Saturday, May 31, 2008

Garage Sale Finds

Today was hot and muggy. I got a late start so I was only able to hit three or four sales. The first two were picked over and I am not a big clothes person. The third was great. The bottles were for sale there. The gentleman had several tables and boxes full of bottles. He worked for a demolition firm and had been hired to clear an old dump site downtown on the Cape Fear River for the new convention center. His crew had found all these bottles. Some were hand blown with bubbles, medicine bottles, two part mold bottles, clear bottles, brown bottles, these gorgeous aqua bottles. I missed the cobalt bottles. I didn't feel too bad cause I have a lot of those. I ended up with thirty bottles. I pretty much stuck with the smaller bottles. I like them for window sills. I put my sand collection in the clear bottles. The aqua bottles are my favorite. The small bottles can be used in altered books or assemblage pieces. All for 25cents each. What a deal.

The last yard sale was interesting. A mother - daughter decorating team. I bought a box of ten dress patterns for 5 cents each. The patterns looked like they had dressed the crew from Dallas. Look out Joan Collins. I love the pattern pieces as backgrounds on canvas. They also had these interesting ornaments. The stars and Fleur de leis. They are all hand sewn with metallic threads. Just beautiful. The whole bag was 10 cents. The woman actually apologized to me that they were "sort of old". Old is good. I also picked up four yards of this damask. I loved the dragonflies holding up the pearl like swag. Pillows maybe? The Russian spoon is for my mom. She has a very interesting collection of hand painted Russian boxes, containers, trays, and spoons.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Truck Grilles

Believe it or not these are Toyota truck and one car grilles. I took these pictures yesterday at the car dealership while waiting to have my car serviced. They were all sitting so pretty and in these neat little rows. Just screaming for me to do something with them. So five minutes in the parking lot and about twenty pictures later - these are some of the results. I am going to give them to my service guy - he always helps me because I am clueless when it comes to cars.

Bandanna Technique

We spend a lot of our time waiting. Waiting for the doctor, dentist, our car to be repaired, the carpool line, etc. This technique is the perfect make a few samples ahead of time and doodle away while you wait. The above is my hour and a half wait at the car service place this morning.

I first read about this on several of my yahoo group message boards. You do your backgrounds with ranger inks, then stamp and doodle away with a black and white pen. The effect is like the bandanna we have all on occasion worn.

I could explain it in great detail. However, I think the source is always the place to go. So with that I hope I have perked your interest and I will turn you over to Robin Beam from Ranger Industries. Her blog site with directions is
I will have the site on a favorites list on my sidebar also.

Using Scraps for Art

My work table becomes full of scraps after several projects. I try as I go along to sort by paper, text, image, material, etc. I throw everything into a small gift box size box till it is about half full. Then I take my scrap paper I have inked or painted on and start to glue down the scraps. Some are half images, or images that didn't print or transfer the way I wanted. There is no rhyme or reason to the gluing, just get rid of the scrap. It is very therapeutic and often before I start a larger project it gets me in the mood. After I have glued onto the paper I get out my inks, some neutral acrylics and some transparent acrylics and just swipe color combo's over the paper.
I keep baby wipes close by to wipe out areas that don't agree with me or I have put on with a heavy hand.

Now the fun begins. I usually scan the finished sheet so I can use it or parts of as background for another piece. Then, I like to cut the original up and make ATC's or skinnies out of it. The top picture is a finished sheet. The middle picture is a skinny I mades from the original adding a piece of fabric and words. Last is an ATC I added some words to and did a little pen detail work. I was able to make several more skinnies and a ATC out of the rest. These sheets are also fun to use as journal covers for small journals. Or background pieces for cards.

This is a good way to play with color combinations. Also different mediums... ink on top of acrylic, oil pastels, etc. You can even sew on it before you cut it up, just be sure to let your adhesive dry before you sew. There is no right or wrong, just energy. Plus, all those little pieces you just can't bear to toss out get turned into something fun!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bead Weekend

It was wild with beads at my house this weekend. I had Art girlfriends joining the family chaos for the weekend. They brought beads and jewelry making supplies. My kitchen table became bead central. These are just some of the ten pairs of sterling and crystal earrings and one cute baby bracelet Denita made. The bling was flying. I love the aqua beads. The long earrings make you feel like putting on a swirly skirt and dance.

