Sunday, February 28, 2010

Well, I've been here for a couple of days and I must say I LOVE IT! No I haven't had to live in it and shovel it and deal with for a any amount of time... but I'm strangely at home in it... I even told my husbands family that when he's gone I might move up here! Ok.. My brother in law just called and we are going up to the cabin... Have a great day all... I'll post pics when I can!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Headed for Snow Country...

I'll be leaving for the air port in a bit. I'm flying to snowy New York (hope I packed enough layers) for my MIL's funeral. I'll be glad to see my hubber... and finally meet his sister. I don't know how much I'll be able to get online, but I'll try to keep up to date... don't think I'll be creating much up there... But I'll take lots of pictures and write. Here's a Florida scene that Edna painted for Bruce and I for a wedding present...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Theme Thursday Challenge - Flourish

Beauty on the Phone

 The beauty came from Art Freebies, the chandelier came from a Google and the flourish wall paper is from Flickr Collage Images and has been recolored.

Three Muses Challenge - Architecture

The sisters felt sorely out-of-place returning to the old homestead. They had truly... sadly... left their roots behind...
The cracker house photo came from the Florida State Photo Collection and Archives, the sisters were found during a Google search for vintage dress patterns.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

T on Tuesdays

With all that's been happening lately, I almost forgot the tea party (hosted this week by Chriss of Paper Girls)!  But have no fear... I have my cup of Republic of Tea, Blackberry Sage Decaf here beside me. Wow.. the 70s huh? (theme for today) Hang on a sec... Have to take some photos...   
Okay I'm back... My mom and I used to exchange Asian tea sets at Christmas and on birthdays...  This is a set that I gave to my mom, when I was a teenager in the 70s.  The portrait this time is Mom. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saying good bye, in my own way...

I just got the call... My lovely mother-in-law is gone... I will miss her dearly. She's the closest to a mom that I've had since my mom passed in 1993. They were very much alike and would have been close in age. Both were creative souls and wonderful artists. One of Edna's paintings (that she had painted for her MIL) sits in my China cabinet with many of my treasured possessions... heirlooms passed down through generations... my mom's vintage ladies' head vases... my most prized teapots... I felt honored that she gave it to me when "Grandma Pearl" passed on. So, it takes it's place among my memories....
Godspeed lovely Edna...

Her Imagination Dances....

Among the Wood Sprites, her imagination danced along the lakeshore... 

Digital ATC for the TMTA (Dance) and Inspiration Avenue (Purple) Challenges. The dancer is from Flickr Collage Images. She is layered on a shape texture and altered. Clip art flourishes were added in 2 different layers and recolored, then the Wood Sprites found their way in...

Collage Obsession Challenge (Chinese Theme)

I didn't use the image provided, but I certainly followed the Chinese theme! Here's my digital collage for the Collage Obsession Challenge...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two Challenges

I've been sitting here waiting for my hubber to call... So why not play around on the computer!  This digital collage is for the Sunday Post Card Challenge (Twins theme). I took a little bit different approach to this one. It also satisfies the Lots To Do Challenge (Use a machine to create art theme.) I used my laptop. All images came from Flickr Collage Images. Ladies and Gentlemen! Come one! Come all!

A bit of spring from the Sunshine State

To all my northern friends... Beach Sunflowers... they bloom year round...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blue Symmetry... 3 Challenges

Blue Symmetry is a digital collage that I made for the Art Creations Friday Challenge, using the background provided. It also satisfies the 3 Muses Challenge theme, Nature, and the Inspiration Avenue theme of Reflection. I didn't plan it that way... but, hey... who am I to argue with serendipity?

This week's finds... and Blueberry Wine...

I happened upon a rummage sale on my way home today. I came away ($2 later) with  a small oil painting in it's original frame, and a 1951 Websters Tower Dictionary, beautifully showing its age.
The painting is "Scottish Highlands" by G. F. Bastian (?) It's very difficult to read the label on the back, impossible to read the signature on the painting.
 I also scored more vintage books at my favorite thrift store... "Antique Furniture; Explained and Illustrated" by K.W.M Bowers. It has lots of lovely line drawings. Another one is a 1944 edition of "Curtain Rises" by Quentin Reynolds. It has 2 signatures and 2 stamps of previous owners inside the front cover. It also has wonderfully aged pages. The last book I got wasn't as old, but it's just as beautiful... 1971 edition of "Victoriana" that is beautifully illustrated and has gorgeous photos...
and look at these wonderful dolls!
My favorite part, though, is the illustrations of lamps inside the front and back covers...
My other great "find" this week was a gift from a friend at work... a sample bottle of homemade Blueberry Wine...  It's yummy! Thanks Gene!
 The portrait in the background is my grandmother, my namesake (not Dianne, but my first name... but that's another post) at age 16.  I'm going to do some research on the painting. Maybe I'll have one of those wonderful "Antiques Roadshow" stories to tell later... You know... I bought it for a dollar and it's worth ten grand or something... lol... Wouldn't that be cool?!?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Theme Thursday Challenge

This week's theme is girls... When I was a little girl, the only "girlie" thing I did was tea parties.  I had numerous tea sets, real China ones and little plastic ones that came in a little plastic bag from the 10 cent store in my parent's home town.  I still have tea sets... heirlooms past down through generations, vintage McCoys, Asian sets that my mom and I exchanged on birthdays and Christmas...and various tea pots from around the world.
A digital collage memory...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thanks and good night...

