Monday, February 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad!

I've made it back to the lone star state from the heartland after celebrating my Dad's 64th b-day. My brother made it in from the Show Me state and Mom imported a few other friends as a surprise so Dad had a great time. I made it home in record time and am still wiped out from the trip. I've uploaded a pic of the collage I made for him as a gift and he really loved it. Everyone else seemed to like it as well so it was definitely worth the last minute paint and glue emergency! Also, I got to use hubby's staple gun which is always a good time!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sparkly period

I'm definitely in my sparkly period. One of my new favorite things in the world is German glass glitter and I might, not admitting anything here, think that almost every project would benefit from a little bit of sparkle. (I do tend to over do on the jewelry as well.) But I've added a couple of projects so you can see my latest craze. The Paris box doesn't necessarily translate well from the photo but the letters in Paris are made from black cardstock spray glued and then covered in pure silver glitter. The images are photos that I took when we visited Paris last fall. The box itself is painted in several layers of various grays and silvers. I wanted the box to appear like a vintage jewelry box that's losing it's luster but aging gracefully.

The other project is a box that I crackled and lined with this fantastic paper made by Cavallini that shows tarot cards with puppies used as the major arcana. It's all in black and white. The images are funny and beautiful all at once... I'm partial to that particular pairing. The form was painted black and then covered in clear glitter to shine. I added a bottle cap necklace and called it done. They are set up in a pairing in my bedroom with a faux limoges Paris box, 5 euro in Paris (who could resist!) and several photos of husband and I in vintage frames. It's one of my favorite spots in the house.

I'm still working on the altered book and a collage for my Dad's b-day. His b-day is on Sunday and I'm leaving tomorrow at 5:30 am for Kansas... it's a long drive and I'm a little worried I might not make it but it'll be fun trying!

I'll post the collage images when finished. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


It's a gorgeous foggy misty morning here where you could stay curled up in bed all morning but instead we get up at 5am and drag ourselves to work. I've been feeling really strained trying to fit everything in that I want to get done. I'm really excited about my take on the altered cirque book but I'm having real trouble finding time to do art. What's amazing is that when you're working on a piece or thinking about an idea, at least for me, this then spurs even more ideas that I want to explore so I either end up with 5 pieces in various states of completion or not even starting because I have other responsibilities I need to get done.

I don't have any illusions that this struggle is particular to me but am a little lost on how to work it all in. That's probably the trick right, that what's really important will get done and if the house doesn't get dusted on Sat or after work one night, no one will implode and all will not be lost!

On a more arty note, I've signed up to do a swap and the theme is Fool for Love and it's a jewelry swap. I've got a couple of ideas about working in some mixed media pieces to create a fairly large pin or pendant made up of found objects. It's either going to be fabulous or truly tacky, it's a fine line to walk and sometimes, I'm clearly on the tacky side but there is a fundamental truth to life that there is no such thing as too much glitter!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I'm adding a photo of a collage I made a couple of years ago and it reminds me of my sister and I. We just framed it so I'm showing off my amazing painting 101 skills. My husband built the basic frame and I got paint and nail gun it on! He's working up to letting me play with his toys, but I have to admit to being the clumsiest person in the world so his reluctance isn't entirely without cause!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Struggling to stay warm

We've definitely hit a cold snap here in Texas. I think it's in the mid-20's and spitting very slight sleet, nothing is accumulating but now is when you find out exactly how many bad drivers there are in Texas!

We are hunkered in with a nice fire, the puppies and the Olympics trying to stay warm. I'm working on the altered cirque book today and have all the pages painted. I'm really happy with how they turned out. Pictures will be posted on completion. :) Now is the fun part where I get to dig through all my postcards, stamps, scrap, etc to find things to create the book.

Hope you guys are staying warm!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Marathon Olympic Watching

So we've gotten a little bit behind in our Olympic coverage. We've got more than a few hours built up on the TiVo (love the TiVo... seriously, can't say enough!). A friend and I caught the Chronicles of Narnia last night, second time viewing and just as good, and it's just a beautiful movie. The lamp post burning in the forest with the snow is gorgeous. I'm hoping to figure out a way to capture that in a collage or mixed media project but don't have any specific ideas as yet.

I'm working on an altered book made of round coasters from On the Border. It's a little bit embarrassing how much I love that restaurant given the great Mexican options here in Dallas but I can't help myself. A nice waiter gave me a huge stack of them after I mentioned they could be used in art projects. Currently, there are six on my desk drying after their second coat of gesso (one of my favorite art supplies ever!) and I'm thinking about a circus theme. I love Cirque du Soleil and am thinking of doing some thing with the Altered Cirque as a theme. There are some great stamps from Zettiology and I have a few along with some vintage circus scrap that I think could be really great. I'll post photos if it all works out!

