Thursday, January 27, 2011

Watercolor abstracts

I was looking for my watercolor paper blocks and found some water color abstracts.

This is my favorite of the bunch! I'm thinking I need to do a larger painting (acrylic or oil, haven't decided yet).

Watercolor makes me nuts (or more nuts) sometimes.  I inevitably put down too many washes trying to get darker.  I end up taking up paint instead.  You probably can't tell from the photos, but some areas in this painting are kind of messed up.

I'm not a "happy accident" sort of painter.  I want it to do what I want it to, not what it wants too.  So watercolor and I usually battle.

Which begs the question, why on earth was I looking for my watercolors and watercolor paper in the first place? 

This next one, the colors, the almost cubist feel - I'm thinking Picasso in Hobbiton. . .

Monday, January 24, 2011

Zentangle/Zendoodle Box

My Zentangle box is done! The doodles on it took next to forever!

It's made from cheap card-stock from Walmart. Except for the doodles, it was quick to construct.  I can see potential for constructing little custom boxes (in my spare time, HA!).

I've started wine making last spring.  And, I'm ready to bottle a few things (as soon as I round up some corks).  And those bottles are gonna need some labels!  So, I'm working on some Zentangle label designs!

Fun, fun fun!

(Thought about drinking the wine and skipping the bottling.  Then thought better of it.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I finished up a few pendants and strung them on choker wires. I plan to get these photographed and added to my ArtFire Studio sometime this week.

I'm working on adding some simpler, less expensive options to my studio.  I hope to work on a few earrings as well this week.

I'm at 67 items in my studio, so that's 33 more to go to hit 100!

And in the painting department -

I made some minor changes to this painting, signed it and am considering it done.  I hope to get it added to my studio as well this week.

Well, time to go watch a movie!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Creating New Bannar and Avatar

Woo-hoo! Was able to scan a few things!  Hubby put an adapter on my mouse, so I could plug it into the old PS/2 mouse port instead of a USB port.  Booted to Win. '98 (ack) and it worked!

I'm working on some ideas for a new banner and avatar for my ArtFire Studio. I'm thinking of something like this sun for my avatar.

Here are two earlier sketches as well. I'm thinking I lke this one the best of the three.  I plan to do it on watercolor paper, probably 8" x 8" . The reds need to be a little darker however.  Sometimes, watercolor and I are not the best of friends. . .

This last one is a really rough sketch for my banner.  Ignore the word "designs", it is way too small.  I may use photoshop to add that bit of text. 

The big problem I'm having is the ratio - The artfire banner is 1000 pixels wide by 200 tall.  I think I'm going to have to do it at 10" x 2" so it will fit the scanner bed.  But, that small, is doodling the letters a bit of a pain.  So, I'm still thinking on this.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Small Abstract

I finished a small abstract yesterday.  The darned thing took forever! Im going to let it set a couple of days and see if there is anything I desperately need to change. 

There are always things I wish I would have done different, but at some point you have to let it go and move on.  Otherwise I would be working on the sam painting forever.

This one is acrylic on canvas, 8" x 6".

I started another small one, but that wasn't my original plan.  It was one of those days.

I attempted to hook up the scanner to my poor pathetic computer and that failed spectacularly.  It wanted to install the driver.  The CD drive on my computer is dead.  Maybe if I could have found the disks with the driver it would have been on a floppy. (My floppy drive works) (I think)  My computer is set up with to dual boot, and I bet if I booted to Windows '98 the scanner would work.  Except, Win. '98 refuses to acknowledge my mouse.

So I moved the scanner to hubby's computer, where it failed as well.  Fine. Deal with it later.

So, I go out to the garage, to fire up my toaster oven to bake some beads.  Turn on the lights over my work bench. Poof. Blew a circuit.  I go and flip the switch for "garage outlets".  Nothing.  A couple more times. Nothing.  Fine. Too cold in the garage to deal with it anyway.

Nothing left to do but lock myself up in my room and paint.  Or go computer shopping. Or drink.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Zendoodles/Zentangles

These are so addictive! And so much fun! This one is acrylic on canvas, 4" x 4". 

This didn't turn out quite like I wanted, but I'm thinking of maybe exploring this a little more.  I think some motifs will work better using paint and brush than others.  So I need to rethink it a bit.  I probably want to work a little larger on the next one.