I worked on some 4 by 4's, 2by 2's, and some ATC's. They are all for swaps and a few for trades. I will post them when I am finished and they are sent out. I hate to spoil the surprise.
It was hard getting anything but food and fun this past weekend. I felt very renourished from being with my family and friends. Even though I did not get a lot of art done this weekend It was really fun watching every one else work on things. That alone was inspiring.

Laurel made the butterfly. She stamped The image with Fabrico ink on to a heavy piece of pellon. The face is polymer clay that she will tint an anchor onto the piece with beads. Isn't it amazing what you can do with a few tubes of seed beads and a needle and thread. I believe this will be a beautiful brooch when she is finished.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Art in a Carton

This is a round robin of sorts. maybe a trade thing. or maybe a RAK. I am not sure what to call it but it is the brain child of Susan Letham. She is from England but lives in Germany. She decided to send out 52 carton's to artsy folks asking them to do three in return. Each carton is filled with original art work and arty supplies. She has several examples on her blog. The first art carton you receive you send one back to that person. The next two are to go to the participants that have their address in the next two you receive. Very clever idea. Read more on her blog at art in a carton. The link to her blog is on my sidebar.

Freebies #5

I thought this week I would share a few bird images. Several people have emailed or posted how much they like some of the bird images in my artwork. Several have mentioned round robins or exchanges with bird themes. So with these people in mind I am posting these. Check in again and I am sure there will be lots more.
So, for starters I saw my first hummer this weekend. I am fascinated by them. So fast yet so social. It just seemed right that we start with them. The owls are for a dear friend who collects owls. She is very wise. Enjoy!

A Swim at Lizzie's House

This is how I spent a good part of the weekend....when I wasn't cooking, doing laundry and generally enjoying the moment. Lot's of family and friends. Everyone pitched in and a good time was had by all. I was the official photographer. I just had to share these two very special little people in my life. Mr. Gage and doll face - Avery.

On the Hunt

Saturday was a busy day. Out of town friends down for "pig pickin". We left early so we could do a little thrift store an antique store shopping. So much fun to go with girlfriends who have an eye for cool stuff to decorate with and recyclables we can use in our art work. They understand when you find that key ring with all the old keys, some engraved with lions on them, or the perfect green fruit box that has been turned into a little cabinet with shelves and they even left the label on in the inside. I love it when you find some odd thing you think would look great hanging up with jewelry or a nice assemblage piece attached to it and one says what is it and the other says "Oh I have one like that. I hang earrings from it." Like minds. So this is part of my Saturday haul. Two great pieces of Haeger white pottery and a beautiful piece of green McCoy. Lots of bits and pieces of lace and ribbon, Victorian gloves and a cute PINK bird perfume bottle. Treasures to find homes and new uses for. On to the "pig pickin".

Janet's Dew

We arrived at the family reunion in honor of the grandparents wedding anniversary just as the rain had stopped and the clouds cleared up and the sun began to dry everything up. Cool for May. All the food had been laid out and the line was beginning to form. Yum. The smells were divine and the line definitely was in the mood to celebrate. Hello's were said and the business of sampling everything began. A quiet hum descended. Only the very young had time to waste on talk. After the first round the questions of 'who made this?" what's in this dressing?"began. Then the finale -desserts. Enough to do a baker proud. Every year there is a standout. This year Janet Purser's Dew was THE ONE. I grabbed my handy purse journal and the quiz began. So thank you Janet for allowing me to share this with all.

Janet's Dew
4 apples or peaches
2 cans of Pillsbury low fat crescent rolls
1 stick butter
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
10 ounces of Mountain Dew

Wash, peel and core or pit the apples or peaches.
Quarter them. Wrap each quarter in a crescent roll.
Lay in 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Do this till you have used up all the fruit and crescent rolls.
Melt butter and add spices - around one teaspoon or so each.
Pour mixture over rolls.
Open Mountain Dew pour ten ounces over rolls.
Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream.

You will be a hit with this one. It is delightful.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Walk on the Beach

This was my walking buddy this morning. With memorial Day weekend right around the corner I decided I had better get a few walks in before the tourists show up. You won't be able to stir them with a stick by Friday.
I had the beach all to myself except for a lone shore fisherman. I walked from the middle of the island to the channel. Banks Channel connects the Atlantic ocean to the Intercoastal Waterway.
Across the channel is another small uninhabited island that the surfers, boaters and birds use. You can see lots of sharks there. The water is warm and the boaters tend to throw there bait and left over food out there.
Nice breeze, sunny and moving fluffy clouds. Perfect morning.

Jelly fish

Cannonball Jellyfish along the beach this morning. Five in all. They look like big toad stools to me. These do not sting people, they are a nuisance to the fishermen when they tangle and weigh down their nets. Speaking of jelly fish and the beach.... since a lot of you will be spending time there the best remedy for a jellyfish sting is vinegar or salt water. Regular water or urine will actually force the toxin into your system. If you get stung by a Portuguese man of war do not use any of these remedies. Get medical help. So add a dollar bottle of vinegar to your first aid kit and enjoy the beach.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day Liliy

Jezebel Sauce

Memorial Day weekend is almost here. I am going with friends to a big family "pig pickin". For those of you not from the south this is a fairly regular practice. There are specially made grills for barbecuing the pig and usually a few chickens or a turkey or two. The men get up at the crack of dawn and begin the ritual of cooking the pig with "their special" sauce. The women make all the side dishes and desserts. It is great food even if you don't like pig. There is usually a lot of liquid refreshments and Iced tea - always sweet.
Everyone sits around and tells "their stories". The children run around and play. It is so much fun to see all the generations of family. I am lucky to be included in my friends' family annual get together. My family is all over the place and we have a hard time gathering us all together like this.
This year I am planning ahead and have been going through my recipe file like crazy trying to find something to bring. I think I will bring two small dishes this year. I have decided on the Jezebel Sauce as a starter. So I am sharing this with you...

1 16 ounce jar of apply jelly
1 16 ounce jar of pineapple preserves
1 5 ounce jar of horseradish
1 1 1/2 ounce can dry mustard
2 or 3 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
Assorted Crackers

Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Place one package cream cheese on small plate/I use a salad size plate.
Spread sauce over cream cheese. Serve with crackers.
[This sauce is good with meatballs and sliced ham]

Monday, May 19, 2008

Round Robin Altered Book Page & Tag

I am in a Round Robin with a local group of girls. We meet once a month and work on different project, show and tell, etc. We concentrate on altered art, mostly books. We meet at a local store that sells art supplies, ink, stamps, paper, scrapbooking supplies,etc. It is a wonderful morning. We come from all over the coastal area. In January, one of the girls had found a large supply of children's board books. All of them the same size and the same number of pages. We decided to do a round robin about us. A friendship book. Each one of us would do a page/not a spread/ about ourselves in each others book. On the sign in page we would put pertinent facts like name, number, birthday,etc. We are about half way through after next month. It is very interesting to see how each person portrays them self. So this month I have Carolyn's book. She is a yellow and green person to me so I used those colors. The girl is my head at six photoshopped onto a early twentieth century girl's body. The round things are poker chips. I have this huge bag from a garage sale I am trying to turn into art.

A Rose is just a Rose

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Freebie #4

This is the bingo board the the number caller would put the balls in after she called them out.

Speaking of Little Boys

"He Dreams of far away places" is the cover of this eight by six board book. In one of my yahoo groups Kelly Burton challenged us to do something with Paris. I love Paris, but have always sort of found their pomp and circumstance somewhat amusing. I think of running off to Paris to love and write bad poetry or joining the foreign legion. So this is my little French boy dreaming when he, too can become a man and join the foreign legion, only to realize that home is all that matters.
This was a four page book that I chose to glue and cut a niche in on the left. The little soldier boy is inside the niche with the transparency sandwiched between pages to give in dimension with the definition of soldier. The metal embossed copper says "Where little boys become men". My scanner has a hard time with metals and glitter.

