Wednesday, May 09, 2012


I'm back!  Popping in because I have so many pictures to show you, but I will probably have to continue the blogging break for a while longer.  This cloudy, rainy weather we've had the past month or more has me aching and so stiff that I can't get a lot done in a day.  I guess it has made me realize that humidity combined with the arthritis and fibro is a painful combination for me.  Therefore, when I am blogging and commenting I get nothing else done and quickly use up what good hours I have, you know?  
Even though we get a breaking up of the clouds here and hasn't lasted more than a day or two...not long enough to take the dampness out of the air.  And, frankly, windows-open-weather passes by so quickly up here in the spring and fall that I hate to close the place up after being shut up all winter, you know?  And it is just too warm to turn the heat on to dry the apartment up but not hot enough to turn the air on.  So, I have chosen to just ache and enjoy the fresh air. 
I have been pretty much keeping abreast with reading all your blogs.  Haven't been commenting, but can't resist hearing what everyone's been up to.  Thanks to each of you who have asked how I am doing.  I'm really okay.  Just hobbling about like I'm a hundred--LOL!  This too shall pass.  Sooner or later it will get hot enough to turn on the air conditioner and that will dry it out in here.
Meanwhile, whenever it isn't raining or too chilly, Karma and I are enjoying the porch for all it's worth!    Been out there reading and writing letters...ahhh!!!
Karma's a happy camper whenever it's dry enough for her to hang out on the porch...her wilderness!
My May Ink Drop order came.
Quite colorful this month!
Even though we've had some solid grey days (which never inspire the camera) I do love the clouds when they break up a bit.
I have been slowly puttering away with art journals this past week since I have seen you.  I finally finished Cathy Johnson's workshop!  Kind of skimmed as simply through the third lesson as possible (not much of a drawer).  Used the different watercolor pencils and crayons to make circles...
...drew a leaf (tried to copy a rubber stamp, but it got really wonky) and wet it...drew some grass and abstract flowers and wet a hurry to get to...
...the collage in the last lesson.  I think maybe we made collages in either grade school or junior high, so it's been a while--LOL!  I colored the background with watercolor crayons.  Used Mod Podge to add a little tissue paper, picture of pomegranate, hunk of sewing pattern, and book page piece. 
The art table was filled with stuff.
Another day I got out my misting box and sprayed a few colors over the collage.
Then I used some floral and leafy rubber stamps on it in black ink.
And finally got out the new paint pens I ordered last month and wrote a few words and added a little bit of color here and there.  It actually looks like something in between the with the flash...
...and without.
I have to admit--that was really fun!!
Karma's been having her own fun all week eating a new bath of cat grass on the porch.  ;)
So, I finally finished Cathy's class and it was time to get out the huge-to-me 9X12 Visual Journal and begin the other workshop I wanted to try.  This one is Mixed Media with Traci Bautista--Strathmore Workshop One.  Cathy's was Workshop Two.  They're up online till August and you can find them here.  (If the link works this time?)
First we sprayed the background.  She used found I used a couple kinds of mesh.
But do you think I could resist using some of my new stencils?  No way!  ;)  I used one with script and a circular flowery design...but I did try the flipping over the stencil and slapping the extra ink down (pretty wild for me--LOL!)
Another day I added more gold and greens with some floral/branch stencils...
...and did the flipping over and slapping ink again.  Very shimmery!!
The next step is to paint right on top of the doodling!  Well, those of you who have been following the blog know how I have been doing background after background in my little handmade art journal, but have been kind of afraid to go further, right?  So, that was it for that day.  I had to think on what to paint on top of this background.  So much for spontaneous and loose, eh?
Meanwhile, when it's been too chilly to have the porch door open all the way, this has been Karma's favorite position.  Cracks me up...head out the door--LOL!  
There are baby swallows someplace close enough for us to hear them go nuts for meals and Karma loves to listen to them.  I wonder if she remembers the nest on the porch our first summer here when she was a kitten?  She loved to watch the parents fly in and feed the babies in the nest on top of the porch light.  Since then we've had the mesh make-shift screen up and no more nests on the porch...but the swallows nest all over this building.  :)
My order came.  I made a small order here and to Amazon this month.  I've been cutting back on food for months and it caught up with me.  Most everything went for groceries this month.  Anyways, I got some more stencils on sale.  Can you tell I love any of them with plants/nature/florals?
This is brown tissue paper...
...with random words all over it.  
How cool for collage!
Another stencil set of two...the packaging under them is so pretty I can probably use that, too.
A sample pack of mediums you can use in art journaling.
Just small little bottles to play with and try out.  :)
And Karma claimed the packaging, of course.
...and more rain.
Since I was intimidated by the painting right over the background and got stuck...and I was thinking something like vines or flowers...I remembered that was what stopped me on the mandala--ROFL!  I knew I wanted something curvy for contrast and then got afraid I'd ruin the mandala.  Do you notice a pattern here?
So I got the mandala out and started working on some leaves with curvy stems...and then added the brown squiggles along the outside circular edge.
And I don't think I ruined it--tada!  Much to my surprise, I was quite happy with it, in fact.
But another cloudy day came...
...and went.
Too chicken to start on the mixed media journal...and the mandala didn't look finished yesterday...
...I drew some red lines inside the "petals" of the mandala.
Now it looks done...I think?
I'm working up my nerve to paint on top of the background.  
I am. 
Really, I am.
*inner shudder* 
Dagan and Leah are actually coming over tonight!!  Leah needs to work on some birthday gift tags.  (She recycles bags, boxes, and name tags for birthday and Christmas gifts.)  I'm going to be so glad to see them both! 
And I will leave you with the oddest rainbow picture.  Have you ever seen a rainbow in a cloud? 
I thought it was so cool!  Like a rainbow spot.
Anyways, not sure when, but I shall return!  I will be reading all your blogs, even if I don't comment still for a while here.  (Awk! I've turned into a lurker!)  
Don't worry.  No matter how crappy I feel, Karma and I do just fine.  I am never bored and am not down in the dumps or anything.  I just move a lot slower and get a lot less done--LOL!  Took me a whole week to do that little bit of artwork, but I keep puttering away.  Hugs!!  :) 

