Saturday, September 30, 2006

1" Square Swap

Thank you for all the comments and emails about my tiny 1" squares. I can't commit to make 100 squares for a swap, but I would love to swap what I have with you. I made a 'button' for my side bar for an "Ongoing swap". It links to my website where you can pick any little square that you like and email me the number. We'll exchange addresses, place the little squares in an envelope and have a fast exchange. Does that sound interesting and easy? Please let me know.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Trades for Art & Soul

I have read a lot about the wonderful trades that happen on art retreats, but thought just to sit it out and see what people trade on my first Art & Soul retreat. Then I thought again and decided to make collage packets and trade if anyone wants them. So for the last two days I have been creating paste paper and having just the best time with it. There is no pressure or creative block... just fun with colors, textures and patterns. After they were dry I stamped, stenciled, splattered and even tried the fancy stitches I have on my new sewing machine. I will pack them with some dyed paper towels and tags and hope that someone will approach me (because I could never do that). If I come back with trades I'll be sure to take a picture and show it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

ACEO fairies

After working on the 1" squares ACEOs seemed so big! I used my new lumiers on them and was frustrated when I tried to take a good picture. I couldn't.... The lovely, discreet sheen just doesn't show.
It's only 1 week to Art&Soul! I can't wait!!!!
Cards are on eBay here and here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Artwords - Miniature

1" collage squares
I saw these tiny collages for the first time on Tejae's blog.... after that on Chrysti's... and then I got bitten by the little square bug and had to try creating them. They are so sweet! But soooo tiny... I thought I knew how big 1" x 1" is, but you should have seen my face when I cut up my first piece of paper to that size! It was almost lost in my hand (as you can see on the photo).
A whole bunch of them can fit in the palm of my hand. They are like little jewels. I love them!I didn't notice Chrysti's tutorial, so I made mine differently. First I cut two-ply cardboard into 1" pieces. Then I found out that the paste papers that I didn't like in their original 12" x 12" size looked perfect when cut to pieces. I attached them to the cardboard so I had a sturdy piece to work with.
I cut out a little viewfinder to help me locate the photos. It is a fresh way of looking at things... many things I thought would be good were extra big, and some big photos had nice details when I looked through my viewfinder.
Then it was a matter of cutting tiny pictures from books, magazines and my own artwork; finding interesting words in old books (that was fun!), gluing it all together and adding hand painted details. I used a toothpick and acrylics, gel-pens, Sharpies, dimensional paint, watercolor pencils and even gold leaf on some cards.
I finished 24 cards.... and don't know what I'll do with them. For now - I just enjoy looking at them.
You can see baby me in one of the squares (sweet heart) and baby Hana (your reason?) on another square.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Illustration Friday - Phobia

Cynophobia - fear of dogsThis is how I see dogs. I need to be properly "introduced" to them and then it's a different story. Then I create entries like this one here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Glass Vial Art Charm

Extra talented and creative Crystal has photos of beautiful glass charms on her blog. She generously showed the process she used to make them. The tutorial is so well written and her charms are to die for... I just had to try to make one. I had a glass vial (from Chinese herb medicine) and gold leaf. I could not find the gold leaf sizing and it was too late to go and buy it so I used Allene's tacky glue and I think it did the trick. Also, I didn't have a pre 1909 book with illustrations so I used a part of a poem and this is how it turned out:
Now click here and go admire the real thing.

Bad sketching - good memories

We visited the ZOO today and I managed to steal a few moments to scribble in my moleskin. I am too embarrassed to draw in public (because people like to look and I draw like a kindergartener) so I hide and scribble in a matter of seconds. It is extra bad but the point is - it doesn't matter how bad it is... whenever I sketch something I remember more details than a perfect photo shows. I don't know why but everything about the scene remains engraved in my mind. It is fun and rewarding and please try it sometimes and let me know how it felt.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I wanted to thank you for the emails and comments. I almost deleted the last part of my previous post because it was a little bit too private and painful at the moment... but I'm glad I didn't. It is so encouraging to read positive thoughts from cyber friends. It makes the world seem much friendlier.

Speaking of friends, my dear friend Connie always has the perfect words for me... and today she also had the perfect fibers for my new little journal. Just what I needed to finish it. Thanks Connie!

- click here to see more photos -

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New tags from old art

I was not very creative today... My arm hurts and my energy level is extra low... I was looking at photos of my ACEOs and collages and decided to turn some of them into tags. I like the way they look... we'll see if someone else does too. They are on eBay and etsy.Hana said that 'everyone' in school says that she's ugly... I'm sure that it's not true, but it bothers me that I can't protect her from the world. I don't understand children. It was much easier when they were babies and I controlled almost everything. I 'binged' on books in the library. One of the six books I chose is "Cliques - 8 steps to help your child survive the social jungle". I hope to learn something from it. The other books are "Creativity & Madness", "Sewing for Dummies", "The Fitness Kitchen", "Drawing - you can do it" & "Drawing people".

