Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Expression of Love....

my latest themed media creation

Like many assemblage artists, I’m always looking for ways to use found objects in my work - be it the rusty metal thing-a-ma-jig on the ground, or the left-over frame work housing a chipboard alphabet, or the unused chopsticks from lunch. Whatever the case may be, if the shape or texture or patina is fun, it comes into the studio.

One night we were making Rice-a-Roni as a side-dish, and I took notice of the small, foiled seasoning bag within the box.

Hmmmm, I thought. It’s kraft-colored on the outside and foiled on the inside.

After rinsing the bag and letting it dry overnight, I decided to experiment with its two-toned features.

Shall I resin-coat it?

Shall I use alcohol inks?

Shall I...punch it ?
My large Fiskars scalloped punch would not fit inside the bag, but I found that by folding one side in half, back over itself, and centering the punch, I was able to create the full shape of the punch.

This allowed me to achieve an open design on the front side of the bag - creating a nice little foil frame to showcase a resin-coated paper word, Expression.

With the addition of an assortment of punched flowers attached to shopping bag handle "stems", my old slate chalkboard is now ready for many expressions of love.

The first being this very simple, very sweet sentiment...

If I had a flower for every time you made me smile and laugh,

I'd have a garden to walk in forever...

Click to see my Technique Tuesday how-to video over on the ICE Resin website.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

America. Free to Dream....

From a vintage clipboard and a handful of ICE Resin products, I've created a home decor piece that is very close to my heart.

As an assemblage artist, I find the process of creating quite inspiring and fun.

There is NO formal plan...There is just....

First, there is the collecting. The finding. The dirty, dirty digging... I LOVE that part.

Then, there is the spark. The moment you hone in on a piece of the pile and an idea begins to form.  Most call this moment "the moment a piece speaks to them"... I guess, in a way, that's true, but I've had a piece "talk" to me...lol Oh, the conversations we would have...I'd let the "pile" do all the talking...YES, I'd shut up to hear the stories...ok, so I'd TRY to keep my mouth closed, but probably not!

In this instance, the piece was a textured and embossed ABC cover of an old dictionary. A mold and clear casting was created. The texture and the graphics of the casting were so unique - delicate looking, but sturdy. I spent several days just touching and looking at the piece. (ok, I didn't just sit there for days holding and staring at the casting, but it was in my "space" so I could re-visit it over and over again).
Next step? Consult the "pile"... (yes. yes. I have a pile...more like a mountain, er, mountain range!)

Vintage clipboard.

ABC's...Clipboard? Yes. That works.

Add some softness to the hard edges?

Old upholstery fabric samples from the books my mom "donated" to me from her shop...

Oooooh. ICE Resin ribbon in coordinating color? Yes. That works.

Textured "ribbon" from old, VERY old cheesecloth-meets-muslin-like mesh dust-cover fabric I had saved from under-the-old-box springs I had torn apart a few years back to retrieve rusty box springs (to add to the collective pile, of course!). Yes. That works.

Add a bit of ICE Resin mica sheet over a mini-word flash card.

A bezel with the word FREE...filled with resin.

Add a Bingo marker, so just the B GO are visible.

Embellish a bit more. Punch holes. Add wire. Add chain...

Soon, the piece spells out a phrase...so meaningful. So close to home...

America. Free to Dream. Just B. And GO forth.


My post featured today over on ICE Resin Creative Team Wednesday...

I created this piece in honor of my middle son, Kyle, who is currently in the Army; out of respect for family members and all my friends’ husbands, wives, sons and daughters serving now, and previously, all around us. To those who have and are risking their lives daily and are separated for months on end, to ensure our American freedoms.

As artists, as a society, not only are we free to dream and create, but we can openly convey our feelings, wants, and desires through a variety of media … written words, sculpture, music, fashion, Internet. In my corner of the world, I cannot imagine my life without the simple freedom I have and the joy I find when searching for found objects and cast-offs to then use to express myself through art. Too often I think I take these and other simple, daily freedoms for granted simply because it has always been a way of life, my whole life, thanks to the many sacrifices of others beside me and before me.

