Monday, March 29, 2010

Check it out! I won!

I won! I won! I really won! (jumping up and down)

A bit ago I actually won something on a blog give-a-way. My first ever win! I was so excited!
The blogger offering the give-a-way is none other than artist Alisa Burke. She is an artist, author, blogger who also teaches some great online classes. I am a regular follower of her blog and lucked out on a give-a-way of one rad art mini-journal. See me win here!

Saturday was the lucky day that the journal arrived in the mail. It was so fun to open it up and share the experience with the kids.

"See?", I say. "This piece of art came from an artist all the way across the country. It was created by her hands and lovingly offered to me. Isn't that neat? Now we have a bit of her color, creativity and generosity to display in our house."

The journal has many "pieces" of Alisa's pieces of art. Some on white paper, some canvas, some brown, crunchy paper. It's a treat for the eyes, ears and hands!

Here are some pictures of my prize. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Temper Tantrum

That feels soooo much better!

Threw myself a little temper tantrum.
Nothing nasty or violent,
just a healthy shredding of paper
to make my head feel straight
and my heart feel better.

I have always wanted to create cards.
Recently I had some prints made
specifically to put on card stock
to create cards I could sell in my Etsy Shop.

I painstakingly trimmed each photo to size.
Carefully applied adhesive to every stinkin' millimeter of each photo
and ever so carefully applied the photos to the card stock.
I placed the cards under heavy weight books to keep flat while drying.

Yesterday I retrieved the cards to find
every stinkin' envelope warped and stuck
to it's corresponding photo card.

*note to self and all reading - do not use moist glue to adhere pictures to card stock

I am going to re-order more photos
re-print more pictures
purchase an entirely different form of adhesive
and I will be on my way
to card production once again.

Life's hard when you live it self-taught!

p.s. I'm thinking of this adhesive for my next try. What do you think? ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Man is The Man!!!!

The weekend was successfully spent having fun! Now I will pay for my fun with the mega load of work I have to catch up on. This post will be simple. I'm sharing a few pics of one of the latest chainsaw carving my uberly talented husband has been working on. May your day be filled with beauty. Happy Monday!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Joint Effort

This is a collaboration piece. The cardinal is a chainsaw carving done by my uber talented husband. I took the picture, printed it, glued it onto a 5x7 canvas panel, applied a layer of encaustic medium and added oil paint to the surface (then removed the oil paint with the only paint remaining being that which fell into the crevices).
I love encaustics as it adds texture and depth that otherwise would not be there. I'm self-taught and still in the beginning phases of discovery. My husband has only done a small handful of carvings. This was by far his best! It's really fun to live in a creative household with all members being extremely supportive of each others endeavors!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I went back to the nesting site mentioned in my earlier post and took some more shots. I am not sure if it's my camera settings or my eyes, but most of my pics have been turning out blurry lately. Also, my super-duper-pull-it-closer lens (yup, more high tech words...ha!) ended up being not so super duper. You can definitely see the Herons but it's not as close as I was hoping. Did not have waders on so did not attempt to walk closer. Bummer. Here's what I got.

P.S. Click on any of the pictures below for a closer view ;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To be continued...

Sunday's drive offered a stupendous suprise.

After a weekend long visit from my nephew,
we all loaded into the van to take him home.
On the drive
I spotted
a bunch of huge nests in trees.

On the way back
Darling Husband pulled over
to allow for closer inspection.
He's such a sport!

Lo and Behold, I think I have discovered
a Great Blue Heron Rookerie!
Want to know what one is?
Check here and read
under "nest sites and nests".

Too bad I didn't have my longer lens.
Yeah, I know. Real "techie" of me.
Check back tomorrow.
I'm heading there this afternoon
for some close-ups!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Less Than Perfect

Today was far from perfect. Lots to do with not enough time to do it. Time change didn't help. Virus is zapping my mood and energy. Husband was in quite the crabby mood and the kids were running their spring fever off leaving the house in shambles. I managed to sneak away to play with my new encaustic paints. May not be perfect but it was the highlight of my day.

Night is upon us. Kids are quietly reading books and supper is just about done. This day was much less than perfect but it was filled with good moments and the loves of my life. That's good enough for me. :)

(standing tall - © Lynn Retzlaff)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh Boy!!!!

I am terribly excited this evening!!!! Today's mail really came through for me. Instead of the usual bills or junk mail, I received an actual package! With good stuff inside!

