Monday, December 31, 2012


 I've forged ahead and these are the next 2 pages in my new art journal.  I wanted to play with the new water soluble crayons I got for Christmas.  There is nothing that compares with the richness of color that these crayons provide.  I started by just making the circle marks with a pencil and then I started coloring them.  It's important to put a good amount of the crayon on the paper to get this richness.  Once you dip your flat paintbrush in water and start moving the color's a wonderful feeling!  Hard to describe, but it just feels lush as you're doing it.  
When I opened this journal, it had a spot inside the front cover that said it was a trav-e-logue.  And while I'm not hopping a plane and going somewhere, this book has started out as a journey of sorts.  It's my heART and soul journey.  I saved the white circle for SOUL.  

 And I have more words of wisdom from John O'Donohue....I could do this whole book using his quotes!  "Your soul knows the geography of your destiny..." IS about travel...a journey.....
and the rest of it says...
 (if you can't read the type,  click on the image)

If I wanted to, I could fill this entire book with just shapes using these crayons...boxes, triangles, hearts, whatever.  You don't have to be able to draw to create art that appeals to you.  Who knows, I may add more to this art...don't know, but that's it for 2012.  Be true to your ART and your SOUL.


New Art Journal
 I like the opportunity to start anew...why do we always wait a whole year?  I am starting a new art journal (not an altered book) and on the inside cover, I put a light colorwash in the background and then printed a map of my hometown which I then glued to the page.  I also glued the word "Pilot", which is part of the name of our local, weekly newspaper and, I put it in the book to remind myself....I am the "pilot", I am steering my own ship so to speak.  I also stamped the word HOME and added a heart to the "O".  The juxtaposition of the "ME" is intentional.  On the opposite page, I also added a light colorwash, some rubber stamping, etc.  At the top of the page was the inspiration I needed to sit down and start and it says:

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.
 Write a good one."--Brad Paisley

This quote was the LOM (line over the masthead) in our local paper and enough inspiration to get me moving.  Then there is the wonderful poem For The Artist At The Start Of Day,  from the late poet, John O'DonohueIf he can't inspire you....well, nothing will.  I blogged this poem recently, but I needed to find a home for it in my book.  I also added the clock and wrote...Time is precious--Don't waste it....

I've heard too many sad stories in these last couple of weeks in  2012.  Too many people having hard times.  Am I more aware of them because I'm "older and wiser" so to speak and beyond an age where it's more "all about me?"  Clearly, as you get older....your perspective on life comes more into focus.  So, I can't procrastinate about doing my art because today is the only day we know we have and we might not have another opportunity.  Time is precious...Don't waste it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After...DECLUTTER!

Altered Book
This is the kind of day it is here.. gray, some snow.  Kind of cozy.  I was sitting at my drafting table and right outside the window is a tree that looks something like this.  I painted the background  pages a light gray, I added snow falling.  I had a stencil with large stars which I used with white paint.  There's a lot of silver on these pages...unfortunately it doesn't appear that way.  There are 3 silver snowflakes that I glued on and one star that has some bling.  And a beautiful piece of ribbon.  There's also some silver on the pages edges.  I outlined the white stars with silver "painted stitches".  This photo just doesn't show the detail!  I also have some white tissue paper with silver flecks across the bottom. And there are silver dots all over the pages.....Happy day after Christmas to all....

I spent the day re-organizing and cleaning my creative space.  I can't find anything...where's my bone folder when I need it or my hole punch or that great quote that I know would be perfect for this page??!!! It's so frustrating.  It's so hard to figure out the best and most efficient way to organize my art supplies so I can find what I want when I need it.  Declutter, declutter, declutter.  The thing order to do mixed media/ requires saving lots of ephemera...the flotsum and jetsam of art!  Everyday is a new opportunity...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

All Hearts Come Home for Christmas

Art Journal - RED Book

I started working on these pages yesterday....and everything was in greens and gold...and then it dawned on me that I was working in my RED I had to incorporate RED into these pages.  The collaged images are from an older Pottery Barn catalog...I just happen to like the musical candles.  I should have tried painting the image ... but I was too lazy. On the page directly above I started to do an image transfer and that failed miserably to the point where I was actually losing layers of paper from the page itself and I was afraid it was going to jeopardize the art on the previous page.   Soooo, I started building up the paper by adding layers of paper including another image transfer that the candle is glued to.  There is also painting & stamping  And I had to add some RED elements...thus the hearts.  I have some fabric remnants from my neighbor's quilt-making and I sewed two pieces together and glued the heart to the page.  And no matter where you are during the holiday season...even if you aren't at home...your heart will always be there.

