This past week I realized I had sold completely out of my little hard covered accordion books with watercolor messages inside. I make these little books out of 80# Strathmore Aquarius watercolor paper. It’s a great weight paper for books, takes watercolor without buckling and folds beautifully.
One accordion book finished and four in the process of being made.
These little books are about 3″ tall and 22″ in length. I make them with various messages inside. The covers are some of my paste papers which I paste over book board which is just a little denser than mat board.
This is a detail of the above photo so you can see what the watercolor looks like before I start my embellishment.
Here are the accordion books finished.
Happy Birthday accordion book.
Thank You accordion book.
Happy Birthday accordion book.
I Love You accordion book.
Happy Birthday accordion book.
These little books are a joy to make. Making them makes me feel happy.
“Today’s Bikers” was taken during the annual Medford Toy Run in early December.
I’m guessing the scarred branch is the work of a woodpecker, but don’t know for sure. I spotted it leaning on this oak tree near Agate Lake in Southern, Oregon.
Early September is usually pretty active. Not only am I packing and preparing for my Women’s Journaling Annual Retreat, but it is also my birthday and our anniversary too. So this page has whispers of how terrain between Roland and I had smoothed out, the lace-y laser cut paper pattern from the anniversary card Ro gave me (sometimes draping words with a filtered or translucent paper will give you a bit more privacy on a journal page – and I inserted it with photo corners so that I can take it out to read when I want to), the business card from where we dined (disappointingly) and the bitter sweet last evening at home before I take off for the Sierras where the retreat is held.
All that echoes against the opposite page … the first full day at Lake Alpine Resort up in the California Sierras. Both Jean Warren and I arrive a
day or two ahead to finalize locations for different creative processes. This day we took off, up to a nearby duo of glacier formed lakes called Mosquito Lake.
Now I’d mentioned that with this journal, I really wanted to mix things up, right? Well, there we are at the pristine lake, I’m all seated having found the perfect scene I wanted to paint. I get out my materials from my pack, open up my journal ready to watercolor – – and – – as you see, it is a black journal page. I really, seriously considered skipping the page and going on until I found a watercolor page, but at last, decided to stick to my commitment. I worked, rather uncomfortably, with the black page. Using a white Schwans Stabilo pencil,
graphite pencils and some of my wax crayons for the color accents I depicted the lovely, sparkling lake and white cabins before me. The lettering was with white gel pen. I’m mostly pleased with the image – – but even more with the fact that I stuck to my aim of testing out new materials, papers and increasing my open minded attitude. (PS You’ll see in the next pages … I develop a way to cope with my yearning to paint on watercolor paper when the journal page is NOT a watercolor page!)
It remained a perfect day up in the azure sky-ed mountains … one of my favorite places here on earth!
This is a chest we have in our living room. It is against a wall that you see when you walk into the home from the front door, and because the floor plan of this part of the house is open, you can see it from everywhere.
I have to thank Seth for his challenge on his blog, "Living With Art" for these photographs to happen." Seth made me look at this arrangement with new eyes. To find my own connections and make me wonder why different things have found a place here.
This arrangement is featured on his new post, as well as many other corners and walls and displays from amazing artists that will inspire you and make you want you to visit again and again.
After I took my first photograph that you will see on his blog I had to take more, to give you a closer look.
Before, I used to put my collections in my studio on shelves to inspire me when I worked.
But my studio had become more and more crowded and soon I wanted to spread out to the rest of the house.
This is where my love for science and art are entwined.
Here there are things from the ocean and the desert…
from my own findings or gifts from friends or family.
Things from far far away and objects from my own gardens.
Some made from my own hands.
Each object begs for examination, each carved or molded surface, each smooth stone and piece of rough wood. They all call to be noticed. Some things here are very simple and some have intricate patterns.
My arrangement here speaks of my love for old and new,
for handmade and nature made objects.
