Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

Below is a synopsis of the history of New Year's eve  from Garrison Keillor's blog.  It's a popular blog site so you may have already found it in your "inbox". 
In any case I love the history associated with holidays and the different twists and turns they take over the years and through various cultures.  

At the end of the article he tells about what some towns "drop" at midnight tonight which is fun.  Leesburg, FL (here) used to drop a big orange which is perfect as we are citrus country through and through.  I am not sure if they still do it or not.  I think my granddaughter will be in Times Square tonight so we will look for her (hahaha).  

However you celebrate or whatever traditions you have…I hope that the New Year will be a positive one and that you will learn many new things and find new friends and (as you saw from my journal prompt on yesterday's blog) that you will be "alive and aware".   Happy New Year from Artist's Labyrinth and may the paths you take be filled with wonder!  Ginny

Today is New Year's Eve, a day to take stock of the old year and make changes for a new year.
People across the world tonight will be linking arms at the stroke of midnight and singing "we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne," from the Scottish folk song popularized by Robert Burns (books by this author). In Scotland, New Year's Eve marks the first day of Hogmanay, a name derived from an Old French word for a gift given at the New Year. There's a tradition at Hogmanay known as "first-footing": If the first person to cross your threshold after midnight is a dark-haired man, you will have good luck in the coming year. Other customs vary by region within Scotland, but most involve singing and whiskey.
English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (books by this author) wrote: "Ring out the old, ring in the new / Ring, happy bells, across the snow / The year is going, let him go / Ring out the false, ring in the true."
Here in the United States, the custom of raising and dropping a giant ball arose out of the time when signals were given to ships at harbor. Starting in 1859, a large ball was dropped at noon every day so sailors could check their ship chronometers.
The Times Square celebration dates back to 1904, when The New York Timesopened its headquarters on Longacre Square. The newspaper convinced the city to rename the area "Times Square," and they hosted a big party, complete with fireworks, on New Year's Eve. Some 200,000 people attended, but the paper's owner, Adolph Ochs, wanted the next celebration to be even splashier. In 1907, the paper's head electrician constructed a giant lighted ball that was lowered from the building's flagpole. The first Times Square Ball was made of wood and iron, weighed 700 pounds, and was lit by a hundred 25-watt bulbs. Now, it's made of Waterford crystal, weighs almost six tons, and is lit by more than 32,000 LED lights. The party in Times Square is attended by up to a million people every year.
Other cities have developed their own ball-dropping traditions. Atlanta, Georgia, drops a giant peach. Eastport, Maine, drops a sardine. Ocean City, Maryland, drops a beach ball, and Mobile, Alabama, drops a 600-pound electric Moon Pie. In Tempe, Arizona, a giant tortilla chip descends into a massive bowl of salsa. Brasstown, North Carolina, drops a Plexiglas pyramid containing a live possum; and Key West, Florida, drops an enormous ruby slipper with a drag queen inside it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Journal Prompt #1 for 2015

Having fun with a weekly Journal Prompt Challenge for the new year.  This is a very small journal..5 x 8".  So I decided to use a double spread for the first one.  

First Journal Prompt
 Of course we are free in this journal prompting experiment to decide how to respond to the prompts in our own way. How one prepares the background (or not) is optional.  I had seen a recent video of someone who put blue painters tape down and then used water soluble crayons for the color between the lines of torn tape.  I had not used my wc crayons in so long, the box was rusted shut!  (hahaha).

Incidentally, since the paper in this inexpensive journal is not heavy paper, I gessoed the pages first.  I used a palette knife to thinly coat them and let them dry overnight.  There is no way I could have painted on this paper any other way!  And the side benefit is that I could also "lift" paint off in areas that I wanted to.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun wc crayons are!  I'd forgotten!  Very nice intense color!

So then when dry, I peeled off the painters tape leaving white stripes and spent a little time lifting off some of the stray paint that had crept under the tape. I just used a paint brush, water, and paper towel.  With the gesso on the paper it wiped right off.

The prompt had us begin to think of a word for our first entry.  One word that we wanted to focus on for 2015 or at least for this journal.  
It was suggested we make a list of possible words first and then choose one.  (mine were Remember, Glorify, Collaborate, Memory, Narrative, Imagine, Enchant, Soul, Playful, Quirky, Eclectic).  

Finally I chose "Attentiveness" (which you will see is just also under the heading of my blog in a quote by Mary Oliver.)  Becoming more attentive then would be my focus and goal in this journal.  And in this 2015!  

The prompt suggested we draw the letters on the page in any creative ways we wished using the letters as "strings" in a Zentangle to define space and not necessarily in order to read it.  Then tangle or design  between the letters.  I would challenge you to even find the original printing!  And I am not through with the tangles yet.  

