Sunday, November 30, 2008

Published: My Cards in Take Ten magazine

My local stamp store, Stamping Day and Night in Fort Wayne, is always so kind to call when they get new art or stamping magazines in and to hold them for me since I travel. The latest call from Sarah and Lana was a special treat since they informed me I was published! When I picked up my little pile of magazines: Take Ten, Stamper's Sampler and Somerset Studio Gallery, all by Stampington and Co., of Laguna Beach, CA., yes indeed, there was my name and a greeting card I had made on p. 26 of Take Ten, Dec-Jan-Feb 2009.
The card uses the boy king stamp from Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous and a brown kraft library card/tag, pocket and envelope as well as puffy typewriter key stickers, an embossed initial paperclip, ribbon and several layers of papers to say "Smile-It makes people wonder what you've been up to." I'm smiling since I've finally gotten published by this major rubber stamping and art card magazine, the definitive arbiter in card-making.
Before I even drove away from the store, I discovered another one of my cards on p. 135 of the same issue. I used the template from an earlier issue of the magazine to make the "welcome baby" red dress card with buttons and ribbon added. I also made a matching blue bandana envelope, not shown. Naturally, I had to run back into the store to show off my other page!
I'm hoping this will bode well for the altered art, collage and jewelry I have submitted to Take Ten's sister publications, Somerset Studio (altered art), Belle Armoire (altered clothing) and Belle Armoire Jewelry, Somerset Holidays and Celebrations, and the upcoming Marie Antoinette magazine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mail Bonanza: Faerie Zine Fat Books are Back!

It wasn't just on the same day, but in the same envelope even, that three gorgeous, stuffed-with-original-art fat books arrived last week from Lisa Kettell and The Faerie Zine. Since some of these page swaps had been due back in July, I had kind of forgotten not only that they were coming but what I had submitted. So it is always fun to get back the finished product, or products in this case.
There were three books: Halloween Opera, Birds of a Feather and The Doll House Chronicles. You can see two of the covers above as well as two of my pages. The 'birdy' page is just one of my faves from one of the many other artists around the country and world who participated. For each of the three books I made by hand 25 or more all-original 5" x 5" pages, front and back. No small amount of work that!
Hostess with the mostess Lisa had the big job of receiving, sorting and collating the pages and binding the books, always a time-consuming job. She bound the bird and doll books accordian-style with hand-attached, fabric hinges and she used hand-pleating to bind the Halloween book. Just an amazing amount of work! And these were but three of the many fat books she's hosted this year, others being Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz and more. Then, she was not only a participant in these also, meaning she made pages too, but she was also in many other books in the Itty Bitty Book Club, including the Sweet Marie book below, Vintage Prom dresses, and more. No wonder Lisa says she's swearing off fat books for awhile.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I want to live at this Salvage & Vintage Shop!

My second trip to 55 West & Co., in Millersburg, Ohio was just as wonderful as the first. And although this time I chose two pairs of handmade beaded earrings by owner Stefanie Kauffman, there were plenty of great vintage finds and salvage to remind me of my earlier treasures found in July: an old doll head, antique baby shoes and some old funky pencil people.
55 West is technically located at 45 West Jackson in Millersburg, don't ask me why. Jackson is also the popular Ohio Rte 39, which leads travelers straight into the heart of Amish country at Berlin, Walnut Creek and more. See my full report on Vintage Indie.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

'Sweet Marie' Itty Bitty Book Project is an Altered Art Confection

I wanted to show as many pages as possible from the Itty Bitty Book Club 'Sweet Marie' altered page swap/fat book on Flickr, hosted by fellow Marie admirers Jo Moran and her sis Mary Ann McKeating.
Every single page is luscious. I already told the group I think this is the nicest fat book of any size that I have ever received. This one is tiny though- pages are the size of baseball cards. Artists do a page front and back and then duplicate enough pages for every member in the swap and hand embellish each page. Sometimes people make every page by hand without duplication. I used two images from Sandra Evertson for Stampington and then colored them with gel pens, edged them in gold leaf marker and added poufy white hair on one side and a feather for her hat on the other.
Besides Jo and Mary Ann and myself, participating artists included Beth Fedorko, Terrie Ruiz, Nancy Reeb, Mahala Elliot, Jane Gherardi, Laverne Johnson, Wanda Eash, Kathy McElroy, Amberwaves, Rhonda Thomas, Suzy Spence, Lia Kent, Anastasia Christou, Annabel Orchard, Kellie Reynolds, Kathy Jacobson, Michelle Davis, Lisa Kettell, Linda Smith, Valarie Whicker, Bridget Schneider, Priscilla Jackson and Sherry Williams.

