Thursday, December 18, 2014

November Journal

November, 2014
I began this month with using a stencil and spray ink to create an overall background on the two pages. For the drawings I used Winsor Newton watercolor, Prismacolor colored pencil, Prismacolor watercolor pencil, white gouache, Koh-I-Nor Tri-Tone colored pencil, magazine cutouts, scrapbooking butterfly wings, googly eyes, and Farber-Castell and Micron pens on Strathmore drawing paper.

This is the first month that I had difficulty working everyday.  With the holidays approaching, there's been just so much to do. I've also been working in the house, sanding and putting on 5 coats of polyurethane on our floors.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

October Journal

October 2014
This month I began with making a background on the two pages with tissue, a printed poem (The Raven by Poe), matte medium, and gesso. For the drawings I used Winsor Newton watercolor, Prismacolor colored pencil, Prismacolor watercolor pencil, white gouache, Koh-I-Nor Tri-Tone colored pencil, washi tape, and Farber-Castell pens on Strathmore drawing paper.  I've found by doing these small art works that I'm learning more about materials and how they technically interact in a multi-media format.  Some are better suited to my use than others.  I found that my beautiful Farber-Castell pens weren't so permanent on my gessoed and matte medium covered pages.....  I thought the gesso would add body and strength to my page.  Gesso is a material spread on the surface of a canvas to prepare it for painting, and it's made of a binder, chalk, and pigment.  I probably should have sealed the page with acrylic paint or used paint pens.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Artist Trading Cards

ATC Cards, 2014
Watercolor, alcohol, Prismacolor colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

The background for these cards is watercolor.  Before the paint was dry I dropped rubbing alcohol on the paper surface, and the drops repelled the color leaving the background "bubbles".  

September Journal

September Journal Pages, 2014

The journal continues....  In September I used watercolor, Prismacolor colored pencil, Prismacolor watercolor pencil, white gouache, Koh-I-Nor Tri-Tone colored pencil, and Farber-Castell pens on Strathmore drawing paper.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Pensive, 2014
Watercolor, Farber-Castell pen, tissue, matte medium, Prismacolor colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper,
9" x 11"

The background is colored tissue paper adhered with matte medium on a watercolor.  I put it together a while ago and tucked it into the back of my journal.  The portrait is from a photo I took of a woman at an outdoor restaurant.   I felt that her scarf and glasses evoked a kind of feel that would work with the flowered background. 

Rug Hooking Wool Strips

Rug hooking is the pulling of woolen strips through a woven fabric to make a loop. ( Gene Shepherd has a free demonstration video. )  People often ask what the number of a wool strip means, example: a #3.  I found this chart online, and it explains wool strip numbers 3 - 10.  A #2 is 1/16 of an inch wide.  Strips are often cut using a cutter, and there are many different quality cutters. Mine's a used Fraser cutter. It has interchangeable blades so that I can cut different widths of fabric.
People also cut their strips by hand using scissors or a rotary cutter. Some may even tear the strips they use.

Artist Trading Card

Hermit Crab, 2014
Water color, Farber-Castell pen, and Prismacolor colored pencil on Strathmore watercolor paper, 
2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Seems I had the beach on my mind during the month of August.


August Journal Pages, 2014

Well, here's August.  This is the 4th month I've completed.  On these pages I've used watercolor, Prismacolor colored pencil, colored tissue paper, matte medium, white gouache, a stamp, Koh-I-Nor Tri-Tone colored pencil, and Farber-Castell pens on Strathmore drawing paper.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Celebration XXIV

Inclusion in Celebration XXIV

 I am pleased that the judges included my rug, December Snows, in this year's Celebration magazine. All the rugs selected are works of art and I am fortunate that my work caught the eye of the judges out of the numerous submissions. This is the first time I've had a piece included in the publication, and I'm thrilled. Now.....the challenge is to do it again.
ps. September 8, 2014.  December Snows was entered in the 2014 Sterling Fair and was awarded a first prize blue ribbon and Champion ribbon. 

