Saturday, April 28, 2007

Altered Book with Bernie Berlin

Almost a week has passed. Yikes! Here are a couple of pictures of the book I started working on at the class with Bernie last Sunday. On these pages I have layered lots of paper, paints & ink. Now I need to think about what I want to add for focal images (like the cat and fly I have done on the one page) and other embellishments. On many other pages I still have to make pockets and start the layering process.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

May Basket Swap

Sending my May Basket out to Natalie in CA today! Hope it finds its way across the country safely and that it is pleasing to her. It was really fun to participate in this swap that Keri sponsored. On May 1 everyone is going to post the pictures of the baskets they received. Here's the one that I made, as it looked just before it got all packed up.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Gardening: YES!

The weather finally broke here over the weekend. It is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l !!

I've begun digging, planting and re-locating plants... uncovering things that had been put away for the winter, cleaning up and all the rest. It is so great to get back at it again. I've planted several small rhoddys and a beautiful "walking stick" tree. The huge old magnolia tree went from buds to bloom in 48 hours. The leaf buds are popping on all the trees. The daffodils and other bulbs are bobbing their heads in the breeze. Ahhhhh... this is my time of year!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gardening? No / Turtles? Yes!

It is still too cold to garden but the turtles for the pond arrived today! They are indoors in an aquarium, swimming in 78 degree water and basking on an 85 degree rock. Jealous? I am! lol

They are still a little shy but here they are: in the packaging as they arrived overnight from Florida ---- on the basking rock, recently unpacked and still "hiding" and last ---- a close up of Maude, the yellow belly slider. Maude is the biggest at this point. The Mississippi Map turtle, Maxwell, is the most outgoing - very inquisitive and first to try everything out, so far. Little Matilda, the Southern Painted turtle, is really cute and seems to follow Maxwell's lead. The fun has begun.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bernie Berlin is Coming!

I was so excited when I read on Bernie's blog that she is coming to Massachusetts. My daughter and I are going to the Boston area Sunday to take her class on altered books! I am beyond excited!!! I love Bernie's art and her book on art cards. Plus, I have so much respect for her amazing work rescuing dogs and cats. And altered books?? Well.... I can't wait to see what she has for us in that regard.

May Basket Swap

It has been raining and gusting and even snowing some here today so I have blocked it all out by working on my May basket swap that Keri (Artsy Mama) is hosting. So far I've painted little eggs and wooden "pots" made a bow and played around with several other bits and pieces. Daughter Jess is also participating in this swap so it has been fun to brainstorm with her. My swap partner is Natalie. I've explored her blog a bit and I'm anxious to learn more about her and her art. The whole swap group has a Flicker group as well where people are posting pics of the progress on their baskets as we go along. Great fun. Wonderful of Kari to host this!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Festive Banner

I have my fingers in so many pies! I realized today that I never posted a picture of my Easter banner. It's not heavily embellished as I made it around mid-night on Easter eve but it brightened up the fireplace.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The (Pond) Turtles are Coming!

Having determined that the "livestock" of desire for my upcoming stream and pond are turtles I set out on a journey of research and inquiry. Now, they are coming, next week!

After reading extensively I called the turtle specialists and chatted about the various options. Since I was not in the market for any of their rare and gorgeous offerings, Sara, helped me think through the options for some of their more common but still colorful offerings, as well as ones which will not get bigger than 6-8" since I do not have a huge indoor habitat for cold months. Also, I want to put them outside in June (or when it ever gets warm here) so, I did not want hatchlings (the size of a dime or nickel) but I also did not want full grown turtles (less fun to experience and considerably more $$). Sara arranged for my new babies to be hand picked for me, so that they will all be at least 2" but still at the lower cost. That was so wonderful.

On Tuesday of next week I should be the proud Momma of a baby Yellow Belly Slider turtle, a Mississippi Map turtle, and a Southern Painted turtle. All three types have a reputation for being very sociable. I can't wait to see them.

Monday, April 9, 2007


Artist and art professor, Joel Tauber has a video installation about his guerilla gardener efforts to save an old sycamore tree in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl. Go Joel !!!

Wonder what would happen if every blogging artist and gardener out there sent him $10 to expand his efforts and /or flooded the city of Pasadena with letters supporting Joel's proposal to further protect and care for this tree ? The power of the internet!?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Philip Johnson's Glass House to Open!

I am really excited to learn that Philip Johnson's Glass House as well as other buildings on the surrounding 47 acres will open to the public beginning in June 2007. Located fairly near to me in New Canaan, CT I am definitely going to put this on my list of "must do" this summer.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Palm Sunday Art Piece

Here are a few shots of my completed and installed art piece done for Palm Sunday at First Church of Hadley. Yes, it really is the first church, established by the people who settled Hadley, Massahcusetts, on the Connecticut River, in 1659. That's early for the U.S. of A. The current building hails from 1810.

The piece depicts Jewish pilgrims entering one of the Jerusalem city gates for the Passover Celebration, as Jesus did on Palm Sunday. Inside the gate however, awaits not a celebration, but the "jaws of death." In the distance, there are storm clouds and vultures overhead on one side, while 3 mountains (Trinity) out the other side. On the stormy hillside are 3 crosses. On the sunny hillsides there are flowers, a flock of sheep and one lost sheep with a shepherd approaching. A white dove overlooks the entire scene. The piece is made from multiple pieces of wood, layered with paint & papers. The pilgrims are made from swatches of fabric shaped with heavy gel medium. The mouth is recessed 1.5 " in a black shadow box.

The 7 little "memory boxes" in front of the art piece are embellished with glittered designs and each contains some item to recall an event that occurred during holy week: a piece of bread for the last supper, flowers for the garden of Gethsemane, silver coins for Judas's betrayal, a branch with thorns for the crown of thorns, nails for the crucifixion, an empty cross for when Jesus was taken down, dead and buried and lastly, a stone for the tomb that was sealed with a boulder. The boxes were opened by 7 children during the children's messgae where I spoke about the very difficult and sad week that Jesus, his family and friends had between Palm Sunday and Easter/ Ressursection Sunday. It is my contention that when we focus in on what occurred this Monday -Saturday, then Easter morning has signifcantly more meaning for us.

This is the first time I have done an art piece for a church service and where I had the oppotunity to explain it to an audience.