You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘mixed media art’ tag.

to get over my hump of funk, i created a few happy things this weekend.  i was thinking about the hundreds of frozen charlottes i’ve sold in my shop over the past year or so and the fact that i’ve only created TWO things with those lovely little lassies (and nothing from the charlie lads, yet!).  so i remedied that — because they make me smile and i needed a bit o’ cheer.  of course i had to give them hearts — anatomical art is an alicia thing, ya know.

first, i made a wonky little wishes and dreams tin.  wonky because it doesn’t hang entirely straight.  personally, i think that just adds to the charm, but that is probably not the general consensus.  there are two little scrolls in a pocket, one to write wishes on, the other for dreams.  charlottes are magical girls you know and can make things come true if you share them with her.

frozen charlotte, tin, assemblage, heart, anatomy, wishes, dreams, pocket

detail of her face, heart and one of the scrolls:

frozen charlotte assemblage tin detail, heart, anatomy, wishes, dreams
side view:

frozen charlotte, tin, assemblage, wishes, dreams, pockets, altered art, heart, anatomy
available for purchase in my shop

next i created a small fabric collage: charlotte’s song (i just made that up on the fly).  somehow, while creating her i got “charlotte sometimes” by the cure stuck in my head and here it remains.  how do we remember such things so vividly after 20 odd years?

because of this, i had to add the vintage sheet music to the top:

altered art, frozen charlotte, music, vintage sheet music
the bottom (recycled silk ribbon and crocheted bits created by moi), with a tarnished little embellishment:

frozen charlotte, altered art, fabric collage, vintage sheet music, recycled silk, anatomical art
her crackle cracks me up (no pun intended).  the eye cracks remind me of childhood star-eyed cartoons for some reason.  it just happened that way and was by no means intentional.  because the piece as a whole is so light, i made her heart a bit more dark.

anatomical art, heart, vintage bisque doll, frozen charlotte, doll art, altered art
i wish i had a better photo of her as a whole.  i’ll have to snap some new ones tomorrow.

mixed media art, fabric collage, recycled silk ribbon, human heart, anatomy, anatomical art, altered art

available for purchase in my shop

lastly (though i actually started her second), on a 5″ x 5″ canvas, i created this piece.  it is, as of yet, untitled as she hasn’t told me what she wishes to be called.  maybe just “charlotte sometimes”.  but that is neither here nor there.

vintage doll, bisque, human heart, anatomy, frozen charlotte, mixed media art, altered art, crackle paint

the sides of the canvas are covered with painted vintage lace and have taxidermy tacks holding the recycled sari silk ribbon down.  i learned how to use the drill press today.  woohoooo!

crackle paint, assemblage, vintage lace, taxidermy tacks, canvas, altered art

crackle paint, assemblage, vintage lace, taxidermy tacks, canvas, altered art

at the top of the canvas, it says “monument to the memory of the” (the what?  the charlotte?  the thought?  her head is in the way so that is where that ends — you decide to the memory of what) and in the mid-left, it reads “a harmonising companion – a genial friend.”  i didn’t actually pick any of the verbiage out.  i have more of a propensity to grab and glue.  just so happens that it worked out, at least in my opinion.  i think the sentiment is sweet enough indeed.

vintage book text, words, altered art, frozen charlotte, crackle paint, recycled sari silk ribbon
this charlotte, as a whole:

altered art, collage, assemblage, frozen charlotte, anatomy, anatomical heart, mixed media art
from the bottom hangs a pretty and rusted piece i received as a gift during the art exchange last year.  i had it on my new journal that was somehow left outside and fell into the garden bed.  i couldn’t find it for days and when i did, the journal was ruined and the “tassel” was gorgeously aged.  i’ve had it sitting on my desk ever since and while assembling this piece, it got stuck to one of the papers i was using in the collage.  to me, that indicated that it needed to be a part of the piece.

heart, anatomy, frozen charlotte, mixed media art, collage, altered art, canvas
available for purchase in my shop

all three of these are available in my shop.  i’m trying to recoup a bit from last month’s income thieving incident, but i will not complain about that again.  work has been ultra slow since i put three projects off to work on that stupid eco-travel site, so i’ve had lots of time to get organized around here and create.  a clear studio makes for a clearer mind and THAT is worth a lot!

peeks at some of my other week’s creative starts:

tomorrow i’m getting my bum in gear and finishing a bunch of ATCs and ACEOs i’m doing for a swap with the ever so talented miss gaby.  i should have done those this weekend but i was sidetracked with charlottes and family time.

happy week, friends!  i’m off to catch up on YOUR blogs — that is always a highlight for me and the past several weeks have been too crazy for me to do all that i wished.  what a blessing it is to have time to start catching up more.


…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.

mixed media, acrylic, collage, donna watson

copyright donna watson

i recently had the pleasure of interviewing donna watson of layers, a contemporary mixed-media collage artist/painter,  as the january/february featured artist on my altered bits site.  since the first moment i laid eyes upon her amazing artwork i was in love, in awe and extremely inspired.  most, if not all of you have heard of donna i’m sure, and i would imagine that you visit her blog on a regular basis to see her outstanding work and read her inspirational thoughts and quotes.  after interviewing her, i felt that i knew so much more about her than i had known before and it makes me admire her all the more, both as an artist and as a woman.

assemblage, frozen charlotte, altered book, mixed media, collage

copyright donna watson

not only has donna shared a great deal of wonderful information about herself and her art career, she has shared with us an abundance of amazing art.  there you will find thirteen delectable pieces — some of which are even for sale.  but go read the interview for yourself >>

thank you so much, donna!!

One World One Heart was created by Lisa Swifka in 2007 as a way to bring bloggers together from all over the world. Last year over 900 bloggers from 28 countries participated! i am quite pleased to be participating and will be giving away the following:


black and white man and woman, mixed media art, collage

your choice of EITHER the black and white (er, black and coffee stained) man OR black and white woman, framed and matted in a 5″x7″ frame (as a 4×6 print).


an altoid or similar tin, with four frozen charlottes and some vintage buttons, nested in a bed of burlap and/or other fabric and/or lace.  it will slightly differ from the image displayed.


frida, ooak fabric and paper aceo

a OOAK fabric, paper, vintage lace and metal embellished ACEO/artist trading card with a lovely image of frida on it, made by me today, just for this give away.  the lace is obviously a tad wet still in the photo, sorry.  just wanted to get it up ASAP.


cracled window effect PDF tutorial

TWO crackled window PDF tutorials (well one tutorial each for two people ).  if you win, i will send you an ever so secret link so you can download it.


free digital collage sheets, give away

i will be giving away one digital collage sheet of your choice from my site: to TEN people. (six new sheets being added this week, btw.)

i had another piece in mind to make for this AND a couple of other supply-type items so check back over the next few days as i will be adding it if i get the time. that’s cheap, i know, sorry.

when commenting, please let me know which item(s) you are most interested in. make sure i have your email address or some means of being able to contact you.  the drawing will be FEBRUARY 15th, 2010 and i will use to generate winner — in the meantime, to remain sane, i’m going to number each comment so when the time comes, i don’t have to count a zillion times.  the winners will be posted sometime between the evening of the 15th and 17th (as i may be going out of town — my birthday is the 18th).  oh, and you MUST have a blog to win.

on a more personal note, i feel like a jerk for not getting back to a lot of you regarding bartering, or responding to emails.  one issue after another around here — short story this time is that i injured my neck and back horribly and haven’t been able to move much.  being on the computer and phone hurts so i’ve been avoiding it all.  huge apologies, especially to donna and jill and johnna and keriny ninny and the wonderful barterers.  i’ll get my act together soon, promise.  🙂  and AFTER that, i’ll post pulp contribution photo.  wohooo!

P.S. I think OWOH players have broken Blogger this evening.  I can’t leave comments on any of those.  Good thing I have WordPress.

nah, not really.  did you get at least a little excited though?  i don’t even think i’m actually able to breed anymore anyway.  however, this girl who i completed today obviously is!

as if that’s not detailed enough, here’s a little more for you…

(can you tell that i LOVE crackle?  is it getting old yet??  should i lay off it for awhile?)

i actually made a little frame for her too, covered in beeswax, carved and jabbed and stabbed and sliced… then did that alicia-wax-thang that i do.  i only burned myself twice, both totally mildly (AND did a little something for my pulp redux book while the wax was still hot (i lie — i did the book piece first)).

i just bought a really, really nice new camera.  that’s what the dude at the shop said.  you know what?  it sucks so bad that i had to SCAN this framed piece.  i’m so annoyed.  i’ve never had anything but a nikon before this stupid camera (that has a name that starts with a C) and i wish i didn’t allow him to talk me into this one.  but i digress.

there is even the sweetest little easel stand for this piece (or i can add a hook to the back — i’m handy like that).

