Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Digital Collage - The Last Dance

Last Dance

Last week I actually went out and was able to take some photographs. Hurray! I love Zinnias and this one particular patch of orange ones have kept my heart singing all summer. I caught this one Zinnia at the end of its dance. It says so many things to me on so many levels. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Know it is Bad When You Are On the Weather Channel...

Students at the local college trying to get to class.[photo taken by Paul Stevens]

Yesterday I awoke to the most incredible thunder and lightning. The house shook with thunder and my bedroom would light up with the lightening. Although it was three o'clock in the morning I had to get up and watch. I opened all the blinds and just sat in bed and marveled at the power of the storm. The rain blocking out all sounds, even the beating of my heart. It has not rained here since the week I got home from rehab. It has been hot - in the nineties most days - and dry. My grass has stopped growing, the leaves are falling from trees, more from dryness than the fact that it is fall. The promise of rain is something we all have been praying for.

Rain dancing on the water along the channel. This is low tide.

However - 9 to 10 inches in less than twenty four hours was not what we were expecting. I stayed up after the thunder and lightening woke me up and did a bunch of little things around the house. Then it was off to Physical Therapy in a pouring rain storm. When I left therapy the streets and houses along them were beginning to flood. The inlets and channels were the highest I have seen them in a long time. At low tide it looked a lot like high tide. Now they are saying we could get as much as 6 to 12 inches or more in the next few days. Whoa that is a lot! I am including a few photos I took around lunch time. I was on my was back to my side of town in the midst of a pouring rain storm. It has poured all day with rumbling thunder. I spent a good portion of the afternoon at the Book Sale at our local library. A perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The local AC Moore parking lot at lunch time. I decided to turn around and cut through campus to go home.

One of the student houses right off campus. The whole front yard is full of water. Almost all the houses along this road had the same problem. This was taken around noon. It only got worse. Eventually this road was closed down.

The Book Sale

A small pocket size Greek English Dictionary with a lovely shark skin cover

Our local Library has a book sale twice a year. Once in the Spring and then again in the Fall. All year long books are donated, discarded from the libraries shelves, and then sorted by volunteers into groups, boxed, and stored. I have been a "sorter" for several years now. It is so much fun. I never know what kind of books are going to be there.

We are allowed to take home and read any of the books, then return them for the sale. If we run across something we just have to have we are allowed to purchase it. Each volunteer works a shift or two at the sale. We make almost $100,000.00 dollars to put back into the library each year. When I first started sorting it was only $43,000.00. Quite a difference in just five years. This sale I was strictly a buyer as I can not cart around the boxes of books, nor can I sit for long periods of time on metal folding chairs. This year I bought a variety of foreign language dictionaries, a lovely shorthand book, some really nice music books, some poetry books, a map book from 1926, a few cook books, some classics like The Great Gatsby, a few Jane Austen books, and the list goes on and on. What is it about the look and feel of a really well made book? I thought I would scan a few things and share them with you. Hope you enjoy!

Two pages from a Poet's Handbook and Dictionary. I was intrigued with the way they had all these rhyming words.

A couple of random shorthand pages. No matter how much I look at it, it all seems the same to me.

A lovely Dictionary with colored illustrations. I thought this knight one all dressed in armor was pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blank Page - One Palette - 4 by 4's

In July I did several posts on using One Palette. I even left a blank page for you to copy and use any way you wanted. I thought you might enjoy seeing what I did with that blank page. First I cut it up into four 4" by 4" pieces. I had one thin and long piece left which I turned into a book mark [see previous post.]

I enjoy working in this small format. I find it is a good way to warm up when I first come in to my studio, a good way to use up some of the smaller scraps that seem to build up on my work table. The collage process seems to go quickly on such a smaller piece.

I have a cigar box that the 4" by 4" fit into perfectly. For the past couple of years I store what ever I have made in that box. At the end of the year I make a cover and bind them all into a chunky book. It always amazes me how many pages I have. It is a good way to sort of see where and what you did through the year.

Blank Page - One Palette - Bookmark

Here is a bookmark I made from the Blank Page of One palette. I cut the page into 4, 4"by 4" pieces, then the book mark and a few scraps were left. I sewed the scraps onto the book mark. Then I used some images from one of my old journals and one from Paper Whimsy to collage the bookmark.

I will keep this one till I finish my book, then off to the library sale to tuck it into a book for someone to find. This week as I was blog hopping I read where someone [I wish I could remember who] made a bookmark for every new book she read. I thought that was such a cool idea. Another thing to try!

Friday, September 17, 2010

School Days - Freebies

This is one of my favorite school pictures. Some of the kids are dressed up, some are not. I love the community feel of this picture. Most of all I love the dog - the school mascot.

Music class, one of my favorites. I always got stuck with the little triangle even though I wanted the tambourine.

A one room school house in the shelter of the pines. I love how the boys are in their suits and the little girls have on their starched white dresses. A picture was a big deal then, and people dressed for the occasion.

This looks like a small school to me. At first I thought it might be just a class, but with further inspection I realized it is just a one room school house. I love how the boys have taken their hats off for the picture [except for the one boy behind the teacher.]

