Sunday, December 14, 2014

Deck the halls with bags of coffee -- my upcycled holiday door wreaths

upcycled holiday door wreath made from coffee bags
In the past I've made all kinds of holiday decorations. This year, all I wanted was a pair of upcycled wreaths to adorn my double front doors. Simple, right? 

Ha! What started as a daylong project has turned into a month of trial, error, and tears.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Vintage books finds, from pop art to scary nurses

vintage book finds
 I spent this past week in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Although I was there on a mission of family-related mercy, I managed to sneak off one afternoon to visit the best thrift store in town (maybe in the whole state), at least for old books. It's the St. Vincent's on West 11th. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Revenge of the Felines, part 3

Here's the last of my "postcats." (See batch 1 and batch 2.) I've got my addresses from iHanna for the swap, so they'll soon be flying around the globe. It will be hard to say goodbye!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Revenge of the felines -- postcats for iHanna swap

I'm participating in my 3rd postcard swap facilitated by the fabulous artist and blogger iHanna. For the past two swaps, I fretted and labored. This time, my postcards came quickly, once I discovered my theme. Or maybe I should say my method:

    Slapping kitty heads onto human bodies.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nothing to fear -- collage of faces from 1940

collage book made from vintage yearbook
I'm still obsessed with the vintage high school yearbook I found at a thrift store. I wasn't satisfied with my first tiny book collage, so I made another. This one is a little more serious. Ok, way more serious.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A gallery of shadowy figures

Collage made using gel medium transfers
At this week's meeting of my Mixed Media Group, we played with old photos and gel medium transfers. Fearless leader John explained how he'd made his own collage "Silicon Costume Party" (pictured here), then set us loose. 

Even though some of us used the same photos, all of our pieces are unique. That's what I love about art!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Charmed, I'm sure -- repurposing word tiles from a second-hand board game

Repurposed game pieces
Sometimes, a thrift store find becomes more and more useful as time goes on. Several years back, I binged on second-hand board games -- not for playing, but as raw material for upcycling. For inspiration, too. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trick or treat or…de-stash?

Upcycled Halloween Treats
I'm always on the lookout for ways to lighten my stash. How many playing cards and game pieces can one person upcycle? Halloween presents a perfect de-stashing opportunity. Wouldn't little monsters and princesses love to get a bag of fun, non-edible treats?

Only if they also get candy, or so my husband says. So this year, I created treat "envelopes" and put fun items inside.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Two more new (to me) art journal techniques

Last week I started the second round of my Mixed Media Workshop. Artist John Arbuckle, our fearless leader and teacher par excellence, welcomed us to "Level 2." Wow -- we didn't even realize we'd graduated from Level 1! Or even that it was "Level 1."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gonna mail myself a letter -- making custom postage stamps from old books

making custom postage stamps from old books
The more I dabble in mail art, the more fun I have. Some of my ideas come from the book Good Mail Day, which is a good guide to the long history of this art.

Until I read the book, I hadn't realized that some mail artists make their own postage stamps. A few create back stories (and entire fictional countries) to go with their stamps. I'm not that ambitious (yet), but this week I did make a few of my own stamps.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Most likely to succeed -- turning old yearbook photos into collage art

Queen Anne High School Yearbook 1940
Last year I picked up an old high school yearbook at my local thrift store. Really old. I planned to use it for collage ephemera. But once I started flipping through it, I had second thoughts. Based on the handwritten notes covering the pages, I figured the yearbook's owner, Marjorie, had been a popular girl. Or at least "swell," the word almost every classmate had used to describe her.

My favorite part, besides the film noir feel, was what the graduating seniors listed as their life ambitions. I read each one, comparing the goal with the face of its aspirant. One very ambitious girl promised to be "the first woman U.S. president." No, it wasn't Hillary. But she did have an impressive career.

These ambitions inspired a new accordion book collage.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gelli plate to the rescue! Junk mail makeover

junk mail
I am the victim of a vast conspiracy. You probably are, too. I am being smothered in paper I don't want. Phone books and free "newspapers" pile up on my doorstep, junk mail clogs my mail box, and companies insist on sending me paper bills and return envelopes even though I pay online. 

Everywhere I go, people try to give me more paper, even my beloved library. And don't get me started on paper receipts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2 New Postcards

I sent off two new postcards a few days ago. I'm happy with how they turned out, especially the second one. The images come from a couple of old National Geographic magazines and a elementary school science textbook.