Sunday, June 19, 2011

Remembering my Dad

My first Father's Day since we lost Dad on November 9, 2010. Missing him while I look at the photo album I put together for his memorial in Dease Lake, B.C., where Mom and Dad homesteaded five acres of property in the 70's and where I grew up. It was a true pioneer story, Dease Lake is a very small town only 100 miles south of the BC/Yukon border, they built a log cabin with trees from that property and over the years they became an integral part of that community. As kids will do I moved away and got married and was only able to see them when we could make the long trek north. Dad loved cars, was a light and heavy duty mechanic and ran a shop on the outskirts of town. His heart was soft when it came to stray animals, there was always a house full of cats and dogs that he had brought home. Some of the best memories are the purple toy tow truck I received as a little girl, fishing trips via helicopter to the lakes out in the mountains, Dad teaching me how to shoot a rifle. He was not a overly emotional man but I do know that he loved me and I will miss him every day. 

Dad and I during the construction of the log cabin.
Mom and Dad.

The bride and her Dad.

Gerry with Dad in the shop at Dease Lake.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Angelina Fiber Play

Played for a few hours yesterday with Angelina fibers, polyester fibers that can heat bond to themselves producing a sheet of polyester film, also called fantasy film by some. After perusing the ye olde Internet for a while I had come across a product called BoNash bonding power (aka 007), basically fusing medium in a powder form. The nifty thing is you can sprinkle your Angelina pieces with it and then bond them to fabric, netting etc. Here are the basic ingredients of yesterdays work....

Angelina fibers in assorted colors, some are not heat fusible and therefore must be sandwiched between the heat fusible variety, iron, Teflon sheet, and the 007 and a variety of sequins, decorative fibers and fabric. You can embed flat things in the Angelina, hence the sequins and decorative fibers.

Sheets with inclusions and bonded to fabric or netting....

Sheets not bonded to fabric....

Bonded to some black spider web netting, with sequin inclusions.....

You can stamp the fibers by placing the loose strands on a inked rubber stamp, Teflon sheet over that and then iron.

These samples will be cut into decorative shapes, edging and embellishments for other projects. 

Messed around in the garden this morning, finally got the beans planted and erected the netting over the bed to keep the birds from plucking them from the ground as soon as they come up. The rhubarb is a happy camper right now, probably all of the rain....

And of course Dana wants everyone to know that It's Good To Be A Spoiled Princess.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Altered File Folders

The humble manila office folder never looked so good. I took a class from Maude May at Letters of Joy called Manila Folder Magic. Ever wonder where to put those little bits of important paper, tickets stubs, travel ephemera, recipes, etc.? We created custom folders using letter and legal manila folders, collage ephemera, stamps, fibers, eyelets and decorative paper. It was a blast, no over-analyzing the process, just collaged our way to happiness. Loved this project and have made two more since the class, two are in the pipeline and lots of grandiose ideas for even more elaborate ones with multiple pages and pockets.

This is the one I did in class, which was only 2 hours, so it was quick and dirty collage, which means no over-thinking the placement of ephemera, great way to get out of your box.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book of Roses

The wonderful techniques I learned from Orly Avineri at ArtFest and my own favorite background and collage work has resulted in my Book of Roses. The pages are of different sizes and cascading with lots of bling and fiber embellishments. It was a undertaking that included liquid inks, black & white & clear gesso, stencils, stamps, acrylics, distress inks, gel and glaze pens, fibers, trim, decorative tape and of course rhinestones. Binding is a 4 hole Japanese with grosgrain ribbon. There are flowers other than roses but they were the main inspiration so they get the accolades. There was some binding angst involved, I now have a Zutter Bind-It-All so future projects with be free of banging the head against the art table. Thanks to Steve at Stampadoodle for ordering in this latest nifty toy for me.

I have been on a bit of a purge fest in the studio, if we ever move it would take me a month to pack the studio so I need to start the paring process. First up, going through all of my books and magazines I have collected for images. How long does it take to go through a cabinet full of National Geographic and cut out only the images you think you will use in the future? It takes a L.O.N.G  time, that's what. Those old encyclopedia's? It was a brutal quick and dirty selection and then into the paper recycling they went.

And too boot I think I have sustained a crafting injury. All of the eyelets in the Book of Roses were put in with the Big Bite punch and setter, its takes some muscle to set the eyelets, so after oh, say a million of them my arm and side muscles were a pretty sore the next day. Gerry was not sympathetic and would not fetch and carry for me, as I sat in my easy chair whining about my serious art injury.

