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it’s been awhile (and a half), huh!?  nine+ months since i’ve blogged seems insane, but that’s about right.  life really does go by super fast sometimes, doesn’t it?  i’ll give you the nutshell version of what’s been going on in case you’re curious.

home schooling pretty much started to kick both my and finn’s arses.  seriously.  together 24×7, too many requirements from me as “teacher” for school, then me as “mom” needing crap done around the house like chores (which someone around here took as “punishment”)… and i was pretty much deemed the devil incarnate. or at least a very harsh warden. so, we went through the long and grueling process of applying at a really amazing public school that accepts new students by application only and he got in!  so after five years, my little dude is back around other kiddos and learning in a group setting.  and i…?  i have way more time than i know what to do with.  it’s all a bit of a shock to the system.  previously, my life literally was: wake up, school, make breakfast, school, make lunch, school, make dinner, do dishes, do laundry, clean/grocery shop/etc. no free time and not ultra fun comparatively as a whole.

actually, that’s kind of a lie (the part about having a crap-ton of free time now). i have a million things to do as i’m prepping for an upcoming solo art exhibition and am hanging something like 25 pieces.  so, i’ve been arting like crazy, but that’s nothing new. here’s one of my assemblages i’ll have up (though 90% of the work displayed will be paintings):

the catcher of dreams and wishes

the catcher of dreams and wishes

the bottle is filled with wishes, of course, both scrolls with written aspirations as well as dandelion “wishes”.

assemblage detail

i used lots of bones, skulls, crystals, feathers, twigs, a wasps nest, crystal beads and a found rusty metal object (for the dream catcher on the top), all in an antique wooden box.

it’s very shaman inspired. which leads me to the rest of what i’ve been up to. short version: on a whim, i took a shamanic journeying class last february. now, i’m not in the process of getting my masters in shamanic healing. it’s been the most amazing and wonderful decision i’ve ever made, totally life changing, and in the process (well, actually a few months before) i realized that despite popular belief, i actually am NOT and was not crazy. what a relief!

once my show’s up and i’ve gotten through opening night in one piece (i’ll be sharing more details here), i’m getting back no track.  this means: adding things to the altered bits site regularly again, creating new digital collage sheets every month (or week if that’s not too ambitious!), having more shows, starting teaching (both online and person) and tying up a zillion lose ends… like books and zines and such. i seriously thought home schooling was going to kill me there for a little bit and it didn’t, so now i can focus back on my life and all that i enjoy.  it was such an amazing experience to put most of my life on hold to spend all my time with my kiddo but now that he’s growing into such an amazing young man i can start focusing back on the things i love outside of him. so fun!

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my oh my, i’ve been itching to share!  my dang camera broke though and i was unable to fix it until today.  it almost feels like the world stops when the camera breaks.  silly, i know, but i’m so very dependent upon it as i’m sure most of us are as blogging artists.

so, our “tallest handmade book in the world” project is still going strong.  sir finn, my eight year old fireball has requested that the end date be april 27th, 2012.  that is his ninth birthday.  i said sure thing!  so, let’s see how tall we can get this — it’s not currently very tall but it’s gorgeous! click the tallest handmade book image on the left to read the full post and requirements if you’d like to play.

here are some peeks of less than half of the unbound pages.  i’m a tease ’cause i want you to be surprised with the whole thing at the end.  🙂

tallest handmade book in the world project peek

(i just realized i forgot to put a peek of my page in there.  ha!  at least finn’s is there… can you guess which are his?)

so, i have officially purchased a domain for the website of our wee non-profit asperger art group.  did i even tell you that i have finally started it!?  i’m so excited!  i’ve got four boys so far but couldn’t possibly take any more until we get the studio done for them (have 7 more interested kids, two volunteers lined up both with backgrounds in asperger’s syndrome and autism).  right now we’re kitchen tabling it… tight squeezes but heaps of fun!  it’s called little bug’s studio.  or bug’s art shack.  i bought both domains ’cause i couldn’t decide… and my bug isn’t going to be “little” for much longer.  next step: set up the 501c3 non-profit status stuff through the state.

