Tuesday, December 30, 2008

sweet evening song

i love "friday evenings" on a tuesday!! i'm off work until monday, the 5th so it feels like a sweet, sweet delightful friday to me. i'm listening to a bit of mellow pearl jam (driftin'), some eddie vedder (i love the into the wild soundtrack!!) and a bit of paul mc cartney (heaven on a sunday and little willow from the flaming pie cd). i started my facebook page yesterday and i want to finish setting it up, make some contacts (i see that some of YOU belong yeah!) and load some photos. wonderful, lazy evening filled with life's sweet evening songs!

i did the little sweet evening song collage on sunday. i'm enjoying using some hand cut paper elements instead of only using torn paper. this is the first in a series of 4 collages so stay tuned for more. i have 5 full days to play and sing in the art room!!

sweet dreams and mellow songs to all!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


i've been wanting to do a self-portrait for some time. what better way to spend boxing day than home in my art room (and my pajamas!) doing what i love?

the caricature of me depicts my younger, funkier side but i feel even at 56 that i still have a good deal of spunk!! the camera is my dream camera, a nikon d-60. if i visualize it, it will come true. i covered the background of the canvas with torn pieces of my favorite sheet music -- the beatles, james tayor, paul simon and carole king. i'm wearing jeans, of course and a long boho scarf, my favorite look. all the garments, my hair, the camera, etc. are cut from scrapbook paper.

my dear, sweet presley is done in shiva paint sticks on a heavy blue patterned scrapbook paper. he's right by my side, as always!

the little brown cart holds some of my favorite mixed media torn paper collages, all ready to travel off to an art fair or gallery. they're for sale, of course!

my blue bike is loaded down with a collection of books by my favorite authors, all ready for a trip to the library. the bike was a bit challenging but i was quite pleased with how it turned out. this is still a work-in-progress and i'm sure it will be tweaked a bit over the next week or so. i'm not crazy about the green library or bust banner and want to do some more work on the books to get them to be a bit more realistic. collaging is so forgiving and can be fixed quite easily.

i added a bunch of colorful balloons so i could depict my little mantra hope, peace, love, joy. hope this beautiful sunday morning finds you happy, healthy and creatively inspired. if not, treat yourself to a long nap!

Friday, December 26, 2008

christmas reflections

yesterday (christmas day!) was a beautiful day here in ohio, cold but sunny with a refreshing crispness in the air. as i so often do on a day with a bit of non-busy down time i grabbed my camera and played around. the above is titled bare trees. i love the tiny bit of rainbow effect as the sun streams through the bare branches. i can almost feel the warmth of the sun cutting through the brisk winter air.

the busy christmas season is a wonderful time to reflect on our lives and the priorities we set for ourselves. growing and expanding creatively was a big focus of 2008 for me. as i reflect on the year i'm so proud of what i've achieved. i'm formulating new goals for 2009, planning to discard the excuses and self-imposed restraints and fly free into the creative life i crave.

at times life feels all out of focus and that is when i try the most to concentrate on the simple things that truly matter -- my hubbie, my children and grandchildren, my dear parents and extended family. and, of course, our sweet, sweet presley who makes every day special with his presence in our lives. it is during these times of quiet reflection that everything comes into focus and i know i'm on the right course in life. i feel so blessed and grateful!

so come, journey with me, my bloggy friends, into a creative world. leave behind the safety of anonymity, the security of staying in the box. step onto the slippery slope and enjoy the ride with me.

i'm standing tall in my shoes, liking my reflection and spreading my wings to fly!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas eve at grandma & grandpa king's

a quiet anticipation
hangs in the air
a sparkling winter wonderland
for the little ones to share

little eyes and little fingers
will ooh with delight
when they see grandma's wonders
and experience christmas eve night

little white lights
and santas galore
are seen through the eyes
of the ones i adore

one giant santa
stands guard at the door
he sends a warm welcome
of what is in store

the tree is overloaded
with treasures and balls
years of collecting
are decking our halls

these handmade little dollies
are nestled in the tree
awaiting the arrival
of their new family

when jenna arrives
it's time for her to seek
the shiny green pickle
it's no fair to peek

her prize will be hidden
in the tree as well
jenna will love it
her mom will say "oh swell"

then it's on to the goodies
in boxes so bright
some are filled with funnies
some with delights

there's one for matt and megan,
one for sarah and jon
for joe, jenna, layla,
amaris & everyone

candy canes are waiting
to add the finishing touch
to a special cup of chocolate
to enjoy with no rush

as we sit to dinner
we say a special prayer
of blessed thanksgiving
what a wonderful family we share!!

merry christmas, all my bloggy friends!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

what you lookin' at??!!

i snapped this fun little picture thru the back door this morning. super sneaky mr. squirrel had climbed the tree in the front yard, leaped onto the roof, walked over the roof and down onto the fence in the back yard. i'd love to know what he thought he was going to find back there. we played a little stalemate game of watching each other for a couple of minutes. he stayed put while i grabbed my camera and then after only one shot, he was up onto the roof and gone.

it all made me a bit nostalgic for presley's good old days at our old house when all we had to do was say "squirrel" out loud and presley would tear thru the house and out the doggy door to chase away the squirrels in our yard. of course, he never caught one but he'd still come running back inside wearing a smug look on his face and an air of accomplishment. now i'm not at all sure he'd even be able to see a squirrel in our yard. or maybe he'd be scared and run back inside with a whole other look on his face. hee hee

lazy overcast and cold days like today have me feeling a bit old myself. i'm glad my old friend presley is here by my side!! no better company could be found!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

welcome to bloggy land, ben and jaci!!

these are my co-workers, ben and jaci! they are a fun and delightful couple (newlyweds!!) who are my cube neighbors at work.  jaci has just started her first blog called tips to a beautiful life. please stop over to visit and welcome her to this wonderful world that we all love!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

let there be light

very few things do my heart more good than a lazy weekend morning at home. today, still in my pajamas and enjoying some time in my art room, i glanced thru the living room and thru the patio doors to this canvas hanging in my florida room. i recently moved it out there to make room for all the christmas decorations. the sun streaming in the windows onto the wall and art made my heart sing. the weekend is the only time i get to enjoy the sunshine in my house these days. bill and i are up at 5:45 each morning and on the road by 6:30. it is after 6:00 each evening when we return. so as you can imagine we are never home during the week when it is light out. sunny weekends are a huge delight to me.

as i was taking this photo and the one of my tree decorations in the header above, i was thinking about my love of light and brightness. or maybe i should say my love of light and shadow. it really is an analogy for our lives. there are bright sunny times with laughter and cheer. these are balanced by darker days of woe and concern. i'm so blessed to have very little woe in my life. perhaps it is due to my outlook and trying to always see the bright side. i'm so aware of the troubling times we are facing in this country but i keep my faith strong that this will pass. we just have to persevere. we just have to seek the light where it exists and spread the light where shadows loom.

what better time than christmas to spread a message of brightness for all the world to see.

i'm off to get dressed and have coffee time with my hubby. then my son matt is driving over from indiana so we can christmas shop together. what a fun-filled day of light and joy it is going to be!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

christmas eve traditions

i stumbled on this photo a few months ago and experienced a flood of wonderful memories. pictured are my grandma and grandpa farmer in the basement of their economy, indiana home preparing stockings for the annual christmas eve family get-together. parents of 4 children, 17 grandchildren and more great grandkids than i can count, they hung a stocking for every family member plus a few strays who wandered in with the grandkids. each stocking was filled with a bit of candy and fruit plus at least one very practical item like gloves or socks. this photo was extra special since grandma and grandpa were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary that year -- on christmas eve!! some of my favorite memories of christmas eve at their house are the boxes of toffee, the silver christmas tree with the revolving multi-colored light, getting to hold all the new babies that had been born that year and especially the ride home after the big night, singing christmas carols and basking in the warm glow of family love.

for all of my adult christmases, i've continued the christmas stocking tradition. but this year i decided to shake things up and do what i'm calling christmas take out boxes. they are fun and cute and easier to handle than the bulky stockings (i have nowhere to hang stockings!). the biggest downside so far is how little you can fit in each box!

last year i started a few new christmas eve traditions. we played a christmas trivia game that i researched on the internet and then typed up plus a homemade christmas bingo game i made. it was fun with lots of dorky prizes to be won!

