Sunday, February 27, 2011

 Day 22:  I made a necklace out of an old bicycle tire inner tube that had gotten patched and repatched enough times to grant it a new life in a new incarnation.  I cut each of the flowers out, put a little sequin in the middle, and sewed them onto a strip of tire tube.  I am lucky that my daughter Mazi is willing to put up with all the photograph taking I ask for this blog. Sometimes I make her take ten of them to get the image I want.  She is also often leaning over my shoulder when I'm writing another post editing my typos as I'm trying to concentrate on what to write next.  It seems like she enjoys participating in the eccentric life that I lead, and I am grateful for that. 

Day 23:  I made beads out of magazine pages, by wrapping strips around a bamboo skewer, using a little glue at the beginning and end to hold them together.  I love how they turned out.  I have seen a lot beads made out of magazines that are tapered pieces, but I wanted my beads to have a more clean, industrial look.  They remind me of little pieces of a straw or pvc pipe.

Day 24:  Another project in honor of my friend Diane who passed away.  I came accross these pieces of wire that I had collected over a year ago.  It's kinda funny, the day I was collecting them, I was doing childcare and going on a walk with the kids.  I kept seeing these pieces of wire that I thought were so beautiful and picking them up and putting them in the storage area under the stroller.  The older of the two children was very bewildered and kept asking me why the heck I kept picking up these pieces of wire.  What could I say except that I thought they were beautiful, cause I didn't really know what I wanted them for.  Anyhow, I nailed them onto a piece of scrap wood, added pieces of an old scratched CD that I cut up, some furr a friend pulled out of a dumpster, and pieces of a couple of old pictures I drew.  On one of them I had written a bulgarian proverb: If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water.  This felt very appropriate for every thing I've been experiencing this week.  To me it means that we have to really throw ourselves into our dreams and the things we want in life and let them take us for a ride, rather than living life half-assed.  Also loving fully and knowing that the connections we have with others are the most important part of life.  I'm feeling lots of love for Diane and all the wonderful people in my life. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 20:  After an exhausting day, I went home to watch my favorite movie, "A Town Called Panic,"  which is an animated film about a horse, a cowboy, and an indian who all look like those little plastic figures kids play with.  I have watched this movie at least a dozen times and it always cracks me up, especially the farmer who yells instead of talks, and it is in French! While watching, I drank one of my favorite beers, Happy Camper IPA, which is made in Sante Fe and has the New Mexian zia on it.  After I finished my beer, I cut out these stars and decorated them by pressing a design into them with a ball point pen.  It looks especially cool when you press the design from both sides, because then the lines from each direction emphasize each other.  An enjoyable evening for sure. 
Day 21:  Another long day, ending with another beer!  I spent the day in Albuquerque visiting my friend Diane, who is in the hospital.  It was very beautiful to be able to sit by her side holding her hand and talking to her even though she was unconscious.  She had a large group of friends who were there to see her, and we spent the day crying together, singing songs, and even laughing.  Even with so much going on in my life and being away from home in another city, I still wanted to do my project for the day.  I had been wanting to try to make a box from an aluminum can, a project I found on  It seemed easy enough to make, all I needed was a can, some sissors, and a pen.  It seemed like the perfect project for the day, but when I was folding it together, it broke along the score mark.  I guess I pressed too hard when making the lines.  I think it could work with some more practice and I think the parts that did stay together looked great.  I really like the look of the design drawn into the can.  It seems like something I will try again at some point.  I was just happy to know that life can get hard, but that doesn't stop me!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 18:  It is definitely good to do some research before jumping into a project, but too late for that!  I wanted to make a large paper mache bowl, and it made sense to me that if I molded it onto another bowl, it would just pop off when it dried.  Not even close, I had to pry and tear it off.  Pieces of the paper stuck to the other bowl, and I was left with a bowl that was badly torn in many places.  Then after the fact, I decided to look in a paper mache book that I have and read that it is good to coat the bowl you are using for a mold with petroleum jelly.  Of course!  Thinking at this point I might just burn the darn thing...
Day 19:  I decide that it's okay to take the previous days project and have another go at it.  After all I was about to throw it in the trash or burn it, so in a weird way it's recycling a recyled object.  I'm justifying it as a project of its own.  I used a bunch of glue to get it to stay together, and then covered it with tissue paper left over from a gift.  I'm not usually much of a pink person, but that is what is fun about using what you have lying around, it pushes you to use colors or objects you might not otherwise use.  The color pink also ended up being appropriate because I was thinking of my dear friend Diane while I was making this.  She has cancer and is in the hospital living out her last few days.  The bright colors reminded me of her because she had colors like these in her house.  So this bowl holds a lot of love for her and reminds me of how fragile and beautiful life is.  I'm glad I gave it another chance, letting it transform into something meaningful to me.  It felt like good medicine to let myself cry as I was tearing and gluing pieces of pink and green.  It reminds me of a giant shell. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

