Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday night - ATC night

I choose one night a week to finish off any ATC's that I am working on for trading. This week I am in a swop for "Fairies". (I can hear the IFN's chortling). Anyway, I am not good at drawing real type people with wings so I drew my favorite circle and went from there. This one is called Flying Pea-Fairy. He looks a bit more like he is flying when on a blue background.

And here is another Pea Fairy (oh my goodness, I almost can't even type that) .

Monday, October 29, 2007

more ephemra

The guys are putting more outlets and a heater in the basement so I can't work down there this week. So, here is some more ephemera from my trip to the antique/junque store. Another poem from her to him - 1920's or so. I wonder where this relationship went? (it's easier to read if I enhance the colors to purple)

Duck ATC swop (or is it swap?)

I received 4 wonderful ATC's from the Duck Theme swop at Monday ArtDay ATC's.

The first two are from J. Cabrejas and Karin Nichols and the second two

are from Kat Blue and Margot Miller.

We all loved the duck swop...now onto the elephants.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

last post for the weekend - busy week ahead

I went to an antique store today to look for some of that "ephemera" junk. I saw lots and lots of junk - and also found what amounted to a entire family history in pictures and letters, newpaper clippings, playbills, postcards. I was saddened to think that no one wanted this families 'treasures' anymore - and got a bit maudlin. But to make up for that, when I take pictures of unknown people, I try to give them names or stores. So Auntie Agnes and Cousin Rose came home with me tonight.

Most of it I didn't take, as the pictures were bad, or faded. I did take some letters and loose papers . Here is a poem, handwritten in pencil, as far as I can tell it was done in the 20's.

I'll post more as I scan them, most are about love - written by a woman (or girl?)

Pay it Foward

Okay, this is hackneyed but somehow I still like the idea of paying forward. Perhaps because I often find myself doing things for people, don't expect or want anything from them, but just hope that they can "do unto others" etc. etc.

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3, no 5! people who leave a comment on my blog (and email me their addresses!) requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

So email me your addresses at MirStella@aol.com and I will send you something special at some time; a little surprise in the mail.

On this same note, when I was in Cambria, CA last weekend I found a lovely little store and they had these cute wonderful fake eggs. So I bought them and the guy there threw in a little fake (but nice) nest with three little eggs in it and also threw in 2 lovely little real nests (with no bugs!). He told me to "pay it forward" so maybe I will...

First try with colored pencils

I first bought colored pencils a year ago, probably cheap ones, and didn't like them I just got a new set and they are much easier to use, a creamier texture and richer look.

Yesterday I was trying to get Tony to tell me what color he saw a tree as (the trunk). Of course, he got all artistic on me and went on about primary colors, and purples and yadda, yadda, yadda. All I really wanted to know is if he saw brown or grey but whatever. Anyway, today I took my nice new colored pencils, and only using red, yellow and blue - did this little leaf. Needs to be bolder but not a bad start I think.

Sunday -- Breakfast time

OK, I started a diet a few weeks ago and am doing pretty well, lost about 6 lbs so far and my "comfy" jeans are way too big now. (my uncomfy ones are not yet too big at all) . This diet is of course, low cal and also low carb. I'm not hungry. Really I'm not. But I CRAVE food. I think about food if I'm not busy. So I have to keep busy or....I'll have to start some serious excercise. Yuck. Poo. Yuck.

Ok, I'm going for a walk now. So I can eat food. Does that make any sense?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rainy weekend

Rainy weekends are relaxing, time to read trashy novels and the local paper by a roaring gas fireplace and to crack up at the local news. Here is a clipping from our local paper. I know our town clerk, wonderful lady, 10th generation on the farm and I may send an email to her with a drawing of me:

Walking thru the woods, on a well marked path, dressed in Bright purple and orange - singing out loud with my dog (still imaginary) dressed in a bright orange doggy jumpsuit.

Note that hunters can wear brown clothing and it is permitted for them to be mistaken for a deer.
Having lived in hunting areas for years, these tips are actually useful, but putting them all together forms a great image in my mind.

