Monday, October 6, 2008

Artist Autobiography

I had to write this little ditty for my class so I thought I'd share it with you guys.
By Definition

An artist, by definition, is “someone who creates art; someone who does something skillfully and creatively.” Then we must ask, what is art? That is a tough question with many different answers according to who you ask. In my life, throughout my thirty one years there have been many different answers.

My earliest childhood memory of all things creative goes back to kindergarten. The details that surround this memory are fuzzy, but I do remember my mom standing with my teacher, in the classroom. What were they discussing? Well my wonderful masterpiece of course. According to my teacher, little Charleen had mastered the art of copying from sight a picture. I couldn’t even tell you what the picture was. I felt so proud on hearing this conversation. My dad was the artist in the family and I guess I had inherited his abilities.

Because my dad is the artist in the family, creativity was always encouraged in the house. Now that I think of it, it was probably one of the only things that were encouraged and it’s a good thing that I happened to like exploring this world. Growing up in San Jose our old house had a considerable number of things that my dad had fashioned. The house itself was my dad’s personal, unfinished art project. It was built in the year 1900. That thing had character with its wood columns, large overhang on the roof, and nicely sized front porch. My parents bought this home when I was about two years old. Being built in the year 1900 it was done in the Craftsmen style of architecture. After living in it for some years my dad discovered the old garage on the side of the house was actually a carriage house for horses. That would explain the horse shoes we would find buried in the dirt. People in San Jose would know where I lived by my simply stating that I lived in the house with the wagon wheels hanging on the porch on 17th Street. This brings to mind the feelings of embarrassment that I had as a child over those wheels.

As a young girl I would set up coloring contests with my sister. We would each pick a page, set a time limit, and color to the best of our ability. There was nothing that I loved more, as a child, than the smell of a fresh box of Crayola crayons. What is that smell? Nothing compares to it. It’s a woody, waxy scent that is all its own. And the names they had for their colors, pure genius… carnation pink, burnt sienna. (Even as a child I knew the other crayons couldn’t compare. I always found Rose Art to be too waxy and the colors were never consistent on the page like all the other knock offs.) Experts say that the memory associated with our sense of smell is the longest and strongest. I know this to be true, because I can still smell those crayons. After finishing our vibrant, multi-colored, waxy marvels we would run enthusiastically into the room where my mom would be seated and we would try and trick her into picking the best one. What mother can say that one of her child’s work is the best? She was always disinterested in our little contests anyways. My mother suffered from depression and these games of ours were only distracting her from her escapist reality that she created for herself. She would rather be lying in bed dreaming of some other world. Well I knew that mine was the best anyhow, mostly because I was the oldest and I did have that extra year and a half of practice on my sister.

Not only did I play with crayons, homemade glues and papers, and the like I also started experimenting with the camera. It was love from the very start. My dad had been given a Canon 35mm with a set of lenses, filters, and other interesting gear by my grandfather. As his interest in photography commenced so did mine. I was given an old camera to toy with that I took and had so much fun with. I cannot remember what I took pictures of and I have no idea what ever became of those prints. Having those prints developed and getting to open the envelope to see what I had captured on film was like Christmas to me. Every roll meant something new.

In middle school the opportunity arose to take a photography class, which I quickly jumped at. That class opened my eyes to the chemical process of the medium. Trying to get the perfect shot of Andrew Baker that I (along with every other girl at Burnett Academy) had a major crush on was my only goal during this class. He was just a boy, but he was the cutest boy in school. I didn’t want it to be obvious that I wanted a picture of him. Stupid me, how easy it would have been to just say that I needed it for photography class. Needless to say, I somehow did get that shot I wanted and knowing how the other girls around me felt about him, I probably could have sold it.

Moving on to high school, I had my less than functional years. I stopped taking school and life seriously, even though I was in the advanced classes. My parents didn’t care what I did in school. I knew this to be a fact. If I did well they did not congratulate me. If I did poorly they did not scold me or encourage me to do better. So if they didn’t care, I didn’t care. Lying became a normal thing for me because I found that I could get away with so many things. A whole new world social world was open to me because of it. I could go to teen night at The Edge in Palo Alto and dance my heart out. My parent would never allow that. Digital photography was offered during my senior year there and I took it as an easy ‘A’ and something different to do. Quality was very much lacking in the digital arena back in 1995, although this class was considered very high tech. You can look at the yearbook from that year and pick out the digital images without difficulty. It was a regular sight to see a group of professionals touring the class and asking us questions. This class was also my first attempt and introduction to Adobe Photoshop.

