Tuesday, October 27, 2009


On the trip home from Charleston, we were surprised with this beautiful sunset.
I took the pictures from inside the car - so they may be a bit blurry.
Notice the tie cord from the kayak in the first one.

What beautiful colors!
Seems that I have seen a watercolor painting
of a Santa Fe sky using the same colors...

This next photo was taken in one of the oldest cemeteries in Charleston. There is a monument standing in the graveyard from the 17th century.
I have more pics but was amused by the carving on this one.
Wonder who was the model for this wide eyed woman?

Enjoy your day.

It's raining softly here at my house.

My paints, fabrics, papers and sewing machine are busy on a special project.

One that I can't tell you about right now - but a Big surprise (and honor).

I'll tell you soon.

In the mean time, do these things.

1. Try to find inspiration in everyday things.

2. Draw (or sketch) daily.

3. Document your passion.

You will be pleased with the results and it will humor your children 40 years from now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Art

My husband and I went to Charleston this weekend for a little camping and kayaking.
On the drive down, I pulled out my sketchbook and a book that I had carried with me.
I love to thumb through source books or other illustrated books
for pictures or illustrations that catch my eye. Then I sketch them out in my journal or sketch book - it's a warm up of sorts to drawing what's around me. Even though I draw a lot, I still require some warm up exercises most days to "get in the groove" of things or to just keep my drawing skills up to date.
While at the camp site, I had the occasion to pull out my trusty compact watercolors to add a little color to the pages.

We kayaked in the Charleston Harbor - out to Crab Banks.
We found some awesome shark teeth! One was over an inch tall - that gave me a moments pause when the waves hit three foot and our kayak was bouncing around...
I suddenly recalled the serrations on that big ole tooth...
and had to frantically push away the fright bubbling up in my chest.
We did some of what my husband called "kayak surfing" as we rode that wave in.
It was a lot of fun (at that point) and we will definitely go back for more of that.
I hope that your weekend was filled with a lot of love for what you were doing -
and who you were doing it with.
Mine sure was.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Let Nature Be Your Teacher

The Italians would say "finito".
The French would say "fini"
The Germans would say "fertig".
I would say "finished"
I let Nature be my Teacher.
This weekend she will do the same as my husband and I are off on another adventure.
This one includes a kayak, some collection bags, sharks teeth and feathers from protected birds.
It includes a lot of Nature.
The one thing that never fails to inspire and entice me.
Find some inspiration this weekend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stamp Carving

I did a little stamp carving this weekend also.
Like my art case, I have a stamp carving container that I can grab n' go.
It contains a few carving blocks, carving tool, paper, pencil and an ink pad.
Something to occupy this lady during a lull in the action.
Oh- just make sure it's deep enough so that your carved pieces will fall in to the container and not your nice, clean SUV.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Warriors

This weekend was another grand adventure.
My husband and I really have a lot of fun doing simple activities...
such as camping, kayaking and hiking.
This past weekend we did a "controlled" tent camping experiment-
which worked out very nicely btw :-)
On Sunday we loaded up the trusty kayak and headed to Keowee River.

WOW! Look at that water level! It is almost at full level now.
Last years extreme drought had really taken its toll on this body of water - we walked (and treasure hunted) on land that you can't even see right now.
We packed our lunch, plenty of energy snacks and some adult beverages for the trip.

I adore nature - especially the river and the forest. So many inspirational images to be seen...so many beautiful things if you just take the time to look around you.
The mushrooms were about an inch or so tall. Hiding on the side of a fallen tree trunk.

And this is a close up of vegetation growing on a rock in a little stream. You can't see the water in this shot but it was cascading all around the rocks. There were several levels of small waterfalls that fed into the river from a hidden channel. If you click on the photo, you can see the texture in the leaves.

I love this mushroom! It was about 3" tall with the most awesome areas of texture on it.

Now this is where the trip got REALLY interesting...
Notice the large "Danger" sign.
Yeah. Large.
Hanging overhead...

Right next to these three other Warning signs.
Rather large signs, huh?
Quite visible to people , say, in a kayak...

paddlin' right under them...
Yeah, the signs?
This is what they looked like as we went

Oh, and one more REALLY big "Danger Will Robinson" sign on the shore...you know, just in case you missed the four previous overhead signs...

Aha! This would be the reason for all the signs just Screaming "Danger"

or "Turn Back (yeah this means YOU!)".

Hmmm...This would be the gates at the Keowee Dam I'm guessing. The Keowee River flows out of Lake Jocassee Dam and into Lake Keowee, a reservoir created by Keowee Dam and Little River Dam. The Keowee River flows out of Keowee Dam to join the Twelve Mile River.

I think that the water is used to cool the reactors at the Oconee Reactor Station.

