Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Button, button....

Who's got the button? I do. Lots and lots of them. My mom's buttons, my own, my friends mom's, buttons from garage sales, flea markets, etc. Bobbi reminded me the other day that we had made button necklaces a year or two ago. I dug out my green one and wore it on Monday and it looked so cute, I thought I'd make a couple more. They are very casual so fit with my everyday look, good over a t shirt, or sweater. Here are the latest, a purple and green with touches of yellow(it looks much more purple than showing in pic), and a second one of blues, turquoise, and orange. The green one showing is the first one I did.

I've developed my own way for attaching them to the ribbons which tie around the back of my neck. Since I string them on a fine wire, all I have to do it wrap the wire around the ribbon a couple times, and string it back through a couple buttons, then put a dab of crystal laquer on the end after cutting it as short as possible. No findings are needed, it's quick and easy. And looks good as well.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stamp carving - where do they go?

I'm asked so often what do I do with my rubber stamps? Hmmm...... collect them???? I just like to make them. Sometimes I give them away to the right person. Like the one I did this a.m. It's going to my friend Bobbi, who asked me in particular to carve this fat lady dancing image for her.

The horse Stefan is for Linda, who had us out to their horse ranch. Stefan was so beautiful, I could not resist a little carving for her.

The fish and dancers are for my own collection. I'm sure they will end up on post cards..... I did the quick sketch of the fish before I carved it. I'm showing both together.

Alcohol and art - inking or drinking?

Was that gin I smelled in the art room this a.m.? Yes, it was. Jean was demonstrating gin transfers onto watercolor paper for some of the gals who had not seen it before. Personally, I use vodka. Only because one of my sons left a big bottle in my cupboard years ago and forgot about it. LOL

This week in Lodi at the Mixed Media Group, we will be playing with alcohol inks. One game pieces and on high gloss papers. I guess I'd better dig out things to play with that will work with the alcohol inks. Like some old samples I made years ago, and some new game pieces I acquired by throwing out the game and keeping the pieces, rather than donate them. I'm looking forward to some experimental inking. My old alcohol inks are the Pinata inks. They came out before Tim Holtz inks were around. They still work, and the colors are vibrant and beautiful. Reminds me of the colors my aunt used to use on silk scarves.

When is a potato more than a potato?

At Senior Art this a.m. one of the gals brought in some fresh veggies to share. Much to my surprise, inside one bag was a heart shaped potato. Someone else wanted to take it home, but first I got a picture of it. And when I got home I PhotoShopped it! Now this modest little potato is a piece of art. does this make you want to eat veggies???

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Progress report

I can hardly believe it. Moving the things to the car to take to Lodi left a huge space in my studio. And tonite I cleared off the counter. Put like things together and started a new stack to give away. I can see the progress little by little.

The studio has two doors that open outward. My original thought was to be able to work in there with them wide open so the air flow would be better, and also it would feel more a part of the garden. Some volunteer flowers had sprung up in front of one door and they were so pretty, I let them stay. Since I could no longer open that door, I started to move things in front of it on the inside. Eventually a loaded bookcase ended up there. LOL How did that happen? Must have been art gremlins or book fairies.

Last evening just before dark, I pulled out those flowers and am making plans to move the bookcase, giving away most of the books, and reopening the door. this will make evenings so pleasant, when I want to work out there. And mornings will be delicious as I can hear the birds and smell the sweetness of the morning air. That's my next big plan for the studio. But, first another trip to the country to do the work needed there. This is the time I wish I had the strength of a man and the energy of a 40 year old. It's sometimes hard to accept the limitations imposed by the passing of many years since I saw 40. Decades have passed. More than one decade, more than two, more than three!!! Yikes! I guess I'm old.

When the weather is hot, like it is now, the house heats up. Living upstairs and getting full sun all day, my living quarters do not cool off easily. I don't have central air conditioning, so rely on fans, and open windows. The solarium on the deck is cooler though in the evening. The windows are all open with screens, and it does not hold the heat once the sun drops. Especially if there is a delta breeze. It's an ideal place to sit in the late evening before bed time. Public radio keeps me company, along with the little K9 pals, and sometimes a DVD on the portable player. My friend Bobbi gave me a chair many years ago, that landed out there. It rocks, it reclines, it swivels, it fits me and a lap full of dogs. I could darn near spend the night there.

