Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #61

1. I'm looking forward to breathing next week.

2. I don't handle nasty attitudes very well.

3. Sushi and/or dark chocolate is something I could eat every day.

4. Warmth and sunlight make me happy.

5. Watch out! here I come!

6. I have 4 tattoo(s) and one is my wedding band ....

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to playing games with the fam, tomorrow my plans include work and then a visit with the cousins and Sunday, I want to go see Spiderwick with the critter!

02-26 Created Byhand Challenge

Here's my bunny for the Created Byhand Challenge:

I broke out my Sharpies this past week and have been a "line-fiend" ever since ... so decided to stick with it and do my bunny in the same way. If you'd like to see more of the Sharpie "scribbles" check out the previous post - most are 4X4 and one is 4X6 all in black and white).

Thank you for stopping by. Your comments are most welcome.

lines, lines, lines

For as long as I have been able to hold a pen, I have loved lines ... straight, curved, crooked, hatched, circles, graph-like & patterns! Lately I have been on a Sharpie line-fest. Here are the latest creations:

OK, so now that I have this many (and it doesn't look like I'll be stopping anytime soon) ... what, exactly, am I supposed to do with all these little squares? ... the one that is 4X6 is being sent off in a birthday package for a friend, but the rest are just sitting in a zip lock baggie with a bunch of blank 4X4 squares.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

4X4 Friday - 02/22/08 - Watercolor

The February 22 4X4 Friday challenge was .... Watercolor

I'm pretty sure that "watercolor" was just supposed to be an element, but I hadn't played with watercolors before, so after a lesson from the spouse (best egg around!) and a couple of tries, I ended up liking the watercolor pencils best. The above is my first (ever) watercolor ... I know that it's a really simple piece, but I was really pleased that the paper didn't end up a muddy river, that I couldn't bring myself to embelish it further ... I'm thinking that I'd like to play with watercolors a little more. :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #60 (or #1, for me)

Friday Fill-Ins #60

1. Exploring is the best thing about traveling.

2. I love a good cup of coffee & even better conversation when I'm cold.

3. I often use fine black Sharpies.

4. I'm reading Suzanne White's Original Chinese Astrology Book & Through the Lens: National Geographic Greatest Photographs right now; I am intrigued by the first & inspired by the second.

5. Personal finance is something I dislike talking about.

6. When I visited Stump Pass State Park I most looked forward to seeing how many sharks teeth I'll find & all the pretty rocks ... bet you thought I was going to say shells :).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Sadie being with Grandma and traveling with the spouse to Sebastian, tomorrow my plans include work first, a two hour drive (a bit north and across to the Atlantic side), and good company and Sunday, I want to check out the arts/crafts festival the brother-in-law has been talking about!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

4X4 Friday - Doorways

4X4 Friday - "Doorways"



I really love the idea of 4X4 Friday - brilliant, really. What a great way to keep the inspiration bank full. :) I'm really going to try to participate in as many 4X4 Friday themes as I can make myself do. It should be noted that I am great at starting things ... I tend to lack the follow through / stick-to-it gene ... I'm hoping to cultivate it, though.

This is my submission to the 4X4 Friday challenge (my first ever). The theme for February 15th was "doorways". Love, love love this theme!

Originally I had pictured a three dimensional doorway (similar to the doorway of a bedroom) with a beaded curtain ... that whole funky 60's-ish beaded curtain vibe. When you pull the curtain aside, it would reveal a girl riding a goldfish in the sky. I found the perfect goldfish, but not the perfect girl (and didn't feel comfortable creating her from scratch ... this time, at least) & my doorway looked a little pathetic. Scrap that attempt. Then I did this whole door opening to another door to another ... (we're talking 11 of the same door - I know, I know ... how original - doh!), so I got all of the doors attatched with good spacing etc., but then I just couldn't see where to go with it ... scrap idea #2 (I did save it; there is something cool about it, so I am hoping that I can use it at some point). What is pictured above is my third attempt. For a girl that has issues with collage in the first place, I ended up pretty pleased with the result.

