Friday, April 30, 2010

You won't believe the deal I got today

I was in Michaels yesterday and I saw this. A pad of paper for mixed media made by Canson. The paper was really nice so I went to buy one to try it out and they were buy one get one free, what a deal. I went to look at the clearance section where all the golden paint has been and it was all gone. So I asked my favorite clerk if they had just moved it or if someone had come in and bought it all. She said they had sold it in the bins for a $1.00 a piece in the area where you walk in the store. I was a little sorry I had missed that. But she said we have some left and we are going to be making grab bags of it. If I come back tomorrow I should be able to get some.

So I went back this morning and this is what I came home with

I got all of this for $6.00

It looks like a store on my kitchen table. I bought 3 grab bags. They let me go in the back room and just fill up my bags.  I got 65 bottles of Golden Fluids, 2 heavy body acrylics, 18 tubes of watercolor paint, 21 small jars of all sorts of mediums. 8 big jars of mediums and 8 jars of Liquitex paints. If I had paid full price this would be at least 700.00 worth of materials.  Can you believe it.  Some of the mediums I don't even know how to use yet but I have a lot of new stuff to play with. Now I need to find somewhere to put all of it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Remembering Billy

This past week is a perfect example of you never know what is going to happen. Last weekend before I left for Missoula my sister let me know that our brother Billy had just had triple bypass open heart surgery.  He had come through the surgery fine and that he had moved to Schenectady New York.  My brother didn't keep in contact with his family at all.  It was a choice he had made for some unknown reason.  So it wasn't that much of surprise that no one knew he lived there.

Yesterday I got an email from my brother Tom saying that Billy had come home from the hospital and that he had died in his sleep that night.  He was 64, much too young. My day has been filled with shock and disbelief.  Dave came home from work to be with me which was nice but I was ok.  I seem to be rerunning all those childhood scenes with him in my mind.  Just celebrating the man he was or perhaps the man he let me see. Although I had not seen him in a long time I will miss him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paper Dresses

In Missoula I walked down a street and saw this store with this wonderful display in the window.  All these dresses were made out of paper. The store was closed so I had to take my pictures from outside through the window so they are not the best but I wanted to share them anyways. There is a dress inside the store made of newspaper that is pretty cool too.  I had seen it the day before but I did  not have my camera with me.  The store is called Noteworthy sells stationary and has their own printing press where they make invitations. It was a fun place to see

The view from the front showing all 6 dresses.

Here is a closeup, those tiny figures are buffalo.

Another close up of one of the dresses.  They were all quite spectacular.

The other artsy thing I saw was this electrical box.

All four sides of it were painted with this beautiful scene.  Here are trees with tepee's in the background.

Once again another beautiful scene with the words Montana is a treasure.  Montana is known as the treasure state.

In this view it is similar to the other side but is still different.

This last one says Missoula is Magical. I thought this was one of the most fun things to find just by walking down the street. Too bad other towns don't have art like this, it would brighten them up.

Wishcasting Wednesday - Investing

Its Wishcasting time again. This week Jamie asks us

What do you wish to Invest in?

After just a little bit of thought on this I decided I want to invest in Organizing my life.  Not in the sense that my closets are clean or that my desk is organized but I want to organize my TIME better.  There are 24 hours in a day and I seem to waste a lot of it.  I on occasion do make lists and on those days I get many things done that I have wanted to.  The problem is that I am not consistent with it.

I want to set some art and writing goals and organize my time so I actually can do them without feeling stressed  or guilty because I am not doing something else.  I want to waste less time by watching TV, talking on the phone, surfing the net.  I want better priorities and then I want to stick to them. 

Maybe a reward system is in order.  Bribes are always good.  I could make a list of small things I would like to do or have and put them in a jar and when I have succeeded for a week or  more I could pull something out of the jar as a reward for a job well done.  The more I think about that I like that idea....  Now to some up with some fun things, I don't think it will be too hard.

To see what other wish casters are doing go here

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Authors

I went up to Missoula this past weekend to see my daughter present her honors thesis project. That is Rachel, Brenna and Sarah in the picture. Their project involved rewriting fairy tales and looking at why some stories last. They all wrote a version of Little Red Riding Hood. Their stories were vastly . Sarah told the story from the wolf's point of view, Brenna's a more contemporary tale and Rachel took us to the dark side. They were all great stories and these three female authors all presented their stories very well. I was one proud momma.

On Sunday we went to breakfast here. I am a sucker for diners, I love trying them out anywhere I can find one.

 On the inside it was all pink and green, a very retro look to it.  If you look at the ceiling on the left you can see a piece of car sticking out of the wall.  Diners are always so unique in their decor.  They had great breakfasts too.

Then we went for a walk along the river. It really was a beautiful morning.

Here I am taking a few moments to enjoy the water view.

Violette's Journal Challenge


I did this little challenge from Violette's site.  Go here to participate.  She had you do  4 things.
1. An action - I used a credit card to paint with.
2. a texture making tool, I used sequin waste even though you can't see it.
3. word - Happy New Life
4. visual item -  magazine image of some bedding.

