Monday, October 31, 2011

Guardian Angels

Everybody needs a guardian angel in their life.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This cooler weather brings out the adventurer in my husband and me.
We spent a long weekend camping and kayaking down on the Edisto River in lower SC.
I'm guessing that the water was a bit too cold for any alligators (or snakes either ) (thanks goodness)
but we did see lots of shy turtles, slim egrets and a heron or two.

The trees down there are so beautiful...those tall, wide cypress trees.
The base of some of them were wider than our kayak (and we paddle a tandem that is about 18 ft long).
This one was about 10-12 ft wide at the widest area of it. Wide and flat at the base.

I love the way that the reflection of the tree is swirling in the water.
The entire river reflects the shore in some can fool you if you let it.
Look at this shot. I originally took this photo because I was interested in the lower water level.
You can see how low the water level was by the marks on the trees.
After I got home, I noticed that the beautiful reflection.

And the occasional traffic sign.
You know...just in case you didn't know the correct place to stop at...

We couldn't figure out...well, we just couldn't figure it out...

But what we do know is this - that river is beautiful. 
The sounds she makes, the song she sings.
The animals that call her home.
That black water that swirls along her banks.
 Just beautiful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paper Crazy (or maybe just Plain Crazy)

Yesterday a good friend and I got together and played with paint, glue, dye and paper.
Sounds fun, right?

It was!

We spent all day mixing, concocting colors, adding mediums, and spreading the final product onto a variety of different papers.

It all began as an experiment into paste papers and kinda evolved into a mix of  that and my typical approach to everything art related.


Thank goodness that Nancy was there to reign me in a little bit.
I love the possibility of what this process could add to the way that I create Artist Papers.
Another approach to layering color and texture.
Embedding your own personal mark making into each piece.

The process is a fantastic way to investigate your personal marks and symbols.
A lot of people don't even realize their mark vocabulary...
by making these types of painted papers, this vocabulary will inevitably make itself known to you.
(actually, that should be the description for the "Painted Backgrounds" class)

So, grab a friend, some art supplies, your best creative spirit and have at it!
Or - take a class.

Be brave!

Here are a few shots of what we did...keep in mind that, for me, this is only the beginnings of the painted papers.
I plan on adding more, more, MORE!

 I was surprised to see tiny bubbles in the paint on this piece of paper where I screened an image with too much paint. I kinda like the look of it though. Try clicking on it to see it close up.
This is the forth layer of dye or paint on this particular paper.
An initial splat or two of dye, paste with paint, more dye added, stamp with the gold acrylic paint and then the Thermofax screen...
Oops, that's five layers, isn't it?

Now some of these aren't true "paste papers" at all...
Some of them have been colored with dyes before (or after) adding varying amounts of the paste paper concoction.
Then there are still others that were stamped with a hand carved poppy stamp after I got home...
oh, then I added a Thermofax screen image to one or two before I collapsed into a heap of tiredbutveryhappy
on my couch...

Oh so tired but thrilled to add yet one more tool to my artist belt.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What's On Your Table?

Nothin' like a fresh new paintbrush and mark making tool!

Monday, October 17, 2011

What's On Your Table?

Why is it that when you have deadlines looming all you want to do is paint silly little rabbits??

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Swimming

I can't believe that it's been over a week since I posted!
I'm not an everyday blogger by any means but I usually have something new at least three times a week...
Not to say that I don't have anything new - just haven't posted it.

My husband and I ride bikes on the Swamp Rabbit Trail here in Greenville SC (which is an AWESOME trail btw).
We usually ride up to Furman University, around their lake and back to downtown Greenville.
At Furman, they have beautiful swans swimming around, humorous ducks and shy turtles.

They also have a small chained in area at the lakes edge.
For several weeks, there was a black swan in the fence...
Then a white swan...
Now no swan.

We can't quite figure it out but this photo that my husband shot may shed a little light on the subject...

The swans in question must have been swimming when the "No Swimming" police went by...

Friday, October 7, 2011

DVD Winner

Here is a true story of, ummm, incompetence (?) maybe...

Today is the BIG give-away.
I was going to go to the comments and pick the one that I thought was the oddest thing to bead...
BUT it was just too difficult to choose! I would pick one and then say (to myself)
"Well, but..."
You can imagine how the morning went.
I eventually decided to go to Random Number Generator to take the pressure off of myself...
When when I tried to post the widget with the number on it...

Needless to say I settled for a simple "copy/paste" thing just to finish with it!

So - all babble aside -
the lucky winner is

True Random Number Generator15  Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Patsy Thompson, you win!

Yay for Patsy!
I'll email you soon and let you know that a soon as I get back from a bike ride, I'll mail your DVD out!

I'm not sure if there are other people still giving away copies of Lyric's DVD -

Oct 10 Jane LaFazio

Oct 12 Tracie Lynn Huskamp
Check out the above blogs for another chance to win!

And go here to purchase yours before the price increase.

Thanks everyone for participating!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bead it Like You Mean it

I am honored to have an opportunity to review Lyric Kinard's new beading DVD today on the blog!

Lyric is a fellow host on the "Sketchbook Challenge" and I've enjoyed getting to know her there.
Oh, I've seen her work, watched her Quilting Arts DVDs and heard lots of good things about her but I've never met her in person.

Watching the DVD felt like meeting her though!

One of the things I really loved about the DVD was her sounds so calming and the distinct way that she enunciates her words made it so easy to understand what she was saying (coming from someone with a bit of hearing loss- that is important).
Bonnie McCaffery was the videographer and did a spectacular job with scene shots, the sound, and close-ups. She shot the close ups in such a way that you could see every movement that Lyric (and her beading needle) made.
Great job Bonnie!

Back to the actual content.

Lyric covers applying one bead at a time, attaching a long line of beads (seed beads, bugle beads), a curved line of beads, stacks of beads (including funky chunkies), caging a cabochon (or just making one look better!), scrumbling and how to attach beads to a finished quilt without leaving evidence on the back of it.


I learned so many cool tips about needle selection and thread usage. Now I know why I was having so much trouble beading the edge of a small bag that I had made...

This video is PACKED with information! There is truly something for everyone here - from the newbie to the advanced beader.

And the price is right people...19.95 (plus shipping) until Oct. 12. The price increases after that to 24.95 (plus shipping). Grab it while you can save a few can use the savings to buy more beads.

I'm giving away a copy of the DVD here on my blog!
There is one small catch'll have to answer a question for me to be entered in the give-away.

Q:What is the craziest thing that you've ever seen anyone put beads on?
A: ??

So - leave a comment with your answer and I'll choose a name on Oct.7, this Friday. That will give a few days for everyone to leave a comment.
If you don't have an email attached to your blog name, please leave me a way to contact you.
Or be sure to check back Friday for the winner.

Good luck!

If you just can't wait - here is a link to go ahead and purchase it. Remember it's on sale until Oct. 12.

There are a few more blog reviews with give aways associated with them. I'll post a list of them so you can keep entering to win!

Oct 5 Sue Bleiweiss
Oct 7 Jill Berry
Oct 10 Jane LaFazio
Oct 12 Tracie Lynn Huskamp

Good luck!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Theme

This is a repost from the "Sketchbook Challenge" blog.
Original post here.

Carol here, welcoming you to October.

A month that brings many changes to my Southeastern US landscape... the days become shorter and temperatures drop cuing leaves to change color and fall off the trees, gardens mature with their harvest and are tilled under signaling their rest period.

Here in the South Carolina we are getting a much deserved break from the relentless humidity that we have suffered through this summer.

My husband and I kayak in the local rivers and can often be found tromping through the forest on any given trip...we're noticing things now that we didn't see all summer – whether it's the changing of the leaf color or the filtered light through the trees – our landscape is changing...

