Jun 30, 2008

Food For Thought

Just a suggestion....

And here we go, showing in a sequence of photos, Kitten with the happily chosen tile and her trusty dremel. Then, carefully, de-wooding (is that a word?) the tile, and afterwards, my holding it for scale reference and then later, my first coat of a golden mineral powder and Liquid Glass...

You have to be careful, or you'll scrub down waaaaay too far into the tile. It doesn't have to be totally bare.

She's a complete expert at this. I used sandpaper when she and I sat a spell and did some. She did, too. We also wore masks, just in case. That is fine, fine, superfine dust the tile gives off, whether you use a dremel or sandpaper.

The naked truth in my hand.

With its first coat of mineral powder (Michael's) and its first coat of Liquid Glass.

In a couple of days, I hope to treat everyone to a shot of the front of My First Altered Book. Like Dorothy, the small and the meek... but such a front cover!
We had a torrential downpour along with a crackin' good thunderstorm. We need all the rain we can get, believe me. Actually, I think we are doing okay for right now, better than last year at this time. Of course, I again was in Barnes & Noble when it hit, reading "Not Buying It" by Judith Levine. Great reading for those of you interested in being "citizens of this country instead of consumers". (a paraphrased quote)
Also had to pick up the current Bookmarks. The cover art is great and made me think of a couple of the artists on the blogs I've come to know and love. Also picked up a b'day card for friend Nic. July 1st -- what a coincidence. The same birthday as Kitten! That makes two of My favorites, easy to remember. Holy Moly, time flies whether you're having fun or not! I have to plant my tomatoes before it's too late!
Hasta la pasta!

Jun 24, 2008

Solstice and More

Wow. This year's Solstice was some punkin as far as Summertime goes. I spent part of my day Friday with my dear friend Claud, sitting under her newly reconstructed arbor and gossiping while sipping a protein drink. This was a refreshing time of nothingness melting into serenity and renewal of spirit and flesh. She is always able to make me laugh and see things in a different way... while teaching me new things, too. Always good. And of course, she got a kick out of my pink "Dawgs" ballcap.

T and I went to five & Ten, a wonderful restaurant with local and quite delicious chow. We were going to go to farm 255 but it was impossible as it was also the weekend for AthFest.

Kitten and I spent a full 12 hours together Saturday and had a ball making all sorts of stuff. Here are some photos of some of our shenanigans. Yes, I finally managed to make my own teeny tiny book, complete with sewn signatures and a backing. Wonderful! Fun but painstakingly detailed and at times tedious.

HOOHOO! Who cares? It was great and here's the li'l darling now!

We also started up on altered books (Okay, okay. I'm reading mine first as it's one I meant to check out before and Kitten just happened to show up with it, lol!) and more goddess faces. Or any type faces.

This is Kitten's Goddess piece from last week.

Check out the Muse I made. I thought I did a fairly decent job of getting that patina down just so...

And of course, a Man in the Moon. Kitten had managed to pop these babies out after rolling them in just a bit of color, which only adds to their intensity and style, imho.

Kitten says this figure puts her in mind of a version of Munch's "Scream". So I tried to stay true to the time period and gave this one the faintest touch of the type makeup found in photos and illos from that era. I might make a brooch out of her, rather than a necklace like the others. Don't worry, you'll see them all again eventually.

And, heeeeerrrrre's Betty! She allowed me to get within 20 feet of her in order to snap her photo. Just as I was about to push it to 15 feet, she stared me down and stamped one of her back hooves delicately but very deliberately. Then, again. Then she shook her head and snorted. Okay, okay, I get it and so away I went...

Have a good rest of week and a safe and happy summer.

Jun 18, 2008

A Peek A Boo Post

A quickie for those of you who have noodged me -- read: encouraged -- offline re: my journals and hopefully feats of bookmaking prowess...

These are the papers I will be using for My First Altered Book. The paper on the left is for the inside front and back covers while I intend to use the right paper (it looks and feels like a nice pebbled leather!) will be the covers themselves. They both are fabulous to the touch and this photo does not do a thing for their sheer beauty...!

Okay, well, the PLAN at this point is to start on My First Altered Book and the PLAN is to use these papers. But Art does what he does and I might end up in a totally different place with him.

Jeanne of One Day At A Time had this great project going on where she made an altered book every month for a year. Wow. While that is a role model and a half for anyone, especially me, I am going to attempt one each season for now. Hopefully by Winter Holidays I will have learned enough to do a couple of gift books for the season. Hohoho... that means three between now and then.

We'll see, right, Art?



Jun 17, 2008

Daughter of the Moon

Hello Everyone!

"Isn't she lovely... ?
"Isn't she wonderful... ?"

Kitten and I made goddesses over the weekend using Creative Paperclay, a bowl of water, and mineral powders for color as well as bits we used to make glyphs on the goddess form.
Here are a couple of photos of the project for you all to enjoy, hopefully.

Making the actual figure was and is easy. After Kitten popped the faces out from their molds (Kitten had actually done this earlier) we finished and then lightly dusted the faces with mineral powders, in our choice of color.

