Friday, January 13, 2017

Moving Right Along

My creative roll of this year continues.  Collaging, brush lettering, and mail art, that's where my energies are going now.  And reading, of course.

For brush lettering, I purchased PDF worksheets from Jeannie Dickson, via Etsy.  I spend my evenings practicing. 

I bought several different brush-tipped pens from JetPens, but none of them really work well for me.  Instead, I'm using a round #2 paintbrush, as Jeannie does most of the time, and I have so much more control than with the pens.  I thought an actual brush would be way too difficult to master, but for me it's the way to go.

All my outgoing mail art now features brush lettered name and address.  I'm having a lot of fun with this.

We've had a lot of rain in northern California recently.  The Eel River flooded early this week, and although the river itself has receded, my guess is that much of the Ferndale area is still under water.  Fortunately there's no danger of flooding where I am.  Right now we're having a few days' respite from the rain; the days are sunny and c-o-l-d.  More rain coming in early next week.

Enjoy your winter weekend.  January is effectively half gone already.  Christmas will be here again before you know it!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Half a Mil.

I've done these six collages just since January 1.  I am having so much fun with these.  The other day I cleaned and reorganized my front studio space so I have more room on the table to work.  I just want to be in that place, putting things together.

This post marks several milestones ~ I'm celebrating my 9th Blogoversary here.  I started blogging in January 2008.  I know a few of you have been with me since then.

My all-time blog hits went over 500,000 a few days ago.  Half a million hits.  Wow.  And the hits just keep on coming.  My deep gratitude to all who read and follow me.

This is the 1822nd post on this blog, but when you consider that two of my three other former blogs had daily posts for at least a couple years, I figure I've probably posted aggregately close to 4000 times in nine years.  A lot of words; but a lot more images.

I'll leave you with this awesome poem I found this morning on Christi Carter's blog ~

"There isn't one right path for you or anyone else.
And there isn't a set of timelines or milestones ...
You're allowed to backtrack.
You're allowed to figure out what inspires you
at different stages of your life.
You're allowed extra time when you need it.
Life is meant to be a series of zigs and zags.
It should look like a mess, but a beautiful mess.
It shows that you have changed and grown.
You've had your ups and downs.
You went down one path, but decided to change course...
perhaps on many occasions.
That's how life should be."

~ Angel Chernoff ~

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Best Intentions

Hand lettered by this beginner
Wishing you all a very happy new year ~

May we each live into our best selves this year ~

May we each find peace within, regardless of outer circumstances ~

May we each accept what's impossible in our lives, and then live within the realm of our own possibilities ~

May we each find joy in the "little" things in life, those things that make a qualitative difference ~

Wishing you all the very best.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


I'm kind of making up for lost time with my current collage output.  All I can say is, making these is addictive.  I'll be finished with my first Midori insert (16 folios, 32 spreads, 64 pages) in the next few days.

I'm thinking that after I use up the purchased inserts I already have, I'll likely make my own.  I've got so much paper...I've got a paper cutter...and everything else I need.

Not only has it been cold on the North Coast, but it's going to get colder still.  It may even snow down to sea level here next week!

Hard to believe 2016 is over.  Seems like it just began.  A year is hardly any time at all, anymore.

Possibly that fact is why I've been inspired to keep making art ~ collages at the moment.  Because as more time goes by, the less time there is left in my life in which to create.

Wishing you peace these last few days of 2016.    

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Use It or Lose It

Although I've been adding stuff to my collection of collage materials, I like that I've begun using things I've had for years that I haven't wanted to use previously.  Like, always saving the best for last.  The thing is, when I go, most if not all of what I've collected will end up in the landfill anyway.  So I might as well use it now, while I have the energy and inclination.  You know what they say, "Be good to yourself -- use your good china, wear the clothes you love the most," or something like that.  What am I saving this stuff for?  There's no one to inherit it.

A couple years ago when I began making mail art, my early love of postage stamps was rekindled.  So then I started collecting stamps, which I buy from a seller who comes to the local antique shows.  And then just putting them by country in clumps in plastic sleeves in a couple of binders.

I'm not a real stamp collector, I just like them, especially engraved stamps.  I decided recently to start using them in my collages, on mail art, wherever, instead of just collecting them to sit in binders.  At least that way I can see them and enjoy them.

Similarly with the old books I've collected.  I'm not really a collector of old books, I won't pay ridiculous prices for something just to have it, what I have isn't worth trying to sell and I don't want to anyway, so I may as well tear out pages or cut out illustrations to use in my art.  That's why I bought them in the first place, really.

