Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thin The Herd

The entire weekend was spent going through all the closets, cubbyholes, baskets and hiding places in the apartment. We were looking for all the stuff we keep but don't use. Our apartment is full to the gunnels, to the bursting point. So, stuff has to go. The rule is... 
"If you haven't used it in the past 6 months and haven't touched it in a year then it hits the garbage!"
Now, of course there are exceptions, like rarely worn "limo" shoes. You know the ones, you drool over them every time you spy them at the back of your closet. THOSE shoes. We keep those. But other stuff like the 8th pair of black runners and the bread machine, now that I'm sensitive to gluten, hit the garbage!  

It's amazing how much stuff one collects over the years. I think the funniest was a lowly salad spinner. We realized that it had been in our kitchen since before I was born! It was only used at Christmas when we cook for many people but now, in 2010, hey, just buy salad in a bag!! I don't think that plastic bowl with a string had touched a leafy green in years. Poor, lonely plastic salad spinner. Garbage to you!

We now have room to grow and it feels great. If you want to see more mosaics just go to Artmind's blog, you'll find a bunch there. 

Talk soon, K? 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bits & Pieces

First off, congratulations to a long time follower and lovely woman, Blissed-Out Grandma. She is the winner of my impromptu 150th follower Giveaway. I am, on Tuesday, shipping out to her a hand crocheted scarf and a beaded bookmark. I was very happy to learn that not only is she bereft of a good bookmark but that she lives in Minnesota and desperately needs a neck warming device! Bulls-Eye!! God must be on my side. Heehee! Ok, onward and upward peoples, keep up with me here.

I also have a little news. I have signed up to participate in the 2011 Sketchbook Project. This very cool project involves artists, sketchbooks and a road trip! This is how it works. Each artist who wants to participate (from around the world) is sent their own blank Moleskine sketchbook for them to fill. The artist, after altering all those blank pages, sends back their sketchbook creation to The Brooklyn Art Library where each is given a unique barcode. All the sketchbooks then go on a road trip all over the USA! After the sketchbooks have seen much and been seen by many, they make their way back to the safety of The Brooklyn Art Library where they are catalogued and will forever be available to be perused by anyone who wants to visit. I can't wait to participate!! So Cool.

Talk soon, K? I'm out!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My 100th Post

Well, well. Who'd have thought I'd get here. Nobody I know, that's for sure! :o) Don't get me wrong, my peeps are very supportive, I've just never shown an aptitude for writing. English was never my strong suit in University, or high school for that matter. I'm kind of intuitive about grammar and all those other writing rules and things. I have a good vocabulary and I like punctuation but I couldn't spell my way out of a paper bag. I kinda go with what sounds good and I'm not afraid to break a few rules from the "how to rite good" book of prose. So, I think everyone (including me, if the truth be told) is a little surprised that I'm in love with blogging and I've stuck with it for more than half a year already. Yep. I still say... WOW.

On the subject of celebrating milestones... it just seems obvious to celebrate, don't you think?... I happen to have a prize sitting around waiting for a nice home to go to. You see, I crocheted a scarf last week to send to my 150th follower (I was so surprised to find myself at that number, right in the middle of celebrating my 100th follower. I mean, yowza!! I gained 50 followers in the week that I announced my giveaway celebration for my 100th follower!) I thought they (the 150th) deserved a gift too. Unfortunately, she never got back to me, so I have this lovely scarf just waiting to be someone's  "Go-To" neck decoration for this upcoming Fall. I'm thinking... how about we celebrate this 100th post instead? So, anyone who wants this scarf (I'll throw in a hand painted beaded bookmark too!), just leave a comment telling me why you want it and the best answer will win! Don't forget to leave your email address or your website/blog in your comment so I definitely have a place to send your "You're a winner!!" notification. Hehehe. Here's a picture of the lovely (if I do say so myself) hand crocheted scarf and the bookmark I'll be sending out.

Onward and upward. Here's a new piece of artwork. It's a combination zentangle pen & ink and watercolor. I absolutely love how it turned out! It's a whimsical drawing of the hanging basket outside my living room window.

