Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Finishing up a Zendala

This Zendala is about 8" across.
Based on one that Margaret Bremner posted probably a year ago…I started it out from the center like hers and then continued on.  Then put it aside and there it sat in a folder forever.

Packing up to head south next week, it surfaced again.  
So I finished it and now then that I would like to do something around the outside edge.  I am thinking of the tangle Akoya but it will have to be thought through carefully so I don't end up with half a tangle at the closing of the circle!  I am thinking maybe doing two "ripples" of Akoya between each point.  Hmmmm?

I will do a sample on the side and see how I like it.
Do you think I need to add a little spice of color in it somewhere?

We have FREEZE warnings in north central WI tonight.  Oh my!
Greg has built a lovely roaring fire in the fireplace so we are toasty and I have a heating blanket for the bed.  But the old cabin is not very insulated so we could not hang on for much longer.  Last year by Oct 3 we had a light coating of snow!!!  Not kidding. 

One thing when you have a fire like this is broils the humidity right out of the air.  So now I have the humidifier on.  (Note: Greg hasn't gotten around yet to putting stone facing on his little fireplace so temporarily I painted acrylic faux stones!)

Our count down to closing is going fairly smoothly so far.
We take off on Monday.  So I'll post on Sunday morning and then I'll be posting from my iPad which always puts very small photos up.  But at least you'll know where we are and what is up!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rhinelander Zentangle Class

We had a great time Saturday.
We finished up our morning by starting a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art).  We all got the same wonky houses but everyone did different tangles in different places.  They took them home to finish (color is optional).  I used watercolor and gel pens.  
Great last class for the north woods season this year.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Don't Scold Me

I KNOW it isn't even Halloween. So WHAT is this?
I am prepping for a Holiday Tangles workshop for Zentangle and so I am finding my calendar a great place to practice tangles. This is definitely a place to use color!!!  Almost any tangle can looking like a holiday pattern in red and green!!!

Full moon over the lake tonight…gorgeous weather up to 70 today.  Very unusual for September 25 this far north in WI.  Still not much color here…just some tinges here and there.  The leaves were falling all dried up with no color this week!  What's the deal?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Turning Our Thoughts Southward

Cleaning up paint and fooling around in the studio yesterday I decided to take an old used yellow manila envelope and decorate it for our trip reservations, addresses and etc that we accumulate as we travel south.  Hopefully keep me from losing it.  

And my Books R Us folder for my book club was totally falling apart. So I took another used folder I found and decorated it too.  On that one I put a coat of gloss varnish over the cover as that really makes it stronger.  

But I need to get serious and finish up a few projects now this week as it's just about that annual time to "fold up my tents" in the north woods of WI.  I just hate to think about it!  Sigh.  But we are 10 days and counting until we leave the cabin and head south.  My studio (once packed up) is a storage spot for lamps, chairs, games and puzzles so I sort of have a time frame here.  Sigh.  So I have one week until I have to be "out".  I do a lot of sighing this time of year.  

The last 3 days after the studio closing is a time scrunch of packing clothes and draining pipes and washing out the fridge and winterizing the washing machine, etc. etc. etc.  Same ole, same ole.  We have a check sheet.  We know the routine.  None of that last stuff is much fun though!  And it's a little sad to say good bye to the lake, the loons, the labyrinth, the forest, the boats, the happy memories.  

We have a nice itinerary for travel of visiting friends and family, and even seeing a blog artist friend if the weather holds!  Then off to SC to visit my sister for a few days.  It gets a little old living out of suitcases for two weeks but we know the routine.  

I teach one more Zentangle class this Sat in Rhinelander.  That's always fun.  Need to load up the car tomorrow night for that.  So then I can start with putting Zentangle stuff away first.  I have a couple of art things that need finishing this week and I have not posted to my journal now for a week!  Wish me luck!  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The best five of my 10 x 10 collages

It's going to take me a few days to "come down" from 4 intense days of class.  Jane Davies is a fun, energetic teacher who totally enjoys making art and sharing with others.  Her blog is on my side bar.  It is amazing to me how much thought and work and thinking and redesigning goes into an abstract!   All the papers are hand painted in acrylics.  Each person makes their own.  

I can't say enough about Dillman's resort and they made us all feel at home and kept the workshops running smoothly.  Good weather all days except today where it poured most of the day.  But it stopped by three so it was dry for loading stuff back into cars.  
Think I am brain dead tonight!  More reflections in another post.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Abstract Studies in Jane's workshop

So how this works is that we are now combining some of the "elements" from day one (shapes, colors, lines, etc) with some techniques like mono-printing from deli paper, veiling with white paint, overlapping and transparent see-through elements.  Scraffito and scraping (with an old credit card) were used in most of these.  

I don't LOVE any of the above but they are learning studies that will remind me of the way Jane suggests working in multiples. All are 10" x 10". 

We are now preparing to work on collages by making our own "hand-painted collage papers" with a variety of ways to think about these from size to colors.  Not quite the way I usually think of collage papers.  I'll post some of mine tomorrow.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jane Davies' class at Dillmans

Dillman's Classroom Monday September 14

Isolating "elements" in a design.
I look at these 3 ( out of maybe 10 I did today) as the three I like the best.  They are not finished, of course.  I also see them as mildly amusing.  That I could spend all day working on these and come up with something so simple and "unfinished".  Hmmm.

I was to find 3-4 elements and change them up differently on each 10 x 10" square.  Try showing them differently.  Mask them with a "veil" of white paint in areas.  Looking forward to tomorrow…as I float along trying to make sense of all of this.  

To be continued….

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Getting ready for the Jane Davies workshop at Dillmans

tissue paper prepared for collage….see below.

Notebook decorated for notes for Jane's class

Jane's book

Putting things together for Jane's class now.
Watched her video this morning again…gosh so many ideas in it!
Decided to try the crinkled tissue paper just for fun.  You paint a piece of art tissue with black acrylic paint and let dry.  The tissue must be on white plastic garbage bag.  When dry it peels right off.  Then you crinkle it and roll a brayer over it with whatever highlights you want on the crinkles.  (I used gold.)  Fun.

There will be a special dinner given for the artists at Dillman's tomorrow night.  Lots of fun ahead.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Tangle A Day Calendar
Well, another one of Margaret Bremner's wonderful tutorials…like getting a free book every time she does this!  She has one on Paradox and Cadent too.  How fun is this.  Thank you Margaret.
(You'll see her blog on my side bar.) Planning to work ahead a little here as I'll be in Jane Davies classes next week at Dillmans.

Weather has been like 15 degrees above normal here in the north woods for about a week.  Folks are complaining!  WHAT?  This is the neck of the woods that in about 5 minutes will be 42 degrees below ZERO!  And locals are complaining it's a bit muggy here this week.  Are these people nuts!!! 

I LOVE every minute of the muggy 80 degree days!!!  I cheer.  I throw off my flannel jammies and wool robe that I have been wearing all summer long by the way, and put away my jeans and flannel shirts (for a minute) and hike down to the pier with my wine bottle and sunhat and sit adoring the mirror like lake!  Basking.  WHAT a great word: basking.  

So this morning (Wed) it has dawned "normal" again.  Which means 50 if we are lucky.  BUT it is at least sunny and "crisp" which is okay too but give me 80 any day!  Still one starts to think of apple crisp and hot tomato soup and crockpots when it gets this weather again.  Pumpkins, colored leaves, school kids...You know…the whole nine yards.  

I just pray now that in the last 3 weeks we have up here before we pack up and head back toward FL, that the snow will hold off and the temps will stay above 50 for a bit…pleeze.  AND no complaints about "above normal temps".  Not from this girl!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hawthorne Park Watercolor Workshops

"I've Always Wanted to Paint in Watercolor"
3 Workshops offered to the Fine Arts Club at Hawthorne Park, FL

Monday afternoons 1-4 pm Nov 9 and 23 and Dec 14.
the Nov 9 workshop is designed for the complete novice…color mixing, paper, brushes, and beginning techniques.*

Bring $5 for paper and brush.
Deadline for sign up is November 2.
Sign up on the Quad or email Ginny at
This workshop is for Hawthorne residents only.

Supply List:
  • a 2B pencil
  • a kneaded or vinyl eraser
  • a water container (large cottage cheese or yogurt)
  • $5 cash for brush and paper

The brush we will be using is a #10 round synthetic brush that I will supply (no substitutions.)
I will supply paint for the Nov 9 class.

Workshop is based on Brenda Swenson's book Steps to Success in Watercolor.  I highly recommend it.  $10 paperback.  Check it out at

Class syllabus:
Nov 9: Introduction to materials and techniques.  This is a pre-requiste to the other two workshops if you are a novice. We will paint a small painting today!

Nov 23: Composition, Values, Colors: We will be painting a still life today.
Students will be asked to bring their own watercolor paints on this day.

Dec 14: Using hard and soft edges, working with light and shadow, using and saving white spaces.  We will be painting a Christmas Card today.  

*Experienced watercolor students are welcome to join the workshops on the 23rd and 14th.  Bring your own supplies. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Diva's Challenge: Zenith

Haven't posted my Tangle A Day for awhile but I am keeping up.
Today am doing double duty with Diva's Challenge of the new tangle called "Zenith" introduced this spring at one of the CZT trainings.
Didn't think I would like it, but I do!!!  Great border for sure. 

 Decided to combine it with my new stamp…adored it on one of my Facebook groups this summer and finally ordered one.  A ticket giving you permission to take a nap!  How perfect.

The fine print says "anytime any couch" and then on the other end it says "bearer is exempt of any adverse consequences accrued during nap"  Yup…wish I had more time to get a nap in but nowadays I seem to end up in the studio or at the computer or taking a workshop or doing errands…yadda yadda yadda.

I print these up and leave them on top of my guest towels in the guest room up here at the cabin.  

We are having amazingly warm Indian summer temps here…like 15 degrees above normal.  I LOVE it.  85 yesterday at the pier on September 5th WOW.  Weather gal says last night…"people have been asking when it will cool down so they are more comfortable". WHAT is she talking about!!!  This is the land of 42 degrees below  zero in no time flat.  AND winter lasts from Oct 1 to June 1.  WHY would anyone be in a hurry to have cooler temperatures!!!  It could stay this way until Oct if you asked me!  WHO is that woman talking to?!!!  :-)

Okay guys have a great Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tutorial on how to make your own Hand-Painted Washi Tape

I posted this about a year ago but several people have asked to see it again and these are better photos than my original post.

You need to select a nice "slippery" surface to put the tape on so you can remove it easily with no tearing after painting.  My favorite surface is a silicone baking sheet.  But I think the shiny side of freezer paper taped to a cooking sheet would work well too.
I lay the tape close together and paint them with colorful decorative acrylic paint using a brush.  Let dry. 

The fun part comes next.  Using stencils, stamps or mark making tools add all kinds of delightful fun marks.  These are mostly with my handmade stamps and some stencil work using a foam brayer.
Let dry thoroughly.

Peel off gently one at a time and roll up on a large "milk shake" straw.  It's a great way to store them until you need them. And the designs all split apart, of course, making interesting and surprising design elements!  

I use "paper tape" that you find in the first aid section of drug stores, Dollar Stores or WalMart etc.  

Storing them on the straws works very nicely.  

I did not invent this…there is a youtube video out on the web somewhere where I saw this done.  There are many different ways to make washi tape but so far this is my favorite. 

More stencil stuff and some Gelli print notebooks!

Practice to cut stencils

A friend recommended this technique for cutting your own stencils (Frances uses these in her journaling).  I had a piece of stencil plastic (from Walmart) to practice on.  These are out of order…really. I put the photo under glass and taped it in place and then put the stencil materials on top of the glass and taped.
So no need to trace or make marks.  Then used the electric stencil cutter (with windows open as there is a little odor involved). 

 I then stamped through the stencil with a cosmetic sponge stamper and some thinned black acrylic paint.  It might be fun to try some ink instead of paint in the process too.  I did then add some ink lines to the final piece in the middle.  That was fun.  

Connie wrote and said I should check out sewing and quilting stores for stenciling plastic too.  Frances suggested E-Z cut stencil material.  That comes in two weights and the lighter weight sells for $3/foot which is not bad but you do have to pay for shipping of course.  

I think I am going to have to join a recovery group for art material junkies.  (There is actual a FB group called art material junkies).  :-)  

My other finish up project today was to clear coat two little cheap notebooks I painted up with gelli plate/stenciling.  These cost 17 cents each at WalMart (these are like student folders).  
But I love them to keep trip info in and store art league newsletters and my book club info.  Etc.  

These are totally fun to make and wouldn't they make a cute gift for a school kid?  I mean send these to your grandkids!  They will be ecstatic.  When dry I do give these a coat of high gloss varnish and medium (Liquitex) to strengthen them, gloss them up, and keep the paints permanent.  

I do print the inside flaps.  I mean why not?
Gosh I love those iStencils!  

Okay off to make lunch…it's gorgeous here in the north woods today…sun is out and we'll have lunch down on the pier.  
Thanks for stopping by.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fun with electric stencil cutter…a new pen…and FUNGUS!

Electric Stencil Cutter

My first experimenting with an electric stencil tool.
They are very inexpensive (like $15) but you do need to use them carefully.  Operate like a wood burner tool…hot, hot, hot.  But slices through stencil plastic like butter!  So much fun.  Much to learn.  Like where and what kind of stencil plastic do I use???? Also planning where the negative cuts go is really very tricky!

Molotow empty pen filled with Golden High Flow acrylics
Absolute wonderful find.  Found on Jane Davies supply list for my class coming up at Dillman's resort on Sept 14.  This empty pen (very inexpensive…under $5) is filled with high flow acrylics and is just so cool.  Love the opaque paint lines.  I bought two pens and black and a white paint but may get a few more colors.  

Gorgeous fungus in my yard this afternoon..2 feet wide!
When it rains all day in the north woods of WI then mushrooms and other fungi appear like over night!  The orange is just amazing.  It will last only a day.  
This is rare Indian Pipe that we found last week.  So lovely and mysterious and ghostly.