Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Staying Focused

Seemed like a good title for right now. I wanted to share a few more pictures from the My Still Sunday class. But first some thoughts. Yes I do have some.

The days have been so grey, wet, & dark for a few weeks. It doesn't help that the days are SO short. SADD takes hold. But hey, as of today they are getting longer.

Listening to Darren Rowse pod casts recently. Lots of inspiration and help with blogging, goal setting, social media. I'm always curious to learn how others manage their lives. Check him out.

Another fun look into the lives of others is My Morning Routine My Morning Routine Logo Most of the folks featured are much younger, but it's fun to peak into their days.

Here lies some of the problem. Spending too much time looking for inspiration and not getting into the studio to play. I need to heed my own advice from the last ATCs.  Remember?
So on to photos. This simple set up seems soothing to me. Used some pieces of the vinyl flooring in my studio space for the base. Did lots of tweaks in the VSCO app. It really is a great one.
 This was from a couple weeks ago. But the I like the focus on the Queen Anne's lace  at the higher level.hand made paper of mine as the back drop.
 No idea what I will do with this, but wanted to play with depth of field with my "real" camera.

OK all you artisits. Let's get into our creative spaces and get something going!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Background Bliss

I was fortunate to have a nice chunk of time Sunday to devote to scouring my home for items to photograph and things to use as backdrops for the My Still Sunday class. Blocking light & going for dark & moody was the name of the game this time.

In the above the backdrop is an old cookie sheet, much used & abused obviously.
The VSCO app is proving a wonderful tool. I can take pictures with my phone OR take pictures with my Canon S5IS then import them to my phone and to the editing.

 Pre cropping and editing...

 and post...
 Once again the man cave came through. Hubby had a large piece of black vinyl I ended up taping to the wall to get the "dark & moody" look we were to go for.

These old shoe keepers were my Dad's. I love them. They were made in Detroit! I have two sets that migrate around our home as adornments.

 Around 60 pictures total were taken to come up with the few that were worthy of messing with. I find myself waking up at night thinking about compositions, backdrops, props I might have around the house. I think I may need help. Hi, I'm Linda and I compose still lives to photograph. Better sign up for photographers anonymous.

Just one more.

Friday, December 4, 2015


I recently found a picture on Pinterest that struck a cord using aluminum duct tape as an art medium. It just so happens my husband had a roll of the stuff in the "man cave". How convenient. Plus there was a roll of the mesh tape used in dry walling I needed for texture. Click the  picture to link to the page.

So here is my leap from that image...

Yup, Cheez-It boxes. I have to admit that I bring home the large boxes from crackers we have in our break room at work. You can make book board with several layers of them glued together, and use them as substrate of all kinds of things. 

Then the madness began. Cutting teeny weeny pieces of the cardboard for the letters I wanted. Then gluing them to the board.

The final result with a simple message.

After bone folding all the parts for the best relief I brushed black acrylic paint over the entire surface then wiped off most of it leaving the aged effect. Time consuming but it got me" in the zone". That's what is seems to be all about. Hoping my ATC group enjoys them.

Monday, November 30, 2015

White Sunday Photography

My Still Sunday class is proving to be addictive. A person could, and does, spend hours creating a scene, playing with it, shooting, winnowing, editing. Nice activities for cold frosty days.

This weeks lesson was about white, exposure, and paring down the contents. Here are my finished Instagram posts. You can also use the link to the right to see all my posts, or this link will show you lots of phtos from the folks in the class  #mystillsundayclass.

 This is a section of an old lamp which we haven't gotten around to reassembling and adding new electrical guts. May have to play with it some more. I like the design.
                                           This shot & the next were cropped more in Instagram.
 Under the advise of Kim Klassen, our instructor, I loaded the VSCO camera app on my iPhone. After a brief learning curve I am really liking the app. It is like having mini light room editing software on your phone.
                       I would love to get your feed back! So please take a moment to comment.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Post Cards Around the World

It's happened again. Another challenge, of sorts, I couldn't resist. It's called Postcrossing. 

