Friday, December 30, 2011

You can catch me at the crafting table

So, I wanted to do a quick post since I am on cloud 9 from my Michaels shopping adventure. I got so many things that I needed to start creating more designs. The things that I am really jazzed about:

1. It was a 70% after Christmas Sale, so all of the holiday stuff was super cheap. The best product I got was a bag of scrapbooking scraps. It includes over 76 pieces that range from leather, burlap, twine, colorful and glittery cardstock. It was regularly $20.00 but after the deep discount I got it for $5.00. Woohoo!

2. I finally replaced my missing glue gun. All Martha Stewart tools are 30% off so I got a nice gun with black and clear glue sticks for $10.00. Yippee!

3. I have been wanting to try Heat Embossing. I was able to get a top of the line Heat Gun that was originally $25.00 for only $12.00 becuase I had a 50% off on one item coupon. I also got some glittery red embossing powder and already experimented with the process. I love It and will probably be up all night with it.

4. New high quality paintbrushes. I have been using these cheap dollar store paint brushes. I love the dollar store but the brushes fall apart after a few uses and leaves traces of fiber in the sealant I use on the cards. Its not cute. So excited to test these bad boys out.

5. Embellishments. I got the cutest silver and glittery pieces to add to the work. They also were on sale and I got one pack for only 44 cents. Score!

The haul!

I already started decoupaged the cover of a mini composition notebook. These are cute little journals that will be great for purses. A Miles Davis under a Glittery rainbow inspired one is drying right now. I promise to show all the new stuff I make with this haul. I don't even know where to start. Its so many goodies.

Have you been to any after Christmas Sales?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crafting mania: Collage Jar Candle Holder and Ida B. Wells

So, I literally have been waking up and without eating breakfast running to my craft table and going crazy. I spent over 4 hours cleaning and organizing the space to make it more inviting. Everything has its own container and place which makes creating faster and more fun. For the past two weeks, I have been obsessed with saving any and all glass jars that come my way. I have saved peanut butter ones, spaghetti sauce, relish and pickles. I started saving them because I love the way they look without the label and I enjoy drinking juice and wine out of them. It reminds me of my grandma who only drank out of jars. She was all about canning peaches and other fruits so her tiny house was overflowing with them. I guess the extras ones became cheap drinking glasses for her. I also remember her telling me that she hated drinking out of plastic cups because they always felt greasy and unclean. I miss my granny.
Anyway, I finally started experimenting with all the jars. I continued my obsession with decoupage and mod podge and started gluing all my left over handmade paper scraps and images that shared similar colors. I hand painted designs onto the paper, added glitter, tied purple raffia around the lid and glued three coffee beans. Finally, I  stuck a small tea light in it and LOVE the final result. The candle holder looks amazing on my craft table and I can't wait until the evening so I can chill with my honey with it glowing brightly.

Love this Frida Kahlo sticker

handpainted red spots

Two tealights down and it holds the wax nicely.

Another project that I finished awhile ago is the Ida B. Wells Collage that was inspired by the cute small gold frame I got a thrift store for 80 cents. I ripped the old picture out of it and collage an image of IDa B. Wells with a red leaf I got on a leaf hunting trip with my son, glitter, bling and my favorite mod podge. I figured out a way to secure it back into the frame and now have it  hanging in my kitchen. It is also for sale if interested. It will go up on my Etsy store

I am working on another jar project that involves ribbon and lots of paint. I will post tomorrow once it dries and I see the results. Have you guys been crafting lately? Did you make anything fun for the holidays?

TerrorChic Designs

I have been busy as a little bee experimenting and designing for my TerrorChic Designs. I really love handwritten notes and believe it is a dying art form. Below are some of the newer designs I have completed. I hope you like and please visit me at my etsy page and support my hustle. Surprise someone in your life with a handwritten note on a little piece of collage art.

"Black Face Down"

"Jazz Gold"

"Basking in Sunlight"


Strolling in Marrakech"

"Outkast Collection"

Andrika Symbol for Hope stamp on the back of every card

OutKast inspired
Note: click on card for larger view.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mamacation: How to be inspired.

