Saturday, December 31, 2011

More Yarn

When we walked into Joann's Fabrics today I went a little nuts when I saw most of their yarn was on a BOGO sale. I'm supposed to be using up yarn, not buying more. I had a moment of temporary insanity and went home with a tote bag full of yarn. I wanted to get shades of white for a white on white vest I want to knit.  Plus I got some teal for the current vest I'm knitting. I went in their for one skein of  yarn.  I should have known better. Ack!

Then we went to a t-shirt store because I want to paint or somehow decorate new t-shirts for myself.  I thought I could live with the price of 3 shirts for $10.  Unfortunately that price only covers up to size 1X and I'm 2X, so I had to pay $5. each for mine. That's still a good deal but probably not the wisest buying decision right now when my income is so low. I still live with the delusion that I'll be able to sell things on Etsy and pay for my craft supplies. When has that ever worked out for me?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yay Knitting

The size 15 circular needles I got on Ebay came in the mail today. Just hoping for some time tonight to start the vest I'm dying to make.
Today I spent four hours rearranging my craft boxes. My shoulders are sure feeling it now, so I may not be able to knit for long.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

100 Strangers Project

I spent the day taking photos of strangers at Knott's Berry Farm. It was a lot of fun. And I'm off to a good start on my 100 Strangers article. 100 Strangers. Editing them was the most challenging. I couldn't figure out how to do it on Photoshop at all, so I wound up using an old version of Paint Shop Pro. Once I got onto PSP7 it was a breeze. This is probably the most new people I've talked to in one day in a long time. And I hope I can have more days like it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Paint Then Crochet Then Paint Then Crochet

Today I got to paint outdoors in a patch of sunlight using my new easel. I tried to finish the painting I started Sunday Dec. 18, 2011 at the archery range. I can't believe after painting daily for over a month I spent a week and didn't paint at all. That's what holidays do to a schedule. I still have to add the finishing touches to the painting but here it is so far. I'm glad I got to finish one of these more complicated paintings. 

The rest of today I worked on the monster sweater I'm crocheting.  I've been having technical difficulties with getting the rows to line up. I think I finally figured out what is going wrong, but there is no turning back now.  No matter how many years I've been crocheting (since 5th grade), I still get lost following a pattern sometimes. So here is a photo.  Yes, crochet is messy during the process, especially when you use a lot of colors.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


I made waffles and sausage for Christmas breakfast. I didn't realize we were out of eggs so I'm glad I could think of something special to make that didn't require any.
I want to knit some vests to round out my wardrobe. I just ordered some size 15 circular needles on Ebay so I could whip them up efficiently. I can't wait to experiment with different types of yarns.

Just when I thought my boyfriend was sick of me painting every day, he went and got me a nice wooden table top easel for Christmas! Maybe I will try it out today. Right now though I can't seem to stop yawning. I guess I didn't sleep well last night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cracks In The Sidewalk

I've always taken cracks in the sidewalk for granted until I saw an exercise in my Drawing Lab book that talked about drawing pictures of cracks and then morphing them into interesting plants or animals or other things. I felt like an idiot taking photos of cracks in the sidewalk as people filed by, but I really like the way they came out. I even wrote a poem about it. So I've either had an epiphany or lost my mind all together.
I also found it interesting to study the things that have migrated their way into the cracks.

Don't Worry Be Happy

The CA weather has been beautiful. I spend as much time as I can outdoors. I know I may not always live where the weather is so consistently perfect. After I make some breakfast, I'll pick a craft project to work on outdoors. I have all the parts for the juggling club (I think) so I could start working on those.  That ought to keep me busy.
And I have the sweater I'm crocheting in a retro 80's style.  I need to take photos of that to share with you guys.
And I always have sewing to do. I wish I'd finished some of the warmer clothes I was making. I could really use them right now, since it is winter and the nights are cold enough for the heater to come on.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Writing On the Wall

Yesterday a monkey wrench landed in my world. I saw a man taking photos of the apartments and when asked about it he said, "I really can't tell you if the owner is selling the apartment complex. (Face palm). If so, this will be our fourth new owner. Which means they will have to show the apts. Which means we might have to move. At any rate, either way it diverts me from working, and then I have to go into packing, fixing, cleaning mode. What a PITA. And right before Christmas too. At least we got a heads up. If we waited for the landlord to tell us, it would be the phone call at 8 AM telling us someone needed to come in the apt. at 10:00. If past actions can be believed, he doesn't follow the 24 hour notice laws.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to my family and friends. Without them my life wouldn't be so rich and full of fun.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Megalist of Arts and Crafts Tips and Tricks

Megalist of Arts and Crafts Tips and Tricks
I found this list of various crafts tips. You are sure to learn something new from it.

