Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's WOYWW again

Hello WOYWWers, nice to "see" you!

Thank you to everybody who stopped by last week and left those wonderful comments. I think I succeeded in visiting everybody (I hope) last week; it was interesting and also inspiring to see so many different work spaces and what everybody is working on. I saw quite some Christmas stuff, you're way ahead of me!

Well, it's Halloween for me. Blame it on Louise Gale and her Creative Color Challenge - the last one, actually. Guess what this week's color is?

Purple intimidates me. It is such a strong color, it seems to shout "Here I am!" loud and clear.

So I decided to give it a playful touch, and since Halloween is my favorite holiday (this is the child in me, I know) it turned into something ghoulish. What you see is probably not the end result, I still want to spark it up a little bit. However, in creating the background I followed Mon's inspiration - gluing torn paper down, paint over it with one color (lavender), then paint with another color (purple) - the second color I actually smudged on with a paper towel. After that I started playing with those foam stamps, oh what fun I had. Now I need to work on jazzing it up a bit.

If anyone of you wants to know: I didn't do anything on the orange piece of last week, but I finished the sea-green canvas, "The Voice of the Sea". You can see it here.

I more and more enjoy our WOYWWs. It is so nice to meet you all. Still wondering about it? Find out more over at Julia's Stamping Ground or just hit the WOYWW-button on the sidebar.

August Break # 16

We have the following saying in Germany:
"Früh übt sich, was ein Meister werden will."
It means that those who want to become masters need to start practicing early.

Kaefer, at the tender age of three, is certainly doing this here. Having two photographers as parents, it must be in her genes. Poor child.... she has been the photograph "victim" of her parents' photographing lust forever. But now she's behind the camera - watch out!

This is the last picture of the August Break. I really enjoyed sharing my pictures with you every day. And even though there probably won't be a daily picture, you still will find lots and lots of my photos here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Morning Breakfast

I love lazy Sunday mornings.

Today I was up before anybody else, enjoyed my first cup of coffee and just stood at the window watching a squirrel and a scrub jay on my deck. The squirrel was hacking away on the moose antler that resides out there, then she jumped up on the railing, eating the very last peanut - and you could see that the jay didn't like that at all, oh no! The squirrel hopped over to the birdbath, standing on her hind legs while sipping some water - and the jay ran over and picked into her bushy tail! He was so mad!!!

It was after 10:30 that we finally set down for our breakfast outside.

We had Swedish pancakes, a treat in my family. This is something that reminds me of my childhood so very much, although we never had them for breakfast but for lunch! My mom used to make a huge pile of them, but there were never enough because all of us loved them so much and devoured them in no time at all.

Here's the recipe, it's super easy:

3 large eggs
1 c half & half or milk, divided
1 c all-purpose flour
6 TB melted butter
1/2 tsp salt (I usually take less than that)

In a bowl beat eggs and 1/2 c half & half (milk) for about two minutes. Add flour and beat until smooth. Stir in remaining 1/2 c half & half, melted butter, and salt.
Preheat a nonstick griddle or skillet over med-high heat. Lightly spray or brush with vegetable oil. Pour 1 TB (I take more...) batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, about 1 minute. Turn and cook until golden on the other side, about 1 minute longer. Reduce heat, if necessary, to keep them from getting too brown.


In our family, each of us loves to eat the pancake his or her own way. The Geek mixes sugar with cinnamon and puts a generous amount on the pancake (and then rolls it up, as all of us do). Kaefer loves to spread it with apple sauce and some cinnamon. And I?

Only this:

What's your special treat on a Sunday morning?

August Break # 14

This is one of my dreams: a ride in a hot air balloon.
Did anyone of you ever do this?
I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

August Break # 13

Have a wonderful August weekend, with lots of sunshine, but not too hot.
Perhaps spent at the beach?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Voice of the Sea

I'm quite surprised! It's only Thursday, and I'm already done with my piece for this week's Creative Color Challenge. The first time I barely made it by Saturday, then it was at least Friday - so does that mean next week's piece (the last one for this challenge) will be done by Wednesday?


This week's color was Sea Green, and to put a little twist to it, it's been combined with Cathy Nichols' theme "To the sea" of her Found Art Friday. And the deadline pretty much is today (now you know - I obviously need the pressure).

Here's my "Voice of the Sea":

The color looks almost like last week's turquoise, right? Well, blame it on the camera. I couldn't for the heck of it get even one picture in which the color was reflected correctly. This one - after zillions of photos - is the one that comes closest. The color is "laguna green" and really looks like that including all the shades that I mixed with it. But - the camera didn't recognize that. So please imagine a beautiful laguna green in three different shades...

I painted on a 8x10 canvas, stamped the starfish with antique white and wrote the quote by Kate Chopin - I really love this quote. I inked the stamped image of "sunsource" (Stampington & Company) with Distress Ink and sprayed the torn page with Glimmer Mist and also inked it with Distress Ink. As a final touch I adhered several treasures I found at the beach.

Working with this color was real fun. First, I really like the color, and Cathy's theme "To the sea" helped a lot since I love to create anything ocean related. No wonder I was done so quickly!!!

August Break # 11

The fog is back - thank goodness!
(as you can see, I'm not a heat person.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August Break # 10

It's time for our first harvest of the year.
As you can see, I love red and orange veggies.
Colorful, yummy meals.

Another Wednesday - WOYWW

Hello WOYWWers - welcome to my workspace!

First, thank you everyone for your lovely comments you left here at last week's WOYWW. I hope I succeeded in getting back to each of you - if I missed someone I apologize. I also have to admit that I didn't get to everybody on Julia's list, I think I made it to 125... I really love visiting all your places, but it may take some time.

Alright, so what's on my desk today? I have several projects going at the moment, it's a busy time. Right at the centre I'm working on a canvas panel in orange - one of my very favorite colors. I will call it "I am orange" and I got the idea while reading Barbara Sher's book "Wishcraft - How to Get What You Really Want" - more on that in a later post (hopefully).

To the left you see my humble attempt for this week's Creative Color Challenge. The color is sea green, and this week it's combined with Cathy Nichols' Found Art Friday for August, theme "To the sea". I'm planning to include a small piece of driftwood that I found at the beach and one of my favorite stamps. It's still a little bit up in the air, but I think I'm getting there.

You can also see some tags hanging around that I hope to have finished by the end of the week - they're kind of afterthoughts.

Many of you asked me to see the finished piece of last week's project that was on my desk, so here it is:

I've called it "Pensive Mermaids". I am very happy that Louise Gale included it in her wrap-up that she does every Saturday of the different Creative Color Challenges.

That's it for today, now I'm off sneaking over to your blogs and checking out what you're working on. I really like WOYWW although it takes quite some time to visit everybody - it's worth it.

See you again next Wednesday. Oh, and if anybody wants to join in this, hop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground to get all the information.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August Break # 9

I love color.
Especially bold colors.
That's why I love the Mediterranean area; they use lots of happy color.
When I saw these boats in the port of Viareggio, Italy, they painted a smile on my face.
And just put me in a really good mood.
I hope they make you smile, too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August Break # 6

Weekend, summer, sunshine - time for some wine.
Can you see the dust on the bottle?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August Break # 3

Laundry on the line, seeing it moving in the breeze makes me content and happy.
Especially with my daughter's colorful clothing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WOYWW - Tuesday evening

It's another Wednesday - well, Tuesday evening - so it's time for WOYWW.

As you can see, it's all turquoise - I'm currently working on this week's color for the Creative Color Challenge. Turquoise is a relative new color for me, I haven't worked with that very often (I used "laguna" often or teal), and first I felt a little bit lost. I didn't have any turquoise paint, so I headed to the craft store only to realize that there is no acrylic paint called turquoise, but several different ones, some more blue, others more green. I finally went with "Desert Turquoise" which reminds me of the sea as well as of Santa Fe. Sounds good to me.

I'm in the middle of the challenge and still don't really know where it will take me. But that is the fun of it. I'm sure that it will be some sea theme, I already have stamped some shells and mermaids, they will be used in the collage, I just don't know yet in what way.

If anyone wants to join in the "What's on your work desk? Wednesday" you can stop by Julia at Stamping Ground to get more information.

August Break # 2: Back to School

And off they go to the first day of Middle School,
leaving their moms behind
with heavy hearts and big hopes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August Break # 1

Half of the month is already over, however, I've decided to still join the August Break. I'm going to post a photo every day for the rest of August and I hope you'll enjoy them!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Raspberry Red - CCC

Earlier this week I told you that I decided to participate in Louise Gale's Creative Color Challenge. This week's color was raspberry red and this is what I created:

I first painted the canvas with berry red acrylic paint, glued some scrapbook papers onto it, adhered the photo that I wrote about here and finally stamped shapes and letters using shades of the same acrylic paint. For painting the lighter colors on the bottom and in the upper right corner I used for the first time the paper towel technique that Kelly Rae talks about in her book "Taking Flight" (at least I think she mentions it there). I love this technique!

This was a very interesting challenge since I was only allowed to use one color including its shades and only add black and white. I loved it and I really enjoyed the process. I hadn't been creative for quite some time (pretty much the whole of summer break), so this was just wonderful. It took a few days and occupied my mind a lot, I loved mixing colors, going through my stash of papers and the stamps. I liked it more and more whenever I came back to my work table.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shopping at IKEA

Kaefer and I went to IKEA today because she wanted to get a certain bookcase. Since we had lots of time we strolled through the showroom and the "Bermuda Triangle" (the market place), had lunch and finally got her bookcase. Here are a few of the things that we liked.

