26 April 2012

Fish Picture #4: All But Done

Hello Readers!

Fish Picture #4 is done!
Well, except for the finishing details...like cutting off the end of the strings hanging off the top of the canvas, making sure all those rocks and little pieces are firmly attached and things of that nature and THEN it will be done!

This is what it looked like the day before yesterday.

A close-up of one of the little fishes. 
There ended up being nine of them. I think. I can't see the canvas from where I'm sitting...not well enough to see how many fishes are on it. I see five of them, but I know I used up all the fishes I made for this thing and there were nine of them.

Yep. Nine! 
This is what it looks like now!
The glue is still wet in the photograph (and as I type).

It is quite colorful. More so than I thought it would be actually.
I think I could have left the fishes without that coat of copper to tone them down.
Can't change that now though, so there ya have it!

All the pictures will get bigger if you click on them.

I didn't use all the bucky ball units, nor all the beaded wire corals I made for this picture. I'll use them on the next one. 
The next fish picture will not commence until I get the flamingo done!

I'll get a good picture of it hanging on the wall or somewhere once it's all dry and I've spiffyed it up some!

Thanks for hanging in there through the making of it!

Next finished project to show will be those blue paintings I showed you all in the last post. They've come a ways since you saw them last but there is no picture to prove that. I'll be finished with them probably later today.

I made another polish star yesterday but I didn't take a picture of it. It looks just like some of the others I've made. It's made of red wrapping paper with blue, yellow and green balloons on it. 

I threw a polish star away this morning when I cleaned off the counter top in the kitchen. It had become a catch-all and the polish star had gotten squished under something. The polish star had come untied and it was in need of a fix so it wasn't in perfect shape to begin with! It was a shiny red one. 
The box I keep the stuff for polish stars in has quite a few parts in it. I told you guys there would be more polish stars. That statement still stands.

That's about it from here!

Behave yourselves....I certainly have to....Lord knows what kind of trouble I can get into without even trying! 
Be good to one another!

22 April 2012

blue paint, a few fishes and lots of sea things

Hello Readers!
I hope you all are well. 
Life's going by at warp speed....I know it is! 
But it seems as though I am in slow motion and getting nothing important accomplished. 
Things get done but those things don't really mean a lot in the whole scheme of it all.
Whatever IT may be.

The fibromyalgia is kicking my butt in more than just physical ways these days. I seem to be in a fog. My brain is slow. My reflexes are slow. As I said, life is going by at warp speed yet I seem to be in slow motion. 

I'm content with the slow pace of my life even if it feels like I'm getting nowhere.
I've kept busy when I haven't been sleeping.
The fibro messes with what little sleep pattern I have and insists I sleep for no less than 12 hours at a time. It's crazy and makes no sense....none!
The muse goes along with this arrangement most of the time though and she's not let me down completely in this round of fibro-fighting. I'm thankful the migraines have finally left the scene! Knock on wood, they stay away! Been months since I had a migraine!

I entered a chunky swap the other week. 

The theme is something blue.
I've gotten this far on mine. 
Could be they'll look nothing like this when I'm finished with them. 
I believe these are due in Scotland sometime at the beginning of June so there's no great rush on them at the moment. I had the blue paint out already, figured I'd see what happened when I played with some shades of blue. 
Nothing too exciting here. Let's move on.

I finished another five paper mache fishes.
There are still six fishes left to complete but I've put them away for now. 
The flamingo is next on the list after I finish the blue chunky pages. I've been thinking about that flamingo for days! I've figured out his legs, just need to experiment to see if that idea is going to actually hold him up! 

In the deskroom I'm working on this:

It is as dark as it appears in the picture.
I wish it had a little more yellow on it. The browns kind of over power it all. 
Nothing to be done about that now though. So, we'll soldier on and see what happens when it all gets together.

These are the bucky ball units as they look now. I'll cut those little flaps off the sides of them before I stick them to the canvas. They'll be clinging to the rocks. Sea critters of some sort I conjured up out of my head. Barnacles perhaps? 

