Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Life is a whirlwind

I have been running non-stop lately and have found myself falling asleep on the couch about 4:00 several days now.  I'm thinking vitamins might be a good idea?  duh?

Sunday after church, I joined a group of women gathering to help make wedding invitations for a sweet friends daughter who is getting married in June.  The invitations are darling but each one involved about 15 different pieces!  Yes, that's right... 15!  And there are over 200 invitations to be made. We have a long way to go....  

Yesterday, I went to set up for my Art Expressions Bible Study class and spent a few hours working on my 3x3 ft. canvas piece for our upcoming week of 24/7 prayer. Gosh, I have a long way to go but I made some progress.  I'll be going to work on it every day this week.

This morning  I got to Bible Study early to  set  out last minute things  and go over the morning with Lori.  I got there about 8:30.  The morning went well and we, as a group, finished a month long collaborative project based on the Lord's prayer.  Actually, 3 people still need to put finishing touches on theirs but we were able to lay out 15- 11x14 panels side by side to see the Lord's prayer running through all of them with each panel having artwork based on that small section of the prayer each woman was assigned.  It is a powerful piece that moved me to tears.  This piece will also be part of the week of 24/7 prayer as a prayer station.  I can't wait to photograph it hanging.

Immediately following Bible Study, there was a leadership meeting that went from noon until 2:00 after which I was flying to school to pick up my boys.  Then,  I dropped them off at home and had to run back to church with a large plastic box to pack up all the artwork for storing until 24/7, which is the end of March.  I also had to take care of some details in the office so I didn't get home until 3:00.  By 5:00, I felt like someone gave me tranquilizers and I passed out on the couch.

Tomorrow, I plan to get a little bit of painting time in but have two meetings in the morning and my boys have early release so after I pick them up at 12:30, I promised Max to take him for new shoes... I swear, that kid kills his clothes and shoes.  He often looks like a homeless child when I pick him up from school.  Totally covered in food stuff, things spilled all over his clothes, dirt caked on him, head sweating, and holes ripped out of his pants... sometimes several pair a week!  I can't figure out what the heck he's doing.  Now this will be his third pair of tennis shoes in just a few months!  And he has a wide foot and can only find shoes to properly fit him at StrideRite!  Thankfully we have an outlet for them but still, while I get the shoes for more like $30. per pair instead of $50, I have to drive a good solid 20-25 minutes on the freeway to get there.  While there, I'll see if we can find him some in the next size up for growing and saving a trip.  The thing is, the last two pair of shoes were for them being trashed... not outgrown.  I hope tomorrow at least he goes up a size so I don't purchase a third pair in the same size in three months!  It's a good thing he wasn't my first born or there'd be no clothes for passing down.  With him, you often don't even have to wash the clothes.  When he takes them off at night, you just throw them in the trash!  Pathetic... and geez, he's only 6!

OK, I'm going to go see if anything interesting is on t.v. and veg for a few moments before bed.  And yippee... tomorrow night is Project Runway!!!!

Oh, I almost forgot... did you notice my new little bar to the side for my etsy store?  Isn't that clever?  Now you can see a few things I have for sale and have a direct link to my store!  I've been busy uploading stuff since Saturday... a little bit every day.  Go see!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ready for selling...

Well, I spent the majority of yesterday going through all my vintage trims and laces getting them ready to sell.  I can't believe how time consuming it is grouping them, measuring each piece, packaging them all pretty, photographing everything, uploading photos and editing, and then listing them on etsy!  I did manage to get a few items listed but have LOTS more to go!  Some of the items listed are:
Vintage Catholic Missals (beautiful books from 1957/1960)
vintage Italian flash cards
vintage/retro trims (a ton more to come)
vintage buttons with cards

These are a few things listed along with some of my art, of course!

If you have interest in seeing what I haven't listed yet for possible purchase before I list it, contact me.  I also have several small figurines, mostly animals, that I will be listing for assemblages.  Lots of dogs so let me know if you are interested.  My photos didn't turn out well so I have to re-photograph all groupings.  They need to be done outside I think.  Better lighting.

So, go see what I've listed!  http://Artvisionz.etsy.com

Gotta' get showered and ready for church...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Work in Progress

I love it when other artists post photos of their work in progress yet now, as I have decided to do it since I've not posted art in days, I realize how awkward it feels... very exposed.  But I'm going to be brave.  This, so far, is pen/ink and the pen work still isn't finished, obviously.  Once I finish all the pen work, I will complete the piece in watercolor.  I'm still experimenting as to whether I prefer to paint the piece first then detail it with ink or do the pen work first.  I am swinging both ways.  I think if I paint first, I can get by with less pen work but does that make a big difference in the end?  I dunno...  I guess I just have to go with what I have time for.  Pens travel well so I can take it places with me.  I worked on this a few minutes this morning when I went to get the CT scan of my sinuses.  My appt. with the ENT is next Thursday so I'm anxious to find out what the films show.
On another note, tomorrow, 2/22 is my 22nd wedding anniversary!  Wow, that's a long time!  Over half my life!  Chuck and I don't have big plans but we are planning to go out for breakfast (my favorite time to eat out) and maybe go to a movie or something.  I asked if we could spend the school hours together as oppose to having to get a babysitter and fight the Friday night crowds so that is what we are doing.  I'm at my best early in the day and nosedive after 3:00!  Of course, since it's Friday, the afternoon is Family Fun Day so my boys expect some family fun when I get them after school.  Maybe we can do something different tomorrow instead of our usual movie rentals or games.  Have to think about that and talk to Chuck...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Meeting new people

OK, I confess... I hate parties and small talk of meeting new people.  I even dread going to parties even when I know every person there!  I LOVE a very small, intimate group of maximum 6 people.  It's just me.  But, last night, even though I'd sat crying about how I didn't want to go to a party knowing... ok, my own perception so thinking (husband disagrees with me) that I often am invited to events because of who I'm married to.  Chuck is very extroverted and thrives... I mean THRIVES, in groups.  He just loves being out and about with people while this completely tires me out.  I'm very introverted.  Anyway, my insecurity often gets the best of me as it did yesterday and I'm reduced to tears thinking I'm going to a party that I'm only invited to because I'm 'the wife'.  I know these people love me and I them, but I still go down this road.  Anyway, I went.  And guess what?  I actually had a great time!  Genuinely a great time!  And it even included meeting new people but wow, the 'small talk' seemed to easy to get through with this couple!  Hmmmm, maybe God was trying to teach me something...
Anyway, we met this sweet family Toban and Joanna with their two gorgeous daughters who live in Colorado.  Come to find out, Joanna is getting to meet one of my sweetest, best friends in the world next week!  Stephanie moved out to the Denver area a few months ago and she 'just happens' to live around the corner from Joanna, happens to have 3 girls to Joanna's 2 all in close age range with each other, and happens to be attending the same church!  Hello!  Circumstances?!  I think NOT!  God has a plan.  I sit back and watch asking ,"What are you doing?"  Anyway, it was a really fun evening, much to my surprise and delight.

Joanna has a blog so now I can keep up with her so that's fun.  Oh, and ya'll have to go see the cutest zipper bags she makes out of funky retro type fabric.  They are so adorable!  Here's her blog addy: 
Mozy on over and visit her!

Well, I guess I'd better go eat breakfast and start getting my family ready for church.  And maybe I'll get some art in this week and have something to show!  Believe me, I'm feeling the withdrawals.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A couple of new blog finds

After participating in the OWOH give-aways, I really have gotten into exploring blogs of participants as well as clicking on their favorite blogs!  It could become addicting and I'm really trying to control myself, really I am!

First, last night, through Sally Turlington, I discovered Paulette Insall ~ mixed media artist & mom.  She does beautiful face paintings and I very much enjoyed watching her Youtube videos taking one through the stages of her paintings!  Very cool.  You must visit.