You sign up & get a person in some far off land you send a post card to. The site is rather slick. They send you the info for the person to send your card to. You get an ID# for your card as they are all tracked through the Postcrossing web site. Once you have sent a card & it's logged you will then get a card from some one else.
My first card goes to a young woman in Russia. From the looks of the site there are people who spend a lot of time doing this. Of course I had to use one of my own images of the natural beauty in my area for the front of the card. I printed it on tissue paper then glued it to heavy water color paper. I brushed two layers of matte medium on the surface for protection on it's long journey. I'll let you know how it works once I get a response, or a card from some one else. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015


HappyThanksgiving everyone!
We will be with friends and their daughter & son in law for the afternoon today. Our family is small & our kids far away so we celebrate with our "family of choice" friends. 

These images from the Eco-dyeing we did at the Lake Louise retreat seem appropriate for today.Fall leaves in rich colors from different methods.

I'm anxious to incorporate them into some book art projects. 

Enjoy your holiday time!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sundays with Photography

We have now had the second My Still Sunday online class with Kim Klassen. This is FUN! So inspiring. It's all about commitment. At least for me. Without the prompt of something you've agreed ot do we may not carve out the time for things like this. So glad I did.
                                                  Here is my picture from week one.

and here is yesterday's 

I struggled with the "less is more" concept. My first set up was way too much 
and I just wasn't happy. But hey, I'll share my failures, well not all. That would be painful for everyone.
Truth be told I had to go dig in the trash dumpster for the paper. I knew my hubby had thrown out a bunch just the day before. But I like it better than the fabric. I think linen will be my next option. Just love linen in general.

I did do another that I like. Gotta work on paring down though.

A special thank you to Philip Hartigan, the blogging class instructor, Chicago artist, cool guy, that I learned so much form in two full days at Interlochen Arts Academy last Spring. He gave me a plug in his blog. Thank you Philip!
  I would love to hear your critiques of these photos or anything else you want to share. Your struggles & successes with your own photography, or art in general. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thoughts on Wabi Sabi

My "art cohort", two dear friends, are coming over today. We are carving out time to share our projects, thoughts, & laughs together. Never enough time for that!  One attended the Lake Louise Retreat with me a couple weeks ago.  We will revisit our papers & fledgling books to see where to go from here. Here are a few more pics of the book I am furthest on.
As the retreat was titled Wabi Sabi, a hard to translate idea. Bottom line is nothing is permanent or perfect. I did an embossed title page.
 These show the work in progress. The lines on one page will be carried onto the next with pencil, ink or embossing.

 Some one suggested one of these flexible rulers in order to create templates to do embossing following a curve. I'll let you know how that goes.
Removable tape is another great supply. Helps to lay our ideas for collage.

 This is the last spread where the colophon will go.

Here is my latest new "toy".

One of the things that happens at art retreats...supply envy. I think there may have been a spike in purchases of these as everyone liked it so much. Nice & flat. LED so doesn't get hot or use much energy. Has a function to adjust the intensity of the light.  It has come in so handy for the embossing I've become obsessed with.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Artfull Fall

This fall has been amazing on many levels. The weather has been fantastic. Unseasonably warm, beautiful fall colors, sunsets that take your breath away....and art.

Went to the opening of a show at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort, MI about an hour from home to see the sumptuous fiber pieces of Sue Moran. I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Sue a couple years ago where we did fabric dyeing, shibori, hand stitching, and made book cloth. There was a book structure component as well taught by another instructor. It was great to see her at the opening and introduce several friends to her wonderful art.  The show runs until the end of November.

She uses silk screen printing, hand stitching, old family linens, and hand drawn images in this piece.

Sue's pieces are mainly silk and or linen. Yum! Most use the shibori technique to create the main image.  Many of the details are done in lovely hand embroidery that is stunning, others are bits of fabric that add the shading or a spot of contrast.

 Then the evening sky caught fire! Of course a picture doesn't so it justice. But it was a great end to a wonderful opening.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Photo Challenge

An aside today about an online class I decided on a whim to take on.  I've been following a photographer, Kim Klassen for awhile. I find her images soothing and they tend to tell a story.  The name of her class is "My Still Sunday". Every Sunday for 16 weeks we are to create a still life. Something I'm drawn to and do on a daily basis in some form or another already. To be offered prompts, a forum to post to (Instagram), tips, and seeing what others come up with sounded inspiring to me. Maybe you'd like to check it out and join up?

                               Mother nature did this one on her own, but I found it striking.
        She provided the flowers, I set up the rest. Not terribly interesting, but you get the idea of the every day appeal of looking for something beautiful or interesting to put together. 

I found my self thinking about "stuff" I have around the house that would work well for interesting items in the up coming weeks.

I will look forward to sharing what I learn & come up with. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Amazing Times

Just got back from a truly wonderful experience at lake Louise in Northern Michigan. We 21 women had a fantastic Art Retreat with two exceptional artists, Pamela Paulsrud and Rosie Kelly. I suggest  you go poke around their sites or search for images.

We dabbled in paste paper, eco dyeing...with incredible surprising results, suminogashi, and binding the results into book form.

Over the next few posts I'll focus on one aspect of what we learned or played with. Here is a taste of how the process began:

 We filled a full sheet  40" X 26" of Arches Text Wove with writing, front & back. Pam offered prompts to get us to use different sizes, our non dominant hand, a conversation between ourselves and our 4 year old self.  A fun freeing experience.

Next came applying paste & pigment to the page, again front & back. To later be cut into pieces for book structures.
 It doesn't look like much yet, but hang inthere with me.

 Plus I have recently gotten addicted ot embossing letters. I incorporated this into my book for the title page which I will show you next time. This is my practice piece.
Till next time....

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Puff Piece

It's been awhile.  I think I suffer from travel hang over after returning from a big trip like the one we had to Alaska. Lots to absorb, pictures to sort & share. Memories to cement in the brain. Then there is work to catch up on. We've been home for six weeks and this is my first post.

It's fall in Northern Michigan. Maybe my favorite season. The colors are just beginning to show up in the trees. The clouds are completely different this time of year compared to the summer. Much more dramatic. The down side is the short days. Found these beauties on my neighborhood walking trail.

                                               So now it's time to get creative in the studio!

Wanted my ATC's for this months swap to honor our recent trip. I had already thought about doing something with a puffin.  At work I spotted an old Audubon Magazine (about 3 years old) on a table at work, it was the perfect inspiration...so I brought it home.

                                                     Simple but very recognizable.  

                            I created stencils for each of the body parts so I could use my Akua Inks.
                    I am in a space at the moment where I seem to be finding inspiration everywhere.
                                                   Hope I can keep that going for awhile!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Home Stretch

Had a beautiful day for a long boat ride Tuesday . The Kenai Fijords tour was excellent, which is what we had heard. Got to see several glaciers up close, puffins, sea lions, & lots of whales!  A couple pods of orcas, fin whales and a hump back put on a show with a breach included!!!  Spectacular. Up close with lots of blue ice. The captain did a great job of imparting information on all sorts of historical and biological facts. 

Went to the Sea Life Center here in Seward yesterday. Good for an afternoon.  Funded compliments of the BP oil spill.ngotmto see some birds and sea mammals up close. Seems to be a good research facility.
 Walked the dock before and after dinner last night. This picture sums up Alaska tourism in my opinion. 

For our last full day in Alaska, yup, hard to believe, we plan to hike at exit glacier. The past 3 days have been sunny which has made everything enjoyable. Had flip flops on again yesterday for the first time since day 1 on Kodiak Island. 

One more post tomorrow before the return home I think.  Thanks for following along!