Monday, November 05, 2012

Allowing Myself To Play

This picture is a Impressionist rendering of a picture I took on Sunday Nov. 4th at the Mt. Charleston Resort.  I had neglected to take any pictures and rushed out Sunday during a 15 minute break to shoot some pictures will my cell phone.
After the break we saw a film by Dewitt Jones called For the Love of It.  The essence of this film was doing something for the love of it, not just in some mundane way.  I have to admit that I was in a hurry as I snapped some shots, but when I looked at the finished product I was pleased.  This photo was taken into the sun, but what I captured were the rays beaming down and I loved it.
Dewitt Jones indicated that he does not really stage his shots (he is a professional photographer) ; rather, he chases them and finds just the right angle as it calls to him.  Hmm, I thought, I guess that is what I was doing and did not kow it. 
I wanted to get the film so I looked him up and found out that the film ( a training film for business) was waaaaayyy more than I wanted to pay.  So I looked him up on Amazon to see if he had other films and I found an ebook on Iphoneography that he had written.  In the book that houses 50 of his photos, he worked with several inexpensive apps suited for iPhone and iPad.  Two were Iris Suites and ArtisticaOil.  I immediately downloaded them and began to play.  Pay special attention to the word Play because that is not something I often allow myself to do. 
I took a photo and altered it in Iris and was able to add my name as a copyright.  I had been trying to figure that one out for weeks and there it was on the first thing I looked at in Iris.  I went back and forth between my photos and his book and realized that he took a picture of his feet while he was walking, altered it in Iris saved it and then called it up in Artistica and turned it into an oil painting.  That was just too cool for me.
And so today we have the picture above and I love it for several reasons:
1.  it looks pretty good
2.  I was willing to try and use unfamiliar tools without a major freak out
3.  it opens another dimension to my artistic process
4. It looks really good and I am proud
So my dear pilgrims, please take some time to play, some time to try new things and what ever you do in life, do it for the love of it.
Peace on the journey.....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Breast Pocket part 2

I am getting ready to mail more breast pockets so I thought I would post them prior to mailing.  I did remember to take pictures of them all this time.

I have had scraps of fleece from the blankets and bears project at church for 2 years.  We did not want to throw them out, so I took them.  Last night it hit me that I could use them for breast pockets so here is my first attempt.

The top two are made from Japanese Kimono Fabric and the bottom one is made from vellum scrapbook page I received for participating in a breast cancer project.

Butter fly fabric, can't remember where I got it from but I just liked the fluidity of it.  The green is from a Japanese Kimono it can really double as a breast pocket OR a smart phone holder, how is that for versatility.

More Kimono fabric, purchased it from Katie Kendrick.  I love supporting other artists and after I got the fabric, knowing that I am not much of a fabric artist, I wondered what I would do with it all.  Problem solved in a grand fashion.

Repost of the knitted pocket.  I scanned it the first time (not a good idea).

Why am I doing this?  My great-grandmother Fannie Jane Cole, grandmother, Zelma Lee Young and mother, Glennie Mae Barber all had breast cancer twice.  They were courageous women and set an excellent example for me on how to deal with any type of adversity.  So each wobbly stitch that I sew is for them.  Plus, I have just had a darn good time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Breast Pocket Project

This year has been a year of firsts for me and the one I am currently most proud of is making Breast Pockets.  As a breast cancer warrior (I kinda like this better than survivor).  I participate in anything project that will bring awareness to the need to be mindful of each person that has been impacted by this disease.

Melanie Testa is the originator of this project, which is intended to give courage and support to women who have had mastectomies and decided not to have reconstructive surgery.

I did not have a mastectomy, I opted for double lumpectomy since I had early stage cancer in both breasts.  I did however have to have 3 surgeries on my right breast inorder to get clear margins as a result I am a little lopsided but who cares, I am healthy and so far cancer free.

Anyhoo, I have pictures of a couple of the pockets I made.

One I have mailed (I forgot to photograph the other two in the envelope) and one I will be mailing within the next couple of days. 

