Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Almost Christmas Eve!

In about an hour, Christmas Eve will begin. It is truly my favorite day of the year! As a December 30th baby, I feel right at home in the short, dark days. Christmas Eve is the time when all the frenzy should be gone. Quiet has always been a hallmark of at least the evening in our home. Traditionally, it was a time to read Christmas stories to the children when they were small and to wear the new nightgowns (Lanz of Salzburg flannel for me and the girls!) and slippers and to nibble on something delicious and cozy. Candles burned in abundance, the woodstove crackled with locust and oak logs warming our night. Of course Christmas Ev's serenity turned into the 3 ring circus of Christmas morning, but, it still stays with me as about as still as the world (my world) gets, and I cherish each and every one.

This deer light sculpture has been around for a decade or so and each season we say, "Time to replace the deer." Not this year. altho Ella, the year old Newfoundland thinks she's in love with the handsome stranger, so we think that will shorten its' life somewhat! She brings stuffed animals in her mouth to the deer to try to get it to play, to no avail...then gives it a little shove (Ella weighs about 125 lbs!) but gets very little response. We've screwed the deer's feet down to the deck to keep these love taps from sending the deer down the mountain...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Days, two kinds

Patty, on her blog tonight, added a 'snowflake' feature, so I decided to keep it all going. I am finishing up a 'shrine' assemblage for my husband for his gift, and, while the glue for yet another phase is drying, I discovered this marvelous interactive, tutorial and holiday-appropriate bit of artsy mind-candy at the Magpie's Nest. Try it, take note of the number of the snowflakes you want to try, click on them and have a wintry blast! These long, cozy and dark nights have a charm all their own and I, for one, cherish them. We had an ice event here on Bessiebelle Mountain last night, we'll drop into the teens tonight and then...who knows. No snow as yet, but I am anticipating the season with a couple of snow shots from last winter. Happy snowflaking and Happy Holidays! (more on the 'shrine' later, when the glue dries and I put some final touches on it)

Need a Snow Day?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's Those Ornaments Again

Last Christmas (or was it the Christmas before that?), I was fascinated by small "collage sandwiches"...two pieces or glass: either microscope slides or a couple of the sizes offered by Ranger and Tim Holtz...with small vignettes that we now call 'inchies, twinchies and moo's'...or a rough approximation...the 'sandwich filling' told a story, a theme or a moment in time &/or imagination. These later grew into the Laura B that I posted below, and a series of other 'sandwich people'.
This year, spurred on by Sue Shotwell, I began a new appreciation for the silhouette. I have begun to see the woods around me, full of winter tree branch and bird silhouettes, as rich food for my artistic soul. The devil is in the details, as they say: I found it was a little more difficult than I had anticipated, in that tiny silhouettes are not all that easy to find for this application. I had no difficulty with the Christmas sheet music background, as old discarded hymnals abound in thrift stores. I looked at diecut images from a few of the cartridges available on the market, rubber stamps in silhouette, and, finally, hand punches. That still gave me only a limited number of options, so it was a choice whether to go with what I had, or spend studio time tracking down these pesky sized images...laziness and high fuel cost (and the cold!) made me use what I had on hand. (I have roughly a year until I need them again next Christmas!...Plenty of time in January and February for cyber wandering and searching!).
These, then, are two different types...one, retro with a hand punched pine tree: I embossed the rubber stamp, then, as I was melting the pseudo-soldered sides, managed to remelt the embossing powder...now on the inside of the sandwich. The other, with handmade fusion paper (by me!) and another tree from a hand punch. I finished it all off with a blurry and full of light reflections series of photographs...arrrrgggghhhh....
So, with full apologies for technique, etc, here goes...at least I am sticking to my resolution to continue to blog!!! (Patty, I ache for your proficiency on so many levels!!!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nature's Art

Orchids represent the exotic. They even act in an exotic manner. I can't tell you how often an orchid blossom, being screened by a larger plant, will suddenly and unexpectedly have a fantastic bloom appear, quite nonchalantly. Our orchids are not babied. They live in a nice room where the hot tub and the washer and dryer also live, but it was made out of recycled sliding glass dorrs, window panels...well, you get the picture. I had never even seen orchid plants grow, but some friends from the city had orchid baskets or 5 or 6 orchids arrive in beautiful bloom, directly from the florist, but...when the blossoms were gone, out! went the orchids. I instantly formed the "Orchid Rescue Society" and would add each season's worth of post-decorative orchids to our growing family. We lost quite a few by not having sufficient humidity, by having a too-large heater, by...well, if there were mistakes to be made, we made them! One summer a few years ago, we began the twice yearly task of 'take the orchids outside for the summer, bring them back in for the winter. Now THAT really turned things around! Our orchids, with the addition of a humidifying device (like you walk through in the Southwest for cooling off), not using the 'dragon's breath' too hot and dry heater, and going outdoors for the summer months, have become thriving and oh! so beautiful. This is the time of the year when there is a crescendo of blooms. From time to time, I'll post more, but here are a few...enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Peace on the Mountain

