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the husby, son, pup and i went down to lorane oregon last week to look at the cabins i mentioned in my last post.  so in love!!  i hadn’t been there in a couple of years and hadn’t walked out behind the property and in the surrounding area in about… twenty years!?  even the boy, who said “we’re never moving from this house!” when we left said “ohmygawd, you  have to buy it now!  it’s so beautiful here!!”.  he’s such a sweet boy.

it’s no wonder my fellas have fallen in such love with the area like me — look how beautiful it is!!  these are all within a few moments drive from the property (which, by the way, is WAY more beautiful than the previous photos depicted — i was an arse and didn’t take any photos though!!  wth!?):


in a nutshell, the property (despite being so very dear to me) may not be as perfect as we once thought.  the surrounding area is owned by weyehauser (too lazy to look up my potentially-wrong spelling right now) and they to aerial herbicide spraying, or at least used to.  fuckers.  i refuse to live around that.  the sole water source to the cabins is via a mountain spring which could easily be contaminated, for one.  BUT, there is a stream through the property with a state protected salmon run so they may not be able to spray anymore.  i’ve only found evidence that they have been doing regular spraying up until 2011 so either they stopped, or they didn’t.  if they’ve stopped, i will make an offer on the property and live happily ever after.  if they didn’t, we will find another property.

all of this has clearly effected my most recent art piece: cabin in the woods under the moon (shown above in my front garden).  maybe i’ll create 7 of them for some universal magic.  ❤  this piece is currently available in my online shop along with a couple of other new pieces i haven’t shared yet >>

here are some detail photos:

the cabin

the cabin

the trees

the trees

the moon

the moon

this piece measures 8×10″.  ingredients: 1920s sheet music (the cabins are 1920s also so it felt befitting), acrylic and ink on clay board.

this week, my heart is in lorane, my mind is on the gorgeous seven cabins (i already picked out my future art studio which has ivy growing up the side and japanese maple outside the window), and i’m hoping to find out about the stupid spraying so i can see what our next step is.  either way, there is now a fire under our arses to find that perfect property for us so we can branch out, have a larger farm, get goats and more chickens, and live off the land.  i’m not going to let this get me down.  we spent 9 months trying to find the perfect place in alaska after spending last summer there and when we discovered a school issue and that we couldn’t move there for ten years i got into a huge funk.  not this time!  whatever is meant to be will happen.  i think.  and i will be happy.  i have to.

UPDATE (about an hour later):

apparently there has been no spraying for 2-4 years and will not be any more spraying for 50+ years, once the trees behind the property are old/tall enough to harvest again.  in 50 years i’ll be 89!!  🙂

meeting with mortgage guy today.  woohooo!  (oh, and the seller told the realtor who is his son that he loves that i was born there and that we would sign 2 year lease agreements with all of the tenants!)  it’s still hopeful after all!  little straw bale house and cabin-art-studio and art retreats and organic farm, here we come!  🙂


whew!  summer is off to quite a fine start indeed!  [i typed this 6+ weeks ago — can you tell how slow i am!?]  i’ve been really fed up with my social anxiety issues that have plagued me for the past 20+ years (long story) so have been trying to put on my big girl knee-highs and get out more.  i can play tough!  while doing so, i’ve gotten to mark heaps of items off my “bucket list” which i actually call my “top 100 life to do items”.  i started this list so long ago that the first item is “have a baby” (my “baby” is now 9!).  it was maybe a year ago that i found it and added to it as the list was pretty sparse with many blanks.

in the past sixty days or so, these are the things i’ve gotten to mark as complete: see a whale in person, take a cruise, go on a canoe, meet seth apter, go to alaska, take a train to seattle, go a whole day in public without having anxiety, pan for gold, eat dinner at the space needle, take up archery (seriously, it’s fun!).  that’s not too shabby, eh?  here are five (of many) i have yet to do: celebrate ten years married (more than half way there), hike the appalachian trail, paint a portrait i don’t hate, publish a gluten free cookbook, sculpt something.  funny that only one of those requires getting out of the house.

