Thursday, August 28, 2008

Babies ... so Charming

Can't help it ... sometimes I think I'm so clever (humor me and nobody gets hurt) ... last night there was an amazing sunset. I thought I'd try to get some photo's when this little guy decided to steal the show:

With all the rain we've been having the frog mama's and the papa's have been behaving like bunnies - there are nearly a gazillion baby frogs around (most of them pretty good at hiding) ... this brave little one posed for the paparazzi. Unfortunately, I forget how humid it would be outside, so the first few shots are foggy with lens condensation ... ah well, at least this shot is a keeper. The sunset shots ... not so much.

In other news, Amber Dawn is hosting another Black & White Charm Exchange ... I was slow getting started. The first submission was weak in the creative sense, but I still think it ended up cute (but not original quality enough for the actual swap). Check it out (the photo is larger than actual size):

The ring is the small end of a closure. If you remember the charms that I did for the Think Pink Exchange, you'll recognize the inspiration ... this one is a tad boring in comparison. :)

Next I broke out one of my tiny crochet hooks (7/1.65mm) and some black #10 cotton thread and came up with (again, photo is larger than actual size):

It's sweet ... but still didn't rock my world. AD had some concerns about it possibly snagging and the durability ... I'm not so concerned about that (plus I was thinking that I could dip it in the setting agent that I used on the paper cranes and could actually shape it and be certain that it could stand up to some serious wear). I think I would like the nest idea better if I used a natural colored cotton thread with some metallic thread laced through it here and there ... not an option in a black and white challenge, eh.

Back to the drawing board ... tonight I have been playing around with another design. Materials: shrunk down Michelle originals (thanks for the suggestion AD), decorative clear glass beads (the round ones with one side flat), Sculpy and paint ... I think I might be on the right track ... I'll share photo's when good light and I are on the same schedule. If you are interested in participating in the swap, visit Amber Dawns Black and White Charm Exchange post and leave a comment to let her know that you are interested.

Hope all is well with you and yours ...

8/31 update:
I have been playing around with the glass/sculpy pieces and haven't quite got something I like. I haven't completely thrown in the towel as there are a couple of tricks up my sleeve ... will post when I'm a little happier with the outcome. In the meantime, I have been thinking knots ... I did a search for macrame owls and found a couple instruction sheets that look promising. Since I need a break from the other ones, I plan on giving it a shot tonight after dinner - fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cranes Revisited

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and reason doesn't seem to fit in ... the sky is a strange gray (remnants of Fay and her continuous rainy bands - she pretty much passed us by with only a day of high winds and rain; we've actually had more rain in the days since she traveled north and expect even more throughout the weekend, but we've been really lucky) and it's a bit gusty outside, but I just HAD to try to take photo's of the cranes earrings that are done. I didn't get a single decent shot of the first set that I took, so uber-spouse tried to convince me to wait until morning when the light would be ideal ... stubborn is as stubborn does ... and sometimes it pays off.

Here's a shot of the black and white pair:

and a close-up of one:

and a close-up of one from the light blue pair:

I have about 18 fishhooks left, so can make 9 more pair before I'll need more materials. I also have it in my head to start a canvas covered in cranes ... one of these days.

Dont forget about the Pink Artist Drawing :

As of August 23rd, $1,557.85 has already been raised! Woohooooo!!
AND there's still time for you to participate, too!
Click the picture above for more information.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Soul Journal - Days 2 thru 6

Sadie and I have been spending the last few nights working on our Soul Journals. Once we had finished our writing (today I feel ... ) we covered all the writing in a fairly thick coat of Gesso. Some of the words were still visible, but it didn't matter ... the next step was Claiming Our Journals. On the first page we wrote "This Book Belongs To" and our full names over and over and over ... I can't say that I am pleased with mine (makes me feel like I have a muddy mess of a soul ...), but I'm taking one of those brave steps and sharing it just the same ...

(it helps to remember that the pages are not set in stone. I can revisit, rework, add, modify, and/or change the pages anytime I feel like it ... I seriously think it needs some sparkle and at least a little less random kindergarten scribble).
After marking our territory, we built some Soul Armor. I like the direction this one is going. I do want to add some color ... fear seaps in (ok, completely soaks me to the marrow) ... step away from the book! I added words, written a whole bunch of "I choose" statements, added a touch of pink ... more color can wait (anyone want to give me a crash course in color?!?)

Here's the 2 page spread:

Sadie was ready for the next step, so on we went. Sarah provided a list of 24 things (a smile, a hand, an eye the same color as our own, etc.) that we were to find in magazines. We spent some time pouring through a bunch and called it a night. The next day we painted a dark wash over two pages (previously collaged and Gessoed - is Gessoed a word?). Once this step was done we cut our pictures into 1" squares and attached them in grid patterns ... eyeballed. Sadie opted to do a modified design; her pages look great! I added six more images (30 total) so I could have five rows of the pretty little pictures.

Here's where we are:

and a couple of details to check out:

Click on any image to see a larger view

For more information or to get the actual promts we are following, please visit Caspiana - she starts talking about the Soul Journal project on July 13th in a post titled "S. Journaling".

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good for the Soul ... Journal, Anyone?

A while ago Kathryn from Collage Diva celebrated a milestone birthday - she turned 40!! - when she discovered that this year I celebrated my 40th too, she wanted to send me a little somethin ... look at the sweetness that I received this past Saturday:

The lovely collage is printed on Chinese Dupion Silk.

The gorgeous lighthouse photo of Marshall Point Lightin Maine
is a Kathryn Antyr original photograph.


The little moo card is simply adorable! - click on any photo to see more details.

Then today I came home to another piece of mail love:

How sweet is that packaging?
- uh, not the flowers ... I added those to keep the address's private -

Inside was a print from Elizabeth Beck of


She had a contest
(check it out here) & I lucked into being one of the winners (for asking the most questions - lol). I was able to pick out one of her prints - to see the set, visit her Etsy Store here - and have it customized ... I asked for "happy is as happy does" ... you know something ... I'm glad I did. When I look at this print I'll be riminded of that simple thought and who knows ... maybe I'll just do more happy.

Here's a detail:

(remember, you can click on any image for a larger version)

Finally, Sadie and I have taken the plunge and are making our very own Soul Journals.

First a little background ... Kathryn had mentioned the soul journal project and then within a day or so I saw it again on Grrl+dog's blog ... they had come across Sarah from Caspiana and were joining her challenge. Part of me wanted to jump in, too, but I resisted. The next thing I know nearly a month had passed. Well, I recieved just the nudge I needed (in the form of - "do it anyway!") ... so, I am ... and Sadie is, too. I went back to Sarah's original post ...

Sunday, July 13, 2008
Soul Journaling-

I’ve been dreaming about a project I’d like to do with you all for quite some time. It is part journaling, part mixed media or visual journal. I have been mesmerized by all the visual journaling that I have come across lately. I have lots of trouble starting projects like this…the ever feared blank page and not knowing what to write. In good old fashioned creative writing they use prompts to help you get started. So why not start there? I’d like to give you daily prompts to journal along with me. There will be both writing and mixed media prompts. You can choose to follow me exactly or break free on your own and just use my idea as a starting point, it’s up to you. So without further a due… I’m challenging you to start a Journaling journey with me!

Sadie and I went out and bought our books (Sadie has given me the OK to talk about her part in things, but I am not allowed to show the pictures of her progress). She picked out a red crocodile-looking-leatherish book and I picked this one:

Once we had our books picked out we were supposed to glue random Dictionary or book pages to the first 3 pages in your journal. They could be ripped or hanging off the edges or neatly trimmed. We don't have any old dictionary's or books to use ... instead we printed a bunch of random stuff and collaged the pages (how does one count the pages? is front one, back two, next three? or is the spread considered a page ... after this first part, I beleive each side is a page on its own ...). Here are my three (double page spreads) collages:

I thought it was interesting that Sadie and I gravitated to a lot of the same stuff.
Next: start writing on the first page over your dictionary pages. Start with the prompt: “Today I feel…” Write for at least 5 minutes and circle or rewrite any words that catch your eye in your text that describe how you are feeling. If you run out of things to say, just say what’s in your head…”today I feel stupid for listening to Sarah about this whole journaling thing…” Rewrite the prompt “today I feel…”every time you get stuck or start a new thought . Write for as long or on as many pages as you want.
so, we did ... here are two of my pages all written over (double page spreads):

That was it for the day. The next prompt is to gesso over all the written pages and to CLAIM our books (we're already there, but I don't have photo's at this time ... and am not really sure that I am quite done with the first attempt at claiming my book - Sadie, on the other hand, has claimed hers and it looks REALLY terrific). Tonight we'll be starting on Day 3. As soon as I post this, we'll be picking out our armor!

If you've ever found yourself wanting to work on an altered journal, but didn't know where to begin, this just might be the thing for you ... in case you didn't click the link above, here's the first Soul Journal Post from Sarah ...

... happy is as happy does!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Welcome to SW Florida ... or a Study in Clouds

I can't believe that it's been a week since I have written. It isn't for a lack of things to report, but for having too much going on ... I simply haven't been able to slow my mind down. Part of it is being preoccupied with these two incredible magazines:

(You can click on the covers to purchase them on-line)

Of course I had to run out and buy Art Doll Quarterly as there is an article by magnificent Monica Magness of Girl Gone Thread Wild on our beloved Love Squared (have you bought your raffle tickets, yet???). The article was really lovely and the photographs beautiful.

Not only that, but the cover article is on one of my favorite artists - Vanessa Valencia from A Fanciful Twist. Once I had read it cover to cover (and back and forth again and again and again) I raced out to the bookstore to pick up one of the last two copies of Artful Blogging - Vanessa is featured in Artful Blogging, too ... along with a number of brilliant other artists (that I am chomping at the bit to visit) ... if you haven't had the chance to check them out, I do think it's worth your while. :)

Last Monday Don and I ran away from home for a couple of hours (critter had a date with rockin-awesome Grandma). We went to Stump Pass. It was HOT and muggy, so we weren't there for our usual 4 hours, but definitely long enough for Don to catch (and release) a few fish and for me to find some cool rocks, sharks teeth and some pretty cool cloud shots. Believe it or not, the next three photo's were taken from the same spot.

This first one is facing the gulf - look how lovely the water was:

I turned around and took these next two:

Can you believe those clouds rolling in?

This one was taken just up the beach (on the way back to the auto) within just a few minutes of the first three:

and then this one was just simply a lucky capture:

I wish I had captured the prehistoric looking crane with just the sandy background so you could see how amazing these crazy birds are, but I have to admit that I love that I captured it just as it was taking flight. You can click on any of the images to see a larger version of the photo.

I have also been working on some artsy stuff, too. I don't have photo's to share, but might be able to get some before I go back to work on Tuesday. OK, I have taken a long enough break - I'm working on a brochure for my friend Deirdre ... she's been way more than patient, so I need to work the kinks out and send over a proof to her.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cranes, Cranes and ... more Cranes

When in doubt, fold cranes ...

lots and lots of little cranes ...

you don't have to count them ... there are 52 cranes ... or ... 26 pars of matching cranes

matching cranes? now, why would a girl do that???