Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Boxes, Mail Art, and more.

 Boxes, my life has been about boxes, recently. And today, I emptied that last of the ones in my studio. It's been difficult because I didn't want to just take things out and pile them back on shelves or wherever. I sorted - give away, throw away, keep - and filled my car with stuff to take to the thrift shop. So much stuff, where did it all come from.

Here's Bizoo enjoying a box.

Here's a view of the boxes in my studio just a few days ago. It seemed daunting. They were stacked up so high on my studio table. And they were heavy! 

Many of you have had to go through this. What was it like for you? Did you find it emotionally draining, or just tiring, or boring. I've found it all of those things.

Here are more boxes.  Now I have to go through some of the boxes that were in the boxes and decide what to keep.

 Also, I have 5 bankers boxes to go through, but that's another story.




I've altered a card for this Mail Art. It's a necklace, actually, but I think it become something so different with the addition of the 2 people, don't you?

I cut the figure out of the painting and planning to use it but then the background was more interesting. I put the flowers behind the "empty" area. Some random text makes it all work for me.

Here's another attempt, though not as successful as the first, in my opinion.

And here's a minimal collage.

And here's our baby who is so fun and engaging these days.
She recognizes me. Yippee. In this photo, she's wearing a hat made by my older sister who is making at least a hat a day. She sent a dozen to Zinn, and a box full to me to sell for her. Do you think people might buy these? I can put them in my Etsy shop, though we hand crafters can't compete with foreign made goods, that's for sure. Our prices can't be so inexpensive. What's your take on this? Hand made goods vs commercial goods. I'd like your thoughts on this.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday - Mail Art, Baby, Kitty, and other stuff



 This week, I decided to just go with what was at hand, no theme, no sticking with any particular scraps.

Three pieces of colored paper for this minimal MailArt. The punched out holes are nice with the color from underneath, right?

Here's another vintage bus transfer collage. This is going to my friend BB in Chicago, which is where the 1933 Century of Progress fair was held. Mom worked there at the orange Crush booth. I have the "hat" she wore.

The black and white photo is from an unknown source, dated 1945, Minneapolis. The film strip, maybe my friend's, Arizona 1964-ish, showing her paintings, I think.  Other people's memories.

Today, I decided to make another in the series "Landscape Beautification Project." I think this one worked out nicely.
 Yesterday, I made a huge vat of vegetarian chili, using Rose Elliot's recipe, which is on my recipe blog here.  I quadrupled it. I made some for the person who bought my Chili Dinner at the Richmond Peace Education Center auction last year. And some for us, and for our son, and for a couple who just had a baby. Whew. That's a lot of chili. I made corn meal muffins and brownies, lots of them, today. The auction person picked up this evening, we delivered to our son, ate ours for dinner, and will deliver to the new parents tomorrow. Whew, again.

Almost had a big problem, I put 2 t of powdered cayenne in the pot but didn't stir, fortunately, so was able to scoop most of it out. I added more beans and tomatoes, then steamed some potatoes and added those. Whew. Spice level, just normal.

So the other day, I came home and found that Sage and Nate had set up shop in front of the house. They had a table with a bucket of markers, and for sale,  drawings, apples, and small vehicles. Sage said that she thought they'd have more traffic in that location.  I don't know how successful they were but they sure were entertaining.

Yesterday was "talk like a pirate day." I put the gold coins and eye patch in the shelf after saying "Aaargh" to the kids. 

Bizoo stretches out on our bed in the morning. He's very long.  It's amazing how cats can relax and take a nap so easily. Actually, many naps through out the day, in various locations. Favorite spots: a kitchen chair with a soft cloth on it, the chair in my temp studio, the old baby high chair with a soft cloth on it, our bed during the day, and some unknown location where we can't find him but when I crinkle the treat bag, he appears from it! It's a mystery.

Here's our little gal wearing one of the hats that my older sister made for her. we've had some chilly mornings so she's been wearing her hats! She looks so cute and different. This sort of gives us the idea of what she'll look like with hair, right?

Monday, September 16, 2013

An entire week later....

 I received a tourist postcard from someone in the Mail Art Union. I HAD to alter it, and I sent it back to the sender like this. The original is of a Mission Church. Yes, that's a building. I really did change up the scale, didn't I?

I've been emptying boxes slowly. One that I opened had albums of photos from my deceased friend. I'd forgotten about them.  In an aged envelope there were some photos and some bus transfers from 1933. Amazing. I used one of them to make these two Mail Art collages, and used bits of the envelope, too.