side note.  i took this photo from our cruise ship… and i will go back one day.  she resides somewhere in alaska and i have to figure out where.  the boys in the ship bar we liked gave us lots of extra beers so there are a couple/few fuzzy days there, but i THINK it’s past juneau and before skagway.  definitely past ketchikan though.

punch the sky mountain, fisty mountain

needless to say, the studio is still not painted and the zine isn’t done being designed.  i feel “behind” in art, but that’s just silly… i’m home now and can paint and assemble each and every day.  while vacationing, it’s really difficult to “get my art in”.  what do you do while you’re on vacation?  i can’t not art.  i take an art journal, bag of pens, mini-paints and whatever else i can fit and a gallon ziplock of cuff stuff.  i can’t go a day without doing something creative… or my head will explode.  while sailing the seas, i made several new wrist cuffs that i will be posting here (and for sale in my shop) over the next several days.

number one in the goddess series of wrist cuff bracelets —>

medeina, baltic/lithuanian goddess of the forest and wild animals.  medeina originates from the root med, which means “tree”, thus the pieces of cut wood, carved wooden beads and antique wood buttons.

medeina goddess wrist cuff

wikipedia says:

Medeina (Medeinė) is another euphemism of the hunting and forest goddess. Medeina also was mentioned in 16th century by J. Lasicki. She was worshiped by peasants.

my husby is part lithuanian (and italian and native american) so it felt only right to create a wrist cuff in honor of a lithuanian goddess for some reason.  plus, i’m practically a peasant so all the more reason.

medeina goddess wrist cuff

this wrist cuff is 100% hand-sewn and embellished, and no machine was used in its creation and some of my old ones were (it seemed so much more “goddess like” to do it all by hand).  almost a full spool of thread was used to sew all of the many layers together and in adding all of the little “bits and pieces”.  it closes with two small snaps that cannot be seen when fastened.

medeina goddess wrist cuff

this wrist cuff bracelet as well as the ones that follow in the next few days are/will be available for purchase in my shop:  i really need to make some more manly ones next!

and my apologies — i’ve been getting lots of emails inquiring as to why i haven’t been adding things to the shop lately and it’s because i’m redesigning the site.  i was holding out to add things until then, but i’ll get some stuff up in the meantime and suspending my finickiness.

lastly, i have some upcoming give-aways planned so stay tuned.  this is in apology for being a butt head lately and not responding to emails, posting blogs, visiting blogs, etc.  sorry.

wow, i hadn’t realized how long it had been since i’d blogged.  lots and lots going on around here with arting, gardening, fence building, more arting, travel, parties, remodeling, yard sales and adventures.  thinking about it all makes my head spin, but it’s been fun indeed!

space needle

during the first weekend in may, my friend katie and i had a grand time renting a car and driving up to bellevue for seth apter‘s book signing for the pulse of mixed media (that’s the travel part).  it was such a wonderful time meeting seth, donna watson, leslie avon miller et al.  i got lots of pics, but this is my favorite of seth with one of his gorgeous books:

seth apter

(okay, so this is pissing me off.  the pic is of proper orientation on my computer, but on my blog it’s sideways.  wtf?  then i go to rotate, and it’s STILL sideways!  i’m going to have a fit… is seth on his side here for you, or vertical as he should be?)

oh wait, i got it now — thank you photoshop (still looks right on my stupid windows 7 computer)!  (i’m embarrassed — i’m a graphic designer but i swear it’s my computer, not me!  i can rotate a dang photo!!  see….)

seth apter

yes, i got to meet the wonderful mister seth apter AND see his gorgeous, gorgeous book.  here is a close up so you can see it too:

seth apter's hand book

copyright seth apter

(i got to touch it though!)  isn’t it just stunning!!

after the book signing (which we were late to due to a dumb bridge lift, two wrong turns, a time warp and a half, a lost cane and it already being over a 4 hour drive), about a dozen or so of us went to lunch and it was both fab and fun to meet so many wonderful artists and get to chat a bit.  everyone was so nice!  i’m used to meeting snobby art people, not nice ones, so it was such a grand treat!

