Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Start a Blog! Part One!

I saw a comment today from Cindy O. asking how I do so well at blogging!  I want to say thanks so much Cindy...I appreciate your confidence in me, though I don't really know what I'm doing~ to be honest, I'm just figuring it out as I go along! 

So, I know it can feel challenging, too time consuming, overwhelming to make a nice working blog; we come to a part where we get stuck, there's no one to help us, and we lose interest...I've been there.  It took me a long, long time to actually committ to the posting on a regular basis.  Then I wondered how 'out there' I should really put myself, you know, how far to go with the things I would talk about.  There are a number of things to take into consideration when you're first starting out like, name of blog, which company to go with, how to save photos for the web, making banners, tweeking photos, and then ....wondering how it all works and if yours will ever look half as good as some of the other great eye candy out there!!! 

Well, it's like anything else in life, you just have to the beginning.  Pick out a blog company. I was tired of paying for a website that I could not use, and was pretty irritated with the whole experience.  I didn't really understand what a blog was or what it could do for these things are useful, yada yada...I never did get that til just, today.  (More on that in a minute.)

So, picked blogger, and set up an account.  Decided on a name that the http will go to, you can always change the title of your blog later to whatever you want.  Once you are set up, just start to explore the buttons.  Another great trick is using the help button.  Click on this and put in a minimal description of what you want, it will provide a lot of solutions and prevent a lot of frustration. 

So, I took blogger, cause I liked the looks of it and it is free.  Love the free part!  As an artist, especially mixed media, we can end up spending and spending and spending...never coming close to a real return on the investment.  So, it's nice to try and cut corners everywhere you can.  I spent soooooooooo much money on my old website, was terribly disappointed with having no personal control over the site, and never getting the job done through the company's people...  So, I decided to cut my losses and find something free, over which I would have complete control.  Voila, this.  (There are a lot of others that are free I believe, but my tutorials will only concern blogger, since that's the only one I'm familiar with.)

So:  1. Get yourself an account
2. Don't fret over what you're gonna say, etc.  You can start several blogs if you like to discuss a myriad of other topics through the one account.  Just focus on your innitial message, why you really wanted to start the blog in the first place...for our purposes here, it's art.
3. Now come up with a name for your blog

OK.  You are off and running!!! How exciting!  And here's another tip:  Nobody knows you're even there you don't have to worry so much about how it looks etc., in the beginning. You can take your time and see how you feel about committing to a blog on a regular basis.  See what you have to say, and show, and how you feel about sharing it.  Look at other people's blogs for inspiration.  Just start with one blog you like, and check out the blogs that that blog follows.  You can continue into oblivion with this...once you get on that person's page, check the ones they follow, and on and on.  There are a lot of great blogs out there, I had no idea unitl today when I was picking out the ones I want to follow.  And...there is a wealth of information on them about things to do to your site, art projects to get into, and more.

Ok.  More in the next tutorial!!!  Let me know if you have questions, I'd be glad to help!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween is Coming!

So, it's getting to be that time...I can still see the leaves outside my window, but I know the clock is ticking, and one morning soon I will awake to the bare bones of tree skeletons!  But that's ok.  It just makes way several months later for the enjoyment of a new and lovely spring. 

So too should we remember to slough off all the 'dead skin' of this past years problems and hinderances...get down to the bare bones of who we are, what we truly care about, and build a finer spring to come.

Hope you are all geared up for Halloween!  Take care, and check back soon...I'm finishing projects, so hope to have lots to show in the near future!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's Happening???

Well, what's happening here? I've been working on some more of those fantastically fun fabric papers again! Made some more that I really like...

Will be making several small art quilt pieces, so I should have some of those for sale before Christmas!

See you later, Cynthia

Friday, October 22, 2010

Freaky Friday!!!!

Just kidding!  Hope it's not freaky!  I've been cleaning up the studio again this morning.  I started an online class by Danita...making an art quilt.  So....have been digging all manner of papers, fabrics, mediums and things out of all kinds of places...and as of this morning the place looked like a bomb went off!  But I am happy to say as of 1pm it's, looking much, much better.  Now if I could only get the rest of the house done!!!

It looks gorgeous outside today, I have the windows open, and it always makes the sweetest, freshest smell in my studio.  I need to try and make it into the great outdoors today! Have been cooped up in my studio for days, making fabric papers.

