Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canvas Project: Day 120

The Canvas Project continues, and yesterday was Day 120!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

By the Sea: Inchie Swap

I've been a busy girl today! In preparation for Art and Soul, which begins on Wednesday, I spent several hours this afternoon putting the finishing touches on 34 Inchies for a swap I'm involved in at Art and Soul. In case you've never heard of Inchies, they are little 1 inch x 1 inch squares that are decorated to create a miniature collage. The theme for Art and Soul this year is By the Sea, and the theme for the Inchie swap is the same. If you will recall, I also joined in a Fat Book swap at Art and Soul, and those books have been assembled and are waiting to be picked up on Wednesday morning (oh, boy!). If you want to read about and see photos of the Fat Book pages I created, click HERE.

The coordinator of the Inchie swap is artist Marylin Huskamp and she wrote about the Inchie swap on her blog yesterday. Take a peek.

Back to my Inchies. Here is where I started, with a pile of chipboard one-inch squares.

Then I applied bits of nautical charts from the San Juan Islands:

For embellishments I glued on a white plastic disk, a colorful swirl, and a tiny brass anchor.

Next up, a bit of fiber to emulate seaweed:

A bit of identifying information on the back:

And finally, the completed Inchies. Hey, if you want to play a little game, which Inchie is turned upside down? If you're the first to respond, I'll send it to you! Just leave a comment (and your e-mail address so I can contact you for your mailing address).

Something Smells A Little Fishy!

As I posted earlier today, Art and Soul begins October 1st! I'm pretty excited about attending this fabulous art retreat for a second year. Those who register receive a confirmation packet that includes some kind of doo dad for decorating. Last year it was a little cardboard house.

This year we received a white porcelain fish, which I decided to do in grand gee gaw style, using beads and plastic swirls. Here is the transformation of my poor, plain little flounder into the king of the sea!

Even his little belly was decorated and he was given blue marble feet!

And here he is, all shimmery and shiny!

Art and Soul Countdown

Art and Soul, a mixed media retreat with instructors and participants arriving from all over the country, begins on Wednesday morning. Classes are offered for six days and I have signed up to take six classes! Registration took place months ago, and now here it is, ready to begin. I've been making lists (lots of lists - one for Art and Soul, one for my Visual Journaling class, one for Italy, one for errands yet to do . . . .). Oh dear!

But back to Art and Soul. I attended for the first time last year and I loved it! I packed too much and I'm trying to not do that this year, but it is difficult. Each of the six classes has its own list of supplies needed, and those are pretty manageable and many overlap. But then there are the lists that say things like small images and small found objects, or a variety of patterned papers, assorted found objects/embellishments/flea market finds, and various small found objects: anything and everything. Wellll, you know how I spend a lot of my spare time and that is gathering bits and pieces from far and near, so limiting and selecting what to take is not easy. Last year I discovered that even with the supply lists asking students to bring these things, THE INSTRUCTORS ALWAYS BROUGHT EVERYTHING WE NEEDED! And yet, I still feel compelled to bring this and that just in case. So the packing continues, with the assembling of my basic tool kit (in a tool box, no less):

And in the basement:

Okay, okay, all that is somewhat interesting, but the big question is: What classes are you taking? Since you asked, here goes:

Wednesday - Vintage Metal Treasure Deck with Leighanna Light:

Thursday - Free Yourself Up with Abstract Collage with Ann Baldwin:

Friday - Art-Full DreamBoxes with Helga Strauss:

Saturday - Patchwork Collage Painting with Kelly Rae Roberts:

Sunday - Gridlocked with Lisa Kaus:

Monday - Tuna Tin Retrablos with Michael deMeng:

I'll do some blog posts as time permits, either during the retreat or after I return a week from Tuesday. In the meantime, I'm packed and ready to go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


These are my shoes* for our upcoming trip to Italy. We will be in Italy for 29 days. Twenty-nine days! In Italy. Did I mention we’re going to Italy? I was only going to take one pair of shoes, but after kibitzing with several seasoned travelers, they have convinced me to take two pair: one for walking around cities and one for hiking and roaming on more rigorous paths. Paths such as those found in Cinque Terre, one of the many places we plan to visit. It is my hope that I will blog my way around Italy, when we are able to find a WIFI connection or an Internet cafe.

