Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NOEL Vintage Antique and Art Show

It was absolutely exhausting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I met so many wonderful, appreciative people, and our hostess Sandy really put on a great show.  The only disadvantage of participating rather than just being a customer as I usually am at these events, is that I didn't have a chance to shop at all the other lovely booths - just as well I guess as I probably would have just spent my earnings!

Below are a few pictures of my booth, which was gratifyingly thinned out by the end of the show.  A very lovely man who was a fan of my work took lots and lots of detailed shots with his very large camera, so I hope he sends me some, as they'll be much better than mine!




Now I'm looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the holidays, I only plan to work on just a few gifts. I probably won't be posting much in December, but I will of course be keeping up with your blogs.  A little baking, a little shopping, some decorating and of course Christmas movies - my favorite time of year!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Final Christmas Creations

I took some final pictures yesterday before everything got packed away for this weekend's show.  It felt good to just decide that I'm done! Although I do still need to decide what non-Christmas regular art I'm bringing - since I have limited room I'm going to have to pick and choose.
This is a box I just love that ornaments came in, and I decided to turn it into a little shadow box with a scene in it.

Little stockings from an old quilt, with little vintage decorations- they're only 3-4" tall.

A couple more little hand strainer Christmas scenes.

Trees on little tiny pastry molds, these also are only about 3" tall.

I just love this doll, not something I'm normally drawn to, but I saw her in an antique store, in a stained pathetic little nightie that was safety pinned on her to make it fit, and I just couldn't resist her.  Her little old face is so worn, and I can just imagine how much she was loved and played with.  So I made her this little dress, and attached a fancy old button, and even made her a party hat. She's feeling like a new girl!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Salmon love, or lack thereof

I thought I'd share something different for a change, since I actually remembered to take my camera with me when we went to visit these salmon spawning grounds during the salmon run recently in my hometown.  Millions were spent recently on this area from what I hear, and there's a beautiful overlook created with benches and picnic tables and there are trails along the river and paths down to the water, it's really lovely. I don't feel like these pictures capture the scale of it.  Looking down into the water, where there wasn't too much glare I could see lots of huge salmon all doing their business, which as it turns out is not real romantic and does not involve any bodily contact.  No wonder they have such an ill-tempered look about them!

The life cycle of a salmon, done in lovely tile.

And what would a post be from me lately without some Christmas items - at least we're getting closer to the actual Christmas season so it's not quite so jarring.  Only a week and a half til my holiday art show, and I've been busy busy.  So busy in fact that I got industrious and packed most of what I've made into boxes, and then realized I hadn't taken pictures of quite of few pieces, but oh well.  Here's a few that weren't packed yet since they weren't done.
I've made several of these tiny scenes in old hand strainers, I'm quite fond of them.

Vintage bottle brush tree that I added old mercury glass beads to and attached to the top of an old jelly jar.

This is an old wooden file drawer that I used to create this scene. The half-tree is very old and fragile, so hopefully will be safe in the box.  The music in the back is an original of Winter Wonderland that was my Grandfather's from his large boyhood collection of sheet music.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Catching Up

I'm way behind in posting my Christmas projects, I've been out of town every weekend and most of last week due to a family issue, but here goes.  These are all just pieces for the upcoming Holiday show I'm going to be participating in. I've been buckling down evenings after work, but I always enjoy them once I get started.

This first one my husband made, it's a salvaged snowman robot, with an old Christmas record in his bottom circle - that was an exciting find.

 This one is a little scene in a cigar box, this one just makes me happy to look at. I decorated the outside too, below.

These are some bigger trees I made with a cardboard base then covered with pieces cut from a very old quilt.  Then I sewed on some old lace and stitched in red embroidery thread.

I found a couple of tiny little file drawers recently and made this little Christmas scene in one of them. I love these old Christmas candles.

These are cone ornaments made with a couple of Dutch cookie molds I found a while back, I so wish I'd bought more at the time!

This is an old jelly jar with a wonderful tin lid. It was really hard for me to cover it up, but I did it anyway.  You can pull the little Santa much farther up that little coiled wire you see, then he kind of bounces down to the bottom, I was so excited when I found him!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Histoire Naturelle

My Dad gave me this section of a bird's nest that he found, and I've had it quite a while, looking at it occasionally hoping for inspiration. Then I attached it to some chicken wire to stabilize it and it stayed like that for a while. Then I attached it to this burlap covered canvas using lots of plaster over the chicken wire, and it's been staring at me, all that white plaster, for about a month now and I finally decided over the weekend to bite the bullet and do something with it. It feels so good to finally have it completed! The plaster is covered in a couple of layers of encaustic wax.

This piece, and the one below it, are made from the top and bottom of a gift box. I just played and had fun with these, this one below is covered in lots of plaster as well.

Now more Christmas goodies for the upcoming show I'm doing. This gift box had an inner section with the square cut out, so I glued a vintage Christmas picture at the bottom of the box, and covered the actual hole with a piece of acetate stamped with a small Christmas image.  I should have taken a picture of the side which I decorated also, it's about 1 1/2" deep.

These ornaments are little tiny cages with little trees in them using bottle caps for bottoms - I saw something similar on the cover of one of the Somerset magazines, and created my own version. I think they look like a tray of bright candies or something, I just love them, not sure I'll be willing to sell them!

*** I'm adding this to my original post as I've had some questions about how to make these little cages and thought I'd share a few tips about how I made mine. I used 3 pieces of pretty thick wire for the cages, and the 2nd piece needs to be a little longer than the 1st, and the 3rd a little longer than the 2nd.  Then I wrapped them in paper tape and just bent them and inserted them into the bottle caps which I had filled with modeling paste into which I had already put the little tree (they sell plastic tubs of "snow" in craft stores that you can use and are probably cheaper, but I didn't have any).  It takes a little fiddling, but once you're happy let the paste dry, then I wrapped a piece of wire around the top and attached a vintage mercury glass bead making sure to leave a little loop at the top. I also glued a little round piece of Christmasy paper to the bottom and spread a little stickles glitter over the dry "snow".

Another tip is that if you don't want all your little trees green, you can put them in bleach and they'll turn white, then you can use some ink or dye in water and color them any color you want.

Monday, September 30, 2013

An Abrupt Change in Focus

First, I do have one picture to post from a couple of weeks ago when I was still working on detailed flower drawings -  I do find these very therapeutic.

And just because, here's a pic of my handsome boys being so good and staying on the deck as they were told even though someone was walking by with dogs. 

Now on to my sudden change in focus - I've decided to have a booth at a Holiday vintage antique and art show coming up towards the end of November.  I have plenty of vintage antique goodies and creations, and plenty of art, but not enough Christmas items, so I've pulled out my Christmas stash and have called forth my inner crafter.  In spite of the strangeness of working on Christmas items in September, I've really been having fun.  Below are some of the finished items I've made, I've had multiple projects going on at once, and managed to finish these ones over the weekend.

I used a couple of precious old Christmas candles that I've been hoarding for these two, the round metal rings are from an old flour sifter I took apart.  I did find a tiny little drum last night that I'm going to add to the little soldier (it was a very exciting find!)

This is an old cigar box that I created a little Christmas scene in.  It's hard to see the tiny little reindeer in front in this picture, but it's my favorite part, he's very old.  The entire outside of the box is decorated as well ( I don't think I'll be doing more of these to sell - WAY too labor intensive.)

These little trees are made from a piece of old ceiling tile, cardboard, and various vintage goodies for their base.

This one is my favorite - I know you don't see angel butterflies every day, but that's just what she turned out to be.  Every single part of her is old except for the red glass glitter.  Her head I've had for several years - I planned to print an image and glue onto cardstock for her head, but once I had the idea to use this I couldn't go back.  I have a very old hymn book, and I opened it to see if there was any Christmas music in it and opened it first thing to Hark the Herald Angels Sing, so I pulled that page right out.  ( I should have scanned it first before I cut it into butterfly wings, now that I think about it...)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mish Mash

I've got such a weird variety of art to catch up on that I struggled to name this post.  But mostly I've got that satiated feeling I get when I have one of those rare weekends when I can spend the whole time on art if I want - such a treat!  Plus my weekend started out yesterday by being woken up to a bagel and a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks by my sweet husband (I'm not normally much of a Starbucks person, I like to go to our local coffee places instead, but when it comes to Pumpkin Spice season at Starbucks, all rules are off!!)
This first one is the result of me wanting to start sketching in pen and trying to give up the safety of an eraser.  So I took on drawing this dried Dahlia from a photo, and it ended up being quite an undertaking, but I enjoyed it.  I just sat in front of the TV and kind of zoned out a little while I did it, and I find that I really like that look of delicate really fine lines and detail.

This next one I did for fun, I have a scarf with similar birds on it and they looked like fun to draw.  This is entitled "Cold Shoulder", subtitled "He regretted suggesting that she devote more attention to him and less to her tail".

The next two are my attempt at getting better at a really loose style of scenic watercolor that I really like, but struggle with.  So hard for me to relax and let go of perfectionism and be loose with the paint. I have a long way to go, assuming I manage to remain patient and keep trying.  Patience isn't one of my strengths!

This morning we went to our local monthly Antique Fair, and I found some treasures I thought I'd share - that monkey is just too photogenic to resist! Got some old Shiny Brite ornaments (love the boxes), a great deal on a clock with broken glass (it'll be taken apart, the only way to afford old clocks for parts is if they have broken glass!), and some old lamp parts that Mario will hopefully also take apart and help me make mixed media assemblage magic with!

And lastly, we went to the Sausalito Art Festival last weekend (this was it's 61st year!).  It's quite an event with artists from all over the country, and it's in a gorgeous setting right on the water, I feel lucky that we're within driving distance of it.  I always find a few new artists who really inspire me.  Below is a pretty shot from it...

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Week before last I was on vacation (the annual Pismo Beach trip, I won't bore you with pictures that probably look just like they did last year).  So last week was back to work and real life, and I must say re-entry was a little rough.  But this weekend I've spent some therapeutic art time, and it's amazing what getting lost in creating art can do, isn't it?
This was done in my fabric journal, on a page covered in plaster, which is why you see some cracks, or what appear to be crazy wrinkles.  I got kinda crazy on this one, and had to make myself stop as I was reaching that point of diminishing returns where I was just making things worse.

This one below was a canvas board that I had previously done a collage on. I gesso'd over it and painted a couple layers of Aborbent Ground, a Golden product that I felt the need to buy at some point, and had never used. I just wanted to experiment with watercolors on it and see what it did. Definitely not the same as watercolor paper, but I think different effect than it would have been without it.


Monday, July 29, 2013

An Experiment and a Surprise

So, first the experiment.  I bought a roll of translucent film that has a sticky side and a side with some texture on it, it's a Tim Holtz product (even after swearing off of any new products, I'm so weak).  So I created a quick sketch with oil pastels, too quick apparently because her eyes are way off.  The first picture below has the film attached to a page in my fabric journal that's covered in plaster and painted with flowers and text.  And on the one below it it's just attached to the plain linen page next to it.

I definitely prefer the top one - the flowers underneath distract from the fact that I completely messed up the bottom 3rd.  I put some of the backing paper underneath it so I wouldn't get the red pastel all over the linen, and apparently I put the wrong side down because it completely stuck to it, and after much scraping I finally resorted to finger nail polish remover and by that time it was completely messed up, you can see the line where I had it folded back.  Lesson definitely learned!
Now, for my surprise. I got my first ever piece of mail art last week.  The talented, and hilarious, Chris of parabolic muse is kicking butt in the Index Card a Day challenge that many people are participating in right now.  I gushed over one of hers in particular, and lo and behold it arrived in my mailbox - so exciting!

I just love anything with a checked pattern, and combined with the trees and that red sun against the green, I just love it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

She Had Travel On Her Mind - SOC Final Week

Our last week of Summer of Color - I can't believe how quickly it went by, and I'll definitely miss it.  Thank you Kristin for being such a fabulous hostess as always!    This week's colors were Sepia and Sage - two colors I love.
The page looks all wonky and not square because this journal has just become impossible to photograph.  Never again am I buying a journal that won't stay open, much less lie flat! The temptress of a store Anthropologie got me with the fabulous cover and inside pages that are all handmade looking and different from each other, but even as I was buying it a little voice in my head was warning me that I'd regret it.  Unfortunately I often ignore that voice!
And as much as I do love these colors I did feel the need to add some contrasting pops of color.

Also I found this today when I was downloading pictures from my camera.  We took my parents to Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago now that we've discovered a favorite spot, and my husband took some pictures of the squirrels that run around there. I just love this shot...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer of Color - Week 5

This week's colors are candy apple red and yellow.  I wasn't feeling inspired, but that had more to do with my week than the colors. I almost didn't participate, but I decided I just couldn't let myself do that, so I forced myself to sit down last night with no idea what I wanted to do.
 For some reason I got the urge to paint this drawing I had previously done based on an actual doll that I'd seen a picture of.  I decided to do it in watercolor, even though it's not on watercolor paper as soon became abundantly clear, so there are some issues with the paper in spots where I was trying to do multiple wet layers  - that's what I get for not planning ahead.
The mystery substance around her neck is supposed to be some kind of filmy tulle that the doll had as a collar - not quite sure I achieved that look!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Flying Bravely into the Unknown - SOC week 4

In spite of my previously confessed short attention span, I felt compelled to finish my little winged girl unintentional series I started.  I loved this week's chosen colors for this - charcoal grey and pink - the grey worked out really well to represent the "unknown". 
She doesn't have shoes this week, because as everyone knows one of the advantages of flying is that you don't have to wear shoes - but she got some pretty old lace at the bottom of her dress instead.