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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Dream Job....

Back in the early 80's I had a dream job and I got it because my son didn't!! My son and I were both looking for different jobs at the same time. He had an interview one afternoon and came back and told me about it and said he didn't think he got the job. The next day I was reading through the classifieds and found one that jumped off the page at me! An artist was looking for someone to work in his studio!! I immediately set up an interview and went off with my fingers crossed. I was interviewed by two young women who worked at the studio....the artist was letting them do the interviews since they would be working with the new person. Right away I thought "I like this guy!"

I hit it off with the two gals and the artist and I got the job only to learn that it was the very same one my son had applied for earlier!! But he was ok with it because he didn't think it was right for him. I loved it from the first day! The artist was Joe Culpepper. I copied this from the internet:

Joseph Culpepper. Internationally known artist in the mediums of etchings, oil and printmaking. He has exhibited in hundreds of galleries, and is in corporate and private collections throughout the world. A number of his prints have CULPEPPER boldly printed on them, and many were published under the name Images West. He can be contacted at Culpepper Fine Art, 7200 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Ste. 392, Albuquerque, NM 87124, Phone: (505) 896-4317, culpepperfa@att.net.

Here's a photo of Joe at an art show....




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The job involved inking his metal engraving plates and then printing them. When I first started they gave me brown ink and I had to learn how much to apply, how much to rub off to get shading, and how much to leave on to get the correct depth of color. It was something learned over time. I think I spent about a week with that brown ink!! Then I began actually making prints and that meant I had to learn to mix the inks to the exact color of the original. After awhile it got to be easier because each of us was responsible for certain prints. That meant we got to work on several plates over and over and over so it became a bit more routine. We had to lay down the plate....some of them were fairly heavy because Joe worked large....put the ink on in the correct areas and then wipe it off until we got the desired effect. We used newsprint to wipe off the ink and the floor would just be covered in inky paper when we were finished with a plate. Then we carried the plate to the huge printer, laid it down, placed the paper over it along with a heavy blanket and rolled it through. And each print was done one at a time.

We were paid by the piece and Joe gave each of us a key to the studio and we could set our own hours!! If I wanted to come in at 5 AM and work, it was ok or if I wanted to come in at 5 PM it was ok....just keep track of the prints that were made and be sure to keep the stock filled. Sometimes it was easier to get a lot done if I was there alone because then I didn't have to share the printer. But most of the time it was nice to be there with the other girls.

Many times the three of us would show up for work and just decide we'd like to go have margaritas for lunch and that would be the end of our day! But when we worked, we worked steady. We got along even though they were younger than I was. We laughed, played the radio at full blast, nibbled snacks, and just had a good time working.

After awhile Joe was experimenting with heavy cardboard pieces that had to be inked individually and laid out on the printer bed in a certain pattern....kinda like doing a jigsaw puzzle only the pieces didn't interlock or even touch. He was trying this process under the name of Garland. Here's a photo showing some of this work.



The bottom prints were ones I worked on. Everything that shows white is just the paper....the other parts were the individual pieces, some quite small, that were inked and fit to the pattern.

The whole etching/print process was interesting for me. It was a messy job and we were constant customers of the thrift stores in the area! We would buy pants and a shirt and wear them for a few days and then throw them out because they would be covered in ink and then we'd buy more.

Our hands were always covered in inks and we had fun sometimes placing our handprints on various parts of our clothing!! All in all, it was one of the best jobs I ever had. The only reason any of us left was because Joe began to have some personal problems that overflowed into his work.

I often think about that job and how much I loved it. Perfect hours, good pay, and friends to work with....what more could I want?!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's the Secret??

I've out-smarted myself again! Remember when I showed a photo of my journal and said I was painting lots of pages....well, I painted about 20 pages and they turned out great! I love them....but I can't write on them!! What is the secret to painting journal pages so that markers will work over the paint?? The only thing I can get to work on my pages is a couple of paint markers I have and I don't want to buy a bunch of those just to use in my journal when I have tons of Sharpies and Prismacolors.

Yesterday I played with my polymer clay. I saw a segment on one of the crafty shows recently and wanted to try something similar. I made a bunch of small tiles....the biggest ones are maybe 1.5" long....and then I scored basic geometric designs in them. They will be painted and adhered to the top of a box. Here they are in their unpainted state....



I think this photo is clickable if you want to see these bigger.

Hopefully these will turn out the way I envision them. That's about all I have for today. I'm working on a couple of things today so maybe later I'll have some photos.

Thanks to everyone who sent us anniversary messages....they were much appreciated by both of us.

Edited: I used regular acrylic paint on my journal pages.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary To Me.....

Yesterday was our 12th wedding anniversary and 17 years since we met. If you haven't already read about it and want to know about how we met, you'll find it here.

After having waffles on the patio, as we do every Sunday morning, we puttered in the yard and just had a lazy day. Then towards evening we went to a local Mexican restaurant and had dinner. No margaritas for me but HB had one and we sat and talked about how we met and what it's meant to both of us. HB is a romantic at heart.

We received a beautiful card from Gail and two ATCs she made for us....



For the first one she used a photo that I didn't even remember!! That was during HB's "Grizzly Adams" phase! And the second one was the photo I posted when I wrote about how HB and I met. Gail always surprises me with things like this. Thanks, Gail....we both loved these!

I also received a surprise package from Cinda. Look what she sent me....



Isn't that the cutest?!! She said when she saw it she thought of me! Can't understand why....a BEE and PURPLE flowers....Who'da guessed!! And doesn't it look pretty fluttering in the breeze on our patio? The hummingbirds were not sure what to make of it though. They kept trying to fly into it but there wasn't anything for them....and Harley and LuLu just sat at the sliding door and watched the ribbons fluttering and dancing. I just love it!! Thank you, Cinda. You're such a sweetie.

That's all I have for a Monday morning. I'll be around to visit everyone as soon as I can....I sure miss you on my three-day weekends. But it's nice having HB around so it's a good trade-off!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Inchie Info....

Since it's the weekend (already!) I don't have much time for blogging but several people asked me about inchies so I'll try to give you some info. About the only guideline is that they're to be 1" square....fabric or paper or anything else you can think of, I guess. Then just embellish them in whatever way you like.

I will refer you to the Queen of Inchies where you can learn all about them and see how a "pro" makes them!! Lia is well on her way to making 1000 inchies! She also has a tutorial about making them and you will find her inchies on Flickr, too. She is the person who inspired me to try them....they sound so simple but finding things small enough to fit on 1" is a challenge.

Now I'm off to make my house even more sparkling clean, and to meditate on finding a buyer for it. I hope you all have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Monday.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Card, Some Inchies, and Miss Potter

Thanks to everyone for all the comments about my latest doodle....and a couple of you asked to see the new hair cut. I still have the same hair style as before. It was just time for a trim. My hair is kept very short....I like it to stand straight up....and hassle-free! I will try to update my current profile photo sometime in the next week or so.

Not much art to show you today. I managed to make another card....



It's ok but it seems to lack oomph! Maybe I'll add something else later. I also made a couple of little paper inchies....



They're a little crooked in the picture. I had to scan them and they kept moving around! Also, as usual the colors aren't true but you can get the idea of what I did.

Last night I watched "Miss Potter" starring Renee Zellwegger (I think that's how to spell it!) and I absolutely LOVED it. The drawings were adorable, the scenery was gorgeous, and the whole thing just had such a wonderful feel. The whole time I was watching it, I thought of Daisy....who also wrote lovely stories, lived in the English countryside, and was so creative. I would give this movie a thumbs up! If you're looking for action, blood and guts, bad language, or graphic sex scenes you will be disappointed!!....but if you just want a good story I think you'll like it.

I was going to show you an adorable little boxed set of Beatrix Potter books that I have but they're some of the books I packed away from the studio.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Little Bit of Art....

I just realized I hadn't put anything on my blog for a couple of days! Yesterday was hair cut day and then since my hair looked so good I couldn't just go home so I went to Joann's! The gal who cuts my hair used to work in a shop within walking distance of our house but recently she has moved to another shop. And guess where it's located?! Right in the same shopping area with Barnes & Noble and just down the street from Michael's AND Joann's! Oh, woe is me and my purse!! Let's just hope my hair doesn't grow too fast! I'm not sure I can afford to keep up with the shopping!

Today I've been straightening up the studio....again! I found an old picture I had started last year some time and I decided to continue with it. I'm still not completely finished but it's all I have for you today!



As usual the colors are not true in this photo. I couldn't scan it because it's bigger than my scanner bed so I took a photo. The background is actually a light yellow. I need to color in the circle on the right and maybe add something to the top center. And find some better black marker than the one I'm using!! It's not fine enough and my fine tip is too fine! Oh, no....something else to buy! Maybe I should just buy stock in the craft stores or better yet, just buy the stores!! HB always teases me when we go to any of my usual stores, that he's going to visit his money!

Update: I continued to work on this piece and now I think I'm finished!! Here is the final photo....not a lot of difference but a few additions.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Dozen Hearts

I've been bad again! I bought another book the other day! This time I bought this one....



The book about paper dolls by Lynne Perrella was the one I was looking for but my B&N didn't have it so I decided to try this one. So far I'm happy with it....there are lots of contributors including Michael deMeng.

In the back they include a couple of templates....nothing too exciting and actually ones I've seen online anyway but I did use one of them to make my first paper doll in a long time.

Here she is at the beginning in what appears to be a tutu....I forgot to take a scan of her without clothes but you can see she's just a basic doll. I used tiny brads to put her together.



And I continued....the second row on her skirt is actually blue but it doesn't show on the scan.



Her skirt gets even longer....



And finally she needs a hat....



I may do something more with her but for now that's it. Once again I used "trash" to make her! Her body, arms and legs are all from little scraps of paper. Her dress and hat are made by using a heart stamp on magazine pages then embossing them with gold.

Paper dolls were one of my favorite things to play with when I was a kid. I had tons of them plus I made my own. This may be the very thing that will get me jump-started into creating again. I've heard that what you enjoyed as a kid is what will also make you happy as an adult. So paper dolls must be in my future!

Saying Goodbye

As many of you know Friday through Sunday it's not so easy for me to be on the computer. But Sunday morning I got up early and decided to check out a few blogs while I had the chance. I clicked on one of my favorites and the rest of my day was changed.



Many times in this blogging world we "meet" people and we just seem to connect with them. I met Daisy not too long after she started her blog. She just blew me away with her writing skills. Each time I visited her blog I learned something else about her and from her. She seemed to put so much into each post. I don't think I ever read anything on her blog that wasn't accompanied by the most incredible pictures. She spent a lot of time making sure we all got enjoyment from her writings....and I know I always did.

The past several months I have had so many things going on in my life and I didn't always get around to visit everyone as often as I did in the past....but I knew that it was only temporary and one of these days I'd have more time and get to visit again. We all go through life thinking that we can always do something tomorrow and then tomorrow comes and sometimes it isn't anything like we thought. I can't ever go visit Daisy again....she's gone. And she will never know how big an impact she had on me. She'll never know how much I admired her. She'll never know that I cried and cried when I read that she was gone. She'll never know that I spent all Sunday morning sitting on the patio telling HB about her. And most of all she'll never know that I felt a real connection with her.

I don't think I'll ever look at a flower or a cat or a fairy or an oak tree or a bottle of wine ever again without thinking of Daisy. Farewell to a beautiful person. Farewell to a wonderful story teller. Farewell to a friend.

PS - This was the last comment she left for me on the 8th:

Daisy Lupin said...
You have been having fun. I must start having some fun as well, I seem to have a time shortage at the moment, and never seem to have enough time to just play about in my workroom. Things will have to change.

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We always think we have another day to make those changes but sometimes we don't. Stop and think about that and think about what you would like to say to the people in your life, and go out and do the things that make you happy. There may not be another tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday's Trash....

It's Friday and HB is here so I'm making this a short post. We're getting ready to run errands and maybe do some shopping. If I can talk him into it I may stop by the thrift store to pick up some more magazines to trash!!

I made a couple more Trashy Cards....the first one I don't like so much....



It has a retro look which I usually like but somehow this one just doesn't work for me! I like the second one I did much better....



