Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shimmy Shimmer Shake

The brain surgery on the wee birds went well. I was able to save 8 of the batch and had to say good bye to 4 of them. Here the pink bird is getting his final coat of shimmer. A cap of pink. In the background is a selection of new sparkle that my daughter put into my Christmas stocking this year. Here is what he looked like when complete. As you can see this is bird number 116. I just keep going with the numbers...
Here he's stands inside my velvet box of glitter where he feels mighty majestic.
I'll finish off the rest of the birds now. Some will go to neighbours and friends and family, and I'll put three aside as a giveaway for the wonderful one-of-a-kind International Blogwide Art Event which is coming up and hosted by the lovely Lisa. See you there I hope. I'll be amongst the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bloggers, visiting from one artist blog to the other...
Thanks for dropping by today; we'll see you soon, I hope...hugs, Norma, x

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Birdbrain Surgery

Last month I started a new batch of birds which I'd planned to give to friends, family and neighbours. I laboured for weeks over these. When I'd reached the stage of wrapping the beaks I realized that the birds were completely unuseable and were destined for the trash bin. They lay silently for a few weeks while I scrambled to purchase some of the gifts to replace them, and make completely new things that I'd not originally planned for this year.
So now today, with the hustle and bustle quietened down I went back to the pile of birds. Out of desperation, I'm attempting brain surgery and this just may well work. I have started on the pink one as it is a special birdie for a special friend which I will see at month's end. So far so good.
But look at the operating table. It is a book I got yesterday from my daughter as a Christmas present. I can barely wait to get started drawing birds again. It's been a few months since I've done that. Now that I have this brilliant book that gives lessons, I am thrilled to dig in. But bird drawing will have to wait upon brain surgery on a dozen wee birds.
Hope you are all having a swell time. See you soon, I hope, love Norma, x

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jingle bells...jingle bells...

There is nothing like South Asian gold trim. Unless you are in Las Vegas where there'd be a tie in the glitzy shiny sparkly flashy attention-grabbing category. One of the things I collect at the local second-hand department store, are bags of South Asian gold trim. I keep thinking that one day I'll do something with it.
I've been making paper bells and actually, they are a bust. One of them is salvageable and will be given to my neighbour. She will love it. The others are experiments. I know that I want to use the paper sewn together as a fabric of sorts and I am very excited to do many more experiments to see what I come up with. A few days before Christmas is not the time to do this. So I have to force myself to put away my toys and get on with the gift wrapping, baking, and last minute shopping.
May the bells ring out in your homes. Nice to see you today, and I hope to see you again soon! *smiles* Norma

Sunday, December 9, 2012

dc84: Little Red Riding Hood

Big Bad in the forest...
Here 'Big Bad' pauses in the forest, admiring the fresh snow fall. He is on his way to 'Little Red's' house. 'Little Red' has got wind of 'Big Bad's' whereabouts, so is sharpening the axe as we speak. Oh my!
A closer look:
The combination of felt, embroidery cotton, sequins and glitter make my inner child squeal out loud with delight. For a few years now, I've been dreaming of working with these materials and for this challenge (yes, I am a few weeks late but oh well...) I decided to put the materials to work. Here is my design in my art journal:
Here he is with the pieces cut out and laid out on the felt background:
Here the felt pieces have been embroidered and decorated and ready to be sewn:
So you can see how the design came into reality; from a drawing in a sketch book to the finished piece. To see more lovely artwork with this theme drop by Patrice's blog where she, as host, has links to the players. Thanks for dropping in, and I hope to see you soon! *smiles* Norma

Sunday, November 18, 2012

dc83: Habit

The theme of 'habit' was chosen by beautiful Kristen who this week, is our host for the drawing challenge.
One of my habits is to drink a mug of coffee upon waking. If I am out of coffee, very strong HOT tea can be a substitute.
So I have decided to make a tiny mug in honour of my coffee habit, and I am making this for my art friend Kim, in honour of her friendship and her talent.
The paper mug is l/2" in diameter, and 5/8" tall. The decoration is a hand-painted bird. The titanium white is screaming and so I'll be toning that down with a coat of cold rubbed wax. Hopefully that will do the trick. Here's what it looked like during construction:
The main body is of sturdy card stock rom a 'file pocket' (normally I use this paper to stiffen beaks on the birds I make,) and is formed by wrapping a strip around the end of a magnifying glass handle. It is glued to shape and when dry, slipped free of the magnifier handle. The handle of the mug is a paper match stick. The 'thin' dime is to show scale:
Here is the mug that I normally enjoy my morning coffee in, and beside it sits the paper mug:
Earlier year Kim made a gorgeous tiny chair:
I made this mug as a companion piece to her exquisite delicate creation and will be sending it to her soon. Thanks for dropping by today. To see more takes on the theme of 'habit' click on to the lovely Kristen above. See you soon I hope, *smiles* Norma

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


What is on my work desk today? Two dozen birds ready to fly to Bird on a Wire Creations on Main Street in Vancouver, Canada. Look for them there soon!
A closer peek:
And a worm's eye view of one of the birds:
The message: I am grateful. Perhaps that is enough. I am grateful.
Each bird has a quote. Each has its' own number, as I have banded my birds. I started with bird number 1 and as I make a bird I just keep going. I am now into the hundreds.
Each year at Christmas time I make these birds. Making the birds this year, has reminded me how much I love them, so I am going to make more at the beginning of the year to sell on my etsy shop.
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope to see you soon. Hugs, Norma

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Life Breath

The idea of portraying in art suggests that the picture contains the possibility of the situation that it represents. The representation in my picture is that the branch is the icon for that which creates oxygen, and the bird is the icon for that which needs oxygen in order to have life. So my piece is called "Life Breath."
This theme was chosen by our host this week, lovely Ariane. To see more interesting art contributions for this theme, visit Ariane, where she has linked those playing this week.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope to see you again soon. *smiles* Norma

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Party Winner...

The winner of my giveaway for the Halloween Party hosted by the one, the only, the lovely Vanessa, is ...
DAWN of Bohemian Valhalla! You will receive my dolly picnic painting.
Thank you everyone for your lovely comments on this post and I enjoyed the party very very much. Sending you all best wishes for a wonderful day...*smiles* Norma
p.s. I used to pick the winner.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tsunami Watcher

I belong to a drawing challenge group on line where we draw, paint, sculpt, knit, photograph, write, something that is around a 'theme' that someone in the group chooses. Two weeks ago we were given the theme 'driftwood' and a number of ideas came to my mind. The most exciting one for me was an image of a fallen totem that had been propped up lovingly by someone. The totem was looking to the sea and the spirit in the totem saw a tsunami coming from Japan. The reflection of what the spirit saw can be seen by the viewer. I'd planned to have everything in the drawing done in pencil and charcoal but have the eye image in color. So I started drafting out the drawing and realized that it would take me two months to draw, not two days. So I abandoned it and went back to my usual tea bag size.
As I lay in bed listening to CBC last evening, the news came on about the earthquake in Haida Gwaii. I listened intently and then went to sleep. Later, when I woke up for a moment I switched on the radio to see what else had happened, if anything. Then I remembered my totem with the tsunami in the eye and thought to myself that the totems in Haido Gwaii would be watching for a tsunami.
Today I remembered my drawing plan again and the idea to post would not let me go so I decided to show you my rough rough planning for a drawing. Here it is:
Here is a close up of the vision in the eye of the totem:
And here is the drawing (lightly drafted):
One day I hope to complete the drawing. Have a nice day, everyone! *smiles* Norma

Saturday, October 27, 2012


The one and only Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist is hosting her annual Halloween Party starting today. This is her 5th year and I am looking forward to the fruitful posts and happy haunting spots that will be featured in this blog hop. To visit the players who have posted especially for this 'hop' just click on to Vanessa's blog where you will be taken to the list of blogs that are highlighted for you already. All you have to do is click to your heart's content. Happy Clicking!!! And...see you at the hop! *smiles* Norma
What would a party be without giveaways. I have made one just for you! It is an acrylic painting on a small (1"X2") canvas of a dolly having herself her own tea party at the edge of the pumpkin patch while she waits for the children to choose the most perfect pumpkin in the patch. All you have to do to get your name into the hat for the draw, is to be brave enough to enter the forest and go peek inside of the house you see there. Look in the window to spot something that you can report seeing. Come back here and leave a comment telling us what you saw inside of the house. I bravely entered and walked slowly and calmly so as not to appear too scared...I peeked in and I think I spotted a tray of candied apples. I have to admit that when I came out again I was walking quite a bit faster than when going in. What did you see?
Moving in a bit closer:
And closer still:
Leave a comment below on this post and I'll draw a winner next Saturday. Here is what you could win:

Friday, October 26, 2012


Reminding you all of the drawing challenge with the theme GHOST. Tomorrow and Sunday, the group who are playing along this week, will be posting their contribution. You will want to have a look at the delicious visuals they have to offer. Once again, the 'players' are: Ariane, Sabine, Mano, Susan, Renilde, Kim, Jill, Stefanie, Helen, Nadine
Meanwhile, here is a fun little clip of one of my favourite movies of all time:
See you all tomorrow! *smiles* Norma

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WOYWW[177] Bird Beaks and Greeting Cards

My favorite work space is the glass table that is beside my bed. Oh how dangerous this is. I'm into the marathon of bird making for myself and here, birds are drying their beaks. My daughter is into the marathon of making her stock of goods for the fairs and festivals where she sells her fabby things, so I help her out. Here I am taping the backs for images for the Greeting Cards that she makes.
Thanks for dropping in today; to see a bounty of interesting work desks and spaces, drop in to see Julia, where she hosts a weekly gathering to show our work desks. You can see them all there. See you soon, I hope, *smiles* Norma

Sunday, October 21, 2012

dc81: Ghost

Ghost of the Night Shift [at B.C. Sugar Refinery]
She looks pretty alive here, as you can see through her but I used tea bag paper as a ground and it is skintoned sort of. I am the host of the drawing challenge for this week and have chosen the theme: GHOST. Everyone is invited to participate and all you have to do to join in is to leave a comment on this post. On Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend, the 27 & 28th October, just do your own post with GHOST as the theme. You can do whatever you want. Photography, drawing, painting, sculpting, collage, knitting, whatever it is that you do. I will be linking all of the participants' blogs here so your post will be easily accessible.
Ghost of the Night Shift is painted in acrylics on a leaf of used tea bag paper.
Here is a shot of the B.C. Sugar Refinery factory:
It is a landmark on the waterfront dockyards in East Vancouver, and is a stones' throw from where I live. Every time I go downtown, I pass the building. I've been passing it for 40 years and counting.
Thanks for dropping in today. I hope to see you again soon, *smiles* Norma
The Players: Ariane, Sabine, Mano, Susan, Renilde, Kim, Jill, Stefanie, Helen, Nadine

Friday, October 19, 2012

Acorn leaf origami little book [dc 80]

LEAVES is the theme of this drawing challenge. I made an acorn leaf shaped little book in the origami style. Here it is open, with its' companion, a sprig of wool felted acorns:
There is a saying that anything worth doing is worth doing well but I just don't have the proper time right now. I'd love to explore this lazily, experimenting with collage and drawing and layering with tea bag paper, and mixed media and overall, coated with some lovely wax, but I am in full on bird making mode right now, for the Christmas season. Maybe in the new year, I'll revisit this book idea. Here it is closed (no time to give myself a manicure either, sorry):
Viewed from up close you can see how quickly I pulled this together (rough cut edges, etc.) but as I make it a habit not to 'explain' my art ever, I won't dwell on this. It is made fast, fast, fast. My daughter has been making felted acorns lately, so I borrowed a sprig of two caps and made a companion for the little book.
Our lovely host this week is Sabine and if you want to view a wonderful variety of responses to this theme, she has links to the players for this challenge. Thanks for dropping by today, and we'll see you soon I hope, *smiles* Norma
I posted early this week, as next weekend [Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28] I will be the host and will do a separate post for that, probably on Monday so you can all sign up there. The theme will be: GHOST.
P.S. Hand written inside the acorn book contains this poem: OCTOBER October turned my maple's leaves to gold; The most are gone now; here and there one lingers. Soon these will slip from out the twig's weak hold, Like coins between a dying miser's fingers. ~~Thomas Bailey Aldrich
P.P.S. I know, the poem is about a maple but I'm letting it stand in for the Acorn. Ciao!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Driftwood Offering [dc79]

The theme this week, for the drawing challenge is DRIFTWOOD. The title of my piece is "Driftwood Offering" which is a chunk of driftwood, done in a kind of abstract collage style. I used onion skin paper dyed lightly with walnut ink and mod-podged onto a leaf of used tea bag paper. As I consider this an offering to whatever gods may be listening, I typed the message: "And thus may I and all beings in space receive blessings" and I hope that this will be so. Here's my finished piece:
The materials used are: tea bag paper, onion skin paper from an old beautiful bible which I use for art, walnut ink, typewritten words, and mod podge:
The first bit of onion skin paper is soaking in ink:
The first bit is laid down:
The second bit is laid down and the third put into the ink bath:
The third bit laid in, and the last small bit soaking:
And that is all there is to it! The words on the onion skin paper are from a German Bible in old German, and the quote is from a new book about how to meditate. It is one of the things that are said in the Buddhist temple. I kind of like to mix up my religions in my art. Thank you to Mano for choosing such a great theme for us. Have a visit to her blog to see the players for this challenge. You will see a variety of wonderful art creations. Everyone is welcome to join in the challenges, and if you are interested, visit Ariane who keeps things going. Bless us all and I hope to see you again soon, *smiles* Norma

Mysterious Carnivale giveaway winner is...

Incipient Wings, chosen by out of the group who left a comment on the post. All of your comments make me feel rich and happy and I thank you for your generosity. I have only the one bird to give away, so there is only the one person receiving it. It will be you, Marfi.
See everyone again soon, I hope, *smiles* Norma

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tulle, tulle, tulle...[WOYWW175]

Need I say more? I buy it by the bags full. People get married...decorate their celebration spot...scrunch the yards and yards and yards of tulle into bags and donate them to the thrift shop. I buy the bags for $1.49 and $2.99 or thereabouts. People also stuff their entire wedding veil (these are always white) into bags as well. I buy those as I cannot resist. Here is what I make with the materials:
Birds, birds and more birds. These are the beginning of my seasonal 'batch' (stores order them at this time of year.) I am particularly in love with this little beauty. A yellow bird with black beak and who will have sparkly black legs/feet. He is a special bird that I am making as a birthday gift for a friend that I met on line:
This darling is the sole bird left over from last year's season. All of the rest have flown away to live with folk. I always keep the one bird to just remind myself of what they really look like. So that when I begin the marathon, I don't have to strain the brain about questions constructional:
The wee thing has not yet been banded. All of my birds get a banding on one of their legs. Every bird I have ever made has got its' own number. Really, I put a number on just as I am making it. That way, each one is an individual. I am up to in the 80s. The number is pasted onto heavy cardboard and given the 'Tim Holtz' treatment, and is hung on the ankle area with a little ring.
To see more lucious work areas, visit Julia where she will link you to well over a hundred folk who show what they are up to today. It's eye candy galore, and a ton of fun.
Thanks for popping in today. See you soon I hope. *smiles* Norma

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Attention! Attention! It is nice to see you all here ladies and gentleman, boys and girls. The attendant has taken all of your silver tickets, and as you have all been seated I see, we will get on with the show!
I see that we have some guests from out of town. Welcome!
And others who have come from a long way!
Please feel free to leave your hats on, we have some flying bats in an aerial performance and (ahem) they have not had as much practice as they would have liked.
There is seating for all. Everyone is welcome here.
Our opening act is 'wolfie' who can sing an entire Beijing street opera in one breath.
Then we have 'tigs' who is a happy sort. I forget what he was going to do folks. Some sort of balancing act. Let's see what he does.
Pinkie will be in the parade at some point...and he's joining the" Prince" outside later where they will be giving rides.
Owl will be doing some sort of balancing act on a twig involving strings of some sort.
Sprite and his friend have practiced another balancing act.
Samuel will be doing a contortion act. He's an expert at squeezing through small places.
Flora was going to do a high wire ballet but her face got eaten by mice. She is very sad not to be a part of this extravaganza.
Firebird will shoot balls of flame into the air.
Dawn and her companion will do a storytelling fest over at one of the smaller tents.
These gals will tell your fortune at the fortunetelling tent.
Kitty will give and demonstrate dancing lessons.
Another fortune teller.
And another fortune teller.
Sweetie will be handing out free candy.
Jack will be leading the clowns in a scary very scary act.
There is tea cup readings as well in the tea, coffee, and whiskey tent.
The bird woman is in the tent of curiosities.
And lastly, folks, we have the "Prince" who will be giving elephant rides outside later...
We hope you have enjoyed your visit. Remember, if you wish to be entered into the draw to win the bird that is the giveaway for this blog hop event, just leave a comment below on this post. Here is the bird.
Thank you for dropping by today. The original circus turned to shambles, what with threatened law suits, and actors getting lost on the way and everything; I thought that it was a complete bust. But word got out, and a lot of old friends came to the rescue so that the show could go on. Hope to see you again soon, *smiles* Norma
Thank you to Marfi and Anna for putting together this fantastical event! It's a lot of hard work which we all appreciate. Thanks you two!!
To see more posts from those participating click on the silver ticket below: Click here for a link to the players!


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