Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Downeast Bound

Union Bay

Porcupine Islands and Bar Harbor

I'm going to be taking a flight cross country to help my folks close up camp in Maine.
Chances are I won't have much access to internet so I guess there will be a bit of a break in my blogging.
I am however, going to get to meet a real life blogging buddy, Corrine of Dosfishes on our drive north. I'm excited about that!

Also I want to thank all of you that visit and have made comments on my blog. I want to apologize for not being more consistent in answering each and every comment since my dial-up doesn't often let me access the comment box. Your comments mean a lot to me and I hope that you don't feel ignored.

xoxo Kim

Monday, September 20, 2010

Trying to put it all together


detail of bottom

detail of top

detail of top

Some elements that you may have seen already here but now I've put them together

postcard with some swap items

 So now that I have any number of bit and pieces and elements in my stash from the image transfer class I'm trying to incorporate them into larger works. I could just go nuts doing nothing but making smaller elements  but the trick is for me how to use them in bigger pieces  and bringing it all together.
 I find assemblage to be with many challenges as I have mentioned in previous posts. One must be very careful to assemble things in the right order or you may find yourself figuratively painting yourself into a corner. Some mistakes can be hard to fix and retrieve the look you're hoping for. One of the biggest problems I seem to face with my backgrounds or substrates from found objects and thrift shop finds is that fastening elements can be quite a challenge. More than once I decided to use tiny screws and have them not grip the composite wood  background and  "waller" out. Then if it's a thin piece you have dangerous sharp screw ends sticking out the back and  have to find a way to saw or clip them off.
 I struggled with the Cassiopeia piece because while I was happy with the elements I had chosen the composition ended up  looking to rigid with images floating in there own  quadrants of the  box. The composition seemed too static for me. I remember being told in an art class that numbers and letters carried more visual weight as does faces so adding any more text or elements such as that might really make the eyes crazy.  I  tried to remedy it by dulling down the white images with a wash of light metallic blue paint and highlighting the background with copper and blue metallic paint on the distressed corrugated. I really have a greater admiration for assemblage artists every time I attempt one myself.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Candace in California

Before I tell you about Candace's next adventure I want to announce a giveaway
on the blog Bell'antico (see sidebar for picture) You may also want to visit the sister site La Dolce Vita to see more of this Caterina's artwork.

  Candace the traveling doll has been gallivanting about in California with Kim from
               Gerushia's New World                  

  Kim is "a mixed media artist with a taste for surreal, anthropomorphic art and a passion for vintage photos" whose work I have admired and purchased myself. She'll be posting more about Candace's visit on her own blog soon. Here are some photos from her trip.

Candace arrives in California

A piece of Mixed Media art by Kevin Llewellyn that opened
Kat Von D's Wonderland Gallery

Kim recently got a tattoo of one of her signature creations  "Dancing Fiona"

Could this possibly be another of Candace's suitors?

Is Hollywood ready for Candace?

Another famous redhead!

I would love to see her featured in this mural

She's no airhead though ~ I love this shot!

Candace in Wonderland

A girl gets hungry with all that touring

Looks more comfortable than airplane travel~ Off to Lorna in England!
Bye-bye Candace!

If you'd like to be added to Candace's itinerary contact me and I'll see what I can do to get you added to the list. Email me your address at numinositybeads (at) gmail (dot) com

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baked and Stamped








I had picked up an old baking sheet at a garage sale because of it's wonderful patina and distressed surface. I had thought of using it as a substrate for a project at one point. After seeing Cat's post about stamping at  "In the Light of the Moon"  I thought that I would get out the steel stamp set that I got at another garage sale and make some stampings. As you can see some of the letters don't have such high definition so I experimented with sanding the surface before stamping. I'm not sure if  they didn't show up because of the quality of the stamps or the fact that I was stamping against some soft wood. The reverse side had a great embossed quality that I really liked but of course the letters are backwards then. I dropped some alcohol inks  on the lettering to highlight the indentations. In the end some are still not quite so readable but I kind of like the diffuse effect that makes you looks a little harder to see what it says and might not dominate the work that I use it in. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I was playing with some faux glaze that was left over from a kitchen painting project.
I mixed it with some acrylic paint from my studio and used a painters comb to brush through the paint.
I added bits of oil pastel and some stampings

I'll be able to use this paper later for other projects

I experimented with some other color combinations on the brown paper

 I was so inspired by the materials that I got in my fabric swap with  Lorna from Artymess that I made some postcards with some bits

The sari fabric bits were fabulous along with a deteriorating old silk scarf that belonged to my mother

I had been waiting to used this distressed abandoned quilting squares that I picked up at a yard sale.
I used iron-on Pellon to stick it to the cardboard for this postcard.

