Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Off to Unravel

At Art Unraveled. I am spending a few days with my precious daughter first, though. This is Tuesday's entry. I am still messing about with octopi and am still in the octopus novice drawing stage. I LOVE this image of the creature legs up. I got a bunch of images from Google, printed them so I have source material.
Many times I ruminate an idea to death and then the execution is smoother. I read a great article in this week's New Yorker about ideas and intuition. If you can believe it scientists are doing very complex research on these topics. One note of advice is that the brain comes up with ideas when it is at rest. I notice in my own life that ideas come flooding in when I first wake up. If I give myself some time before I get out of bed I come up with amazing ideas to solve issues I've been wrestling with.
I was so inspired by Jill Berry's symbol-a-day idea that I have started. Perhaps I'll carve stamps when I am done. Doing things in a series really appeals to me. There was a time that I would start collecting an image a day coinciding with my menstrual flow. After 28 images I would photocopy them all and do a photocopy transfer on fabric for a kimono jacket that I designed. I have one with chairs, one with dragonflies, one with a piece of art from 28 other artists. It involved my physiology part of the making. Boy, I could write about this for a LONG time! My body no longer make eggs so I need to think of another way to let my body determine a series.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sleep Walking with Dreams

Am I narcoleptic? Are my doggies truly sleep agents? Little four footed sand-men?
I have been working only in bursts. Perhaps its not so good for me to be by myself for so long. At first it was great. Six weeks later its just the whisper of lonely.
When I am working on journal pages it seems I am making notes about stories that appear in my mind. What to do with this stuff besides just writing down the story? How can I use it?

After looking at Jill Berry's Blog and Be..Dream..Play I think its time for me to use some wet media and make some visuals to go with the stories.
I am a children's librarian at an elementary school and I LOVE it. I feel I can use all that I am in my job. Several of my ideas this summer are great lead-ins for kid collaboration, my favorite:
With an assortment of found objects,tell their story.
I am quite excited about the possibilities.
I thought writing was too hard for me and that I was a terrible writer. I think writing all the papers for the master's degree paid off in an unexpected way. I love to write now. I love the labor over getting just enough words for my ideas.
I will soon pack for Art Unraveled and for spending time with my brilliant daughter in Phoenix.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More resin!

I made made 8 more resin covers! I had been saving a black iridescent butterfly for months and when I covered it with resin the iridescence disappeared but it is still lovely. The other holds a pencil and a ruler bit. I LOVE rulers! So today I think I will do some Secret Belgium Binding to get these books complete. I have to deal with the inside covers- they are still raw.
Art Unraveled is coming up and at first I decided not to make any trades but now I've decided it would be a good PR thing for the blog and for Etsy Shop.
Sooooo...more resin! I save bottle caps. They are sitting right on the computer desk in a mason jar. I made a sheet of octopus and ran it through the Epson printer (this printer uses a water proof ink so the image does not bleed) on a dictionary page. I will cut them out with a 1 inch circle punch, glue them in the bottle cap and fill with resin. I may drill a hole and make it into a charm.

Check out Be... Dream...Play. It is absolutely enthralling!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Resin Niche

I just made a scan of these book covers. Its difficult to get the full idea of the resin filled niche from the scan image.
The cover on the left is a dragonfly wing that I've had for months now and it worked fantastic! The cover on the right is a Chinese coin below and sea glass above. The sea glass has become just a smudge of green. Thats okay. After I poured the resin I got a little worried that it might eat right through the packing tape. Nope! The tape worked perfectly! And the brilliant thing about the tape is that it holds down whatever I put in the niche while I pour the resin.
Its raining!
I am slug bait today! Everything was hard. I managed to do my hour of exercise and cut a few niches and then I went and read for a couple of hours. I rarely feel this lifeless.
Of all the things I have to be excited about I just couldn't generate any kind of energy. But look I made it to the computer and put in 2 entries!


I've been collecting octopus images for a while now and since I'm getting ready for some octopus painting I thought I'd draw my own. Here she is ready to be used in a multitude of ways! It was great fun to draw. I was especially conscious of the negative space between arms. I am longing for some text to go along with the composition. I'm having trouble starting. Which puts me in mind of Juliana Coles who says "You start by starting". I did.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I've never been fishing

Whew! I made it through the weekend and now I have the time to spend on resin niche books. It takes me forever to make some design decisions and I had that problem deciding what to put in the niches of 4 books. One book will go to Etsy BEST Book Swap and the theme is "Travel" so I had to think in those terms. The resin is still curing so I can't take any photos.

While moving out all that art for my sale, I found many primed canvases ready to go so its time to start making some paintings. I want to paint octopus. Here's my plan:
1. Make small collages
2. Enlarge on color copier
3. Choose parts of collage that would work as a complete composition.
I LOVE working this way. Here's another part of one of my journal entries that will find itself on a canvas soon enough. Doesn't it look like she is blowing on the little dog?