Melanie is a great inspiration to me, we are email and facebook friends and I will always cherish her friendship and encouragement.

Handsown breast pocket

Knitted breast pocket.  I wanted to try and see if I could knit a pocket and I did.  Woohoo
This has been a fun time for me.  Melanie, thanks for the opportunity


Monday, October 01, 2012

A Preview of Things to Come - My Italian Adventure

It occured to me that I do not have to wait until I have everything just right inorder to begin to post about my trip to Italy.  Blog posts do not have to have 5 million words.  It is 2 am Pacific time and I am up, it will take a few days for my body to adjust.  I fell asleep at 5 pm and slept until 11:30 pm, now I am wide awake so here we are:

Snippets of my trip in Pictures:

Rustic Tower in Orvieto

Painted Cactus one of the pictures I used during class. I loved it.

Scrumptions dinner in Rome, hand made sausage and Pasta with
Meat Sauce - Yum

Teacher and Friend, Tracie Huskampf, such a kind spirit.
I will never be the same after this trip.  More on that later/
Suffice it to say, I had a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

UFO'S--Unfinished Objects

Isn't this the cutest little sweater?  It took me 2 years to complete it.  Why?  For a few reasons really, I told myself I could not knit a sweater, I put it in a bag and forgot about it, I told myself I could not knit a sweater, I was busy with health issues and other pressing projects, did I mention that I told myself that I could not knit a sweater?

I am a scarf officianado.  I can knit the most beautiful scarves, I can crochet one heck of a granny square afghan and now I can actually knit a sweater.  Ok, it is a miniature sweater for a little bear, but it is still a sweater and I finished it on May 21, 2012.  I was going through my knitting basket looking for projects that I need to finish.  I am dedicating this summer to completing UFO's.  I finished a scarf that I will show in another blog. I finished a crocheted coin purse and then I picked up the bag.
"Hmmm, what is this?" I asked myself as I looked into the bag, "Oh my goodness, it is the sweater for the little bear.  Guess I will try to finish it."  All that was left was completing the front panel and sewing it together.  I read the directions incorrectly and had to rip out a part of it twice, but I got it done.  "How am I going to fit in the sleeves", I thought.  I googled in sewing in knitted sleeves, watched a video and proceeded to work, it was really easy after I got the hang of it.

INTRODUCING BEE BEE Wearing his new sweater

Sitting on his regal throne is BEE BEE.  Bee Bee is wearing the sweater I finished.  Isn't he dashing?  This gentlebear, dear reader, is the new mascot of the Blankets and Bears program sponsored by St. Thomas More Catholic Community Church.  For the past few years I have had the honor of working as co-chair for this ministry which provides Blankets and Bears to children and adults in need of love and care. Last year we prepared over 600 packages for two shelters who help families in need.

How did I meet Bee Bee?  He was the last bear on the table 2 years ago and tears were streaming down his little face.  You see, he had no clothes, someone had stripped him of his sweater and no one wanted him.  My friend Debbie, who created this wonderful volunteer opportunity with her family and shared it with my church, gave him to me and asked me to make him a sweater.  Did I mention that I did not think I could make a sweater?  So my poor boy was a fixture on my bed for the past two year waiting for his sweater.  And now he has one.

I am so excited, everytime I look at Bee Bee it is as though he is saying, "you are my hero, I knew you could do it."  I am proud that I finally shut off the negative chatter in my brain and got busy.  What is my next challenge on the knitting front?  I hear you asking, it is Cables because I have been telling myself "I can't make cables, they look to complicated."  We shall see how long it will take for me to conquer this fear, stay tuned.

No matter how small the steps or how long it takes......change every I Can't into a resounding I CAN.

Hoping we meet somewhere on the journey....Pilgrim

Thursday, May 17, 2012

One Artist Journal

Hello friends and dear readers, I am part of a Blog Hop.  This is not any ordinary Blog Hop, no, no, no; this is my first Blog Hop and it is to tell you about a wonderful artist and friend Orly Avineri.  Orly's book, One Artist Journal, is being released today May 18th, 2012.

