Friday, January 30, 2015


Too bad we're back to dark and overcast days. Otherwise, you'd be able to see the metallic sparkle in those letters!
I seem to have travel and adventure on the brain of late, as evidenced in this latest journal page.

Reading books and blogs set in exotic locales, and taking a vicarious cruise down the Nile, will do that to you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


One reason I have never been drawn to encaustics is that all the pieces I have seen in the mixed-media magazines have been rather pale and muted. And, in case you haven't noticed, I am not a pastel kind of gal. I am beginning to see, however, that it could have had more to do with the artists than with the medium.

Yesterday was Encaustic Play Day at muse Artsy Woman's fabulous studio, where we finally broke out the encaustic tool kit that Santa brought me, and did our best to figure out how to use it.

Outdoor Woman wins for Best Apron
In order to ensure that we began the day properly energized, Outdoor Woman brought these.

We felt so honored to have been invited into, and allowed to pretty much destroy, Artsy Woman's amazing studio, for that is a rare privilege indeed. This was our set up at the beginning of the day -- so neat and tidy.

That two-tiered square at the back is actually a palette. The encaustic paints are those sticks on the bottom right, and are made of beeswax, which is solid at room temperature. The palette has a heater underneath it, and you can put chunks of color in those tins, if you need to melt a good bit of one color, or you can just rub the stick directly on the palette itself, and blend and paint just as you would with any palette. You build your painting up with many thin layers of wax, fusing each one to the last with that red hair-dryer-like gizmo. You can also use it to move the paint around and make it do unusual things. And, you can even carve the wax, or embed ephemera between the layers. Endless possibilities!

Outdoor Woman, who has traveled the world several times over, did a collaged piece about travel, then attached another piece to that, on which she scribbled her bucket list of places yet to see.

Artsy Woman provided this blow torch, because she thought playing with fire sounded fun. She added some amber shellac to her piece, then torched it until it bubbled up. Then did it again. And again.

Spirit Woman created this beautiful piece, in some of my favorite colors. Love the piece of purple mesh embedded between the layers, which also bubbled up when torched!

Fiber Woman first did some carving with the set of dental-like tools that came in my kit...

and then she added (Surprise!) some fibers to her piece.

As if hosting us wasn't enough, Artsy Woman even had lunch catered for us!

I created two masterpieces myself -- one buffed to a satiny sheen, the other full of rich craggy texture, and neither one even close to pastel.

For, if there's one thing I learned yesterday, it's that encaustics can be anything but muted!

P.S. Thank you Dear Hubby, for gifting me with the impetus for this day of fun and adventure. And, oh, by the way. The Muses said they are all sending their hubbies over to go Christmas shopping with you next year!

Monday, January 26, 2015


I've been scrambling to complete one or two more art journal pages, based on projects from my Pam Carriker workbook. Chapter three explores the element of shape, and this first project involved using a couple of different stencils to create repetitive shapes in varying sizes to evoke a feeling of unity on the page.

That sideways pyramid shape has nothing to do with this page. Alas, it floated up from the page behind it, which has a diagonal pocket glued to it. DOH!

This next one is a work in progress. We are to create a collage using random shapes cut from everyday bits and bobs, or ephemera, found around the house or in our stash.

A Great Opportunity to Employ Those Used Security Envelopes

To finish it off, once everything is glued in place, I am to add color with media other than our usual acrylic paints.

I hope to finish this one up today, for tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will be hauling all of my new encaustic tools and supplies over to Artsy Woman's garage studio, and the Muses will spend the entire day playing with them -- fortified by chocolate, of course. Barring any accidents involving hot wax or toxic fumes, you should hear from me again in a day or two.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


The houses are so far apart in our neighborhood, that pretty much the only time I see any of my neighbors is when we drive past one another going in or out, or perhaps run into each other in town somewhere. A bit different from life in the burbs, or living on a company compound, huh? We do have a once-a-year meeting of our Home Owners' Association, but since it was slapped with a nasty lawsuit shortly after we moved in, which just recently got settled, those meetings have been anything but sociable. Last January the annual meeting fell on our daughter's birthday, so I went off to celebrate with Lex, and Hubby went off to represent us at the meeting. Guess who managed to get himself elected president while there? "Musta been talkin' when he shoulda been listenin'."

Though he has attended several meetings of the board throughout the year, yesterday was his first time to chair one for all the members. Believe it or not, it was actually quite pleasant, now that we no longer have that lawsuit hanging over our heads. To top it all off, Hubby took it upon himself to organize a little block party afterwards.

We weren't sure if anyone would show up, considering our history and the fact that it was snowing the day before. Fortunately, the weather gods favored us with sunshine and temps in the 60s!

Not only did we get a good turnout, they all stayed much longer than we expected.

Plus, it was a great way to get to know all the new people who have moved in recently.

And, just like that, it suddenly feels more like a neighbor-hood.

Hubby, you rock!

P.S. Guess what I discovered when we were at the Community Center for our meeting that morning?

Another Little Free Library!

Wimberley, you rock too!