Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Something Old, Something New

So this week The Three Muses challenge is Something Old, Something New, and here's my entry--

My something old was the background pieces and the birds  that I collaged onto the canvas--

I found this vintage book at a flea market with a few others.  At the time, I didn't really look through it, but it's one of my favorites now.  It's called The Junior Instructor for the parent and child, and it was published in 1918.  It covers every topic relating to school with many illustrations, colored photos, sheet music, and even a full page of the alphabet, and it's oversized (about 12" tall)--I love it.

And for the something new, I used one of my Christmas presents--

This set of Winsor & Newton Galeria acrylic paints.  I've never painted with them before--I really like them.  The colors are very vibrant, and there is a good selection here so that you can mix them to get many more shades, plus a little goes a long way.

Now that Christmas is over, and things are getting a little back to normal, it was fun just to take my time and just paint as long or as little as I wanted to without worrying about anything else. I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

How much do you love this Brady Bunch photo?!

Bob was a little sad until he opened his present--a Snuggie!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Three Muses Challenge

I didn't think I could do anything artsy this week, but when I saw The Three Muses  Home Sweet Home challenge, I had to submit a piece.  But I have to confess, I still didn't do anything artsy this week.  I had made this piece a couple  of weeks ago.  I like to incorporate alot of houses in my artwork, so for this reason, this  challenge appealed to me.  Here's my entry--

This is on a 5x5 wrapped canvas, and the house on it is from a Scrabble gameboard along with  the roof of the canvas.  Gameboards are great to work on--so if you don't use them anymore, DON'T get rid of them.  Put them with your art supplies, because they come in very handy, along with the game pieces. 

Wow, only 2 days left till Christmas--I better get a move on it.  It just kind of snuck up on me this year--I've  been having such a good time here in Blogland!   I  hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

My First Challenge

I've always liked reading and  looking at art blogs, even before I started my own.  And I've always wanted to take part in one of the many weekly challenges that I run across.  But for some reason, I  felt that  you had to be a blogger to participate--I know you don't have to--that's just the way I felt. So now that I too am a blogger, I wanted to look for a challenge.

I was reading Betzie's blog--her blog is called Time Enough, and  it's one of the many creative blogs that I've found in the last couple of weeks (there are so many, it's almost overwhelming). She was talking about letters that she had that her grandfather had sent to her grandmother during WWI, and how glad she was that she  had these treasures. So she submitted a piece of art using bits of the letters and photos of her grandparents for The Three Muses challenge of the week, which is mail art.

Like all vintage artists, I too collect old postcards, stamps, letters, and any kind of old interesting mail, to use  in my art.

My most favorite are the handwritten letters.  I think that those are an art in themself, and it's rapidly becoming a lost one.  I mean, let's face it, who really writes letters anymore when you can email or better yet pick up your cell phone and call anyone in the country for free.

So after reading Betzie's post, it  made me think of my grandparents, and that I would like to incoporate them in a piece of mail art for The Three Muses challenge. Thank you Betzie for giving me this spark!  My grandparents were both Italian.  My grandfather's father came to Ellis Island in 1892 and my grandfather was born in 1897.  My grandmother came to America when she was around 20.

They were your typical Italian grandparents.  They never held back their emotions--always laughing or yelling at each other.  When my grandmother was really mad at my grandfather she would start yelling at him in Italian so us kids wouldn't understand  her--she was definitely the boss, and she was also an excellent cook, which I never really appreciated when I was growing up--but I sure would  now!

To begin with,  I turned a gallery wrapped canvas over and collaged  the old  postcards that I had onto it.

 Unfortunately, I don't have any old  correspondence of my  grandparents, but I did find some very old photos from my cousin's Facebook--thanks Carol!!

This photo was  most likely taken around 1922.  My grandparents were in their early twenties, and their baby here is their first born, my father.  He was not quite a year old, and at the time that this photo was taken, she was already expecting her 2nd child.  They went on to have 5 children altogether, which I included in this optical lens hanging above them.

