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Monday, August 30, 2010

My Mojo is Slowly Coming Back....

Finally....I think I'm getting my mojo back after being away from my art for awhile. Yesterday I started a painting in that new art journal I showed you and I just finished the picture a few minutes ago.

I'm really loving that art journal. It's the perfect size for me. Isn't it funny how we all have such different preferences when it comes to the size we work in? I did a whole moleskine....one of the small sized ones....and it was ok but I much prefer to work a little bigger. And this journal is just the right size to fit on my scanner....well, almost. It did cut off a little bit of the border on my new page.

So without further ado here is my new gal....



I had fun working on this page. Her face isn't perfect but then neither is mine! She went in a completely different way than I had first imagined her but that's half the fun of it.



Even though there are Golden paints sitting there on my worktable I didn't use them on this page. It's all done with craft paints. After reading Pam Carriker's article Basic Black in the summer edition of Art Journaling, I first put down some black gesso....love that stuff! I added some thin strips of paper all around the edges of the page and then started drawing in the girl. I had thought I'd use paper to make her hair but then began playing around and liked how it was going.



I did use paper for the big flower and leaves on her head but otherwise it's all paint. I used the Sharpie poster paint pens to do her hair designs. They're my favorite to use for something like this. Thank goodness I can now get them at Michael's.

Now I'm heading back to my worktable to see if I can keep this going!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Finally....I Did Some Art!

My friend Mary sent me this link to a YouTube video that you just have to see! This is who I want to be when I grow up!!!!!

Click here for video. I don't know how to put the video on here straight from YouTube!

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Yesterday was a good day. I managed to play around in the studio....used some of the goodies Julie sent me (can't show you yet!) and painted a few background pages in my new art journal. Hey, it's a start!



For this first page in my new journal I used some Golden fluid acrylics and a couple of pieces of paper then later I'll add some journaling. Sometimes I like things simple and clean and then other times I like lots of stuff. Are you the same?

Recently on someone's blog (I was a little out of it when I saw this and don't remember whose blog it was!) I saw where they had made a little book using a check register. I found one that I had never used and decided to alter it.



I just used pieces of scrap paper to cover the pages. I glued some of them together because the register is made from very flimsy paper.



I added a little pocket to some of the pages and will add more embellishments and journaling along the way.



For the page on the left I scanned and resized, then printed in black and white, one of my earlier paintings....



I did this Flower Fairy in 2006. I used a combination of watercolors and colored pencils....and you can see she doesn't have a face as this was before I began painting faces. The Flower Fairy is done on 12" x 16" watercolor paper.

So that was my day. What did you do that was fun??

Friday, August 27, 2010

Goodies in the Mail!

This "recovery" stuff is no fun! It's now been over a week and I still have a numb space on my chin and lower lip. Had my follow-up this morning with the dentist and everything looks good. Apparently the numbness is from all the work done on the bone where the tooth was embedded. The dentist told HB that he had to use the biggest piece of artificial bone that he had to fill the hole! I go back in another two weeks and maybe by then I'll be able to feel my chin!

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I have the BEST blog friends!! I received a couple of "hope you're recovering" cards yesterday....



The one on the left is from Kate and the one on the right is from Julie.
I love that design on the card from Kate....great colors.

Julie also sent me a whole package of goodies. She called it a "couch craft kit"....



All kinds of papers, stickers, letters, and several ATC blanks. Just the perfect thing to get me back into doing some art! Thank you, Julie and Kate. You're so thoughtful.

Julie used some really cool tape on the package....



They're little tiki guys! I love it!!

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Today I finally got out of the house and made a trip to B&N. I think they were just about to close the store since I hadn't been there in so long! But I saved them. I bought the new Art Journaling magazine and a really nice Canson spiral-bound journal....



The pages are 90 lb watercolor paper so it should work great for an art journal. I like the 9" x 12" size, too. I got it for $17.99. Then we stopped at Michael's and they had Canson journals just like this one only they had sketch paper in them and they wanted $21.99 for theirs! I guess I got a deal.

Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day in the studio playing with all my new goodies, making the ATCs that I owe to Beth, and maybe starting a journal page. Yep, I think I'm on the mend!!!

