Sunday, March 1, 2015


Art Journal

Seeing all of this snow continuing to fall, is stressing me out.  Until a couple of years ago, i never worried about the snowfall and how much was on my roof.  After all, don't they build houses to be strong and to protect us from the elements?  Well...because the snow is uppermost in my mind...that's what I put in my journal.  It's all I can think about.  So there I am in the picture literally holding up the roof...while the snow falls and swirls about.  Close up....

Monday, February 16, 2015

Artwork by Sarah Kiser

I love Sarah's art work....the layering she achieves is really great and her art is whimsical....which I love.  Check her out.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Give Me The Blues

Art Journal
Inspired by the Pottery Barn Catalog
I tore an entire page out of a recent Pottery Barn catalog that was all about the color Indigo, and glued it to the page.  I tore it out because I loved the pillows in it and wanted to save it...not necessarily alter it. could I put it in my art journal without altering it!  Well....I altered it, added a blue & white vase and also added some pillows from one of their summer catalogs.  The great thing about this is that I wasn't starting with a blank page!  I highly recommend it.  I added collage elements, paint and pen and water soluble crayons.  

 The opposite page I didn't do much to....just played with color.  Blue, red and absolute favorite colors...

I love the names of "blue" colors....Indigo, Lapis, Periwinkle, Sapphire, Turquoise.....

Documented Life Project - Layering

Art Journal 
DLP - Layering
Acrylics, Pen, GelliArt, Collage elements, Fabric ribbon

It's February and bitter cold.  You can't do art journaling without including Valentine's Day...what else does February offer us?  The ground hog saw his shadow and we are screwed...pardon my French. The Documented Life Project encourages us to practice layering...that's what makes your pages interesting after all.  You can see a lot of writing "underneath" on this page.  I was reminiscing about Valentines of long ago.  It doesn't matter that the viewer can't read what I wrote but it does add to the entire look of the page.  
My nickname growing up was (still is) Queenie...Queen of the May when my birthday is so I have a letter popping out of the mailbox that says "Queenie, You've Got Mail."  There is a stamp on the mailbox that says "Royal Mail."  A few years ago I ordered a book by Florence Pickering...a British artist and it came in a padded envelope with that stamp so the Queenie kind of worked nicely with the Royal Mail....
A couple of close-ups of the page...
and another....

All of my pages have a lot of blue in them this year....there are just so many gorgeous shades of blue.   Lots of wind and snow outside....I'll have to head to the art room to distract me and pray we don't lose power.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

For The Love of Birds...

Art Journal 9 x 12
Acrylics, Paint Pens, GelliArt plate
Watercolor pencils, Inktense blocks

In the dead of winter....which is where we are now....I miss the sounds of the birds singing.  Every now and then, I see a snowbird, a chickadee or cardinal fly by my windows.  Where are they hanging out?   The days are getting longer....can't wait to sit out on my kitchen will be awhile longer.

Close up of the details...

and more...

Before and Before and After

Art Journal
Layers and Texture
Gesso - a noun, a verb, a life-saver!

I'm starting this post with the "finished" 2-page spread.  Finished is in quotes because are you ever really "finished"?  I go back to my pages and often tweak after I've already posted.
This spread started out looking like this....

I just didn't like it at all, on many levels. ....this is where you have that conversation with yourself...if it's going to annoy me every time i open the journal....something has to change.  So I covered it in gesso.....

That muted everything.  Got to love gesso. Here are a couple of close-ups of the pages...

In the end, I love the colors and the shapes and the texture...I like the feel of the paper when I touch it.  I like the flecks of gold.  Done.  Happy Sunday.

Monday, February 2, 2015



I went crazy with color this afternoon.  Outside, it's nothing but snow white and leafless trees....I needed the antithesis of that....thus the warm colors.  Yes...the portrait is supposed to be me...putting myself in the art.  

All I can say is that this was incredibly fun....I just kept going with more color, more dots, more, more, more.  FUN! 

