Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hoarder in the Making...

Anyone out there who enjoys mixed media knows what the "thrill of the hunt" means.  That dusty corner of an antique mall or thrift shop where you spy that "thing" that everyone else has overlooked.  That "thing" that would be so cool in a project-someday.  You buy it.  You take it home.  You place it somewhere that you can admire it.  For years.  because you are waiting for "just the right project"  or it's one of a kind and once you use it, it's gone. While sitting out front of an estate sale one day, an older gentleman once said (about the contents that were in the house that we were waiting to go in and snatch up)-"it's a shame she didn't use it-now she is gone and someone else gets to enjoy it" (another woman and I were 2nd/3rd in line waiting to hit the room full of sewing stuff)
    Those words really struck a chord with me.  It made me start to think of all the cool stuff i had accumulated that was sitting on a shelf or in a box-waiting for just the right project.  Some really cool stuff I might add.  For a while I did start using some of that stuff-usually on something for myself-that way i still had the item but I put it to use.  If it was a gift or for sale, i sometimes used the "2nd favorite" item :)
  Here it is-years later and a lot more stuff.  Couple that with a few years of major spans of time with no inspiration or desire to do art.  Occasional desire to hit an antique mall brought in more "stuff."
 Recently, as I mentioned my grandfather passed away-the last of my grandparents.  My parents and aunt had one month to empty out his house-as it sold a month before his death.  I've never had to help clean out someone's residence.  It's a lot more work than you think.  Even when they lived fairly simply with out a lot of clutter or "stuff."   You have to go through EVERY drawer in every room, every closet, every inch-which is what they did-and I helped some.
    That was my mistake.  Don't get me wrong, i was very glad to be able to help. There were certain items going to different family members-furniture mostly, some kitchen items and family photos.  Clothing was donated, misc given away.  The next round was letting the "junk guy" come take what he wanted. He had a thrift shop in their city.  When he loaded his truck and saw what was still left he had to get another truck and help.  Dad wanted no money-just wanted it out of the house.  Well, knowing that they were coming kicked my "hunter/gatherer" instinct in.  Big Time.  I set aside few smallish boxes for me.  Went out to the garage where i knew everything had not been gone through thoroughly.  Again, set aside some items for me or my husband.  Tool kit that had never been opened for my dad-and then i found "stuff."  The rusty metal, little wheels, rulers and thing-a-ma-jigs.  The laundry area downstairs had stuff stored as well.  And the boxes under the stairs and the large "closet"-both of which were full.  Probably things they packed up in st louis and never opened again.  The small moving box full of every cancelled check they wrote in the 50's and 60's.  The kind you see in an antique store.  Which i mentioned to my husband and before i could put them in the trash pile i thought "what am i thinking?!  I can use these, sell these and or give them to friends."  duh.  so that box went to my pile.   I don't know how many boxes I came home with-it was all stuff that no one else would have wanted.  It would have been donated or thrown out.  So it came to a good home.  The bad thing
is, my art room is already full.  Disorganized really.  If I would just get in there and consolidate/organize it would make more room for my haul.  I have more fabric, sewing notions, thread, rusty stuff, old jars, vintage christmas doo-dads, ephemera....Enough to start my own antique mall booth.
       It's going to be a big job.  So I keep putting it off.  So it sits in my hallway, my dining room, my breakfast nook. (and that doesn't include the furniture we're trying to find space for-and get rid of the old.  At one point there were 3 couches in my living room.  That has now been rectified.  Now just couch/love seat and 2 recliners.  oh yea, the treadmill just folded up and waiting for an empty spot again...
  Let's face it.  You can now call me a Hoarder.  I have the pictures to prove it.
but i have some cool "stuff."         UPDATE:  I am now working on the room (and garage) time to purge/sell/give away etc...

Art Weekend in the Country


Mary, Melody, Donna G

Mary and Donna singing to us (not)

Mel, Mary, ME (donna), Donna G

I think i was trying to blow in her ear or whisper something good

bed-luxurious bed

example of attention to detail.  This is one of the closets-even they are decorated.
Some friends of mine asked if I would like to join them the first full weekend in Nov at an "art getaway" in Forney Tx.  Of course I said "yes."  I haven't done anything like that in yrs and it sounded like a good time to get away from real life and get some things i was working on finished (insert snorting laugh here)  Good intentions anyway.  The "Ruby Rose Retreat" is located in Forney Tx.  It sits across the street from Big Mouth Scrappers.    I didn't realise the scrapbook store was there-they had taken a class there and learned about the retreat.  The owner of the store owns the retreat also.  It rents out thurs-sun at noon.  Sleeps 6.  You can see by my pictures that Angela pays attention to details.  The house is decorated in a shabby chic/antique/fun style.  3 bedrooms, 2 baths.  Full kitchen. (bring your own supplies)  Bedding, towels, etc... are provided.  Comfortable bedding :)   Even the closets contain vingnettes~
The scrapbook store is just as wonderful-very well stocked and full of everything a scrapbooker, paper artist or mixed media person could want.  5 rooms full and a HUGE class/crop room.

Broken Leg and 4 wks of Drama

On mon June 29, my husband passed out and broke his leg (fibula) in the fall.  He didn't know at the time it was broken, thought he sprained it.  The next day after running some errands, he felt around and something was poking that shouldn't be so decided better have it looked at.  Went to one of the new "hospitals" that isn't a hospital or minor emergency place.  They x-rayed and confirmed it was broken.  Did a temp "stablize
the area" abd gave him some Rx.  He called an orthopedic guy the next day, then found out he had to go
to his primary care dr first and get a referral from them.  The x-rays and dr confirmation didn't count. Mind you this was fri by the time he found out he needed to go to pcp.
  He called the PCP that ins assigned to us back in jan.  We never go to the  dr so never saw this person to become patients.  When he called "not accepting 'new' patients"  but the nurse practitioner would see him.
SHE confirmed the break and gave it over to the woman that does the referral work.  THAT took until fri
for her to call with the name of an orthopedic dr he could call.-of course it was too late fri to contact them AND it was July 3-holiday wkend.  He calls on mon (now wk 2 of break) and office closed for holiday.
Calls tues.  Leaves his info.  Calls back on wed.  yes, dr can see you on Aug 2.  "do you not realize I have a broken leg, that's been broken for 2 wks now?"  so she re-checks.  They will see him the following wed.
July 15. 
  3 wks go by, he goes to dr (still in the temp binding) where dr says "we normally like to set these 7-10 days after the break."  Well, he tried to get in sooner. duh.  Said there will be complications for waiting so long.
They will re-break the bone then put screws in.  Will more than likely have arthritis in that joint after waiting this long.  HOWEVER, dr will be out of town the following wk so surgery will be mon JULY 27...
The dr said the stuff he had on his leg was probably too tight.  Well, no shit, it was meant to stabilize his leg until he saw the dr-NOT be there for 3 weeks.  They gave him an Rx for a boot.
 Fri, july 17th rolls around and they call to say, can't do surgery on the 27, hospital is booked so she (the woman who schedules) will get it as close to that date as she can....
so it will be 5 wks + by the time leg gets repaired.  FIVE weeks.  His collar bone is hurting badly too.
It was fractured yrs ago and healed.  Reading online found out that using crutches can re-aggrivate a fracture like that (or re-fracture)  He told the dr this 3 times.  3.  and it was ignored.  I guess you are supposed to call your PCP and see them and get a referral for a separate "item" than the original.  WHAT the hell happened
to health CARE?  it's all about pleasing the ins company.
 And the INS company...BCBS.  I wrote on their facebook page as this was all going on.  They first said, you need to see primary care physician.  (duh)  then when they saw not taking new patients "we'll be glad to help you find a new PCP if you give us all your info"  (NOT a word about we'll find you a dr to set the leg)
When she saw he had an appt w/the ortho dr.  "so sorry you had issues, glad he has appt"
He even called BCBS directly and the girl tried to find a dr who could see him sooner-nope. seems a broken bone doesn't matter anymore.  You have to go through "channels" ~yet they ideally want it set/repaired in 7-10 days.
   Can you say "lawyer?"...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Angel Numbers and Circles

Recently I kept seeing someone on Instagram that posted her "angel numbers" and how they kept showing up.  I have been seeing the number 1234 a lot lately.  For at least the past month i see the time 12:34 so I figured it had to mean something.  I googled angel numbers and found out that it could be 123, 4 or 1, 234.
 Today when getting ready to leave the house I looked on my entry table and saw this-
I've had this old mailbox door for years~today the numbers stuck out.  I looked up what 1 means:
 Angel Number 1 encourages you to look to new beginnings, opportunities and projects with a positive and optimistic attitude as these are appearing in your life for very good reason.



 and 234:  Angel Number 234 is a message to put some extra focus and effort towards your creative endeavours to ensure that you manifest long-term rewards on all levels.  If you have been considering a new direction or beginning a new project or venture, now would be a most auspicious time to make that choice.  Trust that the work you do today will bring benefits to your life in the future.
(if you click on the purple # it will take you to the website where i found this info and you can look up any number that appears to you)

In numerology:  Your name number is a 9. It represents your destiny.
A 9 destiny is to bring beauty, art, and romance into the world. It is a charitable, generous, and kind number and comes with a desire to help the world.