I was  also inspired  by Corrine at Dosfishes to make up some large mail art envelopes for later use.
Side A

Side B

This Russian newspaper arrived crumpled in a box from a gallery that was returning my season's jewelry. 
Side A

Side B

Monday, September 13, 2010

Swaps With My Favorite Coloraholics

Collage by Corrine of Dosfishes 

She always hangs her collages with clothespins on her blog so I thought it would be a good way to display them in my studio.

Stitching and color
She included some papers and other materials for me to use in collage too.

I did a fabric swap with Lorna of Artymess and she sent me a treasure trove of her textile art and materials. I was swooning!

One of Lorna's artist trading cards

Swatches of Indian fabric. Perfect for catching the drool!

Some more of Lorna's pieces.

I did a couple of swaps recently with my two favorite "coloraholics"  Corrine and Lorna.
I can't tell you how much fun it is to open up the packages. What a delight! Lot's of inspiration and gifties all packaged up and decorated. Mail art is so much fun. As soon as I see the package I get so excited.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall Necklaces

These antique lucite maple leaves bring me back to my childhood in New England.
How I miss those maple leaves!

I used simple knotted wire lace that can be puckered  and shaped to highlight my beads on these necklaces. It's so light and delicate.

It's a bit harder to see in this pic but the crystal shape lampworked beads have gold leaf shimmering in the transparent beads. The wonderful think about the wire lace is that you can string beads directly onto the tube  before puckering it.

I made these mussel shell-like whorls to be reminiscent of the shells on the beach from our camp in Maine.

Somehow I've with all of my excitement over the image transfer class and playing with collage elements I seem to have neglected the glass studio. Now that the weather is suitably rainy and dismal out I find myself back in the mode to sit at a torch again. With my winter shows coming up I wanted to make some simple necklaces.  I sometimes forget that fall is an entire season in some places while we have a three or four week taste of it here in the Alaskan north.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

announcing my new blog

I have endeavored to try my hand at a bit of writing on my new blog.
I'm inviting you to have a look. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Highlights of Burma 2007

My husband and I took a pre-wedding trip to SE Asia and managed to fit in a side trip to Burma (Myanmar) for a week. 
This is Bagan where over 1000 of these stupas or chedis  stud the landscape stunningly like mushrooms as far as you can see.

The displays in the market are a work of art. These leaves are used for bundles of betelnut that is chewed by a large segment of the population. 

The golden glow of the Buddha's hand.

I was stopped on my bicycle by a man that wanted to invite me to his home. He was a kindergarten teacher and was hoping that I would make a donation to the students as even early education is something that families have to pay for themselves and many are too poor  to send their children to school. He showed me picture of the students receiving their donations.
He was very proud to show me his family pictures of his graduate sisters.
I was fascinated by every aspect of his simple home.

Boat trip on the Irrawaddy headed to Mandalay.
Amazingly we had this tour boat almost to ourselves with just one Burmese couple and  a Japanese man.
There was more crew than passengers.
The ubiquitous "Hotel California" was playing.
I think I have heard that song in every country I have ever visited.
I have a little story about my fortune being told on this trip. Stay tuned as I may share it on my new writing blog that I started up this week.

Coming into Mandalay

Always friendly children

Another Pagoda, they are everywhere you look.

The jade market in Mandalay. We seemed to be the only foreigners there and caused quite a commotion being swarmed by vendors.
They also seemed to be doing a lot of trading among themselves.

I was more interested in beads however, which were much harder to locate.

Not the best photo but it captures the atmosphere of dusk in the city.
As my pedicab driver said to my husband to be "Grandfather, I think grandsister is very tired!"

I don't know if I can convey how exotic and otherworldly this felt to me

Interior of a pagoda. The buddha images have a different stylization than the ones of Thailand that I've become so familiar with.

A young water buffalo wrangler at Inle Lake. I felt so fortunate to get this shot.

 A monastery on an island at Inle Lake.
These brooms against the teakwood made such a nice pattern with the softness against the hardwood.

Market day at Inle Lake ~ the parking area

Rice cakes on spindles