On My Desk: Two Women

Mail art calls are a great way to stretch myself, to let go of my inner sensor and just run with the first thing that comes to mind.

It’s the most freeing thing I do in the studio. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t happen as often as I might like.

This week, I finally had some time to get down to work on a mail art call from Moan Lisa, whose theme was Two Women.

The imagery of the collage came together quite serendipitously. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic over that development and my mind played as I cut and glued, coming up with a tale to accompany the piece. Combining my two strengths in this way happens far less than you might think. Below, you’ll find the result of my efforts. Your thoughts are most welcome.

Two Women Descend A Staircase

The story is micro-flash fiction, that is to say it’s less than one hundred words in its entirety. Enjoy!

TwoWomenIII

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

On My Desk: Trial and Error

It seems, to me, that folks don’t just want to read about artists’ successes and their perfect projects. They want to see their crap and their mistakes, not to mention; their epic fails. So here I am to share a bit of that with anyone who cares to stop by.

Artists are an experimental bunch. We are continually inspired to see what happens when we use an art supply in a new way or when we use an ordinary, every day item as an art supply. In so doing, we make plenty of mistakes, throw away or rework numerous pieces often to no real end… Except, that in our attempts and failures lies the key to better art. We learn what works and what doesn’t. We push the proverbial envelope in search of new techniques, ultimately seeking that one piece that speaks to our soul….

My Trash Bubbles were born of this kind of curiosity… I call it the WHAT IF? mentality.

Over the weekend, after I finally let go of my glow-in-the-dark paint thing, (if you are unfamiliar with my dilemma, read more about it here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/the-folly-of-hoarding-art-supplies/ ) I decided to add dripping blood to the top edge of my piece for the Dreadful Project.

It was easier said than done.

Specters in the Dark

Specters in the Dark

My background being black, I needed a medium than was red, would show up on the black and not blend in, that was thin enough to run, but thick enough that it would congeal quickly and not run down the entire page. That’s a lot to ask from any ordinary art supply.

Red acrylic ink and fluid acrylic paint were considered and dismissed because of their thin consistency. I thought about watering down an acrylic, but that seemed like a great deal of pain for something that would be very tempermental.

That was when it hit me! Why not use red candle wax?! It would be the right consistency for easy control and would set up quickly! So long as I had a rich, deep  red that could be seen atop the black gesso layer, I was in business!

I was so excited that I went straight to work! I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel… in this case, that meant the completion of my contribution to the Dreadful Project.

This is what it looked like when I finished…

Wax Blood on Specters in the Dark

Wax Blood on Specters in the Dark

It was pretty cool, except that the droplets were peeling up off the page, leaving them vulnerable to being broken off in transit or by handling.

Peeling Blood Drips on Specters in the Dark

Peeling Blood Drips on Specters in the Dark

Can you you say, “Epic Fail?”

I have since scraped the wax off and am back to square one.

Back to square one....

On a more positive note, I DO like the look that the Antique Linen Distress Ink Pad gave the specters. (Used in lieu of glow-in-the-dark paint to soften the bright white page showing through the black gesso.) I also like that my black on black Jane Hancock in the lower right-hand corner is readable.

Back to the drawing board… the deadline is looming!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

On My Desk: Go Bananas!

Go Bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Go Bananas!

Some of the folks at IUOMA really are Bananas, myself included. Once a year or so we exchange banana themed mail art in celebration of one banana holiday or another. This time, we were celebrating World Banana Day on February 21st and National Banana Bread Day on February 23rd.

In the tradition of my Consumer Consciousness series, I created the ‘Dole Banana Mandala’ and ‘Peel the Love.’

Can you Peel the Love?

Can you Peel the Love?

Twelve color copies of the mandala were made for recipients far and wide. Each piece was inked by hand in yellow which created the variations in shading. The original mandala became a birthday greeting for Anna Banana, who turns 74 years young this month. Peel the Love is an original, one and only. No copies were made.

Also mailed out in celebration was this little gem…

Paper Mache Banana-gram

Paper Mache Banana-gram

So far, I have received five pieces of return banana mail, the first of which hailed from Greece.

