Thursday, February 28, 2019


Gosh! It is raining AGAIN! But good news, my reluctant gardener NICK has surfaced, or has at least  returned my nagging emails. Good thing, but now with the rain, which is predicted for several days, it will only be talking that we'll be doing, versus digging and planting. I am so frustrated that I can't do the kind of shoveling and kneeling that I used to do and must pay someone to do it for me. Grrr. But then it actually gets done right when Nick does it. So nevermind.

My sister Brooke has been away on business, doing inventory in several states for Bed Bath and Beyond and we are getting together for breakfast here this morning. I was missing her plenty and since she suggested latkes, that is what I will be making, along with bacon, a necessary enticement. Breakfast is her preferred meal and that makes me happy since I am a morning person, no kidding. 

I got up early in anticipation, 4am ( silly me) and showered and dressed and had my initial cup of coffee and a few minutes (45)  browsing Pinterest. I was lured into looking at videos of Jane Davies at work, as usual, and that lead me to thinking about making some new stamps. These shapes are ones I use often, and have old cruddy versions which needed replacing. I use sticky back foam which is available at any children's crafts section, and then cut the foam to shape and stick it on wine corks. I just happen to have a few at my disposal. ha!  

 The thing about stamps is that it is easy to make patterns of repeats and I love that look. Printed even or uneven, they still make me happy.
 Here's the close-up of the ends of the corks, with the foam stuck on. One of those is a tile separator, which makes a perfect X but doesn't have the squared off edges of the hand cut one. You can guess that I will be making collage papers using these in the very near future. Good play for a rainy day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Claiming my happiness

I love the rain, but then it rains for 2 weeks straight, and when the sun finally returns I can rejoice in the big change. This is a metaphor for my life. It was dark and murky and now the light is on and Whamo! I can feel the major difference and am claiming it aloud. 

It may  have a lot to do with the clean house we now have and which I am pretty much keeping clean. I have a new routine, which is always a good sign. Get that Swiffer out daily and damp mop the kitchen floor before it gets crusty with dried goo. Get those dishes off the counter and into the dishwasher. I consider it a major victory when all the dirty dishes can fit in one load and I can press START. yay! Kelly my cleaner  has made my stainless sinks shine like brand new. A revelation.

The area downstairs that I laughingly call my sewing room has actually become just that. I rearranged, claiming the space as it should be, feng shui be damned, and finally got those curtains made for the upstairs bath and my bedroom. It was bliss to be sewing early one morning, with the sun blasting in directly onto my sewing machine, like a ray of God's love. Then I got a new iron, retractable cord, self-shut-off, teflon surface, under 20 dollars and I am ready to make something soon. 

Soon, as in first I gotta finish the church Lenten banners, which I will attend to this morning. Currently they are on the church sewing room design wall and are awaiting a trim, a rod pocket and hem. I feel victory approaching there too.

Yesterday Kelly came and did our gutters, yes, she is all powerful, and I took our big dawggie Chumley into the vet for a teeth cleaning, as well as a clean out of my bank account. O well.  It had to be done. Doncha hate spending on stuff that gives you no thrill? Not complaining, mustn't grumble.

Spring is coming in a hurry and I know because the ants have arrived. They've come upstairs and are showing up in crazy places, like my bathroom sink. I found one in my toothbrush. eeeeeeoooouuu! Don't worry I have a replacement ready always.
The vast rain puddles are drying up and a quick garden perusal shows my peonies buds have broken ground, lots of little leaves on the hydrangea and four out of five clematis show green. I am ready to have more dirt brought in and start with something radish-y, lettuce-y and chive-y. If I can only get NICK, my reluctant gardener, to return my calls or emails. 

Our church which is huge, historic, aka old and nearly empty of younger people (average age 70-90) is giving a shower for our one young engaged couple this Sunday. How nice is that? But what will I bring to give them? It dawned on me that the bride-to-be will be doing thank you notes for months, and I have made some so why not give them to her? Perhaps it will make writing those thanks a bit more fun.
I made a box out of painted watercolor paper, and filled it with 24 cards and matching notes.

The writing part is white, with only the occasional paint smudge, to show they are hand made.
I have a gift bag in red foil, and will stuff it with tissue and add a hand made gift card and I am done a roo!

One more thing...I found a new law mystery set to read. David Rosenfelt's, Andy Carpenter is the funny lawyer of the series and my little local library has the books numbered on the spine. I love that I can find them from #1 forward, for free. Libraries are such a gift!

Now that I've gotten you up to date, I'll just say that I am still knitting away and while my arm and hand are having a recovery day, I will be letting you know when your sweater is on the needles. Thanks for your patience/bad memory or whatever it is that prevents you giving up on me.

By the way, this long post is the result of watching Julie and Julia, again on Netflix. I realize that sometimes words are better than pictures and that's what I wanted to get back to doing.

PS. I found out yesterday that one of my big ol' quilts, Eternal Horizons is being accessioned by Indiana University to be hung in their soon to be built (3 years at least) new hospital. The previous owner has donated the big textile and called to tell me all about it. Yay! Public display is so wonderful.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Lotus Blossoms

 Lotus Blossoms, 12x12x 3/4", acrylic paint, collage, ink, graphite, sealed with acrylic varnish. For this piece I decided to get back to drawing, using inspiration from some pictures I saved on Pinterest. I'm getting itchy to garden...already! I made a pencil line drawing of the lotus, painted over it with matte medium and then painted in the color. After it dried, I cut out the image with an art knife and glued it to the yellow green painted canvas. Then I painted in the background shapes, branches and blobs of whatever. As most of my work is non-representational I wanted to keep away from exact representation, and include more of a design-y approach. 
 Here you can see the edge of the cut out paper piece. Why did I do it this way? Well,  I didn't have a plan. I just thought I would try this out on the canvas, maybe cover it up partially or cut it up later and rearrange it. But that didn't happen, and this did. Sometimes you are just in the zone and must keep going until you find out where you end up. 

 Continuing to draw, I added ink details as the final layer.  $150, free shipping. Email me.

And I finished another knit...I love the pullover style of this pattern.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Painted Collage #2

 Painted Collage #2. 12" x 12" by 3/4", collage on heavy acrylic gel textured canvas, stamping, stencil, ink, crayon.
I am setting a parameter for myself on these new pieces. Beginning with a thick texture and painted base color, I'm choosing one piece of pretty painted paper and letting that lead me to the color scheme for the piece. 

Here's are two close ups of the paper and texture, with layering of stamping and drawing. This is an example of things I was NEVER encouraged to do in art school. So wonderful to be able to do it now with impunity. Ha! 
 Here it is shot in a brief moment of sunshine. $110, free shipping. Email me.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Pastel Collage Painting

 A few weeks ago I painted a few 12" canvas panels with gel medium, a thickened paste, to add texture over the even weave of the canvas. Then I added some pastel acrylic paint as a base color, figuring I would negate the pure whiteness and give myself a jumping off point. And then I put it away and forgot about it. When I made painted and printed papers for note cards, I cut off the excess pieces and saved them for collage. This square was one of those pieces. Works great with that back ground, no?

 And here's where it went from there. I added a few more printed papers, some stamping and ink drawing and a bit more paint.
  Some of the textures shown here.

Pastel Collage painting, 12x12x3/4", acrylic and papers on stretched canvas panel. $100+$7 shipping. Email Me.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Busy Busy

Lots of good things have been going on here at Chez Johnson...I have hired a housecleaner, since my knees can't get to the dirt in corners, and what a huge difference she has made!!! The first time she came she cleaned the floors, staircase baseboards, vacuumed the mountains of doggie fur everywhere, and made the kitchen sparkle. It was such a relief to have this done. We kept the house clean for a whole week, and on her second visit she cleaned the sunroom (no more dead flies!!) and upstairs bathroom. 

 O how lovely to have a clean baseline again, after the annis horribilis is over. Dave health has improved so much that I have the mental space to actually think about making this place our home. I haven't hung artwork or quilts in the year we've been here. Not like me at all.

So I made a collage to celebrate!
Dotty Collage. 12" square mounted on watercolor paper, mounted on stretched canvas 3/4" deep. Gelli printed papers, stamping, drawing, ink, pencil, stencils. Sealed with gloss medium.
 I love to draw into the collage after it is assembled. Layers of detail inviting a closer look. $100 + 7 shipping. Email me.
Finished vest and half of the finished pullover for Joan in Missouri. Part of the knitting that is getting done of late.
And some beads got strung!
Triangle, Squares and Balls with Gold $20 SOLD

Triangles in Gold and White $20

Folded Pendant and earrings set $20

Donuts in white and gold with folded bead $20

Folded circles with crystal beads and disc earrings, $20
Red Knots...I think I'll keep these.

Free shipping for all the jewelry. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Paper Crafts

 Over the weekend I made a bunch of small envelopes with matching note cards and thought it would be nice to have little containers for them. OK! 

 Starting with watercolor paper and some sequin waste to use as stencils, I painted, or printed the paper. Then I scored it and cut the corner sections on the diagonal, gluing them to the sides. Quick and fun.

 Some of the collaged cards I made. These are larger, about 6x4.5", with coordinating envelopes.

So what else can I make with these painted papers?
What about a big paper quilt? 12x12" mounted on drawing paper. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Cards and Collages

 I spent the day painting, gelli printing and stamping, starting with 9x12" papers, and cutting a 6.5" for the envelope and a strip 4x9" for the notecard, and keeping the leftover cuts for collage. There was considerable trimming to fit the cards inside the envelopes, but eventually I got a rhythm going and  finished 28 sets.  Envelope behind the notecard. Little and cute.

 The goal after the card sets were made was to use up the yummy leftover scraps for collage. These are larger and cut to fit already made envelopes which I have been saving. They also got the paint treatment. The scraps were collaged onto quality weight papers, then stamped and ink details were added. This is my fave thing to do!

 I have clear cello envelopes to house the card and envelope and will put them together as gifts for future birthday girls at Knit Wit.s