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despite being mucho busy with family stuff and travel plans the past several weeks, i’ve managed to get a few new things made and posted in my shop over the past couple of days.  i have TONS of new stuff to add (soon) that i find to be quite exciting.  some examples are: vintage german cuckoo clock movements, vintage radio parts (variable capacitors, to be exact) that are ever so cool looking, vintage framed victorian prints, etc.  i should probably leave some stuff out for an element of surprise… though those are, quite admittedly, the coolest things.

here is a peek of some of the other things i’ve already posted:

altered art goodies, porcupine quills, asian brass bells, vintage porcelean knobs, vintage hardware

i’m sure you’d believe it when i told you that i got the brass bells , porcupine quills and vintage brass/porcelain knobs almost a year ago to add to the site.  you know i’m slow!

i’ve also added several new collage sheets.  these are just a few:

collage sheets, digital collage sheet, geishas, vintage ladies, vintage men

you can go peek if interested, but some of the new ones are vintage dancing girls, cemeteries and mausoleums, geishas and vintage men.

more exciting than images printed on paper, is my newest journal.  it turned out so fabulously “alicia” that i was quite reluctant to put it in my shop — i kinda felt that i should keep it… almost.  it’s not that i don’t have an over-abundance of art journals, but you know…

anatomy, anatomical art, heart, art journal, crazy quilt

i also made some more of those addictive charlottes, among other stuff.  i swear i can make 1000 of those before i tire of them, or at least 43.  they are so sweet and fun!

frozen charlotte art, anatomical heart, fabric collage, assemblage
next tasks: finish and post stuff for the pulp redux collaboration, finish a piece for a challenge my friend lish came up with, finish my new first couple of pieces in a new series i’m doing… oh yeah, and get my act together with the zine and post the info here so everyone knows where my head is.  in the meantime, here is the teeny-tiniest peek at my new stuff:


that doesn’t really give any ideas, now does it?  more soon.  🙂

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my sweet friend karyn, whom i’ve known for more years that i’d like to admit (i mean because it makes us sound almost old!), gave me the most magnificent gift last week: an album of photos from the 1890s to 1920s, with a few things as “new” as the 40s.  omg — i have been turning these pages over and over, falling in love with each and every one.  karyn is a dear, sweet friend and an amazing illustrator.  we were pregnant together, her son being born just five weeks before mine, and one day we were sitting together having tea and scones and our boys kept kicking each other while still in utero.  was pretty funny and sweet.  you can check our her blog here or her illustration website here.


her parents had found this album and additional photos at an estate sale or antique store, she wasn’t sure which, and after having it sit in her home for a long time she decided that i, in her opinion, could put them to better use than her.  that is of course debatable, but i am ever so grateful!  i am starting a big new series of collages and assemblages called “people i’ve never met and places i’ve never been”… or something.  it’s just so inspirational to have these zillion gorgeous vintage photos and cabinet cards!  one of the coolest things about it, as if it COULD get cooler than having the photos in the first place, is that there are lots of individuals in the book with the surname “finn”.  as most of you know, my wee man’s name is finn.  so it was particularly meant to be, karyn said.  and, one of the houses looks almost exactly like ours, which too is an ironic little tidbit.  remove a window, and add a couple of steps and it’s practically our house.

fertile mind, fertile body, fertile spirit
other than that, i’ve been a busy little bee.  my son’s school has an art fair coming up, called create.  all parents, friends and family who are artists or crafters will be selling their wares there, on cinco de mayo.  i’m helping out by making the flyers and things — you know me, the volunteer girl.  i’ll also have a table there so i’ve been making so much stuff.  check list so far: three new journals, a heap of art prints, two assemblages, four collages, three paintings, six frozen charlotte hanging thingies like the ones in a previous post, a handful of fabric collages, art cards of my son’s magnificent bird art (below), bunches of girly headbands, lots o’ wrist cuffs, and about 6 other pieces i’m not exactly sure how i would categorize but they are pretty and hang on a wall.  oh, and fabric collage art cards.

