You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘assemblage’ category.

my dad has been collecting wasp’s nests for me for the past couple of years and i just happened upon them again a couple of weeks ago. you want to keep them in a plastic bag or glass jar for a good year or so after you “harvest” them, which is why i forgot about them (i didn’t do that with the first batch about three years ago and couldn’t figure out why there were wasps in my studio the following spring!). usually, nine times out of ten, i find perished wasps in the bottom of the baggies or jars after letting them sit.

anyway, these were ready and i decided to start a couple of pieces with them. this one is called “wasp’s gift”. click on any of the images to view enlarged versions, if desired.

wasps-gift-assemblage-alicia-caudle

at the top of this piece is an X. in the elder futhark, that rune is called gebo, which literally translates to “gift”. so, not a terribly creative name, really, but befitting none the less. (more specifically, gebo means gifts, both in the sense of sacrifice and of generosity, indicating balance. all matters in relation to exchanges.) the circles represent gestation and external growth.

the dots and markings on this piece are very textural and not just painted on. you can see peeks of vintage and antique book pages sticking through in a couple of places.

wasps-gift-d3

the wooden “frame” around the wasp nest protrudes from the wooden base. the first photo didn’t make that entirely obvious. it was intentionally cut and assembled roughly to give it a more ancient or primitive look.

wasps-gift-d4

here’s a little close-up of the crescent shaped wasp nest. i loved that nest the most out of my entire collection so was excited to use it here.

“in some african traditions, the wasp is a symbol of evolution, and control over our life circumstances.

some native american indian tribal myths indicate the wasp was the creator of the earth, and was a symbol of order, organization and productivity.

ancient european lore recognizes the wasp as big part of pollination. here the wasp is symbolic of fertility as this genre of earth-based believers honored the wasp for its role in continuation of certain plants and flowers.”

(Quote via What’s Your Sign)

wasps-gift-d2

this piece has been imbued with healing earth energy and the gift of protection for whomever’s home it ends up residing in.

the whole piece measures 10×10″. additional photos and information can be found here:

you’re invited to “journeys and dreams” — my art opening at radio room

thursday, october 2nd
7-10pm
@ radio room on ne alberta.

in conjunction with my opening, i’ll also be hosting a benefit for children’s healing art project (CHAP), who is quite possibly the BEST (if not THE best) non-profit in the state. i’ll tell you more about them in a moment and how you can help, if you’re so inclined, whether you’re near or far.

alicia caudle art show at radio room on alberta
yesterday i hung all of the pieces for my show, sans a couple that i’ll be getting up in the next few days (long story but part of it includes me knocking a fragile assemblage off a table thus having to fix it — oops!).  my exhibit is comprised of 20 paintings, 2 dolls and 2 assemblages.  i’ll probably have 3 more assemblages and two more paintings by the event.  plus i’ll have a heap of small art prints and tiny framable paintings for those with a smaller art budget (like me).

during this whole process i’ve learned that i’m not very good at hanging, aligning things or making things look straight, even with the assistance of my sister.  but we got it done and i think it looks fantastic, even if there are a couple quirky misalignments and height discrepancies.

art exhibit, alicia caudle, journeys and dreams, radio room pdx, mixed media portraits

i forgot to take photos of the fourth wall, and part of the third, but you get the idea.  lots of art!  and yes, i’ve been bitten by the color bug — i’m loving color play as of late.

this piece, entitled “nothing really bothers her, she just wants to love herself” is my favorite.  if i recall, it’s 15×30″ — collage, acrylic, graphite and ink. i’ll try to get a better/head on photo during my opening.  she’s a great representation of my deep adoration of malformation, disproportion and things that don’t properly match (all my hands are absurdly small, for example, and look like they were drawn by a child — love kid art!).  it makes me happy.

nothing really bothers her she just wants to love herself by alicia caudle, radio room show

despite having just hung, and the opening not being until next week, i’ve already sold two pieces which has me ecstatic.  i am so grateful to be able share my art with people who enjoy it!  it too makes me happy — i’m pretty giddy right now, truth be told.  one gal messaged me on facebook after posting a couple of images and asked if she had to purchase it in person.  nope!

