Sunday, 30 September 2012

Last face, a new challenge and award

My last face number 29, phew! Was going to do an oil for today, but as I started the challenge with the intention of getting to grips with acrylic paints I thought I better do my last face in that medium. I still not hundred per cent happy using acrylics, but I have discovered a new technique that creates dreamy romantic paintings. I call it splatter! I paint the picture in a flat style then use layers and layers of splatters (Made by using very wet paint. You fill the brush with paint then flick the bristles and splatter!) It is hard to control but you can get some interesting effects.

I have really enjoyed the challenge even though at times I wondered what I was thinking when I signed up for it! I think next time I do something like this make I must be sure I don't have any big projects in the pipeline.

New Challenge!
Would you believe it I am setting up my own challenge, yes, you guessed it I am a workaholic! I have always wanted to keep a decent journal, but get distracted. So, October is Journal Month – I won't be able to do a page a day, but have intentions of doing at least 2 a week. There I am now committed!

Here is the first page with the scripture I am taking into the coming week. I have to admit that I have added some embellishments after I uploaded – yes the flowery things. Think I will be on the lookout for stamps now. Sigh, the collecting of art tools never stops. Hehehe. (Any tips for avoiding seriously buckled pages, would painting a layer of gesso help?)

I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13 NLT

Have a great week creating lovely art and objects.

Linking with Sunday Sketches

PS - the Liebster award

Thank you Denthe ♥! This award involves sharing 11 things about myself, answering 11 questions posted by the giver, and then nominating 11 blogs. I am informed that this should be blogs with less than 200 followers.

The 11 Questions posted by Denthe

Do you collect things? And if so, what do you collect and why?
Old China, the art work on them just inspire awe. I would have trouble painting the motifs on paper let alone china. Also cats real and memorabilia! Why just love cats and their attitude.
What is your favorite city and why?
It has to be Paris. Whenever I have been there I have had the most amazing time.
What irritates you immensely?
Barking dogs, there is one next door and he drives me crazy, I like dogs, but this one is mean as. Jumped the fence and tried to eat my cat, big boy Ambrose. Need I say any more.
What do you love most about yourself?
Now thats a hard one. Probably that I am loyal to those I love
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
My Body? Not because it is ugly, but because it is broken and lame.
What do you really want to do before the end of the year?
Believe in myself as an artist, since blogging I am getting there. Get some chooks so that I can have my own eggs.
What is your favorite form of exercise??
Sitting on a sofa reading! Seriously, I used to be a lunatic trail runner and thought nothing of running up mountains and going for a 30 mile jog. It stuffed up my body big time.
What do you do when you're stressed?
Watch TV, read and eat and swear at the cats I do apologise to them later and they forgive and purr and slobber over me.
Are you a morning- or a nightperson?
A disgusting morning person, I been known to be up long before dawn.
What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Feed the cats and make my first cup of tea for the day.

11 things about myself
  1. I love cats - have three at present

  2. After a lifetime of wandering the globe, I have settled in NZ and love it. I am a Kiwi but left it at an early age and came back about12 years ago.

  3. I love my house,and its large garden, and hopefully some hens soon. Just got to convince my neighbour that they don't attract vermin!

  4. I am gloriously happy single and intend to stay that way. Had a long marriage that should have ended years before it did.
  1. I am very self–centred (selfish?). But then all committed artists are if they are honest, think of your partner or family sitting alone while you are creating. But because they love us or they know that we are hell on speed if we are not creating they put up with it!
  1. I love humour, and often see the funny side of things on the wrong occasions.
  1. People watcher – one of my favourite activities to to have coffee at cafes and watch the other customers and wonder about them – or it could be that I just like a decent latte.
  1. I am a paradox, I love my own company and people think of me as a loner, but I love people all sorts, and need to interact with them. Maybe it is my selfishness coming out - I only want people around me on my own terms
  1. I hate sitting and doing nothing.
  1. I love colour, and hate the current trend in Kiwiland for its obsession with black, black all the time. The world is depressing enough without having to wear mourning clothes. Ouch, some people are going to hate that!
  1. I am a very committed Christian, although I am not a fan of churches. Maybe because I have not found one that I think is honest.  Ouch again!!!!
11 Blogs - I hope none of these may have more than 200 followers, so in no particular order:

There are heaps more and if you want to nominate yourself feel free to do so!  just grab the button and go for it.