Friday, August 1, 2014


July Journal Pages, 2014

The media used in the drawings are watercolor, Prismacolor colored pencil, and Farber-Castell pens on Strathmore drawing paper.  Where is the summer going?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Journal Pocket Page

Journal Pocket Page, 2014
Mixed media on Strathmore drawing paper,  9" x 11.5"

This page began with a piece of wallpaper glued to Strathmore drawing paper.  The pocket is the same paper folded and glued to the surface. The page was then embellished with torn yellow tissue paper adhered with matte medium, Prismacolor watercolor pencil circles, and splatters of paint. The quote is done in Farber-Castell pen and watercolor pencil.  Artist trading card watercolors are stored in the pocket.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Cards

Mouse and Opossum, 2014
Watercolor and Micron pen on Strathmore, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

These drawings are part of the daily journal work.  The mouse's background is wet watercolor covered with plastic wrap and allowed to dry (difficult to see with the drawing).  The background for the opossum is kosher salt added to wet watercolor.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


June's Journal Pages, 2014

The media in the drawings are watercolor, deli paper, Prismacolor colored pencil, and Farber-Castell pens on Strathmore drawing paper.  More and more I like the idea of incorporating several boxes over several days.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren, 2014
Watercolor, Prismacolor Colored Pencil, and Micron pen on Strathmore Watercolor Paper,
9" x 11.75"
The watercolor painted background for this piece was sprinkled with Kosher salt before it was dry. The Kosher salt has larger crystals than table salt, and the larger crystals make more distinct abstract patterns.  After the paper was dry and the salt brushed off, the wren was drawn with colored pencil and pen.
I enjoy watching birds, feeding them, and especially drawing and painting them. Wrens have an astonishingly loud song for such a tiny bird.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Journal Watercolors

 May's Weekly Watercolors, 2014
Strathmore watercolor paper, each - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

In Gina Armfield's book, No Excuses Art Journaling (April 30th entry), she suggests that along with a daily entry, a journalist do a small watercolor a week. These are the watercolors I did for the month of May. I'll add them to a page in the journal. Each watercolor is the size of an artist trading card. Now I'm working on the month of June.

Friday, June 13, 2014


The Internet is such a wonderful source of information and instruction - a lot of it for free. Searching out instruction takes some time, but is rewarding.  Many artists sell tutorials and materials, have TV programs, teach classes, have books, appear on Facebook, and have blogs.  There are bits and pieces one can learn from viewing their trailers and ads.

For example:

Here Billy Showell (from the UK) paints a water color Christmas card in a free tutorial.  In this You Tube video she demonstrates how to paint a water droplet on a leaf. The water droplet lesson is a peak into a 130 minute, 2 DVD set called A-Z of Flower Portraits.

France Papillon (from Belgium), a mixed media artist, offers many ideas for inspiration. Here she shows a journal entry she calls "Wing It". She demonstrates many journaling techniques in her You Tube videos. I love artists who share!

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer is a mixed media artist. She has many videos on You Tube and here are some: Fast Forwarding: House Stamps Art Journal Walk ThroughTrash to Tools; and Stamping into Your Stencil .
Some of these demos show her products and stamps, but the videos can encourage you to use your imagination to create your art using what you have on hand.  Watching other artists work not only teaches me technique, it also inspires me.  After watching a video, my response is pretty  much the same: "That was cool, but what if I did......"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mixed Media

Bird Song, 2014
Mixed Media on Strathmore watercolor paper, 9" x 11"

Creating art by using more than one medium in a single work intrigues me.  This piece was started with acrylic paint spread on watercolor paper. Torn tissue paper was adhered to the surface with matte medium and then acrylic on a stamp and on the edge of a bottle cap was added.  The bird and quotation were drawn with Faber-Castell black artist pen. The grasses and bird were colored with Prismacolor water color pencil.  The bird's head was painted with Lumiere paint.  
I hope to experiment more with mixed media adding multiple layers, textiles, and found objects. The list of materials is endless.        

Monday, June 2, 2014

Abstract Rug Progress

Abstract, 2014
#4 cut wool on linen
Progress has been slow on the abstract rug.  Here we are to date. It's spring and there is so much to do, I haven't been hooking as much as usual.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


May Journal, 2014
Here's the month of May.  The original plan was a small illustration, a picture of the day's weather, high and low temperature for the day, and a pattern.  It varied - no design on some days, doodles in the margin, names of flowers in bloom in the yard, and the names of books I read this month.  Most of the illustrations are done with ink and colored pencil.  There's some watercolor pencil and mixed media. On to June.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thank You Card

Greeting Card, May 2014
Water color, ink, and Prismacolor color pencil on Strathmore paper, 4 1/2" x 6 1/2"

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Abstract 2

#4 cut wool strips on linen
This is the progress I've made on the abstract rug.  I love the way the red pops with the complimentary greens. 

