Thursday, February 28, 2008

Inchies are...

... Mini collages that measure just 1" square. I found a baggy of them while rummaging the other day. I had gotten them in a Christian Paper Artists swap. When I first got them, I didn't have any ideas for using them, so they languished for several months. Now I can't put them away! I am having SO much FUN! Because some of the pieces are warped, I have been using pop dots for mounting them and I like the added dimension of their shadows anyway. Here I altered some boring boxed note cards and made something more interesting. I never buy blank cards at the hobby store when I can find cards and envelopes at garage sales and thrift stores for next to nothing.

The next inchie swap I'm participating in (also for
) has a "birdie" theme. If you would like to join, there is one more day left to sign up. Art is due March 14 (I think).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am not afraid to admit...

....That I organize in "piles". I sifted through some of those piles over the weekend and FINALLY found the small packet of vintage hole reinforcements I was hunting for a few weeks ago. These are a fabric of sorts and have a gluey back that you have to lick and stick. It meant I could finally finish this tag I had on hold until I got those hole reinforcers. I was not settling for the plastic self adhesive ones! I am also not afraid to admit that I obsess over details. heehee I wish the tag photographed better because it is really an amazing piece of found object art. The base is a beautifully faded voter's registration card (Grandma Templeton's - she just passed away last August at age 84 or so) that needed no distressing or antiquing. And for those of you looking for new ideas, I have two words for you- "old hairpins". Here I punched some tiny holes (with a tiny Stampin' Up! hole punch) into the card and wove the pin in with a costume jewelry pendant attached. You can also fasten papers together using the same technique.
Well, because I did some cleaning over the weekend, today I felt like I could play. A few days ago, I had cut apart a cardboard gift box into postcard and bookmark sized pieces and found those pieces today where I had left them on my computer desk (a new "pile" was starting). I decided today was the day to embellished a postcard for a friend. Ever have leftover bits from creating other art? That's what the "Art, Life" scrap is from. It was my working "rough" to try out colors and rubber stamps for a swap. Torn artistically, with a few extra embellishments added, it has new life as a postcard. There will be more scrap art in the next few days as I rummage through drawers in my studio.
Spring MUST be coming, because I am compelled to do some deep cleaning and organizing. Can you smell spring in the air? I just know the buds and blooms will be bursting out soon.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Busy, Busy, Dreadfully Busy...

For those who are familiar with Veggie Tales, you might recognize the words from a song in one of their first videos, sung by a character who was too self important. Maybe I am that (self important- my husband thinks so, aka selfish), but I have also been definitely busy. I have groaned everytime I stopped by my blog and seen the same Valentine greeting still up. What? The Blog Fairies didn't come by and update my post for me?! I have been so busy doing that there is no time to pause to report on it. I finished another swap for Christian Paper Artists, packed and mailed out 8 rubber stamp ebay auction sales and wrote another 11 auctions that I uploaded last night. I am signed up for a birdie inchie swap and am hosting a "women" ATC swap. Today I FINALLY posted reviews on the 7 zines I got in the last 7 for 7 Gleaner Zine swap only because I am seriously thinking of joining the latest swap and felt guilty for not following through on the first. My next zine working title is "Confessions of a Stampaholic". An ambitious project designed to force me to experiment with the hundreds of rubber stamps I have acquired over the past year or so and a place to ramble on about my obsession. Yes, it's only taken me a year to accumulate boxes of rubber stamps. My secret? Buy large lots of stamps on ebay, keep about half and sell off the other half to pay for my initial investment. I often make a profit too. And I get some INCREDIBLE rubber stamps in the process. Check out my current auctions. I have some rare, one of a kinds that I do not even know the makers of because someone had bought the designs in sheets and mounted the rubber dyes themself. I also buy some stamps just for myself when I find treasures hidden in a lot simply described as "Large Lot Mounted Rubber Stamps". Clocks, keys, collages, postoids, beautiful stamps by Stampington can be stumbled across in lots. Akin to rummaging through bins of mismarked items or bargains. That's me. A painfully frugal bargain hunter. heehee If I can find a stamp for a couple dollars, it's more exciting than paying $15 for the same stamp on the originator's website. Bargain hunting takes time, which is why I am so "busy, busy, dreadfully busy...." But, oh, the satisfaction!

Okay, time to go. My oldest is hovering and and whining about getting her turn on the computer. It's another snow day today, due to frozen sleet and the roads being too treaturous for the school buses. My husband, with truck driver training, almost went off the road in his four wheel drive truck and scared the poop out of himself so he forbid me to drive anywhere today. It was slippery walking into town the one block to the post office this morning so I didn't fight him on it. Hope you are warm and safe wherever you are.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Greetings

My sweet husband came home from work early yesterday bearing a huge bouquet of gorgeous red roses and one white rose tucked in for- purity? (true love?) I'm a little rusty on my flower language. The vase rises majestically above the clutter on my kitchen counter- a metaphor. Midst the domestic clutter in my life there is beauty to be found! Heehee. Okay, that's why I was an artist for Hallmark, not a writer! Here's hoping you get roses from your sweety and paper hearts in the mail today! The antique postcard above is post marked 1908.
The angelic Art Award is from my dear, faithful blog reading, friend Donna (Made in Heaven). Given to her blogging friends who artistically enrich and inspire her daily. Well, she enriches my life daily too. Here's to you, Donna! And in turn I would like to award 3 friends who always creatively inspire me; Beth, Linda, and Laura you are tops! Lori Roberts has been a recent discovery for me and Art Junk Girl, you are a woman after my own trash to treasure heart! I wish I had one of these beautiful awards to mail to each of you in person! A digital post will have to do. In turn Girls, send the love on to 5 others! For those of you not familiar with "borrowing" images ;) right click on the award and save it to your computer, then post on your blog! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I made a few very simple Valentine postcards this year for a Christian Paper Artists swap. The designs were based on wanting to use specific rubber stamps I just recently aquired (lately I am buying as many as I am selling on ebay!)

I have several "Postcard" stamps, but this is my new favorite. Got to make more postcard art so I can use it. Got to make more stamp art period, because I have a fabulous collection of rubber and it is under utilized. Thinking about making my next zine featuring rubber stamp art.
So far I have done well on keeping my New Year's resolutions. I wanted to lose weight and do more art. Well, I am creating pretty steadily (housework is suffering, but something's got to give!) and I have lost 16 pounds! I went to the thrift store Saturday and invested $2.00 in some "new", clingier clothing. Two pairs of size 14 jeans and a couple of size medium sweaters. I feel like a size 2! I would love to be a 12 again, but haven't seen that in over 13 years. Anything is possible though. You won't see me buying half priced chocolate after Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bottled Up no more!

Altered bottles absolutely fascinate me. Empty ones call to me for the possibilities of what interesting treasures or messages they can store. I have been storing up the inspiration for a looooong time until I couldn't stand it any more. Last night at the kids' bedtime, I suddenly decided the time was right to alter a tag (intended for a bottle) and that led to a bottle itself. I started the tag, then had to bide my time down in the living room, waiting for the kids to fall asleep (it almost killed me) so I could creep back upstairs and work under the small light of my desk lamp, stamping embellishing, rummaging and hoping my rustlings wouldn't wake the sleeping angels in their rooms off my studio.
Success! The first tag was too big, but it might fit another bottle or project. I am very happy with the one bottle I completed. Can't wait to do more! A dusty box full of them wait for me on our back porch. Oh, the possibilities! (rubbing hands together in delicious anticipation!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Divine Serendipity

There are just some things you can't learn from looking at and reading someone's tutorial (this coming from one who just spent two days pouring over back issues of Stamp Madness and Somerset Studio!) There is no substitute for the act of creating your own art. Stuff just HAPPENS. Call it serendipity or divine leading. You won't experience it if you don't put yourself in the place to have it happen. I am preaching to myself. I don't do enough art and spend too much time reading about it.
Okay, back to my point, which I haven't made yet. The two pages above were made from one cut out image. Or one negative and one positive. They are for an altered book 6 for 6 tip-in swap I am hosting for Christian Paper Artists (yahoo group). I cut out the beautiful romantic woman and set the scrap aside. Later, I ran across the scrap, turned it over and voila!, instant background for another piece, totally unrelated to the painting I first cut the woman from. In this case both images illustrate scripture from Proverbs 31, "the wise woman". Some of my favorite reading, because I am a practical person and Proverbs is the original book of pearls of wisdom.

So, before you throw away a piece of scrap, turn it over and see if the reverse side is something interesting. I have peeled photos out of old albums, where someone has glued them in and the back of some of the photos (damaged from the tearing out) were more interesting than their fronts. Or if you pull a piece of collage up to reposition it, stop! Where you tore up the composition may look better than if you replaced the piece you removed. My work can be so tight and calculated that I rely on the chaos and destruction of scraps and rejected items.

Divine Serendipity happens.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hope I Win!

Catherine is giving away two copies of her book. Go there and join the raffle! HURRY! DEADLINE IS TODAY!!!!