Friday, December 21, 2012

As often happens when I do a journal page, after I've posted pictures of it, I find more things to add to it.  Usually, I don't redo the photo, but in this case, because of the tragedy that occurred in the neighboring town recently, I thought the additions were worth retaking the photo of the pages.
I found this piece of fabric that actually came from a candle that someone had given me and, as you can see, it has the words Pure & Good on it.  There will never be a better spot for that than on this angel page so I attached it, bottom left.  On the right hand page, I added the green ribbon, and a quote from our local, town newspaper which is from the President and it says...
"Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation."

Now I am done with these pages.  They feel complete.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Angels We Have Heard on High...

Angels We Have Heard On High
Altered Book
Unless you're on a desert island, with no access to phone/internet/carrier have heard about the tragedy that occurred here in CT this week.  The loss of innocent lives at an elementary school and we will probably never know why this happened.  
I went to a prayer vigil on Friday evening...these people are our neighbors in the town adjacent to could this happen.  So...I've just kept busy, but I cannot stop thinking about them.  I've made lasagne; I made a meatloaf; I made a double batch of sugar cookies...did I mention I don't really like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen?  I went to church this morning and prayed some more.
But what I also needed to mark this time the only way I know putting something on paper.  The news reporters refer to these young school children as angels...and that is who they are.  So....I created an angel on the left side of the page and on the right hand page,  I collaged a napkin that has musical notes and I put blobs of pink & blue paint on top of it...those colors are beneath the surface.  I stenciled the numbers from 1 to 20 for the children we lost and +6 for the adults. On top of all of that, I stamped...Angels We Have Heard On High... If you know these children and the adults who lost their lives.... they are in a good place...the best place.  And that's what you have to hold on to....

There was no "plan" for these pages except that I needed an angel and I needed the numbers.  Some art journalers use lots of words but I just like to get my message across with images... Going forward, the hymn "Angels We Have Heard On High"....will forever have a special meaning for me...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

PEACE Tree, aka Celebration of Light

I've added birds and birdhouses to my PEACE tree....I'm having more fun with this than the Christmas tree.
And I found a great shadow box frame for my soldier boy that I made last Christmas....In The Pursuit of Happiness....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For Visionaries and Dreamers....

For the Artist at the start of Day

May morning be astir with the harvest of night;
Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface to a source.
 May this be a morning of innocent beginning,
When the gift within you slips clear 
Of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and its hauntings,
And fixed fortress corners,
 A morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence,
 May your imagination know
The grace of perfect danger,
 To reach beyond imitation,
And the wheel of repetition,
Deep into the call of all
The unfinished and unsolved
 Until the veil of the unknown yields
And something original begins
To stir toward your senses
And grow stronger in your heart.
 ---John O'Donohue

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pears in a Pan c. 1978

Pears in a Pan
c. 1978
Back in the late '70s, my then husband and I had dinner at a friend's house and I don't really remember what the main course was that was served, but I do remember having this absolutely delicious pear dessert.  And, as one often does, I asked for the recipe.  That recipe is on a piece of yellowed copy paper in a book where I save recipes (I retyped for this page).  And, I have no idea why....I have never made that dessert.  How could that be?  I loved it! So many good intentions of making it and yet, the years go by.   So, I wanted to do something in my Red Journal and decided to feature the Pears in a Pan recipe.  I just might have to make it this Christmas.  Thank you, Sally.

( the pages are rubber stamped, inked, gessoed, tissue paper from The French General ...)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Salute to Veterans

The Marine Corp Ball
Tom & Maggi

 What a difference a year makes....this time last year, Tom was serving his country in a very dangerous place and I was saying the Lord's Prayer a zillion times a day.  I am so proud of him and so many others like him.  I wish that more Americans understood the sacrifice and dedication young men (and young women) make when they sign on to serve their country.  God bless all of them, past and present. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What A Week....

Trees fell into my yard
after Super Storm Sandy

And then we had a nor'easter
that dropped several inches of snow
Branch from fallen trees
Bird in a tree
This has been the most incredible couple of weeks I've had since moving to New England in the early '70's. We've weathered many storms, but nothing like we've had here recently.  Never thought we'd have a repeat of what we had at the exact same time last year.  Days without power.  Huge trees toppled like bowling pins...the sights are shocking and unnerving.  CT is full of large old trees. Did I tell you I hate wind!!  I can't listen to it.    I can't even imagine what it's like for people that live in NJ and Long Island.  Yes, big trees fell in my backyard....but they didn't come crashing down on my house.
So the first picture in this series shows you some of the toppled trees and then the snow.  I took a large branch from one of my toppled trees and decided to stick it in an umbrella stand, plant it in my kitchen and put white lights on it.  I stuck lots of American flags in the base.  It's not about's more a "celebration" of having lights again.  The things we take for granted.  And I put a fabric bird in it that I bought at the Pottery Barn last year.  Who knows how long I'll keep this tree lit....could be for a very long time.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Home & Garden Altered Book

This is not your usual pumpkin patch, but I wanted to do something different.  The pumpkins actually have some metallic paint mixed in....I painted the page black first and I have this funky "circles" stencil that gave me the idea for this.     

