Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Artistic Side of Michelle Wie

I was on Facebook today and noticed a high school classmate of mine had posted a story about Michelle Wie (who went to the same high school as we did, but graduated decades later). The story in the New York Times talked about her artistry off the golf course. Last year, her best friend sent her a set of crayons and a sketchpad and challenged her to start drawing. Michelle was afraid at first, but soon found that her drawing was a way to express herself and relieve stress. I was surprised to learn that she and her friends take turns making art and passing it around in a circle--sort of like an AB round robin.

Take a look at her work...I love her female figures and use of color. The full article can be found at:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Sunshine On My Shoulders"

A bunch of us participated in the 2009 Artful Bra Project. Artists were asked to make a bra to be auctioned off to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. I altered this bra in honor of a friend named "Sun" who died of breast cancer last year. She absolutely embodied her name, so I chose a yellow polka dotted bra to start and embellished it with all things that reminded me of her: daisies, sand castles, fish, ice cream cones, blingy slippers, sassy sunglasses, smiley faces, etc. The title came quite naturally--"Sunshine On My Shoulders." I think Sun would have loved it and, she would have been shocked to learn that her bra raised about $2000!

Ribbon Cupcakes

I made eight different ribbon cupcakes to give to a special group of my high school classmates. This is a great project to consider if you have tons of leftover trim and lace. Don't they look yummy enough to eat?

String Art Makes a Comeback!

The theme of Fran's book was "The New World." I had just seen the movie "The Time Traveler's Wife." It's a love story about a girl who grows up and falls in love with a man that travels back and forth through time. I had visions of the "Twilight Zone" and "A Wrinkle in Time" and eventually decided to use string art to create a time dimension. On the left side, the woman is in the present. On the right, the man is caught between several different time periods. One thing I learned about doing the spread on the right side--start working from the innermost point out, instead of from the outermost point in!

"Making It Personal"

Su's book asked us to "make it personal." As an avid fan of James Lipton's "Inside the Actors' Studio" show on Bravo, I thought of his famous questionnaire and how my responses to those questions would give a quick peek at who I am (at least when I answered the questions). I soon found out that answering the questions was one thing, finding a way to illustrate my answers on a 2" x 2" card was quite another! How did I do? (Note: if you are offended by obscenities, please don't look at the middle picture too closely and I apologize in advance for posting my answer to question #5 here)

The Legend of the Night Marchers

Lorraine joined our group when she was living in Hawaii with her daughter for part of the year. She returned to her home state of Idaho but wanted to continue with our AB RR group. Her book's theme is "Hawaii" because she loved living here. She asked the artists to share something special or unique about the islands with her through this book.

Hawaii is steeped in folklore and legends. There is a famous legend about the ancient Hawaiian warriors of King Kamehameha's time. They say the spirits of these ancient warriors appear on certain nights of the month and march through their old battlegrounds. The ghostly warriors are known as the "Night Marchers." I have never seen the Night Marchers myself, but I don't doubt that they exist.

The green ridges on the right side of this spread are meant to represent the Koolau mountains (one of the areas frequented by the Night Marchers). I created each ridge by ripping about 5 pages at a time. I defined the ridge line using a green inkpad, but still allowed the text on the page to show through.

Mele Kalikimaka

I know, I know, it's not Christmas...This is Rosemary's book. It began as an adventure of two sheep named Beth & Zoe. However, by the time I got to work in the book, the sheep had all but disappeared from the story line. The pages that my spread would go on had a beautiful illustration of a Christmas scene. I decided to incorporate it into a spread which I called "Christmas in Hawaii." I used glittery palm fronds adorned with a string of teeny weeny christmas lights for my tree branches. Then I made a cut-out Santa--complete with sunglasses and an aloha shirt! His arm moves so he can wave his sign.

Stephanie's "Phone" book

Ever seen a volvelle? It's a device that changes one picture into another with the sweep of a tab. They are so cool! With Stephanie's "Phone" book, I decided to try my hand at making a volvelle. I began with a picture of an old rotary dial phone ("Then"). When you move the tab to the left ("Now"), a picture of an iPhone is revealed! Similarly, I took a photo of a phone booth ("Before") and when you move the tab to the left ("After") you see Superman!

Although I had a template, my cuts were not perfect and I would probably use a heavier weight cardstock the next time I attempt this, but I think you can get the idea.

