Friday, May 8, 2020

Creating during the Coronavirus

When the times started changing in March, I was very upset, emotionally and physically, and downright scared. Creativity was pushed pretty far back in my mind. When my campus began the phase of working remotely, my studio turned into my office. There was such a steep learning curve to figure out how to do my job virtually. Once that part got ironed out, the days got easier, my stomach settled down, and routines took on a rhythm. I am so very grateful I can still earn a living while so many people are really hurting because of the country shutting down and sheltering in place.

I made this crochet heart necklace with Tim Holtz metal embellishments from some heart shapes made a while ago.

Then, for several weeks, I worked on felt hanging birds. They are made from craft squares I had on hand and are hand-sewed as well as glued together, then stuffed. I made a big boo-boo on the second strand—the ribbon is on the outside instead of the inside. But it’s done and now hanging with little bells at the bottom and my husband and I can see them daily.

My friend several states away and I are working on journals that we will exchange. Our collaborative journals have interesting paper that can be removed, worked upon, and re-inserted. They aren’t too big or have too many pages, so we will work half in each and then mail to each other for the other’s contribution.

I had been curious about Dina Wakley’s denim journal having pages of blue denim, white burlap, and heavy cotton pages. I adore the color blue as well as blue denim, so I was attracted right away. On the first page, I sewed a piece of metal-embedded fabric I cut into the shape of my hand. It was a fabric remnant I happened upon and then used pressed into acrylic paint.

And, these yarn-wrapped sticks were inspired by Shelly Rhodes wonderful book “Sketchbook Explorations: For Mixed-Media and Textile Artists” as well as Amy Maricle’s spirit sticks.

Take care everyone--stay healthy and safe!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Holding 3-D Items

From left: a Connamara Worry Stone from Ireland, a stone from Beachy Head, England, and a shell & pine cone from Portmeirion, Wales

These three items were in a travel journal I made about my first overseas trip but they were so bulky, I removed them from the pages. It took me a long time to decide how to use them. Accordion book? No, it would still need more room.

I glanced around my studio and saw my little Altoid tin shrines and a light bulb when off. A great solution! 

From left: Childhood is but a Day, Artifacts, and Disconnect

Selecting a tin that once held spices, I saw how nice and deep it was inside. I cut up some acrylic paintings on watercolor papers into rectangles and used eyelets, Irish linen thread for the first two items, and tiny brads for the clear acrylic medium holding the pine cone and shell.

For the outside, some Tim Holtz numbers and a "Remnants" word band.

The inside front inside lid has part of my acrylic painting that adorns the travel journal, tying it to my 1982 Journal as well as hiding the brads.

The 1982 Journal (bound in April 2018)

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Altering Reality

Why be content with reality when you can change it?

I was disappointed with photos I took with my new camera last fall but changed one using a simple technique. The river in the park had turned muddy brown from recent rains and the focus were off in other shots. I cropped the image and printed it but it was less than exciting.

But there is a feature in Microsoft Word called “Artistic Effects” under Format can change the look of any graphic or photo.

Bring in your photo, double click on it and the Format menu will appear. Now you can have fun and be an Andy Warhol making variations on the same image! Click on Artistic Effect Options and you can fine-tune the color and saturation.

I played around with the Plastic Wrap, Cutout, and Glow Edges. And then, I changed the color temperatures and found many images I liked.