Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dot-Dash-Scribble-Swirl-Line-Love


I happened upon artist Jennifer Mercede the other day.  Call me inspired.

A little bit of her energy plus a couple of books on abstract painting made for a wonderful morning with  more Yupo & alcohol ink.  I added a few other media/resists just to see how they'd play.  Oil pastels, water soluble crayons, nupastels and matte medium.  Can't pick a fave because I like them all!


My first attempt at a palm tree.  I live in South Carolina, after all. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wading in a New Medium

Just Another Evening in Summerville - 2014

Just what I needed:  a new medium to try (and then fall in love with).  And so the story goes with alcohol inks and Yupo paper.  Thanks, Bette, for getting me curious enough to actually find the paper and get started.  She took some classes from Cathy Taylor, a favorite instructor of mine, during Art & Soul this year and couldn't stop talking about it.  So, I wandered around Cathy's site, watched a few youtube videos (that weren't all that good...sorry, so I won't link to any) and got started.  As you can see from the worktable, it's not that messy...haaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I started out pretty simply making messes with drops and wipes, but then I saw my container of stencils nearby and decided to actually put a brush to paper with some sort of purpose.  A few simple squares gave me a chance to feel how the brushes worked and I played with blending color and then pulling it out with plain old 91% alcohol.
I have this heron stencil from Stencil Girl so I tried that one next and love the way the brownish, orange, blue tones came out of the "mushroom" ink. 
I decided it was time to break out a larger format.  Since the heron and the squares were still on the table, I decided to use a little bit of both to create a design that wouldn't look like a plain old sunset.  I actually took the time and put it down with the stencils in pencil.  When I showed it to someone at work, they asked me why I put the squares in...no answer other than that it just felt right.  



I used the squares to separate the cools and warms...at least that was my intention.  :)  Blue is cool and yellow's warm, right?  haaaaaa  I've only read about a zillion books on art and color and painting.  Maybe if I retire and go to art school I'll figure it out.  Sounds like a plan.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Deli Paper + Ink + Tape = Awesome

I spent last evening making "homemade washi tape" to do some exterior binding on a folder-book project and now I have a pretty stack!
Back in April I hosted some of my delightful artist friends in Charleston for a week of straight up making, fun, and food.  Bette taught us all this project, so I'm going to share...

Supplies:
Deli papers inked up with Dylusions spray
Two-sided tape--I used 2" Scor Tape for this version

Tools:
Scissors or ruler


When Carol, Bette & Denise were here, we had an absolute BLAST spraying dyes and making all kinds of deli paper prints.  Stencils and organics--leaves, to be specific--were the tools of choice.  I can do another post about doing those prints.  I ended up with a massive stack of brightly colored deli papers that needed a purpose.

Enter the two-sided tape:

This is Scor Tape, that I got from my friend, Cindy at Broken Crown Paper Arts.  It's a 2-inch version, which I like because I wanted a wider format.  I've also used 3/4-inch Art Alternatives Transfer Tape that I got from my favorite downtown store, Artist and Craftsman Supply.

Since I liked the whole design on this piece of paper, I covered the whole back with tape.


You can see the bright colors of the ink with the white tape liner behind it.  It will have a more transparent look when I use it later.  The back of the sheet is covered with strips of tape at this point.
And now they're cut apart with some super-sharp scissors.  I've also gone for a more organic, rustic look, before by tearing along the edge of the tape using a straight-edged ruler.

After all the strips are cut, I have these beautiful pieces of tape ready to apply to just about anything.  Last night's target for these babies is some of my daddy's old folders...which I'll get to in a minute.


Here's another piece in progress, with the organic leaf prints.  Man, Bette is a flipping genius!!  Even more importantly, today is her birthday!!  Makes me wish I lived closer to Maryland, but I know she'll come visit again soon since we both have more art to make.  :)


I took those two-inch strips and used them to line simple folders.  My dad gave me a massive stack of manila folders (which we used to think we're VANILLA folders when we were little, right?) from his life as a lawyer and a Latin teacher.  I intend to eventually bind all these folders together to form journals...and here's a stack of them, some printed and painted, some with just my dad's handwriting.  Doesn't that tape make a perfect signature??

