Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Glass Bottle - a True Story

A couple weeks ago there was a garage sale at a neighbors. John had just had his 99th birthday and I was worried that he had passed away. I wandered over there and found a picture frame and an old glass bottle for my art projects. The lady at the check out said he had gone to a nursing home and that he agreed to the church members holding the sale for him and all proceeds were to go to a lady at the church who had 6 kids and no car. What a nice gesture on his part!

Several weeks went by and I was trying to decide what to do with the items. The glass bottle had an inscription on it:  W H NYE Druggist Boise City, Idaho. I googled his name and found out he was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery B.1833-D.1894 Served with the Army of the Potomac. Honorably discharged shortly after Antietam. Druggist before the War in the East and afterwards in Boise, Idaho.

I knew the bottle was probably old but not over 125 years old!

 I looked up the battle of Antietam and didn't find his name in the register so I contacted the webmaster that I had a name for him. He was thrilled to add Captain Nye. 
I can't believe I helped add to a page on the Civil War. Here is the link: 

Friday, February 15, 2019

A New Year...New Art...

I've pulled 63 pieces of art from my studio since the 1st of the year.  I have a piece in the Valentines for Aids show at the Flying M. I have 7 pieces at the C.W. Moore lobby show. I just hung the pieces above at InDepth Solutions as their artist of the month. I have 5 pieces in the BSU Earth Day Exhibit which is on the Second Floor of the Albertson's  Library at BSU. And I am the artist of the month for February at Gallery 55 in McCall, ID. 

Bike A new mixed media piece I made this week.  

Wonder 8 x 8 We are Women Fundraiser April 11

8 x 8 for We Art Women Fundraiser- April 11

No. 5 8 x 8  We Art Women fundraiser- April 11
Another new piece this week. Original acrylic painting of the McDowell mountains in AZ. with a cow skull. Mounted on an old chalkboard, hand painted with barbed wire and added embellishments.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

" But Love Goes on Forever"

This is the box that was in my first photo in my last post. Given to me free at a garage sale earlier this summer by an older lady who said she used it for her earrings. She was selling her house and moving...I would love to be able to show her what I did with those frames as well as with this blank box.

The completed box. The topper is from a bird house given to me by a friend that was redecorating her yard. I took the birdhouse and it was in my garden until we moved and by then the whole thing was falling apart but I kept the metal top. 

Detail: little glass jar that I put ribbons in to match the color scheme. 

Small basket I've had for over 50 years! (it was in my original doll house) Music scroll, fairy dust, packet of "secret letters" 

The title of the piece comes from this ceramic shopping bag which is from the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage Missouri. I visited there with my family about 20 years ago. 

Our new neighborhood has held something called "The Sycamore Stroll" for years. I was lucky enough to be in town for this one. It is a neighborhood of garage sales with hotdogs, lots of neighbors on foot or bike going from house to house to find treasures. I was in heaven on my bicycle in the perfect spring air and abundant flowers. I bought a box of the little plastic wine glasses from a woman whose mother used to collect miniatures. I filled it with tiny glass beads and resin.

A friend gave me a roll of hand printed paper of bicycles. I've been cutting them out and using them in projects. I put the little dog that was made hand painted in Scotland, that I also have had for years.  

I hope you enjoyed my little journey with this piece as much as I did making it and telling you about it. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mini Mixed Media Frame Project

 I stopped by a garage sale by my house and came upon these gems. They were all wrapped up in there original plastic but had seen better days. I wound up having to throw away the actual art and the wood they were mounted on as they were moldy. 
But I could save the beautiful metal frames from Italy. I cleaned them up and added some white highlights.

Then I tinted them with layers of transparent washes of Golden acrylics.
I traced the shape of the frame on paper made for acrylic paint and added a few layers of paint and tissue papers.

Now what to add next? I went through my old transparencies from teaching and cut this one up.
and layered those on top of the collages.
The glass needed attention next, I cleaned and scraped off the paper that was stuck to them and added details with pen and paint. 
Now the fun of mixing and matching the collages with the frames and glass.

