Sunday, March 30, 2008

Want to See Where I Live?

So, you DO want to see where I live, huh? Well, you'll just have to buy the book! Okay, so perhaps I am getting ahead of things here; let me explain. The Seven Shabby Sisters (plus or minus one) of the Shabby Cottage Studio Design Team have combined to create our own little shabby abode to submit for possible publication in a compilation of group art efforts by L.K. Ludwig

The rooms were randomly assigned and are about four inches by four inches. No square footage here! You just try decorating a room on that scale and no budget to boot! Anyway, here is my room. Stay tuned to Shabby Cottage Studio for the unveiling of the entire house. And cross your fingers for us that we get it published. I can't wait to see the whole thing either, and thanks to SCS owner and house manager Gail Schmidt, formerly of Indiana, too!
By the way, my room is the nursery with the Three Little Kittens and their mittens on the line, better to see in person. The people are actually from a vintage family photograph, although I have never known what relatives they are. Background paper from SCS, German scrap kitties from Blythe-lover Moline on etsy and blocks image from Sandra Evertson's Instant Memories Babies, which allows free non-commercial use without permission.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A is for Asparagus and ATCs, B is for Banners, Boxes, BSU and Burt's Bees, V is for Vegas and Vacation, W is for Winter and Whining

Hello....I am typing this post with gloves on, so I will try to catch all the typos ahead of time! Why gloves? Two reasons: (multi-tasking as usual) I bought some cotton gloves and hand cream from Burt's Bees to work on my dry cuticles (it works!) and due to the slow spring and snow in Indiana and the loose storm window over my desk, it is freezing in my home office. It is also freezing in my basement studio. Yes, we have indoor plumbing and heating, but I refuse to set the thermostat ridiculously high in March! I'd rather whine!!

So enough of that! First off, thanks to Kris L. Hurst of Blissfull (sic) Elements on etsy and her website, for my beautiful new spring banner. The blog needed a facelift! So cheery! And, she is so talented; you'll see her work on many blogs.
Now, on to last weekend's art fest here (in said cold basement). I finished up two sets of artist trading cards for the ATC World swaps, and I randomly made another mermaid theme charm bracelet for etsy

Plus, managed to squeeze in a traditional Easter dinner with ham, asparagus, et. al., two! naps, a couple of new articles written, magazines read, Blythes dressed and photographed and some thought given to what to pack for vacation (10 day countdown) and what to take to Art & Soul (36 day countdown). My co-workers are in Las Vegas this week but not me (zero day countdown); so I am grouchy.

I also got an email from my alma mater BSU about sending final exam goody boxes to students, and it made me cry. Why? When I lived in the dorm (back in the day and long enough ago so as not to cry), a dorm of four halls and hundreds of girls, the staff sent letters home seeking boxes of candy and gifts for all the students to open the night before Finals' Week. I was the only one who did not get one at the frenzied opening. I guess my letter got lost. It was traumatic to say the least. But, I'm sure I aced my finals for spite. That's how I rolled. I need to go send a box to someone....

Monday, March 17, 2008

Art & Soul Fat Book, "By the Sea," Here I Come

Suddenly my blog seems to have become "what I did on my weekend." It's not supposed to be just that, although when you eliminate politics, religion, co-workers, family and personal issues, it's either blog about my arting adventures, or tell you what non-food object Larry the Cat has recently consumed.
So, obviously this post concerns the most recent weekend and the approximate 23 hours total I spent on 40 fat book or 4 x 4 original pages front and back. These will be mailed off to a hostess who will create covers, sort pages from other artists, bind the books and return to me at Art and Soul May 1 a fabulous finished book.
I decided to go with a Zetti theme for half my pages and a nautical alphabet for the other half. All the pages were first cut from watercolor sheets and then painted with acrylics, gel medium or gesso in shades of blue. After each side dried, I rubber stamped nautical images with distress ink on one or both sides.
Next came drawing and collaging my Zetti mermaids a la Teesha Moore, then watercolor painting, glitter, gel pens and other accents. The pages you see here are not done yet, but are waiting for embellishments of beads, charms and fibers to be added before they are mailed. All these additions help make the fat book fat!

Besides this, I kicked off my weekend by finishing 32 handmade Mermaid Ballerina charms pictured further below, which were mailed off today for another Art & Soul swap. Now I am down to my miscellaneous charms and swaps I will take with me to trade with the other artists there, a highlight of Art & Soul for sure.

And, to prove I have more to talk about than just my weekends, I have to say Yay! to Alex who made the high school varsity baseball team, which we kicked off tonight at a team and parent dinner. (We have a scrimmage planned for tomorrow in the rain and sleet). I also have to say Whew! to me for surviving today: a 6 a.m. drive out of state for a day of meetings, a rush home to take two dozen homemade lemon bars to said baseball dinner, and living through a 90-minute radio interview on for my ZNE art group. Finally, I have to say Happy Birthday (the 18th) to my childhood friend Jeaniene: you're older than I am once again!! Yay!

