art journal & baseball nut

Two challenges accomplished though I wasn't sure I'd get around to them this week.  At Twinkle Twinkle, the summer of color continues, each week based on an ice cream flavor.  The flavor of the week is Baseball Nut - never heard of it (I'm not much of an ice cream person, remember?) but the colors are DE-licious!  I'm right at the tail end of posting for this, partly because I couldn't figure out what to do with the color combo.  But I finally just pulled out a piece of paper and started.....and you know what? I like it!

Inspiration from Kristin:  Baseball Nut ice cream

My efforts:

Black raspberry, vanilla and a touch of caramel, 5x7 on watercolor paper......

Inspiration Avenue had the easiest prompt ever:  art journaling.  I have a few pages I did a week or so ago AND I bought a new art supply (shocker, I know!) and added black gesso to my table.  So, I had to try it right away - in my art journal of course.

Double spread using black gesso, stencil of laser cut scrapbook paper spritzed w/ white, duck tape, stripes of light yellow made of ripped cardboard, silk flower bits.....I love black backgrounds so this will get lots more playing!

 Using one of my many window/door photos as a starting point and trying to figure out how to integrate it on a page....

 Trying to save a BAD scribble start....

Digging out my watercolors and playing - skills definitely a little rusty....

Please visit both of these sites/challenges - there's a wealth of talent and inspiration to be found.


in the garden

Artists PlayRoom is focusing on the garden this week.  Our garden isn't blooming much yet - the peonies and dahlias don't even have buds!  But, I have some from last year - the exact same plants, so it's only a little cheat.  I'm resorting to photos this week instead of painting since I'm short on time and long on challenges.....

A little photoshop playing - dahlia on a mirror tile.

Can you tell I love my macro setting?  Our plot of dahlias was so pretty but we didn't dig them up in the fall so we're hoping they're as big and lovely this year.

Had to include Dan tending his dahlias :)

Nearby there's a little pocket botanical garden that I love to visit - it's filled with hellebores, hyacinth, and crocosmia in the spring, peonies, roses galore, all sorts of iris and lilies, rhodys and lots of plants I don't know....

I'm really not much of a gardener myself but I LOVE visiting and soaking up the beauty of a garden. Dan has become accustomed to visiting botanical gardens everywhere we travel....think we've found one in most every country we've visited and now he enjoys them as much as me.  You know what I love best?  I don't have to take care of the plants but get to fully enjoy them! :)


icad 20-25

I went camping and took my index cards, inktense pencils & water brush, glue and microns. I even took my Messy book (that I haven't done anything in yet).  What art did I do?  None. Nothing. Nada. Instead I just talked and laughed with friends and soaked up the beautiful surroundings.  Starry nights.  Sunny days.  Rainy days (really? yep!). Cascading, roaring waterfalls.  Raindrops on my head. A sunburned nose. Tall, tall trees.    Constant rushing river sounds (we were 50 feet from the river bank).  Crackling campfires. Smoke in my eyes. (and hair and clothes and sleeping bag)  Fresh corn cooked on the campfire. Solar showers. Quiet, restful, peaceful.

So, no art.  But I've caught up a bit on my ICADs since getting home.....

In tribute to the non-summer we're having so far in Seattle.

A camping themed card reminding me of all the trees around the campground and hikes.

A random bits and pieces mixed media piece.

Using ephemera from the camping trip (we had a bag of mushrooms for scrambled eggs).
Again representing camping using a butterfly that I received in a swap-bot swap (there were lots of huge yellow ones floating around the campsite) and some sage I picked on a hike.

New black dot washi tape and scraps for a shape based composition.

Join the fun - we're decorating index cards daily through July - it's a great way to try a new technique, use up scraps, work on composition or color combos, do a little sketching or tangling.....anything just to get those creative juices revved up.  Share over at Daisy Yellow.


mail received

This has been a great mail week.  I was gone for a few days camping and upon my return the postcards from the International Swap hosted by Shannon at Musings on Realities have started coming in.  Just look at all this creativity!

 From Mim at IUOMA - she's a very regular creator and believes in using what's right at hand.  She got a new shredder and wanted to experiment with making art in little bitty strips.  Fun!

I couldn't read the city or email address, but it's from Kay with Shannon's swap.  Kay, I hope you see this so you know I received it.   I love the layered and layered collage pieces!

Julia in Las Vegas sent me this stunner.  Embossing, collaged torn red (handmade?) paper then dimension with the bits of raffia and that gorgeous heart that looks like it's made of clay but is actually paper.  Did you make it Julia?  It's SO pretty and arrived in perfect condition.

 Here's another beauty - this from Sherry in Alaska (no blog or email....so thanks Sherry!).  She used a grid index card that is colored in for the background, stitched around the edges and then all those flowers are colored, cut out and glued on only in the center so they each pinch up a bit for a great 3D affect!  Cool, right?  It came in a handmade envelope made of a newspaper page - love it!

Last, but not least, this collaged card arrived from Tammy in British Columbia, Canada.  Again, no contact info.  Sure wish folks would remember to add some sort of contact info so I could thank them.

