paper please

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

a sampling of some of the kinds of papers I'm on the look out for

Here's the thing ... my latest thing - since I am now thick and deeply into this collage love I desire to assemble the biggest, baddest, best, most eclectic, most vintage stash of paper ... ever.

and seeing as I live in a tiny seaside village miles & miles away (happily I might add) from civilization, a Michaels and/or a Deserres (art supplies) store I've decided to borrow this fantastic idea (and words) found over at the lovely, collage artist blog - Magic Jelly .

If you have any found paper laying around that you don't mind parting with & posting to me, I will in return, make you a 3 x 3 matted collage with some of the paper you send & ship it back to you, keeping the rest of the paper for my own projects. You get some 29 Black Street Lil Art and I get some paper joy!

  • receipts & invoices
  • old Cavellini calenders (I know some people don't actually hang on to every little thing)
  • advertisements from magazines, comics, etc. (I love the little ads in the back pages)
  • pages from books, magazines, comics, ledgers & notebooks
  • patterned end papers from books would be great
  • labels & packaging
  • envelopes, letters, stamps & postcards
  • anything with handwriting on it, particularly old-fashioned pen & ink
  • anything without writing on it such as notepaper, graph paper, etc.
  • anything with writing love, love, love handwriting and script
  • paper that is aged, yellow, spotty, stained, even torn is fine
  • greeting cards & gift wrap
  • wallpaper
  • sheet music
  • maps, maps, maps pages from old atlases, pages from old text books
  • photos, especially old portraits
  • flyers, forms, theatre programs, etc.
  • patterned tissue paper is especially nice

Even better is ephemera from different cultures - China, Japan, India, Mexico, etc. Colourful, decorated paper is nice, but not essential - some of my favourite pieces are regular white paper that has aged to varying shades of yellow & brown.

So I'm hoping that before you toss that next piece of Hey ! this could be in a collage over there in Nova Scotia paper in the recycling bin you'll say to yourself Ahhh ... I might put that in my Stash for Susan. When you've collected a little bundle of paper goodness then mail it to me ... I promise that I will promptly* make you a collage, mat it, sign and send it off with lots of love.

When your bundle is ready to be mailed just email me and I'll send our address. Thanks !!!

* a big ol' ahemmm to Shammy Sham recipient of the world's tardiest 15 things swap parcel

we watched Midnight Cowboy last night - perhaps the saddest movie ever - I love these lyrics


Monday, August 30, 2010

6x9 mixed media collage - or - a whole lotta red fun !

Creativity is ...
inventing, experimenting,
growing, taking risks,
breaking rules, making mistakes
and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

Well ... there's no question that I'm having fun, loads & loads of fun and feeling buzzed, like a drug, with all this enthusiasm, happiness & creativity. The days fly by and honestly I barely leave the much loved TTD*, I'm finding it difficult to pull myself away - and let me tell you for the self employed creative type nearing my 10th anniversary of self employedness - this rejuvenation of spirit and desire is nothing short of amazing. It is thrilling. Because I am no longer a solitary (and very lonely) soul struggling through each day, because I now share the burdens and joys of life and finances, it's given me the freedom and courage to run skipping up to new cliffs to leap bravely off of them. And I'm getting the hang of this leaping.

In those 10 years I never had this luxury, this luxury of in house love and I am so very grateful.

Creativity takes courage

Henri Matiss

I'm allowing myself to fall. To fall, to fail, to try ... and I'm having a ball doing it, all the while continuing the hunt and search for some big fat bacon to bring home to contribute to our family pot. Cast your net wide and far, girlfriend ... surely you'll catch something.

My latest submission is to Uppercase, way cool and unbelievably gorgeous creative journal which often has little you too can be in the magazine submission projects. The latest of which was to design a book cover - your autobiography. The bottom image is my submission. What fun was had. Deadline for submitting is today and I submitted mine last night - Uh Huh ! Uh Huh ! even a day early √ Hey ! I'm just keepin' on puttin' it out there ... leaping ... leaping.

*TTD - beloved teak topped desk - a gift from my friend Harry

on a sunday

Sunday, August 29, 2010

some scenes from the past few days

a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content


good things

Saturday, August 28, 2010

sweet million cherry tomatoes from our potted garden and a little pottery bowl I made

Kindness in words creates confidence
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.

