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Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays!

It's hard to believe how quickly this year has passed. I am very grateful for my many blessings this year and am looking forward to another wonderful year ahead. 

A couple of days ago I had the chance to play with some of the new toys I received for my birthday this year.   I. had. a. blast!  Here's a shot of my mussel shell work in progress while I explore and figure out how to use the new supplies... I have just started layering and blending. I definitely have quite a few layers to go. I am in love with my new supplies! I'll write more about them in the new year.


From our home to yours... I wish you all a magical holiday season filled with joy and love!


I appreciate all who visit, and am always grateful for any comments! Have a wonderful, art filled day! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New art and a new decade...

A week ago today I turned the BIG 5-0... FIFTY... 50!!

I am filled with gratitude for all I've learned in each of my previous decades and I look forward to experiencing and learning from each day as I journey into this new decade. I feel so very blessed to have an amazing family and kind friends. I plan on celebrating ALL month! Please share in my birthday happiness and enjoy some art, yoga, rainbows, unicorns, and... cake!  

(I was extra grateful that my hand was not quite as sensitive and I could create a little art to celebrate the day... it's titled, "Fifty," of course! ­čśé

"Fifty" 
I really enjoyed creating "Zen Gems" for the first time on this piece. I am looking forward to creating art more regularly once again. I still have pain in my right hand and will have to have surgery eventually on that hand as well. Hopefully I'll be able to avoid it for another year. The surgery on my left hand went well, but it does have a long recovery time. It's been a tough year with all the surgeries and my husband and I need a break! I don't know how I would have survived this last 6 months without his constant help and support. I am so lucky to have such a patient husband. 

I enjoyed taking Life Book 2016 so much this year that I've signed up to participate in Life Book 2017! (Even though I didn't complete most of the lessons due to all those surgeries... I'll double up!) If you love learning all kinds of mixed media techniques and studying many different artist's styles... this is the course for you! Find out all about this AMAZING year long course here!!!

As December comes to an end it's wonderful to reflect and to get excited about the year ahead. I'm busy getting organized and making lists of things I want to accomplish. I LOVE lists! 

I so appreciate those who stop by to visit and am always grateful for any comments. Have a wonderful, art filled day! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Little Mermaid

The little mermaid project is now complete. I really enjoyed trying out some new techniques that I hadn't used before. It is so fun to create when inspiration strikes, and you know just what to do to put what's in your head onto the paper. So. very. satisfying. when that happens! The way that her hair and bubbles have a part in telling her story makes me very happy. 

I am having a lot of fun taking this course and am looking forward to studying new techniques and styles with more artists.  (Click here to view more details about the course. It started early July but you can still sign up and not lose a step. You can download all course materials to work at your own pace.) It is WONDERFUL!


Here is my finished mermaid... I tried to take shots from different angles to show how her tail, the bubbles, and the flower in her hair sparkle and shine depending on the light. It wasn't very easy to capture these subtleties with a camera. I wish you could see her in person!  








I so appreciate those who stop by to visit and am always grateful for any comments. Have a wonderful, art filled day! 

Friday, August 12, 2016

X-rays, a Zentangle® Book, & Mermaid Progress

Soooo... My last post I mentioned my foot surgery. One down, one to go. Well... This week I rescheduled an appointment I had with an orthopedic doctor that I had cancelled while dealing with scheduling the first foot surgery. The appointment was to have my hands checked out, specifically the pain I've been experiencing in the thumb area. (I was hoping the pain would go away while I was resting with foot surgery recovery. It didn't.) Basically... it looks like more surgeries are in my future... I have bone on bone in my thumb joint, both hands. Here's the lovely X-Rays. You can see there is no space at the bottom of the third bone... Ouch!


The doctor gave me some braces to wear on my hands during the day to try to help with the pain. We will have to wait to do anything further until I've recovered from the current and upcoming foot surgery. I. Am. A. MESS! I told my husband that it may be time to trade me in for a newer model... I think my warranty has expired. I'm just going to take it all a day at a time. I know it will all be fine.

