Friday, September 3, 2010

The Call of the Islands

This summer the hubby and I got the opportunity to visit Hawaii for the first time.  The best way I can describe the trip was a banquet for the senses.  Immediately when disembarking the plane, the air wafted sweet with plumeria and other tropical smells.  The warm tradewinds were like a warm, gentle touch on the skin.  No matter where we looked, the sky, water and greenery were intense with color.  I now understand why people return to the islands over and over again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"10 of Hearts"

I have had an awesome summer, but alas, have pretty much forgotten about my blog. Sorry 'bout that! I will definitely try to catch up! The past several weeks I have been furiously working with friends on a mosaic heart that will be auctioned at a dinner in December held by Los Ayudantes. The funds from the auction will go directly to All the Arts for All the Kids, the foundation that provides art education to children in the Fullerton school district.

Some of the end results of this project, other than the obvious completion of the heart, have been the hours spent with good friends creating, talking, problem solving, laughing, grumbling, and laughing some more, and generally having a good time for a very good cause. The friends that I have had the pleasure of working with are: Gail, Joanie (new to me but fun!),Julie, Nancy, Nina, Katherine, Kirsten, Shelley, Sue, and Vicki.
I am so glad I was able to participate! Even though I was in Hawaii and Idaho during the planning, my friends still let me join in.

After all the hard work, I now have the joy of being able to look at the finished product and see bits and pieces of my good friends reflected there.Here are some pictures of our heart-it truly has been a labor of love.
1)  Completed and delivered to the Fullerton Museum

2) Grouting and cleaning on the last day  3) Sue's fused birds  4) Kirsten's fused ladybugs  5)  Fused dragonfly

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cats in Bed

My friend Katherine has been working with me to try to get me to break loose and draw. I am trying, but one of the hardest things is to let go and just draw and silence my inner critic.

At Artfest I took a class from Carla Sonheim, a delightful and whimsical artist as well as a delightful person! Carla's drawing lab book was just released, and an online art group is going through each chapter, lesson by lesson, exercise by exercise---I've joined in.

The first exercise in Carla's book is called "Cats in Bed". She encourages students to place heavy drawing paper on a pillow or on their bed. Using a permanent marker pen, draw at least 30 cats and the pillow or bed will cause the paper to "give" so there is fluidity in the lines (and a good excuse if you don't like it! ha!). This is one of my quirky cats. Believe it or not, giraffes are next!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Evening with the Artsy Craftsy Club

Last night my daughter and I went to a good friend's house for what she calls the "Artsy Craftsy Club". This is a totally fun evening where friends show up, eat snacks, talk and laugh, and play with art. Jamie, our fearless leader, provides all the art supplies and a project idea to work on. She is an incredible artist who also happens to be a new mom, a pediatric nurse, and lots and lots of fun! You can see her incredible artwork at

Last night Jamie chose a collage project from an art magazine with step by step instructions, and Jamie kept us moving in the right direction when we were stuck. Interestingly enough, Jamie says she could NEVER be a teacher, but shhhh, don't tell her, she really IS a teacher and a great one at that! Each person's final product was very unique, even when a few chose the same color palettes.

This is my completed project. I think I'm going to frame it and put it on my art wall in the den. At the end of the evening I felt invigorated (Playing with art is like that for me!) Thanks again Jamie, for a great evening.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I love color...the more intense and varied, the better. My Dad was an artist and I don't know if I just absorbed his love for color or what, but color "floats my boat". This is a shot of fresh tulips at Pike Place Market on the wharf in Seattle. I would go broke if I lived close by...beautiful, yes?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Tree Planted by Rivers of Water

I often forget to take pictures of the mosaic work that I do, and end up giving pieces away or selling them without realizing I have no record of what I made. So, when I was visiting my kids in April, I took a picture of this mirror that I gave them sometime last year. It belongs in their home in the gorgeous woods of N. Idaho. The design on the mirror is of a strong tree, planted next to a pure, rushing stream. I made it as a visual image of Psalm 1:3 which says (with a minor change-teehee) "and she will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever she does, she prospers." This verse is talking about a person who loves and delights and obeys the law of the Lord.
Hope you enjoy it, too!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Old Hitchin' Post

After Artfest I took a quick side-trip to see my oldest kids and grandkids in Idaho. While I was there, the whole fam joined together to "help" Dad (my oldest son) make a hitching post for the horses in front of the "livery". I just had to post this picture of the whole crew after he finished! Aren't they great??!
The logs were from downed trees on their property--my son cut and peeled them, notched the posts and heaved the long post on top. It made me tired just watching him!!! LOL The second picture is where the short crew stayed while my son heaved that big log on top (just to make sure nobody got in the way). Can't wait to go visit them in the summer!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Artfest 2010

