Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stamp and Print Sunday

Join me in my Stamp and Printing Sunday.

I read about making stamps using the plastic trays used for packing food in the grocery store. I bought a tray of precut mixed vegetables that was just right for a dish I was making. So I experimented with making stamps. I love the layers of color on them after use. 

Some years ago I participate in a night of community art at the RISD Museum in Providence, RI. Participants carved stamps and contributed to a group mural. After a day of snow I longed for spring. The outcome was a cherry blossom stamp. I used it in a subtractive way on these prints. 

I actually love the one on the far left….it's not clear, but I love the feeling. I wonder how it will look after an encounter with some markers….

I had thought I was going to stick with pink today, but I lost to aqua and green. I love these prints. 

Here's the stamp again. The first pull is on the right and the second is left. It's crazy how I often like the ghost pulls better than the original. Either way I feel the start of something wonderful. 

These are both prints that I have posted before. This time they have a third layer of paint! I love them both. The one on the left took my breath away! I had no idea it was going to look this way.  

I close with a glimpse of my excess paint blotter. Just can't wait to see where this takes me. 

Hope your week is full of surprise inspiration!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Self Care Saturday

I started this blog as a venue for my happiness. That includes family, art, travel, poetry, creativity, nature and intention. Life, however, interceded testing my resolve. In the scheme of things Life won quite a few of the skirmishes, but I did not give up. One thing I have heard over and over is that caretakers need to find time for self-care. That is so hard to do.

This piece has taken many days to emerge. One day the background and another was a first attempt of creating stamps from grocery store packaging. Each day I am taking a moment to add to the journal page. It gives me a few minutes of delight. This morning it seemed perfect for the theme of self care. In the photo, the glitter paint obscures the pattern of the print, but I like it so it remains.

In addition to finishing up this spread, I indulged in a leisurely cup of Harney's and Sons tea. I love their teas and order them online. This morning's cuppa was bliss.

I hope this will be a regular post here. Join me and link your Self Care Saturday post in the comments if you like. If there is interest I will create an InLinkz group. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blog Header

I've been wanting a blog header that reflects my message for a long time. Don't think I haven't played around at making one. Each one has been a disappointment…until tonight. I love my new blog header and hope you do too. 

If you have created a blog header or a banner for your internet platforms, how did you go about it? How many tries did it take you until you felt satisfied? Are you still playing? I'd love to know your thoughts. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why Blog?

Today provided plenty of inspiration. More gelli printing - some layering on top of the prints of last week.

There were some brand new prints. 

The exhilaration I get from new discovery is heady. Trying out these new techniques and exploring is soul fulfilling.

Later, found me at the computer looking at my much neglected Feedly account. As I scrolled down the list of blogs, I found many of them had posted a farewell speech. The blogger was moving on to other  endeavors. I was grieved by many of them, as some of them introduced to me blogs I had not encountered before, but found instant affinity for. So many farewells.

All this brought my mind round to a post on Grace Howe's website. The article On Art, Journaling & Creativity questions the reasons we do what we do. The article jogged me to start asking myself a question that is important to me:

Why Blog?

I have recently returned to my blog after neglecting it for a long time. Examining the reasons for blogging and whether the effort is possible to prioritize at this time I found that I still have reason to show up. To create. To document joy.

I started this blog as my response to reading The Happiness Project. This is my happy spot. My happy. My hope that I can share happy with you. 

Reasons I want to reconnect and be more consistent with this blog:

- to record happy things so I can look back on them and remember
- to record happy things so that others can be inspired to seek their own happiness
- to create beauty in my own life
- to express myself
- to connect with others
- to jumpstart creativity
- to keep dreaming
- to document self growth, studies and promote great teachers
- to create community
- a hope to collaborate with others doing projects, swaps, inspiring each other, and sharing ideas with people with similar interests. 

What are reasons you blog? Or if have you given up blogging, why did you take that path? I'm happy to hear your thoughts. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Gelli Printing!

This weekend I treated myself to something I have wanted to try for a while now. I hope you treated yourself as well. 

