Tag Archives: Day

Foggy Sunday Drive


It was a foggy today, in the middle of a three-day weekend, and perfect for a Sunday drive.  I went to the Farmer’s Market and had a walk before we set out, heading for the small town of Graton in west Sonoma County.  It is located between Sebastopol and Occidental.

First stop: Willow Wood Market Cafe.  A friend recommended Willow Wood a few years ago and we had good memories from our first visit. We put our name down for a table then took a look at a few of the sculptures at Graton Gallery, a few doors down.



Once seated at Willow Wood, it wasn’t hard for me to decide what I was going to have. One of their specialties is polenta.  It shows up on the breakfast menu with butter and maple syrup (yum).  It was even more enticing on the lunch menu with sauteed spinach and coppa, cambazola toast (a creamy blue cheese that is like blend of brie and Gorgonzola), the polenta, roasted tomato and (not very) soft boiled egg.


I ordered that and went on to say “I’d like some whipped cream” when what I meant was hot chocolate with whipped cream!  It was served in a big bowl.


After our late breakfast, we strolled around Mr. Ryder Antiques, a shop with a nice variety of art, vintage items and antiques from several different dealers.  It is where we found the star for our Christmas tree a few ago and the beautiful old book that became my first Art Journal.


This time, the only item I bought was a card of old mother-of-pearl buttons.

To support my renewed efforts to get 10,000 steps in every day, Rem agreed to a stroll on the nearby West County Regional Trail.



We saw other walkers including several with dogs, a barking beagle in a backyard adjacent to the trail, a guy on a skateboard, a number of people on bikes, a squirrel,  a robin and a woodpecker.

And an Old Crow (bottle) in a tree.


Next we drove through some pretty scenery and on to Occidental.  We searched unsuccessfully for a geocache, but found this group of turkey vultures.


In town: more browsing through shops.  Although I saw a variety of beautiful objects, I wasn’t tempted to buy anything to take home.  This striking mural is painted on the side of a building.


If you’ve ever driven through the Sebastopol area, you’ve probably enjoyed some of the fun and funky metal sculptures made by artists Patrick Amiot and Brigette Laurent.  We saw several of their pieces in Occidental, including this guy on top of a downtown trash bin.


I surpassed my 10,000 steps* for the day as we walked around Occidental, past several of the Italian restaurants known for their family style dining and extensive menus; the Union Hotel and Negri’s.


Our final stop before heading home was the Wild Flour Bread in Freestone.  They’d been closed for their Winter Break from December 30 to January 15.  I’m glad they were open today, because their bread is really delicious.  We got some biscotti for the drive home, Herb Goat-Cheese Flat Bread to eat with soup for dinner, and a loaf of Egyptian (Pear, Fig, Candied Ginger) to start the day tomorrow.  They have a wood-fired brick oven and offer generous samples of their goodies so you can try before you buy.


Thank you for your visit.

* 7-day step total: 74,466



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Chalkboard Mother’s Day Card

Chalkboard Card w/Envelope

Happy Mother’s Day!  I usually manage to post something about Mother’s Day before the actual day but not this time.

I had several ideas for a Mother’s Day card. I’m not going to mention the other ones because I may use one next year.

Hope Chest 6x6 Paper

I found this pretty “Hope Chest” 6×6 paper pack by Josephine Kimberling and decided to go with the idea of a Chalkboard card and use this paper.  I really like the colors and designs.

Handwritten sentiments on chalkboard backgrounds have been a popular trend for a while.  I thought the black and white would balance the sweetness of the pretty paper collection.

All the White Pens

To start, I dug out various white pens, pencils, crayons and even water color and made a sample of each on black card stock.  My greeting would be the “chalkboard” part of the card.

Samples from White Pens

Then I looked through my rubber stamps and found a cute oval frame.  I stamped it on black paper using VersaMark ink followed by white embossing powder.  The rest is hand lettered.

I embellished the greeting with some flowers and flourishes and some ruled lines.  Most of the white is done with the uni-ball Signo pen and the DecoColor pen but I also used the white Prismacolor pencil.  Some details were filled in with colored Prismacolor pencils as well.

Card Elements

I glued the black card stock with the greeting onto a piece of printed turquoise paper and used wavy scissors to cut around the the edge.  Coral-rose card stock is the base card and I picked out some washi tape and a pink doily. I cut out flowers from the Hope Chest paper and was ready to assemble the card.

Washi tape

The inspiration for the card layout was right on the back cover of the 6×6 paper pack.  I didn’t have all the same elements, but a very similar finished product.  I started with strips of washi tape.


More washi for a border.  I know must of this was eventually covered up, but some of it still shows.

Then I started layering on the doily and the flowers.  The last ones were adhered with foam dots for some depth.  A stick-on pearl was the final embellishment.

Finished Card + Envelope

I’d cut out more flowers than would fit on the card, so used one on the envelope.

The inside of the card has less detail, but follows the same pattern with a chalkboard greeting, some washi tape and some flowers.

Happy Mother's Day card inside

As usual, I finished it off with my little combined “df” on the back and, in this case, a white embossed flower.


