Nov 13, 2009

artfest circle journal

I joined a circle journal project with a bunch of amazing art sisters from Artfest.
This is my little garden journal that I sent out into the world. I chose a garden theme because, well, I love gardens. This is the first book I've ever made. I really didn't know what I was doing, but I love how it turned out. I made the covers from chipboard, tore up some watercolor paper for the pages and bound it all together with ribbon. Yes, of course I blanket-stitched around the edges of the covers.

This is my sign-in page. The tags are shaped like garden stakes.

And these are the pages I did in lovely Michelle's beautiful birds/nature's findings book.

Oct 31, 2009


Life has been a whirlwind. My mom and my hair stylist had to collaborate yesterday to remind me that I had an appointment. In the midst of all the busyness I've fallen in love with art journaling. I carry my journal with me everywhere. And now I've signed up for the Sketchbook Project so I carry two journals with me everywhere. Plus a ziplock bag full of my favorite pens.

Today I'm enjoying a rare fall day where I don't have to leave my house. Today I am reveling in a rare fall day when I don't have to leave my house.

Jul 18, 2009

I've been busy over here...

soaking up every last drop of summer...

May 26, 2009

Bliss is...

A weekend at the beach

A sunny, dreamy, living-in-the-moment, soaking-it-all-up weekend at the beach.

I met this dog. As you can see, we are in love. His human is pretty amazing too. I'm obviously going to have to return soon.

May 9, 2009

loving my letters

My first workshop at Artfest was with the amazing and lovely Lisa Englebrecht. That's one of her samples above. I love Lisa's work and I was thrilled to see her name on the schedule for Artfest this year. I've always loved words (before I learned to read, I used to write lists of the dozen or so words I knew on my Holly Hobby chalkboard) and I've always been interested in fancy lettering. I've also always had completely atrocious handwriting. I have Lisa's excellent book but I was really in need of some hands-on instruction.

Here I am with the amazing and lovely Lisa. She's an excellent and very generous teacher. The class was Tats, Graff and Freestyle, so in addition to learning Old English and Script styles, we played with some funky styles, thought about what word we loved enough to tatoo on our bodies (major commitment!) and came up with our street names.

My street name is nb3 (for nicolabeverage). I "tagged" on the beach with a piece of driftwood. AFA is my crew: ArtFest Anarchy (All Fabulous Artists, etc). Super fun!

The Pilot Parallel Pen is my new favorite toy. Seriously, these pens are a revelation. They make it SO easy to make letters that look SO cool. Here's some of my experimenting in class.

And here's some freestyle experimenting. Dance was written with glue pen and then foiled.

I've been playing with lettering a lot since I got home, working on developing a personal lettering style. Here's some parallel pen play from the other day.

No lettering here, just a recent journal page inspired by my art sister Cheryl.

May 3, 2009

Took a hike

Saturday I went on a hike along the Spokane River. I live on a bend in the river, so I just headed out my front door, down to the Centennial Trail and then branched off onto this hiking trail. It was awesome! It felt so good to get out and tramp around in the woods, just listening to the river and the birds.

There's my destination: Bowl and Pitcher, a popular campground at Riverside State Park. The views of the rushing river and massive basalt formations from the rebuilt walking bridge (originally built by the CCC) were well worth the trip.

As were the wildflowers blooming all along the path.

Speaking of birds, here's one of the local osprey trying to lead me away from it's nest.

This tree is only a block away from home, but it smells like heaven right now. Seriously, I could just stand there and smell this tree all day.

Apr 26, 2009

Random stuff

It's come to my attention that it's been quite a while since I posted a photo of the small furry one. Here's his cuteness trying to act like he doesn't care if we go outside or not. He's totally faking for the camera.

I went for a walk yesterday to check on my favorite magnolia tree. Like most of the rest of the plant life around here, it's just starting to bud out. In a week or two we should have that annual explosion of green that I love so much.

I love Idaho.

Yeah, it's seriously a drive thru beverage barn. And they sell beer. Brilliant.

Here's my painting from the first day of Susan Shie's class. The theme for the day was self portrait. I wanted the theme to be spring or garden, but I think I adapted nicely. Yeah, I know Pistol is the wrong color, but I was afraid that if I painted him black he would just look like a strange little blob.

Apr 23, 2009

Dear Artfest,

Thank you for another year of your wonderful, magical self. Your boundless creative energy and open, freeing, encouraging environment are such a blessing.

Of course, your setting at Fort Warden is just lovely. From the first time I went to a workshop at the fort at the age of 10, it's always a special treat to go there.

The dorms are spartan, but we bring everything we need: snacks, libations, art supplies and treasures, and most important, ourselves, our kindred spirits, our stories, our laughter and our tears. Such a privilege to listen and share with such beautiful women.

Wow, looking very serious here!

Sooooo much fun.

Such great friends!

Thanks Artfest. You're the best!

Apr 14, 2009

Hair of the dog that bit me?

So last week I was suffering from a horrible Artfest hangover - exhausted, creatively brain dead, missing my art sisters. But I had signed up months ago for a 2-day workshop with Ohio artist Susan Shie. I've been a big fan of Susan's wonderful diary quilts for a long time and the opportunity to take a close-to-home class with her was NOT to be missed. So I threw some markers and sketchbooks in an Artfest bag and drove off to Post Falls. Ohmigosh! It turns out another 2 days of art class with an awesome, inspiring teacher and a fun group of artist friends was the perfect cure for my Artfest hangover.

Here's Susan demonstrating her technique for layering and binding a quilt. You can see some of her quilts in the background. You gotta love a teacher who starts the class by telling us the goal is to get back to the artists we were when we were 6.

Two days of total freedom and encouragement and support to draw and paint and journal all over our paintings. I LOVED this and will definitely do more with these techniques. Here's my painting from Friday, our theme was cooking so I just drew all my favorite things from my kitchen. I'm leaning toward not journaling on this one just because I'm so in love with the simple graphic quality it has right now.

I did journal on Thursday's self portrait piece, but I don't have a good pic of that one yet. If you have a chance to take a class with Susan DO IT!

Apr 5, 2009

This is what it's all about...

Celebrating life with my beautiful art sisters.

Mar 2, 2009

More stuff

Friday at the end of the work day, Liz told me to make something pretty this weekend. Yes ma'am.

OK, technically it's not finished, but I like where it's at and I'm going to glue everything down tonight. Shocking, I know, but I actually worked from idea to (mostly) finished piece in a weekend. And I started with a scary blank canvas!

I also made some more ATC's for Artfest trading.

Feb 23, 2009

Here's some stuff I made

Here's some stuff that I made over the last few months. Despite a fairly fallow, lazy season, there's always something I'm puttering around with. The past week or two I've been fighting the inertia of winter and self-doubt and making an effort to get my butt in the studio.

I'm fascinated with Mary lately. Here's a little nativity doll I made.

The latest dress. Still playing around with lots of ideas for these.

Several months ago I bought a bunch of blank canvases with the idea of playing around with paint and collage. It turns out canvas and paint are very intimidating. This piece has been sitting around in various stages for months. It was feeling blah so yesterday I added some outlining. The stem and leaves are fabric, the petals are my collaged, painted paper and the center is a bottle cap.

Feb 15, 2009


Funny how life changes your perspective. A little more than a year ago hearts made me gag. But then my dad had his heart fixed and then someone came along and took on the job of fixing my heart. And now hearts are showing up everywhere.

A handmade valentine for my valentine.

ATC's for trading at Artfest. I can't wait!

Blistered pearls I got from Mom yesterday. The picture doesn't begin to do them justice, but I'm too lazy to go try again. I'm completely fascinated with these.

Jan 12, 2009

Moving forward

I took ACTION this weekend and finally did some things I've spent a lot of time thinking about the past few months. Like baking. Nothing special, just a blueberry coffee cake, a favorite recipe from Fannie Farmer's Baking Book, but a nice way to slip back into actually baking instead of thinking "hmm, I should bake something..."

Also got into the studio (now that I actually have a workspace and can find things). Again, nothing special, just get in there and slap some paint around. It's amazing how easily I get caught up in it, how ideas start to flow once I get in there and get moving. It's just a matter of overcoming the inertia.

I also took action to buy this fabric for the duvet cover from Home Sewn by Kaari Meng. OK, I know it sounds crazy that I had to TAKE ACTION to buy fabric, but while I'm excellent at buying random stuff, when it comes to a project like this I tend to...agonize..."is this the exact perfect choice that will make me happy every day? Oh dear, I'd better think about it some more..."

This is SO pretty. Action is such a good word!

Jan 4, 2009

A New Year

You know it just wouldn't be the same if I actually posted about things when they happen! LOL!

Anyway, as always this time of year, I've been reflecting on the year past and the year to come. Last year my resolution was to make a lot of art. What I underestimated last year, was how much of my time and energy would be required to finish unfinished business, to tie up loose ends, to get myself fully outfitted and squarely on the path of the life of my choosing. It turns out that when you have to get divorced, sell your house, get a new job, have surgery and meet someone new...well, that stuff takes a lot of energy. And that's ok. I feel good about 2008. I accomplished a lot, I had a lot of fun and a lot of wonderful time with family and friends, and I'm in a good place now.

So here's the thing, while I ran short on time and energy for doing, I did do a lot of thinking about the kinds of things I WANT to spend my time doing. And now I'm teetering on the edge of the pit of just sitting around thinking about what I want to do all the time. Sitting is SO comfortable!

So rather than make a resolution, this year I'm going to do the thing where you pick a word for the year. Christine Kane has a good guide for this and that's where I found my word: Action. I'm still getting comfortable with this word. It's not a word that's among my favorites (create, imagine, laugh, joy, kindness, etc.), but that's ok. The fact that I'm not completely comfortable with it means that it's the challenge I need. Just that little daily reminder to stop sitting and thinking and get up and start doing. Whew. Scary.

Since it is the 4th already, I'm happy to report that so far this year I've taken action to clean up and organize my studio. I never really finished unpacking that room. I just got it to a semi-functional point and went with it. 16 months later, semi-functional has deteriorated to not-functional-at-all. Lately I can't even find anything. So I've added some storage, rearranged to make better use of space and assigned permanent homes for things like fake flowers, alphabet stamps, bottle caps. Plus, I've created actual work space! LOL!

Happy New Year everyone!

Jan 3, 2009

Again with the snow

Or rather, again and again and again. As of yesterday morning we've had 69 inches, 61.5 in the month of December alone. I'm ready for summer now. Today. Please.