Friday, September 26, 2014

Magic and the Beach

 How is everyone? I've got lots of catching up to do. Bill and I recently spent 4 days in Cape May, NJ to celebrate our 31st anniversary and it was just beautiful-perfect weather! I'll share some pics in the next few posts. But first, here is a journal page I did just before we left:

   Background was made by sponging inks around. The tree with bare branches is from Stamp Camp. The teardrop leaves is a hand carved stamp I repeatedly inked up,  overstamped with a script stamp (Papertrey Ink), then stamped onto card stock ,trimmed and glued to the tree. The meditating figure is a stencil I hand cut. The fairy image is a rubber stamp from ERA Graphics. I added the words digitally. Linking to Paint Party Friday; Art Journal Every Day, Art Journal Journey (theme is "living beings"), Mix It Monthly (theme is "trees"), and the Simon Monday Blog Challenge (theme is "stencils and stamps").

 This is the card I made for our anniversary:

 I'm linking this to the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog  (theme is "anything goes" ).

 And now for some Cape May photos. We first went to Cape May when I surprised Bill with a trip there for our 10th anniversary. We both love Victorian homes, culture, furnishings etc. and this is a historic, Victorian sea side town-just oozing with charm! We were not disappointed and fell in love with this place. We have gone there as many times as we were able over the years-even making some day trips-ever since. We have made many friends there-some have sadly since passed-but there are so many memories. Last year Bill surprised ME for our 30th with a 5 day stay there. It was so very special because we had not been there the last 12 years. We vowed to try and get there every year from here on in.

I would LOVE to have one of these mini cars!

   Or how about a horse and carriage to see the sights?

       Our favorite haunt for many years has gone but we discovered this gem of a place where we will make new memories. The food is excellent-with very generous portions, and the staff -so much fun!

  We were fortunate to have warm, glorious beach weather. We spent time at Cape May Point to walk around the wetlands and lighthouse, and went into North Cape May to see the sunset over the bay while sitting in Harpoon Henry's restaurant (another fun place with great food!).

 We have another full weekend this week. The Celtic Classic (festival) is in town Fri-Sun and as it is in walking distance most of our time will be spent soaking up all that wonderful Celtic culture-Highland games; bagpipe competitions; herding exhibitions with  border collies, sheep, and ducks; Irish dancing; lots of music, food and Guinness too! And we are expecting summer-like weather. I DO love September :)

   "Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice."    Unknown

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

As The Season Changes...

 so do my thoughts for richer colors, warmer clothes, and comfort foods. How about you? Do your color choices and food choices reflect the seasons?

 Our days now consist of very cool mornings and nights but the days still hold the beautiful warmth of the sun. I woke up really chilled the other morning and decided it was time for a comfort food for our Sunday breakfast:

 I made a platter of blueberry pancakes! Doesn't this remind you of a mandala? Anyhow-this is a heart healthy version using a reduced fat baking mix, egg white, fat free milk, olive oil and a reduced fat, reduced sugar syrup. Honestly you would NOT know the difference-really yummy. Of course we had several cups of coffee with a few of these but I didn't get a pic. I know Bleubeard and Elizabeth will forgive me as I link to T Stands For Tuesday:)

 Much of Sunday was spent changing around the clothes in the drawers and closet in preparation for the cooler weather. I even had to put on a sweatshirt and socks for the first time since summer began

 I've been baking most of the weekend too-also making chocolate cream cheese cupcakes and two loaves of zucchini bread! Good thing I don't go for sweets-but I still freeze some because after all it is just hubby enjoying it. Good thing he's a biker, runner and lifts weights!

 Even my art lately is reflecting the warm, rich colors of autumn.

This is another page in my DYAY journal. We were prompted to use the list of points to practice- but in a bit of an artful way rather than just listing them. I chose to draw tags for them:

 Oh, and if you are interested , I posted a Pt. 2 of gelli plate printing and techniques in my last post.

