Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year...see you next year....

When I started 2013 my intention was to look for things that inspired me and made me happy.  So for me that meant carving out some time each day to create.  This is the first year in my blogs history that I actually posted about my everyday life and the artistic things I did...that's over 375 posts.  I painted pictures in watercolor, worked more with my oil pastels, I did book binding, made lots of bread from scratch, canned apples for the first time, made cakes and pies, and traveled.  Paris was the big trip of the year, but in-between, did lots of small weekend trips too. 
So as 2013 ends I realized I did what I intended to do and that was to be creative each and every day.
I'm not sure 2014 will bring, but I look forward to living a more creative life.  Thanks for stopping by.
Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saddle Stapler

I like making simple notebooks for when I'm on the go that I can stick in my purse at a moments notice.  I like a notebook that is slim with only a few pages, usually about 4 or 5.  During my bookbinding research I kept on reading about a saddle stapler that gives perfect center line stapling. 
Well I got one for Christmas.  I know that Amazon carries the one I got by Stanley-Bostitch.
I really like it and it's fairly easy to use. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy New Year cards

Today my sister and I spent the morning making Happy New Year cards.  It was nice just spending the time together and brain storming ideas and layouts.  Sadly she leaves tomorrow morning to travel home.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Faber-Castell Gelatos

This is a page from my sketchbook using Faber-Castell Gelatos.  All I had time for today was to do some quick doodles and the gelatos were easy to use. 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Out and about in Valencia

Today I was in Valencia with my sister and her husband shopping.  We stopped at Mimi's Restaurant for a late morning breakfast, when I happened to notice this little guy peeking out from under a near by table.  I was surprised to see him, but even more surprised that he was inside the restaurant.  He was just to cute to pass up taking a photo of him.  I've only seen a Brussel Griffons in dog books, never in person.  Now I need to look for a local breeder to find out more about the breed.  Nothing more pleases me when I un-expectant dog sightings.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

My dogs waiting patiently to open all their presents!  Merry Christmas to all of you!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Today is my mother's birthday

Today is my mother's birthday and if she was still alive she'd be 88 years old.  A day does not go by without thinking about her.  My mother loved flowers especially roses and calla lilies, she grew both plus veggies and herbs.  So today is a day of remembering all the things I loved about her and all the wonderful things she did for me as I grew up.  So when I see roses, it usually puts a smile on my face and think of her.  "Happy birthday Mom".

Sunday, December 22, 2013

More Giverny Flowers

One of the things I love about traveling is all the photo references I bring back home and use as a building block for a painting.  These flowers were from Monet's Giverny  Garden.  I truly can say this is a mix media painting.  I started with Daniel Smith watercolors, then used my Derwent inktense colored pencils and finished the painting with some touches of gouache. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Giverny Garden gate

This is my take on my photo from yesterday of the Giverny garden gate.  It was easier than I thought it would be to paint.  Daniel Smith watercolors on 140lb watercolor paper.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pictures from Paris

I still have a lot of photos from my recent trip to Paris that I'm finally getting too.  I plan to use these photos in future watercolor paintings.  I especially like the first photo of the open gate, so that probably will be my next painting I work on.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pocket size watercolor journal

Before I got into bookbinding, I was always buying purse size notebooks/journals.  I have been experimenting with different sizes and today I made this small watercolor journal to carry in my purse.
Finished journal : 4.5" wide by 5" long
I used 8 sheets of 140lb watercolor paper
that is 8"wide by 10" long that I fold
in half.
Red cover is 9" wide by 10" long that I fold in
half to give me a journal size of 4.5" by 5".
I used corner round punch for the ends.
Next I punch 3 whole in the paper and cover
for a simple pamphlet stitch. 
I sew the journal together using waxed red thread.
Because the journal is a little bulky, I added an elastic black
band.  I punched a hole on the back cover with my crop-a-dile.
 I cut  the black band to fit around the journal.  I then threaded the black band in the hole, with the ends inside of the back of the journal.  Next I insert a silver eyelet into the hole, using the crop-a-dile to set the eyelet.
I just added my own embellishments.  Cavalier dog stamps and pocket on the inside back cover.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bird on a tree

This little bird was all puffed out sitting on branches of the tree.  Probably thinking it's cold out here!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Reindeer Inkblot

I had created a couple of inkblot designs just waiting for me to decipher what they were.  I saw a reindeer and went from there.   I used FW sepia ink, Daniel Smith watercolors.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stephen Quiller Porcelain Palette

I'm one of those people that everybody in my family and friends find hard to buy for since I pretty much can buy what I want.  Knowing this, I'm always asked for a birthday/xmas list.  This year I was prepared.  One of the things on my birthday list was Stephen Quiller Porcelain watercolor palette.   My sister and brother-in-law gave this to me for my birthday last week.  I had to decide what colors I wanted to put into the palette that comes with 32 wells.
Most of the colors are Daniel Smith watercolors, except for my Transparent Orange from Schmincke, and my Quin Magenta from Dale Rowney.   I still 13 open spaces left to fill.  Not sure what colors I'll add.  I thought I'd just wait and see.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake by Nigella Lawson

My girlfriend Marti came down for the weekend and we made Nigella Lawson's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake today.
It was relatively easy to make with lots of steps.  If you love chocolate this is the cake to make.  Rich and flavorful, and melts in your mouth. A small piece goes a long way!  Here's the link to the recipe on the Food network channel.
Just out of the oven cooling off so we can add the frosting.

