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i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

recently i visited Pom Pom and read about her love of drawing and seen some of her whimsical sweet work. it got me to thinking that i too love to draw and have, at various times of my life, done quite a bit of it but in my (ahem) 'later years' (mid-life later not later later mind you) i've sort of wandered further and further away from it.
i've done some sketching and a bit of zen doodling over the past year or so but only a very little bit. when i visit Jay (the Creative Crone from Studio Q) i frequently see some of her fabulous zendoodling and am once again reminded that i should get back to it. like really try harder. make some sort of commitment. or something. i've had the Blog Zentangle listed on my sidebar for quite some time and i pop over there once in a while for a peek at what they have going on but still nothing. it turns out one has to actually set aside time and materials to achieve a goal~!!~ so approximately a month ago i decided to try to zendoodle right before i turn out the light. that would be after actually tucking into bed, after the reading time and after the sudoku puzzle time but before the shutting of the eyelids bit . . . sheeeesh there's just not enough minutes in the day~! anyway, i put an inexpensive sketchbook on the nightstand along with a couple of pens that i like to use and i have actually followed through (on those nights when my eyelids cooperated with me that long). it's very relaxing. very pointless. very . . .  well, zen.

as you can see i like to zendoodle within an actual recognizable form. usually it's  done quite a lot more randomly but the control freak inside of me doesn't like to do it that way. i'll probably get kicked out of the zendoodling clan now that they know . . .

yep, i like pears. pears are beautiful, which is why every great artist has at least one (equally  great) pear work somewhere in their portfolio (right?).

look~! i didn't create any particular form for this session~! progress? maybe. i'm not making any promises. i did manage to sneak in some words . . . thought that was pretty cool and might do some more of it. i also tried using pencil for part of it. that's probably strike two and three with the zendoodle police . . . 
imagine those uniforms~!

this one is still in progress. i started with the leaf and then carried on outside of it a bit . . . not sure where this one is going but i guess that's the thing with zendoodling; you just begin. make some marks. don't worry. be happy. before you know it you find yourself all zenned out.

this is my helper, Gracie. She's all zenned out too.

next: The Sketchbook Challenge ~!!~

today's gifts have included:
  • a yogurt/banana smoothie for breakfast: homemade yogurt, frozen banana, dash of Vietnamese cinnamon and a drizzle of honey
  • some time to spend on my AAQI goals
  • a piece of watermelon cold from the refrigerator and perfectly sweet

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Texture Tuesdays

this week on TT the challenge was to use the layer (free) "golden" by kim klassen.

this is the original image i shot. we had some blackberries in the house so i used a handful of them and some mint sprigs to create a quick still life. i used a small white shell shaped dish and the contrast was so great between the blackberries and the dish that i felt the shot was harsh . . . i shot a lot of images, using a variety of settings/adjustments within camera, but just couldn't really overcome the problem. so . . . it was textures to the rescue . . .

Blackberries A La Mint

this was the result. i think it has a much softer look now. i would be interested to know: which do you like better? what suggestions do you have regarding the original problem of contrasts and harshness? do you like blackberries?

today's gifts include:
  • homemade blackberry syrup
  • the discovery of rosebuds within the garden
  • a recount on the goldfish: there are 15 rather than 14

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Texture Tuesdays

it's Texture Tuesday again and this week the challenge was to work with at least one of kim klassen's textures and a photo of a person or people.
i chose to work with a photo of a photo and the texture warm sun.

 Becoming a Ghost

this is a photo that i took of an antique photo that i won in a give-away from Eileen of Keeping it Rural in Wisconsin quite some time ago.
i know that normally this sort of thing is scanned into the computer but my scanner and i are not on as good of terms as my camera and i so i just took a photo of it.
anyway i find these photos fascinating. who are these people that somehow end up in an antique store and eventually are "adopted" by a buyer who finds them interesting in some way? they have faded out of family memory and into the realm of ghosts . . . who were they? what did they live through? photos attempt to tell a story but what was hers? do you have any ideas? go ahead, leave me a comment that helps build her some sort of history. what is she telling you?

today's gifts include
  • having my hands in the warm dirt planting some flowers 
  • being surprised by the discovery of a clematis vine full of beautiful mostly white flowers. this vine has struggled every year since we moved in (nearly eight~!) and i've never seen it bloom before. and not just one or two blooms but MANY.
  • seeing that the climbing rose that i planted last year really has pulled through the winter and is just now beginning it's "climb" through the summer months. no flowers (yet) but a small green branch just beginning to thicken and flourish

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

i recently participated in the AAQI (Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative's) ongoing sale. if you are not aware of this organization i would encourage you to link over  and take a look. in addition to the ongoing sale of small (no larger than 9 x 12 inches) quilts there is also a monthly small quilt auction that they do. in fact there are 33 ways in which you can help with this cause, from the very easy to the more challenging. one of the very easy ways is to post the link (that they provide) onto your blog's sidebar. that is exactly how i became familiar with them and as you can see i now have one on my sidebar. easy peasy~!!~

last week i was thrilled to find this small treasure in my mailbox. isn't it amazing~!?!~
i purchased it, with the money from the sale going directly to the search for a cure/treatments for this heartbreaking diagnosis. the quilt was made by Cathy at Big Lake Quilter. she generously created and donated this wee (app. 7.5 x 9.5 inches) piece. she has actually made and donated several and they are all wonderful~! really~!~ go and see, she has them pictured in her blog.

i know that this issue hits very close to home with many people, including myself and it's the kind of illness that makes those closest  to those suffering feel helpless and extremely frustrated. if you are one of the people who would like to do something to help than please visit this site and view the options because there is indeed (33) somethings that can be done. if enough people make a small difference in some way it becomes a very large difference in no time at all. it's a big problem that needs all of the support it can get so don't count yourself out. shed that helpless feeling that this disease creates and do only what you can. i bet you'll find it's more than you thought.  

i would like to make one of these tiny quilts myself but am having trouble deciding just what i should do. so if you leave a comment please feel free to share any idea that you have with me. consider it yet another way that you can help.

Today's gifts include:
  • a new little quilt to hang on the wall
  • columbine blooming in the garden
  • 15 surviving goldfish happily swimming in the pond

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Texture Tuesdays

it's Texture Tuesday's over at kim klassens again. this week we were encouraged to do our own thing using at least one of her textures. i used three: warm sun, not to shabby and sweet tart.

 Not to be Forgotten

this is the original sepia image that i used; one of my own still lifes from the archives.

i've been out of town for a couple of days and much of life has gotten ahead of me so it's short and sweet today.

toady's gifts include:
  • a bright blue sky
  • hot chai tea as i wake up
  • a good nights sleep

Monday, June 6, 2011

Texture Tuesdays

this Texture Tuesdays challenge was to use text within our image as well as at least one of kim klassens textures. i used two textures: not to shabby and stained linen.
i was pretty light handed with them and did some erasing on the textures from the parts where i wanted the flowers to really remain light and bright. so they are subtle this week. i was also careful with the text as i wanted it to just be a "whisper".


this is the original photo taken from my garden a few days ago.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

and then being the overachiever that i sometimes can be (or maybe i'm just having a really good time) i had to do another one. this one much more dramatic. this time i used only one of kim's textures: warm sun.

 Widening Towards Enlightenment

i even was inspired to write a cinquain (a five line poem) to go with it:

moon snail
radiant symmetry
an inner mystery
widening towards enlightenment
growth glows

 the black and white snail shell is one of my own photos taken from my archives. i don't think it's a very good photo as a stand alone shot but i didn't want to dump it either . . . i think it worked well here.

this is a photo that i took of a fallen rose petal several summers ago. i loved it's color and luminosity as well as the subtle details.  i hoped i might be able to use it as a texture layer someday. it was fun to work with and i'll use it again i'm sure.

today's gifts include:
  • time to work/play in photoshop
  • some joyful giving
  • a friend's shared happiness

Saturday, June 4, 2011

i am having a beautiful weekend
and wishing you the same.

today's gifts include:
  • the fragrance of blossoming fruit trees
  • a walk with Suki (the granddog)
  • solitude

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

i've been concentrating a lot on my photoshop work (play~!) within my blog and decided this evening to  wander down a different path (or two) with you . . .

i really enjoy reading many of the Somerset magazines and was looking at a back issue the other day and was inspired to lovely up this small frosted glass container.
the glass container was actually a scented candle.  once the candle was burned down i set the jar in the freezer for a bit so that i could easily chip out the extra wax that was left in the bottom. i then washed it out completely with hot soapy water and toweled it dry.
i glued a torn strip of distressed sheet music all the way around and then added some vintage hand crocheted lace, a bit of pretty paper, a button and some text that i liked . . .
and voila: a charming little vase.

i have been continuing my experiment with paper and stitch and now have a postcard almost completed. i'm a bit unsure of how i'm going to edge or bind it but other than that this one is done.
i also have some atc's that i'm still working on.
it's been interesting and fun to see how the various papers hold up to the stitching and i like the way that it looks. very make-do but pretty too.

went for a walk around the garden this morning and discovered that my fern is starting to unfurl itself into the new spring (early summer) season. they are so pretty and delicate looking. it's always good to see that it's made it through the bitter cold of our winters.

one of the flowers that isn't too fussy about our cold mountain climate is the johnny jump ups. i've planted them thickly underneath one of the  trees and despite the fact that we have a cottontail come and regularly consume them there is still a blanket of purple. these sweet little flowers are constants once you plant them and happily self seed themselves in all sorts of unexpected nooks and crannies. it's definitely one of my favorites.
btw: we've named the rabbit nibbles and whenever i'm out in the garden i look for it. just when i think it's gone on to greener pastures out it pops to surprise me once again. i don't suppose it will be good for the vegetable garden but it's too fun to have around to care too much. i hope to get a shot of it one of these days but so far it's quite camera shy (as well as fast).

the fruit tree has been waiting for a warm day to begin popping it's buds wide open to whatever pollinators might be interested. we've had such strong winds this afternoon that i half expect to find them mostly blown off by morning . .  .

and the allium that i planted last fall are just beginning to explode with their own form of fireworks signalling a warmer season to come~!

today's gifts include:
  • waking up to sunshine and blue sky
  • the magical unfurling of fern fronds
  • my ability to hear the symphony of birdsong that fills the garden