I'm working on photographing all my artwork so I can start selling on Etsy. I'm also spending inordinate amounts of time reading what to do and not to, to be a successful Etsy seller. There's so much information out there and I've been collecting articles from the Etsy newsletter for ages. I must have at least one hundred articled to read. Whew! Well, as I said, onward and upward. Have a great weekend, everyone.

We'll talk soon, I'm sure. You'll be around, I'll be around, we'll make coffee, possibly someone will bring cookies and we'll talk. It'll be fun.  :o)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

...And We're Back.

So I've been busy making new art since mom went back to work. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful having her home for the three weeks she had off. But I felt the schedule of time should be hers, whatever I would have been doing went on the back burner. This explains the semi desert of posts in the last couple of weeks.

We spent most of her time off overhauling our apartment. We're still waiting for the new couch and chair to arrive in the next month. I'm waiting until then to post Before & After pictures of all the cool changes that we accomplished on her holiday.

Here's what I've been up to in the past few days...

Artwork: combination zentangle pen & ink, watercolor
Name: Water Jug
Size: 6"x9"

I love how this one turned out! I was surprised to find out that I could capture still life so well. I guess I have to stop limiting my ideas on what I may be able to do. This little jug is sitting on our newly painted and beefed up (with molding) shelves. I think I'll have to get some flowers and try to paint the whole picture.

I then did a fun piece. I just let my imagination and whimsy play around on a 5"x7" piece of watercolor paper. I love how the daisy zentangles look like they're on a separate piece of paper with cutouts allowing the surrounding zentangles show through from beneath.

Artwork: zentangle pen & ink, watercolor pencils
Name: Yellow Daisies
Size: 5"x7"

Finally, I matted an older painting that I don't think I've shown before. I didn't like it until I saw it matted. Last week I ordered matting for all my artwork. I was so startled by the change matting had to some of my paintings. This was the most dramatic. One of my first abstracts, I hated it previously. Now it's one of my favorites! Who knew? ;o)

Artwork: watercolor
Name: Abstract B
Size: 9"x12"

Anywoo, I am about to finish another combination pen & ink/watercolor zentangle piece. I'll be able to post it soon. I was totally surprised how it turned out. I'll talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You Love Me, Don't You?

1. you...love me or hate me ?, 2. Tender Love, 3. he loves me/he loves me not., 4. If Friends Were Flowers.......

Loving your art. It's such a struggle sometimes. I happily give my love away to the people around me. I love other people's art. I love my mom and my best friend and my parrot and I love the color green. Why can't I be that free with my own artwork? ... with myself.

So here it is. Simple. I love Me. All of me. I love my art. It's a part of me, one of my best parts, actually. There, I said it. Now, all I have to do is work on meaning it. :o) Always a work in progress.

If you want to see more mosaics, go to Artmind and take a look around. I have a few pieces completed to show you tomorrow and I'm working on a large zentangle about the hanging basket outside my window. So far, so good!

See you all soon, K? Yippee!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Angel At My Table

1. cuando los angeles lloran... lloverá, 2. Requiem, 3. Numb, 4. Into your eyes my face remains.

Sometimes just the right person is is inspired at just the right time to do the exact right thing, the one thing you need. That's what happened for a very good friend of mine the other day. My very good, wonderful, competent and fantastic friend has been feeling very stomped upon lately at work. It's been difficult for her, it seems every time she got her head above water something else would drag her under. She was starting to blame herself. Somehow, all these negative things must be being brought on by her. Something inside her must be the cause. I told her she was wonderful, it wasn't her. I, as an outsider, could see she really wasn't doing anything wrong. Circumstances just sucked. Coincidences seemed to work against her instead of in her favor. 

But it didn't help to hear from the ones who loved her that she was blameless in the chaos around her at work. After being beaten down and beaten down over the months she just was having trouble keeping positive and no matter what loved ones said, she was losing ground in self belief. I mean, we loved her, we'd tell her anything to help her feel better, wouldn't we?? 

