Friday, January 30, 2009

Birthday and CED2009

Today is my birthday and I am 57. So far I have found that each year is better than the last. If this keeps up, just think how great 90 is going to be.

I walked my 2 miles on the treadmill without pain and watched the best tennis match I have ever seen between Rafa and Verdasco. Words cannot describe the wonder of this match up.

I made Spicy Chicken and Rice Flu Chaser Soup that I am entering in a soup cookoff tomorrow in Mason. We had some for dinner with a lovely salad of romaine lettuce, tomatoes and fresh mushrooms and a side of sliced french bread. It was lovely. Afterward I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Wickedly good!

I worked in my art journal a bit also. The pages are a tribute to the birthday and my feelings about it. I hope to get more time tomorrow, but my daughter works so we might be busy with the girls, the soup cookoff and setting up the hubster's retail space at the Maple Street Mall in Mason.

Until then, don't forget to live in the moment!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Self Portrait Swap and CED2009

I am participating in a self portrait swap with the group ATCsForAll. The instructions called for either a digital picture or a printed out picture or a drawing of myself in a 4 x 6 size. Since I am trying to get better at drawing and painting people, I decided to draw myself. While it is not a perfect likeness, I think it is somewhat like me. I enjoyed making it and hope the person who is trading with me will like it.

With the paint I had left over I started a background on the next two pages in my art journal. This is a babysitting day so I don't know if I will get any more done on these pages today or not. The poor baby fell this morning (she is a real monkey - always climbing) and gave herself a fat lip, but right now is napping peacefully.

By the way, this is the original picture from which I tried to draw yesterdays blog entry. Sure wish I could capture their cuteness better. Maybe if I keep practicing, I will get better.

I am planning to bake a chicken for dinner and then use the carcass as the beginnings of my Spicy Chicken and Rice Flu Chaser Soup for the soup off this weekend. Right now I think it is time for lunch - don't know what I'll have - maybe an apple with peanut butter. I have done another 30 minute walk on the treadmill today without any pain - YAY!

As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pain Free and CED2009

Yesterday was a pain free day, so while the baby was napping I did an upper body workout and stretched then walked 1.5 miles at 3.5 mph without any pain whatsoever. I am sooooooo happy!

I did get a chance to do a little art today. First I sketched a picture of the two little girls. I am having a hard time doing little girl faces; they always look too old. I am trying to sketch something every day so that I will begin to get better.

I also decided to decorate the cover of my art journal. While the cover had an interesting texture, it was a boring brown. The first thing I did was put a glaze of Iridescent Copper Light mixed with Acrylic Glazing Liquid. I held a cutout of a heart in place so that the glaze would leave a heart shape. I then painted the heart using Quinacridone Red. I then added some words and a lovely pair of lips using Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA) and finished with a layer of PPA to seal it. While it is not very colorful, I like it so far. I can see myself adding to this with time, but for now I'll take it as it is. I don't think I will change the spine or back.

I also spent some time doing some contour and blind contour drawing for my beginning watercolor workshop and made a table of complementary colors to get neutrals. Meanwhile, I need to cut some of my 140# watercolor into 4 x 4 squares and begin making my whimsical cats.

As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Monday, January 26, 2009

CED2009 and A Soup Cookoff

I had an appointment to have my teeth cleaned this morning and afterward went to Meijers to pick up a few odds and ends, including a whole chicken so that I can cook my Spicy Chicken with Rice Flu Chaser Soup for a cookoff on Saturday, January 31. I got the recipe from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook, but make some changes to make it my own.

I also did another two page spread in my art journal. There is a song I really like by Chris Pierce called Are you Beautiful (on the inside). For the background of this spread I used a green wash followed by a brayer with rubber bands on it rolled through a variety of paint colors ala Brenda at the Crafty Chook. I followed that with some random white splotches dragged across the page. I then cut a girl out of a magazine and painted over her with white gesso. I then drew in her features and colored her with a combination of Prismacolor colored pencils and Portfolio water soluble oil pastels. I found some words that fit the theme including the "title" The Burning Question. Overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Had a busy afternoon. DD and the girls were here for dinner along with the girls' Dad, so after dinner and dishes I retreated to my art room for some blog reading and blog posting.

