Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

To all of you who stop by and visit my little corner of the web, I wish you a happy and creative new year! I hope that 2011 is the year that you paint, doodle, collage, or sew your way to bliss...perfect your skills...take a class...try something completely new...find an art buddy...get published...start your own business...exhibit in a gallery...rev up...slow down...whatever it is that makes your soul sing and your heart happy.

I don't know what 2011 will bring, but my hope is that

Thank you for all of your comments, kind words, and bloggy friendship throughout the past year. Your presence here means so much and inspires me to keep on creating and sharing. I sincerely hope that 2011 brings the best of everything for you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

IF - Mail

For this week's Illustration Friday theme of MAIL, I thought I would re-post a little collage that I did a while back for this sketchbook swap. I filled an entire moleskine sketchbook with mail-related words and images since the theme of the swap was "my favorite."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

List It Tuesday - Fun With Snow

I could have made a list of all the weather phrases we've been hearing lately--winter storm warning, lake effect snow showers, heavy squalls, blowing and drifting, blah blah blah. But instead, I made a list of some fun things to do with snow. Here's hoping for a snow day!

Skate on over to artsyville and check out the rest of the lists on this List It Tuesday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

IF - Phenomenon

A crackling, light-up-the-sky, ear-splitting thunder storm is my favorite weather phenomenon. Of course, only when I'm on the inside looking out. I find the sound of rain and thunder somehow very comforting.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

List It Tuesday - Camera Mumbo Jumbo

I can't seem to shoot a decent photo to save my life. So, either--I'm the world's worst photographer or my crappy old camera is just not cutting it. I'm hoping it's the camera, so I've asked Santa to bring me a new one for Christmas. I just want a nice point and shoot camera that will take decent pictures I can post here of finished art or work in process. But all this camera mumbo jumbo is making my head spin! There are so many choices. Even if I narrow it down to one brand and a specific price range there are still too many options to sift through.

So I'm asking you--my fellow bloggers--for a little help. Which camera do you have? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Why? What features are a must have? I'm looking for something under $200 that is easy to use and can fit in my purse. Help me please!

And then hop on over to artsyville for another week of list love.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

List It Tuesday - Map Inspiration

While working on my map series, I discovered a number of artists who use maps in their art, are inspired by map imagery, or both. I've listed a number of my favorites here, and for your convenience, I've included links to their web sites below. Take a minute or two and check out some of the amazing artwork from these artists. You may never look at a map the same way again! And don't forget to head over to artsyville and peruse this week's lists.

Lordy Rodriguez - I couldn't find a direct site, but google image to see his work

PS I will share my map series once all the pieces are finished and mounted.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reality Beckons

My Thanksgiving week was one of busy * happy * bliss. I welcomed a few days off from the daily grind and had a week of freedom to do and play as I wished.  I used the time to finish up some projects, continue working on others, and start a few brand new ones. I sewed. I painted. I collaged.   I made progress. I made mistakes. I made discoveries. It was wonderful! But now reality beckons, and another work weeks begins all over again. I hope to share with you soon...but right now I need to squeeze out a few more hours of fun. Hoping everyone had a spectacular holiday complete with a little bit of busy * happy * bliss!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

List It Tuesday - Lunch with the Seinfeld Gang

As a long-time Seinfeld fan, I have a lot of favorite quotes. For List It Tuesday I thought I would compile a list of some of my favorite food-related quotes. When I was done I realized that I messed up and one of the quotes is erroneous. I considered trying to fix it then decided to just leave it so the true blue Seinfeld fans can pick out which one it is.

I've posted Seinfeld quotes before---here and here if you want to check them out. Don't forget to visit artsyville for more lists!

Monday, November 22, 2010

heART Therapy

I must be in need of some serious heART therapy. Ever since I stitched up that first little wool and felt heart a few weeks ago, I haven't been able to stop. They just keep coming! My couch looks like an explosion of felt, sweaters, floss, and beads. I know it's therapy because I have no purpose for stitching them. Nada. Zilch. I just thoroughly enjoy the act of pulling a needle through fabric again and again and again.

