Friday, December 27, 2013


I could promise I'll be starting all over with a renewed goal of blogging more frequently, but I'm afraid I  might be lying if I said that.  Daily entries were out of the question, and weekly ones, while completely doable, don't happen much either.  My blog is more like an annual report, right?  Whatever!  Does it really matter?  The important thing is, I'm still creating.... things.  Lots of things.  And true to my diagnosis, they are varied and completely sporadic.  Months ago, I recapped much of my art, especially the current pieces.  Then I had a little showing, and have done very little actual artwork since.  Oh, I guess there was the companion piece to 'The Fan', entitled 'The Other Fan'.

But then I got focused on making bracelets for the holidays.  They have been selling really well, and I might have to continue making them well into next year.

So, I'm about to embark on more chicken coop details.  That involves sawing lumber, drilling holes, screwing wood together, or attaching with hinges, angle plates, attaching hardware cloth, etc.  I have a couple problem roosters that occasionally need quarantining, so they'll have new cages for those episodes of 'time out'. 

I also get to finish a drywall project in the house, finish building a platform bed for our California King mattress, finish building an accent fence and decorative planting bed in the yard, finish knitting a scarf, and THEN start my next piece of artwork.  See?  I didn't even take credit for starting the drywall project, platform bed, accent fence, landscaping, and scarf.  I started most of those things since my last blog entry, so I defensively mention it now!  I did stuff!  I just didn't tell you about them.  Wow, I'm feeling punchy.  Maybe because I'm watching a Lewis C.K. special on Netflix.  Hmmm.

Anyway, I'm gonna create something else now, and I'm not going to talk about blog resolutions for the New Year.  I won't make any promises.  I'll check in sometime... don't know when.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I recently had the need to accumulate samples of many of my past artworks.   I was being considered to do a commissioned piece to be made into prints, and in order for the members of that organization to vote on my worthiness, they needed to see examples to judge the quality of my work.  (A side note, I cleared the hurdle, and will be doing that particular piece this fall!)  So... in accumulating and refining those images of pieces long gone, I have all new digital files of many more works to show off.  Sometimes I forget that just because I enter a photo in facebook, that doesn't mean everyone sees it.  Most of these works are a combination of graphite, watercolor and acrylic.

Here are pieces from my 'rock period':

'Timeline, Extended'

'Love ROCKS!'


And that transitions nicely into my 'egg period':



'Safety Nest'

I will probably never abandon fabric as one of my favorites in subject matter.

'Enrapport, Deux'


'Rapunzel Had a Better Idea'



And my new favorite theme.... hands!

'Tug of War' collaboration with J.P. Morrison
(My contribution is the panel on the right.)

'The Fan'

My work in progress is a self portrait (of my hands only) holding 51 cents (which is also my age).  I'm working from about a dozen photos, and have only just begun, barely getting most of the outlines roughed in.  Soon, it will look something like this photo:

Reference for '51'

Well, that about sums it up, so it's back to the drawing board for me!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Me, again!

What????.... Twice in one day?!  I thought since I took a few  months off from blogging (and yes, I DO realize that was right after vowing to make weekly postings, which was right after taking almost a year off....) I thought it was fitting to turn in some extra credit homework.  It's not that I did nothing for the past few months.  On the contrary, I start many things and have a whole host of unfinished projects to show for it!  But in the midst of those are actually a few finshed things.  Hard to believe!

I decided if I was ever going to 'be an artist when I grew up', first I need to grow up, and secondly, I need to do art!  For years, I've been turning out only one or two pieces a year, which is really unacceptable.  So, sometime in February, I decided to get serious.  I layed out an outline of several juried exhibits and competitions I wanted to enter, and came up with a series of deadlines.  That is the kind of catalyst I usually need to get working.

First, I finally got around to drawing the Texas Longhorn hand gesture I'd been talking about doing for over a year.  I'm going to make prints of it soon, that will be for sale.

This hand gesture piece is titled 'The Fan', measures 10x10, and is a combination of graphite, watercolor and acrylic.  (To satisfy the 'Other Fans' around where I live, I'll also be doing the Texas A&M 'gig 'em' gesture soon.)

Then I made the following 'popcorn' piece and donated it to the Tulsa Artists Coalition Gallery for their annual 5x5 show and fundraiser sale.

This piece quickly sold at the TAC event.  All works are priced at $55, so some of them are real bargains, depending on what artist painted them.

I was on a roll, and by March, already having two pieces under my belt, finished another 5x5 piece.  I had originally thought of sending this one to the Tulsa gallery, but once it was completed, I sold it almost immediately.  

The piece is titled 'Happy Hour', measures 5"x5", and is also a combination of graphite, watercolor and acrylic, as is the popcorn piece above.

In April, I decided it was time to work on a piece I've been kicking around in my mind for a few years.  I ultimately want to do a set of three pieces, and this is going to be Part 3, which will hang below two other pieces that are all hung vertically in a row.  The set is titled 'Rapunzel Had a Better Idea'.

Again, the same three media are used here.  The size of the image area (excluding mat and frame) is 10"x20".