The papers are for the art quilt class.  I've had a lot of fun doing this, and it has kept me quite busy the last several days.  Below are some photos, the papers are just backgrounds, and are not actually done yet either...just to give an idea as to what fun I've been up to!

Take care and have a great weekend!  Cynthia

They all actually look better in person.  The photos came out a little wonky!

This is my favorite, I call it Chickie Paper, cause there's a little chick to the bottom left.  This might be the one I use for this particular project.

Planning on maybe adding a color wash or antique wash over this eventually.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Self Portrait!

I just love her. It's a self portrait that is done with prompts from Jenny Doh's class, "Crafting My Best Life," on CRESCENDOh. I talked all about CRESCENDOh in an earlier post, It's an online format for mixed media type art classes. I just signed up a week ago, and am almost caught up with the project, just from sheer love and excitement!!!

I must say as well, that I have never, ever done a piece with meaning in absolutely every tiny part of it before...until now. It's pretty incredible, and something that hadn't occurred to me previously. But I realized how much thought our teacher had put into hers, and it was truly inspirational.

Some details: The background is a lovely green wash that gets brighter as it ascends. This is to convey a sense of sunshine in the great outdoors...mainly the green grass, weeds, dirt, and rocks of my youth. This is where I'm most comfortable, this is what reminds me of the goodness of life, of being a little girl, and playing with simple grass, weeds, dirt and rocks.

The pencil is because I think I knew I was pretty good at writing from a fairly young age, and that I love love loved books/stories! The paint brush is because I've always been somewhat crafty...I used to do ceramics when I was pretty little. I enjoyed it a whole big lot!

The hair is in pony tails like I used to wear, with these cool pom pom rubber bands, represented by the do dads in her/my hair.

The jewel on the forehead is to represent my third's to say I have always been a spiritual person. "Cherish" is there to remind me that we should all be cherished as children, as adults, as human beings.

There's more to it, but I'll leave it here for now.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!



Hey there! Well, after a month of "A Post a Day!," I'm relieving myself of the everyday duty.  It has been fun, and has helped me to get on track.  And now that I am on track, I still plan to post in here at least 4 times a week, perhaps more, perhaps a little less...but will make the most of those posts, however many there are. 

I had a wonderful day on Sunday, at the Stockley Gardens Art and Craft show in Norfolk, Va.  There were many tallented artists, and just a gorgeous day to be out and about.  Also, my friend Denise Baldwin was there, showing her goodies, and I encourage you to check out her blog, she does great work!

Today found me very busy catching up with the class prompts for "Crafting My Best Life," which I keep talking about here in the blog.  It's been a wonderful journey, and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!  It's all about figuring out exactly who you are, what you value, and your mission in life.  Who's not been wondering about some or all of that their whole life long????

Enjoy!  Cyn

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday! Making Dolls...

Hi there!  I've been working on some dolls today...with success I must say.  One is close to complete...I'll try to post it tomorrow or the next day.  There's another, larger one that's perhaps half or a little more than half done.  The body is sewn together, but since they are prototypes, I have no idea exactly what I'm doing to them, or how they're bound to turn out.  I'm just winging it!  But am really liking the one doll quite a bit; her head is attached! and she is mainly canvas body, blue scarf...quite a cutie.  There's one head I've started...the bodies and heads are separate...and she's gonna be a geisha with crazy awesome hair.  I can't wait to post them!!! 

Also came up with a great idea for a purse today...and found the perfect fabric with which to carry out said idea right here in my stash.  It's some really pretty vintage fabric...I have a plain purse that I bought forever ago, just for the's been waiting for it's time to shine!  Waiting for that cool fabric I just bought back in August.  Am planning on using some art quilting techniques on it too...some things I already know, and some I'm hoping to learn in my class with Danita.

Well, I'm off to Stockley Gardens art show and several other things tomorrow.  Am hoping for nice weather and to see lots of great art!

Take Care, Cynthia

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday...give me some comments!

Here she is the hanger in her, but am not sure she should be called finished yet.  I wonder if she should have a little more hair in the open spots, and perhaps a message included somewhere.  Let's hear what you think!!!

Below is Poppy in progress!  From start to finish.

Her skirt was to be this in the beginning, and then I decided to add batting inside it, so had to cut another piece larger.  Somehow it ended up being the other fabric, but I think that was so she could have leopard stockings, and poppies in her hair!!!

