Thursday, September 23, 2010

SUZI BLU graduates speak ...

at Suzi's 2010 Birthday Workshop / Stamping Details / that's me, back row, 4th from right)
 Local artist extraordinaire, with a worldwide following, SUZI BLU - rocks.   I have had the pleasure of taking two workshops from Suzi "live", and I have taken several of her on-line workshops.   You just about can't tell the difference, I promise.   

I can describe Suzi and her style of teaching in ten words (okay, so I could come up with twenty or so words, but I'll keep it sweet ... ie, short):

Accessible  (she makes herself available to her students, in person
         AND online - it's amazing)
Courageous  (she's not afraid to tell it like it is, about art, about life,
         about love)
Extraordinary  (in every way)

Generous  (with her talent & techniques, and her heart, and her
      very self)
Heartful  (I am not sure how to define "heartful", other than to say
      it's just SUZI)
Humble   (she is down to earth, she is never pretentious, and she
      never treats her students like they are anything but ARTISTS)
Loving  (you can just feel the love that emanates from Suzi - for
      animals, for people, for her art)
Soulful  (Suzi gets right into the nitty-gritty of life, along with
      sharing her soulful love of all animals)
Talented  (this goes without saying!)
Whimsical  (way fun, way creative, way way way ... Suzi !!!)

And THAT, my friends, is how I would describe Suzi Blu - if you haven't yet, do look her up and SIGN UP FOR ONE OF HER ONLINE WORKSHOPS.  And if you are fortunate to live anywhere near Suzi, sign up for a class with her "live and in person".  I promise you a great time :-) ...


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


WOW.  Wow.  wow. 

I left home Wednesday 9-15, headed to Minneapolis all by myself, where I had registered for the inaugural THE CREATIVE CONNECTION event ... I had bags in hand, I had my lecture panels and my art workshops all selected, I had my room reserved, and I had all my class supplies.  And clothes.  (of course there were clothes - to go with every possible scenario: the first day, the first luncheon, the assorted art workshops, for shopping at The Handmade Market, for the gala dinner, the boxed lunch, the editorial breakfast, the PJ party, and the cupcake farewell - although I did NOT change for every single 'event', I did have a nice assortment to choose from.  but that is entirely beside the point).

I may have gone there alone, but I quickly met some wonderful ladies ... one in particular ... LaRue, it was a delight to get to know you and to realize we had signed up for ALL THE SAME ART CLASSES and LECTURES.   "Twin daughters, different mothers", as they say.  :-)  

And as for the event, can I just drop some names here? 
Davielle (me) - The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond - and my friend LaRue

Jo Packham. 
Nancy Soriano
Ree Drummond. 
Amy Butler
Amy Barickman. 
Ruth Rae
Laurie Meseroll. 
Jenni Bowlin
Mary Jane Butters.  

The list goes on and on and on.  We had industry experts in many fields - we had panels, one-on-one interviews, and of course, art workshops with all the best of the best.  It was amazing.  So much talent (and oh-so-much estrogen!) all in one space, in one place.   The creative energy was palpable, and it was energizing, inspiring, magical.

This week I am sifting thru all the photographs and all the moo and biz cards that folks shared with me.  When I have it all "together", I will be posting (most likely in several 'parts') about THE CREATIVE CONNECTION.

For now, let me just say ... WOW.  Again.

-- Princess Magpie

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mixed Media with Paper and Cloth, with Jane LaFazio

If you're local (ie, San Diego County), and you are a mixed media artist (or want to explore mixed media art), then this is a workshop series you won't want to miss ...

Mixed Media with Paper & Cloth -
taught by San Diego artist Jane LaFazio

ACORNS & THE QUAIL - mixed media by Jane LaFazio

"Jane will introduce you to new materials and techniques to create art from paper, cloth or a combination of the two. We’ll create layered, textured artworks using collage materials, paint, drawings and thread. Come prepared to learn, explore and have fun with a new project each week. Class will be inspirational, positive and fun, with lots of sharing, laughing and learning from the others in the class. All levels of experience are welcome, and previous students can expect new lessons! "

Mondays, 9 AM–12 NOON

Oct. 4–Nov. 15 (7 weeks)
Location:  San Diego/Park Blvd. Studio
$180 for members of The Athaneum / $205 (non-members),
+ $25 materials fee

Materials:  What to bring on the FIRST DAY: X-acto knife, scissors, sketchbook, pencil and either plain or white muslin watercolor paper (any weight). A materials list for the rest of the class will be discussed - and a $25 materials fee will be collected at the first class meeting.

