Monday, June 30, 2008

Embroidering the Past....

Recently I've read several blogs where they talked about how creative and artistic their mothers were, and how that influenced their own creativity. I really envy those people!

I grew up as an only child, very protected and insulated from the world, and my mom was not much of a creative person. About the only thing she did was make most of my clothes (but only with a pattern to go by) and she also did a lot of embroidery. We always had embroidered pillow cases and those day-of-the-week dish towels. She didn't knit or crochet, she didn't paint or sculpt or do crafts. I'm not sure if she just didn't enjoy that kind of thing or if she thought it was a waste of time.

One of my mom's brothers used to draw, and one of my mom's uncles did the same. I have one cartoon drawing that the uncle did for me when I was just a kid....

It's a pencil drawing and it's been folded and stained so it's not in great shape. It shows my dad as a "hobo" heading for Kansas, where he was born. It's a funny, quirky little drawing but I like it for lots of reasons. And, no, my dad was never a hobo although I think the uncle might have been!

We also had some musical talent in the of my mom's cousins used to sing on the radio. I think it was in the Chicago area.

But as far as I know, my mom didn't have any artistic talents or desires. She did teach me to embroider though. I can remember sitting on the floor at her feet in the evenings, listening to the radio (yes, I was a child before TV was popular!) and doing embroidery. Here again, she never did anything was all with a pattern that she followed. That must have also reinforced my thinking about staying inside the lines and following the rules!

Here are some of my mom's embroidered pieces that I still have. Some of them are quite faded as we used these pieces all the time....

Here is a close up of my favorite dresser scarves....these are still quite bright and haven't faded so much as the others....

My mom liked pink!

I think that small tablecloth above was one of the last things my mom embroidered. When she got older I don't remember her doing much stitching.

And since you all know that I tend to keep all kinds of things forever, here are some things I embroidered as a kid....

You'll notice that none of my edges are finished off with crochet. All my mom's pieces had the crochet done by one of her sisters, and I guess I never got around to doing that. The piece in the bottom right corner of the photo was one I did for a home ec class.

All this leads me to something I found in my closet the other day when I was cleaning. Back in the early 90's I found a pretty silk vest in a thrift store. I bought it and did lots of embroidery on it. The vest is actually a very pretty soft sage green but it doesn't show too good in these photos....

It also looks much more wrinkly in the photos than it does in person!

Right side....

Left side....for some reason the dark green is showing very dark in this photo but it isn't that predominate in person.

When I was still working I wore this vest quite a lot and always got lots of comments on it. I still love embroidery thread and have tons of it! I seldom do embroidery using a pattern anymore. I just like scattering some flowers here and there or doing some other simple stitches as an accent. Plus the fact that no one uses dresser scarves they?!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Creating As I Clean....

Yesterday I decided it was time to clean up the worktable in my studio as it was getting pretty bad. There was a stack of recycled cardboard cut into ATC-size cards so I decided to just make a couple while I cleaned....there are always lots of scraps everywhere. So these aren't anything special, just mostly scraps of paper and wallpaper, and the words came from an old encyclopedia of movies!

"The Grapes of Wrath"....some wallpaper scraps that seemed appropriate!

"Love in the Afternoon"....more wallpaper scraps. I'm not sure why but the title seemed to work.

"Out of the Past"....wallpaper, magazine, and decorative scraps.

I've discovered that sometimes I like clean lines and not a lot of embellishment....but then there are other times when the more, the better. Are you like that? I just seem to be a bunch of contradictions!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Just a Note....

I love paper! Any kind of paper. Handmade or otherwise. Colored or plain. If it's paper, I love it. And I hate to waste paper. Unfortunately HB does not share my passion for paper. He prints out tons of stuff from the internet. Recently when he was home, he went through a lot of his files and began tossing out papers.

Being the scrap saver that I am, I confiscated all his throwaways that didn't need to be shredded....only one side of the paper was used! A couple of days ago I sat on the floor with my paper cutter and the pile of paper and I cut it all into three different sizes. I didn't do anything fancy....I just made notepads from it all.