I really like the color of her eyes here...though they became a much darker green in the end.  Maybe we'll try this color on another girlie!!!

Enjoy these as a little idea into how the process works, and give me some feedback on the --almost-- finished piece!!!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Princess Poppy"

"Princess Poppy"

Hey there!  This is the one I was promising earlier.  She may or may not be completed...I think there are some more finishing touches to come...just a few.  Plus, I have to make a sort of hanger for the top part too.  I was thrilled to get the hair on her today...she's been bald for quite some time.  Though I must tell you it has become harder and harder for me to put the hair on, because I'm discovering an affinity for them bald!  Their big heads are just so round and balloon-like, I love it!  So, I am thinking of doing some baldies in the future!

Her hair is made of some really nice yarn I bought not too long ago, just for doll making.  She's on loose, unmounted canvas, with 3D effects such as; her dress is made from sewed on cloth and filled with batting.  Her legs are from the top of a pair of pajamas that I only ever wore the bottoms to.  I never liked those p.j. tops that button up to sleep in, but the fabric was so cute, I had to save it.  And finally, something useful from it!!!

I do believe those are poppies in her hair, that's why she's princess poppy.  I'm thinking on many more of these, in a variety of sizes.  Lot's of stuff rattling around in my head these days...wanna see how much I can accomplish in the following year!!!

Take care, Cynthia's raining cats and dogs!!!

Good Day!

Hope things are going well for you today, wherever you are.  I was going to venture out of the house today, but it started raining, so I'll just stay here and work.  I've got several projects going anyway...and I need to finish 3 commissioned pieces. 

However, it ends up being a lot more than 3 finished pieces, just for the commissions.  It's cause I have a friend that wants me to make her a doll.  It's been a long time in the works, cause I don't usually make dolls for one, and I have somehow been stuck about it for another.  But, once I got back from Art Unraveled this year, I kind of got fixated on dolls a bit.  Have been working on a few different, it takes time.  Now I have 4 of one kind of doll probably more than half done, 3 of another kind very, very close to being finished (requires drilling!), one on unmounted canvas that I'm trying to finish today (I hope to post it later), and then I'm still not sure any of these will be what she had in mind.  She didn't give me much at all to go on, but I took it as her sort of trusting me to figure it out and do a great job anyway.  So, all that work needs to be finished in order to perhaps sell just one!  Art.  You gotta laugh!  But the projects will be done, and I'm actually hoping to see my stuff published this year. That's a big goal I have already set forth in achieving, so, I'll keep you posted!  Ok, off to work now...the rain has stopped so I won't have to be afraid of lightening at my studio window!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday - High Fashion!

Here's a collage I did (still not sure if it's finished!)...extremely mixed media...that is sort of a play on the fashion industry.  The black paint that looks like velvet is jet black gouache.  Yellow, white and red gouache were also used on the piece. Hope you like it!

See you tomorrow, I'll have more photos of new stuff!!!  Cynthia

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday...playing all day long!

I almost forgot to post's 11:32 pm...but I'm gonna make it!  I have worked on catching up in one of my cool CrescendoH classes all day long!!! I mean...all day! Almost non-stop.  It's been a whole lot of fun too.  I'm pretty beat right now, so I'll post a bunch of photos tomorrow.  Have been working so hard, and will have some things to show!  One of the things is a little self-portrait.  I've had a blast with her today, and she's totally mixed media for sure.  OK...I'm starving and tired! 

Talk more tomorrow, Cynthia

Monday, October 11, 2010

Slow Monday.

Slow, because I stayed up late last night working on some art.  I really like how this one girl is turning out too! She's got pink hair.  Love it.  It was one I've had for a while, worked on it one day...actually I was teaching a student with this piece as the example.  Then, I never worked on it again til last night.  She only had a basic sketch for a face...but now she really looks like somebody! 
Oh...I'm taking a couple of online classes through something new called CRESCENDOH.  It's a site started by Jenny Doh, a well know editor-n-chief of Somerset Magazine.  I've signed up late for Jenny's class: "Crafting My Best Life," and early for Danita's class: "Free Motion Personas," where we will make an art quilt.  I am very excited about both.  In fact, when I saw the little video promoting 'Crafting My Best Life' I even cried.  It just felt like something I needed to do.  If you get a chance, check out the site here;

I have been a big fan of Danita for a very long time now.  I just love, love, love her work.  You can find her on etsy.

