Sunday, December 30, 2007

Winter in the Desert

I've been playing around with the concept of "looking through the viewfinder." This photo sort of looks like a modified pinhole camera effect. In the same open space just outside of the complex I live in are some palm trees that caught my eye earlier today. On my return trip from the dialysis clinic I stopped to photograph the palm trees that are being removed from the plot of land; their tops have been shorn off making them look rather sad. I was picking up some dried wood when I glanced up and saw this common desert scene. I don't know how many times I've driven past this corner without paying attention to what was begging to be photographed; in my defense though, if a lot of the brush hadn't been recently mowed down I would never have noticed the drama of the landscape. Tip: slow down to see what is right in front of you.

Some of my favorite New Year's Quotes:
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. ~Bill Vaughan

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits. ~Author Unknown

A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Father time? No, just Big Ben.

I just found this site via Fibre & Stitch yahoo group. Thank you Betty!

The support I needed today!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.

Charles Dickens - The Christmas Carol

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Love Actually

Seems that I'm not only one that this movie has touched!
It's even mentioned on Patricia Bolton's QA blog.
The Danny DeVito movie is "Deck the Halls." My friend
Neusa from Brazil wrote, "Isn't laughter the best gift?"
I had emailed her the link on the post below.

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion love actually is all around."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Favorite Movie - Pay-it-Forward

There are lots of Pay-it-Forward posts happening on blogs right now. Thought I'd join the fun and offer a handmade something to be sent in Jan or Feb. A name will be drawn from a "hat" after New Years Day, so leave a comment on this post by Jan. 1, for a chance to receive something from me. The comment is: What is your favorite Christmas movie? Currently mine is "Love Actually." The movie wasn't presented as a Christmas one, but the story evolves around the Christmas season and I always feel lighter after seeing it. Last night I did catch a movie on HBO that was funny. Danny DeVito at his best; I don't remember the name of it.

NOTE: Some of you may not have a blogger/goggle account so if that's the case email me your comment to: and I'll add your name to the hat. Cut off date is midnight New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Postcard

This is the original, maybe not the exact one, that was scanned for the fabric postcard below. The background is gesso and rust. Stacy has a collection of Christmas rubber stamps that worked well with a grid.

The tree is decorated, the gifts are ready for wrapping and I think that just about everything is done. At least I hope so! I'm out of steam so it'll be an even more low-key Christmas than usual. I was hungry for brisket but had no idea that finding one would take me three weeks! I nearly missed the few that Ralph's grocery store had and by the time I got there last week the decision was down to two choices. Sheesh! But what would a holiday be without the hunt for something? Today's hunt was for Pokemon characters that Jack has a sudden "need" for. He turns 6 on Jan. 3rd so what's a grandma to do but fill the need.

I'm taking a hiatus from creating anything until some time in January; the end of the year is proving to be overwhelming with health issues and appointments. I finally got a library card and checked out a huge stack of mysteries that I'm working my way through. The week I got the card the library closed for a month long remodeling and isn't due to open until Jan. 14th. Supposedly, they get about 400 requests a month for new cards. To say the least I moved to the desert in the midst of a huge population boom.

Decorate Your Christmas With Happiness!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fabric Postcard

Gotta love lutradur and pellon! I ran pellon through the printer and happily the scanned original postcard design printed almost as good as the original. The red background is painted lutradur that was distressed and adhered to painted blue and gold lutradur. Embellished with decorative brads, 3-D paint, and an embossed metal piece the postcard is ready for mailing. The plan included sewing the layers together, but the sewing machine is buried under a heap of stuff so I hand stitched it instead.

Quote: Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple. Charles Mingus

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Update on Comfort Dolls

Terrific receipt of the dolls at:

Life in general has gone amuck, again! I wrote about some of the latest amucks on my other blog.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Comfort Dolls

My friend, Linda, emailed about a comfort doll project and suddenly I was off and running! Four of us on ExpressionStudio were able to make a few dolls to send to Pat Winter.
Check out the project at:
I found the pattern in Art Doll Quarterly, Summer 2004 by Bonnie Wedge. She created Kachina-like dolls that she rubber stamped and embellished. I rarely use rubber stamps even though I have dozens and dozens of them so I tried out a few ideas before stamping onto peach colored fabric.

