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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Mystery and the Art Journal....

Thank you all for the suggestions as to what LuLu might have gotten into that made her sick. She is an inside only cat and has never stepped foot outside so it has to be something in the house. Several suggestions were about the studio and that's a logical choice except my studio has a screen door on it to keep the cats out. I very seldom ever let LuLu into the studio and when she is in there she isn't allowed up on any of the tables where all the stuff is. She has an old sweater under one of the tables and that's where she lays when she's in there with me. I never leave her in the studio if I'm not right there so I doubt it was anything from there. The other common suggestion was about the toilet bowl....but HB and I are methodical about keeping the lids down on the toilets. It's a feng shui thing! The only time a lid is ever left up is if we have company and if that's the case LuLu is nowhere to be seen! It's definitely a mystery what she got into!! We most likely will never know for sure. I'm just happy she's doing better. Improving each day.

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Now on to artsy stuff! Here are the three pages that I didn't show you yesterday.

February 25:



This one is just a scrap collage with a few doodles. I may write something on it later.

February 26:



Paint, a strip of wallpaer, an image cut from a magazine, and some birds. Simple.

February 27:



This one has gone through a few different things! I painted the background several days ago but didn't like it. Then I added a face from a magazine and tried to paint over it....turned out terrible! So yesterday I painted the black arch over that face and added the arched paper above it. Then I cut the silhouette from an image in a magazine and added the ball....which is actually very shiny silver cardstock but it doesn't scan.

Today I haven't done any art yet but I'm sure I will. I'm pleased to have kept up my page-a-day goal throughout the recent turmoil. Even if they aren't all winners I feel good that I'm continuing to do something artsy each day.

What will you create today? Give it a try and see what happens. And remember to hug your fur babies just as you hug the people you love.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

LuLu is Home!

LuLu is back home with us! Thanks to all of you and your thoughts and prayers. I know they helped.

The veterinarian finally decided that LuLu had gotten something toxic because that's the only way her blood levels could have come back the way they did. Now HB and I are trying to figure out what she could have gotten into because all the things they suggested are things we don't have in our home! No plants, no medications, no antifreeze....so we're going room by room trying to figure it out. I told HB the only thing toxic in this house is my cooking and the cats don't get people food! We're just thankful she's home and seems to be improving. She has meds to take and will have to go back in about a week but so far so good.

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I know I'm really behind with my art journal pages....I'm not behind in making them, just in showing them to you. I have been able to keep doing them throughout all this chaos with LuLu.

February 22:



This was one of the days when LuLu was very sick and I was sad.

February 23:



I think this one might be called "Weird Scientist"....

February 24:



This began as a postcard but somehow it got some smears of dirty color on it so I just tore off the backing and glued it in my journal! Quick and easy page that day!

I'll try to show you three more tomorrow and then we'll be almost caught up. I don't want to put too many on at one time and overwhelm you!

I've also been posting some photos over on my photo blog if you're interested.

I hope you're not snowed in where you are....we had a little rain earlier today but now the sun is shining. My almond trees are beginning to blossom! Spring is almost here!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making a Comeback!

Thank you to everyone who has sent me hugs, emails, thoughts and prayers for our LuLu. We are so encouraged. LuLu has been at the vet's since Tuesday afternoon. When we took her in we were prepared to put her down. She was so weak and wasn't doing much of anything. She had made it somehow to the top of her kitty condo earlier in the day but when she tried to get down she fell. She couldn't get up the stairs to the bedroom and she was just lethargic.

We saw a different vet this time and she said she saw signs of "life" in LuLu and that she would like to give her a chance to pull out of this....so we agreed. Yesterday evening we went over to visit LuLu and were surprised by how much she had improved.

This is how she looked early on Tuesday....



I carried her up to our bedroom and let her sleep on the bed. She barely moved.

And here she was on Wednesday evening....



You can see her IV on her leg. They used a purple bandage!



