Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm back!

Last week, on Wednesday, Marge and I left for a calligraphy workshop in Lincoln Park.  I thought I'd have time to make a post before I left but "life" got busy that day and off I went, like running away!  So I'm back!  We came back last night (Sunday) at dinnertime.  The workshop was at the Cenacle on Fullerton Parkway and what a lovely place it is!  Like it says on their brochure, "In the midst of the city...a quiet and peace-filled place".  This was one view out our windows; the parking lot, but I loved the little church across the street.  Now to unpack...

Monday, January 24, 2011

A fun project

Yesterday, met with a little group of collagers and we did some stenciling/masking by cutting out images that we found and I did the stenciling procedure I guess, by using them as a pattern and cutting them out of printed paper.  I wasn't able to stay for the day so did not bring my entire bag of supplies, but I do want to add some textured tissue on top of these background papers to make the bird stand out.  Can you see him?  I love that wrapping paper for giving the suggestion of an eye.

Here's a different bird.  Maybe I need to find a bigger "G"?  oh-oh.  I love the "randsom note" letters though, and I liked that yellow one.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday's Quilting

Here is my birdhouse wallhanging that I am working on.  Last Monday, I was going to stop at the fabric store, after my afternoon class, to buy new fabric for this project that we were starting on Wednesday.  The freezing rain forecast had begun by the time I was on my way and so I thought, no, I better just get home.  Wanting to get started the next morning, I searched my stash and found some pieces and even scraps that i think are quite good and kind of whimsical for these birdhouses.  Actually, the striped roof matches the pillowcases that I made for Danielle's bedroom here, and so will go quite nicely when I hang it in that room.  Love this - making things out of stuff that I already have!  It's like collage!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wolf Moon

The January Full Moon occurred last night and is called the Wolf Moon, getting it's name from the wolf packs that howled hungrily outside Indian villages.  I could almost hear them, and almost see their heads lifted up toward this moon, when I looked out my window last night.  Isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

and the classes go on...

 Monday was Calligraphy and we are practicing Bookhand. 

 We also had some fun doing "sink art" with Sumi ink.

 Interesting patterns.
 Fun to do!

Tuesday was poetry and today is my Collage class.  Here is how my collage is coming along.  I have decided to go with the theme of  "Winter Wind". 

And usually thinking poetry, I love the haiku by Basho.

Winter solitude
In a world of one color
The sound of the wind.

In my collage, the neutral light brown washes are the color that he speaks of, and the blue is the sound of the wind.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My funny valentine...

Henri went to the beauty shop today and came home in a cute pink valentine bandanna.  Oh Henri!  He's tired just thinking about it.

And yesterday, Danielle was putting finishing touches on her valentines that she is making.  Glitzy hearts, of course!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

the January Blues

Here is the finished square.  I think I arranged the four smaller squares differently than the choices I had shown below.  Now I'm ready for February.  Red?

Ending the week

It was Thursday's art class and I decided I wanted to paint, so here is the sketch that I started to prepare for the painting.  I know you can't see it very well, but now I feel committed to go on with it.

 And back to Wednesday afternoon in quilting class, we will be doing a birdhouse wall hanging and I will get the fabric for that this week, but I wanted to do this "string quilt" square that I had started.  I got the idea from  who is participating in the "2011 Rainbow Scrap Challenge" with  .  I decided I am just going to go along with them to try this out.  Maybe participate next time.  But what fun!  A different color theme for each month.  January is Blue.
 So anyway, I have made four string quilt squares and now am deciding how to put them together.

 Which way do I like best?

 Maybe this one?

 And I also received some more exciting mail!  Look at this pretty envelope from Marge D. 

 What a neat idea, recycling colorful travel papers!

All folded up into a mailing envelope.  This is the back.  Another treasure!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

and Wednesday's class...

The first class of this session and we are going to experiment with backgrounds.   With the peeled paper background, we started with taping off a border on our watercolor paper and then applying a page of telephone book paper onto it with matte medium.  While the medium is still damp, you apply masking tape, burnish and pull it off, side to side, to reveal areas underneath.  Most times you can see the printing that is on the other side of the paper and so it's an interesting effect.    Then we painted over with an acrylic wash in the color of our choice.
 When that dried, we added a second color, both complimenting the theme we had in mind.  Now we will paint over the entire surface with polymer medium as that is what we will be working with this time.

While that was drying, we went on to create some "serendipity" paper by using up all the little scraps we have saved and sometimes ripping more.

After they were all glued down with medium to a blank piece of paper, we added a wash over all, the same as one of the colors we used to cover our background.  Later, the serendipity papers will be cut or torn to use in our collages.

 A glance at Peggy's papers at one of the busy tables!

 Here are some of the samples of the backgrounds that my gals did.  Mary Ann chose pretty purple!  What's that song?  "as heavenly shadows's twilight la la" 

 and serendipity paper to match, ready for it's coat of polymer.

 Sandy's beautiful washy washes of blue and purple...

 and Bernie's blue...
 Here, Denise used pages of her own journaling for her background.  Nice.....those words that will be hidden below.
And interesting serendipity paper!  I will continue to show you the progression of these interesting pieces.

Back in the swing...

 Tuesday was book club at Lorraine's.  The snow continued to come down all morning during our discussion but it was so relaxing looking out her window at the evergreens and the birds flying through the winter landscape.  So pretty.

 We warmed up with coffee...

and yummy goodies! 

Our book to read this time was "The Shadow Catcher", but we had to say we would have to agree with some of the reviews.  "...despite it's many majesties, The Shadow Catcher offers a few too many elements that we would just as soon forget."  "It's a familiar American theme that Wiggins tries to investigate, but her legend vs. fact struggle bogs her down."

  I'm sorry....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mail...I've got mail!

 An absolutely beautiful envelope came in the mail.  Lisa Holtzman sent me one of her lovely little accordian books.  The whole package is a treasure.  The envelope and the wonderful little book.  You can look at her superb art and calligraphy at and  . 

 The book was tied so pretty that I didn't want to open it, but I knew there was a message inside and, of course, that is what a book is open...

"It is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed."  Vida Scudder
I love this little book, I'm honored to receive it, and I will find a special place to showcase it. 

 I love mail!  Brings to mind a television program that was on, years ago when I was young, and the song they would sing at one segment about getting mail and and then opening letters or questions from viewers.  A memory that's in the back of my mind somewhere.  This is an adorable artsy envelope that I received from my friend, Carolyn.  I love the little house!

 And these little snow people.  Are they waiting by their mailbox?

 This one says "me too"!
 And now it's time to put away all the lovely Christmas cards that I received this year. 

 There's lots of other pretty cards, but these are mostly the "handmade" ones.

I am determined to start putting them all in a book.  Books!  I have saved all of these little pieces of art for as many years as I have been receiving them.  They're priceless!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Friday, January 7, 2011

Paper, paper, paper

 Today, I spent the day sorting three boxes of collage papers putting them in their correct boxes according to color families.  Red, pink, orange.

 Off white, tan, brown, gold.     White, gray, black.

 Greens.     Blue, purple.

And tonight I go out for dinner with club, so I made these checkbook covers for the "girls".  Everyone can use a new checkbook cover once in a while.