Sunday, June 29, 2014


S H A R I N G 
I am a bundle of half secrets, and partial truths.
I am like an onion made of layers and layers of skin. Is there a core, a center? Or if peeled would there be nothing. How much is real?
I live double lives. How many of me are there? Are we the same? Is my essence me? I want to be known. But who am I? How can I build a relationship, if I don’t risk exposure. What am I hiding from? Who am I so afraid of?
We only love what we know. If I am unknowable, how can I expect love. Life is about trust. Once shattered, how can it be rebuilt.
It is NOT better to be safe than to be open but it is much easier. Safe is an illusion anyway. Life will never be safe. Who wants a safe life?
I say I want a passionate life. A truly passionate life is not shrouded in mist. I can fool myself by doing … so busy … accomplished … so exciting … so empty. Take away the masks -what is underneath. How can I let others in? Slowly, one layer at a time.

My Secret Self: three word poetry
"Found Phrases: Diary of My 13 Year Old Self"
"Half Hidden: Broken or Breaking Free"

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Painting Little

Hello & Good Evening!

Sweet Artist Trading Cards

Just posting a quick up-date on a few projects. First I've started a page of ATCs. I hadn't done many lately and just felt the need for a little swapping so I've got to get two with the theme "Serenity" out this month (yes, I know the month is almost over hence the hurry) I love to paint little sometimes. Such immediate gratification -well as immediate as any artsy thing I do. I am not the speediest to say the least. Can you guess my totem? The Turtle: slow but steady, has a tendency to snap when provoked, and likely to tuck back into its shell. Both of land and sea. Oh definitely the turtle. Now, I've always like redbirds and owls as well but you know, why buck my nature. Some things just are :)

Next to share: I am working on a custom piece of artwork related to the book "Go Dog Go." I've got several variations mocked up and I've got to decide which to turn into the final piece. I am letting Sheri, who commissioned the piece choose if she likes. I can visualize finishing anyone of them.

Any comments or thoughts from the blog'osphere? Just when I think I have a fav, I change my mind. Once a selection is made, I'll collage on then tweak and blend and add more paints and probably some pastels. Could include words depending -we will see.

Anyway, it is getting late and I am starting to yawn so I'd better turn out the light! 
Have an Artful Evening! 

Peace Out!

Music for tonight:
A double feature by
Iggy Azalea

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Treasury-Making 101

I Just Love Creating Treasuries!

Getting to gather together all these wonderful items. Sensory overload in the best possible way! Here are some hints on making treasuries based on how I create my collections. I've included screen shots of example treasuries; some are mine and some are created by others. Clicking on the image should take you to the featured treasury but note as they get older some of the items will disappear as they expire or are sold. Incase the links with the images don't work, I've also include a list with the treasury links at the end of the post as well as links to the treasury's curator. If there is one you really like, you can check out other treasuries made by the same person/shop by searching the treasuries by the maker's name.


You don't even need a shop to create treasuries, just a free account which is super simple to do. Here is the link to Etsy and of course to my shop ArtfulBitsAndBytes.


1- Make sure the first four items are cohesive and interesting as this is what people will see when browsing the treasuries. They can be beautiful /disturbing /whimsical /mysterious /whatever; just make sure they catch your eye. Let them start telling your story.

2- Have a color concept even if the treasury is more theme based than color based.


3- Two color treasuries are probably the easiest to make attractive. If you are new to treasury making, then I would start with a two color treasury. Ideally include a few items with both colors in them and then a few with each color individually. There some beautiful exceptions to this tip (as there are to everything else on this list) but it helps to start with some guidelines then start breaking them deliberately once you've got the hang of the basics.

slower-than-molasses-running-uphill  aqua-sand

4- In single color treasuries especially, watch out for using the same color but with fighting hues or values. A lot of first time treasury makers have trouble with this. Just because an item is listed blue doesn't necessarily mean everything blue you find will go well together in the treasury.

 simply-blushing active

5-Three or more color treasuries are fun but you need to make sure they are balanced with approximately the same amount of each color represented. I love multicolored collections. For a first three colored treasury, I'd pick two complementary colors and pair them with a neutral like cream, grey, tan, brown or black. Great neutrals are easy to find and matching hues and values isn't as critical when working with them.


6- Don't forget to notice the backgrounds in the items you plan on featuring. This especially true for treasuries with primarily white backgrounds. Some are pure white, some have a blue or grey tint and others a cream or yellow tint. Try to keep the whites consistent or at least notice and arrange them so they compliment each other. Mix it up occasionally and play with unusual or colorful backgrounds.


7- Arrangement matters: color/darkness/lightness. Think of your treasury as an overgrown tic-tac-toe board. Checkerboard darker and lighter images unless you are creating an intensionally monochromatic collection.


Arrangement matters: shape/category. Use a variety of different types of items with different shapes, textures, and patterns. Don't put similarly shaped items next to each other unless it is consciously done to reinforce a specific theme -like all circular or all heart shaped items.

