Sunday, May 31, 2009

Funky Art House on Kauai

I was lucky enough to go to Kauai with some friends not too long ago, and we accidentally stumbled upon this crazy art house which was up for sale (note the owner's phone number on the coconuts).

This metal gate says "Aloha":

And do you recognize what they used to build this wall? Old metal cafeteria trays!

And of course, every house should be adorned with an airplane propeller and a metal seahorse (with a perfect "nozzle" head) and a rusty Buddha and a prehistoric bird and...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mukilteo Artists Garage Sale on 6/6

Pssst, wanna get in on the deal of the century? Go to the Mukilteo Artists Garage Sale on Saturday, June 6 from 9-3.

It's a FABULOUS opportunity to buy all sorts of very cool and somewhat random art supplies, inexpensive art, home and garden name it. I've been going through my ridiculously huge stash of "treasures" and will be selling my assemblage, collage and garden art, as well as super-awesome collage packs, beads, enviable found objects (AKA "EFOs"), etc. etc. etc. at great prices.

No one kits 'em up better than me (if I say so myself).

It's at the Rosehill Community Center, just 2 blocks from the ferry dock. Stop by my booth (look for the Artgirl Island sign under a blue popup canopy) and if you mention my blog, I'll give you a free prize!

Crazy Bird Legs!

I've had a hankerin' to do some embroidery lately, so when I got together with a group of artgirl friends last Sunday, I gave it a whirl. I used a piece of nice, soft cotton left over from an old table runner I had cut up previously. I grabbed my big bag of color-sorted embroidery threads and dove in. I had a vague notion of making a bird sitting on a tree branch, surrounded by flowery vines.

Patterns? We don't need no stinkin' patterns! I could do this freestyle.

Well....turns out it's very helpful to have more of a pattern than the random thoughts floating about in my head.

I actually really like the hanging vines and the branch, but the bird and especially its poor scrawny legs need some work. It looks like someone with really, really skinny legs is carrying a huge bird-shaped poster. One of my friends noted that's because BOTH legs appear to be BEHIND the body. I think that's part of the problem, but additional suggestions would be very welcome!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Book nest

I altered this book by turning it into a nest for a vintage bird. First I carved out a niche through the cover and the first 75 pages or so. Then I carefully filled it with twisty paper-wrapped wire, crinkly ribbon and silvery velvet leaves. Lastly, I wrapped little red-tipped floral stamens onto the wire. A snippet from an old book review, sandwiched between 2 layers of mica, was then glued over the nest. The 2 strips of black ribbon hold the book closed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ta-Dum...The Great Basement Remodel of 2009

I cannot even BEGIN to tell you what a relief it was to get rid of the vile carpeting and boring white walls with thousands of nail holes in my daylight basement. It took about a month of hard work, many trips to Home Depot, and my entire renovation budget for the year. But here are the results...which I am absolutely thrilled with! The hallway is a soft, mossy green and the stairwell and bathroom are both robin's egg blue.

Rather than replace the transparent but otherwise perfectly good window in the bathroom, I made a trip to the local home salvage warehouse, bought a bunch of chipped glass blocks in all sorts of sizes and patterns and created a little vignette to give me privacy and a focal point for the wall. The bathroom is actually the same blue as the stairwell, but you'd never know it by MY camera settings...

I refer to this as my "Shabby Chic" wall. I created a faux linen look using golden glaze and a stiff wallpaper brush, making horizontal and then vertical stripes. I took the glass out of this rescued window and hung old pearl necklaces, pages from botanical books, skeleton keys and a wreath I made out of odd little fake roses. I used a very old pale peach lace scarf as a backdrop.

The 5 boxes came from a little chest of drawers I picked up at the Mother of all Goodwills (MOAG) near downtown Seattle. Some child had scribbled all over the front with crayons, so I turned them around, screwed them together and created this fun little storage/wall display thingie. The starfish on the front are actually big push-pins so I just pressed them right into the backs (which are now the fronts) of the drawers. All of the treasures inside are found objects. The framed prints are actually more pages from a botanical book placed inside matching white wooden frames I also found at the MOAG.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Boredom's Brother

This is a smattering of oddball cookie fortunes I've tracked down over the years. I used them to make a bunch of little collaged bookmarks for a friend's 40th birthday celebration (like this one):

Now is the time to stop relying on fortune cookies for answers.

To you life is a bold and dashing dog tag.

Take time today to thank the little rodents.

The greatest danger could be your stupidity.

Your luck has completely changed your goldfish.

A modest person never talks to the tissue box.

Ceiling fans can never hope to win you while your electric plug is still young.

Your present question marks are going to succeed.