from there, katie and i cruised to seattle.  first stop, a shop we were told was cool but wasn’t, save for a really fantastic “not for sale” display in the back:

ye olde curiosity shop display

here is a secret: i really want a pickled pig, a two faced cat and a bat wet specimen.  those are on my list.  and siamese twin anything.  stuffed or jarred — i would love it, and hold it, and maybe/maybe not pet it.  but i digress.

after much ado, we got to our hotel.  bad long story that ended in good.  we were moved to this room with the most amazing view of the space needle (which we didn’t even notice until about an hour after we got there, shhhhh).

view of the space needle and our hotel in seattle

the photographic magic was a fluke, thank you cell phone and reflective window.  you get to see our room and the view in unison.  apparently they rent this room for $450/night.  we didn’t pay half that.  🙂

after a night of drunken giggles, a salami sandwich hotel room picnic, the making of a really ridiculously hilarious video i refuse to share and street walking in our PJs, we were on an return home adventure (next time we’re spending at least two nights!).  we stopped at lots of antique shops, but this was our favorite.  at first i thought we were going to get lost in this land of prettiness and narrow winding roads:

country road

we returned to our ever-loving and adoring husbands (intoxicated due to our being many hours late), ready to BBQ us up some grub.  fun times!  i think you should probably mosey on over to katie’s blog though as i’m sure she has included many more details than i have, such as the novelty condom machine, the peep hole and other such entertaining tales.  (the condom machine was funny, really — they had tattoo ones, glow ones, etc.  we just thought it was funny.  we don’t get out much.)  if she hasn’t posted about it yet, she will soon so check back.

free vintage circus trampoline photo
the winners of last week’s collage pack giveaway have been picked!  congratulations to the four picked from the original blog post:

patricia kurowski
debbie price-ewen
romeo and “her”
katie cahill

and the facebook winner of the fifth free collage pack is:

serena barton

congratulations, ladies!  (and romeo!)  i will try to contact each of you directly today to get your mailing addresses (or if you see this first, email me your address to hi (at) altered bits (dot) com — no spaces, of course).

for those of you who did not win, stay tuned as i will be having lots more summer giveaways.  and you can take the above trampoline girl from a circus image above (click for larger version).

yachats oregon beach shot

right after i posted the giveaway, my family and i traveled to yachats, oregon (thus my utter silence) for a job my husband had.  in addition to being one of the most amazing musicians in the world, he’s the king of artisan concrete.  he does the most amazing decorative concrete floors, patios, counters, etc..  anyway, it was a LOT of fun to visit the coast again (we go to the northern oregon coast almost every month but i haven’t been that far south in years).  other than the gorgeous sea, stunning scenery along the drive, a doe and her fawn and heaps of sunshine, guess what i got to see!!  one of my favorite artists and dearest friends kerin gale of remnants of olde.  woots!  i love miss keriny and it was so nice to see her.

jema "emilly ladybird" hewitt

stay tuned tomorrow for an exclusive interview with jema “emilly ladybird” hewitt, author of “steampunk emporium” and enter to win one of two fabulous prizes: a FREE copy of her magnificent book OR a little steampunk bundle of gears, cogs, watch parts and vintage beads, etc.  see you then!

just this past weekend the husb and i spent the night at the white eagle saloon here in portland… it’s very close to home (just a couple of miles, in fact) so likely seems quite unexciting to most, but we’ve heard that it’s extremely haunted so i really wanted to go.  couple close haunted place, with no child for the weekend, sprinkle some “we haven’t been getting along well and must remedy this” on top, pour some friends and good ol’ mcmenamins beer on it and you’ve got a pretty damn decent night.  check our their site — all in all, this place rocks. you should definitely check it out next time you’re in portland — it’s super cheap too, which is another fantastic attribute.