But as the pile of hearts grows, ideas for other projects has grown along with it. (Not that I'm in need of more ideas--far from it!) I suppose I'll have to let the hearts run their course and wait until they tell me what they want to be. Or maybe they don't want to be anything. Maybe they're just a little pause in the creative process. The calm before the storm. I do feel a torrent brewing somewhere close by. What creative thing do you do when you need a little therapy?

Friday, November 12, 2010

IF - Burning

What is your burning desire? Have you focused all your power on achieving that thing?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

List It Tuesday - Groovin' in the 70's

I was at an art show this weekend and one of the booths had the most fabulous handbags made from old record albums. The artist used both the covers and the vinyl to fashion some of the coolest bags I've ever seen. You can check them out here. I spotted a few familiar covers which made me think about my own album collection and inspired my list for List It Tuesday.

I consider the 70s to be my decade. Those ten years took me from an awkward seventh grader through high school and to college graduate. I could fill ten lists with my favorite songs, artists, or albums of the decade so I limited myself to artists whose albums I owned. As you can see, my taste in music runs more to singer/songwriters than bands and is pretty tame. My husband was the own who owned The Rolling Stones, Kiss, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Who among others.

Here are a few random musical memories:

- My eighth grade teacher was young, bearded, and fresh out of college. He sat cross legged on his desk and played Simon and Garfunkel on the record player when we worked quietly. I thought listening to "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" in the classroom of a Catholic school seemed pretty scandalous.

- My first date with my husband was to a stadium concert headlined by The Beach Boys and Chicago in 1975.

- The Best of Bread was my go-to album whenever I felt depressed in high school. Boy are those songs depressing!

- My college roommate and I couldn't go out unless we'd listened to Frampton Comes Alive, Bat Out of Hell and Linda Ronstadt's Greatest Hits. It's no wonder I know every word to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light."

- Our favorite "new" album is the soundtrack to The Jersey Boys.

I loved this music in the 70s and I still love it today. Heck, I even like disco!

Don't forget to hop over to artsyville and check out even more lists.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Heart The World

It's the time of year when just about every weekend you can find a place where artists gather to present and sell their work to the public just in time for holiday gift giving. I have a whole list of local shows I plan to attend and yesterday marked the first. There's just something about seeing so much creativity and hand made goodness in one place that makes me happy and gives me hope. It happens whenever I visit a gallery, museum, art show, or inspirational blog. I feel energized. I feel alive. I feel like I heart the whole dang world!

I saw some adorable little hand sewn felted heart pins that totally rekindled my desire to do more hand sewing. I've been itching to get out my needles and floss and do something with all those thrift stores sweaters I felted a while back. So last night, (when I should have been finishing up my map art for the last class this week) I gathered up a few supplies, found a cozy spot on the couch, and sewed to my heart's content. Sometimes you just have to create when inspiration strikes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

IF - Afterwards

I would always cast a vote to sleep on things--or just sleep in general.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

List It Tuesday - I Love Spuds

As a self-proclaimed spud lover, I didn't have to look far for inspiration for another edition of List It Tuesday. While dining on a reheated dish of spudlicious leftovers, I found myself musing over the versatility of this unassuming little tuber. It might not look like much, but boy can it cook up a storm! Spuds can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can become an entree, side dish, soup, bread, salad, or snack. You can dress them up with butter, cheese, gravy, sour cream, or onion dip. I'm proud to admit that I've eaten every potato dish on this list.  Yep, I love spuds! Just don't ask me to choose a favorite.

Don't forget to visit artsyville and check out a whole new crop of lists.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

List It Tuesday

It's another edition of List It Tuesday. Head over to artsyville to check out more lists.

