Thursday, April 30, 2009

EDM #23 and CED2009

I found myself barefooted this morning and decided to tackle EDM #23 - your foot. I used a 2H pencil and just did a quick sketch. Except for the fact that I think my foot is longer and thinner than this (must be something about the perspective) and far better looking %-), I think it is an okay sketch.

I have had my coffee this morning and a bowl of Shredded Wheat and Bran with a sliced banana and some fresh sliced strawberries and think it is about time to head for the treadmill. I've already had a shower so am not all that fired up to get hot and sweaty, but tomorrow is a weigh and measure day and I think every little bit helps.

That's all I have for now. Don't forget to sign up for the book giveaway on a previous post. I will be drawing the winner some time tomorrow.


EDM and CED2009

I saw a challenge in one of my emails from a Yahoo! group for drawing a handheld game. I immediately thought of a 15 Puzzle that I have had for years. It was more difficult than I thought it would be and I am not totally pleased with how it turned out. I used inks and Pitt pens so mistakes are evident and not erasable.

I actually drew this a couple of days ago and then couldn't bring myself to share it because I thought it was too poorly done. Now I think I need to stand back for a moment and remember that this art of mine is a journey and that I am not always going to love what I have drawn. So I am posting it anyway.

The hubster is working on DD's house every morning and I am babysitting the two little girls, so art is not getting all the attention it deserves. Perhaps this evening (DD gets home around 10 PM) if I am not too tired I will come back to my studio and see where my muse takes me.

That's all I have for now. Be sure to check out the giveaway post and leave a comment if you want to be in the drawing for a fabulous book.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

5,000 Visitors and A Giveaway

Some time in the next few days, my blog will have it's 5,000th visitor. To celebrate I am having another giveaway. This one is for the wonderful book binding book by Keith A. Smith, "Quick Leather Bindings".

In order to have a chance to win this book, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post. I will choose a winner on May 1.

Good Luck!!!

Goodies, New Old Finds, and CED2009

Some time ago, I won a drawing from Roni Johnson at Ink Stains and the first mailing never reached me. I was supposed to win a packet of St. Pat's day stamps and some gold leafing. She contacted me to see if I had received it only to find that I hadn't. She sent this wonderful package to me and I received it this weekend. There is a lovely wallpaper holder and it was filled not only with the items that I had won, but also the lovely tags you see above. I just love getting goodies in the mail!!!! Thanks, Roni!

Yesterday was a wonderful day. I went to my friend Nancy's house and checked out her newly purged studio and I was blown away. I could actually see the color of her work table. It was awesome. We spent a couple of hours making more ephemera bags for an upcoming garage sale and then went out to lunch.

For the first time in a long time, I didn't have a particular time that I had to be home, so Nancy took me to an antique mall in Stockbridge. Will wonders never cease! Stockbridge has a dynamite restaurant, Red Sky, and they have a treasure filled antiques mall with pretty good prices, Haffner's.

Here are some of the treasures I found:

This has an original sticker on the back that says it is a Bastille cabinet that retails for $156. I paid $25.

This was only $10!

This was $4.

This was $14.50.

I felt like I won the lottery. The hubster and I have browsed the antique malls in Mason and I have not found nearly this many goodies and the things that I found myself drawn to were out of my price range. It was great to find this really large place overflowing with "stuff" and to find some treasures.

I am tutoring today at 2 pm and really should work out before then. There is a challenge in my email to draw a hand-held game. I may try that first. If I get it done, I will post it later.

That's it for now! Don't hate me because I found all those goodies yesterday!! &-)


Monday, April 27, 2009

New Pencils, EDM #76, and CED 2009

I received a 15% off your entire order including sale items from Michael's that was good for 4 pm to 8 pm yesterday; and I couldn't resist. I went in to town around 4:30 and purchased a Xyron adhesive refill and a slightly damaged Strathmore Sketch pad - 14" by 17", 60 #, with a bit of a curl in one corner. It had been marked down from $21.99 to $5.99 and then an additional 15% was taken at the register. I also bought a set of Gioconda 12 Soft Pastel Pencils.

