Friday, October 30, 2009

A Smile in Every Room

"A smile in every room" - I read it in the newspaper, so I know it's true! Well, I read it online, but it will be in the newspaper on Saturday (Oct 31). On Saturdays, the Louisville newspaper features a home of the week. Gaye's home was referred to the paper, and they came out over a week ago to take pictures. I think I've been more impatient than she has, waiting for tomorrow's article, but when I checked today, they already have the article online, along with a photo gallery of 53 pictures! Here's the link to the article. The photo gallery is here.

You really get a sense of the wonderful colors Gaye has used on her walls. She is much braver than I am. I hate my white walls, but can't make up my mind and commit to a color (or the time to paint either!) And I like the detail in the photos, but sure wanted a closer look, even though I've been there a thousand times!! (By the way, you might want to ignore the paragraph in the article online titled "Gather Round" - I think that is left over from another article, talking about Audrey and the boys??? Or maybe Gaye has people living in the basement that she is unaware of!)


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Give Me a Hand

Just playing around (when I should have been doing other things, of course).

The hand on the left was done while trying out a technique I saw on someone's blog (I've been trying to retrace my steps and find the blog again, but so far no luck). They had taken a class with Tim Holtz, and he had used his "Fragments" pieces this way. His fragments are clear acrylic tiles and shapes in different sizes. The example I saw used square tiles in different sizes, all put into a mosaic when finished. Put alcohol ink on the clear tile, then use Glossy Accents as an adhesive to put patterned paper on the back. You can also stamp something on the front after that.

I didn't have Fragments, so I used a clear hand shape from Coffee Break. I put some alcohol ink on it and let that dry. I didn't have Glossy Accents, so I used Diamond Glaze to glue patterned paper to the hand. After the Diamond Glaze dried, I cut off the excess paper. According to Tim's video, Glossy Accents dries in seconds, so I may have to get some!

After that, I traced the hand onto a page in the little journal I got at St. James earlier this month. The journal's pages are said to be specially made watercolor paper. The paper is so soft, I could not imagine it would hold up to a lot of water and paint, so I have been anxious to try it out. For now, all I did was paint a little color on there. I was trying out some Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. I painted plain water on small sections of the paper, then dipped the paint brush in water and stroked it on the tip of the watercolor pencil.

Neither of these is a masterpiece, but I did get to play a little, and that's something!! (Both the hand and the journal are about four inches tall.) I tried to get a good close up shot of both, but too little flash didn't pick up detail, and too much flash glared on the hand on the left and washed out the watercolor page on the right. (Why yes, I am, in fact, blaming the camera, not the camera operator! That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

All in a Row

Yes, it's definitely fall. Once the days and days of rain passed, and the sun came out, the colors almost look fluorescent. And the colors are so much prettier than what is shown here. (Plus I think my camera needs bifocals.)

The colors of fall... Pretty shrubs.....

Pretty trees....

Weird orange paint jobs...

I don't know why I took a picture of the pipe and it's orange shadow, but it just struck me as funny. In last week's workshop, we put our wet painted pieces in an empty room down the hall from our classroom, so they could dry without being stepped on. The room had been repainted white at some point, but what struck me was not the unfinished paint job, but the neatness of the white versus orange - no sloppiness here! Leslie told me there used to be a shop there that sold Harley Davidson clothes. Ah, that would explain that particular color orange.

And this is for my sister. She quotes this to me at times, so I was surprised when I saw that Lisa had it on her table. It was pretty much the very first thing I saw when the workshop got underway. It's one of my favorite quotes (and I love Lisa's whimsical lettering!)

(from the Desiderata)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

M & mmmmmms

These really look too good to eat.

or not.

After all, if you don't eat your M&Ms fast enough,

they turn into pumpkins.

For more pumpkins, go check out Extreme Pumpkins (click on the winners

from past years on the sidebar on the left to see all the creativity).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Fun with Fabric

What a fun weekend. I commuted to Shelbyville, KY, on Saturday and Sunday to take a workshop with Lisa Engelbrecht, and it was such a great time. Even though it was a long drive both days, the leaves are starting to burst into color, and the construction delays were not as bad as I expected, so overall, the trip was not bad.

Leslie McCarthy was so generous to open her store for our workshop space. Leslie has one shop, Making Ends Meet, with beautiful upholstery fabrics. Room after room overwhelm the senses and you want to take it all home! She has also recently opened a sister store across the street. This shop has all the fun things we need for altered projects and mixed media. What a treasure trove in this little town!

I loved her teapot chimes outside.

The walls of every room had beautiful art.

This picture is a little out of focus, but I could not resist taking a picture of all these flowers Leslie is making for an upcoming event. Too cute.

Day One of our class with Lisa concentrated on Funky Lettering. It was lots of fun, and Lisa did a great job leading us through the exercises and helping us creating some fun alphabets. Here are some of my blinged-up capitals. These were made by scribbling back and forth to make the letters, without lifting the pen. Then we went back later and filled in some spaces. I have long been a fan of Signo white gel pens, but Lisa introduced us to some new pens, including some Signo sparkle pens. I loved playing with those on the black paper.

On Day Two, we worked on fabric, making backgrounds and letters. By the end of the day we hoped to have a finished (or near finished) canvas piece. Well, mine had some pieces, but not attached yet. I had forgotten my bag of fabric scraps I had hoped to use, with just the right thing to put in the spaces. I pinned notes that said "This is where the fabric scrap with the map on it goes" ... etc! I also have a smaller piece I'm pretty happy with.

