Sunday, August 25, 2013

Puzzle Piece Mail Art

I received a delightful piece of mail art
recently, from my friend Halle

It was a completely unanticipated
Smile that arrived on a day
when I really needed it!

It's quite large, about 4 inches high
by 5 1/2 inches wide, and was sent
through the mail as is, no envelope.

The back of the mail art shows the
surface of the original puzzle art, which I
assume is a child's floor puzzle.
I love the Aloha stamp!

Halle's captions always make me smile...
how did she know I needed one that day?

Sweet little flowers over text
are joyful additions of color.

Thanks, Halle, for the Smile!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

T is for Tuesday and Trees

Joining Elizabeth's
T is for Tuesday link up...
having Peppermint herbal iced tea...

and looking at my skinny practice journal.
'Practice' journal because I was practicing
stitching signatures into book form.

The size (4 1/2" x 8 3/4")
 has been handy to carry with me in
my purse to draw or make notes at odd moments.
Collage and watercolor are added later when
I have a moment with my other art materials.

Drawing while a passenger in the car
can be challenging. Squiggly lines result.
But when drawing tree shapes, it's not
required to have perfectly smooth lines.

Again drawing while in the car,
this time focusing on the clouds...

While waiting to meet a co-worker to 
car pool...drawing the surrounding parking lot
and listening to National Public Radio...
unusual phrases make their way onto
the pages, or get added later.
Trees are a frequent series of images too.

I didn't go to the circus, but spotted the
free coupon and liked its colorful images.
A good prompt for a journal page!
"Cheap sunglasses" by ZZ Top--
another great prompt.  Song lyrics 
often find their way onto my pages.

What are you having with your 
tea today?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Art Journal Pages

Recycled ice cream cone image
from one of my posters used in a 
weight-loss meeting.  Too fun to waste...
The quote is from Pinterest, and it
made me smile.

The 'shading' around the page border
was done with watercolor crayons.
It goes on like a crayon, and then you apply
water to soften the shading. My Sharpie
pen did not want to write on the surface
of the watercolor crayon!

The rose is a sketch on the back of a
restaurant placemat.  I tore around the 
ball point pen image, and then added watercolors.
It's pasted into my green Eco Smash Journal.

This tree logo is from a paper bag.
The store is Aldi's, a discount grocery store.
I really liked the curlicue branches, so
into the Smash Journal it went.

The sketch above is how I would like
my studio/craft room to look! In actuality it's
mostly a pile of plastic storage boxes, baskets
and one bookcase at the moment...
and has to double as a spare bedroom
when my children and grandchildren 
come to stay.

I am a list maker.  It doesn't 
necessarily make me more organized,
but it helps get ideas down so they 
don't long as I don't
lose the list, that is!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

T is for Tuesday; Q is for Quilt

I've been working on a quilt since last summer...

A gift for the newlyweds, which they'll be lucky to receive
by their first anniversary!

When I'm working on the quilt, I am careful to keep my
coffee cup (or any beverage) far away from the quilt!

The pattern is called Merry-Go-Round,
which I've completely hand-pieced, and
am also hand-quilting.

It has bright happy colors, and includes many fabrics 
from the bride's past:  vintage fabrics from the bride's
great-grandmothers' stashes, fabrics from clothes 
that I sewed for her when she was little, and many
fabrics from the numerous baby quilts I've made.

I set the quilting frame up in my parents' home, as 
they have a bit more room, and it gives me an excuse
to go visit them and quilt! It's been in the frame for
about a month now, and I think I should be able to
get it done by the October anniversary...I hope.

My quilting stitches aren't exactly perfect,
or even tiny, but I tell myself that it's
 part of the 'charm of hand-made.'
I do attempt to keep them uniform in size.
In the block above, the red gingham was a dress that
I made for my daughter when she was in grade school.
A couple of the fabrics are from my maternal grandmother's
scraps, and one is even from a guitar case that I 
made in high school.  Yes, a quilted fabric guitar case.
Weird, I know. But I liked it much better than the
black 'cardboard' ones that you buy.  (I used
pre-quilted fabric on part of that guitar case, wasn't up to
hand-quilting in high school! and no, I don't
 really play guitar any more)

The cable quilting designs are marked in pencil and
then stitched.  The triangle and rectangle shapes are
just 'eyeballed.'  So they aren't always perfect...

It's challenging to get your shoulders, arms and hands
to 'turn' in the right direction to follow the quilting design.
I find I have to pace myself so as not to get sore muscles.
Many quilters have their quilt tops machine-quilted these
days, but I really enjoy hand quilting.  I don't exactly know
how many hours I have in this quilt. At least 500 hours, 
at a guess.  If I kept an accurate track of how long it takes,
I might never make another!

Here's how I have my morning 'mocha' coffee...
to your coffee cup add 1 heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder,
a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla, sweetener to taste,
(I use any Stevia sweetener)
and a splash of fat-free milk.  Yum!

Visit Bluebeard and Elizabeth at
to see what others are doing on Tuesday!
Perhaps they are having Tea on Tuesday,
instead of coffee, like me...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mail Art

I received this gorgeous card from Chris
It is full of juicy color, and wonderful texture,
and it's really beautiful! 
I love it!
Chris has been doing the Index-Card-a-Day
challenge also, so visit her to check out what
she's been up to.  Her writing is a,
I mean, really fun, so stop by!

Here's the card that I sent Chris.  It has lots
of painted scraps of paper collaged on there,
and the man's photo is from an ephemera pack.
The crossword background is scrapbook paper.

Chris seemed surprised that I sent it through
the mail naked. Ahem, without an envelope.
(Aileen's Tacky Glue is great stuff!)
Chris put hers in an envelope with a lovely 
little Moo card...

I even got a kick out of the stamp
on the envelope...what's not to love 
about The Incredibles!?

I gotta say, it was so great to receive 
mail art that was actual art and
not a copy or reproduction.  I've had
that happen more than once.
Chris' card is going up on my inspiration wall~
It was a fun swap Chris, thanks!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Black and White Style: Index Card-a-Day Wrap-Up

For the last few days of the 
Index-Card-a-Day challenge I decided
to create black and white pieces.
July 27 and 28 are zentangles.

A relaxing, meditative doodle that I can
do while I'm watching television...

I've made a total of 61 pieces of 
art on index cards
during the 2013 icad challenge!  It's been
a lot of fun.  The small 4"x6" space is 
easy to fill with drawings, scraps or doodles.
 It doesn't take long...unless you want it to!

I enjoyed exploring a theme each week, and
working in a series.  
I found myself carrying index cards along
with me wherever I went! (you know, just in case
the spirit moved or there was time to fill)

It also was helpful to know what I'd be posting on 
my blog each Friday.  Having a goal to work towards
helps me accomplish more.  I joined the ICAD Flickr
group, and figuring out how to post on there was a
bit of a challenge for me---but it's always good to 
learn new skills! I still haven't figured out how to
"add favorites" though!

My stack of index cards is getting big, as I've been
doing this for several years now.  Last year I bought 
a pretty cardboard recipe box
 for a cheap price, and added a 
counted cross-stitch piece to the front.

This year, I went for simple and easy.
I purchased a plastic index card box with snap closures.
It has a little pocket for a label on the front where I 
noted the themes of each week of the challenge.
I am not sure if I will alter it in some way, we'll see...

2011 icads in an art journal spread

I am pretty sure some of these 
index-card-a-day art pieces will end up
on art journal pages!  And I am planning
to continue to explore Series of art works.
Stay tuned...