Patches for My Carry-On Bag

DSC08970I have a Bag of Holding that Berin bought for me at Think Geek. I have all kinds of metal badges and buttons on it. I’ll be using it for my carry-on bag when we fly to Finland, and I know the metal will set off all kinds of bells and whistles for the TSA. Bleh for me! Bleh for TSA Worker who has to take time and go over my bag with a fine tooth comb!  Berin found some patches at Kaboom! that I can sew onto my bag so it’s easily distinguishable from other bags. I LOVE THEM!!! Firefly, Wonder Woman and X-Men patches! I can’t wait to sew them on!!!

Little Clay Dolls Put Together!

DSC08987 DSC08984 DSC08985 DSC08986 DSC08989 DSC08991 DSC08997 DSC09002 DSC09006 DSC08992 DSC08993 DSC08994 DSC08995 DSC08979 DSC08977 DSC08976 DSC08972I got all the little Model Magic Clay dolls put together! Now they’re just waiting for either their wings, antenna, flowers and/or price tags. I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying! The May 3rd La Cueva Arts and Craft Show is weekend after next and I have a TON of work yet to do! I’ve got so much sewing left to do! Wish me luck!

(All proceeds from the sale of my artwork will be going towards getting myself and my husband to Finland where I will be beginning work on my Masters in Education at the University of Jyväskylä in September 2014.)

Painted Paper

DSC08945I have a couple of creative irons in the fire that will be requiring some hand painted paper, so I decided to take a day and create some. This method of painting paper was demonstrated to me by a fellow art teacher Rosy (who is AMAZING) and uses acrylic paint and newspaper. The finished paper can be used for all kinds of lessons or projects. I adapted Rosy’s lesson for my own classroom and taught students about tertiary and analogous colors during the painting portion of the lesson, then had the students use the finished papers in a second paper collage lesson on Eric Carle (K-2), Henri Matisse (3-4) and Romaire Beardon (5+).

The finished paper is lovely to cut or tear. It has a lot of depth to it. The variation in color is amazing and it’s just fun to work with! The following pictures show the breakdown of steps:

DSC08935I have a lot of acrylic paint that needs to be used up before July, so I just got out all my little squeeze bottles of paint and let loose!

DSC08936DSC08937In the classroom, I have very large plastic paint palettes (cheap three-compartment lidded, circular meal storage containers) for the students to use, I didn’t need that with all the paint in squeeze bottles; I just squirted out the colors I wanted to use directly onto the newspaper.

DSC08938I used a one inch house painting brush for my paper, and I give the students about the same size (maybe a little smaller) in the classroom. I move the paint around until I like the colors and the brushwork, and until all of the newsprint is covered with paint. You can see how I painted off the edges of the paper and onto the plastic table covering in the picture.

DSC08939Voila! Paper covered! I put my paper out on my concrete patio to dry. Some paint will come off and get onto drying racks, floors or concrete patios, just make sure that you scrub up the paint within a couple of hours and you should be okay. That’s what I did, and my patio looks fine. One of my old plastic lawn chairs looks like someone was cut to ribbons while sitting it — buuut — I’m not too concerned. Those chairs are old and will go into recycling when we move!

DSC08944DSC08943DSC08946I usually press my dried and finished papers underneath something like books for a few days, just to get all the wrinkles out, then I can use them for all kinds of projects! Collages, book binding, illustration, matting and framing — anything where I want to use paper!

The Many Faces of Bebe Meimei Chickiepants

DSC08954 DSC08955 DSC08956Well, okay…the three faces of Bebe Meimei Chickiepants. She’s a weird cat. yes, yes, I know, all cats are weird, but she’s a special kind of weird. She can be a total and complete bitch (Yes. I said ‘bitch’.) to Bella and Indy. Swatting at them, hissing, chasing them around while swatting and hissing at them Then in the next minute she’s being a totally kissy cat. She LOVES being kissed. I can scoop her up and hold her like a little baby and kiss her and she’s fine with it. When she gets onto my lap, she usually head-slams me (it’s not a head-butt — it’s a SLAM) and rubs her face on mine. She detests having other cats chase her or attempt to manhandle her, but I can grab her by the base of the tail and give it a tug and she purrs. She also allows us to pick her up like Berin has in the three previous pictures. She just hangs there with her little cat arms sticking out like a zombie kitty. Bella and Indy would NEVER let either of us hold them this way.

