Monday, February 29, 2016

Portable art studios?

I've been working on a portable art studio to take along with me when I travel or just take a moment to make some art without having to sort through my stuff to take along with me. First thing to tackle was what to take along.  Next thing to tackle was what to put it in.  One thing I notice some artist take their things in a bag and also some kind of paint brush or pencil carrying roll thing.  I looked around my things to see if I had a bag to fit stuff in.  Of course I didn't so I got fabric out of my stash.  I have this "Dick and Jane" fabric which I love. Found some striped fabric and a zipper.  Searched on-line for some ideas and came across a tutorial that had easy to follow instructions and photos.  The biggest challenge was keeping the inside and outside fabrics in the right direction when sewing on the zipper.  I'll be sewing all day making more bags.  I want one for pencils and a bigger one for supplies.  I also want to make a brush roll thing.  I also found a really cool journal.  I just need to make time to paint!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dream catcher

Finished Amelia's dream catcher!  I have enough supplies to make three more!

Making Pasta

On my recent trip to Lucca, Italy (Yes. I went to Italy...still working on editing my photos!)  I ate a fabulous creamy mushroom pasta dish.  So I got the idea to make my own pasta and try to find a creamy mushroom recipe.  There are many pasta recipes on line with great instructions.  Here's the recipe I used.  I also used my mixer even though you can make it by hand.  It was well worth the effort.


Yield: 1 1/4 lbs dough


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, sifted (plus extra flour for preparing)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 Tablespoons water

I mixed the flour and salt together then added the eggs and water.

Once mixed together it was drier than I thought.

Take the dough and make it into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap.

After the dough rests I ran it through the pasta machine.  Now I didn't have a food pasta machine, but I had a craft room pasta roller.  It's all I had and it worked okay, but tough to secure to my counter top.  I'm going to look into a real kitchen pasta machine.  I ran it through the machine a few times to get it the thickness of 1/4".   

After passing it through the pasta machine I rolled it and cut it into 1/2' strips.

This was the fun part.... figuring out how to dry it.  I used a clothes hanger to hang the pasta to dry.  I did find a creamy mushroom recipe but I didn't like it...too thick and not much taste.  Then again I'm trying to match the pasta dish I ate in Italy....  The pasta was good and I will continue to make.  I'm on the hunt for a pasta machine.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dream catcher

My great niece Amelia told me she has bad dreams....dream about not getting homework done.  I asked if she knew what a dream catcher was and she sorta knew.  I told her I would make sure she gets one.  So here I am making her dream catchers.  I've never made one before but it turns out they aren't  difficult.  Here's what you need....

Check this out

My Facebook page.....

106 Vintage Co.

While in Nebraska I visited a local shop.... 

Check out their Facebook page

The owner, Cammie Metheny told how she bought this old building on main street in Coleridge, Nebraska.  It has been a grocery store.  Once she started removing the drop ceiling she found this beautiful tin ceiling.  One the walls she found fresco painted murals.  

Inside her shop you will find many treasures.  She makes furniture out of her finds.
When I was there she was working on a large window, trying to remove the glass.  Her parents were collectors so she's been doing this her whole life.  She also let me got through her other building where she has so many cool things.  

I told her I wanted to come play whenever I was in the area.  She then said she was going to be taking down a barn....I laughed and said when, I'm in!   She said when it was warmer weather, I'm like I'll be back in May!  What a great find and I will be back every time I'm back in the area.  

I'm also presenting my jewelry to her with the hope she'll sell it in her shop!  Stay tuned Coleridge area.  If you ever find yourself in the Coleridge area make sure and stop in her shop.  Also check out her Facebook page.

 I found some treasures myself.  A religious portrait, fruit baskets, turquoise painted wood strips, card holder, wallpapers and the best thing was my ledger!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ledger Art Journal

 I take on-line classes with Jeanne Oliver (check out her website and you'll be hooked)  and one of the things she talks about in her Living Class is making a portable studio, showing her vintage ledger art journal.  Here's examples of her use of her cool.  

Courtesy of Jeanne Oliver Designs,  
Courtesy of Jeanne Oliver Designs
I've been searching for vintage ledgers for the longest time!  I found one at the coolest shop in
Coleridge, Nebraska called 106 Vintage Co.  I'll be telling you about the shop in a post soon!
For now let me show you the ledger I found there!!!!   So excited....

My VINTAGE LEDGER ART JOURNAL entries date back to 1914.  Can you believe that? It's completely filled up to the last page.  I think it's a ledger documenting fee/dues paid to an organization.  I've figure out the organization but I'll leave that a mystery.  I love this ledger! I can't wait to use it but first I must repair it.  The binding is torn and the front cover is not attached.  

After thinking about art journals .... they can be on my trip to Italy I found two old books in Italian.  I have no idea what the books are about but I loved the texture and the pages have the neatest patina.  

I love this new art journal.  I'm taking it everywhere with me in my portable studio

Do you have an art journal (s) and portable studio?

Valentine's Day Treats!

It all started with my sister asking for cookies.  I decided to honor her request and send her some heart shaped sugar cookies.  Then one thing lead to one thing and then another and another....which ended up with me sending out 8 pink boxes filled with Valentine treats.

I chose to use a small heart shape cookie cutter and make tons of mini red heart cookies!

Next I assembled some bags with kisses.  Here's what I used to decorate the bags.

They came out so cute, don't you think?

Next on to another treat bag.....used my Royal typewriter to type out my "Happy Valentine's Day" strips.  By the way, I love love love my typewriter.  

 Next cut strips out of treat bags.

The bags are cookie sleeves and perfect packaging for the red jelly hearts!

On to the sewing machine!   

So cute, so cute!  

On to decorate and address the pink boxes... I used red paint and white pens to make hearts all over the boxes.

This is the inside of the boxes.I had some lollypops and heart shaped ballons to randomly throw in the boxes.

I added a hand painted heart note to wish my great nieces/nephews a Happy Valentine's Day!

Added some red paper stuffing to fill the box and it's ready to close and seal.

I put the heart shaped cookies in the red heart treat bags and tied a red paper heart.

I had so much fun making these boxes.  Stay tuned for photos of the kids getting their box.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Twist of Pine

On my last trip I headed to northeast Nebraska and Yankton, South Dakota.  I have lots of family living in the Crofton, Nebraska area and all of them frequent the Yankton area. My sister-in-law, her two granddaughters and I stopped in the Twist of Pine.  A shop in a cool building near the Missouri river and this fabulous park. The coolest thing happens when you walk in with kids.  The kids are offered a small bag to fill will a variety of candies.  This was a great idea, the kids are occupied picking out their candy and we walked around the shop.  The shop is filled with soaps, candles, foods, small furniture pieces, signs and t-shirts.  I remember walking through several times trying to absorb everything I was seeing. I met the owner, Lisa  and she explained she is opening a Bed & Breakfast in the area and this is a step in that direction.  They offer a variety of classes at the shop.  They have a cooking class that uses the products sold in their store.  The plan is to use the recipes at their Bed & Breakfast.  The night before they offered a painting class, painting the American Flag on a large piece of wood.  
If you find yourself in Yankton, South Dakota make sure and stop in The Twist of Pine!  You won't be disappointed.

Lisa & Cady

Lisa explained each of her employees has a business card with their job title.  It's extremely creative. 

Creative Business Cards!

Lisa Kneifl- Chief Visionary of Creative Retail and Marketing Experiences, the owner.

Cady Van Surksum - Marketing Consultant and Event Coordinator, maker of marketing items.

Brenda - Director of Retail Merchandising & Customer Service, "Normal Employee".

Hallie - Junior Associate Usability Facilitator, she's 10 and the "taster"

Michele - Public Relations and customer Retention, she a nurse, cancer survivor and knows everybody.  

Jolene "Jo" - Principal Mobile Organic Branding Strategy & Product Solutions Specialist, she's a handy woman, and makes all their wood and craft items.  
She's also a Probation Officer.

Rylee - Minon and Customer Support Apprentice, 15yr old intern

Colette - CCO - Chief Cousin Officer, she's Lisa's cousin and a pharmaceutical rep

Presley - OCD Director and Volunteer Coordinator, high school senior and always brings friends to volunteer their help and also a clean freak.

Jane - Assistant Coordinator of Weekday Entertaining Experiences, she's 70 yrs old and she works two hours a week, on Tuesdays.  "Tasty Tuesday"

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Take 10

Last month I went to the Mesa Arts Center to see Cheech Marin's Chicano Art Collection Exhibit.  I wished I could of been able to take a few photos so I could remember all the pieces I loved.  I would agree with Cheech Marin's love of Richardo Ruiz artwork.  It's awesome and look him up and check it out yourself.   Walking through an art museum is so inspiring and motivates me to continue my art journey.

Courtesy Cheech Marin Collection
 Take 10 draws from the renowned collection of entertainer and arts advocate Cheech Marin, who has amassed one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive private collections of Chicano art. Take 10 consists of 42 works in oil, acrylic, watercolor and glass by 33 of the most significant Chicano artists. Chicano art is characterized by rich colors and bold, intense imagery that embody and embrace U.S. Latino traditions.

Ricardo Ruiz, El Mas Loco, 2013, Oil on canvas, 72 x 48 inches. Collection of Cheech Marin.
Curatorial Spotlight: Ricardo Ruiz 
Part of the Take 10 exhibition, this bonus feature highlights the curious paintings of Texas artist Ricardo Ruiz from Cheech Marin’s    collection.  Ruiz’s work is characterized by its rich imagery and vivid storytelling that often explores themes of family, cycles of life and   death and Mexican-American folklore.

Left Image: Ricardo Ruiz, El Mas Loco, 2013, Oil on canvas, 72 x 48 inches. Collection of Cheech Marin.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Meet Morgan, an artist!

While I was on my Nebraska trip I met Morgan, one of many great nieces.  She's an ARTIST.  I fell in love with her creative energetic spirit.   We happen to be sitting at the same table at end of the evening at my father-in-law's 90th birthday party.  She began to tell me how she was an artist and loved art. By the way, she was making art the whole time she was sitting with me.  Actually the first time I spoke with her that day was her telling about her puppet, Annie Pop, which she made out of scraps of stuff including a popsicle stick.  Annie Pop sang for me.  She went on to explain how she loves art so much that she must make art everyday.  I was impressed  "Wow! that's over 300 pieces of art a year!"  We then spoke about what to do with all our art.  I explained I hang and display my art on my walls and all over my house.  She described her bedroom and how her walls are slanted, so I suggested she tape them on her slanted walls.  At the end of night she asked for my mailing address and we both agreed to send each other art.   So we are officially Art Pen Pals.   
I was fortunate enough to visit Morgan at her home and I was privileged to see her room.  She already taped up her artwork.  I must say I was so jealous of her art space/bedroom.  I loved the artistic vibe and energy.  I can see how her space feeds her creativity.  I would love a slanted wall art space!

Morgan, my new creative artist friend!  Can't wait to share our art!
Check out Morgan's, hat and jacket....way colorful!