Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Journals

Finished assembling the remaining two journals for the 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge this evening, now to fill them up with all sorts of wondrous sketches, words, poems, songs, found imagery, etc!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Parting Shot


We adopted her in 2004, the vet estiimated her age then to be 5-7.5 years then, love you Lulu Belle!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

60 Bird Journal Challenge Begins in Six Days!!!

Join me in 2015 for the 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge!!!

Each day for 60 days you will receive a newsletter emailed to you from me that details an Observation, an Activity and finally a Challenge!  There will be plenty of opportunities to write, sketch, paint, and even sing during this challenge!  

To join the challenge subscribe to my newsletter that I've created specifically for this challenge, the only way to receive the prompts is by subscribing to the newsletter.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

60 Bird Challenge Journal No. 1

The cover is a reclaimed manila envelope I monoprinted.

I filled with a variety of toned artist drawing papers, composition papers, mixed media paper, and the like.

Some more toned artists papers, Canson and Stratford, I also added a healthy dose of old maps, scrapbooking papers, to add additional variety.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Getting Gelly Pens to Write Again!!!

Ok after trying a multitude of fixes available on the internet I finally found one that got my pens working again.

If you have gelly pens, and the Glaze Pens seem to be the worse, and they have quite writing and you can see that the ink is still viable in the pens try this.

Leaving the caps securely attached to the tips of the pens, and I highly recommend wearing goggles here when you do this,

Trying NOT to split the pen cap, take the pens and tap REALLY HARD about a half dozen times straight up and down onto a very hard very sturdy surface like a counter top.  You want to tap the pen tip end down onto the surface.

THEN once you are done doing this with the pen tip down, and the cap still firmly covering the tip of the pen, whap the hell out of the pen onto the hard surface, yes this would be teh writing end of the pen.

And when I say whap the hell out of the pen I ""really''"' mean whap the hell out of it, and yes my rotor cuff is screaming at me right now, however, I now have 38 out of 39 gelly pens writing and quite beautifully I might add, once again!!!

Dried Gelly Pens and Journal Pages

My gelly pens seem to have dried out somehow, there's still ink in the pens but the pens won't write. I've tried the water method to get the pens to work again but it didn't work.  If anyone has any tried and true techniques for making the gelly pens write again please let me know!

Still cutting papers for the soon to be created 60 Day Bird Challenge Journals.

Today I went through my scrap booking papers and discovered some really beautiful papters in my stash.  Those have now been cut down to size, 6x9 inches (and this is a 3+ inch stack of various papers!), and are ready to be incorporated into new journals.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


A pear and a pomegranate still life.

There's been a lot of drama in my life recently, surrounding Angel (and her impending crossing of the bridge) and an issue a neighbor has with Oliver, to the point that I've become completely blocked.

So today I started mindlessly drawing pears again, and after a few hours I became unblocked and started working on The 60 Day Bird Journal Challenge again.  A few more hours in and I'm feeling much better now.

This evening I started refining the journal prompts and began constructing the journals I will be using during the challenge period.

A sneak peak of the papers to be used in the soon to be revealed journals.

Friday, December 12, 2014

60 Day Bird Challenge 2015

Join me in 2015 for 
The 60 Day Bird Challenge!!!
January 1st to March 1st, 2015

To participate sign up for my special newsletter created for this challenge alone.  You will receive one email prompt daily for each day of the Challenge.

There is also a facebook group for those participating in the challenge and for those wanting to encourage those of us in the challenge.  In order to receive the daily prompts you MUST subscribe to the newsletter as I will not be posting these on the blog or in the group. 

Each day you will be encouraged to paint, draw/stitch, or write something about Birds. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Queen Anne's Lace: Faded Memories

I'm not sure if I'm finished with this piece or now, notice the tattered edge on the right side?  I'm not exactly happy with it at the moment and am thinking of some additional layering.

If you look close enough  you will see that there is additional stitching beneath the hot pink silk organza net, first layer is a silk damask type fabric I dyed with cochineal and then machine stitched to a layer of timtex.

I stitched a grid of sorts and some Queen Anne's Lace onto the first layer using a variegated pink rayon thread.

The initial audition.  The piece to the left consists of cochineal dyed silk organza atop a layer of indigo dyed silk damask fabric which may or may not be finished tonight.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Two Red Pears

Two fresh red pears 

I asked for three but it's the end of the fresh pear season here so I'm doing good to have gotten two!

