Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Step-By-Step

I decided to take progression photos of a piece I worked on today. I won't really give much explanation, other than the obvious that this is a piece in Riley's Book of our trip to Yellowstone...


Monday, June 26, 2006

Oh My, Is It Hot!

It has been hot, hot, hot in Seattle, and it is really affecting my mood! For those of you who don't live out here, you should know that most of us don't have air conditioning, so there is just no relief from the hot, muggy air in the house. I have felt so sluggish and unmotivated the past few days, and am taking several catnaps throughout the day while Riley naps. Ugh! I hope it lets up soon so that I can get some energy back!

But, despite the heat, I do have a few fun things to show you. I went to Vendor Night at Fiberfest on Friday night. It was so nice and laid-back compared to Artfest- I actually prefer this to the frenzied mood of Artfest. I found some things that I'm really excited about. First, I got the cutest little stuffed bird pincushion from Lampe's Lumps. I actually probably won't use it as a pincushion, but just set it out to look at since it's so sweet! Then, from Tracie Lyn Huskamp, I got these neat flash cards and two fabric books. I am SO excited about the fabric books, especially the one with the little boy learning how to button, zip, etc. For some reason, he looks the way I picture Riley looking in a few years. I'm not sure what I'll do with the books yet- maybe just revamp them to make new books, or maybe frame the pages, or maybe use the pages in a quilt...we'll see. And you can see what I already did with one of the flash cards. Finally, I also got a little blue doll's dress, although I can't remember from whom.

And I've also finished my contribution to Lauren's project for the Motherhood/Bird Collaborative. I'm very pleased with the way my little eggs turned out- I liked working with the egg shape, as Lauren knew I would!

Okay, enough time on the computer for me. As I said in my last post, my arm is really bothering me lately from typing too much...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Back to Life

Things have slowly returned back to normal around here, after a few days of decompressing from the vacation. Thanks to all of you who commented on the photo of Riley in the grass from the last post! I have to give credit for that one to Jason, but it certainly helps to have a face like that to photograph! And hey, what the heck, it's cute enough to warrant showing again!

Yesterday I worked on a new secret project (a snippet is pictured here). No details now, but I'll tell you about it when I can. Ah, now you're intrigued, aren'tyou?

And finally, if anyone's interested, I've listed some Artitude zines and Teesha's Art & Life zine on Ebay today.

Sorry for the short post- I'm having some nerve issues in my arm (similar to carpal tunnel), and it's really bothered by too much typing. I think sitting in the car so much last week aggravated things a bit...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm Back!

Well, we're back from our trip, and I'm exhausted, which tends to be the story after a vacation, doesn't it? We had a wonderful time- we went to Yellowstone with my parents for a week, then to a family wedding in Jackson Hole. I've never been to Yellowstone, and was amazed by how unique it is! What a neat place. We saw elk, deer, moose, bears, eagles, and plenty of buffalo. We'll have to be sure to go back when Riley's older so that he can really experience it. I'll post some highlight photos below. Riley was wonderful, despite a LOT of time in the car (we drove there, as well as plenty of car time in Yellowstone). We are really lucky to have such an adaptable baby.

Now that I'm back, I'm having a hard time getting back on track with life. I really just need a few days to decompress, I think! I've got a few art projects that I need to get done by the end of the month, and I'd like to just do some fun art as well. Maybe tomorrow I'll be feeling more back to normal. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hurray!

Hurray! I finally received Lauren's piece for the Motherhood/Bird Collaborative we're working on. Our schedule got a little delayed, so I'm just receiving the first project to work on. And it is GORGEOUS! It's a decorated box with shredded paper inside to act as a nest. Then there are egg-shaped cards to decorate, of which she has done two already. Plus she included a little packet of goodies for each of us-how sweet! I wish I had thought to do that with mine. I can't wait to begin working on my two eggs!

And in book news, I'm going to work on a proposal about chronicling your life and special events through collage-using your own image, family images, and symbolic images. And intertwined with all that would be my own tips and techniques. It's just at the VERY beginning stages right now, so don't go preordering on Amazon or anything! I haven't even gotten the idea approved yet. But, at least now I actually have an idea! And I again have to thank those of you who gave me your thoughts, because you really helped me solidify my concept.

