Monday, July 30, 2012


We had a gathering of rainclouds...
...(love the dark and light contrast)... 

...that finally produced some rain.  The proof is in the puddle, people.  ;) 
Okay.  I was working on the Doodles Unleashed class and wasn't even going to post this butt-ugly page...but what the heck.  It's proof I did the lesson, right--LOL!  We were supposed to scribble a big flower with India ink using a pipette!  I actually have pipettes, but I have never tried to draw with them.  What a disaster!  Obviously takes skill I don't have.  I'd have huge blobs and then no line at all.  I know I'm supposed to be learning to be looser, but this was NO control at all.  I kept practicing with the pipette as long as the page was a disaster anyways.  Even got out some magenta drawing ink to see if that was any thicker or easier to control--not really.  I just doodled squiggles all over.  
 I did keep going, though.  I scribble-colored with oil pastels (also something new for me) all over the place.  And I did take paper scraps and randomly glue them all over the flower and page--after all, I wanted to cover up the ugly flower, right?  LOL!  Done.
I hate it.
Days didn't look one lick better--ROFL!
I think I might gesso over the whole thing and use it as a bumpy background for something else.  ;)
Anyways, still thinking of flowers, I decided to give kindergarten a go--and try out some of my new liquid watercolors to see what they do.
I used India Ink and a dip pen and just randomly drew cartoonish flowers all over the page.  Then I dipped the brush straight into the liquid watercolors and slapped on some color--paying little attention to staying in the lines. 
The good thing?  I did not have nightmares...and I really do love my new spot for the art table.  ;)
Meanwhile--between rainstorms--it had dropped down to 80 during the day and down into the 50s and 60s at night, so I had the place open for two days.  Karma was sitting out there listening to more baby swallows being fed someplace close.  It may have been "cooler" but the humidity was 97%.  I kept the door and windows open (even though it makes me ache all over), because our days for fresh air are fleeting up here.  
Then it went back up to 90 and I closed it up on Saturday.  Last night--Sunday night--I went to turn on the bathroom light and whap!  A big old moth, spinning in those circles they do, hit me in my left lens--moth dust blurring my vision--and then upside the head!  Thank goodness I wear glasses or I would have had moth in the eyeball!
Then it fluttered out into the hallway, landed on the closet doors, climbed quickly as it's many little legs could carry it up to the very top and over the door crack to escape into the closet...never to be seen again by a frustrated woman armed with a paper towel and a fly swatter.  I swear they are like flies and sense you are coming.  It hid in the closet someplace...just to creep me out and make it hard for me to fall asleep.

