Friday, September 28, 2012

The Notebook….


Not the movie but the cover! 

The other day I told you I was helping teach a class based on Julia Cameron’s book “Vein of Gold” and I showed you the cover I made for my note book HERE.

In next week’s class, the students are going to make their own notebook covers.  This is not a class of artists, so we need to keep things simple.  I don’t want to overwhelm them the second week.

This is my second cover….all done with items cut from magazines.


So, I asked a few friends to try making a cover.  Some of these were done by experienced artists and some by folks who fall in the “I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler” group.  But, I like what they did…..they are all really cool covers.












Can’t wait to see what the class comes up with!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012



Welcome to the sweet little coastal town of Capitola, California!


This is not where we stayed, but if I go back sometime, I’d love to.  I liked the wrought iron, flowers and cozy patio…….but look at these………….

IMG_3133 I really want to live in one of these colorful houses right on the beach!

If, you have never been to Oregon you may not know there is a huge difference between Oregon’s beaches and California’s.  They have few big waves and lots of sunshine…..we have lots of big waves and really cool (so might call it cold) wind.  They are each beautiful in their own way.

In the next picture, you would NEVER see sail boats tied up in the ocean in Oregon.  You might see a tanker tied up off shore but not a sail boat!

IMG_3129 They were having long board races when we were there!

 IMG_3131 IMG_3135



This is just a glimpse of the non-ocean side of town….small, cute, nice shops!












I liked the doodle-like patterns on these bowls and pitchers in the Turkish gift shop!

We were going to go to Santa Cruz, which was close by, but on the weekends the traffic is really bad and it gets very backed up and there is no way to turn around, we were told, leaving you stuck in traffic for an hour….so we opted to not go.

When we got back, I was telling my daughter-in-law Jan who grew up in San Jose, about why we didn’t go to Santa Cruz. She said the traffic thru Santa Cruz has always been like that.  Even when she was a kid in the 70s and 80s, only then, that was where the party started….people would get out of their cars and have a beer or a soda and talk to the folks in the next car until they could move up a space or two!  Sort of like tailgating from a slow moving car….. not so PC but, likely, much less stressful and more fun!

Monday, September 24, 2012

We were on our way to San Jose…….


Last Thursday, hubby and I board this little prop-jet and flew from Portland to San Jose, California……….

IMG_3034Two hours later, we were landing at SJC where we met our daughter-in-law, Cristie who had flown in from L.A. area.  The reason for this meet up?  To celebrate hubby’s birthday by taking him to see his granddaughter (Cristie and Ryan’s daughter) play volleyball for San Jose State University!

IMG_3050 Once inside we were greeted by the “Spartan”…….










Granddaughter is a freshman, so she didn’t get a lot of playing time but we did get to see her play briefly in both games.  This game was their first at home game and they played Idaho and won in three sets.  On Saturday evening they played Seattle U. and won again, this time three out of five.  It is a fun and exciting sport and these girls do it well!

Between games…..a little time for exploring the SJSU campus.  I loved this construction fence painted by students.



Awesome and fun way to dress up a fence, I’d say! 



Obviously a philosophy major left this post-it note on the campus directory, “life is in the journey-not the destination”.

IMG_3142Cristie and Ron waiting at the campus gate!



San Jose State is an urban university located in the heart of the “Silicon Valley”.  Established in 1857, SJSU is the oldest university on the West Coast.  Located in the heart of San Jose on 154 acres where 35,000 students attend classes.

This shows a part of the commons area with one of the dorms in the background.  Notice the grassy park like area in between.  It is a beautiful campus.

Granddaughter who was fortunate enough, and worked hard enough,  to earn a full-ride is loving it there.

The city of San Jose is beautiful….modern, clean, safe and thriving with most of the world’s electronics being designed and/or built near by.

Here are a few peeks of the city………….



I have a ton more pictures but, for your sake, I will dole them out a bit.  We did a lot, walked a lot and had a very good trip and I’ll share more of our adventures later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vein of Gold classes…..


Next Tuesday, I begin a ten week class based on Julia Cameron’s book “Vein of Gold”.  Looking forward to it, I’ve read most of the book……I’m waiting for the class to start before I begin the exercises.  For those who have not read, or even heard of the book, the subject is overcoming the obstacles in you life and within your self that limit your creativity.

Wouldn’t we all love to silence “our inner critic” once and for all!

This is the cover of my class notebook…….


This is a sorta’ self portrait, in that it sorta’ looks like me. or how I looked thirty years ago and in real life I have less nose and more chin and, just maybe, a wrinkle or two…..otherwise, it’s close!!!!

I carved the “tell your story” and the arrow stamps. Red is my favorite color, not pink, so I’m not sure where that background came from, but I managed to get a little red in there. 

So primary……red, blue and yellow……does that speak to the class and it’s subject?

Monday, September 17, 2012

New book…..hard lesson!


I love new things… books, new inspiration, new techniques, new materials, I love them all but sometimes learning something new is more than a little difficult!

