Thursday, September 17, 2015


This past weekend I enjoyed a quite summer day hike, as you can see it is still quite warm and green here, the touches of fall color are from heat rather than the actual set in of autumn.  I hope you will enjoy hiking along woodlands, streams, and lakeside with me...



Friday, September 4, 2015


Studio time over the last week has been focused on making a new art journal.  I saw this amazing art journal on Pinterest and traced it back to fellow artist Thespa McLaughlin of Vintiquities Workshop.  Once there I realized she had an online class showing how to construct the journal and I could not resist.   Below is the photo of Thespa's Journal that caught my eye, love the construction!
(Metal & Rust Tag Journal by Thespa McLaughlin of Vintiquities Workshop)

The base of my journal is constructed just as Thespa instructed, from there I took off on my own creative adventure to originate my own version:
(This cool rusty piece was found a couple years ago on my grandmothers farm, this seemed the perfect project to use it on.)


 (I did a wee bit of metal work for the background of the nest above and the copper bird below.)
(I textured my pages to resemble aged stucco yet with a smooth enough surface to still write on.   I then hand painted a bird and leafy foliage on one corner of each page.)

(Thespa had her tags come out of the top of her journal pages, I planned mine where they would be inserted into the side of the pages instead.  I added hand beaded dangles and hand made nature themed wire embellishments to my tag tops not only as a decorative detail but to easily pull out the journal tags for writing.)
(My journal holds 16 hand tinted tags with front and back stampings and journaling space.)
 (My base was an old accounting book, the papers on the outside of the book were notes, receipts, and such that I found tucked into the pages of the book.  It was fun to reuse them on the cover.)
Thank you Thespa for sharing your awesome teaching skills and for inspiring this journal!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015


(Baby Moonbeam)

Every artist has a story of how and why and where and when they create.  My story started with paint.  Miss Polly, my preschool teacher, introduced me to primary colored tempera paints, a big fat wooden handled black bristled brush, and a large sheet of newsprint clipped to a child sized easel.

(my preschool painting)

She buttoned my 4 year old self up in a smock and asked me to imagine something and then paint what I see.  I painted a blue stick man in a red hat, a tree with a brown trunk, green top, and red cherries on the tree, two purple and yellow daisy flowers and a brown car with orange headlights, all done in outline style.  I remember that painting vividly, the magic feel of dipping a dry brush in the paint and making a colorful swath mark on the paper.  It might have been then that I wanted to be an artist.
(Finger painting of Baby Moonbeam Work in Progress)

My mother was a super sentimental saver and I looked in my little suitcase of life souvenirs but sadly that particular painting is not in there but I found several others from that same year, bold swishy outlines of color, a house, a  blue smiling bear, an angel with a blue wing waving a red hand.  And, I have fondly played with paint ever since then.
(Watercolor Whimsical Faces)

If I were to look at my story in paint today I think it still has a child like innocence and storybook quality.  I still get the same thrill of picking up a brush and dipping in a color and putting it to paper.  I am amazed at the magic it makes.  I am not a professionally trained painter although painting was my means of making a living for many years.  
(Work in Progress)
Today I paint more for personal pleasure than anything else.  I love learning new techniques and ways to use paint and art journaling has become a favorite pastime.  Recently I decided to take an online class Paint Your Story by Mindy Lacefield (this class will be retiring soon).  I adore Mindy's primitive colorful soulful figures and faces.  Although I have totally been unable to master her particular style of painting I have been able to incorporate her techniques into my own softer storybook style.  

(1 2 3 HOP Complete!)

What do I love best about this class?
Most of the painting is done with your fingers!
Talk about childhood revisited.  
(Work in Progress)

I paint because Miss Polly encouraged me to imagine and to try.
I paint because I love seeing the colors form a picture or an image on paper.
I paint because it is like play for me.
I paint my way, 
my style, 
my story.

What is your artful story?


P.S.  Coming soon to Quill Cottage Etsy shop, Giclee fine art prints of some of my newest paintings

Monday, July 27, 2015


In a recent post I shared with you my studio where I create most of my artwork but this is not my only creative space, I also have a little writing cottage tucked in the corner of my small garden, where I weave words... 
Its a tiny little hideaway with a sea themed decor where treasures from my travels to the shore, special trinkets, and snapshots live.  
To the right of the door is a cozy seating area with an awesome vintage sofa from the 60's in mint condition (it sat in a formal living room where it was rarely used) that I got for a song at a flea market.  A cozy throw made by my daughter and cushy bed sized pillows make for great snuggling, napping, and reading...
 A quirky little shelf made out of old chair parts hangs on the wall above the sofa and holds trinkets and treasures.  Who doesn't need a pink sequined mermaid?
 A painting by a wonderful artist, Helen Read (Brushstrokes, Etc.), beach finds, and the first mini scrap album I ever made...
To round out the seating area there is a wee blue chair, lamp, and tray table.  This was my great aunts chair with the legs cut down so her feet would reach the floor.  She was only 4' 9" tall and we lovingly called her "Baby Ruth" as her name was Ruth.   It was rescued from a shed, repainted, and recovered and we call it "the wedding chair" as my daughter used it as a prop for her bridal photos...
The tray table is another flea market find.   I have filled it with beach finds...
 A closer peek...
To the left of the door is my writing desk, another flea market find.  The chair is a cool folding chair that belonged to my husbands grandmother...
A sliver shell shaped pen holder holds my hand full of found treasures from our 25th wedding anniversary trip...
Even the drawer got a little sea themed collage makeover...
To the right of the desk is a tall glass fronted cabinet the Handy Man built from two old cabinets salvaged from a historic home some friends of ours were renovating.  The top is filled with little mementos while the bottom remains empty until I cull my huge shell collection down to manageable and make memory jars of our trips...
Two of my favorite things, a shell drawing and a hand painted box.  These were gifts from our children when they were younger.  My son gave me the drawing and my daughter gave her dad the box one year for Christmas... 
To the left of the desk is a sliver of wall with framed photos from various beach excursions and an old rope handled wooden box with some of my writing references tucked inside...  
 In the corner is an old column, from the same friends as the cabinet, that the Handy Man cut down so I could use it for display.  A glass vase filled with beach sand, driftwood, and a another glass vase on the inside holds a candle.  A couple of iron shell hooks hold my favorite shell gathering bag and my newest art quilt...

These are my woodland views from my desk where I have feeders stationed so I can watch the birds and squirrels or the water splash and sparkle in our garden pond...

 Sometimes I like to bring a few supplies out here and work on my beach vacation scrapbook...
 I made this binder several years ago and am slowly filling it page by page as time allows...

And there you have it, all 8' by 16' of it, the writing cottage...
I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin