Wednesday, January 16

At long last...

A belated Happy New Year everyone!

It has been so long since my last post, I'm not even sure how to begin again.  The past year has been a mixture of challenges, joys, and frustrations - as I suppose all years are!  But for me, that meant needing a period of time away from my blog.
Beyond Words was intended to be purely a place for sharing my artwork.  Over time, and a deepening of my connection to all of you, I shared more and more words.  More and more of my life, but still it was primarily prompted by my art, an image, a visual representation of me, or my view of the world around me.  Over the past year I stopped creating.  My body, my hands, my energies limited my activity to the pure essentials.  I fell into a depression at the loss of my artist self as I knew here, but had to accept my limitations, and find meaning through other avenues.   

Enter My newest love!
Meet Maki!
Maki is now two years old, a Yorkie Poo rescue, from Saving Paws Rescue, a local no kill, all volunteer organization.  This little guy is full of life and energy, and there isn't a moment I spend with him that I don't feel anything but love and joy.  He's been my life line during my toughest days.  Of course, now that I'm feeling that I can get back to work he's a little reluctant to give up the full attention I gave him, but he's becoming a pretty good studio mate!

And speaking of studio, it is finally, truly finished and organized, and absolutely the most amazing space I've ever worked in.  Here are a few views...

Remember the shelves I was working on last year?
Here they are, finished and filled!
Now I just need a cozy chair to curl up in!!


And I have been hard at work in the new year, finishing a sketchbook for the 2013 Sketchbook Project.  If you have never participated in one of the Art House Coop projects, I highly recommend looking them over, especially if you need a kick start to your creative butt!

The Cypher

We were provided with a moleskin sketchbook, which I took apart and re-bound.

I cut windows in every page, and sandwiched in translucent paper squares that I had done asemic writing on.  The surrounding frames were collaged with papers from a variety of sources, in a variety of languages - all unreadable to me, but beautiful in the rhythm and movement of the text and markings.

You can see a few more shots of this book, and other work I've submitted to the Art House Co-op in the past, on my photo page there: Karin's Projects!  
I am glad to be back, and hope to share again soon because of frequent visits to my studio! I don't know how often that will actually be, but certainly not the daily posts of my earliest years, and not merely once every 14 months either!  Thank you all who have reached out during my absence - it has meant everything to me...

Tuesday, November 15

Latest news!

Being the gluttons for punishment that we are - or so it seems - another home construction project is underway.  
First to come down in the demo was the roof,
then the walls.  We're keeping the back wall, and just adding to it...

After 10 years of parking in the snow all winter, and having to dig out every morning, my husband wants to be able to start his days a little easier, so we're expanding our one car garage to hold 2.  Surprisingly, it's a lot more invasive than we thought it would be.
making the molds,
and pouring the footers.

Foundation is poured and we're ready for walls!

Not so surprising, we are already way behind the schedule/time frame we were given...

And then there's the studio news.
I'm still not moved in, but steadily, I'm working my way there.
One shelf unit, unfinished
I had several built in pieces (shelves, work table, etc) built and installed but all of them are raw wood, and must be sealed and protected in some way before putting things away.
The wood needed a lot of sanding, and I have to pace myself, so it's been slow going.  But I'm getting there!

I like to layer washes of color, just like when I paint, to get a nice depth of color, but still allow the grain of the wood to show through.
I still have to go over everything with steel wool to bring up a good sheen, and it probably needs one more coat of color, then I'm on to the big work unit.  Between this, and several health challenges, I have done virtually no art to share with you, but ideas and plans are whirring.
I find that I've developed a whole new relationship with time.  It's been forced upon me, but there was a time I know I would have fought it and tried to make it different.  That would only have led me to some kind of catastrophe, no doubt!  Today I must make a choice - focus on one thing each day, do it well, and be grateful I was able to accomplish that one thing.  Yesterday, it was cooking a dish for dinner later.  Upon completing the food prep and cleaning up, I had to sleep for several hours.  If I run an errand, or have a doctor appointment, that is what I do for that day.  So a few hours working on my studio is a very good day.  I will simply need a great deal of these kind of good days before I am completely finished!  I do hope and pray for a shift in my strength and energy, but I am incredibly grateful for the pain free use of my hands - the trade off is worth it, because apparently it is side effects of the treatment I'm receiving that are causing the fatigue and muscle weakness...

