Monday, September 27, 2010

Big Happy ... Very Big Happy

Back in August, I submitted work to Cloth Paper Scissors magazine's Artisan Search 2011. I entered three pieces in their "mixed media stitch" category. By the time I finished the pieces, I wasn't even sure if I liked them anymore. I was sure I would not be selected. Well... lo and behold... I was selected as a finalist in my category. I honestly could not believe it. When I saw my name, I actually went through all of the listings to make sure there were not two of us. What an absolute thrill. It felt like a message from God saying...don't quit!

Tick Tock

Caged In

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ahhhh... Rain

I'm not really a big fan of rain. When I see rain, I think of mold and leaking house parts. But we haven't seen rain in a while and well... I've started to miss it. Today's rain is the perfect kind. Light, tinkly, and slow all day. And today happens to be the perfect day for rain. Every member of our family (minus Peanut) has been to some kind of party this weekend. All of us are tired and hermit-like.

So today I decided to celebrate rain just a little bit.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Trash Art

After a long week of creating collages, working on a quilt, and general fooling around with supplies, the floor of my studio resembled a garden of paper and fabric weeds. But as I was cleaning up, I couldn't bring myself to throw out these tiny treasures. Instead, I collected them in a jar and retrieved one of my favorite art supplies... matte gel medium.

This stuff will stick anything to canvas or paper without leaving weird goobers or smudges.

Even if the collage is not something I would hang on my walls, it is so much fun to take close-up photos of interesting sections of the whole piece. The photo above is a bit of a statement itself.  It would also make a great background for another piece. It can be enlarged and printed on paper or even on fabric. 
I love the way this tiny scrap of fabric looks like a bulky hemp rope in this shot. 
Next time you have a pile of tiny trash, consider gluing it onto an old piece of cardboard. If you don' t have gel medium, just use good old Elmer's. Have fun discovering the masterpiece that was right under your feet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goodbye Summer

I have a confession to make. I don't really like summer. I love having the summer off with my children. I love sleeping in. But I don't love shaving my legs or exposing my ever veinier and pastier legs to the public. I don't like mosquitoes. I don't like sweating.
But in all fairness to summer, there are a few things I love about it. For starters... strawberries.

Flowers against an early evening sky.

A fresh peach in my little girl's hand.

Jumbo crunchy cucumbers.

And this beautiful guy. We watched him go from egg to tadpole to golden georgeousness.

So farewell beautiful summer. I know I'll be glad to see you again. But for now, bring on dry skin, goosebumps, and total leg coverage for a good four months.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fun Stuff By Mail

I was itching to spend some of the money in my paypal account, so I bought some fantastic papers from and they arrived today! I opened the envelope and took a deep whiff of old paper smell. love it. I also ordered some small plastic tools. What will I do with these? no idea. I just knew that I needed a small ladder, pitchfork, and rake.

Some of the papers were French. Oooh la la. Love this Eiffel Tower image.

Another pack was a mixture of maps, textbook pages, different languages, and music. I cannot stop looking at them. Brain is racing.

A random here. I believe this image is from some sort of Japanese tour guide. The red button hides an empty hillbilly jug of something that I think this person finished off the night before. Not sure how I will use this one....

Sweet Phillis from lovetofly sent me some bonus red wooden buttons. I love extra treasures.

So what will become of these objects and papers? Who knows? I am thinking about having a collage party with my artsy friends and seeing what happens when we all play with them. Want to come?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Scarves are Coming!

Yippee! I've got two new scarves in my etsy store. I think I have about 16 more to add. (It takes me a while.) I'm excited about the photos and the new look for my shop. I'm calling my collection "wooly goodness" and it will be filled with fun scarves and wool pins.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Know It's Still September...

But I couldn't help it. I wanted something new and festive for my front porch. It would not have been difficult to create something that would look better than what was previously there - a dead plant on a trellis. Completely brown and dried up. Really pathetic. So, since it was so close to Halloween and I love Halloween decorations, we are starting the celebration a little early.

