Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In the mind of a valentine...

Due to a very sad change of plans today, I had some time to while away on art. Awhile back, I took a picture of me blowing kisses to send to my grand babies. I opened that picture today because I was sending it to one of the little sweeties. Then, you all know how this goes, I started fooling with it, then I started thinking about Valentines, making Valentines, look at that heart shaped face, needs to be pink/red for a Valentine, hmmm, I wonder...

what would happen if I did this, then this, oh now this...yes, cut it into a heart...scan...back into photos...too bad Photo Shop refuses to work ever since you upgraded the operating system, why can't you figure it out? maybe it's too old to be compatible, geeze that means buying a new version... wait! remember that little program you once got for free, magic hat, magic trick or something, where is that, look in applications... Ok...there it is! Let's see, oh! look what it does, forgot all about this, oooh, look at this one, checker board, hey can a star look like a kiss streaming out? No, it looks like a star. Ok, but it's still cool. Hey, maybe you can show this to the bloggers,

go ahead, you know you want to. Ok, ok, let's see...Firefox...Blogs....Art From Trails End, is that trails as in more than one or do you need an apostrophe like the end of the trail? ...upload photos, browse...ummm...what? Oh, the sad event? Daughter sick, cancels business appointment, baby stays home...oh sure, it's also sad because is daughter is sick...of course...just a bug, better tomorrow...are you sure...we could worry...hmmm

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An afternoon of art

Today was a gift. Several peaceful hours; just me, some scissors, paint and paste and The Eagles on the iPod. Ahhh.

What I've actually done is cannibalize a watercolor I made of a sketch I made of an ad for furniture from a magazine.

Of course, now that everything is all pasted down, I wish I would have cut the white out of the base of that little lamp. (Note to internal critic: It's OK, really.) Maybe I'll hit it with a little black marker.

I'm working toward a most yummy cardboard journal that Katie Kendrick presented in the Nov/Dec issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. This is one of those things that keeps me happily awake at night; planning and plotting how I'm going to do this. I've saved up many pieces of cardboard, bought some cheese cloth and now I' starting the art part. At the rate I'm going, I'll finish this sometime before I'm 100. Something I have learned, however, from doing art is that it's all whole, each piece in itself. Heck, I took much pleasure just reading about this project in the magazine.

In the course of working on this I discovered that a big old box of paints I received as a gift years ago contains oils (as well as a huge array of colored pencils, pastel crayons, and colored markers) which scared me at first. I overcame my I-don't-know-how-to-use-these resistance and squished some of these oils on my paper plate right along with the acrylics I'm used to. Of course, I got paint all over my hands and panicked about the clean up. I was prepared to trash any brushes that didn't survive, but I really cannot trash my hands!

How happy, as well as surprised, was I when most of it washed right off. I used the scrubby side of a dish washing sponge and, except for a few colorful nails, my paws are clean.

Now for some weird news. Several years ago I became aware of the phenomena of synchronicity. You know, seeing or hearing the same thing over a short period of time. Before about ten days ago, I'd never heard the name Xander. Must have been living under a rock or something, but I have no recollection of ever coming across that name. Last week I saw the name in a magazine, a few nights later someone in the news was Xander, and yesterday I started reading Stephen King's newest book (I am a huge fan) and there it is again. A character named Xander. I am aware of the neurolinguistic theories about this, but I prefer the school of thought that says when you notice this you are "in the flow." Oh yeah, I want to be "in the flow." Me and Xander, just flowing by.

Peace and Art to all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You Make My Day Award

Last week Katydiddy's Laura gave me the You Make My Day Award. It's nice to think our blogging can bring pleasure to others. So many of the blogs are entertaining, inspiring and just plain old fun it is hard to decide which will be the ones to pass this award on to. But decide I must and decide I have. To the following, I just want to say "YOU MAKE MY DAY!"Dispatch From LA, all that crazy stenciling, great photos and wonderful links.
Patience-Please, that doggie loving woman who has quite a way with words.
Judy Wise, offering art and words that I take to heart. I learn a lot here.
joyouslybecoming, such beautiful and tender words, art and photos.
Sandra Evertson, an inspiration and a generous teacher.
Days Missed on a Hammock, a visit here is definitely like being asked in for tea.
Creative Arts and Crafts, by wonderful Alison who always takes the time to let you know she's there with you.
Faerie*Dust*Dreams where Michelle always has something new for us.

I'm also going to pass this onto Randi, who started me on this whole thing. She is the accomplished artist who, I say in my bio, told me I could draw then taught me to make journals. Once upon a time, I could have had many art days with her. Now she's moved and I regret lost opportunities.

Now, I going to make some art!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winter in So Cal

Trails End Ranch is in glorious winter bloom this evening. We've had enough rain to coax out the tender grass and we've got a lot of plants strutting their stuff this chilly, peaceful evening.

The big fire 4 years ago burned the ivy from our hillsides so we've replanted with Rosemary. It's taken off like crazy, enough that I wondered if we should rename the place Casa de Rosemary! Here's just a tiny peek at these light blue, yummy smelling clouds. For a time I couldn't figure out why I was always hungry for a roast of beef. Then I realized that one of our dogs loved to disappear into the Rosemary and always smelled of it.

Here I caught the setting sun through the bougainvillea.
These I don't know the name of, but I love them. This bush just blooms and blooms and I can see it from my den.
When I lived in Ohio, I prided myself on the jade plants that I managed to keep alive in the house. Out here, they grow like weeds. This monster is on the front veranda. I never realized that they bloom until I moved here.

The green under the palms is a winter treat. As soon as the rains stop, this is all bare decomposed granite.

This patch of Lantana was also planted after the fire. This was filled with huge antique roses which burned to ash. They climbed up the wood posts and one of the reasons I am sure our house was saved by intervention of the divine is that there was not even soot on the posts.
I love sweet little Lantana. It looks so old fashioned.
I liked the way the setting sun put a glow on this Geranium.
And those old show off's, Bird of Paradise, are also doing their thing.
Here is one of those shots I love to play with. We are looking into the den from outside. You can see my favorite peacock lamp. I saw this in a catalog and wished for it. Seems my husband is more attentive than I ever suspected! It showed up under the tree last Christmas.
This shot of a gate motivates me to share a poem I wrote about the ranch awhile back.

The Constant

The grass on the pasture is high.
The ponies have eaten the wildflowers.
Come back in awhile
and see if things have changed.

The jet stream has slipped.
Weeds crackle the warning of fire.
Come back in awhle
and see if things have changed.

The draft horse’s hooves are thick.
He limps from trough to trough.
Come back in awhile
and see if things have changed.

Rust has eaten the last molecule of iron.
The corral gate hangs askew.
Come back in awhile
and see if things have changed.

Squirrel has moved the roof tiles.
Mouse is breeding in the attic.
Come back in awhile
and see if things have changed.

The last laugh line has joined a wrinkle.
A head is two hairs grayer.
Come back in awhile
and see if things have changed.

Each day the sun rises over
Houses, hills and hearts.
Come back in awhile
and see if things have changed.

lm 5/2006

Thanks for sitting with me for awhile. I have several painting and pasting projects in the works and I've been writing quite a bit lately. Now I find that, more and more, I'm itching to poke around with my little Canon. So much fun, so little time.

P.S. Katydiddy honored me with an award last week. I am truly flattered and grateful. I don't think she did this just cause I'm her Mom, do you? I mean, I already promised to babysit, no bribes are necessary. I think she really likes me!

Stay tuned, I'll be passing it on next week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm on a roll

First no blogging for days, now, what is it-3? in one afternoon. Well we're back from dinner and I was taking pictures out in the dark, I know a lot of you know just what I'm about here, so the camera was out, so I got pics of that beautiful journal I blogged about earlier.

Here are the charms I traded for at AnS that I put on Laura's journal.

And here is the journal. I love the color and that shell.

And here are the results of skulking around in one of my little "gardens" in the dark. My mom gave me this little fairy a while back because I read so much.

I'd better sign off. The Santa Ana winds are howling and I don't want to lose power before I send this.

Hope I don't wake up in OZ!



Ok, lets do it the old way.  Laura is and Randi is

I really think I know what I'm doing now so I wonder if something is just goofey with blogger.

Oh, for the love of Pete!

I don't know what happened, but I just discovered that when you click on Laura and Randi you come back to me.  I made some changes on my last post before I published it and apparently something got lost in the correction. 

So here is Laura and here is Randi.  (She said very hopefully).


Boy, I hate it when I've been away from the blog so long, and what is worse? I've been away from journaling. What I've got to share is nothing grand; the following are some pages I've made in the past few days.

My most talented daughter, Laura, gave me a small journal in a swap at Art and Soul. I started writing in it right after my BIG birthday, but it just never occurred to me that I could do art there as well. I know, I know. I've been at this long enough to know better. Anyway, the muse finally broke through and Viola! I've begun art journaling again. I have another altered book that Randi taught me to make as a birthday present several years ago. Somehow that one feels like it's just for art and maybe writing, but not so much for daily blah, blah, blah. Anyway, here are some of my pages. Just so I can still say that I art journal AND blog.

Don't you just love those little lambs. They make me feel all giggly inside.

This is a tea bag that I "painted" with colored pens. Her mouth sort of grew and grew during the pasting process. It was fun and I think I will try more. Lord knows I empty enough tea bags in a day to get lots of practice.

The journal that Laura made has a great big shell on the front which makes scanning an impossibility. I'll take a photo and post that tomorrow (she said hopefully). It really is a great little book and I love carrying it around. But then, you all know how creative she is (she said proudly).

This is a card that I made for a guy friend's birthday a few weeks ago. He turned the big 60 so I wanted to convey that he is a "Classic" now. The image is a bit blurry because it couldn't lay flat on the scanner bed. But you get the idea.

OK, I'm gonna go. Time to (a.) rattle those pots and pans and rustle up some dinner or
(b.) see if the husband wants to go out. Great minds do run in the same circles. He just walked into my den and said he wanted sashimi so out we go!

Peace and love all around.
Laura the elder

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Talk About Eye Candy!

Last week, my husband got a hankering to go to Pasadena and see the Rose Parade floats. We've been to the parade, but never to see the floats in dry dock. I was not expecting much, for some odd reason. I pictured a big parking lot with the floats, probably looking a bit tired by now, available for inspection.

Well, let's just say we are talking serious underestimation. It was great and even a bit overwhelming. First, you have to park about 1 mile away and hike in. Do not take this lightly, this is Pasadena of which we are speaking Pasadena with the big hills. We finally get through the gate and, WOW. At least 2 city streets are completely blocked off and the floats are lined up. So many people, so much color, form, so much everything! It was quite an event. I soon filled a memory card on the camera and was mighty glad that I'd brought a spare. The crowded conditions were the only thing that kept me from taking more photos. Although my husband and my mother were very patient with me and my camera, if I'd have been there alone I think I could have gotten some wonderfully weird shots of the crowd as well as the floats. I have art and journal images for days.

Keep in mind, every surface of every float must be covered with plant material; flowers, seeds, bark, moss, etc. The minute detail is amazing. And, they smell heavenly.

This is who I have become; I am over the moon because, thanks to my new adventures in art, I seem to "see" differently. And I most definitely enjoy differently. Just imagine, you are strolling through this 2.5 mile wonderland on a warm and sunny Southern California Winter day. Add a camera it's darn near perfect!