Sunday, September 28, 2008

Icon Doll Class with Chaska Peacock

O.K. I have been having some fun with making a doll this weekend. I am taking an online class with Chaska Peacock whose dolls are just so glorious.

Now, I looked all over around here for the materials, and there Chaska had written out a perfect materials list, but folks around here didn't have the correct things, and I got to thinking about all the gas money just to get to Michael's and back, NEVER MIND how dangerous it is to let me loose in a store like that, so I said to myself," Dearest Self, we must get clever here and make do with what we have got:. "Not a problem." replied me, and off we, er, I, went.

First: I rolled up a piece of cardboard and taped it:Then I snipped a circle with tabs for the bottomAnd used some shipping newsprint with gel medium as if I was putting papier mache over all:Half way done:I added some flowers cut from thick paper, for texture:And colored tissue on top of that for some color:These are not Chaska's instructions. Don't follow all this if you want to make what she did. This is just, well, my mind's eye says that this will be great, you just maybe don't know that yet.

And thennnn:
I couldn't follow Kathryn Antyr's directions either on her Soul Journaling blog. But I had a great time:

I want to be a Soul Journaler when I grow up.

And a doll maker.

And a writer,






and mixed media art quilt "seamstress" (That's most of them).

Well then, I'll be on about it then, yes?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tag! I'm it!

I've been tagged! Aaaahhhhh!

No, not really so bad, fun even. Iris tagged me to tell you all 6 Random Things About Me. Rules and my tagees at the end of this post.

I have a Quan Yin statue from Ha Noi, Viet Nam. (Yes, I got Her on my trip to meet and adopt my son!) She is the Goddess of Compassion and, possibly linked, spiritually and philosophically, with both Tara and the Black Madonna. I have a Tara and a Black Madonna too.
I am a clutterbug. I actually think of it as being very, very creative and forgetful of the clean-up portion of my play. Sometimes this works, and at othertimes I get pretty frustrated with myself. I am frustrated today and so I will not show you a picture of my desktop.

I dreamed of seeing dozens and dozens of my stitcheries this morning - like the camera was just speeding along the tabletops in my studio. Wow. I was good.

I used to have a 28 minute swimming mile. I am a bit out of shape, ahem. I had to give up those 6 AM swims when I became a mom, doubly so when I became a single mom. But I still swim on occasion... Funny, no picture here either.

I find God in the Kitchen. And in the car while driving. And in my studio, especially while sewing. I don't get to church much anymore. Kind of confusing to find one that works for me. (Also I really am not a Christian anymore. I am just having too much disagreement with how many people get killed on Christian Agendas: 11 million "infidels", 14 million Witches, 9 million Jews, and how many million Arabs in the oil states?? Maybe I should give up Christmas and Easter and go back to the Solstices and Equinoxes. I have always had an interest in Wicca ...)
These are bead ribbons that I made:
You should feel them! They are heavy.

There: 6 random things.
The rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Here are my tagees:
Phew! On dial-up this is a big project!

Friday, September 12, 2008

MY Artist Journal

Well, if you peek on over at Iris' page you will see what she is doing with some of her pages as an art guinea pig in her copy of Your Art Journal, and here are my art guinea pig pages. Maybe my other a-g-p's will choose to show us some of their pages this weekend? We can hope.
Here are the first pages as I open my journal. I just loved playing with all of those arms and legs cut-outs on the back pages ... I really wanted them to move but I can't find my stash of brads ANYwhere! I ended up cutting apart some paperclips (I can't find my wire stash box either!!) and curling the ends both in back and in front: so the appendages on the right-hand character do move. Yay.

And here is a page with fishes - an element that I used on another page, but liked so much that I made several more... they all fit into that purple pocket! You can't tell at this level of photography, but the scales on the pink and brown fishes are all individually glued in place. Great texture! Those two silver birds over on the top left are my fave metal duct tape (Hello hardware store) over cardstock - but they just wash out in the light. I'd have to rig much more subtle lighting to get them to look metallic, not white. And in keeping with my obsessive urges to use every scrap of paper on my desk (Earth Day, 1970, came at a particularly formative point in my life) these next two pages are filled with the artful (I hope) placement of some very tiny and pretty oddly shaped pieces of ... snipetts. One of them happened to be folded in half and so I just glued it down like that - then I realised that it was a little book! So I wrote in it and then started folding more and more papers and squeezed all of my thoughts behind these little doors. Among other things I was extolling the virtues of my children, which are legion, let me tell you. (As are the things that they need to learn.) But motherhood continues to be a deeply spiritual process for me and I am aghast most days at my childrens' ability to walk me right up the steps to the God/dess Of My Understanding. Where I remember to breathe. Where I weep.God Bless The Children.

Last night our adoption group celebrated The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. These children, aged 5-12, about a dozen of them, ranged and caroused like puppies: running themselves ragged, glad to see each other again, eager to be called in for our potluck supper, thrilled to go outside again, tumbling back inside and settling like lambs to hear me read our traditional story about The Lady in the Moon, the littlest girl sitting in the lap of the eldest girl.

It's small wonder that I weep as I do.

So, off with us. Go make art that shows how much the children matter. And then start prepping yourself to vote in November like YOUR vote was going to make or break some child's life.

Because I guarantee it will.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Art Dolls

Someone wanted to see some of my "wild" art dolls so I thought that I would show a couple of them here:
This first one is from the Grieving Angels Series:
And a close up of her lovely free motion machine stitching:Another Grieving Angel. Their arms are embroidery floss wrapped sticks, and their hands are tassels of floss. For the soft touch I wanted, I think. I adore their faces. This doll stands a bit taller than the angels, about 20" tall. Her body is painted muslin but her face is just the cloth. Her heavily patched robe has been burned. Think metaphor here. These dolls were all made in the early 1990's. And that party had only just begun.This doll is angry. Her hands, her means of expression, are all tied in knots. She has a headache. She is screaming.


(I am exhausted just having taken their photographs. Such stories they tell.)

Thank you for having come on over to look.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Your Artist Journal

Good morning. I have been working very hard lately on a new book: Your Artist Journal. I delight in the look of artists journals that are thick with collage and pockets with secret notes inside them, and have ribbons, lace, beads and charms dangling from their edges.

I wanted to create a book that was both the Artist Journal itself and the instructions and prompts to fill it for those who haven't yet tested the artist journal wave. (Or any of the rest of us who just can't get enough!) Well, it is ready for publication - just about. I would like to have a few people test it. My friend Iris has agreed to give it a try and I would like four more opinions. Here is the deal: leave me a comment with your address or write to me at with your address and I will send Your Artist Journal out to the first four respondents. Give it a trial run for a week and then send me back the survey that I am enclosing. You get to keep your journal. You may blog about your progress, and if you send your blog address I will link you here. Please only respond if you have time to do this within a week - time is a bit of the essence: I have a projected publication date of October 1st (presentation at an important venue) and I would like time to work in any suggestions that you all may have.
Oh! And those flower-y looking circles in my last post are the shavings from sharpening colored pencils! Aren't they pretty? I love them. :)

I can't wait to hear from you!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I am working on my new artist journal this morning and also working on an Artist Journal book. (I had to stop work on the last book to wait for some more information - which could be a while. So, I decided on another book, using some of the same techniques ... details soon.)

Anyway, this was kind of a fun page from my journal and I thought that I would show it to you:

Can you guess what this page is decorated with? What the "flowers" are made from? First correct answer in the comments gets an ATC with one of these same elements...