Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy 401st, Little Witch!

My 401st blog post on my birthday--how appropriate, since I feel about 401 sometimes. Of course, that's young in witch years anyway. Ancient for cats, dogs and people. Stress kills.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Heirloom tomatoes and fresh cut flowers= farmers market and fall festival

It's a different kind of art-mother nature's to be exact-that makes up my 400th blog post today. The fresh-cut flowers and produce took my breath away today, a sunny Saturday in Syracuse, where I was summoned impromptu to a festival by my daughter. You would have thought it was the first time she had ever seen altered art, snatching up a huge wooden Notre Dame sign and another "Welcome to the Lake" sign, both made of paper mache letters on old doors or shutters.

The heirloom tomatoes taste like candy and are almost as sweet as the whoopie pies we both bought- she got chocolate and I got oatmeal. My little 26-year-old even bought a bag of Amish noodles, although she insists she doesn't know how to prepare them. She must have missed my lesson on boiling water.

There was a lot of great jewelry, photography, beads, ceramic tiles and other art, which I managed to avoid, but Wawasee Antiques drew me in and sent me out later with two tiny Kewpie dolls, a couple of old medical tins and two old chandelier prisms.

Besides finishing up the round robin charm bracelet swap in the Marie Antoinette Mail Art group, I have fat book pages coming due in my new Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party Mail Art group, and a Halloween-time Marie-theme treat bag/supply swap due next month in the Marie group. I have one coming to me from Amanda and I send one to Rebecca.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alice in Wonderland or Me in Aliceland

Marie who? Seems my Marie Antoinette kick may have taken a back seat for the moment to Miss Alice herself and her wacky friends, like M. Hatter, Esq., pictured here popping out of the house I made for him. Doormouse, Cheshire Cat, Duck, Dodo, Lory and Eaglet are in the back window (not seen here) along with Alice. So many strange characters in that book! Isn't that where one finds Toad the Wet Sprocket? I think someone besides the Caterpillar may have been smoking the hookah when writing. Of course, that was Lewis Carroll back in 1865.

Meanwhile, I was inspired to create a Baby Alice art doll (Linda and Opie O'Brien Who's Your DADA?-style), Alice as a Young Girl art doll/canvas assemblage (inspired by Lisa Kaus) and a Zettiology-style (inspired by Teesha Moore) Alice skinny book page. Small doll head from Kris Hubick of Retro Cafe Art. The black framed pieced is a 3D collage under glass with vintage silhouettes. I think that may actually be inspired just by me. Maybe that's the author explaining his book idea to a comrade. March Hare/White Rabbit (who is whom?) winks knowingly on the front of the piece.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Major Bling and Things

Here are a couple of charm bracelets I made over the weekend. The base bracelet for the black and white one was actually a new charm bracelet I got at Jules of Goshen. It had the black plaid heart, the crystal teardrop and a few others already on it, along with the hot pink lucite rose that I moved to my pink charm bracelet. Then I added some more charms and touches of hot pink to balance out that bracelet, and what was left on the starter bracelet was just asking for some black and white charms to be added. So I did.
The Goshen foray resulted in some old tins (bandages, salve, pencils), an inkwell, a very old copy of Alice in Wonderland, a front-desk bell (pre-cursor to the Easy Button), and a 1932 Etude music magazine with a Marie Antoinette-inspired cover. Time for some show-and-tell soon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wanted: Shiny Happy Plastic People

This elusive redhead in the green dress stands between me and a complete collection of the eight Avon Small World bottles from the 1970s. However, I just discovered by researching photos of the originals that some of mine had wrong heads on wrong bodies. And, it seems I am also in need of 1) a cowgirl head with hat, 2) the senorita's pink flower for her hair, 3) the island girl's lei, 4) boxes for everyone except the French girl. But I could live without the boxes. Otherwise, I haven't done too bad in recapturing some pre-teen kitsch.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How to Explain Zettiology. Don't.

I am so tempted to let these pictures speak for themselves, and for the most part, I will. Suffice to say these are one-of-a-kind (OOAK), handmade pages for a skinny book (that needs explaining, too) in the Flickr group Zettiology, hosted by Jade Adams. Seventeen artists will submit 17 pages, and Ms. Jade will bind them into OOAK books for everyone.

Zetti style is probably best explained, if not defined, by looking at the work of Teesha Moore. Even her rubber stamp line is called Zettiology. I've blogged about Teesha and her work several times. This piece of art by moi earned me a comment from Ms. Moore. Check out her entire site and blog; her husband and daughters create amazing art as well.

The one-eyed, girly, swirly heads I used on some of my pages are from a collage sheet by Traci Bautista, which I bought from her in-person at Art and Soul in 2008. I've saved it all this time for something special. The strange and colorful heads are just perfect for my interpretation of Alice in Zetti-land.

