Saturday, February 21, 2015

Random Thoughts: Feb. 15 to Feb. 21: Currently On Parole

Feb. 15:

Last Night I was accused of Murder.  Yep I was handcuffed and taken away.  Freed a few minutes later because I had get home and get ready for church.

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity of participating in a Murder Mystery Dinner, Who Killed Tom Dooley.  Set in 1959, I played the role of beauty Queen Tiara Diamond and her twin sister Hope.  Tom Dooley was my fiancĂ© (I dumped Chubby Cheese for him).  Tom had developed a roving eye of late and Tiara was devastated. I suffered a nervous breakdown from the stress and my twin Hope in a moment of rage killed Tom as he was cooking chicken on the grill.

I have to tell you dear readers, I had so much fun.  I had never been to an event like this before and really did not know what to expect, but it was something everyone should try at least once if they have the opportunity.  You will have a great time, trust me on that.

Then as if things could not get better, I went to Mixed Media 2.0 class today.  It was a great class. Each month we learn a new technique.  Today it was making mold and using resin to make ephemera to put on an art journal page.  The mold product we used was a 2 parter that when mixed together and roles into a ball became a source for making images with a variety of media.  We used children's wooden blocks and low odor resin to complete the process.  The mold mixture was placed over the child's block with initials in order to have a mold I could use for making the ephemera with my initial.  The resin is also a two part process and you have to measure equal amounts.  This proved be a challenge so something that should have taken 5 to 10 minutes to cure is still curing.  I am going to let it set overnight to see how hard it will get.

We painted a page that will receive the initial square once it is cured and painted.

WIP art journal page

my mold....isn't it cute

February 16:

Completed 2 page spread from class
Worked on my pages today.  Painted my tile, added some stabilo black around the words and the white tag and activated with water.  The "smudge" really adds depth and texture.  I like the outcome of this page.  I cannot wait until the next Mixed Media 2.0 class.

Today was a pretty quiet day and I am really starting to like these days.

February 17:

Watched the videos for Lifebook.  I am trying to watch them through before I decide if it is a project that calls to me.  I really like the one for this week.  The teacher used a canvas instead of paper and I think that I am going to use a canvas also.  I may try to use more canvases just for a change of pace.

Small Church Community tonight, conversation was exceptional.

February 18:

Today is the first day of Lent.  This is a time in the church calendar that I love.  It is a time of reflection and renewal.  I am trying to understand where the Holy Spirit is leading me as I journey through the next 47 days,

I was lector at the 12;15 pm Liturgy of the Word service.  I love being a lector and proclaiming the word to the congregation.  It is truly an honor to read the words and hope that somehow they will touch their spirit as the Lord intends.

February 19:


Today was a really cool day.  I visited a friend that is in Las Vegas on vacation.  I have not seen her in over 14 years.  We worked together at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for many years.  She retired in 2000 and I retired in 2003.  We reconnected on Facebook and the opportunity to just sit and reminisce for a while was a sheer delight.

The Midori travel notebook is all the rage now.  I have been watching videos on making a fauxdori and wanted to use my old Passport cover for the base of my faux passport size travel book.  I am going to spend a couple of weeks working on my concept.  Here's hoping it all works out.

One last thing for today. It is Chinese New year and I was able to go over to the Bellagio and see the Chinese New Year exhibit in the Conservatory area.  The exhibit has been on display since December and truthfully I had forgotten about it.  I do not go down to the Strip often, but I have decided that I need to do it more often, there is so much to see. It is like sensory overload.  But when you live 15 minutes by car or about an hour by bus (my mode of transport) away, you have to take advantage of it (did you hear that Glenda?)

Below are photos taken at the Bellagio Conservatory commemorating Chinese New Year.  I love these displays.







February 20:

Another socially active day.  BFF Velcia came to visit.  We live about 15 minutes from each other and have not seen each other since November.  I have been that busy.  Whew, I really need to slow down. So this weekend is a stay at home weekend.  I am going to try and have at least one weekend each month where I stay home and chill.  Let's see if it really happens.

February 21:

Jammy day!!!!!  Have some projects to work on today and it is perfect day to get them done. I am feeling relaxed this morning.