She’s an odd one, but she’s gorgeous! Her stripes are symmetrical and her legs are what I call “book matched”. Her fur and fluffs are soft and she loves being petted. She doesn’t require any grooming, but she LOVES being brushed and combed. Her fur never mats or gets yucky. I love watching her when she’s sitting and holding up her fluffy tail in one paw while licking it; it’s very cute! I think she will be the easiest of our girls to find a home for, she’s just so pretty!

Little Drying Dolls

DSC08952I had some leftover Model Magic Clay that was going to dry out and be useless if I didn’t use it, so I decided to make a last batch of Monster Dolls for the upcoming craft show. The four pictured above are all upside down because their ‘head holes’ dry more uniformly if they are placed upside down. I’ve finished all the face painting as well as the addition of the eyelashes. All that needs to happen now is about another 24 hours, then I can get out the tiny buttons and stretchy cord and string them all together so that they have moving arms and legs — and occasionally — other little monsters and such popping out of their little heads. I’m also going to be attaching some wings to some of the dolls and have figured out what I want to do; I just need to do a little drawing and printing.

DSC08947Honestly, making the smaller dolls is SO MUCH easier than making the larger ones. I have no idea why, they’re just easier. The problem with making so many small dolls is, having that many small dolls to sell!

DSC08951These little beasties are some of the ones that will be going on top of some of the other monsters heads, or coming out of their heads, or just resting and relaxing in another monsters head.

DSC08957All of them are resting comfortably in their little folded paper accordions, waiting to be dry enough to be put together. After about 24 hours, the bodies, arms and legs are all dry enough that I can stack them together without fear that they’ll stick to one another. Some of the larger dolls in the middle of the tray have their arms and legs drying on a separate paper accordion, simply because they’re wasn’t anymore room on the tray. If you can believe it, there are approximately 55 dolls on the tray pictured above. All of these little monster dollies need to charm some folks into taking them home at the May 3rd La Cueva Craft Show!

Spring 2014 POSTCARD

(All proceeds from the sale of my artwork will be going towards getting myself and my husband to Finland where I will be beginning work on my Masters in Education at the University of Jyväskylä in September 2014.)

Display Shelves for the Upcoming Craft Fair

I had seen a pattern for a Christmas Tree Doll House on Mr. Printables a few months ago and thought it was really cute. It’s a great design for a very simple doll house for a little kiddo to play with (I think I’d get those little wooden peg-people and paint them as the little doll house people); I just couldn’t justify building myself a doll house knowing that we’re going to be moving to Finland in (as of today), 105 days. What I decided to do was make the doll house, but use it for vertical display of my artwork for the upcoming craft show.

DSC08961 DSC08963I used recycled cardboard to make all of the doll house/shelves. I had enough to make five of them! I have a lot of small dolls, ornaments, handmade books, handmade beads and jewelry to sell and I thought these would be great display shelves! They need a little more paint here and there, and I think I would like to add some ribbon or lace to some of the edges. All of the materials I used were either recycled or just what I had on hand. That’s why the doll house/shelves are all green, yellow or red, because that’s what I had on hand!

DSC08966I’m going to use some of the paper I have on hand and create some origami boxes to hold smaller merchandise more securely on the shelves. I also have some signs I use (with the aid of a small clothespin) to go along with the items I’m selling.

Sleepy Indiana Toe-Beans

DSC08924 DSC08925 DSC08928 DSC08920Indiana has gotten a lot older in the past six months. She’s no longer Alpha-Cat, Bebe is. She’s started doing what I can the “old cat sleep” which means she sleeps so hard and so deeply that it really takes a lot of noise or movement to wake her up. She’s gotten a lot thinner too. Her teeth are bad and I hesitate in taking her to the vet because of the stories I’ve read online in which people recount their experiences taking elderly cats to the vet to have teeth removed and their cats health went downhill and they passed away soon afterward. She’s enjoying her new squishy food and actively reminds me when it’s foodie time. The new food has given her ‘spoiled milk farts’, but hey, she loves the food so that’s all that matters. She still sits in the sink and wants me to turn on her fountain for her. She still gets the woolie-boogers and runs around the house like a little freak. She’s just getting old. Really old. I realized a couple weeks ago, she’s coming up on 18 years old herself. Gibson was just about eight or nine months older than she is.

