Saturday, December 13, 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas

It’s time to get ready for my favorite season.  Yesterday the tree went up and our grandson helped me decorate.  He didn’t want to put the angels on, “angels are for girls,” so I did those.  Our decorations have changed the last few years.  In the past we’ve had two trees, one tall skinny one in the living room, a fake tree that held all white lights and my angel collection and one live tree in the family room that held colored lights, all of Marshall’s Santa ornaments and an assortment of other special homemade and gift ornaments.

Now it’s one tree, the tall skinny tree in the den, all white lights and an assortment of angels, a few Santa ornaments (most of Marshall’s have gone to his house) and other special homemade and gift ornaments.  Each ornament brings back a memory of Christmases past and special friends.  Next I’ll bring out the other decorations for the table, the mantle and the living room.

Oh and we have one small tree that once lived in our kitchen and held kitchen tools as ornaments.  During the Christmas season it now lives on our stairway landing serving as a nightlight. It becomes a single angle, the top is a needlepoint piece I did years ago when I still did that type of thing.


One Christmas custom that hasn’t changed, I do a painting or drawing that becomes our Christmas card.  The last several years it has been a winter scene.  Here are two of them.iced inMINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

This year I’ve been stitching and thought I might not get a card done but this sketch I discovered in one of my sketchbooks and I think it may get done in time, if not for Christmas at least a New Years card.  The sketch is from a photo shared by a wetcanvas friend for one of the weekend drawing events.  I started it in November but didn’t get back to it until this weekend and then I found a challenge on the wetcanvas site and it fit what I was writing about this week.  Here’s a link to the challenge holly for 2014 card

I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas Season, it’s a beautiful time of the year and a good time to say thank  you for all of the blessings in my life, including all of you who read my blog.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

sketching and stitching

I never know where my muse may take me.  I certainly never expected to be making stuffed birds but

owl partridge frontowl partridge side

The owl came first inspired by one of my Chi O sisters posting one on her Facebook page, thank you Ronda.  This isn’t what she posted but hers got me thinking and the next thing I knew I had four birds done.  The other two are small and sit in a nest which is yet to be made.  I learned a bunch making these and will do another owl with ears the right size and in the right place.  In the meantime I’ve got some new doll ideas swimming around in my head so who knows where my muse is going to take me next.  In the meantime….

wde patio 10wde 10

I’m still sketching in my sketchbook.  These two are from one of the wetcanvas weekend drawing events last month.  This past weekend I did one that didn’t come out at all like I planned.  I was doing some experimenting and learned what didn’t work so it was worth doing anyway.  This is it…

wde tessels

This is the weekend and I’ve got another wetcanvas image in mind to do before I get back to stitching.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hopefully before he goes off to college

quilt for zepher

This quilt top was ready to quilt last spring.  That shadow is me taking the photo.  The quilt is for our niece Margot’s baby boy.  But he’s a little boy now, no longer a baby.  Frankly, I was afraid to quilt it.  I’ve done a lot of stitching and done some quilting but the biggest quilting task I’d ever taken on was a table runner.  I started quilting this the same way I’d done the table runner, just stitching with a regular everyday foot on my machine.  WRONG…. oh so wrong.  

So I broke down and bought a walking foot.  Did some practice on other projects but still avoided the baby quilt.  Fear of messing up had me.  This past week I was reading one of Julia Cameron’s books on Creativity and she talked about just that type of fear.  She suggested it wasn’t fear of the project not being perfect, it might be fear of the person doing the project not being perfect.  Well, I have to admit, that hit home.  Often, if I think I can’t do it perfect I don’t do it.  At least not if anyone else is going to see it. 

Well, our niece already knows I’m not perfect so let’s just dive in and get this thing done before Zepher is off to college.  So yesterday I spent the afternoon in my sewing room happily stitching away.  No, it isn’t perfect but not bad.  Now to do the binding, hmmmm.  I’ll wait a bit, practice another couple small projects and then dive in.  At least I can get it done before pre-school I hope.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Red Challenge

wde 10 17 light

I picked this image from this week’s Weekend Drawing Event challenge over at wetcanvas.  If there’s a water related image that will usually be my choice.

I mentioned in an earlier post that we lost Deano, a friend that always participated in the WDEs.  He always included a bit of red somehow into his paintings so the challenge this week was to include red into our own.  Since there was red in the lighthouse that didn’t seem to me to be in the spirit of the challenge.  Deano painted in oils and acrylics which means working dark to light.  With watercolor one works light to dark.  Red isn’t considered a light but I figured I would give it a try anyway.  This is how that dark started.

wde red 10 17

I had to do several washes of green over it to cover the red but I like the end result.  A bit of the red shows through which warms the background.  I think Deano would have liked the result too.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What Do Wine And January Have In Common?

Art Prize and Art Walk are done for 2014. The next big art event here in Grand Haven happens in January. It’s Wine About Winter and plans are underway for another good time.

More on that another day.  Today I want to share some favorites from Art Walk and Art Prize.

ArtWalk, I had two favorites, one was in C2C’s window

artwalk ducks

The other one was in Gallery Uptown’s window.  I don’t have a photo of that one but it was a large piece, a battleground of the Civil War done with his fingernail and palm prints.

There was a tribute to the DIA at the Fire Barn Gallery.  I haven’t seen it in person yet.  The day I was there it was advertised as open but it wasn’t.  I’m hopeful that it will stay up for awhile and I will get to see it.  Local artists did their interpretation of one of the works that the DIA owns.   Here’s a link to the Firebarn Gallery.

Another fun part of Art Walk was the Sunday on the Grand project.  Mine is far from done, as it is evolving it’s a totally different image than what I was seeing in my head and I think I want to back up a bit and try and go more in the direction I originally planned.  Here it is today….

Sunday on the Grand

And here’s a link to a bunch of the finished pieces….

And here is my entry in Art Walk this year.,,

the shack

It’s at the Tri Cities Historical Museum and work at that venue will be up through October 24 so if you haven’t seen them, there is still time;


Art Walk is Grand Haven’s response to Art Prize which happens in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is one of the biggest art shows in the world as far as prize money is concerned.  My favorites this  year… there was a Zoo on Fulton Street, we happened on it on the way to see Catherine McClung’s Birds of the Bible. 

The Zoo was full of animals made from recycled items.  I love when people do that.  This lion was one of my favorites.  I wish I had taken more photos there. 


Here are links to my other favorites,,

and finally, this mosaic…

Did you visit Art Walk or Art Prize?  If so, what was your favorite.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

He will be missed.

still life old wall done

In my last post I mentioned the Weekend Drawing Event over at  This week we learned that one of the artists that always participated has died.  None of us knew he was ill.  Not only was Deano a wonderful artist, he was a great cheerleader for all of us who participated.  His art and his presence will be missed by many.  I’ve long admired his work and had been thinking it was about time I bought one of his pieces.  I hope I can still get one.  The image above is the one I did while watching the Michigan football game.  I think not concentrating too hard on the painting is a good thing sometimes.

Meanwhile, I’ve done a few more images from the week before.  I haven’t been doing them daily but I’ve been fairly regular.  The one about is from this past weekend.  The week before there were several I liked so I saved them and will do them later.  These two are from the same photo, different crop….

wde cottage 5 7 14wde cottage garden 5 6 14










This one is from the same area of England, it was fun remembering some of the places we saw while we were there.  Not these specific places but similar.

wde garden arch 5 5 14

And then remembering that I had saved several from weeks past but hadn’t done them, I started another one.  This is one that came from Robert who is in France.  This is a French B&B that I intend to add color to one of these days.

wde an old one from skappy to finish

And today is Tuesday, the day I paint with my Tuesday Morning Group.  I haven’t scanned that one yet but it’s a beautiful fall day, rainy but colorful.  I’ll get it scanned soon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Arches Always Get Me…


wde 10 4 arches maureen

I love  It’s a website with all kinds of information for artists but my favorite thing is the WDE, Weekend Drawing Event.  Artists from around the world participate and share images so I can travel to places I may never see in person.  Every weekend one of the participating artists posts 15 or 16 images and the rest of us pick one and hope to get it done in two hours. 

I haven’t had an opportunity to participate as much as I like to but this weekend I did.  While watching a very good football game (in spite of the outcome) I did a drawing of Tintern Abbey ruins (13th cent.) in South Wales.  I may never get back to the UK but this image reminded me of our trip there more than 20 years ago.  At that time we visited Holy Island and the ruins there are similar. I have done several paintings and drawings with a similar theme, part of an ongoing Sacred Spaces series.  This is graphite in a 9x12 sketchbook that I think I’m going to dedicate to WDEs.  This is the first sketch in the book.