Dream Catchers

Dream Catchers

Last week was all about dream catchers.

I’ve been wanting to make one of these for the last few summers.
But kept putting it off because the knotting looked like a real pain.
It was tricky at first.
I made a tangled mess and my first attempt was totally wonky looking.
But with a little patience and a lot of time,
I finally got the hang of it.
…Well, enough to make them.
But not enough to explain how….
If you want to try this,
I recommend watching one of the many tutorials on youtube.
I learned the gist of how to create a dream catcher from this tutorial by The Untidy Artist.
(Thank you Untidy Artist!)
I had a tough time seeing how she was executing each actual knot,
so I kinda did my own thing with the knots.
But hey, it worked.
And now I’ve created three nifty dream catchers to share with you.

Dream catcher #1.
This was my first dream catcher.
It was so lopsided, I ended up taking the whole thing apart and knotting it all over again.
I started with a vintage metal embroidery hoop.
Wrapped grey cotton cording around the hoop.
Then knotted the pattern into the center.
And added beads and feathers.

Dream Catcher #2.
Same basic knotting technique as the first one.
But I went with a larger wood embroidery hoop and white cotton cording.
At first,
I thought this version might be too simple.
Maybe a little naked looking.
But once I added the turquoise beads and spotted feathers,
I decided I liked it just fine.
I’m always one to opt for more simple than too embellished.

Dream catcher #3.
This time I wrapped the wood embroidery hoop with suede strapping.
Then I switched to black cotton cording.
I really love the darker colors and suede texture on this.

Here are all three of them displayed together.
Pretty cool, huh?

I’m excited to take them up to my studio at the Charlotte Art League this week.
They will be on display with my “Happy Go Lucky” summer installation.
Though all my work in the studio is for sale,
The truth is,
I’m rather hoping these don’t sell.
I worked really hard on them & want to enjoy them myself for a while!




The “Spooky” Drawing List

The “Spooky” Drawing List

Though it’s still smack in the middle of summer,
It’s time to prepare for my fall studio theme:
September 5, 2017 – November 3, 2017
At the Charlotte Art League.

My goal is to complete:
12 drawings
9 paintings
Between 1 and 3 creepy dolls,
A murder of crows.
And more should inspiration hit.

So far, I have just this pen and ink of the doll heads.
If I’m going to have something to show for myself come September 5th,
Then it’s time to start cracking.
Without further ado,
Here are my 12 drawing prompts for the “Spooky” collection:

Doll Heads
Dark Hallway or Stairwell
An Empty Swing Set
A Victorian Postmortem “Photograph”
Plague Doctor’s Mask
Abandoned Farm House
Ventriloquist Figure
Animal Skull
Primitive Rag Doll

It’s going to get real spooky around here…
Can’t wait.

Blanket Stitched Felt Coasters

Blanket Stitched Felt Coasters

Remember those rocks I’ve been drawing on?
I decided they looked extra nice displayed on a simple grey felt coaster.
(Yes, I still love grey felt)

A plain cut out felt circle looked fine.
But a blanket stitched embellishment around the coaster edge looked even better.

Then my obsessive-compulsive nature took over.
And I just had to stitch felt coasters for all the ladies joining me for a “Ink on Stone” Girls’ Night Out.

I cut and stitched.
And cut.
And stitched some more.
I prepared 19 coasters before I ran out of felt.
I had enough coasters (and rocks!) for everyone.
Our evening of drawing on rocks was a lot fun.
Everyone went home smiling.

Did I really need to stitch all these coasters?
But did this extra bit of detail make a difference?
I’m going to say yes.
I like the little added details that kick things up a notch.
I was really pleased to present something handmade to each of the evening’s participants.
And don’t you think the stitched coasters grouped together make a pretty picture?

Drawing on Rocks

Drawing on Rocks

I like drawing.
I like rocks.
So why not draw on rocks?
(Cheesy grin)

The whole rock thing started two years ago when we moved into our house.
I spent multiple seasons digging around and mucking out the backyard.
I pruned overgrown bushes.
Weeded everyday.
Planted lots.
And dug piles of rocks out of every flowerbed.
What the hec?
My best guess is the first homeowners used the rocks as ground cover.
But as the seasons passed and the house changed hands,
The rocks were slowly buried under weeds, dirt and yard debris.
Until I came along and dug them all out again.

Most of the rocks are once again ground cover.
But I’ve also set aside a pile of them for arts and crafts purposes.

I’ve used some of the rocks as garden markers.
And a few of the little ones to make a tic tac toe set.
  Now I use the rocks as an alternative drawing canvas.

My preferred rocks to draw on are the big smooth roundish ones.
I give them a good scrub with my vegetable scrubber.
Then set them out to dry in the sun.

My favorite drawing tool is a 05 black Micron pen.
Initially, I just drew Mandalas.
More recently I’ve moved to drawing actual images.

I like the look of ink on “naked” rock.
But a light coat of shellac does protect the inked surface.

There is something relaxing and meditative about drawing on rocks.
Want to try it?
Here’s what  I’d suggest:
A selection of rocks.
One Micron pen.
A cup of coffee or glass of wine.
Perhaps some music playing in the background.
Cup the rock in your hand.
Study it from different angles.
Maybe take a sip of your drink.
Uncap that pen.
And just draw.




“Tablet” (Oil on 16×20 inch canvas, July 2017)

I am suddenly in the mood for the abstract.
What fun it is to just paint from my heart.
I’m not worrying about trying to capture an image.
Or learn a technique.
I’m just mixing and laying in colors as I like.

I started with a vague image of a tablet.
Not “tablet” as in iPad or anything electronic.
But “tablet” as in a piece of stone or wood or even clay.
With hieroglyphics or a tally etched into it.
With that thought in mind,
I created my “Tablet.”
Black and white.
Mixed and layered on the canvas with my favorite palette knife.
It’s funny how in the end,
I have one preferred palette knife and one favorite brush.
I wonder why I even bother to buy a range of sizes and shapes?
I still see “tablet” when I look at this painting.
My husband sees funky gold robot with three eyes and a squiggly mouth.
I wonder.
If we see an image at all, does this knock my painting out of the abstract category?
Does it matter?