South Africa

I went to South Africa in September.  It was quite an adventure.  September in Africa is the spring season and is generally dry.  Well, not for us-we were in the midst of a late winter storm that dumped a lot of rain in the Cape Town area.  But intrepid travellers that we were-we adjusted !!

SONY DSC

Pictured here is the iconic Table Mountain.

SONY DSC

and this is a photograph from the top of Table Mountain.

Cape Town and the cape peninsula were so very beautiful in the rain that I have to wonder how much better it could have been.  We did experience fog and visibility issues but there is not much one can do about these things and our group “rolled with the punches”.  I was so very impressed with the cleanliness and the modern amenities that Cape Town offered.  In my opinion, although apartheid was discontinued just 20 years ago, racial compatability has advanced far beyond what we experience in the US.

For this blog post, I will concentrate on Cape Town and environs and in later posts will introduce you to other parts of this amazing country and continent.

A highlight was going to the Cape of Good Hope and seeing the southernmost tip of Africa and knowing this is where Magellan and other explorers rounded the cape in their adventures and also where many ships were lost at sea.SONY DSC

I was taken with the botanical specimens and also, of course, the wildlife that we saw.SONY DSC

I hope you enjoy these pictures and I will post more soon about “the rest of the story”.SONY DSC

Judy 

Posted in birds, mountains, photography, sunsets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 Calendar pressed flower images

My calligraphy and pressed flower calendar for 2014 has some interesting images and I would like to tell you about them.

First of all this is a desktop calendar in a CD case. That means you flip the case open and it
will sit on a desktop or a countertop and give you a great display of each month.  Guaranteed to start your day in beauty.

January has pressed grapes in the image.  Since the dark days of January need some cheer, it seemed appropriate to me to show some fruit of the vine!

February has  a white flower look to it as February often brings snow.  This is white stuff of
a beautiful nature.  There is white dogwood, viburnum, daisies, nigella (love-in-a-mist), candytuft, Carolina smoke tree, astilbe and dianthus.

March loves hellebores (Lenten roses).  Hellebores start to bloom in January and will bloom all the way through June.   They are one of my favorites.  One cannot have too many hellebores.  Also included are crocae, mini daffodils, candytuft and Carolina smoke tree.

April shows the colors of Easter with purples, blues and greens.  This is from an experimental design using PhotoShop and inverting colors.  Hydrangeas, pansies and leaves are there.

May is the gardener’s delight with daisiies, guara, veronica, verbena, sweet woodruff and buttercups.

June has bleeding hearts.  I have a huge bleeding heart in my backyard.  Each year it blooms profusely.  Also money plant, verbena, viburnum, violas, coreopsis and sweet woodruff are present in this design.

July celebrates the heat of summer with red salvia, rudbeckia, marigolds, zinnia, sweet woodruff, daisy, verbena, and celosia.  The flowers are so vibrant now.

August is about roses.  Multiflora roses and Queen Anne’s lace.

September is from a botanic collage on canvas which has coreopsis, rose leaves, bamboo, larkspur and maple leaves in it.

October is all about leaves and these are maples.  There are Norway, fire, red maple leaves as well as some chyrsanthemums.

November is a good time for mushrooms and these are all different kinds as well as some rosemary.

December has guara, coreopsis and passion vine intertwined between the Roman letterforms of NOEL which has music in it too.

So now you have a calendar which I hope will bring you enjoyment.  I have received much reward in creating these designs and am happy to share them with you.

Don’t forget that you can order this calendar and other things on my etsy shop.
www.etsy.com/shop/judyorcutt
a
nd you can also visit me at
www.quilligraphy.com

back2014wsc

Posted in artists, CALLIGRAPHY, Christmas, Mushrooms, music, Pressed Plants and Flowers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trying a new art technique

As an artist, it is always challenging and fun to try a new technique.

So recently,  my friend, Sally, and I got together to try a new technique using pressed flowers.  This was a new process that we learned through the world wide pressed flower guild.  Kate Chu  of http://www.pressedflowerart.com  was the teacher who created the video that we watched to learn this.