In a nutshell, we plan to visit: Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Naples, Tuscany (and all of the towns and villages in the area, i.e., Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena . . . .), Florence, Venice, and end with a several day stay in Cinque Terre before flying out of Milan. While in Tuscany, we'll be staying for a week in a farmhouse, La Collina Tuscany, that Howard found on Craig’s List. Here's the little apartment farmhouse we'll be staying in (just pinch me now):

We’ve already started packing and have a list of “things to take,” although we’ll see if everything makes the cut once we actually begin putting things in our suitcases. Our goal is to pack light, wear the same clothes over and over, and to take a lot of photographs. We’ll see how successful we are.

We leave the first week of October, two days after the art retreat, Art and Soul, concludes. Yikes Almighty! I have a lot to do during the next couple of weeks . . . .

*A note about my shoes: My red shoes are a pair of trusty old Keen's that I've had for a while. The black beauties are a pair of shoes I recently purchased with our trip in mind. They are a brand I had never heard of, Romika, but they are like wearing comfortable, broken in slippers - now that's my kind of shoe!

A Month of Tuesdays: Week Three of Visual Journaling

I've been spending my Tuesdays preparing for the Visual Journaling class I teach in the evening at Stampin' Cat Studio. I decide what techniques to teach, which visual journalist to feature. For last night, I decided to use a technique I learned from Judy Wise, artist and visual journalist extraordinaire (and our featured visual journalist in our first week). For the exercise, we glued black and white images onto pages of our journal, then painted over the page and images. The above photo was my practice page in process, and here it is a little further along:

I had been collecting black and white images all week (and made a couple of trips to Kinko's to make toner photocopies). Yesterday in the afternoon, I assembled the images (and a surprise goodie) into packets:

And then put the whole kaboodle into an envelope, applied a stamp and a "stamp."

Yesterday evening, we had a full house at ten. I love teaching! I love teaching creative, vibrant, talented women and that is what I had last night. They dove in with enthusiasm and eagerness and began gluing and splashing paint with wild abandon:

Our featured visual journalist was Sabrina Ward Harrison, and some of the women decided to try out some of her techniques. I had even brought along my Polaroid camera and snapped a photo of each woman for use in their pages. Sabrina often uses photos, not just of her face, but also of her feet or an arm, so the women last night had me snapping photos of their eyes, one wanted her pony tail, another her ear, and one had me snap a photo of her beautiful, long, colorful tattoo that runs up her leg and thigh (but I'm not telling who that was!).

And some women turned to pages they had created in the past to add additional layers of color and texture:

All ten of my lovely ladies agreed to pose for a group photo, each holding their journal or pages they have been working on. Thank you!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Booty

It’s Monday so it must be time to post what I discovered on my meanderings over the weekend. If you like looking at what I find in these junking excursions, you won’t be disappointed (I certainly wasn’t!). I struck out on Saturday afternoon after a last minute change in our plans. I first took myself to Alberta Street in NE Portland. I parked midway between Random Order coffeehouse (where I got myself a latte) and collage, a perfectly wonderful little art store and home of the DIY Lounge (where I have had the pleasure of teaching). I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, so the things I bought were like little surprises!

After collage, I hopped in my car and it went into autopilot. Really. It did. “Where are we going?” I asked as I tried to apply the brakes. “You’ll see,” replied my junk-foraging Passat. We ended up at Rerun, a consignment shop on NE Fremont. My favorite find of the day came from Rerun, a funky decapitated horse head, now on display and keeping me company in my studio.

As I began my return trip to the boat, I was not in a rush, so I, or rather, my car, made me stop at a garage sale and an estate sale, both in north Portland. Of course I found a few treasures that I tossed in the trunk and added to my growing collection of goodies. It was a good day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Junk Chime

Last Saturday, Howard and I went to the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup, Washington, with our oldest daughter, Melissa, and two of our grandkids, Luke (4) and Ella (2). The fair was great fun - I love the animals, the hucksters, the blue cotton candy, and even the rides. Howard and Melissa went on the Slingshot, a ride where they were shot straight into the air on some sort of springy coil. Not my cup of tea, but they were exhilerated and thrilled with the whole experience.

But my favorite thing of the entire fair was a contraption called the Junk Chime, a tangled mass of metal objects all interconnected through springs and welding. There were little buckets of sticks and you could just walk up and start banging and hitting the entire metal sculpture: and it was FREE! The kids loved it, the adults loved it, I LOVED IT!

And finally, I'm a grandma (known simply as "Bam" to Ella and Luke), so I've gotta post at least one photo of the grandkids on a ride! It's a requirement!