My 11 Questions for the above:
  1. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
  2. Are you a dog or cat person
  3. Who is your hero or heroine in the art world?
  4. If you had to spend a month on a deserted island what famous person you would like to accompany you.
  5. On this said island you were allowed only one song to play what would it be?
  6. What drives you crazy?
  7. What is your favourite colour?
  8. If you were allowed only one art medium what would it be?
  9. What do you like best autumn or spring?
  10. What is your favourite activity
  11. Do you like chooks (hens)
NB You don't have to take part, I won't be offended, as I know some people don't like this sort of stuff and I know it is time consuming. But I would love to read your answers! If you take part please ask your nominees 11 questions.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Faces Catch Up

For Paint Party Friday I am going to devote to my catch up on the 29 Faces challenge at Ayala's. (I got behind because I have had the flu for the last few weeks, can't get rid of it, going to make sure I get the flu vaccination next year!)

First 2 drawings are by Picasso, he has been a great influence on my art since I was a teenager, then, I liked his strange abstracts and colours. I still like them but nowadays I love his drawings. I have chosen two to copy.

Face 25
Picasso was a man for the ladies and he had many muses throughout his life. This drawing is of Francoise Gilot done in 1943, she was an art student that Picasso befriended and had two children by – Claude and Paloma named for the dove of peace. When I first saw it I found it difficult to believe that it was his. A man of may styles. I just love the hair.

Face 26

This is a more typical drawing of Picasso's and I just love the simplicity and economy of line. Actually it is quite hard to get such simple lines to look right and it took me three attempts before I felt I had got it!
Now two painters that have influenced me throughout. I gave myself the task of only allowing myself two hours to do each one! That's why they look sketchy.

Face 27

This is a copy of Matisse's “Green Line”, it was a portrait of his wife. I think it was the first time that he started to use arbitrary colour in portraits. Matisse has been a big influence with the use of colour. He taught me that things did not have to be the colour you see, but any colour you felt was right.

Face 28

You guessed it this is a copy of Modigliani, an Italian artist of the early 1900's. This picture was of Jeanne Hébuterne his mistress who killed herself after his funeral. He was a sad character hooked on drugs and alcohol. But like Van Gogh he could paint and most of his fame came after his death.

A book of his paintings was the first art book I ever had, I brought it with a voucher I had won for an art prize at school. So, you could say he has been a life time favourite. I got to say I really enjoyed painting this much more than the Matisse work!

Well there you have it, 28 Faces, only one to go! I will post the 29th on Sunday Sketches, so check it out it is going to be a painting in my own style and I have given myself tomorrow to complete it. I have to say while the challenge has been great, it has been a challenge! It has taught me a great deal about my art and what I like, so it has been a very worthwhile event for me. So thank you Martha for setting the Challenge.  
Happy PPF Day every one.


Faces 23 and 24

Still trying to play catch up, here are two profiles mainly because I find that they are difficult to do. The artists I've chosen are Pablo Picasso and an English artist R B Kitaj.

Face 23

R B Kitaj is a lesser known contemporary of David Hockney, he is a figurative painter with a twist. I have always liked his work as it is slightly different, he seems to have an eastern feel to his work. I did this copy in pastel pencils and am not sure I got the mood of Kitaj's pastel right. I was doing it from a black and white reproduction and that could be what my problem was. However when taken away from his work I am very happy with this.

Face 24

Hah Picasso! No surprises for guessing that he is a major influence for me. I have liked him since I was a teenager. Initially I liked his lopsided face abstracts, I still do, but as I delved into his work more I saw that he was an amazing draftsman, and he could draw with much sensitivity. It is a drawing with this sensitivity that I have chosen to copy today.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Faces 21 and 22

On top of the flu now so have to play catch up. I have decided for the remainder of my faces I am going to do portraits or copies of portraits by artists that have influenced me. Today two very different artists, American Georgia O”Keeffe (1887-1986) and German Egon Schiele (1890-1918), born at the same time in history, but lived their lives a world apart.

Face 21

Georgia O'Keeffe was a fascinating artist. She was the muse and mistress of a prominent 1930's and 40's US photographer, Alfred Stieglitz– I did this drawing from one of his photos. Yes she is holding a skeleton of a cow's head! She is best known for her flower studies especially, the lily. However, her landscapes are awesome mostly of New Mexico where she lived from the 40's till her death. She believed in the power of Nature –she tried to portray the divine harmony which embraces and connects all living things.

Face 22

Egon Schiele was a different kettle of fish. He was a product of the turmoil in Europe with the 1st World War and all the new ideas that were floating around about human existence and the role of the artist. I have only ever seen his drawings but they fill me with sadness, he manages to portray intense emotion .
This drawing was completed when he was quite young (he died when he was only 28) Drawing this picture made me realize that his style has influenced me tremendously, and I did not believe that he had!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Proverb 31:17

This proverb is all about strength and being hard working. That certainly was Alice. Some translations talk about strengthening the arms and loins! The equivalent of today's gym workouts? I think even today any farmer's wife will tell you about the early starts – especially dairy farmers, as Alice was in her young life. I know she helped my Grandfather clear the land, because of a family story.

They had my Grandfather's grandmother living with them and even though she didn't speak English only Yiddish or Polish, at the beginning she was able to look after the children. One day Nana heard Bertha screaming and she looked out the window and there was my father wheeling his brother up the steep hill in a pram (My father was 4 and Trevor was 1) She started to call out and to her horror, my dad pushed the pram down the hill till it was hurtling down at a great speed. She recalled that she had never ran so fast and even managed to stop the pram before it hit the bottom where there were rocks and lots of tree stumps. Hours of walking the hills with my granddad paid off! It was decided then that Bertha would retire from child minding and Nana would look after the house and children and Bertha of course! And granddad got one of his brothers to help with the clearing. I think it was from that time that their inside/outside roles were firmly established.

I think that Proverbs 31:17 is one that is necessary for woman with children be it one or four or twelve, she needs to be strong with all that lifting of babies and the juggling of the household. If she starts out weak she certainly will end up strong!

I have used the painting that was in my first tribute – it was digitally manipulated. I haven't painted a separate painting for today's post as I have had the dreaded lurgy (flu) this week. But I managed to drag this painting out and I repainted her face as I was never happy with it. I had overworked it. Now I am pleased with it. She might even go on the wall.

29 Faces

For 29 Faces series I am up to no. 20 Wow! Just a quick pastel that's all I could cope with between the coughing, spluttering and feeling sorry for myself!

I was going to post on Up the Creek which is going well.  As I haven't worked on it at all this week I will post on it next week.

Have a happy PPF day and Sunday Sketches  everyone.

Linking with Paint Party Friday

Friday, 21 September 2012

Faces 18 and 19

Getting behind! Have excuse got the dreadful lurgy (flu). In between bouts of coughing, spluttering and groaning, I have been working on this drawing for a children's book. Katie and her pesky brother Thomas. I used graphite pencils, as illustrations for this age (6 -9) group are always b & w. Think I will have to redo her eyes as the eyeball looks a bit strange.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Face 17

This portrait is in coloured pencils, Whenever I see a photo in papers or magazines that I think is interesting, I tear it out and keep to draw later or for ideas for characters. However, I am a bit naughty I should put the persons name on the sheet, but often forget. He is a well known NZ artist or art critic because the cutting came from a art magazine! So we will call him Sandy, and I apologize if he finds out and is offended! Lol.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Face 16

I have been working on this all day yesterday and some of today. I am not happy with the face, think I will have to wait till it is dry and start again. I like her expression, I think I done so many scraping off and starting again that I have got lost. So I will leave it for now and look at it in a week or two. Sometimes the answer comes then or I might decide to leave her.

Her name is Pamela, a friend, she is half Chinese half Kiwi. A gentle shy girl with a lively heart.

Hey, we are over half way! Loving the challenge. It is really stretching me. Do go to Ayalas's and see what all the other participants are up to. There is some amazing art. The button is in the side bar.