Sweater Redo

Sometimes when I design things I can tell they are not going in the direction that I wish them to go. Such was the case with the sweater I was crocheting. After about ten rows, I could tell I'd accidentally decreased and wound up about 30 stitches short on the circumference. That's a lot. I see no choice but to start over. In the long run I hope it will be worth it though.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hot Water Heater

Most artists know how insane the last week before Christmas gets as you try to balance deadlines, family expectations, cleaning, work and travel.  It usually creates a snowball effect. This year is no exception. The day I was supposed to open my new Etsy shop, I was hauling soggy boxes out of the garage after our hot water heater failed.  I forgot about opening the shop entirely! I did have a few listings sitting there in draft form, so in lieu of my planned grand opening, I just made those listings live today, because I need to get the garage put back together again.

I'm also working on a crocheted sweater that kept me busy late into the night and again this morning, as well as doing my daily paintings.  Yikes!  I'm getting so far behind.  Then Sunday we'll be out of town delivering arrows in Pasadena at our monthly archery gathering. Some of these arrows are gifts so there is no getting around going. I don't have any plans on Christmas day. And I just realized it.

My friends got a new horse

My friends from Synergy Arts in front of the tree they designed.

Each panel can turn in the wind.

Me ready for the Christmas dinner.

Daisy's First Day

Glad someone else is installing the new one.

Old hot water heater needed replacing.

Multicolored Crochet Sweater

Tonight I totally obsessed over a new sweater I'm crocheting. Eventually my hands gave out and the clock passed midnight, so I had to set it aside. I was going to use a pattern in a vintage crochet book, but I couldn't make heads or tails out of it.  So I'm duplicating it based on how I think she did it. That could be a disaster. But at least I'm enjoying the process. It's mostly shades of purple and gray.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Knitting a Green Striped Hat

I'm knitting a striped hat with a  liripipe. I'm trying to work some stripes into it. I started it on the train last week and this is the first time I got a chance to sit down and work on it. It's pretty funky right now so I hope it works out. Prototypes have minds of their own sometimes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Busy Shopping Day.

Yesterday morning I got two paintings started.  Then I ended up being out of town the rest of the day. It was a fun shopping day though. I picked up an office chair I found on Craig's list, went to the Asian market and food court, the pet store, the dollar type store, and the hardware store.
At the hardware store I got most of the parts for the juggling pins (clubs) that I want to make. Go me.
At the dollar store I got some very nice Dazzleaire yarn. It seems a bit different from the Dazzleaire yarn from the '70's, but it's soft and fluffy and should make nice hats.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Roses and Lilacs

I needed to make a simple and quick painting today. I could tell I had very little patience. One of the things about painting every day is I don't have the luxury to wait until I'm in the perfect mood. I just hope it doesn't lead me to hate painting.
Mostly I was more excited about working on the little watercolor mini books I started yesterday.  Those were going fabulously. I used hand carved stamps and embossed them. It's been so long since I used embossing powders and I'd forgotten how much fun it is. I still have to add the text to the mini books so hopefully I can show those off in a day or two.
For now, I'll show you my painting. Would you like that?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Painting Projects

I'm working on a mixed media painting today, which means it has to dry awhile before I can draw on it again.

I also started 2 little art books on watercolor paper. I painted each page front and back, and those are also drying. The directions say to sew the book together first, but it's much easier to paint on flat pages, so I'm painting all the backgrounds first, then I'll sew the pages together, then do rubber stamping or drawing or calligraphy at that point. I don't plan out all the details in advance, just the basic flow of the work.

I also want to paint some hummingbirds with watercolors, but this time I think I'll buy the mat and frame first, then I'll know exactly what size to do the painting.
Portrait of Darwin Mixed Media

Art Inspiration

Things that catch at hold my interest.  These were all taken at Cuesta College when I was taking breaks from painting.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Just Got Off The Train

I did some writing and drawing on the train. About a dozen times I wanted to hop off and paint the landscape.  The waves by Ventura were glassy and gorgeous. The sand dunes by Lompoc surf were covered with iceplant in green, gold and red. The boulders around Eagle Rock are always fascinating.  Many of these vistas can only be seen from the Amtrak Surfliner. I have tons of photos to download but first I need to catch up on some stuff that's piled up over the last five days.

