no vintage here

As I browse blogland (which I love to do), browsing artist sites and DIY sites, I see over and over, hundreds of decorate-with-vintage stuff sites. It's interesting. Sometimes pretty. Occasionally inspiring. HOWEVER. I'm not a vintage kind of gal. Where do modern DIYers find inspiring projects and goodies to make/change/build and get their creativity going?

I'll find them. And if I don't find them, I'll share what I manage to make/create on my own. Because I love making stuff, I love being creative, and I don't love vintage. Surely I'm not the only non-vintage crafter/artist out there!

--an early digital collage from my photographs--



I picked up an excellent magazine recently, one of the Somerset Studio series, called Artful Blogging. There were many inspiring stories of women, artistic, creative women who found a place to share and talk by blogging.
One story in particular struck a chord - Kelly Letky of The Blue Muse wrote: "I learned not to take life for granted. I learned to live in the moment. I learned that you can't wait for tomorrow or next month or next year to reach for what's in your heart. I learned that I need to find the beauty in life, every single day.

"It took me some time to put what I'd learned into practice. I had to try some new paths and gain my footing. I had to walk around in circles for awhile. I wore some new hats to keep my head warm - jewelry artist, runner, and knitter. ... I kept losing my way. I kept forgetting to stay in the moment. ... I kept walking with my head down. I bumped into a lot of obstacles."

Reading this and the other stories in the magazine is what finally pushed me to start this blog and take my creative exploration more seriously. Thanks ladies!

I'm opening the gate and following the path .....

susie's collage

I've had an idea for a collage for Susie for weeks (her birthday is coming up). I found an old (1952) children's book at Good Will called Sand Dune Pony, complete with ink illustrations. I wanted to use the text & pics as the basis for a horse themed collage for Susie.

I started with canvas again, added torn music page and crackle medium then painted over it with burnt sienna and ochre. I used horse pictures I'd saved from magazines as well as pages from the book and began.

Above is the preliminary layout before anything is glued down. Of course once I started gluing, things changed. I like it okay, but feel like it needs more. I knew I wanted to add some textural elements again and thought that might help. I found a spool of the perfect rustic wire and terra cotta stars I've had forever so added those.

The stars are a good textural addition but I'm not loving the lower one with the beads - it feels disconnected, so I'll rework it.

Here's the final version - I cut off the star & beads, wrapped them in wire and moved a little off center. Then for balance I added the tangle of wire in the upper left. I love the added texture and more rustic feeling with the wire - I also love the personal touches of a picture of Susie & her horse Lady and the stenciled "P" for her last name. All in all, a success.


Second Collage

After the surprising success of my first collage attempt, I jumped right in to the next one. I had several small collages started on watercolor paper, so I picked one in blues & greens with a watery, nature feel. Since I wanted more color and to experiment with my new acrylic paints, I began by painting my canvas a mix of blue and green.
Detail of just the collaged paper portion of the overall collage showing the seaglass, beads and leaf.

I took much longer and days went by while I contemplated each next step. On this collage I did incorporate some more dimensional things: smooth sea glass held on by beads (yay!) and a dried leaf that I found.

There was an online video about using felt to add texture and create a 'frame' for a small collaged piece on a larger ground. I wanted to try it so waited for felt to go on sale at JoAnn's. Out came needle and thread and I discovered I needed a much tougher needle....back to JoAnn's. So the felt and paper are stitched to the canvas and the seaglass is stitched to the whole shebang. Dan gave a less enthusiastic review to this one......

But, I perservere.

First Collage

My most recent obsession is collage. I've always enjoyed mismatched, jumbled-but-with-a-purpose jewelry, art, and even glassware or dishes. Now I'm exploring how to turn a bunch of random papers and paint into an interesting collage.

Part of what attracts me to collage is the addition of more than just paper and paint - I love my beads and want to incorporate those, or pieces of found metal or feathers or whatever..... making the collage more dimensional. That's where I lose Dan.

As with any artistic undertaking, there are tools needed - luckily I have most of them from other crafting endeavors - paint & brushes, check; paper, check; patterned paper (scrapbooking), check; beads (jewelry making), check; ribbon/thread/cords, check. So, I'm well stocked....but what do I do with it all?

On canvas with acrylic paint, textured Japanese paper and old sheet music.

Dan's been very underwhelmed with this undertaking, so when I showed him my first partial effort, I didn't expect much. Instead, I got a rousing "I love it!". When I told him it wasn't done (I had lots more going on in my head), he demanded I stop and hang it as it was. So I did.



Here we go again! I started my first blog several years ago so friends and family could follow my photography exploits. I still maintain PurkeyPages and use it to chronicle my Project365 (a photo a day for a year). I started Your Decorating Hotline almost two years ago and it remains my professional efforts and my connection to the interior design world that I love.

The purpose of this blog is different. I'm finding that I have SO many irons in the fire, so many pending projects, that I want a place to discuss and share them. I love crafting, making things and trying out new mediums and processes, so this is the place I'll come to share my efforts - successes and attempts (not failures!).

I anticipate this flowing more as a personal journal - a way for me to brainstorm with other creative types (and myself) as well as see and remember progress I make on any given project. You may see a beautiful photo I want to share, a collage in progress w/ step by step pics showing how I got there, cross stitch projects underway, my very amateur efforts at watercolor, an ongoing knitting project, or even the good book I'm currently reading.

So, stay tuned and join in whenever you're so inclined. Your comments, suggestions and encouragement will always be welcome.