delightful mail

As you all know, I just love the whole sharing of postcards and any kind of snail mail thing....I'm making buddies all over the world!  I recently heard from Kat Sloma at Kat Eye Studio and she's holding her postcard swap again this summer.  You can sign up any time starting now and it closes in August.  I participated last summer (think it was my first mail swap) and received some delightful p/c.  She runs hers a little differently, so click through and check it out if you'd like to receive some fun snail mail.

Here's the lastest batch of goodies I've received:

Misty from Pen Thief (she has an interesting page showing some of the more truly creative items she's received through the mail - it really is worth a look) sent me an actual letter with hand decorated envelope and a couple of goodies tucked in with her note.

From Karen, and below from Corrine

From IUOMA and Postcrossing swaps:

Mail Sent:

For the Flutterbye swap, before it closed.  Karen has moved it to Mail Me Some Art.

These went to my IA swap partners - hope they've received them by now!

inspiration mosaic

1. 3 pen mandala, 2. Doodles Unleashed Video Kit Club project two: pipette FLOWERS, 3. Starling, 4. yellowone, 5. Untitled, 6. topology, 7. Commentaries on Living, 8. Challenge # 70, 9. missing my spring garden, 10. A Small Bouquet for you, my Flickr Friends, 11. Journal 026 - Time Travellers, 12. 124-366 puffy, 13. daily collage, 14. Connected, 15. Prairie Rockets 2, 16. tumble dry, 17. Untitled, 18. Eye on Phoenix City Hall, 19. charybdis, 20. Easter Arrival, 21. almost as (nothing), 22. No. 81 Côté Cité, 23. Booksellers Along the Seine, 24. page6, 25. Bamboo Forest

Here are some of my May flickr favorite finds along with the links to that person's photostream.  I love flickr because I can find inspiration from some long time faves like Jane Davies, to new artists to digital artists, amazing zentangles, scrapbookers, and, of course, photographers.  Do you use flickr for inspiration or to follow favorite artists?

I created this mosaic very simply using Big Huge Labs and indicating I wanted them to use my flickr faves.  But you can also individually choose images from your own computer or a variety of other sources.  Try making your own mosaic - it's free fun.


new mail art site

Most of you know how much I enjoy sending and receiving snail mail, mail art, postcards or whatever form the mail art takes.  Karen over at I am Rushmore had taken on the organization of some mail swaps at Flutterbye but that site shut down so she bravely started a separate site just to host mail swaps.  (note to self:  be very sure to spell the right kind of male mail!)

If you'd like to participate in a postcard swap, ATC swaps, or whatever, check out the possibilities at Mail Me Some Art (great name, right?).  She's made it SUPER easy and Karen is so encouraging and inclusive.  She doesn't accept the concept of "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not an artist".  As she says,

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner.  It doesn't matter if you think your style isn't like other people's.  It doesn't matter if you don't think you're good enough.


So, what are you waiting for?

Click on over and read about it, make a postcard or two, and let's get swapping.  I hope to get one from you soon!


altered book work

I have been sadly neglecting my altered book for several weeks.  I have a dozen excuses, all irrelevant - the fact remains, I've ignored it.  Today I have some time so thought I'd get back on track and I found myself inspired and working with fun and joy and no judgments! (must be that clean workroom!)

These pages are working with Lesson 8, color.  Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover is our guide through this process and she wrote an amazingly complete post about color, it's uses, terminology, etc. The homework was to create a color wheel using cut magazine pages and to make at least one page in a color scheme: analogous, complementary, etc.  Here's what I created:

I put my color wheel on a black painted background to have the colors be more vibrant, cut a rough leaf shape for each color and then labeled them.  I know it's been a long time, but the theme for my AB is quotes and I'm generally trying to use organic or floral shapes on each page, thus this unusual take on a color wheel shape.

I chose an analogous scheme of green, blue, purple (side by side on the color wheel).

Toned it down a bit with gesso and wiped it down a bit.

Added drips, spritzes, and my quote which says:  "Live for love, color, surprise. Live for a good laugh, a great kiss, the joy of it all.  Live for warmth, for endless sparkle, for jewelry that sings.  Live for fun. Live to give." - You can also see my "color wheel" tag hanging out the side .... I added it to the color wheel page and it sticks out like a tab from the side of the book.

Finally, another page which harkens back to an earlier lesson on theory - line, shape, etc....there's a lot going on with this page, but strangely, I kind of like it.

Layers and more layers and finding the right words from my huge stash of random text.

I added in a pretty floral post card I received.

These scribble pages are not my faves, but ....  "An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought." Picasso; and a Turkish proverb:  Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak.  Hmmm. I should maybe heed that one more :)

So that catches you up with most of the work in my AB so far.  I'll be posting this to Elizabeth's site and if you have any interest at all in AB, her free tutorials are just amazing - thorough and filled with "what works for me" information.  Since this is my first effort, I'm finding her hand holding and detailed info very helpful.

art room reorg

I came home from work last Thursday all jazzed to rearrange and reorganize my art room.  Obviously my subconscious had been working at it for a while because I'd been needing more table top and storage space but didn't have any idea on how to make that happen.  Now, since I'm an interior designer you'd think I could space plan a little better - but it's often harder when you're your own client, right?

Anyway, I was finally struck with inspiration - I came home and pulled out the trusty tape measure then started to work.  I emptied out the whole room (so I could clean while I was at it!) except for the bank of shelves along one wall that's just too heavy.  Here's the 'before' which you might have seen from previous WOYWW entries.

You can see my work table is in the middle of the room, putting my back to the windows and light so my table was often in shadow.  I had a few TV trays serving as stacking space for papers.  Now......

Table in front of window (much better), papers to my right and overflow supplies on my left in the bookcase.  I've got frames, canvases and tablets leaning against the wall - there's about 3' behind the bookcase.

Then, my brilliant idea!  I have this computer desk overhead that we weren't using and was just in the garage collecting dust.  I enlisted hubby to help bring it upstairs (whew!) and it makes a perfect, accessible, long stackable surface for whatever papers or supplies are going into the current project!

To the left, or behind me if I'm facing my work table, is the wall of gorilla shelves.....

Bins, books, card making supplies, jewelry supplies, floral supplies and family games all reside here and now are grouped together instead of willy nilly on the shelves. Oh yeah, the room does have a closet and yep, it's full of stuff too - we outfitted it with those wire shelves and I have more magazines, paper, books and random supplies in there.  Truly, I need to stop collecting and start making!  (but the collecting is so much fun!)

So, all this reorganization has definitely inspired and refocused me and it's SUCH a pleasure to walk into the room and get busy.  I'm still fine tuning where things work best and sometimes can't remember where I tucked something, but that's minor.  The hard part is over; let the fun begin!


ALAW wrap up

Here's the end of my first ALAW (a letter a week) alphabet following the 'dotty' theme Fiona set up.

The second alpha of the year is artist choice and I have no idea what to do.....we're still to keep the format of a 3" square as a base.  If the idea of working with letters and forms intrigues you, you can join in any time and if you make a letter a week, now's the perfect time to start because you have 6 months to finish an alphabet.  It's hard to believe the year is almost half over - holy moly!

The last part of this alpha project is to figure out how to display the letters.  I started off thinking the letters would go into a simple concertina booklet of some sort and they were designed to connect in a linear way.  I'm toying with a couple other possibilities, but can't quite settle.  Might work on it a bit this long weekend.

Hope everyone (in the US) enjoys their long Memorial Day weekend - relax, create, smile and hug someone you love!

bliss day

Briefly sharing my happy moments this week:

Took on some new tasks at work - always love to learn something new.  Challenging.

Rearranged and cleaned out my art room.  It SO needed it and now my work desk takes advantage of the natural light and I added more storage and countertop space.  I got lots of time to work in my journal this week.  Happy.  (see upcoming before/after shots)

Sent out my postcards for the IA swap and can't wait to start getting mine in return.  Creative.

Seeing plants I planted for summer flowers start to bud.  Anticipation.

(these aren't in my yard)

Join others at Liv Lane's and share your bliss.


mail call

I've received some lovely mail recently - isn't it great to go to the mail box and find something thoughtful and handmade there instead of all the bills and junk mail?  I just love that!

Thanks to:
Natasha May from the Flutterbye swap (many of you will recognize her delightful lady) Thanks Natasa.

Jenn McLean (how about that monogrammed bookmark - isn't it cool?!)  Thanks Jenn

a card from Nancy at IUOMA (this came wrapped in cellophane)  Thanks Nancy

and a card from a swap-bot trade for a 5x7 painting (isn't she lovely?)  Thanks!

Below is the 5x7 watercolor I sent to my swap-mate.

I'm always excited to share mail art and welcome others who want to share their creative endeavors with the mailman and with me!  Email me for an address exchange....  tpurk@earthlink.net

journal work & flowers

I've been keeping up with working in my art journal every day and some days I love what I make, others, not so much.  Par for the course I guess.  I've been keeping in mind Lori's floral challenge for May and while not all my pages have a flower, many do.  Here's a few of my recent pages.

Remember the restraint journal?  It's my inspiration book, my quick and dirty collage book, my instant art gratification place, no paint, no markers, just inspiration photos/catalog pgs/online art and random papers to clean up my desktop.

 A reminder to work on a single topic, in a series.

 I love flowers in my clothing too!  (flowers #17)

LOVE this vase - a scrap from a failed painting at the bottom and the gray piece to the right of the vase is actually a shiny silver paper from a gum wrapper.

Art Journal:
Flowers #18, 19, 20

Added some beads for fun and dimension.

Found some long unused colored pens so tried them out in a simple drawing.....

Flowers #21 & 22 - a little zentangle....

That catches me up for the flower/day challenge.  And, for the first time, I'm joining Marcia's Just Journals week long sharing of journal pages.