Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Old Altered Book....

You know how I love books!! And I also love altered books and art journals and anything along those lines. Even though most of my attempts at this kind of art have not been much good, I still try from time to time. It seems to be a popular art technique and many artists use it in various forms.

When Molly left to move back to Illinois she gave me several books from her collection....the love of books runs in the family!! One of them was an old gardening book....or so I thought. I wasn't sure why she gave me a book about gardening when I live in a climate that isn't exactly the perfect place to grow things but I figured she knew what she was giving me and that there was something about it I would like.

Several days after she left I got out the books and was surprised. The gardening book was printed in 1907. isn't in great shape but what I found inside was fascinating. Someone had added pictures of flowers and gardens!

They look as though they've been cut from magazines. And there are even some that are folded over, and some smaller pages have been added. Just like altered books of today!!

This is a close-up of the small page that was added. It's written in pencil so it's not very dark. I think if you click on this photo you might be able to read it in the larger size.

This small insert is written on the back of part of an envelope and the address is still there. It was mailed on April 7, 1924 from New York City, Tompkins Square Station and sent to Milo W. Barber in Venice, CA.

Here are a couple of other pages with added pictures....

Don't mind my fingers in the photos....the book won't lay open without me holding it. I think this book is one of my favorite things right now. It's full of poems and essays about gardens but the thing I like best is that someone personalized it. Besides the added pictures there are newspaper clippings and little notes throughout the book. Many of the pictures are in black and white but several, like the ones above, are in color. Some are starting to come loose and I can see what's printed on the backs.

Obviously someone loved gardening and they also loved this book. It is well worn and yet you can tell it was treasured by someone. And now I'll treasure it and keep it. I love this book!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Creative Update....

Since Sunday is the day I decided to use to update you on my past week's creativity (Creative Every Day) I guess I better do that!

First of all, I'm totally overwhelmed by the response to my giveaway! I've been trying to visit all the blogs that are entered in the One World One Heart giveaway but I'm sure I've missed some of them. And I've also tried to send emails to all the ones who entered mine (if they have an email listed.) It's almost a full-time job!! I can't imagine how Lisa is coping with this event! So for the next few days I might not have anything too interesting on my blog.

I'm also doing a fairly good job of keeping up with a daily drawing in my moleskine. I posted a couple of new things over on my art blog and on my flickr page. And I've been working in one of my art journals, too. The bad thing about working in my art journals is that mostly I keep those personal and I don't like sharing them on my blogs! So I have been doing some art but not much to show you.

I did have a bit of a break-through last night while reading "12 Habits of Highly Creative Women"....I haven't posted much about that but I have been reading along with everyone in the group. My break-through came in an idea for my studio. If you've read my blog for any length of time you know how I struggle with organizing that room! I realized that much of the stuff I'm holding on to is never going to be used by me! And some of the other stuff I don't think is even any good any longer.

So there's going to be a major....and I do mean MAJOR....clearing out of stuff. I'm one of those people who hangs on to scraps of paper because I might use it one day. Well, you all know that day seldom ever comes! If I find anything that I think others might want there may be more giveaways in the near future. I can't say for sure but if I come across something really good that I know I'm NOT going to use then it will go to someone.

With that, I'll leave you with an unfinished drawing I've been working on since last night....

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Hopefully I can finish it today or tonight and show the finished result tomorrow. All in all, I think I've stayed creative throughout the week....and I've baked lots of cookies, too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've Got a Date....

Is anyone else as excited as I am that it's finally time for my all-time favorite show tonight????

This is one tv program that I watch no matter what! So tonight I'll be unavailable! See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One World One Heart Continues....

Whew!! I'm having trouble keeping up with all the comments on my giveaway! If you've entered, thank you and I'll do my best to get around to visit your blog, too. If you haven't entered then take a couple of minutes to do so on the previous post if you would like a chance to win a one year digital subscription to either Cloth Paper Scissors or Quilting Arts magazine. To be entered you must post a comment on the previous post only.

