Monday, September 13, 2021

Creative Inspirations

 

 Happy new week all! Hope everyone had a great week and weekend. Our weather although a bit warm and humid again has been delightful with some nice breezes and cooling in the early morning and nights. I'm only saddened that the sun is setting so much earlier, the leaves are falling, and autumn is now at our doorstep...but thoughts of the beach are never far from me and I will be getting in more time by the ocean real soon again😁

 In the meantime I have begun my lessons from the Ocean Alchemy online art course with Alisa Burke! Last week I shared my color swatch page and here are the prepped pages for the first two lessons I did (I am not doing the lessons in order- just going by what subject inspires me at the time I want to watch and create):

 
Watercolor washes. I have decided to use washi tape to make borders on my pages for a nice presentation.

 The first lesson was driftwood inspiration. Alisa gives several examples in the video and for each lesson offers photos. The idea is to capture the essence of the subject but in a loose and even abstract way and that's what I love about this class. Here is my driftwood inspired page:


 I used various sized permanent black markers over the color wash.

  The next lesson I chose to do was Sand Inspired. This is one of the photos of hers I used for my inspiration page:


and here is my page:


 Before I get to more art I'll take a break to join Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the gang for T Stands For Tuesday

 This is from our beach week in Fenwick Island, DE with friends:


 The large back deck overlooks the ocean and we were so happy that many of those days the mosquitos and black flies stayed away just long enough for us to enjoy our dinners!


 Yes, hubby is smiling but you know under his breath he's saying "hurry up I'm hungry"!😂 It was one of the other couples' turns as chefs du jour and they made this incredibly delicious meal with Creamy Lemon Parmesan Shrimp over angel hair pasta as the main course. Of course hubby made very sure I got the recipe so I can make it at home😉

 And another ticket for T Stands For Tuesday:
After we got back from the beach we celebrated our daughter in love's 30th birthday. Her meal request was a steak and rice stir fry which we had along with fresh cheese bread and a salad. And of course, the dessert request was a deep, dark chocolate cake:


 Our son took her to the beach for a few days earlier (yes, she loves the beach as much as I do!) and then surprised her once they were back home with an intimate birthday dinner out with close friends. You did good son💓

 More pages from the Dina Wakley Kraft Journal:


 This is the right side of the spread- I shared the left side last post. I decided to make it similar and then added a sentiment across the two pages to join them:


 Both botanicals were loosely drawn using the stem of Night Gloss Spray then colored in with Scribble Sticks. They were done on lightly gessoed book pages and as the theme at Try It On Tuesday is to use book pages I will link one more time with the right page.


 This page came together quickly as the tag was a leftover from mopped up excess paint. I added the stamped leaf, stamped quote, and a scrap of Collage Collective paper along with some paint spatters.
 Here is the whole spread (again I had shared the other page in an earlier post):


 I think for all the work I've done so far in this journal I've been coordinating both pages to make a spread.

 And for the vintage theme at Art Journal Journey I have a page I did in a handmade junk journal:


 
Also happy to join in at Paint Party Friday! Always fun seeing what everyone's up to in blogland. Happy week to you!


"Fostering creativity within yourself and others revitalizes the ability to feel, express, and act constructively – crucial competencies for our world."
       Natalie Rogers 





Monday, September 6, 2021

This and That

 

 

 First of all I want to thank you all for the thoughtful and kind comments regarding my last post about a blog and Instagram friend who passed away. You warmed my heart.

 Let's begin now first with the reason for my absence the other week or so:

 After two years we finally were able to gather with our friends (as we have done for many years now) at one of the couple's beach house!! It was a beautiful week weather-wise thankfully due to the ocean breezes and beach umbrellas because there was a heat wave up and down the East coast with 3 digit heat indexes! 

There were beautiful skies over the bay side at sunset each evening:



 


 and it was a special joy for hubby and I to get our doggy fix with another couple's sweet dog Lucy💓. It was to our benefit that they were unable to secure their usual dog sitter and they were invited to bring her along. She was SO good! I'll share more pics from our vacation in the next weeks.