"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way."
Native American prayer


  1. I have really missed you Rita. Take care of yourself and Karma. I enjoyed the pictures!!

  2. I love your artwork! I paint, but I've never tried this stuff--looks like fun!!

  3. that mandala is gorgeous. hoping you can get to feeling better soon. hi, karma!

  4. OOh! Lots to look at in this post Rita - you have been a busy chook! Love all your artsy endeavours - such cheering colours.

    I used to find the humidity would strike me down with my arthritis - I ended up moving states to get away from it. I hope you get some relief soon.

    "Hi" to Karma from my kitty >^..^<

  5. I'm glad to see a post from you Rita. Am so sorry you are hurting! It becomes a way of life and you learn how to somehow live with it... but it isn't easy. Hang in there!

    Your projects are way cool.

    Karma is hilarious sticking his head out that door. lol,.

  6. Loved your art work. You keep very busy at it. I think that is great.

  7. Your posts always inspire me to try artwork. You create some beautiful things!

    Hope you feel better soon. :)

  8. I think your Mandala is awesome!!! Bravo!!!! I know what you mean about possibly "ruining" something - its hard when you only have the "one" copy of it.

    Karma is too predictable when it comes to packaging. LOL! Makes you wonder if the postman has catnippy finger sweat or something...

  9. Sorry the weather has been affecting your health, Rita, but it does sound like you are trying to do the best you can with what you have to work with! I too have never seen a rainbow in a cloud; very interesting looking!!

    take care of yourself and Karma!