Banana Mail from Katerina Nikoltsou

Banana Mail from Katerina Nikoltsou

Banana Mail from Katerina Nikoltsou Side B

Banana Mail from Katerina Nikoltsou Side B

Banana Mail Mini Book from Rebecca Guyver, UK

Banana Mail Mini Book from Rebecca Guyver, UK

Banana Mail from Alicia Starr, USA

Banana Mail from Alicia Starr, USA

Banana Mail from Angie Cope, USA

Banana Mail from Angie Cope, USA

Banana Mail from Jennifer Phillips, USA

Banana Mail from Jennifer Phillips, USA

Hope you all had a very Happy World Banana/National Banana Bread Day!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again.

ICAD to Valentine

Last year, while participating in the http://daisyyellowart.com/ ICAD (Index Card A Day) challenge, I came up with the following piece…

One Heart's Flight

I began with a 4×6 scrap of cardboard and layered it up with paint and ink. Details were added using scraps of paper and metal wings which had been saved from a broken angel bookmark in years gone by. In the end, it was a simple piece, but it made me happy whenever I looked at it.

Recently, when I placed a postcard order with moo.com, I allowed for twenty copies of One’s Heart’s Flight to be printed as Valentines. If you’d like to try their services, you can find a 10% discount through this link: http://www.moo.com/share/w65wcy

In years past, I had created unique Valentines by hand, often with hand-stitched details. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in the end, I was not disappointed.

Despite being unsure as to whether I would use them this year, a time crunch dictated the necessity. I was glad to have them on hand and hope my friends will be happy to receive them.

Wishing all of my readers and followers all the love their hearts can hold!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

On My Desk: Doodling!

New studies show that doodling isn’t just relaxing, it’s a way of retaining information. Me? I doodle for the fun of it. Any benefits are purely accidentaI. I doodle on lists, napkins, receipts and almost any scrap of paper that’s handy when the urge strikes.

Some of my doodling is more organized and deliberate. This is clearly illustrated in the envelope I’m mailing out today….

Doodle Flower Envelope Front DSC_0394

It contains my postcards for the Liberate Your Art 2014 Postcard Swap….

DSC_0395

Is it any wonder that Doodlin’ by Sarah Vaughan is one of my favorite songs of all-time? Many artists have recorded the song, but Sarah’s version is so smooth. If you aren’t familiar with it, check it out!

As always, I’d love to see your doodles! Post them in the comments!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

On My Desk: Bingo Birthday!

A friend of mine celebrated a birthday this past week. I wanted to do something special for him… but what? I had just finished the 100th birthday card for a friend’s mother and thought, “Why not?”

Standing in the studio, I turned round and round, slowly taking in my surroundings.

Most of my supplies are stored in clear glass jars so I can see what I have to work with at a glance. The things that are “put away” hardly ever get used because I have to count on my cluttered mind to remember their existence.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spied the stack of bingo cards, a yard sale find from last summer. The topmost card contained the number 33, the age my friend would be on his birthday. I immediately grabbed my jar of numeric game pieces and searched for… what else? The number thirty-three!

This is what developed…

Bingo Birthday 33

Now, I have cards on the brain. Maybe it’s time to make Valentines?

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

A Little Bird Told Me

A friend’s mother turns 100 years young later this week! What a milestone! What a life she must have lived!

When the call went out for birthday wishes, I answered immediately. Of course I would send something special to help commemorate the occasion!

After some thought, I decided against a traditional birthday greeting. I wanted it to be cheerful, warm and friendly. It wasn’t until I sat down to work, that the vision presented itself.

A little bird told me…

A Little Bird Told Me...

An extension of my nesting birdies series, this one sprang forth from an extra background I had leftover from handmade Christmas cards several years ago.

Please join me in wishing Estelle G. a VERY HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY! by commenting below.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

On My Desk: Trash Bubblet Post Card

Last week found me creating mail art as a way to wind down from an overload of projects with deadlines and themes.

Completing a few of my Consumer Consciousness postcards was at the top of my list. After that, I got to work on a new bubblet.

Dentyne blister packs are the most common bubblets in my studio. That might be because Arctic Chill is my gum of choice. 🙂

This time, instead of stitching the bubblet onto a sketchbook page, (https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/where-theres-a-will/) I have housed it between two pieces of 4×6 cardstock.

Bubblet in Black and White

The framework is a piece of black cardstock sponged over with white acrylic paint. A window has been cut out of the center to house the bubblet. The backing was plain white (allowing the bubblet’s contents to pop) and was adhered to the framed bubblet with doublesided tape. The piece was then sealed and embellished with black and white printed tapes.

This week, I’ll be busy addressing the finished pieces and mailing them out to some of those patient folks to whom I owe mail.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!