Rara Avis, Eric’s drawing challenge

Long ago, the Earth was new and the first group of humans lived in a lush valley and children still had feathers running up and down their spines so they could fly. But the elders were afraid that the children would learn to love the sky more than the ground and leave them alone and so the elders said to the children, “Children, tuck your feathers under your shoulder blades for you will not need them. Stay here on the ground where you belong and let Eagle rule the skies”, and so the children were obedient and did as they were told. But soon the weather began to change and the valley became frozen and the elders died and the children were left alone.

The children cried to Eagle, “Oh Eagle, we gave up our wings so you can rule the sky. Save us, show us a way out of the valley so humans may survive .” Eagle, who was obliged to care for the children, said, “You cannot follow me out of the valley for my voice is too soft, but I will return with help.” And she flew away and the next day she returned with Gull.

“Follow the Gull children,” she said, “His voice is loud and he will lead out of the valley.”
So the children gathered the rest of their possessions and followed the piercing cries of Gull who led them on a secret path thru the mountains, out of the frozen valley, and down to the sea shore.

The children thanked Gull and he said, “Children, here at the shore Eagle and I will watch out for you together.” And from that day on, children, if you’re good and a little lucky, you can just catch glimpses of Gull talking to Eagle. But you are safe because they watch over you from high above the Earth.

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link to Rara Avis
Thank you so much for this drawing challenge Eric.

“Tell me your secrets”

Oil on canvas, 18″x 24″ :D

Folds, Carole’s drawing challenge

When my wonderful (almost) neighbour Carole suggested “folds” for this weekend’s drawing challenge, I thought of the origami I keep failing at in such spectacular ways...lol.

In the china cabinet are two tiny origami cranes right beside a tiny Alice, a present from a visiting friend, and I can’t even begin to think how such a tiny thing is folded. Chopsticks maybe?

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So I decided that a painting with a bit of collage might be more suited to my style, specifically tissue paper collage.

I love using tissue paper and moving it with the brush and the mat medium, and making it fold in soft waves on the painted page.

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So here is my piece for this week, The Dove. I love the soft folds in the texture, I love the folds of the dove’s wings, I love the gentle folds in the hands. It’s a good one.

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When you have a chance, come hop over to Carole’s for links to the folding bunch. :D

Colour, Ariane’s drawing challenge, redirected thru Barbara Bee

I was walking around the garden and contemplating the challenge when it occurred that the garden is still a rainbow of colour.

So, for some inspiration, I gathered that rainbow and brought it indoors.

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And from that rainbow came this:

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A little collage, wild colour painting with a tiny gold bird hidden in the rainbow.

And now this little vibrant orchid, (one of my kaleidoscope cards), is for Our Rose, Ariane, our original host, who suffered a house fire this week. All our thoughts are with you sweetie, hope everything turns out alright.

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The challenge has been redirected thru our Bee.

Stefanie’s drawing challenge: Underwear

For some reason, that silly song was stuck in mine and Robbie’s head this summer.

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And then I was reading my guilty trash pleasure, The Daily Mail, and the Kardashian butt is just about all over the place.

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So I decided to draw myself a remedy underwear, so we all can have butt! :D

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There you go. :D

Now come see Stefanie’s site for all the links to the best underwear.

But first:

LOL: you know you want to!

Dress, Patrice’s drawing challenge

I was so glad to be able to be a part of Patrice’s drawing challenge this week.

Let me just say that I love clothes, Chloe loves clothes, we both love looking good and feeling good in clothes, but what we don’t like is knowing that hundreds of pounds of textiles end up in land fills every year because the fashion industry has a terribly slavish built-in obsolescence. And we also don’t like that new textiles carry toxic ingredients in them, such as “safe” levels of lead and cancer causing fire retardants. Clothes are soaked in them and we are expected to put that against our skin. We also suspect that each sequin sewn on to clothes manufactured in developing countries has probably been sewn on by child labour.

So we tend to buy a lot of second hand, ethically sewn, and organically produced clothes.

This time around, I decided to see if I could do some eco printing on some clothes, and see what the results would be.

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So, with the gathered leaves, and a quick trip to the local thrift shop, which produced a shawl, a T, a summer dress and a linen tunic…
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I soaked the clothes over night in a vinegar water solution, and we started to layer the leaves.

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Now the thing about eco printing, there are very few instructions out there, and it seems that people give various pieces of the puzzle but not the whole process, so I basically pieced together a system, (which is probably pretty unique to me, since I have very little idea of what I’m doing), from several blogs, videos, and snippets of books on-line. One gal’s blog which I found very beautiful and inspiring is this one: Obovate Designs. You should check it out, Melinda makes the most beautiful eco prints.

