Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Beginning..........

The weather outside is frightful but my fire is soooo delightful! I love being off of work!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Combining Collage and Fabric Art

My creative endeavors this past summer involved trying to combine fabric art with my usual collage materials. I was inspired by the work exhibited in Stampington's "Sew" magazine as well as projects shown in Cloth Paper Scissors. I haven't been entirely happy with the results. It's frustrating because I really enjoy working with the fabrics, the layers, and the different textures. I love the translucency of some of the fabrics and the versatility of cheesecloth (scrim). My comfort zone, however, lies with paper, paint, metal, wood, nails, and glue. I thought the perfect solution would be to combine the two. Something seems to be off though. I'll keep trying, but subsequent attempts will most likely take place next summer. For now, I'll stick with my comfort zone. Besides, I got a Dremel Drill with attachments for Christmas!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy New Years...please

The year 2009 was a difficult year for my community, my friends, my family, and for me. Do we have boundless blessings that are not afforded to many others in the world? yes, of course...could things have been worse? always..... Everything is relative, right? From our perspective, things were really tough this year. I sincerely hope, for all our sakes, that the coming year is calmer, healthier, more peaceful, more optimistic, and filled with a modicum of hope for the future. Happy New Year Everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays Everyone!! Here is the last installment from our 2009 Collaborative calendar. I hope you've enjoyed the images. Have a wonderful time with family and friends as we close out this year...Patti :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Really???

I've been gone a long time! This always happens when I return to work. I'm just too tired at the end of the day to think about art. As a result, I get really stressed out. I need the calm and serenity that art brings me.

I woke up this morning determined to get some of my Christmas projects out of the way. As I covered my work/ kitchen table with glitter, I realized that it feels as though it was just a few weeks ago when I blogged about glitter! How did the year go so quickly?!

Glitter represents family and brightness and anticipation of good things to come. Though it doesn't usually make an appearance in my art the rest of the year, the child in me enjoys the annual journey into little bits of glass and light. It makes me feel better to have it out.

The year seems to be rushing towards a conclusion. Maybe the fates are just as anxious for a new beginning as we are. The year 2009 was tough here in Michigan. Maybe the key is to keep the glitter out on the kitchen table throughout the year.......hummmmm, it does have its possibilities..........

Friday, November 6, 2009

November

My husband took this picture last winter at a park near our home. The original photo was published in Stampington & Co.'s Life Images magazine last year. It then became a part of our collaborative calendar when I added the image of a little boy peeking from behind the tree. I think the photo of the boy has a ethereal quality that is reminiscent of fairies, sprites, and maybe even tiny spirits. It's my favorite of all of the calendar pages. When living in Michigan, one looks for pops of color in the endless winter :)


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday: Wings

"I'm Still Standing" created in 2007 with recycled doll parts, vintage fuel gauge, paperclips, Mica, ball chain, rubber stamps, and old rusty metal :)

Survive

Most items related to breast cancer have the word "hope" associated with them. When my mother was first diagnosed, I made an assemblage that I called "Hope". The hope was unfounded in her case and I began to feel as though the word might be too tentative, too dainty. I don't want to rely on hope alone; I want to Survive. The word feels stronger, more determined, more of a command. We have to be warriors in the fight against cancer.
All of this came to me while creating the above piece. I was feeling fiesty that day :)
Mixed media assemblage with vintage bible text, antique Mica, cancelled flemish stamps, black gesso, rubber stamps, and canvas.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October Thoughts




My first encounter with breast cancer was on September 30 of 2000. For the first time, I understood the phrase "paralyzed with fear". I was home alone and received a phone call from my doctor informing me that I had a tumor in my breast. I remember sitting at the table for a very long time after that call just staring into space. I didn't know how to feel or how to respond. I didn't know how to tell my family. I started with my mother who immediately expressed the thought that if I had been more careful about my weight, I would not have received that type of phone call. From there I moved to my husband (should have started there) whose obvious fear served to both make me feel very loved and to scare the bejeebers out of me. We then decided to only tell my boys as much as they needed to know at the time.




