Thursday, December 6, 2007

Shhhh! Don't Tell!

Are you good at keeping secrets? Or more so, are you good at keeping surprises? Every Christmas my aunt sends my mother's Christmas gift to my house because she knows that my mother CANNOT wait until Christmas to open up her gift. I, on the other hand, am pretty good about surprises. I LOVE surprises! So much so that I also enjoy being part of someone else's surprise.

Now having said that, I have to let you know that the Jan/Feb 08 issue of Altered Arts went to press and... well, let's just say I am once again in on a surprise. Sorry, I can't give you any hints; you'll just have to wait and see. Do YOU love surprises???

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Managing Editor - Part 3

Another one of my responsibilities as Managing Editor is to put together our designers' kits. This is very time consuming as we have 10 designers, however, I love filling their boxes with goodies from companies who are generous enough to supply our design team with their products.

I'm especially excited about the kits I'm working on now because we received some really fun products from We R Memory Keepers, Art Declassified, Andrea's Scraps, AMACO and others. (I won't say too much more right now because that would spoil the surprise for my designers.)

Our designers use these products when designing their artwork. It's always fun to see what they come up with.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Managing Editor - Part Two

Today we had our monthly meeting. This is a time where we come together to discuss all of the exciting things that are happening with Altered Arts magazine and The Altered Book Club.

One of the topics of discussion at today's meeting was our interest in learning what new things our readers would like to see in Altered Arts. So readers - here is your opportunity to bring your great ideas to the table. Email me at letting me know what topics, artwork, etc. you'd like us to include in the magazine. I look forward to reading your ideas.

Also, take some time to get to know some of our designers by visiting their blogs. Just click on the links on the right side of this page.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Creative Spirit and Imagination

My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. We spent a couple of days away at a cabin in an Amish town. The view was spectacular!

I absolutely love the fall season -- the colors greatly inspire my creative spirit. It leads me to admire an artist such as Monet who loved painting the outdoors. If I could paint using watercolors, I'd be outside painting as often as I could. I would then use those paintings as backgrounds for my altered books and canvases. I would add embellishments that would emphasize various areas of the painting and stamp words of inspiration. I can close my eyes and visualize this piece of artwork and a sense of peace surrounds me. Even if I don't have a hard copy of this artwork, sometimes just my imagination is all I need.

Friday, October 26, 2007

One of Those Days........ However.....

Okay, have you ever had ONE OF THOSE DAYS????? Well today was my "One of those days". I started off my morning by preparing my slow cooker for this evening's meal. (Slow cookers are awesome!) Once my boys and I ate breakfast we headed out to the grocery store. I put my jacket on as it was a bit nippy outside.

When we arrived at the store I turned off the van, put the keys in my jacket and stepped outside. I decided that maybe it wasn't so cold after all and took my jacket off and laid it on the passenger seat. I then picked up my 18-month-old, had my older son step out, and I locked the van and closed the doors.

After I finished paying for my groceries I began digging in my purse for my keys. "Hmmn, where could they be?" It was then that I realized, "Oh no!" that the keys were in the pocket of my jacket sitting inside my car.

The boys and I walked outside while I prayed that I didn't lock the van - but of course I did. "Now what????" All these options ran through my head and then I remembered that there was a spare house key hidden somewhere at my house. All we had to do was walk home. Now thank God that we live within walking distance from the store. So here I was pushing a cart full of groceries with my 18-month-old in the seat and my 6-year-old pushing another cart full of groceries behind me. I'm sure people driving by were wondering what the heck I was doing.

We finally made it home, unloaded the carts, grabbed my husband's keys, and trekked back to the store. Once there we parked the cart, got inside my van and drove home.

While putting the groceries away I accidentally hit my slow cooker and noticed that it was not hot. I looked at the knob and saw that it was turned off.

"Umm Adam?"

"Yes, mom?"

"Did you turn off my slow cooker?"


"When did you turn it off?"

"Before we left to the grocery store." (That was 3 hours ago!")

"Ooookaaay, why did you turn it off?"

"Because I didn't want us wasting electricity."

