“artisan. artist. artistic.”

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it took me a long time to admit i was an artist.  i’m not really sure why.  maybe i thought i wasn’t worthy of the title?  to me an artist was someone who made a living off of their work.

when someone asked, “where do you work?” or “what do you do?” i almost fumbled over a response, like “well, i was a preschool teacher for years then i quit to commit myself to my artwork full time…”  how much easier (and less awkward!) to just admit – “i’m an artist”.

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last year i won a bottle of Dimensional Magic on the Mod Podge Rocks! blog.  i’d never used the product before and decided to use it to make some pendants with images of my artwork.  i also wanted to make some necklaces with old thesaurus pages.

(these photos are not great – i took them last year, before i started blogging.  the second photo was taken with my old cellphone.)

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i decided to make myself a necklace with the thesaurus page using the definitions of the words artisan, artist, and artistic.  (maybe if i wore the definition around my neck, i could say it out loud, right?)

i love the way the pendants with the words came out, and i LOVE my “artist” pendant necklace. but i won’t lie; i didn’t wear it right away.  but the more shows i do, the more work i sell on my Etsy shop, and as my work is starting to sell on our Arte de Nuestro Corazon site, i find my confidence growing.  having a Facebook business page has helped me too: you’re interacting with so many more people online, answering questions and getting feedback from customers and potential customers.  if you want to one day have a successful business, you need to step up.

i find myself wearing my artist necklace often now.  when asked “what do you do?” i answer, “i’m an artist.”

i might even hand out a business card…

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Crafty Chica Cruise 2013…

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i’m back! from the Crafty Chica cruise, that is. actually, i’ve been back a week already.  just wanted to share some of the many photos i took during the week…

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we set sail on monday, april 22nd.  i got to go on the cruise thanks to sylvia of Que Milagros Studio on etsy.  her husband couldn’t make it at the last minute and she invited me to take his place!  she called me on the 1 month anniversary of my father-in-law’s death, which was a very rough day around here.  at the encouragement of my husband lawrence and my best friend annette, i told sylvia yes.

i’d never been on a cruise before, and let me tell you, the Carnival ship we were on – the Inspiration – was like Vegas!  brightly lit, somewhat funky decor, clubs, bars, casinos…just one big party!  hungry?  thirsty?  no problem – the Lido Deck offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day,  with a variety of delicious options.  dinner in the Carnivale (yes, Carnival with an “e”) dining room was fun: i got to sit with a group of very cool and funny women, our waiters were a blast, even performing for us a couple of nights, and the food was pretty good (desserts were yummmmy!).

our schedule was docking in Catalina Island on Tuesday, and then Ensenada, Mexico on Wednesday.  Thursday was all day on the boat; we returned to Long Beach, CA on Friday morning.

i’d never been to Catalina before and i thought it was beautiful.  fresh air, lots of beautiful mosaic tile work on the sidewalks and buildings, and of course, lots of businesses to shop at.  In Ensenada, we stuck to the downtown area and did a little shopping.  my favorite stop was at Casa Ramirez – beautiful, authentic art pieces made by local artists, with friendly and knowledgeable staff more than happy to talk about the items in their shop. if you’re ever in the downtown Ensenada area, i strongly recommend you visit Casa Ramirez!

we did some crafting on the boat –  my favorite workshops were the leather ring workshop, by Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo; the “La Chica Doll” workshop with Annette and Theresa Armas of CJ’s Angels; and the Sacred Heart workshop with Yoli Manzo of Sacred Yoli Designs.

i only completed the doll and the sacred heart workshops; i’ll share more about the workshops themselves in a later post.  i want to finish up the projects i brought home.

oh – i won a Gelli Plate! have you guys heard about them?  i first heard  of them from Yoli on her facebook page.  i’m so excited i got one and can’t wait to use it in my mixed media work!!!  check out their site and see for yourself at Gelli Arts.

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the best part of the cruise was running into old friends, meeting Facebook friends in real life, and meeting lots of new people.  i even got to meet one of my favorite artists, Emily Costello.

on Thursday evening, our last night on the ship, we had a “mercado nite”, where we had a chance to sell our homemade items, artwork, etc.  i made back a good chunk of what i spent during the week!

stay tuned for more about the projects i did on the cruise…

(btw, the last photo of the sunflowers: my mom bought them for me when i returned Friday. ♥)