Sunday, March 21, 2010

ArtFest 2010 - My Artful Trades

I am off to ArtFest 2010 at Ft. Worden, Washington (near Port Townsend) this coming Tuesday... I can hardly wait!  It's just a hop, skip and a jump (well ferry ride) from Victoria to Port Angeles and then on to Port Townsend just down the road (well sorta... )

I have two classes with some great teachers lined up... one with Michael DeMeng and one with Nina Bagley.

I've known about Nina Bagley since I lived in North Carolina.  Nina lives up in mountains (Asheville) and I have always admired her jewelry work.  She does wonderful wire work and that's what I really want to learn and get better at.  She is into narrative jewelry which, being a storyteller, is right up my alley!

Michael DeMeng is another artist whose work I find interesting in a strange sort of way.  I'm not into Cinco de Mayo but  I have heard so many wonderful reports from friends and acquantances who have attended his classes, I just have to find out for myself what the buzz is all about. LOL

I 've wanted to go to ArtFest for about four years now and it seemed something always came in between.  This year, I was determined to go and NOTHING was going to get in the way. It always amazes me (and it shouldn't by now...LOL) that when you set your mind to something and keep focused on it, it happens.  Energy Flows Where Attention Goes... a Hawaiian shaman principle that I continually need to remind myself of...

Being a festival VIRGIN (haven't been one of those for a very long time... chuckle, chuckle), I wasn't sure what to expect.  Fortunately, there is a Yahoo group that one can join to get the "lowdown" on what is happening and what not to forget to bring (like your pillow!).  Being a coffee lover, I went out and bought a little French press yesterday to take with me. I got that great idea from the people posting to the yahoo group. I do love my java in the morning...and someone said they were bringing a kettle to boil water.  YAY!

Early on, after joining the Yahoo Group, I heard about the wild frenzy that occurs when "trading" begins on Wednesday night.  Well I didn't have a clue at first what this was all about but I soon found out. Everyone who wants to participate makes up about 100 pieces of "art" to trade with other attendees.  The first thought that went through my head was :  "Oh dear, I hate doing production line stuff." and the second thought was "Well, you don't have to."  That let me off the hook to decide what I would make for my trades.

I put my thinking cap on.  Here's what I came up with....

I really had fun making the poker chips for my "claying" weekend a while back.  When I put a photo of them here on my blog, they received a lot of wonderful comments.  I decided that Poker Chips would be trade #1.

My second trade came from some digital Moo cards and bookmarks I designed a few months ago.  When I showed them to friends and family, one of them turned out to be a favourite.  I was particularly proud of this one because I  digitally designed the rusty alphabet myself which I used in the Moo card and bookmark. That would be trade #2.

My third trade idea came from my business cards.  I get a lot of wonderful remarks from folks when they see my business card.  It's different.  It's fun.  People keep it.  It amazes me how it gets shown around and I have people coming up to me to ask me for one of those "cute" business cards  When that started happening, I knew I had a hit on my hands.  Chuckle.

There is a little story behind my business card.... A few years back I wanted something different than the regular, run of the mill business card.  Something that reflected who I was and what I did.  Well, as anyone who knows me could tell you, I love to have fun, I love to surprise, I love to laugh, I love doing digital work and I can be a "cheeky" little devil at times.  I am also into vintage *stuff*. So I designed a card that I felt reflected who I am. What about making that trade #3?  "Why not?" I thought.  It is "arty"!

Below is a sample photo of all my trades,  Got them all finished last night.  They are ready to go... I've got lots (probably more than I will ever trade but what the heck huh?) so it should be fun to see how many "trades" I can negotiate next week.  I made an empty chain necklace to take with me to "string" trades I receive.  I think I am going to have one very, very wonderful "artful"  necklace by the time ArtFest is over.  I've been looking at some of the trades other attendees are making and they are just fantastic.  This is going to be a bowl full of frenzied fun...

I'll be back home next Sunday and once I have had a few day to recover (grin), I'll share my experience with you.

Have an "artful" week everyone and see you again soon.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Ah March, the month of Irish blarney, shamrocks, green beer and tales of the wee folk and fairies.  Hope you have taken some "time out" this month to sit back, relax and enjoy listening to "Dame Pridgett and the Fairies", a very old Irish tale about a "gettin' on in years" nursemaid and her "sojourn" into the land of the fairies.

And 'jus cuz it's St. Patrick's Day... here are a few litle Irish laughs and an Irish blessing to brighten your day... Enjoy!

Jimy-Joe went to a pet shop and asked how many budgies were in stock. "We have 99" replied the shop owner "Give us the lot" said the Jimmy-Joe, paid for them and left.

Next, he went to a tailors shop and had 99 pockets sewn into a jacket, put a budgie in each pocket, went up to the Post Office Tower and jumped off.

He hit the ground with an almighty smack and lay there groaning until a passer-by came and asked him what had happened. "I don't know sur" he replied "but that's the last time I try that budgie jumping"
As soon as she had finished parochial school, a bright young girl named Lena shook the dust of Ireland off her shoes and made her way to New York where before long, she became a successful performer in show business.

Eventually she returned to her home town for a visit and on a Saturday night went to confession in the church which she had always attended as a child. In the confessional Father Sullivan recognized her and began asking her about her work. She explained that she was an acrobatic dancer, and he wanted to know what that meant.

She said she would be happy to show him the kind of thing she did on stage.

She stepped out of the confessional and within sight of Father Sullivan, she went into a series of cartwheels, leaping splits, handsprings and backflips.

Kneeling near the confessional, waiting their turn, were two middle-aged ladies. They witnessed Lena's acrobatics with wide eyes, and one said to the other:

"Will you just look at the penance Father Sullivan is givin' out this night, and me without me bloomers on!"
An Irish Blessing

May your home be filled with laughter

May your pockets be filled with gold

And may you have all the happiness

Your Irish heart can hold.
Have a fun day...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coffee Filters Around The House and in Your Art

Last week, my cousin Linda, who lives in Florida, sent along an interesting list of ways to use coffee filters around the house.

What wasn't on the list, were the gazillion of ways coffee filters can be used in art. For us frugal artists who like to save $$$ on our supplies, it's music to our ears to hear..."You can purchase a big box of them at your local dollar store for practically next to nothing."

I have certainly used them in my art. What about you? I'd love to hear how you incorporated them into some of your art projects. Let's expand this list... leave a comment on this post or send me an email with your ideas!

Like roses? Check out the link at the end of this posting for a fun tutorial, filled with tons of photos, for these pretty paper roses.

In the meantime, while you are all leaving comments for ways you use them in YOUR art LOL, here's how to use coffee filters around the house...

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they leave windows sparkling.
3. Protect china by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.
4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters..
13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. It soaks out all the grease.
14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."
15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.
16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.
18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.
19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.
20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies.. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.
21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.
22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.
23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.
24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book.
25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.
26. And oh ya, you can use them in your art too! There are tons of ideas on the Internet for using coffee filters in art for little budding artists and big ones too!. Just google "crafts using coffee filters".

You can see the Paper Rose Tutorial by Sara Jane tutorial at the Crafteria

Oh gosh I almost forgot, they're great for using in your coffee maker too. Go brew yourself a cup of java right now to get you going on your next art project. But please, leave a comment before you go. LOL