Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Tomorrow is New Year's Eve - the old year is fading fast! It was a year filled with travel; reaquainting myself with relatives I hadn't seen in over 30 years; art (vistited lots of galleries and took 2 online classes); and tribulation. The last 3 months have been spent battling illness, Don's and my own. My problems are small potatoes compared to Don's. He was totally disabled for awhile and caring for him was a tough, stressful, full-time job. (I was so blessed to have Brigette here to help me with this burden.) Don has had a tough struggle in his fight against pain. It is not resolved yet but he is stronger than he has been in a couple of months. I feel like I'm coming out of a dark cave and seeing the light again! The New Year holds hope!
This year has taught me that I have to cling to my God and put all my hopes in Him! I can't expect anything from anyone but I can accept whatever help God provides. The help He provided during the crisis the past couple of months came from unexpected sources. People I didn't expect stepped forward with love, support and help. I am so thankful for all my dear friends and family that were here for us.
I don't have resolutions for the New Year but I do have plans. Plans to stay on a healthy diet, plans to start a Bible study and meet regularly with Godly women to study His Word, plans to get back to creating my art and plans to travel once again. And I know what God says about His plans for me! His are plans are for good and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope (Jer. 29:22). Amen and amen!

Friday, October 30, 2009


The Gut Art Class is in it's 4th week. I have enjoyed watching the field trip videos and responding with art. The result has been art that I would not have normally done but it was inspired by using prompts, or "pulling" art out of a background or just viewing the art of other artists.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hello Medicare!

This past week I celebrated my 65th birthday. But mostly I celebrated Medicare!!!! No more exhorbitant insurance premiums - yipee!!!!
Deb took me to Santa Barbara for a mini-vacation sans kids. We stayed with our friend, Eileen, who just moved there. We had a great time! Being the birthday girl, they let me plan our itinerary so, of course, art was involved. I went to two art shows.
We shopped, we went crazy at a rummage sale, we dined at a trendy bistro and we laughed and celebrated life. We came home by way of Ventura where we met my friends, Dianne and Rose, for a birthday lunch. On Monday, my actual birthday, Deb fixed me a wonderful salmon dinner and baked me my favorite - a lemon cake! I felt so loved!!!! Although I'm an old lady now, I'm a happy old lady!!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gut Art Field Trip #3

I watched video #3 today which featured the art of Cora Marshall. She did a wonderful series of paintings of Negro slaves. When I was done I saw a vintage magazine on my work table, the pages are yellowed and crisp from age. I just sat down and started drawing and this came out. It is a simple drawing done with colored pencils, I liked it and wanted it to stand on it's own thus the simple background. When I was done I realized the text was upside down, but in thinking about the injustices to minorities in this country, and particularly the horrors of slavery, I felt it was appropo since slavery did indeed turn people's lives upside down!


I did not start out purposing to do a painting for any other reason than to create a piece of art. However, once this zany lady was done I just envisioned her as the perfect birthday card. So I first added the birthday message using Picassa. Then I made a reduced color print on matte photo paper and used colored pencils to define some of the areas. I added the glitzy star, matted it with the same paper I used on the face, mounted it on a card stock and...... viola! - I have a birthday card! Actually, I made several.

Do not imagine that art is something which is designed to give gentle uplift and self-confidence. Art is not a brassiere. At least, not in the English sense. But do not forget that brassiere is the French word for
life-jacket. -Jullian Barnes

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Funky Chica!!!

My painting for the day!
I'm having fun with
this style!
Art has the suddenness, the audacity, and sometimes the
savagery of impolite wit.
Caleb Jackson

Field Trip to Florence

Our 2nd Field Trip this week was watching a video featuring the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, a silk factory in Forence, Italy where the textiles are still woven by hand. It reminded me of Grandma and her weavings. The looms looked like hers. It was nostalgic to watch the man standing on the loom just as Grandma did even though he was a world away from her home in New Mexico. She called it "dancing on the loom". You can find out more about my Grandma at this website:

Some time ago I decided I wanted to try my hand at weaving, but I could never imagine myself working on a large loom with all those threads, so I used a handmade one that I fashioned out of cardboard. I was interested in the various textures of the yarns and the bright colors. This was one of my humble attempts at weaving. I admire the art form but I don't have the patience for it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Art of Fred Babb

This is some of the art of Fred Babb. Love this guy! As artists go, he was my first love.

