Friday, October 4, 2013

Dropped the ball

I miss my blog, I miss making art dolls, but it seems like my mojo has dried up. I keep sitting down to create and it ends up a hot mess that gets tossed in the trash.

The year has been full of upheavals, the most dramatic was a sudden transfer to Gulfport, MS in July that still leaves me unsettled. And I hate it here. I've tried to find some things to appreciate, but it just isn't happening.

Anyway, I am not sure that I will keep this blog. I've loved it and it has been a big friend maker, but my heart just isn't in it. My heart isn't in anything, to be frank.

So I am sending this out in the void-my apologies for my lack of attention and  au revoir. If I restart the blog, it will be for completely different reasons.

Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie

Monday, February 4, 2013

Embrace the Sky

 Skies filled with color
I watch with awe
Skies filled with light
I watch with wonder

Skies filled with hope
Skies showing the journey
I embrace the sky.


Embrace the Sky art doll
Embrace the sky is the 3rd doll (talisman doll) I made for Barb Kobe's Medicine Doll Workshop.

The past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions and physical issues, so I had a hard time working on this. Moving, settling into the new place, issues with family and husband have all combined ti snap my creative energy. My new craft room is in a dark storage room, which hasn't helped, but I am going to correct that as soon as possible.

Embrace the sky is the result of much introspection about where I am and where I'd like to be. The two spots are very far apart, but I am on the journey.

When mulling over the list of things I need to change, I realized that the biggest issue I have is shying away from anything and everything, sticking to safe and dull. I need to step out and try new things,  and stop being afraid.

A huge comfort for me is sky gazing. I love clouds, stars, the moon, the sun, and yes, even lightning storms. I love finding places where I can see vast expanses of sky. Maybe I need to move out west!

When starting the doll, I knew I wanted to represent some aspect of this, so I put her flying through the air. I used a rainbow organza to show all the lovely colors the sky can be at different times.  There are clear beads and colored beads stitched all over the dress (which my lousy photography did not capture) so she reflects light.

Her hair is reddish orange like the sun and she gazes straight ahead so she is not missing any part of
the journey. She holds a bowl to catch everything she might normally miss or avoid purposely. She can tilt the bowl to scatter the negative things. The bowl has stars in it. I still like to go outside in the evenings and touch my childhood by looking for the first star and wishing on it. Yes, I admit it.... does anyone else do that, I wonder?

It is rare for me to work with such bright colors, but it was a good experience. I enjoyed seeing the colors of the organza shimmer and change as I worked with it. 

I need to embrace more color in my life. I need to embrace my journey and know that my pain and suffering can turn into something beautiful if I allow it. I need to embrace the sky.

Embrace the Sky art doll detail


technical stuff:
body is 2D, muslin stuffed with polyfil and quartz crystals.
arms are wire wrapped cotton strips, wound with rainbow thread and beads. 
dress is rainbow organza embellished with glass beads.
Her belt is rainbow threads with bead embellishments. Dangling is a "wish" charm.
hair is mohair and funky fiber yarn.
face is acrylic paints
bowl is papier mache covered with tissue paper print of a garden.
inside bowl are confetti stars in silver.


Not for medicine doll workshop, but an offshoot of thinking about how much I love to be a part of nature is Winter Queen:

Winter Queen art doll


She is papier mache with a jar holding shimmery snow as her base/skirt. I used pale icy blue fabric for the dress and white satin and white organza for the cape. Her muff is a thread spool wrapped with white yarn. It was fun to purposely limit my palette but I just had to use the red mohair for the hair.


Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie

 
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Two more dolls

I love how the crow doll turned out! Clay and mixed media assemblage.

Crow art doll

And this is a sweet little autumn goddess. Papier mache form with fabric leaves.

Autumn goddess art doll




Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie

 
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Keeper


About two months ago, I learned my mother has terminal cancer. I have not spoken to her in several years and do not plan to talk to her now. I have come under a lot of heat from a couple of family members due to my stubbornness, but I am standing my ground, for the sake of my own sanity.

I want to be very clear about this. I do not hate my mother. I am sorry that she has to go through so much pain and suffering. I don't want to know that anyone is going through such a horrific ordeal. I am sorry that she chose to spend her life in a constant state of disapproval, bigotry, and hate.  The term "energy vampire" describes my mother perfectly. I lived with it because I had to and  tried to overcome it many times, but after the way she treated my two sons, I just could not face it anymore.  I am not going to go over that history, as it is best left buried, but I need to deal with the emotional upheaval that my "loving" family is trying to foist on me.

I hated her for years. I wished her dead.  I had elaborate fantasies of making her suffer. But I got over it. I realized one day that I just didn't have the energy to hate anyone. It's too much work! I forgave her but I cannot forget, which is why I cut her out of my life. My adult children have also moved out of her sphere of influence, which I am blamed for. I taught my children to think and observe for themselves and they make their own decisions. I have tried to be as unlike my mother as humanly possible. Since we all decided at separate times and for different reasons to just amputate her, we have been happier and freer.

So when my niece called my daughter to say that we needed to get in contact with my mother because she is dying, I balked. As did all my children, with no input from me. I don't think I need to get in touch with her. At this point, it shouldn't matter. She is not part of my life, so why would I want to see her? I would feel like a hypocrite if I allowed her to guilt trip me one more time before she dies. And I refuse to put myself through it.

So there it stands. I have three sisters and three brothers. One brother (the other black sheep) has disappeared and no one knows where he is. The other two brothers are also not part of my life (not for 15 years)because they are vicious predators who operate within law but not morals. My three sisters I love. Only one is speaking to me now, and then very little, as she has her own issues to deal with. So I have felt isolated and shunned for the past month. And I feel like I lost my entire family, other than my children.

This has created a certain amount of sadness. I grew up in a large family. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter meant a huge crowd and a lot of children. I was always responsible for organizing the meal and the name drawing for gifts. I miss that. I have missed it for years. It leaves a hole in me, as the keeper of family gatherings. A niece told me that since I left the family, the gatherings are not as much fun. Flattering, but also saddening. But in the end, it is for the better.

She is the one who inspired The Keeper, as she called me that.

The Keeper is papier mache over prescription antidepressant/anti-anxiety bottles. I thought it was appropriate, as I started taking pills when I was 16 and my mother kicked me out of the house because I was preganant.  (Looking for love in all the wrong places....)The papier mache is seemingly fragile, yet sturdy... a description that several people have applied to me.

I used several layers of paint on her. One layer is a glittery silver, with the dark midnight blue over her. I used a crackle treatment so the silver shows just a tiny bit, a hint of an inner sparkle despite the grim exterior.  Her skin is tinged in green, which to me is a healing color.

She has dark circles around her eyes, showing the insomnia and worry suffered for so many years. To me, she looks resigned to her fate. The red lipstick is another hint of a more fun side, but her mouth is solemn and unsmiling because she is still deciding if she can trust anyone with an open smile.

She wears a kerchief holding her hair back, a symbol of her place as a worker. A wool shawl is draped over her, giving warmth and comfort.  She holds a key and lock and her heart is held in place by lace (fragile yet sturdy) wrapped around her body.  The raven is a glimpse of a nature loving poet inside.

Working on The Keeper was cathartic. (I also learned to work with papier mache!) I worked on her in odd moments over the course of a month and once finished, I knew that I felt cleansed and oddly lighter. I kept her on my desk for a week and felt that she needed a new home, as I did not want to keep her.

I am sending her to a friend on swap-bot as part of a swap. Even though she means a lot to me personally, I feel that she will be loved for her own sake in her new home. And she deserves that.

The Keeper art doll

After she was completed, I needed some fun, so I turned to a Zetti doll challenge on swap-bot. It is not a style I normally work in and a challenge to come up with the right theme, but I think I offset the grimness of The Keeper quite nicely. I look forward to challenging a more lighthearted side of myself in the future with this style.

She is called Blossom!

Zetti art doll






Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie



 
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More art doll swaps



More swaps!

I made this for a Halloween art doll swap I hosted in Art Doll Circle. I am tickled at how she turned out! She is paper mache over a candlestick, then cheesecloth with fabric stiffener.

