Friday, March 31, 2006

The last ATCs for March...

This wraps up the theme for this month. I am anxious to see what is next for this ATC-a-long. Each month the theme never ceases to amaze...there are so many fabulous posts from my fellow craftsters. Check them out on this thread on

The two I made for this week are inspired by the idea "take off expectations." The first one I used an image I found on the web pasted onto a background I drew with Prismacolor markers.

The second one is another one in little lass appears again. The quote beneath her is "Let me listen to me and not them" by Gertrude Stein.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Knit One

So this week I started a community knitting class at school. It is one of the community-building activities they started last semester.

On Monday I learned how to cast-on and the basic knit stitch. After many "do-overs: from dropped stiches and that sort of thing I finally am getting some where! I am sure there are little boo-boos here and there, but no major holes!


Friday, March 24, 2006

A Sense of Self

So this is me...ok actually it is a self portrait I painted in me painting class last semester. It is the first self portrait I have done in years! It was one of the last paintings I worked on in class so it was a nice culmination of the experience of painting again. I had only dabbled in the past, but it certainly reminded my why I enjoyed it so much.

I brought it home recently and Daron feels like the eyes watch him where ever he stands in front of it. He is not so artsy so I take that as a huge compliment! Of course living with it for a little while and seeing it everyday makes me notice the little details that I would tweak or change.

No fixing...just changes. Fixing implies an error. There are no mistakes in art, only changes in direction. I love that quote! We had a guest lecturer in class last night since our prof is at the NAEA conference in Chicago this week. The guest is a high school AP art teacher in one of the nicer schools in the Westchester area of NY state. She had some fabulous examples of her student's art work and lesson ideas. It actually made me reconsider my phobia of teaching art at the high school level.

There are no mistakes in art, only changes in direction. What a fabulous thought!

She also shared her process journals which are basically sketchbooks filled with experiementation and exploration. I took a class last semester called Processes and Structures and that was the sum of the class...exploration and experimentation with materials combined with thinking about how this might relate to our lessons we teach. I am going to give this a try as was too good of a notion to pass up! It reminded me a lot of a book I have been thumbing through called Painting from the Source.

Wow...that was a huge tangent. I really need to work on my paper for Artistic Development of Adolescents. No more procrastinating today...ok, well, I'll eat some lunch first and then work on my paper!

Ooo la la!

This week I pushed all sorts of limits with one of my ATC's! It is a little racy, a little taboo and certainly not something I would ordinarily make. But first I will show you one I would normally make! If you find female nudity disturbing, inappropriate or distasteful you probably shouldn't read on...otherwise consider yourself warned!!!

I played with a sketch and watercolor for this one...oh yeah no nudity in this ATC. I had the phrase "With the sale of this painting her career really started to take off." Perhaps it is my wishful thinking! I have been creating a lot more art lately and thought of selling some of it. I am not sure I could or how I would go about it...but a girl can always dream! The ironic part is I have never really had any desire to sell my work. I have no idea where these thoughts and feelings are coming from. I have had a number of atypical thoughts (for me) lately...perplexing.

Anyway, I is the first ATC:

And now for the naughty one! This one was inspired by a few fun vintage pin-up girl pictures I have seen recently. Not very feminist of me I know...on the other hand it could be a political charged statement about the objectification of women. Yeah...that's it! That and it was fun! Actually I do have to add that this pin-up was created by Pearl Frush- perhaps one of the few women who created these images. There...a nod to Women's History Month. I knew there was something deeper in it for me!

To create this card I actually used layers of transparency film over top of the actual card Which was a combo of watercolor and a photoshopped pin-up girl. I actually took off clothing in order to add it back with my layers...go figure! Here are the individual views of the layers...I call this ATC "Don't be shy."

All layers in place...

One layer in place...
(her bikini is actually didn't scan well)

And layers on!!!

Oh yeah...this is the source for this pin-up girl if you want to see what she looked like "before" or are looking for images like this.

So that is what I have for this Friday! These ATCs were fun. I am certainly playing with my rules and ideas with in the boundaries of this month's challenge. This is perplexing and thought provoking for me. I think I need to go ponder it further...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Swapping Goodness...

Originally uploaded by jesssf.
I received a package from my Swap partner in the "Accessorize Me" swap on Craftster. Lally sent me all sort of great things like a tote, two clutches, two belts and a beaded ring. You can see the details here. I can't wait to wear/carry these!

Unfortunately I neglected to take very good pics of what I sent to LuckyLally...oh well! She did post some pretty good pics though on the forum. Oh well! This was my first swap and I will do better next time.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Hidden Treasure...

Yesterday I was looking for a quote and I pulled a book off the shelf that I hadn't looked at in a very long time. It was The Quotable Women (a fun book) and out fell a few mini-postcards my best friend gave me our senior year of college and this print that a friend from the art department had given me. I had almost forgotten about the print and the friend.

I had gotten to know this girl in my printmaking studio my junior year. She was a year or two older than I, married (which was a foreign concept at the time), and nice to be around. I can't say that we got to know each other really well...but I always thought we could have. We chatted about printmaking, she challenged my ideas and we had fun...not wild, crazy, partying fun. Just good conversation fun. The only other person that I can easily say I had this sort of relationship with is my very bestest friend from kindergarten, Makaylia.

