Friday, October 10, 2008

Moving in Cyberspace

I've decided to move my blog to be part of my Stone Angel Arts website. This was something that I had always planned to do but it took my brother's help to make it actually happen. All the previous entries have been transferred to the new site, so please stop by and say "hi". The new blog can be found at

Sunday, August 31, 2008

GPP Street Team - Crusade #22

I've posted entries in the past for Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press Street Team Crusades. Well, she has challenged people again to stretch their wings open their hearts with a "Pay it Forward Challenge". She challenged people to make a gratitute gesture (think of something you can do for someone that 'pays forward' a kindness done to you). Seeing Michelle's challenge prompted me to finish something I had decided to do almost a year ago.

Last fall I bought the book "Living the Creative Life" by Rice Freeman-Zachery and was immediately enamored with the insight that all the artists provided (not to mention all the great eye-candy to inspire one's own creativity). I hadn't even finished the first chapter when I found myself constantly thinking of two childhood friends who encouraged my creative dreams. Although I still am in touch with them, for the past several years we have succumbed to only an annual christmas card for communication. Even though I had no idea if either of these women have continued on their own creative journey, I felt it necessary to buy each of them a copy of the book. My initial intention was to mail the book as soon as I got it (I think it was in October of 2007) but life got in the way. Then I was going to try to get it out to them for Christmas but again life got in the way. I don't know how many times I looked at those books (and the padded envelopes that at some point I put with them) but they just never found their way into the mail system. When I read Michelle's challenge earlier this month, I knew the time had come. Within a week, I had notes written to my dear friends Mary and Cathy and had entrusted them to the US postal service. I only hope that they find the book as inspiring as I have.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm baaaaaack....

I know it has been over four months since I last posted anything but I am still here (you can see me as I photographed Lake Michigan at the end of June). Everyone's life has their share of chaos and here are just a few of the chaotic happenings in my life since I last posted:

  • My hard drive crashed (I just had it replace after Thanksgiving last year and at the time I didn't remember that I had purchased the extended warranty) and it took 5 weeks before I received my computer back from the service center (because they had to send it in 3 times to get it operational...but hey, I now have a new motherboard and hard drive).
  • Our basement flooded, dried out, had the carpet cleaned, flooded again, dried out, had the carpet cleaned AGAIN, FLOODED AGAIN, carpet and padding was ripped out where the water was seeping up in the center of the basement. The water table kept getting too high and even though the sump pump kept up with the perimeter, water seeped up through a couple of cracks in the foundation.
  • The school year ended and my oldest son "graduated" from elementary school. He starts 6th grade at the middle school on Tuesday.
  • baseball, Baseball, and more BASEBALL! Number one son played in the majors and number two son played coach pitch and I was team parent for both teams. Then our season was extended by five weeks with tournaments since number one son made the 11-year old all-star team.
  • We celebrated my parents 60th wedding anniversary with a family weekend in Sheboygan (which is when I took the above picture).
  • A very long house project that included new siding and paint removal from the brickwork in the front (and subsequent tuckpointing because a lot of mortar came out during the powerwashing).

Wow, I'm exhausted just reading about all that again. I am looking forward to school starting on Tuesday so that I can get back in my studio and find some time for my art (something that I have been in dire need of). So hopefully I will have some new artwork to post about soon.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Mailman Delivers

Last week I received a note from the fabulous mixed media artist, Pam Carriker, that I had won a giveaway she was offering on her blog. It was a wonderful surprise on a day that had been grueling (as I was working on a house project that has been plaguing me for quite some time). The goodies she sent me arrived in my mailbox on Saturday and I couldn't believe the treasure trove of artsy goodness that the envelope contained. I love Pam's work and getting so many handmade items from her made my day. Each of the items are gorgeous but I think my favorite is the cat ATC. It fits my sense of humor and it was so incredibly timely because I have been talking with my son about idioms (he is just starting a project in his class on the subject) and here was a fun example to share with him. Pam, in case you are reading this, your artwork will be shared with his 5th grade class in the very near future (although first I need his teacher to assure me of its safety). Don't you just love a GOOD MAIL DAY?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

GPP Crusade 18

I know I haven't been doing the Crusades for that long, but I have to say that this has been my FAVORITE! Stamp carving is ADDICTING. I carved three new stamps for
Crusade No. 18. Two of them resemble an ironwork fence and the last one was kind of a spur of the moment carving of a pair of eyes. I have a lot of stamps that have eyes but for some reason, I felt the need for a pair that was bigger.

