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…there was a lovely young couple who fell fast in love and were quickly married.  he was a kind chap, though very forgetful, so just before their first anniversary he pre-purchased a lavish bouquet to be delivered to his lady every year on their special day for the following ten years.  he spent hours hand-writing little love notes to accompany the bouquets, trying hard to make it sound recently written…

love notes, mixed media art, hanging assemblage, collage, art with doors

she adored the bouquet and his heart-felt words…

love notes, mixed media art, hanging assemblage, collage, art with doors
soon after their first wedding anniversary, he was tragically killed in a car accident, leaving behind his new wife.  her heart broke and she felt she could not live without him.

human heart, anatomy, love notes, mixed media art, hanging assemblage, collage, art with doors

every day she felt him near, and that was the only way she made it though the first year following his passing.

then one day, while already heart-broken that it would be their second anniversary that day, the doorbell rang.  there, on her front steps, lay a bouquet a bit larger and more magnificent than the one she had received on her anniversary the year before.  her heart stopped as she lifted the flowers to her chest, wondering who could be so cruel.  then she saw her husband’s handwriting on the envelope of the accompanying card…

love notes, mixed media art, hanging assemblage, collage, art with doors

i will be posting this off to a poor, unsuspecting friend next week.  hope she likes it!

i dried the rosebuds myself about 10 years ago and have been using them FOREVER.  these were my last couple.  the flower in the lower left is from my valentine bouquet from my husband last year.  the wee crystal and bead on the right were given to me about twenty years ago from two of the children i used to nanny, the older saying “someday make something gorgeous with this”.  the rose thorns are from my garden, harvested and dried last summer and all of the metal bits are rusted by me (though my camera is a jerk and generally removes rust hues — what’s up with that?)… except the mesh stuff which doesn’t rust.  it just disolves.

it’s been a pretty great week… and it all started with a good lunch. i LOVE picking things from my garden and going to the farmer’s market for whatever i’m missing.  saturday was a yummy day filled with fresh blueberries, strawberries, baked-today sourdough bread topped with a tiny bit of cheese, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, basil, cucumber… i wish oregon allowed year-round gardening as it’d be blissful to me.

having never made a hand-stitched book (surprising as i’ve created dozens of books), i set out to make one for my sweet friend debbie for a swap we’re doing of epic proportions.  (don’t peek, sweet friend, else your surprise will be spoiled!)  i wish it were really in these hues, but this photo was purposefully antiquated.

handmade book, witchy book, witch and owl, hand-stitched binding

i admit that the binding leaves much to be desired but i put my heart into it and it wasn’t a total failure for a first try, i’m hoping.

handmade book, hand-stitched binding

my third book binding experience of the week didn’t go as well.  i was creating a book to go into a tin that was going to be attached to one of my pieces for the black and white zine but it ended in tragedy.  short version: i cut the crap out of my finger on the edge of the old tin (gore to follow, close your eyes if you don’t like the sight of blood).

big gash on bloody finger

the tragedy was not my finger but the outcome of the book.  initially i thought it was a wee scratch and ignored it, but after fiddling with the pages i realize i ruined the book.  seriously, who wants a book with alicia-DNA all over the pages?  i can think of only one point two people.

handmade book, bloody pages, whoops

now that it’s dried it looks cool, but still — i’ll just have to keep the darn thing. maybe i’ll fill it with gory old medical photos, secrets or lies.

while on the topic of “bad things” here is a crappy-sweet story.  starts crappy.  gets eerie.  ends sweet.  k.  husby and i get into one of our rare and petty arguments.  all married people argue now and then.  he’s a jerk, i’m a jerk, blah, blah, blah, he says something about how i should have faith in us or our relationship or something to that effect and i pissily spout off that all i have faith in is the fact that it would be a damn miracle if we make it another week without killing the other one.  (i was not serious — i don’t kill people.)  so, he goes to bed, i go into my studio which i had just cleaned and there is a fortune cookie fortune right smack dab in the middle of the floor.  i don’t have fortune cook fortunes.  and i had never, ever seen this before.  it said: for the truly faithful, no miracle is necessary. creeped me out.  in a good way, but yeah — where the hell did that come from?

so, the next day i made him a metal-covered matchbox assemblage with the fortune in it and a little scroll that says something secret. 😉  yeah, shush.  i’m sweet sometimes.  anyway, this is not great, but it was sweet and don’t you dare tell him i said so but it brought tears to his big gorgeous hazel-brown eyes when i gave it to him.  i’m only sharing because of the fortune showing up in my studio from who knows where!?  i’ll give you ten bucks if you can tell me.

matchbox assemblage, anatomy, anatomical, human heart, rusty nails, rusty wire, fortune cook fortune, scroll, bees wax, mixed media art

i had so much fun playing with the wax that i ended up making this beeswax collage with anatomical image and yes, of course, a bug.  it’s a real bug.  and no, i didn’t kill him either (or her?).

beeswax collage, anatomical illustration, human heart, anatomy, bug art, creepy art, beetle

i’ll probably add more to it later (eek, yeah — looking at the close-up now i say it’s not finished yet).  i searched all over our neighborhood for an icky webby place to photograph this, by the way. i succeeded and didn’t have to look far.

beeswax collage, anatomical illustration, human heart, anatomy, bug art, creepy art, beetle

other than that, i was quite excited when i found not one, or two, but FIVE old pieces i had started several years ago before i moved in with the husby (well, before he was “the husby”).  i had this little gallery showing of some of my abstract paintings on wood and i sold most of them.  not sure where the others are, which is what i was looking for when i rediscovered these instead.  these are five i had never finished.  they don’t even have their keyhole hooks on the back.  i’ll have fun finishing these over the next few days, i bet.

starts to five abstract paintings on wood

or so i hope.  🙂

kerin, the genius goddess, created an art challenge called the “mix it up challenge” on her mixed media art ning. the basic gist is that every participant listed out their favorite medium or art supply and we were later randomly paired up. we then had to create an art piece out of those two items. not surprisingly, i picked anatomical illustrations. i was paired with kim rae nugent of raven’s nest who picked driftwood. we swapped a bunch of each and created our projects.

i’m not done with my first project, a little “man” with a (surprise, surprise) anatomical illustration of a human heart with arms and nailed on/wire wrapped legs. he needs a head… will post him when i find that perfect top for him. my second piece is “birth of triplets” (my husband called it “the baby catcher”). kerin thought it looked like a uterus. i thought it looked like a vagina. either way, it was fun to create this feminine little piece:

here is a detail shot:

it was fun working with something i wouldn’t typically think to use and i look forward to finishing my first piece and a potential third for my “anatomical wood” series, thanks to kerin the great and wondrous’ fabulous idea and kim’s great wood!

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