Thursday, January 31, 2008

So Much To Do...

Thanks to all my special friends for all the sweet comments and e-mails that you send my way. I appreciate them so much. This is such an awesome group of folks.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am taking some time off from blogging. I have so many things that need to be done. Family and kitty and art and house, and... oh, so much. Not to worry, though, all is fine. I will be back soon with new art (Year of the Rat ) and a clean house and a hair cut, and so many interesting things to report.

I will still be reading and watching and loving all that is going on in your lives. Take care, and as usual...we'll talk soon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Faye and the Potato Beads

Edit: This was done on a 9 x 12 canvas support. It has matches, wire, the top off of a Paper Glaze bottle, a squiggle from a glitter glue stick and squares of mirror finish paper. There are also earrings, a brass skeleton key, a pen barrel with my name and lots and lots of paint.

Here is a shot of the assemblage I did. I lost track of time while working on it, even stopping at one point and "zoning out", just staring at it for a while - before jumping up to go find another series of items that were calling from another room, begging to be attached. Some of these items included beads, glitter, a salamander, tooth bleaching syringe and a vintage picture of a beautiful lady named Faye, all decked out in her military uniform. I think she was in the Marines. I just love her smile.

and regarding those potato beads...

These instructions (from an HGTV episode) are very similar to the ones I used to make my beads. I did use an emery board to smooth the edges before I painted them, but this is certainly up to you. It's a lot of fun. Get the kids together and peel, cube and skewer some taters.

By the way, I did this project about two years ago and the beads have never had any unpleasant odor, just an pleasant organic aroma when I filed them. They have kept their shape and are really quite cool.

Speaking of spuds, (sofa spuds, that is ) it's almost time for our favorite show (American Idol), let's see what Omaha has to offer. I am sure it will be great. I am putting "Bones" on the back burner while AI is on. Well, the writers' strike contributed to that also, but I digress.... Anyway, love me some Idol. Grab your favorite snack and hit the couch. We'll talk soon. Ta, Ta.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Potato Bracelet

I was pleased when I got the call from Marnie, asking for a picture of my "nugget" bracelet so she could include it on the poster for our art group's upcoming event. These are faux turquoise nuggets that I made. Can you guess what they are made of? You might be surprised. (Clue: some of you probably did this when you were children.)

I hadn't thought of this piece for quite a while and had stored it away. While going through my vast array of supplies,( art, beads, wire, found items, paper, fibers, etc.) I really got the urge to make some jewelry. Since I don't go out to work now, and the shop where I had some pieces, closed, I just stopped making it. I might post some of my past pieces and maybe will make some more. Never know.

Well, got to go clean up the mess I made. We'll talk soon.

Edited: 01/29/08 (new title)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just a few ramblings...

First off, I want you to know that I am sitting here with one "Madonna" style fingerless glove on. Why? Because my mousing hand freezes when I surf the net.

That being said, I have lost track of time several times today. First time, I looked up from my art table to check the time, only to find I have been working on my current project almost two hours and absolutely did not realize it. I have been talking about layers recently, and originally, I think I meant layering collage items, neatly and with a great deal of thought. What this layering project has turned into, though, is something completely different. I started out with a 9 x 12 canvas that I had covered with several artist's acrylic textures, (stucco, glass beads, black lava, etc.) I then started applying liquid paints directly from the bottles (Pollack style) this lead to attaching items out of my "junk bowl". I save these various items for this purpose, but never seem to use them. These items included beads, glitter, a salamander, tooth bleaching syringe and a vintage picture. I am sure you are getting the idea. Anyway, it will take some time to set up or dry, or whatever it decides to do. When it is ready, I'll show you.

The other way to completely loose track of time is reading blogs. I have a certain order, in which I usually read them, but today I decided to take them one at a time, and visit all the blogs that each person has in their sidebar. I haven't gotten very far, but what fun. I also like to go to my own profile and click on one of my interests and see who matches up. Just a fun thing to do on a cozy Sunday afternoon. Combine that with watching Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and you couldn't ask for anything more. A special thanks goes to my darling hubby for making this last part possible.

Can't bear to leave without at least one photo. Speaking of DH and how he watches out for me, here is a contraption that he attached to the closet wall to hold some of my necklaces. I think it is actually made to hold various tools.

