Friday, April 29, 2016

Trees, Mandalas, and More!

 Lots to share today so let's get on with it shall we? First up- Happy Arbor Day!

                               Trees            By A. Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

I was surfing You Tube for watercolor techniques to paint a tree. What happened was I brought out a scrap of paper and my oil pastels to get a feel for the shades etc. and scribbled the above. I decided I liked it enough to share just as it is. I'll get to the watercolor version eventually:)

A few weeks ago I won a book in a giveaway by Andrea from her Falling Ladies blog
                   front and back covers along with the art card she sent me

 Thank you Andrea it is a wonderful book! There are projects that range from watercolor mandalas, doodle mandalas, paper cut mandalas, mandalas from nature, to mixed media mandalas - all with subtitles and materials used. Nicely detailed step outs too! And they are in sections by 5 different authors/artists including Andrea. So of course I went on to try one of Andrea's watercolor mandalas first and this is what I did:

 It took my brain a bit of time to wrap myself around using the protractor to measure the circles but eventually I got it:)

  Here it is colored in: ( I used Peerless watercolors)

 And what I decided to do at this point was to make two copies of it so I could experiment with using white gel pen to doodle one and black to doodle the other:

    what a difference in the outcome, huh? So which one do you like better??

 I'm excited to attempt more of these along with some of the other projects! You can find the book here. Great book, and congrats Andrea!

 And here is my last entry for Art Journal Journey's theme this month - "For The Record-be inspired by music."

  Of course I must share the music of this song with you too:

 another blast from the past! Thank you so much dear Susi and Valerie for inviting me to host this past month. It has been a fabulous experience to visit so many artists and their entries-thanks to all!! Can't wait to see what the next theme will be- coming on Sunday May 1- so stay tuned at Art Journal Journey!

 I am also linking to the one and only Paint Party Friday for it is there where I discovered so many brilliant artists along with some of the challenges I participate in.  PPF,  you ROCK!!

 Much thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a message. Always good to hear from a friend or two, old or new.

"Doing good holds the power to transform us on the inside, and then ripple out in ever-expanding circles that positively impact the world at large."  - Shari Arison

Monday, April 25, 2016

Just For The Record...

... there is still time for this month's theme here:

 which is " for the record-inspired by a song". I have had a blast as guest host and visiting well over 100!! entries! It has been so fun learning about songs, some I had never heard of, and all the clever journal pages inspired by music. So thanks for joining in! I have another page to add and share today:

 along with my favorite version to accompany it:

 Besides Art Journal Journey I will be linking this to Moo Mania and More (theme is "floral"), and Art It Friday - Show Your Face.

 For Elizabeth and friends at T Stands For Tuesday:

  I had this Risotto Capasante-pan seared scallops on a bed of saffron risotto and topped with  sun dried tomato pesto. OMG-it was divine!!!
  This was last Saturday night when Bill and I had gone out again to Stefanos- a wonderful Italian restaurant we had been to last month. They have entertainment on Saturdays so we thought we'd have dinner and stay. A local band called "Red" played and were we in for a treat!! Just three guys and they played electric violin, drums and guitar doing many cover songs from the last 6 decades. They were fabulous!! We'll definitely be watching for them to come around again!

 The weather has been heavenly so I actually began planting some flowers-just geraniums and marigolds for now. I got two hanging baskets of geraniums too and want to get two more.

 Wednesday I am supposed to get together with my friend LuAnn for a day of die cutting some newer dies and I can't wait!

 I'll be back for Friday with a post full of art including some I did inspired by a Mandala book I recently received in a giveaway, and I'll have one last entry for Art Journal Journey so I do hope you'll pop in!

 Have a super week everyone!!

" Your heart is just a beatbox for the song of your life".      Sandi Thom

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

The title is to combine both my art projects here. It is Earth Day today, and yes, we should remember that EVERY day is earth day and we are all accountable.

 This portrait began as a study in using only charcoal to draw the face and then applying just white gesso for varying shades. I should have stopped to take a pic when I did that. But I didn't. And I just couldn't leave it-my brain screamed IT NEEDS SOME COLOR! So I used some pan pastels for the flowers, the cheeks, and the background. The earth and her dress are deli paper monoprints. The heart image from ARTchix Studio.  I will do another and challenge myself to leave it in black and white cuz it really was lovely.

 Linking to Art It Friday- Show Your Face and Paint Party Friday.

My next journal page is for Art Journal Journey- another entry for the theme this month "For The Record". Be inspired by a  song. I am also linking it to Try It on Tuesday where Valerie has provided a beautiful spring themed mood board for inspiration, and to Moo Mania and More for the theme of "floral".

