Is The Road To Hell Really Paved With Good Intentions?

The past six months have been more difficult for me than I ever could have realized. It all began with the loss of my mother last July and the grief spiraled out of control. Every attempt at trying to resume my regular routine was met with anguish and resistance. It was futile to keep trying, or so I thought.

Creating in any form became impossible. I couldn’t find within the peace I needed to settle down with my supplies, or even a pen and paper. October saw my lame attempt fall flat in my fulfillment of a commitment for the Retro Café Art Gallery 2015 Tombstone Swap. My heart just wasn’t in it. If you haven’t already seen it, you can read that last blog post here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/spooky-happenings-at-the-studio/

My friend, Jill, began a new blog in November. She hosts you-r-here.net  and invites fellow creatives to guest blog weekly. Her idea is this, “You-R-Here… So, interact with your environment and the people surrounding you.” I was excited when she asked me to participate. At the same time, I was scared to death. What could I have to offer in my state of grief and confusion? I forced myself to contribute in order to try to get myself out of… well, out of myself, I guess. It seemed I was only able to work up a short piece every two weeks, but that was more than I was able to produce otherwise.

My light, my joy, during these dark days was my grandson, Noah. His smile, his happy chatter, his child-like wonder pulled me from within and let me be light and free when we were together. Thankfully, I can count on a dose of Noah at least twice weekly.

A conversation with a Dear Aunt helped to release me from a great deal of the negativity I’d been harboring since my mother’s passing. My Aunt helped me to put it all into perspective, to show me the light at the end of the tunnel that my blinders had hidden from my view. For that, I am more grateful than you could ever imagine.

And so… I managed not only to “get through” the holidays, but to find some level of comfort and enjoyment in them. I looked forward to the New Year, as many of us do, as a fresh start. I vowed to get back into the studio (which had become the place to toss junk and store miscellaneous stuff out of sight these last few months) to sort, organize and just spend time there. My hope was that in so doing, I would eventually be inspired to begin creating once again.

Today is the 19th of January. I have made some progress in the sorting and organizing department. The biggest change I made was to hang the twinkle lights I’d been meaning to hang for two years! They are finally off the floor and out of my way, providing ambiance the way I’d intended.

Houston, we have twinkle lights!

Most importantly, I AM inspired. I have begun creating in small ways. Yesterday, I launched a new mail art project that is helping to get another large thing off my floor and out the door, whilst allowing me to be creative and introspective all at once. Look for more on that later this week because I finally feel that I can return to my twice weekly blogging schedule.

In addition, I am writing again, creatively. I was so happy about this development that I committed to the 10th Annual Short Story Challenge. It promises to be an exhilarating creative boost. The first leg of the challenge begins at midnight on January 22nd. Registration is open though the 21st in case you think you might be interested in participating.

If you’ve ever experienced a creative block of any kind, you know how monumental this all is. So, to answer the question I posed as this post’s title… NO! The road to Hell is not paved with good intentions. The road back to self, however, is. I’d intended to make more progress by this time, but I am happy with the fact that I am moving forward, I am embracing the life I am meant to live despite my heartache and the healing is happening.

Thank you, all of you! On the rare day that I even looked at my blog, I was encouraged to see that you had kept checking in despite my absence. Your faith in me, when I’d so little in myself, gave me hope. For that, I am immensely grateful. There would be no blog without you folks who care to catch a glimpse inside my crazy world!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

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Spooky Happenings at the Studio

Returning from a dry spell, during which my mother passed away… It’s been difficult to find my way back, but persistence is key. I let the season and a deadline inspire me. This is what transpired….

Retro Café Art Gallery held the 2015 Tombstone Swap. I didn’t want to miss out so I set to work…

Humble beginnings

I always make a set to swap and a set for myself. The results looked like this…

RIP

The Twins, Hazel and Penelope Poison

The Twins, Hazel and Penelope Poison

Bat Juice

Great Grandpa Hubert and his Bride

Great Grandpa Hubert and his Bride

Kristin, at RCAG, always gets the most flattering pics of my Tombstones…

RCAG pic of my 2015 Tombstones

The swap has concluded and these are the Tombstones I received from Linda Morgan: http://purplecatcards.blogspot.com/ Kay Pierce, Rebekka Reinsch and Gerri Herbst: http://gerriherbst.blogspot.com/. The cat is an adorable magnet from Kristin… such a sweetheart, she always tosses in a handmade gift!

2015 Tombstones Received

Thank you to everyone who missed my posts and routinely checked in. I felt the love.

I’m off to clean windows and stock firewood!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

This Week in the Studio: Going Postal Mail Art!

Crow About Studio-B, run by artist Nancy Baumiller, recently added me to their creative team. An exciting step forward for me, I was eager to get to work!

Last week, Crow About Studios-B released their latest kit, Going Postal-Mail Art. It was, as most of you can guess, right up my alley. Her bits and pieces have a Zetti feel with which I felt right at home. You can find the kit here, if you are interested: https://www.mischiefcircus.com/shop/product.php?productid=23051&cat=0&page=1 The downloadable kit is currently on sale at 20% off for $4.80.

Free-Spirited

Free-Spirited was the first piece I created. It is, as one might expect, a piece of mail art in the form of a postcard. I used the Retro Café Art Gallery chipboard postcard blank for this piece. You can find them for purchase here: http://www.retrocafeart.com/item_6279/Chipboard-Postcards–Style-1–Set-of-4.htm There are nine styles from which to choose, but this one suited my purposes best. They come 4 to a pack for $3.99.

Not limiting myself to mail art, I wanted to try an altered art piece using the kit. I found a small paper mache mailbox at my local craft store. I couldn’t wait to get into the studio with it! This is what transpired:

Mail Art Mailbox I

Mail Art Mailbox II

Mail Art Mailbox III

Mail Art Mailbox IV

Mail Art Mailbox V

Mail Art Box VI

Working on another postcard and some ATCs, so I’d best get back to the studio!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

 

 

Red is a Chic Partner!

Red is a Chic Partner I Red is a Chic Partner! This is my latest block-style assemblage piece. Limiting my palette provided me with more options than I could have imagined. I played to my heart’s content with all manner of supplies until I achieved a cohesive piece that spoke to my soul. My hope is that it would also speak to the soul for whom it was created. Once again, I sent my work out into the world… this was a birthday gift for a dear friend who shares my affinity for the color red. Red is a Chic Partner II As the wood blocks were untreated, I began with coats of gesso… white where color would be applied, black on all other surfaces.Red is a Chic Partner IIIOnce my color was down, I began picking out background elements. Mostly, I used rubber stamps and black Staz-on ink, but you’ll find printed papers and tissue tape were also used.Red is a Chic Partner IVWords were essential. Some came in the form of rubber stamps, some were stickers (Tim Holtz) and others were magazine cuts.Red is a Chic Partner VStencils weren’t something I intended to use, but when it came to the stark black of the “Embrace Imperfection” side, I went at it with white acrylic and a Tim Holtz stencil. In the end, I was happy with the contrast it provided.Red is a Chic Partner VIA little personalization… “J.” All of the edges were finished using the direct inking method and a black Staz-on pad.Red is a Chic Partner VIIVintage buttons, stacked and glued, popped from the center of the crisp doily stamp image. The heart with wings was a Masonite cut from Retro Café Art Gallery. In fact, a good many of the elements used here were purchased at Kristin Hubick’s online shop which can be found here: http://www.retrocafeart.com/ I love the selection of unique supplies Kristin offers at Retro Café Art. Check it out… I think you will, too!Red is a Chic Partner VIIII topped my stack with a vintage Frozen Charlotte head. Originally, I was entertaining the use of a finial, but I found I could not part with my favorites and those I could have let go, did not seem to do the piece justice. Charlotte to the rescue! It wouldn’t be the same without her.

Hope you enjoyed this piece!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

On My Desk: A Li’l Bit of All Hallows Eve!

Most recently, I have been working on more seasonal pieces. A bit of spooky ghoulishness, if you will.

Retro Cafe Art Gallery (www.retrocafeart.com) ran the Gothic Tombstone ATC swap again. This was my first time participating and I had great fun with it.

Tombstones in progress

Tombstones in progress: humble beginnings

A bit overzealous, much of what I originally planned to include, ended up being swept aside for another time.

They turned out well, I think. Though if I’d had more time, I’d have experimented more and created two sets.

Finis

Finis

Here’s a closer look at each one:

Just yesterday, Kristin Hubick of Retro Cafe Art Gallery posted her photo of my pieces. It’s the best one by far, so I thought I’d share it with you here.

Retro Art Cafe's pic of my 2014 Tombstones

Quite flattering, I think. And I love her use of the stacked carpenter rules!

Mail art was not forgotten in my creepy antics. Quite the opposite, really. Using 6-pack carriers, I cut out twenty-six 4×6 pieces and went to town! This is the result…

Nosferatu (4)

Nosferatu (4)

Sadly, there were only four of the Nosferatu postcards. Bummer, ’cause they’re my favorite!

Saranac Old (6)

Saranac Old (6)

I had two different designs of the Saranac Pumpkin Ale carriers.

Saranac New (8)

Saranac New (8)

Finally, Magic Hat’s Wilhelm Scream carriers, with curved top edges, allowed for odd-shaped postcards.

M.H.W.S. (8)

M.H.W.S. (8)

Look for these to land soon, in a mail box near you!

Not sharing the backs, there’s gotta be some kind of surprise, right?

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!