Monday, September 17, 2012

We Got Our Kicks on Route 66-Day One

I've decided to start over and blog our trip in chronological order. Bren and I teamed up for a road trip down Route 66/I 40 on our way to Art Unraveled 2012.  

Bren flew from Georgia to Amarillo.  The original plan had been to pick her up and hurry out to the Cadillac Ranch before dark.  Alas, Bren's plane was late.  I did go out and take some pictures before her plane got in though.

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch is an art installation just west of Amarillo along I 40. I had only seen older photos of it with the cars in their original conditions so I was surprised by the graffiti.  According to the Wikipedia link above graffiti is encouraged so I guess the boy scouts who were painting under the watchful eye of their scoutmaster weren't being as bad as I thought they were. I think I was almost the only person there without a spray can.  Tiny children had spray cans.  There was at least a quarter inch of paint on every part of the cars. 

Cadillac Ranch at dusk.

The colors were very bold, although they don't show as much in the dusk. The clouds were ever changing and dramatic at times.

Cadillac Ranch

Each car is nose down in the dirt. 

Cadillac Ranch

I could see rain showers in various areas and managed to catch this rainbow. 

Cadillac Ranch sign  

Hmmm...the signs were the only thing on this side of the fence.

I picked up Bren at the airport and we drove to Tucumcari, New Mexico.  We were a little worried that we might not make our hotel before the office closed at ten.  Then we realized we crossed a time zone when we got into New Mexico and had an extra hour, so all was well. 

Tucumcari has a little over 5000 people and 1200 hotel rooms. Many of the old hotels that were popular from Route 66 are still in operation. We made a point of staying at the old motels on our trip. 

Check out Bren's blog at ShortWired Studio for her trip blog posts. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Art Unraveled 2012-Day 2 and 3

Day 2 and 3 I had Michael deMeng's class "Trash to Treasure."  Along the way I passed three house in a row.  A roadrunner ran in front of the first, a rabbit ran by the second, and in the front yard of the third house an adolescent coyote was standing up close to the house, just like he'd been invited over. 

I really enjoyed Michael's class and I think I learned a lot.  I've never done assemblage work before and had no idea how to construct an assemblage.  


Here is my unfinished assemblage.  The contraption at the top is the meteor which killed off most of the dinosaurs.  I've always wondered what future the dinosaurs might have had if not for the meteor.  I'm waiting for the KromaKrackle to dry and then the figures get some more paint, which should tone down the green.  And there will be some LED's added. 

I'm very happy with this class and can't wait to get started on more things when I get home.

Michael deMeng

Here's Michael deMeng at the end of the class talking about our work and how we approached problems.  If you are interested in assemblage I highly recommend his classes. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Art Unraveled 2012 - Day One

Bren and I had a few adventures on the way to Art Unraveled in Phoenix, Arizona.  I hope to post about them but I don't want to get too far behind on the classes.

Today's class was 10 Objects 10 Ways by Jane LaFazio. Jane taught us 10 different techniques to use when journaling.  This was a really fun class and I learned a lot of things that I can practice later. Jane's a great teacher.

I took some drawing lessons when I was 8 years old, then we moved, and I haven't drawn since. So be kind, I'm a beginner.  Here are my favorites from today's work.


This technique was to pencil in the bird, ink the lines, erase the pencil and color.  


This is technique 3.  The flower is penned with a Tombow pen which is water soluble.  Then water is used to smudge the lines and color added.  

Flower on book page

This technique involves drawing on a book page.  I think drawing on a book page is eye catching in a journal. I cut my drawing out but haven't glued it to the page yet.


This technique was a lot of fun.  Basically you doodle the drawing with lots of lines, without using pencil first. 

Check out Bren McCoy's blog post on her classes over at Shortwired Studio.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Last Minute Photos--The Eclipse

Ralph and I waited until almost the very last second to take photos of the partial solar eclipse 5/20/12.  After the eclipse had already started I insisted we jump in the car and seek an open horizon so I could take photos.  We jumped in the car and drove toward the sun until we found a spot.

partial solar eclipse 5/20/12

I had a polarized filter from my ancient manual film camera that I held up in front of the lens on my camera.  The clouds helped by toning things down a little. 

partial solar eclipe 5/30/23

And it's gone.  I really am  the Queen of the Last Minute.

If you want to see a really good picture that was taken only a few miles from this one check out this photo on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook page here.

And for gorgeous landscape pictures check out the contest winners on Flickr

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Super Weekend

I had a great weekend and I hope you did too.  I went to an art show on Saturday and visited with my parents on Sunday.  More about that later.  

Super Moon 2012

Here are a couple of my super moon pictures.  Someday I need to figure out how to get detail on the moon.  So far I've only been able to do that when the reflected light is toned down during eclipses. 

Super Moon 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Flying Things

Just a quick post today with some photos.  My large sage bush in the yard is in full bloom and it's really popular:

hummingbird moth

This is a snowberry clearwing moth.  It moves like a hummingbird and is colored much like the wood bees.  These are about 1 3/4 to 2 inches long.  They never stop moving so it was difficult to get any kind of good shot of them. This year is the first I have seen this moth.  It's also known as a hummingbird moth or a bee moth.  The official name is Hemaris diffinis.

wood or carpenter bee

This big bee on the right is a wood, or carpenter, bee.  I'm not sure what the little red one is, but it looks like some kind of bee.


