Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cranky-Making Widget

Blogger has many fun widgets now, and I am most grateful I don't have to write HTML code anymore to get it to do what I want, but there is one new widget I hate. It's the music thingie. It's like a little jukebox and the visitor can pick the song off a list they want to play when they visit the site, but the thing is, I don't want ANY music playing when I visit a site, unless it's a radio site. To me this new innovation is just like music attached to email stationery: just plain annoying. Bad idea. Makes people cranky. Or maybe it's just me. I am cranky today. Have been for a coupla days because I have a migraine, so pity me and cut me some slack. And turn off the music! Just my crabby opinion.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pink Artists

So you've of course noticed my other new banner with the girl in boots that says "I'm a Pink Artist," because you're keeping track of every little addition to my fantastical blog. I kept seeing this banner on other arty blogs I like, so I had to check it out, and it's very cool. First of all, it's contributing art to benefit breast cancer research. My MIL died of breast cancer, so I'll be thinking of her while I create art for this project. The second cool think about it is that it's tiny art, a 2" square, fabric based but mixed media is okay. I love making tiny art! But you knew that, because you've been studying my Ouija board altered book layout from a few post back, right? Okay, so if you're interested in participating, or just wanna see some of the art being created for this project, click on the pink girl. The deadline for sending in art for this project is March 1st.

Monday, January 28, 2008

GetYour Royal On

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Very Lady Merc the Contrite of Lesser Cheese Winston
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

One World One Heart: blogger giveaway event

Okay, this is a little touchy-feely for me, but I like the energy of this event, so I'm joining it. Click here or on the badge (photo of hands holding a world and a heart) on the sidebar and you can read about it and decide if you want to join. Basically it's a way to find some other crafty bloggers and get more to find your blog. And free stuff, which everyone likes. So I'll be giving away a goodie to at least one lucky blogger who leaves comments on THIS POSTING. Or maybe more than one person, depending on what I get done. I have a baby, you know. So it might come with sticky fingerprints. Just kiddin.' One giveaway will definitely be a fabric bracelet, and if I get more than 100 comments I'll give away a second one. Here's pics of the first bracelet:

It's reversible, like the ones I'm selling in my ETSY shop. You can go look in there to see more and get descriptions. The drawing is on Valentine's Day, which will be a fun thing to do, since I've had tragic Valentine's Days in the past...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sweet Love pages finished

I finished these last week for the Sweet Love fatbook swap. They are all a little different, as you can see from the 4 fronts shown. I used packing tape transfers of copies of old photos I have and drew doodles with pink and white gel pens after I painted the hearts in about 3 or 4 layers. This was a really fun project and I can't wait to see the finished book I get back with 21 other people's interpretations of "sweet love."

More Views of the cereal book

I Made a Book!

It's a box of cereal, no wait, it's a book! I recycled one of those mini cereal boxes into a book that holds ATC's. This is actually the first time I've sewn a book together. I made 7 signatures from cardstock, glued ATC sleeves on them, then sewed them with the pamphlet stitch into the cereal book. Cool, huh? I love it. I have about 7 more of these little boxes, so I'm going to make some more and put them in my Etsy shop for a few bucks. They're just so cute! And I love cereal. Although this particular cereal sucked, I must say. So it's living a much better second life.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Place to Bark: Help some Doggies and Kitties

You may have noticed I just posted a badge on the right-hand column on my blog for donating to A Place To Bark. It's a no-kill doggie shelter in Tennessee run by a favorite artist of mine, Bernie Berlin, and she's now involved in this national contest , America's Giving Challenge, put on by Parade Magazine, that ends on Jan. 31st. The top 8 charities (by unique donations--i.e., number of people, not by money) will get a $50,000 prize, and she's in the top ten right now! This is a very exciting way to make 2+2=more than 4, if you know what I mean. If you love animals and can donate $10 by Paypal through this "Network for Good" organization, then she might win and be able to build an outbuilding for the dogs. You have to register through Network for Good, which is only a small hassle, and you can do it when you click on the badge to donate. This charity does so much good. She saved over 500 dogs and cats last year alone. I'm a big dog person and have been a regular donor to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for years and years, but I'm always amazed when I find people who take on a project like this at their home, and even buy land just so that they can house animals. I can't do it, I live in the city, so I really like to support such generosity when I can. Here's hoping you can, too. Also, even if she doesn't win the Parade grant, another foundation has promised to match her donations up to 25K, so your money will still help doubly.

Friday, January 18, 2008

7 interesting things about moi: #1

My sis-in-law S. tagged me, which she says means I have to share 7 interesting things about myself on my blog. Hmmm. This is a good opportunity to get back to the more personal entries I used to write, in addition to the sharing of my art-making. I stopped posting for a long time on this blog because a certain creepy person emailed me after he found me on some other art site, and it was obvious he'd read my blog, and I really never ever wanted to hear from him again in this life. So I got all freaked out and scared and closed down. But I'm sick of it. I need my outlet back, I love writing my blogs. So here's to giving of myself again on my blog:

1. Whenever someone tells me to do something with my left or right hand, I have to think about it to figure out which is my left and which is my right. It's like that synapse in my brain just won't permanently connect. I have to refigure it out every time, and I don't always get it right (correct). And it's not just my hands, it's anything left or right. A few years ago we were on vacation in the Bahamas and through a series of unexpected events, I had to drive most of the time. If you've never driven there, it's a mixture of American and European standards. So the driver's wheel is on the left like in America, but you have to drive on the left side of the street like in Europe. It's a good thing it wasn't a busy time of year when we went, because I could have wreaked much havoc with more traffic. J. and W. were constantly trying to correct me when I'd go the wrong way, and J. finally figured out to tell me not "left" or "right" but "my side" or "your side." This helped, but it was still challenging driving there. Plus they have all these roundabouts that got me all turned around and confused. They were mostly patient with me, as much as you can be with a person without what seems like common sense. :) The photo is of us on a sailboat in the Bahamas. I didn't have to drive that day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sweet Love pages

Here's a nice arty banner of some of the pages in process. I love the effect of a pile o' hearts, no?

