Sunday, January 18, 2009


Blogland is full of creative little games and riddles. This one caught my interest. Go to the "Pictures" file of your hard drive. Choose the sixth folder. Now, open the folder and choose the sixth picture from that folder. The picture that comes up is the one you are to post. Pretty neat little idea, especially since it doesn't involve recruiting anyone else. More or less a one man show-and-tell.

This is a photo I took on a tour of the La Paz Waterfall Gardens in Costa Rica. There are bridges and paths everywhere. The texture and color of the stone stopped me in my tracks. I cannot remember how old the photo is . . . no more than two or three years. Costa Rica is a nature lovers paradise. The rich, vibrant colors of the foliage, cloud forests and rain forests will take your breath away. La Paz is a sanctuary in a protected area of rain forest. You get close enough to the waterfalls to feel spray on your face. And the moist, verdant atmosphere penetrates your senses and leaves you feeling like you've been kissed by something otherworldly. A walk with nature refreshes your soul and reminds you that there are things much bigger than yourself in this world.

I tried to find a poem that I thought would fit the tone and feel of the photo. A couple seemed like contenders, but just weren't quite right. If any of you know of a poem or addage that may suit or complement the photo, feel free to post it in a comment.

Ciao for now,


Saturday, January 10, 2009


Someone moved my mojo. It's been missing for a while. Holidays, travel, work. Art and crafting took a back seat. But I think I see a hint of it returning. On my way down the hall tonight, when I should have been getting ready to turn in, I took a detour. And something developed. Grabbing a handful of paper and sitting down at the sewing machine has that effect. Admittedly, this is a total cheater piece. It is very similar to my last piece, but hey, isn't that what developing style is all about ?? Honestly, I figured if I tried a similar technique, the creative engine may fire up. Gotta try something to get back in the groove. Two hours later (mmmn . . . maybe that is a conservative estimate), "Once Was" was born.

I took a few odd pieces of joss paper and a snippet of gesso brushed Chinese text and arranged it as shown. Joss paper is readily available in Asian supermarkets. Do NOT pay those exorbitant prices for the stuff through these boutique sites. It is super, super cheap and sold by the packages in the Asian markets. So if you live near one, be adventurous. Go in and cruise the aisles. There is tons of the stuff and you should not pay more than $2.00 or $3.00 for a large package of papers. Great variety, too. Just thought I'd share that tidbit of info.

Back to business. Given the materials in hand thus far, one would think it would have worked itself into an Asian themed piece. That is the great thing about mixed media. No rules and you can mix and match until your heart is content. Like handpicking a one pound box of chocolates at Godiva. I had a scrap piece of what I though was silk material sitting around for ages. A sample I picked up at a fabric store. Nice conservative, dimensional floral pattern to it. I am not one for florals, or polka dots for that matter, but this bit of fabric had eye appeal. Matched it to the papers, did some stitching and decided to work with another Crafty Individuals contact paper transfer.

That accomplished, the piece needed some finishing touches. A scrap of vintage sheet music and pieces of deconstructed lace were added with stitching. The finished product is totally asymmetrical, but all said it balanced out nonetheless. One thing I would do over if I had the chance: the burned surfaces of the fabric flowers. Turns out it is polyester or some other synthetic, and the material didn't singe the way I'd hoped. The edges sort of melted and look a little sooty. Fortunately, I caught on to this early and used a light touch. So the piece wasn't ruined by my pyro tendencies. Live and learn. Gave some thought to backing the piece on decorative mat board or a book cover. Tried it out on various backgrounds. Nothing jumped out at me, so I left it as a stand alone piece. Completed. Mission accomplished. Mojo found.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that your new year is off to a great and creative start !! Happy 2009 !!

Ciao for now.


P.S. Submitted for Wednesday Stamper challenge, "Lace".