Friday, September 28, 2012

Carving, Spraying, Stamping

I finally got out to the hubster's workshop yesterday afternoon after Miss Z went home so I could try out the Liquitex Watercolor Spray paints. Although the page wound up looking pretty good, I didn't have a great deal of success using them with stencils. They produce a much wider spray than I was ready for. I know I need to try them again, but for now they are not at all what I was expecting. So I came in the house and mixed up a little acrylic paint in a small spray bottle and added a little bit of water thinking I could use this with stencils. Hrumph! The nozzle clogged before I could even get a good sample. I know I've seen people on videos using a small spray with color that I think they've prepared themselves - will you share? will you help me to figure out a way to get this to work?

Here is the page I was working on. I love the colors, but didn't get the effect I was really looking for.

While the paint was drying I came into the house and selected a new book to alter as this one is down to just a few pages left. I selected a slender volume with pages similar in size to this one. It is just a bit wider. I began on the inside cover and just played a bit. I also carved a quick flower stamp with a bit of leftover rubber from one of my previous stamps and used it here.

This was the point at which I tried to make my own spray paint and couldn't get it to work. So I took a variety of colors and put a bit of each on a paper plate and used a flower stencil and a pouncer to add color. Then with the remaining paint I began to pounce around the rest of the page. This is not in my usual style, but it was a load of fun.

This morning I am going to the conditioning class, stopping at the farm to get my biweekly produce and then coming home to shower and get ready for a trip to town with my friend, Carol. After that I will come home and try to get some art time in before going to my personal training session at 4:30. Miss Z is arriving this afternoon and will be with us until Sunday afternoon, so this is going to be a very busy weekend. I'm hoping the weather is nice as I like to get her out of doors when I can. I have the umbrella stroller in the trunk and am planning to take her for a walk on a paved trail in Mason on Saturday. What do you have planned for today? what about the weekend? are you  making time for yourself and your art? Do share.....


Thursday, September 27, 2012

A New Camera

My new camera arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to go outside and try it out to see just what 20x zoom really is. I went out to the swings where the hubster and I sit to enjoy out afternoon coffee and took a photo of the backyard and the back of the house.

I'm not sure if you can see in the photo above, but there is a planter on the edge of the deck just to the left of the trumpet vine bush. Still sitting in the swing, I zoomed in and this is the photo I took.

As you can see we've had a frost and the flowers are not very pretty any more, but I think I am going to like this camera.  Then I walked around to the front of the house and stood across the street and took a photo of the front yard.

Can you see the reddish flowers along the front of the house? Still standing in the same place I engaged the zoom at full capacity and here is what I got.

At this point I am quite happy with the camera. Now I just have to go someplace with mountains or cliffs or ocean vistas - or maybe to one of the Great Lakes and see what this little powerhouse can do.

I am quite surprised this morning to find that I am not sore from yesterday's assorted workouts. It makes me a bit afraid that tomorrow I won't be able to get out of bed. I began the day by driving to town to get DD's little girls to school and then went to my conditioning class followed by my 30 minute ab/core floor work. After getting home from that, I got around and went to Meijer's to pick up a few necessary groceries and came home and made some Chorizo White Bean Soup - easy and delish! Then I headed for my first attempt at the personal training workout. There were four of us there - two usuals and my friend Nancy and me. We started out by doing several balancing maneuvers on both a Bosu and a balance ball. Then we did some stretching over the ball and some exercises utilizing the ball without weights and then we did some weight training using the ball as our bench. It was a wonderful workout, but I expect to feel some pain at some point. I am definitely planning on going back. I am thinking two times a week for awhile and see what kind of results I can achieve.

I got home in time to get showered and eat dinner while watching the Tiger game before little Miss Z arrived.  I didn't last very long into the evening though. I put Miss Z down about 8 and I was in bed by 9. I slept like a baby.

I've been reading some very interesting blogs and looking at some splendid art. I think today I will share links to a few of the blogs that I subscribe to in case you would like them too. I am always amazed by the wealth of wonderful blogs out there. I have my subscriptions in order in files whose first one is called Art Journals, so here are a random five from that list. I'd love to hear if you know these arty people or if you've found another favorite among this list. I will try to list a few of my favorites once a week.

