Friday, April 30, 2010

Are You a Label Reader? The Story of a Glue Book

I feel sometimes like I need to apologize or rationalize my obsessions. But I really don't have an explanation for why something suddenly strikes me so then I have to start collecting it and then scheming about how I will use it. Take canned fruit and juice labels. I like the bright colors and graphics. Best Choice and Always Save have the most garrish, but pretty illustrations. So I started carefully removing them (after the can was opened!) and saving them- in the bread box, in the utensil drawer, until they spilled out every time I needed bread or a measuring spoon. I only had a vague idea that I wanted to make a collage or something.

Then yesterday, Rebecca was restless, so I suggested we do "arts and crafts" on the back porch. I pulled out a stack of "Birds and Blooms" magazines and let her cut and glue to her heart's content. Meanwhile, I pulled out my labels, an old hardbound book I had set aside and joined Rebecca in cutting and gluing. It felt so good to organize my "collection" and make it look visually interesting at the same time.
The spreads have a "true colors" feel and as you can see, some birds joined the fruit.

Some teabag wrappers and tags joined the labels, because they were stashed with the fruit labels and are another thing I obsessively collect. It's a sickness!
This green page turned out to be my favorite because of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly I managed to incorporate in with the grapes.
What do TAZO tea, a sparrow, white grape juice, ginger tea, a chrysalis, a caterpiller and a butterfly all have in common?
Nothing really, but it works, doesn't it?
Your eye makes a connection between the Best Choice logo and the black in the butterfly; the orange-y brown in the "100% juice" and the similiar coloring in the chrysalis, butterfly and catterpillar. The sparrow has a variation of the orange and so does the tea tag upper left. And the life stages of the monarch sit or hang in natural places on the labels so they look like they were always there.
It's exciting how it all came together!

So get yourself a 5 year old, feed him or her some apple sauce and manderin oranges and then use the fruit labels to make some art.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Creative Carmelina is Giving Something Away

Visit Carmelina here, become a follower of both her blogs and you could win this framed print of her daughter. How adorable is it?!
The winner will be announced this Friday night.
You still have time!
You might also tell her I sent you so she knows how far her influence has spread.
I just met her today and I think both of her blogs are sweet.
She also has an etsy shop full of beautiful creations.
Go visit her!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breakfast Tea on Tuesday

Rebecca woke up sounding congested this morning.
She had been complaining about a sore throat for a couple days.
"Can you bring me food on a tray?"
she croaked in her morning, "I'm sick" voice.
"Sure", I said vaguely, hoping she would go back to sleep.
Once my son was off to school, a picnic breakfast in bed on a tray was sounding more do-able.
My largest tray was almost too large to pass up our narrow stairs.
On the walk up, I noted the dog hair nestled in the corners of each step.
But I digress.
I landed on Rebecca's bed like a magic carpet ride, tray laden with milk and honeyed tea, teacups, scrambled eggs with cheese and warmed over cinnamon rolls (served on old glass dessert plates). Also a small blue custard cup of orange slices and a small box of raisins (just because I know she likes raisins).
While we ate and drank, I read "The Jolly Postman", opening and reading every enclosure in the book, instead of skimming like I normally do for bedtime reading.
"This is the best day ever!"
exclaimed my 5 year old invalid.
And she cleaned her plate, eating better than when she is "well".
Just then she spilled her full teacup on the tray.
The party was over.
Until lunch.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shake It Up!

I love kinetic art. Stuff that moves and changes. Here is some palm sized kinetic art, in ATC form. A little hard to appreciate from a mere photo, but do your best. :) I apologize for the glare.

Ingredients: an endearing image, a piece of acetate, a sprinkle each of sequins or stars and glitter, one sewing machine set for zig-zag. Oh, and an ATC blank or cardstock cut to 2.5" x 3.5". Also a dymo for the lettering. I also used a French manuscript rubber stamp on the background of the clip art.

Glue your image down on the card.
Sprinkle a pinch each of your stars and glitter onto your image. Cover with acetate. Zig- zag sew around all four sides. Trim down your acetate to the dimensions of the card. Dymo a word and clip apart the letters. Lay them out in a pleasing manner. (Do your heavy sighing away from your work area or the letters will blow away! I had to re-do a couple!) Peel away the backing paper and stick down your letters (the most tedious part of this card). Now shake and alter your glittery ATC to your heart's content!
Note: I created my textured acetate by running a sheet of acetate, loosely covered with celophane shred (like Easter grass), through a hot laminating machine. Those were the days when I volunteered for my son's pre-school (he is now 10 years old!) and laminated projects for the teachers. I have a couple sheets of my experimental acetate left which I use frugally. These two cards were made from one scrap.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Playing With Face cards

I've always taken it for granted that all face cards are the same.
Not so!
Check out these queens above.
Similiar to each other, but each quite unique.

Kind of neat how they all face different directions too.

I love the wild pattern combinations on their clothing.

And here a couple of old jokers.

Need lots of all one kind of face card?
I have them for sale in my etsy (of course!)
Royalty comes by the dozen, while the jokers I only have 8 of.
Each group would make a cool display all framed up or maybe you need a bunch of knaves for an Alice in Wonderland altered book?
You could also create some unique invites to a girls' art party with all queens.
hint, hint
Or create a kingly collaged cigar box for the man in your life.
You can tell I had awhile to think as I played with my decks and decks of cards.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Art Mail From Laura

Laura is one of those quick draw people who claimed one of my postcards in a giveaway. It was first come first served with an address. She was so inspired by the whole postcard mail art thing, that she sent me this woven offering. Such a sweet image!

Not to be out done, I created this for her. Childish silliness with unrelated children's book writing that vaguely "works".

No sooner did I mail
my card than this one arrived the next day (she had mailed her two cards at the same time, but this one traveled slower). I love the whole vintage-y campiness of it!

I think we have a swap going on.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WAY Before White Out

Just had to share one of the vintage oddities I have
in my collection of, well, vintage oddities.
Before microwaves, before the Internet, before cable TV.
Before White Out and correction tape.
If you're old enough to know.
Your old enough.

Additonal note:

Linda mentioned erasing the carbon copies too. I HAVE a box of carbon paper too!

What obsolete items do you collect or hang on to?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mail Art- Postage Stamps

"The function of the artist is to express reality as felt."
Robert Motherwell
It has never been SO fun to send art mail than now.
The US Postal Service recently issued these Abstract Expressionists stamps-
artists creating in the 1940s-50s -and wow! They are fun to arrange on an envelope!
They vary in size and the largest is a relative billboard for a stamp.

These First Class (44 cents) stamps come in a sheet of 10 for $4.40 so are not a huge financial outlay all at once, but if you are like me, you will want more than one sheet.
You can buy these and other beautiful stamps on-line and have them mailed to your door.
Save time by not standing in line at your local PO and get exactly what you want!
This has been a public service announcement by an excitable artistic type
who works in a small-town Post Office.
Quit complaining about long lines,
go on-line and find great tools for enhancing your creativity.
Then mail it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Antique Linen and Laces Stitchery Kit

Just listed it in my etsy shop.
A kit of heirloom materials for stitching an heirloom quality sampler.
Quantities are limited.
Read about the antique linen here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Heart in Hand

A little something I have on display on my pack porch
that also happens to be for sale in my etsy shop.
I like to say that I am not in the "keeping" business.
I get more enjoyment out of sharing and selling things.
If I was rich and could afford the postage,
I would just mail most of my stuff away as RAKs.
For free.
The heart is a ceramic one I made and
the hand is something vintage I picked up somewhere.
One of my current etsy offerings.
So much treasure and so little time to list it all for sale!

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Calorie Peeps

Found these at my local fleamarket.
Reminded me of Easter gifties I got as a kid.
Ten cents each.
CHEAP, cheep, cheep!
May you have a blessed Easter
and may all of your treats be calorie free!