Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Lost ... and Found

This year, the first thing I did was trim my tree. So I got out the big plastic box with the little dividers that holds all my precious ornaments and transformed our tree from a Fall Tree to a Christmas Tree. (For a picture of the tree, refer to the previous article.) But when I opened up the red box that holds my Christmas House decorations, the box was almost empty. My Christmas Hearts were not there. I was stunned. These hearts had been lovingly made by hand, quilted, some embroidered, and I used them to tuck into nooks and crannys, nest into bowls, and hang across the bookcase. I didn't know what to do. I went through both boxes again. I went through my box of Fall decorations. Then I began, one by one, to go through all the boxes of Christmas "Stuff" that I have saved but never display because there isn't room in the loft for everything. I came across a lot of wonderful memories, gave up a lot of them to go to Goodwill, but didn't find my Christmas Hearts. Somehow, I knew I wouldn't, but it was like I had to go through everything anyway.

Then yesterday as I was walking through the bedroom, I got a very clear picture in my mind's eye of the upper cabinet of my computer hutch. I hesitantly walked to the hutch, not wanting to be disappointed again, but somehow, somehow, I had a feeling. And when I opened the hutch doors, there they were, all carefully packed and protected. Now they grace my living space, and it feels a little bit like a Christmas miracle.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Way to Go! ~ Christmas Give-Away

I won a "Give-away." What is a Give-Away, you ask? It's when an artist gives away one of his or her art works for nothing. I'm constantly amazed by how many artists do this. And I just won a Give-Away - my very first one. Some artists put their Give-Aways on their blogs, other on their FaceBook pages. You enter the Give-Away by leaving a comment. And I finally won!

I won this wonderful elf made by a friend of mine, Cindi, on one of the Etsy threads. I knew I had won it, so couldn't wait for it to come in the mail. And when I opened it I was amazed. It was perfect, beautiful, cute, etc. I could see all the care that went into making it, down to the smallest detail. And, of course, I immediately hung it on my tree, where it looks right at home. Many thanks to Cindi for her generosity in making this wonderful ornament and making it possible for me to win it. To see more of Cindi's creations, visit her Etsy shop:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

October Surprise ... Sunrise

October is gone, and November is on it's way. Before the fall is completely over, I wanted to share this ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals) with you. I entitled it October Sunrise because of the colors, but in one of the forums I frequent, someone called it October Surprise, which I also liked. An ACEO is 2.5" x 3.5". Here it is:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bubble Bubble - The Littlest Witch

This little witch may have a secret. Is she a real witch masquerading as a child? Or a child masquerading as a witch? What surprises may she have up her sleeves? Whatever the answers, she will be a lovely little witch, going house by house to get her treats and perhaps leave a bit of magic. In case you haven't guessed, she is a good witch.

This little witch is an ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals) and is done with pen and colored pencils.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time for Fall

My Fall Heart Tree is finally done. Yea! It took a bit longer than I had hoped, but at least I got it done before the first official day of Fall. For those of you who haven't seen my other seasonal trees, it all got started last Christmas. I was taking down the Christmas decorations and grousing about winter. I told my hubby, David, that I wish I had some hearts to put on the tree to celebrate winter because otherwise, it just was grey and blah. He said "do it!" He said, "We'll leave the tree up all year." So I did it. First was the Winter Heart Tree, then the Spring/Summer Heart Tree. And now we have the Fall Heart Tree. I think I like this one the best because, in addition to the hearts, there are dried flowers tucked in between the branches. Because I don't have a sewing machine, all the hearts are completely, lovingly handmade. I hope you like my Fall Tree.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last Days of Summer

It's nearing the end of August, and people are getting in their last picnics, last family barbeques, last vacations and last trips to the beach. It's even possible, depending on where you are, to fee a bit of a chill in the air in the mornings, like biting into a crisp Red Delicious Apple. This colored pencil drawing is about the last day at the beach for one little girl. Do you remember yours? As a child, time sees timeless, and yet, it inevitable passes, drawing summer to a close and bringing the excitement of fall ... new clothes, new school supplies, going back to school, etc. But enjoy the summer while it lasts. (And one really neat thing about this piece is that it was purchased by a woman from Portugal.)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

