Friday, April 29, 2011

On The Mend

I had occasion to talk to a pharmacist about a prescription for the hubster and asked her (jokingly) what she could give me for the common cold. Her response, "seven days". This is day 5 and I think I am going to make it. I spent nearly all day Monday in bed; on Tuesday I spent a little less time in bed; on Wednesday I stayed up most of the day; and yesterday I had Little Miss 3 for the day. She is still sporting a runny nose and a bit of a cough, but we had a pretty good day.

At one point in the day I had her on my lap at the desktop with the tablet and pen and she was making art using Photoshop - pretty impressive for a 3 year old, no?  I wish I'd taken a photo of her work that we printed out in color, but she took it home before I thought to do so. It was pretty cool. It was done in country red and country blue using the Custom Shape Tool with a person, a house, and trees. It was a little masterpiece and she loved it when she had much of the shape off the paper. There was much giggling going on - she really lives the "art is fun" maxim.

I have some pictures to share with you from a previous visit in which she made me some ATCs. She not only made pictures, it looks like she tried to put her name on them. What do you think of these?

You can see them better if you click on the picture.

I asked her to write her name on the back, but she couldn't let all that art real estate go to waste, so she drew other things on the backs.

I'm pretty sure I see an m and an o on the left most one. And it looks like the right most one should maybe be horizontal. I see an n and an o.

One of the days I was too sick to pay much attention, my kids and their kids went to the park together. They met up at the son's house and my daughter saw some very nice art Little Miss 7 had displayed. When she complimented her on it and told her what a good artist she is (and she is), she said, "Thanks, I get it from my Nana." How sweet is that!!!

I have a weekend full of family stuff (some fun, some obligations) that I need to prepare for, so I am planning to take a trip into town. While I am there I am hoping to find some lamb shoulder so I can try to make a lamb stew for dinner. 

I hope to find some down time this weekend to get to work on more books and now that I've found some time saving options to making books (mostly taking the paper to the print shop instead of cutting it one sheet at a time), I am planning to lower the prices on my books. I still need to take a book to the post office in a padded envelope and see what it costs to ship it that way instead of in a Priority Mail box. I am hoping it will be much less than the $5 for a small box or $10.50 for medium size box so that I can lower prices even more. Stay tuned!!

I think I am going to be moving a bit slowly today, so I'd best get on my horse and get this day started. I hope to see you on Monday feeling a lot better and with lots of things to share. 


Monday, April 25, 2011

I Accomplished a Lot this Weekend

But now I am sick. I woke up this morning with a very sore throat, an awful cough, and achy all over. I think our Little Miss 3 must have given me a surprise gift. I only hope this means that she is over it.

I did get the projects I was working on finished for the most part. The journal with the soft cover was finished with a coptic stitch:

I finally finished the long stitch through slotted spine (I had to redo it three times before I got it right, but now I really know how to do it).

And I got the dictionary torn apart and back together in thirds, but realized too late that I either had to let the print dry longer or had to spray it with some kind of fixative. When I put the three together under a large book for the glue to dry, I found I'd smeared the print on the covers.

I haven't decided on a resolution yet, but may just cut another Tyvek cover for each and then just label them with permanent Sharpie marker.

I did have a lovely Easter day, beginning with this:

And this,

This was taken through a screen, so is not clear as it might have been. A pair of these have been hanging around in the creek for awhile now, but lately I only see mister. I hope this means that she is on a nest close by and soon we will have a parade of little ones to watch.

And for Easter, we had the hubster's sister, Jan, and her husband Jack for the afternoon and my son and his two little girls came out later. We had a lovely time. Here are a couple of pix:

Zoë and Aunt Jan

Zoë in her Easter finery

Talking to Papa (the hubster)

The sisters

I was planning to take a bubble envelope with a book inside to the post office this morning to see what the postage would be compared to the small Priority Box and see if I could lower the prices of my journals, but I am feeling so lousy, I think I may just head back to bed.

I hope you are doing well and that you have a lovely day,


Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Projects

It is a rainy, cold day and I am still in my jammies. I've had my coffee and have decided which projects are going to get done today. I really should do the treadmill, but I have a very sore lower back. I'm guessing it has something to do with Little Miss 3 and all the playing, carrying, soothing I've been doing for the past couple of days. She was a little under the weather - feverish, croupy cough, runny nose.

Here is a look at what I have planned to do today. I think I told you about the huge crossword puzzle dictionary that is my favorite. I first saw it in pieces at my Mom's last year and I had to have one. For the most part when working difficult puzzles, most of the fun is working out the ones you don't know by working the clues that run in the other direction. The thing is that sometimes the clues are of the nature of movie directors or actors or Nobel prize winners. Those are things that I can't necessarily figure out without a bit of help. This dictionary has that kind of information and is invaluable when I am trying to do a puzzle that has more than one of that kind of clue in a particular section. Here is what my copy of the dictionary looks like today:

As you can see it is huge,  and it weighs about 4 pounds.

Mom's copy has broken somewhat in half, and many of the pages have gone missing; my Mothers' Day Gift to her is to take my copy and separate it A - F, G - P, and Q - Z and rebind each section so that it will be easier for her to handle. To that end I found a supplier of tyvek online and ordered a roll of it.

I purchased this from Material Concepts. It was an overrun or odd lot, 10" x 50 yards for $24.50, which I thought was great until they calculated the shipping and it was $18.78. Yikes!!! I wanted this in a roll rather than sheets so I could make one piece covers, but next time I want some tyvek, I am going to check out other sources and other sizes.

It is 10" wide, so I cut it into 8 1/2 x 10 sheets and put it in my printer and printed out the appropriate front panels for the new book. Caution - tyvek prints very nicely in inkjet printers, but never try to print in a laser printer with it. Laser printers heat up and the tyvek will melt inside your printer.

The tyvek is not this gray, but I couldn't get a good picture on such a gray day.

The dictionary measures 9 1/4"  x 7 1/4" so I am planning to cut a length of tyvek that will wrap each section in a one piece fashion. I will then glue (with tyvek you must use PVA glue) each of the front panels into place. I am working this out in my head right now, but think because of the thinness of the tyvek, I may either line it with some heavy paper or double layer it. I will keep you posted as I go. I am not sure this project will be completed today, but it is definitely getting started this morning.

I think that if this works well, I may try doing some art on the tyvek and using it as a cover for one of my handmade journals.

I also have a couple of journals ready to sew and am planning to get them done today. Here is the one that was in the book press the last time I talked to you.

This will be a coptic stitched journal and has 140# watercolor paper.

I also have a repurposed book that is ready to accept its new innards. I just have to decide how I am going to finish it. I cannot decide whether to do an X stitch through the reinforced spine (that is one of my favorite looks) or whether to cut slits and do a long stitch through slotted spine. I also like the buttonhole stitch which would require cutting out a portion of the spine. That decision will have to be made before I can go on with that book. It has been in this stage of preparation for several days now and I still haven't decided. Here is what I have so far:

from the inside

The outside

I've taken some Motrin, but my back is still barking at me, so the first thing I am going to do before getting started on my book making is to put a Salonpas pain relieving patch on it and see if that helps.

What do you have planned for today? I hope you are feeling well and have the time and inclination to do some art...


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Furnace is Still Running

And it is April 21. I cannot afford this long winter.

Little Miss 3 will be arriving in about 45 minutes and before she arrives I wanted to share with you a bit of art that she did yesterday. It wasn't that long ago that she was asking me to draw things for her and now look what she can do on her own.

I was impressed and told her so. She posed with her finished picture and told me I could have it to put on my refrigerator.

It is a good thing I got 12 hours of sleep the night before last because I only got about 3 last night. I just happened to notice the clock as I was thinking about turning in for the night last night and it was just after 2 am. I haven't been up at the hour in a long time, so I decided to take advantage of the "free" download time hughesnet allows between 2 am and 7 am. I downloaded some large updates and some fun stuff and by the time I was done it was 3:45 and I woke up at 7. I decided to get up and make coffee since my little darling is due soon and I want to be awake and ready for her.

