Friday, July 27, 2012

More Pieces

I got inspired by the art of Charley Harper I was finding on websites. I love all his stuff, but his birds struck a particular chord in me. It seemed to me that his cardinals, especially, were crying out to be captured on a bookmark using paper piecing.

Bear in mind that I haven't "grounded" them yet, so they feel a bit incomplete as they float in space. One person suggested perhaps a watercolor branch on which they might perch. That's a good idea. (It would be better if I felt any confidence in my ability to actually paint a watercolor branch under them!)

In Harper's art, the cardinals are often placed within the greenery of a conifer or on a snow covered patch of ground (onto which seeds from a bird feeder have fallen). As I walk by these guys several times each day, I'm leaning more and more toward that last one. I think I could draw some sunflower seeds and use markers to color them in. Little random specs of yellow could be crushed bits of corn.

We'll see, maybe I'll try 3 different things!

Not sure where I'll leave them. I heard that someone in the upper management of our local bookstore (from corporate offices out of state) wasn't too pleased to find the bookmark I left there. [Not sure if that makes me want to leave more....or just give up that idea. HA!]

I'm thinking perhaps one should go to the library and find its way to the section on birds. Perhaps another should perch on the shelf by the art books (especially if there's a book on Charley Harper, no?!?)

I haven't received any emails from any of the first pieces of art put out there. While I'm REALLY curious, and would LOVE to hear back....that's not the reason I'm doing it. As long as someone smiles or has a happy moment....that's all that truly matters.

Stay tuned, I'll have an update on CANADIAN BUTTERFLIES next week!!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pieced Together

Happy Monday everyone! What did you do over the weekend? It's been SO hot in my neck of the woods that we are trying to get all our errands and outdoor activities done before 10 am or so. We did hit a couple garage sales on Saturday.

What you see here is a little collage tag I made using one of my Saturday purchases. I found a puzzle for only a quarter, so I grabbed it knowing that puzzle pieces make nice parts for mixed media collages. (Here it is painted 1950s aqua to reflect the theme.)
I will be abandoning this one near some cookbooks I think....either at a library or perhaps a book store. Hmmmmm, we'll have to see!

Last week when I went spelunking at Goodwill I found a box of old poker chips for $1. Here's what I'm making with them:

Little fridge magnets with doodles and paint! I think they're cute and they will be fun to set free somewhere!

Let me know what creative things you've been doing!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guilty of Abandonment

I have set free two pieces of art.

The ATC (Artist Trading Card) sized print on the right has a magnet on the back along with the note that it is free art to enjoy. My DD and I left it magnetized to one of the shelves in the Fiction section at our public library this morning!

The matted photo on the right was taken by DD on one of her road trips. There was this abandoned train out in the middle of Iowa with all these cool markings on it! She added the quote and it makes a really cool piece! We left this one on the table at the local java house where they will be having an acoustic mike night tonight.

I'm excited about leaving these out. I hope people will send an email in and let us know they took them.

Oh, and I found the two mats at the Goodwill for 50 cents each! The ATC cards were in the sale bin at Hobby Lobby--a pack of 5, self-adhesive "photo" ATCs--for $1.33. Who could pass that up?!?!

I also found a box of old poker chips at Goodwill yesterday. I'm thinking I will repurpose them into fridge magnets or necklaces for some more art to abandon.

Having a LOT of fun with this! Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2012

All About Art

The theme of this past weekend for me was "art". It started with the usual Saturday morning garage sale routine. At the first stop I found some teaching posters featuring paintings on one side and information about the artist, the painting, and the social milieu into which the piece was born. Already laminated, I think there will be countless ways to use these with students to encourage creative thinking/writing.

Later in the day I made a really fun discovery: Art Abandonment. If you'd like to read a full description you will find that HERE. In a nutshell, creative people all around the country and world are making art and abandoning their works to the wild for some random person to discover and enjoy.

(It's a bit like yarn bombing which I've participated in! But limitless in technique, size, etc.)

I thought this was such an intriguing idea...leaving works of they paintings, jewelry, sculpture, mixed-media, fiber creations...anything goes!....for a random passerby to find. I love it!!

So I decided to join the Facebook group dedicated to Art Abandonment and jumped in with both feet!

I made this little 3.5"x5.5" watercolor & chalk using the stamp I hand-carved of the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County, WI. I had a lot of fun making this simple little piece of art.

This morning my son had to have all four wisdom teeth taken out. When I was alone in the oral surgeon's waiting room, I put it into an empty slot in the rack of informational pamphlets they had displayed on an end table.

I hope someone enjoys it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun, Light Reading

Ok, I'm totally hooked on Alexander McCall Smith's series of books that began with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

The books are delightful! They're under 200 pages which means you can read them in a day (or two). The characters are engaging. The way Mma solves the mysteries, ingenious!

I have read the first three this past week or so. I'm saving the fourth for tomorrow as I have some family related stuff that means I'll be doing some waiting for several hours.

I've discovered that between my local library and the Ames Public Library (for which I also have a membership card) I can download these books as free library loans to my Nook. How fun/cool is that?!

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 09, 2012

What I Found

This post begins with an admission: my family has gotten the bug for going to garage sales together on Saturday mornings. (Garage sales = tag sales in some parts of the country. a.k.a. "yard sales".) We also enjoy Estate Sales! So for the past couple of months we get up, check the newspaper, circle our destinations, and head out to see what great treasures we might find out there.

I've decided I might share some of my finds with you on these early days of the week!

I've been doing a lot of reading lately (I have completed a couple of the Alexander McCall Smith series "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series. Fun! Quick reads!) One of the series I wanted to try is the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evonovich. I can never find the first book! Not at the library. Not via the electronic downloads to my Nook. Nada.

However, on the third stop along the garage sale circuit this past Saturday, guess what I found?

That's right! The first THREE books in the series all in one bundle! And...I only paid $1 for the whole shebang!


This turned out to be a really fun sale because there were two neighbors also selling which meant three garages all in ONE spot!

Across the way I spotted this bit of vintage looking fabric:

It was a bundle of four cloth napkins for again, $1 (yes! just a buck!) Something about the retro colors and potential pattern pulled me in and I bought them. And this is what they look like unfolded!

I realize beauty may be in the eye of the beholder on this, but I think they are absolutely fabulous!! I'm looking for ideas on ways to use/display them. Framing would be fun if I had some others to go on the wall in a collage. I've seen window valences made from them. I'm wondering if it's possible to fashion an apron using one and some other fabric? (I'm really into aprons for some reason!)

For now, I'm going to let the ideas simmer. You never know what I'll find next Saturday!

If you're going out to any garage/tag sales I wish you happy hunting!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Proud Mom Moment

I have to brag up my daughter a bit! She had one of her first sessions photographing a senior for the Class of 2013. You can find links to the photos from her Facebook page at She does great work and her prices can't be beat!

The beautiful young lady being photographed is the daughter of my BF from college who blogs over at Sew Not My Day. Hi Val!

My daughter's blog/business site can be found HERE.

She has such a creative eye!

Monday, July 02, 2012

What I've Been Reading

Hello everyone! We had a quick trip up to the Twin Cities this weekend to spend time with DH's family. His brother's family from Texas is there visiting their family, so we made time to have the sibs gather at his sister's home. What a treat! Of course, I got home feeling like I had not had enough time with my dear SIL, Ann. Ah well....we'll just have to go back again, right?

I've been doing quite a bit of reading this summer. (It helps that it's much too hot for me to spend time outdoors doing things like letterboxing or geocaching!)

I am loving my Nook Color! Especially since I discovered how easy it is to borrow books on it from the library. I don't even have to leave the house. (That's a WIN/WIN on these days with the heat index over 100*F!)

Some of what I've read I've done for book club. Others have just been of my own choosing. I read "The Things We Do For Love" by Kristen Hannah. Then I checked out "The Bone Collector" by Jeffery Deaver from the library on my Nook. That was a very dramatic, and slightly gory read! (I believe they made it into a movie. Perhaps I'll have to see about getting it to compare to the book.) If there are any sequels to this novel, I would definitely read them!

Another book I read was "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly. I admit I was disappointed by this one. It was VERY predictable and turned out exactly as I thought it would from the beginning.

The book I just finished over the weekend is "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey" by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

I saw Dr. Taylor speak on a TED talk and knew I wanted to read the book which would expand what I heard there. WOW! What an amazing story! At age 37, she had rare AVM type stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. She remained aware of what was happening to her throughout the stroke and shares the experience. Her right hemisphere helped her to experience a spiritual connection to the universe which many people, myself included, might envy. The end of her book talks about getting back to that place of connection following her amazing recovery from the stroke. She talks about ways that each of us, without having a stroke, can engage that part of our brains that is open to the larger picture/greater good.

I found this book very inspiring. I think I will even make it my choice for my other book club which meets again in the fall!