Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Trends

I'm always a day late and a dollar short.

Someone just asked what this year's Reinbeer trend would be. Reinbeer?

For the similarly uninitiated, here are Reinbeer:

I'm still working on the Ugly Sweater Party trend and trying to make sure I don't wear one by mistake...

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Later today I'll be going to my daughter's house to do pumpkin carving with my little grandsons (ages 1 and 2) for the first time in their lives and probably the 55th in mine. After that we're going to a Halloween parade together, and I've been debating what kind of quick costume gramma can come up with.

One of the nicest things about having grandchildren is that I get to watch - and sometimes take part in - the same things I did with their parents. The circle of life!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Altered Books

I had three final sets of pages to work on for my Hawaii friends' altered book group. As an off-island member, I send my work to the group and the pages are "tipped in," or added to each person's book using tape or glue. Every member selects a theme, and it's up to each artist to decide how to interpret that theme. It's always interesting to see the many different responses to the same topic.

The first set of pages was for a theme of "Word Play" -- the unique, often silly ways that words can be used. The words on my pages are a song my mom used to sing to me when I was a kid, and that I sang to my own children.  I used watercolors enhanced with pan pastels for this spread:

The next theme was "Beginnings," and my interpretation was based on a quotation I found that resonated with me.  For this one, I used paste paper for a background (made with my friend Shirley last week) and created a faux chalkboard with a message about overlooking some things in life in order to embrace others.

The final theme was "Open and Close."  At first I couldn't think of anything inspiring, but my husband helped me brainstorm. Pandora's conundrum - to open or not to open - was the perfect fodder for these pages.

You can see how the flap on the right folds out in the photo beneath this one.

 Inside the flaps are all the evils, with hope in the center.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these as much as I liked making them!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ready to start making holiday gifts? Arm Knitting

A few years ago I learned to knit.  And every year when I want to knit something, I have to learn all over again from my friend Rosie.  It's definitely NOT one of those things that is like riding a bike...

Last week I got a knitting lesson from my daughter, with a unique way of knitting that requires no knitting needles - just arms. I saw something about it on Pinterest a while back but wouldn't have believed how great it would turn out.

You start with some fat yarn. She used a variegated kind, blue, black and purple.

Then you cast your arm

And knit onto your other arm

And then knit back to the original arm. 

And after a while, you cast off, attach the ends ... and voila! A beautiful eternity scarf.

And if you are very lucky, your daughter gives it to you for a present.  

Ready to make one yourself?  Here ya go!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Faces - a Phase

Do you ever get into a phase with art? I'm kinda obsessed with painting faces right now.  Can't seem to stop. I've done 10 faces in the past few weeks, and I'm not tired of it yet.

Usually I do something once or twice, artistically, and it's out of my system. But not this time.

It started with this one, for a round robin swap to song Lyrics. You can guess what my song was.

Not sure where this Muse will take me, but I'm happy to be along for the ride.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Five On Friday

I’m looking forward to watching Season 2 of Orange is the New Black, but I’m afraid that once I begin I won’t be able to stop. I’ve heard the second season is just as good as the first.  Every one of the main characters is so well developed – I care about each of them.  But Crazy Eyes? She's the best. 

I’m in after-book limbo again. I keep trying those kindle samples -  you know where you download just a bit of the book? But I just can’t seem to find anything that is both entertaining and intelligent. Got any recommendations? I love historical fiction and biographies.

I have a cat question and I’m posting it here because – well, someone might know the answer. My new, not-so-little ragdoll (six months old) is a sweetheart in every way, but he does something very odd in the early morning hours. In fact, I have to hide under the sheets from him because he is obsessed with ... licking my eyelids. It’s kind of disgusting, I know; definitely annoying. Is there some mommy thing this relates to, like when they do the kneading action?

Speaking of Travel
How do you plan your trips? I like Trip Advisor a LOT -- people (including me) enter all sorts of details and destinations that are so helpful for getting the most fun from your trip.  I also use kayak almost exclusively to find the best airline and even hotel reservations. We once traveled all over Italy without reservations, using the kayak website to book ahead on each leg of the way. Technology is amazing.

And finally…
Curacao…so fun.  Having my husband, kids, grandchildren and friend all together in one place for a week was heaven. We explored caves, visited outdoor green markets, snorkeled, scuba’d and swam all day in a lovely pool off our deck. We took turns cooking delicious meals and going to dinner. We saw green parrots flying freely through the trees and saw a “flamboyance of flamingoes” gathered at the water’s edge.

Ben(center front), Bill, Ally and me. We were wilted by this point - so hot in caves.

Lou and Liam


Rosie with Liam and Noah

One more thing...someone had asked whether I write in my glue book collages. Here is proof. I did these pages for a friend's journal, with a theme of lyrics. The two-page spread and a coordinating tag:

Have a wonderful week!!