I knew that my grandmother had died of stomach cancer and had always heard that the disease sometimes skipped a generation. I had convinced myself, however, that I and the other members of my family would live forever. Being faced with a potentially fatal disease can be a rude awakening. It is a defining moment in one's life to realize that your time on earth is finite and completely unpredictable.




The tumor turned out to be benign and life went on . I found myself to be a little more serious, a little more cautious, and sadly a little more grown up. Seven years later, my mother was diagnosed with second hand smoke lung cancer. Once more the ugly, vile word had entered my life. Mom fought bravely and died six months later. Once more I moved on feeling even more vulnerable and a lot more grown up. Nothing like the loss of a parent to force you to face your own mortality.




Fast forward to 2009. This time, I received a voice mail message, "doctor would like you to see a surgeon". Biopsies, surgery, bi-annual exams, and now a five year regimen of cancer fighting medication. "Tumor benign but precancerous cells present", I've dodged a bullet again, but have reached a point of feeling fear every time I hear the dreaded "c" word on the radio or see it in print. Suddenly people all around me are being tested, diagnosed, operated on. It's become unavoidable.




I realize, that with the exception of my mother's fate, my story is a (pardon the pun) benign one. I can't imagine the fear factor when the diagnosis is malignant. I conduct a fund raiser in my building every year to support research. I buy pink ribbons at the grocery store and purchase all of the pink ribbon products I can find. I urge everyone to do what they can during October and throughout the year. We have to find a way to beat this hideous disease. Join me in praying for breast cancer victims and survivors everywhere. Thank you.....




The above pages are from a journal entry I produced in 2000 while waiting for the results of my first tumor...


Friday, October 9, 2009



The latest ATC swap theme was Halloween. I know that my swap partner, Veronica, loves Halloween so I went a little crazy and decided to mail my canvas to her in a handmade miniature coffin. I had a lot of fun creating the coffin! Using cardboard, tissue paper, distress ink, crackle paint, and vintage text I was able to create the top and bottom. The hinges were fashioned out of black ribbon. One of my favorite things to come out of my kitchen table studio this year.....:)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Masked

The Ultimate Mask was accepted into the Blood Bath City annual art show at the Anton Art Center! Hooray!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday: The Crash

What a wild and crazy ride it's been trying to keep up with the economy! Businesses going under, companies in the tank, CEOs getting indicted, unions being busted, homes going into foreclosure, dreams being put on hold. We can rage, cry, laugh, or dance our way through it. Maybe all of the above?
The theme for Inspire Me Thursday this week is "newspapers". The Crash is collage on heavy watercolor paper with rubber stamps, ink, and vintage papers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Anatomy


I've been thinking a lot about anatomy lately.
Halloween projects have caused me to explore the human skull and the submission for The Anton Art Centre show led me to thinking about the truth we hold inside. My youngest son is in premed at the University of Michigan (have I told you how proud I am of him?) and is currently taking a bio anatomy class. In a recent phone call, he described a dissection that involved a female leg, toenail polish and all! He loves exploring the human body and is fascinated by its inner workings.


On top of all of this, I watched the TV show Numbers last night where Rob Morrow described himself as a bag of bone and tissue. He was lamenting the loss of his feeling of invincibility following a gun shot wound. So, what are we? A fascinating complex organism both tough in its endurance and vulnerable in its fragility? Or, are we simply a bag of bones? Most likely a very interesting combination of both. Here's to anatomy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

October Sneaky Pete

Look! The little thief has gutted our pumpkin!
We had so much fun watching the squirrels dig out our pumpkins last Fall. Instead of putting our various gourds (I like a lot of pumpkins) out with the trash after Halloween, we placed them in the backyard and watched as the neighborhood squirrels had themselves a Thanksgiving sized banquet large enough to last them through the long cold Michigan winter.
My husband took lots of pictures and we included this one in our 2009 calendar collaboration. The vintage sisters looking on from one of my favorite windows look absolutely delighted with the scene in front of them.......:)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Ultimate Mask: The Human Face


I recently completed an entry for the Anton Art Centre's fall exhibit. The theme was "mask". I tried to come up with a clever mask to create but didn't feel inspired by Mardi Gras or Halloween type masks.


