Thursday, July 30, 2009

Banana Skin

It's a banana!
It's an aging banana!
It's a flying aging banana!
It's a flying...ummm...banana skin...moth?
Look at this gorgeous moth that my son found at his work place! I took a couple of pictures with my cell phone, showing how large it is - my son had it on top of his hand. But I can't get them to upload to blogspot. It was wider than his (20 year old) hand!
It is a little wider than a cd.
And it really does look like a aging banana!

This is how the conversation went...
Will ( on phone) "Hey mom, come outside and look at what I found at work today."
Mom "Sure."

I walk outside, meet him at the car.
He has his back to me as he is bending over the passenger side door.
Mom "Will, what is it?"
Will "You'll see."
(mom - beginning to feel a little nervous as Will is known for picking up a lot of different critters and bringing them home)
Mom "Will - is it alive?"
Will "yeah."
Mom "Am I going to be afraid of it?"
Will "Only if you're afraid of browning banana skin."
Mom (speechless) (no really...what do you say to that?).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This week in My Life

I belong to a great group of women artists - the Art Diva's.
It's an online group of like minded creative souls.
Full of awesome (new) buddy Joanne has organized and hosted an art banner swap that I jumped at the chance to be a part of. I met Joanne and a lot of the Diva's in Birmingham when I took DJ & Deryn's classes this summer. They had done a banner swap before the classes and when I saw them I really wish I had of, here was my chance to get in on the goodies.
I designed my banner around two of my favorite things - rust media and painted faces.
It's titled "She Was An Art Diva" but I told the ladies that I should have named it "How To Make an Art Banner The Hard Way" since that is exactly what I did- make it the hard way. I didn't have the final design in mind and was just piddling along, working in an intuitive manner..which is fine if you're not in a time crunch.
Was I in a time crunch?
Hahahahahahahah hahahhha (cough, sputter)
(clear throat) hahahahahhahahahaha...
A little bit of one - they are due to be in Michigan day after tomorrow...I started on them day before yesterday.
Needless to say I'm either sending them to each individual person or over nighting them to Joanne....we'll see what it cost to do both. I'll send them the cheapest way - unless the most expensive is only a small bit more (since placing 18 banners in one envelope is a LOT easier than placing 18 banners in 18 envelopes...and then writing the addresses...
you get the picture.
I suppose this is where Mr. Wonderful would say "round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows..."

Here are a couple of pictures that I took along the way.Piles of yummy rust media to pick from...want some?
Go here and shop to your heart's content!

Sewing the strips onto a long roll of canvas with the banner shape drawn on the back side.
No color ink in my printer...I had to print the faces out in black & white onto fabric, then paint them individually...yes- 20 tiny faces by hand...

I printed the verbiage and then painted that also. I ironed Misty Fuse on the backs of everything to make adhering it all quicker and easier. I added a couple of layers of matt medium over it all to seal it.
All the girls - waiting for their first coat of matt medium to dry...

And here is "The Hard Way", um, I mean "She Was An Art Diva" banner.

Like McDonald's -

I'm lovin' it!

I may have a couple of extras - if I do email me and we can do a teeny tiny little private banner swap...or I might put them in my Etsy shop.

I'd rather swap!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I'm taking Martha Lever's online class - Calligra-Fun. I've only watched one and a half videos, had no time to practice because I've been gone almost all weekend - but I love it already!

I've always loved calligraphy, the letter forms, the sheer beauty and movement of each stroke of the pen.
Martha has combined a lot of fun and freedom with the beauty.
Check it out!

I'll try to watch more of the videos while making a hundred phone calls on my list today...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blog Friends

Sally and Gen

Yesterday several "blog land" friends got together at Random Arts in Saluda NC.
This is how it all came to be -
one day Martha went to Jane's shop - who loved her mixed media work and
posted a link on her blog to Martha's blog.
I saw the link, clicked on it and loved her work too! I put a link on my blog to Martha's.
My friend Julie saw Martha's link and visited her blog.
In the mean time, Jane told Sally Casper about Martha.
Martha emailed me to say that she was coming to Greenville (I live close) and would I like to get together at Jane's one day for a play day.
And that, my friends is just how wonderful, new friendships are formed online!
We spent all day at Jane's, chatting away, show and tell, making Martha write on everything that we had, convincing Julie that she isn't "just" a quilter but a mixed media fiber artist, writing down cool ideas and awesome links, eating Crazy Squirrel salads and just a little retail therapy.
I was SO energised, so excited, so wowed by the day that I talked non-stop when I got home!
Imagine that...?! This is my painting/creating art apron. It was my husband's high school shop apron!