One thing I knew for sure, there are things called mordants which change/deepen/fix/help with the colour, but apart form vinegar, they all seemed pretty chemically, and not wanting to contribute to more chemicals in the environs, I chose to only use vinegar.

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I used leaves, red onion skins and spent dahlia flower petals on my two pieces, and C got creative with pomegranate seeds and beet slices on her two pieces.

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That is, when she wasn’t eating the supplies. :D

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I turned the clothes wrong side out, and did a sort of sandwich of leaves in the middle. With the shawl, I spread the leaves on one half and folded the second half over. Then we folded the clothes and wrapped them around a stick and bound them with elastic bands.

Then we put them into my large turkey roaster on a steaming plate, and steamed them for two hours.

Then we put them aside to rest overnight.

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Some days I have about as much patience as a small gnat, and this three day project really stretched what little I manage to achieve, so on the third day, we ran to the kitchen first thing in the morning and started to unroll out clothes.

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The more leaves, seeds, slices and petals we picked off, the more delighted we were with the result, and the dye material all went into a large bowl and straight into the compost.

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Then we hung out or eco dyed creations and waited for them to dry.

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And this afternoon I gave them a little iron, and we had a fashion show!

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C dress

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C top

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We are actually thrilled with our first eco dying try. We love the earthy quality the natural materials gave our clothes. And the best part is that we created something unique and genuine. Recycled clothes, natural dyes, Earth friendly products. It’s all good.

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If you’ve stuck with me thru this whole, extremely long post, thank you, thank you so much and bless your sweet, pink hearts. :D

Here, again, is the link to Patrice’s site where you can see more wacky, creative and fun twists on the Dress theme.

Big hugs for a wonderful, eco friendly weekend for all. :D

Cookie, Stefanie’s drawing challenge

Stefanie says “cookie is a nice word, isn’t it?”

Oh it SO is!

I’ve done so much of the painted cookies in the past, that I decided to do something completely different.

So when is a cookie not a cookie, but still is? When it’s a little silver cookie necklace.

Here is a little fortune cookie with a fortune to keep you happy and lucky all the time you wear it.

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I had something in my mind, and as usual, I took the approach of, “how hard can it be?”

I cut out a small disk of silver, which I then bent and hammered out and bent and hammered out about a half dozen times. (yes, that is a hockey puck, we are Canadian after all :D ) Anyway, turns out, bending a small silver disk in two opposite directions is bloody hard! But, after heating it red hot, it became a bit more pliable for a few seconds, but that was enough to get a good bend.

Then I cut a little fortune in which I engraved, “Love is” one one side and “you” on the other.

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Then I punched holes and soldered jump rings and chain, and pickled and filed and polished and polished and polished.

And then I got a certain freckle faced girl to model it for me.

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I’m really happy with it.

Come visit Stefanie over the weekend and check out other cookie enthusiasts, and please pardon my absence till Monday afternoon, I’m getting out of town to a friend’s cabin for our Thanksgiving weekend and will not have internet, but I’ll be around just as soon as I get back into town. Sending big chocolate chip cookie hugs your way. :D

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Swoon, Tammie’s drawing challenge

I signed up rather late this week. On Wednesday I thought, “Oh, yeah, drawing challenge!” And it turns out, our host is my friend Tammie, with the word “swoon”.

Oh my gosh, does anyone swoon any more?

I sat in my bedroom Thursday morning and thought about swooning, and kept having images of Edwardian ladies in tight corsets. They used to swoon, didn’t they?

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So I went thru a bunch of supplies and pulled out an old Toile de Jouy curtain panel. You know that material? With the bucolic images of lovely Edwardian life.

So I studied it and saw a couple hurrying across a bridge and wondered what they were hurrying away from.

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Oh! So that’s it! Will you just look at the state of the apple pickers. The youth these days…eh?

And, does she have a nose ring? And flaming red hair? Is she smoking a cigarette and wearing a pointy Madonna corset?

And does he have blue hair and goatee, and gang tattoos and a huge gold chain? I think so.

And is that a longboard?!? And is he handing her a skull?!?!?

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Better hurry along little Edwardian couple. That’s enough to make anyone swoon! :D

Come hop over to my friend Kelly’s lovely blog Soulful Home when you have a chance. Not only is she a fantastic decorator, she has wonderful DIY ideas. She’s started a Soul Sister Series and I’m being featured as her first soul sister, Isn’t that lovely? And I’ve offered a giveaway of one of my original paintings.