I just love all the variety and attention paid to the postcards I'm receiving.  It's like Christmas!  I just might have to take another vacation soon so I can have the cards stack up! :)  Thanks so much to all of you and I'll be sending something in return to those that I can.  PLEASE be sure to add some way to stay in touch.....

I have lots more catching up to do after being gone for 5 days, so I'll gradually get caught up with my visits and my ICAD posts and whatever other challenges I can.  Looking forward to seeing what you've all done in my absence.......


icad 16-19

More ICAD happiness to share...

#16 - trying out Martha Lever's credit card flower technique that I learned from the 21 Secrets course - some of those mini-classes are excellent!

 #17 -  Summer of color challenge for the week was mint & chocolate (based on ice cream flavor) and I have mint growing in the yard so wanted to try Karen's idea of gluing down real leaves and see what happens.  The mat medium is holding well and the leaves are starting to change color....this project smelled so good!

#18 - playing with tissue paper collage and india ink.

#19 - experimenting with india ink and bold marks - don't like the red, but really like the green....

There are SO many creative people decorating index cards all over blogland - if you need ideas, host Tammy at Daisy Yellow provides a weekly list of 10 suggested themes, or just pull out your crayons, your markers or paint and let your fingers do the walkin'.

I'm also sharing this with Artists in Blogland.

We're off to go camping for a few days - I'll be sure to take cards and markers with me so I don't fall behind.  I'm not ignoring all your wonderful creativity - I'll catch up when I'm home.....


icad and mail

First, posting my ICADs for the last few days.  Remember, you can join in any time for as long as you want - do it every day or do it as often as you can.....it's all about making a little time in your day to be creative.

#13 - desk clean up time again...discovered I have all these edge strips left over from various projects - now they are the project.

#14 - simple today, just a spritz of color wash, a stamp and some marker drawing....

#15 - found some textured paper scraps....


Then, I've received some fabulous mail this week....Remember to check out Mail Me Some Art if you're interested in participating with sending and receiving great art to brighten your mail box.

From Valerie at Bastelmania for the IA swap - I just love her vintage style....I'm pretty sure she's in Germany based on the book pages as part of the background.

Also for the IA swap, above is from Shelly.  These darling little faces made me smile.

This beautiful card is from my buddy Karen at I am Rushmore who just makes gorgeous cards!  The leaves and flower blooms are real, pressed flowers!  How cool is that!  Thanks so much Karen - now I'll have to try that....Every so often I push the envelope a bit by trying something attached to the card and I think they've all gone through okay.....

More international mail from IUOMA members - from the Celestial Scribe in Brazil, a handmade envelope with a postcard and a tiny handmade envelope with a dried leaf tucked inside!

And from Mich in Greece, an original artist copy of one of her drawings and some really cool stamps!

I hear stories about people sending things like a yellow rubber ducky with an address tag around it's neck, a plastic teacup with the address on the handle, etc. so I think if I attach string or ribbon or a jigsaw puzzle piece firmly, there shouldn't be an issue.  Right?  Why don't you reach outside the 'norm' next time you make mail art and see what might work?

By the way, I'm linking this to Artists in Blogland too.....


mint chocolate chip

I was inspired to do something totally different for the Summer of Color challenge this week.  Working with the ice cream flavor mint chocolate chip, I took the colors and did my digital scrapbooking magic using some of my photos that are in shades of mint green on chocolate colored background papers.

I used to do LOTS of digital scrapbooking and made pages and pages of our trips and memory baby books for each of the boys, but as my art interests have expanded and evolved, I just don't have the time to devote to making pages - I still have pages to finish from our trip to China 2 years ago!  But, I'm chipping away at those.....

Join in the fun any time and see what your imagination produces using the colors of mint and chocolate; you have all week to post!



I've been busily finishing up my ALAW project.  Often the hardest thing for me to do is decide.  Decide how to draw the letters, decide how to add dots (for my dotty alpha), decide how to display the 26 3x3" cards, decide  how to make a book closure.......OMG, so many decisions!  Some were trial and error and error and error til I figured it out, but ultimately I'm lovin' my result.

Remember, for my letter a week I was adding zentangles around a letter shape, all squares connected by a black 'ribbon' through it all....like this:

Since the black line needed to be viewed continuously, I decided on an accordion fold or concertina book.  So here's how my book will unfold.  It's stored in a 4x4" box I decorated with a little collage and hand lettering.

Open the box to see my book:

I made a beaded clasp for the book so it wouldn't flop open.

The colored tabs correlate to each dotty background and mat color.

There are eight colors that repeat and each tab is double sided so that the tab matches the mat color.

Then, back in the box.......

Now, what to do for my second alphabet?  This time I think I'm starting with the presentation idea and then figuring out how to do the alpha.  You can certainly join in for the second half of the year - criteria is pretty darn simple.  Create an alpha in a 7cm square (about 3") format and then finish it in a way that it could be displayed - stitched, cut, colored, painted, wood, glass, etc - what is your favorite media?