Then, this morning, I was checking DJ Pettitt's blog as I do every morning and just "happened" to click on the blog of Rebecca:  http://cre8tiva.blogspot.com/
Now this blog made me do a happy dance inside.  Rebecca seems to be on very much a similar spiritual journey where her love of God and love of art collide.  To say I'm overjoyed to have discovered her blog is an understatement.  And I don't believe for a second that it was accidental and just "happened" that I clicked her name on DJ's blog!  I believe God led me there for a reason.  If, for no other reason than to know that I truly am not alone on this journey and someone else really does have similar experiences creating with God, then that is an amazing reason!  Rebecca is also a writer and obviously loves to write cuz she does a lot of it on her blog... she actually has two!  Oh JOY!  She writes beautifully but now I must find time to go back and read everything!

Speaking of art with God, I think I mentioned that I am working on a huge canvas for our upcoming 24/7 week of prayer happening next month.  Maybe I didn't.  anyway.... I'm working on the largest canvas I've ever attempted... 3x3 FEET people!  Truthfully, it's taken me weeks to work through the fear of something that big!  I have a March 14th deadline and I've barely started.  My piece actually has three components to the theme:
"Give us this day, our daily bread", "I thirst", and "Christ's sacrifice" all wrapped into one.  As I've meditated on this, I'm coming to understand more that our daily bread isn't just the physical daily needs being met but Jesus is the bread.  So I've been praying for more of Jesus in my day- to be more aware of his presence in the day to day stuff.  It's interesting, now that I look back over the past few weeks of this new year, it has been really, really hard.  The year started with losing my precious kitty, Minya who was so much more than a cat to me over the past 19 years (almost my entire adult life she was constantly with me) but then my boys and husband getting the flu and being sick for over a week, starting back to Bible study feeling like a "blob" walking in with my head in a fog and my heart deeply grieving and weary, to more sickness with Max and then myself as well as dealing with some pretty serious emotional stuff that life and marriage brings.  It's been really, really hard.  However, now I'm seeing that God is being God... and whenever He gives me a piece of artwork to do specifically with my hands just being the tools, I have to 'experience' the subject matter for the work to flow out of me.  In this case, I have very much been "thirsting" and in desperate need for my "daily bread".  I also see that all these "bad" things were blessings in a way.  Had all this 'stuff' not happened immediately following Minya's death, I think I would have just stayed in bed with my grief for a very long time.  Life stuff did not allow me to drown.  God didn't allow me to drown.  I still feel the overwhelming loss daily and still cry over missing her so much but God has not allowed me to go into a depression that I can't get out of... because I could go there by my own choosing if I did not have all these other things forcing me to function.  so now, I can see my hardships as sort of blessings.

 I must confess something... this shows my weirdness maybe, I don't know.  It's about my Minya.  Shortly before she died, Max (my 6 year old) had accidently gotten a small clump of yogurt on Minya's neck.  Well, I discovered it after it had already dried.  I tried getting it out and it just wasn't happening.  So, she had a small little clump on her neck for a bit.  I ended up cutting it out and, for whatever reason.. maybe foresight knowing she wasn't gonna' be around much longer, I saved the little fur clump.  I thought maybe I'd put it in a tiny class vial or something.  You can't tell at all that it was stuck together by anything except that it is, yet the tips of her fur still are soft and fan out in my fingers.  Anyway, I actually allowed myself to take this out of the tiny ziplock bag and find myself closing my eyes and petting this little tiny spot of fur and rubbing it underneath my chin where she use to put her head.  Even the tiniest bit of her brings back the same feelings of running my fingers through her beautiful red coat.  That same calming affect comes over me and it's intoxicating.  I can't even explain the affect she had on my body but I find myself missing her touch with the deepest ache in my soul.  For a minute, just a minute, I can imagine her here... and then reality hits with a blog and the grief threatens to overtake me as I have to force myself to breath.  So now, I cling to this little tiny bit of soft fur with a desperation knowing that I won't ever get to feel her again this side of heaven... and oh how I anticipate the day of heaven!  Now, I don't know that I can encapsulate her fur because then I wouldn't be able to touch it anymore.  Yesterday was difficult as I took Phoebe to the vet for her check up remembering the last time I was there was with Minya.  I cried all the way to the vet yesterday and had to really focus while I was there on the cat that I do still have.  Still, Phoebe, as much as I love her too, she isn't the same.  She doesn't interact with me like Minya did.  Minya 'loved me back'.  She literally was like a little person in a furry body.  and Phoebe's fur doesn't feel like Minya's either.  Phoebe has become like Queen Bee here in the house being fussed over but the emptiness left from Minya's death never leaves.  Gosh, I don't know why I'm ranting about this... maybe I just needed to write it out and cry for a minute before real life comes back and hits me in the face with breaking up fights between my boys.

