Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Postcard swap.....

The creative and organized artist and swap hostess, creativelenna, has completed another successful swap.  The theme for this swap was, "A Summer's Day."  These three postcards arrived safely in my mailbox yesterday and what a lucky girl I am to have them!!

As always, please click on each image if you want a larger view ;-0


Being a beach girl myself, the carefully constructed beach scene is perfect for me!  Amanda in California has captured a relaxing seaside day with layers of water color, rubber stamps, collage elements, and even bits of real seashells glued on.  And the little fish swam all the way to the back of the card, which is as carefully created as the front....  Thanks, Amanda!!


When Tiffiny (also in California) created this sea horse postcard, little did she (or Lenna) know that it would end up with a woman who counts these tiny oceangoing pseudo-equines as her second-favorite (after giraffes) critter.   Tiffiny created a wonderful underwater coral habitat for her glittered guys and added an informative list of sea horse attributes on the back of the card.  Thanks Tiffiny!


And what says summer better than a picnic complete with ants...?  Barbara in Illinois crafted a three-dimensional scene so perfectly.  The basket is woven from paper strips, the sandwich is created in actual layers with two slices of bread, some lettuce peeks out, and is that bologna we see in that sandwich?  A red checkered tablecloth and colorful napkins are arranged on the "grass" background, and there are even tiny ants made from the tiniest fuzzy craft balls I've ever seen.  Thanks, Barbara!


If you've never done a swap, especially not one with Lenna, might I suggest that you jump in and give it a try?  FUN!!  FUN!! FUN!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

art journalling

Back a few posts ago, I mentioned that I'd finally begun some intentional art journalling.  A cross between art with no/few words, and a more conventional diary composed mostly of words.  Separate from an artist's sketch and notebook, art journaling is another means by which anyone can discover the self.  Whether it takes particular courage and or any special talent to do this remains to be seen.

I chose to use 9" x 6" sheets of water color paper.  This is a handy size for me and the loose sheets can be arranged in a variety of ways as the journal progresses.  Chronological order is obvious (date each sheet!!) but the pages can also be sorted by color, mood, theme, etc.  I know many of you are in love with your Moleskine's of varying sizes, but for some reason the flexibility of individual sheets of paper appeals to me.  There are no rules in art journaling!!!!!  I even bought a pretty box covered in yellow roses (my favorite flower) to keep these first sheets in.

please click for larger image

One of my great pleasures is to read about and study whatever catches my interest.  All the local librarians are used to seeing me standing at the check-out desk with arms full of quilting and art books.  And now, I'm reading about art journaling.

In a book by Diana Trout, Journal Spilling, I found the following quote [brackets mine], which has banished forever any qualms I might have about the utility or purpose of writing and making art.  Cyril Connolly was a British literary critic.

"Better to write [make art] for yourself and have no public than to write [make art] for the public and have no self."

Some quotations are sappy-gooey in their sentiment, but not this one from Connolly.  And reaching back into ancient days, one of the quotations that prompted several life-changing 180's in perspective on my life several years ago, is this from Seneca,

"On him does death lie heavily who, but too well known to all, dies to himself unknown."

Ideas to think on as we ease on into the weekend and into the rest of our lives.........

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Another Little Quilt Swap hosted by Kate North.  This is my second quilt swap with Kate and her talented followers.  Kate is an organized and enthusiastic hostess and so far, the quilts I've seen for this swap on her blog are gorgeous with a capital G!!

Mine own, "Lone Melody" is a 21" square - machine pieced with hand quilting and lightly beaded.  100% cotton (except for the beads of course), it is also the first (and maybe the last!) Lone Star block I ever made.

Please click for a closer look.....

Please click for a closer look...

Please click for a closer look...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Color my world!!!!!

Although I've been mostly offline for several weeks taking a break from spending what felt like too much time sitting in front of the computer, it definitely pays to cruise the hyperlink byways on the 'net from time to time.


Would you believe I made these magical colors on fabric in my very own utility room???

It all began with "daisy yellow", which led me to Fannie Narte, which led me to Caran D'Ache Neocolor II wax crayons.  So, I go to my local art supply store,  Keeton's Office and Art Supply, but for some frustrating reason they don't stock the Caran D'Ache water soluble pastels.  They do have a cheaper substitute, however.  Since I'm always on a budget and since I had a 40% off coupon plus the usual 10% savings Keeton's gives to local artists, I was able to purchase these beauties at a give-away price.

A Binney & Smith (of Crayola fame) product
So, back to the 'net and back to the helpful and free tutorial I had found on the above mentioned Fannie Narte blog (which actually included a link to a Squidoo web site)  Whew!!!  All this travel has a girl in a whirl........ anyway.....

In addition to limited cash, I also have limited work space and no real outdoor place for complex fabric dying and drying operations.  The beauty of this color process is that it is non-toxic and requires no gloves, vats, chemicals, or extra ventilation.  I mostly work on small art pieces, so I don't need to dye yardage. I do want lots of little pieces in a wide variety of color combos.  I can use them for backgrounds, or cut them even smaller for applique.  Water soluble means just that, however, so any finished piece is NOT WASHABLE.  

So, tickle me pink (and lime green.)  In the Squidoo tutorial, no one mentions how to get the little 'belly button' of fabric that was twisted around the bead ironed out, but I'll play some more and maybe next time I'll scrunch and fold instead of twisting.  A 1/2 yard cut of Kona white goes a long way when you only need 8" x 8" pieces.

I'll play with the less costly substitute (and invite my grandkids to join me!) until they are used up, and then treat myself to the real deal - a small set of the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II water soluble wax crayons.  BTW - whichever brand one uses, they work beautifully on paper too!!!