 As the days are getting shorter and cooler quickly I am going to be taking in as much of these gorgeous September days as I can, so if I am MIA a bit more in the next few weeks you  know why. Of course, I'll share more in due time. Thanks for your visits, it's always a pleasure!

                               "Life fails to be perfect but never fails to be beautiful." 

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Living Tree, and Gelli Prints Pt. 2

  The theme at Art Journal Journey is "Living Beings", at Mix It Monthly the theme is "Trees" and at Mixed Media Monthly the theme is to be inspired by the colors of this photograph:

 I do love to combine challenges  whenever I can and in this case it wasn't difficult given the themes and colors! The background is a deli paper gelli print I had glued into my journal. The face images were stamped on tissue paper so the background colors would pop through. Some of the circles are from gelli prints. Other circles were punched from tissue papers.

 Also linking this to Art Journal Every Day and Paint Party Friday.

 In this post I shared some new gelli plate prints and said I'd be back with some techniques I've come up with to get more use out of just one gelli plate (the 8" x 10"). I LOVE my plate but cannot justify the expense of buying every size or shape available. SO, I have come up with a way around that after some experimentation.  Be forewarned, the remainder of this post will be photo laden!

 I thought the circle plate was very interesting but wasn't confident I'd use it very much so here's my alternative to buying it:
 Simply die cut a circle from card stock-or use a bowl to trace around and cut. You can add your colors etc. on the plate before putting the card stock cut out on and/or add colors as you print. the card stock will last for numerous prints-and the paint actually makes it stronger. These are some of my prints:

Don't want a circle? Perhaps you want smaller prints though:

 Die cut or measure and cut  the size you want to print-same as above using card stock. Sometimes when you make a large print with larger stencils and stamps you lose the details when cutting it down to a smaller size. Here you can use smaller stencils and images-without buying a small plate!

 since I have been asked about how I begin this is what I do. I add several drops of different colors of acrylics then brayer them around the plate.

                            In this case I put a stencil down first then placed my cut out on top.
 A piece of trimmed cardstock is placed over top. After I pulled that print I removed the rectangle cut out and the stencil and made a ghost (2nd) print. And these are those two papers:

  In many instances the 2nd print is the better of the two, but don't throw them away! If you don't like a print either use it to clean off the brayer or add stamping and ink sprays and I can guarantee you, you will be pleased.

 I recently found some old plastic templates so I thought I'd play with them on my plate too:

                                           Place your paper over top and this is what you get:

  How cool is this?? Sorry for some off colors and photos-I know you understand how difficult it can be to continually stop and photograph when you're in the zone:)

 Here's another:

 and some more:

           Deli paper was placed over the prepared plate and a brayer was used to pick up paint.

    After I took the deli paper off I placed one of the plastic templates down, pressed a paper on top and this was the resulting print:

 This was just one of the papers I used to clean off my brayer and take some paint off the plate:

                                                     I see possibilities even in this one!

 I do hope I've given you some new ways to use your plate. Feel free to share this! All I ask is that you do not take credit for my work -it is so important to give credit where it is due. Please let me know if you've tried any of these techniques-and if you'd like - I can put your posted link  here on my blog:) If you have any further ?? email me-I'd be happy to help. We all learn from each other and I am so grateful for what I learn from YOU!

 There is a Pt. 3 in the works-and I will have some finished projects to share as well (using these papers) in the near future.

" What works for one artist doesn't necessarily work for another- try anything and everything and go with what works for you."     Paul Dixon

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mug Sketching and Gelli Prints Pt. 1

  Hope everyone is doing well, and for those with children adjusting to a new school year I wish them a great year!  I did get some art in but not as much as I would have liked due to some  issues that took priority lately and got me a bit discombobulated. But, that's life and we all go through it.

  In joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for T Stands For Tuesday I'm sharing another lesson for the online  Draw Your Awesome Life Class (badge on sidebar).

 I've shown this mug before but I wanted to show you the front and back as this is the one I chose as my subject.

  I started by drawing the mug four ways on one page and then in its entirety on the second page. Just beginning to add color.

