Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dreamscape Digital #? - low res versions

"Alpha Waves" digital approx 12x7 inches

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart Annual Giveaway CONTEST NOW CLOSED

Winner: #167   Gina   http://www.metaphysicalmusings.blogspot.com


It's "that time of year" again when Lisa hosts her annual One World One Heart international blog giveaway.

This year I've decided to give away a little bird pendant I made , photographed below.

To be eligible to win, you must 1) have a blog and 2) leave a comment in this post that will enable me to visit your blog and contact you if you are the winner.  The draw date is February 14th, 2010.  The cut off date to enter is midnight February 13th, 2010

Good luck and don't forget to visit the hundreds of other blogs participating!  (click on the hot link below the Magic Carpet icon below)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reflections - A Path With Heart (low res image depicted below)


"A Path With Heart"  digital 8 x 10 inches
Available on Etsy

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Using old family photographs - Snow Angels

This is a series of photos detailing my most recent cloth "skinny page "for an on-going exchange I am participating in.   It's an altered photograph of my mother-in-law (Verna) and her older sister (Viola) taken in the late 1920's.  I altered it digitally, printed it onto cloth and then sewed, embroidered, added the metal snowflakes, lace, buttons and beads. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Waiting for a Second Life and Seeking the Right Mentor


The  lovely doll heads arrived just before Christmas, the other elements - just a varied collection of  objects waiting to shine again...I'm sending out intentions of creating some assemblage et al this year, keeping these planted in that still underdeveloped 3D part of my artful musings.   One of my goals this year will be to seek out a teacher in assemblage whose work I admire - any suggestions??

Close ups of Another "Mini-Pillow" - "JOY" in progress


I started this pillow that hasn't any 'owner' named yet right after the holidays but have been distracted by other on-going projects.  I am keeping in mind my daughter's new goddaughter - Claire, who was born last year on December 25th.  

More found "treasures" at the antique show.....plus the earliest of Artist Trading Cards

 Not that I need or can use any more antique lace or tatting, I confess, it's become just another one of those 'non-essential collections.'  I do need something to put inside my collection of boxes.  The vendor was very anxious to  unburden   herself of the laces given to her by a friend  all  hand made between 1925-35.  How could I say no at 75% off for the whole lot?  I photographed a few below.  And then of course, she also had a few old vintage photos and ephemera. You know the drill...

Dorothy and Margie Hines circa unknown

 Below, the younger sister, Margie after some digital mucking about.  I plan to reshoot the image again with a steady hand and hope for a much better resolution.  But she is a little darling, don't you think?


Another fun find, this is #16 in a series of  "Dr. Jayne" Victorian trading cards.   They were produced at a rate of one per  year for 22 years in the late 1800's.  They are commonly found  most anywhere and for sale for  anywhere from $5-$10.  Another "deal", at $1.

 I love the faint portrait hung on the wall behind the young girl obviously 'hearing something' ( haven't we all "been there done that ") And...the voyeurish moon peeking through the curtain..  Spooky!  Such a  wonderfully suspenseful and mysterious atmosphere the artist,   Mr. Buss,  created.

Below is the back.  In part it reads -  The Ghost Story - "The moral of this, the Sixteenth Card of our Series, is that, if young ladies would avoid creating a scene, similar to the one of the artist, Mr. R. W. Buss, gives us in this admirable picture, they had better forego reading ghost stories at bed-time."

So, who knows, maybe one day, your ATC's may find their way to an antique sale?  :0) 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Uncle Bernie, the Chinese Puzzle Ball and the Global Village

May peace soon be with all of those suffering from the earthquake in Haiti.

Today, in between running  the normal round of errands, I stopped by an antique sale at our local exhibition park.   I've been bent over my computer for most of the week, happily working on blog designs for three different customers, all of whom have been and are just a pleasure to work with.  I've been reflecting on how this internet connects us all together as a global family and this notion came to light even further when I discovered one of my customers lives in Kuwait.     Trained as an architect, she is now following her passion and has become a 'dessert architect' with a thriving business in ...the desert.  I have had a few daydreams while working on her design that perhaps one day, I'll have the pure pleasure of biting into one of her delicious creations.

So,  a trip to an antique sale after a week staring into the monitor for several days, did not disappoint !