When I got home from Artfest 2010 and a short side-trip to see the kids and grandkids, I hit the ground running since it was Easter weekend, a new semester with new courses/students, etc., and so I haven't really had much of a chance to slow down enough to post. Sorry 'bout that, for many reasons---I'll try to do better! :) {By the way, the date above shows I posted March 29th, but that's only when I started this post--it's really May! ha!}
First of all, I had a terrific time! I took classes with Carla Sonheim (whimsical drawing/watercolor), Julie Haymaker Thompson (Dr. Suess-like paperclay characters), and Susan Kazmer (altered surfaces on metalwork). Not only did the three classes use different mediums, but the instructors were totally distinctive in personality, teaching style, etc. The students in each group were diverse so each day was its own unique slice of Artfest. Two friends, Sue and Vicki, were in the metalworking class with me so that made it all the more fun. I'll post some about each separate class as I get the opportunity, but for now, the pictures are from a walk I took all by myself, something I rarely do. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Treasure Boxes

When I was a little girl, I saved all sorts of odds and ends--pieces of ribbon, postcards, notes, broken jewelry, coins, special rocks, seashells. I used an old grungy shoebox that I hid in my closet to store my treasures, but somewhere along the way, I misplaced my box. To many people the little tidbits I saved would not have meant a thing, but to me they were equivalent to valuable crown jewels or old handwritten manuscripts.
A few years back I was talking with a friend about her husband's baseball cards that he kept in an old cigar box. It reminded me again of my childhood shoebox, and I decided that I needed to give each of my grandchildren a special box to store their personal treasures. So, I've made each a box with their name and some design that is personal to them (and hope to continue as we have more grandbabies). For example, the oldest loves animals, the second loves monster trucks, the third loves music, etc.
When we visit, I love to sneak off to their bedrooms and take a peek to see what they've hidden inside. Shhhh! don't tell! : )

Missing the Kids and Grandkids

One of my sons was able to take a long weekend to go see his brother(my older son), and his wife and kids in the Pacific Northwest. I am glad for him since he hasn't seen them for a long time, but it has been a harsh reminder to me how much I miss being with ALL my kids and grandkids, all together in one place. The picture above is a year ago--it was not taken in a studio, but in our kids' side was the most snow this So. California girl has ever seen! My son set the timer and ran through the deep snow! I cherish our times together....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mosaic Shoe #4 FINISHED!

I finally finished my mosaic shoe, grouted and cleaned. My neighbor loved it, and gave me the matching shoe so I could show what the original looked like. She and her daughter want to learn the basics of mosaics so I suggested we get together in a few weeks and make a stepping stone for their backyard. Should be fun!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mosaic Shoe #3

The only part left to finish on my mosaic shoe is to grout and paint the sole. I'll complete it tomorrow night at class. I was concerned about all the little curves, etc. on the shoe, wondering how I would mosaic small areas, but as long as I used small pieces, it was easier than I thought. The pieces include mirror, glass tile, stained glass, beads and a vintage earring. Can't wait to show my neighbor her shoe after it's grouted!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cowboy Caleb

Oftentimes I have a hard time believing in my artistic abilities, in what work I can accomplish. This past spring, Katherine challenged our mosaic class to do a portrait. Of course, as usual, I thought I couldn't possibly do it, but then I thought "Why not? I might as well give it a try".

Around the same time, I was able to visit my family in Idaho, and took this picture of my oldest grandson. Below is Caleb's photo and another photo of the finished mosaic. I have to say I was very pleased with the portrait, so much so that I've started another of my second grandson and will post it when it's complete! Yippee!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Artfest Trades

The first time at I attended Artfest was because a friend cajoled me into it, even though I was sure that my puny art skills would be the subject of more than a few chuckles. I am glad she pushed me to go. It was all pretty overwhelming the first time with choosing classes when I had no idea what I was getting myself into, planning travel, accommodations, etc. But finally, I had everything in place.

