Friday, April 26, 2013

What do you suppose the story was......


In my new journal, I am attempting to tell "my" story and stories about my family. 

Here is one of those stories........

My mother passed away, at age 94, in 1998.  Like her mother, she was an accomplished seamstress and quilt maker.  Needless to say, she had accumulated a lot of fabric, thread and sewing accessories over the years.  As her only child, it has been my job to sort and pass on what I could of her "stash" but some things have been too precious to part with.

This red top is one of them.......



I think it is the bodice of a dress with one sleeve sewn in!  Notice the deep pleats, both the back and front panels have pleats and the sleeve is long and narrow with fullness at the shoulder.  I picture the finished dress having a tailored straight skirt.

I think the fabric is rayon and it is, still, a beautiful shade of red.







This is the back of the bodice.

Below you can see the fine, hand stitching that holds it all together.  It is not machine stitched, she was doing all of this by hand in what I think was the early 1930s.






My parents met in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1933 and were married in 1934.

I think this dress must have had special meaning to my Mother since she held on to it for so many years!  It was not like her to leave a project unfinished or to hold on to something that wasn't finished or useful.

For the purposes of journaling.....I've made up a little story about her unfinished "dream". 

I'm told my parents met at a card party around Christmas time, so maybe, she had started to make this dress for the holidays and fate intervened and she met this handsome, young man and fell madly in love. (My Mother would hate it, if I described her as "falling madly in love" she was far too practical for such things!)

So, as my story goes, the dress project was set aside and the courtship began.  They were married not too long after and began their life together.  I was born, they moved to Oregon and back to South Dakota a couple times before settling in Portland.....the unfinished red dress traveling with them. 


I don't really know, she never showed me this dress when she was alive or mentioned it.  It just seems to me it must have meant something special to her!  She had saved some scraps from a maternity dress she made when she was carrying me but they were in a plastic bag with a note attached.  The red bodice sat alone.....waiting.

This is my journal page.................













The real story behind this lovely red bodice will never be known but......I'll hang on to it, too!  I only hope one of my children remembers its history and keeps Grandma's dream alive.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Livin' the dream......


It has been a dream of mine to take a Mary Ann Moss class for YEARS.....well, at least two, maybe three years.  The stars aligned, I had some time and the classes went on SALE and it does not get any better than that!  I signed up.

So, last weekend I started exploring my freshly, downloaded class aptly named "Full Tilt Boogie".  The name alone makes you want to take the class!  I'm an avid fan of Mary Ann's journal making style and have so wanted to learn some of her methods.  I wanted to learn more about bookbinding I'm off and running.




Here is my journal binding, a la Mary Ann!












The opening pages of the book......








.......BEFORE and








AFTER, I journaled on the page with the strawberries and apples!

I'm the one wearing the heart, my sister is in the back and the two boys were family friends.

"Those were the days, my friend!" relates to the journaling above the photo.......






it reads:  "Do you remember when they told you to face the sun and smile, then they took your picture?".

I love this picture!

I have a few more pages ready for journaling, here's a peek....






















So far, this has been one fun journal to work in and it has been very inspiring, I don't really want to do anything else like....make the bed or sweep the floor (really, I never want to do that stuff).  I just want to rummage through old paper, cut, paste....repeat!


You can see I've used pages of different sizes, different types of scrapbook papers, wall paper, hand painted paper, old posters, magazine ads, newspaper and added tape, photos and post card.....all held together with glue, staples, thread and "luck"!

I am truly "Living the Dream"!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Show time.....


I've been busy making some things for a small art show I'm going to be a part of next month.

Some collages........


and some note cards...........


and a few sketchbooks!



It's me and the Art Chix in Aurora, at the bakery, through the month of May.  Come check out the show and have a tasty pastry and a good cup of coffee!  Maybe, I'll see you there.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013



Sometimes, simple is just better!

I've been teaching a stamp carving class for the past few months along with a friend.  We have taught our students how to carve several stamps and given them some techniques for using the stamps and they have learned and so have we.

However for our final class we are going back to "basics" and teaching them how much fun "simple" can be.

I started by cutting these shapes using Speedball Easy-Karve.............


By combining these basic shapes you can get a wide variety of stamps.........







Simple shapes with just two colors.












Even simpler.............................................






