Friday, February 27, 2009

Our New Puppy

Meet Toby. We adopted him yesterday at the Marin Humane Society. He's 3 months old and super adorable. He's half Australian Shepherd and half Siberian Husky. He should grow to about 60 lbs. max. (we hope)! He was very good the first night and we are going to have to change our lives for a while. It has been 8 years since we had a dog, and yes it is all coming back to me now. Lots of exploring, lots of sleeping, and lots of you know what too...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stained Glass Box

This is a box I made in a stained glass class about 6 years ago. Making a box or 3-dimensional object versus a window in glass (which I was more accustomed to) has its challenges. I used a pattern and then adapted parts of it for the sides and bottom. The challenge is in cutting every piece the same (and not your fingers), avoiding grinding as much as possible. Once the pieces are cut , you copper foil , flux and then solder together. One of the hardest parts for me was adding the hardware (hinge and chain). The box ended up looking antique rather than contemporary which I liked.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grace Cathedral

I recently had the opportunity to revisit Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Three years ago I spent the night inside the cathedral with a women's group and it was an extraordinary experience. The architecture is humbling, designed in the French Gothic style. The high Gothic arches draw your eyes upwards, the silence inside draws reflection and thought regardless of your personal beliefs. There are two labyrinths (one inside is modeled after the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral) and one outside for public use at any time. Walking the circuit to the center and out again is a meditation in motion, each taking the path as fast or slow, in the lines or out of the lines; all being a metaphor for how we each go on our own path.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thoughts on Journaling

Now that my blog is 2 weeks old, there is actually something to look back on. I have viewed a lot of beautiful blogs lately (being very new to all of this) and am amazed at the longevity that so many have. I worry- will I be able to be as witty and relaxed as so many are through their posts. Writing does not come easy to me and I hope that through this amazing blogging network I will learn a thing or two. I'm kind of an overly organized person and find myself "planning" my posts around ideas and thoughts that have been milling around for a long time in my head. I hope to become more spontaneous. One thing I do hold firm though, is that an online journal is in itself an artistic creation and that there are really no 'mistakes'. All creative endeavors lead to growth and insight. A big part of journaling is to look back and see where you were and see how you've grown. Eventually, when you connect with other bloggers and develope true friendship and a kind of closeness that comes from sharing online , you can see growth and change in them as well. It's all good.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Altered Book Project

This is a fun journal I made using a children's board book. I removed the glossy pages to reveal a fresh canvas to embellish upon with paints, decorative papers , rubber stamped images and assorted ephemera. Using scissors I cut out different shapes from each page so that when closed it would have a layering affect for interest . The theme of this journal is all things Urban, which for me is unusual as I tend to like fantasy and old-worldsy things in general.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rubber Stamp Frenzy

Over the years I have collected a drawer full of beautiful rubber stamps. (Some of the sources for these stamps are listed on my blog page). I have both wood mounted and unmounted stamps for different uses. I love the depth and surreal quality that layering and adding stamped images can give to your work. Sometimes I use only half the image and overlap images to add an aged feel. I always test my image first on a scratch paper to see how it looks. You can use ink, ink pads, acrylic /oil paints or stains to get your desired effect. Just make sure you clean your stamps quickly after use . I use a toothbrush to clean really well. I also use rubber stamps with clay, embellish with paint/ink and then bake.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bohemian Elements

February 16, 2009

I often wonder where our specific tastes and inclinations really come from. Are they completely inherited and influenced by our early years or are they our own. If we're lucky, we may have some faded photos of family members engaged in their youthful passions or celebrations; opening a small window into their past. Or tales of Aunt Mabel or Uncle Leo that sound just like us. I have memories of my Grandmother Doris and her somewhat exotic/bohemian taste , which I share. She danced in the 1930's in a group called the "Dennishawn" Dancers, styled after Ruth St. Dennis. She loved all things Asian and middle eastern and I remember being drawn to her furnishings, nautch bells and beaded costume jewelry. She's been gone a long time but as I look around at my furnishings and artwork that I have made I do see a bit of her reflected.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

A box of chocolates for him and flowers for her. Can't get much better than that! I read recently that the average couple spends about $129 on their loved one(s) for Valentine's Day. Kind of pricey in this economy. After 35 years of marriage though, a handmade card for my hubby was really appreciated. The chocolate was popular too..

love ya Boo

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 12, 2009

My new camera. Wow! The world is growing larger and at the same time becoming smaller. Photographing my art and life around me has become vivid in the detail of things. I find that close-ups now possible with the new digital cameras are a world and artform in themselves. I know that it is usually better to look at the (whole) picture but isn't the whole made up of the many small parts? Work that you have been viewing for years suddenly looks new and fresh and takes on a new perspective. Through the camera the life of an artwork extends beyond it's original statement and becomes more. I've discovered that taking pictures is a lot more than just photo-recording . You really become intimate with the object you're focusing on and the search for the best presentation is in itself a very creative process. Our eyes naturally compliment what we see, filling in peripheral, light and color, but when we try to re-create through photography, we sometimes need to embellish or take away elements.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February 10, 2009

It looks like spring might be here soon in my yard today, despite nippy temps. This time of year for some reason, makes me want to sew -or at least finish up on-going quilting projects. I don't sew through the summer much at all. Some projects I do by hand , like quilted houses (made with assorted fabrics from Ben Franklin Crafts) and sewn with beads and other embellishments. When I got a new sewing machine however I discovered a whole world of new stitches and techniques, making quilting a lot more enjoyable. So despite my outdoor yearnings to revel in any new bud awakening, I will endeavor to finsh my quilt( before I forget how to use my machine)!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 9, 2009

It is a perfect day to start a new art journal- wintry and rainy outside; quiet and reflective inside. As I scan my collective artwork over the years and photograph it, I hope to create a kind of essay journal that reflects what means most to me. Art, nature, my family and special places and events. As we approach Valentine's day I am drawn (and my husband was too) to a journal collage piece I did about 3 years ago using assorted images and colorful paper napkins!