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Saturday, July 31, 2010

We're All Safe!

Whew! What a couple of days we have had....but not as bad as many others. On Thursday afternoon I noticed the smell of smoke in the air and just a little while later this is what we saw from the front of our house....



Very shortly it looked like this....



We were definitely keeping a close watch because this fire seemed closer to us than any others have been in the past. By early evening the sky was very impressive....





And by nightfall you could really see the fire....sorry this next pic is not very good....



I stayed up all night and HB only slept a couple of hours. Around 9:00 PM we got the automated call from the sheriff's department telling us we were in the evacuation area so we had some things packed up and ready by the door. HB backed two of our vehicles up to the garage doors so that if we had to make a quick getaway we could.

By Friday morning the air was thick with smoke and it was beginning to bother me. HB had an appointment that he had to keep so he reluctantly went to take care of it. While he was out he snapped this picture of the sky filled with smoke....



When he got back I was exhausted so I went to bed while he kept watch. I slept through all the excitement! The fire came very close to our neighborhood and HB said there were non-stop helicopters and fixed wing planes flying overhead....he snapped this one....



They were doing water drops and also dropping flame retardant which all must have worked because by evening the fire was pretty much knocked down. This morning we have blue skies and just a little smokey smell in the air.

Thank you to everyone who emailed me and left comments on my blog. All your thoughts and prayers must have worked because we're safe and sound....unscathed. Sadly there were a few homes that were burned but I don't think anyone died in this fire.

I hope everyone is safe and happy today. And I hope no fires or any other disasters happen. Hugs to you all....

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fires!!!

This is just a quick post....we are in an area of evacuation due to brush fires in our area. We have some things packed and ready to grab in case we have to leave quickly.

Last night we could see flames on the hills when we looked out our upstairs windows. I have been up all night and HB only had a little sleep. The air quality is terrible and the sky looks eerily yellow.

I have been taking lots of photos but my desktop computer is unhooked and ready to leave so I won't be uploading anything until I can use it. This photo is from ABC7....




If you live in Southern CA and hear the news reports we are in the Rancho Vista area.

So far, so good....I just hope it stays that way. I'll try to post as soon as I know anything else.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some of This and A Little of That....

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the ATC swap that Lee and I are doing. If you didn't see it already you can read about it here.

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I've been in the painting mood recently. I go in streaks and spurts about what I create. My problem is I like to do EVERYTHING! So consequently I tend to jump from this to that and back again. Are you like that or do you usually stick to one medium?

I painted this girl....



She turned out ok but then I started thinking about other things I could do to her so I scanned her into the computer, printed out a few copies and started adding things. First some curlicues....



I got carried away! I like it except for the ones on her mouth and the outer edge of her hair. The ones on her mouth look like a mustache! So then I decided to add some vines....



Again, I like it but think I'd leave the vines off her face and also the ones along the outer edge of her hair. I've left her in the original state but will probably add a little more detail to her soon. For now she still looks like this....



And since I haven't done them in quite awhile here are some snippets....

bought: Playing With Books by Jason Thompson; Scraps by Elsebeth Gynther & Christine Clemmensen; and Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim

art: working on my ATCs for the swap and also a painting from Julie Prichard's Layer Love class. I took the class a long time ago but now I'm going back and refreshing my memory on the techniques.

food: enjoying all the summer fruits....blueberries, strawberries, peaches, melons....yum! I think I could live on fruit.

wearing: jeans and a paint splattered tee shirt....barefoot....I'm such a fashionista! And I think I forgot to comb my hair this morning although you usually can't tell anyway!!

listening to: the breeze outside the studio window. Yes, we actually have the windows open this morning! By afternoon we'll have to close up and turn on the cooler but for now I'm enjoying the fresh air.

I hope you have a good day. Do something fun!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's Swap Time Again....

Last month Lee and I co-hosted a collage swap. We had so much fun that we decided to co-host another swap. And this time it will be for two ATCs....one with the theme of summer and one with the theme of fashion.

If you would like to join our swap leave a comment saying you want to join, either here or on Lee's blog. You can sign up through July 31st, then on August 1st we will post your partner's name. You will then have three weeks to make the ATCs and get them to your partner by Aug 22.


This is an ATC I made back in January 2007.

We had a very good turnout for our first swap so I hope we have as many or more for this one. It's always so much nicer to get some art in the mail and not just bills and junk! So sign up and we'll partner you with someone and you can receive some beautiful art in the mail.


Another ATC I made in January 2007.

If you've never made an ATC you can find tons of information online:

Artist Trading Cards ....this site gives an over all history of ATCs including a gallery of pictures.

Art in Your Pocket....this site has information about techniques as well as all the basics.

How to Make Artist Trading Cards....information as well as a video.

There are also 1,310,000 results if you search Google images for artist trading cards.

And when I searched Flickr I found 179,019 results.