If I'm not back before next Thursday, I want to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.  I am so grateful for all of you, the care and support I receive from you, all that I've learned from you, and the ways you've each inspired me.  
Blessings and love to you all!!  Karin

Saturday, October 15

begin again

as divine being or human being.

both blessings imitate.

mind and body

Saturday, August 13

comings, goings, and give aways

Hi all, I've been off the blogging track for a while now, and I really miss everything about the give and take of sharing here.  I will try to address my absence more soon, but for today let me mention some of the more significant occurrences this summer has brought.

My father is home, doing well and on the mend.
(taken during his most recent visit,
prior to the fall)

Our old gal, sweet Zana has died -
her absence, still palpable....

Come and gone
1 year of studio construction, 

(we just passed final inspection this week -
still a few loose ends to tie up but
pictures and tour to come)

and my 50th birthday - woo HOO!

(glasses c/o lyle and toni - thanks gals!!)
but loooong past, is when I ought to have chosen the winner of my give away.

so finally -
without further ado,
hat please.....

and the winner of the garden journal (and seeds) is
Jane Wetzel!!

And to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of my blog,
I drew a second name
to win a second journal and book on bookbinding.
& congrats goes to

Thanks to all who participated,
here and on Facebook - your support means everything to me.
more soon,

Thursday, July 14

bring forth this mind

On the 4th of July my dad fell off his bike,
hitting his head,

Our family has learned a lot about the brain,
and it's ways of self preservation -
how it shuts systems down while dealing with healing.

Thankfully, my dad is now in physical rehab, having survived seizures
and come back from his brain's time out.

Still, surgery lies ahead, to drain away the blood
and pressure that remains.

Your healing thoughts and prayers brought renewed life to Zana.
It's truly been amazing how she's rallied after I last posted.

So I know the power of your positive vibes!
Please send them out for my dad
as he works on regaining his strength,
and making his way back home.

Saturday, July 2

seeking center

Hi all,

if you haven't noticed, it's July 2nd,
and in my last post I announced giveaway which I was going to draw a winner for yesterday.

I've decided to give you all, and myself, some more time
because a lot has been happening at this end that has left me in less than a festive kind of mood.

our pup of 18 years, is in her days of decline.
She's got cancer and is having a great deal of difficulty with normal life functions.
She still has a good appetite, but I've been hand feeding her every bite.
Sometimes she walks, and unsteadily follows us around the kitchen;
most times she must be carried around and held while she drinks,
or goes to the bathroom - a rather frequent occurrence.

Her care has been my full time job.
Then this week she slowed way down.

I really thought her time to cross over was about to happen on friday.

The giveaway slipped my mind,
and the timing for it feels wrong,

so I think I'll do the drawing when it feels right.
I just don't know exactly when that will be!

I've been working on this mandala over the past week
while Zana sleeps.

It has brought me a great deal of peace
and pleasure.

While working with so much color

I thought about our endless games of frisbee
and her whirling dervish greetings
when returning home after being away
for even an hour!

sweet dreams dear girl

Thursday, June 9

long time...

It's been over a month since I last posted,
and since I have made any art.

and simply taking in the nature around me
have been how i've been spending most days.

a bit of the front yard

I have deeply missed the making of art,
the sharing,
and the exchanges between us.

Through it all you have continued to stick with me

waiting patiently,

and this I deeply appreciate.

In thanks, I'd like to host a little

give away!!

Since it's the garden and yard that have been my balm,

(especially since the temperatures have dropped - whew!!)

I thought I'd give away one of my garden journals.

The cover was made from cereal boxes,
paper machéed with brown recycled craft paper
then painted and stamped with acrylic paints.

Inside the covers there are a couple of pockets,
to store seed packets.

I've included some special seeds for you!

Some of my long time readers may remember my pepper plant,
which is now going on three years of productive life,
along with a few of it's offspring!!

As long as you have a sunny window, and remember to water,
I can almost guarantee you'll have some yummy
baby peppers for your salad - year round!

full story and history of my pepper plant friend can be found here.

So, if you'd like this garden journal, and want to plant some
pepper seeds of your own leave me a comment here,

and if you'd like a second chance to win,
please join my fan page on Facebook
and leave a comment there, too!!

You have until July 1,
which gives us both plenty of time :)

I hope to be here again before then,
but if not, good luck!!

love, Karin

Thursday, May 5

fun news!

Back in 2009 I was contacted by Carmen Torbus to be included in a book she was working on.
I'm excited to share that her hard work has been born and is now available for ordering!!

In my contribution I share one of my favorite techniques
for achieving texture and color variations in acrylic painting

as well as book covers like this.

I am sure you will recognize a number of the 15 included artists
as some of your favorite fellow artist bloggers!!
For a complete list, and links to their blogs,
you can visit Carmen's blog and check out her side bar!