Thursday, December 25, 2014


On Christmas, it has become tradition that my husband Darrell and I go to a movie and then out to Chinese dinner in China Town.  So, that's what we did.

This year we saw "Imitation Game" with Benedict Cumberbatch (I love saying his name) at the Southcenter AMC.

We had a fantastic dinner at Shanghai Garden, my favorite restaurant.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014


Spent more than a few hours coloring the front of each card.  (and yes, the Grass Green pencil made it through to the last one...with just an inch long stump left).

Then the backs had to be signed and numbered.

The inside was stamped and colored.

Then the labels and stamps were applied.

Friday, December 05, 2014


Here's what the finished print looks like.  I added my signature stamp to the back.  

I got out my colored pencils, mostly Prismacolor and sharpened them up.  I'm putting a green all over the tree first - "Grass Green",  then highlighting with some blue-greens "Aqua Green" and "Parrot Green" and a yellow-green "Chartreuse".  The 'lights' on the tree are "Canary Yellow".

Dang...the "Grass Green" keeps breaking off... I don't know if it will last through all the trees.

Here's the finished card.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Went straight up to the studio this morning after I braved the snow to go get a Starbucks jolt.

Nothing better than being in a warm studio when it's snowing outside!

First I had to dust off Harley, my Ettan Press...

Then get it all set up with papers under the jig and a pressing mat board.

Then stir up the ink...

Roll the ink onto the plate...

And pull the first print and make adjustments if needed...

And just keep repeating until the pile of paper is gone...

I was done before 10am - time for a walk.  The snow has stopped, the sun is shining, but the temperature has dropped, better bundle up.

Still lots to do before these cards are ready to mail.

Stay tuned.

Friday, November 28, 2014


I got out my sketchbook with every intention of drawing an owl for this year's Christmas card.  As I was flipping through the sketchbook, looking for a blank page, I spotted this cute little tree that I had sketched several years ago.  I fell in love with it and decided it needed to be this year's image.

I got out a linoleum plate, 4.5" by 6" and drew the tree on it and started carving.

I then realized I didn't have a jig for this size plate and card.  So, I got out a piece of mat board and drew the registration lines and cut a hole for the plate, then covered it with clear plastic Contact paper.  I learned this trick in some class I took years ago, great idea.  It's inevitable that while printing I will get ink on the registration jig, and wrapping it in plastic Contact paper makes it very easy to keep clean.

Cut out enough Contact paper to wrap the front and the back.  This makes the mat board jig wipe-able, in case you get a little ink on it.

Cutting the plastic Contact paper from the plate hole.  I cut it corner to corner, forming triangles.  Then I fold it onto the back.

Finished jig, with registration lines and notes so I don't get confused about what goes where.

I noticed the linoleum plate had fuzzies around the edges from the backing.  I trimmed it off as best I could with scissors.  It will probably keep fraying, so I coated it with acrylic gel medium.

I also got all the paper cut for the cards, too, but I forgot to take pictures.

I'm ready to start printing tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014


I have all of the parts of the blocks sewn together.

The idea was to have the blocks in more managable parts so I can move them around the design wall easier.

So, here we go...

The design wall

A beginning

Adding more

Trying to get the colors to flow

Looking for problems


Moving a few offensive parts

Okay, where do I stop?

Don't think I like that bright one in the center...

A few more adjustments

Are we getting close yet?

Here's where I stopped because I was satisfied.

Don't hold me to this plan....I could change it completely tomorrow!

But at least now I can start making the blocks....lots of curves yet to sew.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


I got the pieces all cut out and sewn together for the parts I was missing.

So, that should be all of the straight-line sewing I have for a while.  It's back to sewing curves, curves and more curves.

At, least I hope so....I didn't count them again.

It can be very pleasant up in the studio.  The weather lately has been very nice.  I have windows open on opposite sides, and sometimes I'll get a nice little breeze blowing through.  There's a bird feeder right outside one of the open windows and occasionally I will hear the chatter of little birds.   But what really makes it nice is the music.  My husband is a vintage stereo nut and he has set me up with a very nice system.  It's a Marantz 2270 with JBL monitor speakers.  It rocks.  I have my Zune hooked up to it and I set it to play randomly of all the music I've loaded onto it.  There is everything from Classical to Hard Rock, from Jazz to World Music, even some Zoe Keating, Tony Bennett, Mozart and Kronos Quartet.

Saturday, September 13, 2014



I just discovered I don't have enough parts for all the blocks I need.

Have you ever made a quilt?  Well, if you have, you know you are always counting the parts.  At least, I am.

