Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Portland Wonderland Part Two

...Zine Scene & Books...

     Every time I come to Portland, I vow to buy some ZinesI've never gotten to them, until this trip. They are little pamphlet booklets, usually made with a page or two. Zerox copied and stapled together. Sold for just a few bucks, without a publisher. ...Their subjects are varied and really...anything goes. During my visit, we went to three different book stores. The biggest and most famous is Powell's Book Store. It's Gianormous! 

They actually hand out a map, just so that you can navigate it's many floors and rooms! It's like shopping a warehouse. Do ya need a work out? 'Cause they have many stairways to get you to the next room full of books. 

A few days later, the hubster and I did the complete opposite. We went to a teeny tiny book store that houses Microcosm Publishers. It's a two room house, packed with Zines and small books. If you want to check them out online, they're over here: Microcosmpublishing.com 

I adore their sign! I shoulda took a pic of the actual store. It's bright green with purple trim. :)

Here are a few Zines and books that I bought. The book above, "This Is Portland," so funny. It's about a dude's move to Portland and the places that he thinks you should visit. The places that you might not think of and for cheap! I haven't gotten to the others yet, but yeah, I mostly chose books about Portland. The tree finder will come in handy. My dad does woodworking and we're constantly say'in, what's that?! 

I'm set for Portland guides! I went over board. ;)

The person who rang up my books, threw in extras! Stickers, a button and catalogs to share. EAU/AFA peeps, let me know if you want one. 

Another small shop, but a bit fancier...Reading Frenzy. They have a lot of art related books too!

I bought a small art Zine from here. It has what looks like real block/screen printing and Zerox prints. 

This Zine also came with a link for free music to go with the art. :)

Last, but not least, Uwajimaya. It's a Japanese grocery store, but it also has a bookstore inside. I've bought craft books from them before, but not this trip. 

Their books and mag's are pure eye candy! ;)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Portland Wonderland Part One

...dig'in the weirdness...

   I just got back home yesterday, from a fab little trip to my parent's place. (Okay, so they live in Washington state, but Portland's right on the other side of the Columbia River.) So yeah, Portland Oregon, a weird sorta place. It's a good weird though. Especially if you are into art, food and tree hugging! 
   This time around it was just my youngest small fry and I. With a small cooler and a bag full of junk food, Jeryn and I took our 10ish hour trip from our place in North California to Washington State. 

Anyhoot, a big part of our trips have to do with food. Personally, I want to go to all of the places with weird names, but mom was with us, so I tried to pick something she would look forward to. This excursion was into the East Side Industrial District. I chose this little noodle shop called Boke Bowl. Not sure how you pronounce it, but...well...whatev's right?!

Their fare can be described as hip/infusion. We went with the more traditional stuff though...we were HUNGRY! Hard to think in that state of being. ;) The Ramen, which we call Saimin...it's the same thing, was good. Not ah-mazing.....but I've eaten SO much Ramen in my life, I can't tell you if you would dig it or not. However, their steamed buns....totally fab! They had one with a traditional filling of pork belly, but they had some unusual offerings too. Besides the pork belly, we also tried the fried chicken bun and the brisket bun. (They had a pb&J bun and tofu succotash w/ avacado too!)

You can watch the dude making all of the steam buns as you stuff your face! :)

After chowing down...we realized that there were a ton of fabulous antique shops and boutiques. Mind you, all hidden in industrial warehouses. Passing by on the highway...you woulda never suspected. 

We wandered into this warehouse called Cargo. They mostly had Asian items, but you can find many different thangs from many different places. They had SO much stuff....it's hard to figure out what to look at first!

Should I check out the gazillion Kokeshi dolls?....or maybe the Day of the Dead stuff?

They had a great section of blue textiles. Reminded me of Shibori dying. The best part though, was having my small fry photo bombing some of my pics. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pocket Letter!

...It's a new thang...

   So, there's this new thing going on. It's called a Pocket Letter. It's a new way to send a letter to your pen pal. It was created by Janet Lane and seems to have exploded on to the crafter's scene.  Check out her website to see how it all got started. I was introduced to this by my arty friend Sara Pirc. Thanks Sara! 

   A pocket letter is constructed with the use of a 9 pocket baseball card page holder. Some of the basic things to include is an About Me pocket, A letter, Tea, Stickers, Washi Tape, Quotes...etc. I think that's cool, but I like to sketch and receive sketched work too. When I did mine, I did an art side and a commercial side. (The backside) Here's what I did...

   My pal Voula Vitzilaiou and I share a birthday month....hence the birthday theme I've got going on. :)

When I did my sketches, I kept the paper whole while painting. It started off as three strips of paper going across. I did, however, try to consider the transitions going length wise as well. I made the colors go from warm to cool. Then each strip was cut to fit the pockets. 

A birthday quote I found on Pinterest. :)

Here's the backside. I used all of my commercial stuff and that's fun too! There's a pocket with a few stickers, a Washi tape sampler and my mom's favorite Jasmine tea. When it's steeped, I love the smell. On Voula's profile wish list she asked for US postage for swaps. I add a few for her.

I came across some of my Smashbook tags. I thought this one would be fun to include. It's all the things I can be caught saying on AFA posts. :)

Last but not least I added a Fortune Fish...it...well...tell's your fortune. :P It doesn't fit in the pockets so I just added it between the folds...

Yep, this thing can fold up and be shipped in a standard business envelope. This one is going to Greece. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Artful Upcycling

...not bored with cardboard...

    A friend of mine that I lovingly call Nan Glam...(it's too long of a name for me to remember how to spell it!) Anyways, she's hosting a 4x6 cardboard swap. You can paint, sketch, or pretty much do anything on it...as long as it's artful and done on a 4x6 piece. I promised to do a walk through for it...so yep...it starts with a simple sketch...always does.

The top pic is my pencil sketch and the bottom is the sketch lined with a Micron pen. Also, I purposely chose a printed card board. I like that it gives a little bit of interest. 

This time around, I'm using water soluble wax pastels. The pastels are large and difficult to get into narrow spaces. I add a little in the general area I'm trying to color, then go in with a blending stump. It's just rolled up paper. Sometimes called a Tortillon. I did not use water. 

I added a little bit of magenta and blended those in. Then, yet again, with the slightest bit of light green. To finish the blooms, I used an Acrylic paint pen to stipple in the yellow stamens.

No secret here...I just added a dark blue around the blooms and blended it in. Next, I took a light blue and butt that up next to the darker color. Blended those two together. 

Alrighty, I did a big no no. I re-lined my blooms with out sealing it first. Don't forget, that stuff is all water soluble. It'll jack up your pen. So, seal it first with clear coat spray...then line. :)

This is the finished work. I used a Pentel Color brush pen to write out, "Spring Is." I tried to date stamp it, but the stamp didn't make complete contact...but I left it alone. In the corner is an old stamp that I thought looked like the ones in the drawing. I smudged some pastels on that so that it wouldn't be blinding white. To finish it up I scribbled around the flowers with a white Recollection pen.