I'm so glad I was able to participate in One World One Heart this year. Even though I didn't actually make something I still think I have a giveaway that most people would enjoy winning.


Today is such a significant day in our history. I watched as President Obama was sworn in, and I listened to his acceptance speech....which I thought was great! I have this feeling of hope and well-being that I haven't had in many years. I think our One World One Heart participation goes hand in hand with what is happening all around this country and hopefully the rest of the world. We're all reaching out, touching others, learning about other people, other countries, other lives. If we can just get past old judgements, old beliefs, old myths, then we can realize that we are all the same....just human beings. We're all trying to live our lives in the best possible way, and to be creative and share our talents with others. If we can do this in Blogland then we should be able to do it out there in the rest of the world.

Image from

I hope everyone has a great day....and get out there and visit all the blogs participating in this huge giveaway. There are some amazing things you could win.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World One Heart Giveaway....Digital, Baby!

Here it is! The big day. This is the kick-off for Lisa's One World One Heart giveaway. (To learn more about it you can either use the link above or click on the logo in my sidebar.) Bloggers all over blogland will be participating and there will be much yumminess given away. There are soooo many truly talented, creative people doing this and I'm sure their entries will be fantastic.

I had dreamed of making something wonderful....something that everyone would want to win. Sadly that didn't happen! Time got away from me once again (Gee, that never happens!) and the deadline loomed ahead with nothing on the worktable that even resembled art or yumminess!

Not to fear! There is a giveaway here at The Lavender Loft! I am giving away a one year subscription to the digital issues of either Cloth Paper Scissors or Quilting Arts! Your choice.

The digital subscription is something new that's being offered by Interweave Press. You can learn more about it here. I know there are many bloggers who like these magazines and that makes it a perfect gift. So put your name in the hat....I'm using this funky leopard cowboy hat to hold all the names!!!....

and on Feb. 12th, if you're the winner, I'll pay for a digital subscription to one of the magazines, and six digital issues will be delivered right to your computer over one year.

Just leave a comment on this post and make sure I can contact you if you are the winner. That means you must have a blog in order to be included. Sorry! But in the past I have had giveaways where non-bloggers have won and I had no way to contact them.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!!

****NOTE**** As of Feb 1st there are too many names for the hat to hold so I will be using to pick a number!

Also I forgot to say that you have until midnight (Pacific Coast time) on Feb. 11th to enter.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cookies and Bread Make the House Smell Good

No art today! I have been baking a lot lately. It began with Christmas cookies and HB and M enjoyed them so much that I've just kept going! Yesterday I tried two new recipes that I got from flickr! They have so many food related groups on there and I've found several really good recipes.

The first one from yesterday is a Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint cookie. M said they were the best cookies he had ever tasted!! But you have to realize he is a caramel lover! HB liked them, too and ate several just to be sure!

My cookies are never picture-perfect! Plus I'm not a very accomplished photographer so this photo isn't the best but at least you can get an idea of what they're like. If you'd like the recipe you can find it here along with a much better photo.

Next I baked some easy garlic cheddar beer bread. Both the guys loved this. I even had a small piece of it and I have to admit it is good....and I don't like beer.

I forgot to take a picture of it when it first came out of the oven so this is just a partial loaf but you get the idea. You can find this recipe here and once again, there's a better picture.

I love to bake. The house smells wonderful and if it's chilly outside (which it most definitely was NOT) it warms up the house. Since we've been having such unseasonably warm weather, I had the patio door open while I was baking. I know everyone who is suffering in those frigid temeratures doesn't want to hear that but it's true.

What do you like to bake? Do you have favorite cookie recipes? Do you ever bake bread? I have a bread machine but when we moved to CA it never seemed to work right! I've tried adjusting the ingredients but nothing seems to work. So I make easy breads like foccacia or this beer bread. Nothing says home like fresh-baked bread!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Giveaways and Challenges....