Linda's scrumptious comfort dolls are at:

Quote: People should think things out fresh and not just accept the conventional way of doing things. R. Buckminster Fuller

Friday, November 23, 2007

Rust dyeing (painting)

Being that I was so long-winded yesterday I thought I'd just post a quick one today. There isn't a paint on the market that duplicates the color of rust, at least I've never found one. For the background on this assemblage I dipped a wet brush into rust dust that had settled on the bottom of a metal lid and dabbed it onto the textured canvas.
The amaryllis in the digital collage below lasted over a week before dying. Happily, the next bloom on the plant is just about ready to burst forth. Elegance in its purest form!

Quote: Your thoughts are your future. Make them glorious. Sally Huss

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

A for amaryllis. I've always had a difficult time photographing amaryllis. Which side? How close? Against which background? Lighting? As it turned out I shouldn't have hesitated because once I have the flower captured digitally I can PSE manipulate forever. The first bloom is dying just as the second one is about to burst open. What a gift!

So, where have I been? Not having fun or creating any art, sadly. Lately, I feel as if the triple whammy of Alzheimer's, kidney failure, and FM is all there is to life. Last night I nearly had a good laugh over the absurdity of all of the problem solving I've had to deal with over the last few weeks, after all if one looks at life in a non-serious way it's laughable. Why is everything so dramatic and serious? It's more of a feeling that I was struck with, one I can't explain, but I think that the joke is on us for thinking that so many things are important when they aren't. That was my epiphany last night that was instantly broken when Stacy climbed into bed with me after yet another seizure.

Quote: As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. ~Robert Caspar Lintner

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Interview with Laurel Burch

I hope that the link works. Laurel died last month, sadly. This is an inspiring interview especially for someone who lives with chronic pain. I hope I remember her feisty nature about not giving up when I'm having one of my bad days.

Art keeps me sane, and you can quote me on that!

Rust dyed shirt

Thanks for the comments about the vessel!! It's 9 inches tall and evolved once I attached the felt to the lutradur. I'm fond of the "what if" kind of approach. Speaking of which, what if I rust dye a beige shirt and then over-dye it? I had purple in mind when I over dyed the shirt after rust dyeing it twice, but it turned out more mauve than I would have preferred. But now I like it. The close-up of the pocket isn't the true color; the front and back pics are though. The pocket is an experiment where I placed nails next to each other. I'm trying to figure out ways to get more pattern and design onto the fabric rather than rusty splotches. The shirt fabric was stiff to begin with and is even heavier now so I imagine it will be more of a shirt-jacket than a shirt. I have no idea what color of T-shirt to wear under it!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Vessel Challenge

I barely finished the vessel in time for the Oct. challenge on the yahoo group TextileChallenges. It ended up being more of a workout than I was prepared for. But in the end I'm pleased with the result. (click on the photos to enlarge them.)
On the upper right of this montage is a piece of rust dyed felt that I distressed and then randomly glazed with some handmade paper pulp. The scan of the felt is probably more accurate of what the color really looks like; its not as orange as indicated in the photos. I had the worst time photographing the vessel. On the upper left is a close-up of the left side of the vessel showing hand dyed yarn and a stick wrapped with dyed fabric and rusted wire. The bottom left photo is just a fun one. The middle photo is a front view of the vessel and on the right is a back view. The substrate is painted lutradur that was distressed on the top after the felt was attached to it. Paint: washes of 3 shades of blue and some gold fluid acrylic. I love how paint seems to know where to flow on lutradur and in this case seemed to take on an antique patina that complemented the felt. Amazingly enough the color of the lutradur in the photos is pretty accurate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Palm frond texture

Don't you love it when nature provides a texture plate? While on a midnight stroll around the neighborhood I happened upon a small palm frond on the sidewalk. Bad circulation often keeps me awake and rather than spending 10 minutes on the Exercycle I opted for a walk; the full moon beckoned. The gated community I live in is kept in pristine condition so it's rare to find anything on the ground.
The first rubbing is on tissue paper. For the second one I tore out a page from a French book. The wax crayon provided a resist that I took advantage of by lightly going over the page with a green fluid acrylic wash. The brown splotches are my favorite aging technique.
It's a good day! The smokey sky isn't nearly as bad as it was yesterday and I woke up knowing how to proceed to with the vessel.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Smoke Gets in your . . .

