My life’s not perfect.

Social media has a way of making everyone’s life look so perfect. Photos of friends laying on the beach of some exotic locale, the latest reward or recognition of a loved one, the pictures of the new house or new additions to your existing home. These moments of temporary fame all  flash on my screen before another achievement takes its place.  Don’t get me wrong, I find these tidbits of other people’s lives fascinating and enjoyable to view. But I do question the unrealistic, and often perfect view of life we get.

If you are going to post the idyllic photo of the Disney family vacation, then please post the photo of your child on the plane kicking the seat in front of them  and crying non-stop from Portland to Los Angeles. Or the temper tantrum your two year old had while waiting in line for 45 minutes to ride Pirates of the Caribbean for the third time. Or a photo of you at the chiropractor getting your spine realigned after carrying the dead weight of your sleeping four year old from Toon Town all the way back to the bus loading area.

If you are posting photos of your European vacation please post the number of hours it took to book the trip and the number of compromises you made to fit the trip into your budget. The photos of the happy couple standing in front of the Eiffel Tower should also come with a manuscript of the argument they had deciding on which excursion they would take. Because we all know there is no such thing as a perfect life. At least not mine.

As much as I love my husband, I often look forward to an evening to myself when he heads to a meeting. I am quite sure the reverse is true as well. We argue over stupid stuff and have an actual yelling match every now and then. We worry about our health and those of our family members. We budget our funds so that we can splurge every now and then on something we have on our wish list. We argue over when my husband will actually finish the wall trim in our bedroom and if we really need to plant fifty grape plants. (Update-$250 later, we have fifty grape starts planted that the deer promptly ate the first night they were in).

Our two daughters are perfectly imperfect, and I love them for that. They have kept us on our toes and have made for a very interesting life. And to be honest, I will take interesting and a little flawed over perfect any day.  My life has character. It’s all wrinkly and sprinkled with the highs and lows, as well as the twists and turns of a rocky road.  I am no longer afraid to let the real me be seen. I no longer feel the need to hide my true self so that others can see a reflection of a perfect life. My daughters have taught me that even though I do care what others think, I will no longer allow their opinions to define my life. I need to accept my life as it is, flawed and yet spattered with moments of perfection.

The other night I sat on the porch with my husband. The night air was warm and the sun was just setting. The sky was ablaze with colors of orange, pink, and red. I had spoken with both my daughters that day and they were doing well. I looked at the man I have been married to for over 30 years and thought, what a perfect moment! And it was just that. A perfect moment. Not a perfect life. Not a perfect day. But a perfect moment. And for me, that is enough.

Emotional Connection to Her Art Work

My fellow Canvas Corp Brand Team Member completed a renovation of a table that has been in her life for many years. The emotional connection, and her telling of the story, is a must read. She gives a face lift to an everyday item using some paint and paper and takes us on a journey through her written words.

http://www.dapoppins.com/2015/05/repainting-memories-confronting.html

Quick survey equals free artwork!

Have you ever wanted to get better at something but didn’t know how? Me too! By taking a short online survey you can help me improve my website. In appreciation of your time and effort, you will receive a free digital download of my artwork. Check back to see the changes that you have helped to create!
Link to the short survey http://goo.gl/31m9bZ  (the link to the free digital download of my artwork will be given at the end of the survey)
Thank you so very much!

Sink into your life!

Live Fully

I am at the LeMay Wine and Chocolate event this weekend in Tacoma. Having a great time with fellow Vancouver, WA artisans and meeting a few new friends. The best part of the weekend though is the bed at the hotel. I am still laying in bed, propped up with the most amazing pillows behind my back, just relaxing. It’s 11AM and I have no desire to leave the comfort of my room, although Costco is across the street and their sample tastings are calling my name. My husband is reading his paper and also loving the downtime. It’s really delightful to just kick back and sink into your life.

We have heard about a “must visit” wine shop/deli in the area. The weather is nice enough, a few clouds and a slight wind, so we may wander out and taste a little wine and grab some deli meat and cheese. Sometimes we need to spend the time with one another doing nothing more than just being. I have missed those moments. Too many commitments the past few months that have directed our time.

Wishing you some special time with your loved ones this weekend!

Creating a mixed media art bag

[15April_TJD_ Mixed Media Bag Pic1]

I created this functional bag using canvas fabric and Tattered Angels High Impact paints. Though the creamy, rich colors of Tattered Angels High Impact paints {http://www.mytatteredangels.com} make painting canvas fabric a breeze, one could use almost any brand of acrylic or fabric paints and receive similar results. I created the sewing pattern for this bag but any store bought sewing pattern or canvas tote could be used as well. Even though I focus on the mixed media techniques of the project and not the sewing of the bag, I will be sharing some sewing tips that will add interest to the final product.

[15April_TJD_ Mixed Media Bag Pic1]

Whether you use your tote for groceries, travel, or about town, you can add a little panache to your day with this stylish bag.

[15April_TJD_ Mixed Media Bag Pic2]

Top left: Items used are a spray bottle, Tattered Angels High Impact Paints (or acrylic/fabric paints of your choice), stencils, brushes, and permanent markers (not shown).

Top right: Spray your canvas fabric with water and then apply your yellow paint in a haphazard motion.

Bottom left: While still damp, apply your orange paint using a stencil and stencil brush. Please do not try to be precise as this is just your background. A casual approach will give your finished piece a more artsy feel.

