Sunday, February 28, 2010


This is the theme at Mixed Media Monday this week, and here is my enchanted land where the sun ALWAYS shines : )

This is done on an 11 x 14 wrapped canvas, and I just had alot of fun using all different types of mediums.  First I just started putting down colors using my Golden acrylics.  I love these paints so much--I just don't understand why they have to be so expensive (I'm very protective of them).  And then I started collaging my different scrapbook papers for the mountains, trees, and birds.  After that, I used neocolor crayons and colored pens.  I loved making this piece.

And I have to give credit to the artist Lierre Foest for inspiring me.  I was looking around on the web after I saw the theme for this week, and that's when I discovered her.  I first found her on you tube.  At first, I thought all of her work was on large surfaces, but they're not.  The majority of them are on ACEO (2.5 x 3.5) cards and 4 x 6 pieces called OSWOA--I've never heard this term before.  Does anyone know what that one stands for? I can't stop looking at her work--all the details on such tiny surfaces--she also prefers 1 x1 surfaces too!

If you like this type of colorful, whimsical art, then you will love this video:

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Couple Of WIP'S And A New Installment Of Fattening Fridays

It's been VERY boring around here this week--I mean there is nothing going on, and hey, guess what?-- it snowed last night !  : D  alot, so there's something for you.  So  I decided  to show you a couple of WIPs--I really do like saying that!

This box started out like this--

An old recipe box that  I found at a garage sale--it surely wasn't mine.  I have no need for these things.  And then the next is an 8 x 18 wrapped canvas--

As you can see, I have a heart theme going on.  They look like Valentine pieces, which wasn't my intent.  I just wanted to work with the three colors, and it just turned out being the hearts--but looking at it now, I know that I'm going to change these up a bit. You get a better perspective when you look at it in a photo as opposed to just looking at it in person--we'll see how they turn out.  I'll post them when they're finished.

And I decided to show you another meal that I had this week after Bobbi told me she was a little disappointed that I didn't show any food last Friday.  So this time, I decided to post the recipe too !!

This is creamy potato soup-yum!  I got this recipe from my daughter that she got  from her cooking class in high school. Like I said, I'm not really a cook, but I think most cream soups start out with the cream base, called a rue--but correct me if  I'm wrong.  This one doesn't, but it turns out every time.  I always adjust the recipe to make more, but here's the basic recipe

                                                         6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
                                                         2 carrots, sliced
                                                         2 celery ribs, sliced
                                                         1 medium onion,diced
                                                         1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped or dried parsley
                                                          5 cups water
                                                          4 chicken boullion cubes
                                                          13 oz. can evaporated milk
                                                          1/4 cup butter or margarine
                                                          1/2  cup milk
                                                          3 Tbsp. flour
                                                          salt and pepper to taste
1) Combine ingredients--potatoes through bouillion cubes--cook over medium heat for 40 minutes covered or until potatoes are cooked.
2) Add evaporated milk and butter, and simmer for 20 minutes on low.
3)J Combine the 1/2 cup milk and flour and add to soup to thicken.  I usually have to add more of this--just make sure you mix the milk and flour well before you add to the soup slowly. 
And then just season to taste, and let stay on the  stove for a couple of hours to get the flavor in.
I topped it with green onions, cheddar, and bacon pieces--very good.

Did I mention that I have a slight problem with my cholesterol?  Every year, I tell the doctor--I don't understand--I really don't eat bad things.  I mean look at this meal, for example--you have fresh potatoes, carrots, celery, real butter, cheddar cheese, and real bacon that I fried up myself till it was nice and crispy--so what's the problem? : )


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sarah's Home

The theme this week at The Three Muses is architecture and here is Sarah's home:

This is a place that I regret not going to when I had a chance , when  I was in San Jose, California.  It's the Winchester House built by Sarah Winchester.  She was widow to William Winchester who was the son of the founder of the Winchester Arms Company.  Needless to say, she was a very wealthy woman.  She only had one daughter who died at infancy and her husband later died of tuberculosis.  Because of this, she felt that she was cursed and after visiting a psychic, she moved to San Jose.  The reason being, is because the psychic told her  that indeed she was cursed by all of the spirits that were killed from the Winchester rifle.  And she told Sarah  that she needed to build a home in the west for her and the spirits, and that if she ever stopped building, she would die

