Monthly Archives: April 2013

On the Road Again . . .

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This has been such a busy year so far. That will teach me to try to simplify!

I missed my yearly trip to southern Arizona in February, and now that my Mom is recovered, and before the garden ties me down, I am taking off with a dear friend on a little Southwestern circle tour.

My friend, Valerie, owns a wonderful gallery in Durango, CO, called The Earthen Vessel.

There is nothing we love more than visiting other galleries, so we are going to go do that, and refuel our energy tanks at the same time.

But the photo above is not from The Earthen Vessel. It is from The Art Garden – my gallery.

Although we are not setting up for online sales at this time, it seems that everyone expects every business to have a website.

So, I created a one page, simple site to serve only as a show and tell. I would love to have your opinion.

http://artgardenhome.com

If you lived locally, would this page entice you to come and visit the gallery?

I think the most interesting thing for some of you would be that I created everything on this site on my iPad – the logo, the photo collages, even the photos themselves – all iPad!

Art Journaling in Paradise

Sandy and I are both amazed at the response to this retreat. We are quickly closing in on full capacity. I think there are only five spaces left at this time. Seems like a wonderful group of folks and I am so excited.

I have added the link to the sidebar here so you can find it easily.

For those who have already registered, we will set up a Yahoo Group when I return so we can share info prior to the event.

Armchair Road Trip . . .

I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this, but I was happy when I did.

I guess some motorcyclists have been wearing helmet cams on their road trips, and posting the results on YouTube.

This one guy does such a great job that I have to share a sample. He adds great soundtracks and everything.

This video takes you on a 15 minute ride on one of the most beautiful scenic byways in the country – Highway 12 in Utah – from Bryce Canyon National Park to Boulder, Utah.

I have taken this drive myself and it is NOT one I would have the guts to do again. At one point, the road soars over a hogback (a road with no side railings and extreme drop offs on BOTH sides). This comes along at about 13 minutes into the video, but the experience is only a hint of what it really feels like! By the time I got to Boulder, and stopped in the first gallery I saw, my hair was standing on end, and the gal said “You must have just come over the hogback.” Yup.

This is a really excellent experience, so get a cuppa, and take 15 minutes for one of the most beautiful rides of a lifetime . . . hit the Full Screen mode for the best ride.

http://youtu.be/lOhy8RJYMKQ

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Now that I am really in the mood, it’s time to hit the road.

Although I am going to devote a LOT of my time to art journaling on this trip, I will also, try to share some of it with you!

Good, Bad, and Wonderful

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This is a Juniper Titmouse – my favorite, favorite, favorite bird – and he (she?) is responsible for saving my sanity and sense of humor this week.

I saw a sign the other day that said this:

“Sometimes, it’s just not worth chewing through the restraints.”

And that felt so right.

And sometimes, you feel like putting those tire spike things on both the entrance and exit ramps to the internet highway – so you can’t get on, and they can’t get off.

I won’t even tell you all of it. Just a sampling will do.

I got a surprise email from Dick Blick – where I recommend ALL the art supplies for my workshops WITH LINKS to the products. They said they were changing their affiliate program to run through a new source, and by the way, none of my links will work any longer. That constitutes a couple of weeks of work for me to fix. It’s not fixed yet. So, if you click a Supply link in any of my workshops or workbooks, it won’t work, I’m sorry.

And, every once in awhile, if you have an internet business, you run into customers who must be very bored because they have LOTS of time to spend complaining about nothing or about their own mistakes, like not reading a product description, or not being able to download a PDF. The solution could be simple, but they don’t hear it, because they are too busy telling you how you could run your business better.

These folks don’t come along very often (thanks be), but this week, there were two.

Here is my advice for anyone who runs a business online . . . never, never, never, engage in conversations with these people. You can tell who they are in their very first email. Their ensuing emails in pursuit of their determination to be right about being wronged will never end. I give them their money back. It is so much easier and cheaper than wasting all that time. Even after the refund, you may get a few more tirades, but at least you don’t have to read them.

And for my iPad Workshop, I offer the first workbook as a test drive. You can see how you like it, and then apply the purchase price to the whole workshop. It’s important that Workbook 1 be perfect.

So, this week, I find out that an app which I talk about for TWENTY pages of that 50 page workbook, has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the app store. I call the company. Yes, they say, they permanently discontinued it. Oh.

Luckily, I have found a replacement that I like even better, but, of course, there are those TWENTY pages to re-write. I will let you know when that is done.

I wish I could say that was all of it, but it wasn’t. I am, however, going to quit whining and tell you about my favorite bird.

I LOVE SPRING!

Lots of good things happen, but two of them are that birds start nesting outside my office window, and my Huskies start blowing their coats. Well, maybe that second one isn’t so good, but it is interesting. You could start a pillow and mattress business with just three dogs.

These two things go together because . . . wait for it . . . the fur makes GREAT nests.

I tuck bunches into tree branches, and fill a suet container or two . . .

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and instead of going to the landfill, it makes bedding for birds, rabbits, and even mice – whoever is in the nesting mode.

To my great joy, a pair of Titmouses (Titmice?) have decided to make their home right outside my window in this house . . .

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The top picture shows the house blowing in a 34 mph sustained wind, another Spring thing around here. In the second picture, one of the couple is bringing a snack to the other who is working inside. Bad lighting in that one could not be helped.

So, my saving grace this week has been watching these two discovering the Husky fur, and stuffing as much as they can into this house.

They work on it every morning. Pretty soon there won’t be room for them.

So, let’s take another look at the first photo in this post . . .

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See the white fluff now? This is a clump of fur that has blown onto the ground (34 mph wind will do that), and been discovered by our friend.

The next step is impossible to photograph well – the light is bad and I am shooting through a window. But the idea is that you shake the dickens out of the fur . . . cleaning it maybe?

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And then, when you have it just right, you fly into the tree with it and do your best impression of Yosemite Sam before taking the fur to the house . . . 

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Now, who could maintain a sour mood when looking at that!?!

So, I Cheered Up . . .

And started thinking about the Art Journaling Retreat in September.

I went out sketching on location a couple of times just to get a feel for how wonderful I want it to be. I thought and thought about it.

But, one thing kept bothering me – something which bothers me about all the retreats I have hosted or participated in before.

I really enjoy the experience, and then collapse on my face for two weeks.

Does that sound familiar at all?

The problem is that too much gets crammed into too little time.

Instructors sometime over-produce content (would I do that?), and students must hurry to get through it all.

And students get so used to that idea, that some of them hurry along everybody else with an “are we there yet?” pace which results in “learning” a whole bunch of new things, practicing none of them, going home with the resolve to do them all, not doing them all, forgetting how to do them all . . .sigh!

Does that sound familiar at all?

I don’t want to do that.

My friend, Sandy doesn’t want to do that.

Several potential attendees, who emailed me, do not want to do that.

SO . . . being that art journaling is really about recording the *MOMENTS* of our lives, savoring them, and saving them for future fond remembrance, an Art Journaling RETREAT, especially one in “Paradise”, should be relaxed and mindful.

You should have a chance to actually get some of that artwork in your journal, think about it, share it, ENJOY it without feeling hurried.

And that is what we are going to do.

I have finished the page of great detail, and the Retreat is now open for registration here:

Art Journaling in Paradise

We really wish everyone could come, but we must limit enrollment, so we put in a Payment Plan for those who need it. You can save your space with just a deposit.

I have a feeling this will be one of those “imprint” experiences that stand out in any lifetime!

I hope you can join us.