Monday, September 18, 2006

This is what I made today:

My first bag ever!!! It has transparencies and my ACEOs printed on muslin, crazy stitching with the coolest multi-colored thread, a flower-like decoration and it even has a lining (like a real bag)!!! I can't believe I made it! Not that it's that great, but because it's my first.
When I was a little girl I used to spend many happy hours at our neighbors house. I was thinking about her all day... She was a seamstress and had an old machine with a wheel on the side. There was also a big box of fabric scraps and I was allowed to take whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, I was too little to learn anything... and I never wanted to sew - until NOW! What possessed me - I don't know, but I just had to try this.
I found a tutorial here and experimented.
15" x 9" (straps are 15").

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Beeswax ACEOs

I can't remember when I last used transparencies and beeswax on my cards. Today was a perfect day for it. It was cold and grey... and it felt so comforting to breathe in the sweet honey scent of beeswax. I just love it!

I even used pages (maps and words) from my 1920 little Webster Dictionary. I love looking through vintage books and it's not always easy to tear pages from them. As I am constantly thinking about my upcoming trip to Portland, using the words ‘travel’, ‘journey’ and the old maps today seemed somehow ok.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Journal in a box

Black box. Eye peeking through. Journal in a box.
Secret. Removable spine. A hidden part is revealed."What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
- on eBay -

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Inspire Me Thursday - Inspired by Design

"This week’s challenge is to be inspired by design… flip through a magazine, peruse your junk mail, browse a catalog, looking for advertisements or layouts that you are drawn to. Choose one to be your inspiration… the task is not to duplicate it or to use the actual page within your art, but to be inspired by certain elements within the design, perhaps the color palette, the composition or a pattern used in the inspiration piece."
I was browsing through Neiman Marcus catalog and admiring the photography... and I swear - I couldn't find the prices of items until I really looked. They are soooo high that I thought they were some kind of codes... It is ridicules... I had fun adding prices to build just one outfit (from underwear to a coat). You could buy several cars for the same price.... Anyway, as I mentioned - the photography is great and I decided to try the Inspire me Thursday challenge. It was too late at night to paint, so I sketched it. Then I sketched it again and finished the painting today (in my journal).
Check out the "Inspire Me Thursday" website...
you will see amazing work.

Monday, September 4, 2006

A bump in my garden

My English can pass fairly well when I write little everyday things. But when I want to go a bit deeper into some unusual subject I feel like a 10-year old. Suddenly I don't know any correct words that would help me to express what I feel. Oh well... believe me - I write much better in my language :-)

I have a need to write about a short story that pops in my mind whenever I lose someone. It is from one of my all time favorite books... a little book that shows that I have held her and went through her pages many times in the last 20+ years. It is very difficult for me to translate even the title... something like "The Store of Secrets" or "The shop where you buy secrets"... It’s my best try but it doesn't sound quite right... The author is an Italian painter, poet, novelist, short story writer - Dino Buzzati. The story goes something like this:

You have a garden and you walk through it every day of your life ... After a while in that very familiar space you notice some changes. You almost trip on a bump that seems to have grown over night. Some time later another one shows. Then another. As years pass there are more and more bumps... Some are small; some are so huge that you have to climb over them. We all have a garden like that. It is in our mind (or heart) and each bump represents someone you have known and has passed on... The bumps help us remember them... And we hope that when our day comes a small bump will grow in a garden of at least one person.

So, when I woke up this morning and my husband told me that Steve Irvin died I could feel a new bump in my garden. I had a small crush on the guy and I'm very sad.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Big Fat Art Journal #2

I feel like I gave birth... Here is my "baby": She has big feet.... but other than that is quite lovely...
I finished my second big art journal! It took me hours and hours today to take pictures and prepare them for eBay... I must admit that I was a little bit envious of people that can connect three paper bags and sell them for half the price I'm offering this 'labor of love' one of
a kind art book.
Nevertheless - I enjoyed taking photos... it made me slow down and take a closer look of all the things I included in the journal and I completely fell in love with it. There are so many colors, textures, hidden places, tiny details in it... I hope that someone that enjoys altered art and creating will find it. I hope that it will call the name of that special person... and that someone will add to it and fill it with colorful creations and thoughtful insights.
Click on the photo if you want to see more details or click here to see even more details in the auction.
Other than that - I am happy to say that I managed to clean my closet today AND make the boys and girl do it too! Not very creative but much needed.