I lay there thinking it was going to land on my face in the night.  Wondering--when did it get in here?!  Has it been hiding for a day and a half?  Are there more of them in here?  Did it sneak in behind me while I was busy painting shelf boards?  And WHY do these insects fly right at my head?  You'd think I was a dang street light or something--awk!!!  
I'm looking about for flapping wings as I type.
On to something pleasant.
Just for leaving a comment I won an ATC card from Patsy in the Philippines!  It arrived Saturday.  Isn't it pretty.  The quote on it is:  "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Luke 12:34
Thanks, Patsy!!
 On Saturday I did the first coat of black paint on the undersides of the shelf boards. 
Hard to find a place to set that many wet boards in my place, so I cleared off the ledge between the living room and the kitchen. 
We had a thunderstorm.  
Proof in the puddle.  ;) 
I realized I had forgotten my three glass pens, so I had to show you those.
Sunday...I started in on the second coat.  Realized I had forgotten the one board I had tried out with the pegs, so I did that one first so that I could finish up with a second coat on that one and be done.
Removed even more stuff from the ledge so I could fit them all up there.  Karma has to watch when I am up and down.  Goodness, I might actually do something interesting one of these times--LOL! 
That Behr paint really is like painting with pudding!  So smooth and creamy! 
I am so tickled to be done with that task.  Now, today, I can put some things up on the shelves...even if I don't have the baskets yet.
Karma was exhausted from watching me work... 
...which kept her from her 5-6 hour afternoon nap. 
When I woke up Sunday morning I was still behind 173 blog posts to read.  And since Friday I had been getting these emails from the blogger "mail delivery subsystem" that at least dozen or more of the replies I had sent to people who had commented on my blog couldn't be delivered and they would try again???  I've never gotten any notices like that before.  Have you?  I'm really not sure how many of my witty replies got through because they were apparently trying again every 24 hours and I was getting swarms of these warning alerts for three days.  But now they seem to have stopped.  ??  So, if you didn't hear from was because my reply was lost in blogger's subsystem---whatever that is?
I had thought about just skipping reading the 173 blogposts (which was probably more like 200 by the time I finished last night, of course), but I just couldn't do it.  Did a marathon skimming.  And now I am caught up and commenting again as of today--whew!  Sorry if I didn't comment on many of your posts.  :(  I can't let myself get sick, can I?  Goodness!  
I'm sure this will keep happening.  Even on days I am just busy doing painting or drawing I get rapidly behind.  What do you guys do?  How do you keep up?  I am so interested in what you all are doing and what you have to say...but maybe I just can't always comment in your blogs all the time?  I am so grateful for each and every one of you who bothers to come and read my blog...whether you comment or not.  You all enrich my life!
  But something has to give...I think?  I want to know, if you had to pick, would you rather I post less often or that I comment on your blog?  I always try to reply to your comments on my blog--if touchy blogger subsystem will let me.  I will never be a short-winded blogger and will always be an erratic poster, so keep that in mind--LOL!  I am really wondering and curious.  If I knew how to put up one of those polls I would.  Anyways, let me know what you think?  And please tell me--how do you keep your online time down?  
I have people who just come to read--most of my family and several of my friends, for starters--LOL!  I don't plan to stop blogging.  Just need to figure out a way I can spend less of my "good" hours during the day on the laptop--so I have a little more time to play with paint and art challenges and Karma.  Only joking.  Don't listen to her.  Karma gets played with.  ;)
Have a stupendous week!
Keep smiling!
Stay safe!
"To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, July 27, 2012


