Monday, August 29, 2011

ICAD Catch up

I haven't posted any of my index cards here for AGES.  There are only 2 more days in the challenge.  I will hardly know what to do with myself when it's over.  I might have to keep making them!

Made this collage on the last day of my Rhode Island Vacation.  8-19-11   

This prompted an ongoing series of similar cards and experiments with masking. 8-20-11

For some reason I decided to make my index card with my left hand.  I wouldn't even use my right hand to brace the paper.  I rejected 2 different kinds of glue and one bottle of paint because I couldn't get the lid off with one hand.  It was really hard and it made me slow down my usual collage process. 8-21-11

It always comes back to circles.... 8-22-11

More masking. 8-23-11

Even more masking. 8-24-11

First day in Maine, playing with water color crayons.  Didn't bring ANY paint on this trip. 8-25-11

Trying to sketch something every day to improve my drawing skills. 8-26-11

Another sketch. 8-27-11

Hurricane Irene kept my in the house - no flowers to sketch, draw what's at hand. 8-28-11

Back home with my paints! 8-29-11

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The trackpad on my MacBook is acting up.  It's been wonky for about a month, but it's getting worse by the day.  I actually had to resort to plugging in a mouse (gasp!), but I couldn't fathom letting it out of my sight for repair.  It's barely been further than arms length for almost two years.  We're in love.  How can I be without it?

This was taken on last year's Seattle vacation.  Okay, I admit this might be a bit of a problem.

Still, I can stand this wonkiness no longer and I must take action.  I've done my research, found my repair shop, and chosen the moment of separation wisely.  Tomorrow I leave for a 4 day trip to my beloved Rangeley Lake - to a cabin with no Wifi (gasp!) and Dial-up internet! (the horror!).  What better time to be without my baby?

So, I will not be posting anything anywhere, or visiting and commenting on your blogs for four long days.  I will ease my unplugged pain by swimming in the icy cold lake, hiking in the woods and hills, picking wild blueberries, swinging in the hammock, reading a novel (!) and spending time with some of my favorite people on earth.  My MacBook will be jealous, but I think we'll both get over it.  If you're looking for me, this is where I'll be:

Good Mail

I have been the worst kind of correspondent.  The one who receives gorgeous pieces of art in the mail and completely fails to recognize, thank or respond to the senders.  I really was brought up properly, all evidence to the contrary.  When did I become the person who doesn't sent thank you notes?  Sorry, Mom.  This is not your fault.

SO, I've been making amends - posting notes of thanks and pictures on IUOMA, posting pictures here, and BEST of all - sending out mail.  14 pieces went out today. I will sleep better tonight.  And maybe my mailbox won't be so empty.

Helloooo in there.....

If you want to GET good mail, you've got to SEND good mail.  It's obvious, of course, but it's easier to sit and pine and whine than to actually keep up with the making and the sending.  Pamela, of Cappuccino and Art Journal wrote this great post about how to get good mail.  I'm taking it to heart and sending lots more. (including one to her since she sent me a great card).

HERE are some of the beautiful and fun things I've received lately:

An amazing envelope of goodies from Leanne. Boy, do I love those crows!

Gorgeous round postcard from Mad Madge
from Bruno in Spain

Front and back of postcard from Pamela

from Angie & Snooky

Two from Corinne (curse you, PO for your random stickers on postcards)

front and back from Pat

from PostMuse

two from Erica

from Matthew

from Millicent - made on a road trip using only things she found in her car! How cool is that?

Here's a peek at what I sent out. I'll put the close-ups on my flickr stream some day, but I don't like to ruin the mail surprise for the recipients.

Want to get good mail?  Send me some at PO Box 532, Shrewsbury MA 01545.  I promise I'll send you something in return! -Karen

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

I've had a visitation.  
It might possibly be a miracle.
Here it is, WOYWW, and I'm mucking about with some index cards.

