Wednesday, December 30, 2009


This is a fantastic way to start a new year, with a long term and mystery art project. You can read about The Erosion Bundle Project at As the web site states: "MAKE A BUNDLE - LET NATURE HAVE IT'S WAY - SHARE IT Continuing the Disintegration Collaboration Idea created by Seth @ The Altered Page."
You may remember my Disintegration project last year. I really enjoyed watching it "disintegrate" but unfortunately it totally blew away in a New Mexico wind storm. Here you will see the items I have selected to put in my Erosion Bundle. Items include fabric scraps, papers, rusty nails and other metal pieces, some burlap and some polyester webbed material and a 1966 Vogue magazine cover. As a bonus for me, I have an oak cabinet door I want to age for another project I have in mind. So, I have attached my bundle to the door with twine, hoping it will age as the project goes on.
The bundle is hanging from a hook in the pergola outside the kitchen door. This way I can watch it through the winter to see nature's progress. I used a piece of painted fabric on the front stating Bundle Erosion Project 1-1-2010. If you would be interested in participating in the project, get yourself on over to the link I provided and read about the project. Next Spring, I think in April, we will all take our bundles inside to see the results. At that time, we will be encouraged to create a piece of artwork using our altered items. Give it a try! Have some fun with me!


My son gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas. What fun that was! I ordered the following: "The Rossetti Letter" by Christi Phillips, a novel of 17th century Venice. " Annette Vallon" by James Tipton, a novel of the French Revolution. "Medicus" by Ruth Downie, a novel of the Roman Empire. And, "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" by Katherine Howe, a novel incorporating the Salem witch trials. I have not read anything by any of these authors but am looking forward to these. We had gone out to run errands and UPS delivered during that time. His truck is not 4-wheel drive and so he left it at the road and managed to trudge up our very steep and long driveway in a foot of snow to deliver my books. Kudos to UPS! Quite a nice change from our previous encounters with that company.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I took this photograph through a window early this morning. The quiet beauty of Our Woods is showing me a subdued palette every day now. The "colors" don't seem to change at all and I am beginning to "see" more of them every day. Shades of black and gray, clean white and brown white, brown and pale shades of pink. I am learning how to see them. And they are beautiful. The color infused pieces I generally create are not here today. This one is calm and clear and quite different. I enjoy looking at it. It is named "All The Leaves Are Brown . . ." and measures 19" X 27".


Here, in photographic form, are bits and pieces of some special moments during this holiday season. My son and daughter from Albuquerque were here to help us celebrate our first Christmas in our new home. We hosted the First Annual Family Gift Exchange dinner and I must tell you that fifteen people can really raise a din! We had a wonderful time! Dinner included turkey, classic sage dressing as well as oyster stuffing, mashed potatoes, oven-roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce and challah bread. After dinner we opened the exchanged gifts (here are my children, Chris and Erin. Apparently it was a very tiring trip)).
It looks like Roy and Mother are waiting for their turn to open a gift.
After the gifts had been opened we moved on to the dessert table which included assorted holiday cookies, that famous adult fruitcake, a cherry pie, a pumpkin pie and a mince pie. Yeah, we ate too much.
On Christmas morning we had a special brunch which included Roy and me, Erin and Chris and Mother. We had fresh from the oven popovers with honey, sliced ham and a vegetable fratatta. rum fruitcake and vanilla biscotti flavored coffee.
One of the nights during the week the four of us made our own pizzas. Recently I bought six well seasoned individual pizza pans that used to be used at Pizza Hut. They make wonderful pizzas!
I know, it sounds like all we did was eat but this was NOT the case. We played board games (Starwars Monopoly and a Harry Potter Clue game) . . . and attacked the puzzle from hell. One thousand pieces of balls of yarn and kittens. This photograph shows a display of small wooden houses and tiny wooden cars that my Mother and step-father made some years ago. They have a special place of honor every year in our home.
These are stockings that belong to Roy and me.
These two photographs show my ever expanding collection of Santa Clauses.
This nativity has been in my family for many years. When my children were very young I bought the small figurines and painted them. They are lovingly put out every year.
I hope all of you, my readers, had a special time with family and friends. It has been an event filled year for us but certainly ended with wonderful moments with family. I can hardly wait to see what 2010 is going to be like! Best wishes to each of you for a creative and fulfilling New Year.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Abena lives and works in Offinsu, Ghana. She has petitioned KIVA ( a not for profit organization that makes loans to small business owners), for a loan to help her in her business.
I began making loans to women in Africa and as the loans are repaid, I am able to continue the process by making additional loans. My first loan has been paid in full and the second one is 47% repaid as of this month and is on schedule. My first two women were involved in buying and selling fabrics. Abena is my third business partner. This is the information copied from her application on the KIVA site.
Loan Use: To expand her business by purchasing a bulk supply of raw ingredients of palm oil. "'Abena is a 50-year-old married woman and mother of six children. Currently, three of her children are in school, while the rest of her children are independent and live on their own. She works hard to support her husband in taking care of their home. To earn a living, she is a producer and supplier of local palm oil. Palm oil is produced from palm nuts, and is used to prepare many local dishes like fried fish, soups, and pastries. She produces and supplies palm oil to food vendors so that they can prepare their meals for their customers. She also sells palm nuts to those who need them for further processing. Unfortunately, her palm oil production has been hampered as of late due to insufficient working capital; more specifically, she cannot to afford a machine to assist with palm oil processing. In any event, she is seeking a loan to buy more bags of palm nuts to increase her production of palm oil. She believes that this loan will enable her to save more for her children's education. She would be grateful for your assistance. "
If you would like to help someone with a small business loan, you can read more about this terrific organization at

Sunday, December 27, 2009


This collage piece was a lot of fun! I began by cutting apart an oil pastel painting I had done years ago but was not real happy with. I arranged them initially with some cut pieces of the painted fabric I made when creating the wallets. (you remember those?). So, here you see the beginning of the design using those two things.This is the beginning of the background for the artwork. I put down several layers of acrylic on a piece of white canvas fabric I had prepared first with Gesso.
This was the piece I started assembling on the day Mother and I went to the Senior Center painting session. Here is a detail of a section of the finished edition. You can see both the original artwork and the pieces of painted fabric squares. I also did some stamping with one of my favorite stamps; the checkerboard.
I added some geometric sections with black pen and a Krylon Gold Leaf pen. When you walk around the collage the gold glimmers in the light.
Right now the piece is taped to a door in my studio. Roy is going to be making frames for my work as soon as it warms up; his workshop is not insulated or heated. In the meantime, I will continue to work on these collages as I really love the process and the colors really get me all jazzed!
This one is called "Her Maze" and measures 23" X 28".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We woke this morning inside a snow globe. Our entire world is black and white and quite beautiful! The bird seed feeders have tall white roofs and everything looks very soft. This is our muffin top table on the tiny porch outside my kitchen door.
With the snow on the ground, it seems I can see farther into Our Woods. Isn't it lovely? It should be easier now to spot our deer and that silly gaggle of turkeys that slog along in a line pecking at the ground and hopping over branches. Love those guys!
This is our neighbor's home. We can't see it at all in the summer but now that the trees are quite nude, we can see it clearly.
This is the view from my studio windows.
So, our black and white world inside this snow globe is here for your pleasure. I am told we will get used to this but right now I am spending a lot of time just looking out windows.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Today Mother, Roy and I went to the Meadville Senior Center to attend an art class and have lunch. What an impressive center it is. I took a plastic box with paints and scissors and a brayer and paper towels and gold leaf pen and everything I thought I might need. Painting was not on MY agenda of course. Mother took a cloth bag with watercolor paper, paints and brushes. She had previously sketched out a basic layout for a painting of the very tall trees in the woods behind her home. We had a grand time! They have a large Art Room with cupboards full of art supplies in case you don't have your own. Roy managed to locate paper and paints and produced a lovely painting of an Acoma Pot in a desert setting. Mother's painting came together very fast; she has not lost her touch.
Before lunch was served, we were treated to a half hour of singing by a local barbershop group. We noted that one of the singers was blind and was singing from a songbook in braille. They were much better than I had thought they would be and the Santa hats were a sweet touch. After the concert, lunch was served by the kitchen staff. Today's menu: baked breaded fish, mac and cheese, orange juice, stewed tomatoes, wheat bread and fruited jello with whipped cream . It was well prepared, tasty and quite substantial for $2.00. And, we were encouraged to have second helpings as long as there was food available.
We will be returning every Tuesday for art class as long as Mother wants to attend. We really did have a good time, even though Roy and I were the youngest people there. Not sure I am ready to commit to any Senior Center but the people we met today were friendly and interested in getting to know us. VERY nice people!
When our art pieces are finished, I will post photographs of them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


My mission: to create a stack of fun and casual place mats. The process: buy NOTHING. Mission accomplished! I used bits and scraps of fabric, much of the strips left over from quilt projects. In between the two fabric layers I used pieces of an old and worn flannel bed sheet. It is the perfect thickness to give substance to the place mats without adding too much bulk. On the sides of the place mats I sewed strips of fabric selvage. These strips had landed briefly in the studio trash can until I realized they added some interest with the color spots and wording advertising the fabric design and maker. The backs of the place mats are all solid colors using whatever fabric pieces I had that would be large enough. The mats measure 14 inches by 17 inches and have raw frayed edges. I am now making more of these. They look fabulous on my harvest table. I encourage you to make some shabby chic place mats for yourself. It is a terrific way to use fabric scraps and it is most satisfying to create something without going out to buy anything.

Friday, December 11, 2009


As I ponder the snow outside, I think not. I just finished knitting this scarf using two strands; a white wool/silk blend and a light blue eyelash yarn. It is quite wonderful....I think I need another one!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The fruit in these three fruitcakes hung out for several weeks in a glass jar, easily soaking up three full cups of dark rum. Now, as finishedCheck Spelling cakes, they will rest until Christmas in this plastic box covered in plastic wrap. Occasionally they will accept additional sprinklings of more rum. The fragrance is fabulous! Soon they will retire to the freezer as it is really impossible to slice them unless they are very very cold. Behold the magnificent fruitcake!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Says it all, don't you think?


Bags 5 and 6 are complete and this is the end of the project. The first bag is mine and the remaining five will be put in the boutique tomorrow. I think they might make good holiday gifts! This one is actually my favorite one. It has some vintage lace on it as well as strips of multi-colored organza. The interior is turquoise twill with pockets and closure.
This bag is all pink and lace and pale green.....very feminine. The interior is an eggplant twill. If any of you, my readers, would like one of these bags, just drop me a line off site and we can chat.
Now, on to the next project. Not sure what that is!


As with the previous bags, this one is also made from two unmatched upholstery samples. The front is embellished with strips of multi-colored organza and a piece of vintage lace. The organza actually shimmers when you move the bag around. The lining is made of turquoise twill and has the magnetic clasp and several interior pockets.