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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!
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:
(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….)
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:
(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:
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).
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:
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.
re-announcing, the altered bits print zine!
i’ve gotten lots of emails stating that i haven’t posted info about the zine on my blog other than the themes so yeps, i’m a huge jackass. apparently i’ve just spewed off a bunch of empty promises to post about it… so now i’m officially pulling my head out and posting the info for those who are new to my zine or wish to get additional information.
after going through the suggestion and voting process, we came up with four themes for issue two of the altered bits zine. the themes are as follows:
cabinet of curiosities ( i’m actually working on a piece for this category today.)
tattered and torn (i’ve gotten the most submissions for this category so far.)
an artful retelling of history (this was my choice, so of course i’m quite excited — love the merging of art and history!)
handmade & altered books and pages (this is a super fun one too!)
feel free to interpret each of these categories as you please and use your imagination. EACH ARTIST CAN SUBMIT UP TO THREE PIECES.
here is a peek at some of the submissions so far. i’ve muted the color a bit so i don’t give everything away. i promise you’ll still want to see the zine in the real. it’s going to be gorgeous!!
the deadline for submissions 21 December, 2011. i have had to extend this a bit due to all of the recent chaos in my life… so hopefully this will work for everyone. if you need an extension, please let me know and i may be able to work something out, though i cannot make any promises just yet.
what you must submit to be eligible for inclusion:
- send high resolution photos of your art piece (or photography), at least 300 dpi, no smaller than 6 inches on the shortest edge (at 300 dpi, 6″ = 1800 pixels). please attach to email rather than inserting into body (some email programs shrink files when you do that).
- indicate which category you are submitting each piece to so i don’t put it in the wrong place.
- PLEASE don’t send small photos. use name files like this so i’m not confused: lastname_firstname-artpiecename.jpg (you can send jpgs, pngs, tiffs — no gifs or bitmaps — those don’t work for print).
- a short bio in odt, txt, rtf, doc or pdf format. please DO NOT SEND DOCX files — i can’t open them and don’t want to buy ms word.
- the url to your website or blog
- optional: a short write-up about your piece and/or your inspiration (these will be space permitting)
what you need to keep in mind:
- kind of a no-brainer but i’ll say it anyway just in case: do not submit anything with copyright restrictions. for example, don’t use egon schiele’s “standing nude young girl” in a collage or whatnot — i don’t publish copyrighted content as that could ruin it for all of the responsible participants.
- please ensure all of your images are royalty free or have commons licenses. there are great places to get images like that (flickr commons, wikipedia commons, etc.).
when it will be published:
i will be working on layout and design over the winter holidays and the start of the new year. i’m shooting to have this published and ready to order by late february or march. i’ll keep you posted though — if you sign up for notifications on my blog, you’ll be insta-enlightened when i post about it.
if you are interested in submitting an article or tutorial, let me know — i’ve never included one before but think it could possibly be fun to have one in each issue here on out. if you are interested in advertising in the zine, go to my website to find the rates and info that i will be soon posting: http://alteredbits.com/artzine.php (or email me)
send everything to hi [at] altered bits [dot] com.
thank you so much, friends and fellow artists. if you haven’t submitted yet and you plan to, i cannot wait to see!!!
pardon me, but omfg! i received the most delectable, most divine, most gorgeously, stunningly beautiful parcel EVER last week (or the week before)! what is it, you ask? my book from the pulp redux collaboration! for those who don’t know, the pulp redux collaboration is/was an international handmade/altered book collab with five gals: two from the US (lisa jurist and myself), two from new zealand (debie price-ewen and lisa sarsfield) and one from austrailia (kim palmer). we each started our own books, and each participant created pieces to go into said books in the theme of the originator. to see all of our contributions to date, visit the pulp redux blog. my book’s title is “the museum of forgotten things”.
i had had the privilege of seeing all of my completed pages after lisa j. worked her divine magic as she sent it to me so i could post it all to austrailia. so, kim’s contributions were new to me. and omg, she created the most amazing things for my book!! not only is it a book, all bound in gorgeous leather, but it’s a HUGE art quilt when you unfold it! i cannot say or share too much as we’re having an unveiling exhibit in a few months, but i’ll share a peek.