Pretty interesting stuff.  Maybe that is why i've been doing a lot of artistic things the past month.
Shannon Green posted a series of video's recently on "circles."  I have been needing to paint some duck cloth for a project but kept putting it off.  After watching her video's decided just to paint circles.
The entire piece is about 60" long and 16" wide.  Hard to photograph the entire thing so here you'll just see a few snippets.
When I finish the actual project, i'll post pictures of that.
section of painted fabric

close up of section

close up of one circle

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Curious Bundles-the class


I recently took Susie LaFond's  online class-"Curious Bundles."  I have long admired her work-and here was an opportunity to see her process.  It was well worth the cost.  I've made my first "bundle" as she calls them
and am hooked.  I now have a great way to use fabrics i've been hoarding for years for that "special" project.  In her class you learn 3 different books and some extra techniques to use in your books.
   I can't wait to try it all.  Here are some pictures of my first bundle.

section of bundle-

bundle with blank pages-each pocket can hold loose journal pages or art













pocket close -up

close up of bundle. 
Screen pocket
another section with blank pages
 I really hated to cover all my fun fabrics with the pockets so i added some screen pockets. I "outlined" them in coordination fabrics and sewed them on-so you get a peek of the art or fabric.
inked and stitched
here is bundle spread out with decorated pages ready to journal or play on


 Looking forward to more inspiration from this class!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Journaling By 5's

front cover
I mentioned Jb5 in my last blog post (and linked it) so I thought i would post some pictures of my book in
progress.  I am not left brained, therefore i am not adhereing to the 15 min time limit.  I don't obsess over what i am going to do-i just smear paint and slap on paper.  So far I have painted (and inked) and added some background papers.  Next i will add my focal images to each spread.
back cover


view of pages

spead 1

spread 2

















Each of my pages were painted white first. I then added paints w/a credit card and kitchen spatula thing from dollar tree.  Since I wanted my pages to be more cohesive, I sprayed each one with ink and water and rubbed it around to cover the entire page.  I used mostly vintage photo, bit of walnut ink and frayed burlap.  The page to the left i used black because it went better with the colors.
spread 3

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Houston Bound

April 10th found me bound for Houston to visit my friend Shannon. Although I had not seen her since 2007 when a group of us got together in Fredricksburg,  I know pretty much everything that has gone on in her life thanks to youtube and facebook. :)
i'm pretty sure this is what lives in the room in the attic.  Accessed from the guestroom.
  My 4 1/2 hr trip turned into a traffic nightmare-2 separate wrecks-huge back-ups.  I finally had to pull off and kill time (better than sitting in traffic) so i perused Texas Art Supply  and waited out the traffic.  When google maps said it was a 30 min drive, i hit the road.    We spent the evening catching up on life, talking about art and watching a movie. Jayson too-well, he watched the movie with us-he didn't care about the girl/art talk.
  Sat i got up, did my "routine" then appeared downstairs.  Shannon had scheduled a"Journaling by 5's" get together at her house-which coincided with my trip.  There were 8 of us in attendance.  Shannon came up with a way for people who are too anal retentive to just journal-to slap stuff in there w/out thinking so you
can actually do it.  (my words)  you can see the video-or the info about Jb5 by looking at her page on you tube (link above)  We had a lot of laughs.  We were tired after that so both decided to nap.  i read, then actually slept for about 30 min. she didn't.  We snacked, watched 2 movies-jayson and shannon had a few words about lighting when i turned off a lamp.  Apparently that is an issue with them :)  had i known, the light would have stayed on-

