Monday, September 28, 2009


My friend Joanne has reopened her website, and has some of the coolest things! Check out her gorgeous crowns....and while you are there look at her washable polymer buttons and her fabulous dolls!
Here's a pic of me wearing my very own crown made by Joanne.

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Here are 2 more versions of the "Captured Muse" paintings...I'm making a series!
I love the technique I am is sooo forgiving and gives me a lot of freedom to experiment. When I took DJ Pettitt's painting class, I watched her paint with abandon, adding avant garde splashes of color and then drawing and painting over part of her work to create depth and texture. Often she will take a painting and play with it in photoshop giving it new background or a twist of the colors. This is a great way to see your vision and play with ideas without wasting paint or possibly losing something you really liked.
I also took a class with Jesse Reno - and although his style is very different, Jesse loves to paint over any part of a painting that isn't working for him and turn that portion into something else, letting the painting dictate what it wants to become. He does this over and over again...and when he is done, his painting too, has layers of depth and texture and nuance.
OK. So I WANT DEPTH. and TEXTURE... and NUANCE.! ...or at least the illusion....
....but I am a big chicken.
So, I took a picture I hated and painted it into something I liked a bit better, using Jesse's principles of drawing black outlines around forms and shapes in a painting that your imagination sees. Then you paint out parts AROUND your drawing, to make your drawing POP!....whew! I am so rigid and afraid to wreck things.... Then I took the painting and I scanned it using my best matte photo paper. I put the painting aside, and I painted ON THE SCAN. I also used colored pencils and ink. I drew in things I saw in the colors. I painted out parts i didn't like. I added squiggles and dots and smears, like DJ likes to do.
When the paper wouldn't take any more paint, I let it dry and I SCANNED IT AGAIN. Then I painted on the NEW SCAN. If I didn't like where it was going, then I just scanned the previous scan again, and I started all over.
I LOVE this layering technique. Everytime I scan the newest paper painting, I get a new FLAT surface to paint on, draw on, to shade smoothly. Because the 3-d parts of the paper painting have all been flattened by the scanner, the colors and shading and shapes subtly change in the new scanning. I can never make a mistake, because I can either scan the paper painting I am working on now and then paint out the mistake on the new flat surface, or I can start over from the previous scan and take the painting in a new direction.
As lines become faded, or whites go dull, I re add them back in each time.
For "Captured Muse" I went off in several directions, but all began with the initial painting.
I probably did about 10 or so scans to make these one point I took the original canvas and painted/drew in all of my favorite "discoveries" from the painted paper scans. Then I scanned that painting and came up with these 2 new paintings. Usually, when doing a conventional painting, I get frustrated and the paint gets too deep, or it takes too long to dry, or I ruin a part of the painting i liked. THIS method I am now using allows me to experiment all I want . OK. So the finished product is actually a PRINT...sort of...I mean you can't call it a digital painting, because it isn't...but like digital art there really isn't ONE ORIGINAL.
Are you following all of this? Does any of this make sense?
..OH! I found that for some reason, with my scanner (Epson Stylus RX500 All-In-One) scanning the paper painting in"mirror" layout, INTENSIFIED the colors. I only use Epson Matte Premium Presentation Paper.
In any case, I love doing my art this's like sketching many versions, taking pieces of this and that to come up with a concept...
...and it works for me!

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Today I received a large package in the mail. It was from my friend Sandy who had just recently moved...
Inside the box I found this beautiful "chest"...

...and when I opened it, to my delight, it was filled with all of these wonderful treasures, just waiting for me to recycle and reinvent them! Lots and lots of old chains, vintage pins, old watches, pearls, bits and baubles.

I just love other peoples jewelry cast offs!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Skull and Bones Earrings and Necklace Set

This is a simple and understated skull and bones earrings and necklace. The skulls are raku blue glazed ceramics, and the baby blue bone beads are vintage glass, as are the white swirl beads. Sterling silver beads, fine silver wire and a fine silver clasp finish the pieces.

