Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I signed up for Ricë Freeman-Zachery's mailing list the other day and she sent me a very generous thank you PLUS it came inside this totally cool piece of mail art. I scribbled the addresses a bit in PS but you get the idea. The back side has a coffee sticker and is stamped with "I like my coffee just like I like my men... black & strong & sweet." Pure Ricë!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
DJ Pettit, one of our finest, is offering an online class next month to share her Photoshop techniques. I think it is remarkable when an artist feels so comfortable with owning their style that they are willing to reach out and teach others. You can find the details here.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
She gifted me with this beautiful wind-up music box that she made herself. Yes, SHE MADE IT HERSELF! I am so flattered. She is new to crafting and obviously has talent and an artist's eye that she didn't know was lurking inside her just waiting to get out. So beautiful on many levels.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I have two more in process and I thought I might put them in my Etsy store but, AS USUAL, I am over thinking every single aspect of making them and the end result looks way too stiff - ARGH! I "threw" the first one together and it has issues with the binding being a little crooked and the method I used to attach the sewn-in envelopes is kind of funky so, naturally, I set out to solve those problems and ended up with something that's a lot more boring. Good grief. Maybe I can lighten up a little on the other two!
Friday, December 4, 2009
This front cover is a collaged combination of the sheet music, roses I cut from some wrapping paper and a pretty postage stamp. I love that title - how perfect for a journal! The back is covered with scrapbook paper. The journal for the Teesha Moore class was entirely watercolor paper. I wanted this journal to be more like an altered book. The inside pages are made from book pages with printing that will lend itself to journaling and "altering". There is a variety of types and sizes of blank papers including pages from a vintage accounting journal and sewn-in envelopes. Some of the pages have their original edges and I cut scallops along the edge of others. Two have fold-out on the end so they have even more room for drawing or journaling. Lots of fun places to stash bits and pieces!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
- I am grateful for the health my husband and I DO have
- I am grateful for my art room and the time to let it renew me
- I am grateful to be employed
- I am grateful for my sturdy little home and a warm cozy place to sleep
- I am grateful for Casey's artist's heart
- I am grateful for Andy's smile
- I am grateful for Alayna's mashed potatoes and friendship
- I am grateful for Jill's sweet potatoes and deviled eggs and generosity
- I am grateful for Alexa's happy heart
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Now let me tell you about this crock. It might have always been mine or it might have come to live at my house when my mother passed away. I can't say for sure because we each had one and they were very similar. Kind of a family tradition. Theoretically it is a pencil holder. In reality it contains pens from companies you did business with years ago, pencils with no points and rock-hard erasers, scissors, rulers, chopsticks, emery boards, Popsicle sticks, fondue forks, crayons, markers, candle snuffers, pipe cleaners and pretty much anything else you could stand up in a jar. Things go in and pretty much the only time they come out is when you try to write with one of the dried up pens and toss it in the trash.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I actually finished this a couple of days ago but the week got so busy I nearly forgot to post it. Busy with the "day job" and learning about Google Analytics and re-doing all my keywords and tags and meta words and on and on for the Etsy store. Good grief!
The Teesha-style pages are a good exercise. I'm learning a lot about using the different pens. I have a long way to go with the lettering, especially the spacing. Good thing the little book I made has LOTS of pages. I like to think of it as "constructive (instructive?) play". Uh huh.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I painted the cover with my fancy new Golden Liquid Acrylics. This was my first time to use them and they smell EXACTLY like latex wall paint. Stinkied up my whole art room. I wasn't expecting that and have frankly had about enough of that smell since I just finished repainted the bathroom. I am not counting them out yet and will continue to experiment.
I used Teesha's instructions for binding except I reversed it because I wanted the "tails" on the outside. She doesn't like dangles but I think I might.
I am working on painting the pages now. I am using watercolors so hopefully I won't have too much trouble finding pens that will write on them.
I should be working on figuring out how those Google Analytics work so I can track the hits on my Etsy store but sometimes you just have to take time out and PLAY.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
- The three-column technique for captioning the pictures: feeling words, verbs and adjectives.
- Painting out parts of the pictures with a white or black marker.
- Use a journal with good paper and use good paint so the pens will write on it.
- Use a journal with pages that match the layout of the pictures, landscape with landscape, portrait with portrait.
I am glad I took the class and I love the new techniques I learned! I am also very ready to be finished and move on to new projects. I have already started working on a new piece to submit to Somerset and I am anxious to try the journaling techniques in the great videos Teesha Moore has been posting on her blog. Totally different from LK's style. It is so much fun trying them on!
