Thursday, December 31, 2015

What's Next, Pure and Simple

I hope for all you that stop by that your festive falalala season was everything you needed and nothing you don't.
That may seem slightly cynical, but it's been, well, a little too much of stuff that I could do without. My sister is having a time of it trying to accept our brother's death last month and yesterday she had to put one of her dogs to sleep after a brief but mighty fight with liver cancer. After Craig's funeral, we agreed that we would check in with each other DAILY. This is different for both of us as I used to hear from her every four months or so.
That she's not in a good place emotionally gives me more to worry about and she's 2000 miles away.
Closer to home, I had the kids over for Christmas, an event we have not shared for about five years. It was fun, short and sweet. I decorated a tree for the first time since moving here, which is crazy as I used to decorate one for every room. Gil fixed our pellet stove, for which we are blissful, as it's been freezing here and the warmth is amazing. (In Arizona! For real!).
Gifts all around were plentiful and practical.
I am blessed.
It's time to take stock as this year winds down and we all look toward the newest of years.
I was crazy enough to start a challenge blog this year. The journey that got me to that point is fodder enough for a book. I really enjoy seeing what other artists create and how talented they are and hope more participate in 2016.
I have really liked meeting the ladies across the globe (for whatever reason, it's all women!) and how much they pack into Every Inchie Monday. There are the Zentangle challenges that I attempt not so regularly, and am grateful for their creators (there are many, but try here, and here and here!) and the effect the art form has on my psyche.
Indeed, playing with artist materials has been quite beneficial to me mentally (and covered my refrigerator with magnets to the point that you can't tell the finish is black).
Here are some photos of work that went into this week's TwobyTwo. The word for the day is, "white." I started with a concept that I've seen for learning more about brush strokes and personal style, without color to worry about.

Titanium White on
Hardwood panel
Only thing is that is 4 x 4. An interesting challenge unto itself to just stick to one color.
Then I pulled out some ephemera and odd ball "stuff."
Novels, receipts, barcodes, lace, paint, beads,
Glitter and various papers, foamcore
The center one is 4 x 4 and the others are approximately 2 x 2. The top left is my official response to "white," paper cutouts on a glitter paper. Let's just say they didn't want to stick together. A LOT of glue was involved! The same could be said for the lace one, too. The biggest one has a picture of an old lady flinging a car tire. Hilarious! For that one, I used paint instead of glue to hold everything in place.

A close-up:
Silent Night
Ink jet and Glitter papers
Glue and Sharpie
While I was trying to do the cut-outs, I drew more than a couple houses. And I got to thinking about the EIM for the week, "next," a dangerous thing. Thinking, that is. There's next year, which is about to become THIS year any minute, but I had more in mind "next door." Thus, here'e the houses next door, even if they don't look anything like a house near here:

Maybe I'll attempt another Silent Night. In the meantime, it's time to prepare for festivities to bring in the new year and to find out what's "next."

Additionally, the winner of last post's raffle is Wendy from England! Wendy, please send your address to: and I'll get your prize out to you!

Thank you so much for joining me here, following my mental meanderings and sharing your awesome perspectives. I wish you a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Un Poco Loco (Just a Little Crazy)

'Tis the season for a lot of craziness, isn't it? And that's what I was channeling when I pondered the EIM this week. The word out on Monday was, "locomotive." My son used to love trains in all sizes. His six birthday was spent on the Verde Valley Railroad. Another, much more recent, on the Durango-Silverton line. My dad had worked for Tyco a long while back and designed rail cars for some of their model trains. My nanna worked for the Pennsy railroad for a long time, affording my mother free travel before she married.
So I figured it'd be a piece of cake to dig up SOMETHING.
Not happening!
Which is why you get this:

I did some research along the way and found out Little Eva was the original singer of "Loco-Motion" and Grand Funk Railroad really got it out there, but I wasn't drawing anything of the sort. So, let's move along, shall we?

It's the TwobyTwobyTuesday day and the word I selected was, "sparkle," thinking I'd find all sorts of glorious options from holiday goings on.

First up is from cookie baking day with my daughter last Saturday, a tradition carried on by the MEN in the family. With the passing of my brother last month, my dad passed it along to me as the cookie press is getting hard for him to manipulate. Thankfully, my daughter did a lot of it as the dough is, well, a tough cookie. Really yummy, though. The recipe is a family secret and the decorating is a day-long project, but quite worthwhile. Now, to ship the results to family far and wide!

Butter Cookies
All those candy sugars really sparkle, as do the real silver star candies at the top of the trees.

I went to Michael's last week for some art goodies and came home with these:

OOOH! Pretty!

But my official response to the twinchie and the Diva Challenge this week is this gift to the world, a sparkly star ZIA.

And one lucky visitor will get the original. So leave a message and I'll pick somebody to send this little two-inch gifty. (Disclaimer: it won't arrive before next Saturday, especially by international post).  Meanwhile, I'm going to try to clean up some of this glitter I have all over!

Thanks for stopping by! I do hope you are enjoying the festivities and all the sparkle of the season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Guardian Angel

If you visited with me last week, you're pretty up to date on goings on. I thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers.

We've been busy taking underwater photographs at local swim schools. I do all the post-processing so my hands and my brain have to stay focused for that, which is great for the ol' brain. I need that right now. I'd share some of the work I do, but I have to protect our young clients.

I am continually amazed at how life and art intersect, aren't you? I love that there are so many parallels. For instance, at EIM the word of the week is "angel." Mine needs a set of wings, but he still is keeping an eye on me. My brother used to paint fantasy figurines and this one is about three inches tall.  No small challenge as he had 20-300 vision last I checked.
It's is the last one he worked on; I picked him off his workbench (Or did HE pick ME?). I have no idea who he is supposed to be--is he a character from history or the latest video game? I now have him on my dashboard to light my way and protect me on the freeways (And kick butt, if necessary). Now, there's a full-time job if there ever was one.

I just need to get him some wings, not that he hasn't already earned them.