When I walk by,
I have to touch and examine…
a waterworn stone,
are all in front of me
Let me tell you a story
of stones and shells
and seed pods…
When I made this journal, I wanted to challenge myself. I was feeling like I’d become kind of ‘cookie-cutter’ with my journal page designs in my ole’ big Canson 10 x 14 inch journal. I chose to make the shape and size different as well as mix in un-predictable papers. So already, just four pages into this new journal I’m feeling “bothered” that some of the paper is watercolor paper and some is mere writing paper. My watercolor paintings ripple the pages and I have to use less and less water. I notice I’m feeling “squeezed” into this smaller 8 1/4 x 8 1/2 inch page format. I’m wondering why I decided to be innovative!!!? But I need to remember – – that stretching one’s self is never comfortable. And it is through these feelings that we get new experiences and creative
stimulation. Ok? Ok!
Notice what a fun element the back side of the Paper Clay insert has become on these following pages? And even what is pages ahead, like that yellow glowing area showing through the hole on the right page, has an effect upon the page design. I’m often surprised with the serendipity and how wonderfully it works out!
But with all that aside, on these two pages, I celebrate my birthday. Roland gifted me with my favorite dessert, the Marion-berry Cobbler from the Standingstone Brewery in Ashland and it of course, landed on my journal page. It was a time of confusion and crazy unplanned mishaps … between visitors dropping in to a disappointing dinner out to cancellations for my Women’s Journaling Retreat … one of the cheery-est memories I could pluck from that time is my favorite cut-outs from birthday cards. For two years in a row now, my dear “Aunt Karen” has won out as my most favorite card! See the little kitten in the back pocket of a pair of jeans? That’s it! This page always makes me smile!
Colorful grapevine interpreted from a vine at an Oregon Vineyard. It was a sunny day with lots of color, so I took some liberties with the color in this piece.
Good news! My watercolor painting “Hang Up and Pet Me” will be showing in the Rogue Valley Biennial!
The biennial is a juried exhibition at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center in Medford, OR. The exhibition opens this week with reception this coming Friday, February 20th from 5pm to 8pm. The gallery is located at 40 S. Bartlett Street, Medford, OR 97501. The hours are as follows:
10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Friday
11am – 3pm, Saturday
5pm – 8pm, every third Friday
I’m excited to be in a local juried exhibition. The show is open to artists of two and three dimensional media. As stated on the exhibition page, the 2015 Rogue Valley Biennial “features work that presents interpretations of our world today or a commentary on contemporary issues”.
I think my painting of a person busy talking on a cell phone while ignoring their cat provides a humorous take on contemporary issues.
Jurors for the exhibition are Janet Higgins and Keith Johnson.
The Rogue Valley Biennial will continue through April 1oth, 2015. I invite you to stop by and visit!
The post Juried Into Rogue Valley Biennial appeared first on Dancing Clouds Gallery -The Artistry of Margaret Stermer-Cox.
A few weeks ago I showed how to make chocolate mice from Hershey’s Kisses. Since then, I made over 100 mice. I shared on Valentine’s Day to an entire dining room of people. Needless to say, the mice were a big hit.
The mice are gathering together, getting ready for Valentine’s Day.
Since posting the DIY instructions, I found purple Hershey’s Kisses and couldn’t help but add them to my mice. The purple kisses are a dark chocolate, the pink and silver and red are milk chocolate and the gold are milk chocolate with almond.
The mice seemed to gravitate towards all things chocolate.
The chocolate strawberries were delicious.
This mouse is checking out the chocolate mousse. I must say it way ever so good!
For instructions to make your own mice, see my blog post: DIY – Chocolate Mice From Hershey’s Kisses.
P.S. My friends, Elizabeth and Kay tried making these and added a little something more to their mice. They added a pin for the nose and wire for whiskers. I was going to try this too, but I had some other friends tell me it would make the chocolate inedible, which they didn’t like at all.