Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cedar Panel Wall Hanging Commission (for my husband)

I had created 24 individual wall hangings for our Open Doors Art Show and Sale this past December 3 and 4, 2010. Each panel was a slat from a round cedar wood planter that I deconstructed years ago. The panels each measure 3 inches wide and 15 inches high. I had wanted to move the planter but I needed to empty the soil from it first. Once the soil was removed, all of the panels fell into the void.

I had a feeling that I could use them in a creative way, but at the time I had no idea what I would do with them. The stack of cedar panels sat in my garage for about 2 years, drying out and gathering spider webs. Well, inspiration struck one day and I was joyfully engaged in selecting old rusted metal pieces and nails, beads, bamboo and other assorted stuff to affix to the front of each panel by hand drilling into the wood.

My husband asked if I could do a commission for him using items that were special and personal to him. Since he is a photographer, he was hoping that I could include some camera related items on it. Members of our Portland Art Collective came to the rescue and donated a few camera lenses for my project.

So, from the top of the cedar wood panel to the bottom, here is an introduction to all of the items on his own personalized panel:

1. An old brass doorknob because he loved its smoothness and patina and because he loves old houses.
2. An old clear plastic dial with the numbers 1 through 10 and 'hi' and 'lo' written on it. (The dial for an old electric blanket?) In the center of this dial I glued a button that reads "Life."
3. A camera lens.
4. An industrial metal valve cap which reads "Do not loosen nut. Refer to Handbook." This is so applicable to him because he always reads every instruction manual of everything he buys. And he always keeps every manual, too.
5. Fastened to the front of this metal cap is a small metal key. (Perhaps the key to his success is that he reads instruction manuals?)
6. In small black beads the word "Miksang." This is the type of photography he practices. You can read about it on his website:
7. "MTA" stands for "Midlife Transition Artist". This was a term introduced to us by a gentleman who referred to himself as an MTA. Little did we know that my husband would take this term to heart and sign himself up for a photography class to reacquaint himself with this favorite childhood hobby. That class was 11 years ago.
8. A macro camera lens. When you look into the lens you see a tiny metal heart that was placed inside.
9. One of the items dangling off the bottom is a Multnomah County pet license. My husband absolutely loves dogs. Another item is a large red plastic gem, red for his favorite color and red for the ruby he surprised me with on our 30th anniversary.

Well, I surprised him with this creation on Christmas and it was a hit. It now hangs on the wall above his desk in his studio. He is thrilled that it contains so many personal things about his life.

Well, that's it, I guess. Just a quick note: this was my very first blog entry ever in my life. I swore that I would never write on a blog (or does one write in a blog? sigh) I capitulated because my husband gave me my own digital camera for Christmas and taught me how to use it and taught me how to download my photos onto my computer (or upload or whatever you call it, jeez.) With his help I was able to maneuver through all this techno stuff and join the rest of you who seem to have so much fun here in computer land. This maiden voyage was a bit scary, I must admit!



Monday, January 24, 2011

The Heart of the Matter

Two PAC artists will be part of a group show at Guardino Gallery, Dayna Collins and Stephanie Brockway. The show, The Heart of the Matter 3, opens on Thursday, January 27th and runs through February 20th. If you'll be in the Portland area, stop by the gallery and pick up a gift for your Valentine (or yourself!).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Help the Cats and Dogs - Buy Earrings

That's right! When you bid and win in my earring auctions, the proceeds will be split between A Place To Bark and Cat Adoption Team.

I am 30 weeks into a yearly challenge of making a pair of earrings a day for a year. That's a LOT of earrings and I only have one pair of ear lobes! I am slowly
getting the auctions up and will complete them this week. To make life easier for me, I am not auctioning separate pairs of earrings, that would drive me crazy. Each week will be sold, that's seven pair of earrings per auction.

To see all the earring craziness go to Z'annes Bazaar OR and type in zannesbazaar in the search box.

To see ALL 30 weeks worth, check out my blog at: Z'annes Bazaar and click on the Earrings 365 page.

To help save our furry friends, please pass this along to everyone you know. These are very worthwhile charities. Thank you!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Question of the Month--Organizing Tips?

Since so many of us do a studio clean out at the beginning of the year, our question for the month is: Do you have any organizing tips?

We'll start with advice from our resident organizing expert:


Ahhh, the “O” word…what an appropriate question for “Get Organized Month”!

As a professional organizer, I have organized many studio spaces. I’ve taught 3-hour workshops on the subject and many books have been written on how to organize art spaces. My favorite method for organizing an art space is to use Julie Morganstern’s SPACE system – sort, purge, assign a home, containerize, equalize (maintenance).

So I’ll begin with a quick sort of what’s visible, identifying items and categorizing them. Toss or recycle obvious trash. Separate out incomplete projects to be decided upon later (that’s a whole other topic). I’ll keep to that one area selected so the client and I will be able to see progress. Breaks are important during this process – and when the client and I come back from a break to see a beautifully organized area, we are encouraged to move on to the next section.

During the purging process, the client and I will be creating categories and thinking about what there is truly space for, how much time it will take to find supplies to create with, and which items to pass on to friends or charities.

