Thursday, April 30, 2009

J'aime les Fleurs

I have been looking forward to the "F", parce que j'aime bien les fleurs!
And in looking through my collage materials, I found une fille avec les fleurs...two "F" words for the price of one :-)

ACEO "F", Diane Weber. 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

This ACEO took on a color life of it's own. Remember I am trying to make my collage decisions more quickly. I had already chosen the background paper with the bit of lilac showing, then le coleur de la robe de la fille set the color decision. A savon ad with violets, un timbre francais with more purple and green, add the letter "F", the purple gem, the pink crown and I am very pleased with the monochromatic composition. I almost forgot to leave room for the words, but was able to fit both 'fleur' and 'fille' along the top and side.

For the back I knew there must be more flowers. I quickly remembered the hydrangea petal background paper, added a paint chip (love picking up the free paint chips at Orchard Supply Hardware!), and crowned it with a photo I took in Paris in January. I love how the French flower shops will arrange large tight bunches of roses...

Speaking of roses, those dans mon jardin are doing well, even Mr. Lincoln who has been struggling for years. He puts up shoots so high I have to cut them to see the blooms! This bloom was on a stem that must have been 7 feet off the ground!

I wish there was such a thing as a smell recorder, so I could capture and save the wonderful essence of this Mr. Lincoln. Cette fleur est ci grande that it fills the kitchen with the scent of rose.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No Surprise when it Comes to the "E"

Anyone who knows me or who has been to this blog more than once can easily guess the subject for the French letter "E".

I've done quite a few collages and textile pieces with La Tour Eiffel as the primary subject, so what's different about this one? Quicker decisions. That's what I am trying to teach myself. How to be comfortable with quicker collage decisions. Formerly I would have spent a week just searching for the perfect background...this time, I just said, "hmmm, I like this flower and this color and I think I can work it into an interesting palette, so, background chosen."

Then, which of the many printed and stamped Eiffel Tower images should I use. This one will do. Rip it out. What's next. The E is easy. Ooh I think I have some vellum the same color as the flower, and a gem the same color green as the background. Oh, green, I have several of the Eiffel Tower brochures from the night Tod and I went up in to keep, several to cut up. Some gold paint, an Eiffel Tower brad..voila! Done!

I kept the back simple. This is from an artist reproduction collage sheet. Wish I knew the provenance. Anyone?

And apparently it was fated to be quite the "E" tower day. When I came home I saw a styrofoam cube in the doorway, from Shutterfly. I didn't order anything. Could it be a gift??

Yes, look what my darling girl sent me for Mother's Day! ..the picture was from my last night in Paris, when we went out in the pouring rain and howling wind for one last look at the twinkling lights!

This next "E" token came home with me from Paris Disneyland in March, but when I took it out of the suitcase, there was a little chip in it. But I found the chip and stored it inside. Just tonight, Tod decided it was time to glue that piece back on for me so I can enjoy it.

It's hard to get a good picture of l'oeuf.

Outside, Mickey, Minnie et Pluto sont devant Notre Dame, Goofy est un bouquiniste, Donald et Daisy sont dans une voiture devant une boulangerie, il y a un pont et Sacre Coeur au loin, et quand vous l'ouvrez.... voila!
la tour Eiffel!

J'espère que c'était un bon "E" jour pour tous!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rewards of Blogging

Those that do it, get it, and those that don't, well, don't :-)
And to those that don't, like some who are very dear to me, it's hard to express the enjoyment and stimulation that comes from wandering in blogland. I am especially appreciative of the new little francophile network I've gathered on twitter and blogland, and the eye-opening wonders resulting from roaming mixed-media blogland.

So a thank you goes to my blog pal Andi, who perhaps unwittingly opened up one of these new avenues of adventure and exploration from her "Cote Français". She has honored me with this Sisterhood award.

These awards always come with conditions :-) Some of them are harder than others. It's funny, although I post something about my life almost daily on the internet!, I really am a private person, and so going out there and giving awards to others can be a little hard.

So for those I nominate, I will not be in the least offended if you do not have the time or inclination to pass on the award, but know that I have obtained some real and recent pleasure from visiting your blogs, and I would be truly thrilled to be so honored and hope you feel the same :-)
  1. Eric of Paris Daily Photo - OK, sorry Eric, if I were photoshop savvy perhaps I could change it to a "Bloghood" award, but I look forward to reading your blog every day, because it connects me with my darling girl living in Paris.
  2. Natalie of Le Parapluie - I only recently stumbled upon your blog, but I so envy your adventures in Europe and love reading about them, and again, helps me connect with my Paris darlings.
  3. Oh, the sighs, shreaks and yes, even tears, that have come from reading Paris Breakfasts! Carol, you are a kindred spirit, as Anne of Green Gables would say, and I look forward to owning your artwork some day :-)
  4. Pollyvousfrancais, you won my heart last night with the video posted, and I've enjoyed your stories.
  5. Peter of Peter's New Paris, you have no idea how many of your posts I've read and followed and forwarded, that have been so helpful for further exploring Paris. Thank you for your diligent reporting! Oh and again my apologies for the girlie award :-)
  6. Deb of Artshtick's Corner, no blogging day would be complete without a mutual visit. I so love your work and appreciate your support!
  7. Allison of Hambly Screen Prints, you have opened up a new corner of a new world for me...paper!
  8. Debee of Art as Life, congratulations on your new life, I know you have no time for this, but I drool over your graphic art work!
  9. Carla of Leafdays, whom I discovered on Twitter, oh what lovely collages you create!
  10. Traci of Creativity Unleashed, your creativity is almost overwhelming :-)
Phew, the notification part will have to wait for another day...I need to do something creative :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

D is for Deux

OK, maybe not the most complex subject, but remember that collage is a challenge for me, so the ease of finding relevant imagery is an influence!

It wasn't hard at all to find postage stamps with '2's on them...I have quite a supply...some from the rue de Grenelle antiques market, some from eBay, and some from my collaging friend Angela. Oh and I just happen to have a rubber stamp of a 2 centimes postage stamp :-)

I bought yards of the cool twill tape with Eiffel Towers and numbers on them...really not sure what else you would use this for.

And why the Eiffel Tower in the background? Well, notice the level that is most visible. I remember distinctly on our January trip, when it was so cold and there were absolutely no lines to go up the tower, I almost didn't go up (elevators and heights freak me out), then spontaneously blurted out, "deux billets pour le deuxieme etage, svp".

Sunday, April 26, 2009

C is for Chat et Chien

I'm enjoying this alphabet series, gathering bits to represent my chosen letter and word.

I've had this adorable little French sewing poster for a long time, no doubt purchased on some whim, after all, I love sewing and all things French!

"C is for Chat", Diane Weber, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

I added a couple of charms...a little yellow "chat" and "les ciseaux" perched atop the little girl's head, and a faux tape measure along the side.

No, I never did cut up my old yellow tape measure...couldn't do it. Used photoshop instead :-)

On the back I got to use another of the previously useless little sewing posters, added some of the polka dot ribbon that I bought in one of "les magasins de tissu" in Montemarte, and a fleur-de-lis charm.

"C is for Chien", Diane Weber, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

B is for bébé

Continuing my French alphabet series, and thrilled at having accomplished two collages in one sitting, here is...

B for bébé

I should mention more about my sources, now that I have retraced my breadcrumbs and figured out where I found lovely collage stuff.

The background is another piece of a free background sheet...I have tried hard to figure out where this came from, retracing almost every link in my history file, but to no avail. So thank you again, whoever provided this.

The baby, and the lovers from the "A is for Amour" card, are from Digital Collage Sheets.
I really love their products, and have tried their free sheets, and decided to give the purchased sheets a try. I hesitate sometimes to buy digital collage sheets, because I don't have the best printers, but with their thorough printing instructions, I am very pleased with the quality of the printed images (from my mediocre but 6-ink printer, on very heavy 67 lb paper).

And the nice thing about digital sheets is I can keep printing them as I need them, which is the case with both the clock letters, the scrabble tiles and the typewriter letters.

Mais, encore, malheureusement, je ne me souviens pas où j'ai acheté les photos.

On the back is more of the gold overlap from Hambly. Just like Allison told me, I was able to beautifully and successfully stamp on the overlap with StazOn ink.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A is for AMOUR

Let me say once again that I find collage a challenge. So many choices, so many decisions to make, no wonder my Steampunk Gladiator Raven ACEO took a week to make! (Okay, so I was out of town for 4 days of the week and DID NOT take my art supplies with me to San Diego as I did to Paris, but still, it was hard!)

The key to making it easier, and I speak not from experience but from conjecture, is to have a clear subject, a purpose, a story to tell, involving things one loves.

I love art, typography and France, so there you have it...French flash card ACEOs!

Starting with...

A is for Amour

The lovely background came from somewhere in twitter-blogland...I shall have to retrace my breadcrumbs and figure out where...thank you, whoever you are that provided free collage backgrounds!

Stamped and fabric hearts make up the next layer, lovers, scrabble tiles spelling out "A M O U R" on red vellum, a gold charm heart, a red crystal, and some French lace along the bottom edge. Gold ink and gold acrylic paint make it all sparkle!

On the back I used more of my gold Hambly overlay directly over the white base the way it looks, especillly with the back of the white lace at the bottom edge. More red vellum and a stamped "Amour", edged in gold ink and sparkled with gold acrylic paint.

Easy? Not...but I am quite happy at the rate of progress and the result!

Will I do all 26 letters? Not likely, as I bore easily, but "B" and "C" are well underway :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Something to Crow About

Finally, I finished my Steampunk Raven Artist Trading Card with the Hambly overlay background!
The picture sort of says it all...

Only, there is so much that went into this card, I have to talk about it.

The background is a beautiful gold overlay from Hambly Screen Prints, laid over a blue tissue paper, mounted on timtex interfacing, so I had a thick cushion for the steampunk pieces.

I backed this with a digital tape measure collage, then sewed up the sides with a zig zag stitch and gold variegated polyester thread. The thread went through all the layers beautifully!

The gladiator bird was from an Anthropologie catalog. He is so awesome, with his steampunk breast and feet and tape measure wings! The steampunk parts are real watch parts which are punched into the interfacing (Ido hope they stay put!).

I digitally created tiny tape measures, cut them out and intertwined them with gold fibers for the gilded nest.

"Something to Crow About" was done in Old English Text on yellow paper, contrasting nicely with the blue background.

I added gold acrylic paint for highlighting, and a gold crystal eye.

This piece took far too long to make!
I need to do some quickies, hopefully with more Hambly products.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow

The super warm weather has accelerated the growth in the garden.

I came home to find more than a dozen beautiful peach roses on the standard...

And the hostas have grown about 6 inches in a few days!

Must get started on some art, now that pictures are safely unloaded and stored and the garden checked and tidied.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eat Your Art Out, San Diego

The city of San Diego has done a wonderful job of filling their city with art and architecture. Walking about the city is an artistic delight, from the downtown to the waterfront.

And my favorite: