Monday, October 31, 2011

Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead

Well granted it is not really Día de los Muertos or The Day of the Dead until tomorrow but I am posting today anyways. My church always celebrates and this year I took part in creating the altar decorations. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday.

Here you can see bread left out and the skulls my daughter made.

We have members put out pictures of their loved ones who have passed.

We added a stuffed animal pet to represent those pets we have lived with and who have died. You can also see the picture of my grandmother that I have placed on the table.

Dishes and food are left for our ancestors in case they are hungry when they come back.

These are the 2 shrines I made for my parents. They were made out of old altoid tins.

Here is a close up of the skulls that my daughter made. First they were crocheted and then deorated with embroidery floss. Aren't they just the cutest?

November 1

In addition to being The Day of the Dead, November 1st is also the beginning of the National Novel Writing Month.  Since I will be participating again blogging will be taking a slide. I promise to blog at least once a week during the month.

 Oh I just saw this video and loved it. Don't you love watching other artists work, I know I get inspired watching videos like this.

Happy Halloween, Samhain and Day of the Dead to all of you.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Here is my sketch for today. I was trying to do Frida in honor of The Day of the Dead coming up, but had no pics with me but at least I got the unibrow look. I had fun writing right into her hair. Someday I will do another when I have a pic for reference.

To see what other sketchers are doing go here  Have a great Sunday.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I have been playing around with This is a wordle I made for The National Novel Writing Month. If you have never done one of these they are fun. Here are some more sites to try.

Here is a wordle I made for my blog. The bigger the font is due to the frequency of the words used.   It is fascinating to see what words you use the most.  Go check out one of the sites and have a little fun.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Printing on tracing paper

These are some backgrounds I made from all the NevrDull experiments.

They are scraps from several different pages. I am not sure how I'll use them. I think they are pretty just as they are.

I've had these pages done for awhile, just forgot to take some pics of them.     I really loved this leaf paper so it had to go on a page somewhere.

This has another favorite new technique.  I have heard about it many times. I just have never tried it.  The image is printed on tracing paper. I love the transparent quality of it. I just glued down three edge of the tracing paper to a piece of cardstock and ran it through my ink jet printer. Really easy and gives great results.

Thought I would try a reverse zentangle. I started with a coaster and painted it with black gesso. Then I did all the pattens with a white Uni-Ball Signo Broad gel pen.

Today I actually took the time to do a journal page in my new altered book journal. I forgot just how much fun a little collage could be. The image was also printed on tracing paper.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Outside my window... the sun is shining and it is one of those cool fall days where I love to take walks and feel my feet crunch upon all the leaves. Fall is such a special season.

I am thinking that I have way too many irons in the fire as they say and something is going to have to be let go. In November I will be blogging less or maybe have shorter posts.

I am thankful for all the opportunities in my life and all the wonderful people I have met this year.

In the kitchen Dave is making a butternut squash pie, the smell of it permeates the house.

I am wearing my black crocs and flannel pj's, my comfort clothes.

I am creating a new life with the coaching course I am taking. The lessons learned are so profound that it amazes me. I am so grateful to be able to pass this wisdom on to others.

I am going to continue to look for fun things to use to manipulate wax. The Hot Wax course I am taking is really fantastic.  I have so much to learn.

I am wondering how some women manage to do it all.  I am constantly having to revise my plans and let go of things.

I am reading : The view from the Summerhouse by Barabara Whitnell.  Its set in Cornwall, a place I would like to go to someday. Its all about returning to a piece of your past and reconnecting with it.

I am looking forward to the start of Nanowrimo on November 1st.  It will be fun to tell my Grandparents story.

I am hearing the sound of birds outside my window, most of them have left for greener pastures. I still have the house finches and black eyed juncos and occasional chickadees that hang out at my bird feeder.

Around the house everything has been dusted and cleaned.  During November I don't clean very much. All the focus is on the writing.

I am pondering those little things in life that make it all worthwhile.  Sit down and have a cup of tea with me and we'll talk.

One of my favorite things to do is have a hot bath with Celtic Sea Salts. I had one last night and the memory of it brings a smile to my face.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I'll have my first 2 calls where I am the coach this week.  I am incredibly nervous about it but know that it will be okay.  I'll do some further prep for Nanowrimo and watch the videos for the Hot Wax class. Then there are the regular activities, laughter yoga on Tuesday, meditation group on Wed and book group on Thursday.  We are reading Kitchen Table Wisdom which is an amazing book.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... This was the sky outside my house a few days ago.

I find mother nature often gives us a spectacular show.

To see other daybook posts go here 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sketching a character

I don't have much of a blog post today.  Its been a very busy week.  I am doing a series of sketches of some characters in a novel that I am revising.  This is the first of a series. She is not exactly what I envisioned but I will keep working at it.

I have done very little work in the wax class other than make paints and medium. I am hoping for some studio time soon.

We had our Nanowrimo kickoff tonight and the response was amazing. 40 people showed up and the library had put us in this tiny room. It was fine but crowded and great to be with all these wonderful writers.  I am looking forward to the frenzy of November.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm in Love

There was some excitement here last Friday. I had been anxiously awaiting this package. It did not come until 4:15 pm. Now what could be in this big box.

