Combine to Create

February 1, 2014

I'm still here

Hello Blog world.  I was busy crocheting a throw for my son in Colorado for Christmas.  Alas, It didn't get done until after Christmas, so that means I felt like a slave to this project.  It turned out well and finally made it's way to CO.  Below is a pic of the afghan.
After it was done I crocheted a sampler of a throw for our home.  (much less stressful)  It consists of 10" squares of assorted designs in the off-white yarn left over from Jake's throw.
I've now picked up beading again.  We'll see where that takes me...
Bye for now.

November 14, 2013

Still playing on the Gelli...

I mentioned a few posts back that I took the Gelli Printmaking class from Carla Sonheim.  The two prints above are the best ones that I ended up with.  Below are two prints that were inspired from the techniques we used, one of which is making your own organic stencil and mask shapes.

November 5, 2013

My Beautiful Isabel

I worked up a quick Gelli plate image of a stencil that I made of my daughter.  She took this gorgeous photo of herself with her phone and when I saw it, I knew I had to incorporate it somehow in my art.

I am adding the stenciled piece to the Gelli Print Party at A Colorful Journey.

November 4, 2013

Magenta City here

New Gellies, all magenta.  What's that about?  Just on a magenta kick, I guess.  You know I only post the ones I think are the best.  Well, this time, magenta won.

A bundle of folded Gelli pages waiting to be made into a book. 

Okay, magenta toned down with soft yellow paint.  The circles are a new stencil I made with a punch.  Same with the flower above.

The first one above is joining Carol's November Gelli Party at A Colorful Journey.

Speaking of making stencils, I made one of my beautiful 18 year old daughter from a recent photo.  I used Photoshop to alter it into a stencil, then cut it out on transparency.  When I get a print from it I will post it.

October 29, 2013

A new Gelli technique and another Zentangle

I am always on the look out for new techniques for art making.  I purchased an online class from Carla Sonheim.  This is the first time I've done this, but I was intrigued with what I saw in her samples.  See how the paint flows on these, my first attempts?  Isn't that cool?

I also thought I'd share one of my most recent Walnut Ink Zentangles.  This card went to my God-daughter, who has been the recipient of much of my art.

October 8, 2013

Note to self: Never say never

Indeed, I am not a person who should ever say never because you know I like to dabble.  I haven't taken photos yet and our internet was down for days, but for now I'll share what I have been up to. 

It all started with the Walnut Ink I made.  I use it every day.  I was looking for more ways to incorporate it into my art.  Well, low and behold, I discovered Zentangle.  This was something I couldn't believe people were doing.  Doodling all day?  I couldn't believe someone would write books on the subject.  Well, I believe it now.  Eventually I want to incorporate it into my Gelli art papers, etc.

Stay tuned for photos.

September 24, 2013

Walnut Inked Goodness

 I've been using my new walnut ink every day.  I mostly use it to actually 'journal' in my art journals now.  (: 
 I also use it in a spray bottle for backgrounds.

All the brown in the four pages above is walnut ink. 

 I also made 3 new stencils.  Wings, a large heart and a violin player.

Watercolor flowers with woven bottom

September 14, 2013

A new adventure ~ making walnut ink

~Channeling my inner medieval scribe~

Raw walnuts in a 5 pound bucket
On our property we have a Black Walnut tree that drops walnuts each year at this time.  I decided this was the year to harvest them and make my own Walnut Ink to use in my art.  After much internet research, I came up with a recipe and started the progress.

My cooking set up in the garage

Historically, walnut ink was made and used since 1650.  Young scribes would learn to make their own ink.  It has also been used as a dye for fabric and a stain for wood.
After 4 hours of simmering

Sampling the color after 4 hours

Here's the basic recipe.  It is the green outer hull around the walnuts that you use to make the die/ink.  I left the bucket of them in the garage for a week, giving the walnuts a chance to brown up a bit.  After that I pounded them with a stick to loosen the hulls off the nuts.  Working with gloves on, I peeled the outer shells off and threw the inner shelled walnut on my compost pile for the squirrels.  After putting the hulls in the cook pot, I covered them with plain water and brought it to a boil and then simmered it for four hours.  Over night I turned off the burner and continued simmering for about another 3 hours the next day.  I then strained and filtered the liquid through cheese cloth and added a bit of denatured alcohol to prevent mold growth in the future.

Here's my final product! 
I will use it with dip pens to scribe as in my sample above.  And besides just brushing it on, I can use it in a spray bottle for art backgrounds.  Stay tuned for some samples in the future.

September 11, 2013


This is the cover of a new art journal I just finished.  Most of the entries are accompanied with lyrics from songs that have moved me.  I've been wanting to do this for some time.  Plenty of pages are still incomplete, waiting for lyrics and images to go with them.
I used long stitch binding for this book.  The cover is made from Tim Holtz's Grunge Paper.  This was the last of it in my stash and I need to get more.  Grunge Paper is just sturdy enough for book covers and takes gesso and paint like a dream.
This spread is a bit masculine, but the lyrics are from a song called Lost Sailor by the Grateful Dead.
"The apples of the valley hold the seeds of happiness.  The ground is rich from tender care.  Repay, do not forget; dance in the dark of night.  Sing to the morning light."    ~Evermore by Led Zeppelin
"Remember how they taught you, how much of it was fear?  Refuse to hand it down.  The legacy stops here."     ~Melissa Etheridge
Okay - this is not a lyric, but taken from The Velveteen Rabbit:
"Generally by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes don't see as well and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all because once you are real you can't be ugly - except to people who don't understand."