Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dye play

I am very excited about using a decorative plate, old hankie, and dyes to create art!

Monday, June 19, 2017


When I was young, my father taught me how to make hollyhock dolls.  I was probably 8 years old.  We went out to the garden and he explained how his grandmother always had hollyhocks in her garden.  Red ones.  She had moved to town from the farm when her husband died in 1947.  My dad was born in 1936, so I figure he was about the same age as me when we first learned to make our little dolls...

On father's day, the hollyhocks spoke to me, urging me to come out and play.  The clump that is blooming also has a bit of a story to tell.  A few years ago my sister and I took our daughters to Paris for a week.  (a wonderful adventure!).  While we were waiting in line for the Catacombs, my daughter passed out.  The staff was most helpful and thought we really should take her to the hospital.  All ended well - combination of heat, not enough water, hunger.  She learned a valuable lesson.

On our walk back to the Catacombs (hours later), we walked past a library with a small garden of  hollyhocks that had bloomed and were still holding seed pods.  One fell into my pocket.  Need I say anything else?

My hollyhock doll was a fun memory chaser!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

eric's quilt

Eric's quilt is now in the planning stages....  I was told that his favorite color is red.  That would be 49er's red (and gold).  I did some brainstorming and hit on using a German aircraft symbol (from 1918) for the design, as he works as helicopter mechanic in the army (based in Germany with my son).  How fabulous that the German flag is also red, yellow and black!  This quilt will be full of symbolism! 

(No - I don't really have this much done...  photoshop is such a good way to try out an idea!)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

A pond full of bull frogs

They are noisy and kind of creepy when you have so many living in one pond.  The big ones don't even scare away when you walk right up to them.  Not enough to call a plague, but still too many for me!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Morning walk / found my project tree!

Recently I saw a picture of some dead trees that have been artfully painted.  I live next to a small forest and just knew that I had to do this too!  This morning Percy and I took a walk looking for dead trees.  I found the perfect tree on the path going to the fairy circle.  It is too tall to paint all the way to the top, but I bet Jon will be happy to top it for me (what man doesn't like the chance to pull out his chain saw?!?)

Percy is looking so old...  Next week he turns 7.  His very bad haircut is my fault...  I started trimming him for the summer and just never got back to it.  Fortunately, he never complains! Note the catalpa blossoms on the path - so pretty to walk on.  We have a couple of catalpa trees on our property and I always look forward to bloom time.

It may be dead, but is still standing.  Later today I'll clean out the poison ivy around it and trim off the little branches.  One little patch of bark remains.  Can't wait to have some fun!

Friday, June 9, 2017

BuJo - States

I've officially started my Bullet Journal (thanks to my dear friend Beth).  She has a stencil of the U.S. and graciously shares.   Step one for me is the states I have lived in.  Sometime this weekend I'll add the states I have visited - and more artwork!

Monday, June 5, 2017

tape resist

I did a bit of work for summer art camp this weekend when it was just too hot to be outside.  I know the kids will enjoy this easy project!  For this background:
(1) random watercolor painting
(2) painter's tape shapes
(3) black gesso
(4) white pen doodles

Friday, June 2, 2017

Paint the Road

Yesterday was our 16th Annual Paint the Road at the library!  The road was primed in the morning by a team of "highly trained professionals".  In the afternoon the fun began.  It is so fun to see the creativity of our local children.  After painting, the ice cream truck came by and we treated all participants to a cool treat!  Now to clean up and prep for the next program...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Lego's remind me of Jes...

Recently, I saw a clever idea using Lego's for printmaking.  I spent some time prepping for summer art camp at work this weekend and decided that playing with some Lego's while I am missing my son was the perfect art project!

First I designed a simple plate:

I used a cosmetic sponge to dab on acrylic paint:

I used a variety of papers and tried to think and work like a 10 year old.  In the end, I liked the print that was made from an old t-shirt the best.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Not so very good week...

This week I moved my aunt into the memory care unit at the home we moved her into this past November.  I am just sick to my stomach over all the events.  It is so difficult to see loved ones decline.  Thank goodness for a long weekend and very few responsibilities for 3 whole days...

My mother is nursing a cold and I haven't stopped in to see her, so I am off to her house with a basket of goodies...  But first an hour of art.  My therapy.

I hope all my friends remember to take time for themselves.  Keep smiling!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5 minutes of art

This past week has been a catch up week after being gone for 3 weeks.  No time for art.  No time for me.  Cranky me...

Luckily this morning, I found a few minutes to run up to my studio before being picked up for an out of town meeting.  That's what we do - find those precious me minutes between must does...  I printed a first layer of star fish on some fabric.  Not really art... not yet...  but I had to start somewhere!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Stitched Leaves

I was cleaning out some old files and came across the pictures of some leaves I embroidered a few years ago.  My leaves were picked up in the early fall as the colors were changing.  The leaves that seemed to work the best for me was pear leaves - nice color and sturdy.  I must put a reminder on my september/october calendar to save some time to stitch this fall!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Home again

The past three weeks have been a fabulous adventure traveling with my son.  Now it is back to reality and time to catch up.  My garden is a lovely weed bed, the house is needing a woman's cleaning touch, friends and family want to hear about my travels, and the calendar is much too full.

I will take it one day at a time and maintain my European lifestyle as best I can in the Midwest states.  Today is a somewhat back to normal day with work.  Evening should give me time in my studio to start planning  and working on the zillions of ideas that found their way into my soul in Italy.  I love to travel, but am also happy to be home.

Friday, May 12, 2017


With eyes wide open, I started seeing fleur- de-lis all over the city.  With a little research I found that they are the official symbol of florence...