Modified Digital Photo Frame

The first of March was a busy day. My oldest brother called after the Satsuma press workshop wondering if I was feeling creative.  He had a small project up his sleeve that required some matting skills. His goal was to recycle an Envision LCD monitor (our mother didn’t want)  into an elegant digital photo frame.  I figured “Why not! Come on over. Give me about 2hrs to get some space cleared in the studio.”  Well, it took about 4 hrs to get things cleared, but that was just fine due to a music rehearsal he forgot about.  As a side note, his group Milling About Smartly will be playing Block 15 on March 17 (Sea Shanties and the likes).

Once they arrived, beer & dinner consumed, we set to work. He had purchased a 12″x16″ black  shadowbox, thinking the entire monitor would easily fit  with matting. The entire case did fit. I examined it and said “Nope, not going to work due to the plastic framing.” The monitor has a 12″ screen length and 9″ height that could not be centered due to the external casing. So he and my husband Dave set about dismantling the plastic casing and found a very nice screen (and a few other parts) that could easily be mounted to a different surface. Dave found some cedar blocks that comfortably filled in the space after a few cuts on the table saw. Mike was then able to mount the naked screen to the blocks and drop the shadowbox over the unit. I took care of creating a double mat to accenting the screen.  By the end Mike & Shannon took home the start of a very inexpensive digital photo frame. He still has a bit of work to do regarding how the wiring will be routed through the back of the frame and on/off button,  but that won’t take him long. It ended up being a fun, hopefully functioning , project.  Plus, I got my studio space cleaned up!

Here are some of the photos….



Satsuma Press Workshop

Lynn working on her Vandercook press
Lynn working on her Vandercook press

What a great way to start March! About a month ago I signed up to take a 2.5 hr workshop from artist Lynn Russell at her Satsuma Press studio. Lynn is a recent transplant to Corvallis from Portland. She has built up a nice business on Etsy and through shops prior to moving here. She works on a Vandercook press that is just sweet. Locally, her work is selling at the Arts Center gift shop.

The workshop was designed to give us a taste of basic letterpress printing techniques using some of her existing photopolymer plates (she orders through Boxcar Press). We agreed on three colors to use and away we went! Each participant produced 12 cards total and had lots of fun. At home, I’m set up for intaglio printing with a Takach press.  A lot of similarities and differences between the two styles. I certainly enjoyed the self inking rollers and how clean everything remains. Her inks also dry very quickly! Hopefully she will continue offering a variety of workshops for our area.  It’s always  a treat to visit another artist’s studio. Thanks Lynn!!!

To see more of Lynn’s work, please visit her website at:

Boxcar Press is located in NY:

Sara K at press
Sara K at press

Artful ballot box creation

On February 28th, the Arts Center will be holding yet another Chocolate Fantasy & Art Auction. Joni and Bernie corralled me many months ago to create tastefully executed ballot boxes. Having worked for the Arts Center for several years, I couldn’t turn them down. The three boxes didn’t turn out too terrible.  The one thing I didn’t inquire about was the ballot size. By chance, they fit!



Looks like I need to take clearer photos! Sorry about the blur factor.

All three boxes are resting on rubber feet & their dimensions are 8x8x8.  The bottom is easy to open with a special latch. A reporter from the local paper happened to be there when I dropped them off and a couple of photos were taken.  I might just end up a part of her story.

So, that was my Sunday afternoon plus Monday evening and Tuesday morning.Tickets are still on sale for the event. Always great chocolate, wine and other tasty treats.  KC Cowan of Oregon Art Beat will be there as our special MC guest. I’ll be there collecting trash from participants.

Spring around the corner

The fog finally burned off and revealed a beautiful day. My mornings are spent gathering up the animal crew for feeding and medications (plus lots of cleaning up after the old dog). By 10am, both Mocha and George are wanting their daily exercise. At 16 1/3,  Mocha (German Shorthaired Pointer) rules  our household. George (Spaniel/Basset mix) is waiting his turn to rule, which will not be long.  All the other critters (cats, cockatiels & cockatoo) vie for attention as well.  Artwork gets squeezed in during those few hours of doggy nap time.

Today, our walk at the local park was beautiful. Grass still mucky (rubber boots a must) but the Osoberry was showing its first green leaves. It’s always the first shrub to show foliage. There are several Osoberrys along the creek-bed. A lone vulture circled overhead. This was the third sighting of the week. Last Sunday was my initial sighting for their anticipated return. Some people wait for the swallow’s return, I get excited with the carion eaters.  The last squadron  left our area on  Oct 8. While the dogs and I rambled through the park that fall morning, 15-20 vultures silently passed overhead. Now they are returning home.  Roadkill beware!

The vulture was not the only visible bird this morning. Geese also occupied the sky while robins hunted at ground level for worms and other edibles. Flickers were audibly present along with acorn woodpeckers in the oaks. The dogs pay little attention to these goings on. George enjoys searching for furry, four-legged critters like grey and pine squirrels.  Mocha just concentrates on smells. It’s a great park to watch change over the seasons.  Too bad it’s becoming engulfed in a sea of subdivisions.

Willows down the road have also started opening their grey furry buds. I might have to go trim a few for a table display. The cottonwood leaf buds are swelling. All of  life springing up from dormancy pushes my creativity into “drive” mode. I have a new project started that involves weaving pages of old textbooks. Once something solid emerges, I’ll post an image. It might end up being my project of choice for the Community Open at The Art’s Center in March. Must be time to head outside into the sunshine!