Saturday, August 30, 2008

One Year Birthday of My Blog!

I had hoped to celebrate with a little more hoop-la, but my focus is on the house project.

I'm approaching my 100th post, so I'll plan on doing something special when I get there. I hope you'll keep checking back.

In the meantime, I've posted an image that I manipulated with Photoshop Elements. I really love playing with the filters & other tools in the program and I should do it more often.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I love to see the butterflies dance in my garden when I look up from painting the house. Here are a couple shots I took during a break last week. The Monarch is on my Carefree Beauty Rose. Japanese Beetles have tried to devour the roses, but I keep picking them off into soapy water. When asked why I don't just put chemicals on my plants, I tell them there are too many insect friends - butterflies, bees, dragon flies and others.

This butterfly is on my butterfly bush. I can't remember the name of this butterfly, but welcome your comments to remind me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

2008 Iowa State Fair - Something to Smile About!

The Iowa State Fair has been over for a week, but I can still smell the corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy and lemonade when I look at the pictures I took.
Hubby & I attended the artists' opening reception two nights before the fair opened. He took the shot of me crouched by my painting. Honestly, it was a let-down seeing it hung so low where the lighting was poor and knowing that most viewers probably missed seeing the details. But it was an honor to have been selected to be in the show, and I am grateful.

Well, you can imagine my great surprise and tremendous joy when I was contacted by a representative of the Sanford Museum in Cherokee, Iowa. She had seen my painting at the fair and invited me to have a solo exhibit in their museum. We have arranged for my show to be in May 2009. Check out their web site. It looks like a wonderful asset to the community, and I am excited about visiting it sometime this fall.

Hubby & I spent a couple evenings at the fair. It was a treat (and big surprise) to run into hubby's brother in the barn with the biggest bull. We spent the rest of the evening hanging out with my bro-in-law and some of his colleagues.

There is SO much to see and do (eat) at the fair, and these pics are just a small morsel.

And so I say "Goodnight". Maybe we'll see you at the fair next year.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bless This House

Things are picking up on our house exterior remodel. The windows are in, facia & soffets replaced, and all the trim boards are up. The first coarse of siding is around the house. Hubby installed several planks of siding this weekend.

I've been prepainting the siding. We're using Hardiplank, a fiber cement siding. We put a palette on sawhorses where we lay the siding planks to be painted. You can see them in the foreground of the 2nd picture. In the 3rd picture, you can see a section that hubby installed yesterday.
At the end of my painting sessions, I often use up some of the excess paint on my brush by writing blessings on the tyvek. I also get silly & sketched faces. Not really portraits, but they represent the Hubby & me.

It's really exciting to get to this point on the project. We never imagined it would take so long, but there have been plenty of weather & work interuptions.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Birds and Music ATC & Postcard Swap

I participated in a swap with Femmy. She makes amazing ATC's, postcards and other art. Be sure to check out her blog. We decided to use the themes of birds and music to create 2 ATC's and a postcard.

My postcard started by adhering some music to heavy watercolor paper. Next I used Liquitex paint to establish the sunrise background. (You can see how I used the extra paint to start an ATC that is shown in my last post.) After drawing the bird & branches, I painted them with acrylic paint. This was my latest interpretation of a photo I took a few years ago. I wrote about it here.

Fly Away Dove ATC began with acrylic paint on watercolor paper. Stamped images were added. The dove was stamped on different paper, cut out & glued to ATC.
The words were cut from an old music book. Krylon gold leaf paint marker was used to accent the edge.

Get Inspired ATC's base is glossy card stock that was colored with Ranger's Tim Holtz alcohol inks. Stamped & glued images were added. Next I stacked the card on green cardstock. The finishing touch came when I added the words I found in a magazine. They just happened to fit my color scheme. Love it when that happens!
Following are what came today from Femmy.

I LOVE the cards that Femmy sent me. They are all wonderful, but I am just thrilled with the Tales of the Jazz Age postcard. The ATC's are so fun. She sure found some great images.
I hope to do more swaps in the future, but I really have to pace myself. I've got some exciting events in my future that I will share more about in a future post.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Art in the Everyday

This is an ATC that started when I was using up the excess paint on my palette which gave me the yellow, red & orange background. I stamped the bird image and added dash lines with a Sharpie. The foilage was drawn with Derwent Graphitint pencils. The title was clipped from a fashion magazine.

Fair Trade Meets Art

Last week I picked up this sweet little journal at a fair trade shop called Worldly Goods in Ames, Iowa. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I loved everything about it from the collaged leaf cover to the handmade paper signatures. I realized it could become an album for ATC's when I placed this new ATC by it so you could see the relative size of the album.

Speaking of ATC's, I made a few the past couple weeks. I'm doing an exchange & will reveal the results once the swap is complete. This ATC is mostly stamped on heavy watercolor paper. The writing was done with Sharpies.

The "set" for the photograph is two backgrounds that I started a few weeks ago - one on canvas & the other on illustration board. I like to prepare grounds and leave them for a while until I have more time to follow up on the piece. It's a fun process for experimenting with color combinations and techniques. These art starts can be as small as an ATC, but I usually have a variety of sizes started.

We've been making progress on our house project, so soon I will be able to devote more time to some larger pieces of art again. Hooray!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Amazonite Challenge

Since I've been recouperating from getting my wisdom teeth removed last Friday, I'm taking it easy. Working at my jewelry design board was just the thing to take my mind off the pain for a while. This month's gemstone challenge is Amazonite at The Beadhive (BHV), a jewelry and bead designing group I belong to at Etsy & Ebay. I just happened to pick up some Amazonite coins at a show last Spring.

I used Paua Shell, Labradorite, and Kiwi Jasper along with glass seed beads for this 40 inch long necklace. Wear it singly, or wrap it for a double strand look. Matching earrings come with the necklace. I named it Minty Breeze for it's summery look and light appearance and feeling. Minty Breeze will be up for sale in my Etsy store.