September 29, 2010

Disco Bundle Updates

Disco bundle, Week 20
These are the final days for these bundles to be outdoors. Come the end of the week, I'll be taking them down and taking them apart to see what's what! I'm hoping that some stroke of inspiration will come about as I do so 'cause right now I'm not sure where to go next. Who knows......

Barefoot Boy

September 28, 2010

Is this a sign?

Sue's Gift

Back in November of  last year I made the decision to retire from teaching after 14 1/2 years and to find a new "path" for my life to take. So on January 15th of this year, I did so. Here it is the end of September and lately I've been wondering if this was such a great decision. I think leaving teaching was as I had reached a point where I no longer felt as effective as I once was...but to try my hand at being an "artist" has been a bit rocky. Some of it has been that "old habits die hard" and even after all these months, I've not settled into my new life. I'm doing so slowly but it's taking more time than I thought.

In any case, earlier this week I learned that I have been chosen as one of five finalist in "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" Artisan Search 2011 competition in the book art catagory. To say the least, I'm very excited about all of this. I'm up against four other wonderful book artists so while I'm hopeful...I'm trying not to get too much so. Even still, to be picked out of hundreds of entries is something I'm still trying to get my mind around. Is this a sign that my "art" is worth pursuing? I'd like to think any case, I do have some new found confidence that I wasn't feeling earlier. And sometimes that is all that is need, isn't it?!

If you'd like to see more of "Sue's Gift" (which is one of the three pieces I submitted...) and the other two books, please go to Cloth, Paper, Scissors Artisan Search 2011 gallery. My books are on page 6 of the gallery, at the bottom of the page. Let me know what you think.

Welcome Maggie!

So here she is...sister of Helen....Maggie! Isn't she adorable?! It was fun building her...I had learned a lot from building her sister so Maggie went smoother. Just a little bit of tacky glue to fasten the pie pan to her head, my trusty snippers to shape this into her hair...and she was all done!! Now she's standing in a place of honor in our family room...the same place her sister resided until she left home. I think I'll hold onto Maggie and not put her up for sale...and I don't think I'll make another version of this doll. Two's enough, don't you think? Here's some more views of Maggie....

Front view

Left profile

Back view

I hope you enjoyed following along the progress of "Sister of Helen". I certainly did have fun building Maggie and documenting her progress. Now on to my next project!!!

September 27, 2010

Mad Men and Women by KyleLoobyJewelry

My thanks to KyleLoobyJewelry for including my photo, "Insane Asylum" in their new treasurey, Mad Men (and Women). Please check this treasury out for some more wonderfully insane items!!!

September 24, 2010

Sister of Helen - Episode 5 or "She's Alive"

She sees!!

I felt like Dr. F! All I needed was Igor and a thunderstorm!!!  (And maybe Gene Wilder...) I had neither. What I did have was my trusting rivet gun and a whole bunch of rivets and washers. I didn't need anything else!!! 

My trusty rivet gun!

As I hope you gathered from the top picture, the first thing I did was to rivet the bottle caps to her head ...I wanted to make sure she could watch the remaining steps and offer suggestions as to what I should do next. ( I guess I've been married too long....) That step went easily so I was encouraged to move on to the next steps!!!

You know what these are...

Okay, I'm a guy. So you know what "parts" I put on next! The "part" on the right went on easily, but when it came to one on the left, I guess I was a little too excited as the rivet pulled through the can while I was putting the "part" on. So... I had to get out my pliers and punch to remove the rivet from the bottle cap...which dented and scratched the paint a bit. In the end, using an extra washer on the back, I got this "part" on as well. I will have to do some touching up when I'm done, but that's okay....

Her arms went on without a hitch...already I'm liking the fact that I decided to twist/bend the shoulders and hands upright. Gives "personality" to her....this is going to be a real character!!!

The legs also went on smoothly...I had learned a lot while making Helen! The only problem was...that I soon realized that either the legs where on the can a little too far forward or perhaps back...but in any case, she wouldn't stand up! Keep falling over onto her back!!!  Again, out came my trusty pliers and I tried to gently bend and shape the legs and feet so that she'd stay upright. But nothing would work!!! (I wonder if Dr. F had the same problem with his creature???) In the end, I decided to attach a brace to her back so that she'd stay up. This couldn't just be had to fit her "character"!! What I wonder....

