Saturday, March 28, 2015

Random Thoughts: March 22 to March 28

totally unfocused

March 22:

Whew, today was a really full day,  Teach RCIA class, attend a retreat, 12 noon Mass and Executive Committee meeting.  It was a joy to get home and chill, but it was a good day.  No art today although I did give some thought as to what I would like to do for week 12 of Document Life with is them of Focus.  I could take the conventional route and "focus" on something in the painting, but no, that is not what is coming to mind.

Fell asleep early, at least early for me, because I was just plain tired.

March 23:

Today marks the one year anniversary of my Friend April's death from lung cancer.  A group of us met for Mass this morning and then went to pray by a tree in Sunset Park that was dedicated to her honor. Then we went to breakfast.  I was a little worried about going to breakfast and what I would choose to eat.  I did pretty good, I ordered a yogurt parfait with fresh fruit, plain yogurt and cinnamon granola.  I also had orange juice and only drank half of it.  I made good choices.  That has what this lent has been about.  Making good choices.  Today is day 33 of no meat.  I have to say that this is major.  I have been eating veggies and fish about 2 to 3 times a week and really enjoying it.  We had good conversation reminiscing about April and just life in general.

Tonight attended the first night of the Lenten Mission at my church, St. Thomas More Catholic Community.  Tom Booth, a Catholic Song writer and spiritual leader is our guide.  I bought one of his CD's and am listening to the music as I type this update.  His is teaching about going inside, inside our heart to find God and myself.  He is an excellent speaker, funny and touching, spiritual and musical.

More tomorrow.

March 24:

I watched the week 13 installment of LifeBook 2015.  Juliette Crane was the instructor and presented wonderful videos about making Owls using her unique painting and palette.  I love her work, it is so rustic and beautiful.  One of the supplies suggested for the painting was bleeding tissue to add dimension and color when it is collaged to the page.  I did not have any bleeding tissue and did not want to go purchase any so I started thinking and came up with the idea that I could take white tissue and paint it with Dylusions spray ink which doesn't dry permanently.  As a result, if you wet it reactivates the paint and "bleeds".  I have to say that I am really happy with idea.

Tonight I attended the second night of the Lenten Mission.  The topic was Listening to the urgings of the Holy Spirit. In order to really hear and understand, you have to learn how to go within.  It is not always easy to do, but it is really necessary.  Tom said that most of the time this inner discovery can be painful because we have buried to much inside.

During lent I have spent a lot of time in silence, not turning on the TV until later in the day.  As a result I have been able to spend time in reflection and devotion.  It has been most helpful and peaceful.

Painted white tissue paper - small swatches

Painted tissue paper - large sheet

background for painting of Owls.

March 25:

Attended the last night of the Lenten Mission.  The topic was the Art of Prayer.  Discovering your passion or artistic vocation and turning it into prayer.  Tom Booth is a musician so for him the Art of Prayer is his music.  We had a concert with songs he had written which were indeed prayers.  Oh what a great time we had.

There are two things I love to do, write and paint, my goal for the rest of this year is to listen to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and discover how I can turn what I love to do into prayer.  This should make for an interesting rest of the year.

March 26:

Worked on my lifebook painting.  I am not a fast painter, but that is ok.

March 27:

Lunch with good friend and then more work on my painting.  I promise I will get it done, but I keep thinking of more things to do and I am kind of slowing around because, if I am honest, I am not sure if it is good enough.  Some/most of the paintings posted are so beautiful and look so professional and mine, will it just looks folksy.  Still trying to wrap my arms around being a folk artist.

Finished my Painting.

Girls Night Out
Painting these Owls were so much fun. Because of the placement of the focal Owl, I felt she needed friends, hence girls night out.  They are all blinged up and ready to hit the town on a starry night.  My color palette is widening and I am getting more comfortable with using molding paste and stencils.

Thoughts about the week:

This week was really good.  Did not do as much art as last week, but I still had fun with what I did accomplish.  I have now completed 39 days with no meat, 39 days with no Chicken.  I bet every chicken on earth is breathing a sigh of relief.

All is good in the hood.  Until Next week.....pilgrim

PS.  I love comments and encourage them; however, I will not accept comments marked from Anonymous.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Random Thoughts: March 15 to March 21

March 15:

The weather here in Henderson, NV is fabulous.  Today I went to Mixed Media 2.0 Art Journaling class with DeeDee Catron.  These classes are wonderful.  You learn new techniques and how to use wonderful tools.  Today we used Project Life cards to make a layout on muslin.  We sewed the cards to the muslin.  It was a lot of fun, and I even used a sewing machine to set the cards.  This was a major breakthrough.  Now I just need to learn how to use my machine and start stitching pages.

Project from Mixed Media 2.0 class
March 16:

Finished Piece
The fabric was much larger than my 6x9 journal that I use for these classes.  I woke up this morning and realized that last summer I purchased some canvases covered with burlap and that would be perfect for displaying this piece of art.  So I stapled the fabric with cards to some music paper and then glued the paper to the canvas.  Put some lace fabric down the side and it is done.  Now the next time I go Hobby Lobby or Michael's I will get a frame for it and hang it in the house.

March 17:

Inner and Outer thoughts
This painting was done following the LifeBook lesson from Jane Davenport for week 11.  It was really fun and interesting to work on this project.  You had to print a face from a painting done in the past.  Use napkins and other pieces of collage bits to decorate the page; cover it with a light coating of gesso leaving room for hair and the body the lady.  I was not sure I could do this, but I just took my time and it turned our pretty good.  Jane is a great instructor and has such simple process for drawing the human form.  The hair and body are painted with Silk acrylic glaze which really highlighted the collage bits.

I am really learning a lot this year and having fun in the process.


March 18:

I spent today getting ready to teach a class at church.  The topic was related to the Sacrament of Penance and how it can enhance your life.  It was nice to be able to spend the day making final preparations.

Also made a trip to Sprouts, Targets and Staples.  I found some really nice duck tape for a new duct dori.  Sprouts is a wonderful market on the line of Trader Joe's and Whole Food and probably priced right in the middle.

March 19:

Beginning of DLP week 11 project
I still have to talk myself into working on some projects.  I knew what I wanted to do and then started wondering if it was good enough for the project and to share.  The theme was making marks with borders.  I watched a video last Wednesday by Barbara Joggles of demonstrating a new border stamp and I just had to order it.  I had no idea that this week I would be about to use them as part of my border project.  Anyhoo, I colored the background with yellow and orange neo color 2 crayons added clear gesso so the colors would stay true and added green and blue watercolor paint to the page.  Once dry I drew my quirky birds.  I was introduced to quirky birds in 2013 as part of a lesson by Tam Laporte in LifeBook 2013.  I love those birds.  

Since I had a meeting, I had to stop.  Hope to finish tomorrow

March 20:

Finished Page Layout
Today I finished my Quirky Bird Layout.  Ooo it was so much fun.  They are painted with watercolor and details are done with Posca Acrylic pens and Gelly Roll pens.  The border is painted with Golden liquid acrylic paints and the birdcages are from the border stamp set.  Let me tell you something, my book is kind of lumpy bumpy from other projects and the roller stamps did NOT want to roll resulting in bird cages all over the place.  Since I was determined to have those bird cages to complete my theme, they are on the painted border, on top of the painted border, over the birds legs and shoes anywhere I could get them to roll.  So note to self, use a flat surface from now on, all made for a unique page.

Tonight was church again.  Lent is always a bust time for me.  The Ministry Of Mother's Sharing (MOMS) group was leading the Stations of the Cross.  Our theme was following the Women as they walked with Jesus.  I was one of the participants in the program and it was truly an honor.

