Saturday, November 29, 2008

Zetti Ornaments

Ornament for a ZettiZoo exchange ~

Sewn taffeta body (stamped with Stampers Anonymous text stamp U1-722), domino face (stamped with Zettiology 0101E face), alcohol marker coloring.
ArtGirlz crown. Collar beads are a modified "gift tie-on" from Target Christmas season '07.
Didn't find any more in this year's selection... but I did collect some glass chandelier drops there this year, so didn't feel so bad then...).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Letterheads Paper Doll RR

At long last completed and mailed! This was a paper doll round robin through the Letterheads Yahoo group. The participants began with a concept paper doll and case, and mailed them off to others to add bits and pieces. My doll was a Dias de los Muertos theme, pictured HERE, (Cris' additions to my doll are added there as well), and this doll is the brainchild of Cris P., a magnetic doll housed in an LP album case. Each slipcase was to represent a place that you had traveled to or wanted to travel to, and would include travel ephemera along with magnetic clothing and accessories for the doll.

I chose to have Cris' doll visit "Reality TV" via Project Runway in New York City, and was bound and determined to coordinate the Craft Robo with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
I finally figured it out, the cutting, print and cut, the remarkable importance of "orientation", but there was much ado and a lot of wasted paper...
Sleeve front: The outside of the envelope formed a pocket for the "travel" miscellany, (a map of Bryant Park, an adapted Fashion Week schedule, an invented ticket, and a postcard), with a backdrop of a NYC cityscape, and a foreground collage of Season 5 contestants with Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum.

Inside the sleeve are three components:
1) The Workroom (three dress forms with magnets on the back to hold the paper fashions, and three magnetic PR "challenge" outfits. My daughter pronounced the first one to be an "out", and the other two were modeled after a "garden" and a "museum" challenge.)

3) "Tim Gunn's Bon Mots", which has paper sliders that pull out to reveal some of my favorite Tim Gunn quotes from various seasons. I tried and failed, for various reasons that I cannot even comprehend, to do this completely with the Craft Robo and Illustrator, but the circles, slider holes, Tim Gunn pulls, and the backing sheets, at least, were cut out on the CR. I had to manually match the NY pictures and glue in the quotes so they could be seen in the windows.

The Bryant Park photograph by Sonja Peiper used in the postcard is from wikimedia, an archive of free-use photographs; the NYC image by Roswitha Schacht used on the outside of the LP sleeve and Tim Gunn's Bon Mots is from morguefile, another public image archive.

More or less how...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Paper Sculture and the Craft Robo

Yet another crisis when trying to use the Craft Robo, this time the culprit appears to be too much pressure and not enough test cuts (i.e. none). Ruined a blade and the cutting strip this time. However, now I know how to do multiple test cuts and will do so religiously from now on.

In my search for answers online, I clicked a link on the Graphtec America Craft Robo Store titled "See What Others Are Roboing".

That led to the flickr photos of Polyscene and EnWhySee, along with a side trip to the paper engineering site of Ingrid Siliakus.

These examples of paper engineering aided by the Craft Robo are from Polyscene's photos.

This is an example of some of the very complex work from Ingrid Siliakus' gallery. Do look there if you like this kind of work... amazing! I'm not really sure, as the site is in Dutch, but I think the cutting and scoring is all done by hand, with many test models before the final piece is completed.

Figuring out how to simplify the completion of paper engineering projects was one of the main reasons I bought this machine, but I'm still struggling with the basics. Inspired now to keep trying, though ... (but now I have to wait for new blades to arrive.)
Both of the artists linked from the Craft Robo site are using sheets of a lightweight plastic called polypropylene, but so far no luck locating any.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Anthropologie transforms discarded books into sculpture:

Pictures are from (1,2) casasugar, (3) apartment therapy through aesthetic outburst, and (4, 5) dreambirdz.

These displays almost make me want to buy some overpriced clothing... or at least a doorknob.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Random Doodles

My daughter has a campus newspaper comic strip!

We keep up with what she's doing at Random Doodles ...


A couple of pics of orizomegami papers that were made by 3rd-5th grades when I was teaching elementary art. (Actually, I called it orizomegami, as that is what I did in an after-school class once upon a time, but really we did a combination of orizomegami (folding only) and itajime (sandwiching the folded bundles in clothespins and binder clips and the like). A book I used for reference is Paper Art, by Diane Maurer-Mathison. We made some things out of the papers... some japanese stab-bound books, little holders for seals they made. And some of them were simply mounted on paper for display. These papers were some of the leftovers that kids bequethed to me (or I fished out of the trash can ... for them it was all about the process, which is something I should get back to! I'm going to see if I can find some of the pictures of the ones we mounted... many of them were stunning. I've used a few of these scraps as backgrounds for cards, like the one below. The bird was designed by my friend Mary for Prickley Pear.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Bug's Life

While looking for something else, I stumbled across the website of
Jennifer Angus, who is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, in the school of Environment, Textiles, and Design. (Yes, that was my first degree... except it might have been called something else back in the day)

She does these amazing installations that are made of real (though thoroughly dead) insects, mounted on walls and placed in precise patterns. Beautiful, repellent and fascinating at the same time, somehow; a marvel from across a room or inches away...

These last three photos are from an installation at the
North Dakota Museum of Art.

There is a video that shows some of the process of doing an installation on her website, and also some educational games for kids.

She says that the insects are reused for installations until they cannot be repaired anymore, but I can't imagine that we will ever run out. Of bugs, that is. Insects will be the last living creatures on earth. I missed the Chazen exhibit last year in Madison ... it would have been great to see in person; I have a well-known and cataloged fear of insects coupled with a kind of morbid obsession.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Breaking Dawn Masquerade Ball

Barnes and Noble announced a masquerade ball for the book release party of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn, and we decided to make masks for the event. M. and friends gathered on a Friday night and decorated paper-mache covered plastic masks with paint, fabric trim, feathers, sequins, jewels, etc. We made a fine mess.