I actually chose the image first and then the words and then added my own journaling on how the image made me feel.  Doing these challenges are fun because they mix it up a little, make you think differently from your normal way of doing things.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another contest for Threadbare Heart

My friend Jennie Nash whose book The Threadbare Heart comes out next month is having another contest. This one is for writers. I posted about the contest for quilters here.

Who is your favorite Mother-daughter fictional pair? You can enter Jennie's Mothers Day Mini essay contest. She wants to know about the pair that inspired you, made you laugh, reminded you of your own mother etc. Its only 250 words so that is very doable. The prize for this sounds like fun too!  Head over to Jennie's blog for the details.

I finished this Zentangle like drawing last night, it was started with a stamp.

I am headed up to Missoula for the weekend. Sarah is presenting her Senior project at a bookstore on Saturday. This is from the flyer she sent me. The event is titled How fiction survives - a contemporary look at Little Red Riding Hood.   The focus is that there is something special that makes certain stories last longer than others.

She and her two fellow writers each wrote a contemporary version of this classic fairy tale. Despite their unifying plot all three stories vary drastically and reflect their differing sensibilities and styles that are unique to all writers.  I am sure it will be a moment to treasure and remember.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Having Fun in the studio

My watercolor moleskine started to fall apart so at first I intended to just tape the spine back together.

After looking at the pretty tape it seemed like the whole cover needed to be decorated.  I covered the front with Japanese papers.

On the back I covered it with Origami paper.  It was so colorful and pretty I could not stop there.

I grabbed my sketchbook moleskine and added paper from an old wallpaper book. I love this rose paper but it looked a little plain so I added a copy of an old journal page. They look great together.

On the back is more wallpaper, layered on top even more and some fabric tape. I had so much fun doing these. If I hadn't run out of journals I would still be at it.

When was the last time you had fun in your studio?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wishcasting - What do you wish to dare

Its Wednesday so that means its time for wishcasting.  Jamie asks us What do you wish to dare.

So as I often do I went to see what Google said about the word Dare and most of the hit were for the DARE program.  No not what I meant. Then I found the definition of dare and it seemed to point to courage. Which led me to finding these two quotes which I like very much.

Life is a Daring Adventure or its nothing -- Helen Keller
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage -Anais nin

So what does Dare really mean to me you might ask.  My first thoughts are doing something out of the ordinary, jumping out of your box, doing something that scares you.

So now what do I wish to dare, right now I can not think of a thing that I do not already have set in motion. I think I am pretty daring in my goals and aspirations.  I really feel I am on my way with them.  So do I have nothing to dare or am I deluding myself.  So perhaps I will take the word dare and not think of it as in big dreams and so forth.

 I dare to make the changes I need to healthwise, Its time I got back on this eating program and really followed, its time to exercise on a consistent basis an lastly to put myself first. This is important for me, to take care of me like I would someone else. I can do this....

Artshine Sketchbook on Birds

The latest Artshine Traveling sketchbook I worked on had a theme of birds. It also had an interesting binding with a flap that opens up on the left. I hadn't thought if I was gong to try to incorporate that into the design or not.

This is the front, you can see the flap is on the right.  My birds did not come out the same size but I think they still look ok.

On the inside the gold finch is met with a few other birds on a fence.

On the back page I drew a nest and some eggs.  I use Carb-Othello pastel pencils in all the drawings.

All these projects of mine have been piling up.  I am so glad to have finished these.  When you are in these revolving books there is always another on its way.

After hearing so much about those Inktense Pencils from other artists, I found a great deal at Dick Blick today.  A set of 24 plus a free sketchbook for  25.55.  My Michaels is selling these for 54.95 so that is an excellent deal and you get a free sketchbook too and yes I did order a set.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A New Sketchbook Project

I  was asked by Mary of Joyful Ploys to be the next participant in another sketchbook project.  This was started by Jennifer Zoellner.   I really like participating in these.  It always seems to give me the opportunity to try something new, and I get to meet new artists and have a little fun. This sketchbook is pretty small and the unfortunately the tiny book keeps coming apart.  

For this page I first glued 2 pages together, the paper was really thin and then stamped the words with a Slate StazOn Ink. Then I painted the bird with Golden Heavy bodied acrylics.

There is not much to say about this, I had glued down some handmade paper and then these collage items. I like its simplicity,

 The next two pages were going to be a one single page but then the book fell apart.  I had to use some tape to put it back together and then I lost the cohesion of the piece. So I decided to just make 2 separate pages.  I used golden fluids on the pages and some Stewart Gill paints for the accents.

I had this greeting card of a sun with celtic patters all around it. I used the idea but made it  different. When I added the rays I had no idea what else I would do.  These pattern just seemed to want to be there. I love it when things flow like that.

Here is the latest paint and pass canvas I worked on.  I added the little fish.  It is really hard not filling the canvas. There are a total of 11 people painting on each of these little 5 x 7 canvases, so I try not to take up too much space.

