Monday, June 29, 2015

All "T"hings Summer!

 Hard to believe July is almost here and in the US we will be celebrating our Independence Day on the 4th! Why does it seem that summer goes faster than any other season?

 I for one have been taking advantage by spending lots of time outdoors- in the morning watching the birds have their breakfast while I have mine, and in the evenings with a glass of wine, candles, and the fireflies flickering their light near the ground while the stars above flicker in the sky.

                                                    Coffee and homemade apple cake!

 This is for my T Stands For Tuesday gang over at Altered Book Lover hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard. And a very happy 2nd anniversary-thank you for being such a gracious and accommodating hostess!!

Edit: found out I'm a bit early-the anniversary is in 3 weeks! That Elizabeth is just too organized:)

 Also had to share with you -despite the awful photo- one of the little ones that wants to link up too:

the male ruby throated hummingbird having his morning nectar! I have been trying so hard to get some decent pics, but I only have a basic camera- and not just that, these guys are FAST! What a thrill to watch though. We have a pair and two young ones but they never come visit together.

 One of the NONE pleasurable things in summer is a summer cold!!! Hubby began with it and then I got it and boy, why do colds seem worse in summer?  Hopefully we haven't given it to anyone else around us. Not something you want to share.

 Made one card recently for the theme of "summer" at the Simon Monday Challenge Blog this week:

 I think the colors and imagery definitely say summer don't you?

 Products: white card stock, patterned papers, washi tape, scribbly bird image (Dina Wakley), black Archival ink, Peerless watercolors, Twinkling H2Os, silk flower, foam adhesive.

 Hmm, now to put on my thinking cap and start on this week's Summer of Color Challenge - the colors being red, red, and a metallic! Although we are at week 4 of 6 weeks in all anyone can join in anytime-and you should see the prize pkg. that's up for grabs to one lucky winner (randomly chosen) each week!! Do take a peek:) See you later this week with my entry.

" Each fairy breath of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires the blushing rose."  Unknown

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Purple, Purple, Yellow

 That is the color combination to use this week number 3 for Kristin's Summer Of Color Challenge. And let me say -this was a huge challenge for me because I am not a fan of purple. Matter of fact, I was lucky to have 2 different purple paints to use or I would have been making a trip to AC Moore!

 The colors I worked with are: Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint-Permanent Violet Dark, Americana Acrylic Paint- Lavender, and Anita's Acrylic Paint-Banana Yellow.

 And here is my journal page:

 I am actually quite surprised it turned out so well! To get the brownish looking shading I mixed a bit of the yellow and dark purple. Other supplies: graphite pencil, gesso, Stabilo All pencil, rubber stamp (Tang Dynasty Writing- A Stamp In The Hand), Jet Black Staz-On Ink, sentiment (ARTchix Studio collage sheet), star stencil, glitter glue.

 And now to something less colorful, but exciting as well. Earlier this week I received my complimentary issue of Somerset Studio July/Aug. because I had some art published for the black and white call for art challenge! Being such a lover of color this was another challenge for certain, but you know, once I started I couldn't stop! They have several more pieces of mine, so fingers crossed they'll appear in a future issue:)

 These are the pieces in the magazine:

The envelope I sent my canvases in (that is someone else's envie overlapping in the right corner).

                                                              Shades of Love (6" x 8")

                                  Think Sometimes Of Me ( 5" x 7") sorry, color in photo is a bit off

 These canvases were totally inspired by Serena Barton whose style of wabi-sabi art I so love! I am only sorry that they omitted the credit I gave her for these pieces :(

 To those of you visiting here-anyone else published in this issue? And also, to those of you who have been contemplating sending in some art, just DO IT!! It is impossible to predict what may get chosen so create from your heart and get to the post office!

 In addition to Summer Of Color I will be visiting where I am also linking to: Art Journal Journey; Art Journal Every Day; Art It Friday-Show Your Face; and Paint Party Friday. Keep inspiring, and keep being inspired!

                        " Purple enhances creativity, clears the mind, calms stress."

