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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.

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i LOVE this time of year!  art inspiration is always overflowing, the garden is growing and all is happy.  this is what i’ve been working on as of late:

i have started and/or finished around a dozen new cuffs and bracelets.  i’m wrist-adornment obsessed these days!  here is one that i used old coin charms and other ancient findings in (this is the second to the ugliest one i’ve made lately… but i like it and how in jingle-jingles when you move):

wrist cuffs and bracelets by alicia caudle of altered bits

i will post more soon, and add them to my site for sale.  i’m redesigning my site though, so it may be a minute.  or ten.  i’m a busy girl, you know.

still working away on my series of doll head assemblages.  lovelove!  some of them have fancy books inside, all have bones, some have feet, most have arms.  can’t wait to share, but it will be a bit as i am working on a series of paintings in unison.  they are ghost paintings.  can’t really show you ’cause none are done, but… well, screw it.  here is a peek.  but it’s not done.  (as if saying it twice will make you believe me more.)  i’m not good at this kind of painting but i felt compelled to try anyway and i’m enjoying myself so that’s all that matters.  typically my paintings are tiny but this is HUGE.  well, huge for me.  16×24″ i think.

ghost painting number one

last, and of course not least, the garden has taken most of my attention.  here is a peek at some of our edibles and pretties around the yard (click to enlarge, if desired):

my garden

many things eluded my lens, but you get the picture.  most of the edibles and some of the flowers were started by seed.  wooohooo for my growing capabilities!  our tomatoes are not terribly pleased (thanks to the thunder storms and 2+ inches of rain in an hour last week or so) but peppers, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, bush beans, herbs, and raspberries seem to be happy.  we have six HUGE artichokes.  isn’t this really early for them?  i’m confused.  i swear we got them in late august last year.

how does your garden grow?

the amazing and brilliant seth apter of  the altered page is hosting paper stacks, an online collaboration, starting this very day.  you can see how stacked he is here: http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/2011/09/stackoholics-anonymous.html

to be totally honest, i’ve been so sucked into  “the first two weeks of home school mode” while also getting our house painted (HUGE drama there) that i didn’t even know about this until today when dave of clearer reflections emailed to to ask “hey, where’s your stack!?”  whoops!  but of course i could never ever pass this up so here are some of my stacks.

first, a stack of journal pages, waiting to be completed and bound into book form along with a small handful of collages:

stack of art journal pages, alicia caudle, altered bits

aerial journal page stack view:

stack of art journal pages, alicia caudle, altered bits

this is a book i started last year, with stacks of ghostly pages.  someday i will complete this book and share it with you — all true “ghost stories” and other creepy facts:

ghost book pages, alicia caudle, altered bits

and lastly, a stack of fabric covered journals i made last year that i have since sold (except for the top one, which i gave to my dear, sweet friend jilly of jazworks — i love that girl!):

stack of journals, alicia caudle, altered bits

how stacked are you?  (i’m off to find out now!)  go to seth’s blog (linked above) and you can see bazillions of other gorgeous stacks too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the tallest handmade book in the world {project}
Pulp Redux: International Altered Book Collaboration
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