I would love to hear what others think & am happy to answer any questions. Please feel free to leave feedback.

Modified 2/22 ... can you name all five artists included in this piece (ok, ok, I admit it ... one is me (the elephant on the left), but the other four are well known ... uh, and deceased ...

PS - Parade of Squares

If you haven't been by in a while, please go take a look at the 2x2 inch squares that Monica has already received ... I'm sure you'll be amazed:

Pink Artist Community Doll Project - parade of squares

Paper airplanes, lunar eclipses and other such things

As happens every so often, I ought to be hitting the pillows, but have a brain that refuses to settle (the spouse would ask if it has anything to do with the coffee I drank tonight ... lol ... honestly, I think not). I got into a project that had been causing me serious (minor) stresses - ideas that lived better in the head than actually on paper - for some reason, this last attempt actually appeals to me. I have to wait till morning to take photo's, but in the meantime, I kind of feel like rambling ...

1) for Valentine's day I had told another homeschool mom that yes, Sadie would be bringing something to exchange with the other kids ... did I ask Sadie? uh, no. I'm pretty sure I was on auto reply (besides, I love an excuse for artsy stuff ... and hearts ... forget about it!) Anyway, slacker that I am I forgot about it till just a few days prior to V-day. When I asked Sadie what she thought, she said she didn't want to exchange anything ... she's not into pink, hearts, girly stuff at this particular junction in life ... eek. It took some creative thinking (and a lot of shot down ideas) before I came up with the perfect solution ... drumroll, please .... paper airplanes! She totally dug the idea. We made them from sheets of origami paper (satisfied my need for something on the sweet/pretty side & was cool compared to hearts, so appealed to the critter, too). It turned out that 32 kids were coming - let me tell you, you can make 32 paper airplanes in nearly no time at all ... I had to work the day of the Valentine's gathering, but from all reports, the planes were a success. It sounds like the kids actually enjoyed the "races", too. Next year, I promise to ask her before committing to doing something for happy heart day ... but I will remind her how much fun the airplanes were!

2) I have been playing around with participating in the 4x4 Friday challenge. This weeks challenge is doorways. It should be noted that (like many) I am drawn to doorways ... blue, red, coverd in vines, stone, arched, heavy wooden doorways, doorways that make you think of hidden treasures, etc., etc., etc. ... so, I thought this would be a great one to try. I told Don and Sadie about them and asked if they'd like to do a 4x4, too. Both did. Both finished theirs before mine ... and both are terrific. I struggled. Then I struggled a little more. Tonight I just started doing (without much thought) and I did get something accomplished. It's definitely a bit rough & isn't completely balanced, but as far as an novice collage project goes, it shows a little potential - gives me that little bit of hope I need to try this media again. Nice. I ought to be able to take photos of the results for all three doors sometime after work tomorrow, so will probably get them posted in the evening.

3) Tonight there was a lunar eclipse. I almost forgot about it, but Sadie reminded me to wake her up when it happens. I would have forgotten all about it if Don hadn't had to run up to the store & noticed it. All the clouds (it was really overcast earlier this evening) had gone away and the sky was clear. Don broke out the binoculars and one scope. We all got to watch the lunar eclipse ... ok, so I didn't stay for the whole thing, but it was pretty cool just the same. I am amazed at the difference just a simple pair of binoculars can make - the moon actually looked 3 dimensional and not like a flat round disk ... makes me want to go up to Edison's observatory - I've heard that it's pretty phenomenal.

A little brain draining and I'm actually feeling sleepy ... time to seek out those pillows.

Sweet dreams! ~M~

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Heart Day


Love quotes to help get your heart feeling soft & fuzzy:

Love is friendship set to music.

~ E. Joseph Crossmann ~

The Time I've lost in wooing,

In watching and pursuing

The light that lies

In women's eyes

Has been my heart's undoing.