A Colorful Journey - Carolyn Dube
Passions of an Odd Chick - Peggy Krantz
Random Acts of Art - Janet K Briggs
Sallyhow2 - Sally Rose
Sasifricious - Molly

Today I will have Miss Z until around 3 and then I am either going shopping and out to eat with my friend Carol or I am doing some art. If Carol and I don't go out and about this evening we will go in the morning. What about you? What are you doing these days? Do share...


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More Hand Carved Stamps and Art Journal Pages

Yesterday after my yoga class, I came home and ate brunch before embarking on a stamp carving frenzy. First I carved some birds silhouettes on a branch and then I carved a frog.

Apparently the first "e" of silhouette didn't register when I punched the key on the Dymo labeler and I didn't notice it until I resized the photo in Photoshop. Guess I'll need another layer here.

I also spent a bit of time in the swing having coffee with the hubster on this very Fall-like day. The temperature was quite pleasant, but it felt like it might rain on and off all day. Then I returned to the art room to begin the next two page spread. I had an old 3rd grade piano music book that I decided to raid and I just happened to find the music for "Mr. Frog Went Courtin'" and it seemed like the perfect first layer. I attached it with gel medium and then put a layer of white gesso over it which I rubbed and pounced with a paper towel to let some of the music show through. I then used some of my hand made stamps to begin the rest of the layering.

This is a work in progress. It needs more layers and a punch of color.

I am headed for my daughter's house this morning as she has to be to work at 7:30 and the girls catch the bus at 8:15. From there I will come home and get ready for my conditioning class. I am planning to try the personal training class this afternoon from 4:30 to 5:30 so Jena will not be bringing Zoë until after dinner. I will have her overnight and then again on Friday and Saturday nights. It will be quite busy, but a great time for sure.

I'm thinking that between my morning workout and my afternoon session I should be able to get some art time in my room and I will share with you tomorrow whatever it is that I am able to do. I need to make time for watercolor, too. I must remember that it is just play, too, even if it is much more difficult for me than art journaling and stamp carving.

Last evening I made up a meal using a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine as a model. I combined chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces with a bit of chorizo and browned them in a bit of olive oil. I then added diced onion, cut up fresh tomatoes, and navy beans. I let this come to a boil and then simmered it for about 20 minutes. There was plenty of flavor in this so I just added a touch of salt and a bit of pepper. I served it over a bit of rice. Yummy!

I have some chorizo left over and you know how much I like making soup with it, so between getting the girls on the bus and my morning workout I will have to run into the grocery to pick up a few odds and ends so I will be prepared when I have the time to put it together.

What about you? What do you have planned for the day? Does it include some time for creativity? If so, are you willing to share?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

List It Tuesday

How quickly one forgets. Just last week I decided to participate in Aimee's List It Tuesday and then this morning I forgot all about it until I began to read the blogs to which I subscribe. So after yoga and a chiropractic adjustment, I am home again and have played a bit in Photoshop to make my list of nostalgic items.

And thinking about this list and reminiscing about my young years, I was reminded that I had a photo taken in the mid-50s of myself and a few siblings that I thought might be appropriate to share at this time.

Kathy, Anne, Jane, John, and moi

I am on the far right and my sister, Jane, is in the middle. We were only a year apart and for whatever reason (fairness, limited choices?) we were nearly always bought the same things with a bit of variation in the color. In this photo we both have on corduroys and striped shirts. You can see the variation in the color of the cords, but I am guessing that one of the shirts was predominantly blue and the other, green.

How about you? Do you want to join in this list making fun? Here is a link to List It Tuesday at Aimee's blog.


Family Time and A New Toy

Just after I posted yesterday and before I had to get ready for my conditioning class, my daughter called to see if I wanted to go walking with her. Of course, I made a change of plan. To walk with her out of doors or work out inside without her - no big decision to make here. We walked for about an hour and then I took her out to breakfast after which we went to K-Mart to get some bins for organization in her play room where the hubster had put up a couple of shelves. We found two very large and one medium colored plastic bins for a good price and I found a toy I've wanted for a long time.

