Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dig Deep

Don't you wish there was a new post here? 

I do too!!

For some reason, the more I have to work, the more ideas I have for play.  Right now, I am suddenly obsessed with wanting to carve stamps and make background papers.  But I'll be working all weekend.  I carved this stamp over the course of two evenings because I had to get it out of my system.

I don't understand people who get bored.  It just never happens to me... there are always a dozen things I want to do.  Even as a kid... well, let's just say there was once a little girl who could not decide whether she wanted to ride her bike or read her new library book.  Doing both at the same time is not advised.  Because you might ride you bike into a parked car.  And the car might belong to some people visiting from "up north".  And they might be cranky and mean and call the police.  And it might scare the daylights out of a little eight year old.  If that were to happen that is.....

Monday, May 24, 2010

White Pen #1,254

Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration - I have not really tried 1254 white pens.  But if you are like me, there is a never ending search for a good white pen that will write on anything.  And just when I settle on a favorite, it disappears, never to be found again.  My current favorite is the Uniball Signo White gel pen.  I know other people have favorites too.  I also like the Souffle, Latte, and Glaze pens.  Lots of people like Jelly Roll, but maybe I had some bad ones because they didn't work for me.  I think a lot also depends on whether your local environment is dry, humid, etc, whether you store them horizontal or vertical, and any number of things.  As a rule, if I have to shake and pump a pen, it is going to eventually spread a big fat blob on my page when I least expect it.  That makes me very unhappy.

So, my point here is that if I hear of something, I might give it a try.  This time, I found myself in the cosmetics aisle at Walgreen's after hearing about a Nail Art Pen.  It comes in several colors including white and metallics.  It has a fine point.  You can easily wipe it off and start over before it dries, yet it dries fairly quickly.  And I figured if it is designed to make marks on nail polish, it surely would work on acrylic pages or other art pages.  The big drawback is the price - $7.99 (I found one at Kroger for $7.95.  I'll check Walmart next as they also carry Sally Hansen products).  I debated and pondered, bit my lip and forked out $8. 

I wouldn't say this is the best thing in the universe, but it's a decent little pen.  Just shake before using.  It has to be pumped once to get it started, but I have not had to do it again so far.  The instructions say not to use it on dry fingernails, to paint them first.  So, when it is used on regular paper, it is less than impressive. 

But on any slick or glossy surfaces, it is a dream.  I tried it on metal, acetate, vellum, magazine pages, vinyl, and photos.  (And just for fun, I did try it on my fingernail.  If I had some black nail polish, I would have painted my fingernails black, then added white dots like dominoes! But I don't.)  I'm thinking acetate journal pages like the one below.  It has some possibilities!

Would I spend another $8?  I don't know.  I'll see how long this lasts and what the durability is like.  I do like the cute little flower on the cap!


{{Sigh}}... Goodbye Lost.  (If you are not a Lost fan, just ignore this.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lots of Stuffs

What comes between Friday (with rain, hail, winds, and storm warnings) and Sunday (oppressive heat and humidity)?  Why, that would be Saturday - it could not have been more perfect weatherwise.  I was up early and off to Gaye's for her studio sale.  I was stationed in my usual spot, letting people in, handing them a shopping bag, and directing them to the basement, then acting as cashier as they left.  I was making a major effort to not get carried away myself when it came to shopping.  I mean, do I really need to take more stuff home??  But, of course, Gaye does find cooler stuff than most people, so I did bring home a mighty fine bag of goodies. 

I'm a sucker for old books and ledgers, especially if they have writing in them.  I got some for their pretty covers, hoping I will get around to making art journals with them.  And I got this, a ledger from Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, 1931-32 school year.

I love the beautiful penmanship inside, so carefully written.  And even though all it does is list tuition payments for that year, it does have a small glimpse into the times (Depression era).  One entry says this:

Father lost position. Not able to pay, finished year, free tuition.

And then there is this old cookbook "for brides only".  It had lots of notations, mostly referring to "mother" and a date.  I don't know what that means.  Maybe this little bride was missing her mother, or maybe those are days her mother visited.  If those pages could only talk.

And I got this teeny dictionary.  Its poor cover is falling apart, but the dictionary does have 18,000 words! 

Here is some more of my stuff... paper stuff, metal stuff, game board suff, clock stuff, leather stuff.....

My last trip downstairs, several of us were doing a last look, and I was standing there looking at the hardware.  I started picking up different pieces and putting them in and on a wooden box I was holding.  I think I have a shrine in progress!  Meantime, Gaye was playing with those long skinny clock hands.  They are so flexible, and she was making loops and hangers and all kinds of things.  Hmmmm.  Ideas were dropping from the sky!

There was even more stuff that I brought home that is not pictured here - and all for a mere $25.  What a bargain!  But honestly, the best  part of the day was just hanging out with friends I don't see much (you know who you are!!), talking and laughing and being silly at times.  Don't we all need that sometimes?  Actually, we all need lots More days like that!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shopping Time

Are we smiling yet?

