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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Artful Recycled Letters

Oh boy, this is hilarious. I just knew it would turn out this way--why does Blogger insist on posting your photos in the opposite order that you downloaded them?! Oh well, so this is backwards. Just figure it out....Here's the story:
My oldest daughter, Jennifer, is an 8th grade science teacher, and getting her classroom ready for the new school year. She wanted to use recycled materials for the letters, and asked for my help in figuring them out and cutting them out. So here are the completed letters for her bulletin board.
Some of these materials were hers and some were mine. I even dug into the garbage to retrieve the popcorn bag! Come on, you would have done it too--look at the cool effect for the letter E! So it says, Imagine the Possibilities... The 3 dots at the end are the centers of old CD's. That's my favorite. Hope she likes it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Here is my completed boardbook canvas. I did this as an example for our Creative Spirits Group that will meet in September for a day-long art retreat. It's based on a project by Shona Coles that was published in Somerset Studios Workshop. It's actually 3 pieces: the boardbook, the canvas board that hangs, and the background canvas. It's titled THINGS SO CREATED.
This is the background canvas. The photo is a glossy photo, altered, as per Shona Cole's technique. All of the photos in the boardbook, and this one, are from previous Chicago Garden Shows. You can't see it here, but the edge of the canvas has strips of old text glued on.
This is the canvas board, without the book. Those black things are the velcro, which attaches the book to it. The beaded wire is how it hangs (on a nail) on the larger canvas.
And here's a glimpse inside the boardbook. Lots of gesso in here! After sanding and gessoing the book, it's painted, then gessoed again. Then you stamp in the book and gesso a THIRD time. I do like the effect. Very different for me, because I'm into BRIGHT colors.
A close-up of the corner of the canvas. Altering the photo was pretty easy to do with hot water and sandpaper and fluid acrylics. The color scheme just kind of happened. It was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to doing another one at our retreat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Header

Just spent half an hour here creating a new header. I was hoping to shrink the photo even more, but this works ok.

SO--THIS is the illustrious pear tree that sits outside my studio window and provides peace/ focus/ inspiration to me so often. This year's blossoms were more beautiful than usual, so this is a great way to preserve that cloud effect that lasts only a few short weeks in the Spring.

Monday, August 17, 2009

She's DONE!!!

I finished my altered head today! (See previous post for how she started out.) It's one of those styrofoam heads for placing a wig upon. It feels a bit like a self-portrait, although she looks more serious than I usually am.
Here's the back of her head; took many hours of beading and curling wire! But I love the finished look. The "hair" is a statement about my hair when I was young. My mother did my hair in banana curls, which I totally hated because it was torture. If I didn't sit still, I got a good whack on the head with a hairbrush. Later, in my teen years, I slept in those awful rollers--don't know how I did it. That was before home hair dryers were invented!
Side view. The heavy silver necklace is functinal; it helps weigh down the light head so it can support all those doo-dads. Her "glasses" represent how she sees growth (the spiral) in herself. The earrings are some of those embroidery cards I made (see earlier post of the brooch I made with them).
Her nose is a metallic leaf I picked up at a garage sale a ways back. Although she seems serious, I like that she's not smiling. She is focused on her spirituality and her creativity.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Just finished this piece which has been weeks in the making--only because I've not had time to do it all at once. The canvas is recycled from the clearance aisle of Hobby Lobby. (I tend to do this a lot--my way of recycling and also saving $ on canvases.) I saved only the harlequin pattern which was in the border. Did a glaze of red acrylic over the whole thing, then painted over all of it with periwinkle blue and lifted off much of it. Glued a photo of a woven mat I had done for a women's retreat and added some metallic around it. Then highlighted with a light pink and punchinella.

At this point, I discovered this charred heart shape from our outdoor fireplace, and set it aside. Yesterday I added the paper with the circles in it and the photo of the notebook rings, which was salvaged from an old altered book I recently discarded.

I've had the Beatles tune, "All You Need Is Love" rummaging around in my brain for a couple of weeks now, so I went with that theme. To me, the rough areas (cardboard, notebook, straw images) represent the rough times in our life, mingled with the calmer times. But no matter what the time, love is the common denominator. So with that in mind, I finished it off this morning. Quite different for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Where have I been? (I ask myself....)

It's been so long since I've posted here! Life has been busy, but in a good way. Time to get back down to business, which means replenishing my soul with art. Will post photos when I have something completed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

new display ledges

Bought some ledges on sale at Kohl's yesterday for our living room. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, every since I saw it on an HGTV show. This way I can switch out my art as I make it, and stop making holes in the wall! There's already a lot of holes there from previous art.
So this works well! Here's my favorite piece next to my "too-heavy-to-wear charm necklace."
The little house I just finished. I aged the exterior and then painted the interior bright turquoise and lime green for contrast. I'll post a photo later of the interior. The Misfits is actually an altered book cover, minus the book. I discarded the book but saved the cover, which is another favorite of mine.