Friday, March 29, 2013


AS I was walking in the garden checking for new growth and seeing what damage this past winter left behind. I was greeted by a chorus of crows. Flitting from tree to tree and mocking a squirrel with unusual flair. Then settling in to watch me and discern if there was food involved. Sensing that was a lost cause they quickly moved on to other pursuits.

Crows  have always fascinated me and I am among the growing number of fans of those who adore crow images in art.  My inspiration was forming for this spot B. First my thought went to needle felting wee crows to sit in this space and comment about everything that would be going on below them.  Then the Movie “ OZ the Great and Powerful” was released and off I went to see it. I have always been a Frank L Balm fan and read every one of his books when I was growing up. Unexpectedly as an adult I was given my Dad’s childhood book the Scarecrow of OZ. I was so jazzed up after the movie and the group of us who attended all got together and had a great time discussing the movie and how well it complemented the original movie. I got my book out to share and it fell open to my favorite illustration of 3 black birds. That was all she wrote as they say and off I went, traveling inspiration road.

 Speaking of traveling my friend Kathy is the Champion Traveler, not only have I vicariously traveled to many locations thru her photos and pictures, but I have had the pleasure of traveling with her to places I never even knew existed.
 Got out my paper and pencils and began to sketch birds, birds, birds from there I transferred my images to shrink plastic and began to add color and detail.  Worked several days to get just the right look, I wanted them to have that certain jaunty quality that well seasoned travelers have as well as a sense of humor which is a quality all travelers should maintain, cause you never know what is around the next corner.  Then I carefully cut out each bird and true to form I had to build up the courage to shrink each of them. But of course I do or die moment came at 11:30 pm.

I really love how they turned out and then I searched long and hard for the perfect background and found this great paper print of Venice. Got out my newest material washi tape and created the signpost.

Here is the hard part sending my babies out into the world.  But I did it the flight was a bit wobbly but as you can see they made it not only to Venice but to Camano Island.

Enjoy my traveling friend, enjoy


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Storm MOON 7

This month I tried to plan my alter based on my Roller Jam Skating inspiration. Check out my blog for a video of some similar skaters and a more detailed recount of this month's Alter creation. But, no matter how hard I tried, roller inspiration would not get off the ground. After encouragement from my Mom (we were having an art day and working independently on our alter projects), I started to just play and draw some shrinky dinks like I'd done with my hand-carved skeleton stamps last October. Voila - between that and a piece of paper I'd slapped some alcohol ink sprays on, my Parisian Dream was born. No where close to what I envisioned I'd start with, but I'm happier than I could have ever imagined. I love how things always work out for the best.


Storm MOON 6

Hi Peg,
This is my March 'Little Alters' project. My inspiration was nature inspired! March 20 being the first day of Spring was all it took! It was a lot of fun to create this little art piece in wool felt (the fav medium of the moment)!

 Love Lou

Storm MOON 5

As is the case eachmonth, I have an idea, I change it, refine it, re-imagine
 it, then begincreating it.  Mid-course design change ideas abound, generally including amistake or two on my part!!! 

My original goalwas to carve a doll face this month.  Instead, I used a mold to createhands, face, and adornments with Polymer Clay.  Until this month I havenever worked with polymer clay!!  In a future month I will handcarve/sculpt something fun.  This month, I was led in a different direction. Polymer Clay was simply one of the firsts for me this month.   I alsodecided to create my own hand painted fabric, a hand tied scarf for my doll,and to add words of wisdom/encouragement on the fabric.
I love jewel tones– blues, purples, greens, etc. so they are incorporated in this month’screation.

The words writtenon the fabric are meant to be thought of like those magnetic puzzles on therefrigerator where you arrange the words for your thought of the day ormoment.  Following are the words/poems included:

One saying by RitaMae Brown:  Creativity comes from trust – Trust your instincts. Another is (not sure of author) “ I am a woman clothed in strength, dignity,and pride”.   Use these words and the words that follow and arrangethem as you view/hold this creation day to day:  Love, Faith, Creativity,Dream, Be, Confident, The, Strong, Queen, Possibilities, Tomorrow, Today,Artful, Content, In, Believe, Kind, Moon, Stars.  Since my recipient thismonth is none other than “The Queen of Possibilities” I wanted to include thosewords and a crown!  =)  Please note the beautiful auburn hair!!!!!!

I love spring andbeautiful cherry blossoms so the background of the shadow box has a photo thatshould be glued down to serve as her resting place in the park.  I made acorrugated COPPER stand with a beautiful flower on the front that should beglued down towards the front so the flower extends below the ledge.  Sherests here peacefully contemplating all things in her beautiful park.

I hope you enjoyyour Snow Moon doll.  Funny thing, today was the first day we actually hadmore than a trace of snow!!!  Just over 3”.  Timing is everything…..aperfect day to complete her.

Lynn Vernon
an update from Peg
Adding photos of my lovely Goddess now resting in her new home, and you can see she is creating spring flowers everywhere


While the rest of the country is buried under a blanket of snow, spring has showed up here in the great Northwest. Glorious blue skies and sunshine, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths with tulips right around the corner! Gardening always comes to when I think of Beth. With a backdrop of daffodils I created a wee veggie garden using polymer clay. What veggie garden would be complete without the resident bunny? He's a bit shy, so all you see of him is his cottontail!
Happy Spring!!

Storm MOON 3

For our March entry, I was inspired by Spring.  I know, “what a concept”.  But on one of our morning walks in late February, or early March, the birds were putting on an unusually full symphony.  The start of a new season, more light, longer days.  I decided then that if I could make a recording of that symphony and put it in Spot B of our little altars project, that’s what I wanted to do.  Well, after some thought, it seemed like that was a pretty unworkable idea – at least for now.

So I moved to some other approaches to my spring inspiration. For Lou’s box  I knew I wanted a color palette that would transition directly from Halloween to Spring.  I figured that would be a bit difficult, since the starting point was black and orange, and I wanted to end up with spring brights and the greens and yellows of daffodils and new leaves.  I think of spring as being pink and white, light and very bright.  And it looks like Lou has painted her box black.  I ended up with a dark background in watercolor washes, and some watercolor-dyed Japanese papers, and some shiny mica watercolors.  I knew I wanted flowers, so I tore the Japanese papers and layered them.  Then I stitched some (Peg) sequins from Turkey under some magatamas for the center of the flowers, added some acrylic too.

As I was sitting at my beading table stitching the beads on, I thought to myself, not for the first time, that this ended up not looking very spring-like after all. It was dark, and purple, and neutral, and orange, and green.  I’d really studied the colors I chose for going with black and orange, but it didn’t feel like I’d hit “SPRING”.  And then I looked across the room at the tulips sitting there (on the far end of their glory), and saw that I was STARING at the same colors that are in my little altars piece.  So I think I got to Spring after all, and in the process I enlarged my own perception of spring colors.
 Nancy Strahle

Storm MOON 2

Here is a picture of my take on collectors cabinet filled with reminders of Spring. Bottles of feathers, shells gathered on a favorite beach, gifts of fur for nest making. I made the Shrinky Dink butterfly and when this piece is installed in it's new home the pin will hang from the top of the space. The lace is to be glued along the top of the space, with the big tape measure at the bottom. This is a miniature still-life of what my craft room looks like! I hope it reminds Lynn Vernon of past happy Springs!      Beth


Lynn Vernon sends these photos of  Beth's work installed! 

Storm MOON 1

Altar Project – March 2013 – Pass to Gwen!

March is here and the full moon is tomorrow!  I am a lucky and happy traveler.  I have just returned from almost a month in SE Asia having visited parts of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I was bombarded by inspiration through  textiles, food, the magnificent temples, scenery, thousands of buddahs and the people that we met.  I pass to Gwen this month and knowing that she likes textiles I had to pass on a great idea that inspired me using scraps of fabric to create a large Naga that we saw at Ock Pok Toc, a woman’s co-op we visited in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Ock Pok Toc means “East meets West” and is a co-op run by an English and Laotian woman. We had a fabulous lunch there, toured the center and learned about natural dyeing and then each of us dyed a silk scarf. I chose to do an indigo dyed scarf  as indigo has always fascinated me.  The hill tribes in Laos have used indigo to dye silk, hemp and cotton.  The background of my altar section for Gwen is a copy of an indigo dyed piece of hemp that would be used to create a woman’s skirt.

I made a copy of the fabric and then cut the picure to fit into the space.    I then made an accordian fold-out book (made with handmade paper that I also purchased in Laos).  The pictures in the book are all of Nagas, a mythological water serpent that one sees guarding the entrance to all of the beautiful temples.  The Naga looks much like a dragon and is supposed to have unparalleled magical powers.  They come from an underwater kingdom called Badan and can assume the form of other beings such as animals and humans.  Lao legends tell off love affairs between Nagas and humans.  Generally they are seen as benevolent beings that protect and save humans from illness, hunger and bad spirits.  When they are angry, Nagas use their powers to create floods, storms and other natural disasters or inflict illness and even death.  Usually at the entrance to a temple there are effigies of a multi-headed Naga emerging from a Ngeuk’s mouth.  A Ngeuk is a water dragon and is the same to animists as the Naga is to Buddhists.  The pictures in the accordian book are of Nagas carved from wood; made from plaster and painted; woven into textiles; and the large one hanging in Ock Pok Toc  has the dragon head with the scales made from fabric scraps.  It makes a fun and whimsical large sculpture.

