Monday, October 5, 2015

Ghost Town

 It's been a BUSY, crazy last week and so again my creative time went on the back burner. Hopefully that's changed especially since my Mom has returned home from her month long stay in France.

 The journal page above is meant for Art Journal Journey -the new theme for this month being "architecture". I used a photo of an area I visited often in France. The page began with a coat of black acrylic because I have a fear of the black page-unlike most who have a fear of a blank or white page. And you know what? It wasn't so bad and I quite like the atmosphere of the dry brushed paint over the black. Couldn't get that song "Ghost Town " by Adam Lambert out of my head thus the words from the song which actually seem appropriate for this piece.

 A few pics from the eve my Mom came home:

 My dear hubby came with me to her place and we cleaned the house from top to bottom, even getting her newly remodeled bathroom ready to use. Got home to grab a bite, shower and then back to the house where we set up the kitchen table. One of her dear friends had stopped by earlier to bring the bouquet on the left in addition to the flowers from us and my younger brother and sister.


 We had not only French wine, but...

French inspired t shirts! My brother on left and hubby on the right. These shirts were bought here in the US recently:)

 and my Mom-happy to be home but quite tired after such a long day and flights. She loved that shirt I got for hubby. In case you can't quite read it says " I'm a proud husband of a freaking awesome French wife (and yes she bought me this shirt)".

 And along with the wine I'm sharing with my T Stands For Tuesday peeps I have this:

 Yes, this is the cake recipe Patty shared in this Tuesday post and I knew I had to try it. I kept hubby away from it til the next morning (only by having some other goodies handy) and it was YUMMY!Thanks for a wonderful , easy, and not too sweet breakfast cake Patty:)

 Lastly, here is a special card I made for a dear friend celebrating her birthday-today.

 Trina celebrated her 60th birthday by participating in a Susan G Komen 3 day 60 mile Walk for the Cure in Philadelphia this past weekend along with her daughter and a friend. It was 20 miles for each of 3 days and they all made it!! Haven't heard yet but I do believe that although the first day was not good because of so much rain and cool windy weather I think they lucked out as we did with not as much bad weather the remainder of the weekend as anticipated. Linking this to the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog this week for the theme of "anything goes".

 Will be around to visit after I get home from an appt. at the vet for Annie for her wellness check.

       "The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame at our center."
                                                                                                        Marianne Williamson

Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Welcome-Celtic Style!

There was a Celtic invasion in our town this weekend and it was fabulous!! The weather was perfect, thus bringing in record crowds (some areas even feeling claustrophobic-so we stayed away from those places:) Hubby and I walked into town Fri. eve, Sat., and Sun. to become immersed in the music and culture. Here are some pics:

 These were taken during the Parade of the Tartans on Saturday-bagpipe bands representing Ireland, Scotland and Wales competing for top honors. It was heavenly hearing all those glorious pipes!

 There were so many areas providing FREE entertainment (and this is a FREE festival-you only pay for food and drink!) that we just couldn't get to every band we wanted to has grown SO much in the 28 years since it began and we have been going.

 The group "Poor Man's Gambit" playing at a small venue outdoors along Main Street. Genevieve's violin playing, Irish dance and voice is amazing!

 The "Rogue Diplomats" SO much fun! We ended our festivities at our very favorite Irish shop and pub which I have shared about numerous times (Donegal Square/ the Red Stag Pub) and we truly felt like we were in a pub in Ireland! It was loud, there was lots of drinking, and sing alongs. What a great way to end the weekend!

 One last photo:

 This is my friend Joe who owns Celtic Revival and I got to know him thru the years since we first began going to this fest. He is the first one I look for-a true Irish gem who can weave the blarney  yarns, folklore, spiritual tales, you name it and I love him! We both believe in animal spirits and the spirits of all nature and always have one or more things to share on the subject. He is also the only vendor I buy my Celtic jewelry from :)

 Now, for my T Stands For Tuesday peeps I have this:

 Of course I had to bring out my Scottish thistle mug for the weekend along with a traditional currant scone from the pub for a treat.

 Here is a journal page I managed to complete today:

 A whimsical watercolor page for my last entry this month at Art Journal Journey. The curtain is stitched paper, the chickadee a sticker. The quotes says "Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."  E. Lawrence.  I think you can click on it for a larger view?

 That's it for now. Most of today (Monday) was doing laundry, cleaning and catching up at home, including making a pot of Italian Wedding soup. And my Mom comes home Saturday after her month in France visiting family so I will spend the end of the week cleaning her house (she had her bathroom remodeled while she was away-and we all know what that means-although the guys have done a great job of cleaning up what they could), getting some groceries, etc. to welcome her back. Can't wait to see the photos and hear all about it! I only got bits and pieces when she called a few times and it was so wonderful to be able to talk with most of my relatives and hear their voices.

 Have a great week everyone!

        " Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."            Albert Camus

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Drawing From The Soul

  I must begin this post to let you know that this past week Giggles (Sherrie) kindly sent me an email letting me know that my email address may have been hacked. I immediately checked recent activities, changed my password, then ran a complete scan. When my son came home I had him check everything out and all is well. If anyone has gotten an email with my full name as part of an email address IT IS SPAM and should have gone into your spam folder or junk folder. This has happened to at least several people I am aware of where the perpetrator uses your name but then attaches their email address along with a link they want recipients to open. DO NOT OPEN it -just delete it! Those of you that have had my email address will know the immediate difference. I have not had to change my email because of this thankfully. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you dear Sherrie for bringing this to my attention!

 We have continued to have gorgeous warm sunny days and so it has been difficult to get much art done as I am spending as much time as I can outdoors but I managed to get a few things in.