They seem to be quite the lot here. I love how in the front row one little girl has on her Mary Jane's and right next to her the little girl is barefoot. Her feet look like they have never seen a shoe.

Looks like Recess Time to me. Every one seems to be very happy! The carefree days.

These are some school day freebies for you. I tried to pick a variety for you. They are a little late. I know we are in to the second or third week of school depending on where you live, but it is the soonest I could post them.

This year is the first year that none of my boys are here starting school. My youngest moved up to college the Monday after my hip replacement. It was rather traumatic for both of us. He was very upset about leaving me, but it was our plan and he could not really do anything for me that the nurses, doctors, and rehab people couldn't do.

It is hard realizing how quickly they all grow up.
The good news is that he loves school, loves his new job, his housemate is working out. Although he told me that he had to school him on washing dishes and keeping things picked up. It is so funny to hear them complain about those type of things. Oh well, I hope school has started off with a blast for all of you and yours. Enjoy!

Report Cards - Freebies

Here are a few report card images for you. I thought they might make good backgrounds. I got a real kick reading some of these. My Mother recently gave me a whole large manila envelope full of my old report cards. It was so much fun to read through them. I am not quite brave enough to share them so these "stranger" ones will have to do. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Digital Collage - Forgotten Memories

The day I came home from rehab the friend who brought me home went up to my studio and gathered up a couple of unfinished projects and brought them downstairs. I explained that they were unfinished and it would be awhile till I could get back upstairs to the materials I needed to finish them. She tilted her head and smiled at me, then said "I know."

Little did I know... but she knew that they would bug me just sitting there waiting to be finished. Everyday they would scream in their silent way for me to work harder, rest more, heal, so that I could finish them. Yesterday I finished this one. All it is lacking is a mat and frame.

In physical therapy as they push and push you to rebuild and strengthen your muscles they remind you that it is just reminding your muscles of forgotten paths and strengths. If you do the work they will remember, make the connections, and grow stronger. As I completed this digital collage, I thought how appropriate that it should be titled "Forgotten Memories." A tribute to all that was left behind and forgotten.

Zucchini Bread

Yesterday a neighbor dropped by a bag of Zucchini from their garden. They had a bumper crop this year. I remember the end of the season and wondering what to do with all the produce our garden had blessed us with.

The first farm we owned was off of a road that led to a state park. We hauled an old picnic table to the drive and I would place large baskets of vegetables in them with a "Free Vegetables" sign on it. Every Friday morning I would pick extra and place them out on the road side table. Often there would be notes of thanks or a little something someone had left for us. For many years I was "the lady with that table". I figured there were a lot of people enjoying our extras. How much can one family cook, can, pickle, freeze, or put away?

All those memories came flooding back with the delivery of a bag of Zucchini. I pulled out my grandmother's recipe for Zucchini bread and made a few loaves. Thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!


3 eggs/well beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of chopped nuts - optional - I like pecans
2 cups of raw zucchini - washed, grated, peeled or unpeeled

Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
Add the sugar and oil gradually to the eggs.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg, sugar, and oil mixture.
Then pat the grated zucchini dry with a paper towel.
Add the zucchini, vanilla, and optional nuts to the mixture.
Gently mix all ingredients together.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pans[2]. I use the 8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and ten minutes. Makes 2 scrumptious loaves.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September's Magazine Cover Freebie

This is the last of the Monthly Magazine Covers I will be doing. Can you believe it has been a year since I started them? I can't. Time has flown by this year. Now I will have to begin something new next month. I have lots of ideas, I can't wait to see what I come up with.

These are a couple of extras I thought I would throw in. I love the rich fall colors they have and thought you might enjoy them.

A Journal Page - Things I Love

This is the last page I did in my art journal the night I fell and broke my hip. I have been working in this journal for some time and wanted to try and finish it up that week. I was looking forward to starting a new journal. Little did I know that the journal I would start would start in rehab; involve physical and occupational therapists. Life is full of funny twists and turns.

Four Letter Words - Home

Some Journal Pages

Sometimes you find an image and it just speaks out to you. That is what happened when I saw these two sisters. I love their dresses and they look like they depend on each other. I wish I knew their names and what their story was.

Life brings us many things. I have found if you just stand up and face it, the worst is really not as bad as you thought it was. Little did I know when I did this page how soon I would be tested. Some of the border images are from Nancy at Crow about.

If you follow your heart, generally speaking things work out. Sometimes a little common sense helps, but the heart speaks first. The hearts are from Ceremony.

After I did this journal page I was taught the lesson of true friends. Thank you friends for touching my heart.

Good advice at any time. I don't know if you can see the background on this journal page. I used a couple of different crackle paints out on the market to try them out. I like the Tim Holtz one, although I did have to thin it a bit.

These are journal pages I was working on before I fell and broke my hip. My Art Quote Journal was all but finished. Only two pages to finish. I had scanned these and was going to post them that night or next morning. The best laid plans.... So I am posting them today. My goal this week is to finish the two pages that are still backgrounds. Hope you enjoy these.