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i forgot that i already scheduled a blog post for today so this is #2… ah well.

for those who know me, my deep adoration for poison bottles and specimen vials is pretty obvious. it’s a year-round, deep and passionate love, but during this time of year i think a lot more people share my penchant for such things. as such, i’ve just created and posted two new digital collage sheets for the altered bits site (click to enlarge):

poison and alchemy labels digital collage sheet

you can find these and 7 other new digital collage sheets here: http://alteredbits.com/digital-collage-sheets.php

do you want to know how i create some of the aforementioned poison, alchemy and specimen labels i use in a lot of my assemblages and books? then read on!

free wax topped-poison and specimen bottle tutorial

this is an extremely easy process and it’s both fun and super cool looking. use them in a cabinet of curiosities or oddities assemblage or book, or just display them on a shelf. once my stupid over-priced epson printer is fixed (their warranty service is not my friend today — one would think for $2600 you’d get more than a year of coverage) i’ll be making lots more with the new labels i created. [cross your fingers my husband can fix printers — he’s super handy and has recently fixed a stove (twice), a washing machine, a toilet, a sink, a car bumper that decided to fall off, a rototiller, a few musical devices, a broken deadbolt and some other stuff — he’s pretty amazing so a printer should be a cake walk… but i digress…]

okay… to start, you will need this stuff or similar alternatives:

  • a bottle of any sort, filled with your specimen(s), or whatever you’re using (there are usually lots of little bottles on the Altered Bits site).
  • natural beeswax and something to melt it in
  • acrylic paint (burnt umber is used above)
  • a paintbrush
  • a baby wipe or other moist wiping device
  • some sort of scraper – can be a carving tool, a super-sharp pencil, a thick needle, an awl, etc.

once your bottle is filled and corked (or capped if that’s what you’d doing), melt some beeswax. when thoroughly melted, dip the top of your bottle into the wax to cover it, and let it cool. keep dipping the top into the wax and let it solidify between dips until you feel it’s built up enough. i typically dip about four or five times for small bottles, more for larger. Set aside and let it dry/harden for about ten minutes.

with your carving tool (or needle or whatever you’ve opted to use), carve some random scratch marks into the wax. pierce it, puncture it, and carve it to give it an old or aged look. remove all little waxy remnants.

now whip out your paint and paintbrush. paint it all over the wax, taking extra care to get it into the grooves and divots in the wax. now wipe the paint off of the smooth parts of wax –– the paint will stay “pooled” in the scratches, cracks and divots and look really quite cool.

you’re done!

(in the above specimen bottle i was going for a wormy-type effect but the green is a little NOT what i was going for. the strands that kinda look like gross tape worms are strands of hot glue i dried on parchment or wax paper and shoved inside — the green is natural food coloring but one of these days i’ll provide some way better coloring ideas. i made this about three… or five years ago and i’m smarter now.) ❤

you can find a PDF tutorial of this here, complete with at least one typo (scroll to the bottom of the page): http://alteredbits.com/art-tutorials.php  i’ll actually be adding a couple more “waxen” tutorials (waxen book and waxen dolls) in the coming months as well as recipes for natural dyes, assemblage projects and other fun stuff.

gotta love those weeks of high energy and little sleep!  i’ve worked my ever-lovin’ arse off on the altered bits mixed media art zine and have managed to design 49 pages in the past week.  all i have left is fill a couple of blank spots (you may be able to help here — see below), finish the absolutely amazing artist interview (have all the info, just have to lay it out), add artist bios in the back, then complete an article that you will LOVE and ADORE (it’s not by me — but one of the pages appear to have been lost during my computer crap-out last february when i lost all the pages i’d already designed, blah, blah.  i will fix this or contact the amazing artist who submitted it… but i’m not telling you who it’s by ’cause surprises are good).

peek of an art piece in the "artful retelling of history" section of the upcoming altered bits mixed media art zine

(above is a tiny little peek at one of my pieces in the zine… category: artful retelling of history)

so, here’s the deal.  due to many things, such as my inability to properly count, someone silly submitting a piece to two different categories and me trying to add it to both before realizing the error, and my OCD-like need to have all new category sections starting on the right side of the page, there is still a bit of room.  not a lot, but a bit.  if you would like to submit super late for consideration of the zine, please do so by wednesday 10/24 at 9 PM (USA — PST).  i will need: high res photo(s) of you piece(s), your bio, your URL to site or blog, your location and an optional write-up on the piece(s).  and title of piece.  you can submit up to 3 pieces per person however space is HUGELY limited.  email to hi (at) altered bits (dot) com.

