Monday, November 29, 2010


We have a flock of over 20 wild turkeys roaming the woods and our property. They seem to be enjoying the huge amount of acorns that fell from our oak trees earlier this fall. Sometimes we will see them twice a day and some days not at all. Dave and I usually stop what we are doing and just watch them scratching under the leaves, backing up to eat whatever they've found. They make quite a few different noises (haven't hear the "gobble" yet! lol) and just are fun to watch. At first glance they seem to be, how shall I say this, on the not-so-pretty end of the bird spectrum, but hopefully you can see in this shot that their feathers are really rather pretty! Shades of rich brown and speckled. I keep waiting for them to shed these beauties so I can add them to my art.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pound this!

I've been thinking that there is a secret to flower pounding from the online research I've done. But, noooooo........ all you need is pre-washed muslin, a flower, and a hammer. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, didn't back it with tape, didn't treat the fabric, etc. Why didn't I do this earlier? Now I have to wait until Spring to gather some flowers and stuff from my property. Anyway, Cheri gave me some petunias and a few petal fell off so I ran upstairs, gave flower pounding a try and got this:

I had a moment afterwards! Cool stuff!
Update on my stash-busting books: I have almost 40 done and STILL haven't made a dent in my stash.......... methinks I have too much paper!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What I've been making -- Part 2

These little 6X6 books are a result of my stash-busting efforts. I have made 31 so far and still haven't made a dent in my paper stash! It doesn't help that I sent a medium priority box home from April's full of paper, but I couldn't resist the Basic Grey. I have used Scenic Route, SEI, and Heidi Grace paper lines to create these little books. Cheri came over the other day and made 2 for Christmas presents. She's giving them as phone message books. Clever idea, girlfriend! Even though there are several from each paper line, they are all unique. I used whatever embellishments I had that matched and made it work. These will be either gifts and/or etsy offerings.
This first photo shows almost all of the finished books:

... and the covers of 3 different ones:

I received a Joann's ad in the mail a week or so ago and they had this cute Nutcracker made from sewing supplies on the cover. April and I love Nutcrackers so I saved the illustration and copied it into my Moleskine journal. I used watercolor pencils (no water, though) and gel pens for the gold and silver. I think he's cute and what a clever idea they came up with!

More journal pages (see, I told you I was working it!): the left hand page looked like crap until I put the washi tape over it. The base is collaged book pages with random scrapbook paper words as well as some Japanese paper glued on top. It looked very disjointed at that point so I laid some tape strips on top, and it turned out looking pretty good. The right hand page is a piece of painted paper towel. Love the intense colors.

Like the pages above, these are just backgrounds so far. The are both watercolor crayon/pencil backgrounds (still experimenting). The left hand page is orange, yellow, and black scribbles with washi tape and a left-over sticker (from the books at the beginning of the post). Right hand page is scribbled circles in blues, greens, and purple with some outlined in black pen. Just playing with the colors at this point.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What I've been making -- Part 1

I have not been faithfully following the word prompts for Dawn's NaNoJouMo, but I HAVE been working in my Moleskine journal. Truthfully, the words have not inspired me to do much with them, so I stopped trying to force it. I have written them down as a reference and may work with them eventually, but for now I'm doing my own thing. Both pages below have watercolor crayon/pencil backgrounds (love experimenting with these), the left hand page has a stamped saying (I did actually put the word "reverie" on the page) along with a tab and a chipboard piece leftover from another project. The right page is just a rant from yesterday about my inability to complete most of the projects I start. I'm working on that!

I think I may have already posted the "esoteric" page, but didn't feel like cropping photos today, so apologies if it is a repeat. That left hand page has book pages collaged as a background, the flower is watercolor pencil, and the word "esoteric" is gel pens. Right hand page is day 10: liberty.

I've been attempting, in vain so far, to learn to knit. I can make the stitches, but my tension is too tight, the pattern I want to work has yarn-overs and stitches knitted together and I can only get so far before I start heaving the needles across the room! I keep going back to the needles and hopefully someday I will get the tension correct. I CAN crochet, however! Dave and I traveled to Elkin, NC to get some more yummy wine from Carolina Heritage Vineyards and also stopped in the local yarn store. I am crocheting a purse (supposed to be fall colors since it will have leaves and an acorn closure) in some pretty jewel toned yarn. I have completed the front and back panels and am now working on the sides. I love the way the colors are turning out:

Hey, look! I actually finished something! I worked up a smaller version of my Rag Journal (see previous posts) with sketch/drawing paper for the pages. It measures appr. 5" X 7" and I think it turned out cute. I'll have to get some more finished for my etsy shop.

