Sunday, September 30, 2012

Art Journaling - Keeping a calendar

Here's my calendar for September.
Has anyone else kept a calendar this month?
If you did, add your link to the In we can come and visit!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Link List - sitting in front of the tele

Masterpiece Theater, Upstairs Downstairs

I don’t know what it is about British television, but I think it’s much better than American.  It all began with dramas like Upstairs Downstairs in the 1970s.  And now they brought that series back!  It's already aired in the U.K.  And in the US, the first Season was on Masterpiece Theater, earlier in the year.  I missed those three episodes, but PBS is giving American viewers the chance to catch up  on the whole story this Sunday, so I'll be taping it.  Or you can watch it on the internet, after Sunday.  Season 2 starts October 7th.

Masterpiece Theater, Downton Abbey

Julian Fellowes created another English saga, all about masters and servants: Downton Abbey.  This HAS to be one of my favorite Masterpiece Theater series.  It began airing in September 2010 in the U.K. and came to America in January 2011.  In Season 3 (airing January 2013), Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Cora’s (the Countess of Grantham) mother.  Again, you can catch up on the story by watching Season 2 in December.

If you're a fan of the show, you might want to visit downtonline, an interesting website with behind the scenes information and photographs.   

The downstairs gang pillow from larksongcreations

I went by Etsy to see if any cute handmade items were for sale following the theme of upstairs/downstairs and found this great looking pillow honoring the downstairs crowd.  Made by Lisa Knowlton from larksongcreations.

Another favorite British television series I’ve been watching is Doctor Who.  Now I have to admit, my husband is a bigger fan than me, and I’m just beginning to understand the storyline, which is complicated.  There are a lot of online sites with information about The Doctor, but I think the most readable site is the BBC programming page 

If you’re interested to see if there's a Dr. Who facebook page, I can affirm in the position that there is.  With over 2.7 million likes!

Here are some more handmade items on Etsy, devoted to The Doctor.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

AlphabaThursday - Sierra, the world traveler

Let me introduce you to Sierra.
She goes everywhere with Nicki - all over the U.S.  
And now she's a world traveler.  
She went sailing with us in the Virgin Islands.  
And flew to Ireland and Italy. 

 Here's Sierra on the airplane when Nicki and I flew to Ireland, to meet up with the rest of the family, about 5 years ago.

And Stefana, my sister's partner, found Sierra's younger sister!  (they live in NY, over 1000 miles away)  Amazing, they had been separated for such a long time.    

Sierra and her sister went to Italy with us in May.  
Here's the two of them, poolside at the villa in Tuscany. 

The Penguines travel everywhere with my brother Mitch.  The three of them make quite a crew.  And since Mitch and Nicki travel together a lot, Sierra gets to enjoy their company!  Here we are in the car, heading into the Alps after we left the villa.  

Venice was picture perfect.  I snapped a cute photo of 
Mom and Sierra in the water taxi, when we were returning to 
the mainland to retrieve our car.  It took us all day, 
but we drove back to Rome, to be close to the airport.

Hope you had a nice visit with Sierra and the Penguines.  
They're sure fun to travel with.

You can visit other blogs and see what Letter S words were chosen, 
at the link party on Ms. Jenny's blog on my tangent...    

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Art Journaling and Impressionism

artwork by Natalie Malik

One of the reasons I love the internet's Art Journaling Ning is being around like minded artists who love art journaling.  There are opportunities to create pages in my journal while trying out new techniques, like with Natalie Malik's September 3rd -15th challenge.  

my sailboat on the lake
She gave us a variety of techniques and colors to work with: doodling, pastels, Modern Impressionism, and a different approach to painting.  Methods and colors that I don't use too often.  But that's what challenges are all about, right?  

I love Impressionism.  And I have watercolor pencils that I want to use more often.  So that was the focus of my painting.  The topic was from a photograph I took in Italy, close to the train station where we picked up my nephew.  I used some solid colored Washi tape that I bought from Pretty Tape on Etsy to frame the scene.  

Then I changed mediums for the exterior of the page and used a combination of turquoise and yellow acrylics plus watercolors.  Here's the finished piece.  

Come by the Art Journaling Ning to see what others created!  They are a very artistic bunch, and you'll enjoy their artwork and ideas.  And join the Ning, if you're interested in art journaling.  You can participate as much as you like.  Remember, Art Journaling: It's All Good!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

List It Tuesday (9/25) - nostalgia

Today is List It Tuesday, hosted by aimee at artsyville.  The list topic for the week is "things that make you nostalgic."  My first thought was photographs.  That's why people have photo albums, I suppose.

Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole
And music, of course.  I can tell you what year it was, when a certain song was playing on the radio.  Some music, like Nat King Cole and band music, remind me of my dad.  Here was a favorite song of my dad's, that Nat sang with his daughter, Natalie.

Also on my list are shells.  I guess I put that on because it makes me think of the ocean, which reminds me a lot of my childhood.  I miss the ocean...  Do I sound nostalgic?