March 21

Today was the first day that I did not have to leave the house.  All of my art projects were completed and I have time to prepare for the RCIA class I am teaching tomorrow.  The theme is the Paschal Mystery and the Sacraments; however, our Scriptural theme is Lazarus Come Out and rising from Death; the death caused by sin.  It was really interesting because there about 12 Catechumens (now called Elect) and Candidates that will either be baptized (the elect) or confirmed (the candidates) on Holy Saturday.  That evening will be their Lazarus Come Out moment.  They will be continuing on their spiritual journey armed with tools needed to assist them as they make their way though this world.  I love teaching RCIA. I learn just as much as they do as I prepare for each lesson.

Finished my prep early and relaxed for the rest of the day. Next week will be just as hectic, but I have to make time to create.

Well, that is all for this week.  Hope yours was delightful.  Thanks for stopping by and please leave a shout out just to say hi.

until next week.....pilgrim

Monday, March 16, 2015

Random Thoughts - March 8 to March 14 - Gelli Printing and Much More

March 8:

Today was the best EVER!!!!  Church was great as usual and then I went to Desert Art Supply Art Store for Mixed Media Nirvana.  From 11 am to 4:30 pm I attend a Mono printing class using the Gelli Plate.  I am a hands on learner and even though I have used my Gelli plate a few times (less than 5), I wanted to learn and try techniques.  It was so much fun and I had such great day.  Multiple colors on the page; making masks, making stamps and mark makers. Pulling Prints on copy paper,  mixed media paper, water color paper, envelopes and cards.  Ghost printing, painterly printing.  My goodness there is so much you can do.  I came home with a bag of tools, a lot of prints and a new found respect for the mono printing process.

first pulls from Gelli Plate
 Initially these were my first pulls and then we were to add more color to it.  The page on the left I messed up, but I can/will cut it up and use for collage bits.  The page on the right was the ghost print and I added Iridescent white ghost print.  It will make a nice background.

more prints
 The page on the left is the first print using yellow and bronze paint marks are made with the eraser on a pencil and a paint chip with the edges cut to mimic a catalyst tool.  the print on the right is a clean up print
study in green
These prints used a very dark green blue basic acrylic paint.  the design is from a string of yarn just randomly placed on the page.  page on left is the original pull on 140 lb water color paper and on the right is the ghost print making paper.  Playing with mono printing for 5 and a half hours was heaven.

Renewing my faith in fellow man/woman:

After my wonderful class, I was on my way home and fell.  Somehow I stepped into a hole in the grass near the bus stop and it was a slow motion moment and I knew I was a goner.  Now, picture this, landed flat, bags flew one way and me another with my heavy backpack on.  I get to my knees and try to get up but the backpack keeps switching from side to side so, I finally realized that I had to take the backpack off so I could get up.  Backpack off, shifted with to left knee and up I went, whew!!!  Picked up backpack and put is on, picked up my art bag and Trader Joe's bag, picked up my dignity and realized sadly, I was laying on the ground with cars passing by and NO ONE STOPPED.  I guess I looked too much like a bag lady.  I could have had a heart attack and I would have just died right there on the spot.  I immediately got sad.  What have we come to as a people?  I turned the corner heading home and the cutest little black card pulled up and stopped "Are you okay," the young lady said. "I had to turn around and I live in the same complex as you, let me take you home. Are you sure you are okay?"  What a blessing that she stopped, my faith was renewed; someone cared enough to stop and help.  That gesture meant a lot to me.

Yes today was really the best day EVER.

March 9:

Today I got the brilliant idea to make a faux dori using the Trader Joe's re-usable bag.  It was really easy to work with and I love the colors and symbols on the bag.  This is going to make me look at all of my reusable bags to see what I can create with them.

Faux Dori made with Trader Joe's Bag

In side books, 3x5 inch Moleskine lined notebooks

Inside of book lined with duck tape
March 10:

Busy day had two meetings and prepared for MOMs meeting tomorrow night.  I worked a little on DLP Week 11 which is about making marks on the page. The prompt is surviving the elements.  A lot of times my mind gets tired of doing the normal so I decided to paint my pages black and make my marks with white.  Not sure how this will turn out or if the end result will be like this, but it is my initial thought, we shall see.

