Thursday, June 28, 2012

A few more JB layouts

I finished up a few more layouts for the Jenni Bowlin crop - these are the end of them. The above one is a pleated paper challenge - I am not much into pleating but I asymmetrically pleated a piece of an old dictionary page for this one.
 this one is for the watercolor challenge - I cut a sketchbook book painting out and added some ephemera to display my love of tea!
This last one is about using negative parts of your scrapbook supply packaging or negative parts of die cutting. I don't have a die cutter and haven't bought any supplies in over a year but as I was pulling labels off an October Afternoon sheet of labels for another of the challenges, I saved the negative part of the label sheet and used it here. It is too slick to write on so I used dymo labels but even they didn't want to stick. As I was taking the photo, one of them literally jumped off the page. Too funny!

This was a fun little break from my usual studio time - I think it's good to recharge your batteries by doing a few different things occasionally but now back to drawing and painting (and knitting and sewing a new top).

thanks for reading and have a great day,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Playing and learning in the studio

I have a great photo of my husband standing in front of a waterfall in North Carolina that I really want to paint BUT since I have never painted a waterfall or forest foliage, I decided that I needed to practice a bit - this is my very first attempt  - I learned so much of what NOT to do - back to the drawing board or should I say, back to the easel!

I keep a copy of Robert Henri's book The Art Spirit on the bookshelf in my studio and frequently leaf through it randomly - I always find something that seems to fit my mood or situation that day - here's what I found this afternoon:
"Keep as far as possible all your studies, all your failures, if somewhere in them appear any desirable quantities.
Such canvases are good for reference.
Later study of the work recalls the good of it.
You can learn much from others but more from yourself. In looking at an incomplete canvas some time after its doing, the whole thing becomes clear, the tangle dissolves, and you see the way to complete it and how certain faults may be avoided."

Since following The Sketchbook Challenge, I am trying to do a bit of sketching every day - this morning we had bands of rain (from TS Debby) so I just sat at our dining table drinking tea and sketching the flowers on the table.  This afternoon it is partly sunny but the wind is howling! 

Hope you are having a good week and thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A little cropping

I decided to join in with the crop at Jenni Bowlin this weekend - the above layout is of my sweet little Hana cat - the challenge was to use three mediums - I used acrylic paint, misting, and ink along with a few little embellies
this one is a two-fer - one to make a layout for someone (my husband) and two, to only use half of the page. I cut out words etc from some junk mail, added a few little things, and threw some paint and ink at it
this challenge was to scrap a place - the photo is of my son feeding the birds in Italy. I hand painted the background with watercolor and scattered salt on it to create texture
this is also a two-fer - to use labels and to focus on the photo - I just love this photo of my husband
this challenge was to scrap an action sequence - I went to my vintage photo file for this funny photo booth sequence
the one is also a two-fer - both JB and to go with the negative - so I left lots of negative space - the frame and photo are mounted in the middle of the black paper - I tore the word "fragile" from one of my vintage dictionaries.

This was a great little break from painting (although I did paint all yesterday afternoon and also drew out a new painting) and I have a few more of the challenges that I want to finish this week.

Thanks for looking,

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Every time that I dip my brush into the water and the paint, it's like dipping my toes into the water of a stream. Will it be cold or hot, will it excite me, delight me, or scare me? Every time is like the first time - what joy and what terror!
The sketchbook challenge today was to do graffiti on a boxcar - I started thinking of leaves and then it went to kudzu overwhelming the boxcar - don't you just love these prompts?!

My DH and I went up to Viera, FL today to do a little shopping at World Market (hurricane supplies like pates and cheeses in cans, and wines), Kohl"s (I got 4 incredible scarves for $4 each!!!!), and Hobby Lobby (a wonderful sketchbook of handmade paper); lunch at Mimi's (and free muffins); and some brews at World of Beer (I had a delicious Lost Coast Apricot Wheat - yum!).  It was a yucky rainy, cloudy, and windy day so this little trip worked out beautifully.  Tonight I will watch another episode of Midsomer Murders - I was introduced to this British TV series by a friend who likes mysteries as much as I do, and I discovered that our library has almost all of the series (like 60 episodes) so I am working my way through them - what a great summer treat! 

Hope your day was as good as mine and thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Who are these people?

A few older layouts using vintage photos, some of people whom I know their names and some whom I don't. I came across a very old journal/photo album in a used book store and have loved the wonderful photos in it. What treasures and how sad that their descendants don't know about them.  I was inspired by the Whatevers project on several scrapbookers' blog and am working on a new painting project incorporating an old photo.

thanks for sharing this trip down memory lane and hope your day is a good one!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bits and pieces

Here's a little painted postcard a la Marit's Quirky Dutch Summer prompt and from a prompt in the book Water-Paper-Paint.  I have a box of vintage postcards left to me by my grandmother so I went through and picked out the least beautiful for some painting ideas. The surface is very smooth - like hard press paper so the watercolor paint doesn't move a whole lot.

and then a few Sketchbook-style pieces. I divided a piece of paper into fourths and painted a little something on each. In the bottom photo, I put globs of very wet paint on the paper and then blew on them through a straw - just like a little kid - FUN!

Hope your week is going well - I have been super busy painting, reading, knitting, and  I EVEN CUT OUT AND SEWED TOGETHER (halfway) A NEW QUILT (from fabric in my stash).  Shall we say that I was obsessed over the weekend!!!  Since it is summer and everything is pretty much dead around here, my working time is much decreased so I have a lot more time to play in the studio.   

See you soon with more paintings and some other stuff - I saw the idea on blog for the whatevers, and I have often thought of doing more with some of the old photos that I have - I will post some of my earlier layouts maybe tomorrow to show you - one of which was published in Somerset Memories a while ago - but I also want to try some things with image transfer of the photos onto watercolor paper and then painting - hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I'm jazzed but first to do my yoga and eat breakfast.

Thanks for reading and see you soon,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More ICADs

A few more ICADs for the challenge - I am not making one every day but trying to do one every few days. Some are inspired by the optional prompts - top one=grid, third one=collage, bottom one=dragonfly. The second one was inspired by a photo on the Spirit cloth blog - I would have used my own Buddha if I had one (now on the list of look fors at thrift shops) - I recently read the quote in one of my yoga books. These little pieces are quick and fun, and really get you off to a good start by loosening you up. What a great idea!
I have begun a large painting that will take a bit of time to complete but in the meantime, I will continue to post some small pieces like these and some of the pages in my sketchbook.
Thanks for looking,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday studio time

On Wednesday I saw the Daisy Yellow -random-color-prompt - to make a background of green and blue so as I was cleaning off my palette, I used a wide brush to clean out the greens and blues - I just swiped the brush across the page so in some places the paint is super thick
of course I couldn't just leave it that way.....................
Also on Wednesday I got a new catalog from a travel company through which I hope to take a trip to Italy next year. Above my desk I posted the pages about the trip from an earlier catalog and have been saving a bit each month toward the trip. In the newest catalog, this trip is not listed so I went online to see about it, and it still does exist but the price has gone up another thousand dollars. Oh my! I am a complete realist in regards to money (after all, I worked as an accountant for quite a while) but the way prices keep going up is wearing me out. I am so tired of pundants on any and all media outlets telling us that we are not experiencing inflation because an ipad can do more than a laptop - well honestly, if my laptop does what I need it to, why should I spend the money to buy an ipad? And my health insurance and homeowners' insurance - well. it's just best not to go there..................
But I digress......................
So I was a bit blue
and I decided to play a bit with this background
I came across the perfect quote "occasionally she dreams of Italy"

from a tiny Kate Spade card that came in my wallet (purchased a long time ago on ebay) - I also used the card and then riffled through my stash box to find a Discover promo card and some 7gypsies tape and......
Voila! Isn't it wonderful how just playing in the studio can make you happy - being totally in the moment and not thinking about past or future - this little space of time and this little piece of paper are all I need right now - no matter what I do today (whether I play or work or worry or sleep or...), tomorrow will still come so you might as well enjoy the now.
thanks for reading my ramblings and hope you are enjoying your now,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just checking in.......................

Well, you knew that once I had made a camera strap cover that I would have to make checkbook covers.......
so here they are - so incredibly simple simple simple.
Just lay out your fabric, then lay the opened checkbook on top, cut around making sure to leave at least 2" on each end to fold back in as flaps. Turn the flaps in, right sides together with the main cover, sew, cut corners, turn, and place checkbook inside. Easy peasy!

If you need a pattern, check out Zakka-Style or Amy Butler's book - there are so many fabulous sewing books out there right now - what fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanks for reading,

Monday, June 4, 2012

ICADS for June 1-3

I just discovered the Index card a day challenge on daisy yellow's blog, and it fits in perfectly with my sketchbook challenge creations.  I decided to make my cards 4 x 6 rather than 3 x 5 as I had a few cards of that size on hand (free samples from paper manufacturers) so I dove right in - for the first card I used 2 of the prompts: yellow and dictionary - I adhered a dictionary page with the word "yellow" on it and then used watercolor paints to paint flowers. This was a great exercise as the watercolor paint did not soak into the paper - it just sat on top of the paper until it dried (very much like hot press paper). I can tell already that I will learn a lot from this challenge - I have been meaning to paint on other surfaces - test them out - and doing it in small ways will be great.
Another prompt that I used was MAP - I used part of an old unsuccessful watercolor painting for the background on this card and then used ink to draw a map of the Bahamas, a compass rose, and the title.
And for the third card, I used a sample of Fabriano paper - I painted the rose and glass, then outlined them in ink, and then used a wetted brush to spread the ink - the prompt was to experiment with ink.
I also sketched one of the lamps in our living room for the Sketchbook Challenge this month - Urban sketching and this one is an interior. I love the idea of urban sketching so you will be seeing some places around my town and my house.
Remember over the weekend, I sewed a camera strap cover and then I decided to do checkbook covers - check back tomorrow to see what I made.
Thanks for reading,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Time for tea

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.  ~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Just a page from my sketchbook.
Hope your Sunday is special!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Getting a handle on things

I keep seeing camera straps or camera strap covers on blogs and on etsy so I decided to make one of my own.  A piece of scrap fabric cut  (actually pieced as it wasn't long enough) to approximately 5-5 1/2" wide by 27" long.  Hemmed up one inch on either end (fold in one inch and then fold in another one inch). Sew long side with right sides together, turn, iron, and place over strap. I swear the hardest part was taking the strap loose and then refastening it.  I hand sewed a tacking stitch through the cover and the strap at the very top. Projects like this are so incredibly easy and quick - most times I can just figure out the size to cut - I always add a bit just to be sure!  If you need a pattern, there are so many great books out right now with instructions on how to make all kinds of things. I think my next quick and easy will be a checkbook cover. I think I have 4 checkbooks, and at least three of them have those horrible blue plastic covers - so ugly!

Hope your weekend is fun,