And then there's cool scrapbook paper that I collected for bookmaking.  Some of this, now, is going into my collages.     

I've been using my collection of handmade fabrics in recent stitching projects.  Although I used the bulk of what I originally had in art quilts I made from 2008 to 2012, plus I sold quite a bit of it, I held back enough fabric that I really loved for future projects.  That's what I've been using for recent handstitched pieces.  And I still have enough to last me the rest of my life.

So...use it or lose it.

Hope you enjoy a peaceful holiday weekend.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Collages

I've done little else but collage and read this past week.
I do want to start a stitched something, and will likely go through my fabrics in the next few days to see what grabs my imagination. 

Meanwhile, sifting and sorting through papers, book pages, magazine images, washi tape, stickers and whatever else I can find, is bringing me joy.  And putting disparate things together even more so.

This spread is about as holiday-ish as I'm likely to get.

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness for the holidays, and always.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Things

Moonglow, 7.5 x 10.5 inches, handstitched, wholecloth ecodyed fabric

I'm on a bit of a creative roll, something that largely eluded me for much of 2016, despite the fact that I've slowly been producing a small body of handstitched works.

I've gotten enthused about a variety of things via Instagram, as I think I mentioned earlier.  It's being an telling journey, noticing who and what I'm newly or rebootedly interested in at the moment.

For instance, I'm following artists who are into paper goods and Japanese stationery, the world of Midori Travel Notebooks, modern calligraphy aka brush lettering, new ways with mail addition to painters, photographers, handstitchers, ceramicists.

The Midori Travel Notebook (MTN) subculture has really spoken to me.  I don't travel, and I no longer keep or use a calendar-type journal, but I love the format of the regular sized MTN, with inserts (the actual booklets you write in that are attached to the cover of the notebook and can be replaced when they're full) that are 4.25 x 8.25 inches.  And I love and always prefer grid paper, so I got grid paper inserts to work with.

And thus far I'm using mine as an art journal, as it turns out.  Committed to using stuff I've been collecting ~ washi tape, rubber stamps, postage stamps, old paper, illustrations from childrens' books.  There's something about the format that really works for me.

Brush lettering has really captured my imagination as well.  I've got out all my brush pens and italic-nibbed pens, and am thinking seriously about getting some lettering worksheets online.  It's all a matter of practice.  Before I invest, though, I'm considering whether this might just be another passing fancy (as genealogy appears to have been), or whether I'll actually work at it to become skillful. 

The stitched piece at top, Moonglow, is the latest in my SunMoonStars series.  This is a small piece (7.5 x 10.5 inches) of wholecloth ecodyed fabric.  Interestingly, it was more challenging than the other pieces in the series.  And now I'm ready to work with some color again.

I hope you're having a good lead-up to the holidays.  It's all being rather mellow for me; it usually is.

Be well.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Still Shining

Finished my latest SunMoonStars piece yesterday.  I'm calling it Still Shining, in honor of the fact that regardless of what happens in the world here and abroad, the sun will still be shining somewhere everyday.

This piece is 12 x 13 inches.  All fabrics were hand dyed.  I tried seeding for the first time, in the sun and its rays -- a ton of tiny stitches.  Went more quickly than I'd imagined, though.

I'm enjoying my days stitching and reading mostly, and spending some amount of time daily on Instagram, which I'm loving.  Many new-to-me artists, lots of inspiration.  The bonus is that the images, viewed on either of my Android devices, are to-die-for.  A completely different experience from seeing them on computer. 

Have a good weekend.  Enjoy the holiday season however you can.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

'Tis The Season

Art Journal collage, 2016

These are the last four days of my annual Holiday Sale at Etsy, which ends on Tuesday November 29. 


Currently all items are 30% OFF original prices.


But from now until the sale ends, use coupon code "CYBER16" at checkout and receive an additional 10% OFF all merchandise.


You must plug in the code "CYBER16" at Etsy checkout in order to get the additional 10% off.  Check out my shop here.

If you were following me on Facebook and wonder where I've gone, I've moved my social media presence over to Instagram (@constancerosedesigns).  All art, no politics, way better.  Look for me there.  There's also a link to my Instagram on the right sidebar.

I had a quiet Thanksgiving ~ I read Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch book, "The Wrong Side of Goodbye."  Great book and nice way to spend the day on my own, tucked inside all warm and cozy. 

I started work yesterday on another SunMoonStars piece, this one focusing on the sun.  Looking forward to working on it over the next week or so.

Hope you have a great weekend.  Support handmade art and artisans this holiday season.  Check out my Etsy Shop before the sale ends on Tuesday evening.