I think it is important to sign your creations.

Closer Card

I’m pleased with this Chalkboard Mother’s Day Card and I think you’ll see more chalkboard designs in the future.

I’m also really happy that at the age of 54, my mom still puts my artwork up on her fridge!

Fridge Art

Thanks, Mom! I love you.

Thanks you for stopping by.

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Valentine’s Day Wrap-Up

Vintage Valenine Tag

Valentine’s Day 2014 has come and gone but I’m still feelin’ the love.

As you may recall, I participated in a Handmade Valentine Card swap from my friend Carson’s blog, Pine & Plum. Here are cards I received from the swap, plus a few other sweet missives I was lucky enough to get.  The cute vintage style tag at the top of the post was used for a note with one of the swap cards.  It was fun doing the swap and seeing all the creative cards.

2014 Swap Cards

My friend Shook gave me a beautiful pair of Valentine collages that she made:

Shook's Collages

I made her a green Valentine (look here for the post with the picture from her green Valentine last year) because she loves green.

Green Valentine

Rem and I exchanged cards.  He did paper strip hearts on the one he made for me (and he didn’t even look at my blog post with the instructions!)

Our Cards

Last weekend I brought a bunch of crafting supplies over to my sister Kathleen’s house so her little sister Ariel could work on a batch of Valentine’s.  We’ve been doing this for quite a few years now and I’m always glad when she still wants to do it.

Valentines with Ariel 2.14

Someone else wanted to see what we were doing. Kathleen’s cat, Xander, was cranky because it was raining out and he wanted to go outside but didn’t like getting wet.

Xander Looking

He decided he wanted up to be up on the table where we were crafting.

Xander  on the table

I didn’t find time to write posts for some of the projects I made, so I have to be content that I have more to share with you when Valentine’s Day rolls around again.

Rem and I usually exchange a project that we create and over the years we have accumulated quite a little gallery of Art from the Heart items.  This year I suggested we work on one together.  I’d seen something I wanted to try (yes, on Pinterest, of course) and so we did it together.

Light of My Life

It was fun working on this together (you can find the DIY here on Design Sponge) and we’re both happy with the result.

Art Projects Gallery

Here it is on the wall with some of the other projects from over the years.

Thank you for the visit. ♥


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Day 30: The Cover

The Cover

Day 30: The Cover.

Whew.  I made it. Day 30.  None too soon. I’m ready to wrap this project up!

I had several sources of inspiration for the cover.  I wanted to try using a new medium and honor the local Italian Street Painting festival in San Rafael that ran this weekend.  For two days artists create beautiful works of art on the pavement using chalk.  At the end of the event, the streets are washed and reopened for traffic.  The works of art remain only in photos and memories.

So I used chalk (and no, I’m not going to wash the book off tomorrow) and decided on sunflowers for my main image.  I had a picture from the Farmer’s Market that I looked at as well as other images I found online

Farmer's Market Sunflowers

Sunflowers Online

I also wanted to include a variation of this image I found on Pinterest.

Some Inspiration

My “canvas” was the boring cover of the Art Journal that I just completed filling all the pages of yesterday.


ho hum

I used a strip of paper to cover the binding because the title was embossed  and I didn’t want it to show in the finished product.

Now the trouble started.  I’ve never used colored chalk and I really can’t draw worth a damn.  I don’t know how to do shading and highlighting except in theory.

Box O' Pastels

A nice collection.

Of course, not quite like these, at the Italian Street Painting:

Lots o' Pastels

But kids did it at the festival.  It couldn’t be that difficult, right?

Kid ArtistGreen HIlls Orange SunRed Sun, Blue Eyes

Green Islands, Blue WaterGo Pride!Older Kid Artist

I wasn’t trying to do anything as grand in beauty and scale as any of these:

Picture Girl with Wine The inspiration.

The Street Painting

The Street Painting.

Painting for 2013

This beautiful painting was the poster art for the event this year and it too was turned into a street painting.

Luna Mural

I really didn’t know what I was doing and I got chalk dust all over my hands and arms.  It really made me appreciate the efforts of all the artists even more.

This was a really hot weekend for San Rafael and they were sitting or kneeling on the asphalt in the sun.  It is hot in our apartment, but I was sitting at a desk with a fan blowing on me.



I layered colors, I smudged, I made a bit of a mess.  In the end, I came up with something that I thought was fine.  Kind of murky, but still recognizable as some sunflowers.  I also used some permanent marker and pencil on the swirled circles and water-soluble oil crayons.  A coat of Mod Podge and the whole thing was set.

Front Cover

Back Cover

I covered all of June in this Art Journal and since I started the book in May, it seemed right to include both months.

May June

Best of all, I’m going to finish before midnight! Rah.

For my final day of 30 Days of Creativity last year, I made a Macrame Bracelet.

For Day 30 the previous year I made delicious Honey Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce.

Thank you, thank you for all the support, comments and encouragement.  It really helps to have that kind of feedback.  I appreciate everyone who has come to check out even one post.


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Day 28: collage sand gild stamp

Collage Sand Gild Stamp

Day 28: Collage Sand Gild Stamp.