I've been playing in the studio this morning with embossing powder and stamps. Nothing exciting to show you but at least I'm playing! The next couple of days may be slow for me to blog but I'll manage to get around to as many as I possibly can.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Trashy Cards....

Magazines are my best friend today! I sat down with an old issue of Vogue....I buy it to keep up with all the couture fashions that I wear daily!! I just tore out pieces of pages based solely on colors. Here's my first card....



The grayish color is actually silver metallic and the small image in the upper corner is from an old architecture book I had....I just used Sharpies to color in the red and black accents. And here's the second one I did....



Same silver metallic and red magazine pages with a small piece of scrapbook paper with writing on it, a stamp, and the small bit under her face is a snip of textured wallpaper.

I like how these came out and I love that I just used scraps of things that would end up in the trash. I fooled you, huh! You thought you were gonna see something else, didn't you!

I'm calling these "Trashy Cards"....what do you think?!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Creative Bug Strikes Again!!

When we finally get to move I'll probably have several more boxes of art supplies rather than less. Most of my stuff is packed in boxes. Some are labeled as to their contents but others are not! Lately I've been getting the bug to create again and when I can't find what I need I run over to Michael's and buy it. I'm sure I'll have duplicates of some things and an over abundance of others.

Yesterday I was upstairs making the beds and doing my usual morning routine when I made the mistake of going into the studio. I sat down at the table, opened a small decorative box that holds bits and pieces of paper, and I just began making cards! I wasn't able to make anything too creative because I only used what was in the box but it was fun. Here's what I made....


This is my favorite.









Some of you may recognize some of the bits of paper....they are things you've sent to me. I had fun just cutting, tearing and gluing. Lucky for me I had picked up some glue sticks over the weekend. I needed them for my art journal so they came in handy for the cards, too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Meme!! Who'da Guessed?

Something has been missing from my life in recent days....a meme! You know how I love these darn things and when I saw this one....well, you know I couldn't resist!! So here goes....

Where were you in 1987? In school? Working? Single? Married? Attached? What was important to you? What were you doing creatively? Tell us a bit about your life then.

In 1987 I was married to my second husband....he's from Thailand. We lived in Glendale, CA and I was office manager for a coffee service company. Creatively about the only thing I did in those years was crochet. I knew there was something missing in my life but I hadn't realized it was art and creating. Going into a yarn shop was about the only thing that jolted my senses....all those beautiful colors and textures were calling my name. I made lots of afghans, conquered my fear of thread crochet (!) and then turned out dozens of intricate doilies....which I never used. I still have one or two of them that I kept just to remind me that practice is what's important in learning something new.

Where were you in 1997? What would you like to share about the nineties?

By 1997 I had been married to HB for a couple of years (we had been together since 1990.) In June of '97 we were living in our RV in Oakridge, OR and traveling around for his job. Later that year we were in San Jose, CA. I looked back at one of my journals from June 1997 and read that I was doing watercolor greeting cards at that time. I tried to find small, lightweight things to do because anything heavy or bulky didn't work in an RV! The nineties, for me, were spent traveling. From 1991 until 2001 we lived in nine states, sometimes going back to a few of them several times. We started out with a 20' trailer (!!) to see if we would like traveling, then moved up to a 30' fifth-wheel, and then finally we had a 36.5' fifth-wheel with three slide-outs. But none of them were big enough for me!! With my passion for books it was difficult for me to narrow it down to just a few. I did like the fact that I could clean the entire place in just a short amount of time!

Here's a photo of HB and me taken during the nineties....we were in West Palm Beach, FL visiting HB's family....his beard is sure shaggy!! Guess he's really on vacation!



This is a photo of our last RV. It's not a great photo because we have the black sunscreen attached to the awning. This was in San Jose....


I think this one is clickable if you want to see it larger.

And here's another view of our "home"....



Where did you plan to be or think you'd be in 2007? Have you realized your goals? What is one thing about your present life you love and one you'd like to change?

