Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday (contains inappropriate language)


No. It sucks.

Let me try blue next time.

I just ruined the damn thing.

What the hell was I thinking?

(sound of head being smacked by self)

Wait. I've got it.

It worked.

Let me try it with a little bit of brown this time.

I just ruined the damn thing. Again.

I'll be back. I just have to check email.

And have a chocolate.

What about Facebook?

Oh. That's cool. What a great idea.

Let me put the clothes in the dryer.

What the hell was that idea?

(sound of head being smacked by self)

I wish I had a smaller house stamp. I'll carve one.

That's great! It really worked!!

Now let me try it out on this paper with the small text.


(sound of going to vintage books, ripping out page, applying matte medium, sound of heat gun, more medium, heat gun, more medium, heat gun)

Let me see if I can stamp this again without it smearing. But what if I ruin the paper? Again.

Let me see if those clothes are dry. Nope.

Where's that little red square? The little red square would work here. Where the hell did I put it? It was right here a minute ago. Those clothes have to be dry.

And while I'm down here, I'll see if there are any emails.

Where's that little red square?!? WHERE'S THAT LITTL . . . oh, there it is. It will look perfect near the bottom of this piece. Nope, too small. Where's that red sheet of paper? Oh, no. That's all I have. I'll have to run out and get some more.

Screw this piece. I'll just put it over here and look at it later.

Now, I'll just prepare one of those paper bags.

(sounds of iron being plugged in, paper being ironed, matte medium being applied, heat gun, medium, heat gun, medium, heat gun)

No. I really don't want to work with the paper bag now. Let me go through my books and find a cool page to tear out.

Great. Love it. Now I just need to prep it.

(matte medium, heat gun, matte medium, heat gun, matte medium, heat gun)

Now let me stamp some of those little houses on it.

Shit. They're too small.

I better get those clothes out of the dryer.

Now that my cat is no longer here to assist me, I'll either have to talk to myself or put it down in my blog. I'm sure that you, dear reader, would prefer that I talk to myself.

p.s. Thanks for all of your comments on my last post -- they are most appreciated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chumley de Cat, ?-2010

Thireteen years ago, on Labor Day weekend, I heard a cat crying repeatedly from my apartment window. I would go out onto the balcony and look down to see where the crying was coming from. Nothing. More crying. More looking down. Nothing. This went on all day long.

The hubby and I were celebrating our last weekend in our apartment before moving to our “new” home. On our way out to dinner, we took the back way out of our apartment building. Had we gone out the front, we never would have come across Chumley. We never made it to dinner, and we didn’t exactly “come across” Chumley. We walked under him.

As we passed under the tree that stood next to our balcony, I heard the crying again. We looked up and there he was, stuck in the tree. We tried to cajole him down. Nothing. Others came along and tried the same. One couple informed us that the cat had been up in the tree for at least two days. They had called the fire department and were “referred” to someone else. The hubby went in to call the fire department and informed them how long the cat had been up in the tree. They couldn’t leave the firehouse in case a real call for help came in. We tried some more cajoling. A crowd gathered.

Soon a group of young men, and one father, came along saying they were part of the Civil Air Patrol. They lived behind the apartments and had noticed a crowd gathering. They were glad to be of service. The father called out to his son, “Go to Grandma’s and get the ladder!” Soon the ladder arrived and climbers were up in the tree. The police had also arrived. The cat went up further (or is that farther). The men climbed higher. The cat went out on a branch. The crowd grew. A policewoman arrived.

“What we need now is a saw,” the hubby said. The Civil Air Patrol dad yelled down, “Go to Grandma’s and get the saw.” Soon a saw was raised by a rope far up into the tree. I’m assuming the firemen were still at the station washing their trucks and waiting for a real call. The saw glinted in the moonlight (how romantic). The branch began to sag. The policewoman removed her jacket. The branch and cat crashed slowly to the ground. Once the cat was on the ground, the policewoman tossed her jacket over him and then tossed him in the back of the police car.

Several people had risked great danger to help this cat who now stared like a criminal from the backseat. Calls were made, a place was found for the cat until a search could me made for his owner. Assumptions were made that the cat had been abandoned when the summer students went home. Snips were made. Shots were administered and a week later Chumley came to our “new” house with us.

Thirteen good years. A few sad weeks. Three upholstered chairs wrecked.

Now, I’ll have to tell all of my secrets and my artistic ideas to the dog, and he really doesn’t act as if he cares. The cat, however, always seemed interested.

So today I thank mama kitty, the Civil Air Patrol, policemen and policewomen, the vet who removed a malignant tumor from his back when he was three or four, my daughter who let him sleep on her bed until the end even though he could only look at her with one eye and drooled on her favorite blanket, and the hubby who let me take in another stray whom he knew was going to shred his favorite chair.

I love you Chumley, Puss E. Cat, fur face, fur buttski, fur friend, fat boy (old days), skinny boy, good boy, bad boy, you little son of a ___, sweet boy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Paper

Looks like blue is part of the theme. Those birds are from Martha Stewart's line of punchies. Is that cheating? Sure it is. I don't seem to care.

Love those vinyl letters!

Love those rub-on letters!

I believe this one has an official name: "Where U At".

All of these pieces, except the first, are collages done from existing scraps and completed in a couple hours time.

Fun! I'm going to do more!

Tomorrow. Not creative today. Chumley the cat is very sick and I'm spending time petting him and crying. I think tomorrow will be a better day. Lonely, but better.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Now What?!?

Thanks for all of those comments on the last post! Very uplifting.

I've completed five more "pieces" in the past couple of days.

I want to do another, but I have to answer some questions first.

The first one is:

Now What?

What do I do with these things? I've put them in plastic sleeves for the moment, but that won't do forever.

Suppose I decided to sell them. Do I attempt to frame them? Do I just glue them to boards and call it a day? If so, what kind of boards? Should I just go ahead and begin the collages on these boards instead of attempting to affix them later?

Are there other paper collage artists reading this? What do you do?

I really have no interest in matting and framing behind glass. That kind of takes away from the texture of the piece. And I really don't want to get into the matting and framing thing again. I did that loads of years ago, before the fiber frenzy. What a pain that was! And the expense! Nope. Done with that.

I don't want to do anything too traditional. I don't want to do anything too contemporary. And I don't want to do anything too expensive and pass that onto the customer.

I would REALLY appreciate some input on this.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Glue and Paper and Paint and Stuff

I've spent the last couple of months playing around with paper.

And paint and glue and stuff (magazine clippings, rub-on letters, vinyl stick-on letters).

Most of the paper is from vintage textbooks. The blue sea above is sponge painted tracing paper. I've been using whatever is found lying (or is that laying) about.

I'm at my happiest smearing paint and glue onto paper with my fingers. Beats the heck out of sewing over my fingers.

The two pieces below were made from scraps. Not that the pieces above contained no scraps, but for these two, no new scraps could be painted or created. These two were the most fun.

None of these has a name yet. Not sure they ever will.

For now, I'm just playing and exploring. Much to the chagrin of my goal-oriented hubby. Perhaps there is a goal here. I just don't see it or know it yet. Time will tell.

Now, I am out of glue and must go buy some.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mean Mama Bird

I've been asked to donate a piece to a charity auction.

At first, I was tempted to give up a piece that I wasn't interested in holding on to. But if I'm not interested, is anyone else likely to be interested in buying it?

So mama bird has to go and select one of her baby birds to kick out of the nest. Not an easy thing.

After I make my selection and fill out the forms (Good Heavens I hate to fill out those forms), I'll head up into the studio and take a few photos of what I've been doing lately. Paper, glue, paint, rub-on letters, etc. I'm trying to break out of my box, but when you see the photos, you'll notice that I'm still lurking inside the box or right next to it.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tennessee Burning

In olden times, a neighbor’s home caught fire and any able human ran for their buckets and formed a brigade from water source to the burning home. Either the fire was put out by the community or it got out of hand and the building was lost. The point is, those that could be of any help showed up and helped. Sure there was probably an asshole or two, leaning up against a fence and chuckling. Their standing in the community was probably lessened immediately. Perhaps they even sported a black eye the next day.

Afterward, the owner of the damaged or ruined property most likely wholeheartedly thanked the community. Hands were shaked and pies were baked. The community, worn out from the bucket brigade, probably went back the next day to help the family clean up and offered food, clothing or shelter.

Not anymore, baby! Now, the unconcerned can just stand around and watch the flames leap higher and higher. You gotta pay up front for your fire service. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure you’ve purchased your homeowner’s insurance. But that’s not gonna keep your house from bursting into flame. You’ve got to pay your firefighter's fee. Now, really, there’s nothing wrong with paying for your fire and police services upfront. It’s a method called taxation. And I believe that it works. But this mafia-like shakedown thing doesn’t appear to be working too well, does it?

I’m surprised that the fire department didn’t shoot Mr. Cranick the finger as they watched his house burn.

Is this what America is coming to? Is kicking people to the curb the new national sport? I’ve read a few articles about this incident, and am shocked to read about people supporting what the fire department has done. And with the mayor’s approval! Did any of the loitering firemen hear the dying howls of the animals that were trapped in the home or were they long dead before the fire department came to protect the neighbor’s fields?

