J is for January and Journaling...

Jan 16, 2017 by

What do winter and this journal have in common?  They both have potential. As I look out my studio window on this gray winter day, I see bare trees and empty flowerbeds. But I know that there, just under the bark and just beneath the soil, lays the potential for a beautiful spring, waiting for the sun’s warmth to unleash it. The stories we have within us are waiting for the right moment to come to the surface and bloom. This is where the journal comes in. A journal has the potential to become a snapshot of us. Keeping a journal gives us the opportunity to put bits of our every day story on paper. It can be current or reminiscent. Once out of our heads, the words take on new life. Often we...

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What to do with Those Christmas Cards – A Quick and Easy Christmas Card Journal...

Jan 3, 2016 by

I hope you haven’t thrown away those Christmas cards from this year yet. I meant to post this sooner, but got busy with you know… the holidays. Here is a quick and easy idea for a Christmas journal with just enough space to make a few notes to remember the season. Cut each holiday card down the center crease, but keep both sides stacked together. If it is from a business and you don’t want the signature side, just discard that half. On the left side of each card, write a note about the person who sent it – where you met or an anecdote involving them. Or jot down a note about this Christmas holiday – activities you participated in, concerts, or family gatherings. Stack cards smallest to largest and mark two dots...

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Words from the Woods – Time to Leave...

Sep 24, 2015 by

Sunday, September 20 Wow, that two weeks went by quickly.  Today I leave Cabin 16 and Catoctin Mountain Park.     This morning as I reflect on the last two weeks here, I remember the people, creatures, and landscape that made the experience so meaningful.  Each morning the forest introduced me to someone or something new.  I met so many nice people at each of my programs and enjoyed sketching with them.  I also “met” creatures new to me and expanded my knowledge of the insect world. I have loved learning the sights and sounds of Catoctin.  I was fortunate to learn more about the character of the area by hiking some of the trails.  The history of the area is fascinating and shows how even after the tolls of the local furnace and...

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Words from the Woods – A Golden Morning...

Sep 21, 2015 by

Saturday, September 19, 2015 I hear so many different birds this morning – Maybe they flew in for the weekend. This is my favorite time to sit outside at the picnic table.  The light is soft and the Catoctin Mountains slowly awaken. Sunlight glints off finely woven webs Strung between branches, they glow like tiny laser beams. Acorns hit the ground as squirrels start to work Woodpeckers knock about looking for breakfast. This morning a breeze brushes across this mountain.  It sounds like the very beginning of a gentle rain, but this rain brings a quiet shower of gold as the tulip tree leaves fall. Today is my last full day here and  I want to appreciate each moment.  It has been a luxury to be surrounded by my art supplies AND the beauty...

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Words from the Woods – “I’ll Tell You How the Sun Rose a Ribbon at a Time” Emily Dickinson...

Sep 21, 2015 by

Friday, September 18, 2015 Good morning Catoctin! Joining me at sunrise today are the usual suspects – bluejays, cardinals, woodpeckers and a few songbirds I have not heard here before.  I love waking up with these wonderful creatures in this lovely neighborhood. Today I am excited about trying another new printing technique, monoprinting with gelatin. I mixed up unflavored gelatin, poured it in a 9″ x 13″ x 1″ deep tray.  Gary, one of the rangers let me put this into the walk-in cooler  to firm up in the nearby dining hall since no one is using it this week.  I took a short hike, did some work in my journal. Later- About 1:30pm I retrieved my gelatin from the cooler and spread out the supplies for printing: Lots of paper (I used handmade...

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Words from the Woods – Beauty All Around...

Sep 20, 2015 by

Thursday, September 17, 2015 Good Morning, Catoctin! Being an artist and writer, I love noticing details.  Even after sitting at my picnic table studio each day for almost two weeks, I continue to see new things.  This is an important lesson – give everyday life and its contents a second or third look – and see the beauty therein. Looking up from my work, I see the trees that keep me shaded.  Near the table I see what looks like a little terrarium garden. Cabin 16 awaits another visitor today.  My dear friend Diane is driving up and bringing lunch.  We have been friends since our children met at the bus stop on the first day of kindergarten – 26 years ago.  I am looking forward to her visit and anxious to show her...

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Words from the Woods – Trying Something New...

Sep 20, 2015 by

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 This morning drove down to the library to finish and post blogs. I am trying hard to update the blog every few days, though sometimes I don’t want to leave camp. I do enjoy writing about this wonderful experience and want to make sure I capture it with words and pictures. I identified a few more tree species today and then gathered supplies for this afternoon’s project. When I put together the plan for my stay at Catoctin, it included goals, three of which involved trying new art processes. I set aside time this afternoon for the first. Working in my outdoor studio (picnic table): In this project I used bleach solution and dark brown paper. The book I saw this method in called for black paper, but I wanted...

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Words from the Woods – Journaling with the Scouts...

Sep 19, 2015 by

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 – Part Two I had a wonderful time visiting the Junior Scouts in Williamsport, Maryland last night.  We talked about nature and recording our thoughts in words and pictures.  Seventeen girls took a closer look at nature just outside their church meeting place.  Their work is lovely. Here are some photos.  My thanks to Peggie Gaul, Park Ranger from Catoctin Mountain Park, who graciously invited me to her troop and also to her...

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