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Workspace In Progress

I am lucky enough to have two full rooms in my house that serve as a giant studio.  As I look to the future and where I want to focus my post-Air Force career, I often glance around this room and wonder which tables and shelves hold my favorite things...

Here's the jewelry table.  Look at the clean workspace!  I have a few in-work bead selections in the little black trays, but haven't taken the time to just "make" yet.  I've been trying for something beachy themed and it's amazing how many gorgeous blues and greens and teals and aquas I have in my stash.  Add that to the apparent 100 pairs of pliers I have and it got overwhelming.  After shopping through my bead drawers, I got overwhelmed.  Hence, I cleaned up the table and will start over again with a clean slate.


Here are the bead drawers...sorted by color because that's what makes me happy.  The dresser is a work in progress.  I started sanding it down to refinish it and decided I like it this way.  I grew up with that dresser in my bedroom, so it always makes me happy when I see it and remember life as a care-free kid.  Now the drawers are filled with wire, beads, and stationary.  

I have a few shelves of paper, books, and other random supplies, tools and equipment.  I'm a big fan of plastic containers so I can see what's inside.  I had to get a new label maker since I apparently put the one I already owned into a container and failed to label it!


Here's another work in progress.  I've had this little wooden panel for about two months.  I got it from my favorite local art store, Artist & Craftsman Supply, to participate in the Summerscapes contest...which, luckily, isn't due until the end of July.  I intend to do a woven mixed media piece with all those random fibers, wires and beads that are spread all over the table.

I have fun doing mixed media because I can dig around in all these drawers filled with random supplies.  Plus, all those plastic boxes are filled with papers and collage bits.  Oh, and there's just a little bit of paint...that's the crafty acrylic supply box.


Another work in progress.  I'm on my third set of pages as part of Donna Downey's 48 Weeks journal project.  There is some fun surface action on this one.  I have a piece of copper out there, too, that's supposed to be another summerscape.  I want to do some etching.  The little water fountain brush washer, still in the box, was a birthday gift to myself.  Over by the window, I have a big box of stencils that doubles as a sleeping box for Shelby, one of my sweetie kitties.


Here are a few more works in progress...started last December.  And there are some eyes that I did as part of an Artist & Craftsman exhibit back in April called, Optical Delusions.


So many supplies in there, so why am I sitting in here on the couch instead???  'Cause blogging's important!  haaaaaaaaaaaa  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

2/48 Big Ass Journal with Pretty Pink Flowers

My second set of pages are DONE!

It was all about the fluorescents and that makes the world a better place.  haaaaaaaaaa

The lessons I learned:
- needle-tipped bottles are awesome.
- I love quinacridone magenta.
- the perfect grey is hard to make
- toilet paper rolls are perfect for printing.
- teal is love.
- water-soluble pencils make a crazy mess.

Thank you, Donna, for helping me make a focused mess in my house!
And for anyone reading who wonders what, exactly, I'm trying to do here...check out Donna Downey's site and you'll see a magic 48-week course that is is helping me learn new things, meet new people, and, most importantly, come up with reasons to buy new stuff!  haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

25/52 Being Colorful!

Mommy came to visit.
We made lots of pickles!
They're still in the fridge getting their pickle on.
Gonna be so yummy.
Garlic and sweet cinnamon.
Sounds weird but it works.
Thanks to Johnny's Dad for the recipe!




Sunday, June 15, 2014

23/52 Silly Kitty Loves to Pose

My little merman prince.  haaaaaaaaa

It took five or six tries to get him to sit still with his special starfish tiara, but I laugh every time I see him in one of my crocheted masterpieces.  I hope you do, too!!