Well, I guess that's enough rambling for the moment.  Take a few minutes and check out Paulette and Rebecca's blogs will ya'?

Friday, February 15, 2008

A quick catch up

Well, I went to the Dr. yesterday with my allergies and was put on a couple of new medications along with steroids for 5 days.  I also have an appt. for a CT scan and an appt. with an ENT so the ball is rolling.  I feel like a completely different person today than Wednesday!  I feel almost normal!

This week both boys had Parent/Teacher conferences.  Sam is always bragged about endlessly... he's the very structured and super smart one so it's rare to hear anything remotely negative with him.  Max has difficulty focusing and is falling behind a bit in learning to read.  I've been lazy working with him because he's so tough to get to cooperate to even sit for a book reading!  He's constantly moving.  However, the past couple of nights we have been working together while Sam reads with Chuck and I think this will be a huge help.

I just returned from reading books to Max's class.  Kindergartener's love this!  It is fun.  I've already made a postal run mailing off my OWOH give-away item to Germany as well as my registration for Art Unraveled.  I'm very excited that this year, some of my art buddies from out of state will be flying in for the event!  It will be a busy, exciting, and fun week... and then I'll drop from exhaustion!

Chuck just found out yesterday that a friend of his, who is a private pilot for Shamrock foods, is taking Chuck on a 4 day trip to ALASKA for Chuck's 50th birthday in July!  Can you imagine!  What a treat!  A photographer's heaven!

Well, gotta' run and take my furgirl to the vet for a check up.  My sweet Phoebe is old and I know I won't have her much longer.  I can't bear the thought of losing both of my feline girls in one year.  I don't know how I'll function with no cats in my house.  As a young girl, I always had a dream of running a cat shelter!  I'd have them all over the place if I could!  Just looking at a cat calms my whole body.  They have the weirdest affect on me.

OK, gotta' run for now!  Gonna' be looking through my studio for my next give-away soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Susan of http://art-in-a-carton.blogspot.com/ !!!!  I used a number generator to choose the winner of my bee pendant and counted 3 times to make sure I didn't miscount so congratulations to Susan for winning my first give-away!

For the other 251 of you (one comment was sent directly to me so I had a total of 252!) please check back often as I plan to continue doing give aways often!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Well, I'm at home sick with my allergies giving me fits.  I have a Dr. appt. early tomorrow morning so I'm praying for some relief.  In the meantime, my mom just got out of the hospital after a 2 day stay and this morning, we received a call from my niece who will be 16 next month, to tell us she had to take her mom (my sister) to ER in Tampa where they live.  Come to find out, she had an ectopic pregnancy but had no clue of the pregnancy.  She is going to be fine but gosh, this is way too much emotional and health drama at once!  I'm very weary.
On another note, registration for Art Unraveled opens Friday so I got my envelope made today ready to go postal.  It can't be postmarked earlier than the 15th so I'm sitting on ready.  Lucky for me, mine is usually one of the first to arrive since I'm local.  This is my envy for this year.  
 by the way, if you have a decorated envy, your name goes in a drawing for prizes... and who doesn't like free stuff, huh?  For my envy, I added sheer fabrics with a photo of one of my watercolor paintings and encased it in vinyl, of course!  One of my favorite things!
Speaking of free stuff, I will be doing my drawing for my "just be" pendant and announcing a winner tomorrow!  I'm still shocked at the number of comments I had posted for it!  I think I'm at maybe 250?!  Wow!  I've found some great blogs through this give away also so that is exciting.  And of course, I hope to win something too!  :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Book Reviews

OK, so I'm not officially one to review books but I do have an opinion.  I looked through two new books.  The first is Angela Cartwright's latest book titled "Mixed Emulsions".  This book is FULL of techniques to use when including photographs into your artwork.  I mean FULL!  I can't imagine there's anything she didn't think of!  This book is well worth the cost.


