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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Underloved ATC of the DAY

i made this card as part of the november monthly match up at iATC's. the idea is you sign up each month to be randomly paired up with one other person for whom you make an ATC based on themes they prefer. this card is a nick bantock inspired collaged with a bird for my partner fyrelyter. she has animals, with birds as a preference, as one of the themes she collects.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

drawing like a fiend

as some of you know my mom is an amazing illustrator, and my brother is also not half bad. i, unfortunately, didn't inherit that particular gene though. BUT, i want to draw and i want to be good at it. i want to be able to have an image in my head and the ability to reproduce without having to search all over for an approximate image to collage. i want to create my vision, entirely myself, without adding other images.

here's the thing: drawing is fucking HARD! i look at some illustrations and i can't even fathom how the person did it--it confounds me. and when i try to do it, it doesn't look quite the same, lol. but, when i am in the process of drawing, i lose myself and that's a nice thing too. so. this weekend i challenged myself by drawing a hole heck of a lot. here are some of the results:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quality Art

the issue of quality as it pertains to art has reared it's ugly head on one of my trading sites, www.atcsforall.com. the issue is a tricky one as people's feelings get hurt. and i seem to be always getting myself in trouble for opening my big mouth. i have firm ideas about the kind of art i like and whether i choose to keep art that doesn't fit into my collections.

let me say this 1st: i am not the goddess's gift to art and i know this. i struggle constantly with low self esteem, especially in terms of my hand drawn work. but i even doubt my collage work as well. i compare myself all the time to other artist's work, wanting to be able to do what so and so does. and i get a complex if folks don't comment on my art that's posted in online gallery's, thinking it must really suck and everyone hates it. sick isn't it?

that being said, i have definite ideas about the kind of art i want in my home. and i do have to make limits on what comes in as my space is rather small and overflowing. i have to climb over things, it's rather sad. so, with the encouragement of an artist friend, i have started throwing away ATC's (artist trading cards) i receive and just can't stand. anyone who trades gets them from time to time, that card that know matter how you hold it just makes you cringe. admit it, you've got them in your collection. and yes, i also admit that i am sure to have made some of these myself. so here's the deal: i want my collection to be full of beauty. i want to feel joy when i look at it, not disgust. and there is nothing wrong with that! but admitting that to sensitive artists types was probably a bad idea. you live and learn. for the most part if i hate a card but can still find some value in it i hold on to it and pass it on to someone else. my niece has received a couple of cards from me this way. but if i, in all my imperfections, can't find something likable about it, it goes in the trash. and you have my full permission to that to cards of mine you don't like. all's fair in love and art.

i'll leave you with a piece that i like, but in one of my gallery's has received no comments. so sad.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


iATC's is having it's first collage-a-thon this weekend! what's that you ask? an entire weekend spent collaging and trading ATC's. it starts at 5PM (in your time zone) on friday and ends at 11:59PM (again, your time zone) on sunday. collage and trade to your hearts content. i made these 2 cards friday evening. 'kick' has bee traded to verterok., but 'in vain' is still available!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

artTrader Online Magazine

You might've noticed the new little icon on my blog. it's for a cool little online magazine called artTrader. the magazine is about art and trading 9of course!) and is full of great articles from interviews with artists to a critique corner. the mag comes out quarterly and is absolutely free. click on the icon to find out more about it or if you want to go directly to the latest issue click here!

i am proud to point out that 2 of my pieces grace the pages of this current issue--one of my moleskine spreads and a butterfly atc. the issue also contains a tutorial on making paper beads from my friend amy sargent and an intro to art markers by amerasu (sal scheibe). there are tons of delicious eye candy to behold and it's a great way to stay current with the new trends in mail art. anyway, i highly recommend perusing it's pages!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Crafting Days

the stress and inconvenient details of my accident are almost behind me. i have a new car (2000 toyota camry le) and have signed the settlement with the insurance company and now await the check. thankfully their 1st offer was a reasonable one. thanks to all for their well wishes.

i haven't been doing as much art as i'd like to. i have been tired when i get home from work and seem to space the hours away. can anyone relate? but i'd best get my ass in gear as i have several looming projects. over at illustratedATC's i am involved in a secret santa swap. i have signed up for a large package and for a small one. their definitions are:

Example of LARGE package contents (all items on list):

1. 1 large homemade gift (like an 8 x 10 canvas, tote bag, journal pages, a necklace, hat & mitts)
2. 2 smaller homemade gifts (like an altered book, bracelet, chunky page or ornament)
3. A couple of ATCs or a bookmark
4. Ephemera and candies or small store bought items (like art supplies, or notecards)

Example of SMALL package contents (all items on list):

1. You have a choice between 1 large homemade gift (like an 8 x 10 canvas, tote bag, 2 8x8 journal pages, a necklace, hat & mitts) OR 2 smaller homemade gifts (like an altered book, bracelet, chunky page or ornament)
2. A couple of ATCs or a bookmark
3. Ephemera and candies or small store bought items.

