Monday, November 28, 2011

Vitamin Water Zero Paper Doll

After hours of cooking on Thanksgiving, I needed a break, so I pulled out my scrap bins, paints and glue, and did some doll therapy. This doll is 1960s inspired, with an a-line mini dress made of a Vitamin Water Zero label. I love the graphics and the colors, but I especially love the drink. It is the only diet drink that I can have that doesn't have me doubled over with stomach pains, plus, it tastes pretty good.

Her tights are made of aluminum foil, recycled from our holiday pie-making. The red go-go boots are cut from a scrap of watercolor paper, and adorned with silver sequins. Earrings, made of seed beads and pony beads, were sewn on. The doll's cap is made of the inner wrapper of a peanut butter cup. I expect I will soon make a doll friend for Ms. Zero out of the orange outer peanut butter cup wrapper, left over from Halloween. It was my ONLY Halloween treat. Really, I only ate one!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Art O Mat Blocks and My Canine Assistant

Whenever I hit a dry patch in my creative life, I remind myself to make more Art O Mat blocks. Making them is fun...but a pretty lengthy process. I print my original artwork on either Avery printable cotton sheets, or on t-shirt transfer sheets (with the image flipped), then iron them to cotton. I cut then, add some pellon or felt backing, quilt them and edge them. Some models get beads and sequins added, some get touches of paint for embellishment. Then I glue them to the art o mat blocks, glue a label on the back that tells all about me, and wrap the finished blocks with strips of cellophane so they can slide out the art o mat vending machines easily.

I feel good about the blocks because they are all mine. All my orginal artwork, no clip art, nobody else's ideas. They remind me that I do indeed have some creative, sucessful work--small, but successful still. It reminds me that I don't have to make a masterpiece every time, that I don't have to create huge murals, that I don't have to be avant garde.

And every once in a while I get a nice little check from art o mat, and a green card that tells me if they are running low on my block supply. Interestingly, they seem to love me in Vegas! Quite a few sold at the Cosmopolitan. And I even had my "Time Warp" pieces in the Smithsonian and some at the Whitney. (In the art o mat machines in the gift store, not actually hanging on the museum walls!)

If I calculated how much time I spent on each one, I probably don't actually make any money. But, the checks pay do for more art supplies! And of course it makes my canine assistant, Coconut Jenkins Wyatt, feel very useful. He guards them with his life and makes sure leaves don't blow on them and keeps insects off them as they are drying in the sun.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reiki Prayer Quilt with the North Pole Grid

I made this little 12" x 12" quilt a while back, and posted photos of it as I was designing it, but never posted the final photo. Lately I have started working on some more reiki inspired pieces, but this little one remains a favorite.

To start, I printed a photo (with permission of William Lee Rand) of the North Pole Grid on avery printable cotton. It looked dull when it came out of the printer, so I overpainted it with gold acrylic. [go to if you want to read more about the NP Grid.] It is a beautiful and fascinating story.

The little sequins on the tips indicate the major world religions. The actual NP Grid is made of gold and crystals, and has different symbols for each religion.

I cut out the gold NP Grid, and stitched it to a painted background of icy blues and white, which I created using watersoluble oil pastels [which aren't really oil, they are more like a gel stick] to simulate the snow and ice of the north pole for the background.

Each corner has the reiki healing symbol. The sides have the reiki morning prayer, combined with my own purple soy batik. It is edged with purple corduroy that was left over from a jumper I made my daughter, Amanda, many years ago. Purple is the healing color, and also her favorite color.