I'm not sure if difficulties at work may have led me down this path (I've stopped questioning why or where inspiration is leading me) but ultimately, I couldn't think of a more effective mask than the human face. From there, things just began to fall in to place.


The dapper gentleman is my grandfather and the stern looking lady is an adopted relative. They are out for a stroll with their true selves and have brought along their public faces just in case the occasion arises which would require false charity. This collage is dedicated to my friend Veronica who has proven herself to be a Halloween Goddess in the ATC world!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Prayer Box











There once was a little house built with love and filled with prayers. Each prayer was carefully
printed on encaustic parchment and packed with reverence and faith. This is a house built on hope and optimism. Welcome!


Someone I know is in dire need of prayer. I gladly offer mine up for her and her family. It seems as though every time I think things are tough in my own life, I hear about someone else's burdens and feel ashamed for my grousing. It isn't that I doubt my right to feel what I feel, it's just that other people's problems can sometimes make mine seem less significant.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday


Plaid!! Plaid tidings from my heart to yours! What if our hearts were secretly plaid? And what if each section of the plaid were a secret chamber? And what if we were able to keep all of our deepest darkest secrets in each of those chambers? Well I think that would just be plaidtastic!

Mixed Media Collage: vintage papers, anatomical clip art, gesso, wire

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Circus is Back in Town!

All I can say is, thank goodness I had such a steady stream of inspiration this summer! I am now back in the, "I'm too tired to do anything but come home and collapse" mode. I'm either bringing school work home or sitting on the couch like a lump staring into space every night. It always happens this way at the beginning of the school year. I am pulled in so many directions all day long that I feel as though I never get anything done.

I know that the teachers working directly with kids right now are equally exhausted, but I never realized until I moved to the office just how mentally exhausting working with adults and doing paperwork can be too.
In two weeks, I will begin working with my students again. I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully, once my body and brain adjust to the circus being back in town, I 'll have some energy left at the end of the day to do something creative..........

This assemblage is titled "On Entertaining Clowns" because after all, clowns need a little magic in their lives too, don't they?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Favorite Movie Quote



My friend Veronica sent me this wonderful ATC as part of our "Favorite Movie Quotes" swap. I love her glammy, glitzy style. This quote is from the movie, "Ghost". Our next swap theme is "Halloween". I had a sneak peek at her contribution on her blog, http://artbyveronica.blogspot.com/, and I can't wait to see it in person :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday Challenge



I did this "Gal Pals" collage several years ago and had it framed for our living room. We attempted to scan it through the frame, and I'm not crazy about the outcome. It seems that everything I scan through my scanner lately ends up with a blue cast. Frustration!
I created this background with a number of chalk ink colors, oil pastels, vintage photos, and stickers. The embedded text describes the ups and downs of relationships between women.
I like my "Gal Pals", I wish you could see it in all its glory :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hearts! Hearts! Hearts!























“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.” Albert Einstein

My exploration of the human heart continues as I work through my grief. This quote by Albert Einstein strikes a cord. It makes me think about idealism, political posturing, fanaticism, basically folks jumping on band wagons without examining what may lie in their own hearts. I think this is especially true today when people are so busy and pulled in so many different directions just trying to get through the business of life. It's easier to let others sway us with their opinions than to take the time to understand the issues ourselves and then make conscious, informed, heartfelt decisions. We need to slow down. It's too important that we try to "see things with (our) own eyes, and feel things with (our) own hearts........."
The heart above was created by my mother-in-law . Thank you!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday Challenge


God finds a low branch for the bird that cannot fly......

