Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have the merriest!

the cd player is playing all kinds of happy songs
the kitchen is filled with happy scents
and we have a cold front moving in
(but it won't be a white Christmas LOL)
All the best to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

So very thankful
hope your holiday is filled with good friends and delicious foods!
 Off to finish the shopping for tomorrow!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nature dances to her own song

an azalea blooming in my yard in November
that exuberant hot pink in the midst of brown and muted green
pure joy!
hope your weekend is filled with wonder!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thinking about design

 I have been thinking a bit about design and how to translate the beauty of shells into fabric pieces
how to see shells as lines and angles
I am inspired to work this into a wallpiece
but first I made this small ornament
having lived on a boat for 6 years and traveled from island to island,
I have a good collection of shells, sea glass, and broken coral pieces
to use for inspiration
not sure why they are inspiring me so much right now but it's a good thing
this thinking about design
exploring shape, color, and line

thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Remembering that it's the process not the product

a sad tale
or perhaps just a story about acceptance and process
I have been knitting a shawl and was making very good progress with it
enjoying how the variegated yarn of blue and green and purple and tan and ....
mixed and melded
but last night I got a bit distracted
and realized that I had missed a row
and knitted lace where it should be garter
I tried to frog back
but I am a really terrible frogger
and corrector
I frogged back to the ball
needless to say, I was very upset with myself
I took a lot of deep breaths and went to bed
today I will begin again
and remind myself
how much I love the process of knitting
What about you?
What are making or doing today?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Some thoughts about changes

 this morning as I made the bed, I was thinking about the quilts that we use during this transitional time of year - when the days are in the 80s and the nights in the 60s or 70s
and then there's the occasional high 50
the two of us run on very different body temperatures so we have two quilts on the bed
he often throws his down to the foot and just sleeps under the sheet
while I pull sheet and quilt up to my chin and burrow in
soon it will cool off more at night and I'll trade these two for a big quilt that keeps us both warm
and then - depending on how cold the winter gets -
we might even need quilts on top
life is change
what changes are happening in your part of the world?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A bit of this and that

At this point I bet you are saying why is she showing us all of these corks and what in the world is that wooden thing in the top photo........................well, we are working on a cork backsplash for our kitchen. Dan created the little wooden jig to hold the corks as he saws them in half (pretty nifty!!) - it's a bit slow going but he is making progress ----------and lest you think we drink a lot (LOL), we have been saving corks for years and years just waiting for the proper project.  I will keep you updated.
and another peek into the sketchbook - what's for dinner?

thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

thank you to all the vets out there who protect us
my DH was in the Air Force - my goodness, doesn't he look young?! LOL!
even when I am upset by current events and discouraged by the opinions and actions of others, I always feel so lucky to be an American
thanks again to all of you who have done and who do so much for us
thanks for reading,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another peek into my sketchbook

Hands and feet
I got the ideas for these little sketches in my sketchbook from a Stampington ad - 
and again I'm playing with color
I swear that my hands actually do look like that after I have been painting -
I am incapable of not getting paint on me

I was so fortunate this week to receive a bag of art and craft books, and a bunch of old art and craft magazines - so so happy
just looking through them awes me with the incredible talent of so many artists
I feel so energized by their inspired use of materials and colors
Oh happy day!
Off to the studio!

thanks for reading and hope your day is filled with joy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

It's me Hana

Hi, it's me Hana
Chris is at work so I'm taking over the blog today.
I wanted you to see my new portrait -
I do admit that I'm not sure that Chris really captured my true nature and beauty
but she does the best she can -
and she's quite good at keeping food and water in my bowls,
and petting me a lot
when I decide that I need to be petted in the middle of the night
(after all, I am nocturnal)
it may take a few paw taps and nudges
and maybe even a meow
but she always accedes to my needs and demands
in the end
Now I think it's time for a nap..................................................

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A peek into my sketchbook

Playing with some ideas and images
I got the idea for the sheep from a Soulemama blog post - how to paint a flock of sheep but keep the individuality of each animal 
With the rabbit, I was playing with using unusual colors, but I think they work
And the final piece was inspired by one I remember seeing in a book or magazine - moving from the concrete in the background to the abstract in the foreground

Hope your day is filled with color,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Changing seasons (especially the time change)

My DH goes to work on Sunday mornings at 5:20 am and I usually just stay in bed until later but this past Sunday I woke up and puttered around in the dark for a while.  I like the glow of lamp light rather than overhead spots or fluorescent lights, so I have a lamp on my kitchen counter - I found it in a thrift store and it looks so old fashioned and almost matches some of my thrifted dishes.  The yellow-gold glow is so warming and cozy.  I use this old tray over my stove - it is easy to clean if anything splatters and one of my favorite things is the little tea timer - it keeps track of three different times so whatever tea you are brewing is perfect.

I then put together an Apple crostada (Barefoot Contessa recipe) - so perfectly yummy for fall
and put some pork country ribs and sauerkraut in the crockpot - good eating once the football games are done.
How was your weekend?  I always treasure those quiet early morning moments alone - some coffee or tea and some dreaming and planning..........................


Monday, November 4, 2013

Tropical flower applique quilt

Welcome to my studio - 
I spent most of this past summer making an applique quilt for a dear friend. I admit I was positively obsessed with working on it and finished it in four months (queen size hand appliqued and hand quilted).  She loves tropical flowers and has one of my orchid paintings
so I went with that idea - I found some great applique patterns in the book Color-Blend Applique by Jane Townswick.  I enlarged the patterns and tweaked them - some a little and some a lot.  I hand appliqued the fabrics and used my technique for hand dyeing ribbon to add dimension to the orchid block. Her room is done is grays so I was able to find several shades that worked well together.  I had to be very careful piecing both the front and back as I began to run very low on the grays, pink, and lavender, and knew I could not find more locally.  I hand quilted the applique blocks enhancing the design and then used straight lines with 90 degree angles to define the blocks and to coordinate the borders.
I was very pleased with this quilt and am enthused to go back and finish a Baltimore Album quilt that I started 15-20 years ago.  When I lived in Jacksonville, I purchased a couple of  Elly Sienkiwicz's books and also purchased enough backing fabric to make a quilt. I have made about 12 blocks over the years (they still need finishing touches) and have plans for more SO I think 2014 will be the year to finish it - I should have almost all the supplies: backing, reds, greens, hand dyed solids so it's just down to finalizing the final block patterns and getting going - stay tuned for further updates!

thanks for reading and have a great day,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Life starts all over again........

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall"
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

It's not exactly crisp here in south Florida but it has definitely cooled off and the light has changed dramatically.  I have a few little fall corners in my house.

I love The Art of Abundance - whenever I feel a bit frustrated or my skills or funds don't match up with my expectations, I randomly open the book and find something that reminds me of all the abundance in my life. I haven't blogged much this summer (to be honest, I haven't blogged at all) but it's been a strange year with lots of unexpected expenses and issues.  Thankfully things seem to be quieting down now.  I have been quilting a lot (I made an applique quilt this summer and will blog about it soon) and there's a new quilt right now being quilted on my ironing board (I discovered that quilting on the ironing board is a really good thing!) and a wall sized crazy quilt is taking shape

so things are definitely happening around here.
And of course, I hope you noticed Mr. Squirrel up there - we had a new squirrel family move into one of the oaks in our backyard - I guess they decided the tree was now tall enough that they would be safe from the neighborhood cats. I have been painting lots of animals and will share some of my techniques in a future post.
 I hope you have had a good summer and  I look forward to welcoming you back into my studio, my home, and my life.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring maybe..........

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 
A watercolor painting of waterlilies - from a photo that I took at McKee Gardens in Vero Beach, Fl and cropped.  Spring to me is bright sunny yellows and brilliant greens - hope and anticipation.

I have been a very bad blogger this year - my goal for this year was to draw and to paint at least 3 hours every day and hopefully more - to show up at the easel every day - so with everything else that has to be done, that doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging - but I will try to do a bit better.

Next week I will be attending a watercolor class by http://www.alvarocastagnet.net/, one of my favorite painters.  As he is an international painter, I never thought I would have the chance to attend one of his classes but he is doing a Florida swing this year and I was lucky enough to snap a spot. 
I will be taking lots of notes and photos and will report back when I return home.

thanks for reading and have a wonderful day,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Growing and changing

Last year at this time I was taking a watercolor class in which we painted scenes from Venice (the instructor and some of the other students provided reference photos).  I was not very happy with the small vignettes that I painted in the class and have wanted to have another go at them so below you can see the before and after

You can see how much looser I am today than last year and my paint is juicier - it's all in the first impression and don't worry about the details.  I will have a painting (not this little study) at Art by the Sea at the Vero Beach Museum of Art this coming weekend.  I will show you the painting later this week - just framed it today
Hope your day is filled with joy and thanks for stopping by (I am so busy right now painting, planning a new quilt, and working on my drawing skills that I keep forgetting to blog but I will try.......)

Friday, January 18, 2013


So far this winter has been pretty warm but last night was a cold one - 46 degrees - brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Hope your day is warm and sunny,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter blues

I have been painting a lot lately - and I do mean a lot - getting some pieces ready to exhibit - but it's fun to play a bit at the same time

Sometimes you just have to express yourself - and I do that with paint.  This started as an exercise to cover a piece of paper with paints left on my palette and morphed into an art journal/layout page.  The only bad part about putting so much paint on the page is that it takes forever to dry and even then, it's a bit sticky.
I was painting with blues and then - I saw http://citycrafter.blogspot.com/2013/01/city-crafter-challenge-blog-week-142.html - their challenge is Winter blues so I think this works quite well.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, January 14, 2013

My very own Downton Abbey

I created the above project for the http://citycrafter.blogspot.com/2013/01/city-crafter-challenge-blog-week-141.html in which you had to use book pages.  I adhered the dictionary pages with bees wax to a cover cut from an old book, then painted over them with more bees wax.  Then I added a vintage bridge table marker and layered on lots of Prima leaves, velvet flowers, and lace; 7gypsies and Heidi Swapp tapes; real leaf; vintage lace; and a vintage flower ornament; and of course, the photo of my grandmother and two friends - with their hats and dresses, they came right out of Downton Abbey - don't you think?!
Hope you are enjoying the new season of Downton Abbey and have a great day!