I’m really pleased with this spread.  It’s late and I’m tired, but I love how it turned out.

We went to the Exploratorium today, Rem, my mom and I.  It is a huge, hands-on museum that we could not possibly absorb in one visit.

The obligatory photo opportunity at the clever Toilet Fountain:

Toilet Fountain

Black light.  Mom and I both wore black and white striped t’s.

Black Light

Tidal tubing – shows the level of the tide for every hour.

Tidal Tubes

When I saw THIS piece, I knew it would inspire my entry for today.  It is SO wonderful.  I am so sorry not to have the name of the artist.

Grid Sign

It was in the Tinkering Studio which has supplies and project you can do on the spot.  I didn’t want to spend 30 minutes there on a project, but I brought home instructions on doing paper circuits with copper tape, tiny surface mount LEDs and coin cell batteries.  Very interesting!

So, all I needed to do was make my small Art Journal version of the sign. But we still had a lot more to see at the museum.


Plastic hanger chandelier.

Hanger Chandelier


Colored Lights

Multiple Shadows.

Rem & Shadows

The Fog Bridge was lovely and cool on this hot, sunny day.

Fog Bridge

After lunch at the Ferry Building Marketplace and the ferry back to Larkspur, I ended up succumbing to a nap.

Finally, I started my journal pages. First I had to figure out the size and number of squares, then what words I would use, then I started cutting,






and painting.


And now it is done and way past time for bed.

collage knot tear

stamp paint embellish

Here is what I came up with a year ago on Day 28: Rem and I collaborated on a Video showing Marbleized Paper.

The year before that it was: Bottle Cap Necklace, another collaboration because Rem snagged the caps for me.

As always, thanks for checking out my blog!


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Day 27: Do Something Creative

Inside Front Cover

Day 27: Do Something Creative. This is my inside front cover which, in this book, is pretty much like my title page.

I was thinking about what I wanted and knew I wanted to have my name on it – in essence, this is where I’m signing my work.


I looked at my desk and saw several sheets of grid paper, paper I use under my projects.  In part to cover up my work surface but also to scribble on, test a pen, try out a font, stamp ink off a rubber stamp, test a color, or put a wash of pigment down with a water soluble oil crayon and water that I can pick up with a brush and use on a page.

So these sheets of paper are both desk protector and palette.   They had all sorts of interesting swaths of color, bits of washi tape, smears and scribbles and random words.

My Art Journal

I decided that pieces of the grid paper, with their bright colors and detritus from many of the projects in the book, would be the perfect paper to use for my “title” page.

Borrowing the slogan from The Paper Source, I wrote out the quote on a scrap of paper and colored in some of the letters.

“Do Something Creative Every Day!”


The exclamation mark is mine.  I also added an asterisk and the word “often” below the quote because I know that sometimes life gets in the way and it can be a real challenge to do anything EVERY day.

Inside cover, right side

I added my blog address on the right side.  The word “love” and the word “homemade” were already on the grid paper.


Mod Podge was my collage medium – I just brushed it on the back of each piece of paper and some down on the surface of the page, placed the paper where I wanted it and brushed some more over it.


I really enjoyed creating this page from paper that I normally throw away when it is either too sticky with glue or coated with paint to be effective.

For Day 27 last year, I did a spread on creativity in my Image Journal, the precursor to my current Art Journaling.

The year before I made these Photo Cards.

Thank you for your visit.


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Day 26: Birds in Flight: Blackout Poem & Collage

Day 25: Birds in Flight: Blackout Poem & Collage.

Birds in Flight

I thought I was in really good shape.  I started work on my collage during my lunch break.

Crafting at Lunch

But I didn’t get it all done.  When I work late on a project, it’s difficult to get good pictures.  So, tired and a bit frustrated, I went to bed without posting.

The pictures this morning are much better.

Blackout Poem

In both previous 30 Days of Creativity I attempted a Blackout Poem and failed.  I first saw Austin Kleon’s work a few years ago and it is deceptively simple (isn’t that true of good, classic stuff?) Just take a page of newspaper or a magazine article or whatever and cross out the stuff that you don’t need.

Pretty much how Michelangelo worked too:

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

I know it is a little tricky reading some of the photo above, so here is my very first blackout poem:

Birds in the air

fly with a burst of energy

we have gone quiet


I move closer to them

they leave, one by one,


Birds in Flight instructions

The collage, with a bird theme (again, I know), came first.  This little piece about sketching birds in flight, some paper printed with feathers and a bird postage stamp are part of the background.  But the collage only took up one side of the page.  So I tried again at creating a blackout poem and finally managed to complete one!  Give it a try.

Another Bird

This was also an attempt to follow guidelines of A Collage A Day blogger, artist and author, Randel Plowman.  I took a quick thumb-through look at his book The Collage Workbook: How to Get Started and Stay Inspired.  More on this later!

Recycling themes for the last two years: Day 26 last year: Recycled Page Gift Bow.

And the previous year – the very cool: Fused-Plastic-Bag Pouches and Tote.

Thanks for the visit!

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