Thursday, November 29, 2012

Citra solv project re-purposed

Had the opportunity to play with citra solv papers for a contest held in October at Citra Solv ....  Their site is here

Great product for its intended cleaning purpose...but so much more for artists.  The solvent "melts" the ink on older National Geographic magazines.  The contest entries were take the time to visit their site and see the beautiful creations that were submitted. I had the actual collage...on a 12x12 sheet of background paper ... and decided it was time to repurpose it .  I cut the item into 3-1/2 x 2-1/2 units and then put a multitude of findings to use to transform them into Artist Trading Cards.
I posted photos of the before and after  here

Monday, November 19, 2012

Luckily I do own a laptop…

…or I would have gone through serious withdrawal.  The house I live in has some serious electrical “challenges”.  Periodically one section of the house would suffer a surge and occasionally outage.  And it is the section that serves my home office / craft room [or crap room as a friend refers to it].  So I was not terribly concerned when the power went out ~ until I realized after 3 outages, that the battery back up was not doing its job.  Have had it in place for four years and thought it had a longer life span, but obviously not.  Invested in a replacement.  Not such a high end version and it is a model being discontinued by Office Depot.  Bottom line, it cost $10.00.  Yes, the reserve is shorter, but the price was right.  Now the additional “huh ?” to the purchase was I also bought a double pack of two sided tape.  It cost $9.00.  So I will look at it as a $19.00 backup system and the tape was free.  That makes more sense to me.

Ventured to the movies last Friday afternoon to see Lincoln.  Amazing show and well worth the time and funds.  Few movies draw me in to believing the characters.  There is always this little voice going “good actor”.  Not this time…It was as if Lincoln were there espousing on the need to change this country by eliminating slavery.

The movie venture was also another thump on the side of the head….along with a bump in the knee.  Yes, I know my age.  Yes, I accept it.  Yes, for the most part, I don’t consider it when I’m out in the real world.  Well matinee showings [3:30 in the afternoon] dashed that little illusion.  As I tripped over a walker while searching for a seat, I realized that I have truly joined the seniors.  Damn, I’m one of those that the light from the projector glistened off my white hair as it did my seatmates.  And yes when the movie ended, I had to arise from my seat in stages as did my neighbors.  I do play the “senior card” [or coupon] for discounts but always looked around at folks that are quite apparently my age and thought “I hope I’m in better shape when I get that old”.  Well I am that old and feel much better than my theater neighbors appeared to be.

And so it goes………

Sunday, November 11, 2012

And the story continues

Good morning…I’m back, returning from both physical and mental wanderings.  Ventured to Wallis, Tx. not once but twice.  The second adventure was to visit the city-wide garage sale and surprisingly did not purchase a single item.  Nada, none, zip.  But I did take photos of course.  This morning I spent some time doing the “before & after” … just playing…but surprised myself with the finished product.
Link is here: Before and After

And other wanderings included a trip to the country.  I know I am already in the country … this was an area just north of my home – Manvel, Texas.  And yes, I had a map and yes, I still got lost…although tempted to go phooey and return home, I am so glad I did not.  A wonderful opportunity to meet with six other women, visit, tour a chicken farm…and return home re-inspired to create.  Finished approximately 20 ATCs 
[link here:  ATCs ]

Still working on sorting items for THE SALE next spring.  Have an exorbitant amount of items that will [hopefully] find a new home and being drawn to use materials now or let them go.
I’m sure the looking forward into the unknown combine with age, it feels as if I’m trying to look at things one more, one last time. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

It was supposed to be a quick trip...

...Started out at 6:30 a.m. to see a yard sale that listed "original art".  My mind made the leap to art supplies, so of course it was necessary that I check it out.  Arrived in Freeport at 7:15...and no cars,no sale.  So wandered a bit, took some photos, and checked back at 8a.m. and they were open.  No supplies.  Seeing as it was still so early, decided to head out and see what else caught my eye.  Quite a few things actually - 170 photos later.....arrived home at 3ish that afternoon.

Part of the wanderlust, other than just seemed the right thing to do, had to do with the fact that Milk Dud, my non-attack protection dog [but she was my snake warning system] had to be euthanized last week.  She had been diagnosed with cancer, but I was just watching to see....well it was only three weeks since the diagnosis.  Dud went downhill rapidly and I did not want her to suffer ... Miss her but know it was the right thing to do.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall really arrived ...

...temps in the 50's last night.  Today wind is blowing and quite overcast - and the sound of dove hunters in the not too far distance.  
Haven't posted in few weeks because I've been working on "stuff".  Not the fun, creative making "stuff" but the overwhelming accumulation of "stuff".  Now that I can be seen as extremely mature [don't personally like being referred to as senior citizen despite it being a fact] been pondering what to do with things accumulated that I would not get to even if I were to reach the age of 125 [62 is challenging enough as it is].  So I am culling the items.  Some are going on ebay, some reserved for friends and family {and I hope they maintain their sense of humor when they see what has been set aside for them} and the majority is being categorized, priced and prepared for a living-estate sale to be held in the spring.  Has been interesting to revisit some items, others have caused the "good grief, what was I thinking" response.  
In lieu of escaping to creating, the camera was put to use in the backyard.  This photo is calming and speaks of fall.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumnal Equinox 2012

The first day of fall justified a photo journey - perfect weather, just enough fog, and approximately 200 miles and 250 photos later...returned home.  After editing, or rather removing the not quite right ones, still had 189 that I just could not remove.  Granted, some appear to be duplicates, but the bayou just was overwhelmingly beautiful.

Wandered from home, to Surfside, to Bryan Beach, and then to Texas Art Asylum.  Scenic route home included The Heights.

And now back to the real world.  Finished a project that has been "in the works" for quite some time.  As is usual, not what I envisioned, but it is satisfactory. The holder is a vintage metal milk can.  Have been using as umbrella stand, but it was truly meant to hold brooms.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Into What ?  is the question of the day.  Found a gentleman on Craig's list that had piano parts - no ivory - but wood from the keys and the entire "guts" still assembled.  

He generously allowed me to fill two baskets of loose wooden pieces and two fully assembled structures.  I will keep what appears to be the oldest one [he claimed it was from a player piano] and disassemble.  

Once I look at the parts...and ponder...and ask for suggestions here...
They will be repurposed.  My son & his better half gave me a large collection of player piano rolls a few years ago.  I've used the paper on a few projects but it is not the most pliable / cooperative of papers for repurposing.  Maybe the paper rolls and the piano will be meshed in some manner...
Before proceeding to disassemble, I did take it structure out to the backyard and take a few pictures.  Beautiful wood and just a touch of green and red colors in the felt.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A month.. almost...

...has passed.  Between travel adventures to see "Ollie D" [Oliver's Rapper Name], having the wonderful opportunity to "meet" my niece again for the first time, and the challenges of being part of the working class I have not been able to return to my the ideas and projects in the works.  

Today I finished the latest Witch's Hat Box.  Yes, made one in the past and gave it to a dear friend.  Also, when cleaning out the storage closet discovered another fall box.  None the less, I had the box and new techniques I wanted to try.  In order to show aging of the paint, used Elmer's Glue mixed with water for the crackle effect.  The overlay of paint appeared "pinkish" rather than the deep maroon I had hoped for, so used wood stain on top of base paint, crackle, and maroon paint.  Finally achieved the color I was looking for.  Then painted the top band black ~ overlaid it with ribbon and, of course, a few buttons.   All imprints are transfers using modge podge.  The hats were purchased over a year ago ~ just waiting for the appropriate container.   I consider it DONE...but ...always a but...decided to do a travel journal.  So, on to the writing a Witch's Travel Journal....

If the broom fits...ride it !!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

When you lose, don't lose the lesson...

I made my first EVER entry in a juried art show.  Jury or not, first entry in a show.  First disappointment only one of three items entered was accepted.  Not that I did not expect the "rejection" but I certainly did not expect the judge to damage one item.  The show was one that allowed all forms of art - so I entered an altered wooden cigar box.  It is covered entirely in papers and other materials.  When it was delivered, I acknowledged the instructions they had that stated a identifying tag had to be attached to the back of all entries.  I pointed out this was not possible, therefore I created a hang style tag.  The person accepting items understood....Obviously that understanding was limited.  When I reclaimed the box, there were two items attached to the back with standard adhesive / scotch tape.  Yes, you can see where this is going.  Any attempts to remove the items tore the papers on the back.  I handled it reasonably well.  Wrote an email to the gallery director [which has yet to be acknowledged] ... then simmered...and put the box on the shelf at home.  It will be repaired, but now is not the time.
But the rest of the lesson is one item was accepted.  No, it did not place, win or even receive honorable mention.  The lesson is I make "stuff", items, creations, collage, altered art for me.  If someone out in the real world enjoys it...this is good, but not the real reason the materials and ideas gather into my creations.  It is fun.  It makes me smile.  One friend told me, and keep in mind it is a friend that believes in black and white rather than muted eclectic, that at least I'm postponing the inevitable final home of this "stuff" - the landfill.  He is right, but I'm having fun in the meanwhile.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back of book
Book Spine

