Artists Hacks…..


I actually got a couple of things out of this little video. You know how things get forgotten over time? Well, This was just a little reminder about a few hacks I’d totally set aside and forgotten.

Robin Clonts is a cute young painter with ideas, take a look.  Maybe you can get something out of this video too!

Forged Metal…..


I’ve used this method many times, and it always is fun, easy, and looks great when finished.  It is quick, and easy to create something last-minute.  My hope is that if you have some last-minute gifts to create, you might consider this technique.

Cigar boxes, regular boxes,  maybe glass jars,  this could be used with just about anything.  Step outside the box, and let your must enter…… The sky’s the limit!


Why Not?


This time of year we are all not just a little busy, but with the holidays, it is difficult to find time for the things we need to keep us balanced, and happy.  This certainly is the case with me.  Usually the last three months of the year are busy with the beginning of holiday shopping, preparation of Thanksgiving, and gifts.  My thoughts are always in the gift giving mode.  What to buy whom, what will the grandkids love,  what about my grown kids, and what about my hubby.  My hubby and I are good to each other all through the year, so there isn’t pressure there, but we still like to surprise each other with a little  something we want.

This artist is just what I needed to see right now.  Her free style and fun of painting is perfect for me!  This is a large painting, and in my home there isn’t anywhere I could stretch out a canvas this large, unless maybe the driveway.  But……there are smaller versions of this style of art, versions  anaything anyone could imagine to paint.

I particularly love the jeans, and how she wipes her spatula off on her leg!  My kind of gal!  I’ll bet all her clothes have paint on them,  just like most of us.  In fact my motto is,  if it doesn’t have paint on it, I’m not trying hard enough!

I hope you find some kind of inspiration from this video, I know I did.  And even though I don’t have a lot of time to create this time of year,  it does take the stress of the holidays away just watching how free her work is!

Sketching & Exploring


Running of

When I mentioned previously that I was a “Goldie Locks Girl,” I wasn’t kidding!  Temperatures were in the 20’s at night and 50’s during the day. The days were windy, and dry…very dry. Nights were very cold, and well, we just didn’t go out!   How can I complain when nature is so beautiful, and inspiring.   Although we fiound it cold in mornings and late afternoons, I was still able to get a little sketching in.


I regretted not taking my paints, at least my watercolor paints.  Since it was so cold and windy during the day, we were either in the car exploring, or at the resort.  I stiffened up like a pop sickle just out of the freezer!  My paints would have helped keep me busy working out color schemes, and designs.  The colors in Tahoe were breathtaking. . .  In Southern California we are literally living in a Mediterranean climate,  it’s hot and dry.


Many pictures  were snapped that still have to be edited out, the good ones will remain to be inspiration.



The day we left Lake Tahoe we did more exploring. We drove up to the little town on Truckee, not far from Lake Tahoe. Had we  had another day, I would have loved to poke around looking into the handful of artsie fartsie shops created just for people like me.  Another day another time!  This time I saved money by not having time!

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

The colors were so beautiful I had to make an effort to capture them in a photo, even if it was from the car.img_0449

Just a few of many, even the weeds were beautiful with the sun back lighting them.


As we left the magical mountains, and the wisdom of the trees, I had to stop and take a moment to appreciate all that nature has to offer.  All the peace and tranquility I was able to breathe in, and all the wonderful memories I now have to return home with.


Thank you for taking time to read Stone Soup,  I hope you enjoy the mix of ideas, and artwork I try to express.


Vacationing in Lake Tahoe

Our car covered in snow

Our car covered in snow

Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place to visit, and it’s been many years since I’ve been here. That being said, there isn’t enough snow to ski, and it’s much too cold to spend very much time outside.   Now the thought probably crossed your mind that either one of us would break our necks playing on the water or on the slopes!  You’d be right!

Chili & guacamole with chips

Chili & guacamole with chips

Saturday we were caught in a downpour while out walking.  As it turned out, there was a very inviting sports bar named Azul that called to us, and we ended up having lunch there. A bowl of chili, a burrito , some chips, and guacamole put us in the right mood to take a beautiful drive back to our resort. As we headed to our car after lunch, it started to snow…  the pics of our car was taken after we arrived back at our room, and had changed into dry clothes.  I took several pictures of not much of anything just to document snow!  We don’t see snow in Southern California let alone rain, and my first thought was to get  rain barrels and save the water.

Today, Monday just to keep busy we found a TJMaxx to look through, then decided to drive to Carson City, Nevada. As you might imagine, there wasn’t much there….except a CostCo.  There isn’t much here either, wait this trip is for relaxation and creative energy!  Like most people would do, we were looking for a CostCo just to get gas!  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  Well, it really is except gas was $2.25 there, and that was exciting in itself.   Let’s see, we drove an extra 25 miles over the pass from Tahoe to Carson City to save maybe $5.00. Yep, that’s sounds about right.

Interestingly each time we travel, I notice the need to check out all the stores we have at home. Why do you think that is? My husband thinks it’s to make ourselves feel more comfortable, and more at home. I think it’s to see if they have the same thing or something purchase.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know it will involve driving, hopefully walking, and probably eating. Maybe we’ll discover a familiar store to nose through in hopes of finding something different.

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween as we slide into the eleventh month, with celebration of Thanks Giving and Gratitude for those in our lives.

“3 of 3”



Inspired by all the fall colors, and the fact that we are getting ready to take a vacation to Northern California, I decided to paint another watercolor….in fall colors!

For some reason the watercolors I was sick of working with many years ago, seem to be what brings me joy today.  The mixing  of paint; watercolors, acrylic and even ink seem to be calming to me at a time when everyone is agitated about politics.  Boy, will I be glad when the election is over, the ads will be off the TV, and we can get back to talking about the  small stuff.

One of the reasons I stopped working in watercolors was the  length of drying time.  My creative self  started demanding instant gratification, and working on a painting that somehow was finished in a day or two was more than enticing.  Each piece was so different, as is the acrylic,  the time spent on just one petal or leaf seemed like forever, time spent on an acrylic petal, or leaf was oh so quick.  The fact that a watercolor has to be treated differently to hang it in a room, is surly a downside, but hey I’m up for a challenge.  Why not seal it, and mount it to a canvas.  It’s been done before, and it will be done again!

I’m an experimental artist, so let’s experiment!

Les and I are headed to Lake Tahoe later this week, and I expect to come home so revitalized, refreshed and once again grounded.  The air and trees always inspire me, and I don’t expect this time to be any different.  Nature is so amazing…..

Temperatures up North have dropped, from what we are use to  that is.  It’s cold up there and I expect we pansys are going to feel like it’s freezing.  We feel like it’s freezing when it get to the 60’s here.  We will moan, and groan, and rush from one place to another.  We aren’t going up there to gamble, just to be refreshed, and have a change of pace.  To regain an appreciation for all that we don’t have in Southern California.

There will be no hunkering down to keep warm at the expense of adventure!

Our plan is to visit some friends while up there, and let them tease us about how light weight we are for thinking it’s cold.  After all, they’re use to it, and I’m sure it won’t be as cold as it will be later in the winter.  They’ll have every right to tease us!   It will be a treat to have people we know to share dinner with, and maybe even a fire in the fireplace!

I’m hoping to do a little sketching… so my sketch book, and  pens are ready to go.  We are both looking forward to our little adventure before the holidays.

Happy Halloween everyone…..