 And for T Stands For Tuesday I will share the main part of our first dinner all together:


 Of course we had to begin our stay with fresh lobsters! We also had corn on the cob, and what else could we drink but champagne😉Cheers! 
And BTW, the lobsters only went up in price by $1.50 per pound after two years 😁

 And now for the art part. First up I will share this journal page with Try It On Tuesday (theme is "use book pages"):


 I applied a thin coat of gesso to the book paper before drawing the botanical using the stem from Night Gloss Spray. Dina Wakley products  used: stencil, Collage Collective papers, Scribble Sticks. Sentiment is a Tim Holtz Clippings Sticker.
 
 I have another page in the kraft journal and this one is meant for Art Journal Journey with the theme of "vintage" with guest host Wendy this month:


  The left page:


 and the journal spread:

 
 
So excited to share this wonderful giveaway offer I recently won from an artist who links up at Paint Party Friday:




 Such a generous giveaway!! I received a handmade watercolour journal (and let me say that I have never seen such a meticulous and perfectly well made journal such as this one that Soma herself makes🌟). I also received a tin with 6 Van Gogh watercolour pans and a water brush perfect for taking anywhere you go! I made a swatch of the colors for the tin and then just played a bit mixing on a scrap watercolour paper. Please do have a look at Soma's Blog where besides sharing her amazing watercolour art, she also shares her gorgeous photography skills, and has links to her other social media sites and shop. Thank you SO much Soma!!! 

 This couldn't have been a more perfect win since I am playing with my watercolours again for an online course I have finally begun called Ocean Alchemy with Alisa Burke. There are 30 lessons with sub lessons as well and all with an ocean theme! How perfect is that for me- and it only cost me $15 on sale!! She uses both watercolours and acrylics but I'm starting with watercolurs. The lesson begins with swatching colors you want to use inspired by ocean themed photos and here is my page:


 I chose paints and mixes from both my Daniel Smith colors and the new Van Gogh ones from Soma. I'm using a spiral bound 5" x 8" Strathmore watercolour journal for my lessons. Can't wait to get more lessons completed; it is such a fun course! 

 Joining Paint Party Friday as well with my post. A great group of artists sharing a vast variety of styles of art! All are welcome!

 Happy September, and happy new week everyone. 🤗

        " Respond to every call that excites your spirit."         Rumi

Monday, August 30, 2021

A Dedication Post

    In loving memory of:


 It is with great sadness that while on vacation at the beach I learned of the passing of  Tracey Fletcher King after a long and courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer. I "met" Tracey through Paint Party Friday link ups when I began blogging in 2012. She immediately captured my attention with her fun (and yes, snarky at times!!) sense of humor, and her incredible watercolor ink and pen art. I mean, Tracey painted clothing with such movement you swore it was a photo, and OMG- her crystal glasses were stunning!!!

 I went back to some of my older blog posts to share the following:

 Back in 2013 Tracey participated in the ICAD Challenge and chose to add a challenge of her own with it. If anyone wished to send her a photo or two of a mug or a teacup she would draw and paint them on a daily index card. I was thrilled that this Vera Bradley tea cup I sent:


 was painted by her:


 In October of this same year Tracey shared on her blog that she was going through a rough patch with her chemo treatments. I painted and dedicated this journal page to her and for breast cancer awareness month:


 And in December  the wonderful hosts Eva and Kristin of Paint Party Friday organized a Surprise! Virtual Tea Party for Tracey to support her with virtual love, hugs, encouragement, and prayers. Here is the mug:


 and this is my pitiful rendering of it:

     
 😬Yikes! But I did it for Trace.

 The following year Tracey had a really lovely giveaway. She had done an illustration for the Tea Spot company and they offered her  one of their tea mug sets and some teas to giveaway. And I won!!! You can view the mug along with much better photos and descriptions of everything in this post. But here are a few pics from my printed blog book:


 The package of cards she sent me- the tea cup is a sticker of the design she had created for the company. And inside the package was this amazing assortment of her postcard art!!! (Sorry for the bad photo- it looks SO much better and clearer in the actual blog post).


