Thursday, April 16, 2015

WOODLAND WONDERS, WORK IN PROGRESS...

 Wandering the woodlands around my home is a favorite past time.  I often garner inspiration for my artwork during these treks, then find ways to interpret what I see through paint, stitch, and wire.  I have had this fanciful textile idea in my sketchbook for quite some while now.  Mushrooms inspired by photos taken last autumn...
Pounded and stitched leaves that have been in my stash since November of 2007, the natural plant dye has held its color well...
 I did a little stitching to loosely mimic Smartweed, taking liberty with the leaves which are actually lance-shaped.  A found, hatched, Polyphemus cocoon and its wings (left overs from a birds meal and enhanced with paint back in the summer of 2013) make a nice natural elements to enhance the design...   
Soft fibers imitate the moss that carpets the forest floor.  These are just a few of the woodland wonders that will embellish my new textile artwork. 

blessings,
Sandy

Friday, April 10, 2015

A HAPPY ACCIDENT...

Usually an artist treats their work with kid gloves, a tender touch, a loving look, with the utmost of care.  That is not what happened here.  I did a nature themed canvas piece that was used as a demo for an art lesson for children to show how I used elements from nature in artwork.  It was sort of a Naturalist collection of specimens and finds.  I was asked to do this on short notice and had to put something together quickly that I thought would generate interest from the children.  I was not exactly happy with the results but it was the best I could do on short notice.
After the lesson I put the canvas in a corner of the studio where it sat gathering dust for several months.  Every time I looked at it I thought, "I don't like that."  One day while cleaning the studio I decided to take it apart, salvaging the parts I liked to reuse in a future project and toss the rest.
I put the canvas base outside intending to toss it on the burn pile and promptly forgot about it. It got dusty and wished it had a bath. Its wish was granted as it got rain soaked then it longed to be warm and dry. Its longing was fulfilled as it became sun beaten and parched wishing it was cool.  Another wish attained, it was buried in ice and snow where it once again desired to be warm and dry.  Wild winds blew it dry and fallen leaves blanketed it where it rested, faded, crackled, and tattered. 
While blowing all the leaves off of and around the back deck I unearthed the canvas.  My first thought was, "Holy Cow!  I like that!"  then I wondered if it was ruined.  I peeled away the sodden collage backing and a few dirty hanging bits, gave the whole thing a quick brush off, tested the canvas to find it was tight and in great condition despite it rude treatment and placed it lovingly back in the studio for a thorough cleaning.
Its resting on an easel where I can look at it with loving looks and arrange elements on its perfect surface with a tender touch and the utmost care as I dream of what it will eventually become.  This is not how to treat your artwork but I am pleading the Bob Ross philosophy on this one, "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents."   

blessings,
Sandy

Monday, April 6, 2015

BIRDS AND BEZELS...

I have been trying to cross post my new work between Facebook (where I try to do a quick daily post) and here on the blog (where I seem to be doing randomly times posts) so posts will not be repeats but I failed to do so on these projects...if you have seen these on Facebook you may be excused and my apologies for the repeat :) If not, I invite you to take a peek at my newest metal mania...
This is the first piece I designed myself and used some of my newly acquired metalsmithing skills, a wee wire bird cage.  It is a bit wonky here and there but I love it.  
This bird cage that looks quite simple but let me tell you I poured seat over this thing for hours before I got a finished product.  I would connect one thing and when I had to reheat to make another connection something else would come loose, such is the nature of the beast of this type of metal connection.  I found it requires a lot of forethought so you don't undo what you just did. 
I decided to turn it into a lariat style pendant...
I gave it the wear test the other day and I wore it too long, it captured my heart and now I must keep it.