these are the two that have found new homes so far. “one raven girl“…

mixed media portrait, alicia caudle, journeys and dreams

and this piece, entitled “i can’t see the end of me“:

i can't see the end of me, mixed media portrait by alicia caudle

(clearly i’m still working on my photography skills.)

and here are a couple of close-up shots of two more pieces that are now available on the walls at radio room.  this piece is entitled “finding feathers on her medicine walk” and is highly inspired by my new shamanic pursuits. her eyes are my favorite, slightly askew and off kilter, over a slightly-too-small nose.  she’s 12×12″, collage, acrylic, pen/ink, graphite and water soluble wax pastels.

gathering feathers on her medicine walk, mixed media art portrait by alicia caudle

and “describing wisdom” — with a deer and an antler girl.  she’s 6×12″, collage, acrylic, ink, graphite, charcoal and water soluble wax pastels.

describing-wisdom

(i’m seriously going to beg some of my photography friends to take better photos because these are so embarrassing!)

and this is my 3d wall so far.  i’ll be adding additional pieces before the event.

assemblages and art dolls by alicia caudle

and now for the good stuff!

children's healing art project

children’s healing art project brings the healing power of art to children in crisis through a mobile team of teaching artists working in a partnership with hospitals, community organizations and schools. at CHAP, children are known for their creativity and ingenuity—not by their disease, diagnosis or disability. their innovative healing arts programs reach critically ill, chronically ill and disabled children (and their loved ones) with programs that strengthen, encourage and inspire.  i love all that they stand for and do in our community and as a result decided to host a benefit for them.  i am donating a 5% of all of my art sales during the opening night to them, and radio room is donating 15% of all food and drink sales during the event to them.  in addition, envelopes will be available to make direct cash donations and a big huge box will be out from now until october 30th to collect donated art supplies to CHAP and the children they serve.  they are always in need of sequins, model magic, beads and beading supplies, colored feathers, paints and brushes, non-toxic adhesives, collage papers, colorful pipe cleaners, blank t–shirts (kids sizes) and masking tape.

image copyright children's healing art project (CHAP)

image copyright children’s healing art project (CHAP)

and actually, scratch that.  it had originally been the plan to donate a portion of my sales to them from opening night only, but i’ve just changed my mind (looking at that precious painty face and colorful tiny toes).  i will now be donating a percentage of my art sales from right this minute through opening night.  so if you’re interested in a piece that is available, you can help CHAP to0.

i love them and i’m going to see about being a volunteer artist now that finn is back in public school and i have the time to do so.  ❤

hope to see you at the opening if you’re in the area!

aedm-logo

november is art every day month.  you can read about this here and see all of the participants here.  please sign up if you feel you would like to — it’s such a great idea and i’m thankful to have heard about it before too much of the month got away from me.

i will be creating every single day of the month and will try to post at least every other day.  this of course doesn’t mean i’ll have a new project completed every day, but i will be getting lots of things created.

right now i’m working on a series of ghost pieces… or haunted pieces.  the first one i’ve completed is of a belly dancer (i’ve layered several vellum copies of her on top of one another, some wrinkled on purpose to give a more eerie appearance).

ghost-bellydancer

as you can see, i’m still quite obsessed with using these super cool old coin charms and tribal chain pieces.  love them and for this piece, they felt quite befitting.

bellydancer, ghost, assemblage, mixed media art
my second piece is in tribute to adella lineberry, 1885-1902, who died by getting trapped under ice while traveling with her husband and two small children.  of course i made up this story, but i’m sure things like this have happened a zillion times in the past.  i’ve always had a passion for memorial art, fact or fictitious (and i’ve done several custom pieces for people who have lost loved ones, which is some of my all-time favorite art — even though i don’t share it due to the sensitivity of it all).  adella is not quite done, but here is a peek:

memorial art, ghost, mixed media

i’m kind of digging how the crystals look like ice (and yes, i’ve used that tribal chain again!).  i’ll post more photos once it’s complete so you can see the silvery icy-looking cracks in the wooden substrate.  today i have to write her obituary which will be included in the piece and then it’s almost done.