Of all the things that I’m nervous about when it comes to moving to Finland, Indiana is one of them. I don’t worry about Bella and Bebe. Bella loves everyone with hands and is a total sweetheart who would be comfortable in any household. Bebe is gorgeous and will have no problem being adopted. Indiana’s pretty  old for a cat and finding a home for her is going to be very hard for me. Okay. Very emotionally hard for me.  She’s my cat. She loves people and is very affectionate to everyone, but still….she’s my cat. If you’ve ever played D&D, she’s basically my bonded animal companion; I should be with her until the end of her life or mine. Indiana doesn’t have much time left and I hope I can find her a good, kind, loving home where she can live out her last years in happiness and contentment. (Please note: suggestions for how I should go about finding Indiana a good home would be most welcomed!)

My Father’s Birthday

Nils1937Today would have been my father’s 83′rd birthday. He passed away May 20th, 2011. The picture above was taken when he was about six years old, so about 1937. I believe he and his family were still living in Detroit, or had just moved back to Terre Haute. I love the picture. He was a really cute little kid, although, I can’t imagine calling a little boy Nils; it seems like such an adult name!

Pop&Taylor(Age3?)This is the Pop I remember the best. The Marine Pop. The little guy in the lower right is my nephew Taylor (who is graduating from college in a couple of weeks). I think Taylor was around 3 or 4 in this picture. Pop was very, very active in the Marine Corps League, organizing and helping to implement all kinds of fund raisers and special events.

g0a0000000000000000874190edaac599c21e34ed109230afd83326c894 g0a000000000000000080ba5d9775e0a3a4c0617a801ebe0104172bd022A while back, I was talking to a teacher friend about losing my Pop and how much I missed him. I wondered aloud if the pain ever got easier to live with. She said “No. It never goes away.” then she started to cry. She’d lost her father a decade before. “The pain never, ever leaves and it will hit you out of the blue and you’ll feel like it was yesterday that he died.

Berin and I are going out for cherry pie today. Pop loved, loved, LOVED cherry pie. It was his total favourite! Any time I asked him what he wanted for his birthday his answer was either “Cherry pie!” or “A big box of keys/locks!” or both. (It should be noted that my Pop was an avid collector and restorer of antique locks and padlocks. Here’s a site you can look at to give you an idea.)

ST_Yale&Towne_Warded(2996)Yale was one of his favourites. I have a small, circular Yale medallion on my keyring that was once my Pop’s.

When I was a kid, he told me his idea of Heaven. It had plants and trees and animals, and all of our pets would be waiting for us when we got there. I hope he’s got a nice place to sit, where Sam and Charlie (family cats) are snoozing on his lap, and Augie and Woody (our dogs) are running around hunting for rabbits and he’s got a crate full of locks and keys to work on and some cherry pie waiting for him when he wants to take a break, and above all, I hope he’s proud of me. I always wanted to know he was proud of me.

Little Clay Dolls: Part 1

DSC08917 DSC08915I had some Model Magic clay that needed to be used so I thought I’d go ahead and make some more little monster dolls for the upcoming Spring La Cueva Craft Show. I also need to make some additional little Matchbox Monsters for the magnets I’m making. I think I should have no problem using up the clay!

DSC08911I’ve got a fairly limited palette of colors to work with, lots of blues, violets, greens and a few reds and oranges. I’m trying out some new designs and revisiting some older ones that I’ve had customers like a lot. It’s strange. Making the slightly larger ones is so much harder then making the miniature ones! Maybe it’s just my natural affinity for anything in miniature form?

DSC08912The ones pictured are just the ones that I finished this morning. I’m make another batch (using up the remainder of the clay) this evening. By tomorrow, they’ll be dry enough that I can give them the first round of painting for their faces. It’ll be next weekend before they’re dry enough that I can attach their arms and legs, so stay tuned for pictures!

(All proceeds from the sale of my artwork will be going towards getting myself and my husband to Finland where I will be beginning work on my Masters in Education at the University of Jyväskylä in September 2014.)