Prayer Flag - Work in Progress

Send My Prayers on Wings of Angels
Acrylics, paper fabric, paper beads,
metal ephemera, muslin background

I am having so much fun doing this piece.  I have so many ideas for prayer flags!  I've always considered my art journaling a meditative process.  It allows you to dig deeper into yourself and express yourself in ways that it's hard to explain.  Lent is just around the corner and I'm working with a friend to introduce prayer flags as a Lenten practice at my church.  I'm not preaching religion here as I think everyone's spiritual side is very personal.  Creating prayer flags is a way of getting in touch with both my creative side and my spiritual side.  

On the flag above, the first thing I did was to paint the background.  (the ephemera isn't sewn here yet...just getting an idea of placement).

 The words on this flag just came to me and I immediately wrote them down because I knew I would forget this thought.  So the phrase came first.  The wings I bought at an art workshop from a vendor and they've been in my stash, just waiting for the right time to bring them out.  The angel's dress is made from paper fabric.  I made this a couple of years ago.  It's using tissue paper (already printed) and muslin and bonding it to create the paper.  I sewed some beads to the skirt.  

I rubber stamped the words to the muslin and stitched the pieces to the art.  
Lastly, I sewed the metal ephemera to the piece and added some extra gold stars with a rubber stamp.  The lower part of the painted background has metallic paint in it.  The paper beads are made out of magazine covers.  Easy to do while watching TV!  Not only that, but you can write a few words on a piece of paper and roll it up into the bead....a private place to keep your prayer(s).  How I'm going to finish this off, I haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Digging out from the storm....and in between, working in my art journal....

Art Journal
The View from my Window
This is in my 9 x 12 Dylusions journal. 
 Inspired by the snow storm.  

Winter at Night
Acrylics, tape, molding paste, stamps, glitter

This is just a different view of winter.  Perhaps these paintings illustrate the two sides of my Gemini personality.....Unfortunately, you can't see the sparkles in the trees and in the snow because the camera doesn't capture it.  The molding paste pattern is my favorite part of this.  A colleague of mine at work loves to bake and at Christmas, she gave us all a little box with cookies in it and the box had this cut-out cardboard piece that was part of the box.  I saved it and used it for the pattern you see in the snow.  Pretty cool.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

De-stressing and Distressing!

I've come to a conclusion this week....and my feelings were re-affirmed by a friend I took a workshop with quite a few years ago now...taking classes stresses me out!  She was feeling the same way.  Perhaps having a weekly challenge is too much.  And then there's the steady stream of seeing the photos of the art others in the challenge have that's intimidating.

I thought if I got on board from the get-go with the new Documented Life Project for 2015, that I would be excited and create some great art.  What I've discovered is that the stress starts to build waiting for the weekly "prompt" on Saturday morning...and then trying to get the art done between other activities on my grocery shopping, shoveling snow and ....well you know how the weekends go if you're a working person.  That being said....I spent a snowy day today working on some samples of prayer flags as I will be showing others how to make them and I've never actually made one myself!  I did have fun.  The flags will be created by everyone from children to seniors and not everyone feels they are "artsy"....but I hope to get lots of people on board.  I had fun doing this today and I made mistakes in the process, so it's good to figure some of those things out before you show others.  Here are my two samples:

Prayer Flag
Acrylics, Beads, Buttons, Felt
This is the 1st one I made.  I started with just a pencil sketch.
I know it's hard to see the lines, but I had to figure out my layout.  I think this would be easy for anyone to do and adapt to their own design.  