 LO and BEHOLD.  A vision.  Right there on my blotter.
Can you see it?
You might need to squint or turn your head.

It's not Jesus.  It's not the BVM
Think barnyard.....

It's a chicken!  Manifesting itself right here in my humble spare bedroom/studio.
Truly amazing, no?

What's on YOUR workdesk this Wednesday?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paint Party Friday Week 23

Hooray!  It's Paint Party Friday again!  Last week was my first time posting to this fabulous group and I'm so glad I did.  I visited dozens of cool blogs and saw all different kinds of amazing, inspiring art.  And I got so many lovely comments here.  Thanks to everyone for visiting!  Your comments mean a lot!

So, if you recall, I've been on vacation all week and I wasn't planning on packing any paints.  Turns out I slipped some in.  For the kids.  I remembered how much fun we all had painting rocks last year and decided I'd better find a little space in the suitcase for some craft paint.  I know, I know - I'm such a selfless person!

I haven't been using the paints all week because there is just no space to spread out - too crowded, too messy, and too busy.  But at last - a day of making stuff presented itself, and with a picnic table to myself and the paints already open, I decided to make some art.

It was super windy and my index cards were flying all over the yard.  I decided to incorporate some masking tape into my design to make my life easier.  I created a grid of 9 cards, taped them to the table cloth and went to town with three different shades of blue.  I used a folded up index card as a brush.

I plucked some leaves off the nearby shrubs and used them as stamps with white and green paint

Then, since I was outside, I cut loose with some paint flinging.  First some yellow and orange:

Then some black drips and spatters:

When the drips were dry I rubbed on some more blue and orange paint in various spots with my hands.  I peeled off the masking tape, and here's the end result:

 Here's a close-up of one of the cards:

I had SO much fun.  I love painting outside.  I LOVE flinging paint.  I really love the white borders on the cards.  If it hadn't been windy I wouldn't have needed to tape the cards to the table and wouldn't have done this project.  Hooray for creative problem solving.

When I peeled up all the tape, it was so beautiful on it's own I decided to save it.  I used a bit on my "official" index card of the day.

 Happy Friday everyone!  Thanks for dropping by the party!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Makin' stuff

It's been a makin' stuff kind of day.  FIRST we headed outside to make bleach t-shirts.  This has been my favorite project of the summer.  I've made five for myself (so far), made them with the kids at summer camp, and have been eagerly awaiting the chance to do it with these friends.

We found cheap t-shirts at thrift stores or clearance racks, chose something to use as a stencil, and lightly misted the shirts with straight bleach from a spray bottle.  Let it sit for a minute or two, lift the stencil and TAH DAH! We used a combination of natural elements and plastic stencils from my stash.

The bleach changes the color of the shirt in unexpected ways.  It turns the blue shirts a pinkish color.

After we finished the t-shirts we attempted to make hot-rocks, even though the oven is still broken.  We boiled some of the rocks and put the others in the toaster oven.  The boiling didn't get them quite hot enough, and the toaster oven took forever and only fit a few at a time.  Ideally, the rocks get hot enough to easily melt the crayons into cool swirly patterns.  We had a pretty good time anyway, even though the "boiled" rocks didn't melt the crayons as smoothly as we wanted.  The kids were inspired to add glitter to the top of their hot wax.

 By the time the rocks were done in the toaster over the kids had wandered off, leaving me to make a bunch on my own. No surprise that I used my favorite pallet of the summer...

THIS was so much fun, I decided to break out the acrylic paints for some rock painting.  Everyone except Max had headed off for the beach at this point, so we painted rocks together until he got bored.

And since the paints were out.... and no one was around, and it was a beautiful day....
I had a big old paint party!  

My, how I've missed my paints this week.  I'm really happy with what I painted, but you will have to wait until tomorrow's post to see it, because tomorrow's PAINT PARTY FRIDAY  and heaven knows it's tacky to arrive at a party too early.