Lao Tzu

corn on the cob from the valley
coffee with my sweetie*
a creative passion inside me that's bustin'
a hot, smelly bath
the pinkest clouds outside my window this early morning
the harbour as still as glass
missy d's patient snoring at my feet
the saturday farmers market
kind words and so much lovely encouragement - merci !
best email friends in foreign lands
my buddy, my sentry, my best darn design associate, my red retriever in disguise

things just get better and better

* a friend asked me about my sweetie in an email yesterday. That darn cowboy, the handsome, handiest man ever, the one with the tall moustache. She said you don't mention him much anymore and I don't. I think after the initial shock of How could this be happening ? of every darn dream coming true in an instant, the Oh My GoodNess (and I do mean Good Ness) I've been struck my lovely lightening, it 'tis a Miracle of the very best kind. All of that caused me to want to Shout & Sing from les roof tops, & blog & include shocking photos here of us kissing - Gasp! OMG Please - where was my head ? Up in those lovely, mad pink clouds. Believe it or not, I consider myself to be quite a private person, now I know that may seem tres contrary to the person you've come to know here at 29 Black Street, that heart on sleeve person. It seems his love & our life together has helped put my heart back inside, where it belongs, snug and cozy.

more food for thought

Friday, August 27, 2010

a few of my current inspirations and imaginations

A page from a very old book called The Sentiment of Flowers and a page of scrap booking paper recently purchased at Michael's are a few of my current inspirations and imaginations. My desk (and office) is a wreck this early morning - that's the thing about working with collage, your work area can very quickly look like a bomb went off (although a very beautiful bomb of colour and pattern, texture and ephemera). So often I have to ask Miss D who's almost always snoozing in her well padded den at my feet Did you see that tiny piece of ocean map that I just cut out ? Sigh.

We drank our coffee in darkness this early morning, tucked in under the covers, a favourite past time. A nearly full moon shining in on us (and Oliver - who have I mentioned lately is the absolute best ! cat ! ever !). We listen to the sounds of crows, seagulls, a loon* far off in the distance, a few boats leaving the harbour beginning their day and that August steady humming chorus of crickets - constant and beautiful, the air wafting in our wide open windows feeling fresh and just a bit cooler this morning. September is indeed on it's way.

Well my comments remain open this morning and thank you all for your opinions, commiserations and thoughts. It's funny I'd never thought of simply deleting a comment that felt not helpful, hurtful or just plain boorish. I can be so black & white about things - comments off or comments on. I am still questioning the idea of comments on this blog. I don't have them on my portfolio blog and as I grow more confident with this medium I wonder if they can do me more harm then good. Yes it's very true, I have built and continue to grow and nurture an amazing community of friends and kindred spirits and I do email back and forth with almost all of those women - some more often than others. I'm not really worried about losing that community.

A reminder to all of us and in all areas of our lives is simply Be nice, or Be quiet. Take a moment before you speak to consider how your words might land and ask are they adding anything?

I received an email yesterday from a fellow creative blogger, her thoughts on the topic

As much as I love comments, they are a double edged sword, I feel hurt if there are none and then sometimes I just don't "get" the comments that are left and then other times I feel bad for not responding to comments, feel like I should. It would sure lighten the load to not have comments to worry about and people would not feel obligated to leave them.

I think that yes, if someone is moved enough, has something to say and wants to contact me they will send an email.

and Kelly Rae Roberts has this to say about closing the comments on her own blog

It’s a personal choice I made when I began to feel like I was writing less and less for my creative + personal expression and more and more for an audience. For me, keeping the comments closed is the only way I know how to keep my writing personal, vulnerable, and purposeful to my creative journey.

I, like many of us who blog, am deeply affected by that darn comment section - by the things said (even more by the things not said), and very often crushed, a little, by the absence of comments. If you've been hanging out here at 29 Black Street awhile you'll know I manage to find plenty to worry about without adding Why are there no comments today ? or I wonder what she meant by that ? to my ever growing pile of frets. By not having comments - all those niggling questions disappear and my blog might grow into something else. Still pondering ... out loud.

* the darn loon called out to me Hey ! watch out all Susan's hopes, dreams and wishes ;-)

good stuff

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh so handsome Oliver with rarely seen, feral boy Gus (renamed Virgil by the cowboy)

If you can't say anything nice
don't say anything at all

I am sitting on the fence this early morning when it comes to the issue of comments -
I'm mulling over my choices 1. leaving them be as they are free, easy & open 2. considering (but not very seriously) adding comment moderation or 3. just getting rid of the comment section all together. A good friend recently took a blogging break because of this very issue. She sighed a big ol' sigh and closed her blog down for awhile and I don't blame her.

Oh it is so true isn't it ?
If you can't say anything nice, kind, constructive*, helpful, concerned, questioning ....
then let's ask ourselves, really ... why say anything at all ? why comment ? e-d-i-t

Thankfully most comments we receive here at 29 Black Street are of the tres positive, encouraging, delightful & funny (snort! yes ! I mean you Shammy Sham) variety. I have never felt the need or desire to use comment moderation and still don't but after a recent wtf downer comment left on a post in which I was flying high as can be with enthusiasm and optimism a comment that left me with my mouth hanging open thinking ... Huh ??? I am seriously considering removing the comments altogether.

And the reason I'm considering this is that unfortunately that one in a hundred poopy, stinkin', some one's in a bad mood and found there way over here to vent comment stuck with me, stuck on me for days. It's not even what the comment said so much as it was that someone hadn't the sense to know that their comment wasn't helpful and could wound or hurt. Could deflate a buoyant mood and that makes me feel sad. That day I kept wanting to add my own comment asking ... and your point is ?? but I didn't because I'm not interested in participating in that sort of back and forth negative volley.