I leave tomorrow afternoon for about a week and a half vacation in Yellowstone, so I won't be on the computer for a while. It will be a nice break and should be a fun time. Hope you all have a good week, and I'll see you when I return!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Long One....

First off, I'd like to give a huge "thank you" to those of you who took the time to comment on my last post with encouragement and ideas surrounding a possible book. You all really sparked some new ideas and reaffirmed some of my existing ideas. I really do appreciate it. I'm beginning to formulate some thoughts, and will discuss them with my editor friend. So we'll see where this takes me-it's still quite a long shot, but now I feel a lot more confident that maybe I could pull something together. I'll keep you all updated....

So, in other news, we've been busy. I'm in the mood lately to get projects completed and fix decorating dilemmas that have been hanging over my head. Over the weekend, we checked two items off that list.

First, we made a big jump in the progress of our master bathroom. Jason built a corner cabinet over the sink, because the design of the area was assymmetrical and just never seemed to look right. He didn't actually build the whole thing-he ordered the cabinet door to match our existing cabinets, then built around it to create the corner unit. But nonetheless, it looks great! And then he also replaced the sink and fixtures with new ones that are much nicer and more elegant. Can I say how absolutely wonderful it is to have a handy husband???

And while Jason was working on that, I decided to work on something that has been irritating me for months. I stupidly didn't take a very good "before" picture, but we have this bookcase hutch in our guest bedroom that didn't match the "desk" it was sitting on.

The story is this: When we moved to the new house, we had two matching file cabinets. But we had no bookcase, and we really needed some storage for books and magazines and such. So Jason (again with the wonderful handiness) built a tabletop and bookcase hutch to fit over the file cabinets. But I never had time to paint the bottom portion to match the top, and I've never been too happy with the top color anyway. So I decided to finally bite the bullet and do it. And can I say that I LOVE the results? Underneath, I did a basecoat of red, and then I used a gorgeous yellow-green color and a bright pinky-salmon. I sanded it on the edges afterwards, and the red shows through as an accent, and looks so cool! It makes me happy everytime I walk into the room now! Gotta love that!

Then, I was feeling artsy yesterday, and didn't have any immediate projects that needed to be done, so I decided to do another spread in Riley's book. Those of you who have children probably know how incredibly soft and warm the top of a baby's head is. I just love to rest my cheek or lips on the top of Riley's head and rub across the soft hair. So that's what the pages are about.

And finally, as per Cori's request, here are the different categories in my image file cabinet:

1. Riley- any baby-related papers/images and photos of him

2. Patterned Paper- non-vintage papers-mostly scrapbook papers

3. Colored Paper- paper that doesn't necessarily have a pattern, just more of a color theme- like teastained paper for example

4. Vintage Wallpaper- mostly vintage wallpaper (mostly from Pam!), but other vintage patterned paper as well

5. Self- images of myself

6. Objects-images of objects like furniture, etc.

7. Butterflies/Insects- self-explanatory!

8. Frames- anything that could serve as a frame, like images of actual frames, or other cutouts

9. Old Photos- divided into photocopies (because some photos I can't bear to use the original) and real photos

10. Birds/Nests/Eggs- again, self-explanatory

11. Misc. People/Plants/Animals- usually, anything that doesn't fit into another category!

12. Circular Objects- this category probably could go because I really don't use it much anymore, but I used to use circles behind people's heads as halos, etc...

13. Figures/Bodies- mostly nudes

14. Decorative- things like German foils or other decorative elements

15. Transfers- I print some things onto tissue paper-transfers probably isn't the right word, but whatever- I know what I'm talking about!

16. Architectural- architectural elements

Then I also have files in the back that have a variety of book pages, handwriting, ledger pages, etc.

So there you have it! Thanks again to those of you who helped me out with the book ideas, but also thanks to all of you who read in general! Being home with a baby all day limits my social interactions considerably, so it's really nice to have a little community to be part of!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Self-Serving Request

Gosh, I feel a little wierd even asking this, but here goes:

If I were to write a book, what would you want it to be about?