WIP ~ Work in Progress

Normally, I am the only one who gets to see my artwork as it evolves. I thought others might be interested in seeing that process. A WIP is a work in progress, a work that isn't yet finished, a work that I am still having a dialog with. The process begins with something I've found. Then I begin to arrange natural objects, along with paint and manmade objects on my chosen "canvas." In the past this canvas has been a piece of tree bark mounted on a pine panel. (If you want to see an example of a bark piece, visit my shop: This will be the first natural assemblage that isn't mounted on bark, but instead will be mounted on a shallow wooden box.

One day I was walking down the ramp to the loft building that I live in and I came across a tangle of thin branches. I looked at it, picked it up and looked at it some more, and then put it back. The next time I was on the ramp, I decided to take it home. Even if it was fragile, I wanted to make something with it. That was when I noticed the rest of an abandoned nest in the rafters above the ramp. Then I looked over to the next section and saw a Robin sitting on a nest. I had an abandoned Robin's nest ... what a precious treasure. I went and talked to the Robin, who seemed to sit and listen patiently because she didn't fly away. Later my husband and I would see the little baby Robins in their nest. This added an even greater to the artwork I had already begun.

The first two steps in the process is what you see here. I had first put the nest to one side of a piece of freezer paper (so it wouldn't stick). Then I sprayed it within an inch of it's life (with matte medium). Later I went back and got out two of my rubber stamps and stamped spirals on the left side. I put a plastic snake on the bottom. (I've often used plastic snakes in my work. I paint them carefully, and I've had several people at shows ask me if the snakes are real.) My husband looked at it and said he didn't get it. LOL

What you see here is the next stage. I went back to the table, put the nest in the middle, put a torn photo of myself behind the nest and added another snake. This time the two snakes were then arranged in the V shape you see in the piece above. I also added a small beautiful stone. The next time my husband walked by he said, "Wow, oh now I get it." He didn't realize what I had already known ... that I would be moving the nest to the center. So this is the stage the work is in now. I want to saturate the picture of me and print a smaller version so it's easier to see the face within the nest. And, of course I need to paint the snakes as well as the pine box it will be mounted on. I'm not sure what else I might add ... stay tuned.

You can see a picture of the baby birds too, above. Aren't they too cute.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This is a WIP (Work in Progress). I am going to be setting up a second Etsy shop to sell the many wonderful strands of beads I've collected over the years. I recently made the decision to focus on my visual art, and, while it's difficult to see my beads go, I'm going to be selling them on Etsy. I have everything from semi-precious to Czech Glass, to bone and shell. My hubby, David, photographed a picture to use in my banner. It gives you a sense of the lush quality of the beads I have. I'll keep you posted and write an update when I open my new shop.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Primal Grace

Grace comes of its own. You may want it so much; you may even pray for it. But it will come to you in the most unexpected way at the most unexpected time. It will overtake you and fill you with Beauty and Love. Receiving Grace is one of the most primal, basic experiences we may have. When the experience is over you are left breathless and filled with Gratitude.

This mixed media assemblage is done on a piece of tree bark. It includes paper and a feather. It shows the hands reaching up to receive Grace. It is 14 x 3 x 5/8 inches.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome Spring

Today is the first day of Spring. Here in Lowell, Massachusetts, it's still grey, cold and wintery ... all the more reason to finally put my Spring Heart Tree up. For those who are not familiar with the origin of my seasonal trees, the impetus began over a decade ago. I always loved to play dress ups with my house at Christmas, and along with the tree, which had a few quilted hearts on it, I also had hearts scattered around the house ... in bowls, on shelves, and in nooks and crannies. But when I took the Christmas decorations down, I would inevitable get a let down. Not only was my house no longer dressed up, but outside the weather was grey and blah. For years I thought I should make some Winter Hearts, but was deterred by my lack of a sewing machine. For some reason, this year, nothing got in the way, and I happily made Winter Hearts by hand. For anyone who wants to see the Winter Heart Tree, scroll down a bit and you'll see it.