As a young girl I used to visit my father's sister and her family at least once a year during holidays.  They lived all over the world - Libya, Rome and Africa and so their collections of art pieces were always very intriguing to me.  One of which (and my favorite) was an ivory Chinese Puzzle Ball.  It was always shelved in a cabinet  'behind glass' but once my Uncle sat down with me and showed me the intricate layers inside of it.  I was then and forever, taken with the mystery of how it could have possibly been created.  The spheres within spheres and the minute details of stars and dragons, and phoenixes.  Of course,   I never asked to set my own hands on it knowing full well what the answer would be,  considering what an active little girl I was.  But, I 'vealways always wanted to have one that I could call my own. I can recall combing the antique shops during a visit to NYC at least a dozen years ago, finding one, but not being able to afford it.

Today, my dream came true. I indulged in a gift for myself and purchased one at the show.  Below, a photo of my new prized Chinese Puzzle Ball.  My uncle taught me how to tell if it was Hong Kong ivory (synthetic) or elephant ivory.  So, I studied it carefully for the striations inside the cuts and decided it was the real which adds to my reverence to it as well as its mystique.    It  has 12 layers to it.  I carefully counted them with a toothpick. 

The following, the photo along with an excerpt I found describing these beautiful globes in detail.

 Ivory Chinese Puzzle Ball - a long awaited treasure to hold

The art of ornamental design has been part of China's culture for thousands of years. Art and craft have gone hand in hand to create items of great beauty and functionality. Beauty and functionality are inseparable from each other, for beauty itself is a function in Chinese culture. Each shares in equal importance. Intricately painted wall scrolls, highly ornamented hand fans, and other items of Chinese art are well known. Not so the Chinese Puzzle Ball. The Chinese Puzzle Ball is one of the summits of Chinese ornamental design and beauty.
These complex objects are thought to have an influence on the unity of the family. These puzzle balls come in many sizes, and can be made of ivory, wood, resin, soapstone or jade. Most are handmade, and consist of an outer sphere that contains smaller, movable spheres. They generally come in balls of 4-18 'layers'
The concentric layers or balls are open work carvings of plants, animals, dragons. They are an amazing display of craftsmanship. The outermost sphere is usually the most decorated, many times with dragons. The layers of the ball can be thought of as symbolizing, as a four-layer ball can symbolize the four basic elements of earth, wind, fire and water, or the four directions of the compass.
These multi-layered balls are one of the wonders of Chinese craftsmanship, practiced since ancient times. They are also rightfully known as Mystery Balls. Once they are seen and it is remembered that these balls are created out of a single sphere, you may consider them a mystery too!
 Article written by Alan Beggerow

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Remains of the Day - Digital Doodle


I heard the phrase "digital doodle" first from Michele from Digital Dissonance An article by the same name by Michele was published in Somerset Digital Studios last edition.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Where did the weekend go?

and most of Monday?  I spent a bit of time creating this past weekend and lots of time researching for a design project I'm working on.

Managed to get two drafts out and in between did a bit more mucking about with the Remains of the Day Pages.  I've now completed 6 double spreads - or 24 pages....half way there.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

More snapshots of "Remains of the Day" sewn paper journal pages


I am hoping they will look better once I start writing in them! It's still proving very difficult for me to 'loosen up' and not 'think' about what scraps/images I am choosing...as you can tell - I am learning quite a bit about myself through this process. If you want to take a look at some that are beautiful, head over to Teesha Moore's blog.  Talent.

That's it for blogging from me for a few days - I have a few other projects on the go with deadlines beginning to tap me on the back and echo in my ears.  Hope those of you having to endure a colder than usual winter are bundled up and finding a cozy fireplace to keep warm!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Post holiday ramblings....

Continuing on with my class on shabby journals in fabric and paper (Pure EXPERIMENTATION with Mary Ann Moss) , I snapped a few shots  earlier yesterday of my first attempt to create the pages and uploaded them early this morning after a few attempts at going to sleep.  One thing lead to another, and  truly half asleep, I ended up adding a few digital elements on top of the photos.  Here's what transpired.... 