The only rule for ATCs is their size. They must be 2.5" x 3.5" and then anything goes! Just remember for this swap our themes are summer and fashion.


I made this ATC in February 2007.

With all that information I'm sure you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about ATCs....if you don't already know. So join us. Make some art. We kept things small for this swap so it won't take a lot of time to create.

Go ahead....add your name....you know you want to!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Get Involved! And Remember to Play....

I sort of fizzled out yesterday. Never did get anything posted here. Summer is like that for me. One good day and then one not-so-good day. It all depends on the temperatures.

Before I forget about it, a friend of mine asked if I would mention this on my blog:



Be sure to click on the button and learn about how you can get involved.

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I guess I'm in the playing mood lately. Not really interested in creating anything of substance....just having fun doing backgrounds and silly stuff like this painting....



She's done on a piece of recycled cardboard. I layered on some scrap paper and then began painting. You may not be able to see it in the photo but there's one piece of paper across her face that had something cut out of it....the edges of that paper dictated to me how I did her weird eyes. I was trying for something fun but she ended up looking harsh. The words that popped into my head were "because I said so!" I could just here her saying them.



After that I decided to stick to background papers! I made a couple using that paint, spray, scrape technique that everyone is blogging about. I actually saw this technique on someone's blog about a year ago and have tried it before. You can see some of those earlier attempts here and then these are the ones I just did yesterday....





The green one is my favorite. As I was making these papers I was scraping off paint, and being my frugal self I didn't want to waste it. The following page had been spray painted using a stencil but I wasn't happy with it so I used it as a place to put the leftover paints. I quite like how this paper turned out....



I think I might like it the best!

I mentioned that I was getting out my art journal again. I'm having trouble getting back into the groove of working in it though. I've tried two pages and they've turned out dull and blah. I'm going to re-work them this afternoon so maybe I'll pull a rabbit out of my hat!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Back With Some Art and Some Mail....

Hi everyone. I'm still here although I'm a little soggy around the edges! Today the weather seems to have changed just a tad bit. It may not hit 100º today! That would be a relief. Who knew I'd be happy to see high 90's and think it was cool.

A few days ago I got a package from Sophie....a thank you for co-hosting the collage swap.



Just look at all those goodies. In the upper right corner is a small journal, the left corner has a FANTASTIC postcard calendar which has already inspired me and given me a couple of ideas for future works. There are lots of bits and pieces in the lower left corner....fun things to use in more collages. And in the lower right corner is a beautiful collage....



Thank you, Sophie. Lee and I both enjoyed hosting this swap and we're getting ready for another one so stay tuned.

I also received this beautiful cross-stitched card from Carin....



Thanks, Carin....you must know I love lavender!!

While I've been on my blog break I've been keeping busy in the studio. But mostly I just have WIPs to share with you.



This is a painting I started quite some time ago and just recently got it back out and hope to finish it soon. I love the background and the texture it has....



You can see that I've gessoed an area for a woman. We'll see how that goes! I've not been doing any faces lately and feel out of practice.

I also began adding color to one of my drawings....



But I think I might have gone too far with it....that's why I seldom add color to my drawings. I think she should have stayed very pastel but I didn't stop there!



Oh, no....I had to keep adding color until she almost glows like a neon sign!

I do like her face....



I think I may copy her, cut her out and put a different background behind her. Not sure I'm liking all the blue.

Today I'm beginning to work in a new art journal. I haven't done any journal pages for several months so I think I'll try some again. And I'm also making more background papers. Show you those tomorrow....

I know I haven't been around to visit for several days. It was just too hot to even think about being at the computer. All I did was read and drink lots of water! But in the next few days I'll be around to visit everyone.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

See Ya....



It's just too damned hot! I'm taking a little blog break....just a couple of days.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's Girlfriends Day....

Today is the day when all my "girlfriends" get together for a celebration. Queen Bee is hosting this little party so be sure to pop over there to see the other girlfriends.

(Please note I did not pattern these dolls after any of my real life girlfriends!!)

There are five girlfriends in my group and each one is an individual. We had a difficult time deciding on where to get together.

Hortense wanted to go someplace where there were beautiful gardens....


all pics are clickable to view a bit larger

She's rather plain, likes wearing purple, and wisteria is her favorite flowering vine. But Ethel wanted to go see some old European cities.



She likes exploring and looking at beautiful old architecture. Then Gertrude spoke up and said she'd like to go to the beach and play in the water....



Gert is a fun-loving gal and always wears something a bit quirky! And speaking of fun....Mabel is the flirt of the group!



She keeps her hair blond (to hide all the gray!!), wears strapless dresses and loves to flirt with good-looking guys no matter where she is. But she said she needed a day at the spa and time to pamper herself a little bit.

Hermione loves the sun....



She recently spent the whole day out on a sailboat and got quite a sunburn! Before they all left for parts unknown I managed to get them all together for one group picture....



