This blog started with small daily paintings then changed to a more personal sharing of projects, events and photos. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Creating Rattles

The kelp we collected was still a bit wet--we let it dry out for a few days...

We used color pencils and watercolors...

My granddaughter's...

My sister's,

I learned how to make these rattles from another art teacher some time ago and I actually did collect a classroom's worth of kelp and sticks to make these with students, but just the other day, I figured out a very easy and effective way of attaching the stick!  My kelp had dried with the opening almost shut.  I sat the shut end of the kelp in a shallow glass of water for a few hours--the seaweed re-hydrated just at the opening, so I could insert the stick, (make sure to put in your pebbles, stones, or dried beans or what ever you use for the rattle, before attaching the stick!)  Then let the kelp dry and shrink right onto the stick!  It fit so snugly that I didn't need to use glue, but I did wrap it with some strong twine.

Monday, April 7, 2014


A visit from my sister and her husband and a trip to Hearst Castle with its wonderful sculptures...

These are just a few--there are so many more!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Small Basket

It took me awhile to finish this one--(I just put it aside a number of times)--so this one's holding dental floss--Makes me wonder, if I keep this up, will I have a basket for every single thing in my house?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Second Life of a Paper Shade

A pieced this accordion fold, brown paper bag shade together, about 12 years ago.  The center piece is an old sketch from a figure drawing class, of a man with part of his skeleton showing.  You can see his ribs on the right.   I originally made two shades like this for my son's room--thinking he'd like the skeletons--he did, and the shades were used for years.  After not finding enough material in my stash to make a curtain, I got this paper shade out of the closet to see if it could be salvaged.  I printed my dancers and my roses in red, but now the poor half skeleton man looks like he's bleeding!  I replaced a few ribbons and taped up a few tears, and I think it just might hold up for a few more years.  It's up, and I like the way it looks in the morning light--I guess that's what counts since the rest of the day it's pulled up!

Now, you have to pay for brown paper bags.

I like that this shade lets in more light than a curtain and saves on having to use yards of material--very easy to open and close--I'm glad to be able to use this again and kind of surprised that a paper curtain could last so long!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Armand Beauchemin or rather Pepere to his family.
November 1, 1918---February 26, 2014
A dad to 5, a pepere to 7 and a grand pepere to 9?
An awesome mechanic, he served in the Air force, maintaining WWII aircraft,
A strong man with a good heart,
We'll miss you Pepere!  I feel certain that in your travels to the next realm, you'll be driving sturdy, well maintained vehicles.
Godspeed Pepere.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Wind and, I've been walking home with large fistfuls of Torrey pine needles

A few days ago,our old tree lost a huge limb---This is an Irish strawberry tree or Arbutus Unedo, but I think it was very old and in need of the winter rains.

This is what I heard and felt, last night during strong winds and thankfully, rain!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Tough Framing Job

For some reason, my mat cutter wasn't working and at first just butchered my mat--I managed to cut the same mat board just a little larger--(to save that mat)  I then framed, nailed in the backing, glued on the back paper--put in the hanging hardware--hung it and wasn't satisfied!  Something was missing--I thought, "No--It's sealed and done!", but deep down, I knew I'd be taking it apart... Big gray roses is what it needed.  So then I went a little overboard with my rose stamp, too many! and too dark--oh no!  I rolled out some white ink and just rolled over the roses I wanted to subdue--it worked!  I almost killed the painting and almost killed the mat--so it goes!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Now I'm Done!

I wasn't okay with the lighter back ground, so I started layering colors--I believe it's called glazing--letting each layer dry before adding another--soon it was too dark!  I washed off what I could and painted on a thin layer or two of white acrylic, which I liked for the dance floor, so I teetered on the edge of ruining this painting--perhaps I did, but I won't let myself think so.  Time to move on.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Finished Watercolor

About 14"x 10"  watercolor on 140 lb stretched watercolor paper.  I think I'm done...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Back to Watercolors

Working on another dancer--a special dancer, my granddaughter of course.  I haven't painted with watercolors in a long time--I'm using them in the more traditional way, without all the layers of masking fluid that I had once relied on so heavily.  You can see my process of that layering here.  I just don't feel like doing that right now.

It's kind of fun to see some parts finished and others sketched, although I do intend to finish this.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tissue Mache Birds

This is my latest art lesson for my granddaughter's 4th grade class.  We made tissue mache birds.  The body is crumpled newspaper, taped, a wire going down through the center has a loop on top for hanging.  Four cut pop sticks are pushed into the body and glued, for the head, tail and two wings.  The heads are foil and cut out pieces of cardboard are the wings and tails.

The underside of the armature, before the tissue mache.

After just one layer of white tissue paper--(applied using a paint brush with wheat paste), the student's were able to put on a layer of color.  I propped them up with tubes, so their wings could dry without bending.

For details we used a black marker, feathers, sequins, and a gold leaf paper.  The white cards are name tags.

This project took four lessons at about an hour each--the birds were a challenge for the student's to put together--I'd rethink the construction part before doing this lesson again, but I really like the results!

Monday, February 10, 2014


Here's my first attempt at printing a drawing of dancers--I really didn't know how I was going to cut the plate, or the soft cut.  I decided, instead of multiple prints for one image, I'd just keep it simple and use the thin outline for a mono print.  Now I want to use black paper...

This is my favorite print so far.   This is about 9"x 12", printed on Bristol paper

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I used my little rose stamp on the mat and edged it with strips of an old watercolor painting.  I hope the frame isn't too overpowering, but I think it works.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Small Basket with Long Pine Needles

I had wanted to give this small basket to my granddaughter for Christmas--I've just recently picked it up again.  This is the smallest basket I've made.  I'm closing it in while building up the sides, then I'd like to make a tight fitting lid---we'll see!