Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just a quick note....

As much as I wanted to get down to my studio this weekend, once again it didn't happen. And I haven't been very good about keeping up with my drawing group either. Yesterday was spent chasing after the youngest daughter and her husbands car.... of course, now it's at the mechanic. We are done with friends and family coming in to make peanut brittle for another year. 33 batches made over the last two weekends. 4 or 5 batches of toffee, 3 batches of carmels, and 2 batches of turtles made so far too. We still have to make some for our gifts, but those should be done tomorrow night and in the mail on Tuesday! Maybe now I will get down to the studio.

I haven't been totally unproductive. I hand dyed three shawls for Christmas presents today. They are for my daughter's mother-in-law, sister-in-law and a friend. She and her husband will take them down to Haiti with them when they go down for Christmas.

As long as I had the dye vats still filled I decided to dye some used fabric softener sheets... We'll see what I can do with those and a canvas....

For now... good night!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Drawings done, but now I haven't got any more done on paintings...

Can you tell I want to be able to do it all? There just isn't enough time in the day.

These are a couple of drawings I did for Everyday Matters. I'm still behind and I am not really happy with them, but they are what they are.... at least I am drawing. The squirrel is a little knick-knack left by a former co-worker. The coffee pot is one of the big gray ones we use over the campfire (mine is going to eventually be a flower pot). The last is a deadbolt lock.

Like I said, I haven't had time to do much for my show. I am trying to get a few things done for a craft table at my Girl Scout alumni. All of the proceeds go for scholarships for older scouts. The snowmen below are some of what I am working on.

Along with that, I am trying to get the house ready for this weekend. It's the beginning of our annual candy making sessions. Mostly peanut brittle.

It's a tradition of my husband's family. They have been making it since just after WWII. My husband and I took over the tradition about 21 years ago. This weekend we will have 20 or so people to make candy. Everyone brings the ingredients for however many batches they want to make along with an appetizer and something to drink. We start at noon and eat drink and make candy until we have them all done. Then we do it again the next weekend! 30+ batches. Plus, I make caramels, toffee, turtles and other things.

So there goes this weekend. I'm not complaining though... lots of family and good friends. I can't imagine starting the Christmas season without these get-togethers!

Time to call it a night so I have some energy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No drawings, but I still have made progress...

I haven't done any drawings in a few weeks for Everyday Matters, but I have been busy. I've gotten a couple more pieces done for the May show. I've also been working on some craft stuff for a craft table at my Girl Scout alumni holiday party. All that money goes to scholarships for older girls to attend events (focusing on out door activities usually).

Here are the two pieces I finished... The first is 12 x 12 and is a multimedia piece. Tissue paper, acrylic paint, dyes and alcohol ink. The second one is 16 x 20 made of tissue paper, can lids and string.

Next project is to get the house in shape for Thanksgiving company and annual peanut brittle making parties....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wow... a month since I last posted

Boy, I really got behind in September. I had a couple of encampments and then was out of town. When I got back, I got one of the many creeping crud things that's going around. I finally have the energy to get back to some sketching.

Here are 3 EDM sketches.....

#243 is a picture of a pillow (or 2).

#244 is the oldest thing in my refrigerator. I'm not even sure where this jar of chutney came from probably my daughter since it is mango). Who knows how long it's been in there!

Finally, #245 is something "October". Hopefully you recognize a piece of pumpkin pie. My husband's birthday was yesterday and after two attempts, I finally got his birthday pie made. Did you know that a pumpkin pie won't thicken if you forget the eggs? 25 years I've been making them for him... wouldn't you think I would know that by now?

Now it's time to get serious about my other art work. Not only am I doing a showing at the local library in the month of May, but a nearby town's library also contacted me about showing there in July. Definitely time to focus!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

EDM 240 Draw a Pencil

I didn't draw a whole pencil... just the tip of my new drawing pencil.... which I drew with my old one, of course.

This drawing and five birthday cards are the most creative I have been in a couple of weeks. I have been trying to get the house cleaned up... especially my craft room and studio (aka the back room). I am one of those people that just can not work in a messy environment. When my daughter and her husband moved out of the basement in May, the basement kind of exploded. Junk everywhere. I finally got her over here to finish cleaning up her stuff only to discover that there was a lot more of it that was mine than hers. Mostly supplies from all those scout encampments I've been teaching at. At least I don't have to supply materials for the encampments this weekend and the following. This weekend is reverse tie dyeing (bleach on color) and the following is regular tie dyeing. Maybe things will stay a little cleaner for a while....

So now that things are cleaned up, what excuse do I have for not getting some artwork done?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Finally... Another Post

I have fallen a little behind on everything. The weekend after the scout conference, I went to northern Wisconsin to my Dad's cabin. The annual scholarship golf tournament in my cousin's name was being held. Normally it was in September on one of my encampment weekends. I had to take advantage of the fact that they moved it up and go up to help out. Unfortunately, by the time the weekend was done, I had a major attack of my allergies and was approaching a sinus infection. As a result... nothing has gotten done around my house. 

Thank goodness for the upcoming long weekend. Now that I am feeling better, I am hoping that I can get the house cleaned up a little and then get back downstairs to my artwork.

As a start, these are the last two drawing posts for Every Matters. #237 is the view under my bed and #238 is something from a first aid kit.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scout Camp

I survived another weekend at Girl Scout camp. As I said previously, this was a leader enrichment weekend. Since I am volunteer, but no longer a leader I took a couple of classes and taught a couple. Friday afternoon I started a wrapper bag. It's basically made like the gum wrapper chains I made back in junior high and high school, but using strips from potato chip bags and such instead. This is a picture of the sample because I have a long way to go on mine!

Saturday morning I taught a class for Daisy and Brownie leaders who needed some basic craft ideas. We made a frog puppet out of folded paper, a bat out of pine cones, a lightening bug out a of used water bottle and a glow-in-the-dark bracelet, tie dyed coffee filters, printed with bubbles, made daisies out of hand prints and paper plates, and made several different bracelets (pony beads, paper beads,and plastic tube beads). That was all in an hour and a half.

In the afternoon I took a one-stroke painting class. It's not my style. I'm not a real girly-girl. I prefer more abstract and bright colors, but I wanted to see what it was all about. I had a tray that was on it's way to Goodwill that I decided to paint. Turned out ok, but again, not my style...

Saturday night was an early evening... a short concert by a local singer, Ann Reed and then off to the tent in the pouring rain. I may have been wet when I got to the tent, but despite torrential downpours off and on all night, the tent stayed dry.
Sunday morning I taught a simple bookmaking class. Unfortunately, the books were simple, but trying to keep 10 people on track, I was too busy to take pictures. When I clean out my supplies and find the samples I will post so me pictures of them. Most of them were actually variations of the ones found at

Now I can finally get back to stuff for my show in May.... and my drawings for Everyday Matter.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

EDM 236 The Palm of my Left Hand

Drawing hands has never been my strong suit, but I told myself I was going to try to stick to getting at least the current week's drawing done and then if I have time, do one of the past ones. We'll see how this works. I didn't take as much time on it as I could have as I have been getting ready to go to Girls Scout camp tomorrow. 

250 adults gathering for an enrichment weekend. Fun classes, training, and relaxation time with lots of great women who spend a lot of time help girls become strong women. I get to take a class making a bag out of old chip bags and another one is a painting class. I'm leading a class on simple craft ideas for younger scouts and a simple bookmaking class. I'm going to try and take pictures of the different projects I'm teaching during class and then post them. The bookmaking is using a lot of the patterns on this blog She has some great ideas.

Keep your fingers crossed for great weather!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

EDM 235 Flutterby

When I told my husband the theme of the drawing for this week, he said he wished I had said something BEFORE he washed his truck. Evidently he had a fairly intact butterfly smushed on his windshield. I guess I really wasn't in the mood to sit on the hood of his truck or inside the cab to draw anyway.

I really struggled with this drawing. I tried a Monarch (Minnesota's state butterfly) in two different wing positions. Both of those attempts are in the recycling bin. The wing markings were much too intense for me. I also had trouble with the idea of doing one in black and white... except for some very gorgeous black and white ones that I did find on the internet. I liked the blue on this one (I think it's actually called a Karner Blue
Butterfly that used to be common in Ohio). I have some new colored pencils that I thought I would try for this one. I used a Micron pen for the initial drawing and then did the colored pencil. 

It actually looks a little better on the screen than it does in my sketchbook. 

Monday, August 3, 2009

EDM #234 - Something that Belongs to Someone Else

I looked and looked.... trying to figure out what to draw that was someone else's. There it was right in front of my nose - or rather my chair in the TV room. This is one of my husband's leather slippers.
This was done with pencil. I want to get comfortable with drawing again before I try charcoal or ink.
Again, still working on proportion, but still not unhappy with the results.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Elmer's Glue and a Silk Scarf

I finally got around to trying the mock batik technique that I learned in a class at the Textile Center of Minnesota. This time I used a 36" x 36" silk scarf. I found that the Elmer's Blue Gel Glue spread a bit more on the silk than it did on cotton so the white spaces are a little larger than I anticipated. Overall, I am pleased with it though.

This is a gift for a friend (my husband's ex-wife actually) who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her hair is pretty much gone, so I thought she might like a little something to wear out in the sun or to the benefit they are throwing for her at the VFW that she has been working at. If she doesn't want to wear it, I figured I could put it in the silent auction at the benefit. 

Next project is to make a set of a dozen greeting cards for the same silent auction. And somewhere in there, I am also trying to gather all the supplies for the classes I am teaching at Lakamaga Conference - a Girl Scout leader enrichment weekend. I'm teaching simple, no stitch bookmaking and Simple Crafts for Daisies and Brownies. I think I have everything.... it's just all in piles in my living room.

Once again, not enough hours in the day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Everyday Matters - My Favorite Drink

As I've said before, my intention with this blog was to continue on with Thing-a-Day, but switch to a thing-a-week. It's kind of been a thing-every-other-week or thing-a-month instead. So I finally bit the bullet and joined an online drawing Yahoo group called Everyday Matters. Some of you already know about it, but for those of you who don't.... they post an idea each week for people to draw and then you can post your drawing or link to the drawing... along with links to your other artwork or blog. 

So now I will be trying to do a sketch a week... amongst all of the other art I am trying to create. This is my first drawing.... my favorite drink. The proportions are not quite on, but for a first attempt at drawing in quite a while, I'm not too unhappy...

Right now, that other art would include another attempt at the mock-batik I did during Thing-a-Day. This time I am doing a silk scarf for a friend who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She shaved her head last weekend and I want to give her something fun to wear if she doesn't want to get sunburned. I also have a couple more pieces in process for the show in May. I got some inspiration from an art fair I volunteered at yesterday. 

Now if I could only find more than 24 hours in a day.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Not exactly how I was going to spend the weekend....

Weekends, or at least part of them, are supposed to be spent working on pieces for my May showing..... 

I spent most of today helping my daughter clean up stuff she and her husband left behind when they moved out in May. Between finishing her masters degree and taking her youth group on a mission trip, she hadn't gotten around to consolidating stuff that was still here. They live in a very small apartment so Mom and Dad have saved some space for them to store stuff... just not in every room in the basement. Tomorrow will be more of the same. Our basement kind of looks like the TV show Clean Sweep. 

Somehow during the day, Mom has been commissioned to work on a piece of art for their bedroom. No charge, of course. Maybe I can borrow it to use in my showing in May. Hm-mmmm....

Last night, and again over the last couple of hours, I did play with a little bit of illustrating on my computer. I help out at three different encampments for Girl Scouts.... Prairie Flower in May each year, Western Skies and Piper Valley in September. This is a new silk screen design for Piper Valley, the only encampment I haven't done one for this year. It's now in for approval by the women who run the encampment.
The screen may not be able to go into the show in May, but at least I accomplished some art in amongst all of the disarray.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

May 2010

It's not a gallery, but my local public library does month long displays of local artist's works. Newspaper interview and all. I can put price tags on them too! They have agreed to show some of my work in May 2010. Depending on the size of the pieces, I could display 25-30 pieces. I have about half that many. So... now I have an excuse to bury myself in my studio (aka the storeroom in the basement).

This is one of a couple things I have in the works. It's tissue paper, used tea bags and image transfer using matte medium. Each piece is 4" x 6". I have another tin can garden in the works too.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


My husband and I spent a recent weekend in Mineral Point, WI for our 25th anniversary. It's an adorable town in southwestern Wisconsin that was settled by Cornish miners. Lots of cute cottages and lots and lots of art galleries. We stayed in an inn that was also a restaurant and microbrewery. Totally charming. We stopped in every one of those galleries in town. Even picked up a little piece for my garden.

At one of the galleries, I actually talked with one of the owners. Showed him pictures of a couple of my pieces. He actually didn't laugh at me which is encouraging. Gave me a couple of pointers even. Between that, the restful weekend, good food, and the gorgeous drive on the back roads in that area, I came back revitalized. I have so many ideas going thru my head now.... and of course, 60 things getting in the way of my going into my studio. I need to try and get into the habit of doing something everyday again... even if it is only for 15 minutes. We'll see what I can do.

I did cross one of those 60 things off my list today. I got a baby quilt finished. I know it may seem strange to do black for a baby quilt, but I have made about half a dozen of them so far. Stripes, rectangles, and squares. Various bold colors and arrangements. I love the contrast. Works for the Amish quilters... 

Wish me luck on getting some work done in the studio..........

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stones in the water?

Well, the Girl Scout Prairie Flower encampment was a huge success. The new projects I came up with for the girls were well received. The shaving cream marbling, which I was most concerned about not working, worked! They turned out fantastic... of course, I forgot to take my camera to prove this! This was a project I tried in a class duringThing-a-Day. We just couldn't figure out a way to keep the colors vivid. Here's the process we found worked for camp.

1. Soak the fabric in soda ash and water. Dry. 
2. Spread cheap (Barbasol type cheap) shaving cream about 1/2" thick on a flat surface. 
3. Drizzle liquid dye over the shaving cream. Using a stick or fork or something like that drag through the dye until you get the affect you want.
4. Lay fabric over top of shaving cream. Smooth slightly over the top....very lightly.
5. Let set 5-10 minutes
6. Peel off and let shaving cream dry on it. Brush off when dry.
7. Iron from the back side to set dye.
8. Rinse.

These were a bigger hit than the tie dye has been in recent years.

So, the encampment is done. Youngest daughter and her husband have moved out of our basement. She graduated with her masters in nonprofit management this past weekend. The party afterwards was at our house..... another thing done. 

Maybe.... just maybe.... I will now have some time to work on some of my art. 
This is an Illustrator mock-up of what my next piece may be.... Once again it will be tissue paper on canvas. Maybe a little more collaging this time..... and more can lids. It kind of reminds me of stones in a creek. At least in my mind...

We'll see.....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yet another silk screen...

I'm afraid I am not very good at this blogging thing. My intent had been to try and do a thing-a-week vs a thing-a-day (as in February) and post them here. Well, the best laid plans right? 

This is a new screen design for another encampment in the Fall called, obviously (or I hope it's obvious) Western Skies. It's the 25th year of the encampment so we wanted something a little special. There is one other encampment in the Fall that I want to try and do another screen for also.

I did finally give up trying to create the silk screens myself. I am running out of time for the May Girl Scout encampment. A friend of mine has someone that makes them quickly and very inexpensively. Sold! Now I am free to buy the supplies for the new programs we are going to do... not to mention get the instructions together for them too. Another friend has given me some suggestions that might help solve my issues. I'll try playing with the whole silk screen building process some more after the encampment.

Some of the new programs we are going to do are (some of these were Thing-a-Day postings):

Bathtime Indulgences - The girls will make there own bath salts and bath bombs

Simple Books - I'm teaching this and we will make a star book into necklace. We'll also make a book out of envelopes. We may do one more if we have time. (you can only do so much in an hour). I have a book pattern that is a simply a brown paper bag cut apart and folded.... no gluing or stitching. We'll see.

Memory Wire Bracelets, Picture frames with crayons glued on, Bags out of Bandanas.... and more. I'm having fun coming up with new programs for this encampment, but it is only 3 weeks away. Yikes!

Time to get ready for the real world job!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Next project -- Silk screens

I have a Girl Scout encampment in May that I am trying to create new silk screens for. It's called--- wait for it---- Prairie Flower! The girls bring t-shirts, bandanas, etc. to camp and can select from 4 or 5 different screens for us to print in one of five colors. We try to swap them out periodically.

The difference this year is that I am actually making the screens rather than designing them and having someone else build them. I've been having problems with the photo emulsion process, but think I may have that finally figured out. Now if I only had time to test that theory!

This long one is about 11 inches long and the one above is 3 inches by 3 inches.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Updated Picture

This is an updated picture of the final tin can lid project, plus a couple of others that I am going to submit for purchase consideration.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Final product.... sort of

Ok. Here is my can lid project. The photo is not real great, but it's the best I can do right now. Hopefully a friend of mine can get a better shot at work tomorrow. There are a couple of touch ups needed, but I should be able to submit it on time for purchase consideration. Yippee!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A previous project completed

So I haven't had time to work on the can lid project. I've been too busy cleaning and getting ready for the book club I hosted Tuesday. I came home today to find that my husband had completed the frame for a project I finished in January. 

This is the same tissue paper and matte medium that I am using on the can lid project.

Hopefully I will have some time to work on the can lids project this weekend. The deadline for possibly submitting it for purchase consideration is April 1. If I don't get it done this weekend I'll have to wait till next year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Phase 1 of the New Project

My latest project is kind of a "recycled" piece. It's a tissue paper and matte medium painting on a canvas.  Then I am going to add can lids using Shisha or a variation of it. Shisha is Indian mirror embroidery. I did a mock up in Illustrator to see if I was crazy to even try. 

I've got the background on the canvas now, but it's not quite the way I saw it in my head. So.... I have been living with it for a few days. I think tomorrow I will try adding some of the lids. What's the worst that happens??? I can always collage over it!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The End of Thing-a-Day

Check it out... I have finished my postings for Thing-a-Day. 100%. 28 out of 28. Now I'm going to see if I can keep this up on a weekly basis.

Wish me luck!

The beginning...

It's official... I have succumbed... I am now blogging. First Facebook, now this!

It is an extension of my "thing-a-day" efforts over the month of February. Everyday for the entire month, I posted little creative things. It's been a challenge. Some days you definitely feel more creative than others, but there are 28 posts out there (or there will be before the end of today). 

The month being over now, I would like to try and continue the creativity by doing a "thing-a-week" and post it here. We'll see how it goes. I figure the posts on here will most likely be weekly also. Of course, there is always the chance that I will be extremely creative and post more frequently... who knows!

In the meantime, feel free to check out what I did in February by clicking on the link above.