both the interior art and exterior gardens are gorgeous — i’ll add a few photos i took (mostly shot not sober) to brighten the post a wee bit, but you should really check the gallery on their site…

white eagle, saloon, portland, oregon, haunted, ghost, ghosts, paranormal

after hearing heaps of stories and reading for years about the white eagle, i was certain we’d have this fantastically insane paranormal night.  nope, not so much.  i was bummed.  BUT bear in mind that i spent a decade of my childhood in a very haunted house so what is minor to me may be quite spooky to others.

the very, very short version of the history of the white eagle is that it was built in the very late 1800s and began as a well respected establishment.  as time went on, the russel street area became quite industrialized and this changed the type of clientele that was frequenting it.  because it was close to the river, sailors and other people started spending more time there, and to please the boys, prostitution became a huge aspect of the white eagle’s revenue with a basement and an upstairs brothel.  remember the book pages that i did for kim’s book in the pulp redux collaboration?  the story behind my pages was based upon the portland underground and shanghai tunnels, etc.  well this place was one of many that men were oftentimes shanghaied from.  you can find those posts here and here.  people were killed there too, blah, blah, blah… the place was supposedly so haunted that no one was able to stay there until recently, though it’s still haunted so i’m not sure what the reasoning was.

white eagle, saloon, portland, oregon, haunted, ghost, ghosts, paranormal

okay, so fast forward to this past weekend.  i was hoping for exorcist-style schtuff (well, not really), but it wasn’t quite that intense.  there was definitely evidence of activities of sorts, but all fairly mellow until late in the night.  next time i’m going alone so i can experience it without distraction.

first, while downstairs, i felt a hand brush against my cheek twice.  facial cheek, that is (debs though i meant my bum when i told her).  the husb had his very first mini-paranormal experience of his life in that he heard a girl’s voice as if i were speaking to him, feeling “my” breath on his cheek white “i” spoke but it wasn’t me.  i uttered not a word to him at that moment and was far enough away that he couldn’t have felt a thing from me.  he’ll deny the whole thing, but i saw the disbelief and wonderment in his eyes.  😉

white eagle, saloon, portland, oregon, haunted, ghost, ghosts, paranormal

once we went back upstairs to our room around 2ish in the morning (room #4: mr. spaceman — all rooms have song title names and lyrics painted on the walls), things got a bit more fun. this place is loud!  seriously — someone walks to the bathroom (it’s a european style place with shared toilets and showers) and you hear it.  clop, clop, clop.  it’s loud.  however, at least 7 times during the night i heard banging, as if on the walls, a door slam, several doors creaking open (or closed?) but literally NO feet walking to said doors.  this used to happen in the haunted house i lived in as a child, but with moving chairs and tables and cupboard doors slamming in plain site, etc., so this didn’t really phase me and i would just end up falling back asleep while trying to listen for… anything cool.

white eagle, saloon, portland, oregon, haunted, ghost, ghosts, paranormal

i’m not sure what time it was but at some point i felt very uncomfortable before realizing that someone was touching/rubbing my lower abdomen.  i went to push away the husb’s hand but then realized it wasn’t his.  he was snoring ever so quietly, back to me.  i didn’t move for a moment, but it still felt like there was a hand on my abdomen.  pressure and warmth.  a bit of mental discomfort.  finally i whispered “please stop” really quietly and dozed back off to sleep.  i was later awoken by the feeling of what seemed to be a cold metal coin, maybe the size of a silver dollar, being pressed hard into my left palm.  this happened twice.  nothing was really there, but i felt it.

so… once we got home the next day, or perhaps the day after, i read this site: portland hauntings, white eagle pub and hotel.  apparently i am not the first person to experience coins in that building — sometimes they appear on the floor of the upstairs rooms (where we were).  if you’re at all interested in ghosts or paranormal activities, go read that page — there are some great historical facts and stories there, very much worth reading.