About a year ago I bought some notepad adhesive here and it works great to make these. That's about as creative as I have been recently!

Now when I need to jot something down I'll have a ready supply of notepads and they're recycled, too!


I haven't been doing much art....mostly just doodling. Here are a few of my recent ones....none of them are very good but it's still practice.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and that it isn't too hot where you are!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Discovery Worth Seeing....

Recently I did a post where I discussed the fact that I don't usually enjoy poetry....the kind where I read it, scratch my head, read it again, and still don't have the foggiest idea of what the writer was trying to say.

With that in mind, you may be surprised when I now tell you that I've just discovered a blog, written mostly in rhyme, and it's just wonderful! I think she lives in South Africa but I could be wrong....but wherever she lives, you should go by and have a peek at her blog. I think you will enjoy it. Her poems are wonderful and you don't have to scratch your head!! Here is where you'll find her. Stop by and say "hello" and tell her you came from my blog. I think it will make her happy to have new visitors. And let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Our Anniversary!!

Well, I'm sure you've all given up on me and gone somewhere else to read a blog that actually has something new on it!!

I'm over my virus and feeling 100% again so that's good. The bad news is I haven't been doing any art....well, that isn't true....I haven't done anything worth showing to you!! And I have a deadline looming straight ahead and nothing ready for it!

HB was home over the past weekend and then left again. He will return for the 4th of July weekend....where has this year gone? The 4th of July is just around the corner and I was just getting around to thinking about Valentine's Day!! OK, I'm not really that far behind but it does seem as if the year is flying by.


Today is the 18th anniversary of when HB and I met....and it's also our 13th wedding anniversary.

We met through my landlady at the time. She was a real 80 year old Cajun woman from Louisiana, transplanted to California, and managing the apartments where I lived at the time. Every afternoon she walked across the street to a Mexican restaurant and had a drink. They all knew her there....she told great stories and was a bit of entertainment for the place. But if you want to read the whole story of how I met HB it's here along with a photo of us before gray hair!!

Happy Anniversary HB!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Loss of an Artist....

The world has lost a truly unique and wonderful person. Tasha Tudor has died at the age of 92.

If you aren't familiar with her please take a few moments to read about the way she lived and also about her art. I discovered her many years ago and was always so impressed with her ability to live in another time, and to be mostly self-sufficient in an era of such over abundance. She was an inspiration to me and I hope she lives on in the hearts of many.


As you may have noticed, I have been missing from the blog scene recently. I have been doing battle with a particularly nasty flu bug but I think this time I've won! I was beginning to feel better last week, then had a relapse and went down again. But I've turned the corner and can see blue skies ahead so I think I've beat it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Another Quiet Sunday....

While this is Father's Day I'm not going to do anything about my dad on here today. If you have read my blog for a long time, you'll know that I did not have a good relationship with my dad so the less said the better.

I will however wish a Happy Father's Day to HB (he's still out of town) and all the other dads out there....I'm sure there aren't any who read my blog though!

Things have been pretty quiet around here. I'm feeling better each day and if I could only get rid of all the congestion I think I'd be just fine. Each evening I have been drawing something or doing some kind of little art so that I don't lose my mojo. Last night I worked in my moleskine....something I haven't done in about two weeks! Nothing great but a little face sketch....

This is the first color I've added to my moleskine! I just used colored pencils since they were right beside me at the time. I also colored in the big-eyed girl from before. I used my markers for her....

Ok, that's about all I have today. I'm still getting around to all those blog posts I missed so you'll be seeing me soon.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm Still Here....

I'm slowly making it back to the land of living! Whatever this "bug" is, it sure seems to like me. It just keeps hanging on. But this morning I actually think I might be feeling somewhat human again.

HB is still gone so I've been able to sleep as much as I needed and only do the absolute necessary things. I've been reading a lot and watching whatever movies I can find on tv....this morning is has been "Kate and Leopold"....I love that movie!

Last night I drew another quirky picture. Maybe this "bug" is causing me to see things in a different way!

I might have been channeling Cinda!!!

