Friday, April 11, 2014

A Few Things Friday

What do a 2 year old and a 3 year old do at great-grandma's? Why jump on the bed and look in the mirror!

A large 11x14 canvas with base layers

Done, I think. Not sure.

Close up. His eyes are scrap booking brads.

New technique that takes the stress out of stamping letters

Mr. Jake. His normal morning routine of returning to bed.
I completely forgot that I had pics of the little ones on my little camera. Snapped the shot of them jumping to try and capture the pure joy. It wasn't until the last night here that they realized if they stood on the king size bed, they could see themselves in the mirror on my dresser. I gave the kids my bedroom. Just easier that way.

Normally on mixed media canvases, I start out with various papers adhered with Mod Podge. I wanted to challenge myself, get out of the rut, so I put a layer of gesso (primer) on a canvas, then after that dried started just throwing down acrylic paints, inks, and alcohol inks. Did some stenciling with paint, added a few stamps, then looked at it for a few days before deciding I wanted an owl on this canvas.

This was a canvas I did last May. It's in the May 16, 2013 post. I had a blast doing this, and had so many complements on it. Then, in the last 2 weeks that Allyscraps was open, someone stole this canvas. Cathy and I were so careful, but when you are at the register ringing over 50 to 100 items, it is very difficult to watch what someone might be doing in the store. Shit happens. We didn't realize it was gone until after the store was closed for good, and I hauled all my stuff into the studio. Strong suspicion about who took it. My attitude is that she has to live with herself, right?

Anyhoo, I wanted another owl. And I like my new owl a tad more than the first one. Maybe. Now I don't know.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, March 31, 2014

alisaburke: moveable walls

alisaburke: moveable walls: My creative business is growing and evolving which means my creative space has been overdue for some changes.  My dream for the studio ha...

Alisa Burke is one super talented woman. She runs her business from her home, and this post on her blog about making their own moveable walls is inspiring. Thought I'd share it with you. Just love what she did, and the entire idea. Unfortunately, I don't have a large space where this would work.

However. Grin. There is always a "however". I am now thinking that painting a wall in my own studio in patterns/flowers would be so very cool. I have been wanting to redesign how I use the space. Hmmmmmmm!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

In my memories...

Tomorrow, March 31st, the the third anniversary of Sarge's death. He was killed by a car at 7:30 in the morning, in the dark.

He was a beautiful dog. Fur so thick you could hardly find his skin, and the only dog I ever paid for professional grooming. I just could not get thru all that fur. From the day he disappeared, March 15th, to the day I received the call of the accident, Gracie and I searched. And Gracie mourned, constantly standing at the end of the hallway, barking. She would call for Sarge to come out of the bedroom for weeks.

People who don't own dogs, or are not animal lovers don't understand our commitment to our furry kids. How, in your heart, you pledge to take care of them forever. Sarge was a rescue, and I failed him. Whomever lured him out of the backyard did so because the gates were not locked. Locks went on the day he disappeared, but that was putting the proverbial horse before the cart.

Jake is now the man of the house, and the alpha role dog. Gracie gave that up less than a year after Jake entered our home. But Sarge is still in my thoughts. And I hope he is running over the Rainbow Bridge with all the other dogs that passed, at peace.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Signs of Spring

My pussy willow tree in the backyard

New canvas, 6x6 inches
The weather was so lovely this past Friday that I hauled out the Canon and took some shots of the buds coming out on the pussy willow tree. This is actually a large size shrub, but it is called a tree. The rabbits have chewed the lower branches all winter. Little dickens, aren't they? Bunnies really did a number on the burning bush out front. It is now half the size it was last fall. Sigh.

I have been making an effort to spend time in the studio every day. There are days it's hours, other days it is only 10 minutes. But doing something, anything, every day is the goal. I started this little canvas a few weeks ago, then left it. Came back yesterday and finished it with the butterfly and some shading. I love how it turned out. The paint on the butterfly is by Claudine Helmuth, and this has been discontinued by Ranger, the company that made it. Makes me sad. It was expensive but has this great transparency to it that allows the background papers to show through. Another goal is to use up what I have on hand, and stop buying mixed media and art supplies. Kind of like being addicted to drugs. I think. I have never been addicted to drugs, but buying this shit is unstoppable. You tell yourself just one more purchase.....uh huh.

Have a great day.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tale of the Nila Bones

Jake with a small piece of left over Nila bone

Ben with another Nila bone

Gracie with the third bone
I have a basket full of dog balls and toys in front of the fireplace. There are three Nila bones, or rather 3 pieces of what is left of Nila bones. My dogs ignore them, unless another dog comes over to play. I have no idea why, but if Dega and Ben visit (not together, that has not worked out yet), they will rummage in the basket until they find a bone.