I tried them while drawing this crocus. They are like butter, but leave quite a bit of "dust" that at first I mistakenly tried to brush off (that explains the smudge in the upper left part of the picture. For the rest of the picture, I removed the "dust" the PROFESSIONAL way - I blew it off! I think maybe there is something about these amazingly soft pencils that I have to learn, but for now I am not totally displeased with the end result.

As usual, the original looks a bit better than the photo.

I'm off today to work on ephemera packs with my friend Nancy.

See you later.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ahhhh Spring!

Yesterday was for me the first REAL Spring day. I drank my morning coffee on the swing on the screened porch - without a hoodie - and was in heaven. After my coffee, I took my camera with the long lens on and took a few pix. I used to take pictures all day every day, but spending time in my art room has taken priority. It felt really good to spend time in the yard with the camera. I am going to have to do more of that.

I have chosen a few of my favorites to share with you. I hope you like them.

The tulip tree is just about to "pop".

I just love how this "different" one stands out.

And what would Spring be without the frogs in the backyard creek.

Official frog catcher. Papa gave her a net and she loves to catch frogs, bring them to the porch to show us and then let them go. I just love it when my little redhead wears pink.

That's it for today.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

EDM #105 and CED2009

Lucky for me the EDM police were out having coffee this morning so I skipped all the way from challenge #70 to EDM #105 - draw a pair of scissors. I had fun with this, except I still can't get the textured look I want with a Micron pen, but want to keep trying. It helped to color with Pitt pens and I guess overall I am happy with them.

It is definitely a workout day today. I am hoping to work out with Cathe on DVD and then walk the treadmill for an hour before getting outdoors to enjoy this day. It is supposed to be in the low 60s today and I am thrilled. Hoping to enjoy the traditional afternoon flavored coffee out of doors, whether on the screened porch or out in one of the swings in the yard.

Hope you have a great day!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Bird, EDM and CED2009

Late last evening I decided to try my hand at another bird using ink and Caran d' Ache crayons. I found a picture of a white throated sparrow in a book and tried to reproduce him. I am pretty happy with the results, but definitely need more practice.

I also tried EDM #70 Something you're afraid of using a Micron pen. I'm not sure how to make him look hairy. I tried small marks overall, but am afraid I didn't capture it very well.

I really like the "you can't erase" mode of a pen, but don't yet know how to produce the texture I want. I will keep trying.

I have the girls again today as DD (I so want to refer to her in the way Suzan Buckner refers to her daughter, who btw shares my daughter's birthday. She calls her The One Who Knows Everything.) went to work at 6 AM. I am tutoring at 1 PM, so the hubster will be here to take over at 12:30 PM. Before that he will run in to the new house to drop off a caulk gun and some other odds and ends.

Well, I'd better get my "caboose" in gear.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leather Journal, Birds & CED2009

I had the most wonderful package in the mail today. I won another journal from Rice at the Voodoo Cafe, but this one is leather - it is heavenly, exquisite, buttery soft, ooooooh!

When I showed it to P, the kindergartner, her comment was, "No fair, Nana, you have more journals than I do!" She has at least half a dozen herself, one she made herself and one I made for her, the rest have come from friends and Santa. Of course, she doesn't yet have a leather one :-)

I have been really busy these last few days. I tutored a total of 9 hours since last Wednesday and have babysat several of those days besides. I haven't had much time to devote to art work (read "fun"). I have, however, tried to draw a couple of birds. The one on the left hand page is a hawk and the one on the right is, I think, some kind of swallow. The rest of the page is a combination of blue and yellow pencil and bird stamps.

The words say, "The birds do not sing to a man who cannot hear".

I bought a wireless printer/scanner with the money from tutoring and had no trouble connecting it to the network with my desktop computer. However, I am unable to get it to be recognized by my iBook. I have tried at least 4 times. I am going to have to call for support when I get a few hours to myself. It is hard to converse with tech support with babies vying for my attention.

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring. The painting and ripping of carpet has begun at my daughter's recently purchased house and all schedules are unpredictable. I am just trying to go with the flow and take it as it comes.

That's it for now!


