Sunday, May 27, 2007

The last weekend in May!!

The last weekend of May?! I remain completely disoriented; the dilemma started last Oct. when we arrived here. Seasons? As far as I can determine there is only one season here; hot!! Plants that were struck by a week-long bout of frost in January have recovered better than I imagined they would. I don't remember the frost as being anything more than something that attacked many of the plants in the area including the bougainvillea and citrus; I simply don't remember being cold.

The latest fiber piece, Purple Passion, begged for soldering iron distressing. By the time I got the piece distressed I was in a state of distress! The temperature in the garage, even with the side door open, must have been over 100. I had a fan blowing on me to not only keep the fumes away from me but to dry the sweat pouring off of me, or is it glow? There are days when I can't fathom why we moved here! And then I remember: my youngest daughter lives a little over two hours away rather than eight long hours, my grandsons have "sleep-overs," I have a new house, mom is only a few feet away, (she fainted last Sunday when her BP crashed due to a side effect from a trial med. Happily, I didn't need to drive to her house to take care of her!) I don't live where mildew and mold are prevalent enough to cause the FM symptoms to worsen, and the sky is mostly blue rather than steel grey from thick fog. But, there isn't enough green, no ocean, no cool temps, the hospital is old without private rooms, the doctors are practically all from foreign countries which creates communication problems, and I miss my best friend! Yep, having a moment of self-pity!

A good Internet friend, what would I do without the Internet?!?!, and I decided to try a challenge. I tossed out an idea of felting or creating a fiber piece on a metal hoop. I know how to attach a warp to a hoop having created numerous mandala woven pieces but couldn't figure out how to attach either felt or ludtradur. I've now encased a 12 inch hoop inside of lutradur, my secret, and while I was waiting for some glue (a hint) to dry I worked on a piece I had put aside over a week ago. The piece is nearly done with the exclusion of mounting it onto a textured mat board and then framing it.
Materials: grey acrylic felt, fun fibers, raw wool that was blended by carding three colors and textures together, tufts of mohair and dyed fabric.

And now on to the mandala!

Quote: Happiness cannot be found. It can only be.
Sally Huss

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A2Z postcards

A few examples of A2Z themed postcards. I'm disgusted though, I used some amazing unmounted stencil rubber stamps on the bottom one (which is posted upside down!) and when I tossed them into the sink to wash off the ink three of them went down the drain! Have you ever tried to grab something back that has completely disappeared? It's not a good feeling; something akin to wanting to grab back mom's disappearing memory. It's futile and there is a sense of loss almost too great to bear.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Felted ATC

I can't remember the last time I made an ATC. This piece started out life as the one of my first needle felted experiments; it's one of the purple examples a few posts back. I did some more work on then then embellished it with a distressed dryer sheet and embossed metal.

There is a new residential community opening soon on the west side of Merv Griffin's Ranch not far from where I live. The ad reads: May 26th, Griffin Ranch will reveal eleven extraordinary model homes, each architecturally superb and furnished to exquisite perfection.

You are enthusiastially invited to attend.

Don't miss this much-anticipated event in the desert's new, world-class equestrian/residential community. The gates will open promptly at 11 am. Mark your calendar.

From the looks of the elegant wall and walking path surrounding the community I can only guess what the price of the homes might be. Is there such a word as enthusiastically? Spell check doesn't seem to think so.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

White and Ivory

Well I finally did it! I tortured a piece of felt! I'm extremely cautious with materials that might bother my sensitive immune system so I had never melted plastic or felt. But now that I have a ventilated garage to work in I've started working on pieces to experiment on. Armed with a heat gun and wood burning tool I literally attacked the 8x10 inch felted piece. I really like how the edges of the felt burnt and curled. But then I'm very fond of the distressed/aged look. There is one thing I want to change, minor, but it bothers me and I'm positive that it's noticeable.

I seem to be a monochromatic mood lately. I wonder what that's all about?

We're on the second day of "triple digit" heat. The temp is holding at 103. At least the sky is clear and the winds have died down. I've been spending about an hour every evening working in the garden. I only stop when the light has gone from the sky. I do my best work by moonlight.

Quote: The only rule in art is what works.
Lee Fleming

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Flower smashing

When I spotted the bright red oleander flowers that seem to have sprouted overnight I couldn't wait to try smashing them! A lot of the flowers in my garden are too precious to try smashing or they aren't pulpy/juicy/pigmented enough. Having stepped on a few red oleander flowers in the past I knew that they'd be perfect to experiment with on paper towels. The traditional way of smashing (or pounding) flowers is done on fabric. Paper usually doesn't hold up to a hammer or mallet enough; splitting or tearing occurs. But a strong paper towel works beautifully. I liked the results of smashing the flowers enough on white paper towels to start experimenting on painted ones. Additional work will be done on the two pieces above.

Quote: Without effort there is no growth.
Effort is everything.
Sally Huss

Make an effort today to do something for yourself!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Prepped Journal pages

One of a few conditions I had before even considering a move to the desert was that there had to be a Trader Joe's very close by! Most of the meals we have have a food in them from TJ's. They have the sort of food I like, healthy but not so ridiculous as to have no flavor or too heavy that one is aware of eating healthy. Plus, the prices are outstanding! Speciality items abound like the lemon dill sauce that is drizzled over every bite of fish. The local TJ's was only a few months old when we started looking into the move! Why do I bring this up? The pages below are created from tearing out images from paper bags from TJ's! They encourage recycling bags by offering a ticket for every bag you take in to reuse. None of my tickets have been drawn from the monthly drawing, but I'm hopeful. This bag, however, ended up on the pages in my journal. All of these images are from one bag. The bottom right is my favorite. The middle one reminds of Dr. Seuss drawings, especially the fish. (Click on the pages to see an enlargement.) I got a bit messy with the top one, but what the heck; if one can't have fun in a journal what's the point?

I can't remember that last time I watched the Kentucky Derby, but there I was this afternoon glued to the set! Every intention I had upon rising this morning was to create a fabric piece or finish one, but there I was watching the horse race! I do seem to have a thing for horses. I rented "Flicka" for Stacy last week so she could watch it on her portable DVD player during her dialysis treatment. I thought that "Flicka" might be a little on the saccharine side for me, but I enjoyed it. Tim McGraw did an okay job playing the father. It was the horses that caught my attention though. Absolutely beautiful shots of them.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Journal pages

A friend recently asked if I write pages in my journal first or paint them. I do both. This spread now has journaling on it; you know the private drivel kind of stuff that I don't share with anyone. I remembered to scan these examples first. Watercolor crayons, Neocolor II, are great to use on blank pages or over waterproof ink. I found some foam rubber stamps at Lowe's a few weeks ago in the decorator paint section and decided to give them a try. The Fleur-De-Lys motif is one of three in the set. Very cool! The pages certainly aren't anything grand but they're fun to write on.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Happy May!

The background is a painted paper towel. Huge surprise! I was wandering around Home Depot yesterday after putting 16 bricks into my cart and these lovelies shouted at me, "Take us home!" What could I do? They have the oddest petals I've seen on a daisy-like plant. The purple section of my garden only has some pitiful looking Lavender plants growing in it so along with the daisies 2 Pincushion plants jumped into the cart. The Pincushion blossoms won't hold up on the scanner; the daisies barely did. A few petals twisted and a few fell off.

This is the first day I haven't felt the need to turn on the AC in 3 weeks. Nice to have the windows open and only the ceiling fans whirling around creating a breeze. I have a feeling that the furkiddies would prefer that the AC was cooling them off.

I find that when I choose a plant it's often with a few things in mind. It needs to be drought and heat tolerant and easy to grow but more importantly the plant needs to have some sort visual appeal for my artwork. If I can photograph the foliage or blossoms I'm happy, but if I can also scan or dry them I'm thrilled. To be considered for my garden the plant needs to "shout at me."