Saturday, March 28, 2009

Seahorse Tiles

Mr. Seahorse is now for sale on Artfire.
I changed his title to "Mixed Media - Seahorse Tiles" Whoo. Guess I'm not very creative with the titles today. But it's still better than "untitled," which is just plain irritating.

Amelia's back

I made this assemblage last year and exhibited it in a community show that turned out to be very disorganized and have mostly boring pieces. And they knocked a piece off the top!! So I had to repair it when I finally got it back, and I didn't enter the show this year. I listed it on Etsy for sale and when the listing expired and I realized I didn't have my description anywhere else but on that listing, which SUCKS because Etsy won't let you look at the description unless you decide to relist it!! Evil Etsy!!! That ticked me off.

So I paid the 20 cents listing fee, then got my description so I could list this in my Artfire studio. It was worth it. I just hope someone finds it and likes it enough to buy it. I think it's fabulous. I don't think I'm asking an exhorbitant price for it. $75?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another Seahorse Painting/Mixed Media

I don't have a good title for it yet. Just Seahorse Buttons. I used my hand-carved seahorse stamp again and taped off sections of the canvas and painted boxes and striped. Then stamped the seahorsies and embossed them. They aren't all cookie cutter perfect and I like that. Makes 'em all different, so it's ok if the first one turned out messy. Then I dug into my stash of really old "white" buttons that reminded me of seashells and hot-glued those babies onto the canvas. Then I doodled with a blue micron pen and made sort of seaweedy tendrils. I like it.

Oh, did I mention this was a $1 store canvas with an ugly vinyl-y finish on it? I just slathered on the gesso and sand mediums and created a nicer texture. And covered up bad art. I think that's called upcycling.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Painted things

Okay, I'm almost done eating worms. But I am deficient in vitamin D3 so it still feels like I'm eating worms. I hate March. Have I mentioned that in the last 5 minutes?
Anyway, I just put Maniacal Spring up for sale in my Arf shop, for $20, I hope someone else likes it. The top pic here is a closeup of one section.
The other two pics are of a little torso I'm working on. I've painted it, that was stage 1. Then I glued some buttons on it. Stage two. Not sure what comes next. So go work on something else. I just recently read somewhere that if you want to make a wall clock with your own design on the face, it's actually much cheaper (and greener) to go to the thrift store and buy ones you can take apart. So I went last night to my fave thrift store (a little break from baby after dad got home) and found 3 or four clocks to play with.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Painting Jag

Another 5x5 canvas. I call it "Maniacal Spring." I am really enjoying painting lately. I think I'll put this in my Arf shop, but right now I'm in mourning that I'm not going to get to do the Art-A-Whirl craft fair in May like I thought I was. Somebody got my hopes up and then they were dashed. Boohoo.

I also made my first bid on Etsy on an Alchemy item, which means someone wanted something made and was taking bids for it. In this case a woman had found some cool Pinky and the Brain fabric and it was only a small amount and wanted someone to make something cool with it. I suggested several possibilities, all stuff I've made, and provided links to pics of examples. And my offer was declined. It just wasn't what she was looking for. Nobody likes me. Ho-hum. Guess I'll go eat worms.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Planetary Granary

Is that right? Are these grain silos? I think so. Hey, give me a break, I grew up in California. I think they're even owned by ADM, that huge agro company that sponsors public radio a lot. Anyway, these are along the same road as the train yard (makes sense, no?), and I love them. The range of imagery in this artwork is really interesting, and the artist did so much with only a few colors.

Oh, and thank you very much for my lovely composition skills that allowed the word "cookies" to show on the bottom left (you'll have to click on the picture to see the larger version). There is a coffee shop there with a cookie shop inside. They're really good, too. And she always gives you a free sample cookie. Like, a WHOLE cookie, not just a cut up crumb as big as your pinky.

Aha! I have been informed that these are grain ELEVATORS (thank you, Jilly). Who knew grain needed elevators? Why can't they take the stairs? And yes, Chris, this was a commissioned artwork, one of the largest in the Twin Cities, it turns out.

The Big Splashy Eyeball is Watching

One of the main thoroughfares that I drive on almost every day has a train yard right next to the street, and there's always interesting graffiti on the train cars. This eye looks kinda tired. Or is that just me?

A Very Mary Find is MINE now

Isn't it darling? I couldn't resist it AND it was on sale (how could anyone pass up an orange mushroom? Really, people. Your loss.) Very Mary packed it like a treasure from the Sierra Madre. She's good. And it's now hanging on the wall in Lily's room. I ticks rather loudly but I like that. It makes it seem like an old grandfather clock in an old established, cozy house. Except it's an orange mushroom. If you see what I mean.

Twitter Makes Me Nervous

that I'm missing something. Then I go look at it and most of the posts are just not that exciting, or I don't know what the hell someone is talking about because I did miss the whole other end of a conversation. The ones that are interesting are pointers to blogs I read anyway. And I'd rather spend more in depth time writing. It sucks me in and I feel like I HAVE to scan through pages of posts, and I end up annoyed. So I took my twitter-ator off my sidebar. And I won't be tweeting much. I haven't even figured out really what's the best use for it for me. Anyhow, that's what I decided.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Seahorse Scherzo

I was getting bored just stamping my hand-carved stamps onto paper, so last night I tried doing it on canvas. I think this is a 5x5 canvas. I mixed molding paste medium and sand texture into the base coat of dark blue paint, then just kept experimenting. The last thing I did was rub a yellow pastel stick over most of the surface, and I really like how that turned it out, it brings out the pebbly texture and makes it look sort of flotsam-y like the Ocean. I only hope the seahorse stands out enough. I'm thinking I'll sell this at the Art-A-Whirl. $20? I have no idea.


That's her name, the robot, that is. I finally finished this for a swap-bot swap. I really like how she turned out. Her skills are things like interior decorator, personal shopper, pet sitter (see the doggie bead?), etc.

Next time I hope to remember to sew the legs and arms into the body BEFORE I sew the body closed. Oop.

Time for some Architecture

I was toodling around downtown St. Paul with the toddler this morning and the sun was out so I opened the window and stuck the camera out and snapped a few blind shots. I love this one, the old ornate architecture smushed up against the boring white brick of the new. And through the pre-spring tree branches, no less, reminding us that there's not much beauty here in nature right now, so look around at what man has created and find some beauty in those forms.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Really Fab Zippy

I made this today for a friend's birthday after she saw the outside fabric when I was using it to make coasters and she said she really liked it. I think she'll be surprised, which will be fun. I made it bigger than the flame zippy, so she could fit pens in it, since she's a writer. You should have a really nice zippy for your really nice pens, don't you think?
I did so good on this one that I didn't have to do ANY seam ripping. I did it all right the first time, and got the zipper lined up really well. The only thing I'm a little iffy on is the zipper itself. It came from a thrift store, and although it was unused, it's a bit stiff. I hope it works okay. From now on I think I'll buy new ones. I found a great source on Etsy called Zipit with very reasonable prices and every color I could want. In fact, I already bought some orange and hot pink zippers from there, and the flame zippy shown a few posts ago is one I used a new orange zipper on. I just listed that pouch for sale on Artfire.
This birthday present makes me really happy. I love making presents for people, it's so much more satisfying than buying almost anything (except maybe a book--I love picking books for people because I'm usually really good at it--I have many years of experience working in bookstores--did I mention you can buy my Bookstore Thief zine at Artfire?)
It's also satisfying because I feel productive and today I feel physically and mentally like crap on a cracker. It's been a rough 2 weeks with headaches and I think I have peri-menoupause, although my doctor who would treat that doesn't think so. But my neurologist does. Go figure. And my neurologist informs me that dealing with my migraine condition is going to be really hard during peri-menopause. I really didn't want to hear that, even that seems to be what I'm experiencing. Some days I am just so tired from the constant pain of the headaches. And then you throw in hormonal imbalance and I want to cry all the time.
So I just focused on making my zippy pouch. And it was good. One day at a time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cool Japanese Script Fabric Coasters

There, now you can see them. Aren't they cool? And I made up a style of stitching. Or at least I made up what I call it. The Etch-A-Sketch style. That's what I called my quilting on these. Just horizontal and vertical lines, randomly running all over the square. So, Etch-A-Sketch, no? Now, you know you want these. Go buy them. Oh no, wait, you don't have to go anywhere, because of this new rapid cart thing. You can just click on them right here on my blog and buy them. Go on, impulse buy!!!

I'm going to make a pouch or two with this fabric, too. Oh, wait. You want to see the back, where the other cool fabric is. I think it looks like fireworks and it just seemed like the two went together. So go look at the listing. I have to go nap with baby now.

More Front Page Artfire Action!

Yes! More of my stuff on the front page of Artfire! I just listed some more coasters that I finished. They're the second prodcut on the top row. What? You can't see them? You baby. Wait here. I'll get a bigger picture.

Monday, March 09, 2009

And if that wasn't enough...

I sewed another one! I had the pieces for these cut out ahead of time so that's why I could whiz through them relatively fast (for me, anyway), and I wanted to use this cool flame fabric to make a pouch for J. I told him to bring it to work with a bunch of my business cards and leave it out where people can see it. Get me some business, J.! Yeah, I hope. But this was really a big improvement over the last one. I did have to pick out stitches, but only once. And the shape is more square, the zipper closes better, and how cool is that orange zipper? You can see in the corner of one photo that I have more of that flame fabric. I think I'll make one more of these and put that as the first pouch for sale in my Artfire shop. Everyone likes a pouch.

I hope my Mom is not reading this, she might faint if she sees I sewed not one, but two zippers in one day. With a headache! It took my mind off the pain. She's probably thinking "Are you really my child?" because she does not enjoy sewing, to put it mildly.

