Thursday, January 31, 2013

Red Cardinal

Red Cardinals are the state bird for Ohio.  I was looking at some pictures that I took of the cardinals when I was in Ohio several years ago to visit my husband's family.  This guy was painted in my no-sew journal, using Derwent Intense colored pencils and markers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bird and butterly

New drawing of a bird and butterfly in my new no-sew watercolor journal.  I used Derwent Intense colored pencils and markers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


When I need an exercise to quiet and clear my mind, I do zentangles.

Monday, January 28, 2013

abstract of colors

Playing with colors and shapes.  Watercolors, markers, and white gel pen.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Old Town Pasadena

On Saturday I went to Old Town Pasadena for lunch and shopping. The weather has been rather cold in the high desert, so it was nice to drive down below for warmer weather and yummy food.

This outing was a to celebrate my wedding anniversary.   Whenever my husband and I go to Pasadena, we always seem to go to our favorite Italian restaurant "Mi Piace".   It started with an Arnold Palmer to drink, Mi Piace salad, Vegetarian lasagna, and finishing it off with Express bread pudding.  Because the portions are always so big, we split everything.

After lunch we went to Dick Blick art store where I picked up some acrylic ink and more water brushes.  Next it was onto the Paper-source where I bought 3 sheets of handmade paper to bind books and a macaroon rubber stamp.  We ended the shopping portion by going to Surla Table for a donut mix and tongs.

We had a nice time just being together and celebrating the many years we've been together.

The best part, for my anniversary I'm finally getting a flat paper file to store all my handmade papers I've collected.  It's on order and should be here in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

IF -- Wings

“The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings”

                                                                                                James Matthew Barrie 

Two birds different direction

This abstract was done using gouche and markers in my 5" x 7"  journal.  I think I'll be working in the size doing more abstracts for a while.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Inspired by Flora Bowley

I discovered Flora Bowley website last year.  I had missed taking a live class with her, so I was really happy to discover that she had a book coming out later in the year.  So I  pre-ordered her book:  Brave painting  intuitive.   When I finally did received her book, I briefly glanced through it put it aside for when I had more time to read it.  I kept on picking up the book and flipping through it not sure if  her style of painting  would work for me, especially since she works in acrylic and her canvas is really big.  I was attracted to the colors and I think that's why I kept on coming back to the book.

Well last night I picked up the book again and decided to let myself go and paint.  Instead of using acrylic, I wanted to see if I could do the same type of technique using watercolors and markers.  This painting was done in my 5" x 7" journal.  The size was just right to explore without having to invest in buying a big canvas. I really enjoyed the process that I stayed up last night and worked on another painting.

 I think I want to call this bird in flight.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I never get tired of painting flowers.  A page from my 5" x 7" journal.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Purple flowers

Everywhere I went this weekend was bursting with different flowers.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

IF -- Myth

Are unicorns real or a myth?  What do you think?

Making journals with Washi tape

For the past few months I've been making all kinds of journals.  Big or little, I just love the process of making  journals.  I've also discovered last year Washi Tape.  My collection has grown from just a few rolls to well over a 100 rolls of different Washi Tape.  So I decided to combine making an easy no sew journal with Washi Tape and clear packaging tape.

I started with 2 sheets of 11" x 15" watercolor paper.  I cut the 2 sheets in half.  I then folded each piece of watercolor paper in half, creating a signature.  I use my bone folder over the center crease.  I now have 4 folded signatures.  Next I put two signatures together.  I then apply clear packaging tape onto  the inside seam as show in the photo below.  I flip the inside signature over and do the same thing of applying  clear packaging tape to the other inside seam.  I now have two signature attached to each other.  I do the same process with the two remaining signatures.  When completed, I will have 16 pages to create on.  To finish, I apply  Washi tape over the edge of each folder.   The size of my completed little journal is 7.5"  x 5.5"; just the right size to carry in my purse.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I had wanted to sign up for a workshop today on drawing them, painting them, and collage them.  It's been so unbelievably cold that I haven't wanted to leave my house. So instead of driving down below for the class, I decided to have my own little workshop for me.  Best of all I can stay in my pj's and create art.  

I started with just a fine tip black sharpie and just drew away at lots of feathers.  After creating a journal page, I uploaded the drawing onto Adobe Photoshop.  I got creative and changed the colors and then changed the background to black.  I really like the way this journal page turned out.  Might be even nice to use on a card.


I went back into Adobe Photoshop and added more feathers. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

splashes of color

When I went to the SF Bay Area for Christmas, I went to my favorite art store, Dick Blick in Berkeley.  I wanted to try this Pelikan 12 pack of watercolor set.  As usual, I will buy art supplies and it takes me a while to finally open and try them out.  Today was the day....

 This set comes with 12 transparent colors, a mixing palette and two water containers.  When the paint set is closed, the two water containers fit on the ends, not only making it compact, but making it easy to carry.

As for the saturation and color, well
I wasn't too impressed with either. The colors lay down vibrant,but once they dry, the color is a little dull.
This set might be good to carry in
the car for quick watercolor studies,but for my larger pieces, my Daniel Smith watercolors are still my favorite.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Abstract bumble bee

Today I saw a bumble bee. It was to precious not to record the moment.  This is my abstract interpretation of that sighting.

