Monday, July 21, 2008

Take the Plunge!

This is my first altered book done in a round robin (or RR for short). The group was Collage Cats and the theme was "Ocean Fantasy". That was back in August 2003. In 2004 I added some of my own pages to fill in some blanks (just did some free form painting to add color) and today I added art to one of those free form pages, thanks to some inchies from Linda. There are still plenty of unaltered pages at the back, so the book will be a continuing project for awhile, but how great is that? I love the ocean and have a perfect home for postcards, poetry and other sea related findings. Makes me want to start another theme book- perhaps on "wings" (as in "hope is the thing with wings") since I have a thing for butterflies-- and birds are a popular icon right now. I never get tired of going through my ocean book. I suspect I would love browsing a butterfly book too. I also need to do a sewing book since I accumulate (vintage) sewing notions (and vintage books on sewing) like I actually sew a lot! Okay, I did sew at one time, but now just use stitching as an embellishment. I haven't sewn a piece of clothing in years. What could you organize in a book?

A close up from my "welcome page".

Linda's contributions are arranged on the right side (ATC and inchies that just came in the mail today!). I added some blank inchies of my own on the left side to continue the border. By the way, the pages were painted with kids' finger paint! A wonderful cornstarchy, translucent paint that allows me to glue anything on it with a simple glue stick.

Linda's art up close. I love her thoroughly modern mermaids!
Take the Altered Book plunge!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Picture Says It All

I am normally thick skinned, but today someone hurt my feelings very badly. Thank God for art therapy! This is a slide frame with a tiny collage inside (kinda like a super inchie, I guess). I feel better having got it out on paper. I dated the back so I would remember when I felt so sad. Fortunately, I don't have many days like this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A BAD, No Good Day, Made GOOD

Sunday morning dawned to bad moods in our house. Nothing seemed to go right. My husband woke up on the wrong side of the bed and left the house in a huff (went in to work to deal with personal demons). Victoria got dragged in the park twice by our St. Bernard, Lucy. Rebecca wet herself at the park, so I interruptd her play abruptly and dragged her home sobbing and crying (we live on the border of the City Park, so it was a short drag). Seth was in a bad mood, because, well, it was the mood de jour. Personally, I just wanted to run away from home.

But I bucked up, said a pray for strength to deal with the day and resolved to not let the day continue on its hell bent path, because if it did, I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO STAND IT! It was a gorgeous, sunny day, so I told the kids that we would have a picnic brunch outside. There was some smart mouthed, negative grumbling, but I perservered and soon we had the patio table washed, a table cloth picked out, teacups and teapots set out carefully on trays and a menu spontaneously created of ham and cheese omlettes and fruit and toast. The kids got into the party spirit with flowers picked from our yard and helped with food prep. Victoria found my vintage fly screen domes and covered our dishes. As we sat down to eat, the table rule was set. Only say nice things to each other and about other people (no mean gossip and tattling). By the end of the luxurious meal (the company made the party), the kids did not even mind cleaning up the dishes and were already talking about doing it again for dinner (which we did).
We had a beautiful afternoon together doing stuff in the yard (cleaning out the shed and learning about mud dauber and paper wasps as we disected their nests I knocked down- scary and thrilling at the same time!) By dinner time I was overwelmed with how perfect the day had turned out. I prayed a very thankful grace before dinner. "Thank you God for this beautiful day, for my beautiful kids and this wonderful meal. Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies. In Jesus' name, Amen." Minutes later, when my husband came home, he couldn't help but be in a better mood too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Sheepish Day

A couple weeks ago I gathered some city friends at a local sheep farm for a day of hands-on woolen education. Amy already wishes she lived in the country and Holly loves to knit and is experimenting with drop spool spinning, so when I met Melissa and learned that she raised sheep... a light went on in my head. Duh! A perfect, divinely serendipious, oppertunity for some artsy synergy. And besides, it would just be so much FuN!

This is what we learned. Sheep raised for wool do not make for good eating nor milking (not that we tasted mutton during our stay, but our hostess, Melissa, told us some of what she's learned from two years of raising sheep). Black merino is the most desirable wool because of its gorgeous natural color. My friend Holly (pictured with lamb) learned that sheep are as cute in person as they are in pictures. And when you run your fingers through their coat, your hands are made silky smooth from the lanoline.

My friend Amy learned that spinning is not at all as easy as it looks! There's your foot pedaling to keep consistent while one hand holds the wool and the other "drafts" the fibers for spinning. Kind of like patting your head while simultaneously rubbing your stomach! heehee Notice Amy's intense concentration?

Our fabulous, generous hostess Melissa (her dotted apron is pictured) very patiently coached us as we each tried a hand at her spinning wheel with hilarious results.

It's blurry, but you can still tell that my ball of spun wool is still pretty blobby and lumpy- bumpy. Melissa, on the other hand, spins a fine thread that needs to be plied (several strands spun together) before being thick enough for knitting and crocheting (and she does beautiful knitted work). What did I learn? That wool arts are not my bag, but I have a talent for bringing like minded people together. :)