Friday, December 26, 2014

Word for 2015...

Like so many people I chose a word for the year. This word is my focus for things I want to do or change in the year. This is my third year doing this and it is still a work in progress for me.
My first word was RELEASE, written about HERE.
Last year I chose BREATHE, noted HERE.
It has been interesting to me how one word has led to the next. And it is no different for my new word.

As many of you know, this has been a very difficult year for me in regards to loss... it started a year ago Thanksgiving with my 20 year old cat Pandora dying, then followed soon by my other very old cat Perseus passing away. Both my step-mother and my real mother also died this year, as did my dog Maggie. And I also retired from my teaching career, which although of course it is not a death, it is still a bit of a loss (identity) and has left me floundering a little for where my life is going. As a result I found myself closing down: both emotionally and physically. 
And I wanted to change this.
And suddenly I kept hearing the word in yoga, open in art, open in yourself back to your life Rhonda!

Use it as a verb and an adjective...

Step out of it whatever you have been in this last year, move through it and continue on... open yourself to the possibilities!

So I introduce my word for 2015:


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Garden after the storm...

This is my Merry Christmas... green after all the grey days!

Tons of oxalis growing in our yard after that last storm... too bad it isn't really good for anything but it looks nice and green. I poked nasturtium seeds everywhere around the yard too and they are starting to grow... little bursts of color later.

I like nasturtiums... when they flower it is a little shock of color amidst the rest of the green in the yard. It is nice to see my foxgloves reseeded and are also coming back for the new year.  I look forward to my garden in the new year -- plan on lots more flowers!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Farmer's Market

Short visit to the new Land Park Farmer's Market this morning... a new one put on by the people who do the Midtown one on Saturdays. 

Nice mix of arts/crafts, music, body care products,  as well as veggies, cheeses, health foods. The air also smelled great with an Indian food truck. 

Cold outside though so I didn't stay long this time but I am glad to know it is there so I can visit more.

AND, on a nicer day, if I wanted to not be lazy, it is only a mile from my house... so it is walkable (although there is a very steep uphill over the railroad tracks both ways).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Happy 12-13-14 Day!

It started in 2003 with 1-2-3 day and this ends the cycle as 12-13-14 day. Next one won't come again until 2103...

So Happy 12-13-14!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An arty weekend...

Well weekend of sorts -- it was really Sunday and Monday. I went down to visit my friend Leslie who has those 2 days as her weekend and we did lots of artsy craftsy projects.

We played with sari ribbons, covered bangles, and made bracelets...

We did some gelli printing...

We worked on art projects, she made a small book and I worked on postcards... nothing special to show on those yet.

And... she taught me to crochet... again! She had already attempted teaching me before but apparently it did not stick. I needed a repeat lesson and more practice. So we started again and this time I think I have it... at least I can continue on my own now...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Making a sweatshirt jacket...

And finally using some of the gorgeous Marcia Derse fabrics I bought a couple of years ago on an Oregon trip. Marcia Derse fabrics have such wonderful colors and designs. I thought maybe I would make a quilt with these fabrics so I was holding on to them in my stash, but then I decided I wanted to wear them. When a class came along at my local quilt store I decided to use them for that. The premise is you start with a larger than normal sized sweatshirt then piece fabrics to it to make up a jacket.

This will be the front. I am a little behind the others in the class (which just ended today after 3 sessions) so I have yet to actually finish it. I thought I would post the fabrics now then show the finished jacket when it finally happens.

I am not sure why sewing is so difficult for me. I take too much time when others are just zooming away. I guess the more I do it the faster and better I will get, but I have always been a little hesitant about what I do when sewing. Something else to work on in the coming time I have now that I am retired!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Enjoying the rain...

It rained a bit last week and this past weekend.

We really need the rain around here so I do not have a single complaint.

In fact it was rather refreshing to go out and do errands in the rain. It is only water after all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My dad's birthday...