Trip photos:
View from the train between Simi Valley and Chatsworth, CA

Fountain at Cuesta College

Art at the new coffee shop in San Luis Obispo, CA

View from house in Atascadero

Me on a chilly morning

I made chocolate covered strawberries and raspberries for the party.

Taken right before I got on the train to come home.

Sunday, December 04, 2011


I'm up in Atascadero CA celebrating my grandson's first birthday.
It was a fun party with a puppy dog theme.
It was hard to squeeze in my daily painting but at least I got started on it. Go me! I have very limited computer access while traveling so I feel like I'm behind on everything. I guess I'm going to have to break down and invest in a laptop after all. It's hard to save for a laptop and a car at the same time though.
I got some knitting and crocheting done on the train on the way up here at least. The train has wifi now and I was envious of all the other people that could use the Internet when I couldn't.
It's so beautiful up here. My daughter's new house is surrounded by rolling hills and oak trees. I'll share photos when I get back.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Working on a Painting With Fun Shapes

I'm getting ready to go out of town for 4 or 5 days. I don't really want to lose the great flow I'm having with my artwork, but I need balance in my life too and that means participating in family events.
I picked a hard painting today.  Lots of small intricate shapes to paint  After hours of working on it, my hands died and my eyes burned and my shoulders ached, so I had to give it up for the night.  It's going to be interesting to see if I can manage to paint while on my journey by train and on the road. I can only take minimal supplies with me. I'll let you know how it goes when I get back.
I'm obviously not going to be able to do my new Etsy shop grand opening today at 1 PM. I'll be at the train station. Oh well, best laid plans.  I had to push back the date to Dec. 15, 2011.  That way I'll have a few days to work on listings once I get back home next week. I'll have to write descriptions and do photos and so on. And I realized my scanner won't hold a 12 x 12" painting. It's too narrow.  So all the photos will have to be done with my digital camera. I had hoped to open on the first and catch some of the Christmas shoppers.  Oh well, can't win them all.  See you in a few days my faithful readers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More Craft Books and Fabric.

Here is what I bought at the Medieval Marketplace yesterday. The stretch velvet fabric was $15 and is 60"wide and at least 3 yards long. The bigger books were $5. each and the rest were $1. each. My total was $30.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Medieval Marketplace in LaVerne CA

Today was a busy day. We went to an SCA event in LaVerne. I spent most of it painting a portrait.  The weather was perfect.  Late November weather is always risky, and we couldn't have had a more cooperative forecast.
I bought some craft and cookbooks at a sale, as well as some awesome fabric. The fabric will be great for a belly dancing costume, maybe as some harem pants. I don't even have time to sew right now but I'm an optimist.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Penny Art

I must try this: Penny Art By Oxidation. Did you know you can shine dirty pennies up by rubbing them with ketchup?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Drawing Exercises

I'm enjoying the drawing exercises in my new book '52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun' by Carla Sonheim. This is from Lab 6 Index Card Multiples on page 26. I was doing contour drawings of some ornamental gourds I bought at the grocery store. The point is to look at your subject and draw it while looking at the subjects, not at the paper, as much as possible.  In other words, the 2 that look 'good' are not the ones that I did without looking. This kind of drawing always looks more energetic and spontaneous than typical drawing, but it also looks more goofy and amateurish.

Carpenter's Pencil on Large Index Cards

Third Panel of Purple and Gold Series

I knew I wanted an interesting shape to add to the third panel of my semi-abstract painting series.  So here I doodled up a few. Drawing them ahead of time gave me the confidence to dive right in with the wet paintbrush. The doodle a day and painting a day are going well with each other.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dancing Through the Cosmos

This is the second painting in a series of four that are meant to be hung as a unit on a wall. I've gotten great feedback for these on Facebook. When I started this project I didn't know if I'd be able to think of something different to paint each day, but so far, I can't keep up with the ideas that are flowing in from everywhere. I have 2 more of this series, but I already know what I want to do for the next one. It feels good to be productive.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Dancer A Semi Abstract Painting

I wrote in length about today's painting here: Purple and Gold 

My last few paintings were so structured, that it was a joy to do something so spontaneous and free.