Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A new "toy"

Yesterday I got a call from a gallery requesting more items...right before the weekend's event. That ALWAYS happens to me...something I just can't control. I figured I would make a few small little items to take there (I need to have them done by Thursday) because I really can't imagine how I would separate my inventory that I have prepared for the Art Festival.

One of my quickest things to make are these pods which I will fashion into pins. They are basically made from some canes that I had made recently. The central piece is from a component I used to make Ditty's face cane...

So does this mean I now have an "EYE POD"?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bitty Book for Ditty

I've decided that Ditzy Ditty will have a Bitty Book to accompany her ensemble. You can see the wires emerging from the hands which will eventually be joined at the elbows with wire. I've decided to leave the wire exposed but won't be exposing Ditty's other parts. I let the world see enough of her yesterday! She's fully covered up from head to torso now, but I still have some work to do on her bottom.

I am thinking of a way to add this little pink leather (suede) book to complete her accessorizing, but still have to work that out. Another engineering feat! Speaking of feet, don't know if she'll have them or just some bejeweled dangling thing. You are the Dangling Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine>>>Oh yah. Can't you tell what movie I saw recently?

Her hands look a little dirty...Dirty Ditty! Maybe she got her fingers on the ink inside the book before it was dry! Bad Ditty.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not full frontal New Ditty-doll

I made an itty-bitty face cane for Ditty. She's not lovely, but I only wanted a few faces and so I didn't spend too long on her.

She has Trendy-Fendi bags under her eyes. And other bags elsewhere, that will be covered up. But I thought I'd show how I start.

Of course the proportions aren't correct, but by the time I build up all the clothing parts, it will work, I hope. There I go, working intuitively again and hoping for the best.
Now, for that question... Ditty asks: "What am I going to WEAR?"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Au Bout de ma Ficelle

Well, I'm not really at the end of my rope(string), an expression my mother used to say when she was "fed up" with something. But it's a good thing I have a considerable amount of patience, as it seems I have been doing a lot of "creative" problem solving to get around things that have cropped up lately.

In my preparation for next week's Art Festival, I have been beset with finding innovative solutions to some situations that I've encountered in the past couple of days. Some solutions are necesssary because the kind of work I do is very, shall we say, spontaneous, and not all that carefully planned out ahead of time. I find that is how I work and after many years of trying to do things according to a PLAN, sometimes it just doesn't go that way, so I go with my gut and do things the way they WANT or NEED to go. Utilizing that approach necessitates being a "problem solver" or at least being able to circumvent situations that could otherwise be problematic.

A couple of examples come to mind immediately. Situation One: I am working on this balanced wall hanging, and of course, it has to HANG properly. I have encountered this problem before, so I was prepared for it, but just didn't know how I was going to get around it this time. The thing is kind of a chicken and I want it to hang by the middle of its back. Whenever I make this kind of bird and put the hanger in the piece (before it is cured) it inevitably wants to lean forward, like the chicken is pecking the ground. (NOT enough weight on the back end.) Since the way I make these chickens is one side at a time, I put my five cents in on this one. When I was sculpting and doing the back (the second side), I imbedded five pennies in strategic locations at the chick's rear end, so that it would balance. To my "chicken delight", it worked! The photo on the left shows the plainer side, the one I did first. You can't tell where the five pennies are because they are imbedded in the middle of the body, along with other structural items like copper mesh wire which prevent it from bending, some ugly gray clay to make it stronger and some liquid polymer to keep it all together.

The second problem I anticipate with this type of piece is where to drill the hole for the "legs" to fit in. I am going to use the metal 'found' object', sans coil, as the jambes. I realize it looks more like a wish bone, but think it might add a funky touch if I fashion it into legs.
Of course if I were to go with my gut and just drill away where I think the hole should go, it will probably not balance again. This is when I throw my creative problem solving ability out the window and approach the engineer in the family to determine exactly where the moments of force (or whatever you call them) dictate where to position the hole.
I haven't decided yet if the bird needs to have talons or toes: I might just paint tiny little claws on the end of the metal.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Name that Button!

Next week I will be taking part in an Arts Festival in some very scenic surroundings in the neighboring province of Ontario.I have been busy preparing for it and today my area of focus was on creating a few buttons. I know that technically, buttons may not seem to "fit" the category of ART, but having gone by my past shows there, they have been very much appreciated by the committee and the clientele, so I continue to make them available there.
I have tried to follow up on what folks have done with them, and have often heard they've been used as book closures, quilt decorations, garment fasteners and some have been added to collections as "studio buttons" by button collectors.
This particular series was done with shades of golds, browns,coppers and bronzes. For the background on some of these scans I've used snippets of Gustav Klimt's more renowned works. I don't mean to use his work merely as a background...it's far too precious for that, but if someone were to fashion a fabric akin to his mastercloths, I think the buttons would go well as adornments.
Now it's back to work. Hubby's arm is getting better...it's been two weeks since he "hit" the pavement, and so he was able to cut some pages for some books I am preparing. This afternoon and tonight I have scheduled my "time to bind". And no, I haven't been eating a lot of cheese lately. (That's in reference to a sketch of a table full of cheeses I did a number of years ago that I sacrilegiously titled "Blest be the Cheese That Binds". That's NOT a sketch I will be showing at the Art Festival, tee hee.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

One for the money, two for the show...

