28 September 2011

Finished Birds, A Book and Another Kind of Monster

Hello Readers!

My birds are no longer black and they have legs attached!
Been busy painting today!
I'm very pleased with the result of the bird experiment!
Paper Mache Birds sitting on the kitchen counter.
These little guys are about song bird size...give or take. 
I never claimed to know how to paint birds realistically so my birds don't really represent any one species. 

I love how each of them looks totally different:
size, color, the way they stand on their legs....each an individual for sure!

Next batch of birds I'm going to play around with the tails some. They need to be longer and placed differently. Gonna study up on birds over the next few days and see what else I can come up with in the bird department. Gives me a good reason to drag out that huge animal encyclopedia with all the really cool pictures in it!

The legs were a bit tricky to position on the bird so it would stand on its own. I got lucky and had to take only one bird's legs off and start again after the glue dried. Hopefully no one will notice the two extra holes in that bird's belly! I really don't even remember which bird it was that needed a leg adjustment. It wasn't the red one or the blue one though.

The red one is my favorite of this lot!

This one reminds me of a wren. Only it's a bit bigger than an actual wren.

There will be more birds in the future!

I'm still sewing too. I'm a bit tired of monsters though I still need to make a few more before the year is out and I will make more.
Until then though, I think monsters will be appearing on hot potholders.

Like this guy!
Red Fleece from an old shirt, felt, crewel embroidery thread in a few different colors and quilt batting to give it thickness. There's a round piece of purple fleece on the backside to cover the blue stitches all around the monster on the front side. My youngest son said, "Oh wow, Mom! That's really cool!" Who'd a thunk a 27 year old man would get excited about a potholder? 

And of course a new little book shouldn't surprise you all too much.

This one is made a bit different than the books I normally make. It is ATC size...the covers anyway...the pages are a bit smaller...Made from two stiff chipboard cards from a board game, a piece of book cloth, a bit of scrapbook paper, glue and sparkly star tatoos for the front cover. Pages are orchard paper...5 signatures of 5 sheets sewn in the pamphlet stitch and then glued into the spine of the book. 
These are extremely easy to make but not near as refined as the coptic stitch books. 

I'll return in a few days with more creativity to share.

I hope all is well in your world!
Mine is swimming right along as it should!
Be good to one another!
It matters!!!

23 September 2011

A Very Big Bowl and Some Wingless Birds

Hi Readers!
I'm still sewing but not near as much of late. I have a new sewing project in the works along with the dotees and monsters that are still brewing in my head! I'll show it off another day though cause it's barely started and it's going to take a very very long time to finish this project! I'll update you as progress is made. Not much progress HAS been made of yet so you'll just have to wait.
I cut 2 inch squares of fabric yesterday for the aforementioned project.

I've had my hands in tissue paper, glue, newspapers and masking tape here in the last few days. 
I finally figured out another use for all those magazine page sticks I was obsessed with making late last year. This big bowl incorporates a few of them. My paper mache clay went sour on me and it smelled to high heaven but I used it anyway to cover the outside of the bowl. That was three days ago. The bowl has lost that sickly sweet smell and doesn't stink at all once it dried well. 

I haven't actually measured this bowl but it's pretty big!
I took some of those paper sticks and made a disk out of them with some masking tape to hold it all together and then I took more sticks and taped them to the disk in a sunburst around it. After that I took the sticks and taped pieces of newspaper between them to make the sides of the bowl.
My son acquired three cases of brochures for me awhile back. I used them to paper mache the bowl. After the first layer on either side of the sticks I put a thin layer of paper clay on the outside of the bowl to give it a bit more stability than paper alone would.
I used Modge Podge for the glue on the bowl. 
The brochures are made from newsprint paper but it's a much better grade of newsprint than newspapers are printed on...a bit thicker and sturdier, yet still quite absorbent like newspaper is. It had lots of colorful pages and lots of 'strange' words and pictures. These brochures were printed for the coalition for a drug free america. My son got them from the police chief in the town where he lives. The brochures were headed to the landfill and my son asked if he could have them.
I used only one box of brochures. Each case has 48 boxes in it. Each box has either 10 or12 booklets in it. The boxes will come in handy for altering too. Was a good find on the boy's part! 
He is very good friends with the police chief and he was down at the office talking to him when he was cleaning out the storage locker at the station. The boy brought me a few other goodies that day as well. 

