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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


When I wrote last one of the photos was of a blue and green background I had done. After multiple layers I realized that I might be able to do something with it someday, but today wasn't the day. I've been online and looking at magazines and I've joined a group and seen what other people are doing and I realized that I like light backgrounds, not dark ones. So I started over this morning.

One of the people I've been following keeps saying that you do not waste paint. So in addition to the book that I originally wanted to have this background for, I had two sheets already prepped with gesso that I use the extra paint on. So the book is darker, although light enough that I'm happy with it, and the two sheets which will become a small journal are lighter. From here on in what happens to the two projects will be quite different, so they won't end up looking anything alike.

Yesterday I went on a gessoing rampage. I prepped multiple pages in two journals. The small one you see in the photo and one with pages the same size as the two loose sheets of paper.

I also recognized that I need to cover the entire table. For one thing I do not have a protective surface large enough to work on the bigger journal with both pages showing, and I am going to want to do that at least some of the time.

And another thing I've learned is that it would be a good idea to have a lot of additional pages ready. I've now figured out why art journalers have multiple books. They are different sizes, they are made out of different papers, but most of all, they give you the opportunity to work on something else while the project you are focused on is drying.

Take care all.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Busy Week

This week has been busy with medical stuff. I saw my family doctor on Monday for a follow up visit on my asthma and my fibromyalgia. I saw her again on Friday because my ears had so much wax they needed to be cleaned. Wednesday was my massage therapist. Thursday was my dentist.

The real drama was on Tuesday around 11:30pm. At that point I'd been in pain for about half an hour. A little later I called my friend and when she arrived she took one look at me and said, "We are calling 911." So off to the hospital I went. I got there about 1am. On the way, the pain in my back disappeared. A little later the pain in my stomach disappeared as well. Didn't matter. I needed to know if I was OK or not.

They could not find anything that could have caused the pain, so I don't know why it happened, but I do know what didn't cause it, and none of the things that would have resulted in my staying in the hospital had happened. It has now been 4 days and the pain has not returned. I got home at 4:30 am Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday I mostly just sat. I had about 3 hours of sleep and once my normal time to get up had arrived, I just didn't want to sleep in although I probably should have.

I also did a lot of reorganizing in what is now my Computer Room/Studio. So I didn't do a lot of art journaling this week. But I did make some baby steps.

This is my very first journal page. It is rather scrapbook like, but I like how it turned out. I painted the background but all of the rest of the elements were from my days as a digital scrapbooker. I didn't make any of them, but they were all things I liked.

The photo below is from the first layer of a background that is going to turn into a small 8 page journal. The booklet will be very small, but there is no way I could have  handled the size paper that would have resulted in a larger individual page. Anyway this is a first try on this kind of thing and I think it would be a good idea to start small.

I've already put two more layers of paint and paper on this page since the photo was taken. It looks very different now. And will look even more different once I'm ready to actually journal in it.

I'm playing and I am having fun doing it.

Take care all.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More First Steps

I've begun the first steps in working on real physical art projects. I bought a 4 foot folding table which is now sitting  near my computer desk. It gives me a U shaped work area with the computer and desk stuff on one side and the art stuff on the other side.

In the past any art projects I did were digital, and I got very good at that, and at Photoshop, but there is this desire to play with real art materials. I had to hold off of that while my husband was still home. I could close down a digital project very quickly, but the clean up from paints and other wet materials would have been difficult problem. My health issues over the last couple of years also kept me in the recliner so this kind of stuff would not have been possible.

 I took this photo while sitting in the desk chair, but as you can see I've begun to bring the art stuff into the Computer Room.

Not all of it however. There is a huge amount of art stuff to be moved from my closet in the bedroom, and from other areas. I think I had stuff all over the house.

I am going to be pulling books out of the bookcase that I am now willing to give up. There are a lot of books I'm ready to release into the world. They will either go to Goodwill or to my local library, but I will need help to give them to the library so it is likely to be Goodwill.

Then I will have room to store the art supplies in what will become the Computer Room/Art Studio.

As you can see there is even more stuff still coming in. I'm calling a halt on any additional purchases until I start using the art supplies. I'll have a better idea of what I will be using and what I don't much care for.

I also have been doing some drawing. Faces are the thing I want to do on my art journals, but what I also have been most afraid of. But I don't think this one, which I just drew from my head is all that bad. Time to start adding color to these things.

Time also to do some other things. Today I want to make my first backgrounds. I have several sketchbooks, watercolor books, etc. and I also have some card stock that is loose. I'm going to start with the card stock, I think, while I catalog what else I've got.

I also have bought two video classes. One for drawing faces, which is where the technique I used on this face came from. Another is on drawing with pencil. I have one "chapter" on the face video to watch, and the entire drawing video. The face video shows 3/4 and profile faces and she paints the faces as well as drawing them. I'm going to need to watch the painting parts several times before I actually do her technique. It is a great video from Interweave by Jane Davenport.

I've got my new Roku box set up to show me YouTube videos. And I watched several mixed media and one face video last night. All three of them were quite long. I'm one of those people who learn by attacking what I want to learn from multiple viewpoints. Multiple books in the past, and now multiple videos.

Take care all.

Friday, March 28, 2014

I Think I Have Chosen a Direction

I seem to have made a decision about a direction.

 I have been buying books about drawing, mixed media, and who knows what else for years. And I've got a bunch of art supplies as well. Not as many as I think I need because I've bought still more books, a couple of downloaded tutorial files on two kinds of drawing, and a bunch of art supplies that are different from what I already had in the house.

I want to draw and I also want to do mixed media Art Journaling. I've known that I wanted to do those things for a long time. I was an art major in High School and in College. The problem was that I didn't like the stuff I was doing and didn't have a whole lot of respect for it either. After I left college I never picked up a pen or a pencil, and every time I tried to I discovered that I just felt awful and clumsy.

Instead I used both needlework and computer arts as creative outlets. I did digital scrapbooking for years until Joe got so sick I could not stand the idea. And I did very nice work. But it just wasn't enough. I kept buying books.

 Here are just a few of them.
I also took some photos of some of my art supplies.

I never had a full set of pencils when I was an art student. So those were fun to buy. And the Prismacolor pencils were actually bought for a quilting art project that I couldn't get to because of the Fibromyalgia. I did practice coloring on one of my sample  free motion quilting pieces, and they are an amazing tool.
 I did draw a few flowers from the How to draw a tulip. And it felt OK, so we will see where that goes as I go through the tutorials. The one already in the house is for what I call Art Journaling faces. I followed along with my first time watching the first half of that and sure enough I got a reasonable face.

The second downloadable tutorial is on regular pencil drawing. I need to find out how to get that after I finish here.

But I think my next hands on project will be to make some background pages using some of the paint I've got in the house and a couple of the surfaces I've already bought. I'd do that today, but I've got some gesso coming from Amazon and one of the YouTube tutorials I've already seen tells me that I need to put that on the paper first to make the grounds work better.

There are a couple of other things going on in my life that I have not blogged about. I bought a Roku box when I upgraded some of the television equipment earlier this month. I am slowly learning how to use it and adding channels. YouTube is one of the ones I want to add.

And I'm looking for a new church. My neighbor goes to one that is local and I went with her last Sunday and will do so again this Sunday. I was shocked when I received two "hello" notes on Thursday. Very pleasantly surprised. It is the one thing that my old church never managed. When I first went there I asked for someone to contact me for weeks, but no one ever did. And when I got sick they didn't figure out that I was missing for a very long time. I've discovered that I need a congregation that manages that kind of thing better.

Take care all.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Hi all. Today I did it. I sat down and actually used some of my art supplies. I copied a bunch of tulips from a book of flower drawings. The author says you learn how to draw (or how to draw again) by drawing. And I've decided to go with it.

It was supposed to rain, but instead the sun came out. I decided to go to CVS to buy a couple of things I needed since I had a 20% off coupon. I looked over at their art supplies (not much) to see if they had drawing pencils since what I thought were pencils turned out to be charcoal pencils. They didn't have any so I went to Hobby Lobby. Got the shock of my life when one of the two handicapped spaces was empty. I ended up doing both stores with carts and not with my walker. I'll admit when I got home I was dead tired.

So I bought a bunch of drawing pencils in a package which I have not opened yet, and found the Kindle copy of a book on DRAWING FOR THE ABSOLUTE BEGINNER, and my intention is to spend a small amount of time every day learning to draw again.

I'm also taking a Craftsy Class on Colored Pencils. And now that I've got the materials for that too, I'm going to start the exercises she shows in Lesson 2 that are intended to teach you how to use the pencils. I'm going to be doing some exercises with the drawing pencils as well. The idea is to learn how pencils of all kinds work.

Take care all.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


It has been four months since I blogged. I was still feeling pretty weak in late November and I was in pain until January 31st. That Friday I realized that I had had an almost "normal" day. There was still pain, but it wasn't enough to keep me from walking, moving around and even going out to shop. Each day after that, I looked for the pain to come back, but mostly I just kept getting better.

What I have now is twinges. And I've kept getting more energy. Both the energy to do stuff, and the energy to want to do stuff. Right now I've got the energy to start blogging again. So here is a beginning of a new kind of blog for me.

When I started this blog, it was about grief and quilting. Grief because my husband had died, and quilting because that was the creative outlet I was busy with. The grief has basically resolved itself. I still sometimes get the feeling that I need to get something finished up because Joe is coming home, but then I realize that no, he isn't coming home, and I feel sad for a little while, but then pick up the pieces and go on. There comes a point where you no longer think about the person you have lost first thing every day, and then life goes on, and sometimes you think of them, and sometimes you don't. I'm at that stage.

As for quilting, I haven't been on the machine for 6 months because of fatigue. And right now I don't have a clue as to what I would do with quilting even though I'm beginning to want to do something creative. I've been buying books from Amazon, but they have been all over the place. Still not sure where I go from here, but I've got supplies for multiple crafts and artwork, and it is time to DO SOMETHING. And not just think about it.

Over the next few days I'll be doing some tweaks to the blog itself. If any of my former readers are around, please comment.

Take care all.      

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another Update - November 24, 2013

I've been pretty sick, so I have not been blogging. But slowly, but surely, I'm coming back.

It is officially Fibromyalgia. I'm one of the lucky ones because Cymbalta works for me. I went all the way down into the pit mainly because although I thought I had Fibromyalgia, I thought it was a mild case. By the time I was in the pit I had the unrelenting all over pain that is the strongest indication of the disease, but until the last few weeks before I started on Cymbalta it wasn't that bad.

Or I thought it wasn't that bad.

Now that the pain is infrequent, I realize just how much I hurt and how much of the time I hurt.

The other thing was that both of the people I knew with diagnosed Fibromyalgia could not get out of bed, and I could not stay in bed because of the pain of being in bed. Mind you, I own a one year old adjustable Tempurpedic bed. Now I am more like they are. The first symptom to go wasn't the pain. It was the inability to sleep.

So I'm getting better. The first activity that came back was reading. The second was being able to do some really easy and fast cooking, mainly in a slow cooker. The third was doing laundry, which I was really glad to be able to do. I started going out of the house for more than doctor's visits. I started being able to go grocery shopping with a friend, and then alone.

And for the last week I've been doing baby steps towards quilting. Mostly, so far it was planning, and Craftsy classes, but right now there are boxes of fabric on my bed! The yellows are calling me. The last thing I need is a yellow quilt, but .....