Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - 2012

In this season of giving I want to give thanks to all who come here for a look, a giggle or merely to see what I have been up to. I like to share with all you wonderful bloggers and your comments, feedback is very important to me. I have come to know and love many of you.
I simply, 
can't thank you enough. 
You make my heart sing.
I wish for you the most creative, happy, healthy new year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Calliope Hummingbird

We have had high drama in the birding commmunity this holiday season. The first State of Indiana record of a Calliope Hummingbird was discovered.

It is coming to the feeders of a very gracious couple that lives about a 2.5 hour drive from our house. After the Christmas hooplah my DB and I drove over to the residence and saw the bird. This is a watercolor picture I painted for the couple as a thank you for opening their garden to a bunch of rabid bird listers. The lady of the house named the bird Frosty because the picture she posted on FB had frost all around the bird.
I hope everyone has survived the holidays and are looking forward to the New Year. Cheers and Happy Animal Wednesday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Map Making

That Teri is always coming up with inventive ways to create her paintings. She showed us how she likes to paint on maps here. I can tell you that this jiggled my muse. I have always liked maps. I use them when I work on my travel journals. I usually hack up a map and paint around it or incorporate pieces in some way like here

The other day I found _Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking_by Jill K. Berry.  You can read about it here.  I can tell you this. I am gonna have some fun with this mindset.
I found this book on Gwen Diehn's blog. She was a contributer to the book but for the life of me I can't remember the name of her blog. If I find out I will link it later. HERE she is.
Below is my first attempt with the inspiration from the book. I must say there is a whole lot more that you can do of course. I think I will be having some fun.
This is the other page. We had such a good time yesterday chasing "state" birds. That meaning birds I had never seen in Indiana, the Say's Phoebe, and for Illinois the Snow Owl. A State Bird in two states in one day. This doesn't happen very often. Happy Day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zentangle Bouquet

We have had so much rain and wind this fall. This area needed the rain  but we have caught up and surpassed the averages thank you very much.  With the rain and wind certain things happen like lots of moss is growing on the rocks and hillsides. There have been lots of limbs coming down too. As we walked through the park lately I have been noticing a lot of small limbs with vine tendrils lying by the side of the road.  Those delicate looking twining tendrils captured my attention. I picked up a small bunch to use as a bouquet. My DB told me that "it looked like a zentangle bouquet."  Then I thought how do I love you, let me count the ways.

Here is my bouquet to you.
We will be looking forward to hearing from you. HAW, and have a great week.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Dreaded Quilt Finished

I have to say that I am glad it is over. The Quilt covered my life for nearly a month. Why did I choose such a large project for my first attempt at quilting??  I can say I learned a whole lot on this project.
Here it is completed. I am standing in front of it for scale. I had to stretch some string between a couple of bookcases in the livingroom and pin it up for a photo. It is queen sized.
I am pleased that it is finished way ahead of the holidays so I don't have to try to get it finished for Frank's January birthday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Animal Wednesday - At the Park

We had our first snow yesterday. It came on top of 3.5 inches of rain the past couple of days. The snow didn't last long. It hasn't been cold enough here to make conditions right to freeze the snow. It is always exciting to get the first snow.
Happy Animal Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Lamby Luna

I was just wondering if any other animals have to go through the most undignified process of "The Holiday Bath" like I do??  Mim did mention that Scruffy has to go through this process.  I feel your pain Scruffy.
It is bad enough that I have to get into the tub and be scrubbed. Then Dad calls me lamby pie because my fur clumps up and I look all lambified.
Please enough pictures already. 
This might be worth it if I can score a turkey dinner.
Happy Animal Wednesday. I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Tangle

Today I was reminded by Teri that it was Saturday Tangle. It is difficult to keep track of days when you don't work full time. Ha... Anyway I thought I would show you the Tangle I have done to put on my son's quilt. It is his birthday celebration number. I had it done all in black and white but eveyrone was having trouble "seeing the number. So I enhanced it with some blue.  I think now everyone can see the number.
I did this with fabric markers directly onto a pice of fabric. Now I will sew it on.
Teri is another quilter that has inspired me to do some quilting. She is a quilter that paints, or maybe you could say she is a painter that quilts. Either way she is an inspiration both ways.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Home With Turret

This is a house that I see every day I go to work. I have always admired this place. It used to be derelict. The roof was tiled but the new owners obviously couldn't afford to purchase tiles to repair the roof. They had regular black shingles put on. It didn't hurt the integrity of the house much. It has so much more going  for it. I particularly like the turret section of the house. I have always wanted a turret on my house. It is so castle-like to have a turret.
I hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quilt Project

