Saturday, May 17, 2014

Porch Therapy

I love the little porch on the back of our house.
It is a 3 season, but I have an electric heater that warms it up in the winter.
The cats love it, too, as it catches the afternoon sun for their lounging pleasure!

There is an old butcher block table there that I never have to worry about messing up.
Today I set to work with some napkins, tissue paper and methyl cellulose wallpaper paste
and did some collaging. I started with a piece of freezer paper, shiny side up.

I ripped and cut the napkins and tissue, along with some scraps I had of 
handmade papers, layering them with the paste. The methyl cellulose 
was suggested by my collage class instructor, the great Amy Ropple.
I had some left over from our last class, so it was synchronicity! 

More layering...

And done! For now!
I carefully peeled it from the freezer paper when it was dry
and taped it onto the porch window for this picture,

You could also use Mod Podge for this, but the methyl cellulose
is less sticky and dries with a matte finish. I used a flat brush to spread it.
Later, I did a second collage, in a different color scheme.

I was inspired by this video by Suzi Dennis.

Hope you're having a very good weekend!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fictional Portraits: Laura

This is Laura. She lives in a studio apartment in Maine and works in 
an orthodontist's office. She loves cream puffs and lighthouses, and, in the evenings, 
she plays drums in her boyfriend's rock band, Open Windows. 
She plans to make this her full time profession, when they make it big.
Meanwhile, she is looking for a used bicycle to ride to work,
since her car has two flat tires.

Often times people are not what they appear to be.
When I create a "person", I like to imagine what might be going
on in his or her life, and I love to reach for the unexpected.
Right now I'm experimenting with different presentations of
my "cast of characters" and trying to decide whether to 
continue with mixed media, add a background, make 
a border or go to simple pen, ink and watercolor drawings.
They are fun to make, so I'll continue to create them,
trying different techniques.
I'd love to know what you think.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mothers Day!

    Mom at 84, taking her first great-grandson out for a walk

For as long as I can remember, my first thought upon hearing the words "Mother's Day" has been an appreciation of my wonderful mom. We had our ups and downs, like any mother and daughter, but in her later years we became the best of friends. My mother could make me laugh like no one else could, and we had great conversations and shopping trips together. I greatly admired her devotion to my father, her wonderful cooking and organizational skills (neither of which I inherited), and her quiet strength when things got tough. She was a real lady, and each day I enjoyed watching as she applied her makeup and styled her curly hair. She was so skillful, and throughout my life I became accustomed to seeing her hands creating beautiful embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, hooked rugs and sewn items. When my sister and I were young, she knit us sweaters with little scottie dogs worked into the pattern, and even made us wool coats when we were a bit older. She made me feel very special, and I miss her.

With my daughter circa 1985

These days,  I also appreciate my own role as a mother. My daughter, now 33, was a creative and funny child. We too had our "moments" as she grew up, but we are now very good friends and I admire her greatly. She is a professor at an art university in Canada, an author and an inventor, and a wonderful young woman. Could I be more proud of her? I don't think so!

 I've been very blessed with wonderful people in my life,
including my sweet husband, who surprised me with these flowers.

To every mother who reads this,
I wish you a happy day,
and the love and respect
you so deserve.
And to those who are not mothers,
I hope you hold good memories of your 
own mothers on this day.

Happy Mothers Day!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Handmade Joy Exchange

I recently participated in the 3rd annual Handmade Joy Exchange,
created and hosted by my blogging friend Anne Butera of My Giant Strawberry.
7 bloggers from different states, plus one from England, participated.

I received the name of Laurie Lewis at Hedgerow Rose blog,
and I made this beaded fabric picture for her.

…and sent it along with a card I had made last year.

I received this beautifully wrapped package

an amazingly talented photographer 
and creator of beautiful handcrafted things.

Even the envelope was lovely!

The package contained these lovely postcards I cannot wait to send (after I have 
enjoyed them for a while!) ...

each one is a treasure...

and this is a beautiful Polaroid print which I have displayed
on my dresser.

And here is a tiny shadow box of whimsically named precious stones...

with a hanger on the back! I love tiny things!

Such an embarrassment of riches!!!
Cori, you are too kind and I love each and every gift!

Anne, thank you once again for facilitating this lovely exchange!

Hope everyone is having a very good day!