Available in my Etsy shop!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WHO KNEW? to fold a fitted sheet FLAT

Here's a You-Tube video my friend Jackie posted on her facebook page....I liked it so much I am posting it too! ...mine never turn out like this!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Prayers For Jessica Easley.....September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Each year over 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer...the number one killer disease of children. Unfortunately very little money is steered towards childhood cancer, and it is totally different from adult cancers. I follow many of these children on Carepages and Caringbridge , offering encouragement and support. Anytime I'm on my pitypot i just pop over to one of these pages...and count my blessings!
I have been feverishly trying to finish up a necklace for a little girl, Jessica Easley, who is terminally ill with cancer and at home with hospice care. Jessica wanted to take her beloved dog LeeRoy with her on her final journey...figuratively, that is. And so I made her this PMC fine silver necklace with a picture of her and LeeRoy that I took from a video on her website. The picture is encased in resin. Jessica has bravely accepted her destiny, and she would welcome prayers for a miracle and/or a peaceful and joyous earning of her angel wings. You can read more about Jessica here......feel free to leave her a comment or a message, too.

This is a new talisman necklace I have just listed on Etsy.

The design is Unisex....Hand cast PMC Fine Silver from a Photo polymer mold I made from a photo i took...
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Painting Make-Over

This is a self portrait painting i did a while back that i absolutely hated. Maybe I look like that, but i couldn't stand to see it in my studio!

So.......... I painted over parts, ....drew on it, painted out some more, .....drew some more, etc, ala Jesse Reno, and this is what I came up with.... the time i was done, only part of my eyes remained!

I took pictures that showed the progression, but since I reloaded my hard drive I can't get my scanner to work....

TODAY ONLY! Terrific mini light studio on SALE AGAIN!

OK, here it is again, on sale at 1sale-a-day, for today Sept 18th only, until midnight. This is a terrific mini lighting studio....i just ordered a second one...just because! I posted about this a while back when I got my first is small, only 8x8, but it comes with 2 balanced lights, a camera tripod, 2 backgrounds, filtered side walls and a great case to put it all in - seems to be really good quality.... http://www.1saleada

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Easy Recipe Blog

Here is a link to a delightful new food blog that has some scrumptious recipes!
"Man That Chick Can Cook"
I've added it to my sidebar favorites, too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Yesterday we finally took the boat out! It was a beautiful hot clear day, with gorgeous cobalt blue waves 4-6 ft. Perfect! I armed myself with seabands and bonine. We packed a lunch and sunscreen and set off around 8 am.
Boating was so much fun! ...but out on the open ocean is REALLY ROUGH...and today we are both sore, just from trying to keep our balance.
I am so NOT a boat person. But I tried real hard. Whenever I would get queasy I would try to think of something to divert attention from my unhappy stomach. Out of sight, out of mind.....
I even tried steering....please, I'm lucky I can drive a car! Ha!
We were out about 3 hours. We did not eat the lunch. I was happy to get back to dry land.
We did notice that the ocean was much calmer and silky the farther north we went. Next week we will go again, launching a bit farther north. It can only get better..... right?
Here's a silly video (the part where I glare at the "mean captain" has been edited out...LOL)

and a few pics....

...launching the boat

the Captain at the wheel....

the 1st Mate....

Monday, September 07, 2009


Our desk top computer is only about a year and a half old, but lately it has been crashing with the black screen of death. My first thoughts are always the mother board or hard drive, but my DH did some investigating and discovered that when the computer starts fine and then instantly shuts itself down, usually within minutes of booting up, that the problem is often dust inside the computer that causes overheating. Solution? vacuum it out. So my DH takes the back off of the computer ...and surprise! it looks pretty clean.....
no matter, he diligently vacuums it anyway, puts it all back together again, plugs it in and PRESTO!....the black screen of death again.
so, more internet investigating....cheaper than taking it in for diagnostics to see what is wrong ...
anyway, he comes across another possible problem.......the power supply going out ....intermittent power will cause the computer to shut down (of course) when the power is interrupted. A new power supply is anywhere from $35 to $300, but the source says the $35 one hopefully will do the trick....
So DH decides to pull the case inside the computer that holds the power supply out of the computer so he can check the model number and thus be sure to order the correct new one. So he unattaches the power supply and pulls the case out of the computer...
then my DH gets the idea to open the back of the power supply case to see if there are dust bunnies in there....
...and look what he finds!

Three dead (fried?) large geckos, corroding away on the terminals....
... after cleaning out the geckos and their mess, and putting it all back together.....
VOILA! so far the computer has been working good as new!