Friday, October 24, 2008

Back to the studio and my paints!

What I love to do is paint. And use mixed media in altered books. The collage here is from scraps retrieved from waste basket in studio and leftover bits on the work table. It's been layered with fluid acrylics to tie it together. The book spreads are from my new altered book, City of Bones.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

momzart moves to slow lane

Since surgery, I am behind with production for the art shows I was signed up for this fall - so I made the decision to move to the slow lane, and withdraw from them. For those of you who look for me at the La Selva Show, I probably will be there as an observer and volunteer - but I won't have a space. I definitely will be donating a prize for the raffle. I hope to see you all there, and hope to be back on the circuit again next year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall leaves

Nikki and Buddy and I went to the mountains yesterday, the first long drive I made since surgery. When we got there I needed a nap after our nice long walk. Here's a pic of some of the leaves in Murphys. We had a great time.

Book Show

There was a Bay Area Book Show last weekend, and I went with the Wackos. We also ran into others from the Mixed Media Artists of Northern California Group there. It was great. Ran into some new talents and ohhhed and ahhhed over their work. One of my favorites ws Joanne Wilson who had incredible handmade books - one on Freida Kahlo that was spectacular. Here's a pic from our day. One of the fun things that day was the poetry board, where people could come pick up magnetic words and create poetry.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And more beads.

Today I used Golden acrylics and black rubber stamps for the Tyvek before I cut it up. Then the melting, and finally some nail polishes and gold leafing ink. A few of them were not heated so I could compare the looks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Tyvek beads

Today's batch of beads. This is fun. You have got to try it, but do the heat gun part outside so you don't breath in the fumes as the Tyvek melts into the strange textures. Here's what I did to make them.

Paint recycled postal tyvek envelopes with lumiere metallic paints on both sides. Cut them into long pyramid shapes - I varied the sizes so won't give dimensions. The longer you cut them the thicker around the beads will be. The wider you cut them the broader they will be.

Wind the painted tyvek pieces onto a wooden skewer starting with the broad end of the tyvek. Do not use a metal skewer or you will burn your fingers as heat will transfer to it. And do not use plastic or it will melt. Use a skewer long enough that you can hold it without burning your fingers. When you are applying the tyvek to the skewer and get close to the narrow tip, put a little glue stick on the underside to hold it in place. You may want to put in a long sewing pin also, but I didn't find it necessary. You can wind more than one bead on each skewer.

Now, go outside with your skewers and your heat gun, something to set things on that is stable. I laid a piece of alum foil over my table. Plug in your heat gun. Hold the skewer in one hand and turn on heat gun, directing heat onto the rolled tyvekwith a distance of several inches. YOu will see the heat makes the tyvek curl on the edges and reveals other layers beneath. The more heat you use, the more it will alter the look. It will harden when it cools. YOu can go back and heat it more if you decide to. When it cools you can pull it off the skewer - but don't touch it until it is cool. They will surprise you with very interesting textures as they are heated.

There are fun things you can do to add variety. Dip the hot bead into some embossing powder and reheat. Or sprinkle a little on the heated bead. Or wrap in metallic thread or lightweight wire after it cools. After that you may want to add more embossing powder and reheat, or maybe it will look so good, you'll want to stop there.

These are great fun. Just don't breathe the hot Tyvek fumes, and don't burn yourself. This is not an appropriate project for children.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

tyvek beads

Today, after art pal Jackie mentioned she might make some tyvek beads - I had to get in on the fun so looked online for tutorials and made my first beads. Here's the pic. And here is a pic of the Mexican Sage in my garden, and then one of Nikki helping in the yard. She learned to dig! And dig! And dig!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Better and better

I'm feeling much better. Took Nikki for her first vet. appt. yesterday where she got a clean bill of health. But, surprise, he thinks she is only 8 or 9 months old. A pup! Yep! No wonder she ate the strap off my good sandals today. LOL She still has some things to learn. Here she and her vet are checking each other out.

Candis and Chantelle and I took Buddy and Nikki to the dog park this afternoon. It was a good experience, and once Nikki decided it was safe to leave us and come back and we'd still be there - she was off dashing about and frolicking all over the place. Buddy pretty well contents himself to sniffing everyone and every blade of grass and peeing at every post and corner. But, Nikki was into action. It was good to see her get such good exercise. And she came right back to us and was ready to come home for her dinner. A good day. I've had Nikki for one week today, and I have yet to see her pee or poop. She is such a clever girl, she uses the doggie door and goes outside. Even on walks she does not leave anything behind. She waits til we get home than slips out to take care of her business in private.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Kids brought me Chinese food and pie for my birthday. They were disapointed we didn't do something really special since this was a BIG birthday! But, I'm still recuperating and having the family around is a wonderful way to celebrate.

Way to go Max!

This is Jill's dog Max. She doesn't just dress up horses.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nikki's here!!!!!

On her way here, Nikki jumped out of the car and dashed across a road and hid behind a closed restaurant. So, with that said, she is a bit shook up, as was Pat when she delivered her. It's a miracle Pat caught her again with the help of a passing motorist. She was badly shaken up by the experience of her mad dash. But, it's over and here we are.

When they got here Buddy was really happy to see Nikki and tried to make her feel welcome. He taught her to follow him up and down the stairs, and how to use the doggy door (which was new to her). That was almost three hours ago. Finally after a lot of nervous sniffing around, she fell asleep on her blankey, and when she woke up she enticed Buddy into some really fun horseplay - chasing each other round and round and a little wrestling. She pooped him out and he came to my lap for a little R&R. His little heart was beating so hard I knew he needed a time out. Nikki is still wanting to play but now she is leaving him in peace after he told her ( in a no nonsense growl) to back off when she came at him again.

Nikki doesn't seem to know what to think of TV. She is sitting here watching it, like they are real live people. Now she's barking at Tim Gunn. No one barks at Tim Gunn in my house. She'll have to learn that he's one of my favorite people. Maybe we can watch the Dog Whisperer together. Or "It's me or my dog". I think her curious behavior at seeing a TV must mean that she had been an outside dog before she ended up at the shelter. Nikki also does not know that patting my lap means , come on up! I think she'll figure that out pretty fast. But, again, I think it means she was NOT a lap dog. I'll be watching her assessing her behavior and training her to be a good indoor dog. Buddy is so well housetrained, I could leave inside him for hours on end.

They are both settling down side by side on the floor beside my chair now. They look pretty cute and comfortable.

While I'm recuperating

My friend Jill has entered her horse Ndeh in a pet costume contest in Contra Costa County. Here's a pic. Ndeh as Red Riding Hood. Sally, can you top this one?