I've no idea why these brochures were still sitting in the storage locker. Perhaps because they recieved many more than they needed? I'm not sure. I just know they were being thrown out and I've trained my boy well to spot such finds!
I have my own ideas on the so-called war on drugs in America. Some are bad, some not so bad. This isn't the place to discuss the merits or the downfalls of the so-called war on drugs. 
I was just happy to have something to do with some of those brochures!
I believe when this bowl is done I will give it to my sister to put in her store to use to hold little things. A display bowl, if you will. I plan on building it a pedestal out of a carpet tube, a pizza box and more paper mache. You'll all get to see the finished product!

I was putting the last coat on the bowl and decided I'd give these little birds a shot as well. I had seen them somewhere on the web! Sorry I don't remember where....I go searching for ideas frequently, not saving them all to the hard drive on the pc, but to the hard drive in my head instead! 
The last coat of paper on the bowl, which I haven't photographed yet, is a layer of white tissue paper over the colorful brochure paper. 
I liked the way the tissue paper took the glue...sucked it right up! So I decided the birds would be mached with tissue paper.

As you can see they are wingless at the moment. No tails either! 
They are made by taking a quarter sheet of  a newspaper page, wadding it into a pear shape and taping it up so it holds it's shape. Twist a beak shape on the small end and paper mache it. 
Next post I'll show you the birds with wings and tails and feet and maybe even painted! Don't hold your breath for painted birds in the next post! I still have to make their feet. That might take a day or two. 
They are on the kitchen table with their wings and tails attached, drying. 

I have done
in the drawing department since the last post. 
Perhaps next post will bring some drawing or painting, who knows with me!
You all be good to one another!

18 September 2011

A Drunken Bird and a Few Monsters

Hello Readers!
I've been making monsters. Here's the proof.

This guy is made from a velvet skirt. I love it that he's all sparkly! He's not really soft as a velvet monster should be because of all the sparklies, but he's awfully cute anyway if you ask me! He's about nine inches tall or so....not counting his fleece horns. His eyes are felt and his mouth is bulky pink yarn sewn on with embroidery thread.

Ugly Beige Monster
I think this monster is very ugly to look at. He has very little personality. He's soft as she can be though cause he's made from an old cashmere sweater. His eyes are felt and fleece and his horns are fleece as well.

Brown Fish Stuffie
Fish is about a foot long. He's entirely from felt and gray crochet cotton thread. 
I was beginning to think this fella would ever get done. I sewed the fish itself together way back in March, might of been February! I stuffed and added the rest since the last post.

Drunken Bird Magnet
I warned you all there'd be a drunken bird! 
Maybe not what you were expecting? Well, this bird looks like he's had way too much imbibing for one day! I do love his shoes though! If  you're gonna go lay one on, make sure you do wear your snazzy shoes! 
Bird is made from recycled chipboard, copper wire, plastic shoe beads, markers and a bit of glue stick. Bird is about three inches tall not counting his legs and shoes. 
I was on a magnet making kick over a period of a couple days. For some reason I didn't even take a picture of the third magnet I made. Will do that before the next  post though.
I Spy Magnet
My daughter in law, Lou said this magnet was like an I Spy picture so that's why it has this name. It is just a bunch of little stuff stacked in a white plastic jar lid and three magnets slapped on the backside. It's quite heavy cause dummy me just had to put all those little silver disks all over the bottom of the inside of the lid. It's about 3.5 inches across. It ain't no little magnet! There's a bit of this, a bit of that in there. I tried to stay with a theme of  'gaming' but it kinda went off track with the hearts. Though there are games of the heart...even if they aren't a good thing. It's all chance in the end. Every single thing we do comes down to chance in one sense or another. 
I'll probably make more of these kinds of magnets with all kinds of little junk glued in.  It was a fun exercise. I'm not certain where I got this jar lid. There were two of them in the basket on the kitchen counter where all 'art related' things end up from the kitchen. I think my sister may have sent these two lids over cause I can't for the life of me think of anything I've used up that came in a jar big enough to have that large of a lid!