Whew! Starting at about 7:15 am, I got it all together and photographed by 10 am. Binding went pretty smoothly, with one minor glitch, but thanks to the bookmaker muses, it all turned out okay.

With 106 photos and nine signatures in the interior, it was a test of my patience and sticktoitiveness. Fortunately, I have done enough books to know where to watch out and have pretty well figured out the right tension for the type of waxed linen I used. I would have preferred blue, but the black worked pretty well.

I didn't fare so well with the texting inside, as my Pigma pen was playing tricks on me, so I had to settle for a less than perfect fine point no name brand whose ink supply was on the verge of depletion. No time to get another as I finally finished the journal aspects at 11:45 pm after visiting with family on Friday Night. It was the right decision to take some time off. Taking a break from what would have been 14 continuous hours of working on it, my resolve to complete everything but the binding was accomplished by Friday.

NOW to package it up in some super wrap...and to get ready myself...Heck I have 90 minutes to get to the restaurant, bathe, find something to wear, drive the distance and then....ENJOY! t is going to be a great weekend!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Around a life in 80 Years

This is the weekend of the big family reunion to celebrate my Uncle Ted's eightieth birthday. He is the only remaining sibling of my mother's family still around. His actual birthday was a couple of months ago, but he and his family thought a summer get-together to celebrate would be a little easier on everyone. There are folks coming in from all over North America and for some, it will be the first meeting in a very long time. It promises to be a weekend to remember.

As my gift, I got a whole collection of family photos, spanning nearly a hundred years from when my grandfather and grandmother were young, and photocopied them to bind them into this book, the covers of which you see here. Still I need to make the holes and I have my drill ready at the bit. Then will be the fun of binding the nine or so "chapters" or signatures. The pictures aren't the greatest; I am about the world's worst person to play around with Photoshop, and my uncle, is one of the best. Needless to say I couldn't ask him for help, as the book is his "surprise". His hobby for the last 60 years or so has been photography, so I hope he doesn't agonize over my attempts too much. He was always the one with all the latest photo equipment, and when digital equipment came in, of course he was there right from the start. He has provided the family with many wonderful shots from years ago that he has laboriously printed up on everything from linen to canvas and all the photo papers one could name. Many of his reprints look like the actual paintings of other family members.

Naturally, my book has covers done in polymer clay and since he is basically color-challenged (aren't a lot of males?), I did the photos in black and white. I even did a little transfer of him at age fifteen for the cover of the book, to remind him of the days when he was younger than his grand kids. It is laughingly titled "Celebrating the First Eighty Years". I wonder if anyone knows the words to the song wishing him many more years that was always sung in our family's celebrations???

Friday, July 4, 2008

Holiday Time...Are we in the dog days of summer already?

Canada Day in Osborne Village July 1st was wonderful. My vantage point was incredible and the parade of passers-by was much more colorful than if some committee had orchestrated it. Early in the morning, Captain Canada, regaled in silver breast plate and an ornate helmet passed out paper flags to anyone who needed one. About a half hour later, a "Biker Gang" came through, a troup of about fifty septo-or octogenarians who walked their two-wheelers through the village. Despite their support hose and sun-wrinkled skin, they were all alive with lots of spirited fun which they spread to everyone. The real crowds started appearing around noon, with lots of families with young kids in strollers; many of whom had flag tattoos emblazing their faces. And there were plenty of bandana'd dogs with the families...nice that there was a splash pool beside my awning where most of them stopped for a drink, and the occasional splash and splatter. As the day pressed on, the parade's colors grew more and more vibrant, especially the tattoos and hair shades. I'd say it was as interesting as the past few Halloweens around here. Too bad I couldn't stay to watch the fireworks display after sundown...it was a long time to spend outside but every minute was enjoyable.

The beautiful weather has continued through to today and today it's the turn for my American cousins to celebrate in their country. I got a call early this morning from Wendy who was out at her beach house in Galveston. We'll be getting together next week and having a family reunion here, in celebration of her father's eightieth birthday. More holiday fun.

We'll do the beach thing tomorrow, as we are headed for Victoria Beach where I'll be at the Art Show. Hubby and the Divine Ms. M (for Molly) will be helping to support the East Beaches Animal Shelter collecting pledges from the cottagers and other beach visitors. Molly accompanies him and is sort of like a "poster girl"...she sits so nicely by the information table that everyone wants to visit with her. The kids are all over her and she laps up the attention. In many ways, she is like a rescue dog. When we got her at age nine months, she had already been in four different homes. I can't believe why anyone wouldn't want her, but then again, I am probably somewhat biased, having been her "Mummy" for the past eight years. And she has gradually grown to like me as much as her Daddy now that she is more mature and can obviously see past all the treats he gives her, whereas I give her different kind of attention like nurturing, g-r-r-rooming, massages, and carry out the more trying duties like cleaning her ears, eyes, and tidying up her nether areas.

In preparation for tomorrow's art sale, I have a few new pieces... several books, and this trio of brown/black and copper pieces. I even made some things I rarely make... earrings. There is this fabulous bakery out at that Beach called Enfield's Bakery. The other day there was a newspaper spread about their cupcakes, so I thought I'd honour them with frivolous fashion in the form of cupcake earrings, replete with sprinkles, to celebrate their cupcakes in a lo-cal manner. My cupcakes won't add inches to the waistline, and seeing as the polymer clay is inedible, these particular cupcakes won't require hours of cycling or running along the sandy beach to wear them off at all!