i have several images ready to go for this series and i’ll share two (these are more “haunting” than “ghost-like”).  both of these images were taken on my new free phone’s camera and the camera sucks arse but it kind of adds to the effect, maybe.  you can click to enlarge if you’d like.

ghost picture, haunting, mixed media art

and next, two sets of twins, or at least two sets of sisters.  can you see the younger girls within the photo?  i am thinking that this piece may have to light up from behind because it gives a hugely different effect depending upon the light you’re viewing the image in.

ghost picture, haunting, mixed media art

anyway, you get the gist.  i will be posting each of these assemblages as i complete them, along with some of the other things i’m working on right now (the tallest handmade book in the world, some mini assemblage ornaments, and some new paintings).  i’m taking this “art every day of the month” thing seriously (not that i often go a day without creating, but sometimes i get in too big of a funk to do much at all).  i will not let my potential funks slow me down this time and with any luck this will give me more impetus to blog more often, too.

heart

since i have to work cyclically lately between different mediums, sometimes i can’t decide if i want to create an assemblage or a book.  they are, after all, the two things i’m most passionate about creating (though i’m still overly obsessed with the idea of creating a portrait i don’t hate).  so this time i decided to create both in unison… a book inside an assemblage.  it’s funny how i say that as if i’ve never done that before.  i’m totally laughing right now.  this is probably my forty-third assemblage with a book in it.

meet the second gal in my doll box series (the first, “exhibition of self” can be found in seth apter’s book “the pulse of mixed media” where i was one of the featured artists).  i fell instantly in love with that little face of hers and had to create something special.  at least i feel she’s special.  ❤

mixed media assemblage, doll parts, taxidermy, alicia caudle, doll box, shrine, frozen charlotte, doll parts, bones

like most people, she has her secrets; some are kept in the little drawer just above her heart, and others can be kept in the book within her belly.  the drawer is actually not empty.  can you guess what’s inside?

victorian doll parts, assemblage, handmade book, alicia caudle, bones, taxidermy, secrets, mixed media art

the book is made with bones upon the spine and a metal and shark tooth closure i fashioned out of miscellaneous found objects.

alicia-caudle-bone-book

you can see several more detail photos on my site, here, if interested >>

what did you create today?

first, the old.

the perimeter of my studio has been getting more and more cluttered over the past [VERY busy year] but now that we have a new pup and i want him to be a studio dog, i’m tackling the boxes and mini-piles.  somehow, i managed to find a small cache of artwork that i never posted up for sale.  this is round one of “the old”.  since my walls are pretty much covered from ceiling to floor as it is, i’m having a “vintage alicia-art sale“.

charlotte in spring: i did do a blog post on this piece once many moons ago, but never ended up listing it.  why?  i’m ADD and am easily distracted by shiny rusty objects (and i have plenty of those around here to catch my attention).  otherwise, i have no excuse.

charlotte’s song #9:  i did a 20 piece series called “charlotte’s song (late 1800s to early 1900s sheet music and frozen charlotte dolls, you see)… and this is the only one that remains.  eighteen of the others sold, and one was given to my mum because she was in love.  so sweet of her!

frozen charlotte assemblage

charlottle sometimes: i created this piece in late 2010, originally [i think] for kerin gale’s book “inspired remnants, curious dreams” but i ended up submitting a different piece instead… so she ended up in the “post this on your website when you have a spare hour box”… apparently it took a couple of years for me to remember to do what i had intended to do back then.

charlotte sometimes, frozen charlotte assemblage

if you’re interested in any of these pieces, you can find them here >>

next, the new.

over the holidays i ran out of time to work on my “keepers” series of little assemblages, but now that my weeks and weeks of company are gone and craziness is over, i’m back at it.  part of this was created awhile back, but i’ve just now finished it.  i bought two  pairs of these eyes that i used in the piece and lost one, so only have one left.  if only i remembered where i bought them!!  these were among my favorite taxidermy eyes ever!  even worse, i had 6 of these little round metal bits that they fit perfectly in, and now at least three will go eyeless.  about time for a taxidermy eye shopping spree again if i do say so myself.  if you have a favorite taxidermy eye shopping place, please let me know.  van dyke taxidermy is fantastic, but i can’t remember the other place i’ve gotten them.

the keeper of color.  5×5″, handmade box on collaged canvas.

the keeper of color, frozen charlotte assemblage by alicia caudle

click to enlarge if you’d like to check out the detail.  my favorite part?  the eye.  i covered it with several layers of resin and crackled it around the edges.  see:

crackled taxidermy eye

this piece can be found in my regular shop, here: http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php, along with several additional detail photos.

i always feel like such an ass when i got extended periods of time without blogging or checking out other people’s blogs but the beginning of the school year is beyond insane and i’m not the courageous and omnipotent mult-tasker i used to be.  in short, home school kicks my arse.  and then it’s weeks later…

my arty to-do list is sooooo huge, but here is my plan (in response to email inquiries, some i’ve responded to and some i have not):

  1. catch up on the tallest book in the world project (two people did not include email addresses with their pages, by the way, so if you didn’t hear from me that’s probably why.)  MUST finish this soon!  this means: finish my pages, do the dedication/thank you/participants page.  make covers.  bind it.  post it up for auction (after emailing everyone whose contact info i have to announce that my head has now been removed from my bum and things are proceeding, like seven years late, or so…)
  2. catch up on the zine and get it published for all of us!  i didn’t forget or drop the ball, it just takes a bazillion hours and after the loss of my computer i lost my momentum.  promise i’ll get it done, just can’t promise when.
  3. create some of the arty tutorials i’ve been asked about.  more on this later… have to figure out where i’ll start.
  4. catch up on the 4.524 unread emails i have in my inbox (for some reason i initially typed “undead emails” and got a comical vision of zombie messages clawing their way out of my monitor — i think i need a nap!)
  5. initiate my next give-away — i already have a small pile of goodies, just haven’t gotten around to photographing or posting it (i wasn’t able to move my left arm for over a week, so that has something to do with it, but i’m fine now — it was just a pinched nerve, two misaligned vertebrae, a dislocated rib, a wrecked rotator cuff and a grumpy handful of tendons is all).

those are the main ones.  just a few, but they mostly all big and cumbersome and scary due to lack of time.  next item, post some of my most recent creations (that’s easy!)…

this one is the second in my keeper series, called the keeper of beach and bone.  i like bones and beachiness.

assemblage, frozen charlotte, taxidermy eye, animcal teeth, shells, coral, alicia caudle, keeper series, beach and bone

and some side shots (i’m clearly obsessed with frozen charlottes, victorian era doll parts, bones, teeth, taxidermy eyes, shells and other such things):

the keeper of beach and bone, assemblage, alicia caudle

and…  (i haven’t decided if i should leave the bottle of teeth as a removable element or a permanent aspect — it’s currently removable because i like interaction, but the husby says that’s a not-great idea…)

frozen charlotte assemblage, taxidermy, bones, animal teeth assemblage

the keep of beach and bone is now available in my shop: alicia’s art on the altered bits site >>

next, i’ve been obsessed with art dolls lately and have finished four (then started a fifth and sixth).  this one is flying off to the other side of the continent next week.  her name is…  actually, i don’t know what her name is yet.  i’ll let you know when she tells me… but she is the first of my waxen dolls.

waxen encaustic art doll, hand made doll, alicia caudle

(i’m still a horrible photographer!)  her head is from a victorian era doll and i made the rest with lace, fabric, embellishments, found objects, wax, acrylic, and all sorts of other goodness.

waxen, art doll, encaustic, alicia caudle

this little gal’s arms and legs move and i totally love her stripey lace-bottomed leggings… so very alicia!  her arms are tied on with little bows.

waxen art doll, encaustic doll, victorian era doll head, vintage doll head, crackle, stripey socks

i’ll post more of my dolls this week.

now available in my shop, the my first in my new series, a charlotte assemblage entitled “the keeper of dark and light”.  i’m not very creative with my naming sometimes.