I first got interested in printing with a Gelli Arts plate after watching a video on YouTube that wowed me. If I find it I will post it here. This seemed like so much fun and a great addition to art journaling. 

So as I was driving through Providence my car suddenly turned toward Wickendon Street. Before I knew it I was parked at Dick Blick's Art Supply Store. I have so many happy memories involving this store when it was Utrecht's. One day a guy came in on his unicycle to buy a very large piece of paper. We wondered how he would ever carry it on that unicycle, but he rolled it up, put it in the cylinder slung over his shoulder and pedaled away. 

Today I broke out the plate and gave it a try. The sound of the paper pulling away from the plate and the squishing of the paint were accompanied by my squee-ing with delight. The pulls I got from this method made me do a little happy dance. 

I will be trying this again!

What kinds of things do you do when you want to treat yourself?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dr. Seuss quote - Blog Challenge Day Two

March 31 Day Blog Challenge sponsored by Artcademy

Day Two

It's Dr. Seuss's birthday! Share your favorite Dr. Seuss quote and ask your readers to do the same. 

My favorite Dr. Seuss book is Oh, the Places You'll Go! I decided to make an art journal page using the color scheme and theme of his illustrations. I wrote my thoughts on a piece of violet colored paper using different colored ink for different aspects of the book I was thinking about. I then ripped them and pasted them down adding paint for the background. I punched out circles and added paint. I chose circles to mirror Dr. Seuss's circles on the cover. 

On page two Seuss writes:

"You have brains in your head. 
You have feet in your shoes. 
you can steer yourself
any direction you choose. 
You're on your own. And you know what you know. 
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go."

This is a children's book, or is it?
This is the perfect book for the artist on a journey.
My sister bought a copy of this book for me when I achieved my Master's degree and began my career as a children's librarian. 

And the words still resonate. 
And I still need the message. 
Maybe you do too. 

(Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Random House, New York, 1990.)

I'd love to hear your favorite Dr. Seuss quote in my comments! Wishing you strength for the journey and lovely experiences along the way. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Artcademy March Blog Challenge - Day 1 - Spring

Artcademy is hosting a March Blog Challenge and I thought it would be just the thing to jumpstart me into blogging regularly once again - something I have been wanting to do. 

Today's challenge:

What does spring mean to you? Share your thoughts, pictures, and events that make you think of spring.

To be honest, I am thinking about Spring a lot lately. Yesterday I felt Spring in the air, gently whistling to me in the sweet sounds that birds make in Spring. There may be tons of snow on the ground and more falling from the sky, but Spring is just around the corner. 

I found myself looking at the snow drifts and imagining the bulbs that are waiting under those blankets of snow. This much snow and cold will mean glorious flowers this spring. 

Today I asked my daughter what her favorite Spring flowers were. She answered by asking me. To be honest, my favorite flowers are the late Spring variety - violets, lilacs and lily of the valleys. I am very fond of narcissus and tulips and love how they herald in the season. 

Looking through my photos of springtime I found some of my favorite gardens and got excited for the lovely season to come. 

This was taken during their Daffodil Days. The daffodils here are huddled around trees as if looking for sanctuary from the cold wind that whips off of Narraganset Bay. Being there at this time of year is refreshing. Quite like drinking a class of ice water when you are parched. Spring fulfills it's promises at Blithewold. 

Later come the cherry blossoms down by the Water Garden. How could I have left cherry blossoms off of my list of favorite spring flowers? They could be at the top of the list depending on the day. 

Fiddle Head Ferns are so delightful to look at ….and to eat! 

The daffodils above were photographed at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. The field of daffodils is gargantuan! This photo only captures a small fragment of the field. 

Thinking about the warm of Spring and these lovely places to enjoy the season, I am quite excited. Perhaps I'll have to look at my calendar and write some flower viewing trips in before the days become claimed by something much less worthy and much more practical. 

Hope you do the same. 

(Note: All photographs taken in years past. Currently there is plenty of snow on the ground and enough falling out of the sky to warrant at least a two hour delay for tomorrow. Ask I bundle myself up I remind myself that the flowers this year will be spectacular. )