Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Book Signings

We are in the process of getting our first snow and ice storm of the year. That would be the reason I find myself tucked into my studio with a bit of extra time to blog. All the evening activities in town were cancelled. Sometimes people complain about the weather here in Iowa, but I love a good blizzard. Everything is so beautiful. We are all stuck home together. The regular schedule goes out the window and often times we spend our time creating. I've done so many scrapbooks while "stuck" inside during a long storm.

I cleaned off my family and friends bulletin board this past week. You know-this is the place where everyone's Christmas and school photos get posted for me to see multiple times a day as I walk by. I love this spot in my house-photos of all the people we love but it's time for the new rash of Christmas cards to start arriving. I decided to be pro-active this year and clean off the bulletin board BEFORE all the new photos arrive. I'm never quite sure what to do with these photos when I'm done, but this year I pulled them all off and then quickly adhered them to some pretty Christmas patterned paper. No fancy backgrounds, no embellishments, just laid the photos out quickly and stuck them down. And, you know what, it felt good-really good to have all the people we love safely placed in my family book next to my layouts from last Christmas. I think this is a new tradition I want to keep.

For one of the first times ever, I put my Christmas tree and decorations up the week of Thanksgiving. I am kind of in shock that I actually have most of my Christmas presents bought and wrapped. This is soooo unlike me, but I knew there was lots going on the next few weeks and if I didn't do it over Thanksgiving break it probably wasn't going to happen. I still have Christmas cards and some handmade gifts to go, but I'm getting there.

The first two weeks of December is always one of my favorite times of the year. We go to plays, the kid's school and church Christmas programs, celebrate a birthday and go on Christmas home tours. I love this time of year. There is just nothing sweeter to me than seeing my kids singing and doing all the motions to "Away in a Manger". This December it feels like I'm starting a whole new chapter. Yesterday, Nov. 28 Painted Scrapbook Pages was released by Lark Books. It's been so much fun sharing my new book with friends and family who had been there while I spent hours putting this all together. I've had lots of questions lately about book signings and where to buy the book so I figured I best include all the facts here on my blog. If you really want a personalized and signed copy, you can contact me or stop by one of my scheduled book signings here in Iowa. For those of you who haven't had a chance to see the book yet, you can also go to my website and follow the links to Barnes and Noble.

Book Signing Itinerary

Main Street Book Store
615 Franklin Street Pella, IA 50219 641-628-3235
December 7, 2006
Thursday, 6-8 pm

Barnes and Noble Book Signing & Scrapbooking Class
4550 University Ave West Des Moines, IA
Jan. 13, 2007
Sat. 1-2 pm Scrapbook Class
Melynda will be teaching three brand new techniques from "Painted Scrapbook Pages". Learn to paint your own scrapbook paper with such unconventional tools as old credit cards, bubble wrap and marbles. All materials will be provided.
Call 515-226-0162 to reserve your spot for this free class (class size is limited-call soon to schedule)
Sat. 2-3 pm Book Signing and Question/Answer Session

About Painted Scrapbook Pages:
Every scrapbook is a personal treasury, filled with our most cherished photographs and keepsakes. Don’t those special memories deserve distinctive, individualized background displays? Of course they do! With these creative ideas, it’s simple to produce one-of-a-kind background papers. Experiment with almost 40 techniques, from faux finishing (sponging, marbling, crackling) to brushing, stamping, and lettering. Make impressions of a child’s hand on paper for an adorable handprint border. Produce a stunning tone-on-tone effect by scraping drops of paint across the paper’s surface with an ordinary credit card. Photos of the finished pages showcase the variety of looks each technique can yield.

Hope you enjoy the book!

I'll continue my "Scrapbook Strategies" blogs soon.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kids + Art = Creativity Boost

We held a Kids art and sports camp at our church today-Camp Power Play. 40+ kids with half doing a sports track and half creating art. For the art track we planned 4 activities- tie dye, journal making, crayon-resist with watercolors and a canvas painted with acrylics. 20+ kids, 4 projects in 3 hours. I'm tired!

What strikes me now after finishing a week of planning, preparation, buying supplies and organizing- there is something so rejuvinating about teaching someone else how to do what you love. Sharing the knowledge, passing on the skills, inspiring a new generation to create-that fills me up. I was exhausted earlier this week and a bit stressed figuring out how we were going to do this all for the first time. But, now, that it is finished, I am refreshed, ready to tackle my own projects again. And, I think there is a lesson in that. Giving back, fills you up. Gives you a new outlook and a fresh perspective. Because I was shopping for new projects, I found supplies that I hadn't discovered before. I was challenged to do something new, because I had to teach it. And, that is truly the best way to really learn something-teach it to someone else.

I didn't accomplish much in my studio this week. I was too busy planning for the kids, but I have a feeling that something even better, something new is going to bubble up next week, because my creativity was stretched by serving the kids. Their smiles, their excitement, their fearlessness in approaching a new project, it all reminds me how to be an artist, reminds me to set aside my adult sensibilities and get messy making cool stuff.

I'm exhausted, but I feel like a new woman. The "lesson for the day"... GO make ART with some KIDS-messy, wild, gluey, art - you won't regret it!!!