Sunday, December 31, 2006

Spiral beaded Necklaces.

I am so excited about the new beading techniques that I am learning! The primary goal was to create elegant and interesting neck pieces to use to suspend my collage focal beads. Now I am discovering all over again, the fun of beadwork! This pattern is called a Single Spiral. The necklace in a previous post with the SHeep Collage was a double spiral. Each is done with a single stand of beading thread and a beading needle. They are much simpler than they look and they feel wonderful. They are not at all stiff or tight.

I created these two loose chocker length necklaces in about 4 hours, two days ago. They are made using wonderful matte raku seed beads of various sizes and shapes and freshwater pearls in fushia and wonderful lustrous grey.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Round Robin Catch Up !!

I have finally had some time to catch up on my obligations to the True Colors Altered Book Round Robin that I am hosting. There are 20 of us all oer the US and Canada, linked by the internet, that are participating in this group. Each of us picked a color, created a blank book, and sent it off to the next artist on the list. Each book is traveling around from artist to artist having wonderful artwork added to it. By August 2007 each book should be back with it's owner.
I am learning alot from this swap, not the least of which is patience and the fact that life happens to all of us so flexibility and communication are the keys to the success of this project.
I was so excited about working in this Shades of White book. My friend Ruth, who lives in CA, is the most incredible artist. She is so innovative and creative and willing to share and help. She is just a terrifically talented person! She uses her sewing machine in much of her work so I took cues from her and created this layout using only stitching to hold it all together. I used lots of white papers some handmade and lots of "white" vintage fabrics and bits of lace and trim. I embellished it all with pearl seed beads and old white and shell buttons.

I found this wonderful image of an Indian woman praying at the feet of a gigantic Buddha and I copiedit onto a transperancy and then stitched it over handmade paper taht was laced with golden threads. Along the side of the image I stitched down bits of paper that had been stamped with the word Nourish. I am really pleased with this spread and think that Ruth will be as well!

The next spread is in a Red Book that belongs to Kitty in Upstate New YOrk. Her book was much smaller . I knew that it was coming and I had been collecting things for it for awhile.

This spread was great fun to create! It is mostly paper, but I also added red rick-rack, buttons, bits of broken glass reflector (along the bottom under the cardinal) , one of my own floral photos, red vegetable netting, an old red paintbrush and wired to the paintbrush- a cardinal feather that I found in our yard last spring.

The next book that I have to work on is the Aquamarine Book with Copper highlights!1 The fun just keeps on coming!

Today I am off to meet friends in D.C. to see the Joseph Cornell exhibit at the Smithsonian museum of American Art. Joseph Cornell is the father of Assemblage Art- the first "altered Arts " artist who created his pieces 70 years ago!! he was a true innovator and it has taken the art world quite awhile to catch up!1 Can't wait and I will share my experience with y'all in a future post!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Charm Swap Necklace!!!

Just before Christams my art group met and we exchanged our art charms. It was better than Christmas. We each took turns handing out our charms and then mayhem!!! We all had to examine and analyze and attempt to figure out how each creation had been crafted. We all brought treats to eat so between the art treasures and the edible goodies , we all had a blast! The charms in the following pictures are the results of this exchange. I have made a necklace( actually combined several old necklaces and added some new copper links) for most of them but I have enough left over to create a bracelet.

More Creations

I also made Journals for three of my nieces. Mali lives in tanzania and will be climbing Mt. Kilaminjaro in April with a school group. She needed a journal. Jennifer is a second year art student at Carnegie Melon and every art student needs an Art Journal! Sarah is 14 and ,of course, she needs a journal. I went into full scale journal construction !!!!

For each journal, i used an old book that I deconstructed and recovered with painted, stamped and embellished Tyvek. I did ribbon spines (latching ribbons thru rug hooking canvas) on two of the journals. For the Art Student i did something a bit more edgey. I painted the heavey duty interfacing that the signatures were stitched to . Then instead of rug hooking canvas I used sequin waste or "Punchinella" to work the ribbons through. I also added all sorts of charms and beads and left alot of the punchinella open as it was a wonderful copper color and one could see the blues and greens of the interfacing thru the holes. It added a whole layer of embellishment to the journal.

In this next picture you can see how open the spine is and the decorative element that the squin waste addes to the book.

