Sunday, February 24, 2008

Next Project - Henry Leo's Giraffe

Going to try sewing again. I've needed to use it about half a dozen times lately but need a project to get back in practice.

While picking up supplies for my workshop, we spied the pattern below and knew that our psuedo-nephew needed one of these.

But I also knew that just any old color scheme would suffice, so I found the fabrics scanned below.

I've got until July of this year to finish. No problem, he says. Hopefully it will look something like a giraffe and not a three-legged horse. With horns.

Altered Art Boxes - Loteria and Le Jeu

Two samples for the upcoming Arts de Mer Cruise. The theme this year is "The Game of Art."

I've got at least one more to finish as well as building a few in stages for demo purposes. Having a good time with these.

You will notice a change from the original "Loteria" box. Re-worked it completely, actually.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Loteria Box - "Altered Art"

This March will mark the fourth year of teaching a short workshop on the Arts de Mer cruise. Mary Jo McGraw, Tim Holtz and Robin Knutson will also be presenting their cool stuff as well.

The theme this year is "The Game of Art" so in keeping with the theme, my workshop participants will be creating a box that can be used to hold game pieces, playing cards, ATC's or whatever else strikes their creative fancy.

The initial project was a paper-based box project, but given the time constraints involved and the complexity of proper box making, I changed course last month and began to look at various objects trying to determine if it could be altered into a box-like structure.

While in IKEA recently, I spied a pile of smallish picture frames and the project came together immediately.

The frames are stripped of everything except the actual wooden frame to serve as the box's top and bottom. The sides are made of wood lath, carefully cut to fit within the frame.

Chipboard, thin luan ply or mat board is fitted into the frame to serve as the box's lid and bottom. The lid should be collaged or enhanced before the rest of the box is painted.

Once dry, the box may be painted, finished or otherwise embellished as desired.

In keeping with the cruise's theme, I've used images from the Mexican game of "Loteria."

I love Loteria images and could almost see them used as a kind of Tarot, as each image seems to have a story to tell well beyond the label each one is assigned.

The legs of the box are made of chess pawns.

I'll probably touch up the finish as I got a little carried away with the "distressing" and I may place wee handles on each side of the lid. We'll see.

I've got to make a couple more samples in differing heights, but it is late and my muse is already snoring loudly in my ears.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Miss you, Dad

Harley Clifford "Lefty" Tyson: Sept 5, 1928 - Feb 8, 1998

It will be ten years in a week that my father died. Last night, I dreamed of him. It was another one of the vivid dreams that I've been having lately and I recalled almost all of it upon awakening.

I remember talking to him as he reassured me in that "everything's goin' to be fine," tone he was good at delivering. He was generally right, not always, but usually his optimism was on target. I've done my best to adapt that outlook.

In this dream he hugged me strongly, warmly and kissed me on my forehead. I always thought that Dad had the strongest arms and he was unashamed to kiss his sons. As he turned to leave, my brother arrived and noticed I was crying. I told him about seeing Dad.

He turned to follow him and I warned him that "Jim, it's only a dream, but you better hurry if you want to see him." He thanked me and caught up with him for a bit before returning to tell me, "Yeah...only a dream. But, shit, it was good to see him."

Not much else remains of last night's dream, but I do realize it is the second time I've seen and talked to him in as many weeks. Life is a bit stressful right now, so it's no wonder I've turned to him for comfort.

Thanks, Pop. I think things will be okay...just need to get through this rough patch.

He wasn't a perfect man, but he was truly a man. And a truly good-hearted one. He loved life, the smell of lakes, fairness, ugly little dogs and the sound of old fashioned, twangy Rock-a-Billy. He hated Democrat senators, intolerance for the weak or down and out, strong wind and concrete that wouldn't set up.

He lived long enough to see me marry Susan, but didn't make it to my birthday. Mom sent me a birthday card after his death with his signature on it. He apparently had signed it before going into the hospital for the last time. As some of you know, it is one of my true treasures.

Not all that sure about heaven and such things, or that we'll see loved ones later on. But I do know that he's here (pointing to my chest) and will be until I discover if the rumors of an afterlife are true or not.

Miss you much, Dad. You'd like the new house and my bird feeders.

EDIT: After posting this picture, I am amazed how much my brother Jim, looks like him. I also have his mouth, but it's only evident when I shave my beard which I haven't done in years. I think I look a little more like my Mom's side of the family overall (especially my rascally Uncle Bob, Mom's baby brother) , which is not a bad thing at all, either! I had good lookin' parents.