We rolled up a bit of Creative PaperClay, and then moistened and formed it in the shape of a -- gulp! -- coffin. It should have a larger "head" area and taper down, really, like a you know. Wetting the flat or back of the face, we then pressed the faces down into the depressions made with our index fingers in the clay. (There will or should be a smallish ridge just above the face, where the pad of the finger presses into the clay.)

Then, quickly, impressions can be made on the "body" or around the form, using all sorts of things. I used little crowns and a button with a horse's head. AND... if you look close, you will see what looks like a moonstone on mine, towards the bottom of the form. Actually it's a button! LOL!

So, my goddess then actually became Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis. Do you remember that poem, "Hiawatha" by Longfellow?
By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis....
From the full moon fell Nokomis
Fell the beautiful Nokomis...

Kitten is really into those miniatures! I thought mine was small but if you notice, my goddess (in the middle there) is quite big compared to Kitten's. Kitten's little goddess has a beautiful fiery face with a gentle beaming expression, and she told me her little figure reminds her of her grandmother. What is ironic is that Nokomis translates to "Grandmother". You just never know...

They were absolutely great fun to make and even now, Nokomis is in a special place awaiting more photo ops, I'm sure. It's not every day one falls to Earth!

Later this week, Wings and Things.

Jun 16, 2008

On with the show and tell

Hello there!

Kitten and I had a great day together on Friday. We spent approximately 5 hours or so just doing simple art stuff, and some not so simple. I thought I would start with the easy fun kid stuff -- Shrinky Dinks! We were at the end of the entire day with lots and lots of test pilot projects before we realized we had not eaten, we had not gotten a drink. We just talked and laughed, and made art. MY KIND OF DAY.

See that circle to the right there? Somewhere that big circle is cooking in an oven at 275F.

Presto! Chango! And here is that piece shrunk down to 1/3 of its size. I made a small self portrait style piece, one of my line drawings, with tendrils and spirals (come to think of it, I saw something similar to this in a 50s B movie called "Invaders From Mars"). I used coloured pencils. Hands are in some pix to show scale/size. After those important 2 minutes in the oven at 275F, the colours come out much more intense.

AND: If you buy Shrinky Dinks in the bags that have a kid on the package front, you spend $5.00, rather than buy the bag for -- ahem! -- adult artists for $8.00. That means $3.00 I can spend on other cool stuff. I really enjoy the "Rough and Ready" Shrinky Dinks as one side has a bit of a tooth and gives a bit more depth as well as intensity of colour to the art itself.

Kitten traced a tat for her piece which I did not -- shame on me -- get a photo of, altho I certainly thought I did! Hers was a lovely flowing piece -- black on white background. TINY compared to mine. This white background means the translucence of that background picks up the colour of whatever shirt one is wearing. Nice!

This was my first project but certainly not my last that day. It's great getting to do fun stuff with another creative person who says, "Go crazy! Try everything!" When did I, how could I forget this simplest of lessons? I am just used to going the 2-D route with my drawings and paintings and paperwork is Kitten's theory and it sounds pretty good to me, too.

Next post ... goddesses and the incredible tile art Kitten and I managed. INTENSE. Mod Podge is -- as Kitten says -- unforgiving. That's Wednesday, so stay tuned.

Coming up, signatures and books. Fabric or no?
More later.


Jun 3, 2008

Low Country Boil

We had a fabulous time (well, okay, that wicked storm and Friday's Spoleto traffic wasn't so fabulous) going down from Athens to Charleston, SC for Jon and Brooke's Low Country Wedding. T had never been to the Low Country and had never even heard of Low Country Boil which I found jawdroppingly incredible. And Low Country Boil was on the menu at the rehearsal dinner, also.

Despite this "I don't like the beach" litany, I think T had an even better time than I did. And I love love love this area of the country... the people have worked hard and still do to preserve their culture, their heritage and art, the cuisine, music and it shows everywhere you turn.

We had one adventure after another on the way to the Big Event at Wide Awake Plantation. Serpentarium is worth the visit in and of itself. My nephew Jonathan said, "I always thought it was a rinky dink place, a little place, with maybe four or five snakes." Au contraire, mon frere!

Serpentarium not only has a plethora of local, regional and national snakes and other reptiles, venomous and non, it boasts myriad exotic snakes. No photos allowed inside where they are kept in cages. It stresses and frightens them which means -- TADA! -- no baby snakes. But trust me, when I came across the Fer De Lance, the reticulated pythons, the Albino Asian Pythons and then the Giant Green Anaconda -- well, this kid was impressed. The staff is kind and friendly and obviously love their work and their charges...

But on to the next pit stop. And, one of the star attractions we saw last weekend!

Who wouldn't love Big George? He's easily 15 or more feet in length and he is the king of THAT part of the world, believe you me. None of the others go near him... and another gator was missing part of a leg. We wondered if it was an unfortunate boating accident or if he had lost a round to Big George.

And now to The Big Event. The Main Attraction. The former Brooke Chapman floated down the aisle to her Prince Charming, my nephew Jonathan, himself totally feet off the ground happy before,

during and
after the ceremony at The Wide Awake Plantation.

And so it goes... Kids, I really will try to be there for The May 24, 2058 Anniversary Party your minister just happened to mention. Honest.