These are not as red as the Barletts I had earlier in the season, these are rudier and are more in keeping with Pantones color for 2015 "Marsala".  I also am quite enamored with the greenish blush on the large pear and the stripes on the smaller pear.

Since I have only two pears my original idea is well, will no longer work.  So I'm playing with these to see how I want to use them in my work.  Next up some thumbnail sketches and I think I will slice one open it could get interesting!

Friday, December 05, 2014

A Pearish Experiment

A thread painting on painted timtex with Aurifil threads.

Playing with an idea for a new series.

More later... from my studio, it shall be fun to see where this piece goes.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tis the Season Part Deux

Queen Anne's Lace No. 1
Thread stitched painted timtex.

I love this piece, it was a lot of fun to make, even if it did drive hubs nuts with all of the loose threads I left on the surface.  But that's what make it so much fun to make, so much so that my plans for this evening are to make more pieces just like this one.  The loose threads make the work come alive and while it sounds redundant the photos do not do this piece justice!

What have you created recently that bucked the norm to make your soul pop, giggle, and sing?

Available in my Shop

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tis the Season!

Queen Anne's Lace No. 2 
Encaustic Painting
4x4x2 inches

I've been loading artwork into my Big Cartel Shop today, so far I have photographed and loaded six items.  I think for me the hardest part about listing my artwork is not that it'll go live with someone else, or that people will pay the price I'm asking for my original art, it's describing it so that you understand what I have created.

Then again I could be over thinking all of this, it wouldn't be the first time.

I'm glad I took the time to rephotograph my artwork, after reading a recent article in Professional Artist Magazine "Less is More: Choosing Photos for your Marketing Efforts" (page 32 Dec2014/Jan2015 issue) it was well worth the effort.  And I still have a ton more to learn about good photography,

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mark Making with Nature VIDEO Series Mega Sale!!!

Black Friday thru Cyber Monday Sale
Now $9.95

Mark Making with Nature: Surface Design with Natural Dyes 4 Part Series
Over 2 hours of Digital Video Instruction
Everything you ever wanted to know to create unique cloth using natural dyes is covered in this Digital Video Series, an excellent companion to the book Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentation Techniques.

Topics Covered Include:
•Bundle Dyeing: Several methods of bundle and compost dyeing are demonstrated.
•Screen Printing with natural dyes, using thickeners and more.
•Bound Resists with natural dyes how to obtain rich layers of color on fabric. Mono-printing & Stamping with natural dyes.
•Create additional depth and design to your fabrics by stamping and printing them using natural dyes and pigments.
•Dye Painting with natural dyes using thickeners, gutta resists, and much much more. Pigments: using pigments with natural dyes to create additional character to your art cloth.

Mark Making with Nature eBook Set MEGA SALE!!!

Black Friday thru Cyber Monday MEGA Sale

Titles Include:
  • Mark Making with Nature
  • Rust and Clay Dyeing
  • Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentation Dyeing Techniques
  • Getting Started with Natural Dyeing 
That 's 172 pages of how-to dye, paint, and print with natural dyes for $3.95!  Own them today!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Preparing for Dinner in my Studio

A couple of years ago I moved my studio out of what was once upon a time a master bedroom in our house and into the living and dining rooms.  Hubs was tired of my being holed up in my studio 8-12 hours a day and never seeing me.  Now he sees me all of the time.

Dilemma.  We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, but we no longer have a dining room.  So enters in brilliant and creative idea to host a dinner party in my studio.  I find the idea both exciting and terrifying at the same time.  Tomorrow we will move our old dining room table, a Duncan Phyfe that seats 16, from it's hiding place in my sewing studio and put it back into the dining room where my drafting table currently resides.

The wonderful part is we are doing more purging and deep cleaning so the house is looking better every single day.

Angel got a bath today, she had me worried for awhile as she was shivering and like crazy afterwards but that all stopped after she ate some warm hamburger.   We will be taking her to the vet, hopefully tomorrow, to see what needs to be done next, I'm not ready to send her over the bridge yet, but, she's lost a dreadful amount of weight and which has me really worried.  She made it to 15 which I hear is quite the accomplishment for a Sheltie.

Friday, November 21, 2014

More Pear Therapy

Red Pear No. 1

This year there have been plenty of red pears available at the local grocery stores. Today's simple painting is of a red pear, or I should say the memory of the red pear I ate.

Red Pear No. 2 Detail 2 from my pear stencil series.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Things Happen!

Things happen. A few weeks back I blogged that I was cancelling my Vimeo account and taking my videos elsewhere.  Well that didn't happen because I was unable to figure out how to cancel my account, before it auto renewed and to make matters worse it auto renewed two days before the expiration date, which created a TON of headaches on my end.

