Sunday, March 29, 2009

Make It Mondays - Found Objects

This past week's Make It Mondays theme was Found Objects, which comes right after my adventure last weekend photographing and collecting random rusty things in Walker's Point. Yesterday I took a workshop in Resin Jewelry at UW-Milwaukee's Studio Arts & Craft Centre and got to use of some of my growing beer bottle cap collection (right side of photo above - top four caps use images from the Ten Two Studios rounds sheets). Does it count as a found object now that family and friends just hand me bottle caps?
2009_365_070 Miller Town
I've made bottle cap charms before using Diamond Glaze to seal them, but had been nervous about using the two-part epoxy resin because I had heard if you didn't mix your ratio of resin and hardener correctly, you just ended up with a sticky mess. So getting to play in a workshop overseen by someone who actually knew what he was doing was a lot of fun! SACC provided all the materials for us to use, including the resin jewelry molds shown above and lots of beads, doodads and findings.

Here's our fearless instructor Ben (left, in the act of encasing some cicadas in resin) and my art buddy Gary (right, a found object aficionado).
IMG_6507 Our instructor BenIMG_6508 Gary hard at work
Last October, Gary and I took workshops with Michael deMeng at the Raevn's Nest Art Retreat in Cedarburg, WI. (This is a segue, in case you were wondering.) And I'm FINALLY finishing the Morpheus Box that I started then.
2009_365_084 Morpheus Box nearing completion
Found objects incorporated into this include rusted metal and broken glass from my sister's farm; the burnt stick shift knob on top (found in the fire pit where we used to live); and a broken pair of spectacles (found in a parking lot?). The vintage photos are from my personal collection gathered over the past fifteen years (the source of my screenname "vintagepix").

Last week I got everything wired together, and this week I need to figure out finishing touches on the exterior of the box, attach the turning knob(s) and decide whether this will stand on feet or hang on the wall. What do you think I should do?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Outdoor Cat Update

IMG_6495x Hey, I'm trying to eat here
At the end of last year I wrote about the Mystery Cat that showed up on our front porch demanding food. We did finally hear via the realtor that the previous owners only left food out for it (for several years) but never did anything else. (I still don't know if it's male or female but so far no kittens have appeared!) We fed it all winter, and now that the snow has finally melted, and the temperature gone above freezing, it isn't waiting for a handout everyday, but I'll put food out on demand. (Like yesterday morning when it was peering in the front door, much to the annoyance of the indoor cats Nuts & Ruby.)
IMG_6496 Indoor cat and outdoor cat
And apparently it has a posse since we came home the other night and saw three cats running together across our driveway and into our bushes, one of whom was Outdoor Cat and one of whom I have seen hanging around our yard on three different occasions. I'm hoping they're just visiting from the farm across the street!

One of my friends told me she had a snake under her deck, and as soon as she got it removed, a family of raccoons moved in, so I'm a little worried what we'd get if we did manage to relocate O.C.!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Late Weekend Update

IMG_6400IMG_6441 Area 51
I meant to post on Sunday about my adventures on Saturday, but woke up at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday with a sore throat. Since I couldn't get to sleep, I turned on my computer about 6 a.m. and started editing and uploading photos I took on Sat., which meant around lunch time I completely crashed and fell asleep on the couch and was pretty much useless the rest of Sunday!
On Sat. from 12:30-3 p.m. I was at the Milwaukee ATC group's March meeting. We met at Art'n'Oddities, which started out as an appliance store, but slowly morphed into an art store as the wife took over more and more space from the husband. Lots of fun and colorful art by a variety of artists. The owner Meri Berghauer, among many other things, is a children's book illustrator and creates fiberglass dog sculptures called Bowzrz. (The colorful giraffe above is her work.)
We had about 25 people trading, and our monthly theme was "I'm Game." Some of our members post on Flickr so you can see their cards in the group's Flickr pool. (I'm still working on convincing more folks to get on-line ;o)
IMG_6449 Rusty Eyes
Then several of us went off to the Cream City::Milwaukee Flickr group's monthly photowalk. I don't know what local Flickr groups are like in other parts of the world, but the Milwaukee group is very friendly, and the pros are generally willing to answer questions from people like me who tend to just point and shoot and hope for the best. Also I would feel very self-conscious walking around by myself taking photos, but when you're travelling with a pack who think it's perfectly normal to photograph random signs and rusty things, it's a lot of fun (and probably safer too).
IMG_6409x Flickrites at play
The best part is seeing what everyone else photographed because some people appear to have gone on a completely different walk than I did, or they'll photograph the same thing in a completely different way. Here's my photowalk set, some of which I've already resized to use somehow for the April ATC theme "Altered Photographs."

