Saturday, December 10, 2016

Black coffee in a white cup

Today I'm joining Valerie, this month's host at Art Journal Journey, with her theme of light and darkness.   I'm also joining the fabulous artists at Moo-Mania and More, with their theme of tea or coffee.

I created this piece stole this idea from Chrissie at Jumbled Crafts.  Granted, she had a white cup and a black cup, but I only had one (and have no sense of how to make digital art).  Maybe I should say she "inspired" this entry.

In case you can't read it, my sentiment is "Black coffee is perfect in a white cup while playing games."  And because it's so corny, you know I made it up!

The materials I used include a background I found in a magazine (it's really buildings and a street scene lit at night with a dock in the foreground), a coffee cup found in a magazine, a crossword puzzle taken from a book, a bingo card, and some washi tape.  I kept the black and white theme throughout.

I want to apologize to those of you who left lovely comments that I have not returned the visit.  I've been up nearly 24 hours, and still can't catch up.  Why I decided to create this journal page rather than create some overdue gifts is beyond me.  I'm not sure if it's because this sounded like more fun, or my gift making is not faring too well this year.

Regardless, please join me at Art Journal Journey and Moo-Mania and More with your respective light and darkness and coffee or tea themes.  Thanks for visiting, thanks for leaving lovely comments, and now it's time for me to head to bed.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Finishing one gift and Thanksgiving at my friend Scott's home

Don't you just hate it when someone halfway completes a project, then promises to show it soon?  I put aside the tiles I created for my friend Kathy, and you can read about how I started them here back on November 23, if you like.

Several suggested I try heating the tiles to even out the floor wax I poured globed over the tiles.  Of course, I was hoping the wax wouldn't heat up, because these tiles should be able to hold hot drinks and plates.  As I assumed, the wax was totally unaffected by my heat tool that I left on long enough to know the wax was not going to even out.  So now it was on to the next step.

I looked everywhere (and I mean everywhere) in my basement studio for my wooden knobs I purchased several years ago and only used once to make a trivet for myself out of a large decorative tile that sits in my kitchen.   When I couldn't find the knobs, I resorted to the next best thing: empty thread spools.  As you can see, I painted them back in November when I thought I could complete the project much sooner than I actually could due to slow drying time.

Now it was time to adhere them to the large trivet.   I learned from my mistake that if I use a glue gun, the "universal" glue doesn't hold when the trivet heats if a hot pan or dish is placed on it.  So this time I used E6000 silicone adhesive.

I had to situate the spools because some of the grout had been left on the tile (which had been used) and I didn't want the tile to be lop-sided.  Then I set it aside to allow the adhesive to dry.

I needed two pieces of craft felt and the only color I had two of was black.

I used Ultimate! and got a bit too much in spots.

This is the first one I completed.

All are finished and in the process of drying next to my heater in the craft room.  Now you know how I finished these today.

But, to overload this post, I thought I would also share Thanksgiving day at my friend Scott's house.

Scott's sister Trish (on the left) and I had just finished preparing several dishes and were waiting for the turkey and several other things to come out of the oven, so my green bean casserole and her broccoli cheese casserole, along with some pies that were not shown in the photo, could go in.  This is a coffee drinking family, so my ugly mug fit in well.  Scott's mother and father are also in the photo.

Trish, Scott's younger sister is not afraid to smile.  Yes, she's that tall!

Neither is Rusty, Scott's dad.

Scott, siting on the fireplace and Trish's husband Sean have cups of coffee in their hands, but Andrew, Scott's nephew is drinking a soda pop.  Scott's aunt and uncle on his mother's side are sitting with their backs to the camera.

Scott's niece (Trish's daughter) is just out of camera range, but one of their dogs is in the house and getting lots of attention.

Trish's son is on the couch.

Note the dividing wall and the mirror facing the table.   These people love their stairs.  There are four flights to this house, and it is huge.

Here is the dining room table right after it was set for dinner.

I really like the plates (they held a lot of food, too) and the autumn decorations.

The reason I only got photos from this end is because of that large mirror I showed before.

While the rest of the meal was in the oven, I spent time taking photos outside.

Scott and Sean were working on the generator

trying to get it to work.

I got bored watching them and decided to check to see if I was needed inside.

Nope!  It was just about meal time.  Time to wash up and call the fellas to the table.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of the meal or my plate, because once I washed my hands, I put my camera away and didn't even think about it until Scott decided to take a video on his phone.

Thanks for joining me today.  I'm glad I finally got one more gift finished and I'm looking forward to getting the rest of these photos sorted and maybe make a bit of art, too.  I am always grateful when you stop by, so I thank each of you for your support of my art and photos.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Today I'm joining Valerie, this month's host at Art Journal Journey, with her theme of light and darkness.

I give you Empowered, my first AJJ entry this month.

I had all kinds of names I could have given to this one, but decided on Empowered when I saw the word Empowering in a magazine. 

In true collage form,

I created this from various magazine images and one travel brochure.  I thought the background reflected both light and darkness, so used it along with the dress, light bulb, and shoes to reflect the word I found that I felt conveyed Valerie's theme.

Thanks for joining me this afternoon, as I head over to Art Journal Journey.  Also, thanks for your continued support of my art.

Second Thursday tutorial is on hiatus

My sincere apologies that the Second Thursday tutorial is on hiatus.  I actually tried to start something today, but was called away, and spent most of the day out and about, chasing down problems.  When I got home, I faced two loads of laundry, and one small load of hand washables.  So I have next to nothing to show, because I still don't have most of Thanksgiving's photos sorted.

