Monday, May 28, 2012

I Have Many Things To Share

On Saturday I "did lunch" with my mom in Haddonfield, NJ. I must say right up front that my mom is very good to me. I made out like a little bandit. After lunch at the Little Tuna, where our dining neighbor got a brownie ice cream thing that looked heavenly, we went shop hopping. One of the shops we strolled around was Z's Treasures. I could not help but get out the camera to document the great patterns.  I was told the buyer goes to Turkey a couple of times a year. I love the "evil eye" or Nazar Boncuk Charm. "It is believed that Nazar Boncuk stares back at the world to ward off the bad spirits and keep one safe from harm and bad wishes. I have one hanging in my studio already, but could not help buying a couple more for TOMA's briefcase and my handbag. Silly...

If I had a pocket full of disposable income, I would spend it on beautiful trinkets like these.

Before I left work on Friday I finally took some time to draw the beautiful peonies that a co-worker brought in.

Of course I do not know how to get rid of the gutter. Sorry...

I did a few things that I may work on finishing up later and post then.

If you have the day off, enjoy it!

Baci e abbracci.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I finally posted something on Etsy! My KittenHead dolls are now available on a made to order basis until I can finish the alphabet poster and make up a few.

Please do not google "kitten head." It is so disturbing to find out what horrors some people commit. I have been in such a great mood for over a week, but seeing these article headlines just totally took all of my joy away. When will people stop being so cruel?

I had been considering do this, but now I definitely will--for every KittenHead ordered, I will donate $5.00 to PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) or the ASPCA (buyer's choice) in honor of the person making the purchase. PAWS is a no-kill shelter and the ASPCA prosecutes animal abusers. Think about it you can have an adorable stuffed animal (okay that is a little conceited of me) and help homeless and abused animals!

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recycled Paper

I have been inspired by mail art and Geninne Zlatkis's use of envelopes in her work. I have collected many pretty stamps from the mail that comes into work for over a year now, but to save space in my studio I usually tear the stamp away from the whole envelope. Then, noticing the pretty and numerous stamps received in the development department on a daily basis, I convinced the young woman who sorts the mail to give me the pretty stamps that she receives (it did not take much to convince her as she is a really sweet person). She gives me the whole envelope with the stamp. I have accumulated quite a few and thought just go for it--so what if you ruin an envelope, the stamp can still be salvaged. They came out okay, these are my two favorites. I will probably still tear away the stamps and use them again for something else, but this kept me busy doing the same old thing without using up "good" paper.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a chance to draw a beautiful vase of peonies that have been in my office since Monday.

Baci e abbracci

Monday, May 21, 2012


This one is going to take a while...

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Charity Sewing

Today my friend M. and I spent the afternoon participating in a charity sewing event. I made quillows for Kyle's Quillows at Steve's Sew and Vac in King of Prussia, PA. I thought it would be more of a sewing class where you make a quillow from start to finish and then donate it to the charity. Instead it was more of a production line method. We got quite a few quillows made which will be distributed to sick children. They are cute, soft blankets with a pocket at the bottom that the children can put their feet into for even more warmth. The blanket then folds into itself and the stuffed pocket makes a pillow. It was a good day as always with my friend M.

You can find the directions on the website above as well as where to drop off finish quillows, if you would like to make one. Here are some pics from the day:

Giant vacuum cleaner

Finished quillows

And this one, just because...

Baci e abbracci

Sunday Sketch

Inspired by Geninne Zlatkis:

Sunday Sketches

Off to a sewing class--making a quillow for charity.

Baci e abbracci

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Quick Dose of Inspiration

A friend sent me this link to Sasha Prood's work. I love the way she uses watercolor in graphic designs. Most would have used acrylic, markers or computer generated color in these situations. Thank you for the early morning inspiration J.!

Baci e abbracci

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Find This Very Relaxing...

You know how I love using fountain pens, but recently I had to stop because no matter what ink I used (Noodler's Lexington Gray, Noodler's Bullet Proof Black, or Carbon Platinum Black) it was not completely smear and/or waterproof. I went back to Prismacolor and Sakura Micron Pens out of frustration. Then I purchased a Moleskine and decided it would be for dry media only (as the Moleskine Sketch paper is  horrible for wet media--in my humble opinion). I really missed my fountain pens and was inspired by work in Michael Perry's book Over and Over: A Catalogue of Hand-Drawn Patterns so I started doing these silly doodles.

Of course something happens that makes me less than pleased with the finished result, but they are relaxing to make and not a big investment. The Lexington Gray actually looks like graphite (bottom drawing).

