Sunday, September 30, 2012

2012/365 - Day 274

feeling better (yay) but not productive (tsk, tsk)

Ruth and I went out to eat tonight but I was so sleepy when I got home that I just couldn't do much.

No excuses -- just sayin'.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012/365 - Day 273

feeling crummy

Ruth and I had plans for this afternoon and I was also going to stop by the Northville Art House to sign up for a class -- and register my sister Sue and Ruth to take it, too.  And Carla is taking it. 

But man...I had a second round of whatever was dragging me down last night.  I swear it is a lot of things combined -- allergens, that meat from the night before (or whenever it was...still feels like that), getting back on my prescriptions that had lapsed.

I want to do something but I am just really not feeling well.

I will try to catch up with stuff soon.

Friday, September 28, 2012

2012/365 - Day 272

attempting to make some sort of a paper pattern

I have not done much sewing in my life.  I never took home ec in school.  I don't know what I'm doing...but I know I need to do it.  

And I got it in my head tonight that I needed to make a paper pattern for the soft doll/puppet/creature I am going to be making.  Needless to say it didn't go too well...and then the cats decided to "help".  And about 3/4 of the way into it all I really began to feel like I am quickly coming down with something...or some big wave of allergens is hitting me...or something...heat, chills, nausea, dizziness, achiness -- you name it and it is that meat I cooked was a little off.   So I am going to just give you the photos and I will try this again in a day or two.

Basically I think I am going to best approach this in the same sort of manner I do with the paper cloth.  Just come in with a teensy idea and let the materials tell me what to do as I am doing it.  (And yes -- I still need to edit yesterday's blog entry -- but not tonight.)

2012/365 - Day 271 (somewhere in trance-land)

mesmerized by the shiny distraction

I actually left the house today (it is still Wednesday night to me because I haven't gone to bed yet).  

Ruth (bless her heart) dropped me an email at around 2:30 a.m. and asked if I was okay because she hadn't seen a blog post.  Yep -- I am okay...just kinda woggy and bleary-eyed...transfixed by this game.

I am not going to even try to put more sentences together than I just have.  I will edit this post tomorrow/today/Thursday -- for Wednesday.  And also post a real Thursday entry.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012/365 - Day 270

the yarn bombing snake comes to my house

Sadly, the yarn bombing has been taken down from the front of the Northville Art House.  Remember the snake that was on one of the columns?  Well he has come home to my house!

I needed to stop by the Art House and grab my jacket that I left there last week and visit with Joan and Carla for a few minutes.  I had forgotten that this past weekend was when the yarn bombing was coming down.  It was SO fun!

This is where he used to be -- on the column at the Northville Art House.

Thanks once again to Ruth for donating that perfectly wonderful scarf!

He started out here when I brought him home but I decided that if you could see him from the road or the sidewalk across the street, it would just call more attention to all of my awful weeds.

(Well, as far as a full-on weed bed goes -- it is pretty magnificent...LOL)

After several trial placements he chose this spot.

He is lashed in place with more colorful yarn.  It gets pretty windy up here on the hill and I don't want him blowing all over the place.

For having been outside in all of the weird weather he is holding up pretty darn well!

Now the mosaic cat has a friend until it is time to bring them both in for the season.

A couple of colorful pals watchin' traffic...waiting...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012/365 - Day 269

one of those not-much-to-see-here-today days

playing the game...thinking...playing the game...sketching...playing the game...
...thinking...petting cats...thinking...IDEA!!!...sketching...
almost there...playing the game

Monday, September 24, 2012

2012/365 - Day 268

trying to come up with something new

I get to make some items for the 2012 Holiday Gift Gallery at Paint Creek Center for the Arts!  I am in my usual excited-but-anxious mode.

Last year I made "Tookies" (finger puppets).   Late last week the new gift gallery coordinator dropped me an email to introduce himself and I asked him what he thought -- more Tookies or something else (but still along those lines) and I also asked how many.  He wrote back and said:

"My call is that we could definitely use some more finger puppets, but I would concentrate on dolls if I could suggest it. Something new would serve you best it think, especially if you make some them somewhat seasonal themed. But you’re obviously clever in the kind of animals and characters you portray, so I’ll leave that to you.

I don’t know how long something like that would take you. Is 20-25 pieces reasonable?"

I have been trying to come up with something that will be nice enough to sell, but not so difficult (for me) that I can't make more if one thing turns know?

