Monday, January 31, 2011

Journal January 2011 - Day 11

Yes it's been two weeks!  This cough/cold has really hit hard and long.  Day 18 and no relief in sight.  But life and creativity must go on!!!  So, I'm getting back into the studio and working on my Journal January 2011 art journal.  Needless to say...too far behind now to ever even dream of catching up but I just want to keep doing the journal for now and see how it goes.

This is day 11 and is across from day 10. The edge you see on the left of this photo is where I carried over day 10 - just cuz I wanted to.  Back to mostly black and white for the Crossword Puzzle page. This is the first time I've played with my Pentel Aquash brush.  I think there is more of a learning curve than I anticipated. But I did get better by the end of this page and THINK I know a bit more what I'm doing with it. So, here it is -- Day 11.

Journal January 2011 - Day 11 - Crossword Puzzle

Friday, January 14, 2011

Journal January 2011 - Day 10

I know I'm four days behind! But I had some projects that HAD to get out the door to meet deadlines! But today I'm back!

Day 10 is a Dragonfly.  There really is a Twelve Spotted (or Striped) Dragonfly!  Who knew??  With the black and white stripes it goes so well with the Zebra as a Design Element theme.  Also, I planned to have the dragonfly to be seen in the reverse view of the Stripey Window. (one of the advantages to being behind!!) 

Working on some other projects tonight and hoping to get to day 11 tomorrow! I desperately need to get two done on a couple of days to at least get CLOSE to getting caught up!

Journal January 2011- Day 10 - Dragonflly

Dragonfly seen through the reverse view of Stripey Windows

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

DAG Quilt 2011 - January

DAGgers are going to be doing a quiltlet each month for 2011. Each month is assigned a color and the quiltlet for that month uses only that color! It's not as easy as it sounds. Most of us are used to developing texture and depth with color and contrast. So it could prove to be a bit of a challenge.  These will be non-bound and then at the end of the year each person will put their quilt together however they want to. I'm just making the quiltlets 10" X 10" and currently have no plan at all as to how to put them into a single quilt. I'll worry about that closer to the end of this project.  The reason? Because my life and perspectives seem to change so much during  a whole year.  I want the journey of the quiltlets to be where I am at that month but the final piece I want to be centered more around where I am at the end of 2011.

So, let's begin!  The color for January is WHITE. I chose a white-on-white for the base fabric. White grosgrain ribbon bisects the square but not quite in half (you know how I hate exactness!!) Since this winter is the snowiest we've had in years, I decided to add a snowflake motif stitch down the middle of the ribbon. The top right "half" is overlaid with a tulle that has silver circles on it. I had these three embellishment pieces from a friend who gave me tons of lace and stuff. On the bottom "half" just under the ribbon I roller painted "snow" circles using Lumiere Pearl White. The lace on the left side of the square is also from the lace stash from my friend.


  A couple of close-up detail photos

Journal January 2011 - Day 9

Ok, so I'm not a really "stripey" person as a rule and frankly, was not looking forward to this page very much at all.  But then I decided to tear some of my TONS of paper towels I've collected. These are paper towels used to clean up messes mostly after dyeing fabric.  I found early on that they are often quite gorgeous!  Knew they would come in handy more than once!  And here they are the stars of the page!

I also used white acrylic paints with the lino cut zebra elements from a previous page to add some depth to this page.  Don't know if you can see it or not, but I journaled in the white parts of the zebra striped tissue paper.

Zebra Stripes and So Much More!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Journal January 2011 - Day 8

Day 8 revolves around vertical journaling.  I chose to go with the page of the African Veldt that I painted for my zoo zebras and also work with the page that is the back of the stripey "window", making this a 2 page spread.

Up and Down - full two pages

Left page - in a few days there will be a dragonfly to view through this reverse side of the stripey window. I also added some left over pieces of my zebra mandala to keep my zebras playing in my journal.
  Right page - Journaling vertically is more of a challenge than one might think. Took a bit more concentration than I imagined before I started.  Even though the letters are English, I think the journaling part looks almost Oriental.  Now you can get a better view of my African Veldt.  Can you tell I'm not used to drawing animals??  LOL

Journal January 2011 - Day 7

Today is Stripey Windows.  Cutting out a "window" to see through to another page.  I went with a theme of Freedom....well for zoo zebras anyway.  Figured if I was in a zoo I would long to be home...surely they do too.  So here are three zoo zebras looking out through the bars of their cage...and in their minds see the African Veldt at sunset...their ancestral home where they long to be roaming free.

Show Me The Way To Go Home

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Journal January 2011 - Day 6

Today's idea was to make a centipede.  The feet pictures were supplied online.  Our challenge was to use them to make a centipede.  The example used torn/glued newspaper for a background.  Hadn't done that before so I thought I would try it. It didn't take long to get the inspiration for this page in my art journal for January 2011.  As you can see....I'm only now posting Day 6....and today is the 9th.  You'll understand why that is humorous to me when you see the page I did.  And here it is

I Keep Getting Ahead of Myself

LOL! Like signing up for so many fun and challenging things that I can't keep on top of easily.  I'm struggling with the schedule but I don't want to miss any of the fun!!!  And gee....I only have 4 days to catch up with tomorrow!!!  Piece o' Cake, right?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Journal January 2011 - Day 5

Still playing catch up but hanging in there!

Ok, the prompt today was to make a zebra page in the style of GuidoDaniele.  Here is a link to her painted hand animals. Zebras are near the bottom of the page.  So for the journal we trace our hand to start.  Then it goes from there.  I traced my hand (backwards which wasn't as easy as it looks!!) painted it and while thinking of where to go next...I thought of my granddaughter who is most likely my budding artist.  So, I used a trace of her hand and titled the page "Art...Passing it on"  As an artist, one of my greatest joys is passing on art to my four awesome grandchildren.  It is my special gift to them.

Art...Passing it on

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Journal January 2011 - days 3 and 4

Journaling using the zebra as a design element has proven to be very interesting.  I hope to have the link button on my blog soon.  My techie muse has vanished on this one!

Day 3 - Lino print of zebra elements
I had some lino product that I had never tried.  Just small pieces to try out so this project was perfect for that.  Let's just say that if I had used this product for my first lino cut....I would have NEVER made a second!  But I struggled through and completed the project the way I liked it.

Day 4 - Draw a face that has zebra elements
On day 3 I was thinking of how the wrinkles on my face are similar to the zebra stripes.  That lead to the inspiration for today's journal page.

This is the full page "When Did I Grow Old?"

The "old" side - The way I look on the outside

The "young" side - The way I FEEL on the inside.  I CHOOSE to live HERE!

Last 3 canal houses

Ok, you just gotta understand that somtimes I get so involved in what I'm doing in my studio that I totally forget about anything else!  So, without further are the three houses to finish out the Amsterdam Canal Houses. Their stories follow the photo. Again, keep in mind that there are a bag of embellishments which have items that pertain to the a sewing maching button, tiny flowers, etc.  Oh and don't know if I mentioned it before but because my signature color is purple....each house has some element of purple in it. 

Home of the Local Seamstress (aka House I)

But she is not just ANY seamstress! Her designs can be found gracing the elite models all over the world. Her house may seem unassuming but that is because she so greatly values her time alone in her design studio creating fabulous garments for her collection, royalty, super models, movie stars, etc. But when she goes out, she dresses in a manner not to attract attention. When she is not designing, she is traveling to exotic locations all over the world looking for wonderfully luxurious fabrics, unusual adornments and, of course, inspiration! Perhaps that is why there is often a jet flying over her house! And who knows…soon you might even be wearing a beautiful gown from her latest design collection!

Home of the Mayor (aka House J)

This substantial home is the residence of the Mayor. Being politically ambitious, he figured the best way to curry favor with the Queen was to build his house with orange bricks! (Orange being the Queen’s color). He even keeps orange fish in the canal in front of his home. So far, no royal appointments have been forthcoming but our intrepid Mayor will not give up easily. During the day his windows are closed with thick copper colored tapestry shades. His phone is in one window because he is never far from it. He often shows off his home with lavish parties that last late into the night. If you look into the windows (unless you are one of the very fortunate people to actually be invited!) you will see two HUGE fireplaces at either end of the grand hall that runs the full width of the home at the back of the house. Parties in the summer always spill out into the back courtyard that will have a “ceiling” of Japanese lanterns. He will be very friendly when you meet him on the sidewalk. But be cautious…he IS a politician after all.

Home of the Chairman of the Flower Guild (aka House K)

Not difficult to find the house of the Chairman of the Flower Guild. The full window boxes give it away I think. She purchased this house mainly because it had so many windows and she wanted flower boxes on every one of them…even the one for the attic! Even her window treatments suggest pink hydrangeas. She used to have many many flower pots on the sidewalk in front of her house but so many people picked them because they were so beautiful that she plants them along the sidewalk close to her house. They attract butterflies and dragonflies and usually a little frog to eat all the bad bugs. The rest of her wonderful flowers are in her back courtyard and of course…in EVERY room of her many-roomed home. In the spring though, she will place specially made planters along the steps of her roof just to add to the abundance of color and scent to welcome the milder weather. Her real prize is in her attic which she transformed into her indoor hot house with many large skylights. So, please do enjoy her floral display but please don’t pick the flowers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

And One More Thing for Today

I was doing watercolors today and just wanted to share them with you.  The theme was to be where land and water meet.  Here are the ones I did.

North Shore Cliffs

 North Shore Sunset

North Shore Rapids

Frozen Stream

Got to play with some new "toys" on these....well one anyway....masking liquid!!

Journal January Day 2

Still working a day behind as far as posting the journal pages on my blog.  I was working on this on into the night so it didn't get photographed and posted until today.  It will probably be the same for day 3!  LOL! These take a bit of time and I have to take breaks to work on other stuff that has deadlines looming.  Anyway, here is day 2 - The New Year brings a New Perspective.

Still working on the zebra as design inspiration.  Part one was to zendoodle a zebra mandala.  Part two was to cut up and use that mandala to design the journal pages.  I did a two page spread on this one.

Zebra Zendoodle Mandala

The New Year brings a New Perspective

Now onto day 3!!!

Canal Houses - next set

OK, here are the next set of canal houses and their stories.  The next three are E, F and G/H (two house made into one.) The stories follow the photo.

The Residence of the Pink Princess (aka House E)

This is the house of the Pink Princess. She is all about hearts and flowers and the glam! Shiny things excite her…especially PINK shiny things! She IS in residence most of the time but the entrance to her pink palace is through the courtyard in the back so no one is ever REALLY sure when she is at home. She can sometimes be seen walking her pink poodle along the canal sidewalk in the evenings….just when the sunset is nice and pink. During the day…even some of the wispy clouds seem shiny and sparkly over her house and only pink fish seem to swim in the canal in front of her house. Her favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day…of course. But it is not just on that day that her heart is open. Her favorite pastime is working with charities for children…giving of herself and her vast fortune. Her little pink poodle is a favorite in the hospital children’s ward. When the weather is not pleasant, she spends her days sitting in front of her fireplace on her pink chaise reading romance novels. I think you might enjoy getting to know her in your neighborhood.

The Royal Residence (aka House F)

Obviously this royal purple house with the precious metal d├ęcor is the home of a royal family. No one is sure just WHICH royal family though. Rumors abound but because the entrance to their home is through their back courtyard, no one has ever actually SEEN then arrive or leave. Some conjecture that they are a members of the once well-known Russian royalty. Others believe they once recognized a Scandanavian prince in the window. But alas…no solid lead has ever surfaced. This mystery is furthered along because their house is at the very top of the bridge so to be less visible from the canal itself. Perhaps while they are living with you, you will catch a glimpse of them and final reveal their true identity!

European Home of Jackson Pollock (aka House G/H)

When Jackson Pollock was alive, he loved to visit Amsterdam! He visited so often that he decided to purchase a large home on one of the canals. Not long after moving in, he painted the outside of his house. Now it is unlike any other. As his legacy to the art world, his will left instructions for his Amsterdam Canal home to be turned into an artist retreat. Artists needing to get away and rejuvenate their creative muse are welcome to stay here at no fee for three months. These visiting artists each leave a wonderfully creative touch on the inside of Pollock’s former house. While Jackson Pollock was a painter, ALL genre of art is encouraged at the retreat. At any given time, the residents could be painters, musicians, poets, writers, sculptors, mixed media and fiber artists, etc. Culinary artists also visit regularly so the kitchen is constantly supplied with tasty tantalizing morsels to sample. It is possibly the liveliest house on the block…so drop in sometime, sit around the kitchen table and just drink in the air of the creative soul.