Doesn't she look like she's saying "don't mess with me!!"....she was even eating for us. We spent about 45 minutes with her and she was alert and active the entire time. I'm so thankful we saw the other vet at this clinic. The previous one seemed to have little hope for LuLu. Plus we were very happy with the technician who is looking after LuLu. He was friendly and involved with her and you could tell she was happy with him. So we're breathing a little easier today.

I know I'm behind showing my journal pages and I promise to get to them....I've actually been able to keep up with them through all this....but I also wanted to show you the postcards I received from Hanna's postcard swap....



Aren't these fantastic?? I love them all. The one with the rose is actually shimmery fabric but it doesn't show up in the photo.

And earlier this month Lee and I did a postcard swap and these are the ones I received from her....



I love her art style! All the postcards I received are just great and I will definitely join in again if another swap comes along like this. Thank you to everyone who sent me a card....I think I've contacted everyone to personally thank them.

And I promise to have some journal pages on here tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Sweet Baby....

It's a very sad day at Chez Art. We learned that LuLu, who is only six years old, has kidney failure. We are devastated. She's our little princess, our baby, and just the sweetest cat you'd ever imagine.



I'll be back another day to share my journal pages but right now I'm too sad.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Havin' Fun Doin' Nothin"....

Here's the latest kitty update! LuLu went back to the vet's this morning and they're keeping her today and tonight so they can give her an IV for fluids. She isn't eating or drinking very much, still getting sick, and they want to observe her and do a couple of tests. It was terrible to leave her there. She looked so scared. Hopefully they will find out what's wrong with her and we can get her back to her usual sweet self.

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Nothing else much happening around here the past couple of days. I've just been having some fun in the studio. I don't have much I can show you yet so I'll just show you my art journal page from yesterday....

February 21:



I haven't put any words on it yet and may or may not. If I think of something I might add it otherwise it will be just as it is. This was another quickie....just a few things cut from magazines and some embellishments. Nothing fancy. Just keeping myself busy creating. I love looking for things in magazines that I can use in some other way. The big red partial circle was the saucer of a big cup....the flowered circle was part of a plate. I try to see things from a different angle or a different perspective and use them in my journals.

HB is working in the garage today....trying to find some space out there! So I better go help him a little bit. Have a great day....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Books, Cats, and Journal Pages....

There are several people who comment here and mention they would like to begin an art journal. Sometimes we need a little nudge to get going or we need some direction before we start down the path. With that in mind I mention to you a great review of a book about journaling. You can read the review here at iHanna's blog. This is the book she reviews:



Take a look....it might just be the gentle push that gets you started. Or maybe you aren't ready yet but either way you might enjoy the review and the book.

This has been quite a weekend for us. Our LuLu has been sick.



We took her to the vet last week and she got three medications....which were almost impossible to get down her! They started making her sick so we called the vet and they changed one of the meds but she's still getting sick every time she eats. So we have stopped giving her the meds because the original problem seems to be better....now if we can just get her over this tummy upset stuff we'll be back to normal. She's such a sweetie. I feel so bad for her....just like a mommie!

I've been keeping up with my pages. Here are the latest ones:

February 19:



This one was a quickie. I wanted to use that big pink rose for quite sometime and that was the day. I like the background and was sorry that I covered up so much of it. I used some of my packing tape along the side, top and bottom.

February 20:



This page looks so much better in person. I LOVE the background on this page!! And it sort of makes me think of Mardi Gras.

So that's what's been happening in my world. I hope you've been doing something more fun than I have.

PS - I have been getting some amazing postcards and I'll be sharing them with you in a couple of days. I'm waiting for the last one to arrive so I can get some photos.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Michelle Ward's Crusade No. 37 - Love Letters

This is my second time doing Michelle Ward's crusades. This one is all about love letters....X's and O's. You can read about the crusade and join in the fun here.

