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Friday, January 28, 2011

tag dress

(the story of this dress is on my last post, below.  if you can't tell, the whole dress is made from tags.)

well, i think i'm done.   it's got it's issues.  i can tell you one thing after sewing this dress.  it is NOT easy to work with tags.  this thing is, they are of different weights and thicknesses.  and so the fabric doesn't act normally.  you will see that one sleeve isn't as puffy, and that there are some lumps and bumps.  but the good news is...


it's kind of a lesson in process versus product.  if i made a second dress, i would do a better job.  because i learned from the first one.  it's a good lesson for all of us.  and i think i am pretty satisfied with the result.

now back to prints.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

sneak preview

 i hate tags in my clothing, and am always having my husband cut them out.  they are itchy.  especially on my fair and sensitive skin (he sarcastically calls me a delicate flower).  after removal, i kept feeling badly about just pitching them in the trash.  so i got this idea that i would simply save them to make into a dress.  it seemed like a funny idea, take the part i hate, and re-use it to make something else.  what i didn't foresee is that many of the clothing companies started silk-screening the labels right in!  good for my skin, bad for my dress.  so i started telling everyone to save the tags for me.  and people did for a while.  and then the jar of tags in my studio sat for a while, gaining only a few tags here and there.

yesterday i was in the studio and saw that jar.  and i said to myself, it's now or never.  i am sick of looking at that jar of tags!!  so i spent all day making my dress.  now, i hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks pretty definite that i will never be actually wearing my dress.  unfortunately the amount of tags only merited a baby dress.  it's sized for a one year old.  it was either a tiny dress, or none at all.

so here is a sneak peak.  it took ALL DAY and i'm not even close to being finished.  but when i am, i will post the entire garment right here.  so stay tuned!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

new etsy shop!

i am so HAPPY!  i finally got around to opening my etsy shop!!   i have been meaning to do it forever, but just never sat down and did it.  you know, it wasn't too bad.  it took me a few hours, and i'm not quite done, but it was pretty easy.  my banner is a bit blurry, but oh well.  it will do for a while.  i'm not quite the computer whiz, and the GIMP program they said was "so easy" for creating banners wasn't so easy for me.  

Friday, January 14, 2011


like i said a few posts ago, i have been working on prints for my class at shy rabbit in pagosa springs next weekend.  here are two very different examples.  you can click on them for a closer look!

 the first one is an assemblage box that contains a 3x3" monoprint.  i have placed it into a brass "frame" which is really a top to a brass box neal gave me a few years ago (thanks, neal).  i have used encaustic wax over the top of the print to give it a nice mellow patina.  oh and before i put it in, i ran it through the sewing machine for some texture.  the print is sitting on top of a page from a very old french dictionary.  (been using that a lot lately).  the trick to get it completely flat is to wet it first, then glue it down with matt medium.  i use a little brayer to get the air bubbles and extra medium out.  then i repeated the print image underneath with found objects.  the top of an old weathered can i found up in silverton.  (there is a place there by the railroad tracks that was once the dump.  you can find all kinds of fodder there.  and a lot of it has char marks from some 100 year old fire.  there are pieces of vintage china, old bottles, metal, and mechanical parts everywhere!)  lastly, i put in a vintage toy car that i have had sitting in my studio looking for the perfect home.  and i think this is the place it has been looking for!  the piece is 8x10", and is in a frame i have covered with ephemera.

the second print is about 9.5x12.5".  it's printed on 90 lb. hot pressed watercolor paper with oil based block printing ink.  there are about 5 or 6 layers.  i have scratched through some of them with an exacto to reveal what's underneath.  i'm not usually a blue person, but i think it works here. this print kinda reminds me of the background scenes from cartoons of the 60's.  the last layer was the white trees.  i cut a stencil out of contact paper over an original drawing to create them.  i think i will matt it under charcoal colored matt board in a 16x20 frame.  i also did two versions of this in browns, taupes, and purples.  they are really different in feel.  after the class all of this will be for sale on the website.  i need to confer with michael at shy rabbit before i put them up for sale!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

prayer meeting!!

i just HAD to show everyone my new sign.  it's a riot.  the bottom of the sign is painted over another sign that originally welcomed american express cards.  old fashioned re-purposing! it's double sided and very similar on each side.  i'm not really the religious type, but who doesn't need a prayer meeting once a day?  i haven't decided where exactly to put it, but i will find the perfect spot.  right now it's at the shop.  you can see the rest of our treasures in the background.