I have been pretty much pain free today, so tomorrow morning I am planning to warm up with hand weights and do some stretching and then try a leisurely walk on the treadmill. Here's hoping I can handle it without pain.

As for this evening, I am planning to watch more of the Australian Open. My favorite, Andy Murray, was eliminated last evening, so I will have to choose another.

As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tennis and CED2009

I have been spending a lot of time late at night (early in the am) watching the Australian Open. I watched two real knuckle biters yesterday - Dinara Safina vs Alize Cornet and Tommy Burdych vs Roger Federer. Dinara Safina was finally victorious after facing match point and Roger Federer was victorious after being down 2 sets to zero and down 2-5. I finally went to bed at 3:30 AM.

I am hoping that Safina will take the women's single championship and that Andy Murray will take the men's. Of course Serena is planning to take the women's and Rafa, Federer, and Djokovic are all planning to win the men's, so who knows.

The birthday party was fun, but I couldn't have the pizza (severely lactose intolerant) so when I got home I had some leftover chipotle chicken from last night's dinner. Right now, the hubster is making salmon and baked sweet potato fries with a lovely green salad. I am getting hungry.

I decided that if I am going to spend so much time watching tennis, I should do a sketch of something having to do with it. So here is my two page spread of a tennis racket and a couple of tennis balls with a little bit of journaling.

Until next time, don't forget to live in the moment!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sketch Smack and CED2009

I visited a new blog and ran across the Saturday Smack challenge and just had to try it. It was just the toe portion of a pair of converse sneakers. I think it is okay for my first try, but will have to continue to work on sketching to improve.

I also tried a contour drawing of a titmouse on the bird feeder at the front window. I had taken a picture of him and used that as my model. I don't think the contour drawing is too bad, but I then tried a blind contour drawing and his left side was way shorter than his right. I need to slow down and try this again and again until I learn to "see" what I am drawing.

Tomorrow we celebrate Payton's 6th birthday. Her party is at the bowling alley. I love bowling, but may not be able to participate because of my knee. I'll decide tomorrow. Meanwhile, I got her a pair of roller skates for her present and wrapped it with newsprint and then drew and stamped on it so that she would have personalized paper. I am not overly pleased with the result, but I know she will love it.

One plus of the knee problem is that so far this month I have read 5 novels and am just getting ready to start the 6th. I have signed on to the 50 books in 2009 challenge. That figures out to just about one book a week, so it would seem I am ahead of the game. I am really enjoying reading again.

The hubster has gone to the Michigan/Michigan State hockey game this evening with his brothers so I have a quiet house. I love having time to myself, but can't decide whether to paint, clean, watch tennis or read. Maybe I will do a bit of each. First of all, I am going to go cut up an apple and get a spoonful of peanut butter and have a snack (I guess I can watch tennis while I am eating it).

As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ouch! and CED2009

Well, I know in my last post I said I was going to try walking a little on the treadmill, but wouldn't overdo it. My plan was to walk 1.5 miles at 3 mph. I usually walk at a rate of between 3.5 and 4.0 mph. What I found when I got on the treadmill was that my knee thought 3 mph was too fast, so I walked only 1 mile at 2.5 mph. BAD! The next day I could hardly walk. I guess I am staying off the treadmill until I have a complete day pain free.

I am trying to stay somewhat active without stressing the knee and am making myself go to my art room and pick up a bit and see if my muse would come out of hiding.

I recently signed up for a 3/3 ATC swap called "All Things Books" and decided to try getting started. Actually, I have a small container full of ATC size backgrounds that I have already made. I chose three that I particularly liked and got started. NOTE: Last evening while watching tennis I went through several old magazines and cut out interesting pix and words and letters. I was happy to find that I cut out all kinds of things that were useful for these ATCs. The texture on these made it impossible to get the words attached without puckers, but I still like them quite a bit. Now I just need to print out backs with my info, run them through my Xyron, attach the backs and get them in the mail. They aren't due until the end of February, but there is no penalty for getting them done early.

