Posts Tagged ‘art journal’

Silent Sunday

Attitude of Silence

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The Oklahoma City record for 100° or higher days in one year is 50.  That was in 1980 and I remember it well, we were living in Ft. Sill Army housing and were without air conditioning for 2 weeks with daily temps averaging 104°.  While hanging out laundry as soon as I finished hanging a load, I could go back and start taking down the first things.  They dried that fast.  This year we are well on the way to breaking the 50 day record and it is only the beginning of August.

I haven’t accomplished much more than catching up on the Criminal Minds series, which I just now discovered.  Guess I’ve been hiding under a rock.  Too hot to do much of anything and since I can only hobble around it limits my options.

About a year ago I twisted my knee and was told by rheumotology Drs that I should just use anti-inflammatories and exercises, that there was arthritis in my knees and not much could be done about it.  I did get one steroid injection, but it only lasted about 3 weeks.  Finally last month after my hip, ankle and foot started hurting too, I talked to my primary care doctor about it and asked for a referral to an orthopedist, the next week I was at the ortho clinic and the Dr is telling me that I probably tore the medial meniscus in my knee and was sent for MRI.  The MRI showed not only the meniscus tear but I have bursitis with a lot of fluid under my kneecap, along with the already known arthritis.  So in a couple of weeks I will be having arthroscopic surgery on my knee and am told I will be walking later the same day.  Looking forward to that, I’m tired of the pain and limping.

On to better and brighter things.  I have managed to finish 3 pages in my Journal.  The first page is about the Passages exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.  The exhibit was extremely interesting, Bill and I both enjoyed it.  Of course it would have been a lot better if I wasn’t constantly looking for a chair to sit in.  The exhibit starts with examples of the Torah and then the exhibit shows how the Bible has progressively changed through the centuries.  I highly recommend the exhibit and it is here in OKC until October when it will move on to the Vatican and then New York.  Click on images to enlarge.


Passages - Journal Pages


The next journal pages were inspired by Japanese woodblock prints.  Those of you who know me well, know that I love oriental things.  It’s kind of hard to tell but there are a lot of gold accents, but they don’t show up in the photo.


Japanese woodblock prints inspired


I don’t know, but I think the next journal pages may be a little too subtle in conveying the message. 😉   I was in the midst of a Fibro flare.


PAIN - Fibro flare

Hope everyone is keeping cool and well hydrated during this especially hot summer.
Carol B.


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Seems like we should be half way through summer already instead of it just starting.  They are predicting 100° and above temps for this weekend.  I will be in an air-conditioned house with a fan blowing on me.   With these meds I’m on I just can’t stand the heat, and if I go out in the sun I start itching and break out in a rash.  Oh the joys of Summer!  🙂

Since I last posted, I put a cover on my first hand bound journal.  But, for some reason have never gotten around to taking a picture of it.  I just used a favorite printed fabric.  I have also started a small daily journal in a spiral bound index card notebook.  It is just daily thoughts, small sketch or stamp, a personal journal.  Something to make myself do small art everyday.

There has been some reading going on.  I won 2 books from the Goodreads – first reads giveaway, “The Passage” by Justin Cronin and “A Cruel Harvest” by Paul Reid.  I liked both of them – my review/rating can be found on Goodreads.  There is a Goodreads link on the sidebar to the right.  I also read “Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris, another good visit with Sookie Stackhouse.  I am now starting the Maisie Dobbs mystery series by Jacqueline Winspear that Eve recommended.  So far I am enjoying the first book.

This past week I decided to try my hand at a hardcover coptic binding for my summer journal.  I used cardboard embellished with a paper napkin, rick rack, grosgrain ribbon and paint for the covers.  Mixed media paper (9 x 12) folded in half to make the signatures (inside pages).   I sewed the journal with nylon upholstery thread, the only thread I had in the right color that was strong enough.  It is a little thin but it works.  The finished journal measures 6″ x 9″.   I like making my own journals because they open flat, I can use whatever type of paper that I want and I don’t care for the spiral coil in the center of pages of a lot of the ready made journals.

Click on pictures to enlarge.


Summer Journal - front


Summer Journal - spine


Summer Journal - inside


I haven’t been doing much in the way of art lately, other than my ICAD (index card a day).  So last night I decided that I would remedy that and set out to make a background for a collage idea that I had.  I used a blue and a green Caran d”arche Neocolor II watercolor crayons and scribbled over the pages.  Then did a very wet wash  to blend the colors.  After the blending I shut the book and pressed down all over to “smoosh” the paint.  When I opened the book back up I was surprised to find what looked like a silhouette of a woman tussling her hair.  So instead of collaging over the background I decided to outline the woman, embellish with a few stamps and add a poem that I had (author unknown).  I wish I had taken a picture before doing the outline drawing.  Another example of starting out with one idea and ending up with something totally different.

Unexpected Woman

For the month of June our local animal shelter is waving the adoption fees for cats over 6 months old.  We had been thinking of getting another cat so decided this was a good time.  I made the trip to the shelter looking for a female cat, preferably declawed since Toby is .  Only declawed cat at the shelter was male, oh well.  So I’m entering all the rooms and it must have been nap time because there wasn’t a lot of interest in me.  Except for this one room I entered.  Immediately this beautiful calico cat comes up to me and starts talking and rubbing up against me.  It was white except for a little color on it’s head and a beautiful striped tail that resembled a raccoons and beautiful blue eyes.  This cat was large and I suspected also male even though most calicos are female.  Turned out I was right so had to pass on him.  As I was walking around the room this little Tortie sits up and acts interested so I picked her up and she snuggled under my chin and started purring.  Ok, my heart melts and I decided this little girl was going home with me.  Talking to the shelter worker I find out that this Tortie had been taken from a man that had too many cats.  A hoarder.  When we got home and I let her out of the crate she was off and exploring, checking out everything.  Totally fearless and loves to snuggle.  She made Toby a nervous wreck for a few days but they are settling in with each other.  Since our new little girl is such a spitfire we named her Ginger, for her ginger striped nose and her spicy attitude.  She is also an art critic.

Ginger - Art Critic

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Grand-doggie Josie. Watercolor in my art journal.

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Since I started taking the Strathmore Visual Journal Workshops, I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the “multi media” room playing with paints and journals.  I haven’t even unpacked my sewing supplies and machine from retreat.  Still haven’t finished the journal cover I started at retreat or finished the cover for the handmade journal.  Instead I’ve been playing with my art supplies.  The first page of the handmade journal is done.  It turned out really well and looks good when you see it in person, I just can’t get a good photo of it because of the gold metallic glaze I used as a final layer.

First page of journal - pic didn't turn out well

Then I decided to do a watercolor painting of Toby using the new paints I got for Mother’s Day.  It turned out pretty well, better than I expected.  I posted the pic on Facebook and Jessica commented that she didn’t know I painted, I posted back that “neither did I”. 🙂

Toby - Journal page

Since starting to work in my art journals, I’ve been checking out the blogs of other art journalers.  Some of them are teachers and post free tutorials on art/visual journaling, drawing/sketching, etc…    Whenever one of them mentions drawing, they also say, “Don’t say that you can’t draw, it just takes practice.”  So I have been practicing and also working my way through the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”.  The book helps you to develop and use the visual/perceptual right side of your brain, over the verbal/analytical left side. 

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Alot of you have heard the story about the 8th grade art teacher that on the second day of classes asked me to transfer to another elective class because I would be wasting his time and mine by staying in the art class.  Let me tell you I was one traumatized eighth grader and it was many years before I tried to do anything with art again.  Now I realize that the teacher didn’t want to teach art, he wanted students who already drew well so he could mentor them.  So now I’m sketching and practicing, having fun, and it’s for myself.  I’m not trying to impress or prove myself to anyone. 

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Our Mallard Visitors

We have new visitors to our yard.  They sure eat a lot of the bird seed, but it’s fun to watch them waddle around the yard.  The female eats the most and waddles all around checking things out and the male follows along behind her.  Toby loves to watch them even if he’s not quite sure what to make of them, then when he’s had enough he tries to catch them even though they are as big as he is. LOL
We have been having the craziest weather.  It can’t decide if it’s summer or late winter, one day it is in the mid 90’s and then like today it is the low 60’s.  Not good for my Fibromyalgia but I’m armed with pain med patches, there are days that I look like I’m trying to quit an extremely serious smoking habit. 🙂
This year I had a really nice Mother’s Day.  Kerry came down and we went to lunch and then shopping.  She bought me a bunch of toys art supplies, and Steven & Jessica sent me White Earl Grey tea in a beautiful tin covered with a gold foil japanese print paper.  So now I’m all set to play in my art journals while drinking tea.
I like my Strathmore Visual Journal with the watercolor paper, but I don’t care for the ring binding in the center.  So I decided to make a journal that would lay flat and not have any interuption in the center of the two pages.  Making my own book was so much fun that I can see me making more of them in the future.  I used 9×12 mixed media paper folded in half, 5 pages per signature and there are 6 signatures in the journal.  It was so easy sewing the signatures together.  I think it took as long if not longer to fold all the papers.  In the photos the journal doesn’t have a cover yet.  I have since covered it and worked on the first page, but since it has been so overcast lately I don’t have any pictures of that yet. 

Journal without cover


Journal open to lay flat

As always click on the photos to enlarge.

I’ve been trying to improve my sketching/drawing skills.  I found a book that is supposed to really help and I’ve been slowly working my way through it, there will be more about that in the next post.


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Wow!  I can’t believe it has been over 4 months since my last post.  This past winter was pretty rough but things are getting better.  I’m finally getting meds that are really helping.  Still have pain, but no where near like it was and less pain means higher energy levels and increased interest in playing in the room of good intentions.

I stumbled across some free online visual journal workshops being given on the Strathmore Artist Papers site.  So far I have been through Workshops 1 & 2.  The workshops have really gotten my creative juices going again.  I really think the first workshop should have been the last one, but I still learned a lot that I can use as my journals progress.  My journal is progressing slowly because I need to loosen up and quit trying so hard.  I need to just do, and not think about it so much.  Anyway, the first week of Workshop 2 was making stepped pages, pockets and extended pages, I have gotten as far as cutting the stepped pages and working on the first 2.  The third page is still in progress and is only a background, which I’m not totally happy with so I will still be playing around with it.

When I wasn’t playing in my journal I have been playing with wool.  Marilyn gave me a wool jacket that had been shrunk, the colors were great so I tried making a pincushion.  Then I made another pincushion out of a light weight wool felt, it turned out well and is pretty but the fabric is a litte lightweight.  Next I used part of a Harris Tweed jacket to make a pincushion and I really like how it turned out.  So now I had all of these pincushions that I really had no need for, so since Skrappy Retreat was coming up I decided to give them as doorprizes, except the one made from the bright red wool jacket, that one I gave to Marilyn.

Wool Pincushions



Canyon Wall

 Last weekend was the Skrappy Ladies Spring Retreat at Canyon Camp.  We had a lot of fun and Cathy did a fantastic job of picking the mystery.  I didn’t participate in the mystery, but I loved getting the email clues from “The Old Goat”.  The mystery was easy enough to have a finished top by the end of retreat but still be interesting.  It was amazing how different each persons quilt turned out.

Shirley's Mystery

                                 Patsy’s Mystery

Pam's Mystery

           Melissa’s Mystery – She was working on the larger size
                                                     Marilyn’s Mystery
                           Joann’s Mystery
                              Jean’s Mystery
                            Diane’s Mystery
                           Colleen’s Mystery

Cathy's Mystery

                                               Carol J’s Mystery
There were a few people working on other projects after they finished the mystery.  I’m sorry but I don’t remember the names of the quilt patterns.
                                                           Patsy’s Quilt
                                                                 Jean’s Quilt
                                                       Shirley’s Woven Hearts
I worked on a journal cover instead of the mystery.  It needs some adjustments and a little more embellishing, so I will show it in a future post.
Everyone had a great time at retreat, and a few who shall remain nameless stayed up until the wee hours of the morning visiting.  Even though it takes a few days to recover, our retreats are worth it.
There can’t be a post without The Boss.  Over the winter, Bill made a place where Toby could hide and watch the birds.  It was one of the patio chairs with some brush around it, and Toby would hide under the chair.  The poor thing would never survive on his own, he gets too excited and starts chattering and wiggling until he scares the birds away.  On one sunny day Toby decided to lay on top of the chair and gets some sun.
                                            Toby – The Boss
Maybe the pictures and captions will stay put.  WordPress isn’t playing nice today with photo loading.
Hope to start posting again on a fairly regular basis.  Thanks for visiting.

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