Sunday, November 30, 2008


Here is what I am going to be working on tomorrow. (these were from aluminum foil and cling wrap)

Phase one was to saw in half with a kitchen knife... Hey, I was in the zone, y'all...

Phase two was this...I acted too quickly-not very good coverage...

(note the dried green paint on the palette knife, yes, it did want to transfer to the texture paste, ugh)

Phase three, then was this....

Phase four now rests at this...

I will be taking my time on this project, making sure my texture paste covers and dries completely before going on to my next step. Do you know what the next step might be?

Put on those thinking caps. Check back later to see if you were right.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Tribute to Sandy...

In my opinion some of the most inspirational art comes from the hands and minds of what is now termed "outsider artist". I think this term was coined to encompass anyone who did not have any formal art training. I am uncertain, as to what this really means. I don't suppose I have any formal art training, but I did take two years of high school art. I remember learning that while in art school, the students often copy famous paintings to learn techniques from the Old Masters. On my own, I have copied, to the best of my limited ability, some of the works of Matisse, tried my hand at a Van Gogh, and who hasn't let some Dali creep into their art?

It is in this spirit, that I show the following piece. One of my all time favorite artists is Sandy Mastroni. I love all her work. I love the colors that she uses and the subtle shading and shadows in the faces of her subjects. What I love most about Sandy's art is the angular shapes of their faces and bodies. With all that being said, here is my "Tribute to Sandy".

As you can see when you go to Sandy's site, her lovely ladies don't have blue hair or orange skin, but I am still figuring out how to combine my markers to get the tones I am searching for. Much more practice is needed, and when my new markers arrive next week, perhaps I will be able to get better flesh tones.

Well, that's one of the things I did over the holidays. For the most part of today, I lounged about in yoga pants and pink slippers. All the dishes are done from our dinner of leftovers and I think a DVD is in my near future. Hope everyone stayed safe this holiday and didn't have to experience any of the Black Friday events.

Take care this weekend and do something fun. If that fun includes shopping, always be careful and remember not everyone is acting safely this season. Try to stay focused and watch your purse and where you park and all the other things that a concerned friend can advise.

I'll be back later with other gems of wisdom, I'm sure. Until then, have a good evening and a good weekend.

We'll talk soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing
Sing praises to His name; he forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning
Thou, Lord, was at our side; all glory be thine!
We all do extol thee thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender will be.
Let they congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O lord, make us free!

I sang this song as a child in Thanksgiving church service. The words still touch me. I pray that you and your family and friends have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A little bit of art...

I am going into a sugar tail spin if I continue to look at that candy. This calls for some art. I did another icon this weekend. I used purple craft foil, drew my design on lightly and then embossed with a variety of tools. I used several types of metallic paints on the picture. I glued it to a 3" x 5" wooden plaque, which I had accented with the same colors that I used on the metal picture.

It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself. As you may have heard me say, I like to do arts and crafts while I watch tv. Here is a shot of a work in progress. I haven't done any ATC's for a while, so I thought I would work on backgrounds while I lounged on the sofa.

I am using a pad of hot pressed, 140 pound watercolor paper, sized 7" x 10". I should be able to get several ATC's out of a sheet this size and still have lots of pieces left over for collage or mixed media pieces. Hmmm...maybe some inchies. We'll see.

An interesting tool I am using here is a water color brush that has a tube for holding water. Some of you may be familiar with this little guy, but it was new to me. I just happened to find it the other day in my supplies. It seems just the thing for watercolor pencils.

You gently squeeze the barrel and it delivers a pre-measured amount of water to the brush. It seems to be a good idea to stroke the brush over a paper towel between colors, but other than that I have not had any problems with this brush.

Well, that's what I am working on today. Hope you are having fun. What with family members starting to arrive and turkeys thawing in the dryer, there is a lot to be done this week. I had thought we might eat out Thursday, but we decided to do a quick little Thanksgiving style dinner here at home. So we hit our favorite Krogers for some last minute supplies.

