Saturday, February 28, 2009

#24 of 52 projects

Barely in under the wire, but, I did get week #24 done on time.

Components: Background is rust dyed heart printed fabric, gold Shiva paint stik heart on black fabric, handmade paper heart, and 3 heart brads. The paper heart is outlined with 3-D paint and the 4x6 inch piece is edge stitched with variegated thread.

Quote: Aim for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars. Les Brown

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More handmade paper

These two were failures from last spring, or at least they were boring. The circle one has a new layer of pulp added on top near the bottom and the lines were re-rusted.

The other small 4x6 inch piece has quite a bit of layering added to it, more collage-like, plus a heart.

Rather than clog up this blog with photos, after all I already chat too much on it, I started one specifically for photos. I'm currently taking an online class, details of which are on the new blog, but don't ask for details about how the photos are done. Instead, sign up for a class. The blog is here: I studied fine art photography for years, not that it shows!, so snapshots are difficult for me to do. It's an entirely different mind-set.

Quote: Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I have never heard of one who suffered from insomnia. Joseph Wood Krutch

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Energy Deficit

I'm battling fatigue which tends to make me cranky, enough so that when the seven month old Janome Platinum Jem refused to sew I seriously thought about tossing it into the trash can. The Redlands Sewing Center is about
1.5 hours from here and that of course made the situation even larger than it needed to be. In the yellow pages I discovered only two repair shops in the entire area, one of them isn't in the most desirable of locations. Happily, the second one isn't too far away and I was informed that if I got the machine in on Wednesday the repair guy was in their shop on Thursday so I could probably have my machine back on Friday. "I'll bet," I thought. Often I'm surprised when things turn out; the machine is back home after being reset to factory settings. I'm terrified to try it, what if it doesn't work? In the mood I'm in I wouldn't be able to handle it. Energy deficit due to insomnia, enough said.

I did however whip up two more batches of paper pulp with an additive that is supposed to help the paper become acid free. I forgot to mention that before. Two examples of some of the fragments and small sheets of paper that I made are below. The scans seem to make the paper look like one sheet rather than a small embossed fragment on top of a sheet of paper. I haven't adhered them together yet simply because I'm still wondering if I like them well enough. To achieve the blue tone on second one I used chalk pastels. I don't make delicate paper to write on, why bother when one can purchase beautiful papers. The paper I make is often chunky, highly textured, or chock full of things that appeal to me like herbs, dried flowers or whatever is on my work bench such as onion skins on their way to the compost pile. I think that the paper made better use of them.

The other thing that I tried was to use hand sanitizer, Purell, to transfer a photo I shot in Arles, France in 1997. This particular print was too dark. The details of the house in the background weren't evident. I do like the sunflowers so I tried the transfer on a sheet of handmade paper
I made years ago. Failed paper, failed print, what did I have to lose? I have a feeling that this process invented by Glenda Bailey is something I will continue to play with. I'm impressed with how easy it is to do. (Note: Glenda continues to add new information about the technique so scroll through her blog to the first entry.)

Quote: Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking. Clifton Fadimen

Monday, February 16, 2009


Rain! The bundle I put outdoors on Sat. is receiving a nice soaking. I wondered what would happen to some of the photos I included and if the one in this photo is any indication there might not be any images left on May. 1. No wonder photo transfers sometimes work with just water! I tossed some some text pages from the French book onto the rusted cookie sheet and then placed a jar on them to flatten them. Love the circle imprint.

I was able to get out into the garage again today even though it was freezing! Where did this cold weather come from? A couple more batches of pulp including some for some paper casting I'm trying using molds I made yesterday when I glued some elements on mat board. So far I'm not impressed.
Quote: Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In the Studio

It was a productive day, that is after I cleared some of the pile off of the work table in the garage. The blender is leaking sodium alginate that ended up clogging the motor. I couldn't find a used blender at any of the 4 thrift stores I tried last month so I ended up purchasing a new one for $12.95. Planning ahead is always a good thing; the urge to make paper struck late last night so today the new blender was finally released from the box and put to use. I have my own way of making paper that includes a handmade mold with built-in deckle. Velcro holds the window screen and plastic canvas in place and I pour pulp onto the mold. Lots of blotting with a sponge and kunin felt to remove as much water as I can, then the paper is left on felt to dry. (google "paper making" for the right way to make paper.)

I'm still creating art pieces with hearts in them. I found a set of cookie cutters at Target last week that I knew instantly would be make perfect molds for paper pulp. In the photo, pulp has been poured into the cookie cutters that were placed on a screen stapled to a frame. They were left to drain before removing the cutters and pressing between kunin felt to compress the pulp together. My pulp recipe? About 3 cups of water and a handful of paper blended until I like the looks of it. Today I used some brown paper bags from the grocery store and added some plastic coated paper along with a spicy salt that I tried on some chicken a couple of months ago. Yikes!! I thought that maybe the combination of herbs might add something to the paper. I also tried a batch of brown paper with some onion skins. A third batch of pulp was a combination of paper from the paper shredder, brown paper that I didn't clean out of the blender, and some onion skins. I placed some rusty washers on a few pieces.