Monday, January 14, 2013

few more pages from my recycle journal

Here are a couple more pages from my recycle journal.  I'm finding that I like working in a 6" x 6" journal format.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

IF -- Ocean

Topic over on Illustration Friday is Ocean.

collage journal made out of recycle material

I've trying to recycle cereal boxes to use as journal covers.  Also to use those scraps of  left over scrap booking paper that I've seem to have collected over the year.

Over the holidays finally put those pieces to work.  I cut my cereal boxes down to 6" x 6" squares.  Then I took my scrap booking paper and applied to the cereal box square using either my glue stick or double-sided tape.  After that layer was dry, then I did a line drawing using my black fine tip sharpie pen.  On some pages I would add images from decorated napkins, carefully peeling the top layer from the white bottom layers. On six of the pages I did six random watercolors . On some pages I would add my postage stamp sticker that I made of  Maddie's face.  Once I had all the collages completed on each square, front and back, I then punched a whole on the side top and bottom.  I used a 1" binder ring to complete the journal.

I have a total of 14 pages totaling 28 journal entries.  I'll post more tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


 Last night I was looking for something quick to work on.  I had bought this set of 8 flair markers from Paper Mate.  Their water base markers, so I thought I'd see what I could create with the set.

I basically just worked with patterns around the page until I got something I liked.  Then I went in with a water color brush damped with clear water.  When I applied the brush to the page the colors just exploded into soft pastel colors.  You should give it a try and see what you can come up with.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Today is my blogs birthday!

Today my blog turned 7.  Happy Birthday "Just Crazy About Dogs!"

I started this blog seven years ago so I would continue to practice making art, and I have.  I've grown on so many levels, but truly believing I Am An Artist!

In the past seven years I've worked in watercolors,acrylic,colored pencils,pen and ink,oil pastels,soft pastels, and Chinese brush.  I've learned how to bind books, make my own books, learned Calligraphy, made thousands of greeting cards, dabbled in making jewelry,and attempted to carve stamps.  After exploring all those mediums...watercolors are still my first love, but book making is an easy second.

Each year I try to learn something new.  This year I'm not sure what that will be, but I have a couple of ideas.

So thank you dear readers for being with me every step of the way. To celebrate my blog's birthday I'm giving away one signed  watercolor print of my Tulips (8" x 10").  Please leave a comment on this post to participate and I will randomly select a winner on Wednesday January 16,2013.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I think of all the portraits I've done in the past few weeks, this is the one I like the best.  When I finally got of my way and just dropped the paint, the portrait seemed to paint itself.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Trying a transfer method

I've read many times about using packaging tape to lift a picture from a photo and then collage it onto a painting or journal.  Well this is my attempt.  I used the same photo that I used as a reference to paint from yesterday.  I re-sized the image to the size of my journal page, printed a copy on plain computer paper which was about 4.25 x 6.5.  I then used two strips of packaging tape that were longer than the photocopy, and placed  them over the photo copy leaving  a bit of the tape over the edges.  I burnished the tape and then carefully started to tug on the tape, slowly pulling the picture from copy paper.  When I was done, I had the image on the packaging tape strips.  Next I used a glue stick on my journal page and then placed the tape strips with the image onto my journal page. Burnished again and I was done.

It seemed like a lot of work.  Might of been easier to just cut the photo, add tape to the back of the photo, and then place it on the journal page.  The only difference being that the packaging tape seals the image.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

I'm going to Paris

I'm going to Paris for a week in September.  So this was my attempt to render a partial view of the Eiffel Tower from a photo I took the last time I was there.  I know this is really bad.  I think I need to  work on drawing and painting the Eiffel Tower; 9 months should be long enough time for me to perfect think?  Also I'm trying to collage more in my visual journal.

Monday, January 07, 2013


I have several journals that I work on during the day.  Today I worked in my portrait journal.  I'm still trying to master doing portraits; some days are easier than others.  This was rendered on bristol paper using intense colored pencils and Daniel Smith watercolors.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Drawings from my journal pages


 Two quick drawings from my journal pages using my new set of Bienfang watercolor brush pens.  After applying the initial color, I used a waterbrush pen filled with water to blend the color.   I like the concept of the watercolor brush pen and plan to fill my own waterbrush pens with concentrated watercolor from Daniel Smith.  I'm trying to see if I can work with a much smaller limited palette...maybe six colors....we will see.

13 Color Set

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Santa Barbara

This afternoon my husband and I drove to Santa Barbara for lunch.  It was a nice afternoon drive, but was disappointed when our favorite restaurant was closed until the end of the month.  Since there is a large art store nearby, we headed  to Art Essentials.  Art Essentials is the size of a large warehouse that carries a lot of art supplies, some things I can't find at Dick Blick; unfortunately, they are over priced for most things.  I did buy a sheet of  lavender handmade paper to a bind a new book.

Across the street was a Mexican restaurant called Carlito's that had outdoor seating, so that is where we had lunch.  The food was delicious, but a bit spicy for me.   I had chicken taquitos guacamole.
My husband had chicken enchiladas.

It was nice to be able to enjoy outside dining, which doesn't happen that often where I live in the high desert.

On the way home I caught a wonderful sunset.

It was still light enough for me to do a quick sketch of flowers that I saw in a flower box in Santa Barbara while we driving home.  It was such a wonderful and relaxing outing...nice way to spend the day.