Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lots of Playing today

I am playing catch up in the Layer Love class. Here is my painting for lesson 3. Its supposed to have that old world look about it. I really didn't blend it the way it is supposed to be done but I will really like it. I used a new product on this one called Polymer Medium gloss. It really adds a glossy texture to the piece. This is one of the reasons I like taking on line classes. You learn about new techniques and new materials and how to use them.

I tried a technique mentioned in the latest Cloth Paper Scissors. They suggested to use up that leftover paint on your palette in your journal. You can add glazing medium or water for a wash and paint backgrounds with any extra paint. I thought it was a great idea. So I tried it on this page. You can see all the colors I was using in the first picture. I will be adding a lot more to this page but thought I would share its beginnings. I love learning new little techniques like this.

I got to play with the spray paint today and started these journal pages. They are all in progress of sorts. They had been pages I painted in my journal but I was not inspired by the background so nothing became of them. So I added a little spray paint and the magic began. I like this page so much I may not put anything else on it. I hate covering up all the wonderful colors.

About all I did here was add the stencil, some Japanese fabric tape and a stamp. I may journal or add some text later.

I tried a mask on this page and kept making mistakes in the spray painting. I think with some journaling on the page it will look great.

I bought this lace template that made a great stencil. Its really for a scrapbook page but I think it turned out great as a stencil. Janet if you don't have this one let me know, I got 3 in the package and I can send one to you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

CED Drawing in Ink

Its time I posted something for Creative Every Day challenge. While I was in Yellowstone Park this past week I managed to do a little drawing.

This is a ink drawing I did of the Yellowstone picnic area where we stopped to have lunch.

These were some examples from a book that I trried to emulate. Now I am ready to try some from real life.

This is a drawing I finished this past week, I really liked the way she turned out.

I drew this one in while relaxing in the same picnic area in Yellowstone.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Layer Love

I have signed up for Julie Prichard's Layer Love class and I finally got around to trying some painting today.

This one is is all about reds. I had my challenges with this one but that is they way when you are learning a new technique.

This is for lesson 2, there are some collage papers used. I actually liked it better before I added all the dark green. The drips I ended up making are so light you can't even see them. Anyways I think that both of these pages will be great backgrounds to use in my journal so all is good.

Speaking of journals this page fell together really easily, I am happy with it. The image makes me smile and I suddenly feel more at peace when I look at it.

I will be out of town for a few days so no posts till at least Friday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Surprise Visit

The Snake River Fiber Fair was this past weekend and as usual it was lots of fun. I picked up a few goodies for myself.

This is some yak/silk top. I plan to spin it up and make a shawl out of the yarn. It is really yummy to the touch.

Sarah wants me to make her some of these.

This is the fiber that she picked out. They should look great in this color.

This is some green merino wool. I really liked the color, I think it would make a lovely scarf.

My friend AMy took a class on making felted vessels. She is going to show me how, I bought this corriedale wool fiber to make it.

There was a big sale on sock yarn so I got these 3 colors. The light colored one is bamboo. If you have never had bamboo socks before I suggest you try a pair, they are wonderful. I may send these to my sis to knit up on her sock knitting machine.

This is a wool/bamboo blend. I really liked this color green. These are earth friendly socks. The 75% wool they have is recycled.

I found this Laurel Birch purse that was just perfect for me. The more I use it the more I like it.

In addition my daughter Sarah came home for a surprise this past weekend. I had not seen her since January so this was a fantastic surprise. When she left on Monday it was so sad, too short of a visit. I miss the days when she came home for the summer. We did manage to work in going to see Star Trek again. I just love that movie. I need to find someone else who has not seen it so I can go again. She brought along her boyfriend and her roommate. It was nice getting to know both of them a little better.

Yesterday I went to lunch with my friend Gari and she gave me this birthday gift. It was a long time coming because she had problems making it but well worth the wait. It really is gorgeous in person. That's a goddess as the pendant and its made of freshwater pearls in greens and bronze colors I love it.

