Friday, February 29, 2008

Hope is.....out of the box?

Hope is.....hoping that people look at my blog and art work. And I thank them for that. I have been blogging for awhile on and am almost to 10,000 hits over there. But there are no comments left. I have just started reaching out to the various challenges. I'm hooked. And I'll get over it in a few weeks and calm down and not feel like I have to do all of them. But it is so much fun and all of you are wonderful! I just found another one, and this will be my third post for today. WEll Leap day does only come once every 4 years, so maybe I should do one more for good measure.( out of that one!

This piece is a fabric sculpture...fancy word for a pillow. I was trying to illustrate Emily Dickinson's poem ( like everyone) which isn't out of the box. But the attempt at the sculpture sort of was. I made this when I first got on line...gosh...I don't know how long that has been 6 years or so...or more. It was for a challenge, illustrate a poem with a quilt. I was into quilting and doll making at that time.'s one for stepoutsideyourboxsaturday

Earth Hour 2008

I just signed up to the new Earth Hour website for 2008 and I thought you might like to take a look and possibly sign up too. Earth Hour is on 29 March 2008 at 8pm, and it looks like it's going to be really big. So far, as well as Sydney, there'll also be Chicago, Tel Aviv, Manila, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Brisbane and Toronto all turning off their lights for an hour in the name of fighting global warming. And I'm sure there'll be more cities by March. Sign up for Earth Hour with me by visiting and join the movement.

Thanks to Mike Baker from for the use of his art work.

Leap of Faith

Cocopuff came to us from the Humane Society of Missouri. She had been found roaming the streets of Jefferson County, and was picked up by their Animal Control. Anyway, she is with us now!!!! Cute as can be, and acts like that koo koo for cocopuff bird. She is short, but takes leaps of faith. Nothing can get in her way or slow her down.

I rewrote the Kookaburra song ....

Cocopuff up in the old gun tree ( ok the dog can't get in the tree)
Merry Merry Queen of the bush is she
Dance cocopuff, dance cocopuff
how gay your life must be

She is one happy dog!

This is my submission for LEAP on both Illustration Friday and Inspire Me Thursday blog sites. Ya just can't pass up leap as a word for leap day.

I had just gotten my new Canon digital SLR camera, and was playing with the settings and taking photos of my doggies in the yard. I was trying the fast action setting. And caught cocopuff as she was leaping about the yard, having the best time. The dog is in focus and the background blurred. ( this all has technical terms of course, and the camera is more powerful than I will ever know, but I'm having a great time learning by trial and error.)

Dog backwards spells God!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Action Crayons

Action Crayons. A submission for the ZNE Book Club. ( Read previous post) We chopped up crayons and baked them at 250 degrees in a muffin tin lined with foil. Bake about 10 min. Carefully remove from the oven, and let cool, you then have cool ( in many ways) crayon cupcakes. hold your cupcake with a pair of pliers or some other tool and apply it to the heating surface of a hot iron.....and then apply the iron to your paper. I used a small craft iron. It took some action to make this painting. It may become a background for another project. Who knows.

Check out this link to inspiremethursday and read all about Action Painting

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Crayola Art


The ZNE Book Club continues with projects from Traci Bautista’s book “Collage Unleashed“. This week we are playing with crayons. We were to take broken crayons and place them in muffin tins lined with foil and heat them for about 10 minutes at 250 degrees. This created a very colorful crayon cupcake. After cooling we applied the crayon cupcake to a heated iron and then apply the iron to cardstock, and create a fabulous background. Be sure you get specific instructions and use an old iron, before you try this at home. I used some of the crayons I had at home, and loved it so much, I went over to our church and “borrowed” one of the huge dishpans of crayons. I plan on picking thru them and getting out the old broken ones and do some more with this. ( I’ll take the rest back, but have you ever known a school or Sunday school to run out of crayons, at some point you always get new ones before the old ones run out. They seem to clone themselves.) So here is a great use for those crayon stubs that the kids don’t want to use.


Next! We were to talk about a childhood crayon experience. I always remember the first day of school and getting new crayons. As little kids we got those jumbo crayons. We each got our own set of 8 in a real box with a lid, not a fold over flap. I remember one girl who sat behind me who always borrowed my purple crayon, it seems it was her favorite color and she wanted to keep her crayon perfect. She did, she used mine all year. I tried not to sit by her after that.