The air quality is at an all-time high. I can't fathom how fire fighters deal with the smoke because my chest hurts. We're suffering some allergy problems. The fires started in southern CA. last weekend and continue to burn, though, most of them are nearly contained and some people have been able to return home. The Santa Ana winds didn't help matters but it's the arsonists who are the real cause of most of the fires. The loss of homes, lives, and pets is unimaginable.

It's not every day a camera can be aimed directly at the sun, but the smokey sky made the above photo possible, sadly.
For the last few hours a cloud covering has made the smokey air even more oppressive so I'm attempting to find something cheerful. The altered photo of the plumeria nearly provided just the right amount of cheer, but the winner is the snail vine. What an awful name for a gorgeous vine. This particular vine is winding its way up the post on the left side of the pergola. The lavender flowers resemble sweet peas; in the insert on the bottom right of the photo is a close-up of the snail shaped buds.

Vessel disaster: The distressed rust dyed felt won't behave itself! I forget out porous lutradur is; glue seeps right through it. I was hoping that enough of the felt would adhere to the lutradur so that I could further attach it with some stitches. It's not happening. Back to the drawing board, so to speak. But first the glue needs to dry.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Found art in-the-works

You never know what might turn up in a junkyard. This chunk of metal is the base piece for a possible mosaic. Stay tuned . . .
Feathers: well it seems that I may have broken the law with the pigeon feather. Or not. Domestic bird feathers can legally be used; I had a flock of pigeons when I was a kid so I assumed that pigeon feathers fell under the "okay" ones to collect and use. In some states and counties one can still raise pigeons, but finding out just what counties and cities isn't easy. Feathers that are legal to collect: all parrots and cockatoos with one exception: Thick-billed Parrots. All domestic fowl, meaning swans, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, peacocks, emus, ostrich. All game birds---wild ducks, wild geese, wild turkeys, quail, pheasants, prairie chicken---if there's a season on it, you can have the feathers.
So, the collage won't turn up on I'll be on the lookout for duck and geese feathers.
Southern Calif. is on fire, or at least it feels and looks that way. The good old Santa Ana wind season always seems to be the cause of fires this time of year but it's more frightening when arsonists strike. One can only pray that the arsonists are found soon! Out here in the desert the smoke started creeping over the mountains during the night; we woke to an eerie amber/brown sky. We can no longer escape the reality of the fires just over the mountains and up in the Arrowhead area north of us. There have been a few brush fires a couple of miles from us. One was started when a stolen car was set on fire in a field. What is with people?!
Many of our every-day problems seem small in comparison with the loss of lives, homes, and pets. Out of the ashes come new beginnings.
Phoenix: a legendary bird which according to one account lived 500 years, burned itself to ashes on a pyre, and rose alive from the ashes to live another period. Link: I've often considered the phoenix to be a muse of sorts.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Feather Collage

Handmade paper on mat board in a black frame. I needed something on the left side; often when I'm stuck I wander around the yard or house. Pigeons have made a nuisance of themselves on the neighbors roof; a pest control company has been making daily stops at the house, what he's doing is a mystery, but the birds have taken flight and left me a few gifts. This particular feather was the perfect size. The paper is heavily textured with dark fragments of paper and leaves embedded into it. It will be on etsy soon.
Painted pellon base for a fiber vessel challenge on a yahoo group. I'm considering a few additions such as needle felting before I form it into a vessel.

The weather is finally absolutely awesome! We sure waited long enough for cooler nights and crisp mornings. Autumn has arrived and everything seems to glisten with soft lighting; even the palm trees look fabulous.

