Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Quiet Day to Play

Today is really quiet, after the hectic, nearly manic pace of the last 6 weeks.  I have been frustrated in not having time to do anything creative.  So when I finally have a quiet, rainy day with no demands on my time, I ran wild. 

First, I did a bunch of Suminagashi prints using Sumi ink on rice paper to create some wonderfully swirling black and white images.  Then, I cut them into smaller pieces, mounted them on black cardstock and then white cardstock to create 25 postcards from the group.  Here are a couple of the group:

Then, I wanted to work in bright color for a while, so I did more postcards in some shiny acrylics - Maya Golds -- and stenciled some black dots on them.

The next two also used Maya Gold paints, but in this case, I first texturized the background using gesso through a piece of plastic grid from a bag of Stump Chunks. 

While I had the gesso out and a messy palette knife, I applied some gesso to two watercolor paper pieces, and let it dry, then used watercolors over the top and spritzed black watercolor through a stencil.  I then turned the ink-covered stencil upside down and printed the excess watercolor on the other card. 

The next two are totally abstract color studies using watercolors and the little bit of black Sumi ink still remaining in my cup.  I rather like the odd, ink-blot images that happened.

Two more, this time from some new sprays that I just got and wanted to see how they looked on paper.  Some of the color formed pools, which I then moved around a bit, and finally accented with a bit of Stickles glitter glue.

I took the very last of the Sumi ink and covered a final piece of watercolor paper.  I then did some "subtractive" stenciling (lifting color back off the paper through the stencil) painted the revealed areas a lime green in sort of a haphazard way, and finally created fireworks with some rose-colored Stickles glitter glue. 

Sum:  36 postcards ready to go.  Whew!  And it is amazing how quickly the day passed here in the studio. 

Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve, and I have a question for all of you:  "Are you ready?"

Even though Christmas is always on the 25th of December, somehow I am always taken by surprise at how soon that actually comes each year.  And I find myself, year after year, not ready.  This year is no different.  Oh, well.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday -- however you may celebrate.

"Winter on the 'Kuppe" photo by Michael Tobin, 1977


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rain and Bagels

Day two of this new year features rain.  Thankfully, not snow.

And a second really nice thing:  a multi-grain bagel still warm from the oven.  No cream cheese, no peanut butter, no butter, no toasting.  Just very, very fresh and very yummy.  I don't splurge on them very often, but this one was irresistible.   

Here is a view from my studio this rainy morning.  We have had very little really cold weather so far this winter, so the grass and the garden's raised beds still show a hint of green.  Nice for late December!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy SOLAR New Year

I am watching the sun rise -- or at least the light grow stronger through the thick cloud cover -- on the first morning of the solar new year.  Although the calendar won't change for another 9 days, the new year begins today. 

Each day, there will be a little bit more daylight and a little less darkness.  Here, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, the cold and dreary weather will continue for a while, yes, but the promise of spring begins today.  

I greet this new year with hope.  Hope that zealots of all types will be able to find moderation in their behavior; that kindness will become more than just another word; that consideration becomes something that more of us bring into our lives - consideration for each other, consideration for all the creatures on this earth, consideration for the earth itself.  Hope is the one thing that is left in Pandora's box.  Let us all take advantage of that, and never lose it within ourselves.  Hope that each day will bring something better, something more cherished, into being.

My wish for each of you is that the coming year will be one of Peace, Health, Happiness, Freedom, and Hope.  That despair, hatred, injustice, and intolerance are banished in your lives

Cherish each day. And find joy in life.  Live.  Or, to quote Mr. Spock, "Live Long and Prosper."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras!

Time to celebrate Mardi Gras. 

Although I made this piece back in January, it was meant for today, so I will re-publish it now. 

Let the good times roll!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Becoming a Vegetarian, Again

Lately, I find myself drifting pretty strongly back to vegetarian meals.  There are just so many wonderful recipes nowadays, and it is easier to find unusual ingredients now, too.  Easy to find things like Kamut, Farro, Millet, many colors of rice, wonderful vegetables in colorful could I not want to try them all?

