Friday, December 19, 2014

Celebration Offers On News I Couldn't Wait to Share!

I couldn't help myself, I heard from my editor today and my book has a name! Now that might seem like a silly reason to write, but I just couldn't keep it to myself! I wanted to run over to the studio and throw a party and invite all of you! But if you're anything like me, you are in the throes of Christmas preparations, wrapping presents, baking goodies, and just can't fit one more thing in. This email announcement and a celebratory offer will just have to do! And so, without further ado, to be released summer 2015. . . 

"The Art of Expressive Collage; Techniques for Creating with Paper and Glue." 

Whoop! I love it!

Celebrating With Two Special Offers!
Since the book is about my own unique take on the art of collage - what better way to celebrate then with original art? Here are two special offers . . .

Free Original Postcard Art and Chance to Win Large!
Sign up this weekend (today, Saturday or Sunday) for my first workshop of 2015 and receive a free original work of art! I will have a hand made postcard (4" x 6") sized original collage ready and waiting for all who sign up for the class before the end of the weekend (Sunday December 21st) and- for each person who takes advantage of this special offer (or those who have already registered), your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a larger work featured in the book, up to a $600 value!

The workshop will be held at The Healing House Art Studio, in the far North Suburbs of Chicago, the last weekend of February/first weekend of March - Encaustic Wax on Plexi. Head on over to my blog here for workshop details and to register, but don't wait, this special offer for free art will end Sunday December 21st!

Limited Time Offer
Can't make it to the workshop but want one of those postcard size original works of art? Here's your chance! For only $30 you will receive an original 4" x 6" collage. These postcard sized works will be created on 140# Strathmore Watercolor paper, just like all of my work. To allow me to offer them to you at this special price, they will not be framed or mounted, but can easily be done so by your framer, and can even be mailed to a friend as mail art! (My original 4" x 4" works that are mounted typically sell for $150, check them out here.)

This is a limited time, limited number offer. So join in on the celebration and grab one fast!

4" x 6" Original Collage $30.00

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas- Still An Expression Of His Love

It has been four years since I wrote this post but find it every bit as relevant today. As we head toward Christmas week, I am linking virtual arms with you in awe and anticipation....

It is just a few days before Christmas and I have gone as far as I am able to go in preparations without more money - just waiting on hubby's current paycheck to show up in the mail.

Every year I say I'm going to get an earlier start - and this year I actually kind of did - as far as I was able to without getting fully paid for one of my own teaching gigs. But somehow here we are again down to the wire with still a few crucial things left to do. Always one kid who doesn't give me a list until the last minute and even with a minimal budget, times seven kids, it adds up to so much money!

And of course it doesn't help that we have a car in the shop (also waiting for the current paycheck).

But really - the tree looks so pretty and the railing up the stairs is wrapped in garland and antique glass Shiny Bright ornaments with the stockings all hanging along the way and it is just such a magical feeling...

I know it isn't about the gifts and the giving and the getting. It is about THE GIFT that we each received when God came to earth and was born as a babe in the manger, preparing to serve and spread the good news of His sacrifice to be freely given to all who ask - But how else could I even begin to express my joy? My desire to give what I have so freely been given? Nothing - NOTHING can even come close to that feeling.

And yet I try. And I will keep trying to express the love he has put in my heart for my family through the decorating and the baking and the gift giving and the wishing of Peace and Merry Making.

And I wanted to share this joy with each of you in some tangible way. But I couldn't because, you know, the money thing. And also the running out of time- which is very nearly as scarce as the money this time of year, especially since I tend to squander it sometimes - but then I remembered HE gave his gift to you too! 

And we can just link our arms together over the virtual miles and gaze up at our Christmas trees or at the stockings hanging along the railing and just be content in the receiving of it. and the beauty of it. and the enormity of it.

and the knowledge that everything any of us really ever needs is right there in that gift. HIs gift. 
Eternity in His love.

Merry Christmas - it seems like such an inadequate way to express it - those two little words. 
and the tinsel. and the presents.

But there it is. My inadequate heart to express His more then adequate gift of eternal love. Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Looking Back at 2014 and Looking Ahead to 2015

"To The Nines" Collage by Crystal Neubauer

Rounding Out the Year with Gratitude!
Sitting here this evening looking back at 2014, I am keenly aware of how much I have to be grateful for. Thanksgiving brought a house filled to the overflowing with family, friends and canine guests in a true testament to the power of love. From a daughter who survived a hit and run while walking home from work the weekend before, to four wedding celebrations- not the least of which was my own daughter and new son-in-law, anniversaries of sobriety, and collage graduations, not to mention the long drive many family and friends made just to be with us that day.

Add to that incredible list, finishing up the manuscript for my book on collage, opening a studio with space for hosting workshops, getting accepted into outstanding shows, seeing my work printed in several publications, traveling to awesome locations to teach, and so very much more, and you'll understand why my eyes have been brimming all week long!

Open Registration for the first 2015 Workshop at The Healing House Art Studio
My first workshop of 2015 will be held in my own studio, The Healing House Art Studio, in the far North Suburb of Chicago, Gages Lake, the last weekend of February/first weekend of March - called Encaustic Wax on Plexi.

Plexiglas as a foundation for encaustic wax offers options that cannot be achieved with a traditional canvas. For beginner to experienced artist, this encaustic how-to workshop provides an excellent overview for combining encaustic wax with the mixed-media collage look you love while achieving a beautiful light filtering luminosity.

Read more about this workshop and register to participate on the workshop page of my blog here.

2015 Schedule & Guest Artists Announced
And speaking of heading over to the workshop page on the blog. I've just finished updating my personal workshop schedule for next year. There are one or two more dates and locations to come, but for the most part it is up and complete. I've also listed the schedule and names of the guest artists who will be traveling from all over the country to come teach at The Healing House Art Studio in the coming year. Specifics about the class offerings will be posted over the next few months, and registration will open in February, but for now, I am beside myself with excitement to tell you who is coming over to play - check it out on the workshop page here.

Last Minute Offering at The Healing House Art Studio
The Healing House Art Studio, Artist in Residence, Rebecca Stahr has a few seats left for her Intro to Encaustics class on Saturday December 13th. Take a break from the holiday rush and spend a creative day learning technique and good studio practice for this dynamic art medium. To see some beautiful examples of Rebecca's work, find out more about the class, and register hop over to Rebecca's website here.

Stepping Back
As amazing as the year has been, it was an absolute whirlwind of activity. From showing up at the table to write and prepare images for the book, preparing for a two-person show in Seattle last March, cleaning, painting, cleaning some more, painting some more, hauling equipment, setting up and organizing from dusk until dawn for an entire month to open the studio, to back to back to back workshops in the new space, Seattle, and Phoenix in the month of July, coming home and diving in to the work to prepare for the American Craft Expo in August, more workshops, more writing, more deadlines, more organizing, and phew! This is one exhausted girl!

Aside from the writing I need to do for the editing process of the book, and the updates I'll be making to get the blog ready for opening workshop registration in February, I plan to pull back from almost all of my activities and commitments for the next few months. I'll be spending my time letting myself play in my studio and enjoying family on the home front and just generally getting back into a steadier rhythm of life. This will probably be the last post you will get from me until after the holidays. I can't wait to celebrate Christmas with my family and am super excited to see what is birthed artistically in these quieter months of winter!

Until Next Year - May all of your days be Merry and your Christmases be White!