assemblage by alicia caudle, frozen charlotte, animal teeth, quills, taxidermy eye
this wee charlotte is the older type, from around the 1860s i’m told, instead of the more typical 1880s-90s style (see her painted eyes).  she has been partially rusted because who doesn’t love a bit o’ rust sometimes?

frozen charlotte, assemblage, mixed media, taxidermy eye, animal teeth, alicia caudle, art

atop the little metal box charlotte resides, is an antique pocket watch winder (i have no idea what those are called)… which is all sitting upon a vintage gear.  above that, a taxidermy eye on another gear i rusted and antique brass beads nailed into the wooden base.

frozen charlotte, assemblage, mixed media, taxidermy eye, animal teeth, alicia caudle, art

here is a close-up of the charlotte and vial with porcupine quills and an animal tooth (love her eyes!):

frozen charlotte, assemblage, mixed media, taxidermy eye, animal teeth, alicia caudle, art

vintage french book page text and crackle are behind the charlotte.

frozen charlotte, assemblage, mixed media, taxidermy eye, animal teeth, alicia caudle, art

here is a close up of the eye.  and (i blush!!) the little mishap of the hanger on the back poking through.  it looks cool and intentional though, in a way.

frozen charlotte, assemblage, mixed media, taxidermy eye, animal teeth, alicia caudle, art

at the bottom hangs a small fleur d’lis i aged.  it actually hangs straight but i took this photo with the piece laying on its back.

frozen charlotte, assemblage, mixed media, taxidermy eye, animal teeth, alicia caudle, art

here is a side-view of the piece laying down…

frozen charlotte, assemblage, mixed media, taxidermy eye, animal teeth, alicia caudle, art

the whole thing measures about 4.5″ x 6″ and is available for purchase in my shop (at a reduced rate due to the hanger mishap — it still hangs totally perfectly though, of course).

you can check it out here >>

sold.  thank you so much, miss renee!  🙂

the pulse of mixed media by seth apter

first and foremost, i want to congratulate seth apter on his AMAZING, wonderful, absolutely stunning new book.  at the time of typing this post, i have not yet held it in my hands, but i run to my mailbox several times daily with the great anticipation of its arrival.  soon it will be here and i cannot wait!

thinking back to when seth initially invited me to be a part of his now-released book “the pulse of mixed media: secrets and passions of 100 artists revealed” i was awe stricken, dumfounded, proud, humbled and blissfully elated all in one.  i couldn’t for the life of me understand why he would invite “little ol’ me,” the weird girl in mis-matched striped knee highs and uneven pigtails who still, in her adulthood, played with doll parts and was fascinated with bones and other such things but i was so honored that he did.  i was so excited!!  (and still am!)

before i get into that though, i have asked seth a couple of questions that i was quite sure people would be interested in knowing the answers to.  after all, he did ask us many fantastic thought-provoking things of the participating artists so i felt it only fair… not that these are thought-provoking or deep, but i was curious.  🙂

dyad, copyright seth apter

dyad, copyright seth apter

alicia: when you initially started “the pulse” 4 years ago, did you ever imagine it would grow into something so large with such a huge following?  at what point did you envision taking it to the next level and publishing a book?

seth: The size and impact of The Pulse has really taken me by surprise. I remember very clearly that I had 35 artists sign up for the first edition of The Pulse back in January 2008, just 5 months after I started my blog. At that point, my expectations were already exceeded but I had a sense that I had tapped into something special. The 5th edition of The Pulse is now running, with 150 artists participating. That number boggles my mind. I had turned the 3rd online edition into a print zine and had often thought that this project had the bones to become a book. But it wasn’t until I was approached by Tonia Davenport, my editor from North Light Books, that I realized I could make this dream a reality. That was 2 years ago, almost to the day of the book’s release, and I couldn’t be more happy with how it has turned out.

alicia: based upon the gorgeous amazon preview i’ve looked it, it appears that you have a vast array of different styles of beautiful art.  what inspired you to invite the artists you’ve featured in your book?   