And here are the "art supplies" I collected on the walk.
2009_365_080 Gathering art supplies
Crafting 365, Day 80

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wild West Women APCs

Three of Spades: Magnificent
I had so much fun with the men, I had to make some altered playing cards with women from the Ten Two Studios Wild Wild West image CD. And this time I gave them some color, because it's spring! "Magnificent" features Kitty Canutt, Prairie Rose Henderson, and Ruth Roach, three rodeo riders at the Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon.
Queen of Diamonds: Maid Of Honor Five of Hearts: Common Remedy
I made two with Annie Oakley. (Note that she also gets more colorful bullet holes on one ;o) And here are a couple more women with fire power:
Four of Hearts: I Cannot Be Always LearningSix of Hearts: Equitable Remedies
And other powers:
Queen of Hearts: My Charming CousinQueen of Clubs: Fairy Godmother
Had one more guy left over from the manly set, and made two with women and men as well.
Four of Diamonds: Great HeartedJack of Hearts: Greenhorn
Jack of Clubs: Man About Town
These are all for the Milwaukee Artist Trading Card group's monthly live trade which starts in a couple hours. Better go get ready to trade!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Make It Mondays - Self-Portrait

2009_365_077 Self-Portrait ATC
This week's Make It Mondays theme Self-Portrait was a tough one for me because I really dislike photos of myself. I debated using a baby picture, but that would have required digging into the as-yet-unpacked boxes that have old photo albums. So I actually used a recent photo of myself and masked out the background and sized it to ATC format. Then I traced my face with permanent marker onto a clear ATC blank from Ten Two Studios. I doodled flowers around my head (because I'm still hoping for spring to show up - 40 degrees today) and colored it all with Sharpie markers. This is the closest I'll come to having purple hair!
2009_365_078 Self-Portrait ATC

Crafting 365, Days 77-78

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

IMG_5190 Glen and Steve
Éire go Brách and all that! Here are some photos from Milwaukee's Irish Fest (since I haven't yet visited Ireland). Above is my husband (left) bartending with Steve Twigger from Gaelic Storm.

Don't forget this is the last day of the Ten Two Studios St. Patrick's Day printables countdown! Lisa just posted the winners of her giveaway drawing, and I'm happy to see that Ellie Burke, one of my friends from the Milwaukee ATC group, won a 6-month subscription to the Monthly Muse. Ellie is an amazingly talented glass artist. She's just started posting her work on Flickr too. Go check it out!

IMG_5208x Paddy and Molly McFestIrishDance1
IMG_5215x Bagpipes!
IMG_5176x Irish Wolfhound

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Loteria ATCs

2009_365_073 Experimenting with ink
Yes, that's a dip pen in the above photo. I'm going old school! I made a few more cards for the March Milwaukee ATC theme "I'm Game" using images from the Teresa Villegas loteria set that my brother bought me in Phoenix awhile back. (Loteria is Mexican bingo, and uses images instead of letters & numbers.)
Loteria: La Muñeca de la Noche
I had made the backs for these last year and had them in my stash, and I laid out the images more than a week ago, but only got around to gluing them down yesterday and then started doodling on them with the white acrylic ink that I got at Artist & Display, where we had our February ATC meeting. I also added some color with Permapaque markers and Twinkling H2Os.
Loteria: La Telenovela
The faux filmstrip images are from Ten Two Studios. I love the vintage romantic couple juxtaposed with "La Telenovela." (Telenovelas are like soap operas in extended mini-series form.) The bandaging diagrams on "La Cruz Roja" (Red Cross) below are from a 1950s first aid manual.
Loteria: La Cruz Roja
"La Poetisa" features Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz and some nuns cut from an old art guide. The original card has a bit more shimmer than the scan shows. The background had metallic paints and there's a wash of Twinkling H2Os as well.
Loteria: La Poetisa
Crafting 365, Day 73 - worked on these while waiting for the breakfast muffins to bake!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Altered Bingo ATCs #1-2
I'm apparently still on a black & white kick after last month's Milwaukee ATC theme. This month we're doing "I'm Game," so this week I cut up old bingo cards to make my ATC backs and collaged with black & white clip art images from my paper files (mostly from Dover Pictorial Archives). One of my Dover clip art books has instructions from Victorian parlor games running along the edge of the pages, so that's where some of the text comes from. The other words were from illustrations of different types of machinery.
Altered Bingo ATCs #3-4
In Wisconsin, folks take their bingo seriously. When there's a snow storm, you'll see the church and senior center bingo cancellations running in the same news ticker with the school closings. This also means I've found some great mid-century bingo sets at the thrift stores with wooden tokens and more vintage-looking cards.
Altered Bingo ATCs #5-6