I have seen Lisa's work for a long time, in books and magazines. Seeing it in person was way better though. Fascinating to see all the detail. Here is one of her pieces.

Of course, one of the best parts of the weekend was just hanging out with everyone and seeing what everyone has been busy creating lately. I was pretty wiped out by the end of Sunday, but it was a happy, contented tired.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Thousand Ideas

Hmmm, what's this?

Oh, it's a book.

I was surprised to get this in the mail today. I ordered it as soon as Gaye told me she was notified she was in it. I pre-ordered it because it's not available until November 1. No problem. Then I got an email that it would be sent earlier than that. Even better. Then I got an email this week that it was on its way. Better still. And all the while, Gaye still does not know what pieces of hers they picked. So here they are.

Looks like she got a whole page for her Trash To Treasure bracelet!

And a whole page for her My Sweet Memories tag bracelet!

I've always liked that tag bracelet...

Those were in the Jewelry & Adornments section. Moving over to the Housewares & Furnishing sections, we find her Safe From Harm coffee table, made from safety deposit boxes with a glass top. (The cinder block cabinet is not hers... bet that sucker is heavy!)

My unofficial review of this book? Very nicely done, and lots of new ideas. There were a few ideas I've seen before, but most were new to me. I like what people are doing with zippers. The other sections of the book are Paper, Collage, & Assemblage.....Couture & Soft Goods...Geek Craft & Man Craft...and Art, Installations & Interiors. Very nice. Way to go Gaye!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nothing New Here

i hate it when i log onto this blog and there is nothing new posted.

nope, not even a secret message.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scrambled Indicia

Speaking of secret messages... Do you have your official U.S. Postal Service stamp decoder? If not, I don't think they sell them anymore. I got mine many years ago, and even the staff at my post office didn't know about them at the time. I wish the USPS had pursued this more and made more stamps with "secret images". The official technology is called "scrambled indicia" - not that I would know that myself, but it's printed inside the card that came with the decoder.

I tried to take some pictures, but it is really hard to get it to show up on the photo. The priority mail stamp with the space shuttle on it has hidden names of all the space shuttles in the background, not visible without the decoder.

The Houdini stamp reveals chains around his body, which was one of his magician tricks when he was alive. Can you see it?

So, that's my fun for the day. I have been working on some catch-up projects, plus regular work stuff, but nothing I have pictures of.

Since it is fall fix-up time, maybe you'd like to be entertained by There I Fixed It. I don't know about you, but some of this scares me. I would like to think some of these are altered photos, but no, these are real "fixes" people have done. I went through a lot of the older posts, and honestly I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

Patience is a virtue.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday at St James

I love this time of year. The leaves are not changing colors yet, but it sure feels like fall. And fall brings the annual fairs and festivals, from big cities and to small towns. My little town has an annual festival and parade, which is why one of the first things I saw when I left home this morning was an elephant on a trailer.But that wasn't the most unusual thing I saw all day, not by a long shot.

I loved this couple, promoting a fund raiser for breast cancer awareness at The Brown Hotel (handing out stickers that say "Go Pink at the Brown")

Now, about the St. James Art Fair... I cannot believe I've lived here all these years and have never been to this nationally acclaimed annual juried art fair. This was the year to finally make it there, with Gaye as my guide of course. In fact, I don't think I've ever been to Old Louisville either, and I was having a hard time watching my step on the uneven sidewalks and lawns while at the same time looking up at the architecture.

The first booth we stopped at really was my favorite. I could have taken my purchase, gone home right then, and have been totally happy. This is what I bought--a small leather journal (I bought the miniature wood-covered pen at another booth later in the day).

I got it from Iona Handcrafted Books.
Most booths did not allow pictures, but they were kind enough to let me take some pictures of their books.

I cannot even begin to describe all the beautiful art, jewelry, fibers, and stuff we saw. And we didn't even see it all.

My other favorite booth was Works of Man. You must go look at these tiny sculptures. How can you not like an artist when he names his work things like Ridiculous Vessel #1 (aka Riddy) and Ridiculous Vessel #2 (aka Fast Eddie). Hold your cursor over the pictures to see the names, then click on them to see more views. Keep in mind those two particular pieces are under three inches tall. They were amazing.

I wish I had pictures of more art, but maybe you will be content with these instead... just some sights and sounds.

I enjoyed the fun art of Louisville's Joel Pinkerton, who makes amazing "people" from everything from coffee pots to spoons and forks and everything in between. I could not find pictures, and the website didn't work, but he posted a video of some of his art here. Maybe after seeing what he did with odd objects, that's why I bought this later in the day.

We took a side trip to the Habitat ReStore. You might check in your own area (no matter where you live in the U.S.) to see if you have one. Their profits go to Habitat for Humanity, and the items they sell come from builder overstocks and remodels, etc. Lots of cabinets, appliances, lighting, paint, windows, doors, and hardware, at pretty cheap prices. I bought the metal pieces and numbers shown here, plus that long double strip of aluminum--not sure what it is, but it should be fun to use!!

A great day overall, with beautiful weather all day!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another Divider

I can't believe it's October. Seems like only last week that I put a September divider in my journal. Here's what I came up with for October. I started out doing one thing and ended up with something totally different. This beaded trim seems to be just the thing though. The journal suddenly seems to have a personality when I pick it up. I can't explain it, it just does.

I'm surprised more people did not find my secret message. Really.... there's a secret message in my last post. I was just beside myself with all my cleverness.
think, think, think.