Monday, March 31, 2008

New Website: Among the Willows

I opened a new website, yesterday in order to begin selling painting patterns and doing online One-Stroke Painting lessons. This was extremely easy to set up using Yahoo. I'm still working on it. Yes, you can see my pictures on the blog and hear me talk about the projects on the podcast, but the patterns will be available through Microsoft Word format and will have much more detail. Check out the site and let me know what you think.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vendor set-up and early bird classes Thursday June 5
This is an annual event held in beautiful Cherokee, NC. Please come and share the comraderie of other gourders. Take classes, buy gourds and just hang out and have fun talking gourds. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gourd Podcast Episode 4

The new podcast is now available. This was started with the last podcast, February 18 and was followed up with a blog posted March 16. I took a break in between this last post and now due to the passing of one of our family members, but at these times, a period of reflection is called for.

You can download this episode at: I explain which colors I used for the painting on this basket. I'm still not happy with the irises which have now been painted three or four times. I'm leaning more toward trimming that section altogether and making a vine of sculpey leaves on the opposite side. Again, you don't have to have an iPod to listen. Simply go to the aforementioned website and click on the right arrow next to the sound icon to the right of where it says, "Download this episode." As always , I welcome your feedback.

Monday, March 17, 2008

SCBWI Spring Schmooze

Our Goalies Writers' group will be hosting our annual Spring Schmooze at Quail Ridge Book Store (3522 Wade Ave.) on Sunday, April 16 at 3:00 in Raleigh, NC. The phone number for the book store is 919-828-1588. Our guest speaker will be Frances O'Roark Dowell, author of the very popular children's books, Chicken Boy, Dovey Coe, Where I'd Like to Be, Shooting the Moon and The Secret Language of Girls. Please join us if you are in the area. This is free and open to the public.
The beautiful artwork is done by our member, author/illustrator, Jennifer Clifton.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Gourd Basket Progression

I've been working to complete the Spring Gourd Basket so that I can produce my next podcast. I've decided against painting the actual basket part like weavers, since when I tried this, it appeared to darken the overall effect too much. I was inspired by an article in the most recent Quick & Easy Painting Magazine which featured a Floral Footstool by Patricia Rawlinson. It is a beautiful design and I loved the color palette used. I have adapted this gourd basket to that color scheme and have combined some of the painting strokes from that with those from the Spring Wreath we painted with Jill Liljenquist. The eggs pictured have only been base-coated so far. I will go back and add shading later. The irises and the inside and rim are yet to be done.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

One-Stroke Training Seminar

I attended a One-Stroke Training Seminar in Raleigh, NC yesterday. These seminars are one-day workshops primarily for OSCI's (One-Stroke Certified Instructors), but are open to anyone who is interested in learning One-Stroke techniques. Our instructor was Jill Liljenquist (pictured above) from Phoenix. I had a wonderful time and learned a lot of new techniques such as working with the new High Definition paints and tools/brushes, and the Studio Line of Sculpey polymer clay. We also painted a spring wreath with Folk Art acrylic paints which used the dagger and rake/feather brush. I mostly enjoyed using the clay which is very soft compared to some other brands. It is easily conditioned with just your hands. There is a line of molds for leaves which consist of cookie-cutters and plastic templates for adding veins to the leaves. There is also a mold set for roses and texture plates and various tools. These are available for purchase on the website.
I ordered two new books, Storage Solutions and Denim Adornments (fabric painting) as well as an exclusive pattern package sold only at these seminars. The new books are also available on the One-Stroke site.
I think it's going to take a lot of practice with the High Definition paints for me. These are used differently than the regular acrylic paints and even the brush is held differently. But I love a challenge and am determined to master this.
Thanks so much to Jill for coming to teach us. She is a great teacher and a really nice person who gives so much to the One Stroke community. I'm looking forward to being able to go to another one of her trainings.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Podcast Interview

I had the opportunity to be interviewed this past Wednesday night by Michelle of Crafting With Country Signs podcast. She has been podcasting for a while through and offered me good advice while we were talking. She also has her own blog, and helps to run a family craft business called Cook's Arts & Crafts Shop at 80-09 Myrtle Avenue Glendale, Queens, NY. She has lots of great crafting ideas with pictures on her blog, so stop by and check it out.
I'm still a newbie with the podcasting, so it was nice to talk to someone more experienced. I'm still working on the music-in-the-background part of it all. I should have more time to work on this in the coming weeks with Spring Break coming up. I also promise to work on the gourd basket this weekend so I can show more progression on that.
I'm going tomorrow to an all-day painting and polymer-clay sculpting class with Jillian Liljenquist, one of Donna Dewberry's Elite OSCI's in Raleigh. I'm finally going to work with the new High-Definition paints and brushes/tools and will get to use the new Studio line of Sculpey clay marketed through One Stroke. I'll post pictures on the blog when I get back.