Ok, that's all for today.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow!  Take care, Cynthia

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Well.  Working on some ideas...realizing I have a lot to say, but afraid to say it.  It's a matter of deciding whether or not to put yourself out certain ways.  It's an exposure that could be good, or could go bad.  What is it they say, 'the road to Hell is paved with good intentions?'  I believe that, insomuch as the Hell spoken of might be other people!

People can bring you up, or drag you down...that's why it's so very important to surround yourself with the right people.  I'm still working on that...and am a bit of an island right now, but that could all change.  Very quickly.  I think it has a lot to do with attitude...and it is all based on HOPE.  And I hope very much to be progressing and doing better and better with my goals each day. 

All that being said, I'm fending off any immediate decisions about anything by working on some art!!!!  See you later, alligator.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday...I missed Friday!!!

Well, I finally missed a day of posting! OOPs!  Oh well, not the end of the world.  And I'm still gonna keep up with daily posting.  It's really helping me keep to a bit of a schedule, which I haven't done in a million years! 

So, I did have lunch with my friend yesterday, and that was nice.  Then I went to a book exchange we have here, traded in some books and got two.  But the best part was talking to the store owner.  He is this really terrific guy that speaks my language!!!  We were talking about all kinds of neat subjects...and he has a wife that's into the same stuff, so hopefully my hubby and I will make some new friends....some like minded friends, of which I am in bad need.

I also went to my favorite outdoor market yesterday, Stoney's, on First Colonial Rd.  They have the place all decked out for Halloween...with tons of gourds, pumpkins of all sizes and the like.  It looks just gorgeous.  So, I'm planning on going over there today or tomorrow and taking some groovy photos.

It's a short one today...see you tomorrow.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday...Posting NEW Shop Photos!!!

Hey there! I am so happy to finally say I have completed the studio reorganization and clean up!  This is for sure the cleanest and neatest everything has ever been in my studio.  I did some redecoration along the way, so it took a little longer.  But I must say I am blown away with the results.  It feels so great to finally have it done.  And I'm working on the rest of the house as well....almost completely done there too.  Yes, today was a long, solid day of 'gettin' it done.'  :)  So...

So tomorrow I'm treating myself to lunch out with my friend, Art, and a nice massage.  I definitley NEED a massage.  It's one of my favorite things.  And below are the fruits of my labor!!! see the BEFORE photos of my studio check out the September 29th post!  What a mess it was!!!

So cheers to putting out more work, and being organized enough to get further in work and life!!! 

Later, C

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday...Posting Studio Photos Tomorrow!

Well, I stayed up til the wee hours last night...working on the studio...and it's pretty well finished.  Just some paperwork sorting to do, and a few final touches.  Haven't felt too good today, so I'm just taking it easy.  Did enough work last night for 2 days! 

It's funny, I have all these empty baskets and containers....I really did get rid of a lot of junk.  My husband can attest to that personally, since he's the one who had to carry it all down to the dumpster!  I feel really great about it too.  It's helped my Feng Shui for sure :)

This is me and my husband Robbie...on a trip to Thailand years ago.

See you tomorrow! C

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Stil at work!  I can't tell you how sick I am of sorting and sifting through every little thing in my studio...but, I can say I'm making progress like never before!  In fact, I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel!

 I have been doing a lot of 'redecorating' if you will, along the way.  But that's part of what makes it worth it to me.  Then once everything is finally away to it's place...the studio will actually look like it's been a bit 'redone.'  Surprise!  :)  I'm using stuff that I find...stickers I like, artists papers, an old Originalcyndesign banner made new...excess ribbon, empty jars and the like, to spruce up the joint!  I've been able to actually designate places for so much, and have gotten rid of so much excess scrap that is just in the way.  It feels like a 'big load off.'  :)  A jumbled up mess is nobody's idea of a good time!  Plus, I am starting a bag of free stuff to give to somewhere???  Crayons, a small set of oil paints, stuff like that.  Then, I'm saving stuff for GIVE AWAYS ON THE BLOG!!!!  I'll probably list a bunch of stuff for auctions on the blog and on ebay....whatever I gotta do!  It's gotta go!!!

