"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, January 31, 2016

Week Four

The Artful Joyful Me Project finished up this week....and despite a few frustrations....it was a good thing for me.  It provided a structure for deliberate and mindful coloring, doodling, and painting, and I enjoyed the conversation with some interesting women.  

Here is what I learned...or relearned:

Use a light hand with colored pencil and water color...it's better to layer, leave some white and light spaces, always blend starting with the lightest color, keep your pencils sharp, don't push the paint into the paper...let the water work for you, less is more...but sometimes more is better, always make it your own...and try and take 10 minutes a day to put a little color somewhere.

I wasn't especially drawn to some of the images we were assigned to color....but I always followed it up with choosing images from my own coloring books...or my own doodles...and I always played with the images digitally. All of it was fun and worthwhile. 

The final week was to color this last image provided by the facilitator.  Once we were finished we were encouraged to scan or copy the image and remake it into something else.  

Like I mentioned in a previous post....I had the image sitting on my dining room table all week...and I just kept adding and adding...and per usual went a little over the top.  It was a good diversion during a "cleaning" week.

My "remake" project is a birthday card for my sister...her birthday is on Valentine's Day. In the center is a little needle punched heart I did a while back.  Hmmmm....I don't think I've ever talked about needle punch.  Yes, another hobby you'll hear about at some point.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Am An Artist!

That's what I need to keep saying to myself.

I took a quick peak at the "Folt Bolt" site this afternoon....scrolled down...and there was a lovely collage in blues and greens of some the January show and tell images. And low and behold...down there in the left corner was my silly little vase of flowers collage. Coming up in February....there will be a new color scheme and theme.

Just over a year ago....November 2014...Dr. Adams, my chiropractor expressed interested in my shared art and journaling.  So I loaded up my big LL Bean canvas tote and had a little show and tell of my own in her office. We had a great conversation...and she was inspired to start some sort of shared project with her daughter and a friend.

Well...I went back a few days ago for an appointment...14 months later.  Dr. Adams was happy to share with me that for the past year she and her daughter and friend have been doing just that...trading back and forth journals. And now she is starting a new one with someone else. I was more than thrilled! And, I was happy to share with her that for the past year I have been blogging...sharing my creative projects and adventures...and loving it.  Although I had thought about a blog...and was encouraged by my friend Becky.... I believe that interaction with Dr. Adams gave me the confidence to actually start.

Well...here's where the "I am an artist" mantra comes in.  Dr. Adams uses her waiting room as a little art gallery and she invites local artists to display their work for a month. She asked me if I would have a display in March.  Yikes!  What could I possibly show?  I have a million things in my head...but really?  It's not the right time!  She wouldn't take no for an answer...saying she wanted to "push" me. We agreed on April...so I guess it's time to get a few of those things out of my head and onto her walls. Yowser!

I AM AN ARTIST!  Really?

Joyful Celebrating!

I have kept my little forest up in the corner of my kitchen....and it still makes me smile!

We had a house full of people last night for a party....there was an abundance of laughter and joyful celebrating! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Joyful Paul

As Paul settled in for the evening he said...."There's something really joyful about starting a 700 page history book."  The Great Upheaval; America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800

Go for it Paul!  Whatever brings you joy!

Speaking of joyful...these photos are from a colleague of Paul's who attended the same class in St. Petersburg. I thought they were stunning. Thanks Geordie!

10 Minutes A Day

It's the last week of the "Artful Joyful Me Project." Eliza encourages us to try and take at least 10 minutes a day to do something creative...but that's usually not a problem for me. I have to be encouraged to take 10 minutes a day for other things like cleaning and getting my taxes ready. But this week I'm getting ready for a big party at our house on Friday. I have this weeks class assignment sitting on my dining room table and I am taking at least 10 minutes a day to color and paint....and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Over Four Pounds....

....of fun!  Ellen opened her box of goodies today and sent me this picture. It really is a crazy hodgepodge of stuff....but she'll put it to good use.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Post Card Exchange

Ellen and I are going to exchange art postcards sometime in February....and my mind is already spinning with ideas. I smiled when this image came across my Pinterest feed a fews days ago...good timing!

The New Yorker cover image links back to an art print website.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Coloring Connection

One of my biggest blog fans is Margie, my mother-in-law.  Days and days go by when she doesn't turn on her computer (I love that about her)...but when she does she catches up on the blog and is always interested and appreciative. That alone makes it worthwhile for me.

Today I got a sweet card in the mail from Margie. She knew I would like the actual card....and yes...I love the textural squares and earthy colors. Parts of it may show up in some of my collages when I have the heart to cut it up. She also shared that she discovered a coloring book she bought from a Shaker village she and Dave visited years ago. After she found it she went out and bought herself a new pack of colored pencils and has started coloring. Now we have a coloring connection! I LOVE IT!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Doodle Week

This is the end of week 3 of the Artful Joyful Me Project and it was doodle week. Once again the facilitator sent us one of her images to doodle and we could add color if we wanted to. I did complete the assignment but wan't that happy with the outcome....but that's OK...because it got me doodling and that's a good thing. 

Here are my other doodles for the week....the second one you may have seen a few days ago. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Little Distance

This afternoon I pinned the fabric I had picked for Paul's stole up on my board. (a piece of rigid insulation)  It allowed me to stand back and look at the scheme...see what I liked...what I didn't...and what was missing. It also gave me a sense of how wide the strips needed to be to get the length I needed.

I discovered that it still felt muted...even with the solids I added in from the last stole post. It would be a great scheme for my living room...but not for the celebration stole.  And the symbol for Pentecost is fire!

It was lacking yellows and greens (true greens)...and had too many dark muddy colors. I pulled out several of the strips I didn't like....and went back to my stash and chose some brighter ones.

I'm certain that it's better....but I'll live with it a few days and keep tweaking. There's nothing like a little distance.

Here they are side by side. It's getting there but I can already see a few things I will change and tweak....and colors I'll look for in my stash.


....of a doodle.

I have been under the weather with a cold for several days.  I was tired last night...and didn't post anything because I didn't think I had anything to share. I came down stairs this morning and saw the doodle on the table that I had been working on....and played around with it digitally. I guess I did have something to share.

This was "doodle week" in the online group I have been participating in. I had this doodle going over several days...sitting down to color one shape at a time for 5 or 10 minutes here and there with colored pencil.  Here is the evolution of my doodle....with some gaps in the middle because I forgot to take pictures.



I took a photo of the final doodle and...along with another one of my photographs moved them into a "Pages" document. Then I just played.

One day at time...one doodle at a time.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Color is Red!

Quite some time ago Paul asked me to make him a new red stole...so that's my new sewing project. I was inspired by this one I found on Pinterest done by Jeff Wunro.

In case you don't know...Paul is a minister and wears a stole with his liturgical robe. There are different colors for each church season and red is the color for Pentecost, ordinations, and celebrations.

Like the inspiration...I wanted the top of the stole to be the red end of the color spectrum....and the lower part to gradate into the rest of the rainbow.  And, like the inspiration, I want to frame it in red.

I searched my fabrics...and was drawn to the batiks left over from the quilt Joan and I made for the rainbow banner on the welcome wall at church. I laid them out on my table along with some of my own.  The colors were beautiful...but I needed to punch it up so I added in some brighter solids. This red stole needs to be bright and splashy.

Now I need to figure out exactly how I'm going to tackle it. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Getting Ready....

...to sew!

A little preview of a project that has been in my "dreaming" pile for quite some time.

Less dreaming...more doing!


I was cleaning off my computer desk top this morning of dozens of screen shots that caught my eye...I had to share this one.  It's a "Story of the Day" that came in my e-mail feed several weeks ago.

"The most important thing you leave behind is the stuff that turns into treasures when children find them....stuff that'll be worth something someday when people's priorities change."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


...my stuff.

My first box of goodies will head to Wisconsin soon for my friend Ellen. She had some special requests like fibers for weaving and glittery Christmas cards. And, she's getting back into collaging and altered books so also wanted anything that might work for that.

I threw in an empty purple mesh potato sack. Kind of funny...but knowing Ellen, she'll use it for something.

I posted about them before but here are some of Ellen's blingy inchies. You can see that she can use just about anything! I'm going to squeeze as much as I can into a flat rate box....so more shopping tomorrow.

Next...I'll be working on a box for Dana and Leighton.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Splash of Color...

....in an unusual place.

I was under the weather today....but while I was laying low I looked back at my photos from Florida. I forgot I took this one of a little splash of color on the beach...a poinsettia petal of all things!

There were some planters on the property 
with some pretty sad poinsettia’s….but still…not your typical beach find!

As I was walking I did see several businesses that were also using poinsettia's as part of their landscaping...you just don't see that up north!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sharing My Stuff!

I once heard the startling statistic that we use 20% of our stuff....and we just store the rest. Yikes! I think that might be somewhat true for me. Furthermore, I have recently come to the conclusion that my abundance of art and craft supplies is actually getting in the way of my creativity. I need to make room literally and figuratively in my creative spaces....so I'm going to share!

I have spent much of my life accumulating all this really cool stuff. Because I see potential in almost everything...I pick things up here and there....take things that people are getting rid of...and save bits and scraps of this and that. I have too much stuff! I'm going to turn this problem into an opportunity and start joyfully giving things away. Don't get me wrong...I'm not getting rid of everything because I will always be crafting, sewing, and making art....but I need to lighten the load. 
I have paper...lots and lots of paper....scrapbook paper, decorative computer paper, specialty paper, card stock, drawing paper, tissue, glitter, wire, beads, pipe cleaners, fabric, new and used Christmas and greeting cards, old calendars, yarns, strings, misc jewelry making supplies, and who knows what else! 
What projects are you working on? What are you looking for that might help? Would you like a box of goodies for a project...or just for your stash?  If I have what you need I will share.  My only request is you tell me...or better yet...show me what you do with it. (and I wouldn't turn down postage) And, only if it's OK with you I will share it here on the blog. I am always inspired by the creativity of others.  
It's going to be fun sharing my stuff!

Those of you who know me can contact me directly.  Those of you who don't can contact me using the contact form along the side of the blog.


A quick note about comments: I just found out that comments made by a friend of mine from her iPad did not post on the blog.  The ones she makes on her computer come through just fine...but I have no idea why the iPad ones don't.  I love comments and welcome feedback. If I don't respond...it's because I didn't get it.  The e-mail contact form on the side of the blog is another way to contact me. Thanks!

This is a little yarn doodle in one of my shared art journals.

"I rarely end up where I was intending to go....but I often end up somewhere I needed to be."  Douglas Adams

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Punch It Up!

It's good to be back home...I didn't even mind the light snow today. In the middle of the laundry and mail sorting I took some time to do a little project.

Week two of the "Artful Joyful Me Project" was to experiment with watercolors....which I did while I was in Florida. I enjoyed painting...but I wasn't too happy with my outcome. So today I did what I often do with my art I'm not happy with...I punched it up into squares. I used a black sharpie to trace around each square giving it a little border.

I liked my little watercolor rabbit so I cut him out too....and chose nine squares to frame up in this simple little 4 inch frame.

Because I like the idea so much I got on a roll and 
punched up and framed week one too.

I might even do the same thing with the next two assignments....but I'll wait and see.  These will be fun in my craft room to remind me to not be afraid to try something new.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gulf Coast Collection

It's our last night in St. Petersburg...and Paul and I just got back from a lovely after dark beach walk. It's been a great get-a-way for me...and a worthwhile class for Paul...but it's time to go home.

Beach combing is one of my favorite things to do...and living much of my adult life on the coast of Maine has made that pretty easy. This week I enjoyed seeing what the Gulf Coast had to offer...and here's what I picked up to take home.

I have always loved these translucent shells....I think they're called jingle shells.
And for some reason I'm drawn to odd little "non beach" things that I come across. This little pink bead is on a stiff wire...and I have no idea what it might be from. And these two little strips of blue paper caught my eye. Silly? Probably. 

I already have a little collection of unusual beach finds in Maine...and until this last summer had them displayed on the ledge going down to the basement as you came in the garage door. I cleaned it up last spring when we had the house on the market but I think it's time for them to fine their way back to the ledge. My two new Florida things will fit right in.  

I know the wood is a little expected....but these pieces are unusual.  I am particularly fond of the super hero leg and the scrabble letter "E."  And who doesn't love a purple crayon?  I know Harold does......