kid art, child art, birds, crackle
speaking of the magnificent finn, he has asked me that i post this… next week is run for the arts at his school.  100% of the money raised goes to funding art programs at their school.  last year they raised enough to rent a kiln and make a heap-load of fantastic clay garden art pieces and also enough to make HUGE mosaic mural for the school entrance, thanks to being able to afford these wonderful visiting artists.  it’s so fantastic to see all of the inspiring art these 1st through 8th graders created.  anyway, i am volunteering that day (surprise, surprise) AND i’m on a mission to help my son get a run for the arts t-shirt.  you have to have 15 sponsors to get a shirt.  i’m not sure why it’s so important to him, but it is — which makes it important to me.  so far we have 7 sponsors (i count as three of those having used each of my businesses as a sponsor) so i need 8 more.  people can sponsor per lap, or a flat dollar amount (minimum one dollar).  so, if anyone is interested in or willing to sponsor my little bug for a buck, i would be ever so grateful, and so would he.  he covets his last year’s run for the arts shirt and i want to help him qualify for it again this year.  if interested, email me your mailing address or at least city, state, zip and phone number (it’s a requirement to qualify) and either paypal the buck or i’ll just cover it for you — it’s the amount of names that matter.  either can be sent to: hi at altered bits dot com.  thank you so very much.  please don’t feel obligated though — it’s just a silly shirt.  of course that puts him closer to winning the first prize of a t-shirt, a pencil pouch, a ruler, a backpack full of art supplies and tickets to the children’s theater.  i should start 8 more businesses just to get him closer.  🙂

gold and green, leaf, fabric collage, framable art card, ooak

vintage photo of my grandmother and great grandmother

i feel as if i’ve been in a coma for the past two weeks.  three weeks?  maybe four.  i have no sense of time and started this post almost a week ago.  everything in life was put on hold while trying to assist in the care of my sweet gramma, trying to find her the “perfect” home, etc.  and omg, we DID find her a home that is beyond perfect.  wouldn’t have asked for half as much as where she is now, but now i know.  she’s great — went from not being able to lift a fork to feed herself to walking from her room to the living room, which is quite far in her large new home.  i’m beyond thrilled. thank you all for your wonderful thoughts and good wishes.

absinthe fabric collage, hanging aceo

this will be for sale on my site when i remember where i put it - thank you for the image, jo!!!

i also knocked tons of items off my 46 item long to do list and added some new ones… and finished those too.  i made my wee man a blanket with skulls on it (below), a painting/collage for my husby, a painting for my son, a book for my husby with a fabric collaged little pouch i made for it (can’t post all of the photos of that one as it’s got some naughtiness to it — peek below for the non-naughties though), finished another journal or two (alice in wonderland one that debs mentioned is below), made a crap-load of ornaments (well, ten isn’t really a crap-load — some beaded, some fabric, a couple resin clay), designed and framed a small handful of prints for various family members and fell utterly behind in all else (blogging, reading blogs, marketing the businesses… hell, there were two days there that i didn’t even shower.  tmi, i know!).


i also made a genius set of double layer curtains with a little pocket under the bottom layer (you know me and pockets!) to hide my wedding ring in when i’m cooking so my jerky husby doesn’t hide it and pretend it fell down the drain. 😉  yeah, he did that once.

alice in wonderland journal, fabric collage, sketchbook

journal: available in my shop

oh wait.  i also made lots of new collage sheets that i have yet to post, a few scarves, a couple of cuff bracelets, some small fabric collages thanks to the magnificent KC Willis’ genius collage camp workshop, and started two large ones.  i totally forgot to photograph most of it though ’cause i’m a jackass.  (a couple of the things are being sent to the wonderful debrina though so with any luck she will photograph them for me with her new fabulous camera, hint, hint!)

speaking of KC and collage camp, it is only $75 instead of the regular $98 this week.  go sign up and join in the fun!! i was the queen of not knowing how to sew, not that that has changed, but she makes things so easy and so, so much fun!

i haven't taken a photo of the completed piece, but i made this for my husby for solstice

detail of the 3d skull just below — that part was complete in this shot.  the fabric above ended up way more dark and grungy and there is a frame of black crackle paste and other textural goodness around the piece, more collage and painting, etc.  this photo is crap… but what else is new, eh?

i have been so busy and sick with worry about my gram, taking time to visit her, and inundated with company and travel and such that i have missed out on thanking some of you for the amazingly wonderful things i’ve received for the art exchange.  i’ll post some now and some later due to the length of this post.

first big thing i sewed with my new machine: finn’s snuggly blanket (skull flannel on one side, fleece on the other — basic, i know, but i sewed it straight which was a challenge for me!!!):

from the fabulously talented rainey of the josie bagley company, i received one of her magnificent white rabbits (she knows me well, clearly, and i LOVE this!):


from the talented debra of dryadart, i received this fabulous altered book page — i LOVE plants and gardening so as i’m sure you can imagine, i adore this:


from jacky in austrailia of art4moi, i received this super sweet and fun stuffed owl.  i love her!  she is perched upon my “favorite shelf” as i call it, right in front of me so i can look at it all day.  she even stands up on her own!

this one makes me sad.  i got a super sweet book, an ATC and a note from this person — if you see this PLEASE email me!!  the sad part was that the package was damaged and the note was half wet and smeared.  the rest of it was totally fine.  the return address on the envelope is where it ripped, and the signing of the note was totally illegible, as well as part of the past two sentences.  i love this book!  and i’m sorry it’s a horrible photo.  i have it on my bookshelf next to all of my favorite books and journals.  please help me find who made this so i may thank her.  there was no contact info in there (actually, i received three other peices with no contact info too, sadly).

happy new year everyone!  some of you are already there — like debs, lisa s, kim, etc.  how’s 2010 so far?  i’m suffering from a hang-over a day early, stupidly, so want to go to bed at 6… but i won’t.  how dumb is that?  the ONE time i get my drink on (with three whole beers), i do it new years eve-eve!?  sheesh.  anyway, i hope you all have a very creative and prosperous new year and i thank you all for so much inspiration and eye candy in ’09, and feel so thankful for all of the friendships i’ve made this year.

xo

altered art
i was speaking with the great and lovely ms. kerin gale the other day (what else is new) and she brought something to my attention.  i paraphrase: girl, you are great at starting projects but suck at finishing them.  how right she is!  after we got off the phone, a mere seven hours later (i exaggerate), i made a list of pending projects.  omfg.  i will hereby start NO new art projects until at least 68% of these are completed or thrown away.  between random art tangents and holiday gifts, i have 48 pieces in the works.  48!  who the hell starts and does not finish 48 things!?  wait, after this weekend it’s actually only 47.  THAT’s how ADD i am.

one of the things on my list was a journal project assigned to me by the gorgeous and ever so talented debbie of debrina’s diary.  the short version: we are each starting a blank journal (or rather “decorating” an existing one) and sending them back and forth to write things to each other, draw, doodle, paint, embellish, etc.  just a sweet sisterly-friend thing.  she is sweet and flowery and i think it rubbed off on me… my very first ever sewing attempt:

fabric collage blank art journal, bird, vintage flower fabric
i coffee stained the floral fabric which is a left over swatch of 50s fabric from a fashion designer web client… somehow i missed returning this little piece to them, whoops!  i swear it was not on purpose.  the sari silk on top is from the bundle patti sent me the other day and the left side lace and bottom trim is from debs.  thanks girls.  🙂  reminder: this is my FIRST sewing project so don’t make fun of me.

i cheated and started a second one (please muffle your laughs).  on the top little x-stitched on fabric piece, i will stamp “chapter two” or “part two” or something.  dunno yet.  i was going to sell it but the back few pages got ever so slightly water damaged in a dime-sized area, and, well, it’s wonky.

handmade journal, fabric collage, pocket, sewing

both of the front pieces (the red and the light blue) are pockets.  i always lose my pens so this way there is no excuse for my flightiness.  the blue fabric that i used in both is from a doll skirt from when i was little, and the red ribbon atop this one is from my favorite porcelain doll’s hat (again, from childhood — i shoved her in a box by the time i was 9 and too tough for dolls).  the gorgeous red fabric in the center is from the great and amazing lisa of mudhound primitives, as are the larger buttons on both pieces.  the whole thing is totally crooked because i sewed it while on the phone with my neck all cricked and looking at it cock-eyed.  it makes me giggle — it’s perfectly quirky, just like me.

vine and leaf stitching, journal binding, fabric collage

debs liked the vine stitching and sharpie-colored-in leaves on the other one, so i added it to the binding of this one.

we also got our tree up and decorated, which was nice.  i started celebrating christmas for my little guy ’cause how fun christmas is for a child!  we also celebrate winter solstice and have a feast and give each other hand-made gifts (i have a fuzzy skull blanket, a painting, a collage and a book to complete in one week PLUS we now have family coming for 5 days to celebrate the solstice with us, etc. so i think that means i have to make more things?!  and clean house!).

thanks to my sweet and gorgeous friend jo of the crow road, our tree is infinitely better than years previous.  she sent us three ornaments from england then sent another three she made herself!

hand made christmas ornaments, ornaments from england

i love these all so very much!  even my boys were quite excited.  thank you, sweet friend!