The roll of Tyvek that I ordered a few days ago arrived yesterday. I have a huge crossword puzzle dictionary that is my Mom's favorite. She has a really hard time handling it because of the size and hers has fallen apart and some of the pages have gone missing. I am planning to cut mine into 3 smaller segments and cover each one with Tyvek and take it to her for Mothers' Day. I will show you what I am doing and how it is going when I get started, hopefully tomorrow. I don't think I have the girls tomorrow and should be able to jump right into that project. Maybe I will get a couple of books made, too.

For now, I'd better get a couple of cups of coffee into this system and perk up!!

Thanks for visiting; it is always nice to "see" you.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where Have They Hidden the Sun

I went to bed early last evening - for some reason I was too tired to stay awake. Of course, by early I mean around 10 pm. But I didn't wake up this morning until 10:30. That is almost unheard of in my experience. I must have needed it. I think my body is feeling so tired all the time because I am living in a perpetually gray world. It is a bit brighter out this morning (actually, it is already afternoon as I write this), but it is still a shade of gray and here is the local weather:

This is so awful for late April.

Anyhoo, on a lighter note, I've framed my other set of pan pastel birds and am quite pleased with how they look. It is quite difficult to get a good picture of it without glare and reflections, but I think you can see it well enough in this pic:

I am working on a new watercolor journal using 140# Strathmore paper and some lovely cover weight charcoal colored paper. I have the paper folded and the covers cut. I've also cut a template for punching the holes. As you can see in the picture below the entire thing needs to spend more time either in the book press that the hubster made for me or at least under my huge unabridged dictionary.

As you know my bookbinding class that was supposed to be at Hollander's last weekend was cancelled. I have always wondered why their classes are so much and now I know. I ordered some of the cover weight paper they used in a previous class I took and they are fabulous. However, they are quite expensive. I really want my books to not only be somewhat arty/creative, but to be made from the finest materials while still charging a reasonable price. I certainly couldn't use these materials all the time.

I think you will agree this is fantabulously beautiful paper - but this small piece (16" x 22") comes at a price of $18.50. I was planning to make soft covers from it with through the spine sewing, but at that price I may have to just use open spine designs.

While I was ordering from Hollander's I also bought more waxed linen thread - this time I ordered sage and plum. And I bought a scalpel with blades that I think may be just the tool to cut covers so that I can sew over tapes and then weave the ends through the covers. 

I am a little sore from my workout yesterday - I did a 1/2 hour program on the treadmill, then spent about 20 minutes with the balance ball, elastic bands and hand weights, and then got back on the treadmill to jog a mile and then walk another 1/2 mile.  I think I am taking today off.

I am expecting Little Miss 3 around 1:00 - that is in about 1/2 hour - and then her sister, Miss 8, will get off the bus here. They will stay with us for dinner and then we will take them to their house for baths and get them in bed and stay until 10:00 ish waiting for their Mom. I'm not sure how much of this latest book I am going to get done, but I love my girls and always have a lovely time with them.

I'd better get this body moving.....

Thanks for stopping by - please feel free to leave a comment and do check out the sale on my handmade books. You can read about it here.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brr! Sketches and A Sale Update

Another really cold day here. I think I must have the calendar turned to the wrong month. Mayhaps it is February and not April. Of course, it didn't help that when the hubster got up he discovered the furnace wasn't running and the thermostat announced that it was 57º in here. He went down and restarted it and it is running now.

I find I am sketching flowers in anticipation of walking around outside in my shirtsleeves and barefeet to smell them and take their pictures. I've done a couple of contour sketches that I think look like flowers. What do you think?

I have to remember to draw in ink more often. I like it so much better than the pencil sketch. It seems that the lines are not so tentative as when I am using pencil.


I neglected to give a time frame for the free shipping sale at Faint Heart Art. I've decided to make this good through the end of the month. I've added the two newest journals and will add any other new ones I get made.

