Friday, July 27, 2012

IA Weekly Challenge and Paint Party Friday

Lost in a Book

The theme at Inspiration Avenue this week is

I had the idea for this painting for a round robin journal entry
(not saying whose hehe :) but the addition of swirls are
strictly for the IA challenge. So...journal entry to come later
minus the swirls. (not much later though,
as I am running out of time for July).

I had a rather good time with the paisley swirly shapes,
and to me they convey how one is transported into a
different world when absorbed in a good book.
But is our girl just oblivious to everything happening around her,
or are the swirling shapes part of the story she is reading?
Hmmm...I don't know. Do you?

I'm also linking up with Paint Party Friday, since
it's been ages since I went to the party and it IS Friday.
So. Putting on my little black dress, and heading over to PPF...

Pop in there and at Inspiration Avenue to
have a peek at some very kewl art :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New week, new challenge at Inspiration Avenue, this time the inspiration
of Hettienne who has just returned from Paris. Lucky lady!
When I get around to making my bucket list, a trip to Paris
will be on it, as I've never been there.

Even though there's a wealth of information about Paris
on the internet, how to do a post about a place I have never been?

I've been making bookmarks lately, so I decided to make one 
featuring Marie Antoinette, one of my favorite people.
Then the challenge is to make it a concise blog post
about a person with an amazing life and an amazing death.
So much to say about her!

Not an original Parisienne, Marie was born in Austria, 
the youngest daughter of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, 
and Austrian Empress Maria Theresa.
She was promised in marriage as a young girl to the dauphin Louis, 
grandson of Louis XV of France.
He ascended the throne in 1774 as Louis XVI.
Their marriage, like so many arranged marriages,
did not get off to a good start but eventually I believe
they worked out their many differences.
Poor Marie. She was accepted at first by the people of France,
but her frivolity and extravagances during terrible times of
poverty and starvation caused growing resentment.
However, even though she was out of touch with the
plight of the poor, she never said, "Let them eat cake."

She was a strong young girl, who had been brought up by a strong mother,
the Empress Maria Theresa, when she arrived in France.
I think she showed tremendous strength to the end.
Responding to the priest who had accompanied her to the
foot of the guillotine, who whispered,
“This is the moment, Madame,
to arm yourself with courage”,
she replied,

Courage! I have shown it for years; 

think you I shall lose it at the moment 

when my sufferings are to end?”

Her unpopularity helped lead to the overthrow of the monarchy
when Parisiennes stormed the Tuileries palace on Aug. 10, 1792,
followed by the establishment of the First French Republic in September.

Marie Antoinette was executed by the guillotine on October 16, 1793.
She was charged with aiding the enemy and inciting civil war.  

My bookmark will be making its way to my Etsy shop,
since I read all my books on my Kindle nowadays.
Such a shame, cause there's nothing like a good, favorite bookmark!

But speaking of reading, I've read 2 good book about Marie
(I plan to continue reading about her,
if anyone has read a good one, let me know!)

Becoming Marie Antoinette: A Novel by Juliet Grey
covers the years from age ten in Austria until she
made the journey to France to wed the Dauphin Louis.

Also great: Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran.
(Yes, that Madame Tussaud.) Marie Tussaud had her first "salon" in Paris
during the time of the French Revolution, and was requested by
King Louis XVI's sister to give her instruction in making wax models.
So she became close to her and was privy to the doings of the royal family.

Both are novels, but the authors have been careful about facts.

So that's all I have, not nearly enough detail about Marie,
but plenty for a blog post about a bookmark!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and stop by Inspiration Avenue
on Sunday to see the Paris Gallery of challenge results!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Desert Trip
This was the first time I didn't see even a glimpse of the ocean while visiting California.
Considering we flew into San Diego and left from Orange County, it's amazing but true.

The desert scenery was a complete change from western Pennsylvania.
Both have breathtaking views, but are so different.
So it was a nice change, and seeing family was the main reason for the trip.

Palm Springs, California
The aerial tramway in Palm Springs takes you from the desert floor up to 8,500+ feet.
It was near 100° in Palm Springs and 65° at the top of the mountain. Refreshing!

Since I am afraid of heights (and I had already been on the tram years ago when I was
NOT afraid of heights, don't ask), my mom and I went for an ice cream sundae
(also refreshing) while hubby and son ascended to the mountain top.

The tram car rotates during the trip. Yikes.
It is the largest of only three rotating tram cars in the world.
The other two are in Cape Town, South Africa and Titlis, Switzerland.
Hope that cable holds up!
This is the sheerest mountain face in North America
and it passes through five life zones, starting in
the lower Sonoran desert and arriving at an alpine forest.

At the top.
(Tram photos taken by Jesse)

This  extra-grande  statue of Marilyn Monroe has moved
from Chicago to Palm Springs.

Just to give you an idea how big Marilyn is:
Steve and me.
Feeling rather insignificant . . .

Jesse and me. We are both wearing our crappy shoes.
Marilyn's shoes are much nicer.

Guess what? 
I got to meet Lou Anne, one of my Inspiration Avenue sisters,
since she lives nearby between Palm Springs and my mom's house in Hemet.
We chatted during (and after) a yummy lunch,
the treat of Lou Anne and her husband.
Aren't we colorful?
We must have both had flowers in mind that morning lol.
Of course great minds think alike!
(Lou Anne, I will send you this photo...
I'm just now getting to look at the pictures on my camera.)

When we left Palm Springs, rather than go around the mountain, we decided
to go over the mountain. (Not the same 8,500-foot mountain of the tramway.)
This route took us to Idlewild, CA (elevation around 5,300 feet)
and was worth the extra few minutes it took. Hair raising twists and turns
with sheer drop offs, but the views were beautiful.

The scenery changes so much as you go up the mountain.

Back down the mountain to my mom's house.
My mom's dog, Gretel, looking a bit protective of her "baby".
This is the only toy she doesn't chew to pieces.

Well, that's all I got for now!
Hope you are not yawning (and that you made it to the end)!

Come back soon!


Thursday, July 12, 2012


More Frida. . . this time a postcard.

She's very inspiring to me

and it so happens the theme this week at 

Inspiration Avenue is FLY

so I decided to use one of my favorite quotes.

(Daylight has faded away, so sorry for the dark photo.

Even worse, it's dark with an annoying glare in the upper right corner.)

Replaced the photo with a slightly brighter one.
Still not so great.

Our host this week is Diane of The Expressive Palette

~ a very aptly named blog ~ as she expresses her talent

so beautifully with the art that she posts there.

Check out Diane's blog, as well as the entries

for this week at Inspiration Avenue.

I'm thinking about all the blog posts I would like to do ~

The wonderful postcards I received in our postcard swap,

Pictures I took while vacationing,
 (Yay, at least got the vacation post done! It's one above this one)

Garden photos . . . it's midsummer already!

New paintings . . .

I'm getting around to it, I promise!

Meanwhile, have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Anyone for Tea?
Inspiration Avenue's challenge topic this week is 
Shelly, our host, brings us this soothing theme!
This is a postcard I made during our postcard swap,
but it turned out to be an extra.

I don't think I've posted it before, and I thought it would be the 
perfect time to do so, with a teapot hanging over our girl’s head like that.

But what a crazy girl anyway, you could say she likes to live on the edge.
However, she does know when it's time to relax with a calming cup of tea!


 Washi Tape
Oh my gosh . . . I am obsessed with making washi tape!
If you haven't seen washi tape, HERE is a link.

Washi tape can be purchased, 
but  it's so much fun (and easy + cheap) to make your own!

 Just a few I made today. I haven't used them for anything yet, 
because I can't stop making them. lol.

It's just masking tape decorated in any way you wish.**

Here is where I wish I could make a tutorial, because the above sentence
is not very informative. I will have to work on that. But on the bright side,
there are loads of tutorials already on YouTube showing great ideas for
creating washi tapes.

I have in mind to do some more postcards, and I might use a bit
(okay. More than a bit. More like a load. lol)
of washi tape in the creation of such. Just kidding.
I will restrain myself.

Stop by Inspiration Avenue on Sunday to see the Teapot collection!

**I have been using masking tape, which is not acid-free or archival
or anything like that. What would be better is some sort of tape,
(artist's tape or drafting tape) which is labeled acid-free or pH neutral.
That way, you can protect your project from deterioration :)
So it does go from being practically free to costing a bit more,
but worth it in the long run!

I had the brainstorm this morning to add a 
sheet of digital washi tape to my Etsy shop. 
Print until your printer cries "Uncle" and your heart is content!
Of course you will have to purchase the un-watermarked file, 
but 4 bucks, not so bad ~ you can print hundreds of times if you like :)

My digital shop has been neglected for so long.
If people like these tapes, I have ideas for lots more :)
To view the listing, go HERE.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More Round Robin!
Tammy's Journal

I know Tammy lives close to the ocean, and enjoys being near the sea.
(Yes, I AM envious :)
So when her journal came to me, I decided to include 
some vintage bathing beauties frolicking on the beach.
I always call these vintage beauties "Yankee Girls" since the figures
have a summery, patriotic look about them. 
I love their "bathing costumes"!

(Yankee Girls)
Not part of Tammy's journal, but one of the
first art journal pages I ever did. 
I used one of the vintage beach beauty 
pictures and painted over it.
Many times these lovely ladies are holding an American flag.
But wait. Three of our Round Robin members are not
Yankee Girls but British Lasses. I had to include a Union Jack.
Easily done, as there are many copies of the flag 
of the United Kingdom to be seen on Google.
As I always, have to have something to worry about ~
I hope it's the right one.

Wish I could trade places with these beauties and be relaxing with the seven other
Round Robin sisters on a sandy beach. Either side of the Atlantic, doesn't matter.
As long as the water is salty!

I'm very late getting this in the mail to's just a coincidence 
that I'm posting it on the Fourth or July, but since I am. . .  
Happy Independence Day!
to all Americans out there. Have a safe and happy Fourth.