yikes, right? well if that's not enough i am also involved in another swap where i have to give (and get) a grand total of 21 gifts. 7 large, 7 small, and 7 store bought goody types. yes, i am flipping out. i have figured out my large gift over at iATC's and have some ideas for my small. but i must admit to being completely flummoxed about the 21 gifts. if anyone has any brilliant ideas for me please pass them on! i want to make things that are beautiful and special, but that don't break the bank and don't sap all of my free time. some ideas so far:
canvas's of art
journal's made of watercolor paper
altered board books
smaller canvas
altered cabinet cards
can you see i am at a loss? help!

to close out i leave you with a pic of my new car:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

apologies my friends!

i am so sorry i have been absent for a bit but i do have several good excuses:
1) i suffer from bipolar disorder and have had to deal with some mood swings
2) then i went out of town to play with artsy friends for my bday
3) and a few days after that my mom and niece came to town
4) and to top it all off i got into a car accident with my niece--never fear, we are alright--although my car isn't drivable at the moment.

i hope you all can understand my absence. i forced myself to keep creating during even the bleakest times and made lots of art with my niece thea which was delightful!

thea at the beach in trinidad, ca:

inchies thea made, which are for trade BTW:

butterfly chunky for swap i am hosting at amusing muses:

my mom, dotdots, at a birthday party friends held for me:

collaboration canvas made during artsy trip to redding, ca. background was by me, sun by joyflower, pretty girl by nuttynanner, and collage with mean words by amyfaerie:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

CHIRP! it's a birdie mobile!

awhile back i was involved in a swap over at amusing muses for bird shaped chunkies. chunky books, also known as fat books, are typically 4x4 pieces of art with lots of fiber and doodads added to them that are bound together with books rings (or a binding machine if you are lucky enough to have one). i have about 15 books on various themes. what was cool about this project was the shape lent itself to be something other than a book. sure, you could bind them with one ring at the top, but wouldn't something like a mobile be more fun? i thought so!

using an embroidery hoop, vintage seam binding and a hot glue gun i fashioned myself a mobile! the thing is so darn cute. right now it is hanging over my bed, we'll see how long it lasts there!

here is a look at the birds i received in the swap:

and here they are in their new mobile:

roc nicholas
was the woman behind this brilliant idea and i asked her if she would mind if i hosted the same kind of swap over at atcsforall.com. the sweet lady said no problem! so come join me in making yummy birds! it's free to join the site and the swap, all i ask is you do your best work. there is a link to the template provided.

Monday, July 6, 2009

carnivals and brothers and fireworks oh my!

my older brother mac headed south from the heat of portland, or to visit me this 4th of july holiday. mac is a psytrance dj and graphic designer--dudes, he was the first person to ever get me high! not that i do that anymore, and neither does he, but it does create a bond, lol. my goal, since mac introduced me to lots of cool shit, was to introduce him to some cool shit. and what's cooler than art, right? actually, mac was even into art before me but he doesnt't do it for pleasure any more--just money. when he got here and after we'd had some eats and taken fun carnie pics i asked him to carve me a stamp. it was love at first sight. our mom was a printmaking major in college and he'd always wanted to try it. i ended the weekend with 4 kickass stamps, one of my online name katilady, and none of which i have taken a pic of. oops. but look for them in my art!

carnie pic:

after a bit mac suggested making a collaborative piece together. he wanted more decorations for some of the parties he throws in portland. we decided on a piece that would incorporate my collage skills with his zany skills, add sparkles and day-glo paint! basically i collaged a big particle board, and then he went jackson pollack over my collage with glow in the dark paint. when that dried we added a layer of gel medium and went impasto with it--carving in designs and imprinting stuff. while wet we added mica flakes. because this project was so involved he had to take it home to be finished. he was going to add charcoal and acrylic washes to it. here is a look at it in progress:

one of the best things about eureka, ca is their 4th of july celebration. a big festival takes over old town with lots of crafty goodness, yummy food and live music. this year i could def see some signs of our economic depression as the number of booths had gone way down. neverthless, it was a fun filled day full of people watching and yummy wares to ogle. here our a couple of my fave finds:

derby girl!


and lastly the mug of mac!

i hope everyone has a beautiful week! share with me how you celebrated the 4th!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

mother mary/blessed virgin mary swap

about 3 months ago i had the brilliant idea to host this swap and to host it as hand drawn. i am so glad i did. watching the most beautiful cards ever roll into my house has been such a treat. some people have the wildest notions of what mother mary looks like and i love it! although i was raised catholic i am no longer practicing, nor do i even consider myself to be a christian. my spirituality runs more along the lines of earth/goddess based crossed with hinduism, taoism, and buddhism . BUT i still have a thing for the blessed virgin. she was a prominent figure of my childhood and she represents an earthly aspect of jesus. beyond all this, mary art is simply stunning. growing up in arizona there are images of her as the virgen de guadalupe everywhere. so i challenged 30 0ther artists to join me in making art of her and in her honor. what's more, i got my mom, dotsdots on atcsforall.com, to join in. mom is a fabulous artist and she, along with others did not let me down. below you'll find a piece i did for the swap along with one of mom's. the one mom did is based on a photo of her mother, my grandmother. enjoy!



