Tag Archives: challenge

Naked Poetry Book

Yet another swap on swap-bot, but this time within a group. It was recommended I’d encounter far fewer flakers within the group swaps, so I’m trying it out. I was afraid I was going to be moving soon, so I avoided swaps, but this one I couldn’t resist! The idea was to put at least four poems in a booklet, decorate the cover, and send it through the mail with no envelope– thus the “naked” part. As usual, I went overboard.

I decided to make the booklet by hand (trying coptic binding for the first time) and using the techniques from Samantha Kira’s Wish Journal workshop to make the pages. THEN I decided to glue the poems in line by line. AND fill the booklet. The last 24 hours before mailing had a whole lot more stress than sleep, as you might imagine. The cover was a bit dull, but I feel the inside makes up for it. It’s far from perfect — crooked lines and loose binding, glue smudges and fonts I forgot to change after copying and pasting into a document for printing– but I really love the poetry I chose, including  poems by Pablo Neruda, Nikki Giovanni, Mark Jarman, Eve Merriam, and others. Click the thumbnails if you’d like to read them.

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I think I need a push

I am probably speaking into the darkness here, but I thought I’d share my lack of progress. I’ve been fairly discouraged the last few days, artistically and otherwise, not to mention mildly sick. I’m starting to doubt my goal is reasonable. I’ve picked my three projects, but before I can even start I need to clean my desk (and the cat-box beneath it, which I seriously suspect my sister leaves entirely to me). Thus… I have to contend with clutter, smell, fatigue, and a general lack of inspiration (I have my projects to start from, but I don’t particularly know where I am going with them.) I intended to start last night, or at least clean, and be elbow deep in art by now. So far… not so good.

2010 is off to a poor start.


New Years Resolutions

The Context:

Last November I participated in NaNoWriMo (hence my sudden absence). Thus, I was writing 1667 words a day towards a very poorly plotted quasi-fantasy novel. It was a huge challenge, and for the first time in the 4 or 5 years I’ve participated, I actually won (defined by reaching 50,000 words before midnight on November 30). I even did that despite sabotage by my computer. Hurrah. I never did reach the end, but I really want to work on my art for awhile.

The Conundrum:

This last week, I saw the movie  “Julie and Julia,” which chronicles the story of a woman (Julie) who gives herself one year to work her way through Julia Child’s cookbook “French Cuisine for Servantless American Cooks” — and blogs about it. I really only have a minimal interest in cooking, but I thought “Wow. I want to have some kind of goal like that for my art.”  For the last few days I’ve been thinking. Then, I realized, “Oh my word, New Years is coming!!!”  Thus I started thinking harder.  Now, in the last few hours of 2009 I’ve (mostly) settled upon something.

The Goal:

“Each week, I will choose and complete (x amount) of projects directly from or inspired by one in an art magazine, art book, or blog tutorial.”

I still need to define “X” (I’m thinking 3? Any input on that?) and I may need to have an exception for complete (in case it’s a large, multi-step project, in which case, perhaps it can be broken into chunks?) I’m still working this out.

The Rest:

In the meantime, I am having a fairly tame New Years Eve playing on the wii with my parents and enjoying a few snacks. Tomorrow, however, the challenge will begin (after the traditional movie with my family).

Other New Years Resolutions:

  • Finish the gawky novel I began in November– if for no other reason, so that I can pick it apart and start over.
  • Continue on the wii fit at least a little bit (I am vaguely skinny by default, NOT because I’m healthy).
  • Get a teaching position, or at the very least, MORE jobs.
  • Save enough to move out.

What does 2010 hold for you?


ATCs- “Kiwi” and “Pear”

A continuation of my fruit series. The first two can be seen on yesterday’s post. Again, wax collages. These two I created for the green challenge on Inspire Me Thursday. I’m not quite as pleased with these as I hoped. Doesn’t help than my scanner doesn’t seem to get along with green.  Oh well. Here they are. We’ll see if I continue this series. I’m somewhat less enthused now that they are going so poorly.

atc-fruit-pear

atc-fruit-kiwi

See the first of the fruit series.

See my other ATCs.


ATCs- “Grapefruit” and “Pomegranate”

After doing my grandmother’s birthday present, I was inspired to do more fruit. Specifically, I wanted to do half a pear. Then, it occured to me that I could do lots of other fruits as well. Thus, the first of a series of fruit half collages. Even better, there is a “Fruit” challenge on the Created by Hand website, so these first two will be entered there. Because my newest toy is a mini iron and a block of beeswax, these (and likely the rest as well) are beeswax collages. The wax smells like honey and I’m really enjoying this!

atc-fruit-grapefruit

atc-fruit-pomegranate

I may create a tutorial as I put together one of the fruit ATCs, if I clear off my desk enough to get my tripod up there.

See my other ATCs.


ATC: Grandma’s Grapes

Some have seen this already, if they had the password, but I wanted to post it publicly now that its in the recipient’s hands. (My grandma has the url for my blog, so I didn’t want her seeing it early!)

atc-grapes-for-grandma


ATC: Secret Garden

Ugh! My art fought back! Yet another exercise in failure, haha. I am coming to realize that my art (or at least my muse) is most definitely not docile. It fights tooth and nail, and it has some pretty sharp teeth. But in the end, I beat it into submission. Or at least– into some sort of compromise.

When I saw the Secret Garden challenge on the Thank God It’s Friday website, I knew I had to enter. I’d just finished reading the original book by Francis Hodges Burnett for the first time, and it is easily one of my favorites now. Read it, if you never have.  (It can be found online at the Literature Network). It is soooo good. I spent a few days thinking on what I should do (a bunch of greenery seemed too easy, and not very meaningful.) Late last night, as I was drifting to sleep, the idea began to form and solidify. Instead of the flourishing happy garden of the middle and end of the book, I would depict the garden as it was when Mary first found it– wild and full of old, seemingly dead plants, but deep in the rich earth, full of potential and the magic her imagination would bring about.

Tonight, I went back, checked the specifications to be sure there weren’t any size requirements and– egads! it requires stamps! Ironically, this was one of my few artistic ideas that didn’t use stamps. I tried to make them fit, but it was turning out terrible. Most of the original stamping has been washed out, but the blurry colors in the background used to be stamped (and incedentally, used to be other colors, in some cases. That pink there was originally a color called “tea dye.”) I decided to just go ahead with my original plan, justifying it with the fact that the stamps are there, even if almost entirely washed out. However, in the end, I used the word stamp, and two other stamps in the final outcome, so there! It qualifies! I’m not 100% happy with it, but I’m willing to call truce.

Interestingly, the back might possibly look better than the front. Sadly, as bad as this is in person, it scanned 10 times worse, in part because gold thread doesn’t look gold on a scanner.

atc-secret-garden

“There’s lots o’ dead wood as ought to be cut out,” he said. “An’ there’s a lot o’ old wood, but it made some new last year. This here’s a new bit,” and he touched a shoot which looked brownish green instead of hard, dry gray. Mary touched it herself in an eager, reverent way.

“That one?” she said. “Is that one quite alive quite?”

Dickon curved his wide smiling mouth.

“It’s as wick as you or me,” he said;

—-The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Read The Secret Garden online.

See my other ATCs.