Saturday, May 31, 2008

Altered Book Club

I have been teaching a free altered book class at my local library since January, but have forgotten to bring my camera until today (so that's why you're hearing about it now for the first time). We meet once a month on the fourth Saturday to alter library discards. I usually spend a good part of the one- two hour session introducing newcomers to the concept. The class or "Altered Book Club" as the librarian publicizes it, is open to ages 8- 100. Now that school is out, I have more kids showing up, but a couple of adults have caught the altered bug. The library provides the books and magazines (and sells a few in the process too!) and glue sticks, scissors, water color paints and the work space. I bring my altered books for inspiration, some found paper and scrapbooking paper, fibers, decorative scissors and enthusiasm. Today I showed how to do paper weaving, but most days I just encourage "play". Often it's just tearing and gluing paper or puddling paint on pages. The kids need little instruction and take to defacing books like ducks to water. The adults need a few minutes to process the idea of "destroying" a book. heehee Both kids and adults discover something new they enjoy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Fleeting Iris

I am blessed with plantings done by a previous owner.
A sea of purple irises comes up behind our garage every year, seen only by the few people who might travel down our back alley (a sort of secret garden). Another puddle of irises comes up in a flood of purple in our front yard around a red bud tree. The yellow ones come up underneath an aged, knarled tree in our front yard and the pink beauties grace a tiny patch right next to our back screened in porch, holding their own.
Sad that irises only bloom for about 10 days and then all that's left is their dense greenery. Sadder still that I didn't take a picture of these flowers a couple days ago when the sun was shining and the blooms were at their most glorious (these were taken today and we are expecting rain). A small window of opportunity, gone for another year, but the anticipation is delicious.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Useful Books Obsession

I love old books. But when someone does something phenomenal with an old book... well,... I have no word for it. Cindy Leader's "Useful Books" are my latest obsession. I own more than one, so almost have a collection (my mom says two is a pair, three is a collection. heehee) You have to see Cindy's stuff, but better yet, OWN one. Click here for her etsy store. My favorite books of hers are beautifully coptic stitched with the spine displayed and are made from covers of old books or as in this latest, delightful creation, a 45 record. But not just ANY 45 though- a translucent RED one and the song happens to be "Love's Secret". How perfect is that? And it's filled with graph paper, plain pages, children's book pages and pages from a child's music primer. Ready for journaling, altering or just browsing through and dreaming. I can't tell you how wonderful it is just to hold one of her books. I may never write or glue a single thing in it, but will enjoy it just the same. I just got the book in today's mail and HAD to share. Take a look at her beautiful creations. Buy one. You will be glad you did. I'll be buying a third sometime so I have a true collection started.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hosting a House Party...

The mailing deadline is approaching for the house ATC swap I am hosting for Christian Paper Artists and for once, I have my own art done ahead of schedule. Being a last minute person, ie: procrastinator!, I normally use every one else's mailing time to START my own art. Bad hostess, bad hostess!

I used some fabulous rubber stamps I have been storing forever (Shrine looking stamp by Stampers Anonymous and Rococo facade by A Stamp in the Hand) and photos cut from books and phrases cut from a yellowed newspaper classifieds and vintage magazines. FUN! The bases are made from mostly Cheez-It boxes, because I like the warm color of the cardboard. I cover the Cheez-It graphics on the reverse with an ATC stamp I stamp on a sticker and fill out with my name, etc. I apologize for the cool, blue color of my photos. My digital camera is slowly degenerating, so even my sunlight pictures look cool.

I had asked the participants to not slather their cards with scripture, because then it becomes a card full of words and no graphic elements (I have seen in the past), but then I got carried away on a couple of my cards with a lot of words. Now I feel bad. Okay, my rational is, that my words ARE a graphic element and not just a body of copy glued down for it's content only. Having said that, now I feel just a little bad instead of a lot. For more house ACT art, check out Linda's (you will have to scroll down a little) and Anna's (also one post down on her blog) and Chris's.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I got breakfast in bed this morning... a cheese omlette and peach tea on a tray. Upon request I got a peeled orange and some dry rye toast (it's good to be Queen, if only for a day, or even a morning). Hubby gave me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers Friday. Today it's cold outside and windy (only about 50*), but at least the sun is shining. A welcomed break form the constant 4 day rain. Happy Mother's Day moms! Soak it all up! Tomorrow is Monday and it will all go back to normal. heeheeeheee.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Future NASCAR Driver

Our son learned to ride his 2 wheel bike, without training wheels, before he turned 5. Now at aged 8 (9 in August), Dad has decided Seth is ready to race 4-wheelers. Seth is a natural. The bike is an extention of himself. Seth is a shy, quiet kid with a secret daredevil's heart. My husband says it scares him to see what Seth can do on a bike, with confidence, that he wouldn't necessarily try himself. My husband also said that 4-wheeler racing is how some of the best NASCAR drivers started as kids. Okay. Even if Hubby is stretching the truth, seems like a good thing to encourage your child in what they have an affinity for. It would be nice to think that we have a future Junior in our midst, but having a winner now is even better. If he places last in every race, Seth will still be a winner to me. He tirelessly mows our yard (already) and is a hard worker. He will go far. Whether by bike, by mower, and someday, by car (NASCAR or not).

In the mean time, Seth has a darn good time mudding with his dad. You know you've had a good time when your clothing needs to be power washed, before it's laundered! Seth starts race training in a few weeks. Naturally, I am praying he doesn't break his neck.

I'm NOT a Soccer Mom...

Instead, I drive my daughter to riding lessons. At aged 11, Victoria is showing the promise of becoming a seriously good horsewoman. Her teacher says so and so does Katie, my friend whose horse, Sonia (pictured), Victoria rides. Riding lessons are not a cheap undertaking, but some things are just worth it. When your child shows a strong interest, a passion even, a drive to WANT to learn, it's nothing to write that semi weekly check to further her dreams. And Katie has been so generous with Sonia, a retired race horse. Yes, Victoria, tall for her age, rides a horse. Not a pony. A full sized horse. Victoria, tall and thin, looks beautiful on Sonia, with her equally lean racing lines. They are a picture together. Am I beaming like a proud mom? YES I am! My daughter has surprised me. She hates to fold laundry, argues with me when I ask her to empty the dishwasher, but takes instruction well from her teacher and is a natural on horseback. Talks to her mount, rewards Sonia when she accomplishes a task properly. I loved horses at Victoria's age too, but didn't have the drive to want to own and ride one. I stuck to just drawing them.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Art Therapy

I probably spend far too much time wrapping ebay items for mailing, but I find it theraputic, a joy to send something beautiful to someone I have never met and probably never will, and why not lavish a little art on otherwise humble materials? I "created" these packages today. Want lovely mail art? Shop my ebay auctions. :)