what are your favorite christmas traditions?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

studio mascot and young apprentice

a few of you have asked how presley, my little art studio mascot, is doing and i wanted to give you a quick update. the daily dose of prednisone has really helped to reduce the ill effects of the brain lesions. he does very little spinning these days and is much less restless at night. the above photo shows him snoozing in the sun streaming into the art room this afternoon. he is enjoying the little bit of snow that fell yesterday, doing his classic "snoofing" by running his nose along the ground and breathing out heavily. my husband has now built two small wooden ramps to assist presley with getting in and out of the house -- one from the house down into the florida room and then one right outside his doggy door at the back door. the ramps have been a god-send and do a great job at preventing presley from falling quite so much. his balance is still impaired but he has adapted well for an almost-sixteen year-old miniature schnauzer.

in addition to my art room mascot, i now have an art room apprentice. my almost 4-year old granddaughter jenna visited on saturday and we spent several delightful hours "doing messy crafts" as she likes to call it. on each visit she discovers some art medium or gadget that she hasn't gotten to play with yet. she adores the oil pastels, the watercolor pencils, my bowls of beads and my collection of multi-colored vials of glitter. she has a great imagination and i'm always delighted by the little projects she creates on her own. yesterday i let her play with my collection of scissors and the zig zag ones were her favorites. she told me that her teacher lets her cut with scissors but her mommy never does. sorry, megan, but it appears that you are now quite outnumbered. although i never left her side she was quite trustworthy with the scissors and she had a grand time! of course, it took about 40 minutes to clean up the mess after she left but i wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

last sunday our almost one-year-old granddaughter layla visited. she is walking up a storm and so enjoyed just wandering around. our house offers much more open space than the apartment she lives in with her parents. in the photo above she is looking thru the patio doors into the florida room where presley is patiently waiting to be let back in after a potty break. they seem to adore each other but we are very wary of letting them get too close. they're both too teetery for comfort!

and last, just a word or two of thanks for those of you who faithfully follow my little blog and offer words of encouragement and cheer. it truly does my heart good! i've been a bit hit and miss on blogging lately but promise to get back into the swing with more frequent posts!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

red friday etsy shop update

i am very happily participating in the red friday etsy shop update originated by tracy at the vintage sister studio. so far, there are 7 participating shops. each of us will be adding new items to our shop on friday, december 5th, just in time for christmas gift-giving!! see the links to the right and please stop by on friday to check out all our new wares!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

dreamy town

dreamy town
12" x 9" mixed media collage
on solid aspen
copyright 2008 julie king

headed home to dreamy town
my heart and soul are there
it's just a sleepy little burg
with a homey, quiet air

the homes are closely nestled
together on a hill
the people recognize me
it's such a welcome thrill

children's voices call me
aunt julie, play a game
what blessed reassurance
that everything's the same

mom is in the kitchen
and dad is in his chair
my siblings' love surrounds me
oh what a love we share

delicious food and laughter
a trivia game to play
my soul sighs in satisfaction
oh how i want to stay

goodbye my special dreamy town
i'll say a little prayer
that when i next come visit
i'll find my solace there

happy thanksgiving, all!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

sweet addiction

here's my finished piece that i gave a "sneak peek" of back in late october. i'm loving all the textures, patterns and colors! that's it for today folks. short and sweet but still a sweet addiction!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

stack of books

i've been completely unmotivated about blogging this week. not sick or too busy, just blah and uncreative. maybe i just didn't have anything new to say. smile! so it was karma when i visited willow's blog this evening and saw she had participated in a literary quartet meme. oh ho this was just what i was looking for . . . something to sink my teeth into and get my creative juices flowing. what better thing for me to write about than BOOKS???!!! if you've been following my blog since the early days (march this year) you'll know that i've had a love affair going with books since childhood. i love to read books, buy books, collect books, talk about books, recommend books, revisit books, check books out of the library, well you get the picture.

so, i'm being my typical rebellious self and renaming this meme "stack of books". pick one fiction book, one autobiography, one non-fiction book and one book of your choice from any genre. tell why it's on your favorites list. the only other rule i imposed on myself was that the book had to be a resident of my artroom book case. there are dozens of favorites which i no longer own but i wanted to post of photos of my picks. so, here goes:

panther in the sky by james alexander thom is historical fiction at its best. it chronicles the life of tecumseh, starting in 1768 when he was born thru 1809 when his tribal homelands were taken over by the white man. i was intrigued by the indian customs when i first read it and am always empathetic to the indians' plight when i revisit this book. i've read all of thom's books (long knife, follow the river, from sea to shining sea, etc.) but this one still stands out as my favorite.

i've never been a huge fan of autobiographies but thoroughly enjoyed born standing up by steve martin when i read it earlier this year. nostalgic and touching, his recounting of how he carved out a name for himself as a stand up comedian was most endearing to me.

i received a copy of the prophet by kahill gibran as a gift in 1973. a country-girl/college student wearing rose-colored glasses and carrying a fervent belief that i would change the world, i was being exposed to a whole new world of ideas and cultures. kibran's writings had a big impact on my idealistically youthful self. (btw, i just noticed that my hardback copy of this book carried a retail price of $4.50; that was the srp, not the sale price!!)

the stack of books i photographed features j.k. rowling's final harry potter book because i love the colors of the book jacket, but my final free choice selection is actually the entire set of 7 harry potter books. i was completely enamored by this series of books from the very first word. not only have i read each book multiple times, but have spent many contented hours discussing the characters, plots, ideology and utter creativity of each one (mostly with my daughter). was i sad when the final book was read and laid aside? yes. will i be sad when i leave the theater after seeing the final movie? yes. will the heart of a poor orphan boy who awakened the world to the joy reading live on in my heart forever. absolutely!

if you love books and would like to play along, please consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

real or rumor?

after several weeks of rumors and speculation, the company i work for laid off 47 people on friday morning -- 20% of our salaried employees. what a scary and disheartening day it was. i am safe for now and feel so grateful to have a job! my heart goes out to all who now face unemployment and finding a new job. i was there in april of this year and know how tough it is. please keep these and all the other unemployed people across our country in your thoughts and prayers.

wonderful willow posted a link on her blog today for a site which allows you to place a photo from your computer into a museum setting. what fun this is! this one made me wonder how many hundreds of hours it would take to collage little bitty pieces of paper onto a canvas this big. yikes!! you can have fun with it as well by clicking here!

i'm working on christmas presents and spending time with presley tonight. he was not good at all yesterday morning but is doing much better today. we never know from one day to the next how well he will be able to walk and get around. we count each additional day we have with him as a gift.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

christmas aprons!!

well, it's begun for me . . . the wonderful holiday season! i'm making my lists, shopping at lunchtime and making goodies to give as gifts. my plan is always to have all my shopping done before thanksgiving but i never accomplish that goal. and, the making of gifts lasts up until the very last minute. there's always just one more idea for a great little crafty gift!

a couple of years ago, i made my mom, my daughter, her daughter and myself matching christmas aprons. when we all got together at mom's house to bake cookies together, i presented each of them with their apron. what fun to wear them while we baked together. it sure made me miss grandma j, my mom's mom. she was a terrific cook and pastry chef! when i was small and we got together with grandma j's scottish-german family for christmas there were huge platters of every kind of christmas cookie and candy imaginable. hours and hours went into the making of those delectable treats!

my daughter and i make much more ordinary cookies and candy when we get together -- puppy chow, decorated sugar cookies, fudge, shortbread cookies, etc.. megan has announced that soon-to-be-4-year-old jenna is about to outgrow her apron so this will be the last year for her to wear the original jenna apron. good thing i bought plenty of red fabric and felt. this is one tradition i hope to continue for decades.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

chilly november morning

we were running errands yesterday morning when i said to bill can we run home and get my camera? the pear tree immediately above had caught my eye and i just had to photograph it. so we did and then being the wonderful trooper that he is, bill drove around for a while stopping when i spied something that caught my eye. it was windy and cold and overcast but my heart was singing with joy! looks like another cold, windy, overcast day today. a good day for soup and a movie. i'm voting for you've got mail!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

hopeful beach huts

in a quaint little fishing village
beside the turquoise sea
there's a row of hopeful beach huts
like sirens calling me

they speak of tranquil mornings
of sand and shells and sun
a gentle breeze caresses
as dolphins jump in fun

the message of these cabins
is one of hope and peace
a washing of the senses
a soul's most blessed release

my soul will be awakened
when i venture there
love and joy will surround me
i'll be hopefully aware

this new mixed media collage is titled "hopeful beach huts". it is 36" x 18"on solid aspen. it is a tribute to my time on the florida panhandle.

enjoy your weekend! i'm off to have coffee!