in the spirit of stacks (see previous post), i will share this photo first. i took this a mere 7 minutes after the book arrived a couple/few weeks ago and planned to post it all right that very second.
initially, we were all going to bind our completed books into one huge book, but this thing is TALL. so, i have decided that although it’s a bit more work, it will be easier to view and enjoy if i bind them in volumes. both deb’s and kim’s are pretty self-contained so i may just bind the other three. then, i shall be getting a 2 foot wall shelf to display them on in my living room — i am so in love with all of the amazing work that has gone into this!!
look how tall it would be if i bound it into one huge book (i still may, but the volume idea sounds so cool!):
here’s a cheater shot of each of the five pieces laid out on my couch:
i am slowly but surely finishing lisa j’s book. i’m not trying to go so slow but that is life sometimes… waiting for pieces once i find the perfect “thing” online, etc. i HOPE to send it to her within the next couple of weeks. how many times i’ve said that i do not know, but it will happen before the holidays, that is for dang sure!
how tall is your tallest book or art journal? (i actually have a reason for asking — check back in a few days for my splendid and huge collaboration idea i’ve been toying with for a few months.)
there were an astounding 215 votes for the next altered bits zine themes and the top four are the winners.
the next altered bits zine will have four themes:
cabinet of curiosities (if you know me, you know this thrills me beyond belief!)
tattered and torn (this one actually surprised me)
an artful retelling of history (this was my choice, so of course i’m quite excited — love the merging of art and history!)
handmade & altered books and pages (you know i love this too!!)
i was a little sad that assemblage and dolls/doll parts didn’t win but then i realized that i could still do assemblage for any of the non-book themes, and of course include dolls or doll parts if i so desire… which i probably do!)
submissions are now open! deadlines for submissions is october 31, 2011 (that’s halloween so you may not want to wait until the last minute). limit three submissions per person, with one main shot and up to two detail photographs of each piece. you can read all of the submission guidelines on the altered bits website on the zine page. please read the submission guidelines VERY carefully as it is a huge amount of work to follow up with people if they’ve sent improper files or missing information (and i may not have the time to get back to you, thus you may not have the opportunity to be included, sorry). i am very open to helping if you have any questions prior to submitting so always feel free to email me if desired.
we pulp girls have certainly been slacking with the book posts lately, but i have a sneaking suspicion that we’re consciously or sub-consciously trying to prolong the whole event. i also know that we’ve all been some busy girls with HUGE things going on in our lives as of late. i have been instructed to keep the peeks of the last book i work in (this very book) kind of cryptic as we have some secret future exhibit plans where all will finally be revealed, so i’m not showing as many photos as i typically would. this is, however, round one of two posts i will be doing.
originally i had NO idea what i was going to do. this was in part due to the fact that no natural bits (branches, flower bits, dried leaves, moss) could be sent overseas to new zealand or austrailia due to very strict postal laws and of course, particularly with a title like this, it was a necessity. THANKFULLY i ended up being the last one to receive and work on this book so i’ve cheated and included heaps of nature bits in this so far.
this is not the end result of the compartment, but i wanted you to see how deep it is — that is a deer knuckle bone or something odd like that, and of course a little vial. not sure exactly how i will complete this section, but it will come to be soon enough, i’m sure.
i hope i don’t get in trouble for showing this much of the page. BUT you have no idea what’s on the back, or any of the other secrets that alice and her friends hold, so that is good… for now. every single little bit of this book has been hand-stitched — no sewing machine was used for any part. AND i only bled once while creating it (so far).
i had SOOOOO much fun working on this first part of lisa’s book that i couldn’t stop. my mind kept going and going. as it now turns out, lisa’s book contribution is the first piece in a series of several alice-inspired nature/victorian/steampunk/forest/taxidermy/apothecary pieces. they are so very alicia and contain all that i love. none are 100% done, but i’ve started 6.
here are some very tiny peeks at my very first one that i started, called “finding the rabbit hole”.
i started mine on a 6″ x 12″ canvas — this is the 12″ side, with similar nature bits as in lisa’s book, twigs, dried flowers, moss, and other secrets.
here is alice’s key — all rusty with the number 41 on it. maybe i’ll actually finish these 6 pieces before i reach that age? it has no significance, of course… i just like numbers. next to it, a real white rabbit taxidermy paw.
on the top left of the piece, there is a hole with a glass ring framing it. if you peer inside, you will see a teeny tiny mouse skull and jaw. this was taken while the adhesive was still wet, so there will not actually bit any shiny bits. if there are, i shall fix that!