I have been looking back through some photos of older gloves-creatures and here is how things have evolved into Tookies:

Waaaay back in 2006 I was in an online art group and we did various swaps.  One was "Stuffies with a Secret".  I can't sew -- especially back then.  That is when it first occurred to me that I could use a knitted "magic" glove and cut away fingers, sew up the edges, embellish it, and stuff it.  The "secret" that these guys had was there was a jingle bell inside of them and they made a sound.

As you can imagine, I had lots of leftover fingers from the first project.  That is how "Juniors" came into being for Art-o-mat.  They were just little dolls (also with a jingle bell in them).  The fingers were the little guy's legs.  No arms, no distinct body or head...just a face and the yarn at the top for hair.

Next came "All Ears" -- they were rabbit-like finger puppets and the fingers were now the ears of the creature. 

I think the first set still had a bell in them.

These took a LOT of time and sewing because I didn't embellish them as much and I was scared to death they'd come apart or unravel or something.  They were incredibly time consuming.

Then the All Ears guys morphed into these guys.  I think this is when I started calling them "Tookies".  

The fingers were still separated but not quite the ears of the rabbit-creatures.

I started using yarn on the edges to decorate it but also (mostly) to assure myself they wouldn't come apart easily.

Then the Tookies started getting less and less of the fingers left on.  This is from the very last batch I did, but there was another one in between this photo and the one above it.

This is the version of Tookies that I prefer.

I added the cushy comfy thick soft yarn around the bottom edge.  Again, to lessen the work a little and to add to the tactile guys are really not going to come apart easily.  And yet, I have shaved time off of the production by doing them this way.

And this is a "Tooklet".  It is a doll (rather than a finger puppet).

They are made with two fingers for the legs and some of the hand part still attached.  I use rolled-and-stitched fingers for tails, arms, horns, and ears.  The face and the top of the head are the same as a Tooky.

I made Tooklets for the Northville Art House's Holiday Art Market last year.  I haven't made any since then and I am trying to remember how I did them.  I will try and look back through the blog to see if I told myself.  (This is one of the reasons I do the daily I have a sort of reference to look back at.)

I've been sketching a little to try and come up with something new-ish...maybe with a hint or a nod to the Tookies/Stuffies kinda guys, but still different.  I'm not ready to show any of the sketches yet because I am not sure I can pull any of them off.  In addition, I am also going to make a totally unrelated doll/creature/puppet (not sure what exactly yet) for Paint Creek's "Holly Dolly" silent auction fundraiser to benefit PCCA.  I will share more of the details as the time gets closer.

Wish me luck -- this will be pretty interesting/amusing/frustrating/etc...but it will all work out (like it usually does).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012/365 - Day 267

such a weird few days

I have been (and still am) very sleep deprived but still kinda sorta least I haven't driven much.

Today after I got home from going to the cider mill and to a late lunch with Ruth I had a very bizarre few hours. (And I know I probably haven't been very good company the last week or two -- I just hope I haven't been super rude -- I have been fighting to stay awake at times)

One example:  I was playing the shiny distraction and I was paused and looking in the game's encyclopedia and my character nodded off.  I knew that was going to happen, but I was on Juana's character's home street so I figured nothing would happen to me and suddenly I heard this odd music blasting from out of nowhere (I had the game's music turned off but the effects were turned all the way up).  Apparently the real life me had also nodded off at the keyboard and there was Juana's character standing next to me.  Sheesh.

So I have nothing to show for today progress-wise or art-wise.  I had a good time with Ruth, this batch of cotton candy easily rivals my number one all-time favorite cotton candy maker.  (I actually had my camera with me when Ruth and I were out and I had planned on "interviewing" the young cotton candy maker but today his mom was not in the hut/snack stand with him at the cider mill -- another adult was -- so I am empty handed for today's blog entry...maybe next weekend.)  (Actually it was probably a good thing I didn't get to talk with them for the blog...I am having a weensy bit of trouble putting sentences together -- especially if I am talking vs typing...struggling with seeming alert.  I wonder -- now that I am back home -- if I was acting strangely or rudely or anything.)

I am going to bed at a reasonably normal hour tonight and reclaiming my beloved daily routine in the morning -- this is so weird!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2012/365 - Day 266

a Saturday afternoon at the Northville Art House

Today I went in to the Northville Art House briefly so that Carla could walk me through the early steps of how she keeps track of entries as they come in for an open call for art.  I've joined the Exhibit Committee and I will be working with Carla on the upcoming end-of-the-year show.  

Instead of the Art House's usual Holiday Market in the upper gallery, this year we are trying something a little different.  The very popular gift baskets raffle(s) and the wonderful wreaths will still be available, but the Holiday Art Market will be held inside the Art House Store.  All of the current inventory will be switched out for a very select offering of artwork geared towards the holidays and gift giving.  The upper gallery will feature an all-media juried fine art exhibit called "Small Works".  It will all run from November 2nd through December 15 with several events planned during the seven-week time frame.