 Day 16:  Most of my projects have been very time consuming so far, and although it's been fun, it's also exhausting.  I needed to do something simple and comical to give myself some respite.  I took two lids and cut round circles into them, tied them with a bit of string, and glued on some pieces cut from a plastic mesh bag.  Voila! Bug goggles!

Day 17:  My daughter Mazi and I made this house together out of cardboard boxes we had been saving.  We used a kit you can buy called "make-do," that consists of little plastic fastioners that can attach two pieces of cardboard together easily.  No waiting for glue to dry or trying to get tape to hold!  The door and the shutters on the window have hinges, so they can open and close easily.  Inside the kit, there was picture collage of things that people have made before.  I was blown away by some of the cardboard sculptures (one was a giant ape), and fondly amused by the robots made from egg cartons, cereal boxes, and such.  I have always wanted a robot, mostly because I think they are highly attractive and charming.  There will definitely been one in my future now. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 13:  This project is all over the internet if you type in "milk carton wallet."  I thought the pictures of it looked really cool, so I gave it a try.  In reality, its kinda lame.  The milk carton tears slightly wherever you fold it, so it doesn't look that good and seems really fragile.  Oh well, some projects just aren't going to work out.  I'll stick with my own milk carton inventions.

Day 14:  This bag didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it to either.  I used way more duct tape than I would have liked to, and I wasn't able to weave the coffee bags together as tightly as I would have liked to.  Still I think the design has potential and I'm sure I'll try another version of it at some point. 

Day 15: Journal page flower.  I am pretty happy with this.  Again, I found joy in cutting up some of my old journal and transforming it into something new. I think there are more of these coming in my future.  I want to make a bunch of them to adorn a trash fashion dress. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

 Day 11: Realizing that I am starting to have little piles of things I am collecting all over the house, I decided that I needed to make some boxes to keep things neat and organized. I had saved a gift box from several months ago that was torn on the surface because of the gift wrapping that was taped to it.  I covered the lid of it with an Anthropologie magazine.  I find their catalogs artistic and beautiful, but it's not like I'm EVER going to buy something from them. 
Day 12: I decorated the other half of the gift box.  I like this half of the box much better than the one above.  It's more unexpected to see pieces of Mac and Cheese boxes reassembled into another box.  I've done tons of magazine collages, but not something like this before.  And yes, I let my daughter Mazi eat a lot of Mac and Cheese, more than I probably should.  I guess that's why one of her nick names is Maz-a-roni.  At least I'm giving her the organic stuff.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

 Day 9: I took the previous day"s project and expanded it.  I've had this large mirror for several years and have been meaning to get some paint and refinish it, but I was inspired by the results of the frame project and wanted to try it here.  It took about four hours to tear up all the little magazine pieces and glue them on one by one.  I found it both challenging and satisfying to mold the paper around the contours of the wood.  This is my favorite project so far.  My bedroom has a whole new feel now and got cleaned out and rearranged thanks to having an new mirror.  It's similiar to the feeling of going out and buying something new that you really love, except that I made it! 

