Monday, December 31, 2007

Scary Old Doll

Old Doll Face 01
Originally uploaded by mary_tafoya
I have had the cold from Hell since Thursday. I do not exaggerate. Yesterday I could hardly see straight. Today my kid suggested that if I drizzle some honey in my hair I could probably get some wicked dreadlocks going.

So, the DH comes into the bedroom and throws this THING into the bed. I thought it was a cat or something, or a small, dirty child. It turned out to be this old doll.
She has that 20s-30s eyebrows and eye makeup, but she's dressed in a pinch waist pink silk outfit with lots of old ratty brown lace. She appears to be made of a combination of that hard stuff and soft body limbs and such. I don't really care -- she creeped the beejezus outta me, lying there on my sickbead, innocently expecting him to bring me a burrito and coke!

But for the price he paid for her, I would have no qualms cutting her up (once I get past all those serial killer cable detective show memories) and using her in assemblage and such. I'm sure the rest of her face will crack off if I'm too rough. We did have a brief discussion about hanging her from the ceiling with some wings, along with our Balinese angels and frogs. That's a definite possiblity.

But hey, she did get me up out of bed to take these photos! Now if I could only get her to put that arm down and quit staring.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New on Squidoo

Hmmm, this always seems to be the time of year when I play around with new web stuff. This week I am fiddling around with Squidoo, a cool site where you can build a page on any topic, then add links, text, pictures, Amazon info, even polls and stuff. There are also groups you can join, and you can bookmark your favorites and a whole bunch of other things.

I think I even have Sarah F. working on a Bead Journal Project lens!

Here are my first two "lenses" (what Squidoo calls their topic pages):

Um, this was my first one, and I'm still getting the hang
of things. So I'll probably rearrange this a bit, and of course
add more artists!
Beading with spirit, myth, power
Favorite artists, books, and a wee bit of my own work

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Two Favorite Tools

Here are a couple of cool tools I use when working with paper. You might have both in stock already, especially if you have ever gotten a gift card or have a PDA or a handheld computer game (or someone in your house does)...


  • The first is a plastic stylus. They're used to write on the screens of handheld computer devices like Palm Pilots and iPaqs. They're also used to play GameBoy, PSP, etc. videogames. They're very inexpensive and come in lots of different colors. The cheaper ones -- like the yellow one in the photo -- will break more easily than the black, weighted ones that cost a bit more, but feel great to use!

  • My second "fave" is a plastic credit card. I get offers for credit cards in the mail, but they're often on coated cardboard, not plastic. Toss those. Hold out for real plastic, or wait until your debit card expires, or hang on to a gift card after you use up the balance. These cards are sturdy enough for the job and clean up very easily.


  • I use the plastic card to burnish down 2D collage elements. First, I apply the adhesive, and then put the image into position. Then I lay a piece of white paper over the image to protect it, and drag the card across it, working from the center out toward the edges, in different directions. Some people don't use the paper, but I like to keep my plastic card as clean as possible. Still, if you do get glue, paint or ink on it, just wipe off, or rinse off, or scrape the edges to keep them smooth.

  • The stylus makes a great scoring tool for heavy paper stock. I use it especially for envelopes and miniature projects that have critical folds. For small projects, you can use the credit/gift card as your straight edge -- line it along where the fold will be, and then draw the stylus along the edge to mash the paper fibers and make folding easier.

Both of these tools fit easily into my tiny traveling art attack bag.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Temporary Shelter

Last night

Temporary Shelter book 10
Originally uploaded by mary_tafoya
I found these photographs of a book I started before I got into a car accident awhile back. I had already torn or cut out the base pages from various recycled & repurposed materials. A couple of weeks after the accident, I started working for a few minutes each night to assemble the pages, working from my living room couch, with my materials laid out on a big footstool. I hadn't seen these photos in over a year!

I do like the simple house and shelter motifs, the old photos I chose that reminded me of folks in search of shelter, and the windows that allow you to see through to another page. I also like the weird little "paper doll" creatures that are comforting each other.

I put 12 of the photos of on my Flickr site -- just click the photo above to go there. 8-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blue Ballerina Earrings

Blue Ballerina Earrings
Originally uploaded by mary_tafoya
Wow, it's been an interesting month on Etsy. Who knew people would like my funky stuff? Now I've taken the plunge on Flickr and even made a Squidoo lens although it's not published yet. Well, confused and creative is better than just confused, eh?

(yeah, who knew I could blog on blogspot straight from Flickr??? Prolly everybody but me...)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cheap Wood, Bad Nails

Still trying to play with an old digital camera (it does have a macro lens) and a washed out monitor. I'm trying to read the numbers in PaintShop Pro to get a halfway decent correction, since my monitor is not my friend. I didn't even color correct this batch, just worked on the tones. And try to get the darned shots in focus!

My friend Rita uses a big plastic storage container turned on its side, with the hot lights on the outside. I think she had a big piece of white paper draped across the bottom and back of the container. I'm not sure lights and a light box would help me much...but maybe after the holidays I'll check it out.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Ladd Brothers Bead

Nancy Z. shared with us on Beadhell the good news about the success of these two brothers who create couture beaded handbags. Be prepared to rethink your definition of "couture" -- I see them as pure form, regardless of their function (which is kind of hard to suss from the photos in the articles below...) Enjoy!