Saturday, May 30, 2015

Potential is Huge

It's official.  I have an awesome studio.
Sure, it's tiny, but the potential is huge.

I like to think that's kind of like my life right now...the potential is huge.  I am in the midst of some massive transitions, so keeping the focus on all the right things is challenging.  

Just yesterday, I was part of a formal ceremony at work called a Change of Command.  It's a military formation that involves the transition of power and responsibility in command of a unit from one person to another.  I am very proud to say that after two years, I am the one handing over the flag to someone new.  On a personal level, though, it has been very emotional as I experience the loss of my normal day-to-day existence and my squadron family.  There was no crying on stage yesterday--I had to screw my face up a few times, but made it through my remarks with all eyeliner intact.  I've shed a few tears at home alone since then in honor of those losses, but I'm trying to focus all that emotional energy on setting up what will be my new day-to-day existence.

It's hard, and I've crashed into the nap zone a couple of times already today, but we're getting there.  I went to the beach this morning and got some sun and sketched a bit.  When I think of the seeds that sketchbook can possibly generate in the studio I get excited.  Now, I just need to get up off the couch and go to the studio and work!

Shelby loves the big backdoor with the view of the deck.  She has to dig through a zillion half-finished ideas, but it works.  We planted a few flowers last weekend to carry the bright color and energetic feeling through to the outside.

Even in the evening, as the great light from outside dims, we can still make a nice mess inside.  Tonight, for instance, might be a good time to get on the six-pack of 12X12 wooden substrates that I have sitting in the middle of the table and start some collage work.  I need to capture the feelings of this weekend and since the cat's aren't very chatty, some fun glue time might be just the ticket!

It's time for me to exploit the potential of this space and the raw materials within.  That's what I want my new existence to look like, so I guess I just need to get up off the couch and make it happen!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Palm Trees or Palmettos. Whatever.

I'm just enjoying this Tuesday evening on the couch with my crazy cat, Brando, and a whole lot of craigslist browsing.  I'm trying to figure out exactly where I'm going to move next here in the Charleston area.  This is sort of a new experience for me since I don't actually have someone telling me where I need to live.  This one's on me.  I feel like I need to make the most of it since I'm here close to the beach and all the amazing life that Charleston has to offer, so I'm trying to slow myself down instead of just taking the option of the first one that seems okay.  I'm not a big fan of lots of options...give me one COA (that's an acronym for Course of Action that we use all the time at work) and let me go.

That being said, I'm going for something a little closer to the beaches and to downtown.  My house up in the Summerville suburbs is fantastic and has given me all kinds of room to create, but I'm ready to go someplace new.  Wouldn't it be cool to live in a place where everyday could include a sketchbook, some watercolors and a cold beer?  Hmmmmmm. So soon.

This pic is actually from a trip up to Myrtle Beach.  My dear friend Bette and her husband Brian go there every year to celebrate their anniversary. Luckily for me, they had an extra room to spare in their condo and allowed me to celebrate a few days with them.  The weather wasn't all that lovely, but just getting to spend time laughing, shopping, eating, and doing a little creating was perfect.  I look forward to many more days like that soon.  

It's going to be a hard transition from the workaday regimen I have now to that of student-artist-part-time-job girl, but as I take steps like finding the right place to live it starts to become more and more real.  On that note, I'm going to savor the joy of this little palm tree picture, think about trimming the palmettos in the yard, and dream about creating...for a living.  Wow.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Vegas Inspiration

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My first upholstery felted project!

It started in November 2013 when my lovely ma decided that I should use my new felting machine to come up with an awesome cover for the coffee table in my living room.  My brother and sister-in-law, Will & Julie were here for Thanksgiving that year and went to town starting on the felting.

By the time they left, all the needles--12 of them--were broken.  It took me a few months to get the new needles and a few more months to actually put them in the machine and then even more time to finish the felting.

It happened!  We used a military-issue grey blanket as the base and they came up with the linear pattern. I just finished a few of the lines this week.  I love that it's all about random and uses only (very expensive Ha!) scraps and recycled ribbon and a variety of textured threads and silks.

That table has been around for a loooooong time.  I think we played puppet shows around it when I was little.  It's not a good place to put feet up since it's not soft and even has edges (to keep the magazines and cracker crumbs from falling off).  Hence, my bitching about it and my mom suggesting that I actually use one of my crazy craft tools to solve a problem and not just make something that will sit in a drawer around here forever.

It's a cushy pretty table highlighting my awesome eclectic living room now!  I'm calling it awesome and eclectic even though a neutral party might call it unmatching and cat-hair-infused.  haaaaaaaaaaaa

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I happened upon artist Jennifer Mercede the other day.  Call me inspired.

A little bit of her energy plus a couple of books on abstract painting made for a wonderful morning with  more Yupo & alcohol ink.  I added a few other media/resists just to see how they'd play.  Oil pastels, water soluble crayons, nupastels and matte medium.  Can't pick a fave because I like them all!

My first attempt at a palm tree.  I live in South Carolina, after all. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wading in a New Medium

Just Another Evening in Summerville - 2014

Just what I needed:  a new medium to try (and then fall in love with).  And so the story goes with alcohol inks and Yupo paper.  Thanks, Bette, for getting me curious enough to actually find the paper and get started.  She took some classes from Cathy Taylor, a favorite instructor of mine, during Art & Soul this year and couldn't stop talking about it.  So, I wandered around Cathy's site, watched a few youtube videos (that weren't all that good...sorry, so I won't link to any) and got started.  As you can see from the worktable, it's not that messy...haaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I started out pretty simply making messes with drops and wipes, but then I saw my container of stencils nearby and decided to actually put a brush to paper with some sort of purpose.  A few simple squares gave me a chance to feel how the brushes worked and I played with blending color and then pulling it out with plain old 91% alcohol.
I have this heron stencil from Stencil Girl so I tried that one next and love the way the brownish, orange, blue tones came out of the "mushroom" ink. 
I decided it was time to break out a larger format.  Since the heron and the squares were still on the table, I decided to use a little bit of both to create a design that wouldn't look like a plain old sunset.  I actually took the time and put it down with the stencils in pencil.  When I showed it to someone at work, they asked me why I put the squares answer other than that it just felt right.  

I used the squares to separate the cools and least that was my intention.  :)  Blue is cool and yellow's warm, right?  haaaaaa  I've only read about a zillion books on art and color and painting.  Maybe if I retire and go to art school I'll figure it out.  Sounds like a plan.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Deli Paper + Ink + Tape = Awesome

I spent last evening making "homemade washi tape" to do some exterior binding on a folder-book project and now I have a pretty stack!
Back in April I hosted some of my delightful artist friends in Charleston for a week of straight up making, fun, and food.  Bette taught us all this project, so I'm going to share...

Deli papers inked up with Dylusions spray
Two-sided tape--I used 2" Scor Tape for this version

Scissors or ruler

When Carol, Bette & Denise were here, we had an absolute BLAST spraying dyes and making all kinds of deli paper prints.  Stencils and organics--leaves, to be specific--were the tools of choice.  I can do another post about doing those prints.  I ended up with a massive stack of brightly colored deli papers that needed a purpose.

Enter the two-sided tape:

This is Scor Tape, that I got from my friend, Cindy at Broken Crown Paper Arts.  It's a 2-inch version, which I like because I wanted a wider format.  I've also used 3/4-inch Art Alternatives Transfer Tape that I got from my favorite downtown store, Artist and Craftsman Supply.

Since I liked the whole design on this piece of paper, I covered the whole back with tape.

You can see the bright colors of the ink with the white tape liner behind it.  It will have a more transparent look when I use it later.  The back of the sheet is covered with strips of tape at this point.
And now they're cut apart with some super-sharp scissors.  I've also gone for a more organic, rustic look, before by tearing along the edge of the tape using a straight-edged ruler.

After all the strips are cut, I have these beautiful pieces of tape ready to apply to just about anything.  Last night's target for these babies is some of my daddy's old folders...which I'll get to in a minute.

Here's another piece in progress, with the organic leaf prints.  Man, Bette is a flipping genius!!  Even more importantly, today is her birthday!!  Makes me wish I lived closer to Maryland, but I know she'll come visit again soon since we both have more art to make.  :)

I took those two-inch strips and used them to line simple folders.  My dad gave me a massive stack of manila folders (which we used to think we're VANILLA folders when we were little, right?) from his life as a lawyer and a Latin teacher.  I intend to eventually bind all these folders together to form journals...and here's a stack of them, some printed and painted, some with just my dad's handwriting.  Doesn't that tape make a perfect signature??


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Charleston, SC, United States
If you saw me from Monday to Friday, you'd hardly be able to see me since I'm in camouflage...when I get home, though, I break out into my super craft nerd self and make pretty bits!!

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