Ash Trees Are Dying





The Ash trees in Ohio are dying,
thanks to the Emerald Ash Borer.
It is an invasive species from Asia
which I believe has been 
dispersing from Canada.




I helped my parents clean up and pile
firewood from an Ash tree in their yard.
I like to be outside and get some 
exercise, I enjoy that. But it is sad
to see the results of this insect
decimate our Ash trees.  They
have spread to all counties in
Ohio except one. ( and that may
  be outdated information?)
The drawing is from a photo on
the internet. Did I mention that I
am not fond of creepy crawlies?

there are insecticide treatments. 
The time required, costs and mixed
effectiveness make fighting the insect
a difficult decision for the land
 owner. Often the tree doesn't
exhibit signs of a problem until the
insect has done significant damage.

So many of the trees are becoming
firewood for the winter.  Sad...



Another journal page...



As the late summer days have been
cool here in Ohio (though I hear the
80's will be back again next week)
I need to get out and enjoy the 
weather while it's still nice!
So I'm off for a walk as soon
as I hit the Publish button.

By the way, linking up with
over at Balzer Designs. Julie has a
gorgeous post up about art journal
pages without any writing.

What have you been up to?












Why Do I Need 'Labels?'



Do you take the time to add 'Labels' or 'Categories' in your post settings?  


Labeled: T Tuesday, watercolor, Art Journal Pages


For quite a while, I didn't. Because I didn't really understand what they are for.  After a bit of research online, I am starting to 'get it.'  I think.

Categories (or Labels) that are added to each of your blog posts, help your readers search for more posts on a particular topic.  




In the right margin (Side Bar) of my blog is a 'Search This Blog' Feature. Type in a word, hit the Search button, and all posts labeled with that word/topic will come up in a list.  There are more Labels on my posts than are shown in the Categories list.  If you don't see what you're looking for in the Categories list, use the Search box.

The list of Categories includes the main topics (or descriptions) of post content that I've created.  Click on any Category and all posts with that theme/description will be listed.  Then you can click on and read any in the list that interest you. I've reduced the number of topics to 15 or so, just so it doesn't get ridiculous!




There are quite a few in the 'Collage', 'Art Journal Pages', and 'Watercolor' categories!

I've labeled my 'T Tuesday' posts too. 51 of them!





It's a simple tool to help your readers focus on a topic, and a good way to make your blog a bit more organized.  Different blog hosting sites may be organized differently. Since I use Blogger, my Labels are shown on the right as I create each new post.  (I chose to use the word Categories in the Side Bar on my actual Blog Page) If you forget to add Labels (like I often do) you can always go back and Edit to add them.





If you understand Labels differently, or have more information to add, please leave a comment.  I am always interested in your opinions, and getting feedback about Blogging helps keep me learning. That's a good thing!

Linking up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth for T Tuesday.
Join us for a beverage, or just to see what we are up to!




♥ ♥ ♥



How Do I Look?



Art Journal Collage featuring a 
photocopy of a vintage fashion drawing 
done by my Mom, circa early 1950's.
I used to draw these types of girls
when I was in high school too...
could it be genetic?




Some days I feel like drawing,
but other days I want to paint
or collage. Not to mention quilting,
cross-stitch, photography or scrapbooking.
 So many options,so little time!





More vintage illustrations combined
with my own doodles and painting.
I enjoy using every type of pen, 
even fluorescent highlighters.




 I dug out some of the stamps
I've carved from erasers, and added 
stamping to my pages. It creates
borders, interesting divisions of the space
on the page, and makes repeating
a design easy.




Do you ever think about how we
perceive beauty, and how much 
we 'buy into' the stereotypes of 
our society?  People have an unfortunate
tendency to judge others by their
appearance.  I try to resist that tendency,
but I'm not always successful.  This
page reminds me to see the
Beauty in everyone and everything.

 Well OK, maybe not creepy crawlies.
I am not a fan of bugs or snakes...
I will admire their natural
beauty from a distance!

I like fashion magazines, (especially Vogue)
simply for their artistic flair. I don't 
consider them realistic in any way 
for a Midwestern woman of
 my age (ahem!) as a model
for what I should wear or how I should 
look. I just want to be healthy and happy,
and make some art.  Can I love drawing
fashion models without caving in to 
society's expectations?

Linking up with Art Journal Every Day
over at Balzer Designs.

What creative pursuit have
you been enjoying?





Draw in Your Agenda





I specifically purchased an agenda
that had an extra page for notes
each week, just so I could have
space to draw or collage!




After our son's family had returned home
from their summer visit, I had a little fun
remembering one day's 'serve yourself
whatever's in the fridge' breakfast.
(Drawings in a Mead calendar/agenda.)