Time gets away from me so quickly anymore. It just seemed that I had posted something yesterday but it was several days ago. I did post a couple of new drawings over on my Artopia blog this morning. I draw something just about every day so far this year but I forget to post them.

As many of you know it's coming up on that time of year....Lisa's One World One Heart giveaway. Last year I missed out on doing it because I was busy drawing something for the Polar Festival. In case you don't remember, here is a link to my Polar Festival entry. You can see why it took me sooooo long!

This year isn't much different....time has run out for me to actually make something for OWOH but I've come up with something that I think you'll like so be sure to come back here on the 19th to sign up for my giveaway.


On other things....HB actually took a day off on Wednesday! We didn't do anything special but he enjoyed just not having to be on the job. And we enjoyed having some time with him.

We had a couple of phone calls from my daughter....last one from Oklahoma, so she might be about halfway to her final destination. She sounded happy and said she was enjoying the trip.

I made a promise that this year I would challenge myself to do different things in art. So far I haven't held up that promise....I'm still making the same pen drawings of faces that I've been doing for a long time. Right now my time for art is so limited that I'm usually lucky if I find the time to sit down and sketch out a face in my moleskine. How does everyone find the time to do so much art? Do you all have more hours in your days than I do?! And how do you get yourself out of the rut of doing the same thing? I have a lot of techniques I want to try but my studio is such a mess (imagine that!) and I never seem to have any time to spend on it. If I clean the studio then I won't have time to create! How do you do it?????

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting Detailed....

First of all, let me thank you all for your wise words and encouragement regarding my daughter's big move. I was feeling especially low when I wrote the post but I'm doing much better now. I've always known in my mind that she has to do this, it's just my heart that hurts. But we all go through things like this, our kids do grow up and make decisions we might not like, and yet somehow in the end it all works out.

So today I'm giving you a big smile (can you see it?) and a brightly colored graph paper design. I didn't draw anything yesterday....does it count that I was thinking creatively?!

While I was doing this design, it brought back all the times I drew out designs on graph paper when I was making my little crocheted purses. I had to draw the design, then figure out how many squares/stitches it covered, and then how many times I wanted it to repeat around the purse....and that was how big it would be. I still have pages and pages of designs I graphed out but never got around to making.

You might not be able to see them in this picture because most of them are done in pencil.

And here are a couple of photos of the finished purses/pouches....I've shown them before but here they are again!

The two designs above were actually converted from a knitting book....and I used my own color combinations. Of course, there had to be purple in at least one of them!!

This one has a Native American style....we were living in New Mexico when I did a lot of these little purses so I was heavily influenced by the designs and art I saw everywhere. But I liked using my own color combinations. I doubt that too many Native Americans used pastel colors in their rugs. I might be wrong but I didn't see any!

I enjoy working on detailed projects....tiny beads, fine crochet thread, delicate lines in a drawing. I'm not sure where that comes from since I'm anything but tiny, fine or delicate!

I hope I didn't bore you with these old photos but they seemed to go with my train of thought today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Making a Change....

My daughter has been going through a lot of changes since her long-time friend died last summer. Yesterday she made a big change. She began the trip back to our hometown where she is planning to live now. Last summer she went back there to visit but she came back to California. This time she has moved all her things and is planning to stay in Illinois. It's been very difficult for me....and for my son. We both think this move is a huge mistake. So this is my CED drawing for Sunday....


And since we're talking about changes, one of my friends has an interesting post on her blog. I would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes and go read it. It concerns making some changes in the way the government helps disabled people. You can read her post here. This is a good cause and I hope you take the time to check it out and help make a change. Afterall, isn't that what we all want to do....make a difference in the world!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My CED Drawings....

Since I'm doing CED again this year you would expect to see some art here every day....right? Wrong! I haven't posted many of my drawings yet. I was thinking about doing them all on Sunday, kind of a recap of the week, but then I got to thinking about all those drawings on one little post. That doesn't seem to be the answer. So I think I'll just post them whenever I feel like it throughout the week.