Charity Project Nets 72 Journal Pages

One of my favorite spots in the US is Saluda, NC, and my most favorite spot in Saluda is Random Arts, the great shop of Jane Powell. I met Jane a couple years ago when I happened into her store, and she was kind enough to feature me on her blog. Then, I blogged about Saluda and Jane for a travel article on Vintage Indie (no original idea; she'd already been featured in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine). We've managed to keep in touch and have run into each other at Art & Soul.

So I had to join in when Jane announced a journal page project. Unlike other projects and swaps, Jane was even sending the supplies! All I had to do was make a 5 x 7 journal page out of them. All of the pages from the 70+ participants are being featured on the Random Arts blog, and the book is being auctioned for charity. Jane, of course, hopes to buy it back.

I don't usually (ever?) do angry art; I'm just stuck on chirpy, happy images and colors. But I thought I'd work outside the box just to see what I could do. Since I'm always grousing about getting old, never having enough time, time going too fast, etc., that was my theme as you can see on my page here. We all added to the items Jane sent, of course, so I added clock parts, a watch face and other metal bits. Not sure I even like my page, but hey, it worked. The back is at top, above

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Check Out My Interview With Birthday Girl Lisa Kettell

Recently I had the extra special joy of interviewing my dear art friend Lisa Kettell of The Faerie Zine for Vintage Indie. The feature, along with pictures of Lisa's incredible art appeared Nov. 12, just a couple days shy of Lisa's birthday. Last year she got a book contract; who knows what good things are in store for her this year? I do know she's going to see one of her mentors on this birthday weekend when Mary Engelbreit speaks at Silver Bella in Omaha, where Lisa will be a vendor and will be meeting some of our other mutual, virtual art friends, like Miss Sandy. You can read the article here and you can leave Lisa some birthday wishes on her blog.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Snow Flurries? Winter Coat? Get Me to My Yarn Stash Post Haste

It wasn't just the nasty weekend weather or even the turning of the calendar to November that gave me the itch to pick up my sticks, as knitters say. And, actually, I grabbed my hook, but we'll get to that. It was the necessity to buy a winter coat and the color of said coat that made me want to make a scarf to go with it, or accent it actually, since the coat is just so red. It's an unusual shade of red, and although it looks rather fuschia now on my monitor, it is just a deep, jewel-tone red, but not a burgundy or a maroon or a brick. I can say that with some expertise, since I spent the better part of an hour digging through my yarn stash trying to find something to match. I had planned all along to use black but realized all black was going to be no better than the all red coat. So I used TLC Macaroon in a nubby black with cream. That particular yarn has been "stashed" for a few years to go with a stuffed cat pattern. Don't ask. I mixed it with TLC Amore' in red velvet, which has been stashed ever since I made the sock monkey afghan. Ask away.
Both the sock monkey afghan (and baby hat) pattern and the pattern for this one-skein scarf come from Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker, a hip, indie-style irreverant pattern book that is most certainly not your grandma's crochet. Besides the double-crochet scarf here with shell trim, you can find beanies, skully sweaters, hats and potholders as well as trendy sweaters, skirts, bags and more. It really is my go-to pattern book, even though I spent another hour or more today thumbing through my crochet books, trying to find something to make. More times than not, I return to the simplicity of double-crochet, and the patterns in Stoller's book, while looking elaborate when done, are mostly quite simple. Without this book, I would have never attempted a sweater, which I in fact attempted, finished, and brought home a blue ribbon for my efforts.
These aren't the greatest pictures, but I just felt like crocheting, and I felt like blogging about it. I've been seeing so many darling knit gifts on etsy where I've even sold a few knit things of late, and in the Vintage Indie Market Guide and on friends' blogs. Knitting or crocheting just make me feel all warm and fuzzy. How about you?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fantastic Blog Award!