(Another splendid Gaye find - a letter opener.)

I made a fun trip to Gaye's to check out the goods she will be having at her yard sale this weekend.  Papers and stamps and books - Oh My!  I probably won't sleep tonight thinking about what I might want when I go back this weekend!  I also know her - she will probably add a whole bunch more by the weekend.  If you are "local" and want more info about her UNadvertised yard sale (especially if you are a mixed media artist who is "into" these types of things), email me privately at the email address in my blog profile.)

Here is a very small sampling:

Lots and lots of cool papers, including washi papers, wrapping papers, art papers, and collage packs.  Also, books of all kinds for altering or for using the pages for art projects. 

Found objects, game boards (great for book covers or altered art), storage containers, muslin bags.

And what is in that box that says found objects?

This kind of stuff. 

Then there are parts, letters, and art supplies.
Plus stamps and other great finds.

I know I am forgetting half of it, but you get the idea.  This is definitely "the good stuff"!

Monday, May 17, 2010


These are sprandelions.

They are kind of like dandelions, but not.  Or they might be micro-organisms from Mars.  Actually, it is more of my spray experiments, with a can of compressed air at my side.

I know I sound like a broken record, saying the same thing every time - that it's too windy, too rainy to spray outside with enamel paints.  And it is.  I think it was sunny on Saturday for a few hours, but I was working all weekend so that didn't help me.  I'm starting to think I have a better chance of winning the lottery than having a day off when it is perfect spray weather.  When that happens, maybe I can take a Spray-cation!!

However, for someone who has had no luck and no time, I sure am amassing quite a stack of experimental pages!  I am making do with my water based sprays and still having fun. 

I am amazed at the results from these water based sprays, because you never know what you will end up with.  Even when the first color is dry, the second color will bleed into it.  Lots of fun. 

I played with water soluble crayon scribbles and spray inks to see what would happen.  The jury is still out on that one.  It may get sprayed over before it's all over.

I cut up one of my paper plate holders and made this non-circular sunburst stencil (using blue painters tape to make a rectangle).  I see lots of sunbursts in my future!

And least you think I might have turned into some kind of spray-maniac, sitting around in her pj's for days on end, with paint in her hair and on her face, and a dozen dirty coffee cups stacked on the counter, were it not for the fact that I have to go to work every day, that might well be a sad reality!!!  I'm loving what little spray time I can get!  I'll try to find something else to post about soon!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Paula made me do it

Good grief, Paula!  You are not only a great jeweler (jewelster, jewelress????) but now you are a professional photographer!  Go look at Paula's roses Right Now.  And make sure you scroll down and check out the pictures with her awesome jewelry on the roses!  I know I am biased because I know her personally and she's my friend, but she really is a very talented solder-er!  You'll see... (and if you are smart, you'll snap some up on her etsy site!)

I don't have awesome roses like she does, but she inspired me to go outside and take pictures of my peonies.  Just because. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Listen to the Monkey

Yes, let's play!

I always do what the monkey tells me.  Especially if he has a patch over his eye and needs a shave.  And I really take him seriously if he is accompanied by a yellow rabbit wearing a bowtie, a cape and a toupee...

So.  I had a sudden urge to spray paint some white paint onto white bristol board and see if it would act as a resist.  So I sprayed some white circles and let that dry (not available for photo).

Then I sprayed some water based blue over it and used a can of compressed air to try to move the blue over the white circles.  I immediately became distracted making little tendrils all over the page. 

Okay, back to the task at hand.  I wasn't seeing the circles pop out with the blue, so I got a stamp pad out and rubbed it over the circles.  Still not much happening, so I used a paper towel to try to spread out the stamp pad ink.  Then I spritzed the brown stamp pad ink with water and rubbed (scrubbed) again with the paper towel.  Now the white circles popped out. 

I'm crazy about this for some reason.  And thus lies a constant problem with me.  I usually like my backgrounds so much I don't want to write on them, collage on them or do anything else.  I may just hang it on the wall and look at it until I get tired of it.  Or until the outlaw monkeys come and take me away.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

They say...

"They" say this is a disposable grill topper.

I think not...

The metal grill cover is another dollar store find.  I went to the dollar store in search of spray paints for $1 a can.  I found the basics, but had to spend more than a dollar on some other colors -- which I am STILL not able to use because it has been too windy outside.  I did take the red spray paint (enamel) and my dandy grill cover out to the deck for a quick spray.  I just had to see what it looked like.  I took a plastic table cloth to put it all on, and had to fight the wind constantly to keep it from blowing away!  But I did get a quick spray done to satisfy my curiosity. 

I also used the white enamel spray on the big blob.  It's not perfect, but with some lettering on it or collage, it will be amazing!