What a fun way to use fabric scraps!  So I also made a small armature   and used ribbons to represent the fabric scraps.

And of course the altar needed a dragon…..sort of like having its very own Naga at the entrance to the Altar section. The dragon is a paper cut out that I found in Vietnam.  Lift the dragon….sort of like opening the door to the section – representing guarding the entrance and you can look at all the pictures of the Nagas!
And here is the section completed!! 

Gwen – I hope you like your Altar section and the ideas inspire you to learn more about Nagas, try some dyeing, embellish something with fabric scraps or to use your great stamps for an accordian book!  It was great fun to make this section and to reflect on my fabulous trip.  Enjoy!!

March Little Altars Project Storm Moon

Chihuly garden & glass Seattle WA
Welcome to the Full moon of March 2013.
In my original research before beginning this project I looked up the names of each month's full moon. It was very interesting to discover how many different names there were and how they changed according to location and people who had lived there.
 The storm moon ring right for me and I have really enjoyed all of the weather changes that have occurred this month. I have had the pleasure to go to the Chihuly Glass and Garden Museum twice last year and spend several very pleasant afternoons drinking in the rich colors and forms displayed there. This photo reminds me of the way Mother Nature calmly but forcefully brushes winter aside and the bulbs thrust forth from the barren ground full of promise of new life and color.

I wait  not so calm and collected each month as each artist sends me photos and inspirations of their work, I do not allow myself to open the emails until the full moon arrives. I even make myself wait to open my own treasure arriving in the mail.
 It is with great pleasure I unfold this month's delightful full moon spectacle of Stormy Moon delights.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Snow MOON 10

My inspiration for the Snow Moon started with my walks at lunch time around Ballard.  I looked at the trees and took several photos. I liked the emptiness of the space with no leaves.  Also working Saturdays at Marymoor Park collecting parking fees for the Cirque du Soliel, I fell in love with their Amaluna poster. Can't wait to see the show in March.

With the peacock paper, it became my background for space A. Poking small holes around the print I put colored paper in small squares behind to slightly see their color. Added enameled cooper headpins with sequin colored pieces I settled them into the space.

The copper plate was my stickler, as I wasn't happy with it. Seems every time I sat down to work on it, it just wasn't happening.  As time ticked, ticked away, I finally had to tell myself, push and you'll overcome.  It was Black History month in Feb, so I had a dream it would get done.

 Little wisps of Peacock feathers were added to my enameled head pins/sequins and secured on my cooper plate. My little altar for Kathy Dannerbeck was missing something, knowing Kathy is in Tucson several times throughout the year, I thought a Zuni Fetish of a Wolf with an offering of coral / turquoise would be perfect. It's wrapped with Peacock feather piece and connected with cooper wire.

Really love my "Moon Beam Dreams" from Lynn Hranac for space A.  The little white trimming looks like flowers and sweet stamped swirls. The messages inside on each page give many kinds of inspirations. Great addition to my Little Altars box that is staring to grow.

 Kimberly Kostal

Friday, March 01, 2013

Snow MOON 9

The cycles of the moon are expectedly on my mind these days and so was the fanciful world of Faerie Tales.
 I have always loved the Man in the moon and especially the quarter waxing moon. So after seeing the amazing gnomes and birds and snowcicles    Cyn made last year I was very inspired to try paper clay.
 I worked with it back in the mid 90’s stumbling my way thru but stopped and carried on with metal clay which led me to all of you! But I digress, so back to the process… I adore faces young, old, human, critters,  drawn, sculptured. You get the idea. So off  to my studio. Created the faces and waited  for 3 days of drying time to pass. In the mean time off creating my flower crowns and fascinators bases.

 Time is up…dry ready to sand then off to the studio to paint. I wanted these to have the look of old bronze weathered and patinas of blue green. I have been studying with Michael DeMeng who is a master of acrylic washes to achieve weathered effects with paint. Well-l-l-l-l-l-l a week later I finally achieved bliss.

Then off to my paper supplies cupboard to find just the right background for Mr. Moon. Used 60lb water color paper and applied free form inks in metallic and opaque inks in a random pattern. The golden heart was a surprise the next morning when I went back to see what occurred.
It was a delightful joining of paper to moon and inspired February  Love  themes, as well as Lance and I celebrating our 35th Anniversary on Valentines Day.

 So Dear Lynn Vernon I am sending Mr. Moon inspirations  to grace your  spot A

Peg Gyldenege