Now it just so happens that K-Mart was working in conjunction with the local newspaper to get people to sign up for a 2 month subscription for which they were given a $20 gift card. I used to really enjoy getting the newspaper delivered except it had gotten to the point where it either would show up hours late or not at all. So I signed up to try the newspaper again and bought my little toy with the gift card.

I found it difficult to remove the backing to expose the sticky part and if you look in the photo below you will see that it doesn't stick very well to a very lightly textured background. I am going to have to use gel medium to make sure it stays secure.

After I dropped DD back at her house and came home, I just had a little bit of time to add a bit of color to the two page spread I was working and try out the new labeler before getting around to have coffee with the hubster in the swings in the backyard and head out to pick up Miss P from school. I parked at a Polly's nearby and walked through the apartment complex to her school because parking and getting out of the parking lot at her school is such an ordeal. We had a nice walk to the car and then I drove to Altered Art Addict to let her pick out some decorative papers and maybe some stickers. Unfortunately I didn't check about their hours - they are closed on Mondays - bummer! But we quickly regrouped and went to Michael's instead.

Afterward we went to Red Lobster for the endless shrimp deal - we shared one. We chose breaded shrimp and coconut shrimp. It was absolutely yummy!! But I don't think it is on my invisible list of things that are good for you to eat and stay trim. But, alas, I can't be good all the time.

We then went back to her house. Her Mom and Miss M were still at Miss M's dance class, so Miss P and I spent a bit of time in the play room filling one of the bins with Barbie stuff and doing a general clean up. Then I downloaded ios 6 onto my iPad while we played Rack-O. Do you remember that game? Payton and I love playing it. I got a bit of quick hugs and kisses when Miss M got home and then I came back home. I was just in time to catch the early part of the Tiger's game.

Today I am planning to go to the yoga class (I am going to take responsibility not to do more than I am capable of this time), after which I have a chiropractic appointment and then I am coming home to do some art. My plan is to carve a new stamp or two, start a watercolor, and work in my art journal. I don't think I have any commitments today that will prevent me from playing in my art room for most of the day. Of course, the house could use a bit of cleaning.....

What about you? What do you have planned for the day? Are you staying busy? Doing art? Do share.....


Monday, September 24, 2012

Carving Stamps and Art Journaling

It was a very busy weekend with little Miss Z. I must say her vocabulary has exploded over the past couple of weeks. She is extremely vocal and quite easy to understand in most cases. I particularly love how if she bumps herself or falls down, she either comes over with knitted brows with the injured part to be kissed or quickly says, "OK!" And she is becoming quite a little tease with a nice sense of humor. Though I will surely miss the baby stage, this little girl stage is quite endearing.

Yesterday after I took her home, I went to Michael's to buy a few things. For one thing, I was out of Gel Medium (I swear as fast as I go through it, I should be buying gel large!! :-) ) and I wanted to try to find some clear gesso. I was successful in finding each, but I had to get Liquitex for both as they didn't have any Golden in stock. This will be my first time using gel medium that is not Golden and I will let you know how it goes. I also had to try some of the new Liquitex spray paint that is water based. I read about it on someone's blog and knew I had to try it. It is quite expensive so I didn't get lots of it, but I had a coupon so it seemed like a good time to try it. I hope to work with that today and show you the results tomorrow. It is supposed to be low odor and lightfast with easy clean up.

 Before I left, I worked a bit more on the two pages I shared last time, but because I'd run out of gel medium, I used PPA, a medium that I particularly like, but apparently I left it too wet because when I put the waxed paper over it to weight the glued pieces a part of one of them came off on it.

I then spent some time looking for images to carve and found a lovely lily pad that I liked so that is what I tried. Here is the beginning of a two page spread.

And here is what the stamp looks like. Now I think I have to find a small frog image to try.

I told you about my estimated delivery for the new camera I ordered. I did some more research and found there was a Canon (my favorite camera brand to date) with a 20x optical zoom with a better rating overall that was about the same price and was in stock. I cancelled the Minolta and ordered the Canon and am expecting delivery in about a week.