Monday, June 22, 2015

Creating Yourself

 A journal page I put together quickly after stumbling upon the quote. The page had leftover paints brushed over it. I spritzed Dylusions After Midnight ink spray thru a circles stencil and then a bit over the page. Hand carved circle images and an alphabet stamp (Earth Tone Images) were repeatedly stamped using gesso. Mini Silhouettes stencil (Balzer Designs) was applied using black acrylic paint. It looked way too busy so I painted it in completely with the black paint, outlined it with both a Deco Color paint marker and then a charcoal pencil, smudged.

 Linking to Art Journal Journey (theme is masculine/feminine); Mix It Monthly (theme is the facial profile); and the Simon Monday Challenge blog (theme is stamp and mist).

 We spent a FUN Saturday evening in town again  but at a place we hadn't been to before because our "renaissance man" Lorenzo was playing there. SO glad we went because this wine bar oozed with charm! Here are some pics:

           The Artisan Wine and Cheese Cellars. Gorgeous bar and a glass encased room which holds the bottles!

           There are numerous cozy sitting areas and the walls are adorned with art for sale by local artists.

    I LOVE this vintage cabinet! Isn't that table with inlays filled with corks fabulous? And a very comfy love seat to relax in too:)

   Above the spiral staircase is another cozy nook, and yes on the right is another! Through the windows you can see the former train depot which now houses The Wooden Match which is a restaurant/cigar bar/ craft beer bar. The owners manage that place along with this artisan wine bar which was a former freight house.

 We did enjoy a nice wine selected by the knowledgeable bartender after I told him what I was looking for in a wine. We also had a lovely cheese platter to accompany our selection. This is a photo from the website because I forgot to take a pic:


  And this is Lorenzo at his best!:

 He plays so many instruments I lost count! And in addition he is a sculptor, painter and wood crafter!

 Linking to my peeps at T Stands For Tuesday. Thank you to our wonderful hostess Elizabeth!
See you in a few days with my next Summer Of Color Challenge project. It's almost complete-but let me tell you - these colors were a TRUE challenge for me this week!

 Have a great week everyone!

                    " If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul."       Clifton Fadiman

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pink, Pink, Orange!


                   These are the colors for Kristin's Summer of Color Challenge this week...

                                           BE  STILL  MY  HEART !!!

  Next to red these are my favorite colors and to prove it here are some pics of a Round Robin book group I was in for some years with the primary theme each year being a color or combination of colors. This is my book cover and pages of my art. It dates back to 2007.

                                                                  my intro page,

                                                          and my sign in pages.

and my spread. I had also asked for vintage images and a French/ Paris theme:) I SO love this book!

 On to today's completed art in my chosen colors of American Dragon Fruit and Baby Pink acrylic paints, and Golden Transparent Pyrole Orange Fluid Acrylic:

  Other supplies used-foam stamps, gesso, Stabilo All pencil, Faber Castell Pitt pen, washi tape, sentiment (ARTchix Studio collage sheet), bird (Retro Café Art collage sheet). Now that my contribution is finished I can't wait to go and see what everyone else has done. Last week's challenge entries were amazing and there were some super clever and creative projects! Please do go and visit as many as you can-you won't be disappointed!
                               " Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Getting Dylusional!


 Last week my friend LuAnn and I got together for yet another exciting art play day! First we stopped in Hobby Lobby where I got my first Dylusions journal (with coupon in tow) to play in. I have heard SO many good things about Dyan Reavely's journals and the paper inside so I had to get one (the smaller one) and try it out myself. Then LuAnn and I fueled up with a delicious lunch at Panera (I forgot to take my camera) before heading to her place to get messy!

 LuAnn had acquired all of the new Dylusions paints along with some of the new stamps and stencils and we took this day to try them out!

 For my T Stands For Tuesday gang, that is my green tea on the table-SO glad it has a lid:):) Oh, and so happy to see some of you in the Summer of Color Challenge!

 And here we go...

                           OMG these paints are SO lush, and creamy and vibrant-wow!!!

   LuAnn chose to play with tags while I played in my journal. Aren't these great? All images are Dylusions stamps.