Had to write this thought while I was thinking about it.  I love watching PBS and here in Henderson/Las Vegas we have sub channels such as Create TV.  Today is a celebration of Chinese New Year and it is amazing to see places that I visited in 2013. It still blows my mind that I have been blessed to travel so many places in my life.

Spending the evening working on my document life week 7 and thinking about what I want to do for week 8.

This was a very busy week, whew.  However, it was really enjoyable.  Visiting with friends, working on art projects, spending time in reflection for Lent, and I am still on parole.

Until next week....pilgrim

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Random Thoughts: Feb. 8 to Feb 14--Poetry and Murder Mysteries

February 8:

Life's Highway

Life's highway is tricky, full of potholes and curves
I trudge along dodging deadens and detours.
As I make the journey I look over my shoulder,
just a quick glance
to make sure you are still there.
Because as I travel this long, long road
I often think how lonely the trip would be
without you.

For many years (from the age of 15 actually) I wrote poetry.  Some were just my thoughts and feelings and others were commissions from family and friends.  Life's Highway was written around 1990 and I have always loved it because it can relate to anyone from God to your best friend, to your spouse.

February 9:

Still working on my under papers painting.  There has been a significant amount of drying time.  This really teaches patience,  Today I added lines using Pebeo cane liner and then filled in the spaces with Liquitex Pouring Liquid.  I had never used this medium before and I was nervous, but I love the results.  You will see what I mean when I post the picture.  Really looks like glass.

This is a busy week starting with Bible study tonight.  Group shared great conversation.

February 10:

I am going to take a few minutes to vent.  I cannot understand why some drivers have so little regard for pedestrians.  By my own choice I do not drive, as a result I do a lot of walking.  This morning I walked to UPS  Store to mail a letter and then to Smith's to pick up cupcakes for tonight's Small Church Community meeting.  There is a corner, Corporate Circle and Green Valley Parkway, that I just hate.  People block cross walks, turn before you can clear the crosswalk, just so many instances of poor driving.

This morning, on my return home, a big truck blocked the crosswalk so  decided to just miss the light and wait.  Now I had the right of way, but you can meet your maker, insisting you have the right of way,  Anyway, there was a young lady crossing from the other side, she was on her phone, clearly had the right of way was walked behind the big truck.  Another truck approached the intersection and proceeded to make a left turn.  The driver could not see the lady but I did and shouted for her to stop. It took about three shouts before I could get her attention, well she stopped just as the other truck was completing his left turn.  He then saw her and slammed on the breaks, if she had not stopped and jumped back she would have been hit. She thanked me for shouting to her and getting her to stop.  Scared me and I just shook my head.  Drivers, pedestrians are people too and when we are in the crosswalk, please pay attention.  Ok, vent over...

Busy day, pouring liquid is completely dry, not much arting today.

Under Papers in Faux Stained Glass


February 11:

Spent the morning preparing lesson for MOMS meeting tonight.  Next couple of hours worked on Week 6 DLP prompt, Layers....Used Kaila Givehand's deck of mixed media prompts to develop my layers.  I have had the cards for over a year and this is the first I have used them.  They are wonderful.  I pulled out 15 cards and have used 12 of them so far so that means I have 12 layers on my page.  Never worked with this much layering and it is interesting.

February 12:

Completed Week 6 of DLP - Layering, don't stop till you get enough.  Truth, started not to do this one
because I always feel I am not good at layering.  But....since this year is the year of using what I have and getting use out of all of the tools I have purchased over the years, I thought about the Mixed Media Cards I purchased from Kiala Givehand.  They look like a deck of cards and you shuffle them and pick randomly.  I picked 15 cards and used all of them to form various layers.  The page started out with layer of gesso and layer of collage papers.  Then I used the mixed media cards.  The last 5 layers include a Patti Tolley Parrish stencil, drips from a tooth brush, and brass ephemera.  Still feel a little stiff, need to learn to loosen up more.

Layer upon Layer
February 13:

Friday the 13th one of my favorite days of the year.  I spent today relaxing and cleaning.  The temperature is in the high 70's.  I watched Tam's videos for making the Seeds of Love Painting.  Think I will work on it soon, just not today.

Decided to go to the Mixed Media 2.0 class on Sunday, since I do not have any meetings at church.  I really like these classes.  Great price and learn some great techniques.

February 14:

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

BE KIND TO......

City of Love
The card front is a rubber stamp image of an apple, painted with water colors and the photo is of the Arche De Triumphe in Paris.  Hope both of these pictures remind you to be kind and love all you meet.

Hope you had a wonderful day.  Me?  I am going to a barbecue murder mystery party, should be fun.

until next week.....pilgrim

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Random thoughts: February 1 to February 7, 2015

Learning to be Free
February 1:

I think this week is going to be about learning and growing.  Sometimes it is not easy and sometimes you have to peel back many layers to get to a place where the lessons become clear.  Today I worked hard at church getting signups for Small Church Community.  Over the course of 5 Masses we got 9 sign ups.  Not a lot, but at least it was something and for that I am grateful.

I serve on the Core Team for Small Church and I have this nagging feeling that after 5 years it is time to step down.  I realized that what is needed is fresh blood on the team.  Getting ego out of the way, it is really time to step down and do other things.  I feel more drawn in a different direction.

Watched snippets of the Super Bowl, at my chili and wanted to walk through the TV at the last play.


February 2:

Bible Study this evening.  The discussion was fantastic.  I feel that when we discuss scripture it is important to look at it from the standpoint of how the words can relate to our lives today.  There is a message that will help with the ups and downs of today's life.  The Bible is timeless and the message personal.

The Grand Canal in Venice


February 3:

I did it, I put together my Lifebook Book of Paintings.  It was really emotional to see the first painting and how I progressed over time.  It took me 2 1/2 years to make this book.  What should I do?  I did not want to bind it, so I found a sketchbook large enough to hold 9x12 pages and glued them in.  I left  blank pages to write notes and feelings and I now have to decorate the pates (minimally so as not to take a way from the painting).  It is truly amazing when you realize that you have a body of work.

Time to work on DLP week 5.  It will be interesting to see what I do.

Feb. 4:

Today is the birthday of two very special men in my life.  My grandfather John Eddie Young (Daddy John).  My grandfather was a great man.  He was humble, hardworking, loving and funny.  He and my grandmother Zelma Lee Young were married 57 years and he was devoted to you everyday of those 57 years.  They were very young then they married Dec. 17, 1929.  He was 18 and she was 15.  my mother was their first born and I was the first born grandchild.  I so loved to be with them.  They were down to earth everyday people with a great love for the Lord.

The second very special man is William Allen King.  He taught me so much about life, raising children and taking care of myself(that lesson I am still learning).  I had known Mr. King since I was 6 years old.  He was the neighborhood champion and civic leader.  He and my mother helped to work with politicians in the area of Southwest Detroit.  Mr. King will always have a special place in my heart.

Memories made this day very special

Feb. 5:

Today has been a pretty quiet day.  Mailed cards and ATC's that I made, studied Confirmation lesson and relaxed.  Had a meeting at church and the bus fare box ate up my brand new 30 day bus pass.  Had to buy another while I want for a replacement.

Feb. 6:

Another quiet day, did not do a lot of art today, just was not in the mood.  There are times when I have to really think about how I want to work with a prompt and this week was such a time.  I finally decided my plan of action for using under papers in my art.  Since most of my under papers are deli papers, I decided to make a faux stained glass collage.  I am loving it.

Feb. 7:

Helped at church this morning and then to the art supply store to get some Pebeo paints.  I have an idea for enhancing my stained glass collage with these paints.  The project is a work in progress, cannot wait to see the finished product.

This was a good week filled with happy memories, good thoughts and an art project I am really excited about.

Looking forward to next week......until then,  pilgrim.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Random thought about my week Jan 25 to Jan 31, 2015

Artful Wordsmith Lesson

Jan. 25:

I am going to be posting art work done during the week.  This one was actually completed on Friday of last week, but I wanted to post it today for a reason.  This is part of Lifebook 2015 and I really enjoy the lessons.  Actually I started not to participate this year because I had become severely discouraged by posting work and not getting comments.  I know, I know that is not the reason to do art, but I felt very vulnerable posting my work and to not get many comments just messed with my head.

What changed?  Well some of my art friends are teaching this year so I just had to support them.  In the process of supporting others, I decided that I could adopt the following attitude.  Comments should not be the expected outcome of my art journey.  I had to really examine my intent, it is to be popular or is it to have fun.  I am 65 years old, I will probably not make money from these efforts, but I can just create for the sheer fun of it.  Also, I can release fears and frustrations by putting my heart on the canvas.

I am still somewhat tentative as I create and my goal this year is two fold, believe in myself and go for the gusto.  So today was a day of deep thought as I checked in to make sure I am still on track with my goals.  So far so good.

Jan. 26:

Completed the Ballerina lesson by Patti Ballard.  I did not watch the video over and over, I printed out the picture and used it as a guide.  It was really easy, although I need to get better with the jaw shape.  I have been hesitant to try using photo's as a guide for drawing and painting, but I think I am really going to give it a try.

Tonight Bible study begins, will be studying the second phase of Isaiah from chapters 40 to 55. Should be really good.

Jan. 27

I have spent years pushing myself, operating on 3 and 4 hours sleep a night, thinking that was all that I needed.  It wasn't.  Lately my body has been telling me it needs more rest, it needs more attention
and I am starting to listen.  Another thing is I dream in technicolor with sound.  I used to think it was crazy, but it isn't it is just me.  Some of those dreams are messages, messages that I need to listen to and explore.

Taught Religious Ed today.  We are starting the study of the Mass.  How can we make the Mass come alive for 7 year olds.  It has to be more than a thing we do,  means to an end.  The Mass and the act of going and participating has to become a way of life, a part of their core being so that when the time comes when they walk away (and for most it will), there will be a yearning in their spirit that will call them back and they will answer so they can be fed.

I put a base coat on the cover of a book I am using for Mixed Media 201 class.  I love the base and how the colors mixed together.  But the real deal is that I just could not leave it blank and lifeless, the colors bring it to life, give it depth and make it personal.

Jan. 28:

5 am.  A dream woke me up this morning.  Not a bad dream, not a nightmare; it was a call, a call to get busy and do what I am supposed to be doing.

My husband Donald was in the dream doing what he has always done...."My wife can help you....." in the dream was a lady who wanted to write songs. Donald felt I could help her write her songs.  She was sitting with her book with nothing on the page but desire.  She told me that she felt called to write, the words were welling up inside of her begging for release.  Her husband picked up his guitar and strummed a few cords, but she could not voice the words.

"I took a walk today, looking for something to feed my soul,  yes, I took a walk today looking for something to feed my soul, there were no answers, only and empty goals."  In the dream I sang these words and everyone stopped and looked at me.  Immediately Donald said you can write her songs and I said no.  She had to do it for herself.  If the words are welling up inside of her, only she can let them out one word at a time.

When I woke up I realized that the dream and message was for me.  It is time to follow my path, do my art, write my words, take my walk and find what will really feed my soul.

Today was a busy day.  I was lector at Mass this morning, then grocery shopping.  Home to do chores and get ready for meeting at church.  Fell asleep early, a sister was tired.

Jan. 29:

14 years ago I said my final goodbyes to Donald Hoagland.  Where has the time gone?  I often think about that day because it reminds me of how important it is to really get to know someone.  Donald was an interesting and complex man.  He could be funny and exasperating at the same time.  He put the Cheap in cheap and yet he could be very generous with his time.  He fancied himself a ladies man, yet he needed the stability of having someone he could count on.  He wanted to live forever and died relatively young.  Miss you everyday Donald.

Since I went to sleep relatively early, I woke up early.  No dreams last night.  I woke up to Rick Steves touring the Amalfi coast.  It piqued my interest since I was there in 2007.  I was reminded of how wonderful my life has been and all of the experiences I have had.  I was also reminded that I have so many pictures that I can sketch in my journals....I have built in prompts......

Today I am going to Aaron Brothers to take advantage of the closing of our local store, what sales will I find?  I found black gesso for $5.00, a Sillman and Birn journal for $8.00, string gel for $5.00 and other great deals.  I am a happy camper.

While waiting on the bus I was thinking about the Art Chain challenge in which I am participating, and the type of art I do.  I realized that I am truly  mixed media artist.  By that I mean, doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Not so much drawing and painting but photography, needle arts, jewelry making; just enjoying the process.


In the Shadows of Zion Utah

This photo was taken in November on a driving tour of Zion National Park in Utah.  I love taking photo's with shadows.

Jan. 30

Rainy day in Henderson.  It rained all day and I stayed home. Worked on art, relaxed, enjoyed chocolate milk, took a long nap and then watched Serena Williams win the Australian Open at 3 am.  What a day.  I am finding that I like staying home creating and I need to get on track with my scarf of the month project.

This was a nice week.  Until next week, take care......pilgrim


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Random Thoughts and Arty things....January 18 to January 24, 2015

New Week, new opportunities:

January 18:

Got a really groovy idea for week 3 of DLP 2015.  It is a slow process because of 24 hour drying time between steps, but it should work out.  My mind is still churning.  We are using the Dylusions journal for our projects and I have been doing double page spreads.  I think I am going to make some single page spreads.

Also it is time to start my 100 faces in 365 days project.  Have not done a lot of faces in a while, this should be interesting.

January 19:

Began working on first painting for You and Me with Wyanne.  I did not have a12x12 canvas, but I do have 12x12 wooden substrates so that is what I am going to use.  Gesso applied today and the first layer of paint.

Worked on Artist Trading Cards I was swapping with two art friends

January 20:

Mailed the ATC's and visited Desert Art Supplies.  I needed to find a few neo II crayons, Liquitex Liquid and golden high flow paints.  Very productive visit.

Taught Religious ed this afternoon and then came home to relax.  No Art tonight.

January 21:

I was lector at Mass this morning and then went shopping at Dollar Tree.  This one was much larger than the one close to my home.  It was dollar store shopping nirvana.

Continued to work on DLP week 3.  I painted the silk flowers that I glued to watercolor paper with gesso, then it was over to the drying rack to dry.  I have a box that I use to place things I need to dry so that I don't put my fingers in the paint, drop it or otherwise mess it up.  How do I know this can happen?  From many oops.  I am glad that I am not an artist that has to move quickly because this project required a lot of patience.

January 22:

Today was a great day.  I decided to just spend the day working on art and stay home.  I finished the DLP project which included a major oops or as Carolyn Dube would say and Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Self".  I was following a process I learned from Donna Downey and once the painted flowers have dried, you cover them with embossing ink and then cover with CLEAR embossing powder.  Using a heat tool  you melt the embossing powder. WELL!!!! I grabbed a bottle of ultra thick Utee and poured it on the flowers, grabbed my heat gun and realized my flowers were turning white.  Uh Oh, time to look at the label ---white----. So much for assuming I had the right stuff.  What was I going to do?????  I made a wash of acrylic paint, painted it over the white utee and used the heat gun to melt the paint in the the embossing powder.  It worked.  So now I am not mimicking anyone---I have my on take on the process.


DLP 2015 Week 3 - Colors of the color wheel


January 23:

Completed Joanne Sharpe's Lesson from Lifebook-Artful lettering.  I almost talked myself out of doing this project, but I am glad that I did it.  My goal for this year is to try each lesson regardless of my level of success.  Also, not to put so much care into if I get comments or not when I post, just enjoy the process.

January 24:

It is a beautiful Saturday here in the Vegas Valley.  Had a meeting at church, stopped by Von's to get a few items and then home.  Painted 3 postcards that I am going to mail on Monday as a delayed of Love Notes project.  3 or 4 times a year I participate in a program where  a partner/penpal is assigned and for 3 weeks we send a post card or note based on a prompt.  The idea is to stay in the habit of corresponding via mail.  There are times when a partner does not follow through.  I volunteered to send postcard to a few that did not receive a note.  It was so fun to do.

Well another week has come to a close.  Where does the time go?

until next week.........pilgrim


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Painting Composition Book covers Effy Wild Style


Plain Composition Book




Dear Reader, this is my first attempt at providing instructions on an art project I have been working on.  Since the beginning of the year this is the 3rd Composition book cover that I have painted.  I learned the process from Effy Wild who is an amazing mixed media artist.  The first book is being used as a journal for LifeBook 2015 and is part of a group sponsored by Effy.  The second book/journal is for a wonderful 8 week online program "Becoming" sponsored by Jeanne Oliver.  Below is the painted cover for that journal.

Painted cover for my On Becoming Journal
Two of my friends, Michele and Monica, wanted to know the steps I followed, hence my instructions.
I have fallen in love with this process and the Composition books are very inexpensive.  The book I am currently painting is my Letter Love Journal based on a lesson by Joanne Sharpe.  The journal can be used for practicing the art of lettering.  I have glued my pages together and added wash tape to the edges of pages.  The last step was to paint the cover.

Supplies used:
  • Gesso
  • Montana acrylic markers, pink, blue, green and orange
  • Tim Holtz distress paints blue, pink
  • Cream coat acrylic paint white and yellow
  • Pitt big brush pen black
  • round punchinella (sequin waste)
  • washi tape
  • Golden soft gel (glossy)

Plain Composition Book covered with Gesso

Paint applied to book in random pattern

White gesso used to mute the colors


Finished cover for the Letter Love Art Journal


This is the end of my tutorial.  Hope you learned something and will try to enhance a really inexpensive journal.  Thanks to Effy Wild for helping me to learn this wonderful process.  I have now completed 3 journals and need to make one more for my Painting play with Wyanne Thompson.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Random Thoughts - January 11 to January 17 2015

January 11:

It is a rainy Sunday in Henderson, NV a few miles southeast of Las Vegas.  The perfect Jammy day.  After church I came home, put on my jammies,  had my once a week treat of fried chicken.  I worked on art and it was good.   I am participating in a series of online classes and I am noticing that something interesting.  While I love Lifebook and the techniques I learn,  I am finding a sincere fondness for classes like Document Life and Journal 52 which give you prompt and then you create from your own voice.  It is scary at first, but once you let your mind go, the possibilities are endless.

I have a lot of meetings this week at church so it will be interesting to see how much I will be able to create...here's hoping for a lot.

January 12:

Worked on my Document Life Project and painted a book cover for online Bible Study class on becoming.  Below is a picture of the cover.


January 13:

Taught Religious Education Class.  Played catch up watching the videos for Creative Jump Start.  It is a yearly program held on January designed to help get the creative juices flowing.

I have been thinking a lot about my life.  65 years have come and gone and now it is time to really consider how I want to make the most of the years I have left.  I have no idea how many years that is, but I dod not want to waste a minute of it.  Yet I am perplexed.  I know I will figure it out, i just have to be patient.

January 14:

MOMs Meeting tonight, it was a really good meeting with great discussion about saying "Yes" and making choices.  We are studying "Having a Mary Spirit" by Joann Weaver.  Sometimes the book is a challenge and I do not agree with what she rights, but that is a choice.  You do not have to agree with everything in order to learn something.  It is about the little "Yesses" that get us through the day, month and year.

January 15:

No meetings today.  Hair cut and relaxation today.  Nice day.

January 16:

Shopping day.  Nothing extravagant.  But, drum roll please, I used up all of my Golden soft gel (gloss) and needed to get more.  Went to Aaron Brothers and bought a few things I needed.  Found out that the store is closing which is really sad.  There are two stores remaining open in other parts of the valley, but it always sad to see a business close.  I always worry about the employees.  Just one more reason why I am so happy I am retired.

January 17:

Very busy day.  Three Meetings and now I am planning how I am going to do my week 3 of Document Life.  But first I need to make a couple of ATC's, do week 3 of Life book  and a couple of other projects.  Truthfully, I have been putting off doing the life book project, but this is one of my little "yesses".  Bite the bullet and get busy.



What a week, I learned a lot, thought a lot and laughed a lot.  until next week....pilgrim