The photo with the paper casting sitting on top of a painted paper towel was taken early this morning in the bathroom. The counter, covered with freezer paper, is the perfect place to paint when it's freezing or boiling in the garage, or in this case, when it's after midnight. I painted lutradur. Tip: because the lutradur is fibrous I like to put a paper towel, or another piece of lutradur, or fabric under the piece that is being painted. Otherwise, the paint ends up on the freezer paper. Often whatever is placed under the lutradur ends up being more interesting such as the paper towel in the photo. The casting was made using one sheet of paper towel.

When I made the bundles yesterday for the disintegration project I missed a page torn from a French book. I tossed it on a wet rusty cookie sheet and put a metal heart on it. The heart isn't as evident as I hoped it would be, but I love how the rust from the cookie sheet created an interesting design. (click on images to enlarge)

Quote: Art is when you do something just cockeyed from what is the right way to do it, then it's art. Will Rogers

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Disintegration Project

Disintegration Project - another one of Seth's brilliant ideas. Check out his blog for details. I'm a little late getting started but the unveiling of the bundles isn't until May 1 so hopefully be then nature will have helped the papers to disintegrate.
Components: cardboard including one piece that was indented by seltzer water cans, newspaper, ink jet printed script, badly printed photos, text from both a dictionary and a French book, a cardboard tube, and a couple of painted and unpainted pieces of mat board. Along with twine the top bundle is wrapped with both copper and steel wire. The bundles are attached to a bamboo vine support that is presently tied to one of the pergola posts. If the grape vine starts growing I might move the bundles to another area in the garden. (click to enlarge the photo)
Valentine's Day is my parents anniversary, sadly, mom didn't remember that today. Her world is getting smaller all of the time.
Quotes: Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely. M*A*S*H, Hawkeye

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

#23 of 52 projects is a couple of days ahead of schedule. Hearts within hearts.

Components.: Red chiffon needle punched onto black kunin felt with a heart shape cut out of the center; I love the way chiffon ends up being distressed by the embellisher. Commercial fabric flecked with red hearts that was rust dyed with a metal heart. (The metal heart is metal flashing.) Copper wings with a patina, a purchased tin heart, and a tiny copper heart also with a rich turquoise patina. I tried to edge stitch this piece but the sewing machine didn't take kindly to the layers and kept freezing up. Oh well. (click image to enlarge)

Quotes: I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think of romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon. Author Unknown.

I claim there ain't
Another Saint
as Great as Valentine.
Ogden Nash

Who, being loved, is poor? Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blog Award

Oh my gosh! I forgot that I received this award from Val. Thank you for honoring me with another award. I'm supposed to list 5 blogs which I'm a bit reluctant to do; the last time I did that no one responded . . . So, these are some favs, in no particular order.

Linda (the beautiful tree in the Jan. 31 post is now in my collection!!!)





Monday, February 09, 2009

Abstract painting

I've got to figure out a way to get better photos of my work. A lighting tent perhaps? No place for one though, sadly. I finally started experimenting with different sizes of canvases in the hopes that I'll figure out what size is comfortable to work in. 6x6 inches isn't it! I reworked this one until the only hope for it was to stop and move on. The band of color is copper flashing. Acrylic paints, mostly Golden's fluid.

A close-up of the copper band. So, how did I get this look? Guess.

#22 of 52 projects

This is week #22, so I'm caught up!
Components: more glue resist fabric paint experimenting. This time I didn't wash the glue out; I liked the effect of the paint on the glue. Lots of rambling stitches in purple a long with grid-like work on the left side. I did touch up the areas inside of the circles with ochre, purple and turquoise. Size: 4x6 inches

Woke up late to blustery winter day. Wind and drizzle make for a break from the ever-ending blue sky that one would think couldn't become boring. After years of months upon months of dreary fog that blanket the Monterey Peninsula the wide open blue sky here in the desert dazzled me. When clouds cross the sky I now cheer! Too much of a good thing can become mundane.

Quote: Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. Author unknown

Sunday, February 08, 2009

#21 of 52 projects

One more to to then I'll be caught up with the 52 projects.

Components: Heart shaped glue resist. Wash of blue and green fabric paint. Blah! White paint splatters. Still blah. Needle felted heart, black stitching and hand made copper button. Much better.

Learned: basic straight stitching works well for a simple quilted effect. Making copper buttons from copper flashing is well worth the time!

Quote: Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself. Gloria Steinem

Saturday, February 07, 2009

#20 of 52 projects

I'm catching up after falling into a dark hole, figuratively speaking. I hate to admit it, but occasionally the health issues that have plagued me since childhood completely take over my life. If I fight against them or ignore them I end up deeper in the hole which is where I've been for nearly two weeks. I can finally see a glimmer of light and hope to be in complete daylight again soon. In meantime I dabbled with a few more glue resist pieces. This time I drew some wavy lines on a stretched screen intended for screen printing with dyes but used fabric paint instead. The first print turned out better than I thought it might. The second print wasn't as bold. Not being in the mood to make another printing I used rubber stamps to fill in some areas which greatly improved the piece. Days later the red lines of satin stitching were added and I'm now happy with it. Both pieces are 4x6 inches on canvas fabric. While the glue washed out of the mesh the paint stained it. Being that I made the screens I can replace the mesh as needed.

Quote: Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair. T.S. Eliot