While organizing the office/craft room, re-discovered an unfinished wood box that is designed to resemble a book.  The interior slides out from the spine area, therefore the title became "Private Thoughts".  I did have a plan...but as materials and techniques were gathered, the plan fell by the wayside.  Will consider finding a similar box to transform into what I think it should look like...but in the meanwhile...This is the box - utilizing acrylic paint skins, citra solv altered papers, altered  slide holders, heat emboss, and a stamped steel figure. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Started working with a piece of driftwood based on a comment from a friend...I thought it would be a perfect front on a birdhouse I had purchased.  Utilized citra solv papers, button, sticks, bark from a tree, even a Christmas decoration (the metal cut out bird). Able to test out aging wood shingles with vinegar - it worked !! And the driftwood did not the mini feather wreath replaced it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Now that was almost a wasted effort...mowing the lawn that is.  It is raining...again.. Planned on beginning yard work this evening, but that has been put off as the thunderstorms roll through.
I am using the time well.  Discovered some new creation techniques thanks to Pinterest -  Aging wood pieces in vinegar that had a piece of rusty metal soaking in it.  Makes new wood take on the look of old barn wood.  And discovered acrylic paint skins.  Takes patience - must allow to set and dry for at least 24 hours. When dry, will be able to apply Golden Digital Grounds and then run through ink jet printer.  Obviously there is little space left in my work area what with aged wood ready for application and a couple acrylic skins in the drying process......
So, due to lack of space, went miniature.  Created a small witch's hat box.  The label is printed on a leather tag - utilizing digital grounds for non-porous materials.  The hat and book in the box are buttons .  The outside of the hatbox has travel stickers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thanks to the rain, spent a considerable amount of time knocking back the jungle that had overtaken the back yard.  The storms forced be to mow in sections - which is probably a good thing considering the heat and my age.  
In addition to the grass growing at a record pace and the fire ants building new mounds, my re-potted bird of paradise plant has bloomed.  It began in a 5" pot 3 years ago.  It has been separated and re-potted twice now.  And strangely enough, only the one plant in the pot is blooming.  The ones planted in the garden are not.  They are healthy and putting out new growth, but no blooms.

Now on to other projects which include setting up a store front on Etsy.  Wish me luck....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We prayed for rain....and we most definitely received it.  No longer say anything remotely like drought.  The cracks in the ground have healed and the grass and plants are growing very well.  
And thanks to the rain, stayed focused on a few projects that have accumulated.  Visited Texas Art Asylum in Houston a few weeks ago and purchased two beautiful wood frames.  It was interesting that I was drawn to do something on the back rather than front [perspective always off kilter...].  The frames have channels that allowed insertion of wine corks {after they had been sawed in half - challenging right there} and the other I hammered dominoes into the frame.  The center board is painted with magnetic paint, with chalk board paint over it.  Both a little rough...but interesting.  
Then, thanks to Theresa, have a metal tray with dragonflies.  It was "nice enough" but quit plain.  I added a small amount of paint to the dragonflies on handle, some sparkle to wings, citra solv paper to center and then a few acetate embellishments.
It is STILL back to creating...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Went on scavenger hunt yesterday for a piece of metal - - but then I found MAGNETIC paint !!! Had seen it mentioned but thought it would be strictly professional use or out of my budget...found it at Hobby Lobby.  Sprayed a board and waiting for it to cure...then top with chalkboard paint.  This will combined with photo frames that I alter the BACKS.  They were designed with a channel that I have filled - one with dominoes [not so good of a fit] and the other with cork.  Hope to post photos soon...Then on to next project....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I've been working with Serif Craft Artist [thanks to my sister !!] and citra solv altered National Geographic papers.  Citra Solv has a contest with the theme "Shades of Summer".  Had such fun creating..found it necessary to quit, submit and move on to other projects that are calling for my attention.  This is one of the entries:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I've been working on various transfer mediums.  Today I finished  transfer of a photo I took of shells washed up on the Connecticut shore.  Used Mod podge to transfer image, removed all backing paper, and finished with clear mod podge that I textured to appear to be water.  The tray is mother of pearl shell that has a gold tint that shines through the transfer.  Photo was difficult to capture due to glare of light off the shells.

This is followup to transfer I finished last week.  Again using mod podge as the medium and another photo I took of the reflection of a sunset in the neighbor's pond.  It was put on  these very large (31" across on the base by 15" tall) semi-circle copper finished pieces that I acquired via craig's list.  It was quite an education on transfer and finishing.  Currently finished piece is on a small side table.  Again, another item that was difficult to photo.  The transfer is on the back upright piece and it is reflected in the bottom flat surface.  Hoping to get some of the copper pieces sliced into smaller items to work with.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Took a while....few years going by the post dates...but I'm back.  Attempted creating a website but found it is one challenge I do not want to invest my time.  My time has been spent on creations using citra solv, various altered books, travel, and "padding" my cell.  
I have accumulated enough items to seriously consider selling a few.  Just need to find the right outlet.  I enjoy where I live but retail / art outlets are nil.
I will pursue ways to connect photos I've uploaded to Picasa / Google ...