One Artist Journal

The following quote from Orly:
"I am excited to let you know, that my book ONE ARTIST JOURNAL has been released. As you probably guess it's my 'online journal/blog turned book' and it's totally aligned with my imaginings of it, so excited about it (-: I'm happy about the way it came out. It contains my online journal spreads meshed with my writings in a format of a real visual journal, 196 pages, full color, full bleed, explosions of colors, textures, raw expressions, and visual celebrations. It is adorned by Teesha Moore's foreword and Seth Apter's sweet words on the back of the book."

As she stated above, Orly's book is a compilation of her wonderful blog by the same name.  I have subscribed to it for over two years and have enjoyed each thought provoking moment.  I eagerly await each entry.  Some entries are awashed in color with a single thought provoking sentence.  For example:

"Not at all times." (Spread 169:  Sweet and Gentle)


"Physiological or mental, it’s all the same. It’s carried out by or taking place in my mind." (Spread 164: Dire Conclusions)
Others are have more indepth content, and to see what they are, you have to go and visit her blog or better yet, buy the book.  Orly is not telling  you what to think, rather, she is communicating what was on her mind and in her spirit that day. 
I personally met Orly in April 2011 at ArtFest in Port Townsend, WA.  Our first encounter was at a pseudo Iron Chef Competition where I spontaneously offered a play by play of her creative process as she developed a work of art from the found objects she was provided.  The next day I had the most wonderful class making post cards.  In that class she brought out things from me that I truly did not know existed.  Deep rich colors blossomed on the page and I was mesmerized.
This year I again took another class with Orly, Postcards From the Edge,  and she gave us a challenge that is exhibited on her blog and now in her book; "Create, do not Produce."  Hmmm, sometimes easier said than done.  The challenge as Orly shows through word and deed is not to produce art, she gently encourages you to remove all outside expectations and let your spirit draw you into a zone of creativity.  By turning her Blog into a book, I believe two things have been accomplished,  1.  Orly will be able to reach a wider audience with her message; and 2.  the reader will be encouraged to remove any restriction hindering the true creativity that resides deep inside.

Now let's take care of some business....
Where to find the book:(listed in order of preference)

1. The best way to obtain the book is by ordering through Orly's eStore
2. At her workshops in Southern California ( you can sign up for email notification of these workshops on her blog)
Orly will be giving away a copy of her book as part of this blog hop.  To be considered for the drawing leave a comment to her post on her blog Winner will be announced next Friday, May 25th.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, I am a part of a Blog Hop to support Orly Avineri's book project.  Please be sure to visit the following blogs listed below:

Donna Cetorelli:
Erin Faith Allen:
Teesha Moore:

Well, there you have it friends.  In life we have to support our friends in anyway we can through encouragement, promotion and love.  So as I make my journey, know that I support all of you.

Be well...Pilgrim.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Work of A Friend

Today's blog post is a little different from anything I have ever done.  It is about a friend.

The friend is Melanie Testa an accomplised artist and quilter.  I was drawn to Melanie because like me she is a breast cancer survivor.  We met last year via internet while we were both going through treatment.

I initially saw her on the program "Quilting Arts" which I watch religiously on Saturdays at 3:30 pm Pacific time.  A few weeks later she was interviewed on the Voodoo Lounge Podcast by Rice Freeman-Zachery.  When I realized it was the same person, I sent her a comment on her blog indicating that I had seen her on Quilting Arts and wishing her well in her recovery.

Melanie responded and we have communicated occasionally since that time.

The book in the picture above, Dreaming through journal page:TRANSFORMING THE sketchbook TO art", was written during Melanie's time of treatment.  This fact touched me very deeply because I had made the decision that while I was undergoing  treatment, I would devote the time to art as a way to keep my mind on positive and creative things.  I made thank you cards for the many friends and family members who assisted me with meals, friendship and prayers.  I took an online art journalling class with my friend Regina Lord and found that through creativity, my healing was really spiritual.