 Pages with the water coloring done. It was not easy getting the same effect as the actual mug but I found that by doing wet on wet the colors pooled and flowed much better.

  I've been using up my printed deli papers and was more than ready to make more so last week when I ended up with free hours I got everything set up and out in my art room and the printing began!

 This is only one part of the space I was using-even put newspapers on the floor for putting down drying prints:) Here are some of the papers (the deli paper prints are already glued onto my newest journal book pages and I have some finished art coming up in the next few posts):

  This last photo shows some prints, and some papers where I just wiped off my brayer with. Here I decided to try using Strathmore Rough Newsprint Paper (14" x 17" sheets) . I cut some sheets into 4 equal size papers. I do like this paper because sometimes you really want a thin, easy paper to work with in collage.

  In my next post for Friday (as long as nothing else comes up unexpectedly this week again) I will share a technique I discovered (by experimenting) for using one gelli plate -rather than buying the different ones available. Much as I love this product , the $$$ adds up and you really don't need every shape and size available :)  Hope to see you back then!

   " Practice and repetition are as essential for building creative muscles as they are for physical fitness."
                                                                                                          Marta Davidovich Ockuly

Monday, September 1, 2014

Drawing September

 It's that time to turn the page to a new month despite what the weather is saying. It has been very hot and very humid the last few days-humidity levels at 75% and heat index of 92 F! Not complaining though. I've been able to enjoy mornings and later evenings outside. During the heat of the day I've been catching up on drawing lessons and completing the new calendar spread for my Draw Your Awesome Year class. And look what an amazing spread/ idea JoAnne Sharpe has come up with:

 It's a trompe l'oeil spread! We were prompted to draw a composition notebook within our journal and make it look dimensional. And we're filling it in "old school" style. Remember having to put title, subject,date and name at the top of every paper we handed in? I even wrote out my first day in old elementary school cursive.LOVE this! Linking to Kate Crane's Calendar Challenge , Paint Party Friday, and Art Journal Every Day.

 For T Stands for Tuesday with Bleubeard and Elizabeth I'm sharing the paper and a mug of coffee outdoors:

 I had to change mugs because my painty one was on my art table for a drawing lesson. This mug is special because it shows a blue roan English Cocker -and this one looks exactly like our Annie!

 Of course I did some cooking too:

 I made a dish of "Tomates Farcis" or  Stuffed Tomatoes - a tradional French dish in my family. My mom used to make it often and she and my MéMé  taught me how to make this. The tomatoes have been so bad I hadn't made it the last two years, but my mom got me these in Lancaster at an Amish stand. This is an indulgence because it has a sausage, tomato and bread stuffing but it brings back so many fond memories of France! Sorry, no recipe-like typical country French dishes there are no exact measurements :) However, I can share a recipe for this French dish I make in the summer. My cousin in France, Annie, showed me how to make this:

                                                        Tuna and Rice Salad (Recipe at end of Post)  

 I'm linking my summer themed photos here to Inspiration Avenue (theme of "Summer's Bounty").

 And here are two pages I did for the Draw Your Awesome Life class:

 I actually kept putting off this lesson on contours and shadow effects because I didn't think I'd like it or be able to do it-wrong! I really enjoyed this lesson! First we had to crumple a piece of paper and draw the outlines of it by looking at it. Same with a piece of fabric. It was drawn with a water based marker and then depth and shadows were made by using a wet brush over the lines. Next week I'll share my pages from Lesson 7 - my painty coffee mug.

 Thanks so much for stopping by.I'll be popping in to see you too while having my morning cuppa:)

" We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost."  Henry Rollins  


Tuna and Rice Salad
  2 cups whole grain rice, cooked and cooled     1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh or frozen corn
  one can of tuna, drained    1 tomato, chopped   red wine vinaigrette
   Combine rice, corn, tuna and tomato in a glass bowl. Add red wine vinaigrette to taste. You may wish to add more as it gets absorbed into the rice.