Two Things

1. The Make'n'Trade at The Blockhouse School went well. Nine people (including moi) got their ATC makin' on; three of whom were creating in a public environ for the first time. I hope they enjoyed themselves. I know I did.

And we're doing it again. So if you're local ... join us won't you?

2. I'm working on Lisa's Stuff for the Assemblage Challenge. I've finished the first part and am moving onto the second. So far. So good!

Art Play Date

I've been thinking about doing something like this for close to 10 years.

Good things come to those who wait?

Sure. We'll go with that!

terrible horrible no good very bad day

... pretty pictures instead

10 Teeny Things

This is the third in my "Things" swaps and was prompted by a friend seeing the 20Things Zine (pictured below) and wanting IN!

Assembly of 20Things Zine
20Things Zine (fin)
While I'm generally always up for a swap, the idea of gathering 20 artists (read: herding cats ... in the most LOVING way!) was daunting so decided that maybe Ten Things was in the realm of possiblity. And ten TEENY things might be a really cool challenge. Not to mention less postage for everyone. You would THINK at least! (apparently CanadaPost has a minimum size and charges MORE for it. Go. Fucking. Figure!)

Received and distributed (and received) here are the amazing contributions for 10 Teeny Things (2014)!

Windi Rosson -
Amy McDonald
Bobbi Studstill -
Corinne Stubson -
For Catherine Withrow
Judah Noah - JudahNoahArt
Lani Gerity -
Lauren Blair
Tricia Anders
Assembly of 10 Teeny Things

10 Teeny Things (fin)

Each and every "thing" was a sweet mini treat. The artists involved always step up but this one was such a challenge - elements had to fit within a small matchbox - I was so thrilled with the level of ingenuity and creativity that each person brought to the table. I love you all to bits!! xo

Julie's AC - Rec'd!

Since Julie messaged me (she liked it! she liked it!) that she's received her assemblage, I can now show it in its entirety.

Here's what Julie gave me to work with...

And this is what I came up with (caveat: Simon Sez was NOT to return home!)...

Remember, I'm always open for an Assemblage Challenge!


I was able to wrap up two things today.
The first was 10 Teeny Things ... all sent out and winging their way west and south. I hope the participants enjoy the contents. Once they've arrived I'll post full photos of all their hard work. Amazing stuff!

I also found (constructed actually) a large enough box for Julie's assemblage. I hope SHE likes it and her family don't find it too weird. For what it's worth Julie? I reigned in my weird as much as I could! lol

Now I'm moving on to my next Assemblage Challenge.... Lisa's stuff!

go home Arthur!

Hurricanes don't help with updates.
Go figure!

Here are some sneakpeeks until I can get organized.

miracle of miracles!

... many years ago I perfected my image transfer process using Epson photo paper.
And it was a beautiful thing. I created many of what I call my "scenics" using this process. Just about foolproof!
And then as is company's wont, Epson changed the formulation on their photo paper creating not a paper backing but a plastic backing. And everything went to hell and a hand basket.

I tried and tried and tried to recreate my earlier foolproof process. All for naught. It was a sad day in Jen Studio Land.

Until. This past weekend! I was in-between projects and decided to play and explore. I printed out a bunch of old photos/ephemera for future posterity and while I was waiting for the printer to be done, I was flicking the corner of a piece of the photo paper know, fidget-style. And to my surprise, the filmy background peeled off. Whaaaaa???? Well,  you know I grabbed the gel medium and went to work!

Here, then, a mini tutorial on creating image transfers Jen style!

  1. Apply 3 layers of gel medium to inkjet print, drying after each layer. (I smooth the medium with my finger)
  2. Peel the thin plastic layer backing of photo paper, leaving the papery backing.
  3. Using gel medium, glue your transfer image side down to your substrate.* Burnish WELL and let dry overnight. (trust me on this, as one who is VERY impatient, you need that solid bond of overnight drying!)
  4. Pick at the edge to find the plastic film (top layer of photo paper). Peel back.Gently! (and here's *why* you wait overnight ... if it isn't well bonded, your image won't have adhered well to your substrate!)
  5. Voila! Your finished image transfer with just the ink/gel medium concoction on your substrate. No nasty plastic anywhere in sight!
*This is the ONLY caveat ... smooth substrates make the best transfers. I tried on old(ish) paper and ended up with a disaster. Newer paper? Not a problem! Wood? Same! My next experiment will be with canvas and I'll let you know how that goes.

If you have any questions ... specific supplies or techniques... let'em rip. I'm an open book. And if you do try this, let me know how it goes!

working. playing.

Yesterday, I experienced my first ever Art Play Date.  A one-on-one with a new Bridgewater resident, Chris was jonesing for some creative companionship. We drank tea, got to know one another and made some ATCs. It was lovely.

She also brought me a box of things for the Assemblage Challenge. AND cross-challenged me so I gave her a box too. (which of course I forgot to photograph. doh!) Here though are Chris' things:

The brain wheels are a turning ... those hand grenade balloons are giving me pause.

I'm also oh! so close on finishing Julie's assemblage. I'm pretty pleased with it. Lots of multi-layered meanings. Which I think is always a Good Thing. I need to let it sit for a day or two and see if it needs anything else. After taking this photograph for example, I felt it needed some more red to tie in the halo. Totally makes a difference.

Another thing on my table ... starting to receive participants creations for Ten Teeny Things. uhm. Can you say squee?!?

A riff off of previous swaps, 20Things and 20Things zine, on a request to do another I just wasn't up for wrangling 20 people. I could manage10 though and came up with the idea to create something that could fit into a small matchbox and Ten Teeny Things was born.

The talent of this group is nothing short of astounding and so far, are really varied 'things'. I'll post photos when all have been swapped out/received. So much fun!

more wips

Work in Progress - detail

This assemblage is moving along nicely! 
So how do I move from a box of mainly plastic toys to this, you ask? My process for all the Assemblage Challenges has been pretty similar. Given how varied the items are, I think that's kind of interesting.

I start by going through each and every component, checking all sides, any bits and bobs that are attached, the heft, their "feel". Through this process I find something usually jumps out at me ... the curve of an old instrument part, the weight of a ball, multiples of something... and that's my starting point.

For this one, after examining all the dinosaurs, farm animals and novelty bits, I noticed that one of the little plastic bird caricatures had a snippet of scripture embossed on the back referencing Psalm IX-1 "I will tell ... things you have done". Paraphrased I learned, as the actual quote is: "I WILL give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart;I will show forth all thy marvellous works."

But the simplified version immediately made me think of a merit award and because Julie pretty much rocks the free world in my eyes, having accomplished what I could not, namely crossing the IM finish line, I knew that a sort of trophy-esque assemblage would be appropriate. Something tall and hefty. Stacking the animals gave me the height I was looking for and I ran with it from there.
Work in Progress - assemblage box
There are many components to this assemblage. I'd hoped that I could get the Christmas lights working but that didn't happen. But I did like the red disc shape, a perfect fit for one of those LED 'candle' things. Yay! Light up structures! I'd planned on using knobs as feet but the top heaviness of the box+animal tower needed something more substantial. Enter ceramic candle holder turned upside. Perfect!

There have been numerous additions since then and I'll save those for another day.
I'm getting close though. So very close!