Questions: e-mail Jane at !!
Call The Athaneum at 858.454.5872 to enroll.

I have taken several classes from artist Jane LaFazio.  First, back in the Spring of 2007, I took her "Watercolor Sketchbook and Journal" all-day class with my friend Cynthia.   WHAT A LOT OF FUN, and what a gentle way to address my fear of drawing.   If that class interests you, visit Jane's website for details on when and where she'll be teaching that as a 2-day workshop in December. 

Jane will also be offering it as an ONLINE CLASS for the first time (details on her site, right here at )

In 2008, when I was introduced to the world of MIXED MEDIA, and was wondering who to ask about such words / terms as GESSO, and MATTE MEDIUM, and MIXED MEDIA itself -- I turned to Jane, asking her where I could take a beginner's mixed media workshop.  And that, my friends, was the beginning of my MM journey.  Thanks to Jane, and the La Jolla Athenaeum who offers multi-session workshops taught by Jane, I have become brave and curious and fascinated by the world of MIXED MEDIA art. 

I have taken two (yes, two!) workshop series (as described above) from Jane, and enjoyed every single lesson offered, and minute spent, in her classes.  And I intend to sign up for this next series !!!

Hope to see you there,

Princess Magpie (aka, Davielle)

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Great quote.  "Know thine opportunity." - Pittacus. 
{sometimes seen as "Know THY opportunity."}

In case you're asking "Who was Pittacus?", you can check that out right here:
Or, if you like, here's a quick rundown: (c. 640-568 BC) Pittacus was the son of Hyrradius and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. He was a native of Mytilene and the Mytilenaean general who, with his army, was victorious in the battle against the Athenians and their commander Phrynon.

One of our grandchildren knew HER opportunity yesterday and made it her reality.

Cara and Kaia and I were on our way to see my nephew and his family at the beach.  Along the way, I wanted to stop in at MERMAID MERCANTILE {hosted the last weekend of each month at OUT OF THE BLUE {  }, a cute little shop in Solana Beach}.  

 I was seeking vintage ... pajamas, or a nightie, or something ... for the PJ Party at THE CREATIVE CONNECTION  {  }

So there's the "story":

We're wandering about, each of us lost in our own little fantasy worlds ... 'oh, if only $$ were no object' ... 'i love this, i can't live without it, but what would i DO with it' ... those kinds of thoughts.   And a whole lot of 'why, isn't that clever?'.

Cara sidles over to me ... "Kaia is in love with a chair."

Huh?  A chair?

"You have to come see it.  She's crazy about this chair."

What artsy / interior designer / wanting-to-encourage-creativity-in-the-grandchildren woman WOULDN'T wander over to see just what kind of chair would capture the heart of a 10 1/2 year old ???

     OH. MY. GOSH.   It was darling.  It was vintage.  It had been re-upholstered in PINK SUEDE.  It had BLACK & WHITE (on the bias, of course) double piping all the way round.  It had tufting - with matching BLACK & WHITE buttons.  It was from the 50's.  It was going to appear in a magazine next month.

"No wonder she loves it,", I said.  "Wow."

"Mom, you don't understand.  She WANTS that chair."

Oh my.  Now what?

So Cara asks how much the chair is.  Kaia had some money from her grandfather, a gift for her entering the sixth grade.  Not for school supplies or school clothes.  Just. A. Gift.   Kaia could do whatever she wanted with it, including deposit it in her savings account.

"The chair is $275."

You could hear us all exhale, I swear.  We all appeared, I am sure, crestfallen. 

"That's a lot of money, honey, for a chair.  Even one so darling as that one."

We wandered around some more.  I made my (small) purchases.  Kaia could NOT stop thinking about that chair.  She went back for another (and another) peek at it.  She had it bad.

As we're headed to the car, Kaia says "Mom, do you remember how much is left in my savings account? ".  
Ohmygosh, this kid was SERIOUS.