So why is she a nearly forgotten friend? Well, sadly she is a faded memory. I can't even remember her name! I think it was Kate, but I am not 100% sure. I am pretty sure that her last name is Whitemere...only because she signed the back of the print. But even then it is a little hard to read. So how did we fall out of touch? I went to Manchester, England the next semester through our study abroad program. Kate (that is what I'll call her from now on) moved with her husband. I think I sent her a postcard from England...but I am sure I never heard back from her. Who knows if she even got it!

It makes me sad to have lost a potential friend...but things happen that are beyond our control. I do however have this little print (its 3 1/2" x 4") and another teeny tiny one somewhere (I need to find that one too!) that will remind me. Now I need to get it framed properly!!!

So here are the details of this rediscovered is a watercolor monoprint which (if I remember correctly) is part of a larger print that was done. Kate liked to do large monoprints and find the best parts compositionally and tear it apart. It is signed on the back and titled "under Glass."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Crazy Amaryllis...

I almost forgot to post this! My crazy plant is finally blossoming!

My Mom gave me this amaryllis for Christmas about 5 years ago. I knew it was an odd plant beacuse what I actually recevied was the bulb kit...something you might find at a store and when I got the box home and opened it my crazy plant was already growing! Mind you it was in a box, gift wrapped and under the Christmas tree. And who knows how long it had been in the box.

Anywhoo...this bulb had already started growing and was nearly white and curled up inside the box. Crazy I tell you! I finally got it in the soil, near light and it bloomed! I was so excited. Unfortunately that was the last time I saw flowers...until now...five whole years later.

Believe me, I followed the instructions, kept it dormant off and on for a few years. I finally gave up on it ever blooming again so I just let it grow. When the leaves got too tall (about 3 foot high or so) I would cut them off and start again. This has lasted for about three years. Recently I noticed it did not grow back quite as fast. And then when it did grow back...low and behold there was a bud. Holy cow! So now the flowers are starting to open and it looks like I will have three giant crimson trumpets. Only two are open now, but the third is on its way.

All I can say is...I am stunned. I am not sure why it is flowering now, but hey, it is lovely! I'll try the directions again. Hopefully I won't have to wait another five years for this crazy amaryllis to bloom.

Really Digging ATCs

I have been a little swamped with school work lately, but I have a minute so I will post my ATC's created for the weekly posting on Craftster. I am still working on the theme of "take off" for March.

These are the two I created for last week (not my favorites but oh well)...They are titled "take off your coat and stay a while" and "the last five."

Here are the ones I created for this week. I really like these. They are "take off from reality" and "can't take my eyes off you."

I had fun working with my watercolors. In the process I discovered that the color pencils I use can act as a resist to the watercolors...very cool!

I am also in the process of working on a large collage self-portrait. I do not want to say too much becuase I plan on explaining it all done and I post it. It is pretty crazy though!!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Last year was my 30th birthday. Unlike many people, I was super excited about turning 30. Everyone who has walked their path had life changing experiences and really "came in to their own" after this mystical birthday had passes. My Mom deeply believes that after you pass through a decade your personal slate is wiped clean and you may re-create yourself anew. A decade old phoenix if you will.

As part of my hopeful expoloration entering my thirtieth year of existance I created thrity lists of thirty things. The first list outlined the 29 other lists I would write but each had its own purpose and reason for being...just like me!

Well, a year has passed and I wanted to re-visit my lists and see what I had done and what I still needed to look into doing. I will post all of my lists on my other blog here

To get started here is my list of lists...list #1...a preview of the other lists!

My List of 30 Lists

1. A list of lists
2. Long Term Goals
3. Short Term Goals
4. Books to Read
5. Movies to See
6. Places to Visit in NYC
7. Things to Learn
8. Ways to Improve Body/Health
9. Ways to Improve Emotionally
10. Things I Would Like to Do
11. Museums to Visit
12. People to Connect With
13. Places to Visit in USA
14. Places to Visit on Earth
15. My Personality Traits
16. Things I Have Accomplished
17. Things to be Grateful for
18. Things I love about Daron (my hubby)
19. Things I dislike about myself (and want to change/accept)
20. Ways to Appreciate Myself
21. People to thank
22. Ways to Improve Work
23. Things I like about Candor (where I grew up)
24. Things I like about NYC (where I live now)
25. Lessons learned from my Parents
26. Favorite Things
27. Ways to Express Creativity
28. Ideas for Artwork
29. Favorite Moments in my Personal History
30. Ways to Celebrate Me!

More ATC's

I have been able to keep up with the weekly ATC challenges so far. Now that it is March we have a new theme...Take Off!!!

Here are the first two I created. I was instantly inspired by things that take off and I wanted to do something that related to children's imagination. I have another idea that I will try to do for next week that might convey my idea in a different way.

I also wanted to use my Prismacolor pencils. I have not used them in quite some time and I forgot what great color I can get from them. Of course the scans do not quite do these cards justice, but you get a good idea...