Monday, November 28, 2011

She Art…….


Earlier this year I took an on-line class from Christy Tomlinson, click on her name to go to her blog, it was a fun class…..I just had not taken the time to make “She Art”, until now!




Hey!  I was on a roll, what can I tell ‘ya.

Hope to see you in Aurora this weekend.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Getting ready for the big show next weekend….



I’ll be selling some jewelry……..

misc 007


Just a reminder next Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4 is the Holiday,Art Show and Sale in Aurora.


You will have a pleasant holiday shopping experience in this small historic town.  There are, also, a couple of Christmas bazaars and a wine/chocolate tasting going on in town that weekend.  You can avoid the crowded malls and find gifts that are personal and unique AND have fun.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Coming Soon!


This fun….don’t miss art sale in Aurora!


Aurora, Oregon is located about half way between Portland and Salem in the beautiful Willamette Valley.  This small, historic village is the Antique Capital of Oregon….come spend the day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Off on another round robin……


I’m excited!  I am off to do another altered book round robin, starting the end of this month.  There are five women involved and they live across the U.S. from Louisiana to Oregon…..and I know the quality of work they do and it is so exciting to have them share that work with me.

The theme of my book is “nature”.  I am using children’s board books for the base, you know the kind….each page is thick cardboard with a slick finish, very sturdy.  I have glued a small book on top of a larger book, so the front cover looks like this…….

IMG_1664 I removed half of the pages from the smaller book and covered it with hand made paper, a piece of birch bark, leaf, moss, cap of an acorn and window of mica.  The cardboard and the wire wrapped sticks are behind the smaller book.

Inside the small book…….

IMG_1674 I stamped the words, painted backgrounds and made another reduction print featuring a sunflower.

IMG_1675 On the left side of the next two pages is muslin that is stamped and drawn on with ink and on the right is more of my friend, Thea’s, wonderful handmade paper and my bird stamp with an envelope full of tags for the other’s participants to sign.

The stamps they sign…..look like this.

IMG_1677Inside of the big book are exactly five two page spreads……this is mine……..

IMG_1669 except, I’ve added a third page….the one on the right is a page from an old photo album.IMG_1668 Two of the windows are filled with drawing from an old book, one is filled with window screen and one with mica that has a bee stamped on it.

IMG_1670 ….the other side of photo album page and the page on the right hand side of the book.

I’ve had so much fun working on this I hope my four altered book friends will enjoy it, too.  The others have posted some or all of their books on their blogs and I can tell you they are fabulous.  I told you I’m excited.

Just for fun and because I have not linked to one of my favorite Linky parties for a while….join me at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A couple of Color Swap beauties!


I’ve been MIA this week but I want to make up for it by sharing these beauties with you!


I have had the pleasure of participating in a “color swap” with six other women for the past few months, we are getting close to the end….but the goodness just keeps on coming!

Each person selected the colors for their own pages…..mine were kinda’ tough, unless you like bright colors….I choose hot pink and orange!  My friend, Elizabeth, made some magic with those colors… in the sampler above!

IMG_1646 Check out the great textures on the other side of the page!


Fun, fun, fun…..I’d wear this dress to a party anytime….well, it would need to be a “little” larger!

IMG_1648…..and the flowers to carry while you wear the dress are on the other side of the page!

So, creative, fun and colorful…’ve got to love it.  Thank you so much, Elizabeth.  Check out the artist’s description and learn what her processes were when she made these pages at Elizabeth's blog Altered Book Lover.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Journal play time……





Really big pictures!  I write my blog in Window’s Live Writer and tonight it only wants to do tiny photos or huge…..nothing in between.

Any way, had fun with watercolors doing these!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My twitter……..


Fun with paint and paper…..acrylic paint over collage on canvas above and on paper below!!!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dyeing, naturally………


Since we are talking about leaves….or I am….I will share my leaf steaming experiments with you.  That is exactly what this is my experiment. 

I’ve been into playing with leaves all week and one day I came across the name India Flint, who is a master at making fabric dyes with natural materials.  India lives in Australia and teaches worldwide, you can learn more about her work on her blog "Not All Who Wander Are Lost".  This woman makes incredible art!

India, recently, published a book titled “Eco Color”……trust me, I covet this book.  However, I am not now, nor do I ever think I will be, dyeing fabric in any volume.  I am going to see if I can find the book at our local library….’cause I know it must contain some great information on the alchemy of dyeing fabric….but right this moment I can’t justify buying a copy. Note: “can’t and right this moment”!

So, after looking at her photos and watching You Tube videos….this is what I came up with as a method for dyeing fabric using steam and leaves!  I think this is similar to how she does it, but I don’t know that for sure….in any case, this works too.


I tore a strip of bleached muslin into a strip about 9 inches wide by 36 inches long and placed fresh leaves (not dried out) on top of one half of the fabric.

IMG_1621 Then I folded the other half over the top….to make a muslin/leaf sandwich, yum?

IMG_1622Now you need a stick about 18 inches long and some string!  You fold up the sides of the fabric about an inch on each side, just enough to hold the leaves in place.


Starting at the loose end of the cloth, roll the fabric around the stick….as tightly as you can.  When all the fabric is wrapped….tie the string around the fabric to keep it in place on the stick.  You will need  a fairly long piece of string.


Keeping wrapping the string around the fabric….you want to keep the leaves, fabric and stick in a tight bundle.