So that's what she did sometime in the 1880's,  for 38 years--24 hours a day--365 days a year

She really did build it--she was the architect who designed it, even though she had no formal training.  Some say that's why the house is so screwy, like the doors that open into walls, the staircases that lead to nowhere, or the windows that look into other walls.  But MOST believe that this was her intent--to confuse the ghosts. She very rarely would  stay more than 2 nights in the same bedroom for fear that the spirits would find her. The house was so complicated, that the servants used a map to find their way around.   To say that this lady was a tormented soul is putting it mildly.  There are other interesting facts about the house.  Sarah was fascinated with the number 13 (go figure), so there are 13 bathrooms, 13 chandeliers, all of the windows have 13 panes and so on and so on.

In 1920, it was opened to the public for tours. Now.... they say that there have been sightings of Sarah's ghost  roaming the grounds and also her home and you better believe that I believe it.

This is Sarah Winchester, or should I say her spirit watching over her home.  I love this kind of stuff--it just fascinates me.  I'm the one that watches all of those TV shows--  "most haunted places", and of course Halloween is my favorite time of year.

And I also wanted to show you the background of the collage--

I was inspired by KC Willis to make this fabric collage.  She makes the most beautiful fabric collages, and last year I joined  her Collage Camp  workshop, and she shows you how she makes these wonderful collages from start to finish.  In the one video, she gives you a tour of her studio, and you just drool over all of the treasures she has there.  You can see her art at Lipstick Ranch, and believe me, it's worth the trip!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Giggles and Laughter

This is what Mixed Media Monday wants us to come up with this week. And here's mine:

This is my Hippie girl with a little updated shabby look, and she's on a 9 x 12 piece of wood--this has to be one of my favorite surfaces to work on.  I know, I know, you're probabyly wondering where's the humor?  I'll get to that in a minute.  I was just being a bit nostalgic this week, reliving my teen years.  I was what you would call, in my words, a "trendy" Hippie--everybody was.  I didn't live in a commune or anything, I just liked to dress like one, because that was the fashion for us teenagers way, way back then, which I'm sure irritated the heck out of the authentic Hippie.  They became mainstream--they became  part of "the Establishment", which was their main reason for being.  They wanted to change  the Establishment.

So now comes the giggle/laughter part.  They had alot of sayings, like "Make love, not war", "Tune in, turn on, and drop out", and one of my favorites was "Don't trust anyone over 30".  So what's their new motto now?

"Don't trust anyone over 90" ??

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Thank You To Milliande And Others

So as I said before, at the end of next month, I have my first art show, and all of these art pieces that I've  been making are going with me.  But I need to build up my inventory, for lack of a better word.  And I've kind of been in a little slump.  So I've been watching Milliande's art journaling videos on utube, and she helped me make this piece this week--

One of her videos was on resists using crayons.  I was going to try it in my journal, but I figured I would just do it on canvas.  And of course, it didn't turn out like hers, so I ended up covering it all up.  But my polka-dot tulips and house are done with the Caran d'Ache Neocolor 1 crayons ( I love those-I love the way they look over acrylic).  My point is, is that she motivated me into doing something.  I take Dell (my laptop) all over the house with me--she's always by my side.  And I'll turn on Milliande's utube station, and start watching.  I love watching her.  Every once in a while, she'll look up at the camera and smile--you feel like she's in the room with you.  I really am grateful for all the time that she's taken to do all of these January art journaling videos.  She even has a link for each video of the supplies that she uses, and also if you have any questions--she's there to help you.  What a generous lady she is!  In one of the videos that I watched, she's making her journal page with her daughter Maya.  Her daughter is so cute, and is so proud of her artwork.  You just know that Milliande is encouraging her every step of the way, and at the end of the video, Maya has the biggest smile on her face--they both do!