Gotta love those girlfriends!! I had so much fun making these. Give it a try. If you would like to make some of your own Queen Bee has a tutorial here.

Since I don't own a lot of paper punches I just made some templates and cut most of the stuff myself. I do have circle punches and they came in handy. I wasn't able to get too fancy with their clothes but I think they turned out ok.

I hope you enjoyed meeting my girlfriends. They may pop up again now and then.

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I'm working on adding color to the first drawing I showed you a few days ago so stop back tomorrow and she should be finished.

It's still "killer" hot here. Stay cool wherever you are and send me some cool breezes!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yikes! What's With the Power?

What a time we had yesterday afternoon and evening! Above 100º temps and the power kept going off and on. We had to shut down almost everything but we're some of the lucky ones in our area. On the east side of town there was flash flooding and farther west from where we are there are still thousands of customers without electricity! And we're expecting the same weather pattern for the next several days. So if you don't see me around very much over the next few days you'll know why!

I hope you'll stop back tomorrow to meet my "girlfriends" though. Queen Bee is having her Girlfriends day. You can see all about it over there on the right side of my blog. Just scroll down and then click on the button to learn all about it. I hope to see you there with your girlfriends. Mine are all ready and getting excited about their big day.

And because everything was so herky jerky yesterday I didn't get much art finished. But I have another one of my ladies to share with you. Again, this was done in 2003.



I don't know if it will show up (you can click on the picture) but I have a drapery sketched in on the right side of the picture. Not sure if I'll actually put it in or not. What do you think? When I look at this drawing I see reds and golds for her dress. So then what would I do with color for the drapery?

Ok, wish me luck today....I hope the power stays on and we don't melt away. I hope it's cooler wherever you are.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Some Old and Some New....

It's still hotter than you-know-what and all I've been doing is playing in the studio and making fruit smoothies.

After reading all your comments and suggestions from the last post I decided to try a touch of turquoise on the orange collage.



I did those circles in the corner and then dry-brushed some turquoise onto the petals....just enough to give a hint of color. I'll probably still add something in that upper right corner but haven't decided on what yet. Thanks for giving me such good ideas.

I also re-did the purple one. It's a little brighter than it shows in the photo, and I like it better than before but it still isn't anything great.



Sometimes things just don't work out the first time and I have to go back and change everything around.

I also painted some background papers yesterday. Here's one I did on one of those grocery ads from the newspaper....



I used several different blue paints and a little purple. Then I stamped on the purple areas with turquoise ink and then used a darker blue ink to stamp on the other areas. I used white ink to stamp letters and numbers....



Then I got out some Lumiere paints and some lightweight paper and made this background....



I added some stamped writing and some of my fake writing



And that's all I managed to get done yesterday. I also went through some things and found several drawings that I did back in 2003. I'll share them with you over the next few days. Here is the first one....



This is done on 11" x 14" paper. She had a blank face, as I never used to draw faces on any of the ladies I drew....but last night I gave her a face. I used to draw these ladies all the time. I'm thinking about adding some color to her. If I do I'll show you how she turns out.

Now back to playing! Have a fun day everyone!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sometimes It's Just Not That Good....

I had so much fun with the torn paper collage yesterday that I think I might do some more of those today. Michelle has such fun challenges....or I guess I should say crusades!

I've also been working on some more little 5" x 5" canvases. I'm not happy with any of the ones I've done but you know I always show you my "misses" as well as my "hits"....



It's not terrible....it's just "blah"....no excitement or anything. Any suggestions??



This one IS terrible! It wasn't going good to begin with and then at the very last I sprayed some walnut ink over it and that just made it worse. Oh, well, live and learn!

I find it so interesting that purple is my favorite color and yet I seldom use it in my art. When I do try to use purple something always seems to go wrong. I also have very little purple in my home. Most of the purple I have is in my own clothing. It's a good color for me. In my art I use more of the reds and oranges and yellows....all colors I don't wear because they don't work with my coloring.

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We're expecting another hot one today so I'm staying in the studio. Maybe today I'll create something better. I did do some other things yesterday but I can't show you yet. I made some little "girlfriends" for Queen Bee's party on Saturday. You can learn more about it by clicking on the button over there on the right side of my blog. It should be fun. See ya there!

Stay cool....or if you're having winter now, stay warm!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Strip Ease - Crusade #42

This month Michelle's crusade is all about Strip Ease....not Strip Tease which probably would not be a good idea for me!



Last month I didn't finish my piece for the crusade so this month I decided not to wait until the last minute. I got busy today and began with....



A 12" x 12" piece of red rosin paper. I did some fake writing with my dip pen and ink. Then added some stenciling with gesso and a sponge.



Next came some torn strips of paper.



A couple more pieces going across, and another stencil on the right side.



I finished up with a little sanding, a very light coat of cream paint over the strips to tone them down a bit, and added some black to give it a little punch. And there you have my little Strip Ease!