Tuesday, November 5, 2013

And Gemma's book completes my journal journey!

This is the second time my little group of friends has embarked on a creative journey of traveling art journals.  And it was just as magical as before!  It's been a little challenging at times for me to juggle everything on my plate AND create for this project, but that makes me even more grateful to be a part of it!  I'm not sure I would have managed to paint anything in the last six months if I didn't have these monthly deadlines!
That said, on to Gemma's art journal....  Her colors of choice were purples with splashes of  magenta, orange and lime.  And I will apologize in advance for the color quality of my pictures- my deep blue-violets show as blues here...and my yellow orange that shades to red orange with a smidge of salmon- just looks yellow.  For the lime, I created a mist (invisible here ;)) in the distance and also used it for lettering.....ah well, I was in a hurry to get it in the post and didn't check my pictures until after it had been sent on it's way.  At least you can get an idea of what it looks like!
I wanted to create a magical, almost mysterious quality, so of course; I had to have misty, moonlit woods.   And when there's a chance of falling stars, you MUST carry an umbrella- right?  I also played with her skirt to give a suggestion of tree branches, not for any real reason other than it felt like the right thing to really doesn't show here, but the "with a chance of stars" is outlined with orange 
and yellow oranges, giving a doubled up effect.
A closeup view of the fold over page- again, the color is slightly off here.....I fell in LOVE with this quote; and will definitely be using it again!  On a funny side note, I always double check to make sure I correctly credit authors with their quotes- this is sometimes attributed to Gallileo....but after checking, and re-checking, I found that it belongs to Sarah Williams.

So there you have it, my spread for Gemma's beautiful book- I hope she likes it!

 Love and hugs,

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Silent Sunday`- Sounds from Rodin's Garden

Statue Dancing

My Mom

 I know this is supposed to be silent, but I had to add this- throughout the garden we kept hearing weird sounds, crickets, chanting, even the sounds of women moaning.....and we were like, "What the HECK?"  after seeing the musuem, I googled it and found that we'd stumbled upon a temporary accompanying exhibit by Erik Samakh- to recapture our experience, listen to this link, it's amazing!
Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Story of a Sunroom

One reason I've been so absent in Bloglandia the last few months is because Bill and I have been catching up on a lot of ongoing projects. To backtrack a bit, last Spring, we had a HUGE Hemlock tree in our front yard taken down.  It broke my heart to see it go- it had been the original owners Christmas tree in 1960something, and it felt wrong to remove it.  BUT it also felt wrong to let it hit our house and it had been leaning more and more towards us with each passing season.  So we took it down.  Have you ever noticed that the solution to one problem, occasionally creates another?
See how the hemlock screens the middle of the house?
  Once we took the tree down, the sun porch was visible from the street, REALLY visible with all the crap that my family (and myself) had gotten into the habit of dumping there- everyone's coats, scarves, mittens and umbrellas plus assorted shoes and lots, LOTS more!  HOW embarrasing!  This led to series of projects, starting with landscaping the front of the porch to mask the (really ugly) vinyl siding (the porch is the only part of the house that's not clapboard siding)  I planted some George Tabor azaleas and hydrangeas to build out the space....of course, we now get too much sun for hydrangeas there, but I've been babying them all season and I think they'll be OK.  I do LOVE me some hydrangeas! 
So here is the front "after" shot.  I also planted climbing roses on either side of the sun porch to train up and across the top of the windows to soften them a bit- I want a mini pergola across top for Christmas ;) they're really not bad windows, just not my favorite style......Our eventual plan is to have NO grass in the front, just perennials, paths and sitting areas....more on that later :)
Of course all of this led to us (well me) deciding to make it into a real sun porch with ferns and pretty wicker and a ceiling fan......and a sky blue ceiling.  I have such a wonderful family who loves me enough to donate pretty things to my causes, so really our only expense was paint and the time to get it all done!  My Dad donated the ceiling fan and his girlfriend Kathy gave me the vintage wicker furniture for my birthday.  My Mom gave me some pretty tables and shelves and from there, it all came's now one on my favorite rooms in my house!

So, there's one project from this Summer shared.....we also gutted and redid the main bathroom and a bunch of small garden projects.  I'll share that later.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finished with Maggie's pages!

After posting yesterday, I added the sunburst of orange and yellow- I'll admit to cheating just a bit with a smidge of magenta.  I couldn't help it, it was screaming to be included!  So here you go, Maggie's pages of grey, orange and yellow (plus magenta ;-))
 I thought about adding more words to the sunburst, but it's always those decisions that cause my pieces to be overkill- I decided to leave it the way it is, and (hopefully) let it "shine" as it!
I'm in the process of putting together some posts covering the rest of my Paris trip, my garden and all the (many) home projects we've been doing the last few months.....patience!  I AM slowly coming back, I promise!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP on the traveling journals

It's nearing the end of the month and that means time to get my current pages wrapped up for the traveling journal project.  This month, I have Maggie's beauty celebrating grays, yellows and oranges.  So, I decided to revisit an old friend of mine; the pencil.....that led to drawing a lady, backed by a flower. 
I always forget how much I LOVE drawing until I pick up my pencils- I have been having SO much fun with this!  To add in the orange part of my task, I'll be doing a cut out to give her a warm background and add a splash of color to her cheek.  And then, this little lady will be on her way for Gemma to add the final pages.  That's right, one month left and all the journals begin their homeward journey.  Can't wait!

That's all for now,

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Time for an update on the Magical Journal Journeys!

This month I had the pleasure of working in Lisa of Priti Lisa's journal.  She created the most wonderful handmade book filled with lots of gorgeous turquoise- her inspiration color.  I LOVE turquoise- it's one of my favorites and I couldn't WAIT to get started!  However, August was a month filled with craziness and family crises, and so I got a late start....but here I am with it finally finished and I'm pretty dang happy about it!
I knew I wanted to do hands with henna tattooing in turquoise and I wanted to do a mermaidish sort of girl- but she didn't want to BE done and after wasting a day trying to get her to work with me, I switched tactics.  The patterns on the hands I drew reminded me of scales (which is where the mermaid came from ;)) but they also reminded me of peacock feathers and I had a vintage Vogue illustration on file that I'd been wanting to take inspiration from....after that, it all came together!  I'll apologize in advance for the poor lighting of the photos- I did them before the sun was up by lamp light!
Here are my "henna" hands- I had SO much fun doing these!
 And the inside spread; I used the back of the hands to write Lisa a note...
I thought the quote was perfect for the peacock lady, so I went for it!
So there you have my turquoise entry for miss Lisa.  Next I'll be playing in salmons and greys for Maggie and then only one more book before they make their final journeys home- I can't WAIT to see my book!
Ta ta for now,
P.S. I also managed to get a canvas sketched so you may actually see me here again pretty soon- fingers crossed

Monday, July 29, 2013

Playing around with whites.....

Hello again, here I am with my monthly check in for the traveling journals.  This month, I had Angie of Artangel pages to play in and her color of choice was white.  She generously allowed us to add one other color if we so chose....I used purple and yellow to create neutral shades to paint an angel for the "Art angel" I  thought it was appropriate!  And then painted the words; "Find your wings and fly" and tore around the angel to allow the words to peek through.

I was really scared of this challenge, but in the end, I LOVED working in white!  I'll be sending this gorgeous collection on it's way to Gemma so she can have her turn playing in white.
I hope to be back soon- I have so much bloggy catching up to do!  The kids go back to school soon, and then I hope to be back in the blog world- I miss all my peoples!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My pages for Kat's Traveling Journal

So once again, I've been absent from blogland- but not because I had nothing to share, more that I  have been crazy busy!  I just finished my spread for Kat of The Write Stuff's journal.  You may remember that the only requirements of this art exchange are that we use colors specified by each artist- Kat chose magenta, teal and silver.  When I was in Paris taking pictures at Monet's garden, I knew I had to use these images for Kat!  I was reading her blog a while back and she'd commented on how whatever colors we happen to be working in for the month- those colors seem to pop out at you everywhere you go.  This is SO TRUE!!!
Anyway, I used two images for references- the first is of my Mother's hand cradling the only peony we'd found in bloom- we love peonies, so believe me when I say we looked high and low for this one! 
And then of course I had to use monsieur Monet's famous bridge draped with wisteria
 (I took the creative license of making it magenta for Kat ;))
 I made prints of the hand and peony painting so I could use it for collage- here it is closed up with elements of each fold peeking through.....
here it is with the back fold opened....
  I felt it only right to use a quote from Monet...
So, that's that!  I'll be sending this on it's way for Gemma to work her magic in as I begin playing in Angie's journal next!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Still Going Round and Round...Lisa Wright's Journal Entry

