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Friday, November 28, 2014

In 1988, Mary Randolph Carter published a sweet book entitled American Family Style. I've lost count of how many times I've read it. One of the photos showed a cute pumpkin pie with a handmade turkey on it. I tried it this Thanksgiving and here's my version. My daughter pronounced it "the cutest damn pie on the planet."

Friday, September 26, 2014


Life has been jerking my chain recently. I needed to balance with some art, so I did this little ACEO. I basically just went for the colors. The two amorphous shapes, torn from a magazine, reminded me of two people (or at least the energy of two people.) I decided to let those people have a relationship, and I connected them with the white energy dots. As I looked at them, the song "Me and Mrs. Jones" started running through my mind, so I entitled the piece "We Got a Thing Going On." I greatly enjoyed this brief time of self-healing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sometimes you just have to miss it

I'm working on a bridal veil. I'm stitching a rope of tiny pearls to its edge. There's a stitch between every 2 little pearls..stitch, stitch, hundreds of stitches. It becomes a meditation, the repetition of a mantra. The edge gently undulates, as the tulle and pearls are married. I'm dying to finish it; it's a labor of love.  There's a remnant of vintage lace, waiting for me to cut it and applique motifs onto the train.

This morning I went shopping and walking with my husband. (We will be married 38 years tomorrow.) Last night I went with my daughter to feed the kitties at a cat rescue shelter. So many kitties, abused and abandoned but now in a better place, a no-kill place, a warm friendly place where they are safe and fed. My daughter is going through a divorce and well, she just needs her mama.

The veil is calling to me. For that matter, papers and a glue stick are also calling to me. But, there has to be a balance. I can't perpetually sit at my table stitching. There are other living beings, needing some of my energy.

So, sometimes you just have to miss it..miss the veil..miss the glue and as not to miss the rest of life.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shaman Stones

I've been drawing these for years. I had a pile of them, and have discovered that I've sold all but these 3. So, now I get to walk along the sand of the Chesapeake bay and pick up more smooth beach stones. Then, I let them tell me what image they'd like on their faces......


Thursday, March 13, 2014


It's bitter outside this morning. The temperature dropped 40 degrees overnight, and the wind is wicked. The birds continue to sing as though it's spring. They are either acting as if, or perhaps they know something that we don't.

Despite the fact that winter has repeatedly teased us with false hope, there is still beauty to be seen. I really like the shadows co-created by the bare trees and the rising sun and thrown across the yard:

I experimented a little with my Picasa program, and discovered that they offer a lot of artistic options: (You might want to enlarge the first one to see the whole effect.)

I'm glad I was able to capture these before the trees leaf out.

Book of Secrets

I recently saw a post about different versions of the theme, "Book of Secrets." It made me remember that when I was (much) younger, I had a few books of my own (well, a few secrets too.)  I don't recall what happened to them; perhaps they were lost or stored over years of living. I decided to make a current one, with my today secrets in it. I had originally decided to have neutral backgrounds, like cave walls, and then draw, scribble and write over them.

I did manage to get my water soluble wax pastels and start with a few, but the colors kept calling me.

I do like art with a neutral palette, but I can't seem to stick with that. I just can't do it. So one of my "secrets" is, that I must have bright color in my art, if not always in my life.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis MD

My husband Russ and I took advantage of a semi-warm day to walk in a local park.

There is a crack in this hollow tree. Russ says that it will fall within the next 5 years.

The same tree. It's a faerie tree. If you look through a hole in a natural object, folklore has it that you can see the faeries. Do you see them?

We looked for signs of spring, and this lone tree was in bloom. Russ thinks it's a wild plum tree. I enjoyed seeing it defy the winter.

There is a straight line of these old sycamore trees, which were probably planted along an old farm lane.

I love their texture and character.

So, tonight the temperature is forecast to drop 40 degrees. I'm grateful for today's respite.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Doing My Bridal Again

I had a bridal shop on Etsy for a few years. I stopped for awhile, because when making a bridal veil it's important to be almost obsessive about perfection and fine detail. Also, I hand sew my laces because I've seen too many veils with glue that shows up when the bride stands in sunlight. So, it takes hours to make one veil.

I happened to stop by the Etsy bridal page and was appalled at the number of mass-produced veils that used to be banned but are now welcomed with open arms on that site. One of the product listings actually had as its title, "Cheap Bridal Veil."  (for a cheap bride?)

Well, something clicked inside me and I decided to pick up a needle and thread and get back to it. Here's my first of many, trimmed in vintage Venise lace. Oh, I'm now showing them on Zibbet, which believes in REALLY  handmade items, made with integrity and love. It will take a while to restock, but it's worth it.