this is what’s left:

one half page (portrait orientation) in cabinet of curiosities
one full or two half pages in artful retelling of history
one half page (landscape orientation) in handmade/altered books and book pages (journal pages allowed as well)
tattered and torn is full unless i get two pieces i die over and must include — it would be a pain in my arse, but potentially worth it

i am also working on the tallest handmade book in the world project but i’m too ADD to talk about it right now — very focused on the zine.  i have not forgotten about it and now that school’s back in, art groups are back on.  super exciting news to share, etc.  but soon… this is zine time!  🙂

if all goes all planned, this zine WILL be ready for the holidays to but as gifts, etc.  also, i’ll be giving away at least one to one of the contributors and probably another to a non-contributor.  we’ll see once we get there (gotta save my pennies for little man’s holiday gifts first, hah).

UPDATE (about an hour later):

there is now only half a page in handmade/altered books and pages/journal pages
and half a page in cabinet of curiosities

i have so been in the zone as of late — plugging along, trying to be productive and adding TONS of new kits and goodies to the altered bits shop all week.  i’ve gotten about 1/4 or less of the stuff i must add to the site up, but it’s a start and great since i hadn’t added a damn thing in months.  i’m so negligent sometimes!

new art journal kits on altered bitsaltered art bundles and kits on altered bits

here is a list of some of the items i’ve added: art journal kits, assemblage kits, ephemera, pen sets, paper bundles, artist trading card and aceo collections, collage bundles, miscellaneous art tools and supplies that i adore beyond words, etc.  within the next couple of weeks, i’ll be adding dozens of “creepy things” (antique/vintage medical tools, bones, bugs, etc.), antique doll heads and other parts, more textile bundles and even some tin types, daguerreotypes and weathered copper loveliness.

here are some tiny glimpses of some of this week’s new goodies:

altered art supplies from altered bits

yep, lots of kits and goodies!  and don’t forget — there are always free gifts with purchase (hand-picked every time — not generic stuff).

i’ll post more soon as i add more stuff to the site.  there are some exciting things coming up this month both supply wise and otherwise.  come back on march 1st for a wonderful announcement!  and stay tuned for a couple of great giveaways.

happy arting!

my oh my, i’ve been itching to share!  my dang camera broke though and i was unable to fix it until today.  it almost feels like the world stops when the camera breaks.  silly, i know, but i’m so very dependent upon it as i’m sure most of us are as blogging artists.

so, our “tallest handmade book in the world” project is still going strong.  sir finn, my eight year old fireball has requested that the end date be april 27th, 2012.  that is his ninth birthday.  i said sure thing!  so, let’s see how tall we can get this — it’s not currently very tall but it’s gorgeous! click the tallest handmade book image on the left to read the full post and requirements if you’d like to play.

here are some peeks of less than half of the unbound pages.  i’m a tease ’cause i want you to be surprised with the whole thing at the end.  🙂

tallest handmade book in the world project peek

(i just realized i forgot to put a peek of my page in there.  ha!  at least finn’s is there… can you guess which are his?)

so, i have officially purchased a domain for the website of our wee non-profit asperger art group.  did i even tell you that i have finally started it!?  i’m so excited!  i’ve got four boys so far but couldn’t possibly take any more until we get the studio done for them (have 7 more interested kids, two volunteers lined up both with backgrounds in asperger’s syndrome and autism).  right now we’re kitchen tabling it… tight squeezes but heaps of fun!  it’s called little bug’s studio.  or bug’s art shack.  i bought both domains ’cause i couldn’t decide… and my bug isn’t going to be “little” for much longer.  next step: set up the 501c3 non-profit status stuff through the state.

it’s so amazing how much these kiddos can fight and argue while trying to play soccer or wii games or legos but you put an art project in front of them and they are so very calm and sweet.  and quiet!  my son is always one of the most audible children on earth but while doing art, it’s a different story.  ahhhh!  blissful silence.  🙂  my camera broke just two weeks before solstice so i didn’t get pics of most of our projects, but here are a couple for now.  each of the kids made a “special box” for themselves and one for a holiday gift for mamas or aunties or friends.  here are two progress photos of the 8 year old created “special boxes”:

mixed media art box, altered box

this bird part was black and white paper he colored in/painted.  his aunty said her favorite colors were “purple, red and sparkle” so the box is covered with so much glitter my house looked like a faerie had exploded in it.  it was fun to see their faces light up with their finished projects.

