Sunday, September 2, 2012

Teaching Myself Knitting

Okay, I know this is my art blog but since I was writing a post I thought I would boast a little bit. For years I've wanted to learn to knit. I've crocheted for about 40 years and learned from my grandmother in the 60's when it was really popular, but she didn't knit. Now everyone is knitting, and I wanted to learn. So, I bought a tutorial (Knit Lab) off Craftsy and watched it yesterday with needles and yarn in hand. I have to say my practice piece isn't pretty but I did learn. Although as I'm looking at it I realize I need to go back and watch more of the video to learn how to cast off. Am I comfortable with it? Nah. Will I be? You bet after about 40 years.

So what did I do in Art this week? Well I did work in my journal a bit and started a new jewelry design for a cabachon with a tutorial. I am happy with the journal art. The prompt was "Shine" based upon a song by Anna Nalick.  The artwork is inspired by Amanda Cass. I love how seemingly simplistic her paintings are but they have depth and meaning.

Here are the pendants. I wanted to write a tutorial for a cabachon setting that wasn't soldered. I know a lot of people that like to work with wire but are intimidated with the torch. I would love comments as I am still working through the design. I will publish the tut on my jewelry blog later this month.

Hopefully your week has been productive. I'll be linking this post over at Effy Wild's blog for her Swoon Sunday, so jump on over and check out the other artists.

Today will be a lazy day. I don't even have to cook dinner as my step daughter is fixing me a belated Birthday dinner tonight and surprise all the kids will be there..what fun. So, I'm off to play in my craft room...well that is after I have more coffee.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Making Time

It's been a busy week and it seems it should be Friday already. Oh well, tomorrow will come soon enough. We have had the plumber here this week for 2 days replacing our old galvanized pipe with new PVC for our incoming water. Amazing what new pipes will do for your water pressure. We actually can use our sprayer kitchen facet. I just wanted to start spraying everything although I did end up with quite a bit on myself versus the dishes. Now to remember to not have it on full blast.

I did make time for playing in my studio yesterday and actually worked in my art journal and painted a painting.

This painting didn't start out as flowers but that's how it ended up and I really like it. The colors just pop and look so much better than the picture.

This is just one page of a two page spread but the other page is just my writing that is pretty boring.

Today was all about making small drawstring bags for the kids at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and then I decided to make a new hand cream and lip balm. Both turned out fabulous and even DH thought the cream was good and he is greasy stuff for him.

This was the first time that I tried to make lip balm and I don't know how I could make it better. I added some Peppermint essential oil for just a little zing.  BTW, if you want the easy, see the bottom of this post. I ordered some of these lip balm tubes and filled them as directed but dang the oils cooled so fast I had to keep reheating it in the microwave in short bursts to get it to pour out evenly and not in clumps. I guess it didn't help that my mother was over and I was distracted and let it get too cool to start with. Duh.

I made this cream specifically for DH but I really like it and will probably put some in a jar for me to use on my face...I may even add some EO's for a little bit more added benefit. This is a completely unscented cream.

If you are interested in making your own face and body creams and lotions has some great recipes a forum and a blog.

As promised here is the lip balm recipe I used. It is important that you have a food type scale to weigh the ingredients. Measure all and put in a microwave safe (glass) measuring cup and microwave in short bursts until all the solids are melted.

Beeswax (grated) .4 ounces
Coconut oil .25 ounces
Avocado Butter .25 ounces
Castor Oil .2 ounces
Sweet Almond Oil .6 ounces
Illipe Butter .15 ounces
Kokum Butter .15 ounces

This filled 10 tubes and one little jar. You will need to let it cool a bit before adding any essential oils or pouring into the tubes. You could also use little tins or pots. I like the convenience of the tubes and I think for  gifts they will go over well.

Here is a link to a basic recipe that you can customize with what you have on hand. Most ingredients you can find at any heath food store such as the beeswax, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and the castor oil. For the more exotic butters you might have to order those on-line.

Have fun.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Art while Traveling

I find it really hard to work in my art journal or do any kind of art while traveling. I'm sure this is something I'll work out as we travel more but I did finish one spread this past week. Last Sunday, Effy Wild hosted a live video "Art" play time. Several of us arted along with her with video on and others used the chat feature. It was fun and I actually got all my art stuff I had brought with me out and played for a couple of hours. Here is the result.

This page was a drawing I did of a "Whimsey" Tree which turned out kind of fun when I made it with the wire. I did finish about 8 gem trees this week for a customer order so that was a big accomplishment. Sorry no pictures of those yet. I find it is really hard to take good photos of the trees unless I have my light box at home.

We did manage to make it to one of the larger antique malls in Lincoln City yesterday. Here is my much for me. Some bottle caps and mother of pearl buckles to use in jewelry making and 3 books to take apart and make journals out of. The Louvre one is half French and half English with color plates of paintings. Very cool book and the most expensive of the three.

Now a couple of pictures of the the dogs just so tired from their walk this morning.

We head for home tomorrow so things will start getting back to normal soon. Have a great week.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Travel Journal in Pictures

For the past week we have been on vacation to the Oregon coast. DH has taken quite a few photos but I haven't until this week. Here are a few of my favorites.

Picture of DH with Buddy our Spaniel mix at a beach in Oceanside, OR.

 These next six photos were taken at the Air Museum in Tillamook, OR. BTW, the black and white ones of the blimps in front of the hanger are photos of an old photo. The hanger structure was the coolest thing about this museum. It was built in the 1940's to house blimps for the Navy and since steel was in short supply it was made of wood. This is a huge structure.

At one of the lookout points on the way to Newport, OR. There was a whale out there but he was too small to see in the photo.

 The Freed Gallery in Lincoln, City...we just love these moving sculptures that they have out front of the gallery.

I just have to mention that we ate at one of the most unique places for lunch today. The South Beach Fish Market in Newport. Wow, you are eating right in the middle of the market and the line was out the door for people waiting to order. The food didn't disappoint. I had the Halibut and chips and the fish was wonderful. Hubby had the crab sandwich which had 1/4 lb of fresh crab. If you are ever in Newport, this is the place to eat lunch just don't judge the book by the cover as it doesn't look like much but the food is well worth it. Here is a link to some reviews on the Urban Spoon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Live Wild

Ugg, I can't believe how life has gotten in the way of me writing. I have been doing some art and have been following a few of Effy Wild's daily art prompts to keep me on track. Here is my page from Monday.

Another 2 page spread.

These two pages have no journaling just the art.

And finally a new ledger journal I made...ready for some wonderful art journaling.

Journal prompts this week were collage, tissue paper, sketching a familiar object and circles. I guess I still have a few to go.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


If you read my post on my jewelry blog you will know that this past week hubby and I took a trip to the beach and then to Seattle to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. Here are just a few of the photos from those trips.

 This is the lighthouse in Westport, WA

View of Seattle from the top of the Space Needle.

The new Ferris Wheel on the Pier in Seattle as looking from Pike Place Market.

All of these were originally taking in color but I've been playing with altering them digitally a bit. These others from Pike Place Market and the Glass exhibit just have to be in color to appreciate them.

There are flower sellers all over Pike Place Market and that day there just seemed to be so many peonies. I just loved them. If we had been going right home, I would have bought some.

What's a market without fresh fruit and veggies and they have the best.

I did finally get my scans completed of my most recent painting from my journal. I'm still trying to come up with a name. "Veiled Happiness" is what came to mind first or maybe "Through the Mist". I really didn't like it until I added the ribbon, now it seems complete.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm Allowed

So, I've been working in an art journal and have a hard time writing over my art. I don't know, am I crazy it is after all in a journal and not on a canvas? So, this week I gave myself permission to just do the art and not write if I don't want to. So far this week, three pages done and in the past it would have taken me 2 weeks to fill 3 pages. I'm feeling a little bit better about this and it does help me learn new techniques.

This week was all about finding inspiration from Donna Downey. You can check out her blog HERE. She has a great video each Wednesday and a collage on Monday.

This one is a collage of postage stamps that I painted over which I think gives it a cool texture. I'm just calling it Abstract Flowers. This one is available for sale as prints or cards on Deviant Art.  I already ordered some cards of this one, so some of my special friends just might get this in the mail from me.

Another abstract painting of a leaf. This one is also available as print or cards.

This one I finished today... more leaves. I still need to scan it (this is just from my camera but it will be up on Deviant Art soon).