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

The Mother's Day card for my mom.

Of course, I forgot to scan the Mother's Day card for TOMA's aunt before we gave it to her.

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I've Been Up to Lately

More playing around with the Pentel Brush Pen and watercolor paint. Markers are easy, but the palette is limited and the application is flat (at least the way I know how to use them). I prefer the watercolors...

Baci e abbracci.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Pentel Brush Pen

A couple of Fridays ago Roz Stendahl started posting about the Pentel Brush Pen. Actually, she often posts about how amazing this pen is and I am dumbfounded because I have carried it with me daily for 2 years and NEVER use it--NEVER. But this time she is posting different tasks each Friday using this brush pen. I thought I have got to learn how to use this pen because, according to most who have used it, it is the greatest thing since sliced bread! So I started out with the best intentions, only to get frustrated quickly and abandon the exercises she suggested.

Then I thought just start drawing with it (as she suggested in the first post). I am still trying to learn how to control it and admit that when I am pleased with a mark, I am very pleased because those marks remind me of the lines that I admire in other people's work--thick and thin--with a confidence that my marks do not have.

Brush Pen & Copic Ciao Markers

Brush Pen, Copic Ciao Markers & a Prismacolor .03 marker for the fine lines on the petals .

I also tried again to do some collage a la Teesha Moore. I hate the figure, but love the border which is a collage of my own cut up drawings. I would like to find a way to use the background and border in other work.

M.P.--Can you identify the original artists of the face and the body (up to the legs)?

E.O--Look, I used a stamp at the top left corner. I only have about 100 more stamps to incorporate into my work!

Baci e abbracci!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Not So Secret Project

I am currently working on a project that was a request. My friend had twins about a month ago and long before they were born he requested an alphabet poster. For some reason this was a difficult request. It took me many sketches to finally come up with the design. (His significant other being a curator at an art museum did not help alleviating my nervousness.) He saw the final sketch of the idea that I went with and seemed to like it. I really hope that they like the final product. I also have another project for him that I have not yet started. I am running out of time because he is probably going to return to work soon. Here is a pic of the WIP.

I decided to use Dr. Ph. Martin's because they are so vibrant, I thought it would be perfect for the babies' room.

My studio is a mess even though I just straightened it up. Each project tears it apart. I wanted to start some sewing over the weekend, but once everything is spread out on my work table it is best to stay with one project. I've never painted anything so big and anytime I've drawn something so big it has been on an easel, so this is a little awkward.

I also changed my inspiration board over the weekend--mostly Picasso. Also another artist who was definitely influenced by Picasso, Daphne Odjig. She even inserted one of his self-portraits into her work. Really colorful!

Baci e abbracci

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Stand Corrected

TOMA corrected me. I am not showing any pictures of goats today. Just sheep and alpacas. He should know. He was raised on a farm. Interestingly enough the phrase, "were you raised in a barn?" is used for people without manners, but TOMA, having been raised on a farm--often in the barn--is the most well mannered person I know--including myself. Of course that farm is pictured in the header of this blog.


This weekend is the Maryland Wool and Sheep Festival. When I was a passionate knitter this weekend was definitely the highlight of my spring. Now I don't even go. One year in the last couple I went but was more interested in taking photos and sketching than shopping.

The thing that always bothered me about this event was the food vendors selling lamb. It must be horrible to smell the burning flesh of your own species. I was also bothered when I noticed an animal not being handled gently. When sheared for competition they can be cut and man handled to say the least. Seeing an animal behind bars is also upsetting.

Goats, sheep and alpacas--such beautiful animals.

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guess Who Came for a Visit Tonight?

So cute!!! We found out where he/she lives too!!! Shhh... it is a secret....


I do not think I ever posted these vintage needle books. I was just looking at a post on Uppercase about vintage matchboxes and remembered these needle books that I picked up at a couple of yard sales last summer.

Baci e abbracci

After a Long Day...

This made my day!!! After dinner I was changing my clothes and TOMA called me excitedly telling me to look out the window. Oh my gosh!!! A opossum!!! The same one he saw a couple of months ago. I do not know where he/she lives because there is nothing but stores, almost no trees, let alone any ground, around here, but there he/she was drinking from our bird bath. TOMA threw him/her peanuts, which he/she did not eat, but I remembered they eat cat food. TOMA put some out, but unfortunately he/she had already moved on. I scared it down the block trying to get a picture, but it was so sweet, I could not resist!

This is him/her moving pretty quickly to get away from me. I hope it comes back soon!

Baci e abbracci