December 26, 2009

Experimenting with Monotype Printing

I've always loved monotype prints. They often present stark objects in a soft, muted way, but with impact.

I decided to start experimenting with this technique on my own because I'd like to incorporate printing in my artwork. I had a small piece of glass laying around so I put a little paint on the glass and pulled two prints. It was surprisingly easy and I like the scratchy effect. These are the first two that I did. Now I'm looking for a larger piece of glass in order to do some larger prints with different types of paint.

December 8, 2009

Window Farms

Yes- you read that right. Window farm. I ran across this website recently which is all about this movement to create indoor window vegetable farms. They have plans and pictures and it looks amazing.

I think I've mentioned before that I recently went back to school to get my Ecology degree and I'm a plant nerd, so the idea of a window farm is thrilling! And I have almost a month off starting in a few days so this is my winter break project. I love that this is a D-I-Y project and the site has some great How-To manuals which should be really helpful in getting me sorted out on how to build this little farm. I miss gardening in the winter so this is the perfect solution. We live in a really old house with tall narrow windows that will be great for a window farm. Unfortunately none of them are south facing, but they do get lots of direct light in the summer so I may just need to supplement the light a little bit for part of the winter.
Now I just have to do the following:
  • Design the farm
  • Pick the plants (if only there were a way to grow coffee beans to support my habit...)
  • Collect used plastic bottles
  • Get seeds
  • Get other stuff
  • Put it all together
Simple! Maybe. Ok, probably not.

I'll be documenting the farm building progress here on my blog so stay tuned...

November 9, 2009

Stamps of the Week

Recently a woman from Hawaii contacted me online after seeing some of my artwork and asked if I would be interested in some stamps that she had that she was hoping to recycle somehow. Never one to turn down stamps, I was quite happy to get them from her and found some of these beauties amongst them.

I love this little bird. I have never seen this stamp before and I have a separate collection of bird stamps which I'll be adding him to.

Due to my complete plant nerdiness, I'm always intrigued by the flower stamps and these two do not disappoint in my opinion.

I've only included this next one because the first few times that I looked at it, I thought this stamp had a bunch of giraffes on it! But, umm, uh, no those are not giraffes....doh!

I love all things Asia, including this stamp. I wish I could blow it up into a large painting for my house.

This one is colorful, fun AND includes flowers. Let's all go dance in the grass in India.... I actually have friends traveling through India right now and I'm super envious, so I couldn't leave this one out.

Tammy Faye makeup.

French stamps always have great colors and design. I have a separate collection of these as well because they're all so easy to look at.

Another stamp for my ship collection. I love the perspective of this stamp as if the viewer is in the water too.

This one just cracks me up because I have a lot of visions about Mongolia, but admittedly none of them include speed racers...

October 25, 2009


National Novel Writing Month is coming up! It begins on November 1st, as it does every year. If you've never heard of it, but always wanted to write a novel, then this is the event for you! All the details can be found at:

This is something I DREAM of doing! Ever since I heard about it a few years ago I've wanted to participate, but first I had a job that deployed me to Antarctica during November, then I had a job that took up every hour of every day essentially, and then I went back to school and spent all my time studying. Which is where I still am. So once again, I won't be participating this year but I AM planning my class schedule so that hopefully NEXT year I can finally participate.

I think this is a fabulous opportunity for all writers, or wannabe writers (my category...), to put the pressure on themselves to complete a large piece of writing, and to have it read, AND possibly published. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't win. But either way, you end up with a novel that you wrote. Nothing bad can come from that. I'll be a bit envious, but also oh-so-psyched if you live my dream this year. NaNoWriMo. One short month. One long novel...

Stamps of the Week- Sheet Stamps

One of my smaller collections of stamps is a set of stamps that are all in sheets. I actually have quite a large stack of these now and I am never able to bring myself to break them up and use them in my artwork. Maybe someday. These are a few of my favorites...

I can definitely see using this little super hero in an art piece one day.

Clean lines and nice design on this next one. It has a Dr. Seuss-like quality to it.

I love these because they're really really small stamps.

Black and white stamps always top my list of favorites.

These are my favorite! I could never break this sheet of stamps up, though I have considered framing it. The colors and detail are amazing.

October 23, 2009

A Star is Born

I recently completed an art piece that I submitted for consideration for a gallery show. I love the colors in this piece and the swirling design, which reminds me of Sufi dancers.