Sunday, July 20, 2008


The sale went great yesterday. Lots of friends came over and left with pieces of work that are off to have a life of their own. I was thinking of how thrilling that is for me. The works will be interactive on a daily basis somehow and that is quite a big deal for the maker. Everyone seemed so happy to be getting artworks. I will get smarmy if I continue.
This journal entry is quite controlled and lively--some days are like that! This morning I finished the last page in the current journal and I'm not prepared with another book! Fortunately, I think I can rustle something up by tomorrow.
Walking my doggies at 7 AM was steamy business this morning.
My sale starts again at 1 today. There is not much left.
I am so excited about making more resin-filled-niche books! Next week!
I am feeling very Grateful; Great-Full; Grape-filled; Grateful.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cutting Windows

Where have I been? Wednesday and Thursday sort of got away from me! Today I have been getting things out for my sale tomorrow and Sunday.
Studio South is holding all the for sale mosaics. I cleaned out Studio North and found lots of jewelry that I made that I'm ready to part with. Studio Up, stock hold of paintings, has been gone through so now I just need Dan to help me bring all of it down and I have to price that stuff.
Most fun of all, though, has been the discovery of a rescued set of Childcraft books published in the 90's. There is nothing charming about the text but the covers are primo! I cut down one set of covers and it was such hard work with a lino knife (even my new one!) that this morning I took the covers out the Handyhouse and cut them with the chop saw! Easy as eating cherry pie! I am very awed by Daniel Essig's books with treasures niches. My version will be low tech! Yay! My favorite! So the first one I cut 2 pieces from each the back and front covers, 5 1/2" X 4 1/4", with a niche window 1 1/2" square. I glued 2 together so that the niche would have some depth. Then I used a piece of packing tape on the back of the window, serendipitously it held down the little shell and is transparent too. Hmmm... I am thinking ....I'll use Diamond Glaze! So I pour in the Diamond Glaze so that it covers the shell. As soon as I get done pouring I realize that this would be a great job for Envirotex Resin! And now I'm REALLY excited! I have been collecting little precious nature objects for a while now.
I have more book covers cut, glued and pressing right now!
And here's the status of the shell leaf necklace in process:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I wish I would have taken a before picture of the interior of Studio South! I spent Monday cleaning and purging and now its a space I can work in again.
Yesterday I was getting ready to work on the deck space and I was in town all day. I was buying caladiums and ivy.
This morning, I went out to pot the caladiums that I got yesterday and I was looking at the underside of the canopy that is on the deck. It was disgusting! Its so sunny out on the deck that without shade its too brutal to use. But the weathering on the canopy was too brutal to look at and its probably one of the reasons the deck space never got used.
I thought perhaps the fabric canopy could take paint. It did! I went paint shopping in the studio and found half a can of light blue. It was enough to get started and I did have to make a run to Lowe's to get another quart. I'm sure the whole job would have only taken a quart. It was very easy to paint. Look how swell it looks!
Another terrific day of hard work! I am so grateful that my body is letting me work it hard again. The deck is usable--just in time for my sale this weekend.
Tomorrow I shop for sangria ingredients and decide whether to make crostini or empanadas.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oops! I missed the whole weekend!

I was cutting wood for Ethiopian binding and then it started to rain really hard and I fell asleep and the weekend was gone! Mostly, sort of true. It was a BIG rain--3 inches in less than an hour. Our Florida weather is back--full force. Its not pissing me off this summer like it usually does. Maybe its the rocking chair I put on the front porch so that I could watch the torrential downpour in the afternoons. I DO like that!

I finished the Bird Clicker Necklace and I really am pleased! I used some found stuff and coins and pearls and its very light. The great part is I still have 2 elements to play with from the same clicker!
Dan was throwing away this old edition of Dr. Zhivago. I tore it apart and changed the title to a more appropriate title for a journal. I am using the Secret Belgium Binding with a ruler. I LOVE RULERS! I've shown an interior shot before sewing in the signatures so you can see that I am only using a partial sheet of altas. I really adore the surprise and diversity of anything goes with signatures!
Fantastic Secret Belgium Binding Tutorial!
I've got to go out to the mosaic studio to purge work for my sale this weekend!
I am having fun.
My back feels Normal! I am SO grateful!