every year since his birth, my mum has gotten my little bug a frog ornament, AND my husby’s uncle brought us a box of husby’s grandma’s vintage glass ball ornaments last spring when he came up after her passing.  i think we need a taller tree next year.  little bug won’t let me not get one.  i’m so humbug.

frog ornament, christmas decoration, yule tree

today i only have one order to ship out (so far) and three invoices to send to web clients. the rest of the day i’m going to spend catching up on everyone’s blogs as i know i have missed so very much in the past 2+ weeks that i’ve been not really here.  plus, i’m going to be SO busy the rest of the week with 47 projects, helping to move my gram to a nursing home and having company arrive for five days on thursday, etc.  what are YOU doing this week?

more soon.  🙂  off to seth’s blog first because i’ve missed TWO secret sundays and that just kills me.  if you haven’t read it yet, go NOW!  it’s brilliant!!  (and then go peek at pulp redux again!)  ((yes, i will likely bring both of those up in every post for the next several months.  it should just be a blog post signature.))

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.

i have been so incredibly busy these past few weeks that i feel like not one thing is getting my full attention or dedication, so i’m going to phase out for a few days.  i have five week old emails that i have yet to respond to (and fully intend to), web client work to do, people to call, and a zine to finish, not to mention 11 started pieces of art for a gallery, art fair thingy, bar “exhibit”, challenges and swaps… all of which need my love and less-divided attention.

prawn from the movie district 9

despite it all, i had the opportunity to relax a bit and see an adult film with my husby yesterday (it’s his birthday today!).  by “adult film” i mean nothing naughty… just a rated R movie, which doesn’t happen often as our six year old is generally in tow (he got to go to the enchanted forest with my sister, whose birthday was yesterday, as she wanted a wee bit of child-like fun).  anyway, we saw district 9.  loved it.  we wanted to see inglorious basterds (they spelled it wrong, not me), but that one was too long for the allotted time frame we had — let me know if you’ve seen it and if it’s good (but don’t tell me anything about it or i’ll beat you up).  please and thank you.

i also took the time to do a page in my art journal, albeit very little time.  it’s been a VERY long time since i’ve done anything “me-esque” so although it’s nothing fancy, it felt good to do something for myself.  i really cheated though because the main part of the page is an ATC i did based upon a challenge debbie and i started a few months ago (atc/interpretive piece based upon a tarot reading for each other).  the card is a door that opens to tell the story.  haven’t done that part yet but like i said, i’m busy.

tarot card, ATC, journal page, art journal

you can see some of the detail here and the lady’s face on the left (hey, it pertains to my reading):

tarot card, ATC, journal page, art journal, detail, texture tarot card, ATC, journal page, art journal, detail, texture

as of this moment,  i have spent 114 hours on the black and white zine between layout, design, photo editing and correspondence.  i’m insane.  but i do think that everyone will be quite thrilled with how it turns out.  i’m really almost done, promise.  just need to take a bit of time for other stuff for a wee bit ’cause i’m getting too stressed and mildly grumpy due to a 5 day headache, whine, whine.  not to ruin the surprise, but here is the cover i did late last night (you will see bits of your art in it, most likely, as every contributor has a little glance — some way more obvious than others).

altered bits zine, black and white, cover

i hadn’t realized there were so many other secret math and science geeks around “these parts”.  and i have a question for you: if you took a .4mm thick piece of paper, and it was actually possible to fold it as many times as you would need to, how many folds would it take for its thickness to be enough to reach the moon? (of course the paper would be more narrow than a strand of hair and obviously a total impossibility, but shhh.  let’s forget logic just for a moment.)  i was surprised to find it to be far less than i would have imagined (heard it on the radio the other night from a math guy).  i already provided a very obvious hint… so you can do the math.

anyway, see you soon.  i shall be “back” at the end of the week and the zine should be posted and bursting at the seems with non-colorful but utterly fabulous black and white art… and it’s bigger than the last one.  shortly thereafter i will post all participants on the side bar and get the rest of things in order and up to date.

later addition after the fact to myself and all fellow pisces people (jo!).  i just read this free will astrology for us for the week and wanted to share for silly fun:

If you build it, they will probably come. If you just pretend to build it, they may come anyway, and end up sticking around because of your charming attunement to life’s deeper rhythms. If, as you build it or pretend to build it, you act manic or send out mixed messages, they may be intrigued and attracted, but they definitely won’t come. So my advice, Pisces, is to suppress your mood swings as you at least start pretending to build the thing in earnest.

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