Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Embrace Your Vintage

For a while now, I’ve been considering a monumental milestone… I am approaching the half century mark at warp speed. There is no stopping it. I can’t hit the pause button, or rewind to an earlier time. I am powerless.

What does one do in such a situation?

Not sure about the rest of you, but I constructed a Trash Bubble encouraging myself to Embrace Your Vintage.

It all began with the dread fifty brings and a used wine cork.

Recently, I’d saved the packaging from a Faber Castell Big Brush Pen because I liked the scrolling design printed on it. It made the perfect housing for my bubble.

As I considered the cork, the word VINTAGE kept nagging at me. I’m so vintage, I’ll soon be an antique! But wine, fine wine, gets better with age, right?

It was time to begin looking at possible items for inclusion with an eye toward supporting that old adage.

My husband had found the old grape bunch button not too long ago and it fit the theme, so it went into the pile.

Digging through my bits of this and that, I turned up the vintage automobile, a small piece of rusty upholstery trim, a rusty bit, a sales tax token and tea bag wisdom. “The paradox of age:” it says “The young want to be old and the old want to be young.” Perfect!

The year would have to be incorporated inconspicuously… bingo balls and markers are always good for that.

The ideal placement for the cork left room at the top and bottom. I took that opportunity to hang a feminine charm from it and added a vintage political thimble (Vote so-and-so for Sheriff) that had seen better days, topped with apiece of brass hardware.

The whole thing was sealed up with washi tape and brads.

Voila! I now have a talisman to Embrace my Vintage! Any time I start panicking, I’ll just meditate on the the message it bears.

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!

 

 

 

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!

ICAD 2014 Week 2!

Weekend get-aways really have a way of thwarting one’s efforts to stick to the challenge. The second week found me already lagging behind. I took any opportunity I could to catch-up, even going so far as to delay my Monday post ’til Tuesday.

A Cigar Band Sampler

A Cigar Band Sampler

Day 9 was a cigar band collage. I worried, needlessly, that I may not have collected enough to cover my 4×6 card. I really liked the way it turned out.

Big Pharma

Big Pharma

‘Big Pharma’ was a collage of prescription label bits and some medical security envelope print. Not my best work, but the point was to poke fun of the prescription drug industry.

Green Stamps Benjamin Franklin

Green Stamps Benjamin Franklin

The ‘Green Stamps Benjamin Franklin’ card was strictly for fun. I combined coordinated bits of this and that to give it a vintage feel and yet keep to the S&H Green Stamp colors.

Liars' Club

Liars’ Club

‘Liars’ Club’ began with an old newspaper clipping and grew to include tape, a stamped image and vintage advertisements layered on a 4×6 index divider.

Scrap Work

Scrap Work

‘Scrap Work’ was a fun way to use up bits of paper I’d found scattered on my table top.

Security Flowers

Security Flowers

Experimenting with security envelope print as an art supply gave life to ‘Security Flowers.’

It's Black & White

It’s Black & White

The work with security envelope print continued in ‘It’s Black & White.’

That brings me through Day 15. I’m still down by two days and hope to be fully caught up by next Monday’s ICAD post. Wish me luck! I’m gonna need it!

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!

On My Desk: Eclectic Paperie’s Get Altered Clock Challenge!

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a passion for time pieces. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been drawn to all sorts of clocks and watches. To be honest, I think my grandmother’s cuckoo clock started it all.

In any case, our small house is home to more than a dozen clocks and even more watches. Many of my favorite quotes and sayings are based on that all elusive quality: TIME. Was it any wonder then, that the Altered Clock challenge from Eclectic Paperie immediately consumed my thoughts? http://eclecticpaperie.blogspot.com/2013/04/get-altered-challenge-clocks.html

At first, I toyed with the idea of altering an antique, but I couldn’t bring  myself to do it. I finally settled on a new clock that we’d relegated to the Goodwill pile. So excited was I, by the vision in my head, that I forgot to take a before picture. A few steps in, I finally remembered.

Altered Clock I

At this point, I had taken the clock apart, removed its hands and face and began applying paper tape (printed with gears) to the inside edge.

Delving into my stash of clock papers, I began layering a new face.

Altered Clock II

The base was cut from the reverse side of a piece of BoBunny 12″ Timepiece Dot and was tinted with Tim Holtz Antique Linen Distress Ink. I was pleasantly surprised to find that a paper dial I had saved from another project fit the edge perfectly. The center piece was cut from Recollections printed canvas and tinted with Tattered Angels Suede Glimmer Mist and Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Distress Ink.. In this photo, the canvas is being hand-stitched in place using black crewel thread and the blanket stitch, in keeping with the printed edge.

