Finding Your Voice

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own
nature into his pictures. by: Henry Ward Beecher

1. Acquire Skills
2. Community
3. Develop your own voice

Artisans........ GOOD News

Ebay has reported that 13,137 HANDMADE craft items were sold in a 60 day period causing a 34% increase in this category.

I had hoped and dared to voice that this might happen so am delighted to see a statistical finding to identify this swing.

Hopefully we will see some information coming forth from Etsy.

People ARE helping PEOPLE.....

Happy Creating everyone......

Bearded Iris

This is the 3rd year for my bearded iris bulbs and what
a magnificent, colorful flower it has produced this year.


Winter Bridge Design Painting

The photo is my finished painting using Acrylic paints vs oils.

I love this design artists' work and have been wanting to try some of her designs. She paints using oils and Bob Ross techniques so I knew that I was going to have to do some changes in colors as I went along: brush changes, etc. I love her "style" of painting and her design choices. Her techniques provide very realistic atmospheric paintings which are rewarding for myself and others as there is dimension, effect etc. rather than just flat final projects that I see with other landscape scenery design artists.

This particular design was in the December 2008 Quick and Easy Painting magazine and the artist is Patricia Reichenbach. She has had other designs published in Quick and Easy as well as PaintWorks so is a regular contributor/acceptee.

I used the Americana Decoart line of paints using Violet Haze, Forest Green, Baby Blue, Winter Blue, Sapphire, Fawn, Green Mist, Titanium White, Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber. Whoops,
forgot one of my favorite sky colors. Highlight Flesh which was
used here and there in the sky area. Do not overblend or you will
get mud and loose the color.

My brushes of choice for this particular painting was DD Paper 1/2 Scruffy , Debbie Mitchell Stipplers 1/2 and 1/4, Black Gold #4 Flat, Black Gold Micron Mini 15/o X long Detailer, and Black Gold 1/2 Angle. I painted the whole design with the exception of the tree, tree trunks and bridge detailing with the DD 1/2 Scruffy.
My only fault with the DD brush was the usual bristle loss while painting and having to go back with tweezers to remove the dried hairs. I was totally satisfied with what the brush provided to me so I am hoping that all the loose hairs are "out". I must have picked this particular brush up on clearance because it was a stiff bristle brush and a different "shape" as I do not purchase any of her line of brushes even when doing multiload techniques. I use the Dynasty Black Gold line of brushes. Being a hog hair bristle brush it worked great on the canvas board which was my surface choice for this particular piece. (Size was 9 x 12)

I also used Jo Sonja Retarder/Extender so that I had more open time when doing the cold, foggy, effect that was the main atmosphere of this painting. Atmosphere gives a painting so much more character and is so rewarding. When painting I used circular strokes rather than vertical to get the effect that Patricia had acomplished in her piece.

The only real change I made with the design was to do a reflected shadow on the left side of pine tree to the left of the design to add even more dimension to the piece and I was pleased with the result.

Now I have to go back through my magazines and "recover" the other designs she has done and make plans for another delightful learning, painting experience.

The next step is to find a matt and frame to complete this piece.

Thanks Patricia for such a wonderful "learning" design and I hope this helps those who are wanting to try the gorgeous design in acrylics.

Paper Bag Book

Well, my brown paper lunch bag book is on it's way to my exchange partner. Once I got everything lined up, purchased some scrapbooking paper, ribbon, etc. I was ready to go...go where. NOW WHAT...I thought. Thank goodness I received my book from Connie Barch so I was able to use hers as a guide. I have never artistic license is painting and altered art jewelry so this was definately "out of my comfort zone".

Using Connies book as a bit of a guide for "fu fu" I was on my way and what fun. When I looked up to check the time it was 2 AM.

I was thinking just one more page, just one more page. It was a challenge and makes me REALLY appreciate those who are paper artists... If you would like to see the pages of Connies book and my book you can go to: to the first album which is "bag books".

I am now looking forward to the next exchange which will be "chocolate"..........whoopee.


We have been having beautiful spring rain in the afternoons and I love how green and fresh everythings looks. I love the rain, the thunder, the rain hitting the tin roof on our porch, the quiet after the rain, the smell. This afternoon I grabbed my camera and did some photo taking and this one is my favorite so I wanted to share the freshness of a raindrop.

Lavender Fields Forever

There are many uses for lavender from beauty products to teas and even used as a "flavoring" in/for food.

A guideline is to use lavender whenever a recipe calls for Rosemary and a good rule of thumb is to use about half the amount of lavender as you would if using rosemary. You should also purchase a Culinary lavender which is picked at the peak of the season. It is cleaned dried and packaged wtih gloves on.

Lavender is overpowering so it's use is "in moderation" in food
otherwise it becomes overpowering and perfumey in taste which
is not desirable.

Lavender is said to help insomnia by using a small sachet in your pillowslip. It is a natural moth repellant, essential oil keeps bee stings from itching and swelling and is said to have a calming effect relieving headaches and anxiety by rubbing essential oil on the temple area.

Sachet Potpourri
2 cups dreid lavender buds
1 cup rose petals
and a few drops of rose water ...
Lavender Lemonade
Juice of 4 lemons
1 cup sugar
3 cups water (divided)
2 Tbsp. fresh or dried lavender flowers
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Combine sugar and 1 cup water in small sauce pan
Poil until sugar dissolves, remove from heat.
Add lavender flowers and lemon zest. Steep for 20 minutes then
Combine lemon juice, strained syrup and remaining 2 cups of water in a pitcher. Serve over ice garnished with a fresh lavender
Cedar Planked Salmon
1 untreated cedar plank
1-2 pound salmon filet
1/4 cup apple cider or rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. of paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh or dried lavender buds
2 tsp. chpped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup cup lavender honey
spray bottle filled with water
Soak the cedar plank in water for at least 2 hours weighted down with a heavy pot.
Mix the spices and herbs with the vinegar in a large zip lock bag
Preheat grill. Place the salmon on the cedar plank and put on the top rack of the grill. Cook over medium high heat 20-30 minutes
until cooked thru. In the final 5 minutes of cooking, brush the salmon with the honey. IMPORTANT: The cedar plank will char easily. Use the spray bottle to mist with water frequently during cooking.
Lavender Cookies
1 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beatern
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 Tbsp dreid lavender flowers
Beat butter and sugar till fluffy. Add egg and stir to combine. Add flour and lavender. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees 13-16 minutes on greased cookie sheet until edges become golden brown.

So there you have it. 4 totally different recipes for lavender....
Give one a try.

My Photo Isms Fractal Art

Copywrite 5/09 My personal ART.
Original Photo: Foxglove Stalk.

I have been doing what I have learned is fractal art using my photos and then using a fractal program that allows me to do all types of different applications to the photograph to alter it to my hearts content. This is my favorite one so far. I am going to have this enlarged and will mat and frame it for my spare bedroom which is done in these pastel colors.

My Photo Isms are available as 4 x 6 prints (larger are available upon request) and soon I will be listing them ATC size for collecting. This is so addicting, relaxing and such fun. It reminds me of the hours I was mesmerized by a kalidiscope when I was young. My favorite toy next to crayons.

Click on the photo to see it a bit larger.


Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.