Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Arriving at our north woods cabin

French Camp, MS  Moleskin sketch book

We had a wonderful cross country trip from central FL to northern WI and we could sleep for a week now!  But no rest for the wicked and we are busy unpacking and trying to "open" the north woods cabin which is no small task!  

And the next task is also not one for sissies!

So this is the first order of business…a new pump for our shallow well.  Yikes.  This is the old one that served us so well for over 40 years! (with tank beside it).

And  this is the well pit where it was and the new one will be installed.  How fun is this!!!? Working in a pit?  Oh boy.
AND just to make things worse, there is no water in the house until this gets done!  OH boy.  

Wish us luck on this task!!!  AND soon.

Art is on hold for a bit longer yet.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Relaxing With Less Stress

8.5 x 11" on copy paper

Since all my studio stuff is either packed to go or packed to stay, I have these little down times between packing and cleaning and laundry, etc. and these Zentangle calendar pages have been a life saver.
You can just sort of "carry on" and my mind is very relaxed.
It's kind of funny to be working on October in May.  I'll be humming Christmas carols pretty soon!  :-)

Packing is stressful for me.  We leave on Tuesday for WI.  So this just relaxes me to no end.

And if a new tangle arrives while in the midst of one of these I just throw it in to see if I like it.  The one on the top left is a very new one called "Sun Sun".  I cannot remember why.  But if you look closely it is made of the number 3 printed in a column first one direction and then the other.  Very interesting.  Then over on the right side is one made up of the numeral 5 and one of 6/9.  

I expect my time to do this sort of thing to be limited soon.  
The last minute things are just that…last minute and you can't do them ahead of time.  Packing the car is a test of our marriage vows.  

Weather in central FL is HOT HOT HOT…95 again today.  Whew.  Greg is so happy to see 70s in WI.  We need a break.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Back to the Future

I know, I know.  Fall?  We haven't had summer yet.  
But look how great it makes you feel to look at YOUR calendar and, whew, what a relief…it's only May.  

In my "Back to the Future" calendar I am looking at this as just a nice excuse to make a Zentangle "collage" of tangles.  The fact that it's on a calendar is not really relevant.   Just enjoy.
I have put in several new tangles and then also gone back and enjoyed some old favorites.  

Big big storms here in central Florida this week and we have picked some 3-4" of needed rain.  But yesterday and today the winds and rain were sort of scary.  Big time winds!  Lots of lightning.  

Temps drop 15-20 degrees as the storm goes through and then rise right back up again two hours later.  With humidity added.  

Our trip count-down continues fairly smoothly. We've done this more than 10 years now so our check lists are fairly accurate although things change from year to year.

We will miss our little home here in FL but look forward to our summer adventures in WI and seeing our family again.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Diva Challenge: Using black

Using black in your tangles…
as part of a large group of tangles!

The Diva Challenge this week is to use black in your tangles in order to create a more dramatic point of interest.  This is Margaret Bremner's new tangle "Skye" and I think black looks very well with it.  

Faux Bontanicals

8 x 11 hot press Arches paper

This is not a very good image of my "faux" botanical painting.
For some reason the scan is shadowed.  I think I'll try a photo of it next time.  

The flowers are Bleeding Heart Vine that grow near our door here in Florida.  I actual blossoms are very tiny…about an inch long but they are exquisitely beautiful.  Bright red tiny blossom and pops out and then only lasts a few days.  

"Real" botanicals have to have a scale showing how much I enlarged the drawing.  AND even though I did use a magnifying lens, I know that I should have one that I wear on my face and then have better lighting.  

I also do not care for Arches hot press 140#.  
It is very unforgiving and tends to "pill" a little in a wash.
I've had this piece of paper for a long time and it may actually have some dampness in it.  
I read that most botanical artists prefer Fabriano hot press 300#.

Also once I made my initial drawing on tracing paper, I should have made more of an effort to compose the painting more.  I was just playing and trying things out.  I think the one little side drawing of the last stage of the flower should have been on the vine too.  I need to work on the leaf more too.  

I am in the packing mode right now and so I really do not have much time for this right now.  But it is fun.  I took some photos as well.  Some botanical artists keep their plants/flowers, fruits etc in the fridge so that they can keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible.  

So this is something to play with this summer.
There is a botanical course offered at Dillman's this summer that I am considering.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Margaret's new tangle: Skye

I know it's nuts.  Now I am almost done with August.
But it really doesn't matter what month I am on as long as I am enjoying myself. Love Margaret's new tangle Skye…which I really had to work on!  I am a slow learner on that one!  But it's worth not giving up.  I dropped a few words into this one, if you can find them.  

Gorgeous hot 92 weather here in Central FL.  But weather up north is not very great at this point.  We have about two weeks until we get up there.  I am crossing my fingers on weather improvement big time!  I know the whole upper midwest and Canada is cold and wet and icy.  

Is anyone having trouble with their FB account Sunday night?
I've never ever not been able to download a photo and it would not take any photos tonight…I even switched to another browser but it's FB and not the browser.  Wonder if it's over loaded on a Sunday night or something.  I'll try in the morning.  

Friday, May 13, 2016

Tangle over print with Margaret Bremner

Ink over print page…7" x 7"

Margaret Bremner just posted a similar piece..this is definitely HER idea but I decided just to try a sample.  She used a book page and I am sorry actually that I picked something with a bit of color illustration in the middle.  I don't think I'd do that again. 

 Although I am not sure I'd do this again anyway…:-) It's quite a bit of work.  But a fun little challenge…not all that different from my calendar work actually.  