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…
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.
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. 😉
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.
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.
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.
i actually finished lisa sarsfield’s book labyrinth last sunday, but since she had just posted i felt i should let her contributions to kim’s book stew a bit before i posted my contributions to her book. i think now enough time has passed that i don’t feel as if i’m stepping on toes or anything…
part one of this post is on our pulp blog: http://pulpredux.blogspot.com.
so, if you want to see see the first pages first,
pop on over there FIRST then come back here to see the rest.
the book is called labyrinth so i’m creating a maze for you to go through if you want to see all of the pics. i’m mean.
detail/side shot of the back page of the pieces i created for lucky dip lisa’s book. i like making random boxes and compartments from scratch so i created one here. had no idea what i was going to use it for initially, but i figured it out later. 😉
detail of the top of the boxy page, with a nice old “labyrinth” of pretty brass knotwork.
a little abacus of old beads, rusty wire and rusty brads (remember, my camera is evil and makes rust disappear — it’s way better in person). lisa likes things that move, ya know…
close up of the mica covered, twine tied box:
untitled and uncovered box… a wee little nest i made with 5 1940s vintage beads nestled inside and a secret scroll note to lisa.
the nest in my cute hand. the cute nest in my hand, rather. my camera actually shows the rust this time if you enlarge. ‘about time!
side view from the spine side…
side view from the page side. love the threads atop the whole thing! (that’s my pretty chocolate colored new couch it’s on, by the way).
all done! that is my contribution to lisa’s book. i will be sending it off to lisa jurist tomorrow (if i can find a large enough box!). woohoooo!
i have a massive texture making fetish. dunno why, but i do. so, i think every tuesday that i’m in the mood will be texture tuesday. a freeby texture i’ll offer up for use in your physical or digital art, iffin you’re into that sort of thing. (i have NO idea where “iffin” came from, sorry.)
BUT that is nowhere as cool as pulp in my hands… yesterday, i received not one but TWO of the books for our pulp redux collaboration. i have both lisa jurist’s book (mudhound primitives) and lisa sarsfield’s book (lucky dip). yes, two pulp books in my hot little hands in unison!! omg, they are AMAZING! i gently unpackaged each of them, one at a time, to get a good look at them before carefully wrapping them back up. they are so fat!! and i don’t mean in that weird teenage cool way. they are thick as hell! lisa s’s measures in just about 4 inches thick (two more people to work in it) and lisa j’s book is just over SIX inches thick. wonder how they will look when i’m done…
…this is how they look pre-alicia-contributions…
lisa sarsfield’s book (i’m working on this one first as one more person will need it after me before pulp #1 comes to a sad end). her theme is “labyrinth”:
and this is lisa jurist’s book. i’m working on hers second as i’m the final contributor and i don’t want to hold anyone up. her title is “roots, beneath the layers”:
(and happy birthday to my husby! he’s 31 today. woots!)
un voyage par l’obscurité.
that is what i think this newest book of mine shall be called. but of course i change my mind a zillion times before its complete. i may call it phantoms and shadows. actually, wait, i rather like that! i’ll save un voyage par l’obscurité for another book. yes! the bird skull book. (it must be somewhat annoying that i type my thought process(es_ as they are occurring in my mind.)
i photographed this cover yesterday afternoon, then spent much of the evening working on it so it’s already better than what i’m sharing but this will just have to do.
(click photos to enlarge)
singed red velvet with burned holes, lace behind in places, antique bone beads for the centers of the french knot flowers (the bone beads were apparently made in africa or south america sometime between the late 1890s and early 1920s — the bag i got them in was a mix of two kinds and i’m not certain which are which as i’ve since forgotten what the lady told me but i THINK these are the african ones, and the seed ones were from south america).
i love to incorporate things from friends in my art to keep. this frame was from my sweet friend debbie in new zealand, some of the black lace from my sweet friend jo in england, the gorgeous silk green, rose and creamy thread is from my sweet friend lisa in maryland, and the rest of the friend goodies are on other pages so you shall see those soon.
this was a vintage photo of two girls (presumably twins) jumping rope together. i made the one on the right super light by cutting her out of the photo, photoshopping in a background behind her and overlaying her and reducing opacity. you can’t tell in this dark photo, but in person, you can see the “alive” girl’s dress through the ghostly one’s dress. the crackle and such looks WAY better in person but as i was photographing in the son weird shadows and reflections were occurring… or phantoms?
the brass antique frame is not set into the front of the book so it doesn’t look gappy or weird anymore.
and here is the whole front of the book as it was yesterday afternoon (the two lace bits on the top and sides came from a fantastically wonderful etsy shop called “mary not martha”, just in case you want some). all of the edges are now finished and things look MUCH better. kind of “simple” but definitely an alicia-style book, i’d say:
AND, without further ado, i shall announce the winners of the “how to crackle a frozen charlotte tutorial”. yes, i said i was going to only pick one, but i thought i should pick two since everyone was so sweet.
woohoo! congrats, you two! please contact me and i shall email your tutorials straight away (your posts don’t have links to your blogs for me to inform you that you’ve won).
phew! what a summer! things are always crazier this time of year, aren’t they! travel and kids home (mine and half the neighborhood), move travel and no time to work or art it seems. at least we’ve had some adventures to spokane and coeur d’alene and long beach and corona and san diego and la and such… though not all were under the best pretenses (though that’s neither here nor there, i suppose). i haven’t had a lot of time to art or hardly any time to visit my favorite blogs, but soon summer will be over and school days will reconvene.
i’ve at least gotten to finish four more charlotte pieces for my attempted 100 piece series (now if i stopped selling these i could maybe actually have 100 someday!). i have photos of numbers 9 and 11. at least i have plenty of 1900 and 1901 sheet music to do twice that many so we shall see where i end with these.
i just did a PDF tutorial that i’ll be posting in a week or three on how to crackle and age frozen charlottes and other bisque or porcelain dolls. as a result, i had lots of new little girls to play with.
charlotte’s song #9: heart song
lots of vintage lace, naturally dyed and aged, metal bits and pieces that i’ve rusted, antique sheet music, recycled sari silk ribbon, etc…
charlotte’s song #11 (i really need to photograph 10 and 12!) this is just a simple one, but cute none the less.
detail: a rusty or metallic charlotte and pretty turquoise stones.
i have a 20 to 30 piece show with these little girls next month but the left-overs will surely be going up in my etsy shop (aiming to have 30 done just in case there is room but may only have room for 20). better get to sewing though, huh!!
i also had the time to start three books, but just barely. i gave a mini peek of book one a few days ago and will show it soon, completed. that one is for me and is entitled phantoms and shadows. i dig ghostly things, ya know? book two was supposed to be for a collaboration that kerin and i are doing (see below) but she is a silly and fickle girl and wanted to change the size so this will be a different alicia-book which is just [almost] as thrilling ’cause i’m already loving it. i’ve had so much fun working on these covers and am looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks once i get them done. i still need to come up with a title and better theme for my big huge book with kerin (okay, not HUGE, but decent sized — i think they are 9″ x 12″ and will probably be a foot or three thick, hah), especially since the cover is nearly done. we’ll be posting those in the weeks to come, huh keriny!? other than these and my art journals, that’s really all i’ve gotten to do as of late. but i shall not complain!
oh, the book… i almost forgot about these photos. this is of course not at all done, but it’s a pretty fun cover, i’d say. i am going to singe the lace a bit, for one… maybe do something to the bird skull but it’s so lovely natural “as is” that i’ll probably just leave it. you can’t tell in this photo but the skull and vials are inset about 1/2″ or so from the rest of the book…
and i’m going to do that waxy alicia-thing to the ends of the vials before i actually attach them (they currently hold porcupine quills, something green and nature-esque, and some animal teeth — yeps, i like taxidermy parts and bones!)…
hopefully i’ll get at least two of these books done before summer’s end, and a handful more charlotte pieces. i’m not sure why i like them so much but they are quite fun!
does anyone know where to get taxidermy bird wings? i really, really, REALLY need one for this book. have found nothing on ebay or anything else and know a lot of bird parts are illegal to sell (wings?) in some places. if i wasn’t so sweet i’d sick one of our cats on a crow. totally not serious!!
what are you working on this summer?