Saturday, July 31, 2010

Christmas Cards for Our Heroes

As cardmakers, I think we all know that now is the time to get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, not only for our personal card use, but to send to the troops overseas, which requires extra time for the mail to get to them, and for them to write and send the cards home.   The mid-week throwdown challenge at OWH this week is Christmas in July and was a great idea, as well as a nice cooling thought during this hot summer.  Here's the first card to get me rolling:

If you didn't see last week's tutorial on paper punch characters, you have to check it out as it is a lot of fun to work with.   I got the hang of making Elmo, Grover, and Big Bird, and decided to try other cutout shapes.  Here's two that turned out pretty cute, I thought, and plan to send them  along to OWH for a hero to send to his kids.

While I'm on this roll today, want to continue getting some Halloween cards made as well to send to Dixie soon as the Sept. 20th due date is not far off,  and I know the shippers like to get them earlier if possible. 
Thanks for stopping by, and do come back in the next couple days as I'll have some more paintings to show you that I've been working on. 
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


If you've been looking for the next edition here, I'm finally getting around to it, and appreciate that you are visiting here again.

As I mentioned before, I've been busy during the day trying to get some paintings done to submit in upcoming shows, and evenings I try to get a few cards made for Operation Write Home.  But it's slow going as this has been a record hot summer in these parts, and seems to make me drag my feet, if you know what I mean.  However, I do want to share with you some good news.  I recently exhibited two paintings with our local art association in the Mary Condon Hodgson Gallery at the community college here, and learned that one of them SOLD! Here's a glimpse of it for you to see.   

Along the Riverbed, a 9x12 pastel.
This scene was painted from a reference photo given to me to use by my artist friend, Gail S., after her trip to Acadia National Park last fall.  The colors were so spectacular and were the only inspiration I needed.
Now if anyone is wondering just what is pastel, I'd like to explain that contrary to what many think, it is
NOT CHALK.  Pastels are a pure pigment hand shaped into sticks, from hard to soft,  for direct application to Canson paper, Wallis or hardboard sanded support that helps to hold many pastel  layers.  Pastels originated many years ago among the master painters and their works have endured over the years as well as any oil painting.  It is a very fragile medium  which  must be framed under glass when completed,  without any fixative as it tends to darken the colors.  It lost its popularity with the advent of newer mediums, but the past few years has found a resurgence among artists.   It is my preferred medium these days.
You can learn more about pastels from a blog by the  renowned pastelist,   Richard McKinley as well as in The Pastel Journal .
Below is the other painting I entered which wasn't sold but I'll show you my abstract side anyway.

Untitled, a 6x6 acrylic abstract. 
This was a fun painting that I did a year or so ago after taking a class with C.Edward Ramsburg, a genius in handling the paint and a great instructor.  I've had several of his sessions now, trying to get myself into this mode of painting to loosen up my realistic painting style. 

As easy as it may seem, it truly is not, and I know that many folks don't like abstracts because some of them are difficult to like or understand.   I had to call this "Untitled" because I'm not sure myself what I see in it other than the colorful shapes that appeared.  Maybe someone here can help me out by telling me what you see or think of it. 
Which brings to mind something I read by Dennis Dulton, a New Zealand philsopher, in his book "The Art Instinct" where he states:  "The most exquisite stuff is what we can't explain,  that's why we call it art."  Not that mine is exquisite, it's just different and unexplainable!  I've done many more since this one which I may share with you at another time.

Again, thank you for visiting and continuing to check on my progress here.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Christmas in July

Hello there.... I'm back, believe it or not, and wishing for Christmas in July!
We are in the midst of a record heatwave here, and Frederick registered 106 degrees F. yesterday, but only 103 today:((  I'm feeling summertime cabin fever and decided it would be a nice diversion to create some wintertime/Christmas cards for our heroes early to keep thinking "cool".  However, first I wanted to make a card using sketch challenge #23, and afterwards found that it also covered the midweek inspiration color challenge.  
This is also one of the images included in the 5-page set of stamped images promised as a surprise gift to one lucky person during the Independence Day blog tour last weekend.  I have made a random pick of all comments received, and the winner is:   Carol L.  I'll be getting in touch with Carol for mailing instructions this week.   I thank everyone for their kind comments and for participating in this blog tour with me.

Before I call it a night here, I'd like to mention that I'll be busy working on some paintings over the next few weeks to get them ready to enter into several shows, so I may not be blogging very often.   But, if anyone is interested in seeing some of them, you won't have to twist my arm to get me to post a few.... maybe even as "works in progress" so I can get your feedback.  I believe I wrote earlier that I do keep busy creating not only cards for our heroes, but paintings in pastel, oil and acrylic and want to share them with you here in my Corner Studio. 

In the meantime, thank you for visiting here, and do check back periodically to see how my work is progressing.   Keep cool....and have a good night.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Hello everyone:  Glad to see you here if you're still traveling the OWH Blog Tour and haven't visited me earlier, and welcome back to those who came by yesterday.  Really appreciated all the wonderful comments that inspire me to keep going with this blog, so read on for my surprise offer.

First, I mentioned that I would post another patriotic birthday card that I made for a young man named Brian, who is British!  My daughter Debbie has lived and worked in London for several years, and Brian is her dearest friend.  He came along with Debbie for a visit the past two Christmases, spending a couple weeks each time at my home, so I have gotten to know him fairly well.  Brian is a wonderful young man and I highly approve of him being my daughter's significant other!   He thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of the U.S. during these visits as Frederick is quite central to the sights in Washington, Baltimore, and the east coast region.   It being Christmastime, we arranged a family visit to see the White House in 2008, and in 2009 had a 20-inch snowfall in his honor!  (This sounds so good to me today in a 90-degree heat wave.)

Brian is celebrating his birthday now as well, so although this card may seem to be for the 4th of July fireworks,  it can really be fireworks for anyone's birthday!  It's a very simple card on The Paper Company cardstock base, but the Paper Pizazz "Fireworks" makes the entire scene and I didn't feel it needed more embellishment, other than the clear block birthday stamp by Inkadinkado stamped onto some gold wrapping paper for shine! 
Now...I do have a special surprise for all of my new "friends" here, and so that previous visitors don't feel neglected, I will also post this notice on the Forum as well.   I hadn't really planned to offer any blog candy as this is a first for me, but  in reading all the comments about my little fairy card, I decided to do something for all my visitors.  The Inkadinkado "Beautiful Fairies" clear stamp set consists of four fairy images as shown below on one sheet, and I am offering five of these fairy image sheets to one lucky person who leaves a comment on my blog, once or more this weekend.   A random pick winner will be made after 11 P.M. EST on Wednesday, July 7th.  So, if you really really liked the fairy image, hope to see you back here again and again! 
I hope everyone will enjoy some of the wonderful fireworks that fill the skies (and our TV's) around our great country this weekend.  Also, stop by the Forum's blog discussion on Opening Ceremonies to learn about our National Anthem.  Afterwards, continue your journey on this OWH Stars and Stamps blog tour by clicking  here.   Have a wonderful Independence Day!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Birthday America

I'm really celebrating this 4th of July by joining in on the OWH blog tour with my SECOND post in this new blog of mine....a totally new experience for me. 
Since we're celebrating America's birthday, the theme is, of course, a birthday card.   I was thinking about that last week on June half-birthday!
Friends have often told me I should celebrate that day instead of December 25th as it seems to get lost with everyone else celebrating Christmas.  Yet, my family and close friends always seem to specially remember me that day, so
I've not been "cheated" as one might think.  But today, for starters, I'll show you the birthday card it inspired me to make that will be going into my next package of OWH cards soon.
This image is from Inkadinkado's clear stamp set "Beautiful Fairies" that I recently added to my beginner's collection as I couldn't resist it, and I think the "make a wish sentiment" suits my June 25th half-birthday!  (Does anyone else out there celebrate a half-birthday?  I know my granddaughters always did, and at my age, I should just be forgetting them!)

Moving on.... I did make a  card for the previous Midweek Throwdown - gettin Digi with it! that was sponsored by Tracie at The Stamping Boutique, and am just getting around to uploading it now, since it's the patriotic theme
for a hero looking forward to returning home soon.
I'll sign off with this for now, but hope you'll return again this weekend to see the  patriotic birthday card that I made for a special young man, and to read my little story about him.  I'm now looking forward to visiting some of you on this blog tour during the next few days.  Happy 4th of July to all.