Monday, 17 September 2012

A Mishmash

This week I have been playing with oils and watercolour paints
It is spring here and I wanted to capture the colours of spring in the above oil sketch.  I am afraid it is entirely made up, but I would love to own a luscious blue vase like that.

Here in this oil, I did paint from life. The lemons were on the bench while I was painting the aubergine and so they had to be included, my bench is stainless steel, but I decided that red created a good tension in the still life.

Face 15

Face 15 in my 29 faces for September challenge. I am afraid to say I can't decide whether this sketch is a boy or girl, I am leaning towards girl, maybe that why she looks worried!

  Here is something to think about in the coming week.
Paradox of love

 The scripture I am taking into the coming week is:

Dear children,
 let us not love with words or speech 
but with actions and in truth
1John 3:18 NIV

Linked to Sunday Sketches

Friday, 14 September 2012

Proverbs 31:16 Tribute

One thing I have realized doing this series is that the Proverbs 31 woman is an ideal, no one woman can live up to all these qualities – there is not enough hours in a day! Another factor is that our circumstances might not require us to fulfill the criteria. Alice my grandmother certainly never was involved in the business of gardening, that was strictly my grandfather's role. She was in charge of indoors and he was in charge of outdoors. Although this verse could be referring to her thrifty housekeeping.

However, my maternal grandmother, Phyllis fulfilled this role very well. She was was widowed when my mother was 4 years old and she found herself the other side of the world from her family and had no means to get back to England. There was no pensions in those days so she cleaned, ironed, taught piano and gave singing lessons and eventually became a successful business woman. Throughout, it all she had a large vegetable garden and kept hens. Mum had all she could ask for.

So, Phyllis you were a good proverbs 31:16 woman. You were an inspiration for us to be all we can be, we can learn from your industry, integrity, and resourcefulness.

This week, I have painted my tribute in oil, no computer manipulation! I wanted the portrait to be a thoughtful study, as I think this verse is more about planning and organizing the way ahead.

29 Faces - no 14

For my 14th Face in the 29 Faces in September challenge I have used watercolour and pencil. I tried a new technique of scattering salt on the wet paint in the background and as it looks like snow so she is a winter nymph.

Face 13

This watercolour sketch is of a lady that I draw from time to time in an attempt to get her illusive quality of confidence. Her image has stayed in my head for a number of years. She was fascinating. I saw her at a wine festival, and she was decked out in her finest. Her clothes were bright and contrasting, she had used strong colours for her makeup and her hair was spiky and stood out like in the sketch, The colours were purple red and orange. She walked head tall and proud. I would say she was not a day under 50! Even though the colours were loud, she gave out the air of elegance. Oh to have such courage to be herself, I always think of this lady whenever I get nervous about what people will think of me. One day I will capture her qualities, I am nearly there, but I am missing something.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Faces 11 and 12

These two faces are ideas I have for a children's book I am writing, I have one chapter to go and I need to get cracking on the illustrations. The drawings in it will be black and white, but I need a colour one for the cover. I like to work out the main characters in colour as it gives me a good foundation for the black and white sketches. I can't make up my mind whether to have the main character, Columbia, as the first one or the second one.

The story is for 8 to 11 year olds and is a mystery fantasy. It is set on an magical island. The characters are slightly old worldy, which I think I captured in the first one. However my gut says the second picture will appeal to young girls? And as you guessed it there is a genie in the story. Unfortunately he has lost his memory because he was asleep for so long....

For both I have used a variety of media, acrylics, gouache and coloured pencils, with a tiny bit of tweaking in Photoshop for the backgrounds.

I want to have a painting day tomorrow so will see you all Thursday.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Face 10

10 Faces wow! Another 19 to go. So far I haven't had a problem with ideas. But, I didn't really consider the amount of time involved. I will have to combine some of my other work with this challenge. So a couple of days a week, I will post some of the illustration work I am doing. Luckily for me they are of faces, children mostly with the odd grown-up thrown in.

Sometimes when at the end of a day's painting, especially in oils, if the palette is not too muddy I like to slosh the paint around and then do a monoprint. It helps to clean the palette and the paint is not wasted. This face is inspired by Matisse.

