Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

But we'll see if the googly eyes really make it through the mail or not.  But if they DO, then they are going on EVERYTHING from now on!!

Imagine the phone company, or hydro employees.  I like to keep the world entertained, you know.  Especially the ones with jobs like opening envelopes.  If they have to deal with the mail, then they are part of my tribe. 


Monday, February 2, 2015

Opa, it's February!

I doubt my dad has ever seen the episode of the Simpsons where Homer hums this little ditty, but he's heard the rest of us say it often enough that it's stuck, and now it's kind of one of his things. 

This is the second month of his Christmas present calendar.  He is a pretty content man, and rarely wants or asks for anything for his birthday or Christmas, so it's hard to think of good gifts for him.  I got input from some of my siblings on his most popular phrases, and then we went with the ones that didn't have cuss words in them.  HA!

You can see January here.

As you were.

Love Shelley!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hi ho, it's your favourite art dork here.

No, seriously.

I got the itch today to make something, so I figured I'd make an envelope from scratch for a letter that was ready to send.  I started with two blank time sheets, then collaged, glued, painted, doodled, sewed, all that good stuff.  It went really smoothly - the muse was definitely IN.

Then: this is supposed to be an envelope.  How shall I join the two together so that I can stuff a letter in it and ship it off into the great unknown?

Idea: use the office laminator!!  In fact (genius lightbulb moment) I should just layer it all together.  Back of envelope, letter, front of envelope!  Run the whole thing through the laminator!  Then once it reaches its destination, its new owner has merely to snip off the top, as if it was a bag of delicious animal crackers, and the enclosed letter will be accessible and easy to read!  GAWD I'M SO SMART SOMETIMES I EVEN AMAZE MYSELF.

To the office!  Set up the laminator!  Turn it on!  Layer carefully - make sure the back of the envelope is in fact facing out!  Okay, now run it thr- uh oh.  What's that grinding noise?  Ohboy.  I don't think this laminator can handle that stack of pages.  SHIT!  PULL IT OUT PULL IT OUT!  Phew.  Okay, I don't think I wrecked anything.  *looks guiltily around to make sure nobody saw me* *remembers I am alone*

New idea: Laminate the front and back together.  Then I'LL clip the top open like a bag of delicious animal crackers.  I'll put the letter in, tape it closed, and voila.  HOLY SHIT I'M THE BIGGEST GENIUS I SHOULD TOTALLY GET A RAISE.

Back into the laminator!  La la laaaaa!  *so proud*  OMG why is it grinding again?!  CRAP!  Ah, for the love ... okay.  Back to the drawing board.  I willllllll........... ok.  OK!  I will laminate the front, and I will laminate the back, and then I will find a completely different way to put them together into the form of an envelope.  *deep breath*  *slides single layers of arted-up time sheets through* Motherf--- WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?  Why is the carrier sheet coming out the back but NOT  MY ENVELOPE?!  

*takes laminator apart* *says more bad words* *finds that first sheet kept rolling inside and is stuck and all curly* *unsticks and uncurls it* *reassembles laminator* *looks around again to be sure nobody is witnessing this jackassery* *still alone, thank God* *turns it on and runs the rest of it through*

Ah.  Better.  I suppose I should have followed the directions on top of the laminator (THAT ARE IN PICTOGRAMS SO THAT EVEN A DUMBASS LIKE ME CAN FOLLOW THEM) that show that you put your material INSIDE the carrier sheet.  Not on top of it.  Jeez.  

Anyway, too late for directions now.  Run it through one more time, fingers crossed that it will uncurl and be relatively straight so I can still use it.  Otherwise: all that work for nothing, and then I'll just have to start day drinking way earlier than planned.

SUCCESS!!!  OMG I'm exhausted.  But I got my two sheets laminated.

  1. Take pictures before it's shiny.  
  2. Braille Dymo tape does not fare well when going through a hot laminator.  
  3. I probably require adult supervision.

You've been very patient.  Here you go:

Love Shelley!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I just can't help myself.

Hello, my lovelies!

I have a confession to make: I've been sending mail again.   I was at the library the other day and of course they're always selling off old books to make way for new shiny ones.  I found a couple of kids' books that had great illustrations, and snatched them up to use for envelopes.  "SACRILEGE!  WHO TEARS BOOKS APART?!" you howl in righteous outrage.  Well, me.  I do.  See, these are kids' books.  They have been dragged around, scratched up, drooled on, torn, doodled on with crayons and pudding fingers, and basically treated like... I guess like any other possession a kid has.  So they weren't exactly in mint condition anyway.  I just tell myself I'm giving them a new life... a final hurrah, I guess.  Anyway, the envelopes are adorable. 

The piglet above is going to a customer.  The cross-eyed alligator below is going to a young friend who's been waiting too long for a letter from me.  I tried to make it as enticing as possible, including adding a wax seal on the back.  After all... I do want her to write back!  

 I hope you're all making and getting fun mail.  Trust me, it can really make your day to find something joyful in the mailbox!  Go. GO!!!  Make something.  Then mail it to someone who's not expecting it.  I guarantee good results.  And I don't guarantee much, so that's saying something.  (Go.)

Love, Shelley!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Merry Pretty Late Christmas, Opa!

Happy new year, all six of you!  : )

Okay, I spent the last couple of months tying up some loose ends, and now I'm ready to focus again.  Honestly, I haven't been making anything too artsy-fartsy, to my eternal regret.  Now I'm a little rusty, but still as eager as ever to create.  

The very first thing I did was over-commit.  Don't look so surprised, you know I do this every single time. 

I decided that for Christmas, I would make my dad a calendar full of hand-lettered quotes of all the things he's known for saying.  Of course, I didn't make the Christmas deadline, but I'm on it now.  I have six or seven drafts, and here's some work-in-progress shots of the first one.

I lettered it myself, so if you're a typography wizard and you see kerning outrages or issues with my descenders, don't bother pointing the finger at anybody else.  It's all me.

When I finished the lettering, the brown and black just seemed to hang there.  Boring.  Alone.  Unloved.  So I added some warm colours to make the whole thing seem a little happier.

It's hanging up in my parents' kitchen; now I just have to get hustling and finish the other 11 months.  (gulp).

Guess I know what I'm doing for the next little while.

Love, Shelley!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Makin' loooooove, outta nothin' at all!

Hmm.  Maybe that isn't the EXACT song quote I was looking for, but it's what came to mind.  I made this tiny little mini-zine (8 pages, but it's made from one piece of 8.5x11 paper) from just the scraps on my desk.  It's not long on quality content, but it does go to show that you can do something fun with the bits and pieces left over from other projects, or that you just can't stand to throw away.

See?  Hoarder tendency: justified.

The front

How I plan to take over the world (you'll just have to buy the zine to find out)

The back

Friday, November 7, 2014

Very Pinteresting!

So you know when I'm quiet for a while, I'm clearly up to no good, right?  Well, I accepted a project that has been a ton of fun, and I've been working away at it like a good little elf.  (I'll report on the no-good stuff in a different post.  Heh.)

My sister-in-law found this idea on Pinterest, and asked if I could paint some stair risers for her basement like the ones she was admiring online.  I love painting and I love books, so I jumped on board without a second thought.  This life strategy usually makes me gnash my teeth with deep regret at my impulsiveness, and I don't really recommend it.  Luckily, this time it's been a really fun project all the way through and I don't even hate anybody yet.  She used leftover interior paint to base coat the planks, which is a great idea because now they'll match her house, regardless of what lettering I add to them.

Here's a pic of the whole set, with just the base coat of the lettering done.

And here's a closer shot of three that have the lettering detail done.

I have a couple more risers to detail, then they all need the shading/highlighting that will make them look more rounded, and not like flat pieces of plywood glued to the front of each step.  They might not be photo-realistic when I'm done, but I do hope the illusion will hold up if a viewer squints and has a kind heart.

More to follow...

Love Shelley!