I had an afternoon and evening all to myself yesterday (HB had a meeting) so I played in the studio. My first page was mostly by accident. I had smeared on some excess paint from another page, and then I just added some sheer (cheap) cream paint over that. I liked the way it looked sort of faded. Then I used a stencil X and O and some red paint. At first I thought about adding something else....maybe some words or more X's and O's but I decided I liked it just as it is.

February 18:


most photos are clickable to view larger

I think I'll name it Faded Love.

Then I decided to do another page and it ended up being a spread. I used brighter colors for it. The big X is cut from black magazine paper and the big O is painted on. I may add some words to these pages but so far I haven't.

The X page:



And the O page:



Both of these pages are pretty simple....just layers of paint applied with a palette knife, then stamps and stencils to make the letters. I had fun with this project so pop over to the GPP Street Team (the link above) and get in on the fun. Michelle does a crusade each month so there's still time to get your page finished.

Whatever you do today, do it with a smile....and give someone a hug....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Me and My Art Journal

I love creating in my art journal! It's one of the things I look forward to each day. What will I do....what ideas will pop into my head....what can I do that will not be the same thing???? All these questions run through my head each day. Some days the page just creates itself and other days I work at it but I always enjoy the process.

There are many books that I've used as an art journal....I'm not picky about that. I really like how paint goes onto the Fabriano paper but I don't have to use it every day. I would just as soon pick up an old hardcover book and use it, or a sketchbook, or even just loose pieces of paper although I usually don't do that because they tend to get lost in the mess of my studio!

It's the same with paint. I love Golden paints but they tend to be a little pricey for me so I use them sparingly. I use lots of craft paints and Liquitex and any other less expensive brands I find. There again, I'm not picky. In fact there are times I really prefer the cheapest craft paints I can find because they're usually very sheer and I can layer lots of them and it still remains somewhat see-thru.

And I love magazines for images. I have way too many of them right now. Plus I have images I've cut out and they're in drawers....somewhat sorted out but when I'm looking for something and pull out a bunch of things I stick them all back into a drawer and they get mixed up again.

What I'm trying to say is, it doesn't take a lot of fancy supplies to do an art journal. It just takes a little time and some imagination and that's it! I may not be able to keep up with my page a day plan but if I don't I will still have a LOT of pages and I'll be happy.

Here's the page I did yesterday:

February 17:



We're still having fantastic weather out here! But I think some rain is coming this weekend. I hope the sun is shining where you are. Have a fun day!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time For My Art Journal....

Not much happening around here today. I've been digging out in the studio again. I don't know how I accumulate all the paper that I do but it sure piles up FAST! I'm weeding through it all and getting rid of things I don't think I'll ever use....which is probably most of it. I'm always tearing something out of a magazine thinking I'll use it some time but I don't.

Here is my art journal page for yesterday....

February 16:



Maybe I have "time" on my mind since I never seem to have enough of it!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TMI, Dude!!....and Some Art Journal Pages

Jeanie had a meme on her blog several days ago and you all know how I love memes! Since I hadn't done one in awhile I decided to do it.

If I Was....

a color....gee, do you have to ask? Purple!

a verb....observe

a day....Friday

a TV show....LOST

a taste....chocolate

an emotion....love

a month....September

a flower....gardenia

a holiday....4th of July because I love fireworks

a movie...."Shirley Valentine"

an article of clothing....blue jeans

a book....an art book

a car....a Lamborghini

a piece of furniture....a chaise

a scent....cinnamon

an instrument....piano

a store....an art store

a shoe....strappy high heels (even though I can't wear them anymore)

a fruit....watermelon

a song...."Trampled Underfoot" by Led Zeppelin just because I LOVE IT!!!!

a tree....oak

a planet....Venus, the planet of love and beauty

a tool....paintbrush

And since I haven't posted my art journal pages for a few days (again!) here they are....

February 13:



I liked this background and had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do with it.

