Archive for September, 2010

Art: Found and Reclaimed

A few things you should know about me: I love birds, I love thrift stores, and I love to alter anything that will hold gesso!
So a while back I found this little 4×4 shadow box at my favorite thrift shop and it was half off the original price. I can also rarely resist a frame of any type that I can re-use.

At one time, I imagine it was quite loved by a soccer fan. One of my (many) quirks is that when I shop thrift stores I create little histories about the pieces that catch my eye; like the pile of commemorative plates I found on this same trip that I imagine came from a grandma’s house after she had to move out or passed away.

I pried the frame apart using my leather man tool and hammer. The hard part came when I tried to remove the soccer items, they were glued on so well I had to use a chisel and hammer to get them off! I would love to know what type of adhesive that was!
After cleaning it up I gave the entire piece of gesso then added ivory paint.
The background was a mix of papers, molding paste, and burlap with a painted bird nest and bird.

You’d never guess what it started it out as!


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I love my oriental poppies. They bloom in the spring and they are such a bold, bright, unapologetic red flower that they make me very happy. To me they are what I want to be: bold, bright, unapologetic about who I am, no worried about what anyone thinks of me. Or what anyone thinks about what I look like, what my house looks like, or what art I’m making. I don’t know what it is about these red flowers, but they just seem to be showing off their bold selves with out a care in a world. I’ve taken many pictures of these flowers in various stages of bloom and I’ve always wanted to do a painting of these flowers that would do them justice. Not a soft, watercolor like I normally do. But a big, paint splattered, colorful piece of art.

I started this painting a couple of weeks ago. It sits on my piano, not framed or posed. Just big and paint splattered. And I think done.

I like to get close and find little details like this.

I know it’s not to everyone’s taste and maybe some wouldn’t even look at it as art.
But I know what I feel when I look at these and I am not embarrassed to say, “Yes, I painted that.”
And now, I think I need to do another one: a single bloom, bigger, brighter.

stay tuned

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This is an idea that has been circling in my mind lately whenever I am outside.

I love to get close up to nature.

I’m love how the details in the natural world come out when viewed in a different perceptive and becomes a piece of art.

I love seeing little worlds emerge when I get in close. Moss and lichens growing on a fallen log, look like a perfect place to find a few fairies.

And I love how my little guy can make a forest for his trucks out of a patch of beets.

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crafting a special nest

With my love of birds and old things, I find that I collect a lot of little bits that I “save” for the special project. And then I am fearful to cut into that perfect piece of paper or fabric for fear of ruining it. Here is a sweet little piece I created to sit on my great granny’s buffet using those special things.

Using the white compote that has never been used, a bird nest I had to cut down to size, fake bird eggs that I added more ink to, a left over strip of burlap, old clock face I had been saving, and an old key. The bird is the only one left of a salt and pepper shaker set of my great granny’s.

It all makes me very happy, and I don’t feel bad that I used up something I’d been hoarding. And every time I see this, I smile.

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Quick-Card Making

Lately I’ve needed cards for various reasons and have found myself scrambling to make something. This is a little ridiculous when you look at the amount of card making stuff I have, enough stuff that if I were to never buy anything but adhesive for the next 3 years I would not run out of supplies.
So I went through my paper stash and started with a basic layout, cutting the background paper to 4 x 5 1/4, and a white and coordinated card stock in small rectangles. I cut a bunch of these pieces so I could make a few card as time presented itself.

This is my basic layout, nothing really complex or earth shattering but I figured it was a good foundation that I could add a few bits too to jazz them up.

For me, this simplifies the process and allows me to add more detail as I want. For some cards, I trimmed the focal pieces down. I also tried to create 2 of the same card.
Here’s what I created with this basic layout.

Bright and Fun

Soft, Subtle

Black and White

Guy Cards


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Since starting back to teaching this fall, it has been nothing but go go go. The kids have settled into their daycare center and are adapting to the routine pretty well. Mainly mommy has a hard time getting everything together and going, if I was organized mornings would go so much better. Of course if I was more organized so many other things might go better too!
One of the downsides to working is that it seriously cuts into my creative time. Now, if I have extra time on my hands I feel guilty for not spending it with the family or doing homework.

This weekend I spent most of the time cuddling a sick little guy with a serious ear infection and fever. I know he’s very sick when he just wants to be held and nothing but mommy will do. I asked him if mommy holding him made him feel better and he said yes, then he snuggled into my neck just like he used to as a baby. So I just held him whenever he wanted to be held. And when his sister became jealous of him getting all that loving, she started feeling sick too. So I sat on the couch with them both on my lap and cuddled them. And I remember spending a lot of time with two fussy babies who both wanted to be held and I was on my own while daddy worked. I hate seeing my kids sick, but it’s so sweet to be reminded of those baby days that don’t seem that long ago.

Now, as everyone in my house is napping, I have stolen a little time away to make a few things and be reminded of how blessed I am in this life.

A combination of my favorite things: shipping tag, text from an old novel, a hand sketched and watercolored leaf, hand stitching with twine, and a bit of vintage cutwork.

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