Sunday, February 07, 2016

 I love Goodreads.  It allows me to track the books I've read which is helpful since I read a lot of series.  Sometimes I have to wait quite awhile for the next book in a series to come out.  Goodreads lets me look at my list to see where I left off.  And I get some great ideas for new books and authors to read from this site.  Today I discovered that it also allows me to keep of list of my favorite quotes from books.  Some I'll use in making art journal pages.  Some are just good fodder for life.  Here's one I just saved today:

Diana’s quotes

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."— Anaïs Nin

And this is a doodle page I did a couple months ago.  Many thanks to good friend, Dianne Bishop Carey for showing me how she creates wonderful full page doodles using watercolors, acrylics and ink!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Clearprint Cross Country Art Project

I'm not usually a joiner, but something about this simple collaborative project piqued my interest a few months ago.  Hmmm - maybe the lure of a free vellum book if you contribute...... The coordinator at Chartpak (the mfgr. of Clearprint) added me to their waiting list and a traveling journal arrived about 3 weeks ago.  Right before Artiscape. So, I had to postpone my contribution until the following weekend.  I'm really glad now it worked that way because it allowed me to use some of the acrylic paint stenciling techniques I learned from Carolyn Dube in one of my classes.  (If you ever get a chance to take a class with her, do it!  Fun, upbeat, positive and very empowering plus a whole new look at how to use stencils.) 

The collaborative art project is done in a Clearprint Vellum book. Vellum was a new experience for me.  I knew from the start that I wanted to take advantage of the transparency of the paper and create something two-sided.  There was some really beautiful art in this book - a bit intimidating for an amateur like me - but I'm happy with my result.  Be sure to go to the Clearprint site to view all the project books.


My take on the vellum?  It is a neat material to work on.  I like the transparency of it and can think of other fun things it would be good for.  I would love to have a nice small journal of it - maybe 3" x 5" or 5" x 7".  But the 1000H vellum in this collaborative project is very lightweight and probably not best suited to wet media (but it did hold up under about 5 coats of acrylic!). The books come perfect-bound, so the binding doesn't weather the handling by the 20+ artists and so the pages are mostly loose now.  I do love the material the book has for it's covers - much sturdier weight of vellum and still transparent.  Would like to see that weight throughout the book with maybe, a spiral binding.


Saturday, October 05, 2013

Good Memories and If....

I've been dreaming about my mom and dad a lot lately.  Maybe it means I'm finally beginning to accept that he is truly gone.  Or that I am more at peace about it anyway.  I recently tried my hand at sketching Dad from a photograph I have of him - just a snapshot really - but it is one of my favorites because he is so happy in it.  I wish I could capture him better, but it's a passable likeness.  Definitely from a time when he was a picture of health.  A good time to remember.
I also wanted to share the following "glance into me" that was Inspired by Lisa Jordan and her post today.  If I were, as I feel today.  Funny, as I post this here on my blog, I realize that each line starts with "If" - and that is the name of the poem which is my last answer too. Maybe a message to me today to remember that anything is possible, If only....
If you join in too, let me know in the comments please, so I can read all about your "ifs".....
 If I were a month I’d be October.
If I were a day I'd be Halloween!
If I were a time of day I'd be mornings.
If I were an animal I'd be baby bunny..
If I were a direction I'd be "You can do anything if you try!".
If I were a piece of furniture I'd be a feather bed..
If I were a liquid I'd be yellow green fluid acrylic.
If I were a gemstone I'd be an opal..
If I were a tree I'd be a Japanese Maple..
If I were a tool I'd be a watercolor brush.
If I were a flower I'd be lavender.
If I were an element of nature I'd be lightning.
If I were a musical instrument I'd be a flute..
If I were a color I'd be bright yellow-green.
If I were an emotion I'd be hopeful.
If I were a fruit I'd be a red raspberry.
If I were a sound I'd be the peepers on a summer night.
If I were an element I'd be cobalt.
If I were a car I'd be a white Sebring convertible..
If I were a food I'd be fresh asparagus.
If I were a place I'd be my Gramma's house.
If I were a material I'd be angora.
If I were a taste I'd be sweet.
If I were a scent I'd be bergamot.
If I were a body part I'd be a brain.
If I were a song I'd be "In the Tower of London" sung by my family.
If I were a bird I'd be a hummingbird.
If I were a gift I'd be a jackpot lottery ticket.
If I were a city I'd be a city where my sister lives closer to us.
If I were a door I'd be a set of French doors.
If I were a pair of shoes I'd be worn in Oz - ruby-colored of course!
If I were a poem I'd be "If" by Rudyard Kipling..


