Saturday, November 29, 2014

Calla Lilies - mixed media

~ Three stems of Calla Lilies ~

I did this piece for my daughter-in-law's birthday. She is all about calla lilies. This is an 8"x16" canvas with acrylics, paper and pen shading. I learned a new technique for this painting - how to shade with Faber-Castell PITT artist pens. These are ink pens (in fabulous colors) and you have about 20 seconds to smudge with your finger tip to get a blurry shadow. AHA - I discovered you can also use a wet brush and softly blend and shadow. I love shadowing and now have a new love for these indispensable pens.

Happy Birthday, Yana!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A couple more mixed-media canvas creations

My daughter is a life coach and journal instructor ( and asked for a large canvas of her craft for her new office. Acrylics, paper, stamps, ink and lots of cut-outs. I started with postcard paper and added vintage postcards from around Oregon (where Andrea calls home) and painted the canvas with the side of an old credit card. I used a die cut for the basic butterfly and layered underneath with dotted paper, dictionary page paper and white that I attached with medium gel so the butterflies are 3D.

This is a canvas I did for my daughter-in-law, Chris. Chris is our families jig-saw puzzle champ and I started the background using a puzzle die-cut and scrapbook paper -- each puzzle piece is a different paper (yes, this took days to match, contrast and attach). It was very bright and I toned it down with a white/ivory wash and bits of green and distressed the edges. The lotus is paper edged in ink and shadowed around the edge. I love shadowing and learned a new technique AFTER this piece was done. Always the way while exploring techniques, challenges and trying to figure out "how do they do that?" Next time I post, I show you the technique I did learn -- I love it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

For the Grandkids - Mixed-Media

I did these for my granddaughter - Abigail. When she was a little tyke (still is but growing daily and now 2 years & 3 months) she was fascinated with birds - birds - birds. So I had to create a couple of canvas bird panels. These are 8"x16" with acrylic paints, paper, pens and the like.
(claimer: The bird on the left was inspired by an Australian mixed-media artist.)

My grandson (step-grandson and we love him to bits) is into everything lacrosse -- he plays, eats, talks, is passionate, sleeps and dreams lacrosse -- he's 13. Of course, I had to do a canvas to show my support (besides going to each home game -- usually in the rain with a chill that goes right through ya). This is a 10'x10" canvas with a 2" profile - acrylics, paper, pens and well, you get the picture (as it were).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gerber Daisies - mixed media

My latest mixed-media attempt -- I followed an artist (Sara Barnes) instruction technique using paper, and pen work to create a pot of Gerber daisies (adding my own take on the work). This one will hang next to the flower panel I did last week on the wall in my craft/computer/painting/journaling/play room. More to come ----

Sunday, November 2, 2014

On To Something New (for me)

Every 5 years or so I find something to get excited about and with retirement time on my hands -- that's a good thing (keeps me out of trouble). First it was scrapbooking 40 years of photos (that had been dumped in a box). I started with cut-n-paste techniques and graduated to doing digital scrapbooking pages. I have a bookcase filled with all but the last 2 years of photos. My kids (and grandaughter) all have scrapbooked albums of weddings, first grandchild and major events. I won awards for my pages, was published in a few books and magazines and then started looking for something new to do.

Next it was writing -- I always wanted to write, just never sure what, when or how. But when I found some discarded vintage photos, I started writing and I wrote and wrote and re-wrote their history into a manuscript called Lost and Found and a web site: Attic Whispers. It is out and about in the publishing world just waiting for an agent to get excited (a few have) enough to take on the project to get it published. It's a waiting game (game being the optimal word). Wait-Wait-Wait.....

Then a couple of weeks ago my daughter and daughter-in-law and I stopped at an artist's studio during the Bellingham Artist Tour (she just happened to live on my street). Maren Larson is a mixed media artist with a studio/home filled with her amazing creations. We ou-eed and ah-eed over her talent, picked up a couple of pieces -- and I had an "Ah-Ha" moment. I could do that! So with my knowledge of scrapbooking supplies, being an art major in collage (no biggy - everyone was) and needing another exciting thing for an excuse to get messy -- I started doing some mixed-media art. And like all my previous endeavors - I can't get enough. So, I've invested in some canvases, paints, medium gels, gesso, brushes and the tools to make magic and went to town (as it were).

Here are a few of my first attempts --- next week I can display a few I did that I really love (but they are going to someone special and I don't want to spoil the surprise of opening a box off the FedEx truck) and one that was I was commissioned to do.

