Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stitched faces

I've ordered a new sewing machine that will have a drop feed which will allow me to do freestyle stitching. I've been fighting my way with the old machine for a long time and finally decided I wanted something more modern, with more features. So, today I did some more of the stitched faces I tried out last year. This is still with the old machine. For some reason I always made myself use a running stitch. No stopping and cutting the thread and starting somewhere else. Just one continuous line. Like a sketching exercise. But, finally after some bad stitches, I wondered why I had put that restriction on myself. Today I told myself to lighten up and just work with whatever number of lines I wanted. That was when I was about done for the day anyway, so I'm not sure what the next ones will be like. I think they will be a lot neater. for one thing, I can turn them over and stitch on the other (right) side. Anyway, here's the practice pieces I did this morning. It was so nice and warm today, I spent the afternoon gardening and bathing the dogs.

More Valentines coming in

My mail has been a lot of fun this week. I love to get Valentine cards. I know, it's still January, but it's close enough. Here are new ones. The beautiful hand stitched one with beads is from Nancy Goodman in Illinois. The charming vintage romance is from Peggy Gatto. Norma Soulet from Florida sent the cute girl in the big hat holding out her heart. The one with lace at the top and the vintage card attached with red stitching is from Beth, in the Santa Cruz mountains. I love each one of them, and when they are sitting together with the others, it makes me smile every time I pass them. And everyone who sees them wants to check them all out. You gals are getting lots of compliments and praise from strangers in Stockton. Thanks so much.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Post cards in-box

Here are some recent post cards I received. Deb Poole sent this sweet cloth post card for a Valentine swap. The one with the map in the background is from Jennie Hinchcliff. The adorable Valentine with kids on it is from Trina from another swap. Last, but not least, is the Year of the Dragon from Carroll Woods. I have more Valentine swaps coming in soon. I look forward to the mail delivery.

Carved rubber stamps

I've been toting my carving box to the senior center again this month, and have carved a few new stamps to show you. Here they are. I'm using that carving block I inherited from Jackie. I like the material very well and must buy more. Good old Dick Blick should be able to help me out with ordering. These images will soon find their way onto post cards I expect.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Family history

I posted this to my personal blog, and thought I'd share it here as well. This is a short film taken by my parents when my brother Bob and I were little kids. This is pre WWII.

And here are a couple family photos of us as kids too.

My mother was an Iowa farm girl who left the farm to go to college to become a teacher. She and my dad met when she was visiting a friend in Nevada, where my dad worked in a mine/mill. She left her career behind for marriage until we were older.

It's a great treat for me to see them so young and loving. And also great to see the animals that were cared for so tenderly until it was time to eat them. That's just the way it was.

Dad was the only one that liked the geese. While I didn't mind a little duck biting my finger, I did not like being chased or bit by a goose.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I was planning on painting this face, sort of in a Modgliani style, but instead tried a transfer highlighted with charcoal.

I tweaked it in Photoshop and framed it with Photoscape.

Catching up in the art world

Time has been zooming by without my posts, so let me tell you what's been happening here. Our mixed media art group met and discussed our plans for the coming year. Ideas were aplenty to get us started. We had 19 people there and it was way too crowded to do anything but talk. We also had show and tell, but with that many people, it was difficult to get around the table , and then we didn't get to see things up close or to handle things and ask more questions. Several of our regulars were not there - and if they had come we would be in danger of squishing each other around the long tables. It was a good meeting though and we got to see some of our members who we had not seen in awhile. It was wonderful to see them. We have some good things planned for the next meetings, and we'll just wait and see how the crowding goes. I think we will have to cap our membership for the time being so we can accommodate those that are already signed on. Who would have thought we'd find so many interested and interesting people to make art with.

Earlier that week a few of us went to see a demo by artist Lynn Slade, who does beautiful collage/paintings with washi paper and watercolor. Lots of layers, and interesting textures are created. She dyes her own washi so she gets beautiful subtle tones and variations. Her work can be seen at

Yesterday Patti Wallace gave another workshop on torn paper collages, using magazine images. I'd been playing around with them for the last week and was ready to sit down and try something new with them. What I chose to do was work sort of mono chromatically. Previously I had been working with bright, intense colors. I found a picture in one of the magazines I took to tear up which inspired me to do a woodsy scene with a path running into the woods. I'll pst pics soon. The fish lady is one I did based on a charcoal study I did some months ago. I did the collage last week.

I've also been working on post cards, of course. Valentines for friends and for some swaps I signed on to do. Of course, I made them with dog themes. I was so anxious to get them out in the mail, I forgot to scan or photograph them. Today I need to work on fabric post cards for one of the groups. Next week at our mixed media group, we will be working on our own projects with the theme of love, romance and hearts. I need to figure out what to take to that meeting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carved stamps

Here are a couple new stamps I carved recently. I inherited some of the speedball Speedy-Cut material from Jackie's stash. I haven't posted anything yet with what I did with the first piece, but it will show up soon. these two pieces are on rubber erasers from the Dollar Tree back to school section. I wanted something to symbolize waving in the New Year. And also, I wanted to do another of the face that I previously did on two separate erasers. I just reduced it down a bit and cut a new one.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January theme is BLUE

The gallery in Lodi has a monthly theme. This month it is BLUE. Not all the artists submit works that have anything remotely like BLUE, but I thought I'd dig around my archives and see if i could adapt some digital things in blue. I have never submitted any digital works there, and it might be a good time to do it.

One of these is adapted from an old photo of the Stockton Auditorium when it was first built. With help from Photoshop and a zillion tweaks of color and filters, here is my study in blue, auditorium.

The other study in blue is tweaked from a photo of my coffee table.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Torn paper collage - portrait

The other day when I sketched the gal for the painting, I did a second sketch. I thought I would paint it, but then got inspired by an email from the Lodi group to do a torn paper collage with the sketch as the base.

Here's what I did, using only fashion magazines, one Smithsonian, and a glue stick. It took a lot longer than I expected it would, but I have never worked from a sketch with torn paper. When I put it online I will see if I still like it, or if I'll see things I want to change.