Well, it's off for homemade vegetable beef soup and warm buttery rolls. We'll talk soon. Take care.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Special Baby

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little girl-child. She was a very happy baby, never one to cry. Even so, the baby girl's mommy thought she was much too serious and that she thought too much. One day a lovely lady came by to see this little girl-child. Since this lady was known to be very wise and perhaps even had The Sight, the concerned mommy asked her, "What is my darling baby girl thinking?"

The pretty lady smiled and said not to worry, she has The Sight too, and she is seeing all the wonders that will come her way. She sees friends, comforts and even food . She sees love, wisdom and patience, too. She knows God, and she can hardly wait to grow up. You must remind her to be a child.

I think this is why the baby's mommy, never once said to her "grow up", or "don't act like a baby". The mommy knew the baby had an "old soul" and she carried a lot upon her little shoulders. Maybe that is why the little girl, now grown up, has such a silly streak and now is so comfortable acting like a child.

I had done a page full of "inchies" with color pencils and markers. I used an ink-jet copy of them to cut and glue down, which wasn't the best to use and my wording for the transfer was done with sharpies on 20# bond paper. I couldn't rub hard enough to remove the white of the paper, without removing the wording. In other words, I did everything wrong. This was my first attempt at a large (8 x 10) acrylic gel transfer and since I did not get the transparent look that I was aiming for, I will probably re-do this entire piece.

I hope you liked the story and you have probably guessed by now, who the baby in this picture is. I guess this metal tub is what passed for a kiddie pool in the "olden days". Does anyone else remember these?

Well, that's all for now. Yikes, now I will have to keep myself busy until Friday Night Lights comes on. Maybe I'll do some art or something crafty. Whatever I get into, you will be the first to know! We'll talk soon, toodles.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday night already ???

I do want to say thanks for all the kind comments I have been receiving. It is really nice to know that there are so many supportive folks out there. Many of you mentioned how fortunate I am to have a group of artists to work with. I definitely feel the same way. I wish everyone had a group such as ours. In fact, you may want to approach your local library to see if they can implement a program similar to ours. We aren't charged any kind of fee, and it is beneficial to all involved.

Here are several things I have been working on. First are two pages from my art journal. It is 9 x 12 spiral binder that has perforations, allowing me to remove a page . The left hand page is collaged, then glazed and then I scribbled some large hearts, and wrote in some of my favorite words. The right hand side, was layered first with oil pastels, then black gesso painted on. When this dried, it was a perfect surface for writing on with my white gel pen. I added some ATC's. You might notice that one of them is me, a studio portrait taken when I was seven years old. Some "sparklie" gold trim, and a polymer clay heart were also glued down.

These two pictures are from a series which may never be complete . I like the look of gazing down onto something, as if I were in heavy foliage. The one on the right started the series about a year ago, and I find myself using this "vantage point" quite often. I used acrylic paint for the beach scene. The one on the left has a more surreal look. I was experimenting with the oil pastels again, laying down multiple layers of color, then using my mini craft iron to melt the colors onto the canvas. I then coated the canvas with a thick layer of acrylic matte medium, and drew in the trees and other plants with my alcohol markers. I had to use a light touch, as the oil pastels still wanted to scrape off, even with the acrylic layer.

I will, hopefully, have some more art to post soon. So, we are now off to watch American Idol. Grab a cup of coffee and join us.

Talk soon, and as usual...TA, TA!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Arrgghh Matey!

Here is my Gentleman Pirate and his Parrot, Pinky, He is the result of the art doll meeting we had yesterday with our altered art group. The pattern came from Cloth Paper Scissors Winter 2006 issue, which looked very little like my finished doll. We were using feminine faces, but the fabrics I had chosen lent themselves to a more masculine doll. I don't make much art with male faces, but I got out the sharpie and altered the image with a mustache and heavier eyebrows. All handsome pirates must have blue eyes (like DH) and a little "soul patch" gives him a rakish look. A dashing red scarf completes his ensemble. Also, you may notice that he is left-handed, both hands are left-handed. I think that, in itself, is funny.

Here is an up close and personal shot of Pinky (thanks, Diann for that idea) and the Golden Earring that adorns our Gent's ear. I decided to hand sew him while I watched the Boob Tube, so he is slightly askew in some areas, but we can all relate to that. Anyway, I think he is quite the character .

As usual we had a lot of fun at the meeting and saw familiar faces, as well as a lot of new folks! I am sure this is due to the write up we had in our local paper on the group. We will be doing a gallery showing of our art next month and we are all excited about that.