Next we’ll be assigning a home for items. I like to have “like with like” and store adhesives together, beads in another area, tools for a particular project type together, tins on shelves…When like items are stored together, it’s easy to retrieve and put back frequently used items.

Containerize – this is where containers are decided upon. Many clients have all of the containers they need already (and have emptied during the sorting process). Choose containers that you love and that fit in with your personal style. You will also want your containers to be sturdy (and any drawers to open easily). Make sure the containers are a proper fit for the number of items you will be storing – leave room for adding new items as your work grows and changes.

Equalize – Evaluate new systems about two weeks after organizing. Does something need to be changed around? Integrate a periodic maintenance program into your lifestyle, keeping it simple. Ongoing maintenance will keep a system running smoothly.

Jennifer Campbell – Professional Organizer and Creativity Coach

Some of Jennifer's expertise in action:

And now how some of us non-professionals approach the problem.


I keep stuff in clear plastic tubs. Rather than pay money for them, I use the ones that my friend collects for me. She buys the organic spinach at Costco which comes in large rectangular plastic tubs. I have trouble separating the lid from the tub so I add a tab of masking tape at the corner. That way, I can lift up on the tab and the lid comes up. Presto!


I put like things with like. And they are in containers that are labeled, or see through. My studio is a bit like a 747 cockpit: very small but everything is within reach.

I’m also getting a Fujitsu Scan snap to scan magazine articles and class instructions so I can save space for other stuff. I’ll organize articles by media and such as calligraphy, watercolor, book arts etc.


I've learned that it doesn't really matter how well I organize my materials, as soon as I start a project, it looks like a tornado moved through. I guess my one tip is to clean up and organize materials between major projects so the pile doesn't get too bad. I tend to organize by color and have shelves of fabric stocked that way. But then there's a special bin for silks, one for velvets, one for hand-dyes. The plastic bins could easily take over my studio.


I'm the queen of organization because if my supplies aren't organized, I suffer from severe bouts of inertia. One of my favorite organizational tools is using inexpensive plastic drawers and bins, which I label using an old school labeler. I'm also a big fan of jars as I love the look it creates: a jumbled mess of order and you can see what's inside!

Scenes from Dayna's delicious studio:

She uses an old bed frame for display:


Well since I am so organized I just had to jump in.(ha) For me after this last go round of excavating long lost/ forgotten suplies, the #1 tip is if it's out of sight it's out of mind. Sooo, SEE through, think jars (thanks Dayna) clear containers, and big bold labels. Like supplies grouped. I just might start working efficently! but don't hold your breath


Since I'm going through this process of clearing out my studio, I like the idea of keeping art supplies in sight with clear containers and items easily marked. Thanks, Steph. I went to your blog and saw the great job that you did reorganizing your studio. It gives me hope to complete this project here.


The biggest organizational challenge in my workspace is finding what I need in order to work on a project. Spending time to search for things can easily bring the creative process to a grinding halt. A couple of things that help me are organizing supplies like beads and fabric according to color groups, and storing things in a way that they are always visible. For example, I find the clear plastic bead boxes very handy. Also, I keep fabric in large clear plastic boxes by color on shelves; not the prettiest arrangement, but it's function over form for me!

Suzanne's perfectly organized bead box:


This takes a little time at first, but when I'm done it is terrific. I found a great organization thing that works great for me. I have all my art supplies and other art pieces in plastic drawer units, as well in dressers and other stuff like that. I put everything away in the drawers. I put all the often used things in one location, all the sewing things next to my machine, etc. After it was all placed, I numbered every drawer (1,2, etc.). Then I made a list of everything in all the drawers, typed it in the computer listing the name of the item ( Scissors) and the drawer number (7).

After this task was finished, I hit sort and put everything in alphabetical order. Now I can find anything in a flash, and others in my family can find things they need to borrow as well.


I’ve been challenged by trying to design a space for two purposes. By day I am a management consultant—mostly head work on my computer and phone. I also aspire to making jewelry and paper arts—mostly hand work. I’ve finally resolved it by having two separate tables and ‘stations’ of storage around the room. Bookshelves and files for reference. Drawers and containers for art supplies. The best thing I EVER incorporated is my library catalogue with a drawer for every color bead and finding. It makes me feel like an organized artist!

Maggie's much coveted library catalogue:

Any other ideas? We always need them!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I couldn't just stop with hearts...

I had to keep going.  I made 20 heart pins and liked them so much I made 16 more little pins using the recycled handfelted, embroidered, beaded pieces that I had made 2 years ago.  Here are 4 of them:


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pacific NW Organizing Expo - Jan. 29th

Start the new year off with the right tools to get organized at the 2011 Pacific NW Organizing Expo on January 29th from 10am - 3pm at Montgomery Park. See the latest in organizing products, learn effective organizing techniques and be sure to stop by my booth, Life in Colour Creative Life Coaching.

Is it time for you to begin your journey to develop your creative talents, conquer your challenges, and commit to your creative goals?
I coach artists and individuals who wish to:
  • Live a more creative fulfilled life
  • Push past creative blocks
  • Balance creative, professional, and personal life
  • Develop, support, and nurture a creative, authentic self
  • Organize an art space or studio

See you at the organizing expo!

