Tuesday, September 30, 2008

autumn treats

in a burst of susie homemaker energy on sunday afternoon i made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing. after 1 1/2 hours of alternating between the kitchen and my art room, there were 48 cupcakes which gave me 22 to take to work and 22 to send to work with bill. plus i saved these 2 back for our sunday evening tv-watching treat! at work we rationalized eating the decadent icing by saying at least we were getting our veggies in the carrot cake. smile! bill and i both agreed that we enjoyed sharing at work so much that we will make this a monthly thing. our october treat will be welsh cakes made from an old williams (bill's mom) family recipe. i promise to share the recipe later next month!

i've been practicing on my photoshop skills. i used the liquify tool to create the fun pattern around the plate above. when jenna was here saturday she and i played with the distort feature to twirl and pinch photos of family members. she thought it was too too funny! and grandma did too!

i'm off to take a bike ride in the cool autumn air! what are you doing to enjoy these lovely evenings?

Monday, September 29, 2008

a work in progress

i think i've shared with all of you here before that i kind of put my life on hold and stopped growing and changing for a while there. i was stuck in a rut, feeling kind of old, unmotivated to try anything new, just plain blah. it threw me for a loop as i've never been a blah kind of girl. i think i just kind of pulled into my shell for a rest. then i found torn paper collage and my life-long secret dream of being an artist started to awaken my creative spirit allowing me to spread my wings and fly in whole new directions. i found a brand new way to soar and live and embrace life!! my art journey has been scary and exhilarating. i feel like every piece i do is one giant experiment as i am completely untrained and just playing around in an intuitive organic sort of way. i've given myself permission to make mistakes and discard what doesn't work because i realize it is just a journey and one that i really just want to enjoy. one of the artists i discovered early in my artistic journey was kelly rae roberts. oh, her art spoke to me and i studied her images with longing to some day be only a smidgen as talented an artist as she is. when i started reading kelly's blog i found that she had many of the same fears and doubts as me. she was learning to spread her wings and fly right along with the rest of us. a couple of weeks ago i received my much-anticipated copy of kelly's book taking flight -- inspiration & techniques for giving your creative spirit wings. and i love, love, love it! the photo at the top is my latest piece -- a work in progress -- using some of the techniques in kelly's book. i am having so much fun with it and learning so much!! thanks, kelly, for all the inspiration and just for being so human and forth-coming with your art and your life!

taking flight
by kelly rae roberts

my new piece is at yet unnamed and like me, it will continue to evolve until it finds its true identity. we are both simply works in progress!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

tap dance reflections

my 3 1/2 year-old granddaughter jenna attended her first tap dance class last week. that's her above in her brand spanking new tap shoes. she spent the weekend with us and of course i asked her about dance class. i discovered that there's a lot of wisdom brimming forth from a three year old if you just take the time to listen. here's what our very precocious little sweetheart shared and the life lessons i took away from her reflections:

jenna: "mommy picked out which dance outfit i was going to wear. she took dance when she was little so she knew what to wear the first day."
lesson: always trust an experienced person when starting on a new venture.

jenna: "ava just stood there through the whole class and didn't do any of the dances. i think she was just scared or something. i think next week she'll do a little bit."
lesson: we can easily recognize in others the trepidation we feel but we still have hope for them.

jenna: "there's one big mirror in the room so you can see yourself dancing but you need to watch miss cindy so you know what to do next."
lesson: don't let vanity sway you from the course at hand.

jenna: "i can't do the toe tap very well. it's supposed to make a big noise but my shoes only make a little one."
lesson: we all have to practice, learn and grow in order to fill those big shoes handed out by life.

jenna: "next week mommy has to stay out in the first room while we dance with miss cindy. when i show her i did the tap she'll say "you did it!"
lesson: we can always count on mom to be our biggest cheerleader!

thanks, jenna, for being such a delight this weekend! you fill our lives with so much joy!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


i've always thought that the banana is the perfect food. it comes in its own biodegradeable wrapper making it eco-friendly. you can carry it most anywhere and there's never a need to refrigerate. packed with vitamins and nutrients, they make a wonderfully quick snack. i rarely leave the grocery without a bunch of mostly green bananas, preferring them when they're almost hard. i throw one in my work bag every morning to eat on my way to a meeting or at my desk. when i visit our photographer to art direct a baby photoshoot they call me "banana girl" as i always have my on-to-go snack. yellow is one of my fave colors (second to orange of course!!) so that makes the banana even more perfect. so if you hear me singing that "yes, we have no bananas, we have no bananas today" song you'll surely understand that it's due to my long-running love affair with the world's perfect food!

have a great weekend, everyone!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

sing a joyful song
torn paper mixed media collage
9 x 12 x 3/4 solid aspen
copyright 2008 julie king

no matter the weight or the stress of the day
if raining or snowing or blustery spray
there's always a song to lighten the spirit
just open your heart and surely you'll hear it

it's there in the whisper of soft aspen leaves
the sighs of a child as he gently breathes
a lullaby hummed as the raindrops fall
a symphony of crickets as evening calls

syncopated rhythm of children's feet
the hiss of the radiator's blast of heat
whirling cacophony of the subway train
far off hum of a passing plane

you alone can choose to hear
what you want in the sounds so near
make of it a waltz or rock song
just be sure to sing along

sing a joyful song, my friend
make it happy from start to end
let your heart sing loud and free
a carefree, melodic symphony

Monday, September 22, 2008

the lore of the auction

my husband and i car pool to work every day as we work just a couple of miles apart 30 miles south of our home. we like to take the country or back way to the interstate. the road winds across a river, thru a hilly wooded area and across some beautiful farm country. about a month ago we saw a sign posted for an upcoming auction. it was at an old two story home straight out of the last century or maybe even the one before that. i immediately said "oh, can we go? please let's go". i love auctions. it is such a thrill to go early and browse thru all the wares, looking for a special item that reminds me of my childhood or my grandparents. there's always a couple of things i think i just have to have, usually some little item that won't cost much. this auction was saturday morning and it did not disappoint. the very first items i spied were boxes and boxes of old books, magazines and sheet music. i spent a good deal of time sorting and looking thru the boxes to identify which ones i wanted to bid on. i was lucky in that this auction was so big that there were three different auctioneers all working at the same time, so when they started auctioning off the books there were very few bidders. i came away with the big box of sheet music above. not only are the covers beautifully illustrated but the insides will be delightful additions to my collages.

i also bought a box of books plus a few single books. the photo above shows some of them spread out in the sun to air out a bit as they were rather musty. one is an old accounting ledger with the entries handwritten in pencil. what fun they will be to add to collages. the grand opera book is also chock full of interesting music and illustrations. i wanted to stay longer and bid on a large box of hand written letters and postcards but we had other things to do. i could have sat there all day enjoying the bidding and the delighted looks on people's faces as they won each coveted item. there were no hummels at this auction which i've started collecting or i'm sure we would have stayed just a bit longer. it was a fun and relaxing morning. now i just have to figure out where oh where i'm going to put all the sheet music and vintage books. my art room runneth over!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

tipsy tea cup treasury listing!!!

the lovely and talented nancy lefko scored an etsy treasury and she featured my tipsy tea cups 2 torn paper collage in that treasury! it is my first time to be featured in a treasury and i am thrilled. i'm also very honored as i am in awe of the collage work that nancy does. you can visit her blog here and her etsy shop here. to see the treasury and check out the other wonderful artists selected by nancy, please click here.

i went to a local auction yesterday and bought some fantastic vintage music books and sheet music!!! i'll post photos later today. happy sunday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

autumn evening

for me, there's no season like fall. the cool mornings and warm, sunny afternoons fill my heart with such joy. i've always marveled at the counterpoints of fall. fall is all about new beginnings and firsts . . . the first day of school, new shoes, fresh new pencils and pads of paper, spying the first orange pumpkin in a field, the long-anticipated first of september when i can do my fall decorating.

the counterpoint to all of fall's excitement and first events is mother nature bringing an end to another gorgeous summer. leaves gently fall from the birch tree next door creating a brand new canvas for us to enjoy. geese and ducks start to angle southward. the honeysuckle blooms give way to gorgeous red berries for the birds to feast on come a cold november day.

the sun rises at a new angle in the sky and sets so much earlier with a glorious glow. and, it all just makes me want to grab on and hold tight to every single moment, savoring every sight, sound and taste that is fall.