Milliande encourages ME through these videos, and so has Mystele, Suzi, Sharon, and KC Willis.  And I'm sure by the end of the year, there will be more names added to this list.  I'm doing and learning things that I never thought that I would be able to do.  And it's through these very talented artists/teachers that I've been able to do this,  and I just wanted to say "Thank You"  to them.  And I also wanted to say thank you to all of you for your comments and support--they brighten my day up, and I need it especially at this time of year.

I really feel that my work has grown, and I'm really proud of that.  One reason, is because I received my response from an art show that I apply to every year.  If you do shows, then I'm sure that you're familiar with the "rejection letter" that you can  get when you apply.  This is the way it is--you'll never get into all of the good art shows.  Well, this year I was accepted!! And I know it's because my work is so much better than last year, so another reason to thank all of these ladies for encouraging me!

So today I'm off to the mall and one of my favorite food places (I love food :) Panera Bread.  Is that restaurant nation-wide?  I'm not sure.  All I know is that I love their soup and sandwiches, and of course I'll be bringing home one of my favorites there--a cinnamon crunch bagel!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nature and Spring

The theme this week at The Three Muses is nature, and I wanted to do something with flowers--

I call her my Norah girl  (as opposed to Suzi).  This week in our class, Sharon was showing us different ways to create a face.  Basically sketching on a background with a Stabilo pencil.   I started out with collaged papers and then sketched her face.  Well, she was kind of washed out looking, so I added just a little color.  And the roses are napkins, which Sharon had showed us in the first week.  I love the way they go on--very transparent and delicate looking.

Plus I found a book in all of my stash here that was just all poems.  I didn't even realize that I had it. It's a High School library book published in 1965 called "The Golden Journey"--poems for young people--

There are so many really good poems in this book that I know I'll use--I don't remember getting this book at all!

I definitely wanted to do something flower-related.  I miss them, and I can't wait until I can see any type of green outside.  I'm sick of seeing this day after day.........

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mardi Gras

This is the theme this week at Mixed Media Monday--Mardi Gras, so I decided to make a Mardi Gras box.

And here's a better view of the cover--

When I first saw what the theme was going to be, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do.  I wouldn't really call myself  a Mardi Gras type of girl.  If  I lived in New Orleans, I'd probably stay at home.  But then Lisa  from my Suzi Blu class (who I have a feeling would love to go to the Mardi Gras, or I may be wrong--which is it, Lisa? : ) said to me-- what is  Mardi Gras without a Suzi goddess, and she was right, so thanks Lisa for the spark!

I just started out with a boring unfinished wood box that you find at the craft store.  You might be seeing alot more of these boxes.  My first art fair is next month, and these are hot items there. Then I just made it colorful and glitzy with different papers, metallic paint, and "jewels", and then finished it off with a high gloss varnish, because it has to be shiny!!

I also think that this box would come in handy for a Suzi goddess--she would put all of her beads that she collected in it   : )  And you know who else would have appreciated this box for storing her beads--Clara of course. I think it's official--Clara is my muse--either that, or my alter-ego.  Or is that one in the same?

And I also wanted to show you the latest photo of my grandson, Bob. This is for my wallet : ) He just celebrated his 5th birthday, which happened to be on Friday--the same day as mine!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Suzi And Norah

So I'm taking two classes right now, and they're both on faces, but they're different from one another.  I've been taking Suzi Blu's class for a little over a month now, and here's my latest goddess:

She has to be my favorite so far.  As much as I really like the whimsical , colorful art, I 'm still loving the shabby look, and as soon as I drew her face, I knew that's how this piece would turn out.  In Suzi's class the face is colored mostly with the colored pencils  (Prisma), and then  a few finishing touches with the acrylics.  You can do it however you want, but this is how she teaches it.  Also, I'm trying to get a little looser with the hair.  The way she teaches us --it's the face that is the most important--everything else is abstract--so anything goes, including the hair.  I'm still working on that part.  I do know that all of my girls have nice full heads of hair, and this one as a little natural curl to it.  Probably because I have stick straight, baby fine hair that won't do anything.

