Friday, February 25, 2011

Squeezing in Some Studio Time

I claimed a little time for myself when our house guests went off on a shoe shopping trip and to pick up a few warmer clothes. Coming from Sweden they were expecting summertime weather here in southern Arizona but the weatherman has been throwing loops at everyone it seems lately.

I wasn't sure what I was going to start with but a  when facebook friend had commented that she was clearing out all of her old art school sketches and pieces that she didn't feel worth keeping I shouted  across the interwebs that she was to cut up anything she didn't want and send it to me for collage papers.

I got two hefty packages of heavyweight watercolor papers and some lightweight prints as well to use any way that I please. I've promised her a piece in return for her most wonderful  supply gift.

The two layers of background on this are thanks to my friend.

This background paper was stiff enough to try out some encaustic work.
A piece of disintegrated shirt that I found on the migrant trail nearby.
It was naturally tie -dyed by the elements
( my second go at attempting encaustic, ever)

I added a few pieces that I picked up off of the street 
wire and a piece of balloon.

They were one piece but I didn't care for the composition so I simply
cut it into two pieces!

This was brush strokes of wax on an old aluminum tile I found on the road.

This is what the back side looks like, I t had been road-smithed by a car it appears.
I rather like it.

This came out a bit dark but I was just starting to flex my collage muscles for the day here.

More encaustic on heavy weight watercolor paper.

This was an experiment on a shard of heavyweight antique  mirror glass 
that I found outside of an abandoned old church last year.
The silver on the back had eroded away leaving a fabulous weathered silver patina
 they way old mirrors do.
I layered encaustic wax and scraped some away to reveal the glass and silver in places.
It's become a gift to our Swedish friend Olle that spent some good years in Alaska once upon a time.
I have more pieces to play with.

After a successful day in the studio I was felt freed up enough to go hiking yesterday in the hills surrounding our neighborhood. The hike yielded two practically brand new Mexican blankets that we found on the trail which will be great for the truck after a wash.

Our guests also got to experience the truly southwestern experience of a Mexican woman approaching us with fresh tamales in the parking lot of the grocery store.
They had never tasted anything like the green chile tamales and were quite pleased.

I'm off on a road trip to the surrounding area for a couple of days now. We're going to visit a few places that I've never seen like the cliff dwellings and some hot springs.
Of course I'll bring my camera!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Putting the Work in Networking

I've been trying to get a few things done before the Viking Invasion that's about to ensue. We have some visitors from Sweden visiting for the next two weeks so I think  I may not have so much time for my internet pursuits. 

My husband's former partner Olle from the early 70's in a mining camp and trapping cabin on the Yukon river will be visiting with his mate Margaret. 

These boys are building a cabin in the early 70's on Hannah Creek on the Charley river which runs into the Mighty Yukon in Alaska

Olle Backlof is in the middle and my husband is on the right
( many years before I knew him)
Dale Ruckle was another partner of their's.

I expect there will be some good stories and reminiscing going on.

   But back to the gist of this post. I've been trying to familiarize myself with my new website
It's not going so well yet and yesterday I seemed to have given myself a wicked headache over it perhaps due to drinking my husband's full caf coffee and semi- fasting and cleansing with a super greens concoction. I had a fabulous massage midday which made me forget to eat, very relaxing after a morning of puzzling how to make my posts show up on the site even though they were recorded as published.

 Later on we went off on a shopping trip at Home Depot when suddenly an ocular migraine occurred which isn't painful (the headache had left during the massage) but they are awfully disconcerting. What happens is I experience a hole in my vision with raggedy flashing prisms on the periphery of the hole. They last about 30 to 40 minutes and make you feel simply not right at all.
I just want to sit still and calm myself when I get these.

 We stopped at a chain restaurant which we hardly ever do called "My Big Fat Greek Restaurant"since I wanted to give it a try. My visuals were abating somewhat as I was looking at the menu.
 It seemed a bit noisy in there and suddenly the lights dimmed and the Greek music started to blast and the atmosphere was akin to a flash mob scene as the servers clapped and shouted in unison. I tell you it was just crazy and then they lined up,  linked arm in arm and wove their way through the whole restaurant, about 10 of them! Added to that they were punctuating the performance with fire-breathing,  I'm talking 3 and four foot flames. One of the menus on the table next to us even caught fire and was quickly extinguished.
I'm not sure if this is typical for this chain, it certainly was a surprise to us!

It kind of activated the visuals with my ocular migraine what with my elevated heart rate and flames all about the place!
The food arrived and things calmed down enough to enjoy some nice stuffed peppers that we ordered.