They also had 11 grandchildren, and many great grandchildren, so even though they're no longer with us, their journey together is still continuing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Helper

As  I mentioned in my last post I have an art room. It's the former nursery--who am I kidding-- it's just a very small bedroom in our house, but it's now my art room, and it's all mine. But it's in desperate need of a makeover. And I've been telling everyone and anyone that will listen to me that  I am renovating it.  If I could rent out a billboard and put it one of the main streets in  my town, I would.  I do this, because this is the only way that I can get things done.  If  I didn't, I would never do it--I'm a great procrastinator.

So a couple of weeks ago, I put a whole day aside to start cleaning it out.  It may be very small, but what's in that room could probably fill a whole house--in other words--it's a mess. I want to sort through everything, and see what I can get rid of, or move, or whatever.  It's a long process, because it's all of my art supplies--whatever they may be.  Well that day I had a helper--


Bob is a French Bulldog. He's my daughter and son-in-law's.  And if anyone knows anything about French Bulldogs, aside from food, they love, love, love people!   He is one of the friendliest dogs I've ever known. One of his favorite things to do  in the summer is go along with us when we go  to garage sales, because he loves mingling with all of the other garage salers--he's always the center of attention.

So a couple of weeks ago we were watching him on the day that I was going to clean out my room, but the first thing he had to do was go for a walk with  Fred, my husband.  That's a given--he knows that Fred will take him for a walk no matter what it's doing outside.

Not the greatest picture, but you get the point.

After the walk, he always gets a treat. This all tires him out and it'll be time for a nap.

And then he wakes up, and this happens every  time, he gets a bit worried that his Mom and Dad aren't coming back, and then he just wants to go home.

So you're probably wondering if we got any work accomplished in cleaning out my room. Well, I never even went into that room the whole time he was here.  But I am  going to get that room done.  My goal was mid December, now it's  mid  January ( It will get done!) In all actuality, Bob really isn't a dog--he just happens to look like one--he's just part of the family--he's Bob!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Making Time For Play

I really do enjoy preparing for the Christmas season-you know decorating, wrapping presents, baking, and most definitely Christmas shopping. But I still like to make time to go up to my little art room (as I like to call it--I'll go into more detail about this room in my next blog post) and just play.

As I mentioned here I have many treasures  in my house.  I have alot of these cheese boxes--

Does anyone remember these?   I actually don't, and I'm not that young.  Does anyone know when they stopped making these?  I  love using these kind of  items for my art, , but I'm  not very
knowledgeable of their history.  I also have alot of the old bottles--not sure what was in them either--probably medicine, but I'm sure they were used for other purposes?--anyone?

Well I just know that I'm always on the lookout for these two things.  I usually find them at flea markets.  I like to alter the bottles--

And then I altered the box, added the bottle, and I've made a whole new piece of art--it's always good to make time for play!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Christmas Collection And a Family Tradition

First of all, I'll tell you about my collection-- SLOWLY but surely I'm getting my house ready for Christmas.  And I was thinking of what I wanted to share with everyone on my blog.  So I thought of my collection. I like to collect things, so of course I would also have a Christmas collection, and no it's not's Santas.

I've been collecting them maybe for about 20 years--I'm not really sure. I just started getting them, until they turned into a collection, and now every year, I will get a new one.  Come to think of it, I didn't get one for this year, but I will.  These Santas are just part of what I have. (HEY, what's that snowman doing in there?!)   They're all over the house.  I don't look for anything in particular--just whatever strikes my fancy at the time.  I do have my favorites ,though.

Like Mr. and Mrs. Claus

I got these two from a local very talented paper mache artist.
And which one is my favorite?  Well last year, it would have been him--

I still like him, you know the country primitive Santa, but he's been dethroned.  My style and taste has changed alot this past year. so this year, it's most definitely this fun Santa--

And now I'll tell you about our family tradition.  It's actually a bit of a running joke every year.  Each year I ask my kids--who are in their 20's and 30's if they want me to hang their stockings.  And they look at me in disbelief and say "You BETTER hang them!"  Let me describe these stockings. They are the red felt ones that you find at the dollar store with the white trim, and each one has their name written on them (in glitter of course).  And I can't hang them on the mantel, because I don't have a fireplace, so they end up on the stair bannister. 