These are made from polymer clay and copper wire. I painted them with acrylics. 
They will be glued in among the rocks as well.

Yesterday I ironed a few different colors of easter grass to add some color along the rock line.

Purple, two different colors of pink, blue and yellow.
To iron easter grass, which is basically shredded plastic, you place a bit of easter grass between two sheets of parchment paper. Spread it out evenly to leave holes in between the shreds of plastic. Cover it with the second sheet of parchment and iron it with your clothes iron for a few seconds, making sure to move the iron around so you don't burn the parchment paper. Won't take but a few seconds with your iron set to cotton.  Ironed easter grass is really cool stuff! 
The rocks sparkle a whole lot more than appear to be sparkling here. It was dark when I took this picture.
The fishes have bottles sitting on top of them cause they wouldn't adhere to the canvas without help. Bottles make pretty good weights in some instances.
I've used a couple of different types of glue to adhere these things thus far. I don't think it much matters just what kind of glue is used. The first four fish pictures I've made, I used mostly E6000 to adhere all the stuff. For this one, I've used some clear, acid free glue made for scrapbooking to adhere the yarns and most of the rocks. The fish and the rest of the rocks and the easter grass are held on with tacky glue, which is basically just thick pva glue. When I get to gluing the polymer clay and the crocheted wire blobs, I'll probably use E6000. 
As soon as the rocks get dry, I'll add some more easter grass in smaller chunks, some more rocks and the rest of the sea life things. There will be more yarn also. I have a string of brown wooden beads with orange beads as well that will become coral. There are a few other shades...lighter shades of eyelash yarn to add also. There will be a total of 7 fishes, maybe nine if I think the other two are really needed. 
It's coming along nicely.

I plan on finishing this fish picture in the next couple of days. Then you all will be hearing about the flamingo's creation. Bet you all just can't wait either! :)

Be good to one another!
It matters!
Peace, my friends!

17 April 2012

It's all about fishes.

Hello Readers!
The sleep monster kidnapped me yesterday and I missed my sister's birthday party all together.
I know better than to lay down for a short nap...I didn't hear that phone ring, two feet from my ear as I slept. I was so sleepy though...I wanted just a short nap...couple hours. I knew I was expected next door. The wing ding was at 6 pm. I lay down for a nap at 3pm. I woke up at 5am this morning. 
I feel like something the cat dragged in.....

It doesn't take much physical energy to sit in the chair and paint fishes. It really doesn't take much thought-energy either, come to think of it.

I fixed these here fishes up the day before yesterday in preparation of a paint job.

This is the armature of the fishes.

chipboard packaging boxes
a wooden bead
hot glue
wadded newspaper
scotch tape
masking tape
salvaged copper wire

I had to make some changes in the middle of the design of the armature. That's the reason for two kinds of tape. The wooden bead is hot glued in between the two fish shapes of the body. I probably could have done without the wooden bead as well. It was helpful though to have the chipboard separated already when I went to stuff it with newspaper to form the shape of it's belly.

They're slathered with homemade gesso and left to dry overnight. 
I did the ten in this post in two batches of five each.
There are still five left, 2 still need taped and 3 are ready to be gessoed.

They're given a coat of cheap acrylic paint after they've dried good.

and then some dots and dashes and lines and whatever ends up there on the fish...

and you end up with a colorful school such as this.

After the dots and dashes and all had dried good I brushed a thin coat of pearlized gold puff paint on the fellas and super glued a wiggly eye on either side of their rather flat faces.

I ran across one in the batch I'd put the tape all over that didn't even have a loop hanging out of his mouth. Not sure how I overlooked that while taping the critter up. 
If you click on the pictures, they'll be bigger.