Like I said, we made Martha write on everything that we had...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Workshop

Well, I should have done an exit poll after Saturday's workshop to see if the description was true...
I said "Fast, fun and easy..." and I do believe that everyone thought it was!
Everyone had their project almost completed by the end of the day. A few hand stitches here, a dozen (or two) beads there and a couple of finishing quilting seams and these babies are ready to hang on the wall.
These ladies amaze me at how well they worked today. I'll admit that I had done a (ton) a lot of prep work before ever stepping foot into the shop but they worked (while chatting, laughing, shouting and eating) non stop all day.
Oh, except for the shopping breaks...
Anyway - here are some pictures -
run over to Jane's blog to see more.

My friend Tonya - just working away (hmmm...or just talkin' away...?) on her beautiful wall hanging.
Here is a closer view of her piece.

And Jane, working away. I wish I had a close up picture of the quilting that she did on her piece...I was quite impressed with that.
Karen and Tonya obviously in awe of something that someone was saying...
Here is my friend Betsy's wall hanging. I love the way that she colored her face. I had provided a variety of transfers for everybody to choose from. We used Glossy Transfer paper and Sheer Heaven - one of my favorite transfer mediums and one of hte few that actually work for me.
I showed them how to take a transfer face up a notch or two with a drawing pencil and paper stump...I love what they all did!
This is a great example of making good use of cosy class space!

Karen Hope's wall hanging here. I love that they all used similar design placements but tweaked it a little bit to suit their own tastes.
These ladies worked very hard today but had a great time.
Thanks everyone for coming to class!
I'm thinking that I might use this class next year when I do a retreat in Colorado Springs...
Oh, I didn't mention that, did I?
I'll have to share some great news with you later on that...
It's All Good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This and That

Some people call ticket stubs ephemera...
I call these ticket stubs "Pure Jazz"...
Friday night my husband and I went to see Diana Krall in concert at The Peace Center in Greenville SC. We only live about 20 minutes from the Peace Center, so it was an easy drive.
What an awesome concert! I had forgotten to do a blog post about it this weekend and was reminded this morning when my husband sent me a review on it.
I'll include it below the pictures of my newest ephemera (pronounced f-in-mera).

Greenville Online Review

July 11, 2009
Review: Diana Krall heats up Peace Concert Hall
By Ann Hicks Arts writer
Sultry jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall's much-anticipated Peace Center concert — sold out some time ago — had her wall-to-wall aficionados swooning Friday night.
During her 90-plus-minute concert, the audience was treated to some superb jazz playing. The Grammy-winning Krall's solid jazz pianism, Grammy-nominated guitarist Anthony Wilson's masterful chord work, Jeff Hamilton's dynamic drumming and Robert Hurst's bass improvisations were the real stuff of this concert.
The standing ovation and the loud cheers that greeted the singer as she walked on stage, wearing a black dress, said it all. Her audience was there to hear Krall's liquid-smoke alto. She didn't disappoint with such standards as Harold Arlen's “Let's Fall in Love,” Harry Warren's “I'll String Along with You,” Nat King Cole's cover of Jerome Kern's “Pick Yourself Up” and Tom Waits' “Jockey Full of Bourbon.”
While Krall's vocal range is limited, her raspy, sexy approach makes each song work. Yet it is her at times feathery, at times robust and complex keyboard work that nails her delivery of each song. In fact, some of the night's biggest applause came with the powerful instrumental solos in Irving Berlin's “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” and Fats Waller's “Keepin' Out of Mischief.”
Krall is a highly personable entertainer. She paused from time to time to chat about traveling by bus with her 2½-year-old twin boys, missing husband Elvis Costello, shopping for toys at Greenville 's Mast General Store, hanging out with the kids at Cleveland Park and surprising her waiter by ordering fried green tomatoes for breakfast.
Gracious in thanking her enthusiastic audience, she encored with Carlos Jobim's “Quiet Nights” and “The Boy from Ipanema.”
Arts writer Ann Hicks can be reached at 864-298-4004.

Yep, that says it all. Diana really put on a great concert! My husband and I agreed that there wasn't a key on that piano that wasn't played that night...

Yesterday TR and I started another batch of rust media! This time I added more lace from my mom and grandmother's fabric stash. My mom used to make her own sheer curtains so she had plenty of lace panels in her stash. I decided to use them instead of packing them away to look at once or twice a year.
My friend, DJ Pettitt did a blog post yesterday about how she uses the rust media that my husband and I create.

Wow, what awesome work! I love DJ's mixed media books. I am still working on mine and have ideas for another, more focused one.