funny story...i was bidding on this sign on ebay, and saw that the seller was in the denver area.  so in order to save some $$ on shipping, i emailed her and asked if i could pick it up if i won.  she emails back, and i find out she is the owner of the antique shop that is half a block away from our shop!  so i walked down the street today and picked it up!!  how funny!!  she always has great stuff there.  so if you are in downtown littleton, stop in and see genna at prince st. dry goods and tell her ruth sent you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

marching along

the march
monoprint with collage
this is what i did today.  worked on prints.  my last of 3 printmaking classes is in about a week, and i am trying to play with materials to get some practice before i go.  this one was a combination of a monoprint and a collage.  first i collaged the background, then printed over it with ink.  that dried for 2 days while i worked on the striped pieces.  they were created with lots of layers of ink, then striated with an exacto to expose the under layers.  these also dried for two days.  then i cut up the stripey pieces and backed each one with pages from an old french dictionary.  then i glued the whole works together.  of course i used bookbinder's glue, which is really tacky and archival.  i like it better than matt medium for thicker paper.  and this is mostly watercolor paper, which is kinda thick.  anyway, it was fun to play.  i am making a few more of these type, plus a series of tree prints that are coming out pretty well.  hopefully i won't look like a dork at the class  if i have at least made an attempt at some work.  i like this process a lot.  it's fun, and unpredictable sometimes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

crabby but a little productive

ok.  i'm officially crabby.  and only 5 days into january.  my last post was all love and kisses, but i'm not in that kind of mindset right now.  i've been sick for the last 2 weeks or so.  bad cold to bad flu to bad sinus infection.  i don't know about you, but when i am sick i am not very creative.  so i screwed up some artwork (big time) during this crabby period.  i spent 2 days making prints and exposing myself to all kinds of nasty fumes for nothing.  the whole lot went in the trash.  i did learn something, though!   don't try art when you feel like crap.

yesterday i finally sucked it up and went to the doctor.  got some meds, which i avoided until i was in dire straights.  i am miraculously feeling a lot better.  hmmmmm.  stubborn, i know.  anyway, this morning i woke up and decided it was time to arise from the ashes.  and here is what came out.  necklaces!!  i got some more vintage watch cases this week, and you can see them here.  i cut out the pics from an old dictionary (thanks, johnine, one more time!!)  the rest of the stuff is a mix of mostly old stuff.  glass, plastic, and shell buttons.  beads.  various trinkets.  all on a leather cord that you can shorten if you want.  and all this for only $22 a piece!! they will be in the store later today or tomorrow.  or possibly friday because like i said, i am a little crabby!  ok, i'm not feeling so badly anymore.  guess the fog is lifting...

Monday, January 3, 2011

dog's life

my new year's resolutions are to live more like vinny.  he's our black lab mix rescue dog.  he has brought so much joy to our household over the last couple of years.  the great thing about dogs is that they truly live for the moment.  they are so full of delight about the smallest of things.  and they are patient!  he waits some days for hours to see us, and we are always greeted with growls of happiness, a wagging tail, and a mouth full of toys.

my resolutions (aka what i have learned from vinny):

  1. enjoy the small stuff.  relish the little moments of life--a cookie, a walk around the block, snow in the back yard!
  2. relax.  there's nothing like a nap in the middle of the afternoon, especially on a comfy couch, snuggled next to someone you love. 
  3. celebrate coming home to one another.  greet each other with a hug and a smile (since we can't wag our tails!) 
  4. enjoy your food.   celebrate every meal like it's the best one you've eaten.  revel in the routine, and don't forget to lick the bottom of the bowl! 
  5. play!  chase each other around the couch, charge up the hill with glee, delight in running through the snow.
  6. go for a ride.  just get in the car to enjoy the day.  drive and see the sunset from a new viewpoint.  open the window and enjoy the wind on your face.
  7. hang out with your pack.  love the fact that just being with one another is sometimes all you need.
  8. occasionally be naughty.  who says we're always perfect?  that cookie on the counter looks irresistible!
  9. melt their hearts.  let your peeps know you love them with an unexpected kiss or that sweet look of adoration (see above!).