Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Piece: Verde

This is small, maybe 4 x 6" (the inner part of the frame is 2.75 x 3.5).  The collage is made almost entirely of vintage elements - end paper from a vintage book, border from a vintage sheet music cover, clock hand, vintage pin or earring, a cigarette card, and a label from a spool of thread.  The image of the girl is a print of a cabinet card tinted with Copic markers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Tiny Treasure

Found this tiny bird's nest in the snow this morning.  It is about 3 inches in diameter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Treasures from Mom's: Avon Calling

In my childhood home, there is a half-bath on the second floor down the hall from my room.  For as long as I can remember, these two Avon products were set on the back of the toilet.  I don't remember but there might have been a doily underneath, but I digress. I would *guess* that these things are at least 30 years old.

There is a blue-green dolphin filled with Avon's Skin So Soft.  I don't know if they still make it, but I do remember that people caught on to the fact that it repels insects. Scary stuff.  I think Avon actually started marketing it as a mosquito repellent at some point.


The other item is a little owl that screams "70s!" There is a peachy-pink gel-like substance in the container. I do remember that I opened it once in the 80s, and vaguely recall that the gel was a bit pinker than it is now, and smelled like roses. I can't open it anymore, and I'm afraid that if I rap it's little owl head on the counter top to loosen it, it will break.


These things I"m going to hang on to for the time being.  I will put them on the back of my toilet and it will bring fond memories being in high school and barfing into the toilet after a kegger in Todd Park.


Getting ready for a show in April with the theme of repurpose/recycle/reuse. This collage is on a cigar box lid (7.25 x 4")

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dolly Fashion Artwork

Dolly Fashion: Baby Doll


Dolly Fashion: Party Dress

Dolly Fashion: Petticoat

Vintage Catalog Art

Hollywood Hats

Winter Hats

The Little Black Dress

weird cursor

Has anyone seen a cursor like this on a Mac?  The two little gray icons that follow the pointer?  It's intermittent, no obvious way to recreate it, it just comes and goes.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Treasures from Mom's: Glen Campbell

When I was about 10 years old, I had a huge crush on Glen Campbell. For my 10th birthday, I wanted nothing more than his "Gentle on My Mind"  album. And I got it.

Fast forward to December 2009, and we're clearing out our childhood home.  Back in a closet was a large box full of piano music and vinyl, including "Gentle on My Mind."  Of course it came home with me, and is now propped up against a desk in my studio.

I could argue for keeping it, as I *did* inherit my dad's stereo system, which includes a turntable...but really....

Throwing Stuff Away - The Spice Rack

First, I have to plug Flylady: This woman and her colleagues are both inspiring and practical.  I would be having more difficulty without her work. If you're struggling with clutter, keeping organized, keeping house, or just having too much STUFF, visit her site.

Not surprisingly, I have a hard time throwing things away.  This is my thinking, some of which isn't rational. For example, if I throw away a gift, I'm dissing the person who gave it to me.  If I throw away something that could be utilized in some way, I am being wasteful. If I throw away memorabilia...well I'm not sure about that.

On Hoarders, you hear that people can't throw things away because they're afraid they'll forget the memory. That doesn't resonate with me. For me, this stuff is a memory jolt; I can recall details that I wouldn't otherwise.  With some really irrational or magical thinking (and it is hard to confess this) I might think that the item is has some spiritual value. Ack.  At least I know and admit it's irrational, but I can hardly believe I just wrote that. Maybe that's what photographs are for....but I digress.

Now about my spice rack.  It's one of those racks that sit on the counter and spin, with the spice jars on the sides.  It came with spices.  So last night I'm emptying my cupboards and needed to set things on my counter.  The dang spice rack was in the way (it's quite a small counter).

Then it occurred to me that I've had that spice rack for at least eight years and I have hardly used the spices.  I keep the spices I use in the cupboard that I was trying to clear out. I thought maybe I should get rid of it.  Then starts the inner dialog.

I still might want to use it some day.
That's bull, I'm not likely to use them and they're so old they're probably no good anyway.

Maybe I could use this in the studio, put beads in the spice jars.
I already have beads in spice jars and I have no place to put them.

I could donate it to Goodwill.
They probably wouldn't take foodstuff and besides, and one of the jar lids is broken so it wouldn't be complete.

This goes on and on...until finally it occurs to me that I could throw it away. I cringe.

I wish that I had recycling for wood, but I don't.  I'm always happy to recycle anything I can. If I had a fireplace, I could use it as firewood. This is still a struggle.

What I finally ended up doing was dumping the spices, throwing away the lids, set the jars aside for recycling, and the wood part...I threw it away. I had to stand next to the garbage can and hold it up above it for several seconds before I could do it.  This is some serious self-inflicted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I console myself by thinking that wood is biodegradable in a landfill.

All of that over a spice rack.  What's it going to be like when I try to let go of my grandfather's little portable typewriter?  It's at least forty years old, and wasn't a decent typewriter to begin with.  But that's another post.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Hoarding. OMG.

I've been watching the television show "Hoarding," and I confess it's making me nervous. Like many of the people featured on the show, I attach too much sentimental value to "things." 

Don't get me wrong.  You can walk and see the floor in my house.  The dishes get done, the trash goes out, the litter gets scooped. But I have a lot of "stuff" that I hang onto for emotional reasons.  And I can "attach" to just about anything, from jewelry, to books, papers, knick-knacks and small pieces of furniture.

And if I'm going to be completely honest, I have to admit that being a mixed media artist is a great excuse for accumulating a lot of STUFF.  A lot of WEIRD stuff.  Broken doll heads, tiny fabric scraps, old music, books, gaudy picture frames from auctions and thrift stores, vintage game pieces and photos of people to whom I have no relation whatsoever. And I know I'm not alone in this... Lynn Perrella wrote a whole book on this issue, which I felt vindicated me...

...until I started watching "Hoarders."  Now that I've seen at least a half-dozen episodes, I'm learning about the different ways people perceive their stuff...and hoarders tend to place a lot of emotional or sentimental value to their things, sometimes to the point where their things keep them company.  Ouch.

Anyway, two things have happened in the past year or so that propelled me into aquiring stuff of immense emotional "importance."   First, my father passed in December 2008; almost a year later, his stuff was auctioned.  Then, this December (2009), my mother's house was sold and cleared of over 30 years worth of stuff.  For my dad's auction, I rented a van to haul things back in. And I packed my little Corolla tight with treasures from Mom's.

So now, with all this new "old" stuff and my new awareness of my attachment to that stuff, I'm facing the issue of what to do with it all.  That, or never use my dining room again.  My choice.

So what's important about this stuff, other than the memories it invokes?  Nothing.  So I've decided to photograph and write about these things, and then release them to the Universe (or the recycling bin).

Stay tuned. Tomorrow: "Gentle on My Mind."