Quote: Things come suitable to their time. Enid Bagnold

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Work

Monday, October 15, 2007

Handmade paper

A scan of the mandala, below, without the magical moth.
Rust dyeing has taken over! The usual way to dye with rust is to put rusty pieces on the surface (mono printing) or wrap the fabric around a rusted item. I'm experimenting with paper and ways to embed rust rather than surface dye handmade paper. Nothing happened for the first 2 hours this sheet was drying and then suddenly rust started spreading throughout the entire sheet! Eureka! I want a little less rust next time.

Quote: After fifty most of the bullshit is gone.
Isabel Allende

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Once again a gift from nature arrived when needed. The magic of a moth who died on a piece of handmade paper took my breath away! I was in the garage at about 1am checking on the progress of the paper drying on racks and thought that the moth had simply landed on the paper. I left it there, after all it wasn't doing any harm but when it was still there in at 10am I took a closer look. How did it know where to land? I've since moved it around and also photographed it in a copper bowl rich with patina. I need to figure out how to preserve it. It's quite beautiful. The mandala shaped paper is heavily embedded with twigs and leaves from the backyard. The leaves provided a random light yellow tinge to the paper made from recycled computer paper.
Boy do I need a macro lens! Most of the photographs I take are close-ups and the close up lens just doesn't cut it!

Life is a frail moth flying: Caught in the web of the years that pass.
Sara Teasdale

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


So, where have I been? Struck down with an FM flare-up brought on by necessary dental work. Ugh! Too sick to care about much or to enjoy my new work space in the garage. My friend decided that I'd worked on the bathroom counter long enough so we designed a counter using metal shelves for an area in the garage. Luckily one of the upgrades for this house was a 4-foot extension and sink which most people use to park their golf carts in and wash off their shoes. I've been hauling around a Rhino painting that my second husband painted in the 70's; it's a 4x6 foot acrylic painted on a board and ended up being the perfect size for the counter top. I've also been carting around a roll of 5x7 foot canvas that finally came in handy as a surface over the painting. The only downside is the heat that will undoubtedly prevent me from working out there for months every summer. It's still in the 90's but at least it's cooling off in the evenings and the mornings are pleasant. So far I've been able to make some paper and rust dye a shirt and everything was within my reach! I've also set up the microwave for fabric dyeing, a toaster oven for polymer clay, a crock pot for wax, an area for heat tools so that I can distress fabric. To say the least I'm thrilled! This poor wounded palm tree hit the ground during a windstorm over a week ago. The tree folded into sections and garnered lots of attention from the neighbors who wanted to know if we'd heard it fall. It's directly across the street. Nope, it silently met its demise.

The plumeria, above, has bloomed again! It's the most elegant flower in the yard and is thriving better than I thought it would. We lost 1 out of 6 plumeria which isn't bad considering how many plants didn't survive the summer. Even with all of the losses the yard is amazing and I can't wait to greet the plants every morning. A few years ago I came to the conclusion that I'd never plant a tree in my lifetime and so far we've planted eight, five of them are citrus. One of the trees sheds leaves from time-to-time, they're a beautiful brown and resemble a maple leaf. I crumbled a few of the leaves and added them to the paper pulp during the paper making session. I also embedded a couple of leaves onto the surface of a small sheet of paper. The great thing was that I gathered the leaves by flashlight when inspiration hit at 10pm.

Quote: Weather - "It hain't not use to grumble and complain, it's jest as easy to rejoice; When God sorts out the weather and sends rain, why rain's my choice." J.W. Riley

Saturday, September 29, 2007

We Didn't Start the Fire

I have no idea if the link will work, but if it does it's worth a visit!

Monday, September 24, 2007


I'm not sure that this piece is finished yet, but it's closer! Practically every fiber was felted onto lutradur. Nope, I don't own an embellisher, just felting needles. Some of the cording has been whipped stitched on.

Later: Now that I've photographed the mandala it's easier to see where some more work needs to be done.

The quote below reminded me of how this year unfolded. I knew going into it that there were going to be lots of bumps along the way, but what I imagined was worse than how things turned out. This year on Oct. 2ND. instead of waiting for a moving van to arrive with all of my possessions I'll be sitting in a chair at the dentist! Not the best way to celebrate!
Quote: I have been through some terrible things in my life--some of which actually happened. Mark Twain.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Fall!

