Friday, December 29

winter wonderland

i am still trying to decide if i want to blog.
i do enjoy reading other blogs and love the wonder and enchantment
to be found in the blogland, but. . .

i only have a tiny bit of time just for me. i have to decide what i want to do with it.

meanwhile these are photos of the tiny charms i made for our winterwonderland charm exchange.
me and 3 girls from art and soul.

and the pile of snow we have been enjoying.

Wednesday, November 15

florida still life

i spent the weekend in florida with my mom and two sisters. it was an absolutely perfect couple of days wandering the beaches, kayaking the intercoastal

waterways, exploring myaka state park and talking late into the night together.
with three of us snapping photos we have such great pictures of our trip. these are a few still pictures i took of the cool things at the house of kris and chris and of the treasures i gathered at the beach.

Thursday, November 2

Hallows Eve

It was a dark and spooky night. . .
all the ghouls and goblins were about

after a full week of decorating, parties, dressing up, and dry ice bubbling in cauldrons we finally celebrated Halloween Night with costumes, candy and a big pot of homemade soup with breadsticks. It was our best Halloween ever!
unfortunately, halloween is now 363 days away.

Wednesday, October 25

birthday girl

one great big happy birthday wish to my wonderful sister Katherine!
this is her dressed up in my marge simson halloween costume.
i had my camera with me the day i dropped the costume off for her to wear to a party and when she tried it on she just started hamming it up.
we were both laughing so much it was hard to hold the camera still.

you are still the one i want to be with when a smile on a stick is truly necessary!
much love. julie


trying some techniques i learned in carla's class using my own style. I have had fun doodling around.
this series of kids was started with some scribbly doodling i did on a program. i have been trying a bunch of different combinations of paints and ink to test out the effect.

i am liking the kid-ness of it all. maybe i just don't like to make grown-up art.
the watercolor paper is gorgeous! I would definitely order it again. Fabriano hot press watercolor paper from dick blick.
the new pen i have been using is a Faber Castell PITT superfine black felt tip pen. it writes on pastel, acrylic, and watercolor beautifully without clogging up.

it is one of those cold october nights where the sleet is pelting the windows and i am feeling warm and snuggly inside. i plan to cook a tasty dinner, pop everyone in their jammies, then sit up late with some hot tea and my art papers to play.

Thursday, October 19

Art and Soul. .day 1

It was such a wonderful couple of days at Art and Soul in Portland! I am unpacked and settling in to my life again. I want so much to have a bit more time to experiment with what I learned. I am so glad I took some photographs of the works in progress! Even though I was frustrated dragging my big camera around. The nice tiny sony hit the cement and it was changed forever. alas.

Day 1 was my class with Carla Sonheim. You can see more of her work and see a link to her blog and etsy here:
She is a wonderful person and amazing artist. I learned more in this class than any other. We made a book about our kids and practiced drawing and painting. Carla layers marker, gesso, acrylics, watercolors, twig charcoal, and pen.
It was facinating to try her style and incorporate it all together.
Here is the cover open in the middle of the steps. I really didn't think I could pull it together. It looks so ugly at this stage, but the photo gives you an idea of the ordering of layers. We were painting on canvas paper for the cover.

For the inside pages we practiced several types of drawing: one line drawings, sketching without looking, and drawing with our left hand. This page of Burke I was especially happy with. Both the colors and the image carved into the paint.

Saturday, September 30

i really want a party

i found these cool halloween tally cards at my fav antique store. there are six of them in the pack, two of each design. of course i am wanting to make invites for a halloween themed art night for all my artgirl friends. i have great plans for this art group that meets quarterly. a whole evening of art. show and tell of the amazing things we are working on, great things we have found, little trades for everyone, tasty things to eat. . .of course dark chocolate, and the time to talk about everything with each other. we would stay up late into the night creating, laughing, and then finally packing up and driving home feeling alive again.
i tried two times this last year to get something really going. it is hard, everyone is so busy. i'm not sure what to try next. . .hey gals, i really want a party!!

Thursday, September 28

turn away thine eye

i ran over my neighbors cat last night. the shock and anguish. i was helpless there in the road as the cat writhed in pain with its thick red blood pooling on the black asphalt. my daughter looked out the back window of the car and screamed, then covered her face. "turn away thine eye from deaths last struggle"
the woman was so kind to me, her little children had tears streaking down their cheeks as they came to the door. i am so sorry i said over and over. the man lifted the small cat carefully into a box and closed the lid.

i am tired of black now.

Tuesday, September 26

vintage speedball

i found this vintage speedball carving set at a yard sale last summer and have had such fun with it. i started a black eye page in my little black book and needed a great big eye for my design, so i carved one! as i was surfing around on flickr at some of the groups for hand carved stamps i found these carved stamps by carambatack . (someone let me know if the link works, i'm a beginner!)

she is from norway and has posted such beautiful pictures of her homeland and her art. i really like how she created a background and details for her overall designs.

it is such a perfect day. i can't decide what to do first. i made yummy french toast with fresh strawberries for breakfast and treated myself to a lovely half hour of surfing other peoples art. lovely. i think baby girl and i will have a long soaky bath.

Saturday, September 23

black magic

And deadlier, curse more dread. . .
a new page from my little black altered book. fitting for halloween don't you think.
the book is an old copy of scott's lady of the lake. it is only 3 3/4" X 5 3/4" so it is little and fun to work in. it has a publishing date of 1920.
the full spread

i'll have to keep the left side with only black ink drawings and text as i used modge podge over the black paint and cutouts. don't want the pages to stick together. done that.
the cool photo came from a net friend i met on flickr that i did a trade with this summer. she sent me some of her favorite black and white vintage photos from her collection scanned to a disc and i had them printed. i want to try copying them on vintage papers to see how they turn out.

every page has a black theme:
black eye, black spot, blackbeard, black look, black and blue, pitch black, black mail, black cat, black hole, little black dress, black sheep, black-hearted, black and white. . .
send me your blackest ideas. thanks

Friday, September 22

halloween treats

i have been dying to make some halloween stuff. i found some very cool papers and paint to get started.
first i dig through all my junk and pull out anything black, orange, or spooky. since last year i have found some irridescent black feathers and some terrific black and white photos to work with. the first thing i want to do is some witches with old photos.
i have a tiny black altered book that is all about black. it needs some new entries. for now, here are some fun halloween pics to get you in the mood.

the house is jacks from the nightmare before christmas. batgirl made it last year when i was making tiny christmas houses.

Thursday, September 21

my family

i went to bed with a sore throat last night. i guess i finally got what everyone else has had. of course now i am much more sympathetic. i have drunk cocoa, cider and downed a couple halls honey and lemon throat drops. still feel yuck. i'm glad it is overcast and dismal outside. it feels good to move slow today.
i have not sat down with my ideas to create anything for so long. it makes me sad.
today i am letting the dishes go so i can work in my kids journals. i save little things they have drawn or notes of what they have said to glue inside. i am feeling rather melancholy lately about my 4 year old growing up so fast. when she takes my hand and whispers something to me or i hear her talking to the kitten while they are playing and peek in to see what she has built for kittens house i feel like this time is slipping away from me. she is the last little one to trace her hand on a little placemat for lunch or crawl in bed with me dragging a ratty worn out blankie and a pile of books we have read over and over to snuggle tight in against me.
kissahug dad, she says before he leaves in the morning and then squeezes her little arms around his neck to give him a good-bye kiss. muffin sits downstairs in my office with me when i work during the day. she drags a little table and chair in and loads it with paper and paints and all things to create with. i had saved this picture she made of our whole family to go in her journal. she loved picking out the fabric and ribbon to go with it and watched carefully as i sewed her picture around and around with yellow thread. we both love it! scarry how accurate some of the features are on all of us. xo. . . . .