As it so happened, I had a bit of wire fencing left over from another project...what a perfect "skirt" for her! So out came the drill for three quick holes, some screws, washers, and nuts...and her skirt was fitted.  She can now stand on her own! Whew!! That problem solved. All that was left was to put on her head!!!!

Using a long bolt that ran from the base of her head in the back, through a metal film can "neck" and into the body, I fastened everything together with a wing nut. And..."Sister" has a head. All that's left to do is to do some touching up of scratches and dents...and then her hair. But I'll save that step for the next episode!!!

Isn't she adorable!!!

September 23, 2010

Sister of Helen - Episode 4 or "Sister Gets Drilled and Bent!"

You know, there was very little in the way of screaming when I started to drill the rivet holes in her arms and legs...not from "Sister" but from me! I guess I learned how to do this task more efficiently when I made her older sister, Helen.  The drilling went quickly with little fuss. 

I had a bit more problem when I drilled the body was "softer" than the spoons/forks so it wanted to give a bit when I pressed into the can but in the end, I managed to get the holes done. Once I had the holes drilled, I could now move on to bending the spoons and forks into shape to become her arms and legs.

Again, there was little screaming on my part as I took my pliers in hand to bend and twist first the spoons into her shoulders/arm and the forks into her legs/feet. In a change for Helen's design, her sister's arms/hands will be standing upright...however her feet will be in the same position when all of this are attached.

I remembered how to do this from Helen as well 'cause everything went smoothly!! Next up was to be the most "riveting" step of all...but you'll have to wait until the next episode to find out!!!

September 22, 2010

Crazy takes its toll by uncommonvintage

My thanks to uncommonvintage for including my photo "Insane Asylum" in their new treasury, Crazy takes it toll. You need to check this is wonderfully "insane"!!

September 21, 2010

Sister of Helen - Episode 3 or "Getting Rusty"

Ok! Now it's time to get her rusty!!! Using Sophisticated Finishes "Rust Antiquing Set" I first applied Iron Metallic Surfacer undercoat to small can which will become her head/face and to the large can which will be her body. My original plan was to apply just enough of the undercoat to give her a rusty appearance but letting the red show through...but as you can see, I got a little carried away! I didn't realize this until after the undercoat on the body had dried and then it was too late. But sometimes you just have to go with the flow and work with it....

I gave this step a couple of days to dry and set up. Then it was time to apply the "Rust Antiquing Solution" to the undercoat. This solution will "rust" most metals so I used a foam brush to put it on so I didn't have to worry about ruining one of my good brushes. The other thing to remember about this solution is that the "rusting" doesn't start right away so you have to put it on and then come back in a couple of hours or overnight to see what has happened. Somewhat magical in a way. Here's what the first application of the solution gave me....

When I took a look at this the next day, I decided that it needed to "rust" more on the back side...which isn't showing in this picture. So I applied more solution and went away....

And here is what the back side looked like the following day. Nice! So even though there isn't as much red showing through on her body, she does have a nice rusty look to a woman who has been around and not afraid to show it....or something like that.

Next up, drilling holes in the forks and spoons and then....using the rivet gun to put "Sister of Helen" together! That will be in the next stay tuned!

September 20, 2010

Disco Bundle Updates

Disco bundle
Week 19 for the Disco bundle, week 18 for Barefoot Boy. Getting on in the weeks...both of them...and I will have to admit, I'm getting bored with the project. It has sort of lost its "edge". Neither bundle are doing much of anything, probably due to the weather. One more week for both bundles, then down they come. I still don't know what I will do with them except to set them aside for awhile. I need to take a look at what others have done with theirs on Seth Apter's site...maybe that will give me some inspiration! Hope so...

Barefoot Boy

September 19, 2010

It is Balloon!

You know, sometimes it pays to be in the right place at the right time.... Driving home from my drawing class yesterday afternoon, I saw this blimp hovering in the distance. As I got closer to my exit, I realized that there might be a possibility that it was somewhere near my neighborhood. I got closer to my street...there it was! I pulled into my driveway....there it was...hovering over my house!!! Now, I'll grant you that this isn't a great pic...but pretty cool anyway. (Of course it would have been cooler if they had lowered a ladder down for me to climb up...but that's another story....)

September 18, 2010

A morning walk in the woods by alteaperle

My thanks to alteaperle for including my painting, "Woods" in their newest treasury. As you can see, there are some wonderful fall influenced works in this check them out!

