Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party 2015

Welcome to Full Circle, a ragtag mix of mostly paper and textile arts and crafts, painting, yoga, photos, travels, thoughts and quotes, an occasional recipe and other assorted nonsense! Today is GROW YOUR BLOG Sunday!

If you are here for the first time and came via the Blog Party, I welcome you and would like to thank you for dropping by! My name is Rhonda and I am blogging from Sacramento, California.

I am a recently retired middle school science teacher and now that I have more time, have gotten back into the arty side of my life. I have been doing some form of art most of my life and now I am finding I want to do everything! So I divide my time with some painting, art journaling, crocheting, natural dyeing, bookbinding, sewing and quilting. When did I ever have time to work before? I think the best way to see what my blog is all about is to scroll down through the posts. As you can see it is a bit eclectic!

It is time for Vicki's Grow Your Blog Party and this year I am participating! This is my second year to participate. Her "GROW YOUR BLOG" event is designed "to bring more readers and FOLLOWERS to our blogs. The premise is simple-- just visit as many blogs as you wish and sign up to follow those that interest you. In turn, all the other folks will be doing the same thing~ we will all be growing our blogs!" Last year she had over 500 people sign up! I visited a bunch of cool sounding blogs and found many I still follow today -- not all arts and crafts or cooking, but some just an interesting life somewhere else. So I am hoping some of you will visit my blog and find things you like that will keep you interested in more. Either way, I am so thrilled you have stopped in and would love to hear from you!

One of the keys to discovering new blogging friends is to leave a comment, which I always do when I visit a new blog for this kind of event. So please feel free to leave me a comment below if you are visiting for the first time or a repeat visitor! And of course, always feel free to follow or subscribe to my blog. If you use a blog reader, please add my blog to your reader. I usually post a couple of times a week. Welcome to my blog today! I hope I will see you again in the future!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Getting ready for Grow Your Blog on Sunday...

Last year I took part in Vickie's Grow Your Blog party to help arty type folks expand their blog audience. It was a great way to not only find a few new readers for my own blog but also I found several new blogs that I am still following today. So when it came around again this year I decided to do it again. It will start on Sunday, when over 500 people with creative arts blogs will all post a Grow Your Blog post. I look forward to visiting more blogs and finding new online arty friends.

In the meantime, I have been thinking a lot about all the art I have been doing and wanted to find where I had put the photos for it online. This has made me think about -- sometime when I have spare time -- that I need to reorganize the photos on my computer and get rid of old things (like school lesson plans) that I no longer need.

I made a little mosaic of a few of the things I have done in the last year or two, favorite journal pages, mail art postcards, paintings, textiles...

Linked to:
Paint Party Friday
Off the Wall Friday

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Coming back to quilting...

Maybe it is the colder months but I find myself drawn to working with fabric more in the winter. And now that I have more time, I happened to look at the class schedule at Country Sew and found a couple of quilting classes I wanted to take. I am not a very proficient quilter, having only made a few quilted things before.

This is the first quilt I made for one of my teacher friend's new baby about 2 years ago:

Ajays Quilt

Now I am working on some separate blocks mostly to learn various techniques, such as this one from this month's Modern Quilting Block Party:

Each month we learn a different block (with a slightly more modern quilting edge, not your grandmother's quilt blocks) and I guess eventually put them all together in one quilt. Except this one is going to become a table mat once I quilt it and put a binding on it. It is about 12 inches square. Turns out I happened to have some dinner candles in these colors and I thought it would make a nice addition to the table for those rare occasions I put my sewing stuff away and we eat at the table!

And the one I am having fun with now that will make up a whole quilt is called Circle of Nine and is from a 3 week class at Country Sew.  This is the original pattern of the quilt (from the book):

Last week we learned how to make the wonky squares for the middle.  This week I think we are learning how to do the background and next week, who knows? Probably how to put it all together and finish it. But... it is the "homework" that is killing me! It is taking a lot more time than I thought to cut the strips and sew 8 more of these funky blocks! I like the modern "wonkiness" of the blocks -- you don't have to worry about measuring or making perfect seams!  The nice thing is that the blocks are huge -- nearly 13" square, so it only takes the 9 to make up most of the quilt.