 I received some very exciting mail yesterday! I received this beautiful book...


...from Beate Winkler. She's a Certified Zentangle Teacher in Germany who has published many wonderful Zentangle® books. I am so pleased and honored that she invited me to submit some art for this book! I am overjoyed to have my art included with so many amazing and talented artists. Several of my pieces are in the book. Here's a little preview of the elegant layout inside...



"Das Grosse Zentangle Kreativbuch" is currently being translated into English, and should be available possibly later this year on Amazon. The projects in the book are beautiful and inspiring. The book is wonderful in every possible way! It is well laid out and pleasing to page through. It includes step outs to tangle patterns as well as lots of lovely Zentangle Inspired Art projects. (Thank you again, Beate, for including my art.)

I introduced my latest project, the little mermaid in my last post. Since that post I have been working on additional face layers and details. (Click here to view more details about the course. It started early July but you can still sign up and not lose a step. You can download all course materials to work at your own pace. It is a WONDERFUL course!) 

I had to get back to my mermaid today (no matter how my hands are feeling)! I was so excited! I was selecting lots of papers to start collaging... I looked for papers that would tell her story... her longing for the items of the earth world. I printed out part of the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson so that I could incorporate that also. I have bits of paper with birds, roses, shiny things, etc and then I found some paper with butterflies that almost reminded me of scales!!! I'll use some twinkling H2O watercolors to pick up and enhance the change of colors and luminescence of the paper. This paper is perfect for my little mermaid's TAIL! I also LOVE that the butterflies represent her transformation and longing to be free. I've place the pieces to see how it would look... I LOVE IT! I'll save them to add later after I do some of the other layers of painting. 


Then I began playing with the page of the fairy tale that I had printed out... I chose pieces I wanted to include and immediately thought it would be wonderful to have her story be part of her and lifting her towards the surface... bubbles also float her story towards the surface... This is the start of that process. (I was very particular about the words/phrases that were selected. You can see the part where she is told that she can go to the surface at 15, her handsome boy statue, a kiss each other, little mermaid, sisters, youngest one, the sea, flowers, and never having seen a bird...)


I then started adding some sparkles to her hair with some shiny paper that I had with birds and flowers printed in foil. More earthly things for her in the sea. I placed more scraps. I saw some numbered paper... YAY! It had a '15.' Perfect number for my "horse," as this is the age she is able to travel to the surface. So here she is at this point. 


Now it's time to glue down my pieces and begin adding some color! It felt so good to work on her for a couple of hours today. I'll rest my hands a bit, take some more tylenol, and get out the gel medium! 

As always... I so appreciate those who stop by to visit and am always grateful for any comments. Have a wonderful, art filled day! 


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hikes, Surgery, & ART

It's been a tricky year so far for me. I have had lots of distractions and some challenges. One (okay two) of my challenges have been my feet. Over the past couple of years I have been in more and more pain that for the most part I: a) blamed on my shoes b) thought would get better by themselves c) tried to ignore. The denial had to come to an end and finally did when I realized during a vinyasa class that I was unable to be on my toes without excruciating pain... And there are a LOT of postures that rely on toes in vinyasa yoga. Luckily it prompted me to make an appointment with a podiatrist. 


My appointment was scheduled the week after a trip to visit my family in Southern Utah. Whenever I'm home I have to hike. The desert landscape calls to me and soothes my heart and soul. I'm very happy I didn't go to the podiatrist prior to this trip... I would never have been allowed to do the 5 hour hike. Although it hurt, I was so happy to be hiking in such a beautiful area again. I feel so lucky to have been able to grow up here! Here's a few photos of our hike a couple miles from my parent's home...





We drove about 40 minutes to get to this location (This was the 5 hour hike!) Here are the photos from that hike...