The designs for the ironwork style stamps were from a book on architectural clip art. I carved them so they could be lined up for a continues design of any length. The larger of the two is about 6 inches wide. The basic design for the eyes was traced from a piece of artwork I have by Christina Lazar-Schuler. The eyes of the woman in the piece I have have such a haunting quality that I thought they would be perfect for a stamp. I traced them on tissue paper and then transfered the pencil to the stamp surface. To get a lighter feel to the shadow and iris of the eyes, I used one of my Stampbord tools that is used to create cross-hatching on Stampbord. It worked well to make that section of the stamp less solid.
These two art journal pages show the stamps I created. The one page includes a bunch of stamped images (birds and flowers) using See Ds Stamps by Sugarloaf. My carved stamp is the fence in the foreground. The other art journal page features both the eyes stamp and the other ironwork stamp (which was stampe in silver Brilliance ink and then embossed using Broken China Distressed Embossing Powder by Ranger Ink. Just a reminder...if you click on the image of the journal page, it will open in a lightbox and you can see it better (and scroll to the other image). I thought I would mention that again since the little symbol that indicates multiple images is difficult to see on the pictures.

Next month's challenge is going to be making stencils. I am getting geared up for that. I actually made a stencil a couple of months ago and still have yet to use it so I know this will give me the kick in the butt I need to finish that project.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

GPP Street Team Crusade #17

Again, I'm sneaking my blog entry in under the wire for Michelle's challenge. The sad thing is, I actually had my art journal box done for almost two weeks. Although I haven't posted my picture until now, I think I can finally say that I am an art journaler. I have tried starting art journals off and on over the past two years but never did more than a couple of pages. Well, I'm proud to say that this morning I did my sixth consective daily art page since I put together this box. But even more exciting for me has been that each page is a result of my thoughts while I have been riding my exercise bike (that means I've spent 30 minutes biking everyday for the past six days -- YEAH! pardon me while I pat myself on the back). I took the box out for its first "travel experience" yesterday. My friend Kay and I took a road trip to Green Bay to check out a business, The Assemblage Studio, I discovered web surfing last year. The photo of my art journal box was actually taken "on location" at The Assemblage Studio. Since I didn't have time to finish my page after biking, I took the box so I could finish it there. I need to do a little raving now about The Assemblage Studio. What I loved about this business was the concept of having an amazing variety of items to purchase for altered art projects plus the ability to work there (so we could pick out the perfect pieces as we worked). Teresa Ann Gifford, the owner and altered artist extraordinaire, was so incredibly nice. Since the road trip was only planned less than a day before we went, we didn't think to call ahead to see about the work space or anything. But Teresa welcomed us with open arms and shared not only her wonderful space but a wealth of information.

If you ever find yourself in the Green Bay area (technically the business is in DePere), definitely plan a stop at her business or sign up for some of the amazing classes she offers. You will not be disappointed.

I'll sign off with pictures of a couple of my favorite art journal pages.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Frozen Beauty

This winter has been particularly crazy in Madison. We have had record amounts of snow (over 80 inches so far) and several cold spells that have included wind chill warnings. We live close to my sons' school so they have always walked to school except in bad weather. I have used a zero degree guideline during the winter so that when the temperature with the wind chill is below zero, I drive them to school. At times, I think I am driving them more than they have been walking this year. Yesterday, after I dropped them off at school, I realized that I had the camera in the car and decided to capture some of the beauty that was in and around the neighborhood. Over the past weekend, we had some of the worst weather this season -- freezing rain and then snow. It made things a big mess for driving but the coating of ice on the trees made things sparkle when the sun was out. I couldn't resist its beauty so I drove around to get a few shots. These are a few of my favorites.