I scanned parts of the call for art to share with you -- maybe you (or someone you know) would be interested in submitting small work for the show:

You can download a copy of the Call for Art form here.  Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find the PDF form.

Another cool thing that happened was that two women came to see the "Beyond Borders:  Mosaic Exhibition and Auction" (benefit for Doctors Without Borders) show that is closing this weekend and they came into the store...and were interested in the Art-o-mat machine.  Carla and I told them all about the project and about the submission process.  Then I treated them to their choice of art from the machine and they happened to choose my Animal People collages.  They really liked them.

Jacki B. of Bloomfield Hills (on the left) is a local artist and may possibly check out submitting a series of her own.  Her friend Cathy S. of West Bloomfield (on the right) was also very enthused about the whole project.  Both women asked about the other Michigan locations and took my card and will check out the blog.   I am very glad I just happened to be in the store today and that we got a chance to talk about Art-o-mat...and that Jacki and Cathy got a sort of mini guided tour of the machine and project.  And I hope Jacki does decide to submit a prototype!

You can find out more about how to submit a prototype for possible inclusion in the Art-o-mat project by following this LINK.  There you can see all of the guidelines that need to be followed closely because of the requirements of the vending process -- and these are refurbished vintage machines that are now retro-fitted to dispense art packs instead of cigarettes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012/365 - Day 265

what a thrill -- guess what!

Remember the regional art show several of us from this area submitted work(s) to and that Peggy, Joan and I were accepted for?  It is at LowellArts! in Lowell, MI and it is called "Collage, Assemblage & Construction".  It was juried by Patti Sevensma.  

Well, guess what...I received an Honorable Mention for my collage called "Time For A Nap"!  I was flabbergasted when the email came today.  Wow!

Here is a scan of the poster for the show:

Because Lowell is a two and a half hour car trip (one way) I don't think I will be getting a chance to see the show before the group of us goes out there for the Closing Reception, but I can't wait to see the show!  (But then again, maybe my sister will want to see the show before then...she loves car trips.)

These are my two pieces that were accepted for the show -- Baby Beast (plaster cloth sculpture) and Time For A Nap (collage).  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012/365 - Day 264

busy day

This morning I went to Juana's to assist her in making a casting of Doug's face.  

Twink jumped on my box of DIY Penciled In art packs (that is bound for Artists in Cellophane -- Art-o-mat HQ in Winston-Salem, NC).  I couldn't get a non-blurry photo of Twink because he wouldn't quit rubbing his face on the cabinet.

One step closer to the post office (in the backseat of my car in the garage.)  

(Which is where the box still is because we didn't make it to the post office, plus Juana wasn't totally ready for shipping just yet.)  

The time always flies by too quickly when I am with Juana and I wanted to beat the traffic back to my side of town before rush hour and the post office was closed by the time I got home....tomorrow for sure!
Juana (and Doug) asked if I would be the second pair of hands while Juana did a face casting of Doug.  I have assisted with breast castings (for a breast cancer awareness project) and I have been on the receiving side of the face casting process but I have never been the caster.  Of course I agreed without a second thought!

When my face casting was done and when we were casting derby girls' chests, just vaseline and plaster cloth strips were used.

Juana did some research and decided to go with alginate for Doug's casting...they have done this once before.  Afterwards Juana would be pouring plaster of Paris into the alginate and plaster cloth form to make the face.

Here Juana is mixing the alginate powder and water in a bucket with a mixing attachment on her drill.  

Once we started applying the alginate there would be no stopping for photos because this stuff sets up pretty quickly.  
So here is Doug with the alginate slathered all over his face -- directly onto the quickly setting up alginate we applied tiny strips of plaster cloth...making sure to leave room around Doug's nostrils.

Here is Doug with the plaster cloth on top of the alginate.

We sat with him while the plaster cloth hardened enough to be able to remove it.

He is so laid back and calm!

Yep...just sitting around the dining room table like any other day.

Doug is pulling off the remaining alginate after Juana removed the plaster cloth.

There's Mr. Smiley Face!

Juana mixed up some plaster of Paris and poured it into the plaster cloth and alginate form of Doug's face.  While the plaster of Paris was setting up she added a couple of screws so she'd have something to hold onto when pulling the mold away from the plaster cloth and alginate.

It was going to take 4-6 hours for the plaster to harden.
Juana and I went to LIFT in Royal Oak to check on the Art-o-mat and to have lunch.

