busy, busy

I've been away from blogging for longer than I like (though I am still reading all of yours!) but that doesn't mean I've been idle.  I've been making mail art, working on a canvas, and working on my 365 collages.  I just can't seem to keep up with the scanning part.

BUT - yesterday I bought my first smartphone!  Yay - so once I get it figured out I'm hopeful that I will be able to take phone pics and upload directly to blogger, saving all those extra steps.  I'm not going to have time to experiment with it this weekend since I have a guest all weekend, but next week I'll be eager to try.

Watch here next week......I'll have lots of photos and projects to share!  Have a fab weekend.



round robin update

I'm participating in my first ever journal round robin - and having a blast!  Started by Leslie at One Woman's Hands, we're in the 2nd month and I'm about to get my next journal to work in.  It seems a great mix of ladies and I'm excited to see what my journal will look like when it returns......

We're each doing two 2-page spreads in each journal.....here are my first couple of spreads.  Leslie's theme is "art", how ever and what ever moves you.  I know she enjoys vintage images so I used that as my jumping off point for both layouts.

We agreed we could share the journals online since they ALWAYS look so much better in person (and I'm sure I'll totally forget what people have done by the time I actually get my journal back!).  (Leslie, if you want to be surprised, stop reading here!)

Leslie made her own journal and used what feels like a heavy weight watercolor paper.  I like how she torn the edges of some of the pages and stitched flaps on others, making lots of interesting places to add art. The 'vintage' pic is of my mom at about 18.  I used acrylic paints, gelli & scrapbook papers, pen & markers.

The second spread has a much calmer, more vintage feeling.....I've used lace, old papers, new papers, feather, ribbon, a quote (under the bird tag flap), etc.  This image is of my great great grandparents. Definitely vintage!

 So, I'm eagerly awaiting for the next journal to arrive and see how my creativity will be stretched for that theme!


More gelli play last weekend:

Inspired by Karen's fern experiments with paint, I went out to cut from my yard.  My first effort, below is kinda (very!) blobby.  I was using a couple sprigs of dusty miller and they didn't press very flat.

Then I took the ghost print - and loved it; you can see the shape of the leaves!

So I had to try it again - this time made some marks in the paint before pressing in the leaves.
Then, here's the ghost.  - cool, huh?

I do have one sad little fern in the yard so I sacrificed one of its few fronds to try using it as a mask....again, not flat to begin with, but still a clearly defined shape.

I did the ghost print on a calendar page where I'd already cleaned the gelli plate edges a time or two...liking this.

Above - just mark making with the edge of a ruler - like the movement I got there and below is the first and second print using a handmade stamp.

I made many more leaf print attempts with varying success.  I did discover that I got better results once the leaf had been printed a couple times - it flattened out and became easier to use. And now I have some fabulous painty leaves to use in another project (mail art maybe?).

Took a few minutes during break at work to add this - will try to get round and catch up on everyone's creative stuff during lunch and tonight - I'm falling behind and need my blogging fix!


365 in 2013: #246 - 250

Collages, collages everywhere. I made a couple of wrapped foam core 4x4" square collages to send off.....

#246 - Crisp   - handmade paper, lace, gifted papers on gold gift wrap around foam core

#247 - Endless Night -  'alligator' vinyl, book page, papers, gold thread and bead on foam core

#248 - Pink envelope  - I joined another mail swap group at Art Geeks - they have a monthly themed swap and for my first swap I collaged the front and back of envelopes in a monochromatic color.  magazine & washi

#249 -  Red envelope - magazine, washi, paint chip

#250 - Blue envelope - magazine, map, gelli print

Here it is, mid-September and I find my mind going to Christmas. I know, I know, it's WAY early.  But, I like to make some/all of my gifts and I'd like to come up with ideas and get started so I'm not rushing, rushing in December.  Who am I kidding, I'll still be rushing, but maybe not as much.  I have an idea or two so some of my free time now is working on gifts (that I can't show in case they happen to read) - but I'll share after the holidays.


some gelli play

I pulled out my gelli plate and made some new prints - here are my most successful, though there's still much practice needed to get my prints to look like what's in my head.  Still experimenting with the whole masking idea......

I think generally I'm more successful if I use less paint even though I don't get much of a ghost print then.  I do like the grunged edge (above) I get after making many prints and not cleaning the plate in between - eventually the dried paint pulls up at surprising times.

I'm sharing this with Carolyn's monthly gelli party - if you're new to gelli printing, Carolyn has videos and tips and this monthly party where lots of others share their ideas and successes.  You should check it out.


the postman brings joy

Even Dan has become invested in what shows up in our mailbox these days.  Since he's home during the day, he checks the mail and my little stack of mail art awaits me on the table when I come home.  He's already gone through it and picked his favorites.  Since making anything is just not in his wheel house, he's constantly amazed that people find the time AND that they actually enjoy the time spent making mail art. Silly man.

I have been dreadful about sharing and publicly thanking folks for all the lovely mail art I get.  I always try to email or comment on their blog when I receive something (though sometimes it gets away from me).....but I just can't manage all the scanning and sharing for every piece I get.

Most of you know I love swapping via MMSA (mail me some art) so I'm creating weekly pieces for Karen's themes but then I have lots of personal correspondence too - all fun, but all takes time.  Anyway, one of my recent fave MMSA swaps was postal ATCs and I just got mine in the mail so had to share.....

Aren't these great?  Clockwise from top left:  Pamela @ Cappuccino & Art; Rhoz; Andria @ Drawing Near, Michele C, Bev B, and Indigo in Colorado.  I love each and every one of them and thank my lucky stars this isn't a theme I skipped!

Then, here are a few postcards I got this week - even if your card didn't make the scanner, please know I love hearing from you and WILL respond to every single card I get (that has a return address :).

Above, thanks to Corrine and Peggy Lynn.  Below, thanks to Honi, Dori and Jo.  Thanks so much ladies!

Send more mail art! :)


sleepless nights

Insomnia rears it's ugly head again.  But this time I didn't fight it and lay in bed tossing and turning.  Not me! As my brain cycled through all the things keeping it awake, collage planning took over......and I finally had to get up and make the collages that were in my head.  You know how you come up with an idea but you're not able to do anything about it immediately so your brain keeps revisiting it so you don't forget the details?  That was me.  The only way to clear the cycle was to get up.  So here I was in the middle of the night, arting away! :)  (I know many of you have found yourself in the same predicament so you totally understand!)

Added to my 365 collage pile after midnight last night.....

#242 - Short Timer  - in my head was using a lined paper for the background, then some very simple, very few elements.  I couldn't immediately put my hands on something lined but this wood stamped paper served the purpose.  I don't usually center things so evenly and the jury is out on that part.....

#243 - Place on Straight  - a gelli print serves as the backdrop and the little orange blob is actually a tiny cartoonish person sitting on some books. I'm very pleased with this one.  In my midnight brain I'd thought to use a more abstract background and center the black frame, but this leaf paper flew to my hand and since I'm so asymmetrically inclined, it was an easy change.  The green 'place on...' is ink spritzed pattern paper from a swap.

#244 - Paired Pears  - red magazine images form the background and the pears are cut from stamped paper that I made in a workshop last year.

#245 - Striped Benefits  - I had this square of cardstock that I'd been using to blot paint, this shred of text that I'd cut out phrases from (and I cut a few more to make it really stripey), add a flower bloom & word for a stem and.....an odd little collage!  This one felt like a good place to stop! :)

And here's my mosaic for the month of August - love these reminders that I'm still moving forward with the self-imposed challenge.  (I have to thank Hanna yet again for the inspiration and the ongoing beauty of her collages as she works toward 365. Unlike me, I don't think she's faltered yet!  This link takes you to this week's collages for her and she worked in a patchwork series....)

Big Huge Lab's August collage mosaic (all my images are on flickr in the 365 collage set):

Thanks so much for all of you who take a moment to comment and tell me your thoughts about my collaging efforts.  Your input is MUCH appreciated!


365 in 2013: #231 - 241

Squeezed some time in for making collages over the weekend -  almost back on track.....

#231 - Summer Blues  - bits and pieces.

#232 - Notice More  - various text, inktense pencil outlines, drawing....

#233 - Temperance  - a composition in neutrals, old book pg edges

#234 - Braving the Climb  - magazine image, map, gelli and tissue bits

#235 - Seeing is Believing  - all text (including some gifted ones in foreign languages) w/ stamped tissue overlays

#236 - Seeing Double  - stamped tissues over text again; the pattern paper was a swap and has been spritzed with ink - very cool!
#237 - Handsome Men - this one started out to be something totally different but as I was searching for text this sentence 'revealed' itself to me, so I went with it!

#238 - Singular   - tissue and magazine image (all these on white backgrounds don't show up real great but they're done on half sheets or 6x6 squares)

#239 - Pitchers  - tissue, washi and a gardening book illustration

#240 - Bart S  -  tissue paper composition......after I scanned & looked again, it looks like Bart Simpson to me :)

#241 - Summer Discs   - Unfortunately the slight variation in neutral colors is too light to be captured by my scanner - on the right, under summer is a cool white paper with embossed polka dots.
Whew - what a lot of photos - if you stuck with it all the way to the end, Thanks!!  :)  Do you have a fave?


a little home work....

Dan wasn't home this weekend - he went to the Gorge in eastern Washington and spent the weekend with some buddies drinking, camping and listening to Dave Matthews concerts for several days.  Me, not interested.  Instead I got inspired to clean, rearrange and tackle some home DIY projects.  What started as a little cleaning, turned into a major project!

First I rearranged the furniture for football season (more seating facing the TV), then I tackled the bookcases.  I dust at them every once in a while but only empty them and totally clean/rearrange once a year or so.  This was the weekend.

I owned a home accessory store when we lived in Vegas and when we closed it, I walked away with quite a haul of goodies in addition to what I already owned.  More than any one person needs - but I love my accessories!  I raided the closet and switched and moved and dusted and ended up with a whole new look.  I'm here to tell you, when you rearrange your art or accessories (move stuff from its usual place in the bedroom or entry into the family room, etc), it's like getting a whole room of new stuff.  Everything looks new and different in its new context.


I've always had my books arranged by author but decided to try arranging by color - I like it!

My DIY project was to give a facelift to this boring IKEA chest.  It's moved from room to room over the years - from a nightstand to a place for CDs.

Using veneer pieces from work I cut out these shapes and attached to the chest.  I was going to glue everything down but that would mean emptying the drawers of hundreds of CDs and I didn't have the energy so......double stick tape to the rescue!  Plus, when I want to change it again, it'll be easy.....no sanding, etc. YAY.

I did manage to find some time for art as well (I had to rest my back from all the furniture moving!).....made some postcards, made some 365 collages, worked on my next ALAW project (the digital component - now comes the letter making), and worked on a painting that went from bad to worse so ended up getting totally covered in gesso again to start with a clean slate.  I did manage to finish this series of 6x6 canvases.  They're true mixed media, collaged with lace, yarn, and cheesecloth for texture and beads added for extra definition and a bit of sparkle.

Above is the first step.....

I'll share the 365 collages in another post...... Hope you all had a terrific weekend - I'm looking forward to browsing through all your blogs and seeing what you've been up to.