By the time I was done with the hiking I definitely knew that reasons a-b-c were not flying anymore! I returned home and went to the doctor. Here are the X-Ray's...

Bone on bone in toe joint. Ouch! 
Bone spurs on big toe joint. Ouch!
Bone on bone in big toe joint on left foot too. Ouch!
More spurs on big toe on left foot. Ouch!
OUCH! Time to schedule surgery to remove the bone spurs, and shorten the metatarsal leading from the big toe and screw it back together so that there isn't as much pressure pushing into that joint. Right foot scheduled for July 6th, and left foot will be fixed 3 months later (early October) when the right foot is strong enough to be my main foot. 

I'm happy that the first surgery is over and now that I've had several weeks of recovery I can get back into my studio for little snippets of time once again. This brings me to the art part of this post! YAY! 

Prior to surgery I signed up to take an art course called Ever After. Click here to view more details about the course. (It started early July but you can still sign up and not lose a step. You can download all course materials to work at your own pace.)

I LOVE fairy tales and I liked that this course studied fairy tales using different artist/styles plus you had the option of working on discovering your own style throughout the course.  (I signed up for both modules because I was very interested in the self discovery portion of the workshop as well.) I knew that the assignments would be waiting for me and would inspire me to get back in the studio. I started the first project this week. The first fairy tale study is, The Little Mermaid. Here's my initial sketch in my notebook...




I then drew my sketch onto watercolor paper and started the first layers of watercolor for the skin and began the detail of the eyes. Definitely a work in progress. I'm enjoying every moment. It feels great to create again. 



I'm looking forward to drawing and painting when I can and I am forgiving myself for being absent for so long. I am grateful that art always waits patiently for me to return. I am excited to share more zentangle and art of all forms as I continue healing, creating, and exploring. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Travel, Art, & a Diva Challenge

I just returned from an amazing trip to Portland, Maine! I feel so fortunate that I was able to attend a conference for Certified Zentangle Teachers called, Tangle University or Tangle U. I spent four VERY full days creating art, learning new techniques, spending time with artists that I admire, creating art, and creating art! It was a dream come true! I will post more art from Tangle U as I complete the projects in the next several weeks. 

The first piece of art I would like to share was created during Molly Hollibaugh's class. First off... I ADORE Molly! She is Maria's daughter, and she is AMAZING! I was really looking forward to her session. She. did. not. disappoint! It was wonderful to have a class that took us "back to the basics" of Zentangle. No Zentangle Inspired Art... just the pure method of Zentangle that satisfies and comforts my heart and soul. This is the piece I created, "My Journey."

"My Journey" created in Molly Hollibaugh's Class
One of the reasons this trip was SOOOO fantastic is that my husband joined me. We don't often have the opportunity for us to just go away together, so it's extremely special when we do have the chance. He worked in the hotel during the day and scouted out a restaurant for us to try at dinner each day. We had scrumptious food e.v.e.r.y. day! Lots of the dishes had something to do with lobster! While there I had Lobster Diablo (lobster, mussels, clams, squid, on pasta), lobster wontons, lobster roll, lobster bread pudding, lobster dim sum, lobster stew... I think you get the idea! Not one disappointing meal! We went to Street & Co., the Armory, Empire, Duckfat, Eventide, The Honey Paw... We had a great group of friends drive up from Boston and New Hampshire to join us for dinner one night. It was so nice of them to drive such a distance! We also met friends, Erin and John, at a wonderful restaurant in Kennebunk for lunch. Norm and I enjoyed exploring the area a bit and loved going to see the Portland Head Light. The coast is such a sight to see... I love it's rugged beauty. Here's some photos of our adventures in Portland and the surrounding area.











Now.... for the Diva's Weekly Challenge #266: "UMT - Crux by Henrike Bratz." I so enjoyed playing with the scale of this tangle! It reminded me of a lantern... so I had to add some light! It's called, "Illumination."