I started my niece Sarah on an Art Charm bracelet. I will make more art charms for her as occassions come along. To start her off, I made her two charms with her initials in Scrabble tiles with peyote stitched bezels surrounding the tiles.

Two of my wonderful new friends from my art group celebrate birthdays over the next few days. It must be so difficult to have birthdays right in the midst of the major holiday crush of the year!!. So I created extra special collage birthday cards for each!

The colors are much more brilliant in person but each was so sparkly that in order to get a good picture I had to turn off the flash.

Post Christmas Calm and Quiet

Christams 2006. All of the gifts have been given all the wrappings ripped off and most of my Christams Projects for this year are complete! i am still putting together Christmas cards that will continue to be sent out over the next week.I made quite a few gifts this year and now I can share pictures of all of them with you.
I createde these Christams pins for a swap. I made the mini collages using different papers and painted paper towels and an old Christams postage stamp. Postage stamps have such wonderful art on them, I love adding them to my work! These were backed with heavy watercolor paper and then a pin back was added. i also stitched on red glass beads and handcut vlevet holly leaves for some dimension.
I created this journal for my dear friend Rebecca. I took out the pages of an old book and recovered the covers with a sheet of fusion paper that i created using tissue paper, stamed images, napkin tops and painted paper towels. I put plain paper signatures inside and attached them to the spine via grometts and vintage buttons. I had never used this method for binding before and I am very pleased with how this project turned out!
I have been making Found Object Collage Jewelry for quite awhile now. I really love making these pieces as they are totally unique often containing unique , one of a kind items with in their construction. I have picked up a new technique to use to create the neckpiece for each focal collage. In this piece I created a Double Spiral from various matte finish seed beads. The clasp for this piece was hand made and is placed behind thevintage domino that holds the postage stamp collage. i created this piece for my Mom who is a spinner, weaver and knitter.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Creative Crush!

Yes, it is that time of year again!! the time of year that I take on every project that comes into my head thinking that it would be a great gift for so and so! Every surface in the house , at one time cleared and dusted for THanksgiving guests, is now covered with partially completed Christmas cards, trays of beading projects, semi- complete Art Journals, ribbons, wrapping paper, various bottles of glues and sealers, loaves of bread, batches of cupcakes, gingersnap cookies ready to be delivered and teacher gifts ready to be wrapped. Not to mention supplies for the 4th Graders ornament making party that I thought would be so much fun (that happens today at 2pm) and preparations for the 4th graders Holiday party that takes place on the 20th! Are you beginning to get the picture????
Ok, it is time to go back to bed!!!!
Actually, I have a lot to do today!
I will be back to my blog on the 26th to post pictures of my latest creations. you do not see them here now as they are gifts for many of YOU!!!!!!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, to Alll!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Buddy Bliss!

Our wonderful little Rat Terrier, Buddy, has a verry cute habit. When he is tired or stressed, he fetches one of his toys, finds a quiet spot and gnaws or sucks on the toys head. (In one case , he found that a gooses rear end worked best!) He lapses into dreamland with his eyes closed in a trance like state. We call it "Buddy Bliss"

That is one contented dog!!

Becca's 10th Birthday Party!

We decided to celebrate Becca's 10th birthday early this year. Her actual birthday falls on the 17th of December. In the past, that has proven to be avery difficult time to gather friends. It is the last weekendbefore Christmas and there are usually many competing events. So, this year we went for an earlier date. The small party was a smashing success!

We held the party at a wonderful new bead store in town called the Whistlestop Bead Shop. Becca invited four friends and they made wonderfulbeaded bracelets and were taught howto make glass bead flower charms to hang from their bracelets! Everyone was thrilled with their creations and I didn't have to clean the house!!!!!!

Becca and good friend Megan, working away!

The final glorious creations! the shop owner, Jan, wentway above and beyond and had the girls make as many charms as they wanted!

Well Fed Cousins!

It has taken me awhile to snatch some time out of thin air to write this entry. The holiday creative pace is picking up just a bit!!!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast despite the nasty, rainy raw weather. The Woodford Clan traveled down to Stafford from Northern Virgina and I put on our first Thanksgiving for all of us. In the past , we were always far away at the Holidays or we came to other's homes when we were in town. It was about time that we were actually the hosts. Everytime that we gather we try to get family pictures. As the kids grow up , that simple task becomes more and more difficult and less and less predictable! The eldest cousin, Jennifer Kennedy is a Sophomore at Carnegie Mellon Art School. The youngest is my Becca at age "almost-10." The other three are somewhere in between, we are not always sure just were. When it was time for pictures all of the kids were sacked out on the floor, and not very willing or able to move- I am a prety good cook, if I do say so myself! So we adults decided to work with what we had . Here are the results of our labors!

