Monday, January 28, 2013

Mini Collages

Well, I thought I'd post a couple of my mini collages that I've done recently. I like to work in my studio first thing in the morning with my coffee, before getting ready to go to work at Jerry's Artarama. I normally have at least an hour, depending on how many times I hit the snooze button. ;)
These were all done with scraps that I saved from different projects. (You can also do this same exact exercise using fabric!) Here is the basic procedure:
  1. Cut your base pieces from larger scraps - all to a specific size. In this case, the base pieces were cut from wallpaper to approximately 3" x 5".
  2. I usually work on at least six at a time. Lay the six 3" x 5" pieces out on your work surface, so you can reach everything conveniently. Gather your other small scraps and other items like photos, stamps, torn papers, music sheets, maps, string, thread, etc. and PLAY!
  3. You can cut the pieces, tear the pieces or just place the pieces on any of the surfaces. Mix and match colors, shapes, textures.
  4. Dab with your glue stick as you are working.
  5. Move things around until you have your first layer.
  6. Think about composition.
  7. Think about different color combinations. 
  8. Get as detailed as you want.
  9. Add more components as you see fit.
  10. Make sure papers are fairly secure to the bottom piece.
  11. Once you have everthing attached, move the six new creations to your sewing machine. This is where you can embellish each mini masterpiece! You can use contrasting thread, black thread, shiny thread - whatever you want. A #12 or #14 needle should work just fine, assuming you don't have too many bulky layers to sew through or too much glue holding your pieces together.
  12. Sometimes I use a straight stitch, other times a zigzag. My machine has a few fancy stitches on it, so sometimes I'll use those. Just experiment and have fun.

Once you are satified with your mini collage, you can do lots of things with them:
  1. Put your collage behind a mat board and frame and you have a nice gift for someone special.
  2. You can also attach this to a greeting card and use as a nice personalized card for a dear friend.
  3. Alternatively, you can scan your images and use the photo on the greeting card, keeping the original.
  4. You can add these little gems to your other collage work and use as your focal point.
  5. Or another idea is to adhere this mini collage to a painted board that sort of trims it out, then pop it in a frame for a nice original display of your work!
I hope you enjoy!
I'll be posting some more throughout the coming months.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh my, my! (oh hell yeah!)…

A good solid month and three quarters has passed since I was here last. WOW! That’s about all I can say at this point! You know, birthdays, Christmas, family, friends, gifts, food, new recipes, parties, and more parties, art, and lots of creativity! Boy oh boy. That about sums up December. I had WAY too much fun with all the festivities surrounding the holidays. We sort of simplified at our house. Joe and I got away with putting lights and a few ornaments on our big palm tree and set it on a table, draped it with the Christmas tree skirt and called it our Christmas tree! Since our house was not the main gathering spot for the whole famdamily, that worked! We put up our lights outside and decorated the mantle and that was that!

We always celebrate heavily on Christmas Eve, because in our family, there is always a birthday then: my Dad and oldest brother shared that birthday, then Cindy added to the equation by giving birth to Nick (BooBoo) a month late on the now famous December 24th birthday: Three generations of oldest males. No pressure Nick! Oh and happy 29th! A great meal and celebration was had by all!
 Christmas celebrations seemed to go without a hitch and Santa was able to find all of us at the farm! The place just sort of warms your heart. Fire in the fireplace, music, something good cooking or baking in the oven or on the grill (or both usually!) There is always a puzzle going to keep Marge out of trouble and the usual fun holiday spirits. Seems like this year, more of us had to work, so having everyone together on Christmas morning was extra special!
Cindy and I were able to escape to Sanford for the day. We ended up going to The Sanford Antique Mall and had an absolute blast! Oh my God, if you have not been there, it is definitely worth the trip! We could have brought the trailer, but opted to just bring Cindy’s vehicle. You guessed it…we filled it to the brim! Cindy found a vintage rattan bar and stools, and some other stuff…I forget, but it ended up filling the back of her car. Woot! I love it when she lets me go on buying sprees with her. So, now she’ll add that to the other vintage rattan furniture she bought, lug it all down to Key West, spruce it up, add some cushions and voila!

My favorite part of antique shopping is always the DOLLS! If you know me, you know I love baby dolls. So, I spent a good part of my time taking photos of these lovely new creatures so that I can incorporate them into my collages and encaustic paintings! Sure is wonderful living in this day and age with all the great technological advances we have; one of which is my handy dandy digital camera. Whether I use my iphone or my Canon Rebel, I can still take tons of photos and use them for my artwork. I love that!

Hopefully soon, I will be posting photos or videos about some of the processes I use, because:

Major change in my position at Jerry’s Artarama. Well, major to me anyway. For the last 12 years, I’ve been working out of the Raleigh retail store. I was the Event Coordinator for the store and for Art of the Carolinas. Recently my title was changed to Director of Art Education. Now, as of January 1st, I will be working out of our corporate headquarters still in Raleigh, but on Maddry Oaks Court and my new title is Director of Art of the Carolinas Operations. Basically I will be working solely on Art of the Carolinas and my other duties have been dispersed. I will be working four days a week and be free to pursue my own art and teaching activities on that fifth day plus the weekends.
Here's what I started working on one of my first Fridays off:
Oh yeh! You guessed it! Babydolls and encaustic.
So, there you have it. The new me. I think this might be pretty cool actually. I’m slowly but surely getting used to the change in my routine and I am a major creature of habit, so please wish me luck!
I just read this recently:
Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also in the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace the change - don't resist it.
"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls." - Joseph Campbell