This past week, I decided to play with a few amber jars and bottles I'd saved for recycling. Their deep rich tones seemed to suggest something other than the broth and supplements they'd once contained.
Just a bit of paint, paper, and tape transformed their surfaces, while rhinestone buttons (also recycled) provided a little sparkle.
I’ve been busy in the studio preparing exhibition submissions and creating new works. Lily Garden l and Reflection Over Time were selected for the Permian Basin Juried Art Exhibition at the Ellen Noël Art Museum (May 31-June 29, 2018), and a new collage, Discarded Too, is included in the National Collage Society’s Small Format Exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio (May 27-July 29, 2018).
While much of my work within the past few years has been inspired by my rural Texas roots and maternal grandparents’ immigrant experience, these exhibition pieces pay homage to my religious upbringing and the spiritual path I’ve traveled since. The various works combine some of my favorite handcrafted papers, photographs and various discarded materials, including a cigar wrapper, Ikea insert, wine label and paper bag remnants.
Time spent in the garden has been limited of late. Two weeks ago, during a particularly lovely morning, I sustained a significant hand wound when a chair I was sitting in toppled over. I knew its legs were unstable, resting on some large tree roots, but I totally underestimated the danger. Ten stitches and a tetanus shot later, I returned to the garden, rather gingerly, vowing that the remaining prongs of an old rusty rebar trellis (the culprit associated with my injury) must be removed.
Since my accident, I've felt vulnerable and subdued; but even so, I've taken great delight in observing nature's response to our extended spring. And although the doctor listed gardening as a prohibited activity during my recovery, I’ve found that one hand can remove wilted blossoms, pull a few weeds and gather a sprig or two for a tiny nosegay. Healing, I sense, requires more than a few stitches . . .
I’m a bit surprised a few yogurt containers spurred this project. From the outset, the glass jars inspired thoughts of flowers, bulbs, beans and a box, but nothing took form until recently.
This is one of three gift boxes I crafted with an assortment of recyclables, including one of the previously mentioned yogurt jars, a scented candle lid, stamps, shipping paper and paper sacks. I thought the revitalized drawer and the items within would make a nice gift box for spring.
In an earlier post, I shared some small paper pockets featuring vintage photographs and miscellany. Recently, while preparing my studio for a visitor, I placed one of the pockets on a book I’d covered with watercolor paper. The combination was so pretty, I decided to explore the idea a bit further.
Here, the paper pocket is accented with millinery flowers, a stem of Snowberries, twine and a fortune cookie slip. It's been placed among a variety of items in a gift box--just another look for a very simple design.
I’m always looking for small, creative ways to express my love and gratitude. And I’m continuously experimenting with simple wrapping methods to beautify those expressions. Here is a little project that was inspired, strangely enough, by a hotel key card envelope.
Within the white organza bags are decorative envelopes suitable for a small note, gift card or tiny ephemera. I think their pale blue and white palette would be quite pretty for any springtime occasion.
Image: Somerset Life 2018 Copyright © 2018 Stampington & Company, LLC