Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vessel Zine

I started exploring the theme of vessels nearly 10 years ago at a wonderful retreat called Well of Mercy near Statesville, NC. I had an entire basement to myself and painted and printed for a whole day. It was grand. I was relaxed, unbothered and alone. Sheer heaven for an artist.

I began by printing ferns and then saw this wonderful vessel and started to explore vessel shapes and printed the ferns on them. I did a whole series of vessels and called it Fruit of the Spirit and even made my first zine with that idea which came to me on my morning walk. It was called a devotional until I learned about zines and now I realize I was making zines before I knew what they were.
Be open to all opportunities and ideas will flow.....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Creative Ideas Exhausted

Real leaves, leaf prints, quotes, landscape photos and mini paintings...all this and more in the Nature Zines.

If you never take one idea and push it as far as you can till ideas are exhausted, I recommend it for a creative boost.

Also, all the zines are made with recycled art, papers, and ideas. All the themes are ideas I've been exploring for my whole adult creative life. So, you see, ideas are never really exhausted.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

mini zine (within the zine)

The pages featured today show a mini zine and tag in clear pockets.
Each zine in this swap will have a related mini zine and tag to accompany the theme of the zine.
I used ATC clear envelopes for the pocket to hold these items.
There is also an original ATC in the back of each zine accomodating the theme as well. The marble paper is handmade with the shave cream/ink method.

Monday, January 28, 2008



She walks alone and finds her voice
Yet she has nothing say.
She feels the pain of the world and knows her own.
Afraid of her shadow others see her as brave.

Her life is one long profound question
With no answers.

No one sees her demons but they are real to her.

The trees whisper secrets to heaven that only God knows.

Alone in the woods she feels at home
In the midst of the crowd she is lonely and lost.
The woods speak truth to her and she knows
Peace, joy, wonder, hope.

The world's noise tells her
That she is not deep enough into her hearts forest.

The swap of the trees help her realize she can bend and adapt.

She decided years ago to follow Jesus
And was never alone again.
God never leaves her side and gives her strength each day.

Despite the cold winter day
There is life in the green moss on the tree.

Sitting in the coolness of the winter by a chilly creek warms her heart
But on a sunny day she feels chilled to the bone.

Belief in God is most important
But she must also believe in herself
And be willing to trust and let God be in charge.

Maybe the woods only speak to her
But a stack of rocks says "strength, courage, hope, belief…"

To some her view is the same old thing, creek, path, trees and rocks
But the water is new. It's never flowed over these rocks before.
This gives her comfort.

Hard to believe in a few short weeks these frail fragile branches
Will swell with green buds and frilly leaves.
Birds will sing praises but today
The pines moan with pain and chill.

The water in the creek comes from God
It fell from the sky, rose from the earth.
It nourishes the life there.
It is said that bread is life but
Water sustains life.

My son wants me to fly but I fear it.
Perhaps if reincarnation is real,
I will come back as a bird with wings and be able to fly.
I may be an eagle or song bird or maybe just an albatross.
I won't fear flight.

I'm not a Bible scholar but
I know a lot of verses and stories.
The one about the stump of Jesse always puzzled me.
Like a stump with life, sprouts grow new trees.
Maybe that's the message.
Old, cut down and immobile
We can still grow and stand tall.
Maybe every majestic tree in the woods came from a stump

Image is from cross zine.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

speaking openly about our faith

In a world of political correctness for fear of challenging someone to think about your own views or consider another idea, we Christians sometimes shy away from confronting it headon. I find that it's easier to ease in through my art. For years my art contained not a single Christian image and yet many often found subliminal messages and images there any way. I guess it was my subliminal intention but I often found it remarkable that so many crosses were found in my art that I did not actually plan and insert. Those are the best messages actually when we don't force them. Even though I occasionally have had a negative comment about my views expressed on this blog, I am happy to say that most comments have always been positive and encouraging.

So today I am posting images from my cross zine which when I asked about using the image of the cross received no contest to it.

So go boldly with bravado and be who you are in a world of "sorry to challenge your beliefs" so I will "compromise mine."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

tutorial posted

Cyndi Lavin has graciously posted a tutorial I wrote on her website at the following link.

Just copy and paste into browser.

Zine Themes

All the themes are chosen and I'm 50% finished. In addition to the ones mentioned previously, I am doing one on paperdolls, hearts, and original poems. It's great fun to start with an idea and see where it develops. Sometimes it's in the box of scraps where I begins and sometimes it's the overall theme first. Either way, it's exhilarating and lots of fun for the creative juices.

Pages contain text, images (all original) of mini collages, stamps or paintings, an original ATC, an original mini zine of the same theme along with a tag, and lots of other goodies including a pocket of clipart in the back.

The attached spread is a favorite from the Woman Zine, mosaic of words describing what you think is what you become and a collage of my hand print and cut out doll.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Zine Covers and random thoughts

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. Thich Nhat Hanh

May you find joy today in the smiles you give and the smiles you recieve.

Joy is our greatest gift and we should not waste it being sad or lonely.

Everyday we have as much joy as we choose to have so take a hearty portion today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Zine art covers

I am doing 10 zines to swap for 10 from other artists. I'm using lots of recycled art and materials and themes near and dear to my heart: nature, woman, words, cross, vessels, landscapes and more. Here are some working covers.....

Monday, January 21, 2008

generous artist

More free valentine art from at the following link. Begins Feb 1 I believe.


I read an interesting blog yesterday. I am not the only one in the world to pick a word to focus on for each year. Many do. It's a unique way and more easily accomplished than a resolution.

Image is the collage of words that inspired yesterday's sketch art.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

art obsessions

When I get going on an idea, there is no stopping me. I'm doing a new Zine swap via Artella again and it's 10 for 10. I just signed up and I'm nearly half finished. The deadline isn't until April. I'm doing several themes but at least 3 on the theme of nature, 12 inner pages and covers that act as additional pages. Utilizing old art work, words, pressed leaves, stamping, everything really but the kitchen sink. I will be posting images from these zines all week, maybe the next couple but I have to get back to what inspired this post. Trying to figure out an image for the words zine, I came up with the idea of word sketches. Words designing the image. It's better to show you that try to explain so I've added it to this post. However, I couldn't stop my brain last night and kept doing one more page and then by doing a simple image of words (to be posted tomorrow) I came up with the word sketch idea. I'm sure it's not original but it's a great way to challenge your sketching abilities and a great exercise. Try it!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lost in the Land of Make Believe

When making art, I always feel happy and content. Maybe it's because the truest me is present. I paint, cut, paste, arrange, plan, layout, design, choose...and it's bliss. I made a discovery too. After having small sales in local holiday venues, I found that the greatest joy is in the making, the creation of art. So what if sales are slim. It give me joy to make it. I love sharing it in this blog and with family and friends who seem to appreciate it. The wonderful comments posted on my blog fire my creativity, give validation to it and spur me on to keep at it. If I were in a cave far, far away from all life as we know it, I'd probably be scratching designs into the wall with creasote sticks from my fire. Blessings to you all and may you all have a place where you feel closest to your true self!

Image is from a recent scrapbook layout.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What leads me to worship?

This question was posed in my daily Bible journal. The answers are so obvious to me but maybe not to you the reader who is looking for a way to express your praise for God and worship Him.

Here is what brings me to my knees and makes me cry with praise to my Maker: nature, music, art, mountain vistas, beach sunrises, scripture, words, journaling, quiet time.

If we never silence the world, we never hear His call to us. Find time today to be alone and quiet. Listen for Him and you will surely be brought to praise and worship!

some days the words aren't there

When the words aren't mine, then I find peace in the words of others....

Besides just liking the quiet and the ability to hear myself think, I love that feeling of peace that permeates the silence. I know it seems strange but in that peaceful quiet place is where great ideas are born for me. William Lehman

Monday, January 14, 2008

She poured her heart out

The words from the fragments post has inspired this collage.

Women pour out their hearts to and for everyone but themselves. History proves this. It's time to change it. Here's a challenge. Put yourself first for one whole day. Get the rest, exercise, nutrition and inspiration you need! See if you feel better. This does not mean to ignore your responsibilities and those you care about but just DON'T IGNORE YOURSELF!

starbook covers

More images from starbook

I worked more on the pages yesterday adding more color and text with the Elmer's paint pens. I think I'm happy with it now.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


She poured out her heart
till it was empty
but the love she received back
filled the void to overflow.

She learned
she could not receive love
unless there was
an open spot to receive love.

With room to spare her heart nearly broke
until filled with love from others
it nearly burst.

The gray winter day finds blue skies
joy and love,
peacefulness -
for the journey
till the last breath
knowing answers will be found.

With fragments of time
we slowly rebuild
the structure of our heart
that we've lost along the way
it doesn't happen in a single moment
it takes a lifetime.

Sometimes she felt as if
she were buried in a shallow grave
and yet too deep for her cries to be heard
instead of lying there smothering
she dug with all her might
and emerged a new creation.

Sometimes life is a deep fog
a deep dark cavern
where we cannot feel the love with our heart
we cannot see the love with our eyes
that's when we must reach out
with our very hands and
grasp what it is we desire and need
for survival.

Alone with her thoughts
she realized she was not alone at all.
God never left her side.
memories and thoughts of those who
care filled her heart
she looked up to the sky and
grasped a piece for herself.

Knowing which path to take is not
always easy but either will have what is needed
for that day's journey
taking you where you need to be.

Life flows like the water in a creek
our body is battered by the rocks along the way
but respite is found
when we find the calmness in the stream
which flows together with our soul.

In all that you do
all that you know
all that you think
go the way of the cross.

Find the mark
that points the way
for the straight and narrow
follow it each day
asking for God's guidance
in every way
and peace will surely be yours.

Life isn't always about completion
fragments of this and that
but when we come to the end we are whole.

She stood in the very middle of her life
and looked about
she realized it had been a good life and
there was more to come.

Image is first star book; theme is crosses. More to come.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Morning's Grace

I greet the morning

face to face with God.

He greets me too

with His precious nod.

I find my joy

in Him alone;

knowing His presence

I'm near the throne.

This is today's given by God words.

Image is a recent journal page made with images from napkins.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

From the Heart

Life begins when a tiny heart is formed. It grows and grows and like any muscle if we don't use it, it withers and dies. Use your heart. Grow your heart. Let it be the biggest part of you. How does one do this you ask? Simple.
  • Love

  • Share

  • Give

  • Hug

  • Inspire

  • Encourage

  • Guide

  • Understand

  • Believe

  • Trust

  • Thank

Make your own list of ways to grow a BIG HEALTHY HEART!
These thoughts were inspired by Beth Moore's Wisdom from the Heart study.

Image is of several Heart cards made for church shut ins, using my own decorative paper and cutting into various hearts and strips. Words are stamped and inside will have the person's name.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Time and Creativity

Creativity takes time. For those who aren't artists, creators, writers, etc., they do not realize this. Yes, my head is always thinking and planning. Yes, I have hundreds of ideas. Yes, I always have a project to start, work on or finish BUT I NEED TIME AND SPACE TO DO IT!!!! Uninterrupted time. Time I can plan on and count on. Time to prepare, work, execute, sift and work through the project. A few minutes here and a few minutes there is not enough. I often need whole several hours, days, weekends or several days in a row to get the project done start to finish. Just as I make some headway, someone calls or comes to my door. Someone has a question or need. Someone needs attention. Sometimes it is legitimate. Sometimes it is not! Creativity takes time!

Image is a recent mini collage called "Lois Angel". Lois was my dear mother in law.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Recurring Themes

As an artist or writer, I believe we return to familiar themes and content. I believe we do this because of the comfort and familiarity it gives us. It's always been said to write what you know.

Paint what speaks to you. Create that which is part of you. I've done this my whole life. At times I am urged to stretch beyond my comfort level and that is fine but if the stretch is uncomfortable then the results are not pleasant. I must be who I am. I must do what I do best. I must continue to seek my true soul in my art and in my words. This is how I live my life as well. New experiences are fine but if they don't speak to my soul then what is the use? I am not an adventurer. I am a simple, quiet soul and seek simple quiet respite from a confused and complicated world. If others are unimpressed, bored or feel they've seen it all before, then too bad. I simply have to do what is in my heart and soul. It comes out of my very own true self and spills onto the page or canvas. In doing so I relax and find peace. I strongly urge you to go your own path, follow your own heart and soul and let the comfortable themes recur.

Image is from a recent journal page...a mosaic cross of magazine squares and prismacolor leaf rubbings.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

God is my Day Planner

When I don't know which way to turn, I turn to God.

When I don't know the answer, I ask God.

When I don't know how to do something, I seek God.

When I don't know what to do about a situation, I let God guide me.

When I don't know where to find peace in the world, I turn inward to God.

When I don't feel joy I spend more time with God's word and in communication with him.

The image and words are from my beloved Fernwood (retirement/family property).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Recent Art Activity

With holidays, deChristmasing and just plain stuff to do. I haven't blogged very much recently.

Trying to change that!

Here is a simple list of recent art goings:

  • ATC's

  • Greeting cards

  • Journal collages

  • Scrapbook pages

  • small watercolors

  • cleaning the art room again

Image is my collage from the Distressed Alphabet Swap. I made letters A,K,L, and U. Different folks made 26 of one letter and mailed them in to swap. Since we were short a few, I just made up the difference. They were so great! I couldn't wait to mount them. Enjoy!