Wednesday, September 30, 2009

4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie???!!!!

A few months ago I scored a huge tub of wooden alphabet blocks at a thrift store. Some were new, but many were chipped and worn with rounded edges...just the way I like 'em. I also happened upon a disintegrating vintage book of nursery rhymes...the kind all in black and white except for a few illustrations in primary colors.

I set aside the distressed blocks to use as they were. Then I covered a flat side of the newer blocks with little snippets from the book. I alternated the blocks and then hot glued them together, layer by layer. Then I wrapped strips of text around the edges to finish the look.

I gotta tell you...I had forgotten how creepy some of those rhymes could be. I didn't mind cutting THOSE particular ones up to make these little treasures.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Return in 5 days to...NEST

Here are a couple of thank you cards I made for folks who helped out with the Art Party last week.

I took a brown business folder (the kind that is more like cardstock and has one of those metal paper fastener thingies at the top) and cut it into strips about 3" wide. Then I sewed on scraps of coffee-dyed cheesecloth, vintage sheet music and bird images. I stamped out "NEST" on old, yellowed paper and doodled with my favorite white Signo pen. Goodness only knows where I originally found the teeny, tiny stamp that reads "RETURN IN 5 DAYS TO" but I pulled it out of my stash and used it on both cards. I lined the inside with ruled penmanship paper...the kind that alternates solid and dashed blue lines that we used to laboriously practice lower- and upper-case letters way back in the day.

I don't know the name of the stitching pattern on the lower card, but I love it because it reminds me of seagull prints in the sand.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Will the REAL New York City please stand up?

Over the last month I've been a walkin' fool as part of a fitness program. Isn't it interesting how much HILLIER terrain is when you're WALKING vs. DRIVING????

Anyway, last week I happened upon this really cool photograph. Being a found object fanatic, of course I bent down to retrieve it. At the risk of sounding like I don't get out of Seattle that REALLY New York City? It looks more like a Disneyland representation of it.
So Gentle Readers, tell me what you think...

Art Party Afterglow

I'm sure you read it on Beth & Lisa's blog first, but our Art Party was a grand success! We really had a blast incorporating special touches for our guests...

collaged goody bags, nifty workshop kits, one-of-a-kind door prizes, sheet-music & tissue paper flower garlands, a beautiful buffet, Beth's homemade red velvet cupcakes and vintage table coverings. Every person won at least one door prize and a couple of people won 2 more!
It was no surprise that our workshops represented our personalities...

Starting the party, Beth's stylish aquamarine charm bracelets were elegant and could be easily contained on a paper plate...

Lisa's kits for her frou-frou fabric pins had beautifully coordinated vintage fabrics and were the perfect relaxed way to end the day...

And in between, the room pretty much exploded with junque journal madness. A happy, creative chaos least it made me exceedingly happy to see so much energy and inspiration filling the space!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Watch those lips!

This binder of volunteer information was so bland I decided to bling it up with some crazy collage. I cut flowers out of old wallpaper, glued egg images onto a paint strip, outlined parts with funky red tape and used my nifty Sigmo white pen to doodle. Ahhhhhh, MUCH better....

Except, I get that the woman in the June Cleaver pearls and blouse really loves her bird, but each time I look at her, I fear for her lips.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Progression of Color

I found these leaves just outside my workplace. It seems much too early for leaf colors to be changing, but there's no denying it. I just love how the vibrant green gently becomes a brilliant fuschia.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Girl Effect

Wowza! This was too inspiring not to share with everyone. I've belonged to the organization CARE for many years, and they recently sent me notification of this video:

According to CARE: "There are 75 million children not in school across the world, and the majority of these children are girls. Yet investing in girls' education pays off in so many ways. When girls gain basic skills like reading and writing, they grow up to earn twice as much money as their peers without education. They have fewer, healthier children. And they are more likely to reinvest their earnings in their families and communities. That's the power of education!"

So take a few moments, play this video and let yourself be inspired by the power of simple acts. It will be worth it, I promise.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Moulage, Monsters & Mayhem

The summer days are flying by...I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted here.

For those of you on the edges of your chairs wondering how the moulage event turned out (and really, who isn't?), here's a quick report...

The event was held at a Fire Training Academy about an hour outside of exquisite location surrounded by endless pine trees, verdant hills, blue skies with puffy white clouds...around a HUGE post-apocalyptic field strewn with crushed and overturned cars and buses, debris, broken glass, burned concrete structures...the only thing missing was Mad Max on a motorcycle. It makes sense that the firefighter trainees would need to practice their craft in a realistic setting, but I have to tell you, it was more than a little surreal.

The 50 or so volunteer victims lined up patiently to have specialists wearing "Moulage, Monsters & Mayhem" t-shirts apply ghoulish, bloody makeup and fake wounds. The very, very best part was that we each got to select our own "injury" from among color-coded laminated cards. Nothing jumped out at me until I saw the one that read, "Minor injuries...but PANIC AND CREATE MAYHEM."

It was like Christmas, my birthday and Halloween all rolled into one moment. I thought of all the mayhem I'd been repressing for years and just knew that my big moment of catharsis had finally arrived. With a fake steel post sticking out of my shoulder, I carefully made my way down to the Field of Death with my fellow victims.

We were abuzz deciding how we were each going to play our parts. "Do you think I should lay half in and half out of the school bus?" one "deceased" woman asked. "Pick a shady spot," she was advised, "so you don't get sunburned."

Having absolutely ZERO acting experience, I quickly asked myself, "What would Meryl do?" and settled on being distraught because I couldn't find my daughter. What mother HASN'T momentarily lost track of a child in a crowded store or at the playground and felt that horrible stab of worry/guilt? Mr. DeMille, I was ready for my closeup.

I saw the first responders fanning out in the field and knew my moment had arrived. Clutching my cell phone desperately in one fist, I hurried over to one group shouting, "My daughter! I can't find my daughter! Help me find my daughter!" The first woman did a great job of calming me down, but I didn't select that particular laminated card for nothing. Nosireebob, I wasn't going down that easy. I did my best to distract her from the poor souls who actually needed medical attention until she had a moment of inspiration.

"Would you like to help find your daughter?"

"Yes, oh yes, please," I sobbed. And I swear to you, an actual tear ran down my face.

"Then why don't you sit here with this piece of paper and a pencil and write down everyone's name who comes by and see if they're also looking for someone?"

I could see through her trickery; if I were sitting down calmly writing I wouldn't be creating mayhem, now would I? I gulped in air and nodded, pretending to be helpful until she turned away to help the young woman unconscious on the ground and then I ditched the paper and resumed roaming the Field of Death for my daughter.

Group after group of first responders talked to me, calmed me down, took me to the First Aid Station where I quickly became a real pain in the rear. I lurched from person to person (all the better if they were stapped onto a backboard and couldn't move away from me), waving my "useless" cell phone and emoting, "Why won't anyone help me find my daughter?"

There weren't enough resources to spare someone watching me full time, so as soon as I was alone, I staged another jailbreak from the First Aid Station and shambled back onto the field, accosting and distracting yet another helpful team of rescuers.

After an hour and a half, even I couldn't stand myself anymore and decided to give everyone a break from the manufactured mayhem. I stopped to watch the groups of volunteer rescuers as they carefully and calmly triaged and treated dozens of "victims". It was impressive, all the more so knowing that they weren't being paid to do this; it was just their sense of community spirit and wanting to make a difference that had them give up free time to train and practice as they did.

When the drill was finally over and I was heading to my car a teenage boy looked and me and asked, "Hey, weren't you that crazy lady?"

"Yep," I told him with a wink, "that would be me."