Yesterday was National Pistachio Day.  Yes, really.  To celebrate the day, we had a fabulous Sicilian-inspired Blood Orange Salad with our dinner.  I found the salad at this link, and the only change I made was to serve it on a bed of Boston lettuce.  Fantastic!  Here is the picture from that blog:

Thanks to the blogger who first posted this recipe, it is wonderful!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Catching Up - February flew by

February is always the shortest month, but this year it really flew by in many ways.  Having been incapacitated with some broken bones, I slept a lot and read a lot, and watched our endless snow fall, and fall, and fall, and fall. 

I've finally uploaded all of my February Journal52 pages. Yes, I forged ahead and did all of them, and finished 4 days early.

Feb 1, Iris

Feb 2, Checkered Flag

Feb 8, Explore

Feb 20, Breakthrough

These are a few of the pages; you can see all of them on my Flickr page -- they are in the set called Art Journal52

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Journal52, Day 16

Day 16. After my bad day yesterday, today's work is back to optimistic again. My studio overlooks the garden planters and into the woods. For a brief moment early today, the sun broke through the clouds and an area of dried weeds was suddenly in the spotlight. It faded before I could grab my camera, so I tried to paint it instead. My colors don't really capture the gold of that little bit of sun and how lovely it was on an otherwise dreary winter day. But I dream of days when it will return, and when those dry weeds will be replaced by new green growth, and think of spring.

Journal52, January 15

Day 15. After a day drowning in Medicaid paperwork, searching through boxes of Mom's "stuff," I felt I was surrounded by a tangle of ink and scraps of paper. Everything was the wrong piece of paper, the boxes were full of useless junk, and I needed to stop and take a few -- quite a few -- deep breaths. This piece is what I created to "commemorate" the day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Art Every Day, January 14

It is hard to believe that the January Art Every Day challenge is almost half completed!

Connie K. put in two items.  The first one ( found her cutting linen for a project. The second one was a day spent playing with her stash.  She posted many photos of some fantastic embroidered ciggy silks on her blog at this entry:

Genevieve T. make a lot of progress on her CQ block.  It is looking wonderful!

Susan ( played with Lutradur to make today's ATC.  What a fun experiment!

Barbara K. started working on a portrait of her daughter, working from the inspiration of an old photograph.

And me?  Well, I spent most of my day doing Medicaid paperwork on behalf of my mother, who is in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.   So other than some studio cleaning, I only had time to finish my Journal52 page. 

Until tomorrow...

Journal52, Day 14

My Journal52 page for January 14th addresses the Week 2 prompt for the workshop. Techniques: watercolor on 90# paper, lettering and words from Wid & Free's alphabets and words stickers. I love scenic vistas and find peace and tranquility of spirit in such places.

Art Every Day, January 13

Day 13 of the challenge. 

Somehow, I omitted Connie K. in the last post.  So here are two days of her work.  You can see all of her posts -- in the right order --  on her blog:        In this first photo, she is learning to do the Austrian Block Stitch.

In this next piece, she is learning to knit in the Continental style:

Susan (   has created another of her wonderful ATCs.  She says  "ATCs are just perfect for trying out ideas.  On this needle felted ATC, I machine embroidered a silk carrier rod, attached a vintage brass buckle, some seed beads and a few very out of control french knots." 

I worked on an experiment in which I colored Golden Pouring Medium with India Ink and used it as a resist, creating a very abstract blob of lines.  I painted the many sections with Twinks and then began to doodle atop the painted areas.  I was delighted that the colored pouring medium much an improvement over using plain pouring medium and then attempting to color the lines.  I admit, it is a bit funky looking, but for an experiment, it was fun.

And, of course, my Journal52 page for the day:

Journal52, Day 13

My Journal52 page for January 13th is called "For the Birds." It is a very minimalist piece that uses only one color of paint (Maya Gold's Night Blue) and only a few lines of ink. I hope you like it. I mentally caption the birds as 1. Let's Go!   2.  Bad Hair Day   3. I'm cold    4. Bathtime!    5. You are all crazy. Can you put the captions to the birds?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Journal52, Day 12

This was inspired by a piece I saw on Contadina K's blog a while ago. I am working from memory, but I like the result. This uses Lindy's sprays, a Deep Red rubber stamp, plain black cardstock, and some gold-painted letters and shapes. 