Lace Heart Monster
Everyone whose seen this monster says that heart looks like her mouth. I didn't intend it to but whatever they see is what they see. She's made from that same old cashmere sweater as the other beige monster. And she's not much prettier than he is either! She is just as soft as her brother but she's not near as lovable as he is cause of her scratchy lacy appendages. Her arms and legs are lace, her eyes fleece and silk and her horns silk. Those horns were a BEAR to sew! 

With each monster conceived, new ideas are born. Adjustments made from one to the next and learning in the process becomes the norm. Practice makes perfect. I'm still striving for perfection. Probably always will be! 

One Eyed Striped Sweater Monster
I love this guy! He's got personality! He's made from an old man's sweater and felt. He's pretty good sized....over a foot from toes to horn tips. He's big and squishy and he just reminds me of a good friend!

Three Eyed Red Fleece Monster
He's made from an old red fleece shirt I used to wear. His horns, eyes and mouth are all felt. 
He's quite lovable too!

I'm working on a little book this evening. Have other things in the works as well but nothing is coming together in any great hurry these days! 
Be good to one another. It matters!

07 September 2011


Blue Dragon

Fleece Snake Stuffie

3.5x2.5 inch watercolor journal

strawberry cupcake
mini journal
1.5x2 inches
9 watercolor paper pages

4x6 inch Green Collage Notebook
Pages are various colored plain writing paper. It has 5 signatures, 5 sheets each.
Covers are made from recycled chipboard (food box) with magazine cutouts glued on both sides of the chipboard and then painted with green glitter paint to keep everything tight 
Sewn in coptic stitch with green crochet cotton. 

Denim Orange  Flower Dottee

Blue Spider

Green Butterfly Dotee

Pink Butterfly Dotee

Zebra Dotee

Fuzzy Red Heart Dotee

Teeny Fuzzy Red Dotee

Itty Bitty Yellow Polka Dot Dotee

Wild Orange Haired Yellow Dotee

Green Dragon

Green Parrot

Blue Eyes

Docker's Fields

Monique's Poppies

Purple Iris Bud

Janzen Pansies

Purple Polka Dots

Beginnings of a cat done in paper mache. 

That's it for today!

02 September 2011

A Boatload of Little Books and a Couple of Dotees

Blogger went and changed things up on me.....let's see how this all works out!

There is an ART-A-THON going on over at AFA (link's up there on the upper left) this weekend. It started yesterday and will run through Monday at midnight. 
For Thursday, into Friday I made little books. Lots of little books!

The first 5 are all the same (pretty much) with the exception of the particular stamp plastered on the front covers. I didn't even know this series of US stamps existed until someone sent me all five of these along with a boatload of other cancelled stamps as RAK a few weeks ago. They worked nicely for these little books.
The materials used are all game boards for the covers and watercolor paper for the pages.
This one is a game board from the game Carmen San Diego.

This one is a Scrabble board.
They all have 9 pages of watercolor paper.

This one is a Scrabble board.
This is the only one with a 'fancy' tie.

I'm uncertain the name of the game this one came from.

Another Carmen San Diego gameboard cover.
They are all sewn in the coptic stitch with gray crochet cotton. I got lazy (cause I'd been up all night) and only made one of the ties 'fancy'.  The ties are needed cause these books will not stay shut on their own.

I forget what the covers for this one and the next two are made from....gameboards of some sort. The text is song lyrics I typed into my word processor on the smallest size font it offers (excellent typing practice and I got my fix of music for the day as well!) and then printed out on copy paper and glued to the gameboards. This one has watercolor paper for pages.
This one has two polymer clay beads tied to the end of its ties. 
The inchie on the front cover was done back in 2009.

Pretty much the same story as the last one. The beads are stone, the inchie was done in 2010. This one has brown kraft paper pages.

