Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Random thoughts April 26 to May 2

These photos represent what I call best of.  One was taken in Zion National Park and the bottom two are waterlogue app renditions o two photo's I have taken.

Last week was really a busy week, Bible Study, last day of Religious Ed, Pastoral Council Meeting and then Silent Retreat in Alhambra, California from May 1 to May 3rd.

Time goes by so fast.  I had a lot to do, post cards to make for a swap, Mother's day cards to make that I wanted to get into mail by May 5th; packing for two trips and continuing my purge of the house.

I really enjoyed the Retreat because it allowed me to slow down and just think and listen.

I will write more about the retreat next week.

Until next week, be well  pilgrim

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Random Thoughts: April 19 to April 25: I can no longer call myself a new artist.

April 19:

Busy day today between church and a meeting.  I love my slow cooker because when I spend time away from home, dinner is ready when I get home.  Did not do any art today.  Mainly relaxed after I got home.  Still pretty tired from yesterday.  The sun was really hot and draining on the walking course but I am so happy that I participated in the Relay for Life.

April 20:

Bible Study tonight and I spent a couple of hours preparing.  It felt good to answer the questions and reread the chapter.  I watched Wyanne's April videos (almost forgot about this class).  The technique and product used involved Pebeo Moon and Prisme Acrylic Paints.  I was really excited because I have these paints.  I took a class in January using the paints and setting them with 2 part resin.  I am not good with the resin because 1.  I am not the greatest with measuring and 2.  the smell is just too much.

Wyanne's technique used GAC liquid in place of the resin to set and give a good shine (woohoo).  She also said you can use spray varnish.  Be still my heart.  I will be working on a couple of painting this weekend.

Below is a picture of the painting I did during the class in January.

Pebble Moon and Prisme Painting
April 21:

Spent the day working on a candle for my MOMS new member for whom I have served as a prayer sponsor.  The candle is one that I lit when I prayed.  I had to think really hard on what I could do and the thought kept coming to me to collage with napkins that have butterflies.  The Butterfly is the symbol of MOMS.  It was fun and I blinged it up a bit.

I received my copy of A World of Art Journal Pages curated by Dawn Devries Sokol.  I am in the book.  It is both humbling and encouraging to be in this book.  I looked at each page and all of the art journal pages shown in the book and it is just amazing.  But what struck me the most was the caliber of the artist and the world displayed.  In this book you will find Jill Berry, Teesha and Tracy Moore, Jane LaFazio, Regina Lord, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Julie Brill-Molina and many more  These artists have been so kind to me and encouraging.  They are really talented and willing to encourage new artists.  Although I really have to stop calling myself a new artist, it has been five years since I attended ArtFest and I have been making Greeting Cards for over 30 years so I am a mixed media artist and it is high time I embraces it for all that it is worth.

Book Curated by Dawn Devries Sokol

Layouts in the Book - Page 209

April 22:

Decorated Candle
The candle above was decorated for Joanne, a new member of MOMS(Ministry of Mother's Sharing).  I have been her prayer sponsor for the past 8 weeks hoping that she and her group would mesh and that she would be spiritually uplifted by the Faith Sharing of the group.  

It was so much fun decorating the glass candle with a collage mixture of book pages and napkins with butterflies.  a little bling added to spice it up.

The candle was presented at the Celebration dinner tonight.  What a fine dinner it was.

April 23:

Started working on Pocket letters.  This was my first time working on a project such as this and it was pretty interesting.  My first step was to watch a couple video tutorials.   Since I am a visual learner, this step is really necessary.  Next step was to gather items to put in the pockets and start to decorate my ATC cards.  This was an all day project, and it was really fun.

Went to lunch with a dear friend and then a little dollar store shopping.

April 24:

Spent the first half of the day shopping at Michaels, Barnes and Noble and Sprouts.  I had a very limited budget so it was sale items along with a 20% off total bill coupon.  Had a great time and got some great buys that will help with the pocket letters plus some awesome border stamps.

Second half of day relaxing because I am going to a play tonight.

Oh the Play was a hoot.  It as a high school Play and these students are so professional and good.  It was a nice evening.

April 25:

JAMMIE DAY.  Decided to stay home today and finish working on a pocket letter that I needed to mail on Monday.  I cut my own ATC's and worked steadily for about 6 hours.  It is cold and rainy so it's really a perfect day to learn a new craft.  I have discovered that I really like pocket letters.  I have two more to complete by May 5th.

The rain is so refreshing, it has been a while since we have had an all day rain in the Valley.

I really enjoyed this week.......take care dear reader until next time...... pilgrim,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Random Thoughts: Week of April 12 to April 18: I am a Warrior

April 12:

I woke up this morning thinking again about where and how I fit in the art world when it hit me.  I have to keep giving myself permission to play.  I keep forgetting this aspect of life.  I have spent my whole life "preparing", wanting to fit in and realizing that I did not.  I was not the party girl, the socialite.  I was the quiet girl who drew pictures in her room, read books, played baseball better than a lot of the boys, wrote poetry and gave up the dream of being a writer because it would not pay the bills.

I was the teen mother who had to grow up quickly to take care of my child.  I worked hard and moved up through the ranks to a really good job.  I completed college at 49 and tried various crafts trying to find my passion.  I made cards but never had the confidence to try and market them.  I knit scarves with some of the most beautiful yarns and never sold them.  I continued to search and search.

But today, today was different.  I actually wanted to play, to just let go and be.  I went to my monthly art class and the topic was creating a mixed media layout.  It was fun to play, to try things that I knew how to do but always approached tentatively.  The circuit breaker tripped and the lights went out in our room but I continued working, splashes of paint here, rubber stamp there, stencil over there; finger painting,  just playing.  I am not finished with the page, I am waiting for it to tell me what it needs next and I know it will. In the mean time, I am mesmerized with the prospect of just playing and see where it all will lead.

April 13:

Started working on a project to make postcards.  They are little pieces of art and so much fun to do.  Tonight was also the first night of Bible Study and I think it is going to be very interesting.  We will be studying the Parables of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).

April 14:

The children in Religious Ed were great today.  Having a Hangman Tournament and trivia game to review their lessons has been so much fun. They are so engaged and have really learned a lot.  At the present time the girls are ahead by 2 points.  Next Tuesday if the final game, cannot wait.

April 15:

Worked on my postcards are coming together, I love painting the backgrounds.  I am going to work on more backgrounds in my art journals also.  I just love the blending of the colors, and I want to experiment with various paints.  This should prove interesting.

April 16:

I have a pen pal, associated with National Letter Writing Month.  I decided to put together a happy mail box to send along with the letter and it was fun.  One thing I have found out about the National Letter Writing Month project, you meet some really nice people.  We have to remember that it is nice to receive mail as opposed to always getting messages via social media.  Please do not misunderstand, social media is cool and immediate; but it is nice to communicate the old fashioned way.  I love the mixture and it is so nice to get something other than bills and junk mail.

April 17:

I completed the post card I made for the Love Notes project.  No picture because my buddy has not received it as of this posting.  I need to get back in the habit of portraiture I have been slacking off and that is not good.

I am officially behind on LifeBook and DLP.  So many projects to work on I am a little overwhelmed.   But I will get myself together and get into it again.

April 18:

Another Saturday......Relatively quiet day, a little grocery shopping and then a little arting.  Loved the day.

Well, that is all for this week.  Take care and be well.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Random Thoughts: April 5 to April 12 - Beginning of Easter Season

April 5:

Today I had meat for the first time since February 18th (Ash Wednesday).  Yes, everyone I made it taking one day at a time.  Today is Easter Sunday, one of the busiest Sunday's of the Liturgical year for me.  I served as Hospitality Minister for two Masses (8 am and 10 am) and Lector at the Noon Mass.  There were a lot of families in attendance and I wish there was some way we could encourage them to come more than once or twice a year.

The Microphone was not working properly when I began to proclaim the word.  At first I thought I was just not talking loud enough, so I leaned closer to the Microphone and talked a lot louder.  That was not the problem, but I did not want to stop and delay the Mass, so I kept on reading.  Half way through the sound was restored, whew.

I did not work on any art projects today,  just too tired.

April 6:

Went to Tuesday Morning to see what type of sales they had on art supplies.  To tell you the truth I did not realize art supplies were sold here until it was mentioned in a Ustream session.  Whoo did I find some great items.  The store on Warm Springs is closing and moving to 500 Stephanie in the Galleria area, I am happy because it is moving to one of my favorite areas.

Back to the haulage;  Archival ink pads, Donna Salazar mixed media ink pads, travel watercolors, beautiful napkins, scrapbooking paper, rubberstamps, 7 gypsies card stock, so many great items and really cheap.  I will be going to Tuesday Morning more often.

Worked on DLP from last week, I finally got an idea for a custom element.  I used a base of fiber paste to paint on.  One side was very textured for using acrylic paint and one side relatively smooth for watercoloring.  I have had this fiber paste for a long time and it was great to try it out.  I have to admit I do like it a lot.

April 7:

Completed week 13 of DLP

Custom Element

The prompt for week 15 was Custom Element and the element I used was fiber paste.  It is a film that feels like handmade paper and adds wonderful texture to the paper.  The left side is painted with acrylic and the right side is painted with water color.  I have had this paste for quite some time and in my effort to use what I have, I wanted to give it a try.  I really feel myself stretching.

April 8:

Painting a cover for another composition book and watching videos for Week 15 of Life Book.  Went to rehearsal for Confirmation Mass tomorrow night

April 9:

Attended Confirmation Mass.  I was honored to be a sponsor.  I met the young lady and her husband when I filled in as facilitator for their class.  She asked a few weeks later if I would be her sponsor and after prayer and thought, I said yes.  It is so amazing how the Holy Spirit works.

It was a beautiful evening with Bishop Joseph Pepe officiating a High Mass.

April 10:

Started reading bible study lesson.  Went to grocery store and then home to relax, the first real day of rest in 2 weeks.  I started to go to Michaels and shop, but, I had the feeling that it was really not necessary to shop at all.  So I just chilled.  Great day.

I have been watching Connie Solera's Take a Peek series showing some of her wonderful art journals.  She had many journals that she worked in then abandoned.  She also had journals that are in process, calling for more.  Viewing this got me to thinking....I need to pull together all of my journals, see which ones are completed, which ones are abandoned and boy was I in for a shock.  I have enough journals to last the rest of my life.  This led to a major purge and declutter session.

I also saw the very last end of the Hoarders and the lady said something profound.  She was really enjoying cleaning and decluttering because she was having fun.  She looked at each piece, relished in the memories and when necessary let it go.  That struck me as really good and I decided to adopt that approach.  So many of my art friends are decluttering and I have items that have been in my stash for nearly 30 (you read that right) years.  It was time to let it go and until midnight I did just that, what a release.

April 11:

Continued working on purging.  This will take some time-just completed phase 1 of many phases until I feel within my spirit that I am at peace.

I think this is also going to change the way I approach my art.  I have been thinking all week, what am I really captures my interest?  What do I really want to create?  I need to find me and not copy what others do.  This may take a while folks because right now I do not have a clue; I just know that I feel the pull to do more, be more, enjoy more.  This could be quite the adventure.

Well that is all for this week....it was interesting to say the least.  Until next week, still searching...pilgrim.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Random Thoughts: March 29 through April 4, 2015

March 29:

Palm Sunday, what a beautiful day.  It has been pretty warm here in the Valley, in the Low 90's for over week.  Spent the day working on my Sketchbook project, need to have it post marked by 3-31-2015.  Beginning to doubt it I will make it, there is a lot to do and think about. I chose the topic "Iconology" last year when I signed up.  What was I thinking?  It was hard to make the theme flow.  I think I have it now and I just have to get busy and finish.

March 30:

Busy day, helped to make sandwiches for the homeless and then a marathon sprint to the finish to get my Sketchbook project done.  Boy, sweat is flying everywhere.  Pulled out the 6x6 Gelli Plate and made some backgrounds.  It was my first time using and it was fun.  Papers are everywhere, I feel like a mad scientist.

March 31:

Oh my Lord!!!!!!  8:30 am and the book is done.  I really like it, it is a combination of drawing, tracing, stencil work, rubber-stamping, and making marks with stamps I made using sticky back foam.  I never dreamed that I would be using stamps I made, but it is true my friends.  I put a blob of paint on a page and looked for an image in it.  What fun.

Cover of Sketchbook 2015
First page, image of African Doodle
The above printout is an image found and copied from the Internet
Black Madonna Icon and opening overview
The Black Madonna with Child Icon was very popular in Europe and Africa.  This is a copy from the internet,

The following photos are hand drawn and/or traced from African pattern book.

Icons made on Gelli Plate and printed on paper

April 1:

The remainder of the book includes one traced page (the masks directly below)  and the rest of the pages are hand drawn Icons based on images found in African pattern books and on-line images, stencils, paint blobs and wash tape.  I wanted to try and see if I could draw the images and it appears that I can. This was so fun to do.
Continuation of Sketchbook

Gelli Plate images hand drawn

Icons are from Patti Tolley-Parrish stencil, pictographs

I made the images on the right with rubber stamps that I made using Sticky back foam

Gelli Print with stencil and quirky animal made from putting a blob of ink on the page and  drawing what I say

Another Blog Animal and Washi tape flowers

April 2:

I in a quandry.  I need to start working on my two art projects for the week and I an not really feeling them.  I am not going to try and figure out why, I am just going to roll with it and try to come up with something that soothes me in the process.  I really want to learn how to journal and express my feelings through art.  That takes digging deep within and I have been pretty resistant to doing that work.  Hmmm, this should prove interesting.

April 3:

I realized this morning that I am different.  Now this is not necessarily bad, just an observation.  I love art and love painting and drawing.  I love sharing with others and I feel that I have gotten away from my core, making cards.  I really wanted to learn (way back in 2010) how to make my cards little pieces of art, and instead I have pretty much abandoned what a love for the sake of "learning to be and artist".  You know, this is really quite interesting.  I am participating in National Letter writing month and it is fun.  I have a pen pal to write to along with a few friends that I will send cards.

So for the rest of this month, inbetween on line class assignments, I am going to create some cards and see how it goes.  Watch this space.

April 4:

Minimal Art done, I have just been too busy with church projects and duties.  Who knows what next week will bring, but now I have to play catchup which probably will not begin until Monday.  Oh, and I am still not feeling this week's art projects.  Oh well....watch this space.


This was a very interesting and busy week.  Holy Week can be that way.  Monday and Tuesday were spent completing my Sketchbook project (procrastination at it's finest) and then the rest of the week was devoted to church. All positive and all good for my spirit.

Until next week........stay cool......pilgrim

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Random Thoughts: March 22 to March 28

totally unfocused

March 22:

Whew, today was a really full day,  Teach RCIA class, attend a retreat, 12 noon Mass and Executive Committee meeting.  It was a joy to get home and chill, but it was a good day.  No art today although I did give some thought as to what I would like to do for week 12 of Document Life with is them of Focus.  I could take the conventional route and "focus" on something in the painting, but no, that is not what is coming to mind.

Fell asleep early, at least early for me, because I was just plain tired.

March 23:

Today marks the one year anniversary of my Friend April's death from lung cancer.  A group of us met for Mass this morning and then went to pray by a tree in Sunset Park that was dedicated to her honor. Then we went to breakfast.  I was a little worried about going to breakfast and what I would choose to eat.  I did pretty good, I ordered a yogurt parfait with fresh fruit, plain yogurt and cinnamon granola.  I also had orange juice and only drank half of it.  I made good choices.  That has what this lent has been about.  Making good choices.  Today is day 33 of no meat.  I have to say that this is major.  I have been eating veggies and fish about 2 to 3 times a week and really enjoying it.  We had good conversation reminiscing about April and just life in general.

Tonight attended the first night of the Lenten Mission at my church, St. Thomas More Catholic Community.  Tom Booth, a Catholic Song writer and spiritual leader is our guide.  I bought one of his CD's and am listening to the music as I type this update.  His is teaching about going inside, inside our heart to find God and myself.  He is an excellent speaker, funny and touching, spiritual and musical.

More tomorrow.

March 24:

I watched the week 13 installment of LifeBook 2015.  Juliette Crane was the instructor and presented wonderful videos about making Owls using her unique painting and palette.  I love her work, it is so rustic and beautiful.  One of the supplies suggested for the painting was bleeding tissue to add dimension and color when it is collaged to the page.  I did not have any bleeding tissue and did not want to go purchase any so I started thinking and came up with the idea that I could take white tissue and paint it with Dylusions spray ink which doesn't dry permanently.  As a result, if you wet it reactivates the paint and "bleeds".  I have to say that I am really happy with idea.

Tonight I attended the second night of the Lenten Mission.  The topic was Listening to the urgings of the Holy Spirit. In order to really hear and understand, you have to learn how to go within.  It is not always easy to do, but it is really necessary.  Tom said that most of the time this inner discovery can be painful because we have buried to much inside.

During lent I have spent a lot of time in silence, not turning on the TV until later in the day.  As a result I have been able to spend time in reflection and devotion.  It has been most helpful and peaceful.

Painted white tissue paper - small swatches

Painted tissue paper - large sheet

background for painting of Owls.

March 25:

Attended the last night of the Lenten Mission.  The topic was the Art of Prayer.  Discovering your passion or artistic vocation and turning it into prayer.  Tom Booth is a musician so for him the Art of Prayer is his music.  We had a concert with songs he had written which were indeed prayers.  Oh what a great time we had.

There are two things I love to do, write and paint, my goal for the rest of this year is to listen to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and discover how I can turn what I love to do into prayer.  This should make for an interesting rest of the year.

March 26:

Worked on my lifebook painting.  I am not a fast painter, but that is ok.

March 27:

Lunch with good friend and then more work on my painting.  I promise I will get it done, but I keep thinking of more things to do and I am kind of slowing around because, if I am honest, I am not sure if it is good enough.  Some/most of the paintings posted are so beautiful and look so professional and mine, will it just looks folksy.  Still trying to wrap my arms around being a folk artist.

Finished my Painting.

Girls Night Out
Painting these Owls were so much fun. Because of the placement of the focal Owl, I felt she needed friends, hence girls night out.  They are all blinged up and ready to hit the town on a starry night.  My color palette is widening and I am getting more comfortable with using molding paste and stencils.

Thoughts about the week:

This week was really good.  Did not do as much art as last week, but I still had fun with what I did accomplish.  I have now completed 39 days with no meat, 39 days with no Chicken.  I bet every chicken on earth is breathing a sigh of relief.

All is good in the hood.  Until Next week.....pilgrim

PS.  I love comments and encourage them; however, I will not accept comments marked from Anonymous.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Random Thoughts: March 15 to March 21

March 15:

The weather here in Henderson, NV is fabulous.  Today I went to Mixed Media 2.0 Art Journaling class with DeeDee Catron.  These classes are wonderful.  You learn new techniques and how to use wonderful tools.  Today we used Project Life cards to make a layout on muslin.  We sewed the cards to the muslin.  It was a lot of fun, and I even used a sewing machine to set the cards.  This was a major breakthrough.  Now I just need to learn how to use my machine and start stitching pages.

Project from Mixed Media 2.0 class
March 16:

Finished Piece
The fabric was much larger than my 6x9 journal that I use for these classes.  I woke up this morning and realized that last summer I purchased some canvases covered with burlap and that would be perfect for displaying this piece of art.  So I stapled the fabric with cards to some music paper and then glued the paper to the canvas.  Put some lace fabric down the side and it is done.  Now the next time I go Hobby Lobby or Michael's I will get a frame for it and hang it in the house.

March 17:

Inner and Outer thoughts
This painting was done following the LifeBook lesson from Jane Davenport for week 11.  It was really fun and interesting to work on this project.  You had to print a face from a painting done in the past.  Use napkins and other pieces of collage bits to decorate the page; cover it with a light coating of gesso leaving room for hair and the body the lady.  I was not sure I could do this, but I just took my time and it turned our pretty good.  Jane is a great instructor and has such simple process for drawing the human form.  The hair and body are painted with Silk acrylic glaze which really highlighted the collage bits.

I am really learning a lot this year and having fun in the process.


March 18:

I spent today getting ready to teach a class at church.  The topic was related to the Sacrament of Penance and how it can enhance your life.  It was nice to be able to spend the day making final preparations.

Also made a trip to Sprouts, Targets and Staples.  I found some really nice duck tape for a new duct dori.  Sprouts is a wonderful market on the line of Trader Joe's and Whole Food and probably priced right in the middle.

March 19:

Beginning of DLP week 11 project
I still have to talk myself into working on some projects.  I knew what I wanted to do and then started wondering if it was good enough for the project and to share.  The theme was making marks with borders.  I watched a video last Wednesday by Barbara Joggles of Joggles.com demonstrating a new border stamp and I just had to order it.  I had no idea that this week I would be about to use them as part of my border project.  Anyhoo, I colored the background with yellow and orange neo color 2 crayons added clear gesso so the colors would stay true and added green and blue watercolor paint to the page.  Once dry I drew my quirky birds.  I was introduced to quirky birds in 2013 as part of a lesson by Tam Laporte in LifeBook 2013.  I love those birds.  

Since I had a meeting, I had to stop.  Hope to finish tomorrow

March 20:

Finished Page Layout
Today I finished my Quirky Bird Layout.  Ooo it was so much fun.  They are painted with watercolor and details are done with Posca Acrylic pens and Gelly Roll pens.  The border is painted with Golden liquid acrylic paints and the birdcages are from the border stamp set.  Let me tell you something, my book is kind of lumpy bumpy from other projects and the roller stamps did NOT want to roll resulting in bird cages all over the place.  Since I was determined to have those bird cages to complete my theme, they are on the painted border, on top of the painted border, over the birds legs and shoes anywhere I could get them to roll.  So note to self, use a flat surface from now on, but....it all made for a unique page.

Tonight was church again.  Lent is always a bust time for me.  The Ministry Of Mother's Sharing (MOMS) group was leading the Stations of the Cross.  Our theme was following the Women as they walked with Jesus.  I was one of the participants in the program and it was truly an honor.

March 21

Today was the first day that I did not have to leave the house.  All of my art projects were completed and I have time to prepare for the RCIA class I am teaching tomorrow.  The theme is the Paschal Mystery and the Sacraments; however, our Scriptural theme is Lazarus Come Out and rising from Death; the death caused by sin.  It was really interesting because there about 12 Catechumens (now called Elect) and Candidates that will either be baptized (the elect) or confirmed (the candidates) on Holy Saturday.  That evening will be their Lazarus Come Out moment.  They will be continuing on their spiritual journey armed with tools needed to assist them as they make their way though this world.  I love teaching RCIA. I learn just as much as they do as I prepare for each lesson.

Finished my prep early and relaxed for the rest of the day. Next week will be just as hectic, but I have to make time to create.

Well, that is all for this week.  Hope yours was delightful.  Thanks for stopping by and please leave a shout out just to say hi.

until next week.....pilgrim