This week, I received this used book I ordered from Amazon.  Most of you know I’ve been having a lovely time working on a nature journal, so I thought this book would be perfect!


This book is perfect…’s what is inside that is difficult.  Here is one example….!


Beautifully drawn, beautifully executed……..I can draw, how hard can it be? 


I’m very happy I don’t have a tutor that I have to send my work to, to be graded!  If you notice the woman who drew this received a 66%, Holy Cow!

Determined to try, I went out into the yard and picked these……….



….beautiful roses from my yard, I put them in a vase and placed them on the table where I proceeded to draw.


The photo was taken at a slightly different angle than what I was drawing from, I drew from the flowers not a photo.  I, also, was not trying for the whole bouquet.  I just wanted to draw the three flowers in the foreground.  This is a better comparison…….

PicMonkey Collage It is difficult to draw from nature and make it look free and arty…..not stiff and fussy.  This was a great exercise in “seeing”, looking for the shadows, foreshortening petals, making the centers look open and airy!  I’m not too thrilled with my composition and I over shaded the back two flowers and the perspective is off on the flower on the right.

What a lesson!  I may not be happy with what I learned by I did learn a thing or two!  One of the things I learned is… matter what, you have to practice, practice, practice!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

One of the fresh flavors of Oregon…….


In Oregon, just like other parts of the country, farmers are looking for “value added” ways to make a living, farming.  Today, we had an interesting and flavorful journey to a small farm, close to home, for a Grape Tasting!

When I think of growing grapes, at home, I think of the thick skinned, seedy Concords that our Mother’s used to make grape jelly.  Wrong!  At the Broadacres Nursery they offer over FORTY varieties and you can walk through row after row to taste test your little heart out!

IMG_3030 .

After parking, the nice ladies is this area give you a few simple directions and a list of the names of all the grapes available for tasting, along with a pencil to mark your favorites.  The idea is you can taste first…..then, of course, come back a buy a few pounds or a box full depending on your needs.

With names like Albazor, Black Emerald, Bronx Seedless, Diamond Muscat and Dr. Good……..and beautiful cluster of grapes in gorgeous colors….it isn’t that easy to choose a favorite!

A beautiful fall afternoon spent in the sunshine, tasting some of the best grapes around….and did I mention the photo op!

PicMonkey Collage

This is what fall is all about!  I hope you are enjoying your weekend. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Queen Anne’s Lace…..


Finished another page for my nature journal….this time Queen Anne’s Lace is featured.


And the flap opened… looks like this!

IMG_3000 I don’t know if you noticed my note under the words “the royal herb”, it says “written with my crow quill”.   I found a crow feather the other day, brought it home and carved a tip on it to make my own writing instrument.  I wrote the words with my quill and some India ink….now that’s getting back to nature.

Interesting what you can learn about a common weed, that grows in most parts of the U.S., with just a little trip to Wikipedia.  Actually, it is the root of this plant that has been hybridized into the crunchy root vegetable we eat in our salads, the carrot.  Hence, the name “wild carrot”, carrot is a part of its’ Latin name, too.

It has been used as a medicinal herb to treat urinary ailments and as a contraceptive.

It, also, looks similar to the very poisonous Hemlock.  Do NOT eat this plant unless you are certain you have Queen Anne’s Lace.

Another fun Queen Anne’s Lace fact is, and I had never noticed this before, but if you look closely you will see one little red flower among the white.  Some researchers say it is there to attract insects that will pollinate the plant.

Of course, there is a legend, too, and that is:  Queen Anne was an excellent lace maker and the red flower represents a drop of blood on the lace from her pricking her finger with her needle.

Play with a little watercolor, bits of paper, glue and plant material and do a little research….now that’s a good day!

I’m going to be MIA for a week or two, so I won’t be blogging for a bit but I will be reading and commenting on yours.  We are off on a short trip…..details to follow and doing a little “house-work”.  See you soon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Art Chix Art Show…….


We call ourselves the “art chix” and we get together almost every Thursday to make art, share, encourage, learn from one another and drink coffee!  This all takes place at the White Rabbit Bakery a cozy little coffee house in historic Aurora, Oregon.

IMG_2981That’s me on the left, Sheila, Thea and Margaret…..Jean had gone home by this time.  This was taken after we had hung the show….before we all looked younger, thinner and rested and our hair was combed……you believe that, right????

Any how, we did hang our artwork at the White Rabbit Saturday and it will be up through September.

Here are Sheila’s wooden houses……so cute and so much detail that doesn’t show up on the photo……..


Next, are Margaret’s landscape paintings……..


Then we have Oz, who with his wife own and operate the White Rabbit, admiring some of Thea’s great work……..


I’m showing some of my encaustics, lino prints and watercolors…..


Jean is our “famous artist” friend, who really is a professional artist and makes her living selling her art.  Her work is available at the Attic Gallery in Portland, Oregon.  This is one of her abstract paintings in the show.


So, if you are in the area, please stop by to see the show and have a cup of coffee along with your choice of a wonderful dessert.  If, you come on Thursday afternoon…. we’ll see you there!