I don't know what kind of caterpillar this is.  He sure didn't know what he was getting into when he crawled up the stem in the middle of the sage.  

bee on sage

This small unknown type bee is about the size of a honey bee.  It's black with some green iridescence on the abdomen. 


I'm not sure what this is.  It looks like a wood bee, but is much smaller, just a little bigger than a honeybee.  

Monarch butterfly

This monarch butterfly visited the bush several times.


This moth visited the sage, then rested on the redbud.

Jazz watching the moth

Jazz was a little interested in the moths.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday-3/28/12

I've been taking photos  of some of my jewelry so today I've been working with these three cuffs.

brass and copper cuffs

I think etching and foldforming are two jewelry techniques that I have the most fun with.

various bails

Here are the bails I worked on earlier.  They've been pickled and tumbled and are waiting for their patina.  

Check out the other bead tables at:


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tickle Me Tuesday-3/27/12

I stopped by Hobby Lobby today.  There are always a lot of things to tickle my fancy there.  Like this:

In store, $139

I was shopping for some art supplies so I managed to resist.  I had a really hard time resisting this:

I love this little chest of drawers.  I have the feeling I'm going to regret not getting this later.  It's about 24 x 24 inches or so.  If I knew I had a place to put it and what to put in it I would have gotten it.  I'd probably accent the numbers with a color paint, and sand most of it off. This week it is half-off so it's about $40. 

I couldn't find one thing I was looking for so I went to Michael's. 

Michael's is having some great sales.  The mounted, clear, and cling stamps are all 40% off.  Industrial Chic is 30% off in the store.  I really like these charms.  I did get some Industrial Chic metal fibers  and journals. 

These tags were by the checkout for thirty cents a pack!  I got a bunch to use for gifts and earring tags.  I think these were in the $1.00 bins originally.  

And finally I found this gem at Home Depot:

These are vintage style lamp bulbs. I got one of the 60 watt ones.  I have some industrial style wire shades that I want to use to make light fixtures. 

Check out Yes, Teacher Crafts to see the other Tickle Me Tuesday posts. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Photo Journal 2012

Spring seemed to come early this year.  Of course, we could have a year like last year, where it snowed in March.

spring collage

The flowers are blooming.

rain lily
rain lily

The bees are buzzing.

bee on rosemary
bee on rosemary

The cats are courting.

the suitor
Is Jazz in?

The fish are feeding.

fish in the pond
Fish begging.
There are garage sales galore.

garage sale

PS: Jazz is fixed but the boy cats don't seem to get it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bails and Ribbon-Bead Table Wednesday

I did just a little work today on some wire bails. They are still black from the torch. 

various bails in progress

For reference the top one is about an inch and a half and the bottom ones are about 2.75 inches. The top one was six inches of wire, the next two used 8 inches, followed by one using 10 inches. The bottom three were done with 12 inches of wire.  They can be adjusted somewhat by squeezing or pulling the coils so they are closer or farther apart. These need to be pickled, tumbled and patinaed. They are all 16 gauge copper, except for the second from the top which is 14 gauge brass.  I used a standard pencil for a mandrel.  Some of these may go on the pendants I was working on recently. 

Today some sari ribbon yarn arrived from YarnAndFiber on Etsy.  

vintage lace sari ribbon

This color is called Vintage Lace and I'm excited about it because it will look awesome with some of the pendants I got from Martha of Menagerie Studio

Be sure to check out the other bead tables here:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Antiquing in Huntsville--Tickle Me Tuesday

I want to change the lighting in our house and I've been keeping an eye out for chandeliers.  Here's a couple on Etsy that have been tickling my fancy.  This one is from PurpleFlowerFairy


This one is from GraceandPlenty.


I stopped off in Huntsville on my way home  from Richard Salley's workshop in Spring. I really like the antique stores in downtown Huntsville.  

My first stop was River Country Antiques where I spotted these spoons and these shoe buckles.

Next stop was A Nitsch in Time. 

A Nitsch in Time A Nitsch in Time

 I found these cool little tobacco tags.  

I also found this draftsman's chair sitting outside the door.  Twelve bucks!  It may not be pretty but it's in good shape and it went home with me.  I'm putting it in the studio next to my tall table. It needs a good cleaning.  
A Nitsch in Time--vintage chair

Next door at Bluebonnet Square I found this ribbon and these buttons:

The ribbons were in the organizer in front of this fun display.

cute display of vintage jewelry

I made  a pit stop for a hamburger at Cafe Texan. 

Cafe Texan has an old bar complete with red bar stools and a separate dining room lined with large vintage photos of historical interest. When my Dad worked in Huntsville he drank coffee here with some other "old-timers."

I finished my tour at Sam Houston Antiques. These three vintage makeup bags were irresistible.  Two are leather Budd purses and the other is Celebrity.  I like to use these to store delicate items.

vintage purses

The first time I went in this store I thought I was Alice and had fallen down the rabbit hole.  The store looks small from the outside, but it connects to the adjoining building, and has three stories and plus a basement.  When you are inside it's like it goes on forever. I kept checking the time because I was a little worried I'd be locked up inside. 

See what's tickling every one's fancy over at Yes, Teacher Crafts.