Same six stamps....just arranged differently. 

Finally, I stamped a piece of muslin.  I do not have fabric paints but I just wanted to try StazOn to see how it would work.  It came out light and would not be washable but would make a cute patch for a pillow or a small potpourri bag.




Really! How often I seem to forget that EVERYTHING is, only, made up of a series of shapes!

This would make a fun kids project.  The shapes are easy to cut, you could just use foam or a recycled Styrofoam tray or a potato for that matter. 

Have fun!

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's Spring.........


Tulips are blooming!

















The lilacs are budding!












The cherries are blossoming!












and I'm sketching..............









...and there are subjects for sketching every where!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A gelli plate of my own......


Last weekend I made my own gelatin plate for mono-printing.  Easy Peasy.......four envelopes of plain gelatin that cost about four dollars and four cups of water then refrigerated for two or three hours and you've just made a "gelli-plate"!


I experimented a bit with acrylic craft paint and stencils and got these results.......






















The first papers I printed were very random designs and I tried printing watercolor paper, dried out baby wipe and Rice paper.  I really like the baby wipes best, lots of cool texture on the wipe itself.


So, I tried something more controlled...just three blocks of paint on watercolor paper.







After the paint dried I stamped two of the blocks with my hand carved stamps and drew on the third block....each time I learn a little more.

The gelatin plate is holding up just fine and should for a couple weeks.

I have a pretty short attention span, so I'll make some more prints and be ready to move on to something else so, making my own plate is not only cost effective but practical.  It was very easy to make the plate should  I want to do more prints at another time. 

However, if you are going to print a lot of your own papers buying the commercial Gelli plate would be a good deal.  Which ever way you is a blast.

Today I am linking to Julie Balzer's Art Journal Everyday Click here because I stalk her and she inspires me (kidding about the stalking part, not the inspiration part)!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The perfect day for a stroll in the sunshine......


Easter Sunday was a beautiful Spring day in Oregon, sunny and 75 hubby and I took Jack dog for a stroll in a nearby Champoeg State Park.  The park is located on the Willamette River about 10 miles from our home and has great walking trails, bike paths and picnic areas. 

At the last minute I grabbed my sketchbook ( but forgot the camera) and we were off.

We explored the trail along the river and then sat for a bit so I could sketch and Jack could sniff.......


There were lots of families at the park enjoying the sunny day but it was not crowded.  The wildflowers were blooming every where along the paths and in the meadows.


IMG_3901I took a photo of this sketch of a Trillium that I drew and then played with it on PicMonkey, a free photo manipulation download.  I liked the high contrast, contemporary look I gave it by playing with the contrast.

IMG_3900 No major adjustments to this photo but I wish I could have preserved to exact color of this Salmonberry flower, gorgeous!

IMG_3904Using my sketchbook to preserve some of the wonders of spring.....there were Violets Trillium and Johnny Jump Ups blooming everywhere, such a happy sight!


A quick sketch of a monument that marks the spot where the early Northwest Territory settlers voted to make Oregon, Washington and California a part of the America instead of England.  It was a close vote, many of the local residents were former French fur trappers and they felt the American's were too aggressive so they wanted the territory to remain in British hands. There is a lot of interesting history in this area, this is a small piece.

So, this is how we spent Easter afternoon and, also, the beginnings of a new sketchbook for me that I hope to take it along on more outdoor adventures this year!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Art date......


A perfect example of an art date referred to in Julia Cameron's book The Artist Way, was yesterday, when my art friends and I visited Art Elements Gallery in Newberg, Oregon.



























I was so busy viewing and appreciating the art that I did not take many photos but it was an inspirational and fun trip!  I really like this gallery that represent, primarily, local artists.

Then, today, I started my live model drawing class.......too much fun!





IMG_3913 IMG_3911



"Fast, sketchy and loose" describes the drawing technique, not the girl! 

Trying to draw what you see is a challenge with a live model but a wonderful learning experience.  We have one more class next week, I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Let's get growing.....


The radishes are up.......


The Sweet Peas are up and I'm doing battle with the slugs........

IMG_3898 So far, I've defend these guys against the dreaded "slugfest".

And looking on,  this lovely from my journal pages.........


Been a good week of sunshine but it's coming to an end....Spring is like that!