February 14:



February 15:



These blocks of color are just cut from a magazine as are the thin strips of black. I love this Mondrian style.

OK, that's all I have for today. It's fantastic weather here (sorry!) so I want to get out and enjoy some of it. Have a great day....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Keeping My Goal Alive....

Don't you just hate it when "life" gets in the way of all the fun stuff like blogging and art! That's what happened to me this past week. Nothing dramatic....nothing terrible....just all those everyday things that sooner or later catch up with me and demand attention!

But through it all I managed to get my page a day finished although a couple of them are really not all that good. You know me....I always show you the bad right along with the good! You have to suffer right along with me!!

So as promised yesterday, here are my art journal pages....

February 8:



Very simple....just keeping my goal alive!

February 9:



I bought this new flower stamp and wanted to use it....I cut the petals from magazines.

February 10:



I don't like this one! I kind of got off-track when I added that piece of tape along the left side. That's some of my patterned packaging tape. But once you use it you have a shiny surface that nothing much will adhere to! From there it just went downhill.

February 11:



On this day I got new lenses for my glasses. My prescription hadn't changed but my lenses were getting scratched. So I can see clearly now!

February 12:



I did a two-page spread for The Olympics. I'm still thinking I might add something to these pages but not sure....maybe some of the names of the gold medal winners or something like that.

Ok, that's it for now. My page for Saturday is almost ready but I was right in the middle of it when The Olympics came on last night so I didn't get it finished. I'll put the finishing touches on it later this afternoon when I make my page for today.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm Still Here!

I guess this is a mini-blog break but I'll will return tomorrow with some pictures of art!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some Postcards Are in the Mail....

I'm just popping in to show you some postcards I've been working on for Hanna's swap. I can show them now that I've received the addresses they're going to because none of them are people I know.

Group 1:



Group 2:



Group 3:



Group 4:



Group 5



These were a lot of fun to make and mostly I used the cardboard from packaged foods as the base. I tried to keep these postcards fairly flat (not too much added to make them thick) as many of them are going out of the country. Mainly I just painted, stamped and collaged. Do you think they're too plain? Group 4 and 5 had spray painted backgrounds and I went over that with a light wash of cream to take them down a bit. I hope the recipients like them.

I'll be back tomorrow with my journal pages. I don't want to overwhelm you with photos!!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Gremlins....They Gotta Go!!!

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me in the comments....and most especially to Sharon (All Norah's Art) Yep....I know that little gremlin sits right there on my shoulder and whispers in my ear. Most of the time I can keep her away but sometimes she's more insistent than others. When I get frustrated I usually vent and unfortunately this is where I do it!!

After my meltdown I just couldn't get myself into making any art. Yesterday HB watched the Super Bowl....his team lost, mine won!! But in the end he said my team played a better game than his. I thought that was very gracious of him.

I tried cleaning a little in the studio but it has gotten to that point where it's overwhelming! Maybe that's why I'm struggling with art right now! No room to work and too much clutter everywhere. If you don't see me for a couple of days you know what I'm doing!

Finally in the evening I managed to throw together a page in my art journal. And I mean that....I threw it together with stuff that was on my worktable. But I'm really trying to make a page each day even if some of them aren't all that good. It keeps me thinking ART.

February 7:



Today I want to just play with art stuff....I had some ideas over the weekend and they've been rolling around in my head so I better do something with them before they crash into something and make a big mess!

Play....sing....laugh....dance....do something fun....

Sunday, February 07, 2010

What I've Been Doing....

I took a couple of days away from my blog but not from art. As many of you know, I'm addicted to online art classes! I suffer from OACA....Online Art Class Addiction. This is an addiction that just started last year but it has progressed rapidly!

For a long time I have drawn women....first with no faces and mostly wearing long dresses, then I eventually added faces, and then I mainly drew faces....no bodies. But all the time they were just drawings with no color except for the occasional hint of color on the clothes. I never felt comfortable adding color to the faces but I longed to. I saw so many wonderful artists doing beautiful faces and I wanted to do that, too.

