May 29, 2014

ATC Collection with Dina Wakley MEDIA paints!


I recently ordered and received Dina Wakley's new MEDIA paints and brushes from Ranger and wanted to give them a try.  So I did an ATC master board using her paints, and my stamps.  Here are the results...

The paints come in 12 colors, and there are 4 different brushes.  The paints are heavy body with a nice creamy consistency, and dry to a matte finish.  I love the bright, sunny color palette.  The brushes have long handles which makes them easy to use when working on a canvas on an easel, and they have stiff bristles that hold their shape nicely.

I used the paints with a brayer to create a nice blue/green background, and then added some of my scratchy shape stamps (EEV02) with archival ink to the background, then layered on some tissue collage with the dotty texture stamp (EEV06), and finished it off with the bold swirl/circle stamp (EEV01), the fine brush lines and fringe border stamps (EEV05).

I cut the master board down to ATC's and added a black border with an oil based black Sharpie paint pen.  These will be used for future He[Art] Cards in my new program at work.  Kick off starts this Friday!

Hope you're having a great week.  See you soon.

~ ellen.

May 28, 2014

The Weirdest Part of our Trip

I can't believe I forgot to share this....

When we arrived at The Bellagio and checked in to our room, I immediately noticed the room number...

Just one number removed and you get this...

OMG! It's 10:36!  Just can't get away from it... too funny!  Had to share it here on 1036art... :)

Have a great day!

~ ellen.

May 26, 2014

Las Vegas and Grand Canyon


Before you get started, you may want to grab a coffee or tea... this is a LONG one!!

Jack and I just returned from a truly breathtaking vacation.  We try to take a "big trip" once every five years, and this time we hit two amazing destinations.  We had originally hoped to make the Grand Canyon our primary spot, but we waited too long to make our reservations, so we just had to tweak our plans a bit.  Since Las Vegas is where you would normally arrive for a trip to the Grand Canyon, we decided to just stay in Vegas and do a day trip to the canyon.  And since neither of us had ever been to Vegas, we decided to do it right, so we stayed at the hotel made famous by the movie Oceans Eleven... THE Bellagio!  Yep - the one with the fountains... OMG!  This was the view from our room...

And we were treated to the fabulous fountain show many times a day!  Here's just a few shots...

Pretty spectacular right?!  Truly a dream come true, to stay at The Bellagio with a fountain view. We quickly learned that to stay at The Bellagio means you are in arguably the most decadent resort in Las Vegas.  There are 16... SIXTEEN... restaurants, a 77,000 sq. ft. Spa (yes... I *had* to get a pedicure)...

an amazing Conservatory...

...amazing pools... 

a massive casino (not that we're gamblers, but it's quite impressive!), plus all the most decadent shopping you can imagine (personally, I couldn't even afford to window shop in these stores... we're talking Tiffany, Prada, Hermes, Armani, and the list goes on and on).  

One day we went to the Shark Reef exhibit at Mandalay Bay.  We saw reptiles, sharks, lots of tropical fish, jellyfish, and more...

The next day we did a little exploring and went to the Wax Museum - this was by far my favorite figure.... he was outside by the entrance and with the wind blowing his hair it (HE) looked SO real!  Ahhhhh.... Johnny Depp.... yummo.... :)

Then we walked through the shops between The Pallazzo and The Venetian resorts... OMG it looks like you're in Italy! They even have indoor gondola rides!  Check this out... this is INside!

Another day we took a short tour to see the places where some TV shows are filmed, including Counting Cars, Tanked, and Pawn Stars.  These shows are all reality type shows on History, Discovery and Animal Planet.  Pretty cool to see the actual locations - but they all looked so much smaller in real life!  

Then we took in dinner at The Luxor (shaped like a pyramid). This is the restaurant where we ate - see how the walls are slanted inwards?  That's where all the rooms are for the pyramid hotel - around the pyramid shape - not for you if you're claustrophobic!

After dinner we saw the Criss Angel magic show.  Creepy, but pretty cool!