Today would have been my father's 89th birthday. He died when he was 54. I was 27 and there was so much more of my life I would have loved sharing with him as I got older. For some reason I especially miss you today daddy...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fall is here...

My neighborhood is finally looking like it is Fall. Trees are changing colors, dropping leaves, and while we still wait for the days and nights to cool off more (I mean, come on Sacramento -- 70 degree days and 50 degree nights in November is not right!), at least we have some nice leaves. I look forward to going to the East coast one of these autumns and really seeing trees show their splendor!

And I went to the Garden Center today (Green Acres Nursery) to get some iris bulbs and bulb fertilizer. I had ordered tulips and ranunculus but forgot totally about irises. Our iris plants have stopped coming back up over the years and I miss those stately flowers.

Even though I am showing you all the pansy plants, I didn't get any. They just do not last long enough for me. I guess I am just amazed that we can garden all year around here (not that I have ever lived where one couldn't)... I just see gorgeous photos of people's snowbound homes online and realize I may not have the snow or even enough water in the state, but at least we can put out some pretty flowers  any time.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sending out some Mail Art...

I realized the other day that I was lagging behind on returning some Mail Art post cards from several folks, so I made up a bunch of collage cards to send out. They are collaged from magazines, newspapers, old junk art papers, and a lot of doodles and stamping and miscellaneous coloring. A little different for me but I like them. I made two sets, similar to the couple I am showing here. Hope the thicker ones make it through the mail ok. I scanned these before I added some final stamping but I didn't want to scan them again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A lovely day with alpacas and a natural dyeing workshop...

On Saturday I went to a Natural Dyes Workshop held at Renaissance Ridge Alpacas up in the foothills, about an hours drive from my house. Got a chance to see cute alpacas and then do a fun workshop with Anni Redding. I used to do a lot of natural dyeing (40 years ago) and wasn't sure if I would remember anything but I guess it is one of those things, once you have done it, you remember. Here are some photos from the day.

First the cuties...

And now some from the dyeing workshop:

What I liked at the end was having this nice color card to know not only what we did at the workshop but also how to get the colors I like again.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Waiting for the rain to pass...

The house painting is happening slowly, broken up by weekends and a rainy day here and there. But it is coming along nicely... blue with white trim.  In progress...

I haven't been doing much artsy stuff this week aside from watching a lot of art videos and reading blogs. Lots to catch up on and I have pretty much let myself have the week to just veg on other people's creativity.  I did sign up for Tracy Verdugo's Paint Mojo ecourse and have slowly been working on that. I love her intuitive style and thought I would splurge on the class. I am also thinking of taking Flora Bowley's online course as well to get a different look at intuitive painting. Both of them sort of early Christmas presents to myself.

And I signed up for the NaNoWriMo again this year to write 50,000 words in one month. A novel, or as they call it more likely a really awful first draft. But for me it is a month long writing project that sets me down to put words to paper on a daily basis. I did it in 2010 as well and it was pure drivel but it did get me thinking and writing which is what I wanted to do.

Many projects... open ended time... not in a hurry...

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.

--Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, October 24, 2014

The magic is starting to happen...

After getting the back siding redone and the south side of the house patched and ready to go, the house is now being painted! Blue with white trim. Right now it is just the back and south sides. Then the north side and the front will get done in between is rain, jury duty call-in, and painter availability. Hopefully the whole house will be done before the end of the year. I am looking forward to it! It has been a little shabby around here (and not shabby chic!) and it is time for all that to change!

and here it is all blue, still waiting for the white trim...

Loving this color!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Making my own dried cranberries...

Still drying the next day...

Things I have learned:
1. Let them spend more time in the blanching water to fully pop open.
2. Dry them at a higher temp, maybe 145 degrees. I will try again in a few days and see what happens when I make the above changes.
3. They stick like crazy to the drier mesh. Maybe try spraying it first with coconut oil to see if that helps them not to stick so much.

An evening of coffee fun...