white eagle, saloon, portland, oregon, haunted, ghost, ghosts, paranormal

one of the whole main reasons i went was to hopefully get some good photos (just some orbs in one photo, so not worthy there) and some inspiration for another book — i’m going to do a portland/hauntings/shanghai tunnels/portland underground/etc. book for myself.  this was good inspiration for sure.  the coin thing is still a bit haunting to me, so i’m going to investigate what types and size(s) of coins were around then — felt large like a silver dollar.  that will definitely be incorporated into my ghosty portland altered book.

how cool that this summer seems never ending.  i swear last year i blinked and it was time to return to school.  summers for us means lots of travel and lots of lazing around — a nice balance, i’d say.  right now we’re planning another trip.

seth bullock

nutshell: fly from portland to salt lake city (i have an airline credit so it would be free).  grab a snack and 55 minutes later fly on a different airline to souix falls, south dakota.  rent a car and drive to deadwood (we just finished watching that tv series and are in love with the history of that little town).  of course we would stay in the bullock hotel (which, incidentally appears to be haunted by the ghost of seth bullock and i wanted to go BEFORE i knew this!).

wild bill hickok

while there, we would of course have to visit the grave sites of wild bill hickok and calamity jane, yes… of course.  then perhaps a little hiking camping trip somewhere and a jaunt down to mt. rushmore (it’s only about an hour away).  then comes the sweaty and adventurous part: a grayhound trip to… i haven’t decided yet.  i wanted to take an amtrak home as i’ve never gotten to go on a train trip before, but there are no amtrak stations in south dakota or wyoming.  sheesh.  so, a grayhound backpacking trip among weirdos to wherever we go (probably somewhere in montana as i’ve never been there BUT i haven’t been to north dakota or wyoming either so any will do).  camp a night or two, THEN take an amtrak home.  yeah!  a historically fun trip.  we are all lovers of history in this house so we’re hoping to be able to do something like this ever year or two.

calamity jane

calamity jane

so, after many inquiries regarding where where i get some of my tools and supplies, i have created a new “test” section on the altered bits website entitled tools and supplies.

altered art, mixed media art, tools, art, supplies, crackle, distress kit
there you will find a menagerie of things including different non-toxic crackle mediums, letter and number metal stamp sets (two sizes), the best instant setter ever for eyelets and things, etc.  i’m not sure if this will be a permanent section or not, but for now it exists.  i’ve actually never used the distressing kit but it looked cool so i bought some.  is that cheating?

art supplies, art tools, metal punch set, crackle medium, paint, instant setter, distressing kit
i keep forgetting to share the few fun etsy treasuries i’ve been in, so here is a GORGEOUS one.  my cuff bracelet is in it (third row, last image).  click on the image to see the YUMMY treasury, velvet red desires:

etsy treasury, velvet, red, desires
that’s about all i’ve been up to lately, other than working on finishing the front over of my newest book, which i will post soon along with a new “art for a cause” fundraiser on my site.  now, back to catching up on posts — a blog-a-thon day!!

i will likely be doing the drawing for the tutorial give-away tomorrow too.  see previous post if you haven’t entered yet and wish to.

phew.  i feel like i haven’t been “here” in ages.  not in the blog world or home.  we’ve just returned from a longer than anticipated trip… all over the place but spent the most time in southern california.  it was hot but wonderful fun for the most part.  and the little man got to visit disneyland for the first time which of course, as you know, is probably one of the most thrilling things in the world to a seven year old.  i had fun too… despite being a huge wimp when it comes to rides.  i’m even a bigger wimp when it comes to NO ART for 6 or 11 or whatever days it was.  not cool at all.  for that alone i’m glad to be home.

so today, reunited with paint and paper and fabric and lace, i made stuff.  first sewed a new curtain on a whim.  all kitchen curtains should have a pocket, ya know.  why?  i think i said something about this the last time i made a kitchen curtain (the one i decided was ugly this morning).  because husbands can be really mean beasts who hide your ring in an obscure cup or vase on the top shelf of the cupboard that you couldn’t even reach if you wanted to when you take it off to make him a damned meatloaf and lets you whine and cry for 17+ minutes that you THINK it went down the garbage disposal.  now, yeps, a pocket.  a sweet little dainty one that his big grubby man hands can’t fit in to thieve my pretty wedding ring… even if HE wanted to.  ha!  take that, husby!