A few weeks ago I went to see Blue Man Group and the show ended with a huge, blow-out dance party. Amid strobe lights, streamers, and the biggest beach balls I've ever seen, the audience was encouraged to "get off your ass" and participate in a communal booty shake. An anonymous voice listed every word imaginable for a certain body part while the words flashed on a giant screen. After a few dozen words the names started to get pretty ridiculous and funny, but it made me realize that there are a ridiculous number of slang words for the good old buttocks. Here is my list of some of the most common nicknames for the part of the anatomy that you sit on. These were right off the top of my head and all that I could fit on a page of my Moleskine. I probably use the term "butt" most often, but I remember my mother was rather fond of calling it a "fanny." Do you have a favorite nickname that I missed?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

List It Tuesday

The wonderfully talented Aimee over at artsyville has declared today as the first "list it Tuesday."  I love lists! I couldn't survive without my lists! While scanning a stack of Good Advice postcards, I realized that I had a list in there somewhere. I think I would call this the three most important accomplishments of my day...or any day for that matter.  Hop on over to this artsyville post and read the comments section to check out even more lists. Then start planning your contribution for next Tuesday.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

IF - Spooky

There's nothing spookier than the unknown. When our eyes can't see what's out there, our minds conjure up the most terrifying things imaginable lurking in every dark corner. Hideous monsters. Ferocious bears. Ax murderers. Most of the time our imaginations are far scarier than any reality. When we shine a light in the direction of our fears, we usually find out there's nothing there. The same is true for anything unknown to us. The future. The economy. The security of our retirement savings. Don't you wish you had a flashlight that you could shine into the future and be reassured that it's not as spooky as you think? Well, you do. It's called faith.

“When you come to the edge of all the light that you have and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: either there will be something solid for you to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.”

Take that, spooky!

Friday, October 8, 2010

IF - Transportation

I’ve been thinking a LOT about maps lately. I’m taking a class that focuses on creating artwork in a series and I’ve chosen maps as the theme for my series. I’ve spent the last few weeks fully immersed in maps—poring over maps, scanning maps, sketching maps, abstracting maps. I think my two favorite kinds of maps are topographic maps and street maps. With so many maps on my mind, a street map seemed appropriate for the Illustration Friday theme of transportation.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

And The Winners Are.....

Everyone! Yep, I'm having an Oprah moment. You get art! And you get art! And you get art! It was really hard to choose just two of you so I think everyone deserves to be a winner.

Of course, only two people can receive the framed art offered in the blogiversary giveaway...but I will send everyone else who left a comment an original watercolor post card. Just send me an email and let me know your address and I will create something just for you. If you have a favorite quote or saying then send that along too. Or just say "surprise me!" and I will.

Here's where the framed quotes will be heading...

I've chosen Shenais to receive Oh Happy Day because she articulated so well the deeper message that those three little words represent. Even though I said it was just a happy little doodle in my post, she "got" it so now she gets it. Congratulations Shenais!

I've chosen Gianna to receive the Howard Thurman quote because of her sheer enthusiasm for quotes in general and this one in particular. She seems like someone who will "come alive" and inspire others to do the same. Congratulations Gianna!

Thank you again to everyone for visiting and for taking part in my giveaway! Please accept my offer to thank you personally with a little bit of mail art happiness. You can find my email address on my profile. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lost and Found: Second Blogiversary Giveaway!

Oh Happy Day!!!
October 1st marks the two year blogiversary of Lost and Found and I’m celebrating with a great big giveaway! This is my way of letting you know how much I appreciate all of you who stop here to visit and inspire me with your comments, good humor, and positive energy. It doesn’t matter if you just clicked here by accident, googled your way over, visit regularly, or fall somewhere in between—I’m so happy you’re here!

Now--on to the giveaway! I’ll be the first to admit that my giveaway last year was pretty lame. What can I say? I was new and unprepared and offering up a yet-to-be-created original piece of art might not have been the best idea I’ve ever had. I had 8 participants for the giveaway and I’m grateful to each of them for taking a chance on my mystery prize. This year I’m much better prepared and I hope I can double the number of participants for the giveaway. Of course, I’ll need your help to reach that goal.

Since this is the second blogiversary of Lost and Found, I decided to give away TWO original hand-lettered watercolor pieces to TWO lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me which piece you would like and why. I'll make my choices based on your comment--so make it a good one! Be sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner.

First up is this illustrated quote by Howard Thurman. I love this message! This inspirational quote gives us permission to do what we love because doing so is in the best interest of the entire world. What could be better than that? Seriously.

The second piece is a happy little doodle of a favorite phrase of mine. No deep thoughts here. This one is just for fun.

Both pieces were done with permanent black marker and watercolor and the images measure approximately 6.5 x 8.5 inches which is a bit larger than I usually work. Each one will arrive in a black frame ready to hang on the wall or to display on a flat surface. Here's a peek at how the first one looks framed and hanging on my newly-painted green kitchen wall.

Don’t be shy! Jump right in let me know if either of these pieces would brighten up your life, your home, your studio, or your workplace. Leave your comment by midnight on October 1st and I will announce the winners on October 2nd

 Good luck and thanks for visiting!

Friday, September 24, 2010

IF - Old-Fashioned and Good Advice

Here's a little good old-fashioned advice for you on this fine Friday. You just can't go wrong with old-fashioned advice. I guess that's why it's still around generation after generation.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Collage Book Experiment

Recently, Cloth Paper Scissors magazine hosted a reader challenge to create a mixed media mini-book. The only stipulation was that the size couldn't exceed 6x6x1 inch. Other than that, it was anything goes. I've been having so much fun playing around with the stitched collage post cards that I've been making, that I was inspired to see if I could transfer the technique to a small book.

I created this 24-page book mini-book using manila folders, paper scraps, watercolor, gouache, embroidery floss, beads, and my sewing machine. I finished it and emailed in my photos on the very last day possible. My book wasn't selected as a finalist to be mailed to the magazine and possibly included in a future issue, but I'm happy with my effort just the same for several reasons:

1. I actually finished something! Yep, I took the project from start to finish without getting distracted, bored, or disillusioned with it. It's a radical new concept I'm trying out.

2. I used up a bunch of my scrap paper stash. Not enough to make a dent in the humongous collection, but still....

3. I taught myself how to bind a book using the long stitch binding method.

4. I'm inspired to make more books! I already have a few ideas floating around in my head on how to expand on the collage/stitch process and try out a few more techniques.

This book doesn't really tell a story in the traditional sense, but I like the texture and feel of it. Plus, for me it tells a personal story through my memories of the paper that passes through my life. I may not remember what I ate for lunch today (or even if I ate lunch at all!) but I can remember where almost every scrap in the book came from. I guess you could say this is my version of a crazy quilt in paper/book form.

Friday, September 10, 2010

IF - Proverb

The Illustration Friday prompt this week is Proverb which I could probably illustrate until the cows come home. I like to get the majority of a drawing done on my lunch hour so that I can paint, scan and post when I get home from work. I started off with the proverb "it's no use crying over spilt milk" but couldn't get the glass right so quickly scrapped that in favor of something simple and a bit more upbeat. Don't worry--I'm not crying over that failure. The scan doesn't really show the metallic silver paint inside the cloud, but it looks quite nice in person. Have you experienced any silver linings lately?

Friday, September 3, 2010

IF - Dessert

Today's Illustration Friday word is one of my favorite ever! Probably because I'm a sucker for dessert. I can be tempted by anything ooey, gooey, fruity, chewy, flaky, or chocolately. But my absolute favorite dessert is a slab of good old-fashioned cake. I freaking LOVE cake!!!!

This illustration has the honor of being the first in my brand new watercolor Moleskine. I recently filled up my first Moleskine (after about 3 1/2 years) and had to buy another. Now, every time I open it, I'll be reminded of just how much I love cake. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

IF - Immovable

I know a few people who have mastered this bit of good advice. You can call them stubborn, relentless, tenacious, determined, or unyielding. But one thing is for sure--until they get what they want they are IMMOVABLE!

Friday, August 20, 2010

IF - Atmosphere

I know that for me, the atmosphere of a blog has a lot to do with how often I visit. My favorite places on the web are written with a sense of humor and are lighthearted, fun, inspirational, uplifting or all of the above. I hope you enjoy some of those things when you visit here!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Time for a Change

Today I'm taking my own advice and making a few changes here at Lost and Found. I decided it was time for a new look. Something a little lighter and brighter. I switched to a wider template and changed the background color to white. I'll probably continue to tweak things a bit until it feels right. Your feedback is welcome!