(see — photo is grainy.  jerks!)

i’m putting this girl — i call her my wednesday gal for the moment since i made her today (wednesday!) — up for sale on my site tomorrow in the alicia-section.  i also have tuesday’s chica that will be going up (omg, there is a uterus in that one — do i need therapy?  or maybe i SHOULD try to have another offspring thing?  maybe and nah.)  i’m tired of camera wrestling so i’ll deal with it in the morning.  then i can finish my thursday girl.  she has no visible organs of any sort.  just a hand… but that’s not an organ.  trying to do a piece a day since i have no work and… well, you know.

oh wait, here was a part-way-through photo i took of uterus lady on tuesday.  it’s done now and looks better, but peek anyway if you dare:

most of the other gals have already posted about this on their blogs so i’m slacking and behind… and you may very well have already checked out our joint blog: pulp redux (i really have to update my thread!).  for those of you who don’t know, i am ever so happy to share that i’m doing a fantastically fun international altered book collaboration with five amazingly talented ladies.  er, four now, actually.  one had to step out of the picture, sadly, due to a family emergency.  i have the amazing privilege of playing with debrina (if you know me, you know her!), kim, lisa j. and lisa s. (in alphabetical order — you know me!)  our sixth pages will be completed by a guest artist who will not be part of the big collaboration.

some of the girls are starting with pre-existing books or albums of various sorts (which was very cool and smart!) but i opted to make my book from scratch (i seem to like to over-commit myself and get in a bit deeper than necessary sometimes).

my cover is not done as i’m waiting for a parcel of black patina, but here are some sneaky peeks.  for now, i’m leaving the book unbound so that i can accommodate it’s anticipated girth upon its return to me late next year.

i have opted to bind the pages with fig twigs and fabric.  each of the sticks contain two sets of pages that open up as a book typically does, but fold down on the inside to make for additional arty playground space.

i will do two rows of stitching on the pages between the fabric (which will later be stained, of course), then sew/embroider the sticks a little more steadily into place, then wrapping the sticks with whatever i feel like wrapping them with when the time comes.

the cover is covered with handmade black banana leaf paper, and a 3d piece will sit atop it that’s made of two layers of foam core, the top layer covered in copper sheeting, etc.  the hole in the middle will be filled with little mysterious curiosities, such as bugs, bones and mini wax-topped bottles.  big surprise, eh?  photos of that will come later because currently, the copper is super bright teal and green due to the two day vinegar bath it received and i’d like it to be way more dark (hopefully dick blick sends my black pantina soon!).

i have lined the inside of the covers with red velvet because that felt only right with the title/theme.  oh, which i forgot to tell you.  whoops.  it’s:

The Museum of Forgotten Things

in the back of the book will be a pocket (will sew it on in the end) that will contain a note from each of the participating artists, and perhaps (hopefully!) some sort of trinket or embellishment sewn onto the pocket.

for my second page (first page will be shared later), i have concocted a crazy story about a lady who, in her old age, seemed to have been forgotten as had pieces of her past.  i’m not going to give all of that away right now, but this little bundle will fit within a pocket i fashioned like a secret stash of peronal belongings.

i wrote her obituary (which was no small task as i researched geography, fonts used in that era, surnames and origins, first names and origins, modes of transport, professions of the era, etc. and created a whole story.  i’m not a writer so it bit me in the arse part way through.  this is the back view of the bundle though:

i even wrote two diary pages from this lady, essentially confessing to something she did several years previous that no one had known she had done.  yes, the peacock feather ties into the story.

luckily, i had TWO photos of the same mystery lady so was able to include a second photo of her in the bundle to further tell her story.

all of this will be tied together, as displayed above, and will fit into this pocket i’ve started:

the pocket front, of course, will be embellished with more “bits” from her story, but i didn’t finish it yesterday as i had hoped to.

instead, i created a piece of art for a friend.  i sure hope he likes it!

now i should go clean house so i can later finish my pocket and post it all on the pulp redux blog!

this is the story as i believe it to be…

Born as Augusta Ada Byron and later named the Countess of Lovelace through marriage, Ada the was the daughter of a brief marriage between the Romantic poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke, who separated from Byron just a month after Ada was born. Four months later, Byron left England and never returned. Ada never met her father and was raised by her mother, Lady Byron.

Lady Byron wished her daughter to be unlike her poetical father, and she saw to it that Ada received tutoring in mathematics, science and music, as disciplines to counter “poetic tendencies”. Ada’s complex mind became apparent as early as the age of 13 when she produced the design for a flying machine. It was mathematics that gave her life its wings and she submersed herself it in fully.

In the early nineteenth century there were no “professional” scientists and the participation of noblewomen in intellectual pursuits was not widely encouraged. One of the gentlemanly scientists of the era was to become Ada’s lifelong friend. Charles Babbage, professor of mathematics at Cambridge, was known as the inventor of the Difference Engine, an elaborate calculating machine that operated by the method of finite differences. Ada met Babbage in 1833, when she was just 17, and they began a voluminous correspondence on topics of primarily mathematics and logic.