Friday, July 11, 2008


I can walk again! Its amazing what an impact being mostly pain-free makes on my psyche!
I'm a bit chagrined to say I didn't work in my daily journal yet--I had a hard time sleeping so I got up an sewed books together. I experimented with very smallish books using cereal boxes as base and covering the covers with old card catalog cards that I snagged somewhere. The little envelope for each book had 5 cards for the card catalog, a pocket with the check out card tucked in and a little sticker! The signatures share space with some wonderful atlas pages.
For today' journal page, I chose one from March- it shares opposing page with a map (I have a weakness for maps!). At this point I was just starting to experiment with making curved lines that would hold text. It does get better!
OOOOO...I bought an electric dremel for my little dremel drill press! Fun!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bird Clicker

Well, in my purging of cabinets I found 2 bird clickers that I got at Satchel's Pizza in G'ville, the best pizza in town (Blue Highway in Micanopy has the best pizza in Micanopy). So I was ready to put them in the "to-go" pile but I REALLY like birds and I wondered how hard it was to deconstruct this little unit and make one of my necklaces out of it?
It was pretty easy! I punched some new holes at the bottom of the bird for hanging little charms. I hammered the rough edges so skin and clothing won't be ripped. And I'm ready for the 'bird clicker adventure'!
This morning I had another cortisone epidural for spinal stenosis or spine strangle as I call it. I'm going to try a year of this and see how it works before I make a decision about surgery. Thats another adventure, right?
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Putting stuff away

These are journal pages that started out as a National gallery of Art Book of Days thats why there is a painting on the facing page. I tore out the calendar parts, kept the paintings I liked and tipped in some nice paper for my journal entries.
I just finished this blank journal in my continuing book making frenzy. So far I have not had to purchase any book board because I am using cereal boxes, recycled book covers and so on. The cool thing about using packaging is that the crease line that may have been the top or bottom works real swell for a pocket. Notice on the front cover that I used a little button to hold the flap closed. Usually I run the covers through the sewing machine to close the flap so that any little ephemera that the journal keeper might tuck in will not fall out.
I spent the morning cleaning out a hutch in the dining room and an armoire in what we call the 'tall room'. Lots of stuff is going to the second hand store. I am planning on an artwork purge with an accompanying sale next weekend. I decided I would rather have my work hanging up somewhere rather that stored in the studio.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mean Mother of a Headache

I've had this headache since 4:00 yesterday. Its something in the Florida air. I did my journal page this morning and then went to town to get my bicycle tire fixed--it was flat and I don't know how to change my own bike tire. Its embarrassing.
Along with working in the journal each morning I try to also get at least one set of book covers going. When I watch book binders work I notice that they have a big bowl of sloppy glue and a brush. I need to do some research on glue pots. Right now when I want to adhere a large sheet of paper I carefully squirt out paper glue and spread it around with an old credit card., then lay it very carefully where its supposed to go. Then I press it between sheets of wax paper. It works good. But I think I want a messy glue pot.

I got info from Art Unraveled today in the mail. Oh Boy! I am taking full day classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and heading home on Friday.
Monday is Resin-Filled Watch Case Locket with Richard Salley
Tuesday is
Junk Drawer Metalsmithing Stephanie Lee
Wednesday is
Solar Powered Timepiece & Compass Pendant with Richard again
And Thursday is
Altered Curiosities - The Illuminated Shrine with Jane Wynn
This is why I have a job so I can pay for these play dates.
Geez, I haven't noticed my headache while working on this post.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cecelia's Eye

This is Cecelia Gallerani's eye. It is in a ceramic tile ad and whenever I find it I cut it out and use it somewhere. There are so many glorious images out there in magazines . This kind of visual grazing does a couple of things for me: it is a way to gather images and it also feeds my need to see wonderful things. I love the search as much as the finding. So download Cecelia's eye and use it in your own work.

Today's post is this page from the same Solstice book. This is a small format book--its 6" x 4 1/2". I like to use the red cellophane from red line tape and use a glue stick to paste it down--works great!
Also its fun to make a whole page of favorite stamps, scan it and then print it on a page of transparent labels. Thats what I did with the 2 hands doing the magic trick.

I'm also working on necklaces being very much inspired by Deryn Mentock.
Here is my first go about.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blog Idea

I make things. I make clothes, jewelry, books, mosaics, paintings. I have been keeping a daily visual journal since November 2007. Its been fantastic exercise for me.
I have this idea to use my daily journal pages as postings for this blog.
This particular page is from 2006 when I would started a Winter Solstice Journal in November, kept it through the holidays and then stopped. The 2007 Solstice Journal never stopped!
This is a dry journal meaning no wet media. I work in what we call Studio Up, a refurbished attic space--no sink. To make the work more limited I've chosen to work dry.
I LOVE tissue paper overlays.
I LOVE using what happens to be laying about. There is always space on the page for that bit that got cut off something else.
Journal Page RULE # 1
Each entry Page must be resolved before stopping
Journal Page RULE # 2
The next day's day name(i.e. Monday, Tuesday,etc.) must be laid down for next entry.

The image to the right is the cover of the Solstice Book. Its 3 layers of acrylic with a transparent image on top. The binding is Coptic Stitch. My Favorite!