November Postcard Swap

This may be my last swap. The cards are beginning to look so much alike that it seems there’s one classroom, technique or factory cranking them out.

My goal for 2019 is to produce “Kindness Cards,” which I may donate to organizations that can sell them to their members to raise money, or I will send them or give them away to remind people of the importance of kindness. Some will be original art; others may be produced with computer graphics, allowing me to make many more cards.

The cards in sent for this swap can be seen here.

Here are cards I received from the Fall ihanna swap. Most are from around the U.S. One was from the U.K. I received only nine this time; the tenth one below, the small one on the lower right, was a return in thanks for one I sent.

 

 

 

I’m giving myself an art day today. I’ll work on some knitting, begin a stitchery project, and organize the studio to get started on 2019’s Kindness Cards.

Make something beautiful this year!

 

Advertisements

Postcards for fall 2018 swap

I sent out my 10 postcards for the ihanna swap, but I’ve received only eight. I’m hoping the last two are international and just taking a long time. In the meantime, here are the ones I sent:

Shiny Bubbles – Prismacolor water color pencils

 

Souvenir de Paris – collage with Métro map and ticket.

 

Blues – Prismacolor water color pencils

 

Dreary Saturday Morning – watercolor, collage, washi tape

 

Dreary Saturday – watercolor, collage

 

Paris Métro Maze – collage with Métro maps, tickets, washi tape

 

Autumn Folly – watercolor, stamping

 

The Secret – watercolor, marker, computer type on vellum

 

La Vie en Rose – computer graphic images of Edith Piaf (“Little Sparrow”)

I’ll post the cards from the swap once I’ve received all of them.

Happy holidays! See you in 2019!

 

Child’s play

Busy as I am now that school has started, plus a multitude of health issues, I’m sharing a painting my granddaughter did to help me feel better. It’s from memory, of our blue heeler, Junior. She has found her own medium: watercolor on canvas, which would not have occurred to me. It’s not an exact likeness, but I think she handled the paint really well, especially the gradations of his coat.

Junior by Chloe, watercolor on canvas

If you’re curious, this is a photo of Junior.

 

I’m taking a break from social media for a while, include my two blogs, to focus on other priorities. I hope to return eventually, and to keep making art. If you’re an artist, I hope you are making lots of art.

 

New gig: furniture restoration?

Once we decided we were going to homeschool the granddaughter, I was on the lookout for a small set of shelves to put on my art table for holding teaching materials.

Found this at a local thrift store; paid a little too much for it ($18) since it was damaged, but the owner wasn’t available and I knew the woman checking me out had no authority to bargain, and I liked it.

Before

I was going to spray paint it red or white, but when I got it home and put it on the studio table, it looked so good against the woodwork I decided to keep the natural wood color.

It was quite damaged.

Damaged corner

I rebuilt the broken corner (with many, many layers of wood filler), gave the whole thing a good sanding, stained it with cherry stain, then decided it needed some decoration, so I transferred a floral vine design on it and painted it.

 

Finished job

Damaged corner, repaired.

It was kind of awkward–one of those projects, like planning a wedding, that you finally get the hang of about the time you’re finished, but you never want to do it again.

It turned out nicely, though, and the $18 was all I spent. Turns out I had on hand all the other materials, including wood filler, sandpaper, cherry stain, acrylic paint, and varnish to finish it off.

In use with my Krusty Krab un-school binder and other teaching materials.

A Rock and a Hard Place

Yesterday started out as a down day for me. So, after wrangling the checkbook into agreement with the bank statement, I had a playdate with myself–streaming classical music and jazz and painting for a few hours.

I rarely paint rocks because I think rocks are beautiful as nature made them, but this one inspired me. I still think it was better in its natural state, but there you go.

Painted rock (acrylic)

 

Firing the Blues (9×12 inches, acrylic on canvas)

Spring Swap Wrapup

All the cards for the iHanna spring swap have been sent and received. Most of the cards I sent were within the U.S. One went to Australia. I previously posted a few, but here are two more:

Have a Seat (collage)

 

Wildness (collage)

I received a total of 11 cards this time–one person I sent to replied with a card, which was a nice surprise. (The “swap” isn’t normally a direct exchange–Hanna sends you 10 names and your name is sent to 10 different people.)

Most of my cards were from the U.S., many from California. One is from Germany. Here are the cards I received:

This postcard booklet came from Germany.

Ready for the Spring Swap

After registering for iHanna’s spring postcard swap, I worried I might not have 10 cards ready by May 4, even though I already had five made.

I’m ready. In fact I’ve done a little painting and drawing recently, so maybe soon there will be be more than postcards to share.

My last post included four cards, so here are my newest creations:

Harp(s) and Flower(s)–Collage. This was sent to my cousin in New Zealand for her birthday.

 

Busy Blues and Greens–Collage.

 

Air Mail–Collage.

 

World Bling–Collage.*

 

Nature’s Kaleidoscope–Collage.*

 

Many-faceted–Collage.