Monday, May 5, 2014


Journal, 2014
The journal is made from paper bags, fabric, Tacky glue, matte medium, Strathmore drawing paper, rug thread, Micron pen, and colored pencil. The handles on the journal are part of a Macy's bag.  I used 2 paper bags as the base of the cover, glued them together, and covered them with batik fabrics. The designs added are in Micron pen and Prismacolor colored pencil.  The cover is a piece in progress as I'll add more to it's design later.  
I've already decided that I should have used different paper (I had a surplus roll of drawing paper) as Prismacolor markers bleed through to the back side.  I'll need to use micron pen, colored pencil, and collage on these pages. Any water color or marker will need to be done on heavier paper and glued or taped into the journal.
I'm on my 5th day in May.  I've decided to do the weather, a design of the day, and an additional small picture. Gina Armfield suggests journalists do weekly tasks in addition to the daily entries. She suggests doing a small watercolor each week (the size of an artist trading card). My first watercolor was of a Flicker that we see come to our feeder. I'll add the watercolor paintings with a hinge or maybe glue them on the following page.  After I measured out the monthly calendar,  I decided to leave some extra space for doodles.  I'm going to list the books I read this month, too.  I'll post the month again when it's completed.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No Excuses Art Journaling

No Excuses Art Journaling, Making Time for Creativity
by Gina Rossi Armfield

I often draw in my sketchbook (actually, I have more than one going at a time), but not with daily regularity. This book outlines a way for even busy people to do some creative work each and every day. She suggests using a soft covered desk calendar as your journal, then adding pages, envelopes, collages, etc. to the book as needed. She discusses art tools and materials, shows how to prepare your journal for entries, and lists monthly, weekly, and daily "assignments".  She suggests ways to "spice up" your journal and offers sources (including a website).   She also includes journal pages by guest artists.  Gina writes on page 26: "Note that this is the skeleton, if you will, a basic structure and a place to begin. You will find your own way and style, and I encourage you to do so.  Someone once told me that you need to know what the box is in order to think outside of it. So here is your 'box'".
I have an old roll of drawing paper and some brown paper bags that might make an interesting journal to start.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Abstract, 2014
Wool strips on linen, 2' x 3'

Recently, I was fortunate to have a rug hooking class with Michele Micarelli.  In trying to find a pattern to work on, I was inspired by her rug, Coral.  I wanted to do a more abstract pattern than I've done previously.  In searching for an idea, I found a photo by Dr. Thomas J. Deerinck on the Nikon Small World website that was colorful and complex.  I sent him an email requesting permission to use the image in a hooked rug, promising to neither sell the rug nor a pattern made from the image. He granted permission. I enlarged the basic forms of the image onto a 2' x 3' linen and dyed most of the wool.  Here is what I have completed of the rug so far.  It gets even brighter!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Blots, Drips, and Splots

I've just read Margaret Peot's Inkblot.  She states that we can stimulate our creativity through "cultivating playfulness" on a regular basis.  This "training" will help us to use both our right brain (intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective) and  our left brain (logical, analytical, and objective) together. She suggests that using randomly made folded ink spots, blown ink, and poured ink, we can train ourselves to analyze and see creatively.  Margaret recommends that a person make many ink spots, look at them, and draw what you see.
The process is not as easy as I thought. I need to practice.  I, also, used too much ink to begin with - I think slightly diluted ink would work better for me. Here's the first one:
India ink blot, March 2014
Strathmore sketch paper, Prismacolor colored pencil,  6" x 9"

.....and another:
Blown colored ink blot, March 2014
Strathmore sketch paper, Prismacolor colored pencil, 7 1/2" x 8"

Margaret tells about "the master of blown-ink technique", Stefan G. Bucher, and I love his creatures in the book 100 Days of Monsters which I will be reading.  Going to check out 344 Questions, too. His website is Daily Monster.  

Let's see if I can stre-e-e-e-e-t-c-h my imagination........

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wool Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree, March 2014
Wool, cloth coated floral wire, floral tape, 1/4" dowel, wood block, 16"

The trees branches are made of floral wire wrapped with strips of wool.  The wool strips are 1 1/4" wide with 1" fringe cut into them.  The branches are attached to the dowel with floral tape and the dowel is mounted in a painted block of wood.  The base is decorated with inchies painted on mat board and inchie ornaments hang from the branches.

Inchie Mat

Inchie Mat, March 2014
Wool strips on linen, 14" x 14"

This mat design was created with worms from my stash on a one inch grid.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Rug

This is the color plan for a new 2' x 3' abstract rug ( haven't named it yet).  Very bright! We'll see how it goes.........