My life gets too wrapped up in itself sometimes, so I was delighted to work a project for a dear friend who is expecting a daughter shortly.  We both had a laugh when she found something on Pinterest and immediately knew I'd be the one to make it happen.  I can't wait to see her sweet little mermaid!  I'll share those pics when they're official.  :)

I may need to come up with some more cute baby stuff to make so Brando won't feel left out since he loooooves modeling!  haaaaaaaaaaa

Monday, May 26, 2014

Simple roadside pretty

The other day I got out the "good camera" and took a ride through the country.  Didn't have any particular goal or shot in mind, but wanted to just escape from reality for a bit and look around.  I am loving the weather here in Charleston, even though it's starting to get a bit on the warm (actually, hot) side.  I saw these weeds as I drove towards Huger and had to pull off and take some better shots.  I started by leaning across the car and aiming the camera out the window but gave that up quickly.  I decided to go ahead and be the jackass who walks around in shorts and sandals in the weeds along the road.  Luckily I didn't see any snakes or gators...not to say there weren't any around!  haaaaaaaaaaaa  I've taken to carrying bug spray and sunscreen in the car regularly, so I was ready on that front.

I think the stop was worth it.  The brightness.  The simplicity.  The harshness of those thorns.  This weed is making the most of it during the limited opportunity it has before the mowers come through or the thistlely (that's my new word of the day) fluff blows away.  Damn.  Not another life lesson...take advantage of every day because the mowers are out there and the breeze could take that fluff any time! 

Go live it up and be beautiful today!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goodbye Rollback Dude!

When I was 21 I had the brilliant idea to get a tattoo.  I was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base, learning my trade as a Finance troop at tech school, so I apparently needed to blow off some steam.  Orange is my favorite color and I love to laugh, so what better than an orange happy face on my bikini line.

I'm no longer in my twenties (or my thirties) but I still laughed every time I saw that happy face because it reminded me of fun times and crazy decisions.  Then, someone took a close look at it, if you know what I mean, and decided that it looked like the Walmart Rollback happy face!  I laughed and laughed...it's still funny to me.  I told him that I'd get it covered up if he paid for it.

So, I redeemed my wonderful Valentine's Day present a couple of weeks ago!  Thank you, Kirk!

It's my design of a funky cool flower that centers on a happy face.
I had a great Friday night with my artist, Joshua Sisk, at Ivory Tiger Tattoo.  He was a little hesitant about the details at first, but he really made my vision shine!  He used my art to create the transfer.

And then he spent about two and half hours with his hands in my pants...haaaaaaaaaa.  Well, not really, but close to it.  For whatever reason, I was feeling all sexy in my early 20's and thought it'd be cool to have it on my bikini line.  So, I had a painful reminder of how sensitive that skin can be after some serious ink art attention.
It has been two weeks and the lines are clear and beautiful.  I'm thrilled with the results and thinking it might need some color in a bit...we shall see!

I'll spare you the detailed picture up close...somebody paid big money to have that privilege! haaaaaaaaaaa


Sunday, May 18, 2014

20/52 Country Ground

Frogs galore.
Dirt.
Just one dog.
Just one bone.
Flying trash ashes.
More dirt.
A big tiller.
A bigger mower.
A long, long day at the office.
Beer-filled cooler.
Sunset.
Crickets.
Work is done.


Friday, May 9, 2014

17/52 - Evening's Moment

The smell of dirt.
The garden is ready for seeds.
A cold beer in hand.
New friends.
A boy who thoroughly enjoys his first day off work.
Goodbye to trash.
Cool breezes moving ashes into the driveway.
Another cold beer.
Another branch.
Crinkling needles.
Perfect.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

16/52 B&W...and a lickity licky puppy

I'm a cat girl.
Not a dog girl.
But growing appreciation of the dog-man bond.
This nut and I played for an hour.
He stopped and looked at every truck noise.
The country is quiet.
Until a big diesel truck roars.
But there's only one that will give him what he needs.
A face to lick.
A funny baby doggie voice greeting.
A toss of a toy that will be destroyed in minutes.
Welcome home!




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Friday, April 18, 2014

Week 15/52 A Moment of Focus

A moment of focus.
A picture not really in focus.
A sweet nephew telling me all about his day.
Laughing.
Giggling.
Dreaming about simple things.
Ignoring work problems.
He had pancakes for breakfast.
He colored pictures of Pokemon.
He wore a Batman mask.
He loves his mommy.
His brothers are crazy.
He reads books over and over.
His blondie, blue-eyed grin is amazing.
Aunt Jenny's in love.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Week 14/52 - Mornings and Mischief

Shelby kitty loves the bathroom.
She's all about the running water and the drips in the showers.
Just last week she took up a new perch:
In the sink.
Just chilling.
And waiting to go chase fake mice and swat at blinds.
It's a little creepy when she stares at me in the shower.
Kirk nicknamed her "Mischief."
Perfect.
She makes me giggle.
I need that in the morning.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Week 13/52 Slightly Above Eye Level

Wandering down an alley
In Charleston
Around lunch time
In uniform.
To visit the art store.