Here is what it looks like:

And here are the features:

Product Features

Color: Green
  • 12.1 MP High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor, DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • 20x Optical Zoom, 25mm Wide-Angle lens, and Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1080 Full HD video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button
  • Smart AUTO with 58 predefined shooting situations with new FACE ID, High-Speed Burst HQ for continuous capture at a maximum of 10 frames
  • GPS tracker to record image locations on a map via Canon's software
  • 3-inch LCD display
  • And it only weighs 8.2 ounces

I can't wait to try it and will share the experience with you.

Meanwhile, today I have my conditioning class followed by the core on the floor segment, after which I hope to spend some time out in the hubster's workshop trying out my new spray paints in my art journal. Later today I am picking up Miss P at school and we are going to spend a couple of hours together while her sister is at dance class. This will be our routine on the last Monday of each month while she is in school. I may take her to the new Scrapbooking place on M-60 to get some ideas for her poster making and art journaling.

What about you? What do you have planned for the day? Does it include some kind of creative activity? Do share.....


Friday, September 21, 2012

More Carving Fun

Another busy day yesterday. I didn't go to yoga class, but that doesn't mean I sat still. The hubster and I spent the day measuring, shopping, selecting, and cutting to size. And when I say the hubster and I, I mean the hubster. We installed a couple of wall length shelves in the play room of my daughter's house while she was at work. We also brought home the crib that has been stored in that little room that really hardly has room for all the toys and dress up clothes of the girls. She is thrilled with it and we feel good about it. I've told her I will help her to get bins and organize things so the girls can really enjoy playing in there instead of hauling all the stuff out into the main area of the house each time. And we think that if we have a system with a bin for like things, clean up will be a breeze.

After we got home - I can't believe we spent most of the day on this project - it was time to make my beans for today's pot luck and make dinner. We listened to a disappointing Tiger game during the time spent in the truck and then finally gave up on it in the top of the ninth when things came totally apart. I am not usually a fair weather Tiger fan, but the reception in this part of the world is noisy and poor to say the least, so it wasn't difficult to turn it off.

I've been wanting to try to carve a face stamp and so following the tutorial provided by Beth that I mentioned yesterday, I began. I don't think I did a very good job of adjusting the photos in Photoshop before using the posterize filter, but I am not totally unhappy with the result and can't wait to do more carving today. I carved the left hand one first, but messed up both the eye and the mouth. Next I tried the right hand one - that is Miss P, not Amelia Earhart - for some reason the glasses on her head remind me of the aviator. Finally, I used a self portrait sketch from a long time ago to carve the one in the center.

And then I had to start stamping with them. I don't think this spread is done yet, but I cannot tell where it is going yet.

I think I mentioned some time ago that I'd ordered a new camera that I'd seen on another blog and that it was on back order. I recently received the most unusual email from Amazon telling me that they now had delivery dates for me.

We now have delivery date(s) for the order you placed on August 25, 2012:

  "Olympus SP-810 UZ Digital Camera V103020BU000"
   Estimated arrival date: October 19, 2012 - January 14, 2013

I really don't get this - how can you tell me that you have delivery dates for me and then give me a three month spread as that estimated arrival???? Does this make any sense to you?

I am planning to go to my conditioning class this morning and then have a chiropractic appointment afterward. Miss Z is due to arrive this afternoon for an overnight or two, and I have the potluck this evening. I wonder if I will get time to do a bit of carving....

What about you? What do you have planned for the day? Does it include playing? art? Do share...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Healing and More Hand Carved Stamps

I am not quite as bruised this morning, but am planning to stay home from yoga class again today. I am going to find out about a beginner class that may be offered after the one I've been going to that I think is a bit too advanced for me.

I spent a bit of time at my daughter's house yesterday and successfully got her wireless hooked up. I had taken my iPad with me, so I was able to use the wireless and I downloaded some beginner yoga videos and watched a couple of journaling videos - one of Inspiration Wednesday by Donna Downey and one about layers with Jellibellie. They were great!

After I got home, I carved a couple more stamps - actually I did three. A pear and a couple of Fall themed foliage stamps. Here is the pear in its positive and then negative carving. I thought that I wanted it to be a positive image - the one at the top, but then decided I wanted to be able to color it in, so I removed the inside portion to just get an outline.

And then I stamped it on the page in progress that I'd adhered to the pages.