September 17, 2010

Signs of Fall

Earlier this week, my wife and I took a quiet hike along one of the trails at the Cincinnati Nature Center. The morning had started off cool and crisp, but by the time we made it to the trail, the temperature and humidity were already climbing. Fortunately, most of this trail was in the shade, but when we walked along open fields, the heat was quickly felt. This is typical of September in Cincinnati so we weren't too surprised by this.

It was quite apparent as we walked that the summer had been a hot and dry one. Everything looked tired and dried out. Even the air felt that way. Signs of fall were everywhere. The leaves on the trees had that blanched look, most plants had gone to seed...summer was on the way out....fall was beckoning.

Leaving the trail, we commented that we needed to come back in a couple of weeks as the leaves starting changing. Fall won't be as colorful this year, but I'm sure there will be lots to see.

September 16, 2010

Sister of Helen - Episode 2

With all the parts gathered up and initial holes drilled, it was time to put down a base coat on what will become her head, body, and other bits. Looking over the cans of paint on the shelf, for some reason I gravitated to the red. Why not!? "Sister of Helen" should be flashy...after all she has to stand up to her older sister, Helen!! So red it was. I also wanted a color that would show well underneath a coating of rust, which would be the next step after the paint had set-up. It took three coats of paint to get everything evenly covered particularly knowing what would be next. 

The next rust her!! After that then I'll need to drill holes in the spoons and forks before I bend them into her arms and legs. Then....the rivet gun comes out....and "Sister of Helen" will come to life!!!! She will need a name then...any ideas?

September 14, 2010

Jack Frost cool weather colors by AliceFlynn

Jack Frost cool weather colors
My thanks to AliceFlynn for including my fine art print, "Early Freeze" in her new treasury! This is really "cool" make sure you take a look at all the wonderful Etsy items spotlighted in this treasury!!!

Bundle News

Barefoot Boy

The last couple of months it has been hot and dry...and now it has been cool and dry. The bundles show it...they both look very crispy and "worn out". At least "Barefoot Boy" gets watered once a week or so when we water the garden bed he hangs over. The original "Disco" bundle hasn't been wet for weeks!

So let's see, it's week 17 for "Barefoot Boy" and week 18 for "Disco". Three more weeks to go before I take both of them down. I still haven't any ideas as to what to create with them once I take them apart. Maybe I'll need to put them away for a bit and wait for inspiration. I'm open to any ideas or suggestions if anyone has them to share!!


September 13, 2010

Sister of Helen - Episode 1

It is time to start creating the "Sister of Helen"! If you remember, Helen is an assemblage doll that was with my family until she moved to her new home in Illinois. Immediately I was asked to make another one, a sister to Helen if you would. So I have started. I also thought it would be fun to share my progress along the way.

Digging into my bins of "stuff" and scrounging around the house, I found most of the basic parts that I would need. All that was missing were spoons and forks...important parts as these are to be her arms and legs! I couldn't go much further than cleaning up what I found and drilling the first of the holes I would need to put "Sister of Helen" together. What to do!!!??

It was off to the Goodwill stores!! The first one we visited only had knives. Lots and lots of knives but no forks!! Was there someone else out there building the same thing? Doesn't really matter except I need spoons and forks!!! A week later, we visited a second Goodwill store and as luck would have it...spoons and forks! Not a big choice, but enough so that now "Sister of Helen" will have legs and arms. And I'm on my way!!

Next step(s) will to paint the body parts and after those have dried, to rust them. I'll show you those steps in Episode 2 so make sure you come back soon! (Oh...I need ideas for a name for "Sister of Helen"...please make sure you give me any suggestions!!!)

September 9, 2010

Bundle News's week 17 for this bundle, week 16 for the one below. I'm a little late getting these posted this week...the Labor Day week-end was a busy one. My grandmother had her 99th birthday so we had to party! Then a garage sale....I needed a couple of days to recover. The weather has turned fall-like; cool and crisp so that has also kept me away from my computer. Oh well. In any case, here are the latest shots...

September 8, 2010

Art I'd Love To Own by Missie Rabdau

Today has been a great day! Fall-like weather, a great motorcycle ride this morning over some quiet backcountry roads, a nap in the sun, working on Etsy shop while sitting on my screen porch with my laptop...and finding out that my painting, "Trees" has been included in MissieRabdau's latest Etsy Treasury, "Art I'd Love To Own" makes it a perfect day. Please check out this great Treasury at: