"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Shades of Blue

I actually love a rainy day. We really needed it....and boy did we get it.

I finally got to some of the inside chores that were desperate for my attention butI did take a little time...

...and started the crazy color puzzle. Once I got into my groove it actually moved right along.  It's still going to be challenging...but I think I'm going to like it.  I generally really use the picture on the box....but not on this one. It's all about the gradation of color....it's a whole different ball game.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Before There Was Pinterest...

...I collected images the old fashioned way.

I recently posted about my love for images...and it goes way back.  My sister Angie used to collect images and ideas from magazines and put them in photo albums and sketch books and every time I visited I would go through them over and over.  Then I started my own image journals...inspired by my sister Angie...and the concept of an "illustrated discovery journal" by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance. Sarah encourages you to collect images that speak to you....looking for colors combinations and styles that catch your eye.
This was my first image journal way back in 1996.

If you give me a magazine I hope you don't want it back....because I'm going to rip it up.  If something catches my eye...out it comes.  The pages sit in a pile for a while....then I spend an evening cutting things out...and they sit again.  Finally they get pasted in my books...mostly by theme or color.  I actually like all the steps.

Yes....I have a few books and enough ripped pages to do it all over again. Because of this post...I put my feet up and went through the books again.  Some of my tastes have changed but most have not.  

There's lots of color...especially blues and greens, and blue and white. There are pops of red and seasonal colors like orange as well as seasonal decorating. There are things that are stacked and things that are collected. There's lots of kitchens and collage walls, kids and crafts,...and oddly enough hands and feet...and it all brings me joy.  What brings you joy?

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Real Treasure!

I recently acquired one of the most beautiful handmade accordion books I have ever seen. It was made by my friend Jeanne Paradise...known to us as Muffy.  She is an exceptional artist and teacher and is the one who taught me the basics of book binding. As I mentioned before she has an amazing collection of handmade journals and sketchbooks...I could sit at her kitchen table for hours looking through them again and again always finding something new.

Muffy kept a nature journal in 2000 with beautiful illustrations and lovely captions and narration. The originals were done in a large sketchbook and are individually framed lining a whole wall of her studio in her home.  They are breathtaking.  She has reduced the images down to make this lovely book...which is about 5 x 7.  

I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

All I can say it wow!  What a treasure!

I'm a huge fan Muffy...you are an inspiration to me!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Here They Are!

This is the companion page for my last post with the pinwheels....and here's where the little bling stickers landed.

This page was inspired by strip quilts I had seen on Pinterest....photos below.

Ellen had given me a box of colored light diffusers a while back from her son,  a professional lighting expert. They are about the size of a label and came in a huge spectrum of colors.  I overlapped them to get some variation in color and stitched them into strips of papers to mimic the quits.

So..."what if being happy is easier than you thought!"

The inspiration pins:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Like Minds!

I have written about the art journals I've traded back and forth with Ellen many times...and one might think I am nearly at the end of it....but here I go again.

While we were working on the Pinterst journals both Ellen and I were inspired by this pin at the same time.

Like Minds!

I punched circles from textured card stock, cut them into quarters, and arranged them into the pinwheels.  I mounted them on punched squares and added the little bling sticker in the middle. 

You can see that I lost a few stickers.

Here is Ellen's page.  I expect she used the same process starting with circles....and I think she used paint chips...but I'm not sure.  I really like the rainbow gradation.  

We joke about the fact that I tend to be very precise and orderly with my art and she is a little more free flowing and loose. Ellen says here that this is her attempt at MA precision.

One of my favorite Ellen lines is "I throw a lot of stuff at the page and sees what sticks."  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Splash of Color

I sorted the colors in this crazy puzzle from Anita and Janet! There are quite a few green pieces...and hardly any in the picture on the box....just a little splash along the side....hmmmm.

I have been crazy busy lately....but I think starting this puzzle will be good for me.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Coastal Printers Drawer

I have a small printer's drawer over the mantle in Maine.  I filled it with little beachy things and chose three pictures of some of my favorite Maine spots for the background: Portland Head Light, The Bug Light, and the middle of Casco Bay on the Hallett's sailboat.
I cut each picture to fit into two little cubbies....and coated them with matte medium to knock down the gloss.                                                                                  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Urn

The urn at church is planted. It will look better once things fill in...but I think it will be fine.  

You never know.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

It Sprouted!

Linda and I have been planting this urn and the pots in front of the church for several years.  Every year we try something different....some years are better than others.


This last fall we wanted tall birch branches and greens for the winter and my friend Patsy helped me cut some from her property in Maine.  We loved the wild small branches that were hanging off the birch...we were pretty happy with the result.

This spring we pulled out the greens and (fake) berries....which was a task because they were frozen under the snow and ice until almost Easter...and put in some fake forsythia.

It was time to clean out and plant the urn for the summer....and much to my delight I found that the birch had sprouted! I couldn't believe it.  It made my day! Somewhere inside that limb cut last fall....7 months ago...there was enough life to produce a sprout.

I think there's a sermon in that!

Stay tuned for the new plantings...to be done soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Oasis In The City...

...one of the Twin Cities that is.

A while back I shared  these awesome trellises as a splash of color in my sister Nancy and her husband Craig's back yard.  They have a cozy city lot in Minneapolis and have created an amazing oasis.

I took these photos several years ago....it's time for anther visit because I'm sure it has changed.
Nancy and Craig love to host parties...and their backyard is like and outdoor room. My guess is the vines have covered the pergola by now. It's such a cozy place to sit.

Most of their trees bear fruit much of what they grow is edible. Nancy is a master gardener...she really knows what she's doing!

I don't think there is any grass in the backyard....just vegetable and flower beds and awesome stone and brickwork.

I love the hardscaping....the mix of stone and brick.
This is the cozy path between them and the neighbor.
I snuck this photo off Craig's Facebook page.  Along the other side of the house Craig suspended these beautiful trellises.  Nancy plants kiwi vines that grows up the trellis and provides privacy from the close neighbor.               
Craig had to cut down a dead birch in the front....but not all the way....he used the branches for supports into the trunk to hold a birdbath....pretty clever.  It's at the front of the house and you can see it peeking in the photo below.  
I absolutely love the old brick and stone edging combo.  Isn't this a welcoming entrance?                                                      I have to mention that one of the best compliments I have even gotten came from Craig.  While I was visiting one time I was just in awe of all the creative and artful things he comes up with...inside and out.  I said "I need one of you".....and he replied..."I thought you were one of me."