Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thank you Gadgetgirl, and Happy 26th Cindy

"One of the strangest things about aging is that your personal history becomes costume."

I freakin' love this quote. Forty one years of life, and I finally find a quote that pretty much sums it up. Thank you gadgetgirl, whoever you are.

I think it may even be better than the Jungle Cruiser-ism (and Buckaroo Banzai quote - now there's a film that no amount of mind-altering substances can assist you in making sense of) from my misspent 1980's Disnoid youth (believe it or not, for those who know me, there was one):

"Wherever you're go, there you are."

Oh yeah, happy 26th birthday Cindy - time's run out on doing something exquisitely, pointlessly stupid. After all, people can't really say, "Well, she's very young...." anymore.

Love ya!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Crusade 21 - Irresistable Wax Rubbings

This month's Green Pepper Press crusade was yet another wonderful use for your rubber stamps, stencils, lace, paper doilies, carved wood, and any other textured surface that you may find around your cottage. I say "cottage" because it's a lot like the process of making brass rubbings that you can make of the brass gravestones in ancient churches in England. You rub a crayon over a textured surface, then paint over it with acrylics. Sounds easy, it is easy!

It's also fun and really brought out my creativity - just like all Michelle Ward's projects. It has been about the only fun in my life this week as I've had a bit of a low patch due to several different health issues that have been very painful and also scary. (Different issues, different pains and scary things) So God Bless Michelle Ward for reminding me that when the "ol' black dog" starts creeping a bit too close, the best thing to do is break out your art supplies.

Here are some of my wax resist samples:

The one on the left was supposed to be a rubber stamp casting - didn't come out well of the stamp, but I loved it anyway. The one on the right is sequin waste - came out perfectly!

The one on the left is a doily rubbing (those paper lacey things that they use as decorative mats in restaurants) and the one on the right is a stencil rubbing. So beautiful - I wish you could see it in real life. It is all gold shimmers and bright teal.

Then, the next question, what to do with them that will honor the process and make them useful? One of my favorite things about altered art is its ability to make beautiful things useful in your life. I've been intending to do "something more interesting" with the cups that hold my paintbrushes for ages. Well, finally I had an idea. See below:

Yes, that's a cup! And yes, that's a wax resist - not one of the ones I showed you, but it's a lace doily impression with a Michael DeMeng Stampers Anonymous stamp over it, and then my doodling and more painting on top of that. Around the back of the cup is a wrap of more of the wax resists. I love this piece! The picture below shows the wrap around the back. It's actually the first rubbing picture that I showed you (the one that didn't come out well, but I liked it anyway).

Here's the almost finished product - I also added a bit of recycled sari ribbon around the top for a finishing touch not seen in this picture.

Oh, one other my last post I mentioned that I was thinking about starting up a meetup group for altered artists in the Central Florida area. Having gone into it a bit further, apparently it's quite expensive to start a group through So, (as a starving artist, well, not really, but I just don't have $200 to put towards's advertising...) I decided to make my Altered ARTists of Central Florida a Yahoo group, with the hopes that we can find other people obsessed with altered art in the area, and hopefully they'd like to make some art with us (or at least discuss the wondrous properties of Golden Gel Mediums...) To advertise, Cindy and I are wearing shirts to the Stampfest convention this weekend. We'd really like to meet any other altered/collage/assemblage etc. artists in the Central Florida area - surely we can't be the only two in Orlando? So if you're reading this, and you're going to the Stampfest Orlando convention, we'll be there...with shirts on. Well, of course we'll have shirts on, but I mean shirts that say "Altered ARTists of Central Florida".....

Alterered ARTists of Central Fla has three current members - me, my friend Cindy (, and......MICHAEL DE MENG! This was the only other part of my week that was good, really. Read the previous post's (the one about the Seven Bags of Craft Supplies...) comments and you'll see one from him saying he'd like to be an honorary member!

Also, Michelle - would you like to be an honorary member of our group too?? If you're ever in central Florida, we'd LOVE to see you and make some art. (shameless begging going on here...)

Thank you as always Michelle for your inspiration....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Seven bags of craft supplies just landed in my studio

My mother-in-law decided to clean out her sewing/craft room, and (I think luckily for me) she decided to give her stash to me. Although there's a lot of "junque" in there, I think there might be some definite possibilities. I wish I was one of those folks who is so creative they can think of Somerset Studio-worthy things to do with a piece of rick-rack, a bobbin, and two pipe cleaners. I'm not that person, but it should be interesting just figuring out what to do with the new bounty. Or where to keep it, for that matter. I'm sure I'll probably give a lot of it away to art/craft minded friends. Let's hope, because I can't close the closet door in here as it is.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a submission for Somerset Studio's black and white challenge - I got some great work done on it today and I think it's close to being ready. Very exciting! Even if they don't like it, I do, and in about 8 - 9 months, they'll send it back I think, one way or the other. I don't want to post a picture here just yet, but the piece involves travel, history, and one of my Dachshunds. I'm also recycling an old piece of art in it (thanks Michael for inspiring me) and one of the paper castings from Michelle's challenge last month (see previous posts.) I'm on a big "use what you already have" kick at the moment. Probably due to putting myself on a financial diet with regards to art and craft supplies. Some of it is because, well, I need to in order to do bigger and better art things, and part of it is to prove to myself that I'm not a shop-aholic. I don't necessarily have an addictive personality, but I'm a little too hooked on the fix of buying yet another supply and/or book of inspiration. I LOVE the excitement of new ideas being presented, but it gets expensive, and I haven't made one 20th of the stuff I have magazines and books of inspiration on. So, make what you've got is the new mantra around here.

I'm also thinking about starting an Altered Art group here in Central Florida - big step, as I'm actually kind of shy (I have learned to fake extroversion quite well, but still...) The potential group currently has two corporeal members (me, my friend Cindy), one possible member who doesn't know about it yet, and several honorary members (Claudine, Michael de Meng, Michelle Ward, Lynne Perella, Traci Bautista) who also don't know about it, and probably don't get to this part of the world too often....ha ha. Well, a girl can dream! Anyway, will keep you posted if I do decide to act on the idea. There isn't a lot of altered art activity in this corner of the world, but maybe there's more than I know about?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Green Pepper Press - Challenge 20

This month's challenge was to create paper castings from rubber stamps and found objects - here are the results! (See Michelle Ward's blog on Paper Casting for excellent instructions.)

The first ones I tried were the rubber stamp castings. Overall these went pretty well, I didn't really have any problems with them. I definitely found using a strainer positioned over the blender helped with separating the paper glop from the water. I scooped my glop into the strainer and then pushed the paper with my fingers. This made nice "sheets" of not-so-soupy glop to apply to the stamp surfaces. Who knew there was yet another exciting thing to be done with stamps?

Feeling emboldened, I moved on to casting from molds (not surprisingly, these came out the best) and found objects - in this case, charms. I only had one mold break, and that was my fault because I was trimming the edges with the scissors and put a little too much pressure on the edge of the cast. They are actually pretty solid, so I had to use my Kai rubber cutting scissors to get through them! I really liked the project, and I'm sure I'll use this technique again. Thank you Michelle for giving us such great instructions! Next I'm going to try actually creating my own molds (the last part of the challenge, but that'll have to be on a later day.)

I was not the only one who liked the technique - my baby Lili (aka "Infanta of Dachsonia") also greatly enjoyed paper casting, although for reasons aesthetic or textural (we love toilet paper) I'm not sure. She also enjoys eating paintbrushes, as you can see here.