I hope you're all having a fun day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Corner of the World....

I'm back....sort of. I didn't plan on this dental experience to take so much out of me but it did. I have been doing a lot of nothing recently which is very unusual for me. But I guess it's what's been needed for me to heal.

I still have a numb area on my lower jaw and about half of my bottom lip is numb....makes eating and drinking a bit of a challenge! I go back on Friday for a follow-up so hopefully all will be good.

As you know, Lee and I hosted an ATC swap this month. My partner is Beth, a very creative and talented artist. I received her ATCs the day after my dental fun so I'm just now getting them posted.



The photo above is the package Beth sent to me. I absolutely LOVE that background paper! It's heavy, feels handmade, and has foreign printing on it....maybe either Arabic or Hebrew....whatever it is, I can't wait to use some of it.



These are the ATCs Beth made for me...."fashion" and "summer"....aren't they great! I love the little bee charm on the summer ATC. Thank you, Beth. You always do such beautiful art.

And now I have to confess online, in public, that I have not made Beth's ATCs yet! They were due on the 22nd and leading up to that time I was in a terrible art slump. Then I had the work done on my teeth and since then I've barely even thought about art. So needless to say, I'm LATE with my part of the swap. But I am planning to spend some time in the studio today and maybe I'll get my mojo going again.

The only other thing I have to share with you today is a pic of one of our kitties.



This is Harley playing with his catnip toy. He always loved those little catnip toys from the store but they are so small he could barely play with them. So I took a piece of denim from the leg of some old jeans and just made a pillow-shaped pouch. I filled it with some stuffing and sprinkled in some catnip, sewed it closed and he loves it. I also made another one in the shape of a fish but he still prefers the pillow one since it's big enough that he can kick it with his hind legs.

Ok, that's all from my little corner of the world. I'm hoping to get around to visit some blogs later today. I miss all of you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Latest Experience....

What an experience I've had! Over the course of my life I have had tons of dental problems and apparently one of them was never addressed. I had a tooth embedded in my lower jaw....I knew it was there but every dentist always said just leave it alone. That is until I went to have dental implants.



In the midst of having them put in the dentist called HB into the room to let him know they would have to take out that tooth and fill the huge hole with artificial bone. HB said the tooth was massive!

I was pretty much completely out of it and had no idea what was going on....thank goodness! So what was supposed to be a simple bit of dental surgery turned into something much more.

The entire lower part of my face is still numb (I had the procedure done on Thursday) and I think that's a good thing as I'm not having too much pain. But I'm sure that's coming any day now!

So if you're here to see some art it might be awhile. Most of my time is spent on the couch alternating between ice packs applied every 20 minutes around the clock and now I'm supposed to keep heat on the area today. Not much enthusiasm for doing anything right now.

I hope you don't all forget about me while I'm recuperating. And Beth, if you're reading this, I'm really going to be late with your ATCs now!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hot and "Blah"thered....

Has it been almost a week since I posted here? Yikes! Don't get all excited because I don't have any art to show you! I'm just basically checking in to let you know I'm still here and to tell you that I'm having some major dental work done on Thursday so I might be absent for a few more days.

Not much has been going on around here....it finally got hot. Today it was 101ยบ while HB and I were out running errands. Mostly I've just been staying inside where it's cool. I'm suffering a bit from the blahs. I feel great but my brain just doesn't want to think about art right now. I'm also MIA around Blogland. But never fear....I'll be back soon and visit with everyone. Until then....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Text Messaging - Crusade #43

It's "crusade" time again. This month Michelle asked us to use text to make a page.



Easy peasy, right? I have a couple of small drawers chock full of text that I've cut from magazines and books. I pulled them all out and was immediately overwhelmed. So I sorted them into B&W, red, and other colors.

It's not so easy to do a text only page but I finally managed to get a few done. I have to tell you though, these are not my best work. I got too hung up on what the words said.



My first page....remember I said these are not my best work!!



At some later date I might think of something to add to these....maybe use them as a background but for now they're just plain text.



I liked the "imagine it" section. I believe that if you can imagine it, you can make it happen. I guess I just wasn't able to imagine great text pages!!