That's where we were when the cashier started almost drooling over my hubby. While checking out, I had mentioned that we had changed our minds about going out for dinner. She said something to the effect of, "if I had a good looking man like that at my house, I would grab and cook something frozen and spend as much time as possible just with him !" She, then was able to regroup and say something like "you look really nice, too". Yep, he's still got it, after all these years. He is living proof that you certainly don't have to be that young to make the ladies throw back their shoulders, flip their hair and take notice. It was actually pretty cute. I tell him all the times that ladies are checking him out, but he never knows it. I think even he noticed this time.

Well, that's all for now. I'll be back soon with more goodies, but I'm not sure just what kind. Have a good evening and don't stress yourself out over all the festivities, they will be over soon enough.


Edit: In addition to doing all the holiday related things that we love, I am going to be working on my computer. I realized that I am trying to keep up with six personal sites. It is time for me to scale down some. I will be dropping off from following several of your blogs and I will be adding some new blogs to my sidebar. Please don't be offended if, in my attempt to regain control of my computer time, I have to leave you for a while. It certainly isn't personal. Thanks, I knew you would understand.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let's make candy

Here is a step by step view of making molded candy. I got the candy melts at Michael's. I am not a candy maker, so I took what I thought would be the easy way out. I think this would have been easier and the clean up would be quicker if I had used a disposable pastry bag. I haven't done any cake decorating for years and no longer have those tools available to me. I melted and spooned the candy melts into the molds, because working with what you have is sometimes the only way.

All that being said, here is what doing something like this actually looks like, in the real world.

Here are all the ingredients set up on my kitchen table...

The instructions are on the back of the packages. I chose vanilla, light cocoa and peanut butter chips. I microwaved the candy chips and spooned them into the molds.

This was after putting all three bowls into the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. You stir each flavor with a spoon and dollop them into the molds. You don't have to work extremely fast, but they did sort of want to set up on me, so I popped this bowl back into the microwave for a few seconds.

You can combine flavors within the mold and marble them with a toothpick, for an interesting effect.

As you can see, this isn't as neat looking as on the television shows, but it got the job done. After filling the molds, you put them in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to make sure they are set enough to unmold.

After popping them out of the molds onto the plate, you can see where I combined the flavors for different color combinations, as well as flavors.

Well, that's it for today. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a good Sunday and if you are scheduled for bad weather tomorrow, please be careful. Take care and we'll talk soon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just a quick peek...

Thought you might want to see the finished product. My first knitting project. I am really happy with it. It is wide enough to be worn as a shawl, but soft and flexible enough to wrap like a muffler. Just for fun I chose a model some of you know. (Can you tell that I took this with the self timer... hit the button and then run and plop down in the floor, I think it took about 10 tries, yikes!!)

I had fun making it and I love these warm colors. I usually go with really cool colors because of having blue undertones to my skin. Anyway, here it is, I'm wearing it even if it's not my colors. You remember having your "colors" done back in the 80"s? You had an at home make up party and the lady would hold a warm and then a cool color swatch up next to your face, and all your friends would say, "oh, she's a winter, definitely". Yep, that's me...I'm a Winter.

Ahh, those were the days. At home parties...Mary Kaye, Tupperware, Home Interiors, Crystal...the list goes on, I'm sure. I was a home body even back then, I didn't go out much, but I would do home parties. I would make a cake in the colors of the logo of the company and do other little silly things, but we had fun (I came from a very small town and this was considered entertainment). That's probably why I like on-line virtual parties, never have to leave the house.

I am thinking of doing another rag wreath, in perhaps red and green cloth, and posting step-by-step pictures. Let me know what you would want me to include. I really want to do a video and post it on youtube, but I'm not that skilled with the video camera yet. Maybe after the first of the year. Any who, that's what I'm thinking of for the next post. What are y'all's thoughts on it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rag Wreath

I realized the other day that I needed something for the front door. I wanted to make a seasonal wreath, in autumn colors. When I found what I thought was a bolt of rust colored faux suede, I brought it upstairs and started to cut strips from it. Hmmm, this isn't rust color at all, it is pink. Oh, well...that's what color the wreath will be.