If you know a bride who isn't cheap, please let her know that heirloom quality items are still available.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Artsy Business Cards

These came out of my playing with Roxanne Padgett's book, see the following post from 2/18/14. I had SO much fun making these, you might try it too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Acrylic Techniques in Mixed Media

I recently purchased Acrylic Techniques in Mixed Media by Roxanne Padgett. She has a green approach to art and uses household items to make marks, stencils, prints etc. She then cuts the papers into pieces for other projects. I have had great fun with this book! One thing though, so far I've made 3 pages and 2 of them are complete compositions that I can't bring myself to cut. Well, it's all good!

Here's the link to Amazon if you'd like to see the book:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Six more weeks of winter?

It's a pastel sunrise this morning. The birds are deliriously happy and are chirping like it's springtime. It's 30 degrees out there..but everything is relative. After 7 degrees not so long ago, it's understandable.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I don't do New Years Resolutions but....

In the past year or so, I've developed a habit of "catastrophizing" or thinking of possible icky outcomes to things. If I'm cooking I may think, "what if this has too much salt?" or "what if people don't like this?"  If I'm working on art I might think, "what if this color isn't working?" or, "what if I mess this up?" If it's cold I think, "what if the power goes out?" and on and on and on. I have named this The Devil In My Head and am becoming more aware of it.

Author Jamie Sams in The Sacred Path Cards says, "The shadow side of self, which inhibits growth, is constantly forced to die. These deaths occur on a daily basis whether they be our fear, doubts, our bad habits, negative thoughts, or our self-importance. . These deaths mark spiritual progress, and speak of the ability of humankind to Walk in Beauty. Every death of a shadow announces the birth of a new talent or gift contained in the self."

So this year, when the rascal starts up, I'll practice not believing what it says.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The pendulum is swinging

I haven't created much recently, due to family situations (somebody has to be the strong one.)  Now suddenly, all I want to do is art. Every morning. Balance would be nice but for now, I'm going to allow myself this interval as I think I've earned it.  Anyway, this is what I completed this morning. It's inspired by Anasazi rock drawings.
The top one is Sunrise, and the bottom one is Corn Maiden.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Before and After

I actually like both of these cards! The one on the top was the before with some collaged paint skins, lace, ink and modeling paste. 

The one on the bottom has additional paint, colored pencil and ephemera.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Three Feathers and Two Nests

I like to recycle boxes to make ATCs and ACEOs. I liked the blocks of color on this tissue box. Please scroll down to see how this evolved into an ACEO.

Step One

So, I put a few blobs of titanium white on the background, and smeared them with a palette knife.

Seeing the Feathers

When I first glanced at the white shapes, they reminded me of tall sails on a sailboat. Looking again, they resembled feathers. I went with the feathers since they are more in keeping with who I am and what I believe. I outlined them with a Bic Wite Out pen.

The Third Feather

For whatever reason, I didn't see the third feather until the next day. I scratched away some of the white and made the lines go in the opposite direction, for visual interest.

The First Nest

I made a Contact paper transfer. I prefer this to packing tape transfers, because the Contact paper has a matte finish.  I like to distress my transfers so that they are very thin, to allow the images beneath to show through. As I was doing this, I realized that one of my life preoccupations is looking through to the layers beneath. This is why I have a degree in Counseling Psychology.  These semi-transparent layers appear in other pieces of my art as well.

Life Lines

I decided to bring the feathers forward through the nest. I accomplished this with a series of dots. I have always loved Aboriginal art, and the dots are a recurring theme in my work. I like to use them to suggest lines of life force, similar to the lines in Zuni fetishes. I sometimes use them to connect things like the sun and animals, or animals and people. This comes from my belief that we are all connected to everything and everyone else. I added a little more definition to the feathers, and placed the second nest in the bottom left corner. I finished with more dots and, now we have "Three Feathers and Two Nests."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Finding Inspiration

Harold Ramis (Egon in Ghostbusters)  says:  "Find the most talented person in the room and if it's not you, go stand next to him. Hang out with him. Try to be helpful."  The person he hung out with was Bill Murray.  Further, if the most talented person in the room is yourself, it is suggested by author Austin Kleon in Steal Like An Artist,  you might want to find another room.

The reason I'm blog hopping is that, it offers so many "rooms" to walk into. I want to surround myself with motivated artists who are in love with their work. What better way to find them/you?

Who knows, some of you might want to be in my room too!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Saturn and Moons

This ACEO began with the plastic wrap technique as mentioned in my next post. The planet is a scrap from another project.  Four moons circle through the cosmic dust.

Ley Lines

Happy 2014! This is my first completed canvas of the year. I painted on several layers of different colored acrylic paint and covered it with plastic wrap. When it dried I removed the wrap, and the resulting pattern reminded me of ley lines. I cut out shapes to suggest standing stones. Several layers of glaze, some oil pastels as a resist, some inking, and drawing with charcoal and colored pencils resulted in this. I love working with resists, and do try the plastic wrap if you haven't.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tasting the apples

And when it happens that you are broken or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples fall all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could. Louise Endrich, The Painted Drum