I came across this Turkish proverb recently and it really struck a cord with me. When I first saw it, I related it to my work. I think of those little birds I work with who find it difficult to fly at the same pace as their peers. The proverb helps to assure me that they too will find their path, their "lower branch", and live happy successful lives.


When I saw the theme for this week's challenge, the proverb was still on my mind. My chair represents the "lower branch" provided by a kindly caretaker for a tired little bird who could no longer fly to protect her family.........
Chair created out of foamcore, mixture of vintage Bible papers, cheesecloth, dry brushed with Gesso, rusted wire, garden screening, bark from Marquette, Michigan, handmade nest created with excelsior, thread, shredded paper, and store bought eggs........

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hearts for Mama!

My beautiful son Joel has made his mama a heart for my heart challenge! He is a wonderful cook and is always very good to his mama. I love you Joel!

An Idea is Born

I recently viewed Diana Evans, www.dianaevans.blogspot.com response to IMT's theme of pears. She has a wonderful, unique style of painting that includes the look of stitches. Her painting of a pear included a light bulb shape within the pear itself.

Diana's painting reminded me of a piece I completed last summer that usually sits in my office at work. The piece is called An Idea is Born. The piece includes an old cigar box, a used paintbrush, aged copper, a handwoven bird's nest, old papers, an antique light bulb, and a purchased bird.
What began as a typical morning of laying eggs, became quite a surprise for our little mama bird. As her egg grew and grew, she realized that this particular contribution to the nature of things most likely qualified her to wear the title of "Queen Mother".......thus, the crown!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Filler Up!


Back to work this week! I was inspired to create this last spring when someone asked me what I do for a living. Sometimes our students come to us with so little foundation. They haven't been taken to the zoo, exposed to play groups, gone on nature walks, or traveled outside of their neighborhoods. These children come from homes that are so socially and economically depressed, that they are starving for information. Their world has been viewed through such a narrow lens that to expect them to come to school fully prepared to absorb reading and math skills is unreasonable.
My job is to expose them to as much information as I can in the short amount allotted. My classroom teachers address their academic needs and I try to fill in the environmental and foundational gaps. I would love to just pull up in a big bus, load them in, and take them to museums, ball games, science centers, and zoos! I would pull into the lots, unload the kids and tell the curators, "Filler Up!" please!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

An Angelic Outcast


My Beauty Denied Trio have been joined by an angelic outcast. She has tried really hard to fit in with all of the other angels, but always seems to fall short. Her wings are tattered, her hair is unruly, her jewels are covered in rust, and her aura is in an obvious state of decomposition.
Though she remains optimistic, as the years go by, it becomes more apparent that she will never quite measure up to the expectations of others.
Her true gift is that she never fails to try, to give it her all, and to think of the needs of others. She will work herself weary, but she will never be what they want her to be. She will forever remain an Angelic Outcast.............

Hearts from my hubby......


My husband has created a heart for me in a most unconventional manner for him. Isn't it wonderful? My family has really jumped in to support my heart challenge. They don't always understand me, but they always have my back!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Empty Nest Once More




My Trevor left for school again this afternoon and with him he took a big chunk of my heart. I enjoy his company so much when he is home and miss him terribly when he leaves.


Trevor is premed and when he heard about my heart challenge, he decided to draw his own personal representation of the human heart.


Thank you Trev! While you are slaving over those books, remember how much we love you and support you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday - Sweet Agony

This piece came together very quickly and was so much fun. I always wanted to do something with the pear shape. I also love this rubber stamp by The Uptown Design Company @ http://www.uptowndesign.com/. It is called "Contemplation-Time to Fly" I've always thought of it as a fairy in agony. Not sure why? The sweet, of course, refers to the pear. I just looked at the whole thing and that title came to mind. Maybe I was thinking about the fact that I have to go back to work soon, and yet I am grateful for having a job - thus, sweet agony!
By the way, I used the advice sent to me about using a scanner to capture the glitter on this piece. I do think it shows more but my husband is also going to implement the advice for taking a photo of it angled in the window. We've just had rain for days here, and I didn't want to wait to post :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lemonade out of lemons.......