9- Make your collections creative and inspiring. They should reflect your aesthetic and preferences. Give them an interesting or though provoking title. Sometimes mine will even start from the title I want to use.

brave-humble creamy-mushroom-and-pea-sauce

10- Use "Your Lists" to create color lists of items for future treasuries or of items from your favorite shops/people or those you have committed to feature. (The list button is right next to the heart button) Be creative in how you find your objects using less obvious keyword searches. Go beyond searching only by typical color names so that you can include unique unexpected items in your treasury. For example in the yellow and black Stop the Clock treasury below, I may have used the words: bumble bee and sunshine in my search even though it isn't a collection specifically about bumble bees or sunshine. Also strive to evoke an emotion. I think the Brave: Humble treasury above does quite an impressive job of this. (Don't let all these hints stress you out though, it is ok to create simple yet impressive collections without getting all deep and intense)

minty stop-the-clock-tagt

11- Try creating two treasuries at one time when you have several specific shops to include. Making one colorful and the other more neutral; this will make it is easier than trying to fit every shop into one palette. Very few shops have nothing to include as long as the item is surrounded by the right "friends". Making treasuries does serve as a reminder that you should try to make it easy for others to include your items in their treasuries by making your  own images "treasury-worthy." Some folks use the Treasurybox app. I've never used it but since people seem to rave about how easy it makes creating a treasury, I plan on checking it out at some point in the not so distant future.


12- Save as Draft while you are creating your treasury. I just started using this feature and it has saved many a treasury. First if your computer crashes (which mine is known to do from time to time) you will only lose the items since your last save. It also allows you to start a treasury, save and then come back later to finish. Another great thing about the draft feature is that while it is saved but you are not in the editing mode, you can click and go to any of the shops or items you have listed. Often the first items I select for my treasury need to be reselected at the end because I've sort of changed ideas mid-way. Being able to easily go back to the shops/items in my treasury allows me switch out items for others in the same shop before I save it for everyone to view. BUT don't forget to save for Everyone when you are completed because when your treasury is saved as a Draft no one but you can view it.
 golden-and-purple oh-my

13- Make sure people can find your treasuries. Use tags wisely -include colors and when applicable include trending tags. Share your treasuries via convos with the shops whose items you have included; most people appreciate the feature. Many teams have discussions where you can also post your treasuries and some even have treasury challenges or games. I am in a great team called the TAG Treasury Team (TAGT for short).

three-cheerssummer-sunshine brave-sweet-jainestand-out

Finally, share the LOVE I like to try and include some shops that may be new or don't have many sales. Sometimes this can be difficult when the photos aren't really ideal but I look on it as a challenge. Also reciprocate treasuries you have been featured in whenever possible. When you really like a treasury swing by the curator's shop and maybe fav a few of their items so they will go through your feeds. These aren't rules but nice ideas -not to mention it is always better to have Karma on your side.

Ta-Da! Now you are ready to start creating your own.
Have fun but I warn you, treasury making can be seriously addictive!

Eye Candy: zzzonkowl's blog highlights some of the best treasuries day by day. Looking at well curated collections and practicing with your own is the best way for you to improve your treasuries! Not everyone you do is going to be a masterpiece and that is perfectly Ok! (although if it is truly bad; don't publish it, wait until later and edit it with fresh eyes then publish it once one have a treasury you can be proud of)

Have an Artful Evening & Good Night!

Snapshot of What is Left of My First Ever Treasury!
Curators List:

Treasuries List:

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Between Dad's death, arthritis, my knee going out & hurting all the time, work and financial pressures, etc, etc, etc, life has been feeling a bit daunting and certainly exhausting. I've been struggling to emotionally stay afloat. I know I am not alone -with slight variations my situation is similar to many if not most women at least at some time in their life. While my particulars may be unique to me the general condition of feeling overwhelmed is I believe fairly universal.

Teatime Dreams: Print of an Exuberant Multicolored Mixed Media Painting celebrating the Joy of Simple Pleasures and New Beginnings by Laurie Sikorowski

Mixed Media Acrylic Painting of Teatime Dreams

I need to make a few changes. First is the physical as I've truly neglected this part of myself. I've got to be more conscience of my eating especially since my knees have made exercise a challenge. "Eat to Live, not Live to Eat." I will find ways to gently move more and change my mindset from diet equals deprivation to a more positive point of view and enjoy the planning of healthy fresh eating. It is a matter of treating my body like the temple that it is.

Then there is the issue of TIME (oh little word, I've failed you so far) How to balance everything. I feel lost right now on this one. Better planning each week, yet still allowing for spontaneity. Prioritizing by importance, instead of what is easiest or most fulfilling. I need to not procrastinate especially on the frogs. Just Do It Already -and find the pleasure and joy in even the most mundane and difficult.

On the topic of time, I will not let the "real" needs take over. I say "real" (although maybe tangible is a better word) loosely because I will refocus my mornings and NOT skimp on my quiet time with the Lord as this could certainly explain a lot of my current emotional unrest. This is truly the most "real" and important thing I can do. Matthew 6:33 reads "...but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." I need to rely less on me and more on Christ.

Laurie Sikorowski -The strange gift

Mixed Media Acrylic Painting of the Greek Myth Goddess Persephone

I will also keep moments available for creative endeavors. Art is my gift and such a place of solace. When I am creating, I am in a state of bliss. I will not let guilt creep into my personal and "unprofitable" art play like my time of art journaling and doodling. I need to remember that not every moment has to be productive in an obvious way. 

I still want to get a class together. I really think I would be a very good art teacher/mentor. Oh balance, it is so difficult.

On a last artsy note, I bought a book "Go Dog Go" for a commissioned page (so excited to start working on it) but the book first sent was a small board book (the right book is on its way) so I've decided to make a Blessings/Inspiration focused art journal out of it. Perfect timing, don't you think? What better way to begin this refocussed attitude. There are no coincidences in life. I choose to see this little book mix-up as a gift and the first in many blessings I've been too distracted and stressed to notice. Ok Laurie, open your eyes and embrace your beautiful life! Well, I just think I will!

Music for the moment: 

Francesca Battistelli - "This Is The Stuff"