Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fun project for "junk" mail

Half a dozen garden catalogs arrived yesterday,of course I'm deciding which ones to cancel and making sure they all get recycled but in between things I think it's fun to save the pictures I like,add them to this bordered paper I had on hand and then attempt to draw some of the flowers to decorate that days letters. Yes, I do write a LOT and I try to keep them as visually bright as possible as many of those I write to are loosing their sight. I don't save up a lot of pictures, just try to use things up and pass them along as they come in. Perhaps that will create a positive energy flow around here which could affect everyone and everything around here. What a Great Way to start the New Year ! I may even return to my tradition of locking myself in the studio on New Years Eve and not coming out again until the day that first painting of the New Year is which point I emerge, eat half the planet and pass out. (perhaps not such a good idea after all...)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Making the best of it

While the studio is more or less under construction and everything is tossed aside I'm "playing" with the mail and recycling clippings from my garden catalogs into stationery to write my friends and a few favorite relatives. This also gives me a chance to get those pencils sharpened and try drawing a few types of flowers that I haven't tried before. (the drawing is on the envelope and Yes, I'm going to need a lot more practice to get it right which of course is why I do it on envelopes instead of investing in a sketchbook.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weekend projects

I've just put the kettle on as I write this . A cup of tea sounded like a good idea and I find myself wondering how long a person can survive on Ramen before they have to get their butt in gear and go grocery shopping. Not worrying about that just now as I take turns between working on the afghan in the house and the sheet rock in the studio. My hubby and I have a system where he does all the top bits and I do anything I can reach from the floor. We're doing walls right now so I have no idea why I shot the ceiling except that I LOVE those doors and the way the light bounces off the pattern in the leaded glass. YES, I am easily distracted by shiny objects but then you knew that or you wouldn't be reading this, would you?

Friday, December 25, 2009

A quiet Christmas

Staying in today except for brief attempts to clear the driveway and a few paths around to everything. The phone and internet gave us a chance to keep in touch with everyone until we get ready to head out of here and visit folks. I'm crocheting an afghan which feels kind of nice in this weather and from time to time I go back and sharpen a few more of the great colored pencils that Doug bought me. It's the biggest set I've ever seen so I'll be at this for a while. In the meantime I'm thinking about all of the other ways to be spending a Christmas and wishing you all a great one.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The start of the snowstorm

It's Christmas Eve day and Doug just shot this video while I put on a pot of coffee so we'l start our day by sharing it with you. As you can see he's shovelled a path to the studio so I may head out there for a while as another wave of snow is headed through in a few hours and may derail our plans to spend the evening with family in town. Yes, this IS Minnesota and we should expect things like that. I'm just glad I dropped off presents at thanksgiving, "just in case". Meanwhile, I'm finishing a cozy Christmas afgahn as Dougie's present this year. With this sort of weather it just may be more useful than a lot of things I could have bought.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bag Lady

Well, I've been away from this blog quite a while. As you can see I've been sorting through fabrics and "playing" at the sewing machine. No one seems to buy art these days but everyone needs somewhere to put things so these bags should come in handy and of course I'm enjoying a little extra shelf space as I continue to sort things out. I'll try to write here more often as I do.
Did you notice that the handle on one of the bags is made out of a necktie ? Who knows what I'll come up with next. Be sure to keep reading and I'll try to keep it interesting. Bye for now.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


You never know where you'll find a bit of inspiration or what will make you smile but I couldn't resist shooting pictures of the way this looked this morning. Yes, I'm easily distracted by shiny objects...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All together now

Here's the painting as it started (you can read back to the post where I painted over it & made changes this year) The center photo was the image transferred to fabric 10 or 15 years ago and pieced and hand quilted. The interesting thing about this quilt is that the artwork was all different sizes from 4 inches square to 16 X 20 inches so it was odd to see everything in similar sizes and one block was even scanned from a piece of painted furniture which is also gone as are a lot of the paintings I used in it and so it's fun to curl up in your work, remember, dream and take a nap-now there's art you can use.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The process

Do you ever wonder how an idea goes from a photo to a painting? The photo shows how things actually looked and I'll use it as a general placement guide but for me the point of doing a painting is to get to what that moment in time felt like so it's more an impression or expression of the emotion. This one seems to be going well so far and I got some pretty funny looks out in the front yard today when I decided I couldn't tell what the branches of the lilac bushes looked like from the photo and dashed outside for a few moments to work from the real thing. Doing it now was perfect because the leaves were gone and there was nothing to distract me from observing the actual structure of the branches. I'm sure the neighbors and passers by (I live on a fairly busy street) are really beginning to wonder about me...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oops, I did it again...

