Monday, May 14, 2018

Off to Bend

This is a test of the iPhone app for blogger posts. I’m headed to Bend to visit younger son & grand dog. Staying at Bunk & Brew  which I am excited to check out. 

If this works well I will cut down on travel weight & only take my phone. No iPad no camera.  Just journal, book, 
A $500 House in Detroit a knitting project, & good hiking shoes. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thursday Musings & A to Z Reflections

This picture is Lake Michigan looking out on the Manitou Islands. Hubby & I did a hike along the Lakeshore Sunday & this was the view. We are surrounded by incredible natural wonders in Northern Michigan. We have camped on both those islands. Check out my post about North Fox island which is just out of view in the above picture.

On to my reflections on my third year of the A to Z Challenge.
 It is truly a challenge, but well worth the effort.  It opens doors into the life and habits of other bloggers and lots of interesting subcultures. The discipline it requires is one of the main benefits. This time I did many posts ahead and scheduled them to appear on the appropriate day. The A to Z prompt is great because it's a wide open jumping off point that can work for everyone.

Some thoughts on the logistics of the challenge this time around.  The Google forms the captains utilized were helpful & well done in my opinion. Cross posting my posts in Facebook garners the MOST traffic for me. I do not use Twitter. Cross posting to Google plus seems like overkill to me. Time consuming enough to respond to comments on each post during the month and visiting as many other blogs as possible. With approximately 700 participants it would be a daunting task to visit them all. As my interests & blog lean to the artistic I find the categories a great filter. Only 17 in our category???  OK you visual artists, I want to see you step up next year. 

On a personal level, the discipline of creating a blog post for 26 days out of a month is a great exercise. I jot notes on ideas every time inspiration strikes. I have created a document with all the titles for each of the 3 years for reference as well as one with ideas for 2019 and beyond. That one gets additions all the time. I plan to use the list for my commitment to post once a week.

Pictures of my activities in the studio and elsewhere are a huge part of my blog. Images speak volumes. My iPhone is my main tool and it is so easy!  Dropbox is my friend. I have used it for years & it makes moving images between devices effortless as well as creating albums to share. It's great for travel to keep things organized and not clog up your storage.  

Being a newly retired mid lifer I consider the Cresting the Hill blog a real find.  Because of the A to Z challenge I now have friends in Australia! Can I come visit? She & a friend have created a great community of women who share great thoughts.

On to other things.

Did you know I have an Etsy shop? there is a link at the upper right of the blog. More items will be added there shortly. I've been very busy painting fabric, cutting & using new stencils,
finishing more boxes and bags.

 The process for a lidded box that is completed.

The triangular shape was an idea I wanted to try. This is a taller version I created to house all those remotes that clutter up the coffee table. I like it!

  I am in two shows this summer. Art Rapids June 9 to 22 has accepted 5 of my pieces this year. In July the Peninsula Library is having a fair where I will have my work.

That is quite enough for today. happy Spring!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Workshop Love & A to Z Thoughts

The A to Z Challenge 2018 is finished. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A long haul, but well worth it. What a great way to build momentum and generate ideas. Added bonus is finding like minded individuals you can build relationships with. There will be a "reflections" post here soon. That is the final step of the challenge each year. My stated goal after creating a blog post every day for a month is to post at least once a week, on Wednesday or Thursday. I know, today is Friday. Give me a break. I've been busy.

 I am proud to belong to the Pen Dragons Calligraphy Guild in Kalamazoo MI. They brought Amity Parks for their Spring work shop this past week end. She was so much fun! I see myself playing with letters in my journal while on airplanes in the near future. 
That is where Amity does a lot of her sketches. Good way to pass the time & get ideas.



 Over the two days we ran through lots of exercises in creating wonderful shaded letters with pencil.
The above are a pages from a fellow Pen Dragon.

 From Amity's sketchbook. In person, so much better. 
She Googled "splat" to see how to draw...a splat.


I posted about my love for this pencil after I purchased it awhile back.
Mechanical pencils are a lovely thing. 

Our supply list asked us to have one in a finer lead size than mine.
A .3, which gives you the ability to create very fine detail. Now I love them both.
It's all about the art supplies.

 Using contact paper to create masks for negative & positive space.

She showed us her steps in playing with the layout of words 
to come up with the best option for stacking letters.

Her shading makes the letters come alive! Notice the attention to the smallest droplets.

 Many thanks to my high school pals who put us  up for the week end on 3 Mile Lake in Paw Paw.
You guys rock.