December 31, 2013

Packing Up/Shipping Out

As an exhibiting artist, I spend a lot of time preparing my work for shipment to various venues throughout the United States and Europe.  It takes a lot of time and paperwork too.  I'm not complaining - I am grateful for the exhibition opportunities.

Three works going out this week.  How are you spending the last hours of 2013?


Linking to:

December 20, 2013

Star of Christmas

I love our little Christmas tree. It sits on a table in the living room.  I leave the lights on all day - so enchanting!  The tree is trimmed with red star garlands - they sparkle and make me smile.

Linking to:

December 17, 2013

The BC Divas

I belong to a book club.  We call ourselves the Book Club Divas.  Over the years (at least 15) new divas has joined and left us too.  We number 11 now - perfect - in every way.  We women care about each other.  They are my closest friends.  I love each and every one of them.  We take turns hosting our annual Christmas Party.  I am the self-appointed photographer of our group.  I am trying to master the manual mode on my dslr camera.  It's a love/hate relationship.  Recently I purchased a SB-700 speedlight.  I'd really like to use it tomorrow night for our group photo.   I practiced for quite a while today taking self-portraits hoping to simulate the situation tomorrow night.  Wish me luck!

"Music Chart" texture courtesy of Kim Klassen

Linking to:

December 10, 2013

Life Book 2013

At last my journal is complete.  I enjoyed the process of making the journal covers.  It was a challenge - Life Book 2013 was all about challenge!

Here is how I completed the journal covers and put the whole thing together.

Fedex large box cut to 10 wide by 12-1/2 high.  Slots cut to match the button holes on journal pages.  (I thought it prudent to line the slots with masking tape to make the holes stronger.)

Washi tape adhered to the left edge of the front and back cover.  Decorative scrapbook papers were adhered to the cardboard.  (Not pictured here.)  I used a mixture of 50% PVA glue and 50% methyl cellolose.  This is a very strong glue used by book makers.  One must work fairly quickly as it sets up fast.  After both covers were covered with the scrapbook papers, they were set to dry overnight - with books on top to keep them lying flat when dry.

Four strips of twill tape (5/8" wide) cut - long enough to easily thread through button holes.  (A few drops of FrayCheck on each end.)  I used a safety pin as a needle.

Thread twill tape through button holes. 

I found it easiest to pile up the complete journal and thread all the holes at one time.

I had to fiddle with the twill tape a bit to get everything even.  Before knotting and cutting, I opened the journal to make sure the pages could easily be turned - tied square knot - trimmed twill tape and added more FrayCheck

My journal includes all of the project pages I made this year.  I solved the problem of the smaller pages by inserting them into a clear plastic page protector.

Even the huge piece found its way into the journal.  It folds up nicely and sits on the last page.  I was so pleased that worked out since it's one of my favorites!

Completed journal

Linking to:

December 9, 2013

Buttoning Up 2013

Life Book 2013 is coming to an end.  It was fun to look over what I had accomplished in the project.  I remember creating each page and can hardly believe it was a year ago that I began - where did the time go?!

I spent a lot of time mulling over how to put this journal together.  I have mentioned here before - I like to use materials I have on hand.  I did not want to go out and spend any money on specialty papers to put the 2013 book together.  I have plenty of canvas in my stash.  A canvas piece cut to size with a layer of gesso added for stability.  3" x 12" strips were cut.  These strips were folded in half.  I spent the better part of two days preparing these strips and sewing 4 button holes onto each strip.  Each canvas strip was sewn joining two journal pages together.

5.0 zig zag stitch - leather sewing machine needle.  I found using paper clips rather than pins helped keep the pages in place while sewing.

The first page of the journal complete.

All of the journal pages are now complete.  Next step working on front and back covers.  I hope to finish this up before 2014 begins!

November 26, 2013

I Am...Word Chemistry

Life Book 2013 Week 48 led by Melody Ross.  Melody's theme is to use mixed matched adjectives and adverbs to described ourselves.

It was an interesting exercise - I'm not much into cutting out small bits and pieces though. I feel clumsy with small scissors and fine cuts.

Linking to:

November 20, 2013

Little gifts...

Can you believe it - Christmas is just around the corner.  I thought I'd get started on making some little gifts...

Each painting is 3x3.  The addition of a little easel makes it really special!

November 17, 2013

Fun and Funky...

I have been invited to show my art dolls at the Marco Island Art Gallery.  I have been up to my elbows in clay, paint and...for weeks now.

A trunk show is planned for December 11, 2013 from 5:30PM-7:00PM.  If you are in the area, please come by for a visit.  I'd love to meet you!

Linking to:

November 8, 2013

Playing Catch Up

My husband and I took a road trip recently and as a result, I missed a couple of Life Book 2013 sessions.  Weeks 44 and 45 led by Tamara Laporte.

Week 44 draw a whimsical Halloween drawing of ourselves referring to a self-portrait photo.

...any resemblance to myself is purely coincidental!

Week 45 - graphite drawing.  My inspiration is this sweet little hippo I found at a store in Savannah GA.

...any resemblance to the hippo is purely coincidental!

Linking to:

October 22, 2013

Big Dreams...

Life Book 2013 Week 43 led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  Julie's theme is all about nature and drawing a face with a stick or twig.  She likes drawing with twigs, stamping with leaves and other natural materials.  I used what I had on hand (rather than scavenging yard waste) in this case, dowel (for drawing), rubber stamps.

Background created using Gelli plate, stencils; acrylic paint, India ink.

Linking to:

October 17, 2013

Caged Birds

The dolls I've been working on the last couple of weeks are now complete.

I needed to come up with a name for each these girls.  My daughter, Jennifer, had a brilliant idea - name them Maya and Angelou.  Why didn't I think of that?  (In all honesty, I had never heard of Maya Angelou's poem "Caged Bird.") 

Maya and Angelou

October 7, 2013

Nature's Chaos

Life Book 2013 Week 41 led by Tamara Laporte.  We are to create a background using acrylic paints applied using a Gelli printing plate, stencils, stamping, whatever we like.  The theme is nature.

chaotic for sure!

October 6, 2013


My husband teases me and my dad would laugh, if he were still alive (he was a carpenter), when I use my tools. My hammer may look wimpy, but it fits my hand and hits the nail on the head every time!

I'm in the process of creating a new doll.

Linking to:

October 1, 2013

Secret Keeper...

Week 40 of Life Book 2013 is led by Rachelle Panagarry.  Rachelle's theme is "What's Inside."  We are to draw a representation of ourself and include 3-D type hands.

Rachelle works with mulberry paper which is adhered to her drawing, cut out, painted with watercolor paint and glued onto the substrate.  I chose not to do that - don't tell!

I've drawn a version of this face before.  I also incorporated it into a small quilt a few months ago.   I am a private person especially my on-line persona.  I feel comfortable sharing my secrets with my husband (sometimes) and a few select friends.   After all, a secret by definition is "something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others."

Who do you share your secrets with?

Inside the hands is a quote by Elbert Hubbard - "Secrets are things we give to others to keep for us."

Linking to:

September 23, 2013

Language of Flowers...

Week 39 of Life Book 2013 is led by Dawn D. Sokol.  Dawn's theme is loss.  Her dear pet Lucy died a couple of months ago and she is grieving her loss.

The marigold is the focus of my artwork this week since it can represent affection, pain and grief.

I am reading "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  (I highly recommend it.  A truly wonderful read!)   

September 17, 2013

How High Can I Fly?

Life Book Week 38 is led by Erin Faith Allen.  We are to create a self portrait using scrap book paper, inks, acrylics - whatever method and supplies we like really.

Scrap book paper, layer of gesso, self-portrait printed on copy paper; wings created in Photoshop, printed and adhered to self-portrait.
Added layer of molding paste; written words and a crown, of course, to compliment her wings!
Linking to:

September 13, 2013

Road Trip

My husband and I had been thinking about taking a trip to Europe this fall...then the AC went out...big bucks spent!  We're planning a road trip instead.

We'll visit Amelia Island FL, Beaufort SC, Savannah GA and Charleston SC.  I always make a journal for my trips.

Several canvas/cardboard journals found in Michael's bargain bins - $1 each.  Gesso applied to each side - you get what you pay for - the canvas started peeling away from the cardboard!  Basting stitch using leather needle keeps all layers together.  Water soluble crayons add background color to each page.  Page edges painted with Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold.  Dates added to each page; heavy yarn threaded through holes (I punched an extra hole in the middle of the page.)

We're ready to hit the road!

Linking to:

September 10, 2013

Free At Last...

Life Book 2013 Week 37 is led by Kelly Hoernig.  We are to create a mixed media background and incorporate a butterfly inkblot.

I'm free at last - after mulling over the pros and cons of Facebook, I decided to permanently delete my FB account - aah that felt good!

September 3, 2013

Safe Haven...

Life Book 2013 Week 36 led by Tamara Laporte.   We are to draw a downward looking face; add images via any image transfer technique; add paper; finish with beeswax.

After adding color to the woman's body, images were transferred using Purell.  My transfers smeared a little - oh well!  Melted beeswax and cheap crayons added in various spots on body and background.

I made quite a mess.  My husband was concerned about the strange odors wafting out my studio - silly boy - that's what melted crayons and beeswax smell like!

Linking to:

August 30, 2013

Bumper Sticker?

Quite by chance, I found myself on the bumper of this vintage car.  What surprised me further - I am OLDER than this automobile!

Original photo taken in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL.

Linking to:

August 20, 2013

Blue Bird of Happiness...

Life Book 2013 led by Tamara Laporte.   Tam's theme is all about healing and forgiveness.

We are to create a mixed media collage including a tree, balloons and a whimsical character.

Linking to:

August 12, 2013

Some Bunny Loves Me...

Life Book 2013 Week 33 led by Mindy Lacefield.  We are to create a journal page featuring a happy, colorful bunny.  I've never seen a bunny quite like mine before - she is happy and colorful at the very least.

Background painted using cheap acrylic craft paints, water soluble crayons and Stabilo pencils and ink pens.

August 5, 2013

The Heart Knows the Way...

Week 32 of Life Book 2013 is lead by Effy Wild.   We are to create a journal page showing our connection with what empathy feels like.

My process creating a background with ink, tissue paper, water soluble crayons, etc.  Draw heart shapes....stamping, add more color...

Finished work

Linking to: