Artist, Lee McKenna DIGITALMANIA

MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Collages embrace many moments in time…

Australian artist LEE McKENNA loves to create collages. To her, they’re like found paper treasures embracing “imperfections of old, used , discarded and damaged papers…papers that depict moments in time, often bearing marks and traces of a past life and the human hand.” DIGITALMANIA ( art challenge group has introduced us to Lee…to inspire us to create in her style. Here are a couple of her creations…

and here are mine…

That’s it for now…please continue to stay safe.

Hugs until my next,


ARTFUL READERS CLUB “The Black Swan of Paris” by Karen Robards

“…A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected.”

The book’s original cover…
My own cover, created for THE BLACK SWAN of PARIS

Paris, 1944*** Internationally celebrated songstress, Genevieve Dumont, is both a star and a smokescreen. An active, though unwilling member of an underground French Resistance cell as well as a reluctant darling to the Nazis in occupied France, Mademoiselle Dumont’s position of privilege has it’s advantages: unrestricted travel, permission to be out after curfew, the best of food and drink Paris has to offer (while normal citizens are close to starvation,) and working undetected in conjunction with undercover British officer Captain Max Ryan (who is Mme. Dumont’s business manager.)

Although THE BLACK SWAN of PARIS is Karen Robards’ first historical fiction book, she’s a bestselling author in her own right. She’s crafted this WWII novel to include estranged family dynamics, loyalty, partisans, spies, intrigue and action…even a bit of romance. Not only did Robards do a prodigious amount of research on the facts of WWII events, but more importantly, she’s depicted what the day to day life was like for the citizens living through the Nazi occupation. Microscopic details such as what they substituted for coffee, or the types of foods available… I got a solid sense of the fear, hunger and desperation the people lived with day after day…how nothing else mattered but their survival. I got a real feeling for the acts and work of the brave resistance fighters…the intricate planning…as the days drew closer to the allied invasion.

This historical jewel is highly recommended to those who enjoy a richly detailed, emotional, edge-of-your-seat suspense-filled book that you can’t put down until the very last word is read! I LOVED IT!


MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Mirrors don’t show who we are

Who am I really?

Who am I in others’ eyes?

I DO see myself…

This week’s task set up by art challenge group SUNDAY POSTCARD ART ( is to create art including a mirror or mirrors. It was a fun challenge…

There’s been so much in the news about the horrors of racism…I guess I did this piece just to weigh in with my feelings…that racism is an abomination and a very dark side of humanity. Existing since the beginning of time, I wonder if it will ever change…I pray that someday, it will be as President Abraham Lincoln wished…that “all men (and women) are created equal.”

TAKE A WORD art challenge ( requested that artists include a circle in their art piece. Ok…here it is!

Finally, THE THREE MUSES ( made it rain…we needed to include an umbrella in our art…

“I made a new friend…”

Thanks for checking in. Until next time…

Big, compassionate hugs,


P.S. Stay safe!


MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Summer sun warms body and soul…

Summer branches yawn

breezes tickle my toes…

snowfall sky ahead 🙂

I don’t know if THE THREE MUSES ( was thinking SUMMER when they called for artists to create a masculine themed piece of art, but I took it that way and ran with it.

Hunky swimsuit models of yesteryear…

Hope you’re enjoying YOUR summer in safety and in good health.

Big Hugs,


ARTFUL READERS CLUB Review: “The Girls with No Names” by Serena Burdick

Historical Fiction at it’s best, THE GIRLS with NO NAMES by Serena Burdick creates a tapestry of New York City in the early 1900’s. It’s made up of immigrants and the tenements that were their homes on the mean streets of a burgeoning city, of the Romani (gypsies) who camped in the woods near the home of the book’s protagonist sisters… near the infamous House of Mercy, and the wealthy Victorians, who clung to their traditional values and punished those who didn’t adhere to those values. Finally, we see the youth of this gilded age who tried their best to shed the old mores. THE GIRLS with NO NAMES takes us back to a time when women were fighting to be heard. The Women’s Suffrage movement was just starting to make headway while still being held down by the patriarchal standards of society. If women didn’t conform, rebelled or “acted inappropriately,” they could be sent away to a sanitorium. One of these houses for wayward women, disguised as a religious institution, was the HOUSE of MERCY on 86th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. It’s public mission was to rescue girls and women from vice, but in reality, it was a Magdalene laundry…a house of horror, hunger, torture and worse… where these females were not redeemed from their “sin” but imprisoned and exploited for free, backbreaking labor to benefit the church.

