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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Consider Now The Lilies...

Turk's Cap Lilies

They neither toil nor reap, yet they are clothed with beauty.  
The time of the towering Lilies is here.  I wish I could have managed to take a picture of the chipmunk climbing these tall stems to get at the black seeds...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Honey of A Car

 This vintage Chevrolet convertable was in the grocery store parking lot, and I thought it was just beautiful.  Someone says it's probably a 1957 Chevrolet.  Cars sure had more class way back then.




These cheery coneflowers are so delightful.  I was glad they decided to bloom, being newcomers to the garden last year.

Mug Rugs or Snack Mats?

Back of Red Snack Mat

Recently I enjoyed an exchange with a few artsy friends.  At first I thought "Mug Rugs" were coasters, but it turns out they are in between a pot holder and a place mat.  How fun to get back into sewing.  Mine turned out to be 8-inch square reversible mini-quilts with tea-bag pockets on the back and some thin batting for cushion.  Now I want to make more!

Front of Red Snack Mat

Back of Blue Snack Mat

Front of Blue Snack Mat

Friday, July 13, 2012

Accordian Fold and Other Books

Another fun project was Accordian Fold Books.  Starting with one large square piece of paper (which I backed with textured paper), you fold it one way four times, open it up, then fold it four times the other way.  Cut along the folds 3/4 of the way alternating from one side and the opposite side, fold it up, then make a durable cover.  For this I covered photo matt board with textured paper.  I printed out, cut and glued in poems, pictures, etc.  Trimmed with fibers or ribbon.  The red LINE book was an off-the-top-of-my-head word study (no dictionery allowed).  The paperback book at the top is my desktop self-published poetry book which started out to encourage incarcerated people linked to a correspondence ministry.  I have had much enjoyment from creating these books and encourage other crafters/writers to try something similar.

Book of Words Challenge

Several years ago an artsy friend, her friend and I set up a challenge to create "books" illustrating six topics, which we took turns suggesting:  RED, DOORS, TIME, SECRETS, FREEDOM, CIRCLES.  My book ended up very thick, I just couldn't stop adding pictures, word play, fibers, ribbons, paint chips, beads, a key, a Chinese coin, a mirror, fold-out pages...  Several topics overlapped or became interrelated.  Some of the DOORS opened up with surprises behind them.  (The screen door on the cover opens.)  For TIME I glued in a broken watch found while bike riding, and also made some "Time Flies" with clocks on their backs.  A small shredded flag found in a cemetary (probably caught in a lawn mower) is folded into the section on FREEDOM.  SECRETS was quite revealing and included a picture of people whispering in each others' ears.  We sent our books around to admire, then received them back. This was an inspiring and terrifically fun project which helped me through a period of grieving the loss of my father.

Decorated Sketchbook

About the time I was decoupaging composition books, I needed a place to consolidate my project ideas.    So I purchased a sketch book, glued textured paper to it, took magazine clippings and layered them on.  To make it more interesting (to me) I also glued more magazine pictures, sayings and color charts inside. 
Voila!  Plenty of space for this and that.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Matchbox Exchange

It has been so much fun to decorate small matchboxes for a friendly exchange.  First, wrapping the outside.  Then, adding embellishments.  Lining the interior.  Knobs?  Next, selecting enclosures to delight the recipient.  Here are a few:

A Forest Hike

Monday was a lovely day for a woods walk.  Spring flowers bloomed, birdsong echoed and pine trees towered above, impressively silent, except when leaning trunks squeaked against others which held them.  Chipmunks spread the alarm:  "Intruders!"  As after every winter, I've missed hiking under a forest canopy.  This is one way I recharge my soul and I'm fortunate to have the place and the opportunity to get outdoors.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Merry May

April flew by on dragon's wings.  The last of the snow fell (we do hope it's the last!).  Stirrings... of new energy, new creativity are awakening in me and I am eager to make something.  In fact, while recently rummaging through my craft room, I rediscovered an artful matchbox sent to me in the 1980's by DKA, an extremely talented artist in California.  This prompted a little research into "Matchbox Art" and "Matchbox Shrines" online.  I purchased 10-packs of small matchboxes at the grocer store and- the fun began.  I have many ideas for decorating and filling them, and, I am wondering who might like to "play art" and exchange with me.  The finished pieces can be mailed in padded envelopes (or even regular greeting card envelopes) as "1st Class Parcels."  (This I know because I work at the post office now.)  I hope to share pictures on this blog when I can.  Any interest?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

You Throw Like A Girl

Spring is finally here! (Let's hope we don't get more snow.) My lovely tulips and daffodils are opening. I took this picture of wild daffodils while hiking in Alabama 2010. They seemed to grow everywhere like dandelions do here.

Yesterday I put out three hummingbird feeders, although the tiny wonders are not due back for a couple more weeks. Today I was enjoying a view of the birds at the seed feeder. Soon they flew off, and a bunch of orange fluff took their place. Red squirrel! Banging cans together or just shouting, I chased it off several times, only to watch it sit on a tree limb above my reach, laughing at me and twitching its tail. Later, I ran out of the house and lobbed a can of tomato soup at it, hoping to really scare it away- but after three tries, I only succeeded in denting my soup can.

It's not that I particularly hate red squirrels, but I do not want them around eating the birdseed and also- if they get into the house they are known to chew on electrical wires. Maybe it's time for live trapping and transplanting. Hmmmm

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Almost

With balmy weather and lots of sunshine, birds are singing, flowers are sprouting up, snow is melting. It lifts the spirit to feel refreshed and warmed. (Rain is on the way, of course.)

Balancing my carbohydrates with protein seems to keep my energy level, no spikes or downward spirals. My slacks are fitting more loosely, which is good.

I almost dragged my bike out, but the remaining daylight hours after work are still limited. Soon?