Anyway - go to my Etsy shop. Look around at the yummy rust media packs and fabric that DJ is in love with.

Look here at what Deryn Mentock did with a rusted yoyo that was in her pack.

I'll bet that you will fall in love too!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guess who is having a Give Away?

Those Two Chicks from Two Creative Studios, that's who!
Terri Stegmiller and Sue Bleiweiss are two of the most talented (and hard working) artists around and they are having a summer time give away just for their newsletter readers.
If you're already a subscriber, you don't have to do anything to be a part of the give away (unless you want your name in more than once! Go here for info on that)- you've been added already.
If you're not a subscriber (you've been missing out Big Time!) go here to subscribe. Then sit back and enjoy catching up on the reading.
But hurry! My name - whoops- I mean the names will be drawn on August 15.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hummingbird Hatchlings...

I saw this link on another blog and had to have a peek.
Wow! You have to go and look at these amazing photos of the nest and the two tiny babies. What an awesome sight!
Make sure that you click on "next" at the bottom of each page to see all of them.

Another Bird Painting...

Well, I must be overly attrached to Chickadee's and didn't even know it! I started this new painting yesterday and thought I'd share the first phase of it. I have a good bit more work to do on it.

And when my husband got home from work yesterday, he checked the mail...made me chase him to get a package from Oregon...I had sent the front panel of my mixed media book (from DJ's class) to DJ for her to fix an over heating problem for me. This is what I go back yesterday!

I had forgotten how beautiful the coloring was on the panel. This is DJ's drawing we used in the classroom. She did a little touch up painting on it (she said just to fix the boo boo from the iron - but I don't remember my painting being this beautiful!). So now I can head back to the studio to begin putting the book cover together. It's going to be so awesome!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kayaking on the River

Little River, that is.

My husband and I love to kayak and this was only the second time that we have gone this year...we've been so busy!
We love to go to the Keowee River and search for Indian artifacts but since we've had so much rain, all our favorite haunts are under water.
And for that, we're oddly thankful...not that our hunting grounds are under water but that the land is once again nourished by the sweet life giving water.
Thank you Mother Nature.
Send more.
Anyway, we wanted to ramble around the old mill (Abney Mills) in Newry, SC.

We were amazed at how much higher the water level was from last fall! Last year we had to carry the kayak over two sand bars (about 100 yards) just to get to water deep enough to float in!
This year we were able to put in right at the end of the boat ramp. Last year the boat ramp didn't even go into the edge of the water...
We saw some Herons and lots of Kingfishers. No eagles this time (darn it!).
Oh - and a couple of Fishermen.
As we rounded the bend to the dam (at the mill), this is the sight we saw.
Big, tall dam. Rock with tall rusty thing. Spooky water...looked like some kind of toxic water hole from a scary movie. Dark, swirly, deep, bottomless pit of a river area...
And guess who has a VERY active imagination?!
Yep...that would be me.
My husband wanted to climb out of the kayak, walk along the dam and take pictures of the old mill.
Guess who freaked out (just slightly, that is)?
Yep, that would be me.
Well, my husband hardly ever gets irritated with me (ok, well never) but I think he got kinda aggravated at my reaction...I couldn't help it!
It was totally scary!

Here was some kind of drain from the mill to the river...probably a storm drain, but in my mind it was a secret toxic waste dump...
(see that dark yucky water?!)
I don't think I'll be going back to that place anytime soon...

We did happen upon this little looked like someone had stacked three rocks on top of each other but the funny thing was that there was no way anyone could have gotten to that particular place to sit the stones there...

A few pretty little spots where the wild flowers grabbed onto what little life they could find.
Beautiful color gracing the river's edge...
We had a very nice holiday weekend...
even managed to ride our motorcycle one day.
We rode to Caesars Head in SC and then rode on into Brevard NC.
Had late lunch at an awesome place called Doogin's. Great hamburger, great service and really cold beer.
What more could you ask for?
So - this was a portion of my holiday weekend. I enjoyed spending a lot of time with my wonderful husband. He works so hard all week long and it's nice to be able to spend some "down time" with him...even if I did aggravate him at the river!
All's well that ends well, right?
Be safe
Be creative
Be loving people...

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm A Winner!

Look at what I won from Lyric Kinard's blog site. I put a comment on her blog site for a chance to win one of her ATC's.
I love her surface design on this ATC. I do believe that she has a book coming out in fall of this year. You can pre-order it here. I can't wait to get it as I love Lyric's colorful art quilts!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Celebrate your freedom -
celebrate and give thanks to the brave men and women
that have given their lives so that we may live ours.

And don't carry fireworks in your pockets at a firework fight...