Although not the traditional RED, WHITE, and BLUE, the colors that I well-up at while they are marching by in a parade, or raised at the opening ceremony of a graduation, or flown in mass numbers by a nation at a time of devastation and in need of commiseration, this piece holds a special place in my heart as a constant reminder…

AMERICA. FREE to DREAM. Just Be. And GO forth.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A.J. ...

Friday, the 13th!!!

No, it's NOT a horror movie clip...but there was blood!!!

My little guy not so little-anymore guy, had his wisdom teeth pulled this morning...

He was brave. He was calm. He was amazing!!!

I love you, A.J.

You are one tough cookie!!!



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Get Serious.

It's been a very wild ride these last couple of years.

We've had multiple Disney projects to complete for park openings worldwide.

We've bought and sold a couple of commercial buildings.

Moved our entire business - twice - in two different cities.

A son joined the Army.

A son graduated high school.

A treasured family pet passed away (more accurately - suddenly and unexpectedly needed to be put to sleep).

New artistic opportunities offered.


Time spent with new friends.

Old friendships renewed.

Wow! Lots of roller coaster...LOTS of LIFE!

Things will always be hectic and crazy, I think. Phillip and I are SO goal oriented, we joke about how we'll leave this earth with a LONG to-do list. Our minds just never.sit.still. Sometimes, I wonder what it's all for. Why do we put this kind of pressure on ourselves? Are we truly making a difference?

Would we be satisfied in a small condo with a communal gardener vs. a huge, fixer-upper house on a mountain with over-grown acreage?

Could we get by with just one little commuter car vs. a stable of classic cars and motorcycles and a motor home and a scooter and a dune buggy? (all collected over a 27-year marriage, of course! We never won the lottery or had some rich family member die and bequeath us a bucket of money!)

Would we be happy back working in the 2-car garage where we started E.B. Effects vs. our current 14,000+ commercial space?

I think it's all just a matter of perspective, you know?

It's always been about setting goals and keeping moving forward - even if that meant sacrifices and taking two steps backwards on the current path (sometimes more!) to take one forward in the right direction...

It's like a shark...always swimming.swimming.swimming.

I reflect because, I've been talking and talking and talking AND planning and planning and planning a new adventure called The Rusty Monkey. It focuses around art and creative workshops...teaching, hosting and sharing a variety of designs and techniques with others.

Our new location has the space with prime frontage...location.location.location...and the time is getting near...to say I'm not a little scared would be an understatement...not scared of failure, so much, but scared of time...will I be able to make the time to get-er-done?

Today, I reflect on how when the boys were little and we were busy with school, sports, scouts, etc...I used to think, when these guys grow up, I'll have SO much time! Well, that's NOT the case...Together Phillip and I have grown a business as well. Kind of a 20+ year old fourth child, so to speak, but one that will never leave the nest...It's a kick ass, great business. We LOVE it!!! So why am I thinking about starting another business? Why?

It's time. It's time to get SERIOUS. Serious about creating a place I can create. A place where I can event plan. A place where I can laugh and share and learn with other like minded women...and men, I guess. I'm surrounded by men now...the entire shop is men! Men are creative too!

Everyone keeps asking me, "What is The Rusty Monkey?", when I mention it...

When will The Rusty Monkey be open?

In a nut shell, the Rusty Monkey will be a place where artistic and creative workshops will be offered. Classes to learn a plethora of creative pursuits...

home decor elements - wall art, art canvases, signage, faux painting, etc.

dimensional mixed-media, re-purposed and salvage art

jewelry making - soldering, resin casting, beading, etc.

yard art - rusty goods, found objects, etc...

Open studio events...seasonal market places for sales of found objects and art creations...fun gatherings of minds. I'm even hoping to entice other instructors in specialized arenas to come teach and share their knowledge...and offer open space for their own "trunk sales" on their day(s) of teaching.

I just want to share and have fun. I want to create a place, a place big enough to spread out, but still cozy enough to feel connected. A place to inspire and build lasting friendships.

All in due time...I'm getting closer...

Hope you enjoyed a bit of my collected inspiration...


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