This is the only artsy thing I have done of late, a page in my journal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some words of Wisdom

On of the blogs I read is Meet Your Muse written by author Jennie Nash. Her latest post had some real gems in it. I asked her I could post it here and she kindly consented. Thanks Jennie.

Writing and Faith

I wrote these words for Eric over at Topic Turtle. I thought they had a place here, too....

Sitting alone in a room putting words on a page in the hope that someone, someday will read them and be moved by them can easily be seen as an act of folly or desperation. We live at a time, after all, when many people struggle to pay for health care and put food on the table. In this economic climate, it’s easy to think that storytelling is superfluous, unnecessary, narcissistic — or worse. In order to continue doing it, day after day, with little or no encouragement or support, is an act of faith — even if you’re “just” doing it for half an hour in the morning before work, or on your lunch break, or in whatever time you can snatch in between carpooling the kids and doing the dishes. But the question is, how do you maintain the kind of faith that’s necessary? What do you to tell yourself to continue to carry on? Here are five suggestions:

1. I Have the Power. It helps to remind yourself that you have what it takes to write a story that will move people. We all have what it takes. We have been crafting stories and telling stories, and listening to stories our entire lives. My friend Lisa Cron, who has been a script reader and story analyst in New York and Hollywood for many years, says that there is a secret language of storytelling – and that we all know it by heart. The problem is that when the challenges of writing overwhelm us, we forget what we know. We forget our power. We give in to the doubt and the voices that tell us that we should quit. When this happens, remind yourself that the ability to tell stories is as uniquely human an asset an as opposable thumb – and start typing again.

2. I Have the Desire. I go to an ophthalmologist who is absolutely stunned that anyone would spend their days writing. “So are you still writing?” he asks me, every time I visit – and his tone is not merely idle office chit chat; I can tell that what he really means is, So you really sit there all day making up stories? and that what he is waiting for me to say is, Oh no, I finally gave that up that silly practice. I used to be offended by his tone, but on this last visit, he told me that he has attempted to finish the same book on each of his last five vacations but he can never seem to do it; suddenly I got it. My ophthalmologist is a man of science, a man who served this country in the armed forces, a man who has successfully run his own business, but he is not a reader and he therefore can’t understand why anyone would be a writer. If you, unlike my eye doctor, feel drawn in by words and stories, if you feel the desire to write, if you feel called, don’t fight it. Take faith from its existence in your life, because not everyone feels it. And it means something.

3. I Am Part of a Noble Tradition. At a certain point, faith in your own desire and your own power isn’t enough. In order to continue, you have to believe in something bigger than your own small self. For some people this faith can take the form of belief in god, but for writers across the entire spectrum of spiritual belief, it helps to believe in the great writers who have gone before you. Rather than be deflated by their brilliance (easy to do when you read something that soars and has lasted for centuries, or something that soars and just made the New York Times Bestseller List), you can be uplifted by your shared reality. My favorite explanation of this kind of faith comes from guitarist Glenn Kurtz, author of the book, Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music: Everything I need to make music is here, my hands, my instrument, my imaginations, and these notes. For most of their lives, Segovia, Casals, Bach, and Stravinksy were also just men sitting alone in a room with these same raw materials, looking out the window at people on the street. Like me, they must at times have wondered how to grasp the immensity of music’s promise in a few simple notes, how to hold fast to their devotions against a cutting doubt that would kill it.