The page above was the second one I tried. Still nothing very exciting but there are several parts that I like. The section that says "submit submit submit" was from a writer's magazine.



And I love the section that says "where the hell are all the women?"....they're all in their studios creating text message pages for Michelle!



After all that B&W I decided to move on to some color. By this time my work table was a mess!



This was even more difficult for me because not only was I getting hung up on the words but now they had colors, too! Am I weird, or what!!



I think that bottom left-hand corner sums it up...."a nasty piece of work"



By the time I got to the fourth page I just slapped some words down and called it a day! Now you might think I didn't enjoy doing this crusade but you'd be wrong. I did enjoy it. And I learned that I need to have a better eye when I'm saving text. Most of the text I had was just plain lettering....nothing fancy. I need to keep my eye out for more interesting text. I'll be scouring the magazines and books a little closer from now on. Thanks, Michelle, for another great learning experience.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Friends and Farmers....

It's been a few days since I've posted. But I've been busy. We're still having lower than usual temperatures....that means we're only in the 90's....and it's been great. I have been spending a lot of time either outside or in the studio.

Yesterday was my dearest, long-time, friend's birthday. Gail and I have been friends for over 50 years! That's a long time! Last year I felt terrible because I mailed out her gift and it never arrived. Someone, some place got a handmade gift from me but it wasn't Gail. Like a dummy I didn't have a tracking number on it so there wasn't much to be done. This year I wasn't going to let that happen again so I made sure I sent it with a tracking number and it arrived safely.

I made three different cards similar to this one....



It looks a little crooked but that's just the way I took the photo. Besides this one I did one more in blue and another one in pink. I used a really old book page for the background. They were all created on junk mail! You know how I love to recycle.

And this collage done on a wood plaque that I bought at the Dollar Store. I sanded off what was originally on it and added my own elements....



Gail likes more frilly/Victorian style things so that's what I tried to do. We are so different in so many ways but she's just like a sister to me.

I also sent her a set of four blank greeting cards I made using this one of my agapanthus photographs.

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Today HB played "farmer" and harvested our grapes. We picked a big bowl a few days ago but this morning when we looked out in the yard we knew we had to pick even more.



We only have three grapevines but they produce quite a few grapes for us. One vine does most of the work and the other two sort of straggle along.



Nice! I'll have lots of grapes to munch on!



That bunch was particularly big.



All washed and ready to pop into my mouth.



While we were at it I picked a few apples off one of the trees. The apples don't do so good but I usually get enough to make some applesauce or apple butter.

So now I have to get busy in the kitchen....and you know how much I love that!! Wish me luck!!

Be sure to stop back tomorrow. I finished my pages for Michelle Ward's next crusade challenge.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

She's Finished....

Yep....I finished the magazine girl I showed you yesterday. At least I think she's finished. I'm not happy with her hair but then I always have a difficult time doing hair. And I didn't do too much more with her eyes. I just added the black centers and a white dot for the highlight. I did add a little blush to her cheeks but it doesn't show up too much in the picture.

So here she is....



You can see the little hole on the side where the calendar is meant to hang. In the picture below you can see what the calendar portion looks like....she is painted on the back side of the picture.



The next picture shows the calendar page slightly opened....



I thought I might be able to use this like a portfolio and attach some ties where the holes are. Then I could keep small pieces of art inside. I'll have to paint the other sides of the calendar but I don't think I'll do another face right now. Maybe something else....maybe even just a background type abstract design.

That's it for now....hope you're having an artsy day.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

She's a Work in Progress....

I've barely had time to do any art but I managed to squeeze in some play time today. I don't have a finished product but I can show you something I'm working on....



I started with a picture of a woman taken from a magazine. The face was applied to the cover of an old calendar and then I started painting over the face. I still have to work on the eyes some more, do a little more shading on her face, and do something with her hair....but I'm happy with the progress so far.



The hair color is more true in the first picture....this one shows a bit darker than it actually is. I used an antique gold to lay in the basis for the hair. I plan to add some brown tones and maybe even a hint of reddish brown. Maybe I can finish her later tonight.

Do you ever use magazine pictures for inspiration? I think it's fun. I've tried painting over some pages before but they didn't turn out too good. I'm happy with this one so far.