I'm in love with my Spring Heart Tree. The colors and the feeling of Spring really make me feel as if I am welcoming the new season with all of my heart.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Silence

In the ancient Vedic literature of India there is a concept referred to as the "Cave of the Heart." This sacred space is both the seat of our higher Self, but is also the location of an intimate connection to the Source. The Vedas urge people to spend as much time in the Cave of the Heart as they can. One way to do this is meditation; another is contemplation. And sometimes, some people may just find themselves there as it is also a magnificent source of creative energy. Here are the words to a song I once wrote:
Listen in the Cave of your Heart
the Silence echoes your name.
Do you answer the Call
to come home again.

This mixed media piece, "Cave of the Heart," is an ACEO assemblage. ACEO stands for "Art Cards Editions and Originals." ACEOs are small 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Usually they are flat, and I have done some ACEO colored pencil drawings (you can look back through my blog to find them), but this was my first attempt to translate my larger assemblages, which I can no longer do because of lack of studio space, into a smaller format. The components are: mat board, dirt with aluminum foill, paper, paint, mother of pearl star, matte and gel medium. My "Cave of the Heart" is very earthy. The lotus is also a sacred symbol in Hindu art and literature; it stands for the purity of the Self rising out of the muck of the ego.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celebrating Winter

My family and friends are familiar with my collection of quilted hearts. I have a set for the fall and a Christmas set. I tuck them into nooks and crannies, put them in bowls, and for Christmas, put them on the tree. Then, every year, when I take down the Christmas decorations, I get this let down feeling. For two months I have been playing dress ups with my house, and, suddenly I'm left with the Winter blahs. Everything seems dull and grey (unless, of course, it's snowing). So every year, for about the last 15 or so, I have had the same thought ... if only I had some winter hearts. For some reason, this year I did something about it. I made a collection of Winter Hearts, in shades of blues and whites, each one made totally by hand, one stitch at a time, because I have no sewing machine. So now I have my celebratory Winter Hearts and a Winter Tree as well. My husband likes it so much, he wants me to continue and do one for each season. So look forward to my Spring House dress ups ~ they'll be ready about the same time crocuses are pushing their little heads through the soil.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Choo Choo

My DH (dear husband), Dave, is really into miniature trains ... no, I mean REALLY into it. He has built about an eight foot square that sits at about chin height (for me). He recently added another eight foot square (3 X 3 approximately) across from the bigger one, which he is connecting with a wooden link so that the trains can go back and forth, and of course, 'round and 'round. I am fascinated by this grand work in progress. Dave has boxes of trains, train parts, miniature buildings, and cars and trucks.

This definitely a work in progress. So far he has his track laid out, though he is still futzing with it a bit. He's got trains hooked up that can actually run around the track, and he has some buildings and train stations set up. He hasn't even begun to get to the trees, grass and people stage, because he is just so in love with the trains. There is no such thing as too many trains, and he continues to buy and collect more and more. He uses the HO type trains, which means his model trains are 1/87th the size of real trains. Eventually there will be tunnels and a bridge, and of course, a landscape. With his trains he is like a kid in a candy shop.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow Song

I love wolves, and really wanted to make a drawing of a wolf in the snow. This one is entitled "Young Wolf Snow Singing." And I really wanted the wolf to be "singing." This is, in a sense, a mixed media piece, as I used Prismacolor Colored Pencils and an oil stick. It was my first try at combining these two, and I want to experiment some more, using conte crayon with pencil. Where is his pack? Close by no doubt. Maybe I will show some more of them.

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