I went on an archeological dig in the parts of my studio that I haven't touched in a few years, in search of paper doilies actually.  I found round doilies and some large square ones.  I also found more stamp pad re-inkers (green and blue), so I got my spraying fix using those, since I can use them indoors.  Below are what was supposed to be scrap papers I was using for testing and blotting, but I like these best and see them folded into journal pages, covered in writing and collage bits.  (The hand mask is my hand traced onto old xray film and cut out.)

The reason I've been spray crazy lately is that I signed up for another online class with Mary Ann Moss.  I liked the Remains of the Day class so much, I signed up for stenciling.  Actually, I wanted to take the "Stitched and Stenciled" class last fall when it was first offerred, but you had to have her Stencilry class first and I had not had that.  I didn't really want to take both... But it was meant to be.  She is now offering the two classes for one price and I could not resist.  Now to find a chunk of play time and right weather at the same exact moment.  It will be a miracle it seems!  And I am most anxious to learn to make my own stencils from old photos, etc.  I have already picked some out.  Should be fun!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Blob

I meant to do that, she tried to say convincingly.

Looks like an embellisment opportunity to me.

Actually, my watered down inks are almost gone and I keep adding water so the spray nozzle will spray.  Now they are nothing more than just colored water practically, but I keep spraying away, making colored water blobs!  Hopefully, this weekend I can get some proper spray paints.... and it won't be raining outside... or windy.... and I won't need a nap.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

(shot of spray color that is)

I deleted what I originally wrote about this.  I was whining a little, about not having enough time to play with this more, not having set up a proper spray station, not having enough spray paints (this was done with watered down stamp pad re-inkers in a spray bottle).... wah wah wah...  Then I realized that I really like how this turned out, and further that some of my work I like the best was done in short snippets of time that I stole from my day.  So maybe I work better when I am forced to squeeze in play time whenever I can grab it!

And that is my thought for today.  That's what you'll find here most of the time... just me thinking out loud...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Circle of Life

Dot asked if I used freehand or a stencil to paint the circles for my samples of the fluid acrylics.  I used a circle template (about one inch in diameter) to pencil in circles all over the page, then painted them in.  Even so, they are not "perfect" circles after painted, that's for sure!  But it WAS like coloring in a coloring book, so that made it fun! 

More circles...
Then Dot mentioned something about making samples of clay blends -- oh what memories that brought back for me, and I went in search of some of those I started way back when.

I had such fun using translucent polymer clay, adding all kinds of stuff to it, cutting and baking little circles to put in my sample book.  I think I used the removable center part of a donut/biscuit cutter to cut the circles.

I see that those were dated 2000... ten years ago!  My how time flies.  My sample book also contained slices from jelly rolls and checkerboards I had made.  If I had no other hobbies, polymer clay might be my thing.  I love to knead it, squish it, form it, blend it, make rolls and squares.  But I don't think I've played with it in years.  I tore these pages out of that book and used the book for something else a long time ago.  But I kept these pages, I guess because I had invested so much time in them!

More circles....

I've been collecting things to use for stencils with spray painting.  Can you guess what these are?

Paper plate holders.  What a bargain at the dollar store - a pack of 4 for $1.  Can't beat it!

I am definitely on some kind of circular path in my life.  No wonder I never seem to get anywhere!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

SAS Telethon Today

Notice:  There will be a telethon today for SAS awareness (Short Attention Span).  I have come to the conclusion that my condition is permanent.  It is not just spring fever.  It is not a result of daylight savings time.  I have a chronic case of Short Attention Span.

For instance..... I planned to make a Fabulous book with those painted pages from the last post.  It would be a wonderful Derby-themed book, with quotes, and different topics (hats, roses, mint juleps, etc).  I found funny pictures of hats (all of men wearing hats - go figure), tried a layout, and almost instantly lost interest!

By the way, the business card came from a random stranger on the street... she was dressed down, but wearing a fabulous hat.  When I commented on the hat, she handed out a business card, as she was drumming up business for Derby hats! 

I think the pressure of making a "fabulous" book was too much.  I liked my haphazard Derby doodles from 2003 much better...

A few days ago, I bought this book... I think Keri Smith is so funny

This is an example of what's inside the book.

I thought I would pick a task that looked fun, quick and easy.  Look what happened.

So, welcome to my world.  I'm hopeless!

Happy Derby and happy May (!) - It's a stormy, very wet and rainy day in Louisville unfortunately.

[P.S. - Today's SAS Telethon has been cancelled because, well, due to my short attention span I lost interest already.]

[P.S. again - I lost my electricity when I tried to post this earlier today.  The sun came out for a nanosecond during the running of the Kentucky Derby this afternoon.  If I had been betting, I would have bet on Dean's Kitten.  He came in 14th.  Which is why I never bet on the Derby!]