Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wishing Everyone a Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and trick or treating time!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Art Creations Friday - At Night She Would... Fly

This week for Art Creations Friday we were given this picture of the woman. It was just the bust which made it a bit challenging. As October is almost over and I have not made much Halloween or witchy art I felt like I needed to go with that theme. Besides I like to think that these deserted an abandoned homes still have some spirits lingering around...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Theme Thursday Challenge - Favorite Colors

This week for the Theme Thursday Challenge we were to use our favorite color[s] in a piece of art work. Now that is a hard one because I have rarely found a color I didn't like. I can't wear all the colors but I enjoy painting with them or seeing them out in the universe. My favorites change according to time of day, emotions, and whatever my current "thing" is.

One constant is the blue family. Blue makes everything look good. The other is red. Everyone looks good in red. All the different variations are just fun. Orange is a favorite highlight color. I find I use more and more of it. Tonight I felt like the blue family. I love the turquoise blue. I collect turquoise colored glass. It just looks so beautiful with the sun steaming through it. I guess that would be my inspiration.

I chose an image of Maud Fealy and digitally manipulated a rather plain background I slapped together with a few colors of paint and scanned. I tried to surround her with all the rich reds and pinks and then added a little purple to top it off. These are the colors I am feeling today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three Muses Challenge - The Chicken or the Egg

Which came first - the chicken or the egg?

This week the Three Muses Challenge was to use a chicken in your art. I decided to work on backgrounds and I always think of eggs and feathers when I think of chickens. I first painted a piece of watercolor paper with just a simple landscape. Very fast. Then scanned that. I then added the eggs and feathers digitally. I decided to add a little chicken wire. The rooster and chicken are from my glorious book of Cassells Poultry. This was a fun challenge.

Digital background for You - Eggs

I enjoyed the Three Muses Challenge so much I thought I would share this digital background with you. Please feel free to use it in your art work. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Friends and Loved Ones

The past few days have been filled with entertainment from friends and loved ones. I have been distracted with good conversations, food and laughter. I will be back in the next day or so renourished and full of new projects.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Freebies - A Few Good Witches....

This is one of my favorite Halloween postcards. She is so pretty and I just love the big old moon.

This just cracks me up. She and her kitty are so sweet. It reminds me of taking that picture of your sweet precious one in their costume just before the trick or treat fun begins.

My favorite Ellen Clapsaddle Halloween postcard.

Isn't she incredible with her owl head dress? I want a costume like that.

She is such a sweet little witch. Maybe a cousin to Little Red Riding Hood.

One more week till Halloween is upon us. With that in mind I decided to pull out some images and make a few things today. It is pouring rain here. As I was going through my folder of Halloween images I was struck by how many witches in red with their little black kitties I have. I decided to go through them and pick out five of them for all of you. Hope you can use them in your art...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Art Creations Friday - The Power of You

This week I was able to do the challenge for Art Creations Friday. They gave us the wonderful background and we were to do whatever we felt like. I decided to stay with the grayer tones and hint of browns. It feels rather fall, any way it gave me the needed excuse to use this young girl. She is so soulful.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Surgery - Art Journal

Last week when I shared some of my Art Journal with you I mentioned that I was thinking about doing surgery on the journal. The Moleskin Sketchbook that I was using has a 1/2 inch spine. The leather on the outside was holding everything together to the naked eye. However, when you opened the book you could feel the signatures shift. When you looked down the spine you could see where things were falling apart.

Definitely surgery, or else with handling the book would fall apart. I gathered my supplies, sharp scissors, gel medium, mending tissue, tissue paper, and some soft leather. I took the book to my work table and cut down the spine covering. This left about 1/4 of an inch of leather on each side.

See how the book has popped open now that the spine covering has been cut. You can see that the tissue paper that was covering the signatures has torn and rolled up. The glue is visible and the signatures are all still sewn together. That is good.

I took the spine covering and put an edge of gel medium on it and bent it back and adhered it to the covers. This left the spine totally exposed. In the above picture you can see the top is adhered and the bottom is not.

In this picture both of the pieces have been glued and tucked in nicely. I have manipulated the spine so that it is now even and full.

I glued what was left of the original spinal covering back on. Then I broke out the mending tape. This is a very thin tissue like tape with an adhesive on one side. I covered the whole spine with it leaving where the fabric book mark is based clear. Again I manipulated the spine so that the pages were aligned more and the spine was straight.

I then applied gel medium to the top of the mending tape, laid a piece of tissue on that, then covered the tissue with a layer of gel medium. Let this dry thoroughly. At this point the spine now measures almost 2 inches. That is 1 1/2 inches larger than it was. Poor spine.

Next, I glued on the leather. I found a leather that was well tanned yet sturdy. A bit thicker than the original leather. You can usually get leather scraps at a craft store, some fabric stores, or even cut up an old purse or garment you might have. I decided to use the smooth finish side. I glued the front first using gel medium. Let this dry and then turned it over and wrapped it around to the back. It is firm but not tight. There is much more to do in this journal.

This is the back side. Still thick and interesting. This journal is twice the thickness it once was.

Here you can see that I did not glue the leather to the spine, just to the covers. This gives the journal the same feel as it originally had. The mending tape and tissue are the new spine.

The front all nicely finished and ready to be worked in.

Theme Thursday Challenge - Faces

This is my entry for Theme Thursday Challenge this week. The theme is faces. We are to make an ATC, a 4 by 4 or anything we want just as long as it has a face on it. Well, that was a challenge. Way too many choices for me in that department. I have been playing with photo shop using one photo with lots of the drawing, layers, filters, etc. Also, making things using the grid feature.

I am fascinated with faces. They can tell us so much about a person. Expressions always changing. I decided to make a Warhol type thing using this young girl. Like most people, I gave her several different faces, with several different backgrounds, like the different settings we have in our lives. I have included the original photo at the bottom of this post for your personal use. I thought you might like to play around with her. She was obviously well taken care of and loved by her family. All children should be so lucky.

Original Image - Isn't she just the sweetest? and that big old chain and locket... don't forget to right click to get the larger version of her.

Bull Frog Chicken

Today I had a long reminisce with an old friend in Mobile Alabama. When we were kids we would spend a week or two each summer at each other's house. It gave our parents a break from our tweeniness, and a time for us to explore our little corner of the world through someone else's eyes. I even went to her school one year for a week or so one year. Every year we would have a big barbecue when we got to each other's house and when we left. Here is the recipe[s] for the chicken.

Now that Summer is gone and Fall is upon us this is a great recipe to use your grill with. It takes a while to grill and with the cooler weather it makes for a nice way for your main griller to spend 45 minutes to an hour.

1 whole frying chicken - one chicken serves four
1 jar rosemary
1 cup kosher salt

Chicken Prep
The day before you will clean the chicken and remove the excess fat.
Cut both sides of the rib cage from the tail to the shoulder. Open, using the wing joints as pivots.
Pound flat with the side of a knife. This makes the chicken look just like a big ole bullfrog.
Place chicken on foil, coat with salt and rosemary on both sides.
Seal the foil and refrigerate overnight.
Cook on grill 45 to 60 minutes till done.
Serve with potatoe salad and the last of your garden tomatoes.

Now if you need something a little more fancier and a whole lot hotter, here is the Alabama Bullfrog Chicken Recipe. Thanks Ms. G.

2 cups Mayonaise
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup horseradish
1/2 teaspoon cayene pepper

Prep the chicken by cleaning and splitting.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Soak each side of the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes in this mixture.
Wrap the chicken in foil and cook on the grill for 45 to 60 minutes.
When the chicken is finished serve with cornbread and green beans.


Four Letter Words - Leaf

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blocks - Sides and Tops

The block swap I am in through the Yahoo group - In this house and garden - is winding down. I finished and sent the last set of three off and another set that has one more side to be completed by the next person. This means in the next week or so my blocks will be coming home also.

It was a great swap, fast moving, fun, and really cool to see what everyone had done. So much talent in such a small space. These are six of the sides and tops I did. The sides are not too hard, but the top can be challenging. I still can't figure out how to do something that is good from all sides unless it is abstract. Unfortunately, I am becoming addicted to blocks...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Digital Collage - Spell Caster

This morning when I awoke it was forty three degrees out. Brrr. The year round average temperature here is 65 degrees. I actually had to turn on the heat and wait about thirty minutes before getting out of bed. I am not ready for cold weather. Hopefully this is just an anomaly, and we will be back to warmer days soon.

Meanwhile, I took the morning to do some things around here rather than my usual walk and photo session. I spent part of the morning making a few digital collages and downloading photos. It is always a good thing to start the day off with something creative under the belt. I decided to turn Cinderella into a spell caster... why not it is October.