The second book was a disappointment, for me anyway.  It's by Lynne Perrella (love her other books) and it's titled "Art Making, Collections, and Obsessions: An Intimate Exploration of the Mixed-Media Work and Collections of 35 Artists
I was expecting and hoping for a book that let you into the studios of artists.  I want to see the space they work in, their messes, their stashes, how they organize them, etc... but that isn't what is in the book.  Sure, you get really gorgeous photos of particular things they like to collect but it's very "staged" photography.  It makes for a beautiful book but it's not what I was hoping for.  I have to say though, after reading through it, I felt more "normal"!  LOL!  It's great to be able to connect with other treasure hunters and feel the excitement of the find! It is a book of eye candy that makes any hunter's heart go pitter-patter and gasp out loud.  Anyway, I guess it would depend on what you are desiring in the book.  I was terribly disappointed that there were no pictures of Michael De Meng's studio.  His studio is one I'd love to see.  How the heck does he organize and categorize all the assemblage stuff?  How much space does he have?  Guess I won't know now.... :(
Anyway, I recommend actually seeing this book before you purchase it to make sure it's what YOU want in the book.  Books are such a personal thing, aren't they?

Saturday, February 9, 2008


OK, a quick shopping trip yesterday won me these treasures!  The very cool vintage box of Fairy Tale film strips complete with records which tell the stories, 

diary from 1902 ( many entries but also some stretches where the woman didn't write... but there's also a ledger in the back listing costs of things which is so interesting! ) Isn't her writing gorgeous?  The book is in excellent condition with a tight spine.  I was shocked when I realized the book was over 100 years old!  Oh, and get this... this woman had a daughter with the same name I had chosen if I'd had a girl!  Clare Elizabeth!  What are the chances?  
Anyway, I also got all these cool laces, trims, ribbons, etc... many retro, many sparkly, and as you can see, some very cool vintage pieces.  The bright colors remind me of "Day of the dead".  I'm thinking of selling this stuff... although I might have to get a snippet of each of the vintage trims cuz they are so gorgeous!  

any thoughts?  My only concern with the Film strip box of goodies, great for altering, is the weight and size would be sufficient postage costs, I'm thinkin'. Of course, if someone didn't care about the box, they just wanted the canisters of films and records for altering, then maybe postage wouldn't be an issue.  What do you guys think?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Getting published!!!

Wooo Hooo!  I submitted a few cards for publication in an upcoming book "1000 Handmade Greeting Cards" and two of my cards will be in the book!  I'm excited that I finally got up the courage to submit something.  Actually, so far this year, I've submitted to 3 different things so I am getting brave!  And this time, it paid off!  :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rainy and sick days

Yesterday, it poured cats and dogs and it's always a special reward to get a beautiful rainbow.  They just make me so excited!  This one went all the way across the sky but was darkest closest to the ground.  I took  photos to rub it in to my mom who only lives 8 miles west of me and when I called her to tell her to go look, she couldn't see it! She finally was able to catch a glimpse of one end but she couldn't see the whole thing stretch across the sky.  So mom, here is part of what I got see!  ;)
Max ran fever from Saturday through the entire day yesterday so he stayed home from school again today.  He was pretty much back to normal all day with no fever but this evening, at bedtime, said his ears hurt!  Arghhhh!  He only has half days on Wednesday's at school so unless he is in terrible pain, I'm giving him Motrin and sending him on but will call the Dr. for an appt. right after school to have his ears checked.  Anyway, this kid is pretty creative and he came up with the idea of making a car from an altoid tin.  Of course, in my studio, he pretty much knows I have every supply needed and since I'm an artist, of course we can make a car.  Well, this is the art I did today.  Max is so proud of his car complete with headlights and an upholstered seat!  LOL!  His mini-Beanie babies are the perfect size drivers.  This counts for altered art, doesn't it?  OK, so at least I can claim versatility!  LOL!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Satisfied curiosity...