I count the pieces as I cut them.  

I count the parts as I sew them together.

I count the blocks, and the sashings and the borders and anything else you might need.

After counting everything - twice.  I discovered that I was short some parts.  And, I discovered I was short those parts because I was out of any 'light' fabric.  That's probably why they didn't get cut out.  I had purchased some really cool fabric that went with all of my other Lexington fabrics at Pacific Fabrics last fall.  I remember thinking I should go get more of it before it was all gone, but apparently I didn't.  It's a sure bet there isn't any of it there anymore.  So, before heading to the fabric store, I checked out my massive stash.  Whoa!  the perfect fabric was in there this whole time.  It appears as though I was holding onto it for just this project.  And, there is more than enough!

So, it was a step backwards.  I cut out the missing pieces and now I'm back to sewing corner pieces together.  Just a short side trip.

But...more bad news.

While I was counting all those pieces, I discovered I haven't cut out enough of the center X's.  They are the biggest pieces and use up the most fabric.  I'm short 13 pieces.  Hmmmm.

Good thing I bought lots of fabric.  I'm pretty sure I will have more than enough for those (they aren't the 'lights', they are cut from everything else).

Then, I'll have to count everything again.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I want to paint a bunch of faces.

I want them all on the same size canvas.  Square.

I priced the 10" by 10" wrapped canvases and decided they were too expensive and I would just get some Masonite and ask my sweet husband to cut it into 10" squares.  Which he did.

Then it occurred to me that I don't really like painting on masonite, it's too smooth.  I don't like the way the paint goes on.

I thought a lot about different ways to get some 'tooth' or texture onto the boards.

I thought, I could wrap them in canvas.  But, I'd have to buy a bunch of canvas.  Expensive again.

I thought, I have lots and lots of fabric.  I could just wrap them in fabric!  That might even be really interesting.  It opens up lots of possibilities.

Then I did a lot of thinking about how to do it, to wrap the fabric on and have it adhere, no bubbles.

So, I've been putting it off for a while now.

Darrell (husband) did his part, he cut the squares out long ago.  They've been sitting there, waiting.

So, today, I looked through my fabric stash and found some sacrificial fabric that I know I'll never use.  There was probably two yards there.  Doesn't matter what it looks like, it will be getting painted over.

I wrapped two boards today just to see how it went.  I glued it down with acrylic matte medium.  It went way better than I thought it would.

Saturday, September 06, 2014


I finished my self-portrait.   As I explained earlier, I was in a situation that was very stressful and wasn't getting any better, only worse, with no end in sight.  I was miserable and wanted things to change.

I made a change.  Things are much better now, and I don't feel this way anymore.  But I needed to express it.  


1.    desolate or dreary; unhappy or miserable.


1.    excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain.

I can't decide which fits the situation better.

Here it is, thorns and all.

This is acrylic on canvas, 10" by 10".

Friday, September 05, 2014


The done-pile is getting bigger than the not-done-pile.

Thursday, September 04, 2014


Well, I missed working on the quilt on Monday because I ended up working later than I should have.  And I missed Tuesday.
And Wednesday I had a class after work...

So, here it is Thursday already, but I made it into the studio for a few minutes and got one set done.

(I'm using an old wool blanket over my ironing table, it works great, but it makes pictures confusing, doesn't it.)

Monday, September 01, 2014


Wow, how long has it been since I worked on this quilt?

Too long.

I have lots of excuses, though.

But, I spent a good hour or two today, organizing and sorting and trying to remember where I left off, so I could actually do some piecing.

It's all curves for a while, I better get used to it.  

Hopefully, I'll get good at it.

I am going to come out to the studio and spend a half hour every night this week.

Watch me.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


I've been working on a self-portrait for the last few weeks.  I didn't take any process photos, unfortunately.  I've been thinking about this portrait for a while now.  It represents how I was feeling about my job most of this year.  

I did something about it though, and now I have embarked onto a new and exciting career and consequently I don't feel like this anymore.

But, I had to get this selfie out of the way.

Yes, I know it's upside down...I haven't decided if this is the final version or not...probably not.  So I'll show it right side up when it's officially finished.

This is acrylics on a 10"x10" canvas.

Thursday, June 05, 2014


Darrell finished his video making process early today, so we headed back to the Cincinnati Art Museum.  

I decided to just take pictures of the bits that I found interesting.

Can you recognize any artists from these little snippets?

We went outside and looked at the birds for a little bit and on the way back to the car I found this!

 They are everywhere...