I decided not to tear any others up until I found a place that might want them for historical purposes - like the CTA museum, if there is one.
This piece of Mail Art, uses random text, and 2 pieces of paper. So minimal.

This one uses random tex & letters, plus two pieces of paper. So minimal.

I decided that I needed to commemorate the chilly day, yesterday, with some autumn colors. My friend died leaving behind her box of colored paper. I decided that I'd use them, and my  own. I refuse to die with unused colored paper!!

The paper is like Color-Aid brand but it was another name. I forget which. The paper has aged and is fragile. It marks easily so I have to be more careful with use of adhesives. I'm determined to use it all up.
 Here's Bizoo asleep in the chair in my temp studio area. He stretches out and is SO long. And his tail is like a lemur's, right?
This is the banana bread I made last week. I was planning to make a banana cake but grabbed the wrong recipe and it was too late to change once I'd started. It was quite tasty and had chocolate chips in it, but it was on the dry side, more like a bread, which is was. Next time, I'll be more mindful and make the cake version.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Catching up from last week, continued -

 There was an amazingly large dog sculpture on display at the Hirschhorn.
I was so excited to see it that I forgot to look at the name of the artist, but I did capture this photo with a man taking his souvenir image. The man surely gives the dog scale; otherwise, you might think this was just an ordinary dog, right?

 As we crossed the National Mall, the sky was so beautiful, I had to stop and take this photo of the Capitol building looking so white and lovely. I wasn't alone snapping a photo. There weren't so many tourists, since it was Thursday, but whoever was out and about, noticed how clear the light that day.
 At the Hirschhorn, the Barbara Kruger installation is still in place. I had to take another photo to share. Isn't it powerful to see text so large?
 The collage exhibit that we went to see at the Hirschhorn, contained one small room with some Joseph Cornell boxes. This is one of my favorites. 
 I was, also, pleased to see two Ray Johnson collages. Here's one that I took that is fairly clear. These were framed and under glass, to be sure.

This Mail Art memory piece has a photo that I took a long time ago, and a negative strip that doesn't look familiar. It might be from my old friend's photo album. As I was making these, I was having such moments of memories.


This is a found photo. I have no idea who the people are. I like that it is quite small and in duplicate. The film strip is mine, our visit to Recoleta cemetery in 2004 or maybe 2005, I can't remember the date, though I remember the experience. Does that happen to you, also?

This is an altered art card from an exhibit here in town. The birds are there because a Mail Art friend is doing a bird-a-day for a year Mail Art. This is going to her.

This Mail Art is an altered show card, too. It's one of our friend Keith Long's cards, from back in 2008. He makes sculpture from found wood.  We've stayed in his studios, both in New York City and in Paris, thus having the privilege of seeing his works in progress. Then we'd seem them in galleries as finished works. Process is very exciting!

Because I'm emptying out the stored boxes, and clearing things out - gone - I've come across old student work. I saved examples for future classes but now won't be teaching them any more. This is from 2006, a class about color exploration. There is no name on this example so I can't contact the student, sadly, I don't remember whose work it is. I, obviously, thought it was good enough to save as an example.

Cleaning out is cathartic, right?

Where did the past week + go? Why didn't I post?






Random words and the eye of a famous painted lady on a recycled cardboard background. Sometimes something so simple can be powerful. I think eyes are always powerful, don't you?

The buddha like figure is from a catalogue, maybe Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I like it so much for use in my collage. Here she contemplates raspberries.
After spending time looking at photo albums that I unpacked, I decided to use up some found photos and some negatives, which we'll never print again. Ever. Do you still have negative strips like these around your house?

These, of course, evoked lots of thoughts about memory, and memories. These pieces are about my memories and the memory of unknown people's snapshots.
 I agreed to participate in and add and pass project by a man in Portugal. The theme of his first "album" is stamps, so, of course, I used postage stamps. I happened to receive an envelope full of them from a Mail Art friend. How convenient!

I caught Bizoo on top of the refrigerator. It's the first time I'd seen him up there, but for all I know, he spends his nights up there, since we close him up in the kitchen so he won't wake us during the night. He was quite happy being up that high.

Oh look what's on our 'fridge?'
Here's the little gal enjoying food. She's tasting lots of different things now, at nearly 6 months. This day, it was star fruit/carambola.  I love how she touches things, with her cute little fingers.