Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blue and Purple postcards

I've got a stack of lovely mail art that needs answering, so I've been working on postcards today.

I decided to double up and make some postcards that would fit in with the colors of the day.
Of course now that I am ready to mail them off I regret not making larger pieces to keep with my other colors.  Rather than having an incomplete rainbow I will probably end up making MORE blue and purple art to keep.

For now, here are my postcards.

I started the blue ones with various security envelopes... which makes me think of money...which led me to this old book of mathematical tables I found at the thrift store, and I found and ripped some pages about calculating compound interest.... which made me think of a terrific (if a bit dark and depressing) song by the National, Bloodbuzz Ohio, and it's repeating chorus of "I still owe money, to the money, to money I owe".... which just seems to sum up the sad state of so many Americans in this economy.
So after getting all dark and heavy on myself, I switched to another in my series of purple flower postcards.  I had a hot mess of a painting a few months back that got cut into postcards. Bit by bit, I've been doctoring them and sending them out.  I cut the flower petals out of painted book pages 


Don't have any bad puns or song titles for Aqua.

This started out inspired by a very cool roll of washi tape, which can barely be seen at the bottom of the collage.  As layers got added, it totally shifted away from the original plan, and ended up influenced by the dogwood blossoms on a wonderful postcard I received from Janet.

Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying the monochromatic challenge?

This is for Daisy Yellow's Rainbow, of course

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dead Flowers

OK, I promise to stop naming my posts after Rolling Stones songs.

I grew up pretty indifferent to the Stones.  I knew the hits.  The hits were fine, but whatever.   It was ancient history.  My appreciation for the 60's was hyper-focused on the Who.  And what self respecting new wave fan listened to the Stones for crying out loud?  but when I turned 30 I had an epiphany.  those mid-period stones records?  from the late 60's and early 70's?  jeez louise.  why did it take me 30 years to figure this out.  Beggar's Banquet?  Let it Bleed? Sticky Fingers?  Exile On Main Street?  These are some of the best records ever made.  When I admitted this total reversal of opinion to my fellow nerds rock loving friends, the very wise MAM said "You know the thing about Exile?".............."It's a really good record"
enough said.

Here's my green piece.  (oh MAN I just said green peace) for Daisy Yellow's Rainbow
It made me realize I don't use much green (i.e. grass green, Celtics green, Kermit green).  I'm much more earth-tone when it comes to green.  so there you have it.  Not really a dead flower, but a dormant tree.  It doesn't feel rainbow-licious, but I like it nonetheless.

The sunshine bores the daylights out of me

Just because I was the fanatical orange hostess for five days of color, doesn't mean I don't like yellow.  You can't really have a rainbow without it.

Plus, I'm obsessed with stamping images from a cut lemon.
Plus, I found all kinds of interesting yellow things in my stash.

I am loving this monochromatic thing.

(and since two of my other posts this week coincidentally referenced Rolling Stones songs in the title, I feel compelled to keep the theme going.  and while I can't get enough sunshine personally, I have always loved that particular line from "rocks off") (shit, now I'm going to have to find another stones song for my green post. )

Book 2 sent to Kristen

Here are a few of the pages I added to Andrea's sketchbook before mailing it off to Kristen today:
fun with color mixing!

I love me a good list
And, completely unrelated to sketchbooks, the damn cat is drinking the water out of my paint brush rinsing cup.  It's a wonder I get anything done.

Friday, December 2, 2011


This week's theme at the Butterfly Effect is "Broken Pieces"

It's easy to feel fractured in this modern life of ours.  There are so many things that demand our attention, and so many roles we play in our own life and the lives of others.
When I'm creating, I feel calm and peaceful and whole - which only serves to emphasize the areas in my life where I'm not quite as content, furthering this feeling of being fragmented.

Of course one of the things I do best (and perhaps all women do best) is hold all those pieces together with a smile on my face, even when I'm being pulled in a bunch of different directions.