I had an experience that reminded me how important it is to be aware of size and shape of things that I am planning to ship. Yesterday I sold the 6 x 6 journal as part of the free shipping promotion and the first thing I discovered when I was getting it ready to ship was that the widest book I can ship in the small Priority Mail box is 5". The 6 x 6 just wouldn't fit, so when the hubster was out running other errands I asked him to stop at the PO and get me a variety of sizes of Priority Mail boxes so that I could get this journal on its way to its new owner. Imagine my surprise when I signed into my USPS account to purchase and print out a mailing label only to find that the medium Priority Mail box costs $10.50 regardless of the fact that the book only weighed 1 pound.

Lesson learned - I will either limit my journals to 5" in width (I actually love the 5 x 5 size) or I will package up the wider journals myself and go to the post office to ship them based only on weight.


I have a busy day planned again today. I am hoping to make some progress on my barn in progress and get another journal started this morning. I am going to my daughter's house to view a free webinar called Anyone Can Draw Faces (I cannot watch a webinar class at my house because hughesnet will punish me for it by cutting me off for 24 hours.) which is supposed to be scheduled for today from 1:00 to 2:00 EDT. I cannot find a link to it right now; maybe you will be more successful with your search. After that I am planning to take Miss 8 out and about while her little sister goes to her ballet class.

Meanwhile, I need to get on the treadmill - I planned on it yesterday, but Little Miss 3 arrived and I just stayed in my jammies all day.

Time to get this day started.......


Monday, April 18, 2011

Snow, A Barn, A New Book and A Sale

There is snow on the ground this morning and they are predicting a couple more inches today and overnight. I am trying not to complain about the weather, but I've really had enough of winter for this season. But this is nothing compared to the awful weather in the south. My heart goes out to those in the path of those horrendous tornadoes.

I have attempted a sketch of a barn and am planning to add some color - I am thinking that maybe I will first add a bit of pan pastels as an underpainting and then use colored pencil and watercolor to finish up. We'll see. I will show you each step as I make progress. For now, here is the sketch:

Over the weekend, I finished The Vanishing Shadow and am quite pleased with it. I modified the coptic stitch to make it work for an odd number of stations as I decided I didn't want to stitch over tapes like the previous hard cover book. It is made with a smooth heavy card stock suitable for drawing and can take light water media. It is comprised of 5 signatures with 5 folios in each for a total of 100 pages.

And I tried a new style of book. It has a soft cover and uses the butterfly stitch. This stitch had to be modified also as the usual way of using it requires a knot on the outside. This 5" x 4 1/4" book is made with a flecked light weight paper that is suitable for sketching. It is made up of 5 signatures with 10 folios in each for a total of 200 pages.


And now the sale - I am beginning to have a shelf full of hand made journals and would like to make more - you know how I am. I decided the best thing to do would be to have a sale for my faithful readers. I will not be changing the prices on the Faint Heart Art website, but you will get special pricing in the form of free shipping.

All the prices listed here include a $5 shipping fee - that is what it costs for me to ship to anywhere in the US using a small priority mailing box. I will waive the shipping fee, so you get the journals at a reduced price of $5 less than listed.

For non-US buyers, I will mail the journal at the listed price without calculating further shipping costs.

To be sure I am making myself clear, I will illustrate with an example:

Suppose you want the 6 x 6 watercolor journal:

If you are having it shipped to a US address:

You would click on "BUY" which would take you to You would send me $30 and in the comment section you would tell me which journal you wanted - in this case the 6 x 6 wc journal. I would ship it out the next day.

If you are having it shipped to somewhere outside of the US:

You would click on "BUY" which would take you to You would send me $35 and in the comment section you would describe for me the journal you are purchasing. I would ship it to you the next day without charging you the extra postage.

I hope this is clear and that you will find a journal that you would like to have. I am anxious to make more and would like to move some inventory. I thought it would be a good picture to show you the books that I have available so you can see their variety.

Actually the journal in 5th position from the right is a special order and is not available at this time.

Actually, the four smallest ones on the right in the picture will fit two in the shipping box, so if you would like two small journals, you would save even more. If you order two small journals, I would send them to you for $25 (with no shipping charge) instead of the $30 they would cost if purchased separately (with no shipping charge).

Little Miss 3 is due in about an hour, so I think I will get on the treadmill and try to forget that there is snow on the ground and I am so anxious for Spring.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Watercolor Journals

I finished a couple of watercolor journals yesterday - one was a special order and will be winging its way to Texas later today.

