Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And 3 More!

Last night I could not get to sleep again, so I brought a glass of wine to the studio and commenced to finish three more postcard in the foam core board series. (To see how the base started out, click here.)

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This one had a Japanese postage stamp, so I included the Chinese symbol for Double Happiness, a small image of Asian women. Some Stickles, acrylic paint, and Stabilo pencil were used.

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 The little Sun embellishment reflects the light a bit, this is the best photograph I could get. I had a small metal tag with the word "and", and dripped some alchohol ink on it to make it stand out. A large copper brad attaches it and there is a small metal frame attached with smaller brads. Stickles oil pastels, Stabilo, and acrylic paint finished it off.

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A yellow paper flower, jeweled brad, oil pastels, black Stabilo, and acrylic paint complete this one.

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scrap Postcard and a Story: Love Poem

I have been trying, by spending increments of time, to go through all the stuff I have stashed in my studio. A lot of it was moved in bulk from the room on the second floor where my studio used to be, and then more was dumped on top as I continued to clear through that room slowly. Also, I have a habit of tossing things aside as I go through items while I am creating my art. Then when I have to stop, my energy is so low I walk off and leave it strewn all over my art table, and other flat surfaces. My desire is that I would develop better habits, and that means taking the time to put things back. And that means, sometimes I have to stop before I want to, so I can clean up!

So I am finding small treasures I forgot I had, and pieces of art that didn't work for whatever reason at the time, and were put aside till I had an "aha!" moment to finish them. One such piece was this postcard:

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I had been experimenting with transferring images to art and this one did not work as I had hoped. So it was laid aside, and, subsequently buried. When I came across it, I immediately had some ideas to finish it and this is what came out:

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I used scraps I had saved from other art creations, used a little acrylic paint, paper tape, Prima fabric flowers, brads and metal letters. It also includes pastel oil crayons and Stabilo pencil. Seems like I always forget to sign the pieces before I photograph them!

46th in the Tuesday Story Series

This is not a story per se, so I will say that right up front. I have had a difficult week with sleep issues and also a very unpleasant reminder that this illness is not easily understood by others. As I reminded myself that my value is not based on how people view me, but in the love Christ showers on me, I also thought about a gift my husband gave me a two weeks ago on Valentine's Day.

My husband is a hard working man, diplomatic and fair by nature, and highly intelligent. He works hard in his field of environmental engineering issues and one reason he is so good at what he does is because of his linear mindset. He can shut out noises, distractions, and focus intently on his work. He has had several papers published in his field and I can admire them, but I cannot understand the content, because I am not an engineer. My mindset is global, I am easily distracted, and this illness makes it easier for me to be overwhelmed. So, we are very different, yet as the pastor said who married us many years ago, we "fill in the gaps" for each other. He is my best friend, and has been a constant companion in an illness that affects both of us. John is not given to "Hollywood Romance", rather his love language is to serve others. I love ordinary romance and so we try to balance it out. This year for Valentine's, he did a most romantic thing for me - he wrote a wonderful poem. I want to share it with my readers (with his permission).


To deepen mystery;
To explain the unexplainable;
To find harmony in the unattainable:
This is the wife I love!

To take the pedestrian object;
The many random papers crimpled;
To not overlook the small or simple:
This is the wife I love!

The unattached string of thread
Is woven into tapestry;
So that abstract becomes reality:
This is the wife I love!

A life of art and balance,
Of complexity spun in serenity,
Understood only in its purity:
This is the wife I love!

To her God she sews, paints,
Draws, sub-creates,
With prayer: "May I
Achieve more than I am able",
To be presented before the 
World's table:
This is the wife I love!

My love for you deepens with each passing year.
John    2/14/12

My art fascinates him, because it is done so differently from how he paints (yes, he paints - we have several of his paintings in our house). It means the world to me that he appreciates what I do, even though he doesn't understand the process. And that is what is so wonderful about being in love, appreciating and applauding what the other does, rather than expecting and demanding sameness. What a wonderful husband I have!

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quick Art Card (sort of), and a Story: Say "I DO!"

Yesterday I shared a postcard I had made as I search for a quicker way to have art postcards on hand for mailing. This one shown today I actually started first, and it took longer to make (I am learning which processes are quicker, yet still maintains quality). I think because the area I cut from the Tyvek collage was dark to begin with, this perhaps didn't turn out as well. But I still think it is nice enough to send!