I've been waiting all summer for Fall to start; it's finally here! Not only am I expecting it to be cooler but this week marks our one year anniversary of living here. I hate to admit it, but I finally feel like I'm home. Maybe it takes a year to settle in to new surroundings or perhaps now that most of the work has been done in the yard and house I can relax and enjoy the house. I would however like a screen door for the bedroom door that leads out to the patio. The door requires a custom made screen door; I haven't been able to purchase ready-mades such as window treatments or a front entry gate so why should this door be any different? The temp is supposed to go up into the 90's and maybe hit 100 by Wednesday, but a screen door would have been nice this week. The windows in the bedroom aren't easy to reach being that they're behind furniture so a screen door must be in my future.

There is a palm tree in the yard behind us that I've decided to enjoy, even though I'm not fond of them. I've been waiting for one or two of the fronds to grow high enough to photograph against the sky. Last week it happened! Up until now part of the roof was always visible in any shot I got. Course I could have Photo Shopped it out, but sometimes it's nice not to have to do that.


The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter. ~Carol Bishop Hipps

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This face is haunting; it reminds me of how I pose for the camera. Blank!

Layers and layers of images with semi opaque edges; I like to know that it's a collage rather than a painting. The first layer is a copy of an acrylic wash in golden yellow and greens. The rest of the layers are photos from my collection.

Quote: We are never too old to be young at heart. Being young at heart means simply to be a beginner. Julia Cameron

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Embossed Metal

Oh my gosh! I was able to finally turn off the AC and open the windows! What a treat! I'd forgotten how nice it is to have fresh air. After dinner I was able to sit out on the patio and enjoy the gentle breeze and sound of the water fountain. I kept hearing, "just wait until summer is over and then you'll understand the lure of the desert." I'm starting to understand . . .

I had a scrap of gorgeous distressed fabric left over from the journal cover I made from one of Linda's Experimental Fabric Art Kits. The colors said "ocean" to me. I started playing around with metal and came up with this design. I also hand felted a few fibers onto the fabric in the hopes of suggesting movement . . . Wouldn't Linda's kits make great gifts?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Texture Plates

Why make my own texture plates? Because I'm looking for a more free-form design than most of the plastic ones provide. And, why not?! This is the site that started it all: And then I discovered circle pasta at the grocery store. Nope, not make Raviolio's, or whatever that canned pasta dish is.
Example 1: Not sure where I was going with this but it was great fun. I gave it a test run on a rust dyed paper towel using a Shiva Iridescent Red paintstik. A ghost image next to each circle appeared when the paper towel shifted a little; I like it! The bottom examples were done on a paper bag from Trader Joe's. (paper bags used to protect wine bottles. As with most things from Trader Joe's these are special; they have red sides on them!) The center and the one on the right are of the texture plate above; Three different colors were used. With each color change the paper was moved around on the texture plate. The one on the left is from example #3.

Example #2. Pretty much self-explanatory. A rust dyed paper towel was again used for the test run.

Lines! Everything seems to be about lines right now; lately, I seem to be attracted to them. Paper towel on the right, rust dyed muslin on the bottom with Iridescent Blue Shiva paintstik

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lutradur and Lace, revisited

I think that this pic is a little better than the examples below; still out of focus though! The texture is amazing and has proven to be nearly impossible to photograph or scan. I'm considering cutting the 12x14 inch piece for backgrounds.

Quote: "If one advances condidently in the directionof his dreams, and endeavors to live the lifewhich he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." Thoreau

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the Mail

Blogger is driving me nuts!! Lots of white space at the top or bottom of the posts! I used to be able to "edit" that out but for the last few days nothing I've tried has worked. Oh well . . .

