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Thursday, May 31, 2007

We are having a BLUE MOON today.......

our second full moon this month. I thought it might be fun to see what "blue moon" websites caught my interest.....

Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Blue Moon Guest House

Greetings from the Seaside.......

[Not true...sorry...... , I am only remembering our family vacation to the seacoast!]

One year ago today....we were at the seashore! As it is quite a drive from my home, and requires lots of planning to pull off, I feel that visiting again in my memories and photo albums is a good thing!
We drove from Atlanta, with our daughter's family to Savannah and Tybee Island.

This is the very beachy (and very PINK!) cottage where we stayed.
It had a lovely screened porch and inside, lots of sea themed crafts and paintings by local artists.....(I still want to paint some more "sea" or seaside scenes...!)

An important part of a good vacation is reading about the area....of course the most entertaining way is to read good "chick lit" , so I read "Savannah Blues"and later "Savannah Breeze" (and "Blue Christmas") by Mary Kay Andrews!
(Here we are reading in some "Tybee shade"!)


This year, my own screened porch beckons me....

It is a lovely spot when the temperatures are mild....lots of birdsong and leafy green!

The faux brick floor was painted quite a few years ago using a large sponge and a cake pan of acrylic paints in "brick" and "moss" colors....all on top of a gray porch paint....finished with satin polyurethane.

Outside, we have a wonderful show being put on by our one rose bush!
This is a David Austen rose, "Gertrude Jekyll". It is fragrant and pink and once a year (usually earlier, around Mother's Day) it bursts into bloom!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

See what a difference a little color makes!

I wanted to see the design without the color so I took it out with Photoshop.....

I am sewing blocks for my next quilt...this one will probably be afghan or "nap" size, I have a lot of lovely large scale prints....many are from Kaffe Fassett.

So, back to the sewing machine....I usually work in silence with just the birds singing outside the open window....I hope you are all having a lovely day too!

Monday, May 28, 2007

I found this photo in my files a few days ago....and I've been using it as a screen saver.

This was 3 years ago.....

I think I need to have my granddaughter come again....she was here for Christmas and Thanksgiving...but I miss sitting with her near the garden...sigh!

We took a yearly photo here on this bench for quite a few years (from when she was an infant), and now this needs an update....

Just some thoughts from a grandmother....

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's a quilting day for me!

Yesterday, I received this painting from folk artist Jessie Lavon. I love her work!

Jessie comes from a family of quilters...her love and knowledge of quilts really shows in this scene! I am so lucky to now own this! You can visit Jessie today at Purple Cucumbers Folk Art.

I am taking up the needle again and quilting in a hoop. This is a small wall quilt...under 36" is made from my stash of quilting fabrics...including many from designer Kaffe Fassett. The front of the quilt is a "brick" pattern. However, I am quilting it from the reverse side, following the design of the extremely large floral print! This is so much easier than trying to mark a design and more interesting than just outline quilting each "brick"!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Donovan - The Lovely Day - from Brother Sun, Sister Moon

This is from one of our all-time favorite Franco Zeffirelli. Who wouldn't love to be in a field of poppies in Tuscany in May?

Now on with my day...I have over-ripe bananas and lots of very ripe strawberries...and time to bake sooo.... Strawberry Banana Bread coming up!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

5/23/07 This is a photo of a painting which I OWN..I did NOT paint this!!!!

This 40"X 50" painting hangs in my living room and is by one of my art professors...Ed Martin who has just retired (this month!) from teaching.
The title/ theme of this painting is "Leda" from Greek mythology....the swan is actually
Zeus in can read the story here.

I am considering doing a painting of a woman holding a swan....I'll let you know how it goes....(no, do not expect the erotic!)

(I added the above on Wednesday morning...below is the Tuesday post...)

I’m trying a new technique for writing a post.....using Word first then copying to Blogger.

It is a new world for me as I find my way around here.....I am also researching artwork with swans. I want make a painting of a young woman standing in an ivy covered arch, holding a swan.

“The Six Swans” by Ethel Franklin Betts

So here are some illustrations from fairy tale books......

“The Six Swans” by Warwick Goble

I’m not sure yet how this painting will shape up...but I’m trying to do some paintings more rich and dramatic for the show this fall.

[postscript: None of the illustrations transfered from Word to Blogger...I had to re-insert I guess I'll just stay with doing all of it in Blogger...]

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I've just been tagged by Loretta of Pomegranates and Paper to list 7 random things about myself.

Here goes...
(I may refer to this whimsical self-portrait which is almost finished....should I add a pear somewhere?)

1. I am a Libra with a Sagittarius moon sign ....supposedly this means I don't take life too seriously and am always ready for a good time.

2. Besides indigo my favorite colors are turquoise, sage green and pink.

3. My favorite potato chips are Cape Cod reduced fat...great tasting! Of course since potato chips are not a healthy food, I have to make up for that by eating LOTS of dark chocolate!

4. I'm not reading any more Jane "Sense and Sensibility" , she writes a conversation where Mrs. Dashwood (the mother-in-law) is described as being too great a risk for leaving an annuity to as she might well live another 15 years...even though she is already "old" at 40! Reading these kinds of things, makes it hard to cling to my "Forever Young" delusion!

5. I am a child who was born on the Sabbath day...
Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
(Mondays child poem)
......and it pretty well fits except when I get depressed..(thank goodness for Sam-E tablets!)

6. I have a butterfly pasted on my forehead in the self portrait, because I am a strong follower of my intuition.

7. I adopted the blackbird motif from Alice Lynn Greenwood, a couple of posts back....but I still am reluctant to "fly"....not in airplanes...but reluctant to take risks!
I'll be back soon with the list I'm tagging...I'll let each tagged blog know!
1. ANY ONE who has a blog and wants to do this....list 7 random things about yourself. Then tag 7 more....
2. Maryam of My Marrakesh , beautiful lady in an exotic land!
3. Laurie of Rose the sea , lover of all things pink!
4. Julie Marie of Celtic Woman, the book maven!
5.Carmen of Strawberries and Champange a beautiful soul sharing her journey!
6.Caroline of Potato Prints , writing/sketching her blog in a new home!
7. All artists in our Art Doll Swap group...let's get those blogs going and share things about who we are!
Also....for some reason, Blogger is not putting the "comment" key on this leave comments on yesterday's post...if this one doesn't appear!
Update: thanks to Kara...I was able to get the "comments" allowed back on here again!

Friday, May 18, 2007

This is a bouquet from my flower bed a pitcher from the flea
market......."stella d'ora" lilies!

Finally, this year the astilbe is taking that soft pink feathery bloom!

just in time too....I have to go back to work good to have this finished...!
Thank-you for all your comments and encouragement along the way!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I've been working on my painting......and now wonder just how smooth and refined I'd like it.....???????

Here are 2 examples from Matisse...."Two figures reclining on a Hillside" and a detail from another

work.....I like how the brush stokes are so honest!

I'll have to make some choices...and see how my efforts turn out but perhaps my painting of figures and faces will soon be to a good place!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An original sketch from my last post.....

can this become a painting?

My painting process.... very intuitive....the sketch is a general idea.

I have a rich blue background painted with acrylic on canvas (16X 20).

Now to sketch/paint with more acrylics and brushes. I make the tree on the right,which will have apples, and some further away, wispy trees on the left with the sun/moon, whichever...inthe upper left........

the women are vaguely indicated at this point....and the chicken too...

I begin to develope the tree..shapelier branches and leaves appear now! grass and foliage are springing up around their feet, the women's shapes are filling in...

As I paint, I try to stay loose and move over the entire canvas...not become hung up on any one area....

Using acrylics on canvas is very different from the free "go with the flow" approach I have for watercolor. The texture of the canvas makes it difficult for me to make smooth outline edges on the shapes in my painting...I'll need patience, and a small fine brush loaded with paint.

I think this series of decorative, illustration-like paintings is similar to art seen in some children's picture is a new style for me and I'm not at all sure where I am going with it....I'll paint and post more least I got some apples on the tree today!

I'm starting a painting today.....
a friend and I are having an art show in November.
I think I would like some harvest/ autumn images with rich colors for this show.
I also want a compositon featuring women and our connection to the natural world as being a large part of our spiritual journey!
In my collage from last week I find the women gathering things in their aprons and the perky little chicken! So, using these images, I begin, in my sketchbook....loosely, scribbling...just getting down the essence.

In the meantime, I am thinking of using acrylics and so I pull out a blank canvas....and because I want to force myself to paint dark and rich, I paint the canvas with 2 layers of flat cobalt blue.......
(to be continued, I have to go work on it and will photograph the piece along the way. My inner critic says,"gee, what if the sketch ends up being better than the painting?"....but we must go on the journey to find out!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We've been having showers and the flowers are loving it!

This is an old house down near the University...old peeling blue paint and lots of flowers on the crude steps!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm still working in my art journal.....

"cut and paste" a life!

In current magazines, this photo kept "jumping" out at me and "pulling" me into it.
The reason is, it is so much like the dining room of our old farm house.
Our house was designated as "the green house that sits in the middle of the road" (the road forked right in front of our place, one direction taking you to the Ouachita river for fishing and the other to a Reynold's aluminum plant about 3 miles away.) was also called "the old Sears house".
Whoever built it had ordered a house kit from Sears and Roebuck! ( From 1908–1940, Sears, Roebuck and Company sold more than 100,000 homes through their mail-order Modern Homes program.)

When we lived there, it still had the dark Craftman-style woodwork and windows and doors placed exactly like in this photo (color photo above) from the the light from the south and the east flooded in in just this way. [We didn't have that '"box beam" ceiling!]
I started art courses the summer I was 15, and did sketches of the living room (you see how tolerant my mother was, she let me set my paintings right there on the living room floor ....along with the TV?...can't remember why that was on the floor...but decorating was not a high priority with my sweet mom...she had made the drapes when we first moved in and bought the room carpet to warm up the old hardwood.)

Notice how the front door is crammed into the corner and the molding is cut off...just like the door (which would have been our kitchen door) in the photo from the magazine? In my sketch, you can also see a bit of the tree filled landscape out the front window......

'Though I was very much a "house-mouse"...the outdoors was filled with "killer mosquitos" for one thing; I did go out long enough to make a sketch of the corral and barn which were next to the father and siblings spent a lot of time in this world...Mom and I were usually in the house!

About 20 years ago, "the old Sears house" burned down. My sister and her family had been living there. My niece went to school in the morning, only to ride the bus home to a world in ashes.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

We are having glorious May morning here...goddess of spring indeed!!!!

Steve (husband) and I got up early in order to drive Lizzzzzzzy to the airport...we picked her up from her front door at 6:00 a m. It was dawn...Saturday, the weekend!!!!
Our airport is in the middle of farmland about 30 miles from where we live.
We had vistas of early morning light on foggy fields with sleepy cattle...lots of trees too... silhouetted against the rising sun.

After dropping Lizzzzzy with hugs and wishes for a wonderful trip, we began to wake up and see the possibilities of this wonderful day! We could just keep driving and explore...or more important, find some coffee (and food).

(As we rounded one curve, we came upon a large tortoise creeping across the blacktop...we didn't hit him, thank-goodness! It amazed me to think of all nature's creatures who are still out there, "dwelling", watching us "fly by" on our way to who knows where! )

It took us about an hour for the round trip back to our part of NW Arkansas and by then the local Saturday morning breakfast spot was opening. This is not a chain...but called "The Rolling Pin" and of course it has a collection of rolling pins on the back wall.

We talked to the waitress, Patti, about canoeing on the local rivers, something she was doing tomorrow for her Mother's Day (her MOM is thinking of getting a kayak!). Had eggs, hashbrowns, grits and biscuits and sausage gravy (how Southern is that?). We used to canoe every is one peaceful way to travel!

After breakfast, we went to our town square.....on a mountaintop....where our local farmer's market is held. the square has an old post office building in the center...3 story brick...from early 1900's...with lots of sheltering older trees.

Around the old building are lovely flower beds and rock work with a fountain on one corner. I bought fresh asparagus for lunch... and a pot of thyme for the herb bed beside the driveway. While there, we met and chatted with many acquaintances and local characters (I think my husband qualifies as one of the "characters!"); we have celtic music and clogging for atmosphere on one corner and a women's drumming circle on the other! It is fun to be in a funky town!
(NOTE: the photo at the left is from a different weekend last year, we aren't to the gladiolas stage yet this season, but we didn't have a camera along today......)

Friday, May 11, 2007

(It's THAT weekend in May again!!!!)

Happy Mothers Day to all of us....

I am fortunate to still have my mother....I will visit her this Sunday.

After a nice meal, we will probably sew...or I I listen to her or watch her doze...(she'll not like that if she reads this!)

Some of my earliest memories are of "hanging" around her while she was "trying" to sew.

Sometimes she wouldn't tell me what she was making until it was ready for me to try on....she sewed almost all of my dresses! (One exception, that I remember choosing from a shop window...I must have been 5 years old. It was pale blue, with short puffy sleeves and a big white collar. There were cut work tulips on the color and pale pink batiste inserted for a bit of contrast. I loved it! )
Most of the other dresses I remember were her creations...and sometimes she would make 2 alike so that my little sister and I could "match". (poor sister would then inherit a hand-me-down just like the one she had outgrown!)
Mom saved the dress scraps and planned making "sunbonnet sue" quilts for us...all of her enthusiam for quilting was passed on to me too....I have been blessed!

May you all find a lovely memory of your mother and/or spend some time with someone you love this weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This is the beginning of a doll I made for our art doll today the photo is the symbol for new beginnings.....
I am offering to make a few handmade art dolls for those who love them.

I have posted links on my doll blog. (upper left of the sidebar)

I am also about to do an Etsy shop and who knows what else...I have sold on-line when I ran a quilt shop so I have a good feeling about doing this....

Of course the time may come when I feel this way about it....when it does, I'll stop!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My "Leaving the nest", dress....

This may be along rambling is my 200th post!!!!!!

I'm weaving several threads of time and memories together with a bit of silliness and artistic possibility!

Where to begin...?

My lovely future daughter-in-law, Mary, was here at Christmas...I decided that she would enjoy seeing MY wedding dress! I went to the closet and got it out for the first time in 34 years! It was a bit yellowed with age, the candlelight satin was darker as was the French Alencon lace.

After we looked at it, I didn't put it back in the plastic (horrors!) bag it had been in for so many years....but I realized how covered and modest we were with our gowns in the early 70's.."pre Vera Wang"...lots of influence from the popular "Romeo and Juliet" movie of the era! See the photo ad from a Southern Living Magazine from the month and year we were married, February 1973! [I found this magazine a couple of weeks ago in a Georgia of my breaks on the drive to my daughter's! It was on top of a pile of Southern Livings from the past...I paid the original price, 50 cents!]

So the dilemma is how to either get rid of, recycle or preserve this dress.... I decided to try my Vintage Soak on the train of the gown...which is separate. Into the bathtub for a day of came out very nice! Clean and fresh looking, it will need a warm iron touch up...but what to do with it? maybe make an art quilt using only the train and embellish it like a scrapbook of memories?

This is the cleaned train hem with a photo of my mother helping me to dress for the wedding....

How important are memories?...we live in the moment, not the past......but with Mother's day coming....I do love having a moment to remember this time!

I had not lived on my own before was a big change!!!!! I was the first to leave her nest! (there is that nest image again!)

Meanwhile this week, on the Colette's blog, I found where she was being interviewed and the link led me to one of her beautiful and delightful images...called "My daughter's dress...." it has a bird and a Robin's nest

I think this is one of the loveliest things I've seen lately, simple but moving! Look at those mother of pearl buttons on the neckline! ( I wore a heart shaped mother of pearl necklace at my wedding, it was carved with two love birds...!)

So I was thinking of using this image in the art quilt I might make on the train from my dress..... the more I thought of it, it seemed right! The wheels were turning!!!!!

Meanwhile, Mary, called planning details for her wedding..she wants to display photos from the guests' own weddings at her wedding...and it occurred to me that my train, as it is, clean and uncluttered with more "art work" could be perfect for using under that display at my son's wedding this August!

So for now the train has found a purpose as it is.....

(BTW, I couldn't resist trying to get into the gown...LOL I couldn't even get my "linebacker" arms -thanks, Gemma--into the small fitted sleeves!)

More input....Gemma's daughter wore a vintage dress last year.....

With the wedding train cleaning and soaking the other day, I received an e-mail about the "TP" wedding dress contest.

Maybe this is a viable idea!

A clipping from "Woman's World" magazine for May 1, 2007.
The Celtic tree calendar name for this period of time (almost a month) is the Willow.
Because our theme for the art doll swap was "Celtic Goddess" this month....I made another synchronistic connection when I chose Danu, the river goddess. Willows love water and grow beside streams and rivers....what a lovely, graceful tree!
Sychronicity again....the artist for whom this goddess doll was made has the perfect last name...."Robin"!!!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

Blessed Julian of Norwich (1343-1423)
THE DAY OF my spiritual awakening
was the day I saw
and knew I saw
God in all things
and all things in God.

HE ALSO SHOWED ME a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand. It was as round as a ball, as it seemed to me. I looked at it with the eyes of my understanding and thought, "What can this be?" My question was answered in general terms in this fashion: "It is everything that is made." I marveled at how this could be, for it seemed to me that it might suddenly fall into nothingness, it was so small. An answer for this was given to my understanding: "It lasts, and ever shall last, because God loves it. And in this fashion all things have their being by the grace of God.... It is necessary for us to know the littleness of creatures in order to reduce them to nothingness in our judgment, so that we may love and have the uncreated God. The reason we are not fully at ease in heart and soul is because we seek rest within them, and pay no attention to our God, who is Almighty, All-wise, All-good and the only real rest."

[Thanks to the Catholic Conservation Website for this lovely information!]

This is the feast day of Blessed Julian of Norwich, an English contemplative Christian woman.

May you enjoy a peaceful, blessed Day!


One of my blessings.......Lilia!

Together at Christmas....and a picture/poem she made for me last year!

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