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Make It Mondays - Spring

Spring Bounty
This week's Make It Mondays theme is Spring, who is being very fickle about arriving in Wisconsin. We had temps up into the 60sF, and then the wind came out of the north, and we woke up this morning once more in the frozen teens.

So here's a wishful ATC using a purple paint chip and one of the less naughty ladies from the Ten Two Studios Nudie Cuties collage set (and I wonder what sort of hits those words are going to bring this blog :D) I happened to buy a box of fun letter stickers for class use, and the background image is from the cover of a Tiffany postage stamp booklet.

This ATC is for my class sample board. I'm teaching an "Intro to Artist Trading Cards" workshop for Alverno College's Telesis program in April (and amazingly the class is already full :). The hard part about making samples is that they have to be somewhat enticing to make people want to do the class, and not so complex as to intimidate, but also not so simple that they think, "Well, heck, my kid can do that." I'm not entirely sure where this one stands!

And let's hope this spring arrives with less snow than Spring 2008 did!
IMG_2473 Spring in Wisconsin

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wild West APCs

2009_365_063 Three Diamonds In The Rough King Of Clubs: Buffalo Bill
That's APCs for "Altered Playing Cards," but they're ATCs as well since they're 2.5 x 3.5" poker cards, and this month's theme for the Milwaukee ATC group is "I'm Game." I had printed some men off the Ten Two Studios Wild Wild West image CD for my Manly Book of Men, but ended up not using them. So I made contact paper transparencies with the images and applied them to poker cards that had been lightly sanded, inked and collaged with vintage text and/or painted dry wall tape.
Two of Diamonds: Gallivanting Gambler2009_365_065 Gold Mountain
Some have faux bullet holes made with eyelets, and I stitched two with gold metallic thread in the top spool and bobbin on a very loose tension.
Six of Diamonds: Going2009_365_064 Ace of Diamonds: Gambler
And if you leave your contact paper transparencies lying sticky side up for any length of time, they WILL attract cat hair!

Crafting 365, Days 61-65

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Countdown to St. Patrick's Day

Did I forget to mention that Lisa Vollrath's doing a holiday printables countdown to St. Patrick's Day March 1-17? And she's doing a drawing for goodies - leave a comment each day on the new art posted on the front page of Ten Two Studios and enter for a chance to win. (I know at least one of my pieces will be posted so keep an eye open :o)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What's in Your Drawers?

MarysMadness has started a blog called What's In Your Drawers for those of us who love looking at other people's art spaces and supplies. Of course, in my workspace, it's more like "What's not in your drawers?"

Here is our dining room table covered with my stuff. Most of it should be in that cabinet in the back corner, but I'm an "everything out" person. (I read this in an an organizing book, so it must be true.) I like to have everything where I can see it. Things in drawers get forgotten! I also tend to remember where things are in relation to other things stacked around it, so if anyone moves my stuff, I can't find it! Pity my poor husband (though his domain in the garage doesn't look much better) or my poor grad school roommate who was a "nothing out" person.

So I have tried to become more organized, buying clear plastic bins and labelling things, but when I work, everything comes back out again and is spread out over every available flat surface! This week, I tried to put some stuff away. Here's my dining room cabinet looking somewhat organized. About ten minutes after I took that photo, I was already pulling bins back out again.

I love the idea of storing my supplies in fabulous vintage tins and jars and having color coordinated baskets and a wall covered with art inspiration and peg board for tools, but until then here's a staged photo of my organizational microprogress. Vintage tins filled with bottle caps! Wooden bingo counters! An antique strainer filled with Altoid tins and random round things! Enjoy!
IMG_6307 Round things
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