The stories of these young women are of survival, friendship, love, bravery, resilience and hope…a coming of age of sorts. Based initially on the family life of two very different sisters, we follow their friends and family along their separate paths, digesting their stories and struggles as they travel this journey called LIFE. This is a most enjoyable piece of historical fiction!


MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: This weekend brings sunshine and rain.

Middle Ages doesn’t refer to my age, as I guess I’m considered elderly by today’s standards. I certainly don’t feel it!! It seems that SUNDAY POSTCARD ART ( has requested art with a Middle Ages or medieval theme. Since I’m in the process of creating a Middle Ages-themed deck of cards, this fits right into my plans. Here are two of what will be a 52 card deck of giant cards.

In the Middle Ages, manuscripts were either illuminated or plain. An illuminated manuscript is one in which the text is supplemented with such decoration as initials, borders and miniature illustrations. My deck of cards is inspired by the illuminated manuscripts. They were magnificent works of art…like these…

That’s it…short and sweet.

Big hugs until next posting,



MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Friends are closer…still with masks!

A quickie posting…from my online art group participation…THE THREE MUSES ( were interested in CLOUDS…

The clouds gallop like

mighty white horses across

the fields of the sky

…and at DIGITALMANIA, (, artist HEATHER GALLER was invited to be our inspiration. She’s known for her colorful, folk art style. Here’s one of her art pieces…

…and here’s mine, inspired by Ms. Galler.

My technicolor coat…
The secret language of color…

That’s it for now…thanks for stopping by.

‘Til next time, big hugs!



MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Honor and remember our heroes ALWAYS.

July 4th marks the birth of American independence. Traditionally a time for family gatherings, barbeques and fireworks, let’s give a thought to those who fought…and continue to do so…for our independence and freedoms. Forever grateful… I created this piece in their honor .

This week, I participated in three online art challenges… for TAKE A WORD ( the task was to include a castle in our art. Since it’s summer here, I was thinking “beach…”


Finally, for DIGITALMANIA (,) Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, the father of abstract art, was our inspiration. Here are a couple of his pieces…

…and here is mine. This was tough for me as my mind doesn’t work very well outside of reality…

That’s it for this week. Enjoy your July 4th.

Hope to see you soon. Stay safe.

Big Hugs, abbyj


MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: A grateful heart starts each day…

If you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, then this week’s art challenge at TAKE A WORD ( is for you. Their theme for the week is “hearts and flowers.” Those words direct my thoughts to LOVE! Here’s the piece of art I created for the occasion…

Wishing you a week filled with love…hearts and flowers.

Stay safe!

Big Hugs, abbyj


MY LIFE IN 6 WORDS: Racial inequality makes my heart ache!

The online art challenge blog, TAKE A WORD ( has asked participating artists to build on the theme “sheet music.” My piece of art is based on one of my favorite times in the cultural history of our country…The Harlem Renaissance. An intellectual, social and artistic explosion spanning the 1920’s centered in Harlem, New York City, but it influenced cultural expression all over the world. Innovations in music with the birth of jazz, in poetry, literature, art and stage performance were born.

A professional trumpet player that’s very dear to me (and Caucasian,) wrote: “I can not even remotely imagine what it is like to be a person of colour in the racist landscape of North America. I am grateful that I have friends of colour. I am grateful that 95% of my trumpet idols are Black. I am a guest in the house of Black American music. I cannot know your pain, but I sure feel it…” I say, AMEN to his comment, with the ongoing prayer that it will change.

Thanks for stopping by…