A Thought, A-Way
I believe that the choices one makes in choosing a combination of images to create a collage, almost always have a message attached to them in some subtle form or another whether intended or not.  What I set out to create is always  different than what eventually takes form.  Although, occasionally it is only in hindsight that the message speaks.   This particular 'collection' of images  seems right now to reflect a sense of gratitude I feel  and as the title may suggest, a fledgling yet, secure feeling  that I will realize my creative goals if I believe in myself.  Sometimes I wonder, if it is at all necessary to attach a meaning....but it seems to be largely part of being human.

Thanks  to each of you again  who encourage me to stretch and give me permission to let it happen without judgment.  One of my goals this year is to give myself permission to 'get into a flow', a pathway that bypasses self-doubt.  This is a huge stretch for me as I have a tendency  to be a private  and self-critical person.  Four years ago I would have cringed at the thought of creating a blog 'wide open' to the world.  Now, I can't imagine not having this "place"  in my life.

Post Script:

Immediately after pressing PUBLISH POST to the above entry, I found this Daily OM at the top of my inbox. Synchronicity? A penny for your thoughts....

Revealing Your True Self
Essential Authenticity

Identity is an elusive concept. We feel we must define ourselves using a relatively small selection of roles and conscious character traits, even if none accurately represents our notion of “self.” The confusion surrounding our true natures is further compounded by the fact that society regularly asks us to suppress so much of our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual vibrancy. Yet we are, in truth, beings of light—pure energy inhabiting physical bodies, striving for enlightenment while living earthly lives. Our true selves exist whether we acknowledge them or not, often buried under fears and learned behavior. When we recognize our power, our luminosity, and our divinity, we cannot help but live authentic lives of appreciation, potential, fulfillment, and grace.

At birth and throughout your childhood, your thoughts and feelings were more than likely expressions of your true self. Though you may have learned quickly that to speak and act in a certain fashion would win others’ approval, you understood innately that you were no ordinary being. There are many ways you can recapture the authenticity you once articulated so freely. Meditation can liberate you from the bonds of those earthly customs that compel you to downplay your uniqueness. Also, communing with nature can remind you of the special role you were meant to play in this lifetime. In order to realize your purpose, you must embrace your true self by letting your light shine forth, no matter the consequences.

Rediscovering who you are apart from your roles and traits takes time and also courage. If, like many, you have denied your authenticity for a long while, you may find it difficult to separate your true identity from the identity you have created to cope with the world around you. Once you do find this authentic self, however, you will be overcome by a wonderful sense of wholeness as you reconcile your spiritual aspect and your physical aspect, as well as your inner- and outer-world personas. As you gradually adjust to this developing unity, your role as a being of light will reveal itself to you, and you will discover that you have a marvelous destiny to fulfill.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Celebrating My 100th "Follower"

What a delightful surprise I found this morning when I logged into my blog.  100 Followers!  I'm delighted because I interpret this as a complement that I have created something that 100 people actually may choose to look at.  And, to me, that's the best feeling as someone who loves to create visual art.  If that assumption is a 'stretch' then even if I've created something that stirs the imagination or promotes inspiration, then that too makes me happy!

What better a time than to offer my gratitude and thanks to each of  you that click onto my blog,  take the time to leave a comment, or decide to follow my posts.  As some of you know, I started to blog  and returned to pursuing art soon after I moved to a new city where I knew only one person - my partner and best friend, and my then puppy, Mini.    I left a promising career and my two daughters and Dad behind, 5 hours away by car.  It's been a bigger challenge than I ever imagined and the online artist community I've come to know has often served as my 'social life', my source of inspiration and my 'trolley strap' holding me steady when I was in the depths of feeling entirely alone and regretting the decision I made.  Your comments, and collaborations in too many projects to count, have given me courage and strength to get through some rather bleak and cloudy days.  Please know how much you are appreciated!


Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Collage Print - The Puzzle of the Century


 "The Puzzle of the Century" - 6x6 inch collage print

This collage just sort of fell together during that "twilight time period" where I am really not all that aware of any left brain thoughts - I'll leave it up to the viewer to interpret it - although I have to provide you with one hint  - think - Holy Grail.  :0)   On sale in my Etsy shop here.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Hunting and Gathering for Remains of the Day Part Two!

Please SKIP THIS first PARAGRAPH if computer problem  venting is not for you...it was quite therapeutic for me to just get it off my brain and release it.....

The Menacing Computer Evil Prince of Muck was still around today, although I did get one step closer to diagnosing one of the glitches.  I played I.T. and successfully took apart the back of one of the laptops.  I slipped into a daydream of this just being part of my many skills....the hardware guru delusion aka THGD.  That one lasted long enough for me to get all the screws back in and the laptop reassembled, no further ahead.  After exhaustive googling, I determined not being able to take the battery off of this particular laptop was a common problem and eventually figured out a way to get it off....Solution?  I'm now thinking my power cord is faulty.  Next step?  Find the package of various plug  ns to my "universal" power cord...hoping there is one that will fit the 'said' laptop.   That'll be another needle in the haystack adventure although I do have some drawers in mind to begin my search.  I think that search will keep until tomorrow.  I'm IT'd out and need a creative fix.

The good news....

The SHABBY Muse I had sent out a request for  visited me today - much to my relief - I hope she stays for awhile.  She helped me choose an assortment of papers to start the signatures for my shabby journal....plus she showed me a way to add some spunk to my cover.  See below....

I found some  old ribbon remnant  handles with fabric beads that were attached to a wine bag, cut them off and sewed  them to a long tube of fabric I'd sewn the night before.  Done.

I found a way (or Shabby Muse) showed me how to get rid of the pink part of the old doily that was getting in the way of my vision.. if you look closely the 3 patches spell out ART but, you have to look at it in the mirror - they were left from a project where I'd forgotten to reverse them before I printed the out so that made them at home in the scrap piles.

Here's the 'beginnings' of the stack of precious papers - ripped from magazines, some copies of old collages I've done, scrapbook 12x12 inch papers and a hodge podge of other odds, sods and thingama-bobs.  Shabby Muse doesn't like 'neatly stacked piles' ...heavy sigh.  Plus she's not letting me crop my photos neatly nor mount them on a different background.  She's a bit bossy and can be  controlling, but I'm getting accustom to her way.

Off I go to sew some pages.

Remains of the Day and Remains of 2009

Well, the Evil Prince of Computer Crashes and Muck-ups decided to pay me a visit yesterday, making me feel as though I needed to have the skill of a safe cracker to diagnose and fix my computer problems.  As I type, I still have not been able to solve why one of my laptops just up and died, and now why my larger computer monitor won't display when attached to the other older laptop that I have it hooked up to.  I've decided that there is a Microsoft co-conspirator that purposely makes the "troubleshooting" tutorials purely useless as an inside joke.  I SWEAR, somewhere in the back of my monitor 'the conspirators' are looking back out at me laughing as I slowly advance through the Troubleshooter Menu advances , until it reads ...."We are unable to fix your problem."  Tell me, has anyone out there ever had a "Troubleshooter" fix a problem?

Oh well, it did give me the opportunity to begin to look at gathering up scraps of paper to begin the process of assembly pages for my latest shabby journal class .  In fact, perhaps there are no accidents, as I was still working on that part of the project when the clock struck midnight.  A few days left to go, I'm sure.

Here's a few snapshots of me trying to group scraps of paper in some sort of creative manner....

Aw yes, a pleasing  assortment of textures and colors....but wait....these were JUST what I found on various tables, nooks, crannies  and only surfaces  in my studio!   But, honest, I'm not a hoarder - I swear.  I know anyone reading will have to agree?  Hoarding implies unwise compromises to one's lifestyle....  right???
After I snapped these shots, I moved onto my 'smaller' sized paper category, and then into two file cabinet drawers....I'd say I'm about 35% finished my sorting....of  the mostly solid colored papers.  I did ask myself....am I taking a journal making class or a class on organizing....a bit of both it now seems.  But there was joy throughout the day as I rediscovered old favorite bits and tears and memories of trips..it's ALL good.  Despite those nasty computer gangsters.

One last shot - I started musing on the wrap  around tie for my journal cover..
not finished yet...somehow it seems to be begging for more shabbiness....I'll have to conjure up a 'Shabby Muse' as I seem to be wanting to make things anything but...something seems to be crying out for a Canadian flag somewhere in there...  Does anyone have a Shabby Muse for hire?   Eleanor is far too proper for this project.

Happy 2010 Day One!

Carpe Diem,