Tomorrow I'll post the final three houses. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January Journal 2011 - Day 1

Like I need another project but this one I just couldn't pass up.  In Milliande's group she is doing a January Journal 2011.  We started with Z for zebra for the inspiration.  Each day has a new art prompt.  Haven't finished day 2 yet but here is day 1.  Will post day 2 and 3 tomorrow.

1-1-11 Z is for Zebra

Here is my first journal page.


Yep! Here it is.....2011!!!  As you can see, the holidays knocked a big whole in my schedule plans but I'm not back in the studio and will try to catch up somewhat with posting here.

First thing I want to do is show you the stories I wrote to go with the canal houses.  Here are the first four houses.  The stories are below the photo which are left to right A B C & D. Please keep in mind that many of the embellishments were sent along with the individual house so some of the story references revolve around those embellishments which will be added on by the recipient.

Three Generation Family Home (aka House A)

This is the residence of a large family. Currently there are three generations living here together…the grandparents, parents, and seven children (three of which are under 4 years of age!). It is a happy home, even if somewhat chaotic and noisy at times. There is an artist studio at the back of the house that looks out onto the back courtyard. The grandmother spends almost all her days out there. But sometimes, she invites in a grandchild or two to begin to teach them the joys of art. At least one of them shows great promise of talent even at the age of three! The 10 year old doesn’t visit as often but has artist talent all his own! The room in the attic is very special. It is the guest room for visiting artist friends!! Every morning the kitchen smells of freshly brewed coffee and on the porch you can hear the murmur of friendly conversation and watch the cardinal on its daily visit.

Home of the Chief Judge of the Kennel Club (aka House B)

While Chief Judge sounds ominous and intimidating, this judge is very friendly and approachable. Especially when he is on one of his twice daily walks with his own lovable dog. In fact, you might even say this is the Dog’s Home as almost everything in this house is doggie friendly. The morning newspaper is left by the front door for him to retrieve and a bone has been known to be buried at various times in the flowers under the windows. He’s a very friendly dog, too, so be careful when walking by dressed in your fancy clothes. He WILL jump up and give you a big lick! But only if his master is not around. All in all though, he is a well-behaved and beautiful dog. So, walk along with them sometime and hear all the amazing stories of the Kennel Club annual competition!

Residence of the President of the Yacht Club (aka House C)

Yes, he only has a small skiff on the canal but at port he owns a fairly large ocean-going yacht! He loves all things nautical or having to do with water and boats. Even the window treatments are the color of a lagoon and have waves stitched into them. And his weather vane is a canoe. He so loves being as close to the water as he can, that he has his study on the basement level with a window practically at water level! The red and gold color of his home remind him of the brilliant sunrises out on the open sea – ushering in yet another wonderful day of sailing. The sky over his home even takes on a wavy look just for his pleasure. Next time he’s pulling out into the canal, if you ask nicely, he’ll probably be more than happy to take you out on the water with him!

The Bakery (aka House D)

While some claim that the Pancake Bakery is the best….we know better! Wil’s Bakery on the Canal tops them all! AND they serve delicious Starbucks coffee! Now what could be better than a cream cheese croissant and a Pumpkin Spice Latte! There are tables inside so go on in, grab a newspaper and your yummy treats and spend a leisure morning. Sometimes it is difficult to concentrate on one thing because ALL your friends seem to pop in while you are there. But that is a joy in itself. Coffee, croissant and friends…well, that’s just about as close to heaven as one can get! One group that meets here on a regular basis is the artist ladies! Wil is one of them and they meet here because she lives upstairs. (You can tell because her sewing machine is by the window.)They’ve been know to spend an hour or two here before they head off on shopping sprees to buy the latest art tool! They aren’t around every day because their trips usually have to take them to the US!! But…they will be back before you know it! So, enjoy your baked treats and Starbucks lattes and keep an eye out for them!

I'll post the next three houses and their stories tomorrow!