Sunday, May 29, 2011

Melange Swap: LizAnna's Stash

Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in the materials swap organized by Etsy Melange member Pat Whyte. You cannot imagine the fun you have in opening up the packet and rummage through all the goodies that other artists had chosen to share with you. What the artists share with you give you a window into what they collect, what interests them and what they seek for inspiration.

My fellow melanger LizAnna is a quintessential nature girl who can take anything from nature and turn it into art. Her package to me came loaded with handmade papers made out of natural materials, pressed flowers and many many more mouth-watering goodies. Yesterday when I my husband left an empty matchbox on my craft table, I knew exactly what to do with it. LizAnna's flowers, tiny branches and a vintage paper came together on top of the matchbox which now holds my watercolor blank tags.

Visit LizAnna's blog and enjoy many of her tutorials on candle making, paper making and more.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Challenge #23: String Theory

This week's challenge at I am the Diva is titled String Theory. The challenge is to create a tile from a string created by Laura. That is, everybody is working off the same string. I created mine on the plane flying from Toronto to Newark. If you look closely, you will be able to spot the string. I am pleased with my effort.

Thanks for visiting.

I Love Geography

I am not usually inclined to use French themed objects in my work. But I love geography. As a child, I took great pride in being able to identify the states and the countries on the map and knowing the names of all the capital cities. So, when I saw this fabulous vintage Paris map on the Graphics Fairy, I had to use it and what better surface than that of a box? Of course, Paris and Eiffel Tower (Graphics Fairy) go hand in hand. Just by looking at it I am transported to Paris of the old. It is shabby chic at its most elegant.

Available at my Etsy shop.

Thanks for visiting

P.S. I created this box almost two weeks ago. I just found out that the person who provided the Eiffel tower image to Graphics Fairy passed away recently. Your generosity lives in multiple forms. Thanks.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

No Sew No Glue Sari Journal

It was my favorite sari. Handwoven from the finest softest silk cotton, it was one of the best specimens of the Oriya hand loom weaving style. I brought it with me to the US thirty years ago. When the number of suitcases I could bring with me was limited to two, I gave away several of my saris to my sister, but not this one. But quickly it became obvious that the very same qualities that made it so lovely in India made it an impractical garment in the US. It slowly sank to the bottom of the pile and languished there for thirty years. I could not bear to throw it away. Then one day,  as I was making my rice bag journals it came to me that I could make cloth journals out of it. I cut the six yards into three parts, washed and starched each one individually. I tore them into roughly equal sized pieces and using the slot and tab technique created the journal you see above . I used the pieces as they were which led to some interesting variations among the pages. The top page above , for example, comes from the end piece of the sari and has fringes while the two below come from the border and the body sections.

I was very pleased with the way it come out. I decorated, wrote on it, painted---oh, the possibilities were endless. On one of the pages I wrote a little message "Bloom where you are planted" which is what this old sari  and I have done.

Last summer, I submitted this journal for publication. It can now be found in the Winter 2014 edition of Cloth Paper Scissors Pages issue. This sari has reinvented and replaced itself in such creative ways. I wonder where and what it will be next, I wonder.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Natural and Healing Jewelry

In my natural line of jewelry, the materials I use are not only naturally occurring but also have beneficial properties. From times immemorial, humans have looked to nature for physical and spiritual sustenance. Plants, minerals, stones, bones, shells were seen as possessing qualities to nurture and protect the mind, body and spirit. Humans have not always treated their generous protectors well-- that is a different story for a different time. But, nature in her infinite generosity has not stopped giving.

Shells and pearls and in fact, all waterborne gemstones enhance the sense of self, heighten intuition, promote calmness and inner peace. They are  connected to the heart chakra and thus promote heart health, are said to help with digestion and, because of their calcium content also strengthen the bones. In cultures that have been traditionally dependent on the sea for livelihood, pearls and shells are worn for good luck, good health and prosperity.

A shimmering paua shell pendant in iridescent green and blue paired with an iridescent black lip flower pendant is the focal point of the necklace pictured above. The chain part of the necklace is made of sea green and white mother of pearl beads, white and dark silver coin pearls and green swarovski crystals.The large pendant measures 55 mm ( little more than 2") and the smaller one is 33mm in diameter. The necklace is finished with a toggle clasp.

It is available in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Weekly Challenge #20: Royal Wedding

The theme for this week's challenge at I am the Diva CZT is Royal Wedding. A theme ripe for either romantic ooh and aahing or parody. Not being a monarchist, I opted for parody and the hat parade at the wedding was too tempting a target. Originally I was going to borrow from the actual hats worn by the guests but then I happen to notice the cover of one of the chemistry trade journals that my husband subscribes to--the chemical structure of an enzyme. Perfect! The model for the hat is Earl Spencer's girlfriend who wore a hat with such a wide brim that her face was virtually invisible. I gave her a braid with an actual zentangle pattern and it was done! I am rather pleased with the results.

P.S. I did not watch the wedding but did look at the slide shows in the New York Times. The actual structure is much more complex than what I have drawn.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Work in Progress: One Sign at a Time

This is the first in the series called Zodiac Art that combines my longstanding interest in astrology and my love for mixed media art. I started with my own sign Pisces and have eleven more to go. I first painted a piece of cotton cloth and then printed the text relating to the sign on it. The text describes and delineates the sign in relation to other signs occupying various houses. The zodiac sign medallion was hand painted on a piece of silk and mounted on a rigid interfacing. I also created a companion card that delineates the placement of the ascendant lord in different houses.

It took a while to get the first piece going. What's taking up time is the researching and composing of the text materials relating to the sign. These pieces will be available in my Etsy shop soon.