When I saw the theme for this week's challenge at the Artist's Play Room--well, I chuckled with delight! 
I have been fascinated by and collecting these precious items ever since we could use pens in school and I got my first pen pal (from Italy!) at around 9 or 10 years old.  Whoohoo!
Then the week got away from me...again.  (I am still four days behind reading blogs--LOL!) So I cheated and grabbed an old sketch of me holding my red Lamy pen I drew for the EDM yahoo group weekly challenge list about five years ago.  
Danny Gregory wrote the book Everyday Matters about just drawing anything and everything around you that you see every day.  (Another attempt at my becoming a loose woman--lol!)  The group has weekly challenges that have been going on for about six years now, I think.  I only got up to number 44--got off track and forgot all about it, to be honest.  Sketching has been a real struggle for me, too.
Recently Danny Gregory has started going through the challenges from the beginning on his blog--but almost daily, I believe.  EDM says you don't have to start from the beginning, can join whenever you find them, skip whatever you don't want to do, and that the challenges are just suggestions and all of that.  But OCD me wanted to start from the beginning, of course.  I had to skip the challenges that were to be done outside of my apartment, but there aren't many of those.  Anyways, I was proud of this drawing of my hand because--even though I did a pencil sketch first--the ink drawing is more sketchy and loose!  :)
So...did somebody say ink, pens, and paper????  Those of you who already know all about my writing fetish can skip the rest of this post--LOL!  But maybe some of you who recently met me might want to see how crazy I really am?
My most recent purchase was this wood cabinet...that still has room for expansion!
Bottled inks! 
And there are a few more that are too tall over in the desk hutch.  The smaller row--those are for my Rapidograph pens.  The front one on the right that looks yellowish is actually invisible ink.
Back to the cabinet...and the fountain pens.  The drawer on the left--those are the pens filled with inks where I own the bottled ink.  The fountain pens in the drawer on the right are filled with samples from Goulet Pens I'm in their Ink Drop club.  
This left hand drawer holds calligraphy pens (some are missing because I've been using them with my mixed media art journaling) and the invisible ink pen & special lights.  On the right are the few scented ink sample filled pens. 
Left--empty Preppy fountain pens.  [You can buy them for 3-4 dollars each and that's why I have so many of them.  Perfect for the ink samples.]  Right--flex pens and my set of Rapidographs. 
Then in the larger drawers I have my nibs, plain dip pen nib holders, bottles with eyedroppers, small dipping glasses, and a huge stack of hand-cut blotting paper (for my beautiful wooden blotter you'll see at the end).  
All my refill cartridges, converters, and in the box are pen parts, syringes, silicone grease, rubber rings, and assorted fountain pen paraphernalia.  That leaves one large drawer empty and waiting, too.
In my triple dresser there's a small drawer where I keep all my ink samples from the Ink Drop club.  I should have been more organized and kept all the cards that come with them each month and taken notes...ah, hindsight.  I just have bags by color...greens, blues, reds, etc.  And don't know why I have saved a bunch of empties on the left? 
Besides fountain pens...I have cups of pens all over!  Left--Sharpie thin pens (don't bleed through), black microns, LePens, and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.  Right--Hi-Tec Cs and Sliccis.  Behind the two front cups over on the turntable is a cup of colored microns.  
You'll note I also have scissors and small rulers in my pen cups all over the apartment.  Of these four cups the one in the far back closest to the kitchen is the one open to the public (meaning Dagan and Leah or anybody can grab a pen or pencil from there without asking-lol!), the one on the left in the front is an assortment of gel pens, and the one on the right front are disposable calligraphy pens.  Hard to see but there's one right in the middle of all of these that has highlighters, Sharpies, and a big black marker.
This is my cup I keep next to the couch with an assortment of pens and markers I use frequently--and a back scratcher--LOL! 
There are also more pens in these labeled plastic containers in one of the art & craft bookcases. 
Then--the good dip pens.  
Besides the plain handles in the cabinet--the fancier, prettier ones are up here on top of the desk hutch.  The two turkey feathers are from Dagan and Leah (they have turkeys along the river behind their place).  I plan to make an attempt to cut my own quill pen one day.  If it works, fine.  If not, I just like the feathers.  ;)
My very, very favorite dip pen that I bought in a little shop in Minneapolis around 1996-7. 
The heavy weight of the brass nib holder makes the pen balance just perfectly in my hand.  I love-love-love this pen!
I'm sure she didn't mean paper for making cards...but I have plenty of that, too.
To me, card making is synonymous with letter writing.  I rarely ever send a letter that isn't tucked inside a handmade card or at least inside a handmade envelope.  Now you can see why my triple dresser cannot be moved without removing the drawers.  Paper is heavy!
Writing paper and store-bought card stock. 
More card stock--mostly cut and folded by me and Leah--and card parts. 
Journals and notebooks. 
Envelopes and the odd box of boughten cards. 
Envelopes and small legal pads (which I used to tuck letters for many years). 
In the bookcase under the card stock I have a box of parchment paper and on top of that sits... of the new boxes... 
...filled with letter writing papers I have cut for tucking into cards.  If I cut a 8 1/2 X 11 inch paper in half it is the perfect size for an American A-2 greeting card envelope (also called an announcement or invitation envelope).  Although, European paper is longer (see low center of stack) and needs a different size envelope/card. 
I also have a black metal rack over on the desk that holds more letter writing paper and odd sized European tablets (except for that one shelf of computer paper). 
This plastic file box (that Leah didn't like) holds my handmade cards and envelopes. 
Ahhhh!  Ink, pens, and paper.  :):):) 
I forgot my cup of pens and pad of paper I keep by the bed and a few other spots...but you can readily see that I am more than well supplied for all my letter writing...and card making.  Too bad you couldn't pop by right now for a cup of coffee or tea and some card making...oh, but I have to start painting shelf boards...... Well, maybe another day.  ;)
Hope you enjoyed the writing tour!  :)
"Today is your day.
your mountain is waiting,
so get on your way."
Dr. Seuss

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Well, I finished in time!  Here's my entry for the Zendala challenge #15 that Erin holds at The Bright Owl.
This was the template.
As usual, I just started without any kind of plan...
...favoring my geometric shapes, of course...
...until I ended up here.
Short and sweet today.  Not even a quote--but I will leave you with a where's the Waldo jet...
 ...(have to click to make it larger--I knew it was there and had trouble finding the small airplane dot against the clouds)... 
...and something my oldest girlfriend, Linny, (56 years and counting) sent me...and now I can't get the song out of my head--LOL!  Enjoy!!