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seeing RED

I've started a new art journal today.  It's going to be all about the color, RED.
My very first art journal was Simply Blue...a journal I started on a beach vacation about 5 yrs ago.  I love that journal.  One of the pages in that book has a list of "blue" ideas and from the list, I created the themes for the pages in the book.  Comparing some of my work from then and now, I think I am more creative when I it comes to painting the pages vs. collage.  I am more true to myself because that's what I enjoy most.  I love how the cover of this journal came out.  I painted it red, added an interesting piece of paper on the right side, painted the letter cut-outs red and added a fun stamp of a figure from a Sherrill Kahn rubber stamp.  This is a journal of blank pages, vs. an altered book.  I like to have more than one book going at a time.  Starting a RED book at the beginning of the holiday season will be fun...lots of inspiration.  I have, however, started a list of "RED" ideas...Red door, Lady in Red, Red lipstick, Santa, Red sunset...and so on and so on.  I wrote this little poem about the color red awhile go, but I don't think I ever put it on my blog goes:
I am Red
the Lady in Red in my soul
I feel the beat of a hot, Latin rhythm
I am soft like the petals of a red rose
Warm, like the embers in my fireplace
Creative down to my red, polished toenails
I am impulsive!
I am RED

Blue and Red are my favorite colors.  I think Blue is an easier color to illustrate, but it will be interesting to see where RED takes me....
(Most people who know me, would never think of me as the RED person I describe above).  So be it....I tend to keep my true "RED" under wraps....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Room Service

I created this paper doll quite awhile ago...I think she's on an earlier post.  And now, I created someplace to put her....perhaps this is some nice, little boutique hotel.  She's brought a few clothes and she's ready to shop for's her room....
 On the left, is an armoire I found on Pinterest and printed on card stock. The oversized key on the left...represents the splurge she spent to stay in this hotel.  On the right-hand page is what the cabinet looks like inside with her travel trunk, hat boxes, etc.  Close-ups below.
 I could have cut an opening in the armoire and have it open to show the clothes, but they wouldn't have been as visible because you wouldn't be able to fold the doors back far enough.   Here's the other side....
 Now she's just waiting for Room bring her a glass of champagne.  Cheers!

Monday, October 22, 2012

OOh La La!

Altered Book
Paint, stamping, collage, image transfer, paper napkin

Close up of image transfer below
You never know how an image transfer is going to go, but all in all, I like this one.  (The collage images are from Sandy Gordon).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Flight of the Bumblebee

Altered Book - Paper Women
Paint, rubber stamps, collage

These two pages are inspired by a Sandy Gordon collection.  I created a "body" to go with the head.  She has musical notes on her skirt which is a napkin.  Music inspires a lot of ideas for me and the Flight of the Bumblebee immediately came to mind when I looked at the collage elements...the jar of honey, the beehive.  I had a couple of great bee rubber stamps.  The gingham ribbon is a remnant piece from my neighbor's quilting stash.  Close up of the woman....

 I was stung a couple of times this fall by yellow I'm not sure why I like the idea of creating art using them as some of the elements....but, on the other hand, where would we be without the bees!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Altered Book
Collage/Mixed Media
(Some of the collage elements from Sandy Gordon)

 "Calm and deep peace in this wide air,
These leaves that redden to the fall;
And in my heart, if calm at all,
If any calm, a calm despair."


Saturday, September 8, 2012


One last post for the my new altered book.  

 I had already created the little "Kiss" paper doll using Hershey's Kisses wrappers...perhaps should have made her more "va va voom"...but then maybe her innocence is appealing...and I needed to create some art to put her in.  And it's all about the KISS.  The paper doll is tied to the page with ribbon.  I'm not old enough to have seen the newspaper KISS of very famous a photograph and I love it.  Then, of course, I couldn't actually leave out the musical group...KISS.  And Rosanno Brazzi and Katharine Hepburn smooching in SUMMERTIME, 1955.
Last but not least, my all time favorite song...AS TIME GOES BY, from Casablanca.  For those of you not old enough to be familiar with some of don't know what you've missed!
This is how the pages look side by side.