 Her art, her strength, her humor so touched my heart. My deepest sympathies to Tracey's family Phantom and Sinus (as she nicknamed them) her children, her husband, and the numerous other family and friends. Her legacy, her art will live on. 

 I will leave you with this photo and words from Tracey's blog:

 


"...walking with fabulous, generous, supportive friends as the sun comes up
who shamelessly laugh while I trip for the twentieth time and you know secretly they are hoping you'll go down in a pile of limbs... you know... true friends

plus I seriously can't believe we live somewhere so beautiful sometimes..." 💝


 Quick edit: as I went to grab PPF's link I just saw that Eva and Kristin dedicated last week's link up to Tracey so if you want to see more of her awesome art along with links to her sites please go there. Thank you! 




  "Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, in years that bring the philosophic mind."
               William Wordsworth



Monday, August 16, 2021

Summer Relaxation

 


 Wow, another month seems to be going by so quickly! And so before this August ends I'm going to enjoy seeing some friends I haven't seen in over a year and a half (thanks to the pandemic), relax, and enjoy each others company once again. I'll be around this week but then will take a blog break for a little while.

 Here's a quick page I had done a little while ago but forgot to post:


 A very easy way to get some quick color over a page is to use a large ( I used a 1 3/4") chip brush. Wet the brush then dip into acrylic paint and simply make two large swipes across the page. This will give you a nice base on which to build AND allow you to have white space as well. Here I used Dina Wakley Night paint for the brush strokes.  The stencil, leaf stamp, collage paper words, washi tape heart,  and Collage Collective faces are all Dina Wakley 😁

 For T Stands For Tuesday:


 
We have had some of the steamiest heat of the summer this past week with feel like temps in the triple digits so I was really craving something carbonated - Perrier to be exact! I haven't had it in quite a long time and wanted some so bad I went to the store and picked up a pack of these small bottles as a special treat. I have always loved this and unflavored seltzer water. (I've always been told I crave the weirdest things- like mushrooms, and beets, and cauliflower, though once in a while I will crave something normal to most - like pizza. But I have never craved anything sweet😜). 
 How about you - what kind of cravings do you have?  I couldn't wait for a bottle of Perrier to get cold enough to finally enjoy and quench my thirst- with a lemon wedge, and a bowl of cherries! Cheers!


 This is a page I did in the Dina Wakley Kraft Journal inspired by a free video tutorial on FB on her page called "The Art of Dina Wakley". It was about it being similar to a cartoon block (with a mixed media twist) using the same image 4 ways.  I enjoyed this one so much I already have a few ideas written for another page or two! Lots of DW supplies here- paints, stamp, Gloss sprays, Scribble sticks, Just Words Collage Tissue, stencil, Collage Collective paper bits.

 I will join Art Journal Journey (theme is Type), and Paint Party Friday. Will be around to visit this week, and then my break begins😁. Be safe, and be well everyone!


"Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down."

                                                                               Anne Lamott


Monday, August 9, 2021

Short and Sweet This Week

 

  Preparing for another heat wave this week here with very little rain relief expected. That means out in the AM and then not again until later in the day or early evening. I actually love those times sitting out  watching the birds and reading, don't you?

 My post is short because I actually managed to get three blog challenges in for one piece of art I literally just finished before typing this post 😉

 This tag is meant for the new challenge at Tag Tuesday ( Blue and Orange); the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge(Heat Embossing); and the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge (Summertime Blues):

 
Products: Dina Wakley/Ranger media tag; Versamark ink pad; white embossing powder; Dylusions Basic Backgrounds stamp set; Distress inks- Spiced Marmalade, Salty Ocean; Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions; sun face, girl images from collage sheets from Paper Whimsy. I began by stamping the alphabet with Versamark ink then heat embossing it using the white embossing powder. I then sponged the inks over top. The mesh -like bit at the bottom with some torn paper attached was a scrap sitting on my table. 

