Thursday, August 21, 2008

More stuff on walls

I was a very happy camper when i found out i was to be given an office at work. No more cube - a bonafide office with a window and a door. In all my years in business i have never had one to call my own. So i went a bit crazy choosing a decorating theme. It is not quite done - but here are some fun shots of the things i bought to dress it up.
The pretty boxes are from Marshalls. They are filled with the stuff i have collected over 8 years working here - you know - the bottom drawer crap you just cannot part with. At least now I can use my bottom drawer for files. Or my purse. Or snacks. Mostly for snacks.
The large wall decal is from a company called ADZIF I bought it in Montreal at Zone. It was super easy to install and looks awesome.

Here is a bad photo of a cool panel i have hanging in front of the window. Oh man i hate mini blinds! This just fit perfectly beside the filing cabinet, so i left the blinds rolled up. I threw away the package, so i don't remember the manufacturer - but i also bought this at Zone. It is heavy plastic and could have been hung like this - or in a four square grid. It and the wall decal are very Tord Boontje. I just love his stuff.

I was cruising on line and found some chat from 2006 where design afficionados were saying they were so OVER the whole flowers birds and animals graphics thing. So maybe i am late to the game. But i love think it is fresh and fun. Girlie without being too sweet.
Someone pointed out that i overlook San Quentin prison. I guess I do. Over the trees off in the distance is in fact the San Francisco bay and the prison. Where Scott Peterson lives in case you have heard about him. Here is a very zoomed in shot. In the panoramic taken from the water, i would be way over to the left. But i pay no attention to the prison - but do very much enjoy the sky and the trees.
Sadly for the last two weeks and into the distant future my team and I are in "lock down" in a crowded office near our IT dept, finishing up the details of a major system implementation project. Yeah - 9 of us squished into one room, working 10-12 hours days to get everything ready. So i haven't even had a chance to USE my office. And working such long hours in seriously putting a damper on my creative time in the evenings. So i have nothing much new to post here or on the challenge blogs.
But please stay tuned. As you know i work in spurts and there is bound to be a creative spurt coming up some day soon!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Art on the walls, finally

When we were on vacation in July we had our house painted. The living room, entrance hallway, stairs and upstairs hall used to be BRIGHT yellow ochre. I loved it. Everyone commented on it. But after 8 years - i was sick of it. An equally sick of all my deep red and burgundy decorative accessories.
You may recall, back in january when i started this blog, i had just started the transformation - with all new christmas ornaments - all birds -all blue. I bought some lovely cushions in blue silk and had to wait until july for it all to come together.
Well, just this past weekend - we finally got all the artwork up on the walls. We had rearranged the furniture and I wanted to not stay stuck in a rut with all my stuff - so it took some time to figure it all out.
Front and center is the canvas i painted and wrote about here. The walls in these pictures looks very grey - in fact the color is called "Austere Grey" by SHerwin Williams. But in person - it is much more of a blue green - changing in the light. I wanted the perfect robin's egg blue. Not sure if that is what i got! But it looks really lovely and elegant. So some of my contemporary paintings (all by me - all interpretations of others) perhaps don't "go" anymore. We'll see once we live with it for a while.

Scattered throughout the room are other paintings i have done over the years. This is the "music corner". JIm's keyboards and drums (not shown) all live in what would normally be a dining room.
As promised i started a mini gallery of all the weekly challenges i have been doing this summer. There is a big wall to fill so i better get busy with more artwork!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thank you notes one step further....!

I was blown away by a surprise birthday party my husband threw me last week. About 25 dear friends were there, plus hubby asked some of his musician friends to play. It was hosted by friends with a lovely upslope backyard - hence this lovely view down to the party below from the upper patio.

I received many lovely gifts - including a box of paper treats and two vintage books to alter, and someone else gave me a cute straw bag, that well - could use some sprucing up. "It is perfect for you to alter, " she said!

