Saturday, November 9, 2019

First Florida group sketching for the season for me!

What a lovely morning for sketching last Thursday.  What a funny name for an organic farm.  (But we did meet the "dirty dog").  A young couple run the place.  And such a lot of work.  They are in Fruitland Park, actually, even though if you look them up it says Leesburg.  About a 20 minute drive for me.  Felt good to be out sketching again.
Hoping the gang will get together again soon.

Weather has cooled a tad since we arrived on the 23rd of October but it has REALLY cooled off in the midwest.  Temps in the single digits around the Chicago area!  Wow.  Setting lots of cold and snow records WAY before Thanksgiving!    We are in mid 70s mostly this week.  Hoping we see some 80s again soon.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A Day at a the Model Train Show

 The Ocala, Florida model Train Show was last Saturday.  
A lovely day for a drive.  It's about an hour north of Leesburg.

 Hubby loves these shows...and swap meets. There are usually a few layouts running which is always fun for me to see. 

After I had made the rounds, then I settled down near Bill (in hat) who is from Savannah and brought his running HO scale layout (that, he says, folds up and slides under your bed.). Impressive.

Bill had a great hat and a wonderful chair that I could use to sit in!  He gave me a nice little book about all the scales of the model trains.  

Out to lunch on the way home.  

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Inktober 28, 29, 30, 31. The End. OR...rather the beginning of something new...

Well, Well, Who, Luke, Nik, Florz

Happy Halloween Everyone!

I'll have a photo of my whole Inktober Accordion book 
(when I find it). the problem is I have not yet unpacked my up north art stuff...sitting all around me in bags.  

I've decided a fall cleaning in this studio is called for. WHAT was I thinking.  Washing windows and vacuuming behind things and even putting out stuff I plan to sell or give away.  Oh my.  More to follow then.  

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Inktober 25, 26, 27

Tripoli, Ratoon, Crescent Moon

The month long challenge for Inktober is drawing to a close now. 
I can't ever remember a faster one!  But then I was covering a lot of ground during this time!  Just 4 more days!  

The dust has settled "a little" here in Florida.  We are sort of unpacked and gradually getting back to some sort of normal...the month of November always is filled with our first medical check ups of the winter season...dentists, doctors, vision, etc.  Oil changes, and fall house cleaning which mostly entails clutter cleaning for me.  And trying to figure out what kind of schedule and activities will motivate me this year.  

I've signed up for a CZT Zentangle workshop on Nov 11 and am thinking about taking Maureen up on her challenge to try chair yoga this fall.  It starts tomorrow morning.  I need some more organized physical activity.  They focus on stretching and balance.

I'll let you know how that goes.
My studio has NOT been unpacked...not one single that lies ahead.  

Friday, October 25, 2019

Inktober 22, 23 and 24

Abundies, Pixioze, Baton

Oops...a day late.  
But I feel forgiven as we just got to Florida home after a long long last 3 driving days.  

I love all of these tangles. 
Maureen and I have been having discussions about the simple versus the more complicated tangles.  And we agree that simples best because you can do so much more creative tangling with them.

Gorgeous days here...sunny and 83 to 85 and so green.  
Happy to be home and will need about two weeks to adjust.  

Monday, October 21, 2019

Inktober 19, 20 and 21 PLUS other good stuff

Diva Dance, Antidots, Batumber

I cannot believe how fast Inktober is flying along.  I am posting this from Bloomington, Illinois.  It is 60 degrees and raining.  It will be our second driving day in precipitation.  (We left the cabin on the 12th in a snow storm).  We are headed toward Tennessee today.  Hoping to be home in Leesburg by Wednesday night.  

If you have followed my blog recently you know that one of the highlights of this trip was our granddaughter's wedding.  
That was on Saturday in Wisconsin.  What a lovely day.  
I did a quick sketch of the bridesmaids flowers as the decorated our table near the head table.

Melissa  was a spectacularly beautiful bride.  The whole affair was quite lovely.  

Friday, October 18, 2019

Inktober 16, 17, and 18

Trentwith, Dreamdex, Sindoo

Spending time in Madison, WI with my daughter's family today.

The amazing wedding of our granddaughter will be tomorrow near Poynette, WI.
Getting very excited.
Weather cool and sunny today. 

But rain is expected for the wedding day.  
But I read that rain is lucky on a wedding day.  
I am sticking with that story!  
And everything is inside.  

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Lovely Stop Along the Way...

Although weather has not been generally kind to us so far on the annual trip south...we have safely ignored this and followed our itinerary (see previous post) with integrity.  

The wonderful "early" 80th birthday party in Warrenville, IL on Sunday was wonderful and it was sunny and chilly and the party room at my daughter's townhouse association had a huge fireplace that crackled and glowed brightly as I had a chance to hug a lot of people who mean a whole lot to me.  

And our two days and nights with friends Jim and Roberta in southern WI were so so delightful.  They have a wonderful welcoming and comfortable home.  And we found ways to work around having to cook which we all loved...we brought in a Papa Murphy's pizza the first night and then we all ordered our favorite Chinese the second.  Lots of fun conversation with two amazing smart, funny friends.  Our mutual connections to the UCC church and the town of Williams Bay, WI made our enjoyment even greater.  And their wide range of interests from nature and sports to art to music to theater made our talks endearing and warm.  

Above you see one of Jim's most cherished places, the conservancy in Williams Bay. (Also dear to me due to my old friend Kendra and her love of the place).  Being there brought her memory back so vividly.  Despite WIND and COLD, Jim took me for about a 45 minute walk on the south board walk yesterday and I did a few fast sketches to remind me of this special place.  Jim tells me there is a new app to download on your phone that will give names of plants and animals.  It is called "Seek".  I want to look this up!!!

This little sketch in my smaller journal actually took far longer than the one above!  It is Roberta and Jim's "kitchen sink garden" overlooking the beautiful woods.  

We are now headed to Janesville to visit Greg's cousins, Len and Rick and their wives and then up to Madison, WI tonight to stay with my daughter, Julie.  Saturday is THE wedding.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Inktober13, 14, and. 15

Yin-Cut, Arukas,Maryhill
This is posted from Naperville, Illinois.  45 degrees and mostly sunny.  

My "early"birthday party in Warrenville on Sunday was such a delight.  So many old friends and relatives.  My sister and brother in law from SC were there!  AND my nephew David flew in from CA (just for the day) to be with us!  OMGosh.  I was so pleased.

Here are just a few of the delightful two daughter l to r Beth and Julie, then my granddaughter Maddy from CA and her sister Abby.  In front, my sister Connie and me!

I had to share honors for the day with "the princess" Violet Virginia, my great granddaughter from CA.  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Inktober 10,11, and 12

Cubine, InaFlux, Floo

We are "on the road again".  
Currently in Elgin, Illinois for an overnight stay at a Quality Inn.
Drove out of the cabin driveway in a blizzard of snow yesterday.  
What a send-off!  We knew for sure it was time to go.

The blizzard continued for almost two hours of the drive south and then turned to cold slushy rain.  Not pleasant.

Finally drove out of it into cloudy skies in northern Illinois.
We expect some sun today but temps here are only going to get to about 45.  Still, it will be dry and cheery.  THAT is good.  Today is my big early birthday celebration in Warrenville, Ill.  Such fun. Some photos to follow.

And a chance to visit with darling Violet Virginia, my 15 month old great granddaughter who flew in from CA on Wednesday.  

Here's the update from friend Maureen...


Friday, October 11, 2019

One Day and Counting.

One day and counting.  A very crazy itinerary you will notice.  Going south, then north, then north again, then south.  

But we are having fun in northern Illinois and then visiting friends and family in Wisconsin and then attending our granddaughter's wedding on the 19th in Wisconsin...thus the return back part way north again.  On the 20th we turn and head south again and hope to get to Leesburg on Oct 23.  

We expect a hard freeze's SO cold and windy.  Only 39 for a high today!  BRRRR.  The mailbox was taken in and our sign put to bed in the garage.  We'll drain the pipes in the morning.
More adventures ahead!  

Watching the golden birch leaves fall into the lake!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Day 7, 8, 9 in Inktober

Huggins, Bales, Knightsbrige (substituted for Lola)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Time and Time Again

playing in the class...bottom right is made with cling wrap.
The bottom two are on ceramic tile and the top two on Yupo Paper.  
alcohol inks...blown flower on yupo paper

Time, and time again
When friend Autumn recently commented on how I must have 30 hours in my days rather than the 24 she seems to have been allotted, it made me smile and give that some thought.  

I swear that synchronicity is at play in my life all the time now.  Things people say and do and read just seem to be in some sort of connection through a parallel universe.  I have spent the better part of the the summer in a kind of revelation of time and it’s relationship to me.  

It may have a lot to do with my approaching 80th birthday because I know that everything is tied to everything else in my world and what seemed endless time is certainly now finite time.  Which it is for all of us, it’s just that older people get it.    
I began wondering if my fascination with Steam Punk is also part of the whole picture.  Steam Punk revolves around a fascination with a fantasy world set in another time period and often features clocks. And for me…all summer long, one thing seems to lead to another. And they all seem interrelated around the theme of the management of “time”.  

I started out by reading a book recommended by my daughter Julie…Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life by Robert Moss.  An innocent foray into the idea that everything that happens to you is worth noting and chance encounters and everyday decisions can and do change your life.  And if you are “fine tuned” you can really interpret some of the symbolic things that you come across in the commonest of events.  You can, if you practice, catch messages and receive gifts that seem almost enchanted.  It’s a lovely example of living beyond the ordinary.  So I began to sort of “tune up” to notice things a bit more.  

So then that led to another book that came my daughters’ way and it seemed to fit into my life in another magical way: Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by Marney Makridakis. (It’s been around for 7 years so you can find used copies inexpensively.). Marney’s advice for slowing down time:

  1. Create “focused” time.  Focus on one thing.  Sounds just like me teaching Zentangle®, doesn’t it?
  2. Focus on Segments rather than wholeness.  As my friend Cynthia said during her husbands stressful summer…”one step at time got me through”.  
  3. Create time wraps.  Visualize yourself “wrapping” up a bundle of time to do the things that you need and want.  Hold that sacred. 
  4. Slow down.  Hurrying is an inclination for folks who don’t have time.  Or think they don’t.  Move intentionally and act deliberately. I don’t know how it works but it does.
  5. Give yourself “circular time”.  Not linear time.
  6. Use all your senses more deeply.
  7. Notice EVERYTHING happening.  Seen in small segments you get more aligned with life that way.
  8. Mental Snapshots…Slow down your mind’s camera.
  9. Have high awareness time―I this point the author says “spend time with babies and the elderly” this will sharpen your sense of the life-cycle.  SO true.
  10. View your time as a “resource” and allocate a piece of it to things you need and want to do. Like tithing.  

Tie this together my love of poet Mary Oliver whose main gift to the world was an assessment of how to live your life so your soul can live in the moment.  And I find things just dropping into my world about the way to make time be more than time.  

So that’s how to get 30 hours out of 24. 
Ps, Oh and in honor of serendipity again…I am reading a book by Alan Alda now called Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.  I quote: 

“I think we don’t realize how important time is. When we couldn’t communicate at the speed of light, we probably didn’t think about it much.  But things do take time. Chemical reactions take time.  Mourning a loss takes time. In fact, all transitions in our lives take time.  Getting in shape, physically or mentally takes more than a weekend, no matter what they tell you in the brochure.”

You see what I mean…it’s all connected.  

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Zentangle Inktober Challenge day 4,5, and 6

Zonked, Jalousie, Flukes

My friend Maurine Rice is also doing the Challenge.
She is doing two per tile where I am doing 3/tile.  I posted my first three on Oct 3.  

Here is hers so far:

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Inktober Begins

Printemps, TunnelVizion, Toodles

Each September, the Inktober gang publishes an official "list" of words that people sketch or draw from in the annual challenge.  I know you can probably go back a few years in my archives to see the one I did where I actually sketched!  

It was fun and can be very interesting and useful.  But last year it became apparent that it would be almost impossible to do while traveling from Wisconsin to Florida.  So I switched to the Zentangle community's official tangle list and tangled my way through the month.  That worked.  The tangles took less time and were more portable.

This year I plan a folding accordion book hand made book with pages about 5 x 5".  I am tangling 3 tangles per page so am just posting every third day through the month.  Today is the first post for day 3.  Everyone doing the Zentangle challenge posts the same tangles done in a million different ways.  

On another note...I attended a delightful workshop on how to do alcohol inks led by Lisa Krueger. Very fun.  The workshop was held at the Manitowish Waters Community Center and sponsored by the Manito Art League.  I am wearing the pink sweater.   

Monday, September 30, 2019

Closing Up the Art Show

Took down my paintings at the Woodruff, WI show today.  I had 4 there.  Nothing sold this time.  But that's okay.  It was a fun show anyway.  This scene of the sea turtles was a painting that Kendra hung over her bed for years.  When she passed away, it was bequeathed back to me.  It was fun to see it after so many years.  But I think of her every time I look at it.  

It's been pouring rain here in Lac du Flambeau for 12 hours straight.  Hmmm.
Greg maintains it is supposed to clear off this afternoon but guessed it, more rain.  I think the rain symbol is there for the next 3 days now.  Sigh.  We are glad much of the yard work and shore work is done for closing.  12 days and counting.  

Inktober starts tomorrow.  I am tangling it.  But I'll only post every 3 days in October for that as I am tangling 3 on each 5 x 5" page.

Am off to make some white chicken chili for the church chili supper tomorrow night.  

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Alcohol Ink Play

This is alcohol inks (just playing in the studio) and getting ready for the workshop that will be on Wednesday. I haven't touched them for quite awhile.  

Some artists (on youtube) use canned air to help move the ink around.  Some blow with a straw.  I find that I get kind of dizzy if I blow a lot on the straw (others complain about this too) so I think I'm going to invest in canned air somewhere down the line.  

You get really interesting effect with moving the ink on glossy or non porous surfaces.  The ink doesn't work on paper.
You can use it on Yupo (plastic paper) or porcelain tiles or glass or plexiglass.   
So then I took this piece and enhanced it below:

There is something about the abstract quality of alcohol in that draws me toward putting Zentangle® on it.  These are Sakura MicroPerm archival ink pens.  I may put on more but decided to stop and look at it awhile.  I mean you can just go on forever and that might not be the best strategy.  The piece is on regular Yupo and is about 10 x 10".  It's very colorful and playful.  

For these little pice about 5 x 5, I used "translucent" Yupo Paper.
Kind of different effect.  I cut out a heart stencil out of Contact paper and adhered it to the Yupo paper to hold the ink in the shape.  (It still leaked a little under the edges.  You really have to press it down hard.)
It will make a pretty Valentine.  Also it can be hung on a window like stained glass.  You can also cut apart these abstract designs and make interesting collage pieces out of them!  
The paint is not stable so you have to seal it with a clear acrylic spray.  

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Milkweed Goes to Seed

Yesterday's walk was sunny, windy and nippy.  I should have worn gloves.  Where did I put them?  

I have been following the milkweed since spring...with the little caterpillars eating them like crazy and then off into that magic change into Monarch butterflies in August.  Now the plants are spreading their seeds again.  Beautiful puffs floating about.  

The pines drop about 1/3 of their needles each fall and they make a bright yellow carpet on some places on the road.

We are having a stretch now of VERY dark and wet and cool days (again).  Indian summer is over.  Highs about 56 today.  So I've started the humidifier in the house again.  Same every year about this time...heat and fireplace dries out the air.  

The countdown continues as always.  
Heading off to teach a little Zentangle® this morning, then a few errands in town. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Finishing Up the Drawing Class

Giving portrait drawing a little try.
The first one--not so good.
The second--a little better.

A proportional divider is a device to help artists get proportions correctly.  I am also trying out a new eraser called Vanish.  

This is a very small 4 x 5" pencil sketch.  

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sketching and Drawing as Autumn Comes

You may have thought I'd abandoned my "littles".  Not so.  But I have been busy with my drawing class and other things so I did not post as often as I often this time around.  but I did complete one last night during a rain storm here at the cabin.  As you can see this one went from mid July to mid September!  But it still marks the time nicely for me with memories.  I love looking at Dean's dog, Molly, who came for a visit and being reminded of the wild flowers (like Tansies and Butter and Eggs) of late summer and early fall.  And that wild orange sunset was REALLY that color.  It was just amazing.  

I see the baby loon in the top right corner. The little loon is looking adult size now.  The parents have been teaching it all summer.  I think it is a "slow-learner".  It seems everyone on the lake has been rooting for the little fella.  I watched one afternoon while mother tried to teach it to dive and feed itself.  (It much preferred being fed!)  Now they are working teaching it to fly!  It's not going well.  They have to hurry up with this.  October is just around the corner.  (Loons are swimming birds and the flying thing is hard.  They are heavy in the water and it takes them forever to get up out of the water.) Sometimes in late September they take a practice fly because they haven't been flying all summer.  

This tiny little graphite sketch was my first attempt at using powdered graphite.  This is applied to the paper before you start drawing and then darkened or lifted out as you go along.  The birch and the road are lifted out.  It's only 3 x 5" but I learned a lot as I went along.  SO many things to learn about drawing!  I have one more class on Tuesday.  


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