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just as a friendly reminder, you should head on over to seth apter’s blog, the altered page, here:

here you will find artists’ answers to the question “what is the one thing that you know now that you would have liked to have known when you first started to create art?”


holy cow.  i was totally abducted by aliens and what felt like three days “up there” was actually, roughly, 3.33 months here on earth for the rest of you.  funny how strange time is from dimension to dimension.  upon my return, i had a bit of a mid-life crisis (that is mathematically accurate if i live to be precisely 76)…

i realized that i’ve not been 110% happy, and i do think everyone should be at least THAT happy in life.  what’s to be unhappy about when you’re the mother of the best boy on earth and the wife of the hottest and kindest [younger] man in the world?  it took a wee bit to realize that my problem is that i’ve wanted to have a farm for as long as i can remember.  i want to be an artist farmer… or a farmer artist.  over the past two decades i’ve outgrown web design.  i LOVE design.  but i HATE coding.  i’m too old school for all the new school technologies.  the fam and i have been looking for a new house with room for me to have a wee farm for over a year and a half but to no avail, which has been borderline crushing.  it’s really sad to fall in love with, for example, a 1920s 7 bedroom farmhouse on 9 acres only to find out at the last minute that it’s on a flood plain and flooded the year previous.  no thanks.

two mixed media pieces, meditation, alicia caudle

but…. i’m 98% happy now!  we have decided to buy a parcel of land instead and build our own little farm house — that way the house will be perfect and not mediocre (we have picky tastes).  we’re actually looking at 60 acres in douglas county, oregon (about 3 or 4 hours south of where we currently live in portland) and another 160 acre parcel a little ways farther down the road.  yes!  i have already morphed into a temporary architect and designed our house (a real architect said my designs were fantastic — apparently i have a knack for home design).  we’re building a straw bale home, complete with solar and wind power, and hydro as well if we have a good water source, and recycled rain water system (perfect in oregon) for bathrooms and laundry, a well for drinking… totally not quite off the grid.  we’ll have internet and cell phones, of course.  heat: a huge masonry stove.  passive solar.  all the good green stuff i love.  i totally should have been born in the pioneer days ’cause that’s really my cuppa tea for some reason.

anatomical heart collage by alicia caudle

to crank the happiness notch up a bit more, we’ve decided that since it will be a couple/few years before we can buy our land/sell this house, there is no reason we can’t have a mico-farm here.  we already have a 1919 farm house… so now our entire yard is a huge garden, complete with greenhouse, cloche and all sorts of goodness.  i’ll share more about this soon for my gardening friends (have several hundred veggie starts already inside, in the greenhouse and in the cloche).  we got a little farm pup named modoc… a 10 week old lab/border collie mix and 6 chicks hatching in a couple weeks (huge chicken coop/run done and ready to go).  i’m elated!  i now get to play in the dirt (we have about 1500 square feet of garden beds which is no “farm” but it’s a fantastic start), grow things and paint every day, along with the whole home school adventure, dog potty training/stop chewing that/let’s go on a walk, etc.  it all makes me so happy!  so, for the moment, i’m an artist and an urban farm girl.  woohooo!  if you’re in the area and need some organic tomato starts let me know ’cause i have 72.  i now realize that’s far too many.

mixed media art by alicia caudle

despite my silence, i’ve been arting a lot as you can see above and below.  some of the pieces are still available on my website:  i’m working on some assemblages next which anyone who knows me knows i loveloveLOVE (1374% out of 100).  due to limited space at the moment (gearing up to do lots of remodeling around here) i have to work cyclically: paint/collage for awhile, then put that away to do some assemblage for a wee bit, then put that away to work on books, etc..

mixed media art by alicia caudle   mixed media art by alicia caudle

i have some other new stuff but i’ll save that for another post. this is already so long!


now, to save the best for last, i got an email from seth apter this evening to inform me that i will be featured in his tell all portion of the pulse next sunday. cruise on over to the altered page and have a look and a read.  you don’t have to wait until next sunday — go over there now.  he always has such amazing posts… i could spend half my life there and would be elated to do so.  (thank you so much, seth, for all that you do!!)  i will post a reminder on sunday morning in case you forget.


p.s. here is a photo of our new baby.  my second son, the canine:


first and foremost, i wanted to share that the amazing and generous seth apter is hosting a charity auction on the altered page for those effected by the wrath of hurricane sandy.  the offerings are simply amazing, and the benefit so very great!  click the image below to read his post.

go bid!  i can’t afford the first one but i think i shall donate $50 in seth’s name because he’s such a good and generous man and no matter how rough things may be for me right now, i know they are so much worse for those in the mid-atlantic region.

on a totally separate note, an odd warning…

paper wasp nest

if you’re like me, you love nature bits: sticks, stones, bird and paper wasp nests, etc.  all of my closest friends and family often collect things things for me, along with bones and other good bits.  a few weeks ago i commissioned my dad to make me some AMAZING art boxes (i’ll share that later — new motorized/light-up series in the works) and in the parcel he included two gorgeous and pristine wasp nests.  i was so thrilled!!  i was going to pull one out two days ago for an assemblage i’m working on but got side-tracked (what else is new?), and then went for them last night.  it looked like someone had poked their finger into the center of one as there was a wee hole where no hole had previous been.  i asked my son if he squished it in a fit?  nopes.  then i spy something moving inside the baggy it was in.  a WASP!  a big, fat, pokey-arsed wasp!  somehow it had managed to hatch super early in my house because it’s so cozy and warm.  who ever would have imagined!?  so, if you find a seemingly evacuated wasp’s nest, you may want to keep it in something tightly closed for… like a year… before you fiddle with it.  i’m quite allergic to those feisty little beasts.