Good night, Gracie!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tune In 3/17 for Art Doll Chatter

I have the privilege of chatting with the Queen of ZNE, Chelise Stroud-Hery, the founder of VariaZioNE on jolly 'ole St. Patrick's Day at 9:30 p.m. EST on Blog Talk Radio . Tune in to hear us discuss all things art and dolls, and our mutual love of Blythe. The air waves may never be the same.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What I Did on my Work Vacation a.k.a. 'The Weekend'

Did I do all this this weekend? Yup. Did I eat and sleep? Yes. Did I go out to eat, do some laundry, lose Larry the Cat in the coat closet for three hours? Check. One of my always-inspiring Art and Poetry on-line friends said it looks like I cram a month into my weekends. And I guess I do. That's because I love love love doing all this stuff so much, and there is never enough time. Whoever heard of working 5 days and having a two-day weekend? Someone needs to re-write that book! Let's put on our lawyer pants and walk down that road (fave new line from a stupid commercial).
So what have we here? A canvas for The ZNE Book Club, studying Traci Bautista's Collage Unleashed ("See Rock City"), an altered nicho or dream box from ARTChix Studios for The Faerie Zine's 3-D Fairytale box swap ("I hope you dance: In emergency, break glass for pixie dust"), 32 charms (Mermaid Ballerinas) for Art & Soul swap, Tulip earrings for Cottage Style Street Team (CSST) on Etsy, listing 3/15/08, Barbie and Cancelled Stamps (Love is the center of the Universe) for Artists' Trading Card (ATC) World Yahoo! group swaps, and nautical and purple mother-of-pearl charm bracelet I made over the weekend, listed on etsy and promptly sold. I think I may miss this one! Send caffeine!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Sugar Skulls are Back

I had fun messing around with some more sugar skull artist trading cards (ATCs) for etsy and for Artist Trading Card World Four will go to a swap, and four will be for sale in a minute. I used water color paper, watercolors, gel pens, rhinestones, glitter, Stickles glitter glue, micro beads and silver and gold leaf. I think the idea behind The Day of the Dead and baking and decorating sugar skulls is a really positive thing- a nice way to celebrate the lives of those who are gone. I don't know why people get creeped out by skulls; we all have one.
I nearly broke mine just now though, as I was carrying a cookie sheet of these (that's how I dry them) down the basement stairs to my studio when I tripped in my too long jeans and high-heeled boots which I failed to take off earlier. I almost always work in my pajamas or sweats, and now I know why. Besides that, I always get dirty with ink, glue, paint, glitter, etc. Back to work after I list these and change.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Latest Faves on Flickr

Click on the headline link to go to Flickr and learn more about these wonderful photos!

Check out My Latest Review

Check out my latest book review pf Kaari Meng's French-Inspired Jewelry at or click the headline above to go straight to the review (hint: I liked this book!). The author has also written The French-Inspired Home which I will be reviewing soon. Vintage indie has tons of great ideas, links to sites and just a lot of good eye candy.
I also interviewed ZNE Art Dolls group founder, artist and collector Judy Keefe here You can check out my article as well as many other artists' profiles. Be sure to click on the links within the interview because Judy has some way cool doll photos and art.
So what's on tap for my weekend? I have some ATCs due in a couple of swaps: Sugar Skulls and WWBD (What would Barbie do?), both for ATC World on Yahoo! I have bits and pieces of jewelry findings spread out all over, having hit La Beada Loca today in Valparaiso, and needing to make 32 charms before April 1. I also got my watercolor paper cut for my Art & Soul pages, so now I just need to paint 44 pages front and back, so they can get dry and be ready for embellishing. Finally, I want to take some Blythe photos for the Blythe in America beauty pageant, and I need to make a 3D fairytale vignette box and get it shipped off.
Please someone make a staying awake pill that lasts 48 hours! Oh, did I mention I have a canvas due for my book club, um, tonight, actually, and chipboard thingies due for Shabby Cottage Studio design team and something tulip-y due for the Cottage Style Street Team campaign on Etsy? Must. back. away. from. computer. now.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Be There, or Be a 4 x 4

It was kind of a weekend for squares, as I spent most of my time making 4 x 4 book pages for The Artists of Chubbyville on Yahoo! All Originals Page Swaps for February and March. I also contemplated my covers for my 2007 Fat Book of all original pages by me and other artists. The book looks great with all the danglies, and I can't wait to photograph it. I found some cool pink paper beads on etsy that will be just perfect for spine danglers. I have been saving them for about six months for the perfect project, and this is it.

My page at top, entitled "Chaos," pretty much represents me trying to cram all of my projects into two-day weekends (whose idea was a two-day weekend anyway? Oh, yeah, well....). I mean, geez, how can one possibly sleep in, cook those good weekends meals, go out a bit too, shop, clean, pack for the coming week, tend to ebay and etsy (both buying and selling), get caught up on reading (just finished Sue Grafton's 'T'-excellent), read all the latest art, fashion and gossip mags, email, blog and have any time left to breathe? Eep!

The birdy page is "Birds of a Feather should Feather Their Nests Together." I could elaborate, but I won't!
The two top and the bottom pics are a self portrait for the ZNE Artists and Poets group I'm likin' the front, and its zentangle-ish feel. I HATE writing descriptive stuff about myself, which anyone who knows me will not believe. But, it's true. So there's my words for all the world to see, in no particular order, mix and match.
If there is enough interest we will make a fat book out of our 4 x 4 self portraits.

And speaking of fat books, which I guess I am in depth, The Arte du Blythe group on Yahoo, which I now moderate, is fixin' to do a Blythe fat book swap as well as an auction copy for charity to support artist Bernie Berlin's no-kill animal sanctuary, A Place to Bark (see blog badge at right)

Not one of these fat books is top secret, proprietary or closed; just give me a shout if you want more info to join! You can be square, too!