I started to lay in some color. I painted over the trees because I knew it would be easier to add them later with a black Sharpie. Same with the word PROTECT at the bottom.  And I like the word Family in the rooftop window. I did "Family" different in the sketch than in the finished piece.  I added beads to the trees and a button doorknob just to illustrate some of the things everyone could do and add to their work.
Here is the other flag:

Stencil, Inks, Acrylics, Paint Pens
on Muslin, backed with Batik print

Painting on muslin is not difficult as long as you iron it to freezer paper first.  That way it stays firm and smooth.  I used a stencil for the tree with an ink spray.  I used an ink dropper in different colors for the circles. The green at the bottom I painted with acrylics.  The piece in the middle of the bottom is a separate piece of muslin I stitched on.  I drizzled inks on this piece as well.
On one of the branches, very small, you can see I wrote the word "joy".  This was so much fun!  In a way, I guess I did the DLP challenge...which was using words on your journal pages...I just didn't do this art in my journal.

Monday, January 19, 2015

DLP - Georgia O'Keefe Quote

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way." 
---Georgia OKeefe

College - Deli paper Gelliart prints
Magazine words/photos/pen
9 x 12 Art Journal
I'm going to start by saying I have mixed feelings about these pages.  My first thought was to start with dark colors at the bottom and work my way up the pages.  I cut out circles for the right-hand page (there is one large circle as the base) and I found a page in Conde Nast Traveler that was a photograph of lots of different foods, flowers...all edible things and all in round bowls.  There was something about their colors and shapes that told me I had to use them on the page in addition to the deli print circles. The letters that spell out COLORS are from Coastal Living magazine and the two O's are buckets of paint....

The opposite page was again the deli prints and magazine words but I cut the shapes into squares and rectangles and put Georgia O'Keefe's quote up in the left-hand corner.
I definitely love lots of color in my art...why have all of the luscious art supplies if you don't use the colors!  Takes me back to my first large box of Crayola crayons...maybe there were 64 colors in the box....all pointed and fresh and they smelled good too....I still love them.  
A little story....when I was at the end of my senior year in high school, I was in the hospital with appendicitis.  I don't know how this came about...can't recall, but I had a box of crayons and a coloring book so when anyone came to visit me....I had them color and sign a page in the coloring book.  I kept that book for many years....and ultimately tossed it.  I so regret throwing it away now!

There's something about being part of a class, whether it's online or in a classroom that always challenge me.  It just adds a little layer of stress.  The quote for this DLP challenge is really wonderful and perhaps if I'd spent more time thinking about it, I would taken the art deeper rather taking it at surface value and literally just putting "colors" on the page.  Doing my art on weekends which is really the only time I window to devote to art feels small.
Perhaps I'll consider doing more journaling on this quote and see what my outcome might be.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

DLP - 2015 Self-Portrait

How we see ourselves in art, is not necessarily as the traditional self-portrait. Think about some of those Picasso drawings of faces.  On the page opposite the post below, I created this page which I am calling my self-portrait.  I don't know if everyone who knows me will agree that this is me....but there are definitely elements of my personality in this painting.  It was fun to do and I love all of the colors captured in these two paintings.  If you were to do a self-portrait of yourself....not as the traditional face....what would your page look like?

And some close-ups....

DLP - 2015, Book Paper

If you're familiar with the Documented Life Project - 2015, below is my art using book paper, which is the 1st challenge prompt for this year.  It is also a place to put some goals for the year.  Here is my finished journal page...lots of color....I just can't stop.  My goals don't really change...they're always my weaknesses that I need to work on...


The first step in the process, glueing down some paper....I used newsprint, a grocery list, some deli printed paper, magazine text.  The "love life" is a pillow in the Pottery Barn catalog.  There is also a receipt from a store in New Orleans I visited a couple of years ago!  After glueing alll of the book paper,  I covered the entire page with clear gesso to protect the paper for the next step.

Next came some is always my first "go to" color....