Ghost Art Doll

This one is for a stump doll challenge. I used an upholstery sample for the stump part and a clay head I made earlier this year.

Cat Art Doll
The next two pictures are what I sent for Halloween in a Ziplock (gallon size ziplock). I had SO much fun putting this together. Nothing homemade, but only because what I made would not fit in the bag unless I took a lot of stuff out. I elected to keep the handmade items and send my partner stuff to make things with and a few trinkets to enjoy. 

Halloween swap

Halloween swap-contents


Included were: 
2-8x10 scrapbook paper
2- sticker assortment
die cuts
fall theme picture puzzles
2 magnetic notepads-owl and witch hat
2 kraft paper bags-black and purple
dish towel
mini ornaments-set of 6
2 Peanuts socks
band-aids
tissues
tag pad
2 sharpies-orange and black
2 black taper candles
orange tealights-set of 8
cupcake picks
witch rubber stamp
brads
owl ornament
frankenducky
felt ornament
card
post-it page markers

I am ready to do a Christmas one now!




Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie

 
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Art Dolls, Being Busy, and Changes

My last post was about my job. I am settling in nicely and really enjoying it, which I did not expect. It is interesting and there is something different every day. It is mentally AND physically demanding, so I am sleeping a lot better at least 2-3 nights per week. For that alone, I would love the job! I like the people I work with and I am learning so much.

So to the universe goes a huge thank you.

I am still working on my art dolls and art journal, just haven't had a chance to post much. I just started working on my 3rd doll for the Medicine Doll Workshop and can't wait to really have a chance to focus on her exclusively. Some of the things I have finished lately:

 An angel for a Movie Whimsy mug, as her partner said her movie choices were "too hard." Lazy to not even try, if you ask me. The choices were Star Wars (see my Chewie plushie!), Kill Bill, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Go, and Smokin' Aces. I had a blast putting it together, although I have never seen any of them but Kill Bill. No, I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies! But good grief. It is hard to not understand references to those movies.



Hekate art doll was for a private swap. This is the 2nd one I made, and I am still not happy. I just couldn't get it to come out like I envisioned. Mixed media, of course! The body is a fabric stump doll.


Hekate art doll
And this is for an angel for an art doll softie/plushie:

Art Doll Plushie



 All of these are for swaps I hosted on swap-bot.

VooDoo Art Doll
VooDoo Art Doll
 Flower Art Doll
Flower Art Doll
 Color Challenge: Black & White
Black & White Art Doll
 Circus Sideshow
Circus Sideshow Snake Lady Art Doll
 Halloween-Mini Version
Mini Halloween Bottle Art Doll

 Materials Challenge-Beadwork
Beadwork Challenge Art Doll

Color Challenge: Caribbean Colors

Caribbean Color Art Doll

Inspired by the Tarot I could not get a decent picture. I made The Heirophant, The Empress, and the Queen of Wands. I hosted the swap in two groups and also did a private swap. 

Tarot Art Dolls




Not hosted by me: Happy Birthday Frida The body is the easel for the painting. I tried several new things with this doll and had fun, but decided that air dry clay is not my cup of tea. 

Frida Day of the Dead Art Doll








Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie
 
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I finally got a job!

I started working on the 22nd as manager of a self storage facility. I am so relieved.  So far, it is a lot more challenging and diverse than I expected, but this is good! It has been so busy that the trainer had to scrap the scheduled training and I have learned by observing and participating in actual transactions, which works better for me anyway.


I will be ecstatic to see a paycheck after all this time. The past 6 1/2 months have been very rough.


Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie


 
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A few new dolls & other things

I have made a few things lately-trying to keep busy so I don't keep thinking about the lack of a job.

Mother of the Tribe:
Tribal Art Doll

Wave Woman:

Ocean Art Doll



Laska (inspired by the poem):

Mixed Media Art Doll


Viracocha-postcard:

Homemade Postcard

Teeny Tiny Tree Spirit:

Tree Art Doll

Woodland Ornaments:

Woodland Ornaments



A few things for tag games on swapbot:

Ice Queen Art Doll, homemade envelopes, tea wallet


Butterflies for the Holocaust Museum Project:

Holocaust Museum Butterfly Project



Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie



 
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Helping a kidney transplant fund

 I hope that anyone reading this will  donate a dollar or two, or pass the story along to others... or even offer words of encouragement and a prayer at the link below.   