so we stay out a little later in these waning autumn evenings -- walking the neighborhood, visiting with neighbors, taking photos and drinking it all in. and, if you listen closely you can hear my heart sigh a melodic note of pure contentment. aaaaaahhhhh!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

heart and home

birch tree nest
torn paper mixed media collage
9 x 9 x 3/4 solid aspen
copyright 2008 julie king

i've always been very much a homebody. it's fun to go on vacation or take a day trip once in a while. and, visiting family on a sunday is a huge joy. but, honestly, there's nowhere i'd rather be than home. for me, there's nothing like a lazy day at home. it always starts with coffee on the patio on warm, sunny days or coffee in front of the fireplace in the winter. there's always a pile of carefully selected novels waiting by the reading chair. the sunshine streaming in my art room window makes it a most inviting spot. presley gets some much-deserved attention after spending long days alone during the week. and, of course, there are all of your blogs to catch up on!!

i've noticed that both of my kids are homebodies as well. i guess i raised them that way. as a single parent, money for going and doing was pretty scarce. there was always a creative way to make being at home fun. we simulated a camping trip in our living room by cooking on top of the kerosene heater a few times. sunday afternoons after church often included a yahtzee tournament with the best out of 5 games being declared the yahtzee champ. we stayed up late with the lights out and told stories. and there were always books to read back then as well.

so here's to sunday at home. i know i'm going to enjoy it. what's your favorite thing to do at home?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

white water flash

adrenaline rush
joyful ride
tumults of water
over the side
avoid a crash
white water flash

brother and sister
once apart
now come together
like at the start
warms a mom's heart
warms a mom's heart

isn't it funny that even after you've raised your kids and they're out in the big world living their own wonderful lives that you still live a little bit vicariously in everything they do? the photo is of my son and son in-law (at the front of the raft) with a group of acquaintances white water rafting this last weekend. my daughter's co-workers put the trip together and since my daughter is expecting our third grandchild she was not able to paddle. so they invited her brother, my son, to take her place. my kids went thru a long adolescent period of not being particularly close. ideological differences, lifestyle choices and maybe a bit of stubbornness always seemed to be the root cause to me. no big dramatic split, just a lack of social interaction. it is so heart-warming now that they have rekindled a close family bond and do things together. i know they laugh and make fun of their dorky mom when they're together but i'm cool with that. after all it was me who said some day they'd be close again. all good things in good time, matt and megan, all good things in good time!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


dancin' in the rain
what a sweet release
good for the heart
fun for the feets

you're never too old
to give it a try
euphoria reigns
and worries fly

what a glorious day
when raindrops patter
so dance in the rain
like nothin' else matters

dedicated to my daughter megan who always has the right words to put life into perspective and make me lighten up and enjoy life more!! the photo is of her daughter jenna splashing in puddles after a rain shower.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

hotel gallery

last weekend i hung all my art in the hotel gallery in tipp city. the 3-story building is an old hotel that has been converted into an antique and art gallery. i am sharing a room on the second floor with 3 other artisans.

the building is so quaint and jam packed with such a big variety of handmade items as well as antiques of all sorts. it's just the sort of place i love to browse on a lazy saturday afternoon. one large room on the first floor is used for art classes and music fests.

during the summer months tipp city has an outdoor festival in the street the first friday evening of every month. artists set up tables to demonstrate their crafts, a live band plays and fun is had by all. tipp city is a wonderful old town -- it's like stepping back into the olden days.

i took many items out of my etsy shop to fill my space in the hotel gallery. so now i'm working hard to get some new inventory built up to post on etsy. i'm also working toward offering prints of some of my work. thanks to all of my loyal blog readers for following my passion and supporting my little art shop. you are all the wind beneath my wings!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

blissful together

blissful together
torn paper mixed media collage
12 x 9 aspen wood
copyright 2008 julie king

happy sunny morning
birdsong on the air
flowers gently swaying
there's not a single care
to interrupt the joyful
feelings that we share
blissful together
our secret whispered prayer

Monday, September 1, 2008

rockin' guitar

rockin' guitar
torn paper mixed media collage
18" x 24" gallery wrapped canvas
copyright 2008 julie king

long time, no blog, friends! life has been hectic lately although i have still managed to find time to work in the art room. the above is my latest, just finished last night. i really love this piece, loved working on it and i'm very proud of it! it was the perfect mix of the just-right papers, warm and cool colors blended together, great music while working and warm afternoon sun filtering in thru the art room window. i'm working on two small commissions now; one is a birch tree and the other is a mermaid. fun, fun, fun!

here's a close-up of the guitar. i used some pieces torn from a vintage music book which i thought added a nice touch.

i'm off to have coffee on the patio. it is crisp and cool with gorgeous sunshine this morning!