Illustration Friday Night - October 27th

The topic this week is : over 300 (dis)proofs of God's existence. I didn't like this topic and decided not to participate. But this morning I got up and decided to draw my remembrance of what I believed was Hell - probably when I was about 6. I remember thinking that there must be a road, and a door, and someone to greet you. Don't ask me where this all came from. I like the little stick figures in this drawing and decided to use what looked like a child's crayon drawing style. Just a little nod to Mr. P with the little green pills.
Don't ask me to prove that God exists or doesn't exist. Prove it to yourself, and leave me out of the discussion.

Friday, October 26, 2007

100 things - Friday night - Oct 26th

Go for a walk. Draw or list things you find on the the sidewalk. 2. Write a letter to yourself in the future. 3. Buy something inexpensive as a symbol for your need to create, (new pen, a tea cup, journal). Use it everyday. 4. Draw your dinner. 5. Find a piece of poetry you respond to. Rewrite it and glue it into your journal. 6. Glue an envelope into your journal. For one week collect items you find on the street. 7. Expose yourself to a new artist, (go to a gallery, or in a book.) Write about what moves you about it. 8. Find a photo of a person you do not know. Write a brief bio about them. 9. Spend a day drawing only red things. 10. Draw your bike. 11. Make a list of everything you buy in the next week. 12. Make a map of everywhere you went in one day. 13. Draw a map of the creases on your hand, (knuckles, palm) 14. Trace your footsteps with chalk. 15. Record an overheard conversation. 16. Trace the path of the moon in relation to where you live. 17. Go to a paint store. Collect 'chips' of all your favorite colors. 18. Draw your favorite tree. 19. Take 15 minutes to eat an orange. 20. Write a haiku. 21. Hang upside down for five minutes. 22. Hang found objects from tree branches. 23. Make a puppet. 24. Create an outdoor room from things you find in nature. 25. Read a book in one day. 26. Illustrate your grocery list. 27. Read a story out loud to a friend. 28. Write a letter to someone you admire. 29. Study the face of someone you do not like. 30. Make a meal based on a color theme. (i.e. all white). 31. Creat a museum of very small things. 32. List the smells in your neighborhood. 33. List 100 uses for a tin can. 34. Fill an entire page in your jounral with small circles. Color them in. 35. Give away something you love. 36. Choose an object, draw the side you can't see. 37. List all of the places you've ever lived. 38. Describe your favourite room in detail. 39. Write about your relationship with your washing machine. 40. Draw all of the things in your purse/bag. 41. Make a mini book based on the theme, "my grocery list". 42. Create a character based on someone you know. Write a list of personality traits. 43. Recall your favorite childhood game. 44. Put postcards of art pieces/painting on the inside of your kitchen cupboard doors, so you can see them everyday (but not become deaf to them.) 45. Draw the same object every day for a week. 46. Write in your journal using a different medium (brush & ink, charcoal, old typewriter, crayons, fat markers. 47. Draw the individual items of your favorite outfit. 48. Make a useful item using only paper & tape. 49. Research a celebration or ritual from another culture. 50. Do a temporary art installation using a pad of post it notes & a pen. 51. Draw a map of your favorite sitting spots in your town/city. (photocopy it and give it to someone you like.) 52. Record all of the sounds you hear in the course of one hours. 53. Using a grid, collect various textures from magazine and play them off of each other. 54. Cut out all media for one day. Write about the effects. 55. Make pencil rubbings of six different surfaces. 56. Draw your garbage. 57. Do a morning collage. 58. List your ten most important things, (not including animals or people.) 59. List ten things you would like to do every day. 60. Glue a photo of yourself as a child into your journal. 61. Trasform some garbage. 62. Write an entry in your journal in really LARGE letters. 63. Collect some 'flat' things in nature (leaves, flowers). Glue or tape them into your journal. 64. Physically alter a page. (i.e. cut a hole, pour tea on it, burn it, fold it, etc.) 65. Find several color combinations you respond to in public. Document them using swatches, write where you found them. 66. Write a journal entry describing something "secret". Cut it up into several pieces and glue them back in scrambled. 67. Record descriptions or definitions of subjects or words you are interested in, found in encyclopedias or dictionaries. 68. Draw the outline of an object without looking at the page. (contour drawing). 69. What were you thinking just now? write it down. 70. Do nothing. 71. Write a list of ten things you could to do. Do the last thing on the list. 72. Create an image using dots. 73. Do 3 drawings at different speeds. 74. Put a small object in your left pocket (or in a bag), Put your left hand in the pocket. Draw it by feel. 75. Create a graph documenting or measuring something in your life. 76. Draw the sun. 77. Create instructions for a simple everyday task. 78. Make prints using food. (fruit and vegetables cut in half, fish, etc.) 79. Find a photo. Alter it by drawing over it. 80. Write a letter using an unconventional medium. 81. Draw one object for twenty minutes. 82. Combine two activities that have not been combined before. 83. Write about your day in an encyclopedic fashion. (i.e. organize by subject.) 84. Write a list of all the things you do to escape. 85. Cut a random shape out of several layers of a magazine. Make a collage out of the results. 86. Write an entry in code. 87. Make a painting using tools from the bathroom. 88. Work with a medium that is subtractive. 89. Write about or draw some of the doors in your life. 90. Make a postcard that has some kind of activity on it. 91. Divise a journal entry using "layers". 92. Divise an entry using "layers". 93. Write your own definition of one of the following concepts, sitting, waiting, sleeping (without using the actual word.) 94. List 10 of your habits. 95. Illustrate the concept of "simplicity".

Kerstin and I are partnering for the 100 things and will be posting them on our blogs as we work thru and with these excercies ( first thing to figure out...why are only 95 - ah, it's a work in progress! ). Stay with us - this should be fun and challenging. And we're NOT going to be obsessive about this!

Illustration Friday - October 26th - Trick or Treat

This scary little bug was done while I was with my niece and nephew last weekend. My 10 year old nephew helped me with the "Trick or Squish" goody bag. We decided that bugs don't have arms so the goody bag is attached to his button (since when do bugs have buttons!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mixed Media Class

I am taking a mixed media class and to start out, the instructor ( a delightful woman) gave us picture of bones to start our creative juices flowing. I started out making a bone-legged woman in a short skirt, trying to do something "meaningful" - you know - bone legs and high fashion ...anyway it wasn't working at all. So I put it aside and covered a box with brown paper and started drawing and then the bone pictures came out and the eggs came out and I got a fun box. Doesn't mean anything!
Oh, I guess you can't even see the bones in these pictures - but they are there.
So, I am thinking about buying a new computer...anyone have any opinions on Mac or PC?

Some more California pictures

We got to the beach and found friends up on their patio, having a drink, looking out over the ocean waiting for sunset. Of course we joined them, for great wine, cheese and crackers. I got a picture of the kids silhouetted against the beautiful backdrop

The next morning I went down to the garden at the house, and took a few pictures to keep in my head during the dark winter.

...and walked the garden pathway down to have a cup of coffee in the sun...looking forward to going home, but also looking forward to coming back to this wonderful family house in this great town.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday am

I just love getting comments and ideas from people, thanks to all who comment on my work and give suggestions and encouragement - it means alot to me.

I am just watching the morning news and seeing the fire devastation in San Diego. I was supposed to be there this week for work but cancelled my trip last Thursday and just went for a personal to mid coast CA. So glad I am not stuck in SD waiting to get home! I hear that some friends from work have been evacuated and may have lost their homes. I just can't imagine the devastation and loss. I pray that everyone is safe which is the most important thing...but oh, it must be so hard to lose your home, and everything in it.

I'm going to watch and see what kind of help is needed for those that are homeless and give where I can. Now my quilts will come in handy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Learning by copying

I have heard that you can learn alot when you copy so I took a magazine and copied first a photo of Hoppers house. I did it in pencil, but it scanned badly so I "enhanced" the colors and it came out purple. I like it so I didn't go back to greyscale.

Then I got bolder and took one of his pictures from the magazine and tried to copy it. Well, I certainly learned alot about the complexity of what looks to be a simple painting. Gave me so much more appreciation for his talent (which I have always admired anyway). This is my little copy of "Rooms by the Sea".

Last but not least, my own interpretation of the view out the kitchen window in Cayucos. What a nice way to have your morning coffee - looking out over the ocean and the wonderful hills.

Stuff done over the weekend

Two long plane rides and alot of sitting around in airports gives you time to doodle. Plus hanging with the kids while they do their homework, and their parents are out on well deserved escapes gives you even more time. Thank goodness for watercolor pencils. I can take them on the plane, use them where ever I am and try to enjoy! These bug pictures were fun to do with Jody and Andrew. Andrew helped me with little details like " to the apple core" and "trick or squish". Don't know why the lady bug pilgrim is wearing a pink hat but that's just the way it is. I'm going to put the other pieces in another post, as blogger is being cranky again about too many uploads into one post.