You can't have pink without black, so I added some black and tan "bows" and found a country print and started cutting strips from it. All in all, it is just short pieces of fabric tied around a fabric wrapped coat hanger. It actually looks pretty good as is, but it's not very seasonal.

I had attempted to hand carve a turkey stamp last night and since I wasn't that happy with it , I thought I would see what was available at the store. So, I went to Michael's today, to use my coupon and get something Thanksgiving related. They had one end rack with some ratty looking straw turkeys and several goofy eyed pilgrims on it and when I asked where the rest of Thanksgiving was, I was told that Michael's goes straight from Halloween to Christmas.

Where are the cornucopias, and the turkey decorations and the.... I don't know, the Norman Rockwell type Thanksgiving things? Are they only in my memory? or at another store? Just wondering.

Just my thoughts for today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm no angel...

Do you remember this picture from an earlier post? I think it was the end of June. After having fun doing the iconic art on Saturday, I got to thinking about angels and how much I like the angel art that is out there in bloggy land. I might as well jump in and do some too.

But the only picture I could find of a child, that had the proportions I was looking for, was guessed it, me. As I said, you might remember this picture from an earlier post, so I figured I would use it and see what I came up with. I really wanted the proportions to be correct, so I (gasp, cough) traced my face onto vellum paper. I am sure the purists out there would be aghast at something like this, but hey, it's folk art, y'all. We listen to the beat of a different drummer, anyway. So, a traced face led to some crazy Betty Page type hair ( I never liked the sausage curls in this picture), the addition of a bit of Heavenly light to represent a much needed halo, and this crazy little kid became an angel.

So, that's the art for today. Take care and remember, there is a bit of angel in all of us. Let it come out, it's ok. Love yourself and all your little angels.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Art meeting today

Once a month, I meet with other artists at our local library. This month the theme was iconic art. Iconic art used to be strictly religious in nature and was usually done on wood. Since the word icon comes from a Greek word meaning image, this type of art can go in many different directions. We chose to try to convey something personal, that shows strong emotion. I really liked an image of a lady on a swing. There is something about having your feet off of the ground that not only shows freedom, but vulnerability, as well.

Click on her for a really large version...

I started by blocking in some colors that are considered traditional in iconic and some gold tones, and just taking it from there. I used an unfinished wooden plaque that was probably 20 years old. I chose a scrapbook paper that had circles on it, as circles are used to convey halos in some iconic art. I used gel pens to accent the circles and to add a halo to my lady on the swing. I antiqued the plaque and the paper with distress ink and some alcohol markers that bled quite well. I darkened in the torn edges of the main image, first just as a technique, to look aged. But then I realized that this gives it more of a "window" look. I wanted to be looking in at her, while she looks at herself in the mirror. This is supposed to show her looking at herself on a deep, almost spiritual level. The rays of yellow are the warmth of God's love shining down on her, as is the stylized sun behind the main image.

I accented the plaque with markers and gold leaf pen. I am undecided on whether to add any verbiage to this piece, maybe something simple like "introspective".

The other day when I was feeling wonky, I got out my markers and began to doodle. Sometimes the best ideas come from doodles. I am a big fan of Steampunk and fantasy art, but unless I have my favorite pen in my hand, I'm not that good at putting my ideas down on paper. What began as a pair of goggles, similar to what Mystery wears, became this. Who knows what might happen when you draw. It was fun and you know that I'm all about art being fun. Anyway, check him out and let me know what you think.

You can click on me, also...

It doesn't have to be fine art to be art. Get out those journals and draw, draw, draw. Take care and have a great weekend.

Activity for a snowy day

It's not snowing here, but I am longing for it. I love to look out and watch it snow and for some reason, many years ago (probably about 10), I thought this would be a good snow day activity.

I call this indoor surfing. Obviously, I don't really surf. I can barely swim. I don't remember why I have my husband's clothes on, but I used to love to wear his clothes, I think we all do. Anyway, I think this is the funniest picture. I just thought while I was sitting here... listening to the rain, that I would show you something silly to get your weekend going in a new direction.

No matter what the weather is in your neck of the woods, enjoy it and have a great Saturday.

Take care and, as usual, we'll talk soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She's Baaaaack!