Monday, September 24, 2012

September BBArtisans Challenge - an accordion book

For September, Nancy (NFallonDesign) decided to repeat my favorite challenge: "Try a new media or technique."  I love it so, because it lets me try something new, that I might not otherwise.  So thank you Nancy!

My new technique?  Making an accordion book!

I took two pages of watercolor paper, and cut them into strips of 4.5" x 12".  Then I took two of the strips, folded each strip into 4" blocks and glued two of the blocks on top of each other.  This left me with five "pages" to work with.  

 I watercolored the pages, stamped and stenciled them, and put some tape along the bottom edge.  Then I placed four houses and a beach scene on one side and glued them all down.  Almost like a street scene.  

To keep the accordion closed I used a clip.  If I was making it for someone else or for sale, I would use a ribbon for the closure.  And maybe attach the ribbon to the outer pages, so it wouldn't get lost. 

Since I'm going to keep this first "book", I decided to give it to DH.  As I continued working on the other side, I looked for activities he enjoys and cut them out.  To make the accordion more into a book, I put quotes with each page.



Playing with the doggies



I like the concept of this little accordion book.  I didn't really plan on what would be visible, when the pages were folded up; something I need to look at, the next time I do this.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Link List - Art Journaling Ning bloggers

new impressionism watercolor by the storybeader
I thought I'd go and investigate a bit this week, and see what kind of presence my Art Journaling Ning friends have on the internet.  Are they business bloggers and selling their artwork online?  First of all, let me tell you that Nings are social networks that a person can form to bring together like minded people.  There are close to 4,000 members that have joined the Art Journaling Ning; this doesn't mean everyone is active though.  I joined back in December 2010 and have learned so much from this community of art journalers.

one of Leslie's "automatic drawings"
First of all, Leslie Herger aka Comfortable Shoes, is the founder of the Art Journaling Ning.  Leslie is a professional bookbinder.  If you like to draw and paint, you'll enjoy Leslie's site over at Typepad.  She reviews different art supplies and techniques, and shares her photographs in her posts.  Her site hardly has any advertising or links in it, but I did find her Etsy shop.

One of the ladies who I've been taking workshops from at the Art Journaling Ning is  Moira Richardson.  Moira gives teen art classes in addition to her workshops in her home state of Rhode Island.  I'm currently taking the last of her 4 session class, called Weekly Art Date.  If you're interested in online tutorials and classes, check out her blog, crafty moira.  She usually has videos and giveaways over at her blog, though she doesn't post too often.  And she has two shops on Etsy:  Literary Tease and a new supply shop called Key Lime Supplies.

Ribbon-Bound Journal by Marisa
My first class with Moira last year (called Falling for You) I started with Marisa, who is new to blogging.   Here's a Ribbon-Bound Journal Tutorial I found on her blog, Gingerbread and Glitter.  She writes all about art, crafts and journaling!  Go on by and welcome her to blogging!!

by Natalie at awkward & beautiful
Looking through the artists who put up challenges on the Art Journaling Ning reminded me of Natalie Malik.  She issued the Challenge in September, a mix of Impressionism & Doodling & a special painting technique that I've never tried before.  I completed the challenge but forgot all about posting it!  That's my finished piece, at the top of this post.  You can her find her blog at awkward and beautiful. and her Etsy shop by the same name.

Prompt cards by Tammy
If you are interested in finding out more about art journaling, I suggest you visit Tammy at Daisy Yellow.  She was one of the first art journalers I met online, and has been an inspiration to me (I might even have found the Ning through her!)  She has daily prompts on her site, suggested reading, and lots of workshops.  Tight on cash?  Join her free workshop, Art Journaling 101!  Her Etsy shop has a good view of her colorful artwork.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

AlphabeThursday - R is for Rome

When we first went to Italy in the Spring, we spent two days in Rome.  It was our first glance at the country, and served as our departing city, two weeks later.  The feel, when we arrived and departed, was so different.  You know how it is, when you first land in a strange place.  Everything is so "foreign".  Here, the sites and sounds were so much different than any city I'd been in before.

Our first afternoon, we visited the Pantheon.  Above is the exterior, with another fountain!  The Basilica (top right) is partially open; that's the sky up there!  There are signs for quiet all over, but everybody was talking.  A man over a microphone keeps saying "silence!" in different languages.

My brother, Nikki and I also went for a walk to the Treve Fountain and the Spanish Steps.  I thought this was an interesting close-up of the fountain.  This has got to be the most beautiful fountain in Rome.  You can see Nikki in the photo on the right, taking a photograph of the Spanish Steps (I always seen to be lagging a little behind everyone else!)  They are named after the Spanish Embassy, I'm supposing the white building on the hill.  We climbed to the first landing, to get a good view of the city.

On our second day in Italy, we went to the Vatican, where my mom booked a tour for us before we left the states.  We spent close to the whole day walking there, on the tour, and walking back to our rooms.  I'll write more about that in my Letter V post.  Here is a photo of the Vatican from St. Peter's Square.  Probably the largest square in Rome - this is where all those people stand to see the Pope speak on his balcony.  

