Friday, July 30, 2010

from an e-mail

Forwarded to me fron my Aunt-

Calmness in Our Lives
>I am passing this on to you because it definitely works and
>we could all use a little more calmness in our lives.
>By following simple advice heard on the Oprah show,
>you too can find inner peace.
>Dr. Oz proclaimed, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to
>finish all the things you have started and have never finished.'
>So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started
>and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this
>morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel,
>a bottle of Tequila, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my
>old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some
>Doritos, and a box of chocolates.
>You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.
>Pass this on if you know anyone you think might be in
>need of inner peace

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Warning- these are not the most flattering pictures of me.

In effort to keep going in the last days of July (August has to be dedicated to getting ready for the upcoming semester and the two classes that need major renovations!) I decided to work on little lady's face. Paper mache applied this thickly will take days to dry and I just hope I don't have to worry about mold. I have the dehumidifier going right next to her.

I decided to share with you this portion of the project because its somewhat spiritual to sculpt a face. I found myself deep in thought about the day and my place in life as I worked up her facial features. I felt almost as if I were creating a real entity and I watched her come into being before me.

I smoothed

and pressed

and shaped

and thought to myself- I could do this every day
and if I could do this every day-

what stories I could tell!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Aliens In My Yard.

More flashbacks? Man, if only I'd known back then....

Well, I'm stuck on Helen's neighbor ladies. They each hold something which has been created but needs to be painted (by the way my daughter is sitting next to me buzzing like a fast car rather than doing her practice math and I am resisting the urge to reach over an knock her right off that stool- God, I hate noises!)but I'm stalled at the painting part.

And the odor eaters...well, do I paint next...or should I use marker to create the little drawings on them? Should I hang one from its piece of driftwood? Do I do one or work in stages on all three of them. Maybe that Etsy store will never get opened!

So to keep moving- I have all these ideas waiting to come to fruition- I started a different project. Not a new one- this one has been waiting in line- in the form of a tomato cage that I've tripped over a dozen times.

So far I've attached a head using a large paper mache egg purchased on clearance after Easter. I used painters tape that I painstakingly saved after painting the dining room a scrumptious shade of spiced orange- take that- recyclers and repurpose-ers! Then I used screen that I bought in a roll for 13.oo, not typical window replacement screen that I often use but screen that is cut in an 8" width by 100' long to cover your rain gutters with. There is specific armature screening out there for shaping forms but lets face it- it comes in small squares and is rather expensive in comparison to this screen. I am as about as cheap as they come and one of my talents is looking at something and thinking- what else could it be. I encourage you to think this way too- it will open up a whole new world for you. You may go stark raving mad but sometimes that's when you get the best ideas.

After I had several layers of tape (don't worry- I still have many strips of blue paint stuck to my wall in my office to hubby's chagrin) I used plaster strips to start to give her some firmness. I will add a ton of paper mache' on top of that and then paper clay. She's over 4' tall so I'm expecting this project to really eat into my supplies.

Obviously this is another 'lady'. I want her to have a skinny neck and skinny arms like many of the ladies I've seen created by all you art journal-ing guru's out there. I'm not copying, per se, but rather joining in- for at least one sculpture. I'll find a way to make it my own- when she tells me- right now the phrase "I'm just a girl." keeps popping into my head.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Earth Whispers

"Grow." said the Earth "Reach your roots down deep into my soil and I will secure you."
"Grow." said the Sun "Reach towards me with all your might and I will nourish you."
"Drink." said the Rain "Drink me in and I will sustain you."
"Dance!" said the Wind "Bend with me and I will teach you resilience."

"I am not certain..." I said "that I can trust."

"Look around" They said in unison "does not the grass and the trees grow?"
"Believe." whispered Time "Believe."
"Believe." said the Moon, newly entering the sky.
And the birds sang the song of ending the day. When they were quiet and shadow wrapped me I began to hear a noise steady within me. Thump.... thump....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Remember the Odor Eater!!!

Or maybe it was Remember the Alamo!

Welcome to my learning experience! I am trying to figure out how to transfer an image. I had some instructions. I think I did it wrong but.... something... happened.

I reversed an image on the computer and printed it out. Not my laser printer which is still at the store but my regular 'ole inkjet. I used gel medium, coated both surfaces and stuck 'em together. (Notice my professional terms as I lecture.)