With that said, now I must catch up, so this post will have several....some are finished while others are just rough ideas. But the important thing is I'm drawing every day. That makes me happy.

So here goes....

01/03/2009 unfinished


01/05/2009 unfinished

01/06/2009 I plan to use some watercolors on this one

01/07/2009 and 01/08/2009 rough sketch on two pages done over two days


01/10/2009 I may use watercolors on this one, too.

This catches me up now and I can start fresh next week....hopefully posting one each day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Acknowledging My Creative Self....

I am participating in the book discussion of "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women." The first chapter was all about acknowledging your creative self....that has been a toughie for me in the past but I think I'm finally able to stand up now and say I'm creative. It's taken awhile and it hasn't been easy but with the help of this extremely encouraging blog community that I'm a part of, I have taken the first step to acknowledging my creative self.

When I first dared to post a drawing on my blog (you can see it here and then another one here)I was not sure what anyone would say but there were only one or two people reading my blog at the time so I figured I was safe! I only showed my drawings once in awhile for the first few months until I got comfortable with sharing them....and found out that no one snickered or asked me what the hell I thought I was doing!

I'm not the world's greatest artist and never try to tell you I am....but I do love to draw and doodle and I think that's the important thing. It makes me happy and it makes me feel good so I'll keep doing it! Being creative is such a part of who I am that I wouldn't know how to separate myself from my creativeness....and I wouldn't want to!

I'm happiest when I can just play around with some paper and a Micron pen. I've recently taken some painting lessons but I just don't seem to have the knack for it. Much as I love it, it doesn't come easy to me. That doesn't mean that I won't challenge myself but it does mean that I can recognize my abilities.

I'm looking forward to where this book will take me and what it will reveal to me about my own creative self. I'm always searching for new things and wanting to learn more about art and the creative process. This book seems to fit the bill right now.

Now on to some everyday things. I finished the crocheted hat I was making for my son. It isn't anything unique or beautiful but he likes it. He wanted something warm and snug and something that coveres his ears and the back of his neck (he shaves his head so he gets cold!) And he likes anything with earthy colors or camo. Here's what I did....

He's had it on ever since I finished it! (And now HB wants one, too!) I'm working on a bright orange one that my son can wear when he goes out on the fishing boat. Nothing fancy but it's what he wants.


On a personal note, I just received a Christmas card from one of my blog friends and it looked as if it had traveled a loooong way!! I snapped a photo of the envelope as it arrived....

As you can see it was torn open and I'm not sure if anything was missing from it. So Anna (NatureGirl) if you can email me I'd like to thank you. Somehow the email address I have for you isn't working.

Ok, that's all for today. I hope you're all having a wonderful day....fill it up with creativeness!

Friday, January 09, 2009

I Have Been Creating Every Day!!....

I haven't been posting many of my CED creations....mostly because I just forget to do it! I still feel as if I don't have enough hours in the day to do everything I want and I'm sure that won't change much even when my son goes home! I'm not a good time manager, I guess.

Here is my first drawing of the new year, done on January 1st....

I like playing with faces and hair and making them look different.

This next one was done on the 2nd and I didn't finish it because I decided I didn't like the way her dress was turning out. Maybe I'll draw her again and do the dress in a different way....

You probably can't see it because it's just a light pencil sketch but she is looking down at the earth. I like her hair and her wings but that's about it! She needs a lot of work!!

I've also started another graph paper design but didn't get too far with it last night. So now you know I have really been doing something each day. I'll get caught up with posting the pictures in a few days.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Having Some Art Fun....

Here it is eight days into the new year and I'm a part of CED 2009 and I haven't put one single thing on here showing what I've been doing! I missed my Sunday summary and was planning to catch up with everything this coming Sunday but that seems a long time away.

I haven't been doing anything earth-shaking in the art "department" but I have been doing a little bit of something each day.

