Friday, November 15, 2013

My Wildflower Cards

Ruth's Table and Etsy are having an event this weekend which I cannot attend.  I thought I would contribute to Ruth's Table these cards I made.  The original pen drawings were done on letterpress cardstock and copied onto letterpress card stock to make mutiples.  I realized that the time I spent on each was too lengthy so I put my copier to good use.  The wildflowers are from my small farm, Um Tanto Bravo (a little wild), in Portugal. Here are a few examples.
Here I have finished them and are packaging them for sale.  I used Sakura Micron pens for all of my drawings.

The only greeting card...all are blank inside.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Too Much To Do

This is the mess on my work table.  To much stuff to think straight.  To much to do and so little time to do it.  I am working on stuffs for SCRAP-sf Sunday Craft Fair, Day of the Dead celebration, birthday party and Halloween. This is only half of the mess.  The other half is on my sewing machine.
Finished the mailing for some of the members of the Correspondence Co-op, that was lead by Jennie Hinchcliff, that I belong.  Half Day of the Dead and half Halloween.  I did not have a large B so I put two Ds together.  The mailing is the mask that can be decorated, cut and with an added elastic, worn for either day.  I love the little stamp that says,'mail some art today and feel better'. Now to finish more stuff!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baptism dress for the youngest Granddaughter

After spending time looking for a dress from bridal salons to Communion and quinceano stores in the Mission district, I finally ended up making this dress for Gia.  Her Great Grandmother, Yaya, in Ohio is arranging for her baptism.  Everything had to be white and new..undershirt, socks, shoes, bonnet and dress. 
Fitting muslin and first cuts

...sewing the extra bows to the bodice...

...almost finished, and now to make the bonnet and add more bows to the sleeves....

Finished, bonnet and all those bows..what little girls are made's ready to go.

Polymer Clay Books

What a great time I had with Dayle Doroshow at her polymer clay workshop making surfaces for books.  She is so inspiring and fun.  Here are the few I made:
Fronts of books. I must have been in a water, asian you see the frog, Asian eyes and gold fish with Japanese symbols?

Pages, accordian style variations.

This is a pin I finished after learning how to blend black with metallic silver...very simple but effective.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Visigothic Versals

I had a wonderful time at a Friends of Calligraphy workshop with Risa Gettler. She taught her version of Visigothic Versals.
She has been studying this form for many years, traveling through out the ancient Visigothic areas in Europe.
I learned so much from her. She is very engaging and fun.  Here are my attempts. I will be finishing the piece by redoing everything and learning more while I am doing it.
One drop can ruin the whole day, as Risa said.  This happened on my second attempt to do my piece.
My table of stuff to do my piece. 

My unfinished versal from Dr. Seuss.The zoomorphic is the 'F' that will be painted and gilded.

This is the first color draft, must do again to resolve the attribution to Dr. Seuss.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sierra Gorda Biosphere

I spent two weeks in Mexico teaching several communities with projects to help them become self sustaining.  I also taught some of the environmental teachers a project which they can take to the schools to teach the children using recycled materials.  It is such a rewarding experience every time I go there.  All are so appreciative for what little I can pass on to them. 
I had 5 teachers and some of their children attending a Saturday session to learn how to make cola pens with recycled soda cans and how to use them to make greeting cards.

The ladies of the Colgada village.  This is just one of the days out of the five days I taught.  We made crochet hats, paper flowers, embellishments for weddings, quince anos, baptisms and first communions, made recycled items using newspapers, plastic bottles and old maps.

This is the group from Manzanita.  They make baskets out of pine needles.  We discussed new designs.  We also covered how to make crochet hats and recycle plastic bottles.  Due to the rain, they could not get enough pine needles for the baskets and wanted an alternative project.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summit at Colorado Springs

The International Calligraphy Conference - Summit, took place in Colorado Springs last week.  It was a wonderful week of learning and camaraderie.  What a beautiful venue at Colorado College.
I took the 5 1/2 day workshop with the famous Calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander  I had heard so much about him, especially the part about everyone crying in his class.  I wasn't sure if it was his teaching style or if he was a task master and strict.  I thought he was wonderful.  He seemed to be genuinely interested in what you had to say and had such wonderful creative ideas to express what each of us wanted in the beginnings of our 'book'.  Not only did we have to delve into some of our emotions, that were sometimes suppressed and revealed through our tears, but we had to find a way to use our artistic abilities to convey those feelings.  It was a tremendous amount of work and no one finished, but now have an idea to continue to complete the stories.  Here are a few photos from the week.
Sunset towards Pikes Peak, walking to our apartment.