Thanks to all my friends for the well wishes. I feel so good today, that I have to say that perhaps I really did have a touch of something. How's that for vaguely admitting that I may have been feeling bad. I never did get any symptoms of cold or flu, and I might have had just a tiny bit of a head ache, but this morning after a really good night's sleep, my feeling of well being has returned.

I do wish everyone could experience this type of feeling. I have always jumped out of bed in the morning, singing and dancing. It used to drive my family crazy. I shake and tap my feet while I brush my teeth and I do James Brown moves when I make the coffee. I disco when I vacuum and I pop and lock during the commercials. You would think that I would be a tiny version of a person, but alas I am a normal sized chick.

One of the crazy things that I have done over the years is Themes. It might have been only a theme for the day, or it may have been the year when I decided to wear nothing but pink and black clothes for the whole year.

This blouse was more of a coral color, but it got the job done. The hair, was in the first stages of at home blonding. It took many months, to get the back as light as the front, but I finally did it. My hair has apparently been lighter in the front than the back for many years now. This picture is from the early 90's, most likely 1993 or 1994. Check out the Sally Jesse Raphael reading glasses. Cool, huh?

One year I decorated the area surrounding my desk at work in Tellytubbies. That was a hoot. I was always humored in my eccentricities.

Talk about humoring your girls, I always thought it would have been fun to be one of the daughters of a wealthy landowner in the old know, where the daughters learned to sew and draw and plan and execute parties for Papa.

I sometimes think being a party planner would be the perfect job. I love to cook and bake, and decorate and plan out things like that. I can solve problems and maybe I could be a detective at the same time. I read a lot of novels about crime solving caterers and such. I have always imagined myself in the place of the main characters in the books I read...

My first playmates were the Bobbsey Twins (Laura Lee Hope) and then Eddie and Betsy (Carolyn Haywood), I quickly went to Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene, a sign perhaps?) and then my favorite series, Cherry Ames (Helen Wells), everyone wanted me to be a nurse. It's funny how I remember all these books.

Everyone in my family were avid readers. Except my brother who "looked at" car magazines. Looking at magazines did not qualify as reading at our house. The fact that my brother grew up to be a fairly good mechanic and has restored several cars may have had something to do with all those magazines, but at the time I was quite a snob about reading.

Well, that's all for today. Perhaps, I'll be back later with more crazy pictures. I found one showing what the perfect activity is for a "snow day".

Take care and thanks again, all your sweet comments made me feel so much better.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This seems weird...

I am almost always a "happy go lucky", "look at the bright side", "find the good in every situation" sort of person, you know the type. Yes, that's usually how I am. For some reason, I have felt weird this week. The fronts of my legs feel heavy and achy. I'm so seldom sick, that I don't even know the warning signs, so maybe it's just my system trying to fight off something.

Anyway... today when I went to the grocery store, I felt like I was in a box. It was an unusual feeling.

Not claustrophobic, exactly, but more like everything has an "edge" to it. I can see the frames of my glasses more than usual. The grocery cart seemed bigger. The metal pieces between the windows on the car seem so, so...close and constricting. It's was just weird. On top of everything seeming weird, the parking lot where I shop is on such a slant, that I have to wedge my foot against the cart to load up the car. Then the weird feeling started on the drive home and when I brought the groceries in the house to put them away, I felt like they were taking away the floor space that I needed.

Today is "senior" day at my grocery store and I suppose the baggers are used to only putting a few items in each bag, due to the weight. My groceries were bagged in 21 plastic bags (some were even doubled bagged. One bag had a chocolate bar and a bag of paper cups in it. I recycle these bags, so I don't mind that, but man, I just wanted to start flinging all those stupid bags. I just felt like they were going to wrap around me.

I am not a snuggler, I never want to cocoon, but I don't long for wide open spaces, either. I guess I'm like "Goldilocks", in that everything has to be "just right". Whew... I just needed to get that off my chest.