After the image had dried completely I wet the backside of the paper. That part was easy to get right as it was the side sticking out.
Starting in the center I rubbed the paper gently until it started to roll up. I worked my way outwards.

Rolling, rolling....not the first time I tried to learn how to roll something... that didn't end up so well either.... The foot on the right is what it looks like when I am all done rolling...right? You see a foot there, don't you Cheech? I rubbed some areas too much and removed the image all together. I liked it. (I'm trying to like the things I do in my art rather than beat myself up over mistakes.) Really, it has a cool surface- like a real thin paper- smooth with a slight sheen.


I realized that some folks put the gel on the image (backside of a reversed image, that is) and let it dry, rub off the paper and end up with this slightly plastic looking result. Pretty cool in its own right.

A Comparison-

In the end I have decided to stick with the first method but will come back to the other for later projects. I like the see through bit but as I intend to paint over some of the surface for this project I'd rather have the flatter smoother image to work with.

NOW- IF ANY ONE has any advice or experience with this please let me know- I am looking for any advice or help. I will keep you posted. Right? This is real, right? Not some teenage flashback???

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Helen's neighbor lady and three girls spooning.

I had to hurry and get this one finished.

I was perusing a Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and came across a call for a 'winter holiday swap'. (Its the issue with orange at the top of the cover page 64, I believe!) I thought, I could do that...then I saw the required dimensions. 5x7 was no problem it was the 1" thick that had me running downstairs with a tape measure. Only this lady had a flat enough face. The tip of her nose comes under the 1" requirement by a nose hair! But she sure wasn't wintery! Orange and pink and sky blue- wintery? So I tried everything in my box of tricks and somewhere along the way came up with an idea to have her hold a cut out of the state of MI. But I was like- still not wintery- not like a snowflake or a tree..... and so the State of Michigan Christmas Tree came into existence and now my life is complete. By the way her hand points to my county. I think I'll make some more of these for the- dare I say it- Etsy store I might, just might- open this fall. I'm really diggin' them.

Just thought I'd throw this pic in. We had cousin Mackenzie over for the night. The fight of whose bunk she should sleep in required a mommy solution of everybody camps out on the floor with Mackenzie in the middle. Upon checking on them this is what I found, Brooke and Kayla both turned towards Mackenzie and one weird doll eye staring malevolently at me. Who would have thought I'd choose art dolls as an expression of my creativity when dolls are so freaky????? Luckily I didn't wake up to find the doll lurking over me with a toy machete. We're all alive- thank you for the concern!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bloom where you're planted!

That's how the saying goes isn't it? I've been driving over this little plant for a few days now thinking "Ooooh that's gonna make hubby mad- seeing that plant in the middle of his expensive driveway.....!" But I believe in messages- whether they are the ones unexpectedly set before us or the ones we imbue into an everyday occurance. Why would I notice one little weed that cropped up in the middle of a crack in our drive? Maybe because its at the crest of a hill and the sun behind it highlights it very dramatically. Maybe because I'm dramatic. Maybe because when I see it I wonder how such a tiny seed could find its way into that crack and survive long enough to take hold and thrive? It sure puts a slant on the term opportunistic. Maybe I notice that little weed because its beautiful in its existance. It bloomed because it could. I think we should all bloom because we can. What permission are we waiting for? (By the way Kim- I have a weird toe!)

You know I love kids art, right? Thank you, by the way, for all your replies to my personal children's art challenge- the response was overwhelming and I will get that slide show up and running soon. Anyhoo, Brooke gave this to me tonight. "This is me and this is you and this is Dad and this is Kayla. Sorry I made you look fat."

Finally- thought I'd share with you this exciting new art project I'm working on. I'm hung up on bare feet. Makes sense, right? Summer, beaches, bare feet....trouble is all I see when I look at this are those Dr. Scholl's feet cushions you put in your shoes! Its cracking me up. Great art, Chris! You just re-invented the odor-eater!!!!! I'll let you know what develops- fungus and all!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Elsita's secret garden

It all started last winter- remember?

She sat waiting for a long time- this new sculpture with the unfamiliar structured shape. I didn't know what to do with her. I really wanted the shape to dictate the result.

I tried this. could be done. But was it too "Alice-ie" in time when Alice had just been released upon us and everyone was crazy in love? By the way- just saw it for the first time and I, too, heart Alice.

So "Off with her head!" Or "Off with the birdcage! By the way, I wasn't kidding- I can't find it-its not ever shown up again...