I've never been much for planning anything long-term! And especially after meeting Rick. Our lifestyle was such that he could go to work in the morning and come home that night saying we were packing up for the next place. His work was always just for a specific job and when it was finished, we moved on to the next one. So I learned not to plan too much in advance! The only time that was really bad was if there was a concert or some special event that had to have tickets in advance....we never knew if we would still be there to use them so we seldom bought tickets for anything like that.

One thing I like about my life right now is the stability, and being fairly closeby where my daughter lives. I also love having my blog and interacting with everyone. I never would have believed that a few years ago!

The one thing I would change about my life now would be the house-selling situation. I wish it was over and done with so I could move on to the next chapter in our lives. That, and I'd like a bigger studio!!

How do you see your life in 2017? Do you have any goals or dreams for your future?

In 2017, I'll be 74 years young and I plan to still be going strong. I'll continue doing art, and trying to live a healthier life because I want to be out there kicking up my heels and learning new stuff everyday. I'm not much of a material gal so things aren't that important. As long as I have a safe place to live, food to eat, and art supplies to play with then I'll be happy. And I hope all my loved ones are close by and living healthy, happy lives, too.

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I didn't just work this weekend....I actually had some time to make a little art doll. I was inspired by Lisa's recent art doll. The fabric was from an old shirt....the white of it actually looks beige in the photo but it isn't. Please forgive the ugly green foam background but I couldn't find anything that would show her white hair (she's a wise woman!) and her purple/black body. Her little charm says "follow your heart"....I think she needs something more but can't decide what....so here she is....



I'm thinking of calling her Shimasani. It's Navajo for grandmother.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Patio Painting....

Yesterday was a good day. I actually played with paint and had a blast. A few months ago I think I mentioned I found a journal that I had pasted magazine photos into....I think it was supposed to be my Discovery Journal from Simple Abundance. I used rubber cement and many of the pictures were beginning to come loose. With a little persuasion I was able to remove all of them but they left behind some residue. I liked the way it looked but it was sticky so I began putting gesso over all the pages.

I got part of them done and then all the house business took over my life and the journal sat on my table all this time....until yesterday when I brought it out to the back patio, along with several bottles of paint and I played.

Mostly I just slapped on colors that I like and just let whatever happen, happen. Here's a couple of pages....



I did a lot more but I didn't want to bore you with pictures of all of them!! It was fun until the wind kicked up and I had to move everything back inside. Now I have several pages to begin my art journal. Last night I just sat with the book and looked at each page I had painted and dreamed of seeing wonderful collages and journaling on each one. Hopefully I can keep my mojo going and actually follow through with that dream. Wish me luck....

And just a reminder that for the next three days (Fri - Sun) I might not be on the computer as much because those are the days when HB and I still have to share. If I don't see you over the weekend, I'll see you on Monday!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Neatness Doesn't Always Count....

After I posted yesterday, I had a few minutes so I decided to hop over to flickr and see what was new....and boy, am I glad I did.

The first thing that caught my eye was this from Lia. And after reading her description I clicked on the link for one of the people she mentioned and it lead me here.

Both of those journal pages were very inspiring to me and I immediately grabbed my journal, sat down with some colored pencils and a black marker and began my first ever actual art journal page!! Here it is....



What do you think? I know it's just a beginning but I feel like I finally made a start at something I've been interested in for quite awhile. Most of my problem is learning to just let go and not try to be neat. That probably comes from growing up in the era that I did....when neatness was something to strive for, and coloring in the lines got you points!

Not only was I not concentrating on neatness here, I wasn't even worrying about all the things that needed to get done around the house!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Busy Day Doodle

Today is going to be a busy day so I've just got another drawing that started as a doodle....



At least I'm doing something!! There for awhile I thought I would never ever do anymore art. My brain just wouldn't co-operate. This is my usual....micro pen, markers and a little colored pencil.

If I have some time later, I'll try to do another post....if I don't then I'll see you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just Call Me Biker Gal!!

Many times when I read someone's blog it will trigger some memory or some idea for a post I can do here. Such was the case when I read Daisy's blog recently. She was remembering things from her childhood and I began skipping down Memory Lane. Her post and mine have nothing in common except we were both reminiscing.