Do go and check out the other artists taking part in the September 29 Faces Challenge at Ayala's.  Click on the button in the sidebar.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Face 9

A real quickie today, but appropriate.  Woke up bleary eyed, did not want to get going hence...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

White Flowers and Angels

29 Faces – Face 8

This last week has been about people , their faces, as I am taking part in the 29 faces in September Challenge at Ayala's. I have been painting with acrylics and gouache. Only one face on the computer! The face for today is a quick sketch in oil. She is Julie a very determined friend. I now know what I am/have! While posting my post at Paint Party Friday, I read an interesting interview about Martha the lady behind Ayala. She said that she had suffered from “Too many tools” syndrome. That's me! Click on the label 29faces below if you would like to see the other 7 faces. 

 White Flowers and Angels

For some reason over the last few days I have wanted to experiment with white. Thus these anemones above using the pastel tools in Corel Painter. The white magnolia, I drew with coloured pencils.(I think I got the centre slightly wrong, a bit off centre?)

I have been thinking about angels lately and am convinced that I have angels looking over me. When I found this scripture it was like a light going on! God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go. Psa 91:11 GNB

This scripture inspired this work, it was done from a drawing and painted in Photoshop.

Have a great week creating lovely work.

Linked with Sunday Sketches

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Up the Creek and 29 Faces

Face 7

First, I taking part in the 29 Faces in September Challenge At Ayala's. If you want to see the other 6, just click on the label 29faces below.
I brought some gouache yesterday and couldn't wait to try them. I am not sure whether she is startled or the look is “In your face, Mate!' At the moment I am just calling her Little Missy.

Up the Creek – a story of restoration

I have finally started on Up the Creek, it has has taken me 10 years to get going. At long last.... The triptych is the story of those 10 years. I have never painted autobiographical work before, so it is a bit scary.

It started with me being involved in a serious car crash in my final year at art school. Walking was a problem let alone painting. (I was awarded my diploma as I had a large body of work – pays to be a workaholic! And I could finish my thesis in hospital) While I was in rehab I did a drawing called “up the creek”(in NZ slang it means in a right old mess!) – me in a boat clinging on for dear life while the boat was being tossed and turned. I would show it here, but I gave it to the nurses and I think it is still on the wall in their office (well, it was on my last visit). I have been in and out of hospital ever since. On one of other visits I did this work in watercolour pencils. 

The idea has been mulling around in my head for ages. I have been unable to paint very well because of being unable to lift my arm much higher than mid chest. That is why I turned to pencils and computer because I could rest my arm on a desk. Well last year a miracle happened and my shoulder improved so that now I can lift my arm to shoulder height and sometimes higher. People have different theories about how it is healing. My belief is that God healed it. I became a Christian 2 ½ years ago and have been praying regularly for healing. There is a lot more to heal but I am on the path – one day I will walk without crutches!

Well, all this means is that I can paint again! I was slow getting started because I had got into the rut of believing I couldn't do it. But thanks to this blog and the wonderful comments people have made with my Proverbs series I feel that I have the confidence to do it.
So basically the triptych is about restoration – my path of recovery.

So here is the drawing for the first painting. This week I tinted the canvas with Prussian blue and it is large 1 metre by 1 metre! The canvas has been sitting and waiting for 10 years! I haven't posted it as a plain blue canvas is boring. At this stage I am not sure whether to make the boat fill the canvas or to make it smaller to signify how small we are. Next week I will draw the large boat with chalk on the dry background to see whether it is right if not I can wipe it out and do it smaller. I will post as I go on this on PPF days.

Have a happy PPF day everybody and thanks for visiting.

Scripture for the triptych
Painting one - Up the Creek
But why, why this chronic pain, this ever worsening wound and no healing in sight? You're nothing, GOD, but a mirage, a lovely oasis in the distance--and then nothing! Jer 15:18 Msg

Painting two - The Waterfall
As for you, I'll come with healing, curing the incurable, Because they all gave up on you and dismissed you as hopeless-- that good-for-nothing Zion.' Jer 30:17

Painting three – Restoration (Still waters)
"But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won't wither, the fruit won't fail. Every month they'll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing." Eze 47:12