  10. Your mandala is just lovely, and the leaves add just the right finish. It's done now, I wouldn't touch it! Hope that the weather turns into whatever need to happen so you can get the air dry and yourself feeling better. And here's a pet for Karma... :-)

  11. I didn't think you could improve on what you had already done on the mandala, but you did, and it's beautiful. :)

    That looks like a type of sundog peeking thru those clouds. I've taken pictures of them before.

    I hope the weather straightens out so you'll feel better. *hugs*

  12. Cat grass! We had a cat who went insane over cat grass. She couldn't eat it fast enough. She also got hilariously drunk on cat nip. I love your art work.

    Janie Lola

  13. You've been quite busy! So glad you're OK, even if moving a bit slower. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and ease up for you!!!

    I love Karma - she's such a cat!

    LOVE all your artwork!! You're so creative and I especially love the new stenciling work you're working on. The mandala is finished! How you can draw like that is beyond me. I can't draw a straight line with a ruler, lol!

    Hang in there and pop in every now and then so we don't worry!!!

  14. I enjoyed seeing your art work Rita. Well done. That cloud rainbow looked good too. I wish you well with your health and admire your courage - Dave

  15. You sure have been keeping busy!

    My Dad's new girlfriend, Steph, has Fibro, and she says damp and cold always makes it so much harder to do anything; tends to keep her place as warm as she can to increase chances of days she can function well. It doesn't always work, but she says it helps. I can understand you putting up with it for the freshair after having the place shut up for so long through Winter though!

  16. So sorry youre not so good, I had fibromyalgia and also M.E. in the past.

    What a long fab blog post to make up for your break and I always love your photos.

    Thanks for Commenting on my blog and YouTube videos.

  17. Love your art-work! At least it keeps you busy on empty days when the weather is bad. I especially love your printed/ reminded me of a catalogue I received the other day.

    Hope you are both doing well.

  18. Dear Rita, . . . what good news--that all is well within your being. I sympathize with you about the aching from fibro and arthritis, but I can certainly understand keeping the air conditioner off as long as possible.

    Your art work always astounds me. That collage is truly lovely. I could never be as free as you are with your media and materials. I think that with art I'm always afraid of making a mistakes, even though I know that mistakes make art.

    And I agree with DJan that the mandala leaves and the red lines seem to finish a piece that so focuses my attention.

    Take care. And read to your delight. You can comment just when you feel like it!


  19. Wow, beautiful artwork. And funny cat!

  20. The cool thing about doing art is I never really know how long it does take me. It's outside of time. Only the people we're ignoring can gauge it. Sorry about that, people we're ignoring.

  21. I'm happy you're busy creating and making such amazingly beautiful work! The mandala is breath-taking. Your precision and attention to the smallest detail are inspiring! It's been raining a lot here too. In fact, it just started up again. At least the pond is getting higher. Now I just need to have a heron or egret take up residence. Karma looks quite content with the new grass and the ability to stick her head out the door. I bet those swallows keep Karma quite alert. Have a nice weekend, Rita!

  22. Good to hear you are struggling along..the weather should get warmer soon..maybe. Your art projects are just wonderful..very creative. Karma is cute sticking her head out the patio door..dreaming of birds maybe:)

  23. been thinking about you rita! i'm so far behind...did some catching up today...

    there's just not enough get everything done!
    i just LOVE your collage...AND the mandala!! beautiful art!!

    looks like you've REALLY been keeping busy...staying creative and just playing with all your art stuff!!
    i enjoyed all the pictures...and the clouds!

    take care...enjoy the good days! give karma a scratch...or a tickle...

    OH, and i like the prayer quote at the end! nice!

  24. Your pictures are so great to see and I love that collage you made!! Wow what a beauty. I think you draw very well, keep it up!

  25. What a busy girl!
    I also love to see a sky with some clouds in much more interesting than plain old blue:)

  26. When you said you had a lot share you weren't kidding! So much good stuff in here. I have my fingers crossed that the weather lets up and gives you a chance to regain your strength. Really drawn to your spray ink background with the green and the stencils- I just finished a spray ink adventure too.


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