Art Every Day, Jan 11

We are starting the second part of January, and there has been a lot of great work posted.  Congratulations to those who have persisted, day-by-day in creating beautiful things!

Susan (

Nina ( submitted these two images.

Lisa D. has been busy, too:

Barbara K.:

And I've been a little busy, too.  I completed the watercolor of the birch tree that I showed you the draft version of a couple of days ago. 

And, of course, completed my submission for Journal52.

Until tomorrow....

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Journal52, Day 11

Today, it is very dreary out, freezing rain and dense fog, which should change over to rain.  Hopefully, it will melt some of the snow.  If it goes above freezing, it will be for the first time in quite a while.  I'm hoping the "artic vortez" is gone for good. 

I was in need of green, growing things and colorful blossoms -- or at least some impression of them.  Here is my submission for January 11.  Can you tell that I am really ready for spring? 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Art Every Day, Day 10

 Here are the submissions for Day 10: 

Susan ( is staying busy!

I have been busy today, first up is the background and rough draft watercolor on yupo.

I also finished my Journal52 page for today.  This one starts with a bit of Suminagashi that I did using rice paper and Sumi ink. I cropped it and backed it with plain black cardstock, then put that on a piece of printed cardstock (Madeline collection from Prima) that I had in my stash. I then glued down some fabric leaves which I had on hand, and added a pure white flower from Prima. The flower was too stark in pure white, so I used some watercolor paint in a pale pink to add definition. I was trying to make the Suminagashi piece look like a window with snowy, swirling winds blowing all around it.

That's it for today!

Journal52, Day 10

Jan 10 Journal52 page is completed. This one starts with a bit of Suminagashi that I did using rice paper and Sumi ink. I cropped it and backed it with plain black cardstock, then put that on a piece of printed cardstock (from the Madeline collection, Prima) that I had in my stash. I then glued down some fabric leaves which I had on hand, and added a pure white flower from Prima. The flower was too stark in pure white, so I used some watercolor paint in a pale pink to add definition.  I wanted to make the Suminagashi look like a window, surrounded by snowy, blowing winds.

Art Every Day, January 9

Becky brought her work for the last 9 days for me to photograph today.  She has been very busy, indeed.  Becky belongs to a knitting group that does a great deal of charity knitting.  Becky finished a crocheted hat:

and a prayer shawl:

and a beautiful stocking:

She was already working on the next prayer shawl, and also has a beret in the works.  I will only be able to post her work once a week.

Connie K. (  sent in two photographs.  One, a photo of some inspirational tire tracks, she took during a walk .  She says she thinks these would make great Zentangle designs and I agree.  They are great!

Connie is also learning to knit socks and spent several hours watching classes she found at Craftsy.  She has also decided to learn the Continental method of knitting at the same time.  Stay tuned for some of her new talents.

Genevieve T.

Lisa D. has been a few days between postings, but she has really been busy!  Look at these quilt blocks!  She plans to do some silk screening, stenciling, and other techniques on the quilt.

Susan ( has completed another beautiful ATC.

I started to work on the Entrelac scarf.  I did fine on the first base triangle, but then twisted the second one somehow.  When I ripped that out, I went too far, and ended up starting all over again.  The second try got me to the third base triangle, then the same thing.  I have now done those three base triangles three times and set the scarf aside.  I think I have to pause for a bit, find some scrap yarn, and learn to knit backwards.  The problems I am having all have a base in the incessant turning of the work.  The instructions read like this:  K1, turn; P2, turn; SL1, K1, turn; P3, turn; SL1, K2, turn; P4, turn.  Every time I turn (which is every few seconds) is an opportunity to tangle things up.   So, I am not yet posting progress on the Entrelac scarf.  

I made better progress on my Journal52 pages.  I created a few backgrounds and did some Suminagashi pages, and submitted this Mardi Gras page for Jan 9th.

Until tomorrow....