Friday, November 6, 2009
There was an assignment to photograph your hands and another one to "juxtapose" two images so I combined them and got this. I also watched LK's video where she suggested using black masking tape. Where the heck do you find THAT?? I actually kind of like the look of the blue tape with the black and white so there you go!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I have been working my way through the book and the journaling prompts for months. Writing, thinking, letting things steep. The turning point was the prompt that said "What do you do for its intrinsic value (You would do it even if it didn't pay)". For me the answer is junking. I love, love, love to shop for and accumulate all the little vintage trinkets and bits and bobs of life. For me it is incredibly relaxing and rewarding to "rescue" these little cast-offs. I more than love it, I can't NOT do it. I see these things and I see what they can be, not what they are, and I cannot resist rescuing them.
For this reason I decided to open an Etsy store where I can share my vision with the like-minded folks who respect the junk. I am not sure I did everything right but I managed to post 8 items and I will learn as I go. There is a new link to the Etsy store on the left side of the blog or you can click here. Big deep breath.
At some point I plan to add some of the "so many things" and offer some original art but for now it is my island of lost treasures just waiting for someone to come by and adopt them.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I guess it is kind of pretty. Maybe I should start tacking them up on the wall when I switch out to a new piece of paper. I wonder how I'll know when it's "done" - LOL!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I am two assignments behind in LK Ludwig's PhotoArt Journaling class (among many other things I am now behind on, but hey, I have a spiffy new bathroom) so figured I might as well go ahead and post what I decided would be the final page in my journal. I have 5 pages left to fill in my little book from the hippy store and I am out of black ink in my printer. I do intend to finish but doubt I will get it done in the next two days!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This is one of the husband's beautiful dahlias, pressed up against the cage designed to keep it from toppling over.
The quote is from Harry Belefonte.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I found this wonderful old wooden sewing box right inside the front door. Yes, I think it was just waiting for me to rescue it. I would have paid the $3.50 just to get the two rusty old corsage pins tacked inside the lid. The dark things dangling lower on the lid are safety pins, all strung on some sort of metal clip. I haven't seen something like before and wonder if that's the original purpose. The inside holds a variety of vintage and newer ribbon, lace and trims. There are a couple pieces of lovely hand-crochet lace.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery.
--- Francis Bacon
This could be interpreted a number of ways... Deepen the mystery by making you wonder? Make you wonder what? What the artist was thinking? What the artist is making YOU think? How the artist made it? Why the artist made it? How it makes you feel? It's a mystery.
Friday, October 9, 2009
I'm not sure the "scratching" is my thing. Maybe a little too grunge-look for me but I wanted to explore, after all that's the point of taking a class, right? So I went for it. More do overs...
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
In the meantime I prepared for LK Ludwig's online class which starts tomorrow. I wonder how she is pulling that off, teaching at Art and Soul AND launching the online class. Busy woman! Anyway, I went to Staples and got a new cartridge of color ink since I know I'm almost out and I bought a pack of fancy genuine HP paper for printing the photos to use in my journal. I'm excited to get started and just hoping my little journal I got on vacation (at the hippie store) will hold up. The pages seemed pretty thin based on her recommendation so I glued them together in groups of three. That still didn't seem very sturdy so I went back and machine stitched them along the outside edge. We'll see. While I was there I found some REALLY cool paperclips that look like musical notes. They will be perfect for one of the "inspiration sets" I am putting together for the Etsy store I plan to open later this fall. Oh, oops, almost gave that away! Wasn't planning to talk about that just yet.
On another topic. I was very moved by Jenny Doh's blog post last night. It's the one dated September 29. It is the keynote address she gave at the Squam art retreat. It was very moving and at one point I sucked in my breath because it started to sound like she was saying goodbye. I might have to write her a letter. As editor of the Somerset magazines she provides SO much validation and encouragement by giving artist all around the world the opportunity to publish their work for a larger community to share. Long live Jenny Doh!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
It isn't finished yet. I am still planning on adding some collage and probably some more words since I usually start reflecting when I'm adding the art. I wish I could post what I've got so far but it's a two page spread which means I have to make two separate scans and combine them side by side. I just tinkered around in Photoshop to see if I could figure out how to do it but NOTHING IS EVER EASY is it!!! And I can't face any more learning tonight. Did I mention I spent my day in a class on project management??? I have learned enough for this week. I know everything I need to know at this moment. I wonder if that's my right brain or my left brain at work.....
The journal I am working on was prompted by a book I am working my way through called "The Creative Entrepreneur" by Lisa Sonora Beam. Go here to see it.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
As if making the ART wasn't hard enough! Tonight I have been struggling to figure out how to take digital pictures that look as good as the "real deal". Holy cow there is a lot to learn. I read the book. I READ THE BOOK. That's a start. I took pictures in macro mode, pictures with zoom, pictures in 'sport' mode (12 of those by the time I figured out what was going on), pictures on the kitchen counter, pictures on the floor, pictures standing on a ladder. I took pictures. Boy howdy did I take pictures. Took them until the camera was exhausted. It told me so.
I'm pretty happy with the really close-up shots of individual elements. There is one on this post because I want to see how it looks on line.
I still have a way to go on the longer shots of the whole piece. I finally figured out a way to hold the camera steady but there is glare on the shiny parts. Dang shiny parts!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I won't bore you by cataloging everything that came home with me for my $3.98 but it includes many bundles and several spools of acetate ribbon, the kind used for floral work, many, many colors of satin ribbon, lace, both old and older, rick-rack, braid trims, seam binding, some thread and a thimble, zippers, many sizes and types of elastic and a cool piece of ephemera offering an apron pattern for 25 cents.
I have heard it said that you should bring nothing into your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. I try. Really. Some things cry out in a way that is almost audible - RESCUE ME!
Over the years I think I've seen just about everything at the trift store, from bronzed baby shoes to a burial urn. Yes, really. A burial urn. As I was unscrewing the lid my brain was processing that I was UNSCREWING the lid and I realized what it was at about the same moment that I peeked inside. Luckily for me the only thing left of the occupant was the metal toe tag. So I really have seen it all, cradle to grave.
My favorite rescue are the poke boxes of buttons and sewing notions. As I poke through them I get an impression of the former owner. You can tell a lot about a woman from her sewing box. Many utilitarian buttons, removed from the garments and saved for mending punctuated by random glass or rhinestone buttons saved from a few "special" dresses. Uniform buttons strung together on a piece of darning thread, perhaps all that is left of a loved one's uniform. A few marbles and bullets (yes, I have found bullets) retrieved from pockets on the way to the washer. A felt needle case with "MOM" crudely embroidered on the front, surely a gift from a young daughter. A thimble stamped with S&H for the green stamps. Hand-tatted lace cut from the endge of a worn out pillow case so it could be repurposed as trim from a baby dress. Bra extenders because she put on a little weight as the years went by. You can tell a lot about a woman from her sewing box.
It tugs my heart when I find these poke boxes in the thrift store. Some one grabbed a box or a bag and up-ended the drawers of the sewing cabinet to "get rid of all that junk". Big sigh. It makes my heart glad to rescue them and respect that they are the artifacts of a creative life.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Okay, I know it's just an online class and not like going to some big deal thing like Art and Soul but STILL, I am finally taking an art class! Back in "the day", when I painted for profit, I refused to take classes because I was afraid I would end up painting like someone else instead of like me. I don't know if that was fear or arrogance or what but now I find myself really looking forward to hearing/seeing someone else's technique and creative angle. Plus there is the opportunity to connect with the other participants through the class blog. I only just barely know how to use the camera so I hope I will be able to keep up. I think I will use the funky handmade journal I bought at "the hippy store" aka head shop while I was on vacation. What fun! It starts October 1.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
So far so good, then I brought it in the house. Have you ever noticed how nothing ever goes back into the same amount of space it came out of??? ARGH! One thing leads to another and this needs to go over there and that needs to go over here and I might as well sort through this and now I am two nights into it and wondering why I did this to myself. Good grief!
Maybe I'll take a picture when I'm done. Or maybe I will just weep in relief.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Lucky me, I had a lunch date with a dear friend that I talk to often but seldom have the pleasure of seeing face to face. It's amazing how much catching up two women can do in an hour. Maybe it was the stress of morning, maybe the time was just right for me to put it OUT THERE. Whatever the reason, I shared with her the "plan" that is emerging from my discovery journal I have been working on. As I told her the things I had discovered about myself and my motivations I had the feeling these were things she already knew about me and I just had to find them for myself. She encouraged me and that encouragement SO validated that I am going in the right direction! How lucky am I to call her friend!
As if that wasn't enough bliss for one day, my daughter-in-law stopped by my office a couple of hours later to drop off an Avon order for a co-worker. She came into my office and held out her closed hand and said "I have a present for you". A present! She opened her hand there were four tiny, perfect acorns. I sucked in my breath and said, "Oh! how cool!". She said "I don't know what's wrong with me, somehow I've started getting your genetics and I've started picking things up off the ground, yesterday I found a feather." OMG! How lucky am I to get a daughter-in-law that I love like she was my own but, maybe more important, I get to count her as FRIEND.
When I go to sleep tonight I will not be cursing the stresses of the office. I will be counting the blessings of my LIFE!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
We started off with a trip to the coast. I was no where near decompressed enough to say I was relaxed but it was a perfect start to the week since leaving home means leaving behind the "to-do" list. My favorite things at the beach were watching the sea lions, walking on the beach, a Bloody Mary at the Sea Hag in Depot Bay and shopping at Pirates Plunder in Newport, the Newport place I call "the hippy store" but I think it's really a head shop (do they say head anymore?) and that mom and pop place in Lincoln City. The treasures included great ephemera, vintage rayon seam binding (the most luscious ribbon EVER!), old postage stamps, incense with beautiful graphics on the packages, a set of prayer flags to hang in my pergola, and a fabulous little vanity suitcase that I'm going to make into my traveling art kit. I played with the camera and took a bunch of pictures but haven't even extracted them yet.
