Monday, June 8, 2009

The "M4" Challenge

I know I've been away for months, but with good reason . However, I won't bore you with the details at this time. I haven't been able to do much art during this time, but I did participate in an exciting challenge a few months ago.

The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild (CMMAG), of which I'm a member, presented a challenge to us: take a box of parts and create something. The challenge was titled the "Mixed Media Madness Mission-Art Possible", or "M4".

Photograph courtesy of: Frank Pierce

In January, those of us participating were given identical boxes containing 33 different items (some items were multiples, so we really had hundreds of actual pieces). The rules were very explicit - we had to use all the parts, but we could choose to exclude 2 items, and we could add 2 of our own items, plus we could use all the paint, glue, wire, inks, and glitter that we wished. We had almost two months, which sounded reasonable back in December when we signed up! But once we had the box in hand, two months didn't seem nearly enough time! What in the world was I going to make with all of this stuff? I had absolutely no idea where to start. For a good two weeks, I left the box open on the floor, glancing at it from time to time, hoping an idea would come. I'd handle some of the items waiting for something, anything to hit me. One day, as I sat staring at the box, I looked up and my eyes fell on a birdhouse my shelf, and an idea began to grow...

This is what eventually percolated from my brain:

Photograph courtesy of: Frank Pierce

I called it "Maison Sans Raison" - "The House Without Reason."

Photograph courtesy of: Frank Pierce

A more detailed shot of the interior:

In the photos below, note the sconces made from bullet casings and old flashbulbs...

And peering through the birds' holes on each end are the ghosts stirred up by the altering of this house (transparencies attached to the inside). The house and the transparencies are my 2 additions to this challenge.

When I'd done all I could do, I was left with: a plastic computer piece, a pen nib, a sewing bobbin, a key, and a metal connector. Not wanting to just glue these things randomly to the house, I decided to make them into a weather vane.

Would I do another challenge like this? Absolutely! It was THE most challenging thing I've done, but it was fun trying to make all those parts come together. But, the most fun part about the whole experience was when we took all of our creations to Artist Alley in Southern Pines, where they were on display all together. It was amazing to see how unique every piece was, considering that we all started with the same box of parts. To see all of the creative artistic wonders, go to the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild blog, where 2 pieces have been featured every couple of weeks since the even in March.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Things About Me

I was tagged on Facebook to tell 25 things about me. I thought it was hard when I was tagged on here to do 7 things! Since I went to all the trouble of writing this list, I decided to share my 25 things here. I'm not going to tag anyone, but if anyone out there reading this is so inclined, make your list of 25 things.

  1. I was born in Plant City, Florida.

  2. My real name is Cheryl. Toni is short for my middle name – Antoinette. My family (parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins) has never called me Toni. I have a cousin also named Cheryl, who is 3 years younger – she is “Little Cheryl” and, yes, I get to be “Big Cheryl.” Any wonder that when I was 12, I chose to be Toni?

  3. I was an Air Force brat and even though we were officially stationed at only 7 bases, with all of the temporary assignments, I went to 13 different schools before I graduated from high school. In the 2nd and 5th grades, I went to 3 different schools. I was always the "new kid on the block."

  4. I’ve lived in this area for 35 years, and in Hillsborough for 26 years. I don’t plan to move again!

  5. Every time we moved I was given one box, a fairly good size box, and whatever I could fit in that box, I could keep - toys, books, keepsakes, etc. Everything else had to be taken to the base thrift store. This is why I'm now a huge pack-rat! I can't let go of anything! I have a lot of cool stuff for collages and assemblages, though!

  6. I lived in Hawaii for 3 years. Too bad I was too young to appreciate it! I was 6 when we left. Hawaii wasn't even a state then (stop trying to figure out my age!)

  7. When I was 12, my mother, my 3 month old sister, and I drove from Oklahoma to California almost entirely on Route 66.

  8. I worked "stringing" tobacco 2 summers. The first summer, I made $8/day and the second summer I made $10/day. A day began at 7 am and ended when the barn was full, which could be 4:00 or it could be 7:00, depending on a lot things: weather, field workers, tractors... Working in tobacco was THE hardest work I ever did, but it was also a lot of fun and it taught me a lot about teamwork and people.