vintage lace, coffee stained, curtain, pocket

after my mini bout of sewing (the curtain took all of 15 minutes to create so of course i needed much more) a heard a little folk story that made me somewhat weepy but smiley and a feel a bit verklempt.  so i had to make something in honor of said story.  the story goes like this (imagine this in the voice of johnny cash, which is how i heard it):

A Mother’s Love

Once a young man lived with his mother beside a great forest.  The young man was in love with a beautiful girl who lived in the forest.  He told the girl in the forest that if she would marry him, he would bring her anything that she asked.  Knowing that he lived with his mother, the girl said “take your dagger and cut out your mother’s heart and bring it to me and I will marry you”.  This made the young man very sad, but he wanted to marry the girl so he killed his mother and cut out her heart.  Running through the forest with his mother’s heart in his hands, he stumbled and fell and dropped the heart.  As he was getting up, his mother’s heart cried out from the ground, “My son, did you hurt yourself when you fell?”

and this is what i started to make, which is of course not done (the heart piece will be a door that opens to reveal the story inside, me thinks):

anatomical heart, vintage lace, coffee stained, fabric, collage, rusty metal

i have a new-found love of my local library.  i buy way too many books.  i picked up THREE of the books from seth’s book guild posts that i’ve been wanting to check out before potentially buying (the principals of uncertainty, journal revolution and eco-books) and a bit of velvet and a dash of lace (magnolia pearl book).  i love the principals of uncertainty!!  i will buy it for sure.  just reading the first little bit made me want to make a book for my son (i like writing stories), so of course i started in on that straight away.  it’s mostly crazy childhood stories for my boy, like when my sister sucked on a slug and almost died, and mama doodles and stuff like that…

funny.  i never posted this the other day when i wrote it ’cause my internet went down for days (router up in smoke).  so, i finished the principals of uncertainty and i loved it.  i think you should get it if you like art and doodles and witty, insightful girls who are eloquent and quirky in unison.  i will go back to find out who suggested it and thank them personally (tomorrow though ’cause we’re off to the zoo today).

missin’ you all heaps!  i’m off to start my three day blog catch up time the moment we return from our wild adventure.  woohoo!

april and may are two of my very favorite months of the year!  this is when all of the fun begins, or recommences.  the sun shines, the rain stops for a second, everything starts blooming, my son grows another year old (seven now!?!!).  it’s also when the farm opens back up.  we are farm babies.  someday we’ll have one of our own but for now we spend our april through october sundays at kruger’s farm on sauvie island.

farm, chickens, pig, sauvie island
they have a market at the farm with yummy fruit and veggies and all sorts of other things, including handmade bologa, river grass and other baskets from ghana (fair trade).  i’m obsessed with their baskets and can’t go a whole month without buying a new one (got four last sunday to add to my previous collection of six or so).

hand made baskets, fruit, veggies, organic produce, farm freshduring the spring and summer there are so many fun things going on at “the farm” — live music, hay rides, strawberry and raspberry picking, flowers, and in the fall, a huge pumpkin patch and corn maze.

the corn maze at kruger's farm, sauvie island
you can check out their photo gallery here.  if you’re near portland and like fresh, local, sustainably grown produce, you’ll love it there!  and farmer don is one of the coolest people in the world.

going to the farm also means getting fresh made jams and jellies.  the boys love this because even though i’m a lazy baker, i rock the gluten free biscuits and mini jammers in under seven minutes (minus bake time).