And then I used Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons to color the pear in. Now I'm really loving it!

And then I decided I wanted a sunflower stamp, but when I looked outside for inspiration, I saw some beyond their prime and decided I'd rather have the weedy look. So I carved two different ones and I really like them both.

I used different colors of ink to give them different looks.

Here is my Fall page in progress. I don't think it is done yet, but I like it so far.

Yesterday I got an email from Beth Berman which included a link to her blog, Sew Sew Art, where I found a tutorial for making a stamp using a photo. Needless to say, I followed that link and today I am going to try my hand at doing just that. Thanks so much Beth!

So my day will include carving stamps and making the fabulous beans to take to the pot luck tomorrow and who knows what else??!! What about you? What do you have planned for the day? Does it include cooking? art? Do tell.....


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More Art Journaling

Sometimes I think maybe I should listen to my inner critic, but she is such a b*tch that mostly I swear at her and try to banish her. She says things like, "you're a fat girl" "you are too old" "you will never get it right" "this is not art". She has been making fun of my attempts in the yoga class that I am taking. And I have been ignoring her. But I do have to admit that the class is not a beginner class and that I probably push myself too much. Yesterday about 2/3 of the way through the class, I was suddenly light headed and woozy. I had to go into child's pose for a bit and drink lots of water to get myself back into it. I didn't feel like I'd hurt myself or that I'd overdone, but late last evening the pain began to set in. My left hand is very sore - it feels like a deep bruise or intense arthritic pain and the bottom outside of my right foot hurts when I walk. So I just called my friend Nancy to say that I wouldn't be meeting her at today's conditioning class. My body is telling me to take a rest. The instructor said that she was going to add another class on Tuesday and Thursday that would be slower than the current one and I think I am going to have to back down and try that class instead. The last thing I want to do is hurt myself. It rather defeats the whole purpose.

I did spend a bit of time in the art room yesterday. I added some watered down watercolor to the pages I shared yesterday. It almost looks like tea staining and I like it.

When it dried, I began on the next pages with a thin layer of gesso followed by a thick textury (I know, I just made up that word) layer of acrylic paint.

And these are the cutouts that I think I will glue onto the page. I think I may have to carve an apple and/or pear stamp today because I love these shapes so much.

Right now, I think I will get an ice bag out of the freezer and hold it in my left hand to see if I can get some relief while drinking my second mug of coffee. I am thankful that I am right handed for I am hoping to get a chance to do some art today. I will also probably go to my daughter's today as her modem/router has arrived and I'd love to get her set up for wireless. I don't think that will involve much use of the left hand.

What about you? What do you have planned for the day? Does it include time for art? If so, do share....


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

List It Tuesday and Hand Carved Stamps

Aimee over at Artsyville has a link up for List It Tuesday and today's list is to be goals. So without further ado, I will enumerate a few of mine.

1. Get the beans made for the Friday pot luck at the local branch of the library.

2. Get outdoors and walk each day.

3. Keep going to fitness class and yoga.

4. Eat less.

5. Be thankful - for my health, my family, my friends.

6. Get my art room organized.

7. Play with watercolor at least once a week.

8. Do more sketching out of doors.

I am sure there are many more things I should be working on, but as I'm just out of bed, that will have to do.

A specific thing I have to do is get some special baked beans made for the library pot luck this Friday. I need to get out the recipe and get any missing ingredients tomorrow so I can make them on Thursday. This evening I am going to my daughter's house to spend the night so I can get the girls on the bus on Wednesday morning. I am hopeful to have a more patient, less tearful experience this time. I think she should have received her modem/router so I can hook that up for her so she will finally have wireless. I gave Miss P an old MacBook to use, so once the wireless is set up I will get her computer ready for her to use.

Yesterday I spent some time in the art room playing with stamping again. I made a swan and a zebra. I rather like them both. I'm not sure why the swan printed out with polka dots - perhaps it is a fashion statement.

And then I began a two page spread using them as well as an umbrella and some grasses to start. The left hand page needs some color, but so far, so good.

Just got off the phone with my daughter; she doesn't need me overnight for the morning after all, so I guess I am going to have revamp my day. Maybe I will find time to begin a watercolor painting today. But first, I have my yoga class at 9:30 so I'd best get around a bit.