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

new art

i belong to willowing's world of whimsy (silly name, i know--but she's fun!). i took her online course and added new techniques to my repertoire which is always a plus. there are several other things one can participate in on her website and art trading is one of those things. every month you can be paired up with another person and make them 2 atc's, one is based on a theme (this month was abstracts) and the other is whatever you want to do. my partner this month is a woman named evangeline from canada. i think her art is a lot of fun, so i look forward to seeing what she makes for me. below you'll find what i've made for her. the abstract, entitled 'blue bliss' was initially intended to be just a background, but when it was dry i thought it looked incredibly lovely and didn't want to cover it up. it was made with a collage of ephemera and acrylic pain, with a gold border.

the other card is entitled 'beg' and it is made with my new favorite technique: stamping funny heads and attaching them to bodies that obviously don't match. i always have fun doing this! i then add a word that sometimes makes sense and sometimes doesn't, i'll let you decide on this one!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Japanese Accordian Moleskin Round Robin

Moleskin makes these awesome journals called Japanese Accordion. They are approximately 3.5 x 5.5 and the pages are folded in such a way to look like an accordion. You can pull all the pages out into one long page. Which of course, makes them ideal for mail art.

I am involved in 2 round robins, one over at www.atcsforall.com and one at their sister site www.illustratedatcs.com. The theme of my moley on the AFA swap is 'art as a spiritual journey'. So each person in the swap will get a chance to do a 4 page spread on that theme. In return I will do a 4 page spread on each of their themes, which are: mermaids, home is where the heart is, houses cats or quotes, found poetry, and what makes your heart soar. This book is almost done--just 2 people to go!

On iATC's we are just getting started on our journey. Journals are to be mailed to their 1st destination on August 1. My theme for this book is 'dark goddess'. The other themes are: naughty burlesque, the space between you and me, open theme but with loud bright colors, mondo bizarro, fantasy steampunk airships in the sky, big beautiful rubenesque women & forbidden fruit, and empowered women writers. The challenge for this round robin is I can only create art in the division I was accepted onto iATC's for. Which means I have to keep hand drawn work to a minimum (no more than 30%) and rely solely on collage and mixed media techniques. As you can probably guess this may represent quite a challenge!

The 1st challenge was to get my own 3.5 page spread done to offer inspiration to the next artist. I present it here:

I have a few lasts tasks to make my moley ready to hit the world. I need to create an introduction spread which contains directions regarding my theme as well as a travelogue. The back of the moley contains a pocket in which i am going to enclose handmade envelopes for each artist. Each envie will contain a thank you gift and in return i as that each artist stick a little something back in there for me. Not art necessarily, but possibly a leaf or a pebble from a walk, or a bus ticket or a snippet from the newspaper. I'd also like each person to sign and date their envelope.

I'll keep you posted on how and where my little moley travels to!

Monday, June 22, 2009


In the mail art world keeping addresses of your trading partners can be quite the hassle. I don't know how many times I have asked the same person for their address. Not too long ago I gave into the rolo fad. What's a rolo you ask? It's a rolodex card (the 3x5 variety) that has been decorated front and back and has your trading partners address on them. A clever and arty way to keep track of addresses. Since I am new to rolo's I only have a handful--but they are gorgeous! Some people have several rolodex's worth! People have even gone so far as decorationg their rolordexes. My rolodex is of the vintage variety, so I am not going to decorate it. The creativity people have shown with both the cards and the holders is flipping amazing! Here are a few cards I have made for other folks:

Here are some awesome rolodexes by folks at www.atcsforall.com:

By BlueEclipse

By LisaB:

By Adriayna:

By BigKay:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm Back and Full of Longing

It's been a long 6 months or so that I have neglected this place. My apologies, life and art and kitties got in the way. And well, frankly, I've also been damn lazy.

To start Atticus is much better and no new hospitalizations have been needed. he is on urinary tract health kitty food and doing well, as is his sister Elke.

Art wise I have been a busy beaver! In April I applied to a juried art trading site, www.illustratedatcs.com, and was accepted. It was scary to apply as I had been turned down from their sister site, Mail Art World (which is now defunct), 2 times. I thought for sure I wouldn't get in. But with the help of my friend EraserQueen, I was accepted. The site used to just be for hand drawn and painted mail art, but has since opened up to collage and mixed media artists. It's been a pleasure trading there. My art snob self is happy to be trading for work that is at my skill level. I encourage anyone that has some level of skill to apply. The folks there are super friendly and the swaps are fun. The gallery is filled with the most amazing eye candy! Here's are a couple of pieces I did for a skinny book swap there:

I was also invited to participate in an invite only trading forum with some amazing artists called Amusing Muses. I can't tell you who plays there but it's a great group! Here are a couple of pieces from swaps there:

As for the rest of my life things are...OK. I received my evaluation at work and it went well. My boss created a new category for me called 'Creativity and Communication' and gave me an outstanding in it. That felt really good. In March I participated in The Hoffman Process. I will use another post to talk about that, but it had a beautiful impact on my life. Despite these good things I feel as though something is missing. Some part of me is not fulfilled and longs for so much. And I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Keep me in your thoughts.
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