Monday, September 18

first snow

saturday morning
the first snow of the year. the air was unbeleivable, sharp and clean. the views of the fall leaves at each bend in the road were breathtaking. i rode my regular ride up the hobble creek canyon trail as fast as i could and then without even changing out of my biking shoes i raced back up the canyon in the car with my camera hoping to catch a moment of the fall sun breaking through the clouds long enough for me to capture its radiance on the fall leaves.
this stretch of trees is at the base of the mountains where our family has a cabin. the view over the groomed green of the golf course is one of my favorites in the fall. you can just see the dusting of the first snow on the top of the mountain.
every year i watch the snow line as it creeps down the mountain, finally washing over our house and traveling out into the valley leaving everything outlined in white.

the mornings are dark now and the sky is filled with stars while frost sweeps over the soccer fields behind our house. then the sun will shine its remarkable golden light in the late afternoon for just a few more days, lingering, to remind me of our summer.

Thursday, August 31


ok, so this new schedule is kicking our butts!
batgirl crashed out on the couch in the middle of everything yesterday. we are all feeling the drain of early mornings, homework, football and soccer games, and the general dashing around that leaves the house (kitchen in particular) in the wake of utter disaster! today i just want curl up in the lovesak with babygirl in our jammies and watch a movie. that would mean the laundry and dishes and clutter upstairs would just become the fossilized lower layer to the next batch of fallout that will settle at 3:00pm this afternoon after everyone comes home again.
hmmmmmmm, what to do. . . . .
the color version of this photo shows off batgirls fab black and fushia belt, but also gives a clear view of our couch which is NOT fabulous. it is the second hideous couch we have owned, the first being a 7 foot blue and green sculpted velvet floral thing that my aunt gave us when we first got married. the aunt that still paints on her eyebrows to look like the mcdonalds arches.
so you see why i dream of smooth leather conversation groupings as seen in pottery barn.

Tuesday, August 29

4:30 am!!

it is dark at 4:30 am.
but, if you want to be up on the lake when the fish are biting you will have to get up
e a r l y !!
grandpa vern took me and burke fishing to celebrate his 10th birthday.
happy day buddy, we love you!

this is by far the biggest fish i have ever caught. we caught four this size plus 16 more 'out of the water' as burke puts it. we lost a few reeling in. i get excited and start reeling too fast. like a maniac really.
i can't believe i didn't take a picture of the fog rolling over the water at dawn. well, we were fishing. it is serious business this fishing. especially since someone was always reeling in a fish, or looking for the pliers to flip a fish back in the drink.
my dad can really fish. back at the fish cleaning station two guys were oggling our fish having been out all morning without even a bite! dad sold them four of his own lures. he designed them after a great lure my grandpa sabin gave him. he hammers out the blanks and curves them for some great action, then adds a strip of holographic tape to catch the light.
we all came home tired and a bit sunburned with fish goo on our clothes, but smiling.

Friday, August 25

a little princess

it is wonderful to have a princess around when you need one.

Thursday, August 24

down right gritty

so many beautiful blogs out there. i even read a few every day even though it bugs me to see their names on my bookmark bar. their photos are gorgeous, (i know how long it takes to set up a shot) their children are smiling, their houses are decorated with a theme even and apparently they make beautiful art all day.
sometimes when i am running i dream of posting horrible gross pictures just to remind people out there that our lives are not even supposed to be this lovely perfection. lots of life is down right gritty.
that is my explanation for the following photos. they are part of my collection of 'that is the worst public bathroom i have ever seen file' i know you are surprised i even have a file like that and am even taking the time to blog about it.

however, today i celebrate all plumbing in honor of my sister who knocked down her fence bulldozed over a peach tree and plowed through her garden only to spend the entire day digging up her backyard looking for a blockage in her plumbing. the following are scenes from our last family vacation. right after our car broke down we were towed to this lovely roadside RV park for the evening.
there are times when even the worst public bathroom is greeted with appreciation.

the door does give a bit away doesn't it.

then there is the leaning toilet with absolutely no paper available.

the shower does seem to have a bit of style with the jaunty purple and white striped curtain.

as you exit please close the door. thank you and come again.
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