Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Kreativ Blogger Award recipients

I can't procrastinate about this any longer. I need to pick 7 bloggers whose blogs inspire or motivate me and list them here and tell them that they've been chosen so that they can pass the award along. My choices are:

1. The Fabric of Meditation by Sara Lechner in Austria. Sara does wonderful fiber art creations along with very creative and unique knitting projects, among other things. She has a wonderful book out and was just honored in the last issue of "Cloth, Paper, Scissors". Imagine my surprise when the magazine with her interview arrived almost the same day I received her wonderful star/sun creation from the "One World, One Heart" giveaway process this year. It was the 1 gift I truly wanted to win--and I did!

Her second blog is called "What Iffing Around" and it led me to my second and third choices, which are:

2. "Bockfilz" (Anneli, like Sara, is in Austria) and

3. "Jude" by Jude Hill.

Essentially, I picked the first 3 blogs because, to me, they embody true creativity. I think of creativity as putting things together in an unusual or unexpected way. Sara's 2nd blog and #2 and #3 are "whatiffing" blogs--"What if I put this and this together and did this? Then, what if I took that result and did this?" I love the idea of trying new things and letting each step lead to the next, without a preconceived notion of the direction being traveled in!

On to blog choices 4, 5, 6, and 7:

4. Because I love multi-media art and layering, I have been seeking out blogs that explore those topics and I happened upon one called "Layers of Meaning" which is devoted to providing mixed media and collage artists with original images for their use, sometimes on a daily basis. There are a lot of wonderful ideas on this blog about beautifying your home also.

5. I once bought a beaded pin from artist friend Nina Devor and loved it so much that I wanted to make one like it myself. I tried, in vain, to make the process work but I wasn't successful. . . . until I found a book called "One Bead At a Time" by Robin Atkins. Blog #5 is Robin's blog called "Beadlust" and I can hardly wait to delve into the archives more deeply. I loved the book, the pins that resulted after I read it, and I love Robin's very informative, beautifully photographed blog.

6. Mike Bailey is a California artist who paints watercolors and oils. On his blog he shares all--his successes and failures, and his thought processes as he creates them. Check out M.E.Bailey Art for a thought-provoking read!

7. I continue to be inspired by the energy and creativity to be found in the "Artgirlz" blog. I visit the site when I want a "fun fix".

I am passing the Kreativ Blogger Award on to these 7 blogs who will, in turn, each pass it on to 7 other recipients. In addition to passing it on (and notifying each recipient), you can drop by my blog and pick up the logo to post on your blog (if you don't already have it). The second part of receiving the award is that you will write a post listing 7 things that motivate or inspire you.

Again, thank you Julie Mitchell, for choosing me for this award. I enjoyed deciding on the blogs to honor and on verbalizing seven things that inspire me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ta Da!

Today I'm changing the number on my "small goal" for the year--adding 4 more, for the 4 new word paintings that are now at the photographer's! Yippee do!

And the number will change again soon, too--rather dramatically! Because I am finishing up several tiny collages and 1 acrylic for the "Being Green" show at Timberline that starts next Monday, April 6th. Things are moving ahead, though they seem to take place in large "clumps" as I finish one group and then there's a long lull before the next one is completed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I just noticed that I have reached the 100 posts mark (no pun intended!) and have had over 2000 hits on my blog. Amazing!?


I can actually change the number of my small paintings goal, but I haven't yet. I will be adding 4 more to the total completed as soon as I can remember how to complete that task!? I took 4 more small paintings to the photographer (Aaron Mullins at Mullin's Studio in Clovis) last Friday. They are word paintings of "Knowledge", "Compassion", "Enthusiasm", and "Diversity."

Today's painting is "Noteworthy", a little study that I did at the January workshop in San Diego. I think I will frame it for the "Being Green" show at Timberline in Oakhurst in early April. It has a lot of green. (But not as much as the other 2 paintings that I'll be taking up to the mountains the end of the week.)