I received this gorgeous mosaic button/pendant from Linda. It's not nearly as purple as the pic looks. The camera decided to highlight the color; always interesting when that happens! The piece has a filigree edge and is beautifully crafted. KUDOS! It's presently sitting on my computer desk while I consider just the appropriate use for it. Any ideas? In case you're wondering how you can own one check out Linda's work at

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lutradur, lace, and Cheesecloth

There is something seductive about lutradur and when a new idea comes along using this fabulous material I feel compelled to meet the challenge.In the premiere issue of Fibre and Stitch is an article by Carol McFee titled Lutradur and Lace. I suddenly knew what to do with some lace I had purchased about 2 years ago at a Thrift Shop. I'm not fond of the lace pattern, too frilly for me, but when I started cutting it apart to glue onto the lutradur the reason I had purchased the lace became clear; texture! The idea of this technique is to layer lace and cheesecloth onto lutradur to create textural designs or a pattern or . . . And then paint the surface.Once the lace, cheesecloth (and paper strips) were loosely adhered I turned the lutradur over and painted it with crimson fluid acrylic. An exciting thing happened. The crimson paint that flowed into the lutradur didn't completely saturate the strips of lace and cheesecloth on the front side but it did create a layer of color behind them; the cheesecloth and lace remained mostly white. (I wish that the camera had been able to discern some of the details) I didn't have a plan in mind when I created the vertical lines with the lace, etc, but once the crimson paint dried a plan started to develop; one I wouldn't normally have gone in. I've never used this palette of crimson, gold, burnt umber, and green before. At this point I'm considering a few possibilities for further work on it. In person this piece looks like vintage fabric

Monday, September 10, 2007

Gifts from Nature!

Have you ever gotten something that you didn't know you wanted or needed until it was in the right place? Something was needed for the spot at the corner of the house where plants haven't survived the heat of the summer or the harsh winds in the spring, but what? One of the pots we purchased at Rustic Pots (see my other blog) turned out to be the perfect fit! We had absolutely no idea where this particular one would go but we had to have it. Some elevation was needed; bricks to the rescue! And then it needed something dramatic in it. A mile from the house mixed in with tumbleweeds were a few tall dried weeds just begging to be brought home. Of course now we need new plants and pots on either side of the vase.

Quote: a flower lives to be beautiful, this is true. But what is truly beautiful also lives in you. Sally Huss

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday musings

I've been working on this 5x7 inch piece off-and-on for months. I'm finally happy with the textures and color palette. The starting point for most of my current pieces is text torn from books that I glue vertically onto a surface; I have a lutradur, lace, and cheesecloth piece in the works that also has the addition of text. During a recent culling of magazine clippings I noticed my fascination with vertical lines - what's with that? Why not explore it? The difficulty with this piece was figuring how to apply paint in vertical lines without hard edges. I wanted the result to look like paint had been dripped on without actually dripping the paint; why do answers appear at 3am?

The second goal for this piece was incorporating the cast clay face into the piece rather than "on" the piece.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Linda's latest!

I've been fortunate enough to add so many talented artists to my circle of cyber-friends and even though we've never met in person I feel close to many of them. Linda is one of those people! Over the weekend she created an angel and when I saw the pic I asked Linda if I could post it on my blog. The angel is loaded with a variety of fabrics and fibers; the close-up of her skirt doesn't begin to show the marvelous detail.

Linda has recently announced a Fiber Art Experimentation Challenge on etsy. Check it out.

Quote: Be brave enough to live life creatively . . . what you discover will be yourself. Alan Alda

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tangle of Palms

An interesting way to grow palms, don't you think? I've never seen this remarkable specimen in the desert; there seems to be more than 250 varieties of palm trees that grow on this wondrous planet. This tangle was photographed at Balboa Park in San Diego.

The sweltering 112-118 heat continues. Thunderstorms have provided glorious sunsets, tho, it's difficult to tolerate the heat long enough to venture outdoors to watch them. Watching the plants turn to toast isn't what I had in mind for the garden. I'm thinking rocks, boulders, and sculpture might be the way to go! I know, this is after all the desert, but if there are many lusciously planted city gardens so I was hopeful!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Card from NZ!