Wow! I can't believe all the wonderful comments I got for my latest creations and the Weeki Wachee mermaid photos that I posted!  Thank you all so much!  Tonight I'm sitting in a hotel room in Ft. Myers, FL on the Caloosahatchee River at the mouth of Charlotte Harbor. It's my fave hotel, even though it's decades old... The restaurant downstairs is old timey Florida and they always put me in a room with a balcony. It's been a very long day, as I worked most all day in my Brooksville office, then had to take my dog, Fred, to my dad's in Tampa (because Bruce is in New York) then drive to Ft. Myers.  I'm so tired, I don't  know that I'll get to commenting on everyone's latest creations.  I'm sure they are as lovely as usual. In the mean time... Here's Fred...
I used to have a Florida Foods business. I sold Key Lime juice and honey and citrus jellies, tropical fruit and spice marinades, and salsas... lots of stuff... It was called "A Green Window".  The name came from the 5 wine bottle bottom windows in the treehouse I used to live in.  Anyway... This was taken at a tropical plant fair where I had set up my goods for sale...
He looks hard at work doesn't he... the snoozing Schnoodle!
This one is on mine and Bruce's honeymoon... We had to sneak him in the cottage we were staying in, because Hurricane Francis was coming onshore and those that were able to make the wedding (many couldn't because of Francis) were evacuating! So Bruce, Fred and I spent the weekend and weathered the storm in a 100 year old cottage. It was behind the Victorian bed and breakfast that we got married in. Right after the post ceremony dinner... they boarded the windows up... lol
And here's Fred the Biker Dog! in his too cool Doggles!  Yes he rides with us!  Have a great night everyone!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hope is the thing with feathers...

Steff's Stuff Challenge Theme for Monday was Reading/Books. Here's a digital collage for that challenge...
Most all of the images came from the internet...I already had the image of the photo in the album frame, can't remember where it came from.

T(ea) Tuesday

This is my first post for T(ea) Tuesday. Tonight I'm drinking decaf Tetley Black Tea - British Blend.  I'll probably add a shot of cream liqueur later... It's been one of those days.  Going with the Water Theme... here are some vintage photos of the Mermaids of Weeki Wachee. Weeki Wachee is one of the Florida's last "roadside attractions."  Guests sit 14 feet below the water surface of the Weeki Wachee Spring in a theater where glass separates the guests from the water. It's truly a unique and beautiful show... and today's mermaids still perform. There's even a Mermaid Camp for girls that want to learn to perform when they are old enough.
 I hope you enjoyed my swim down memory lane... Now for that shot of liqueur....

Is there such a thing as a digital ATC?

I've never made an ATC... Unless I print those I just created out... Is that really an ATC though? A print could be traded... Well... whether it is or not... here are my Think Monday Think ATC Challenge Entries...
The theme is EXOTIC...
The Cherry Tree painting (#1) is from, the backgrounds in #2 and #3 came from Green Valley Studio, the bamboo (#1) and the writing came from the internet, the tea stained linen background is a Microsoft texture. I can't remember where I got the Geishas.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Katie's Warbler

I haven't felt very inspired today. I've been here alone all day... quiet... nursing my eye... creating nothing. That's one reason I haven't been inspired today. Conjunctivitis puts a damper on anything I need both eyes to do... drive, be in the sun (which is finally out in 3 days), take pictures or create visual art... or even type for that matter....
So... I'm going to leave you with a photo from a very talented young photographer. She's a part of my crazy, extended family (stepdaughter of my first husband - we are all one big happy family, full of current and former wives and husbands and biological and step children with multiple sets of grandparents). She says she thinks she's addicted to selective coloring... and this is one of my favorite photos of hers...
Here's a link to her Flickr stream if you'd like to see more

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gypsy Spirit - Collage Obsession (Longing) and 4x4 Friday (Spirit) Challenges

She longed to leave her sedentary life behind... to travel... and dance... like those that came before her....
This is a digital collage for the Collage Obsession and 4x4 Friday challenges. The background is an image of an oil painting by Adrien Moreau (1843-1906). The vintage portrait photo is from Collage Obsession for the challenge. 
This was difficult for me to finish because I've come down with Conjunctivitis. So... I probably won't be able to do much art for a while... it's very hard on my eye. Happy Valentines Day to all...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rainy Days and Sacred Work...