Then an angel beat it's wings and a little gift of goodness fluttered to earth. Out of the blue,  an employee sang my friend's praises. My friend is this woman's boss. This woman phoned my friend today and played "angel at the table". She told my friend that she felt compelled to speak. She believed my friend needed to hear that she was valued by everyone who worked for her. This "messenger" said that all the problems swirling around lately weren't anyone's fault and my friend shouldn't take anything to heart. She understood that it would be easy, under the circumstances, to become disillusioned and feel responsible for all the chaos at work. However, my friend wasn't responsible for unpredictable circumstances in other people's lives. This woman said she just thought it needed to be verbalized. It certainly did. 

I believe impulses to do or say something nice are like little gifts from God or the Universe, and sometimes just what a person really, really needs to hear. We can all be one another's angels at the table. Thank God for that. I keep listening, just in case a message flutters down to earth for me to pass on to just the right person. :o)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And The Winner Is...

It's finally that time, after all the fan fair, streamers, balloons and promotion. Thank you to all who entered my 100 Follower Giveaway. I want all my followers and readers to know how much I appreciate your loyalty and interest in my artwork. You all inspire me to be creative and believe that I have something interesting to show and share with the world. So, I guess you all want to know who won??

Can I have a drum roll please? ... and the winner is... Vicki Holdwick from Faint Heart Art! I will be boxing up your prize which consists of an original watercolor painting (matted), a beaded bookmark, a sketchpad, drawing pencil and a choker with matching bracelet plus a bag of candy for you to enjoy. Thanks so much, Vicki for being such a loyal follower. :o) (If you read this before you receive my email to you please feel free to email me and we can talk!)

Congratulations to Vicki and to all the rest of you, thank you for participating. Here's wishing you all a fantastic upcoming week. I'll be back in a day or two with pictures of the house makeover I'm in the middle of!!

Hugs to you all!

Friday, August 13, 2010

5 More Questions...

It's Five Question Friday with My Little Life. If you want to play along, just copy the questions, write a blog post with the questions and answers then go to My Little Life and link up your answers to everybody elses!
  1. Have you ever visited another country?I've only been to the USA, unfortunately. (Correction: as a loyal follower pointed out, this sounds like I didn't thoroughly enjoy the United States when I visited. Totally, completely NOT what I meant, lol. I LOVE visiting and would even love to live somewhere in like North Carolina or Boston or Hawaii. I meant unfortunately I've never been to countries other than Canada and the US.) I would love to visit both England and Scotland, though. My ancestors are from Scotland (McLean) and I would love to see all the architecture and churches in England. First though, I want to go to Hawaii. I know it's still technically the US but it seems so remote and exotic, with the amazing lushness of the plant life. I would also LOVE to go to Paris. :o)
  2. Where is the strangest place you have ever been? - I really haven't been anywhere strange, per say. The closest to strange (that I totally LOVED going to) would have to be the HUGE heating grates under the overhang of the Arts building on the roof of Carleton University in the middle of winter. There was  a 3 foot square place that you could sit that totally protected you from the outside deluge of winter deep freeze. When the cold and wind was it's worst I'd go up there at night and sit outside in that little three foot square and bask in the blowing warmth of the grates. The warm air from inside would blow straight up from the huge grates, creating a shell around me. I could even take off my winter coat and boots and sit outside over this grate, protected from the -20 degree weather around me. It was the strangest way to find bliss. :o)
  3. What is your favorite season? - Definitely Fall. I really love the cozy feel of falling leaves and sweater weather. I'm not one to love a lot of heat so I alway feel so refreshed when the temperature dips as we roll into Fall. Besides, I'm all about the Fall holidays.. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!
  4. What one song will always cheer you up? - Every time I hear "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" by Big & Rich I just have to laugh. I even know most of the words. What a wonderfully fun and irreverent song!
  5. What Disney character do you resemble most? - Can't I just pretend that the answer to that question is Jessica Rabbit?? Purrrrrtyyyyy PPPPPbbbbbllllllleeeeeeaaaasssee??

