A Life of Varied Endeavors

Tag Archives: Little Altars Project

Kathy D’s Message in a Bottle

Message in a BottleFor November’s Little Altars installment, Kathy D. created a Message in a Bottle to send to me. She attached a little bottle to an accordion-folded card that holds several stories about “messages in a bottle” in history.

Kathy s Message in a Bottle

Click on the images to enlarge (and see the full poem)

In the bottle, she sent a poem she adapted and named “How to Be an Artist”. Since several people in the Project wanted to see the poem, and because it’s quite a bugger to get in and out of the bottle (how did you do that, Kathy?), I scanned the poem and am posting it so all can see.

What a great idea. As I mentioned on Peg’s blog, I need all the help and guidance I can get.  Fortunately I already collect rocks, but it looks like I’ll have to try a few other things.

P.S. It took me many tries and some new engineering to make this message “removable and replaceable.” I ended up wrapping the poem on a length of tiny copper tubing, and gluing a bead with a cord to the end of the tubing. It’s now skinnier, but still a challenge!

Nandina photo, Acrylic Ink, and Peridot – September Little Altars

Embelished Nandina Leaves

Catching up on the Little Altars spots.  For September’s Full Moon this was my contribution:

September. Oh, what another meandering installment!

I was first inspired more than a month ago with Kathy’s prompt of Spot H – what does H mean?  I settled on Harvest.  Started to think of fruits, vegetables, and the recipes I was using for plums, pears, apples, tomatoes. I almost posted in spot H a great recipe for a Rustic Plum Cake, but you wouldn’t have been able to read it, and only Beth would get it anyway!

I thought of an illuminated letter H, but realized that my flourishing skills (as well as picturing skills) would not be adequate.  I was also inspired by a teeny, tiny piece of flotsam on the living room floor.  It was riding on a small, dried, brown maple seed that had been tracked in, and it was a little piece of very shiny, coppery-red tinsel.  It took me SEVERAL days to realize it was from a cat toy!  But in the meantime, I had decided that the color and the shine needed to be part of the (as it turned out, not-to-be) illuminated letter, so I purchased some copper acrylic ink.

Then, with the colors of the tinsel and Harvest in mind, I headed for my photographs.  I found a picture that I took last Fall of nandina leaves on our deck –in my mind a perfect fit.  I fussed over whether it should be a soft, fuzzy print on watercolor paper, or a high quality print.  I settled for high quality on my favorite paper:  Canon Matte Photo Paper.  Then I decided to make it pop a little with the copper acrylic ink that I KNEW I was going to use somehow.  Then I had to buy a couple more colors and use them!.  In the end, the whole thing needed a bit of softening, gussying-up, and dimension, so I added a strand of peridot chips on the bottom.

This is for the gardener, Beth: an embellished photo of nandinas in the Fall!

In process (1 of 1) P1050254

August Little Altars – A feather, some brass, some copper

August Little Altars Project-3 After all the ideas and iterations that I went through, I’m not sure what inspired me for August’s Little Altars spot!  There was that feather. I kept wanting to use it, to play with it.  It’s off a larger piece of feather trim that I have, but it’s been on its own for quite a while.  More delicate and enchanting as one than among many.  And then there was the TEENY scrap of 80 mesh brass screen I found from somewhere, but couldn’t find any more, so I had to go buy some more.  Luckily, I found it in a real brick and mortar store, so my ideas could progress.

Originally, I was going to use a right-angle weave beaded heart in this month’s spot (a sweet little thing I’m still very fond of), but things evolved.  So I think what inspired me in the end was the process.  The process of evaluating my choices, listening to my aesthetic, and sensing the right and wrong and good and bad.  It was one tiny inspiration leading to another:  link, link, link.  One might ask, as my husband did, “What is it?”  I said, “It’s cute.”  Nothing more, just that I like it.

I added the little leaves because I liked the spark they provided and I had the opportunity to use them (link, link). They are cut out of copper, primed with Daniel Smith watercolor ground, and colored with watercolor. I used copper tabs on the back to fasten them. More experiments with color on metal; this one is fun.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE
August Little Altars-1

August Little Altars process

August Little Altars Project-2

August Little Altars

June Little Altars – Simple Summer Collage

Little Altars - Summer Collage for June (2 of 2)Still catching up on the months of Little Altar projects.  Here’s what happened in June, as I wrote it back then.

This month I was inspired by a few things:  An earring that David found on the road on our morning walk.  It had obviously been run over, and though the wire was mashed, the main part was in pretty good shape and seems to be well made. I like it!

I’ve also been inspired by some collage art work in my dentist’s office.  I’ve had the opportunity to see it a few times (!), and he’s got good taste!  I haven’t tried any collage for decades, but this work made me want to approach it again.  My project this month looks nothing like the piece by Carrie Kaufman, but the mounted copper wire attachment is a pretty direct inspiration.  What I’ve found on-line by Carrie is not as delectable (to me) as the large piece I saw in person.

Lastly, it’s summer.  The hand and basket remind me of gathering flowers and harvests.  The warm colors of the basket, and the branch covered with moss tell me it’s inviting to go outside.  It’s Easy Time.  We are enjoying fresh greens, and radishes from the seeds that Peg sent. They are delish!Little Altars - Summer Collage for June (1 of 2)

May Little Altars – an elephant and beads for me

Little Altars - Elephant May (2 of 4)Here was May’s project.

Once again, my own collected and unfinished treasures provided the inspiration for this month’s Little Altars spot.  Since I was making the spot “for myself” meaning my exchange this month was with me, myself, and I, this was an interesting and sort of indulgent endeavor.  Some sort of serendipitous spell came over me as I wondered around my little places of projects and treasures, and I pretty quickly came up with something that I thought I’d really like.  Nice when there are very few false starts, and that’s what happened this time.

I’m an elephant fan, so the opportunity to use an elephant bead that I’d probably never put on a piece of jewelry was a plus.  And the flat beaded disk has been teasing me to do something with it ever since I made it.  Of course it was supposed to be part of a larger project, but now it’s in a perfectly happy place, pretending to be a water place for the elephant.  Both now live on top of my currently favorite play materials: watercolor paper, watercolors and gouache.

Little Altars - Elephant May (3 of 4)

Little Altars - Elephant May (1 of 4)