And remember to pop over to Tammie’s when you have a chance to check on the rest of the swooning. :D

Fis(c)h, Miss Herzfrisch’s drawing challenge

I looked around and realised that I actually paint a lot of fish! There are goldfish in the living room, koi under autumn leaves and goldfish lanterns in the family room, and a surrealistic azalea and koi painting in one of the guest bedrooms.

And, although I drew myself a steampunk fish on some handmade paper,

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I wanted to do something a bit different.
Chloe has been having some fun with wire wrapping crystals and left the wire and pliers in my studio, so I thought I would give a try with a little wire sculpture.

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C’s wire plus a few beads and voila! Here are my two fish:

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I took them outside to photograph them in the morning sunshine. I love how they sparkle.

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I think maybe they might end up on the Christmas tree among my collection of glass ornaments, but for now, I think they’ll hang out on the grapevine wreath above the fireplace.

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Come on over to Sabine’s and check out everyone’s ideas. :D

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Hello from Sunday night

fall

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painters

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gardens

Well, hello autumn! Is everyone ready? Ready for the mountains of leaves and crisp apples and chrysanthemums? Bring it on!

It’s been a rainy week here on the West Coast, and just as well for me because I really needed to cocoon and spend some time in thought and meditation, but the glorious weekend brought sun and loads of it and a wonderful Saturday at the river and Sunday at the beach.

Dogs, and farmer’s markets abound and also strange little art get-togethers. I love that, you know. I mean I love dogs and farmer’s markets, but so love to see a group of people, of all ages and expertise levels, set up their easels, paints and canvases and just go for it for the day. There was a group at the river, about 30 strong, ages five to 85, who painted En Plein-Air for four hours and presented their masterpieces in one of the historic shipyard buildings as an exhibition. I just loved every painting I saw.

One more thing which means super fall to me is HOCKEY! YAY! Clove and I caught the first Wolf Pack game. C’s boy Bryson is an extraordinary skater and has been serving as a linesman for the higher league hockey games, and this game was being played 10 minutes away, so naturally we went to support him. The Wolf Pack team is the last minor league boys can play in before they get called up to the NHL, (or not), so scouts are watching, and the game is fast paced and…um…testosterone-y to the max. In the third period, there were three WP players off the ice in penalties for roughing at the same time. I’m so glad that Bryson has years of Aikido as offensive training…lol. Although we’re technically cheering for the refs, it’s nice when the home team wins, and the Wolf Pack did! :D

So, two more days and we technically put summer 2014 to rest. How is everyone feeling about that? Does anyone do anything about celebrating the equinox? A little pagan ritual or something? I’ve been watching Outlander and now love all things Scottish…including Robbie, who is Scots…but now want to do something spectacular to bring in the fall, like build a stone henge right in my back yard and have a ceremony. I know, I don’t tend to do things by half…lol. Maybe I’ll just make a piece of jewellery from one of the pieces of ancient flint I’ve strung up on a copper wire. What do we think? Maybe a necklace with mystical powers? Looking up the powers of flint, I think I need to get this book!

Well, that about sums up my week and weekend. Hope yours was wonderful and you got the best out of it. If it wasn’t, then oh well, tomorrow’s a new day. Big hugs for a wonderful and shiny week ahead everyone. :D

PS: I have another of those darn spaghetti squashes round here. Anyone know something spaghetti squash fabulous?

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic bunch. :D

Second hand, Joke’s drawing challenge

This is a wonderful theme, thank you so much Joke.
Anyone who knows anything about me knows I’m all over that one!

Out of all the maps I bought in England, the one I really fell in love with is a 1963 map of Oxford.

It’s been well used. Someone drew on it with coloured crayons, divided four sections and crossed off houses along some streets. Every time I look at these maps I love the scribbles and tears and wrong way pocket folds…they all tell a history. In this case it might have been a salesman or perhaps a survey taker, but who ever had this map in the past, it’s mine now and I decided to paint busy little bluetits on it.

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They’re perching on a little split hazel garden fence and quite possibly eyeing the morning milk delivery.

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Robert tells me of mornings in his childhood, when the door was opened and little bluetits were fleeing the scene of the crime having pecked thru the tops to have their share of the milk.

So here is my drawing challenge painting: Bluetits over Oxford.

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Come visit Joke when you have a chance to see all the links to everyone’s interpretations.