seth: There are 2 groups of artists included in the book: 31 spotlight artists that I personally invited to contribute and 102 additional artists that responded to an open call. All of the contributors moved me with their art and their words. I selected the spotlight artists in particular based on a number of different criteria. They were all artists I respected, with a body of artwork that spoke to me. In all cases, at one time or another, their creations had taken my breath away. Although I was already in contact with many of the artists, there were a number of contributors I asked having never connected with them before the book project began. I sought out a very eclectic group of international artists so that many distinct art mediums would be represented and the entire range of the mixed media community would be included.

billboard, copyright seth apter

billboard, copyright seth apter

when i think of seth, i think of an amazing artist, a grand collaborator, a pioneer, and a friend i have yet to meet (soon though!).  he is a thought provoker, someone who makes you really think.  i spent a huge amount of self reflection time when reading through the many questions he’d asked for the book.  several of these were not easy questions by any means, and i think just the process of answering them made me feel like i understood a tiny bit more why i am the way i am and why i create the things i do.  that may sound weird, but it’s true.  so thank you for that, seth!

i have been a huge admirer of seth’s artwork since the moment i laid eyes on it and [so far] am the proud owner of one of his pieces (not shown here).

………………………………………………………………..

the thing that intimidated me most, initially, when being invited to be in the book was that all featured artists were supposed to create a self portrait.  it was actually the only thing that intimidated me.  this was pre-alicia-attempts-to-paint people days.  i tried to paint myself.  i tried to collage myself.  and then i emailed seth and said “wait, can my self-portrait be an assemblage??”  his answer was the best ever: “i wouldn’t expect anything else from you, alicia” (or something to that effect).  at that point i felt totally free and confident, and created my “self portrait” with both passion and ease.  the following is a peek of my piece entitled “exhibition of self”. (you’ll have to get the book to see the piece in its entirety, or wait until i share more about it at a later date).

alicia caudle, exhibition of self, assemblage, doll head, altered bits, bird, nest

the second piece that i created for the book was in response to a question seth asked me: “how do you express anger in your artwork?”  this too was a difficult question for me but after sitting on it awhile and getting good and pissed off (for a non-related reason), i created “feigning death”.  again, this is only a peek:

alicia caudle, art, assemblage, skull, bones, doll hand, antique vial, wood, anger

since creating these two pieces, i’ve started two series of similar works but have been keeping them under wraps.  check back as i’ll be posting about nine of them over the next several weeks as time permits.

thank you so very much, seth!  i feel so honored to be a part of your first book.  you are the best, sir!

if you didn’t start on seth’s blog today, please head over there now.  he’s featuring each of the 31 spotlight artists during this 31 day month and today is my day.  the altered page >>  also, for every comment you leave on his blog or the others in the tour, you’ll be entered to win signed copies of the book.  check out the details on seth’s blog.  exciting stuff indeed!!

that [subject] just came to mind and now i want to paint something called just that: good and bad under a happy umbrella.

this year has started all chaos and thorns.  it’s not entirely proper or professional to share, but i’m not always proper or professional, so there.  plus, i felt i needed an “excuse” for my silence and such.

start to an antique doll head giraffe assemblage

in addition to the classic-alicia-antique doll heads and bones, some of my new assemblages have some fun creatures, like human headed giraffe girls and other such weirdo stuff. tonight i have about 8 backgrounds to do. that is a fun thing!

the bad:

  • my grandma passed away, which i already shared
  • our family got screwed over for a couple thousand dollars we couldn’t afford to lose
  • my computer crashed and i lost all software/operating system (it took a whole day and a half just to retrieve passwords for email accounts, my blog, facebook, twitter, paypal, website ftp accounts, etc.)
  • i had to buy a new computer (is being built as i type — i should receive it by the end of the week, woots!  it’s going to be a beast!)
  • lost my $1800 adobe suite software and had to buy a new copy today (goodbye savings account — our brief acquaintance was too short-lived!)
  • i have to start over on all of the layout/design of the altered bits zine which is going to delay things (if you missed the deadline, i will still consider your work since i can’t start working on it again for another week or so)
  • i’m really poor now 😦  (i typed that with a giggle ’cause i don’t care so much about that other than the fact that it makes me nervous — today is good though — we get meat instead of rice for dinner)
light up assemblage with antique doll head

love my antique camera filter! a couple of my new assemblages will light up because that is too much fun not to do. i have to get brave enough to try to drill holes in the bottoms of some antique glass bottles though and truth be told, that scares me a bit.