March 11:

Ta Da!!!!!!!!

Homage to the end of Winter
I finished it and left it black and white.  I mean look at this spread will you!!!!  I am in love, not only with the result, but that I thought of it.  I used stencils from the Stencil 101 book.  I love the city scape and have used it a lot, but I thought I would try the Electricity poles for some dimension and wow.  I wanted snow and went for realism so I put down a base of cheesecloth and then glued down cotton balls.  Aileen's tacky glue works wonders.  I drew in circles one for the moon and some "snow" drops that kind of look like stars (oh well, don't know how to draw snow flakes), but it gives you an idea of the snowy day.  Sort of Winter's last gasp.  The border is white acrylic paint and my note about the layout is written in black around the border.

I am really liking getting up in the morning and having the quiet of the house (no TV).  I can really think creatively.

Had a MOMs meeting last night, it was pretty good, it was my 4th day of meetings.  One more tomorrow and I can relax on Friday.

March 12:

Started working on My Sketchbook project it has to be mailed by March 31st.  My goal is to have it in the mail by the 26th.  Will keep you posted.  Theme this year is iconology so it will be a lot of collage work.

March 13:

My one day to stay home and relax and I am going to make the most of it.  I have plans people, I have plans.  Seriously it occurred to me today that I want to learn how to draw/paint my life story.  I am wondering what that would look like and how I would translate it to art.  I think I may start out in my art journal and see what comes up.

Continuing to work on my Sketchbook project and have to start on Lifebook, week 10.  A little nervous about this one because it involves faces and human figure, but I shall prevail.  Will post the results.

March 14:

Art projects worked on today:  DLP 2015, Theme Borders, LifeBook 2015 - Jane Davenport exercise and my Sketchbook.  I have to go to church today to complete the census process for our church.   I will be taking my sketchbook to work on some of the pages as I sit in the vestibule for about 1.5 hours.


I am adding a summary just to give thoughts about the week.  This was a good week because for the first time, I touched some sort of art each day.  My aim has been to do this, but I have not been really successful.  I find that I still have to talk myself into it, not feeling very worthy.  My word for the year is Believe, as in Believe in yourself.  As a result, I am pushing myself past doubts and doing something.  I still have a few projects that I have not started and for the rest of this month, will begin to dig into.  I will let you know if I am successful.

Until next week: have a blast with what you love.  pilgrim.....

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Random Thoughts: March 1 to March 7 2015

March 1

Today was really sweet.  Went to the twice a month Mixed Media Class at the Crafting Place.  It is so nice to work with fellow artists.  We learned a technique coloring white muslin flowers with spray inks.  We also used gel medium to glue down book page circles, and used Gesso and stencils to add texture to page.

To page Layout with painted flower petals

March 2

Today I spent the morning working on Bible Study lesson for tonight.  We are still studying Isaiah 40 to 55.  Bob Blaskey did the wrap up and was excellent.  The message of this week's reading is the God can use anybody to accomplish His mission and we should not question what He can do.

March 3

Completed Lesson 9 of  LifeBook presented by Lynn Whipple.  We were to draw a My Favorite things jar and fill it with all of my favorite things.  After much thought I was able to fill it with things that I love like traveling, fried chicken, church, and many more,

My Favorites Jar

Small Church Community discussion was enlightening this evening.

March 4

Pretty quiet day.  Completed gift for my Mom's prayer partner and worked on Documented Life week 9 project.  Attended 2nd session of Catholics Returning Home.  Wanted to meet the group since I will be presenting on March 18th.  The team is much smaller this year, but we seem to have a really nice group of participants.

March 5

Decided to spend day at home.  It was nice to have the quiet.  Worked on week 10 of LifeBook, making gratitude hearts.  Today I cut out the hearts and began the coloring process with Dylusions Spray inks.  it is amazing how time can fly by so quickly when you are painting and creating.

Watched The Artistic Biker compete in a Wine and Palette painting competition.  He was in Oklahoma Cith and streamed the entire event.  This was a real hoot as a group of us chatted about the people who were standing in from of the camera and blocking our view.  It is amazing what you see when people do not know that they are being filmed.  We gave them names like "suit guy", "plaid guy", "tugging at your dress girl, who was pursing suit guy, and little baby.  Blade the artistic biker won his first section and lost in the finals.  A good time was had by all.

March 6:

Completed LifeBook Lesson 10 presented by Tam Laporte.  I loved this lesson it was very colorful and thought provoking.  We should all take to think about the many things for which we should be grateful.

Folder to house Hearts

Grateful for travel opportunities

Grateful for Family

Grateful for Music

display of all the Gratitude Hearts

March 7:

Today was an amazing day.  I finished my week 9 of DLP.  This was major because it is nothing like I envisioned when I started it.  I was trying to move away from my go to palette and it turned to mud.  Mud I tell you just plain mud.  So I gessoed over the mess, covered that with collage and more gesso.  then I went to my palette of turquoise, magenta, purple and pink it looked really loud so I put a light gesso wash over it to tone it down,  then I had the idea to cover this with turquoise, blue/green and aquamarine Neo color II's.  This worked really nice to even out the colors.  I covered this with clear gesso so I could draw on it with out distorting the blue.

Initially I wanted to use butterflies on the page and made cutouts but they were too big, so I decided to draw flowers and quirky houses.  The end result is below.  I learned a lot about not giving up, covering with gesso and starting again.

Week 9 DLP  5 x 5 layers (or more)

Went to see a performance of Aida at the Las Vegas Academy. Which is the High School of the Arts for Las Vegas.  Let me tell you that these students hare so talented.  I was completely blown away by their showmanship, talent and resilience,  I had such a great time.

This was a great week.  nothing more needs to be said.....

Until next week, pilgrim.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Random Thoughts: February 22 to February 28 What a busy week

Inside of My Duct-dori

Cover of Duct-dori
February 22:

The pictures above are of my Duct-dori.  This small book is a faux version of the Midori which is a travel journal of sorts that is available in two sizes one of which is the size of a passport.  The real cover is made of fine leather and the thing that makes the books so special is that the pages are easily removed.  Elastic bands hold in the signatures, so when they are full, you can remove there for storage and insert new ones.

I like to watch live chats on has quite an artistic culture.  Many of these artists have been together for years.  I am quite new to the crew having discovered this phenomena mid-2014.   Viewing is free and most of the streamers provide lessons on a wide variety of artistic techniques.

Scrappy Camper Sisters stream on Saturdays (usually once a month) and the last post I viewed was on making a faux midori using duct tape.  I had been thinking about this for a while and wanted to use my mother's passport for my faux dori.  Hey, since they have a passport size a passport should work, right?  Anyhoo, after watching the stream I decided to give it a go.

Using leopard (I think it is Leopard) print duct tape I covered the book.  I found some mini-composition books at Dollar Tree - perfect.  I did not have to measure anything - I hate measuring.  Next I cut my elastic to size and tied them to the book cover.  Left the original pages in the book, added the mini-comps and closed the book.  OOPS!!! the mini-comps are longer than the cover, does not look good and I do not want to cut all of these pages.  Hmm, solution please.....then I had a light bulb moment.  I made a page extension (cannot think of the cute name) taped it to the back page, covered with leopard duct tape and folded it round the book.  Eureka!!!! Book looks great.

I am going use it in the Stick It Down Challenge the Scrapper sisters are hosting.  Should be fun.  My duct-dori fits in my purse and I can carry my mom with me always.

February 23:

Completed week 7 of DLP.  I am toying with the idea of combining week 8 with week 7.  Week 7 prompt was cover up the good stuff and week 8 is Repeat.  Not sure what I will do.  Will let you know at the end of the week. 

Bible study last night was really good.  We are studying the second major portion of Isaiah, chapters 40 to 55 in which the Israelites are rescued from exile in Babylon and the Redemption promise is revealed.