"Illumination" 
I have been working on converting my Zentangle® Audio Meditations from being hosted by Cincopa to Vimeo. This required reformatting and I have finally finished that!  I will be changing all the links during the next week. Once this is complete it will be time to create a new audio! YAY!!! 

I feel rejuvenated after the past week's adventures. I look forward to working on unfinished projects, planning classes, and practicing the mindfulness of Zentangle. 

Have a wonderful, art filled day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Losing Time...

Oh my! Where did the month go?! 

I haven't taken the time to do my nails with fun Jamberry wraps in over a month! It was nice to take advantage of a rainy afternoon to spiffy them up. I used Butterfly KissesFaded Bouquet (retiring at the end of February), and Daydream in this combination. I LOVE it! I think it looks like a little taste of springtime.

Springtime Nails!
BREAKING NEWS and it's the best. news. EVER!!! Disney nail art now available at Jamberry! Check out all the AMAZINGLY MAGICAL designs here! 

I am very excited about a project I'll be completing this month for Kelly Barone, of Whimsy by Kelly. She is a Certified Zentangle® Teacher and the proprietor of Tangle Troves™. Tangle Troves is an AWESOME monthly delivery of Zentangle supplies and inspiration. I think it is so exciting to have a box of TREASURES show up in your mail each month. You will always be surprised and delighted by what she so thoughtfully assembles. SNEAK PREVIEW!!! I will be creating a Zentangle Audio Meditation specifically for  subscribers to enjoy. It will be included in the March Box.... So sign up now, if you haven't already, to get lots of great supplies AND have exclusive access to the Zentangle Audio Meditation. 

Last month a photo I submitted to the Facebook group, Zentangle: Tangled & Journaled, Too!, was selected as the header of the week. I am so honored and excited that it was chosen. This is how it looked...

My art as group header for the week!
I did start working on a mixed media piece this month... This is the stage it is currently at, waiting ever so patiently for me to get back to it! 

First few layers of papers/paint...
I can't believe how quickly February has passed. I have been overwhelmed this month with things that needed to be done... putting art on the back burner. I hope to be back on track and catch up during March! At least through all the busyness I have kept up with my daily tangle of the day in my journal. I look forward to taking the few minutes every morning to explore that day's tangle. Sometimes I only have time to follow the step out and other days I can explore variations. I am grateful for each moment. One of my favorite nail photos this month was from Valentine's Day. I had done my nails a few days earlier, and then on Valentine's Day my loving husband presented me with a famous blue box. It contained one of my favorite things... a beautiful PEN! I ADORE pens!  You have to appreciate how perfectly the pen matched my nails! I admired them both all day! (I may need to make a mental note to do this manicure every year to encourage more matching boxes filled with lovely items!)

Matching nails and pen! A perfect tangling combination!
I hope you have had a wonderful February and were more successful in your artistic endeavors than I have been this month! Looking forward to new adventures/art ahead! 



Friday, January 22, 2016

Family Fun & Celebrations

I have had a busy and very FUN last couple of weeks... 

AND FINALLY I have internet AGAIN! It has been a struggle to find out exactly why it wasn't working... Norm spent HOURS on the phone and repair men were here for HOURS. We thought it was fixed and then HOURS (may have been minutes!) later it was down again. The culprit was underground wiring which will be replaced tomorrow. They temporarily ran wiring from the main cable up the light pole out front to the house so that I can have internet tonight (yay... blog catchup!) and watch television! Yippee! I am hopeful that my weekly posts won't be delayed again once the repair is complete. 

Now for the catch up!

We went to our very first concert as a family! We made it an exciting road trip weekend to San Diego. 

Rooftop Bar at Hotel Indigo
We stayed downtown at the Hotel Indigo and enjoyed walking to and eating at lots of fantastic restaurants in the Gaslamp District.  

First shot together! 
After dinner we explored as we walked and were drawn into the Tequila Bar. Norm and Leila realized they had never had a shot together... So here is the documentation of the first Dad and Daughter shot. We decided that 28 years old was a good age to have this happen. 