My theme is for a Day of the Dead quilt. I have had this fabric for a long while and thought it would be fun to use it in a quilt. The centers are fussy cut from the fabric, then the large border (grey print in the book pattern) will all be the Day of the Dead fabric. The colorful squares in the pattern are going to all be black for my quilt, so it will be a lot of black and white. I am hoping the reality looks as good as the one in my imagination!

Linked to: Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sandhill Cranes and Egrets...

Had a nice day out at Cosumnes River Preserve yesterday looking for egrets and sandhill cranes... cold and grey day though, need to go another time later in the evening and on a nicer day. Sandhill cranes stay around until late February or early March before they fly north again so I will have a chance to see them again on a nicer evening...

During the day they forage for food. I learned that to see their beautiful feathery mating dances I need to come back at dawn or dusk. I am going for dusk. These above look like they are already in their mating pair. 

A large group of them in a field. They were not so happy about humans getting close. I only had my phone camera this time and although it takes pretty good photos, obviously I need a camera with a telephoto lens for these guys!

This egret on the other hand let me walk up pretty close to it before it flew away.

Another egret a little too far for a clear shot.

Then off it goes! They are so beautiful when they take flight!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


It has been a while since I have participated in WOYWW (What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday) but now that I am in the thick of doing art again I thought I would contribute. It's a mess but I got really inspired last night and left everything to dry overnight without cleaning up!

The large journal is for the 2015 Documented Life Project and the smaller journal is my regular art journal. Now that I have started using that larger Dylusions journal for the DLP I am liking the bigger size. 

Both of these are backgrounds for the Jodi Ohl's Pod-tastic class I have signed up for. Eventually they will be covered up with strange looking doodled pods and smoothed out backgrounds. I will post those when I get them done. 

Linked to: WOYWW #293

Monday, January 12, 2015

D.R.I.P. Painting Weekend fun...

This last weekend I took a class from a local artist, Margaret Sarantis. We did her version of intuitive painting in a fun class called D.R.I.P. (Dreamy Realistic Imaginary Painting) and it was a great creative experience!

Margaret demonstrated her various techniques while also working on a painting of her own.

We started along the lines of Tracy Verdugo's class in making a grid on our canvas and filling it with personal symbols.

But then we branched out into Margaret's unique version of it and added color and more symbols and more color until our canvases had morphed into wonderful creations.

A few close ups of the interesting textures we came up with, scratching into paint, stencils, etc.

Here is our class art show at the end -- such great colors!

It was a wonderful weekend of laughter and painting and Starbuck's lemon cake and meeting new friends. My art friend Lisa Culjis also went (her painting is the dreamy flower one on the right hand side).  I love classes like this and plan to find more now that I have time!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Updating Linky Parties

I haven't been doing much art to link to the linky parties (see CURRENT LINKY PARTIES above) and when I decided to get back to that this weekend, I realized I needed to overhaul that page. Some of the links were no longer working and some had changed their URLs. And then there were a few new ones I have found recently and never added.

If any of my dear readers happen to know of any other sites that do arty linky parties (ok I know it is a lame name but that is what they are called!), please let me know, either below in the comments or email me.

In the meantime, time to do more fun stuff and get my inner artist (or some would say, child) on and go to town! Since one of my CDFs is VIBRANT, seems like it is time to use some COLOR! Now where is that gelli plate...?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone who happens by 
a very Healthy, Happy and Artful New Year!

Just putting these out to the ether for this New Year:
Word for the year: OPEN
Core Desired Feelings (CDFs): unencumbered, aligned, vibrant, connected, mindful.
*  *  *  *  *
I want to repost a poem that Michelle read in our New Year's yoga workshop last year that still speaks to me:

For a New Beginning
by John O’Donohue

In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.