Friday, April 17, 2009

EDM #11

Today is a very busy day, but I am trying really hard to sketch at least one thing each day. This morning the hubster and I went into town for weed and feed, oil for the lawn mower, bird seed and light bulbs. We had breakfast out and looked at grills, too.

My daughter is closing on her house at 2 PM and I am meeting my tutee at the same time at Panera. Afterwards I am going to stop and pick up some potatoes so that I can make some potato salad when I get home. I didn't get to it the other day.

Also, the young man who I tutor in Calculus called this morning. He is coming over tomorrow early in the afternoon.

It is a gloriously beautiful day and my attitude is terrific. I am taking all the cardboard, plastic containers, glass bottles and aluminum to the recycling place on Lansing Avenue. I have been told by a reliable source that they take everything - my local place only takes a few items.

I still need my oil changed and my car washed, but that may have to wait for another day.

Meanwhile, here is a pair of my glasses (cheaters). I tried to add a little color (roughly). The brown is approximately the color of the glasses and the orange is what the highlights look like.

That's it for now. Bye!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jackie Robinson Day

The baby was picked up by her Dad around 3 pm and she and her sister are spending the night. This means that I can have some uninterrupted art time.

I wanted to have a journal page to remember yesterday's Tiger baseball game and since it was officially Jackie Robinson (42) Day and every player on both teams was wearing the number 42, this is what I came up with.

The background was made with wet Caran d' Ache crayons, as was the number 42. The words with the score, time, weather, pitchers' names, what we wore, what we ate, where we sat, and the date were written with Pitt Artist Pens.

I think this will make a great memory to look back on and I think I've included enough information so that the memory will remain strong.

That's it for now.


Detroit Tigers and EDM #10

We went to a Tigers/White Sox game yesterday. It felt really strange to be wearing long underwear in April, but we were so glad we dressed for the weather. We had a lovely time which was enhanced by the face that the Tigers won 9 - 0. We left when the score was 6 - 0 because I had told my young tutee I would meet her in the evening to work on some Precalculus. We got home around dinner and I grabbed a bowl of the pea soup that I had made the night before, changed out of my long underwear and met her at 7. We worked for 2 hours and I didn't get home until almost 10 pm.

I have the baby today until 3 or 4, at which time I am planning to go to the store and get some potatoes and use up the colored Easter eggs to make potato salad.

It is a beautiful day - sunny and expecting 60 degrees. YIPEE!!

I have attempted to draw my hand in a semi curled position. It was tough. I definitely need to practice, but I don't think it is completely awful.

I am hoping to work in my art journal later today. I want to make a two page spread about the game yesterday. It was Jackie Robinson day and all the players were wearing the number 42. A little confusing, but nice.

That's it for now.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

EDM #8 and CED2009


I have a drawing to share. It's EDM #8, a sketch of a domino pendant I am making which will later be painted. I am planning to try to sell them at a nearby farmers' market and will share my progress with you as the season begins.

Well, this week is shaping up to be chock full of fun. Yesterday I spent the morning with a dear friend reorganizing her studio. We spent about 4 hours and really got a lot accomplished. She had already spent lots of time on her own and had a lot done by the time I arrived. I am going to guess that we are about 1/6 done. But, oh, what fun! When I try to reorganize my own stuff, I find it to be almost overwhelming and pretty frustrating. When it is someone else's stuff, it is so different. I can't wait to go over again and watch it/help it develop.

Today is a workout day. I am already in my workout clothes and once I get this posted I am going to weight train for about an hour with Cathe and then walk for an hour on the treadmill. I will feel so good when I am done - it is definitely worth it!

This afternoon I am meeting a new tutee. This is a young female who is taking a Precalculus class and would like some help. We are going to meet at Panera's to work. I am looking forward to meeting her and working in a place where someone else can make the coffee. I might even have one of their yummy cranberry bagels.

Tomorrow the hubster and I are going to a Tigers/White Sox game. I always enjoy an outing to the ball park. It is supposed to be around 60 degrees and sunny. That means layered clothing and sunscreen. The only thing better than going to a ball game is going to a ball game where the home team wins. Here's hoping!

I will spend some time later in the week working on my girl. I don't know how I want to finish her. I wasn't planning to put clothing on her, but maybe I will - I am totally empty of ideas at this point in time. I know I need to do something to make her better fit with the background, but am not sure what that is going to be. Perhaps I will surprise myself when I start working on it.

That is it for now.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Inchies and More

I have never made inchies before and was a bit intimidated by the size of them. How was I going to draw on such a small "canvas"?

For this project the theme is text background. That was easy; I made the text background on a larger piece and then cut it into inchie size. I finally got up the nerve to draw on each one. I am not displeased with the result, except I think I will go over the colored pencil either with marker or wet watercolor pencil to make them "pop" more.

I also finished up an ATC exchange project whose theme is four letter words. This was fun and no pressure.

For both of these projects I still need to finish the backs before putting them in the mail. Meanwhile, I am still adding to my EDM journal, but desperately need to figure out either how to shade to give them a 3-D quality or get out the watercolors to add some depth to them. I am finally beginning to think I can reasonably draw the outline of things, now I really need to make the leap to making them look more real with shading or color.

Today is going to be quite busy. I am spending the morning with an art friend working at her house and then I am picking the kindergartner up from school and taking her to ballet class.

I won't get an opportunity to spend time in my art room today, but tomorrow I am planning to spend more time on the face for my Faces class (there is a new video due today) and maybe start a new one.

That's it for now. See you tomorrow.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

A New Product and More Exercise

Whew! Just finished a 30 minute ball workout and an hour on the treadmill. This tired old bod is going to get into shape whether or not it wants to. Seriously, I have to be careful not to overdo. Each time I get myself into an exercise regimen, I tend to get overzealous and want to work out every day. In reality, this is too much, so I am only allowing myself to work out every other day. So far it is working and I am really beginning to change how I look and how my clothes fit.

I mentioned in a previous post how I had brought home a new sparkling watercolor palette from USArtQuest, and today I decided to make a double page journal spread about them. I couldn't decide how I was going to use them when I saw another blog where someone drew the colored pencils she had just gotten - voila! great idea.

This is not a perfect rendition, but the colors show up nicely. These were a joy to work with - creamy and beautifully sparkly. I drew the palette, but apparently not carefully enough. The last three pots I drew overlapped. This is not a true to life rendering as the pots really don't overlap. This is the pastel ('Pastelle') palette. I think they have 4 others. This company is also the company who make the fabulous Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA). If you are unfamiliar with this company, just click on the link above to check them out; or go to Sue's blog for more info.

I've been reading several posts about a sparkly/shimmery product that is no longer being produced and thought maybe this is the product for you.

That's all I have for today.


Friday, April 10, 2009

EDM #5 and Faces class

I have attempted to sketch my bed. My first try was atrocious. As you can see, I not only wrinkled my page when erasing it, but I also ripped it. While my second attempt is not very realistic, it is certainly better than the first try.

I also tried using the Caran d'Ache pencils to add color to my girl's face, but they didn't work as well for me as they worked for Paulette on the video. I think my face is a bit spotty, but I am going to put off fussing over it any more for today and maybe do a bit of clean up before I spray her with workable fixative tomorrow.

I finished the book I was reading called "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay. It was quite good. I will now go spend some time in this wonderful quiet to start the other book I have checked out from the library called "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox" by Maggie O'Farrell. I'll let you know how I like it.

Until tomorrow, then.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

EDM #3 and A Fun Day

The morning and early afternoon was spent with a good friend. We began with a trip to USArtQuest in Jackson - actually the address is Grass Lake, but it is almost in Jackson. I introduced Nancy to Susan Pickering Rothamel, owner, who is essentially a whirling dervish. I first heard of her through art/craft books she has written. She has to be the busiest person I have ever spent time with, and yet she took the time to give us the grand tour to show where her products are formulated, packaged, warehoused and ultimately shipped.

I brought home one of the five MicaColor sets. This one is the 'Pastelle', which is 10 Twinkling Gouache Paints. These are Sparkling Mica and Pigment Watercolor Paints. Once I've had a chance to try them, I will post more aboutt these and tell you about my experience with them.

I went there to purchase the large container of PPA because since buying the smaller sized bottle in the winter, I have decided I have never found a better adhesive, medium or top coat. It dries absolutely non-tacky.