Then, I learned about TRADES. Participants are encouraged (totally by choice) to bring small art trinkets to exchange---little handmade art charms, ATCs, small baggies of art supplies for collage, etc. It can be just about anything. I was scared spitless to make trade items, mostly because I was sure that no one would want to trade with my rinky dink attempts. On the advice of a good friend, I joined the yahoo chat site for Artfest, and that is where I met Joan from N. Idaho. She patiently emailed me with ideas, gentle suggestions, and descriptions of what she'd seen at Artfest in the past. On a trip to see my grandkids, Joan met up with me so that I could see some items from previous years. AND...when I got to Artfest, she not only looked me up, but she gave me a chain to attach traded charms. That's the kind of wonderful, caring people that willingly exchanged trades with me at Artfest, and were kind enough to wait to chuckle until later. {grin}


For the past two years I have had the opportunity to go to Artfest at Ft. Worden, Port Townsend, WA. For those of you who do not know about it, I'll try to explain. Artfest is a gathering of artists from around the world for a 3 1/2 day event planned and organized by Tracy and Teesha Moore, where classes are offered by a wide variety of professional artists. Sign-ups are in advance so that students can bring supplies for each day of classes.
Last year, one of the classes I signed up for was with Sunny Carvahlo. It was a painting class, totally different than any other class I've had at Artfest. We used heat-set oil paints and Sunny was a fantastic teacher--very patient and helpful. I was happy with the results and gave the painting to my baby granddaughter to hang in her room. This year I have classes with Carla Sonheim, Julie Haymaker Thompson, and Susan Kazmer. I can't wait!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mosaic Shoe #2

This shoe is definitely NOT 'made for walkin'! Following Katherine's directions, my shoe is ready for mosaicing, so I wanted to post a picture of what it looks like after preparation and before I begin the fun part. First, I cut the strap off (around the ankle) and then used rigid wrap to cover the entire shoe (except the bottom). Next, I used "fix-all" to fill the toe and heel area. This has been a fascinating process! I can see how these same materials can be used on many other 3-D items before adding mosaic tile, glass, or baubles. I'll post again after I get further along.
Now....what else can I rigid wrap....hmmm....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Online Art Classes

In the fall I had a chance to take online journal making and paper art classes with Julie Prichard, the first online art classes I'd ever taken. I wasn't sure how I would like participating in visual arts classes on the net, or even the mechanics of how that would work, but I was surprised to find that it was doable and enjoyable.
Julie has prepared demonstration videos that can be downloaded in a short period of time and can be watched over and over again. Believe me, I know! Even though her directions are easy to follow, I had a hard time picking up everything in the first go-round, so I watched each video several times. The terrific part is that the videos are available for a full year so if I need to review, I can watch them again. This is one of my favorite pages. : )

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mosaic Shoe? Yep! #1

Tonight in mosaics we started a shoe (a la Laurel Skye's new book). We were asked to bring an interesting shoe, ready to prepare for mosaicing. I stopped by Salvation Army, then I went through my closet and through the spare closet that holds leftovers from my adult kids, but to no avail. I was late to class, not sure what I was going to do, so on a whim I stopped by my neighbor's house and asked if she had any old shoe she didn't want anymore. She laughed and said, "absolutely, I know just the one!" I thanked her, she gave me a hug, and off to class.
Tonight we covered the shoe in rigid wrap (very messy!) with the next step being to fill with fix-all. I'll post pictures on the next "shoe" post. Fun so far!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Journal Workshop with Katherine

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a long-awaited one-day journal making workshop with my favorite local artist, Katherine England. It was a perfect day for a plenare class with beautiful California sunshine and a soft breeze. And trust me, the workshop was just as extraordinary as the day.

The project was to build a handmade journal from scratch with a special "Katherine" flair. The students who attended included a wide range of ages and experience levels and all seemed to find joy in the day. Katherine gave written and verbal instructions and then set students free to rotate from area to area to complete different parts of our journals. When everyone was just about done with the parts, Katherine would call us back together and give us further instructions.

It was such a great day! Here's a picture of my journal. I plan on hanging beads from the linen thread on the front as well as trimming the watercolor paper to fit. Lots of fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Starting off the New Year Right

This is my first posting on my 8 month old blog. Fearful I would make a mistake, I could not post a single word. Over the holidays I visited my energetic DIL in the Pacific Northwest (a prolific writer), and since then I have had an unexplainable surge of courage and decided now's the time. I am.

You might ask why "JUST ANOTHER CRACKED POT"? I have been taking courses in mosaic art for the last 4 years, and I have come to realize broken glass, china, and ceramic items reconfigured can become more beautiful than the original piece. To a mosaicist, broken pieces are an opportunity to creatively use imperfection.

So...I guess that's it. I realize I'm broken in oh so many ways. I am counting on my Maker to take my broken pieces and use them to make something useful and beautiful for His glory. I invite you to come along for the ride. : )