Friday, March 28, 2008

The Art of Nursing and My Mom

The theme for this week on Illustration Friday is"Homage", homage to my mother and the Art of Nursing.

Women at Work was the theme for the week on Skinny Saturday. So this post covers two challenges for the price of one.

This piece features a photo of my mother taken in 1944. This is her graduate nurse photo for her Texas state nursing license. She graduated from City - County Hospital School of Nursing in Fort Worth, Texas. My mom worked at City Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, Bethesda Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri and retired from Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. I'm amazed at the hard work performed by nurses all over the world. They care for people and save lives everyday. Where would we be without them?

I found this quote from Florence Nightingale:

Nursing is an Art:

and if it is to be made an art,

It requires an exclusive devotion

as hard a preparation,

as any painter's or sculptor's work;

for what is the having to do with

dead canvas or dead marble,

compared with having to do

with the living body,

the temple of God's spirit?

It is one of the Fine Arts:

I had almost said,

the finest of Fine Arts.

This art work measures 3 by 5 inches. I used a copy of a photo of my mom, a stamped image, a wing from a ZNE collage sheet, "Special" tag, and "Those who bring...." from a vellum scrapbook page. I'm not totally sure I like how the vellum looks, but I like the over all finished design and concept.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Journal Pages - Parata Di Arte

I'm still working on this whole concept of art journal. On Parta Di Arte Flickr group, the theme for the week is art journal, I posted the page above for the "contest". I used masking technique and rubber stamps for the background. The stamp came from Stamp Francisco, I believe. They have very cool rubber stamps, lots of vintage images. The photo is of my mom and uncle taken in the 1930, in some Texas oil town. My grandfather was a migrant oil worker in Texas and Oklahoma. My grandmother wrote that she had been married 35 years and had lived in 35 different places. My mother said she went to 16 different schools while growing up. Anyway. I think some days were probably good for them, and others , not so good. It was the Depression. But both my mom and uncle ended their lives living with Alzheimers, and the lesson I learned watching my mother was this: Enjoy the precious Present. Today. She may not have remembered yesterday, but whatever presented itself today: she enjoyed!
Both of these journal pages are a part of an art journal I started during the ZNE Book Club. This photo shows the Oklahoma City Memorial. I took this photo in Janaury or February 2006. I did some altering tips with water, sandpaper and marker. The stamped image is from Inque Boutique, added for the joural page. While it is not a dove, it makes me think of the spirit of the men, women, and children who lost their lives that day in OKC. If you are in OKC, take the time to stop by and see this memorial.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

More Glam Girls

Finding Mojo - See it Say it Saturday - ZNE

It's See It Say It Saturday on the Zne Blogz and today's featured work is the lovely angel piece shown below by Diane Duda. The angel is so sweet, unpretentious and just beautiful. She is surely thinking about spring, and its impending arrival. ( Any day now, wouldn't you say.)
At the top of the page, is my response. I thought about doing a simple sketch, but that implied that I knew how to do that. (NOT) So I tried a doodle glam girl, who is surely an angel, she is wearing her heart so all can see, she appears to be trying to find mojo. Surely that means she is looking for spring.
The background piece is a half of a game board that I used the "peeling paint" technique with petroleum jelly and acrylic paint. You apply vaseline, then wipe some of it off, smear on some paint, and let it dry and wipe off the vaseline. You can learn all about this in Claudine Hellmuth's book, "Collage Discovery Workshop" One of the books from the ZNE Book of the month club

The Doodle Glam Girl idea came from Traci Bautista's book "Collage Unleashed".
So how do these relate? Well.....glam girl is looking for peace, too, aren't we all. She has some wild hair, and great eye lashes, and wants the world to know that she is full of love, peace and goodness. Plus she was kinda fun to draw. I'm enjoying these doodle glam girls, a lot! Check out the ZNE website.

Diane Duda

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Zne's Parata Di Arte - Theme Week Winner

I am very honored to have had my Dogz Charm Necklace chosen for the 1st Place Award for The ZNE Theme Week on Zne's Parata Di Arte on Flickr. The Theme for last week ( week #7) was Charms or Dangly things. This is a piece I made during The ZNE Book Club when we worked out of "Pretty Little Things" by Sally Jean Alexander.

Soldering can be a dangerous be sure to read the instructions. I used assorted dog clip art to make the charm collages before soldering the glass. Be careful that the glass doesn't crack. I also soldered the scrabble tiles, and added some "rabies" dog tags, since I save everything I had a few, of assorted shapes, hanging around. ( We have 4 dogs.) The hardest part is soldering the jump rings. That is one of the things I need to practice. I think I have found a way to get that all to work out better, with some ideas from "Collage Lost and Found" by Giuseppina Cirincinoe, which will be the ZNE Book of the Month for March. It's not too later to sign up!

I am very honored to have been selected by the group. Check out the link and see the other entries. The artists are amazing!

