Friday, November 29, 2013

Day after or "leftovers" day.......

Our day after Thanksgiving started cold and frosty.....

Looks like snow but it is just fog and I took my time, this morning, reading the paper and drinking my coffee while sitting in front of the warm fire in the fireplace. 

What I love most about Thanksgiving are the with me?  I remember, several years back, on the day after Thanksgiving I had to go off to work (that is life in the newspaper business) and my four teenage children picked the turkey clean.  By the time I got home there was no  cold turkey sandwich for Mom......really I've never forgotten or forgiven!!  Well, I have sort of......there are some years, now, when I forget to remind them!  Holidays are all about the memories.

Speaking of memories......I've wrapped up the "Gratitude Journal" and it will soon be wrapped and under the tree. 

I put prompts on some pages...........

And some pages I left open for the recipient to write their own meaningful thoughts and/or experience. 
Finally, I thought I would share this little idea with you.  Some of you know that I have a new Gelli Printing Plate that I've been having a great time with and I've made a BUNCH of prints.....some good, some not so much!  But, I've figured out one way to use up a few.......

I typed out this quote that I really like, cut and pasted it four times on one page.  Then I ran the Gelli prints through the printer so the quote would print on the unpainted side, cut them into lengths and I've stitched each one with a "red line of thread".  I'm giving them to friends instead of Christmas cards this year.

Enjoy your weekend.....hope you are staying warm, as there are parts of the country where it is much colder and much more miserable than it is on the west coast.  So stay safe!

Monday, November 25, 2013

They grow olives in Oregon?

You bet they do!  Surprisingly, there are several farms in Oregon that are, now, growing olives and pressing their own oil.

Saturday, Hubby and I traveled to Dayton, Oregon with our son and his wife and one of our granddaughters to visit Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms. 

In Oregon we have five mountain days, where the sky is so clear you see all five of the volcanos that surround the Willamette Valley and Saturday was one of those days and this was our view from the farm.

 In this photo you can see the rows of grapevines in the foreground.  This part of Oregon is, also, rivaling California in grape growing and wine producing.

Over to the right, you get a glimpse of our iconic, Mt. Hood in the distance.

Later, inside, we tasted three different olive oils and celebrated "Olio Nuovo".  The celebration of the first pressing of the olives.

Granddaughter Staci trying her first oil........yum-m-m-m!

Some of the goodies that were for sale.  We bought olive oil gifts for our special friends and ourselves, of course!  Great day in a beautiful setting.

Meanwhile, back to the "Gratitude" journal!  Another couple pages wrapped up.

Now, is the perfect time to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things we have to be grateful for.  Here's hoping your Thanksgiving is full of love and family and great food.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Warm heart, cold feet........

Baby, it is COLD outside......atleast for my part of the world.  The Pacific Northwest is having a rare cold spell, no snow, just low temps into the teens.  On the up side, the sun is shining brightly!

I'm still working on my "gratitude" book.  I was making it for a Christmas is getting harder and harder to part with it.  We'll see what happens when the time comes.

I'll show you a couple pages......

I guess this page is self explanatory.....get up, put your shoes on and "start each day with a grateful heart"!  I see the need to squeeze an "e" into grateful!  Darn, just noticed that.  It's O.K., I'll fix it.
On the opposing page, I'm going to suggest the recipient write, under the flap, about someone who has had a positive influence on them. 
Aren't we all grateful for desserts?  I know I am.......

Enough said!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Triple chain stitch.......

Have my book bound!  Made some mistakes since this was first time doing this binding stitch, Triple Chain Stitch, but is was easy and fast and I love the finished product.

I used the covers from a herb book and some paper/fabric for the spine and 4-ply waxed linen thread for stitching this cool design!

A peek of the cover above and the inside papers below!

The inside pages are mono prints I made on my Gelli printing plate.  I will be adding some lettering and collage....then I will have one Christmas present finished!

OOOps!  Almost forgot to give credit where credit is due.....Mary Ann Moss taught me the triple chain stitch in her on-line class, Full Tilt Boogie.  Thanks, Mary Ann, I like this stitch!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm Gellin'.........

I'm Gellin' and bookmaking!  Yep, putting some of my mono prints made on my Gelli Printing Plate to use by making them into a book.

I've printed the pages and added some embellishments, now I need to bind it all together.
 Off to construct the cover!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What an inspiring day!

Today, Hubby and I took a little trip to Salem, Oregon the Capital of Oregon and home of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.  The museum is located on the campus of Willamette University the oldest, and first, university in Oregon.

We are so fortunate to live close to the Hallie Ford because for a "smallish" town, like Salem, this is a first class art museum.