A more tedious next step was cutting out new backing for all of them.

I glued the cardboard in with liquid nails and glued paper over that with Elmers and then signed each one.

Last, I added small embellishments and dots and flourishes a la Michael DeMeng. 
Before and After

 What do you think? I sold one the next day and still have 6 available. Thanks for looking. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Details from "Be" 

 In between filling out applications for various shows, working on the cello project and The Sketchbook project, I've been working on this fun little project for "Thrifty Show." A Swell collective show using something from a thrift store.

The birds water dish says, " Friendship is a blessing"

The project started with a birdcage from the Youth Ranch Thrift Store and the glass beads from the Salvation Army.

Aladdin's' shoe filled with magical birdseed. 

The clasp to open the cage is a ladybug brooch from the ReUse Market.

Lots of beads, baubles and dots of paint. 

"Be", to be content with where you are in life and to make the most of it. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Cello Art

The blank canvas

In December I answered a call from the Treasure Valley Artist Alliance to Artists to make a cello into a work of art. 2 artists would be chosen and I was one of them! Below is my proposal: 

 A few years ago I was given a violin in disrepair to use in my art. I had fun turning it into an homage to a Native American violinist. Researching Zitkala-Sa I used paint, found objects and collage elements to represent the musician. In this project I would use metal gears and chains and other cast off items to turn the cello into a steampunk cello. This idea sprang from my research on famous women cellists and I came across a current cellist who plays in the style of Steampunk music. I was intrigued by the name she goes by: “Unwoman” taken from the book “The Handmaids Tale” Unwomen are the lesbians, feminists and others who wouldn’t submit to authority. I related to Unwomans answer when asked about her creative process. She said each song might have a unique creative process since there is so much experimentation. Some of it is on the fly and some of it is labored over. In my art I enjoy taking items that no longer have an intrinsic value in and of themselves and relish turning them into something new to be enjoyed by someone else rather than end up the in the trash. I would be honored to be chosen for this project.

My first step in the process was to gather all my bits and bobs and see what I had. I needed a focal point and created a little Unwoman character charm. 

I started laying pieces on the cello but didn't glue them down as I kept shifting things around as I would find yet another piece that would look better in place. 

The butterfly wings were the perfect addition to fill out the top and the colors blended beautifully.

It was at around this point that I started gluing items down. I would just glue a few at a time and let them dry. I am fortunate to have a room dedicated just to this project. I queried the "WorldWide Assemblage Group" on FB as to which adhesive I should use. Amazing Goop came out the winner. It is thicker than E-6000 that I had previously used.  

Then it was time to start working on the sides.

Almost there...and more and more stuff to work with surrounds it on the floor.

The finishing touches were adding dots of paint to strategic locations.

Lots of fun stuff hanging from the top.

I have been collecting small items from friends for years. Broken watch bands and jewelry, belt buckles, buttons and pins.

I went for balance but not complete symmetry as to add some interest.

The butterfly body is antique mother of pearl handle to a mirror or butterknife.

I used a mixture of steampunk gauges and gears mixed with feminine touches of flowers and pearls.

I have pieces wired and hanging to add layers of interest. Watches, musical instruments, bells and locks.

Watch parts and chains and bottle caps and meat grinder blade. 

Zipper pull, light bulb charms, washers and bits of this and that. I laid them out by color, size and shape to all blend together around the edges. 

The other side. 

Gathering supplies to make a stand, had to make 2 trips to home depot as the first dowel I bought was too wide to fit in the hole in the bottom of the cello. 

Screwing into the base I had from something else...

Then screwing the dowel into the stand and sliding the cello down over the stick.
All told I spent approximately 20 hours on it spread out over about 4-5 weeks. I'm pretty happy with it. I am told it will be on display at several shows and then will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Treasure Valley Artist Alliance.