I got out my box of photos and began sorting through some of them. Originally I was searching for photos that showed me at play. Apparently there are none!! Most of my photos are "posed" shots, which I absolutely hate. But while looking through them I did see a theme that surprised me. Wheels! Bike wheels to be exact.

I never thought of myself as a biker gal but here's the proof. You can see I started off with a small easy to handle model....



I then moved up to a slightly bigger model....



This next one must have been a luxury model since I'm all dressed up!



And then back to a sporty model....ain't I sexy!!? (Yes, I know it isn't a word but it fits here!) The hair in all these photos is just too much! My mom liked curls!!



Now all these bikes were ok but they only went as fast as my skinny (then) legs would move. When I got my first job I bought a set of wheels that went just a little bit faster.



This is a photo from the internet because unfortunately I have none of the actual motor scooter I bought! I fell in love with them after watching a movie with Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette....I think it was Rome Adventure. He rode a cute little Vespa motor scooter and I was hooked! My mom thought I would kill myself as did my grandma....the darn thing would get up to maybe 45 MPH but they were sure it would be the end of me. I perservered and bought the scooter, then had to learn to ride it. I wiped out a few times but soon I was putt-putting all around town. I loved that scooter and kept it for several years. My first husband used it to get to work while I kept the car....he liked it, too.

So there you have it....my life as a biker gal!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Doodle, Doodle, Doodle....

I've been doodling again.....



Several days ago I started this and finally finished it this afternoon. At least, I think it's finished....I keep adding things so maybe it isn't completely finished.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fishing and Other Stuff

As many of you know, my son lives in Alaska and has a very rugged, simple life style. Once a year he does something that I just hate....and he's doing it again this year over the next week or two. He goes out on a commercial halibut fishing boat....just him and the captain! So if you have any spare time please send him good thoughts or a little prayer. It will be much appreciated.

If you would like to know about halibut fishing you can read about it here and here.

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I actually messed around with a drawing last night!! Don't get too excited....it isn't finished but here's what I have so far....

We're having a quiet Saturday morning so far. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.



HB doesn't like the eyes, and they are off and don't line up very good but overall I kinda like her. I haven't decided what to do with the background but at least I made a start!! That's really something for me right now. I just used colored pencils and a little bit of marker. I'm thinking it might be nice to collage around her but I don't know for sure.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I'm Back in Blogland!!!

Hurray!! I think I might be back for awhile. The modum arrived and all is good in computer connection land! And HB is on a job that takes him out of the house (and away from the computer) so I have free use during most of the day. So slowly but surely I will be around to visit everyone as I did before all this craziness began.

All this house business got my brain working to figure out some things I could do creatively that wouldn't make a big mess and I thought I'd try some polymer clay! I don't know why I thought it wouldn't make a mess but my brain works in mysterious ways!! Anyway I had messed with clay before and even have a pasta machine for it. So I bought a roller and a blade and an extruder....and they're all relaxing on the table in the studio!



I had fun running the clay through the pasta machine. I'm so easily entertained!! But then I sat there and wondered what in the world I would make. Each time I thought of something I would try it and then run the clay back through the machine again. I'm telling you - my creative streak has gone into hiding and refuses to come out no matter how much I coax.



As you can see in the photo I have several different brands of polymer clay, and I also have some paper clay....and a couple of molds but somehow I just can't seem to get inspired with anything. Each day I tell myself not to think about the studio because I don't want to feel pressured to create....but that's where my thoughts always lead me. Then they abandon me at the door!

As you all know, I've been trying to get rid of books (not all of them!!) and wouldn't you know while I was out yesterday my car just automatically drove itself over to Barnes & Noble! Then my feet took over and made me walk into the store. Well, since everyone went to so much trouble to get me there I thought it only appropriate on my part to browse around for a bit. You know, to show them I appreciated their effort!

I've never browsed a bookstore in my life that I didn't come out with something! And yesterday was no exception! Here's what I bought....



I don't know how old or new this book is but if you haven't seen it, rush out and do so now! I love this book!! It has sooooo many ideas for embellishing and seems to have good instructions (I haven't tried any of them yet) and the pictures are beautiful. Hopefully this book will inspire to do something other than drool all over the pages!!