I hope everyone is having a great week. I'll try to post more pictures later this week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Journaling - Layers

Yes, I know it's been awhile since I have written a post or shared some of my art but I am still here. For the past several weeks I have been knee deep in jewelry.. so I guess you could say I was still doing art.

I just signed up for the Book of Days premium (check out the link on the right hand side) and have been reading so much and ready to get into some of the special lessons Effy has for us there. But first, I did clean off my crafting table and get all my wonderful paints and supplies out to do some more journaling. I just finished this page today and my intention was to do some layering of paint and texture..which I did but the page spoke to me or maybe it was my Muse and she wanted to say a bit more about Layers.

I wrote "It is about more than what is in the book or what is on the paper. It is digging deeper into what we hold precious, the wrinkles we encounter in life. As we dig, when do we find our soul?"

We all are multi-faceted and have many layers to our life, some of us encounter obstacles or wrinkles and for others it is smooth sailing. We have bumpy roads which cause us to question our decisions and sometimes to make changes. Art is Life and Life is Art. I'm sure someone somewhere said this, I just can't remember who.

I believe we should embrace life with all it's layers and celebrate the choices we made getting there. It's never easy but it should be your choice and in the end, what makes you happy. If you aren't happy, then change the course of your life or add a new layer.

This page started out with just some gesso on paper and with some paint, collage and pen, I changed it. Just think of what you could do with your life with just a little paint.

Have fun and create ART.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Into Buttons

If you are looking for the Button Blog Hop... click Here.

Have fun hopping around today and Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Into Faces

As you can tell from my last post and now this one, I'm into faces. I belong to a Facebook group that is trying to do 29 Faces for the month of May. So far I've only done 3 but I may do another one today. I figure if I can do 29 or more they may start looking like something.

This first one is done with acrylic paint on canvas board and the other two are just pencil sketches.

I'm not sure that precision is my strong point for faces so I may go more towards the whimsical. We will see.

Have a great day and enjoy your Art.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

All About Faces

More practice. They do say practice makes perfect right? Well, I'm am not perfect and my faces are definitely not perfect but I have a feeling they will get there eventually. I worked on these yesterday. Really love the fashion ladies but my Tangle gal is my favorite... these are just the ones I'm willing to share. You can not imagine the number of faces I made that I threw away or erased.

The fashion ladies were inspired by a book I have called Collage Couture by Julie Nutting. The book looked fun and I had fun putting them together. Kind of like making paper dolls only a little bit more intense.

I did finish another journal today and now I'm wondering what I'm going to do with all these journals I've been making. This was my first one using the Japanese Screw Punch and it worked well to punch the holes but they were too big, so I'm gong to have to order a smaller tip. It's still usable but if using paint, I may have to put tape up the middle of that page to prevent the paint from seeping to the binding or other pages.

Before the signatures were sewn.

Fabric that I put on the spine to add a little interest. I left the cover as it was in good shape but it could be embellished or painted over.

Most of the pages are pastel paper, watercolor paper, scrap paper or some handmade paper from India.

I hope everyone is having a great week. I have to get ready for a show this weekend so probably not so much art but more jewelry designing and organizing for the next several days for me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I've been meaning to post for a couple of days now but just couldn't seem to get to the point. I've been finding lots of inspiration from an on-line class I'm taking with Effy Wild called Book of Days (BOD). I really am trying to be more free in my painting... if you know me, you know that my background is watercolor and very structured. On Effy's last live stream she painted a girl that was symbolic to the BOD group. Now I'm am horrible at faces but I do plan to practice daily my sketches.

Here is my first one, using Effy's inspiration that I feel confident enough to share.

Effy's class tends to bring out more feelings and emotion than other's I have taken. There is a lot of acrylic paint, some collage, stenciling and I used a black waterproof Pitt pen for drawing the face.

Here is one other small girl that I will probably use as a tip in.

A lot of these paintings I'm doing on watercolor paper and will bind them into a journal when I'm finished along with some extra pages for some writing.

If you want to check out Effy's class here is the link. It's a year long project so you can join anytime. There is a free version and a premium (pay) version. I decided on the free one since I had already taken several classes this year already on-line.

I find I am still struggling to find my voice in ART but the more I do the better and easier it will become.