I wanted to thank each and every guest with a special thank you card - hand made of course. But then got a better idea! I came across a stack of 4" x 6" canvas boards i orderd by mistake from Dick Blik. Really too small for artwork, they are the perfect size for sort of an uber Artist Trading Card. Those in the know, know that an ATC is 3 1/2 by 2 1/2. So these are about double. Then why not make them easy to display by adding some lovely vintage ribbon? I can use the back as the "thank you" note part, and the front is a little art collage.
I first punched two holes in the boards using a jumbo eyelet setter. I wanted to use some french dictionary background pages, from a book i bought in Montreal at a vintage store. The 1949 book is filled with nostalgic looking sketches and with 1800 pages, even at $12 it was a bargain.

Next i selected some pretty papers to create a some colour and pattern - a gold floral asian print and a florentine swirl worked together nicely. For the focal point i thought of putting a picture of ME and found a cute one in my digital files. But when i cropped it and zoomed in..., well, what the heck was i doing with my hand?

So off to choose a more dignified image, in this case Venus rising from the Botticelli work. As you may have read - i am somewhat lazy in my art. Cutting out a dozen images with fine detail is not something i like to do. But i DO, if it makes a huge difference. And it really does. When working with small collage like this - the image must "live" within the background. The only way to do that is to cut our your figures. Otherwise they just sit on top. So yeah - i cut them out.
I always put something over the bottom of an image if it sits in the middle of the page - it helps to "ground" the image. In this case i just used a scrap of natural mulberry paper. Adds a bit of texture and creates a little fluffy cloud for venus.

I added some of my favorite butterfly stickers to each collage. They are The Gifted Line from Punch Studio - available at Michaels and elsewhere. I pick up a couple of sheets everytime i am there. They are just the perfect size to add a bit of whimsy to almost anything. And i love the fine detail in the print. There are butterfly stickers and there are butterfly stickers, if you know what i mean. These are the classiest ones I have found.
So to complete the little boards i need to select some ribbon - i'll use vintage seam binding if i have the right color. I collect it mainly at estate sales. Every lady over 70 has a sewing basket with several packages of rayon seam binding. I don't know why - did hemlines change that often? But they ALL have it! Anyway - i don't have the right colour, so - off to the store to find some new. I used a tooth flossing "threader" (little blue plastic thingies) to pass the ribbon through the tiny holes. A little knot on the back and we're done.
I found some pretty aqua tissue paper to wrap them up - i'll drop them in the mail in a nice padded envelope. Won't my friends appreciate such a sweet little thank you note?

Exciting News!

I am very exicted and proud to announce that I will be teaching at Scrapbook Territory on 4th street in Berkeley, California this fall - with a line up of 4 great classes:

September 14th
o Intro to Altered Books 10-2 $40

October 19th
o Advanced Beeswax Hinged Canvas 10-2 $50

November 16th
o Keepsake Box Altered Book 10-2 $40

December 14th
o Cigar Box Assemblage 10-2 $40

I am also moving my altered book round robin group to this facility, so if you are in the bay area and want to participate please contact me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer Vacation and Birthdays and Memory Loss

Ok - so i turned 47 two days ago. And already i am exhibiting extreme memory loss and signs of serious old age. Yesterday i went to Marshalls to buy some decorative storage boxes. I found the perfect ones in a lovely aqua and brown swirly print. They will look great in my new office. Yes - after 25+ years in business i finally got my own office. I am very proud. I'll take some pics to show what i've done. Anyway, back to marshalls. I loaded the stack of boxes into my car and drove away. Without. My. Purse.
Thankfully - it was turned in by a good samaratin, and i got it back about 30 minutes later, after arriving at another store and realizing i had left it in the cart. Thank you kind stranger!

Last week while on vacation in Montreal, i filled up my digital camera's memory card. I went to a camera store and the guy put in the new one and formated it etc. I put the old one (filled with lovely photos) in a safe place. Only for the life of me i cannot remember WHERE. I thought for sure it was in my change purse - but it's gone. I am so bummed.

I took some really nice shots of doors in the plateau area like these i found on flickr:

I mean - it is nice to find great images online - but i was so excited to have MY OWN. There are streets and streets of row houses with fun doors - doubles, triples and quadruples. Oh poop. I'll just have to go back.