I've also been working on a pen & Ink drawing of blackberries. I thought I'd show it to you before I add color. It'll be an interesting to find out how I make the forward berries distinctive from the back berries. I have not a clue how I'm gonna do that, lol. I'm really looking forward to the final outcome, though. Stay tuned...

Click To Enlarge!

Oh, and I don't want to forget to mention that tomorrow is the last day for entering my 100 Follower Giveaway! It's wonderful that I'm heading quickly toward 150 and my Giveaway for achieving 100 hasn't even finished. Wow. Thanks everyone. Enter my Giveaway in which you could be the lucky winner of one of my original paintings (matted), a beaded bookmark, sketchbook, drawing pencil and beautiful red choker and matching bracelet plus a bag of CANDY (yay!). All you have to do is go to the 100 Follower Giveaway Post (click on this link) and leave me a comment telling me you are in fact a follower of my blog! That's it, easy peasy. I'll enter you in the draw which will be completed this Sunday and the winner will be announced on my blog in that Sunday's post. Keep your fingers crossed, you just might win!

Later, K? Yup. For sure.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In The Eye Of The Artist.

1. Azul intenso, 2. Golden tears, 3. Thoughts Captivity, 4. 241 of 365

It's Tuesday. Therefore, it's time for my weekly mosaic with Artmind. This week I want to talk about the "eye of the artist". I'm struggling with seeing my own artwork as "enough". I can see others' artwork as beautiful, accomplished and amazing, no matter how complicated or simple it is. It's such a strange bisection of my artistic vision. I can, at the same time, see the value of other's work but not acknowledge the same value of my own. I work on this constantly. My vision is continually a work in progress. :o)

We'll talk soon, K? 

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Giveaway, here. Just leave a comment in the giveaway post telling me that you're a follower and the prize just might be yours!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Plein Air

Today I sat outside and enjoyed a cuppa with my mom, who's on vacation for the next few weeks. What a pleasant mid morning break it was. I looked over to my favorite Hosta and thought it was looking lovely, as it snuggled next to a sword fern. It's therefore the Hosta's fault that I didn't draw him but instead drew his buddy the fern. Mr. Sword Fern was blowing lightly in the breeze, flirting with me, asking to be captured on paper. He was a good subject. He stood fairly still and curved his thin leaves beautifully just for me. I think his portrait came out wonderfully. ;o)

Sometimes it's just fun to play. In the last few days I saw shooting stars drawn similarly to these and thought they'd be a great start for a zentangle-like drawing. I went retro and added curly cues and flowers to the mix. I also figured out a new technique for using my copic markers! I used the eraser pen as my vehicle to lay down color on the flowers and leaves. What I did was to touch the color I wanted to work with to the tip of the colorless pen then quickly lay down a swish onto the paper. It ended up almost working like watercolors. The medium of movement though isn't water, but instead is colorless marker ink. It left the flowers and leaves with a gradient of color, I love how it turned out!

 So, Kim was handing out Stylish Blogger Awards and I put up my hand for one. :o) I'm going to handle it just like she did. Below are my 5 bad habits and fears and below that are the five places that YOU will fill in for me. If you want this award just leave me a comment and I'll add you to my list of 5 winners! The first five commenters can grab the button and display it proudly. I think you ALL deserve it.

