Sunday, September 23, 2007

It Has Been A Busy Week !

I have managed to get several obligations cleared off of my list! I need to getting ready for two art shows and a possible gallery slot , so I am quite happy to get these things done. I am also very relieved that they "evolved" the way that they did!!

The first "Must Do" was a Journal Page for my friend Patsy from my Surface Design art group. This page was a part of a Seasons swap and the theme was "winter". I had been putting this one off as I wasn't sure what direction to take. I only knew that I did not want it to have any sort of religious overtones . I get stressed aout about other's liking my work as it is without adding religious preferences into the mix. i love all shades of White and I have been so inspired by my friend Ruth's work that I attacked my stash of old linens and lace and started layering!!
Here is the result.

The base of the piece is part of a Damask napkin. I did lots ot beading after using some machine stitching to hold the pieces together. All of the small pieces have bben collected over the years and most were cut from larger pieces that I had gotten very reasonably because they were damaged in some way.

The finished size is 6 x 6 inches. I stiffened the page with a piece of Timtex interfacing and did all of the beadwork before putting on the back. The final step was the pearl edging, which is simply a modified blanket stitch.

This closeup shows the vintage dictionary definition that I added using machine stitching. Obviously, this piece is not to be washed!!

Here is the back. Someone had sent me some handmade beads wrapped in some really dense wool felt which I added to the top left corner of the written piece for even more texture. I have a very large stash of Mother of Pearl buttons that I rummaged thru to find the perfect embellishments.

I wrote a note to Patsy on the muslin using a Sepia Micron pen (permanent) and covered it with very fine teulle. I left an opening and added loose beads and fresh water pearls. In this picture you can also get an idea of the beaded edging that surrounds the piece and holds the front to the back.

I showed this piece to several local friends before I put it in the mail and I had a hard time getting it back from them. Karen demanded one for her birthday and I told her that she must behave if she extpects such a gift!!!

The next project was also for a Surface Design Swap. Groups of 5 artists signed up to swap Beaded Prayer Pillows for each other. Here is the link that wil tell you about the entire world wide project.

This paragraph is from the description that you will find should you follow the above link. I highly reccomend that you do. It is a wonderful project and you will learn so much more than my telling can convey. " Why is it called the Beaded Prayers Project?The word prayer is used because the project comes from the Old English word for "bead", biddan, which means "to ask or to pray". Sonya Clark combined the history of the words "bead" and "prayer" with her research into the healing and protective amulet traditions of the African Diaspora to create the Beaded Prayers Project."

Here are my pillows for the swap.

Each pillow must contain at least one bead. Apparently the Old English Word for prayer is bead. Each pillow has an affirmation or prayer stitched inside. These range in size from 1.5x1.5 to 2x3 inches. The green pillows are made from scraps of my own hand dyed fabrics. little bits that culd not possibly have beeen thrown away!! i had such fun working on these, I really had to force myself to stop embellishing them with beads!! i will be making more and I plan to include them with christmas gifts.

Calendar Page.

My last"must get done NOW " project was 16 copies of a Calendar page for the month of December. Again I did not want to usereligious icons or symbols, so I had been putting this off as well. I had signed up for this after another person had dropped out and at times, I was regretting that I had offered!

I took all kinds of text pages from old books and gave each a wash with gesso. Then I took paper toweling and painted it randomly with a mixture of gesso and very fine glitter. Then I retrieved the ruffled paper edges, from a book of Tom's, from the trash. I painted these with a wash of gesso and then tipped the edges with Pearl Lumiere paint. Some of the gesso I tinted with blue and some I tinted with lavendar. I glued down varios strips onto watercolored watercolor paper . I believe taht I have 6 differnet languages represented .

To create the snow person, I stamped on acetate using Sepia Staz-On ink. I stitched the stamped inmage to the textured white paper with my sewing machine and left an opening to insert various sparling white beads. It is pretty hard to see these details in the pctures, I do apologize!!

These pages will be sent off tomorrow along with a blue watercolored page of the same size. The hostess of this swap will take everyones different months and place acetate month sheets over the plain pages and bind each calendar. Then each of us will recieve a beautiful art calendar to enjoy for all of 2008 and beyond!