I decided to make one at the last minute. You never know when you might be invited to a ball.

At the ball, there were many fans who were dressed in prom/homecoming type dresses or vampire black and fancy and not so fancy masks. I don't think I've ever been to a midnight release party, but it was kind of fun. I pulled up a footstool and browsed through several art/collage books after admiring all the finery. We chose not to dress up, but did carry the masks with us.

This young couple, who had made their masks that day, using plaster strips to form them, allowed me to take a picture of them. They and we were at the very front of the line, along with others who had submitted art (M.s friend!) or had been to all three of the release parties.

At one minute to midnight, the wrappings were torn off the cases of books waiting behind the counter. By 12:05 we were out the door and on the way home...
M. finished the book before she went to bed tonight. I still have two more to go before I can read it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Polaroid PoGo - Gadget Geek Alert

I saw this amazing and super wonderful little printer on telly today.
Standing at the ironing board (Do not look askance! It happens sometimes!) and not paying much mind to the TV until I heard the words "INKLESS"!
No ink. The paper has heat-activated dye crystals embedded in it, and it prints out little 2x3 pictures. The technology is called "Zink" - Z = Zero Ink.
I think I'm in love!
Of course, I said the very same thing in reference to the other little Polaroid-type camera,
the i-zone... the one with the tiny little prints that were in vogue several years ago. You know I still have an unopened one and some film down in the basement.
This one is supposed to retail for $150 this fall. Don't I need it?
It's called the Polaroid PoGo. Check it out here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Annabelle Hydrangea

This row of hydrangeas was a gift from my mom several years ago. I'm never sure if I'm doing the right thing... cut it back in the fall, don't cut back, when to cut blooms for drying (I think I finally have that right, anyway. First they're green, then white, then green again ~ then they will dry nicely. I planted them in the right place, too... because they have been doing very well. I have a pinkish mophead hydrangea in the back... and that one I think I got wrong, because this is the first year that it's bloomed. For those, I read that you shouldn't cut them back in the fall, because that's what the new blooms form on. I need more. Must have more.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A summer outing to the Chazen Museum

I took M. and friend on a little field trip to the Chazen Museum today.
This Deborah Butterfield horse sculpture is one of my favorites from the permanent collection. It's actually part of ArtSmart program, a collaborative program between the museum and the school district. We had posters of this work and some of Deborah Butterfield's other works at school, and I had some lesson plans based on her work. One I remember in particular was a felt hobby horse I made with kindergartners - great fun but very labor-intensive for yours truly.

This is one that M. was particularly taken with. I don't remember who the artist is, though... I'll have to look it up next time we go.

There is one Louise Nevelson work in the permanent collection. Both M. and I like the use of the violin (and cello?) bridges in the piece. Every time I see it I think about getting some old bridges to use in some assembly work. I do have a little collection of the pegs for strings... I always thought they would make great little doll pieces.

We were actually there to see an temporary exhibit: "Ringmaster: Judy Onofrio and the Art of the Circus". The museum description:
"Judy Onofrio’s life-sized sculptures of extraordinary performers, animals, and circus acts will be exhibited alongside examples of banners, posters, and carvings—drawn from the Circus World Museum collection—that have inspired her work. Onofrio’s glittering constructions are carved, molded, painted, and assembled from wood, fiberglass, beads, ceramic shards, and collected objects. With Onofrio as ringmaster, these materials take form as contortionists, acrobats, and magicians of yesteryear who once again twist, soar, and cast spells for audience..."
Photographs of the temporary exhibits are not allowed, but you can see some of the pieces that were on display at her website. I was amazed at how large the pieces were... some of them must have been 12 feet high... and so detailed.
In Ring of Fire, (third row down on the page you can get to from the "exhibition" link on the left), the woman balances without being attached to the hoop... you can see her swaying gently up in the air.

I've probably passed by this door a million times... it's a church right in the middle of campus... between the Humanities Building, the Chazen, the University Book Store, and the Lake Street Parking Ramp (where I have spent countless hours roaming in circles looking for parking), but I don't think I've ever had a camera when I passed by the very cool doors.
We wandered over to the Union, got a Babcock Hall ice cream cone, and sat out on the terrace to watch the lake and the boats. (This is right after the major rains/flooding we had here, so the lake level is really high, and probably a bit toxic at this point, but that doesn't seem to phase anybody out there.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Texas Barbeque

We were in Texas checking up on the old home place. On the way out of San Antonio we stop at Rudy's. We're tickled that they bill themselves as the "Worst Bar-B-Q in Texas". It's good, though. When my grandmother and great aunt did the run out to the country house, they always stopped here. In Texas it seems that barbeque is not served on plates. You get a kind of deli paper for the meat, and rectangular paper bowls or styrofoam cups for the beans and potato salad, etc. When you order your barbecue, you don't order a sandwich, you order by the pound. And the bread, at least the bread I've seen, is always from a loaf of soft white bread.

The rest of the pictures are from Woody's, the barbeque/gas station/convenience store down the highway from the old home place. Much the same scenario... house barbeque sauce for sale, and all manner of meats and other foods for sale, including fudge, pecan pie, and those pink peanut patties I used to eat all the time when we visited grandmom in the summer. Two big stainless steel serving canisters of iced tea, one sweet and one unsweetened. Picnic tables and loaves of bread just laid out on the table... help yourself. The gentlemen behind the counter were pleased to provide samples of everything they had for sale, including buffalo and venison jerky, and elk summer sausage.