Thursday, February 26, 2009

Participant Inspired Theme 8: Bones of the Earth or You're My Rock

Welcome to the first Participant Inspired Theme! Recently, some of you asked about submitting theme ideas. I thought that was an incredible idea so here to kick off the first Participant Inspired Theme is Salvaged Expression. Salvaged is one of the many talented artists on the Thursday Sweet Treat who creates stunning pieces each week and then shares her love for the Sweet Treat and for all her fellow artists with everyone around her. She's been a huge inspiration to me so it is an honor to present her theme here. I have absolutely no idea what I am going to make yet but I'm ridiculously excited to play. I think the theme is stellar! Please join me in creating something wonderful this week!

Remember, how you choose to interpret the theme is completely up to you. It simply needs to be tasteful – no pornography or messages of hate here. When you sit down to create, you cannot think about how people will or will not receive your work. You are required to simply enjoy the act of creating. Please see the bottom of this post for how to submit a response.

"If one is sufficiently lavish with time, everything possible happens."- Herodotus

"What are men to rocks and mountains?"- Jane Austen

Important Guidelines

The work submitted must be something you have created and/or worked on between the time the theme was revealed and the Thursday unveiling. Please submit your response to no later than end of day Wednesday, March 4th if you would like it to be posted on Thursday, March 5th. OR send me a link to your response to include in the comments section of the post.

With your response please include:

1. Your name - either first name, shop name or both.

2. The name of your piece (if you choose to give it one)

3. Something you'd like to share (process of creation, idea behind piece) if you'd like to share anything

4. Two photos of your piece or of each of the pieces (3x5 or 4x6 and 72dpi or a max of 96dpi - if you need any help with that please don't worry I'd be happy to help!)

Most importantly, grab those creative stones and build, build, build! Play! Have fun :)

I will be doing one or two Participant Inspired themes a month. If you would like to submit an idea, please send an email to

Thank you again, Salvaged. I can't wait to see what everyone creates!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Unforgettable Artists Open Their Imaginations and Let Beauty Rain Down Upon Us All

Three very important things to note:
1. If you have not had a chance to check out the incredible tour and tutorial by TheSilverLakeStudio, please see the previous post and enter the fabulous giveaway!!
2. Tune in tomorrow for the new theme - there's a Special twist you won't want to miss!
3. Major changes will be coming to the Thursday Sweet Treat soon!

Time and again, I am amazed at the variety of beautiful pieces of artwork created by these talented artists. Each creation is so unique that the moment you see it you want to have it all to yourself so you can continually marvel at the creativity and passion that went creating it. These artists looked at the rain - something many people dismiss as mere inconvenience - and found beauty. They have a gift for turning whatever is given to them into something useful and beautiful. That's talent. That's heart. That's what each one of these professional artists possesses in great abundance.

AND they are all filled with good fun! In fact, one of our participants has a surprise hidden in here...Will YOU be the one to find the surprise and rise to the challenge???????

It is my great pleasure to invite you to let endless beauty rain down upon you....

Alyssa Tice, creator of Enticements, created this fabulous piece titled, "Spring Rain".

"This series is inspired by the blues and grays of spring rain and the trickling of water down your window pane," said Alyssa.

Bird, creator of One Earth One Tribe, created these stunning pieces titled "Rain I through Rain VII".

"Through a garden of lovely pictures I wandered, letting the poems come to me as I went. Rain, in all its forms & fancies, showing us its creative, transformative powers," said Bird.

Lada, creator of Ladaworks and Works and Finds, created these beautiful pieces.

"You got me going," said Lada. 'Today, I made some necklaces out of buttons."

Kris, creator of lisianblue, created this unforgettable piece titled, "After the Rain".

"I live in the desert, and so rain is very special here,' said Kris. "I was very fortunate to live about 30 miles east of Alb, at the base of a mountain for a number of years. There was a field nearby that would just explode with little purple and larger yellow flowers after it rained. This was the first thing that came to mind when I read the Thursday Sweet Treat theme: Let Beauty Rain Down Upon....................................and my interpretation on a 1.5" clear glass egg ornament painted with glass paint. I really enjoyed painting this and it brought back lots of great memories of wandering that field with my kids. "

Anna, creator of Anna Lemons Jewelry and When Life Hands U Lemons, created this awesome necklace.

"Since you posted the challenge about rain I've had lots of ideas, but very little time! So I whipped up something quickly and even though I messed up the "E", I'm still wearing it! great challenge!" said Anna.

Felicia Kramer, creator of Another Bright Idea, created two amazing pieces. One is titled, "After the Rain" while the other is titled, "Purple Rain."

“After the rain”

"A digital montage using several layers of my handmade paper and photos," explains Felicia. "The feature is my favorite rose, Passionate Kisses.” When I took this photo, the rain drops on the rose’s luminous, almost transparent petals just took my breath away."