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

I love this quote by Virginia Wolf because it speaks directly to the space needed to be creative. I like to replace the words write fiction with any art. For me I would change the words to: write and make collage cards. I connect with it because I am very aware of how hard it can be to find the space to be creative as a female artist with a child. I was a stay a home mama from my 4 year old son's birth until he was about 11 months old and for the last 5 months I have been home with our son reimagining the next steps of my creaitve life and finding the space to create TerrorChic Cards and writing. My hubby works long hours that change weekly in retail so it can be hard for me to find time to have mama time. He hasn't had a weekend off in the last 4 months so I was estastic to learn he had Saturday and Sunday off last weekend.

I seized this opportuinity to create a mamacation for myself. A mamacation for me is a play on a staycation which is a mini vacation you take in your own city. The theme of my mamacations are usually wandering. I feel most relaxed and inspired when I am wandering on foot. Since, I am new to Atlanta I haven't seen many places and I am always ready to do any exploring. I did extensive research online for FREE events. I also keep a mental roledex of activities that I am drawn too. I left the house on Sunday morning armed with the following: written agenda, purse, IPad, IPod, books, water bottle, strawberry greek yougurt. business cards, journal, camera, TerrorChic Cards, calendar, noteook, workout clothes and a mission. My mamacation agenda read as follows:

Atlanta Friends Meeting: I love the meditation, beautiful open design of building and the calm here. My two favorite things about attending Quaker meetings are knowing that Quakers believe that each person has the capacity to know directly the will of God, requiring neither a specific liturgy nor the interpretation of an intermediary and the great library of books they have shared with me. I checked out Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights.

Little Five Points: This neighborhoo has all the hip bookstores, coffeehouses, bars and boutiques. Since, I moved here it has been a constant in our social scene. My favorites places there include 7 Stages Theater, Aurora Coffee and Porter Beer Bar. I have decided the Porter is in the number 1 position for my favorite local bar. It is the place that becomes your "Cheers." I had my birthday brunch here last year and the beer list is insanse. On this adventure I went solo for the Sunday Brunch. I am still thinking about the  Georgia Wild Shrimp n’ Grits: white cheddar grits, portobello and crimini mushrooms, truffle oil, poached egg. It made my life!
I also used this time bop into boutiques to show my work and sell my TerrorChic Cards. Two of the store owners were impressed and interested in buying the cards and asked me to come back after New Year to discuss rates and orders. One shop gave me requests for cards inspired by OutKast, Bob Marley and Grateful Dead. I am excited  for the opportunity and the momentum I have been manifesting with TerrorChic Designs

Sign as you enter Lil 5 and my favorite street art

Freedom Park: The parks in Georgia are amazing. I believe that Georgia is a top state when it comes to green spaces. The one thing that has hypnotized me since I moved here are the trees and greenery. Freedom Park is a short 5 minute walk from Lil 5 Points so I changed my shoes and jacket, blasted my IPod (I listened to Kanye West, Andre 300 mix tape and Ghostface Killah), walked the lovely trails and enjoyed the 70 degree weather and sun. It was also an opportunity to get exercise into the day and get lost in a new neighborhood.

I found my favorite word on the trails.

The walking in Freedom Park got my so hyped that I decided to just keep walking and walking. I ended up in Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park, neighborhoods surrounding Lil 5. I walked for over 2 hours and along the way stopped at Highland Bakery, a yummy food spot that I love for breakfast and cupcakes. I got a lemon and white chocolate cupcake and sat outside to enjoy it. The sweet potatoes pancakes and shrimp and grits are worth a trip if you are in Atlanta. On my way walking back to Lil 5 I saw a tag on a street pole and thought it was funny and fit into the theme of the day: wandering.

Vintage Store Grand Opening: During my research I found a listing for a FREE event at a new store called That Old Closet. The post online said free food, drinks, live band and DJ so I was there. I got back in the car and drove about 10 minutes to and was able to find the store easily. I heard music bumping as a parked so I was certain that if they delivered on the free food and drink I would be happy! Once there, I saw a friendly group of people, cute accessories, live band, food and drink. Winning!

