Sunday, September 15, 2013

What is this? 

It is the beginning of an idea.  A spark.  An inspiration.  A wiggly, itchy germ of an idea.  Its also a handmade bead that I purchased at a beading show that came to town.  I was told it was hand blown glass from India.  I told them it was part of a future sculpture.  
Stay tuned for that one as life permits.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Come! Take a peek!

She's done.  Finnito!  Pardon my one zillion pictures but I am trying to decide which to submit.

I will be submitting her to ADQ for consideration of publishing.  Are there any among these pictures you like better than others???

 My poor old camera doesn't take such good pictures anymore....

And lighting is always an issue.  

And the backdrop...well, I just couldn't get that one wrinkle to iron out.

But she's done...

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Have you ever felt like ripping someone's head off?

I did!  And I did just that.  Poor Amy!  Poor Headless Amy!

You see...I never really liked the end result of my first attempt.  I liked the idea....I  thought she would need some help navigating and a compass would certainly do that.  But for all my shopping I could not find the right size.  And it all looked a little...contrived...aye yie yie...the worst criticism other than "it's cute".  Those flowers had to go....

So one day I was walking by her and I said "That's it!  YOUR head is TOO SMALL!  It's coming off!"  and I ripped it off.
This proportion is so much better, this timepiece found at an antique store.  I love the patina of the brass.  I did reuse the brass piece that says "Clover" I don't think you can see it but it is there.  I had to do a little repair work to her neck and shoulders so I added some blackish paint.

The 7 Cent can opener and base are still way too cool.

and Headless Amy still has a zipper foot...I like her.  I feel like her.  Yes, done!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dead Bride Makes Comeback!

Or something like that.  I like to start my posts with a catchy title.  Shock and that radio guy with the long black hair...we like to use the old shock effect technique!  

So this is the haunted War Bride sculpture I was making for the ADQ Bride challenge.  She was coming along nicely and got in the way.  Big, hairy, unforgiving life...sigh....

But truth be told I had a little creative block going on, as well.  I couldn't mesh her story line and a backdrop.    She sat on that trunk and just stared at me.  I started to make little suitcases to add in there but it seemed really forced.  And, really hard.  I didn't want to make suitcases.  Just plain didn't want to.  And I made the base look like wood planks and that wasn't working because I felt like she was waiting for someone to come to her...she would be on shore..on pavement or brick or such.  I couldn't wrap my head around it.

But most of all I felt like it looked a little too much like the background I did for Sara Crewe not very long ago.  I think that was it.  That was really the sticking point.  So here's a new take.  She's a girl...sitting on a garden wall.....waiting for her lover to come to her...
She's still pretty greyish and I love that about her so...I don't she a ghost?  Maybe.  Do I just do a greyish theme?  I dunno.  We'll have to see.  Hey!  Do you like the back drop?  New comforter I scored on clearance for $50.00!  Best of all- same color as the doggie who likes to sleep on top of it!  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sharing the 9 to 5.

Wonder why I disappeared?  I really didn't.  I'm here.  I pop in to visit once in awhile.  But, alas, the real world has taken over.  If you want to be taken seriously you have to put in the time.  And I do want to be taken seriously as a designer- as long as I don't have to be too serious all of the time. 
Below is a little bit of what I do.  This is a bathroom I drafted up.  First I did an elevation that I can order from.  It tells the mechanical story- what sizes, which style of cabinet and how I want them installed.  This drawing is first a selling tool and then becomes a communication drawing. 

But that drawing in itself did not tell enough of the story.  In order to sell my concept I have drawn another type of drawing- a perspective.  Its not the best perspective out there in the world.  It doesn't have to be.  It just has to get the idea across.  This one, however, could not help itself but to turn out really cute!  Its the little boudoir chairs that do it.
The reason behind this design is budget.  We had a nine foot run and I really didn't want to fill it with cabinets- that would be a budget buster for sure.    However as this is a shared bath- who wouldn't want to use every little bit of counter space available? These girls are young so there is plenty of time for squabbles over the years.  I like to think that each of them having their own designated space will prevent a few? 

Now, lately, I don't do a lot of drawing.  I am learning how to bid on a large scale.  And I bid a lot.  I'm bidding anywhere from one to three projects a week.  I receive a set of plans via e-mail.  I forward them on to my estimator.  I print a set for myself and then mark them all up with what floorings I want where and what prices to budget them at.  That part is interesting- especially as I knew nothing about budgets and how to set them.  Now I am working on setting up an entry level, a mid level and a higher end budget.  

If the company gets the job then they will send in the client and I will spend hours with them while they select their finishes.  Sometimes there is another designer present.  Sometimes not.  Its never the same and its always challenging.

So what do you think?  Drafting isn't really art.  Its a technical skill.  But I love it just the same. 
Take care- I'll be back!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

There are always exceptions....

Gal pal, Chinamommy and I were talking about how good parents let their children fail.
That's right.  You don't learn a lot if you don't ever encounter challenge.  And those that are afraid to fail never really challenge themselves to exceed expectations.  Yep.  Makes sense to us, right?  But not when it comes to art class.
Case in point.  This is a Valentine box.  Kayla's class was challenged with the task of creating a 'creative' container to hold their Valentines.  "What are we going to do?"  She asked.  "I don't know what YOU are going to do but you better get on it!"  I said.  Days went by.  "Why don't you tell me some of your ideas." I said.  They were insane.  Huge ideas with no concrete plan.  "And do you have some ribbon?" she asked.  "And do you have feathers?"  "Can we go buy some?"  "No, I don't have time to take you to buy things and I am not spending ANY MORE money on you until we go shopping for a prom dress.  I am not made of money and I am not the Bank of America.  So you had better figure out how YOU are going to do this project." 
Blank stare.
That's it.  I am the meanest, smallest person in the world.  Plus, ideas are popping into my head.  I fold.  But I shush my ideas and at least say "Draw me what you are thinking."  (A concept- right?  Educational- right?)
Well, strangely enough this was the second thing she drew me.  We can do this.  I can show her how to do paper mache.  If I can restrain myself, I can even have her do the bulk of the work.  This will make both of us grow.

It started out to be paper mache that she would paint and then cover (or goop up) with all kinds of ribbon and feathers and jewels.  You get the idea.  
I got out some chicken wire.  Everyone has chicken wire hanging around, right?  I showed her how to push and pull on it to shape it.  Then I let her take over and make the shape.  It was hard.  She didn't do it right.  Ok, she didn't do it my way...but I let that go.  By letting go I mean that I showed her a barbie doll and said- copy this- and then I left for a few minutes.  Man, it is hard to separate oneself from someone else's art and still .instruct.  Then I showed her how to mix flour in with white glue and we started draping paper towels over the frame.  This was so much easier for me as there really is no right or wrong way about that part- just drape it on the frame and let it dry.

The next day it was dry and she was pretty geeked about it.  So we moved on to the paper mache portion.  I showed her how to mix it- trickier than it may sound- when I was new to paper mache it took me a few times and some calls to Chinamommy to get the consistency right.  "It says it should be the consistency of toothpaste.  Is that how you do it?"  I would ask.  "No, more like oatmeal."  She would say.  "And its ok if your oatmeal has fruit and raisens in it.  Just keep working it until they go away."  Then we would discuss oatmeal vs. Malt O Meal and which one our Mothers made us eat..which would lead to questions like "Hey- remember Tang?  That was good stuff!"

We actually did a pretty good job of working together.  I showed her how to glop on the mache and smooth it out and smooth it out and smooth it out.  We discussed how big the boobs should be which was funny. 
'Mom!  You are making them too big!"  "Hardly," I said, "hardly.  Wait till we make the butt cheeks and they won't seem so big."

Then we left it to dry.  Three days later it was still not dry and  it became obvious we would not have time to paint it.  I explained to Kayla that the paint would trap moisture in the paper and eventually it would mold.  Black, deadly, killer of small children everywhere mold.  Our only choice to make the deadline was to ......DECOUPAGE it!!!!!  Yay!!! I tell ya...when you are as busy as I am and you long to make art but you know you don't have time to go to the really nice restaurant you only have time to go through the drive thru....decoupage will satisfy the hunger.


And Kayla really did do most of the decoupage herself.  Now, that's not to say I didn't touch up a few areas when her head was turned.  I did glue on the tulle because smart mom's don't let their kids use hot glue guns.  (Falls under the category of gun control and gun safety even if it doesn't use bullets.)
And don't you think that the first question out of my mouth wasn't "Did you win?" because you would be wrong- it was.  Turns out the third graders voted it 'Most colorful".  I'll take it- any kind of a win is a win.
Well, so much for letting your kid learn the lesson of failing.  I'm sure there will be other chances for her- like algebra and physics.  I'm learning to say "Ask your Father, he's smarter at math than me."  That works, believe it or not because what man wants to admit he's really not that smart?  And after that we can always rely on Google.  YOU can Google anything....amazing, but true.
Ok, folks- still no dollmaking going on here, but I do have some ideas popping in from time to time.  And in the mean time.. getting a little art therapy in the form of glue, tissue paper, napkins and markers.  Can't complain about that!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

My friend made this....

My friend Kristi, from Cheeky Green Designs made this.

It's made from repurposed sweaters that have been cut and serged together!

And I love how carefree her pose is in this shot!  I'm a little jealous and wish I had one!
Great job, Kristi!  Now, go make another!  (I like green, just sayin')

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm trying a new art technique!!!!

NO I am NOT!  Ha!  Fooled you!

This is a drawing Kayla brought home.  I found it while I was cleaning out her school bag.  See, once in awhile I don my HASMAT suit and shake out her duffel bag.  Today this fell out.  I lifted the visor of my helmet and yelled for her.  
"What is this?"  I said incredulously "Tell me about it!" 
 "I DID NOT STEAL IT!"  She yelled at me.  
I gave her the look.  "I did not mean that!  Did you do this?"  
"Uh, yeah..." 
"It's awesome!  Did you do it in art class?"  
"Uh, no....I did it at Mackenzie's."  (You can tell there is a lack of trust between us- she still thinks I am trying to catch in the act...of something.) 
"Cousin Mackenzie's?? last night?"  Again with the 'yeah....' like I've lost it and gone crazier than normal.

"Well, why did you you use dark paper?""It was all she had.""Well how did you know to use that color to make her skin?
"I just thought it would work."
"Well, what made you think to put stars by her lips?"
"I thought it would be cool.  Do you like it?""No, I love it.  Any reason you gave her blue and yellow hair?"I thought it was pretty.  Do you?" "Are you kidding? Its great!  I even like that one eye is bigger than the other!  (I might have been testing her a little, there.) "Yeah, me too."  She said walking away."How dare you walk away from me when I am critiquing the best piece of naturally occurring art I've seen in months???" I yelled.  Ok, no I really didn't yell that.Do you ever get the feeling that as grown up artists we might be trying a little too hard?  I mean really!  Look at those lips!  I can't DO THAT!  I'd have to work for hours to make it look like that!  I'd have to have a concept sketch!  I'd have to have a reason behind the two different size eyes!  The hair would have to symbolize SOMETHING!!!!

(You know what causes us to lose our inner child artist?  Children.  And their stinky laundry.  And their temperatures when they whine.."Mommy, my head hurts!" Yeah, its their fault...)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hey there! I'm stopping in to visit!

Well, someone said "just publish when you can..." and here I am!  Its been a few months of hard work and not a lot of art!  Work has been challenging and I do love a challenge!  Crazy as it may seem- just a few months after I started this new job and opportunity came up to manage a builder account.  The designer who held the account was retiring and they asked me to think about taking it over.  "Think it over?  Done.  I'm in."   So at one point I was working my regular responsibilities, training and teaching.  When will I ever learn?  Probably never.  I figured out a long time ago not to say no to opportunity.  And- who needs to relax and just breathe anyways?  

So these cute little boxes are the only thing I've done since I last posted. Totally missed the challenge date for ADQ's bride challenge and I am very sad about that. is what it is- she is still waiting for me.
Remember those blue jewelry boxes I made for the girls?  These are the same heart shaped paper boxes from Hobby Lobby.  They are for some friends of my girls who kinda feel like they should just be part of our family.  Once, when we asked if Star could come over for a playdate, we were asked in return- could her older sister come too?  I was a little taken aback because I think we all know that children in multitudes scare me.  Was I ever glad I said yes.  The older sister was so quiet and well mannered.  Now they always come as a pair- that's how we want it!

I'm telling you, folks, if you ever want a no stress project this is it!  Its decoupage.  How easy is it to tear up peices of paper and glue them on to a surface?  Just don't put any rules on this project- it all works.  I used some pretty wrapping paper that I have from a dollar store, a pretty printed napkin and tissue paper.  Any knob will do but you will probably have to use a shorter screw as you are not going through a wooden door.

See the yellow bird?  From the printed napkin!  See the girl?  That's Janaya.  I took a photo of her into a program that let me play around with the color.  Then I did the ole transfer technique wherein I coated the top with gesso, let it dry and then rubbed the paper off the back.  Its somewhat sheer and lets background color come through plus just not as thick on the surface of the project.  I tore the edges of everything I used vs. cutting because I think this looks nicer and is also thinner on the surface.

This is Star's box.  Hence a quick shopping trip for tissue paper with stars.  Naturally sheer and thin, I thought the tissue paper looked fantastic.  I had a little fun with her hair- hope she doesn't mind!  The wrapping paper- Well, I used some marker on it, as well, to pull the black from the lettering and her hair through out the composition.
Lastly the lettering is plain old rub on transfers.  I was not about to try to align them perfectly!  I like this look better, anyhow. I top coated with one more layer of gesso and then sprayed it with a matte varnish to take the gloss down and make it less tacky.  Because I am super smart...OK, I worry about every little thing....I used a candle to wax where the lid meets the box.  Adding paper and gesso thickens things up and I didn't want the boxes to get wrecked by careless youngsters so I made it so the top slips on more easily.  

The very last thing....fill them with things that girls like- nail polish, eye shadow, candy, etc.  A pretty bow tied around that knob is all they need.  Now, they just need to get delivered before...well...Valentines Day???  Hey!  I'm trying!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year to you!