Field Trips

One of the things we are doing in the Gut Art class is going on "field trips". Mystele makes videos available that take us on an artistic journey. The first was viewing the art of Terri Hallman. She is an artist I can relate to. Something about funky people art that just grabs me. I could look at her stuff all day long. She reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Fred Babb. He was fifty when he started painting which inspires me since I was 55 when I first started doing art. I've always been a crafter, then an avid rubber stamper, but it wasn't until 10 years ago that I truly fell in love with art! Did a quick mixed media piece in response to Terri's art. My next project will be to do a similar one using acrylics or watercolors.


I am on another art journey!!! I have started an online art class with Mystele. I will be using my blog to chronicle my adventures into Gut Art. Our first assignment was to make covers for our Gut Art Book which will hold our work. I did make one which is okay. The size will limit me a bit. So I remembered that last week I found a wonderful notebook at a yard sale (yard sales are my obsession!). It is a gorgeous Stampin' Up book (10" x 14") used by consultants. This morning I decided to alter the cover a bit and use it also. I just made a simple collage using yummy papers I'd been saving for a special project and attached it to the front. It is filled with thick pages which I will recycle by collaging them or painting over them to use for art projects. So I am ready to go with my TWO art books! As you can see, they are as different as night and day. But both appeal to me. There's my "wild/zany" side and my "proper/demure" side. Kinda like ying and yang. Never know which one will show up when I sit down in my studio! Let the fun begin!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Altered Row Houses

Well, my last post was not too uplifting. I am glad to say I have been feeling better lately.

A few days ago I stumbled upon Sugar Lump Studios and saw a video on utube giving a tutorial on Altered Row Houses. They intrigued me immediately so I sat down at my work table and created a couple of them. After making them with some vintage photos I had laying around (the fairy child is by Lisa's Altered Art) I got to thinking about using photos of some of my ancesters to make some memory houses. Sooooo that will be one of my future projects.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


How are you? People ask all the time, but do they really care to know? Or is it just a polite way to start a conversation or an email? Being that I have a blog I figured I could answer that question for myself and others, sending it out to cyberspace and let it fall where it may.
Looking back this has not been a very good year. Fatigue has plagued me constantly. It comes out of nowhere and plops on me like a large elephant, leaving me immobile and suffocating. I try to move through my daily activities but I can't. I try to get dressed and run errands but the thought of such a thing is monumental. So I curl up in my easy chair - sometimes with a book, sometimes not......sometimes to watch TV, sometimes to sit in silence. When the elephant decides to move off me and I feel a slight burst of energy, I hurry through the chores that await me.......the dishes, the dirty bathroom, or the laundry piled high. But I must work fast because I know the energy won't stay long, unlike the troublesome elephant that does not hesitate to linger on and on.
This week I had 3 wonderful invitations. One was to take a friend and housesit in Ventura, another to go with my daughter and spend the weekend in San Diego and the 3rd was to go away for a woman's weekend at the coast. I turned down all three. Oh, I want to go all those places - they are all by the ocean which I love. But accepting anyone of them means being social. I'm expected to smile and participate and enjoy and although I want to do all those things I never know when that pesky elephant will show up! The sheer size of him casts a dark shadow over me and the tremendous weight weighs me down to where all I can do is find the nearest easy chair to curl up in. Talking becomes an effort. When people see me like that they feel bad and want to do something to make it better. Or they don't understand and make light of my lethargy. Either way I don't want to put myself or others through the ordeal of trying to tame my elephant. He's in my life and I have to live with him, but I don't have to impose him on others.
So, how am I? That depends on my energy level. Energy has become my greatest commodity. When I have some I need to spend it wisely because these days I don't have much. But I am so grateful for the energy I do have and for the friends that help me conserve what I have by driving me to church or to the store. Grateful for my daughter who consistently brings over food . Grateful for my granddaughter who comes over to clean for me. Grateful for my faith that keeps me hoping and praying and praising God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September Morning

Summer is but a memory. I didn't get any blogging done at all! Vacationed for 3 wonderful weeks with my 3 wonderful cousins (Nini, Mary and Monica) from Mexico City and my 2 cousins from California. First we attended Stephanie's wedding which was a lovely affair in San Diego. Then we toured San Diego and Los Angeles. Had a fabulous time seeing all the sites.....places I hadn't been in over 20 years like Griffith Observatory in L.A. Went to the Norton Simon Museum and the Getty Museum and was saturated in art, art, art!!!! Went to Hollywood......Then Nini and I spent 3 days at the coast breathing fresh sea air! Wonderful times.....wonderful memories!
Once I was home I deflated like a balloon! The fatigue started plaguing me so I spent the rest of the summer hanging out at home - mostly reading or fiddling around in my art room. Can't seem to muster up the energy to get our of the house!!! The computer is a nice distration, it puts me in contact with friends, family and other artisits from all over the world. When I feel brain dead I play Bookworm to keep the brain cells moving. I drag myself into the pool everyday for 20-30 minutes of movement. So goes my life right now......
But I am thankful to be alive.....thankful I have eyes to see, family that loves me, beautiful great-grandchildren that put a smile on my face. Thankful that I have a Father God that never leaves me nor forsakes me!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vacation Bound

