Pick your title. The first has to do with my physical side and the second with my artistic. So, let's cover the first. I have been on antidepressants for several years, most recenty on Cymbalta. It really helps me, but because of Zoe's recent expenses and the fact that being self-employed, I have no prescription drug coverage, recently I quit taking it. Cold turkey. Now ... I know the warnings. I'm always telling my friends never to do that, but I did it anyway. Dumb? You bet. I have felt awful for the last 2 weeks. My muscles ache, my ears ring, I can't sleep but when I do I have the most horrific dreams. Okay, okay! Enough's enough. I'm back on it.
Okay, onto the second title, and this is about art. I created another assemblage shadowbox, and there's not a bird in sight. Well, I must admit there is a feather and the image of an egg. Hey, what did you want me to do — quit cold turkey — I already told you that wasn't a good idea. Here's another picture of the box, this time closed. I hope the pictures are clear enough that you can see them. It's dark now, but I might have to take pictures again tomorrow in the daylight. I just can't wait to post photos when I finish a project.
This is another chapter in the ongoing story of Zoe and her health problems. As part of a routine urine check on Zoe, I had to collect some of her urine this morning. If you can picture this, this involves my running around behind her first thing in the morning with a shallow plastic dish ready to position it under her when she squats. I was shocked to see there was blood — a lot of blood — in her urine. So we head back to the veterinarian to find out what's going on. We're hoping it's cystitis, and she's on antibiotics, but a sample has been sent off to a lab to make sure there's nothing more serious going on.
On a happier note, when we came home, Zoe, Misu and I headed outside to work on my latest piece in my Naturalist Series. Zoe poses here as she helps me create.
First we painted an inexpensive white jewelry box with acrylic paint. This is definitely what I'd call, "Ugly Blue." Hopefully, you'll agree it gets better. Next I sponged Tim Holtz's Espresso Color Wash over the blue. Then I apply my favorite touch — metallic rub-ons. I wanted the piece to have an old, well-used look like maybe it had been painted over several times and old colors show through. The piece has 3 drawers, and I started with them to be sure I was getting the look I wanted.
After letting the piece dry I sprayed it with a matte fixative. Then came the fun part. I used some of the decorative paper I made early in the week for the back of the shadowbox part. I cut out birds, found some twigs, used feathers and moss, and this is what I came up with.
I need to buy some non-glare glass to place in the door, but at the top of this post there is another view with the door open that I think allows you to see the inside better. Ciao!
I am totally engrossed in making these shadowboxes. My friend Aileen suggested I call them my nature series and take them to a gallery. I believe I'll give it a shot. I have nothing to lose, right?
I love the little quail egg in this one. I was cutting out a paper egg which would have been okay when I remembered I had purchased these real quail eggs from Character Constructions. Having an actual dimensional egg there is so much better.
For my next project, I'm using a little jewelry box with a door and 3 drawers. I plan to use the compartment behind the door as a shadowbox and then hide goodies in the drawers. Stay tuned!
Karen will play! I had a very productive day yesterday. Warren had to go out of town for the day, so I had no interruptions. I started the day by making paper. I recycled my bits and scraps and using watered-down PVA glue and tissue, I made 2 large sheets of background paper. Here they are:
Then I made handmade papers. I love to do this but haven't in a while. I want to make enough sheets to create a journal.
Finally I created another shadowbox that I call "Bird's Eye View." I was able to use a doll house window I bought a long time ago. I also have a door so I'm planning a companion piece.
Okay, not the boxing with the two sweaty men in shorts beating each other to a pulp, but making art with boxes. Sunday evening I finished a shadowbox I started a while back. I had painted the unfinished box with cobalt teal followed by light coat of titanium white and rub-on metallic finishes. The handle at the top was a fortuitous find at a junk store. I love the peeling paint on it, and I could just see it attached to a screen door with children running in and out slamming the door behind them.
The background is a print of a photo Warren made when we were in France. It's a close-up for sycamore bark. I think it is so beautiful so here's the background without all the "stuff" over it.
For the box I put a blue photo filter over the bark which explains the color difference. I'm in a sharing mood, so if you would like a digital file of this bark leave a comment with your e-mail address, and I'll send you a hi-res version.
Today, I'm making paper — something I love to do but haven't done in a while. Ciao!
I'm home and getting back to my routine after spending last week in northern Kentucky with my grandson. Friday was driving day, so no time for art that day, especially since it took me 2 hours longer to get home than it did to go up there. This is what happened. From Atlanta, I take I-75 north to Lexington, then I take I-71 south for a bit until I reach Carrollton. So leaving Carrollton, I come to I-71 south and I take it. It makes sense doesn't it? I'm driving south to Atlanta. Except that's not how I got there. I should have taken I-71 north until I-75 south. Well, I'm traveling merrily on I-71 south when suddenly I realize I'm almost in Louisville. No big deal, really. I can get home that way. As a matter of fact, it's about the same number of miles. The problem is there is always a lot more traffic from Louisville to Nashville to Chattanooga to Atlanta than there is the other way. Hence 2 more hours coming back.