Yesterday, I "sat" at the Art Stand Gallery from 11 till 5 PM after a quick trip to Visalia to pick up the 3 paintings that had been in the ACA show at Arts Visalia. I feel like I am "gathering my children" when I get them back after they are gone for a while. Right now, I'm madly gathering--whether physically or mentally, in the form of a list--so that I can have things together for the show at the Reedley Opera House. We will hang it on April 22nd, and that's not far off.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


There for a moment, I thought I'd written "How do you eat a woodshed?" in my rush to write yesterday's post! But, no, I wasn't THAT silly. It seems like it's been a whole week of splitting and stacking wood etc. and not much else. But that's not true, really, it's only been a few loads each day. I find that stacking wood is a rather pleasant adventure--making the wood fit when it's all odd-sized is a challenge, saving space is another challenge, and I can sort of just "veg out" and think about other things as I'm stacking. Except that sometimes, I opt to count how many pieces in the load and who knows why that is? Usually, amazingly enough, there are about 83 pieces unless there are 97! In any case, there are a LOT of pieces piled high in our little yard wagon!

We've been creating a new space in the yard from what used to be the old dog kennel. It was 2 huge chain link runs with a wooden cover spanning the whole width over about 1/3 of the space. With the chain link torn out, the whole area pressure washed and the cover repainted, it will (we think!) make a nice place for tables and benches for the family picnic and other gatherings. It could even be a nice outdoor classroom setting in the nicer times of the year. The old poles will allow us to hang colorful lighting up high and the electricity and water are already there. So, Roy's "brainstorm" was excellent! It's exciting to know that seemingly wasted areas can be recovered and reused with just some creative thinking! (Pictures to follow--when and if I ever get my camera battery charged!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Kreativ Blogger Award

I was honored and very excited to have the Kreativ Blogger Award bestowed on me by Julie Mitchell at "When The Spirit Moves Me". Julie creates beautiful, unique, and very special, inspirational spirit dolls and art dolls. You need to visit her site to see them.

When someone awards you with the Kreativ Blogger Award, there are two rules to follow that come along with the award. The first is that I must send it along to 7 other Kreativ Bloggers. There are so many out there that it is difficult to narrow it down to just seven. I am still working on creating my list and I will announce it very shortly. I only wish that I had more time to spend visiting blogs and really exploring all the fabulous ones that are out there. I am trying to spend a bit of time each day doing exactly that but it's easy to get caught up in it and spend TOO much time exploring the blogging world and not enough time painting. I will announce my choices within the next couple of days--please be patient with me.

The second requirement of receiving the award is to list seven things that I love or that inspire me. I will do that now.

1. I love rainy days. Maybe it's because I was born in November and it almost always rains on my birthday, but I just love rainy days.

2. I love spending time with family and friends, in a relaxed setting, catching up on all the news of what's going on in everyone's lives.

3. I love creating interesting and exciting art by putting things together in an unusual, unexpected way--whether it's mixed media paintings, a plaid wall in the dining room, hand-lettered sayings in the kitchen, or a little setting in the yard.

4. I love going to the movies--watching them at home is good, but going to the theater is better because there I truly focus on the movie and it's like a mini-vacation--time well-spent in this hectic world.

5. I love Indian food and Thai food.

6. I love letting the elements and principles of design be my inspiration in my art work.

7. I love planning and organizing things and then working with others, as part of a team effort, to see them carried out effectively.

I will try to select seven bloggers and announce them very soon and then I'll let them know that they have been chosen so that they can each pass the award along to seven others.

Again, thank you Julie, for this truly special and meaningful award!

Monday, March 23, 2009


After a week of beautiful weather, today was really chilly! We had someone come by to look at some things we want to do in the yard but we didn't work outside. More work on the taxes because we can't put them off any longer. As far as I'm concerned, taxes are right up there with childbirth and root canals on the list of my least favorite things to do! :(

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday in the yard

Where else, you ask? Since we've been there all week, at the expense of taxes ( figuratively, of course) and painting. I now know some important facts--such as this one: the garden trailer on the way to the woodshed holds approximately 82 pieces of firewood!

Friday, March 20, 2009

"The Debris of Progress"

As we were working outside today, in the middle of a long workday, Roy said: "This looks like the debris of progress." And I thought what an excellent analogy that was. It is so often true that as we are making the best progress--on a huge yard work project, on a painting, on cleaning house, on getting organized--everything looks much worse before it all comes together and looks much better. And that's how it was with the yard today. We are making great progress, but today we had piles of tree trimmings everywhere! We had picked up everything once and then just let a lot of it stay spread out on the ground because tomorrow it will all go into the chipper to become sawdust anyway. I had hoped to take before and after pictures, but I haven't. Maybe there will be some "after" ones soon!

In any case, I plan to remember and use the words and thought again soon--"the debris of progress"!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another day outside. . . .