Illustration Friday - October 22nd

Yes, it's Monday ...long weekend. I did two drawings on the plane back from California, both in bad light, in a very bumpy ride. I trashed the first one, due to a big blob of gold ink that got onto the paper and started another. Strangely, I like the first one better. Better colors? Not sure....

Home again - Monday Oct 22nd

Great weekend in California - and am catching up after a long flight home. Here is one photo taken on the beach in San Luis Obispo - too beautiful for words!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Going to the west coast

I haven't posted for three days and it feels like a long time -oerhaps because I've been so busy. I am on a plane right now, going to LA and then to beautiful San Luis Obispo for the weekend. A trip to the west coast for three days only seems nutty but it's my little brothers birthday and I want to see him! My business trip was cancelled so I grabbed my frequent flyer miles and am going for this short trip.
There is great opportunity for people watching on a plane, what always amazes me are the people who get on with nothing but a tiny handbag. No books. No magazines. No food. I bring about 5 magazines, two books, my computer, and a drawing pad. I know I overpack but really...just a tiny handbag???

Ooh a lady just went by with a terrible facelift...wish I could draw that, maybe I'll try.

Going to the west coast

I haven't posted for three days and it feels like a long time -oerhaps because I've been so busy. I am on a plane right now, going to LA and then to beautiful San Luis Obispo for the weekend. A trip to the west coast for three days only seems nutty but it's my little brothers birthday and I want to see him! My business trip was cancelled so I grabbed my frequent flyer miles and am going for this short trip.
There is great opportunity for people watching on a plane, what always amazes me are the people who get on with nothing but a tiny handbag. No books. No magazines. No food. I bring about 5 magazines, two books, my computer, and a drawing pad. I know I overpack but really...just a tiny handbag???

Ooh a lady just went by with a terrible facelift...wish I could draw that, maybe I'll try.

Monday, October 15, 2007

avoiding work - looking at the Biscuit jar

It's 6:00 am and instead of rushing around the house getting dressed to go to work, I am playing on the computer. Just avoiding the start of another crazy workweek. I will be in California at the end of the week, for a whole week, so lots to do before I leave - which should not include posting but I like it so there!

I did a drawing of the biscuit jar at my mom's house. It needs a background but I haven't gotten there yet. I've decided that I like it and will not listen to my little gremlins who tell me "you should have done this or that" - does anyone else have those gremlins too? I'm going to knock them off my shoulders....and go to work!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just found a new blog

I am a cultural anthropologist by training and while not working in the field (had to earn a living) am still facinated by primates. Could watch them all day long, and frequently do at a good zoo (San Diego mostly).

Check out this blog. Bonobo's are the best!

Here's an interesting story:
At the San Diego zoo a trainer told me that they gave the orangutan's, the chimps, and the bonobo's a sealed box filled with food. There were some holes in the box, but they couldn't get the food thru the holes. Here's what happened:
1) The orangutan group worked on the box for a long time and managed to get all the screws out so that they could get to the food. Took them forever but they did it.
2) The chimps got frustrated and smashed the box open. It didn't take them long to get frustrated.
3) The Bonobo inspected the box and then went to the trainer and with gestures, asked for the tool on his belt that contained a screwdriver.

Wow, wow, wowee

The World of Dieting

Yes, it was an active summer. Lot's of hiking and kayaking and bike riding. Also, lots of cookouts. Hence...my fall jeans don't fit very well. They kind of remind me of Junior High School, where really tight jeans were all it - and you would put them in the dryer at high heat and have to lay down on the bed to zip them up. That's OK when you're 15...not so OK when you're over"39". So I started a very strict diet on Saturday. Very strict. I don't see any results yet (it's sunday am). How is it that one can gain 5 lbs overnight after a binge but it is impossible to LOSE 5 lbs overnight? I don't agree with that physical law.

I'll keep you posted, cause I know you care...and are very interested in this type of nonsense - hee, hee.

little piece

Despite the encouraging comments from Teri and ElizT I wanted to post a little piece that is better than the IF piece in that's it's not in acrylic. Not as much going on; ATC size, etc. Hope you like these dancers legs.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Illustration Friday - Oct 13th

Well, this is one of the strangest things I have done. Here is the history. The topic for IF this week is "extremes". Of course, I thought of dogs, and wanted to illustrate a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. I thought I 'd add a person to illustrate the sizes.

