A Quest For Focus


** My Paradise

Called Home **

Zenned Out

Friday, August 27, 2010

I've spent the last 4 days on discovering the zentangle (or whatever it is you may call it). I've always doodled as far as I can remember. Well, in the way I do things - go big or go home - I started with a doodle aka string on a sheet of 11x14 bristol board then cut it up into 12 pieces, I did number them first so it would be easy to put them back together, then shuffled them a bit and had at it, one at a time I filled each square.........for hours, days even, just me, my favorite music a Micron pen and a 2B pencil. I had help along the way from various zentangle artists out there on the internet, there is some incredible talent out there in this sort of art. So, here is my first attempt at a zentangle ensemble:
I added a Buddist mantra I had gotten on an ATC from my friend, Brenda, that I thought would be good on here somewhere by Thich Nhat Hanh. This was such a great thing to do - just to make pattern after pattern practically without much thought. What was even more fun was seeing what all 12 looked like once I put them back together! 

Also this week, I hit my 200 mile mark on my virtual trip across the USA. I've also lost 8 pounds so far. Not a ton but my clothes are looking so much better and I think I've gained a bit of muscle so I can deal with that! Here is my newest close up map and I've added my trail progress  looking at the whole state of Virginia:
Only 500+ miles to go before I leave the state! haha! I've set what is probably an unrealistic goal which is to be done w/ VA before the first snow falls because after it does I have to put the bike up and exclusively walk until the spring which will make for some S L O W progress. But we'll see - I'll try my best! 

This video/song is a little long, but hey, what Grateful Dead tune isn't? This song carried me through a piece of the above zentangle and I thought it suited my post just fine.

the heart has it's seasons, it's evenin's and songs of it's own...at the Shores

Beware the Wrath of a Patient Adversary

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The title of this post is a John C Calhoun quote and so very true I think! This month's winner takes all theme was the 7 deadly sins, greed, sloth, gluttony, pride, envy, lust, and wrath - you could do one or all or any amount in between on an ATC. I decided to do wrath, no real good reason except it was one that I really can't relate to, I suppose I get mad or irate at times but wrath just seems so much more angry than that....to me anyway. I thought about the trips I've taken to New Orleans and the voodoo dolls I saw for sale there in the shops and always thought "wow, you'd have to be waaaaaaaay pissed to buy one of those and use it", I mean, I'd be too afraid something would really happen to my "victim" (of course it wouldn't be my fault...........or would it?) Well, this girl ain't taking any chances! Anyway, here is my little angry ATC. My husband questioned why I decided against sticking my lil guy in the groin with a pin (he was teasing - I think) and I can't say I didn't think about it but decided I wasn't too sure with how the person getting it would take it! LOL

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, I had another children's bereavement camp, this time it was 3 days. I had the littlest ones again and am now convinced more than ever they really are not old enough to truly benefit from our therapies, their little attention spans are just simply too short. I wonder after the three days if they really got anything out of it? Have they learned a little more to cope with the death of their mother, father etc.? Not sure, but I do know I run after them buggers alllllllllll day! The sign above was hanging in one of the pavilions where we did some art therapy.
in Just-

spring when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it's


when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far and wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and






balloonMan whistles




                                              - e.e. cummings
On another note, my son Frankie (not sure just when I'll let him graduate to just Frank - probably never since he's 24 and I still haven't felt the urge) was up for a few days. We had fun, Randi, my husbands daughter, Jeff her husband and their boys took him out for some romping on the lake, I even made a brief appearance to go tubing with the grandsons! My arms were killing me 2 days later from hanging on for dear life to the tube while being drug up and down the lake! We saw the movie "Inception" good albeit a little confusing. And the last day we made our usual trip to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame - a perfect day for 2 music nuts that we are! I was really glad they extended the Springsteen exhibit through the year so he could see it since he's a big fan.
Are YOU superstitious?? Get up and boogie whatever your answer!
Superstition ain't the way...........................at the Shores

A Repousse' Kinda Day

Monday, August 09, 2010

Well, I've finally gotten last months winner takes all ATC(s) done. The theme chosen was under the sea - not beachy, not cutsy...the sea. I've been pondering picking up the black matte metal and Prismacolor pencils to have another go of it (and perhaps walk away with more hair left on my head this time) so I went for it. The first one I did a fish w/seaweeds etc. but the only problem was the seaweed ended up looking like part of the fish I had camouflaged in the water, not too sure I liked the outcome so I tried again, this time a grumpy grouper type fish thing (can you tell I am not well versed in the fishes?) I like him better and will send them both.
Hope she likes at least one of them!

So, me being a glutton for punishment did yet another one, this time a skinny (3x5) for my friend Brenda who was gracious enough to order the black metal and sent some, much more than what was needed in fact, to everyone who participated in the swap, she wouldn't take payment so this will have to do.

That will be the last of my repousse' for awhile...it is not the easiest medium to work with, plus just the feel of the metal for some reason gives my the willies *shudder*, I try to wear surgical gloves as much as I can while working with it!
(PS the silver metallic Prismacolor pencil works fabulously on the metal)

And now for an old favorite of mine:
It's far beyond the star, It's near beyond the moon................at the Shores

Next Stop.....Belize!

Friday, August 06, 2010

This World Tour ATC series has been so educational for me, the research I do to find a subject to paint has been so enjoyable and informative! The latest was Belize so I picked Belizian art to do which also incorporates a little piece of life there with the women carrying baskets of goods on their heads and the beautiful blue waters of this country. I'm really happy with the end result, it was adapted from a local artists work, unfortunately I was unable to locate his or her name to credit it to since it wasn't listed.  Isn't it just some colorful fun!?!?  This was done with acrylics and I used some grass cloth paper scraps for the baskets.

The next country hasn't been announced yet but I'm anxiously waiting!

I've finally hit my 100+ (103.8 to be exact) mile milestone in my walk / ride, only about 600 miles to go to be out of Virginia! It would be quite a bit shorter if it were a straight shot across the state but the trail really zig zags all the way across! I'll bore you yet again with another map of my progress:  

I'll leave you with a little World Music. Bob Marley wasn't from Belize but I thought it still fit!

Gonna Stir it up............at the Shores

For Em

Monday, August 02, 2010

Well, I did my first 5k but was not able to run the whole way (neeeeeeed oxygen - and a body more fit!). It was to help pay for treatment for Emily, an 11 year old girl tackling leukemia for the second time in her short little life . There was one person who rode his bike 200 miles that day, he had some corporate sponsors and raised quite a bit of money for the cause. He started early that morning and finished up around 9pm...truly an amazing man! I came in 44th out of 90+ so I am pleased, I will add that I about DIED when a "older" lady in overalls passed me during the race - whaaaaaaaa :) The picture above is just before the start.

I am finishing up a couple swaps before I take my ATC "slow down". I've got to get more books bound for my shop and really want to do a couple larger paintings to get out of this burn-out I seem to be in with ATC's. Anyway, the swap was to be something about the year you were born, I chose what was up in the art world at the time - this was definitely not my favorite time for art really, Pop Art was really big, Warhol, Lichtenstein etc. This scan really shows the dots on her face more than the actual ATC does which stinks because it looks as though she has a wicked case of chicken pox! I drew it using a grid (which I do often)and it's my first done using no paint with the exception of the 2 metal repousse' pieces I've done.

As of Saturday the 31st I've gone 81.4 miles on my virtual trip across the USA, I am just outside Richmond, Virginia. My goal is to hit my first hundred mile mark by tomorrow (Tuesday Aug 3), WOOT! I am here to tell you, this keeps me amazingly motivated! I just cant WAIT to see where I am after each workout, whether it be by bike or on foot!!
                                      Trail photo!
And now for some music from 1965.....Beatles "In My Life" of course!

In my life I've loved them all..............at the Shores


5k (1) alabama tornadoes (1) art (28) art journal (15) artist trading card (12) ATC (11) auld lang syne (1) baby it's cold outside (1) banksy (2) banned books (2) banned books bracelet (1) bare naked ladies (1) batik (6) beads (1) beatles (1) belize (1) billboard (1) bird (1) blank journal (23) bloghop (1) blue highways (21) bluehighways (29) bob marley (1) book binding (33) books (21) bracelet (1) buckingham (1) cactus (1) cactus tree (1) camera (1) canning (1) cardinal (1) carole king (1) castle (1) centerpiece (1) chinchic (1) chinchilla (1) Christmas (1) Cobain (1) coptic binding (2) costumes (1) craft show (1) crafts (1) Crosby Stills Nash and Young (1) daisy (1) death cab for cutie (1) disco (1) dove (1) duck (1) eagle (1) ee cummings (2) egypt (1) etsy shop (42) fabric (3) Fillmore (1) film (1) flowers (1) frida (3) friends (1) garden (4) garden party (1) garden statue (1) giveaway (1) goldfinch (1) goo goo dolls (1) graphitints (1) grateful dead (1) HAF (24) hafshop (24) halloween (1) handbound (28) handmade (20) handmade artists forum (19) handmade books (46) handmade journal (23) hepburn (1) holiday road (1) if i had a million dollars (1) image transfer (2) james taylor (1) Jesus (1) jesus stencil (1) joshua kadison (1) journal (6) kahlo (2) Kerouac (1) kodachrome (1) lichtenstein (1) lighthouse (1) lighthouse tale (1) limes (1) lyle lovett (1) madame butterfly (1) moon (1) moscow (1) movies (1) mozart (1) needlework (1) nefertiti (1) New Year (1) nickel creek (1) nikon (1) on fire team (1) onion domes (1) ornament (1) painting (1) peace (2) peppers (1) photo (1) poland (1) postcard album (1) prismacolors (1) puccini (2) queen (2) ravens sight (1) Red Queen (1) repousse (2) rock hall (1) roses (1) russia (1) rusted root (2) sailing (1) sammy hagar (1) san marino (1) sewing (1) skull (1) soap (1) spraypaint (4) st basils (1) stencil (5) street art (3) studio 54 (1) sugar chile robinson (1) summer (1) summer time (1) superstition (1) tattoo balm (1) three dog night (1) Tim Burton (1) transfer paper (1) trash (1) Turandot (1) van morrison (1) voodoo doll (1) walkin' on sunshine (2) Warhol (1) weave (1) weaving (1) zentangle (2)