 I stamped a bunch of the images so that I could color and cut them out another time to use on my pages. We spent so much time playing with the paint colors that I didn't even finish a page!

 Here's one more spread I painted and stamped:

Thank you LuAnn for another FUN art day, and for generously sharing your home and all those new fabulous supplies with me!! Those paints are absolutely amazing and I will definitely have to add a few of my favorite colors to my stash!

 One last bit of inspiration in another of my journals was a quick and fun portrait (?) I painted after seeing this post and art by Susi for this month's theme at Art Journal Journey which is masculine/feminine. Danke Susi!!! Although mine isn't so good Susi inspired me to give it a try nonetheless.

And this is a photo I changed to black and white and cropped to use as a reference:

 Not one word from you Bill-I did give you a nice color of hair after all:):)

I'm also linking this to Art It Friday-Show Your Face hosted by Kim Dellow. Do check it out!

Another busy week for me but I'll be back to share my latest entry for Summer Of Color and Paint Party Friday later this week. Thanks so much for stopping in, for all your comments, and to my newest followers!

" Your attitude is like the mind's paintbrush. It can paint everything in bright, vibrant colors- creating a masterpiece."          John C. Maxwell

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Blue, Blue, Green

 A very short and sweet post today...

 For the first week of Summer Of Color 5 the challenge was to choose two blues and one green to create with. For my journal page I used : Anita's acrylic paint in Medium Blue, Golden acrylic paint in Cobalt Teal and Master's Touch acrylic paint in Olive Green. The only other supplies I used were gesso, charcoal pencil, Stabilo All pencil, and sentiment from an ARTchix Studio collage sheet.

 I'm thinking I may do a girl on a page for each week's challenge but not sure how that will work depending on the colors. It is a fun additional challenge though to find mixes of the chosen paints for shading! You know my goal is to keep painting and learning to create faces and portraits mixed media and whimsical style:) You can see another face in my last post too.

 It will be fun to see what everyone else has done for this challenge. I'll also be around to visit entries in these links for this week: Art Journal Every Day, Art Journal Journey, Art It Friday-Show Your Face, and Paint Party Friday. Check some of them out for endless inspiration-oh, and do join in!

                  " Color is my day-long obsession, joy  and torment."       Claude Monet

Monday, June 8, 2015

Morning Cuppa

 Another journal page in my 9" x 12" mixed media journal. I shared the initial background in this post
It's the second page. I allowed to keep the cup as is -really because I didn't have much choice. And I'm fine with it. But just so you know-if you use spray inks, the colors will seep through no matter how many coats of paint or gesso you use over top. And some of the color will blend in with whatever you are painting over it too-which actually makes for some nice blending:)

 That's coffee in my cup, because I am useless until I have had my first one when I get up! Linking to Bleubeard and Elizabeth for T Stands For Tuesday; along with  Art Journal Journey (theme is masculine/feminine); Mix it Monthly (theme is the facial profile); Art Journal Every Day; Art it Friday-Show Your Face; and Paint Party Friday!

 And now that the warm weather is here (at least for us in the Northern hemisphere) I am back to making more food on the grill along with lots of salads. So today I want to share with you this amazing Tuscan Bean Salad!

 The recipe (which you can find at the end of this post) and all other recipes I've shared can also  be found through links under the tab at the top just under my header.

 I am scrambling to get this post up because as of now (Mon-late afternoon) we are expecting severe thunderstorms with wind , possible hail and believe it or not -a tornado warning! Yikes! So, I'm soon heading out to take down flower baskets and put away anything that might go with the wind. Also shutting down the computer once the thunder starts rolling in. Wishing everyone a great week ahead. Oh, and don't forget about the Summer of Color challenge which has begun. Working on my entry...are you?

