Monday, October 31, 2011

365 Day 304

the yarn arrived today

A couple of days ago I purchased two skeins of Moda Dea Wild yarn (on eBay) in a color I haven't used before -- russet.

It turned out to be pretty cool. It has a lot of variation in it and looks quite different in each of the last 32 (of 90) Tookies I am working on for Art-o-mat. I use this soft soft super soft yarn on the bottom edge of the Tookies finger puppets...where your finger goes in. It feels so nice.

Now these last 32 just need their "hair" and I can start the packaging part of the process.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

365 Day 303

adding a layer

Hmmm...remember a few days ago w
hen I glued a few block print test prints down to cigar box lids? I really liked the simplicity of this guy on the lid with the stark border and some of the images just barely showing through on the bear and down at the corner. Tonight I was looking at it and trying to figure out what else I could do to it to add some dimension but not totally busy it up.

The bear is printed on pale green mulberry paper. Tonight I tore a vaguely bear-shaped hole out of a piece of white mulberry paper. I like it a lot so isn't totally dry yet so maybe it will change a little.

I like the way the i
nclusions in the white mulberry paper tone down the border on the lid. I like the way the two papers blend together. I like that you can see the green paper's inclusions under the ink in (and around) the bear and that the bear's outline is light green because I am used to seeing it only in white.

I like the green inclusions in the g
reen paper and the white ones in the white paper at the bottom of the box lid.

What can I say -- I like this a lot so far!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

365 Day 302

a challenging day...but I do it to myself

Sigh. Since the new Moda Dea Wild yarn didn't arrive in the mail yet, I needed another project for today.

What to do? What have I been avoiding? Oh -- I know -- making the newest "cheat sheets" for the Arto-binders. Ack.

See...I do this to myself. I don't HAVE to make these "cheat sheets" or offer potential Art-o-mat customers a informational binder to look through. I do it because I do not have my own venues and I don't want the folks at LIFT or Northville Art House to constantly have to be explaining to people what "that machine" is all about...or "what's in that machine?" know? I make a separate page for each artist currently in the machine. I also have a page with the history of Art-o-mat and two pages of photos of some of the other Art-o-mat machines across the country so that people who aren't already familiar with the project will get a small sense of what it is about and maybe they will try it out and then maybe they will go and check out the Arto-website and connect with the artist whose artpack they got from the machine. In other words, I do it because I love Art-o-mat and I WANT to do it.

But getting there is a whole 'nother thing.

I really dislike writing. I really dislike trying to describe someone's art. I go to artist websites (or the info included with their artpack, or their Etsy store, Facebook page, etc.) and try to get a sense of something to say about them or their art. It is good when I can just quote an artist statement or description of their Arto-series. That helps a whole lot. All I need is a paragraph or two.

Also, a lot of the time there is a snapshot of an artist's artpack on the Art-o-mat website that I can use. Sometimes a series is changed or updated and doesn't look like that photo anymore. On those occasions I take it upon myself to try to take a photograph that will show potential buyers a little of what they will get when they pull the knob.

Normally when I take these photos, I use the available light from the skylight in the guest bathroom. Right now, however, I am getting ready for an artist-to-artist "trading excess stuff" kind of thing and the guest bathroom is crammed full of stuff.

(You can see the makeshift backdrop in between the enlarger and the reflection of the enlarger.)

So for today I moved into the kitchen under that skylight.

Today has been interesting weather-wise. Cloudy, dark, bright and sunny, rainy, hail-y, back to sunny, now just plain late in the day darker.

But you push ahead and work with what you've got, right? Right.

I have about 12 cheat sheets to make (or update). I am starting with some of the "easy" ones...where I mainly just need to change the photograph and I can use the older wording.

Okay...this is one of those times where I actually don't mind digital photography so much...because I blast through a TON of photos doing this...then I just delete what I am not going to use...LOL)

Okay, so here is an example. This is one of the photos I settled on for Woodie Anderson's "Hankie Pankie" series.

This is a really cool series of much LARGER-than-the-box-it-comes-in screen prints on pieces of cloth that you can do all sorts of things with.

I have customers who really love Hankie Pankies and I am sure these will sell out pretty quickly so I mainly just needed to show the new designs.

I took out the old photo and put in the new one.

