Monday, September 26, 2011

Europe - A Long Way to Travel for a "Self Discovery"

We're back from Germany and Italy and I discovered something I thought I knew about myself but didn't want to admit that what I knew and was hoping to change - was irreversible...

I don't journal. One of my Mother's favorite sayings to us girls (there were 5 of us) was "Buy you books and buy you books - all you do is eat the covers". A lot of her favorite sayings pop up willy nilly.

I'm so busy looking and thinking that I can't make myself sit for any length of time and jot down a full thought. My thoughts are pages long and I don't have the patience to sit through me writing them down. I know, time to reach for the straight jacket (which reminds me I should probably sculpt a self-portrait in a straight jacket made out of ephemera-junk).
This is a picture of my journaling (I'm still searching backs of receipts for more)...

First Impressions:
Germany - (beautiful country - way cool and efficient Train System). When we started traveling in Germany (we traveled by train or on foot (3-5 miles a day) everywhere) I noticed that the Graffiti Artists were awesome and usually confined to the flat concrete walls along the tracks or under bridges (I didn't see much, if any, graffiti in the towns we visited). Visually, not being able to read German, I didn't see anything that looked angry. All the graffiti was complete - usually with a background color and then words, few pictures, painted on top. Their technique and use of color was terrific. On our third day in Germany I had to ask myself if I would think the Graffiti was so beautiful if it lined the Amtrack line around Atlanta. I'm not sure - but it sure was pretty.

Italy - (we traveled mostly by car). They didn't seem to have Graffiti Artists. They had taggers, for most of what I saw and couldn't read, that appeared to be angry. It wasn't pictorial - it was written/scribbled on any flat surface - wall, door, post, etc, in and around the Cities we visited. A shame really, because Italy was beautiful. It was like a beautiful woman in a red dress - you throw a pie in her face and all you see is pie. She's still beautiful and she's still in a red dress - but all you see is pie.

I gained 5 pounds and my husband lost 2. We were like Siamese Twins - we did everything together - it ain't fair.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ooooo La La - Pink Leather!

Sorry to disappoint - I'm too boring for pink leather to be associated with anything other than an art item. LOL.

We leave for Germany and Italy tomorrow. I woke up yesterday morning with the idea for my travel journal - the ideas come, when the ideas come.

Cover: Pink Leather - a remnant purchased by the pound (cheap) at Earth Guild in Asheville, NC., cut to fit. The biggest area of the piece of leather was smaller than I needed so I pieced the front pocket sewing it to the largest piece of leather with a unique stitch that uses two needles, creating a square knot as you stitch. The piece of leather of attached to the larger piece to add width and a flap - pieced together with grommets. I'll decide on the closure when I get home. All leather was cut with a deckle edged rotary cutter.

Binding: I started with a map of Atlanta - our starting place tomorrow. The map was folded and glued in 1/4" mountains and valleys. It was the same map I used 9 years ago when my favorite daughter, Laura, was helping me find a house here after being transferred from Tallahassee. It reminded me of her extreme patience with an overly optimistic Mother who just knew the expensive neighborhood she was looking in had to have a house in her price range. Too

Pages: I had a few 18 x 24 sheets of white mixed media paper, cut them into 14 - 9 x 8 sheets (I'm taking water soluable crayons with me). Each page was attached to one of the mountain folds. There is a spare mountain fold between each page to attach mementos of the trip.

Cover: The cover is book board covered with a travel related paper, glued to the map binding flap. The front cover slips into the front pocket of the leather.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Get Lost! + Wreath made from Pages of a Book

Get Lost! I did. Actually I've been lost every spare minute, last night and today, since my friend suggested I log on to Pinterest to look at something (actually I stole some minutes that weren't spare and gave them to the spare pile)...

Pinterest is a virtual Pinboard where people collect and post things they like. For example I could like art, mixed media, hummingbirds and all things red. I would create a "board" for each interest and when I found something on a website I liked or took a picture or made something I wanted to share - I would copy and post it to my respective board (including the original link). It would show up on the home page. If anyone looking at the home page that day liked what they saw they could comment and/or post (repin) a copy of my post to their board.

