Friday, April 24, 2009


So, after that bit of a downer post I'll post my finished Luchador paintings which are totally happy. Finishing them up last night really did make me feel better. They aren't perfect but they are cheerful, fun little things.

They are painted on 6"x6" canvas with acrylic.

Check them out on my etsy shop


The Mr called me at work yesterday to say he'd been laid off.

It's all sorts of shitty. No other words for it really. The Mr is the hardest working person I know. He's out the door before I wake up, he works his ass off doing backbreaking work and he doesn't get compensated for all of the overtime he puts in during harvest. It's truly an unfair thing for someone who has worked so hard.

I know we'll pick up and move on to better things, I'm certain of it. It's something that we are forced to face so that we can move forward, beyond where we are now. That doesn't change the fact that it's a terrible thing to have happened and that I'm totally pissed off.

Some people say that getting angry won't help anything but if it's okay to bask in positive feelings then there has to be something to embracing the fact that I'm just a bit miffed. I'm not saying that I'll wallow in ire. I'm just saying that admitting I'm pissed off and using it to push forward, to do something constructive, has got to be better than pretending that I'm a-ok with what has happened.

Bugger, life certainly is not sunshine and roses at the mo'.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More favourite things: adhesives

I love a good adhesive. A bond that is strong and dependable. It's dorky, I know, but I'm fairly particular about my glues. Here are my two faves at the mo'...

Aleene's Tacky Glue
As far as white glue goes this is my fave. Elmers is a running sopping mess compared to Aleene's. The trick is to get a nice thin smooth coat that will dry in no time at all. My only complaint is that it dries to a gloss finish. If this stuff came in a matte version, with the same consistency and bonding, well I don't think that I'd ever convert to anything else.

2 Coat Rubber Cement
This is some of my most favourite stuff on the planet. It really is the best for bonding paper together. Imagine sticking two bits of paper together with no wrinkles, and not having the sticky after effects of spray adhesive (what nasty effin' stuff that is!) I've encountered a bit of confusion about the use of this most fantastic gelatinous goo so here is a wee run down on how to use the messy stuff.

I'm just going to glue these two pieces of paper together. Easy peasy.

When you unscrew the lid you will very likely find a brush built into the lid. The cement itself is s goopy, gross and smells... but it's pretty neat stuff. If you've got a small area to fill use the built in brush and paint the entire area to be glued. Make sure you go all the way to the edge for a perfect bond.

Now cover the area that you going to attach the first paper to. If the area that you are covering is rather large, pour some of the rubber cement in the middle of the area you are working in and then use an old plastic card to spread it around in a thin layer. If your cement is getting too gummy you might want to thin it out with some rubber cement thinner. Thinning gives it a much better viscosity when working with large areas to be covered. For a perfect seal go beyond the area that you need to so your edges don't stick out.

When the two sides are almost dry, carefully put them together. A good idea is to sort of line up one edge then 'roll' the rest of the page down to avoid trapping air. If it's not exactly where you want it, you can unstick it and try again! If you wait until it is completely dry, repositioning becomes much more difficult. When you have it where you want it, smooth out the paper to remove any air pockets.

Leave your project for a while until it is completely dry. Take your finger (or a rubber cement eraser) and rub the areas where the rubber cement went 'out of the lines'. You will find that it will ball up and rub right off! Pretty neat eh? Best of all you have a pretty perfect bond and very little after mess.

The downside? The stuff is super flammable so don't even think of juggling torches while using it and it may stain some papers... check a small area first to see if it leaves a trace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ouija Street

Finally I can show something off! Weee!

A while ago I bought a Ouija board for about $1. Sweet deal! I knew it would make something cool... but what? Long story short, I was on round three of the Chunky House Swap on and inspiration struck! I'll make a whole Ouija village! And so 13 lovely little cottages were born from one abandoned Ouija board.

Ouija boards are funny things. Some people are totally freaked out by them, others think they are total bunk and in between there are all manner of opinions.

When making the houses I wondered if chopping it up sucked all the mystique and power from it. Does breaking it up destroy it? Perhaps what I was really doing was making comfortable homes for spirits to visit. Or maybe they are just bits of cardboard, shaped into houses, and decorated with whimsy.

Whatever the case I really sort of love them and hope they all end up with nice families :)

See more Ouija Street photos here...

Shop for a Ouija Street home at my etsy shop...

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Favourite Arty Tools

Since I still can't really show anything off at the mo I thought that it may be interesting to share some of my favourite, most useful, artsy/crafty tools.

I suppose the most useful thing of all is my fingers/hand. I know it's rather obvious but I just use my hands so much.

While my right hand may do most of the painting my left hand acts as my trusty pallet. You can always tell when I've been painting because my left hand and arm are covered in paint. I never did like using a proper pallet. For some reason I find that I can leave just the right amount of paint on my brush when I use my arm, my paint is the perfect consistency, and my pallet is never out of reach.

My fingers smudge glue into place. I am so damned impatient when it comes to glue. It kills me to wait for the stuff to dry and there have been many times when I have looked up to find that something has slid out of place because of my impatience. I have found that if I put a tiny dab where I need it and then use my finger to make a smooth thin layer, things are dry in no time at all!

My fingers also smudge paint and pencil. Sometimes there is no tool as precise as your finger. It will go exactly where you want it to and apply as much pressure as you demand. Sometimes that extra brush or tool just gets in the way.

For smudging, picking, measuring, deciphering angles, scratching, holding and drawing my hands and fingers really are my greatest artist tools.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

My Day Job

I still can't share my latest crafty ventures but I'm really happy with what I did at work this week so I'll share that instead.

Our paper did a sort of tribute to Kurt Cobain this week, the 15 anniversary of his death. Christ, has it really been 15 years!?! Anywho, here's my tribute to the grungy rocker...

Kurt is cut out of different photos and assembled and scanned. The background, same deal, paper cut, assembled and scanned. I'm pretty chuffed with him :)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bargain Hunting

I've been working on a number of things but all of them for swaps so I can't show anything off at the mo'. What I can show you is my most favourite recent purchase...

I picked up this well loved record album for 50 cents at a local "Re-use Centre".

The cover looks a bit beaten but it's actually in really good condition.

I'm not entirely sure what I'll do with it yet. I do love all the hand written titles and notes throughout as well as the hole left for reading the album titles. It's a really wonderful object.

Another recent buy was this player piano roll. I spent a whopping $5 on this. That's a pretty penny as far as my spending habits go.

What I was most interested in was the box, which has been worn down in the most lovely way, and the title "Mother" which I'm certain I can work with. I'm pretty sure that I can use the player paper for something crafty... though I would feel the worst pang of guilt for cutting