I preordered Melanie's book in December and received it about a week ago.   I immediately read through the pages and fell in love.  In love with the ease of reading; with the conversational tone and with the easy to follow tutorials.  I fell in love with the warmth that exploded from each page and the strength of a person who truly exemplifies the phrase brought alive by Jenny Doh - "Art Saves".

On Thursday, April 26th, I took part in a Webinar presented by Melanie and she used her book as the guide for demonstration on colors, doing drawing exercises to loosen up your hands, the meaning and use of frisket, etc.  It was really interesting.

Why am I writing about this?  First because I felt led to do so, and second even though we have never met, I feel as if Melanie is a kindred spirit.  If you are interested in really learning the mechanics of art journalling, read this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Until next time, find peace on the journey....pilgrim.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

ArtFest 2012.......A Retrospective The End

This picture represents a milestone.  I said a MILESTONE people.  I actually completed a bound book.  Not by punching holes and adding rings, not by stapling down the middle, but by HAND SEWING using and awl, tapestry needle and waxed linen.  Now, there is nothing wrong with the other methods I mentioned, don't get me wrong.

So, why is this so important?  Because it is my third class trying to do this.  I have been book binding chaallenged.  What was the difference you ask?  We spent six hours doing nothing but learning the technique and since I am a slow learner, that is what I needed.  In my other classes, we painted and prepared our pages and then learned the binding technique in the afternoon.  I am a very visual person and need to see you do it slllloooowwwlllly, so I can understand.

My last class on Saturday, March 31st, was "Get Your Sheet Together" and was taught by my good friend, Brenda Beene Shackleford.  She assured me that I would be able to complete a book.  I was very skeptical; but I had to support my friend who was teaching her first class.


The class worked together on book 1.  Brenda took us step by step through the process and Lo and behold, I completed the book.  Whoo Hoo.  But wait, it gets better.


Oh Yeah, that's right, you got it (can you see me doing the happy dance).  I completed a second book right after lunch.  This time we worked on our own and Brenda came around answering questions and offering advice.

I was having so much fun and pretty proud of myself too.

The first picture is of  BOOK NUMERO TRES
I felt Happy and validated.  I had done something I told myself I could not do.  Now, I want you to understand the key phrase here, "I told myself I could not do it."  So for the past two years, I have been a bumbling idiot trying to learn similar techniques for book binding and failing miserably because I TOLD MYSELF I COULD NOT DO IT.

Now to the good part.  I have been so busy since I returned from ArtFest that I have not had a chance to really work on anything since I got home.  First it was Holy Week and I was very involved in the liturgy at my church, St. Thomas More Community Catholic (shameless plug) in Henderson Nevada.  Then, I had to do my taxes (had to pay so no need in doing them any earlier), and I work from home so I was really busy.  Oh yeah, the good part:

Guess who made this book........ME a couple of years ago using Kente Cloth and a simple sewing technique.  What is the difference?  I was at home by myself, figuring things out looking at youtube instructions.

I was not allowing myself to be intimidated, thinking I was not good enough to be with the other talented artists around me.

Guess who painted and decorated this book......ME again.  This is a book with items of my trip to Paris.  I will show more of it in another post.  When did I make it?  Oh let's try 2004.  I have been taking classes, viewing youtube, reading books to teach me how to do something I already knew how to do and had forgotten all about it.

I know it seems crazy, and I have been laughing at myself for a couple of days.  So what did I get out of this very special time at ArtFest2012?  The privilege to BELIEVE IN ME and for that I will be eternally grateful.  Teesha and Tracy, thank you for offering a place where I could come and meet the likes of Orly Avineri, Brenda Shackleford, LK Ludwig (who was so very patient with me), Jill Berry, Lisa Bebi, Theo Ellsworth, and any other teacher I may forgotten.  Teachers who gently nurtured me and allowed me to "Create, Not produce" (I get it Orly).  Thank you for providing an opportunity to make so many friends that I cannot mention them here, but you all know who you are.  Most of all, thank you for allowing me to finally get the message.....BELIEVE IN ME.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ArtFest.......A Retrospective Part 2

March 30, 2012

Today I attended the class "Postcards To The Edge"  conceived and taught by Orly Avineri.  This was the second year that I participated in a class taught by Orly and I was eager to participate.