Whoa.  I just mixed worlds...can you even wear a uniform in an art store?  haaaaaaaaaaa

I got the feeling...uh, aren't you the lady who comes in here wearing a poncho and smelling like patchouli?  What is this thing with the combat boots?

Yeah.  That's me.  A camo-wearing, patchouli-smelling, Airmen-slash-artist who takes pictures of weeds growing out of walls while enjoying the sun on a fantastic break from the office.  

The cool part about this dichotomy is that it lets me see things differently:  
- This could be the wall that made it hard to find a parking spot or it could be the home for a little grassy magic.
- The email in my inbox could spell the end of my career as I get frustrated and run or could be a challenge worth jumping on and solving with my team.
- The dumb traffic on my commute that creeps along or an opportunity to savor the flippin' gorgeous pink and blue and orange sunrise.

Conformist or nonconformist?  That's the magic balance.




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Week 12/52 - Expressing Perseverance


Hammer, screw, staple, pushpin, thumbtack.
Keep posting.
Practice communicating.
Share more.
Try again.
Shake off the rust and dust.
Smile loudly.
Run down the sidewalk.
Admit failure.
Learn the lesson.
Hug hard.
Embrace frustration.
Jump for joy.
Start again tomorrow.
Persevere.




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Week 11/52 - Beauty All Around

Back on the bridge.
More daylight.
More running.
Amazing sunset.
Blue and orange.  
Really that simple?
Yep.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 10/52 - Big Picture: Long Shot

Instead of wide, I went long.
Apparently following prompt instructions is a challenge.
I checked out the blue sky and calm river as I ran.
Fear of heights keeps me from hugging the side
Until someone runs by me too close.
The yellow dotted line is constant.
If a dotted line can be considered constant:
Constantly intermittent?
Kind of like my energy during the run
in spite of sun, breeze, and a cute t-shirt.
The Ravenel Bridge exhausted me.
Post-sweating I napped for two hours.
And then I napped some more.
Woke up this morning at four
Since I lost a whole day of productivity--not just an hour.
But I didn't lose five miles...I got that!



Saturday, March 8, 2014

Week 9/52 - Macro Cozy

A week behind.
Still under the same blankie.
My Grammy Hine made it.
It keeps me and the kitties cozy.
Even if they throw up on it occasionally...
Happy Saturday, Kitty Mommy!
Time to work the week's mail.
Why do I subscribe to People magazine?
DVR'd TV is magical.
Whirling washing machine sounds delightful.
I hate folding clothes.
Will I run instead?
Hmmmmmmmmm


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Week 8/52 - Hello COLOR!

I love colored pencils.
My stabilo pencil is my bff.
The eyes have it.
Big colored pages make me happy.
I sat by the pool and made faces.
Lots of them.
Tried some different styles.
All that while sitting by the pool.
It's back to real life today:

Email, work, pizza, performance reports, big trucks boys, work, and
COLOR.




Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 7/52 - Loving Family Adventure Collage

Valentine's weekend!
Ma and Pa arrived on Friday night.
They left 17 or so inches of snow behind.
Orlando-ready toes from my Moncks Corner pedi experience--"Coral Magic"
How a 42-year-old single lady with three cats travels...in her parents' backseat.
Aunt Sara's ready for us.
No work for eight days. 
(Uh, no "office" for eight days...computer is with me...gotta keep it real.)