This is what it looks like after it was frosted.  I'm showing the side that hasn't already been ate.  The frosting was so shiny that I kept on getting a glare when I attempted to take pictures of it.  But you get the idea.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lori Andrews Jazz Harpist Concert

Tonight I went to a Lori Andrews Jazz Concert in Mojave, CA.  Lori earlier in the day had been a guest at the company my husband works for.  The concert was amazing, not only to hear but also to watch Lori's fingers just glide over the harp strings.  Truly a wonderful evening of music and laughter.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas flowers

I still haven't decorated my house for Christmas.  I'm not sure what I'm waiting for, but I do have the dogs sleigh out.  So thinking of Christmas, I did this mix media painting.  I used  Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artists crayons, Daniel Smith Watercolors, glitter paint, and Faber-Castell fine tip marker.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Making banana nut bread

It's been so cold here in the high desert, about 30 degrees, when I get up in the morning that freshly made banana nut bread with a good cup of coffee is in order.
I used one of my fancy loaf pans that had a lemon design.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tiger Lily -- sketching from life

For my birthday I got a beautiful flower arrangement from my husband and in that arrangement was this lovely tiger lily.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Long Stitch book binding

 It's been well over a year and half since I went to Fabriano to learn how to make paper.  I came home with about 10 sheets of paper that I had made, along with hand made paper I bought.
This past weekend I bought this yummy blue and white handmade marbleized paper and decided it was time to make a journal with the paper I had made in Fabriano.
Today I finally combined the two.  I first cut two book boards 8.5" by 6" and a 1" book board for the spine.  Next I measured out the blue and white marble paper to cover the front and back of the journal.  I used spray adhesive on the book board and then carefully laid the book board on top of the marble paper. Once I was done with the front of the journal, I flipped the piece over and folded over the edges onto the inside of the book board.  When that was in place, I cut powder blue paper for the inside cover.
Since I really like how the long stitch binding looks, I decided that was the type of binding I'd use for this journal.  I made up 5 signatures of hand made paper; the shorter pieces were the ones I bought.  Sewing the journal together was fast and easy.  Now I just have to be brave and start making marks in my new journal.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Bird on a tree

Sometimes paintings work and sometimes they don't.  I was having problems trying to get the bark on the tree just right, but kept on messing it up that I eventually just painted over with some gouache.   Also, toned paper was a bad idea for the this painting.  Probably would of been better off just using white watercolor paper.  Live and learn!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Today is my birthday

Today I celebrated my birthday staying at home in my pj's and reading, painting, and getting phone calls from friends and family.  I had celebrated yesterday with my husband while we still had sunny weather.
I've gotten lots of presents and more on the way.  My husband surprised me with flowers and pampering me all day.  What more could a girl want!
Gray toned paper using Schmincke gouache.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Birthday presents have started to arrive

Tomorrow is my birthday and today my husband took me to lunch in Pasadena; shopping at The Paper-Source and Dick Blick.

From the Paper-Source I got a sheet of blue marbleized handmade paper, a sheet of tea cups, foxes, and feathers.

At Dick Blick I got a black pencil wrap, a glass artists palette, and a large set of Reeves oil pastels.

Oh I forgot to mention, I also got these two books from Amazon.

I can't wait to see what Fed Ex brings me tomorrow!!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Down by the sea side

In the quest to shake things up, today I tried something new.  I started this drawing using Faber-Castell blue marker on Mi tientes  pastel paper.  Blocked in some of the dark areas with the marker.  Then I used oil pastels to lay down color for the sky, the sea, the sand, and the rocks.  Next I used a stump to blend the color.  I then went back in and added more oil pastel for deeper values.  Since oil pastels are water soluble, I took a round brush to move the color around and blend the color a bit more.  I continued to add more color until I was satisfied.  To complete the drawing I used gouache to add highlights.
What I did different with the drawing, was using the marker first to establish the outline of the drawing.  Since the marker was not water soluble, I wasn't sure if the oil pastel would cover the marker lines. As I continued to work the on the drawing I found that even though the blue marker did peak out in some spots, I thought it just added to the drawing.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Falcon mix media

From the falcon family of birds.  Daniel Smith watercolors, Schmincke gouache, and Faber-Castell markers. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Rose wip complete

After many glazes of watercolor my roses wip is complete. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Small anything journal

Sometimes I want a small journal that I can just add anything to it.  Thoughts, ideas, small little drawings, scraps of paper, and anything else that can be done in less than 10 minutes. So I decided to make a small journal for those items.  Journal size is 4" x 4.5".
The journal has 7 signatures with 4 sheets watercolor paper, giving me a total of 112 pages.  I used my new punch trough to punch the wholes for a long stitch binding.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Punching Trough


Recently I got a new book binding book "Book Art Studio Handbook" by Stacie Dolin and Amy Lapidow.  In the book they had a small chapter on making punching trough.  I showed my husband the section and asked him if he would make me one.
For $10.00 in material and his labor, I got a punching trough.  Using this punching trough makes one step of book binding so much easier.