 This is the full page of the above piece:

 I am continuing to enjoy playing with techniques and projects from Danielle Donaldson's book. I like the softness you get using a pencil for details and shadows. It sure is a change from using charcoal, Stabilo pencils or pens and I like it. You can see my other pages along with links here.

 I've also managed to finish some sketches for another lesson from the Draw Your Awesome Life online class offered by Joanne Sharpe (which I started almost two years ago-yikes!).

 Here are some closer pics of each window:

 I sketched these when we were at the beach in August and then finally got around to painting them with watercolors. This sketching is difficult for me but I am determined see it to the end!

 And finally, this is a sneak peek of a portion of one of the cold wax and oil paintings on wood I am currently working on:

 I am LOVING this 'new to me' medium thanks to Serena Barton and her new book! (see my last post) I have already been surprised by the turn this piece has taken after a few layers and can't wait to share it when I feel it's complete. A must though is lots of patience as each wax layer can take days to dry before you're able to build up subsequent layers. Good to have more than one going at a time:)

 Wishing everyone a wonderful end of week and weekend. I'll be popping in to visit you here and there as we will be spending LOTS of time Fri., Sat. and Sun. enjoying the Celtic Classic in town!! We've been going each year for many years now to become immersed in Celtic food, drink, music, culture and craic (Gaelic for "FUN") and it's supposed to be perfect weather-wise-yay! So hopefully I'll have some pics to share for next week. Slainte! (Gaelic for "cheers")

 Linking to Art Journal Every Day; Art Journal Journey; Art It Friday-Show Your Face; and Paint Party Friday.

" Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy, and all you have to do is ride the wave."        Eckhart Tolle

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Arty Adventures

This is fast becoming an incredibly busy week and so I'm combining my favorite linking haunts all in this one post.

 In my last post I mentioned some exciting news and now I can share:)

 This arrived in the mail on Saturday!

 Serena Barton's newest book-one I have been dying to get-and guess what?? She graciously sent me a complimentary copy!!! And not only that but she left me this wonderful message inside:

 Well, I have been doing the happy dance every day since!! I cannot wait to get started on my latest adventure using cold wax and oils which is new to me. I  imagine that many of you who know me know that I can go in many different directions with my art and I don't think it's a bad thing because I can explore so many avenues, techniques, and mediums and learn from all of them. And who doesn't LOVE an art book?? That said, Serena's first book changed my approach to art in a way no other compares! And I will also say that if I could only choose one style of art to make forever-it would be wabi-sabi style mixed media. It gives me everything I could want because it embraces nature, imperfection, and mostly, it comes from feeling and from the heart. I know it won't be long before I will have projects to share using inspiration from this book:)

 And what about you? Is there a book or someone who has forever changed your approach to art? Is there one medium/style you could use and create with forever if you had to?? Please share!

 In the meantime I am still working with my watercolors and journal using techniques from the book I mentioned here.

 This is my table and the page I was working on just yesterday:

                         For my T Stands For Tuesday gang (sharing my trusty large water bottle!)

Here's the first part of the page with only the watercolor "blotches":

And this is the completed flower page:

  Just a fun exercise page with doodles in graphite and white pen-sorry it's difficult to see all the little doodle marks-it looks so much better in person. I had such a hard time getting the true colors and essence of this pg.

 Remember this sketch? Well, she transformed into this face and page:

 She's from the "Tutu Girl" lesson but it appears I was still channeling the ocean/beach theme:) So perhaps she's a "water girl" instead, and I love her wild hair!

 Linking to Art Journal Every Day, Art It Friday-Show Your Face, Mixed Media Monthly, and Paint Party Friday! As always I so appreciate your comments but can't always respond, especially if it comes to my email as a "no reply".

"The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes! to your adventures."  
                                                                                                              Joseph Campbell         

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blooming Friendships

Hello everyone! Hope everyone's had a good week and have some fun plans for the coming weekend!

 This is a page in my watercolor journal. I played a lot with watercolors and sketching while at the beach a few weeks ago and have been sharing my pages in recent posts. This one was inspired by two things- the girlfriends I went shopping with a few times (we had SO much fun!) and a whimsical style inspired by the new book I picked up to read while away. The book is called Creative Girl-Mixed Media Techniques For An Artful Life by Danielle Donaldson. Thanks so much for the recommendation Susan!)
                                       Do any of you have it? What do you think of it?
 I was immediately enchanted by the cover and that delight continued all the way through the book!! And then I saw that coincidentally she was featured in Somerset Studio July/August (which I had also taken to the beach to read) in the Artist Profile section! I love the projects and lessons and have been following them to learn to be freer with the drawing part and using  randomly painted pages to form a theme or story.

 My page began like this:

The flower girls in the completed pg. are part of a notecard I cut and glued to this page Then I looked for imagery like flowers and hearts in the paint and with a black pen and a white pen I doodled away. I wrote in pencil at the top "friendship in full bloom". I have several more pages in the works and almost complete so be on the lookout! As a matter of fact-I'll show you a loose pencil sketch that began my second page for another of Danielle's projects:

 Now for something completely different (well, variety IS the spice of life isn't it?)

  This is a mosaic collage done in another journal inspired by the theme at ArtJournalJourney "through my window" along with  inspiration from a You Tube video by Serena Barton. You can see my other mosaic collage projects along with the links here and here. And I'll have more exciting news to share with regards to Serena very soon!!

 The images are from Paper Whimsy and I typed the words "par la fenêtre, elle rêve",  French for "by/through the window she dreams".

 Linking this post to Art Journal Every Day; Art Journal Journey; Art it Friday-Show Your Face, Mix It Monthly (theme is mixed media flowers) and Paint Party Friday. Tout a l'heure!

" I cannot imagine where I would be today if it were not for the friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun."    Chuck Swindoll