Your uniqueness is more than your social problem.

Be willing to take napkins as to give them.

If a talking dog should cross your path, hide your food before it does.

Your love life will be yours.

When one lacks a sense of running, there will be disaster.

Someone is speaking well of your tree.

The current year will bring you many happy pencils.

Siblings need your what.

There is a secret romance brewing despite your running faucet.

Your rubber bands are heading in the right direction.

More ROY G BIV-ness

Inside cover...

and pages celebrating the color orange...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Remember the nifty memory aid to recall the colors of a spectrum...ROY G BIV? Well, that prompted me to make a journal supposedly created by the great, late, intrepid ornithologist, Roy G. Biv basically so I would have an excuse to make a bird collage in every different color.

Even though "brown" doesn't really have a place in Dr. Biv's world (the "B" stands for blue), I felt compelled to make several pages in that color family.

The first page consists of a fabric transfer on muslim, layered over several very textured pieces of fabric and ribbon. The background was done from several shades of brown acrylic paint. The second one used a page from a book so old and deteriorating it literally crumbled as I tried to glue it down. But how perfect is "Birdies' Ball" for goodness sake?

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's been way too long!!!

Oh my goodness...I knew it had been a WHILE since I blogged, but I didn't realize it had been almost a month! In my defense, I have been crazy busy remodeling the downstairs area of my house. It's a daylight basement with 2 bedrooms, full bath, laundry room and odd sort of common area.

It was also covered with old, tired berber carpeting. That carpeting looked great when first installed, but the cats have had their way with it over the years until it showed signs (both visual and olfactory) of too much clawing and "liquid immersion", shall we say.

Anyway, using my tax refund (some good financial news for a change!) I hired a handman recommended by Salvage Sisters Beth and Lisa who spent many an hour ripping out my old carpeting, taking up the tack strips, sanding the wooden stairs, removing the baseboards, replacing old light fixtures and painting areas I just couldn't get to.

I spent that same time painting the stairs leading down from the kitchen, painting woodwork (clean, crisp white), painting the stairwell and one bedroom (robin's egg blue), painting the laundry room (shiny white) and painting the common area (sage green).

Did I mention I did a bit of painting over this time? And cleaning and piling up stuff to get rid of and chasing the cats away from the paint...

One night I cleverly painted the stairs on my way down to bed thinking that they would dry overnight with only the random cat print. I did not count on having a massive asthma attack (from the new cat litter I poured out) and having to run upstairs to get my inhaler. I felt the paint squishing underfoot as I wheezed my way upstairs; when I got to my kitchen floor, I scrunched down the legs of my sweatpants to make impromptu slippers to cover my painted feet so I could walk without making huge trackmarks.

I sucked down enough albuterol to bronchodilate an elephant and then had the bright idea of putting plastic bags around my feet as I walked/sloshed backdownstairs, so that I could remove said bags when I got to downstairs. However, I quickly found that the surface tension between paint and plastic is such that the bags were sucked off of my feet after about 3 steps so I had to replicate my sweatpants-as-slippers maneuver to get to my bed. The next morning there were teeny little cat paw prints next to my size 9 imprints which was pretty amusing. Thank goodness that was just the primer; I learned to sequester the cats when I put the top coat on.

But the really, really, really big news is the new flooring I had installed. I originally toyed with the idea of painting or staining the concrete under the carpet for a funky faux look. Then I took one look at said concrete and realized it was way too bumpy and cracked and covered with discolored adhesive for that. So I looked into laminate flooring but found out my basement is "peaked" meaning that any rigid flooring would basically be "high centered" in certain spots. My options were rapidly dwindling unless I wanted to spend $$$$$ having my entire floor re-concreted which was not feasible. Then the wonderful sales person at the flooring store mentioned a linoleum product that looked a lot like wood that she thought I'd like.

When I first heard 'linoleum' I immediately had flashes of avocado shag rugs, harvest gold appliances and badly paneled basement rec rooms. But in to the store I went (covered with paint) to check it out and my to my surprise, I LOVED IT. I couldn't belive how much it resembled actual wood. And it was less expensive than the laminate, so I could afford to have my laundry room covered, too. Woohoo!

The guys who installed it were great...even though it took them WAY longer to repair the concrete that they had anticipated. As of last night, the baseboards were back on and I had touched up the paint around them and had gotten the boxes of stuff back into the correct rooms.

When I unpack my camera I will take and post some pictures. I absolutely love the new look...clean lines, soft colors, less clutter. Ahhhhhhh.

Which means that I will finally be able to get back into my studio and make things AND I will be able to get back to posting on my blog and working on the upcoming Salvage Studio Art Party!