Here are a couple more in black and white.  I got my order from Dick Blick this week, so I'm going to start using better paper for the black and white ones.

Currently, I'm working on making a Zendoodle box.  I plan to store my 'doodles in it instead of using a sketchbook.  Depending how the box turns out, depends on whether I post pictures of it or not. I've had one dismal failure in the box making department already.

I simplified what I'm attempting and am somewhat following the tutorial on Janville blog. I'm using cardstock and covering it with Zendoodles/Zentangles.  

Off I go to doodle.  And maybe make some apple-oatmeal bars. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More New Jewelry Items

Besides a few Valentine items, I finished several other items last week as well.  I don't have them all listed yet, but when I do there will be 70 items in my ArtFire Studio. Getting closer to my goal of 100!

I hope to finish photographing and listing in the next couple of days.

I was planning on creating a few items in lighter colors - a combo of white, silver and translucent clays.  And I scorched another batch of pendants and beads!  I seem to have that problem mainly with the light colored Premo colors.  I had turned the oven down and it seemed to be running at the proper temperature.

So frustrating!  Oh well, I may spend the next couple of days painting and ponder the next couple of days.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge

Each month, Sketchbook Challenges has a new challenge.  And this months is "Highly Prized".  I did a sketch for the challenge, and I'm kind of blah about it.  I really need to sketch more and it's a matter of making time to do it.  But, alas, I appear to have time management issues.

I bought some new pens, which I hope will motivate me a little more.  Hopefully I will actually use them, instead of staring at them and thinking about how much money I spent. . .

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Valentine Hearts

In the past few days, I've completed a few new necklaces, mostly with heart pendants in anticipation of Valentine's day.

I had a bit of a hard time talking myself into creating hearts. I could hear the voice of my jewelery  teacher saying "Don't design out of a box of  Lucky Charms Cereal" (That meant no hearts, moons and whatever other things are that particular brand of cardboard box).

The same year I was taking that jewelry  class, I was taking a ceramic class as well.  That teacher wasn't very partial to hearts either, unless they were the anatomical variety.

Alas, art teachers.  Sometimes, they try so hard to make you broaden your creative horizons, they end up stifling it instead.

Anyway, these were fun to make and lightning didn't strike me dead in the process. 

Monday, January 3, 2011


I broke in one of my small sketchbooks! I recently (over the weekend) discovered something called Zendoodles or Zentangles.

Zentangle is copyrighted and more information can be found on their Website and Blog. Basically, it's doodling brought to a whole new level!

There is quite a bit of information out there, and apparently it's been around for a little while. (How is it I've never heard of it before?)  This blog by Suzanne McNeill has lots of beautiful examples and a "Zentangle of the week"

Besides Zendoodling, I'm also back at making more jewelry. I finished 3 pieces today and hopefully I'll get a couple more finished tomorrow. I need to take more photos and do some photo editing before I can post pictures.

I plan to start adding more items to my ArtFire Studio in the next day or two.  I really want to hit the 100 mark! 

Okay, off to doodling (it's a bit addictive) before I go to bed!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Handmade Sketch Books

Happy New Year!  I'm trying to get my self organized for the new year.  Figure I should be ready sometime late December. . .

I've been follow The Sketchbook Challenge blog.  My sketch books look messy and not very pretty.  I'm really inspired by some of the sketchbooks on this blog.  And inspired to make my own!

I've never done this before, so I went really cheap with these.  I bought some cheap card stock from Walmart.  I did a bit of Dogpile and You Tube searching and found a bit of info on making books.

I opted for what is called "Japanese Stab Binding".

The covers are Quaker oatmeal boxes (the square kind from Costco) cut up  into book size and covered with card stock.  The papers inside are also card stock.

I did some abstract painting for the covers.  Hubby got out the drill press and helped me drill holes for the stitching.  I stitched them with hemp cord and added a few polymer clay beads.

I made two small ones and one large one.  And they are not at all perfect! A little crooked here and there, and I messed up covering some of the corners.  And we need a better way to set up and clamp the books on the drill press.  The holes got a little chewed - you can really tell in the second picture.

But, I want to make more! I like the idea of customizing them to be anything I want!

I ordered some watercolor paper to make some nicer ones. And some cool pens and things for sketching!

Now, I need to fill them up!