Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

2012 ~ a year in review 
  • I traveled to France, Italy, Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and throughout California to teach
  • I was away from home teaching about 11 of the 52 weeks (though it felt like more!) 
  • I taught about 70 classes/workshops (probably more)
  • I was published in Cloth Paper Scissors, Quilting Arts, Pages,  and Studios magazine.
  • I got a new website

  • I really embraced my word for 2012: preparation.I got organized: with class handouts, spreadsheets and google calendar and being as prepared as I could be for my students and my life.
  • 5 years of teaching an after school art program to 4th and 5th graders ~ Mundo Lindo ~ as my friend Susie says, possibly my most lasting legacy.

egg carton flowers
Mundo Lindo ~ Beautiful World

  • 214 blog posts in 2012, here on JaneVille. I love my blog and work hard on it. I hope you love it too. I'm changed the comment thingey, so it will be easier for you to leave comments, so please do. I love hearing from you!

the kindness chronicles

  • I created Interviews as Inspiration, a regular feature on my blog, and I've done 7 interviews in 2012 of  people I admire, with more to come.
  • 12 new tutorials this year, you can see them all on my Tiny Tutorials page.

my new DVD
My new DVD available here
Quilting Arts DVD
I'm a cover girl! I make three appearances
 on QA TV this new season 1100.
Let's not forget Yoga Poses in Public Places! And 8 years of regular yoga practice.
san clemente dec 2012
San Clemente, CA December 2012
My husband and I, October 2012
Most important of all, is that I have had 
my beloved husband by my side for nearly 36 years.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

from my sketchbook ~ Pinecones & pods


You probably recognize parts of this sketchbook page. The tutorial for the watercolor pinecone is here and the water soluble pencil tutorial is here. I added the stipple version, and pods to complete the page.

I worked over this over a few days, as I usually do on a 9x12 inch sketchbook page.
I sewed this handmade paper onto the larger page


and cupcake toppers too!

I'm thinking about my word for 2013. Are you? Let me know! I'll be doing a post in a few days about my word, and I'll list some of yours.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Doodled dishes

doodled dishes

doodled dishes

Inspired by my uber-talented friend, Alisa Burke, and her online class, I painted these dishes as Christmas presents for my friends. Doodling on white dishes from an import store.
doodled dishes
I used these pens, and then baked the dishes for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. 
doodled dishes

doodled dishes

doodled dishes

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Interviews as Inspiration ~ Mary Beth Shaw

This is the seventh of a series of Interviews as Inspiration. I'm inviting people I admire; artists, authors, people I know, and people I don't. It should be fun! and hopefully inspirational for both you and me. 

I met Mary Beth Shaw at an Art Unraveled art retreat, a few years ago, and loved her immediately because she's so very witty. Then I saw her beautiful, layered, textured artwork and loved that. THEN, she's starts a company called Stencil Girl Products and I find out how darn smart this woman is.
Mary Beth Shaw

Jane LaFazio: Tell us about your company, Stencil Girl Products, and how you got started. Where did the name come from.

Mary Beth Shaw: I have always loved stencils and often used my own hand-cut stencils in my work. Somebody saw them and suggested I have them manufactured so I could sell them to others. I had never even contemplated that but decided to give it a whirl. In early 2010 I took 6 of my designs and had stencils made. I took them out to ArtFest to sell during the vending event. There I was, sitting at a table, six piles of stencils in front of me. The doors opened, people rushed in and before I knew it, I was sold out. The next day people kept saying, "oh, you're that Stencil Girl....." hence the name. And now, I have a new book coming out titled "Stencil Girl" ~ a compendium of mixed media stencil techniques that will come out fall 2013

Stencil Girl: Mary Beth Shaw

JL: You have invited other artists to create stencils (genius), what gave you that idea? 

MBS: I had a few people approach me about having stencils made. And of course I could have done that, but I thought it would be really cool to collaborate with my artist friends and have a variety of stencil offerings. For each artist to have their own 'niche' is important to me. I adore seeing the variety!! 
artwork by Mary Beth Shaw

JL: Tell us about your own artwork. What media do you prefer?

MBS: I am really a mixed media person. I mean *really.* I will grab almost anything and throw it into my work. I enjoy the challenge of seeing what products will do and what sort of unique results I can obtain. Basically I use anything that is water soluble, meaning acrylic paints (rather than oil). But I also love to paint with encaustics too. (Mary Beth's first  book "Flavor for Mixed Media~ A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers" shows many of her fave techniques.) 

Peace by Mary Beth Shaw

JL: How did you start as an artist? 

MBS: In 2000 I quit my insurance job. I thought that I wanted to write but found that I suddenly couldn't string words together in a pleasing manner. I registered for a one day collage class and it turned out that Ann Baldwin was the teacher. She simply blew my mind! I started to sign up for anything and everything she offered. I took some fundamental art classes at UC Berkeley SF Extension and that was a great experience. It was a very synchronistic time for me and things started to fall into place in such amazing ways. That is how I got my studio in Sausalito (we lived in San Francisco in those days). I don't think I ever would have had the courage to do it had we lived in the Midwest then. 

Mary Beth's artwork on display

JL: Balance? Making art, teaching art, running a business (marketing, planning, production) how do you do it, girl?  

MBS: Every year I used to say that my New Year's Resolution was to achieve balance in my life. A few years ago I decided to re-frame that idea and now I strive for harmony instead of balance. It seems that balance is terribly precarious, like all the stars must be in perfect alignment for it to happen. Making art, teaching and also running a is a lot, that is for sure. I tend to start each day with the biz stuff and try to get it out of the way. I have great partners in my husband and my son- in-law. I have these control freak tendencies, but I have simply HAD to let go of that and allow them to run certain parts of the business with little involvement from me. Like manufacturing, shipping, inventory -no way I would have time for that! Making art and teaching art are my greatest joys and it is so amazing to me that I get to earn my living this way. I cherish each and every minute of the day.

Starry Night by Mary Beth Shaw

JL: What would your advice be to someone who wanted to start a similar venture, like Stencil Girl? 

MBS: It is a lot of work. Not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. You need to spend money to make money for one thing and that part can be quite scary. Also, being in business for yourself is truly a 24/7 proposition. I feel extremely lucky that I love my work so much. My guiding principle (with respect to the business and really, I guess to life in general) is The Golden Rule. My husband and I truly believe in treating people the way we want to be treated.

For the Living by Mary Beth Shaw
JL: What your favorite part of your day?

MBS: I pretty much love every part of the day for different reasons. I meditate morning and night and those parts of my day are very special to me. Cuddling with my kitties is such a delight. Sitting down with my husband, John, at the end of the day is a ritual I cherish. Being in my studio is such bliss. Life is good.

Mary Beth's Studio Lores, in Saint Louis,Missouri 

JL: Give us some titles of your favorite books. Any kind~ fiction, non-fiction, or art related. 

MBS: A fiction book that I adored is The Night Circus. I want to read it again and I rarely repeat. I also loved Water for Elephants and Eat Pray Love.
Mary Beth's entrepreneurial paternal grandparents,
"The Hoffmans"
JL: Future plans and dreams? For yourself and your art, your business. 

MBS: I enjoy traveling and teaching. I will be teaching in Italy in 2013 and I was in France last year, I mean seriously, how cool is this!?!?! The opportunity to join with my students for these smaller and more intimate adventures is a true gift. I hope to be able to do more of this in the future.

As far as my art, I have so many ideas that I want to pursue, new bodies of work, etc. I will not run out of ideas any time soon.

I want the stencil business to grow into other areas, not even sure what they are yet, but I feel sure it will all become clear. (We just launched our Stencil Club.) It is important to me to establish an entrepreneurial legacy for my grandsons. My grandparents were entrepreneurs but it seemed to skip a generation with my parents. 

Mary Beth's entrepreneurial  maternal grandparents,
"The Blue Bird Can Sing"
You can read my other Interviews as Inspiration here:

Rachelle Archer, expressive arts therapist at a school for homeless
Cas Holmes, textile artist
Mary Beth Shaw, artist and Stencil Girl Products founder
Marcia Derse, textile designer
Lesley Riley, artist and author
Danny Gregory, artist and author
Judy Reeves, writer
Carlo Roberts, The Blue Walk travel company founder
Jane Powell, Random Arts owner  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

egg carton flowers ~ my new obsession

more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio
more egg carton flowers!
Buddy helps with the photo shoot

more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio
What do you think? should I paint them, or leave them organic?
more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

more egg carton flowers!
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

egg carton flower gift tags
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio
Gift tags!
egg carton flower gift tags
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio
There's a egg carton flower tutorial here, and porcelain- looking egg carton flowers here and egg carton succulents here. I'm loving makin' stuff with egg cartons!
egg carton flower gift tags
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

egg carton flower gift tags
"EGGcellent Flowers" by Jane LaFazio

Sunday, December 23, 2012

more pinecones ~ tiny tutorial

pinecone dec 2012
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
1. With pencil, very loosely sketch the shape 

2. Loosely sketch in the triangular shapes to get the placement
3. Carefully draw the pine cone in pencil 
4. Then redraw and refine it in permanent ink 
5. Erase the pencil
6. Paint one shape at a time, varying the color as you work.
Leave lots of white of the page
7. Notice the lights and dark areas of the cone 
8. Once the watercolor dries, you can always go in
and add more darks
9. Nearly done
pinecone dec 2012
9. Add a border and some background color, sign and date
christmas cards
10. Our Christmas cards. My husb wrote the letter, this year, and I did the artwork.
We alternate duties every year.
Check out my other pinecone tutorial, using a water soluble pencil.

I'll be teaching some new and some revived Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style classes starting in January. ONLINE. Please go to my website and sign up to receive my newsletter (in the right hand column) to get the first word of my new online classes.
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