It's been over a month since I made an entry - my focus on things just doesn't last very long. To report on my diet, I have lost 9 pounds and have changed my eating habits. I am just hoping and praying I can remain committed to healthy eating while on vacation.
I am headed to San Diego with the whole family for Stephanie's wedding. My cousins, Mary and Nini from Mexico City are going to be there and I am sooooo excited to see them and be able to spend time with them. We are going to be staying with Martha and Jeff who are taking next week off from work and touring us around the San Diego area for a week. Then Mary will head home and Nini, Martha and I are going to Los Angeles to visit another cousin and tour LA for a week. From there Nini will come home with me and we plan to head to the central coast for 3 days. Whew, I am tired just writing about it. Hope I have the energy and stamina to pull this off!
I will be taking scads of pictures and will post some when I get home.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daily Life

I am on the 11th day of my diet and doing well. I feel like I finally have a handle on this. Have been reading my nutrition books (I have scads of them in my library collecting dust) and am eating as healthy as I can. I am feeling so much better too, as a result. I'm still tempted. Eating out with friends yesterday I so wanted fried chicken strips, french fries and chocolate cake! I sat there arguing with my reasonable self and was so proud of myself for making the healthy choice - grilled salmon, rice and veggies. They were good and I had no regrets. I have been doing water aerobics in the pool everyday, even the past two days that were cool and windy. I'm even spending more time in the kitchen cooking healthy stuff. The other day I made some killer apple muffins made with All Bran cereal, almond meal and oat bran. They are so good I feel guilty eating them, but they are very healthy. I feel I am on the right tract healthwise.

After a hiatus of a couple of weeks from my art, last night I had a burst of energy and an attack of creativity. I did another painting. I am happy with my angel but feel I now need to try a different style. Since today is another cool and windy day I am going to work in my art studio and see what I can conjure up.

Daily life just moves along and I am always curious to see where it will take me. What is so wonderful about this computer age is that I can drop in at other blogs and see what daily life is dishing up for them!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Season

This past week I finished my online painting class. This pic is my class project. I feel I learned what I set out to learn, which was to be able to paint a face. I was thrilled that I got to share a classroom with women from not only all over this country but from other countries as well. There were 2 gals in my class, that I know of, from Australia. What a fun experience!

I titled this "new season" because now that my painting frenzy is behind me I am on to other things...... like dieting! Ugh! Not fun but necessary. The problem with hibernating for the winter is that I piled on the pounds. Sitting around eating and not exercising was not a good thing. The great thing is that as I finally get serious about dieting, the weather has warmed up enough for me to be able to go in the pool and start doing my water aerobics. I have six weeks before my vacation in San Diego and LA so I am off and running with the cottage cheese, salads and lo-carb tortillas! Not as much fun as painting class but it is a new challenge in a new season of my life!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Moving Slowly on a Thursday Morning

Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Maggie, a wonderful collage artist. Deciding to depart from my recent frenzy for painting faces I chose making altered cigar boxes as our project. We each had our vintage cigar box in hand; I had a bag of goodies (stamps, magazine images, a book to tear up, etc.); and we were working in Maggie's studio chock full of marvelous papers of all colors, textures and design. I was in art heaven! Since collage is an art medium we have in common, it was only natural that we collage our boxes. Mine turned out to be in dreamy shades of blue and Mag's was in vibrant hues. (I wish I had a picture of hers to post.) After collaging the papers onto the box, I embellished with gel paints and rubberstamping.

Last night when I finally went to bed I started coughing and it was keeping me from going to sleep. I finally decided to take some cough medication. Well, it knocked me out! I slept until after 10 this morning and am still groggy and moving slowly, which is why I am doing something quiet and lowkey like blogging. But without very much prompting I could crawl back to bed and sleep another 3 or 4 hours.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Art for a Sunday Afternoon

While at church this morning I was inspired to do another painting. I did it in the style of Kelly Rae Roberts, she is a wonderful artist and I am a great fan of hers. She did a gal with inspiring affirmations, I wanted to do a similar one but using my Christian affirmations - messages I want to keep at the forefront of my mind. Although she has a bit of a crooked nose (they are still giving me trouble!), she is a sweetheart that wears a wonderful message. I found those lovely butterfly wings tucked away in a drawer. I worked all afternoon on her (over 4 hours). Now I am pooped and need a nap!

All About Faces

All About Faces, that's the name of the class I'm taking and I'm still drawing and painting as much as I can. Tonight I watched TV and sketched during commercials. I had a project in mind for one of the drawings so I came straight to my Art Studio after the 11pm news. I managed to wake myself up and now I have insomnia, but I got the project done! I drew a face and then colored it with colored pencils. I then cut it out and collaged it onto a watercolor background. It's the girl in bloom.....the other one I did a couple of days ago. As far as the painting class is concerned, we are now learning how to mix our paints and do shading. It is going to take a while to get the hang of it. Up to now I have been using pre-mixed acrylic craft paints, quite different from the tube acrylics that you mix yourself. It's going to take practice, practice, practice! So, looking at the earlier post where I posted the way I used to draw faces I can see a HUGE improvement! What do you think?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Painting Class is a Hit!

It's been two weeks since I started my online painting class, All About Faces, with Paulette Insall. My belief has been that I could not draw very well. I have made a few feeble attempts but it has been a real effort. I thought a person either had that talent or they didn't. I am learning, however, that it can be taught. It is all a matter of technique. I have always loved women in art and have longed to be able to draw them. The first class was learning how to sketch faces, and the 2nd one was painting backgrounds. I, however, forged ahead and have been practicing painting faces all this past week. I have done something I had not done before, which is paint every day! Practice makes a big difference! My paintings have ended up being mixed-media. I've used acrylic paints, markers, colored pencils, stamps and collage elements. I am very pleased with my progress so far and the exciting thing is that I still have 5 lessons to go! I love the way each of my girls has her own personality, but they all love to have doo-dads in their hair!

Monday, March 2, 2009


I have noticed that many artists sell their art on Etsy, so I know there is a market out there for art. Although I used to do arts and crafts shows to market my art, for the past several years I have chosen not to sell it. I have wanted to do art for the sole purpose of creating - it is a wonderful process and it brings me lots of joy. It is also wonderful therapy! I very often give my art away but I do keep alot of it and hang it in my home for my own enjoyment.

In cleaning out my art studio I have come across pieces of art that I had tucked away. It seems such a shame to me to have them hidden rather than enjoyed. I am also producing more art than I can display. So here is the idea I came up with: On flickr at I have set up a folder called Available Art. It has all the art that is up for grabs. If you see a piece you like and would care to have it for your very own, just leave me a note saying so, I will immediately put it aside for you. I am not going to charge for my art, but rather ask that you donate whatever you think it is worth to the Missions Program at my church.

Here is how it will work: If you want a piece of my art, you can email me or drop me a note here or on flicker and let me know. You can then email me ( your address and I will send it to you along with an envelope addressed to my church. When you receive the art, simply put your donation in the envelope and mail it. I will never know if you sent anything, or how much you sent. I am going to let this be a "God thing". So pick out a piece of art you like and pass the word around.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, Sunday

Today is turning out to be a wonderful day. I woke up with the overwhelming fatigue that has been plaguing me lately and didn't think I could make it to church. But a dear friend, MaryAnn, called and encouraged me to get dressed and said she'd pick me up. I dragged through the service but afterwards she and I went out to lunch; between the food and the fellowship I perked up - thank God!!!! Once I got home I came straight to my art studio to continue to clean it up. I have been working on it all week in preparation for the art class I am starting tomorrow online. The class is "All About Faces" by Paulette Insall. I have been working on faces on my own for the longest time; I am soooooo happy to finally have the opportunity to take a class and learn some tips and techniques that will help me. I am posting a couple of pics I did this week as my "before" pictures. In a few weeks you all can see my "after" pictures and we can see how much I actually learn.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Neat Story

Last night I told you all I had a neat story to tell. I thought I might wait because if Suzi logs on it is going to ruin her surprise. But, I just couldn't wait for days and days. Sorry, Suzi!

