Wednesday, August 31, 2016

70's Fashion

70's Fashion
In a previous post I explained how I created the background that you see in this post.  It was totally an amazing experience!  What I did not mention is when I discovered the shadows made by the sun hitting the front door window through the paper screen that I was thinking about my friend, Marlyn, who had died a week before. So I think her presence helped me somehow create this particular background.  Adding the silhouettes on a window and then photographing the image opens up opportunities for creating unlimited backgrounds. Printing images on tissue paper which can be used in art journaling or other mixed media pieces allows for changing things digitally if one chooses to do so.  There are so many possibilities.

If you look back on this blog you will see other silhouettes that I have created using a variety of mixed media techniques.   Some of those silhouettes are collaged ones or just black images. My friend, Terry Garrett, creates backgrounds with silhouettes using an airbrush technique.  Brian Kasstle has used silhouettes in some of his work.  It is an effective and fun technique to use.  You might even remember the show Mad Men used silhouettes in the opening credits for the show.  So you see the possibilities are unlimited.

This particular spread was for a round robin that I belong to.  My friend Jan had given the group a theme, fashion, and we were to create to her theme.  I thought that since this background looked 1970s that fashion from that time frame would work.  The light fixture is also from the 70s.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Impromptu Poet - Afrose Fatima Ahmed

Afrose Fatima Ahmed

This past Friday evening on my way to the take down of the NW Collage Show at the Phinney Center in Seattle I happened upon the "Impromptu Poet," Afrose Fatima Ahmed.  I had read about her in the Seattle Times a few weeks ago and was pleased to find her at the Phinney Market perched in front of her typewriter waiting for her next spontaneous poem.

As her sign relates, Afrose creates poems on the spot.  Give her a word or words and all of a sudden the typewriter keys start clicking away.  Afrose uses only her index fingers to type amazing poetry in just a few minutes.  I requested that she write a poem using "art" or "artist".  Once done she asked if I would like her to read her poem aloud.  I did and so did she.  Here is what I got in quick order.


i was not the glittering
glamor-coated star
elevated on the stage.

i was but the hollow reed
shoved deep into a fertile
soil- simply an open
channel to the source
- that elusive thing

from which all of us
are born
& to which we all
must return.

my only job to keep my insides clear
no hardening arteries
to prevent the flow
of this art.

afrose fatima ahmed
seattle, wa


I photographed Afrose as she was writing my poem.  Before I left she gave me permission to use my photos in a piece of art.  I created what you see above in an art journal.  Thanks Afrose for an inspiring experience.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Collage Elements Journal Covers

Journal Cover Collage Elements

I already posted the collage element pieces on July 16 and 17, 2016 that are included in this journal.

You can view them on this blog at:


I love how happy accidents occur.  I created the art on the cover quite by accident.  I was sitting in my living room chair just staring off into space when I noticed the sun coming through a paper screen that we have over the door window when it is really hot.  I loved the silhouetted images on the paper.
Immediately I thought of some silhouettes I had made from an idea given to me by Tina Malm.  I took the male silhouette and taped him to the door windowwith the paper screen covering him.  I then photographed what you see here.  Finally I printed the image on tissue paper and adhered it to the cover substrate.  I love how this all came together.

The second journal for collage elements was published on this blog on July 29, 30, 31


Collage Elements Cover No. 2

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Four of Clubs and Queen of Spades

Four of Clubs 
Queen of Spades
What a nice day today!  I went to a fleamarket after having breakfast out and found some treasures that I just had to have.  Then I went to MaryAnn's new home for her housewarming.  She has a new house overlooking the Tacoma Narrow's Bridge.  It is a stunning house....in fact, it is amazing.  Time put my feet up and relax.  Fleamarkets and housewarming  are exhausting!  :-)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five of Clubs and Five of Diamonds

Funny how some days go.  I have posts lined up for this blog and I totally forget to post.  I had a good excuse yesterday.  I visited a good friend that I had not seen for months.  Mary and I taught together years ago and have kept in touch.  She has a house right on Puget Sound looking out to Camano Island.  It is like the kind of place that you would always feel like you are on vacation year round.  Just lovely!  We sat outside under an umbrella looking through my journals and chatting away.  I love those kind of friendships where you just pick up where you left off.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Six of Clubs, Three of Clubs, and Two of Hearts