Friday, August 13, 2010

IF - Star gazing

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
--Vincent van Gogh

It was by sheer coincidence that I decided to read up on the life of Vincent van Gogh while waiting for the Illustration Friday prompt to be posted online today. I'm not sure what inspired me to re-acquaint myself with his life story, but when I saw that the word this week was "star gazer" I knew that an homage to Vincent was in order. Starry Night is van Gogh's most famous painting and one of the most well-known images in modern culture.

When I was in high school, I read a biography of Vincent van Gogh that included many of the letters that he wrote to his brother Theo. There's no doubt that I was motivated to read the book because of Don McLean's song "Starry, Starry Night." At the time, I was struck by the tragedy of van Gogh's life and felt overwhelming sadness that he never got to experience the artistic success during his lifetime that came after his death.

But today, after reading about his life here, I felt something very different. I felt hope. Here was a man with no artistic training or obvious talent who became one of the greatest artists in history. At the urging of his brother, Theo, van Gogh taught himself to draw and then to paint. And he continued to paint through dark and difficult times when others--himself included--doubted his ability.

If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
--Vincent van Gogh

Friday, August 6, 2010

IF - Caged

This little doodle is my submission for the Illustration Friday prompt of CAGED. I illustrated a quote by Jacques Deval that says a lot about two very different kinds of love.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Many Layers of Happiness

Happiness is having your name drawn as the winner in a blog giveaway!

Extreme happiness is when the giver is the super talented Lori Vliegen from elvie studio! Lori recently celebrated her 500th blog post (yikes!) and she generously offered up an excruciatingly scrumptious, beautifully hand made, doodle journal to one lucky blog reader. As if receiving this magnificent prize wasn't enough, it arrived wrapped in multiple layers of happiness with no detail overlooked. Grab a cookie or glass or wine and come along for the unveiling!

The outermost layer was pretty standard. But there's nothing like the sight of a package waiting patiently on your doorstep after a long day at work to kick start the joy of anticipation. Let the unwrapping begin...

First up is a protective layer of bubble wrap. It's both practical and pretty when a hint of lime green and other goodies is peeking through.

A lovely layer of gorgeous green tissue paper is next with this humorous little tag delicately tied with colorful string. Who is this mysterious inspector #12? If his or her job is to inspect and ensure the quality of craftsmanship on this journal then inspector #12 has the easiest job in the world. The covers are perfectly wrapped. The stitching is superb. With construction this meticulous, inspector #12 might as well eat bon bons all day. Wait! That's it! Knowing Lori's legendary love of chocolate, inspector #12's top priority is probably making sure journals don't leave elvie studio with any chocolate fingerprints!

Another little surprise was waiting beneath the tissue paper. A clear plastic envelope added another layer of protection and was sealed with an adorable elvie studio sticker and another carefully tied string held this sweet paper heart. The heart was attached to a mini glassine envelope that housed a personal note from Lori and an elvie studio business card.

Finally, the star of the show revealed! And isn't she a beauty?

I love the way Lori embellished this doodle print paper with doodles of her own in white.

Look how colorful and beautiful the spine is with all these yummy papers! A black elastic band holds everything together perfectly. I'm going to leave the "Pat" tag on because I think it's gorgeous and because I want everyone to know this journal is MINE.

The pages are a combination of graph paper, ledger paper, notebook paper and envelopes to stash all sorts of secret stuff. Each signature is wrapped in eye-popping paper that adds a nice burst of color throughout.

Last, but not least, the proof that this journal is a true work of art is the signature stamp on the inside back cover. It's obvious that Lori puts a lot of care and thought into her journals and into their presentation and wrapping as well. Can you tell I'm thrilled with my prize? Check out Lori's Etsy shop and treat yourself to one of her journals. You'll be glad you did!

PS The wrapping was even nicer than what you see in these photos. After opening everything up, I re-wrapped it (not quite as nicely) to take pictures. Then I got to enjoy the process of opening it all over again!