I mentioned earlier that I had attended an education conference this summer. Though the conference was well done, it was really geared for those just entering the field of education. After 32 years, I found it to be lacking in new information. While dieing of boredom on the last afternoon, I hear the speaker say that she is going to be handing out prizes at the end of the session. Considering the uninteresting subject she was covering, I thought that was a brilliant move to keep her audience from drifting out the door.


The first name pulled from the basket was mine. Wow! I never win anything and here I was the first name called. I was excited, maybe the two days hadn't been a complete loss! What would I win? A new professional guide, the latest children's book? When the nice lady handed me my prize, I couldn't believe it.




It was a 5x5x5x5 square block of wood, the kind that fence posts are made of. The block had been painted black and had clear plastic credit card sleeves attached to four sides. The idea was to slip concept cards (such as letters, numbers, math facts etc. ) into the sleeves and to have students roll the block like dice. Student would then be required to solve the fact or produce a word beginning with the letter sound etc.


Cute idea, been done a million times and usually with far less dangerous materials than this ginormous hunk of wood :) All was not lost though! I saw the wood and immediately knew what I was going to do with it! Meet "Carbon Footprint". My answer to two days of lectures on fairly redundant information. Recycle, reuse, repurpose...........

Monday, August 24, 2009

Living the Dream

I named this collage, "Living the Dream" tongue in cheek. Now, reflecting back on the morning I've had, it seems appropriate to feature it in my blog today! It was on of those mornings, where by 10:30 I had already dealt with my son's car needing over 1000.00 worth of repairs, my girlfriend calling with unsettling news about her latest mammogram, and my Weeping Cherry tree out front giving up the fight to live. Obviously the mammogram takes top priority to my issues, but it just makes you wonder why tough things seem to come in waves. Even now, as I am sitting here writing out my blog, I look down to see that my newly pressed blue shirt somehow got covered in bleach when I did a load of laundry earlier!
My girlfriend will be fine, my credit card will handle the car repairs, and my oldest has offered to cut down the tree. The blue shirt has now become a new painting shirt (you can't have enough of those) and tomorrow will be another day. After all, I am currently "living the dream"......... right? :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hearts have arrived!















I posted a request (challenge) a few days ago asking bloggers to help me on a journey to deal with the loss of my mother and to explore the connection between the brain and the human heart. Jocelyn from London http://soulbrush-atc.blogspot.com/ sent me the attached hearts in answer to my challenge. I particularly love the apples! Thank you Jocelyn!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

United at Last


I finally finished the third member of my Beauty Denied trio. I actually think this one is my favorite. She is the little sister and has a certain delicacy about her. One of the things I really like about the way these three turned out is the plaster-like look of their skin. It's a technique I use that combines tissue paper (must be natural colored paper), gel, dry brushed gesso, and vintage paper. I love the way this looks. The finish reminds me of ancient Greek statues.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday Challenge

http://www.inspiremethursday.com/


I have decided to try my hand at challenges! This has truly been a summer of firsts for me. The challenge was to represent a cupcake. I really like the way my cupcake turned out but I have one question. Does anyone have a technique for showing glitter on a photo? My cute cupcake, entitled "Go Big or Go Home" (which is clearly my philosophy in all things: witness my children), has some really scrumptious glitter on it in all the right places. I'm not sure that it showed clearly on the picture. If you have some advice for me, please let me know! Off to do weekly shopping. Cupcakes, hmmmmmmm............

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have a request........


