Category Archives: art

Morning Beauty

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Happy Weekend!  Just thought I’d pop in and share a few photos I took earlier in the week.  I’m trying to get back into a morning walk routine – not only for the exercise, but so I can also enjoy fresh air, birdsong and nature regularly. That said, rising earlier and getting out for a walk was particularly well-rewarded on Tuesday.  It was a foggy morning, and as I walked in a particular area I was treated to the sight of dozens of dew-laden spider webs. What a stunning sight!

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I also saw some thrill-seeking adrenaline-junkie snails climbing up these dried brush stems – a good four or five feet off the ground.  It made me giggle to see those daring snails.

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And yes, the California drought continues but (plant) life goes on.

I’ve been missing doing photography lately – particularly nature photography.  I hope to get back to this beloved pastime soon, and will be sure to share the best images here.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Warm regards,
Melody

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My Article in Where Women Create Magazine

Where Women Create article
I’m pleased to share that my creative space and article have been published in the May/June/July 2015 issue of Where Women Create magazine.  I’ve come to know the magazine’s creator and publisher, Jo Packham, through my work at Sizzix – what an amazing, talented, and stylish woman!  I’m honored to be included in her beautiful publication.  The article runs from page 82 to page 89.

Given that my creative space is tucked into our small apartment my “studio” space isn’t nearly as grand as many of those featured in WWCreate, but I’m hoping readers will find the article and photos interesting and inspirational nonetheless.

If you’re new to my blog, and have found your way here through the magazine and article, welcome!  I’ve been focusing on quilting lately, but have a wide variety of posts in my archives, including:

Art
Crafts
Recipes
DIY projects, including jewelry and more!
Photographic Tours of places I’ve visited (Europe, Peru, Ireland, New York City, New Orleans, etc.)

You can learn a bit more about me on the About Page, and read about the book I published here.  I have photos of my creative work in the Gallery, including photography, mixed media, collage, and art journals.  Information about my art journaling program for at-risk kids (including a brief video) can be found here.

Whether you’re a long-time blog follower or a new visitor, I thank you for joining me on this creative journey called life – and for stopping by!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Art Journaling Supply Drive for 2014-15!

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Hurray for ART! I’m pleased to share that I will be able to teach at my Santa Ana school this year after all, in addition to the two classrooms I’m already donating vacation days for in Ontario. My fabulous employer is going to cover my usual work hours for the 3 days I’ll need to work with the kids in Santa Ana this school year – woo hoo! The school is going to provide the core items needed for the kits out of their budget (sketchbook, scissors, crayons, and glue sticks), and I’m going to do all I can to help provide the other supplies that the kids have such fun creating with – things like mini ink pads, ribbon, fabric, and more.

And that’s where I hope you’ll come in, dear reader. Please consider donating supplies or a gift card to help bring art journaling to the entire 4th grade at Wilson Elementary School. If you’re not familiar with my art program for kids, please take a peek HERE and read about my volunteer work with the kids.

SUPPLY WISH LIST

Cotton fabric squares – 4 or 5”
Ribbon – at least ½” wide, please…
Playing Cards
Loteria/Mexican Bingo sets
Patterned paper – 8 ½” x 11” or smaller
Punchinella
Envelopes
Stickers
Cancelled postage stamps

Gift cards for Michaels – to purchase mini ink pads for each child
https://merchant.sgiftcard.com/chrome/michaels
(I’ll happily receive e-gift cards at this email address: melody @ melodynunez dot com)

I’m gathering supplies for 150 kits (four classrooms full of fourth graders!).
Please let me know if you’d like to help me bring art supplies and instruction to the kids.
I’ll be happy to provide my mailing address if you email me via my Contact page.

Thanks a bunch!

Warm regards,
Melody

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A New Assemblage & Etsy Shop Sale!

Mystery1

Hi everyone,

I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer.  It’s been pretty hot here in Southern California for the past few months, and I’m definitely ready for cooler temperatures.  I hope we have a cool fall and winter, and hope we get some much needed rain!