It turns out it was something pretty expensive and pretty small in comparison. I decide 4 months ago that I was going to get a smart phone.  With a new version of the iPhone on the horizon I waited for it to be released.  I ordered mine on the first day along with millions of other people.

Just look at her, doesn't she look beautiful. It was love at first site, unfortunately I couldn't get her to work.  I had to go down to Verizon the next day.  It was something to do with being stuck in the app that was transferring my contacts. She is all happy now.

 I don't know if its really possible to be in love with your phone but I am.  Its my first smart phone and it really can do amazing things.  I am just amazed with Siri the new voice activated feature of the iPhone. I was playing around with it yesterday, you can ask it to send a text, play a song, check your calendar and the weather and so much more. Then there is the camera, its an 8 megapixel camera and then lens switches around so you can do self portraits, you can even edit photos on your phone. About the only thing it does not do is wash the dishes. Oh you can also make calls with it just like any other phone. Have you ever been infatuated with new technology.

This afternoon I found out I won a spot in this class from the lovely Kylie at Blissful Pumpkins. I am so excited, I wanted to take the class but with the holidays coming up I didn't know how I was going to be able to do it. So I am so grateful to have won this class.  As I was thinking about this I thought here I am in small town Idaho and I won a class from a woman in Australia who will be teaching along with 14 others organized by a Dutch woman who lives in England.  All this is possible due to the internet.  It is such a magical world we live in.

To find out more about Life Book head on over to Tam's site Willowing. I think this is going to be an awesome class and its such a groundbreaking idea.  I have had a class with Tam before and she really is wonderful

Monday, October 17, 2011

I have been working on this cardboard book that I started in Katie Kendrik's class.  In her sample she used mica to cover the cut out window but I didn't have any of that.  So I found some plastic and I think it works just as well.

I put this scrapbook paper on the inside cover. I will be adding something to it later on.

There are only 3-4 pages in this journal.  This page was textured and stamped.  Images were embellished with charcoal.

On this page I found this plastic silhouette and when I put it over my painted cardboard I thought the tear I had made in the cardboard looked like her spine.  How fun is that. I really wanted to have this journal finished by today but alas life doesn't always work as you planned.

Today this class started. I think it will be the first on line class I have taken that I really know nothing about.  I became intrigued with encaustic in Katie's class and really wanted to learn more about it. So here came the perfect opportunity.  So it looks like I'll put the cardboard book away for awhile an play with wax.

Friday, October 14, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

It's getting to be that time of year again. Its almost November, so writers and would be writers from all over the world are contemplating doing NaNoWriMo.  This year I'll be doing it again.  My sixth time for all the insanity.  Why do I do it?  Several reasons:

  • There's a deadline.
  • Its Fun.
  • It gives you the opportunity to do it with others, misery does love company.
  • You get the chance to explore writing in new ways.
  • It helps you become a better writer.
  • There are write-ins, and parties.
  • You meet all sorts of fun people.
  • Did I mention its fun
  • Ah the parties, well there is the kick off party and then the Night of Writing Dangerously(an all nighter) and the TGIO party at the end.  It stands for Thank God Its Over, otherwise known as the celebration party.
  • It brings families together.  I know of several families who have several members doing it.
  • Ah the junk food, you do have permission to have all the junk food you want in November.
  • The satisfaction of completion, even if you don't finish you end up writing way more than you did in October.
I know you want to do it.  Maybe this is the year you join us.  At the end of our lives we don't regret the things that we did, its more the things we didn't do.  Maybe writing your story is one of those things.

This year my novel will be a fictionalized account of my Grandparent lives. I will use their letters as a base, but I am still working out what form it will take.  

To sign up for this go to

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

While watching Fran Riley's video for The Worlds Biggest Summit yesterday I saw this other video of hers. She has some amazing things in her house. Just wait till you see the bathtub.

As an exercise for some coaching I am doing I painted what my creativity looks like.  I saw it as a swirling ball of red and orange and purple, with tingly waves cascading out from a circle.  I left little swirly spots in the center to represent all those new ideas that have not come to light yet.  I made this on an 11 X 14 canvas board using Panpastels.

Here are a few more pages from my fall journal.  I had to record the snow event we had.

This is all about taking walks in the Fall. Something that I really enjoy doing,

We attended the Occupy Idaho Falls rally on Friday night. We had a good turnout, there were 150 people which may not seem like much. Other rally's I have attended only had about 30 people, so this was a lot bigger. There were speakers and then we walked along the Greenbelt to the Broadway Bridge and cheered. It was great being in solidarity with all the other groups around the country.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Worlds Biggest Summit

Have you been  going to the Worlds Biggest Summit.  Its this amazing even put on by Goddess Leonie.  Each day there are three amazing speakers. Some are audio and some are video.  You can save them to listen to or watch later.  It goes through the month of October and you can You can access it here

I have to admit I had been saving most of them for later but the last couple of days I have been watching and listening and the information has been just fabulous. I know you will love it. Oh and I forgot to mention, its free. All you need is a little time to save it or to watch it  now. I know that you are worth investing the time in.  Enjoy it my friends.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Here is my sketch for this Sunday.  Remember to check out Sophia's blog for more sketchers.  There is always a great collection of people posting their work. If you didn't get to see last Sundays sketch you can see it here.  Have a great Sunday everyone.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It snowed!

