DAY #352 – KIDS

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As the days of my 365 challenge dwindle I tackle yet another item on my bucket list.

Swirling around in my head are two concepts.  One, I want to create some collages and two, I have these strong visuals of  kids I’d like to portray.  Kids. There’s nothing more fun than that!

Now this is a tricky topic.  If I choose one kid how come I didn’t choose the other? How about siblings? Do I have favorites?  This first kid isn’t even my kid, so we can take playing favorites off the table right now OK?

Quite simply, what it comes down to is that I have three kids in mind.  The only basis for picking these kids is that they really produce visual cues for me, meaning with just a mention of a name, characters come to life in my head.  I picture something instantly. Now I am working on a crazy tight time frame, so if these kids I am picking come natural to me then that’s the direction I am going in.  I’m starting to get a little brain fry here!

Now PARENTS – and I know a lot of you, don’t even start! It’s that simple.

Plus I don’t even know what I’m doing so you may not want your kid to be part of this anyways!

Ok. Back to the process because that’s why I’m creating this in the first place right?

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I first began by hand painting and texturizing paper with acrylic paints. I used rice , a fork and a brayer to create different textures.

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After I created a nice assortment of papers I sat down and began to cut. Now I have a concept for this piece which I will share with you tomorrow, but for today, I was just trying to lay down the foundation.

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In fact, I haven’t even decided on a head shape yet!  I’m not trying to create a real-life portrait, instead I want to choose each shape to work for & against the other shapes. You know, curves vs. angles or straight vs. tilted. I want to keep moving everything until the composition is interesting.

So this is only the beginning. I have quite a few layers I’d like to add.

We’ll see if I can get some of the ideas in my head to manifest or whether this is simply going to be a chopped-up papery mess…

I never quite know when I try something new. I’ll hold my breath as usual!

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Say Hello to my feathered friends!

#282- TWEET (5)On Day #279 I created a collage with my family.   I decided to cut the sides off that piece. The nest-like collage was plenty busy and it didn’t need all the extra goings-on.

However, I didn’t throw the strips away.  They sat on my table for a day or two.  I kept on looking at all the pretty colors and textures of those strips and wondering what I could do with them.

At the same time, I had pulled all my polymer clay supplies out for Day #279 and hadn’t put those away either.

The third item left out was a cardboard egg carton.

As I looked at the mess I needed to clean up, the idea for little bird nests emerged.  I liked the idea of the skinny road-runner legs and thought it may be fun to put little birds in the tiny egg carton segments.  I also had left-over feathery string which I thought could cover up the base of the egg carton.

I used the fabric scrap strips as platforms for the birds I would make.

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These birds measure roughly 2×3 inches.  They are made with a polymer clay base and a mosaic application using seed beads and vintage rhinestones.  I love how the clay resembles tile grout. They are in essence, mini-mosaics.

They’re sweet as could be.  I put them on my window sill to greet me while I wash the dishes.

It’s a shame the sparkle doesn’t translate via photograph because these little birds glow with reflective light from the beads and rhinestones.

I have quite a few more pieces of egg carton.  I just might have to fill my window sill with birdies for the winter.

They could add some cheeriness to a dreary day!

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#279- Fun with Collage (1)

I ended yesterday’s post with “Nothing is going to get in the way of me finishing this painting tomorrow!”

Yeah, that didn’t happen.  As I assumed, the house was filled with people and my concentration would have been way off.

So I went with Plan B.

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It all started when I was telling my family about how I found this beautiful little copper nest out on the street.  My mother-in-law laughed at me “That’s a Brillo pad silly!”  Really?  it’s so pretty…

I thought it just had to become something.  Of course a nest.  I told my daughter I was going to pull out our “collage bucket” and she wanted in.  Next thing I knew my mom and mother-in-law wanted in too!

It became a morning coffee girl-fest!

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Being a true recycler and artist, no art material get’s thrown out.  Instead it goes into my collage bucket.  Tiny yarn remnants, felt, fabric, feathers, old stickers, ribbon, and paper scraps are all stored together just begging to be re-used.

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My mom-in-law made a nature inspired fairy-wand or bouquet. The funny story with hers, is that a bumble-bee climbed inside my sons shirt.  He was screaming bloody-murder this morning which of course startled us. My son wasn’t stung but was scared out of his wits. The poor little bee didn’t make it, but my mom-in-law added it to her collage.  How’s that for using nature?

My mother made a tribute to the CBS Sunday morning program.  The TV program features hand-made suns which is their logo.  As a family we’ve spent almost two decades watching the program together Sunday mornings.  She poked fun at the fact that I don’t really have TV, so we couldn’t watch our favorite program even if we wanted to.  She wrote on her piece “NO TV. Ode to CBS Sunday Morning at Mary’s Breakfast Table…” and the date. Note the cat-eye glasses, green eyes and bright colors…they are a tribute to me :) Love it!

My daughter started out with yarn.  she made a river, a bird’s nest and some green grasslands.  She snagged some of my driftwood and made some bridges.  She also found an anchovy can in the recycling bin that she used as a boat.  She’s my nature girl/animal lover, so her theme was quite fitting.

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This was as far as I got, before the grandparents all packed up to go home and the kids and I prepared for an afternoon of roller skating.

My premise thus far for my collage was to forage like a bird.  I pulled a big pile of scraps out of the bucket and systematically used all of them for the periphery.  That was my thought process on birds.  They use whatever is in their vicinity for their nests. This is why we all enjoy studying bird nests, you see grasses, twigs and traditional nest materials, but you also see string, wrappers, and all sorts of man-made debris as well. My material wasn’t premeditated, I used exactly what was on hand, weaving it together, simulating my idea of a “nest”.

You’ll find bubble wrap, felt, yarn, feathers, corrugated card board, stickers and even gum wrappers.

I then sprinkled Swarovski crystals onto a piece of board wet with glue, creating a glittered mat.

The wood pieces are drift-wood I collected on the beach after Hurricane Sandy and there in the center is my found-object Brillo pad.  I took some remnant rhinestones and glued them in as eggs.

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When we returned from roller-skating, my daughter and I began designing animals for our collage habitats.

I took polymer clay and used it as a foundation for adding jewelry remnants and seed beads to create tiny bird mosaics.  My daughter created a fish, bird, seahorse, another bird and of course her favorite, the platypus.

I attached straight pins for bird legs and then after I cooked them, the legs slid into the copper mesh perfectly.

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Voila!  Brillo Pad Bird’s Nest.

A way to incorporate spending time with my family into my 365 Creativity Challenge.

Thank you family for joining me today. It was a lot of fun!

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