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 This was cut from a collage of paper, fabric and acrylic paint on Tyvek, the same as the one posted yesterday. I added the butterfly cutout, the strip of paper tape and the small label holder. The label holder is actually silvery in color. I also stitched on the card, and added Silver Leaf pen to the outside. Some doodling and other paint was added as well.

Say "I Do!"
45th in the Tuesday Story Series

When we lived in Charleston, SC I kept myself pretty busy with an antiques business, doing family genealogical research, and I also directed several weddings. I remember all of the weddings I was part of, mostly fondly. Experience taught me that no matter how well you plan, something will go wrong. In fact, after awhile, I would start off telling the bride that privately, and then the wedding party itself at rehearsal. I would always remind the bride especially, that it won't matter - the main thing was that they would get married.  As long as they could keep that thought in their head and have a sense of humor, it would be all right!

The very first wedding I directed (and by the way, I was not a wedding planner, but a director, there is a difference!) was almost overwhelming. I had only been married a few months myself when the bride-to-be asked me to direct their wedding. I protested at first, saying I had never done anything like that but she and the groom thought I could do it because I had such great "leadership abilities" (her words). After thinking about it, I agreed to do it and started educating myself on just what my responsibilities would be.

It was in the hottest part of summer, and they were having a very formal, large wedding at night. There were eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen, which gave me pause at first, but it all went well at rehearsal the night before. Then the night of the wedding, as the church started filling up, I started having butterflies which I tried not to show to the bridal party. As we neared the processional time, I stationed myself in the back of the church and went over everything in my mind once again.

The first step in the ceremony was the white "carpet". Two groomsmen took a roll of very gauzy white fabric and ceremoniously walked backward down the aisle, letting it out as they walked. The length of the fabric reached from the back of the church where the bridal party would come down the aisle, up to the alter. 

The church was full, and as I said, it was very hot weather. The air conditioning was really cranked down to handle the crowd so that everyone would be comfortable. As the musician paused to begin the processional, I realized in a panic there was a unforeseen problem - the white gauzy fabric "carpet" was reacting to the flow of air! It lifted in several places, wafted around a few inches over the floor, then folded in on itself. This was happening all up and down the aisle. I directed the two groomsmen to quickly go out and put it back in place - but it wouldn't stay! People at the end of the rows starting laying things on it in an effort to keep it lying down - keys, hymnbooks, purses. But that wouldn't work, because the fabric still shifted around them and still tried to float off. The bridal party was standing at the back waiting to proceed, and I had this big fear of everyone tripping and falling onto people in the seats. Finally, I whispered to them I was turning off the A/C till they got down the aisle, then I would turn it back on. It was a plan! So, off the A/C went and down the aisle they proceeded. 

As they arranged themselves at the front, they looked so beautiful standing in front of all of the candelabras placed there. Each standing candelabra had seven candles, and there were three on each side of the alter - twenty one candles. Twenty one sources of heat, in addition to all of the warm bodies, and other lights which were on, and the A/C wasn't running. 

I stood at the back, admiring how everything looked, and then I noticed one of the groomsmen (they were all in a full tuxedo) glaring at me. "What's wrong with him?" I wondered. Then I noticed people starting to fan themselves, and another groomsman wiping his brow. Suddenly it hit me that it was hot in there, and that I had forgotten to turn the A/C back on! As I switched it back into running, you could see the relief on everyone's face at the front. I felt so foolish, but hey, I had to have a sense of humor too, right?

And the white "carpet"? It stayed put, I think because of all the walking which had been done on it. The wedding party was able to return safely back down the aisle, and thankfully, we had a laugh about the situation afterward. But in future weddings, I successfully discouraged any ideas of using something like that white gauzy fabric again!

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quick Art Postcard

As I have been considering how to make a "quick art" postcard, I thought back to the first collage I did on Tyvek and how dark it turned out, but how great it has been for other uses, so I dug it out. I have only half or less of the original piece left, so I cut out part of it to use for the postcard. I glued it to a card I had in my stash which was ugly, but unused. Then I sewed around the edges to make sure it stayed down. I did some detail work on it using oil pastel, Interference Violet acrylic paint and Silver Leaf pen. And voila, it was done!

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Now I will turn my attention to doing another big size collage on Tyvek. It really is handy to have as a resource! This card is going to Russia, the receiver had stated that she liked handmade cards so I am hoping she will be pleased with this one!

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Art Postcards 1 & 2

I had enough energy today to finish two collage postcards of the latest foam core set.

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The cards incorporate postage stamp, dried flower petals, tissue paper, sequins, gem,  rubber stamping, Dresden Scrap birds, acrylic paints, fiber gel, paper tape, oragami mesh and paper lace doily.


Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Art and A Story: Be My Valentine

For this Valentine's Day, I made my sweet husband a card. I had a stash of old 1950's Valentines like we used to exchange in school and since that's the era we were children, I wanted to make my Valentine for him look like something I would have given to a special boy in my classroom.

It's simple, but hey, if you're a kid, simple is great! I covered the cardstock with red foil, added a lace doily (you can't see the glitter I put on the doily) and then added the vintage Valentine's Day card and went around the edges with a Silver Leaf Pen. I wrote a poem and put it inside but I'm not going to share that with you - it's personal you know! And yes, he loved it!

44th in the Tuesday Story Series

Valentine's Day beginnings are shrouded in a semi-romantic fog. According to historical sources, there were several early Christian martyrs named Valentine, with two of them being the most well known. One was Valentine of Rome, who was a priest martyred about AD 269; his flower bedecked skull is in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.  The other well know martyr is Valentine of Terni; he was martyred during the reign of Emporer Aurelian. Neither one, nor any of the others, were connected to romance. It wasn't until the 14th century when Chaucer wrote the Parlement of Foules, when there was the first written line about St. Valentine's day and romance:

"For this was on Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."

From there, medieval authors have tucked into their writing occasional references to St. Valentines day such as this quote in 1601 from Hamlet by Ophelia in act IV, scene 5:

"To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine."

Then by 1784, an English nursery rhyme book was published and included the following, 

The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.

In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man's Valentine Writer, containing pages of sentimental verses for the young man who could not compose his own. Paper Valentine's became popular in England and began its headlong rush into today's greeting card frenzy. In the 1980's, the diamond industry began to promote the holiday as a choice occasion for giving gifts. And the oft told story of a St. Valentine healing the jailer's blind daughter before he was martyred has no basis in history. Sorry!

So, here were are, having fun on Valentine's Day, even though we aren't really quite sure of how it all got to this point. Some may say greed, some may say sentiment. Commerce certainly looks forward to this date in February, as do many of the romantics at heart. My husband proposed to me on Valentine's Day 1981, and I have enjoyed my share of beautiful flowers, candy, and cards over the years. But as I get older, it isn't as important a date as say, our wedding anniversary, and since I became ill with the ME/CFS, going out to a fancy restaurant doesn't happen. Cards exchanged with hand written, heart felt words are what makes us the happiest and I am very thankful for the wonderful poem my husband wrote this year, about how he sees me and my art. I'm going to frame it!

So, whatever the reason we all celebrate St. Valentine's Day, I hope you had a happy one!! 

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Moving On

I put some more work into the next batch of foam core postcards. Now it's time to cut them apart and give each one its individual touches.

It's a bit hard to get the true colors at night, but you can get the general idea.

Remember, this was the first layer; it's amazing the altering you can do with a mixed media approach! I will photograph each individual postcard when I'm finished and show them all to you!

Have a great week and stay warm!

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Yahoo! PLAY!!

Today, for the first time since around Thanksgiving, I felt like doing art all day long! Of course, I can't just yet and fatigue and exhaustion caught up with me, but it was grand to be up in my studio. When I did the foamcore board postcards a few weeks ago, I could only spend a couple of hours at a time, and some days I just had to push myself. And I realize that those days may revisit me, but I am excited about this day!!

Speaking of foamcore postcards, I started another batch! The two postcards shown in yesterday's post have already been mailed out! So, I thought I better get a move on and do some in a larger batch. Do you remember this tissue paper from another post?

Bright primary colors, juvenile images, not really my style.

BUT..... that becomes this:
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With a little bit of paint, stenciling and other alterations. I tore the tissue into chunks and adhered it to a piece of 12 x 18 foamcore board. This is just the beginning, I will be adding much more to it and then will cut them up into another set of nine postcards. It needs to rest and dry, and I need to simply rest!! But I'm excited about what they will become!

While I was photographing these pictures, there was a lot of activity at the little bird feeder hung up outside my window, so I managed to get a couple of shots of a titmouse.

The feeder has shelled peanuts in it.

The Titmouse watched me for a second or two.....

.....then went right back to eating. This little feeder attracts House Finch, Purple Finch, Titmice, Carolina Wrens, Brown Headed Nuthatch and Black Headed Nuthatch. They are used to me sitting just a foot or two away and will empty the feeder very fast, especially on a day like today which was much colder than it has been!

Okay, I'm tired and achy now, I need to go find a small piece of chocolate!

Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!