I did this painting back in 1999 as part of a quilt design project. It's on a canvas panel and I used the computer to print the painting on fabric that I used in the quilt. When I came across the painting a decade later I had other projects In mind, starting with editing it slightly by cutting down the size but since I wanted to repaint a lot of areas I just marked it and left the cutting until I'd finished painting. This is where I need your help. I'm never sure when to quit, sometimes I change things that should have been left alone so I'm hoping you'll comment on whether or not I should have left the painting as it was and done a whole new and separate painting. I'm also wondering if anyone else agrees with me about the changes being an improvement. Oh, and while I'm hearing from you and deciding what to write about next, would you like to see how that iris quilt worked out?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climbing the walls

No, cabin fever hasn't set in yet but with the change of seasons and the cooler weather my garden is but a memory and I'm indoors with the houseplants so I decided to draw and paint the one I had sitting in the dining room. Over the course of the winter it will eventually wrap around the top of the room and because I don't get around (or up & down) very well or often it's going to be a slow and painful process but I'm enjoying the challenge and determined to make it work. It's already much better than the mural I did at my last house so I'm really happy with my progress.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not so Suddenly, Last Summer

I'm looking through the pictures I took over the summer of the yard and garden and seeing what all I can do with them. As always the first thing I reach for is a paintbrush but I may also try some of the flowers in pen and ink, colored pencil or watercolors over the winter as I plan next years garden. I haven't decided whether or not I'm finished with this painting yet but I've set it aside for a while and have gone back to painting furniture and accessories. Sunny days make "work" in the studio a pleasure whether it's got walls or not, it's always lovely to me.

Going to Pieces, again

Some one's always got old jeans and other denim bits to get rid of so I'm starting another denim quilt. Each time I do one I think of another way to improve both my technique and my results. Having a little fun as I work and being able to sell a few makes it all worthwhile so keep on sending stuff my way and I'll keep recycling it.

Welcome to my world

Things are a bit different here. Call it reality with a twist, or the world according to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Floral fun

I still had a few sunflowers in my system after the recent acrylic painting I'd done so I let them go on the last of those wooden cigar boxes and I decided to rework areas of this small painting as long as I had a few colors out anyway. It's nice to have a few more projects done and out of the way so that I can move on to other projects.
I'm beginning to relax into the idea of having a studio again and am eager to see what sort of style will characterize this next phase
of my "work". I'm hoping you'll find it interesting too...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scrap happy holiday fun

While sorting through all of my craft and sewing supplies I couldn't resist indulging myself is a little patchwork, embroidery and quilting.
The unusual thing about that is that I did it all on one bag and then topped it with 42 buttons and a holiday pin.

Monday, November 9, 2009

14 row hat

This crochet project is so fast and easy that I've lost track of how many I've made over the last couple of decades. They seem to be more or less in style again these days as people are rediscovering handmade clothing and accessories. The best thing about it is that you only need to follow a pattern for the first 5 rows then you just keep going until it looks long enough to you. what could be easier than that?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


With several other projects finished I've started going back and re-working a few others. I shot photos of this one each time I paused between changing different parts of it hoping to catch myself before I got carried away and having some sort of record to show me where I may have gone wrong with it and what parts should have been left alone. I also had a few more sunflowers to shake out of my system so I painted them on a small wooden box. It feels good to be painting again-Like surfacing after holding your breath under water for a really long time. I'm eager to see where this part of my journey will take me, it truly has been "A Long and Winding Road". Yes, everything still comes to me in song lyrics and old movie dialog. I find it more entertaining that way and I hope you do too.

It's a Wrap!

It's nice to have a few projects completed. I was pretty happy with the way the Sunflower painting and the quilt turned out so I headed back to the house and made this new valance for the dining room. I joked at the time that I was "making space" in there because I used a space patterned fabric to compliment the Star Trek collectors plates that decorate the walls in there. It's amazing what turns up when you're sorting through things and "downsizing " isn't it? Luckily most of the things I've "found" seem to go nicely together. It's also kind of nice to get down to just a few of your favorite things and really enjoy your space.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Somehow I've always felt that sooner or later I'd have to try my hand at sunflowers too. I tried working with live ones but had a number of problem with nature (too many bees) and neighbors (letting their dog run loose in my yard then chasing it and yelling when they realized I'd noticed it) I got so frustrated that I destroyed the painting (although it had been going well and was well on it's way to being finished). Anyway, I thought I'd give it a try from the photos I'd shot of the yard and garden and these pictures show the beginning of that journey. I'm not sure how long I'll be working on this one but it's peaceful (and safe) in the studio and I'm pleased with the progress so far. I'm hoping to get some input and ideas on how (or if) to proceed from your comments so please take a minute to let me know what you think. Thanks.