And then in Sharon's class, All Norah's Art,   we learn  how to color the face with acrylics, and mostly using Folk Art brand paints, which are inexpensive, but still work good.  This is my first face.

Now I've been only taking this class for a week, and I notice some things that I'd like to improve on, but overall,  I'm very happy with it.  I love the look of  Sharon's faces--they have an old-fashioned, vintage look to them.  And you see that house in the background?--that's an inkjet print transfer, which I 've never been successful with before.  But Sharon shows us in her step by step video (one of  7 for the just the first week alone!) how to do this, and I was so pleased that it turned out (I keep telling everybody this : ) She's very thorough with her lesson, and I love watching her paint.  Her new lesson starts today!

I love creating both of these faces--Suzi's and Sharon's-aka Norah's.  I turn on the videos and work along with them.  I know Suzi's by heart--I don't even watch her anymore--I just listen.  I talk along with her, because I know what she's going to say next.  And I'm sure it will be the same for Sharon's, once I watch them enough--right down to her Southern drawl!  Both of these classes are still available to sign up for, and I can't recommend them enough!

No fancy cooking this week to show you, but I will have some cake and ice cream. is my birthday.  I am 56 years old today, and what are those sayings?--"You're as young as you feel", "Age is just a number", "Youth is wasted on the young"--I know there's more.  These sayings were all probably invented by "old" people to make us feel better.  But you know what--they're right.  If I live to be 100, I know one thing for sure--I will  NEVER  be old!!  So I'm off to the internet now to look for some more age sayings : )

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Postage Stamp Blossoms

The Three Muses wants us to create something with postage stamps this week--how about picking them and putting them in a vase--

It's nothing new for me to make a collaged vase with collaged flowers, but I have to say that I've never made postage stamp flowers, but why not?  I thinks all stamps are little pieces of art with all of their different color and variety-- just like flowers.  I put this on a piece of wood measuring 12 x 12 , so I knew I wanted them fairly large to make a vase and even a tablecloth--

So I went on google to search for stamps, and when I found them, I just enlarged them.  Sometimes when I'm making something, I want that one little thing for the finishing touch.  And I know I have it here--I just have to find it.  I'll search this  ENTIRE  house for the ENTIRE day, and never find it, and now I  think that I've been looking in the wrong place.  I should  look  in the Google house, because you can find anything there!

I really do believe that in the not to distant future, there will be no such thing as a postage stamp.  My son who is soon to be 23, (and doesn't live at home), I don't think has ever bought a stamp in his life, and not because I give them to him--it's because he has no need for them--everything he does that would require  a stamp, he will do electronically.  I think the post office is still making stamps probably more for the collectors and the mixed media artists.  They've always been collectible, but when they're no longer available, they'll be highly collectable.

Kind of like green stamps--remember those--you got them when you went grocery shopping, and when you filled up so many books of them, you could go to the green stamp store, and get what ever you had enough books for--and they had everything  there. I found a whole sheet of these and the unfilled book at a flea market a couple of years ago, and it was like I discovered gold.   How about the Raleigh coupons on the back of the Raleigh cigarettes--same idea--great marketing strategy on the part of this tobacco company--if you smoke more of these and faster, you can get your  "free"  item with your coupons--brilliant!!

Someday, I think it will be the same for these wonderful little pieces of art--I hope that I'm wrong.