Yesterday, I had to get organized and unpack, and I was really tired. Spending the week with a 7-year-old will do that I guess. So no art yesterday. But today was a different matter. I have been in my studio all day having a blast. The photo above is of a 5" x 5" page for my PaperWhimsy Yahoo Group. It is for a Memories Challenge. We were given several images, and we had to use them all on the page, and the theme is Memories. Sounds fun, right. So I got busy, cutting out my images, moving them around, getting excited about what I was coming up with. I decided I was going to use the words, "Oh to be a fairy child" paraphrasing a poem by Robert Graves. I tried the phrase in lots of different fonts and sizes, printing trial runs, when I remembered (this is Memories challenge, right?) that the theme was Memories. Uh oh! What do I do now? My little images are all cut up and pasted in place. I thought and I thought until I thought of StoryPeople. I wrote a little story in that style ... Remember when you were a fairy? he asked. I said sure, but which life was that? I hope I successfully moved my fairy into the memories theme.
I also made an ATC for PaperWhimsy's Chocolate Lottery. Here it is:
Oh, and I definitely had a Gracie moment last night. Warren and I were watching TV when I told him I heard on the radio that Don Ameche had come out of the closet. Warren said, "What? Don Ameche must be 100 years old." I said, "Well I guess it's never too late." Today Warren comes to me and says, "I think you got a little mixed up with your news. It wasn't Don Ameche who announced he was gay, it was a basketball player named John Ameche!"
As most of you know, I'm in northern Kentucky staying with my 7-year-old grandson, Joshua, this week. He finally went back to school today after a few snow days. I must say the quiet is music to my ears today, but it has been wonderful to have so much one on one time with him. Last night Joshua said to me, "Your hair is beeping." I have a new cell phone after my washing machine mishap, and with it I bought a Bluetooth wireless device for my ear. It flashes blue every 3 seconds, so that's what he was talking about. So we talked a minute about the difference between beeping and blinking. He said another thing that reminded of my son, Christian, when he was 7. Christian went to a birthday party, and when he came home, he said, "Mom, I been have." Joshua said almost the exact thing, treating the word "behave" as 2 words and conjugating it, except his grammar was a little better. I believe he said, "I have been having." So cute!
Yesterday afternoon, I convinced Joshua we should have some art time. So he settled and played with my rubber stamps and papers. I wanted to make paper dolls, so to keep him occupied, I made a great sacrifice by giving him one of Catherine Moore's collage sheets to cut up. He cut out the bird's eggs doing a fine job for being 7 years old, but he's a perfectionist, and he immediately declared they were awful. I tried to show him how we could shape them with scissors, and they would be fine, but they just weren't perfect enough for him.
I managed to make 2 paper dolls both about 12" tall. I used a combination of B-line, Character Construction and Stampington rubber stamps. The bodice is a new heart stamp, Flower Document Heart, from Stampington and Company. I discovered by stamping an extra heart and cutting it in half, I could have some wonderful puffed sleeves.
I'm in snow country! I haven't seen snow in a while. I live in the Atlanta area where I grew up, and as a child I remember having snow at least once or twice a winter. Okay, sometimes it was really ice, but as a kid, who cares? Nowadays it just doesn't snow that often. We had the blizzard of '93 (I sound like an old geezer), and in 2000 we had a couple of good snows, but since then not much. I'm one that believes in cyclical weather and not necessarily in global warming, but I'm becoming a convert.
So, here I am in Carrollton, Kentucky, between Louisville and Cincinnati. I'm here staying with my 7-year-old grandson while his parents are in Boca Raton. I feel so sorry for them because they can't see the snow! Yeah, right. When I came, I packed art supplies because Joshua would be in school all day, and I've have lots of spare time. With snow comes snow days and kids home from school, so my spare time isn't so much. Since I have no art to share today, I thought I would show a photo of the roses my darling husband sent to me. He has been such a dear. He hid a present and cards for me in my car before I left and then had roses delivered! I asked him if he was running for husband for the year!
I also want to share a photo of Joshua. I was able to see him play basketball yesterday afternoon. It had warmed a little during the day, and the roads were fairly clear, so the game was held. He's a second grader on a team of mostly 3rd and 4th graders, but he did really well. He scored a goal during the game. I made a little video tape of part of the game, but I won't subject you to that. I'll save that for Dub-dad (his name for Warren).
I just finished reading the latest blog entry of my friend, Joyce Vance. In it she mentioned Michelle Ward's street crusade to journal evidence of your everyday existence. Of course, I jumped over to Michelle's blog to find out what that was all about. Michelle suggests listing in your journal or blog items that define your life today — favorite lipstick shade, favorite music, etc. I found this really interesting, and I plan to use it in my journal. So, in today's blog I thought I would think about my favorite things and what I'm doing today.
Today I'm preparing to drive to Carrollton, KY to stay with my grandson, Joshua, while his parents are out of town. I'm feeling apprehensive because I think I might have to drive through some bad weather. I've lived in the south my entire life and have no experience driving in snow and ice. Oh, we get snow here occasionally, and more often than that, we have ice storms. But, like any Southerner in her right mind I stay put at home when it does. Why should I go out to play bumper cars with the Southerners who aren't in their right minds when I have a safe, warm house to be in and make art in.
Sadly, as I'm preparing for the trip, I'd rather be making art. Right now, my favorite art theme is birds, and my favorite collage sheets are from PaperWhimsy and Catherine Moore. Catherine Moore also creates my favorite rubberstamps at the moment. My favorite art product at the moment is Aileen's Color Mists, and my favorite "canvas" is a box. My favorite music at the moment, and this is going to sound strange to those who know me well, is silence!
The shadowbox pictured above is not evidence of today, unfortunately. I made it a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't had a chance to make art today yet ... but I will.