Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sochi telethon

I love the Olympics. It's fun seeing lots of images of a place I've never been. I enjoy all the stories about how people got into their sport, raised money selling cookies to get there, had 7 knee surgeries in 2 years, etc. I even enjoy all the sports, to one degree or another. Watching someone do something they're *really* good at is neat, almost no matter what that thing is. I'm taping all the TV coverage and then zipping thru the boring parts on fast forward. So far I've logged about 60 hours of actual watching time. I'll actually be glad when it's all over so I can get back to my normal life.

I even watched about 3 hours of curling without picking up so much as a hint of what the rules were, how points were scored, whether a throw was good. Four years ago my husband and I watched a fair amount of it and were as in the dark afterwards as before. But it has quite a following, so there must be more to it than I was able to pick up.

I got a bit tired of the endless qualifying runs of snowboarding and freestyle skiing, but absolutely loved the Nordic skiing, especially the cross country men's relay. It was a long event but I was glued to the screen until Sweden zoomed across the line, kicking off his skies as he went so that he could hug his team mates in victory. Russia second (with Putin in attendance), and total surprise France in 3rd. Every time someone came across the line, they fell over like they'd been shot. One of the few sports I've seen where the finish line is littered with bodies.

But my favorite thing this year has been the figure skating announcing team of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. That's the best hiring move NBC has made in a long time. They're knowledgeable, funny, insightful, and well dressed. I've been following their Instagram feeds during the games and it's a hoot. And the outfits give me a chuckle.

kitchen table art

Trying to catch up on a few things, so here's some unfortunate phone pics of art I've done at the kitchen table while watching endless hours of Olympic coverage. More on that in the next post.

stamp head ATC

bird ATC that got swapped with an online art acquaintance

silly Renaissance themed post card for mail art pal Jewels

another stamp head ATC that went to art pal Connie

a better look

Here's a bunch of pics that give you a better look at the finished giveaway journal. I've captioned most of them, but if there's no caption, it's a pic of the inside pages.

Beginning to bind using some pretty turquoise thread I got while visiting Julie in San Diego.

Finished spine. 

Detail of cover. Dress tissue, spray ink thru stencils, black paint, gesso, collaged bits of paper, paint stamps with bottle caps and tape rolls, gesso thru stencils, black stamping. Used a lot of techniques on the covers and no particular plan, just added stuff till it looked good to me. 
Inside front cover and first page. Both inside covers are mostly vintage papers.

All the black stamps are Tangie Baxter's grunge stamps.
I have sets 2 and 3. Love them.

I added a small envelope with a painted tag.

Sprayed this with two colors of Dyelusions ink and got some real pretty color blending.

Inside back cover with a couple detail shots below.

Those bits of advertising are from a 1946 Popular Mechanics.
Wonder how well the 'poems set to music' guy did?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

and the wiener is...

Jean of Jean's Muse blog. Congrats, Jean! I'll email you just in case you miss this post.

Here's the journal still under construction on my kitchen table. I've been working there for the last week so that I can watch the Olympics while I art.
The top center piece is the inside back (or front) cover done with mostly vintage papers, the purple/blue piece to the right and below it is the front (or back) cover, the other parts are the inside pages in various stages of being decorated with inks and stencils, and a bit of collage, and some stamping with Tangie's cool grunge stamps. I have sets 2 and 3 and love them.
I'll bind it this weekend and send it off to Jean on Tuesday.
Sorry I couldn't make one for everybody but thank you for all your nice comments, and thanks especially to those of you who signed up to follow me. Hopefully I'll keep you entertained. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

grow your blog drawing postponed til Sat

Sorry, certainly meant to get to this tonite but got home late from work, then started feeling lousy and spent the evening on the couch fast forwarding thru recorded Olympics. Fingers crossed it's something I ate and not the flu. Will announce winner tomorrow and mail journal next Tuesday. Covers are done and I've been adding stuff to the inner pages. Looking good!

Happy Valentine's Day!

In wandering around my house and yard, I found a few things suitable for a Valentine's post.
Hope you all have a lovely day.

A small crazy quilt heart I made years ago. It hangs on a huge peg rack in my front hall (which you can see here, it's got a lot more stuff on it now), along with a lot of other misc stuff like little bunches of dried flowers, vintage pot holders, old safety pins, small pieces of art made by me and friends, and many other things I can't remember at the moment. 
This is a heart shape in the broken scroll-y umbrella stand that lives on my back patio. I got it free just by asking when I saw it sitting over by the fence at the place we rent tables and chairs from for work. The guy was very puzzled why I would want a broken stand but just shook his head and tossed it in the back of my car for me. 
Another scroll heart. I love the patina on this thing. My husband also shook his head as he unloaded it for me but now likes the look of it out there leaning against the wall. Birds sometimes perch on it before they hop down to eat the seed I scatter each morning.
And because it's the only pink blooming thing in the garden right now, a pic of my gorgeous apricot tree. We have several fruit trees and this is far and away the most beautiful bloomer. Love those pinks against the weathered wood of the fence.

Monday, February 10, 2014

MMSA outgoing (lots of pics)

I've spent the last few days getting ahead on the MMSA swaps so that I can have a chunk of time to work on a couple other things. Herewith is my artistic output from Thursday until today at noon. I also hit up the antique mall, read a bit, worked in a couple journals, and walked the dog! Love my weekends.

Look out, Karen, headed your way tomorrow!

Cats - I used a pic of Mabel, my rescued parking lot kitty, old music for a frame, shapes cut from a magazine, and some lettering.

Cats - an image from an old children's book, a scallop cut from wallpaper, a bit of text, and some doodling all on an old ledger page.

Cats - music background, doilies, gesso, a vintage kitty, and some book text.

Stars - book page background, gel stick coloring, gelli print stars, book page stars, lettering, doodling.

Stars - book page background, print of vintage girl, gelli print stars, stamping, and what you can't see hardly at all are a bunch of tiny pink stars done with a shiny gel pen. This card is much prettier in person.

Grid - scrapbook paper background, squares cut from grass and seaweed on rocks, doodling.

Grid - old vacation photo cut up and glued onto gelli printed phone book page, glued to card stock, doodling, stamping.

Altered - Monet painting altered with polka dot house, airplane, clock and lettering.

Altered - commercial postcard of angel painting altered with a book text shopping list, a gelli print edge and some doodles.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

visiting Julie - the 2014 edition

Last week I spent a few days in San Diego visiting my pal Julie. We did other stuff than what I've talked about here, but this post is long enough so you'll just have to imagine how much fun we had.

As soon as we got to her house, we headed out to see the chickens. I always wanted to keep chickens and will never have the chance, so seeing Julie's chickens is high on my list of fun things to do when I visit. She currently has 2 Jersey Giants and a Buff Orpington (?). Not the least bit sure about that last one but that's what she looks like. They live in the back yard and spend their nights safe in a home made coop with a stained glass wall. It's very cool and I'm sure they enjoy the colors.

After she picked me up at the airport, we headed straight for Dick Blick, a large art supply store in Little Italy. Oh, what fun. I mostly stocked up on pens of various kinds - gel pens, paint pens, water soluble pencils. I'd already brought some art supplies with me, so I also grabbed a Blick zippered pencil pouch cause I knew everything wouldn't fit in the one I'd brought. At least I didn't need a whole other suitcase LOL. I made a little journal just for the trip and worked on it the whole time I was there. As soon as it's all finished, which will be soon, I'll post about it. 

One morning Julie's husband took us out to breakfast in the pedicab. They're both dedicated bicyclists but I was still surprised and delighted to be a passenger in this thing. It was a grey chilly morning but we bundled up and zoomed along. See the row of sleigh bells along the front of the basket? They jingled softly as we went traveled along. It was such a neat experience.

Here's me and Julie with our windblown hairdos on the way to breakfast at the Antique Row Cafe at Adams and 30th. I sure wish I photographed better...

This is from inside the cafe, looking out the door they had propped open. That's our red pedicab out there, awaiting our ride back home. Love this shot.

OMG was this ever good. California omelette and home fries. If you ever get to San Diego, go have breakfast here. Ate half for breakfast and the other half for dinner. Excellent both times!

The sun was out by the time we headed home and we saw this yarn bombed tree after we turned into her neighborhood.

A pretty fence and its shadow on a walk we took Wednesday morning before I left. Love old naturally weathered wood.

Detail of the shawl Julie made.

And most of the shawl draped over my gray jacket. They looked great together but I was unable to sneak the shawl into my suitcase without Julie noticing. In fact, she saw me eyeing it and put it away right after this shot.

Hand feeding the chickens. Can you tell this is a real thrill for me?? They peck the crap out of your hands but I was able to pet one of them briefly so it was all worth it. And it's fun just seeing them up close. Their feathers are gorgeous.

Tuesday afternoon, to work off that huge breakfast, we sat at her worktable overlooking the back yard and made jewelry. These earrings are all made from a couple buttons stacked together. I've been wearing them since I got home. They're so neutral they just go with everything.

This is the needlework seat of a chair that was upstairs in the room I stayed in. My mother had a chair with this exact same pattern on the seat - same color, same everything. Very cool to see it again after all these years.

catching up

The day the Grow Your Blog party started, I caught a head cold and left for 4 days in San Diego with my long-time art friend Julie. It was a great trip and deserves its own blog post, but when I got home, my head cold got worse and work got crazy, so I got behind on the fun stuff - arting and blogging.

Over the weekend, I got a few things done and crossed off my endless Excel chart of art projects. I love that it's full because it keeps me dialed in to making art. This year I'm also keeping track of everything I make. A few bloggers I follow listed all their 2013 accomplishments and they were impressive, so I want to be able to do that next year. We'll see how well I remember to keep track.
Mixed media postcard for a mail art buddy.
All images and text from an old art history book.

A goofy stamp head ATC that I put up for grabs on Instagram.
Someone claimed it PDQ.
Gelli print background, magazine man, postage stamp,
book text, doodling, Bingo card number.

A pretty little bird ATC for Carolyn (@cfalbro) on IG.
She's making a batch, one of which I'll get in trade for this one.
Dress pattern tissue, images and text from old bird watching book,
watercolors, doodling.

Another stamp head ATC with all the same ingredients as the one above.
Trading with a mail art pal, Connie.
Go take a look at her blog. She's been doing a couple online classes
with Jane Davies and the work coming out of them is great.
I may have to sign up.
And if you like hand made books, start with this post and the subsequent ones
about the class The Thread That Weaves.
She made 3 very cool books.