My muse was kick started in a new direction when I saw a project on Lynn's blog. Lynn is a quilter/artist. One of her projects that she did simply didn't leave my mind. It was an art quilt with pictures of a poignant time in her life. You can see it here. Thank you so much Lynn for sharing all of your many talents with the blog world. You have been an inspiration.
Below you can see that I am set up in the dining room. We are having Thanksgiving dinner in here. I better get busy.
Needless to say I am not duplicating her work by a long shot. Her project just set my mind working. My son is turning 40 in January and I hope to have a quilt made with pictures from his life worked into/on  it. I wanted to do something special for him. I think he will like it. IF I can get it finished. So if you don't here from me for awhile you will know I am all covered up. (pun intended. :))
I hope that everyone has a good week.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Window Box

I can't tell you how happy I am with the simple planting of Wax Begonias and Sweet Potato Vine in the window box just outside my office window. I had other flowers in with them but this summer was so brutally hot and dry that only the hardy survived.   Even after a few frosts they are holding their own and will do so until it gets cold and stays cold.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giving Thanks This November - Animal Wednesday

I was pleasantly surprised when I finished a sketchbook the last day of October. I even used all of the pages in that book. I am notorious for leaving one or two pages at the end of a book empty.
I was so inspired by this month of November. Such beautiful fall weather. Sun shining, light breeze to ease one through the day. This lovely weather has made me think about how thankful I am for all my many blessings. I decided to make a sketchbook/thankful journal. I am going to write every day what I am thankful for and do a sketch.
My first page I used stamps to set the theme. 
I must admit I have had this little tree frog on my mind lately.  He escaped from the plant he had been accidently brought into the house on.
I am happy to say he came out looking for dinner last night. I got to put him outside where he will more likely to survive the winter. I am most thankful for this. Please wish our little house guest well. If you want to read more about him click here and here.
HAW to you all.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This little house is situated right across the street from where  a friend of mine lives. I have always liked the little wrap around porch and they keep it real neat. I took a picture one day thinking I might draw it. When I looked at the picture there were some halloween decorations on the door so I thought I would post this today. 
I hope you all have a Happy Halloween. Don't forget to brush your teeth tonight.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

White M Hairstreak

Sometimes when I read the blogs of people I know I get to see things I have never seen before. This happened last week when I was perusing Sherry's blog Q's Corner. She is a marvelous photographer besides all the other things she likes to do.  Over the years I have been inspired to paint various photos that she has taken.

This past week I saw a photo of a butterfly that she had taken. I couldn't resist painting it. When I finished the painting I wanted to write what it was and realized that I had never seen it before.  It was a White M Hairstreak. I will be on the lookout for it around here in the future.
I want to thank Sherry for letting me use one of her photos. If you would like some inspiration go see some of her fabulous photos here.
I was looking at all of that empty space on this sketch. It bothered me. I hadn't written on the sketch what type of butterfly it was so I added the lettering you see in the following photo. Can one ever leave them alone?? I guess not I.
I hope you all had a good weekend too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Animal Wednesday - American Redstart

The American Redstart is a beautiful little warbler that is often called the Halloween Bird because of its orange and black feathering. HAW.
I hope you all have a happy halloween.
For more Animal Wednesday go here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Pileated Woodpeckers

This summer I saw a nest with young pileated woodpeckers hanging out the hole begging for food. I tried a sketch without looking at them and no picture. I was sad I couldln't capture it quite right. Then I was reading _Living Bird_ magazine and voile they had a small photo in there of nearly the same sight I saw. I got busy and tried another drawing. Better but maybe next time I can paint on location with good paper. We can always hope.
Happy Animal Wednesday. For more animal sketches and stories go to Auntie Mim's.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Single Impression - Paper

Lined, unlined,
colored, white.
Always there
to receive
my thoughts.
Lead, ink,
charcoal, watercolor.
Never resisting
an impulse
to communicate.

One Single Impression's prompt this week is 'Paper'.  Reading all the poetry that was inspired by this made me think about how important paper is to our culture. Certainly in mine.
As artists we adore paper. It allows us to express ourselves no matter what medium we choose.
For more poems go to One Single Impression

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Cicada on Catalpa Leaf

When my DB was trimming a Catalpa tree he found a cicada clinging to the underside of a leaf. I brought it in last evening to draw it. I knew it was in the throes of death since it didn't budge when I touched it. They don't live long after they are out and about. I noticed it would move it's tail up and down. I wonder if it is a female emitting a phermone or was it just moving?? It startled me once when it moved a little. It's tiny feet skritching across the leaf. It didn't go far. I put it back outside when I was finished.
Happy Animal Wednesday to eveyone.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy October

So begins the month of October. For some reason I am so looking forward to this month. A clean slate. New beginings.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too. Cool weather has finally found us. Ahhh.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Zentangle Saturday

I hope you all have a good weekend. Happy Zentangle Saturday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Single Impression - Notebook

Time caught on paper
Recording life, finding peace
Gathered in notebooks

The prompt at One Single Impression this week is Notebook. For more poems and thoughts go here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Sketchbook

