Monday, March 28, 2011

We have a winner!

Wanda over at won the photo cards! She picked tie #6. The top blue tie with small circles and squares. (my husband will never wear that one again!) Thanks to anyone who helped promote my contest. I didn't get a lot of guesses. But Wanda chimed in pretty quickly with the right pick. She's pretty darn smart to pick the top tie! I thought it would be fun to share some memories about the winning photos. The first photo was taken in Costa Rica's cloud forest. We were contemplating a soggy hike over Selvetura's hanging bridges. But the chill and constant drizzle prevented us from being adventurous. But we did snap this photo right outside the office! This photo could have been taken anywhere. But it was snapped on a dewy morning at Hacienda Baru.

A beautiful and deserted beach walk at Hacienda Baru.

Driftwood on the beach. Again at Hacienda Baru.

Pacific Edge. A view to remember near Dominical, Costa Rica.

The cloud forest.

Mystery fruit at Eco Iris. Actually, it's Arco Iris. But that's my nickname for the Eco friendly lodge.

And lastly we spent some time on the aqua blue waters near Dominical. I hope you enjoy your cards Wanda!

P.S. Here's my illustrated recipe link for those who didn't catch it last time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Big Eyed Dog

It's been fun to play along with the weekly themes over at As usual I'll look the word up in the dictionary to get a broader understanding of it. Toy is today's theme. And the dictionary gave me the idea for using one of my toy dog illustrations. Even though I did Big Eyed Dog a few years ago, it's still a favorite. I always describe him as keeping his eye on all my other illustrations. Good dog.

P.S. If you head over to You can see my latest illustrated recipe. More on the recipe and winner of my tie contest next week!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I tied one on last night!

Full disclosure. The night in question was actually an afternoon craft session. And the only questionable behavior was from my naughty cats!

I bought 10 ties for around 20 bucks at Arc Value Village.

The average price was around $1.99.

I bought a foam wreath circle from the craft store.

I needed furry help for the next steps. Not! I cut off the pointed base of the tie at 12 inches. The narrow parts I continually wrapped around the wreath form. Pinning the ties in place with 2 pronged fabric pin/tacks. Sorry no photos of those.

Akua was daydreaming.

Hana inspects my pile of cut tie parts.

Now for the decoration. I wrapped the wide pointed ends around the wreath. Pinning them in place.

Viola! I pinned decorative beads on the front to look like tie clips. It actually took 11 ties to complete the circle. I had to steal one from my husband. He hates them anyway. And he boldly stated that he wouldn't even take a job if they forced him to wear one!

I thought it would be fun to do another little giveaway. If you can guess which tie is his I'll send you a set of 8 of my original photo cards. (with beautiful Costa Rica photos)Since there's only one stripped tie(bottom left) we'll number that 1 and continue clockwise to the last tie #11 (bottom right) Just leave a comment and the tie # and description. I hope you'll play along and even pass my blog link on to other friends that might enjoy the game. And if you'd like to follow my blog be sure to do that too. I just lost 2 mysterious followers. Boo Hoo!

Blog update 3/23 We have a winner! More on that later...

P.S. Be sure to check out more crafty cats at

Friday, March 18, 2011


This is a happy little illustration I did a few years back. It was chosen to represent the MNSCBWI chapter for the Hope Card Project. A charity project to help school children hurt by the wildfires in Australia at the time. Today's theme is cultivate. And these animals banding together to plant a tree definitely fills the bill.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Art Fete 2011

Art Fete 2011 opened last Thursday night. And here is my latest painting, "Blue Staircase" The show runs through April 16 at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. It's the 29th year!

I managed to photograph a few steps in the framing process. So this blog post takes the excited viewer (Ha!) through the finished painting to the show.

In this photo I've cut a black matt to the exact size of my empty black frame. Then I glued foam core along the sides.

In this photo I've measured and cut handmade paper to cover the foam core. I added an extra lip of paper that is folded down at the center to cover the inside edge of the foam core.

My painting is then floated in the middle. Measuring correctly is the key when home framing. I wanted to float this particular piece to show off the ragged edges of the painting.

I didn't photograph the steps where I used this point driver to secure the glass and painting/backing to the frame. But this is what the device looks like. The points are sitting on the driver so you can see them.

I was really happy with how this painting turned out. It's the 5th in my textured staircase series.

After I put the frame together I glued a brown paper backing on and attached a wire hanger. Plus one of my business cards.

Here is the finished piece. I bought the Black frame parts at Dick Blick and glued them together.

It was a busy night at Art Fete.

The wine and food was free and fabulous! A Mediterranean feast. If I lived in Burnsville the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe would definitely be on my hot list. Yum. Plus there was music provided by Tre Corda Trio.

My friend Amy sold her cool ink piece again this year. Way to go Amy!

Dean, Me, Nina and Amy. Thanks for supporting the arts Nina!

The end.

Friday, March 11, 2011


It's already. Friday is also Hawaiian shirt day. But today Stir is the theme. And I tied it in with photos of a fun day of snorkeling in Belize this year. That's pretty easy to do when your artwork is about a mermaid. I did this piece W......A......Y... back in 1997. And the swirly pattern reminded me of stirring. The piece is done in watercolor and gouache. But the swirls are from a metallic colored pencil. I also used some fabric paint for the (raised effect) of the mermaid's hair. Now let's hit the water...

The first photo shows us heading out to the ocean. Sit back and relax is the theme! That's me in the 2nd photo. Mermaid me.

It's pretty hard to capture the beauty of the ocean with a water camera. But these photos show some of the mysteries we saw.

We stopped at an island for lunch.

That's Patrick. He was our guide for the day. He was a really fun guy. His motto in life was to have as much fun as possible. And I still laugh at his quote, "I don't mind a mango falling on my head...but not a coconut!"

P.S. As I'm posting this I'm listening to news coverage of the Tsunami. They are saying it might be the 5th worst on record. I'll keep my fingers crossed for the people in Hawaii.

Monday, March 7, 2011

WARNING...Minnesota is NO day at the beach!

This is actually an post. The theme is warning. I managed to tie in the latest theme with some sultry photos I took last week. But today I'm staring out at doom and gloom. At least that's how a Minnesota Winter day seems to me. Last week....Ibises.

And crabs. The good kind.

You can't see it here but everyone that passes this huge piece of driftwood places a shell somewhere in its grasp.

Do you see the Osprey nest in the upper right corner? This Photo was taken at my favorite beach. Lover's Key.

He's having a bad beach day.

Same goes for this guy.

It wasn't me. But someone had fun stringing shells like wind chimes.

Standing tall.

He's also standing tall.

A trip to Naples Florida is never complete without viewing sunset at the pier. And for me that always follows happy hour at Tommy Bahamas! Coconut cloud martini...I miss you already.

The gouache is actually textured like sand.

My Friday illustrations may not look like a warning. But that is exactly what they represent. They were painted for the Ripple blog after the gulf oil spill. The blog sold 100's of paintings donated by artists to raise money for the disaster. My paintings are simply statement pieces about personal responsibility and conservation. Thank goodness our Florida trip was not black but beautiful.