I also completed all of the steps so far in Linda's stitch-along quilt on Thistledown & Co. blog. I was getting severely frustrated the other day following the directions so I left Linda a message which she promptly answered on her blog. Seems a vital step never posted. Whew! I was getting worried, but now have the quilt top up to speed with her directions. I haven't done too badly with matching seams so far. The fabric is Moda and I think my "dark" could have been darker for more contrast, but I love the fabric anyway.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Journal Pages

I completed a few more pages for Dawn's NaNoJouMo prompts. I haven't considered myself a journaler per se, but I really want to continue to journaling. This has been a great experience so far and I WON'T give up! I am a few days behind, but today will be a great day to catch up as my husband is varnishing the wood stairs leading up to my art room and I am not allowed on them until tomorrow. Dang, why did I have to be so anal and put almost ALL of my art supplies upstairs yesterday? This will be a test of how much I can do with what I have available downstairs! Fortunately all of my Zentangle and journal supplies are here with me. Whew! Anywhoo........... Day 5 (drat, I noticed that I put Day 4 on the journal entry, I fixed it, but am keeping the incorrect photo!) word was equanimity. The "name tag" near the center of the page is actually a drink cling I took from April's stash we cleaned out while I was in AZ. I LOVE "Hello, my name is..." name tags, but I can't say why! Basically I just put the definition of equanimity on the page and journaled a little about the difficult of maintaining that state.
Day 6: esoteric Just wanted to put a watercolor flower on the text collaged page without much writing.
Day 7 is my favorite so far! The word was moment and the text reads: "yesterday is only a memory, tomorrow but a dream. today, this MOMENT, is all that exists. This MOMENT happens only ONCE. live it!"

Happy journaling!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Journal Pages

Even though I have not posted for a couple of days, I HAVE been creating (as I told my sister: "If I don't create something or at least handle my supplies every day, I get a little bitchy!"). The link for Art Every Day Month is over there ---->
I worked on some pages for books I want to make, not real happy with them right now so they are tucked away out of sight for a while.
Still tangling in various journals, playing with watercolor backgrounds, and working on Dawn's NaNoJouMo word prompts (again, the link is over there ---->)
My newest project is creating a piece for Alma Stoller's The Glossy Project (wait for it: link over there ---->), I've just started and won't take pics until I have some work done on the piece. Check out what Alma has done, she's fantastically creative!
A couple of random, new journal pages where I played with watercolor, journaling in curves, and a new Zentangle page-

For Dawn's NaNoJouMo (National Nonstop Journaling Month) Day 1's word was "inception" and Day 2's word was "choice." My pages aren't very "colorful", but I was playing with the curvy words--

Day 3: "fortune", I found a use for my MANY Chinese fortune cookie fortunes (why, oh, why do I feel the need to save EVERYTHING? geesh! get a grip!) --

Day 4: "quarter" The background is a version of the ink/shaving cream method that I played with before the trip, it just happened to be the next page so I used it. Can you tell I'm a language arts teacher (noun and verb anyone?) --

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Visit to Az and Art

I flew back to AZ for 5 days last week to help April sort, clean, and store the supplies in her craft room so that they can get the room set up for their baby due next March. It was a lot of work, but I think we did a good job. Most of the give-away supplies went to my friends, Karen and Miranda. I'm sure they will make good use of them. Lots of stuff is winging its way here for either me or my friends Cheri and Mary Ann. Since most of it was mine to begin with, it has come full circle!
Before leaving I began several projects, one of which I am calling my Rag Journal. The original cover for these pages was a gutted hardcover book with a painted canvas spine, buuuuut......I should know better than to make a cover prior to the pages! The pages didn't fit (there were too many, not the wrong size) so the result is Plan B. I used latch hook canvas and used LOTS of scraps:

I made nearly a bazillion pages trying out different techniques. One day I painted, the next I sewed, another I got out tape and stamps, etc. Very random, but I'm liking the color schemes. I just match up what I want to go on the page, for instance I found a red ticket which went perfectly with the page below. The dress stamp is an image I practiced tangling on as seen in a book April got for me, "Zentangles 3" by Suzanne McNeill. Very cool book and I am loving practicing the new tangles!

I plan to make more, smaller sized Rag Journals for my Etsy shop, but want to focus the pages so I am trying 2 or 3 techniques in a limited color palette. I paint scraped on the reverse of some scrapbook paper with terra cotta, sage green, and blue (the muted colors on the patterned side).

I joined "Art a Day Month" (there should be a button over on the side if I can get it there!) so the pages above are what I created yesterday as well as the third lesson of a mystery quilt over at Thistledown & Co. blog. I'm thinking it won't be much of a stretch to create something every day since that's all I do! Now it will force me to record my projects and keep my blog up to date!
So over at April's zoo, I mean house, she has a new puppy (90 lbs. of boxer), Jackson who is a sweetie-pie and strong enough to pull me and the futon across the floor in a rousing game of tug-0f-war! He thinks he's a lap dog and who am I to argue?

Last (but certainly not least!) April got her gender ultrasound, originally scheduled for mid-November, rescheduled for last Friday while I was visiting! Got to see many, many parts of the baby in utero. Sucking HIS left thumb, waving arms, etc. Pretty cool. It was VERY apparent that it is a boy so I made a journal page in my new Moleskine: