Friday, August 31, 2012


  Ever have a time or two when you and your mind wandered from one thing to another, and another, and another, and....?  I admittedly do that quite frequently and thus don't always reach my goals for that day. However, sometimes those days bring those wanderings full circle; it's all connected, and an unexpected project is created. Like this canvas :

   This is how it happened. First I spent some time reading thru a recent Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (July/August). I read an article by Cathy Taylor titled "Rethink Alcohol Ink". One of the techniques she suggested was to use tar gel. And the wandering begins :
  "Hey I have that stuff-haven't used it in forever! Same with the alcohol inks...gotta try it NOW... but where are my supplies????" Ok, got the tar gel and a scrap of glossy paper. I really should be working on my stamp carving and thinking of a word to carve in my next lesson-Ooh, I'll just drizzle the word "shine" with the tar gel."
  If you haven't used or heard of tar gel it's gel transparent made by Golden. The consistency is similar to that of Karo syrup. It states on the jar "it is very stringy and web-like." You can also mix in acrylic paint to tint the gel which I didn't do here.
  "It takes awhile to dry so I'll leave it for now. Better go watch Lesson 8 of Julie Balzer's online Stamp Carving Class. Done. But while I'm on the PC I should catch up with some more of my fave blog haunts. Oh, Dina Wakley has had an Out of the Journal Challenge going on her blog! This is the last week so I have a chance to add the tar gel thingy to the challenge if it turns out. "
  Once the tar gel dried I added a few drops of several Adirondack alcohol inks along with some blending solution and watched it spread about. I gently removed some color off the gel tar letters with a an eraser so it would be more pronounced. I used the basic idea of Cathy Taylor's technique but got different results because I played on glossy paper instead of what Cathy used. I still think it's pretty cool tho and plan on experimenting more now that I have the supplies out.
  "Oh, but wait, no more experimenting until I get a word carved for lesson 8. Deal. But I need to rest awhile; it's been a long journey :)"
   See what I mean, full circle! I'm linking this up to Art Journal Everyday and the Out of the Journal Challenge.
    Just a reminder that I'm having a Summer Inspiration Giveaway which ends Sunday Sept. 9th. Go here to see what I'm giving away and to lv a comment.
                "I may become distracted and wander, but sometimes it all comes together in the end.
              That's a good thing." 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Inspiration Giveaway

   It's been a little while since my last giveaway and it brings me such joy to give back, so welcome to my Summer Inspiration Giveaway!

   First up is a beachy color schemed beaded necklace:

   It is a total of 28 inches in length from end to end so it slips over the head easily without unclasping. I just thought the toggle clasp gives it a nicer finish. You can see the others I made here along with the links from which I got my inspiration.
   The second giveaway is a prayer flag:
  This is one of a few extras I made when making some for a swap hosted by Lenna Andrews. You can see the others I made and read more about them here. And if you'd like to know more about the prayer flags in general please visit Jane LaFazio's Prayer Flag Project blog.
   All you need to do is leave me a comment by Sunday, Sept. 9th and let me know which one of the two giveaways you'd like your name entered in. A winner for each item will be randomly chosen in two weeks on Monday, Sept. 10th.
   I am eternally grateful for YOU and the inspiration your beautiful heARTs have given me.
    "In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."  Khalil Gibran

Friday, August 24, 2012

Affirmations and Prayer Flags

   Happy Friday! It's over a week I'm home from the beach but I'm still trying to get back into the flow of things here. Of course the lovely summer weather we're having has me outside a lot and squeezing every last bit of summer I can. I swear I can smell the ocean too :)

   I did manage to finish and send off my prayer flags for a swap I joined hosted by my ever talented friend Lenna Andrews. Lenna has been hosting swaps for many years and she truly has it mastered. You can check out her previous and current swaps here. If you've ever thought about signing up for a swap this is the place to go!

   My prayer flags:

   The swap was 3/3 and Lenna asked that we use  an affirmation word or quote. I chose to make 5 similar flags, one for myself and one as a hostess gift for Lenna (what a great idea Frieda Oxenham-thanks!). I had recently purchased these gorgeous batik fabrics especially for making prayer flags as I was completely drawn to the wonderful bright summery colors. I  bought the lace for next to nothing at a country store not far from home. The quote piece and the info on the backs are both t-shirt transfers ironed onto muslin. I used a background I had painted for a journaling project (more on that soon) and typed the quote over it. Thankfully I remembered to make it a mirror image so the printed words would appear correctly. Everything was cut and sewn loosely (my fave way to work so you don't really know if I went crooked or slipped a stitch etc. - I guess I'll never be a quilter) The flags were finished with a silk flower, heart shaped button and little grungeboard swirls I painted white, sewed them on with a few tiny stitches then glittered them.
  I also made time to create a journal page about an aspect of my time at the beach. Lynne has a beautiful table filled with a variety of affirmation cards and fun little musical instruments, etc. Each of the twelve days we were there I chose a card from about 5 sets and recorded them in a notebook. Once I was home I read over them all and picked out the most prominent words that appeared and went to work on my page.
   The word and affirmation of creativity was THE word that most often appeared. It was followed by the other words and sentences I represented here. The page began with a patterned paper which I sprayed with some Dylusions Pure Sunshine spray ink then did some mark making with gesso. I added some bits of lace mulberry paper (hard to see in this pic). The circles were made by taking the tops off spray inks and using the pipette like an ink pen. I finished it off with a feather I had picked up at the beach.