Then this came about and I was off and running. So I thought. There's been a lot of stops and starts along this path.

But, finally, here she is. She's formally named-
Elsita's secret garden

Elsita is a name I came across while blog hopping. I can't find it since then but it was a South American doll artist. Perhaps Venezuela? I thought this lady looked like a south American beauty and so I borrow the name.

Elsita is by far the most 'decorative' of the sculptures I've done. The wire I wrapped around her undulates in contrast with her linear shape. It flows and travels a path around her. It ends (Or does it begin?)with a key. The colors are meant to be vivid, triumphant but mysterious. I hope the whole piece conveys a sense of mysteriousness and secrets.

Every garden should have butterflies and roses. If you look closely at the picture above you can see a trail of tiny butterflies.

By the way- I teased you about the captured spaces and the enamel based paint I used within them. Well, its nail polish. Pearl, turquoise, burgundy and red. Just wanted to give it a try.

The flower inside is an old fashioned wild rose- not the kind we see today in the florist shops. Its made from paper clay. I shaped each petal and leaf and then used wire to assemble the whole flower. The butterflies I found in the jewelry supplies dept at Michaels. Of course, I added nail polish to 'bring the outside in' as it were.

There are plenty of things I would do differently if I were to create a sister for her. I never will. Off to the next thing. I learned a lot on this project and can't help but wonder if its knowledge I will ever put to use as each project seems to take on a life of its own.

Anyhow- what do you think? If anyone knows of this Elsita who blogs let me know, I'd like to let her know I borrowed her name and see what she thinks of my Elsita:)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Newest Face of Prescription Drug Abuse in America?

"You expect me to believe this?""
"Why YES Dr.!"
"That your dog has a dependancy on Zoloft?"
"Who's to know if its JUST Zoloft? Although that is the most interesting drug in there!"
"Yes, that brings up the feasibility of a border collie getting into a medicine cabinet...?"
"Well, doctor, its not really a cabinet. More like a lavendar colored bin on a shelf in the linen closet."
"But still- aren't the bottles child proof? Do you see my confusion here, Ma'am?"
"Yes, I do, sir. SHE'S A DOG not a child. Does that help?
"Okay! Enough already. Why are you bringing me your dog today? You already know what drug she's....err....taken."
"I'm afraid she's OD'd. You see it appears she took 1/2 a pill which you might think would be just right but then perhaps it was too much because ten minutes after I ga...after I caught her red pawed....she fell down. It takes much longer for it to do anything to me....and I've never fallen."
"She's 40 pounds! Half a pill meant for a grown human would knock her off her feet!"
"OH yeah, I can see now how that might."

"You know, Ma'am, they do make happy pills for dogs that are afraid of fireworks- in the right dosage and everything. I could help you with this."

"Sounds like a good option. Now, if her pills should accidently get mixed up with mine- ya know, by accident of course, what kind of reaction could I expect?"

Monday, July 5, 2010

There's an Ap for that!

My girlfriends from highschool, middle school and elementary did not want me to take their picture before we went Kayaking down the river on the 3rd. "You have your hair done- its not fair!" They whined and made me put on a hat. I knew what they were thinking- Great! Its either going on Facebook or her Blog. Yep! You know it! How's about both?

But while I thought it was really a pretty good picture of all of us I do try to be sensitive to the feelings of others and even as I am typing this I'm thinking "Blah, blah, blah- who the hell cares what we look like! We're standing upright and that's something to be said at 40ish right?" So I photoshopped the picture just a little.

So we had a good time, too much sun, a little booze- got caught up on all the gossip. I can tell you we looked a lot worse at the end of the trip than the beginning. One lesson learned is that even at 40-ish if you go alone on a trip, even though you mention your husband and kids many times that you may just find yourself the subject of some unwanted attention. And NO, Brody, I do not want to ride in your canoe- on top or otherwise! Somehow its not flattering to be hit on, kidding or not by someone who knows nothing about you. "Sure, Brody, let me hop on in there with you- I may have to duck because my jealous husband just go out of jail and could be hiding on the banks of the river polishing his machete. By the way- what are your political views?"

Now here's someone who's having a good summer! Even though we've been bitten by the struggling economy bug- pretty bad- our kids have no idea that their life isn't great and why should they? Swimming, fireworks, more swimming, lots of un-monitored tv, life is great!

I have fun pictures of Kayla, too but this post won't let me add any more pictures. May have something to do with my photoshopping!