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  01:16:00 pm, by Airycat   , 0 words  
Categories: Needlework, TAST

Stitch 25:Twisted Chain

  08:00:00 am, by Airycat   , 125 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Biography

Holding Fast to Dreams by Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement  by Freeman A. Hrabowski, III


At first when I finished Holding Fast to Dreams I felt a sense of braggadocio. I had to think about it. I believe this is mostly because I was expecting something more autobiographical.  

While the book does contain some autobiographic background, the focus is on Hrabowski's accomplishments. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that it's not so much braggadocio as  "I did this. You can do it, too."  Hrabowski is offering UMBC as an example of success  both to other campuses and to students and would be students. From this perspective it's an interesting read for anyone interested in higher education and those seeking ideas for improving it.



  12:10:00 pm, by Airycat   , 142 words  
Categories: Chitchat

Happy New Year

AH, a new year and a clean slate. Well, a clean calendar anyway. I would like to say thatI will be so much more diligent about posting here than I have been. All I can really say is that I will try. I have lots of creative thing in the works for this year, not to mention a lot of UFOs that I'd like to work on (well, some of them, anyway). With a skill level of about a two, organization is still my biggest impediment in anything, but especially blogging.

I have a bunch of stuff to waiting to be posted.

  • two or three book reviews
  • TAST stitches
  • er, something, but I can't remember at the moment

I'll try to get to them between now and next Friday


Hope 2016 started out well for everyone and continues to get better each day!


  06:31:00 pm, by Airycat   , 680 words  
Categories: Studio Journal

Learning Page

Actually, I suppose, a major purpose of art journaling is learning. From everything I've read, it's supposed to be a place to try new things, experiment, and, if it's also a written journal, to express ourselves and figure out who we are.

I probably started this spread during the week of October 5. (I need to learn to date things!) While I was cleaning I came upon a whole collection of receipts mom had kept. I don't know why. They were all ordinary things. Perhaps she thought, as I did, that they'd make an interesting background.

I pasted them down, but for reasons I don't know, most of them did not show up when the ModPodge dried. I was kind of disappointed because one of the receipts was mom's last Craft Warehouse purchase. Lots of arty items!

A day or two later I splashed on some acrylic color -- blue, then pink, then yellow.

The next week I spent most of my time in the art studio. I went back and forth between cleaning/reorganizing and working on this page. I tried out a few stencils--the large circle, the two fancy strokes at the top of the right side, and a found stencil (sticker waste, maybe) on the bottom of the right age. It looked like a brick or stone wall, so I added the ivy with another stencil. I used a gray Sharpie to create the top of the wall and the mortar. It was all flat, so I tried to glaze the leaves. That was a so-so experiment. I need to find my shiny ModPodge.

Lesson: Paint on mortar before bricks or stones and ivy!

It worked out okay, though. The wrinkles of the receipts helped to create some texture. All I had to do was shade them. I also added shadows to the ivy. It is SO  much easier to add shadow in GIMP!

The sections of the large circle are colored in with felt pens and then traced with gel pens. Ooooo! I love gel pens on acrylic! After I completed the circle, I used the gel pens to outline and add the veins to the ivy.

Next I went back to the stencils. I have one with different size circles. I figured I'd use stamps in the circles. I don't know if the ink is drying or if it just doesn't like stamping on acrylic. Most of them barely showed. I stenciled in one circle (blue), but I didn't really like it, so I stopped at that point. I erased the circles (although faint traces of the pencil remain). The butterfly was okay, so I colored it with felt pens. 

I went through my box of words cut from catalogs, magazines and newspaper. I finally decided on "Explore" since that's what I was doing with this page. I started to use a fine tip Sharpie to create shadows/dimension, but it bled in the newsprint paper. I went back to the black gel pen. I also remembered the white pen. That's another one I really, really like.

I had used a stamp for the watering can. It barely showed, but still left a splotch, so I drew it in. It's not exactly the same as the stamp, but who cares? The "ART" stamp has more words that didn't show up. I used the white and gel pens to add dimension to that, too, and ignored the mostly missing words.

I was annoyed that the circles didn't fully erase, but then I thought BUBBLES! I had no idea how to do them, but I think I figured it out, using the white pen again. I liked them so well that I added more. :) Some of the bubbles have pale stamps in them, but not all.

Here and there, the receipts peek through. The name "Ruth" was on a KFC order mom had made. I kept it for sentimental reasons.


It's still not the look I want to create, but I know I have some more learning to do before I am able to create that look. I'm happy with this.


  07:39:00 am, by Airycat   , 315 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Stitches, TAST

Behind on TAST Again (Stitches, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14)

Behind on TAST Again (Stitches, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, &amp; 14)

Not the stitches, just the blogging about them. 

Full story »

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