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.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pre-Thanksgiving outing

Ironstone Vineyard outside of Murphys was the destination for a little outing to see the decorated Christmas trees. Here are a few pics. We also did some shopping at Enchanted Cottage in town. Cat, Gin, and Joan and I made up the group. Lots of fun, and weather was spendid, plus we had the best turkey, dressing, cranberry and onion sandwiches at the winery.

Wild child

Candis and I were goofing around with camera, this is our fav shot with a little help fro Photoshop.

So you think you can dance.

Last evening I went to see the on tour company of "So You Think You Can Dance" troupe in Sacramento at the Arco arena. First time to be there, first time in ages since I've had this kind of adventure. It was wonderful, and particularly because I was there with Daughter in law and granddaughter and Sally, and art pal. We are all fans of this show, so thought it would be a treat to see them in person. We had seats straight on from the stage, but people were to tiny on the stage it was a bit like watching little plastic figures dancing. The big screens were used so you could see them up larger, but I'm so spoiled by having TV cameras zoom right in and get best angles and expressions on dancer's faces - the camera work here was just not as good. The dancers were great. The biggest ovation was given for 3 break dancers. Fabulous! The way they move in unexpected, odd angles, it was outstanding. The arena took on a life of it's own with the cheering, screaming (yes, it was Candis that started it all off each time) and the stomping of feet which reverberated like a low rumble that grew and grew. Sort of an earthquake kind of sound, or an underground mine shaft caving in. Spooky. Christina was driving her new car, they just picked it up yesterday. A black Mustang convertible. She's so proud of it. Of course it takes all my concentration and effort to drag myself out of the back seat, but when you are in it, it's really comfortable. This is the end of our Thanksgiving weekend, and Candis is getting ready to leave for science camp tomorrow. Talk about an exciting weekend. Then her birthday is right around the corner. So much to do.

How about art? No time just yet, but I'm mentally planning out a new altered book on memory, featuring elephant paintings that I've been working on. But first I must clean up the studio - yes, again!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Favorite shopping and browsing

Here are pictures of a favorite place to wander around and browse on Soquel Avenue, South of Santa Cruz. The name of the place is Wisteria, and it is very hard to find. Someone in Stockton told me it was in Capitola near Gail's Bakery. So, the very first chance I had, I headed for Capitola and directly to Gail's. No one knew about Wisteria, so I went to the gallery there and then to several other places, and kept asking. No success! I was heartbroken. So, I headed over to Soquel Avenue on the way back to La Selva, and stumbled across the little sign and turned into the driveway. Well, it was worth the wait. And to my surprise, an old friend is the manager there. (Hi Carolyn!) This was a few years ago, and it is a regular stopping spot when I'm on the coast. I usually buy a few little plants or other things, as it is also a nursery. Lots of nice paths to wander through and you just never know what will be around the next corner. These photos are of my favorite spots. It is not decorated for Christmas yet, so I may have to go back again.

The show is over.

La Selva, bathed in fog, is now ready for the holiday season again. The Art show there is the turning point. Then Thanksgiving, and non stop until Jan. 2. The show was nice, lots of exhibitors. Lots of variety. Very little duplication. I did well, with the best selling things being the less expensive items. This is often the case. There was a lot of competition for the customer's attention and sales.

Wednesday the weather was perfect. Sunny, bright, warm. Thursday started that way but at 2 in the afternoon the fog drifted in. Friday it was fog all day. Saturday, the day of the show, was foggy most of the time, but then the sun would come through and a cold wind would blow. Then the fog would return and continue this cycle throughout the day. People who lived a mile away would show up in tank tops and shorts, and those of us close to the beach would be in ski wear. Very strange. I'd have to live in my car over there and just follow the sun around.

My friend Nancy and her husband Eddie came by the show and we had brunch the next morning at Zeldas in Capitola. As far as I'm concerned it's the only place to go for breakfast, fog or not. Another friend, Marilyn, also stopped by the show after her workshop in Santa Cruz. Virginia Keith, my personal favorite painter came by to say hi also. I'm dying to go see her new paintings. Maybe on the next trip.