I used a really good tutorial for making these that I got off Etsy, from seller whatsewever. She has oodles of pictures and if I could finally figure it out, you can. I mean, I was frightened by zippers. Now I have conquered them. To celebrate, after I went to my headache doctor appt. (and got a headahce from sitting in the waiting room for 40 minutes), I stopped at a thrift store on the way home and bought a bag of zippers. Ha! Now I'm thinking I can make longer pouches, maybe for pens or pencils. and put applique on the outside. I have oodles of weird iron-ons. Ooh, so many new crafts to make, so little time!!!

Plus, this weekend I cut enough pieces to make 6 more sets of quilted coasters, in three new and different fabrics. Well, six, really, because they are reversible, and I didn't want boring stuff on the "back." One has cupcakes, and two are asian-themed. That's all I'm saying right now.

Stop the Presses! I Sewed a Zipper!

I made a cute little zippered pouch!!! I have been afraid of zipper-sewing for a long time, so this to me is a momentous event. Now, I did have to unpick stitches about 3 times, but I remember doing that when I was learning knittting, and it doesn't bother me as long as I'm learning. And I'm so lucky, I have a hubby who used to work in a sewing factory and so knows his way around sewing. When I have a question on instuctions, he helps me figure them out.

Now, I didn't do perfect on the zipper. It doesn't quite close all the way. But still, not bad, eh?

And here is the buttery yellow fabric I used for the inner lining. It's just so darn cute!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Forget the Ott Lamp

I have an ott lamp, or at least an ott bulb, one of those that approixmates real daylight and is good for crafting. Well, forget that. I've recently decided that a headlamp is way easier to use for crafting. I asked J. for one for Xmas for reading in bed, and I've found that I also like it for hand-sewing and other detailed crafting as well. You can angle the lamp to where you want it to point, and this one has different brightness settings, and you can have it set to use one lamp in the middle or two on the sides. It's very useful. The headband is adjustable. I think the one pictured here is the one I got. Only about $30 retail.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What the Bleep is Twitter?

Kitty asks. Well, go to your instant, if not always reliable, internet knowledge source, Wikipedia. Here's the entry on Twitter:

You'll probably read it and think "So?" and "Why?" which are normal reactions.

But if you don't know who Jon Hamm is, then you're really not watching enough television. I jest. But I did provide a link. You can see he's hot. He's also on a cable show, so if you choose to do other things with your money, like eat, than spend it on cable, no one blame you for not knowing who Jon Hamm is. He has been called the next George Clooney. To which his response was, "But we already have a perfectly serviceable George Clooney." Cagey, huh?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"JonHamm is now following you on Twitter"

Yeah, right. Yesterday morning Doonesbury had a great riff on Twitter and how ridiculous it is in a way. The last panel has the sellout reporter Roland tweeting "About to scratch myself. Stand by."

Then today I get notified that JonHamm is now following me on Twitter. Mmm-hmmm. So I go look. And it is Jon Hamm. No, really. The actor. The star of Mad Men, one of my favorite shows on TV. And on Feb. 20th he's tweeted "Should I be embarrassed to be making mac & cheese for dinner? At least I'm using gruyere and truffle oil." Well, I couldn't resist. I tweeted him. And now I feel like I'm in some Twilight Zone episode. Or that this moment, though strangely comical and trivial, is also some kind of turning point, some marker that I'll look back on later and think, This was it. This was when I could feel it, the change in our culture. History happening. Not in an obvious, measurable, history book, Obama-gets-elected-president kind of way. That feels like a normal change. This feels more like a paradigm shift. Oh, that phrase is so overused now, you probably just tuned out. Or maybe you already think I sound like William Shatner ranting about the man on the plane wing...

I used to just shake my head and think "Kids today" when I saw people texting like addicts on their cel phones, but I don't know anymore. It's all adding up to something weird and new. I'm not saying it's bad. Do we finally connect with each other again on a personal level after families have spread across the country and everyone is plugged in to their own personal audio environment? Will the insane level of celebrity worship actually stop if we can tweet Jon Hamm about making mac & cheese? It's a thought. I'm having a thought.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been on Percoset all day for a migraine, I'm PMS'ing, I'm suffering from depression and probably Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I live in the Midwest, where March is the cruelest month of the year. On the other hand, I got out of the house today, on the spur of the moment I took Toddler out to a park and climbed through the snowbank to push her in a swing for the first time in months and she grinned a big toothy grin she was so happy; my dog put up with Toddler hugging her head and they napped together with Toddler's feet on dog's butt; Toddler and I watched some of Jungle Book and then marched around the house like the Elephants. So it was a full day. I can't help thinking of Kurt Vonnegut.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Quilted Coaster Mania!

Okay, I don't know if this has all the bugs worked out yet, but Artfire now has this cool feature of inserting a shop window in your blog and you can BUY DIRECTLY FROM here on my website, you don't even have to go through the hassle of going to the Artfire website:

Now you'll be impulse buying like crazy loon. All the better for me. I have a headache, I need bed. bye. love you peachy people.