We drove away, and I swear, Kaia took a last look back.  We all three felt the pain of leaving that chair behind.

We bought lunch to take to the beach party.  Kaia's still doing the math.

"Mom, can we stop at our bank to just SEE what I have in there? ".   Thanks to modern technology, Cara could look it up on her Blackberry - and there just happened to be a branch 5 minutes away.   Apparently, the beach could wait.

In they went.  Out they came.  All I could see was a HUGE smile and a "thumbs up" from Kaia.  SHE DID IT.  She had enough.  Ohmygosh.  That means she WITHDREW her savings.  I had a brief sinking feeling.

But then, guess what happened?  My joy on her behalf took over.   I was so proud that my 10 1/2 year old grandchild LIKED vintage furniture.  I was so happy that my grandchild LIKED flea market / thrift store / treasure trove kinds of places.   I was so proud that she MADE.THIS.HAPPEN. for herself.

Cara quick called the lady with the chair.  "Remember us? My daughter is the one that wants to buy that darling chair.  She just withdrew all but $5 of her savings to buy it.".

And do you know what that lovely lady did?  She took $25 off the chair (which just about covered the sales tax).   We went back, Kaia paid for HER chair, got her receipt (see photo),

and we agreed to return on Sunday to pick it up.

I'm sure you've guessed it.  The girls went home, Kaia cleared out her old stuffed animals that took up THE PERFECT CORNER of her bedroom, they vacuumed and dusted and made it READY for today.  And today, Sunday, Kaia woke up at just about the crack of dawn - envisioning, I am quite certain, THE CORNER with THE CHAIR that she will GO TO SLEEP to ... tonight.

Blissfully your ...
Princess Magpie

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Everything's Coming Up ... MIXED MEDIA !!!

Most of you know that my mixed media journey began in 2007, when my dear friend Ann Deakers forwarded the blog address of artist KELLY RAE ROBERTS.

From there, I was off and running; albeit confused many times over by words and phrases like "gesso", "image transfer", and "polymer medium". 

The first mixed media book
I acquired was Kelly Rae's 

Shortly after, while visiting the then-brand-new PAPER SOURCE right here in the 'hood, I picked up VINTAGE COLLAGE WORKS by Maryjo and Sunny Koch ...  this was where I first came across the word "scumbling" .. oh my, so much to learn.  {Paper Source Carlsbad: }

I loved collage as a child.  But way back then, I used glue and water, and when I got really sophisticated, Mod Podge.  {funny, now I can't stand the smell of Mod Podge ...}

You probably already know that the first mixed media art class I took(a 6-week series, actually) was taught by local artist Jane LaFazio, and I was in love from the first minute with ... mixed media with paper and cloth, as Jane's series was called.   I loved it so much, in fact, that when that session ended .. I signed up for another 6-week session, right away.  What a great start to 2009 !! 

And then .. and then .. there was the 'introduction' to Chris Cozen, working artist for Golden (acrylic products extraordinaire) and her many techniqus for working with all the different acrylic products, gel mediums, tar gel, beaded glass gel, etc ... and most especially, her IMAGE TRANSFER techniques.   The fun had just begun !! Chris now teaches amazing on-line workshops with another California artist, Julie Prichard ... find out more right here:

Throughout 2009, I took classes from Linda Blinn, Althea Brimm, Suzi Blu and Lisa Bebi, and more from Jane LaFazio and Chris Cozen.  Suzi Blu, by the way, teaches not only IN PERSON workshops, but incredible ONLINE workshops -- check her out here:

Soon, I began to see Kelly Rae published all over the place ... the Stampington publications, in an article in The Ligourian Press (a Catholic publication), and in a local guide to some lovely city in - Kentucky, was it?  Kelly even began having her work turned into wall art, magnets, stationery, calendars, etc.

But it all came 'round full circle in February 2010, when Ann (the friend who first directed me to Kelly Rae's blog) and I attended AN ARTFUL JOURNEY (Feb 2010)- a three day retreat in Los Gatos, CA ... which I never did blog about here on "I Am Princess Magpie" ... oh my, so much to catch up on.  {FYI, An Artful Journey is happening again, February 17-21, 2011 - visit their website right here: } and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  FABULOUS event.