Long story short....I'm currently taking two classes about painting faces. One is the Goddess and Poet class with Suzi Blu and the other one is with Sharon Tomlinson. They are both wonderful teachers, give tons of great information, provide lots of great videos and offer help to all their students. But the simple truth is, some people can paint faces and others cannot! I fall into that last category. It isn't the fault of the teachers but the fault of the student.

Over the past couple of days I have immersed myself in these classes and what happened? I bombed! I flunked! I am not a face painter. Here are my latest art journal pages. The last one is what I'm talking about.

February 4:



I think this is the kind of art I'm going to stick to doing.

February 5:



This has a background of pieces cut from security envelopes and the flowers are from napkins. I wish the napkins had been white but they weren't.

February 6:



And this is the piece of crap that I produced after all the wonderful lessons! First off my transfer looks like you-know-what! And she looks flat, startled, and childish. She was fine until I started adding paint. I liked the face I drew but it looks nothing like what has appeared now.

I can draw faces and have no problem with that....here is the woman I began drawing about a week ago....



She looked good until I began adding color and then it went to hell. I'm not sure why this is because I LOVE color. And I can add color to other things but when it comes to faces I just can't seem to get it. So I'm resigning myself to the fact that I'm just not a face painter and I'll quit spending money on face classes and get on with other kinds of art. I am not trying to get your sympathy or to get comments on this....I'm just tired of trying to do something that doesn't seem to come naturally to me no matter how much I want it to. My faces just don't have "it" and I'm through trying.

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On a completely different subject, if you haven't seen the film "Food Inc." then run, don't walk, to go see it. I bought the DVD at Amazon. It is an eye-opening look at the food industry and how they are manipulating our food....and us. I was so furious after watching it.

This documentary is up for an Academy Award and rightly so. You will never look at the food on your plate the same way after you see this movie. And I'm not just talking about the animals!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Feelin' Groovy....or Great!

Hi to all you gorgeous people!! For some reason I'm in a particularly GREAT mood this morning....feelin' groovy....don't ask me why because I don't know! But I woke up feeling great and it just keeps hangin' in there with me. Maybe today I'll be sitting in Schwab's drugstore in Hollywood and some movie producer will discover me! Oh, wait....that already happened to Lana Turner. (Anyone under the age of 50 probably won't know what the heck I'm talking about!!) Or maybe those guys from Publisher's Clearing House will knock on my door and tell me I'm the winner of 100 trillion dollars! No, I'm sure that won't happen. Oh, well, whatever it is I'm feelin' good today.

I made some art yesterday and that always makes me feel good. I don't plan out my pages in advance. When I start with a blank page I usually just slap some color on it just to get rid of the white. From there I start looking for things that will fit with the colors I've put down. And then after I've added all the collage elements I'll start thinking about words. As you know, sometimes there are no words on my pages. A few people seem to be very confused about that....why I don't write something on each page. To tell you the truth sometimes I'm happy with the page just for the art of it and I don't think it needs words.

Yesterday, however, I did use words....

February 3:



The girl on the left has my own words on her....the other two have quotes. I put the title on first and I hope no one is offended by it. This page almost fell into place on its own. I love when that happens. I might add one more short quote on the aqua girl just to use that blank space but so far I haven't found the right one.

So that's about it for today....I hope you are all feeling groovy today, too. If not, then make time for playing and doing art. That always makes me feel better. Whatever you do, make it a good day....

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Art Journal Journey Continues....

First....the important stuff!! I was a little worried about one of my "bad boys" last night but at the very last second I was able to breathe a sigh of relief!! If you don't watch "LOST" then you won't know what I'm talking about and you can just ignore this part! HB went to bed early last night and left me alone with my bad boys. I loved it but the whole time I was watching I was thinking "it will be the end of the story soon"....and I don't want it to end.
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OK, enough about me and my obsession with a TV program! Here are my art journal pages for the first two days of February....