      " I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake".    Lewis Black

                                                                Tuscan Bean Salad

1 c barley         2 cans great northern beans (15.5 oz. ea.), drained and rinsed

2 cans garbanzo beans (15.5 oz. ea.), drained and rinsed     1/2 green and 1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced        1/2 c prepared sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1/3 c prepared basil pesto    1/3 c white wine vinegar        2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 Tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped         salt and pepper

  Bring barley and 2 1/2 c. salted water to a boil on high in lg. saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, 25 min or so. Drain; rinse with cold water. Combine all ingredients in a bowl then season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 11 cups-a great, hearty, vegetarian salad to take to a picnic!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Facing Up To Challenges

  yes, art  challenges. And for those of you who know me through this blog understand how much I LOVE to be challenged/inspired by blog challenges involving art. Of course, I get through artistic blocks by the challenges, by books, by many other things, including online art classes. This year my goal was to work on faces- a hugely scary thing for someone with NO art classes outside of the early school years. I have been immersing myself with practice and projects which have been helping tremendously-thank you- all you generous teachers-including you my blogging friends!

 Recently I also had a health challenge. Well, to get through it I first had to accept it, then surrender to it, trust my doctor, follow directions and rest. Hard as it was for me it was the remedy that is allowing me to heal as needed and spend time creating again.

 So how do you cope/ work out both art challenges and other challenges? What helps you get through?

 This card was made with this week's sketch from Freshly Made Sketches:

  Products used on my card: white, black, grey card stock; glittery patterned papers (The Glitter Mat  Stack-DCWV); clear stamp (Papertrey Ink); rubber stamp (Magenta); black ink(Versafine Onyx Black); Slate ink (Adirondak/Ranger). Asst. buttons, thread.
 I am also linking my card to the Simon Wednesday Challenge for the theme of "masculine".

 This is the base layers of color for my "girly girl" face from a class by Christy Tomlinson in the Radiant Faces online class. You can see my original rough sketch in this post, and you can see the initial background page here, (the first page). This is all you will see until I have the finished portrait to show you:)

 Linking the collage page at the top of my post to ArtJournalJourney (this month's theme is masculine/feminine) and Mix It Monthly (this month's theme is the facial profile). And linking the portrait to Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday and Art It Friday-Show Your Face.

 Looking forward to seeing what artsy things you have been up to!

" Nothing's too girly and nothing's too masculine. But I do love color, and maybe that's a little girly-especially pink."                       Stacy London



Monday, June 1, 2015

A New Month and New Challenges

  Well, the calendar page has turned and that means that in all the monthly challenge blogs there are new themes to be inspired by! Do check out these challenges I participate in and see if  the themes inspire you to play along too: Art Journal Journey; Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog; Mix It Monthly. And speaking of challenges- the Summer Of Color challenge is now open!!! This is the fifth year that the amazing Kristin has been hosting this 6 week challenge and every week there is a fabulous prize to be had by one participant (chosen randomly). The party has begun with a $50 Dick Blick GC being offered this week so do check it out HERE!

 Today I just have two wip journal pages to share which were done very similarly. They are both in my XL Canson Mixed Media journal and I plan on painting faces on these.

First page:

 This is only the beginning of the layering. Papers, washi tapes, spray inks and stencils.

 Second page in stages:

                                                        First layer-papers, washi tape

                                         Second layer-the addition of ink sprays and stencils

    Third layer-toned down with sponged on gesso, some gesso also used through a geometric stencil. I am now ready to draw my image on this page. If you wish to see my most recently finished face you can see it here.

   And for my T Stands For Tuesday lovelies (sorry to have missed last week):

                 I treated my friend LuAnn to lunch at our favorite Irish Pub - McCarthy's - to celebrate her birthday.

                                                    LuAnn chose the turkey melt,

                                       and I had the roasted pepper, onion jam and brie melt.

 We shared a pot of decafe pear tea with our meals- all of which was divine!! And then we dared split some dessert:

                                   a currant scone with cream and a heavenly strawberry jam!

 Although I rarely eat sweets I do love the scones here because they are NOT very sweet at all-although there is one called "wired"-my hubby's favorite-which consists of white and dark chocolate, cinnamon, and a coffee glaze. He always says he's only going to eat half at a time-yeah, hasn't happened yet:) And it lives up to its name too-what a sugar high!

 Hope you are enjoying whatever the day brings to you today. I will be around to visit along with my cuppa. Cheers!

 "Make something every day. Make a song, make a move, make a friend, make a difference."
                                                                                                                    Pat Collelo