The light bulb will then flash in Gracie and Jake's brains, and they rummage for the other two bones. The fun is now set to begin. Gracie wants the bone Jake has, and Jake wants what Dega or Ben has. Jake will lay in wait for Ben to pause chewing, then sneak in and snatch the bone. I take the bone Jake had and give it to Ben. Gracie will drop what she has and bark, allowing Jake to steal hers. Get the idea? The only one getting any type of workout is Mom. I continuously rotate the bones. This can go on for 30 minutes.

And then everyone goes to the yard to pee. Dogs. Ya gotta love them.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


1. Things have a tendency to fall apart or off as you get older. Last night I broke a tooth. I hate going to the dentist. This might be a great way to lose the winter weight. I just won't eat.

2. The dogs definitely have spring in their minds. EVERYTHING must be sniffed, tasted, looked at, sniffed again. Unfortunately, Gracie wants to do this at 2am. Consequently I am sleep deprived. Hope this behavior stops real soon.

3. I am becoming more tech savvy. Scary.

4. I have decided to enter a local art show in July. The drawback to this is that it is outdoors, I will need a canopy, and one never knows what the weather will be. It could be cold and wet, or so blazing hot you will melt. Still thinking it's worth a try just once. Ya never know, do you?

5. Cathy and I each have 2 dogs. She keeps looking at photos of pets at local shelters, and is considering another one. She also found a female that is Jake's twin. I gently explained that a) I can't afford a third dog. Really. Owning dogs today is like raising kids. It gets expensive if you do it right, and I do. b)I am unable at this point to grow a third arm or hand to pet that third dog. My two are very demanding, and my left hand is petting Jake while my right hand is rubbing Gracie's belly or chest.  What to do with a third dog? Besides, look at Jake in the above photo. Does he look like he'd be willing to share Mom with another animal? Uh huh.

6. I think, and this is just my opinion, that Mother Nature needs to be bitched slapped. Today is the first day of spring. We have that sneaky polar voltex returning next week with snow. Come on, Ma. Enough is enough. Today is also Indiana tornado awareness day. So we are preparing for tornadoes and snow all in one. Are we having fun yet?

7. I am so ready for a vacation, even if it's just a long weekend. This winter has taken it's toll. Two short trips are scheduled for this summer, and that gives me something to look forward to.

8. I have to download Turbo Tax and do my taxes. Sigh.

9. As I have matured (???) I have developed into a procrastinator. This was never me in my younger years. Never. So about point 8? Yeah, that won't happen until April 13th.

10. Going to get some holly hock seeds and start some plants indoors. I have missed my holly hocks, and had I known plants would be so damn hard to find, I would have brought some over from Illinois. They were everywhere around my house in Marshall. I do miss that.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


This is known as Jake's evil eye.

I'm sorry Mom. But you know I hate cameras.

Does my fur make my butt look too big?

New canvas
We sometimes forget that animals can get the blues, or suffer from being indoors too much just like their human owners. I think that is the case with my two dogs. Now that Spring is arriving with new smells, warmer temps, and birds singing, they are wanting outside more. And basically are driving me nuts.

 We are once again visiting the dog park, and going for walks. Playing ball in the backyard. I had them out with me while I started cleaning up the yard of garden debris. And when I would glance back at them lounging on the deck, there seemed to be a look of pure contentment on their faces. Yeah, I share that feeling.

I enrolled in a year long online course with Christy Tomlinson called the Art Society. On the 15th of each month she posts a new project, complete with videos. If you have never taken any of Christy's courses, she is an excellent teacher and a lot of fun. The one thing that she is lacking in is organizational skills. Kind of an inside joke. With the camera running, she will rummage for one particular art supply that she needs. We are all used to it, and just endears her to us more.

This month's project was to select an old canvas that you didn't particularly like, or couldn't fix. Using a pencil or chalk, you draw abstract shapes on the canvas, choose a background color of paint, and paint around the shapes. Her suggestion was if you couldn't immediately decide on a background color, to block in the areas in white, which was my first coat. The flower was once a girl done with a white complexion and green/blue shading. I loved the shape of her face and three quarter head pose, but not the coloring. It was another challenge from another Christy workshop. I then added bits and pieces of Washi tape to the flower, hoping to disguise some of the elements of the girl that lies underneath. Lots of doodling and shading on this as well. It was fun, and I am going to try another canvas, but this time starting from scratch.

Thanks for stopping by.