Friday, April 25, 2014

The Small Girls


Sally Blue
"The Small Girls"
Aurora: Known to her friends as the Goddess of the Morning.  She is always bright, hardworking and sometimes intense, but she is always loving.

Lucy: She's a redhead and she is wild.  Nothing more to say about that.

Gwyneth: She possesses a deep inner desire for travel and adventure. She sets her own pace and isn't governed by tradition. She is creative, always drawn to the arts and enjoys life immensely.

Ronda: Always finishes what she starts. She is tolerant and like to help humanity. She is warmhearted and gives freely of her time and energy. She is frank, methodical and believes in the system of law and order.  She is wise, intuitive and reflective.

Wanda: A wanderer by nature. She is excellent at analyzing, understanding and learning.  She is a mystic and a philosopher and tends to be quiet and introspective. Her solitary thoughtfulness may make her seem aloof and sometimes even melancholy.

Sally Blue: Although considered a princess by some, Sally is strong and independent. On first meeting, her shyness can make her appear distant and secretive, but she is actually very anxious to be liked.  Deeply attached to her familial and social values, she likes to make others happy, she cannot bear violence or aggression.

In anticipation for 2 weekends of Art @ The Source Open Studios, (May 31-June1 and June 7-8) I decided to make a few 'smalls'.  This year's batch are called "The Small Girls" - small in stature, big in personality. Fun to make and fun to play with.
"The Girls" will be on exhibit, along with several new pieces. If you are in the area, do stop in!

All smalls are made with scrap wood, layered with tissues and other papers, then embellished with bits of this and that.

Friday, April 18, 2014


    A friend, and a very fine artist herself, Colleen Werner, recently commissioned me to create a 'memory piece' to honor her sister Irene. Irene passed away one year ago this month.
    When Colleen came by my studio she brought with her a bag full of things that belonged to Irene and a few that belonged to their mother to be used on the memory piece. The bag contained bling and bits of this that were special to Irene, Colleen and their mom.
    While Colleen was at the studio, she also selected the perfect substrate for the memory piece.
The image below is of the wooden horse she chose. In this photo, I had already altered the horse's tail, the original tail was made of rafia grass . . . it is now made of black yarn.

     Colleen liked the idea of a carousel horse, embellished with bling, then she mentioned she really loved zebras, and wondered if I could make this horse a zebra . .  . humm.
      I thought about it for a few days, and realized I am not skilled enough to 'paint' the stripes on the horse, so I started to think about other options.  

     FABRIC!      A fat-quarter of zebra print!
But YIKES!  It was too much!

To tone it down, I used McCall's pattern tissue. As you can see in the image below, the tissue softened the boldness of the fabric.

In an earlier conversation Colleen mentioned a breed of zebra that had gone extinct in the late 1800's called "Quagga". We decided this piece should be titled "Quagga".

 Below is a bit of information on this exquisite creature:

 The quagga is a recently extinct mammal, closely related to horses and zebras. It was a yellowish-brown zebra with stripes only on its head, neck and foreboday. The quagga was native to desert areas of the African continent until it was exterminated in the wild in the 1870s. The last captive quaggas died in Europe in the 1880s.
A quagga was distinguished from other zebras by having the usual vivid marks on the front part of the body only. In the mid-section, the stripes faded and the dark, inter-stripe spaces became wider, and the rear parts were a plain brown.

Below is the finished piece, she is pretty special.
Colleen picked her up last week. She loved her. LOVED her!  I am happy about that.

A wooden horse, covered in fabric and overlaid with sewing pattern tissue. Embellished with bling and other fun objects. The tail is made of yarn, and the base is a teflon iron shoe, a flea market find. By the way, the base is on a swivel, allowing the horse to spin.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Glass of Wine

"A Glass of Wine" ● 

I had a lot of fun with this one.  I came across the quote while looking for quotes having to do with 'wine' or 'wine country'.  This one made me laugh.

Before I finished it I took a few photos of it, and forgot about it.

When I found the final embellishment, I finished it and took it directly to the Sebastopol Gallery for display, forgetting to take final photos of the finished piece . . . thinking I would photograph it the next time I went to the gallery, but I kept forgetting.  When it sold a couple of weeks later, I panicked just a little bit, because I didn't have a finished photo of it. . . . fortunately the buyer was kind enough to leave his email address and I was able to contact him, asking him to please take a couple of photos for me. . . . which he was gracious enough to do . . .  Thank you Carl!

This is an image of the finished piece. . . .

For this piece I used vintage embossed anagram wooden tiles from the 1930's - 40's, apparently a word building game.  These rare tiles are charming and have great character, with just enough wear to make them interesting. Some of the tiles are yellow some are cream colored. 

The tiles are set in a constructed frame that has been covered in tissue papers the color of wine along with wine labels from Sonoma County wineries (Kendall-Jackon and Smith-Madrone). The final embellishment is a pewter wine cork.

Hope it makes you smile!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Snake Eyes

"Snake Eyes"
 (or Dice Snakes)  According to Wikopedia, a dice snake is "a European nonvenomous snake. The colors vary from greyish green to brown or almost black, with dark spots on the back. The belly is sometimes vividly colored in yellow or orange, with black spots, very similar to dice, hence the name."

Several months ago I came across a wonderful image of vintage dice inside a wooden frame on Pinterest.

I tried to find the source, and I got nowhere. . . but the 'image' itself and the background, reminded me of a blog I follow called La Belle Brocante. I emailed blog's author Alwen Rambo, and asked her if she recognized the piece. She replied saying that it was in fact one of her creations, originally posted on her blog St. Patrick’s Day 2012. Here is the link to her original post:á-fhéile-pádraig.html

Anyway, Alwen's creation was the inspiration. Thanks Alwen!

In my version, I attached 2 identical frames to each other, and in between the glass are 165 dice. My idea was to allow the dice to 'sway freely' between the glass. A surprise for me was the way the dice moved within the frames. They remind me of snakes.

The base was built using a 1"x3" piece of wood covered in vintage book text and overlaid with sewing pattern tissue, and a vintage wooden hotel hanger advertising the "Hotel America" in "Houston, Texas" cut in half to create a snug slot to hold the frame.
The piece, by the way, is meant to be picked up and played with.  It is very fun.