Friday, October 31, 2014

the next indicated step

So, last blog post, I showed you my 2" pocket poems in progress. I'd been puzzling over what to do to the backs - and in the end the obvious answer was marbled paper. Besides, it's the traditional backing for vintage book covers (alas, these books were not vintage enough).

I researched it and tried 2 different techniques. These are the papers I made this morning - luscious is the word that comes to mind. Read on for the good old "how to's." If you are working with kids, process #2 is a great fit.

Process #1 (for use with alcohol inks)

You will need:
Alcohol ink
Large tray
Copy paper or construction paper
Paper towels

Fill your tray with water. Drop ink colors onto the surface of the water. Many drops, applied gradually, and alternating colors. (There are several you tube videos showing this step much more easily than I can explain it.)

You want a "marbled" look. You can best achieve that by gently stirring the water with a chopstick or blowing on the surface of the water with a straw.

Carefully lay your paper onto the surface of the water allowing it to float and soak up the layer of ink. Lift it out, let it drip for a moment, then blot on a paper towel. Done. Now wasn't that easy?

Process #2 (for use with water base ink or paint)

You will need:
A cookie sheet
Shaving cream (not the gel kind)
A rubber spatula 
Ink or paint diluted in water
Paint brush or eye dropper
Copy paper or construction paper
Paper towels

Squirt out some shaving cream onto your upside down cookie sheet and spread in a thin layer with your rubber spatula. It's a little bit like frosting a cake.

Add color in random drops. Two or three colors work well. More than that and you will get mud.

Use a chopstick to swirl the colors. The easiest way is to go back and forth and up and down.

Lay your paper down on top of the shaving cream/ink and gently pat it into the surface. Let it rest there for about 3 minutes. 

Lift off and wipe and excess shaving cream off with a paper towel. That's it. Easy as pie.

Note- The reason for two processes is that water base inks will not float on water. I offer you two ways to make marbled paper so you can make a choice based on what materials you have.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

pocket poems

After another project (to be blogged another time) I had these wonderful 2" square pieces of book covers.

One thought led to another one and the end result was pocket sized poems. 

These are of the "found poem" variety - which I read recently is what the Dada art movement used. Even David Bowie writes his lyrics this way.

I keep my interesting snips in this little pastry tin.

I still have some finishing to go on these - edges, the back, etc. I'll show you the end result in my next post - and the other book cover project too. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

I heart etsy

Today, Etsy is launching the new card reader for your mobile device - for use with their app "Sell on Etsy." This makes it possible to seamlessly combine your online shop with offline activity (fairs, markets, friends, etc)

Not only is the app free - but the card reader is too.

Read more here:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

home ec.

My stove top was a MESS! After years of scrubbing with steel wool (bad choice) I had permanent scratches, rust, etc. After consulting with my sister in law, I went to Home Depot for high temperature appliance paint. It's a JennAir with removable cartridges so painting was easy (outside). This is the end result:

I know this is an art blog, but I just had to share :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

home again home again

I'm back home now ... I could feel the damp air in the jetway as I was coming off the plane ... I missed that.

Here, air is water. Evaporation and precipitation have equal time and complete cooperation.

I also know I'm back home with reminders like this one. A screen shot saved by my daughter after drilling Siri.

Here's another one:

I just have to smile.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I am finding myself devouring books this long and far from home weekend - two down, one to go.

Hold the Dark by William Giraldi:
If Quentin Tarentino wrote books, he could have written this one. An eccentric story filled with over the top bloodshed and odd humor. It takes place in Alaska where everything is weird anyway. I give it three out of four stars (or bullets).

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: 
As imaginative a story as Raold Dahl, Maurice Sendak, or Lewis Carroll could have written. I loved this book and reading it brought me back to my own childhood. The strange combination of terror and comfort that comes in the night. I give this book five out of four stars.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: it looks promising ....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Boulder CO

Where I walked to on my morning walk this morning. Despite the idyllic image, this is a very suburban area. 

This little guy will be happy to tell you all about it. He thought my phone was a slice of bread and had to march up and taste it. A very suburban duck.