This one was made with 140# Arches watercolor paper.

The other is a 6 x 6 journal made with 140# Strathmore watercolor paper (both less expensive and easier to fold than the Arches). It features an open spine with the coptic stitch and has 5 signatures of 3 folios each for a total of 60 pages.

I love the repurposed covers on this one.

I am currently working on a small softbound sketch journal with a slotted cover and another hard cover coptic stitch medium sized journal. I hope to get those finished today.

Meanwhile, today is the day I plan to reintroduce myself to the treadmill. It's been far too long. It always amazes me how easily an important part of my routine suddenly collapses.

I haven't checked on my friend Nancy lately because I don't want to disturb her with a phone call in case she is sleeping, but I'm hoping she is on the mend. I really miss her. My class at Hollander's this weekend won't be the same without her.

I am planning to participate in Every Day in May ( this link will take you to Wendy Shortland's page where there is a link to a PDF file with the particulars) and it wouldn't hurt to get started a bit early so that I am primed and ready when it begins. I am itching to do some sketching. But my house is seriously in need of a good clean (actually I spent several hours in the kitchen earlier this week and it is squeaky clean - except I have to clean out the refrigerator). I especially need to clean the dreaded bathrooms and there is some laundry to be done. I may have to use a strategy from when I was younger where I get to reward myself after a bit of cleaning. I am going to try setting the timer for an hour and then stop the housework and do a sketch. I am going to try a barn setting today.

What do you have planned for today? I hope it includes some "you" time.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm Still Here

I'm playing the role of Nana more than artist these days. I've been missing you and hope you've missed me as well. I have 4 new journals in the works, 2 of them are watercolor journals and the other 2 are sketching journals.

Little Miss 3 is due any minute and is spending the day with me. I love that child so much, but am a little miffed that I will not be doing any serious art until just before dinner time when she is retrieved. Of course, the miffed feeling goes away as soon as that little cutie wraps her arms around me in greeting and then spends the day dancing and singing and running around in her make believe world.

I am just checking in so you won't think I've disappeared into thin air. I hope to have the current batch of journals done this evening and I will either post then or early tomorrow morning.

I also would like to ask for some positive energy to be sent to my dear friend, Nancy, who I think has pneumonia. The poor dear has been quite ill for almost a month now and could use some serious energy input.

Thanks - I hope to see you later.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Miss 3 and A Book Sale

Miss 3 is coming to spend the day with me today. I am hoping it will dry up a bit outside so we can play on the swings and walk the yard a bit. I wonder if the frogs are out and about by now. With a creek right outside the back door, we expect to see some water life once the weather starts to warm up. Perhaps the blue heron will visit today.....

Our local branch of the Jackson District Library is having their annual book sale this week. I am going to give Miss 3 a bit of change for her little purse and take her to see what we can find. They don't open until  1 pm and I told her Mom I would bring her home around 4, so the timing sounds just about right.

When I take her home I am planning to make stops at Michael's to get sketching and water media paper and Office Max to get paper suitable for sketching and some colored cover paper. I am then hoping to go to Legacy Printing to have it cut to size. The hardest part is deciding on the size - the books I use come in all different sizes. Today I am planning to select the next five candidates for a redo and have the paper cut to fit those. I am also planning to have the Arches 140# watercolor paper that I ordered from Dick Blick cut into 5" x 10" so I can try my hand at square format watercolor journals.

I have several journals available at Faint Heart Art, some of which you may not have seen. You can see them here. Don't forget that pricing includes shipping and that you could have one of them in your arty little hands within a couple of days. By the way, if you have a favorite book that you'd like repurposed into a blank journal, email me and we will work out how to make it a reality.

I made a beautiful special order journal this weekend, but hesitate to show you yet since I don't know if the recipient might stop by and see it before I get it to her. It is my favorite yet. I am becoming much better at the coptic stitch and don't think I used any colorful language at all while constructing this one. I can't wait to share it with you, but am not delivering it until late in May when I attend my water media class at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joe.

The next thing I want to learn to do is efficiently and carefully cut slits in my book boards so that I can weave the supports that I sew over into it something like this:

I am especially interested in cutting these slits into the really thick book covers that I am using from some large old books I found in Florida. They are 1/8" thick and quite difficult to cut. I use a rotary cutter to cut them to size and a Crop-A-Dile to punch the holes in them for coptic stitching. I almost think I would need a sharp ended chisel and a hammer..... I'd appreciate any thoughts and/or ideas you may have for this.

Tomorrow is my little girl's 31st birthday - what I want to know is where all those years have gone! I'm not sure what I am going to do to celebrate this - out to lunch and a cash gift is probably what I will settle on. My kids don't read my blog, so I feel safe letting this cat out of the bag.

I think I'd better get the bird feeders outside (the raccoons make it necessary to bring them in at night) and get another cup of coffee. Maybe I can sit outside to enjoy the second one while I await the arrival of my little guest.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Please Bring the Sun Back

If you are the person or persons who've taken the sun from south central Michigan, please return it at your earliest convenience. There will be no charges filed. All will be forgiven upon its return.

I think I am suffering from a bit of light deprivation. I can't seem to settle on any one project. I have good intentions, but find myself drifting about doing a bit of nothing. Yesterday I did make some beef stew and watched the Tiger's opening day baseball game (they won!!) and folded more signatures for my books.

Today I have tried using pan pastels again to do another bird - this time it is supposed to be an oriole. I am not totally satisfied with the softness of it, but I think that is the nature of pastels. At any rate, here he is:

I must say most of my time lately has been spent with some of my favorite people. I had Miss 7 and Miss 8 overnight on Wednesday and they were thrilled to find at bedtime that they'd both packed the same pajamas. Can you see how much pleasure they got from that simple coincidence?

And I have also been finding ways to spend time with the newest addition to the family. I'd forgotten how much work new babies can be, but love talking to her and watching her struggle to make noises in return.

I think she likes me!

We are finally supposed to have temps in the 60s today with a mix of clouds and sun, so I am hoping to get outside a bit. Meanwhile, I should really put together another book or two. I am working on a special order for a 5" x 4" book and am having a lot of fun with it. I will show you a photo of it after it's been delivered.

Things are going to be getting busy starting next week when Nancy and I take a two day workshop at Hollander's. It is a Braided Binding Structure that I can't wait to try. Two weeks later I am going with a friend from Charlotte to a one day ATC get together in the Detroit area. The day after that Miss 7 makes her First Holy Communion.

In May, I am planning a trip to the far north for Mothers' Day and then have a two day water media workshop at Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph. Later in the month I am hoping to have my Mom visit for a week or so - she was here for our annual family Memorial Day party last year and really enjoyed it.

And then summer arrives with lots of outdoor activities, kids out of know, BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! I can't wait to sit outside in the swings in the afternoon with the hubster having our coffee. And I can't wait to try out the new front porch/deck that he is building right now.

I've missed you and hope you've missed me too. I have been reading the 100+ blogs to which I subscribe, but haven't been very good at leaving comments. I hope to make more time for that soon.

Thanks for stopping by; don't forget to leave a note if you have the time. I'd love some feedback on the oriole especially if you have experience working with pastels.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trial and Error

While out shopping yesterday I stopped at JoAnn's to get a variety of yard goods to use in my new design. Who knew I would have so much trouble trying to punch holes in these things. I found a really pretty one that I wanted to use, but until I figure out how to make a small hole in it without the back coming apart, it is a no go.

Isn't this beautiful?

But not so good to try to punch a hold through.

I found a woven material to work better. But I want to attach the supports a bit further in from the ends.

My new design. I attach "tapes" with eyelets and then sew onto them. I really like it, but I need a little Fray Check for the ends of this particular tape.

So far my favorite material to work with - leather strips.

I will try to finish this one today. I need to cut some paper as the size of this one is a little different than the signatures I already have folded.

Miss 8 is coming today and is spending the night with me, so it is surely going to be an arty day. I will share tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sleepless on Shaw Creek

I spent a very sleepless night last evening planning for a new format for my repurposed books. I find that if I am thinking about a new project when I lie down for the night, I can't turn my mind off. But I have acted on that plan and am ready to try my new method.

