Saturday, October 19, 2013

Birds of a Feather

There is nothing better than having play dates with like-minded friends. We study hard at the Wednesday Poker Discussion Group to perfect our game but once in awhile one needs an outlet to let off some stress and girls just wanna have fun! 

Karri's collage

Diane makes a pinwheel.

Yvonne's collage using citra solv and napkin transfers.

Our get together focused on techniques to be used in the making of a visual art journal. Full on experimentation that led to the idea of making this a weekly event. 

Journal page made by yours truly from collage bits of poker ephemera and napkin transfers.   
Yvonne's amazing sneakers made with the napkin transfer process.

Had a blast shopping for goodies at Blick's!

Tuesday is our day at the studio for our 'birds of a feather' group. All curious cats are welcome! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Adventures of a Cat Nanny 2013 X's 4

When I get to cat nanny and house-sit for the fabulous MARY ANN MOSS she always leaves me little road maps of places to see and suggestions of eateries. In 2010 I visited ARLINGTON PARK which you can see the photos I posted if you click on the link. The first thing that amazes you at Lacy Park is the wonderful aroma of roses and fresh cut grass. Wish I could bottle it up and send it to you.
The beautiful Lacy Park in San Merino
This huge Sequoia was amazing!!!

Of course a day of walking in a beautiful garden requires a lovely afternoon nap 
with the fur kids. Took out my sketchbook and new water brushes (love!) and with 
some acrylic ink did a quick sketch.

The first time I came to Moss Cottage I was overwhelmed and inspired by the visual 
and travel journals hand made by MARY ANN MOSS. You just have to visit 
her blog and see for yourself. But make sure you have plenty of time and a 
nice cup of tea by your side. I was so eager to try my hand on a visual journal 
that I went to the nearest drugstore and picked up an everyday lined notebook. 
Which I have come to realize was a mistake. I spent too much time sewing pages 
together, painting and gluing to make it sturdier. But I have kept it and been 
working on it none-the-less as sort of a diary-for-when-I-make-a-real-one.

The four hours to make it back to the ranch gave me time to reflect and think about the 
future. Hope all is well where ever you are!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Theres Gold in them thar Hills

Moss Cottage 2013

After what seemed endless hours of driving through miles of  ribbon highways and low mountain ranges (I call them piles of ancient dinosaur dung) I arrived again at the enchanting Moss Cottage in the LA hillside. 

My job while here is to cat nanny the amazing wonder cats Wyatt and Ms. Corky (who happens to share my nickname). 
                                   As you can see this is very labor intensive. 

There are a few other chores for me while the amazing is off to Amsterdam. Mostly I have plenty free hours to pour over Mary Ann's abundant and wonderful visual journals, catch up on my reading, do some sketching and of course an occasional nap or two. 

I am writing this on my I-Pad using an app called Blog Docs and I am not sure how it will look so I am keeping this short. Mary Ann and I connected yesterday via FaceTime and worked so well from probably more than 9000 miles that I am even more in love with this electronic gadget. 

One last photo before I go. They call this marine fog. This photo was taken in 2010 but is how it looked this morning. Santa Ana winds are scheduled for tonight.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Appalachian Sweet Wood Mountain Studio

Many moons ago I started a blog. It is a dysfunctional procrastinating mess due to many different distractions including social media, namely FACEBOOK and PINTEREST. I cannot promise anything (even to myself) that I will be less dysfunctional in the future but I am driven to write this post.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting my Aunt Dayne Edwards in Dickenson County VA. The reason for my return to the place I was born was a sad one - the loss of my beloved Uncle Bruce. My sister wrote a beautiful article about this that you can read HERE.

Having been enchanted by the wonderful works of wood art that she creates many years ago, it was the first time I visited her studio up close and personal. 

Apple Tree on the path to Sweet Wood Mountain Studio

How peaceful and wonderful to have a place such as this to work without computers, noise or distractions.

Here with my niece Sandra Colley Paquin about to show us the 1900's sewing machine she completely restored. 

Saws, drill presses, bits, lathes, and the wonderful smell of fresh sawdust and tung oil. All operated by this tiny dynamo of a woman. Under the sheet there is a restored organ that required hand carved missing pieces that I wish I had taken more photos of. 

Although this machine was found at auction it is the same treadle type my grandmother used. As Dayne said, "there is something so relaxing about using these machines". Not only did she restore the wood work on the cabinet, she replaced all the belts and missing parts (thanks to E-Bay)to get it in perfect working condition. 

A close-up of the art you see on the back wall above. The art she does is called:


Intarsia is a woodworking technique that uses varied shapes, sizes, and species of wood fitted together to create a mosaic-like picture with an illusion of depth. Intarsia is created through the selection of different types of wood, using their natural grain pattern and color (but can involve the use of stains and dyes) to create variations in the pattern. After selecting the specific woods to be used within the pattern, each piece is then individually cut, shaped, and finished. Sometimes areas of the pattern are raised to create more depth. Once the individual pieces are complete, they are fitted together like a jig-saw puzzle and glued to wood backing which is sometimes cut to the outline shape of the image. (From Wikipedia)

There are portraits of her grand children, my grandmother cooking beets outdoors, her parents feeding chickens or milking cows. I am amazed at the detail and how tiny some of the pieces are that she must cut to fit. Some of her scroll saw blades are as tiny as a needle. To me they are absolutely charming and wonderful.

While most of her works are not for sale she has pieces at the 

Hope you enjoyed the visit as much as I did. Thanks for the inspiration Aunt Dayne!