Tag Archives: SMASH*

Mommy and Me – Reflections on an amazing year

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The art journey that I started a year ago through Smash-booking has been the most amazing, healing, exciting, scary, out of the box, uncomfortable and crazy experience!  It has been a huge life changer and quite simply a miracle metamorphosis that I am still amazed by and thank God for every day.

I have learned so much, I have been given new eyes to see more beauty than ever before,  a new perspective and a renewed sense of wonder and dreaming.  It has been such an emotional and spiritual walk for me.

Along the journey I have mourned my mom and I continue to do so yet not so intensely.  I have been drawn to things I’ve never been drawn to before.  I have made a whole new group of artsy friends through cyberspace.  I have gained a new sense of self worth.  I have become more self-confident.  I have embraced the fear and did it anyway many times over.  I have taken chances.  I have listened to my gut.  I have walked through open doors.

At age 46, my life has not taken the path that most women’s lives have taken.  I have always been a late bloomer, but now I know God’s timing is perfect.   I feel as if I am becoming who I was born to be.  I feel at peace.  (Better late than never!)

A large part of the journey has been a renewed love and thirst for art – OTHER PEOPLE’S ART – now being able to admire pieces through a different lens…those new eyes of a fellow artist.  I am starting to be a collector of artwork featuring Mothers and Daughters. They bring me so much joy where a year ago they would have brought only sadness.

Take a peek at the start of my new collection of “Mommy And Me” artwork!

“Like Mother, Like Daughter”- I love her primitive style!  This is the very first print I purchased to start my collection.  I painted the mats.  Artist: Mindy Lacefield

You can find Mindy here:  Tim’s Sally

Tim's Sally

This beauty is called “Moi et Maman” – Mama and me. Words on the right hand side are in French also. Translated “I love you Mama, I will love you forever!” Artist is the lovely Danielle Daniel. I painted and “Michelle’d up” the mat. Check out Danielle here: HER PAINTED WORD

Danielle Daniel

And this is entitled “Being There” – painted by talented artist Paula McDonough.  This print is part of a series called Lucky 7 and chronicles her journey through breast cancer treatment.  You can visit Paula on Etsy

Paula McDonough

Keep your eyes open for me!  Would love to add to my collection!

Until next time…Blessings,

Michelle

Gratitude And Grace

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Have you ever have one of those days where you feel like you just might bust?  I have been having several recently.  That feeling of extreme gratitude and happiness?  Where you can’t stop grinning and your adrenaline is making your heart leap with joy?  Its been such a long, long time since I’ve had that amazing feeling.  Long time.  I have felt like I was just existing, getting by and sorta zombie-ish for almost a year now.  Losing a parent can do that to you.  Losing anyone you love can throw you into a pit that you don’t feel you’ll ever escape from.  But, looking back, I can say it has been an journey that has been COVERED in God’s love and GRACE.

People have been asking me, “Have you always been an artist?”  (ha ha…artist.  Really?  LOL)  “How long have you been doing this?”  Well the answers are NO, absolutely not! And…only 2 months.  I have always been extremely jealous of anyone crafty and artsy.  My brothers can draw really well, my uncle Dale is an artist, my uncle Paul is an excellent photographer, my Gram is one of the most creative and crafty people I know.  My Aunt Mary Ann is crafty and does excellent needle work.  As a matter of fact, I think all the males on the Saxon side have the artsy gift. I did not get those genes.  I have tried to draw.  I even took a class in High School. I think it was “Drawing on the Right side of the brain” or was it LEFT side?  Anyhow…I sucked.  Bad.  I have always considered myself as a person with a “good eye” for things.  (decorating, buying clothes)  I read, I can write a bit and I can cook.  Oh and I can put on makeup well!  LOL!  But other than those things, that’s about it.  I don’t knit, crochet, draw, paint, make things out of nothing.  I just don’t have the gift. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have the patience for any of it.