All my supplies are exotic imports from China purchased 40% off at my local Michael's.

These fake pumpkins are hard to cut! Once I cut lids into each one, I hot-glued raffia to the cut portion of the large pumpkin, then glued the medium pumpkin to the raffia. After I glued the bottom two pumpkins together, I poked fake flower picks into a floral foam cylinder, then poked the whole mess into the raffia-filled smallest pumpkin.

I glued the small pumpkin to the top, perched the owl into the middle, and stuck the bow on the front. The whole thing fit nicely into an old plastic faux terra cotta pot that I spray painted black. I filled the space at the bottom with the rest of the raffia. Can't wait for a big windy storm to kick up and blow raffia into my neighbors' yards.

A little bit of Halloween cheese. The kids think it's wonderful.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trying to Look Cold in 90 Degree Weather

I've been hard at work creating new scarves to put into my Etsy store this fall. Now it is time for what I think is the hardest part about having an on-line store - the photos. Sometimes I can do the photography on my own, but when the item is clothing, well... I need help. So today my poor husband had the honor of being my photographer. We drove up to the vacant Home Depot and headed down the alley toward the back of the building, hoping for something old and industrial looking. Instead we found this beautiful terra cotta red wall.
We unloaded a few props from the car and got busy.

I swapped out about 20 scarves and tried not to sweat.

I kept waiting for some sleazy deal to take place around the corner from us, but the only action we saw was a couple of harmless teenagers skateboarding. I don't think sleazy deals ever take place behind the Home Depot, but it was fun to feel just a little bit sneaky and sly - two words that rarely describe plain old me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Laundry Room Art

When you spend this much time in the laundry room, it is important to have some happy around. This simple painting is 24 x 36 and takes up quite a bit of wall space that would probably be better served with shelving. But after 6 loads and folding 100 pairs of white tube socks, the giant clothespin keeps me sane.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Disintegration Bundle - Before and After

Way back in June, I bundled different papers, fibers, and doo dads together to make a bundle. I hung it from our jasmine-covered arbor in the back yard. Inspired by an article in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, I wanted to see what would happen to this baby after months of scorching heat, rain, humidity, bug invasions, and blistering sunshine.

Here's the end project, a collection of beautiful papers I can use in a collage or other project down the road. As expected from years of living through Georgia summers, the papers were quite moldy. But the mold made some beautiful designs and colors. My bundle had quite a bit of shade, so I did not see lots of sun damage. Should I make a new one for the winter?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Snip Snip

My first experiment with lino block printing. For some reason, I am drawn to scissors. Probably because I love to cut paper, fabric, stuff that just came off the laminator, and price tags off new clothes. Scissors mean fun and creativity. So, I carved a pair into a lino block and made a sample print on some old packing paper. Fun stuff. Love to cut the lino, but have learned it is easier if you warm up the block in the oven before carving (thanks Manya!) I've also learned that the water soluble block printing ink is way too water soluble. Just a tiny droplet of water makes a major smudge. The best choice seems to be oil-based ink and messy clean up. However, I used spray canola oil for clean up and it wasn't that big a deal. No fumes and nice smooth skin afterward. Oil-based ink also works well on fabric. I printed a dish towel using oil-based ink for my friend Ellen and it still looks great after many washings.
Just bought the book Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens by Lena Corwin. It is so juicy and beautiful and makes me want to stay up all night making stuff. I have only given the pages a few glances. I am saving it for the weekend when I can devour it page by page.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I've Got a Felty Feelin'

I'm back in my studio sewing up felt scarves and pins. I use wool blend felt that has been washed and dried to give it a nice nubby texture. I love the colors and the texture of the finished pieces - kinda want to take a bite of each one. Or maybe scrub the tub with it - very thick and soft, yet scratchy.
So far, the pins are random fun images. Lightening bolt, popsicle, fried egg, mouse with a skinny leather tail, cloud, pink toothbrush. I don't know if anyone else would want to wear a wool felt popsicle pin, but I would.