Brody showing how to abuse quill pens.

A lesson prompt for one of our pages.
Class photo of lucky students with Brody.

Front or first page,  I realize that I did not illustrate it correctly..but will work on it.  Right, 3 different scripts for each part of our stories.

following pages....I began a stitching with different color threads and sewn through X for Xesco and Y for Yuki...

Opposite side of embroidered and cut out frames page to reflect the view of the first pages..

The pages seem to come together serendipitously... this from being blind and having a partner to guide the placement of a tool but not the movement of it and tie into it our word prompt.

The right side of this layout was a prompt from Brody to slowly change two of our chosen words from out text.  The left side was my attempt to camouflage a badly written script to illustrate part of my story.

Part of my written text on the left and a word picked from my text on the right...I started with dirty sumi water and slowly made each letter lighter in color for the word 'nowhere'.

The left page, before,was an unsuccessful attempt at writing 'last dance' with watered sumi ink to show tears..but the letters all blended together.  It was Brody's suggestion to cut out stylized letters.  The right page was done with two different prompts by Brody .. seemingly not related to one another.

This photo is of two pages, one with the free script at the top (another prompt from Brody) and a cutout window at the bottom, and the other, a view of a painting of the bird.  Hidden is the written script of the explanation of this view on the same page as the full painting.

Here is the photo of the table of examples from our class at Show and Share...Everyone did exceptional work and I think very content at their attempts.
My invented letter form to show nervousness and fright.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


ArtSeed is an organization to inspire and empower the young or underprivileged to realize their full potential and embrace diverse communities through participation in the arts.
Because of my Grandson, I became acquainted with ArtSeed and Josefa Vaughan, the Executive Director.  She requested that I may have something of art related to teach to young people.  I chose to teach them how to make their own pens out of printer's discarded litho plates or empty soft drink cans.  I also brought along sumi ink to try the pens out.  I was fortunate to have a friend, Greg Garcia of On Paper Inc, donate litho plates and lots of good paper.
Josefa Vaughan, executive director going over students plein aire work just before my class and mid morning hot chocolate.

The cola pen or soft drink can pen

The litho pen with written instructions I gave to each student.
The students for today's class.

These were the final finished note cards they made with embossed framing (additional lesson). I gave them an envelope so that they could used it to send or give away.  The pen exercise produced wonderful strokes and I think they were all pleased.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Inspiration from Yukimi Annaud

For five days, 20 participants of Friends of Calligraphy and I learned and were inspired from well know artist and calligrapher, Yukimi Annaud.  We worked very hard and made lots of texts and textures.  I think I went through over 80 pieces of paper. I look forward to doing it again.
Here are a few of my attempts:

practice piece with pencil, black fluid acrylic and white fluid acrylic...

Making our own letters with a parallel attempt.  

An practice piece made with my letters..(red indicates where I would put my chop, if I had one)
Monoline letters to make a texture..just a beginning
From our photos we brought in of things we saw that were interesting textures, my sidewalk photo inspired this folded pen text writing....yes, there is text......puffs of ochre were plants within the cracks of the sidewalk....After I finished did I see the profile of a woman....

With inspiration from a photo of plants, I produced this text with brush and sumi ink. Yes, there is text.
With squares cut from rejected pieces, I glued a book binding string, given to me by Lily Stevenson, between it and other rejected squares, to make this small hanging, each square is 2" x 2".

From a practice sheet of sumi ink and FW acrylic ink with brush, resulted in this triptych.

Also from a practice sheet of brushed gesso, I made this collage piece....The sprinkles of red squares were suggested by Yukimi..I had already put down the thin line of red and knew it needed something else...She solved it!
Yukimi suggested we make a book of all our work and had us make black covers with whatever we wished on the front.  It was held together with clips she provided.  This is mine with marks made with balsa stick and white liquid acrylic.