the good:

  • i have been working my arse (or fingers) off with new web client projects and am finishing my last two projects in the queue this week — fun times!
  • i could actually afford new computer/software/etc. due to heaps of work and otherwise would not have been able to do any of it (thank you universe!!!)
  • i finally received my copies of seth apter’s book and it ROCKS
  • i’m a redundant back-up queen so lost no client files or photos or fonts or anything with the computer crash (phew!)
  • i have the best son and husband in the world
  • my in-laws rock and are taking both kids’ families on a cruise! (i can’t wait! we’re taking a train to seattle then cruising all over alaska and going to canada)
  • i started 10 new assemblages, 3 new paintings and 6 new books last week
  • i’ve been volunteering at the public school doing art with the special needs kids.  the past three weeks we have been doing mixed media portraits.  we finished today and they are all so fabulous!  i so wish i could share, but i cannot due to confidentiality laws/rules/etc.  i may sneak and share my son’s though.  actually, i don’t have to sneak.  it was so much fun!
  • i have almost finished lisa’s book for the pulp redux collaboration
  • i get to see my great friend kerin gale this week and we are starting a super fun art collaboration
  • by the end of this week, my studio is going to look better than it ever has — i’ve spent about 30 hours organizing and cleaning and making piles of stuff for a yard sale.  sometimes less is more, plus the $ is going to new siding for little bug studio.  woohoooo!  a definite easy sacrifice to make for the kiddos.
  • we are trying to adopt a dog from a rescue and we may have the ability to get a service dog for the boy!  i found him on pet finder the other day and applied.  cross your fingers for us.  we’re excited!
a huge mess from starting too many assemblages

my living room looked like an assemblage war zone last week. this is 6 of the 10i started, but not enough detail that you can really see what's going on... yet.

and the best of the best news is so great i cannot help but share even though i typically hate sharing ultra personal stuff in such a public fashion (it deserves a whole paragraph instead of a bullet).  background: i was a single mama for four years, from my son’s birth until i married my husby.  most people don’t realize this — they have such similar ear lobes and chins and knee-caps and body shapes that they appear to share dna… but they don’t.  the husby was around since right after little man turned three, but we weren’t married until he was 4.  anyway, just before the husby and i got married, he said he wanted to officially adopt my little bug and we paid heaps of money to an adoption attorney (who later stopped communicating with us, keeping our dollars, then claiming we never paid her — good thing i’m a receipt keeper!).  i won’t go into that though because it’s pointless and negative and i’m happy and not easily sucked into other people’s poo.  so, long story short — we hired a new attorney and in THREE WEEKS he did what the other attorney failed to accomplish in five years and now, my sweet little boy is the official, legit, true-life son of my beautiful husband.  we just got the adoption certificate and will be receiving his new birth certificate listing my husband as his father any day now.  how exciting is that!  it makes me weep and giggle in unison — it’s like i just gave birth again but didn’t feel it, only better.  we’re having a big celebratory party in honor of the completion of the adoption in a couple of weeks.  wanna come?  and if you need a referral to the best adoption attorney in oregon or washington, let me know ’cause i just so happen to know him.

so, there is way more good than bad.  and most of the bad isn’t horrible anyway.  just hugely annoying and expensive, hah.  the only bad thing is the zine delay but this one was totally out of my control.  the only files that somehow didn’t manage to get backed up was the design file i started.  lovely, eh?  it’s still going to rock though as i’ll just redo it.  i was only about 20 hours into it anyway.

i hope your good is outweighing your bad too, or it’s all just good — that would be way better!

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?

blog archives: find past posts here

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Altered Bits Blog and receive notifications of new posts via email.

Join 573 other followers

the tallest handmade book in the world {project}
Pulp Redux: International Altered Book Collaboration
blogging without obligation