Tag Archives: Jenny Doh

Creative Pilgrimage Giveaway Winner!

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I’m pleased to announce the winner of this month’s giveaway. The prize?
A signed copy of the book Creative Pilgrimage!

Congratulations, Karen Pruzansky, you won!  I’ll mail out the book once I’ve received your mailing address, and hope you enjoy your copy of Creative Pilgrimage.

Thank you to all of you who entered the drawing – I really enjoyed reading about your favorite colors. I LOVE color, and though I’m a fan of almost all colors, pinky-purple, black, and silver are among my favorites!

I hope you all have a wonderful and colorful week…

Warm regards,
Melody

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An Artful Earthquake: a class review & flea market finds!

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Some of my weekends rate higher on the creative Richter scale than others, and this past weekend was full of seismic activity!  I’m still feeling the aftershocks four days later, and am thankful for all the creative bounty rumbled its way into my life.  I attended a great class and hunted for arty treasure at a swap meet – such fun!

Saturday: An amazing class taught by Lisa Engelbrecht…

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I was a lucky attendee of the first class to be taught at Jenny Doh’s home studio.  Lisa Engelbrecht taught the all-day lettering & mixed-media class, and she’s as nice and as personable as she is talented.  The class included lessons on lettering, foiling, working with acrylic inks to make washes, collage, and more!  I enjoyed myself and learned a lot – what a great combo!  It was a special treat to meet Lisa E., whose work I’ve admired for years, and to meet my fellow crescendoh.com Design Team member, Lisa Guerin.

Jenny did a great job of hosting the class at her home studio, and the other attendees and I were impressed with her attention to detail and “above and beyond” offerings.  She provided goodies in the morning (including yummy scones), snacks and beverages during the day, and made everyone feel very welcome.  Ordering lunch from a local eatery was optional – I opted in, and the sandwich I ordered was both delicious and huge and also came with chips and a big cookie.

Another nice touch: Jenny took a photo of our group, and printed up a copy of the photo for each of us.  Combined with an “Art Saves” postcard, it made a lovely takeaway, and a great reminder of a wonderful class experience.

Click here to read Jenny Doh’s blog post about the day and see her pictures.
Click here to read Cynthia Shaffer’s blog post about the day and see her pictures.

Rating: 9.0 on the Artistic Richter scale

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Sunday: A trip to a local swap meet with my hubby…

One of my favorite pastimes is scouring swap meets, flea markets, and antique stores for odds and ends I can use in my artwork.  Some of my favorite past finds have included vintage buttons, sewing notions, black and white photos, and handkerchiefs, but I’m open to just about anything that catches my eye.  I try to limit my spending, and was on a tight budget last weekend, but managed to find some great additions to my art stash.

Spools of silky thread: The original price on these was $1 each, but hubby haggled and talked the vendor down to both colors for $1. Score!  There were additional spools for sale (mostly in a deeper orange), but I limited myself to these two in the interest of economics and our limited storage space.

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Vintage photos: I’m a sucker for vintage black and white photos, and happily pawed through a box of vintage photos at another stall.  I knew I had to limit myself, given my budget and my existing, well-developed collection of photos, and narrowed my selections down to six snapshots.  Hubby asked me how I choose the photos as I was looking, and I explained that I’m just drawn to some images more than others.  I also told him that I love finding photos of people of color.  Though I’m white, my family is a melting pot of different races, which I love.  Additionally, it’s harder to find vintage photos of non-Caucasian people so it’s especially fun when I do stumble across them.  The six photos I chose cost $2 total.

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Zipper: I’ve come across some online tutorials for making roses out of zippers, and knew it was time for me to try making one when I found I could buy a zipper with chunky, metal teeth for a mere 25 cents.

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Awl: (not shown) I found a small, wood-handled awl that will come in handy when poking, prodding, and piercing future artwork, and it was a bargain at $2.

It was a very satisfying morning: spending time with hubby, unearthing budget-friendly art supplies, enjoying the beautiful blue skies, and people watching.  I can’t wait to visit another swap meet – who knows what I’ll find!

Total spent on art supplies: $5.25

Rating: 6.0 on the Artistic Richter scale

Please post a comment on this post if you’d like to share some of your recent artistic experiences or your favorite flea market finds!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Art (& Heart) Education: My 2010-2011 Art Journaling Class for At-Risk Children

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As many of you know, one of my favorite ways to help others is by teaching art journaling to at-risk elementary school children. (Click here for a post about the project, and here to see a video of me talking about the project)

I taught my newest batch of students on December 17, 2010, and wanted to share how it went since many of my blog readers were kind enough to contribute to help provide the students with supplies.  In short, the class was an overwhelming success!  I arrived with a veritable heap of art supplies and goodies for the kids, and felt like Santa Claus!  It was a thrill to see the excitement and happiness on their faces.

What did the class receive?

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Here’s what I took to the kids and their teacher, Mrs. Kelly:

8 boxes of art supplies:
45 art journaling kits
3 boxes of “mush pot” supplies – odds and ends that the teacher and students can use
2 boxes of binders – 35 total (not shown)

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Each art journaling kit included the following (and more!):

A blank journal
Scissors
Crayons
Elmer’s glue stick
Mini inkpad
Paper punch
Pen
Pencil
Patterned paper
Doilies
Fabric
Aluminum foil
Ribbon
Joss paper
Stickers
Playing cards
Loteria cards (Mexican bingo)
Punchinella
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Art Journaling 101

I began by teaching the basics of art journaling, and illustrated my lesson with examples from my own art journals.  After a break for lunch, we began the hands-on portion and the kids had a blast!  They loved exploring the supplies they’d been given, and eagerly got to work.  I gave them prompts for completing two different pages (a list of favorites page and a collage page or spread) – when the two assignments were completed the children were allowed to start embellishing the cover of their journals.

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The classroom teacher, my aunt, was thrilled to see the kids so excited and engrossed.  One student, who is autistic, is often slow to start working on and to complete assignments, but he completed his first page in a flash and was on to the second page!  Another student, who has difficulty focusing on tasks for any length of time, was seen diligently decorating the cover of his journal – both intent and wholly engaged.

An appreciative teacher, and dozens of happy, thankful children…

All the students enjoyed themselves and were very appreciative.  I must’ve heard “Thank you, Mrs. Nuñez!” a few hundred times that day, and want to pass their thanks on to those of you who donated money, gift cards, or supplies.

Their teacher, Mrs. Kelly, was also incredibly appreciative – these are supplies they’d never have, if not for your help.  They didn’t even have scissors in the classroom!

I, too, thank you.  Together, we have made a difference in the lives of many!  I’d like to offer special thanks to Jenny Doh and those at crescendoh.com.  You went above and beyond, and I thank you!

What next?

Guided by their regular classroom teacher, the students will continue to work in their journals throughout the school year.  I’ll return to the class in May 2011 when we’ll have an art journal show.  Their parents will be invited, and other classes will view the work they’ve done this year as well.

I can’t shield these children from life’s challenges, but I am able to give them a positive learning experience and to give them a creative tool to help them cope with the ups and downs that will come their way.  Again, my sincere thanks to all those who helped make this class possible.

I’ll be sure to post any updates I receive mid-year, and will publish a post about the art journal show at the end of the school year.  In the meantime, if you’re interested in donating funds, gift cards, or supplies for the class I’ll be teaching in fall of 2011, please contact me.  Thank you for your consideration.

Warm regards,
Melody

Note: The artwork show above was created by my student, Savannah.

Posted in art, art journaling, art supplies, life in general, writing | Also tagged , 4 Comments

A New Project & My Pay It Forward Video!

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A New Design Team Project

Here is a new project I created for Jenny Doh over at crescendoh.com. It’s a photo card with a twist!  Rather than just featuring the photo by itself, I’ve stamped vellum and stitched it to the photo.  It’s easy to do, and adds both a message and texture.  To see more photos, and to read the project instructions, please click here.

Yours Truly on video…

As many of you know, I teach art journaling to at-risk elementary school children.  I’ll be teaching this year’s class this coming Friday, and am so excited!  I spoke about this project, and how it’s one of my favorite ways to Pay It Forward, on a video shot for crescendoh.com – you can watch the video by clicking here.  Thanks again to everyone who donated to this project – I couldn’t do it without you!

Please keep your eyes peeled for my future design team projects – they’ll be posted monthly!  And please look for a write-up about Friday’s art journaling class, coming later this month or early next month.

Warm regards,
Melody

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A New Project & a $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

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My November Design Team Project – Paper Ornaments

I recently created a new project for Jenny Doh over at crescendoh.com, and it’s been posted on her website.  You’re cordially invited to stop by and take a peek!  I used the Mason jar stamp from Jenny’s Little Miss Mason stamp set, and created three holiday-themed ornaments.

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This project is very versatile and requires few materials – two of my favorite characteristics when creating a project to share!  Please click here to see the project and read the instructions on how to make your own Mason jar ornaments.

$25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and I’m giving away a $25 Visa gift card to help a lucky winner with their shopping! How do you enter the giveaway?  Simply subscribe to my blog.  The winner will be drawn from among my blog subscribers on December 1st, so be sure to subscribe by midnight PST on November 30th.

Subscribing is quick and easy, and can be done using the subscribe feature on the right side of this main blog page or can be done on the subscribe page here.  Already a subscriber?  Thank you!  No need to take further action.

The winner will be announced on December 2, 2010. Good luck everyone!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Your “Good Deed for the Day” Opportunity Awaits!

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Today’s post is a friendly reminder that I’m still accepting donations for my upcoming art journaling class for at-risk children, which will take place in December.  (For a refresher, or if you missed the first post, please read all about it here)  I’m happy to share that readers of both my blog and Jenny Doh’s blog have donated, and I sincerely appreciate all those who have given funds or supplies.  Thank you for your support!