Nine Patch Inchies - Mixed Media Serenity Prayer

No it's not's inchies. Very tiny works of art. Each little square is 1 inch by 1 inch. This is really my first major effort doing inchies, and I am afraid I am hooked. I made the one with the music background and the black butterfly, last year for a Zne Design Team Project. But didn't work with it in the 1 inch size. I worked with it in a 3 inch square and resized it to 1 inch on the computer. But the 9 patch inchies square above was created in the 1 inch format. It reminds me of a quilt block
I confess, now I am hooked on these tiny works of art. I have been using up scraps like crazy, and of course creating even smaller scraps, which I am finally parting with via my new recycling bin. But recyling will be a topic for another day. You know how collage and mixed media artists love to save stuff. At some point we all need to learn to let go. Sort of like the Serenity Prayer of Mixed Media Artists, having the wisdom to know when to throw away and when to save. Sigh!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Today's See It Say It artwork on the ZNE BLOGZ site was created by ZNE Member aLaNi Pfeiffer. It is a beauiful page from an art journal. I always admire the work people can pull off in their art journals, and this is a beautiful example. First, I find them hard to keep up with, because I am afraid of making them ugly, but I know it's a place to practice your art. I have one that I have been working on and have actually filled several places. Usually I start about page 2, intimidated by page one, and go from there for a couple of pages, then get distracted and go on to something else. I do have sketch books I have filled with doodles and notes, but nothing as pretty an Alani's work. Now I guess I need to explain my response.

I wouldn't be so bold as to post a journal page, at least not yet. I was attracted to those olive looking things in the upper right corner, and it reminded me of a project I did for a design class that I took at Meramec Community College in St. Louis, MO. We were to make a design with a repetitive image and use color and have images overlap and the overlap look transluscent. I think that is what it would be called. The two colors as if the colors were "mixed" when over lapped. We used those art papers you get at art school ( you can tell I'm up on the lastest jargon. So you had to try to figure out what the two papers would look like mixed. I confess, I matched my papers up with my prismacolor pencils and then matched the closest paper to the two pencils blended. Whewww....did that make sense? The photo lighting is not the best. It certainly has an olive look to it. Not sure why I went that way. But I enjoyed the process and received great praise from the teacher. Which made me kinda proud.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bunny Blot w/egg

The theme everywhere I've been on-line lately..well two places, has been doodling. On Inspire Me Thursday, we find a challenge of making an inkblot and then doodling. Here is my first try with a doodle. Bunny Blot with egg. So, try to make some ink blots and doodle! Have fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Plant a Seed, wait and see!

It is almost spring! About one more week. Of course, in the St. Louis area, spring could bring freezing rain and snow or 80 degrees and sunshine! We'll have to wait and see. This little 4 x 4 is made in honor of spring and to respond to Illustration Friday's challenge for March 7, Garden.It is simple, not a lot of embellishment. I hope to get out and do some plantings in the next month or so. It's hard to wait. We'll get a few days of beautiful 70 degree weather, the the bottom drops out of the weather and drops back into the 20s. It confuses the "tender vegetation" and me.

Spring always amazes me, you may not believe in God, but you've got to believe in Spring!

Happy New Beginnings and Gardening to all of you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mom's New Stove

When you get a chance, sit with your mom and go through her old pictures. I never remember seeing this photo, until we were going through family ephemera when my brother and I moved our parents to an area nursing home. My dad had a series of strokes and was no longer able to take care of my mom who had alzheimers. My mom passed away April 1, 2006 and my father on June 5, 2006.

But happy memories abound. This photo was taken in 1952, a year before I was born and shortly before my folks bought their first house. It was certainly a different time. My father worked at Nooter Corporatation as a boilermaker, where he would work for 44 years before retiring. My grandfather worked there for 24. But the company carried the mortgage for my folks and also assisted with hospital bills when I was born.

This was my mom's new stove, which she used through the 1970s, at which time she got a lovely harvest gold model. I know she was proud of this new stove. I don't think they had a lot starting out. But then not many folks with babies right after WWII did. They were married in 1944 and had my brother in 1947.

Why am I writing about this today. I have been looking for "stuff" to do with some of the old photos that I have, and I found one. Over on Inspire me Thursday for March 6, the topic was kitchens. Now I was a bit intimidated by some of the photos they offered for inspiration for "kitchen". And it made me think about what's really important about the kitchen. Mom would bake cookies....and my dad did most of the other cooking. LOL., My mom was a registered nurse and worked odd hours and a lot of over time. If dad wanted to eat, he cooked. I miss them both.

So go through some old photos with your mom, she'll love it!

This is a scrap book page of sorts, it has sort of a Claudine Hellmuth feel to it. Well ...maybe if you squint!

You provoke my curioisty!

Check out 'See It Say It Saturday" on the ZNE Blogz. Kristy Christopherson has a lovely collage mixed media piece featuring Crows. She has a wonderful style and I love her work. On See it Say it Saturday you are suppose to respond to the art shown for that day! So above you will see my first crow piece. The template for the crow is from Stampington's tempting template collection. I hope to make something by the deadline and submit it for publication. Check out the art work on the ZNE Network

This crow piece is by Kristy Christopherson, Enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Leaf Skeletons and Blog Talk Radio

This evening on Blog Talk Radio - Circa Arte we talked about many things, among them, The Pause for A Cause group for this evening Honor with Art a group dedicated to the cause of missing and exploited children. Be sure to check out their website and various projects.