What about you? What are you up to today? Does it include time for yourself? Will you be doing some art? Do share....


Monday, September 17, 2012

Birthday Celebrations and Art

It was an extremely busy weekend with two birthday celebrations, brother-in-law as overnight guest and play time in the art room. I also made some Beef Mushroom Barley Soup. It was delicious, if I do say so myself.

On Saturday Miss K's birthday celebration was at the roller skating rink for a bit and then at her Dad's. I took the time to decorate her present in a way that I thought she would like. She did.

It was crazy, busy and she had a sleepover. Needless to say, I was glad I wasn't going to be trying to sleep in that household that evening. They had pizza and cake, neither of which I can have (I am severely lactose intolerant). It all works out pretty well as I shouldn't be eating that kind of food anyway.

On Sunday I went to my daughter's house early so she and big sis could get to the site and get things set up while I stayed with the birthday girl. Her party was held at a local pizza place that specializes in birthdays. The menu here was also pizza and cake. Oh, well! I had taken the time in the morning to wrap her presents in a similar style to her cousin's present, but she had specifically asked for Doc McStuffins. I did my best to satisfy her request. She loved it. I overheard her telling a friend, "My Nana made this all by herself." Too cute!

I forgot to take my camera to either event so don't have pix of my own, but I borrowed a couple of pix my daughter posted to her Facebook account to share here. I didn't see any that my son took of his daughter so I will post a recent pic from the first day of school.

First day of School 2012 - turned 9 one week later.

Cupcake cake at birthday party. Actually turns 5 tomorrow.

I also spent a bit of time in my art room playing in my altered book journal. Here are a couple of pages. This first one has a bit of gesso, Neocolor IIs, cheesecloth for texture,  parts of the paper I punched circles out of for a previous page, a bit of a handmade bird stamp and some lettering.

 This one is a work in progress. The first layer is gesso with a bit of color, followed by colored flakes on the left side and sand on the right. The next layer is a bit of stenciling with white paint. I don't know where this is going, but will keep adding to it until I think it is done.

Usually Saturday is a dull mail day. We usually get a flyer and nothing else. I usually look at it as a boring, but at least no bills event. Imagine my surprise this Saturday to find mail art for myself in the post. I had completely forgotten that I'd requested a bit of art from Mark B Hill some time ago. I think he must get hundreds of people asking. His art is quite special. Here is what I received. This is actually a commemorative sketch to celebrate the 4th anniversary of his open heart surgery. Wow!

 I've been meaning to feature some of the wonderful blogs I read in case you don't know about them (there are literally thousands to choose from), but I usually have so much other stuff to share, I've been remiss. I am thinking of making my week more themed. I'd like to do List It Tuesday with Aimee at Artsyville and maybe will choose Thursday as my Feature A Blog day. I know there are themes for other days, but don't know if I will choose to participate in any others or not.

So how was your weekend? Did it include making art? Are you willing to share?


Friday, September 14, 2012

Yoga, Reindeer, and Art Journal Spread

I went to my second yoga session of the week yesterday; this is my fourth class altogether. I need to find a better yoga mat because this one is very thin and I sweat so profusely that I begin to slip half way through the class. I will never be able to learn these asanas and get into position if I am sliding while trying to hold them. I am so glad that I found classes so close to home, though. I am hoping to become stronger and firmer and so far I am hooked on this exercise regimen. This morning I have my conditioning class followed by floor work.

I had a full day yesterday with Miss Z. She is becoming such a little person. She talks constantly and is always on the move. We spent quite a bit of time out of doors and even though I was lying on the hammock, she kept me busy. The hubster was out with us, so even though I was busy helping her on and off (and on and off and on and off) the hammock, he was keeping an eye on her while she was off.

After her Mom picked her up, I painted the other sides of the reindeer faces and then forgot about taking a picture of the finished reindeer until almost dark. I went out to the workshop and took a photo and then did a quick selection in Photoshop to remove it from the busy background. Isn't he so cute?

On the way back into the house, I stopped at the bottom of the deck stairs to appreciate a beautiful rose and decided to take a pic of that as well. I really must try to paint one of these.

