Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Life

My art pal Jackie's daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl the day after Christmas. This is a wonderful blessing on their family - they couldn't be happier, and no baby has ever been loved better. Welcome Sophia!

More supplies

One of my favorite people, Wendy J. invited people to her studio in Sacramento today and yesterday to pick up extra materials she was clearing out. Lots of rubber stamps, cigar boxes, altoid tins, etc. So, Bobbi G. and I went up and picked out some things and took Wendy to lunch. It was great seeing her again and Kate also. We had a good visit, a long chat on the ride, and came home with art materials. All, in all, a very fine day.

Post Christmas trip to coast










Stressed over the hullabaloo of the holidays? Do what I did. Some friends and I went to the beach house and made some art for a few days of total relaxation and fun. We planned to eat out, but it was so cozy we made a big pot of beans and brought wonderful french bread - so with that and a salad, plus all the goodies the gals brought - we ate well. It was cold on the coast so we were all bundled up as we took the resident dog for his walks.

Here are some pictures of some of my Beach Journal pages. They are works in progress, so don't expect too much.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Concert


I was just entertained by a chance concert performed with 5 tails wagging furiously - hitting the computer, bookcase, box, file cabinet and the chair I'm sitting on. Sounded like a drum corps. I have no idea why the 5 little dogs (I'm babysitting 3 of them) all dashed over here excitedly to serenade me, but it was great fun. You can see I'm easily entertained. LOL I always was a cheap date! Merry Christmas, one and all.

Here is Buddy with a new toy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ornaments ready for trees





My ornament project is finished (you heard it here). Here are some of the ornaments that are being disbursed among family members.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sally and the Wackos







I joined the Wackos at Sally's today for a day of laughter, good food, and conversation. We made cut little accordion ornaments that Sally taught us, but mostly it was just a lovely day having fun with friends. The cat is Sally's Scampers. A cat that is living a very good life!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

ZNE Holiday Crafts Show

Bobbi G. and I headed off this a.m. with my incredible new friend, Faith. Faith is my GPS companion and got us there and back without a hitch. Bobbi named her for me. Anyway back to the ZNE show - it was in Pleasanton which is an hour away. We lucked out, traffic was light, but unfortunately customer traffic at their event was even slower. I'm so hoping it picked up later in the day. We got to see a couple of the gals from the Concord ATC group, and also Chel, who heads up the ZNE group. That was fun, and the gals are all really friendly and nice. But, it was really crowded even without customers, which made it hard to focus on anyone's work. Tomorrow it will be a good day of house cleaning and watching old movies and finishing up the ornaments I'm still working on.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ornaments


I've been wanting to make ornaments for my sister-in-law's tree for years. Probably over a decade. My idea was to use photos of all of us as children, as Christmas is really for children. I was only going to do cutouts and mount them, but at the last moment I found this beautiful paper at Joanne's, made by K&CoMPANY. I just had to have a reason to use them, so these two samples are almost done. They will hang from glittery silver chenille stems inserted through eyelets in top corners. You get the idea. One photo is of two nephews and a niece, the other is my brother and myself. I'll post others later on. I'm still cutting and gluing.

If you know me at all you know I'm not a glittery kinda gal. But, it's Christmas and everything seems to just call out for glitter this year. I've been in the shops and stores, and it finally just rubbed off on me.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Get off the road! I'm warning you!


Trevor got his driving learner's permit today. Passed the written test with no problem. Now he needs 6 hours with driver trainer, and 50+ hours with his dad. I'm not ready for this.

Nathan came up to see if I had a tennis racket. Not likely! But, I often surprise them when they want something I seem to find it somewhere. He played tennis with a friend and now has the bug. Good. That will be great for him.

This is a picture of Trevor, Nathan and Candis.
Ready to drive?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Candis Day




Candis celebrated her 12th birthday with a party at the local pizza/gaming place. She had a good turnout and everyone had a blast. Speaking of blasts, one picture is of the birthday girl and friend about to blast off in some space flight simulator - a very scary ride.

For good measure I'm throwing in a pic of Candis and me some years back. Time sure flies.

Friday in Sutter Creek





Friends celebrating Sally's birthday (a bit late) met in Sutter Creek from all different directions for tea, walk, talk and shop. All women know what a fun day that can be. We had rain the night before and a cold snap, so our plans for dressing up went by the wayside for the most part, but a few of us made a few concessions to our surroundings by sporting very fashionable scarves, skirts, pins, gloves, and blouses. The tea was at Tea Eras. Here are some pics of the food before and after. You can tell we enjoyed it.

What day is it, and where am I?








Another whirlwind week ended with a wonderful afternoon tea with the mixed media group in Sacramento. We had about 15 people attending this year. Our group is THRIVING!!! Susanne, our hostess had the house looking beautiful and elegant, and was the perfect hostess. She makes it all look so simple and relaxed. Having a pot-luck brought out the best in everyone. We had such a wonderful assortment of delicious tidbits. And our gift exchange was delightful. Everyone went away with some new original art, in one form or another. We welcomed some new members that had recently come on board, and they fit right into the group. It's so nice to be a part of a group with little structure. We pride ourselves in being friendly and nurturing, and not having cliques that exclude people. But, along the way we have made new friends and that is a very special blessing. Here are some photos of the tea and guests.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day with Bobbi


Art Day! We haven't done this for ages. She is getting ready for a craft show in Linden on Saturday, so I volunteered to come help her get ready. We made art dolls and covered composition notebooks. Here are some pics. They came out really nice, and I think she will do well at the show. Everyone's going to want these.

Grandson of John Muir passes


John Muir Hanna, son of Wanda Muir Hanna who was John Muir's first daughter, passed away last Saturday. There is a tribute to John Hanna on the Sierra Club website for those that are interested. Here is a pic I took of Him with his son Bill at UOP a couple years back. My sympathy goes to his family, along with my respects for him.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

bubble technique


I saw an art technique on television a week or two ago. It was applying a glaze to a ceramic piece. I thought I'd try to adapt it to paper. Here are the best results.

Materials and equipment:
Acrylic craft paints
water
dishwashing liquid
straw or plastic tube
pan or cup with a deep end
cardstock or watercolor paper cut to ATC size
newspaper to cover work area
apron


Thin acrylic craft paint with a little water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Basically you want the paint at about the consistency of milk, or a tad bit heavier. Trial and error. I haven't got it down to a science yet, but this is how far I got. If it doesn't bubble enough, add a little more DW liquid. Pour liquids into a container where it can form a pool. What I did was use a square plastic pan, tilted it to form a pool in one corner. Use straw and blow into the fluid to make it bubble up. Then just touch the paper to the top of bubbles. Then check your results. I did the same thing with the additional colors, one at a time.

Warning! Don't try permanent inks! These little bubbles pop and send out a tiny spray. it can get on your face, your table, your clothes. So, stick with washable fluids. Cover your work surface, and wear an apron. Or if you have a little tube that is longer, and don't have to work at straw-length away from your face - you can use other fluids. With only the straw to work with, I ended up with a light paint spray on my glasses! And lots on my fingernails. I also tried using a little shot glass . It worked, but I had to do just one section on a card at a time, then turn it and repeat the process. This is very subtle and ethereal looking. I can see possibilities for using the backgrounds with appropriate images for delicate cards.

ATC Group


Met again on Sunday with the Concord ATC group. Just a small choice turnout, but I like to get to know the gals better, and the small size makes it possible to do that. Started the day with breakfast with Jill at Mimi's. She was beaming after having a very Nirvanaish evening with her son and others making and singing music. Perfect for Jill. She was definitely alight, and Bobbi and I had a good visit with her. I didn't take photos of anything that day, I apologize. I just want Margaret to know how much Bobbi and I enjoyed the group. Thanks again Margaret for putting it together and to Sue for hostessing and providing such tasty treats. These are inchies I made at the meeting.

Rain today


Our long awaited winter made a brief appearance today. It is raining outside. So, here's my tribute to winter.

This is Buddy in front, with Suzie behind him. They are keeping my chair and my blanket warm, hoping I'll come join them and watch a little TV.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Out and about - again






Do you get the feeling I spend a lot of time out and about? It's the season. There is just so much to see and do. Yesterday was an outing to San Andreas and Angel's Camp with Cat and Sally.
Our destination was Ace Hardware in AC. I don't know why, but it is their tradition to make the most splendid holiday display - ornaments, decorated trees, the works. Cat had already scoped it out and said we just had to see it to believe it. And even after seeing it, I'm not sure I believe it. It was the most lush, full, diverse showing of Christmas decorations I have seen. And I've been to Filoli Gardens, San Francisco, and all around over the years enjoying the season's eye candy. But this really is the best.

Today Candis and I went out to Micke Grove Park for their fund raiser, with all the buildings decorated with trees and garlands, lots of activities, and fun things going on. We went to see some friends who were showing their artwork there. Here are some pics from Cat's living room (the tree topper), Sally looking at decorations, and the artist group including Gloria, Jean, Frances and John.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Holidays








Inspired by the Christmas trees we saw at Ironstone Vineyards, I decided to have a tree again this year. I haven't for several years as the kids have a big one, and I can enjoy it. But, what I missed most about having one were the lights. So, I bought a little scraggly Charlie Brown kinda tree and decorated it with a limited palate and theme. Here are some pics of the tree, the top of an old trunk, my mantle over the back of my couch, a chandalier, the end of my kitchen and the hoosier. Enjoy. I wish I could hum Christmas carols for you as you look.