Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It is DONE!!! I was beginning to believe this day would NEVER arrive!  ALL my canal houses are completed and ready to put in a box and mail to the Netherlands tomorrow!!!  It's been a HUGE project and a fun one.  But at this moment in time...I'm very glad they are finished!

Now the go off to Wil and she will swap out all the houses and send us back at least one of our own and the rest from the other Fractured Architecture group!  I can hardly wait now to see what I get in return mail!  Probably after the holidays however. 

So, without further ado..........

Here is the whole row of houses. Each house is separate. I just put them really close together so you could see how they would look.

Group 1 - the first four houses

Group 1 - the next three houses (These three houses are the ones on the bridge)
Group 3 - the last three houses
Now...I'm off to a VERY blissfull night's sleep!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

New area of art! - For me at least!

I had heard about this but had never participated until recently when I joined Lenna Andrews Mail Art Swap.  I chose for this one to make my own envelopes and make them artful.  These are actually mailed individually to Lenna and she swaps them out and sends envelopes from other artists back to each participant in an art envelope of she designs herself.

Here are the 4 which I sent.

Garden of Dreams (front and back)

Gotta Love Mail Art (front and back)

Just Waiting to Hear (front and back)

Time For Mail Art (front and back)

It is a lot of fun and I'm very excited to see what mail art I get in return.  I'll post them when they arrive!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just a short post before lunch

Just posting a quick ATC before I head into the house for a bit of lunch. 

Sleep has been illusive lately.  On one hand that is not good because it does take its toll on one's energy.  However, sometimes the creative mind does come out to play!! 

One of the ATC swaps I'm participating in has the theme of Snowman.  Here is my first card....

The background is curved computer keyboards and at the bottom is a white keyboard.  His name is Techie Snowman!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just for the fun of it!

This is an ATC swap that was just for the fun of decorating a moose.....yes....a moose.  Every participant uses the same moose drawing and then decorates them according to some holiday.  I chose some more obscure holidays because.....well....just because I wanted to!  I did all of these with colored pencils. Not a medium I work in much but decided since I'm just having fun it was an excellent time to pull out the colored pencils and be a kid again and color!!!

Here is my herd!

Stamp Collecting Month (October)
Great Outdoors Month (June)

Golf Month (August)

Cinco de Mayo

Arbor Day

and my personal favorite (just LOVE his glasses!!!)
Eye Care Month (January)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Holiday Swap

Or not...that is what I decided to do though....Christmas ones.  There are 2 different fronts but all the backs are the same.  Fronts are collaged from received Christmas cards and the back was hand painted. They have a snowflake eyelet in the top and embroidery floss to hang it on a tree if desired.  Otherwise the floss can be removed for just a plain ATC.  These were my first Christmas "thingies" of any kind for this year! 


Saturday, October 30, 2010

A New Art Form For Me!!

OK, well not TOTALLY new....  I first tried watercolor over 30 years ago.  Naming the piece (had I kept it) would have been soooo very easy.  Like "Mud Puddle"!!  I actually knew NOTHING about watercolor and it definitely showed.  So terrible that I never even considered watercolors again.

Until.....well I DO use watercolor to create backgrounds for ATCs and my original note cards sometimes. But that is very different from trying to make something that someone else will recognize.  But, a new swap appeared on AFA with the theme "Water Water Everywhere".  What better theme to try out this technique? Seemed appropriate, right? So, I decided to give it a try.  Still knew almost nothing about this medium but I have learned some of what it does and how it acts.  Part of my continuing artistic journey.

Here they are....what do you think? 

A Mirror Lake
At the end of summer a few years ago, we went wilderness camping in Quetico Park in Canada. It is a "no motor" park so the lakes are always clear and peaceful. However, one day we were out in our canoe and I felt like I was in some surreal painting. The lake was perfectly calm and provided a perfect mirror for every bit of nature on shore and island. It was an experience I'll never forget.

An Agate Beach
The Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior. Many of the serene beaches of the North Shore are scattered with agates. Most of the big ones have been taken out but it is still an enjoyable afternoon to sift through the small rocks that make up the beach....just in case.

Frozen Gooseberry Falls
Gooseberry Falls is an amazing place on the Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior. While it is beautiful in its race to the lake in summer, it is majestic as it is frozen in place - just waiting for spring thaw.

Sunset at Duluth Harbor
Lake Superior is seldom calm but in the evening, when the sun is just above the horizon, it can become less turbulent. This is the time when it is so beautiful and peaceful.

I'm thinking I just might keep working on this.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Birthday and Blue

These are for a swap called Tangled Up In Blue.  The idea is to have a mainly blue card.  Don't know if it was the "tangled up" concept or because it was a dreary day, but the whole thing seemed to turn rather pensive.  Interesting how that happens, huh?

Faded Dreams
Dreams - once so vibrant and alive, over time unfulfilled, fade into wafts of smoke as they evaporate..sometimes forever.

Faint Hearted
Our hearts reach out again and again. Too often rebuffed and left alone. We try again only to suffer the same fate. After time, the heartbeat is barely discernable.

Adrift On The Sea Of Time
TIME - never enough or too much. Most of us have at one time or another felt adrift and our schedules tossed upside down by unforseen happenings. We feel amazed that we even keep out head above water.

Trapped By Our Own Words
The words left our lips before they were adequately considered. Too late. They are out there now for all to hear and judge. One can only hope for kindness and understanding.