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Today HB and I had to get out for groceries and on the way back we drove over to see how close the fire actually got to our neighborhood....too close! I didn't have my camera with me but you could see the blackened areas very clearly. They seemed to hop scotch over some of the hills nearby. It really makes me thankful that it didn't come any closer.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My Mojo is Out of Practice!

Yesterday I showed you two background pages I painted in my art journal. Today I have the somewhat finished product. I say somewhat because I'm not pleased with what I did. I think I was trying to force something to happen and didn't let it just play out.

The background colors of blue and green were so pretty but I didn't want to do anything too "precious" with the pages....that's just not me. Looking through some of my magazine pictures, I found two photos of cobwebs. I liked both of them and they each had a blue/green background. Perfect!

Here's what I did....



Here's the left side page....



And the right side page....



In case you can't read it, it says: "cobwebs are spread across my mind....little bits and pieces get caught in the strands and dangle there waiting for rescue. I scurry along and randomly pick something to focus on but then drop it and move on to the next thing."

I'm not thrilled with this spread. I think I've been away from my art journal for too long and it's difficult to get back into it. But I'll just keep doing pages until I get something I like. That's the only way to get your mojo going again. Practice practice practice.

The bigger piece that I did on the wallpaper cover is still waiting for something. I'll just look at it for a few days until something speaks to me.

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If you're in the ATC swap, have you contacted your partner yet? Remember ATCs should be delivered by Aug. 22nd.

Hope you're having a fun day....

Monday, August 02, 2010

Going Back to Earlier Lessons....

I never did make it back yesterday to post any art....sorry! But I do have a little bit to share with you today. I did this on Saturday.

As you know I like painting on all kinds of surfaces and I don't like to waste anything. Quite some time ago I took apart some wallpaper books that I have. I like having the loose sheets of wallpaper to work with, and I was left with some heavy covers. They're quite sturdy and most of them are a good size.

I chose one cover, scraped off some of the loose paper and was left with this....



It's about 16" x 17"....almost square and I thought it would be fun to create some art on it. I had no idea what I wanted to do so I started off by gluing down some papers....



That seemed too busy so I started rolling on some paint....



I liked it but I still didn't have any idea where I was going with it....just playing around. Then I got an idea! I decided to go back and refresh myself with a class I took earlier last year. When Julie Prichard ran her first class, Layer Love, I joined right away and managed to do most of the lessons. Julie is very generous and let's you have continuing access to the classes you've taken so I just went back, chose one of the lessons and went through it again.

Here's what I have so far....



I'm not sure how I'll finish this off....any ideas?

While I was painting I had one of my art journals open on the work table and as always I cleaned off any excess paint onto the pages. This is what I ended up with....



I really like these two background pages. So far I haven't added anything to them but I'm sure I will. It was a fun afternoon, just playing in the studio....nothing special in mind, just going where the paint took me. After a couple of hectic days worrying about fire and smoke it was nice to relax and paint.

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If you joined the ATC swap and haven't been notified of your partner, or if your name isn't on the list (see the previous post) please let me know. Also, remember to check your junk mail for emails that might have been sent there by mistake. I know my email sometimes puts legitimate emails into the junk folder if it doesn't recognize the address that sent it. Lee does most of the emails so watch for them.

Have a great day! Smile and laugh and sing....it makes people wonder what you're up to!!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Swap Info....

Here are the partners for the ATC swap:

Shopgirl and DJ

Gemma and Artful Musings

Sophie and Anna Rosa

Carmelina and Angelle

Krissie and Ragamuffin Gal

Marlene and Joyful Ploys

Lee and Sharon

Little Messy Missy and Phoenix Peacock

Janet and Beth

Please note: we need an email for Believe2010. Please contact Lee (go to her blog here and her email is listed under her complete profile)with your email info ASAP.

Thanks to all of you for signing up. And remember, please don't show your ATCs on your blog until you know your partner has received them. Then be sure to let me or Lee know so we can show your ATCs on our blogs.

Just a reminder....one ATC with summer theme and one ATC with fashion theme. Have fun!!

I'll be back later today with some art. See you then....