Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Paper Dolls for Me

You've seen the lesser detailed photos of all those glorious paper dolls, but there was just no way to keep the swap somewhat orderly and get good detailed photos of all the work. Each participant interpreted so differently, and the detail and thought that went into the dolls was really very special.

What I can show you are the three I kept for myself. Each unique and each very special, as were all the dolls -- this was an absolutely delightful swap to host, as I could send each and every one with pride and delight. The ones I kept came from Saundra James, Jenny Rohrs, and Anne Chafee. Anne submitted six dolls (it was a 3 for 3 swap) and each were made in a similar style. They were made from advertising cards that she picked up while visiting France. It seems the parades of acting troupes, advertising their show, hand out these cards -- brightly colored and nicely finished -- and people just toss them away, so Anne gathered them up and used them for the bodies of the dolls. She also used paint chips for hands, feet, and heads, and a supply of vintage junk jewelry for the arms and legs. Very clever.

Saundra's doll was done as a grommet doll, with stamped papers and loads of artistic detail. Saundra had these so well packaged within the cellophane bags, I hated to take them out to photo, so I didn't know exactly what I was getting, but I loved the body shape. This is such a pretty doll. Here it is:

Jenny sent three similar Spring themed dolls. I haven't confirmed this with her yet, but I think the pouffy skirts are dyed coffee filters. There's stamping, embossing, vellum and all kinds of good "stuff."

Aren't they all fabulous??

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Inner Gypsy

Well, it looks like this thing is finally working again!

I'm taking Sherry Goshon's Inner Child class on Joggles, and I'm tying it to Barb Kobe's Medicine Doll Class. Instead of an inner child, I'm working on an inner gypsy. This is as much as I have done so far, and I'm a little stumped for a number of reasons -- not the least of which is that I'm just kind of restless and disjointed tonight. My feet are hot. My jeans are too tight. My office is moving, apparently, and I'm the only one getting an interior, window-less spot. Numb tongue again. Sigh.

Anyway, here's what I have done so far, and I have some questions for Sherry before I go further. I'll, um, keep you posted....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Paper doll swap

I hosted a 3/3 paper doll swap on the CPS list. Counting my own cluster of 3, I had 20 packets of 3 to distribute...though two of them went to one person. Here are a couple of pix of them as they came in to me, all spread out on the guest bed. If you want to see each group of three by the various artists, you can go to and see each of them.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

For Yarngoddess

I told Diane (Yarngoddess) that I was going to post pix of my spider webs, and then promptly forgot. That was a few days ago, but as you can see, some things aren't lost forever, just temporarily misplaced in this little pea-brain.

So for Diane, or any other lovers of the magic of spider webs, here are two pix that Gerry and I managed last weekend. The rest are blurry, mostly from trying to focus on the spider and not having a tripod in use.

I'm so goofy! Or, my favorite things...

I just told my friend Kai that I was done making my paperdolls for the paperdoll swap, and I was going to stay out of scheduled stuff for a while so I could just satisfy myself and see where things lead me. Plus, I want to get some things done on the house before my son and DIL come to visit for Thanksgiving. Guess what I did? I joined Sherry Goshon's teapot doll swap, I joined Barb Kobe's medicine doll class, and I joined Sherry's Inner Child class. I still have my unfinished doll just for me, a cat I want to bead, some clothing and purse patterns I want to use, and many more dolls dancing in my head! Having a day job really interferes with creativity for me, not to mention limiting my soap creations!

One thing I did finish was the seventh collage from one magazine. This one is a little happier, isn't it? I tore the stuff this time, and picked colors, textures, and images of foods I like! There has been an interesting discussion between us on the CPS list, as Diane (Yarngoddess) and I seemed to be creating dueling collages. Our styles are completely different, as she leaves space and makes a statement with color and shape. I love covering the whole background, although I did do one with space. It's interesting, so interesting, the way people take the same challenge, the same general materials, and come up with something so different.

Without further rumination, here's the last one -- My Favorite Things (although it was almost "My Life is Brilliant" because that song kept going through my head while I was working).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Collage #6, Clean-up Crew

This poor premier issue of Hallmark Magazine is getting a work-out, isn't it? It's a magazine I'll probably pick up on occasion, but never subscribe to. I like magazines with in-depth articles, like Vanity Fair, or Mary Engelbreit Home (one of the few decorating magazines that gives numerous pix of the homes they feature). Of course, there are also the art/craft magazines like Art Doll Quarterly, and Cloth Paper Studio...I would never cut those up. But this Hallmark is like magazine light, or magazine simple.

So...for this collage, I seemed to be drawn to photos of rough wood, piles of trash (Katrina pix), and bare branches/fallen leaves. As I began to trim and arrange, I could hear my aunt's voice in my head from years ago, (growing up in that duck and cover era I mentioned before) when she said "I'm not going to hide in a bomb shelter, I'm going to stand in the front yard. Who wants to be part of the clean up crew?"

Do you ever get words, or phrases stuck in your head? I do, more and more lately. It used to be songs, or fragments of songs, and sometimes they would last for days. I had a wonderful acupuncturist who once told me I suffered from circular thinking. He actually helped me for a while. Now, I get fewer songs stuck in my head, and more phrases...things I hear repeatedly on the news, names, or a phrase someone spouts at work. Too bad I left that acupuncturist behind in Minneapolis.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Collage #5, same magazine

Boy, I have to tell you, the magazine I've been using is getting really ratty looking! I decided tonight to work in one color, if I could, and did pretty well until I decided the picture of the cat just had to be included. I tried...