Day 10:  Here is the horribly stained, "please throw me in the trash" dress that I took and transformed using scraps from t-shirts I no longer wore, and here I am wearing the new version:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 7:  I am a thief.  Lately, I have been known to steal chip bags and milk cartons out of people's trash cans, or the tabs off of people's beer cans. If you don't watch out, I may end up stealing some trash from you! I used some of my stolen loot to make a pair of earrings out of Horizon Organic milk cartons, which are my favorite milk cartons out there.  I love the colors and the jumping cow. 
 Day 8:  I was digging through my closet looking for something to use for my project today.  I found an old frame and decided to cover it in black and white magazine paper.  I love getting rid of things, but some things just don't seem nice enough to give away, and I hate throwing things away.  So I end up with a lot of stuff that I tell myself that I will do something with one of these days.  Finally one of those days came around for this old picture frame.  I've been using this magazine for several projects now.  Its an old Bitch magazine that I keep holding onto thinking one day I'll read it again.  Well, now I'll never read it again, but I transferred my affection for it into something I can love even more. This project was especially fun thanks to Radiohead and Mod Podge. Here it is framing my daughter Mazi, and then framing a picture that she made five years ago (another thing that was hiding in my closet.) 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 4:  My project for this day was kind of "cheezy".  I made business cards from a Cheez-its box.  Just so I can have something to hand out to some of my friends to encourage them to visit my blog and to give me their trash.

Day 5: I made a milk carton photo album.  I have made these before, but I came up with a new design, adding a half-star shape to both the front and back covers.  I love the look of milk cartons, but in this case, I especially love how the colors and words of the two overlapping cartons interact.

Day 6:  I created a multilayered, mixed media piece to hang in my bedroom.  I started by glueing together 12 pieces of smaller paintings and drawings that I had hiding in the back of my closest to create a larger canvas.  I didn't much care for them anymore.  I covered them in white paint and black and white torn magazine pages.  Then I added scraps from an old journal I wrote back when I was a good mormon girl growing up.  I wrote a lot about God and the Book of Mormon, and I came accross as being very restricted, more concerned with being "good" than being "me".  It felt really good to tear some of those pages up!  I also added some old tissue paper saved from gifts, some black paint, and a silver gift bag.  Then I took some of my old drawings and I cut the most intriguing pieces out and arranged and glued them so that they were interacting with each other in an interesting way.  I loved this project because I felt like I was letting go of a lot of things I had held onto that I didn't need any more, and transformed them into something new.  This is what I ended up with: 
And a few more pictures to show some of the detail:


Monday, February 7, 2011

The day I started my project, we lost natural gas here in Taos, and it was declared "a state of emergency."  I was without hot running water, and the only way to cook was on my wood burning stove or in a little toaster oven.  Still, I felt cozy and content cutting up an old magazine next to the fire.  I even felt inspired by the strangeness of what was occuring and how people were kind of freaking out.  It can feel good to create when there is something lacking.  Its as if one brings balance to the other, at least in the realm of my psyche.  I decided to try to make a three dimensional shape. I folded a series of squares of black and white magazine paper into the same shape and then glued them all together. 
Here is what I ended up with:

Day 2 of the project, Taos was still dealing with its emergency.  I was staying for the weekend at a friends house who has propane.  So in the evening after a hot shower, I sat down with a pile of boxes I had saved from various food products.  I had several Annie's Mac and Cheese boxes, a box from Drumstick ice cream cones, and a cracker box.  I wanted to make another sculptural object, but one that could shift and be played around with, so I created a bunch of round circles with slots in them so that they could slide onto each other in an endless variety of ways.  My daughter and her friend had a lot of fun helping me put this together.

For day 3, I decided to try again the black and white magazine origami because I had so much fun with it the first time, and had found another really cool design.  I ended up liking the end result of this day's attempt much more than what I made the first time around.  So already on day 3, I am seeing how an idea can evolve and become more interesting when it is revisited again.  Something that I had hoped for in taking on this yearly project was the evolution of ideas and my creative process.  I would like to display these eventually on some sort of string, so they can look like they are hanging on a vine, but here they are as scattered individuals:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feeling excited about getting started tomorrow!  I know there will be ups and downs.  Some days I may not feel like working on a project, and I'll wonder why I started this in the first place.  Other days, I will find myself sharing my project with others, welcoming their collaboration, and making new connections.  Looking forward to letting others inspire me, help me to grow.  Maybe I'll end up inspiring someone too.