Babbage had made plans in 1834 for a new kind of calculating machine (despite the Difference Engine not being finished), called the Analytical Engine and enlisted Ada’s assistance. Ada called herself his Analyst (& “Metaphysician”). She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise so took notes on it for him. She rightly saw it as what we would call a general-purpose computer today.  Her notes on the Analytical Engine mentioned anticipation of future developments, including computer generated music but was scoffed at as “no such machine could possibly exist.”

Ada died of ovarian cancer in 1852, at the age of 36, and was buried beside the father she never knew. Her contributions to science were resurrected only recently, and biographies attest to the fascination of Babbage’s “Enchantress of Numbers,” Ada Lovelace, who she is now referred to as.

(proof of my adoration of math, science, a fancy-dressed ladies who share my passion for the aforementioned subjects.)

this is my piece for the artcenter gallery’s holiday show: shrines and reliquaries. opening reception will be friday, november thirteenth from 5:30 to 8, and exhibit will remain until december 24th… just in case you were interested.

PS. going to the beach for a few days.  See you soon!

a few of you know that i broke my glasses in half a week and a day ago. i can’t really read without them and as such haven’t been blogging/reading much lately and it caused me to delay posting the newest interview on the altered bits site.  let me tell you though… it was SO worth the wait because these two rock!!

introducing joanne archer and simon loach!  i’m sure most of you are already aware of this dynamic duo but you’ll get to know them even better when you read the interview.  PLEASE NOTE: the love page is no more.  everything is now under “guest artists“.  see the visual (click the tag) on the main page:

simon is a tremendous photographer with mad photoshop skills.  his photography is gorgeous and i for one will be purchasing prints.  make sure you visit his website too in order to see many more wonderful pieces of work (or “stuff” — read the interview).

joanne is amazing and i adore her and her art.  she creates wonderful dream boxes, assemblages and collages.  she is mostly drawn to using fabric, metal and paper, though you see an array of amazing found objects and mediums used in her work.  go read the interview, view the amazing art she has shared with us, then visit her blog to tell her that she is a kick-ass and tremendously talented artist.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

in other, totally unimportant and nowhere near as cool news, i’ve been working away on a few pieces and refurbishing my studio in my recent near-blindness.  (yeah, got delayed a week to get an eye appointment, and you know how they say “we’ll have your glasses in about an hour”.  they lie.  try TEN DAYS!  and i only got in this last sunday.  hmmph.)  really i’ve done more shopping than art, for a third desk, second bookcase, etc.  will be fabulous and even more organized in here soon. but i have worked on a bit.

peek at a shrine i’m working on:

a couple of gifts for a few people:

two different assemblages (peeks so small they almost don’t count):

i found my sad and lonely little brain boy box/clock that i never finished so think i shall work on him in the coming month as well.  he’s too cute not to want to play with!

and of course in my remodeling/rearranging/refurbishing i found a painting i forgot i’d started.  it’s about five feet wide and i’m not showing a peek of anything more than the bottom part of her dress (see, i said too much already!).  you’ll forget about it though by the time i post the final painting in a few years anyway.

you’re probably not reading anymore and that’s good — that probably means you’re reading joanne and simon’s interview. and if not, go there now!

lastly, please forgive me if you’ve emailed me within the last 8 or 10 days and i haven’t responded.  the lack of glasses thing is maddening.  i should have new ones in 8 or so more days and will catch up then, promise.

the black and white zine is up and ready to review!

of course i still haven’t heard back from yudu about the issue of some text displaying red other than for them to tell me that they didn’t see it, but hopefully that is remedied first thing on monday as i sent screen shots galore to illustrate the issue (re-uploading it did nothing but take another five hours, same issue ensues).  do you guys see it?  maybe it’s just me?  in the meantime you can just check it out on my site: (make sure to check out both parts).

i want to thank each and every one of you who are in the zine so very much for taking the time to submit your work and write up your descriptions.  it eneded up looking fabulous!  i mentioned to a couple of people that i was initially quite worried that black and white may appear too washed out or bland when crammed into one publication, but i was quite wrong — it rocked, because you guys are amazing artists!  thank you also for all of your amazing feedback too!  i will take a bit to respond to all of the emails but know i am appreciating you and all of your kindness right now.

here are the stats for anyone interested:

  • the zine has currently been views on yudu 305 times (despite my telling people not to look yet since it’s all wonky)
  • (it is the 78th most popular publication on their site of thousands of publications this week too)
  • it was viewed 980something times within the first 24 hours of being on my site and 543 in the past two days
  • 27 silly people, out of just over 1500 only looked at part one

i don’t even know 1500 people.  or maybe even 27 for that matter.  so, i am quite stunned that so many people have viewed this in such a very short period time.

happy weekend!  i’m taking a couple of days off to chill, then i will bring you the new artist interview(s) mid-week next.  you will be ever so excited!

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.  🙂

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