My most memorable experience with crayons was in 1997. I was taking a drawing class at the local community college. We usually drew our projects with “prismacolor” pencils. Our last project for the year was to make some sort of imaginary drawing that in some way involved a Monopoly ( the board game) board, cards, dice, playing pieces, etc. I don’t know what I was thinking about, but I saw a short article in the newspaper, about that time , at the back of the business section, that inspired my project. The article stated that Smith-Binney ( owners of Crayola) was closing its Winfield, Kansas Crayola manufacturing plant. The company only made $92 million in profits and had anticipated $96 million, or some other ridiculous figure. Winfield had recently suffered from the closing of a state hospital and an oil refinery. The job losses were pretty large. The community was also going to suffer from the loss of tourism as many folks passing thru Kansas on the way to other attractions would stop for a tour of the plant.
Thus my art project evolved. I made this illuminated manuscript / stained glass window to lament the closing of the Crayola factory, and decided to do it with crayon. You notice the bad folks are all on their way to …..with out passing GO? Who knows ? The photos are not the best, the piece is framed,and has glass so there was some reflection from the flash. And it is really large. I enjoyed doing this, coming up with the color palette. I never thought about the color palette of my crayons when I had only 8.

Check out the slide show below!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pretty Lady and Peace Cranes

The pretty lady in the atc is from the March collage sheet for the ZNE Design Team. The cool background paper is from the ZNE Store "Za Lotta Grab Bag". The text is from an Asian newspaper and it could say that I have a used car to sell, or looking for cute single men. I don't know. I altered the image with the mosaic texture on Photoshop Elements 6. I like that look.

Now..below laughing please, is a fun mobile I made with stuff from my ZNE Za Lotta Grab Bag, great asian stuff. The cranes are from oragami papers I received in that stash as well as the little drum with bells, the back scratchers that became the top of the mobile, (incidentially, I used my cool, dremel tool to drill holes, my father would be proud) and the flappy things. The cord, and beads were from my stash. Who doesn't have a craft stash somewhere in their house? ( If you said yes, I have some great stuff to share with you.) I wanted to take the mobiles photo outside...alas, it is snowing again in St. Louis, there are of course no leaves on any trees, the wind was blowing about 20 mph with 30 mph gusts. I didn't want to chase the mobile down the street, my neighbors think I have lost my mind already, I think it's the pink bowling ball in the flower bed, but hey!
Click on the photo to see an enlargement and a close up of the cranes and other cool trinkets.
I have to see what else I can come up with from this great stash of stuff. I'll post the stash photos later.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Asian Art on the ZNE Network

I remember fish stories. When I was little , say 5 years old, my dad would take me fishing at a pond in a neighborhood park that had been stocked with little sunfish and bluegill. I fished with a bamboo pole, and a little tiny hook and a worm. Dad would put the worm on the hook. One day a fellow was wandering around the pond with a magic fishing pole. He said you would catch a fish on his pole everytime you said Coca Cola. He let me try out his fishing pole. If you caught 5 fish he would give you a button, which probably said something like " I caught 5 fish with the magic coca cola fishing pole. I caught 5 fish and got a button. I just remember that day. When I see fish art, it makes me think of that day with my dad.

I liked doing things like that with my dad. Missing him lots.

This atc has an asian flair and a fish. When I see fish in art, I always think of my dad and that trip to the park. This atc is made with some asian background text, and collage ephemera from the ZNE store. Check out the ZNE Design Team site.

I'm working on some asian projects for something special coming your way over on ZNE. Don't miss out. It is still a secret until March.

More teasers to follow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

ZNE Design Team - Asian Art

New and exciting activities are happening over on the ZNE Scene. Be sure to check it out. As you know I am on the Design Team for year 2 and hope to do a creative job for them. They are a great group of artists to work with. My assignment for March is to do a product review. I don't want to give away all the details until they are released in March, so here are some
ATCs to spark your interest.

First I have no knowledge of any Asian language, and I am going to trust the source of these materials. Take a peek at my first ATC which has images from a graphic novel, funky asian, decorated pink tissue, and lettering from an asian newspaper, and then the same ATC altered with Photoshop Elements.

More to follow!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Illustration Friday - Multiples

Check out the fun stuff on Illustration Friday. An interesting art blog with a Friday Challenge. The new challenge of the week was posted on Friday, February 22, 2008. MULTIPLES. And here is my response.

The clock photo was taken on Canal Street from the streetcar window. We took the street car to the end of the line and I shot pictures from the window as we went. This clock was on Canal Street near the French Quarter. I converted it to black and white and did some extreme settings on the contast and played a little with the color blending. (Does it sound like I know what I am doing???)I printed several sizes of the image, but liked these three of the same size the best for this piece. I then searched the internet for poems or quotes about time, for something that might be appropriate. Here's what I found.