Remember the Moleskine sketchbook project I did months ago.  Well here is a video of the almost finished book. It really is awesome to look at.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Some time with Trees

We have had the most glorious weather this past weekend.  I spent some time on the greenbelt. Its a green area around the Snake River that runs through my town.

I had brought lunch and sat down on a blanket and began looking at these trees. The weather was gorgeous and the smell of the trees so enticing.

Then I layed down and looked up.

I was so amazed at the sight I saw I ran to the car and grabbed the camera. I loved looking at all the branches and seeing how different they were and where they were all headed.

Next time you are out visiting trees, try a different viewpoint and you may be surprised at what you see.

This great horned owl has been visiting our backyard. All I could get was this silhouette of her.


... and  now some art. I started this drawing with a stamp again. I really like this technique of starting with a stamp and then just building on it. It is so much fun, you should try it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fiction Comes to Life

I was just perusing some blogs when I found something exciting at my friend Jennie Nash's blog.  Jennie's new book The Threadbare Heart  will be out in May. In conjunction with the books release there is a contest called “Fiction Comes to Life”, sponsored by Keepsake Quilting.
Just go to Jenny's  blog  Meet your Muse to find out all the details.  I am not much of a quilter but this sounds like so much fun.

I also recommend Jennie's books, I have her other two novels. The Only True Genius in the Family and The Last Beach Bungalow were both very good.

At a cafe

I am sitting in the Cafe at Barnes and Noble and thought I would blog a little.  I had a blueberry scone and a glass of pomegranate/cherry juice and it was yummy. I am disappointed at the internet here though. I was going to watch some videos but they are just as slow here as at home.  I guess I will have to go to my other favorite cafe to do that.  Their speed is lightning fast.

A couple days ago I was doing research for my book and I found the Family Tree magazine and  this issue listed the 40 top blogs for genealogy and now I found an Irish one which led me to another one just full of places for me to look, to discover and get lost in. I will be spending a lot of time on the computer checking all these sources out.

One thing that I have asked the Universe is to point me to the people, places and information that I need for this journey of many miles I am taking. The exciting thing is that things like this keep happening.  It just reinforces for me that I was destined to make this trip, to do this research and to write this story.  Having no doubts  is a wonderful feeling.  I am having a really fantastic day,  I hope you are too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wishcasting - What do you wish to be gentle with

Jamie asks us today What do you wish to be gentle with?   My first thought was I wish to be gentle with myself.

Often when I get sick I get a little annoyed when I let that happen, especially when its something that lasts as long as this virus has. It really does not help in the healing process.  I tried to let that go this time, to just take it easy and figure I need this down time. To take advantage of the time to just do what my body needs me to do.

I also put too much pressure on myself, to get this done or that done in a certain amount of time.  Or perhaps I put this or that on my list of things to do and when weeks later I realize I haven't done them I beat myself up a little.  That really serves no one either. I am a little better at this now but I haven't eliminated the trait.  I wish when these thoughts come up to be gentle with myself, to treat myself as I would an other friend.

I think sometimes we treat our friends better than we treat ourselves.  We are our own worst critic so often.  I choose gentleness from now on.

To see what other women are wishing today or to take part yourself go here

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paint and Pass project

I am taking part in what we are calling Paint and Pass with my glitter sisters. We all start with a 5 x 7 Canvas board and paint the background and then it goes to the next person, who paints something and then passes it to the next person. Eventually you get it back and all your friends have contributed to a group painting. I think it will be fun.

This is my friend Kai's panel. I added the mermaid. Its a stamp and I used staz on ink and then painted it using Twinkling H2O's. They are watercolor paints that have a metallic sheen to them. In fact these paints have an interesting story. I think it was last year the company announced that they were closing shop due to the economy. It was due to the support of all their customers that they managed to remain open and to revitalize their company.  I love success stories like that.

About all I have been doing is these black and white drawings. I don't think i can call them zentangle's since they are supposed to be square. It started with a circle and then I built upon that. I really like this one. I am not sure if I want to add more to it or not.

This was started with a stamp in the center. My friend Janet suggested this and I think it was a great idea. I don't know if I will ever tire of making these.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Little Organizing

A little while ago I won this lovely book from my friend Kelly's blog Dragonfly Reflections. It arrived in the mail in some lovely packaging.  This book is supposed to be amazing.  I am looking forward to reading it.

Look at the cute card she made to send along with the book. Kelley does everything with such a beautiful touch. Thanks Kelley.

In one of the moments where I felt ok I headed to Michaels with my 50% coupon and came home with this.

Its a revolving carousel organizer and it has 6 sides to it. There are 3 little drawers to hold small items and a place to put label so you know what in them.

This view shows hooks that you can hang things from.  There are plenty of slots for pencils and markers and scissors and those odds and ends we use all the time.

I took my old organizer, put it on it side and put in my Golden tubes of paint. I painted a little dab of color on the lids so they'd be easy to locate.  I don't know about you but I am constantly reorganizing all my tools.   I really like the new organizer, I think the fact that it revolves will make it easy to use.