My hubby has been going through old pictures, getting ready to put a new video on Youtube, and he found an interesting one of me, that I am going to post soon. When you get the chance, be sure to watch our video of our trip to Salvation Mountain. You can click on the side bar to watch it, or you can go directly to our Youtube site. We have also added a video of my late mother-in-law. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out. Barbara was so special and this video makes me miss her. My hubby looks so much like her it is uncanny.

I guess that's all for now. I'll be back and hopefully more like myself later. Take care. Don't let life "box you in".

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hope you are having a good weekend...

Truly, I do hope everyone is having a good weekend. I have still been making polymer clay things this weekend. Here are several of the latest...

I based this picture on a photo I took in my back yard...outlined with a gold leaf paint pen and ready to frame.

After doing all that tiny work, I wanted something more "mindless", so some swirly barrettes seemed to be in order.

One of the things I missed about having short hair, was ornaments. I love barrettes and combs and clips of all kinds. I am letting my hair grow out for this very reason, and it's already long enough for clips. Polymer works quite well for hair barrettes. The findings are usually in with regular jewelery findings. If you haven't tried these yet, go for it!

Then, we have some focal pieces, made from scrap canes...

I suppose you can tell by now that I love to put dots on things. Right now I'm into gold ink and gold leaf pen dots. It just seems to add a bit of punch to things. One of these has a pin back and the other one has a loop for a cord.

Lastly in today's pics, I am including what I hope will be cute bookmarks. A bit of yarn through the hole and these should make for little bits of art that my favorite book lovers will enjoy. What do you give to your sister for Christmas? Original works of art. She will be receiving a large box of artwork this year.

Well, that's all for now. Let's go see what we can get into. Take care, hug your family and tell them how much you love them. Now, let's go make art!

Friday, November 7, 2008

My new toy...

Yesterday I got an early Christmas gift from my Sissy. Before she moved to Cali, she and I used to do polymer clay projects together. Inevitably the crank on the pasta machine would fall out and land on the top of one of our feet. Yikes, you know that immediate numbing, tingly pain you get when this happens. Fortunately, she remembered, so when I suggested an electric pasta machine for Christmas (in response to her persistent questioning) she could relate.

I got this yesterday. In addition to the pasta machine, she threw in some really nice dish towels and some measuring spoons that fit into spice jars. Nice early gift.

So, now I'm off to condition clay and make more goodies. I am thinking of seasonal items and gifts now. I hope those of you who don't do polymer clay, aren't totally bored by these recent posts. There are so many things you can do with polymer. If you are looking for a new support to paint on, check out these portraits by Kim Cavendar on her etsy page. She is such a great polymer artist. She seems to be happy going in different directions with polymer clay, and she does such good job of it.

Well, off to run a few errands, then come back and condition, condition, condition.

We'll talk soon..TTFN

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More uses for scrap clay...

I am still playing with left over clay. Scraps, ends of canes, colors twisted know what I mean.

This one started because I thought the swirly clay looked like a lake, the rest just happened.


More swirls reminded me of lollipop flowers, added some slices of reddish canes and there you go.

You knew I'd have to do one of my girls. I am using silver clay for those natural highlights, that we all seem to be getting these days. My girl is rockin' her gray!

I made these "pictures" on 4" x 6" index cards, and after dotting on some gold gel pen accents, I baked them right on the card. After they cooled, I was able to peel the card off, for a smooth back, that I will eventually glue onto a support and frame in a 5 x 7 frame. I photographed them on a sheet of craft foam for continuity

That's all for today. Take care and keep making art!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Well, that was interesting...

In answer to Sunday's question, everyone was right.

Everwild, saw what it was immediately. It is dryer fluff . When I went to remove it from the dryer, after laundering new flannel sheets, it looked so clean and soft that it reminded me of...

Cindy's guess, roving. It looks like roving, so it probably will handle like roving. Right? What I quickly found out, is that when working with this colored airy fluff, it reacted much more like...

Tascha's answer, cotton candy. It was sticky and covered my fingers. While I was working with it, my questions to myself were much more like...

Kim's answer, I have no idea, but I can't wait to find out... I didn't know what was going to happen, but that's how I roll.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of my dryer fluff project. It's good to experiment and I am one of those nuts that won't be told, "no that won't work". I'll make it work.