Five Things I Fear / Bad Habits I have:
  1. I have and irrational fear of drowning in mud. I know the chances of this happening is slim and therefore I don't think of it often, but when I watch shows about volcanos and earthquakes I have little panic attacks watching the movement of water and mud over the land. It reminds me of that Star Trek (The Next Generation) episode... you know the one where that black tar creature is left on the planet? I ends up trying to drown Lt. Riker. When I see mud pouring down a mountain side I think of that episode and I can imagine my mouth full of mud, as I drown and choke. Yuck. But seriously strange. Yep. :o)
  2. I'm so forgetful I have to have a constant To Do list going so I can write down the most inane things! Seriously, I would forget to screw on my head in the morning if that were possible.
  3. Because I'm so darn forgetful, there are always little things and piles of things around the house that should be put away. I get something half way put away but get distracted and forget to finish the job. For instance, my wallet is on the table in the living room from last night's Chinese Food order. I pick it up and make my way to my room. As I go through the kitchen I see the new shampoo that I purchased on the counter and think I'll take that with me, too. Hey, kill two birds with one stone, right? Ya, right. *eye roll*  But before I pick it up I think, "Hmmm, I should put that dish in the diswasher..." and that's all it takes to totally derail my trip to put the wallet back in it's home in my purse. Now, I'm loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen and I've abandoned my wallet and shampoo bottle. And a new little pile of "things to go to my bedroom" begins. Hehehe.
  4. I HATE SPIDERS. Nuff said.
  5. I wholly believe that all the wild animals who live outside must be starving and in need of someone to care & feed them. Now, these animals probably eat better than I do, I mean I live in a perpetually warm climate on the same block as an outdoor restaurant. Every squirrel I see is so fat from all the fries it couldn't run away from a healthy cat even if it tried. Thank God the cats are just as fat and lazy, lol. Because of this belief, I feel it's my duty to feed the poor undernourished creatures. AKA those fat squirrels. It is not unusual to find little paw & nose prints on our windows from all those squirrels peeking in, looking for the nut lady.  :o)
If you would like to receive one of the five Stylish Blogger Awards I have to giveaway, please leave a comment. The first five commenters will be my recipients! You all deserve the award, but I only have 5 to giveaway. I will change the numbers to your URL, so please leave it in your comment!
  1. You
  2. You
  3. You
  4. You 
  5. and You!
Don't forget to go here and enter my Giveaway! All you have to do is follow me then comment on the Giveaway Post telling me that you are, indeed, a follower! We'll talk soon, Tuesday is mosaic day with Artmind

Friday, August 6, 2010

Five Question Friday

Hiya. I'm gonna try a new thing this Friday. Usually, Friday for me is all about getting ready for the weekend, following some new blogs, cleaning the house and wishing I had a short blog post to fiddle with. Well, I came across this. Five Question Friday with My Little Life. I'm hoping it will act like a short filler, connecting week to weekend. What happens is every Thursday the author of My Little Life posts 5 questions. All who want to participate, answer said questions then link up to her post on Friday. It's that simple. Here we go!

1. Are you a neat sleeper or a messy sleeper?
Totally messy. I have a strange rule. When I'm warm, one foot must be uncovered at all times or I overheat under the blankets. This means that the covers HAVE to be untucked from the bottom and sides of the bed. So, yep... Messy sleeper here. *raises hand and waives*

2. Fill in the blank. I wish I was more _____________.
Linear. I know, this sounds weird. What does she mean, linear? My thinking, if it could be put down on paper, would look like a spider web. One point of the web haphazardly jumping to the next in a non linear way, willy-nilly. This relates directly to my artistic spirit. Unfortunately, it also means that I'm forgetful because by the time I get to a new idea I've lost where I started from. My mom and peeps call this phenomenon "Squirelling". If I could be just a little more linear I could get a To Do list done just once! ;o)

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about?
I wish I had been warned that fear really can hold your dreams back for years. I lament all those wasted years I could have been painting. It makes me so happy now, just think of the effect it could have had earlier. Ya, if wishes were fishes...

4. What was the best thing you ever found at a garage sale/flea market?
I don't do flea markets because if I did my house would be filled with pretty trinkets, chachkies and old perfume bottles! I have latent pack-rat tendencies so I guard against all of that by not going places that trigger my hoarding behavior. Hehehe.

5. If you could have any meal brought to you right now, what would it be?
Well... I just saw an M&M peanut ad on TV...  You know the one? Where they pour a colorful bowl of peanut M&M's out while Red and Peanut discuss how boring the current movie is. Then the kernel of popcorn pops from all the laughing because Red puts in a new, funny movie. Ya. I'll take those. A big bag of peanut M&M's delivered by very yummy looking, single, male chocolate aficionado who would like to feed me said M&M's. :o) Hey, you asked. ;o)

It's supposed to rain here in Victoria, BC tomorrow. Gosh I sure hope it POURS. We need a good soaking, wash all the dust away. Good thing I looooove the rain. It makes me giddily happy. I'd love to paint tomorrow with the door open to the steadily falling rain. If it's cold I'll wear a sweater. :o) Cross your fingers for me, tomorrow could be a very inspiring day.

We'll talk soon, K?

P.S. Remember to go and enter my Giveaway. You just have to follow me, then go here and leave a comment telling me you are indeed, a follower! I'll enter you into the 100 follower Giveaway. 
(Giveaway ends late Saturday August 14, 2010. Drawing announced that Sunday the 15th.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Z Is For Zentangle!

Hiya. Guess what I have for show and tell? Yep. Zentangles. I thought I'd play with depth and shape this time so in the first piece I drew a ribbon fluttering across the paper before tangling the background. Happily, I photographed this one before the addition of color. I love being able to see the dramatic difference the addition of color makes. As my favorite blogger baker would say... "Holy heck balls!", what a difference.

 On the second zentangle piece I used "pipes" and a chain (with "Z" initial) in the foreground before adding zentangles in the back. I think both tangles are really successful. It was such fun playing with the many shades of gray that I have in Copic markers as I contoured the pipes and fittings. I know, I've said it again and again, ad nauseam. But, I love, LOVE Copic markers. :o) If I had buckets of money hanging around I'd not only purchase all pen colors but I'd also buy the refill colors and "mix" my own into empty pens. I can't believe you can even do that with a marker. Such a cool system. For serious. Ahh, I'm so into Joy the Baker-isms tonight!

We are redecorating the apartment as we speak. As I mentioned before, we moved my room around so I had a small painting studio that looks out onto the garden. It works perfectly. Then I bought Mom an iPad as a present to allow her to reinvent her room, minus one huge computer cabinet. I guess the room change was the impetus she needed, because Mom decided to get a new sofa to go with her new iPad, hehehe. ;o)  The redecorating roller coaster is starting to careen out of control though, because now there's a whole "painting of every surface" to go with the sofa!

This week, we've debated and debated the color shift and we decided that we just love greens-blues-turquoises and browns. Together. To give you an idea of the shades we're picking, think Martha Stewart, just a little more muted. The walls will be a light, pale greenish-teal color, the dining room furniture will be a combination of dark toffee on the outside and medium muted turquoise on the inside. The bookshelves in the living room will match the dining room. We're going to add molding to those bookshelves to "beef" them up, too. All the wood in the room is getting a sanding down and will be stained a dark mahogany. That's what we're working on now, the sanding. Uugh. There is an inch of dust on everything, lol.

The first thing to be sanded down is my Grandmother's cedar chest. I inherited it when she passed away a few years ago. Mom says the chest has been every color under the rainbow, it was hers when she was a child. A decade ago it was refinished to a boring mid-brown. The finish is just too shiny to look "rich" and the color isn't anything to write home about, to say the least. So, we're refinishing the top and painting the bottom in the toffee/turquoise colors. I can't wait to see it finished. It should be spectacular.

I know all of this is going to take weeks to do, but I'm really looking forward to the new look. The sofa won't be ready for 6-8 weeks so we have time until the whole renovation is done anyway. Hopefully we can also find a semi shag loopy rug in a chocolate latte color for a seriously cheap price too, as the room needs a grounding. We'll see, mostly we're throwing brute force instead of money behind the changes so the rug will have to be an inexpensive little miracle we come across. I'm crossing my fingers.

I'll have to show before & after photos when it's all done. Show and Tell can be such fun! :o) Oh! Don't forget to enter my 100 Follower Giveaway, click on the button <-----, follow my blog then tell me that you're following in the comments for the Giveaway post. Tada! You've been entered. Did I mention that you get a bag of candy too? No? Silly me! Yep, candy AND art AND jewelry AND a bejeweled bookmark AND a sketch pad. I'm spoiling ya. You deserve it, thanks for the follows, everyone!

Talk to y'all soon, all I have to do is go make more art. Hehehe.


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