Friday, December 19, 2014

Journaling This Week

A middle of the night journal page, full of journaling, then gesso, spray ink, gelli prints and other things leading to multiple layers.

More layers and imagery.

I drew this guy in my sketchbook while waiting for an oil change. I think my owl's are getting better and that pleases me greatly.  I want to paint an owl on my drum and I think I can do that now.  I just need to decide what medium to use.  I have been thinking of using a faber-castell pitt pen in Sepia or using brown ink and a brush. I don't know if one will work better than the other, or if I should do it in pencil first.  I have some decisions to make. Its a project for the new year.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Celebrating Winter Solstice

A Winter Solstice, I wanted a wintery picture for this post but there is not much snow here so I dug into my archives and found this picture.  It was part of a group where I was taking pictures of snow orbs. This was one where there were no orbs but I found it to be quite beautiful.

Traditionally Winter Solstice is a festival calling back the sun. In ancient times it lasted 7 days, but now it is most recognized as December 21, the shortest day of the year. There are so many of our Christmas traditions that started with the winter solstice. Holly, mistletoe, an evergreen tree in the house are some but there are so much more. In my blending of traditions I like to bring some emphasis back to the Winter Solstice. This year I have done many of the same things. I have a real tree in the house, on it is a garland of nuts and seeds, and another garland of birds that I made myself. There are bird ornaments, owls, crows and cardinals. It is very much inspired by nature.

In the past I have participated in the ritual of letting go.  I grab some paper and write down things from the year that I want to let go of.  Then I place them in the wood stove where a fire is burning. Some years I have had a fire outside. If that is not available to you, you could burn them in a bowl. There are always ways to tailor a ritual to your circumstances.

I am planning to try a few new things this year.

I plan to read this again, such a lovely book. I love the characters, the setting and the story. Rosamunde Pilcher is a master storyteller. I started it Sunday night and its such a pleasurable gift that I am giving myself.

And I will listen to this on a quiet evening.

Here are some ideas for you to explore, also remember the internet has tons of ideas if you just google Winter Solstice or Yule.

  • Turn out all the lights and then light some candles to symbolize the light returning.
  • Leave a treat for the birds or other animals in your yard.
  • Create some Winter Solstice Foods like Sun cookies.
  • Watch a winter sunset.
  • Set intentions for the new year and release them by fire.
  • Set up a Yule Altar.

I will close in offering you this Sunrise prayer.

The sun returns! The light returns!
The earth begins to warm once more!
The time of darkness has passed,
and a path of light begins the new day.
Welcome, welcome, the heat of the sun,
blessing us all with its rays.

Have a Wonderful Solstice Celebration.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter Bonfire

I attended a winter bonfire Saturday night.  There just it something about a bonfire that is so appealing. Especially when its cold outside. You are drawn to the fire by both its light and its heat. This was a fundraiser given by a friend for the local men's shelter. There were hot soups and lots of treats and new friendships formed. A nice way to spend the evening and the shelter received many needed supplies.

This morning we got some snow so Belle wanted to go play.  We took a nice walk out in the field across the street. We have been seeing Trumpeter Swans in the field most days.  Today I could hear them but had trouble seeing them.  I love it when they fly overhead.

A simple mandala that came onto my page the other day.

This is a page I did awhile ago.  Its started with a circle of paper and then just grew from there. I think it looks like a dreamcatcher.

I drew this face on an index card as I was waiting for photos to upload. I find doing little bits of art on index cards is sort of fun.  I have a stack on my desk so they are easily accessible. If you find you can't get to any art making give index cards a try. I think the key is to have supplies easily accessible. Then you have no excuses, you just do it I think I may take this one and tape it into a journal.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Little of This a Little of That

Here at the studio I have been creating in full force but alas since they are all gifts I won't be sharing on the blog.

I can show you these small loaves of banana bread.  I made them as gifts to give my neighbors.  I had to figure out how to cook them.  The internet said 35 minutes but that was not enough.  An original recipe cooks for 1 hour and I cooked these for 45 minutes.  I got 3 loaves from one recipe. I ended up eating one of them.  So yummy when warm.

I didn't know what else I would blog about till we got a phone call.  Can you help move cows?
This is our neighbor Ladd, taking down the electric fence. The cows are way in the back.

Here Dave is waiting while we get everyone in place.  My job was further down the road.  I was to stop any traffic or wayward cows.

Crossing the road.

Here they didn't want to cross the railroad tracks, they were enticed by some good eating.  The headed back to the road and there are no pics because I was busy getting them back to where we wanted them to be.

The last of the stragglers getting to where they needed to go. Well you never know how life is going to surprise you. Today I had my first experience moving cows, no cowboys on horseback just some average people bonding together to get a tricky job done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Returning To Sketching

I have been missing making art in my sketchbook so I grabbed it and did some church drawings. The woman is from a magazine image. I was going to just leave this page with pen and ink but then remembered that a little color can always make a drawing come to life. I used cheap watercolors to add the color in this piece.

I drew this from a photograph. I am using a new pen and oh I love this pen.  Its a soft Fudenosuke Brush Pen by Tombow. You can get them at At only 2.50 this pen is a steal. If you want a fine line you use it as normal, you want to get a thicker line you just use more pressure.  Its like having a fine liner and a brush pen in one.

This I drew in church from life. I used pen and then watercolor pencils and a waterbrush. I put the quilt and wall hanging in last. I was not sure how it would work but I was glad I tried it because it looks good.  Art is all about taking risks, sometimes we are willing and other times fear takes a hold. Each time that I find myself being a little bit bolder, it gets a little easier. Sometimes we need to take small steps to reach big goals.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Full Cold Moon / Elder Moon

I am continuing this month in doing a Vision board for the Full Cold Moon.  For inspiration I am using the e-book Bloom by Moon by Amy Palko. She offers insights from 4 different traditions. Celtic, Native American, Astrology and various traditions around the world.  I usually look at both the Celtic and Native American to see which resonated with me the most. Native AMericans call this the Cold Moon. In the Celtic tradition it is called the Elder Moon and is all about endings, coming full circle.  Although I started to focus on the cold moon there really is only one image on my board that reflects this, the icy drink.  I think this is more representative of the elder moon.  There is so many images from nature here. I have always felt connected to trees but lately I seem to be painting and collaging them all the time.  I do believe there is something deep here they are trying to teach me. Funny how that works. I have really felt that I am coming to the end of some things and am ready to embrace some new ones so its fitting to my own life experience. I love the process of all of this.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Making Containers For Wisdom

I gain wisdom to live my life in many ways and from many sources. One of these ways is in using oracle cards. They usually come in these big heavy boxes. In the past for tarot decks I have found nice bags to store the cards in. I like the feel of the fabric and it tends to make the cards important when they have their own container that you have chosen. Over the past year I bought some new decks but hadn't gotten bags for them.

This bag I made right before I went to Ireland. I was trying to make a little purse but it didn't turn out the way I liked so off into a drawer it went. I found it the other day and I thought it would be perfect for a oracle card container. Its fabric left over from some handspun handwoven towels that I made earlier this year.

This bag was made from some silk fabric I wove years ago. I have  never figured out what to do with the fabric and this was a perfect choice. This fabric is so soft.

There are so many colors in the fabric, you can see some of that here in this close up.  The warp was handpainted and the colors change throughout it.

This last one is a remnant from some dishtowels that I wove earlier this year.  It is very thick in compared to the silk one. Its very soft and has a real body feel about it.

Creating these bags for my cards was such a rewarding thing.  There is so much of me into the making of these fabrics and that now intermingles with the cards that I end up using for guidance. Its like I am making them my own.  Now you don't have to be a weaver to do this yourself.  I believe picking your own fabrics or bags that are called to you can have the same effect.

Why not give this a try and see how you like it.  Using natural fabrics its best, wool, cotton, silk, hemp are all good choices.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Washi Tape on the Gelli Plate

I had seen on the net how someone had used the gelli plate to alter washi tape so I thought I would give it a try.

I took a piece of palette paper and covered it in all sort of tape.

This was my page after several prints from the plate. I thought it was too monochromatic.

But when I pulled the tape off the page you can see where each piece looks a little bit different.

I took some of the tape and used it to decorate this paper mache' K I have in my studio. I had to add some additional glue to the tape, but I think it looks great.

Here is a page I created to deal with too much stress. I used strips of an old painting to write on top of and some of the washi tape on the bottom. Its a fun way to make a list.