And so on and so forth.

'Nuff of the history lesson.

Let's just say that no water was released while we were floating past the "Do Not Enter" signs...

And a good time was had by all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Really Good Stuff

By now you all know that I am a nature freak - as opposed to being just a Freak (which some say I am as well!).
I try to really pay attention to my surroundings, always looking for "some good stuff".
Well, Tuesday I was in Charlotte NC with my husband
and I found some really Good Stuff.
I found this cool piece of a tree limb with several types of lichen and moss.

Here's a close up of that same section of the small limb. Notice all of the awesome colors on that one piece!

My favorite thing that I found (well, except for the bird feather) - a wonderful mushroom! I found several smaller ones that are shaped like flat buttons with very little roots.

It's almost like they were growing right along the surface of the ground. You can see them right next to the larger, more conventional shaped mushroom.

Here's a shot of all my findings that day. Even some Rosemary - ok, maybe I "found" that little sprig attached to a larger plant...that happened to be in a really cool landscape setting. I could have sworn that it was broken BEFORE I touched it...

Hey! Who sat that glass of wine in my picture?!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

eBay Auctions

Hello everyone!
I've been a little quiet the past week...
Not too busy just nursing a sinus infection and bronchitis.
What fun, huh?
I'm getting better every day though.

Yesterday I began the long and arduous process of putting fabric for sale on eBay.
I have a pretty nice (big) fabric collection that has got to go.
I just don't use much of this type of fabric anymore and I need the space for other things.
A lot of it is from the late 1990's - so that means a lot of out of print designs for you all!
If you like Thimbleberries, Debbie Mumm and Moda
you should check out my auctions on eBay.
I'm going to try and list 5 new auctions per day.
Or close to that anyway.
Here's you a handy link-
Carol Sloan
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


She speaks to me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Autograph Book

I don't know if I mentioned this before - about the "Believe In Yourself" Retreat...?
One night they have Student Vendor Tables.
I had a table last year with all my rusty goodness but didn't have one this year -
just too much going on in my life to do it all...
But my friend Sally had one! And a great one at that!
I found this really awesome "Classmate Autograph" book -
It belonged to Edith.
Most of the autograph's were from 1934...
From Cleveland Ohio.
Inside that little book was also a couple of sketches...

Did our Edith do them as well?

There is no signature at the bottom of the face
but there is a faint one on the ship page.
I couldn't tell what it said though.
I hope that you enjoy the drawings that were in Edith's book
as much as I have enjoyed them.

And the little zinger poem that Donald wrote
(I'll type it all as the pencil marks were too faint to scan properly)

"Your teeth are like the
For they come out
Every night."

They both had the same last name so they could have been brother and sister...the poem itself would seem to be a sibling zinger.
Amusing at any rate, huh?

Friday, October 2, 2009

One Last Thing

What do you see in this photo?

Just a weed?
Some scraggly old random plant?

(This one is blurry)


But what I saw was a very interestingly shaped specimen.

I saw a dreamy vintage lace color on the tightly wound bloom.

I saw spiked leaves, not quite opposite but a little apart from each other on the stem...with delicate lines that were just a tiny bit lighter in color.

I carried my watercolor sketch book with me, along with my compact watercolors.

And this is all you need - oh, and a Pitt Pen.

I sketched out what I saw and then did a quick five minute paint job.

I took the pictures so that I could look at them after I got home...

that way I can grab a look at the plant again - see if I'm painting what I saw or painting what I thought I saw.

Try it - you'll like it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Adventures in Nature

Continuing in the same vein as before, I'll be winding down the photo's of the kayaking trip this past weekend.
We did come upon some of the local wildlife...

He looks like he has a sand beard, doesn't he (or she)?

Here are some great shots of a tiny 'shroom and a snail's shell.

I snatched up the shell for my brown bag project...

Oh, I forgot to tell you about eh "Brown Bag Project", didn't I?

I'll tell you another time - remind me if I forget.

A little different angle here. Such beautiful moss in the forest bed.

In case you're wondering - the non rolling stone does gather moss...

sorry - couldn't help myself...

If you've never kayaked before, you should consider giving it a try. It is a wonderful form of exercise (gets your core really beefed up) and can be a cool solitary past time as well.

Even though my husband and I have a tandem kayak (a two seater) I'd love to try out a one person one. Our is very stable - after getting turned over by a couple on a jet ski (they were wayyyy to close to us)- we opted for a wider one that wouldn't roll as easily.

And the best part?

Being so close to nature...

Being able to paddle right up to all of the little islands, seeing the water animals face to face

and spending quality time with my best friend.

I hope that you take the time to exercise your creative spirit today -

you'll be glad that you did.