First I put white glue on a wooden bead and placed pieces of the fluff on the bead with a needle tool. Tedious and not that great...

Next I rolled the gluey bead onto the fluff. That worked better, but due to the nature of this fiber, this just wasn't a very fun project. It was frustrating, but I wouldn't stop until I got some fiber covered beads that I could string and pretend it was an artsy piece of jewelry.

The beads turned out to be very unstable, with the fluff that wasn't glued down to want to puff off. I took Metallic Silver thread and wrapped around each bead and that looked pretty good, until I started to handle them. Then the thread started to unwind, yada, yada. You have all had projects like this I'm sure.

All of this came into being, because I have a really funky necklace that has covered wooden beads on it. Some are beaded, some are wrapped in yarn or thread. I was trying to duplicate this technique (although none of them are covered with blue lint). I did end up with two pretty cute, chenille wrapped beads that I made into lightweight dangle earrings.

These turned out to look really cute and would be easier to do, once you found the best way to glue and not get so sticky.

Anyway, that's what my latest project was...covered beads. I am off to pursue more of the same.

Have fun and don't forget to get out early in the morning and vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Do you know what this is?

Do you know what this is? What do you think I have planned to do with it? Hopefully I will show the finished item later. Put on your thinking caps, and give it a guess!

Here's a clue: Only the blue elements are what I will be working with, the checked part is not part of this project.

Wish me luck on this one!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cernit and Premo (keep reading, there are pictures)

First I want to apologize to all the folks that participated in my initial polymer clay demos. I had a bunch of Sculpey III that needed to be used, so we used it to do transfers, as well as other clay techniques. When I do the next class, I will insist on everyone buying at least one block of Premo Premium Clay. It is soooooo much better than Sculpey III. It's easy to condition. It doesn't get squishy from the heat of your hands, and it is so much more stable for doing cane work.

In fact, I think that Sculpey III should be discontinued completely. You might say but, "it's great for kids to learn on", and you would be right to a certain extent. But...say your child, a budding artist, spends several hours sculpting and choosing colors and making something really special. You bake it and it looks so good, but someone knocks it off the table and it breaks. It's not fair. Children deserve good products, too. I know from reading other blogs, that I am not the only one that feels this way. If the company did away with the Sculpey III, they could concentrate on the Premo and even bring the cost down some. It's not that much more to begin with, anyway. My point being this, had I known how much more stable, and how much stronger Premo is, I would have been purchasing it all along. Thanks for listening to that rant.

Now, on to Cernit...

You remember when Garth and Wayne would bow down and say, "I'm not worthy...", that's how much better Cernit is than Sculpey III. It's even a step up from Premo. I always thought Cernit was for professional doll artists only. Not so. I got some when in Cali (I can't find any locally) and I am so pleased with it. It also is easily conditioned, by hand or pasta machine, with little to no crumbling. The colors are great. I am working with the black that has silver particles in it, that gives it such a rich look that you really have to pinch yourself, man this stuff is fabulous.

Here is a picture of the front of a free-form heart pendant. I textured it with a toothbrush and after baking/curing it, I painted it with el-cheapo red craft paint and when that was completely dry, I sanded it off and added some gold accents, from a Jellyroll pen. Now who among us, doesn't have craft paint and a glittery pen? You already have two of the three things needed for this pendant.

This is so cute, no picture could do it justice. Here is a shot of the back.

You can see that I made little loops from the clay, in which to run the cord through. I signed it after baking, but I have found out that with the gel pen, it works better to sign it before baking.

I like it so much I have already made three more, that I will distress in different colors. I am calling them "Distressed Hearts". I might even try to sell some on eBay. I never had much luck selling on Etsy, so maybe (even with the changes to eBay) these will sell.

I'll be posting other new projects as I go along, but I really do want to mention again, that if you want to do serious claying and you get frustrated when your work doesn't look at professional as you would like, it's probably the clay...not you... so don't give up, just get different clay. You are only as good as your tools... and clay is most definitely a tool that should not be skimped on.

Take care and please have fun. Life is too short to stress out all the time.