   I'm linking this up to Art Journal EveryDay with Julie Fei Fan Balzer. Click on the link to read more about it and visit the talented artists participating. There is a wealth of  inspiration and techniques everyone generously shares on their blogs!
   Thanks so much for visiting, and be sure to stop by again soon as I'm preparing  for a  double giveaway within the next few days!
           "The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."  Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beach Pleasures, Nature's Treasures

   Good morning! Hubby, our dog Annie and I recently returned from a glorious 12 day vacation at the beach in Fenwick Island Delaware. It was heavenly and time was filled with long walks, reading, cocktail hours, scrumptious dinners and LOTS of fun and laughter amongst the friends we stayed with along with other friends old and new. There is nothing like the beauty of the ocean, seeing the sun rise and set over water and being in a home filled with love and light -it fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude. It allows me to reflect and go inside myself. I didn't take one bit of material for any art making and it actually was a good thing to take a vacation from art too. Don't get me wrong tho, as soon as I got home I HAD to create something, anything. I'll share more of it in another post-I'm finishing something to offer as one of two giveaways.

   Here are some of the magnificent skylines I captured during our vacation:

                                          this photo was taken from the deck facing north

                                      and this is the skyline facing south on the same deck.
       This was one of those days where  the weather and sky constantly changed between sunshine  and storms seemingly every hour-it was quite spectacular.

                       one of several beautiful sunsets over the bay from the deck off the kitchen

   And this series of photos somewhat captures without a doubt THE most incredibly beautiful and spectacular sunsets we have ever seen:

   Incredible isn't it?? This is without any photo editing! It looked at times as though the clouds were on fire-truly the miracle of nature at its best.

   These are some beach treasures I found along my walks:

   I love the delicate cicada wing and especially that heart shaped stone which was right at my feet when I found a spot to set down my chair on the sand one day.

   Can't post without sharing some art so here it comes. I made 10 necklaces with a beachy color scheme in mind, packaged each in a tulle bag with a tag and gave one to each of my "sistas" I spent time with on vacation. For those I knew well enough I tried to make the necklace in their fave colors.

                                                  close up of the set just above this photo

   These necklaces were so quick to make that it became addicting and I certainly will make more! The idea for these came from Shahrul Niza's blog post for a challenge she participated in and you can see it here. Shahrul linked to Deanne Williamson's tutorial for the necklace on her blog so I had to check it out. I used the basic idea but created my own version using pretty, sparkling beads and chose to add toggle clasps for a nicer finish although these necklaces easily slip over the head without opening. AND GUESS WHAT?  I have an extra one which I WILL BE GIVING AWAY along with a prayer flag...coming soon :)

  Now I've got some catching up to do with my blogging friends. And thank YOU for visiting me.

           "The only thing you discover in the unknown is more of yourself."  Bashar

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August Days

   Hard to believe August is here already. I swear summer passes by more quickly than any other season! I'm looking forward to more beach time with with our friends so the posts may be infrequent this month. I did manage however to get my calendar spread completed for July and even have both August's and September's ready to go although I won't share Sept. just yet. I'm linking this post to both The Kathryn Wheel blog (Kate Crane's 366 Calendar Project) and Balzer Designs blog (Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Art Journal Everyday Project). Anyone can join in at anytime and as often as they like. There is so much wonderful inspiration to be found on the links shared by artists participating. If these links I gave don't work you can click on the project badges on the sidebar. My earlier projects are either on my Flickr photostream or in older posts.

   Here is my completed July calendar spread:

   You can read more about it in this post.

   August pages started:

   This was a spread I'd done awhile ago-just playing with watercolors and the Tim Holtz music mask (on the the right.)

   And here is August all ready to go:

  I punched scalloped circles from patterned papers and sponged the edges with pink, lime green and turquoise inks. I stamped the sentiment "heaven seems a little closer in a place beside the water". The shells, seahorse and letter circles are stickers. For the month and days of the week I used a set of foam stamps from Magenta(which I use for each month).

  And, as I always love to do, I will visit as many links as I can in the next few days for these projects.

  Thank you for your lovely comments and for stopping by! Until next time....

               "Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns
                in order to look at things in a different way."  Edward De Bono