Which brings me to the theme for this month.

The theme for October is VIEW



1. An instance of seeing or beholding; visual inspection
2. sight; vision
3. range of sight or vision
4. a sight or prospect of a landscape, the sea, etc
5. a picture or photograph of something

My suggestion would be to look the word up in a couple of different dictionaries (here, here, or here), check out the synonyms and see how it is used in a sentence.

This is what I usually do...but I can get rather intense from time to time. The research phase is one of my favorite parts when beginning a new project.

I am choosing to begin the month with a more literal interpretation of the word.

If you're been reading this blog (here and here) and my personal blog, you'll know that I've been doing a bit of (much needed) work in my bathroom.

I purchased and altered a shower curtain, which by the way, turned out very nice. Now I'm painting a triptych for an empty space on the wall.

I knew that I wanted a landscape painting. I wanted bold, bright colors (aren't you proud of me Kelli?) that would just jump off the wall. I also wanted to try out an idea I had about the house paintings that I had been doing.

So the first step in my “journey with a view” was my trusty sketchbook.


You know, we've all been so brave this year in sharing our sketchbooks.
I don't know about all of you loyal readers but there are marks in my book that are, um, less that stellar. As a matter of fact, they are almost pitiful! But there is one thing that I have learned in this Sketchbook Challenge journey, it's that we all make marks like that. We all have room to grow and improve. And when you share your bad marks along with your good marks, people connect with you on a different level.
That view is the same for all of us, isn't it?

Kinda got off topic, didn't I?


I started painting a series of houses and landscapes last year called “It Takes A Village”. I envisioned a village of wonky skinny houses that had tall skinny trees and odd skinny flowers in the garden.

I fell in love with the whole project and I am still painting them a year later. I wanted to take that idea up a notch with this triptych.

I sketched out my idea – which was to have the painting flow through three separate panels of wood (my substrate).

This was my first idea (sorry, I didn't scan it before I painted it).

I also used this page ( Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4 ) to try out several different colors of paint. I have to jot down the name of the color or I will forget it. I was using the Derwent Intense Watercolor pencils on this page.
I liked what I had on this page – it was bold and colorful, it was in keeping with the “It Takes A Village” series...but something just wasn't clicking with me.
I really wanted to let my wonky little houses grow up a little bit.
I began thinking of how I loved the “Rainbow Row” houses in my beloved Charleston SC. I decided to look at some images pertaining to that type of structure.
When I begin a project or get stuck with one, I often turn to Google for help. I click on “images” at the upper left hand corner of the main page and type in what I looking for. The returns are usually pages and pages of images to calm or confuse you.
In this case, I found just enough to get me going in a different direction.

I went back to my sketchbook.
These pages are a sample of what I sketched out after my Google search.

I really liked a couple of the houses this time and began another “test” painting.
This is what I came up with (again, I didn't scan before I began painting).

I laid out the landscape as one continuous scene, then drew the lines in to separate it into the triptych panels.
You will also see the smears of red paint on the left hand side. I was trying to make up my mind about which color to paint the houses. You will later see that I used almost every one of the colors in my shading.
I also added a bit of the ocean to the background in the "real" painting.
The scene is a compilation of views that we have when kayaking in the Charleston Harbor.

I used a bit of artistic liberty but that's what we do, right?
I'll give you a tiny peek at how the painting is progressing. Throughout the month, I'll post updates and let you see how it's going.
I hope that you will enjoy a small view of the work that started in my sketchbook this month.
Please share yours as well!

The theme for October is VIEW

How to be eligible for prize drawings:

In order to be eligible for one of the October prize packages you must post at least one photo of a sketchbook page related to the October theme to the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group and you MUST tag one of your photos with the code "oct489".
It is not necessary to tag more than one and it will not increase your chances of winning.

Information on how to upload photos to flickr can be found

Winners will be chosen based on random draw on 10/31/11 and announced on the Sketchbook Challenge blog either on that day or on 11/1/11.