"“Purple Rain” is a digital montage with gorgeous colors, a beautiful woman, and rain droplets," said Felicia. "I don’t have a lot to say about this montage; I just love the various textures and colors and the way all the layers came together."

Talented artist Maureen combined poetry with watercolor ink to create this stirring 8x10 creation.

"Rain washes, cleanses, turns endings into beginnings, all depending on your point of view," said Maureen.

The text on Maureen's piece reads:
After the Rain

I step sideways on the path,
avoid crushing earthworms,
bend to lift one fellow traveler
to safety, then another.

Am I savior or bane?
If I could, would I hear
tiny thunder of applause
or be shamed by sibilant swears?
Did I relocate the lost and lonely,
set adrift by tides of rain,
or thwart persistent pilgrims
almost home?

I stop interfering,
watch a raven breakfast on
one traveler I'd have moved
if only I'd known I should.

Kelly, creator of Backward Glances, created this exquisite piece aptly titled,"Isn't it Grand!"

"This is another one of my experiments with an over beaded image transfer onto silk. It's ATC sized," said Kelly.

"Grand Hotel here on Mackinac is a true "grand dame" and in the garden there's a wonderful fountain with jets of water flying up and raining down. It's not only visually beautiful but is also very musical. It's a delightful place to sit on a sunny afternoon and equally so on a moonlit evening."

Ruth, creator of Allover Art, created this fantastic "Puddle Jumper Hand-Painted Art Brooch"

"When I read this week's theme the image of a little girl standing in the rain in over-sized rain boots in a yellow raincoat under a bright red umbrella was the first thing that came to mind," said Ruth. "I don't use all three primary colors together too often, but for some reason I felt it would be fitting for this piece. I also didn't see this miniature painting as a pendant or ring; it really jumped out at me that it should be a brooch. I really enjoyed creating this piece."

Sherry, creator of TheSilverLakeStudio, created this fabulous little piece titled, "Sweet Spring Shower".

"The "rain" is made of chain pieces and there is a 14kt. gold "sun" peeking out from behind the cloud," said Sherry.

Ceridwen, creator of Wanderlust Bling, created this incredible piece titled, "Showers and Flowers".

"It's been raining a lot here in Redding, so I had plenty of inspiration," said Ceridwen. "The first time I went out after a particularly hard rain, I noticed that the grasses that were once dry and yellow were that vibrant green of spring. The rain had nourished them and let them grow. In this necklace I wanted to show both sides of rain; the dark gray of the clouds (and our moods, occasionally!) and the beauty it leaves in its wake. I found these drop beads and mixed them all together to create little flower clusters springing up after the rain. Thanks!"

Susan, creator of YaffaDreams, created this stunning "Shimmery Raindrops Memory Wire bracelet" and shared this amazing quote.

"Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby." ~~~Langston Hughes

"This beautiful bracelet shimmers like the rain on a sunny day. It is made from glass and silverplated beads and strung on memory wire," said Susan. "This bracelet won't lose its shape. And because it is memory wire, it can fit any size wrist! There are little dangles that match the bracelet hanging from the ends."

Gabrielle J-C, creator of Art Therapy, created this brilliant piece titled, "Friend (rain) in Sanskrit."

"Friends are there for you when your life is bright and sunny," said Gabrielle, "but also when the cold,dark rain comes. They are also there to play in the rain with you. AND...rain is our friend. It is needed for the crops, for rainbows, and sometimes to cool things down."

Steph, creator of A Paper Buffet, created this gorgeous card.

"My card was inspired by the beauty in my garden after the rain," said Steph. "I look forward to seeing the first few stems and flowers sprout out of the earth in the spring and summer. I wanted to capture Spring in this card, so I picked a tulip stamp and watercoloured each image.
Happy Spring!"

To view the card in her shop:

Lorrie, creator of Our Name is Mud, created this amazing teapot! She also has a special treat with this one!! It's part of a GIVEAWAY!!! That's right folks, right here in the middle of the Thursday Sweet Treat there is a hidden treat for YOU!!! A secret giveaway!!!!

"I offer it as a giveaway to anyone who writes about and Shoot me an email via my blog if you post something before Monday morning- I'll pick a winner at random Monday morning and ship the teapot right to you," said Lorrie.

So who is up to the challenge???

Teapot: earthenware with underglaze. The top of this Tpot reads: WHeN iT RaiNS iT PouRS.

Laura, creator of Sleepless Imagination, created this unforgettable piece titled, "Beauty Heals My Soul." This piece is done with watercolor and ink on watercolor paper. The text on this picture reads: "Beauty rains down on me, healing my wounded soul".

"I loved the title of this weeks challenge; "Beauty Rains Down Upon..." It made me think of art and how creativity is one of the most healing things in life. I believe that the desire to create is a gift from God and it is our job to pursue our creative outlet," said Laura. "For years, I have wanted to "do art" but have been so stuck in a creative block. It wasn't until about a year and a half ago that I started producing artwork on a regular basis. I can't believe how freeing, refreshing and FUN it has been. I feel like the act of drawing, painting, coloring has contributed to my own healing and continues to help me gain confidence."