mixed media art box, altered box

here are the two completed boxes finn made for his aunties for solstice/christmas (the left one was a memorial box for my sister who’s dog recently passed away — he’s such a tender and thoughtful boy!):

mixed media art boxes

i wish i had shots of the rest of the boxes from the other kiddos.  there was a space box, an einstein box, another footed bird box and a pirate box.  apparently i didn’t even take cell phone pics of those!  another fun thing we did was posters of ourselves (i traced them on five foot wide paper pieces and they painted/collaged/embellished/etc. with their favorite things).  that was a hit — they all loved it and expressed so much through their art about what they like, love and appreciate in the world.  art with kids is so much fun!  especially seeing their eyes light up — such a gift!

but i must get back to adult-hood soon and finish some of my own projects.  xx

i always love fellow artists’ blog posts when they share images of their collections, shots of where they create, photos of the places they dwell, etc.  i don’t do that often, so today i will share a little piece of what my sister claims to appear to be “creepy explosions” and “creepy corners” all over my house.  she’s a weirdo (and is always begging me to make her some art so i suppose she’s a secret lover of creepy too??).

this summer we were supposed to remodel our detached garage and morph it into the studio of bliss and divinity (which was put off from the summer previous), but that didn’t happen.  soon this will happen but i’ve given up my dream of a new studio for myself.  instead it’s going to be a safe and cozy place for kiddos with aspergers and autism to come, hang out, express themselves and make some really cool art.  i have the windows picked out and a plan for a mini loft and wood stove (we’ll see how that turns out — i giggle while i type as the husby will likely roll his gorgeous brown eyes and walk away when i announce such things to him as my plan).  i don’t suppose the kids really NEED a loft, but it would be fun.  my point, which seems not to be a point at all, is that i now have WAY too much stuff as i thought i would be moving my art goodness to a space 4 times larger than what i have but it’s now not happening.  i should have some giveaways!

a shelf in my studio

anyway, i enjoy filling my space with many hoards of various bits.  this big compartment box sits to my left while i’m at my main desk (there are four desks in here).  these are the things that i use most often so they must be readily available.  figure one: compartment hoards.

a collection of curious items
this is my favorite multi-level box of goodies.  i have buttons from the mid 1800s, lots of completely random rusty and metal items, bugs and bones and things i have no clue what they are.  just stuff i love.

collection of goodies for art

below is part of my charlotte and charlie collection, some of my brushes and tools and other odd things.  this is a fairly old pic — i was using a VERY large canvas and a piece of plaid wrapping paper for a makeshift curtain for a bit there as you can see.  it’s all better now and i feel so grown up with real life curtains.  🙂

a collection of frozen charlottes

one of my other obsessions is boxes of old watch vials, filled with watch parts.  i have a few, but this is one of my favorites.

watch parts, watch vials

i have an ever-growing collection of bugs and bones, too.  oh, and a chicken fetus.  i’m not sure where some of this went which is super sad.  i started packing some of it up for the new studio but since that isn’t happening now, i’m going to have to go unpack.  it will be like a pre-holiday celebration, i bet!

bugs and bones to use in my art

this is to the left of my sewing area — a wonderful and gorgeous wing book from my sweet friend kerinny ninny, some of my favorite doll heads, cards from my pal debrina in new zealand and a host of other things.


oooh, and my leather-bound handmade books!  the goddess book is such a treasure to me.  it was given to me by my hear friend jo archer in england.  the ones below were gifts from my mother and father in law from their trip to russia.  i love them all!  they have inspired a new obsessive collection of leather bound books.   remember brain boy?  yeah, that’s him in the vase.  i need to get my arse in gear and finish that piece!

hand made leather books, doll head

this is the wall just outside my studio which i can mostly see from my main desk/work space.  there you can find art by many amazing artists: kim palmer, lisa jurist, kc willis, joanna pierotti, lisa sarsfield and this chick named alicia caudle i once met.

there is no way i could make the time to post all of the amazing pieces of art i have in my home but i will highlight five of my favorites this round, and do another five sometime soon.

