Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Good morning. You will see in my sidebar that I was given the Kreativ Blogger Award by GypsyLulu. Thanks, G. So: I need to tell you 7 things about me and then pass this award on.

Hmmm ... Let's pass this on to:


And now some public secrets ...
1. I always wanted to be an artist and thought that this title was about the most wonderful and completely out of reach in the world. For me, anyway.
2. I have been sewing and cutting/pasting paper since I was old enough to hold the scissors (about 4 years old).
3. Thought #2. and all those years of practice and training had very little impact on Thought #1 for many decades.
4. I still feel a little odd about letting it be O.K. that I am who I most want to be.
5. I tried to stop. I thought that my work had to be elsewhere, but figured out that I couldn't. I now have two careers, and am making inroads to a third. Third Job. Third concurrent job.
6. What am I: nuts?
7. Whatever. I am a Mom: single parent of two homeschooled children. I am an artist-writer working on my fourth book. And the third is some kind of advocacy professional. Haven't worked out the deets yet. Good thing I'm a woman.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Was Interviewed by Laura Bray

I have just finished an online class from Laura Bray called Multiple Streams of Income. Well, that is to say that the class is over, but I am not finished: I am going to be pouring over my class materials and learning from it for a very long time I think.

Laura is a great teacher, filled the 4 weeks with lots of information and really got me seeing all kinds of new options for my work. We were given lots of ways to view our livlihoods, and really asked to exercise and brainstorm our way through the possibilities with the company of others - worlwide. Very good.

Laura asked me for an interview at the end of class: read it here on her blog.

I would recommend her classes to any of you out there, not just artists.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Art Charms From Number 6 Plastic

Remember a couple of days ago when I showed you some images of how I made charms for my art quilts? (The birds and heart triangles.) Well I discovered a slightly healthier source of #6 plastic - shrink plastic. Newman's Organic Ginger-O's.

So here is a fun project.

#1. Eat the cookies. By the way, I am pretty sure that all of the different flavors of Newman-O's come in #6 trays. Share them with friends. Read fairy tales to your children in between nibbles. Settle in with a cup of tea, your dreams and a couple of cookies.

#2. When the cookies are all gone (or if you put your cookies in a jar) rinse out the tray. Dry it off or not: see below, #4.

#3. Take a regular hole punch and punch a few holes. Because I will be sewing this onto an art quilt, I punched once at each top corner and five times along the bottom so that I can both attach it to the quilt and also hang beaded dangles from the bottom edge. You will not be able to punch the charm after it is heated. It becomes very thick and strong. (Like the magic shine on my hole punch?)
NOTE: If you are using the kind of shrink plastic that is sold in craft stores you are likely to get a thicker sheet which will shrink, but not shrink as much as these trays. The Newman People make these trays as thin as they can to keep waste down to a minimum. Thank you Newman People. These thin trays shrink to almost 1/3 of their original size. I started with a 6" x 8" x 2" tray (15cm x 20.5cm x 5cm) and ended up with a charm measuring 2.5" x 3" (6cm x 7.5cm). So use a regular 1/4" (5mm) hole punch - nothing smaller as the resulting hole will be too small for a needle. Look below to see where I threaded the green floss to help you see where I put my holes.

#4. With either a heat gun or a designated art oven at 275 degrees F (I have an old toaster oven that we never use for food), and in a well ventilated area, heat the tray on a metal baking sheet. I use aluminum foil over the oven tray or an old aluminum baking tray with the heat gun. It took me about a minute with my heat gun. In the oven you have to watch it. In both cases the plastic wrinkles and curls - it may even flip over. It will then uncurl and nearly flatten. I use cloth or tongs to pick it up out of the aluminum tray (mine has ridges) and set it on something flat, and while it is still hot press the piece completely flat with something flat (I had a jar lid, or use a book, a block...) Oh! And do you see below where there are little spots and bubbles on my charm? I did not dry my tray off first and I think that the water spots made the plastic take the heat unevenly. I have decided that this was an intentional design consideration...
You can still see the happy cookie ridges.

#5. Decorate with permanent markers. Consider the possibilities of drawing one design on one side and another part of the picture or design on the other side: the trunk of a tree on the back and the leaves in the front? The frame on the back, with accents and a quote on the front? Something like that.

I hope that you have fun, and please do leave me a comment linking back to your blog with photos of your Newman-O's charm!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Online Open Studios Event

Greetings from my studio. Quilting Arts is publishing a fall issue of Studios magazine and invited its members to open our studios for an online tour. I am actually combining this with a view of some more of my Reconfigured Trash Art. You can go here to see who else is on the tour. This should be so, so good. I am going on tour as soon as I have posted. Meanwhile, Welcome! I am so glad that you stopped by!

Here is a view of one of the walls that I use for display. And below are some close-ups of a couple of my Trash Vessels.This one is called: Broken Shells From The Egg Of Desire. Can you see the diamonds from an egg carton? The beads are sterling silver.A close-up from "Bells of Clarity". The bells are caps from water bottles, the clappers are clothing clips. Those bugle beads are 14K goldfill.
This one is "Make A Wish" and has silver stars cut from milk cartons.I have been painting brown paper bags lately. I am finding that it makes a great collage-able paper. It is thick and makes even more dimensional the finished collages - which I like. Above is one in blues and greens. Below is the start of another. I first paint the brown paper - a bag cut open - with gesso which gives the paper a lovely malleable, rubbery hand.I am painting, you will see, on a piece of BlueBoard. It is an insulation board that I got at the hardware store. I think it came in a 4' x 8' piece and I cut it with a utility knife into six pieces. I paint on them - and don't mind the spatters - then pick up the whole board and place it somewhere out of the way to dry. Ever tried picking up wet paper? So awkward. This solves all that. I love these boards. If I ever decide that they are too paint ridden, I will carve into them, paint them and turn them into art. :)I have been taking painting lessons from a local painter. A whooole new way to use my brain and the acrylic. I am learning that one paints a little, lets it dry, adds new colors and depth, layering on until lovliness is achieved. I have a ways to go here...Here is a yummy view of one of my bead walls. Jam and peanut butter jars mostly on specifically measured shelves.

I have art hung everywhere...And my computer: an important art tool. Recognise the wallpaper there? It is from my birthday party in June.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I have a little door prize for the first 25 visitors: an ATC, an ATC sized piece of that blue and green painted paper that I just showed to you, and a bit of ephemera from my studio. Just leave your mailing address at my email: (Don't leave it here: not so private for you.) International address are O.K. I will amend this post when I have your 25 addresses.

Hi--- Thanks for all of the visitors and comments. The doorprizes are all done. I will send them out today, Monday, you should have them by the end of the week.

"See" you around...