This morning I met 5 other retired women from the school where I used to teach. We had breakfast at Bob Evans. What a wonderful time we had - lots of laughter, sharing of grandbaby pix, talking about memories and the old days and what we are up to these days. We stayed there for almost 2 hours.

From there I drove to a friend's house and picked her up. We headed to Lansing to do a bit of shopping. I went to JoAnn's to get some supplies for my new method, did a bit of shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond, had lunch at Ruby Tuesday's and stopped at a library book sale in Leslie. I bought 8 more books to make journals from.

I am back home now and have just made the afternoon coffee and taken some out to the front yard for the hubster. He is working on a small front porch/deck. I am drinking my coffee whilst writing this and have a bit of work in progress to share with you.  Here is my latest book. It has 7 signatures with 5 folios in each, for a total of 140 pages (minus the first and last pages that have the endpapers glued to them). The paper is 67 pound cover paper that can take a light water medium.

This is the front of the book.

This is the endpaper.

I also have a couple more books in progress and some signatures folded.

I love this one and may do a coptic stitch with either gold or red linen.

This may be the one I make using my new method today. I hope to have it done to show you tomorrow.

That's all I have for now. I am having Miss 8 over for the day tomorrow and she will be spending the night. We will definitely be doing some art and will have something to share with you on Thursday. Little Miss 3 will be spending the day here with Papa (the hubster) on Friday so her Mom and Miss 8 can have a girls' day out.  I will be doing something arty with my friend Nancy and can't wait.

So much to do, so little time.........


Monday, April 4, 2011

I've Been MIA

The last 5 days or so have been very busy, but productive. Unfortunately I pulled a hamstring while helping the hubster move some heavy furniture. I was trying to be so careful of my back and making sure I was lifting with my legs - I think a pulled hamstring is preferable to putting my back out any day. I've been taking Motrin and using a large Salonpas patch on it for several days and think the worst is over.

Meanwhile, I've been playing with grandgirls and cleaning like a mad woman. I can now actually walk in my walk-in closet, the closet in the guest bedroom is cleaned out. I've made a trip to Goodwill and have put the overflowing garbage bin out for pick up today. My art room is clean and beautiful. I relocated a large rattan side table from the living room for the wireless printer and have freed up more work space on the counter top.

While I was cleaning my closet, I found a basket of books that I made several years ago to sell at a show that for some reason or other I had to miss. How fun it was to look through them and remember all the occasions represented therein.  These were printed on 36" x 6" photo paper and then folded. The ends were then glued to covered book board. Here is what they look like:

While I was playing with Little Miss 7 and her 5 week old sister. I was given this lovely piece of art. In case you are wondering, it is the work of Little Miss 7. Baby sister hasn't yet been introduced to my art room.

While I was in the midst of my cleaning frenzy, I almost cleaned off the front of the refrigerator, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I think it is time to commission some more art from the girls to replace what I have now. Here is what it looks like right now:

All three of the older girls are represented here. The giraffes are from an art friend, but I can't quite read the signature.

I made a lovely chicken soup on Saturday using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I added chicken broth, garlic, onions, carrots, celery, a little basil and some parsley. When it was all done, I put in some leftover rice from the day before. It was delicious and there is some left for the hubster to have for lunch when he returns from making maple syrup. I am expecting him some time this afternoon.

Yesterday I spent time in the living room acting like a man (I was watching two channels almost at the same time.) I was going back and forth between the Tigers vs. Yankees baseball game and the Sony Ericsson Tennis finals between Novak Djokovich and Rafa Nadal. It was difficult to decide when to switch over. I finally figured out what commercials are for. I did spend that time putting the huge pile of papers that were on top of the paper shredder into the shredder and then into a large plastic bag. I was officially a multitasker. 

I'm hoping to get several books made today, so I need to finish my second cup of coffee and then grab a bowl of cereal and get this party started.....

I've missed you - Oh, one other thing, I have to read the more than 100 new posts in Google Reader. I will do that before I move on.