It is true! The last "Christmas for Retail" package was sent out for the holidays and I am without the pressure (self-imposed) of having a Thanksgiving deadline looming. My box today went to Kim Robertson at Pea Island Art Gallery. I was soooo hoping she'd say, "Dude, I gotta have this stuff ASAP....drive it down today!"...well, that's the difference between reality and imagination. (sigh) It would have been nice to see Kim, her beautiful gallery (soundside on Hatteras Island...it looks like a historic building, and is one of the most wonderful galleries I've been in. All kinds of art, crafts, jewelry, fine art, well, an entirely wonderful world) and had a cup of hot tea and gossiped. We were all stranded on the island for a day or so last September and it was a very cosy place to be in a tempest and a good time was had by all, as well as bonds being formed. Art provides shelter from the storm! Please visit her website and see what the collection of artists' she has assembled from all over the world are doing. Ahem...and I...Lanise...have been shown in her gallery with my piano hinge books since September. My new card series is due to arrive there perhaps tomorrow. I am so proud to be shown in this beautiful gallery and thankful to Kimmie for having faith in my art...and, dude...she is a windsurfer as well! My cards are also sold this season at Food for Thought (thanks to Julie Thomas) in Griffinsburg, Virginia (on Route 522 between Culpeper and Sperryville) and 24 Blackbirds (formerly 'Four and 20 Blackbirds') in Flint Hill, Virginia (on Route 522 between Route 211 West and Front Royal). Vinnie DeLuise at 24Blackbirds has just the coolest and cleverest in art, providing a feeling of Manhattan in Rappahannock County and his wife Heidi runs a lunchtime tea room that is up to high gourmet standards (how 'bout homemade ice cream with the local flavors of the season? homemade soup?yummmmm...)and the Washington Post reviewers think so, too!

Anyway, all Christmas is now home-centered...our first with no children coming home. I wonder how we will choose to celebrate?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"On the Second Day of Advent"

...in true love, I give to thee...My stepmother...Laura B, has taken on the complications that are our family...no Ozzie and Harriets here! We have become quite good friends in the 31 years she has stood at my dad's side, today being their 31st anniversary...so, here, I present my interpretation of Laura B! She is an adherent to the "when the sun slips under the yardarm" school, enjoys bocci and shuffleboard, has been known to look good in a slinky cocktail dress and also realizes that snap-front housedresses are where it's at at breakfast! A lady of Baltimore, she now resides full time in Florida. This is her birthday tribute and she took it all in great good humor (thank goodness!!!)
Laura B is made of: two microscope slides with Baltimore Sun newspaper , dyed with Adirondack ink overstamoped for a body with an initial, legs of the same rolled newspaper, and metallic thread. One arm is a piece of old corsetry stocking holder(garter part), shoulders are two shell stud earrings. Her crown is cut from a Crown Royal box and her waist is a piece of 1950's bracelet. Her body is held together with Wonder tape and embossing powder...
Laura B...my hat's off to thee (with many thanks for all you do!)

Summer Sunday Art Musings

Mid-summer again, and I still am not an experienced blogger...but I am back to working in my studio and have too many ideas to fit them all into a working day format...how exciting is that!??? This week I have still been at the Piano Hinge Books (refreshing my mind about working with tree wrap for gypsy moth paper aided by Lumiere metallics (!)...intriguingly easy and so organic to the eye. I am working on a series of Buddha greeting cards (with a deadline). The weather here in the Blue Ridge has been a mixed bag of hot and humid and rain...great for indoor sports like studio time! I must get busy and download the photos from my camers so I can showcase a few of my week's endeavors...

Medieval Illuminated Manuscript Book

Medieval Illuminated Manuscript Book
Thank You Lisa at European Papers Columbus, Ohio

Abalone Button Piano Hinge Book

Abalone Button Piano Hinge Book
That Abalone Left Its' Shell 4 Art!

Bliss Girl

Bliss Girl
Transcendent Bliss Girl