Hmmm...but what if someone didn't know what I was trying to show them? HOW can I show in a simple way that you get something huge from that little box?

Geez...I don't feel like I did that great of a job, but the light was totally failing. Maybe I can try again in the morning or something.

In the meantime, this is what I came up with. The problem is I get it...I know what I'm looking at. How can I convey this to someone who isn't connecting with the concept of art in a box the size of a pack of cigarettes? (These are going to sell out quickly anyway...I'm not going to fret about it all night...but see...this is what I do...cuz it matters to me. I just need to let go...let go...LOL)

So this is the revised version of the new Hankie Pankies cheat sheet.

Ooph...only about 11 more pages to go!

Friday, October 28, 2011

365 Day 301

repurpose-ing cigar box lids and test prints

I have a number of cigar box lids that Leann Meixner gave to me. Tonight I am beginning to repurpose three more of them.

This box lid is a long rectangle.

I used one of my test prints for my block print called "Kitsune" and wrapped the lid like a present.

I like the images showing through the paper.

This almost looks like it could be made into the cover of a book or sketchbook or something.

Here is another one of the cigar box lids. I love the bright yellow color with red wood grain pattern.

I tore around the image and glued it to the lid.

Again, I really like seeing the images and words coming through the white areas on the test print.

One more box lid tonight.

I almost like this just as it is. I like the colors and the border on the lid.

I have no idea how I will finish any of these yet. I just wanted to get started on them.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

365 Day 300

Tookies progress

I put the Moda Dea Tic
ker Tape yarn "hair" on 35 of the 58 (out of 90) Tookies tonight.

Those shaggy hairdos really need some styling -- I will cut them when I finish all of makes such a fun looking pile of snippets of color.

AND look at how dried out my hands are -- man oh manny man! Working with the yarns for many days in a row does this to my hands.

I slather on the lotion before I go to bed -- it doesn't do much good to do it while I am working because then I can't hold the needle, it slips right out of my fingers...LOL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

365 Day 299

58 Tookies got soft bottom edges today

I ended up going to the dentist twice today. I love nitrous oxide, but that is not the way I wanted to spend my day today.

I got the soft bottom edges put onto 58 of the 90 Tookies that I am working on for Art-o-mat.

They are turning out to be the most colorful Tookies I have ever made. I am pretty darn happy with them so far.

I ordered another color of the Moda Dea Wild yarn that I use for the soft bottom edges. The color I found that I haven't had before is called Russet. I got a message that it was shipped today. Perhaps I will work on the "hair" for these Tookies and then come back and use some of the new color for some of the remaining Tookies...maybe not...I sure would like to finish this step and then go on to the hair stage. Maybe I will just stop for the night...take it easy and just watch television and rest my neck and hands. Yeah...maybe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

365 Day 298

long day, lotsa stuff

Today started out at 8 a.m. at Tuscan Cafe in Northville with Suzanne Schimanski-Gross. Suzanne is a Teen Services Librarian at Northville District Library.

We met up this morning for coffee and shared a sandwich and talked about all kinds of Detroit Derby Girls season and Art-o-mat and sewing and sock monkeys and artist trading cards. Suzanne also brought me a bagful of plastic lids and tops for me to use in my plaster cloth projects.

Next it was on to Brenda's house in Harrison Township.

Brenda has a kiln and we have been playing with clay on and off for a while. Today we unloaded the kiln from last week.

Brenda glaze fired two of her large leaf pieces that she makes for gardens.

I am planning my things for Art-o-mat (of course). Since I don't have my own kiln (yet) and Brenda is about 45 minutes away on the other side of town, this is becoming a drawn out/time-and-labor-intensive project. I am going ahead and making the pieces all at once, but the prototype still has to be submitted and approved first. That is why I am not going to reveal exactly what it is I am making just yet.

Here is Brenda unloading the kiln.

This large leaf has a baby's face on it.

This one has a dragonfly.

My stuff was way underneath everything else.


sneak details yet

Today I put a second color of watercolor underglaze on them.

On the way out to Brenda's this morning I stopped off and got us both a large canvas.

It has been quite a long time since I made my last vision board. I first learned about this exercise in "The Artists Way". Actually, that is how I met Brenda...she was the instructor when we took the course. I figured it was about time she and I both made new vision boards (and the last one I made proved to be really powerful).