The Tigers were rained out last night, so I spent more time in the art room than I normally would on a baseball night. I began another two page spread and have found another adage to add to all the ones I've seen online so far.  You know you are an artist wake up in the morning with gel medium stuck to the ends of you fingers. Yes, I did wash my hands many times after finishing the pages, but apparently the gel medium had already dried and I didn't scour the ends of my fingertips hard enough to remove it.

This morning I will go to my exercise class, then to the chiropractor. On the way home, I will stop at the farm and pick up my biweekly produce. After a shower I am going into Mason with the hubster to pick up some things at the mall for his show tomorrow and then perhaps lunch before grocery shopping. His brother is coming to participate in the show in Mason tomorrow. He will arrive tonight and stay until Sunday. I think that means that I have some cleaning to do. While the hubster and his brother are at the Mason Down Home Days on Saturday, I will be decorating wrapping paper and getting presents ready and making cards for my two little girls who are celebrating their birthdays this weekend.

What about you? Do you have plans for the weekend? Do they include art? Won't you share?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

A New Day and A New Perspective

Yesterday afternoon when Miss Z came to visit, I packed her up in the car and went to my daughter's house to stay with Miss M while her big sister went to dance class. It was a very good decision on my part. Miss M went through her books and movies and put the "baby" ones in a bag for me to take home for when Miss Z is visiting. It is amazing how many she had. And then we took Miss Z for a walk in the stroller. Miss M pushed the stroller nearly the whole way and really felt like a babysitter, which she says she will be able to do by herself when she is 7. To be honest, I think she will have to be a bit older than that, but for now I keep that to myself.

After dance class was over, while their Mom was fixing dinner, the big girls took Miss Z out in the back yard and played with her on the slide and the trampoline. A great time was had by all, and I must say that Miss P, at 9 years old, will soon be a really wonderful babysitter. I sent her a text to that effect shortly after I got back home and had Miss Z in bed.

I didn't last very long last evening; I think I was in bed by 10 - a very unusual occurrence for me, but I must have needed it, for I slept soundly and didn't awaken until almost 7. I have a busy day planned with yoga class at 9:30 and Miss Z until about 3. I am also working on a bit of stuff for the hubster. I printed out 5 pages of business cards yesterday that I need to cut apart. And I am doing the faces on the reindeer he is making. They are standing 3-D puzzles with legs for support, a body, then a head, and antlers on top . I should have taken photos of them, but they are out in the shop and it is dark and wet. I will show you the whole reindeer when they are assembled. For now here is what I have on the heads so far.

I now have to paint a face on the backs of them as well.

I am hoping to finish my book today and once Miss Z goes home I will finish the reindeer heads and then work a bit in my art journal. I'd also like to carve a couple of stamps and maybe start a watercolor. I hate to let too much time go by without working playing with watercolor as I don't want to regress. I still have a long way to go and Lord knows I don't want to go backward.

What about you?  Do you have some big plans for the day? Are you enjoying this Fall-ish weather? Are you finding time to play in your creative space? I am so loving seeing and hearing what others are up share.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rough Start

I'm having a rough start to the day - I spent the night at my daughter's so that I could get the girls to the bus this morning. DD had to be to work by 6 am. Miss P was a piece of cake once I got her to get up, which I must admit wasn't too bad. Miss M, on the other hand, cried about 10 times from wake up to the bus, including crying as she got on the bus. I must admit it makes me crazy. It is not just early morning related. She cries whenever she doesn't get her own way and I must admit that I don't handle it well at all. I don't want to give in to her crying, but I don't want to be all cold, either. At any rate, I came away from this morning's experience feeling lousy and mean - a failure. It makes me want to cry. But, I'm going to pull on my big girl panties, wipe my eyes, and get ready for my conditioning class. Surely that will make me feel better. As for Miss M, I did put a cute little note in her lunch box. Her Mom, who I just got off the phone with, assures me that she will be fine that this new routine is just hard on her.

I did add another layer to my art journal page - as you can see it is not glued down yet, but I do like how it looks so far.