4. I Don’t Have to Write a Blockbuster. The fastest way to kill your faith in writing is to tie your notion of success to the marketplace. The publishing business is too fickle and unpredictable, and books aren’t like ketchup or dish soap; no one knows why, exactly, one book sells 5 million copies and another doesn’t sell any, and you can’t game the system by trying to figure it out. All you can do is tell your story in the most crisp, clear, engaging way you can, and hope that you will be lucky enough to connect with even a small audience who is moved by your story. You can always hope that your story will be the one plucked from obscurity and celebrated all over the world, but hope is different from reality. You can’t take hope to the bank. You can enjoy it, and use it, and be motivated by it. But hope can't be what makes you write. Bookseller Christine Deavel, co-owner of Open Books in Seattle, Washington, sums up this reality nicely. “Most people in the book business know they will not make a lot of money,” she says, “There’s never been a bubble burst here — we never had a bubble. We find other rewards. There are still poetry lovers. Just a few minutes ago, I had a conversation with someone about Robinson Jeffers and Emily Dickinson. That is a form of payment for me.”

5. Writing Matters. If you lose faith in yourself as a writer, have faith, instead, in the power of writing itself. Writing has the power to illuminate, to heal, to amaze, to shock, to galvanize, and it can do so one-on-one, or within entire nations. Your story may seem small to you, but it could be enormously important to someone else. When you feel doubt about what you are doing, try to recall a book that had an impact in your own life. Think back to a writer who helped you over a hurdle, gave you an epiphany or brought you a measure of peace. Your feeling of gratitude for that experience can be enough to push you forward with your own work. It can remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing, alone in your room, while the recession rages on. As Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, says, “What we do might be done in solitude and with great desperation, but it tends to produce exactly the opposite. It tends to produce community and in many people hope and joy.”

Written by Jennie Nash.

You might want to check out her blog and website too. Jennie has a new book out called The Only True Genius in the Family, it is a story about an artist's search for the source of inspiration and the limits of love. There is an excerpt from the book on her website I was really captivated by the first chapter and can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the book.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Animal Dreams

My short trip to Yellowstone was all about the animals. We have been there so many times that we don't even go see the geysers much anymore.

I have a real affinity with Ravens so I love trying to get their pictures.

I love this close up of their feathers. For a black bird there is so much variation in the color of their feathers.

This is a Great Grey Owl, I was excited to see one of these. They are not really rare in numbers but we have tried finding them before but with little success, This was a first for us so that was really exciting.

We saw lots of bears. This black bear was just on the side of the road grazing through a meadow.

This is a grizzly, if you click and make the photo bigger you can see his paw on the left and those long claws. He had a tussle with a porcupine and has quills in that paw. When he climbed down that ravine he didn't put any weight on it. The ranger said he will figure out a way to remove them.

Here he is trying to maneuver himself to get down the hill side.

This is the same grizzly just grazing on the hillside.

We saw about 6-7 wolves at different times. One of these days i am going to get a close up wolf picture.

The same wolf a little closer. Usually I don't even attempt a picture, just look at the animal through the scope. This wolf was closer and my lens is pretty good so at least you can tell its a wolf. This wolf is from the Druid pack.

There were many Pronghorn or Antelopes close by. Usually you don't see them close to the road. They looked really healthy this year.

You always see Buffalo in Yellowstone and there were many in the areas that we traveled. They too looked pretty healthy this year compared to last year when the winter was really bad. There is something about seeing these beasts in the wild that brings back the old west when they were plentiful across the plains.

Some of the females had babies that looked just like this one. They are really cute to see. They always stick really close to their mothers.

We saw this marmot sitting on a rock like he was posing so of course I took a few shots of him too.

This is a bull elk whose antlers are in velvet. As they get bigger he will rub off the velvet on trees.

This was a yearling elk eating on the side of the road. I snapped this right out my window.

This is a coyote and he was punching on things in this field and moving back and forth like he was hunting something.

We also saw some Ospreys sitting on their nest which was way too far away for pictures. The Sandhill Cranes were not on their nest yet. The 2 Great Horned Owl Nests we used to see were vacant of birds this year. Perhaps they have moved. I hoped you all enjoyed seeing these animals. I never tire of seeing them.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spending the day in clay

Today I spent part of my day in this wonderful creative bubble. I am part of the Ambiance Committee for the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly to be held in Salt Lake city next month. We are making decorations for 25 tables in the theme of the four elements. For earth we are making pots that will hold some native grasses.