this is one of my dearest, sweetest, most favorite pieces ever.  it’s called “three bird house” and was created by kerin gale, my sweet and wonderful friend.  i bought this from her when we very first met and we’ve been friends ever since.  i will refrain from sharing the whole nightmare story about it but here is the quicky (a testament to how amazing keriny is!): it arrived with the top shattered.  i sent it back and poof (poof = a year and a half, haha)!  she fixed it and you could never ever tell it was broken.  love that girl!

art by kerin gale

copyright kerin gale

this was a wedding present from our dear friend kevin who is an amazing and intricate collage artist and painter.  this is huge and is one of the first things you see when you enter our abode.  click to enlarge — there is SO much going on in there!  sorry about the glare.

art by kevin

copyright kevin

this, of course, is a seth apter original entitled “melt”.  i saw it on his blog last year and had to snatch it right up.  i will own more seth art one of these days!

art by seth apter

copyright seth apter

this is the only michael deMeng piece i own too, though i hope to remedy that one of these days… when i’m not poor and starving.  🙂

art by michael demeng

copyright michael deMeng

this gorgeous piece is one of my all time favorites too — miss joanne archer sent it to me very recently and i LOVE it.  it’s titled “the harbour” and is hanging in my living room in a very prominent place so i can see it every day and share it with all who come to visit.

art by jo archer

copyright joanne archer

i got a new cell phone a couple of weeks ago and i’m obsessed with playing with all of the filters and effects on the camera.  sepia is one of my favorites.  this is the wall of my living room that i see while perched on the couch — just look up and to my right and this is what i see.  the piece over the shelf and the other to the right are both by the amazing and talented lisa jurist.  if you click to enlarge, you will see a sweet clothes pin doll that miss debrina made me too.  and of course my ever-growing bottle collection.  i got many of these from jo archer’s shop maud and mabel on etsy.  go shop there — she has stuff to die for!

living room wall

a creepy corner?  nopes.  just another little collection of goodness.

new curiosity box

i am in love with african porcupine quills and have them all over my house.  such purdy little things they are, but sharp!  (yes, that is a raccoon penis bone next to them.)

a collection of goodness

i should have gotten more shots of my vintage and antique medical tools.  i have three surgery sets and more than just the four vaginal speculums i’ve shown.  sorry to appear so narrow minded in the medical world.  sheesh.  this shelf is just inside the front door but i am thinking it may possibly make a bigger impact if i move it to the bathroom.  is that too creepy and weird?

vintage medical things

now i’m obsessed with this photo filter.  lovely!  i collect daguerreotypes… well, this is a new thing.  i have only two at the moment but you have to start somewhere, right!?  i like this handsome gent.

i collect ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes, etc.

what do you collect?  have any “creepy corners” to share?  i want to see them.  🙂

my dear, sweet, all-time best girl katie has initiated a magical holiday blog hop with a small group of artists from the magically mixed art community on facebook and i’m part of it. this is a fun blog event to help promote each other during the holidays.  the gist is this: each participant goes through all other’s etsy shops and links to their one favorite items in their shop to promote their art and increase their traffic.  each day someone will be posting their own list of favorites so you’re always sure to see fresh and yummy goodness.

click on the thumbnail item to be taken to the “favorite thing” or click on their shop or blog links to get to know them a bit better.  on friday, which is my date in the hop, i will be posting a a little something about my featured artist, tracey verdugo.  make sure you come back to check her out — she’s an amazingly vibrant artist.

November 25th – Katie Cahill

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/KatieCahill

Blog:
http://katiecahillart.wordpress.com

November 26th – Wini Dougal

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/artlovejoy

Blog:
http://www.artloveandjoy.blogspot.com/

November 27th – Nolween Petibois

Etsy Shop:
http://InnerWorlds.etsy.com/

Blog:
http://www.inner-voices.net/

November 28th – Kristi Parker VanDoren

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BKDesignStudio

Blog:
http://kristiscreativecafe.blogspot.com/

November 29th – Emily Cline

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/RubyShea

Blog:
http://www.emilyclineart.com

November 30th – Jennifer McGee Urbanek

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/MyArtistWithin

Blog:
http://urbanekdesign.blogspot.com/

December 1st – Alicia Caudle (that’s me)

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/digit13

Blog:
https://alteredbits.wordpress.com/

December 2nd – Tracy Verdugo

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/CasaCantamar

Blog:
http://artoftracyverdugo.blogspot.com/

December 3rd – Nancy Perennec

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/nancyperennec

Blog:
http://littlebitwired.blogspot.com

December 4th – Sun B Lewis

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunblewis

Blog:
http://www.sunshinebarlowe.com

December 5th – Angela DiGiovanni Kemp

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/AngelaDiGiovanni

Blog:
http://AngelaDiGiovanni.com/

December 6th – Sharon Rowland

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/AlicesSecretDoor

Blog:
http://www.alicessecretdoor.com

December 7th – El Tsamp

Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/eltsamp

Blog:
http://apinkdreamer.blogspot.com

December 8th – Katie Cahill :: the blog hop wrap-up

Blog:
http://katiecahillart.wordpress.com/

i had an idea about six months ago but being the ever-so-busy girl that i am, coupled with my proclivity to procrastinate, and sprinkling a little bit of “frequently side-tracked” on top, i’m only just now sharing.  i kinda blame our dear friend seth apter for the inadvertent nudge — i have stacks on the brain as of late and this could be a HUGE stack…  introducing: the tallest handmade book in the world {project}.

the tallest handmade book in the world project, art journal
i really have no idea what the tallest handmade book in the world measures in at, but know it’s more than a foot.  probably more than even three feet but i’ll just pretend it’s not that tall ’cause i want ours to be the tallest.

overview: if you want to play, create one or more page and send it to me (see address below).  i will bind the whole thing together as the pages come in.  once it’s completed, i will arrange an exhibition under all of our names.  how fun that will be!  i will also create a little zine-type publication in case anyone wants to see all of the amazing work that went into it with all artist names and contact information (this will be desperate from the altered bits zine).  my goal is 2 to 3 feet tall, but i’d LOVE for it to be as tall as me (i’m short — only 5’2″ or a tad less, shhh!).

the point: once the book is complete and it has been exhibited, i would like to auction it off somehow and have all proceeds go to a non-profit group of our choosing.  i’m all about “art for a cause”!  my personal thoughts on this are something having to do with children, art, aspergers/autism as these are things i live with on a daily basis in my life as a artist mama to a super cool boy… but i’m open to ALL suggestions and we can vote on it.  in my dreamiest dream of all, i would like to start a FREE or donation only, non-profit, weekly art group for children with special needs who could express themselves via the arts.  all i would need is a free or cheap space (which i may have found this week) and kid-friendly arty supplies.

specs: size-wise, the book pages will be 4×6″.  this means you’ll take a piece of 8″ x 6″ paper or fabric or whatever (preferably thick enough to be sturdy and not floppy but something that can be bound with needle and binding thread easily) and fold it in half to be four sides measuring 4×6″.  like this:

handmade book page setup guidelines
this may be the difficult part of many of us, but pages should be fairly unthick, at least at the binding seam.  some embellishments and things are okay but it shouldn’t have an super thick or heavy parts to make the binding easier.  you can paint, collage, stamp, do anything you want out of fabric or paper or unsharp metal or or whatever you wish as long as i can get binding holes in it.  this can be in any style or topic you desire — treat it like an art journal, draw or paint a portrait, doodle, print out some of your photography on thick paper, do a collage, write a poem on a colorful background, make a miniature quilt — this is totally your thing and all submissions will be accepted as long as they are not cruel or inappropriate.

this is how the binding holes will likely be placed:

where i will put the binding holes
if you would like to play, please just make sure all four sides are used on your paper (i’m using watercolor paper) so that there aren’t blank spots.  you can team up with someone if you think four sides is too much for you, or you can send more pages if you desire.  let’s see how tall we can get this baby!

i will take donations of binding thread, too.  i only have black but maybe it would be cool to use multiple colors?  if you have a spare foot or a couple yards of your favorite color(s) and want to pop it into your envelope, i would be SOOO very grateful!

if you want to play, let me know either by leaving a comment here or emailing me (hi at altered bits dot com).  feel free to share this with any of your friends that you think may be interested in giving something back to an organization through doing the art that we all love… or trying to achieve a guiness world record height of a handmade book (doubt that really exists).  feel free to use the image above (if interested, remind me to make a smaller side-bar iteration for your blog/website).  children submissions welcome too if you have arty kiddos who want to play.  my little dude wants to draw four monsters.  here is some of his art (i’ve posted this before — it was actually a mum and finn collaboration we did when he was 6 that he calls “two birds”):

two birds by mum and finn, children's art, collaboration
as for the covers, i can do those or if anyone is interested, let me know and we can see what we can work out.

i hope you’ll like to play!  and if you like this idea, pass it on!