Now I need to get started/thinking about the ten 4 x 4 whimsical cats swap I am signed up for. I think I will practice cut cats in my sketch book first and see what works.

The sun was out yesterday and the day before and its warmth is getting stronger (that means we are getting closer to it, YAY!) so my pain is not causing such a depression as it has in the past week or so. I think I am going to go make flavored coffee, get the ice pack out of the freezer, and get myself set up on the sofa with a footstool, a crossword puzzle on a clipboard and a stack of magazines and scissors and be productive while the baby is napping.

As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodwill Finds and CED2009

The hubster took me out and about this morning and it was great to be in the fresh air. It is very cold, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining brightly.

We started with breakfast (at least, we ordered breakfast food). It was close to 11 am, but I stayed up until 2:30 am for the second day in a row watching the Australian Open. I'm enjoying some really good tennis. Surprisingly, many of the first round women's matches are going three sets. Usually, they are very one sided and not so much fun to watch.

After breakfast, we headed to Mason to look at some antique malls and a craft mall. On the way, we passed a Goodwill store and I asked him to stop. What a great store and what great finds I had this day. I got a shoe box full of stamps for $9.99. One of the stamps had a sticker for $10.99 on it. I love stamps, but frequently don't buy them because they cost so much. I also bought a small milk jug (for brushes or pens) and two children's books (for the pictures). I spent a total of $14.15. Don't you just love a bargain??

Next we went to the antique mall. These are actually separate buildings all in the same area. I saw lots of things I would have liked to buy, but they appeared to be overpriced. I did find a Pepsi crate with dividers in it for 1/2 price, so paid only $6.63 with tax.

I have finished another two page spread in my art journal, or at least I think it is finished. I almost think I should add more color in the hair on the left side, but not now.

The best find of the day was a knee support that I bought at Meijer's for just over $11. Unlike my other brace which almost makes my knee immobile, this one is just supportive and almost eliminates the pain. I may walk slowly on the treadmill and see how it feels - but I am not going to overdo it - NO WAY!

As for the rest of the day, I am going to watch tennis and work crossword puzzles (simultaneously) and do art (in between matches I am interested in). And as for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm Almost Back - CED2009

Well, I am almost back. My knees have been much better today - not pain free - I have iced them twice today and am still taking ibuprofen for the inflammation, but I am not wearing a brace, just being extremely careful. I won't be going for a walk yet, but am getting closer.

Today is the first time I've felt like doing anything in my art room in a long time. I guess I have been mildly depressed - constant pain will do that to you.

I almost made up for it today. I did a 2 page spread in my art journal using lots of positive words and phrases and made myself doodle on it a bit. I am trying to work up to trying a henna/zentangle page some time soon.

I also did a color wheel for my watercolor class with primary, secondary and tertiary colors on it. And just finished 7 practice washes for the same class.

I printed out the backs for my winter themed skinny book pages and hope to get them in the mail tomorrow or Tuesday and then start on my Wacky Packages. So far I am leaning toward making fun of Relacore and 7-Up for 2 of the 3.

I am trying hard to ignore the pain and lose myself in my art and for the most part it works. Unfortunately, getting up from sitting for a long time is excruciatingly painful, so I am going to move out to the living room and try icing one more time. I think hockey is on, so my plan is fitting, don't you think?

As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Art Journal and Cold

Brrrrr! It is 3 degrees above zero F, but at least the sun is shining. The creek is frozen over. The kindergartner has no school (must be a wind chill issue). I am in my art room reading my email and the blogs I subscribe to and listening to crying babies. I think it is going to be a trying day. Usually it is a good idea to get the little ones outdoors when they are unhappy indoors, but with these temps that is not going to happen.

I am still working in my art journal. I think I am going to start spending time at the Yahoo! group Soul Journal because I am feeling like I need some inspiration. I feel I am doing the same pages over and over. It is fun, but I think it would be a good challenge to respond to a prompt and see where that takes me.

