Saturday, May 24, 2008

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

We saw this lighthouse today, and yes, we climbed to the top - 214 steps. This one is interesting because it is one of the few unpainted lighthouses.

We also visited the Wright Brothers National Memorial today where we learned all about the first controlled powered flight on December 17, 1903, and a lot of what led up to that flight. It was really very interesting.

And finally we hiked a bit at The Nature Conservancy at Nags Head Woods.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Elizabethan Gardens

Today, we visited the Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island. I LOVE gardens - it gives me a chance to take flower pictures, which is one of my favorite kind of pictures to take:

I don't think I've ever seen green flowers before, but here they are:

I also couldn't resist taking pictures of these cool statues:

And then, there was this gazebo:

All in all, it was a pretty fun time.

Lighthouses of the Outer Banks

In case you couldn't tell from my last post, I have a thing for lighthouses. Because of that, I've wanted to see the Outer Banks for several years. We saw three lighthouses yesterday, and a fourth one today.

My favorite was Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Maybe because it was the only one we were allowed to climb to the top; maybe because it's the most famous lighthouse in America. But it was beautiful.

We also saw Ocracoke Island Lighthouse - we weren't allowed inside it.

And we saw Bodie Island Lighthouse - we weren't allowed inside it either.

And then we saw Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse - we went inside, but weren't allowed to climb to the top.

Tomorrow, we're going to see Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

Lighthouses of the Outer Banks

We visited these 3 lighthouses yesterday (May 22, 2008). I took photos of them and drew them from the photos. I'm quite pleased with the results; even DH said they were my best yet.

While we were waiting to get on the Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry, I did the title and set up the boxes, since I knew I would be painting 3 lighthouses.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Appalachian Trail

My son and daughter-in-law starting their hike on the Appalachian Trail. They plan to hike north from Harper's Ferry WV for about 6 weeks or so, hoping to make it to New York State.

We took them to Harper's Ferry and hiked about a mile with them this morning (May 21, 2008). Then they went on while we went back (to the car). We are now in Kill Devil Hills, NC, which is on the Outer Banks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Packing for a Trip

I really like my new suitcase that I've got all packed and ready to go in the morning.

The writing on the page says, "We are leaving in the morning to take Brian & Jessica to Harpers Ferry, WV, where they will start their hike on the Appalachian Trail. We will then go on to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

I bought this suitcase awhile back, and it's by far the best one I've ever owned."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory

I finished this book this morning. It was a very quick read - and quite fascinating. It is a memoir/art journal/inspirational book. Very hard to describe - but well worth reading whether you're an artist or not. You can read more about it on Amazon. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5.

The author has a wonderful yahoo group that I also belong to, which is here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This is an auto-biographical novel about a young woman's breakdown. The book opens with Esther Greenwood on an apprenticeship to a fashion magazine in New York. When she returns home, she is already deeply troubled. Her mother seems to believe she can just snap out of it. She tries to kill herself with sleeping pills and is found. She is institutionalized for six months.

Just before her release from the asylum, her doctor tells her that a lot of people will avoid her:

"My mother's face floated to mind, a pale, reproachful moon, at her last and first visit to the asylum since my twentieth birthday. A daughter in an asylum! I had done that to her. Still, she had obviously decided to forgive me.

" 'We'll take up where we left off, Esther,' she had said, with her sweet, martyr's smile. 'We'll act as if all this were a bad dream.'

"A bad dream.

"To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream."

I rate this book 3 out of 5.

Sample Journal Page 04

Mixed media surface using fusible webs from lesson 2.

Sample Journal Page 03

Dress pattern tissue from lesson 1.

Sample Journal Page 02

Torn paper surface from lesson 1.

Sample Journal Page 01

I finished the first four pages for my sample journal for my Mixed Media Surfaces class.

Tissue paper fabric from lesson 1. I'll post the other pages in separate entries.

EDM Challenge #100

Draw or paint a landscape.

I drove to Guthrie to go to Homestead Quilting's going out of business sale today. These yellow flowers were all along the highway. This is my impression, painted from memory.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Goodbye Fred

February 12, 1993 - May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mini Wrap Folio

This is the second item I've made using the second lesson of my Mixed Media Surfaces for the Fiber Artist class by Sue Bleiweiss. The instructions for the folio are in the free patterns at her Fibre & Stitch magazine. This folio is smaller than the one below - it holds a 3 1/2" X 5" pad, while the one below holds a 5" x 8" pad.


The lesson was to make a 3-drawer box out of our surface, but I decided to make this padfolio instead. The instructions for this are in the free patterns at Sue Bleiweiss's Fibre & Stitch magazine (here).

Pattern Tissue Book

I finished my book. I decided to add buttons and beads to the threads that I used for sewing in the signatures.

Monday, May 12, 2008

EDM Challenge #76

Draw some flowers - DH bought me a dozen roses with greenery and baby's breath - gorgeous! I thought drawing one was as much as I could tackle now. The color isn't quite right, but it's close.

EDM Challenges #97 & #19

#97 - Draw a present you have received - Cool pottery pot from my DDIL.

#19 - Draw something you've made - Good for You Chocolates.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Postcard from Tissue Paper Fabric

I used some of the tissue paper fabric from Sue Bleiweiss's class (Mixed Media Surfaces for the Fiber Artist), added the tissue paper stamped sentiment and paper flowers, then covered with black tulle.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Online Class

I'm taking another online class - I know, I'm addicted, but they're so much fun. I'm really enjoying this one - it's called Mixed Media Surfaces for Fiber Artists, taught by Sue Bleiweiss. We've just had one lesson so far, but I've already made several things!

This first picture is of tissue paper fused to fabric, and then colored with several things - including color wash sprays, acrylic paint, and silver krylon pen.

The next two pictures are of the back and front covers of a book for the samples from class, and the book itself. I still need to add some interesting fibers to the binder rings, but otherwise it's done. This has torn pages from books and newspapers. Then it has cheesecloth on top and it's colored with color wash sprays (I love sprays!). Then I put the flowers on and covered the whole thing with tulle.

This is going to be the cover of another journal - I still need to cut the signatures, which I think I'm going to make from watercolor paper. I'm really happy with how this turned out! It is layers of pattern tissue, colored with walnut ink spray, cut apart and fused to black felt. I used a decorative stitch on the edges of the cut pieces too.

And finally, this is a mother's day card I made for my mom from the tissue paper fabric in the first picture (luckily, I don't think my mom reads my blog).

You can't tell the sizes of the pieces from the pictures: the first piece started out as fat quarter size (18" X 22" approximately); the sample book is 9 1/2" X 6"; the journal cover was 9 1/2" X 13 1/2" before I used a pinking rotary cutter blade on the outside edges; and the card is 4 1/4" X 5 1/2".

I'm trying very hard to keep up in this class, because we're going to be gone for a little over a week about halfway through the class, and I'll get behind then. So I'd like to be caught up when we leave.

I highly recommend this class - if you're interested, you can read more about Sue's classes here.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Helen of Troy by Margaret George

I finished this book today. It was a very long book - 638 pages - but I really enjoyed it. I actually like long books if they're good, and this one was. It is the life story of Helen, Queen of Sparta, who runs away with Paris, of Troy, which is the cause of the Trojan War. Helen is the narrator. I always enjoyed studying Greek Mythology in school (I know, I was weird). And I really like historical fiction, although I was surprised to learn after finishing the book that historians don't know whether any of the characters existed. In fact, the after word states, "We have no evidential corroboration that there ever existed a Helen of Troy - nor an Agamemnon, nor a Menelaus, nor an Achilles, nor a Paris. Among scholars, there are fierce disputes about Homer, and whether, even if there is an actual site of a historical Troy, there ever took place anything we can truly call the Trojan War." But it is still a great story, true or not. And this book was very well written. I rate it 4 out of 5.