Here I am, belatedly posting Lisa Wright's journal entry- I'm also late getting it to the post...there's just been SO much going on around here!  In hindsight, I wish I'd done her pages before I left for Paris, but I was hoping for inspiration while there and assumed I could get them done quickly.  And I would have been able to except for the fact that our home has been a construction site for the last 4 weeks!  (more on that later ;))  But I got them done in the end and even tho I hate being late, Gemma was very nice about it.  And it won't happen again, Gemma- I PROMISE!!!
So Lisa's color of choice was rust, and I was so excited to play because it was out of my comfort zone...waaaay out!  I knew I wanted to do a rusty keyhole with a hole cut out so you could see to the next page and when I started searching for a cool quote to go on the inside, I found Nat King Cole's lyrics to "Paper Moon" and thought it was perfect!

Here is the rusty keyhole- after I'd drawn it, I decided it needed a guardian angel- so that's how "Claudia" came into the picture- she reminds me of Lestat's adopted daughter in The Vampire Lestat....
 And here is the inside; once I decided on the words, I KNEW I had to use a sickle moon with a rusty sunset and I had to include a "Lisa inspired" lady reclining on the moon.  There's also a little friend hidden in the you see her?
And here it is all cut up and glued back together:

That's all for now- I'm off to mail this to Gemma- and then start on the next jounal pages for Kat- because I.WILL.NOT.BE.LATE.AGAIN!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sennelier- What a TREASURE to see!

Bonjour!  We got home last Thursday and after struggling with some unexpected MAJOR jet lag I've settled back into home life.  Of course my current home life is focused on a complete renovation of our main bathroom (yep, we're one of those ONE shower families ;)) But the job is in it's final stages and hopefully things will settle down soon!
I still have a LOT of our Paris trip left to cover, but for today, I really want to share our visit to Sennelier with you.  As an artist, it was truly one of my favorite parts of our trip!
Sennelier is a tiny little art supply shop that has sold paints and brushes and the like to artists for more than 100 year- Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet and many more.  Just being in Paris gave a sense of constantly touching history, but to be in that sweet little store- I felt like I was connecting with history- so amazing!
I came upon this by chance- the brushes are labeled with which famous artist preferred what brush- how incredible was that?

The original color charts the artists used still hang on the wall.............did I say incredible?

That's the original owner Gustave's grandson, Dominique Sennelier, who now runs the store helping Caroline

Visiting this shop was definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip!

Sennelier THEN and.......NOW:

That's all for now....I have a Round Robin page I will share soon and hopefully, hopefully, I'll soon be back to regular bloggy visits!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

More adventures in Paris

ISo we met up with my Mom after a series of mixed signals and miscommunications- more on that later!  And had a lovely evening of exploring some if the local shops and setting at a cafe for dinner.
This morning caroline and I picked up pastries and cafe creme 
and had a wonderful breakfast in the Luxembourg gardens- what an incredible place!
The tulips are just finishing their show, but the color is glorious- I can't wait to visit Giverny, a long time dream garden for me!
Caroline had fun trying to get a bird to eat from her hand a d we saw tons of huge birds (owls or falcons?) swooping in and out of the Chestnut trees, what a wonderful morning!
That's all for now - au Revoir
P.S. and here's a less "delicate" view of the statue

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

3 Americans in Paris.....

So one of the things I've been so busy with is preparing for a trip to Paris with my mom and my oldest daughter Caroline.  We arrived yesterday and my mom will be coming in this afternoon.  Our hotel is beside the Luxembourg gardens which I can't wait to explore- we were too tired yesterday and today we've been getting the lay of the land while waiting for mom.
So au revoir for now

Friday, April 26, 2013

Traveling Journal Journey: Tammy's Journal

I know, I's been FOREVER since I posted.  We've had a ton of projects going on around here- had a tree in the front yard taken down which led to a ton of other projects and I just haven't been painting.  Except for in the traveling books.  This month, I had Tammy's book to work in and her color theme is Black, Tan & White.  Tammy loves reading and gardening just like me so I took that as a starting point....and I'd fallen in love with a pin of an incredible garden it all fell into place.
Here it is; I wanted to have a shadow box effect, so the woman and frame are raised up and glued onto a piece of cardboard.  The other side actually opens to read a note for Tammy.

 I found a quote by Cicero that I thought was perfect

 The woman reminded me a little of Jane in Disney's Tarzan......

And here's the window that inspired it all:

Check out our Magical Journal Journey Pinterest page to see what everyone else has been creating!  That's all for now, I'll try to get by to visit soon and share some of these projects I've been so busy with!