My right knee is still keeping me from enjoying life to the fullest. It is hurting most of the time and is about a 6 or 7 pain level on a scale of 1 to 10. I will continue to ice it today and will try another upper body workout with my 5 pound weights. I am anxious to get back on the treadmill, but am determined to get this knee healed before I do so.

I think I have bitten off more than I can chew and so am giving up on the Chinese Brushwork workshop so that I can continue to work on journaling and watercolors. I also have a few more commitments as far as swaps go. The next swap I am working on is Wacky Packages (3/3), then Whimsical Cats (10/10), and then a collage sheet to take to GR for a meeting in March.

I have to get some house cleaning done today, painful knee or not. I will go slow and stop if it becomes too much. For now, I need a second cup of coffee and to find a good place to put my leg up with an ice pack on said knee. As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Birthday and CED2009

It is Payton's birthday. She is 6 today. I wonder where those years have gone. First thing this morning she opened a gift from her Dad who is working in Louisiana these days. It was a Wii. She is thrilled.
She is going to teach me how to play. Her Mom is going to rent a game something about rabid rabbits??? that she guarantees will give me a great upper body workout. We'll see.

I spent most of yesterday working on my 25 winter-themed skinny pages with my right knee in a wrap. Since trying to run on the treadmill several days last week, my knee has been very sore. I am icing a few times a day and gimping around. Yesterday I did an upper body workout with 5 pound weights. I refuse to totally get away from my fitness routine, but I am not going to attempt to walk on the treadmill until my knee is pain free.

It is snowing again today and I am getting quite tired of it all. This is a difficult time of year here in mid Michigan. We get very few hours of sunshine and the greyness is depressing. Add to that the fact that the roads are not in very good shape with all the snow and winds we've been getting and you get cabin fever to boot.

Today begins a 5-day stretch of babysitting so my art hours will be seriously curtailed. I will manage to get something done every day, but it will not be with the same abandon I am able to accomplish on my days off.

I am going to do some rough sketching of the ideas I have for the Wacky Packages swap I am in and get another cup of coffee to get a good start to my day. As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let It Snow and CED2009

We have lots of snow from the last few days and are expecting 4 to 5 more inches this evening. I am tired of it, but after all it is January. I am hoping for a January thaw later in the month, but for the next week or so we are expecting arctic temps, which doesn't thrill me at all. It sure is beautiful, though.

Meanwhile, I have been wearing a knee brace for a couple of days. I so want to be a runner and on Friday I did another walk/run combination on the treadmill, but I have a knee that is not all cooperative even when I am walking and it has taken offense at my pushing it. So I will resign myself to being a walker and not a runner. The last time I tried to be a runner, I spent most of August working up to it. This led to me starting the school year in a fracture boot for 6 weeks. I decided at that time that I was not meant to be a runner, but a treadmill is surely easier on the legs than a road is, so I decided to try one more time. But enough! I will continue to walk on the treadmill and am planning to reacquaint myself with my 5 pound weights this afternoon and think I will alternate weight days with walking days and see how that goes.

I did get some art done yesterday and I must say this was the most fun I have in my art journal to date. The house was empty and the phone was silent and I was in my own little world. First I spent some time with grayish watercolor doing a wash on the 25 4 x 7s that are due at the end of the month. This will be the sky. I am planning to stamp wintry trees on them and use stucco for snow to make a winter scene. I will try one first to see how it goes and then will go from there. I am thinking maybe a sledding hill or a cabin with smoke coming out of the chimney.......

Here is the spread I was working on yesterday. Surprisingly, my little one (who will be 6 on Wednesday) didn't like it much. She is always a big fan even of the stuff I am not so pleased with. I really like this one and was surprised when she kind of wrinkled her nose at it. So what do you think? Is this a keeper, or is it destined to be gessoed over and made into something else. Actually, I do my art for myself and I really am attached to this one, so it is a keeper in my mind.