When the idea of “pay to spray” was thought up a while back, was there a brainstorming session where folks could have brought up and discussed a few possible negatives? Did any one think that, should the fire department stand around and let someone’s home burn, that there might be some negative thoughts aimed at firefighters in general. I’m sure, that somewhere in this country, there would have been firefighters that would have just gone on and sprayed some water on Mr. Cranick’s burning house. They would have done what most of us would consider the brave and honorable thing. And now, we’re not going to look so highly at any firefighter thanks to those bad apples who stood by and did nothing.

There are a large and growing number of people in this country who would rather die than pay taxes. And now, they seem to be projecting this onto others. They hold rallies in the hopes of having our country dispense with collecting taxes. These taxes build and maintain roads, pay for Medicare, defend our country, and provide for fire and police services. This group would rather have everyone pay for themselves so they do not have to involve themselves with assisting others in any way.

This group I am referring to is also a group that is deeply conservative and religious. They ask God and Jesus’ counsel when times get tough. I keep thinking about that WWJD (what would Jesus do) line of thought. I don’t think any of the firefighters in this situation were thinking of this. If they were, they must have thought Jesus would go and get a bag of marshmallows and a long stick.

Several years ago, there was a house fire in my town. A man was driving by a burning house. He called for the fire department and left his car. He noticed animals in the home and broke into the home to attempt a rescue. He was able to save two out of three animals. Perhaps he could have saved the third at risk of his own life. I am glad he did not attempt to save the third. This man should live a long life knowing that he did what he could. He helped a neighbor. I don’t think he even knew the owners of the home. It doesn’t matter. He is still a neighbor. I’d like to think that if my own home were to burn, a neighbor would be there to help in some way.

I would also like to think that if a burglar showed up in my home that the police would come to help. If I were drowning that a lifeguard would swim out to help me. If I were to be raped, that a group of policemen wouldn’t just stand around and watch (unless they had up-front payment).

After this incident, I will never look at my fellow Americans the same way. I will always wonder if somebody would help me out of the goodness of their heart (or, perhaps, the requirements of their job). Should I walk down the street with wads of cash and hand it out to folks just in case I might need their help one day? Should I take a wheelbarrow of money into the hospital in case I might need urgent care? Should I hand out envelopes of cash to everyone that knows CPR in case one of them happens to be standing next to me if I choke? Should I write a check to every Boy Scout so that in my not-too-far-off old age that they might safely steer me across a busy intersection?

I can’t believe I even have to write the next sentence.

If there is a fire, I believe that firefighters should put it out.


Without debate.

Without up-front payment.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Good Gravy, Mommy Dearest and European Terror Warning

Good gravy, chicken and instant mashed potatoes

This is a photo of Friday night's dinner. There's some gravy for ya! This meal is a bit more uptown than the photo would have you believe. The recipe (for the chicken, not the taters) comes from the Red Cat cookbook. The Red Cat is a yummy restaurant in the Chelsea area of New York City. After our meal there, we returned home and purchased the cookbook. This recipe is entitled, "simple skillet roast of chicken with red onion, sugar plum (prune) and rosemary sauce." You can get the tater recipe from the back of the hungry jack box (for six servings even though we are three).

Hubby made a lot so that his wife and child could have leftovers while he is out of town for several days. He knows that limits of my cooking skills. I do believe an earlier post showed the browned result of my attempt to boil frozen peas. I can boil pasta and grate cheese. I have a 75/25 shot of getting frozen food safely into boiling water and the same chance of getting it onto a plate. Before a trip, however, he will stock me up on leftovers. All I have to do is thaw and heat.

With hubby gone, daughter and I ate some of those chicken leftovers. She, however, requested no gravy. The chicken didn't fare extremely well with reheating. I didn't know that chicken leftovers smelled like wet dog. There was more chicken remaining in the freezer, and I told my daughter that the following night, I would chop up the leftover leftover chicken and put it in a pasta sauce. I suddenly saw myself slathered in bright red lipstick, whacking my child with a wire coat hanger and forcing her to eat her meat no matter how long it takes her to finish it. I tossed all leftovers out. I will NOT become Mommy Dearest.

So hubby is off in Lyon, France. A business trip. Really. So now I read on the Huffington Post that there is a terror threat in Europe. A very vague threat, apparently. Am I somewhat comforted by the vagueness or does it add more tension? Is there something somebody knows or are the powers that be just covering their butts?

So in his absence, I am off to the grocery store. I'd rather have a colonoscopy. Perhaps, upon my arrival, there will be a message over the PA system. "Ladies and gentleman, there is salmonella in one of the products in this store. Well, there COULD be salmonella in one of the products in the store. Seems more likely than usual. No. We don't know which product. Might be in more than one. Might not be in any. Just be careful. Be on guard. Pay attention to your surroundings. Have a good day. Thank you for shopping here."

Have a good day yourself. Especially if its chilly and rainy in your neck of the woods.