Micheal and Matthew couldn't quite believe that we would actually stand on the coffee table to get pictures of them!

Tryptophan stuppor and too much pie eventually won out , except for Becca, she was having too much fun!!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Creating Art Journals

I have just finished work on a project that pushed me way out of my warm and cozy comfort zone! I entered an Art Journal Swap that is based on the book Collage Unleashed By artist Traci Bautista. After looking thru her books and checking out her web sites, I was hooked. I really feel like I have become artistically "unleashed", perhaps unrestrained is a better word. Anyway, I had a lot of fun creating this journal and i have gone on to make several more to be given as Christmas gifts. (The gift journals will be filled with mostly blank pages so recipients can use the pages more freely for art or writing.

This is the front cover. I made the cover using covers from a discarded library book. I did all of the painting techniques on Tyvek. The spine was made using rug hooking canvas with ribbons, yarn and even painted tyvek strips hooked thru it. All of the following pictures are interior pages.

Inside front cover with fibers hooked thru sequin waste and a pocket for keeping treasures.

This is the back cover. This journal contains about 20 different pages, not all shown here. I think that I will me making more of htese journals, several people have asked if they could buy one or two!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Charmed, I'm sure!

I am involved in several hand made charm swaps with several of my art groups. For my on-line group we have 26 participants. That means that I will make 26 charms , send them off to our Charming hostess and she will send me back 26 charms made by the other 25 artists in the group. I will then create a necklace or bracelet from the charms. We are all having wonderful fun with this swap. The following picture is of the charms that I have created for the Art Techniques swap. i made the large bead from fabric that I painted and stamped and then cut and rolled. the beads are attatched to a 3-way brass fishing swivel. (I just love buying jewelry findings in the fishing/outdoors department!)

The next set of charms I created for a swap with my local art group, Angela's Altered Artists, which is located in Reston at a Rubber Stamp store, hence the name of the group. These charms were made with scrabble tiles that I surrounded with a peyote stitched beaded bezzel. I backed each charm with paper that was sealed with a thick coat of laquer for durability.

There are 18 artists participating in this swap so I will recieve 17 different charms! This group became so excited about this swap that some of us decided to make two charms. So we each made a different smaller set of charms for those who wanted to make two. We just can't have too many charms! For this smaller set I took plastic disks 9intended for zipper pulls and collage some handmade paper covered by an image that was stamped on a transparency and added the word "Friends". For the other side I used half of a pansey sticker and alcohol inks to decorate the disk and added the words "Linked by Art". Both sides were then coated with a heavy coat of diamond glaze for durability.

As soon as I recieve the charms from these swaps I will post pictures!! i can't wait to see what everyone creates! this is too much fun! STAY TUNED!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Becca Mouse, Fourth Grader!

As some of you know , I have two wonderful kids. Matthew age14 and Becca age 9. They are amazing ,creative, smart, and tenderhearted young people. I am a very lucky Mom.!
Recently Becca had an assignment to give a book report in class. One of the options was to dress up as a character and give the summary in character. Obviously this was the chosen option. She became Poppy the Mouse, complete with single purple earring. She was a huge hit in class. The kid loves the stage- she didn't get that trait from me!!

Brand new Dolls

These glamour girls were just completed this morning! I popped them in a box with their two sisters (see previous post) and took them off to visit my new friends Vickie and Jan . These two sisters have just opened a wonderful Bead store right around the corner from my home. The store's name is The Whistle Stop Bead Shop. They are just getting started but classes are up and running and they would like me to teach for them. (So very exciting!) The gals were very taken with the dolls and Jan bought one outright( at a price that I never thought possible but that she insisted on paying!!) They want me to come up with an Art Doll Class for January and they want sample dolls to display. They also want to purchase some of my handpainted fabric beads to sell in their shop!!
TAFN, I have to go put together more Dolls heads!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dolls and Other recent art

Here are some projects that I have been working on lately.