More Alice-themed art ensues. I hope to post soon a couple of mixed media pieces I made this weekend with doll heads for Somerset Studios' fall art call regarding Alice in Wonderland. So far, I can tell you I employed a door knob, a jello mold, bird cage, watch face, resin, and I tore apart a $5 IKEA clock for additional inspiration and supplies.

See Dick and Jane. See All These Other Fab Finds. Good Job, Finder-Person.

Ah, what's a Labor Day weekend without some serious junking? A trip to neighboring North Webster, home of tennis courts on the roof of a former bank-shaped-like-a-castle-that-is-now-a-shoe-store which overlooks a topless bar just a block or two from the lakefront, produced all this wonderful goodness above.

Steals, I tell you! Dick and Jane, while pretty rough inside, was only five bucks. This is a 1940s version; Dick, Jane and Sally were still up to their same hijinx when I met them in the 1960s. I'd always wanted to find this little piece of childhood again. I've seen similar versions not selling but sitting on Ebay for up to a hundred dollars!

Someone did some serious doodling in this one, as well as some ripping of pages, and the spine is loose. But, I plan to use some pages in altered art anyway, so it's all good. Good Dick and Jane. How did we ever tolerate that vapid phrasing?

The kitschy plastic heads on bottle bodies are part of the 1970s Avon Small World collection, a series of eight or so different countries represented (loosely) in shampoo, lotion and cologne. Stinky stuff now, but cute, cute bottles! I've located them all except the American cowgirl. I blogged about finding my first one over a year ago here.

The other heads add to my burgeoning doll head collection, oft blogged about here and here. The porcelain head is embossed Germany, and the other head, or mold, is either tin or aluminum with chippy beige paint or something flaking off. It has a large, planned hold in the back of the head, not sure why. It would make a great piece of Halloween altered art if I weren't collecting heads.

A hideously ugly wicker lunchbox purse for $10, French flashcards for $1, a vintage amber peroxide bottle and a vintage Evenflo mini glass baby bottle rounded out my Saturday, so far the highlight of my long weekend, along with staying up until 5 am Friday night/Saturday morning and 3 am Saturday night/Sunday morning to work on book pages for a swap. Need to get my rest so I have more energy for bargain-hunting!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Some Things Beautiful This Way Come

The exquisite floral and bird wall hanging at top is by the talented Terri Gordon in a recent swap we did that I also posted about here. It is so incredible in person. Can't wait to hang it.
The Poe bottle is from Teresa Yates of Cedar Junction. She blogged about the Poe bottle here as it was featured in an Etsy treasury. We swapped art and ephemera.

The pink Royal is a treasure I found on Etsy and blogged about on my writing blog, Hunt and Peck. I've been searching for a vintage typewriter forever, or at least since I blogged about seeing and coveting this one in Portland last year.

My doll head collection grows with the little black head with white bows (in the middle) from Constanza, during her major de-stash. Check her Etsy for deals like the collectible Bailey's cup (bottom photo).

More New Marie Antoinette Figures

I completed the purple and blue toile Marie Antoinette figures last weekend as part of the "Masquerade Costume Swap" in the Marie Antoinette Mail Art group. I had received my torso from Tristan some time ago, shown here.

The assignment was to use dark colors, so I employed various shades of purple for the paper mache dress and body, the hoop skirt is wired to stand out using a vintage doily with light and dark purple velvet swatches of Crypton fabric in between. I covered her the upper torso with velvet as well, along with tulle, beaded trim, and part of a rhinestone earring. Various lace trims and a dark purple glittered rose complete the effect.

The torso went to Terri Gordon, along with the second, blue toile cone-shaped torso made with velvet, lace, toile tissue paper, ribbon, pearls, a cabinet knob and beads on headpins. We did a 1:1 swap, and I received one of her beautiful banners which I will post next, see them in her Etsy shop. I also received a 4 x 4 book page and artist trading card, all of which are exquisite.

The Marie group has so many talented artists, and it is exciting to receive swap items from them, and a fun challenge to produce work of the calibre necessary to participate. Group founder Cassandra has some amazing art on her blog and Etsy. Can't wait to own a necklace by her. Also can't wait to get my finished charm bracelet back from the group.

Gotta switch genres entirely and work on my Zetti-style book pages for Jade's Skinny Book: 17 pages, front and back, due by Sept. 11. Off to the workroom!

From Whence My Banner Cometh

I painted this canvas several months ago, using techniques found in Kelly Rae Roberts' Taking Flight book. It was in response to a challenge for Creative Therapy, and it also inspired a new blog banner, created by Kris L. Hurst.