It should look something like this…..tie the ends together.  Don’t center the fabric on the stick….one end should have only about five or six inches of stick exposed.


Here’s where the fun begins!!!  Place the short end of the stick into pot of boiling water, I used a deep stock pot with about five inches of water in the bottom.  The fabric does not sit in the water……you are STEAMING it.  I added Eucalyptus leaves in this batch, just as an experiment, but I don’t think it made a difference in the end color results.

I am NOT a chemist, I just doing what seems logical to me….I think the stick I used made more of a difference than the leaves in the water.  For the first batch I steamed, I did not have leaves and used a stick from a Crabapple tree.  This batch I used a stick from a Fig tree.  If, nothing else, I can see the fig branch had some moss on it and it left some dark stains on the fabric that I like.

I put the lid on the pot, off to side of course, and brought the water to a boil then turned it down to a fast simmer so that the “fabric on a stick” is steamed for about an hour.  Keep an eye on the water level in the pot, you don’t want to “fry” the pan or start a fire!

Time’s up!


Well, steamed fabric on a stick!

IMG_1631 What do you think?

IMG_1632 The lovely steamed leaves…..remove the leaves and here’s the finished product.

IMG_1633 This is one half of the fabric and……..

IMG_1634 This is the other.  I don’t know exactly why one side is lighter or didn’t take the leaf dye as well, but I do know that was on the outer side of the stick and the “top piece” of fabric. 

It is common practice to use some sort of mordant to help stabilize the color.  I did not do that, but as an experiment, I rinsed the light end in vinegar and water.  Next I will iron the whole piece with a hot iron, hoping that will stabilize the rest of the color.  Only time will tell if using the vinegar makes a difference.


This is the first piece I dyed, earlier this week, using this method.  I like that I got a some better leaf prints on this one, that maybe because I used fewer leaves with less over lap, but I like the colors of the second experiment better. 

Well, this was fun……try it! 

I would love it if you, dear readers, would share your experiences with fabric dyeing with me.  As I said, I am not planning on doing this in a big way but I would very much like to hear more about your experiences ‘cause, what I really learned, is how much I don’t know but I would like to learn more. 

I will be making a few more of these unique fabric pieces because they lend so much personality to a collage or journal page. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Leaf recycling!

falling leaves

hide the path

so quietly

Haiku by John Bailey


Almost everyday,  we take the dog for a walk along this path in our neighborhood park.  A perfect place to experience the seasons as we stroll along….cherry blossoms in the spring, cool shade in the summer, colorful leaves in the fall and bare branches in the winter.

IMG_1613 Always a visual feast with endless photo ops, right in the middle of our small town!

IMG_1610 I couldn’t walk past this assortment of lovely leaves everyday without bring a few of them home to play with… all started out so innocently.  I’ve since learned there are about as many ways to incorporate leaves into art as there are leaves…..maybe not… if it’s your yard they are covering, then there are definitely more leaves.

First, I painted the backs of leaves and made prints.


Then I dried and glued leaves onto book pages……..


Then I pounded them to transfer the pigment onto fabric……

IMG_1594 Finally, I wrapped them in fabric and steamed them……


Pounding and steaming are another blog in themselves. 

Who knew how much fun leaves could be, maybe, George Cooper when he wrote this:

October gave a party

The leaves by hundreds came-

The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,

And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet,

And everything was grand,

Miss Weather led the dancing and

Professor Wind the band!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bittersweet memories….of my misspent youth!


December 10, 1951!  That really is the date on this drawing/note!!!!!

Drawing So, I was 16 years old and had an active imagination!!!

Barbara was my best friend and George was her most recent heart-break!  I just realized the text of this would, most likely, get me into a great deal of trouble in this day and age.  But, the ‘50s were not like that…..adults recognized made up stories with illustrations drawn by silly teenage girls, as just that.

Some of the irony of this…..I spent 25 years working in the newspaper business, not at the Oregonian and not in news, rather, in advertising sales and management but this note may have been a bit of a harbinger of my future.

My best friend, Barbara passed away five years ago!  Making this a very sentimental piece on so many levels.  Barbara and I shared all the angst and the joys of our teenage years.  Oh! how important BFFs are, no matter, if we are young or old.  Actually, Barbara was the one who saved this note for many years, returning it to me before her death.

You have to love my choice of stars to equate Barbara to……Gypsy Rose Lee (who may not have even been living in 1951) and Ava Gardner (was that before or after Frank Sinatra)!  Also, glamorous women of the day would have smoked…using a cigarette holder was an added touch of sophistication, hahaha!  I’m not sure why poor George wore a plaid jacket….maybe, that is what 1950’s playboys wore, at least, in my mind (I doubt I knew any REAL playboys at that time)!!!  I, also, notice that George was “slayed”, not slain….maybe, that was better or maybe if I’d been listening instead of drawing……..!

Many of you who love to express yourself through art will relate to this….we have  added drawings to notes since childhood.  What I remember most about grade school is sitting in the back of the classroom….drawing clothes for paper dolls, mine and my friends!  I cut pictures of models from catalogues and magazines then traced over them “designing” original fashions for my paper dolls.  I had big dreams of being a “fashion designer” until I found out you would needed to know something about clothing construction……sorry, I wanted the easy, glamorous part of the job!  I was a kid, what can I say.

I suspect that most of my blog readers were not born in 1951, so as they say….those were the days my friend!  Hope you got a chuckle out this piece of my misspent youth!

Thanks for stopping by.