The Birth of the "Body Parts" book

Here are some pictures of my current AB. To change things up a bit, our group decided that each artist would begin a spread in their book and the artist that followed would take a prompt from the previous spread to create their own. Unlike some others in my group, I decided not to pick a specific theme for my book.

I chose to begin my book with a 3-D spread of hands. My fascination with hands probably began when I met the owner of the house that my husband and I got married at. She was a big patron of the arts here in Hawaii. Her home was like a museum showcasing many pieces from her private collection. While touring the property, she showed me her "hand" collection. (She had collected so many hands over the years that she needed an entire room to house them all!) So, in memory of Laila, I gathered up my catalogs and began cutting out hands--big hands, graceful hands, beautiful hands. I used about 50 different hands here. I separated them with foam core to create more depth and dimension. As I recall, there are about three different levels on each side. When I placed the book into the rotation, I really had no idea where my book would go. When Debbie got my book, she created a most amazing "hair" spread. (I will have to post a picture of the circle book she made for me to show you) and thus, my "Body Parts" book was born!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Lions & Lairs"

This book was entitled "Lines, Layers & Shades of Meaning." When I heard the title, I heard "Lions & Lairs." I was pleased to have found a page that was blank except for the words "The Masculine Approach." It was the perfect caption for my pop-up lion. Because I am not much of an illustrator, I couldn't figure out how to make his body. I finally opted to have his head peeking out of his lair. Voila!

"Kinky Boots"

Debbie's "Secrets" book challenged me to work in a space that was tall and skinny. Have you seen the movie "Kinky Boots?" Fabulous movie and true story about a young man who inherits the family shoe factory when his father dies unexpectedly. He soon learns that the business is losing money and unless he can figure out a way to boost sales, the company will go out of business. One night, he encounters a transvestite who works at a drag queen club. He tells the shoe guy that the performers have a hard time finding women's shoes big enough for the drag queens. He persuades him to manufacture a line of "kinky boots" and even offers to help design them. Embarrassed by this new line of shoes, the shoe guy keeps the kinky boots a secret until sales begin to skyrocket, saving the family business.

Here is my "Kinky Boots" page. The spread features the old-fashioned men's shoes that factory had been making for years. I created 6 "secret" pockets (three on each side) to hide the boots within the pages. What do you think of my kinky boot designs?

"Crazy Things People Do"

Stephanie is in my AB Round Robin group, but I've never met her. She moved to Nebraska before I joined the group, but she still participates by sending in tip-ins for the books she works in. Last round, Stephanie's book was about "Crazy Things People Do." Well, when I was in high school, my girlfriend and I went to see all of the horror flicks. We would cover our eyes and scream with delight at films like "Carrie," "The Manitou," "Dressed to Kill," "Halloween" and more. One of our favorites was the re-release of Vincent Price's "House of Wax" in 3-D! As a lover of pop-ups, I just had to do this spread! I love how it came out!

My Favorite Earrings

Darrell's last book was all about "Favorite Clothes" and how that came to be. I've never gotten too attached to a piece of clothing, but I do have a favorite pair of earrings that I paid homage to in this book. A friend of mine was a real pioneer of altered jewelry. More than 20 years ago, she was taking costume jewelry, breaking them apart and reassembling them into new, one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art. While I own many of her pieces, these were my favorite of all time. Sadly, I could not afford to buy them for myself. I used to go to all of her craft fairs and shows just to wear "my" earrings for a short period of time (until the next show). This went on for several months until one day, my beloved earrings were GONE! How dare she sell MY earrings! When I celebrated my birthday a few weeks later, my mother had presented me with an embroidered jewelry box. Inside the box--you guessed it--were MY earrings! I wore the hell out of them in the 90's! And, in case you were wondering...the earrings in my spread are done to scale. They really are that huge!

Holly Golightly Goes to Tiffany's

Su's book was entitled "The Game of Go," so I did a spread entitled "Holly Golightly Goes to Tiffany's!" (See a pattern starting to emerge here?)

Let's get this thing started...

Welcome to my very first post! I wish to thank the wonderful ladies of the Sketchbook Project Yahoo Group for encouraging me to start my very own blog! Now I have a home for all of my projects.

I named my blog "Bijoux Me"--the theme of the first Altered Book I ever made. I used a Tiffany china and silverware pattern book that had a pretty fabric cover (Tiffany Blue, of course). The pages were good quality paper and heavier weight than most catalogs. Here are some pictures of my book.