I think the hubster and I are going to get out today. I have been cooped up in the house for a week now and am getting cabin fever. We don't really have a plan (at least I don't), but I think we will drive into Jackson, maybe go to the marts (Lowe's, Home Depot) and perhaps do lunch.

For now, I am going to get some breakfast and get this day officially started. As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting Organized and CED2009

I spent much of the morning straightening my art room - it had gotten really out of control. It is so much easier to get some work done when I can find the things I am looking for.

The treadmill got another workout today. I did program 1 again and am not even tempted to hang on. It is not easy yet, so I think I will continue to alternate this one and the walk/run one that I have been doing. When program #1 feels easy, I will move on to #2.

I finished a color chart for my watercolor class, and practiced more Chinese brushwork. I also did another 2 page spread in my journal. I started out painting a couple of layers of color the second one with a credit card and then stamping randomly. When it came time to add some collage, I rummaged through my stuff and found several containers and labels and was thinking something along the lines of "Candy's dandy, but liquor is quicker", but that didn't really fit my mind set today, so I put in a line from Steven Wright (one of my all time fave comedians) that I have always liked and it is about painting, haha!

Just one more day of work this week and then a 4-day weekend. I was tentatively planning to drive over to my sister's house, but we are currently under a winter storm watch - 8 to 12 inches of snow predicted. I really don't enjoy driving in bad weather or on less than pleasant surfaces, so I probably will wait for a better weekend.

My goal for the next four days: 1) finish the valentine swap that the 5 year old and I are involved in and get them in the mail; 2) do my 25 winter themed skinny pages (4 x 7); 3) do some head scratching and wandering through stores to find products that I can do a lampoon on for the wacky packages ATC swap; and 4) try my hand at drawing some whimsical cats for another ATC swap. I also have plans to make my mom a bamboo pin and a domino refrigerator magnet and send pix of the girls, along with a crossword puzzle book and some Yahtzee score pads. She really likes getting personal mail. It sure beats bills and fliers.

It's 12:14 AM, so I suppose I'd better get these old bones to bed; until I "see" you again, don't forget to live in the moment!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Exercise, Memories and CED2009

I tried out a new non-program plan on the treadmill on Wednesday. I warmed up and cooled down at 3.0 mph and for the in between 21 minutes I alternated walking for 5 min at 3.5 mph and then running for 2 min at 5 mph. A very nice workout.

I also had a good mail day today. I joined the North Light Book Club and placed my first order for 3 free books and a 4th for 14.99. The club I joined is all artist books. Here is a picture of my first 4 choices.

I wrote another whole page of memories from my life before age 10 in my art journal. Some of it was not really for sharing, but it felt really good to get it out. That lead to the free writing on the right hand page. I spent my school days at the Ursuline Academy with the nuns - brutal! Since it wasn't really to share word for word I lightly gessoed over it so it is not quite so readable.

After that I tried a self portrait in a different watercolor journal, but didn't realize you can't erase on watercolor. It just eats the paper. I am used to doing my faces on smooth paper. At any rate, neither attempt turned out very well, so I gessoed over lightly so the faces show through a bit and then collaged how I felt. I don't think these pages are done yet, but it was a good start.

I need to do some more practice of bamboo stalks for my Chinese Brushwork workshop. I seem to be using too much ink. For now, it is 12:11 am and I am in need of some sleep. As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Memories and CED2009

I read a journal prompt somewhere (sorry, I don't remember if it was in a book or on a blog) about drawing a floor plan of a house where you lived as a child. I tried it and it really did bring back a flood of memories. I stopped at the end of the two page spread, but I am pretty sure I am going to write more on the next page because the memories just keep coming.

For my watercolor journaling class I am supposed to make a color chart. Either I am doing something wrong or this is a really tedious and labor intensive assignment. I have 12 colors in my travel palette. I made a chart with each color across the top and along the side and then drew lines to make a grid. I used a water brush to mix each of the colors with the other trying to get a 1-1 ratio. But every time I used the brush for one color I had to clean it before getting the other color. This means that the brush kept running out of water and I would have to get up and go to the other room and fill it up. I only got 2 complete lines and 1 partial line before I was called for dinner and when I went back, I didn't have the heart to continue, so I drew a pear instead and played with some lettering. I posted that to my watercolor journaling class instead of the color chart.

After that, I went to my room and changed clothes and got on the treadmill and did the first Weight Loss program. This program alters the incline to 6, 7, and 8 degrees and alternates the speed between 3.0 and 3.5. I was thrilled to finish it without hanging on (There were moments while I was doing this program where I was tempted to either cancel it or hang on, but I persevered.). Needless to say, I was very pleased with myself when I was done.

Today is a babysitting day, but I do have the morning before my daughter goes to work, so I am planning to clean up my art room - it is scary messy - and try my hand at another art journal page and perhaps more practice with the bamboo stalks that I started yesterday for my Chinese Brushwork workshop.

Also the 5 year old and I are working on a Valentine ATC swap. I will post pix when they are done.

For now, don't forget to live in the moment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CED2009 and A Wonderful Day

Today was my first day off in a week. I slept in a little late and was awakened by the little one coming into the bedroom and saying, "Nana, Nana" and giving me a kiss. I gotta tell you that is a wonderful to wake to a new day. I took a quick shower, ate a toasted whole wheat bagel with soy cheese (at least I ate most of it. The little one always has to share in anything edible.) and headed for Hobby Lobby.

I had a list with me and was successful in almost everything on it. I bought a large pad of watercolor to cut into 7 x 10s to get my winter themed skinny book pages going; a pad of newsprint to use as practice for the Chinese Brushwork workshop; a small watercolor pad to cut up and bind for a journal; a sketchbook; alcohol inks, blender and blender tool; a set of sepia Pitt pens; sumi ink and a set of 3 Chinese brushes; a package of 51 (what an odd number) round magnets; an embossing stamp pad; and a Lucy Wang Art of Chinese Brush Painting book. JACKPOT!!

I wasn't able to find the foam mounting sheet for unmounted stamps or the white pens I was looking for, but overall, it was a very successful shopping trip.

In the exercise department - after dinner, but before late evening, I hit the treadmill. This time I was planning to just walk 1.5 miles at 0 incline, but while I was walking I got more creative. First I increased the incline to 2. Then I decided to jog a bit. I did a 1 minute jog at 4.5 miles per hour. Then walked at 3.5 for awhile, reduced the incline to 0 and then did a 1.5 minute jog at 4.5 mph, then walked for a couple of minutes at 3.5 mph; and finally jogged for 2 minutes at 4.5 mph and then walked the rest of the 1.5 miles at 3.5 mph and 0 incline. It felt really good and I think I am going to try to get to the point where I walk half of the time and jog half of the time. Who knows maybe I will get to the point where I jog for the entire 1.5 miles. YAY!!

In the creative department - when I got home from Hobby Lobby, I made a pot of beef vegetable soup with orzo (I had stopped at Meijers and bought a meaty beef bone and some veggies), and then retired to my art room to try out my new stuff. I played with the Adirondack alcohol inks and the dominoes for awhile and then worked in two journals. In the first one I finished my first assignment in my Beginning Watercolor Journaling class, which was to write in the shape of a person or animal.

After that I used the girl whose shape I had used in the above assignment and some clothing I cut out of a magazine to write about the change from style of dress in my early twenties to my preferred style of dressing now. It was quite fun. At first I worried that I should add more color instead of leaving all that white space, but I decided I liked it the way it is.

Now it is after midnight and the hubster is planning to take me out for breakfast tomorrow (we have another day off), so I should retire for the night. As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Monday, January 5, 2009


I took Sunday off from the treadmill. I am planning to do six days a week, alternating between a program one day and a no incline 3.5 mph for 1.5 miles the next. I am not planning to step on the scale or take measurements until the end of January. That will give me an entire month of walking and doing the programs to see what the results are.