Today was a typical Florida, cold front burdened, rainy, winter day. The temperature dropping all day and rain running down my window making the trees outside look like they had been painted by Monet.
Poplars on Epte - Claude Monet

These are the days that I feel most creative. Unfortunately, like today, I'm usually at the office, working to conserve the very things I find most inspiring... water, habitat, the Florida that I grew up in... the Florida that brings so many here to destroy it. Maybe not on purpose, but the more that come... the less there is.

Years ago when I worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, a speaker came to our office... He told us that what we did for a living was "sacred work". Indeed it was.. and is today... and will always be.  I've worked in the field of natural resources conservation most of my adult life. My childhood predisposed this.  We spent countless hours in woods, lakes, swamps and rivers... We learned more from these experiences than we ever would have in books or school.  But I took it further and made it my life to experience and learn... and to teach and protect the things I love and feel most content with. It's no wonder my art and prose are so influenced by nature... I've been immersed in it my entire life.
Photo from

Fortunately I prefer to write on rainy days, rather than collage or paint... I become introspective... I feel like the rain washes the prose from my soul onto the paper.  So I try to steal moments between meetings, phone calls and comprehensive plan reviews to put bits and pieces of thoughts down in ink.  If I'm lucky or with what talent I may have, those snippets of thought find their way into complete sentences later and end up in a journal or here.  Sharing these thoughts is, in essence, sharing my sacred work... perhaps opening some minds in the process.

Photo from

"It is a soothing employment to overlook the pond and study the dimpling circles which are incessantly inscribed on it's surface..."  Henry David Thoreau (journal entry August 23, 1853)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Theme Thursday - Flowers

I've been experimenting with digital collage lately. It's very fun... At this point I'm using Microsoft PowerPoint and Publisher because they are what I know... I bought Photoshop 7 for Dummies, so maybe one of these days I will be able to use a real photo editing software. But for now...
This is for Edna... my lovely mother in law, a wonderful artist... who won't be here to see the spring bulbs come through the snow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

B is for Butterfly

I thought I might send some springtime out to everyone... Here's is my tag for Tag Tuesday. The theme for this week is monogram. I rubbed a spring green ink pad onto a white tag, adhered a green leaf skeleton and a black paper cut-out B that I colored over with a ballpoint pen with glue dots and glued a feather butterfly to the card. I added acrylic jewels to suggest dew drops and tied raffia and art fibers to the tag. I hope it brings spring a little closer to those in the snow!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Theme Thursday Challenge - Pink and Black

Wow... It's been an art filled Sunday for me!  Here's a digital entry for Theme Thursday's Pink and Black Challenge.

Stop Art Piracy Campaign Badges

I made these badges for the Stop Art Piracy Campaign Flickr Group. They are posted on the group site, but I still need to figure out how to link one to the site.

Digital Collage Sheet Sale!

Hi! I just ordered several digital collage sheets from the divas at ! They are having a crazy sale through the end of February... Digital Collage Sheets for $2 each!  They also have sheets printed on paper, fabric and transparencies. I love their images! Check them out!

King Raven's Ransom

Here's my piece for the 4x4 Friday Challenge... King Raven's Ransom.

The background is corrugated cardboard that was painted with mustard yellow acrylic for a piece I was going to do, but didn't. I repainted it with Plum, leaving some of the yellow showing. The frame is chipboard painted with a silver Sharpie paint pen, which made it resemble painted wood. The raven is from Artchix Studio and his crown is chipboard painted gold and then glittered. His ransom is composed of bits and pieces of cheap jewelry and acrylic jewels. Hope you like it!
ps - I finally put my new tripod into use, so my photos should be a bit clearer now.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I've started rebuilding my links list. I'm going to have a Challenge list and then maybe another faves links list... if I can figure out how to do it. I'm having trouble dragging the links gadget to where I want it in the right side nav bar. I'll eventually figure it out.... but for now, it's there, just incomplete and in the "wrong" place.

Friday, February 5, 2010

ARGHHHHH! I just blew my Links List away! #$&*#%&^#%!!!

Birds of a Feather Challenge Journal

I just finished my challenge piece for The Three Muses Challenge. The theme is "Birds of a Feather". My last post showed you the covers before I collaged anything onto them.
Here's the finished product! I distressed the bird and egg with linen colored ink. Then I reconstructed the book using green colored raffia to bind it.

The inside front cover. I told you that the walnut ink rubbed onto the inside of the cover looks like leather! I added a distressed tag with some calligraphy for the recipient to write their name.
Here, the collage elements have been added, but I haven't distressed the bird and egg with linen colored ink yet. The colors in this photo are darker than the actual pieces. The photo of the finished journal (above) is closer to real life colors.