College was a feeble attempt by me to get into the computer industry. Upon trying the programming classes I soon gave up because it was over my head. I had better things to do. I had a new boyfriend that I soon became engaged to and married and had four wonderful children with. Life was busy. My little angels inspired me to stick with my love for papercrafting and scrapbook their lives. Naturally if you are addicted to scrapbooking you find yourself taking pictures more often because you need them to play with. So I found myself back into the art of photography full force.

Twelve years later and I finally decided to do something with this love of mine and I enrolled in the photography program at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Needless to say it made my dad happy that I am finally learning how to use a camera. Photography is the perfect release for me because it incorporates my love for color, texture, paper, and the beautiful fallen world that we inhabit. It is my goal to learn to do it skillfully and creatively.

The rest of the winners...

So here are the rest of our winners...

Velma- My Favorite Things
Jessica Turner- Coronado Island
ria, craftyria, tiggeria- Verve
Tracey- Art Declassified
Windy's way- Crafter's Companion

I just need an email from you ladies with your address to send these out.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Today we are using the Rock-a-Blocks by Crafters Companion. They are FABULOUS! I loved using them.As you can see they are curved so that you can rock your image onto the paper. They also have a guide on them for alignment. They work with EZ Cling stamps very well. Crafters Companion also sells an adhesive spray that is repositionable. Check it out on their site.I started by inking the image. Tap tap tap.And them I rocked my way to a perfect impression.........
They have adorable stamp sets!! I used this Christmas one here... to make tags! This is the fab set I used...
Thank you Crafters Companion! Post in the comment section before noon on the 1st of October to win something fun from them. :) It's a secret one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29... Art Declassified and crayons

OK. My problem was my wireless card, now it's working!!! YAY. Today I played with crayons a bit. I LOVE Art Declassified and used the wonderful Fete Days and Fete Flourish stamps from them for today's tutorial.First off you need to raid your child's stash of crayons. :) Actually if you sit along side them they would love to do this too! They could even do this on a coloring page. Take your crayons and color them as hard as you can to get these cool bits... leave the bits they make a cool effect.Take a piece of wax paper big enough to cover the crayon surface and iron the colored design to melt the wax. This is what will happen. Cool. The bits melt randomly over the surface.
This is the one I ended up using. I took the Days stamp and some StazOn because of the wax and stamped directly on the melted crayon.
Colorful! These are the two fabulous stamp sets that somebody will win from today! Just post a comment in this comment section. You will have until noon tomorrow. :) Check out Art Declassified's website for some neat stamps! Tomorrow is the last day of National Stamping Month. Tomorrow I will feature Crafter's Companion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September 23... Verve and faux metal

Oh wow. It took YEARS to get this page put together. My IT guy did some work on my computer, but it didn't fix it so now I need to have him put in a new card of some kind. ANYHOW. Today is Verve and tomorrow will be Verve as well. I want to give as many people a chance to comment to win. They sent these cool Thankful Blossoms flower stamps that I did a faux metal with. First off I took my embossing liquid here and applied it to a small rectangle of cardstock. (you could also use an embossing pad) The whole little piece... it's got to be big enough to fit the stamp you chose.
Cover the whole thing with a metallic embossing powder and then melt it using your heat gun. You will need to do about 3 coats, making sure that the embossing is still hot and melted when you pour on the new powder.
Quickly, while the embossing is still melted, OR you could do this step first, apply the embossing liquid to the stamp. (you could also use a clear embossing pad)
Stamp your image into the melted embossed sheet and viole! And thank you to Verve Stamps check them out. They have a cute website. So comment for your chance to win this stamp set.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I see that I never filled in the names for the winners.