one of the two looks like this with the white bits.  think a bunch more will hatch?  (this isn’t my actual nest — i was scared to open the box in case 13 more hatched and ate through the plastic bag they’re in).

paper wasp nest

it's still life -- seth apter -- the altered page -- the pulse

last saturday seth apter of the altered page emailed me to let me know that i was going to be part of the pulse on sunday, revealing my answer to his task: “Photograph a still life that you create using an array of objects”.  i did not realized this until just now because oregon has decided to play arizona and as a result, it’s too hot here to move or breath… or get on my computer.  so sorry, seth, for being so slow!

for those who do not know, this is the last post in this series, so hop on over there now!  i’m going to too! (this isn’t the photo on seth’s site, but i thought it would be nice to jazz up the post with a photo)

a collection of goodness

i’ve been quite bad at blogging lately and will soon be posting updates on “the tallest handmade book in the world” project and other fun stuff.  stay tuned.

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!

space needle

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:

seth apter

(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….)

seth apter

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:

seth apter's hand book

copyright seth apter

(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:

ye olde curiosity shop display

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).

view of the space needle and our hotel in seattle

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:

country road

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.

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!!

starting tomorrow, march 1st, seth apter of the altered page will be kicking off a blog tour called 31 artists, 31 days to promote his new book, “the pulse of mixed media: secrets and passions of 100 artists revealed” and several of the artists featured in it.  he will be posting every day, as will the participating artists.  this amazing book can be ordered on here.  despite what it says on amazon, the book’s official release date is 3/2 and from what i understand (per seth), copies should be shipped and on shelves by mid-month.  i personally have three copies coming my way and cannot wait!  i’ve looked at the preview at least 20 times in anticipation of the book’s release and it’s finally almost here!

31 artists 31 days, seth apter, the pulse of mixed media blog tour

be sure to visit all artists featured in the book (i bet seth will have a list on his blog) and mark your calendar for march 25th as that is my day to participate.  at that time i will share the pieces i have in seth’s book, some secrets and a passion or two.  i think i will also have a celebratory give-away because that’s just the kind of girl i am.

there will be heaps of additional events schedule around seth’s book promotion so make sure to check out his blog so you’re in the loop and don’t miss out.

i’ve been feeling quiet lately and haven’t gotten around to posting or visiting other blogs.  my gram passed away on the 1st of february and my energy has been spent making large memory boards for her funeral and reflecting on all of my wonderful memories of her.  she was such a gorgeous lady, and lived 92 long years.  i want to try to paint her next.  sorrow can be inspirational for me, as weird or messed up as that may sound.  so i’ll be quiet a bit longer while i paint and pep myself back up again.

gramma betty

but this post is not about my sweet, lovely gram…

it’s about seth apter of the altered page.  i am very proud to share that i will be part of his “master class” post for tomorrow.  there he will be sharing artist’s answers to the question “If you could take a class from one artist from anytime in history, including the present, who would it be and why?”.  i am quiet excited to read it as to be perfectly honest, i’ve forgotten my response as it’s been such a long and crazy year.  i am also always very interested in hearing what other artists responses are and am going to read this very first thing after i procure a steamy hot cuppa strong coffee in the morning.

seth apter's the altered page: master class

go check out seth’s post and when you’re done, i’d love to hear your response.  who would YOU take a class from?

if you haven’t done so already, head on over to amazon and pre-order your copy of seth’s book “the pulse of mixed media”.  this is going to be the best book of all time, and i am so proud to be included in it as i know many of you are too.  such great company we’re all in!  if you look at the preview, you may get a peek at one of my pieces in the book, or even be able to spy a goofy picture of me (not that anyone in their right mind would want to, hah).

lastly, don’t forget that there is still time to submit to the altered bits zine for any of the following four categories: tattered and torn, cabinet of curiosities, an artful retelling of history & altered and handmade books and pages.  there is a bit space left and i would LOVE to include YOUR work.  🙂  i need to get my arse in gear and finish MY pieces.  life been way too full these past six or so months but i’m bound and determined to get it done.

more soon — have lots of other great news but am not feeling particularly chatty or my typical witty self so will share another time.


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:

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!

i’m sure you’ve already heard, but i’m telling you again anyway because it’s sooooo worth telling!  seth apter‘s very first book “the pulse of mixed media” is due to hit the shelves on 2 march, 2012.  i haven’t seen the inside of the book yet (of course), but i can tell you without a doubt that it is going to be one of the BEST mixed media art books of all times, if not THE BEST.  you can guarantee that i will be buying several copies of this book.  here is a peek at the lovely cover with multiple mini-peeklets of so much gorgeous and delectable art that it makes me with it were march 2nd right now:

the pulse of mixed media by seth apteri’m loving everything on that cover so much i just want to lick it!

i am so very honored to be a part of this book (yeps, i’m in it though would be hugely plugging it either way)!  seth is one of my all-time favorite artists, bloggers and people i’ve never met but plan to so being within the pages of his first-ever book is such a monumentally huge thing to me.  i feel so very grateful to have been invited (thank you, seth!!) and so honored to be in a book with so many amazingly talented artists.  i’m not going to tell you what’s in it or give you peeks… just wanted to tease you with the cover and say you must go get it!  it will be available for pre-order on amazon and i will let you know when that is the moment i’m made aware.

also, seth now has a email list sign-up on his blog so you can sign up there to find out all new deets as he shares them.  go on now…

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