We took a 3-day workshop with Kelly Rae Roberts (who was just barely pregnant at the time) and Mati Rose McDonough.  What a treat that was!

Shortly after the workshop this February, Kelly had some of her art turned into 3-D "dolls".  I now have one, and she resides in my kitchen, right at the sink - right near a rosary, a crucifix, and a beautiful Christmas card from the late, great Celeste Rast.   They all make me smile each time I'm at the sink, and they all keep me grounded.

But then - while on holiday this month in Montana, Mark and I walked into one of my favorite little shopping spots up there - The Barn, just outside Bigfork - and what should I see but a beautiful display of Kelly Rae items !!! 

They were all tucked into a vintage shabby cabinet, filled with old quilts, bits of lace, frames, old photographs, pressed glass, etc etc etc.   What a perfect setting for Kelly's "GIRLS" !!!

Upon my return home from AN ARTFUL JOURNEY, I opened up my Etsy shop {although it still has empty 'shelves', I have intentions to fill them}.  I also signed up for an on-line workshop with artist Jane Davila ... "Jump Start Your Art Career". 

Then later this spring, I signed up for Kelly Rae's on-line workshop, "Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks to Help Your Creative Biz Soar" {which you can now order as an E-book course from Kelly here: }

In late July (2010) it was a distinct pleasure and a real treat to spend a day in (Colorado artist) K.C. Willis' "Collage Bootcamp", a full day where we created a piece, start to finish.  I shared this special day with Ann, and with Sally, Diane, and Jen - amongst other lovely ladies - learning all kinds of new ways to put fabric and paper and a photograph ... together. Find otu more about KC right here:

{more on collage bootcamp with KC to come ... and a link to her upcoming workshops right back here in So Cal in early 2011!}

And while I have moved on to appreciating other artist's styles of mixed media art, and have taken mixed media workshops from some of the great contemporary mixed media artists ... I will always consider my mixed media "roots" to be those fostered by Kelly Rae Roberts.

 -- Davielle

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Creative Color Challenge, with artist Louise Gale

my friend Ann and I met Louise Gale
at AN ARTFUL JOURNEY this February, where she participated in the same wonderful workshop that we were in ... taught by Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose McDonough.  

Louise is putting together a CREATIVE COLOR CHALLENGE for August ... just the thing to keep your creative juices flowing in a colorful way.

Yes, I have too many things on my plate (heck, it's a full blown platter by now), but this sounds so fun and so pressure-less.   I mean, really - what could happen if I miss a week - will the Color Challenge militia come after me?  I doubt it.

So THANK YOU, Louise, for creating this fun experience.

You can join in, too -- here's a link to the details. 

-- Princess Magpie
(yours, as ever ... Davielle)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Artful Gatherings - Let's Plan Some !!!

Summer is in mid-swing, and it's time for so many of us to have our vacation getaways {as well as our stay-cations}.

I myself am heading to Big Sky Country - to the Flathead Lake area of Montana - soon.  Mark's parents have a 6+acre, 400 (+/-) tree CHERRY orchard up there, and the Lake to rival all Lakes is right across the road. 

And guess what I discovered up there last summer?  A wonderful QUILTING shop - picked up some really fab cherry-print fabric there last year, brought it all home, and I'm in the process of laying out aprons.  Just don't tell my in-laws - they're meant to be Christmas gifts :-) !!!   You, too, can visit this amazing quilter's paradise: {and as it turned out, Mark's cousin's wife works there ... who knew?}.

This year, this trip, there will be a whole lotta Huffmans' up there at the same time.   I made a schedule - it ended up looking like an air-traffic controller's schedule - it's going to be just that crazy up there!

Before I leave, I am tending to cleaning and clearing up my ... office.  

Holy Cow, it's become a messy, land-mine filled space lately ... how does that keep happening? :-)

{an image of my desk circa 2009, but it looks like this now ...}

And I will sneak in a bit of art here and there, because I know that the art studio that I so take for granted when I am home full-time ...

will call out to me when I am away, making me question why I am not down there for a bit EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

So I hope some of you, my artful, mixed media (or single-media, it really doesn't matter) friends will want to come over and play after I get home.   We'll have most all of August and then September.  Let's get busy doing what makes us happy !!!