BUT what I do have is the ability to learn.  To research.  To dream and to listen to what I’m supposed to do.  This journey began quite honestly on Pinterest.  I saw a pin of a “SMASH*book.”  I really loved the idea of not having to be precise, neat and artistic to do a SMASH*book.  So, like all things, once I decided to try it, I went full force, diving into the world of SMASHING.  I loved it!  I started a remembrance book for my mom.  It was healing.  I started a book for myself, I started collecting postcards for another book.  I decided to join a facebook group called “SMASH*aholics.”  I learned so much!  Then one day, a girl posted that video of an artist named Gabby teaching how to create a “She Art” canvas.  I watched.  I said OMG!  I can do this.  See my blog about it here!  And the rest is history.

While I don’t really consider myself an “artist” (that sounds so strange and a title that is hard for me to accept. Also it is a tad bit presumptuous.) I am really having some wonderful things happen in that world.  My work is consigned in our church’s bookstore and people have really given great response and support!  I also have at least 10 commissioned pieces to create and I am on the verge of having some wonderful support and promotion by someone who’s pretty “big” in the Catholic World.  Once it is a “done deal” I will fill you in!!

My friend Cheri recently “reinvented” herself.  She went to school and now has a totally and completely new career that she worked hard for.  I was jealous of her.  I wanted to re-invent myself too.  Not that I’m unhappy with my career.  I am not.  I love what I do.  I just wanted to do something at 45 that was totally out of character for me, something that I have always wanted to do.  This is it!

Some may think I’m being overly spiritual.  But you know me.   I could care less.  I know my mom has made this happen for me up in heaven.  I know she is my intercessor and has really looked out for me – God has made me a new person.  The Holy Spirit is definitely involved and so is my Mother Mary and my Saints!  Its too surreal to be anything less.

Remember my giveaway happening now.  (previous post)  Join in if you haven’t already!  Someone’s gotta win!  Why not you?

With Gratitude and Grace,

Michelle

They say that out of pain and heartache come growth and grace. I am living proof of that. I lost my precious mother on August 29, 2011. Out of that tremendous loss I have found an unmatched amount of grace and a brand new artistic me. 
 
The name “TeaBags And Gardenias” is in tribute to my precious mother Kathleen Saxon.  
 
My mom loved hot tea. She took sugar and milk. She also would say “tough teabags!” instead of a curse word! The gardenia is a special flower to us. We loved the smell and the perfection of it. I took a gardenia from one of our bushes to the hospital to try and “smell” her back to us. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
 
“She missed her mother. She mourned her mother with every fiber of her being. She took the pain and turned it into beauty. She tapped into a new love to dull that pain. She paints from her heart in tribute to her mom. She knows her mother guides her hands.  Her mom would be so very proud.”

It is always springtime in the heart that loves GOD!

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Well, today I want to post my latest in the 30 Day challenge.  I’m about 3 days behind.  At any rate, these are my Food and Favorite Thing EVER pages.  Challenge 6 and 7.

And I completed one of my canvasses for my friend Kris who’s asked me to create two pieces for her.  I’m so very honored to do it and very excited to have my work hanging in her home!  Here is the first one I’ve completed.  I absolutely love it if I do say so myself!  It was so much fun!

Beginnings….

Adding and adding and layering and layering with stencils, paper, stamps, paint…putting in the texture.

Took apart some silk flowers, added sprays and acrylic paint.

Getting there…glued the flowers on and put buttons in center.

Final result! Makes me happy just looking at it!

Close up of the flowers.

It is always springtime in the heart that loves God.

If you like what you see and would like me to create a piece especially for you, contact me!  We’ll chat!  LOL!

Things I’ve been working on…

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Well first, thank you for all the kind compliments I’ve received on my SMASH* pages and my art.  It means the world to me!

Wanted to share with you what’s been going on…As soon as I can accumulate some stock I’m going to be opening an “Etsy” store.  I named it “Teabags & Gardenias Mixed Media Art”  I will specialize in Marian “She Art.”  So…that’s pretty exciting!  I need to get a logo designed and like I said, create, create, create!  Wish me luck!  I’m also going to take a few pieces to my local Catholic bookstores and see if they might want to sell them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to earn some extra money doing what I’m starting to absolutely love and crave doing?

SMASH* 30 Day Challenge Day 5 – BUTTONS

The challenge was to use Buttons. This is what I came up with. Not my most favorite page but it will do! Miss my mom.

New Marian “She Art” I’m working on!  Keep in mind, these are not finished yet.  Just wanted to share the progression.  I am still waiting on Paint Pens to arrive to do the finishing touches.  I am having a blast!  Who would have known???

“Someone Special” SMASH* page and my first Mixed Media Canvas!

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Day 4 SMASH* challenge:  Someone Special

When thinking about who I wanted to put on my pages for this challenge, I knew it had to be Mary!  She is sooooo very special to me, such a blessing in my life and a constant thread running through my tapestry!  What would I do without her?  She has really been there for me this past year as I mourn my mother.  She has suffered through her own mother’s death and knew exactly what I needed to hear and when I just needed to cry.  I am forever grateful!  She is a text book example of a BEST FRIEND!  Special does not describe her fully!

These pictures of us are WAY Old. However, its how I choose to remember us! Hot, Sassy and Wild! LOL! Not to mention skinny, young…did I say skinny and young?

Next up, a peek into my first Mixed Media She Art Canvas.  I had a ball!!!!!!!!  I really do love her!  I have never done anything like this in my life.  I’m keeping my first one!  I already have someone who wants to buy two canvasses!  Unreal!  Special thank you to the person on the SMASH*aholics page on Facebook for posting the link to this blog – Such A Pretty MessGabrielle, You ROCK!  Thank you for inspiring me.  I never would have tried to do this unless I saw your video tutorial.  Thank you for not being stingy with your craft, pattern and ideas.

Cut outs from the stencil on Gabrielle’s blog.

What she looked like assembled.

Finger Painting the sides of the canvas. Not gonna have a pretty manicure EVER again!

Prepping the canvas with paper.

Paint, Stencils, Mist paint…

Letters placed on canvas for a “mask.” Mister Huey’s Color Mists. And a nice shot of my foot!

Mod Poded her on and doodled and outlined. Now I’m getting excited!

Added the words. “She was true to herself. She felt at peace.”

Almost done, still need to do some shading and highlighting.

Taking a 30 Day Challenge!

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OK, so I know my Just A Catholic Girl blog has evolved into a SMASH* ing, Crafty, Artsy site.  Please forgive me!  I promise I’ll get back to some sort of good Catholic “CONTENT” in maybe say….30 Days!  LOL! 

At any rate, I’ve decided to take the SMASH*-aholic (group on Facebook) 30 Day Challenge.  I purchased the SMASH* Book Mini for this challenge.  At first I was intimidated by how small and teenie it was.  It measures 4.5 x 7 in workable page space.  Nothing about me is small.  But, I am LOVING it!  It’s the perfect size for this challenge!

The first 3 days: 1. ALL about YOU  2. Washi Tape 3. Favorite Thing

And away we GO!

I liked doing these All About Me pages. I never really Smash about me. It took a lot of thinking to figure out what i wanted to convey. I chose to use pictures that describe my life and also words that go with the letters of my name.

Some of the words may be sad to some but they are reality. For now…

Washi Tape is KING. This stuff is amazing. This page had been very messed up by the bleed through of my markers on the other side. I decided to washi it up and color it up. Washi can make crap look beautiful! LOL! Then there’s my Favorite thing page. Its terrible. I don’t stamp well at all. But, my favorite thing is memories.

I know it’s summer…but I SMASH*ed about Spring today!

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I had the best time this spring taking pictures with my BlackBerry.  Some turned out fabulously and I wanted to somehow preserve and enjoy them for days to come.  So…I decided that I’d SMASH* them.  I had fun with this spread!  I sit here baking in the hot record breaking temps on July 2 and kinda wish it was spring again.  Every flower I’ve purchased for outside is DUST.  The grass is burning up, the air is stifling.  My Gardenias are done.  The beauty of Spring is no more.  I am sooo looking forward to Fall.  I love SPRING and I love FALL in Georgia!

I also SMASH*ed one page about our Florida trip at Easter.  Wish I were there now.  Its probably not as hot!  LOL!

I also started on my “SHE ART” project this weekend.  I still have a few supplies that need to come in but I’m almost there.  Waiting on some paints, India Ink pens, and I’ll be off and running.  I’ve filled up about 2 pages of ideas, words etc. I want to use.  I am hoping to specialize in Marian “SHE ART.”  We’ll see!  My brain is working overtime and ideas about that are non stop!  I’m excited!

Here’s my first Girl.  Here skin is cut from an old antique children’s book.