December 29, 2011

Another great store hits the dust.

Really bummed. One of the last places to get great papers in bulk, stamp pads hard to find elsewhere, good paper gifts. I will miss them.

Paper Zone to Close Its Eight Stores in WA and OR

December 23, 2011

I'm in love

with a book I discovered in the graphic novels section of Elliott Bay Books today. It's called Everything Is Its Own Reward by Paul Madonna.

Beautiful detailed pen and inkwash full page city illustrations, a collection of All Over Coffee strips published in book form.  First page: "In hard times, beauty can seem frivolous - but take it away, and all you're left with is hard times." Another: "Leave a little emptiness, a space for when what you're waiting for arrives." Strong geometrical and yet inviting architectural scenes and details on each page with a short spot-on narrative. Surprise at the back cover - a full poster size drawing of many windows and balconies of a high rise or apartment building, with descriptive annotations regarding the occupant within each dwelling. Amazing find. How have I not heard of this before?!  Be sure to read the Afterword. "My intent was to explore the power of text and image by reassigning their roles in nontraditional ways...I thought of All Over Coffee as a comic strip without the comic, whose main and only character was setting. I would bring forward what were generally innocuous backgrounds and give them a leading role...In place of cartoon characters, stories would be told through dialogue or snippets of stories that floated around these scenes."

December 18, 2011

Posed for Christmas Family Photo

Yup. I know. The first 16 days aren't here yet. Maybe soon.

I painted our two cats, Rosie and Ziggy, who wrote our Christmas letter for us this year. 

An excerpt: "I am Rose, a black and white Tuxedo cat with very big bones. Heavy lifting is required for me, but I am worth it. I like laps and backrups and humans in general. I have a special talent: I always know when Mom or Dad have taken a seat in the comfy chair, no matter where else in the house I may be at the time. I am smart that way. I will always find them."

"I am Ziggy. I like to be petted but only from a distance. I really don't want you to get sentimental and sappy, and I won't jump on your lap, no matter the temptation! I have a permanent Got Milk mustache and a silly name. I am, after all, a lovely tortoise-shelled beauty. I think I should be named..."Tulip!" I'll cuddle up to my sister Rosie anytime - we get along very well - but no cuddling with humans, please. That's just the way I roll."

December 17, 2011

Classy 52 Pickup

I found these at the Bellevue and Seattle Art Museums.

Aaron Trotter is the artist of these detailed sketches of Seattle places landmarks.  He has had sold several limited printings and about to have another; he is selling these at museums and at his own web site.  He has a Portland series, also. They are cool; I had to add them to my collection of Very Interesting Cards to Play Go Fish With.

December 14, 2011

Three new books

Today I needed to get serious about gifts for out-of-town friends and family. I started out for Seattle on the bus, but ended up staying in downtown Bellevue where there were many tempting treats. Founds some more artist's toys for me, too, at Paper Source, a favorite place of mine. The best time I had was at the Bellevue Arts Museum where I found Aaron Trotter's playing cards (see other post) and more.

You have to see these books! I found them at Bellevue Arts Museum and Third Place Books and they make great gifts.
Journalists and artists may remember Janice Lowry, a California artist. . Janice died in 2009, way too early, but her many journals can be enjoyed by visitors to the Smithsonian.  In Lists (subtitled, To-Dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonians's Archives of American Art), one of the entries is a to-do list, with sketches and doodles. Other fascinating entries include a (visual) study of ducks, many to-do lists from interesting lives, "expenses in the pursuit of art," Alexander Calder's address book, Joseph Cornell's list of items purchased at antique show, and George Catlin's List of Amusements, 1830. Picasso, Grant Wood, and dozens of others will entertain you. Lisa Kirwin is the listed author. Fun stuff. I can't wait to see the whole displays in real life.

thx thx thx by Leah Dieterich is a most unusual "grattude" journal.

Dear heavy eyelids, thanks for being a reason to stop. I'd been looking for one, and you were just the thing. Thanks.  Leah.

Dear Cold, thanks for coming on before my vacation rather than during it. It's been a while since we've seen each other, hope you have a quic trip out of my body. Cheers. Leah.

Dear Dishes in My Sink, Thanks for giving me a task to do while I'm procrastinating some other task. I always feel accomplished after I wash you, even though I'm putting off something else. Leah

Finally, you must enjoy This Is For You. These are papercuts by Rob Ryan, but they are not your grandma's cute little doily heart cuts. Each one reminds me of a full journal page of drawings and words. Very art journal style, but everything cut, not pasted, painted, or drawn. Incredible.