I have great plans for all things artsy this coming week. I think I will work on my art journal some more and perhaps delve into making different types of backgrounds and layers, layers, layers. I am learning a new photo editing program and am also trying to find which pens work the best for mixed media journaling. I've tried paint pens (without much success), white out pens (still not what I am looking for) and now I going to try (white) gel pens. Whew, I am making myself tired just thinking about it. I love being "creative" and I really love seeing all the things my talented friends do. It is just so motivating and inspiring.

Well, I'm off to the kitchen now for decaf Constant Comment to sip whilst I read my latest fiction selection.

Don't forget, as always, we'll talk soon. TA, TA.

Friday, January 18, 2008

45 Year Old Art Kit

This is one of the cool things that DH found for me when we were cleaning out my uncle's house. In fact, he retrieved it from the trash. The box was so lightweight, that it was tossed out. He found it when he went to the dumpster with more trash and saw it. Recognizing the box, similar to one he had done as a child, he rescued it and asked me if I remembered doing this craft. Yeaaaa!!! Not only did I remember it, but the box was not empty, it was still in the box, almost complete. It was a Mosette Boutif Kit by Craft Master. I decided to finish it and put a 21st century spin on it. I finished up using the remaining glass pieces (similar to frit) added some glass beads, and some words. I think it is really cute and will probably display it.

I also finished my Year of the Rat art entry for the event that Lulu is hosting. Her blog is called My Pink Turtle and she is a real doll-baby. Check her out and join in the fun. My take on it is supposed to be humorous, but I'm not sure if everyone will get it. We will see next month.

In the meantime, I am also posting a close-up of some of the wording from my collage piece (See January 10 entry) called "Blog Words". See if you recognize any of them.

"Is it just misunderstood?" **** "Uniformity"

"Follow your heart" * "Love Angels" * "...A Walk in the Park"

"Scallop Thumb" and "The color is just so juicy"

I am thinking that I will be able to come up with some new art soon. I have so many ideas and I get such good advise from all my friends. I will be using some of my vintage collection. This includes some unmounted clippings from a mid 1800's scrapbook that I found at the flea market, as well as using some of the pages that the young lady had already pasted in the book. It is such a lovely piece, and such thought went into the book. Lots of clippings from Harper's Bazaar and jokes and musings from local newspapers. Feel free to look at my altered book on Flicker for some of the clippings I used at Christmas.

Well, I guess that is all for now. I have to go get ready for my Altered Art meeting tomorrow. We are going to start an art doll. I know so many creative folks. I love it.

As usual, we will talk soon. TA, TA.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Snow Part 2

Right as I was finishing up the "First Snow" post, I got a telephone call. Yikes!! I knew it was one of two things. Either DH had gone into a ditch, or something else was wrong with his vehicle. Whew, fortunately it was the latter. Short version is this...I drove, in the snow, to go get him. I didn't have any trouble and wasn't really that scared. I figured I could do it, he said I could, so I trusted in that. We came back home, made some calls and now DH has gone back to meet the tow truck and to see about repairs.

Well, the garage called and it was quite simple, the battery cable was bad. They inspected it while it was there, so that's good.

At least we learned one thing, I can drive in the snow if I have to. Why?? Because I'm Super Wife!

As always, we'll talk soon.

First Snow

I checked the weather and thought I would awaken to glistening drippy trees covered with freezing rain. This is much more beautiful to me. They are calling for the freezing rain to start soon, so DH is getting ready to go out into the snow and take some video for his show. I graciously (I hope) declined to be camera person for this segment. I get too nervous when folks drive in the snow. He will be much happier without me shrieking and crying with every skid. In fact, he is so happy that he is writing me a love note.

Well, it's off to the studio to work on my rat. What I thought would be a very clever idea, has not translated to paper as well as I wished. Since this is my first challenge, I am not sure what others will be doing, but that's probably a good thing. No preconceived ideas to tie me down.

I'd better stop typing and actually do something . Just remember to keep those blogs and pictures coming. I love reading and looking at all the wonderful things that my friends post. Well, we'll talk soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Girl In Town...

Hello all, I thought I would post a couple of quick photos of the new girl I have been working on. She started out in one of my "art journals" ( I don't actually journal anything in them, I just draw) and she has also shown up on this 8 x 10 canvas board. For some reason things keep circling her, I don't know if they are her thoughts or just little "thingies" that want to be near her.

Initially, I glued down some vintage clippings , glazed over them, then I hand-painted her and added some "painted" circles. I use a plastic tube that beads come in, as the tool for the circles, so I guess they are not actually painted.

I have mixed emotions when it comes to using my vintage materials. I really do like the look of using the actual piece, as opposed to using a copy of it, but I am such a "keeper of things" that I still hesitate to use any of my specially collected pieces. Now, know I collect these items specifically to use on my art, but still ... Oh, I know I am not the only one that feels like this. Anyway, enough of that.

Well, lots to do today, so I'd better wrap this up. I need to clean up my work area and try to capture the idea I have for The Year of the Rat challenge. Don't forget to post your completed piece on My Pink Turtle's blog on February 7th. ( I think I need for someone to tell me how to post to someone else's blog, though). I am looking forward to seeing all the creative ideas everyone comes up with. So with that in mind, it's off to the studio for lots of fun. Grab your coffee cup and join me. Talk soon, ta, ta.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Movie Reviews and You Tube

Well, DH and I are sort of disappointed in "The Orphanage". We thought from the previews that it would be really scary. It is, after all, a ghost story. The scenery is magnificent and the Spanish dialog is pleasant to listen to, for those of us that don't speak the language. It is subtitled in English and the story behind it was pretty good. It's just that it was marketed as the next "Pan's Labyrinth". We really loved that movie, and I don't think it is comparable at all. On a scale of 1-10, I would give this a 5 (maybe). I get an idea of what a movie is going to be about, and I do my research, that way I usually know what I am getting into, but they fooled me on this one.

We went to see "Juno" last week and I loved, loved, loved it. It was a sweet, quirky tale of an unplanned teen pregnancy and all involved. Highly recommend it.

Prior to Juno, we saw "No Country for Old Men". DH liked this one a lot, me not so much. Once again, a good story, but the intensity and the reality of the blood and gore, I thought were too much. If I am going to see special effects of that nature, I want a good Zombie movie.

Oh, yeah we went to see "Walk Hard, the Dewey Cox Story", I won' t even waste anyone's time reviewing this one.

Well, enough on that for now. Here is DH's newest video. He is singing a song by Matthew Sweet called "Nothing Lasts". It was taped in and around our house and our little city, with me doing some of the videography, some of you will recognize the scenery in several shots. He uploaded this to YouTube at least six times, but never got the quality picture he wanted. It actually looks really good, this just doesn't do it justice. Hope you enjoy it.

Well, that's all for now. We'll talk soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's all done...

Oh my, all my blogger friends have been so prolific in their photos and the beautiful accounts of your lives. Although Baby Milo is sooo cute, it is certainly time for me to post a few comments and some new shots of what we have been doing

As some of you know, my uncle died in Nov. and my husband (dear that he is) has been working on cleaning out the house and getting it ready to sell. My brother and his wife have been working there also, but when you work from home, (as DH and I do) you sometimes feel like you are expected to do a little more. Excuse me, as I am rambling. My point is that the house is cleaned up, cleaned out and ready. DH busted booty yesterday. He is such a hard worker, and he doesn't like to leave any loose ends.Here is a picture of him loading the books that I am sending to my sister. You can see that we had to rent a industrial size dumpster to hold the massive amounts of things unusable and unnecessary that had been collected over the years.

This stove has been in use ever since I can remember and it still works. If it were restored, it would be a showpiece. I thought about taking it, but the oven (on the right) is much smaller than I am used to, plus I am not sentimentally attached to it. It does have a deep well pot on the left side, that I have been told is a precursor to the crock pot. There is a burner under the pot, thus leaving the top at the same level as the burners. Supposedly a deluxe feature and somewhat rare.

I did take time to complete a funky piece of art. It is done on a 16 x 24 canvas that I pasted torn papers on in a very random fashion. This is difficult for me. I don't do random. I made my self continue to paste things that "didn't make sense" until I realized I was becoming anxious. I know this is silly. Then I clipped out a piece and pasted it down and, lo and behold, it had the word uniformity printed on it, so I knew my anxiety about randomness was over. I had achieved the order that I crave with this piece of paper. I am calling it "Blog Words". I jotted down some of my favorite phrases from the blogs that I usually read and pasted them down on the canvas. I will be posting close ups of the wording later. The focal point of this piece is an art doll that I made from very heavy card stock. I finished her last week and just knew she needed some "support"( as we all do from time to time). So she decided that she wanted to be a part of the blog experience and here she is. Treat her well. She doesn't even have a name yet, but I am sure we can come up with something.

Well, that's all for now, I need to go fix a special lunch for my special, special hubby. Egg sandwiches and chips sound good to me. We'll talk soon. TA, TA.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

What am I supposed to do, he's almost 17 years...

He does this all the time, it is somewhat disconcerting sometimes, but Baby Milo will be 17 years old in July. He acts like a kitten, but we have to remind ourselves he is actually pretty old for a kitty, so I let him do what he wants, and make sure he doesn't hurt himself doing it. What we do for our beloved pets!

"What's going on up here?"

"Is this where that loud music comes out?"

"Stay cool Mom, I'm leaving".

"Hmmm, it's probably a good thing she doesn't know how often I really do this".

I know that I'm not the only pet mommy that deals with this. How about you guys?

Talk soon. See ya, someone wants to be held. Gotta Go!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Paint by Number

Another of the fun things I found at Uncle's, was a paint by number set that used India ink and transparent colors. One of the scenes was not completed, so I thought I would put my current spin on it. Even though I really don't want to consider toys I had "vintage", this art set has to be from the 60's. I am sure it was from my sister. Even when we were young, she was very encouraging when it came to art. Now we encourage each other. The left is the original inked version.

On the right is the after version. What fun it was to complete it and to remember having started it so many years ago. I also found a paint by number, oil set. I may finish it soon. It is fun to have the art already done for you. I am thinking that the next time I get artist's block, perhaps I will run to the local craft store and get a paint by number set. I have seen ones were you can paint on velvet, that would be so cool. Let loose with the kid that still lurks within.

Hopefully, soon I will have some new youtube links, as DH is editing his next show. One of the segments was taped at a local antique mall and he is using "Those Were the Days" as the musical accompaniment. This should be fun.

Well, that's all for now. We'll talk soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Brrr..It's cold here

Yikes, it's cold in The Old Dominion today. When I got up it was 21 degrees, and yes, that is cold for us. It has been so mild, for so long that I guess I wasn't prepared for a cold snap. I like the cold though, I love staying in and drinking a warm cup of coffee and having peanut butter on raisin bread to go with it.

I took the advise of my friend, (who really knows her stuff) and have been working on more than one project at a time. It is actually working quite well. Thanks, Jean. Here is one of the pieces that I have been working on. Since Feb. 14th is right around the corner, I couldn't keep these wild pink hearts from flying into the picture. It's done in COPIC markers on 7" x 10" 140# Cold Press Aquarelle. I think it is a fun piece, but I don't know what to do with it. I, of course, have time to make note cards from it, but I am also thinking about maybe putting it on e-Bay. I have never tried to sell any of my work... you know all the reasons, (blah, blah, blah) so we won't go there, but I am wondering if this would be a good piece to start with.

OK then, if I finish anything else today, I will surely let you know. We'll talk soon. Take Care.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

An Unusual Grouping

Here are three things that don't really go together. The iron is a working, electric toy iron that I found in my old toys at my Grandma's house. I learned to iron handkerchiefs with this very iron. Can you believe the toys they let us have? It's a wonder we weren't injured more than we were. What with Vac-u-Forms and Creepy-Crawler makers (both electric toys that got very, very hot) and the like.

These Beatles dolls somehow survived the years, I don't even remember having them (maybe that is why they made it into 2008).

The china doll belonged to my Gram's friend, Clara, when she was a child. She thought it was very funny to say it was her "Barbie" doll. When I recently did research on it, oddly enough, it was referred to as the "Barbie" of it's day, due to the large number that were made. I think it is called a "low-brow" (because of her hairline). Her little clothes are not original, but they are still pretty old.

Several of my blog friends are talking of doing larger pieces of art this year. That got me thinking along those same lines. I have several large , previously painted canvases that I wanted to reuse, so I spent some time today working on one . I wanted to have a black background, but didn't want to use black gesso. So I puts on the old thinking cap and remembered-I have this really neat ball of paper that was stuffed in the shoes that I got for Christmas, AND guess what color it is??? Ding, Ding, Ding... you are right, it is black. So sticky fingers and almost an entire bottle of Elmer's glue later, I have a really neat looking canvas to start something new on. I will keep you posted (pardon the pun) on how that works out.

The next time you get bored and need something different to watch, check out this . Just don't let it make you dizzy.

Well, I am off to see what I can get into. We will talk soon. TA, TA.