"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~Sir John Lubbock

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.michellehedgecock.com. Feel free to explore past posts here, then please come by for continued creative fun! If you like what you read, don't forget to "follow" my blog at its new site, to continue to receive creative fun and inspiration in your mailbox! Thank you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Creativity Evolving...changes coming!

Tree spiral by Sylvain Meyer
You will notice a small, yet wonderful change coming soon to this blog. As some of you may or may not know already, I maintain and write three blogs and a website along with keeping myself busy utilizing other sources of social media and networking like Facebook, Twitter, and my MeetUp group (Let Nature Be Your Muse)--just a few of the sites I touch base with on a daily basis in order to maintain an online presence for the work I love to do.

But trying to juggle fresh posts, articles, my art, my precious almost-5-year-old-on-summer-break, workshops and the like,I found myself muddled down in a slow-spiraling whirlpool of transition. I have been wanting to streamline my efforts for a more focused presence. I want to create more time for keeping up with and pursuing important creative goals I've set for myself. In order to do this more productively, it's time I've combined my efforts and said good-bye to certain "hats."

Taking this step has been difficult for me. It was energy and time tempered with fear and insecurity-based procrastination. I kept feeling like I wasn't handling things or failing at my work. I took a long nap in limbo and overwhelm. But after about ohhhhh, say nearly a YEAR of letting this paralyze me from taking the leap, I'm ready. Let's face it, I get annoyed with inaction and now opportunities are presenting themselves.

Turns out it's not such a huge leap so much as a little hop now.

That's where the exciting news comes in to play! I will be breathing life into the Mouse House ART blog by integrating all of those wonderful creativity exercises and insights inspired by nature that I share on my sister blog. I will eventually be phasing out that blog altogether. I find it quite appropriate to sprinkle in those resources here because these are ideas and expressions that inspire me and turn up in my own work that I share here already--and will continue to do so.

I will continue to keep things personal, definitely continue to share my art, along with creativity exercises to get each of our creative juices flowing. You'll also get a variety of prompts to add to your creative stash plus updates on my upcoming workshops along with the goodies that participants create--which is always fun! My goal is to make Mouse House ART more valuable to you as a creativity resource, with more interaction through these changes.

So...I hope you will embrace this change with me and enjoy what I share with you, and hopefully we will get to know each other a little better too :)

Now print out this long *ss post and create a black out poem!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paranormal Inspiration

I found these great velum tags in the $1 bin at JoAnn's Fabric & Craft store and liked them, so I bought them. At first I thought I'd use them as price tags, but soon did not like that idea. I thought they would make a neat addition to something else. But what it was, I wasn't sure. I liked the idea of painting an image on the backside to create a velum film, or placing it over images for a neat affect. 

Fast forward to an evening catching up with my favorite ghost hunting and paranormal shows. Inspired by the shows I decided to experiment with using the tags as a window. I didn't want to pull out all the paints, so I grabbed my Micron ink pens to see if I could get something ghostly and distorted, something creepy to emerge in the spirit of the paranormal. This is what I ended up with:

I kinda like it, I wish I could do creepier but I like how it came out. I drew directly onto one velum tag, turned it over, then placed a second velum tag over that, bending the first tag (the one with the drawing underneath) just slightly to give a little space in between the two tags to blurr out the image to the degree I wanted. I wanted her fingertips to be against the window, so I enhanced them a little on the top tag, to match up with the hand underneath. I added the wire to hold them together and in place, but also to add a chaotic trapped feeling, I like how the wire shows through a tiny bit from the other side too. 

Here's the backside:


Front, with a little backlight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Junk Drawer Art

This past weekend I was treated to a fantastic 2-day workshop called Junk Drawer Metalsmithing, taught by artist Stephanie Lee. It was a great experience to indulge in such creative play in the pines at the beautiful Idyllwild Arts Academy campus. I learned plenty of new techniques I've never tried before and instantly became hooked on more than a couple! I only wish the class was more than two days...

One of my favorite little pieces I made beginning with a brass
plate I cut & prepped then flooded with solder, followed by a
simple stamp while still molten. Eyelets added for a more finished

The class was actually for creating jewelry, but I (along with a few other participants) had other applications in mind as well--like found art assemblage ;) The etching and solder-stamping techniques I learned will definitely show up in future art pieces of mine. I REALLY need to practice some of the other techniques she taught (like flooding solder for bevels, to hold resin pieces), but either way I will be exploring and tweaking metal, junk and resin in a whole new way for a while as I came home completely inspired to try several ideas, and to continue creating with the tricks Stephanie shared with us!

Below are a couple of pictures showing our starting materials (along with rubber stampls, etchant, patina solution, a mini-torch, soldering, hammering/filing and resin) and the little pieces I created. The junk-drawer items I ended up using were a small toy dinosaur (skeleton), a piece of ball chain, a glass pebble, an art coin, and a Sharpie:

Our starting metals and scrubbies for burnishing. The second
image shows my cut and shaped pieces along with my first
attempt at creating a piece for casting resin (I also patina'd).
The little dino-skull was made from creating a mold in Sculpey
clay & dripping solder into it, then removing.

My first piece with patina & now a resin pour,
the clay is there to protect my seam.

My haul! This is what I was able to complete during the two days. Half will end
up as jewelry pieces--particularly that etched rabbit! The rest will find homes
in assemblages. (Click photo to enlarge for better details)