Sunday, May 31, 2009

joyful blessings inch by inch art

"joyful blessings" is a 3" x 3" mixed media piece done as my entry into paris' first inch by inch blog art feature. the byline for inch by inch art is "reclaiming life, 1 inch at a time". i like that. i'm attracted to the idea that thru art we can get our life back, center ourselves or as in my case simply grow wings, fly free and live a creative life. i thoroughly enjoyed working on this very small scale of 3" x 3". i collaged a page from a very small german vintage novel copyright 1902 onto a piece of thin cardboard. i add a thin wash of acrylic paint, added rubber stamp ink details like the dots, the stems and the flower circles. then i used pastel chalks and my finger to add color to the flowers and add the leaves. i painted the rain drops in acrylic paint and sprinkled a bit of micro-glitter onto the drops while still wet. a fine ink pen was used to add details.

inch by inch art is to be featured on paris' blog every tuesday, with today being the first week with the theme of rain. although i had a few ideas noodling around in my head, being spontaneous was by far the best part of this project. i simply sat down and had fun with it. i'm looking forward to seeing what paris does with this blog feature. and, i'm cooking up an idea or two for what to do with these little squares.

please be sure to check out paris' blog. she bares her heart and soul in her storytelling and on a mission to reclaim her life. we're right here giving full support, paris!!


golden rays
radiating deep
where the hurt lies
your hurt is age
and weary bones
and fighting
the good fight
to keep going
for me
my hurt is knowing
the day nears
when goodbyes
will be said
you know it too
i can see it
in your eyes
so brown
so true
telling of long years
of friendship
and secrets told
as one can only
tell a best friend
and so today as
we lie together
and commune
with the sun
i pour my love
and gratitude
into your soul
praying god
will give us
just a bit longer

5.31.09 (c) julie king

shadow shot sunday laziness

chubby toes and pajamas on a lazy sunday morning

bluesy hull pottery

wobbly baby robin

girls lunch out

peaceful wicker chair

check out the shadow shot fun with
hey harriet every sunday.
feel free to join in on the
adventure of shooting shadows!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

catching up

it's been such a busy week and i swear i've been fighting off a little bug of some sort. hubby was on vacation doing chores around the house and i had no energy at all after working each day. two days i came home from work and went straight to bed for an hour's nap. i do feel better today. we have a new robin's nest, this time in the honeysuckle bush at the back of the house. two eggs are nestled inside and the protective mama will fly right out and at me if i approach too quickly.

here's the nest snug inside the honeysuckle bush! if it's the same mama as the one who nested at the front door, she sure picked a safer and quieter place this time.

starting on tuesday, i'll be participating in the inch by inch art project created by paris. each tuesday i'll post a photo of the 3" x 3" art piece that i created that week. i've already warned paris that i may not have time to participate very week but i'll sure try. this week's theme is rain and i have a few ideas rattling around in my head.

sweet, sweet nana trish nominated me for this awe-summmm!!!! award. thanks, nana!! you show me so much love and support and it really is appreciated. the award comes with a challenge to list 7 things about myself that make me awe-summmm. here goes:

one i like to make people laugh. when things get tense at work, i find ways to lighten the mood. last year i created a make-believe mascot, guido, for our creative department. guido pulls pranks, is the culprit if anything goes wrong and is currently running a worm farm under our boss' desk.

two i enjoy sharing my crafty wares. i'm sure that i give way more of my art away than i ever sell. it makes me happy!

one of the roles in life that i enjoy the most is being grandma julie. i've always loved kids and so adore getting right down on their level to play and be silly.

four i see beauty everywhere and take the time to soak in the blessings of life.

god blessed me with this right-brain / left-brain multi-tasking gene which allows me to be very creative while outlining the steps for implementation at the same time. did i say my life is blessed?

six i have a secret love affair going on with books and one of my pleasures in life is sharing and giving books to others. i'm quick to offer suggestions on great reads and don't-miss authors.

seven i'm humble. hee hee seriously, someone should create one of these memes where you have to post on your blog all the ways you are a less-than-perfect human being. mine would be a list of at least one hundred ways!!

my three nominees are kerri, lori and alisa!!

hubbie and i are off to explore the clifton gorge in yellow springs, ohio. i'm taking my camera, of course!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

pushing boundaries

petunias (c) 2009 julie king

a couple of months ago i volunteered to take a class at work that would train me to be a certified car seat technician. it is a 4- day course of training, lectures, hand-on skills tests and written tests. as it got into the hefty technical aspects today i couldn't help asking myself why am i doing this?? it was not required. no one else in my department volunteered. why had a taken something on that i was obviously not all that cut out to do? one co-worker said it was because i was a real go-getter. others said i had a thirst for knowledge. me? i say i'm just a glutton for punishment. hee hee i am proud to say that i hung in there and passed both the skills tests today. pusing those boundaries aside i found a way to push thru and succeed.

single violet blossom (c) 2009 julie king

i've often said that as aging women, we have two choices: give in or fight back. when i give in i allow myself to eat too much, gain weight and be a total couch potato. very little self-improvement takes place and i tend to simply veg. when i fight back i eat healthier, get more exercise, feel better and challenge myself to stretch my wings in new and often frightening ways. it is by fighting back that i gain my strength and my joy in life. although, even when fighting back i rarely pass up a good piece of chocolate cake! hee hee

coral bells swaying (c) 2009 julie king

this last week, some of my art sold including an original shadow box collage and the "she journeyed" piece i featured here. this small surge validates me in ways many of you can understand, i'm sure. it satisfies the soul and creates in me a desire to push those boundaries back even further so i can fly free . . . soar.

this is a large commission piece i started on monday. it is 36" x 18" solid aspen. i'm still applying the first layer of torn vintage sheet music. next i'll start adding layers of paint and building the base for the subject matter up with torn tissue paper. i don't have a firm design set down yet and plan to just let this one take course as it will -- basically i'll let the art have it's way with me and i'll follow along for the adventure. how fun to see where we'll travel together . . . pushing the boundaries all the way!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

jenna's first dance recital

an 11 x 14 painting on canvas that i did as a gift for jenna. her first dance recital is coming up and i'll wrap this up to give to her on that day. i so enjoyed painting it and i'm feeling a bit more comfortable painting faces.

i hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

morning skies and good news!

beautifully textured skies here in ohio this friday morning. it's so heartwarming to me what you can feel and experience if you just look up and drink it all in. 

good news! i am featured on nancy's only handmade blog today! so excited and grateful for the validation of my work. please stop over and check it out!!

have a wonderful weekend, friends!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

more artroom play

a couple of pieces i worked on over the weekend. they are a continuation of my experimentation with faces and different techniques. the "tutu girl" is all acrylic paint with just a touch of glitter on her tutu. this was my first attempt in a long time to simply paint without all the added pieces of torn paper. i'm pleased with her leotard, her tutu, the background and the flowers but will start a new canvas to see what i can improve on her face and hair. i just tell myself to keep practicing!! the "keep growing" piece is a true mixed media piece with a variety of torn papers, acrylic paints, shiva paint sticks, rubber stamps and a bit of copper wire. you can't tell from the photo but the flowers in the bottom corners were made with a palette knife and very thick globs of acrylic paints. they took forever to dry but were a fun experiment.

i'm working toward a large update to my etsy shop with several originals. it's long days at the day job and long nights in the art room for me. but many of you know what i'm talking about, right?

one last thing: thank you, thank you, thank you all for all your kind words about my "awakening piece". i feel a warm glow from all your love and encouragement. i am so blessed in so many ways and i appreciate all of you more than i can say. you've given me a renewed creative vigor and it is much appreciated!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


early yesterday morning i was enjoying a few blissful minutes in bloggyland when i stumbled into a post talking about rubber stamps. i had been stewing over what to do to my latest collage called awakening. and it hit me -- i needed to dig thru my storage closet in the art room and find my antique rubber stamp kit. it would be the perfect font for the word awakening -- just the right size with a classic vintage feel. about twenty minutes later i had added the new word to the piece and was able to say "finished"!!

like many of my treasures, this rubber stamp set had been my dad's. i bought it for $5 in the family auction we had two years ago. what a wonderful deal!!! now that i've used it, i'm going to keep it out to remind me to use it more often.

lazy, rainy saturday morning here in ohio. perfect day to have a second cup of coffee and spend the day in the art room -- in my pajamas, of course!!! take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


were any of you wide awake at 1:30 am last night??!! i went to bed at my normal 10:00 or so but was wide awake. so i got up and came to the art room. i had collaged and painted the first layer background on this piece earlier in the evening and then ended up working on it until 1:30. several gals i work with said they were awake unable to sleep last night as well. maybe it's something in the air? a full moon?

there are some things about this piece that i really like. i enjoyed adding all the tissue paper layers that give it so much texture. the copper wire for stems was fun as well but i can tell from the pictures that i need to add some sort of collaged or painted stems beneath the wire. i enjoyed writing the poem but am not happy (yet) with the word awakening. i think awakening needs to be bigger or something. i'm thinking of making the word very large and swoop on a curved line above the bird and flowers. what do you think? honestly, i'd like to know your thoughts.

the baby robins have flown from the nest. one got lost in our garage and bill used a hockey stick to gently herd it outside. mama and papa swooped down on it so quickly it was amazing. for most of the evening the other baby has been mia but a bit ago bill heard it chirping in the flower bed at the front of the house. mama and papa are keeping quite busy flying back and forth to check on them.

i'm headed out for a bike ride. it's a gorgeous "sweatshirt" evening!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

hodge podged mish mash

i've titled this post hodge podged mish mash since it's a tiny bit of this and a little pinch of that. first, are two photos of the sky above our neighborhood a few days ago. the above photo shows this giant cloud just moving in.

eventually it looked like this against a fading sunset sky.

an update on the baby robins: here they are in the nest last evening. i really thought this would be my last chance to see them; they certainly look big enough to fly off on their own. but, i just opened my front door and there they are -- in their nest in my wreath all snug and dry and sheltered from the rain. mama and papa robin have gotten quite tolerant of me as i've planted flowers and worked in the front flower beds several times over the last week. mama and papa sit up on the edge of the roof and watch me, crying out only occasionally if i get too close to the front door and their precious family.

this adorably wrapped package arrived in the mail yesterday -- a much-admired item i bought from lori at elvie studio. i adore the little inspected by tag -- tres original!

she enclosed a little note and one of her handmade cards as well. delightful!!

her business card came in a little vellum envelope with much-loved, too-cute waxed cotton string!!

but, the best part of all was the journal i bought!! the art, the colors, the workmanship are wonderful and the insides have an eclectic variety of coordinating papers in bright checks, stripes and patterns!! thanks, lori, you rock!!!! i'm keeping the journal for me and all the little extras are going on my inspiration wall here in the art room. you inspire me!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

happy day sunday

since i spent all day saturday in indiana with my family, sunday was free for bill and i to work around the house and enjoy the great weather. first we went to the englewood dam to check out the high water, the geese and take some photos. the above is a photo of a sycamore which i altered (to say the least) in PS. i rather like it now.

then we went to a series of small fishing ponds so bill could fish and i could sit and read or take photos. a group of people showed up with their water dogs and oh what fun it was to watch them frolic together and swim after the rubber duck.

these two quickly learned that team work was much easier than competition!

it was such a serene and beautiful spot!

another shot of a sycamore tree which i altered in ps. i just love the filter that lets me add ink outlines to my photos!

i call this shot springtime looking up! i just love the wisps of leaves ont he tree, the floating clouds and the diffused glow of the sun.

the yellow lab at the back of this pack had never been int he water before. she struggled a bit at first but finally got the hang of it. it was so fun to see how she almost strutted with pride in the water once she mastered the doggy paddle.

this old guy was obviously a regular at the fishing pond. shots of greeting prevailed when he arrived and several fisherman walked around the edge of the pond to say a more personal and close-up hello.

this 4 month old weimerarner was not allowed in the water yet but he was most anxious to at least get his mouth around that prized rubber duck.

it was a delightful day with perfect weather and wonderful new-found friends. i hope we meet up with these water- and fun-loving dogs again one day! as for the ponds, i know we'll be returning soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

shadow shot sunday #5

no exciting shadow shots this week, just a few creative things i tried while walking in the evenings this week.

i'm off to the garden center to get flowers to plant! you just gotta love spring!!!!