Zentangle luv

I’m continuing to experiment with Zentangles. Here are some that may end up on Valentine’s Day cards. Sssh!

Illustration Friday

I created this little 4 x 4 pencil drawing on card stock is for Illustration Friday. Each week a word prompt is provided as a source for art. Then we post our creations. This week’s word is “dusty.” I have to admit that I initially hated this word and wondered what in the world I could create based on this word (I could have drawn every room of my house :-)), but I came up with something. It just goes to show that if you push yourself a little bit, your imagination will take over. I need the push.

Shoot for the moon

"Cosmic Cowgirl"

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. ~Les Brown

Leah Piken Kolidas of Creative Every Day posted this quote on her blog this week. So my mind starting thinking about shooting for the moon, missing and ending up with one of those stars. I came up with this little 9 x 12 sketch, which I call “Cosmic Cowgirl,” in keeping with January’s Creative Every Day theme “cosmos.”

Hope Rocks!

“Hope all is well.” I usually begin my e-mails to friends and colleagues that way. I feel that no matter what the e-mail is about, the intention of wishing the best for the recipient sets a positive tone. Each day we spend a lot of time “hoping” without thinking too much about it:

I hope it doesn’t snow today.

I hope I make it to work on time.

I hope I don’t end up making a trip to my co-worker’s candy basket today.

My chance encounter with a new blogger, Woodstock Lily, has me really thinking about hope. (I found her through the Creative Every Day blog.) For me, hope is like a little prayer (for those small things you could live with or without but want, as well as for those big, please-God-help-me needs). Hope reminds me that I, the control freakazoid, am not in control; there is a higher power upon which to rely and lean.

Lille blogged about randomly finding a rock with the word “hope” painted on it at a time when she really needed a little hope. It inspired her to want to spread the joy she found in that discovery. So she has begun a project in which she is painting the word on rocks and hiding them here and there for others to find and, hopefully, feel what she felt. She has invited others to join her in doing so. Participants will post photos of the places where they leave the rocks.

I love the idea. I’m doing it, too. I asked a friend who lives in Vermont to collect some of the fantastic rocks I saw when I participated in an artist retreat there during the fall. So the rocks already have a special meaning even before I start painting them. (Thanks, Gena.)

I decided to start at home. I placed this rock outside my house so that I will be reminded that there is hope no matter what is ahead of me during the day and no matter what awaits me when I return. I placed it atop of the snow bank from the latest blizzard. As the weather gets warmer (please, God, let it get warmer!), the rock will slowly sink into the snow, disappear. But I will know that it is there, and then one day if will surface again, just in time to remind that: “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” (George Iles)

“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.”

Where’s that ground hog?

"Frosty the no-I-don't-want-anymore Snowman"

Is it spring yet? It is right about now that I am usually so over winter and wonder why the hell I moved here from Florida more than 20 years ago. It is my annual ritual of “why-oh-waaaahhhh?” And, yes, it is little early to be feeling this way. But two blizzards, a snow-sleet-rain mix today and a forecast of more snow on Friday has pushed me to the edge. It’s the Alabama girl in me wishing for heat hot enough to melt asphalt. Of course, in the summer the New England girl will return to beg for a cool breeze on a hot day in her unair-conditioned house.

I did this little sketch while in snow boots at my son’s basketball practice. The snowman’s face says all I need to say. 🙁

Zentangles

I stumbled upon Zentangles months ago. I love doodling and have been doing it for years on the backs of envelops, scrap pieces of papers, in notebooks during meetings as my mind drifts. I find doodling very meditative. So Zentangles easily captured my attention. The Zentangle approach seems to be a very organized way of doodling. I finally bought myself a Zentangle Basics book for Christmas to learn how to do it.

I don’t think I have the hang of the official approach yet, but I’m going to keep trying. Here are my first attempts. In their purest form, Zentangles are supposed to be done in just black and white. But, you know me, I love color. So I’m playing around with color.

The “Zentangle Lady” is available as a print here.

Holiday leftovers

I know that Christmas is long over, but here is a project that I found fun and easy to do. I repurposed Christmas cards by turning them into gift tags. I have always hated to throw away the holiday cards that I receive. Yet, I have not wanted to keep too many things to add to the clutter that already is my attic. So by turning the cards into gift tags, I get to “regift” them in a way.

To make the gift tags:

  1. Pick a Christmas card that is blank on the inside cover so that you will have time for writing.
  2. Find an interesting area on the card that will look nice when you cut it.
  3. Cut out a section that can be folded in half for the size gift tag you want.
  4. Fold it in half.
  5. Punch a hole in one corner.
  6. Add a pretty ribbon and voila!

Depending on the design, you can use these for any occasion gift. Enjoy.

Stylish Blogger Award

I was pleasantly surprised today. I received the Stylish Blogger Award, which was presented to me by the wonderful Anne of the My Giant Strawberry blog. Thanks so much, Anne. What an honor! I’ve been enjoying your blog for awhile.

Apparently in accepting the award, I’m supposed to now tell you  seven things about myself that you don’t know and then forward the award to 15 other blogs that I like. It’s like a virtual game of tag-you’re-great, or “stylish,” in this case. Fun.

So…about me:

1. I secretly love country music and know the words to “Redneck Woman,” by Gretchen Wilson, even though I am SO not. (I’m more of a Mocha Mama.)

Well I ain’t never
Been the barbie doll type
No I can’t swig that sweet champagne
I’d rather drink beer all night
In a tavern or in a honky tonk
Or on a 4 wheel drive tailgate
I’ve got posters on my wall of Skynard, Kid and Strait
Some people look down on me
But I don’t give a rip
I’ll stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip

Cause I’m a redneck woman
And I ain’t no high class broad
I’m just a product of my raisin’
And I say “hey y’all” and “Yee Haw”…

Shameful? Hell yeah! 🙂

2. My favorite “I’ve-fallen-off-the-diet-wagon-and-I-can’t-get-up” food is SpaghettiOs. Maybe it’s because I keep trying to figure out what that orange “tomato” sauce is made of.

3. I have watched the “Young and the Restless” since it first aired on CBS on March 26, 1973, and I’ll be crushed if it gets canceled like my other CBS soap operas. One of my most treasured memories is of me as a child on one sofa and my mom on the other, watching marriages unravel, babies get switched at birth, evil twins take the place of siblings, people dying and coming back to life months, or even years, later.

4. Art is my greatest love, after my husband and son…well, and my mom…and, OK, lobster mac at Bravo in Providence, R.I…and, oh yeah, sleeping. 🙂

5. The qualities I value most in a friend are honesty, authenticity and loyalty.

6. I have no problem spending all day in pajamas on my days off.

7. I consider a pint of Haagen-Dazs one serving.

OK, enough about me…There are so many blogs that I love (see my sidebar), but here are a few:

Torta Gialla

Kristin Dudish

Girl Unwinding

Julie Unplugged

Expressive Hart

Fourbourne Art

Mystele

Women, Art, Life

Carmen Torbus

Painted Heart Studio

And, of course, THE ONE that fueled my creativity, Creative Every Day Challenge.

Art book recommendations

Happy New Year! Hope you have all that you wish for this year.

Have you made any resolutions for this year? I haven’t. I used to, but before the New Year’s day was over I had broken them, so… Well, I have resolved to have more lobster this year than I had last year, which wasn’t very much, but I don’t think that counts. Seriously, this year I’m trying to keep in mind that THIS is the only life on Earth that I get. I don’t get to do it over again, so I should enjoy it, be present for every moment, Thank God for every blessing.

OK. Enough serious talk. Now, people, I need your help. I received a wonderful gift certificate for Amazon.com for Christmas. I want a fabulous art book. But which one? Which one? Help! What is the best art book you have ever received as a gift or bought for yourself? I want to know. Knowing me (virtually) what would you recommend?

Here are just a few that are on my wish list:

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