Yes, macaroni and cheese, pie, or biscuits
 and bacon for  breakfast.  At about 8:30 a.m.
my granddaughter said, "Gram, can we make
cookies? The kind you roll out & use cookie
cutters?"  ah...ok.  I knew they were 
leaving after lunch to go to their other
grandparents house, but we squeezed it in!




Since I am the only one in the house
who drinks coffee, my coffee maker
is a small one~it only makes 4 cups.
My son was not impressed...




Sometimes you just have to record
a scrap of the day so you won't forget
it...like summer visits from your grandchildren, or
quotes from a book you're reading.




Linking up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth
for T Tuesday.  Stop by for a visit, and
join in with anything 'beverage related.'



I am sharing the beautiful card and
ATC I received from Carol in Elizabeth's
T Tuesday 2nd Anniversary Swap...




The ATC is a wintry scene to
cool me off in the summer heat,
and the tag she also sent is delightful.
The stenciled envelope is gorgeous!
Thank you Carol!



Did you have anything unusual for
breakfast today?

We Make Things. It is Fun.



Week 28 of the Documented Life Project 2015:
Time keeps on ticking...
I made some color copies of a journal page
I had painted of vintage bottles, cut them out
and glued onto this new page. In this
newer incarnation, I included
a Jim Croce song lyric.
Other painted papers, graph paper, and
 origami papers are also part of the collage.




For the second half of the Week 28 spread I used
some vintage illustrations from an old health textbook.

I love that this elementary school
 textbook presented arts and crafts 
as part of a balanced,
 healthy development - 

along with brushing your teeth! 
Watercolor and assorted papers 
and pen drawing complete the collage.





Week 39, "At this Moment..."
another collage with my own drawing of
a flower and clouds, painted papers, and stamping.
The bird image is a commercial rubber stamp,
and the leaf image is a stamp that I carved.




Enjoy Summer Fun...an Artist Trading Card
that I made earlier in the summer, just seemed
to fit here in this collage. It is taped hinge-style
on one side. Beneath the atc reads
"enjoy the now."

And I hope you are enjoying 
the now! Whether it's quiet moments
with friends and family, or exciting
new adventures!


Linking up with 
over at Balzer Designs, and





What Do You Put in Your Art Journal?



Artist Trading Card for T-Tuesday swap,
 sent to Julia Dunnit.


"What types of things do you put in your art journal?"  The question came from a non-artsy person in a business environment.  The question was unexpected, and I wasn't very articulate in my answer.  I am one of those folks who seems to think of what I should have said--days later!






I stumbled over my words and didn't express myself very well...I suppose I was trying to relate my answer to the business discussion at hand.  But the real answer is that I:
  • Draw
  • Paint
  • Doodle
  • Collage
  • Take notes
  • Jot down quotes
  • Paste stuff in
  • Whatever makes me Happy!
Art makes me happy, so I try to do a little every day. It's a stress-reliever.  It's therapeutic.  And it can be made from just about anything, in just about any way that you can think of!





There are many on-line resources for art journal prompts. I am in the second year of The Documented Life Project. (The Journal~2015) The two pages with the theme 'roads' (above) are from my DLP 2015 journal. But you don't have to use prompts...

If you aren't confident in your drawing skills, then what?
First, I think you can become more proficient if you practice! But you can also use lots of items to create collages that make you happy.  I especially like quirky, but whatever you like will make it uniquely yours.  Make use of YouTube and the many blogs that have great tutorials.





Some of my favorite materials to use in collage: assorted papers, fabric, brown paper bag, stamping, diagrams from old books, security envelope designs, stitching, vintage illustrations and ads.




Not everyone understands the concept of making art 'just for fun.'  So if you aren't comfortable about sharing your art with those friends and family members who 'don't get it,'  well, you don't have to.  Fortunately, there are many supportive artists and bloggers who do 'get it,' and are willing to share their work, process, insights and encouragement!

So if you're looking for some fun with art, some time for yourself, and some inspiration...grab a beverage and join Elizabeth and Bleubeard for T~Tuesday!  If you want to join the blog hop, include something beverage-related in your post.  There's always time for tea...and Art!





Journaling and Scrapbook Prep



A little collage, a little watercolor,
not very many words added to
my journals this week...
above, a collage made from scraps
of my painted and doodled papers.
It's mostly just about the
happy color.



I changed the look of my blog this 
week.  It has had a black background
with white lettering since I started
blogging in 2008.  The beige 
background is a big change. 
I really loved the contrast
of my work against black, but I'm 
told it's not a great background for
visibility.  I hope this works out,
because I don't think I know how
to change it back!



Above, a watercolor and
Sharpie pen. The idea was to
create decorations for a wedding
album, but I think this may be too
large.  ( It's about 7 in. x 7 in.)
The heavy black outline
is to give myself a bit of
"wiggle room" when I cut this out
for the scrapbook page. If the
scrapbook owner likes it, there
will be more to come. Or maybe
I will make a color copy and
 reduce it in size...

Linking to Art Journal Every Day over
at Balzer Designs. It's always fun
to see what others are putting 
in their journals!





Art Journal Pages: Drawing my Food




Everyone draws their food when they go 
to a restaurant, don't they?!  One of the
waitresses came over to see what I was 
working on, but I had barely started drawing
my red water glass.  I think she remembered
me from when I drew the turtle planter in 
their restaurant...

The table top presented difficulties.  It was
a carved surface with glass over it.  Glass is
always a challenge, with shadows, reflections,
and whatever is sitting on it...hopefully you
get the idea.  I really could have eaten that
whole basket of chips by myself!
Drawing in Sharpie pen, with watercolor
pencil and water applied after I returned home.



More pages in the 
"On Again~Off Again Journal...


I take along my art bag when we are taking
a road trip.  Hubby drives, and I happily 
paste scraps of paper and doodles into
whatever journal happens to fit into the
stuffed bag.  My watercolor pencils, water brush,
and Sharpie pen are necessities,
and a few highlighter markers wouldn't
go amiss either. They can brighten up
a page considerably!




Above, the atc I sent to Elizabeth,
made from some of my doodle-painted
paper, and a little tea cup that I drew
and glued onto the background.
It felt good to make some mini~art!




You may have noticed that I added a 
new page to this blog for Tutorials.
  To go to the Tutorials page, 
click on the tea cup at the top
of the side bar on the right.
There are only a few tutorials so far, but I 
hope to add more. Stay tuned!

Linking up for the T Tuesday
blog hop over at 
Bleubeard and Elizabeth's.
There's always time for tea!





Tutorial for Collage





How do you create a collage?
There is more than one way to
approach any art process...
but here I will share one of
the ways that I create collage
in my visual art journals.




1.) Apply watercolor to the page. Notice that for this particular background I did not blend the colors into one another, but left 'hard edges', (not blended) or even a little white space between colors.




2.) Collect/choose an assortment of papers and images that could be used in the collage. I usually use the background colors as a guideline.  Above: ledger paper, graph paper, stamped cardstock, my drawings with watercolor on cardstock, vintage game piece images, fabric, scrapbook paper, and a random ticket. Not all of them will end up in the final collage. Part of the fun for me is sorting through what I have on hand.

The possibilities for use of ephemera are pretty much endless!  From junk mail to vintage photos, the images you choose to use in your work will give the collage its own unique quality.




3.)  Arrange your chosen collage elements on the background.  This will take some trial and error. Move around the shapes and images, until satisfied with the arrangement.

Once I chose the bee image, that suggested the leaves and the flower. "Tea with honey" and the little tea cup drawing were chosen to go along with the T Tuesday theme over at The Altered Book Lover Blog. 

Various printed papers, like the ledger and graph paper give additional texture and color to the composition. I also like lined yellow or white writing paper. I've included a scrap of tissue-box-cardboard (blue behind the flower) and my own painted and drawn doodles. The British stamp was chosen simply for color and shape. Color is usually the dominant factor that helps me choose the collage elements.




4.) Add lines in pen to the background.  This helps unify the collage elements with the background.  (At this point, other mediums could also be added: pencil, pastel, acrylic paints, etc.  I chose to keep the number of layers to a minimum)

The overall flow of the shapes, spaces, lines and color should keep your eye moving over the surface of the collage. With collage, if something isn't quite working, you can remove it and replace it with something else, or just cover it up with paint or another piece of paper.




Here's a diagram of the shapes I've chosen and how the basic layout forms somewhat of an oval to guide your eye through the collage...




Since we read from left to right, our eye tends to also read the composition of an art work in the same way.  I keep that in mind and try to make an 'easy entry' point in the upper left hand corner of the work.  Of course, Eastern art and writing don't read from left to right, so it all depends on how you choose to work.  As we often are reminded, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' in art.






Linking up with 
Bleubeard and Elizabeth
for the T Tuesday link-up party.
All you have to do is include
a reference to a beverage to
join in.  Tea is good, but I am
a coffee lover too! Share a photo,
poem, art work, recipe or anything 
beverage related.  Maybe even
a tutorial?!







Enjoy your tea with honey...
and enjoy some art
with collage.