Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Baby Book in the Making

I've started work on my son's baby book. Today I did some painting in it and I'm hoping and praying it turns out as cute as I'm imagining it to be. I also took some pictures today of some of Liam's things to put in his book. No worries, we don't let him play with the marbles yet, it will be some time till he's ready for those :). We have a large vintage mayonnaise jar full of marbles that were my husband's when he was a small boy. I love that my husband and I both have toys from our childhood that we can give to our son. I still have my very first stuffed toy given to me the day I was born! A pink bear named Pinky. Pinky has many worn spots, a rip in one ear and I had to sew buttons on for his nose and eyes because they came off long ago but I still think he's pretty lovely :).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Somerset Life and Studio Goodness!

I LOOOOOOOOOOVE my husband! We went to Chapters today (a large bookstore that I'm very fond of) and I came across the latest copy of Somerset Studio magazine. What was inside? Well, it just happened to be full of Marie Antoinette themed lovelies! And an article on Sally Jean whose collages I really like :)! So of course I'm standing there in a huge busy store beaming and telling my equally happy son (who's strapped into his stroller) how lucky his mummy is to have found such a treasure when I spot something hidden behind some terribly droll modern art magazines. Could it be? It is! It's Somerset Life! Now I'm sure you're thinking "what a happy discovery!" you couldn't be more wrong! OH NO! Not another wonderful magazine that I just have to have! This was SO not good! Moments earlier, before we walked in the door, my dear husband told me that I could only have one magazine! So there I was staring sadly at two equally fabulous magazines and I had a terribly difficult choice before me, which one do I buy? Of course I choose Somerset Studio because it's cheaper and it has Marie Antoinette, but I'm so sad. How could I walk away from something so grand? So perfect? So......ME!? It was full of lovely things, so many of the things I love, French flea markets, vintage this and vintage that. But I did it, I put Somerset Life down and walked away. But, that is not the end of my story. No, there's more. This is where the story turns dark, shameful and oh so wrong. I did what I sadly do far more often than I should. I stepped into my phone booth (all in my imagination of course , there wasn't really a phone booth) and put on my cape and mask and out popped Super Kim, my secret power? Manipulation with a capital M! Yes, I did what only the naughty wives do, I put on my pout and big sad eyes and went looking for my husband to tell him my sad sad story, the story of two magazines, one destined for a life of appreciation and the other a life of being the magazine left behind, the unloved. And did my super power work? YUP! I'll admit it, I'm a very bad girl. But I did adopt two new magazines that will both be loved and appreciated and will have a forever home with my family so at least I did something good even if I went about it in an underhanded devious way :). Please stop by your local book store and adopt two magazines today, they just need someone to love!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Arabian Horse Painting Just Finished!

This is my latest, and a new favorite :). I've been meaning to do some more horses for a while now but just never seem to get started. The horse was painted in acrylics and colored pencils on paper and then cut out and scanned. Next I scanned in a sheet of scrapbook paper and changed it's color slightly from a greenish color to pink and then pieced the two together in Photoshop. And there you have it, traditional art and digital all in one! The horse is a chestnut Arabian stallion.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Some Better Pictures of my Swan Painting

Remember this painting? These pictures are a little better than that first one I posted a little while back. They're still a little washed out, the true colors are brighter and sharper but my camera just won't behave and I'm afraid this is as good as it's going to get. As always, click on the images to enlarge them :)

More Artwork to Gaze at!

Here are some more projects I've been up to. The first picture is a little acrylic painting of a chair on a collaged background on watercolor paper that I added beads and a little flower to and then hung with a black ribbon. The second picture is a similar style project, a collage featuring vintage ephemera and an image of Marie Antoinette. It hangs from my bulletin board above my computer desk. The third is another hanging collage style painting of a tree. The rosettes are from horse shows, I removed the ribbon tails and painted the rosettes with acrylic paint. And lastly is my most recent collage. It's framed and ready to be hung :). It is covered in layers upon layers of patterned paper, vintage ephemera, acrylic paint, charcoal pencil and crackle medium. There is a lovely piece of crocheted lace stitched to the top :).

My Little Banners

These are a project I've been working on for the past while now. I still have five more to go before I'm done with them. The pictures used are all paintings and collages done by myself on watercolor paper that I stitched on to triangular shaped flags made of two sheets of scrapbook paper. I then added various little embellishments such as beads, buttons and other lovely things. Enjoy :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sneak Peek

The above picture is a sneak peek at a collage I'm just finishing up. It's full of vintage ephemera and other pretty things :). Enjoy!

My Little Buddy

The above picture (taken last night while I read a book sitting on the couch) is a typical pose for my little buddy "Griffin" or "Griffy" as we call him. Griffin is a tiny little black and tan purebred male Chihuahua and is the dog of my dreams. He's always been the sweetest little guy, so friendly and full of life. The day we got him he immediately rolled over on my lap in our truck and stayed like that, sprawled out on his back till we got home. He was so comfortable with us, he never cried once even though he didn't know my husband and myself and was leaving the only home he knew.
Now Griffin is all grown up and you'd never know it! He still plays just like a puppy, pouncing on everything and biting our heels as we walk down the hall. He's always in the mood to play and has even figured out that if he brings my 11 month old son "Liam" his toys, Liam will play tug of war with him. I'm so lucky to have found Griffin, I don't know what I'd do without him. He is a very special little guy.

Thankyou Laurence!

Laurence gave me her "you make my day" award! It's so nice to know that my blog is enjoyed by the people who read it, it makes it all seem more worthwhile. Sometimes I worry that my blog is far too boring but then someone leaves a comment or gives me an award and I feel so much better about it. Thanks Laurence for the award, you're too wonderful :)!

Now I get to give the award to up to ten people. Here's who I'm giving it to....

Tricia Scott
Pam Garrison
Marilyn Healey
Joanna Twinn
Wendy Ryan

These people all have blogs that I enjoy visiting. They are all talented ladies and I recommend visiting their blogs and if you have the time why don't you leave them a comment? We all LOVE comments don't we :) ? I'd give the award back to Laurence (she deserves an award too!) but that would probably be silly, so I'm just going to provide a link to her blog here because if you're anything like me you'll enjoy her blog :).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bad Dreams, Clean Floors and Bald Babies

Today is a bad day. Most days are not so glum but today just isn't feeling quite right. I feel lost somehow, like I'm stuck in a dream of some sort. Last night I was awake till 3:00 AM, then my little Bug awoke at 6:00 AM so I was up making him a bottle. He went back to bed and I stayed up long enough to eat some fat free vanilla yogurt straight out of the container, then off to bed. I had a dream. Was it a bad dream? I don't really know but I do know that it really effected the way I feel now. All I remember are a couple of the people in it were from Highschool, people I haven't seen for years and that there was a lake and possibly a small row boat, but that's it, that's all I remember. When I woke up this morning I had a hard time getting out of bed and about twenty or so minutes after waking I started to feel ill. I now feel sick to my stomach and dizzy. I have no clue why, I didn't eat anything bad. Ah well, such is life, maybe some chocolate will cure me of this grey cloud hovering above my head :).

I have a collage I need to finish today and then a large load of dishes to wash and if I'm feeling any better later on I may even attempt to give the kitchen a good scrubbing. I actually enjoy cleaning, especially the floor. I do everything the slow way, by hand. No mops or special cleaning devices. I get down on my hands and knees with a rag and I wash our floors, every last inch of them. I'm only happy and comfortable if everything is clean, a dirty or messy house could quite possibly drive me insane.

My little Liam is learning to walk! He holds our hands and walks so proudly down the hall as if he's been doing it for such a long time. He loves it and laughs and squeals with joy while he throws in a couple of quick running steps. It'll still take a while before he can do it on his own, he's a little tipsy right now, but he's getting there :). And I did something so very bad the other day! I gave Liam his second hair cut ever and it turned out to be an absolute disaster! The first haircut I gave him was wonderful but this time he just would not sit still and his hair turned out so choppy that I finally took out his daddy's electric clippers and gave his head a good buzz. He now has stubble like his dad and while it's not the typical baby haircut it actually looks really cute! Especially when he's on his dad's lap. He has a great shaped head for this sort of thing so it's not so bad. He was so good when I did it too. The sound of the clippers didn't bother him and he sat very still and behaved so well, I'm proud of my little baldy :)!

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Collage Work!

Right now, while I'm sitting here typing, I'm listening to the rain pelt my roof while the wind blows furiously. Our weather has been less than friendly sounding as of late and I'll admit that sometimes it can make me a little nervous. I love that I'm so busy always, and while it means that I have alot to think about and do in very little time, it also means that I have less time to think about how seriously scary the weather is sounding outside these walls.

My husband's Chihuahua is in heat right now, SO annoying! She never leaves our house as she is an indoor paper trained dog so because of that, the fact that we are short on cash most of the time and the fact that our other Chihuahua who is a male is fixed, we've never bothered getting her spayed. She isn't a messy dog at all like some dogs are, but the annoying part is putting up with her constantly propositioning our other dog and her inappropriate attempts to start a romantic relationship with my poor husband's leg! She's a good dog though and when her bizarre behaviour get's on my nerves I just have to remind myself that she's just being brainwashed by hormones and it's not her fault :).

I finally finished some more artwork that I've been working on! I'm sooo happy with the results! These are two personal favorites for me and I've decided to do a few more similar projects in the future because while they were alot of work they were SO much fun! Check out the details by clicking on the pictures for larger views. The next paragraph describes the details of what went into the larger piece (the one hung on an old hanger).

Many of the things used in this piece are quite old with the oldest item being from the 1800's. The base is the back half of a booklet sort of vintage photo frame made of a thick type of paper. I'm guessing it's from the 1950's. I then added a very sturdy cardboard box covered in various ripped pieces of paper which were painted with multiple coats of white gesso, paint and crackle medium. The little donkeys that are wired to the inside of the box are vintage, and were accidentally knocked off a shelf by my husband but I just didn't have the heart to throw them away even with their multiple leg breaks so I hung on to them until I found the right place in life for them. Around the box are treasures both old and new. The flower is new, as are the beads, buttons and a few other little bits and pieces. The small rectangular clock face is vintage and made out of enamel and copper. I found it in a lot of watch faces I purchased from a man in the Netherlands and it was my instant favorite! The piece of red fabric under the clock face is the oldest part of this collage. It came from a vintage childrens book's binding. The book pages came apart and rather than trying to get it all back together I decided to use the binding fabric in my artwork and keep the book pages to frame at a later date as each one is covered in gorgeous color illustrations. The book dates back to the 1870's! The paper lady under the binding fabric is also quite old, she is at least 100 years of age. The white velvet leaves are vintage, as are the blue postage stamp from France and the black and white photo. The top of the collage features an old Victorian trading card as well as part of an envelope from the late 1800's. I decided to hang the collage from an old wire hanger that used to be painted white which I found in my bedroom closet when I moved in. This collage took a while to construct but now that it's all done I can easily say it is my favorite piece of art I've ever done and it has found a home hanging in my bedroom.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bird Themed Collages

I have recently discovered the joys of working with cardboard! I always felt a little guilty throwing out empty cardboard boxes because before I throw things away I usually try to imagine an artistic use for them but I was coming up empty for the boxes. Then one day I came across an artist who paints directly onto cardboard and a light came on inside my often muddled brain. Why didn't I think of it sooner? I don't know. Sometimes it takes seeing someone elses work to get those rusty gears moving in my head. Anyway, the above collages are done on thick pieces of cardboard. The birds were hand painted on paper and then cut out and glued to the cardboard canvases. The cardboard itself has collaged papers glued on and plenty of paint. I added some vintage ephemera (reproduced from the originals in my collection), some paper flowers, glitter, paper doilies and authentic vintage stamps from France (I have a huge jar full of these French stamps that I've been dieing to use). Eventually these little creations are going to be mounted in shadowboxes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bird's Nests, Artwork and Website Delays

It's raining and I'm sitting at my computer desk surrounded by scraps of paper and vintage clipart. Sometimes when I'm using my computer I like to have an art project on standby just in case the internet is slow or my computer is taking forever to do some random task I've asked of it. The current project is two tiny shadowboxes. It's tough to get things done while my son is napping (something he's currently attempting). I have to be sooooo quiet as to not wake him and sometimes I think he has Superman's super hearing because it takes very little to unsettle him.

Yesterday I took my little bug out for a walk in his stroller. It had snowed the night before so the slushy roads didn't make the walk very easy but I enjoyed it none the less. On the side of the road I spotted a bird's nest atop a fallen tree that I was certain I could reach so of coarse I just had to push my way thru the snowy bush to win myself a treasure. The nest was in very good condition and while it wasn't small I did manage to get it home in one peice. It's amazing how a little bird with no hands and no tools can make such a wonderful work of art! The inside of the nest is packed with mud and moss and is so smooth! How do they do it!?

The above artwork is just a sample of what I've been up to lately. The first is an acrylic painting on watercolor paper. It isn't of anyone in particular but it was inspired by my charming son who is now a whopping 11 months old and is just as sweet and cheerful as ever! I didn't use any of my usual tecniques for this painting deciding to try to do every bit of this piece in a completely different manner. In some ways it reminds me of Misty Mawn's work which I often find to be so inspiring.

The second painting uses a collage I made for a greeting card design as the background. I covered the collage in crackle medium and white paint (after scanning the original collage for future use as a card) and then added the blue haired lady over top. She is glued to a piece of cardboard to give her a 3d look which was then hot-glued to the collage. Her body is a piece of lace and a green and red ribbon.

And yes, the website is still under construction. HOPEFULLY it will be up and running by next week but I'm not making any promises. I'm just waiting on getting my packageing supplies for my art prints so that I can start up my Etsy shop and open my website at the same time. Getting the packaging isn't all that easy because I don't have a ride into town and my husband works till later than the store is open so I have to wait till the weekend to see if I can get out there. I hate that it's taking so long but such is life I guess :). Hopefully it will be worth the wait!