I just have two more days to go. This magazine has lots of Halloween images, and I'm tempted to do one more, but it would almost be too easy. Tomorrow's another day, right? :-)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I'm on a (political) roll

I know this blog is supposed to be about what I create in my treehouse or in my soaproom, but I have a lot on my mind lately about the state of things. Sometimes I wonder how my Aquarian idealist generation got into this mess. Other times, I think I've just become more concerned because of my new granddaughter. Either way, I'm still tempted to put that paper bag over my head...

This morning, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I'm sure they get lots, so it's not likely to be printed, so I thought I'd put it here instead. I'll feel better if I foist my complaints off on someone, so you readers are my victims :-)

I wrote:

My husband and I are relatively new residents of Ohio, having purchased a home in the Cleveland area just over a year ago. We’ve had numerous discussions between us, anticipating election season here, considering the attention Ohio has received in recent elections, and its power as a “swing state.”

If I could chose one word to describe campaign season it would have to be awful…no, make that horrific. Of course, a less reactionary summary would be uninformative. If I can add a second word, I’d make it “completely uninformative.”

Watching the televised campaign ads, listening to the radio ads, is totally worthless for decision making. I don’t have a single candidate I wish to research further. You see, I have yet to experience one ad that tells what the candidate stands for, what their background is, what they hope to accomplish should they achieve the post for which they campaign. All I have seen or heard is what they feel is wrong with the other guy.

The results? Considering all the negative campaigns, I know who I will vote AGAINST, but can’t name a single candidate I will vote FOR. (Should you wonder, I will actively vote against those with the worst negative campaigns regarding their opponent.) Shame on you, Ohio politicians. The nation watches, and this is how you conduct yourselves.
So there you go. One of my many opinions for the day. I'll let you know if it makes print.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Yes! Collage #4

I can't believe I'm still with it! This one is a little more upbeat than yesterday...Welcome Home. I like it. It talks about the joy of home indulgences.

I also am reworking the one altered fabric panel. It was just too disjointed, and I was very unhappy with the one applique. Now I need to find some black trim, probably tomorrow, because I've used up all the black trim I have, or else its the wrong size.

Day 3 Collage

This "collage a day from one magazine" took a little less time. I was sleepy...and it's funny, but even after just three days, it's getting harder to find stuff for a collage. I wonder what day 7 will look like, if I get that far.

These images remind me of singing "God Bless America" when I was in grade school...a long time ago. I got to thinking of all the things I miss about the way I used to see myself as an American, even if I did grow up in the duck-and-cover era. Then I got to thinking about how ashamed I am of late, knowing how this country has fallen in the view of other nations, and I want to put a paper bag over my head. I could go on and on about the state of things right now, and how upset and shamed I am by them, but what good would it do? Anyway...that's why it says "I miss America." Hopefully, today's collage will be a little more upbeat. Darn full moon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Panel 2, Collage 2

Today I made my collage for day 2 of 7, all from the same magazine. This one is called "Autumn's Crowning Glory."

And this is the other altered fabric panel for the altered wearable fabric panel swap...or whatever the heck it's called. Gerry loves this one. I wanted it rough, and slightly cockeyed, which I achieved all too well...and now I'm not sure it's what I wanted after all. I love the colors, however, and did achieve what I was trying for. I have a blazer I love that is done with fabric shapes, cut out, and appliqued, without any finished edges. That's what I wanted here, too. I think my favorite part is the button in the middle! ;-)

Nourish Mama Cass

This is a re-do of a popular challenge on the CPS list -- Collage a Day. Take one magazine and create one collage a day for 7 days from that single mag. I didn't participate the last time, but got an early start this time. I doubt I'll make all 7, but since the challenge was announced, and I had a magazine I was willing to hack up, I got started!

And in other little bit of a brugmansia that I brought from NC a year ago, is the one plant I managed to winter over, plant outside in the spring, and have trive. It makes me so happy! This is the view from our loft window...

And this is a zoom photo of the blossoms that I managed from the same point in the loft...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Paper Dolls

I'm hosting a paper doll swap on the CPS list. Even though the swap is 3 for 3, I ended up making 4 dolls. I used the angel pattern from the back of Beryl Taylor's "Mixed Media Explorations" book. I've been itching to make some paper dolls with all the talk and books recently on paper dolls on the various lists. This was so much fun...and amazing to see what a difference one person can make with the same pattern! I was able to use lots of the handmade papers I have in stock (that I STILL haven't put into kits to sell), and bits of trims and other great things. Really a fun way to charge the creative batteries.

Three of the participants in the swap have mailed their pieces to me already. I'll post those pictures later. Counting myself, there are 24 participants, and the interpretations of mixed media paper doll are amazing. What an exciting swap!

This one uses handmade papers, a face from a magazine ad, and the main body is from a paper napkin.

This one uses some handmade paper, some fibrous paper, a face from a 50s-looking ad, and some gold trim. The base has part of the napkin I used on the body above.

This one is cardstock, ribbon, tiny hole-less beads, a UTEE molded face, and a peacock feather.

This one is almost all paper except for the little sparkly bits. Yarn for hair, which I poked through holes and "sewed" with a large-eyed needle. The face is stamped from a set of face stamps I bought at SkyBluePink.