Fortunately although rather fatigued I was able to enjoy the movie "The King's Speech"

Which brings me back to the work part again ( I didn't realize that I was going to insert that story but I thought it worthy for entertainment)

Today I went on an Etsy blitz and posted some new items in both of my long neglected shops.
I had been trying to activate my own shop on Facebook through the Payvment site but it seems some folks are uncomfortable having their profiles accessed on Facebook so I went back to the more familiar Etsy format.

I had been hoping to add the Payvment page to my blog and website as well. I think that's where the headache first originated.

Anyway you can now find some of my ephemera and such on my vintage Etsy site
 and some beads on my other site

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Announcing the Winner of OWOH blog event!

I would like to announce the winner of the One World One Heart blog hopping event.

It's Dymphie from Papieren Avonturon

She'll be receiving my vintage image coasters.
It's been a fun flight around the world visiting all those blogs. Thanks to you all that came by and added your comments and a special thanks to you new followers. I hope to keep you riveted with my blogposts!
Stay tuned for another giveaway soon to celebrate my 200th post.

And a special thanks to Lisa Swifka from AWhimsical Bohemian for all of her work in bringing this together.

I'm Overwhelmed... My Solution, Blog about it!

I'm overwhelmed! I think I need to curb my abundance somehow.
We got back from our North and South Carolina trip with fresh goodies from the stamp convention.
In addition to that I had another round of shopping at the gem show right before we took off. It seems that I had too many days off since my gem show shopping burnout and was afresh with new zeal for possibilities with new supplies. 
Will I get around to showing those off? I don't know.

I had a great trip with my husband Mr. Coryosity and my favorite older sister Robin
in Charleston, South Carolina.
(I have another favorite sister but she's my favorite younger sister)
They're sitting on a bouncy bench in front of Hyman's Seafood restaurant.
I had done a little research on restaurants in Charleston and came up with this one.
We happened upon it at just the right time and the line wasn't too awfully long to get in.
Robin is examining a sample hush puppy that they gave us as we were waiting.

A lot of famous folks have eaten here

I ate fish at this table.
Jerk swordfish, crabcakes, hush puppies, fried oysters and collard greens.
I'm glad we had time to walk this meal off!
An abundance of food!

Photo op in a hollow tree at the Charles Pinckney Plantation.
Didn't give a thought to the dangers of posing in a hollow tree.
My feet were alive with fire ants. The next half hour in the car I was ow!...
and ohh! as they made their way up my legs and bit me, crawling out of my removed socks and shoes and  all over the dash.
An abundance of ants!

Upon our arrival at home there were three boxes  and a postcard from
Amy at Artist in the Arctic waiting for me at our doorstep.
One box from lovely Lorna from Artymess, full of handpicked goodies.
I'll try to show these off later.
A box from Corrine at Dosfishes with my completed winter theme collaboration book that we did with Lyle from Just a Note
Another post for this as well..
And a box from my brother and sister in law from their trip to China
I have agents all over the world searching for goodies!

So what I really to be doing now is cataloging and sorting and putting these wonderful supplies together creating pieces to sell on my newly designed website that my nephew (favorite older sister's oldest son) just finished creating.  I know that I have more to add to it but I'm more than pleased with the first page. I think he did a wonderful job don't you think?

I also need to figure out how to put a shop up here on this blog as well, Anyone done this yet that can tell me how easy it is so I won't be so overwhelmed?

The good news is that even if I do none of these things life will be just fine and I needn't stress myself over it. We do have international visitors from Sweden showing up on Monday  for a two week visit so it's not so likely that loads will be accomplished. But then again I may surprise myself, I've been know to do that on occasion! Meanwhile, I aim to enjoy the abundance rather that let myself be overwhelmed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Where's Candace?

Has anyone seen Candace the traveling doll lately?
I had heard that she might have gotten misrouted and returned to a previous host but I haven't heard any word on her in quite some time.
It's Valentine's day and I would so love to know where she is.

Here's a link to the original post about her when she was leaving me last year for her adventures around the world.
You can also do a search on my blog by using the keyword Candace to catch up on some of her worldly adventures.
Happy Valentine's day Candace, wherever you are!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stamp Convention and Unconventional Finds

 When my husband announced that he wanted to go on a trip to Charleston, South Carolina to accept his 25 year pin I wasn't sure what he was talking about. I knew he had been in the Laborer's Union on the Alaskan Pipeline construction project but couldn't understand why he had to go to Charleston to get his pin. Then he told me it was for his membership in the  American Philatelic Society.  He conveniently told me that we could also combine it with a trip to see my sister at her new home in North Carolina so as to sweeten the pot for me. After I talked him out of driving from Arizona to North Carolina we agreed to fly and make it a shorter trip. You see it doesn't take much convincing to get my husband to agree to any sort of trip abroad or otherwise, he is an inveterate traveler.

