Sunday, March 18, 2018

Affirmations and a challenge

Large tag that I gel printed on directly

Odd shape piece of water color paper with gel printing that will become a tip-in for a journal
This week we are up to the letter "L", and I chose the word LISTEN as my affirmation. I am guilty of not always listening all the way to the end of someone's conversation, so this is a personal goal. But in the global scope of things, I think we, as a society, have become so used to the noise, chatter, diversions that exist that we don't listen to our own bodies and instincts. I am trying, really trying to do that, and feel good that I have taken steps to change my life. It is one of my beliefs that you are unable to help anyone else unless you take care of yourself first.

On another note, there is a free 100 day project coming up in April. I got wind of this from Roben-Marie Smith on Instagram, when she said she was preparing pages for this venture. You decide what you want to make, you make something every day or every day that you can, take a pic and post on Instragram with the appropriate hashtag. The hashtag for the entire project is #the100dayproject. The hashtag for Roben-Marie will be #100daysoffabricpieces. I am planning on doing one large tag each day, much like the Affirmation tags I have done since January. My hashtag will be #100daysoftags.  It is not cheating to prepare ahead of time. I just said so, so this must be true! I am painting, collaging, and gel printing a pile of tags so I have something to grab every day to alter. This is the mindless part, where I just have fun with paint or paper and glue, with the tv on in the background. Join us. Great free way to kickstart some creativity.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


My advisors

I recently made a change in my life. I resigned from teaching the evening aquatic aerobic class that I had taught since March, 2010. This was not a quick or easy decision, and my reasons are multiple. Some I have shared, a few of my thoughts will remain private. The primary reason was my physical condition has reached the point that I felt the class was not getting the instruction they should or could. Time for a younger, more energetic woman to jump, cajole, and motivate.

Obviously this has created change, a word that I now realize a whole bunch of people abhor. Gosh. Change is growth. This change is forcing me to find a different mode of exercise that my body can tolerate, and I'm looking forward to that. But something else was also revealed in the past two weeks: it is okay to say no. Saying yes or no is our individual choice. Either one is okay.

Free advice today: hug a dog. Live your life. No one knows when the end is near, so don't let guilt drive your decisions. And it really is okay to say no.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Layers and Stitches Class Spread 3T

Took this to assess the pages

Then added some more collage pieces, and white gesso with a palette knife

I feel she is still missing something, so will add some of that pale green on other parts
I posted the second photo late yesterday on Instagram, and Ashli Oliver responded with the suggestion this spread needs a touch of contrasting color, like a blue or green. I agree. It is too monochromatic, and without contrast, too blah. So will add something today. I wanted to dry well, as I had worked on it for an hour and the paper was saturated with moisture.

But. And this is a big "BUT". That is a scrap book paper under her face. Granted, a good quality older paper with some heft, but still it is not water color paper. And look how the Daniel Smith water colors sit on it. The more I use these, the more I love them.  The eyelashes and lines around the eyes were done with a black pen.

Going to try for the final spread today, but it is also a dog errand day. My babies need their annual shots, and this is a long waiting process at the Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic. If you have not tried them for vaccines, they are great, and it truly is cheaper. Plus everyone is so nice. So yeah, gonna be one of those days.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


In Melissa's back yard, 2012

Jake loves water. He is a terrier mix.

Dega, 2012

Mom? Do you mind? A little privacy here?

We tried a dog pool party at Melissa's several years ago. Dega and Jake both love the water, Gracie not so much. She does not like getting her fur wet. As you can see, that is never a problem for Jake. Or Dega.

Dega has a birthday this week. He is 10. Hard to believe. He has been Gracie's boyfriend, kind of, since they met at the dog park in the summer of 2009. Such a cutie.

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Layers and Stitches Class 2018

There are 3 bags added to this spread. Can you find them?

Paper bag is under the glassine bag

Paper bag with a large tag coming out the top

This is the front of the bag under the glassine bag

I now have a reminder if the dogs are in or out of the house. Yeah, right
This is the third spread in the new Ashli Oliver class, Layers and Stitches 2018. I am so loving this class because it has pushed me into trying more eclectic, messy art than I have been doing recently.

The spread originally had scrap book papers on it, in a bold cream and black pattern. I really liked that paper, but by the time I reached these pages it was no longer appropriate for what I wanted to do. So I applied grey paint, then gesso. Didn't quite tone it down enough, added some painted deli paper in primarily oranges and blue over that. More gesso was scraped over the dry deli paper. The black circles at the bottom of the pages are paint with a foam stamp. The black circles with white leaf designs is scrap book paper from Hobby Lobby, still available. I had used some of that same paper in the previous spread, and was going for continuity in carrying it forward.

