What a mix



On one of the newsletters  I subscribe to there was a link to an artist who had a great idea I will share with you later. I really like this post about his schedule though.


There haven’t been frogs in our area the past year. I think they went somewhere else and established themselves. Melody found one in a garbage container for like pots and stuff from the backyard the other day. We put water, a rock and some plants in a tupperware container and kept it for a few hours so they could look at it. Then we let it go before bedtime. 

The second photo is of Venus taken on fourth of July this year. I just used my point and shoot camera (has a little zoom on it). You can see Venus very easily in the sky this time of year or this year. I want to learn more about astrological things but I am often busy learning about something else or cleaning up after a child or letting the dog out, cooking, cleaning, errands, etc. Our neighbor has a telescope and knows quite a bit about the constellations. If I learn anything great I will let you know. Since all of us are interested in the stars and planets I am thinking we may get a telescope for a family gift for Yule this year. It’s between that and a teepee and honestly the teepee is more expensive!

Melody has been fishing three times and we had yet to catch anything. My Dad found out about a place out near Mt. Hood and so we took the girls there today to fish. Melody caught two right away and then did the net job which was more exciting I guess. I don’t know how my little vegetarian ended up being a meat eating fisherwoman but you go with their interests.The large one I caught was 18 inches long. We ate two for dinner and I froze two of the other ones for later. Melody enjoyed eating them and liked the smaller one better. It had more white meat and the larger ones were more like salmon with pink flesh. Sorry if I am grossing anyone out.

On to something else…

While I was chatting with people on Journal Girl’s (Kira) show on Tuesday evening someone showed me this link to a colored pencil world of wonder. I went back to look at it again and was reasoning with myself as to why or why not I should subscribe to receive 500 colored pencils over 20 months. I think it works out to 30.00 a month plus the organizer to display the pencils which is the real appeal in my mind. I also enjoy the names they give the pencils like Mermaid’s Gown or Pumpkin Pudding. What if they smelled too? Then I would have to get them. Melody has some colored pencils with scent and there are some other ones at the independent toy store called smencils and I want to get the rootbeer one of those. 😉





I keep trying to get outside when I feel like it. The pacific northwest is not a good place to be outside in the winter with all the cold and soggy rain even if it does make everything beautiful. We went to the Portland Saturday Market on Saturday and then went to my parents for dinner that night. Sunday we went to a spot on the river we hadn’t been to before. It was really fun and perfect weather.

Save & Close



Sometimes I draw something in a sketchbook and I don’t want to alter it or potentially mess it up so I tried making photocopies. I then color in the photocopies and I am able to play with them more freely. I also like to add some random images from sketchbooks into my art journal. Just a fun and cheap idea I have been playing with lately.



We were supposed to go to the Lavender Festival in Sequim this weekend but my youngest daughter was not well and has some sort of infection so we stayed home. We did try to have fun despite the fact we couldn’t go away. She wasn’t sick as in walking around being feverish or anything so we went and had crepes (Melody is eating a nutella and banana one) and to the big park downtown in Vancouver. My oldest daughter had fun at our town’s festival this weekend with my husband and I enjoyed the not-so-hot summer weather. 🙂



Mess or painting

I did this painting yesterday or wait on Saturday. I asked Melody and my husband if they thought it was

         a. a mess

         b. a painting

         c. both


After I took a photo of it I realized there are two areas I want to fix a little bit. Then it will be a messy fun painting in my opinion. 🙂 


Pigments for paint

I have seen ways to make your own paint before but never thought about trying it till I read this story in a local new age newspaper. There is a similar article about the same artist here too.

I use acrylic not oils but you can make either kind of paint and more with natural pigments. Matte acrylic gel can be mixed with the pigments for acrylic paint.

Pigments are ground into fine powders and mixed with a binder to make paint. Powdered pigments are available if you want to make your own paint.

Artist’s paints are usually named after the pigment (like cadmium yellow) but some retain traditional names (like ultramarine blue).

Blue was once obtained from the leaves of the indigo plant. Cuttlefish (squid) ink supplied sepia. Indian yellow was originally made from the urine of camels force-fed on mango leaves. Eww!

Many minerals are used for pigments: lead, titanium, cobalt, cadmium, etc.. These are highly processed to give the strongest and most consistent colors. Aniline dyes were coal tar derivatives discovered during the industrial revolution and have sparked the industry of color making. Pigments like phthalocynine blue (known as phthalo blue) are test tube colors.

Most modern pigments are made in the laboratory (though some natural materials are still used). Modern ultramarine blue is such a color.

You can add any colored pigment (powder) to a binder to make your own natural paints. The best binder is gum arabic to make watercolours (available from art shops). Add a drop of gum to pigment and mix into a paste. Thin with water to use. The paint can be used right away or left to harden into a cake and re-mixed using a brush dipped in water.

Ideas for paint pigments include: soot; coal dust; black and grey ash from burnt paper; brown ash from burnt coal; charcoal; chalk dust; talcum powder; ground up seashells; baked soil; powdered rust; pulverized brick or plant pots; slate; paprika; turmeric, chilli powder, paprika and ginger; powdered graphite; red and yellow ochre; or invent your own.

I found a recipe and several site online that also sell natural pigments. I am interested in trying a couple and then making my own as well. The idea of driving around looking for different soils intrigues me too!

The two web sites that seemed to have good prices with high quality pigments that they sell were Earth Pigments and Sinopia. Have you every tried making your own paint before?

As soon as I make some I will let you know how it goes!

With friends

One of my friends from high school came to stay with us for a few days after they went to the Oregon Country Fair. I can remember when we used to have slumber parties of sorts and this time it was our daughters laughing in Melody’s room till 11 p.m. at night. I was sad to see them go and wish they lived closer.




I went to a local winery today for a freelance assignment. I took a lot of “extra photos” and thought I would share. They were having an art and wine festival. It was a beautiful place and I could live there if they would let me.