Have you ever had thoughts swirl around in your mind, stay there for some time, and eventually link up so that they begin to make sense to you? A couple of things have prompted me to ask this question:


1) A book by Noah Scalin, Skulls

2) The death of my mother


Mr. Scalin announced on his website, http://www.skulladay.com/, that he would be creating a skull a day out of a variety of materials for a year. He subsequently created and received enough skulls to publish a book and receive the Webby People's Voice Award in 2008. I purchased the book and have since been fascinated with the idea of creating a specific, recognizable shape out of a variety of materials. I don't have the ability or time it would take to create something every day for a year (I do have a day job :) and am more intrigued by the process than the schedule.

How does all of this relate to the death of my mother? Losing my mother was the first true experience I've had of losing someone close to me. For the first time, I knew what was meant by the concept of having a broken heart. It's made me ponder the existence of a soul, the ability of organic organs (such as the heart) to feel, the relationship between parents and children, the correlation between thought, emotion, and function, the pain of loss, and in short - the workings of the human heart. What causes the actual organ to feel pain that is caused by emotional responses rather than physical assault?

I'm not pretending that I will be able to find answers to these questions, but I do think that I will eventually be able to come to terms with the mysteries that lie within. Art always helps me to work through any inner struggles I may have.

OKay, now to my request: I would like to explore the shape of the human heart. I would like to look at both the organic shape as well as the iconic shape. I intend to explore this concept in as many mediums as possible and I am asking that my readers participate in this endeavor. Whether you consider yourself to be an artist or not, I know that you all have artistic souls. Create from that place inside of you that understands the loss of a loved one and/ or the questions of how we feel the things we feel. I am looking for any and all representations of the human heart. Please help me on this journey.

Patti Pfaendtner

47624 Valley Forge

Macomb, MI 48044

*email is listed above for sending attachments :)

Variation on a Theme...




I told you this was my favorite quote! I actually made this mixed media (wood blocks, canvas, found objects, vintage photo) before the ATC card celebrating the same line delivered by Nathan Lane.




The small vintage picture in the center of the composition represents a great find I made three years ago. My husband and I were combing through a local antique shop when I came across a sandwich bag stuffed with small photos. The pictures were the kind that must have been lovingly carried around in some one's wallet. They were worn and faded. Many of them had been cut out along the individuals body lines. Some of the 25-30 pictures were hand tinted! I have used these photos over and over and am profoundly grateful to the original owner for inadvertently leaving them in my custody.




The lady pictured in this collage is one of my favorites. She has a real devil-may-care attitude that dares the conservatives of the time to question her joy for life. What better symbol for "needing a splash of color"?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finally!


My talented but very busy husband has finally had a chance to photograph some of my newest work! I've been in a creative frenzy this month and I couldn't wait to see how some of it looked on my blog.


The first thing I would like to share is my latest contribution to "The Swap". Our theme was famous movie quotes. Well, my favorite all-time movie is "The Birdcage"! I love both versions, but my true love is the newest one starring Nathan Lane and Robin Williams. My boys love to quote movies they are fond of. They will have whole conversations that make absolutely no sense to me because they are quoting entire paragraphs from the script of some movie! Well, though I've enjoyed many movies over the years, I don't have the memory required to quote each one of them. There are two exceptions to this lack of ability on my part; "The Birdcage" and "Independence Day". I love both shows and can quote from them with pride!


When we set the theme for the swap, I knew I wanted to do something with "The Birdcage". The question was, which one? There are so many wonderful quotes associated with that movie. One of my favorites is spoken by Nathan Lane. He has just made an attempt to dress as a traditional male in order to fool his adopted son's in-laws to be. Dressed all in black pinstripe, he crosses his legs to enhance the masculine persona. As he does this, he reveals a bright pair of fuschia colored socks. His partner, Armond, asks him about the socks and he says, "Well, one does need a splash of color". I don't know why, but that line cracks me up every time! My ATC is an attempt at representing the idea of a "splash of color". It also contains a photo of Nathan Lane that has been stylized in Photo Shop. In the middle of the night, I sat straight up in bed and realized that I wanted to send the ATC in a birdcage to complete my tribute to the movie.