Bottom right: In another area of your bag, add water and your yellow paint using a stencil of your choosing. I added the stencil work before the orange background paint so that I would not lose the vibrant yellow color. Next, add some orange around your yellow pattern. Again, this is to keep the vibrancy of the yellow.

[15April_TJD_ Mixed Media Bag Pic3]

Top left: I added additional interest by applying script writing with a stencil and red fabric paint.

Bottom left: Spray water on your contrasting canvas fabric and apply orange and yellow paint using your stencils. At this point we are creating some consistency across the fabrics.

Bottom right: Heat set your paints by using a piece of muslin as a pressing cloth. I ironed both sides of the fabrics on a cotton setting.

[15April_TJD_ Mixed Media Bag Pic4]]

Top left: I sewed the bag together using a 16 needle as the fabric is quite heavy.

Top right: By using a contrasting thread and topstitching the seams you create some wonderful details on the finished bag. It would also be fun to add some freestyle quilting to the bag using different colored threads. I may try this on my next bag.

Bottom left: I added long handles to the bag using the same red canvas fabric that I used for the middle portion of the bag.

Bottom right: Side panel of the bag. You will also notice the transformation of the original fabric by the white and red canvas fabric that the tote bag is sitting on.

[15April_TJD_ Mixed Media Bag Pic5]

The really fun part of the project! I took permanent markers in varying colors and started adding wording and a few doodles. You can let your imagine run free and embellish the heck out of your bag. I will be adding more doodles and lettering as time allows.

[15April_TJD_ Mixed Media Bag Pic6]

I hope you have a great time creating your own tote and wishing you much joy in your life!

Firm beds and even firmer pillows!

I am in need of coffee and at this time it is three floors below me in the lobby of the hotel. I do have the little packets of coffee in the room complete with the powder creamer, sugar packet, and stir stick, but today I am in need of some REAL coffee. My hair is in knots from tossing and turning all night and I look a mess. Tossing and turning was the fault of a firm pillow and even firmer bed. I prefer a soft fluffy pillow I can sink my head into and get comfy up for the night. Ugh. Not feeling like facing other people so early in the morning. Since I do not have a butler to bring me my coffee it looks like I will be meandering down the three floors to breakfast. How is your day going? Did you get your coffee this morning?

Get Tangled Challenge

I created this 12×12 page using Canvas Corp Brand products. It was great fun to do and I like the end results. The pinwheels actually move on the page and the colors I used are some of my favorites. I have included step-by-step photos below. If you have questions regarding the process please feel free to contact me.

Start with High Impact paints in your favorite colors
Start with High Impact paints in your favorite colors
Using your fingers, paint the Zentangle papers using a haphazard approach
Using your fingers, paint the Tangled papers using a haphazard approach
I then added a deeper value of blue to give some depth to the background
I then added a deeper value of blue to give some depth to the background
Close-up of the first layer
Close-up of the first layer
On another Tangled page I used additional High Impact paints.
On another Tangled page I used additional High Impact paints.
On the back of the Tangled papers I used a brayer to add High Impact and white paint.
On the back of the Tangled papers I used a brayer to add High Impact and white paint.
I doodled freehand onto the Tangled pages. Once completed, I cut out five point pin wheels.
I doodled freehand onto the Tangled pages. Once completed, I cut out five point pin wheels.
Leaves were added using a light green canvas corp brand paper and stamping with a green-gold paint.
Leaves were added using a light green canvas corp brand paper and stamping with a green-gold paint.
I cut out hearts and placed on the page for additional interest. The background page was created using High Impact paints around the edges.
I cut out hearts and placed on the page for additional interest. The background page was created using High Impact paints around the edges.
The completed project! I hope you have fun using Tattered Angels High Impact paints and Tangled papers.
The completed project! I hope you have fun using Tattered Angels High Impact paints and Tangled papers.

4×4 Canvas Challenge

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I love a good challenge and Canvas Corp definitely supplied their 2015 design team with one. Each design team member was given a 4×4 canvas and directed to create the canvas in their own design style. I typically work on an 8×10 or larger canvas, so to create on such a small work surface was challenging to say the least.

I created a design on a larger canvas (see below) for Canvas Corps booth at CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) and decided to add the 4×4 as its companion. The artwork on the larger canvas was bridal themed so I kept the 4×4 with the same theme as well. The focus of the smaller canvas was its color palette of pink, green, and teal. I love teal, I REALLY LOVE teal! It pairs beautifully with a soft pink and green. I added a few Swarovski crystals to complete the bridal aspect of the design and attached the wording in honor of the bride.

If you would like to vote for your favorite 4×4 canvas, and see the other designs as well, please follow the link below.

http://blog.canvascorpbrands.com/the-canvas-corp-creative-crew/

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Love is in the air!

1-P1000849Dinius-Valentines Card

Valentines Day is just around the corner and I have been busy working on numerous cards for the holiday. My favorite card was created for my husband of thirty years. He has been my greatest supporter and the one I turn to when I need an honest opinion.  He amazes me with his creative thinking skills and his outside-the-box perspective. He has been my best friend, my cheerleader, my chef, my dry cleaner, and the greatest love of my life. I have been blessed to have him in my life and cannot imagine a life without him!

This design was created using Canvas Corp brand papers and burlap. The paints used were Tattered Angels high impact and glitter mists. If you are looking for color saturation that brings life to your work, try Tattered Angels High Impact paints. They are definitely worth every penny!