I drank many of the free drinks and was able to get a nice buzz. The evening ended with a short ride down a tree lined street with a head full of inspiration and a belly full of free food. This was one of the best mamacations I have had and I look forward to planning more. I was able to think and daydream for a full 7 hours alone. I came home super energized and full of love for my son. It was a good look for everyone involved.

Do you plan mamacations or staycations? What do you do to recharge and to inspire your creativity?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Poetry Break

Things to do when grief is concerned

1.       Collect and stare at photographs of him until you can retrace every curve and bend of his face with eyes closed. Even if you have mastered this skill repeat daily.

2.       Don’t buy a headstone for the grave. Procrastinate and ignore for as long as possible.  Engraved stone is much too hard and cold. Remember the softness and warmth.

3.       Erase his cell phone number out of your contacts but not before you copy it down onto paper. Dream about tattooing it onto your chest in beautiful fancy script.

4.       Dust off old VHS tapes of his trips to Alaska just to see 1 minute of footage of him walking upright.

5.       Get pregnant with a man child ASAP before death creeps and overtakes the entire plan. Pray the baby looks and acts like him. Give the child his middle name.

6.       Wear his size 4X sweaters around the house. Never wash it. Swim in the ocean of fabric. Imagine he is at the shore waiting for you.

7.       Make an appointment to have your head checked. Explain to the doctor that it feels like your right arm is missing. Apply for disability.

8.       Roll your eyes in disbelief when you hear someone say God answers all prayers. You have proof to dispute this. You prayed over him for 7 days straight no sleep and lack of food couldn’t stop you. You are skeptical.

9.       Feel bad and guilty about #8. Your daddy was a sanctified, Holy Ghost preaching pastor and a praying man.

10.   Prepare to live the rest of your days wrestling grief. The end is just the beginning.

-Lady Terror (2011)

Revolution means change
It's coming
Bear Down

Sharpen yo knives

Kiss yo babies

Grit yo teeth

Oil yo face with Vaseline

Braid yo hair

Gather stones and wood

Hide clean water

Stare at old photographs

Stretch yo limbs

Wear long sleeves

Remove jewerly

Say yo last prayers

Detox yo body

Stop lying

Research the facts

Smile at yo enemies

Reevaluate yo friends

Think quick on feet

Readjust yo thinking

It's coming


Its already here

-Lady Terror

Exploring FREE: Holiday Edition

I am obsessed with FREE events and things. My son hears me say "Is it free?" all the time that he knows how to spell it and identify the word anywhere we go. Since, I am working super part time and still recovering from my job loss this summer, I have been even more vigilant about finding FREE everything. I love exploring our new state of Georgia and also intrigued by historic neighborhoods. My son loves the word adventure and if I say we are off to one he is always down for the fun. Today, we explored Downtown Historic Norcross, Georgia. It is the cutest and cleanest little city. The have a main street with cute antique shops, cafes and parks. My buddy Sonja and her son Khatim told us all about this little town so we joined them for activities as part of a month long celebration of Holiday Magic called Sparkle.
The center of the town has a a couple of beautiful fountains and lots of wide open green space. During the summer months they host large outdoor music events and festivals. I felt like I was on a movie set because they have strategically hidden speakers in the sidewalks pumping out Christmas tunes and facts about this old railroad town. Saheim loved the fountains and ran around like a bird set free wearing the Santa Claus hat given to him by his dad.

Since I am an arts and craft addict I was excited to find out that the Norcross Garden Club was hosting a FREE Open House that included FREE kids crafts, live music and a bake sale of yummy treats. We made a creative bird feeder from a pine cone. The instructor showed us how to stuff it with a peanut butter mixture, roll it in bird seeds then tie a string to hang outside on a tree branch. They also had the yummiest warm apple cider for FREE, a musician playing lovely holiday music and homemade bake sale items priced really cheap. I couldn't pass up the large pumpkin chocolate chip bread for only $2.00. The women hosting the event were super nice and invited us to more of  the FREE events they host which teach you about gardening. I will make sure to go to the workshop on harevsting honey and bees.