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Stamp Storage Idea


I'll have to adjust spacing to fit the Stampin' Up clear cases that I store all my unmounted stamps in currently, but I love the idea of using the crate and the dowel rods for shelves.

Stamps stored in clear acrylic photo frames (8.5" x 11"), that fit perfectly into the wooden crates sold at Michaels. Each stamp drawer labeled by theme. Drilled holes into crates & filled with two 1/4” dowels to make each “shelf”. Glued in. Sand off. Space 5" apart horizontally. 2” apart vertically. Can fit 7 rows of dowels in each crate – space for eight 8-1/2" x 11" drawers each crate. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Real" books - and their value

 It amazes me how differently people think on this subject.  Many people are shocked or incensed that artists are "altering" books that had a previous lives.  Lives that had ended for one reason or another.  I can see the value of all books.  I think the biggest difference for me is that I feel - and have seen it happen - that so many books don't have any value any longer to libraries or even individuals – usually because of wear, but sometimes because they were a text book or manual that now has been replaced by updated data in a later edition. I feel good though, that I can and have, saved old books from being discarded in a land fill.  And then I’ve used them in altered books and journals – giving them a new life – an extended life.  So why is this type of recycling a bad thing?   Hmmmm.  Not thinking it is. 

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a snob about books now.  Ever since I actually made some books myself, hand sewn and bound with leather utilizing a number of very old bookbinding methods.  Man has found new and better and faster and cheaper ways to print books in mass quantities with very little that is recognizable of the beauty of what I call a REAL book.  A book that feels and looks and smells just awesome.  One that is sewn together of full folios rather than individually cut pages that are simply glued on one edge.  In some of my handmade books, I’ve written quotes and brief thoughts .  Some I’ve used for sketches and little paintings.   

Not being a writer, my books will never have the same wide readership that a truly authored book has, but I think they are books just the same.  And completely made my own hands and heart .  And yes, I hope they last for many years to come – maybe my descendants will love them too.  But I also recognize that at some point my books will also fall apart and be relegated to a landfill.  But that is ok with me because I know, that means they will have been looked at and read and enjoyed and the hands that touched them were a part of the aging process. And their lives as a result were coming to an end.  But how much sadder if they had just sat on a bookshelf or in a case and never been enjoyed?!  And maybe, if I’m really lucky, some part of my book will still be useable and some kind soul will give it new life by adding to it or altering it so it can go on and have yet another useful life. A sort of book immortality! Ha-ha!

I love the written word and am a voracious reader.  I'm in awe of the great skill it takes to write a good story or poem.  And I admire how brave a person must be to share their innermost thoughts with the whole world when they write.  But why does it have to come down to an either or situation?  Why can't altered books, art books, and truly authored books co-exist?  For that matter, it seems to me that many
who have said how they rue the advent of the e-book are also the same people who are, themselves using electronic media to share their written words and thoughts.  Blogs, Facebook, on-line publications, e-journals, etc.  I think there must be a place for it all and that eventually, hopefully, all the options will settle out into their own little niches and co-exist happily.  Each one contributing to the enjoyment and education of the people who choose them.  And then they lived happily ever after.  The End.  (oh yes, I'm also a romantic! - ha-ha!)

If you'd like to read my sister Carrie's thoughts on this subject (she's the true writer in the family and we're so proud of her - go here to see her blog and her post on this topic:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Found this on Pinterest - so true. I will always remember that my Dad DID kill spiders for me!
And also that he teased and tormented me about them first! family is a little sick like that....but way fun too!  Thanks Dad!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Needle Punching Inspiration

I bought a needlepunch tool about 3 yrs. ago and still have not used it.  One of those impulse purchases that I'm sometimes guilty of making.  Sigh.  Today I was cruising through some of my favorite artist blogs and found the little hearts shown here at Gollywobbles (even love the blog name!).  So now I am inspired to get out my tool and try my hand at this - finally!  Thank you to Sam (antha?) Johnson for the kick in the butt!