And while we’re off to a great start in providing supplies for the children, additional donations will help me provide them with more of the basics they need, and will help add a bit more “oomph” to their art journaling kits.  Won’t you consider a donation of a gift card or supplies?  Whether you donate $5, a manila envelope full of patterned paper you’re not using, or a $500 gift card to Dick Blick, you’ll help nurture the creativity and overall educational experience of children facing some serious challenges. Please take a peek at the wish list below:

Gift Cards:
Michaels, Target, or Office Max gift cards (in any amount)

Art supplies – in quantities of 45, please:
Crayons (8 count packs)
Stickers
Patterned paper
Cardstock
Sticker letters
Mini envelopes
Mini inkpads
Foot-long pieces of Punchinella

“Mush pot” art supplies:
Art and crafting supplies in any quantity.  These odds and ends (like paper, ribbon, and other goodies) might come from your personal art stash as you weed out things you aren’t using.

I’ll be accepting donations until November 21, 2010.  Please contact me through this site’s contact page if you’re interested in donating.  I’ll be happy to provide my mailing address.

Thank you for your consideration!

Warm regards,
Melody

* The artwork above was created by a student from the 2009-2010 art journaling class

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Introducing the Newest Member of the CRESCENDOh Design Team!

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I’m happy to announce that I was recently asked to join the Design Team at crescendoh.com.  Jenny Doh “proposed”, so to speak, and I happily accepted!

As a Design Team member I’ll use crescendoh.com products to create projects infused with my own personal aesthetic.  I will create something new each month, and will publish posts here that link you to the artwork and instructions.

My first featured project is a grid collage, and I used some of Jenny’s fabulous rubber stamps in my design.  The image above shows a small section of the collage.  Please click here to see Jenny’s unveiling of the piece, and here to see the collage with the directions on how to make a grid collage of your own.

I’m honored to be on the CRESCENDOh Design Team, and hope you enjoy the artwork you’ll see in the coming months!

Warm regards,
Melody

p.s. If you haven’t commented on my giveaway post, comment today – you’ll be in the running for Friday’s giveaway drawing!

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Art Journaling: Making a Difference in the Lives of Children

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As one who has been helped in many ways by many wonderful people during my lifetime, I feel very strongly about helping others.  I try to donate to charity and/or give my time to multiple causes each year.  Whether it’s buying Secret Santa gifts for homeless children, or donating food to the local food bank, I regularly take action on charitably-based opportunities.

My Favorite Way to Give

One of my favorite ways to donate time and money is through my own little art journaling project – something I first did back in 2003, and have done during three different school years thus far.  My aunt, who is an amazing elementary school teacher, would tell me about her students and the challenges they faced: poverty, abuse, gangs, drugs, and incarcerated or otherwise absent parents.  Their stories broke my heart, and I knew I had to do what I could to help.

I decided I’d teach the kids visual journaling: the combination of writing/journaling, drawing, and collage.  In addition to nurturing their creativity and language skills, I teach these classes in the hopes that I’ll give them a positive, creative outlet to help them process the crazy world we live in.  Art and writing have been essential to me as I’ve traveled through life, and I am hoping to plant these seeds in children that are facing so many challenges.

How the Class Works

Each student receives a blank journal and a packet full of art supplies that they keep at school until the end of the school year.  I teach the class – an introduction to art journaling – and provide a handout with a how-to overview and journaling prompts for future use.  When I visit the class for the first time they complete two or three journal entries, which helps to reinforce the different ways they can use their journal for fun and as a tool.

As the school year progresses, the children do additional work in their art journals and we finish with an end-of-year art journal show that I attend.  The first three end-of-year shows we’ve held were a great success, and it always fills my heart with joy to see the excitement and pride of the children as they share what they’ve created.

Others Are Lending a Hand

I donate my time and some of the supplies for this endeavor, and usually solicit donations from friends and family to fill in the gaps.  However, this year donations are going to a whole new level.  Jenny Doh from crescendoh.com has generously offered to provide supplies for the children’s art journal packets, and is also getting her readers involved.  She’s giving her readers an opportunity to get in on the giving, and has written a lovely blog post about my project here.  I’m so thankful for her shared enthusiasm about this project.  I know how big a difference it makes in the lives of these children, and I’m thrilled Jenny recognizes it too and is supporting the program.

How You Can Help

Because there is such great need, I hope you will consider making a donation too, dear readers.  Since crescendoh.com is coordinating the bulk of the donations and materials could be duplicated between our gathering efforts, please consider sending me a gift card to Michael’s or Target.  (If you’d rather send tangible art supplies, please contact me.)  Whether you send a gift card worth $5 or $50, you’ll be helping these children in a potentially life-changing way!

If you’re interested in donating, please email me through this website’s CONTACT page so I can provide my mailing address and so I’ll know to keep an eye out for your envelope or package.  I hope to receive all donations by November 21, 2010.

Please note: The art journal pages in the photo above were created by a student who participated in the 2009-2010 art journaling class.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Warm regards,
Melody

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