Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Zentangle Apron

My granddaughter is getting married in October.  Much happy excitement in the family!  

So the wedding shower is in August and I am doing a family cookbook for her.  I hope the people coming are amenable to bringing along a recipe or two to share!  The directions for the cards will go out in the invitations next month.  I'll do the compiling and the typing in September and bring it to her at present opening day after the wedding.   

I wanted her to have something to open in August so I am tangling her an apron with fabric pens and planning the cover for the recipe book.  

Here are Greg and I holding her 23 years ago.

Walk-And-Draw Journaling

This kind of journal entry I call "walk-and-draw" journal entries.
These quick line drawings were done in a 5x7 journal with a PN Sakura pen.  I was standing while sketching...talking with my daughter Julie as we walked (ambled) along the road near our Northwoods cabin...discussing what we were seeing and trying to identify some of the plants we were seeing.  Some easy and other not so.  Julie identified a Sarsaparilla plant which I had seen but never identified.
(note corrected spelling from my notes.) It appears this plant is used for medical properties.  

There were two plants we noted but could not identify.  I'm still searching my wildflower book.  
I stopped to do a brief sketch of the neighbor's old pump they use for a name holder for their cabin.  I've seen it a million times but today it just seemed so old and lovely that I had to add it.

We also found what we think is a "white milkweed" and at least 20 tiny Monarch caterpillars on each plant...less than an inch long!  Must have JUST hatched.  I never would have noticed this if I wasn't walking slowly with my daughter and my sketchbook.  How lovely and amazing is that.

So how are you feeling about happenstances that change thinking?  Or change the course of your thinking? Or coincidences that just seem (at the time or later) to have impacted your life in small but sometimes amazing ways?  Perhaps opening new doors or allowing you to change your mind or even making you wonder about the "magic" in your life?  It's a topic my daughter and I have been exploring. It certainly fits with my journey to "pay attention".  

See Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicicity by Robert Moss.  

So tonight around 7 a storm blew up on the lakeside and we had about half an hour of wind and rain which has now moved off, leaving everything dripping and the temperature down.  Julie and I are curled up on the porch doing a jig saw puzzle, reading, and chatting. She has to leave tomorrow.  Sigh. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice

Today is the summer solstice...June 21.  Longest day of the year.

After a wet and very cool start to our summer here in the Northwoods...we are going to have some sunshine today and a high of 75.  It seems the lake is quite still today (I love windless days best).  However, I do add that some breezes do help to keep the mosquitos at bay.  So you have keep that in mind.

My walks along the roadsides show places where there is more sunshine and there the lovely Columbine have burst forth.  I think they are the most jewel like of all the Northwoods flowers.  The sketch above is on a Strathmore Multi Media sketchbook.  9 x 12. 

The Canada Mayflowers are slowly disappearing now as the summer comes on.  Blueberries and black raspberries will be ripening in July.  And I have never seen so many False Solomon Seal flowers.  

Below are just a few short sketches done on different days in my Birns and Stillman notebook.  Places we have eaten out...4 from church services in different spots..and the last a begonia plant that was on the table where we went to a church study group last Tuesday morning.  

I have tons of company coming this evening so I have a big lasagne to put together AND a cake to bake.  I am pleased the rain has pushed off to Sunday now so we may get at least one good weekend day!  Not hot...but in the 70s.  No weather whining today.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Swirl Zentangle Demo

Preparation for the Zentangle® class that will be held next Wed evening.  One of the things that I like to talk to students about is versatility of the tangles. Everything on these two pages are all variations on the same tangle "Swirl". 

All are varied by size, detail work, spacing, shading, etc.  The final example is on a classic 3.5" tile.  

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Admiring the Tiny Flowers of Early Spring in the Northwoods

A watchful eye in the northern part of Wisconsin bring a few little jewel flowers into view.  In southern WI where I spent much of life...the spring wild flowers are bountiful...trillium and bluebell and jack in the pulpit.  But up here the summers are so short and the snows last so long and temperatures are never flagrantly warm.  So the wild flowers have a tougher time.  And it's SO shady in the forest that they have a very short window of time.  

What I find is rarely wildly colored in spring.  One exception is the pinkish violet moss flox that appears right about now and spreads like ground cover usually along the roadsides (verges) where there is the most sun.   

I get some lily of the valley but these are not strictly wild.  They were planted from original flowers taken from our beloved Seven Mile House in southern WI before we sold it more than 20 years ago now.  Like old friends that pop up "just to say hi".  Greg brought a few iris that may have been from there too and they pop up for a few weeks in June out by the road in the sun too.  

The true wildflowers in our woods are the star flowers and the foam flowers...tiny white little jewels.  They are quite prolific right now.  And a few wild strawberries on the lakeside of the cabin which if they bear any fruit later, get eaten by the birds and chipmunks.  

The tiny bowl in which they reside is a gift from an old old friend now long gone.  Jean Morgan.  Old friends and family will recognize the name.  Jean and her husband, Bill, lived in a big old house on the Yerkes Observatory grounds where Bill was a resident professor of astronomy.  Jean was a retired professor of education in Chicago when I met her.  She and Bill loved nature and particular flowers.  This little bowl was particularly suited for tiny flowers...just a few inches in diameter with a tiny little turtle in the center to hold the stems.  The cabin is just the place for it.  

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Summer Fun

My "littles" are progressing along this week...A cup of cocoa indicates we had a frost warning.  So I painted one of my favorite cups full. BRRRR.  But now this week we are in the 80s.  (It is so confusing up here.)

Two books included...one on art and one is the book PBS is using for it's monthly read along...a science fiction book called The Fifth Season.  It's fascinating but dark. 

Then Greg got hit in the head while working in the annex!  OH boy. Luckily not too serious.  
There is a bottle of my new alcohol inks.  And I planted my geraniums yesterday.  

My first alcohol ink fun splatter painting.  First off I don't have some of the "suggested" supplies which include 90+% alcohol.  Mine is only 70% so when I get that corrected it will help.  Also many of the videos include the solution that helps to move the ink around a little better.  I probably should get some of that too.  I only had 3 colors to start but have now received 3 more colors I ordered so that should involve more experimenting ahead! 
I played around adding some ink embellishments after it was dry.  

They make interesting and colorful greeting cards.  I did spray a clear coat over them before making the cards.  

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Boulder Junction Sketching

So much fun to have a warm day again up here in the Northwoods.
We got to 80!  Wow.  Although it was still cooler in the morning when the Northwoods group met near the Manitowish River to sketch.  

I sat on the bridge but there were many options.  Some of the ponds were quieter.  But this was a roaring tumbling bit of river as there has been so much rain up here.  People were out biking and we saw someone putting in kayaks farther down river.  I may use the blank spot left for comments or just sketch my bag.  

We went out to lunch in the town of Boulder Junction at a nice little hamburger place called Boulder Beer Bar (although no one had beer this time around).  

Saturday, June 1, 2019

North woods Summer

Today I had a an hour or so in my Northwoods studio and decided to freshen up the covers on the 3 current journals that I am working on.  I chose 3 prints from my gel plate and glued them to the covers.  Then I embellished them a little with extra paints.  Here are the 3 enlarged.
The option are endless.  And fun.  And it gives me pleasure to pull out a journal with the interesting shapes and colors before I even open it to draw or sketch!  

I got a chance to start up another page of "littles".  Left to right...Katy's yard in southern WI with her bat house, our bird bath and feeder here at the cabin, the window box I got planted in Friday, and my little hammer which reminds me of Greg and I  hanging a lot of pictures out on the summer porch today.    

It's taking us a full week to settle in...but that is normal.  Weather is up and down...45-80...you never know.  Hoping that June will getting a little more reliably warm soon.

I hear that it's close to 100 back in Leesburg.  That almost seems unbelievable now.  I wouldn't wish that though!  85 is perfect.  Hoping for that!  We are smelling the smoke from forest fires up in Alberta, Canada now.  We've had amazing sunsets due to the smoke.