UPDATE:

here is a small sidebar image if you want to use it to link to this post.  i’ll update with my PO Box address tomorrow (just reserved and paid for it):

the tallest handmade book in the world collaboration project

right-mouse click to save and upload to your blog if you’d like to use this.

also, to clarify (regarding a few emails i’ve received) it doesn’t have to be totally flat, just not super bumpy/chunky.  the page i started today, for example, is on super thick watercolor paper and the front side has a vintage book cover on it.  i only have to sew through the watercolor paper to bind it.  i think the other side will have glass on it and be a door.  so it doesn’t have to be just flat work the paper/fabric/page if you want to add to it — i just need to be able to bind it.  🙂  i’ll post photos one of these days once i’m done so you can see.

mailing address:

alicia
altered bits
PO Box 83928
Portland, OR  97283
USA

seth apter's the pulse, style file

i am so excited to share that today i will be one of the many featured artists on seth apter’s “the pulse” for his weekly style file.  this is week 8.  (eight is a magical number.  if you knock it over, it’s an infinity symbol.  seth and the pulse and all participants are infinitely amazing!)

update: i’m a ditzy girl sometimes, despite my high IQ.  i posted this in advance, forgetting it was the STYLE photo, not the art photo.  so, you get a preview of a piece that will later be featured.  whoops!  sorry seth! after you see this, forget it entirely, ‘kay?  thanks.  🙂

the piece that i chose to submit is called “finding the rabbit hole” and is a play on my favorite story “alice in wonderland” (i’m sure you’ve heard of it).  🙂  but, this piece has the alicia-twist with a bit of taxidermy, a bit of nature, some watch parts and gears and lots of secret places.  the piece itself measures 6″ x 12″ and is the first in a series of 3 or 4 or 5 — i haven’t decided yet.  basically this is a rip-off of what i did in lisa jurist’s book for the pulp redux collaboration because i LOVED that piece so much — it really hit a personal note for me so i’ve created one for myself.  (i deserve it.)

alice in wonderland, taxidermy, nature art, skulls, bones, animal, white rabbit, rabbit paw, vials, steampunk, rusty key

in the piece you can see many representations of the story of alice: a glass ring that represents the looking glass, a mouse skull which represents the mouse she meets in the pool of tears, a broken piece of a pocket watch and taxidermy rabbit paw representing the white rabbit who is notoriously late, the rusty key, etc.  the little tree is the one she fell through the hole under its branches.

here you can see detail of the skull through the little hole (click to enlarge):

alice in wonderland, through the looking glass, mouse skull, steampunk, watch parts, pocket watch, gear, bones

when i was a little tiny girl, we lived in the middle of nowhere, oregon.  (it was actually called lorane — still is)  at the time, the population was about 47.  three or four of those were my family and at least 98% of the rest were “old” people (anything over ten is old when you’re 3).  i had really only one friend that i can recall (a cute boy named jasper pony p.) and the rest of the time it was solo going.  i would wander around our forest searching for gnomes, faeries and THE rabbit hole.  usually this would end in disappointment as i would typically only find things like caterpillars (who i would speak to as if i were alice), snakes, mushrooms, berries and deer poop.

detail of the taxidermy rabbit foot and rusty old key (the frame around the tree was one of the first things i made out of apoxie clay from a mold i created about a year ago — was saving it for something special):

alice in wonderland, through the looking glass, taxidermy rabbit paw, rusty key, tree, assemblage

after a long time of searching day and night for the rabbit hole (and probably not “night” — my parents were not neglectful or anything and would never have let me wander a dark forest alone at night as a small child), i gave up.  i thought that if it were meant to be, i would just find it.  instead, my flexed my creativity muscles and thought up my own stories of “alicia’s wonderland” and drew pictures of what it would look like while perched under trees with our goats, chickens and kitties.  that was equally as fun.

under the vintage photo of alice on the front resides a deep compartment — her photo being the door.  i have yet to finish the inside (shhh) but it will have these and/or other vials inside (drink me!) and a menagerie of additional skulls, bones and other bits.  probably a butterfly, too.

poison vials, watch part vials, animal skull, secret compartment

within each of the sides of this piece, there are four secret little drawers (whose faces i still must paint!).  inside the drawers: a beetle, a butterfly wing and a button, currently.  i am looking for a caterpillar and other pertinent items to fill them up a bit more.

alice in wonderland, looking glass, assemblage, nature, art, mixed media, secret drawers