The yoga class yesterday morning was wonderful, but I have a long way to go. The chiropractic adjustment afterward was great also. And in the early afternoon, the daughter and I got our birthday shopping done. Now I just have to make the hand painted wrapping paper and get them wrapped.

I'd better get my clothes changed and get to my conditioning class so I can change my miserable feeling from the start of the day so I can become more centered and ready for creativity. Not to mention the Miss Z will be arriving this afternoon to spend two nights with us.

How about you? How do you handle situations like I faced this morning? Do you ever have such things going on? Are you going to make time to be creative today? If so, do share.....


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To Sleep, Perhaps to Dream....

The weather has been perfect for sleeping; I love it when it is 50s at night and 70s in the daytime. I wish the weather was always like this.

The days are flying by as usual and this week is another full one. In the bag of books that Nancy lent to me yesterday was a novel that has me in its grip. I spent much of yesterday curled up in the living room reading. In between chapters, I made some Chorizo and Navy Bean Soup, drove to my daughter's house to install the modem/router (when I got there, the package she had received was just the empty box with a label to send back the old one after the installation of the new one when it arrives), watched a bit of the amazing Djokovich/Murray men's final of the US Open and watched a bit of the Tigers.

While watching the Tigers I got my art journal, some paper and the Neocolor II crayons and played a bit. I'm not sure where these pages are going, but I love layers. I used double sided tape on the paper squares, so definitely need to put a layer of gel medium over them to make sure they are well adhered.

And for this one, I just scribbled a water scene on the left and a landscape on the right. This is the first layer that is crying out for more.

And while I was looking around for patterns to make stamps, I happened upon an old digital scrapbooking page I made years ago when Miss Z's big sister was a toddler. It is one of my favorites, so I thought I'd share.

I think there is quite a resemblance between Miss K and Miss Z.

For today, I have a yoga class at 9:30 followed by an adjustment at the chiropractor and then I am going to come home and do a bit of art before going to my daughter's for dinner and to spend the night. She has to be at work at 5:30 am and the girls need to catch the bus at 8:15. Tomorrow is another session of the conditioning class and then Miss Z comes to spend a couple of nights with me. How is it that time is passing so quickly? Miss K turned 9 on the 4th and is celebrating with a small party on Saturday and Miss M turns 5 on the 18th and is celebrating with a small party on Sunday. I think I have to go shopping and then make some wrapping paper. The girls have gotten used to getting hand painted paper for wrapping their paper. Maybe this year I will make patterned paper using some of my stamps. 

What about you? Is time running away from you? How are you spending it? Are you finding time for art? cooking? Do you have a favorite soup recipe to share? 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicken Lentil Soup, Handmade Stamps and Mail Art

I was the lucky winner of a lovely art print from Hilke at verzwirnt und zugeleimt and I am thrilled to have it.  I've been a subscriber to Hilke's blog for more than a year now and love her handmade books and her printing talent. She shows lots of process pix that make reading her blog so helpful and informative.

This photo really doesn't capture the beauty of this print.

I used some of the labels from the package to add to the art journal page I am working on. I don't think I am happy with it just yet and think another layer here and there may help.

On Friday after my conditioning class and before Zoë arrived I made some homemade chicken lentil soup. I am quite happy that the weather is getting cooler as I am a homemade soup fanatic. I bought a rotisserie chicken just so I would have the carcass for making stock.

I sauteed some vegetables in a separate fry pan and then added them to the stock from which the bones had been removed.

After letting them cook for about half an hour, I added lentils, thyme and a bay leaf and then let it cook for another 40 minutes. Et voila! Yummy!

I did find time to make another rubber stamp after Zoë went home yesterday. I really need to get better in the small spaces, but overall I like her.

As you can see, it is not perfect.

I've been to my conditioning class this morning followed by half an hour of floor exercises and am feeling great. I am eating breakfast as I write this. I sauteed some onion and yellow squash and then added scrambled eggs. When it was almost done, I added a small cut up tomato from the garden. The squash was from the farm package I received last Friday. This is a great start to my day.

My friend, Nancy, brought a few books with copywright free illustrations in them that I might adapt to rubber stamps, so I may try another one today.

What about you? Do you have plans for this beautiful September day? Does it include cooking? art? are you willing to share?