Not one
but twenty-four selfgiving hours
Everyday I have
For my use.

Sri Chinmoy

Multiple clocks, multiple hours, perhaps multiple meanings.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Collage Unleashed / Let Go & Just Do It

Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista is the book for February for the ZNE Book of the Month Club.
Our first assignment was to experiment with inks and paper towels, to use for backgrounds. I used rubber stamp pad ink refillers on top of the shiny side of freezer paper, squirt your ink on the paper and splash with a bit of water, then go for it.

Traci explains her philosophy around collage and the act of creating in the introduction to her book. As part of our assignment we were to think about writing our own book about the act of creating art - what would the title be and why.

“Just Do It” comes to mind.( I know, it’s been used. ) I know we all struggle with things wanting to be perfect, the best, most original. I need to remind myself ,in many areas of life, to go ahead and just try, it doesn‘t have to be perfect, sometimes just showing up is enough. Yeah, we all want to do more than show up, but you have to start somewhere Once you show up you are on your way. Go for it…just do it..

Sometimes we feel like we have to have special equipment or the right art space to make something creative. Just experiment and give it a try. Use what you have,. Learn by trial and error, when all else fails read the instructions, and really only do this when everything else fails. (Now I wouldn’t want the brain surgeon trying this method)

I also think, too about 12 step programs, sometimes I feel powerless in a creative issue, I really want to control the situation, I find sometimes that something more powerful than me is in charge of the project, and I have to let the “spirit” guide me. Then something inside tells me…it’s just right. Call it the Holy Spirit, “Sophia” or some other entity.

So…. my title would be Let Go and Just Do It. It might work as a title.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Madness in the Spring

A little madness in the Spring
Is Wholesome even for the King (or Queen)
But God be with the Clown -
Who ponders this tremendous scene
This whole Experiment of Green -
At it were his own!
Emily Dickinson c. 1875
This is a page for a spring book swap with Red Lead, St. Louis , Yahoo group. this is their website. The back side of my page has the Emily
Dickinson poem above and some "royalty" stamps from my vast ( too vast) ephemera collection.
And on the subject of spring....just where is it? It's 17 degrees here in St. Louis, and we have what seems like several inches of sleet, and more to come. Winter's last hurrah, I guess.
Stay warm and stay safe!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's clouds illusions I recall....

Dream on! Keep your head in the'll be the first to know when it rains, and in the best position to see the silver lining. (from 1,001 Smiles by Marion Kaplinsky).

I was playing some more with Adobe Photoshop Elements, cropping and trying filters. The photo was taken from the Steamboat Natchez on the Mississippi River in New Orleans, September 2007.
Over on Inspire Me Thursday, they are talking about illusions. I immediately think of the Judy Collins song, Both Sides Now, which I hope is at the top of my play list below.....but in the song she reflects on life,love, and clouds, and the good and the bad, the rain and the snow, the heartache and happiness, the reality and the illusion, and what she remembers most is the illusion.
So here are my cloud's illusions (think shade on a hot sunny day, especially in New Orleans in September,) and my experiments with Photoshop Elements.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Butterfly Altered

"May the wings of the butter-fly kiss the sun,
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond."
an Irish Blessing
A beautiful summer time West Virginia Butterfly. Taken in July 2007 in Welch, West Virginia in SawMill Hollow. Our church group was on a mission trip there.
I recently purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 6. I hate to read instruction books. So I am going to just play. Here is one of my first experiments.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday Best Paper Dress

Almost ready for mailing!! My submission for Lennea's Art In The Word "Sunday Best Paper Dress Swap"
This is a link to Lennea's blog, we met as members of the ZNE Design Team be sure to check our team blog here!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

ZNE Design Team !!

I made the team!! I will be a part of the ZNE Design Team, for the second time! I am thrilled, excited, honored and ready to go, check back here for more details and exciting art work.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Here is the second image.... and the final image for this project! I kind of like the circle copper tag.

On the ZNEnetwork we are working on the end of our January Book Club selection, The Complete Guide To Altered Imagery by KAren Michel. It has been a fun book to work with. On this project we altered an image with the computer. You'll see the photo in my avatar altered for this project.

I converted it to black and white and then took the contrast and brightness to extremes, adhered it to a scrap of mat board, applied gesso around the image, then used one of those cool multil-lead water color pencils to apply color around the image.

Then I stamped over the water color with an image of a star and angel, it is hard to see in this photo....I can't decide which version I like best.