Why do we have comments on our blogs ? What purpose to they serve ? What do they mean to us ? Do the regulars who comment influence how and what we say ? Am I strong enough to not need them ? This curious mind really does want to know and please your opinions on this issue are welcome. It's a lesson I guess for all of us, myself included, because we are all fragile creatures just trying to do our best - if we can't be kind and supportive to one another then ... lets zip it ? OK ?

If I do choose to remove the comment section I know I will still hear from many of you by email
and please do write ... anytime + all the time. We love hearing good stuff.

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh ! that felt so good - off of me darn ol' Yuckiness
* I especially enjoy and welcome creative critiques from my artist/designer peers re my work

the beach boys - sigh - heard at the grocery store yesterday - songs of my youth

I do believe

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

stormy clouds and great blue heron

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist. We create it.
The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.


my desire, my passion is thudding inside my heart this early morning with such intensity it's almost too much. I had a lunch date planned today with a friend but I'm going to reschedule because I can't and don't want to leave the teak topped desk - it's that bad - it's that good !
I'm so excited, I need to breath and walk with my best girl Missy D. I am working on the most fantastic project - it's a pitch, an on-spec presentation, not a done deal yet but I have been given, or I should say, I have created for myself the most wonderful opportunity - and look out world 'cause Madam Invincible's back and she's so rockin' on !


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

shimmering early morning waters along the crescent beach

Could it be ...

Could it be true that this blog of mine, this place here at 29 Black Street is and has been transforming from a once often angst ridden, lonely, sad and fearful too much of the time place into the home of a mostly content, dare I say happy, seldom afraid, and totally busting with creative energy woman.

I'm continuing my favourite mantra - good things come

I do believe that blogging has had so much to do with the amazing transformation in my life.
And you ... you know who you are out there ... a big warm thank you to you !

8:00 am update - Miss D and I are just back from our walk along the harbour and beach and there are men on our roof. Lots of men scraping loudly, old shingles. We are having a section of our roof repaired and reshingled. Guess who's handling all of that ?? sighing. Mr. Smartest Man I Know is out (and up) there too. Helping, observing and chatting away happily in their language. Bye bye beautiful Virgina Creeper vine, who used to climb up the back chimney making curtains unnecessary in our upstairs bath, so long. Roofers, I'm afraid (& some cowboys) just don't get beautiful climbing vines ... even if they do turn a gorgeous & vivid crimson colour in autumn.

the passionate observer

Monday, August 23, 2010

hello sweet white spider living high atop your castle of white phlox blossoms ... hello

I was beyond thrilled to discover this small white spider while prowling around in the tangled front gardens of 29 Black Street. I actually noticed him first while posting yesterdays series of photos - if you check back, you'll find him in the third photo* from the bottom. Later I went outside, camera in tow, looking for him and sure enough there he sat basking in the sunshine at the very top of the huge clump of scented white phlox that grows at the edge of our driveway. Unfortunately my presence alarmed him and he scurried quite quickly for cover ... I will return and I'm hoping that in the ways of Gerald Durrell (another hero of mine) this spider will become acquainted with me and allow me to take a much finer portrait of he or she.

Thinking of spiders, and August seems to be the best month for observing spiders, reminded me as well of Henri Fabre and I rushed to my own library of insect books and grabbed this beautifully illustrated book (cover below). He also wrote a real page turner The Life of the Spider, a more fascinating & complex creature you'll be hard pressed to find ... trust me.

Oh my ... I so could have been an entomologist.

Seek those who find your road agreeable,
your personality and mind stimulating,
your philosophy acceptable, and your experiences helpful.
Let those who do not, seek their own kind.

Jean Henri Fabre

* 8th photo from the bottom yesterday, a big fat yellow neighbour spider climbing the pinks


Sunday, August 22, 2010

late August love

Oh you set up your place in my thoughts
Moved in and made my thinking crowded
Now we're out in the back with the barking dogs

I could go crazy on a night like tonight
When summer's beginning to give up her fight
And every thought's a possibility
And voices are heard, but nothing is seen
Why do you spend this time with me
May be an equal mystery

Indigo Girls - Mystery

Winnie Dixon and I were driving the other afternoon, we were out and about just she and I doing a few errands. She loves to go in the car, she always sits in the passenger's seat, she always has. Driving with the windows rolled down, Missy D's shaggy nose pointed out the window, her eyes closed. Sun shining, hot summer air and blue cloudless skies. This song came on and I turned it up. It's one of the songs on the 2 mixed cds that I made for the cowboy a lifetime ago, or so it seems, that I made for him to take on his long & winding road trip west nearly a year ago.

How all this goodness happened to me and my life is indeed a mystery ... an amazing mystery

I've posted these words and this song before on this blog and I likely will again.
because I love them, they make me feel sad, they make me feel happy, they make me so wistful