Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Artful Week

  My life has been so busy lately that very little time is left for making art. Finally this week afforded me the time to catch up on a swap for the "In This House and Garden" Yahoo art group. I even had time to fit in a class with the fabulous Tim Holtz at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, Ma.

   The class I took was "Ultimate Alterations". If you have taken any of Tim's classes you will know how fast things move along. You sit down at your table, blink your eyes and before you know it, four hours have passed and something wonderful sits before you.

   The Pocket Swap consisted of seven pieces. Two ATC's three Moo Cards and two surprises. My theme was about the word Bliss. I seem to have a lot more of it now that the kids are in school and there is time to be in the studio and get back to creating. The above piece is the design for my Moo Card.

This is my design for the ATC. I got to play with water soluble crayons. Love them.

   These are my surprises. We could do anything we wanted as long as it was small. They can be worn as necklaces or hung as ornaments. My list of projects is long and now with a new grandchild on the way the list keeps growing. I'm a busy girl.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From a Woman's Soul
Through a Woman's Eyes
By a Woman's Hands

  Fall is finally here. It is without a doubt my favorite time of the year here in New England. I love everything about it. The smells the colors the whole package. The best part is that after nine long years of full time day care of the grand kiddies, they are all in school all day long and I will finally get back to those projects that have been waiting so patiently for me to return and get back to work. I love them to death, but let's face it, I am not getting any younger!

  I have some long overdue thanks and blogs to share with you. I actually won a couple of give-aways from amazingly gifted artists participating in Vanessa Valencia's Mad Hatter Tea Party! First I have to say that I never win anything so I was totally thrilled. 

  This beautiful painting comes from Lauren Startzman from Fair Rosamund. You can find her at Her work is so amazing. My granddaughter Kate took possession of it the second it was unwrapped.

  This fabulous character comes from Whisperings 13 who can be found at He hangs in a little birdcage in my studio and looks over my shoulder as I work. 

   This last goody comes from a talented cookie maker who used to take dance with my daughter many years ago. I wanted something special to put in the grandchildren's lunch boxes to surprise them on their first day of school. Needless to say these were a huge hit! Alyson Avoglia of Corner House Cookies makes cookies for just about any event you can imagine. They come beautifully wrapped and are totally delicious. You can check out her creations at She is also on Etsy.

   So now it's back to work and thanks again for all my special gifts. There is nothing like receiving beautiful things made by hand.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"A Mad Tea Party" part two


"But rabbit." exclaimed Katey Alice, "Why can't we open the door?" The White Rabbit explained to her that only the Mad Hatter would be able to open the door for her. "Where do I find Him?" She asked. He told her to go sit on the bench in the forest garden and close her eyes until she heard his mad and wonderfully magical music. Then open her eyes and he would appear.


She hadn't been there but a few moments, when beautifully strange and wonderful music filled the air. She opened her eyes and there he was sitting across from her! His music was so magical and she listened for some time before she worked up the courage to ask him the question she had searched him out for.

Mad Music

"Mr. Hatter" she began, " my name is Katey Alice and I have been invited to Miss Vanessa's Tea Party and I need you to help me open the door." "I know who you are." he told her. "Miss Vanessa has sent me to escort you to her Party. It is a wonderful party that happens only once a year. Come with me and I will show you the way."


He took her by the hand and led her back the same path that she walked with Rabbit. When they reached the party door it opened easily and let them in.


There inside sat Rabbit already at the table hiding behind a book. "Again Rabbit! You pop up at all the right places." She laughed.


The Mad Hatter , behind a book of his own exclaimed, "Well are we going to visit or help ourselves to all this deliciousness?"


And so they did. Round and round they went sampling every delicious treat.


Every bite better than the last.


After tasting everything, and feeling quite full, the Mad Hatter proposed a toast to their fabulous hostess. "To the lovely Miss Vanessa for such an amazing feast. Every year gets better and better." he exclaimed with a sly smile on his face. "Till next year, Miss Katey Alice."