it’s so amazing how much these kiddos can fight and argue while trying to play soccer or wii games or legos but you put an art project in front of them and they are so very calm and sweet.  and quiet!  my son is always one of the most audible children on earth but while doing art, it’s a different story.  ahhhh!  blissful silence.  🙂  my camera broke just two weeks before solstice so i didn’t get pics of most of our projects, but here are a couple for now.  each of the kids made a “special box” for themselves and one for a holiday gift for mamas or aunties or friends.  here are two progress photos of the 8 year old created “special boxes”:

mixed media art box, altered box

this bird part was black and white paper he colored in/painted.  his aunty said her favorite colors were “purple, red and sparkle” so the box is covered with so much glitter my house looked like a faerie had exploded in it.  it was fun to see their faces light up with their finished projects.

mixed media art box, altered box

here are the two completed boxes finn made for his aunties for solstice/christmas (the left one was a memorial box for my sister who’s dog recently passed away — he’s such a tender and thoughtful boy!):

mixed media art boxes

i wish i had shots of the rest of the boxes from the other kiddos.  there was a space box, an einstein box, another footed bird box and a pirate box.  apparently i didn’t even take cell phone pics of those!  another fun thing we did was posters of ourselves (i traced them on five foot wide paper pieces and they painted/collaged/embellished/etc. with their favorite things).  that was a hit — they all loved it and expressed so much through their art about what they like, love and appreciate in the world.  art with kids is so much fun!  especially seeing their eyes light up — such a gift!

but i must get back to adult-hood soon and finish some of my own projects.  xx

as cryptically prefaced in my previous post, i wanted to let you know that the online book tour & blog hop for Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams by Kerin Gale starts this Sunday, May 1st, at Keriny’s blog: http://remnantsofolde.com/posts

Kerin summed up the event perfectly on the Apoxy Clay Facebook Page so I shall quote her: There are 18 days of giveaways (with Aves [apoxy] clay, ICE resin, silicone mold material and much more!!!) and fantastic art and such. Please help spread the word on your own blogs and FB pages and twitter and skywriting if you have planes available.  : )

inspired remnants, curious dreams by kerin gale

i will add that this book has been literally the BEST mixed media art book that i have ever read, peeked at, held or looked at in my whole life.  i LOVE this book (and not at all because i’m in it)!!  i am so honored to be #2 in the blog hop (wait, maybe ‘number two’ isn’t a good thing??).  seriously though, there are heaps and loads of AMAZING give-aways on each of the participating blogs and you could win!  all you have to do is visit each of the sponsoring blogs on their date (which we all will be posting soon) and leave a comment.

inspired remnants, curious dreams by kerin gale

to kick it off, i will share a few photos of one of my very own copies of the book, and the review i wrote on amazon.

I cannot say enough good things about Kerin Gale’s “Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams”. I am a huge purchaser of mixed media art books and this is by far my favorite (so much so that I bought two copies for myself and one for my mom).

Typically, when I purchase a new art book I flip through the pages, taking in all of the pictures, then set it on my dusty bookshelf for a potential future peek. This book, however, is totally different: one copy resides on my bookshelf and the other hasn’t left my desk since I bought it four months ago. I flipped through the pages at least a dozen times, then read it twice. Unlike most mixed media art books, Kerin’s book contains projects that I would LOVE to try. They are so innovated and unique, and just stunningly gorgeous. I want to make ALL of them! Her witty humor and understandable detailed directions are comparable to none – I am left with no questions, but rather an amazing new skill set to create fun and visually pleasing pieces; my only problem was which one to create first.

Epoxy clay has got to be one of the coolest products on the market today. Kerin teaches us how to make molds to create duplicates of things we love (like ornate textures or Frozen Charlottes), and schools us on the infinite things you can do with epoxy clay – you can safely use it on things left outside, you can use in it water (i.e. a fish tank!), you can make sturdy but delicate looking jewelry, and so many other exciting and wondrous things that you should just go buy this book right now. Among my favorite projects are the light-up pieces and a raven handbag that’s to die for!

inspired remnants, curious dreams by kerin gale

hope to see you here on the 2nd, and on kerin’s blog the day before!

oh, i like this page too:

inspired remnants, curious dreams by kerin gale

(funny circle — i meant that’s me as in “alicia caudle”, not as in “the empress alicia caudle” — if i wasn’t going to be so busy for the next few days i’d change that five minutes ago!!)

have i really not visited blogland for over a month!?  wowz!  i miss everyone so mucho!  time sure does fly!