I grabbed the closest paper that I had to hand and realized that it was called acrylic paper, OK again, should be no problems, I've used acrylics before.

Well, this paper or whatever it is, is SO nasty, grabbing the paint and holding it, and dragging the colors and just plain being nasty. Being me, I refused to give up and even tried to do a background and actually gave up on that. And I realize that I've gotten used to watercolor, and I just didn't know how to work with the acrylics now. Look at that poor dogs red leg, what the heck is that!

I may redo the theme, but here it is for now. I'm thoroughly disgusted as well as intrigued. I can imagine that I am going to attack this Paper until I get it to bend to my will.

ATC trades

I am involved in Monday ArtDay ATC trades and it is alot of fun. I was having trouble deciding where to keep the trades that I received, seemed silly to hide them away in a draw.

The first collage/cigar box that I did was patterened from a book, and it involved dogs. I still have that box, and today dusted it off and am filling it with the traded ATC's. This way I can look at them whenever I want and can even have the box out if friends want to see what I'm gathering.

Friday, October 12, 2007


My good friend Forever Young has honored me with a creative blogger award. I am really so surprised and pleased and thank you FY- you are a constant inspiration to me. So, I believe that I have to nominate 6 others (is that the way it works?). Here they are:

and that meant I couldn't nominate people who had already been nominated like ElizT and Switchsky. There are so many good blogs out there, but what I like best is the tentative beginning of dialog, then the continued discussions and getting to "know" people thru their daily/weekly or whatever postings. I love to see what books they like to read, how their artwork improves, personal challenges or triumphs. I watch for their weekly posting to some of the weekly challenge websites.

Thanks all!

Bunny Love for IFN - Oct 12th

Well, it makes sense to me to have a tender moment after Bunny love. I just never knew Ms. Bunny wore a thong

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Work in Progress - Oct 10th

Sometimes I like pieces more when I am working on them as opposed to when they are finished. Don't know why, but I end up with 1/2 finished pieces everywhere.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Illustration Friday night - inspired by

There was a great picture of a woman in her red corset last week and since we had to be inspired by something - I chose that image. I used what was at hand, so to speak, as a model. Fun.

Illustration Friday Oct 8th

Finally - a scanner! 5 days away and I was actually getting used to not having one, but it felt wierd. Anyway, here is my submission for OPEN for IF! Open House, open mouse hole. locked door - is this symbolic or what?
Oh yeah, this is a contest so vote for me over at Illustration Friday forums...come on...I've never won anything in my life!! I just started drawing a year ago and need the encouragement...please, please, please... (whine, whine, whine)
THANKS for listening,

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Illustration Friday - Oct 6th - Open

IF theme - Open
I have a few idea for IF this week, here is an older piece and a newer one coming later today.

Friday, October 5, 2007


I came down to Fla for a visit with the folks and Dr. visits, medical supply store, drugstore and perhaps a movie at some point.

I flew down from Atlanta and we flew thru some of the most beautiful cloud formations - towering storm clouds higher than 30,000 feet, lit up with the setting sun so that they looked like they were glowing from within. Having flown near these babies in small 4 seater plane I know how enormous they can be, and how alive and powerful. It was a bit of a treat to see them from the window of a 727 in all their glory, and not to be worrying about getting too close to their fury. Does anyone else have the belief that clouds aren't really water vapor? I'm a scientist and I understand the logic completely, but these towering Cumulonimbus giants seem to be so alive that they seem beyond physical laws, and appear to be reaching and growing, not with malice, but just because they can. Perhaps my imagination is getting the best of me, but there are times when I truly believe in ancient weather gods and ritual propitiation.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hey - it's october!

and I heard "jingle bells" the other day. Can't remember the context - I was too shocked.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oh yeah and....

And if you haven't read it yet, run and go get Water For Elephants. I am in the middle of listening to it on the way to and from work and want it to last forever but also end up at work with tears on my cheeks from the sadness of it all.

and it's only Tuesday...

Does anyone else feel as crazed as I do...

Getting ready to travel for the next few weeks... yowza

Monday, October 1, 2007