Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It's About Time

Imagine if you will.... Oops, wrong show.

If you are of a certain age, you may remember a short-lived situation-comedy called, "It's about Time." Don't worry if you don't, as many of my friends peer at me warily when I mention it. I've been known to rattle off the theme song as if it were on the telly last night, and it has been fifty years since it aired! Eee ghad!

At the EIM, the theme this week is wormhole, a theoretical space-time construct that would allow travel across the universe. So, if we're talking time travel, let's start by going back to 1967:

Alrighty, then!

Let's see if I can improve this post ever so slightly with my contributions to the Diva, numbers 292 and 293:
Quartet of Bar Coasters
The objectives here were to use "Keeko" as in the top left and "Eazy" as in the bottom right. That was kind of fun. Soon I'll release them into the wild....

At the TwobyTwo, the theme is yarn. I've been knitting as therapy. (I would prefer to crochet, but it hurts my fingers; they don't quite curl like they did before the accident).

I'm making washcloths, or they could be used as dishcloths. The yarn is 100 percent cotton and these knit up at ten inches. I'm trying to sell them to help with my hospital bills, if anyone is interested. Email me at 1xeritas@gmail.com and I'll give you the details.

In different news, what has been captivating my time is making woobies. Through a friend, I found out a clinic at Luke Air Force Base has been looking for blankies. I have a stack almost ready to deliver. I'm so happy they can put these to good use.

Keeping these fingers VERY BUSY! It's not like I have work to do! HA!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Dedicated to Freebird

If you've been around these parts and you follow links to other challenges, you will find Freebird and her beads. But, perhaps, this week, she may be silent as she lost her mother AND her brother in the space of eight days. 

I was thinking of her the other day while I was making spaghetti sauce. She posted a couple weeks ago that she tried a recipe from that weird wide web called the Internet and found it to be just dreadful. Using her creative brain she was able to save that day's dinner by adding some salsa!

I'm posting my recipe. I never make it exactly the same way, but it seems to get to the same result every time, for me anyway. (NB: there's a reason why I'm not a baker. I mostly wing it in the kitchen with whatever floats my boat that day or whatever I have in the fridge to work with). 

My prayers are with you, Free! And if I could drop in, I'd bring a big tray of lasagna. Food is love and the recipe will just have to do. For now. Just follow this link!

Onto other things.

For the TwobyTwo, for "tangled," I went with a spider and it's web in Loteria fashion. Loteria is, essentially, Mexican "Bingo!"

Loteria card #33 is of La Arana, the spider. Collage with dictionary definition page of "web."

I guess it could also factor in one of the recent Diva Challenges as she's had spider webs on the brain as well. And I think it is kind of fitting for today, Dia de los Muertos

Thank you for stopping by and have a brilliant day!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Look to the Horizon

We're in the midst of full-on fall here in Arizona and the leaves are indeed a-changing. Nothing quite so lovely as Vermont sugar maples here on the homestead (but I can get my fix by running up to the West Fork of Oak Creek in Sedona anytime I get myself moving...). The mulberry trees that provide deep shade in high summer are dropping a tremendous amount of yellow leaves that turn brown before they hit the ground.

So when the Diva asked all the tangly people to use leaves for inspiration, I steered clear of the front of the house (and the thoughts of having to do all that raking!) and slipped out the back door to the citrus trees, which are evergreen. I used some leaves to create a stencil for some Eric Carle tissue paper and drew the veins in with my trusted Sharpie. The circles are meant to mimic the concrete walkway between the trees...and perhaps I'll color in the pebbles sometime soon.

That was just plain fun!

Then I used the same papers for the EIM. The word is "horizon." From our house, we don't see where the land meets the sky quite as we're surrounded on the east and west by 7000 foot mountains (that's over 2100 meters and we're at only about 2000 ft/610 m). Our view looks similar to the inchie on the left I made with tissue and the magazine cut-out on the right. The little artwork in the middle is meant to look like the ocean when the fog rolls in and you can't discern sky from the water, a view I miss from back East.

The word at the TwobyTwo this week is "quill." Originally, the thought came from porcupines and their nasty barbs.

Along my way through art challenges and such, I have met three fine quillers in the blogosphere: Zoe, Kia and Annette (and you should check out their work! I'll wait! Their work does a much better job of describing their craft than my words ever will).

Perhaps, I thought, I'd try my hand at that paper art. Let's just say I'll keep trying!

While researching for the TwobyTwo, I learned about quillwork, where quills are used to create functional art. I came up with an idea to kind of combine the two art forms--using paper strips instead of those barbs, which are in short supply around here. I don't know what to quite call this. "How to take 250 square inches of paper and reduce it to 4" probably doesn't sound very appealing. But, that's pretty much what I did.

Sunset with Wrapped Paper
All the same, I'd do it again. At least, I gained some insight into paper economy.

Be sure to check out the various art blog challenges and if the mood suits you, try your hand at the myriad techniques and ideas. There's still time to submit to any of these, particularly the TwobyTwo!
Thanks for stopping by and have a brilliant day!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

In the Right Direction

Are you ready for this? (Probably not).
The EIM word for the week is "direction." When I was thinking what to do with this, I started with a compass and veered into moral compass territory for a fleeting moment. Can you hear the brakes squealing?

There were many ways to go with this, so...here ya go!

This is One Direction:

This could be the right direction:

And that brings me home!

I love the squirrely S-turn! Don't you?

Fall is in the air, which means it's sunny and 90. Leaves are turning early and the citrus is ripening already, two months or more ahead of schedule. I'm not the biggest fan of Hallowe'en, but I'm trying to embrace the excitement for everyone else. Instead of working the seasonal Zentangle challenges, I tried my hand at digital illustrating. Caution: danger zone!
Well, Happy Fall!
Notice I left my broom by the door, just like you'd find it here. I parked some pumpkins, too, along with the obligatory bushel of mums. If you think I'm drawing those, you're crazy!

Monday, October 3, 2016

On the Edge

Dedicated to Suzanne.

Suzanne asked the blogosphere if we'd ever stood "on the edge," no matter how literal we took that to mean. What a great jumping off point, isn't it?

What first came to my mind is "The Abyss." No, not the movie, but that's a good point. There's an overlook by the name that affords a look deep into a portion of the Grand Canyon. Supposedly, you can see rocks 200 million years old or more. If what "they" say about the Canyon that the average person stays a whopping 20 minutes, we're throwing the curve.

Most people must miss the Abyss since you have to either hike or take the bus to get there. Pity.

Even better is the view from Toroweap, mostly because of the effort required to get there. It's 60 miles off-road, about three hours from the last bit of pavement; high-clearance vehicle required. The Park Service suggests that you pack an extra spare tire as most drivers pop at least one and to get a tow truck is $2000, if you have cell service at all.

Badge of Courage
My Lexus (2001 RX300 with over 225,000 miles) performed superbly (no flat tires!) thanks to one very able driver (thank you, Gil!). I wish I had a video to send to the company so they can see what that car can really do, but I wish I had better photographs from the viewpoint. Seems as "the" shot is at sunrise and because of the cliff height 3,000 feet above the Colorado, sunrise in summer is around 3 AM.

Eight PM
Missed that by a MILE!

Erica on the Edge
Can you find her?

TJ on the Edge
Our first glimpse of the Canyon was 20 years ago. I don't know how we did it, but we found a spot where we walked right up to the edge. No sidewalk, no plaques, no guardrails. Just that giant hole in the ground. Took my breath away. That and trying to catch my fearless three year-old daughter from being, well, fearless.

Everywhere we went in Arizona, she would pick up pebbles and drop them into my camera bag. She was particularly fond of Sedona red sandstone. (Shh! Don't tell anyone). I still fish one out every once in a while.

That trip put into action wheels that turned in such a manner that here I am, in the Grand Canyon state. If I wanted to, I could be staring into the Abyss by lunch.

I've been on the edge of my seat.
I've been on the "Edge of Seventeen" (and recently celebrated my fortieth anniversary of same).
I've been hanging on the edge of numerous cliffs in search of Indian artifacts.
I've been on the edge of each side of this continent, staring out onto the horizon in all directions.
I've been on the edge of four states all at once.

I'm on the edge of a new beginning, each and every day.

So, yes, where have YOU stood, "on the edge?" Be sure to let Suzanne know!

On your way to Toroweap (or the North Rim or Lake Powell or Monument Valley...), you can take a quick detour to see Dinosaur Tracks on the Navajo Reservation. Which is a great segue to the EIM, "dinosaur," this week:

Which is also a great segue to the Diva this week. While you are at Dinosaur Tracks, you can visit the little booths set up and purchase a "Dreamcatcher" from the Dine people. Mine is frayed and frazzled. Must've been doing a swell job catching those pesky spirits.

And "Dreamcatcher" by Daniel Lamothe is the tangle focus of the week!

The pattern snuck its way into my twinchie this week, too. This wasn't anything like what I wanted to do! Somewhere I have a sheet of copper I was going to emboss, but where, oh where could it be?

