Sunday, December 26, 2010

Country French Trash

Country French doesn't that sound like an oxymoron? Well, I had a catalogue from Pottery Barn that I had been saving for a while. It was full of a line of Pierre Deux-inspired country french prints on towels, sheets, beach umbrellas and bedspreads. I am crazy about that particular style of fabric design, so I saved the catalogue.

When I was cleaning, I discovered the catalogue that I had squirreled away a few summers ago, and decided to take the prettiest items and cut them into strips. I glued the strips to heavy paper. [The whole collage process was verrrry therapuetic.] It looked boring, and not at all country french any more, so I printed one of my hand-carved stamps in black on it. Still boring, so I painted gold in the middle of the flower leaves. Not so boring any more, but I added touches of green, white and gold squeeze on dimensional paint for some extra zip.

Even though I always think I am more a mixed-media artist than an art quilter, the ATCs looked naked without some stitiching, so I added some simple criss-cross lines and machine blanket stitched the edges. They remind me of poinsettas a little, but maybe that's just because I finished them Christmas eve after all the presents were wrapped.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Cleverness

Feeling terribly clever tonight--I managed to make beach-inspired ornaments for my friend Jeanne who is having a mini-holiday gathering around her tree tomorrow night. She looooves the beach, so I bought some starfish from a Hamptons shop and managed to turn them into ornaments. I gently hammered a sewing machine needle through one of the five points, wiggled it around to enlarge the hole, and squished a gossamer silky wire-edged aqua ribbon through the wee hole. I tied it in a bow, nipped the ends, attached an ornament hanging gizmo, put some faux turquoise beads on the hanger, and viola, instant beach ornament. But then I had no box, no wrapping paper. I grabbed an old shoe box and covered the top of it with a sheet of heat-distressed painted tyvek. Funny, when I was a kid and throwing together homemade gifts, it was because I couldn't afford to buy them. Now handmade is in...lucky for me!

So, I don't have a photo of the ornaments and fancy box, but look what I did with the Bloomingdale's holiday catalogue I got in the mail: I cut hearts and Matisse inspired shapes out of old removable floppy disc labels, rubbed some NevrDull on the whole thing, peeled off the labels, and the look went from Christmas to Valentine's Day in a very short period of time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Goofing Off

I have been working nonstop lately, scarfing down a quick lunch while I work at my paying job, staying up late and working weekends for my husband for my non-paying job.

So, I finally have time to rest, maybe do some artwork, putter around. And how do I spend my time? Changing my facebook photo. I changed it 4 times...tried different self-portrats. And no, I am not going to use a real photo. They don't look any more like me than the self-portraits. Well, maybe a little more.

Anyway, I settled on this picture, a self portrait that I did from a photo at my niece's wedding a few years ago. I printed the photo [enlarged and kind of blurry] that my brother Kenny took and printed it on fabric, then overpainted it with water soluble oil pastels. I am wearing a black velvet coat that my mother made in the 1940s that has a really cool high collar [in the back] and my dangly old favorite fancy pearl earrings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's gift shop.

Friday, December 3, 2010

NevrDull Moment

I'm really never going to have a dull moment any more...I just discovered a new art technique (thank you, Karen Musgrave)! I took some random photos from a magazine, blocked off sections with removable floppy diskette labels [dating myself that I even have a stash of these ancient things] and rubbed them with a cleaning product called NevrDull. It removed much of the ink from the page and made it soft and magical. I peeled away the labels to reveal the untouched portions. Verrrry cool results!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Have I gone crazy? I spent about an hour tonight hand needlefelting the beginnings of a winter coat for my dog. Well, it was my daughter's idea. After all, I spend hours needlefelting pieces for ATCs and postcards and bracelets, so she thought, in the vernacular of my mother, that it would be keeno if I did a soft, wooly felting for the skinny, badly behaved but adorable four legged member of the family. Since he is so pretty and strangers think he is a girl, I did it in earth tones with a little indigo blue thrown in...hopefully it will say: "I am a macho boy dog, and I protect my family and home; I am the official Wyatt guard dog." Of course I don't have a working scanner handy or a digital camera nearby, so you have to wait to see a picture of it. With any luck, Coco will pose wearing it. But you can see my latest self portrait sketch, me at 55, looking crazy indeed.