I could have stopped right here.....but I didn't.
And a close-up of some camels I saw in a recent Sunday NY Times....they were just too fun to pass up.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Art Journal
Water Color Crayons/Ink

This is my first little drawing of the new year, at 8:27 am EST.  I love the richness of water color crayons.  First, I just took a black permanent pen and did the sketch; then I added the color and, lastly, took my paintbrush and moved the color around.  
I stayed up past midnight to see the new year in.  I have yet to concede and go to bed before that.  After all, another year is gone that we'll never have again.  I think about how fortunate I am to have a home in a wonderful place and how important that feel safe and secure.  And I have HOPE because if you don't have HOPE, you have nothing at all.  Every year we HOPE that the next one will be a little bit better.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed (and throwing in lots of prayers).  

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Acrylics and collage 9 x 12
This Snow Family was created for my neighbors.  They moved here in the late '90's from NYC.  I decided to put them in a city scape.  The red awning in the background has their last name written across it.   Here is a close-up of the snowpeople....

The father snowman has his ham radio ID on his hat.  The mom has a cute hat, a little covering over her arms and a small purse.  The son snowman is wearing his favorite color, orange, with the letters of his high school on the scarf. This was so much fun to do.  I also did a snow person for my younger sister...

I created this one before I did the one for my neighbors.  I love doing snow scenes at night because you can really see the snow coming down. The collage elements on both paintings are from a Christmas napkin. I really like how her hat came out.  Snow people are such fun to do!

Saturday, December 27, 2014


My Desktop Today
Manila Folder Journal

As you can see, I barely have room to create anything on this messy desk!  However, I am determined to end the least in my head, about how this Christmas went...menus, what we did, how the dessert turned out, what I gave as gifts and ideas I already have for Christmas.  Stuff like that.  The first thing I did...because I didn't want to lose it, is to put a very special Christmas card I received into this journal.
This journal is about the gifts in my life.  Earlier this spring, I attended the wedding of the daughter of a very special friend whom I've known for..almost 27 years. ( I blogged some photos from the wedding).  I received the most wonderful card from this new bride and groom.  

The card is a photo from the evening of their wedding...the tent all lit up and the lights remind me of stars strung across the sky.  All is calm.  All is bright.  

This is a paper napkin I collaged underneath the card....all it says is LOVE.

And this is how the pages look together.  I had done the right hand page months ago and decided the card was the perfect addition to place opposite it.
Not to be corny.....but Erica & Andrew are two LOVEly people whom I wish the best in life.....

I didn't want to lose the sentiment or the photo of them on the back of this card so that's why I attached it with ribbon so I could flip it over.  This card was a true gift.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Chocolate Santas

I really hate Christmas shopping.  I know hate is a strong word.  The commercialization of Christmas takes all of the "magic" out of the spirit of the season.  It brings out the Scrooge in me.  But I love it when I have these "little moments" of ideas and that's what the above picture is about.  I can show it because I've already handed these chocolate santas out.  This is a container of chocolate foil-covered Santas that I found on a recent shopping expedition.  They have the gold thread so you can hang them on a tree.  I decided these would make a great "desk drop" for my colleagues at work. It's not about the chocolate at all. I don't do something every year, but I'm feeling more than grateful for a lot of things in my life this year.  These little Santas became thank you's to my colleagues...I created a small tag for each one....

Each tag tells that person why I'm grateful for them.  ( I would have hand-written them, but the tags aren't large enough).  Examples of the messages:
Gail, I am grateful for your creativity, we are kindred spirits."; or Cathy," I am grateful for your steadfast friendship" and for Diane, "I am grateful for knowing the "non-boss" person in you....the woman on her journey."

Even though they came to thank me....I told, this is my thank you to you for who you are.  So...this is a simple idea you can do for family and friends.  A gingerbread man at each place setting with a tag or attached to a pair of mittens or socks or whatever you want that item to be.  Life is short. This is a great time of year to spread a little....gratefulness.  

View from my art room yesterday
A slight dusting of snow fell yesterday afternoon while I was pretty.

I have painted a couple of things to give as gifts....that's why you haven't seen any painting lately....and no time!  I'll show some photos after I've given the gifts away.  Love the peaceful view outside these windows.