gluten free biscuits, gluten free jammers
after our last farm trip i assisted in the motivation of sir husby to make a new chicken coop for us.  woots!  i’m the “let’s do fifteen things at once” type so it will be held off for a month or so because we have other fun things in the works.  for example, my studio is currently small.  i’d guess about a 9 x 12 foot room.  soon, i will have TWO studios.  we have a detached garage which had previously housed a skate ramp (yes, a skate ramp).  currently, it houses about a third of a ramp.  we’re ripping it out, adding two windows to overlook the gardens, a little door (or french doors, por favor!) and counter space along two full walls and shelving on the other two walls with a potential island in the middle with cupboards and drawers.  we’ll see how far we get but the husb will be starting in on the decorative concrete floors before the end of the month, i hope — love rustic looking stained concrete!  this space is probably 12 x 20 feet so we’ll have heaps more room for art and electronics and such.  i should have a “come play in my new studio party” when it’s done.

and i shall leave you with this most amazing photo i accidentally took… a hummingbird that i literally did not even see.  i knew that they had been flitting about and dive-bombing the trees adjacent to us, but this was a wonderful surprise when later checking my photos.

hummingbird, photo, tree

it seems crazy to me that it’s been a couple of weeks since i’ve posted anything, but oh my i have been having so much fun!!  i get too busy sometimes, and i feel like my head is up my arse a bit but my break has reminded me that i have one damn cool child!  i never forget this, of course, but sometimes i remember it more than other times.  we hung out all of spring break and i kept thinking to myself “where did you come from!??”  “you are almost seven!?”  i think sometimes that in my heart and mind he is still three.  i’m not a child neglecter at all, of course, but i think we (moms, people… humans) can get so wrapped up in our “now” that we forget to see the things we most love exactly as they are in the moment.  so, we played.  a lot.  for the past two weeks.  yeps!  then we had a storm that make me have no internet for four days and i didn’t complain… i just painted for a little “me time”.

paint texture, crackle, text, color, mixed media, art
don’t you just love those moments when you’re just working away on something, painting a plain little background to something new, and poof! a miraculous accident happens?  this occurred for me the other day.  short version: paint, crackle medium and fireball six year old boys running through the kitchen, crashing and spilling things on piece (i never really work in the kitchen but this particular night was different as i was making pho and didn’t want to forget and burn the house down), then boy trying to fix said piece and poof.  this.

mixed media art

i love dying things with coffee, both brewed and instant.  that was the start to my last week as i always like to have an ample array of coffee stained crocheted lace and fabrics on hand.  i was working on a piece for the next zine (more on that soon) so tossed in some extra stuff so as not to waste that precious liquid.

coffee stained lace, heart, dying with coffee, aging fabric, aged lace
crocheted lace, coffee stain, aging lace, stained lace, antiquing lace
sometimes when doing larger pieces i like to keep one side in longer than the other to give some variance.  this way i end up with darker and lighter pieces to later use in my art.

lace, tatted lace, crocheted lace, coffee stain, stained, dye, aged

mixed media art

we are solely bunny celebrators when it comes to easter here, and apparently i’ve been a good mum for the past six point whatever years… the little man of the house proclaimed that he wanted natural eggs and hoped that the bunny was too green to bring “horrible plastic eggs”.  i was pretty thrilled.  last year we dyed eggs with beet juice and other natural stuff but this year i forgot it was easter and with our loss of internet was unable to research other good things to use.  i caved and let the wee’kin use food colouring, but he wanted to decorate them more.  i said “put some stickers on them”.

apparently my husby came in about ten minutes later to find the fridge door ajar.  he went to close it and the little man was crouched with both produce drawers open, peeling stickers off apples and lemons and oranges and cucumbers and putting them on the eggs.  he said “it’s more green to reuse these stickers than break out my new ones.”  too damn cute!

produce stickers, organic, eggs, easter

the bun’ found a nest the husby and i started a couple of years ago and keep adding to — it’s made from broken guitar and bass strings.  this was my favorite egg with a 942 sticker on it.

easter egg, numbers, nest, bird nest, birdnest, coloured egg, color

with the left overs, finn wanted to get a little crazy so as not to waste (good point)…

egg dye, dying lace, dyed fabric, easter
i can’t really foresee myself using anything so bright, but you never know… the perfect moment for uber green lace bits MAY just happen.  can never be too prepared, eh?