This piece started with a collage sheet I made months ago and never used. I'd layered dozens of squares of paper (some of my painted papers combined with scrapbook paper and book pages)

I also had a series of self portraits I took last year - close-ups of portions of my face.  I printed them and layered them into an approximation of my head.  I cut the whole collage into pieces and linked them back together with jump rings.  I attached a string to each of the pieces and "installed" it on the wall with the strings wrapped around push pins.  I think I might find an empty frame and  tie the edges of the collage to the edges of the frame - maybe with fishing line so it looks like it's floating.  not sure.
Here are a few detail shots:

Now I'm off to the Butterfly Effect to see how everyone else has interpreted this theme.

Orange you glad I'm hosting?

Welcome to day two of Building a Rainbow!
I'm Karen and I'll be your hostess for today's color!
Okay, not THAT kind of hostess, but boy did I love those orange Hostess cupcakes.
Which leads me to the color of the day:

I love Orange - both the color and the flavor.
Orange is the only decent Lifesaver in the roll of five flavors.
It's the preferred color of lollipop at the bank.
It's the popsicle you fight for.

All the best flowers are orange.
My favorite chair is orange:
And let's not forget sunsets:
So naturally, orange is my go-to paint color.
(Hey look!  It's the background color of my blog!)
Looking through my flickr pool, it's by far the most used color.
So in honor of today's color, I made this collage of both new and old painted papers.
Now head on over to Daisy Yellow to join the fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

She comes in colors

Guess what?  We're building a rainbow and you can help!
The ever-inspiring Tammy at Daisy Yellow is building a rainbow with five days of color. 
Today is day one and the color is red or pink.

I rarely work in these colors, but was up for the challenge.  I intended to create something red, but a funny thing happens when you combine your red paint with white gesso....
So here's my pink piece for today.  It includes just two of the many kinds of washi tape I got for my birthday from my lovely, lovely sister.
It also includes a picture I took of my favorite day lilies in my garden.

Now go make something red or pink,   and add your linky love at Daisy Yellow!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Radio On

Here's some things you should know about me:
If I know the words to a song, I am obligated to sing it.
I know the words to everything.

I love to sing. I love to drive. I sing anywhere and everywhere, but my favorite place to sing is the car.
I grew up in the cassette era.  I had a few dozen LPs, but mostly I had homemade cassettes of other people's LPs.    They would pile up on the front seat of my 1983 Plymouth Reliant - alternately baking in the hot sun or freezing in the cold New England winters.  This really took its toll on the sound quality of the tapes. It didn't bother me - who could hear the music over my singing?  Ric says "Karen was lo-fi before it was cool to be lo-fi"

I married Ric because
1. he has more records than anyone I've ever met
2. he never minds my singing
3.  no one, in the history of humankind, makes better comp tapes

There are far worse reasons to get married.
We've been hanging out for 24 years now.

This month, Michelle Ward challenged the Street Team to document our favorite sing-out-loud songs.  It was tempting to fill my list with oldies-but-goodies of the last 3 decades, but I wanted to capture some of my favorite songs RIGHT NOW.  They may not be my favorite songs next year, or even next month, but they are what make me turn up the volume and howl along this week.

Of course I couldn't resist adding a few perennial favorites, so turn it up loud and sing with me now:
"I'm in love with Massachusetts.  With the radio on"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Brewed Awakening

This week's theme at the Butterfly Effect is Coffee or Tea.

I used to hate coffee.  In fact, I didn't drink coffee for 37 years.
All of my caffeine came in a can.
and I had no qualms about cracking open an icy cold diet coke at 7:00 in the morning.

But in 2004 I bought a house 50 miles away from my job and started getting up at 4:30 in the morning and that seemed just a wee bit too early for diet coke, even for me.
I decided to learn to like coffee.

Now I like coffee so much that I sometimes go to bed early just so it will be closer to coffee time.

