Greetings and Happy Paint Party Friday!!!

Hello good people!! It's been awhile. ..Life happens, stuff happens and some of it can feel pretty crappy sometimes as we all know. ..... Since I last posted........... I had a birthday. I know that some of you know that I have a twin son and daughter who are now 24 yrs old, but some may not know that I also have a twin brother. Yes, I know........... I thought it was supposed to skip a generation, too! ha ha ha ha. Somebody!! Help!! Let us out of here!!! John and I, I think, have this game every year to see who is going to be the first one to send birthday greetings on this day, be it text, email or phone call. I think I usually beat him because I start my day earlier than him. Happy Birthday, womb mate we say. My daughter, Liza, treated me to lunch on that day and I had the day off from work so it was rather nice as I'd never had my birthday off in my adult life. I continued to paint and create and got up each day and went to work and dragged myself home. My 11 year old sweet dog, Buddy, blind, deaf, diabetic, with Cushing's Disease, really had gone down hill. Fast. It was very sad. And it was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make.......... to let him go. He was a much loved and cared for dog. But he had become very sick. The first picture was taken two days before I let him go and was a rare moment when he was able to stand up. I think the love we have for our animals is a love like no other. They are, for many people, our family. They love us unconditionally. While I'd always had cats in the house as a child and my adult life, I'd never had a dog until Buddy when I adopted him from some not so nice people. I have to mention here without drawing this out too much that letting your pet go peacefully at home makes so much sense. I found the most caring, tender woman vet who talked me through every step of what was going happen before it happened. Not only did she care about me, she cared about Buddy. My dear brother Jim, was with me, supported me, as we said good bye. The vet proceeded to take out a ball of clay and make a print of Buddy's paw, which I thought was kind of special. ............ Yes, it's hard to say goodbye. Hard to let go of those we love..... hard to change schedules and routines which had revolved around our pets, and hard to see empty corners........... But life does go on.... ....... despite the sad state of affairs our world is in................. We will continue to love, love our animals, and create through it all. Thank goodness for ART. I miss the good people at Paint Party Friday so I am headed there I wish you a peaceful, creative weekend. Thanks for visiting here.


All Things Altered- Part 2

Last Friday I shared with you my love of altering pumpkins. I'm showing you the photo of the two I had done this year and asked you if you could tell which was the real one and which was the artificial one. Many of you guessed right and some of you said you weren't exactly sure but pretty sure. I think if the turquoise one had a longer stem it might have been harder to tell. I have found that most live pumpkins have shorter more imperfect stems while the orange, colllaged one has a stem that looks a bit too perfect. I dunno but the answer is the turquoise one is the real one. I'm sure you must feel better now that you know. hee hee hee. Not too long ago I showed you the shower curtain I designed for my Mom that can be viewed at Society6. My Mom had relocated a couple of months ago to another state and wanted to redecorate her bathroom with some different colors, which is where I came in. The reason I am showing you this again is that I have also altered a couple more items. and Lately I seem to be in this home decor line of thinking with my art. It's weird how the same things look in different lighting. And lastly, one of my coworkers asked me if I would paint her phone case. Here is how I altered that. I was pretty pleased and so was she. So that's my chapter on my latest altered projects. I am linking to Paint Party Friday here and wish you a good weekend full of painty messes, fun and maybe something altered. Thanks for stopping by.


All Things Altered - Part 1

Two years ago around this time I really went all out. I discovered the great pleasure of altering pumpkins. Everything from collaging them to painting them to doodling on them. I gave a lot of them away to family, friends and coworkers. I had shellacked them all and the ones I kept sat on my dining room table until just after Thanksgiving. I was kind of sad when I had to toss them in the garbage. I got the itch to alter some more this year. I discovered when the fall season was over last year that you could buy artificial pumpkins so I bought a couple. Hmm. Good idea. You can leave them out until just before Christmas I thought. I wanted to show you all sides. I discovered two years ago if I gessoed the pumpkin first (because of it's slippery surface) that paint would really take hold. Otherwise you're just moving paint around and it's not sticking to anything. So between using my fingers, small sponges and paint brushes I got that paint down. I think I did several layers followed by my homemade stencils ( I made with a hot glue gun) and homemade stamps made from foam shapes glued to a piece of cardboard. Pretty simple and pretty good results if I do say so. Finally, I added some pen work and doodling with various markers and pens. I took it outside one afternoon and gave it several coats of spray shellac. This one was also gessoed in the beginning but then I decided to collage it. I had already done some painting on deli paper and then finished it with the homemade stamps and stencils and shellac. So here's the question. Can you tell which of these two is the real one and which one is the artificial one? Usually I am late for this very important date at Paint Party Friday but for once I am early or perhaps right on time. Go here. Thanks Eva and Kristin. You will feel welcome and they've lots of good treats. Thanks for visiting here.


