Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beeswax Collage Class

Dear Diary,

These are two pieces I made Saturday in Mike and Leslie's Beeswax Silhouette Class. It was a lot of fun! I was excited to finally meet Leslie. Mike talks about her all the time so it was great to get to meet her. She has a precious personality and laughs allot so it made class fun.

I especially enjoyed this class because:

#1 It was at Mystic Paper
#2 Mike showed us some new techniques
#3 He brought so many wonderful silhouettes for us to chose from
#4 We completed 3 projects
#5 There was a good mix of people there
#6 I won the $65.00 gift card drawing!

I had planned to give these as Christmas presents but I don't think I can part with them!

Forbidden Love

Dear Diary,

This is the finished project I made in the Artful messages class at Art Unraveled. It was a great class. One of my favorites. Our teacher was just delightful! The class was taught by Olivia Thomas. She is from the Phoenix area. I deviated from her supplies and instead of using felt for the back, I painted a doily I purchased at Merchant's Square. I loved painting and stamping the fabric. We started with a plain muslin piece of fabric and la-de-da-ed it up with different colors of paint and then used black and white as an accent color for stamps.

I call this piece Forbidden Love. I have had forbidden love on my mind lately. My alma mater used to be an all girls college but twenty years ago they started letting "smart men" attend (Court Order). The current president of the university has been rallying for a name change. She and a panel decided on two possible new names for the University. She unveiled these names August 10. Neither of them include "for Women". Most of the Alumni have been up in arms about the idea of a name change. This topic has monopolized the letters to the editor for a long time.

When I attended, it was just girls. I had heard and read about that form of forbidden love but thought that kind of stuff just happened in places like California (Not that there is anything wrong with it). There were several different types of "desire" running rampant on that campus. It was the 70's. Most of us did desire to get a quality education but also wanted to find our heart's desire whether it be the P.E. major down the hall, Our good looking English Professor, a lieutenant from the Air Force Base or a future alcoholic wife beater from the local bar. I don't know where I am going with this except to say that when I saw the picture of the two women, the idea for this all came together in my head. I especially like the back made from the doily. It has a rose embroidered on it. Shakespeare's quote about the rose will be added to the back as soon as I can get a toner copy of it to transfer to muslin. I thought that would be the perfect quote for all of this hoopla about the name change. What is in a name? It will still be my former university even if the name is changed. I'll have the same fuzzy memories and quality education as before but the name of the university on my diploma will be obsolete.

Buffalo Chip Cookies

Dear Diary,

I finally finished another page of the cookbook! Patty's classes are really helping me get my act together on this project. She has some great ideas and wonderful examples she brings to class. Plus at the first class she gave us this beautiful book and has been giving us pages to add to it every class. The last one was about making the prettiest little lace flowers. I can put those on my Monkeys and Dolls too! One piece of advise she gave me was to know what book form the recipes will be in before I start. I wish I had listened. I bought a scrap book at Tuesday Morning. Last class, Patty showed me how I could put them in the book with out losing some of the page. I worked on this yesterday. It worked but the scrap book I bought doesn't lay right. I'm not worried. Patty will help me figure something out! I really enjoy being in her Heritage scrap booking Class at Mystic Paper and suffer terrible Patty withdrawals when we don't meet regularly.

Ian and I made about 300 of these cookies when he was in sixth grade for his Worlds Fair project. He wanted me to make Mongolian beef but I wasn't sure if that dish originated there and anyway - everybody likes cookies!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sea Monkey Mermaid

Dear Diary,

Every year, my father took my sisters and me to the Lowndes County Fair in Columbus, Mississippi. Before we could ride any of the carnival rides, it was a family tradition to go through the home economics building and look at every jam, jelly, and preserve, and all sorts of hobby, craft, or sewing project that the local 4-H or ladies’ clubs had made. We tried to hurry daddy through most of the exhibits but we always stopped reverently and stared longingly and in awe of this sock monkey. My sisters and I coveted that monkey!

Another thing we did every single year at the fair was throw horrible fits, drag our feet in the county fair dust, squall, whine, and complain about what we didn't get to do when Daddy said time to go. My poor Daddy, I don't know why he continued to take us year after year.

A few summers ago while on vacation, I found a sock shop that sold the red-heeled socks used for making sock monkeys. I could now have my own! There was another thing we fantasized about owning as children – Sea Monkeys. This doll is a combination of two fond childhood memories. I sent this one in to Art Doll Quarterly for a challenge and it was published - that was last summer and in the same issue as the Tree Sprite doll. I modified the tail when it came back because after looking at it again it looked like a bass tail! I gave that one to Leslie and made two more. Then I gave one of them to a friend I worked with at the elementary school . So now I have one. I want to make some more but what do you do with them? I've been buying some cool old fake pearls and old sea themed jewelery to put on them. I've got the goodies in a shoe box and every now and then I pull them out and look at them. What do ya'll do with all the Art stuff you make? Mine is starting to accumulate. If they were cats - the city would be after me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Plaster Crack up Class

Dear Diary,
This is another piece I made from an Art Unraveled Class I took. This class was called Crack - Up and was taught by Stephanie Lee.