 The image is from ARTchix Studio and the flowers are vellum stickers. I can't help but having all these French songs in my head lately as I am keeping up with Patty and Jim on FB as they vacation all around France. Their photos are absolutely stunning and have me yearning for another trip there myself!

 Of course you must hear the song as well. The original by Edith Piaf:

 I have read her biography Piaf A Passionate Life by David Bret. It had me completely drawn in and yet it was a tragic and heartbreaking life she had. I have the movie La Vie En Rose starring one of my very favorite French actresses Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf and she gave a stunning performance in this mesmerizing movie!!

 Would love for you to join in at any -or all- of the challenges mentioned above! See you soon!

" You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
                                                                                           Jane Goodall

Monday, April 18, 2016


  I am so blessed with the most wonderful friends. Last week some were still celebrating my birthday although it was a month ago! After getting over the aging thing I decided I quite like an extended birthday:)

 And with friends in mind I created a journal page around a song I couldn't get out of my head recently.  I'll be linking my page here

  where I am guest host this month with the theme of "For The Record" - be inspired by a song. There's still LOTS of time to play and join in-the entries have been amazing, and some (like me) have been linking the song video too for added pleasure!

 My journal page:

Background is gesso resist and Distress Stains. The girl images are old stickers I had in my stash. I just wish I was more consistent with getting clear photos-sorry, not my forté. Here's the song: Enjoy!

 I am also linking to Moo Mania for the theme of "music".

Another dear friend Lynne took me for lunch and gifted me with a few things including this new mug:

aren't those bunnies adorable? I have always loved bunnies and it has been my nickname for many years:) Sharing my new mug and coffee with the gang at T Stands For Tuesday.

 And during lunch out with Lynne she  surprised me with this:

a Mexican dark chocolate and peanut butter frosting cake with candle and confetti! Now, she knows as most do that I very rarely eat dessert and knew I wouldn't order it so she pre-planned  with this cake knowing that my hubby and son love it- once home it was gone in no time flat-and no I did not have any!

 Spring has completely arrived so we spent this weekend bringing out the patio furniture (yay!) candles, and bubbles ( yes, I love playing with bubbles); hubby cut the grass again; and then the garden plot shared with our next door neighbors was cleaned up and tilled. We enjoyed a nice dinner of salmon and sweet potatoes on the grill along with the last of the kale from the garden that provided for us since last summer! Now I can't wait until I can start buying and planting flowers. It still is a bit too early in these parts...

 Do you plant a garden? Has spring arrived at your door in your parts of the northern hemisphere?

 I'll be back by Friday with another music inspired journal page along with a page just for  Earth Day. See you then, and have a fabulous week!

 "Wherever you are, it's your friends who make your world."   William James

Monday, April 11, 2016

Birthday Balloons and More


  The Simon Says Wednesday Challenge Blog is having a birthday-7 years! And to celebrate they were offering 7 gift certificates to their online store this week. Did you know they offer a GC every week? Wow! So this is my entry for their birthday theme even though I was unfortunately too late to enter. I also used this sketch challenge from Freshly Made Sketches:

 I love this sketch and will definitely explore it further when I get more time! I used  one of my newly purchased dies for the balloons and sentiment.

  For my friends at T Stands For Tuesday:

  I met up with my three best friends of well over 40 years for lunch. We met at a diner that is known for its good food and it was that and more. The portions were very generous and the prices good. The menu was extensive and the service excellent! (yes, doggie bags provided:) I'm surprised we managed to eat in between all the laughter and chatter! We then went to the nearby shopping center for a walk thru Hobby Lobby. One of the girls was never there and oh was she like a kid in a candy shoppe:):) (We all do some sort of art and or crafts, sewing, knitting , crocheting...). I didn't have a problem not purchasing after my stamp convention finds:)

At Art Journal Journey we are playing with the theme "For the Record" and I am having a great time seeing what songs everyone is choosing to make a journal page for! Here is another from me:

 The background was done with one of my new stamps. I stamped it using a VersaMark inkpad then sponged several colors of my new Pan pastels over the page. I set it with Workable Fixative by Krylon then finished the page with vintage images,  strips of sewn fabric scraps and printed words from this song:

How I am longing to be by the sea again...

Busy, busy week for me and so this may be the only post I get to this week. If it is, I'm also linking to Paint Party Friday so I can see what everyone is doing there at the end of the week. Have a wonderful week ahead everyone!

" Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand."    Stevie Wonder

Monday, April 4, 2016

Art And Stamping Supplies-Oh My!!

  Before I get to an awesome day at a stamp convention I want to invite you to Art Journal Journey to play along with this month's challenge "For The Record" of which I am guest designer. I am also featured at Try It On Tuesday and have posted a tutorial in this post on gesso resist using the theme of "add a quote" for my project. Would love for you to join in! Links also on the sidebar:)

 Saturday my friend LuAnn and I went to a neighboring town for the annual Heirloom Productions Rubber Stamp Convention and we not only got some awesome things but had a blast oohing and aahing over so many gorgeous creations. Warning- a bit picture heavy here!

 Some booths were very popular and were packed along with long lines. Doesn't look so bad in these shots though. Our first stop was at Our Daily Bread Designs where they offered a 30% off deal for a few hours. Needless to say we were like sardines but LuAnn and I both got what we wanted!

Here's my take away:

 Finally got some of those stitched border dies I have been wanting for SO long! Picked up a few word dies with a matching stamp set too:) The candle set on the lower left was a freebie along with the special discount.

A few samples of the display cards showing some of  the dies I purchased:

                                                aren't they gorgeous??

 Next stop was Impression Obsession's booth where I got this:

  Some new "cover a card" stamps, new ink pads and a set of Pan Pastels!! That starfish card was demoed using the stamp I did buy along with pan pastels. I love those pan pastels!!

Here are a few more card samples:
 Those are the other stamps I bought from top left:  BESusan (minus the dots background stamp); the stamp that is in soft vanilla -CrissCross; and that gorgeous RoseLace stamp I fell in love with! It was very hard to capture the beautiful shimmer using some pearl and iridescent pan pastels in addition to solid colors but these were strictly done with the pastels!

                  A new Staz On ink-Fuschia along with a container of tiny buttons, only two washi tapes(see the display below and you'll see just HOW good I was there:):), and two acetate sheets. I will add colored glitter to the backs and layer to cards.

                      And this is only a corner of the washi tapes-yes $1.99 per roll!!

Where I got my acetate:

 at the Stamp On It Booth which had stunning card samples along with hundreds of these metallic stickers:

One more display to share:

At Heartfelt Creations they had a die for anything you could think of and really breathtaking cards!!

 I will say that LuAnn and I did very well, and I stuck to the  list I had made before going in-except for the 2 washi tapes:):) Now to get a play day going!!

Art Journal Page:

 Inspired by Dina Wakley's books along with the song "Rainy Days and Mondays" by The Carpenters. And how apropos as it is Monday as I'm typing , and a very rainy and gloomy day.
Background and dress are deli paper prints. Raindrop stamp is hand carved.

 Linking to Art Journal Journey, Art It Friday-Show Your face and Paint Party Friday.

And lastly-for my T Stands For Tuesday peeps:

The mug I just switched to (yes, I have Paris on the brain lately) and a homemade breakfast bar (recipe is here).

 Have a super week everyone!!

  "The earth has music for those who listen."   William Shakespeare

Friday, April 1, 2016

For The Record

  Hello lovelies! I am honored to be guest host for the month of April over at Art Journal Journey. Thank you Susi and Valerie for this special opportunity!

         The theme I have chosen is  "for the record".

  What songs inspire you? Create a journal page around a song title or words from a song. Please tell us in your post what song you chose to create your page. I am really looking forward to seeing your pages and the music that inspires you. Happy creating!

  This is the page I made:

                          bet you can't guess the song that inspired this page-LOL!

                                           I Love Paris In The Springtime!

 Here are two detail shots:

 Stencil paste was applied through the "Mini Cubist" stencil  (Crafters Workshop) onto the pregessoed page. Let dry. A variety of Dylusions ink sprays were spritzed around the page and in addition spritzed with water to allow colors to move and blend. Eiffel tower was fussy cut from a napkin. Image is a digi sheet from Paper Whimsy. Music score was found online, printed, trimmed, and glued in place after sponging over it with coordinating inks. "Amour" is part of a stamp set from Oxford Impressions. The page was embellished with paper flowers, vellum leaves, butterfly rub-on and gemstones.

 I am dedicating this page to my dear friend Patty who will very soon be experiencing Paris (and other parts of France) in the springtime for a special occasion.  Bon voyage mon amie!

 Linking to Art Journal Journey and Paint Party Friday. Hope to be seeing YOU there! 

 BTW- I am also guest designer over at TiOT with the theme of quotes. My previous post includes a tutorial for my project :)

 " Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."                     Plato