february was fun — lots of little projects that i will offer peeks to (some from the zine, some from pulp, etc…)  i SO cannot believe it’s already april!

this was both a gift for my husby and a piece for the zine.  i love the animal skull — he found it for me in our back yard.

mixed media assemblage, altered bits zine peek

this is an ever so secret peek at what i’ve been working on for lisa jurist‘s book for pulp redux.  i’ve been loving it so much that i’m doing a series of pieces based upon the theme and idea.

mixed media altered book, pulp redux peek, alice in wonderland

i had EVERY intention of doing ICE this year, but alas, i ran out of time.  i forget every now and then that home schooling and having two businesses and trying to make daily art time is a lot to do alone, and i add too many other little bits and pieces.  hopefully next year!

mixed media altered book, pulp redux peek, alice in wonderland

want to see the cutest thing in the world?  this is going to be in the zine, art by my little dude.  just you wait!  🙂

mixed media altered book, pulp redux peek, alice in wonderland

this is one of the goofiest things i’ve ever made and it cracks me up.  you can see it in the zine too.

mixed media altered book, pulp redux peek, alice in wonderland

speaking of which, i’ve been a HUGELY busy bee with the zine finalization.  in a nutshell: spend a few hours designing each page (40something pages, that is).  fun!  email lulu a question.  wait a week for a response.  whoops, wrong department.  email right department.  wait 1.5 weeks for a response.  “will have to find the answer to that and get back to you.”  wait another week.  get response, spend a week converting files but interrupted by two weeks of HEAVY client work/projects (have to make dollars every now and then).  phew, done.  upload files (this is fun — takes about 5 minutes per page even with uber-fast connection speeds).  get test copy before letting others order it.  omg, where is page 26!?  start back over with the uploading process.  this is SO very much fun!.. and no, that is not sarcasm.  i just get to giggle a lot.  and make fun of myself — forgot to do a cover.  yes, a COVER so it was just plain ol’ white.  heh.  the GOOD news is that the whole thing should be available for all to see within the next two weeks, max (crossed fingers!).  i’m giddy with bliss!

for now, back to uploading (the pages are between 20 and 60 MB, a few larger, so it will take a wee bit).

oh!  i have some very exciting news: an upcoming blog-hop with lots of fun and prizes.  more on that in the next wee bit… mostly ’cause i’m not sure if i’m supposed to say anything yet.  shhh.

phew.  i haven’t been around lately… for about two weeks now… because i felt like i was on my death bed.  very short version is that i had an almost 104 degree fever for 8 days before i found out that i have pneumonia and an ear infection (i thought only kiddos got ear infections!!?).  this came after my little dude had been sick for a couple weeks with a flu that turned into (you guessed it!), pneumonia!  since the day after thanksgiving, we’ve all been a big ol’ ball of germs and little else.  as of friday evening, i started in on some serious antibacterial herbs and other goodies from my naturopath so am on the road to recovery.  today is almost the first time i’ve gotten off the couch in 10 days, if you can believe it.  (i did go to the hospital in there and they said that i seemed like i had malaria!??!!!  then said i was “fine”…  hospitals can be dumb, i think.)

anyway, just wanted to send out love and good wishes.  will for sure pop around to everyone soon and say hello and see what you’ve been up to, etc.  and i have huge catch-up on emails — so sorry for not responding but i’m sure you understand now that you know why.  i have just been sleeping and seeping (and hacking and burning up).  lots of orders to send out and apology notes to write, thank you’s for submissions to the zine (looking great!!), etc.  hope to be cured within a week or so and back in action and then i can catch up before our house-full of solstice guests arrive.  ugh.

oh, and those aren’t my lungs… or other body parts.

This post is coming from my phone…

Short story: power outtage fried my harddrive. Computer won’t boot. Back-up drive JUST took a crap a couple weeks ago so I may have lost everything. Can’t check mail or orders, lost my address book, etc. May be quiet awhile and am super sad and freaked out that I’ve lost everything.

At least my phone makes me use caps.

okay, i’ve gotten a bit annoyed with my anti-blogness and the amount of time it’s taking me to get a real blog on my site so i created this temporary new blog home… at least until it’s moved to the main page of my site which will hopefully be within the next few weeks.

happy arting!

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