Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy final day of 2011!

This has been a long year for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. Personally, we lost two of our pet friends, gained another, and my husband had a lot of health challenges this year. I've been scrambling to catch up with bills and taxes, which seems like a big hill. But we're looking forward to 2012.

I don't have any art to post, but here is a link to a drawing and painting video by Nina from Sweden. I love her work and I love this video:

Nina's drawing video

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A couple of visual blogs

Photo by Margaret Oomen, ResurrectionFern (Click to enlarge and see the snails)

While it is fun to read blogs, sometimes I just want to relax with a few words and some beautiful photos.

Margaret Oomen, in the Toronto area, takes gorgeous photos of the natural area around her home and the east coast of Canada. She also creates various beautiful hand-made items. Her blog is called ResurrectionFern.

Another blog containing lots of homey photos and snippets of homelife is called Habit and has several contributers.

Both of these blogs are updated often and are a quick stop to reflect and enjoy the beauty of the world.

As for my own photos, I think I lost my digital point and shoot camera. Plus, the preview pane was broken, so it was a little awkward to change menu settings. In the meantime, I'll have to make do with my Windows phone camera.

Sketch of Honey the dog.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wild Arts Festival

Encaustic: Rue de Pic

The Audubon Society of Portland puts on the Wild Arts Festival every year - this was the 31st.  This year, the event was November 19 and 20, 2011.  I created a painting for the 6x6 show.  The art piece needed to have a bird as the subject. Art Media, now Blick Art, donated a 6x6 canvas. Each artist created a work of art and it is sold for $40. The artist received acknowledgement, free tickets to the events and some nice coupons. 

I painted a watercolor picture on water color paper and then affixed it to the canvas and added the encaustic to it.  Using heavy staples and a dark colored encaustic on the sides definitely give it a bit of an industrial look.  As usual, I enjoyed the combination of water color painting, language play (pic = woodpecker in French, and the Latin for Flickr is up in the left corner), real postage stamps and encaustic paint.

The show is fun - lots of people and art. Bob and I showed up Sunday afternoon and I was pleased to see my work was gone.  Phew - I didn't have to buy it myself!  I picked up some art cards of herons - inspiration for painting another favorite bird.

I barely made the deadline for the show.  I've been pretty lax and felt a bit rusty, but I managed to get something together!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

House of Dreams for Kitty Cats

On November 12, 2011, House of Dreams cat shelter is having a Pretty Kitty Craft Bazaar at Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont Ave in Portland, Oregon. They will have all sorts of fun gifts to buy which will help the shelter continue to help kitties with no homes, including a room of Feline Leukemia positive cats.

I won't be able to attend, but I did donate some of my Speedy cards:

Speaking of Speedy, this poor kitty is really feeling the weather. He's very wobbly on his feet right now.  At 18 years old, this Age Chart says he is around 88 in human years.  We visited Bob's sweet grandma Reggie to celebrate her 89th birthday last night, and she would agree that she's been unsteady on her feet lately too!

If you can't make it to the Bazaar, I'll be listing cards on Etsy soon - the one above and a close-up in a vertical format.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Postcards from the Swap

Here's an assortment of the postcards I received in the swap. I'm posting late, as usual.

Here are links to some of the senders:

Stephanie from Singapore, of, sent me a postcard both this year and last!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

iHannah's Postcard Swap 2011

Hannah's postcard swap ( ) was in April this year. I thought I would just make "what I felt like." The first thing I wanted to do was paint skies in water color. So I did.  What next?  I'm still crazy about yarn.  I'd been wanting to experiment with some "motifs" which are small shapes in crochet. Of course, that meant that my postcards now needed envelopes.

I enjoyed playing with the color combos and yarn varieties.  Still a little plain.  What about some words?  We spent time on vacation at a place that had signs everywhere which read: "Deer have right of way."  We saw several herds of deer and came within 15 feet of a herd while on a hike. (Eagle Crest near Redmond, Oregon)

I added the words "Deer have right of way" to the cards on pieces of decorative tape.

As I was preparing the cards for mailing, I realized that I had 4 recipients who don't live in the USA. They are in Canada and The Netherlands.  Uh oh - that requires customs forms.  What am I doing?  This is supposed to be a simple post card swap.  If I send a package, will they have to go to the post office to pick it up? Fill out forms on their end?  That doesn't seem right.  So, I took off the crochet and added a free form deer head created from washi tape. 

I've been thinking about stencils lately and how you can suggest a figure with a minimum of shapes.

Anyway, it was an interesting experiment.  All of the postcards were mailed late and I apologize!  I've been receiving lots of fun ones.  I'll show photos in the next post.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fun with hanks of yarn

I'm still playing with yarn while waiting for the weather to warm up so that I can work in the basement. When I started, I thought I could buy a hank of yarn (a big circle of yarn folded in on itself) and it would be easy to wind into a ball.

Not so! It is much more likely that I'll end up with a big tangled mess. So, I've learned to ask to have it wound when I buy it at the yarn store. But what to do with the hanks I have that came in the mail? Well, one part of the answer is a swift.

A swift holds the yarn in a circle. There are accordion-style swifts and peg swifts. I found a nice folding peg swift for a very reasonable price from a maker on eBay.

So you put the hank on the swift and then you can wind the yarn into a ball. But it takes so long! So then you can buy a yarn winder. But they're expensive uni-taskers and I'm tired of buying stuff. Well, thanks to my sweet husband, I don't have to. He brought up his cordless drill. Ta da! I just slid a paper towel core on the drill, wound the tail of yarn around and turned on the drill. Instant wound yarn! For the blue yarn, I used a cone from Yarnia that slid over the saw bit.

OK - it looks kind of funny but now I can get to work!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Latest Commissions

Pear Mail Encaustic
Oh - doesn't that sound nice: "Latest Commissions". My friend asked for a few more of the "Pear Mail" series. I made a few as gifts as well. (Jenny? Raegan?)

Artichoke Pear Mail Encaustic
Of course, once I received a request and a deadline, I went into resistance mode. I put it off as long as I could.

Pear Mail Encaustic

The story of my life.

The same thing happened with crochet. My niece asked for a scarf made from yarn she chose. I had to make her a hat, scarf and gloves from yarn I picked out before I could get around to making the one she wanted. Of course, don't even get me started with my regular work.

The scarf and hat colors I chose.

The scarf and hat colors she chose

They're both nice. Both easy.

My sister Rachael's scarf.

I can't be the only person who has resistance issues. Anyone else have any stories? Remedies?

Cat in Window
Dee Dee in the window on a sleepy January day in Portland.