A Collaboration

I like collaborating with others. I think sometimes it can be scary. What if that person who asked us to collaborate won't like our "stuff?" What if we mess up? What if they say there are no rules and you end up altering something the other person really didn't want altered? What if............ I've collaborated twice over the last several years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Most recently I've been collaborating with a woman who's in my mixed media/art journaling class that I lead most Saturday mornings at my local AC Moore craft store. Connie called me one day to find out more about the class. I hung up the phone with her thinking "she gets it. She gets this art journaling thing. She gets me." I did not know if she really would show up and if she did if she'd keep coming back. She did and she has. So we've been passing our Strathmore 5.5 x 8.5 inch water color journal back and forth to each other. Connie's and my style is totally different which is what's cool about it. What's interesting is the blending of our styles to create something totally new is so interesting. So, we will exchange our books not knowing...... we agreed no rules, we agreed to trust each other, be respectful and trust the process..... she might start a page and I then might add to it or start something on the opposite page. We have jumped around a lot. We don't really know if any of the pages are really finished yet. Connie's and my choice of colors or color palette is very similar except for this orange she "threw" at me. I mean how was she to know that orange was my least favorite color to work with unless it is around the Autumn season? So I took up her challenge and tried my best to celebrate orange. I think the neat thing about any collaboration is that collaborators bring their own stories to the canvas, which then can spark new ideas and opportunity to play in a different way so the art takes on an entire new feeling. Does that make sense? Seeing these images on the screen looks and feels differently than in paper form. I am reminded by Julia Cameron's words: "The courage to create is a courage to make something out of what we are feeling." You can find more of Connie's work by going here I am linking to Paint Party Friday where there's a lot of courage and creativity going on. And thank you Connie for our collaboration, for being who you are, and for "getting me." Thanks for visiting. Until next time.


The Art Abandonment Project and Just For Mom

I have been reading about the Art Abandonment Project, a project where artists "create and share random acts of art." I know there's a book about it out there and Facebook group devoted to this, neither of which I have investigated yet, however, I did, in the process of making a bunch of mail art recently, set some aside just for abandoning. This week I did abandon five pieces of art, using those advertisement post cards often seen in the mail in various sizes. You know the ones I mean- those that get tossed in the garbage or recycling bin. I worked on about 8 cards, used three for mail art and on my way home from work this week, while running errands, I discreetly left the rest of them in public places. Leaving them in public places discreetly was like I imagine playing spy at the airport. I had to find an area or aisle where no one was around to place it in a spot. Several times I stood at the end of an aisle or nearby to see if I could spy someone spying the card, but no one did. I was too tired to wait around. Placing it and then quickly photographing it without someone seeing me added to the feeling of playing spy. On the back of each card I had written the following: Hello! If you have found this card it's your lucky day. If you don't want it please pass it on to someone who might like it or need some kindness today. It was created by an artist who wanted to share it for free. Taking a quick, clear photograph was not always easy. I intend to make more. IN fact I intend to make it happen often. This idea came to me as I was experimenting with new colors and design for something I wanted to do for my Mother. Before she moved to her new home in CT she mentioned something about wanting to change the color scheme in her bathroom. Like maybe a new shower curtain. Something maybe with turquoise she had said. No problem, I thought. I love turquoise. In fact it's one of my favorite colors. So a new shower curtain was born!!! I snapped this picture on my Iphone as it's shown on Society6 so it's not very good. You cans go here and view it much better. I also thought it looked pretty awesome here. Again, you can see more of this design and others I have created by going here By following me or liking me on Society6 would be greatly appreciated. Or perhaps you might be in the market for a new shower curtain or pillow? Either way, I am pretty tickled with the way it looks and even more tickled that my Mother really likes it and will be redecorating soon. Thanks for stopping by and for your support and kind comments. Happy Paint Party Friday!! I hope you have a great weekend.


Finished Line, Time Travel, and Happy Paint Party Friday

All week long I've been showing you my Project 52 of altering a deck of cards. I began this project on a whim, not really thinking I'd complete it, or thinking I might get bored and quit. It was a challenge for me to work really small. And while I think I started off pretty motivated and inspired, there were times in the middle, I was not inspired which is why, I think, it took me so long to finish it. I really had set no time frame except to finish it in a year and even that didn't work. Nonetheless, I found myself saving the teeniest bits of paper and ephemera for just this project. One time the fan blew everything I'd saved in a small container all over the place, and then, I'd moved my studio from the upstairs to the downstairs, so finding my in progress container took some doing. Here are the last few cards in my deck, which I will say, are probably my most favorite of them all. I laid them all out on the floor and dared my cats to walk on them. .........and they did right after I took the picture. HOpe you've enjoyed my Project 52. Tell me which one or ones did you like the most? Happy Paint Party Friday. Twenty four years ago today I rode to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Ma in a 300ZX and brought two children in to the world. I was nearly 33 yrs old and they were 33 weeks old. Today I celebrate the bright, kind, productive and creative people they have become. I love you, Eliza and Marshall. Happy Birthday!!! Linking to Paint Party Friday *** Note to self. After writing this post you have to remember to actually link it. lol


All Day Long

I'm nearly done in showing you my altered deck of cards. I started this project I call Project 52 about 18 mos ago, of altering a deck of cards. I thought I'd get a bit creative by placing Etude, on the keys of my old mahogany, upright piano. I hope you've been enjoying my little mini canvases. I'll show you the rest tomorrow. Thanks for stopping in.


A Pile of Cards

I altered a deck of cards. You can see earlier ones in previous posts but here's a few more. I was not as enthusiastic with some of the cards as I was with others. Some are just plain "simple." The people on the vintage photo card came from some of my family photos although right this moment I cannot tell you who they are. And Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors. I have this quote hanging above my desk.To me, it's kind of like a reminder that we're allowed or supposed to give ourselves permission to play and make messes not only with art but in our lives in order to figure out what it is we're supposed to be doing. IN other words we often have to go through some _____ in order to get to the good stuff. Does that make sense? Thanks for visiting.