It was an all day class and you know I'm not good at those. Stephanie is very personable and is a very talented artist and has a sweet husband that was there to assist her. Frankly, I was envious.

I had a hard time in this class because some of us had to share a tablespoon. I don't like to share, especially after I have paid as much as I did for this class. I would have brought my own tablespoon if it had been listed on the class supply list. My table partner didn't like to share either. In fact she hogged the spoon. The teacher finally noticed me sitting there with my arms folded and my lip out and got me a spoon from someone else and then they ran out of plaster. So, we broke for lunch. When I came back from lunch - somebody had taken my freekin spoon. I turned to my table partner and said through clinched teeth, "Somebody got my freekin spoon!" She said, "don't panic", I think she was afraid she was going to have to share her spoon.

Seriously I was about to blow. but we found my spoon - the teacher had borrowed it.

At the end of class, we had to sit in a circle in the back of the room to "share". It turned out to be a therapy session for a few of the "artists". One woman went on and on and on about her art and had a comment or tip for most every one else that shared. Being a suck up, I was sitting to the left of the teacher so I didn't get to share until last. That woman that had done so much talking got up from the circle and left, three people before my turn to share. I thought she should have been more considerate and stayed to listen to the rest of us. We had endured her art and opinions. I was not as dynamic a speaker as I usually am when it got to be my turn. I was tired and not at all inspiring. The other two canvases I worked on are still in progress to be posted at a later date.

Altered Cabinet Card

Dear Diary,

I am finally posting a picture of one of the pieces of art I made at Art Unraveled. I took this class from Sylvia Luna, aka Silver Moon. I have been wanting to take a class from her for years!

It was just fabulous! She gave us lots of stuff to take home and taught us some great techniques. I am still putting stuff on this photo! I may never finish. Sylvia said something during that class that I have to quote. She said something about the difference between a crafter and an artist was the artist (now here is where my memory fails me and this is the kicker part of the quote!) something like the artist ties it all together or makes it look finished or something like that. Anyway, It was an impressive thought and I should have written it down.

My sista Lucy says stuff all the time that I wish I would write down. She is very clever and witty. She coined the phrase "Crap Fair" instead of Craft Fair. You can always find wooden Tater boxes at crap fairs. When I taught pre-school back when Ian and Elizabeth were 4 and 5, I could make anything you could imagine out of a toilet paper roll and a paper plate. I've gotten spoiled.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This one is for you Esther!

Dear Diary,

When I was six years old, we moved from California to Birmingham , Alabama. Little did I know we had moved clear across the country. I have a few memories about the trip. I remember freaking out after I woke up late at night in the car and seeing flashing caution lights. I think we thought they were UFOs. I also remember needing to go to the bathroom and being handed a JAR! At least it was a wide mouth jar like a peanut butter jar. Enough about the trip. We moved to Alabama because my father was going to Viet Nam. (Like Forrest Gump, but we didn't know about him back then.) My Grandmother (Mamma's Momma lived in a little town called Fultondale. Uncle Pud and Aunt Betty lived next door. I can't imagine the pressure my Momma was under living with her Momma in Alabama the year Kennedy was shot in Dallas! and after living in California married with four children for 10 - 11 years.

While we lived in Alabama she had to learn to drive. She didn't know how to drive! That is one of the reasons I still suffer from motion sickness. I can't even visit an IMAX. She smoked like a chimney every time she got behind the wheel and always carried a fly swatter or a stick to switch us with if we needed it. She drove so slow people were always honking at us and flipping us off. Of course there were no seat belts back then so it was always a free for all in the backseat. Except for sista Janice. She sat in the floor board. She never got car sick and she even smoked a whole cigar when she was in grammar school but I've told you that before. Actually one time sista Janice and I went to visit Aunt Betty. She was always so fun! She gave Janice and I a cigarette. I got sick immediately but sista Janice finished hers. Too bad she didn't give us liquor, I know I could have held my own. I have always admired sista Janice's stamina, I think she got more of the tough Caledonia genes than the rest of us. She is a survivor.

One time Uncle Pud told me that he had to baby sit us while Aunt Betty and Momma went to PTA. (Where was grandmother?) (It must have been threatening a storm and she was in bed or in the basement) Uncle Pud said that sista Sarah Ann was throwing a fit. She wanted to go to PTA. He said you can't go to PTA. She said I'm going to PTA. He said he watched her blond head go down the hill then back up the hill toward the main road to the school. Then he realized that she was going to PTA - so he took out after her. He said he caught up with her before she got to the main road. He said, Come on home Sarah Ann! She said I'm going to PTA, then she picked up some rocks and started throwing them at him. Now that she is an adult and can go to PTA anytime she wants to - She probably doesn't want to go. Isn't that the way it always goes?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Sock Monkey with her little Dog, Lady

Dear Diary,

I mailed these off to a friend today. I have known this beautiful friend since she was in the eighth grade. She is a friend of my sista Janice. They both turned 50 this year! Her older sister, Sharon and I have been friends since 10th grade. Sharon is the funniest, most fun, and artistic person anyone could ever want to know! Everything she says is a surprise. I hope I get to see her when I go visit my parent's in October. She has an etsy store, SHARONFOSTERART, and all kinds of stuff going on. Julia needed a Monkey for her oldest son's girlfriend. I hope she likes it. The charms are of the real dog and Adam and his girlfriend. I think Adam was wearing pull-ups last time I saw him!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Next Step

Dear Diary,

Well, I got the next step done. I tore strips of old pattern pieces and glued them on in the shape of a head. I think I'll skip the body. I wasn't thinking last night. I had temporarily forgotten how creeped out Jr. High students can get by older people. I better make this piece pretty tame and 12 to 13 year old friendly. Leslie, I'll try to Frida myself tomorrow and see how that turns out.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Self Portrait

Dear Diary,

I've been working on my portrait piece, well the background anyway. I am having trouble committing to an image of myself. It's not like I haven't done a portrait of myself before....As you can see from all of the above - I've done Picasso, Matisse, and Munch. But I can't decide what I look like and feel like right now, so I can't begin. I can't decide. It is driving me crazy! It is like being on the feminine products aisle at the grocery store. Same feeling! They are all KOTEX but some or small, some are large, some are long, some are for thongs, some are absorbent, some are light, some even have overnight protection. They have different names and different packages but they are still Kotex to me. Well, I'm tired of being Kotex. I really want to be glamorous and mysterious. (Like a tampon). But in this heat my makeup runs and I have always told every thing I know so that is impossible.

I do know that beauty is within (since I was the guest speaker on that subject) so maybe I'll do a little play on that. Maybe I'll take that picture my sista took of me on my birthday in Savannah and then put one of those medical naked bodies on the bottom (but cover over everything that is not for children's eyes) and there where the heart is - I'll put a heart shape and where the liver is I'll put something nice, and where the kidney is I'll put something pretty etc. Well that is one idea. Maybe ya'll can give me some more!

If you can't find me tomorrow, I may be in the cemetery. Cemeterys are supposed to help with commitment problems. Maybe if I hang out in the cemetery long enough I can decide what to do!

Years ago, (about twenty) I was reading all of these relationship books. One of the chapters was how to get a man to commit to you. I'll never forget what I read on this subject and believe me I have forgotten a lot. This book said to take your lover to the cemetery. The cemetery's atmosphere would put him in a certain mood that would make him reflect on his morality I mean, his mortality. When faced with the idea of death he decides that he can not live without you and may even propose on the spot. I had a friend that's boyfriend would not commit. I gave her this advice but don't know if she acted on it. He did eventually propose, but I digress.

It is getting late and I'm making too big a deal about this. I will finish this portrait before 11:00 am tomorrow (because I'm meeting my teacher for lunch!) and I will post the finished product later!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We've Got a little Problem Here!

Dear Diary,

I think my head is going to explode! There have been eighteen 14 -16 year olds over here since 11:30 am and they have been playing Rock Star loud for the past 2 hours - It is 6:50p.m. There are 5 left - I have given them until 7:00 pm. After that they are out of here! I'm afraid I'm going to snap. You may see this episode on the Biography Channel next season.

By the way - The above is a 12 x 12 piece that I need to finish before Monday @ 11;30 AM. I am hopefully going to teach a Jr. High after school Art class this fall in Chandler (if enough students sign up). My new friend LuLu, who creates beautiful art, taught us an artful portrait class this morning. She went over techniques we could use to teach the students. I had a good start on it this morning but about mid way through the party, I went into my little Art room and covered up what I had done. I have a whole new image of myself in my mind now. Not only do I deserve to wear a crown in my self portrait, I need to wear a cape as well. Hey Ya'll! I'm Bigger and Better than I started out this morning! I've got nerves of steel! I'm going to paint a face that any menopausal overweight 52 year old mother of teen agers could be proud of. I'm a role model!!!