Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Morning

Busy week.  It's always busy this time of year as this is when I do the scheduling of the volunteers for the Edmonds Arts Festival.  Not even two months until we are, once again, in full Festival mode.  This is rather a poignant season for me as it's my last year on the board.  I will miss it.

I completed my map for the ArtHouse Co-op map project.  The idea was to create a map, a map of anything you wanted, that would fold up into a 4 by 6 inch packet and was mailable in a standard envelope.  I chose to do a map of places I've been and places I plan to visit.  I had quite a lot of fun doing this as it took me back to my university days (all these many decades ago!) when I was a geography student, studying cartography.  This was just as computer mapping was becoming the way of all mapping, but we still had a cartographic lab and we all  had to make maps by hand.  It was something I was not particularly good at, although I did enjoy it.

I also had fun this week doing a run of relief prints.  I got to make a huge mess!

Between gully-washers of cold, grim rain, spring is exploding around me.  The cherry tree in front of my house is reaching out its arms toward the flowering quince.  The aroma is delicate and fresh and screams "spring!"

I can't get enough of tulips and daffodils and I'm forever buying a bunch (or three) at the local market and coming home and plunking them in whatever receptacle is at hand.  I have jugs and vases all over the house.

I couldn't, no, I could NOT, cut any of the flowers growing on my back deck.  That would be a sin!  I stand at the kitchen window and just gape at all the color.  Such a lovely sight after a long, cold, wet winter.

 I am so ready for spring!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2nd Part of my Africa Travel Journal Pages

Are you sick unto death of my travel journals, Dear Reader?  If so, well, I apologize.  This is the last posting from Africa.

Again, I have so much fun with my Pogo Printer, being able to print out photos from the day to use at night when I sit down to journal.  Sometimes it is easier to plan how to approach the daily writing by looking through and picking the photos I want to include.

The leaf in the spread above is from a plant the locals call the sandpaper bush (Ficus exasperata).  The leaves are so rough that they really do use it for sandpaper.  (I saw it in action.)

I collect feathers wherever I go.  A wonderful teacher at ArtFest once told me that if she found a feather in front of her feet on her daily walk, she knew she was on the right path.  I love that idea and now I am always on the lookout for feathers.  Nonie has gotten so she hands me any feathers she spies.  (I always give her any green glass I find on the beach, so I guess that's fair.)

Once I started writing about Tony, our guide on Safari, I couldn't stop.  He truly was the Best of the Best---smart, funny, a fantastic communicator, organized, professional and kind.  Besides he has the best smile, too!

This trip to Africa was just the best holiday.  I learned so much, met such lovely people, saw so many incredible species of animals and birds, heard some great music and traveled with a most congenial group.  I wouldn't change one thing.  (Well, except maybe make it last longer....)

Africa has turned out to be a place I really want to explore in more depth.  I hope to return before too long, maybe to South Africa this time.  Or somewhere in the western part of the continent.  There is so much diversity and so many places I want to explore.

It is good to have more places to inscribe on my "to visit" list.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

First Half Africa Journal Pages

I know there are a few of you, Dear Readers, who are interested in my travel journals.  For those of you, here is the first of two installments showing the journal pages.  For those of you who could care less, sorry!  Move on!

As always, I worked on my journal while I was traveling, trying to do each day as it came.  I didn't always manage that, depending on schedules, but I did it as close to the day as possible.  I like the immediacy I get in my writing when it's something that has just happened, not something I am writing about days later.

I get my journals from a wonderful bookmaker on Etsy.  Elvie Studio  makes wonderful little journals that are about 6.5 inches on a side and filled with lovely hotpress watercolor paper.  The covers are plain white paper and I always cover mine to match the trip they will record.  This time I found some fabric at the quilt shop that was perfect for an African journal.

I love to use my Pogo Printer for adding photos as I travel.  I've written about it before.  It's small and easy to pack and uses 2 x 3 inch paper that works like a sticker, with adhesive on the back so you just peel and stick.  So easy and so useful to journalers.

 I couldn't travel journal without my glue stick.  I save bit and pieces of this and that, the sort of thing travelers accumulate....receipts, business cards, pamphlets....and stick them into my journal as mementos.  I usually have a collection of tea bag wrappers, because I find the different teas I get around the world are interesting to remember.

 I also buy a few postcards and stick them into the journals.  If I am running out of room, I can tape in a postcard and write on the back, thereby adding a page and a photo.  It's an inexpensive way to expand the write-able area in my journal.

I'll bore you all with the second half of my journal pages soon.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Flowers

I woke up to the most spectacular spring morning.  The sunrise was gorgeous.  The daffodils were back lit and breathtaking.  Birds were singing.  The sky was blue.  A gentle breeze blew just strong enough to make the wind chime sing a little song.  In other words, a perfect morning.

I had some lovely quiet time to work on my journal while I  sipped iced tea and enjoyed the view from the windows at the cabin.  I love Sunday mornings like this!

Happy spring!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

An Art Break from Africa

waste paper pages to use for collage
I have been taking an online journaling class being taught by Judy Wise.  I have long admired Judy's work and having met her through a mutual friend, I know she's funny, fun, incredibly talented and a great teacher.  The class has turned out to be even more fun than I'd expected.  Every morning I rush to my computer to pull up the daily class.

The assignment for this page was to use repetition as a design element.

I devoted this spread to some of my daily posts, just my normal journal entries.  I used a transfer and did a drawing with the stopper of an ink bottle eyedropper, as per an assignment, to add to the page.  I was amazed at how much fun it is to draw with such items---very liberating.  You just can't get tight, or precious.

On this spread I used some tissue paper transfers of photos and some rubber stamping, collages some papers and smeared paint all over.  The writing assignment was to write about 5 wishes, rather like what you might wish for if you were blowing out candles on your birthday cake.  Judy told us that it would be good to go back, someday in the future, and read what we'd wished for on a certain day in March, 2012.

This page is a "roadmap" of my life so far.  I found this exercise to be surprisingly insightful (to me).  By having to pick and choose items to include or not on my journey to now, I found what was the most important to my chosen path truly surprising.  For example, who would have dreamed that a boy who bullied me in the 6th grade gave me the knowledge that I was strong and that it didn't matter that he heckled me.  It was his problem, really, not mine.  A valuable lesson that has served me in good stead all my life!  Thank you, o bully of years past.

This page is all about my dear, dear friend.  I miss her as she lives far away on an island 30 miles out to sea.  It is about the time of year that I first met her and she has been much on my mind lately.  By using a few photos and writing about our first meeting, I feel close to her.  It was a great exercise.

This is another example of a spread I use for my daily journal entries.  I liked how it developed a travel theme---travel always being on my mind.  I'm either thinking about a previous trip or planning a new one.

This was a painting exercise that turned out to be great fun.  I won't tell you how we were instructed to do it, but let me say, it was not the way I usually approach a portrait.  It is always fun to just put brush to paper and see what sort of a face emerges.  I was not expecting a red head!

I love this quote.  It is a variant of a Biblical phrase and is on the wall of a great book shop in Paris, Shakespeare & Company.  The angel is drawn from a photo I took of a beautiful angel statue in Wendy Addison's shop, Theatre of Dreams.  I was glad I finally found a use for that image as it has long been a favorite of mine.

I've been having a lot of fun.  Thanks, Judy!