Inspiration...
More inspiration!
While walking around I had to stop to take a couple of photos of things that caught my eye... I loved the patterning in both of these! I ESPECIALLY love the way the second photo shows the negative and positive light in the shadows. This is a great reference photo for me. I am looking forward to playing with this in a future piece.

Blowing steam into the hot room!
Lobby of this large studio
Our weekend trip happened during the first week of the newest yoga challenge at the studio I attend. This meant that I needed to find time and a studio to practice at while in San Diego. Luckily the Bikram Yoga San Diego studio was only four miles away from our hotel, making it very easy to get to. The studio is MUCH larger than the one I practice at. (The first photo shows only about a 1/3 of the room.) The instructor had to use a microphone. It was good for me to step outside of my comfort zone and practice at another studio, BUT I sure did miss the feel of a friendly community AND the super CLEAN smelling studio that is Bikram Yoga Agoura Hills! (Thank you, Rachel!)

Brunch at The Mission
My babies
We had such an enjoyable brunch at The Mission. I splurged on the fancy mocha drink (as did both girls)! I also tried their banana bread... it. was. SCRUMPTIOUS!!! 

Vertical succulent garden
I adore succulents and was in l-o-v-e when we walked past these beautiful garden installations after brunch.

Doing our tourist photo! 
Old Town San Diego was so much fun to wander around. We loved listening to the mariachi band, watching the dancers, and exploring all the little shops. I was so happy to find my newest studio angel... with the absolutely perfect message! I also bought some lovely little talavera bowls and plates. 

My adorable silly girls
The perfect find for my studio!

The concert was a lot of fun and VERY loud! You could feel it! (Luckily Leila provided me with some earplugs for Christmas that just "turned down the volume" while not diminishing the overall sound.)  

Opening band: 3Teeth 
Second band: Primus 
Main Event: Tool
Tool

Tool... again
Of course... I was a super fan of the visuals and lights! 

It has been so nice to have Cami home for the past month. She is always so much fun to be around and brings such joy to the house. It is hard to believe that the month is now ending and she heads back to school on Saturday. A month goes by quickly.

Isn't he adorable?!
Cami took this photo on one of the days she took Clark down to the park to play. He sure is going to miss his sister while she's gone again. 

Meeting Cami's boyfriend's family
We met Cami's boyfriend in "real" life (already had met and talked via FaceTime) and his lovely family. We had a wonderful brunch and spent the afternoon together. Cami and Zach went to Magic Mountain for her pre-birthday celebration. They had a BLAST riding all the rollercoasters. Norm and I made sure we had her traditional birthday party cookie cake waiting when they got home. As you can see... she was very happy!

NINETEEN!!!
I feel so blessed to have had nineteen years so far with this smart, funny, caring, gorgeous woman. I am looking forward to all the years ahead... watching her grow and experience life. 

MANY birthday celebrations!
My lovely daughters once again!
All the excursions and activities kept my art to a minimum the past couple of weeks... I have been keeping up with working on a new tangle a day though. Here is the calendar break down in my Hobonichi Journal. I am working on whatever the tangle of the day is as posted in the "Tangled & Journal, Too!" Facebook group. So far they have all been new to me tangles. I play around with the tangle a little on the actual date in the journal and then recap here in the monthly view. I like that at the end of the year I'll have a "key" of tangles. I can look at the monthly view and go to the date to see how I played around with the tangle. I supplement this with posting each step out in the app, Evernote. So far, I think that this system is working well for me. 


Next week I should be able to participate in some challenges and work on getting caught up on some of my art projects. YAY! My entertainment will be back at school (not so yay), it will be time to get back to work!


I'll leave you with this stunning sunrise photo that I took from the front door of the yoga studio... I LOVE early morning classes! Yoga with a sunrise bonus! 

Have a wonderful art filled week!

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