Thursday, January 29, 2009

Still Cranking Out Crap... [Edited]

I'm generally trying to do one piece per day, but this effort took two. I guess it's really two pieces, so I'm still on track! When put together, the whole image is about 12 inches by 12 inches. Made with Reader's Digest Atlas page, Dover clip art, atlas index page, sewing pattern, scrapbooking paper, man image from ArtByChrysti, magazine letters, stamped embellishments and marker. I'm sure I could still add to these, but I think I'll move on for now.
Edited 1/30/09 to add: I don't usually do this, but I'm editing this post. Yesterday I liked these well enough. Today I'm having second thoughts. They're OK, but I think they went wrong somewhere. Don't worry... I'm going to put them away so I don't do anything horrible to them, and I'll revisit them later. Ironically, I just put a comment on Marsha's post telling her not to be so rough on her art and if she doesn't like it, well, she can sell it to those of us who love it. Ironically, I don't think that's a good use of the word ironically. ANYWAY... time for me to end my little breakfast break, get back to work at my real job, and quit whining. NOW.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fly

Here's tonight's creative effort. I'm enjoying the process and letting things just come together. The circle theme going on lately is making me happy, so expect to see at least a few more.

Please send some positive thoughts over to Marsha's dad (that's Marsha of Tumble Fish Studio). Her news today about her dad's health wasn't so great. We'll be thinking about you and your dad, Marsha. Thanks for the updates on your blog.

Neither snow nor rain...

... nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Unless you live in Middletown, Ohio and there is three inches of snow on the ground.

Get your little truck back here and deliver the mail. Wimp.

Still Workin'

This is last night's/this morning's work. It's not finished, but I'm going to let it sit for a bit until I figure out what I want to do to it next. I have another piece that's at that stage that I haven't published yet. I'll show you when it's a little further along.

I'm getting great comments/emails about these last few pieces. Thank you to everyone who commented and encouraged!

Oh, and Marsha... Yes you did too inspire the Virgo Butterfly piece! You're inspirational, and that's that! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Miss Harper Says HI!

So for those of you who have been patiently waiting for your Harper fix, wait no more!

Harper is doing great. She continues to be an easy going girl who is very happy and loves to laugh. She's good at entertaining herself, but she loves attention too. She's squirmier and squirmier every day. When I hold her she wants to get down, but once she's down, she wants right back up. She loves to crawl all over us, but she can't crawl yet. She loves the strings on our sweatshirts. She goes for those first thing and chews her little heart out. She says "Da Da" and sometimes "Ma Ma". I think Da Da actually means her Daddy, but Ma Ma means any number of things or not a thing at all.

Some of her little quirks:
  • She loves getting a little bit of spit in her throat and then breathing heavy like Darth Vader. I swear she enjoys it.

  • She has an eyelash infatuation. If you're brave enough to let her near your eyelashes with her little fingers, she strokes them with her index finger.

  • She doesn't have a favorite blankie, but she takes a burp cloth to play with until she falls asleep at night. (She's a great night time sleeper with a pretty regular 9 PM bedtime, but she's still not such a great napper.)

  • She clicks her tongue for the cat like we do.

  • Lately she's infatuated with her tongue.

Now Harper says Good Night!

Small Bumps in the Creative Road

Ok, so this didn't turn out as expected. I'm not super happy with it, but maybe it was the process that was most frustrating?

I'm feeling a bit out on a limb with the art stuff recently - in good ways (stretching out of my comfort zone) and in more difficult ways. I want to sell my work, but I'm not quite ready yet. I have the motivation to create, but I'm struggling to find my own path and some kind of style. (Not a new struggle really. I've always been a bit all over the place stylistically and have trouble making more than a few things in the same style.)

I got a good introduction to making collages with Nancy Baumiller's flickr collage group, but I'm moving away from doing collages for the group in order to work on my own style and to find my selected images to work with. I also found that I really was only getting one collage done per week while in the group. I have no idea why that is. Now that I'm moving away from the group (for now, at least), I feel like I'm moving away from a group of supportive artists too. Not my intention and probably not even really the case, but it's still how I'm feeling.

Moving on... the good news is that I'm creating! And therefore working on my goal. YAY! :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kicking Things Up a Notch