One year ago this month I had just returned home to Pacific Grove from seeing the house-in-the-desert, exhausted and scared that I'd make the wrong decision when something wonderful happened! Visitors from New Zealand! Raewyn was traveling with two of her ten children and had been to parts of the west coast and was in route to Mexico. The Monterey Peninsula wasn't on the direct route of their travels so I felt honored that they'd made the side-trip. Raewyn sent me this wonderful "anniversary" card to celebrate our meeting. The text on the front reads, "You've got style! You've got class! You've got personality!" The yummy textured background is oil paint squidged between greaseproof paper.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Magnificent! Clouds have a marvelous way of breaking up the monotony of the clear skies. The clouds arrived with rolling thunder that has been serenading us for the last few hours and with that a few dark clouds slowly made their way overhead and even dropped some rain on us! I was so shocked to see rain that I stood outside under cover of the patio roof and wept! I needed something normal and what is more normal than rain? We had some sprinkles back in Feb. but that seems more like eons ago than six months.

There was a storm last night of another nature. Mom had a complete melt-down. Not surprising after the celebration of her birthday that she sadly didn't remember much of! She went through the cards she'd received and couldn't remember ever seeing them before and couldn't locate the book her sister had given her. The book is non-fiction about manifestation and is outside of mom's level of understanding; she simply can't follow or retain information. Fiction is about the only thing she can read; she may not remember the characters from one page to the next but that doesn't matter. As long as the writer describes things in a very visual way mom is happy. We had a good talk and when I said that it's okay for her brain cells to be missing-at-large because now she can be the eccentric person she always wanted to be she laughed. "So, instead of looking stupid I'll just be that crazy old lady? That might not be a bad thing." She's in a better frame of mind today. I, on the other hand, am limp with exhaustion and patching everyone back together.

A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all--he's walking on them.
Leonard L. Levinson quotes

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds."
G.K. Chesterfield

Friday, August 24, 2007


This adorable little girl turned 81 today! Happy Birthday mom!
Mom at 19.

Alzheimer's is robbing mom of so many of her memories and skills; I know that if she really knew how much ground she's lost since her last birthday she'd be more frustrated and angry than she is. My aunt and uncle took mom out to lunch yesterday and sadly mom already can't remember where they ate or what she had; she does remember that she enjoyed the outing. Stacy and I are taking her to dinner tonight and then we'll come home and have Cheesecake!

There hasn't been a lot of quality time in the "studio" lately which always brings on a "case-of-the-crankies." I'm in the midst of hemming a long skirt made from rusted muslin and hope to get that done before we go to dinner. A mandala, felted, that I've been working on for the last few months has me stumped! Where did one of the major pieces for it run off to? I had wrapped a chenille stem with rusted fabric and if I didn't have a photo of the mandala-in-progress I would think that I was losing my brain cells! It seems that I've forgotten to take care of a few things recently which has me a bit concerned. If I haven't had bouts of brain-fog off and on over the years caused by the FM I might become hysterical and assume that I'm heading down the path for Alzheimer's! But seeing how I still have problem-solving skills, which mom no longer has, I'll just assume that I'm stressed over the recent events of dealing with more family health issues.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Balboa Park

This photo was taken in Balboa Park and digitally enhanced; I changed the washed out sky. I could have photographed every inch of this building and not run out of interesting textures or shapes. The lighting on the building was perfect; talk about timing!

Quote: Every artist dips his brush into his soul and paints his own nature into his pictures. Henry Ward Beecher

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Digital Play

Sometimes I'm easily amused. I cut out words from the local newspaper, Banned, Vacancy, Worth repeating, Unlimited Possibilities, Say what?, and Nuisance and scanned them into the computer. Made a brush in PSE and started playing. The result is rather silly; who knew that reds, browns, yellow, and black would end up looking like a Hershey candy wrapper.
This altered image is from a Black and white photo I found in my collection. There is some lettering over the images of faces that I was hoping would be more evident.

In the Studio: I finally finished a sewing project that had been on hold since before the "getaway." The instructions for this particular McCall's scrubs shirt are poorly written, so much so that I needed to figure out how to assemble it in my own way. It's okay, but nothing I'd wear out of the house! There must be a better pattern for a scrubs shirt! All I wanted was a few easy to sew shirts to wear at home, but I got a major headache instead.

Quote, or thought for today: A clever person turns great troubles into little ones and little ones into none at all. Chinese proverb.