Friday, 7 September 2012

Face 6

This is the acrylic version of yesterday's face. She is much more softer and looks as if she is in a romantic mood. Think I will call her Celtic Princess. Getting better at detail in acrylic, maybe because I brought some smaller brushes. While I was in the art supplies shop, I er hum brought some gouache paints like I need more paints right! Cant wait to try them.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Face 5

You can not keep the computer away from this girl for long! Today I have been painting a large canvas and need a break from paint. One of the reasons I entered this challenge was to find a way to bring colour into my illustration. I have got myself into a niche of black and white work and really would like to present some colour work for my next tear sheet for the publishers. But first of all I have got to find a medium and style that I can produce with reasonable fast turn around. Hence the acrylic experiments.

 I decided to draw a face and today paint it on my computer using the air brush tool in photoshop. Tomorrow, I will paint it in acrylics and see what we get.

For the background I decided not to do the wings. but felt she might be in a magical snow storm. I originally did a flat background and it was too dull. I wanted magic. I think she looks Celtic, so I am going to call her Celtic Tempest.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Face 4

This was originally a sketch of my neighbour's granddaughter enjoying the sun last summer. Brenda insisted that she was to wear the gardening hat. She finally did after she had stripped the band of all the plastic flowers Brenda had attached over the years! They laid strewn around the deck chair, needless to say her granddaughter had to attach them again before she went home.

For the hat and hair I let the original pencil lines show through the thin wash as I have not the confidence to do such detail in acrylic. On reflection, I think the pencil lines adds a depth? Of course this has to be called The Hat! Think I will give this painting to Brenda as she has been and is a wonderful neighbour.

To see other participants in Ayala's September Challenge of 29 Faces click on the button in the side bar. There is some amazing work there.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Face 3

In this picture I wanted to make more fluid than the last two, so I used heaps of water with the acrylics, however, when it dried it looked very harsh. By accident I had splattered some paint in one corner and I thought I wonder... so I flicked wet paint more or less all over and voila it was a lot softer. Amazing what you can learn from mistakes. So this lady is called “Splatter” or Raindrops keep falling on my head. Maybe because it is raining cats and dogs here!

To see other participants in Ayala's September Challenge of 29 Faces click on the button in the side bar. There is some amazing work there.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Face 2

I froze this morning, I stared at the paper and the acrylics and thought I can't do it, I hadn't a single idea in my head – for me that is unusual. So I sat down with my art journal and proceeded to draw 4 heads in 5 minutes! I was afraid of the acrylics. So taking my courage in my hands I picked a drawing, and found myself thinking of a haiku I had read yesterday at Art muse Dog and Carol's blog It was about the blue moon. So there you have it, Blue Moon Girl. Thank you Carol.

Please click on link in sidebar to view other participants in the September Challenge  at  Ayala's.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Flowers, People and Cats

This week I took up my watercolours for the first time in years. By my back door I have pot and pots of polyanthus It is time they were planted out in the garden as they are starting to look scrappy. I find that their colours inspire me in winter where there is just green and more green. I am quite pleased with the leaves, but the actual flowers themselves I am not so impressed. However, I really enjoyed painting them as they had given me much pleasure over the winter. Flowers are so inspiring.

I started to think about what inspires me the most and trawled through my files and came up with these images. It is interesting to look at your old work. Well nearly old they have been executed over the last year or so.

Things that give me inspiration


 butter wouldn't melt in their mouth boys and cute little girls

naughty children and harassed teachers

in your face teenage girls and sulky teenage boys

 beautiful young girls and elegant ladies

 tired husbands and exhausted wives

  eccentric old ladies and grumpy old men

fat cats and naughty cats


I am inspired by all of these as we are all so different from each other:

Each of us is an original
Galatians 5:26 Msg
We must thank God at all times for you,
friends, you whom the Lord loves.
2Th 2:13 GNB

Have a wonderful week and happy creating.

Linked to Sunday Sketches

29 Faces in September

I cant resist it. 29 faces in September? I thought about it, and thought another commitment, right! But then I said to myself, Ha! You want to get to grips with acrylics, well here is your opportunity.

So folks I am undertaking the challenge at Ayala. Go her blog and check it out, it looks fun and you will meet lots of new people with new ideas and ways of creating.