Can you imagine my look at this point???? Well, I explained to him how a slow cooker works and how he was not to turn something off without first asking me. In the meantime, I lost 3 hours worth of slow cooking so I had to crank it up to "high".

So that was my morning.....


To offset my morning's adventure there is one thing that is exciting for me. Guess what I get to see before anyone else does????? -- the NEW ISSUE of Altered Arts! I am holding (actually it's sitting beside me on the table) the Nov/Dec issue. Being the Managing Editor does have its perks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Managing Editor

When I tell people what I do for a living I always get similar responses, "Wow! That sounds like an interesting job. Tell me more about it." It is my hope that through some of these blogs I can bring you into my life as a managing editor of an awesome magazine.

First, I'll start with one of the most fun things about my job -- the photo shoots. I love going to a photo shoot! Here's some background on how we chose our photographer, the great Mr. Andy Fiala! (Actually, we never call him Mister.)

When Cyndi came up with her plan to start Altered Arts, she asked me to call various photographers in the area to find one that would fit well with our needs. I have to admit that it was funny to hear each of the photographers' responses when I tried to explain the types of items they would be photographing.

Andy was one of the photographers I contacted and during our conversation, I took an instant liking to him. I asked him for some samples of his work, showed them to Cyndi, met him, and hired him. (Heck, we may even have hired him before meeting him since Cyndi liked his samples and trusted my judgment.)

Well, I have to tell you that he was an excellent choice. Not only is he an awesome photographer, (You should see some of the wedding photos he has taken.) but he is also a lot of fun. This is why I enjoy the photo shoots so much.

Mind you "it's not all fun and games" as the saying goes. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing for a photo shoot. For example, prior to the photo shoot I have to put together a list of all of the artwork (including images) that is scheduled for the shoot. Using that list as a guide, I read through all of the artwork instructions emailed to me and do a first edit. All of these files then have to be put on a CD and given to my boss, Cyndi, on the day of the photo shoot.

Also, before heading off to the photo shoot, I have to make sure that I have all of the artwork scheduled for that shoot in my van. (Yes, all artwork comes directly to me - my house - my storage.)

One of the nice things to look forward to after finishing up a photo shoot is having lunch with Cyndi. It gives us a chance to chat about everything that is going on in our lives and I consider it all a wonderful way to spend a day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Once Upon a Time....

Once upon a time there was a young 16 year old girl named Clara, who isn't afraid to admit now was pretty boy crazy. One day, before taking the daily bus home from school, she had an encounter with one of these boys which completely frustrated her.

While departing from the bus, she saw a 15 year old girl named Cyndi, who happened to go to the same school. Clara turned to Cyndi and said something like, "I hate men!" Mind you, Clara did not even know Cyndi at this time. Cyndi looked at Clara and laughed.
That single event was the beginning of what would turn out to be a 24-year friendship between two women.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bringing Another Artist into the Fold

First, I have to start by saying this; I believe that every person in this world is an artist of some kind. We are born with the ability to be creative -- sometimes we just need the opportunity to let it out!

On Tuesday, I had the chance to meet a new acquaintance. She's a woman who has four grown children and who works as a Sunday school teacher. I was working on my blog while her grandchildren and my son were playing together. She came over and asked me if I was working which opened up the subject about Altered Arts. Of course, the question that came next was, "What is altered art?"

After explaining what it is and what I do for a living, she asked me if I had an example of an altered book. "Do I have an example??? But of course I do." So, I went into my house and came back out with three (beginner) books. (Do you have any idea how difficult it was just to bring out three?)

She looked through them and asked if I would be interested in teaching a class in her home for her and some friends. She was really excited about the art form. Of course, I had to give her a couple of issues of Altered Arts magazine so she could see some really AMAZING artwork.

She couldn't wait to go home and give it a try. In fact, she even gave me an idea for an article, so you may someday read one written by her. I can't tell you how much joy it brings me when I can bring another artist into the fold.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Aaaah, I finally have a blog. Yippee! Well, let me introduce myself. My name is Clara and I am the Managing Editor for Altered Arts magazine. I am kept pretty busy as my day consists of work, taking care of two boys, and soon will include homeschooling my first grader. I am a woman who loves challenges, art, and being with others.