three books

three books

Friday, 30 August 2013

Alphabet Soup

Next week I will be heading over to Vancouver Island for a few days to hang out with my grandson and wait for his new baby sister to come home from the hospital, so that has been on my mind this week. I was also thinking about this week's drawing challenge - order/chaos - as proposed by Barbara of .
Which means I happened to be contemplated 4 year old boys and chaos at the same time which seems like a fairly natural pairing. It occurred to me that he is at that stage where, although he can sing the alphabet and point out the letters, the concept of putting those letter symbols into order to form words is still swirling around in his brain, occasionally gelling when he recognizes the order of them for important things like cats, dogs, cars etc.
I decided to take him a little painting that might make some fun out of picking out letters and words. I started by tossing the first alphabet on randomly, then I added a second and third alphabet and placed them to makes a few easy words for him to recognize, including his name. Then I confused it all a little further by overlaying some old letraset text on top so he'll have to look a little harder to make sense of it all and discover that those letter symbols sometimes arrange themselves into words. Order in the midst of chaos.

I hope he enjoys it and, since we are going to be working on putting those letters and words in order, I am really looking forward to visiting the library while I am there, it has been far too long since I treated myself to the mind numbing repetition of children's story books. Aren't those ones always their favorites?
Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew...yikes.

Go see Barbara's lovely blog for other participants in this week's challenge.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


The amount of enthusiastic comments regarding my last post has me convinced that you're all a bunch of tree hugging nature freaks - which I highly approve of  - BUT I hesitate to offer fuel for your passion for fear that the squirrels will not have enough walnuts in their diets this winter. On the other hand I cannot resist sharing some info on an artist who does incredible things with nature's bounty.

Allow me to introduce you to India Flint - how cool is that name?

Ms. Flint is the author of  two related books "Eco Colour" which is specifically about botanical dyes and "Second Skin" which relates to repurposing  textiles with natural dyeing techniques. I haven't been able to get them at the library yet but I believe they can be ordered.

You can check out her website at and her blog titled - not all those who wander are lost - .

The work you will see (and salivate over)  is on both fabric and paper. I think the principle is the same and the outcome, utterly luscious regardless. I wish I could share a photo or two but since I haven't asked permission I will simply implore you to go and see for yourself.

Here is a closer look at my simple efforts - a couple of pages from last week's challenge to whet your appetite.

and after visiting India Flint -  if you aren't filled to the brim go see some more eye candy here - I think somewhere in the midst of that may have been where I found the simple instructions for paper bundling.
Have fun nature bunnies!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Trite but true

The theme of this weeks drawing challenge, hosted by the ever fascinating Nadine at is "NATURE". While the weather is still warm and lovely here in Vancouver the quality of light has begun to change and there are subtle signs here and there that summer is mostly behind us. That had me waxing nostalgic (if you'll pardon the pun) over the change of seasons in my place of origin - Ontario - where autumn reigns supreme. It seemed an apt time to experiment with a little trick I saw on Pintrest - with apologies because I can't find the one I saw again to give credit to the person who shared it - there was however several others so you will be able to track down the process if you want to try it.
Eco-dyeing - essentially all it means is using natural things - leaves, nuts, etc. to make marks on paper or fabric. In this case I made a little bundle of hand made paper alternated with watercolour paper with leaves in between each layer. I used several different kinds to see what colours they would produce. I squished them all together between two pieces of door sheath (which transferred some colour of it's own), tied it with string and put it in a vat to boil for a couple of hours.
I probably should have left it bound longer than I did but I couldn't resist sneaking a peak. Maybe that is why they were so vibrant and lovely while wet but faded considerably when dry - no worries - I dipped them in wax which enriched the colours permanently. Yum! I chose a simple, Japanese style binding to lash them together.
Then I wondered what I wanted to say in my autumn book but everything I thought of was kind of trite and I didn't want to bore anyone with my sticky sweet memories. My solution? I wrote all those memories on little squares of paper and permanently embedded them in the waxy leaves.
What a fun project - now off to see what everyone else has done to rise to tiny woolf's challenge. Visit here: to see the rest.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Yay PicMonkey

Okay yes, my lovely friend Carole told me about this website quite some time ago but did I go there? No, of course not. I thought it just did photo collage things and I wasn't ready to get into that kind of fun until today, when I finally took the time to go and put together a little collage and realized it could also straighten and clean up all my sloppy photos. OMG I am so happy. I will of course be spending the next three days tweaking and obsessing over pictures but here are some of the most recent "Nixie says" florals at their almost straight, almost focused best.

Be Happy - encaustic on board - 8 x 10

bloom study - yellow - encaustic on board 8 x 10

bloom study - encaustic on board 8 x 10

Go Wild - encaustic on board - 16 x 10

Just Be - 6 x 12 encaustic on cradleboard

Bloom study - red - 8 x 8 encaustic on cradleboard