Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thanks to Her Royal Majesty [WOYWW156]

On my work desk today (the spot of choice is the large library table) is the very very beginning of a card that I'm designing. So far I have a pink elephant wearing a crown of torn brown wrapping paper and sporting a blanket over her back with gold leaf trim. I placed a few flowers around where she walks and have started to cut letters from origami paper. You can see that I will be replacing letters for size, neatness factor, etc. but the message will be the same: THANK-YOU FOR THE SMALL SERVICE YOU DID ~ this card is meant to be given to someone who did a very small something for us (the person giving the card actually) like sign a form, or make a phone call, or lend a cup of sugar when it was the last one they had in the house. Inside the card will read: IT MADE A BIG IMPACT!! And there will be a poem which will be in normal typeset style. It reads:
"Small service is true service while it lasts: Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one: The daisy, by the shadow it casts, Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun. To a child, Written in Her Album [1835]"
As I was setting up the lamp to get light for the photo taking exercise, I noticed the crown and the word 'service' and thought of the Queen. So I just thought I'd say thanks to her today.
I was taking an evening stroll in the neighborhood last week and decided to go a different route than I usually do. So I walked past a garbage bin out on the street and spotted a completely fine demilune table standing beside the can. That means it is free for the taking. I took. Here it is set up in front of my bookshelves which are immediately behind me while I sit at the computer. Perfect. Because it now holds my pencil crayons, brushes, and tons of bits that I use in my art efforts.
Thanks for dropping by today and we'll see you soon, I hope! *smiles* Norma The fabulous Julia hosts a weekly drop in to see the desks of artists from all over the world. You can have a peek into other art spaces here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Opposites... a video by aprilamb on Flickr.

My birthday twin and bff April, shot this video recently. It's of her sheep.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Drawing Challenge: Paperdoll/Drama

This week I am the host for the drawing challenge and have chosen the theme Paperdoll/Drama. Make a flat paper doll that has a large skirt area which will be the drama setting. Here you can tell the story. Maybe it is a comedy...maybe a dramatic idea...maybe a secret (which you don't really have to tell but can allude to)...maybe a story of encouragement, hope, name it. My doll has a secret that she keeps hidden deep within the folds of her underclothing. She will keep the secret to herself but it is about the day her gringo took her to the old church...
Come on in and join the fun. Everyone is welcome here. All you have to do is to create your piece that you would like to show to the group, and then do a post about it this coming Saturday May 26 on your blog. I will keep the main list of the participants here, with links so that you can go back and forth easily.
To join in, leave a comment below saying that you are IN!
Who is playing this week? . Netty . Marfi . Tatjana . Melanie . Ariane . Renilde . Helen . Stefanie . Nadine . Lynne .Jennifer
Who will be the next host? ARIANE! Nice to see you and we'll see you soon, I hope! *smiles* Norma

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Little Red Riding Bird Brooch

Well I quickly finished off the brooch I'd started yesterday. I wanted to see how it would turn out. I love it. I have to sleep on it before I make any real commentary however.
The original drawing/painting was done on used tea bag paper which as you may know, I adore. When I pasted the wee thing on to the painted canvas, I wasn't thrilled with the result. From now on I'll have to paint directly on to the canvas itself. And my crochet skills are sadly atrophied but I'm getting the swing of things in that area so that as I worked my way around the edge I got the rhythm of the hook and cotton thread working together. Here is what the back looks like.
Here is what the wee thing looked like before I cut the canvas into a brooch oval shape.
Well I will be making more of these. I cannot express how much fun I had designing and making it. I think I might make some to put on my etsy shop. Thanks for dropping in and we'll see you soon I hope! *smiles* Norma

Friday, May 18, 2012

Little Bird wearing Red Riding Hood

This theme of 'fairy tale' was chosen by the lovely and talented host this week, Tatjana! I started planning a painting of my all time favorite fairy tale 'Thumbelina' and dug out the paper and pictures for reference and watercolor box and brushes and began and ... within 5 minutes the muse took over and I found myself working in acrylics and pencil crayons and conte crayon pastels to create a little bird wearing a red riding hood which will become a brooch as I continue to work on it. Just in case I wreck it completely, I decided to take a photo because this little bird melts my heart as it is.
Of course I painted this little creature on used tea bag paper. What else would it be? *smiling* Norma
And don't forget to pop in to the lovely Tatjana's blog (link above) to view all of the participants in this drawing challenge. This should be lots of fun.
p.s. nice to see you and hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I've been working on a little book made from used tea bag paper and a leaf of cigarette rolling paper. The table right beside my laptop is the surface of choice this week.
Here's the images I'm working with. The top visual was transferred to the cover of the book so will encase the single page (cigarette paper) which will become a drawing of this little bird and a few collage style bits added, for the inside of the book.
I'm making this wee book for the lovely, the beautiful, the talented Stefanie. When I'd finished taking a photo of the tabletop (aka work desk) my eye spotted the cigar box of pencils where I keep my most most favorite. I decided that the visual would make a nice header for my blog and so that is what I did. These are my really most cherished pencils. Well I think you will enjoy looking at a host of other work spaces so head on over to the fabulous Miss Julia's blog Stamping Ground, to see what other folk are working on this week. Nice to see you and we'll see you soon I hope! *smiles* Norma