~ Thomas Moore ~

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.

~ Peter Ustinov ~

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times,in life after life,
in age after age forever.

~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedlyand without law, and must be plucked where it is found,and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.

~ D.H.Lawrence ~

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.

~ Pearl Bailey ~

Above: 2008 super simple valentine ... glass beads, rice paper,
light pink 60lb card stock & plain copy paper (for card insert)

With so much gratitude & much love, always ... ~M~

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I so wish I were silk & fine linens ...

... but have finally come to realize that I am simply 100% cotton.

This isn't neccessarily a bad thing. It just strikes me as odd. You see, I really love beautiful creations and am always inspired and impressed by ones that have that ... polish ... to them. You know - pieces that are beautifully executed, refined & technically perfect (nearly perfect, at least); I just can't seem to produce that kind of thing ... I really wish that I could ... case in point:

The above is a pouch that I made last night. The idea came from the squares that I did for The Pink Artist Community Doll Project. It's made from 2 - 2x2 inch squares plus 2 - 1x1 inch squares all crocheted together to make the small pouch with a flap. Originally I was thinking of adding a strap to the pouch, but to what purpose? It isn't like the shape is conducive to an amulet & it's too small (plus lacks a zipper) to be useful as a change purse. Which leads me to wonder ... what does one put in a pouch of this diminutive size?

Please don't misunderstand; I am not unhappy with the results, (infact, I actually like it ... most likely due to its simpicity and craftiness), but when I first completed it, all I could think of was that sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree (before it was loved & honored into it's beauty). *sigh*

Monday, February 11, 2008

Art Squared (4x4)

My intentions are good, but time refuses to slow even a little ... just in case I can't finish what I have started in time for Happy Heart Day, I dug up these to share:

"Since you, the pieces of my heart are coming together"

"My Heart Without Yours"

"It was a good day when your heart collided with mine"

They are Art Squared pieces that I did in 2006.

I am currently working on another series for this year (also colored pencil and Sharpie on Bristol board - like above) ... I just don't know if I'll actually get them done before Thursday. My skills at waiting till the very last moment rival the most practiced of stallers!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sadie Art

I had a bunch of art supplies out on the coffee table & Sadie (daughter - she's 9) asked if she could try to make a collage or two. Here's what she came up with:

I'm just thrilled that she asked to use the supplies ... much better seeing her want to make something rather than be entrenched in Nintendo DS while Cartoon Network plays re-runs that she's already watched 10 billion times. :)

Stump Pass State Park (FL) Part 1

One of my favorite places to go on days off is Stump Pass State Park located in Englewood, FL. It about 45 minutes from our driveway to the parking lot. This is one of the prettiest beach parks around. The water tends to have that brilliant blue/green color (most of the time) and the air almost always has that nice beachy (and not dead fish beachy) smell. It has some of the coolest pebbles I have ever found. I have easily brought home hundreds of these little treasures ... sometimes (the ones that have holes in them) they end up as center pieces to necklaces that Sadie and I make. I do hope that someday I turn (at least some of) them into a mosaic or a yard feature ... still haven't quite figured out exactly what to do with them. Also, you can always find sharks teeth on the beach - some days they are everywhere and other days you do have to search a little.

The following pictures were taken on our last visit (January 7, 2008)

A view of Lemon Bay (the back side of the park - the actual beach side is the Gulf of Mexico) through sea grape bushes.

A blue heron fishin.

View of the "cut through" from the Gulf into Lemon Bay.

Same place, just a better shot of the blue/green water.

Another view of Lemon Bay & a stump.

A close up of that same stump. :)

This particular day we were treated to some really good clouds, too.

After an especially long (or emotional) week, a few hours spent out at Stump Pass and all is right in the world once again.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

oh, we do hope we're not too late!

That's Tink. She insisted on coming to the party & I couldn't refuse ... she hasn't been to a party in more than 100 years, poor thing (neither have I, for that matter).