There is  a lovely woman on swap-bot that I have never swapped with, but have enjoyed most of her posts in the public forums. She has never posted anything whiny or mean or just plain stupid, as so many do. At least I have never seen it/remember it. Having never swapped with her, there was no reason to peruse her profile so I was oblivious to the struggle she is facing.

A few days ago, another member brought attention to the fact that this woman, a mother of 4, is waiting for a kidney transplant and is trying to raise funds for the travel expenses related to the transplant. I guess I have always thought along the lines of- insurance is paying for transplant and yes, there will be a huge bill, but never thought about other expenses that would have to be paid immediately.

I am mortified at my ignorance and blindness and wonder how many other people are that ignorant. Now, Deb is in Alaska and the transplant will be done in Seattle, so I know the expenses will be higher than for someone that is close to a hospital that handles these things. But it is still horrifying (to me) that someone dealing with this kind of stress and worry, a mother of 4 children no less,  has to worry about coming up with a large sum of money in order to be ready for a life-saving operation.

It just seems wrong. I have no money-I am starting month SIX of no employment and no income, but I donated a little bit. I thought it was important and that every little bit helps. I am giving up coffee creamer (my weakness) to do this.

I think that if I was dealing with this, I would not be so loving and bighearted, as Deb is. It says a lot about her that she is handling this with such grace. And I have the utmost admiration and respect for her.

Here is Deb's story, in her own words, and her fundraising page.



Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie

 
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bird Goddess

Bird Goddess

Ronda Kivett's bird goddess template.




Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie

Friday, May 18, 2012

Camera Wrap-Commissioned Project

Camera Wrap
A dear friend of mine requested a camera wrap. This is nothing I have ever thought about for one second, so it was a huge challenge. I googled, we talked, I googled some more, then I came up with an idea, mocked it up in muslin, and sent pictures to her.


She okayed the design, and asked for a bag-tarot style- to go with it. She sent me the wool for the bag, along with 3 other pieces for my own personal use. The wool came from Designs in Wool and I can recommend the shop. Shipping was fast and the wools are just absolutely glorious. Erin's favorite was sagebrush plaid. 

Her only stipulation was that there could be no velcro. As I researched, most of the wraps were using velcro and as I tried to construct this, I understood why. It would be a lot easier.......

Anyway, I was pleased with the results. 

The wrap it self is composed of a heavy cotton canvas twill and a soft cotton for the inner layer. Inside are warm & natural and oilcloth. I quilted the inner layers in squares then added it to the outside and quilted an X to keep it from shifting around. 

The drawstring goes all the way around, but after I finished, I realized that all was needed was a loop on the one corner. 

Outside-Camera Wrap

Inside-Camera Wrap
I made two lens pockets, so she can choose which one works better for her. One is a buttoned pocket and one is a drawstring. 

lens pockets
The bag turned out well. I used (but modified) the tutorial from Jeni over at In Color Order. It is a fabulous tutorial and I have made several bags from it. I modified it slightly for this project, as the wool did not behave as well as I would have liked. I added an extra layer behind the drawstring channel and made that part smaller. I wanted to keep the bag as small as possible, while making sure it was large enough for the camera bundle and a hand to reach in.

drawstring bag

drawstring bag with Camera Wrap bundle inside

detail of bag

And this is how the wrap comes together.

You can just set the camera in center with lens still attached, or separate them.

Step 1-Camera Wrap-Items in opposite corners

Step 2-Camera Wrap-Roll everything to center

Step 3-Camera Wrap-Fold over top corner and tuck
Step 4-Camera Wrap-Fold over drawstring corner
Step5- Camera Wrap-Pull drawstring over bundle and tighten

This can go into a backpack or purse and takes up a lot less room than a traditional camera bag. 



Thanks for spending time with me today. It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest! Love to you and yours, Angie
 
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