Ok, I'm off now to try and catch up on some of your blogs. I just looked at my google reader and there are over 250 blog posts that I've not read!! So this make take awhile! I may not make to all of them today because I don't know how long my energy will hold on but I'll get around to all of you sooner or later. Thanks to everyone who has emailed me and left comments over the past few days. You're the BEST!!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

In the Middle of the Night....

Here it is 2:45 AM and I'm wide awake! Maybe because mostly what I've been doing is sleeping all day. I still feel bad and probably will be doing pretty much the same thing today.

I think you can tell from these two ATC/ACEOs that I managed to do yesterday that I'm not feeling very inspired!

Before I got sick I had been working on a painting. I'm happy with the face but I really srewed up the hair (as usual!) I haven't fixed the hair yet but this is what the face looks like. When I feel better and do something with her hair I'll show you the complete painting....

Ok, I'm going back to the couch and rest again. My energy level is waaaay down. Send soup!!!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not So Good....

It's official! I now have all the symptoms of whatever the latest bug is....the scratchy throat was joined by stuffy/runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and very slight temperature and an overall feeling of YUK!

I did manage to do two ATC/ACEOs before it got too bad....

Now I'm going back to the couch with a cup of tea, a book, and a large supply of kleenex!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On the Road Again....and Some Art, Too

HB was home for three days and is gone again as of this morning. And I've got a scratchy throat! I don't feel bad, as if I'm coming down with something, but my throat hurts like heck. Hopefully it will go away and not cause me any problems. I think it calls for tea and honey!

I've been very busy doing some art over the past couple of days but I can't show you much of it because it's for a project. I'm part of a group doing a zentangle book. We will each do 12 zentangles that are 3" x 3.5" and then they will be spirally bound into a little book for each of us. Since I love doing them I thought it was a perfect thing to get involved in.

I did do some work in my art journal but most of it is crap!! Here are some of the pages I did....

This one says "She's an uptown girl"

Most of them are just pictures from magazines....things that caught my attention either for color or subject. I guess I'm just not a "deep thinker" when it comes to making art. Mostly I just do things that are pleasing to my eye with little or no thought as to what they mean. Maybe that makes me a shallow person and not a real artist. Somehow I can't get into putting my "soul" on a messy page! So I suppose art journals are not my thing no matter how much I love the ones other people create.

I also started this collage done on some cardstock....

Sorry that it's a bit crooked. I took a photo of it rather than scanning it. I like how it looks just as it is but may do something else to it later. For a few days I'll just look at it and decide.

So that's what I've been doing. What about you? Have you been busy creating?

And, if you're reading this, Happy Birthday Dee!!


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Quiet Sunday Morning....

HB is back home for the weekend and that means I haven't had a lot of time to post anything here. So I'm giving you one of those quiz thingies again....(not sure why it's leaving so much space and I can't fix it)....

You Should Live in the Country

You are laid back, calm, and good at entertaining yourself.

You don't need an expensive big city to keep you busy.

You'll take the peaceful life over the stressful life any day of the week.

I think this one is pretty close to being me, especially in view of my recent post about entertaining myself! I would love to live in the country and have a very quiet, peaceful life....and lots of time for art.

Speaking of art, I just uploaded several things over on my art blog. If you have time, go take a peek. Now I'm off to make Sunday morning waffles, and the weather is nice enough that we'll eat out on the patio. I hope wherever you are that you're enjoying nice weather and a fun day.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Entertaining Myself....

I'm an only child and I've never had any problem entertaining myself. Give me a few hours to myself and I can think of a million things to do. I'm sure that I've spent more of my life being alone than I have being with others. It's just the way I am. So with HB out of town for a couple of days you would think I'd have tons of things to show you since I have all that uninterrupted time to create....wrong!! I did absolutely nothing yesterday! Well, that isn't completely true....I talked on the phone with HB about 15 times (!!!), also talked to Molly, plus a couple of other phone calls, read quite a bit (more about that), but only have a small drawing to show you....

I'm not sure where she came from but there she was on my paper....just peeking out.

