Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Late Fall sneaked up on me. It seems like we were just enjoying the trees' colors at their peak, and now we're in the midst of those gray, November days. There were 6 Blue Jays at my feeders this morning and that was about all the color there was!

My garden has long since been harvested, pulled up, and hauled away. We've finished raking leaves which are now on my compost piles and flower beds are mulched in.While finishing up with storing away statuary and the last minute chores, I enjoyed a second harvest of sorts. In addition to leaves gathered during prime color and pressed in my trusty encyclopedia, I found 2 little nests which were blown from the front shrubs. I cut back my hydrangea before mulching and covering it.

I've framed 6 of my "harvested" leaves and the nests and hydrangeas have been sprayed with hairspray. My second harvest has brought more fodder to use in my art.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Last of the Shirleys

   Sometime, during the months after my mom passed away in April of 1997, I'd stopped in by Daddy on my way home from work to check up on him and to spend a little time.  I found him sitting at the diningroom table looking through a flower catalog that had arrived in the mail that morning. He pointed out, sort of forlornly, a variety of tulip named "Shirley". That was Mom's name. So I decided to order a bunch of Shirley bulbs for the two of us to share. The bulbs arrived that Fall and we split them up and planted them.
      The following spring arrived. The last thing I had time for was to check on my Shirleys, let alone Daddy's. He'd been diagnosed with cancer and was staying with Jeffrey and me. I was doing other things--lots of other things.  Daddy passed away that June and, oddly, I honestly don't know if he ever saw his Shirleys.
   Over the years, my Shirleys have poked their heads up each spring, blossomed, lost petals, and retired until the following year. I've planted tother tulip bulbs, dug up bulbs, stored bulbs, moved bulbs, lost bulbs. My Shirleys sort of waned. THIS spring, after planting many, many inexpensive bulbs in October, I had lots of tulip color. Last week when I was out diggin' in my tulip beds, I found 6 precious, precious Shirleys! The last of them came up in 3 different areas of my yard.
  My Shirleys have been carefully marked. As soon as the leaves start to brown and wither, I'm going to dig them up and move them to the sunniest, warmest spot in my yard, right next to the Clematis. Now, I'm wondering if there's a variety of tulip named "Alfred". hummm..........

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

All Things Happen for a Reason

Yesterday, April 2nd, marked 16 years since my mom passed away.  I was thinking about her, on and off, all day.  I was busy all day and it's not as if I was grieving or anything. On April 2nd, though, I just take time to reminisce.

Since I started drawing faces, portraits if you will, I've so, so wished that I'd saved some of mom's "ladies" as we called them. When we were little, she'd draw her ladies in that 1940's-'50's style. We'd beg her to draw a lady--just the face-- so we could complete the hair. I don't think Mom ever took any sort of art classes, but I believe  she had more talent than was ever known. Because she never kept a journal or sketch book,  her drawings were just tossed away.

Right now, after accumulating lots of "stuff" over the course of 31 years, we are downsizing. Last night, while going through boxes, Jeffrey came across a box of my things. Can you believe it? Tucked away in a file, I found these 2 little sketches of mom's ladies. I was almost crying when I found these! Idon't know when these were drawn or why they were ever saved. I just know that I'm thrilled to have them. Now why in the world did this ever happen? When it did?  There's a reason, for which I'm not sure. For right now I'm thrilled to have these and need to get them matted and framed to hang in my studio.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Turning The Page(s)

We are faced with some challenges in 2013, Jeffrey and I. No, not just the "fiscal cliff" which the president and Congress are toying with and the awfulness in the news, and everything else that we ALL are trying to deal with. The new year has in store for us some personal challenges. We are not alone, though. Of that I'm positive. But, as is the case going back to the 1970's, we will, together, face them head on. In spite of it, I am SO ready to turn the page and embrace the new year, bad and good. What helps me is my marriage, my faith in the Lord, and my art. The 2013 pocket calendar for the studio is finished, I'm just about finished with my garden journal, and I'm ready to start sketching in my "Fifteen Promises of Mary"  Ave journal. I know that I'm going to be published once this coming year. I'm signed up for on-line classes hosted by Strathmore, am contemplating another on-line class, and will be doing another art exchange. These are all good things. I hope anyone reading this has good things in store for them, as well, in 2013.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Turning Another Page

Since I last posted back in February, I enrolled in another Pam Carriker class "Pursuing Portraits". I went through the entire process of downloading PDF's, taking notes on her videos, and  of course practice, practice. It was an incredibly slow start for me, being a "non-drawer". But I hung in there and to this point I'm satisfied with my progress. This is a final piece I posted on the class blog. And now? Well, I'm on to "Still Pursuing Portraits", a class which she is teaching through An Artful Gathering. I'm learning and working and trying to develop my own style.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Three Months? Really?

     I decided, today, to take a quick look at my blog before I am off and running. October. My last post was in October. I guess the holidays, my art, everyday stuff just fills time.
     It's a brand new year--in fact January has come and gone--and it's started out pretty much like others. I've undecorated after the holidays, spent 2 weekends at the snowmobile races at Eagle River, Wisconsin, and of course made art.
     My on-line class with Pam Carriker called Journal 365 will come to an end at the end of March. I've been trying to catch up in it. It helps me a lot to just watch her videos and try to pick up on different paint techniques. I started a new on-line class with her called "Shades of Grey". For some reason, I just took to it. I've ALWAYS envied drawer-types but drawing never came easy for me. Working with shading and Pitt pens has helped me with it. I've been making little books, a little bit of jewelry, art journaling, and of course sewing.
   Winter is turning out to be very mild this year, so our snowmobiles have 0 miles put on them so far. Still, life is busy and there are 11 more months in this year to fill.
  New Year's Resolutions? I'm not really big on resolutions but I've decided to try to make more art, try to be a little less scattered in what art forms I embrace, and of course to get more EXERCISE!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Ingrained In Me

 My (art) passion this week has been paint, textures, and faux encaustic. This, of course, means layers and drying in between layers. I manage to keep busy during the "drying stages". Aside from housework, I putz with other art projects. Like, for instance, these little numbers.
 When I was growing up during the '50's and '60's, we really didn't have much. Money. For things. Growing up like that I learned about hand-me-downs, about rummage sales and second hand stores, about sewing and "making-over" clothes. I learned how to work hard to earn money for things I wanted. And to look for bargains to make my hard-earned babysitting money go further. So what does all this have to do with my accordion files?
  I was "mousing" at a craft store this week---therapy shopping as I call it---and I found these in the clearance section....for next to nothing. It's ingrained in me to mouse through clearance racks.  I knew I could use these for my ephemera and my schnibbles and my "junky little pieces" that will one day find themselves in a collage. I knew that with a little bit of imagination and Mod Podge and junky little pieces and letters, I'd make them into something for my blissroom. So in between layers of paint and gel medium, I made these. They're pretty simple. But they're mine. From the clearance section.  Happy.