I had lots of stops planned for our day, but we spent so long with Susan (she is very proud of her products (and she should be) and is extremely personable), that we only made one other stop after having lunch. I did come home with a handful of goodies and can't wait for our next outing.
Here are the goodies I picked up a second hand store.

I found these "art tools" for 10 cents each.

I bought this organizer for $1.50.

After getting home and spending a wonderful 1/2 hour on the deck in the sun drinking flavored coffee with the hubster, I came indoors and attempted EDM #3. I thought a wallet would be really fun to draw, and I guess I did have fun, but I have lots of room for improvement. I firmly believe that the more I draw, the better I will get, so I will continue to sketch each day and look for it to get better over time.

Tomorrow I get to be home alone most of the day. I sprayed my face project with workable fixative and hope to work with Caran d'Ache crayons tomorrow. However, I have an eye doctor appointment in the early morning and have some grocery shopping to do, so I will have to put my painting off until after lunch. I hope to have something to share tomorrow on that front as well as EDM #4.

That's it for now. Bye!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

CED2009 and EDM #2

I had a very busy, stressful day. It is 10:45 PM and I finally have a few minutes to myself. I made myself sit down and draw the lamp that is on a counter in my art room. It looked like an easy thing to draw, but it certainly wasn't.

The shoe from yesterday is looking better all the time! %-)

I have a fun day planned tomorrow with my art friend, Nancy. We will be going to USArtQuest, Goodwill and a few other second hand stores and then out to lunch. I am so looking forward to some adult company.

My grandgirls are really beautiful and I love them dearly, but they are lots of work for these old bones of mine (most of the time 57 feels pretty young, but chasing a 6 year old and an 18-month-old will really make you feel every year).

I'll no doubt have pix of all the fabulous finds I make tomorrow. Until then, don't forget to have fun.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trying to Commit to EDM

I joined the Yahoo! group Every Day Matters, and downloaded the prompts, but so far had not gotten the courage to start. I am determined to silence the inner critic and I know if I want to get better, I need to practice.

I began, surprisingly enough, with EDM #1 - draw a shoe. I am not thrilled with it, but I think it is not awful. The other night I got out that really cute journal with the bear and bee on the front that I won from Peggy Gatto and listed the first 159 EDM challenges. I am going to try to draw one thing each day until I get there. I don't know that I will necessarily follow them in order - who knows?

Meanwhile, I have been babysitting and cleaning house. I finally got my art room into a better arrangement and have found lots of treasures I forgot I had. That has got to be the best thing about cleaning - finding treasure. I even found a board book that I made when Morgan was just little. I had completely forgotten about it. It is really nice - I haven't done anything like that in a long time. I made digital scrapbook pages and pasted them into a blank board book. I used my EDM journal to prop it open for the pix. No she doesn't have brown spots on her forehead. It appears that I got a little mildew or something on it.

Gotta go get the roast out of the oven. Hope to have another sketch for you tomorrow.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Intermittent Power Outages

We got about 6 inches of snow last night. So much for Spring. I know it will be gone by the end of the week, but these power fluctuations cannot be good for any of my appliances.

I am spending the morning rearranging my art room and intend to spend some time doing some weight training afterward.

The kindergartner is home for a snow day and was home all last week on Spring Break. Life is too busy just now.

I hope to post some new artwork tomorrow. For now I am going to shut down the computer and do other things.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Birds Singing, Warmish Breeze Blowing

It is April and the weather is really beginning to feel good. The furnace is turned off for the day time hours and the screened porch is open to the house. The hubster has taken the two little girls to the park, so I am taking this opportunity to blog.

Beginning this week, we were only going to have the girls all day on Tuesdays, but then their Dad had surgery yesterday and so we have had them most of this week. I don't yet know how the recovery from his procedure is to progress, so don't know when my schedule will improve.

Meanwhile, the mail person drove into the driveway to hand deliver some larger parcels. Two of them were for me. One was the lovely journal I won from Rice at the Voodoo Cafe. If you haven't yet subscribed to her blog, you really should.

The other was the paper painting I purchased from