 

Spring–watercolor, mixed media.*

 

Coronation–watercolor, mixed media.

* The faux 99 cent Australian stamps are by Nat Uhing, of the Smallest Forest blog.

You Can’t Do It Wrong

One of the many things I love about art is that there are no mistakes and you can’t do it wrong. Sure there are failures, um, projects that don’t work, which can go right into the trash, but it’s all part of the process. Better still there are “happy accidents,” mistakes that enhance the finished product.

When I started doing postcards for swaps, about four years ago, I had no idea what I was going to do or how to do it. But knowing I have a good eye for color and composition, and a degree in art, I figured I’d learn technique as I went along. Much of my early cards were doodles in marker or quick watercolor sketches. Gradually I got into collage, where I had little experience. With a couple of jars of Mod Podge, an X-acto knife, scissors, a ruler and various card stocks and papers–and a whole lot of just playing and seeing what comes about–I’m probably making about half my cards in some sort of collage or mixed media. And it’s still a blast!

A recent card recipient asked me about my process, materials, and what happens in a swap, so rather than reply to her I thought I’d post it here, along with my most recent work. (Good swap info is on ihanna’s site.)

Since we moved into a house with space for a studio, I have a pretty good storage system–drawers, shelves, bins and–best of all, a large work table.

Conveniently located next to the laundry room (where there is additional storage).

Also next to the garage, where I have more shelves and drawers, mostly for sewing, knitting and needlework supplies.

Desk, writing corner, printer, scanner, and laptop for graphics, photoshopping and everything else.

Stacked drawers for papers and other source material.

Work table.

I share the space with a guinea pig, who serenades me with his “oinks” the whole time I’m working. I want to “re-home” him.

Good light and a view of the atrium entry. In the summer I can watch hummingbirds.

I get material everywhere: catalogs are printed on high-quality coated paper so they stand up well to adhesive; I cannibalize postcards and greeting cards; papers and card stock of all types; scrapbooking paper for backgrounds; magazines; calendars; stickers. Some material comes from the scrapbooking department of the craft store, but it’s mostly found objects. My favorite recent find is an empty Chinese cigarette packet–found in front of our house in Central Texas! I don’t know how I’ll use it, but I sure will.

Chinese cigarette packet!

 

Latest piece on the work table.

Here is my recent output.

Peacock in Monet’s Garden (collage, sticker from a Monet art book)

 

Purple Madness (collage, feathers)

 

Can’t Help Myself, I Love Color and Flowers (watercolor, collage, washi tape)

 

Spring Friend (collage, paper, washi tape)

Remember, if you’d like a card mailed to you, email me your address, jillybeanswiggins@gmail.com. I will mail internationally.

Kindness Cards

My log of finished postcards since I began in May, 2014, is at about 150. Not quite the productivity I might like to have, but life keeps getting in the way. (Visit my other blog to find out how.)

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to do at least one kind thing each day. That led to the idea of giving away my postcards, renaming them “Kindness Cards,” and asking the recipients to pass along any act of kindness they can.

I have managed to crank out eight cards this year. I went to a knitting and needle arts retreat last weekend and asked people to sign up for cards, so that got me working on cards as well as knitting! I’m finishing up some knitting projects, re-learning to crochet, and have a couple of stitchery projects at the ready, so there is never an idle moment with these hands.

Here are the 2018 Kindness Cards so far. If you would like to receive a card, email your address to jillybeanswiggins@gmail.com. I will mail internationally. All of these below have been sent, so if you request a card it will be new.

Fresh Colors (collage)

 

Gilt (collage)

 

I (heart) reading (collage and cord)

 

Quilted Happiness (collage, stickers and washi tape)

 

Sea Love (mixed media)

 

Pink on Pink (mixed media)

 

Once Upon a Time (mixed media) (flowers by my granddaughter Chloe)

 

Jamie’s Scrubbies (water color, sparkle gel crayons). A young woman named Jamie was making sparkle scrubbies at the retreat.

I spilled a container of paint water my granddaughter used yesterday (more on her paintings coming up), making it necessary to clean up the art table. After I finished cursing, I took the opportunity to tidy up the area, and realized I had a gold mine of material–images, stickers, maps, paper scraps, etc.–piled up in a basket, so I’m in the process or sorting, organizing, and finding a better place to file/store the material.

Sorting and organizing the goodies. So much fun stuff I had forgotten about, including old postcards, souvenirs from travel, maps and other interesting bits and pieces.

November Postcard Swap Cards Received

Only nine for the November ihanna swap, but I did send out 10. Most are collage or mixed media. Here’s what I received:

From Sarah. It says “Greetings from Slovenia,” but it has US postage.

 

Maya, California

From Ellen, but I don’t know where.

 

Yvonne, Sweden (stitched)

 

Paula, UK. The button is real.

 

Karen, Florida

 

Loretta, Massachusetts

 

Quinn, Arizona

 

Ann, UK. This is my favorite. It says, “Yesterday I was clever and wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I’m changing myself.