We met at my friend Jen's studio. Oh what fun that was, she has a small house for her studio. The walls are painted all different colors. From beautiful green to bright yellow and a fantastic turquoise. When I walked in I thought oh this is definetly an Artists house. She works in ceramics so all her art for sale was on display in one room. Then there were areas for her kiln and slab roller and work tables. So all afternoon we made these clay pots. None of us were very experienced but Jen guided us and we did great.

It was so much fun being in a room with five women doing this creative project. The energy of the studio was so pleasant. I could have stayed all day. What a wonderful place she had to create. Although I love the room I have dedicated as a studio this place was so much more. Even the garden and yard were inspiring with the sculptures and flowers everywhere. I neglected to bring my camera so no pics to share. I plan to next week when we work on glazing the pots.

So much of my artistic creative time is spent alone. This was so different from that. I can see how collaborating on a project with other Artists would be so rewarding.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Investing in Yourself

My weekend trip was great. We had beautiful weather and I took lots of pictures. I will show them in a few days when I get them all sorted out. The new lens on my camera was fantastic.

On Thursday I pulled a muscle in my left arm and shoulder that was really painful. Being in Yellowstone before all the facilities were open was a handicap. I had to wait till Monday to get it checked out. After a trip to the doctors today I discover yes it was only a muscle pull. Now I have some meds for the pain and a muscle relaxant to take. Prognosis is if its not better in 10 days then I will need a MRI. I of course am hoping that the meds and some time will heal this. I was afraid I needed shoulder surgery so I am happy that is not the case.

I realized I had not done a journal page in some time so I finished this one today. I see the up stretched arms of my silhouette as a way to embrace life. I found it cathartic to write out ways that I might embrace life more fully. Is there one simple thing that can you do to make your life more fulfilling?

While I was away this weekend I drew these two ladies.

I had a pre coaching session with Jamie Ridler and it was wonderful and enlightening. I really look forward to working with her in the coming month. I think it will be a great investment in myself. Now that is interesting, its easy to invest in many other things like art supplies or classes or redecorating a room but how often have I invested in myself. I know this really feels like a great time to be doing this. Have you invested anything in yourself lately? Maybe now is the time.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Early Mothers Day

I got my mothers day present a few days early. Its a new lens for my camera. A 70-300mm lens will let me do a lot more. Tomorrow we are headed to Yellowstone to see if we can capture some wolves on film. I am sure we'll see other things too. Pictures will follow.

The Wool Trek.

On Saturday I took a Wool trek to Notlwonk Springs Farm that is owned by my friends Fred and Jo Knowlton. Its an annual event that they hold to sell their wool fleeces and rovings. We drove down to Cornish Utah for the event.

My friends Debbie and Amy and I went together. Here is Amy enjoying herself.

We saw this coke machine out in the middle of nowhere and thought it was funny for some reason.

Look at what the sign on the machine says.

Here is my friend Cyndi and her son Colton. This was the first time I got to meet Colton and he is almost a teenager now.

Here we have what is known as the skirt scramble. All this wool is pulled out onto the floor. Its the areas that are removed before a fleece is sold. It is still really nice wool. The Knowltons give it away. Everyone gets a bag and then its a free for all.

I took pictures instead of getting lost in the craziness.

Here is Tina Howard describing the rug she is making. Its all made out of roving that is braided and then felted and then sewn.

Here is a closeup of the rug,its going to be pretty amazing when its finished.

I came home with 2 half fleeces. I really didn't need 2 whole fleece so I split one with both Debbie and Amy. That's what friends are for. This is the white one I bought

and this is the grey one. I washed them both today so soon they will be on their way to becoming some beautiful yarn.