Last 3 ATCs

8/31/2009 09:17:00 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 6 Comments »
I've finally finished all 9 ATCs for the Canadian exhibit! All three were done on black cardstock. The one on the top has a stencil design made with 101 Light Artist's Cement by USArtQuest. I added gold PearlEx to it before applying it to the stencil with a palette knife. When it dried, I painted over it with MicaColor Sparkle Gold from the Interference palette (also by USArtQuest). Then I embossed the butterflies with gold embossing powder and colored them in using Gel Xtreme metallic markers by Yasutomo. Last I used double-sided tape around the edges and covered it with Leaf Metal flakes by Eberhard Faber.

The card on the bottom left is painted with MicaColor paints using a variety of colors from different palettes. I put a few lines down using a white pencil before I started painting so I had something to go by.

The last card is embroidered using Guttermann Machine Embroidery thread and a pattern I got from the book "Basics of Embroidery on Paper" by Erica Fortgens. When I had finished sewing the card, I glued another piece of black cardstock to the back to cover up all the threads. The instructions in the book said to use adhesive tape to secure the thread ends, but that didn't seem like it would hold for long, so I glued all of them down with a bit of Aleene's Tacky Glue.

So, now I can get back to drawing plants from the gardens and yard!

3 More ATCs

8/26/2009 03:32:00 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 8 Comments »
Well, here are 3 more of the ATCs I've made to send to the Canadian exhibit. The one on the top is made from a scrap of denim material that I cut from an old pair of jeans I was getting rid of. I embroidered the clouds, flowers, and grass, added the sheep and sun charms, then used a blanket stitch to both attach the backing fabric and to keep it from fraying. I wasn't sure how I was going to add all the info to the back of this one, so what I ended up doing was spraying the fabric with workable fixative and then using my trusty Micron Pen. It worked really well!

The one on the bottom left has a page of text from an old book, a snippet of an old letter (I bought a pack of old letters at a garage sale), 2 old foreign postage stamps, and a packing tape transfer. I forget whose face it is, but I think he was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I ..... sorry about that, old chap.

The last one is ink and colored pencil. The shells were collected in Florida by a friend of mine who generously shared them with me .... Thanks Judy!

Garden Plant - 3

8/24/2009 07:27:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 5 Comments »
Here is another flower - this one is a Purple Cone Flower. My flowers are fading and falling apart fast. I need to really get going (at my usual snail's pace) if I'm going to draw many more of them from life. Oh well, there's still the mums which haven't bloomed yet!

1st 3 ATCs

8/21/2009 11:26:00 AM Posted In , , , , , Edit This 6 Comments »
Well, these are the first ATCs for the Canadian swap that I'm planning to participate in. As I mentioned before, I'm going to try to use different techniques on each one of them (I have to send in 9). The bird is done with watercolor pencils with a wee bit of ink on the wisps of the plant. The "Peace Is Possible" card has a background made of paper towel painted with Lumiere paint, a postage stamp, words typed on my really old manual typewriter, and a bird image cut from an old greeting card. And the last card has a chalk background with a stamp that has been colored in with colored pencils (my apologies - I haven't recorded where Any of my stamps came from, but I will start doing that), stamped words, and a small charm glued in the corner.

I don't know what I'm going to do next - maybe a few different transfer methods. Suggestions are always welcome!

Garden Plants - 2

8/20/2009 02:49:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 12 Comments »
Well, the last 2 days have been pretty busy, and I haven't really done much drawing. I've been working on an ATC (I'm sooo slow) that isn't finished yet, and I want to complete it and one other before I post them. I do have some rather quick ink and watercolor sketches of a few more garden dwellers. The ivy is done with colored pencil, everything else is ink and watercolor.

I really had trouble with the leaves of the begonia plant. I was using a very limited set of watercolors and just couldn't get the color right. Oh well, one more thing to practice, right? I have a wee vase on my drawing table with some flowers in it to draw, but I fear they may wilt before I can get to them. Maybe I'll draw them anyway ..... nah, probably not!

Garden Plants

8/18/2009 08:50:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 15 Comments »
Sometimes I have a hard time trying to decide what to do in my art journal. I live pretty far out in the country, and it takes about half an hour to get to someplace where I can sit and unobtrusively draw people, which I dearly love to do. So, recently I decided that I would start to document the various plants we have growing around our house. I called this post "Garden Plants" (originally it was called "Garden Flowers", until I realized that many of the things growing here are weeds ... like the green stuff we call our lawn), so that I can include drawings of plants that are no longer flowering, or maybe never will. Anyhow, all of the things I drew for this first of a series are blooming as I write this, and I'm going to try to add at least 1 plant each day. All of these were done with ink and watercolor.

I'm also working on the ATCs I'm going to send to Canada soon for an exhibit in Richmond, British Columbia. I have enough cards that I've made in the past, but I'd sort of like to send 9 (the required amount) that I made just for the exhibit and trade. I'm finishing the second one now, and will post them 3 at a time as they are completed. I'm going to try to do them using 9 different styles and techniques. More on that later!
So, here's the first 3 plant drawings!

We Called It A Draw

8/16/2009 11:11:00 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 6 Comments »
Well, the Brat and I went 2 or 3 more rounds with colored pencil, and we both got really tired of it. She said, "enough is enough ... are you crazy?". I countered with my ultimate insult, "You bore me to tears". We decided to call it a draw and we will both move on. I'm sure after a bit of time has passed things will be better between us. ......... I'm pretty sure she's a teenager.

Overworked and Underdone

8/13/2009 10:03:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 15 Comments »
Well, this drawing started out to be a quick ink sketch in my art journal. She became really cantankerous and just wouldn't cooperate. So, I decided I'd show her who was boss, and I switched to acrylic paint. "I'll show you!", I thought, laughing to myself. Well, she became even more defiant - nothing I did could tame her. "Aha!", I thought ... "colored pencil will give me more control than a paintbrush", so I brought out all my Prismacolor colored pencils. I tried various hardnesses and a variety of colors - I even used metallic colors on her lips. She laughed at me, dug in her heels, and became even more stubborn. So, I told her I was going to post her overworked, unfinished, self on my blog for all the world to see and threatened her with my pastels! She stuck out her tongue, showing her true, bratty nature.
So, true to my word, here she is. If the pastels don't work, I have one more trick up my sleeve - it's called "GESSO" ...... don't tell her.

Why I Love Ink

8/07/2009 02:33:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 13 Comments »
In doing a wee bit of wall decor rearranging, I took down this drawing I did awhile ago and replaced it with a much larger watercolor. It's been hanging above the mantle since before Christmas, and I just didn't see it anymore - it just blended in with everything else. When I took it down I took a good, long look at it again, and thought about all the things I love about drawing with ink.

When I draw with ink, I tend to go a bit slower than I do with pencil. I think it's because the ink is so permanent - no erasing it. Once it's down, it's down. With drawings like this one, I quickly get lost in it. The pen almost seems to go where ever it wants, and I'm just there to observe. I love all the little details the .oo5 Micron pen can make (my favorite sizes of Micro are .005, .01, and .02). Teensy little dots, squiggles, and lines seem to magically appear on the paper right before my eyes, and as images emerge I'm both mesmerized and amazed. I love the clean lines and the versatility of ink - things can be light and airy or really dark and heavy. And, I love that I can use color or not - the drawings can stand on their own.

This drawing is called, "An Unexpected Turn of Events", and hung in the Power Center Auditorium in Ann Arbor for several weeks.

Feelin Good

8/03/2009 04:47:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 5 Comments »
Today it's hot and humid, the sky is gray, and it's threatening to rain. The wind is blowing so hard I can't sit out on the porch .... even Abby the dog wants to stay inside. But here inside, it feels really good. It's cool, smells like the banana bread I made this morning, dinner will be easy (salad with leftover steak in it, smothered in homemade blue cheese dressing and really good, crusty bread which I didn't make), and the house is more or less in order. I don't even have to iron anything to wear for my day at the Health Dept. tomorrow! I talked on the phone with my son Andrew, who will be coming over Saturday with his wonderful, fun wife Carrie, to cook dinner for us. "Us" being Michael and I, Ben, Sarah, and super-baby Clyde. What more could a woman want?
So, as I sat with my trusty Micron Pens, I found myself doing a whimsical nothing that just begged to be colored in with a variety of watercolor pencils. What a great day!

Lucky Me!

8/02/2009 03:10:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 6 Comments »
Well, lucky me!! I recently won by random drawing 2 wonderful ATCs from Marva Plummer-Bruno. Visit her blog at for a real treat. Her drawings are wonderful - I've added her to my favorites list. Thanks again, Marva!

Now, there's another reason why I'm so lucky. On Thursday I picked up Ben, Sarah, and Clyde (my son, daughter-in-law, and 16 month old grandson) from the airport. They live in Nashville, so we don't get to see them nearly enough for my taste. They spent the night with us, and then on Friday they left to go to North Muskegon where Sarah's parents live, and then they were all going to the UP (as in Upper Peninsula) for a week long vacation in St. Ignace. Next Saturday I'll meet them in Lansing and they'll spend the night with us before we take them back to the airport to head for home.
Every time I see Clyde I'm so amazed at how much he's grown, learned and accomplished since I saw him last. He will put his toys away when asked, wipe up spills, he can put on his shoes (not always on the right feet, but we don't care for rambling around the house), and he plays really nicely with our old dog, Abby. He's beginning to talk, and of course, he's running all around. He's truly a joy to be with - fun, funny, affectionate, and very interesting, not to mention really, really cute! Ben and Sarah are most excellent parents. I love watching them with him, and it makes me so proud of them.
OK, I guess that's about enough touting the joys of being a grandmother, right? I'll try to use more self-restraint in the future! ..... but don't bet the farm on it. LOL