Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hallowe'en... the Costume

I was recently invited to a Halloween-themed event, which will be a fundraiser for SHARE house, our local homeless shelter... a great organization. The hostess has told us all to wear "funny hats" instead of full costumes, so I immediately started brainstorming some way of integrating collage into my hat to make it completely unique. A trip to Goodwill was fruitless... nothing there (at least nothing collage-able) to fit my oversized skull! So, I went home and tried my hand at constructing a simple witches hat from posterboard. Turns out that wasn't quite as simple as I imagined... but I finally turned out a pointy hat. It is a bit small, confound it... but, I'll wear it anyway, secured with a ribbon under my chin. Luckily, it fits my daughter perfectly, so she'll wear it for trick-or-treat night!

I had a stack of old... and I'm talking OLD... newspapers from Missouri and Iowa that my grandmother acquired many years ago from a neighbor of hers. The dates range from the late 1890's (when my grandmother was a young child) to around 1910. It is all in terrible condition... literally crumbles in my hands, so I've used it for a few collage projects, slathered liberally with plenty of gel medium to hold it together and preserve it.  For this project, I selected quite a few old advertisement, plus (since it's also "that" season) political cartoons and headlines... and anything to do with gruesome events such as murders and horrific natural disasters... to complete the dark theme that surrounds Hallowe'en and the Day of the Dead.

I just layered these fragile bits of paper on and covered the entire surface of the hat... and the underside of the brim and created a collaged witches hat. This was so much fun... reading through some of the articles and editorials, and imagining the mindset of midwestern America prior to World War ONE! There were still ads for buggies and surreys... not yet for automobiles. This was before antibiotics... so there were many ads for various elixers and tonics that would "cure" anything from catarrh to syphilis!

I pulled together a really eclectic mixture of interesting things to see and read... and spent exactly zero money on my party hat (unless you count that half jug of gel medium). I added a wee bit of distress ink to the edge of the brim of the hat... but most of the aging and distressing is natural! Once the collaging was done, I dressed the hat up a little bit with some vintage rick-rack and ribbon, then wired on some plastic skeletons as spooky-funky accessories. I'm looking forward to using it as a centerpiece, as well as a costume hat! Now... just enjoy a few more shots of the project in process...

Friday, October 15, 2010

News Flash: Hot Flash, the book!

Pamela Hastings has just released her latest book, and I am am absolutely thrilled and so honored that she asked me to be a contributor. My copy just arrived in my mailbox today and I was so jazzed, I had to take it over to a friend's house before I could even open the package. Had to share the joy.. and make it real!

Pamela has included (on pages 60 through 65) two of my collages, my Mad Hatter doll, one painting, and two of my art journal pages... along with quite a lot of my own writing, in sort of a "profile" piece. It actually includes some really personal thoughts about my own particular life and about moving through this "change of life" thing into my cronehood.

But, I'm in good company! I recognize the names of several of the other women artists in the book, and am pinching myself that I'm being included alongside them. Yes... yes... ME!!

I know these photos aren't terrific may not be able to read the text much, but I just had to share my pages. So fun to see that since Pamela included the collage I made for my granddaughter, Iris, her lovely face is smiling at me from the book, too!

I'm not sure where or when the book will be available for sale. I don't see it up yet on Pamela's website, but I'm sure that will happen soon.

What a great year this has been for me, so far. Can't wait to see what's next!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Time for Halloween!

Time to get out the bats and skeletons... I'm ready to rock Halloween! I really meant to spend all of September and October making prim witches, bats and skeletons, but got a little side-tracked by Birdfest. Had a decent first day there yesterday. The bird pendants are a good money maker. I'll sit down there selling pendants again all day today, but my mind is already in the mood for stuffing and painting dolls! I'll bring my sketchbook and make some plans while sitting at my Birdfest table. 

This photo is of the Baron Samedi Day of the Dead doll I made for my son's birthday in August, as I just noticed I failed to post this to my blog! He's from another wonderful pattern designed by Donna Veal, the Goddess of Prim! Can't wait to make more of these... he turned out so well. I scaled him down to 60% of the original, so he's about 16" tall.

The leaves are turning, the wind is blowing... it's time to get spooky... my favorite time of year!