So, I have lowered the price of my video series, and will leave it at this price until the end of November at which time I plan to take it out of circulation and will replace it with a new video series.

Surface Design with Natural Dyes Series 
RENT $9.95 or BUY $34.95 it today!!!  


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Portuguese Kale Soup!!!  Right now everything feels soupy, from this unusually early cold spell to the upheaval in my sewing room.  Late last week the ceiling in my sewing room start snap, crackle, and popping so I started moving stuff out for the soon to happen tear down of the ceiling.  Hopefully it won't decide to come down on it's own between now and Sunday when hubs vacation starts.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

More Stencils

I've been making some simple geometric designs in Photoshop and then importing them over to Silhouette Studio where I convert them into a simple outline from which the stencil is cut.  On this sheet of stencil film I'm cutting chevrons for a repeat pattern, hexies, and polka dots, 6x6 inches.

Next up some considerably more intricate designs from my original art.  Cutting the simpler geometric designs allowed me to see how fine of a line the machine would cut and the design would still be legible.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bigos and Beads!!!

Bigos or Polish Hunter's Stew is on tonights menu.

A view in my sewing room, my beads are over there on that wall, and I'm sitting over here; looks like it's time to clear a path so that I can start beading and stitching once again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mark Making with Nature Video Series

Mark Making with Nature Video Series

There have been a lot of changes in the past year, I took down my academy, and in 15 days I will be taking down my Mark Making with Nature Video Series.  I need to find a new  host for my video series as I'm not overly happy with Vimeo.  I'm also thinking of redoing the entire video.

So here is your last chance to own this particular video series, to learn how to screen print fabrics with natural dyes, and much, much more!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WIP Crows Follies

Crows Follies No's. 1 thru 14

There is nothing like seeing them laid out like this to make one realize what needs to be done, fixed, changed, etc.!  I'll have to have John make two new raised panel frames for me to replace No's 11 and 12 as these two do NOT go with this particular series color wise.  The good news is is I'll have him make more than two new frames for a new series in the blue tones.

Off to add more paint and ink to these panels.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And then Magic Happens

My mom's beloved tea pot.  I was talking with my cousin Monica about tea cups and mom's tea pot came up. I'm not sure if it's a Royal whatever or not, I just know that it was very well loved.

And she loved crows as well...

Then the wheels have started churning.  More later from the design studio...

ETA:  I found the pattern name it's Royal Alberts Forget me Not Rose pattern and was part of their flower of the month collection.  There appears to be two tea pot styles with this pattern and this is the later, and probably less expensive, style/shape.  The gold trim is in rough shape on this one due to too many trips through the dishwasher.

Focus Oh Wait a Squirrel!

Blackbirds in Tree
Acrylic ink and paint on mixed media paper.  Blackbirds in Tree Stencil from StencilGirl Products.

I've done it again, I've run off on another bunny trail, the difference this time is I caught myself early enough in the act to say ""NO"" to myself!  I was a bit lost this afternoon and asked myself "Self why are we so lost and confused with a total lack of focus and to some extent desire?"

Self replied.. ."your going in too many directions again.  Tomorrow is your second accountability meeting for the fall and you have 'nothing' to show for the past 30 days."  Well I did meet one goal and I did submit my portfolio to a licensing agency, I've yet to hear back but I'm not bothered by this since I know my portfolio is not up to snuff, yet.

So here's the plan, I'm going back to my crows.  I will finish Crows Folly in the next thirty days, I will cut new and more exciting crow stencils, and I will finish my fabric collection out with crows!

Confession I have quite the pattern collection happening but no focal point fabric design.  I'm not quite sure how this happened but alas it did occur.  Yeppers I have some twenty repeat pattern designs all of which are tertiary patterns, no hero patterns, no focal point patterns, not even a secondary support pattern.  Just tertiary patterns.  And if you love butterflies and are wanting a small repeat to go into a traditional quilt pattern well then I have just the pattern and colorway for you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crows Folly

Crows Folly No. 6
Acrylic ink and paint, shiva painstik on raised panel board.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Let there be pears, I would say more but I'm off to play with my new stencil in my studio tonight. The inspiration for this pear came from a red and green striped pear that our pear tree seems to be fond of producing, and I'm not sure what causes this to happen, however, it is really inspiring.

Somewhere in this mess of computer files I have a photo of the striped pears on the tree, this was one of the ones I picked for drawing and photographing in the studio.

I also cut this crow tonight.