So we gathered our materials.  We needed card stock, aluminum foil, alcohol inks, spray adhesive, black shoe polish and a spray sealer.  And of course, pressed flowers.  We needed to choose flowers or leaves that were sturdy.  Many pressed flowers are very delicate and do not hold up to any manipulation.  Both of us used ferns.

We glued our ferns onto the card stock and then put the aluminum foil over that and started to smooth out any air bubbles or irregular areas.  We kept working that until it was very flat.  Ferns with aluminum foil before adding the shoe polishThen we added some shoe polish and rubbed that into the design created by the ferns.  After that we used the colored alcohol inks to create a back ground.

The images at left are what this looked like in the beginning stages.

 

The next step was to add the alcohol inks and create a background.

These images show what the final products looked like.

Fern with alcohol inks added in the background.Alcohol inks added to fern It was fun and the results were quite different.  Quite a few members of the guild were doing this also and we all shared pictures and compared notes.

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Posted in artists, instruction, Pressed Plants and Flowers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Volunteering for OLLI

There are many rewards to volunteering especially when you are retired.  I often wonder how I ever had time to work.

One of my most rewarding volunteer stints has been being on the curriculum committee for OLLI (Osher Life Long Learning Institute) at Penn State York.  I have served in this capacity since the inception of OLLI 5 years ago.

There is a huge amount of work that goes into planning and presenting the presentations that OLLI gives.  We have a 10 week schedule twice a year and in that time frame have offered as many as 70 presentations per 10 weeks.  Also we have bus trips and various social activities.  Some of the presentations are a one time effort but we have 6 week series also.  All of these presenters must be contacted by curriculum committee members and then we must entice them to fill out forms  (the hardest part of this job).

Currently we are working a year in advance.  It is a fun job as finding new presenters is always a challenge and their willingness to teach us at no compensation is always rewarding.  Many are repeat presenters as it is so exhilirating to them to teach people who want to learn and who are very interested in the topics.

OLLI has given this community a forum for senior members who want to be active.  Our roster has grown rapidly and we who volunteer for OLLI have great pride in the organization.  There are many volunteer opportunities besides the curriculum committee.
Come and find out about OLLI.  Check the website to find out more.   olli.yk.psu.edu

 

 

Posted in instruction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January in the pressed flower artist’s world

There is not much pressing going on in January.  It is time to plan my year for art promotions,  art production, and to go to the movies.

Art promotions will include me joining the King’s Courtyard Collective Gallery at 124 E. King Street in March.  This is a collaberative effort by about 10 artists to provide an art experience in York, PA.  I am very excited about this.  The artists who are already involved have “approved” me and I have “approved” them.  A very nice group of people who are excellent artists.  You can get an idea about it at

www.facebook.com/KingsCourtyardCollectiveGallery?fref=ts

This particular block of King Street is becoming the place to be for art.  There are several other addresses in the block that are art only. lavandewscHere is one of my botanic collages on canvas that will be available for purchase at the collective.

Art production has involved me attending a class at York Art Association in Abstract Collage.  I want to learn new techniques.  My collage work in the past has been on canvas and has involved botanic material.  This is on paper and involves layers of paint.  It kind of evolves as you go along.  I will be at the 4th session this week and so far I have some interesting parts of the large paper work.  I do not know if the total work will be pleasing to me but I can see where I could frame smaller sections of it.

Abstract collage

 

OK and for movies…gosh, there have been a lot of good ones.  “Les Mis” is one of my favorites.  But I also liked “Silver Linings Playbook” and then there was “Lincoln”.  The carpeting shown in the oval office and in another room of the White House was woven by
Family Heirloom Weavers of York.  Many other York references too as Thaddeus Stevens was living in York and of course we are pretty close to Gettysburg.

So my January has been quite productive and enjoyable.  Minimal snow is always a plus, too.

Best:

Judy

Posted in CALLIGRAPHY, photography, Pressed Plants and Flowers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment