Saturday, March 4, 2017


We are truly living in troubled times.  A time where the state of mankind and the future of Democracy is being questioned.  The Country is divided by those who believe that their life will be better off by undoing years of legislation brought about by past administrations and by those who believe that America, with all its faults, is already the best Country in the world and only needs tweaking.  I didn't realize how much the division of our Country was impacting my life until I found myself being an activist instead of spending time doing what I love most...making art.

With that said…I decided to start a new journal.  I bought an 8" x 5" "hand-book" watercolor journal a while back with the intention of using it for urban sketching but when I saw Deb Weiers' wonderful  illustrations that juxtapositions clean hardline graphics with grungy, I changed my mind.  You see…I was once a graphic illustrator early in my career and of late have wrestled with blurring hardline art with the energy created by scribbles, splashes and dribbles of paint.  If I had accidentally dripped paint on a graphic illustration…I would have immediately set out to remove it!

To begin my journal, I decided to set some rules for delivery: The pages were to be used in a landscape format and the painting to utilize both pages.  Also, the spread would have a bold horizontal line of some sort, have collaged material and decorative lettering.  The materials used would be Faber Castell India Ink Big brush pens, pencil, fine permanent ink black pen (Uniball Vision), Uni-ball Signo white pen and watercolor.  Just a note:  The Big Brush pens do not bleed through the paper as they are made with india ink and not alcohol ink.  I also learned that if you are quick, you can move the ink around with a wet brush.  This worked great when blending small areas like faces.

Now…at first I didn't intend this to be a journal of my political take on the events of the Trump Administration but my first page kind of set the tone when the word "PEACE" appeared and then I wrote "went underground."  What was my subconscious mind trying to tell me?  Maybe, that I should record/preserve the events as I interpret them and happen to see them unfold?  To record for future generations the events as they occur and where no history book will take the time to tell the tale?  Whatever the reason, I found it exhilarating to just run with it and see where it takes me.

Besides the art that you see on these pages, I am creating a separate page of text to explain the event portrayed on each page.  The page of text will then be inserted into a clear plastic envelope (came with the journal) that appears at the back of the journal.  The journal will be a time capsule of sorts that will hopefully be found by an interested person long after I have exited this earth.

Can you think of other ways to create a time capsule like this?  Maybe a time capsule of your child's life or a time capsule of the many places that you have visited or lived?  I hope that you are inspired by my journal just as I have been inspired by Deb Weiers wonderful works of art.  Why not give it a try and tell your story?

Until next time….


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


OK everyone, I am going out on a limb and posting something that I saw at the Women's March Saturday.  I am not posting it for its political content but instead I am posting it for its artistic value.  So, if you are inclined to leave a comment that is political in nature, I may find it necessary to delete it.  Please respect that we all live on the same planet and need to embrace our differences...just as we embrace our differences in our preference for art.

These two ladies were painted to look like the posters by Shepard Fairey.  Head to toe body painting!  Aren't they incredible?  I wish that I had written down the name of the artists/art group as I would have given them the credit that they deserve.

Here are the two posters by Shepard Fairey that inspired the body painting. 

(Please note, if you wish to know more about Shepard Fairey and his posters there are several sites on the Web where you can find information.  I have not linked them here because it is not my intent to make this a political statement.)

Until next time...


Friday, December 23, 2016


As usual…I am finishing up my Christmas projects at the last minute and a few will just not get done.  Like the garland that was to be made of cork, wire, seed pods and beads.  I discovered that it was going to take more effort than simply threading a needle with twine and piercing the used corks and seed pods.  They need to be drilled! Anyway, I thought that I would show you some of my projects and explain how they were made. (Even though it is only two days before Christmas…maybe the techniques could be used for other holidays.)


Materials used:  140 lb. watercolor paper, rubber cement, watercolor paints and white Signo Uniball pen (for snowflakes).

  • Optional - Tape the watercolor paper to a board if you desire a white border around the edge of the card.  I made them both ways and prefer the look of a border.
  • Drip the rubber cement onto the watercolor paper in a pattern resembling a tree.  
  • Allow the rubber cement to dry thoroughly.
  • Once dry, paint the tree, background, star, ground etc. with watercolor paints.  I like to splash water and add salt to obtain a splotchy look. This needs to be done when the watercolor is still wet.
  • When the watercolor is dry, rub the rubber cement off the paper to reveal the white negative space.  I sometimes blot the card with a white tissue to make sure that there aren't any hidden wet areas. These will smear over the white area and ruin your card if you are not careful.

I have always been intrigued by the laser cut wooden ornaments but I didn't like the look of painting them with acrylic paint so I decided to doodle instead with a black Uni-ball Vision or Micron pen.  No need to seal first unless the slight feathering bothers you.  It doesn't matter to me!

And how about stringing snowflakes?  My string is 5.5 ft. long!


Last year I made a Christmas Journal from an Einstein Bagel paper coffee cup. This year it's Starbucks with pages made from Trader Joe's Holiday grocery bags!  
  • First, you need a Starbuck's paper cup with a cozy.  Mine is the medium size.

  • Next, flatten the rim of the cup to get an idea where you would like the opening to be…then cut the lip and bottom off.  Cut the opening on the right hand side and with the cup folded in half, even up the two halves so that they match.

Now, you are ready to make the pages.  Like I mentioned previously, I used a Holiday paper bag from Trader Joe's.  I first cut the bottom off and slit the side in order for the bag to lay flat. (Of course, you could use any paper of choice.  Pretty scrapbook paper, lined note book paper, or watercolor paper are other options.)

  • To make the pages, use the opened cup as a template and trace onto the paper bag.  Cut out the pages.  I wasn't worried where the seams of the bag were located as I knew that ironing them afterward would crisp them back up.  Also, I concentrated on the layout of the designs on the bag instead of where the seams lined up on the page.

  • Stack the pages and stitch them to the cover using a pamphlet stitch. There are lots of tutorials on line to show you how to stitch them together so I won't go into it here.  I used DMC #5 cotton embroidery thread which I first waxed with beeswax.  These can be found in the notion's department of JoAnn's Fabrics.
  • For the closure, I made a loop with elastic cord and glued it to the back cover with E-6000 glue.  I then covered it with part of the cup cozy.  I will eventually stitch around the edge of the cozy by machine but haven't gotten around to that.  Whew boy!  Time got away from me!  

  • I found the perfect rustic looking button, made a heart shape with the remainder of the cup cozy and hand stitched both in place (covering the Starbuck's logo).  In case you are wondering…I did glue the heart in place and added reinforcement on the inside cover to prevent the button from pulling off through use.  

There you have it!  A Christmas Journal ready to decorate and write about your favorite Holiday memories of 2016!

Here are just a few of the decorated pages….

Now..time to make my Pizzelle cookies.  I already ate a dozen or so and need to make another batch.  The recipe above is for the regular cookies using sugar and wheat flour but I make a killer gluten free and Stevia Pizzelle.  I swear...I did not gain a pound pigging out on cookies!  Thanks to Stevia!  Yay!

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Holiday Season and a year of hope and good health in the coming year…2017!  

Until next time….



Does this look like it could be a Christmas card?  Well…that was the intention but after I finished it, I felt that it was a little too weird to send to friends and family. After all...a card is a gift and as such shouldn't it be something for the recipient to enjoy and therefore, be a reflection of their tastes and not necessarily mine? Maybe if I change out the crown for a wreath of holly and berries.  Anyway, just a thought and maybe I will modify it for next year.

Finished collage

Now...on to making the cover for the journal and it will finally be complete.  (Only several years in the making.)  The cover will be fabric with a transfer of one of the collage pages and maybe some quilting. That will be a post for another time.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time….


Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Does this ever happen to you?  
You start a collage and don't finish it because you know something is not right.  
You wait for inspiration to come but it never does.  
Then finally inspiration strikes…only to take you in a completely 
different direction! 

I started the page below over a year ago and didn't complete it because the 
colors and composition just didn't "speak to me."  
I love bright's no wonder that the neutral tones just seemed blah!  
Also, I felt that the composition was boring because the oriental people 
are too much the same size…it needs a large focal point to add interest.  
Soooo…it demanded a "do over."

Soooo...out come the bits and pieces of collage material and before I know it…
I have completely transformed the boring collage!

Finished collage with added pen work.
transformed collage prior to pen work

That's all for now folks!  Thanks for joining me and until next time…