Our mission was to see the current show "Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections".  This show contains 64 object on loan from some of the most distinguished public and private collections throughout the United States.  Most of these items were unearth in the area between the Tigras and Euphrates Rivers by archeologist in the late 18th Century.

Photos were not allowed....but I did take one photo before I saw the sign, ooops!

The little fellow below is referred to as a "Foundation figure", he is a God and holds a peg that would be placed, like a cornerstone, in the corner of the building.  Found in what is now Iraq around 2090 BCE,  yes, two thousand years "Before Christ" or "Before Common Era".

This little Foundation Peg was only about 6" high with amazing detail.  This pieces was made with the "lost wax" technique and cast in bronze, I would guess.  He looks pretty good for being 4000 years old, doesn't he.

Since I couldn't take photos, I tried my hand a quick sketches....not great, but fun attempts.

This horse is a Relief Fragment from 668-627 BCE, the detail on this carving is amazing, but then, so is the harness with a bell on it and, what to me looked like, a tassel hanging from the reins. 

A Mastiff like statue from the Old Babylonian Period, 19 Century BCE.  This little guy was about 6 to 8 inches tall carved stone. 

Some of the pieces in this show are up to 8,000 years old!  Difficult to wrap my brain around since the amount of sophistication represented in each piece is so much more than I could have ever imagined.

As if this were not enough, in the museums upstairs gallery we discovered mono prints made on the Umatilla Reservation by Native artisans at The Crow's Shadow Institute.

The exhibition highlights 27 contemporary prints, created by 14 Native American artists including work by Rick Bartow and James Lavadour.  I love printmaking and these were so exciting and inspiring to see!

Wait!  There's more......another museum room features more Native American art including these paintings, quilts and baskets.

What a delicious day!  So much pure inspiration in one delightful place.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Play time.....

Been playing a lot lately.....with stamp carving:

I carved a new feather stamp and tried it out on white paper with and without a red circle, then experimented on a piece of toned paper.

Then I played with my Gelli plate......practicing mono printing:

Fun to experiment with hand cut stencils and try to design something interesting.

Then I combined collage and a mono print with a couple different hand carved stamp........

Over the weekend the sun came out and I took my camera for a walk in the park and happily discovered these little beauties............

.......mushrooms in the grass gave me some great design inspiration....stay tuned, we'll see where they lead.

I do enjoy my creative play time!  Hope you had some play time this week, too.

A salute to my favorite veteran......

In November 1950 this 18 year old Marine landed in Pusan, Korea.  He ended up at the Chosin Reservoir fighting the Chinese.  Not many people have heard of the battle at the Chosin but it was one of the coldest wars fought by American troops (the coldest was when George Washington crossed the Delaware during the Revolutionary War) then for the better part of two weeks they were trapped in weather that was 40 degrees below zero.  Remember, they had not discovered Gortex at that point in time, these guys wore wool coats, hat,  gloves (if they were lucky) and regular work boots.  Korea is often referred to as the Forgotten War.  Let us never forget what these men gave up for our freedom!

Ron was lucky!  He has some frost bite but is other wise pretty healthy and he has the pleasure of the company of some of the cutest girls around......our Granddaughters.  Here he is pictured with one, Ashley.

Last Tuesday, we spent the morning with Ash and her Dad, son Dean, at the Evergreen Air Museum in McMinnville, OR. where they were honoring veterans of all wars. Students from Ashley's school and four other high schools were in attendance to hear stories from World War II survivors of the Bataan Death March.  I've seen documentaries on TV about the Death March but to hear the first hand stories of brutality and the will to survive from these men was very powerful! 

Thank a Veteran today for his service! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Up and running.....

I've been more than a bit neglectful of my blog lately.  I've been reading other blogs, I just have not been writing for mine!  No excuses, I have been busy but aren't we all.

We did finish the Artful Journaling class that my friend and I were team teaching.  It was a good class.  My friend, Jan taught the creative writing part of the class that she loosely based on Julia Cameron's book " Vein of Gold".  This, Jan taught the art part.  The best part of teaching is always how much the teacher learns and this class was no exception. 

For our last class, we all identified some of our "secret selves".  Here is mine:

The floral background represents my "gardener self", the red pants, red shoes and colorful popsicles, let's see, that could be my "artist self", "outgoing self", "unconformity self" and the model is standing on a stack of newspapers, obviously since I spent 25 years in the newspaper business that's "my career self".  The cool junky jewelry?  More of my prefers "unique to flashy self".
This was a fun exercise.  Just quickly go through some magazines and tear out photos that appeal to you....for any reason.  Wait a day or two, go through you pictures and sort out the ones you still really like.....trim them out, arrange them artfully, glue them on to card stock and I'll bet everyone you know will say that is a collage that looks just like you!  Have fun.