Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Summer Mandala


I realized that having taken such a long break from blogging has given me a backlog of art works to post. Here’s one from last summer. It’s about 12 inches across. The following photo is a detail of the center.  The center symbol is for Reiki healing. I don’t usually incorporate specific meanings to these designs, but I also knew not many people would recognize it anyway.

The advantage to not having matted and framed anything recently is that I can still take good photos to post without the added glare from the glass! So while I’m working on other projects, I’ll go back and find some things that I haven’t shown here before.


Weston Bend, Tobacco Barn

There was one day with pleasant weather during spring break last month, and I had a chance to get out of town with my granddaughter to visit Jack at the VA complex in Leavenworth for a day out.  For lunch, we brought a picnic to Weston Bend, a state park in Missouri. I didn’t get good photos of the view over the Missouri River  (you can also see the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, KS from the overlook), but we ate lunch by this old tobacco barn and explored a bit. There are 5 tobacco barns in the area and evidently people still grow tobacco here.

I’m not supposed to put photos of my granddaughter on the internet, but I’m sneaking this one in so you can see the size of the building. I don’t know now why I didn’t try to get a full view of it, but probably the light was wrong.


We couldn’t actually get in, but there were plenty of ways to peek inside and through.









There’s a lovely camping area there, and plenty of walking trails, so I hope I get back soon before the oak mites and ticks make it unpleasant to be outdoors. The town of Weston is also worth exploring, as it dates to pre-Civil War, but I’ll save that post for another time.

Layouts, Handwriting style, Size? Oh, dear.


I’ve been playing around with layouts and what kind of handwriting I want to use on these recipe pages. I’m trying for something not too formal, a little bit elegant, and still very legible. I’m not sure yet about the sizing on them, the one on the right looks like it’s harder to read, so I may go with a smaller size. I’m trying to leave space for some embellishments, too.
Feedback is welcome. I’d like to resolve some of the basic issues before I commit to a huge project!

Vintage Scrapbook Art, Recycled

While going through the discards at our nearby auction house, I found a scrapbook that was made as a gift for the president of a woman’s club. It narrowly escaped the dumpster. The pages were falling to bits, but I thought the content was worth keeping… the hand-decorated photos and collaged captions from 1953 were strangely appealing. Maybe because those old ladies don’t look so awfully old to me now… just a group of women trying to do good works and have some fun at the same time. And with hats! Someone put a lot of work into it originally, and I hate to see this kind of thing get trashed. So I salvaged what I could and made  ATCs and postcards. I used the inside cover paper from another old book for backgrounds.

“Matchbox” trade, Tiny Collage Art

I was following a French  artist on Facebook who initiated a matchbox exchange. The photos of the ones he had received showed them filled with tiny items, pictures, charms,etc.  I decided to accept the challenge,  but instead of a matchbox, I  used an old box for reinforcements. (As it turned out, that wasn’t the best choice).
I found an old Conoco trip log from the 1930’s with various graphics that I liked and superimposed them on an old map, then added images to the back and sides. I intended to glue in an old race car from a Monopoly game, but I couldn’t find one without spending money, so I had to skip it.
When I packaged it up in a padded envelope to mail, the Post Office told me it would cost almost $14 to mail it first class! They said it was over 3/4 of an inch thick, and was not uniform in size (it made a lump in the packet, not a smooth item that filled the envelope space). To send it as a small package would have cost even more and involved a customs form as well. I could have saved some thickness by using a regular matchbox, but I didn’t feel like starting over and it still wouldn’t have had the dimensions they expected for a first class letter.
So I told him I couldn’t send it, after all.

First Pencil, then Pen

I’ve been doing some pencil layouts for more recipe pages, but first I had to sharpen all the pencils. This took some time.  I’m actually a pen freak (technical term for “enthusiastic, but not quite as advanced as a connoisseur”) but I also enjoy finding the perfect pencil and a great sharpener to make little curly flakes of shavings with.

Finished Page (Spaghetti Sauce)


Unfortunately, I was too lazy to hook up the scanner and get a good copy of this one. This is a photograph of a photocopy. I was anxious to get the original to its owner and move on to something else, but you can get a general idea of how it turned out. Next time I’ll be more diligent in getting an accurate image.