Sunday, July 28, 2013

So I cleaned up my desk...

... and I found a couple of things I'd forgotten about!  

These are just a couple of postcards I made when I was hacking around. The first one is more doodling than anything.

This second one is a little more focused, but it's still on a piece of old file folder cardboard.  It's so weird that I can't resist buying fancy art supplies, but then every little piece of trash I come across has incredible potential, and I end up using that stuff first.  Junk mail, cereal boxes, packaging, magazine images and words, (and numbers... I use a lot of numbers when I'm writing letters and marking the pages), stuff out of the newspaper, flyers; basically anything is fair game as long as it doesn't have food on it.  Dirt's okay, I've used lots of stuff I've found in parking lots and at bus stops.  But no food.  I don't want feral coyotes attacking the mailbox when I go dump my daily pile of envelopes in the outgoing.  The new mail-lady would be upset too, and I kinda need to get her on board with my mail habits, so yeah... gotta watch what I use.  Also I think all coyotes are feral so I probably didn't need to qualify that, but it sounded more descriptive, and that's how I roll.

Because of these magpie-type habits, I've realized that I don't need to keep buying actual art supplies.  In fact, I'm putting a moratorium on any more art spending for 2013.  I have more than enough STUFF and even books, and I'm going to use what I have for the rest of the year.  This is a scary resolution to make, especially for books... I freely admit I have a... problem... with books.  In fact, I keep expecting to come home and see this hanging up:

I'll still keep a running wish list though - because I'm only human, and I know I'll still WANT more.  But let's see what I can do with what I have on hand and what I come across in my daily travels.  I bet it's a LOT.  Between finishing up things I've started, and following through on ideas that have been brewing, I have a lot to get to.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, I know I will.

Love Shelley!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The mail is alive and well

This isn't super-fresh, because etiquette dictates that you make sure the recipient gets the mail before you go splashing it all over the internet for everyone else to see.  Plus it would be a spoiler if you saw your mail online before it showed up in your mailbox, right?

I just grabbed a plain white envelope and started playing.  First I collaged on some bits and pieces that looked interesting, then I think I put a coat of gesso over some of it to mute it a little.  Then the rest was pretty much all done with Inktense pencils.  They behave just like watercolour pencils when you're using them, but when they dry, the colour is permanent, hence the reference to ink in the name.  You can even go back and add new marks over top and if it's dry, the stuff underneath won't move.  The permanence is nice because you never know what's going to happen to that envelope between here and there.  If it gets soggy I don't want the address to slide right off the front, the mail people have enough challenges.

To make the lettering stand out, I gave it a white highlight with a Sharpie paint pen, and then I used a T5 toner grey copic marker to shade the grey underside of each letter.  

Then of course, stickers.  I'm all super fancy up in here!  Oh, but since stickers are considered cheating, (whatever), we'll just call it additional collage.  If you send me a letter and it has stickers on it, I promise not to judge.  Ha!  

I know it says "SECRET" but there wasn't much in there that was very incriminating.  (Or maybe there was.  I'm not telling.)

Hey, you should go send a letter.  Then you might get a letter back, and that could really make your day.  It always works for me.

Love Shelley!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dear Loren:

Okay, let's see.... this isn't the only thing I've been up to, but it's the most recent:

I'm all caught up on The Walking Dead now, and this is from the second-last episode.  It's Me'Shonne, and if she looks grim, she should: Merle is about to hand her over to the Governor, who is PISSED at her.  She poked him in the eye and now he wants to get even.  

Anyway, I was going for a certain effect with the watercolour, but it wasn't as easy as it was when I rehearsed it in my mind.  Turns out you can't just look at someone else's work, decide you want to emulate their technique and then have it turn out as nicely as theirs.  Especially when they're a professional illustrator and you're hacking around with a waterbrush in the garage.  

Okay, what else...

Oh, I organized the pantry!

I can't show you the "before" pictures - they're too shameful.  Not only was it a messy, jammed-together wreck of open packages, expired products and mysterious bags of strange food; but a bag of potatoes had gone bad in the back.  To the point where they leaked on the shelf and ruined the particleboard, plus smelled like Satan's armpit.  Sooooo, I had to replace a shelf, (housekeeper of the year over here) and put everything in proper containers and threatened the rest of the family with bodily harm if they messed up my work.  It took about 8 hours to get it from what it was, to this.  Two Hefty garbage bags to the dump, a trip to Rona and Home Outfitters for plastic bins and organizers, and a ruthless purging state of mind.  

We are also keeping bees now:

Ants attacked our hives so we put them up on tables in cans of used motor oil.  Not really environmentally friendly, but it did the trick; the ants got the message and scrammed.  Today we're extracting our wildflower honey; then in the fall we'll have canola and/or sunflower honey.  YUM.  

And now I'm going to go make something, so I have more to report next time.  Stay tuned.