Here is a photo I took for Valerie, showing our electricity poles.  You would think as windy as it is in Kansas, you would see wind farms, but that is simply not the case.  Our electricity comes from coal.

Thank you for understanding and your continued support of my art.  I hope to have the monthly tutorial by next Thursday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor: lest we forget

I try to remember Pearl Harbor every year, and last year I wrote a very long diatribe about what, in my opinion, led up to that battle.  If you are interested, please go here.   I won't repost it here, but I encourage you, if you have not yet seen it, to please read about how this beginning World War II battle with Japan can be traced back to 1852.

This year I went searching for less history, and more photos.  This one is from Home of Heroes.  What I learned shocked me.

Granted, I know some of you have been to Hawaii and have seen the U.S.S Arizona Memorial.  I, on the other hand, have not been there.

I've seen the Memorial on television, but never from the air.  I had no idea the Arizona could be seen so easily from this position.  Photo is from

This image, found on can be enlarged.  What surprised me was not only was there a USS Arizona Memorial, there was a USS Utah Memorial

and a USS Missouri Museum, which also can be seen to the left and below the USS Arizona on the satellite image.  I couldn't find the author of this photo.

Whether you live in the U.S. or somewhere else in the world, December 7, also known as Pearl Harbor Day is the day we Americans got into WWII.  There aren't many veterans left who survived that battle in which 2,403 Americans died and 1,178 were wounded.  I'm sure many of you have heard tales from either your parents or grandparents about WWII and how your country was affected, too.  So today let's remember those veterans who survived that attack and be respectful of all veterans of that war.  Soon, there will be no more of them left.

As always, I am grateful for your visit and appreciate your continued support of both my art and my remembrances.

Monday, December 5, 2016

T Stands For Chasing the Christmas Blahs

Several of my art pieces I made as gifts have not worked out as I wanted, plus, I haven't even started looking for ideas for a Second Thursday Tutorial, which will be due in two days.  

It's this time of year when we can become overwhelmed

with cooking

and decorating.  To get rid of those blahs, the best thing is

a double dose of chocolate!

This eclair that I got at the bakery is touted as being "New York Style."  Since I've never had an eclair in New York, I will just have to take their word for it.

This, however, is my own blend of hot chocolate and it is so good, I could drink it all day long.  Of course, if I did, I would be fatter than a hippo.

I start with Mexican chocolate I get at the specialty store, add Mexican vanilla, 1/2 and 1/2 (did I fail to mention this is not only decadent, but very fattening, too?) and cook on low heat in a double boiler until the chocolate is blended and the cocoa is hot.  Once in your favorite mug, or cup, add a dollop of freshly whipped cream (please don't use that nasty hydrogenated oil whipped cream substitute) and an optional candy cane.

Drink it quickly before the candy cane melts and slides to the bottom of the cup (please don't ask how I know!).

Now it's your turn to share your drink related post.   Any post is acceptable as long as you can relate it, in some way, back to a drink.  Think postcard, movie, fine art, poster art, sketches, digital, hybrid, or traditional art, unique teapots, your garden, or take us with you as you go out and about.   Photos do not have to be taken on Tuesday, but you must link below (direct links only, please) to ensure Bleubeard, the "T" gang, and I visit.  Or drop by to say hello and consider joining us for this weekly event this week or in the future.  We'd love to have you. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A tea inspired layered quiltlet

Today I'm joining two of my favorite challenge blogs with a single post.  Moo-Mania and More is asking us to make art of any kind, shape, size, or color as long as it's inspired by coffee or tea.  Likewise, although I'm almost too late for the party, Try it on Tuesday's latest theme is layers.  I may not have nearly as many layers as some, but I have a few at least.

This is my offering, a quiltlet, and I'm going to walk you through how I made it.

I began by creating a few tape transfers of birds.  I overlaid one tape transfer on a teabag holder.   Using Ultimate! glue, I then adhered those to the actual tea bag that came from the holder.

It's really hard to see the tea bag holder through the tape transfer in this photo.  I was also surprised how long it took the tea bag to dry so I could use it.

While the tea bag was drying, I painted a strip of white sheet I had torn to size.  I know how much the recipient likes these colors, so that's why I chose them.

Next I adhered the teabag and tape transfer assembly to the fabric.  So far, there are four layers.

To shift gears, I overdyed the grape juice fabric I made a few weeks ago with strong coffee and allowed it to dry.  By this time, my entire craft room smelled good.

Because I'm mailing this gift, I didn't want a lot of bulk.  Therefore, instead of adding batting between the front and back layers, I simply sewed circles around the back of the piece (a single layer) and added Bleubeard's and my names to the back.

Next, I sewed the two fabrics together using a zig zag stitch.  To make sure it would hang without flapping or flopping, I added a piece of Starbuck's stirrer stick.  You can see part of what I removed above the quiltlet.  Then I sewed it in place.

Finally, using my hole guide, I cut two holes using my Crop-a-dile and added the two fibers.

Once I scanned the piece, I was thrilled to see the tape transfer actually looked as good as it did in person.

Now all I have to do is send it flying on its merry way and hope it arrives on time.

Meanwhile, please join me at Moo-Mania and More for coffee and/or tea, and for a few more hours at Try it on Tuesday with your layers and layers.

Of course, I appreciate your visiting me, too.  You are always too kind and I am very grateful.