Kelly, creator of kpdesigns07, created this beautiful 3x5 canvas panel with dark blue velvet background and lavender, teal, and light blue raindrops titled, "Raindrops".

"I was inspired by the photo on the blog page sort of showing the way the rain makes everything just a little darker," said Kelly. "I made the background dark blue for that. Then I added the "raindrops" in a random pattern. It sort of reminds me of the Matrix too...good thing I didn't do all green dots! "

Allison, creator of AllyBu, created this fabulous Green and Fuschia Polka Wave Tote.

"When I read the theme, this fabric that I had on my shelf immediately came to my mind. The dots are raindrops and the waves are rain sheeting down a window," said Allison. "I love color, for me this combo is a bold, kooky statement of beauty!"

Tiffany Patterson created this stellar piece using acrylic paint and pigment pen on a discarded book cover titled, "Here comes the rain".

"I especially love the way the light colors everything and makes things beautiful right before and after it rains," said Tiffany. "I also love looking for rainbows."

Giraffelabel created this lovely piece titled, "The Julia Pouch."

"After reading the theme, I looked through my studio, and this fabric immediately jumped out at me," commented Giraffelabel. "It reminds me of water droplets, and when combined with the grey I could just imagine that gloomy sky that turns into a bright rain...just before the sun is ready to peak through."

Salvaged Expression created this magnificent "Swinging in the Rain" scarf.

"It's what I call a cluster scarf and is made of 4 seperate pieces with a multitude of colors and textures lengths and shapes," said Salvaged. "It hangs past my knees and can be wound around and around for additional warmth. It reminds me of that fantasy rain that people in love are always kissing each other in on TV but never chills their bones."

Tiffany, creator of Love Peace and Dye, created this fantastic "Let Beauty Rain Recycled Tshirt Dress with Vintage Accents size Medium".

"I have always seen nature as the highest form of beauty and I have loved appreciating the rain for pouring down, nourishing, so that this beautiful nature can exist," said Tiffany. "With this in mind, I grabbed a great purple T-shirt that I had reverse dyed with bleach and stencil in nature themes, trees, butterflies, stars."

Iris, creator of Iris Design, created this fabulous piece.

"This is a continuation of my 'Strange Flower Series' which I have been neglecting of late," said Iris. "But the theme for today's challenge just called out for another of Mr. Livingstone's bookpages.It's not the only project I have been working on since last friday but the other pieces need refinement before they are being released into the public domain."

Leslie Maltby Burdzy, creator of Coffee Break Designs, created this gorgeous "Rain Tonight" scarf.

"The pictures you posted on your blog about the theme were very beautiful but I kept thinking about the winter and how cold the rain can be - dark, cold, drawing me back on the couch with my knitting," said Leslie. The pattern and colors in this handwoven scarf reminds me of raindrops splashing and running down the window at night.I will also be putting this in my Etsy store this week."

Amanda, creator of Persistent Green, created this incredible WildCover collaged journal titled, "Rainfall".

"A total of 500,000 tons of rain can fall from a single storm." "This simple factoid, paired with the images of rain and the sweet little rain-slickered child, really made me feel like a kid again," said Amanda. "What would life be worth if I lost that sense of wonderment about the world? I can't wait for the next spring storm so I can watch the rain drip down my windowpane...and maybe I'll even go splash in a puddle."

This week I actually got my piece done! Wooohooo...and it felt great. This came from the heart. It comes from all the inspiration and love I have received from you. Thank you.
Please note this is a work in progress - I'm still working on the border and writing.

Here are the words from the piece:
As the Clouds Roll In...

There are those who turn away in search of cover. Yet the artist
pushes forward, eyes to the sky, knowing there a truth to
be discovered.
When the raindrops fall there is music, there is a symphony of
brilliant sounds created when the drops join the flower
petals, tree leaves and Earth. The imagination
stirs and words, thoughts, and dreams
begin a joyous dance -
suddenly lightning strikes.
The world is stripped of color and cast into
an stark, unreal black and white. Everything stops.
Somewhere a small voice asks,
“Can I do this?” “Am I good enough?”
That’s when the rumble begins...slow at first...
then louder,
and louder still
until the small voice is drown out by a triumphant cheer.
“This is who I am. This is what fills me. I can’t help myself”.
Moments later, a creation is born.
A flood of color blossoms upon the
canvas of the Earth and
everything feels new.
Copyright Natasha Reilly 2009.

Does the world not seem like the MOST beautiful place now??

Please share your thoughts, ask the artists questions, leave a comment and some love here. Then, go visit these artists at their shops and blogs, share some more and tell a friend!
Thanks so much for visiting!!