So I went with a collage of Tim Holtz stickers, copper gimp, gold nail polish pen, copper beads on a light turquoise envelope and paint chips. I think I have to revisit this idea. There's still time to make something else. Indeed, if you're interested, submissions to the TwobyTwo are always welcome!

Meanwhile, I'm going to see about finding the copper that I must've put in a great place that I'd remember where. Thank you for stopping by. Have a brilliant day!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

You Can't Take it With You

This past weekend was a birthday celebration, even if we started celebrating it as soon as the calendar flipped to September. There may have been some wine involved, as well as pizza and some Chinese take-out and popcorn and....I got a "free" chocolate chip cookie--one of those humongous skillet things with ice cream and fudge sauce--but I didn't have to worry about it going to waste as my kids plowed through it for me (I don't do chocolate, long story...).

I did laundry and yoga in equal measure. Painted my fingernails with a pink sparkle polish that makes me smile. I had to take care of some internet business with Yahoo! having some difficulties.  I didn't have to cook much, but for some reason there were still plenty of dishes to clean. My daughter gave me flowers and a chance to paint some more and my son gave me a chance to buy some new clothes. The love of my life bestowed upon me all of his abilities--and he has many--as we work on the on-going home improvements. The spa doesn't look so hot, but it is fully operational. That's hot!

I slept, I ate, I played. And I am blessed. Truly, what more could I ask for?

 A new mind set.

I am determined not to become one of those hoarder cat ladies and I'm on a tear to get rid of "stuff" I'm just hanging on to. If it doesn't make me happy, out it goes! (Goodwill and others are reaping the benefits. Can't just throw it away, right?)

I had a very nice briefcase. Black alligator. Stylish. And totally useless. I could get a notebook in it, a pencil or two and NOTHING ELSE! Out it went! I have to wonder if anyone can make use of it.

Which brings me to the EIM word for the week: briefcase. Anyone ever make use of the Windows program?

Me, neither.

I think I did better with the Zentangly things.

The Diva, to use only straight lines:

Straighten Up

And the IAST:

Catch a Rising Star

That's what I have to offer this week. Thanks for stopping by.
Have a brilliant day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

To Infinity and Beyond!

Since Life as we know it can be weird and coincidental, it really was no surprise that the EIM and the 2X2 had similar themes this week. For the TwobyTwo, the word was "Astronomy."
Since life gets really weird sometimes, I recently received some mail that fit perfectly. 

We're particularly fond of Pluto, even if it was downgraded from full planet status; it was at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff that Pluto's existence was first revealed in 1930. Last year, the New Horizon satellite took close-ups of Pluto before leaving the Solar System and the observatory was in celebration mode all year. (The plastic bead is meant to represent the satellite. Do you think that works? I'm not so sure and haven't committed to it yet!)

The stamp arrived on mail last week for a different celebration. According to my dad's calculations, I'm going to be 37. I could live with that!

Over at the EIM, the word is "Infinity." I had nowhere else to go with this one. I pasted Buzz on a photo of the M33, the Triangulum Galaxy. If you're a geek like me, APOD is one of my favorite blogs, care of NASA, from whence I found the galaxy photograph.

Over at the Diva, the challenge was to step back, relax and just do the tangle. I stepped into the zone slowly. I gathered some "real" art supplies for a change (Faber Castell Pitt Manga markers and Strathmore paper instead of my usual journal and Sharpies), as part of the intent of Zentangle is to honor the method as well as the materials; to place value on the process and the result.
To experience unmitigated JOY!
I said some prayers to Rick and Maria, the founders of all things Zentangle and to Laura, the Diva herself. You know? To instill a feeling of gratefulness. I added Jean next to my list as she was the first CZT I found on-line and how I found the Diva and the EIM. Naturally, I then prayed for Trillian, the leader of the EIM and the entire pack that tackles teenie artworks on a weekly basis. Then back to all the creatives I've met through Laura.

Oh! My heart is full to overflowing!

I poured a cuppa, cleared my desk and was instantly derailed by the antique cuckoo clock that was recently resurrected. The ticking drives me BATTY! (I won't start about the midnight cuckoos)! 
Deep breath. 
I asked the Universe for healing that comes with FOCUS. 
I drew the most complicated string I've ever done because that's the way it wanted to be and the tangles filled the spaces and the world slipped away for just ever so long. 

Then I reproduced that string and did it the old-fashioned way, for me anyway. Just me and my Sharpie (two, actually, as one was destined for the great Dustbin in the Sky).

I drew it in this orientation:

But, when I was done I rotated it and much prefer this direction:

I "do" this with "Knightsbridge"--checkerboard in Zentanglese-- often JFF*, but this was the first time I restrained myself from filling in EVERY. LAST. CORNER.

It had reached its "enough-ness." 

Since you were so kind to stop by, I've posted the string in all its glory on the G2H page. Should you decide to use it, show me your handiwork--I'd love to see it!-- and be so kind to link it back to the page where you found it. 

Thank you for visiting. I hope you have a brilliant day! 

* Just for Fun

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Up in the Sky

In a funny little vignette where life met art this week, a clerk at Wal-Mart asked me, "What is UP?" Among the choices he offered were the ceiling and the sky. My response was, "Superman."
His reaction and that of my son (who I'm sure was wishing he was anywhere else than in my company at that moment) was, in unison, "Okaaaaaay."

I had already posted my photograph for the EIM--and thanks to all who ventured to my Flickr to see what I did earlier this week!--and was working on some other ideas. There are many ideas for "sky," aren't there?

Look! Up in the sky! It's Superman!
I also have the photo I took, one of the Aurora Borealis that I didn't, and a little drawing of trees at sunrise. I have only seen the Aurora once from my home in Massachusetts when it was particularly active, but it wasn't very photogenic. It still was a sight to see.

When I was in college, I would make these drawings of little trees and color in a very delicate sky.  I forgot all about them until I started thinking about ideas for "sky." I don't have any to show you, but I made this new one. I sold a few once upon a time; they must be worth millions by now.

All right, moving right along....

For the Diva, it was a monotangle of Tripoli. I feel about Tripoli the way I do about purple and petunias and purple petunias. If you dropped by last week, you know all about that. So, I attempted to make amends with all of that all at once.

Then I made this sampler. I keep this journal page as a reference.

For the IAST, I also drew two; one traditional, one not-so-much.

That is Faber Castell sepia pens on a light tan Canson paper with purple and lilac Crayola pencils. While you know by now that I generally stay away from purple, it is THE color to go to when working with brown. Something magical happens between those two colours. (Same thing applies to violet eye shadow or mascara and brown eyes. You'll see. If that is too far outside your comfort zone, try navy blue).

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to. Follow the links to check out all the other talented artists who follow these challenge blogs. Or try your own hand in it!

And before you go, one last "sky:"

Maybe all your sunrises be Tequila sunny!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Of Petunias and Mice and Things

I have a funny story about a boatload of purple petunias and ex-in-laws. I just never really found it funny.

When they were planning a visit, my ex informed me his mother really loved purple petunias. As we were spiffing up the place, I potted up tons of them to decorate the porch and the patios. She had no idea what they were, was not much impressed by the flowers or the effort and barely spent any time outside enjoying the gardens.

You may really like purple or petunias, but I fall squarely into the camp that finds purple overwhelming and petunias a lot of trouble.

And all that applies to certain people, too.

All of which came to mind when "petunia" popped up for the word at EIM:

This week, it's "Mice."

The word for the week at the 2 x 2 is "jewel." The toughest part of this black-on-black drawing  of a scarab beetle was making it all show up.

I kept the black paper out for the Diva this week, a focus on "Centre Square."

That's fluorescent gel pen with free-form squares.

And finally posting last week's:

That's coffee splotched on there.

I did last week's IAST, too:

The combination of "Fengle" and "Shattuck" naturally lent itself to a starfish and sealife. I was transported to Dunedin, Florida; a glorious trip to the Gulf Coast a few years ago and watching the sunset from the seashell strewn beach.

For this week, it was a hurricane for inspiration. While my relatives were battling what was left of Hermine, we had Newton. And aftershocks from an earthquake. And a fire. Nothing major,  mind you, but it was getting a little too exciting there for a bit.

Speaking of excitement, this was drawn while waiting in the ER with my daughter for test results. It appears she is the epitome of good health except for some stress-related symptoms. We think she'll be better when she stops eating In-and-Out burgers at 2 AM. (Or, as we found ourselves at Denny's afterwards for Grand Slam breakfasts in the wee hours. It was good. But we are tired).

 Lastly, as I had threatened previously, the finished poem to water for that 2 x 2:

There's a joke in our household about arroyos or desert streams. New River is so new they forgot the water! Arroyos are dry river beds until it rains (And then, watch out!). So, I just HAD to add the "just add water" part. Along with glitter, fabric paint and an antique rhinestone. I can't say if it's an improvement or not; I sure used a bunch of different materials.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy what I share with you. Please take a moment to check out the other artists that tackle these challenges and perhaps? Try your hand at drawing, collage, zentangle or whatever intrigues you. Especially the TwobyTwobyTuesday! Next time it's "astronomy."

While you ponder the stars (or next year's total eclipse of the sun here in the States!), I wish you the "just right" amount of excitement and a brilliant day! c

Monday, August 22, 2016

Swim with the Fishes

It rained last night. This is unusual as this is monsoon season, where the clouds build all day and then dump water all at once in late afternoon. This was a gentle rain for a few hours in the wee hours of today. It's humid, but cooler than it has been all summer. It means summer as we know it here in the desert is drawing to a close and it'll just be hot for the next couple months.
To me, it means get busy!
This is for last week's IAST, an exploration of the new tangle, Drogon by Lily Moon.

In Plain Sight
Don't you just LOVE her work? It's Gorgeous, with a capital "G."

And I went back and did the previous IAST, one big "Abeko," surrounded by Lynn Mead's geometric tangles.

And this week's Diva, a focus on "ING:"

For the EIM, dolphin. This is a swimming bottlenose dolphin. Definitely not a fish.

Did you see the news item last week about the gazillion year-old dolphin that was hiding in a museum? Life is funny that way.

I was going to draw a swimming pig as dolphins have been called, "sea pigs," but that really wasn't working out. At all. And drawing what is called a sea pig was getting harder. And weirder.
Another time, perhaps?

We went out on Bartlett Lake last week, rented a boat for a day to celebrate the kids birthdays--they're only two weeks apart (and three years) and it's getting harder to get them together at the same time or to convince them to hang out with old people, now that they're twenty-somethings.
They're more fun to play with, in my mind. At least, the experiences are more interesting.

We were swimming with a LOT of fish.

The title for this blog entry comes from where I wanted to go with the TwobyTwo. I really wanted to make a "concrete" poem about... concrete! In New Jersey there's a certain saying about swimming with the fishes that involves concrete, (read: "The Godfather") which is why I couldn't make that work. That thought just derailed all creativity.

So my next thought was a poem on water. This is what came about:

It's kind of a political statement on water--a resource that we desperately need and can't keep up with the demand. Here in Arizona, I've seen it not rain for 220 days. I've also been the recipient of 4 inches of rain in an hour. And a flood. So, in the grand scheme of things, everything balances out.

All the same, water is precious. Use it wisely.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Six Degrees of Separation

You've heard of "six degrees of separation?" That we're all connected somehow by a friend of a friend in six or fewer steps? According to a recent poll through a Facebook algorithm, with the advent of social media, it's now even less than four.
If you're visiting here, we're one step apart, although we haven't formally made our acquaintance.
You may know of the party game, "Six Degree of Kevin Bacon?" It's kind of a trivia thing where you start with an actor and by association through movies you get to Bacon, with a capital "B," with the fewest steps.
Mr. Bacon doesn't know me from a hill of beans, but I'm closer to him than he may care to think.

First, my ex' brother played Drew Pigeon opposite Bacon in the movie, "Mystic River." I still haven't seen the movie, but I read the book! Second, my friend's son was producer of the very moving HBO special, "Taking Chance," starring Bacon. Thirdly, the crazy drunks that came up with the game went to my alma mater, long after I graduated, so I've not met them nor have I played their game.
I just know these things.

Sally, I dedicate this post to you because you like to know things. And you have relatives in Maine.

So do I. My parents live there. I visited many a time, long before they retired there.
It's a big state, with a lot of wilderness. Logging is big business and so are potatoes. But the best thing is Acadia National Park, which is celebrating its 100th birthday, as is the whole of the National Park System.

The view of the Atlantic from Cadillac Mountain is awesome and one of the first spots in the US of A to see the sun rise. The crashing surf, the rugged granite rocks, the scent of salt air and spruce.

Lobster! Need I say more?!
Oh, and it's home to the ONLY fjord in the lower 48, Somes Sound.

This is important information because "fjord" is the word of the day at the EIM. I've only seen Somes Sound once; I remember the family driving alongside one summer. Tall spruce and firs, granite rock, clear blue skies. (And more lobster).

Not far from there is Mount Desert Rock lighthouse. It literally sits on a rock.

There is also a Mount Desert Rock lighthouse here in Arizona. On Lake Havasu are fully functional scale models of famous lighthouses created to aid navigation on the lake. (Lake Havasu is also home to the London Bridge. It migrated).

You can walk right up to this one, I guess. We have a boat trip on Havasu on our bucket list, to see all the little houses.

In the meantime, we're watching 16 Tons of Monty Python. We're up to the 10th ton. Or, if we're somewhere with television, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Are you? There must be a few tangly people watching as the theme at the Diva this week is the Olympics. I squeezed three out of the five rings into a square.

It's more Venn diagram than modern athletics, but I'm not minding it. Consider it a visual representation of just three degrees of separation.
I guess we're not really separated at all.