Now, I have to head back to the Olympics, hubby and the fire... yes, it has finally gotten cool enough to really enjoy a fire here. It's supposed to be in the 20's tonight! Keep warm, it sounds like there are cold fronts moving in almost everywhere.

I'm adding a photo of the necklace I made while avoiding cleaning my studio space. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I dyed the domino with Adirondack alcohol ink in Lettuce and stamped it then screwed in eye screws (you have to start pilot holes prior to inserting the eye screws - I used my dremel). Finally, I just used wire to create the necklace with natural stone beads and tiny swaravoski crystals. The domino lays flat when you wear so it's comfortable to actually wear. I need to do some further experiments with color on the domino to find the perfect dye.

Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mid-winter cleaning

I've been trying to get my studio space back under control. For now, it has to do double duty as a guest room but it currently has trouble holding all my stuff and the bed. It's a project I've been trying to get into shape for a while now but I keep finding myself sidetracked by projects. I'll find something sparkly or half-started and will settle in to finish (or start!) and stop the cleaning. Not to mention the necessary trips to IKEA for organizational supplies. These are my new favorite containers!

I've allowed myself to get sidetracked to make a domino necklace ... I may be beyond help!

Monday, February 13, 2006

True Love Photos

True Love Assemblage

I've been inspired by the holidays and reading lots of other art blogs to try my hand at assemblage. This is the first piece I've done where everything started from scratch. My very patient husband built the main structure based on some very shaky drawings and rough dimensions. I sanded (with my brand new wood block!), painted glued, etc until I became pretty happy with the result. I'm not sure that the 3D translates in the photo but the couple are actually mounted by a paper covered domino... happy accident there. The sheet music was something I had in my stores for a few years, a gift from a great friend who is a very talented artist in his own right, and the rest were pieces from other projects that found a new home here.

I'm really proud of my first attempt and find it fittingly romantic on Valentine's Day eve. The posts of other artists and displays of their work have helped me to realize that it's okay to not get something exactly right and it's okay to try something new. The real adventure is in the trying, not the end result. This is a lesson I'm hoping to get better at remembering when I start to think I can't do something. I need to try it and if it doesn't work out, I could find something even better in the end.

Anyway, I'm off to watch more of the Olympics... Happy Valentine's Eve everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


We're back from Austin and I'm a little wiped out. Being huge Olympic fans we've got the Tivo set to record the games while we're gone, problem was we didn't get caught up on our "regularly scheduled programming" (can't really explain the use of quotes other than to imply newscastery kind of voice to be used when listening... I'm lacking sleep, please bear with me! ), anyway, we had to do a major crunch of reality and forensic TV shows and still haven't seen much of the games. Trying to avoid being spoiled by the major news outlets, and a few minor ones, has proved a tricky business. Hubby almost collided with a retaining wall trying to get to the radio as NPR started to give a medal rundown. We're both shrieking and reaching for the power button at the same time. It wasn't pretty. But, and most importantly, we cut off Carl Castle prior to the spoilage.

On the art front, Austin was great and I found tons of stuff to use in my next projects. We found Toy Joy on Guadalupe ... great way to spend a late Friday night. As well as a tiny art fair on 6th street which was slightly disappointing in the way of turn out but great in terms of being inspirational and seeing other artists get creative in getting their work out. It was fantastic and really inspiring. Right now, I'm going to try and see if I can get the hubby up and going... need more storage from IKEA.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Road Trip!

Hubby and I are headed to Austin this afternoon for a pre-valentine's day get away. I'm very excited because we've never done more than drive through on our way to somewhere else. I'm dying to get out and see some of the sites, you've got to love someplace that their motto is "Keep Austin Weird". Seriously. Love that. I'm hoping to get my hands on some great stuff to use in upcoming projects and visit an Artists Market I found on the web (gotta love the internet!).

Keep you posted. Have a great weekend guys!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gearing up for Valentine's Day

I'm just getting started in the blogging world but it's really exciting to have a format to talk about art with other artists across the country, or across the world, it makes you aware of how small the world really is! My latest project has been to create Valentine's cards. Our family live in the Midwest ... and it can be a half-mile to mile hike for hubby's relatives so they're very excited to find something other than bills and junk mail! I've attached two of my favorite cards so you can see the sort of romantic theme I picked for this year. Last year was very geometric, I went a little more traditional this year.

My husband made some boxes/shrines for me to alter so that's my next project, I'll keep you posted!