It was beautiful today, in the mid 70's and I actually planted some flowers, worked in the yard, had an oboe lesson and ran an errand. Then, I picked up dinner on the way home and we ate outside before doing another hour or so of yard work. We made "furniture" (ha ha!) and I stacked some wood slices for my art for the day. We made a couple of stools and a flat-topped table out of some huge slices of wood cut in the yard. Then I made 7 little "towers" of wood slices with a wood plant-holder on top of each. One log was hollow and when Roy cut it up, it made a natural container in each piece. I'm going to put a small plant in each one. Pictures to follow, in the daylight. . . . .

Monday, March 16, 2009

Woodshedding. . . . .

. . . . the title may make my community concert band director AND my oboe teacher think that I've been practicing!

But, actually, that's NOT what the title refers to. :(

Woodshedding. . . . means exactly that. Spending more time in the woodshed, stacking firewood. We are making great headway on all the piles of eucalyptus, locust, pine, and mulberry stacked around our 2 acres. One of the joys of living in the country means a lot of trees--a lot of trees that fall at inopportune times. But it also means a lot of firewood. We have a great woodshed and it was literally empty after this past winter so it's good to see it filling up again and the piles in the yard disappearing.

I did paint this evening--almost finished with 2 more word paintings and I have 2 more in progress. Enthusiasm, knowledge, diversity, and compassion--coming your way soon! And a new painting started for my critique group. The topic is "The Eyes Have It!" Or maybe it's "The I's Have It"? Actually, according to Roy's reminder, it should be "The Ayes Have It" from the days when votes were taken by a chorus of "Ayes". So, it will be interesting to see what comes out of the topic when we next meet in April.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Day of Yard work. . . . .

. . . . and no photo, though I should have taken one.

Roy has been working hard in the yard, trying to clean up on and around the island and around the edges of the pond while the water is still down. I haven't spent much time outside recently but today I joined him in his efforts. My part consisted mostly of moving cut wood into the woodshed and almost being part of an avalanche of wood off a poorly secured shelf. Yikes! I heard ominous "creaks" just before a heavily loaded shelf dumped itself onto the wood floor of the shed. Luckily, I vacated the building just before the crash. He will reinforce the shelf tomorrow and then I'll get back to work. There's something about stacking wood that I like--fitting all the pieces together appeals to me, I guess. Maybe it's applying the elements and principles of design? In a different sort of way?

I haven't painted much at all this past week but have great hopes for next week. :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Today I drove to Oakhurst to deliver postcards and flyers to Timberline Gallery and then see Julie Mitchell and Vivian Helena Aumond Capone in a show at the Positive Living Bookstore in Oakhurst. It was a beautiful show and it seemed to be very well-attended. I fell in love with  a yellow angel muse by Julie and a tiny yellow comfort doll by Vivian. So both came home with me and I will treasure them. Julie and Vivian have very "complimentary" pieces that show very well together--Julie's spirit dolls and Vivian's art quilts, journal covers and comfort dolls.

The wildflowers on the way up and down the hill to Oakhurst are absolutely phenomenal right now. Yellows, golds, blues, purples, and the ever-present white popcorn flowers. Take a drive, if you can, and see them!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The March Newsletter--proof that there IS one! Even though it can't seem to be sent out. . . . .

Yesterday's frustration was because I've had a newsletter ready to go since the beginning of March and haven't been able to send it because I was still working on my email list. I just can't seem to get all my contacts in one place etc. and still be able to send mail successfully--a large mailing that is. I had a cover letter written on beautiful stationary at my recently reactivated .mac account. I added the attachment and was told I couldn't use the stationary. I took away the stationary and was told the attachment had to be compressed. I sent it all and most of the addresses (on .mac) were rejected. I copied everything and sent it on gmail last night and today it doesn't show up as sent mail. But I got some returned addresses and Roy got his letter complete with a viewable 2 page newsletter. 

So right now, I have no idea where I am with the whole newsletter/email list project. No one responded at all which makes me think it wasn't sent. I'll see what materializes by this evening and then I may do my Charlie Brown scream again!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How did Charlie Brown say it?


Or maybe I should say: !@@#$%^&*()!!!!

That's how I'm feeling right now, but I'll tell you more tomorrow, OK? (When maybe I'll have resolved the problem.)