The main premise of the class was to "Create....not produce".  Orly has a way of getting the student to dig deep and bring out elements of the creative spirit long hidden.

The method used for creating was interesting.  We used cereal boxes as our substrate and found objects as collage elements.  We painted, made images of our hands and spray paint as we designed cards using prompts given by Orly.

The picture below started out as my least favorite post card; however after working with it and using the Prompt, "This little Piggy...."

As we built layers on our card we made a template from craft foam of our hand.  With the instruction to get as much of your hand on the card as possible, I closed my fingers so that the hand would fit.  When I looked around the room, I was the only one who closed their hand.  The effect was that the molding paste rimmed the outer fame of my hand giving the image of a door instead of fingers.

I went up to Orly for another piece of foam so I could start over and she told me to try and use what I had, there are no accidents and it should be used.

Well, I painted and sprayed the image and it captured my heart because it looked like my hand was waiting to hold and help.  But back to this little Piggy.  When I heard the prompt, the following came to mind:

This little piggie (sic) went to surgery.
This little piggy had radiation...
This little piggy has spent time healing
This little piggy has hope.

I am going to frame this card, I love the colors and the meaning.....This trip to ArtFest is the first trip I have taken since completing treatment for Breast Cancer and so the entire retreat has special meaning for me.

This picture is of Friends I met at the first ArtFest I attended in 2010, Brenda, Karen, Jenny and Anita.  For the past three years we have talked in between retreats, shared emails, encouraged endeavors and planned.  When we get together at ArtFest, we share meals, classes and laughter.  Now that ArtFest has ended, we plan to get together once a year and create.

I could go on and on, but I will stop and save the rest for part 3.    Take care dear reader and remember to "Create....not produce."

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

ArtFest.....a Retrospective

Doesn't that title sound great???? that is what ArtFest can do to you.  Not sure how long it will take me to finish this post, but I am starting today 4-4-2012 with a really groovy title.

This was my third year attending ArtFest and the last because, it has ended.  No more ArtFests as we know it today.  Just writing this seems to unreal and it makes me realize how much I missed out on talking myself out of attending when I first discovered it about 10 years ago (more on that in another post. 

I think I am going to Chronicle a little something from each day.

Beginning with March 29, 2012:

I am calling this "Outside Bistro"
  Lisa Bebi's Vintage Village Colorbook class.  This class opened my eyes to impressionist painting.  This was definitely out of my comfort zone, but was a boat load of fun. We painted copied images, not using precise painting but by glopping paint in the image to give and impressionist appearance.  I am going to try this with some of my own photos. 

This was a good day.  I learned that I did not have to change my water every five minutes.  I learned to let go and just enjoy the process.  I learned that it sometimes takes a while for the painting to grow on you.  Anita Webster my good friend was my table mate and we just enjoyed the day.

This is my Favorite. I it is not finished,
but I love how the colors on the girls dresses pop out.
I do plan to finish this picture because I really like it.  I cannot wait to cut it down to size and coat it with medium and varnish.  I will definitely frame it.

I will be posting more pictures over the next few days; however before I end today the picture below

DSC00424.JPGThis is a copy of a trade that I made.  I painted rocks using house paint and matte medium.  I also wrote my word for the year, "Focus".  they were so much fun to make and I am going to make more.

Until next time.....remain on the journey

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let the Fun Times Begin!!!!!

The time has come......ArtFest time is here. 7 am flight to Seattle. Hang out at airport, then shuttle to Fort. I will chronicle my time if I get a chance. If not, I will post on Sunday night. Cheerio and smooches everyone.

Monday, March 12, 2012

ArtFest is almost here

I have to get this thought out.  ArtFest is coming.....I have my plane ticket and at 7:00 am on March 28th I will be flying to Seattle.  I am arriving early because I like to stay a few hours to explore prior to 2 pm when the shuttle leaves for Port Townsend and the Fort.

I am going to take the Monorail from the Airport to see where it goes.  I think I am just going to ride to one end and then make the return trip so I can get back in time.  Since I am a bus person, this should be fun.