Here's a larger photo:


 For T Stands For Tuesday I have another light summery meal I recently made for dinner:


 Homemade zucchini carrot fritters/cakes (they weren't fried, but sauteed) with a dollop of sour cream and cedar plank grilled salmon. Of course we had to have a glass of wine with it 😁. Cheers!

 And I have a new journal spread for Art Journal Journey (theme is Type):





 I used Dina Wakley stencils on the background including the Mantras stencil for some "type" and the sentiment was done with an old Making Memories alphabet stamp set which I enhanced with a white Signo Uni-Ball pen. Paper Dolls are Tim Holtz.

 Happy to also participate with and visit Paint Party Friday! Happy week to all!

     "When we are centered on joy we attain our wisdom."  Marianne Williamson


Monday, August 2, 2021

Hello August!

 


  Wow- where is my summer going? August began with rain from morning til evening on Sunday and it was actually damp and a bit chilly- just like the last few mornings. I'm not ready for this😕 It IS nice to to have such humidity and heavy air though. It's been a delight sitting out as much as we can and enjoying the show our hummingbirds have been giving us. They are very curious and come quite close as well as chase each other around right under our noses. If only I could capture it for you to see...

 I'll start with my ticket for T Stands For Tuesday where we share a beverage/drink related something- whether it be an actual drink, or art, or movie clip, or drink recipe...you get it- lots of fun!! Would love to see you there!


 Because we knew it would rain all day Sunday hubby spent Saturday from morning til evening doing yard work- trimming trees, hedges, forsythia bushes, etc. then bagging it all to go to recycling. He also layed down a new outdoor carpet for the area of our back patio that's covered under a roof. So besides making a nice dinner, on Sunday morning I made him this 3 egg ham and cheese omelette with toast and coffee. And then he ate a nice piece of zucchini bread too😋. That's his newly purchased mug- he LOVES Mustangs and has owned several cars- his latest is a 2017 French Blue with black stripes down the middle. It's nice but I'm quite happy with my dependable Ford Focus😉

 And now for the last of my index cards for the ICAD Challenge. A card a day for 61 days and I completed it for the 3rd year in a row!

ICAD 58/61

I had 4 more cards to do so I went back to the series I did earlier this month creating a collage and watercolor background (here using Daniel Smith Yellow Green and Ultramarine Turquoise) a word chosen from a collage sheet, and a coordinating tile letter (Tim Holtz) which I built up with bits from my stash.

ICAD 59/61


ICAD 60/61

ICAD 61/61

 And July's cards all together:


 I went off prompt. For the whole month of June I used index cards with backgrounds using a variety of techniques on the Gelli Plate. You can see them all together in this post. For July I did 3 different series of cards:

 
For these I created lots of layers of paint, stenciling, some stamping, and mark making before adding a Tim Holtz Paper Doll and Snarky Small Talk quote. You can see the materials used here.


In this series I started by covering the cards with printed tissue paper that came as the wrapping for supplies I would order from Joggles online. I then added lots of mark making and some stenciling. I finished them with either a stamped focal image or a hand drawn one and then a sentiment from a digi sheet from Paper Whimsy. You can see how they began in this post.

 

 And in this series I began with bits of papers collaged onto the cards, then chose two Daniel Smith  watercolors, then some spattering with black and white. A word was chosen and then a coordinating tile letter built up with paper and/or fabric bits and threads. 
 My favorite of all were these watercolor cards. There was just something about creating them that felt loose, raw, and organic. And I actually loved playing with my watercolors again! I'll definitely be trying this in some of my journals.

There is a new guest host and theme over at Art Journal Journey this month! Neet is hosting, and her theme is "Type". There are so many ways to interpret her wonderful theme, so go see and read about it, and then play along, won't you?

Here is my journal spread:

 
 I have always loved this quote. For the word hope I used Dina Wakley's newest alphabet stamp set. The rest of the quote was computer generated. The faces are Dina Wakley Collage papers. I also used one of her stencils, washi tapes, and paints in her kraft journal.

 Also happily joining in at Paint Party Friday. Happy new week to you!

     " Breathe the sweetness that hovers in August."     Denise  Levertov