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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wowed by the Rhododendron

This clump of Rhododendron blossoms is now
leaning against my kitchen window, 
making dishwashing more pleasant
with a lovely view!

Then of course I had to attempt taking a
close-up through the glass.

Bees disappear into the flower centers
 and emerge all covered with pollen.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Last night I lost another cousin to cancer. 
(That makes three.) 
She fought bravely, she passed peacefully.  
This candle is in memory of KS 
who throughout her life, 
helped so many people in need.
With her nursing skills, she extracted 
an embedded pine needle from my foot 
while we were all family-camping 
in the woods in a lake-side cottage 
decades and decades ago.  
I will never forget.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Fossil Adventure

Over the years I have collected rocks, crystals, and fossils (among other things too numerous to mention).  Beside fossils from western New York State, I also have collected specimens in northern New York State, central and southern Tennessee, and northern Alabama.

I had never attended a supervised fossil "dig" before. This long weekend provided the time, the place and the opportunity.  The weather was perfect, but spending 5 hours bending over in the hot sun might not have been the best idea.  I hope I never get too old for this...

This was the Sunday group:

See the experts in the center of the excavated pit, 
looking for the good stuff...

And this was my digging spot:

I found several species of horn coral, breaking some out of the shale matrix by hand.  I only bashed my finger once.  (Once was more than enough.)  A few  pieces were "weathered out" which meant just noticing them and picking them up:  grey fossils on grey rock.

Missing the first day of this event, I suspected that the newly-dug site had been well-picked over by a bigger crowd the day before.  If I had had the time and energy to go through one of the large piles of broken shale more thoroughly, I might have found more fossils to add to my collection.  As it was, I merely scratched the surface.

For a change of pace I wandered over other parts of the field where I picked up some intact fossilized shells, phosphate nodules, crinoid stems, one small coppery coiled cephalopod (which I accidentally dropped and couldn't find again, even while on my knees looking...) and some pyritized fossil bits which sparkled like gold in the sunshine.

My kind of fun!

I had collected slightly different fossils in an adjoining field some years ago and was just about to revisit the area when I noticed a healthy crop of poison ivy all along the access path through the woods.  Nix that idea! 

Note to self: wash pants and socks in hot soapy water after I get home.

One of the event assistants gave me a fossil hunting tip as I left: check out the creek for larger specimens.  Creek?  Now you tell me!  So of course I have to go back there, hopefully soon. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mixed Media Sewn Post Cards

Deli waxed paper was the background for these two post cards. Butterfly cut-out's were the center of the "sandwich."  Acrylic paint, plastic Magic Mesh on one corner, paper bits and stitches completed the designs.  It was a good chance to dust off my old (1970's) Singer sewing machine.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Brief Get-Away

lake view from the hill

steps to nowhere
rimmed with cottages

fresh, new leaves

can you canoe?
 mayapple blossom up close

tortured tree
lone yellow violet

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Altered Rolodex File Dividers

My latest artsy adventure with Gelli Plate (acrylic paints) and rubber stamps:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Wandering

Near a country cemetery, two horses grazed peacefully under a white-clouded sky (which would soon dump rain, then clear again).

Spruce pine cones appeared to be a purplish pink/red:

And crabapple tree blossoms bobbed in the breeze:

Rock Group - Color Play

After staring at two piled-up rocks on the window sill for months, I finally decided to photograph them on a coffee-stained paper background. Maybe I'll do a "Rock Group" series someday, we'll see.  Playing with the color edit settings on my Microsoft Office Picture Manager yielded some interesting variations...  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saying "Goodbye" to Another Mail Art Friend

Today I received the sad news that another of my mail art friends has passed on.  It was on July 30th of last year that I heard about the cancer.  She asked me to pray for a miracle.  What a privilege it was to do so, and how heartening to hear from time to time that she was still with us.  A birthday came and went, one she didn't think she would live to see.

Almost nine months later, it is time to say "Goodbye."  I am glad I had the opportunity to get to know L. O.  Her friendship and art enriched my life.  I will think of her often and miss our art-filled correspondence, but be grateful for what we had.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Just A Random Thought

Musings while I drove today:

A little chocolate a day
gives balance...

A lot of chocolate a day
leads to a new wardrobe...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jute Fibers Resist Post Cards

This post card started with a rose and 
yellow overall background.
The purple acrylic was a second 
layer over which jute fibers 
were spread as a resist.

If you want the fiber resist pattern to have
color, start with paper that already has a
layer of acrylic paint, usually a lighter color.
Then apply another color to the Gelli Plate,
add jute fibers, and lift off your pattern..

Purple and pink acrylic paints 
were spread over the Gelli Plate 
to make the background for this second card,
with jute fibers as a resist.

If you want the fiber resist pattern
to appear white, start with white paper.
Cover the Gelli Plate with paint,
then add your jute fibers 
and lift off the print.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Jute Rope Resist Deli Papers

Start with a painted background.  
These Deli sandwich wrap papers
were my brayer wipe-off's 
during a previous art session.

All you have to do is fray (pull apart) 
 the individual strands of Jute Rope (brown twine), 
arrange in bunches on the freshly painted surface 
of the Gelli Plate printer (acrylic paint), 
press paper over it,
and remove to admire the pattern!

These are the backsides of two pieces above

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Jute Rope Resist Patterns

JM recently emailed me the link 
to a wonderful YouTube presentation
for a Faux Marble technique.
It shows the use of frayed jute rope
(brown twine) fibers as resists.  
I had so much fun I could hardly 
leave my art room to prepare supper!

I applied acrylic paint to the Gelli Plate printer,
laid down the fibers, pressed card stock
over the fibers and wet paint,
and lifted off the pattern.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Few Sun-themed Pieces

These were made for a SUN-themed
mail-art swap. 
The base and the sunrays are of 
Deli sandwich wrap paper,
painted with acrylic paints.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Gelli Plate Prints with Texture Tool

When in doubt, add gold!

And a couple of "odd ducks:"