I bought 4 packs of "sacks" at Hobby Lobby in the craft section. 3 in brown paper, in varying sizes and then a pack of glassine sacks as well. The goal was to make this an interactive project, so there are 3 varying size tags to pull out of the sacks. The 2 on the right I made blue material tabs, because I used the same material on the left.

Cathy and I were at Michael's a week ago, and she talked me into buying the red metal stand because it goes with my yellow kitchen. Did you know Wal-Mart does not sell white chalk? If they do, I could not find it. Probably in the kids clothes section...anyway, bought white chalk at JoAnn's and this now sits above my kitchen sink which is on a diagonal. The beautiful house plant is a Orange Star from South Africa. It was a gift from 2 ladies who participated in my aquatic aerobics class. I retired from that last week.

Onward. Too cold for the dog park, so glad for a motivating project like this.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Busy Day

12x12 water color paper, 3 ghost pulls off of the gel plate

It has taken me years, but I am finally getting prints I truly like

Will use this for a greeting card

There are 5 layers of paint, some of it removed with a foam stamp in the leaf pattern

My favorite

Or maybe this is my favorite....

This is a new game we play, who can get closer to mom

This is a cover to an art journal I am making
In-between cleaning the house and teaching a Silver Sneakers class, I hit the studio off and on all day yesterday. When I am in the mood I can get a ton of stuff done. Felt so good.

I had ordered some 90 lb. water color sheets from for an upcoming class. It was one of the requirements. Because it is me, I ordered 2 different manufacturers to see if I like one better (I do, the Fabriano), and received 10 sheets of each. That is more than enough for the future class, so I pulled 2 sheets out yesterday and tore them into 12x12 squares. Pulled out the 12x12 Gel Press and started.

The goal was to not overload paint on the plate, so I did a lot of first pulls on scrap paper and deli sheets. Then the ghost or second prints went on the water color paper. OH, baby! I am so in love with this technique and the paper. There are 3 prints that I will try to finish off to frame. I have never wanted to do that before, so feel like I am moving in the right direction.

Some friends and I have a long weekend of art, eating, shopping, and general messiness planned for April in Ohio. I am bringing them junk journals, and had 2 completed. Over the weekend I made 2 more, and did the covers yesterday in collage, paint, and a glaze of raw umber. That photo is kind of washed out, but they are both very vintage looking.  If I keep gel printing, there will be more journals by the time of our get away. I have a feeling my car is going to be full......

Have a good one!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Affirmations and Random Thoughts

This week's affirmation is "KNOW"

Trying something new on the desk, a large piece of heavy paper taped down
If you know me at all, then you understand I am a seeker of knowledge. I read constantly, both in the printed format and online. I devour books, novels of mystery and intrigue, sometimes romance. Since I was a child, if a subject interested me, I immediately headed either to the library or a bookstore. Books were the answer. Never school. If there are questions, I want answers. Simple as that.

Two of the artists I follow online are always tearing up the "under paper" from their work surface to use in collage, scrap journals, junk journals, what not. Ashli Oliver puts down a large sheet of water color paper on her desk. I think Roben Marie Smith does the same. That can get kind of pricey, so I pulled out a roll of heavy duty paper I purchased at an art store last year and promptly forgot about. Honestly, I need to do a monthly inventory to remind myself what I have stored in that room. And that best not be laughter I hear from Ohio, because I know you do the same thing Tracey.....just saying, girlfriend.

The above shows where the paper now stands. It is loaded with ink, acrylic paint, water colors, and misc. marks. I clean my brayer when using the gel plate, wipe off my brushes, whatever is going on. Kind of getting anxious to rip this up and use it, but will hold off a bit longer.
My newest treasure
And now we have a new palette. How cool is this? Went to an antique place that is closing last week, and picked this up for 5 bucks. It is a baked enamel tray. No idea what it was originally used for, but my guess is that maybe a high chair for a baby? This is heavy and in very good condition. Old enamel like this that still has a decent surface is an excellent paint palette for water colors and acrylic. I used it last night, and the paint wiped right off when I was done. My plan is to leave the water colors on it so I can re-wet them and use again. It's about 16 inches long, maybe 8 or 9 inches wide at the widest part. Love it!

Thanks for stopping by.