Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Journal

I started a new daily journal a few weeks ago. It's a Christmas gift from my dear friend Debra, and I love the fabric covers and landscape orientation.

I have given it a "Spring" theme and am using lots of bird and garden images (to go with the covers).

Vintage photos too, which are always fun to include.

I use it for my daily jottings, lists, new art ideas
and hand-held therapist.
More shots on Thursday.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life on the Coast

photo courtesty Gary Hayes

Yes, it's still February,
but this week I saw red winged black birds,

photo courtesy dailykos.com

heard mockingbirds at dawn,

and delighted in poppies and lupine.
Can Spring be far behind?

Friday, February 24, 2012

From the Bookshelf

This wonderful book is a compilation of posts from Sophie Blackall's blog Missed Connections.
She takes the actual missed connections posts and then illustrates them in her own inimitable style. Sweet, poignant, funny, off-the-wall - every emotion and situation is represented. A book full of hopeful possibilities. Women missing men, men missing women, men missing men ... only one woman missing woman - but maybe we're better at not missing that first connection! Ms. Blackall, a well respected illustrator of children's books has produced a little gem of a book that is a delight to delve into to.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baker Street Revisited

Baker Street Revisited 8x10"

Last Christmas I had a commission for a Holmes piece featuring the actors from the new BBC series "Sherlock" (which just finished its second season). Well, she was so pleased with it, that she commissioned a new piece with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law - the latest (and most dishy) Sherlock and Watson to appear on the big screen.

Here's the result - lots of gears, the obligatory magnifying glass, chains, bricks and unidentified bits and bobs. Combined with red oxide, titanium buff, and black acrylics - stenciled (from Mary Beth Shaw's Stencil Girl company) and spattered on.

I was able to get the gears raised up a bit from the canvas in a couple of paces, which make for some very cool shadows.

As soon as everything's set and dry, I'll pop it in the post on its way to Missouri to join the first piece.

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's All Sew Vintage!

When we were in Boston last month we walked past the most amazing window display I've ever seen. All Saints Spitalfields, a tres cool clothing store out of the UK, has a vast amount of front window space and every bit of it was full of vintage sewing machines.

Dozens of brands, dozens of models,

beautifully designed, pieces of art.

And, every one of their stores worldwide has the same display!

They searched high and low, finding every machine they can,

to create these wonderful assemblages!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Suitcase Saturday

Now and then here on Suitcase Saturday I thought I'd show you some of wonderful shots of suitcases I've come across in magazines, friend's houses, and on the web. The one above is from Country Living magazine and shows a lovely stack of vintage cases as a decorative accent in an entry way.

Next Victoria Bliss magazine features cases and hatboxes.

This leaning stack came from the beautiful Selvedge, an English magazine to die for. If you've never seen a copy -run, don't walk -to your local Barnes and Noble and be amazed.

And last but not least - this shot taken at a Lynne Perrella "Frida" workshop several years ago hosted by the late Carol Parks .The ofrenda we made was backed by Carol's wall of suitcases - all of which held weird and wonderful art goodies.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lovely Time at the Love Shack

We had the best time the last few days. Relaxing at The Love Shack at Ojala in the hills west of Ojai. Again, grazie mille to Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch From LA for alerting us to this delightful retreat.

Tinkling wind chimes in the afternoon breezes.

Lots of places to rest,

and read and journal.

Beautiful flowers and rock hearts,

a tangerine orchard,

bright berries.

Ferns and trees by the water.

A river tumbling over stones and providing a constant
and lovely soundtrack of susurration and peace.

An unexpected steampunk touch.

The only drawback? This keeps running through your mind!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's

Happy Valentine's Day. This is a piece I made for my darling Margot a few years ago. I raided the cigar box that was labeled "hearts" and pulled out everything I could fit on the canvas. Buttons, charms, metal, ceramic and glass. It was a project that really came from the heart!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Life on the Coast

photo courtesy Mary Ann Moss-Dispatch from LA

We are spending a long weekend here - having a delightful 60th birthday retreat for me! Wonderful tiny cabin, wood burning stove, babbling creek, piles of books and relaxing time together. Thanks to Mary Ann for discovering this hidden gem - and for her evocative picture above. Have to go read and nap now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

From the Bookshelf

As a librarian I found this book fascinating and so true! Everyday we find at least one interesting item left in a book - everything from a mundane shopping list to a hundred dollar bill. Author Michael Poper works in a used bookstore and has found historical letters and photos, vintage ads, tickets, schedules, postcards - the list is endless. He presents a picture of the item and then the text if its a letter. A nice layout, good photos and just plain fun to see what lies lost "between the pages."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Swap Meet Score

Went to the swap meet over the weekend and feel in love with the marble booth! I don't play marbles (back in the '50's at my grade school girls had to play jacks - the boys got to play marbles - too bad women's lib had hit yet!) but I was fascinated by all the boxes and trays of beautiful specimens.

The seller was enamored with his subject, so excited to talk about the different types and their history. He was surrounded by dads and their sons - I guess all the girls (except me) were over at the "jacks booth"!

Big ones,

Small ones

gorgeous blue ones with the photographer captured in every marble!

I also did a bit of shopping and scored a type drawer (can never have too many), a vintage suitcase (ditto), a fragile, lacy shawl, a decoupaged 3 drawer CD cabinet (get for stash storage), a small chest (assemblage-worthy) and a tiny wooden dutch figure (just for fun!).

Monday, February 6, 2012

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men 18x36"

Spent the weekend putting the finishing touches on 12 Angry Men which will be entered in a juried show sponsored by Cambria's Allied Arts.

I had one of those "Ah-ha!" moments when I started thinking about what to do for this show. My mind went from 'juried" to "courtroom" to "12 Angry Men" to Da Vinci - well, you get the idea. And so did I!

I gessoed the canvas and added texture with cheesecloth and garnet gel. I chose a palette of titanium buff, red iron oxide and a mix of black and phthalocyanine blue. The acrylics were painted, splashed and spattered on. Xerox copies of Da Vinci's "Screaming Man" in different sizes were coloured in with Portfolio water soluble oil pastels and adhered with matte medium.

The large central face was backed with fun foam to give dimension. Sequin scrim was used as stencils for cream dots in two sizes. A vintage legal document was xeroxed, torn in strips and also adhered with the matte medium.

What could be more perfect for a juried show
than 12 Angry Men?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Suitcase Saturday

This is another vintage reproduction suitcase from Ross. Small, but just the right size to hold my collection of sewing notions from the '40s, '50's and '60s.

Some of this is from the sewing baskets and cabinets of my mom and her older sister. Some came by way of eBay and swap meets. A couple of the retro needle packs were found at a quilt show in Sonora, California and the rows of white buttons on the blue card a prize find at a Paris flea market on our honeymoon.

I keep my eyes open for other wonderful little things to add to this stash - garage sales are good hunting grounds and thrift stores also.

A few years ago I raided the stash to make this assemblage (in a vintage sewing machine drawer) for my favourite seamstress, my lovely and talented wife Margot.