Friday, May 11, 2012

Stitch Length Three

DRAWING CHALLENGE No. 60 [pompom and/or skirt]
This drawing came together quite quickly when I decided to use sewing pattern tissue layered with used tea bag paper. I sewed a skirt silhouette in a front and back view and then figured out what pompoms to use. In the end I sewed a 3-sided 'soft' frame and titled the piece "stitch length three" as that was what my sewing machine stitch length setting was for this piece.
Thank you Stefanie for hosting this fun-filled theme! Go have a look everyone, to see the great art here.
Thanks for dropping by, and we'll see you soon, I hope! *smiles* Norma

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What is On My Work Desk Wednesday [WOYWW153]

I've caught myself working right on top of the keyboard of my laptop again! I'm just about to open the glue bottle to adhere these little pom-poms on to a construction piece I am working on. I really just don't feel I should say more. I need to smarten up.
Here is a close up of the piece. I'll be continuing working on it but just wanted to pop in to Julia's fabby blog "Stamping Ground" where folk show their work spaces wherever they may be. Go have a look and see all of the wonderful things people are making! Nice to see you here, and we'll see you soon, I hope.
*smiles* Norma

Monday, May 7, 2012


Well I've gone back to the little fella and poured a new mold for him. You can see how the plaster is smooth this time, as it should be. Those fluorescent yellow marks bled into the wet plaster from the edge of the milk carton. I'd marked where the edge of the chisel should be placed.
Here he is waiting for the pouring. I'd gone back and fixed him up as best I could and placed him in a new container. As he was so overhandled thus far, I decided not to put him through the ordeal of having toothpicks placed in his head to stand him up away from any surface. So I just layed him down right directly onto the bottom of the milk carton. With the plasticine directly touching the surface of the carton you will see how thin the plaster will be in those parts. I'll live with it. Note the small balls of plasticine with the toothpicks sticking out. They will be the registration device to allow the two parts of the mold to fit together accurately. Before I pour the second half I will remove the balls.
The milk carton has been removed from the hardened two part mold. I'll be placing the edge of the chisel between the two pieces of hardened plaster, roughly in the area where the fluorescent mark is placed.
So I've separated the two pieces and you can see it will be a success. Believe me, there should not be all of those little holes in the mold. They are air bubbles and even though I gently shook the wet freshly poured mold to release air bubbles, I should not have mixed up the plaster and water together so vigorously in the first place, to cause air bubbles to form. I can live with this mold.
I gently dug out the little fella. Here is the two part mold!! Notice the registration bumps that will fit into their own bowl indentation on the opposite half of the mold. This ensures a proper fit, which will be very important later. I'll be telling you why when I actually use the mold. You can also see the three points that were where the plasticine shape touched the edge of the milk carton before the plaster was poured. I'll work around these. Really, the thing I was looking for, is that the eye area and nose and mouth got a good clean image. There is one bubble under the mouth but at least it's not right in the middle. At best it will be just annoying when working with the mold, but I am satisfied with this cast.
If I wanted the mold as perfect as perfect can be, I'd fill the little holes with 'wood-filler' or 'plastic wood' and I've done that in the past to great success but I'll likely not need to do that here. I just thought I'd show you the little fella because when I dug him out of the mold his head came out in one piece so really, I could use this image in plasticine once again. I admire his tenacity. Well I've been thinking a lot lately about companion animals so maybe I'll rework this plasticine into another entity and the little fella might have a companion of some sort. Maybe an archetype. That would be fun.
So I'm going to allow this mold to air dry for a day or two so that it is really really hard. When I use him I'll do a post so you can see what comes of this little fella. He might be a girl, or a boy, or a man or woman or who knows what. It is a surprise to all of us, including me. Thanks for dropping by, and we'll see you soon, I hope. *smiles* Norma
Now about that painting I'm supposed to be doing...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sea Gooseberry

UNDERWATER LIVE/LOVE My illustration for week number 59 is a Sea Gooseberry. It's drawn to size (1 and 1/8") on used tea bag paper with Castell Polychromos colored pencils, Conte pastel pencils, and acrylic ink.
When I think of underwater and love in the same sentence my mind always goes here: I live in Vancouver and these otters were filmed at the Vancouver Aquarium, by a tourist. When the video went public, it went viral. Sadly, one of them passed due to cancer some time ago. Thank you Julia for hosting this drawing challenge! *smiles* Norma Next week's host will be: Stefanie! I am looking forward to this. Everyone is welcome here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pass through the pink rain cloud with a smile

ALTERED ROLODEX CARDS The women may be passing through a rain cloud of pink tears but they are still smiling as they have some words of wisdom to help them weather the storm.
This gal has Tolstoy on her mind. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. [War and Peace]
And this gal is more of an Aristotle buff. True happiness flows from the possession of wisdom and virtue and not from the possession of external goods. [Politics]
I'm just playing with collage and decided to whip up a few altered rolodex cards. I'll be working on finishing the back of these. Then they get popped into the rolodex art wheel. Thanks for dropping by; we'll see you soon, I hope! *smiles* Norma


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