ICAD 2015–My first “a-day” challenge

I’ve never participated in a “do something every day” challenge before, but I had seen several YouTube videos by artists that had and have participated in Daisy Yellow’s Index Card a Day (or ICAD) challenge and I was intrigued.  So, I jumped in.  I’m finished with week 1 of the 2 month challenge (runs from June 1 – July 31) and thought I would share a step out of week 1, day 7’s card, as well as my first week’s results. 

There are prompts and themes, and I’ve followed some and not followed others. I skipped Friday night in favor of canning 5 more pints of pickles on top of the 8 pints I did last weekend, so I caught up yesterday evening.  It’s really an easy going and fun challenge that is low pressure.  I encourage you to check it out.

First, here are my cover card and first 6.



Theme for Day 1 was Chevrons and I used that here in Black and White and Red in Chevrons


Theme for Day 2 was Carnival and I used that here


Theme for Day 3 was Maps



and day 6


So, for Day 7, I again skipped the theme, but wanted to work in the same fashion I did on Day 5.  I started with a piece of brayer paper that I had finger painted circles on and collaged that to my index card.


It’s dark, not particularly appealing and has the white strip down the right side.


Next, I used one of my home made stencils and diarylide yellow to stencil the flower over the upper right circle.  I used a home made mask to block off some interesting bits on the left side and used teal to cover up the rest of the space, including the white strip on the right.


I used another stencil and sponged permanent violet inside the blobs (on the left).  I used black to outline the center of the flower from step 2.  I used the permanent violet to draw stripes on the eyllow part of the finger-painted circle on the lower left and then outlined the strip on both sides with it.  I decided I didn’t like the center of that flower, so I painted it white.  I used white and painted strips on the teal bar on the right.  I then outlined the violet pods with black and the striped bar on the right.


I added a black outline to the original pod shape in the background on the left.  Then I pulled out the white Signo Uniball and outlined my yellow petals, made petals on the background pod shape and added marks inside the pods on the foreground pod shape and the cetner of the big flower.  I used a black Pitt pen to add marks to the center of the lower right flower.


To finish off, I outlined my white petals with a S black Pitt pen and drew pod shapes around the flower on the lower right.  I used an M black Pitt pen to add the arrows on the left, and the dashes in the teal background. I used the white Signo pen to color in the center of the pods on the lower right and add dots to the yellow of the big flower.  I went back in with the S Pitt pen and outlined the petals of the large flower.  I then added the cross hatching in white to the center of the large flower.   I’m practicing isolating elements in a busy or ugly background using paint and marks.  I’m really happy with my progress here. 

Working on my Words Journal


I managed to get in the studio this evening to start working inside the Words journal.  I had an idea last night and wanted to try it out on the title page.  I wanted the effect of water colors but using my fluid acrylics in Quin Gold and Dioxazine Purple.  I started out with a water wash over the title page, then applied a very watery application of the Quin gold.  I ended up with a very nice yellow wash.  I wanted the purple to drip up into the yellow, so turned the journal around and worked upside down.  I applied more water and then a very drippy wash of the purple, loading up more paint in some spots to get it to really run into the yellow.  I wanted the fractal like spreading that you get when you work with really wet, dilute colors.  After it dried, I went over it with some texture tools (cardboard) and stamps and copper.  While I had the purple and copper paint on my palette, I dry brushed the hinges, first with purple and then with copper.  I will probably go over them a few more times to eliminate the white. 


In the next pass at the title page, I used Quin Violet to make the spiral and the “Words” title.  I pulled out one of my calligraphy pens and the india ink to make the stem-like lines and then added the words we are using for inspiration.  I messed up a few of them when the nib was loaded with too much ink, so I’ll go back in and fix that later.  The last step of the evening was to gesso the next two pages so they will be ready for me to work in them tomorrow.



A New Project for Valentine’s Day

I have been working on a very late birthday present up until Friday, when I decided to do my end of year (yeah, I do the end of year stuff in January) filing, which was preceded by needing desperately to clean.   This urge was, of course, precipitated by my inability to find something….  I need a better organizational system.  The archeological method isn’t working for me.  So, Saturday was devoted to a few errands and cleaning and watching the playoff’s.  The weather was beautiful, the way it is rarely before we get the next cold front blowing through.  I know, Texas doesn’t really get cold, cold fronts, but this one was supposedly an arctic blast.  Whenever one of these fronts starts dipping down, it drags moisture up from the gulf, which, IF WE ARE VERY LUCKY, results in a little bit of rain.  The big thing it does, is make everything cloudy and gloomy.  So, Saturday was a great picture day, if I hadn’t been cleaning that is.  I did take a few minutes to snap these wise guys on my tree.  I can almost see them “Hey, you!  You wanna piece of me?  Huh?  You wanna piece of me?”.  I think that obscure reference is from the Animaniacs, but I honestly can’t remember.