I mentioned previously that I've signed up for a class about art journaling....well, so far I've done a big fat zero in the way of my lesson! I keep finding excuses why I can't do it right now. When I have this much resistance to something then I know I should keep trying. Maybe today will be the day I get started on it. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


The book I'm reading is very good....I'm about halfway into it and it just keeps getting more and more interesting. The book is "The Moonlit Cage" by Linda Holeman.

It's the story of a young Muslim girl who lives in Afghanistan around the middle of the 1800's. She is very headstrong and willful, and she questions everything....something frowned upon by her culture. The book has a 5 star rating on Amazon....I got it at the library and I'm enjoying it very much. I like reading about other cultures, and people and places that I know nothing about. Since I'm here alone for a few days I can read at any time of the day or night! Such an indulgence!

I just finished another book a couple of days ago that was good....a little quirky but good. It was "The Last Anniversary" by Liane Moriarty.

So far I've read 20 books this year plus several others that I've read maybe 1/4 of before I decide it isn't for me. And those 20 books don't include any artsy's only books such as novels or biographies.


Ok, I'm off to the studio to entertain myself. I'll either sit and daydream or maybe I'll get lucky and actually do my assignment for my class!! I hope you have a great day....


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Drooling Over Dreamy Colors....

Most of the time I just can't decide what style my taste fits into. My problem is, I like a little bit of everything! When it comes to furniture HB and I don't see eye to eye so we have very plain, somewhat traditional things for the most part. But there are times when I really dream of something like this....

Wouldn't you love to curl up here with a good book and a cup of tea and just let the world pass you by for a few hours? I was first introduced to this store through Rosemary's blog and I just fell in love with their products....although many of them are waaaay out of my price range, I still like to dream from time to time. Their catalog arrived today and I just drooled over that chair and ottoman.

If you'd like to dream a little their website is here and you can request your own catalog. Then we can drool over all their yummy things together!

And speaking of drooling (nice segue, huh?)....I received this ATC from Doreen right in the midst of all the turmoil over D so I didn't post it right away. But here it is now, and I think you'll all agree that it was worth the wait....

It's felted wool with free machine stitching and hand embroidery. The colors don't show too good in the scan and there are metallic threads that don't show at all. In person, the colors are beautiful, soft and dreamy. Thanks, Doreen! Yours is on its way to you so you should have it soon.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Quiz Thingies and Art....

You all know how I love doing those blog quiz thingies!! The other day DebR had a couple on her blog and I took them, too. Here are my results....

Your Ice Cream Personality:

You like to think of yourself as a fairly modest person. And it's true that you don't talk yourself up... but you're also pretty happy with who you are.

You have a wild reputation, but you're not as wild as you seem. You take risks, but only measured risks.

You are a somewhat open minded person, but deep down you're fairly conservative. You don't like trying new things very much. And if you do find something new you like, you stick with it.

You are a natural multitasker. You feel alive when you're doing more than one thing at a time.

You can be a bit dramatic and over the top sometimes. You are bold in every way

Some of this sounds like me and some of it doesn't....but that's usually how these turn out.

Your Gemstone Says...

You are stable, strong, and full of life. You are an inspiring person.

People turn to you first for leadership and advice.

You are able to gently help people get to where they need to be.

And while you aren't afraid to lead when necessary, you are never heartless or bossy.


Now for some art! I took an ACEO that I had done awhile back and wasn't happy is the original

She looks ok but her tassel is just way too weird! I cut out the person and then glued it to some pretty paper as a background and added a couple of pieces of fiber and here's the re-done version....

Can you tell I'm feeling uninspired?! I'm going back and looking at all my old stuff and trying to fix some of the things I don't like. I think part of it is because I'm signed up for Kira's art journal workshop and I'm terrified that I won't be able to do it! Art journaling just fascinates me and I just can't seem to do it. But since it scares me a little I figure I'll keep trying it and maybe one day I'll actually "get" it.

I also colored in one of my little drawings from a couple of days ago....she's my Flower Baby!

I may put her on some cards. I found a place and ordered just a couple of cards to see how they turn out....if they're ok then I'll have some cards to put in my etsy shop.