In the garden news portion of this post we are having a freaky spring, too much rain, everything is late, rhodies just NOW blooming, finally could not wait any longer to plant the tomatoes so they are in but with their comfy little water jackets on them. In my world tomato growing is a competitive sport and things must progress ON SCHEDULE, lest I fall behind my rivals (you know who you are!).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ArtFest 2011

ArtFest 2011 was great, loved my classes and soaked in all the exuberant art vibe that comes with this amazing event. Coming back is always kind of let down as you re-enter back into real life, job, laundry and myriad of chores large and small that make up the days, but ArtFest manges to help re-charge the creative batteries no less.

Took Michael deMeng for two classes, "Lonely Hearts" and "Pretty Vial Things". The heart box was just a little wooden box, distressed using Michael;s signature techniques, constructed the heart from Apoxy Clay, first time using that but liked since it air dries. Mine turned out very folk-arty and I love it.

My altered bottle for the next Michael class was a "Shoe Potion" (Jody doing something about shoes....shocking, I know!). More apoxie clay, DAP texture and Barbie doll shoes. The toughest part of this was finding the Barbie shoes, when I was a kid you could buy just the shoes separately, not so much now, had to schlep to 3 different stores in Bellingham, finally found a set of shoes and almost had to throw down in the Barbie Aisle with a 6 year old to get them.

This potion, ingested pre-shopping will guarantee you will find your favorite shoes, on sale and in your size.

The class with with Orly Avineri, "Deck of Roses". Working with a big pieces of watercolor paper she showed us some great techniques with liquid ink, distress ink pads, gesso (black and white) and varnish. These cards still need some pen work but I love them as the photographic images are of my own roses that I slave over every summer.

Here are some pics of Fort Worden, the venue for ArtFest.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Altered Stiletto & Mouse Adventure

New altered Stiletto for the ArtFest gallery, the theme is birds so lots of bright feathers. This shoe was made in memory of my sweet friend Sherri, many of the materials for this shoe were ones that were also used during the last retreat she hosted at her Sparrow's Nest Studio. Body of shoe was covered in altered paper towels and sprinkling of glitter. Heel was painted and then a random application of some Jones Tones foil.

In another shoe related story The Vermin (aka the Cats) have outdone themselves again in the mouse department.

We were sitting watching TV on Sunday and I had not seen the cats in the living room for a bit which usually means they are up to something so I went to find them. They were in the bedroom staring very intently into my closet at my shoes. The back door had been open and they had that "we have something cornered" look in their eyes. After shooing them out of the bedroom against bitter protest and shutting the door I looked around in the closet really good and could not see anything..... and then noticed that one of my brand new 3 inch heels had suddenly grown a long skinny tail. There was a BIG fat mouse tucked into the shoe, the shoe is a peep toe so his little face was peaking out the toe and his tail was hanging over the heel. I picked up the shoe VERY carefully because I did not want him to bolt and then be wandering the house for eternity.  Managed to get mouse, shoe and myself out to the back yard and let him go. I am sure he was pretty traumatized, what with being trapped in that leather prison with two cats breathing down his neck. We think Apollo caught him, and so I guess we have to stop calling Apollo "The Big Marshmallow" and start calling him the "Mighty Hunter".

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Charms and Journal Backgrounds

Long time no post, I know. Life happened and not in a good way, time to try and get back on track and focus on some art. I have never really been a journaler, but do know the first step is usually just to get something, anything down on paper. Backgrounds are a good place to start, here are a few.

Lots of mixed media here....acrylic paint, spray inks, deli paper, stencils and foam stamps, spray webbing.

Going to make a effort to finish off some old projects that were gathering dust and I mean that literally..... had one that I actually had to get a big dry paintbrush out to get the dustbunnies and their progeny off of it. Off to ArtFest in a couple of weeks so the usual trade making frenzy is in full swing, charms are always a big hit so that is where I went this year. My wrapped loop skills are getting much better after making 75+ of these.

Soon the supply packing for ArtFest will start and Gerry can make his annual snide comments about whether I need a tractor trailor or not.

My posting hiatus was due largely in part to the passing of my dear friend Sherri Angie. She taught me so much and I am forever blessed to have had the time I did with her and wish so much we could have had more. Not a day will goes by that I do not think of her.

Fly free with your Richard, sweet friend.