Our next stop was a short walk down the cute main streets to window shop and find coffee. We stopped at the cutest coffee shop with a nice seating area with books and games for kids to play with. Saheim is a fan of chess and set up the board to play right away.
Our last stop was to Thrasher Park to run off some energy. The park was large with many fun things to play on, a cute gazebo and lots of benches for the mamas to rest. This was my first time visiting this little neighborhood even though it is only 9 miles from our house. I will for sure be back to check out the Tequila Bar, Italian Restaurant and a FREE weekly storytime event for kids. Thank God for FREE and for adventures!

What are some of your favorite FREE outings and events you have attended recently?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gratitude is addictive!

So, the New Moon has passed and I am feeling like I am ready to take over the world. I have been experimenting with positivity and over the top gratitude. I am talking about the kind of gratitude that makes you dizzy with joy and drunk off the possibilities. My life since the summer has had moments that remind me of the old school TV show Good Times. While the show is one of my favorites, if you have ever watched it you know how the family is always being challenged with situations that keep them from moving on up.
My Good Times: The stress of losing a job and household income, the bills, adjusting to being a stay at home mama with a 4 year old that likes to wrestle and ask 1 million questions daily, being away from my family and friends in Chicago, feeling isolated, car troubles, etc., etc. But, through the storm I have hypnotized myself into this positivity frenzy. My husband commented that he is so amazed at how positive and chipper I have been through everything. My debit card number has been stolen twice and when the bank called to let me know I just laughed and blasted my Pandora Gospel station and kept it moving. I have seen what stressing can do to me so I have decided that no matter what I will stay positive. My health and quality of life depends on it. During this grateful marathon a few things have helped me along the way:

1. Limiting social media: I deleted my facebook account. For me, it was becoming too many voices, comments and commentary about a lot of things that really didnt matter to me. Energy becomes a gift when you are going through stresssful situations, so I decided that insted of logging onto facebook for hours I would use the time to create art in silence.
2. Limiting TV: I detoxed from TV for 7 days. I am a reality show and TV addict. I always have been since I was a child. I used the 7 days to sit in silence, go to library with son, create art, play scrabble with hubby and to write and plan my daily and weekly goals. The first two days were sketchy but as the days went on I loved it. Now, that the fast is over I actually have seen my desire for TV decrease dramatically. My interest and attention span for it seems less.
3. Creating art: Art has been my saving grace. I have designed many new cards for my TerrorChic
designs. One day I created 10 new designs. I have found it to be so meditative and soothing and the more I create the more ideas I have for new projects. Here are some photos of the new collage stationery I am selling on etsy. 

I have also received some custom orders, completing an application to be a member of an art collective and working on a new decoupage wooden box inspired by Ancient Egypt. I am loving the collage work and now want to start experimenting with embroidery, embossing and letter pressing.

I used to journal daily and part of the journaling was a gratitude exercise. I will be starting this back daily. So my grateful list for this week:

1. Having a part time job at a theater. Being around artists and individuals who put so much care into 
    storytelling and art is inspiring.
2.  Health insurance
3. My friends Sonja and Zahra who have been so beautiful in helping me out with childcare since I
    have no family here to be the village. My village is growing.
4. Groceries
5. Simply Orange with Pineapple
6. The ability to walk and run
7. Sunshine and 70 degree weather in December. Whenever I get down about moving so far from
    friends and  family I step outside under the tall Georgia trees and soak up the sun.
8. Music. I mentioned earlier that my Pandora Gospel station has been getting me through the storm. I
    love it.
9. Loving and supportive family and friends in Chicago. They make everything better.
10. Coffee

What are you grateful for? How do you bear the storms of life? Share your techniques....

Artist Statement

I create art for the ones who lost their voice a long time ago. I believe that impromptu spectacles can bring awareness to social justice issues that paralyze our communities. Lady Terror examines the relationship between public space and performance space and also explores ranting as a medium to address social issues and as a tool to empower communities. My art is local and neighborhood specific in its execution but global in its ideas around poverty, injustice and violence.