You all remember the failed first attempt to construct a bucky ball? 
This is what it looks like now.
I've been contemplating Fish Picture #4 since the last post, though the canvas looks exactly the same as it does in the pictures I showed you. ---- No! NO! I take that back!
It doesn't look the same! I just forgot to take pictures of it. I've added some sage green colored eyelash yarn and a bit of soft royal blue colored twisted yarn to the coral field. 
That plateful of bucky ball units are going to be a part of the seafloor in the picture. 
I painted the stripes with Dr. Martin's Ink and piped in some homemade gesso to adhere the fake pearls and little blue beads to. These will be scattered across the bottom of the picture. I don't think I'm quite done with these yet....I haven't brought them back to the deskroom to put a few of them on the canvas to compare their color. I want them to be noticed, but not glare at the viewer. I'm still working on it.

Maybe tomorrow I won't feel like something the cat dragged in and I will actually get some rocks adhered to the canvas. I still need to make a few anenomes, and some other fantasy sealife. 

Whatever makes you happy today, go for it!
Be good to one another!
It matters!
Peace, my friends!

14 April 2012

Drawing, Building and A New Project

Happy Saturday Everyone!
It's been a wild weather Saturday in the state of Kansas! Luckily the bad stuff has stayed out of my neck of the woods for the most part. Got my fingers crossed it stays that way. Weather gurus are saying we aren't quite done yet. We're in a wind advisory but for some reason the wind stopped blowing once the rain left. 
There were at one time, 9 different tornado warnings going at the same time this afternoon. 
That's a LOT of tornadoes to be touching down at once! Several counties had more than one tornado on the ground at a time.
I'm in hopes none of them were severely severe. I don't own a TV and the web has proven useless for up to the minute weather reports that make any sense to me!
Right now, the sun is shining bright through big fluffly white clouds. 
We got rained on earlier today...round about noon...it came down in bucketfuls, the wind blew a touch and pea sized hail fell down for all of two minutes.
Nice little thunderstorm doing its thing.

I hoofed it to my sister's house before all hell broke loose. Got a little wet on the way home cause it was still sprinkling. Wasn't even raining when Ma and Linda insisted I get my butt over there, just in case.
I ain't complaining! I don't like to get wet in the rain. And had I waited till it started raining, I'd of gotten soaked! That cane slows me way down!
Much as I don't like the idea of waiting out a storm (that may never materialize) at my sister's house, it's much better to be there if it happens as to be at home and have to high tail across the yard to take cover in the basement. I'd like to be as far away from my house as is possible should a tornado decide to take it out!
It will not survive a tornado! Course my sister's house could go as easily as my own in that event, but at least she lives in a real house and has a real basement below ground! 
I'm afraid my two cats and that fool dog on their own should such an event happen. The dog will be at my sister's house with me. I can't go anywhere far without my shadow...the cats will have to fend for themselves.  Fred will not go in the basement though. He's afraid of the steps and there is no amount of cajoling that will convince him it is safe to go down them. He's on his own too.
Let's hope to make it through another storm season intact!
So far, so good!

I did a bit of drawing the day before yesterday.
I took pictures of the 4x4s because the printer was in use at the time. I usually scan drawings.

Zentangle Hair
Chunky Page
4x4 inches
markers on orchard paper

Zentangle Bunny Ears
Chunky Page
4x4  inches
markers on orchard paper

Then I built a box yesterday with intentions of using it as a shipping container for a paper mache fish that I traded off in the Easter-a-thon last weekend. I nixed that idea after the fact. Would help if I could measure correctly! The fish went swimming in this box! I only wanted the fish in a stiff container so it won't get squished on it's journey to South Dakota. I put the fish in a box that organic tea came in instead. The tea box was the perfect size for the fish wrapped in bubble wrap and the ATCs I traded her as well fit in the box nicely. 

Checker Board Box
Red Duct Tape
5.5x3.5x3.5 inches
It's made from a checker/backgammon board

I got some excellent news out of my mailbox on Wednesday. 

Someone loved Fish Picture #2 to pay cold hard cash for it!
This is the very first large piece of art I've ever sold. It had been sitting in the gift shop in Lucas for over a year. I'd heard stories about folks oohing and ahhing over it, but no one wanted to pay the price asked. I got a check from the Art Center for selling the painting and a little book. I've no clue which little book. So I'm a happy camper about this and I'm quite stoked to get moving on Fish Picture #4. Fish Picture #3 is this one:
If you click on it, you'll get a bigger view.
This one hangs on the wall in the hallway at my house. I'm going to give it to my son's wife one of these days. Every time they come to visit she always says, "I want this picture, Mama!" as she stands and stares at all the components on it. 
I won a blue ribbon at the county fair for this picture!
Fish Picture #1 is still at the Arts Center Gift Shop in Lucas awaiting the person who will fall in love with an ugly lone fish on a small canvas. It will happen!

I was going to show you all Fish Picture #1 but I don't seem to be able to find it in My Pictures on this machine. it is more on the lines of Fish Picture #2 than it is #3.

Beings Fish Picture #2 finally sold, I'm gungho about #4! Which is actually fish picture #5 if we want to be technical. I made Evelyn a fish picture for her birthday this past July. I won a blue ribbon for it as well at the County Fair.


I had this canvas sitting on the easel for months with it getting no farther than what you see above.

There are numerous layers on this canvas. Dictionary pages to cover the paintjob that was already there when my mother brought me this canvas. It was painted black with one very wide stripe of green paint slapped on just off center. There were three other canvasses bought with this one that were quite similar except for the color of the stripe. My mother made a haul with the dollar she spent on the four!
It is 18x24 inches. Along the bottom is some gauze bandaging soaked in thinned glue and just laid on the canvas to dry after I squished it around to get it how I wanted it. Then I painted it a flesh color. The bumps and indications of plant life are all Gorilla Glue. That's some fantastic sculptural stuff! There are a few different colors of paint on it. Not sure why it's showing up so gray on my monitor. It was really more brown than gray...though it does have a layer of blue paint over a layer of metallic copper paint. 
It just quit talking to me is why it sat for so long.

I took it off the easel in the deskroom just a few weeks ago and replaced it with the pink tree canvas. That one's not gone anywhere since I showed it to you all months ago. The pink tree has become my tray for fishes for the newest fish picture. 

I painted the canvas here and there and made it a bit more brownish. Then I slathered on some blue glitter glue. That was fun! I used my fingers! I added some eyelash yarn and a bit of orange rick rack for some coral/plants whatever.

I painted all the edges of the canvas with metallic copper acrylic paint and slapped a bit on the front of the canvas along all four edges concentrating on the bottom part and the top middle part.
Since taking this picture I have added more. There is still a lot to add though before it's done.

You can't have a fish picture without fish, now can  ya?
I made some starfishes too.
Cardstock painted with puffy paint.
Pink Tree Tray sitting atop the scanner with the fishes sitting on it. 
I was lazy...didn't want to move all this just to scan the drawings early this morning.

A close up of the starfishes and a fish before I toned that blue down a bit.

Fishes with a wash of metallic copper...that same color on the background and edges of the canvas.
I like them better this way....they were way too bright against that canvas before.

A few of the elements I've made for the fish picture thus far.
The string of beads are wooden and knotted on a length of copper wire
The blue leaves are plastic beads wired into little 'bushes'.
(Are there bushes in the sea? Or something equivalent?)
A shell bead that I'm uncertain will end up in the picture, just depends on how well it blends when I get busy on the foreground.
The other things are crocheted wire with dots of glitter glue on them.

A closeup of the components.
I've already put the wooden beads on the canvas.

And an underwater fish picture needs some rocks cause even I know the seafloor has rocks.
I'm 99.9% sure it does, anyway. I don't really know...I've never really been around the sea. I've been to the Gulf of Mexico down in Louisiana. I sat in the surf for about an hour and had had enough of the beach.
And I went to the beach in Malibu, California twice for a few hours. I only actually got my feet wet in the Pacific Ocean once. I don't know much about the ocean in a hand-on kind of way. I'm probably not qualified to even be attempting to make fish pictures involving fantasy seascapes. But maybe I am. 
Anyway, you need rocks.

