Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Georgie Porgie et al

Georgie Porgie, Jan 28th.
I know you remember where you came from, Dad. I just don't want to forget.

Tile-on-the-Go: Made this one on Jan 29th riding back from Columbia SC.
Don't worry. My coworker was driving.

Today's tile shows a queen who wished for a baby and got a BIG one:
Princess Sweet Pea.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fun with Transparency Makeovers

Blue Girl Academy

English Boys School

Before and After: Today's Tile.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The SS True

Scanned photo ink jet printed on transparency.
Painted and collaged on slick, unprinted side.
Here's the before, another gorgeous cabinet card from the "Carmen Collection." I'm closing in on one full month of daily art. I'm just about 1/12th of the way. Yikes.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I always wanted girls....

......until I had boys. Now I can't imagine it being any other way.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The General

I didn't know what I was going to make today, just thought I'd somehow incorporate this picture of the first "instant ancestor" I acquired about 13 years ago.

Maybe Joan of Arc was still fresh in my mind from yesterday.

I really like the orange and blue together. I noticed that my last several tiles have been variations on that color pair. Maybe it's because I can reach those two colors of ink pads without turning my head.

(Had fourth adjustment in three days from Dr. H. He promises I'll be "back to normal" in a week or two.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Giovanna d'Arco

This is a picture of my Great Grandma Calamia with Joan of Arc looking over her. My mom gave me GGC's prayer book filled with pictures (including this one of her) and prayer cards, including the one where I got Joan - printed in Italian. I never knew my mother's grandmother, but always felt a connection to her. Her birthday was Valentine's Day and though I was due that day, I was born on the 17th.

Like so many people of her generation, my Great Grandma Calamia had a hard life. She lived in an Italian convent where she was educated until she was almost thirty. She married Vito Calamia to get to the US and, hopefully, a better life. She buried several children during the cholera epidemic in Chicago in the 1920's. My Grandma Lena, one of her surviving children, used to take us by her siblings' graves at Mount Carmel. She talked about her sister Viola a lot. I think she remembered her best.

Grandma Lena told me that her mother, pictured here, would shell pistachios and get paid pennies on the pound to buy insurance on the children. She did this just to have enough money to bury them should they die. When I see her smiling in this picture I realize what hope and faith she must have had to smile and laugh and still find even a little happiness in this life.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pain in my neck

For those of you who are wondering if I have fallen off my daily art wagon, I have not missed a day -- I just haven't posted until now. Today's tile shows the location of my ailment that has kept me from spending any additional time at the computer -- in my cervical vertebrae: C-4 I think. My x-ray looked much cuter than the skeleton here.

Couldn't lift my head off the pillow this morning, but the good Dr. H adjusted me once this morning and again this afternoon. I now have limited but improved mobility. (Note: It's hard to parallel park when you can't turn your head. And I was never that good at it anyway.)

Bunny with carrot from Saturday.

This is Sunday's tile sporting a face made of Delight paper clay. I pressed the Delight into a mold and voila! Excellent for those of use who have NO sculptural talent. The background is made of microbeads affixed to the tile. The hat and arm-thingies are copper mesh. Not very scan-friendly. It looks like the tile was speeding by at 75 mph when I scanned it.

The boys and I made a whole bunch of faces out of Sculpey, too. It's was fun to pull on the clay and distort the image. These faces are all from the same mold but I yanked on the ones on either side to make them look rounder. Unfortunately, they don't scan well because they're too dimensional -- they have their noses pressed up against the glass. I am incorporating an oval face Sculpey piece into an assemblage that I will photograph. Don't know what I'm going to do with this trio of nickel-sized faces yet.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Athanasios Karounos

Popou said his children were like the five fingers of his hand.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Maybe I should have done a kiwi bird?

Thanks to the cover of Cloth Paper Scissors and my interview on Pokey's blog, I have been receiving email from people in foreign countries and exotic locales like Canada and Australia and New Zealand and Texas.

Thank you for your emails. So amazing. When I was making Sixtyopoly for Carol I never DREAMED that it would reach across the International Date Line! Which reminds me, Rebecca: it's already Friday where you are -- let me know if it's a g'day so I'll know what to expect tomorrow, all right?

I love getting your emails. And it's good to know that my parents are not the only ones who read my blog -- even if Mom looks at it last of all of her blog visits! ;) I would still do this even if no one was looking, but it's WAY more fun when I know that you are!

I'd like to take this opportunity to give a big, fat, Greek shout out to all of the Athanasios namesakes in my family: to my brother Tommy Karounos (sorry Tom, but you'll ALWAYS be Tommy -- it'll be cute when your 80, I hope you can wait) and to my cousins Arty Karoubas and Thanasi Karounos:

Xronia Pola kai s'agapo para polee!
Tomorrow my tile will be dedicated to our Popou Thanasi.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Focus like a laser beam

When I look at the scans of my tiles on the blog, even I forget how small they actually are. The chipboard pieces I work on -- my little canvases -- are only 1.5" square.

I write big, I laugh loudly, the combination of my hair and shoes add several inches to my height. Working in this diminutive scale is an ongoing lesson in editing and self-restraint.

Are you surprised when seeing the size of the tile in relation to the quarter? I am and I made the thing.

Unfortunately, this tile, a transparency treated with metallic powders and mica, did not translate well on the scan. Maybe the light bounced around too much, distorting the image. It's actually one of my favorites. It reminds me of those little linticular pictures we used to pick out of Cracker-Jack boxes. You know, the ones where the images seemed to move when you wiggled it in your hand. In person, this tile has that kind of quality.

Of the many pieces of sage advice my quotable friend at Random Arts gives me, maybe "small is mighty" is finally sinking in.

A Latte Gratitude 1-17-07

How do you thank someone for loving you, for bringing you a latte for no particular reason?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Number Four

This is Cooky. She's about three years old in this photo. March must seem so far away to her, but she knows she's halfway home.

(I know, I know. Carol got a whole game and you got one stinkin' square. Deal with it.)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Three tiles

Here are the tiles I have done for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I stamp all of my tiles on the back with a date stamp so I will know which is which.

Photobooth. This is a photo of a dear friend's parents who both died too young.

SSGK: my cousin George, at five and now, off to Iraq again next month.

Prince Patrick.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tony's Shadow Box

If you saw my
interview on the CPS blog, you read that Sixtyopoly was spurred on by a shadow box I altered and designed for Carol's brother, Tony. This is the box: Remembering Bob Garey.

What made it particularly wonderful were all of the items that belonged to Pawpaw and the excerpts from the beautiful eulogy Cooky wrote adorning the frame.

Carol found a piece of fabric that reminded her of one of her dad's shirts so she sewed a "shirt pocket" out of it where we put some of his tools, tooth-marked pencils and the omni-present Mercurochrome.

Bob Garey drove Chryslers, drank Busch beer, loved fishing and could make or fix anything "out at work" where he worked on the Gemini Space Craft, among other things, and was a tool and die maker for McDonnell Douglas.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Doxie Blocks - The Bark of the Town

Knowing my fettish for all things dachshund, Cate Prato sent me a wonderful gift of vintage childrens blocks featuring THE dog of choice. I got the little beauties in today's mail so naturally the image from the blocks is the centerpiece for today's tile.

Now all I need is a neon sign in the shape of a wiener dog to go with them, don't you think? Cate? Hello? Are you there?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

This bird laid an egg

At least I hope it looks like an egg, not something else. I painted the bird with my left (non-dominant) hand -- an exercise Katie Kendrick suggested in one of her CPS articles. I liked the way it turned out so I scanned and shrunk it to fit on a tile.

I am trying to do the painting lefty exercise a couple times a week followed immediately by painting righty as Ms. Kendrick suggests. Just for a couple of minutes each. It's supposed to trick my brain into being more creative....or ambivalent or ambidextrous, or something. In any event, I have not been able to recreate this bird with my right hand. It always looks too intentional. I added the egg to the shrunken image with a stamp. It's an egg, really.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Today's Tile

I had planned to channel Erma Bombeck and write something silly about people I love, but I'm too tired. I did, however, fulfill my daily tile requirement. This is from another one of Carmen's precious cabinet cards, a collection she bought in England: The Nurse. I think she looks as resolved as Joan of Arc in her starched white uniform with that bold red cross.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Inspired by "Transparent Art"

It's dark and rainy, a perfect day to play in my studio. Here are the Befores & Afters of two collages I did today. Both pieces were done by painting the back of an ink-jet transparency as well as adding decorative papers behind the images. Both images were scanned from the collection of treasures Carmen loaned me. I still can't believe she actually had a cabinet card where the girl is already a butterfly complete with wings (left). As you can see, the wings were sheer and barely visible in the original, I added the fern leaves. The little baby in the second piece looks so worried.

If you don't have Transparent Art from Stampington in your library yet, but would like learn more about working with transparencies, it's a great resource with step-by-step instructions.

(Hat tip Jennifer Duncan for her technique pp. 26 - 32)

I have been on a book buying binge. I eat them up!

It was dark, but officially Jan 7th

Two tiles from 4 am-ish.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Twofer Thursday

I tried something new today with my tile -- I made the one on the lower right first. I enjoyed that one so much I did the other. I will be playing with this technique for a while.

Oh, and Trumpet thought y'all might like to see this: Gone with the Hounds.

About 9" square, it's a collage I did last week. My friend, Laura, transferred on to fabric. It is the Dachshund Club of Metro Atlanta's entry that will ultimately be part of a quilt to be auctioned off at the National Dachshund Club of America's annual specialty show.

It represents the three doxie coats: smooth, long and wire. Trumpet likes Miss Scarlet best, as he is partial to redheads.

Frankly my dear, I don't give a bone.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Did you ever move as a kid?

I did. I moved a lot. A move was always bittersweet -- filled with the promise of new beginnings as well as sorrow for friends and familiar places left behind. Today, my dear friend and next door neighbor, Carmen dropped a bomb on me: she's moving.

Carmen is one of the most generous, gracious and genuine (though perpetually cheerful) people you'll ever have the good fortune of knowing. She's the call-at-three-am-neighbor, the one in whose kitchen you cry, the great mom, the good wife, and the on-par with Martha Stewart hostess that I used to think only existed in 1950s TV shows.

This evening she called and asked me to come over and give her an opinion on the granite she's chosen for the counter tops. I set the stew meat to thaw in the microwave, grabbed what was left of the Tequila she "loaned" us and ran over through her garage. The granite is perfect, of course, but that was just a pleasant pretense. I asked, "Are you getting ready to put the house on the market?" and she simply said, "I am." And then I cried in her kitchen, as I have many times before.

"The Carmens" as Reese calls them, will be leaving in a few months when school is over. I didn't have an answer for Connor when he replied to the news -- "But what if we run out of vanilla?" I don't know. I don't know what we'll do. I suppose we'll just be without vanilla or tomato paste or half a dozen other staples mid-recipe because no matter who moves in next door, they won't be Carmen. I miss her already.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Day Two and all is well

Here's the "tile" for today. I consulted with Debbi, as well as renown wordsmith and Daily Art regulations expert Cate Prato at CPS, and there is no working ahead. Their decision is final. Everyday must have a new creation. What if I am working on something else? Does that fulfill the daily requirement? Sheesh!

The project at right that I am calling "13:13" was photographed by the speedy and talented Walter Kirk at Winward Photography. (Click on the image for a larger view.) I am submitting it to a juried book and hoping that the patron saint of art dolls smiles on me. Does that face look familiar? It should, the same face was the subject of today's tile. Here's a quiz: any guesses as to what the 13s signify?
I started this project after devouring Lynn Perrella’s Beyond Paper Dolls. I was especially inspired by Laurie Mika’s doll – we’ve since become cyber pals. Laurie was so gracious and encouraging that I was compelled to give the paper sculpture thing a shot. It's my first effort, but I am anxious to do more.

The body is Paper Mache finished to resemble rusted metal. I made the armature from a decorative wire mannequin dress form with a cut up shirt box stapled around the waist in a cone to shape the skirt. The head was made separately over a ceramic egg and then attached to the body.

The doll’s main face image is scanned from a cabinet card my neighbor bought at an estate sale in the UK. (She let me scan a whole box of such treasures!) There are actually three faces: one in the lens in her hand, another in a wreath on the branch, and the main oval face on the head. If you look closely you will see that her hat says “Elpeezo” in Greek which translates to “I hope.” The hat-thingy is finished in an iridescent green to play off the same in the turkey feather wings and the egg. The epaulets on her shoulders are two pennies with crosses punched out of their centers.
Back to work, school, and overall reality tomorrow. We'll see how this resolution holds up when life restarts at dark-thirty tomorrow morning. Anyone else going to jump in and do this 2007 thing with me? I think the judges would grandfather you in if you act fast.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year

I hesitate to even make this information public because then someone will be an absolute pain and actually hold me accountable, but I would like to create -- no strike that -- I am GOING TO CREATE some small piece of art everyday a la Daily Art Diva Debbi Crane. That woman has her 2007 goals posted already, including a mini marathon! Nobody likes a show off.

I racked my brain on what could be small enough and doable enough for me to stick to this thing for a week or so....I mean a year. I considered doing ATCs but even that seemed too daunting. (I know, I'm a wimp.) So here's what I have decided: I am going to make a 1.5" game square collage on every day in 2007 ending in y.

I went a little crazy today so here are the squares I have done so far for 2007 (Deb: does this buy me eleven days or do I have to do one tomorrow? Is there an official ruling on that?) They were all made using the contact paper transfer technique. Some are family members and ancestors -- my mom is the little girls on the sage green. Some are illustrations from Hardy Boys books. (I used my new Xyron to adhere the collage to the chip board. That thing is so cool.) Seeing them all tiled like this makes me think that maybe I will put them all in a mosaic? Don't know yet.

At right, a shot of aforementioned Daily Diva's "Seriously Limited Edition Christmas Card Book." I am so stoked that I actually merited one of these little gems.

Oh, and the count down has officially started. In 47 days I will kiss my 30s goodbye. Yikes.