Long time coming

Wow! How is it that I haven’t posted anything in so long? Could it be the back-to-back work trips that took me to Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, New Hampshire and Vermont? Indeed, I think that’s the reason.

On the trips I came close to finishing a shawl, worked on Morgan’s socks and read two books. (I loved both The Book that Matters Most and Dumplin’. Both had something that I needed, and I can’t say that it’s only coincidence that I read them when I did. I love how books often reach you when you need them most.

I’ve been home for a week now, and I’ve been able to get quite a few things done. (Including some gardening and work on a birthday present.)

To help get myself focused, I set out everything that I’d like to finish in time for the market. I’ve made a decent dent, but there’s still so much to do.

(Before you get the picture parade, I will start by saying that I know I need more process photos. At this time of year, at the heart of market prep, it’s hard to slow down and take photos. I mostly just want to get things made!)

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All of these pieces are waiting for some bead embroidery. I really want to tackle the yellow and black piece of resin, even though I’m not sure that it would be a big hit. I know, I should start with the lucite.
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These three pieces used to be wire wrapped together. And then … some Mickey Mouse comments prompted me disassemble them and turn them into a pendant and earrings.
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I turned this “Mickey Mouse” head upside down and think that this look, with wire-wrapped crystals joining sections of chain, is pretty good.
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I’d socked away these purplish beads and when I unearthed them, I know that I needed to stamp on the big one. I kind of love it. The owl is pretty great, imho.
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After the class I took on coloring metal, I was inspired to do these piece. The pink-and-blue one says “Love.” I did another Love piece with a backwards “e.” Oh Stephanie … I may have to wear it myself.
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These are the three wood-burned discs that I colored in. I covered both sides of each pendant with resin.The one on the bottom right is the backside with some pebeo paint. It’s pretty cool. I’d love to dangle some crystals, but that would make it a little uncomfortable, if someone wanted to wear the other side facing out.
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These three are made from either paper clay or polymer clay. That reminds me, I’m taking an image-transfer-on-polymer-clay class in two weeks. Yahoo!!!
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Another polymer clay piece, painted with crackle paint and acrylics. I love all of those fire-polished beads. That is the Stephanie color palette. No other colors need apply.

 

I can’t jury for journals until the second Saturday of May, so I have a little extra time to finish the journals I’d like to make. Remember the image transfer journal cover that didn’t work out? I just pasted some scrapbook paper over those eyesores and here’s how the outside will look on both sides. I love it! I added some sparkly embossing powder, which doesn’t really show up in this photo. Guess you’ll have to pop by the Redmond Saturday Market and check it out in person.

Journal cover. I think I need to move away from underwater themes soon.
Journal cover. I think I need to move away from underwater themes soon.

OK, it’s time to pack up some projects to take the East Side. It’s Easter and my brother’s birthday. We’ve got a double celebration in the works!

Work and taxes

I don’t have much to show for this week. Taxes and work stuff ate up a lot of my evening time. That’s OK. I finished one sock for Mirgan. I worked on a birthday gift. And, and fixed some jewelry for me. (Luckily, it wasn’t something that I’d made that needed to be repaired!) And, best of all, I’m taking Monday off as a craft day. I need it!!

Another non-productive thing I did this week was read a chunk of a journal from ’94 into ’95 that made me appreciate time and maturity. Being in my 20s was fun, but also foolish and self-indulgent. I’m left to wonder if I just had a lot more energy, or if the unknown of what lay beyond library school was enough to keep going and feeling unfettered and full of life and possibilities.

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The offending Crayola stamp markers. Can you imagine anything worse than a puppy paw peace sign on your leg?

One of the highlights was the last page, decorated with Crayola stamp pens. I remember the night Jeff forbade me to stamp on his legs—I’d already stamped on mine. When he fell asleep, I made a puppy paw peace sign on his leg, with Asha as my accomplice. He was livid when he woke up. Come on, man! They were washable. There was no need for that kind of outburst. Maybe I was bratty, but I think that was the clearest sign that he and I were not meant to be together.

Now, some (cough) years later, I still love stamps, colors, markers, paper, journals (and puppy paws and peace signs and …). That love is evidenced by these journal- covers-to-be that I started weeks ago. They’ve languished on my kitchen counter until today. I know, I shouldn’t have covered the whole thing with napkin, but I did. And, it’s what I’ve got to work with.

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Tissue paper over board. I love the elephant.

So, I took a stencil and added some color. My next step will be to go around the edges with some dark color—maybe one of the Tim Holtz oxide dyes that I’m eager to try. Then some shiny metallic paint, some gelatos used as water color, a hight of glitter and … they should be great. At least that’s how the finished product looks in my mind.

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Step 2 is complete. I recognize that another many steps are to come.

Another recent experiment with paper happened around the time of the inauguration. I took some pages out of a pro-“Agent Orange” book and started by covering them with gesso. I realize now that I should have added a second coat *and* taped the pages down better. Anywho … This is what I came up with. I do kind of love the metallic foil dots! Neither is perfect, but (imho) it’s better to make something, anything, rather than nothing at all.

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That needs to be covered up. STAT!
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Thank you, gesso.
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Seems like a relevant sentiment considering current events.
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Do I think this is amazing? No? Am I glad I made it? Yes!

 

Foolish follies in pain(t), part two

Oh, I was bad this week. OK, maybe not bad, but distracted. Vacation days pass so quickly that I have to wonder how I get anything done during a regular work week. Geez …

I did transfer a sketchbook image onto a substrate, per the book Daring Adventures in Paint, (which I began talking about last week), and here it is. Is it my style, or is it a blatantly beginner’s work? Both? 

   

Morgan and I talked a lot about it. He has a proper background in art. I am driven by the urge to create and play and just kind of run amok all guided by gut feelings. But, he had some good ideas for me. Not answers for fixing my ugly, blobby painting, but for me as a curious crafter.

Daring Adventures in Paint book suggests working on a collaborative painting. I want the squid painting to be that one. And, I want him to be my collaborator. (Always and forever!)

But, lest anyone think I’ve been lounging around, I haven’t. There has been some resin pouring, more enameling 

  
and even some journal making. Which brings me to the whole idea of a these book reviews. Just today I checked out a book on drawing, two on mosaics, and one by Lynda Barry — just for fun. Typically I request a book — or 10 — and go straight to the hold shelves, check out and head out. today I browsed the stacks, and my discoveries made me happy.

Tuesday evening, in a burst of inspiration to make a journal, I got an e-loan and made this tiny journal. 

  
I know, I know … Apple ad materials are everywhere, but they were the prototype sacrifice. I’m not hung up on the outcome, rather inspired by the process. I even made journal covers from two CDs that were heading to Goodwill anyway.

  
But, I rushed myself and messed up the holes I punched. Harrumph!

Long story, long, my point is that I have been dipping into a book or two every day. I’ll finish up the painting book next week. Rebound, the source of the gift card booklet, has a lot of great ideas, but I know that I won’t use many of them. Geez, I feel awful saying I wouldn’t add that book to my collection. (Honestly, some of the projects seemed a little intimidating for my skill level.) I’m glad, however, to say that the author, Jeannine Stein , has some great projects on her website. Like this one. Oh, I really want to make a journal like that. But, I would also like to do some mini-mosaic making and maybe some bead looming in addition to market prep work.
Maybe, I can tend to some of that yet tonight. Or, maybe I’ll climb into bed early a stack of books at my side, and catch up on my craft p*rn.