My sister thought these were really lava rocks that I had painted. 
They aren't real rocks at all. They're a bunch of styrofoam packaging material that I broke into chunks and painted wine red and green.

And then after they dried, I painted over them with copper colored glitter glue. 

See how they sparkle???
The whole fish world will sparkle when I'm done.

So a new project is in the works and the paper mache fishes are still stranded in shallow water, so to speak. The flamingo is not in any new state either....I probably will work on the paper mache fishes before too long. It won't take me long to get all the components for this picture made. I can work on paper mache fishes when I tire of wire work and crochet. I'm thinking I need a few anenomes and I'm thinking paper mache may be the way to go with those. I need to whip up a batch of paper clay.  Or I may just make them the same way I made them for Fish Picture #3 and use polymer clay and copper wire for them. It's all one big experiment. I'll now if it's a success when it's done.

That's what I've been up to when I haven't been asleep. And I've slept a great deal since the last post!
Be good to one another!
It matters!
Peace, my friends!

10 April 2012

Four Finished Fishes, Some Drawings and Few Charms

Hello Readers!
I hope you all had a Happy Easter!

I finished the four fishes I've been rambling on about. 

The orange one and the green one are up for trade over at AFA.
The other two are too heavy to be sending through the mail. I don't want to spend an arm and a leg on postage. I like to eat!

I like the greenish yellow fish best of all four of these.
You all will see more fishes soon as I will be finishing out the 22 that are left to do.
I think I'll do them in batches of six, instead of four. It's just as easy to work on six at once as it is to work on four of them. I don't have room to spread them all out to do the whole lot of them at once. And I'd get bored stiff working on that many at once anyway!

I went surfing through pinterest and came across a picture of a little red dress made from a coke can.
Mine isn't quite as cute as the one that inspired it! 
It is all experimenting though!
I am the mad scientist of the art world!

Then I came across the tutorial on how to wrap anything with wire that doesn't have a hole in it. 
This is just a plain old brown rock I saved for some reason or another. 
I really like the color of this rock and I do believe that is the reason I saved it.

This terrible picture is of a wooden ball that has been wire wrapped in the same manner as the rock above. I don't know why sometimes my camera will capture the foreground in focus and other times it puts the background in focus. I took about 2 dozen pictures of this thing and not a one of them turned out any better than this picture did.

Learning this method of wrapping things in wire is a good thing to know!
I'll be using that knowledge again, I'm sure!

And then we come to this little chameleon charm made from a couple of green pipe cleaners, a bit of copperwire for a bail and a couple of googly eyes.
He's rather cute, yet quite amatuerish.

These carrot charms are what started off the charm making on Monday.
They are made from masking tape, crewel embroidery yarn, copper wire and a bit of white glue. 
Easy little carrots to make. 

I made a batch of these a few years ago and put the individual carrots on ATCs with a rabbit holding one. The first batch I made did not have a bail for hanging them anywhere.
I think the bails are a good addition.

Not shown, cause they aren't done yet, are a dozen more carrot charms made from polymer clay with crewel embroidery yarn for leaves. I don't know how well the embroidery yarn is going to hold up in a 200 degree oven to bake the clay. Report to come later. 
I'll bake the carrots when I get some more bones for the skeleton made. 
It might be October before that happens. I am not known for speedy completion of projects!
And maybe I'll get the urge to finish up the skeletons tomorrow! 
Who knows!

The drawing muse is still in the house.

In The Rain
markers on cardstock

Picasso's Marie
markers on cardstock

Purple Mug
markers on cardstock

I'll be stuffing envelopes with trades this evening in preparation of a run to the post office in the morning.
The dog needs some food as well so looks like a shopping spree is will be on the menu also.
I suppose while I'm out and about, I might as well go pay the bills too.

Be good to one another!
It matters!

09 April 2012

Progress on the Fishes, Drawings and Something Totally New!

Hello Readers!
Progress on the Fishes is happening! Not quite as quickly as I had proclaimed in the last post...but progress is happening! That brown basket still has 22 of those naked fishes in it. Not a one of them covered in paper.... my UFO list grows.

I did get these four almost done.

These were an experiment with two different kinds of medium as their outter layers. This being before the paint went on. The purple and black fish are covered in joint compound. The white fish is covered in homemade gesso and the orange fish is actually paper mached with a final layer of homemade gesso. That one is paper mached because he's the only one out 26 that got that far! When I dragged them out from the bottom shelf the other week, the others were only chipboard skeletons. I paper mached that one and didn't go any farther cause the ornament project was looming and there just wasn't time for the idea of a school of fishes to contend with. 
Now isn't really a great time for them either, what with the Flamingo still slumped over that orange bowl, and all the other UFOs on the list, but the fishes are screaming, so now IS the time. At least for these four guys.
Who knows what the muse will decide for tomorrow?
The results of the experimentation of one or the other medium resulted in me deciding that joint compound is lovely stuff to work with but it is not going to work for these fishes. They are too heavy. Their fins are cracked at the joins already. They will work, but they are not ideal and I'm not going to cover 22 fish skeletons with it. 
The orange fish with its paper mached layer and a layer of gesso is the route I'll go. The green striped fish has the nicest finish to work on so I'll tweak everything to work together with the remaining fish.
These guys still need a few finishing touches before I can call them finished.
Eyes would be a nice touch! And a coat of spar varnish to protect them. 
I rather like them. I will enjoy the creation of the entire school!
And you all can come along for the ride if you wish.

I'm still in the drawing mode as well.

Blue Hills
markers on cardstock

Blue Orange Tree
markers on cardstock

Blue Pear
markers on cardstock

I did the three orange and blue ATCs at my sister's house on Sunday morning. I brought only orange and blue markers along with the blanks. I didn't choose wisely with my selection of particular markers. 
A few of the colors were not the choicest of the markers I usually have to choose from.

I discovered something to do with  those plastic credit-type cards one acquires. Some times they come unbidden in the snail mail. Some times they come in multiples of many from one of your trained hunters.
Both are the case here! I've acquired them from many trained hunters, just not in the numbers my brother handed over a few months ago. His contribution added considerably to the growing stack. I have no idea how many there are...I've never counted them. I'm guessing close to 125 or so. 
After an exhaustive hunt through Google Images for something to do with those things, I took the scissors to six of them.  Google didn't point me to anything I found useful. There were no crafts to recycle them into something else. There are a few things you can do with them though. Use them for a paint spreader, make a  needle out of one for sewing paper weaving, they make good disposable small pallets. I'm sure you all have many other uses for them too.
I was looking to make them into something they were never meant to be.
Thus was born the Peace Hand.

Hotel Key Card
Glass beads and copper wire

fake credit card from junk mail
plastic beads and copperwire
these beads are really sparkly in real life
Days Inn Hotel Key Card
plastic and glass beads, metal charm and copper wire

fake credit card from junk mail
copper wire

Oklahoma Hotel Key Card
glass beads and copperwire

hotel key card
glass beads and copper wire

The copper wire is salvaged from a dead small appliance of one species or another. It's hard to know what it came from. My brother found the stack of cards he gave to me at the dump one day. 
I don't know that I'll make that many Peace Hands but I've turned six of them into something they were never intended to be. Goal accomplished!
I kinda like these hands. They're pretty easy to make too. I just cut a mitten shape out of the card and then cut the finger shapes out. You have to make sure you leave the thumb long enough to fold over the ring and pinky finger though. I lit a candle to heat the needle tool so I could poke the holes where I needed them and then wired it all together with the copper.
Keep an eye out for the cat when you have a lit candle on the desk. That fool Lola cat has a singed spot on her little armpit. 
After mulling it over, I decided they would be magnets. I think putting a fancy fitting through the tips of the middle and pointer fingers for it to hang by would be pretty cool too. The next batch of these I will try that.

I'm going to go whip up a cake and clean up the kitchen a bit while it bakes. I'm freezing! I need the warmth of the oven! 
You all have a stellar day!
Be good to one another!
It matters!