Speaking of night, I'm tired and heading for the shower. G'nite friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's the pits

The bottomless pit I call my studio. Why does everything end up in there? Why do I save it?
I'm still working on clearing spaces and getting rid of things. This week at the mixed media group in Lodi we are having a tail gate party, which means we fill up our SUVs or whatever and open it to all hands. Everyone can paw through and find treasures to use in their art work. Whatever is left gets dropped at a thrift store. I used to love to collect, now I love to give away. The more space that opens up in my studio, the happier I am. I want to take out the bigger table and move back the drawing table that's in the country place. This will give me more floor space and seating will be less cramped. I also have big boxes stored in the studio that contain old papers from work. All the notes and supporting docs for research projects that I have long forgotten. They can all go away. I'm never going to finish them, and I am not even remotely interested in them now. Some people when they retire from academia, they continue on in retirement. I have other interests that were put on hold for so many years, I only want to pursue them now.

I opened the country place this past weekend and spent several days there. It was so quiet and peaceful. Even my little dogs were relaxed and happy. I saw one other dog in a golf cart, the spitting image of Lulu. Fortunately Lulu was looking another direction and didn't see it or she would have been having a frightful fit. Lulu didn't see any other dogs. Nikki could care less, she likes everyone and everything. The big excitement was eating at a friends place and having a visiting squirrel come up to the screen door and knock to get food. Lulu could not understand that at all. She contented herself with patrolling for squirrels the rest of the time we were there.

I need to have help emptying out the screen room and giving it a good cleaning before putting things back. Heavy things like the futon and picnic table. I'm hoping to get grandsons Trevor and Nathan to come up with me and take charge of this. After that's done I'll be ready to entertain.

While walking we found some good manzanita branches cut and piled alongside the road. Phyllis is painting faces on one she found at the horse ranch last month. She was hoping to get more, so we brought them home for her. And one bigger one without good "eyes" for Francis to make a cane.

Other than that the only things I brought home were linens to wash and clothes that were stored during the winter that need freshening up. It will be a big laundry week! The girls had to have a bath when we got home. Here's their bath picture.

I took my android with me and had the games to play. It would not connect to the WiFi but I hope we can work that out next trip. I also had my portable DVD player, and lots of audio books on tape. Fortunately I had plenty of batteries. I finished one book and then listened to short stories while I scrubbed and swept.

My friend Cat went to a talk about birdwatching and bird songs at Sequoia Big Trees State Park. She had such a good time and came back and told me lots of the things she learned. I wish I had knows ahead and I would have gone a day earlier so I could have gone too. We do get wonderful birds in our park. It is fun to try to identify them.

The Lodi mixed media group is about to start a zine project. We did it at the Sacramento group a few years ago. Each of us does a page and then we distribute them to the other group members, and put together a zine where each page represents a different artist. I've got to start thinking out what I want t o do on my page.

Now, I had better stop journaling and get to work. Back to the pit. LOL I'm reposting the pics of the studio when it was just built and clean - before I loaded it up with "stuff". It's a reminder to me what it could look like.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Do You do At Night Kitty?

That's the title of a new book, written by Diane Atturio and illulstrated by my friend Joanna Taylor. I recieved an invitation in the mail today for the book signing. Isn't that a cute title? I wish I could be there in Joanna's magically artistic garden on the afternoon of July 1st, but it's a bit too far for me to drive. (It would take 6 hours)
This picture is not from the book but from my photo database.

Joannas illustrations are imaginative and bright and just the thing that will catch the eye of the preschoolers for whom it was written. I can picture my grandkids when they were young, spending a lot of time checking out all the details of the illustrations. Joanna's are that kind of thing. The more you look, the more you see. It can keep busy little minds active for a long time, and will likely become a favorite to reread.

You can check out information on their book at this website.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Senior Awareness Day

I put a post (and more pictures) about this year's art show at Senior Awareness Day in my other blog. To see it click on THIS. What I didn't mention there - was that I set up a table display of mail art I've received. I showed some of my favorite post cards (maybe even one or two from you). These got a lot of interesting comments and some new converts to mail art. It was nice to be able to share them this way.