mixed media art

confession: i’ve never taken an art class in my life. i know this is apparent most of the time (the joy and fun is what matters to me!).  that being said… the other week i drew a girl, just for fun.  never finished it, but will soon.  sunday, i started some more girls.  i drew them in pencil.  went over them in ink.  painted them.  well, started.  neither are done, of course, and i have since finished the hair on the “blue girl” but how much fun this is!!   i’ll post them if i finish them.  i particularly like the back girl that you can’t see — will have a bird cage with a bird skeleton in it.  she was the first with skeleton hands but she’s not holding flowers…

painted drawings, girls, skeleton hands, flowers, bird skeleton, thrird eye

orange dress, texture, paint, faux crackle
and that’s that.  this is amply long enough anyway… like four posts in one.

still no new glasses but art and soul portland was fantastically fun despite only being able to half-see the beauty of it all.  i was blessed with the opportunity to hang out with kerin and charley, which was much fun indeed!  additionally, i was able to meet many people i had previously only known through blogs and ning groups, and new people i hadn’t met before.  i procured soooo many new treasures and wish i had photographed them before intermixing them into my pre-established treasure trove of art goodies so i could share.

i was very kind to myself and purchased a gift for the art-needy side of alicia… a piece entitled “mind’s eye” by michael demeng.  it was a pleasure to meet him and to see his amazing piece, lilith, in person.

i am a horrible photographer and this piece is much more alluring in person. you know my adoration of hearts!  love this man.

backing up a bit, i have been so busy and side-tracked lately that i have not had the opportunity to publically thank the amazing, talented and beautiful lisa jurist (whom i love and adore!) of mudhound primatives. she has bestowed upon me the most amazing piece of art!  miraculously, she has included my very favorite edgar alan poe quote in it, which she of course had no way of knowing (or did she?).  look at this amazing masterpiece (and again, please forgive my horrible photography skills):

both lisa’s piece and michael’s are just above my monitor on the wall so i can adore them with constant ease.  thank you so much, lisa!  this piece is so amazing and beautiful and i am so very honored to own a piece of your magnificent art!  i am still working on my piece for her, and feel horrible for not getting my arse more in gear sooner.

speaking of gifts, and kerin for that matter, holy crap!  look what that talented beauty made for me:

you can purchase one on their etsy shop (when they get it back up), though not with a 13 because that is MINE. 😉  you can also sign up for their under my wing workshop here to learn how to make TWO winged journals complete with a fabulous bird!  she is so sweet to have made this for me.  all i did was create some banner ads and advertising “junk” for her mixed media art ning.

my boys seem to have jumped onto the “gifting alicia/wifel/mama” bandwagon too.  how sweet is this!

husby burned a heart-shaped hole into this leaf while at work the other day and had it sitting on my desk when i got home with a pretty bouquet of hand-picked flowers:

my little boy is the sweetest little thing too.  he likes to collect things from nature for me.  check out the neatest stash from that cute little monster:

i love those poky ball thingies.  why can’t i remember what they are called?!!  and the moss, and lichen, and crow feathers and leaves… he’s so sweet.  🙂


whoops.  this was saved as a draft and never published due to yet another big scare from aforementioned “little boy”.  i got a call from his school with a lady on the other end saying “we need you to get down here right away.  your little guy has hurt his neck on the playground and apparently can’t move.  i’m going out there now to see if it’s a 911 emergency.”  she had no idea at that point what had happened but i thought of him falling head first off the play structure and being paralyzed.  thank goddess i was wrong!  he was fine later, as he was able to walk to the office to wait for me.  we haven’t heard back about his xray but there doesn’t appear to be a fracture, but rather lots of sore muscles and a potential rotated vertebrae.  he fell down while playing dodge ball and some other kid tripped over him, landing on his wee neck!  so it’s been a crazy few days around here… again.  they gave us another dvd with his bones on it but i can’t find it right now so i’ll post them later.  that boy is accident prone and expensive!  but he’s okay and that is the biggest blessing of all.

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