Friday, January 27, 2012

Thrifting -pt. 2

I love books... the feel of them in my hands, the paper, the illustrations. I love dictionaries, column upon column of words in perfect order, illustrated in detailed black and white. I especially love hardbound books with covers that give a hint of what is on the inside, or the old marbled covers held in place with book cloth spines.

Usually, thrift, resale, consignment, and antique stores provide plenty of fodder to satisfy my love of books. And that is the biggest reason I enjoy thrifting. Our last trip through Pennsylvania didn't disappoint.

I greatly admire the work of Erin Zamrzla. The way she repurposes "discard" books into a work of art is inspiring. With that in mind... I have plans for these most recent books and their interesting covers.

Then, of course, there are the illustrations that beg to become image transfers. My "new" technical book about music and instruments holds pages of illustrations like this... finely drawn, wonderful collage/transfer  pieces - some of instruments that I have never before seen.

I have plenty of materials for projects. It's now time to stay away from the shelves of books for sale and stay in my workroom. *Note to self - get to work!*

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting wisdom and choosing understanding

It pays to heed good advice. Today was a day for creating Guerrilla Art. Instead of jumping into the effort cold (as I used to do), I did my warm up exercises. Forget the leg stretches and toe touches. This involved paint, paper scraps, pen and ink, glue... well, pretty soon I had just about everything out on the table. I was inspired!

These are my warm up pieces. Nothing to write home about, but it was so-o-o much fun to experiment, to find out what works and what looks ridiculous! Who knows what these things are... I was having a ball!

Even though the warm up flower had a bird-shaped leaf and a very strange stem, I kinda' liked the idea. Guerrilla flower #2 is not perfect... but there are no odd stems and leaves. Practice helps.

At the end, I pulled out the heavy duty cement and added an old domino, vintage buttons, and metal (who knows what that propeller looking thing was in its first life!).

Kudos to Dina Wakley for the warm up tip. It really does make a big difference.

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! Proverbs 16:16

Monday, January 23, 2012


We drove across Pennsylvania last week... most of it anyway. The trip east was intense. Our goal was to reach our destination and transact business. No time to do anything but get there.

The drive west was fun. The entertainment? Thrift shops. Not the big chains (although we did stop at a couple that are "doing the most good"), but the little shops that are sponsored by everything from various small town ministries to dog lovers.

The thing I like about thrift stores is that you never know what lies at the back of a shelf, or the bottom of some box. I feel like a hunter intently searching for... for... I don't know! I just know when I see it, it has to go home with me.

Like this lo-o-o-o-ng box full of old wooden dominoes. Not sure yet know how they will live out life, but just maybe they could add some depth or texture to guerrilla art. (All those dominoes for $2!)

Occasionally, we find tidy little shops where everything is clearly priced and labeled. Though they may not know that this "chip" is a sumi ink stick... I recognized it and it lives here now. The finishing touch in that store was a box of slides - regular and title -  for just $.80! 

In all the stops we made, there is one scene that I will never forget. A twenty-something man, standing behind a counter in an unheated, "unlovely" storefront. He kept rubbing his hands together to generate warmth while he cheerfully told every person that came through the doors about the free bread in his food room. That's ministry. 

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. I John 3:18

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

For life

It seems that resolutions for the New Year have fallen from favor. Innumerable paragraphs explain why resolutions are pointless and doomed for failure, "so why make them?" Instead, the trend is to find a word for the year.

As for me, (opinion alert) I don't have a history of making resolutions, and to tie a year to one word seems confining... like I would only view events wearing those glasses. As a result, New Year's Day changed nothing for me. I just have to remember to write 2012 on my checks.

My moment of enlightenment came in December. It promises to be a moment that will transform not just this year, but the rest of my life.

While pondering the details of the Christmas story, I came across a verse in Jeremiah that was God's word to said prophet regarding the ultimate goal for Israel - "my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord." (31:14)

Winter nest
Now.... I understand that this is from the Old Testament. And I know that I am not a Jew. Technically, this is not written to me... but in reality, I am a child of God, saved by the blood of His Son Jesus, which makes me HIS. The more I thought on this... the more I realized that the concept of being satisfied with His goodness - whatever is provided by His hand - is the only way for me to live.

I have taken the last phrase of the verse - "be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord." - and made it my constant companion. 

Disappointed? Frustrated? Happy? Angry? Sorrowful? Quiet?

Be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 31:14

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas accomplished

It was wonderful. The company was sweet. The weather was perfect. There was enough food to feed both men and teens - and still have some leftovers. whew!

The only bad thing? My pictures. No show and tell for our Christmas. Just the memories of the day. Deep down I'm hoping there were other cameras catching what I missed.

So now it's back to normal. I'm starting the year off right. Tomorrow is haircut day. Yay! My purse is packed with Guerrilla art, fresh from the workroom today. (Editing note - because Blogger was uncooperative last night, I'm actually posting yesterday's writing a day later.)

I'm trying some new backgrounds - ink-spritzed book pages, torn and layered. A few feathered friends added for good measure.

 I even incorporated some pieces of the weathered paper for some texture.

So, because yesterday's tomorrow is already today, these pieces are in their hiding places. I wonder where their new homes will be. It is exciting to be a part of the delivery system for such powerful words.

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In the meantime...

The last time I was here, gifts were piling up around the tree in anticipation of grand kids (and their parents) bursting through the door.

It is now almost 2 weeks later and the gifts are still piled around the tree. The Christmas chili went into the freezer, as did the pounds of beef prepared for the just-before-going-home meal.

Michigan... if you don't like the weather, wait a minute. That's what we had to do... wait a minute.

We're on hold till Saturday. So far, no predictions of howling winds, blowing, drifting snow or wind chills in the single digits. In fact, it's supposed to be sunny, around 40 degrees.

For the rest of the world, life goes on... they have returned Christmas to its red and green storage bins, celebrated the New Year and started all the new things that come with a new year. Things like online classes...

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a "Creative Jump Start Summit" never dreaming I would be in this holding pattern. Each day in January promised a new artist, giving a tip designed to jump start creative juices. Two days in, (you must read this out loud, very loud)  I'm so glad that I signed up!

Today, I warmed up with background papers. Spray various inks on my non-stick sheet and pull old book pages (she used tags) through the inky droplets - over and over.

color filled papers ready for collage

By the time I had a pile of colorful paper drying in front of me, I was warmed up and ready to try another idea I saw here ... at least my version of it.  Once I got started it was very hard to stop. This is addictive!

 Shall I use this one right side up?

Or upside down? 

And... what shall I put on this lovely background? Oooo, the possibilities. I feel some interesting Guerrilla Art coming on. It's a good thing the chili is already cooked.

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it. Psalm 90:17