Once back home I got back to work on that to-do list.
1) The doors were all painted for the hallway project but I still had the mouldings to repair and paint, the hardware to strip and re-installing everything. The last doorknob went on today after much jury-rigging and adjusting from the husband. I felt bad for him. This was supposed to be MY project and boy, howdy did he get sucked in on that door. It was stubborn but all done now and looks beautiful with all the sparkly glass doorknobs!
2) Weeding and pruning and dug many of the calla lilies, some moved to a new spot in the yard and some potted to share. Dug two azalea starts, took a cutting from my Frank Klaeger lilac and air-layered the Camila, all for the kids yard at the new house. I might be a little late so we'll see what "sprouts"!
3) FINALLY sanded and repainted the little white desk in the spare bedroom. Yes, sanding it was as miserable as I thought it would be and explains why have procrastinated doing it for about 8 years. Good grief. Done now.
4) Trekked out in search of a new bonsai pot for my giant redwood. It is about 10 or 11 years old now and stands about 2 feet high and just as wide so starting to look a little goofy in the tiny pot. Larger bonsai pots are kind of hard to find and YIKES are they expensive! I found just one in the size I want and it was $80. EIGHTY DOLLARS for a flowerpot. If you're looking for a career change this might just be it. No, I did not buy it. I will look a little longer....
5) Visited Rita Deco in the Hollywood district. Drove there myself. Really. Around and around in circles and then there it was! OMG, who knew! That Hollywood neighborhood has antique malls right and left. I need to get out more.
6) Made a vain attempt at improving the looks of the front door to our house. It is a marvelous old mahogany door and I love it and wouldn't think of changing it but the sun has dried and faded it, not to mention the scratches. I tried Old English Scratch Cover, I tried Watco oil, I tried. I guess this will be a project for a different year. At least, after two trips, we DID find a new rubber gasket for the threshold to replace the broken one I fixed with duct tape. Yes DUCT TAPE, I know.... but I couldn't close the door, I had to do SOMETHING! And it did work for 5 years. My husband doesn't like to rush into things.
So what about making art? Well, I had an epiphany (that's epiphaMy for you, Carol!) I will be talking about that in a separate post but I have to say I'm kind of excited about it.
If I had any sense at all I'd go log on to the office now and start slogging through the emails in self-defence. But nobody every accused me of having any sense.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
- I could finish the ill-fated hallway/ bathroom redecoration project. Began in March and set aside until July and STILL not finished. Three doors painted and one to go ( I have no doors in my hallways except the bathroom), new glass doorknobs ordered and received, bathroom paint and floor selected. Yes, I could just press on and finish. Much work but I will feel much accomplishment and it will make my eyes happy!
- The garden, oh yes the garden. Pulling weeds in my bathrobe, making everything just so. Plucking weeds is so relaxing and mindless and the end result does make my eyes happy!
- Visiting Rita Deco in Portland's Hollywood district. On my list forever!
- An art project for my office wall that's been inside my head for a while now.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
This journal page is part of an exercise I have been doing based on Lisa Sonor Beam's book, "The Creative Entrepreneur". The book focuses on finding the courage for "Making Business Ideas Real" so is not directly related to my personal dilemma of finding my voice and figuring out what I want to do with my art. When I started reading it I realized it was really making me think about what makes me tick and why I do what I do so I decided to (roughly) follow the journaling path and I find out what I could discover. Interestingly, I HAVE gotten a lot of insight into what I really like to do and what my dream life would really be like. I still can't say I know what I want to do with my art but I think I have made some pretty big steps toward finding my voice. The orange colors on this page are not right and let me just say - I DO NOT THINK DIGITAL ART IS MY GIG! I do not much like to figure it out so I might just NOT.
Right now I an working in series. Now that I think (maybe maybe MAYBE) I have found a style I feel comfortable with I am doing it over and over to really make it mine. Maybe I will post a piece someday soon. We'll see if it sticks!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Let me just say that this crawdad was not forced to "walk the plank" for this photo. He met his crawdad maker much earlier in the day. It was a quick and to the point dunk in a boiling pot - yum! I did a little editing to brighten it up and ended up with some funky streaks so I have more to learn on that topic. One thing at a time....
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The weather was beautiful by day and by night. The first morning a mist slowly rolled in over the lake where it settled just until full daybreak and then lifted like a curtain rising to reveal the stunning mountain behind it. The stars at night filled the sky like glitter, un-obscured by competition from the city lights. Refreshing all the senses, the body and the soul! Ahh!