And the next day a whole new adventure... a 15-hour day tour of the Hoover Dam and The Grand Canyon!  Our day started at 6:00 am when we were picked up by our tour.  We were on a 12-passenger shuttle bus - very nice - breakfast, lunch, bottled water and snacks were all provided. Our first stop was at Hoover Dam... our tour guide showed us this trick to make it look like we're holding up the arch bridge... LOL!

This is the back side of the dam, of all the water being held back.  I couldn't get a good shot of the front of the dam as you're not allowed to stop on the bridge that provides the good view.

As you probably have heard, the southwest of the US is in a severe drought - and this picture illustrates it perfectly... the line between the dark and light rock is where the water *should* be... ouch.

And then we drove on for 3 more hours and arrived at The Grand Canyon... I know you've probably all heard this before, I certainly had, but nothing can prepare you for the SCOPE of the view... no picture could do it justice, but here are a few of my shots.  I became obsessed with the plants and the environment.

The first stop on our trail (yes, we walked a 1.7 mile trail along the rim of the Canyon!) was at Hopi House, a Native American Indian gift store chock full of hand-crafted Indian creations - I was in *heaven* !!!

Outside the store, there was a Native American dance troop performing.

I'm not sure what this guy's role was, but he was just so cool to look at, and he was so great to take pictures with all the kids after the show.

The required "selfie" at The Grand Canyon.  Turned out OK!

And here's some shots of the vegetation, trees, etc...  Some of the plants and trees just look so, well... dead... and yet there's still life! Beautiful!

We made one stop on the trip back for dinner, and we were safely delivered back to The Bellagio at 9:00 pm.  A very, very long day, but so so worth it!  

On our last full day in Vegas, I treated myself to a hot stone massage at the spa.  It felt amazing and I had a wonderful therapist/technician.  Unfortunately, my lower back did not respond well to the treatment and I actually was in a fair amount of pain (like, in tears by the time I got back to the locker room) afterwards.  Not the best way to end a vacation.  The manager at the spa was appropriately concerned, talked to me, filed a report, called Security, and made sure I got back to my room (nothing like being escorted through The Bellagio lobby and casino in a wheelchair to brighten your day), and of course my massage was at no cost.  Fortunately, the pain subsided fairly quickly with some Tylenol and rest, and we enjoyed the best room service dinner *ever*.  Silver lining.  

Didn't mean to end this on a bad note... this was truly an amazing vacation.  Once in a lifetime, and a couple of items checked off the proverbial bucket list!  We're already thinking about our next big trip - I wonder where we'll go!  Can't wait!  If you're still here... thanks for hanging in there through this *monster* post.  I'll be back to art projects soon with more to share.  Take care til then!

~ ellen.

May 16, 2014

Worlds Collide: Art + Work


Happy Friday!  A few weeks ago I did a major re-organization, purge and re-claiming of my office at work.  After six years, I had accumulated a lot of "stuff" that I just didn't need cluttering up my space, and my head, so I finally took the time to do something about it.  Part of the re-claiming process was bringing in some fresh ART to the office so I thought you might like to see...

I don't have any "before" pix, but here's the results... one of my main goals was to bring in new lighting - no more fluorescent overhead lights... YAY!

Recognize that orange piece in the center of the wall?  One of my PA projects has a new home at my office.  I've kept work and art separate for so long... it feels really good to have some of my art with me while I'm at the day job...

And see those folders on the credenza?  I've got a whole collection of my altered manila file folders now being put to good use!  Remember this one?

And these...

Here's a closer shot of the wall art... The two framed pieces are: watercolor sketch I made about a year ago and finally framed... and an abstract piece I did using my new PA stamps...

And.. more lighting... I got this awesome paper lantern at IKEA and it gives such a lovely soft *glow* to the office.  Now people come in to my office and they feel like they're at the spa! Sometimes they don't want to leave!  LOL!

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my work life... have an awesome weekend and hope you get some creative time.  See you soon!

~ ellen.