I still find it hard to believe the snow we had yesterday. This is my backyard at the beginning of the storm. We got 4" of very huge white fluffy stuff, it looks like December, not October. There are downed trees everywhere in town.  The leaves had not even changed or fallen yet. We lost one big branch on one of our trees but the rest survived when I got some of the snow off of them. Then we had another distaster, something fell into our chimney while we had a fire going and the house filled with smoke.  I wasn't home.  Dave had to pull the on fire logs out and put into the ash bucket and take outside. It took 2 trips. We also lost power at that time.  We have power back but the house still smells like smoke. We have all the doors and windows open and its really cold outside so I am down the basement where its warm.  I hope we'll be able to close it all open soon,  Last night the smoke really burned my eyes.  Not a fun day.

Some more pages from the graffiti journal.  I printed out a Sunday Sketch for this page.

Here I was talking about the rain, that was early in the week.

I got some Utah peaches, don't they look yummy. In my town enterprising folks drive down to Utah near the prime peach growing area and bring up peaches to sell here.  They are just picked so you can't beat that. I am making some pie with some of them. Do you want a piece?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Impact of Steve Jobs

                 Steve Jobs 1955-2011

With the death of Steve Jobs on Wednesday there are tributes all over Twitter, Facebook and the net. Many of us feel saddened at such a great loss. There are very few people on the planet who were not affected by his life. I felt that I needed to add my thoughts to the mix.

I think that most of us know that Steve founded Apple, gave us Mac computers, iPod, iPhone, iPad. I never realized that he started Pixar too.  Where would animation be without Pixar.   The reason we have all these wonderful fonts is because Steve loved calligraphy. I am grateful for that.  For me it isn't that he did all of these things but it is more who he was as a person and the philosophy that he espoused.

So many of us artists talk about the same things, following your dreams, think out of the box.  We are all saying the same thing.  Here was a man who followed those ideas with gusto and encouraged us to do the same.

Here is the TED talk aka Steve Jobs commencement address at Stanford University.  If you have seen this before watch it again, it is that good. Then save it and watch it in those times where you doubt yourself.

Here are a few favorite quotes attributed to Steve.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle."    I love this, never settle keep searching for the thing that makes your hearts sing.   

"Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. "   I so strongly believe this that I wear a necklace that says Follow Your Heart. Its a reminder in case I forget.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”  

This innovator and creative visionary will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creative Whirlwind

I truly believe that I have been on a creative whirlwind.  Granted much of that is due to taking Remains of the Day and Layered Expressions, two classes by some very talented ladies. I think its more than that. I have taken other classes and often not completed all the exercises. Sometime its attitude and willingness to put in the necessary time, to let go of expectations, to finally to be able to go that extra mile. To that space where you really start feeling like an artist. I feel like I have arrived there and its a fabulous place to be.

My first pages in what I am calling my grafitti journal. I got the idea from an issue of Art Journal Magazine called My Summer Journal.  In the article the person made a journal in a class and it was all about Summer.  I thought it would be fun to do one for all the seasons. Since its Fall that is where my emphasis lies.  I always admire those pages that are simple and have handwriting on them. Kind of like graffiti.

So I took old book pages and sewed 3 pages together for each of my pages, I am not going to bind the pages until they are all done.   I sewed some things down, and glued and stapled others.  I want these pages to be ones that can been done quickly.

On this page I went through fall colored papers to start off this page. I spent just a few minutes on this one too.  I am liking this fast journaling.  You pick a few things and then you're done.   The paper in this journal is really old and yellowed and its almost like that become part of the design of each of the book.

The beginnings of my cardboard journal that I am making in Katie's class. The covers are cardboard and so are all the pages.  What fun this will be .  More on this on Friday. Can you tell I have been having a blast in this class.

CONTEST WINNERS for my 500th post giveaway were chosen by random number generator.

Poetry Girl - Artella
Anka - Zine by Samantha Kira
Andria - Artful Purpose Zine
Codyrachel's irises - Card Collection
April Cole  - Sketchbooking

Would the winners please send me their addresses so I can get their winnings to them. Thanks to all who entered.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Using Encaustic Wax

This is my set up to do encaustic wax,  I am using a melting pot and a quilting iron, I also used a heat gun. The wax took quite awhile to heat up. This was my first try at this technique.

The original painting before wax.

and the painting after wax, the color seems so much richer now.  Oh I love working with wax.

My collage in process using the magazine pages and nevrDull.

The second phase, it is not really that blue, the color is more subtle.

This closeup is more the color. Now I need to figure out what I will do next. I think I will look at it for a few days and see what emerges.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Sketches

The official Sunday sketchers was cancelled today due to Sophia's loss of her father.  I had already done a sketch so here she is.  Have a great day.  I am off to watch the Packers, I'll be spinning some yarns so something creative will happen with all the sitting.  I have new art to show you tomorrow.