  9. I worked in a factory in Omaha, running a drill press, making firing pins. This was the most boring job I ever had. I got fired because I wouldn't join the union. I was 18.

  10. My next job was building mini-bikes. These were little 5 hp motor bikes. This was a fun job. Details about this in the 7 things about me.

  11. I went to East Carolina University, but dropped out after 6 weeks - see #7 and #8.

  12. I went to Western Carolina University - maybe I did want to go to school, after all - see #7 and #8 (smile)

  13. I worked at Duke for 5 years and Durham Regional Hospital for 19 as a Respiratory Therapist. When I left DRH, I was the Director of the Cardiology, Neurosensory and Cardiac Rehab departments.

  14. I worked in medical software development for 5 years – 2 companies in RTP.

  15. I met my husband when I was a Clinical Instructor at DRH - he was my student. BUT, I had ethics! I didn't date him until after he graduated!

  16. I was a confirmed bachelorette and was never going to get married. My husband and I lived together (sinners!) and he asked me several times before I finally agreed. I was 30 when we got married.

  17. We have one son, 23, who is now living in Atlanta.

  18. My first 4 cars were convertibles, and we have a Mazda Miata now. We belong to the Triangle Miata Club - bunch of old folks who drive their Miata's in a line around NC! Read more about this here.

  19. I traded a 1967 Mustang convertible for a 1970 Ford Econovan camper – even trade. My dad nearly killed me when I proudly told him of the “deal” I’d made. The van ran about 100 miles and left me stranded on my first camping trip.

  20. I’ve played a lot of sports throughout my life – basketball, volleyball, bowling, running. I used to run 5 miles almost every day, but now I do well to walk the dog!

  21. I’m an avid reader. I usually have 2 or 3 books going at a time. I like to read anything except romance and extreme fantasy. I love books and will probably need to build a room to store them soon!

  22. I don’t care for TV as a rule. I love movies but I don’t buy them, just watch them on DVD or “on demand”. Or at the theater, of course.

  23. I collect Santa’s and leave them out all year. I also collect roosters and antique postcards.

  24. Another thing I collect is quotations. I have books of them, and when I come across one that I like, I put it into a Word document, which has grown to 15 pages.

  25. My favorite food is chocolate! And I know I would die if I was ever told I had to give up coffee - I drink a pot every morning.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quilled Labrador Pins

I first posted photos of these quilled Yellow Lab pins back in August, 2007. Somebody saw them posted here, or Flikr, or maybe Webshots - doesn't matter. She liked them enough to ask if I would make a set for her.

It's hard for me to do anything exactly the same way even if I try. I always think I can improve on the the way I did it the first time around. As was the case with these pups. At first glance, you may think they look pretty close, but there are some changes. The major difference is their ears - I made them separately, then attached them on top of the head to give them a bit more depth.

What do you think? Which set do you like better?

Friday, January 16, 2009

ATC - "Old Man Time"

I'm not going to try to go into where I've been since the last post. I'm just going to start out with a new year.... Happy New Year a few weeks late!!!

This ATC was made for a contest which had only one rule - it had to have something to do with "Time."

I titled it "Old Man Time".

I cut a piece of canvas which was painted in metallic yellow, orange, brown, copper, and it had some nice texture to it, to the right size (2.5 x 3.5).

I attached the photo of the train, using gel medium.

I printed a verse from "Time" by Pink Floyd (see below), and used tea to age the paper. I used gel medium to attach it.

I printed a transparency of the old man and positioned him over the lyrics, and attached with eyelets. I tried using gel medium but it wouldn't stay.

I tore out the word "time", colored it red and placed it behind the opening in the watch face. Then attached the watch face as if it were the sun, using jeweler's glue.

These are the words in the verse from "Time":

The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines,
Hanging on in a quiet desperate way is the English way.
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.

I didn't win the contest, but I'm pleased with this ATC.

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