Then, my final Birthday ATC card - October.  I kind of used the technique for abstract gel medium.  I just didn't paint the whole background.  I liked the collage pieces so much I didn't want to cover them up!  The title is Pumpkin Pumpkin.

That's it for today! 
These are some of the most fun photos I've gotten to take in a while. The photo swap is themed for old sheds and shacks. Here are four of my favorite shed and shack photos in my collecton.

Shed As Billboard
Found this shed out on the back roads of rural MN. Someone decided to give it the new job of advertising.

Shed Near Rogers
This shed is just up the road a ways just outside Rogers.

Found this shed hidden way back in the trees up in the Northwoods of MN.

Stillwater Shack
Found this beauty on the way to photograph a lift-bridge in Stillwater, MN. If you look closely you can see straps holding up the little room on the side of the shack.

Sometimes I wonder just what I find so absolutely mesmerizing about old falling down structures. Something to do with their history and character...

ATCs from yesterday's studio time

Oh yes there are more! I'm working to complete my obligations for these swaps and then get onto some other projects that have been calling my name a lot lately.

Another photo swap for ATCs.  This one is Autumn Splendor.  Needless to say, in Minnesota I have plenty of photo opportunities for this one.

Autumn Waterfall
On the east bank of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. This is a small waterfall in Fr. Hennepin Bluffs Park near the area of St. Anthony Falls.

Tree On The Corner
This tree is actually on the corner of my street in Rogers, MN.

Urban Autumn
View from Nicollet Island in the Mississippi River toward downtown Minneapolis.

Autumn Sumac
Sumac along a path in Fr. Hennepin Bluffs Park in Minneapolis.

I don't think there are many things more wonderful than wandering through the outdoors in Autumn in Minnesota!

Just a couple for today

Well, the ATCs are winding down here for a bit.  Only a few more sets to go. 

This one is for the Birthday ATC swap for the November birthdays.  I always think autumn is exciting with all the colors.  AND that certain aroma in the air that is so difficult to describe in words....let alone in art!  So I opted for some gold color hand dyed fabric for the background, some fabric autumn leaves and some metallic acorns.  I think the result is very happy.  Hence the name....Autumn Excitement!

This is one I've had a lot of fun with.  Over a year ago (perhaps even two years ago or more) I had a class in image transfer using gel medium.  I had a beautifully colored bird picture from a magazine in the early 1900s from an ephemera lot I purchased on e-bay.  So using that technique I transferred the picture of a Yellow Headed Blackbird to fabric.  It's been in my bits and pieces box.....just waiting for inspiration.  Then I needed a bird ATC for a thank you to a hostess and this turned out to be the perfect size.  In the upper left corner is mulberry bark painted brown acrylic and brushed with Lumiere Gold.  I'm  hoping she will enjoy it!

So at this moment, the October Birthday cards are drying.  And I have backings to add to another set of cards to post later. So.....back to work!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

And yet some more!

More studio time working on some of my new favorite little bits of art - ATCs.

These are for a swap full of fun and whimsy.  Don't know if you can call the "art" but they were a nice fun diversion and much needed play time.  The theme....If Pigs Could Fly.  You just know I couldn't pass this one up.  All the little piggies I get in return will find a new home is MY little piggy's flourishing ATC collection!  Here are the ones I'm sending in.  We could do 6 this time...so with one extra for the hostess...here are my 7 cards.

My How PIGS Fly!
Another play on words kind of. Time flies.....pigs fly.....watch face on the flying pig...

Red-Eye Flight
Silently whooshing through the starry night sky. Winging his way to his destination during the wee hours of the
 morning. Struggling to stay awake!

Swine Flew
Get it? Swine Flew (flu). Couldn't pass that one up. Well, I COULD have but where's the fun in that?

Angel Piggy
Little angelic piggy with her halo only slightly askew. Still, all in all, a heavenly sight.

Pink Pig Of Happiness
Forget all about Blue Birds...This little piggy has happiness enought for everyone! And he's spreading it all around! Just look at that face! How could you see him and NOT be happy?

Pontoon Pig
Not only does this little piggy fly...THIS little piggy can land on water!! There he is now...headed for his favorite island!

Poor little piggy! He's really in a sticky situation now! Causing trouble for everyone!

So much fun!  Now back to the "real" world.

Latest art from my busy studio

It continues to be a whirlwind around the studio these days.  So much inspiration...so little time!!  Let's see, where did I leave off.....

Ok, here are some new ATCs for swaps I'm participating in.

These are for the Let's Get Messy swap.  The rule was that all the cards had to be painted without using ANY tools other than finger, elbows, toes.... you get the picture.  Those of you who know me, KNOW how difficult this one was to get into!  NOT!!  It was great fun actually.  So much so that I find I'm fingerpainting a lot of my backgrounds since this swap completed. 

A Day At The Beach
Waves breaking. Seagulls calling. And the only footprints in the sand are your own. Ahh what peace!

Cave Drawings
Decided to go primitive on this one. Okay...abstract primitive might be a better description. I painted the shapes with the side of my little finger dipped in paint. Then overwashed it with some Marigold Procion Dye.

Patiently Waiting
It fits the title because I dipped my fingertips in several colors of acrylic paint and then drummed them on the card like one does when waiting. If you look closely you can even see my fingerprints.

Grape Hyacinth
Lots of tiny purple flowers with white tips to make up one stem. The look very similar to a bunch of grapes...hence their name.