My trades are made and boxed up, I have completed the majority of the gifts for dormmates and some special friends.  My supply box will be closed tomorrow morning, no last minute stuff for me.

This is the last ArtFest and I plan to immerse myself in the entire process, I will be taking plenty of pictures so I can remember what wonderful times I have had.  For year I put off coming to ArtFest for one reason or another.  They were not really valid reasons, more fear than anything else.  But....when I treated myself to ArtFest for my 60th birthday, my artistic and creative life blossomed and I have never looked back.

This is not to say I was not creative prior to attending ArtFest, because I was. I have made greetings cards since 1984 with some success.  However my creativity has moved to a new level, I am working with other medium and enjoying the process.  Making trades and sharing the work with others is really major for me and I have become more adventurous over time.  I have participated in ATC swaps and taken on-line classes.  I often worry if people will like my work and that can hinder me.  But I realize that, it is what I think that means the most.  I will know in my gut if something works or not.

Plus, I have a new motto if someone does not like what I give them, they can always through it out.  This keeps me from needless worry.  I sincerely appreciate the effort and artistry of my fellow creative spirits.  It takes a lot to put yourself out there and I applaud everyone who tries.

Artfest is a little over 2 weeks away......I am so excited and humbled.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Water Falls of Life

Run off from Glaciers cause the most beautiful waterfalls
I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to spend the rest of my life.  What do I really want to do?  Work, create, travel, sit at home and watch television, volunteer???? There are so many choices and it can at times cloud your mind.

Have you looked closely at a waterfall?  Have you noticed that there are some that gush forth with great force?  Have you seen the ones that start with great force and whittle down to a trickle?  Then there are the ones that are a continuous small stream meandering slowly down a mountain slope.  All beautiful and all having a grand purpose in the scheme of nature.

A slow meander
My life has been like a waterfall, sometimes gushing for with great force, moving hither and yon, so much to do and so little time.  There have been times when events in my life started out with such great promist only to whitle down to a trickle and being abandoned by the side of the road.  Now in 2012 I prefer for life to be a small continuous stream of wonderful adventures that slowly meander through the remaining time I have left, bringing me joy and beauty.  I prefer to enjoy the simple things of life now and start each day with a smile.

Replenishing the sea
 Each Waterfall ends up in a field of water; a lake, the ocean, a small stream.  It replenishes the water that naturally evaporates.  That is what I want to be to the friends, family, strangers I encounter on my journey.  I want to be able to replenish their spirit by sharing my experiences, my laughter, my love of life; my mistakes and my successes.

I want to be a viable part of the Waterfall of Life.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crochet Project

Crochet Envelope

Ok, I finally got the crochet envelope into my blog.  It took a while but I figured it out.  Now the next step is getting it to Pinterest.  I will prevail.  I shall not be denied.

momoo50's photostream

momoo50's photostream.

 I am trying to learn new things and the only ways is to test things.  It is fun to finally let go and just try, if I mess up I will start over again.  The main thing I am trying to learn is how to get specific pictures from flickr to my blog and then to Pinterest.  That is the project for the weekend.  I will write and let you know how I do.  This is goingto be interesting.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Welcome to 2012

This rainbow represents how I feel about this new year of 2012.  Rainbows appear after really hard rains.  They appear to show promise; they appear to show that the rain was necessary for growth and cleansing; they appear to give hope.

2012 is a year of hope for me.  It is a year go grow and blossom after the hard and at times torrential personal rain of 2011.  2012 is a year of promise; it is a year of cleansing and growth both personally and spriritually; it is truly a year of hope.

I start this year with much thanks.  Thanks for being a survivor; thanks for strength I did not know I had.  Thanks for concrete evidence of how the Lord works in my life.  Thanks for creative opportunities that kept me from going down a road of sadness and gloom.

These simple rocks were painted during an online class I took called crafting your best life.  Each rock show, a quality I found within my being in 2011.  I have to keep these qualities alive and well inorder to move on to the next stage of my life.