:) Nighty-nite!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A new addition to my marketing materials

Not too long ago, I ordered 20 stamps with an image of "Energized" on them. They just arrived and I am adding a photo of one of them to this blog. The process to order them was very simple and you can do the same with any photo image of your own. Check it out at stamps.com

Of course it adds to the cost of postage, but the stamps themselves are very cool. They are larger than a regular 42 cent postage stamp, very colorful and very clearly printed. I was pleased with them when they arrived and I will enjoy adding them to very special items that I wish to mail.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Experiment

Tuesday was a sort of quiet day, but not a very productive one. I've been struggling with organizing my long art mailing list, trying to consolidate a lot of lists into one master list. It has taken me forever and I'm still not "there" with it. I have a March newsletter done and past due to send, but I'm trying to finish cleaning up the list first.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try posting it here and see if you can view/access it. Would you please let me know via a comment if you can get to it HERE on my aDrive storage place and see it. Click HERE! Does it seem like you could print it if you wanted to? My plan is to send it to everyone on my email list plus post it on the blog. I wanted it out on March lst and I failed miserably at that. The Art Stand Gallery event, last Saturday, wasn't sent out as a reminder and the ACA show in Visalia is there too, but it's up all month.

Well, see what happens and please let me know, OK? THANKS! :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

A new week. . . .

A new start to a new week and more opportunities for painting this week than last, me hopes! LOL Sometimes all the other things get in the way, but, in the end, all are necessary. So I want this to be a painting week whereas last week was a doing-everything-else-related-to-painting-and-everything-else week. :) I hope I can make it a reality this week and see my goal numbers change by weeks' end! (Shaking on it!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A different Sunday

Today we had dinner with our daughter, Meghan, from southern California and the members of her band. This evening, we went to their show at Club Fred. Reflecting on this week, it's interesting to note that each of us (Roy, Meghan, and myself), had at least 1 show this week. Each was a different venue--an art show, an orchestra concert, a rock band show--but there must be some common interest in "being on stage!"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Blossom Trail Event

Today was the Blossom Trail Event at the Art Stand Gallery in Minkler. There was a Festival in downtown Sanger, a bike ride/tour, and our Open House at the coop gallery. It was a very busy day, with lots of people enjoying a beautiful day, gorgeous blossoms, and original art by local artists. After being outside from 11 to 5:30, I drove to Visalia for the Tulare Symphony Concert featuring an outstanding young pianist from UCLA.

Friday, March 6, 2009

ACA Reception in Visalia

Tonight was the opening reception for the ACA show at Arts Visalia. The club was well represented and so was the community. The people came steadily throughout the evening and seemed to enjoy the well-arranged show in the attractive gallery. It's always interesting to me as an artist to watch people look at my paintings and then approach them to tell them a little more about whichever piece is their favorite. At this show, all 3 of my paintings are hanging together in one of the smaller rooms, viewable from outside. I talked to several people and gave some my card. It was good practice and good exposure. Now I need to get ready for tomorrow's Blossom Trail event at the Art Stand Gallery.

The paintings accompanying this post are "Fleur-y", made of almost all Japanese papers, "Coming to Terms", a watercolor of musical terms, and "Guiseppe", an abstract of all shades of green, blue, and yellow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Subscribing to Mixed Messages. . . and being "Responsible"

Hello on a beautiful Thursday! Today I "sat" at The Art Stand (Cooperative Art) Gallery from 11 AM till 5 PM. There were a LOT of visitors today, out driving the Blossom Trail and/or coming in as a result of our increased advertising efforts. Yippee! It's great to have new people discovering the best-kept-secret-of-an-art-gallery in the Central Valley each and every day.

Yesterday, I said that I'd talk today about how to receive notification of new posts on Mixed Messages. You may have noticed a heading that says "Subscribe to Mixed Messages" (below the followers and archive areas) and 2 little boxes in the right hand sidebar of the blog. They say "Posts" and "Comments". When you do the pulldown menu on each, you have a choice of Google, Bloglines, netvibes, newsgator, Yahoo, and Atom. I know some of you ask me how you can use your Feedblitz feature, but I don't know anything about it. I assume these 6 choices offered in the gadget from Blogger are very similar to Feedblitz. If you have a Google account, choose the Google one and if you have Yahoo, choose the Yahoo one. I think the one at the bottom called Atom is perhaps a default because you do see it at the very bottom of my blog also. So, in any case, if you pick any one of the 6, it will "hook you up" so that you are notified whenever I do a new post and it sends it to you via an RSS feed system, I think. It allows you to see the recent (maybe all of the posts?) posts directly on your Google home page, for example, without logging into the blog at all. It saves you time and simplifies the process of reading multiple blogs frequently.