We also talked about the "stuff" that mixed media artists tend to accumulate. I found this cool leaf skeleton in my yard, and dragged it into the house, and then began to wonder if there was a way you could make them yourself. I know you can buy them at the craft stores. But how would you make them, from your own leaves. Well, of course an internet search was in order, and here is what I found. A great set of instructions. Now, we just need to wait for spring and summer, which here in St. Louis , feels like they might, actually, finally show up. There are still clumps of snow in the shade, but the sun has been out and while it's not quite short sleeve season, it's getting close. Check out below how to make a leaf skeleton, pay attention to precautions and have fun!

How to Make Skeleton Leaves

Skeleton leaves are perfect accents for all craft projects. This article briefly describes how simple it can be to make them.


  1. Take long leaves and press them between old telephone books. They should remain here in a dry, undisturbed place for several weeks.

  2. Make a solution of washing soda, and carefully lay the pressed leaves into the solution.

  3. When the flesh becomes pulpy, take the leaves out of the washing solution and rinse them carefully in cold water.

  4. Gently brush away the pulp with a toothbrush.


  • The skeleton of a magnolia leaf is a beautiful example of a decorative or ornamental skeleton.

  • Magnolia leaves or maple leaves are a good place to start for beginners.


  • Washing soda is caustic (alkaline pH of 11). While it does not produce toxic fumes, it is important to use proper protection when handling; the best thing to do is to wear gloves.

  • Don't let kids do this without proper adult supervision. It does make a great science project, so just be prepared to help them and ensure that they are wearing gloves when handling the washing soda solution.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hmmmm....more Asian Art

Hmmmmm......another Asian Themed project. Two birds with one stone as they say. This is suppose to be my project for the February Book Club Week Three...Traci Bautista's Book, Collage Unleashed. We were to use photo copies as a background base, I rubber stamped images. Then we were to glaze over with heavy bodied acrylics. I wasn't sure what that was, so I used my matte gel medium, then painted onver with three different acrylics in a wash, applied some copper acrylic paint, adhered some of my Asian tissue and more gel, then voila...( oh, that's French) attached the little umbrellas. It needs some words or other flourishes. I'll let it dry and think about it some more. The embellishments are from my Asian Za Lotta Grab bag. It goes with the music.

I love color. I think I have a “feel” for color. At least on paper or in a project. ( I won’t discuss my early dorm room d├ęcor here,….and I moved out of the dorm room …a long time ago…but that’s another story.) I love to come up with color palettes. I love fabric stores, yarn stores, and paint chips. I want my house to be purple or blue, but we have boring faded yellow siding. SIGH. But it’s home. I digress again. I think with color I can have various moods. I can be bright, vintage, shabby, gloomy, moody, cute. It depends on what has caught my eye when I last shopped at the scrapbook store for decorative paper, or the fabric store remnants or the rummage sale vintage linens, yard goods or clothes. I have always been in love with blue. As a little kid I saw blue wagons at the store. ( you know the little red wagon, only this one was blue. ) My folks got it for me for Christmas. Then one year it was blue ice skates. I know they had to hunt high and low at the store for them.. I miss them, my folks, the blue wagon and the blue ice skates. But what I don’t get is why they painted my room yellow. Sigh….they never did explain.
Now I have to argue with my dh about what color things should be. Doesn’t he know I’m suppose to get to pick out the colors of everything.,(LOL) ok, this is minor in the whole life scheme of things.
My understanding of the color wheel is a fairly recent phenomena in my life. And I love it. I do consult it quite a bit when thinking about color choices. I use it as a guide, it is not stone. My favorite color has evolved from blue to expand and include all the colors on the color wheel from blue - red in a clock wise rotation around the wheel….blue, blue violet, violet, red violet, and red…and all the hues, tints, values , and shades that lie there in. But really, there is no bad color.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I had some of these photos of the cool clock in New Orleans. I made them to fit onto ATCs. So I stumbled onto another Challenge Blog. This one has you make a design from a sample sketch. I make a sample and post on my blog and then post a link to their blog. All very confusing, but actually makes sense and you end up seeing lots of wonderful art work. So this is Ismaki's challenge #9. Check it out .

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A fun project for the Zne Design Team

This month I had the opportunity to review the Za Lotta Grab Bag, available in the ZNE store. ( Only $8 with postage) The grab bag is a great collection of asian trinkets, dodads, background papers and images that will be great for your altered art projects. Check my other posts here for Asian Art, I have some ATCs that I posted last week.

This was fun to put together, out of the box for me, Asian Art is a new theme for me. All of the embellishments and images are from the Grab bag. I provided the red paint to a small wooden shrine from my dollar store stash. I was a little worried when I started it, it seemed "clunky". But I am pretty pleased with the finished project. Back to the drawing board to see what else I can come up with from this cool stash of Asian Stuff.