February 1:



I didn't start out with anything in mind....just another transfer background from National Geographic. But somehow it all evolved into something red and then it began to go in this somewhat romantic direction so I just went with it. Not one of my better pages but I'm happy that I did it.

February 2:



Yesterday was a busy day for me and then last night I was busy so my page is a little light in the artistic department! I pretty much have to admit I threw this one together. And I think it shows. Some days I'm really feelin' it and others I'm not. Obviously I wasn't feelin' it the past couple of days. I think when I'm doing a page every day there are several blah pages and then I'll have a good one. They can't all be good. I'm sure even Teesha Moore has an off day once in awhile! I'm just happy to be able to do a page each day and to feel a tiny bit creative while doing it. That's the whole point of my daily goal. And I just like playing in the studio!!! I love having paint and glue on my hands. I love getting messy....and ripping paper....and finding just the right thing to make my page come together. It's all fun!

Now I'm off to do a little bit of that! I hope you have some fun today....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I Have a Date Tonight!!....

First, some of you have asked about the size of my art journal pages. Currently I'm using an old decorating book as my journal and it's about the size of a regular sheet of printer paper. I'm gluing two pages together to make each page more durable. I prefer to work in a larger size than a moleskine, which I know a lot of people use. My previous journal was one I made and it was about 6" x 8"....the size was ok but I still like the bigger journals. In the smaller one I did two-page spreads most of the time. In this current journal I use one page at a time.

Another question I get is what kind of white pen do I use. Most of the time I use Sharpie Poster Paint pens in fine or ultra fine. I buy them at Dick Blick. I also like Signo Uni-ball pens. I think I get them from Jet Pens. Either of these pens works good for me.
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Now on to the IMPORTANT stuff! Tonight I'm going to be glued to the TV. Tonight "LOST" returns. If you've read my blog for awhile then you know I'm obsessed with this show. I've watched it from the beginning and have never missed an episode! Personally I think this is some of the best TV I've ever seen. And there's lots of gorgeous scenery, too....



Oh, yeah, and Hawaii looks pretty good, too!

I don't have a picture of my page from yesterday yet and I haven't made a page for today yet so I'll try to get back later to add those. I have a full day ahead of me....I have to be ready for my date tonight!! I'm off to get my hair done, get a manicure, a pedicure, have my make-up done, get a new dress and shoes....I have to look special for my date!!! If you know me you know I'm kidding about all of that except for the fact that I'm excited and I do have a busy day!

Monday, February 01, 2010

One Month Completed!....

February already! The month of love and hearts and all things romantic....and RED! Do you make valentines? Do you get all wrapped up in the frills and femininity of all things Valentine's Day?

As a kid I loved getting valentines at school. My mom would buy be those big bunches of valentines that you had to tear apart on the perforated lines. I always gave a valentine to everyone in my class....I think that was "the rule"....I wish I still had some of those old cards. But I can't save everything. You all know I give it a good try though!!

Yesterday I puttered in the studio....straightened a few things, threw out a few things, listened to some music, and just had a good day. HB got out in the afternoon but I opted to stay home. I was having fun and didn't want to change out of my "studio" clothes. That means I had paint on my shirt!!

The page I made yesterday made HB cringe! He doesn't like the image I used but I'm happy with it. Maybe a little creepy for some but I hope not too bad.

January 31:



I did a transfer from an old National Geographic, added a little paint, cut a strip of paper for the left side, layered my image on another piece of paper, then added that scrap of "writing" paper along the top and said "that's it"....the words came to me immediately so I added those.

With that page I accomplished the first month of making a page every day! I hope to continue this for the year although I'm also realistic and know that there are some days coming up where I might not be able to make a page each day. Things happen! But my intention is to try for a page a day this year. Wish me luck!!

It's Monday so start your week off right....SMILE at everyone!!