But before we left I got a sneak preview of Juana's newest series for Art-o-mat.

This is a fabulous series of mixed media paintings of various collectible ball jointed dolls.  The title of the series is
"Doll Party!".

Each one is different and is painted directly on the MDF blocks.  They are gorgeous!

A very sneak peek of just a few of the blocks.

(Too much glare from the cellophane/acetate to show more photos.)

And here is a quick pic of a few of Juana's dolls from her collection.

I started this post with a blurry photo and now I'm coming to the close with another blurry photo...long exposures.

I had a great time today visiting with Juana and Doug and being Juana's assistant in the face casting session!

Tonight I saw Ruth for dinner and she had a package in her backseat that needs to be shipped.  I offered to take it to the post office tomorrow with mine.  (This will ensure that BOTH packages are shipped tomorrow!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012/365 - Day 263

a disappointing discovery

I was rounding up all of the prepped-for-the-fun-part Tookies this afternoon and I discovered I only had 86.

I was planning on getting back to work on them tonight...but no.  I had to go hunting down the missing Tookies.  I finally found the reason why I was having such a hard time finding them.  I was looking for a ziploc bag with prepped finger puppets.  

DENIED!  What I found was that I had socked these away in my Wednesday Morning at Joan's project carrier and I had totally forgotten about them.  Shoot!

  This is what is in the envelopes -- a pre-selected fingers section and the teensy colored buttons (eyes).  They still need their ears cut off, need to be seamed up the side and across the bottom and across the tops of the former ears.  AND I found that there were only 11 in the project carrying tote thing.  Thank goodness I have loads of them -- I just need to pull the 3 fingers sections and select some eyes.  Sheesh -- and I thought I was done with this part...oh well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2012/365 - Day 262

whew!  starting to get back to a bit of normal

Somewhat back to a routine today -- yay!

My wonderful sister Sue came over late this morning and then I actually got dressed and left the house!  I have not been out for four days...not even to get the mail.  A quick trip to the grocery store and then home and then a craving for a reward/ a quick run to the cider mill (cool weather, Tuesday afternoon, next to no line!) for a cider slush...mmm, mmm.

Today I decided to re-shoot the photos for my DIY Penciled In series.  (I make a sampler to keep at my Art-o-mat machines so that people can get an idea of what is in there.)

The light was pretty good for a short while and I use the guest bathroom as a makeshift photo studio to take advantage of the skylight's natural light.  Not too bad for a point-and-shoot set up.

Twink kindly vacates the "Skylight Studio"

The MDF block with the transfer and three blank coloring cards

I think that is my shadow on the block (but I can live with it).

And this is what comes in the art pack:

1 MDF block with transfer
3 blank coloring cards (random selection in each pack)
3 teensy colored pencils (to get you started)
1 information sheet with address for the DIY Penciled In blog/photo gallery and tiny pictures of the characters from the series

I am pleased with my progress today.  I get so engrossed in the MMO games -- that is why I don't usually play them.  It is hard for me to disconnect from the game and reconnect with the real world.  Then when I do it takes quite a while to stop thinking in those terms...I find myself feeling like I am a character in someone else's game and all of the actions I am doing are being selected and clicked on...move forward (and I kind of shuffle along like my character) on studio door to leave studio and enter hallway...enter kitchen...examine item...pick up coffee pot...add water to coffee maker...add coffee to basket...close basket...start coffee maker...etc.

Monday, September 17, 2012

2012/365 - Day 261

wait...what the...???

Whoa -- I guess I really needed some sleeeeeeeeep because I find I have been asleep in my chair with Bootsy holding me down for honest-to-gawd the better part of the day.

I am feeling kinda disoriented and trying to get my act together...I am usually such a routine-based creature that this is really throwing me.  

NOTHING getting done today.  I am recuperating for the rest of the night and starting fresh on the morrow!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2012/365 - Day 260

another day of shiny distraction...

AND another day of wrapping fifty Art-o-mat art packs in cellophane/acetate.  

BUT, I am actually starting to get a little less enthused about the shiny distracto-game.  I will still play a little tonight to see if I can achieve some things, but then I will be able to start backing off.

In the are tonight's fifty art packs:

Bootsy and Twink think they are going to "help" me do this tonight.

I was able to convince them I could handle it on my own.

art pack number 51 of 100

Ta-daaaa -- the last fifty are wrapped!

Now get yourselves into that box, you lot!

Another kind of shiny distraction -- boxes of a new version of one of my Art-o-mat series -- ready to be shipped to Artist in Cellophane tomorrow!
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