Of course she didn't have anything to wear. Together we were able to find just the right fabric to make a new party dress and wouldn't you know it, it took much longer to make than we anticipated. When she'd gotten dressed and was ready to go, we were in such a hurry we nearly left all the lemon poppy seed bread on the table (please ... help yourself - we brought plenty to share). If it hadn't been for faithful Fern ...

... I'm certain that we would have left it behind.

We decided to take a short cut to the party. Little did we know that we'd come accross a most amazing butterfly crossing (first time I've witnessed this magical moment). What an amazing sight that was! I do wish I had my camera with me ... 10,000+ butterflies in any and every color you can imagine (silver, gold, magenta, blue - even speckled like robin's eggs, jeweled toned & calico, too). They flew in on the whisper of a silken sweet breeze & blew kisses to us, the sky and the trees and then, almost as quickly as they appeared ... they were gone.

Before too long Tink was wiped out, so we stopped to rest our feet. While we rested I remembered the elements series I had done:

Earth & Fire
Air & Water

I realized it's been way too long since I have played with my colored pencils. Not too long after that, we were on our way again and now we are
finally here. Hope we are not to late ...

Thank you for having us, eb, everything looks so beautiful, the food smells divine & your guests, well your guests look so joyful ... please excuse us while we mingle.

Friday, February 8, 2008

So little time ... so much to do!

For more information, make sure to visit:

And wish me luck ... I sure hope to arrive not too fashionably late. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pink Artists Community Doll Project - 4 Squares

OK, all four of the above bases are single stich crocheted in 100% cotton thread using an aluminium #7 (1.65MM) crochet hook.

#1 (top left) has a maroon background. The wooden bead at the top is one that has been in my care for longer than I have been married (over 10 years now) and I am thrilled that it has finally found a home. The stone in the center is one that I found at Stump Pass State Park (a beach park located in Englewood, FL - about 45 minutes from my driveway). I love rocks; Stump Pass always has a terrific selection of pretty rocks for the picking - and sharks teeth, too. The four small wooden beads came from a necklace that I disassembled quite a while ago. I really like how the wood-fiber-stone all meld together. I should admit that this one was the least favorite of my critter.

#2 (top right) The dark blue stitched border is just backstiched embroidery floss. The two "danglers" were earrings that lost their mates ... I'm glad as I like them better together. The crystals at the top left are Austrian (Swarovsky) - I have a real thing for sparkly crystals and it's all my Omi's fault (and I love her for it). The elephant bead was the first that I used and the rest came out of that one. Weird, eh? I added the little wooden beads next to the elephant for the odd little pop of color.

#3 (bottom left) the pink background is in honor of the cause. In the very center is a light blue Swarovsky crystal butterfly. It's surrounded by bright pink Swarovsky bicone heart & the border is made up of flat square garnets and metal spacers.

#4 (bottom right) This is the one my daughter designed, started to assemble and asked me to finish. :) It's all good - she gets an "E" for effort and my adoration for being interested in the first place. The center piece has an antique bronze finish. The bead in the center is this neat pink glass bead that has a "mooney" opaqueness to it. At the four corners are little silver bells.
All that's left is wrapping them and shipping them off to their final destination.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 1 - Introducing myself & other such random thoughts

Goodbye empty page & hello to a new chapter ...
Now that I have made the leap and decided to create my own blog (after more years than I care to admit), I find myself at a loss for words. I guess I'll share the catalyst for the leap ... somehow I was directed to:
and found myself inspired ... inspired to be part of something larger than myself; inspired to create and to create in a mindset of love and good will; inspired by possibilities; inspired by others ... just INSPIRED again ... and it feels sooooo very good.

I have created three squares for the project and my daughter (9) decorated one herself, so there is a trip to the post office in the very near future. I'd like to post them, but every time I try to add the pictures, they appear at the very top ... not where I want them to be ... :( ...

Ah well. I'll stop for now and will post the pictures in a second blog ... wish me luck in figuring all this newness out.