Each one of them have told me that the stockings are their favorite part of Christmas. Well, one reason is because Santa (and yes, we all still do believe in Santa) fills these babies to the brim plus.  They're always overflowing.  The contents of these stockings are probably worth more than what's under the Christmas tree.

But I know the other reason is that these stockings  represent  all of their Christmases from childhood till now.  Believe me, we're not the picture-perfect family--we have our disfunctional times like any other family, but every year at Christmas we all get together and have the best time and laugh  about our "episodes" we've had during the year--good or bad.  And look forward to the next year for more "episodes" that we can laugh about next year at Christmas. And if we're stil here in 30 years, God willing, when they're in their 50's and 60's, those stockings will still be hung and still be brimming on Christmas morning.

So Scott, Nick, Lisa, Jennifer, and John, if you're wondering--yes I hung them up : )

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My 2 Week Anniversary

I know most bloggers celebrate their 1 year anniversary or their 100th blog post, well I'm celebrating my 2 week aniversary!  I started this blog because I wanted a place to journal all of my art , so I could see how my work evolves--I have trouble keeping a real life journal.  I still want to, though--maybe by having this blog, I will. 

I also wanted to meet and connect with other artists. I love all kinds of art--and I have found some amazing art and artists through this little community called blogland.  I love going to my  blog dashboard everyday and checking out the new blog posts that I follow, and I read every one. And when they come to mine, and leave comments--don't you just love when others leave comments. Through blogging, not only am I finding some great art, I'm also getting to know all of these artists through their blogs.

And of course, as I mentioned on Page One of my blog, there's no way I would have even considering doing this unless I had help, and that was my son Nick.   He has his own blog, and I read all of his posts (of course). This is one of my favorite posts of his:
EVERYONE should read this post, and when you're over there, make sure you wish him a Happy Birthday--yes today is his birthday, and he's living his dream in New York City! So-Happy Birthday Nick


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Same Thing But Different

I never get tired of painting pears, but  I get tired of  doing the same thing over and over again--if that makes sense.  So I thought I would try something a little different this time.  I had this wood frame---

It's a barnwood frame--very nice, but very ordinary.  So I 'fixed' it up a little--

And then I used this metal tooling foil--

And I embossed on it--

And what's my favorite embossing tool you ask--well I've tried many, but I keep going back to my  favorite, and that is a pencil with a very blunt tip.  And.... here is the finished result--

I 've been having so much fun with my new blog--and it's been making me very creative, but I have to start another art project, and that's putting up the Christmas decorations ( and I have ALOT), wrapping presents, baking cookies, buying a REAL Christmas tree and decorating that, still Christmas shopping too,etc.etc.--and I'll be sure to post photos of my progress : )

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Latest Project

So here's what I've been doing for the last couple of days. Mary  (Joyful Ploys)  from Mystele's class posted a link to Suzi Dennis.  She's a collage artist, and I love, love her work.  I love the colors that she uses, and her subject matter, and just everything about her work.  As a matter of  fact, if you know of any other collage artists like her, tell me--they're very inspiring to me. So I decided to use one of my favorite surfaces--a cupboard door.

Fred found this and four others like this along the road in someone's trash!  Can you believe that?! They're in excellent condition too.  We're ordinarily not dumpster divers, but if given the opportunity, we'll take it.  And I decided to collage with only papers that I painted  like Suzi Dennis.  I usually like to use all kinds of papers, but I restricted it only to my hand painted papers.  I painted mostly on cardstock paper that I found at an office supply store, and textured wallpaper (which is great to paint on).

I also painted on crumpled brown paper. This is another great paper to paint on--it almost ends up looking like leather.

And here are all of the finished papers.

And here is the finished piece.

This was so much fun--I think I'll make a matching piece to it.  I have another door the same size.  It's about 13" x 15", which is a nice size.  This time it will be one of my favorite fruits--an apple.


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