When I got home this afternoon one of the first things I did was to pull the wrapper off of the canvas, take it outside and spray it with two colors of paint. Then I brought it in the house and slathered the canvas with matte medium and laid down a piece of mulberry paper -- all so that I couldn't stall and say I was chicken to start on a blank canvas. It is hard to tell with the lighting in that photo, but half of the canvas is "Sugar Melon" and half is "Poison Light" -- both colors by Montana Gold. The mulberry paper is a light pink color. It looks better in person...LOL. Now I have no excuse to not get started on it.

And then -- a little later on -- Matt Gordon came over so we could talk about my painting some more.

And we talked a little more about doing something for Art-o-mat. That will done in small increments. It'll take a while...but it will be worth the wait.

And now...back to the next step in the Tookies assembly line!

Monday, October 24, 2011

365 Day 297

whew -- THAT'S done!

Man...have I ever got a crick in my neck! Owweee.

But I finished all 90 colorful side seams on the Tookies for Art-o-mat.


Rest of the night off!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

365 Day 296

un-fuzzing yarn -- and -- trying something new

This morning I did more prep work for the Tookies. I usually do this step individually with each Tooky (and I also usually do the soft bottom edge at the same time) but today I was thinking I could go in a more assembly line fashion if I broke down the yarn steps, too.

For the colorful side seams I use Sensations - It's a Wrap yarn from Jo-Ann Fabrics.
I realize I am totally defeating the purpose of the yarn, but for my use I cut the fuzzy part and strip if off the strand.

That leaves me with the soft, colorful part and creates these little cocoon-like pieces. (This time I saved the "cocoons" and gave them to Juana for use with her art.)

This yarn comes in several colors -- I use three of them.

Here are the three color variations I use plus another colorful yarn that I don't know the name of.

And here is how that yarn looks as a side seam.

1 down, 89 to go!

Also today...

I am trying something new (for me, anyway). Ruth suggested I might try doing other things with my prints. She also gave me a basket FULL of cool stuff I can use in projects. Leann gave me the lids of the cigar boxes that she didn't use when she made her small voodoo shrines. Today I put some of these things together.

I used gel medium to secure one of my prints to the cigar box top. I like how you can see through parts of the print. I also like how the ink ran a little in places.

I also laid down some color registration dots with gel medium. You can see through those, too.

Again...using the gel medium and a little Yes! glue...I used a small section of honeycomb-like paper from the stuff that Ruth gave me.

This is not done yet...but I like how it is looking so far.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

365 Day 295

bring on the colorful yarn!

Yay -- I fought through the Benadryl haze to finish the "holding" seams on these last 25 Tookies this afternoon. What I was planning on doing in just over two hours actually took a little over twice that long...I was like a zombie on Quaaludes. I kept nodding off -- it must've been amusing if you were looking in my windows.

So, yay -- bring on the colorful yarns!!!

There is the bin of 90 Tookies for Art-o-mat waiting to get their colorful yarn embellishements and personalities. The 10 completed Tookies are in the bag just beyond the bin.

So that was today.

This morning, however, was also kinda odd...

Around 7:30 this morning I woke up and did the rather urgent, bleary-eyed, quick-paced, get-outta-my-way-Twink shuffle from my bedroom at the south end of the house back to my bathroom (in the studio) 41 steps away at the north end of the house. I am glad to report I made it in time...but I was pretty groggy this morning. I made the usual stop at the computer to take a first look at my email before making the coffee and darn it...that canvas was RIGHT there.

You can see this stuff, too...right???

I mean, I don't come into the studio LOOKING for things on this canvas. Ever.

Yikes...what the heck is this?

I thought, "okay...that was interesting...go make the coffee now."

I sat the canvas in front of the computer, took the overall shot and...

Dayum...this guy jumped out.


then this happened


then THIS...I know you can see this

kinda cute...but looks like he could be trouble

okay...COFFEE...wait, what???


Actually I really like this guy. He reminds me of David McPhail characters. I have a small collection of books he's authored and illustrated. My very favorite is "OH, NO, GO (a play)".

yeah, this is me first-thing in the morning after listening to the canvas -- kinda shook up -- LOL

It is getting a bit crowded on there...but I seriously doubt it is done yet.
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