Last Thursday Rosaura of Pigment and Parchment had a fun evening workshop involving watercolor and hand lettering. It was to honor Coffee Week here in Sacramento, so she held it at Vic's Cafe (next to Vic's Ice Cream). 

We dabbled in some watercolor techniques, then played with hand lettering and made a coffee themed page. There was lots of laughter and fun (and coffee) as we enjoyed the 2 hour class.

It reminded me how much fun watercolors and hand lettering (not always together) can be. I need to get back to both of them and play here at home more!

Monday, October 13, 2014


This weekend I have been tackling my house mess and didn't get any art done. However I did finish one of my art journal pages the other day and then forgot to post it.

Linking to:
Mandarin Orange Monday
Creative Every Day
Art Journal Everyday
Sunday Sentiments

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ATC for a swap...

ATC (Artist Trading Cards) are one of my favorite things to make. Little pieces of creative bursts to make and trade. The only "rules" are they have to be 2.5" x 3.5" and never sold. The ones people make to sell are called something else (I forgot). More info from the source we love to hate, Wikipedia HERE.

So Karen at MMSA decided to have another ATC swap and I made 4 to trade off. Actually the two yellowish ones with stamps and the green/orange one I had already made (and were just sitting around) and I made the abundance one when I was a Leslie's house a couple of weekends ago for an art play day.

My favorites of these 4 are the top two, the bird stamp and abundance. They are all mixed media in that they are painted (gelli print except for the abundance one), collaged, have pen/pencil doodling, and washi tape (except for the green/orange one).

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nature inspires me...

Finished up a page I started the other day, still in a bright and neons colors mood. Gelli printed background and added papers, stencils, design rollers, paint pens make up this page. And I am learning how to get the colors closer to the real page in Photoshop Elements. It just took a little more patience than I usually give a photo but I think it is worth it to show the actual colors. What a bright switch for this usually earth-toned girl!

It seems odd to use such neon colors and odd shapes for the idea of nature inspiring me but it makes sense to me. There are some really awesome colors out in nature and when you look closer up at something like a flower there are all sorts of interesting shapes. 

Linked to:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

New art journal pages...

The new pages I have been playing with lately have a lot of bright paint and do not scan well I am finding out. So these are all from my phone's camera. Scanners and cameras don't like neon colors! But lately I do!! So I am using them a lot!

This one I just could not get the color right -- in real life it is brighter.

Linked to:
Paint Party Friday
Art Journal Every Day

New art journal...

I cannot find my current art journal (which I had only started at the end of last year I think and had not really done much in). I happened to have another Canson Journal with that lovely thicker cream colored paper so I just decided to start over. I was in the mood to work in an art journal and I wasn't going to let the fact that I couldn't find mine stop me!

THIS is the journal I usually use -- it has always been my favorite.  You can find them at most art stores or online, this is just where I got mine last. They used to be called Field Drawing Book now they are called Art Book. Either way, I have been using the 7"x10" for my art journals since I started art journaling in 2004. Wow, 10 years ago! But I only have 4 or 5 journals as I am not a real frequent journaler and sometimes I use other books. Well I do a lot for a while then stop and start up again months later -- at least that has been my past experience. It is one of my intentions now to be more regular with journaling.

Paper works for painting as well as drawing/sketching. Mine says it is 90# paper even though the Dick Block info says 80#. Maybe I had an older one with thicker paper, who knows? 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paint Chip Postcards...

Last Sunday I went down to Leslie's house for an art play day and we made paint chip postcards for the current MMSA swap. You can see hers HERE.

At first I tried to make a scene with the paint chips and it came out ok but I am not usually so patient and this one took a bit longer than I thought it would.

So for the next 2 I used one of my garish orange and purple background post cards and did some geometric pattern stuff on them.

I really like how these came out actually.

One of these days I will scan or photograph some of the Mail Art I have been getting from these swaps and other mail art trades.

Linked to:
Creative Every Day