So, now for the fun of unloading the car and putting things away. More clutter!!!!! Aaach!
Then time to plan for family holidays and make more art.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fabric Covered Board Books

I've had some questions about how the board books were done. So, here is a very brief explanation.
What you need:
Board book, any size.
Fabrics of your choice.
Glue (I prefer Aileen's Tacky Glue)
Sponge Brush
Deli wrap sheets, or wax paper

Here's what you do:
(Unlike most ways of covering the pages, you do not need to sand or prime them with gesso.)

1. Select your fabrics and determine your layout.
2. Tear or cut your fabrics to be about 1/2 inch larger than the pages to be covered.
3. Run a bead of glue around the page and all over it.
4. With sponge brush spread out the Tacky glue so the board page is covered thinly and completely. Make extra sure to get plenty along the edges. (Don't waste time here, as it sets up quickly. If you don't want to work fast, then go to a slower drying glue, like Elmer's or similar that will dry clear.)
5. Lay on your fabric starting at one side and rolling it on the rest of the page. Smooth it out with your free hand as you do this. Then go back and rub all over the page to set the fabric into the glue. As a precaution, place a sheet of wax paper or deli wrap between pages after they are glued. That way you can keep working and be assured they will not stick together.
6. As you add fabrics you will note the binding may need loosening. If so, just take your scissors or a craft knife and cut right up the back of the spine. Cut away the flaps that remain.
7. To cover the covers, you can either (a) use a piece of fabric large enough to cover both the front and the back, plus the spine, or (b) you can cover each piece with a separate piece of fabric.
7.a. For method (a) - use the same technique for covering the covers with glue as you did with the other pages. Start with either the front or back. When fabric is attached, next put glue on the spine and roll the fabric over it carefully working it into the glue. Then turn it over and continue on the other cover.
7.b. Use the basic method of adhering fabric to the page, one at a time. A strip of fabric can be attached to the spine either overlapping the front and back fabrics, or under them. It's a design choice. Sometimes I cut the back fabric long enough to wrap the spine and overlap the front cover. There is no right or wrong way.
8. Now you can go in and add artwork. Images, rubber stamps, words, and embellishments can be added, just as with other forms of altered books. This will personalize it and make it your own piece of art. Gel mediums, Zots (adhesive dots), or more of the tacky glue can be used to adhere things.

Any questions, you can email me at

Art journals

Part of my inventory for the La Selva Art show consists of small art journals. These were done with watercolor paper which was painted, glazed, gessoed, stamped, etc. Some have tissue glued on for color and for texture. Inside are pages of different papers with some stamped images. Most of these have lots of nice fibers and beads hanging off the side, but they don't fit well in scanner, so here they are sans fiber.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I'm on a roll....

Here are some of the pics from todays studio time. I'm using up some scrapbooking papers I bought, and had some 8 x 8 and 8 x 10 canvases on hand. Using the little girl with cat image which is my favorite this week, I put together these little collaged pieces. I also made a batch of post cards with other images.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

back to the studio

Finally a free day to play in the studio. Here's some of the projects, as they are today. By tomorrow afternoon they will have some tweaking done to them. The center bird is a watercolor with acrylic glaze over top.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Matt and Chris at RadioZone Halloween Event

That's the url. Here's the pic.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Where did October go?

It just zoomed by. Now we have had our second day of valley fog. Yesterday it cleared by 11:00, today looks thicker and I don't know if we will see sunshine at all. This is when I light candles during the day and turn on the lights - because I hate grey and gloom! I want light! And shades of yellow! I've been getting ready for the La Selva Show. Have started having lunch with friends routinely on Wed. and then a little shopping at the quilt fabric store (you should see what I got) and lots of laughter and fun. The big zine project for MMANC (mixed media group in Sac) is done. That took some time and thought also. Here are my pages.

Halloween project

My son competes at the big Halloween event at Cal Expo. This year, in addition to his wonderful Wizard costume, he added a new twist to the staff he carries. He mounted a dragon on it, illuminated the eyes in the skull, and carried battery packs to illuminate the globe. Here is what it looked like. The grey version is before I painted it and before he added the eyes. It was a lot of fun collaborating with him. Nathan painted the staff to look like wood. It was actually foam over PVC pipe with masking tape wrapping it and in layers to look like bark. He used two shades of brown paint and black. This is the first time Nathan has been in on the painting. Next year, if Matt chooses something else to have painted, I think Nathan is ready to take over my part, with just a little advice and selecting materials.