"We're Wired" art Dolls

When We were last visiting my mother-in-law , I asked if I could get into my father-in-law's workshop and clean out his "electrical bits" area. Since he passed away 5 years ago, my Mother-in-law has been trying to reduce and clean out clutter and I asked her not to discard anything"interesting" till she ran it by me! Lucky Me!!! She had come across boxes full of transistors and capacitors and other "whatnot" that no one had a use for. Well, y'all know that I wanted it! These girls are the result of a little bit of playing around. Their "hair" is made from the "electrical bit and pieces" as is the head behind the stamped image. I am planning on making quite a few more!! My 14 yr old son, Matthew, says that they look like the 'Borg' from the Star Trek TV series. He just shakes his head and tolerates my art.

Autumn Spirit Doll
Alias- Barbara Bush!!

This is the first art doll that I have ever madefor a swap. The deal was that I was sent the face(unpainted- and therefore, no color "clues") and I had to create a doll and return it to the face creator. Well, I panicked and almost gave up. But then I remembered taht the idea was not to create something that others would create , but something that I would create. I want to create dolls from found objects, not the usual muslin and stuffing etc. On my art space shelves I found a lonely vintage salt shaker that mad the perfect body. After creating a neck from polymer clay and arms from wire coated with polymer clay and painting the face (that took 3 trys), my Autumn Spirit was taking shape! I created her dress from a scrap of fabric and her clock is covered with silk leaves and beads. I am really pleased with her . I am considering submitting her for publication to Art Doll Quarterly. Hopefully there will be more to her story!!
Vintage Christmas Cards

These are some Christams cards taht I created for an on-line Vintage Christmas Card Swap. I made some Christmas themed painted paper towel fusion paper and then added velvet holly leaves and vintage red button "berries". i lke these so much that I think I am going to make some for our family christmas card for this year. So be watching your mail!!

Paper Fusion Decorated Mirror

This mirror began life on a shelf at IKEA, the AWESOME swedish homegoods store that is now only a meer 10 miles away! It cost $1.99- got to love that price!! I used my fusion paper technique with painted paper towels and decorative napkins (the roses) to complete the project. One of these mirrors was donnatedto a silent auction at my daughter, Becca's school and it brought in $28.00- not bad!

Hand made Charms

Several months ago, I discovered a wonderful Altered Arts group in Reston, VA. (approx. 1hr drive North). We meet once a month and we have our own Yahoo group. i have made some wonderful friends and I am really beginning to feel that I can find some friends and Like minded art folks here in VA. I wasn't sure there for awhile! I always forget about how long it takes to settle in and adjust and find any sort of comfort zone once you move.

Anyway, in our group we are having an Altered Charm swap. Everyone who participates has to make a charm for everyone else and then we will trade them in December. There are 18 artists participating so we each make 18 charms. All of the charms have to be made by hand and not be bigger than 1-1.5 inches. They must also be sturdy as we each plan to make a bracelet or a necklace with them. I mad these charms using a flat white disk (clearance table at a scrapbook store). I glued on some of my painted paper towel and a piece of a transparency that had been stamped with women's faces and then put on the word friends. The other side was colored with alcohol inks and a apnsey sticker and the works "linked by art" were added. Both sides were coated with a protective layer of crystal laquer.

These charms are for the same group swap . THis time I used old scrabble tiles and did peyote stitch beadwork around each one. On the back , I covered the felt and stitching with decorative paper and sealed the paper with crystal laquer. I have one for each person's first name and I can't wait to share these with everyone.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Here I go into Cyberspace

I am lauching myself into cyberspace to share my art with you. I am not the most computer literate person on the block but I am going forward anyway. Please bear with me as I begin this adventure. I know that I will make mistakes but I will also learn and I will always remind myself that "There are No Mistakes in ART!!

I am extremely lucky to have a very supportive family who values me, my art and my happiness. We have found a wonderful new home here in Virginia after a very difficult transition and move from Oklahoma. We are thrilled to be back on the East coast of the US and so much closer to family and dear friends. I left behind a wonderful group of friends in Oklahoma who m I miss everyday. But hopefully this blog will help us to stay in touch!

This is a picture of my wonderful Art Space. This space includes workspaces for the whole family as we work on exploring our creativity and nourishing our spirits.


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