Wouldn't it be fun to plan / schedule {I'm a big 'scheduler' kind of person} some ART PLAY TIME together?  If you'd like to come play, get messy, make art, experiment with supplies -- with me -- then let's make and take the time. 

If you live out of town, you could plan to stay over a night or two, even.  Summer is for Fun, and we deserve to have all the FUN, and make all the ART - that we can, while we can.

LET'S GET MESSY.  Call, text, e-mail, or comment on this post so we can make a plan to have some ARTful fun together.

Happy Summer !!!

-- Davielle

P.S.  you've just got to laugh when you're on holiday, the car needs some gas, and you happen upon a sign like this one:

I mean, really ... who wants hucks {huckleberries} or cherries WITH ethanol ???

Friday, July 9, 2010

it's KC's birthday and SHE's giving away the love !!!

oooh, I love a good special.  and this one IS special.

colorado artist KC willis is offering one of her on-line workshops, COLLAGE CAMP, at the special price of just $54 -- in honor of her very own 54th (shhhhhh) birthday !!!

hop on over to her blog for the details:

And here's the link to her Collage Camp online workshop: 

Happy Birthday to you, KC.  thanks for sharing the love.

-- Princess Magpie

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Sketchbook Project: 2011 ... I'm In !!!

Local artist extraordinaire SUZI BLU  {} posted a link today on FaceBook about this cool project:  THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT: 2011

 I just had to look into that ...

Wow.  What a wonderful thing !!!

If you choose to participate, you have the option of choosing from one of many interesting "themes" {'in flight', 'sleepless', 'figuring you out', 'revenge', 'face in the crowd' - and plenty more} ... or you can have the organizers randomly assign one to you. 

If you know me at all, you know that I'm just not the "random" kind of girl, so I opted for "This Is Not a Sketchbook" - because I prefer mixed media / collage to pure sketching.  Besides, I rather suck at pure sketching.  Doodling, rough depictions of simple things, I can do that.  But real sketching?  Umm, that's a challenge for me.

Want more info on The Sketchbook Project: 2011 ???  Link up right here 

So I'm pretty sure my recent creative slump is just about over now.  I spent time in the studio yesterday .. about an hour .. playing with a canvas that one of the granddaughters began a week ago.  OMG, was it wonderful to just get in their and play around a bit. 

I think I'm back ... and I thank you, friends, for all your kind encouragement last week.

-- Princess Magpie

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creative Slump

so I've been in a creative slump lately.  if i were a writer, it'd be writer's block.  since i'm a "creative", i guess this is a creative's block.  hmmm.

but i have been diligent about going over the e-course FLYING LESSONS that Kelly Rae Roberts has going on. { }. yes, i have been making sure i have the info saved to a file (for my eyes only) ... and this way, in a binder, i can review it over and over again.  (yes, kelly rae gave us permission to do that, by the way - so long as we didn't share the info with others).

back to my creative's slump.   could be the weather - could be my migraines - could be plenty of things.  mostly, i think, it's GUILT over not being a good housekeeper, struggling to do more around the house, which then sets off all my joints -- bah humbug - this getting old(er) is for the birds.  (albeit NOT for the magpies - who never hurt!).

so i'm adding an "I Read Kelly Rae" button to my sidebar this morning.  it's about all i have, dear readers, to add to my blog today.

missing you - missing my creative spark - but hoping it will return soon.

Davielle - your Princess Magpie

{at right, my 'beloved' mixed media art teacher, JANE LA FAZIO - I'm guessing she rarely, if ever, has a 'creative slump' ... i'm just saying ... i mean, JUST LOOK AT HER.  Such energy and such enthusiasm and such joy.  :-) !!}

Saturday, June 5, 2010

up, up, and away ... FLYING LESSONS, here I come !!!

Yes, that's right.  I've signed up for Flying Lessons.  It's a way cool e-course.  You read that right. You can learn to FLY online now.

Okay, so the full title of the class is FLYING LESSONS: Tips + Tricks to Help Your Creative Business Soar, and it's taught by the amazing KELLY RAE ROBERTS of mixed media fame.

Click on the FLYING LESSONS button on my sidebar to go to Kelly's site and find out more details.

I signed up a week late, so I have some catching up to do ... so I better sign off for now.
{that's me and Kelly Rae in Los Gatos, CA back in February 2010, at An Artful Journey}

I hope you'll join me on this adventure ...

-- Davielle

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BSM: Best Shot Monday 5-10-10

Okay, I know - I'm a day late.  But I think this photo is worth the wait ... I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying it.

Ready?   So here it is:

These are the Mother's Day flowers that I received from some of the kids / grandkids on Sunday.  Aren't they luscious?

So there is my first BEST SHOT MONDAY image in I don't know how long ...

--  Princess Magpie

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I thank you all for your patience, your support, and your encouragement over the last 6 weeks ... it was a couple of weeks before St. Patrick's Day when I first "hatched" the idea for MAGPIE'S ART NEST, and since then, I have looked at residential properties with the business in mind.  I do admit that looking at properties without an investor is premature, however, in the name of research, it makes sense to me.   

In working up a Business Plan, I found it far easier to work the numbers when I had a specific property in mind - because it allowed me to project based on actual classroom space/s.   Now that my "ideal" property sold ... for far less than the original asking price, I might add ... {okay, YES, I am still 'CREST'-fallen about it, I admit ...} ... now that it's sold, it's a challenge for me to "work up projected income" based on ... an unknown variable such as the premises themselves.

But I persevere, and I remain vigilant and hopeful.   The actual "ideal property" is still out there ... I just have to find it.

Of course, as one of our grandchildren said to me just yesterday, "wow, Oma, you're really serious about this business arent' you ?!"    {out of the mouths of babes ...}  She went on to say "it sounds like the ship's about to leave and Papa's still on the dock" -- again, 'out of the mouths of babes'.   No truer words have (lately) been spoken !!!   Mark's not "on board" with my business vision ... I'd say "yet", but I am not so sure he ever will be.

And still -- I remain optimistic.

Obviously it's going to take a partner - an investor for the real estate, and possibly a business partner.

Meanwhile, I do thank you for your support and encouragement and enthusiasm.

I wish I had more to "report" at this time, so with that in mind, I'd better get back to some numbers-crunching.

Your --

Princess Magpie

images from Google search ... "magpie" and "stone cottage".

The stone cottage is from in Heath, Massachusetts ... it's a wonderful-looking vacation rental that I happened upon while googling "stone cottages". 

Here's a little more about Serenity Stone Cottage: The Serenity Stone Cottage is tucked into five private acres of meadow, pond, and forest in the historic town of Heath, Massachusetts (population 805) in the Berkshires. Located just off the scenic Mohawk Trail, this hidden treasure was built in 1933 and eventually became a summer home to renowned theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, author of the Serenity Prayer. The Serenity Prayer (in its original version) was written at the stone cottage, and first preached by Mr. Niebuhr in the Heath Union Church in 1943. This all-season cottage has been lovingly maintained to reflect its original warmth, charm, and unique sense of peace and quiet.

The exterior design of the cottage is European in style, with a beautiful stone fa├žade, cedar shakes, balcony porches, a hidden stone stairway, and a courtyard garden. All-around windows look out from the main living room to a cedar grove, a field of wildflowers, a small (seasonal) pond, and the woods beyond. The cottage is surprisingly spacious (approximately 1500 square feet on three levels) and there are skylights throughout.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Are you a Brave Girl?

Just before my 8-week series of workshops with the amazing Jane LaFazio ended -- back at the end of March -- Jane told me about a very wonderful experience that her friend just had.  Her friend had attended BRAVE GIRL CAMP, and because I am feeling brave these days, I ran home and looked it up.   Wow, did I like what I saw !!!

Someday {and it's looking like it will be in 2011, since all their Brave Girl Camp dates are SOLD OUT for 2010} I, too, will go to Brave Girl Camp.  

You should visit their website to check out what they're all about and what they have to offer.   Creative souls especially will find it nourishing.

For a little taster, here's a post that I found in my in-box just today:

Dear Super-Smart Girl,

Did you know there's a part of you that is even smarter than your brain? Did you know that the wisdom that comes from this part of you will get you through all of life's bumpy roads, and the smooth sailing roads, too?

Your gut...that deepest place of knowing that's nestled right next to your beautiful heart is the place where your most important thinking should be done. Your brain should be taking orders from your gut and your heart...not the other way around.

You know so much more than you think you know.

You ARE SO MUCH MORE than you think you are.

You are so much braver than you think you are.

You are so much smarter than you think you are.

You are so much more wonderful than you think you are.

So....start thinking with the smart parts of you ..... you can never go wrong.

xoxo - Melody and Kathy

Okay, so is it just me?  Or is that rather powerful?   I am in "writing a business plan" mode, for sure.  And I am itching to find and make time to JUST. BE. CREATIVE.   I have now organized my "projects in progress" {and whoa, do I have plenty of 'em!} into nice handy stackable plastic tote boxes.  I can see through the lids, and I just about drool each time I walk by.   And what the heck, who am I fooling?  I also have "yet to be completed" projects in ... my upstairs craft spot, our bedroom, and my office.  Oh, and let's not forget the dining room.   What can I say?  I like to see my options.  LOL.
Anyway - I'm rambling.  Visit BRAVE GIRLS' website and check 'em out.
Princess Magpie

Monday, April 5, 2010

getting a JUMP START on my art career !!!


I am thrilled to say that I have signed up for JANE DAVILA's } new online workshop, JUMP START YOUR ART CAREER.  
that's Jane ...

Here are the workshop details:

Jump Start your Art Career

What do you want out of your art career? Do you want to exhibit more often? Sell more art? Teach workshops? Get published? Create a polished, professional online prescence? This practical, hands-on class will guide you through an individualized course of study to attain these aspirations & more. Start by defining and setting your specific goals, create your brand, come up with a marketing plan and put it into action, all with step-by-step guidance from an industry expert.

Learn how to -

create a brand that will help you stand out from the crowd
outline a marketing plan to help you reach your goals
put together a professional portfolio
find, research and approach art galleries
start an etsy store and promote it
build up a mailing list and use it effectively
analyze the success of your marketing plan
get published - start small and think big

With interactive lessons, homework, brainstorming, critiques and more you will be well on your way to realizing your art career goals.

On each of the six Mondays you will receive an email with the PDF lesson and worksheet for the week. The interactive part of the class will mainly be run from a private blog where everyone registered for class will have the opportunity to see the lessons in visual form, anyone comfortable with having the work they're doing for class will have it posted, and comments on each lesson will be highly encouraged to foster discussion, brainstorming and feedback.

The blog will have updates from me, relevant to that week's lesson, every weekday and I will be available for email consultation and help during the entire 6 weeks. The blog will remain available for three weeks after class has finished.

The PDFs and worksheets will help you focus on your own specific goals and the steps you will be taking to attain them, while the blog will help you track your progress, and your fellow students', with our real-life examples.

6 online lessons beginning Monday, April 5  / $60.00

the workshop includes pdf handouts, worksheets, resources and references plus a forum for sharing questions, answers and progress all in a supportive, encouraging and empowering environment.

How's all THAT for content?!  I am so excited ...

Jane is the author of several art technique / art quilt technique books ... here's the cover of one: 

-- Princess Magpie

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You really really might want to visit my friend Nina Reeba's blog (some of you know her as San Diego radio's RUTH 66, of the DSC show that used to air on KGB ???).   Her blog is all about her artful life, and her life here in San Diego.  It's beautifully done, and the photographs she posts are (mostly) her own.  Take a look ...

this artwork, "Salmon Botanical", is a piece that Nina/Ruth has on her blog right now ... I doubt it's still available, but isn't it gorgeous?! 

Nina has been doing magnificent work for over a year, and I am so glad we met up in an art class (2009) taught by local artist Lisa Bebi.   Now we can ALL say we are "local artists".   Nina's been selling her work lately, and one day, some day ... I will have one, too !!!

And as for Nina's coverage of this year's ACADEMY AWARDS - I doubt anyone could have done it better.  Or more like I would have done it.  Focused on the clothes, baby.  RIGHT ON, Nina.  Love your post about the Oscars.  :-) 

But even more, I love the comment you closed with ...

"I fully support anyone who chooses a creative outlet! Who knows, your dreams might come true too." 
-- Nina Reeba / Ruth 66

And Nina's has pointed us to this great source of inspiration: ... check it out !!!

In closing today's post, I want to add one more image of Nina's art:

this is "Pink Dreams"

I hope you've enjoyed today's walk with my friend Nina Reeba. 

-- Princess Magpie

Monday, March 15, 2010

Announcing ... Princess Magpie's Nest & Studio

You read it right, friends. 

I am taking my art- and soul-filled adventure in a new direction.  An "additional" direction, if you like.

I have ... started a new blog with my new business in mind ... ... I know, that's a long long long address ... I'll do something about that when I can figure out how to make it SHORTER via some kind of link-up ... Ann ???

If you visit the new blog, via the handy dandy link above, you can read the beginnings of this new venture.

I have also "opened" my very own ETSY shop, called Princess Magpie's Nest ... you can visit it at ... although the "shelves" are still empty :-) !!!

So far, I've shared my dream (in most of its entirety) with only the grandchildren, two of our daughters, my husband (yes, Mark; and he is intrigued and engaged in the ideas I presented), and my friend Nina, who I frequently "art" with and whose input I appreciate and value.

But the more I "speak" the dream, the more "real" it gets for me, and I can hardly sleep any more.

More to come ...  more to come ...

-- Princess Magpie

Sunday, February 28, 2010

JUST AS I AM ... as borrowed from Andrea Schroeder's blog

I've been "arting" a lot the last ten days, and so have fallen behind on ... e-mails, phone calls, housework (did I just say that?! like it's something I regularly do?! LOL ...), and especially, blogging - and sharing photos of my recent art adventures. 

This morning, I was stopped firmly in my 'I Have So Much To Do Today" tracks by this one e-mail ... I get messages from Andrea Schroeder, and this has been of the most personal and eye-opening (for me) yet.

I have lifted it, in its entirety, from Andrea's message:

just as i am
Posted: 26 Feb 2010 05:00 AM PST

my friend robbin participated in this amazing project called just as i am. this is from the just as i am website:

"Over the past few years I have been amazed at the number of people who have come into my studio with “body issues”, I’m always amazed at this and am saddened by how many people don’t see the beauty that is inside of them. Just As I Am is a project that has come out of this desire for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds to come together in a project to see that we are more similar than we are different. Through this project I hope that more people will also have a greater appreciation for the beauty and complexity that is the human body and come to a place of feeling that we are all beautifully made.

Thousands of years ago Job wrote “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” Most of us seem to be able to accept this, it’s the in between time that many of us struggle with.

Most of the time between birth and death it seems we are all slotted somewhere in the pecking order from first class to baggage and one of the beautiful things about this project is that whether a millionaire or a homeless person we will all be depicted as equal; there will be no suits or jewellery to hide behind, it will simply be a person photographed “Just as they are”.

Who we are is so much more than simply our bodies or what we look like, the reality however is that when people look at us the first thing that they see is our appearance. I have found in the past that when I’m with clients photographing nudes that it is much easier to see into the soul of my clients. It seems that when there is nothing to hide behind the real person emerges.

This project involves a 10 minute photo session for each participant and each person is asked to come with a couple of sentences or phrases that they think are descriptors of who they are.

Our hope is in the next few months to put together a gallery show of images from the sessions and if all goes well possibly a book as well as the website where many images will be posted along with the phrases of who the subject is."

they did put together a gallery show!

and that show opens tonight.

I (Andrea) am in turkey and not able to be there but i wanted to join in on the celebration somehow so i thought i’d share it with you here. if i was at home, tonight i would be going out for dinner with robbin to celebrate this amazing event, to celebrate that openness and willingness to be seen just as we are. and to acknowledge the courage it takes to do this.

we tend to think of bravery as being strong and taking action and doing big things out in the world. but this is real bravery. opening up, being real and allowing yourself to be seen.

please use the comment section to send robbin your congratulations and good wishes. and if you’re in winnipeg – go see the show!

andrea schroeder creates creativity workshops, downloadable creativity kits, art and guided meditations to support you in knowing and remembering that you are a creative being and you can create anything.

I will be referring to this post from over on my other blog, because I believe everyone I know and love is, and even those who visit my blog/s that I do not (yet) know -- can relate to this concept in one way or another.  Wow.

-- your ever-faithful and oft-gathering-to-embellish the nest ...

PRINCESS MAGPIE (aka, Davielle)