Meanwhile, I had the girls all day yesterday, but did get in my art room near the end of the day and made a two-page spread using circles and colors. For the most part I wanted to play with my Neocolor II pencils and my water soluble oil pastels. Both of these are quite fun to pay with. Once I had the circles drawn and colored in the different sections, I cut words associated with color from a magazine and glued them to the pages using PPA. I then used PPA to adhere the color words in the shape of a flower. As a final step, I wrote "colorful" words in the centers of the circles. I left the middle of the entire drawing blank. I am not sure what will go in this spot, but when I find it, I will recognize it and will add it.

I am planning to go to Hobby Lobby today to pick up some supplies to do more work with the dominoes I am working on and to purchase some Chinese brushwork supplies. I also need some watercolor paper for a swap I am in with art techniques. I am to make 25 winter themed pages in 4 x 7 size. This is for a skinny book and they are due at the end of the month.

For now, don't forget to live in the moment!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

AED and Resolutions

The treadmill saga continues. Yesterday I decided to try the Aerobic section of the programs. I chose the first one. The main section of it was an incline of 4 and 5 alternating and a speed of 3.5 and 4 mph. I got about half way through and decided that I would like to lower the intensity just a bit. I touched the lower intensity button and the treadmill shot up to 10 mph. Luckily, I was able to jump up onto the edges without injury. That scared me; so I cancelled that program and tried the second of the Weight Loss programs. It was quite the workout, but I completed it. It was inclines of 3, 4 and 5 degrees alternating with 3 and 3.5 mph. As it turns out, the problem with the intensity button may have been a blessing in disguise. I actually worked out for 45 minutes instead of the usual 30 - BONUS!

In the art department, I completed two more pages in my journal. Before I started this journal, I pictured it as a chronological journal with pictures, but I find myself just going with the flow and these are not at all about everyday life, nor are they chronological. I've decided that is just fine and this is my play journal. I am not too concerned with documenting the everyday events (temp., happenings, etc); maybe I should be keeping a more traditional journal for those things.

For the first of the two pages, I found a phrase I had cut out of a magazine (What I Want) and decided to use that as my prompt. I used a credit card to put a couple of colors for the background and then doodled and cut out words that seemed to fit the theme.

For the second, I found a really cute elephant picture in a magazine and I love elephants, so I decided to use him as my beginning. I then stamped and traced more elephants and then just wrote what felt right.

It is freezing rain here today; it was so slick on the sidewalk and driveway that when I went out to retrieve the paper, I walked across the lawn. I couldn't stay on my feet otherwise.

Another work day (babysitting) for me, so I'd better get started. For now, don't forget to live in the moment!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

AED and Exercise Update

I am so very happy Leah decided to do AED (Art Every Day) again in this new year. It is just the incentive I need. Also I have signed up for a watercolor journal workshop through the Yahoo! group A.R.T. (Artists of the Round Table) and a Chinese Brushwork workshop through the Yahoo! group Artistic Explorations. I am looking forward to some real personal, artistic growth.

And speaking of growth, I am still focused on my goal of a fitter new year. I walked 1.5 miles on the treadmill last evening at 0 incline and 3.3 miles per hour. I considered this to be one of my baseline days. I did the first programmed walk the day before and it was quite a challenge. I will either repeat that one or try the first one in the next set. I am looking forward to it and will probably do it while the baby naps. I will give the whole report tomorrow. So far I am thrilled with the treadmill, especially since I can walk and still be responsible as a babysitter.

This is the 2nd page in my art journal. Actually it is a two page spread. I don't know for sure if it is done yet or not and I don't know if I am happy with it. I began by mixing a bit of cerulean blue and lemon yellow into some white gesso and painting the pages with a very large brush. I then tried to just get into the zone by going through my basket of cuttings from magazines and scraps from other projects and this is what transpired.

I'd better get off the computer and have some breakfast and jump start my day. As for you, don't forget to live in the moment!

Kreativ Blogger Award


What a great way to start a new year. I've been given a Kreativ Blogger Award by Michi, who has a lovely blog. If you haven't seen her blog before, you should check it out.