New Assemblage

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Today I’m sharing my most recent assemblage – a piece I’m calling Mystery.  The main image is comprised of two different vintage photos – one photo of a little girl on her First Communion day, and another photo that I believe was taken by my grandfather on Guam in the 1940s.  I’ve combined these images with decorative elements like three desert roses (gypsum), washi tape, metallic joss paper, rhinestones, and other decorative elements.  Mystery is now available for sale in my Etsy shop – and speaking of my Etsy shop…

Assemblages on Sale in My Etsy Shop!
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For the first time ever I’m offering a sale on the assemblages in my Etsy shop!  I currently have six assemblages available, and they’re all on sale at a significant savings.  The pieces are usually $140 – $160, and they’re all on sale for $95.  That’s a savings of $45 or more per piece!  So if you’d like to add a one-of-a-kind piece of art to your collection, or want to start a collection, now’s the time!  Hurry over to my Etsy shop, take a peek, and order your favorite today.  :]

I hope all is well with you and yours, dear readers.  Until next time…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Santa Ana Art Journal Show

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I visited my Santa Ana school last Friday, and attended art journal shows for all four of my fourth grade classes.  It was super exciting to have all 4th graders participate in art journaling this year, and feedback from the children and their teachers was incredible.  The kids had a blast creating art and expressing themselves, and were excited to share with me and the others in attendance at our shows.

The teachers had nothing but positive things to say as well.  Woo hoo!  They loved seeing the children so enthusiastically engaged and – given the current academic climate that’s so testing-focused – appreciated that their students had the opportunity to express themselves creatively in an unstructured way.

Again, thank you SO much to those of you who’ve helped me bring art journaling to my Santa Ana and Ontario schools this year and in years past.  I estimate that a little over 500 students have received art instruction and supplies since I started volunteer teaching back in 2003, which makes my heart happy. :] Thank you for your help and support!

Here’s a small sampling of the pages that were created by my Santa Ana students, since I can’t share art from all 14o of them.  They’re such wonderful artists!

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abigail

littlebrother

sunrise

turkey

waterbottle

colorful

beach

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at some of the art my students created.  I also hope you have a wonderful week!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Ontario Art Journal Show & Program Update

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I recently visited the school in Ontario where I have two classrooms of 4th grade art journaling students. It was the day of our art journaling shows, and a great time was had by all! I loved seeing the amazing pages my young students had created. They were excited to share, and naturally I had to take some pictures of their work to share with all of you.

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I think their journals and pages are charming and inventive, and I’m thrilled that 70-ish kids at this school received art instruction and enrichment. Art seems like it should be a given in schools, but sadly it’s NOT – so huge thanks to all of you who supported my art journaling program this year and in years past. We’ve made a difference in the lives of many! Stay tuned for pictures from the art journal shows that are coming up at my Santa Ana school, where I have four classrooms of 4th graders participating in the art journaling program. The photos should be posted in early to mid June.

Program Update
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During this coming school year I’ll be teaching one classroom of students, in my aunt’s classroom in Ontario. Given that I won’t have dedicated art supply storage space in a garage after our upcoming move, and that I’ve been giving up much of my vacation time to volunteer teaching for the past four years, I’m going to be putting my program on hold. Changes in life circumstance and fewer donations have given me cause to evaluate the trajectory of this program, and it seems that this is a good time to pause. I’ll let you know if/when I restart.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness, generosity, and enthusiasm many of you have shown over the years.  Together we’ve brought art supplies and instruction to over 500 at-risk children!  Hurray!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Marcelino’s Garden

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In my mind the word “art” encompasses so much more than mediums like drawing and painting.  I think artful endeavors also include things like cooking, working with textiles, making music and so on.  Some of us have green thumbs and bring beauty to the word via plant life.  My father-in-law, Marcelino, is one of those people – gardening is his art.

I’ve been a fan of my father-in-law’s garden since I first started dating my husband nearly 18 years ago.  I’ve enjoyed countless visits to my husband’s childhood home over the years, where his parents still reside, and during each visit I take time to admire my father-in-law’s “living canvas”.  His garden is a bit different each time I visit, and I always enjoy the arrangement, the colors, the scents, and the textures.