Jennifer Campbell CPC - Certified Professional Coach

Life in Colour Creative Life Coaching

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Great Fabric Journal Idea

For this fabric book, Tammy Vail took scraps of materials that look great together. She basically made a unstructured quilt design. It's held together with stitching, sewn on beads, fusible web and embroidery threads. Each page is a pocket, some snap close with a flap and a snap, others are open. The purpose is to make a little memory book, with pockets for cards, letters, pictures, or other little snippets of fun stuff. This would work great for personal use, or to give a friend a gift of a pretty book, full of memories.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Felted Valentine's Day Pins by Lenall Siebenaler

I love to recycle old art pieces into something else.  I wanted to do some Valentine's Day Pins for a couple local stores so I took some hand felted floral Pieces that I had embroidered and beaded 2 years ago and cut them up to embellish these hearts.  I think it works, don't you?

Monday, January 10, 2011

January Giveaway from Cynthia Mooney

January's Portland Art Collective giveaway is a fabric journal made by Cynthia Mooney. The cover ties together and is held by a red button.

Scraps of colorful fabrics are sewn together in quilt-fashion with additional fabric appliques. All are free-motion stitched in place.

The inside cover is just as pretty with Lenox printer's paper signatures. The giveaway includes one of her mini-palettes full of watercolor paints.

Those interested in keeping a journal may want to take one of Cynthia's journal making classes. She also teaches journaling techniques. You can see more of her work on her blog Here. To win this beautiful journal, comment on this post. Winners will be notified the end of January.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Artist Profile--Dayna Collins

Our featured artist this month is Dayna Collins. Dayna is one of those prolific artists who always seems to be experimenting with something new. Whatever she does, she brings a fresh, funky edge to it.

1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?

I love paint and I love texture, I especially love combining the two. I like using layers of texture and paint, embedded with images and words, then scritching, scratching, and sanding away layers, only to add more. It becomes like an archeological dig, revealing bits, but not everything. I also like working with metal and found objects and have recently been playing with making what I call Funky Junkyard Birds.

  1. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?

I’m a big fan of taking classes. I like being shown how to do something, I also like that a block of time has been dedicated to the class, which allows me to stay focused on what I’m learning. If I try and learn something on my own, I’m usually too easily distracted!

For further inspiration, I maintain an art library of books written by my favorite artists, and I subscribe to magazines such as Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors.

3. A perfect art day would look like:

A perfect art day could be one of two things, preferably a little of both. First of all, it would involve going junking – going to secondhand stores, flea markets, or garage sales. The second part would involve making art with girlfriends around a big table. Ideally, we would junk in the morning, then create art in the afternoon. Lattes would be involved.

4. Do you have dedicated studio space? Give a brief description of where you work.

I have a studio, which I sometimes call my “playhouse.” About a year and half ago we converted a small one-bedroom rental into my studio. It’s on an alley across the street from a park and has lots of storage and workspaces. It was featured in a recent issue of Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOS magazine.

5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?

I’ve always lived in the Pacific Northwest. I was raised in Portland and moved to Salem over 30 years ago for my husband to attend school. We ended up staying in Salem, which was a nice place to raise our three children. The kids have all moved away so now we split our time between Portland and Salem – the best of both worlds. Favorite places I’ve visited outside of Oregon include New York, Paris, and Pompeii.

6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work)?

I am inspired by texture, mystery, and layers. Circles tend to be a reoccurring theme in most of my work, as do words and text. Bright, bold colors always catch my attention and usually find their way into my work, especially the use of red.

7. I still struggle with ...

creative confidence. That old critical voice can sometimes get a bit loud and I have to beat it back on occasion. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has given me lots of tools for dealing with my self-doubt, tools such as Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates, and affirmations. I also find that surrounding myself with creative, confident women helps tremendously and being a member of the Portland Art Collective has broadened my base of artistic support.

8. I'd be lost without...

my husband. He cheers me on in my artwork and is my biggest fan. He helps me with mechanical or technical issues when they arise, and amazingly, he supports my junking obsession.

9. Favorite dessert?

Crème brulee. Nuff said. Well, dark chocolate is a close second, no maybe, first. Okay, crème brulee and dark chocolate.
10. What's on the horizon?

I’ve been teaching expressive arts workshops and 12-week sessions of The Artist’s Way for the past several years and I’ve decided not to do any teaching in the first part of 2011. I can’t say that I won’t return to teaching, but I want to focus on painting and creating bigger pieces. I have a show coming up March-April in Salem, which will focus on large pieces using a variety of textures. I also want to continue developing my series of Fearless Faces.

If anyone wants to see more about what I’m doing, please check out my blog: or my website:

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Great Way to Start the New Year

A new sketchbook is a great way to start the New Year. If you want inspiration, take the Sketchbook Challenge. Several artists offer monthly themes to inspire journal pages, ideas and tutorials on how to make a sketchbook, art supplies to use, and many techniques to explore. To see how I created this book, go to my blog Here. Best wishes for a creative 2011.