Monday, December 18, 2017

Where did it go?

I just saw that my last post was Nov. 3rd, and now it's a week until Christmas. Not sure how that happened. Well, I kind of do. Nov. 17th was the Christmas vintage show I'd been working on, and preparing for that was consuming all my spare time, not to mention my mental energy. I just don't do them often enough to be casual about them. Here are some pics I took before the show started and the chaos began!

It went well, but what a relief to have it over with!  

After that my focus turned to waiting for, and then being in San Francisco for a scary surgery my sister had to have. I'm so grateful that it went well, we couldn't have received a better Christmas present. It's so good to be home again, and it looks like my sister will be home in time for Christmas as well, and I couldn't be more grateful. Things like this certainly put things in perspective, even more so at this time of year.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy Christmas with your loved ones!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Busy busy....

Nothing like a deadline to ramp up the Studio time!  It would be nice if I could maintain a regular studio habit rather than my long periods of drought followed by a deluge of sudden productivity. But having a reason to create, a goal to get my butt in gear seems to make the difference for me.  

I had the hardest time getting a decent picture of this, it's kind of a shadow box, with little doors that open and close over the front glass. I've had it for a few years, it was a gift and I was always saving it for something special. I've also been hoarding the little sheep, they're very old and wonderful, but when I experimentally put them in there I suddenly saw a manger scene, or creche, and there was no going back.

I've also been making jewelry to try and sell at the upcoming show. 
This one below is a mosaic made from the stamp on the back of a plate like the one shown with it. Sometimes I like the back of old dishes better than the front.

This one is kind of  hard to see but there's an old St. Nick image there.

This is an image transfer of a copy of an earlier piece of mine onto an old ledger page, with encaustic wax over it.

We went camping last weekend, and I actually used my little art kit I made to keep in the trailer, for the first time. I thought ahead and brought a copy of an old French document that I have (I briefly considered using the original, but just couldn't do it), and spent hours drawing and painting and shading. It was very relaxing.

I love this beautiful old writing.

Here was the view from the table at our campsite as I was drawing.  Ah the smell of pine trees!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It may be Halloween in the rest of my house...

But in my studio it's Christmas!

Working to prepare for a show called Noel meant diving into Christmas before my mind was ready to go there, but I started having fun.

  I bore out an old little wood buoy for this one (well, in all honesty I had my husband do it).

Fortunately everything for the show doesn't have to be Christmas themed...

Lastly we went to an event called Pumpkin Nights last night, where you walk through themed displays with thousands of carved pumpkins. Below are some of my favorites:

Huge snake in the Chinese themed area, with hundreds of chinese lanterns made from pumpkins as well

 A Pirates of the Caribbean theme below

I loved the detail of this underwater sea diver

Leaves in the garden themed area

Loved this fox

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ah, Halloween

Fall is in the air - my favorite time of year.  And as soon as I sense it, cooler mornings, a falling leaf or two, I'm ready to decorate for Halloween.  So yes, my house is all decked out inside, and I had a spot where I wanted something Halloweeny to hang, so I decided to make something.

The two pieces are attached to make one long piece. I had a lot of fun putting these together, and even got out my encaustic wax equipment - I forgot how much I love transforming things with wax.

My Mom bought me this crow (pre-hardware) with something like this in mind for me to sort of steampunk him up. She'd seen one done and knew I had enough of a collection of bits and bobs to give it a go. My studio was a mess after going through everything trying to find just the right pieces, not to mention unearthing my hot glue gun, but he was worth it.

This is a much smaller version of a film cannister mailing container like the one from my last post, this time it's the front side. I loved how it's mailing address label looks like a frame.

I've been playing some more with image transfers of my previous work. This one is done on a piece of birch bark, and then glued into an old grater.

Another image transfer, on this old clipboard I found.

And last but not least, my new studio desk lamp. I've been desperately in need of one, but just couldn't seem to pull the trigger on any new ones I'd seen. Then when I saw this one I knew what I'd been waiting for. Old, full of character, completely positionable with a really small footprint, incredibly heavy so it won't knock over - it's perfect!  Well, as long as I don't accidentally touch the metal shade when it's on, surface of the sun is about what I'd compare it to...

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back in the Studio

Remember how I used to actually create art?  The only studio time I've spent for quite a while is for jewelry, and not much of that. And of course the grand distraction of a canned ham, Miss Lil Stella, didn't help.  But I spent most of last weekend in the studio (too hot to go outside, that helped).  I gave myself a motivational kick in the butt by committing to participate in a Vintage show in November called Noel that I did a few years ago. I can sell vintage items, on their own or re-purposed, and vintage art. 

The piece above is the back half of an old studio reel box. I've had it for a long time, but it had never occurred to me until now that I can do something with the bottom and the top separately, that I didn't have to keep them together. I've never gotten myself to do anything with the top because it's covered in wonderful old stickers and stamps from being mailed around so I haven't had the heart to cover them with anything.  These are image transfers from copies of my originals, which I then repainted with the white glossy paint. I had a lot of fun with these.

The other items I finished I'm really excited about. I had found a couple of old metal receipt pad holders, I think that's what they are anyway. I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but I just liked them. Once I finally figured out how to open them up (leverage and some muscle!) I immediately thought refillable art journals!  

I did an image transfer on the front and back of this one as the metal was really pitted, and added the rusty trim. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to sell this one.

I filled it with really beautiful watercolor paper that I tore into pieces from a large sheet.

This is the back of it.

This one is larger and the metal was in better shape. And I really liked those raised ridges so I decided not to cover it. But I had this old rusty leaf that I've saved for years that fit it perfectly, and added some metal trim and doo dads at the side.

This is a necklace I made that I realized I had never posted a picture of. 

Earlier in August we took Lil Stella camping to Santa Cruz for 4 days. Here she is in action.

This is the famous tree at Big Sur, I've probably posted a picture of this before.

Hubby and Guinness at one of our favorite little restaurants in Bodega Bay.

 The view from a house we stayed at with family at Dillon Beach, later in the week. 

Looking at these pictures is making me long for those cool ocean breezes!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Final Canned Ham Post

I'm a terrible photographer, I forgot to take pictures while we were camping, except for this messy one. But you get the idea.... It was a lovely mountain spot, hotter than one wants to be while camping, but still fun. 

I took some inside shots after we got back, these'll be the last I subject you to!

Below is the French piece that was my color inspiration for the whole project.

My friend Val just made me some pillows for the trailer for my birthday, aren't they gorgeous?  The canvas fabric is made from the original hammocks that were used for she and her brother to sleep on when they were little. One was over the main bed and one over the table and they slid in and out. The fabric has aged wonderfully into a creamy yellow.

I needed to do something with the inside of the door, the wood had some water staining and I really didn't like the color. I was going to re-stain it and maybe stencil the same pattern from the pillows onto it somewhere, maybe in a bottom corner.

However Mario felt strongly that he would rather NOT have it stenciled, and we liked it so much better after it was just re-stained that I gave up that fight.

I did do some painting on the reclaimed wood step he'd made though, so that satisfied the urge to paint somewhat.

I also finished a couple of necklaces that I'd started a while back.

This one has a favorite picture of my Claymore, it's somehow comforting to wear him around my neck. I had done something to the picture in Photoshop called posterizing, and I loved how it came out.

 This one I made for my friend Val for HER birthday (we like to make each other gifts), from a copy of a painting I had made for her of her beloved dog that she had lost. I've made one of these for my Mom as well, I seem to be specializing in lost pet memorial necklaces lately.