He moves some of his plants around, includes a variety of both ornamental and edible plants, and cultivates a playful feeling in his garden.  Chile plants and tomatoes help to nourish loved ones – beauties like roses, calla lilies and geraniums give our eyes something to feast on.  And while the contents of Marcelino’s garden are primarily plants accented with garden sculpture, you may also find a chandelier hanging from an avocado tree or see an old plastic toy lizard left over from my hubby’s childhood glowering menacingly at you from the crook of a tree.  Those whimsical touches are among my favorites.

The photos in this post were taken over Easter weekend.  I used a macro lens on my iPhone to capture these “up close and personal” images of some of the plants that my father-in-law nurtures and tends to.  I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Marcelino’s favorite way to make art…

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Tomato plant

amaryllis

Amaryllis

cactus

Cactus

tendril

Passion Flower tendril

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Rosebud

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Tiny orange chile

dandelion

Dandelion

seedling

Seedling

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Chile flower

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Calla lily leaf

I hope you’re all having a great week thus far…

Warm regards,
Melody

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This and That: Spring ’14 Edition

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Greetings, dear readers!  I hope this post finds you well and happy.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  Today’s post is a small collection of odds and ends – some news, and links to things that I’ve been wrapped up in lately.  Here goes…

Art Supply Drive: Big thanks to the six wonderful souls who’ve donated to the art supply drive that I’m wrapping up.  I really appreciate you!  I’ll be able to teach art journaling to one class of 4th graders next school year.  Thank you for your generosity and kindness.  :]  If you intend to donate but forgot, and would still like to, you may do so quickly, easily, and securely HERE.

Spring Cleaning Fever: Have you ever heard of 40 Bags in 40 Days?  It’s a challenge that folks take part in to pare down their belongings and reduce clutter, by “filling up” 40 bags with belongings in 40 days.  I decided to participate by going through and purging in 40 different “spots” here at home.  Spots included the clothes closet, dresser drawers, bookshelves, the garage, my art supply storage, etc.  I was aggressive with what I decided to get rid of, and probably cleared out about three small truckloads of items – most were donated.  It feels great to have passed along things we’re not using so that someone else can benefit from them.  And it will be less for us to move, too!

Minimalism & Tiny Houses: Along with the purge came some research into minimalism, Tiny Houses, and full-time RV living.  I’m not sure we’ll ever get all the way to any of those things, but the idea of simplifying and reducing overhead in order to spend more time enjoying life sounds really good, so we’re taking baby steps in that direction.

This Girl Needs a Garden: I’ve been longing for a garden for the longest time – but apartment living makes that a challenge.  Enter Square Foot Gardening, which was brought into being by Mel Bartholomew.  I recently purchased his book, and am hoping that our next apartment home has a patio that will accommodate some raised bed planters (with both space and the sunlight needed) so I can give this gardening method a try.  Here are the rings I’d like to grow in my first 16 or so “squares”: carrots, parsley, cilantro, kale, lettuce, red bell peppers, chile peppers, onions, garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, spinach, zucchini, arugala, and strawberries.  Have any of you tried Square Foot Gardening?  How did it go?

A Crafty & Cool Conference:  I recently attended Craftcation in Ventura, CA.  Craftcation is a conference for creative folks and small business owners – it combines business classes and hands-on classes for crafters and foodies.  I had a wonderful time and learned so much!  I took several classes, including a class for Etsy sellers and hands-on classes on image transfers and reverse appliqué.  The teacher of my image transfers class has a fab book out if you’d like to check it out – Playing with Image Transfers by Courtney Cerruti.

That’s all for now.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Warm regards,
Melody

*Please note: The links above are just for your reference – they won’t generate income for me.  :]

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New Assemblages: Frontiers & Broken Foundation

Today I’m pleased to share two new assemblages:  Frontiers & Broken Foundation. They’re the newest additions to the series of assemblages I’ve been working on since late December, and they’re the fourth and fifth assemblages I’ve added to my Etsy shop.