This piece took a long time to create due to the amount of time that it took to lay out the design. After putting on 1-2 layers of stamps, the design had to be laid out and measured again in order to make sure it was still balanced and on track to end in the center of the canvas. This is one of the most complicated pieces I've made, though it might not look like it.

This is what 3,000+ stamps look like:

'Mixed History' 24" x 24" x 1.5"

I used to live in the Marshall Islands where the Marshallese make beautiful woven handicrafts and I purchased one with a beautiful 7 pointed star in the design. I really like the 7 pointed star and thought it would be an interesting design to try with my medium.

October 18, 2009

Stamps of the Week

I'm working on a really large canvas right now and needed to pull about 5000 postage stamps out of my collection for it, which means I spent hours sifting through stamps picking and choosing the ones I needed. This process would be a lot faster if I didn't stop to look at all the stamps. This part of the process never gets old for me because i just love looking at stamps. It's like walking through a museum and browsing art. These are some of the stamps I set aside today to be placed in my smaller thematic collections.

The flower stamps are always my favorites. Perhaps having something to do with the fact that I study plants... I love all of these for their great colors and shapes.

I went to Japan last year and saw modern day geisha in Kyoto. They were just as exotic and intriguing as they look in this stamp.

I've posted many ship stamps before from my smaller collection of ship stamps, but I just couldn't resist posting a couple more. I wish I could live on this first one.

I rarely ever get stamps from Mexico. I don't know why but there just don't seem to be many of them out there. I like this big head.

I don't actually like Halloween, but these are appropriate. This little dude is scary. I hope he doesn't come knocking on my door- he might rip the screen with his nose.

I want to walk into this stamp and go to the beach. Right now.

Could this stamp be a balloon hoax?

I swear I see this guy every morning in Boulder...

I love this little illustrated stamp- a nice addition to my bird stamp collection which is a bit decimated at the moment due to the use of all my bird stamps for an art piece I made a couple of months ago.

On a random note, I thought I had about 30,000 postage stamps in my collection but I've pulled out about 5000 for my latest art piece and it hasn't even made a dent in my collection! They take up so little space that it's really hard to estimate.

October 7, 2009

Stamps of the Week- Italian

These are a few stamps from my small collection of Italian stamps. I've used a bunch of the doubles in some of my artwork but at some point realized how collectively cool all of the Italian stamps are and started putting them aside in a smaller collection for an as of yet unthought of piece. These are just a few of my most favorite stamps from this collection.

This stamp is one of my all time favorites because it looks like you can just walk right into. And sometimes I'd like to....

Who doesn't love a good castle?

Always partial to all things tiny, especially tiny stamps.

More tiny stamps...

October 6, 2009

Container Potatoes!

Yesterday I decided it might be time to dig up the potatoes that I've been growing all summer in a big container in my little backyard. Once the plant stalks start to yellow, they're done.

You have to be really careful getting the dirt out so as not to puncture any potatoes buried in the dirt. I use a big plastic serving fork and an empty plastic plant container to break up and scoop the dirt out. And after digging a long ways down, I found my first two little potatoes!

Here's a closeup of one of the bigger potatoes that I was able to harvest.

Sadly, this next photo is the entire yeild of potatoes for the year! I was expecting a little more. I used the eyes from a HUGE baking potato and I thought it would yield more and/or bigger potatoes, but that's not the case. Perhaps the potatoes were simply too constrained by the size of the container. Last year I used fingerling potatoes (very small!) and the yield was close to double what I was able to harvest this year. C'est la vie. Next year, back to fingerlings in multiple and larger containers. The one thing I do know is that THESE potatoes will be the best I eat all year!

Growing potatoes are REALLY easy- even if you only have a little space. This website has some good instructions for easily growing potatoes in containers:

September 19, 2009

Stamps of the Week- Animals

These stamps are from my smaller collection of animal stamps. Sifting through them feels like traveling to me- they're so varied across the world. I have hundreds of animal stamps, but these are just a few of my favorites.

I love the hanging panda. So sad I didn't get to see them while traveling through China a few years ago.

I ask you, who doesn't love a bejeweled camel?

I love this next one for the great colors.

I've seen all of these while scuba diving in various parts of the world. I love how realistic most of these are. The nudibranchs are incredibly small creatures and it's difficult to see this much detail on them when you're under the water.

This one just simply cracks me up.

As always, some of my favorite stamps are the ones with only 1 or 2 colors. Simple, effective design.

Bunnies, bunnies everywhere....

These are some of my favorites, probably because they have plants in them.