Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Days: 31 Days Shared

Well... today is it... the last day of my daily December Days blog posts. (Now I go back to about once a week.)  It has been challenging to come up with something every day and also learn how to deal with Blogger. I laughed... I cried... but most of all, I enjoyed sharing my Christmas with all of you. Thank you... and have a prosperous and wonderful 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December Days: 30 New Year's Resolution


My resolution for 2015 is to finish some of my paintings that have been left undone. Some of them need a lot of work, a few only a little. All are painted with oils except for one.

Monday, December 29, 2014

December Days: 29 Christmas Gifts


Today saw the last of the Christmas celebrations. My family gathering was this afternoon. The bad part was that so many were not there due to seasonal illness... they were missed. The good part was that it was nice to see those who were there.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December Days: 28 My Ugly Christmas Sweater


Everyone jokes about them... the lucky ones own them... and even braver few wear them... yes, it is the “Ugly Christmas Sweater.” This one was given to me several years ago. In all honesty, I am not sure they meant it as an ugly or a pretty sweater. I'm not even sure who it was. (If you were they and remember, please forgive me.)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December Days: 27 Sulamith Wülfing


I want to share another most treasured art print by another artist. Another print from the flat-file drawer full of lovely works I hope to someday frame and enjoy. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

December Days: 26 My Favourite Christmas Movies


I have been in the Christmas spirit and watching Christmas movies since mid-November. This is unusual for me but so-be-it I am having fun!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December Days: 24 Something Passed Along

I was searching through my flat-files for something (not yet found). A drawer dedicated for “Artwork by Others” holds art event posters, print exchanges, gifts from fellow artists, and other small pieces. Among the prints (that hope to someday find space on a wall), I found a small piece of which I could not remember the origin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Days: 23 The Sistine Madonna


For my December Days daily blogs, I have been sharing different aspects of how Christmas is special to me. I have yet to talk about the main reason, which is that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. I realize and respect that not everyone believes the same and that is their right. But I do and so today I am sharing about my favourite Madonna picture.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December Days: 22 Christmas and Children

1976 James and me

I can't post all the Christmas photos, but here are some that span from 1976. From my son James' first Christmas up to recent ones with my grandchildren. I treasure every moment and I hope they do also. It took a few bouts of memories and tears to go through photos and put these together.  I wasn't always able to make it special for them. While they were growing up... so was I. I often fell short, but we have come a long way and I love them very much!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December Days: 21 The Sun Stands Still

Celestia painting KmBennettArt



Today is the day of the Winter Solstice. At 3:03 PM (Pacific time) the sun will be at its lowest and closest point to Earth. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December Days: 20 Profile Pics

Vitruvian Troll drawing KmBennettArt

Today I am going through old photographs for a blog post but I am having trouble because: 1. I can't get through them without crying, 2. they are a jumbled mess, and 3. the scanning is tedious. There are particular items I am looking for and have found a few of them.

Friday, December 19, 2014

December Days: 19 Fun with Hats


Today is a little silliness!  I have the beginnings of a Santa hat collection (three) and have been having fun with them.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Days: 18 Uncle Gordon was a Bell-Ringer!

Uncle Gordon was a bell-ringer. He rang the bell at Christmas to help raise money for the Salvation Army. He was once featured in a local newspaper.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December Days: 17 Yes, Kathryn, There is a Santa Claus!

Santa (Kelly Farrah during January through November)

On Sept. 21, 1897, The New York Sun published what was to become the most widely read letter to a newspaper. It was sent by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who lived with her parents in Manhattan. Below is the full text of that letter and the reply by Sun editorial writer Francis Pharcellus Church.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Days: 15 Winter Scarves

This has been my big project the last few months. For years I have been saving vintage lace tablecloths, crocheted doilies and collars, and fancy trims. I always told myself I would do something with them someday. Well, this year I finally did. I have been making scarves by cutting the tablecloths into strips and adding doilies and trims to the ends. I colour them with fiber-reactive dyes and my homemade dyes from walnut husks and oak galls

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December Days: 13 Keeping Santa Weird

Santa KmbennettArt
Scanner art image of Santa doll head

"And now for something completely different..." ~Monty Python

My friends and family already know that I am a little weird. The fact is, I enjoy it... I revel in it! One of my favourite activities is finding creepy, strange, or offbeat dolls at the local thrift store and 'playing' with them. 'Playing' in the sense of seeing what creative things I can do with them. Visit my website to see more of what I sometimes title 'Playing with Dolls.'