February 24:

Well I decided to combine week 7 and week 8.  It was just so natural.  This is the first time that I have really used stencils in my design and I have to say that I like it.  I now have one more technique under my belt.  Next up.....gelli plate and printmaking.  Lookout world.

DLP Journal page layout

February 25:

More work on the duct-dori.  I decided to paint the covers of the mini-comps and I like the way they came out.  I can no longer look at bland covers, they must have color and pizzaz.  It took most of the day because of drying time, but I really was not in a hurry.  It is the process and the fun of creating that counts for me now.

Had two meetings MOMs and Pastoral Council both were good meetings, but I was tired when I got home.  I realized that I will not have day free of meetings other activities until next Thursday.  I think I am going to have to get some Geritol (do they still make it?)

February 26:

Meeting I was supposed to have was cancelled, so I did not have to leave the house today.  This was a welcomed surprise.  I spent the day working on art projects and just relaxing.What a treat.

February 27:

Today was a great day.  I went down to the Tropicana Hotel to attend the vendors portion of Creative Painting Convention held in Las Vegas every year.  I had not heard of this convention before; however, Tracy Weinzapfel Stratton mentioned she was going to be there demoing products for DecoArts.  How do I know Tracy?  I watch her live stream on on Monday evenings.  I watch quite a few streams on this channel and some of the streamers recommended Tracy's show Mixed Media Mondays. She demo's DecoArt fluid acrylics and usually completes a painting within an hour.  There is great conversation and her tutorials are the best.

When Tracy mentioned she was going to be in Las Vegas at the convention, I thought it would be perfect to go down and meet her in person.  So, I hopped on the bus and away I went.  When I arrived at the Tropicana, I followed some ladies that had on badges figuring they were going to the convention.  I was right.  In order to get in the Vendor's exhibition hall, it was $10.00, armed wallet in hand, I asked the guard at the door where I could go to pay my fee, since it was the last day, she let me in free of charge---be still my heart.  Next, find booth 810 - DecoArts. As I walked down the opening aisle at the very end I found booth 810 and Tracy.  It was like greeting an old friend.  She knew on sight and greeted me with a big hug (We are Detroit girls).  It was such a great honor to meet her and chat.  Another Mixed Media Monday  fan travelled from Boston.  We took a picture together.

After saying good by to Tracy I wandered through the aisles looking at some great products, out of the corner of my eye I spotted Stampendous products.  Whoo boy, I had to stop.  Bought some wonderful stamps and when I was paying (it was getting to be the close of the show) the sales person said if you buy a couple more stamps you can get one free.  Well I was on a budget and could not buy anything else at that booth.  She looked at me, I looked at her and she said "it is the end of the day, here is a free stamp anyway."  How nice was that????

Ok, I had about $20 left to spend and I circled the floor a couple of times and saw the Brush Guys. Desert Art Supplies had recommended this booth because of their $1.00 and $2.00 paint brushes.  I got so excited to see brand name brushes - Simply Simmons, etc. for that price that I could hardly breathe.  In Fact I had to stop and calm down.  So I ended spending $24 (tax included) and got some excellent brushes.

Purchases in hand it was time to go home.  I was a happy, happy camper at the end of the day.

It was great to meet you Tracy.

February 28:

Last day of February.  Today was the retreat for children making their First Communion.  Spent the morning helping them paint chalices that will be glazed and fired and then practicing receiving Communion.  This was their first taste of the wine and some of them were hilarious.  It is so rewarding working with these young children, helping them grow in their faith.

I spent the rest of the day working on lifebook week 8 project, Treasure Seeking,  presented by Mati Rose McDonough

Painting on 9x12 Canvas

I really understand now that I am a folk artist, self taught and basically simple in scope.  I love it, because it really displays who I am.  Folk art speaks to me and my spirit.  I find that I am growing and thinking more.  I am trying things and feeling pure joy.  No more comparing, just doing.

See you next week,  thanks for stopping by.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  They make me happy.