This lamp is just gorgeous - not necessarily a good source of light, but certainly pretty unique.

I just love these bed sheets.

My all time favourite kitchen - only I wouldn't opt for black tiles.

And finally this mirror - wow, I love that one. Perhaps one day I'll get it for my "studio". Reflected in it you can see the reason for our trip to IKEA - the Expedit bookcase.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's on your Workdesk? Wednesday

My work space is our former dining table. It's now really mine - only on rare occasions do I completely clean it, for example when I'm teaching a private card class. Meals are being eaten at the kitchen table.

Today I'm working on the Creative Color Challenge. I always have a huge piece of paper beneath my work on which I doodle, try stamps and inks, jot down ideas. It stays there often for weeks or even months and eventually turns into its own piece of art.

If you want to join the "What's on your workdesk? Wednesday" hop on over to Stamping Ground.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Creative Color Challenge

Yesterday I decided to join Louise Gale's Creative Color Challenge. Every week in the month of August we're creating with just one color (plus black and white) in all its shades. It sounds really interesting and after I had looked at all the wonderful art work of the "Sunflower Yellow" challenge I decided to join.

I haven't done a creative challenge for a very long time. There was always this "I'm not good enough" feeling that stopped me from joining any kind of challenge. But yesterday I thought "what the heck can I lose?" This is supposed to be fun!

This week's color is Raspberry Red - a great color, and one that I love on top of that. My mind is busy with exploring the possibilities. Since I couldn't stop thinking of it I tried something new yesterday evening.

I started out with a photo of my daughter that I took a few weeks ago.

And then I converted it into black and white.

In a final step, the word "Love" turned into (raspberry) red.

No idea yet whether I will use this photo for the challenge, but it was a lot of fun to work with Photoshop. The Geek is a Photoshop expert and walked me through every single step of the process. I'm not sure I could repeat it right now, but I'm going to practice this with more of my pictures. I really like the result!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What's in a Name?

Sometimes my brain works a little bit  painfully slow.

I spent weeks and weeks thinking about a name for my blog. Just as Kelly suggested I wrote down names whenever one popped into my head. In the end, I always came back to my very own name, because of the flexibility it gives me.

So it was going to be Carola Bartz. Easy enough, done in less than five minutes. I added a subtitle that fits the purpose of my blog and thought I was done.

Or not.

Because -

I had never really looked at my name. The possibilities it carries.

So - what's in a name?

Let's start with Carola - it contains a Spanish greeting - “olá” – which is really nice, and of course “car” – which is not so exciting. Except you’re thinking of a Porsche. Or a 2CV for that matter.

Both, though, are not really suitable for my blog.

Let’s look at my last name, Bartz. There is not much you can do with five letters. “Bart”, which would be the German word for beard and really, that is not charming for a woman. Or BART as in Bay Area Rapid Transit. Or maybe not. If you shake the letters up a little bit, you can get “Arzt”, the German word for doctor. Sounds great – but not quite what I was looking for.

Hmmmm – did it really take that long until I saw the obvious?

A – R – T

ART! Art! art!

And so let me introduce you to – ta da – carola bARTz.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bee crazy

It's here. Right at my toes.

It's half eaten. It oozes out sweet juices. It's sticky. It still smells really good. And it hums. Wildly.

It's the first of all the future presents over the next several weeks.

It's a pear. The tree that it once belonged to has thoughtlessly dropped it. It fell on the ground and splash! lost its shape.

Before that the tree shook off some of its fruit-loaded branches, flattening my penstemons and giving the zucchini plant the hiccups.

But I'm talking about the first fallen pear here. Because it's not just a regular pear. No, it's dope for the bees. They're crazy about that stuff. All the bees from the neighborhood come together on this one single pear in a crazy feeding frenzy, munching away happily. Obviously so much better than honey... (?) And yes, they're humming. Loud.

And I know that this is only the beginning. There will be more pears falling down, more crazy bees, more humming. And eventually, only little sad remains of what once was a perfectly fine pear will be left and finally end up in the yard bin.

But the bees will be happy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back from Canada

Hello! After a little bit more than two weeks I am back to my blog, relaxed and happy. We just spent wonderful family time in British Columbia, exploring, camping, hiking, hanging out with relatives. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and we were incredibly lucky with the weather (a few sprinkles was the closest to rain).

We first visited Vancouver,

then headed into the Rockies

and finally spent some relaxing days with our relatives at the Okanagan Lake.

There will be more about this trip on this blog and what fed my soul during those exciting days.

The best thing? We didn't switch on the TV a single time and I also succeeded in staying away from the computer completely. After Vancouver we had pure nature, stayed in primitive campgrounds and just enjoyed the rich beauty of British Columbia.

The most impressing? The howling and yipping of a pack of coyotes close to my relatives' property. What a concert!

A trip I'll remember for a long time.