Use What's Available

Lighthouse, March 2014
Stamped image on acrylic paper, 4 1/4" x 4 1/4"

Sometimes I like to use what's available to make a piece. This scene is made with a stamp called "Lighthouse" (#80158) by Stamps Happen, Inc.. I added the color with Prismacolor water color pencils, cut the picture into 1 inch squares, used Distress Stain (Vintage Photo) on the edges, and mounted it on 2 pieces of cardstock. It's a simple way to make an illustration to use on a card, for example. Not as nice as an original work, but fun. Having fun is important. I think we miss some of the fun if we are very strict with our art. I'm thankful for each day I get to wake up and enjoy the day.

Leaf Mosaic, March 2014
Cotton fabric, 9" x 12"

This piece, too, is made by using what's available. The leaf design is from Laundry Basket Quilts (Silhouettes).  It's a laser cut, fusible shape for appliqué (6 batik leaves of various sizes in the envelope). I ironed the leaf to a piece of batik, cut it into 1 inch squares (what else...?) and appliquéd the piece to a brown cotton fabric with my sewing machine. I added buttons from "the jars".  The piece is backed with the same gold toned batik cotton.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bird Puzzle Appliqué

Bird Puzzle, March 2014
Wool appliqué on muslin, backed and edged with cotton fabric, 13" x 15"

This pattern is by Karen Fahel and appeared in Felt and Wool for All Seasons from Better Homes and Gardens. Each square is 1" x 1" felted wool and is attached to a piece of muslin with a blanket stitch in 2 strands of Weeks Dye Works floss in charcoal color. The colors were gathered from my stash. The backing is a piece of cotton fabric cut 4 inches wider and longer than the appliqué and folded to the front for a self binding.  The eye is a button from "the jars".

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Seaside Inchies

Seaside Inchies, March 2014

These beach finds were mounted (hot glued) onto 1" x 1" pieces of mat board covered in Tyvek. The inchies are mounted on mat board with foam dots and placed in a shadow box frame.
Tyvek is a material made by DuPont of high-density polyethylene fibers and is used in construction, envelopes, packaging, etc..  It doesn't tear, but it can be easily cut. The Tyvek was painted with Fantastix mint green all purpose fabric ink then ironed between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Tyvek reacts to heat and causes the material to "bubble".  You have convex shapes on one side and concave shapes on the other side.  If you apply too much heat, it will melt (but this might also be interesting in an art piece, too).

This is a piece of Tyvek that I painted with Lumiere Paint before ironing.  A video demonstrating the entire process can be found on

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Artist Trading Cards

Artist trading cards are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" and are made of any media.
Artist Trading Cards, March 2014

These cards are on a card stock base. The first card is made with card stock flower shapes drawn with marker, cut out, and attached with foam glue dots. The second is layered tissue and thread with the face drawn in black Micron ink pen. The third is made with dried hydrangea blossoms under tissue paper with the drawing in micron and watercolor pencil. The fourth is tissue covered music sheet with the drawing in Micron pen. The last is used tea bags (with tea) with the drawing in Micron pen, colored pencil, and painted with Lumiere paint.  

Little Things

In the continuation of "little things"........

Shore Light, March 2014
Acrylic on canvas, 2" x 2"
(a Twinchie)

Evening in Wellfleet Harbor, March 2014
Acrylic on canvas, 2" x 4"

Monday, March 17, 2014


Inchie Gift Card & Tag
March 2014
I used some of the "completely natural inchies" to decorate this gift tag and card.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Inchie Art
March 2014

An inchie is any piece of art that is 1" by 1", and it can be made in any media. (There are also "Rinchies"- round inchies, "Inchies + - those over an inch, and "Twinchies" - those measuring 2" x 2".)  There are many sites online where you can get "how to" instructions and sites where Inchies can be traded as you would Artist Trading Cards.  
 Often artists create their pieces around a theme, red inchies, seasonal designs, holiday designs, etc.. In the book Inchies, Create Miniature Works of Art Using Textiles and Mixed Media Techniques edited by Peggy Donda-Kobert, the first theme is "completely natural".  This is my version:

I also have some inchies made with fiber:
These are done in wool, thread, and fabric with bead, button, and paint embellishments. ( Until I decide how I'll use these inchies, they are pinned to a piece of foam core.)

Saturday, February 8, 2014


I started doing characters in the Ziggy cartoons in the daily paper.  The first one was just penciling over the cartoon, no color.  Did you ever do that?  Draw mustaches on newsprint or magazine pictures?  Silly, but fun.  Well, that's how this started.  My son suggested that I post them online...... they are:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Ornaments

Felt Ornaments, 2013

These little ornaments were made at a workshop with Linda at the Sterling Extension meeting. She has great skill and her hand stitching is precise (obviously - these ornaments were sewn by me....) The ornaments went to adorn our daughter's and son-in-law's tree.  Thank you, Linda, for your wonderful lesson and your patience.