I used Microns 05 and 08 on this so that the darker, thicker ink would show up better against the print.

Off to the pool for an afternoon swim.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The month to wait for in the North Woods

I am really looking forward to the month of July at the north woods cabin.
I heard that on May 14 (just two more days) it will snow an inch and temps at night go down to 29.  Okay guys…this is NOT funny…I hear you laughing.

It is 91 here in central FL and 29 there in northern WI.  
So do I need to say more?  ARRRGH.
Anyway this was a very fun calendar to do.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Diva Challenge: Drupe and Poke Leaf

All my calendars (Jan-June) are now posted on this blog.  If you are coming from the Diva challenge and are interested in seeing all the calendars Jan-June.  Click on my blog name and then scroll down.  With my limited time I decided to put the challenge right on the calendar!!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Graduation Cards: practicing font-making

Dean's card

Ben's card. 

These are normal greeting card stock from Michaels or WalMart.
Designing graduation cards for 18 year old grandsons causes me to pause.  

Flowers and hearts are out.
But I like the idea of BOLD color and BOLD print and not too much print.  Just the basics please.  

All the colors are watercolor.  Printing is inks and pens of various shapes and sizes.  Color blocks that go over ink are Tombow pens.

The money is held down with hand-made Washi tape.  I can do this because we will be handing the cards to the boys and they don't need to go through the mail.

Ideas from Joann Sharpe's book The Art of Whimsical Lettering.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A tribute to urban art

Journal prompt for this week…think about graffiti as art.
I didn't get any huge insight about this but learned a lot of interesting facts about the printing and about how amazing some of it is!  Greg and I see a lot of it on trains.  Lots of it I can't read but I can tell it's some code or message (gangs?).  Who else who stand in deserted train yards all night with spray paint?  

But some of it is actually commissioned work (on walls of buildings as murals) and some is in museums.  Rather fascinating modern urban art.  

Materials: collage, stencil, wc and acrylic and ink.  YES glue, and downloaded train image.  

It's gorgeous…I am going outside now!!! 

Diva Challenge in steps

Done in steps on a 3.5" Zentangle tiles.
Had 3 different groups posting 3 different tangles this week and I three them in together: Crux, Yew Dee, and Batumber.

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Special Birthday Card

Finished card front 
(sorry about the shadow on right top corner…it's not really there).

Inside of the card

Above this message is a photo of Greg and me to be sure Ruby remembers who we are.  When you are 98 and your friends desert you for 7 months a year…you can become hazy on who they are! 
We will miss her party on May 15th.   

The two "gold" phrases…"unwrap a special day" and "celebrate" are my first ever attempt at embossing.  THAT is totally fun!  

And the font-making is inspired by Joanne Sharpe's book The Art of Whimsical Lettering.  

Using Heart Offset tangle on a birthday card

Strathmore Blank Card
Ink and  paint markers

Helen Williams posted "Heart Offset" recently and I found it fun to do and it makes a really pretty card.

This one is for friend Ruby's 98th birthday on May 15.  
Happy Birthday Ruby.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

What if you were a tree? Journal Prompt.

Journal page on Strathmore Visual Media…90# vellum finish
Tangle in ink, colored pencil, glaze pen, collage, acrylic background

If you scroll down you'll see this colored leaves bit in a very different format.  Helen Williams did the wonderful tangles and I asked her permission to color and shade it in.  But Helen was actually tangling a map of India.  Really. Go back and look.

Connie…this background is the brayer wipe-off from our gelli print fun on Monday.  

Finishing up the 12 x 12 wc painting

12 x 12 wc and ink on canvas
"Reflections of the Art Fair"

I "think" this is the final version.  
I plan to paint the sides of the wrapped canvas and then spray the whole thing with 3-4 coats of clear acrylic.

The painting will hang in Manitowish Waters, WI for part of the summer.  (I don't have dates yet.)

All the paintings are the same size and are all $50 for scholarship funds.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Putting a touch of color on Helen Williams' map of India

8.5 x 11 copy paper with colored pencil and ink

When Helen posted her tangle map of India recently it just made me crazy that it was black and white.  So with her permission I colored it up a little.  Took a wee bit longer than I anticipated but I am recovering from some bug right now and so sitting quietly was good for my rainy FL afternoon.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Putting Tangles in Order

8.5 x 11 copy paper
with ink and colored pencil

Why I feel compelled to carry on into the summer calendar I cannot say except that it is very relaxing to tangle and it seems more useful to carry on with the calendar than to just do more tiles.  It's a lovely way to showcase the new tangles coming out as well as pick favorites that I want to revisit.  And I like being able to see them all at once.

In Evernote on my iPad I keep the tangles organized alphabetically so the majority of these are "e", "f" and "g" tangles simply because that is where I happened to start.  

Emingle, Ellish, Eyelet, Fescu, Frostflower, Florz, Fengle, Fiore, Finery, Fishface, Gewgle, Gingham, Funf, Flux, Foxtrot, Flutterpie, Ing, Gottcha, Gourdgeous and Hurry.  

I am wondering how I will display the calendar after it is done.
Ideas?  I could just glue the pages into my journal for this year.  

Life as slowed a bit here in central FL as temps rise up into the 90s and we begin to plan our northern trip and start the bits and pieces of the closing up ritual. Things we do ahead such as making reservations at B & B's and resorts and thinking about having visits with friends once more that we won't see until October or November.   We will host company now for a few days but then after that we'll begin to get a little more serious.
It's become almost second nature with us now after doing this about 10 years now.