Frontiers

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I can’t recall where I found this black and white photo, but when I found it I knew I had to buy it.  I’d never seen anything quite like it, and knew it would be a strong foundation for a piece of art.  This lady from long ago is standing on her homestead, in the snow, looking off into the distance.  Such a lovely image – one that I’ve enhanced with elements like a vintage mirror, butterfly, bullet shells, vintage ledger paper, vintage cloth tape measure, a button, and a mini saw blade.

butterfly

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 Broken Foundation

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This is another photo I just had to buy.  This little girl has such personality – hands on hips in her cute dress.  Her image has been paired with a ribbon bow, vintage buttons, broken china pieces, a blue lens, and gold photo frames with words/phrases in them.  I also stamped on the photo with permanent black ink…

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These assemblages are each priced at $140 and are available for purchase in my Etsy store.  Please pop over and take a peek!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week, dear readers.  Happy Spring!

Warm regards,
Melody

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My Art Journaling Program: Art Supply Drive & Something a Bit Different for This Fall

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Greetings, dear readers!  I hope you’re all well and happy.  Although it’s only March, I’m kicking off my Art Supply Drive for the 2014-2015 school year.  I know – crazy, right?  I hope you’ll participate and help children in need.  Please keep reading to get the scoop on what I’ll be doing differently this fall, and why I’m hosting my drive now instead of in August.

First Things First: A Bit About My Program
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I volunteer teach art journaling to at-risk elementary school students.  Art journaling – a combination of visual art and traditional journaling – nurtures creativity, strengthens language and fine motor skills, and bolsters a child’s self-esteem while providing a positive form of self-expression. Art journaling is a valuable tool that provides positive focus, promotes personal growth, and encourages non-violent conflict resolution through visual and verbal expression.

Donations and art materials are gathered from wonderful folks like you, and I typically teach as many classrooms of students for which we have supplies (six classrooms in the 2013-2014 school year).  Each student is provided with a blank journal and a packet of art supplies upon the first visit. The children are taught art journaling in the early part of their school year, and then I return to the class during the last month of school for an art journal show – to see what they’ve created and to celebrate their artistic accomplishments.

The kids have the best time creating, and love using their art supplies.  They truly love art journaling, and this creative outlet gives them a chance to shine and to express themselves – priceless!

Why So Early?
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I’ll be moving in July (will still be in OC), and am unlikely to have garage space in the new complex – which affects my ability to store art supplies for my program.  I’ll need to assemble the art supply kits for next year and pass on any remaining supplies before the move.  Since July will be here before I know it I’m asking for your help now.

Just Two Classes This Fall
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I’ll be teaching fewer classes this fall since I’m going to take a short trip/mini sabbatical in November and will need the vacation days I usually donate to my program in order to make this happen.  I need to recharge my batteries, but will still teach two classes at the school in Ontario where my aunt is a 4th grade teacher.

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Wish List
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Because I was able to store supplies and hold some extra items back from last year, I already have a number of the supplies I’ll need for the 80 art supply kits.  For example, I already have all the scissors, decorative paper and cardstock, tags, pencils, mini ink pads, paper punches, playing cards, and more.  My wish list is much shorter this year, and I’d be SO thankful if you’d help me fill in the gaps to ensure that two classrooms of children receive the gift of art journaling this fall.

*Please note: I don’t expect any one person to supply the entire dollar amount for the journals, all the glue sticks, etc.  You’re welcome to donate in any amount or quantity. :]

  • $250 to buy 80 journals/sketchbooks
    (gift cards to Office Depot, checks, or donations via GoFundMe)
  • 100 glue sticks – any brand
  • 70 8-count packs of Crayola Crayons
  • $35 for the large Ziplock bags that hold each child’s supplies
    (Target gift card, check, or donation via GoFundMe)
  • 160 Fabric Squares: please mail these to my P.O. Box  
    (3 kind and generous people are donating these – hurray!)
  • $15 to buy single window business envelopes
    (Office Depot Gift card, check, or donation via GoFundMe)

Art Supply Drive Deadline & Mailing Address
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I’d love to receive all donations by April 15, 2014.

You may donate quickly, easily, and securely via my page at GoFundMe – just click here.

If you’d like to order a gift card online and have it mailed directly to me, or plan to send supplies like crayons, glue sticks, or fabric squares please use this address:

Melody M. Nuñez
P.O. Box 60030
Irvine, CA 92602

Thank you for your consideration!

Warm regards,
Melody

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