I have started the larger journal I made some time ago. I have thought about what I will put in it and this is the first page. I usually take pictures while we are out and then paint when I get home. I always admire those that paint plein air. I rarely do that. Not for any reason other than I don't take the time to do so. I always say to myself I should do this but I am so easily distracted I don't. I am usually caught up in the moment of seeing a butterfly, bird or some wild flower. I do good just to get a picture of the distraction. Do you do a lot of plein air painting?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Twenty minute challenge - The Help

Last weekend we went to see the movie THE HELP. I thought I would try a 20min challenge by drawing an apron. I went to the web site that talks about the help characters and decided to do one of the characters. I tried to do too much in such a short time. I didn't have  a very good picture either.  Every painting is a learning experience. I realize I should think out what I am going to do a little more before attempting a project. 
To see more twenty minute challenges go here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Paper Wasp

There is some sort of paper wasp nesting in a clay pot that is part of a wreath I made some years ago. The wasps don't bother anyone. There are two guards. I haven't seen the other wasps come to the nest. I forget about for the most part. I thought it was sort of interesting that there is a lot of debris at the bottom of the pot under the nest. One thing looks like it could be a larva. I am not sure though.  I haven't noticed this debris under a normally placed nest. Maybe it all blows away or blends in with the ground too much to see it other places. 
Happy Animal Wednesday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Football Season

Football season is upon us once again. Pro football is one of my favorite sports to watch. I was indoctrinated into the football gallery at a young age. My brother played football, my sister was a cheerleader they are 13 and 10 years older than I. My cousins played football too. When I thought I might forget about football my son decided to play football and my daughter was a cheerleader so no forgetting about football.

How does this relate to an artsy blog you are wondering.  You see a blogging friend sent me this cute little sketchbook some time back. She asked not to be identified but I wanted to tell her that I am using the sketchbook she sent.

The pages are very thin in this book. At first I wondered what I would do with it but I came to the end of my tv watching/doodling sketchbook and this one I have decided will fill in nice for it. Even though it isn't very big (10.5x16.0mm or 4 1/8"x6 1/4"). 

So you can see where I am going with this book. 
My "home" team is the Indianpolis Colts. I do watch other teams from time to time.  
As you may have noticed that other things show up in the sketchbook during the game. 
I have started practicing some new, to me, zentangle moves. Did you know some of these designs have names?? I sure didn't until I ran onto Enthusiastic Artist blog. I have learned all sorts of information about Zentangles.
If you would like to expand your zentangle repertoire you should go to her blog. She is a certified Zentangle teacher. Unfortunately she is located in Canada. She does give some helpful information on her blog here.   My crude beginnings are fun to make. Besides I love this orange ink that I found in a Pilot pen. I gotta use it someplace.
I also am practicing doing some different/artsy lettering. I love the fancy lettering that some use in their journals. I just need to find something that makes my lettering fly onto the page.  So what have you been doing lately??

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One Single Impression - Wheat

Life sometimes grinds us
into submission, then we
rise as fresh loaves

And sometimes I just have to take a stab at a poem when it rises in my mind. This poem was seeded by the prompt of the word "Wheat" at One Single Impression.  Please join them and read more.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hand Made Sketch Books

The past couple of weekends I have been having a sketchbook making fit.  My mind keeps coming up with different ideas. I noticed that I made the Tree Journal last year about this time. Ha... It must be that at this time of year I am weary of trying to fight the heat to be outside much.

What got me going on this idea is that my "Tree Journal" sketchbook is almost full and I wanted to make another. I am liking this size, 6"x8". It works well for me using a sheet or two of Arches watercolor paper or I can put in some sketch paper or writing paper as well.

I have some really interesting papers. This one is sort of metalic. I thought the little boy that will receive it would like the metalic look.  I did most of theses books with the coptic stitch.
When you use the coptic stitch you can lay flat your book to work in.
This one I used a different front and back paper. The recepient can start the book from either end really. It would not matter but I thought of the front being the circles. They are mandala-like.
Inside I used a variety of papers. Some handmade (not by me). Some for painting some for poetry.
This one I think would be good for a little girl, at least that is who it is being given to. It is pink and I put some jewels on the front. The front is very textural with a sand motif on the front. Little girls like to play in sand.
This is my first stab at doing a Japanese binding. It is a little larger, 11 5/8"x8".
You lose a little painting space along one edge which makes the painting surface 7.5"x10". That is fine with me. It is a larger format than I usually use. As you can see with this type of binding you can open the first page flat but the following pages are very stiff. I will probably have to mash them flater when I come to the page or use clips to keep it open. I will see how I like using this before I make any more.
The last style that I made is a folded-cover Journal. Easiest one to make. I used a difficult paper though. It is bark paper. Not a good paper for this type of cover. It has several folds and you knkow that bark doesn't like to fold. It is quite brittle. I have few pages in it so I hope it survives the short trip I will be making next month as I made it especially to record this trip.

Have any of you worked with this bark paper? Is there something I could put on it to make it more flexible??
I hope you all had a fun weekend.