Another distraction: Reason #12 I'm not done with Christmas prep.

I've used photos for tags before but this year I had fun with enlarging them and penciling them in a bit to alter the colors. For nieces and nephews, I used a silly group photo, cut it apart, and enlarged each child separately. For my sister, who is - well, over 50, let's just say! - I used some old childhood photos. Most were family shots and her face was a small footprint, so when I enlarged those old black-and-whites, I got interesting stripes of color.

December 3, 2011

Sweet Photo Treats

 Well, haven't I just been having a roarin' good time discovering the little secrets of my collection of iPad and iPod photo apps?! I've been using some photos I took last April of an annual staff room event put on by one of the teachers, Joanne, "just because."  For this one, our spring event,  Joanne overflowed the room with visual and edible flavors of spring: the colors, decorations, and treats, most of which are new and different even to the most inveterate shoppers such as moi. The tables in the staff room are decked out in the finery of the season (you should see what she does at Halloween...) to the delight of a vacation-ready weary teaching and support staff.

Joanne has been collecting displays, toys, decorations over the year and finds the various treats in stores and the internet. Her sources include Divine, Swiss, magazine resource lists, and all the unique and secret spots only connoisseurs of  their special habits know about.  Almost too good to eat.  But we manage.

It was with these photos I played with photo and camera apps. These were made from combinations of Halftone, ColorSplash, PhotoToaster, Photogene, Camera Bag, SwankoLab (one of my favorites to play with, this one actually "drops" in chemicals and "processes" the "film" in the solution while you watch it develop. Oh, brother, I am easily amused.)


December 1, 2011

Anamorphic Illusion.

An example of something I never heard of before! (There are so many, more and more each day!) Intriguing to think about, even if I don't quite understand it yet.

Most Amazing World Illusion! - Magic World Created by French artist François Abélanet, "Quoi Croire" an anamorphic, "ephemeral" garden displayed in front of Paris' main city hall the "Hôtel de Ville".


François Abélanet's website: I shot this video by hand which made the footage very shaky. I used software to stabilize the video and smooth out the shakiness which gives it a curious digitally distorted look. The reason it goes in reverse is due to there being a long line for access to the viewing point preventing a continuous one shot recording. This illusion is the result of the science of how the brain interprets imagery. Laser technology was relied upon to project the image of the globe/sphere for its construction.

OH, of course. Now I get it. Yes. Sure.

Fun enough!

I'm going to post some fun I've been having with iPad photo and camera apps, starting with this one. Here, I used favorite photo I took in our yard of a fall day and morning fog with Artify. I think this is the "Impressionist" selection. (There are 3 - Great Masters, Cafe de Paris, the other two, but they all pretty much look the same to me!) You can tweek the results with eraser and paint.
 Fun enough.

November 29, 2011

No naked envelopes redux

Having some fun with the Big Red. Some contributions. See Doodles web site for more.


November 24, 2011


As the two of us wait for our Mostly Trader Joe's Thanksgiving dinner to be ready,

thoughts of gratitude for a healthy year abound, along with gratitude for





Photo by Mary Ann Moss

fresh berries in November.


November 23, 2011

A Reminder keep eyes open and find new places and spaces. Decided to spend my Michaels coupon in a department I don't visit. Found this pretty decorative tape over by a home dec section. Cutting it down lengthwise makes it go even further. There were more designs, too.


Latest discoveries

Sketches from Featherbed - over at Flickr - you'll love her sketch of clothes that don't fit anymore. Her comments add the spice.

Heidiology.blogspot.  Wonderful journal-making.  Interesting pages and use of materials. A lot of Mary Ann Moss influence, so you KNOW I like. But definitely brings her own spirit and inspiration to her play.
Very Remains of the Day, here. 

 She's an Artist and She Don't Look Back! Ellen Burkett. Participating in Everyday Matters, she takes it one step further. Each drawing also includes a Bob Dylan lyric. Very creative and love her work. fun fun fun. Here's one. She has many intriguing entries, but I chose the .... red chair!


November 12, 2011

Autumn Color Box


Really now, is there anything prettier than fall? Really?
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November 11, 2011

Sweet tooth strikes again

Orange and cranberry scone I bought at Tully's yesterday. Shoot. Add another 30 minutes to Exerbeat tonight. Dirty secret? I also bought a pumpkin scone and a chocolate croissant. I'll spread them out over the next couple of days. Will that help?

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Logan Avenue, Memory Lane

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November 9, 2011

Ready for November

A quick video of November visual journal pages. Love to make these pages; it's half of the fun. Love to stitch in wayward ways, grap scraps and bits of images, make windows and envelopes and hidden places, and "smash" a tag or two.

October 22, 2011

Fairy tale

Well, I can dream, can't I? Photo made with Pogo printer.

5 layers

Taking a break from walking and carrying load at a teeny park on Rush Street, I drew the five layers of clothes I need this morning in Chicago where it was Br r r chilly. I used the drawing in the top right as my model template. I preprinted several out to use as I journaled my trip. This one is in Dover Japanese art deco CD.

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Breakfast at Freshii's


Didn't think chocolate zucchini bread could be good. So good. Went back for more.
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Two for tango

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Arrived in Chicago, waiting for the arrival of my friend, Jeannie. It's a crisp morning; I've dropped off my luggage and start my walk around the Stretterville neighborhood.

October 19, 2011

Journal making

Getting my journal ready for its trip to Chicago. I started with some pretty pages I made with LK's technique (acrylic pages that don't stick thanks to serious scraping) but decided I'm more in a funky Remains of the Day mood. I have boxes o' STUFF that need attention, so this way I can add some of that STUFF with abandon and still have places to put receipts, cards, photos and writing. I think.

Here's where I'm at now...hope to get it all together by the time I go tomorrow, though I have many other items on my list. Including hemming some pants.  I hate hemming.  I buy "short" when I can but I still usually hem. I'm not tall but I'm not short either. Who do they make these pants for????

P.S. LK Ludwig teaches the acrylic page technique in a free online "Flip Flap Book" class that the link will send you to. It's also in Creative Wildfire. Remains of the Day is an online class that the amazing Mary Ann Moss teachers. I've journaled for years and have kept journals of all kinds (I get bored easily) but these two techniques are favorites of mine. (The women AND the techniques.)

October 18, 2011

Revisiting Red Chair Admiration Society

I am weeding through my email, especially my huge Everyday Matters mailbox. The place reeks talent, which is why I set it aside until I have time to enjoy the work that's posted. Time to list 5 favorites I found or renewed acquaintance with in this endeavor. Certainly didn't take me long to find them, but it may take me all day to complete my task! (Don't really have time for it, but it's a great procrastination tool.)

Margaret Storer-Roche. I found her last month and posted a slideshow of her work. Really beautiful detailed lovely pieces.

Anita Davies has been on my blogroll for quite awhile but every once in awhile when I need inspiration to get my paints and pens out and do more, I look at her work. She is my drawing/painting hero. My latest ohmangottaseethis is her Prep Travel Journal for an upcoming trip to Italy. Having been to some of the places she will go, it especially inspires me to go back to my photos and try to turn them into paintings. Before my first trip to Europe, I spent many hours putting a journal together for each place we would see, but mine was filled with photos, travel forum bits, and advice. I loved doing this; it extended the journey even more and raised the anticipation. Anita's goes much further; she has painted from Flickr photos and other sources (she gives credit to the photographers) and illustrates her itineraries, travel bags, and places she wants to see. She will have such a great time; not only is it Italy, after all, but she will know what she wants to see and do and undoubtedly be ready for surprises to draw and remember.


Note: Assuming her actual trip travel journal would have the same awesomeness, I searched it out. Anita didn't get to take this trip after all this graphical and amazing preparation! Her father became ill and undestandably she did not want to leave. She sent this sketchbook of her preparation  to the Sketchbook Project where it will live and be admired by many others.  I hope she'll be able to get ti Italy sometime soon!
Another traveler/sketcher (though the drawings are hardly sketches but well-detailed drawings) who visually documents travel experiences with talent that can only be described delicious candy for the eyes. Terry Banderas's site is "A collection of art for the world to see."

Wendy Shortland's Flickr Photostream (The Digital Fridge Door) has some cool Everyday Matters contributions.

 Debra Morris lives in Hong Kong and her sketches and EM pages are reflections of her environment. Not only because of her talent, but also because of the subjects of her watercolors, is she on my ever-growing Admiration List.

gotta stop. more later.

October 17, 2011

Something's happenin' at the zoo

We spent a cool fall Sunday afternoon with sandwich and beer lunch at a favorite Madison Park place

(not sure why, the food is okay but not great: guess it's the fall ambiance of football on every TV in the place and the view at the tip of Lake Washington.)

Then to Woodland Park Zoo. Why don't I go to the zoo more often? It's a kick.

Most of the residents were napping, methinks, in their dens or otherwise

but the orangutan and elephants provided us with some entertainment.

You can watch this orangutan eating his afternoon snack of broccoli here.

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