Sunday, May 1

make art while the muse shines~

it occurred to me that the only thing i've posted about lately has been photos for texture tuesday, when, in fact, i've been busy in my work room with other stuff too. having deadlines helps. this year's Whale Fest art show has been up for a month, and i finished two pieces to enter in it. after a serious non-creative blah spell, it felt good to get back to it and accomplish soomething.

this is an altered tin i titled "robert service's retirement plan". i forgot to measure it, i believe it's 2" wide and around 6-7" long. i let the tin get nice & rusty outside for a few weeks, then layered torn charts, a bit of rusty screen, a spot of embroidery i did on some rusty muslin (i love rust), & an old button all attached with beeswax. for the crowning glory - a beautiful old fork handle found on the beach (score) & a little compass i soldered to a piece of something metal, also from the beach. these i attached with rivets and wire.

the detail on the fork handle was so pretty, even after being in the sea for who knows how long.
i think it deserved to be dressed up with some pearls and crystals.

here's the inside. i'd never seen this particular robert service poem before, and it is what inspired this piece.

"When I have come with happy heart
to sixty years and ten,
I'll buy a boat and sail away upon a summer sea;
and in a little lonely isle
that's far far from men,
in peace and praise I'll spend the days
the gods allow to me!"

to that let me just say AMEN.

i layered it with gel medium to a chart on the inside top of the tin. on the other side i did a fabric collage with more rusty muslin, more bits of beach metal, some pearls & buttons & beads, a snip of old lace and a flower from some hand dyed silk ribbon. of course, there must always be a mermaid (especially if one is retiring alone) and i found this one from the graphics fairy (a fabulous site & my go-to spot when i need any type of clip art, that gal karen has it all and if she doesn't and you ask her, she will find it. a-maz-ing.) i printed her out on some pfd muslin and stitched her on.

"a red halibut" (un fletan rouge) was the other piece i did for whale fest. it measures roughly 11x14". i  machine embroidered the halibut onto yet even more rusted muslin (i know, but i really like it), then sandwiched it with some cotton batting and machine quilted it. sewed on a chunk of a chart with the latin name for atlantic halibut (realizing too late that it should have been PACIFIC halibut, oh well) with a chunk of lace, & added a chunk of well-patina'd beach metal. i prepared the foundation board with some paint, some tide tables, a few teabags and other stuff. added a really awesome strip of copper to the top (another beach score) drilled some holes in it, then sewed the quilted piece onto the board with -get this- butcher's twine i RUSTED and waxed. okay enough with the rust.

i also made this:

a real lemon merange pie, made with fresh duck eggs. check out that merange! i was feeling pretty cheffy. and it didn't fall, it stayed that tall to the last piece. from now on, it's me, donald and daffy in the kitchen.

in closing, i need to share with you something about that little bit of embroidery on the cover of the robert service piece. i have no clue how to embroider. my mom embroiders entire quilt tops. i did one cross stitch panel when i was in junior high. but i wanted some embroidery on that cover, and was determined to not have to ask mom not to do it for me. (you know, i've never been able to shake that "i can do it all by myself" thing)  thank goodness i discovered mollie johanson's blog wild olive, and feeling stitchy. between both these sites i found a plethora of tutorials, pictures, patterns, and help. they are both just beautiful to visit, with excellent photography to boot. so after a few hours of this:

(i couldn't have done it without my glow in the dark mary back there. she always has her eye on me)

and the smallest of tension headaches, i was able to stitch the little lazy lotus blossom (on - you got it - rusted muslin) all by myself. i showed it to my mom, but the poor thing just doesn't get my art. she came out of her laundry room with a bottle of Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing that she thought would help me get the rust stains out.


  1. Wonderful art work, Deb!! I love the fork and what you did to it. And the pie-YUM.

  2. Oh my Dear Lady~you've gone and done it on all fronts
    Your 'retirement' tin is....leaves me speechless...every detail is just so precious...including your lotus flower and the story that goes with it...No No Bluing if you please!!!

    The word Halibut always puts a smile on my face...some words are just more fun to say than you've gone and given me new and wonderful ways to think of le fish!!!

    and that pie!
    Lemon Meringue (and baking powder biscuits, really tall ones) used to be my thing back in high school (long long time ago fur sure)'ve got my mouth watering!

    can't not mention your Madonna...I seem to be a magnet for similar statues of late...nothing glowing though LOL

    sure glad I did not miss this post...I always enjoy stopping by for a 'visit'

    thank you
    danke fur alles


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