Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Right On Target...

Nothing like another gallery deadline to get me in the spirit — and get me moving — to finish a piece of art! But this time I was right on target!

My goal was to finish up with my "deer" little project... to be entitled Wounded. I found her a home in the most amazing vintage drawer.

I papered the inside with a printed brown bag I received with the purchase of some antique bits and bobs awhile back. It was a good match with the shading of the wood and I wouldn't have to age it with paint or stain. Sweet!

The drawer was long and skinny... ideal for the arrow I wanted to add, aimed right at my poor little deer. I wanted the sub-theme to be that... she always felt like the target of their hurtful words. I couldn't find a vintage arrow at the flea market, so I did a little searching and found this amazing blog post on how to make my own. I aged mine to look old, and I was on my way to driving the point home.

I burnt a saying into the sides of the piece (I must admit that I LOVE that burnt wood smell). Then I added a little paper target to my deer and placed her in just the right position in the box... okay, I'm fibbing. The deer only fit in one way, and at that angle because of the position of the antlers. But who would know, right? This was the perfect box to use for this piece... and I was going to make it fit, dammit!

As with many of my pieces, this mixed media assemblage was an accident. It wasn't planned. It just kind of made itself. I wholeheartedly believe that the things that need to come up... well, they just come up. I made the deer on a whim... just playing around with face structure and torsos using paper clay. When I was finished it looked like a deer. When it was painted, it looked sad and wounded.

The Shakespearean reference to slings and arrows always reminded me of how all the cruel things other children said to me throughout my youth really stuck in my heart and caused me great pain. I paired these elements together to create this piece. And I have to confess... it's my new favorite.

I know that in my art making, part of it is to get out my own personal emotions... even if they are based in hurt and pain. But in my art sharing, my goal is to show that there is beauty in sadness. And that it's okay to feel these feelings. It was the sadness that caused us to be the beautiful creatures we are today.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughtful Thursdays: How Be A Penny Pincher!

How many tee shirts can one person own from vacation spots they've visited over the years, right? I mean... at one point I owned more tees than there were days of summer! So what's a girl to do? Switch gears and start collecting pressed pennies! They're fun to collect, they don't take up much room (a whole lot less than a shirt!), and they only cost 51¢. But then I had a box full of squished pennies... so now what?

Well, I decided to show off my souvenir savvy by creating a fun and whimsical bracelet with many of the pennies I had collected over the years. It was great choosing which ones to use because they all had special memories and I got to re-live each trip as I sifted through them.

And since I am a collector of "things" I had lots of goodies to use as charms including vintage Cracker Jack toys, beads, brass stampings, findings and so on. I love my new bracelet and I'm on to collecting more pressed pennies for the next one... that's the other fun part!

Want to find out more about collecting squished pennies? Check out the Penny Collector Website. Want to know where all the penny machines are? Check out this list, divided by state and country.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You Calling Me Fat?

That's okay... because it's Fat Tuesday!! And although it was an entire year ago, my trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans still feels like yesterday. And so on this fun and festive anniversary... I thought I'd bore you with (oops, I mean share again) the wrap up from my bucket list expedition, down the bayou....

What can I say about my vacation to New Orleans... wow, what a trip! Although it was the week prior to Mardi Gras, there was no lack of things to do, places to go, and people to watch! Until you're in New Orleans, you just don't realize how large and diverse this riverside town is... from the French Quarter to the Riverwalk... from the Garden District to the Arts-laden Warehouse section—and everything in-between—there was always something happening!

The French Quarter was an interesting mix of early 19th century 2- and 3-story row buildings, shops and yummy restaurants. In fact, I had some of the best food ever on this trip! Mmmmm mmmmm.

I loved all the old neon signs throughout the city (didn't know Walgreens was even around that long!).

And New Orleans is really creative with their new signs as well... whether it's a chalkboard announcing upcoming bands at the House of Blues (what a fabulous use of fontography!)...

...or the entrance to one of their many interesting shops!

Royal Street was always bustling with plenty of antique shops, cafés, street performers and bands. It was very entertaining!

Bourbon Street was crazy most of the time, especially after a parade... and well, at night... and, um, at 3 in the morning. Not for the faint of heart!

The Arts District was my kind of place with funky shops, local artisans and outsider artists. Made me want to go home and make stuff!

I did get out of town for a day to visit a Creole Sugar Plantation that was run by women (yes, that's right) for almost 200 years, beginning in the early 1800's!

One of my most favorite tours though, was a behind-the-scenes at Mardi Gras World, where all the floats are made. All these different shapes, figures and characters made from styrofoam or molded with fiberglass. It was like a giant Art Doll heaven!

I even got to see some of the float components being worked on... and then saw them in parades later on in the week!

And speaking of parades... I think I saw 8 over the course of the week we were in New Orleans. Each one is put on by a different group, and has a specific theme which is evident throughout the floats. And, let me tell you, when it comes to being politically correct... well, there is no such thing at Mardi Gras... as evidenced by one of my fave floats... Glazed And Confused!!!

And... let us not forget about bead acquisition... a huge part of Mardi Gras! It's actually pretty exciting, waving your hands, trying to get beads and more thrown in your direction. You put them around your neck until it aches and you still want more! It's addictive. I actually captured a drive-by-beading...

Oh, and let's not forget about the doggie parade... Barkus! No, that's not a crawfish honey... there's doggie in there!

Some doggies got a little tired...

And no vacation in New Orleans is complete without a trip to the Riverfront Flea Market to shop for fun souvenirs and a visit to Cafe du Monde where you can get Beignets covered—I mean buried!—in powdered sugar and a tasty chicory-flavored Café au Lait...

All-in-all it was a great trip and I can cross another one off the Bucket List. Thanks for coming along for the ride! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thoughtful Thursdays: Says Who?

It was the inability to tie myself down to only one type of artistic endeavor that led me to contemplate that all-important question... WHY? I think about it often. Do I get bored easily? Am I fickle? Are there just so many facets of my personality that I can't keep them all tied down? And why am I worrying about why?

Well, being around a lot of artists... I've been told that I should concentrate on one style or one medium if I ever want to be successful. And I get that. If people recognize your style, then you're going to be able to create some type of a following. But on the other hand, if I had stayed with the same category... I might still be doing photography or rubber stamping hand made cards! Oh the humanity. I never would have experimented with lots of other mediums and combined them all into my own style in this new discipline they call... Mixed Media!

And then I realized... I see art as a release of my emotions. And when people tell me I should only make one kind of art.... it's like telling me I'm not allowed to feel all those different feelings. But that's not going to happen (because I have a lot!). I had enough of holding back my feelings for this lifetime.... and they're all coming out... as a unique and significant array of artistic creations, thank-you-very-much!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Conversations (of the) Heart

Sometimes when Valentine's Day rolls around, it's easy to get a little sad when you don't have a special someone in your life. Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with being on my own right now.... it's definitely where I need to be at this moment. Although I must admit, I'm a hopeless romantic and very much enjoy having someone by my side to share life's little moments with. But from now on... it has to be the right person.

It seems that in my life, I had a habit of choosing and staying with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. And though there are many reasons... there's one that stands out most and I thought I would share it with you. Just in case you might need it one day. Don't worry, it's not scary, it's actually very empowering. So here goes...

We cannot be for someone else, what we cannot be for ourselves.

So what does that mean? It means that if we look for someone else to be the source of something we're lacking (or vice-versa), then it's not really coming from within, it's coming from that other person. Let's say I had low self-esteem, and I started dating someone with low self-esteem. We have this in common, so we understand each other, and can relate to each other. Together we can "conquer the world!" But wait. We still both have low self-esteem. We can't teach each other to have high self-esteem (although it feels like we do because we're adored by this other person). And so when one person leaves, that false sense of self-esteem goes right along with it. Funny thing is, it was never really there. But it sure does feel like you lost it. And it goes both ways. They feel like they lost it too.

I've found that relying on others — or having others rely on me for something they're lacking — may work in the short run, but doesn't really end up well in the long run. In good news, it's been an eye-opener for me and has given me inspiration to find these strengths within myself, so that I can bring them to my next relationship. The great news is, that I have not given up on Love. Nor will I ever. There's plenty of that to go around, and loving myself is the first step.

Have a happy, heartfelt Valentine's Day everyone!

Much love,
Michelle xoxo

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thoughtful Thursdays: Who Are You?

I really wanna know! Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who? (don't you just love that song!)

But seriously, folks... I really would like to know who the people are coming to visit my blog. Are you an artist? A crafter? What do you make? Or do you enjoy other people's artwork and creations? What's your favorite? Journaling... collage... assemblage... dolls... jewelry... something else?

What do you do for a living? Are you an artist too? Or do you have a regular J-O-B? Are you a stay-at-home parent? Or maybe you have some very unique story!

What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you create stuff too? Like what? Do you have any hobbies? Tell me more!

And last but not least... what brings you here? What is it about my Yesterday's Trash blog that you enjoy? Because I'd love to give you more of it!

As always... thank YOU for visiting!! xox

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where Have I Been Lately?

You know... I'm not really sure where I've been lately. Off in Dream-land somewhere, I guess. Doesn't that sound like a nice place to live? And if the town colors were aquamarine and magenta like this old, faded sign at Coney Island boardwalk, well... I think I could live there forever.

In actuality, I've been crunching numbers while I review my first full year as an independent art business and, well... the picture's not a pretty one. Seems there's only so much one person can make in a year... and all that stuff doesn't add up to enough. But, I've been dreaming up some newer, bigger ideas in hopes that I can continue to make art my business. So it's back to Dream-land for me... just for a little while.

Sweet dreams xoxo