Now I must dash off and pick up my daughter from a friends house, get dinner going and bake Oatmeal Raisin cookies for everyones lunch box.!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New projects

Altered Book Project:

I recently finished this spread in a friend's Angel themed book. I was the last one on the list and all before me had used many quotes about angels so I decided to go with mostly art and keep it on the single spread, simple side. I had lots of fun with it anyway! i did lots of layering with tissue paper and text, layer of Gesso, a layer of color wash , some gold embossing and another layer of Gesso followed by sanding.

The spread is done mostly in shades of white highligted by the gold embossing. The color washes under the last coat of gesso were done using purples, greens and blues.

I just love this angel stamp. It is by Stampers Anonymous.

I used my sewing machine to sew the piece of paper with the handwriting onto the page. I love the added texture. I am really into texture right now!!!

Beach Pickings Necklace:

I made this piece while my daughter and I were on Cape Cod. I had picked up the shell piece and the stone on the beach that day and I was immediately inspired to create something with both of the pieces. As soon as I found the piece of wormy Wampum , I knew what I wanted to do with it. ( I have been picking up Wampum (ocean tumbled pieces of Quahog clam shell) for years now. I used to always toss the pieces that had holes or worm trails in them. I only wanted the really smooth " perfect " pieces. Well, not any more!! Remember texture is my thing these days. Besides if the sea worms have been at work, if one is really lucky , there will be a hole in the piece just waiting to be put to use !!!

The trails left on this piece of wampum formed a perfect Peace Symbol. I wrapped the sterling wire thru the trails to follow the Peace Symbol and used the hole that the worms had so kindly provided. From the Peace symbol I hung a sterling wrapped lucky stone and the glass heart at the bottom is one of my precious African glass beads. I am wearing this piece every day and saying a prayer that the world might begin to change . SIGH!!!!!

Here is an example of some of the treasures that i founsd on the beach during this trip. i also found 10 pieces of real sea glass at Nauset Beach. It almost seemed that someone knew that I was coming and placed them just for me to see! I picked up one white piece with a decorative ruffled edge, thinking that it was a piece of plastic that i would throw away properly. The waves deposited it right at my feet. I was so thrilled!!!

There is so much going on in the holey wampum and they are such treasures when holes are there waiting for me!!! Becca has developed quite an eye for spotting the purple bits of shell and prides herself in finding particularly beautiful pieces. the stones that I love are called Lucky Stones. They have a band of quartz or some other type of stone circling them. Sometimes there are more than one band and they bisect each other. I generally pick up as many Lucky Stones as I can and then we hand them out to favorite teachers and friends when we return home!!

Artist Earrings:

The idea for these earrings has been rolling around in my brain for a long time.

Several months ago I posted pictures of my paint brush necklace. I get quite a response from people when I wear that piece and I have been meaning to make some earrings.

Besides the paintbrushes, these are composed of bits and pieces of old costume jewelry and two different dragonfly charms. I love the way that they are both very similar but different. I will have to make more of these for my upcoming shows.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

An Amazing Experience!

Yesterday I found a Bluebird feather in my garden. I knew then that it was going to be a good day! It was very hot and muggy outside, so I didn't stay out too long.
I was really tired so I took a nice long nap and when I got up Tom told me that I had gotten three pieces of ART mail!!! YIPPEE! I love art mail!!

One was a nice card from a good friend, the next was a new Art Zine (yummy) and the last was a small package from my friend Ruth Rae.
I have gotten to know Ruth through my Internet art groups. About A year ago I had put out a call for artists interested in working on an ALtered Book Round Robin. Ruth got in touch with me and signed on for the ride. What a ride it was!!! We started with 20 artists split into 2 groups of ten. We each started a book of a certain color and sent it on it's journey. Long story short, we ended up the "experience" with 14 artists and three books that had completely dissappeared! What a nightmare!! One of the books that went missing was one of my books. I had two in circulation as I wanted to collect art from all of the participants. Ruth was in the group that did not get my book. It was truely the Round Robin from HELL!! Fortunately Ruth got her book back safe and sound and I had a great deal of fun working in it for her!
She wanted to do something for me as she was not able to work in a book for me so she offered me a pair of her wonderful White Bird Earrings. I was THRILLED!!!!! you must go to visit her site and her Etsy store- her work is amazing! You may also recognize her name form recent srticles that she has had published in Cloth. Paper, Scissors (x2) and Belle Armoire. She does so deserve the attention. Once you go ther site you will find a link for her Etsy Store.
So, now for the EXPERIENCE!!!!
The little package arrived yesterday and as soon as I opened the pillow pack envie, I knew that I was in for something extra special!!
I thought that you might want to open the package with me. I took pictures as I knew that I would want to open the package again and again, as I know how Ruth does things!!
I knew what the earrings looked like and I knew to expect them but I did not know that they would arrive in such a marvelously delightful manner!!
This is what I withdrew from the pillow envie.
The package was wrapped in a swath of white on white patterned tissue. The outer wrapping was a page from a foreign book that had been stitched between two sheets of regular waxed paper. Clever, clever!!! it felt so crisp!!

Tied to the white twill ribbon was a little pillow charm that has a bird stamped on it and tucked under the ribbon was a large white feather with the words Kindness, Beauty and Truth stamped on it.

Inside was tucked her wonderful card with a little note to me on the back.

When I opened the other side this is what I found. It is a small book like package with the words ART GIRL stamped on the front and held closed by a briaded string wrapped around a white button. The book is made out of layers of tulle, scrim, chesscloth and old book pages that have been amchine stitched together. ( I can't tell you how glad I am that I had the sense to take pictures of this!!)

After unwinding the cord from around the button and opening the book, I found the earrings!On the right is a stitched heart with a bit of red tulle and a scrap of lace held down with french knots. The earrings were tied down with brown floss and the words "enhance your life" were stamped beneath them.

I am going to hang a special little charm where the earrings were and then put this whole book on it's own hanger, in my art space, so I can be inspired by it everyday.

The back of the book!

Wasn't that an amazing experience! I will probably revisit this post often!!Yet another thing that Ruth has reminded me of, presentation is so much a part of the gift!!!

I love the earrings and I will NEVER forget opening the package!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bird Art

An internet art group that I belong to has been working on a rotating Bird Artist Trading Card swap for several months now. I posted the storage folder taht I created for a friend awhile back and I showed pictures of the amazing folder that Jo made for me. Here are this month's ATC's for artist friend Donna.

these first two are collages topped off with napkin tops. the second one is done on marbelized paper that I made YEARS ago! They each have dyed cheesecloth sewn around the edges. Not sure why the photos are not better??? Perhaps I need to clean my glasses???!!!!

This ATC is pretty simple, my hand carved bird stamp, on some paint scrapped sheet music sewn to some painted paper towel. Simple is good!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Wings to Help Her To Soar!

I have been waiting and waiting for the last little bit of inspiration to hit so I could go ahead and finish up this very important project. How many of us have projects sitting in piles or bins or taking up table space or stacked on the floor, just patiently waiting for that precious last little bit of finishing inspiration. ( I envision a vast sea of hands!!!!)
Anyway back to my project!! I have been working on a special Wing DIng for my dear friend Mo. She has her last Chemo treatment this week I think and she is doing very well, or as well as one could possibly hope when one is being assaulted by all sorts of poisons. I wanted her to have a very specail piece of my srt to help her celebrate this event and for her to know that I have had her in my minds eye for every step of her journey!

Mo loves birds and I love birds, but this one had to be special! i found these tiny little decorative tart tins at a Thrift store and I thought that they would be perfect for a bird body. i must keep my eyes open for more of them as I am thrilled with the way she turned out. Her wings are copper flashing that I cut out and dry embossed with an old pencil and then heated over a flame. Her legs are typewriter parts. i made the little nest, under the button heart , out of honeysuckle vine and yarn and a few tiny twigs. The phrase says, Love is the 'open sesame' that lets in beauty and gvies us eyes to see!

Mo has a big project to work on now that she is getting past her treatment. She is planning on starting a Cancer Resource Center for Women with cancer. When she was diagnosed she found a real lack of info, for women in her area. She is planning on incorporating Art Therapy and Journaling classes eventually. There is a real need for this sort of thing and I know that it will be a huge success. In many ways, her cancer has given Mo her wings! iI am planning on doing anything that I can to help her get things going, ene if it is just spreading the word for her!!

I will keep everyone up to date on how things are going!

This Wing Ding will be flying off to her in the morning, with lots of love and best wishes and gratitude for the friendship and support that she has given to me!!


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