This 8" x 16" (my favorite format) is now hanging in my studio -- as most scrapbookers do when they stare at a blank page (or canvas as the case may be) we scraplift an idea from another artist. I found something like this one on the web and put my mark (and papers) to the sample I scraplifted.

It took me weeks to figure out what to use for shading (and lots of bucks spent experimenting) but finally found some wonderful Faber-Castell PITT pens that are fantastic over and under gel medium.

These 2 canvases will hang in my kitchen (I couldn't wait to hang them to get photos) on our red kitchen wall. I wanted something powerful with very white backgrounds to pop-off the red wall.  The white background is textured and the flower petals are all shaded (just hard to tell in these photos).

I'll separate them by a couple of inches when I stack them on the wall -- photos of placement to follow.

I also tried my hand at some colleges -- This 8" x 8" canvas was for my daughter


Another one I did for my daughter-in-law (they were with me for my "Ah-Ha" moment and got the first of my new adventure. (again, an 8" x 8" canvas).

So there you have --- I'm painting with paints, paper, vintage post cards and photos and using up my huge stash of scrapbooking supplies in my new found love -- mixed media.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Andrea has a new site -- get the scoop on journaling
and learn just how it can be done easily, effectively and rewarding.
Check it out:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


If you want to experience the beauty of this country -- check out Scott's new web site.

Friday, March 14, 2014


My niece, MiMi, posted on Facebook a site that has some wonderfully simple DIY suggestions. Here is the site: 
And here are a few cool ideas that followed me home.

Pegged to the inside of the cabinet door -- This one I did right away and love how simple it is

Shower baskets for the kiddy car stuff we all carry

Empty baby wipe containers -- great storage boxes

 This one is for the journalers out there --- glue a closeable envelope to the inside of your journal. Keeps the extras organized and in one place.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Our Latest Real Estate Purchase

Another Rental Property in the MANSFIELD PROPERTIES Portfolio

This duplex doesn't look like much from the outside (typical 1967 structure) but it's the location that can't be beat. Only 1 block walk into Fairhaven for the library, multiple restaurants, coffee shops, boutique stores, book stores, and all the charm that Fairhaven has to offer. PLUS these two units have spectacular bay, island and ocean views facing west.

Each unit has a front facing living room with French doors to the divided deck, ample kitchen with small eating area, utility room with washer/dryer and storage. Two bedrooms each have a wall of closets and the central, remodeled bath is at the end of the hall. Spacious double closet in the hallway adds to the storage space. Each unit has a private 1-car garage that is extra wide (more storage space or work-shop. Private, fenced backyards all within a wonderful, quiet neighborhood on the South Hill of Bellingham.

For MANSFIELD PROPERTIES is means double the rent - double the fun. We now own 3 rentals.

Ironically, Andrea rented the unit on the right for her "first" home-away-from-home when she went off to college 12 years ago.  I've got the photos to prove just how adorable these units can be decorated and how much fun it is to live here. 

I've got a long (and growing) To-Do List to spruce-up the place starting with the street appeal. Power wash the driveway, add large stylish house numbers, new mailboxes and attractive sensor lights. Plant something in the small space in front of the hose/utility box. The paint isn't too badly done - light gray and dark blue/gray trim.

IF you have any suggestions -- send them my way.
 I'd love to hear what you would do to change this from drab to fab. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

So true - So true!

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
If Grandma ain't happy...RUN!!!!

(just saying....)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

These followed me home from Pinterest......

Anyone with basic carpentry skills can construct this classic, one-room cabin for less than $4,000. MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and DIY maven Steve Maxwell will show you how to build a 14-by-20-foot cabin featuring a sleeping loft over the porch.

Someone I know keeps talking about wanting to build a small cabin: this is for your file of plans.

and.... speaking of files: I love, love, love this idea -- so different, useful and unique. If I had files needing to nest this would be on my desk.

It's a dish rack and the silverware basket is used for pens and pencils. Love it! I may have to create some files just to get this in my space.

We have three (count them: 3) dollhouses stored in boxes, forgotten and not being used. Okay, one will only be opened when a granddaughter has a certain birthday - it will never be forgotten. But, the other 2 would work for this idea. Okay, one of the two isn't really mine, so I best leave it boxed up.  I have one dollhouse that would work for this idea. IF only I had a place to display, to use it and enjoy it.

I need a house just to put projects that don't fit in our home, but would be fun to have around.