So in honor of this week's theme, I carved a little coffee mug stamp.  And I painted some water color paper with coffee.  And I enlarged a picture I took of coffee beans.  And I slapped it all together into this.
I feel like I should turn it into a trivet.  If only I used trivets.
I'm also posting this ridiculous little post card I sent to a friend after buying my new coffee machine last year and seeing it's called the "CoffeeTEAM GS" and spending way too much time, in a pre-caffeinated stupor, wondering what "team" has to do with coffee.
"When are the try-outs?"
"Are there Cheerleaders?"
"Can I be the coach?"
"Do they ever play TeaTEAM GS?"
And then, for good measure, I'll repost the index card I made in June.  Because you can never have too much coffee.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

four squared

Forty Four things I'd like to do while I'm Forty Four
1. Go see Anno
2. Ride my bike
3. Take a dance class
4. Get my brown boots re-heeled
5. Sing in the car
6. Get more paint on my clothes
7. Go away with my sweetie
8. Tell Phyllis to Phuck off
9. Submit more art
10. Laugh every day
11. Fix the doorbell
12. Forgive myself
13. Outsmart the squirrels
14. Make lists
15. Take an art class in the same room as other human beings
16. Take naps with the kitties
17. Use my art journals
18. Paint the living room
19. See all the Harry Potter movies
20. Drink wine
22. Be thankful
23. Cure cancer
24. Send birthday cards to my friends
25. Mail more art
26. Hug
27. Practice image transfers
28. Hear live music
29. Floss
30. Think less
31. Read novels
32. Get a screen door
33. Slow down
34. Throw pots on the wheel again
35. Do cartwheels on the beach
36. Make music
37. Plant more poppies
38. Walk in the sun
39. Embrace etceterism
40. Prioritize
41. Stop being afraid
42. Ride my Rip-stick
43. Go to an art retreat
44. Eat Pie

Monday, November 21, 2011

What makes you happy?

1. Moldable foam stamps tutorial
 Go watch this tutorial from Traci Bunkers right now.  It's really cool.  Here's some I made.  I keep making more.
2.  I won Amy's blue cat and it's hanging on my wall!

 3.  Thanks to a huge inter-library loan system, I'm finally reading all these really great art books that have been on my wish list forever. More are on the way.
4.  Got mail from Corrine and TJ.

5. Found fantastic kids' reference books from the early 60's at my local thrift store. Five volumes for four bucks. Full of pictures like this 
and this
Plus I found these never-used pencil and oil pastel sets for a pittance.

6. I carved this stamp.
I have a favorite stencil that looks like this:
 But sometimes I don't want to cover the background with paint or ink
Sometimes I wish I could just stamp those circles on a page.
So I rubbed a stamp pad all over the stencil and pressed a carving block on top to capture the image and then started carving.  Here's my finished stamp:
 Here's an image from it. I've been using it on everything.

7. Card Catalog love.
As a life-long library lover and former library employee, I nearly died when I saw this nifty little online app. I think every list I make for the rest of my life will be made this way.
Okay, you thought you were going to get through a post without me mentioning pie.  You were wrong.  Pie is still making me really happy.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pie Coma

9 pies.  8 adults.  4 kids.  5 hours.  Not as many leftovers as you'd think.

Face it

Voice of Phyllis:
1.  You suck at drawing faces.
2.  All of your faces look exactly like (insert name of teacher here)'s faces.
3.  You have no style of your own.
4. Don't show anyone your feeble attempts unless you enjoy looking like an idiot.
5.  I don't even know why you bother.  You should just give up.

Voice of Reason:
1. You just started learning about faces five seconds ago.  Cut yourself some slack.
2.  It's okay to draw in the style of (insert teacher's name here) while she is teaching you her techniques.
3. Learn as much as  you can from as many different instructors and trust that your personal style will evolve.
4.  By posting your efforts you might reassure or encourage other beginners.
5.  The only way to get good at faces is to draw more faces.  Stop whining and get back to work.