Six of Clubs 
Three of Clubs

Two of Hearts

I am in a deck of cards exchange with an art friend who lives in Sweden.  Ingrid and I have been exchanging cards for well over a year.  I have been way behind in this exchange but today I mustered up some creativity and completed nine cards.  I think that puts me at around 23 cards out of 52. There is no rush but I have not sent any for a long time.  Got off my butt this morning around 4:30 and got to the task.  I will publish the rest of the nine over the next few days.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Western Union

Western Union

This postcard went to my art friend Jan N.  Jan had given me an envelope with five or six pieces of ephemera in which to create a piece of snail mail for her.  All of the background is just that, her ephemera.  While I was cleaning up the garage I found the woman piece of ephemera and thought it would be perfect to add as the final touch for this card.  Done, mailed, and received! :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2016



The photograph in the bottom right started this spread.  I found the photo in a stash that I purchased at a garage sale two weeks ago.  The two men are Vernon and Dick, it says so right on the photo.  I began a narrative of them being brothers and clowns in a circus.  The spread just evolved.  I am crazy about black and white vintage photos.  I love that I got a huge box of them for only $7.00.

Barbara Streisand – Send in the Clowns

Judy Collins – Send in the Clowns

Bernadette Peters – Send in the Clowns

Saturday, August 20, 2016


The latest Andra Day CD is amazing.  Every song is just excellent.  I listen to it constantly. So for my last online spread for the Lyrics workshop that I am taking with Roxanne Coble I decided to do a spread to honor one of Andra Day's songs, Rise Up.  It is a song of strength. The grandfather represents strength.  He is protective of the little boy who also is strong.  He has the strength of fearlessness.  We have to learn fear.  Is there any case when fear is innate?  I have to ponder that for awhile.  Anyway, this is my 14th spread for the class.  I am calling this journal 14 Days in August because that is the number of days I spent creating it.


Andra Day - Rise Up

Friday, August 19, 2016



In one of my workshops we created 5 minute collages using ephemera chosen by each student and traded to another.  I challenged my students who wished to participate to find five pieces of ephemera and I in turn would create a postcard from what they provided me.  MaryAnn Ready provided most of what you see in this piece End-Game.  I did not use every piece of ephemera that I found in the challenge envelope but added two or three small pieces from my stash to complete the composition. MaryAnn, at first, stumped me because she had included a ball of fabric scraps.  You can see those at the bottom of the postcard.  My only other rule for this activity was that there were no rules.  The artist had final control over composition.

PS.....Today is a bit of a celebration as I have posted 183 posts this year so far, the same number as last year.  :-)  I still have about 4.5 months to go in 2016!

Thursday, August 18, 2016



I usually do not work vertically but the journal spread in my meander journal is oriented that way and so I went with it.  I really enjoyed working vertically and guess what?, I have two more that must be done that way in this journal.  Now to figure out what goes on the next spread!  I do not ever seem to have artist block so I am not too worried.  Just start is my motto.


Steve James Renaissance

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Honeybee is by Blake Shelton.  I know you have heard the song.  It is just upbeat and fun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem
I went minimal Roxanne Coble on this spread. If you have never seen her work, go to bybun.com
This is my eleventh spread in this online workshop. Still loving it. The song that I chose is by Kenny Chesney and can be found on the youtube link below. I went minimal because I am trying an experiment and because I liked how the background turned out....homemade papers.

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mary Jane

Mary Jane

Last Friday I went with friends on a field trip to Vashon Island which is very near to Seattle but once you are there it seems like Seattle is not close at all.  I had not been to Vashon since I was a kid. Verbalizing that I had not been there for 60 years makes me seem old!  It is an island with a very liberal population.  Kind of earthy in nature.  It is a very comfortable friendly place to visit.

While there we stopped at a store which had candies that I had to buy and use in a spread.  The candy is called Mary Jane.  I covered the spread with the candy wrappers before continuing with what you see now.  Mary Jane pokes out in a few places still.  I suppose most people would think of marijuana when they first hear Mary Jane.  I did but loved that there is a candy by the same name.

So I had to find a song that has Mary Jane in the lyrics. Tom Petty came through.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

MMM! Good!

M M M! Good

The lyrics for this spread honor the jingle from the Campbell's Soup commercial.  I don't know if they still use it or not in the advertisements but it is one of those songs that when it gets in your head it stays there for awhile!  Sorry if that happens to you...M'm! M'm! Good!