Hope you like it, and hope Veronica is happy with it :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Joy of the Swap!









I have been engaging in an ATC (Artist Trading Card) Swap this summer with a friend I met online. Veronica http://artbyveronica.blogspot.com/ is from Virginia Beach and has generously agreed to introduce me to the world of swapping! I was very intimidated at first. I had never really done an ATC and wasn't sure I could work on such a small surface. My collages are always larger and often multidimensional. The smaller substrate is a challenge for me. I actually feel as though I have been cheating a little bit because I found ATC sized canvases! The dimensional quality of the canvas fell within my comfort zone.


With each additional swap, my confidence has grown in small increments. I attended a conference today that included a discussion about the "Zone of Proximal Development". It is an older concept, generally applied to instructional strategies used with students. The premise is that we have a level of mastery in any particular task we attempt that we can confidently work in without support (for example, I can drive my car with a fair amount of confidence and mastery). Then, there is a level that we can function in with "some" support (for example, I can operate the TV remote as long as one of the males in my family is nearby ready to answer my questions should I get stuck). And then there would be the level that is beyond our reach without a great deal of intervention and support (I do not understand my husband's version of Photo Shop and cannot do the simplest task on there without him sitting right by my side).


That was a long winded way of saying that I feel I am in the "with some support" range right now with regards to ATCs. The wonderful thing about swaps is that the participants tend to raise the bar for each other which each exchange. It's a great way to stretch and challenge yourself.



I'm loving the experience and I've included pictures of Veronica's ATC cards. Aren't they great?! I would also like to provide a link to her blog. I will attempt to do this with out additional "support", but there are no guarantees!





Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Feather Your Nest...........

Isn't that what we all strive to do? I spend much of my at-home time arranging and rearranging my environment; moving things from one place to another. There's a similarity between my movements around the house and that of our backyard birds friends. The hawk family is particularly industrious in rearranging the twigs that make up their nest. Each day I find little piles of branches lying on the ground beneath their home. I've included one of their twigs in this piece.

I've started incorporating more fabric into my collages. I like the contrasts between the fabric, paper, and wood. I also enjoyed using some bead work to "feather my nest".
This one was fun!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's all about the texture baby!

I love the texture of this boarded up window. The contrast between it and the stone wall is amazing. Add to that, the beautiful teal color of the corrugated covering and you have a picture that Michael and I just had to have. Was the little old lady sitting in the window while we took pictures, or did she arrive later? Anything is possible! She looks very cozy "hovering" there in the corner!


Must the show go on?


Again, though I am thoroughly grateful for having a job, I can feel the pull of September getting stronger and stronger! Next week I have meetings to attend and then a workshop to plan. I feel as though the summer just started and it is already coming to its inevitable conclusion. I was able to engage in lots of creative fun, however, played in my garden, snuggled with the dogs, and slept in most days! What a blessing! I certainly can't complain. I will miss these carefree days though!


As soon as my husband has a chance to photograph my new projects, I will post the fruits of my labors. I will also post the ATC swap pictures that I am participating in (see, I told you I was having fun!). Must the show go on? I think so. If not for the show, I wouldn't be able to enjoy all that I've been given this summer. Maestro! Let the show begin!!


Monday, July 27, 2009

The explosion!




Evidence of the explosion! Unfortunately, this is my kitchen table. It functions as a studio when my baby boy is home from college for the summer.



I wanted to show everyone why I haven't blogged more consistently in the last week. My muse has finally arrived and I have been in a creative frenzy the past few days. It's to the point where I have so many different projects going that I'm beginning to annoy myself! One idea leads to another, one search for a rubber stamp leads me to other pieces of ephemera that I had forgotten I had, and rummaging through my stash of substrates leads me to a piece of metal I had left in the garage. I'm excited to have this run hit before I go back to work. I was beginning to worry! Hopefully I will have lots of new things to share soon. Stay tuned!
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