 Sunday we ventured into Houston to check out Glenwood Cemetery.  Can not believe i've never seen this one as many trips as i've taken to houston-AND it's right by an area i hang out in.  We got out of the car and i figured there would be no problem  (this will link you to her video of our "trip") finding our way back when we were done. HA.  little did i know how big this place was-84 acres.  Hilly, treed acres.  At least we got to see areas we wouldn't have seen had we not been lost.  When we made it back to the car-it was off to Auntie Chang's.  (only chinese food i like) if you can call lemon chicken chinese.  but theirs is the best.  We got our sustenance, then off we went to the Menil museum. Shannon wanted me to see the hairy cheese. We saw old and modern art.  OK. so "art" might not be what some would call it.  Like the hairy child's legs coming out of the sink.  Or the silhouette's-where one image of a woman pushing a man? into an oven was questionable.  At least where her tongue was. (the sink replaced the Hairy Cheese)   We wondered to the Rothko chapel.  looked at the large canvases w/different shades of black.  Then went to see the Frescoes.   They were gone. In their place was a yr long exhibit.  The Infinity Machine    The most awesome thing i've ever seen as far as art goes.  If you are in houston this yr, i suggest you see this-it's free and worth the time.  We spent a good 45 min watching it rotate, seeing something different everytime it went around.  We also decided we'll each be starting our own collection of vintage mirrors.  a good way to end the outing.
  Sun night was snack night, watched Game of Thrones then visited and painted in journals.  And caught up on more life issues.   Mon i packed it up and headed home.  I made 3 stops, decided since i was "in the area" i needed auntie chang's again.  not like they will notice.  Wrong.  The same guy waited on me as did sun.  AND remembered a)what i drank and b) what i ordered...that's service!
  At this point traffic would be bad, so i took the "backroads" to 45-and hit one more art store for good measure.  FINALLY got home at 10:30   It was a good weekend, good laughs, met new people and got to eat at Auntie Chang's. 

"The Infinity Machine" at the Menil Collection's Byzantine Fresco Chapel



Saw this installation in Houston last weekend, (April 12)
If you are going to be in houston this year i suggest you put it on your "must see" list.  My friend Shannon and I sat there for 45 min taking it in from every angle.  It is mesmerizing and soothing.  It's now my "happy place" when something makes me mad.  The video does not do it justice-you can't really see the scope of the project.  It hangs 28 or 29 ft high and rotates slowly. It is just awesome.  We were hoping that they were
having one of those "guess how many" (mirrors) contests and the winner could take it home. But they weren't.  I was going to go back monday before i left town-I liked it that much, but they are closed mon/tues.
We both said we wanted one and started thinking of how many mirrors we had already in our possession...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Time Flies...

Christmas Table

Dad, Ty,Patrick, Travis, Gary's head




Again, i find myself realizing just how long since i last posted. (partly due to fact that dog chewed up my cord to upload photo's and I dislike doing it manually or via my phone.)  So I take pictures, then I just don't post.
 So, to catch up.  December went by fairly quickly.  hosted family at our house this yr since my parents moved away...It was nice to have them here and forced me to clean the house (sort of).
Dining Room with lights I strung
Suzanne, Mom, Dad, Addie
 A good friend's husband passed away suddenly in jan.  Had me depressed and thinking about what my life would be were that to happen to me.  Some major reflection.  Another family member is battling cancer-praying that it's not what they are thinking it is. (it was, she passed away Feb 13.)
 On a better note, i met up with a friend for some art time a few wks ago.  We made some tote bags that had been on the back burner for a few yrs.  She bought some cool fabric at the Country Living Fair in atlanta several yrs ago and said she wanted to make bags with it.  (oilcloth) so we finally got together since life
allowed us both at the same time.  I've been on a bag-making roll ever since.  I think i've done 5 so far with several others cut out or "in the works."   Pictures soon
One of many bags








Sunday, December 07, 2014

5 X 5 small works project

From the blog of Seth Apter:
my piece w/flaps down
This collaborative art project began as an extension to my first book, The Pulse of Mixed Media, in which contributing artists responded to questions and prompts by creating art. As a way to involve additional artists, I placed an open call on my blog for contributors to submit work for an online exhibition. Artists were asked to create new work, in the form of a 5" x 5" square and in any medium, that answered one or more of the following questions: 
1. If your artwork could talk, what would it say?
2. Who has had the most impact on your creative life?
3. What is one thing you have never shared with the creative community?
More than 75 international artists contributed over 110 works. All works were initially published on my blog in a series of posts. Subsequently, the 5 x 5 project was featured in an 8 page spread in the November/December 2012 issue of Somerset Studio in which 18 works were highlighted.

If you click on my link in the sidebar (5 X5 project) you can see where the art is now exhibited and for sale.
(i actually have a piece in there)   :)  the link will take you to Seth's blog post that includes pictures from
the exhibit and links to read more about the project~

my piece w/flaps up to reveal picture