The Homestead

Friday was just one of those horrific days that seemed to never end. Finally about four o'clock in the morning Saturday I decided to call it quits in the sleep department and just get up. Long rides to nowhere are often the cure. Along the ride I happened upon this house, under a tree filled with Spanish moss, along the river. As I stood taking pictures, a man appeared from behind the house where the river is. He waved, then grinned and he and his dog disappeared along the tree line. It was just one of those silent moments... later I wondered if the man and dog were real, or just some greeting from the gods telling me it was all right to enjoy the day and everything would right itself.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn Images for You by Mucha

This is one of my favorite Mucha's that you don't see that much. I love the crow and the gypsy girl. It is so beautiful. [Marion - this reminds me of you.]

Mucha loved the seasons. I can't think of Autumn without thinking of his beautiful women.

Another gypsy girl, or maybe this is her party costume. I love the rich Autumn colors.

What is not more Autumn than the harvesting of the crops? Here it is the grapes.

I don't know if this is Autumn, but I love the rich jewel tones that are in this painting. They remind me of Autumn.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Art Journal Pages

I used some mail art on this page. Thanks Dianne Adams for the lovely envelopes. I try to salvage some of them to reuse. Here you can see the "art" and path I have added to my pages.

Watercolors and playing with circles. I used the blue in oil pastels in areas. Stuck on the circle them filled my misters with several shades of watercolors and sprayed. When everything was dry I pulled off the circles and set them aside to use on something else. I treated myself to a couple of Art Chix collage sheets, the crow girl is off one of them.

So have you hung around with a little two year girl lately? Well I have. Let me tell you she is wide open ready for about anything, tastes anything, sees everything, and can shop like a teenager. The ATTITUDE is fabulous! I found a place for those circles on this page.

This is another piece of mail art I tried to incorporate into my art journal. I took the end that did not have the flap on it and cut it open to take out the mail. I loved this envelope with the blue riveted circles and the brown stamping. I just could not throw it out. Recycle, reuse, is the mantra. I glued it to my page, colored it, added a few things,and now I have my secret place.

Here I used my own photograph and a painting of a young one I have always enjoyed. So tender.

More mail art. I used the tape that some blocks were protected by. I have a real thing for all of this decorative tape and could not let it go to waste. The flower pattern is so retro and cool. The "sign here" are a reminder of what is going on in the day to day part of my life, and another bird to remind me to soar.

A Moleskin Art Journal

Most times it starts with this little Moleskin sketchbook with the pretty lilac wrapper. I love the size of this journal, small and compact. The sturdy pages. I use this as a place to work on things in my head, keep some of my digital collages and bits and pieces of my art life. I usually go through one a month. I still get that feeling of excitement as I open a new one up.

Here is my latest almost finished. Some pages are completed, some are just waiting for the right word or quote. Sometimes the image says it all.

Have your moleskin's ever gotten so thick that they wouldn't close without the little elastic ribbon? So thick that your spine is almost broken? I am debating with this one in redoing the spine. It is very iffy. has anyone had to do this?

Almost finished.

Three Muses Challenge - Hair

Mirror Mirror

This weeks TheThree Muses Challenge is Hair. Something I know a little about. My hair is at least several feet long. It is down past my waist. Yes, I know I need a haircut. Having long hair is so easy though. You just wrap it up on top of your head, or braid it, or just let it fall. You don't have to curl it or gel it or really mess with it too much. It is really blonde - yes, my real color. Here is a secret I don't tell many - I dye my hair to make it darker, it is so light it sometimes washes me my face out. I have always wanted red hair - that lush Irish red like the woman in Dante Rossetti's painting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween Freebies

Tonight I realized I had not posted any Halloween Freebies. I loved Halloween when I was growing up. I always wanted to wear a cool costume and the free candy was wonderful. My boys were always so much fun. They really got into their costumes and the pillow cases full of candy lasted till Christmas. I gave them one night to gorge then it was put into a giant wooden dough bowl in the kitchen. Their father would take them in wagons through the neighborhood while I stayed home with the babies and handed out candy and took photo's of all the neighborhood kids in their glory. At a certain time we would break off and meet all of the neighbors in a designated garage for hot cider and hot cocoa. Last year I had one group of trick or treater's. Every thing is done at the church or mall now. Here are some old postcards to go with the old memories. Enjoy...