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

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!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Self-Mailers... they do everything but walk to the mailbox themselves

Okay, they totally don't.  BUT!  They are still pretty cool.  Remember passing notes in high school?  Sometimes you folded them in half, then in half the other way, then in half once more; but other times they were folded in such a way that they stayed together and made a nice stiff little packet that was easy to pass back and forth.

These are like those!  (The second "those," not the first "those".  The first "those" are boring.)

The deal was to figure out a way to fold your letter so it could go through the mail system safely, without going into an envelope.  This fold isn't one that I used in high school but it's actually pretty cool.  When you're done, you end up with a little corner pocket that folds over the top right corner, and loosely keeps it together.  I made sure to cover the edge with a stamp so it holds together until it reaches its new home.  I know the "start here" is pretty tiny - I hope these lovely ladies see that before they just rip n tear into the envelope and destroy it.  I kind of gave myself a mental picture there.  Ha!

Nothing really fancy for the back, just some more decoration and a declaration of what this colourful, extremely light "envelope" is all about.

 All doodled up in pencil crayon and ready to roll  Like me.  Gotta jet.  Bye!

Love Shelley!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oh, right... the round robin

I guess you want to see MY book too, right?

I started with a small Field Notes memo book, and collaged used postage on the cover.  I wanted it to be really light to mail so it wouldn't cost everyone too much.  In a swap like this, you want to make it as easy as possible for people, so your book doesn't get held up.

It's traditional to put your contact info inside the cover in case it should get lost; and the sign-in page is optional but most people do it.  Otherwise you end up with really cool pages that are signed with an inscrutable mark and later you have no idea who worked in it or when.  And then how do you go about stalking your favourite artists?!  So clearly we need a sign-in page.

Also traditional: do the first spread yourself.  It sets the tone, plus lets the other participants know that you're willing to do some work, that you're not just sending out an empty book to scam art from other people.  (It happens.)

I don't imagine I'll see this book again until around Christmas.  I'm fine with that - it will be a nice juicy surprise when I do receive it!

Okay, now go step away from the computer.  You should get some fresh air.  I'm going to go see what the chickens are up to.

Love Shelley!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I know it's shark week, but...

I like the octopus a lot better than boring old grey sharks.  Lookit the COLOURS!

This is for a round robin journal swap I'm in - everyone does one 2-page spread and then sends it along in a timely fashion, and eventually you get your own journal back, full of all the other participants' glorious artwork.  It's fun to see what books people choose (this one was actually hand-made) and what kind of paper you get to work on.  This one was a very light kraft paper so I knew I wouldn't be able to use any wet media.  I ended up going with Verithin pencil crayons and finished it up with a black china marker.  Unfortunately the china marker sort of took it from "fine art" to "colouring book" but luckily for me, I like it.

Hope you're rockin' your day,

Love Shelley!