I've come across some amazing art, journals, crafts, design ideas and travel suggestions. If interested you can follow the post to the originator as I did below when I saw a wreath made out of the pages of a book and wanted to see a better picture and hopefully see the instructions (The Idea Room site has some other great ideas I wouldn't have discovered if not for perusing Pinterest). I'm not really a wreath person (outside of a Christmas wreath) but anybody that knows me knows I have an old book or 300 ;) This wreath could be revised by highlighting the paper with red paint and adding ornaments. OR purple paint and Mardi Gras Beads...I'm just sayin.

There's a lot more to the site than I've mentioned here - go see.

Have fun.
BTW: The photos I include on my blog are photos I've taken. Use at will.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Boxes of Cards

Every year around this time, after a visit to Impressive Ideas in Roswell, I come away with grand ideas about making my Christmas cards. Then Christmas comes at the speed of sound and I wind up purchasing boxed cards. Because I can't decide on the design I purchase a box each of two or three different designs - leaving multiples of the same card left over after the holidays.

My "stash" of cards have been on the "fly-be free" pile only to be pulled back in again - I'm visually invested.

At any rate - I HAVE to declutter. As I was putting a stack of multiple cards BACK in the "fly-be free" pile I remembered a card I saw in a book while strolling the isles at Hobby Lobby. The design took multiple copies of the same paper and stacked them using Nestibilities.

Here's my version, using 6 of the same Christmas card - I haven't glued the components together yet but you get the idea. Each of the inner layers were cut, embossed, highlighted with a Copic Marker and have a strip of thick chip board separating them.

Now I can let the other styles of remaining cards "fly-be free". Been there - don't need to go there again.

Ain't life grand?


My computer has been frozen! It's the most valid excuse I have for sitting on my hands ;)

A couple of thoughts to share as I maneuvered my way around life this week.....

Cloth Paper Scissors Artisan 2012: It doesn't matter if you like, dislike or are ambivalent about this magazine and it's online presence. You would be doing your artistic side a huge favor by viewing the photos of art and crafts submitted by Artists for consideration as CPS Artisan 2012. A good many of them are like nothing you've seen in recent magazines. If you lean to one genre out of the five you can choose just that category to view (although there are a daunting 1,812 entries - they're on only 63 pages). The books? Holy Cow!!
Hobby Lobby: Roswell, Georgia. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you - for having wide isles and a clean store. It allows a wanderer like me to take my time browsing, soaking in all the new products to select my one impulse buy (yep, just one this week - I'm retired now) - you're cheap therapy.

Borders Books: Last remaining days... My section of their store (previous post) has dwindled to the point my services as caretaker are no longer needed. However their bargain books were 50% off on Wednesday - 60% today. Eureka! I found a $3.99 bargain book (12" x 10") that had a removable skeleton in it - on sale for $2.00. Thinking how many things I could make out of one body ( a necklace for my Chiropractor for one) - not to mention repurposing the book itself - I bought four of them ;) This is a picture of the book held up to a window so you can see that the center holding the skeleton is see-thru. The pages are heavy book board and the various body parts come apart as you turn the pages. With the body removed and the pages covered the see-thru body window could serve as a memory frame. Way, way, cool.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss: I bought a vintage puzzle of the United States (each piece being a State) for $1 thinking to use it for parts. For lack of another focus I began putting it together yesterday only to realize how ignorant I am of where ALL of the States are located in relation to one another. In my defense - there was a state missing - although a small one. I'm going to continue taking it apart and putting it back together until I can assemble it without hesitation. If you haven't seen the PBS Special "John Adams" you need to rent it. What our founding fathers sacrificed to create this great Country is truly amazing and inspiring.

Lastly - I'm thankful for my family, friends and online community. They're creative and insightful - they keep me from living in a vacuum.