Recently I did a trade with Maryellen but I didn't want to show the ATCs until she received hers. That has happened, so here are the ones Maryellen sent me....

And here are the ones I sent to her....

Thanks, Maryellen! I love your art!!

Last evening while the guys were discussing the world's troubles and how to solve them (!!) I sat with them and colored in a new graph paper journal I bought. I was in B&N for something else and noticed they had a bunch of 50% off books so I couldn't pass by without looking! I found this journal with graph paper and it was only $2.50 so I got it. I always loved those coloring books for grown-ups (??) that had all the geometric designs....this is almost as good. Here's what I did....

I just used some Sharpies and made it up as I went along. It was a fun way to spend the evening.

So that's just a little bit of what I've been doing....more later!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Since my son (M) has been here we've been teasing him about how much he misses cutting down trees and working with firewood. As you may recall I took him with me to pick up our load of firewood back in November and a couple of days ago he got to participate just a little bit in some actual tree cutting.

Our next door neighbors have a huge cottonwood tree in the corner of their yard and when we had our freak snow storm a couple of weeks ago, the tree sustained some damage. So the other morning my neighbor decided to lop off a couple of the bigger branches and M got to help. Mostly M just guided him and gave him some advice but when they got ready to cut down one of the limbs, M got to put a rope around it and pull it so it wouldn't fall into our grapevines. Here they are discussing their plan....our neighbor is standing on the wall....

And here's the limb in our yard! You can just get a glimpse of M on the right side pulling the big limb out of the way.

After it was all cut we were left with a lot of tree limbs in the yard but M was thrilled to actually have some work to do!!

Since this picture was taken M has chopped everything into manageable pieces, stacked the bigger ones to "season" and piled all the smaller pieces to use for kindling. He truly loves to mess around with wood!

While all this was going on I was snapping pictures of everything and staying out of the way!

Today I spent a lot of time in the studio....mostly messing up things I tried to do but that's's all part of playing around. Sometimes I try something and it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm also doing a little bit of crochet....M wants a couple of beanie style hats to wear when it's cold. I happened to have some "camo" yarn and a nice green that he likes so I'll make those up for him and maybe get some bright orange and make one of those, too.

We're having the most beautiful weather lately! Not sure how long it will last but we're enjoying it while we can. That's about all my ramblings for today. I hope you've had a good day too....

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ta - Daaaa!

Better late than never....that's my motto! I finally gave up and just hooked up my new camera to my old computer and downloaded the pictures that way. I could download them to my new laptop but I didn't like the photo editing programs available to me. I'm spoiled by using an old Kodak Easy Share program that has one selection just for sizing photos for the web. Easy and no thinking about the size....just select "best for the web" and that's it.

So these are waaaay late but I'm still gonna share!

These are some beautiful flowers my cousin and her husband sent to us on Christmas Eve....and this photo was just taken yesterday!! They still look gorgeous! Thank you Mary Anne and Bill! We're still enjoying them.

Now I'm going back a little bit to Thanksgiving! This picture was on HB's camera and I just got it downloaded so bear with me. This will show you just one end of the table....

Now on to Christmas....this is me getting my new laptop early....

Here's LuLu keeping a sharp eye out for Santa!

She's checking out the presents to see which ones are for her!

Santa was good to us this year....

Me in my typical state....with my mouth open!!

We had a lot of fun on Christmas morning and I'm sorry to do this so late and subject you to all my corny photos but I wanted to put at least a few on my blog so I can remember them.

And last, here's a shot out the back of HB's son's house in Michigan. Brrr! It looks cold!

Ok, now that I've finally figured out my camera and how to get the pictures sized and on the computer....look out! I'll be snapping pictures of everything for awhile.

I had planned to do a weekly post on Sunday to talk about what I had done for CED 2009 but I didn't get it done yesterday. So maybe I'll just wait until next week and start then. I'll include last week's things in there, too. I've been posting some of my ATCs on Artopia but I'll do an "official" weekly post to discuss how I was creative every day.