Having had enough of welding wire for the moment I moved on to fill a couple of the beginner bezels I had previously made (which I also forgot to post here)...
I began with the large house shaped bezel.
I wanted to find a way to incorporate my nature photography into some of the bezels and make pendants with them.  I found a photo I took of an owl that was nesting in our owl box in the back yard and encased it in resin...
I created a vine from various wires to simulate the vine growing up the tree trunk...
And fashioned a "leaf" like roof...
Lastly I connected a bail and collaged a created quote onto the back of the piece...
I set my sights on spring for the next piece.  This photo of a robin was the very last photo I took of my childhood play area in the backyard of the house I grew up in the day we closed the house and put it up for sale.  I sealed the photo in resin...
Created a multi-metal layered base...
And did my first ever cast metal piece from a twig I picked up in my yard, hand fashioning metal leaves, and vine like bail...
I am taking a small break from all this metal mania to step outside my studio into the great outdoors, where Dame Spring is gracing us with her arrival, for new inspiration.  But, I'll be back!

blessings,
Sandy 

Friday, April 3, 2015

HAPPY EASTER...

"The Resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances."

~ Robert Flatt ~



May your Easter be filled with meaning, guidance for new direction, and gratitude for the opportunity for new beginnings.  A blessed Easter to you all my sweet friends.

blessings,
Sandy

Monday, March 30, 2015

ARTFUL OR AWFUL COUTURE...

Is it ever OK to wear your Pottery Barn curtain, your great aunt's handmade table cloth, and a high thread count Egyptian cotton pillow case as an outfit...in public I mean?  I am wondering would that be considered artful or awful couture?
It all started with a simple question from Handy Hubby,  "What kind of clothes do you wear with the kind of jewelry you are making?  Maybe you need to show your work off with something different or unique."  The hamster wheel in my head started turning and I thought he is right, I should make some artful clothing to use as props for photos. I ambled off to the studio to see what I could come up with.  I had a simple basic shirt pattern on hand that I thought I could alter a bit to get the look I wanted by tracing the main pattern front and back onto a roll of craft paper and then sketching the alterations to that to make a new pattern.

Since this was only going to be a prop for photos I dug through my fabric stash to see what I could come up with.  I found a fab Pottery Barn curtain that I had picked up at a tag sale, the linen was high quality and I knew it would be great for crafting with, after washing and drying it crinkled into the most fabulous texture, this would make the front and back of the shirt.  
For the sleeves I chose a handmade damaged crochet table cloth that my great aunt made.  My mother had given it to me years ago thinking I could craft with the good parts, one end had a great gaping hole torn in the stitching but otherwise was in great shape.
Next I needed something to use for the facing pieces (yes I was making it like a real live shirt even though it was going to be a prop) and I found an Egyptian cotton pillowcase, soft as butter, in my stash, another tag sale find, that was the right weight and color.  Lastly I wanted an accent color and snagged a piece of muslin I had hand dyed to a lovely robins egg blue.
After patterning, pinning, snipping, sewing, clipping, and ironing I had a piece of artful couture as a photo prop!  I put it on my display form and hung it in the studio.  As I was cleaning up my sewing shambles I kept sneaking peeks at the garment.  I thought to myself, "I would wear that."  Followed by, "You can't wear that, its a Pottery Barn curtain for heavens sake!"  "Wait a minute, I am a resourceful southern gal just like Scarlett O'Hara and we both had the same idea..."
"But what if I look like this...
Instead of this...
While clad in my curtain garment?"

Batting the thought back and forth in my brain another Scarlett-isum came to mind, "Well fiddle-dee-dee, see if I care!"  So, did I wear it out in public?  The proof is in the picture...
So, what do you think artful or awful couture?

Blessings,
Sandy

Friday, March 27, 2015

NEW SHOP LISTINGS...

I have listed some of handmade mixed media jewelry in my Etsy shop.

"Winter's Frost" mixed media necklace:

BoHo style mixed media butterfly necklace:

"Woodland Friends" charm bracelet:

"Nature's Wonder" mixed media lariat style necklace:

"The Librarian" mixed media lariat style necklace:

"Serenity by the Sea" mixed media lariat style necklace:

"Nature's Notebook" mixed media lariat style necklace:

Thanks for taking a peek.

blessings,
Sandy
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