When the stitching was complete, I glued a cut-out from BoBunny 12″ Timepiece Tick Tock in the lower left corner, positioning it carefully between nine and six o’clock. Once dry, I added Graphic 45 numerals 3,6,9, and 12 from a Staples alphabet sticker sheet. Numerals 1,2,4,5,7,8,10,and 11 are Tim Holtz idea-ology Game Pieces that have been lightly sanded and brushed with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

Altered Clock III

 

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Imagine: A Different Kind of Bubble

Trash Bubbles are typically created from the discarded blister packaging meant to display consumer goods for sale. As their name states, they are filled with trashy bits serving as visual poetry within the bubble.

Today, I present a different kind of Bubble. This one arose out of a need to provide a unique piece for an assemblage I was building. The criteria were size and color. It could be no larger than 1 5/16″ x 1 1/2″ and needed to be colorful.

Digging through my collection of hardware, odd containers and found objects, I came across several vintage fuse tins. The tin slide was bright yellow and the plastic tray insert was clear. Once I realized that it fit the measurements, I thought, “Bubble!”

Vintage Fuse Container

Too small to display trashy bits effectively, I toyed with filler ideas. In the end, I used a small stamped image, to which color had been added, gluing it to the plastic so that the image could be viewed. I filled the space in the tray with multi-color mylar confetti leftover from another project and slid it back into the tin lid. Voila!

Imagine

Although Trash Bubbles are amazingly eco-friendly, they do not have to be trashy. This piece goes to show that the only limit to the creation of Bubbles is one’s own imagination. I encourage you to create a Bubble of your own today. I would love to see what you come up with. Please share links to your creations in the comment section.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Inspiration, From Whence It Cometh?

If I had a dime for every time folks ask, “Where do you get your inspiration?” or “How do you think of these things?” I’d be rich!

Seriously though, where does that oft elusive quality, INSPIRATION, live?

For me, inspiration is everywhere! It’s in the patterns of nature, the words of a treasured author, the aspirations of a friend… It’s hidden in that painting I stare into so often. It grabs me on my daily walks: in a bit of over-heard gossip and the colorful trash that grabs my eye. Glossy magazine pages and songs are equally inspiring. I could go on and on….

Many artists have an inspiration board, or book. It’s a place where they tuck swatches, clippings, and other inspirational bits. I have a board because if the bits are tucked in the pages of a book, I forget about them; out of sight, out of mind.

In my studio, I also have what I refer to as a Living Collage. It is an assemblage of vintage mini-crates which holds little art, small treasures, found objects and bits that make me smile.

LivingCollageTheStudioatPineyCreekAcres

The contents of these mini-crates is ever-changing and evolving. Bits are removed for inclusion in projects. Other bits are added as they are found. The constant is the way I interact with the collage. Its simple visual display inspires.

Inspiration is not one of those things I can put my finger on. It’s a good deal like faith in that regard. It never abandons me, but sometimes I neglect it, or take it for granted.

What inspires you? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

The Trash Bubble Concept

As I sit, writing this post, from Piney Creek Acres, it is approximately 20 degrees and snowing! I can’t tell you how happy that makes my heart! Winter was made for snow! Without it, there’s simply no point to the cold.

Snow at Piney Creek

Trash Bubbles were a personal discovery I made, while exploring the realm of Trash Poetry via mail art. I was looking for a unique way to reach out to my mail art friends at the International Union of Mail Artists (IUOMA.)

A collection of cool, plastic consumer packaging and its card backing had been growing for some time, with no idea as to how I would put it to use. I am drawn to colorful pieces with unusally shaped “bubbles.” Here are some examples:

TB 002

One day, I picked up a piece and began filling it with bits of colorful trash I had collected. I rummaged through the trash can in my studio for other pieces and filler. The end result was a self-contained ecosphere of trash. (Three Trash Bubbles later, I knew I was hooked!)

Believe

The first composition made me happy! I sealed it with paper bandage tape, added printed tape, ink, and stamped, inspirational words. A layered button and sticker adorns the divot in the center of the package.

A message emerged from the visible text, left to right, top to bottom: Be GENTLE with yourself. believe. dream. It’s your Lucky Day!

The second Trash Bubble was made from the very same paper bandage packaging. The change in color palette completely changed the feel of the piece.

Hershey's Heals

Look closely and you’ll see a BURIED cable flag, rusted tack trim and paper scraps rescued from the trash bin. A vintage button graces the center. Once again, the visible text left a message: Be GENTLE with yourself. DE CHOCOLAT-HERSHEY’S. WE HELP HEAL! Take the Scenic Route! You may find BURIED treasure!

The final piece in the series of three was a much brighter, more bold piece:

Orbit the Blue Moon

It’s message was no less inspirational: ORBIT the Blue Moon! HELP CLEAN UP YOUR WORLD! MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS!

All three Trash Bubbles were mailed to friends and thus began my Trash Bubble journey through mail art.

Trio of Trash Bubbles

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!