Daddy loves having two of us in the car with him all day.
We only stop a few times to switch seats.
I get to be the "in city" driver.
Mom follows printed-out Mapquest directions.
I ignore her and use my phone.  :)
Sunshine State.  Palm trees. Swimming pools.
Mom's béarnaise sauce.
Dad reading in the corner.
Puzzle going on the table.
Time to go for a run.
I'm so lucky.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Week 6/52 - Balanced Energy

Focused on the quiet calm.
Walking the pier at Folly.
Overcast skies and a chilly breeze.
A man walking ahead.
Waves constantly moving.
Ebb and flow.
Cute boots and tight jeans.
Fishing rod holders empty and anticipating summer.
Feeling together yet wondering why.
Smelling salty; tasting sweet.
Holding hands?
Murals of seagrass and shrimp.
Integrating old and new.
Accepting less.
Expecting more.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 5/52 - Getting Outside and Freezing

Icy rain.
Two days away from the office.
Working from home and drinking beer.
Breaking out the "good" camera.
Ma calls and says that Jim Cantore is in Charleston.
I answered emails.
I have two phones in hand trying to answer "warm shelter" questions.
My force support troops took care of business at the dining facilities. 
They kept lodging going.  No issues.
They are awesome
It was painful to walk outside in that cold.
The fireplace was really warm and toasty.
A pot roast was delightful.  Thanks to mommy for talking me through the recipe.
My flight chiefs were amazed at the crazy questions; it's a part of life.
Must keep smiling in the face of cold toes.
Keeping smiling at the end of the storm.
Leon's over. 
Life is good in Charleston.
Bring on spring.



Friday, January 24, 2014

Week 4/52 - More Than Just a Word

I am, apparently, a person of authority.
I have my own parking spot.
I sit at the head of the table sometimes.
People stand up when I walk in the room.
"Ma'am" doesn't make me feel old; it's just normal.
I get 200-300 new messages in my inbox everyday.
I send about 50 new messages everyday.
My battlerhythm of meetings and visits and paperwork is intense.
Combat boots are my daily shoe of choice (or, rather, policy) and they match my outfit.
I don't carry a gun or fly a plane.

I'm a person with responsibility for mission, people and resources.
Defining the mission is hard.
Living within limited resources is harder.
Ensuring the health, safety and satisfaction of the people in my unit is even harder.
Balancing all that with helping the people in my unit take care of the customers of my unit--i.e. the entire population of our joint base--is, well, kinda impossible.  
That's my job.  
I'm a commander.



Seeing a face light up when someone has solved her own problem brings me joy.
Finishing a meeting that met its objective and generated new ideas brings me greater joy.
Knowing I've positively influenced someone's view of the word is the best.
The parking spot is cool.
My office is a mess.
My teams are amazing--even when they're not.
Laughing at drama is my favorite response to stress.
Making other people own the drama and laugh is my other favorite response.

I know a lot about leadership.
The art of actually leading can only be understood with experience.
I'm an artist.
I own my mistakes, add new layers, and sometimes end up with a final product that is awesome and unexpected.
And then I go home and take a nap because I'm tired.

Fly, fight, win...and proudly support the force.  :)


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Week 3 - B&W Selfie - Skinny is an Option

- Starting the year skinnier and fitter
- Hope to stay that way.
- This morning calls for the Shrimp & Grits 5K!

My secrets?

- Get a new mattress so your back doesn't hurt.
- Run.  A lot.  But, start with little jogs and walks.
- When you get random leg numbness:  ignore it.
- Try a piercing...belly button.  Instant motivation to not have extra rolls.
- Pay big $ to a weight loss clinic team approach that includes eight pills a day.
- Face the threat of losing your job because your waist is too big.
- Dig out "skinny" clothes from years ago and enjoy the reunion.
- Reward yourself with art supplies and fancy panties.
- Learn to love being sweaty.
- Run some more.
- Direct all your subordinates to get rid of the candy in their offices because you have no self control when you're working after 1700.
- Spend $10's of dollars at a time on iTunes.
- Don't be afraid to dance in your driveway.
- Sign up for random races and actually do them.
- Believe massages are therapy and get them often.
- p.s. That's not my nipple...it's my ID card jammed in my bra just in case I pass out and someone needs to know my name and that I'm an organ donor.  haaaaaaaaaaa


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Week 2 - Silhouette Simplicity

Challenging week.
Ended with laughs.
Thursday evening at Frothy Beard.
A pint of Zingeber.


Cold-ass mornings.
Hot, steaming coffee.
Frozen pipes.
0630 breakfast meetings.
Combat Airlift.
Cold french fries.
Lunch with friends.
Appreciating a Friday.



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About Me

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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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