Like I said, our last two days in Italy we were also in Rome.  We arrived late in the afternoon and rushed to the Coliseum, since we were going to the airport the next morning.  I didn't get inside the Coliseum, but my nephew beat us over there, before they "closed the doors".  The rest of us just walked around the building and up a trail on the Palatine Hill.  

Here's a view of the Arch of Titus from a path we took up the Palatine Hill.  

This is the Victor Emmanuel Monument.  He was the King of Sardinia, and the monument was erected to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country's unification in 1861.  From this vantage point you can't see the world's largest equestrian statue (with the king on a horse).  But I love the two bronze quadrigaes, each with a winged Victory.  The sun was getting low here, and the monument is just breath-taking! 

Hope you enjoyed some more sights of Italy.  The first of my trip I used my camera; after a day or two, most all my photographs were taken with my Smart phone.  So glad I bought it before we went on our trip!

You can visit other blogs and see what Letter R word they chose, 
at the link party on Ms. Jenny's blog on my tangent...    

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September Sketchbook Challenge - patterns

Patterns by Deborah Boschert
 For the sketchbook challenge this month, the theme is Patterns.  Deborah Boschert is the host, and this is an example of her artwork.

Now when I see of the word Patterns and art journaling on the same page, I consider all the objects around the house that can be used to make patterns.  Toilet paper rolls and screening are my favorites.

I've also been thinking about sewing lately, and am considering getting a sewing machine.  But would I really have the time, with everything else I'm doing?  Oh dear...

"Wouldn't it be nice to start sewing again?  I remember I hated it in Junior High...  I was horrible about following patterns.  No Logic!  Maybe if I wish hard, I can find a sewing machine under the tree.  Or in my stocking!  Then I can experiment with sewing paper!  What Fun!"

There's still over a week to participate in the Sketchbook Challenge.  Check out their blog; there's a great bunch of artists. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

List It Tuesday - Watercolor Pencil Magic

I finished the first chapter of my library book about using watercolors, called Watercolor Pencil Magic, by Cathy Johnson.  To help me become familiar with my pencils, she suggested that I make a list of the names with a sample of what the colors are like.  It's a good idea - the dry and wet pencil marks look very different!

List It Tuesday is back with Aimee from artsyville!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

BBArtisans Team Treasuries, Sept 9 - 15, 2012

Between thinking about my doggie and her health problems, and greeting a neighboring rabbit in my driveway, I have had animals on my mind.  So I thought, why not continue with this theme of animals as I thank two BBArtisans who included me in their treasuries.

Kaili's treasury is called Blue, Pink...  These are two favorite colors to many of the BBArtisans.  Kaili made a cute ACEO - a little lab with thoughts of love and fire hydrants on a pink background.  She used art markers and micron pens (my favorites) to draw this adorable devotional doggie.    

Kathy's treasury, Fall is in the air!, has detected a change in the climate!  I have too!  She also painted an ACEO - a  baby jackrabbit .  He's just adorable!  Looks a lot like the little critter from next door.     

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturay Link List - a favorite day for blogging

I enjoy writing serial posts on my blog once a week.  They are something for me to plan on and something for my readers to look forward to.  This Saturday Link List is a good example.  It keeps me thinking of new topics while giving my readers links to visit (thank you Rose, for the introduction).

One of my favorite posts to read is the Scavenger Hunt Sunday, created by Ashley Sisk, over at Ramblings & Photos.  I first saw the Scavenger Hunt at Rose's blog, Randomcreative Art.  These posts have 5 subjects every week for the blogger to take photos of.  If you'd like to participate, grab a button for your blog,  Or if you don't have a blog, participate through your Flickr photostream.  There's also a linky tool open on Ashley's blog every Sunday through Tuesday night, where you can link up.    

I just found a new weekly post that I might start on my blog, called Friday Phone Dump.   I first saw this on Heather's blog, called "our life is a click".  It's for all those bloggers with Smart Phones, who take lots of photographs.  I use my phone at work, and when I'm out and about.  Some people carry a camera - I carry my phone!

Most of you know that I love making lists.   Aimee, at artsyville, used to have a weekly post called List It Tuesday that I thought was the cutest display of art journaling.  And guess what?  She's bringing it back!  This Tuesday!  I'm going to have to participate in this! Visit and enjoy seeing how these artists make their drab lists exciting.  Better yet, come and participate - you'll be starting off at the ground floor!

I know I've gotten to know many Etsy artisans who blog, by following their escapades on the internet.  Like going for a walk with Sadie every Saturday, and following Nancy's sewing projects, as she learned the ins and outs of sewing a straight line!  

Thursday has always been a special day for me, writing about words that are special for one reason or another, for Ms. Jenny's AlphabeThursday.  Do you have a favorite day for blogging?  Tell us about it and add your link.

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