Again, pretty much the same story with the exception of the thread used in binding the book. This one is sewn with regular sewing thread.  It also has brown kraft paper pages. The inchie was done in 2009.
All of these previous little books are 2 x 1.5 inches.
The three with text covers were only sewn together in the ATART. They'd been laying on my desk for months!
I started from scratch with the others.

Green Collage Writing Journal
This one is 4.5x6 inches. It has been laying on my desk even longer than the little journals had been laying here! The covers are chipboard from food packaging (or similar-been so long since I did the covers, I don't rightly remember just what I did make them out of...chipboard from something though.) I collaged the covers, inside and out, with magazine clippings all in tones of green. Then I painted over that with some green glitter paint to give it some shine, bit of character and to seal it all.  It's sewn with green crochet cotton and has 5 signatures of 6 pages each of different colored writing paper.

Strawberry Cupcake Watercolor Journal
This one has pretty much the same story as those from the beginning of the post. It has glass beads tied on its ties. The inchie was done earlier this year. It is only 2x1.5 inches and has 9 pages of watercolor paper. Sewn with gray crochet cotton. Covers started out as a checker board.

Crochet cotton makes good thread for little books.

Green and Yellow 
I drew the corner pieces for the cover a couple weeks ago. (Had no idea what I would do with them at the time.) They too have been laying on my desk taking up space! I cut the paper and covers for this book early early this morning. It has 9 pages of watercolor paper, sewn in the coptic stitch with gray crochet cotton. The covers are from the Carmen San Diego game board. (I think I've used up that entire board with this book.) The button is sewn to the cover and another sheet of watercolor paper is glued to the inside front cover to hide the knot that holds the button secure. The game board graphics show on the inside of the back cover. The tie is a length of green crochet cotton braided. This one is 2.5x3.5 inches. I traded this one and  have 2 more to make as I've traded them as well. You'll get to see them when they get made.

The Dino Paper Bag Book
The covers are two chunky pages I did eons ago! The pages are made from brown paper bags. They're a bit larger than 4x4 inches but they seem to work. I don't remember how I sewed this one together. Have only made one book this way....It's sewn in the coptic stitch, I just can't figure out how exactly I did it! This one has three paper bags as it's pages. I've embellished most of the pages with magazine clippings, some straw netting material, a little of this, a little of that....there's a little hand sewn blank pamphlet in one of the pockets. The pockets are formed from the paper bags. It's a cool little book that needs a whole lot more TLC to bring it to it's potential! I think I'll offer it up for trade. It quit talking to me!

I've a whole bag full of dotee bodies just waiting to become dotees. There will be more dotees in the next post! There must be a good 15 bodies just waiting patiently!
I worked on a couple in the last few days:

Button Beret Dotee
S/he's got a fabric covered button for a beret on top of his felt body, little rubber doodads for eyes, blue aluminum chain for danglies and a danglie hanging off his belly just to make him look sassy. That danglie was  part of a pc of costume jewelry. He's about 4 inches, not including his chains.

Red Wild Child Dotee
I love that red fuzzy fabric! It used to be a sweater! Her hair is yellow vintage hem lace, her eyes are two wooden beads. She's a lampwork bead on her tummy and her danglies are unraveled braided silk cordage. She's about 4 inches not counting her hair or her danglies.

The weekend hasn't even started so there is a good chance another post will be forthcoming quite soon!
Tomorrow I am going to be kidnapped and taken hostage for the day to attend a family reunion down in Hutch. I am not looking forward to said reunion. Not because I don't want to see these people, but because I know my old body is not going to cooperate and I get a bit antsy when my bed isn't within sight! Hutch is three hours from my bed! Wish me luck!
This is my plan for the afternoon!
Not sleeping by the toilet, but definitely sleeping! 
I really don't know how that fool Fred dog can sleep right there! You can't see it, but there's a litter box where you THINK his head is! He sleeps quite soundly in this spot though....saws lots and lots of logs right there in that spot!
I'll be sawing logs in my own bed, thank you!

You all remember to smile! Give a few hugs today too!
Be good to one another!
It matters!
Peace, my friends!