I've been trying to ramp up my creative efforts lately. The piece above is today's effort... inspired by Marsha Jorgensen of Tumble Fish Studios.
I'm learning a few things:
1. I work better if collect my collage materials together ahead of time. When I have a color palette selected in advance, I make nicer pieces.
2. Fragile papers can be frustrating. The background of the piece above is from a 1909 school book. It's made of thick newsprint-like paper that almost breaks instead of cuts. Love the color, concerned about the paper.
3. I need to work on controlling the size of my pieces. I build my collages with no concern for framing or standard mat sizes. When I get around to selling pieces on Etsy, I'm going to have to figure out how to limit myself to certain sizes because I'm not a big fan of cutting my own mats.
4. I'm not sure ATCs are a good format for me. (The piece above obviously isn't an ATC, but that's what else I've been working on lately.) It's hard for me to work so small. Maybe I'll find another way to make them that works better for me.
5. I need to just keep creating!
I sent in my first contest entry today. I really have no expectations, but I'm glad I did it. Usually I make excuses for why I can't do that kind of thing.
And now, I'm off to start another project while Harper is playing.
I'll try to get a Harper update in tomorrow. She's in a really fun phase right now and we're thoroughly enjoying her!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Post #299 Celebration

It's my 299th post. And to celebrate (because celebrating 300 would be just too normal... oh, and I'll probably forget by then), I went out in the world today.

I took a photo so I'd have proof.

I immediately regretted taking the photo because I saw what a bad hair day I was having, and I almost bailed on the plan. Then I realized that the photo showed me still in my house, so what the heck does that prove?

Well, you'll have to take my word for it. I left the house. WOOHOO!

My leaving the house celebration (Oops, I mean 299th post celebration!) included a trip to the post office to mail the notes I'm holding in the photo above. They're ATCs headed to France and Italy. Too bad my celebration didn't include a visit to one of those places. After that, I headed to the antique mall and got the treasures shown below.

My mother-in-law and her friend Yvonne scoped out the green enamel pan and the Railways Guide last weekend, so I picked them up today. Here's the whole lot again all in a pile now waiting to be used in some fan-tab-u-lous collages.

Then I stopped by Java Johnny's to get a chicken salad sandwich and some Chai tea to go.

My little celebration was no thrill-a-minute roller coaster ride, but it was a change from my normal routine. Every once in a while I need to remember what it's like to put on shoes. And pants.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Want a bite?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Something fabulous!

Something fabulous happened Friday evening. An artist who I really admire likes my work! Marsha at Tumble Fish Studio (link to her flickr OR link to her blog OR link to her Etsy site) sent me a lovely email about visiting my flickr site and if I post my work, she'd like to buy it! Her email had my eyes full of tears. It's so wonderful to have affirmation about my artwork... especially from an artist whose work is so wonderful and so carefully made.

Here's something else that's fabulous... Marsha's having a sale on her Etsy site (see link above) to clear out her stock of older work. I've snatched up three of her small pieces so far. Marsha even went above and beyond to redesign one of her works that I had purchased because she wasn't happy with it... I can tell she's an artist because she's pretty critical of her own work!

Well, Miss Harper is throwing a mini-fit... well, as much of a fit as she throws which isn't much...so I'd better go.

Check out Marsha's sites... she has some amazing deals on her fabulous art! (P.S. to Marsha... can't wait until you post your new work!) :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We're Excited!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Clean baby.

Blogger didn't want to upload photos just now, so you're gonna have to go over to flickr to see our clean little girl. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sit up! 1-9-09


Sit up! 1-9-09, originally uploaded by shellypaints.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Random Thoughts

Have you seen those ADT commercials where one or more bad guys break into well lit, obviously occupied, nice neighborhood-y homes? The most recent version I saw was two guys dressed in black peeping in at an unsuspecting woman who is getting ready to work out. They then bust down the front door and the alarm scares them away. Oh, thank goodness the alarm went off and the ADT people came to the rescue. {Criminy.}

Those commercials freak me out and annoy the heck out of me at the same time. I don't need someone to try to make me feel insecure in my own home at every commercial break so that I'll buy a security system. My house in SC was broken into twice - both times in broad daylight when it was obvious that no one was home. I'm guessing that's how most robberies go rather than the we're peeping in your windows at night version. But then what do I know.

Next random thought... why aren't parking lots designed better? I mean, I know they're for parking cars, but what about us poor saps who have to walk behind all those cars who aren't looking where they're going when they are backing out of their parking space? If you couldn't tell, I had a little incident at the grocery store the other day. I was paying attention. The driver of the car wasn't really. I'd blame it all on the driver, but then I got thinking about parking lot design and forgave him.

Final random thought (for now)... I've been thinking about my twenty year class reunion lately. It's still more than a year away, but I'm already wondering what kind of event we can pull together. Really glad the internet exists because it shouldn't be too difficult to track folks down. This brings up a side random thought about how at our ten year reunion I swore that I wasn't going to go to any more reunions. I probably said I'd never have kids too. Looks like you just can't believe anything I say. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hard at Work

Harper's helping me work for the rest of the week while her Grammy is away at a funeral.
We're making phone calls to important customers.
Writing proposals.
Reading up on all the rules.
This is hard work! Time for a nap.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Howdy!


Harper, 8 months old, originally uploaded by shellypaints.

Harper is 8 months old today!


We're trying to convince her to crawl, but she's not having it. Princess Harper prefers to be carried.