Here are the rules: I am to name 7 things that I truly love and then pass the award on to 7 other deserving bloggers.

Seven things I love:

1. Early morning coffee on the screened porch in the Spring.

2. The New York Times daily crossword puzzle (especially Friday and Saturday).

3. The friendships I have made online - such warm, sharing people.

4. Walking in the woods.

5. Having chosen Mr. Right and finding out that he really is Mr. Right.

6. Living within 20 minutes of my children and their children.

7. Art - especially the few times I've met other artists and had a play day.

Now for the hard part; I subscribe to over 200 blogs; the seven bloggers I would like to pass this award to are:

1. Rachel at American Bibliophile
2. Suzanne at an open [sketch]book
3. Bridgette at Contemplating the Moon
4. Diane at Duda Daze
5. Roni at Ink Stains
6. Zorana at zorana
7. Taluula at Taluula's

Be sure to check out these blogs if you are not already subscribed to them.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I'm in Heaven

The postwoman came to the door today because the mail included a package that was too large for the confines of the mail box. My first thought was that my books I had ordered from an artist book club had arrived. But that wasn't it.

I received a wonderful surprise in the mail today. Some time around Christmas, I commented on the blog Contemplating the Moon about a memory from my childhood and I was chosen as the winner of the book "1000 Artist Journal Pages". I had just checked out a similar book from the library, "1000 ATCs" and was confused at the time thinking that was the book I had won. And the ATC book was a very nice book. But, the journal pages..........I am in heaven. I started my first artist journal yesterday and was feeling quite like I wasn't artist enough to do it. This book has reinforced for me that there is no "wrong" way and that I am free to create however I want. I am so fired up to do today's entry.

Bridgette not only sent me the book as the prize I had won, but included a beautiful 4 x 4 stretched canvas original work of art. I have read so many times in others blogs how sharing and generous this artist community is and had experienced it in so many comments on my blog and well wishes to my email, but this is the first time someone has sent me something so serendipitous - I am deep in my mid-winter grey period and really needed a pick-me-up and this was just the ticket.

Also included in the package was a card with her original artwork on it. Such a wonderful way to start this day - and such a thoughtful gift. Thank you, Bridgette.

I am going to start playing with a two page spread in my art journal and get some of the background started now before my daughter goes to work at noon. I will be in charge of two little girls until bedtime and will not have all the time I would like, so this will be a good jump start on these pages. I feel as though I am writing in run-on sentences this entire post, but I am so energized by this unexpected gift.

And so I am off; don't forget to live in the moment.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year and AEDM 2009

So we begin anew; a new slate; an untouched page; so much potential; so much to aspire to.

Have you made your resolutions? Hope this is the beginning of a wonderful, healthy new year for you!

We spent a lovely evening waiting for the dropping of the ball with my son and his daughter and my daughter and her two girls and the hubster and I. The girls played with the Wii that the son brought with him. They bowled, played tennis, and boxed. I couldn't believe the two 5 year olds stayed up until midnight and then we made a bed for them on the living room floor and they fell asleep watching a movie.

I tried one of the preset programs on the treadmill today and it almost did me in. But boy did I feel wonderful when it was over. It was a 30 minute program with alternating incline (between 7 and 8 degrees) and alternating speeds (between 3.0 and 3.5 miles per hour). There was a short warm up at no incline and 2.5 miles per hour and the same at the end. WOW!

I didn't get any time to work on my art journal today until tonight. I am not totally pleased with it, but I have broken the "how do I mark up this empty and pristine paper" block.

I started by sitting on my bed and drawing the treadmill using a fine permanent Sharpie pen - my perspective is all wrong, but I think you would know what it was. I then wrote out my resolutions using the same pen. After that I came back to my art room and played with blue, yellow and green watercolors. I then went through my stash of cuttings from magazines and attached appropriate pix and text. As a last step, I outlined the pasted pix with a red neocolor II pencil.

That's all for now, don't forget to live in the moment!