Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Where Did May Go??

Life here at Zoe Cottage has been clipping right along, and my poor blog has been neglected having been relegated to the back burner.  I think I am about to get caught back up after the month of April and all the extra correspondence that took place then.  So, here is a little update.

Ornery's mom, sister and brother-in-law were in an auto accident the night of Mother's Day.  The vehicle was totaled and mom sustained a broken rib, but otherwise it wasn't too bad.  Mom spent five days in the hospital, then she came here to recuperate for another 8 or 9 days.  She left this past Saturday, and all concerned were glad she was back on her own.

The gardens are doing well, and the fish are happy to see us when we visit them.  Of course it helps that they usually get some food, even if it is just a piece of lettuce. :)  They really do seem to know us, and hide whenever anyone besides Ornery or I enter the room.  We have harvested about five green beans, three strawberries and a handful of herbs so far this year.  The outdoor peas and beans are loaded with pods, so hopefully we will have a nice little harvest from those.  The tomatoes have not been so stellar in their performance yet, but summer isn't really in full force yet, so we aren't giving up on them.

Artwise, things are going slow.  I have done a few swaps on Instagram and swap bot, but nothing really exciting.  I am finally caught up on all my correspondence, or I was until today's mail arrived, so I might be able to work on a few that haven't written lately, and see what's up.

Ornery has been working on a retaining wall around our front flower bed, and while it isn't going very fast, it is going to be lovely once it is finished.  It is his first masonry project, and he is doing a great job at it.

We are off to Ornery's mom's house to deliver the things she left behind and pick up her old typewriter. I am so excited to be finally getting one that (hopefully) works.  I doubt I will write many letters on it, but it will be handy for adding text to art and traveling journals.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Art Journal Pages

This art journal is the last one in the set of traveling journals that started in January. I recently received a new lettering book that gave me courage to try my hand at some artistic lettering.

Ornery is much better at drawing than I am, so I asked him for a little help. He drew the outlines for the chair, trailer and pickup tailgate. I used a lot of different media on this. Intense pencils, Tombow markers, gel pens, alcohol inks, silks acrylic glaze, gelli-prints, coir, and distress ink. It took me several days, because I am not the speediest artist around, and there were many new skills required. I didn't master than, but I didn't shy away either. I liked how it all turned out.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

An Aquaponics Update


Carrots and zucchini

The tomato has maxed out its growing space! The leaves are curled around the tubes in the lights.


Peas and beans

The fish tank. They were camera shy...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Quick little Update

The incoming mail has finally started to slow down a little bit, but it appears the art journals are moving again, and at a rapid rate! I have one that I am working on for the first swap that started back in January, and I am the last stop before it goes home.  It is turning out to be a rather monumental project, but possibly (if I can get my ideas translated to the page) my best yet.

Last post I put a photo of an art journal page I was sending to Scotland, here is the other side of that page.

The first side was life in the country, this side is life in the city. :)  I used a variety of gelli-prints and some printed paper, as well as acrylic paint and some rub-on letters. Not too fancy, but I thought a good complement to the other page.

I've been more inspired to do fancy stuff with my letters than actual art, and I still have an abundance of replies to send out.  About the time I think I am all caught up, I get more pen pal letters in the mail. It's a good thing, though. I currently enjoy correspondence the best of all my ongoing projects. It is a bit like blogging, only the audience is just ONE person instead of an undisclosed number, and the comment is more than just a short sentence since it is not likely to be seen by anyone else.

I have pen friends in lots of places these days. Norway, England, Greece, Netherlands, Sweden, Philippines, Hawaii, and a host from all over the USA. So far in 2014 I have sent out over 300 pieces of mail.

I had slowed way down on the swapping I was doing, but have recently picked back up a little. I post on Instagram first, and sometimes later post my pictures here.

The gardens are all happy, the fish are thriving and quite interested in me when I go out to feed them every morning, and life seems to be clipping right along at a steady but not-too-hectic pace. Elizabeth and Michael were very generous with their Mother's Day gifts and I have been enjoying the new The Art of Whimsical Lettering book by Joanne Sharpe, which was part of what they bought for me.  I still haven't fully settled into the studio since I have added so many new storage options, but one of these days I will be bitten by the organizing bug and tear into it. Right now, I am just focused on the next thing that needs to be done.  And right now, that is fixing lunch! :)