Sunday morning, I woke up with a very sore throat and a head-cold.  That’s what I get for telling the girl at the hospital (long story short, sat in the ER with my Dad for a loose screw – his) that I never get sick….  I’m not getting the last laugh…  So, not working on the present, because I’m not giving the recipient his germs back… Yeah, he was out Friday sick; so I’m guessing he’s the donor of the germs.  Anyway, I slowly poked through cleaning up the paint studio.  Again, watched the playoffs, but the first game was so bad that I spent more time in the studio than out. 

I finally got space cleared enough that I could work and decided to try out a vague idea for a pin doll.  Even in my mentally challenged state, I came up with this pretty little girl.


I’m trying her out as an idea for a class, but am also thinking of listing her in my Etsy shop.  She was a lot of fun, especially as I got to play with the Sizzix die-cuts and embossing folders.



She is made from some small wood pieces, grunge board, copper wire and copper sheet metal, fibers, beads, pearls and is backed with felt and has a pin attached.  She’s almost 7” from wing tip to wing tip and is 5” tall.  I’m really happy with how she turned out!  I was thinking V-day when I came up with the color scheme, but I really like copper with reddish tones.  Of course, I love turquoise with copper too.  May have to make another one with turquoise!

It’s a Mad, Crazy World


I am often over-committed, but it seems that it’s much worse than normal.  I finished the quilt and shipped it off to PA and had to immediately start on the next set of projects.  I finished up elinor’s book page and got her fabric book in the mail today to Annie.


I printed out 12 versions of Pierre – a right and left facing version in 6 different color ways.  I cut out arches text wove paper slightly larger than the printouts and painted them.  I then glued the Pierres down and stitched it into a pamphlet stitch book.


The center spread is the story about how Pierre, the mime, is the best in his troop at miming being seated without having a chair, so he is always assigned to mimic metro passengers, etc.  Then he goes home and puts his feet up and relaxes.  The background is quilted with a poem I wrote about how, regardless of the weather, the mime always performs.


I have been working on Khamse’en.  She now has shoes and stands quite well on her own – but I don’t have any pictures to show just yet.

I have sewn the elephant for my Gypsy Challenge piece and turned it this evening.  No pictures of this yet either.

I also started on Betty’s book pages (her book theme is Saints and Icons) last night and stitched on it this evening.


I’ve also been working on a super secret project.  If things work out, I’ll be able to announce it the first week in November.  I’m so very excited!

And – I’m making more progress, in my over-committed state, on everything, than I normally would.  I am just not getting as much sleep! 

Laboring for Labor Day


I have a long list of things to do this Labor Day weekend and, with the weekend two-thirds of the way over, I’ve not made nearly enough progress on the list.

I spent Friday night and almost all of yesterday working on a project in my house.  I’ve been repainting walls for a long, long time.  I decided to tackle the island separating my kitchen from my living room and the 2 halls which connect the front of the house to the rear.  Since painting the hall meant taking all of my photography off the walls and taking down the one gallery light I had installed, I decided I would also tackle installing lighting.  I’ve been gradually replacing light fixtures, going from the original standard brass fixtures to more contemporary brushed nickel fixtures.  I’m really happy with the results.


This picture is looking towards the front door.


This is looking from the short hall into the long hall and my photography collection.  The lighting is so much better now and the hall, which used to be really dark, glows!


This is looking into the house from the front door.  You can sort of see in this picture that the hall is a bit more orange than the living area.  I picked a color with a bit more orange to it as I wanted the hall to have a bit more warmth and a lot of the pictures I have up have a blue sky as the background.  Those pictures really pop against the wall.


And this is the color I picked for my island.  It’s “Bronze”, but in reality, looks like an almost ripe pumpkin.  I love it!

I got “Life and Death” shipped out on Wednesday, and on Monday night I started working on Khamse’en again.  I made a caftan out of green organza and have been beading the edge.  I finished that up early this afternoon and started looking at shoes.  I didn’t have what I needed to construct her sandals, so will have to get out tomorow for supplies.  Instead, I stitched her skirt to her and started working on a website for the Stretching Art and Tradition challenge.  I hope to have it up by the time I leave for PNQE.


Here’s Khamse’en with her beaded caftan.  You can barely see it against the skirt.  I’m going to give her a beaded scarab necklace that will hang below her collar.


Here you can see the beaded edge a bit better.