Finally we were to put the word we chose in larger print somewhere on the page so that it could, in fact, be found and read.  I decided just to type it on the computer so it would stand out.  

And to use found spaces on the page to write about why we picked that word and even list the words we didn't chose.  

I still have some room to write a little more about that.  
The prompt group is being led by Cherryl Moote and she has a Facebook group (now closed) in which the members will post. I do not know if the group posts will be available to non members to look at or not.  I will find out as I think the results will be very fun. I know there are well over 100 people in the group.  I don't plan to post this for a few days since it is really not finished.  

Some of the members consider themselves "journal virgins" and I guess for this kind of journal I am one too…although I have done wc travel journals…and I guess they count too.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Birthday card

Happy birthday to my hubby, Greg, tomorrow.
We are in SC spending the holidays with my sister and her family.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hot glue stencil day

here's one held up in my hand

12" x 8"

Okay so I've done this before…but these are larger and more intricate and complicated.  All done with a glue gun on parchment paper and hand pressed flat between parchment papers (like a sandwich) while still hot so as to keep them nice and flat and not too bumpy.

They are mainly to be used as stencils but can so be used to make prints. With the cost of commercial plastic stencils so high, these free form are very attractive and of course they are personal.   

And for people with short attention spans like me, they are wildly fun as they are almost instantly ready to use!  I have read on other bloggers posts that the favorite glue gun is Aleene's Ultimate Glue Gun (which comes with several removable tips.  But it is a little pricey so I am just using your every-day glue for these.  

I'll try some of these on my Gelli® plate this afternoon and post how they look.  (I can't believe my faithful blog follower, Mary Gayle, is still asking "What's a Gelli Plate?) If there is anyone who doesn't know, google "gelli plate" and find the home website for the company and watch one of their beginner videos.  Deli paper is not the only paper you can use for this.  Any paper will generally do..even card stock.  But deli paper is fun and inexpensive and when glued down it has some neat properties. You can get it at Sam's club cheap (or even order it on Amazon but it's a tad pricer there.)  

We finished up our Christmas shopping this afternoon and now I have some wrapping to do!!!  Tomorrow "should" be warm enough for the pool and I am anxious for a swim!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Card

Mono-print strip collage as a card w/envelope

I cut the mono-print collage into card size and glued it on a greeting card for my granddaughter's birthday coming up.  The envelope has a strip of washi tape on it.  It makes a very pretty and colorful card!!!

Gelli print combs

Comb Mono Print on Gelli Plate
9 x 5.5"

This was fun but I learned a lot I'd do differently next time.  After the paint (acrylic) dried I added highlights with a white charcoal pencil and shading with a blue colored pencil.  Then some zentangles on the edges but next time I'll repaint the edges a lighter color so the tangles show up a little more (I think).  You could also "cut out" the comb swirls and add them to journal pages or cards or collages.  If you did it on deli paper, it would be semi transparent.  This was done on 90# drawing paper.  

The combs were purchased at Michaels years ago (Martha Stewart brand) but you can cut your own out of old credit cards.  Just be careful not to make them too sharp that you will mar the gelli plate surface.  

Paper strip collage

8" x 10"
This is a collage of torn paper strips from gelli prints (on deli paper and other kinds of lightweight paper).  I sometimes use old music paper and book pages to paint on as well.  You can find them for penny's at garage sales.

The substrate is just copy paper because I want to be able to cut this into any shape I want after it dries.  It's glued together with gel medium.  (My favorite collage sticker-together).  

This is my first one but I have seen this done other places so it's not my original idea.  But because everyone's papers are original, they all look original.

I have been looking at some of the "print maker" and "collage artist" blogs in the past couple of days and you get "into it" after awhile.  

I signed up for Traci Batista's free Strathmore class that start in March.
She is somewhat of a "guru" in the printmaking and collage area.  I am also signed up for a CZT Facebook group that is going to do "prompted" journals after the first of the year.  

The above would make a nice "journal" page to work on with other medium such as printing with stamps or it can be cut into shapes.  I think I'd like to have a "cache" of these strip collages on hand.  Great way to use up some of the gelli prints that didn't turn out quite the way I hoped.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Well, some tangles are REALLY "far out" and this is one of them.  Besides it being Christmas next week it is also my hubby's birthday on 12/26.  SO because he is a train buff, the Christmas Zentangle train is just for him!  (Yes that's his face in the window!)  

Crazy as it is, this was a lot of fun to do. 
Thanks to metallic Jelly Roll pens!  
Merry Christmas everyone.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tangle A Day calendar in the Holiday Mood

I'm sort of squeezing these together now…continuing with the holiday theme and posting them a tad bit ahead as I'll be gone Christmas week.  

I am absolutely going nuts on Christmas week calendar entries because it's not only Christmas but Greg's birthday.
I'll probably post it in a day or so.  I'm afraid I got VERY carried away on that one!!! Hahaha.  

Then soon we are off to SC we to visit my sister and her hubby and our nephew, David, coming in from CA.  Lots of good food, movies, jig saw puzzles, card games, sleeping late, singing around the player piano and just enjoying family!  


Monday, December 15, 2014

Journal Cover

A journal cover I designed this afternoon using a gelli plate, collage, and stamps.  (The back is similar but slightly different colors.)

5.75" x 8.25" the journal has a heavy bendable lightweight cardboard cover stapled on.
Michaels had a sale last week with journals two for the price of one.  Hard to resist.  These are 50 pages and are only $4.  I'm involved in a journal challenge for 2015 and we have been asked to find ourselves a blank journal so we are ready to start.

I decided I'd feel much freer if I did not spend a lot of $ on a journal.  Free to experiment with no big commitment involved.  I have tons of journals that I use for watercolor sketches.  But I think that the kind of journal that I'll be working on will be a different kind of journal than that.  

The size seemed right for me too.  
I'll keep you in the know on how this project proceeds.

K.I.S.S. is Keep It Simple, Silly. Challenge # 198


Waiting for a chance to try a new tangle called Akoya…so simple and yet so delightful.  The challenge is just to do a "simple" tangle during the holiday rush.  

Zentangle Workshop in Orlando Paper

Am hoping for a good turn out for the Jan 10 workshop…my first really "commercial" venture out into the Zentangle world.  Taught lots of private classes or classes open to the public through art leagues.  But this is my first venture into the world of just plain commercial classes (offered through an art store).  And my first Saturday class.  

Meanwhile my "holiday tangle a day" calendar proceeds toward culmination.  Imagine…365 entries almost done.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Tangle A Day

Okay…I hope I didn't already post this one.  
I am REALLY out of order now.  This is last week.

Christmas Tangle a Day

I am sort of jumping around posting my calendar this month.
Sometimes I do a "challenge" tangle and have to post it out of order so now I am going back and trying to pick up a few of the 3-day tangles that I missed posting before.  Actually this is next week's tangles (just to confuse things).  My goal is to try to something a little Christmassy each day up to the 25th.

The tangle-a-day Facebook Group is already trying to think up how we'll do up the last day of the month which is, luckily,  on a semi-blank page…just the one day by itself…leaving us LOTS of room on the page to play!  WHAT to do!  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Blue Marble photo celebrates its 42nd anniversary

It was on this day in 1972  (December 7) that astronauts on the Apollo 17 spacecraft took a famous photograph of Earth, a photo that came to be known as "The Blue Marble." Photographs of Earth from space were relatively new.
In 1948, the astronomer Fred Hoyle said, "Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available - once the sheer isolation of the Earth becomes plain - a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose."
The photograph captured on this day 39 years ago was the first clear image of the Earth, because the sun was at the astronauts' back, and so the planet appears lit up and you can distinctly see blue, white, brown, even green. It became a symbol of the environmental movement of the 1970s, and it's the image that gets put on flags, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and posters.
The crew of Apollo 17 was about 28,000 miles away from Earth when they took the Blue Marble photo. It was the last time that astronauts, not robots, were on a lunar mission - since then, no people have gotten far enough away from Earth to take a photo like it.

Thanks to Garrison Keillor's daily blog for this snippet.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

TV Fun

Channel 98 is our closed TV channel for Hawthorne Park here in Florida.  Periodically I get asked to display my art in the park library and to appear as a guest on the "Art in Park" show with my friend Jane as moderator.

Yesterday we had a lot of fun as I also did a short demo on Gelli plates (mono printing) for everyone (that's what I am doing in the second photo).  Otherwise I get interviewed about my background, media I use and classes I teach.  I also "plug" events happening in our park that have to do with the art program.  We were on for about half an hour or so…very fun.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Diva Challenge: Dolls

You have to forgive me for skipping way ahead…but I already did Dec 7,8,9 and then the Diva's challenge this week came out with "dolls" as the challenge.  I couldn't get gingerbread cookies out of my mind.  SO I went ahead an put them in the calendar!  
I used watercolor and colored pens.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Christmas Pudding

Monday night there was a delightful orchestra/choral event at our community building in our Florida park.  It is affectionately called "The Christmas Pudding" because of it's yummy mixture of Christmas music delights.  

THAT did it.  Christmas started to come for us!  Such wonderful happy evening!   We went out humming happily. 

 My calendar for the rest of the week is shimmery full of trees because in our hall, each club puts out a tree reflecting something about what that club does.  The art tree is full of little tubes of paint, brushes, and colored pencils.  Photo to follow.  The main hall then is lined with 100 lighted 2' trees.  Absolutely stunning!