Garage Day Saturday's

Little known fact about me.....I am a garage sale, tag sale, flea market an auction junkie. I love the unexpected.
When we were young my Mother would take us antiquing when we traveled. It was a way to stretch our legs on those long trip to my grandmother's house. Mom an I would go in first while my Dad would walk around or throw the ball with my brother. Then when she spotted something my Dad would be called. My brother would ALWAYS complain. I figured I could choose to have fun or I could be miserable like my brother. I chose to have fun. I learned so many things from the antique dealers. Once they realized I wouldn't break anything and was truly in awe of their treasures they began to tell me the stories behind things. I believe my deep love of history began in those shops. Mom an I still antique and our homes are filled with one of a kind treasures.
Saturday mornings have at least an hour or two reserved for garage saleing. For years it was full of baseball games, soccer games, basketball practice, etc. All those things little boys love. Sometimes their Dad would take over and give me the luxury of a free Saturday morning. Now my Saturday's are mostly mine. I give myself up to two hours, then I am finished. I set a dollar amount and pretty much come in under unless there is just an incredible find. That one you know you can't live without.
So.. the picture above was yesterday's finds. I collect green pottery [and white and blue] particularly McCoy, Haeger, and Cole by an North Carolina family. I was lucky to find a Haeger piece and two McCoy pieces for under six dollars. Woo Hoo! At the same place I found an old silver ware box with green edges that will make an interesting shrine. The silhouette I found could be used with that.
I spent the most time at a women's sale who had been a flea market vendor and was selling jewelery. She had suitcases, boxes full. All in ziplock bags and in a tangle. I bought all the flower pins from her and two cigar boxes. Also, the lovely little copper luster pitcher - mint condition. She is having another sale in two weeks when she sorts thing out better. I plan on going back. I found sheet music[ten cents a book] and a cool fruit box - not in picture - at the Catholic church sale. Very crowded and lots of clothes. The fellow I bought the silverplate [one dollar] from also is giving me a couple of boxes of rusty tools, etc. He thought I could use them in my art. All in all a good day! You are looking at fifteen dollars worth of fun.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Color Wheel Gift

A little something to put on your work table. This is great when you hit a wall and need a little something to make that piece "pop".

"All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites."
Marc Chagall

Book Review - Happy Voodoo Gris Gris

Happy Voodoo Gris Gris by Mademoiselle De La Brindille. Text by Anne-Claire Leveque.
You can find this book on I was introduced to it by a dear friend, Denita. She said, " I don't know why but I just kept coming back to it. So I had to buy it." I was hooked from the cover. I love shrines.
This book is a guide to using your spirituality in art. Or express your spirituality with art all through your home and garden. Thirty projects in all.
Examples and how to's for tablecloths, personal shrines, protective charms, jewelry, window treatments, lamps.
Very up beat and easy to read.The photographs are great. Lots of eye candy.

4 by 4 For a Friend

A quickie 4by4 to go out today for a friend in need. The left side is left blank 1 1/2 inch for binding. The background is paper, the hill is fabric. Image from Lisa's Altered Art.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Couple more Skinnies 3by5

These are front and back respectively. Antique images on text, I cannot remember the stamp name and it is so old the ink has washed off [I am sure somebody out there knows it],colored with oil pastels. It is for a skinny book with a winged theme.

A Walk by the Marina

Spotted this pile of crab pots this morning. Thought they might make a couple of interesting photos. Made me hungry for that crab dip!

Robert Rauchenberg 1925-2008

"Bed" and "Rhyme"
My two favorite works by Robert Rauchenberg. I was so sad to hear of his passing yesterday. He helped bring collage an assemblage to the forefront in American art. I respected his commitment to "art is his life and his life was his art". This philosophy was in every work he created. It is a great loss to the art world.

Freebies #3