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Madame Grump

February 16, 2018

madame grump

We are still waiting for winter in Oregon. Yes, it’s mid February, but somehow we’ve missed out on all the powerful storms and snowfall. With the lack of winter comes an early flea/tic season. The dogs received oral flea medication back on Monday after discovering a multitude of “friends” on Hazel. Today I pinched a flea off the grumpy one before she could bite me. Now she too has been treated.

Me Me has been particularly grumpy of late. Last Friday I received a huge bite to my face drawing blood and a good open wound. Giving the cat physical attention has subsequently shifted. For some reason I don’t want her to roost on my shoulder and cuddle against my neck. She’s not a fan of the change. She’s also living among the current remodel site. Drywall dust and chunks are everywhere, open ceiling space, exposed floor joists. It would be nice to get things tackled this weekend and close up the space.  Maybe after the ORT in Brownsville (Odor Recognition Trial). Moby has one scent he missed last year. I participate in a dog sport called Nosework to make life more interesting for both of our pups. Fingers crossed that he will be calm enough to handle the situation. I feel lucky to know the site and a bunch of the volunteers involved.

Off to get some work done!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Scritchy Pen

February 7, 2018

cat doodle feb 7 2018

Art hasn’t been part of my daily life for quite some time. Sure, I pull out tools and beat on walls, smear joint compound over mesh seams, paint and repaint, but it’s not the same.  Sitting down with a pencil/pen in hand and attempting to fiddle with an image requires a lot more brain power. Today, I pulled out an inkwell and scritchy nib to work a few marks.

The studio space currently houses the cat. Actually, the entire downstairs houses the cat! Every morning she starts demanding attention when I’m sitting down (upstairs) with tea. The dogs response is typical: frantic barking and running to the gate that separates their space from hers. Every. Single. Time!  When I do join her, it takes about an hour of lap time to appease the furry beast. Eventually she tires of me and goes off to sleep. I’ve been working on multiple wall and cleaning projects downstairs so she feels less lonely.

The two upper cats are jut goofy doodles created with sepia ink and a drawing nib. I’ve been contemplating cat heads for a ceramic piece.  I ran across the drawing nib when cleaning out more boxes from my dad’s studio. The bottom sleeping cat is Me Me after she left me for her heated bed (pencil). As an old lady, she spends large amounts of time there.

Time to get working on the newest wall mess….



January 11, 2018

We are currently experiencing another round of craziness at home. Yes, it’s the new year and things were starting to settle down after the fireworks on the 1st, but I had to muddy the waters. Back in December (or was it November) I agreed to help a mutual friend with her dogs so she could take a much needed break to Oaxaca Mexico. Yes, there are 2 additional furry balls of crazy running around the house. One seems to like pooping in the living room and bedroom. The other has major reactive dog issues (on the super shy and uncertain mode, not aggressive). My biggest concern was how Moby would react to them: would we experience aggressive fights? pinning the new dogs and inflicting wounds? Or would he like them??? Fortunately the latter proved true!

Nala (Toy Australian Shepherd and just a tad larger than Hazel) and Nelly(Standard Aussie Shepherd) are now adjusting to life in our very dog-centric household. Me Me kitty is holding her own downstairs, enjoying a heated bed, pampered vitamin D laced wet food, and human time. She recently went through a barrage of major tests to determine current ailments. Symptoms pointed towards low thyroid, which would be manageable. Instead, the kidneys are starting to go funky. Urgh! She’s the first elderly cat who’s lived this long at our house (I think she’s around 15?). Right now we’re just watching and providing wet food with vitamin D. If we have to start fluid injections, I’ll opt for the “final injection”.

I’ve been going through my own whirlwind of medical things. Thanks to all my joint and muscle problems, I’m now seeing a Rhumatologist. His diagnosis was Psoriatic Arthritis. (insert grumpy/unhappy face here). Needless to say I’m now on several medications (methotrexate and prednisone) that provide side effects. On the happy side, I hardly have any pain in my joints and muscles anymore. This is allowing me to actually WALK and do activities, use my hands, and lighten up on the restricted diet. Jogging is looking more promising. Dog walks on my own are happening. Driving long distances remains problematic, but looks better and better as the weeks go along. When pain is removed from life, it makes everything seem brighter. It also makes me realize how much pain I was actually experiencing on a daily basis. No wonder I’ve not had energy for creating art.

Speaking of art: The Halsey art project from 2016/2017 is in negotiations! Yes, an actual project will be leaving my storage space to brighten up Halsey city hall. The city council has approved the purchase and are pulling together funding. It should leave home possibly by August.

Let’s see, what else has been happening? The new year studio clean-out is underway. I’m not following the Marie Kondo method, tho I’ve actually read the book and practiced some of the techniques in our main living space. However, bags of paper items have made their way to the recycle bin and quite a few finished/unfinished art projects have been tossed (the Ikebana Penis arrangement is gone). One dear friend told me that she unframed items if they don’t sell. Such a brilliant idea. Why hadn’t I done that years ago? Silly brain! Certainly makes for easier storage or one step closer to the recycle bin.  Maybe this is the year we design a studio on the property. I dream of a day that all art tools and supplies are removed from home. That would give us almost 1000 sq ft of space to live in! It would be shocking! Oh, the little dreams that make the brain happy….. Hopefully they might come true!

Dog photos to come.

I still have kitchen towels for sale on Etsy. Check out

Hoping to get the fern towels listed soon. Maybe a few lamps as well.



Finishing off the Lamp

November 17, 2017

House E is finished, delivered to the gallery, and on display with all the other amazing box creations. A lovely article was written up by the local paper and they actually posted an image of my work in an online slideshow.  Click on the blue link below the photo.

Inside/Outside the Box 03

Gazette Times

Next project: Unknown, but interesting. I hope!

Inside/ Outside the Box show: November 14- December 21, 2017

The Arts Center, Corvallis, OR

Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat. Noon – 5 pm



Starting Inside/Outside the Box

October 10, 2017

I think I’m glad to have signed up for the upcoming show Inside/Outside the Box at The Arts Center in Corvallis. Part of me has really struggled with sitting down to produce something, anything. My brain has been so immersed in house projects that I haven’t been creating artwork since spring. So, it seems fitting that I stared creating a lamp for the project in a House/box theme.

*The Inside the Box/ Outside the Box- exhibit is a group exhibit on boxes of all kinds. The exhibit is on part invitation/ part submission, representing local and regional artists working in a variety of media.*

panels_project startrough materials_InsideOutside project

I wanted to work with my current material stash, since it’s pretty full. I even pulled out rolls of paper purchased years ago “Oriental Rice Paper” for Sumi & Oriental painting, drawing, calligraphy, block printing & watercolors. 12″ x 50′ roll! The only thing lacking has been wood sticks. I’ll have to purchase a few more to complete the project.


I’ve opted for a very simple format with a flat roof and Shoji screen appearance. Equisetum has been cut and inserted into the framework. The corners will receive posts to hold the roof up.


My finger muscles are enjoying NOT cutting intricate paper designs to cover the framework. Using natural materials has been calming for my brain. I think I need more of that.

I’ll post more images as it continues to progress. This will be called “House E” (E for Equisetum). My brain is already working on other natural materials to use. We will see where it all leads or doesn’t lead.



Eclipse and Smoke 2017

September 5, 2017

I’m back after a 4+ month break from blogging. It’s been a busy summer for things around the house, but nothing on the art front.

August Eclipse photos below:

Eclipse party

Hanging out in the driveway for the eclipse viewing. Left to Right: Kim, Dave, neighbor/friend Gail, Jeff

Eclipse excitement-2

Safety glasses on and enjoying the show pre-totality. Kim, Gail, Jeff, Gale & Me Me.

Eclipse crescents

Crescent shadows appeared everywhere!

meme and crescents-2

Me Me with the crescent shadows

eclipse totality

without filters, totality didn’t look spectacular on camera, but it certainly went dark!

August: We had a spectacular viewing of the Eclipse in Oregon. I never quite grasped how amazing totality could be until actually being in the direct path. The weather even cooperated!  State and local officials were totally geared up for absolute disaster. They expected the roads to be full of people, gas and food shortages, everything sold out for those in the pathway, but that only happened in a few areas. Those who traveled to Madras/Prineville were certainly greeted with long lines, no gas or food available. Here in the valley some places briefly ran out of gas on Thursday, but the roads remained open and free from mass congestion. The real traffic snafu took place after the event. I-5 was a mess. Even the smaller highways were congested. Two family members who traveled to Albany on Sunday took almost twice as long to get home, 2 hours rather than 1 hour (50 miles south).



looking south from our back deck

September: Wildfires are the main topic in Oregon. This morning the Eagle Creek fire (man made) jumped the Columbia Gorge (via embers) and touched off the Washington State side. Portland and the Willamette Valley are under a blanket of thick smoke. Ash is falling in the Portland area. At my home we have air pollution in the unhealthy/hazardous zone. I’m scheduling life indoors with air conditioner/cleaner for the next several days (similar to the past numerous days and weeks). I look out the studio window and see smoke everywhere. Breathing outside is similar to being caught in a campfire smoke plume, but one you can’t escape. I really feel bad for all the fire crews and property owners caught in the fire paths,  not to mention the wildlife and environmental damage that’s occurring. Yes, wildfires are part of the game plan here in the Pacific Northwest. Many tree species wouldn’t exist without the high temperatures of fire to open cones. It clears away brush and allows for new growth of everything. However, this season is more harsh than ever.  The last significant rain was way back in June.


looking east into the smokey haze

It will be interesting to see how the next several days go. Will mother nature settle down and allow for containment of more fires? Will the rain come as expected on Thursday?  Will it help or hinder the situation? I’ll try to get back into a regular schedule for posting and possible art ideas emerging.

Happy September to you all. Be safe out there!

Cradle Adjustments

May 18, 2017


Making adjustments wasn’t quite part of my grand scheme of mounting prints. But when your prints aren’t exactly 6″x 6″, one has to do a little fudging.

Last week I put in an order for more unfinished cradles to mount prints. The edges get painted black and everything receives a protective UV coating. I’ve pulled out a few popular blocks and started printing using Caligo waterbased oil ink. One of the blocks I thought was 6×6, only to discover it was about 5.5″ x 5.5″. The only way to correct the problem was to bevel the cradle edge on the table saw. So far, so good! Now it’s time for a few layers of white gesso before the print addition.

I was hoping to be driving to California tomorrow to help celebrate Dave’s birthday. He has always wanted to go ride roller coasters and it seemed like the perfect surprise trip. Unfortunately, my back is still having major problems from last weekends dog trial in Washington State. Who knew 5 hours of driving would make so much trouble?! So, it looks like I won’t be doing any major travel anytime soon via air or car!  😦 Maybe, with a little luck, we can get out to Yachats. We shall see…

On the upside, Moby passed two out of three scents (anise and clove). Hazel passed the last one, clove. It will still be a while before getting Hazel on a trial since she hasn’t been interested in work. Moby will also have to wait for additional training to address his aggression issues and passing the birch scent.