting this. That moment has been clearly in thoughts and trying to figure out what visual representation it gives me. I want to be myself at that age and just put my heart in what I do and enjoy.  So this is where my "About Life" series is coming from.  The first of the series what shared here.  I hope you will enjoy the series too because I am having a blast.

My brother mentioned to me last week that he is shopping around for a new classical guitar.  If I decided to learn a new instrument to play at this age, it would the guitar. But it might just have to be a pink guitar.

Here is another collage in progress.  Last night just before going to bed another memory called me to my art table.

February 22, 2010

Boats and Arts

I've been thinking about boats lately.  Perhaps it's because I am working on a CD cover for my brother's new album.  Although the boat for this project will be a paper boat, I was inspired to create a stamp.  It's been a long time (here and here) since I have carved my own stamps.  Oh, but I must let you know that the background artwork was done my by 2 1/2 year old son.  He took his chalk and created this masterpiece.  I thought it was the perfect background for my little boats.  What do you think?

February 21, 2010

February 20, 2010

Messy Zone

My art journal turned a bit messy for this page, but there is just something about letting go.  Paint, spray ink, stencils, oil pastels, and no worries about the aftermath.

February 19, 2010

An Image

When I go to antique stores, I rarely look at old photos.  They are just so personal.   However, when you see something that speaks to you, it's a keeper.    I don't mean to sound mystical, but I knew I had to take the image with me.  No details where given on the photo, so it's up to me to tell her story.

This is not the original image because I am keeping the original as is.  The image and stitches you see are actually from a journal page I made.  I made a copy of the journal page and transferred it to a painted background.  Finally, I gave it some digital texture.  I am currently working on an artists' book titled "From Her Archives" which will tell her story. 

February 18, 2010

18 things to do

We all fully know that there are only so many hours in a day with so so much to accomplish.  Ever since I embarked on my creative journey, I have tried to improve how I spend my time.  It's not easy to juggle work, home, children, exercise, Dancing with the Stars (sorry must have it), art and all those unexpected and unplanned events in our life.  Yesterday, I attended an informative time management workshop at work which offered some practical information.  The main idea I took from the workshop is that while we are trying to make lasting changes and create new habits: Have Fun.  Several weeks ago I decided to work on my art a bit differently.  Everyday. Smaller scale.  And boy is it fun.  That's why this idea was the highlight of the workshop for me.  Perhaps you have noticed I have been blogging everyday.  I am trying to build in more time to create everyday and enjoy it. 

This small piece is the first of a series that developed from my journal pages: "18 things to do"

February 17, 2010

Climbing Trees

Since yesterday's post, I have been climbing trees (figuratively). I sat on the strongest limb, closed my eyes, thought, dreamt, and set goals.  Then I started playing in my art journal.  After reading A Tree is Nice, I told my son that we would a find a tree we could both climb (literally).

note:  phrase from "The Story of My Life" by Louis Orozco.

February 16, 2010


When my family and I immigrated to the United States, we lived on the campus of a bible seminary.  We lived in an apartment above the campus laundromat.  Next to our house was the most amazing tree. We claimed it. It was ours to climb.  I wish we could have moved it from house to house growing up.  It was one of our favorite childhood diversions.  It's been a long time since I have climbed a tree.  Must go looking for one.

UpdateWhat a wonderful book: A Tree is Nice.  See some pics and a blog post about the book.

February 15, 2010

Art Journaling: Song Lyrics

A page from my art journal.  I just recently started art journaling and I am enjoying it more than I thought.  My brother's song lyrics continue to be a source of inspiration. 

"What's it like for you
To stand beside the sea
Silver and blue."
©Louis Orozco

February 8, 2010

Do Re Mi

My son (2 1/2 years old) is singing Do-Re-Mi from the Sound of Music over and over. He asks me to play the video specifically to hear this song.  Since it's all about the Sound of Music at home, enjoy some images and songs from the best film ever made :-).

February 6, 2010

Scent from the Heart

There is nothing better than spending the day with my husband and son.  They certainly give me so much love.

I've been thinking about our new house (currently in construction).  Not so much about the actual house, but how I want to focus on making it our "home."  I know that I want to make more of these potpourri satchets to place everywhere around the house.  I made the closure with velcro so I can switch out to fresh potpourri throughout the year.  I first tried to make the satchets with tulle, but it was to difficult to work with (I am not very patient with sewing).  So then I switched to using netting.  Love It!!!!  Since it's February and it's all about hearts, I stitched some scraps of fabric and made this fun little heart with some yummy fabric.  Have a great weekend.

February 4, 2010

Artist in the Making

After the last post, my brother sent me this message which I want to share with you.  "I was reading your blog and something struck me. When you say that your books only "make sense to me"----- reminds me of my song writing. It's almost like you do it to satisfy something in YOU. And that's how you know you're an artist....." 

Like Becky Shander mentioned in her comment below, it's about personal growth.  I do believe I am growing creatively and personally.  Let' say that I am an "Artist in the Making."

By the way, I wanted to thank Freda for purchasing my "With Careful Hands" journal via Haiti By Hand.  She posted some pictures about the journal here.  Thank you Freda for supporting Haiti By Hand.

February 1, 2010

What I Know

Last October I worked on this artist book and finished it then. I haven't shown it on my blog except for a glimpse here and there. The reason why I am showing it now is because since October I have tried different things creatively. Lately, as you read on my previous post, I have been deeply focused on books.  I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy what i have made and shared. This journey is after all about living an artful life.  Yet, creating this artist book has meant so much to me. I realize that the words might only make sense to me.  I want to share it you now because what I know is that i LOVE making artists' books and telling stories artistically (even though I am not a writer and not yet calling myself an artist).  I created this book at a time when I was thinking about my creative journey.  It reads:

"it takes real fortitude

while searching for distinctive individuality
design the invisible parts that make us who we are
rooted and grounded
dwelt in them and explored them

the voices tell the beginning of the story
can you see the mountain
beyond the mountain?
beyond the trees and rolling hills

make time and space for the creative process
continually cleanses, refreshes, renews, transforms, and empowers
what an amazing affirmation

on the days we feel we're on top of the mountain
our ordinary days are made extraordinary

take the time to find your voice.

You Might Be An Artist"