Saturday, August 13, 2016



I bring along some work to do when I attend a collage class as sometimes new assignments take me awhile to digest and I do not want to waste time just sitting while I think.  So I worked on finishing this postcard at that class.  It needed just one more thing, the focal point and it was done or so I thought. Then I just happened to lay CIR down over the polka dots and wham that was just needed. Three of the background papers came from my friend, Jacki Long, when she sent me a round robin envelope of goodies.  Thanks,  Jacki.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Blue Jay

Blue Jay
We have a noisy blue jay who makes himself known each morning and throughout the day.  Funny how I wonder where he is when I do not hear him in the morning! :-)


Thursday, August 11, 2016



I just love this CD by case/lang/veirs.  They performed in Seattle recently but the venue was sold out.  I would have loved to attend their concert.  I listen to the CD in the car and while working on my computer.  There are three lines in this song that inspired me to create this spread:

I'm not the freckled maid
I'm not the fair-haired girl
I'm no a pail of milk for you to spoil

case/lang/veirs - "Atomic Number"

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Collage Sticks II





Sticks together side 2

This is the reverse side of Part I.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Collage Sticks I






Sticks (together)

This was such a fun activity that I think I will do it again.  We were tasked in Larry Calkins class to create collages on pieces of wood.  The only thing is that the sticks had to be interchangeable and somehow relate but also be independent stand alones. I have an idea for a plexiglass box to house the sticks.  I want them to be able to stand and to be movable....hence interchangeable.

Monday, August 8, 2016



The lyrics for The Clock Ticks On by Blackmore's Night  fit the black and white photo to a T.

The four lines of the song that I really like, especially the first two, are:

As the wind chimes play along the breeze
Singing songs to stir the soul,
Rainbow colors entwined in fairytales
On the maypole....


There is something soothing about doing a lot of pen work.  It is almost like you just get into the moment and live with the piece you are creating blocking out all outside interference.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Bomb

The Bomb
The Bomb's lyrics are from the song The Ticking Bomb by Aloe Blacc.  The chosen lyrics are not in succession in the song.  I especially like the line. The sea will mourn, the sky will fall.....if you have ever seen a sea on a grey day where it is frothy and churning and dark you know about a mourning sea.  The sky does fall when you are look at a drenching rain or into the horizon.  You can hear the song on YouTube using the link below.


Saturday, August 6, 2016


This spread was inspired by Alan Jackson's Hard Hat and A Hammer.  If you have never heard the song it is available on the YouTube link.  I entitled this Sleep because sometimes that is all you want to do after putting in a long hard day of work.  I love the lyrics of this song as they really paint a picture of everyday life...a life that is sometimes just mundane work.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Moths To A Flame

Moths To A Flame
This is my second piece for Roxanne Coble's class Lyrics.  One of the elements in each of Roxanne's examples for the class is to include a piece of notebook paper with the lyrics of a song written in different fonts.  Hence in each piece you will see a large section of white text.  I finished the piece on a ferry ride yesterday morning on my way to Orcas Island to visit a friend who is very ill with ovarian cancer. Rest comfortably Marlyn. I dedicate this to you.

Here is the link for the song in case you would like to listen.....


Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Wash Is Out

The Wash Is Out

Just another postcard.  I love using vintage photos.  I am going to have to come up with a new supply as I am running out.  I am going to garage sales this weekend and will see what I can find.  Other than that I best get shopping online. :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Busy Bee

Busy Bee
I am taking an online class with Roxanne Coble called Lyrical where we select lines from songs and create journal spreads based on the lyrics.  This is what I came up with for my first spread.  It is an Ugly Kid Joe song called Busy Bee.....


I really have fun when I take Roxanne's class.....it is my third.  21 Secrets and Creatures were the other two.  More on this class as I complete the work.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Collage Society Exchange

Collage Society Exchange
In June at our Collage Society meeting we did not have a speaker instead our program chair, Wendy Lee Lynds, provided prompts for the members to create postcards.  This postcard is a collaboration with the two women sitting next to me during the event.  Thanks Jan and Meg.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Birds of a Feather or White Pigeon

Birds of a Feather

Well, I am not happy with the scan of this piece.  Since there are so many layers and since I chose a spread towards the back of the RR journal I had trouble getting it to lie flat.  Also there are portions of the spread that I really like better than others.  It is harder to see the swimmer in the scan than in real life.  Now that the piece is done I am wondering if I should have created a more dramatic focal point such as a human figure.  I will leave it and see if something comes to mind in the next day or two.  I have to mail it very soon though.

Finished it and decided it needed white.  Hence the white pigeon and splatters.  There is a name change, too. :-)

White Pigeon
Mailed it off today.  :-)