Also, on a side note--are there any Survivor fans out there?--well I sure am.  I've been watching it since the very beginning (10 years ago).  It's starting this Thursday--Heroes vs. Villians, and I can't wait!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Romance At MMM

Mixed Media Monday's theme this week is  romance and here is my romantic submission--

The title of  this piece is "Clara's New Beau"--oh yeah that's right, Clara's at it again.  This is her in her younger days with  her new boyfriend.  I don't know his name, and I'm sure she didn't remember it  either later on in her life, because she had many beaus in her time. She 's getting ready for her big date with him, which happens to be Valentine's Day. She's made up her face, used her best perfume (looks like she used it all up,too), and made sure to wear her pearls (that happened to be a gift from a former beau), and notice the roses--she received them for Valentine's Day......from someone else.  They both seem  to be very smitten with each other at the time this photo was taken:

I started out with an unfinished shadowbox, and turned it backwards--

I don't like to use things the way they're supposed to be used--probably why I reversed it. Then I collaged sheet music on the outside and inside. After that I  Mod Podged the images first and then the lace on the reverse side of the glass--so basically everything was under the glass instead of on  top:

And then I just used Clara's items, and completed my box. The image of Clara and her new suitor I found on Google--how she ended up there, I'll never know.  You know, all this talk about Clara--do you think that Clara could be my muse??

So there's two things happening next weekend--St. Valentine's Day and my Birthday!  I could do without one of them :  )   And I also wanted to direct you to Kelly's blog.  I met her in Suzi's class and she is having a giveaway, but a little bit different than most.  She makes beautiful jewelry, and her giveaway is any image of your art that she will put in a pendant for you--isn't that cool?  You have until Feb. 12 (which happens to be my birthday--that would be a great present, don't you think?)  Happy Valentine's day everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Journal And I Cooked Again!

I'm really getting into my art journal now. Actually, it's another Moleskine--the same one I have for Suzi's class.  I really, really love it, but it's black, so I knew that I had to do something about that--so  I covered it--

And here's the back--

Sharon at All Norah's Art  showed us this technique in her class.  Actually, the class is starting today --yay!  She put up a bonus video while we were waiting for today to come, and I really liked this technique, and thought it would be great for a journal cover.  And then I had some old jewelry that I added on for embellishing.   These 2 pieces were from a broken necklace--

They say harmony and growth, which I thought was fitting.

ALSO, I finished my journal page--

Well, it's really a 2 page spread.  I decided to take the text into the hair, also.  And thanks again Kristen  for giving me the inspiration for using the text on her face!  This is my first completed journal page ever--now onto the next, and I'm going to try not to involve a face this time.  I just love doing these, though.

And yes, I cooked again.  Now let me tell you, I hate to cook, so when I do, it's something that I really enjoy, which usually involves alot of calories.  Last Sunday, I posted my mac and cheese dish, but I actually ate it on Friday.  And  I made this dinner yesterday, but I'm posting it today.  And you know how some bloggers like to pick a day and have a theme for it?   Like Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover has Silent Sunday.  Well, I think that I'm going to start having Fattening Fridays.  Here's what I made--

Italian wedding soup with a big, buttery piece of garlic toast (which turned out exceptionally well).  I don't think this is as fattening as the mac and cheese, but I don't think it's low in calories, either.  It was delicious!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Birds Of A Feather"

The challenge this week at The Three Muses is birds of a feather, and my birds of a feather gather here:

In their bird house--these are the three elements that I like to use the most in my art (aside from my new obsession with faces), houses, hearts, and birds--so I loved this week's challenge.  To start out with, I used this old cupboard door I had that had  a glass insert--

I then  collaged  text from my favorite over-sized children's book that I have and scrapbook papers--

And then for the bird house I used my scrapbook papers  again--

I love making pictures with papers--kind of like putting a puzzle together.  It's very relaxing for me.

I also wanted to show you a WIP.  Tara doesn't like using that word, but I kind of do, although I've never used it before.  Remember my journal pages from last week?

Well, I started it--I know, I know, I'm a slow-poke, but I started it--

And I know, it's another face--I can't get away from them.  One of the ladies from my Suzi class, Kristen  had posted some of her faces with text on them, and I loved the way that they turned out, so thanks to her, this is what I decided to do.  I keep adding layers to her face, and when I want to preserve what I've done, I just add clear gesso to her, and then I can add more layers.  She kind of looks sad or mad--either way--it's probably because I WON'T LEAVE HER ALONE!!  So I'll leave her be for a while and continue on with these pages.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I'll let her tell me.


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