Sweet Love

Here's an in-process photo of the wire hearts I made for some "sweet love" pages that will be in a chunky book.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Numbers deco: final layer revealed

Ta-da! It's the ridiculously complicated board that has about a gazillion words divided into 26 pie pieces for each letter of the alphabet. Sheesh. But you can see why I had to include it. And make it this big.

Numbers deco: final layer unfolding still

Is the suspense killing you? What's inside that final fold?

Numbers deco: layer 5

And here's the final layer, although it's folded so you still have to open it. The red and gold squares are not paper as in the first layer, I drew and colored these myself with gel pens. The two sideways Ouija boards are just some other colorful interesting ones I found in my search.

Numbers deco: layer 4

See the little flames? You should never burn a Ouija board, or it will scream. Ew. And check the hippie 1970's board with Mr. Naked in the middle. What does it mean if your planchette stops on him? Probably that you all need to do your laundry.

Numbers deco: layer 3

And here we open up to even more fun facts. If you click on the photo you'll get a bigger version you can read better. But my favorite is one of the things you should never ask the Ouija: where the gold is buried. "What about the diamonds?" J. asked me. I guess that's okay. Just not the gold. Probably because of pirates. But you know somebody had to ask, don't you? And what happened to them? They probably exchanged places with the gold...

Numbers deco: layer 2

Here's the second layer, with such lovely tidbits as the fact that they used coffin nails in the first planchettes (that's the thingy you put your hands on to point to the message from your dead people). J. and I started wondering if there really are "coffin" nails, you know, nails that are different from your everyday nail. We Googled with no luck. Everything that came up for coffin nails was the slang for cigarettes! It's like the slang has taken over and overshadowed any original meaning of the term (if there ever was one). So the paper I used is this really nice thin drawing paper I got for Xmas that took ink very well--it started out white and I used about three different colors of brown ink to distress it. Plus I did little drawings. Like my coffin?

Numbers deco: layer 1

In this numbers deco, I chose the number 6 and did Ouija boards, which was really fun. It's a tiny page, like 2 x 3, but I couldn't help doing a bunch of layers because I found so much fun info on weirdness about Ouija. So here you can see the top layer, held closed with a tiny piece of velcro. And the little planchette charm is tied on to the wire binding with a piece of silver yarn.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Winter through the window

I love it when the ice crysals creep up the window like this, it's just gorgeous, even it does mean our house is leaking in cold. This is when it was about 0 degrees, which is proper for this time of year here in Minnesota. Now it's 35 and looks like messy crap outside. Ah, global warming.

Pretty Good Poetry

I've been going through some old folders on my computer and finding my poetry, which I've left dusty and unattended to for several years now. When I first moved to Minnesota over a decade ago, I was writing poetry every day. And I'm thinking now that I'd like to put some of it in a zine or two and sell it on my Etsy store. I'm happy to find that I still think my writing is pretty good. Here's one for summer, in the midst of this crappy winter weather...

Cloud Cover, Midsummer

The gray clouds
like an old sheet
that used to be white
but left clarity behind
with youth, do not bother
themselves with stormy announcements,
do away with even the rain,
only hover like a threat
you will not be able to recall
in words.

How cheap, how lazy
they appear to the thick green summer
waving voraciously below.

Friday, January 04, 2008

ATC's: Zentangles Shmentangles

So these are some ATC's I did for a Swap-bot swap, and they are supposed to be something called Zentangles. It's basically drawing a continuous line around the page, then filling in the enclosed spaces with various patterns. Hmmm, in my world this has always been called doodling. But I guess some nutballs came up with this term Zentangle, and I'm not going to give you their website because I don't want you to be exploited--this couple is charging $50 for a "Zentangle kit" which consists of some paper, a pen or two, and their rules they made up. Zen is for the meditative quality that you must be in when you make them (Ohmmmm), and tangle is the tangle of lines, I suppose. What a gimmick! Anyway, I'm glad I found this swap, because it reminded me how much I like doodling, and that someone "invented" the Zentangle both made me laugh and made me feel like I was doing legitimate art when I made them. Plus, they're fun. They're so fun that I had to make an extra one for the swap because I ended up keeping the one on the lower lower left because I liked it so much.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Brown deco

This is a deco layout I did for T., whose theme was all things brown. The top pic is the front and back of the layout, which I did as sort of monster animals, or "monsta" because I couldn't fit the "er" and "monsta" sounded more fun anyway. T. actually had a box full of brown stuff that she wanted us to use in making our layouts, and I did that except for the background on the inside, for which I used this really cool metallic looking sticker paper from Home Depot. It's actually meant for covering light switch covers, but it's obviously a great craft find. So the monstas are a beaver and some kind of bearded mountain goat. I know, oooooh so scawy.