Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wishes and Gratitude

I've been reading all the posts of thankfulness on the internet all month.  I really do love to read what's important to everyone...the big things, the little things, the funny things.  It makes me think more about my life and what I have versus what I don't have.  We've had a rocky fall in our household, so rocky, that at times it has been overwhelming.  We are so lucky to have each other, though,  and that realization is what came through when I was putting together the composition of this piece. As many of you know, my daughter, Sam, and husband, Jim, mean everything to me.  Long story short, Jim was my best friend for years before we ended up together after graduate school and Sam came along to complete our family after many long years of infertility.  We've always lived far from family so we became our own insulated trio from the get go.  The three of us share a huge love of music, which is why the house is made of sheet music.  The pumpkins signify the bounty of fall this week before Thanksgiving, our family bounty in the good times and bad,  and all the trips we made to the pumpkin patches in the various cities we lived in while she was growing up.  I believe the mobile with stars was really meant to be a baby card image but to me is a reminder of how long I wished on stars before Sam became part of our family and then wished many things for her when she was here in our nursery.  In fact, I am still wishing all of the time.  I actually did this piece because of the tree.  One of my favorite family moments occurred two years ago when there was a Chinese exhibit at the Botanical Garden here in St. Louis.  There was a wishing tree that you could tie a red ribbon on and make a wish on.  We all three made wishes and Jim shot some pictures of us.  One of them is my facebook status picture right now.  It was a simply wonderful day. I revisit it a lot and am thankful that there are days like that.  I have wonderful friends, a sister I couldn't live without, and extended family that I've been happy to see a lot of this fall.  My blessings are many. 

Now for the Rubbermoon art!!!!!  I knew I wanted to do a piece primarily in black and white, but I am not a scenic stamper at all so I had to put on my thinking cap for a while.  While I was getting my ideas together, I chose two pieces of cut canvas from Linnie Blooms and brush painted them black and and red.  while waiting for them to dry, I found a piece of 6" x6" matte coated paper and chose some stamps that I wanted in the composition.

I am not an expert in scenic stamping by any means, but decided to wholeheartedly delve in.  I began with the wishing tree (DB4263) and  tall pumpkin (GE2818) to form the bottom of the scene.  You'll see later on I decided to cover up one of the pumpkins.  I added the star mobile (DB4898H) and dk crescent (KP5108B) to finish off the sky.  For good measure, I added some of my own drawn stars.  Just because I could.  All black stamping was done with StazOn and drawing with a thin Sharpie.  (I would tempt you with the last two, but my tired eyes had trouble finding them on the site to provide a link.)  They are available for order.

 I nestled the house among the pumpkins and added the heart as a faux chimney.  Both were affixed with heavy double-sided tape. 

I needed a few finishing touches before mounting to make this scene come more alive.  I chose my own stamps, "joy" and "hope",  to add some words representing my wishes. I don't have a "thanks" so I hand-lettered that vertically to match.   I chose the Music notes on black (GE2737)to create a design on the house.  I used white paint brushed on to the stamp and loved the texture it brought to the front of the house.  Stampwise, I finally added my "love" stamp to the heart.

To add more color, I used Golden Fluid Acrylic bronze to fill in the moon and stars.  I then added bronze nailheads to the black stars and near the ribbons connected to the words. A row of nailheads completed the roof as well.

To finish the piece, I cut a 6 1/4" x 6 1/4" piece of red paper to use as a mat and attached both to an 8" x 8" canvas panel with heavy double-sided tape.


Tuesday, November 05, 2013


Wonderment.  I love that word and knew I had to attach myself to it on my first plate of stamps.  I love it because of the level of emotion describes.  I love it because it is rarely used anymore in this form.  I love it because that feeling of admiration and amazement is such a joyous feeling. And finally, I love it when you just happen upon it...yes, happenstance (another favorite word).

I often look at art with wonderment.  Mostly other people's, but every once in a while I look at something I've done and it takes my breath away.  Not necessarily because it's the best thing I've ever done, but because of the journey I've been on that I never expected to begin.  People's creativity does give me pause.  Ideas that I would never have in a million years or in a million years would never be able to execute just take me to another place totally.  So, not a surprise that art would cause wonderment, but I've spent some time thinking about what else does.

  • trees...really any.  I am fascinated by their lines, their history, their everything
  • old couples holding hands....I'd love to know their story
  • "anticipation" during the month of December.  This covers everything from lights, to traditions, to family time, to a service on the 24th.  
  • the ocean....I could sit next to it or be on it for quite some time without getting bored.  It's another place where I tend to lose myself in my thoughts.
  • Sam.  best thing I ever did.  I think Jim would agree.  Those who know me well know the backstory.  It isn't pretty.
  • time.  memories. moments.  
That's just my short list.  I am sure there are more.  What causes you to feel that crescendo of wonderment? Oh, and be sure to check out my spot on RubberMoon's blog from last week.  Enjoy!!!!