It is a miserable day here in New England and at this moment, we are under a tornado's very strange outside and the sun just made an appearance....and the wind is picking up....hoping it just passes us.  So...while that is going on, I created another two pages in my altered book, Sunflower Houses.  The graphics are, again, from Sandy Gordon of Artful Tea Life.  I added some paint, stamping and even a lush piece of silky trim to the right-hand page.  I saved some of the original text on the pages.  Down the left page, it says "Gentle Lessons Are Waiting To Be Taught"....seems apropos...and there is a poem by Nancy Bird Turner on the right page called "Home".  And it seems to be the type of poem the young woman on the page might have written:
I want to have a little house
with sunlight on the floor.
a chimney with a rosy hearth
lilacs by the door;
with windows looking East and West 
And a crooked apple tree.
And room beside the garden fence
for hollyhocks to be!

The pages....
The beautiful stone "summer cottage" is on the property where the Norman Rockwell Museum is in Stockbridge, MA....where I visited earlier this week.  It seemed right for these pages....
 p.s. I know....without couldn't see these pages....


The annual book fair at our local library took place last week...I was happy to see so many people buying "real" books....I went there in search of books to alter and books to read.  And I love to go to the "ephemera" table where I often find fun "little" books ...this year there was a Klimt book!  

I found a book in the children's section...a perfect size to alter, and it's called SUNFLOWER HOUSES.  This book is going to be filled with paper dolls and gardens and such.  I've posted about Sunflowers several times on my's how this book is starting out:
 This page features a house which I painted, stamped, glued, etc., before I attached it to the page.  Some of the graphics here are from Sandy Gordon, Art Tea Life (you can find her on ETSY).  You'll see more of her graphics as this book progresses....

Here is how the doll looks....
 and I can just slip her into and out of the house as it's a pocket. So for today, BEE HAPPY.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Strathmore Art Journal

You might wonder why I'm calling this post...WEEDING....but it was while doing some weeding in my driveway, that I made a discovery.  There are these flat, lacy sort of weeds that seem to like coming up through the gravel.  And while for the most part, I was pulling them out....I found them kind of architecturally interesting.  
So....I pulled a couple of them out and I took a small water bottle with a mixture of Italian Sage acrylic paint and water.  I laid the weeds on the page and sprayed.  You don't get the actual pattern of the weed, because the paint is too watered down,  but what you do get when the paint hits the paper is very cool.  So I decided that once the green layer dried, I'd add another color.  So the second layer is Midnight Blue.  The end result is sort of a marbled effect.  Actually, you could do an interesting sky.  Or try it with metallics... 


Going Round in Circles
What to say about these pages....I wasn't going to post them.  They are more or less just an exercise.  The right hand page has very little paint on it, more of the ink that made the bubbles, circles, etc.  The left hand page was done with water soluble crayons.  I wasn't feeling terribly ambitious yesterday, but still wanted to do something.  I tend to gravitate towards....circles in art more than sharp angles.  They are visually appealing to me.

I took an art class a long time ago from a woman who had us, on the first day, close our eyes and take a pencil to paper and just draw shapes without lifting your pencil off the paper.  Mine tended toward circles and soft edges.  That exercise, she explained, is what defines your art style.  It's your "art DNA" if you will....At the time I was like, really???  How could that be?  It's inherent in us.  I found that to be fascinating.  Something I had never really thought about.   And  it's something you can't change.  Now you're thinking I'm crazy...that you can paint whatever you want!  That's true to a certain extent, but the beauty of art is that you're going to paint the still life in front of you....entirely different from the person next to you. 

Lately, I feel like I'm caught in a fragile sort of bubble that I don't want to pop.  That as long as I'm in the bubble, I am safe.  Ever feel that way?  Waxing way too philosophical for this Sunday morning.  Think I'll go back and listen to Nat King Cole from last Sunday's post!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

That Sunday, That Summer

I was out driving yesterday and had a local classical station playing on my radio.  On Saturdays at 4pm, they do something called "American Jukebox" and they were featuring music from the 50's and 60's.  Now, I was a little kid in the '50's....but not too young to appreciate the music of Nat King Cole.  He was one of a kind.  He had so many hit records, and some you might associate more with "summer", but I think most of us can relate at some point in our lives.... to the lyrics in this song... as we only have one more Sunday before Labor Day...take a listen....hope you enjoy your Sunday. 

The Star Book

The "Star" Book
Monthly Art Workshop
This little book, the Olde Curiosity Shoppe, is what we created yesterday in our monthly class.  It's a rather labor intensive little book, but I suppose once you've made a few of them, it might not seem so.  I always struggle a little bit in a class because I don't like to rush the project and this book had my left and right brain in opposition.  On the one half, the part I don't like, is the measuring and cutting....(there's that math :( ) and the other half, wanting to take my time with the creative's the overhead view.  Pretty, huh?
...and here's a little bit of what the inside looks like.  
I'd love to make more...we'll see.