I received this sweetest of blog awards from the incredibly-talented Jade Adams of Jade's Funki Junk. Jade has a great Zetti style and has been published in Stamper's Sampler and Somerset Studio too many times to count. I think we met via ARTchix, so it is appropriate that Jade was tagged by Helga, owner of ARTchix, to tell seven random things about herself. Jade tagged me, but everything about me is so random, I am taking the lazy way out. Jade also has super cool jewelry and collage sheets in her Etsy store. Check out her blog and shop. Jade and I have met in person, along with her mom Vonda and her sister Coral (her other sister is Amber!). We shopped and swapped at Crafts 2000 in Monroe, MI. Since then we've crossed paths some more in The Faerie Zine, ATC World, ZNE, Flickr and more. She's become a special art friend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Check Out My Review of this Amigurumi Book

I recently received and reviewed Tiny Yarn Animals by Tamie Snow for Vintage Indie, where I am a contributing editor. Check out my Off the Shelf review here. And watch for my interview of Lisa Kettell on that same Web site along with my Etsy shop featured in the Vintage Market holiday gift guide. Vintage Indie and Vintage Market also were recently plugged in Bust magazine's Bustline newsletter. That's the big-time, baby! Editor-in-Chief of Bust is Debbie Stoller, also editor of Stitch 'N Bitch and The Happy Hooker and more.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Quest for Doll Heads Never Rests

A quick Halloween lunch stop in Union City, Indiana, not far from Dayton on the Ohio border, netted me this humongous old doll head. I placed the other ones for perspective, and even though the dark-haired one is four inches, the comparison really doesn't do it justice.
This old gal is a full five inches high and five inches wide at the shoulders. She must have made for a pretty big doll. It appears she was played with because the shoulder has clearly been broken and glued. The clerk seemed amazed I would buy it (it was verrry cheap). "You know this is cracked?" he asked. A statement so obvious I couldn't believe it was a question.
When I told him I liked to make altered art with doll heads, he disappeared for the longest time and came back with a box full of cloth and rubber dolls. A doll collector might have gotten faint, but since usually only porcelain heads do it for me, I couldn't even take his $2 box off his hands, although I probably should have, if for nothing more than to be polite.
In the car I noticed the hollow head was stuffed with something strange-either old wool or old doll hair-lots of it- and as I struggled to pull it out, I had momentary imaginations of either baby mice or a million dollars, neither of which fell into my lap while driving. The head does have an old tag on the back-stuck on at one time-but so old now it is almost embedded into it and impossible to read-even with my new Sarah Palin-esque readers. Not sure what I will do with this big head, but right now it waits patiently with its sisters.
But one head and a couple of pieces of old cold type later I was out of there and on with my work, proving again that "Wander Indiana" is an excellent state marketing campaign slogan.
Driving around all the time for work also lets me see all the campaign signage in my state-something I will be very glad to see gone and soon! Doing my part for that, I voted Saturday. That was a first: Saturday (not voting). The absentee voting process was smooth and convenient, since I will be out of town for election day, wandering another state. I was amazed to hear some states are even offering voting this Sunday-truly the sign of a landmark election. So, don't miss your own opportunity. Go vote.
Speaking of wandering-or shopping- you don't have to leave your house or your jammies to do some great holiday shopping. If, like me, you don't want to think about that, well don't! But when you do, there is an outstanding holiday gift guide from at There are tons of categories for all sorts of handmade gifts and gift ideas as well as discounts galore. I am proud to be a vendor member in this guide as well as a contributing editor for the wonderful Gabreial who runs VinatgeIndie. Vist my etsy or my Flickr for goodies to gobble up: from jewelry and altered art to Blythe doll clothing and furniture and publications for the collector. Even if I don't feel like shopping yet (when did summer end?), I always feel like selling!