Hopefully, that will help you understand how to subscribe though I'm not totally clear on how it all works myself. A friend told me that she was asked to type in the email of a friend before she could proceed though the steps, but I don't see that request anywhere in the process that I've just described to you. I do remember seeing it somewhere else though--and it was for when you want to send a link to one of my posts on to someone else so that they can see the post also.

Again, LOTS to learn!

Today's painting is 'Responsibility", another in the Words Series. We all have to take responsibility for our own learning, for maximizing our efforts, and for taking control of our lives and our art. It's a process. . . . a journey. . . . . and it is sometimes rewarding and satisfying, sometimes frustrating and confusing. . . . . but always necessary.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I can't believe how much there is to be learned every day!

I made the title statement mainly in reference to my blogging experiences. But, really, it's true in ALL areas of life. Today at my Marketing Salon session, I learned SO much from the other 6 participants. And that has been true every single time we've met over the last weeks. It is so nice to be able to share thoughts, hopes, dreams, and concerns with like-minded artists and to laugh with them, too. I've enjoyed the relationships that are developing and I hope that we continue them after the 9 bi-weekly sessions are completed.

What I've learned regarding the blog today is about the insertion of a calendar. I've been trying to add one for a while--not too seriously until 2 days ago--but I wasn't able to get one that worked for me. And I'm still struggling with it but it is there, at least! I just did a little calendar in a program I have called Print Shop Deluxe, saved it as a PDF (which did NOT work), and then saved it as a JPEG. I added it as a "gadget" to the top of the right hand sidebar, but it's too small to read. So, I have uploaded it to aDrive (my free storage area) and if you just click on the small version, it will allow you to download a large, readable version of it. Right now, it's only a very basic calendar. I need to add more dates etc. and I also need to figure out how to make it sharper and clearer. But you see what I mean about learning a lot! I think it should help to keep my brain sharp and my wits about me--IF it doesn't all drive me crazy, which is another possiblity. Technology is so fantastic, but it can also be extremely frustrating when things are going well. Learning new technological skills definitely develops patience!

And Patience should be, and probably will be, one of the words in my "Words Series." But it isn't yet. Today, I'm going to show you the painting of "Integrity"--and I love the definition of integrity that I remember from years ago. Integrity is doing what you know is right even when no one is watching! So, on that note, I'll upload the painting photo and say my goodnights for now. Tomorrow, I'm going to explain about how to have my newest entries/posts sent to you via email. I'll do my best with the topic and then maybe you can give me some feedback about whether you've been able to do that successfully, and if so, HOW so?? :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'd Rather Be in the Studio!

That's what I was thinking today because I was everywhere but in the studio. I spent about 2 hours at the photographers (Mullins Studio in Clovis, CA), an hour at the Apple Store resolving an iPhone problem, and over an hour at the print shop. Plus a couple more errands involving paper etc. and the whole day was about gone. I like to spend a whole day running around, though, rather than parts of several days. 

So, it was a very productive day in that I picked up a lot of newly photographed work that I can now show you here on the blog as well as getting the originals matted and framed, the cards folded and bagged, and preparing the prints for sale. I got a lot of smaller pieces done, including the first five of my "Words Series" of which I will show you one here today. 

This one is called "Creativity" and my intent is to have (at least) 12 of these colorful small pieces as part of the "Wine, Women, Words. . . and a Few Bits of Song" series. More of them in future posts, soon, I promise! Each one is a watercolor in which I freehand the fancy word, a short definition, and 2 synonyms for the word. Then, I add colorful shapes and patterns, using more layers of watercolor and gel pens. They will all be matted in white, with a black inner mat, and for sale unframed, most likely. I will frame a few, probably differently, to show how they will look and I plan to show some at the Reedley Opera House show in late April.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Oakhurst Gallery today

Timberline all day today, very peaceful. . . but also very quiet. There will be a lot going on there in the next couple weeks with a large painting project, among other things. As I left at 4 PM it was raining lightly, then there was sun on the way down, then a drizzle, and then clouds at home. The weather has been VERY strange the last few weeks--raining about every other day, with beautiful sun-shiny days in between. We've been enjoying those and trying to stay dry on the alternate ones.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

No practice, no painting. . . .

. . . . and no posting today. Too many things going on right  now. Taxes are still "looming". . . . .