When I was a teenager I had penpals. I have always loved to communicate via the written word. It started when I ran away from home at age 15 and my father grounded me for a year! So I decided I'd put my info in Teen magazine (anyone out there remember that publication?) under the penpal section. Soon I was corresponding with over a dozen boys. It kept me busy while I was confined to the house and although the number dwindled once I could go out again there was one boy that I fell for (kinda like today's computer romances) and we wrote to each other for over 4 years. (I thought I'd make a long story short but decided this is an interesting long story so I am going to tell the whole thing!) Well, he looked me up after about 30 years and even came to visit (with his wife). After all that time we finally met and it was really exciting! We are still friends today and keep in touch via email.

So I tell this story to say that since I have joined My Space and Flickr, I have once again found some people and we have become email pals. One is named Suzi Dennis and we have so much in common it is scary. We are both artists (although she makes money with her art, I just do mine for the love of it as I got tired of the art shows - but that's a different story). In the past years I have sent her a couple of art cards I made. Well, a couple of days ago she sent me a precious card with a picture she had drawn of the two of us as "angel buddies". That inspired me to make her one with the same theme. I am just mailing it today, so if she sees this post then the cat's out of the bag. I want to share with you all the piece of art she made me and the one I made for her. The one I made kinda looks like we're conjoined and share one pair of wings, which is funny because I am always telling her we could be twins! Actually, I do have a twin sister and Suzi and I resemble each other alot more than my twin and I. So the moral of this long, drawn out story, is: you never know who you'll meet online! Could turn out to be a kindred spirit like my friend Suzi and I. Incidentally, Suzi did the colorful painting of the full size angels. I did the collage.

Welcome Friends

Family and friends are already checking in and it's great to see you all here. Today is like many other days this week, I got up and, still in my jammies, stumbled into my art room to get on the computer.
After going to bed last night I was thinking how blogging can really give me a voice, for those that want to hear. I don't have to impose myself on anyone, everyone comes of their own volution (is this spelled right? even spellcheck couldn't tell me!) . I can just jabber on and say whatever I want......HOW FREEING! I am one that does not like small talk, I want to find a common interest with whomever I am speaking. I guess I've always feared boring people to death. So this is the perfect venue for speaking my mind. If you're interested "come on down"! If not just walk away, or rather just shut me down and go on to another site. But if you do, I hope you'll come back. Next time I may be saying something that interests you.


A few hours ago, which was yesterday since it is 2am, I set up my blog. Seemed simple at first but then I hit a few snags....aaarrrrrgh!!!! I wasted an hour trying to figure out where I was going wrong or if it was just the computer software that was going wrong. I finally gave up and went to bed.....couldn't sleep......insomnia again! But not to worry, I now have something to entertain myself with besides reading (which I love to do but after so many hours I get so tired all the words run together). Don't quite have enough creative energy to create art at this hour of the am, but I seem to be doing just fine fiddling around on my blog. I have a neat story to share which I will in my next post - I have to download, then upload some pics.


Now that I have introduced myself, let me give you a look-see at my home art studio. I spend as much time in my studio as I can and love to surround myself with art - mine and that of others. It is a feast for the eyes, at least I think so! When people enter this room they usually say they don't know where to look first. I also keep my computer in here so between creating and communicating it is a wonder I ever leave this room. So take a look around and I hope you enjoy the view.....

Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to My Art World

Here I am for the sole purpose of sharing myself with the cyber community via my art.

I have always been a crafter, since my first project when I was 8 or 9 and my aunt bought me a kit to weave potholders. Now, I know if I took a poll a high percentage of those reading this have made a woven potholder! Do you know they still sell those kits? I recently bought one for my great-granddaughter who is not yet 5. She's a little young yet but I am determained to start my indoctrination of her. I've already made some progress, she has learned what symetrical and asymetrical mean and she told me the other day that she is an artist! But I digress.....

In the late 90's I spent several years obsessed with rubberstamping. I even started a company with a couple of friends and we designed and made rubberstamps. I absorbed everything there was to know about stamping at the time - products, techniques, etc. That led to me teaching stamping workshops and then designing projects for The Rubber Stamper magazine. When I moved in 2000 to Central California I had boxes and boxes and BOXES of stamping supplies and tools. Looking for a way to use them other than to make cards I started doing mixed-media art and collage. I soon fell in love with collage work. Now I dabble in all different mediums have an art studio in my home and a fabric studio in my daughter's home (and I still don't have enough room for all my "stuff"!)

I want to use this blog to share my art and how it relates to the world around me. It takes up a large portion of my time, especially now in the winter when I stay cooped up in the house due to our foggy, gloomy weather. Hope I get some visitors here and that you will be inspired or amused.