And finally, the piece finished most recently is titled, 'The Standoff'.  I'm hoping to have shown an basic array of symbolism without taking an obvious position on 'left' or 'right'.  Hopefully it will spark conversation amongst the viewing audience.

'The Standoff' measures about 7"x16".

Now- on to another piece I have been mulling over in my head for awhile, again involving a lot of hand gestures!  So I best get at it.
Bye Bye!

Market Bag.... Check!

Over the years I have started many projects that I never finished.  If you find that hard to believe, then you don't know me at ALL!  In fact, I probably haven't finished most projects I've started.  It's laughable that I still hold out hope for some of them, which have been tucked away for so many years that the style or fad has long since passed and they will looked far too dated to be worn or displayed.  I am not deterred by that!  I'm sure the trend will circle back around eventually, and I'll be right on time.... next time!

But in the last couple of years, I've gotten better.  (Cue the drum roll!)  So without further adieu, here's the finished market bag!

There is only one loose end, and that is to find better clips to attach the strap to the bag.  These clips are only brass plated, and I'd prefer solid brass.  The Tandy Leather store was out of them at the time, so I'll check again, or possibly find them online.  I will replace these with ones that don't swivel, as that will help keep the strap from twisting.

Originally I had a very rippled lower edge to the bag (you may recall the image in my last post), so I found a small leather belt at Goodwill and cut it to fit across the bottom edge.  It's held in place with some wide, crocheted 'belt loops' for removal of the belt if I launder the bag.  Here's the bag turned inside-out:

The side strips were hand-sewn in place, and buckles were attached.  (Those are solid brass.)  I used crocheted loops as well as leather ones that came on the purchased belt.  Here's a side view:

I made the side strap long enough to wrap around the inside of the bag, enclosing the solid brass D-ring at the top.  Those are all hand-sewn in place.

I ended up doubling the long strap, as it was twisting too badly with just one layer.  Again with the hand-sewing!  I put the two strap layers back to back and sewed with matching thread all along both edges.

Finally, I didn't like how the single-layer handles were looking so misshapen, so I crocheted matching shaped oval/circles to act as 'facings' on the back sides of the handles.  Once matched up, I stitched the facings around the inner rim, then placed a piece of thick piping around, and sewed the outside edge shut.  That made the handles nice and plump, and they keep their shape fairly well, even with a bit of weight in the bag.

All in all, I'm super-pleased with the results and am looking forward to going shopping with it!  It feels really good to be able to cross a task off my 'To Do List', which doesn't happen very often!


Monday, January 7, 2013


Even when you take two or three weeks off  from classes, you can still call yourself a full-time student, right?  So the same should go for blogging.  Well, I have 'started a new semester', so to speak, and am now back to my regular blogging schedule.

I couldn't get focused during the holidays, and it was all I could do to get a bit of decorating done, however slight.  This year, WE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!  I just strung a few lights around, set up a couple lighted mechanical reindeer in the yard, and did a little cooking, but I really only just wanted to curl up in a chair with some hot tea and crochet the days away!  The market bag I was designing proved to be quite time consuming.  I'm getting it almost done though.  Here it is in it's crude form, with end strings still dangling and the base is all rippled.  I will possibly remedy that with a strip of leather reinforcement.  My idea is to find the right size leather belt from a thrift store, but it has to be exactly the right size and color.

I still plan to attach a buckle on that tab/band that extends out at both of the bottom corners.  Those will attach to side straps and can be cinched up however much I desire, depending on how rounded I want the overall shape to get, or it can be let out if I have something square and boxy to pack, such as a binder or album.  I also have a long shoulder strap in the works, which can be easily clipped on or removed.

With a bigger section of the crochet done, you can see the pattern much easier.  The grids of both colors are independent of each other and they may shift around a little, but they can't go far, as they are inter-woven and that stops them.  A little higher up on the bags shows a slightly tighter version of this same weave, and then the rim is made with several rows of single crochet stitches to support the handles better.

I'm not sure when I'll get the chance to run into Austin for some brass buckles, D-rings, clips, etc.... but I do have most of the straps crocheted.  In the photo above, you can see the small holes I worked in for the buckle prong to be inserted.  I can't really easily describe the way all these pieces will go together, but I can show you in the next couple of weeks (or years!), whenever I get it finished.  (I won't bore you with my new year's resolution of finishing old projects before I start new ones, but I'm sure you'll agree I'm exempt from it if I am held up because of waiting for a particular material, tool, piece, finding, or other ingredient!)

So, since that can't be shown off in its final form, how about a complete recipe?  I devised a spread a few days ago that reminded me of hummus, though it had little in common with true hummus.  It was very delicious, and I'm calling it 'yummus'!

Yummus Spread

6 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
about 12 small carrots, likewise chopped
about 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, cubed (I used sharp white)

Puree these three ingredients together in a food processor, and then you can add any number of seasonings and flavors that appeal to you.  In my case, I felt it needed some water, as it was too thick and dry, and then I added a lot of garlic powder, some salt and pepper, onion powder, a pinch of jalapeƱo powder, and a few drops of sesame oil.

Granted, it doesn't look all that great, but it tasted amazing on a toasted baguette with some fresh spinach leaves and chopped onion!  "Bah YUMblog!"