I wasn't sure what to expect that would hold my interest at the stamp convention, knowing that there would be wares for the high dollar collectors of stamps and covers but I was really hoping that there would be some good pickin's for me in the low dollar bins in the ephemera category for collage materials. 

After many days of shopping at the Gem and Mineral show in Tucson, walking into a room of stamp exhibitors is more of a dry experience with out all the sparklies and flashes of color.

 It takes a different focus to be wowed by the goods laid out. Items need to be looked at individually and  leafed through carefully. We had the fortune of meeting a gal on the elevator at the hotel that told me she had a "dollar booth" with heartened me greatly as to the possibilities of some good altered art worthy finds.

And then the excitement built for me as I found several tables of this nature that had US and foreign envelopes from  the mid 1800's up until the 1980's.
What fascinated me the most was some old Japanese envelopes form the 1920's and 30's complete with contents. The worn and wabi sabi feel and textures of the envelopes with calligraphy on rice paper contents, I can tell you I was more than excited! This was the jackpot for me beyond my imaginings of what I could hope to find! some contained old receipts and some had three foot long reams of rice paper with script. So exciting!

And then I found a table piled high with used stamps where you could fill a small bucket for $5. At that point I wasn't discerning about which stamps to  pick as others were sorting through the pile with tweezers, I just grabbed handfuls and filled my bucket!

 A few of my Japanese envelopes. I bought enough of them so that i just may be able to part with some.
I'll let you know when they are listed in my Etsy store. (my long neglected etsy store)

 Some of the contents

 A pile of old Japanese postcards too

There were bins of old letter covers from all over the world.
I especially liked the couple that were addressed to Miss Blogg!

So my husband was more than delighted that I was a happy shopper at his convention, in fact He's calling me right now to meet him at the exhibit
i can't wait to pile through some more bins!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Few of My 100 Faces

We had an exercise with the drawing group recently.
 We were supposed to draw 100 faces.
I haven't drawn faces since high school
 (a long time ago in a decade called the 70's)

Drawing that many faces uses a lot of paper.
I've been collecting old encyclopedias and the like

 It's good practice.
I kind of like this guy

I also was using a vintage hairdressing book.
The pictures were  rather stylized to begin with
( someone else's drawings)
Then I discovered an online scribbler on someone's blog
Sorry I don't remember who, but thanks whoever you are
This was so easy and fun after I figured a few basics on drawing faces 
like where the ears and eyes might oughta be ideally

I'm having some fun with this exercise and can see utilizing some of these pieces in collage.

I hope you check out the link, I must warn you it's habit forming, even addictive.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunken Treasure ~ Gem Show and Tell

We went on our yearly foray to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show this year, vowing to spend less than previous years which is quite a feat for my husband and myself seeing that we moved to Arizona to be closer to the show. Warmth is another reason after so many winters in Alaska although you wouldn't know that this week with our subfreezing temperatures and frozen pipes galore.

I've got quite a stash of beads and things from previous shows and I actually brought a list with me this time to avoid too many impulse buys but I do allow for some because what would the fun be in that?
I think if there's an unusual enough find I should jump on it.

I found a booth at the Grant Inn (we were informed that the show would be having it's last year there) 
They had an amazing strand of ancient Chinese coins dating from between the 1650's to 1800's.
The man said that they were found in a shipwreck by Indonesia.
When I was a little girl I had found some old Chinese coins in my grandfather's attic. I was so enchanted by them that I had even written a poem about them.
They've since disappeared so I just had to make a deal and buy up a lot of these coins for my work and resale. I hope to be putting them up in my online shop soon. I'll be selling them for $1 a piece. If you have any interest in them now, let me know.
( and I'll include some in my 200th post giveaway which is just around the corner so stay tuned!

Some of my other finds at the gem show were some lampwork supplies. I got a button mandrel to try out  along with some puffy mandrels for hollow beads. I picked up a dapping set at  the Beaducation booth along with a steel bench block.

I wanted to find some briolettes for making earrings and was happy to find some smaller strands so that I could get and assortment.
 Peruvian chalcedony briolettes

 Smoky quartz
Green onyx

I really was attracted to the pyrite strands I found, both faceted and teardrop shaped.

And I was happy to find these charms and components that were made up of brass copper and pewter which will go with the more shabby silk pieces I've been designing.

These will help on finishing off the ends of my silk ribbon pieces

 I thought these copper bails were attractive and affordable
 I'm wild about patina
 And copper... must be why I picked a copper mining town to live in.
These are end caps too with a flared hole at one end.

More drops, different shape

These beads are ceramic~ made by monks in Thailand ~with gold leaf added

I loved these okra shaped charms, they are hollow and measure almost 3 inches
(7 cm)