Cosmo Cricket- Robin
Third Coast- Heather
Stampscapes- Sparkly Turtle
Serendipity Stamps- Sandy
BoBunny- Lori
Stampington and Company- Jessica
Scenic Route- Fiorella
SEI- Sue Vass
Cornish Heritage Farms- Callista

I used the random integer website to be random and fair. :)
Just send me an email with your address...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Coronado Island Designs... and stamping on glass

Here is the idea for the day. It's brought to us by Coronado Island Designs. I used this wonderful Christmas stamp set. Check them out. So how did I do it? I used embossing ink and black embossing powder. On glass? Yes. I slowly heated the glass with my heat gun before I heated the stamped embossed images. I did this because I didn't want the glasss to crack, and it didn't.
I also stamped the star on pattern paper and glued it to the outside of the frame.

So there ya go. Stamping on glass. Thank you Coronado Island Designs. Oh yes, this is the stamp set one person will win. Again I will give until 12 noon tomorow. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sept 18... My Favorite Things and ribbon

OK, I was having problems this morning that seemed to have cleared up now. Computers. I have this love-hate relationship with them. I'm thinking it might be a blogger problem, because I'm having it again, right now!!!!!!!!!
Anyhow today's is one I love because I love ribbon. So I used this wonderful stamp set by My Favorite Things. Check them out they have tons of cool stuff. I simply took my dye based ink and stamped directly on the ribbon. YAY
Here is a close up.
And the finished product.
These are the wonderful stamps that I used. One lucky person could win them. Today I will give until 12 noon tomorrow for posters. Thank you My Favorite Things!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September 17... Cornish Heritage Farms and wood and photos

OK, I had to go find the internet at my 'lil sis's house 70 miles away! :) Anyways...
I LOVE these Cornish Heritage stamps. They are HUGE. LOVE IT! Check them out. Today it's about stamping on wood. I took this Ikea frame, painted it with acrylic paint, and then just stamped on it dye based ink. I also stamped on the picture itself. I used... get this... StazOn to stamp on the pic.

So you all know the drill. Leave a comment and one person will win this awesome stamp set from Cornish Heritage. Thank you. And thank you to everybody who keeps coming back. I'm having so much fun with this. (I can't wait to share my Halloween stuff next month)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm having internet connection problems! I hope to post by the end of the day. I didn't forget about you guys! :)


Monday, September 15, 2008

September 15... and stamping on buttons

Today I decided to stamp on buttons!!! I love SEI. This stamp set is wonderful and it goes along great with the paper. Check out their new stuff. (especially the Halloween stuff)
Stamping on buttons is way easy. You just need that trusty old StazOn ink. I used a glue dot here so that the button won't move while I'm stamping it. I used black so you could see the design, but you could use any color you'd like.
These are the fab stamps I used and the set one person will win. Just comment before midnight tonight. Thank you SEI!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

September 14... Scenic Route and flowers

I thought it would be fun this week to do "fun things to stamp on." So today I am using the Scenic Route stamp set to stamp on a flower.
You could really use any type of ink you want. You could even emboss it!!! Just ink up and stamp. (You could use the glue pad and glitter too!)
These papers are Scenic Route also! It's their new Sonoma collection.
Here's the close up. I layered 2 flowers and cut the top flower at the edges.
YAY!!! Here is the stamp set someone will win today. Just post in the comment section before midnight tonight. :) Thank you Scenic Route!

AND the winners from last week are...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

September 13...Stampington and the backside

(Sorry this posted late. The power at my house went out for quite some time.)
I don't think today's technique has a name. But it's fab and comes in handy. I have used Stampington & Company's clear stamps. This is from their unusual suspects line. They have so many wonderful stamps and stuff AND I LOVE all their magazines as well. Today one lucky person will have a chance to win the stamp set that contains these characters as well as a magazine. YAY Just leave a comment by midnight tonight. :) First off you start by turning your clear stamp upside down on the acrylic block so that the flat sticky part is up.
Then you stamp the image in your ink and paper of choice.
Turn the image on the block so that it is the "correct" way and stamp over the first image. And there you have it. You just doubled your stamps. This works best with mirrored images, but I wasn't going for something perfectly aligned here.
I love home decor, so I used these images and WONDERFUL art paper from Stampington & Company to turn into a fun little hanging. I went over the whole image in clear embossing ink and UTEE, adhered it to chipboard, punched holes, and tied the ribbon. I think I'll look around and embellish them some more, but you got the idea of the technique.