So here's the story. I have a very good friend who is an editor for Northlight Books (a craft book publisher-they're the ones who did Claudine Hellmuth's books, among others). She continually asks me if I would like to write a book, but honestly, I'm not sure what I'd write about. I'm not the sort of artist who develops new techniques or uses cool new materials. I just do what I do, and it's not even that different from what a lot of other people do. I just don't know that I'd have enough material to fill a whole book.

So I thought I'd make a shameless plea to you readers out there. Since I know you all enjoy my artwork, could you do me a favor and tell me your thoughts? Are there things that I do that you'd like to learn? Are there subjects/themes I use that you want to know more about? Is what I do different enough to fill a whole book?

What I show on my blog here is my most recent work, obviously, but feel free to look at my past work as well if that gives you a better idea of my work as a whole. And although I've been doing a lot of fabric work and baby toys lately, I'd rather write about my collage work for a book.

Again, I feel sort of weird even bringing this up. It's as if I assume that people would want to buy a book that I've written. But I'm just at a loss for ideas myself, and I thought that maybe it's because I'm too close to my own work to be objective. So please feel free to give me your thoughts, even if they're to say, "You're work is too much like everyone else's- you couldn't support a whole book."

Thank you so much in advance for helping me out with this!!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Father's Day Art

We're leaving for a vacation in Yellowstone in a week, and will be driving back home on Father's Day, so I need to get Riley's present for his Daddy ready before then. I had originally intended to do something with a mold of his handprints, and I bought a kit. Boy, was that a mistake-what a mess! Not something you can do with a seven-month old! So Dad will have to settle for a two-dimensional piece of art instead.

I did manage to get Riley's painted handprint on this piece though, and it's just as cute! I also used photos of the two of them and wrote out a list of fun things they share. It turned out nicely I think. And I was able to use my new scanner-finally a piece of art that worked in it!


Cori has asked how my files are organized (from yesterday's post). That's a great question, and one that I'd love to know about another artist as well. No time now, but for my next post, I'll give you all the scoop!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Riley Layout & Corner

Well, I had planned to do some Father's Day art today, but ended up doing Mother's Day art instead! I got the urge to do a spread in Riley's book, and since a couple weeks have already passed, I figured I'd better commemorate Mother's Day. Now that I've done it, I'm actually starting to wonder whether it should have gone into his "baby" book, since it really is more about me than about him, but oh well- he figures into the equation somehow!

I really like the way the pages came out. And they were fast, too! It worries me sometimes when I'm able to do art more quickly than normal-like maybe I'm not challenging myself enough- but I really should just take advantage of the flow, since someday when I'm stuck, I'll be wishing it was coming easily! Once again though, I wasn't able to use my new scanner. The elements that are coming off the page just wouldn't scan well- argh! That's what I get for not being able to stay within the boundaries of the page!

And then, here is this week's corner of my home. This is a corner in my spare bedroom, where I keep my primary art supply cabinet. This is where most of my collage supplies are stored. I have supplies for assemblage and other artforms in my studio closet, but 90% of my art comes from this little cabinet. I'm always incredibly interested in how other artists organize their supplies, so I thought maybe others might be interested to see how mine are organized.

Being an anal-retentive organizational freak, since the time I started working with collage, I have been obsessed with finding the PERFECT way to organize my supplies. If you don't believe me, ask my friend, Tara, who had become the recipient of many of my discarded totes/bins/bags.

But I now have come as close to perfection as possible (of course until I find the next perfect organizational device!). I purchased this cabinet from Ballard Designs, and it has just about everything I need. On the top are several compartments where I store miscellaneous items- paints, books, paper towels. Then there is a shelf, where I store my paint pallette and sometimes other items. Then there are two drawers, where I store ribbons and the like. And on the bottom is a filing cabinet, the most necessary part of the piece for me. I know that collage artists store their images in lots of different ways, but files are the way to go for me. This is one reason I can never find an art tote that works- none of them have files. So when I saw this in the catalog, I knew it was perfect! Most of my tools, like pencils, pens, scissors, etc. I keep on my work table, but they'd easily fit on this cabinet if I needed. Then, to top it all off, it rolls, so I just roll it over to my work table when I'm ready to work.

So, hope you liked this quick little tour into the way I store my supplies! Maybe it provided some ideas for those of you who are looking for something similar!
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