Well, due to an e-mail I received about my little building fronts, my curiosity arose and I decided to find out more about them.  I have now discovered that they are actually parts of vintage iron banks dating back to 1890- early 1900's!  Too bad I couldn't have found the whole banks for a deal... the entire banks are now worth around $275.00 and up!  Anyway, even if I only got "walls" when I purchased these, they are totally cool.

Now to go get some cleaning done.  Max is home sick AGAIN with fever being his only real symptom this time but I've heard of a virus going around that the fever is it... but runs about 5 days!  He just got back to school for 2 weeks after missing an entire week of school!  UGH!  I pray no one else gets it, especially Sam.  Ya'll pray for us!

UPDATE: re: studio clean out

The following items from my last post have now sold:

1.) vintage metal building fronts
2.) book: Crafting with Flea Market Fabrics

Thanks for helping me earn money for Art Unraveled!  
Oh, and by the way, if any of you artists are looking for something specific for a project, I may have it... I have soooo much stuff!  And because I do all sorts of media, I have quite a range of stuff.

For you altered book artists out there, I have a whole bunch of encyclopedias that I'd be willing to part with if anyone needs one.  They are so sturdy to alter.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cleaning out some stuff....

Here are a few things I'm cleaning out of my studio.   Thought I'd offer these things up for sale here and see if anyone is interested.  All prices INCLUDE first class shipping.

1.) 1 dozen vintage metal slide mounts $5.00

2.) vintage metal building fronts with natural rust patina. These were an
unusual find and since I purchased several, I decided to part with a couple of them. 
 $15.00 (these are quite heavy considering their size... I think they
are iron)  If you need more close up pictures of each building, e-mail me, ok?

1.) 1000 Journals Project
like new condition
list price $22.95 My price: $12.00

2.) Christmas Gifts under $10.00
like new hardcover
published by Leisure Arts
My price: $10.00

3.) Crafting with Flea Market Fabrics
like new hardcover w/ dust jacket
published by Readers Digest
List price $24.95 My price: $14.00

4.) Simply Handmade: 365 easy projects for every occasion
like new hardcover w/ dust jacket
published by Meredith books
My price: $12.00

5.) Dover Fashion of the Thirties: 476 Authentic copyright-free illustrations
Like new/ never used
List price: $7.95 My price: $5.00

6.) Vintage Victrola album book contains only one record. Album is in very nice
condition with a strong spine, no tears or bent corners. It contains 5 album pages. 
Great for altering! 
My Price: $14.00


I prefer paypal but will also accept checks/money orders, however, item will not
be shipped until check has cleared if that is your preferred payment method.

Also, don't forget to see my art offerings in my Etsy shop! 
Let me know if there's anything of interest here, ok?

Angie Platten

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ichi Umo

OK, yes, it's a Japanese title for this fabric postcard but fitting.  It means "One Feather"!  This is the postcard I created for Susan Lenz and the Cyber Fiber Exhibition!  I'll be mailing it out on Monday.  When Susan told me her favorite color was blue, I was immediately stumped.  I've been working so much with earth tones lately I didn't know what to do with blue!  And, I'm especially partial to my vintage kimono silks right now so, I dug and dug and found some with blue so I got to use them!  The background quilt is done with strips of kimono silks and then I did an overlay of navy netting.  The central focus of the piece was done by layering vintage asian text with sheer fabrics and fusing them with Translucent Liquid Sculpey clay.  The feather was fused in last.  I then did some beading and tiny french knots for accent and embellishment.  I loved working on this but gosh, the binding was a bear.  That thin fine silk was NOT easy to work with for a binding!  But I managed and I do love the over all look of the piece which is way prettier in real life than the image!  The photo sorta' loses the depth of the piece.  Oh well, what can ya' do?  Now I have to take a break from hand stitching.  I did hand work yesterday at Fran's house for a few hours and also today and my thumb joints are really, really sore and stiff.  Getting older sucks.... and I'm still young!