 (i need to paint the edges of the canvas the piece is on, too!  how embarrassing that it’s STILL not all the way complete!)  i love all of the twigs, nature bits, flower petals, dried roses, shells, moss, feathers and wings that are between the layers.  reminds me of my forest.

alicia caudle, alice in wonderland, taxidermy, art, mixed media, assemblage, drawers, hidden doors, compartments, nature art

what was your favorite childhood story?

i’m super-zine-happy and already thinking about the next issue as the altered bits print zine will now officially be a yearly publication.  i have compiled what i felt were the top 20 suggestions both from the last issue recommendations and emails, facebook inquiries, etc.  this poll should allow you to add your ideas if you have a suggestion that isn’t here.

you can pick up to FIVE answers.  the next zine will have four themes, so the top four winners are it!  you pick!  🙂  once voting is done, submissions will be open until october 31st, then the second issue will be available early 2012… but i’m getting ahead of myself.  i’m kind of like an addict right now, so pardon me for getting overly excited here.

there will also be a super special artist spotlight… but i’m shutting up now.  i know who i want to invite but we shall see!  that is far into the future.

voting will be open until june 15th, possibly longer.  in the event of any potential ties, re-voting may need to commence.

xx

i am just giddy with bliss right now as i’m holding in my hot little hands the very first ever print version of the altered bits mixed media art zine.  there are 46 pages of detectible goodness greatness!  twenty-one amazing artists have created the pieces in this zine and i am so proud to have been able to design it, despite all the glitches and delays (sorry!!  that won’t happen again).  i spent all of today doing one last iteration of the zine, uploaded it and have made it available for purchase from lulu.com at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/altered-bits-mixed-media-art-zine-themed-notorious-letters-and-symbols/15982653

art zine, mixed media art, altered art, art, zine, altered bits, assemblage, collage, jewelry, altered dolls

soon i will be issued an ISBN number so it will also be available on amazon, and at that time i will order up heaps of copies for the altered bits shop too.

just to give you a tiny peek at some of what’s in the zine, i will introduce you to two gentlemen.  well, guys, at least.  first, jesse james.  i created this piece as a gift for my husband as he is a decedent of jesse james (which you can read about in the zine).

jessee james mixed media art, altered art, altered bits zine, alicia caudle

jessee james mixed media art, altered art, altered bits zine, alicia caudle

jessee james mixed media art, altered art, altered bits zine, alicia caudle

next, the storyteller.  he’s a quirky dude made from a wonderful anatomical doll i received from my super friend tracey kraft (actually, i think she sent me about 20!).  he’s the first in a series — wait until you seen the giraffe guy.  🙂

anatomical, altered art, mixed media, altered book, tiny book, deer heads, symbols, altered bits zine, alicia caudle

i did a girl too, but i shall share her with you another time.  i was clearly in a comical state of mind with her (and the guy above).

also in the zine is a wonderful and personal artist interview…

lisa jurist, artist interview, mudhound studio

lisa jurist art, mixed media, mudhouse primitives, mudhound studio

if the revisions i did today look as good as what i got in the mail this morning, i think you will like this zine (they SHOULD — all i did was move one page and alter a name misspelling).  i sure hope you all love it.  thank you, thank you to all who helped to create this first print issue of the zine!  i adore and appreciate each and every one of you!  in alphabetical order by last name: Jay Anderson, Seth Apter, Joanne Archer, Alicia Caudle, Finn Caudle, Katie Cahill, Kym Decker, Patti Edmon, Kerin Gale, Tricia Gillispie Scott, David Hayes, Lisa Jurist, Tracey Kraft, Melissa Majchrzak Buckley, Debi Mattingly, Kim Palmer, Lisa Sarsfield, Renate Starke Krammer, Esther Verschoor, Rachel Whetzel and Jill Zaheer — you are the best!!

the zine is not only available in print, it’s available as a digital download.  almost forgot that: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/altered-bits-mixed-media-art-zine-themed-notorious-letters-and-symbols/15982653

(i will be adding all participants to my sidebar soon, and send trackbacks for this post, but for now, i have to start getting the little one wound down and ready for bed.)

ohoh, i will also be doing a secret drawing this week — ALL participants names (except mine and finn’s) will be tossed into a hat and whomever i draw will receive a FREE issue of the zine from me.  i wish i could afford to send ALL of you a zine… but i can’t.  starving artist, and such.  xx

 

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