And in the blink of an eye he vanished! Miss Katey Alice knew that she would have to wait till next year to do it all again.


A huge thank you to Miss Vanessa of "A Fanciful Twist" for the chance to be part of her Mad Tea Party. I have learned so many new ways to enhance my photos thanks to this wonderful project. I have also gained a few new obsessions! I can not tell you how much fun this was, for me as well as my grand children and the wonderful Miss Karen.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's a huge party!

Be sure to stop by this Saturday for a real treat. Miss Karen and I have put together a little story to help Miss Vanessa celebrate the annual Mad Tea Party! Our story begins at Miss Karen'S Blog, "A Scrapbook of Inspiration" then continues here. Don't miss all the fun. See you on Saturday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Project from week 6 from the "Artistic Mother"

This sweet little plaque is the project from week 6 in the workshop section in the wonderful "Artistic Mother" book by Shona Cole. The photo is of my grandson Dylan. Dylan lives in Hawaii so I don't get to see him very often. Luckily he is spending the summer with his dad (my son) in Virginia. My other grandson, Colby, and I are taking a train ride to Virginia the end of July to have a boys (and Nana) great time!

Love this project. One grandchild plaque finished, two to go!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

2nd Time's A Charm

Did you ever create a piece that just didn't want to be finished? When I made my card for the "Sketchy Card Swap" for the "In This House and Garden Group" there was something about it that I wasn't happy with. Something just didn't look right.The quote, which I loved, was too heavy at the bottom. The whole composition was not quite working for me. I agonized over it for a few days getting nowhere. All of a sudden out of nowhere, when I wasn't obsessing, this image popped into my head. After a little tweaking I came up with a card that I m completely happy with. I love it! I've stopped dreaming about it so I guess it's finally finished. Now when I look at the other card I think to myself "What were you thinking? It's all about the process, art takes time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Sketchy Card Swap

I am in the middle of a new project for the "In This House and Garden" Yahoo group. The idea is simple enough. Pick a card from a deck of playing cards and "sketch" a design for said card. This project was WAY out of my comfort zone. I am not exactly comfortable with drawing and sketching. I can't even get my stick figures to resemble anything close to stick figures. But I dove right in and gave it my best (?) effort. The size is small 1.75 by 3.5 and will be attached to a deck of cards. Each artist will do one or two cards and then make 54 copies to be divided and mailed out to each participant. Very cool, I end up with 54 amazing little works of art!

First I tried a Zentangle. Not crazy about it but I'll hang onto it anyway. Not sending this one in.

This is my version of the seven of hearts. I like this one much better. Simple and sweet.

This is my piece for the four of diamonds. I went back into my comfort zone and stamped away. I changed the bodies of the butterflies into diamond shapes. I think that this is a keeper. Like I said, this was out of my comfort zone, but a good exercise working in a new (for me) format.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The Artistic Mother" Project #4 (AKA a little art and a big festival)

Thanks to this fun project I now have a new obsession. BEADS! I love beads. I had a few just in case but didn't really work with them often. But no more! They will be showing up everywhere! They will now be up there with the tons of paper and yarn and fabric that I just had to have. I can't get enough of the gorgeous colors and amazing textures. Love it all.

I used a photo of myself as a toddler for the body of the butterfly. For the inner wings I stamped an image of a butterfly on the back of a paper that I wanted to use. I didn't want the detail from the stamp to show. I only needed the shape. The outside butterfly image came from the internet (free use) and was gessoed and stamped, glittered and colored with oil pastel sticks.

Then came the beads and the little do dads. I'm hanging this over my work table so that whenever I doubt myself , you know we are our worst critics, I can just look up and be inspired to work on.

You must check out Kristin's blog at "Twinkle, Twinkle" . Her butterfly is too sweet for words.

Earlier today I took in "StART on The Street", an art festival in downtown Worcester, Ma. It's one of my favorite things to do. It is celebrated a couple of times a year. There are hundreds of talented artists selling their work, music and of course great food.

I always look for one of my favorite artists Bob Aiello. His watercolors of the well known and lesser known Worcester landmarks are amazing. I love his use of color. It was the most beautiful day!

And then I saw this. I covet this really bad. I want to put one in my backyard to hide in! A veritable palace of solitude. A place for dreaming and imagining. Definitely on my list!

Hope your weekend was full of art and family and beautiful days. I just live for weekends like this, don't get too many of them so it makes them all the more special.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

bo bice

The most amazing performance ever on American Idol. Don't forget to turn off the music on the side bar.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"The Artistic Mother" Project #3

I have been learning so many new things traveling with this amazing group of talented women as we work together on the projects in Shona Cole's wonderful book. Each new project opens up new ideas and inspires new creativity. For me this project was learning to be patient, to wait for ideas to come naturally.

It is always amazing to me how an unruly jumble of art supplies can magically transform itself into such an awesome work of self expression. What looks like a pile of unorganized stuff is actually planned chaos.

This is what the pile finally became. It seemed to take forever for my vision to take shape. I had many ideas of where I might take this, but was never quite happy with them until last night. Suddenly i'm off and running, it just seemed to come out of nowhere.

I am so glad that I waited for the muse to come to me instead of forcing myself to meet a self imposed deadline. I am really loving this piece.

The little girl in the photo was me way back in Nov. 1956. It's one of my favorites.

It was so fabulous to use the handmade papers that we learned to make at the beginning of the workshop. I'm definitely going to be making a lot more of these.

It's all about goals. Those that you reach quickly and those that you work towards for a long time. Whether or not you get there, taking the journey is half the fun.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Project #2 for the "Artistic Mother" Workshop

It makes perfect sense that if you have a wonderful journal you need to have a wonderful tote bag to carry it in wherever you go. You never know when the muse may strike and an amazing idea may come to mind.

T'was a really fun project. My only problem was that after it was all finished I noticed that I had put the handles in wrong! Being the OCD fanatic I can be, I know that I will pull it apart and fix it. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon. It will make me crazy until I do.Until then Kate doesn't care. She just loves her awesome tote bag.

Keep on creating!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Perfect Gift

This past weekend my dear friend Karen and I finally got to see " Alice In Wonderland". It was an artist's delight, visually stunning with breathtaking color, amazing sets and costuming. After the movie she gifted me with this charming book.

She knows that I have been following the workshop from the wonderful book by Shona Cole, "The Artistic Mother" with my four year old granddaughter Kate. I absolutely adore this book and love sharing it and making art with my little artist Kate.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunshine By Kate

We've been working on many projects none of which are ready for blogging. I thought a little music might do for Artistic Mother followers. You will want to disable the music at the bottom to hear this.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Artistic (grand) Mother :
Project #1

The studio is finally dried out after all the rain we've had. I couldn't wait to get started following the workshop section of Shona Cole's book: "The Artistic Mother". I am taking my granddaughter Kate along with me on this fabulous journey. She is my little artist. The journal is to keep track of her artful journey. She is already a little crafty diva and wants to try everything. Yeah Kate!

My daughter and her two children have moved in with us after a rough divorce and we've been trying to fit three more people into our little house. My studio has been split in half so that she could have her own room. This week the wall between the two rooms has finally gone up so that I now have a dedicated space of my own again.

As you can see I have a real issue with being organized. I can't function without it. This isn't even the half of it. Maybe someday we'll go on a tour. Like I said, I have issues.

I had so much fun with the background papers. It was different to just play. It's something I've been working on for a while. Hopefully I'll find more time to play again.

Little by little the more that I worked on Kate's journal the deeper into supplies I got. This kind of chaos I like!

This is my finished project. A journal to keep Kate's progress as an artist from the very beginning and a record to help her remember when she made art with her Nana.

I would love to hear feedback on this project. Is it done? Is it too cute? I tend to stray to the cute side. On to project two.