Well, progress is waiting to be made.  It's 10 pm and I'm gonna see how far I can get before bed!  I'm so excited to post the fresh studio photos....that's really what's keeping me going :) !!! 

Take care, Cynthia

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday,'s overcast again!!!

Yes, we got one sunny day this past Saturday (good thing my hubby got his golf in on that day!) and it's been gloomy and rainy again, ever since.  I don't really mind though.  I've been sick, then working on my studio---a major undertaking!!!---and I can see tons of green leaves on the trees outside my studio window flickering and moving in the wind....and that pretty much 'does it' for me.  I know they will all fall away soon, but I sure do enjoy the green lushness of it...the little dance they do, almost continually, every day, all day long.

It's funny...I have been so happy with the progress that's been made with the studio straightening, however, I woke up today with new eyes....seeing how I need to get rid of EVEN MORE STUFF!!!!  I just really want to get down to basics.  However, I don't want to throw perfectly good stuff away either.  So, I was thinking about putting together some 'party boxes' or something like that where you'd get a number of items to play with, and then auction it off on ebay.  Sounds like a great idea to me.  I might also list some stuff here on the blog.  Ok...well, that's enough gabbing.  I've got to get on with the cleaning effort!!!! 

Here's some photos for today...these are earrings that I made.  I especially love the ones with the watch faces!  The pair on the left has sold, and I wear the ones on the right.  I could always make more though, if anyone is ever interested!!!  :)  Enjoy!

I'll be back tomorrow!  Cyn

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This is a piece I did many years ago when I was first starting out.  I always liked it...
The brushes were ones that I had bought prepackaged, and when I took them out, the bristles were too flimsy.  So, instead of throwing them away, they became star players in a piece of artwork.  Sold this piece one or two years ago at the Christmas Bazaar here in Virginia Beach.  ...Oh...I love to play with ribbons too.  Ribbons, glitter, paint and glue! 

The studio is still coming along quite nicely.  Maybe a couple more days til the reveal!!! 

Til Tomorrow, Cynthia

Saturday, October 2, 2010

2 Weeks of Posts!!! CHEERS!

Well, they say if you can do something for 3 weeks, that you can make it a permanent habit!  So here's to two of the three!!!  I also find that the blogging is helping me keep on track and keep motivated to finish follow through!  In fact, I have accomplished quite a lot with the studio in the past few days, and it's looking much better.  Especially my computer station...which is usually piled to the sky with papers that I don't want to go through, lol.

So, I'm doing a 'quickie''s 11:55 pm and I'm still working on the studio.  Diligence right? 

Good night, Cynthia

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday! Still working hard!

Still working hard on painting, and fixing up the studio.  In fact, I am spurred on by the desire to make it all pretty, take photos, and post them on here.  Of course, the studio has never really been cleaned and put in order to my satisfaction, no matter how many times I have tried.  Sometimes I get really inspired by other artist's studios...and set to work buying glass containers and filling them with pretty flowers, baubles, and frozen Charlotte's.  Painting and placing new shelves, hanging other pretties that inspire me here and there throughout the studio...sorting, labeling, and tucking away every little odd and end.  Countless hours have been spent coming up with filing/organizing systems, color codes, sewing centers, jewelry stations, office ware, and the like.  Most of the time it's even hard to start the whole todo...because I'm just so overwhelmed by the intense amount of stuff jam packed into this little room! 

It's difficult for us mixed media artists...especially when we start out I believe.  We know we love mixed media, we just may have no earthly idea where it will lead us...what we might end up specializing in.  So we have to try a little bit of everything.  I have gone through it myself.  Just seeing so many new and different media to use and mesh makes it difficult to say no.  Plus the whole idea of using vintage, recycled, odd and old materials is a real draw for a lot of us.  And thus the grand collection begins.  But it is of little use if we cannot find it...cannot see it...forget it even exists.  And then things turn to clutter. 

That's why I actually threw out a bunch of old work today.  It's stuff that helped me begin, but let's face it, it's not something to hold on to...and I don't believe it's something I can sell, or should even try to, best to get it out of here.  It feels good too.  Clutter is not our friend...but it happens so easily.  In fact, it's funny, I even feel 'lighter' and better when I delete a bunch of old files and photos off my computer, or do a big organizational effort...and get them all tidy.  It really does something for me.  No teasing please, lol.

So that's my bit for today.  Hope your days have been's still rainy here in Virginia Beach!!!