Friday, December 12, 2014

December Days: 12 Days of Christmas

Twelve Ornaments KmBennettArt

This is a set of felt ornaments I made in 1983. I get a little weepy every time I take out my Christmas decorations and these are quite special. I used patterns from a book (I still have it) Scrap Saver's Stitchery Book by Sandra Lounsbury Foose. I have a few of her books and love the designs!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December Days: 11 Last Year's Gifts

Pyramid Memory Box KmBennettArt

I made these meditation shelves last year for my daughter Sarah and daughter-in-law Rosa. I had a great time making them. I started with the pyramid shape feeling it was perfect for Sarah. Those who know me also know that every meditation shelf or box I make has secret compartments (not shown here... they are secret!) Also, they can sit on a shelf or hang on the wall.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Days: 10 Oh... Tannenbaum!

Today I share photos of childhood Christmas trees. Just the trees. I find it interesting that just about every (Christian) family has these. Everyone, at one time or another, has taken snapshots of the tree alone. I think it has to do with our desire to document life's milestones. Similar to photographing a birthday cake... we feel a little silly but at the same time it is important.  Many of these pictures are lost to obscurity, especially if the dates were not noted.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December Days: 09 The Best Christmas Cookie!

When I was younger, we used to make these cookies from a recipe in Mom's big green cookbook. They were Chocolate Pinwheels and were they fun!

Monday, December 8, 2014

December Days: 08 Santa's Lap

I've been on Santa's lap a few times! I haven't got a photo for this year yet... (I keep missing it)  I would invite him over for Christmas Eve eggnog, but I think he might be busy...


Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Days: 07 Winter Wonderland

Never a dull season where I live! I am surrounded by so much nature and beauty.

February 2014 was quite a snowstorm! I was late to work one day because I got snowed in. My door opens out and there was 2 feet of ice-packed snow against it. Did a lot of walking... slowly, and carefully... my big walking stick came in handy!

Life is such an adventure!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

December Days: 06 Nativity

There was always a nativity set in my childhood home. The one I remember most is very special... and still exists. Several years ago, Mom decided to let us kids have turns with it. My sister Lucie got it first (because everyone else decided to draw names... I thought it should have gone in chronological order but got over it fast).

Friday, December 5, 2014

December Days: 05 Christmas Presents

2008 for Gary -
Standing buck - charcoal on paper 11x14
I thought I would share pictures of artwork I have done for gift exchanges at our family gatherings. I liked giving something personal that wasn't expensive and they liked getting artwork.  Everyone happy.  We didn't meet last year due to weather and other things.
The exchange may have stopped for now, but I think I would like to see it come back.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December Days: 03 Marley's Ghost

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance,and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Days: 02 Christmas Kitties

Getting down boxes of Christmas decorations every December is guaranteed to brings tears. Some memories are bitter-sweet but every one is cherished! Every box I open unleashes a flood from the past that engulfs me and stays with me until the moment I repack them gently away at the end of the season.

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Days: 01 Cards from the Heart

As promised, here is the first post in my daily series, 'December Days.' I will share photos, recipes, memories, treasures, and (of course) artwork. This is my way of celebrating the Christmas season.
Note: I mean no disrespect whatsoever to anyone who worships differently. We all live on the same planet, under the same sky, with the same needs for love and comfort. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Isabelle's Doll: History and Ghosts

Isabelle's Doll


Gretchen Hope Kreamer was born in 1895 to Orville and Hattie (Richardson) Kreamer. Her parents had come from the Midwest and her father, an optometrist, owned a jewelry and men's clothing store in Independence. Her maternal grandfather S.W.P. Richardson founded the first Christian Church in the community. Her sister Madeleine was born in 1900, the same year Orville had a new home built on Walnut Street. Gretchen graduated 1916 from Oregon Normal School (now WOU) and continued to earn an MA in Education. Both sisters were teachers and taught together at Leslie Middle School. Maddy taught math and Gretchen taught music.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Deviant Dolls

Dark Dream

A couple of years ago I started a profile on Deviant Art  for my scanner art I call 'Dark Scans'. (see Playing With Dolls Part 1) Today I added several more of my favourite images. I like listing my images there because they are a bit on the strange and 'deviant' side.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Art Life Lesson #7933201...

Pinterest, on the surface, seems like a great concept... a place to share everything you find that you like with everyone else. I started a profile there, but soon lost interest. My main concern is over 'intellectual property' aka rights of the artists. There is so much pinning and re-pinning of images that it is often the case that the name of the original artist is difficult or impossible to trace. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mystery Scarves

For years, I have been saving old lace table clothes, vintage doilies, crocheted collars, and anything else like that I thought was cool. I kept telling myself I would do something with them someday. Well, someday has finally come! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rainy Day Madness

This is what I come up with when I get a day off from work and its raining cats and dogs outside. They aren't finished yet, but I had so much fun making them I need to share...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Effigy Boxes

The dark corners of my imagination (that dream up theses things) are a mystery to even me. I have no idea how or why they come to me, but I love it. I no longer question what I create... I embrace it. I just finished designing these Effigy Boxes.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dead Faeries



I've had my Dead Faeries and Coffin Boxes in my Etsy shop for a few months and, since Hallows' Eve is soon upon us, I thought I would share them here. I started out trying to design faeries on string lights and ended up with these. (I am still working on my ideas for the lights) I made the wings from layers of wire, netting, tissue paper, and paint.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Samples & Swatches

Results of my 2013 harvest and 2014 process. I have nearly 2 gallons.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Small Sketches

A short post this time... An update to my self-challenge to draw every day: I tried, but even a small drawing made my hand hurt quite a bit. I will keep at it. I have been able to work some on a few mixed media projects, so all is not lost yet.

Here are the sketches I have done with graphite on 5x7” 130 sketchbook paper. I am going to try charcoal drawings and see if that will be a little easier on my RA.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Leaves Danced

The leaves danced.
They whirled and flitted
        and whispered to each other.
They embraced the sun
                    as it rose in the sky.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Walnut Juice

Nature offers many wonderful materials to use as art supplies. When cooked and boiled, walnut husks make the most deep golden brown ink or dye. They, like the Oak galls, have tannins for a permanent stain. Native Americans and pioneers used them to colour leather, wood, and baskets.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Back to the Drawing Board

I have a confession. I haven't been drawing or painting very much the last several months. Part of it is because of the arthritis in my hands, but that didn't stop me before... I worked in spite of it. I think I have also been distracted and lazy. Creativity is not the issue. I have ideas every day... I have hundreds of thumbnail sketches and notes in both sketchbooks and computer files.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Playing with Dolls... Again

A continuation from earlier post Playing with Dolls

There is a great thrift store in Dallas, Oregon called H20 (Help and Hope to Others). They have two floors and the last time I was there they were overrun with a sea of old sofas. I will guess they are pretty cheap right about now. The place is known far and wide for being very affordable and a lot of local college students furnish apartments from there.

Upstairs in this 'junk heaven' is a large toy area. I go there when I feel the need to restock my 'creepy doll' collection and I can usually get a boxful for just a few dollars.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Country Roads

Almost Heaven...

This afternoon I visited my beautiful granddaughter Athena and her baby Dimitri in Buena Vista.  We laughed and talked and had a great time. We even tried a 'selfie' photo of the three of us.  It wasn't easy with the larger camera and a wiggly little boy!

Rogue Farms

We went for a walk along Wigrich Road and traveled past Rogue Farm Hopyards. They are known internationally as fine ale producers.

Across the road from the hops fields are hazelnut and walnut orchards.  Some of them looked really dark and ominous inside, enough to inspire a creepy story or two. Since the hops were recently harvested, there were many clumps of the plants and thick twine along the roadside. Athena collected the scraps of twine to wrap around mason jars to make lanterns.  I bagged up some of the hops blossoms to take home.

After cleaning off the stems and leaves, I put them in my food dehydrator.  They are already quite dry as the weather has been warm, but I want to make sure they won't turn brown.  To contain the hops, I improvised and wrapped the whole lot in netting, shoved it into the dehydrator, and turned on to 'herb' setting.  When infused into a tea, hops makes a wonderful natural sedative.

all through the hedge
grows a mighty cascade
of the deepest reds
of the deadly nightshade
Love the roots of this tree!