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i always love fellow artists’ blog posts when they share images of their collections, shots of where they create, photos of the places they dwell, etc.  i don’t do that often, so today i will share a little piece of what my sister claims to appear to be “creepy explosions” and “creepy corners” all over my house.  she’s a weirdo (and is always begging me to make her some art so i suppose she’s a secret lover of creepy too??).

this summer we were supposed to remodel our detached garage and morph it into the studio of bliss and divinity (which was put off from the summer previous), but that didn’t happen.  soon this will happen but i’ve given up my dream of a new studio for myself.  instead it’s going to be a safe and cozy place for kiddos with aspergers and autism to come, hang out, express themselves and make some really cool art.  i have the windows picked out and a plan for a mini loft and wood stove (we’ll see how that turns out — i giggle while i type as the husby will likely roll his gorgeous brown eyes and walk away when i announce such things to him as my plan).  i don’t suppose the kids really NEED a loft, but it would be fun.  my point, which seems not to be a point at all, is that i now have WAY too much stuff as i thought i would be moving my art goodness to a space 4 times larger than what i have but it’s now not happening.  i should have some giveaways!

a shelf in my studio

anyway, i enjoy filling my space with many hoards of various bits.  this big compartment box sits to my left while i’m at my main desk (there are four desks in here).  these are the things that i use most often so they must be readily available.  figure one: compartment hoards.

a collection of curious items
this is my favorite multi-level box of goodies.  i have buttons from the mid 1800s, lots of completely random rusty and metal items, bugs and bones and things i have no clue what they are.  just stuff i love.

collection of goodies for art

below is part of my charlotte and charlie collection, some of my brushes and tools and other odd things.  this is a fairly old pic — i was using a VERY large canvas and a piece of plaid wrapping paper for a makeshift curtain for a bit there as you can see.  it’s all better now and i feel so grown up with real life curtains.  🙂

a collection of frozen charlottes

one of my other obsessions is boxes of old watch vials, filled with watch parts.  i have a few, but this is one of my favorites.

watch parts, watch vials

i have an ever-growing collection of bugs and bones, too.  oh, and a chicken fetus.  i’m not sure where some of this went which is super sad.  i started packing some of it up for the new studio but since that isn’t happening now, i’m going to have to go unpack.  it will be like a pre-holiday celebration, i bet!

bugs and bones to use in my art

this is to the left of my sewing area — a wonderful and gorgeous wing book from my sweet friend kerinny ninny, some of my favorite doll heads, cards from my pal debrina in new zealand and a host of other things.


oooh, and my leather-bound handmade books!  the goddess book is such a treasure to me.  it was given to me by my hear friend jo archer in england.  the ones below were gifts from my mother and father in law from their trip to russia.  i love them all!  they have inspired a new obsessive collection of leather bound books.   remember brain boy?  yeah, that’s him in the vase.  i need to get my arse in gear and finish that piece!

hand made leather books, doll head

this is the wall just outside my studio which i can mostly see from my main desk/work space.  there you can find art by many amazing artists: kim palmer, lisa jurist, kc willis, joanna pierotti, lisa sarsfield and this chick named alicia caudle i once met.

there is no way i could make the time to post all of the amazing pieces of art i have in my home but i will highlight five of my favorites this round, and do another five sometime soon.

this is one of my dearest, sweetest, most favorite pieces ever.  it’s called “three bird house” and was created by kerin gale, my sweet and wonderful friend.  i bought this from her when we very first met and we’ve been friends ever since.  i will refrain from sharing the whole nightmare story about it but here is the quicky (a testament to how amazing keriny is!): it arrived with the top shattered.  i sent it back and poof (poof = a year and a half, haha)!  she fixed it and you could never ever tell it was broken.  love that girl!

art by kerin gale

copyright kerin gale

this was a wedding present from our dear friend kevin who is an amazing and intricate collage artist and painter.  this is huge and is one of the first things you see when you enter our abode.  click to enlarge — there is SO much going on in there!  sorry about the glare.

art by kevin

copyright kevin

this, of course, is a seth apter original entitled “melt”.  i saw it on his blog last year and had to snatch it right up.  i will own more seth art one of these days!

art by seth apter

copyright seth apter

this is the only michael deMeng piece i own too, though i hope to remedy that one of these days… when i’m not poor and starving.  🙂

art by michael demeng

copyright michael deMeng

this gorgeous piece is one of my all time favorites too — miss joanne archer sent it to me very recently and i LOVE it.  it’s titled “the harbour” and is hanging in my living room in a very prominent place so i can see it every day and share it with all who come to visit.

art by jo archer

copyright joanne archer

i got a new cell phone a couple of weeks ago and i’m obsessed with playing with all of the filters and effects on the camera.  sepia is one of my favorites.  this is the wall of my living room that i see while perched on the couch — just look up and to my right and this is what i see.  the piece over the shelf and the other to the right are both by the amazing and talented lisa jurist.  if you click to enlarge, you will see a sweet clothes pin doll that miss debrina made me too.  and of course my ever-growing bottle collection.  i got many of these from jo archer’s shop maud and mabel on etsy.  go shop there — she has stuff to die for!

living room wall

a creepy corner?  nopes.  just another little collection of goodness.

new curiosity box

i am in love with african porcupine quills and have them all over my house.  such purdy little things they are, but sharp!  (yes, that is a raccoon penis bone next to them.)

a collection of goodness

i should have gotten more shots of my vintage and antique medical tools.  i have three surgery sets and more than just the four vaginal speculums i’ve shown.  sorry to appear so narrow minded in the medical world.  sheesh.  this shelf is just inside the front door but i am thinking it may possibly make a bigger impact if i move it to the bathroom.  is that too creepy and weird?

vintage medical things

now i’m obsessed with this photo filter.  lovely!  i collect daguerreotypes… well, this is a new thing.  i have only two at the moment but you have to start somewhere, right!?  i like this handsome gent.

i collect ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes, etc.

what do you collect?  have any “creepy corners” to share?  i want to see them.  🙂

…and really a lot more than that!

frozen charlottes, vintage dolls, antique dolls, victorian dolls, doll parts

i’ve been a busy bee, re-stocking the altered bits shop with heaps of new goodies, including but not limited to frozen charlottes, little victorian dolls, other vintage and antique dolls and doll parts, a whole new page of digital collage sheets (these were up weeks ago — i’m just slow to share), new embellishments and found objects, vintage photo bundles, textile bundles and vintage crocheted lace… all kinds of little pretties.  if i add five things per day to my shop over the next seven months, i should be caught up.  😉

textile bundles, salvaged fabric, vintage lace, crocheted lace

a few new items were added to my etsy junk shop too… cleaning out the house in a new year is a great thing!!

digital collage sheets, ambrotypes, daggurotypes, tin types

i literally have hundreds more dolls so if you’re looking for some, let me know.  i’m not going to be able to add them all for awhile (takes a LOT of time to photograph, resize/enhance, write code/add to site, create buttons, etc.).

on a totally random note, wanna swap? i’m looking for a cute little boy cdv, cabinet card or tintype and will swap you for other photos (i mostly have adults), dolls of whatever sort, vintage lace, or whatever you may want from my shop(s) of relatively equal value.  i’ll even throw in some digital collage sheets for fun.  🙂  i’m really quite picky about this photo… typically i don’t use children in my art, unless they are fetuses.  in fact, this will be my first child.  but in the spirit of accuracy, i need a little boy (around age 10 in the first decade of the 1900s, named sam) for the historically accurate ghost book i’m working on.

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

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