I have been studying and experimenting with encaustics for about three years now. Encaustic painting/collaging uses a medium of bees wax and damar resin as a base. From there you can add color to the wax and paint, add found objects/ephemera to the piece for more of a collage or mixed media look. You can etch, write, use photographs and more. The sky is the limit. Each artist has their own style and their own formula of what goes into a piece.
I have been mixing my own encaustic paints for some time. My process uses bees wax, damar resin and oil paint. I have been very happy with the results but wanted to branch out into some richer colors, something less translucent. In researching I found the best way to get rich color is to blend the wax/damar mixture with powdered pigment. There are some good, safe sources for powdered pigment but I'm not comfortable messing with them. You should wear gloves and mask at bare minimum as the powder is quite fine and not something you would want to spill. Definitely not something you would want to breathe in.
With four kids in the house and a studio in the basement, I decided it was best to purchase a product that was already made.
I searched high and low. After much consideration I chose to go with an artist who mixes her own medium versus a large manufacturer. She was reasonably priced and had a great selection. She was also a total pleasure to do business with. :) I put in my order and within a few days my shipment arrived!!!
Brand new encaustic medium to work with. It looks rich and colorful and promising. I can't wait to get my hotplate started so I can dip in!!!
Thank you Sonja!!!!

Check out her wonderful
artist website
and her
etsy store.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Waking to Generosity

What a lovely morning I am having.
This morning found me feeling quite queasy. My rummy tum tum has not been well lately. The stress level in my life is partly to blame. Or should I say the way I have been responding to stress is to blame.
I had fear that my ill felt wakening would continue across my day causing a domino affect of yuck throughout. That fear was eased as I sat down to my computer to check in on my fellow bloggers. I was pleasantly surprised by a generous gift.

Patti, a very talented artist and fellow blogger (whom I faithfully follow) has posted a piece of her art and generously given permission for her blog followers to download and use (with the simple request of gifting back to her the credit for the piece).
Check out her blog! It's full of treasure! I bet you'll want to be a follower too! :)

P.S. Picture posted here is 25% of what Patti is offering. Love it? Visit Patti for the real deal :)

Friday, March 5, 2010


Life is full of changes.
Always has been.
Always will be.
Sometimes it seems
as if the seasons help us on our journey.
They set the example for us.

Summer is a time to enjoy. A time of celebration. A time of cooking out, going to the beach and soaking up the rays. Summer is a time to spread your wings and fly!
Fall tells us we should be thankful for our summer. Slow down. Relax and reflect. Be aware of the trees and animals as they get ready for slumber. Pull out the warm blankets and build a nice fire. Take cues from the Earth as she prepares for the winter.
Winter is for hibernation and rest. We cannot shut out the world and sleep for three months but we can certainly snuggle up with loved ones, warm our homes and tummies with warm baked goods and hot chocolate. Gather indoors with our loved ones and share our hearts over the holidays filling them with love.
Spring is a time to shake off all the winter cobwebs. Air out the house. Clean up the clutter. Pack away the heaviness of winter and step out into fresh air and endless new possibilities.

This darling little bulb is working its way up to the surface.
I planted several spring bulbs close to the house
and I watch them faithfully every year waiting for them.
They are my first sign of spring.

If I turn around, this is the scene behind me :)
Notice the bulb in the bush?
That is a remnant of Christmas past.
The snowbanks receding are another sign that spring is near.

I have been feeling the itch. The need for change. Desire to clean house. All for some time now. Just as I was on the verge of losing my patience, there she is. Mother Nature giving me the green light.

"It's time." she whispers in the breeze.

...and so I am off. Ready to spring clean my house, my life, my spirit.

Happy Cleaning!

Thursday, March 4, 2010



rock, paper, scissors
my first fiskars

naughty little mishaps
slitting rug
cutting hair

teen tools
collage for wall

young adult
life's been hard
sharp objects
used to cut
causing bleeds
controlled pain
sweet relief

growing, healing
learning, loving
cutting no longer requires sharp object

mind tools
cut fools
keep life simple and happy

Monday, March 1, 2010

Join me...

I am: real
I think: too much
I know: I am a good mom
I want: to believe in myself in other areas of my life
I have: an awesome family
I dislike: meanness
I miss: my grandma
I fear: success, failure and exposure
I feel: deeply
I hear: the Earth pleading
I smell: way too much! (overactive sense of smell)
I crave: travel
I usually: am a glass half full kinda gal
I search: for answers
I wonder: about others
I regret: things I shouldn't
I love: my children
I care: what others think even though I know I shouldn't
I am always: self-critical
I worry: about my children and the earth
I remember: a fun and free childhood
I have: a lot to be thankful for
I dance: when no one is looking
I sing: often but not in public
I don’t always: feel secure
I argue: with my husband more than I should
I write: because I have to
I lose: sight of my goals
I wish: health and happiness for all whom I love
I listen: to birds, brooks and rock & roll
I don't understand: how people can be so mean and selfish
I can usually be found: at home
I am scared: a lot
I need: understanding
I forget: my list when I go to the store
I am happy: I am alive

I found this great writing prompt here. You can follow the links back through many talented bloggers. Care to join? Post your own!
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