Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: March 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Days 80-86

Hi folks!

Here's the animation of the book you've all been waiting for, and yet it's a GIF, and that's why it looks funky.  I kind of like the funk though.  Tell me what you think!

It loses some detail in the transition, but you can still make out some of the most important parts.  And it was pretty fun to make, which along with it having a lot or personal meaning made it really rewarding to me.  And now there's yet another new project from The Art Assignment that you're all able to participate in, it was just posted today -

I don't know what I'll be doing for that one yet, but I'm definitely going to doing it.  In fact I think I might even incorporate it into some of my upcoming art lessons that I'll be teaching!  I actually just got off the phone with someone about it; I'll be teaching their teenager, focusing on drawing mostly.  So I'm really excited about that, and am already getting ideas for a first lesson pulled together.  If you have any particularly fun activities you feel were good for your learning project, please feel free to share them with me!

See you tomorrow!
Love, Lydia

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 79

Hi everyone,

Today is the photo post I promised!  So, between all the ice and stormy weather we've had I've been working away.  First up a quick glance at the view of the latest ice storm from my studio window.

The biggest project that I've been working on in the past week is creating an art book.  The idea for it was sparked by a video series call The Art Assignment, which is put together by John Green (yes the author and YouTube guy) and PBS.  Episode 3 is what mine is based on (you can check it out Here on YouTube), and it's called Intimate, Indispensable GIF.  The premise, in short, is to focus on something that is at the core of who you are and indispensable to you.  For myself I decided that was essentially memories.  So I'm looking at my own experiences, connections, and relationships in a handmade book.  I took step by step photos of the process:
The folded piece is a simple cardstock sheet that makes the interior pages of the book.  Because it folds out rather than having turning pages the images expand beyond the space of their containment the more you open it.  From there I measured the folded up page size and cut thicker matte board slightly larger (1/8 in on each side) to create the framework of the cover.  The the outer covering is cut 3/4 in larger on each side with 1/8 in between the spine and front/back cover boards.  I got the instructions for creating this from Bookworks by Sue Doggett.
Next I made some wheat flour paste by mixing 1 cup water and 1 rounded tablespoon wheat flour, and heating it (you can make it in the microwave using 30 second increments, stirring inbetween each).  I then cut darts in the corners of the cover paper and pasted it down.  Then I measured the inside dimensions and cut an inner lining paper 1/8 in smaller than the cover as shown and used the paste to add it to the inside cover.  As I was working on each section of this I was also working on the various pages of the book.
Here are a couple on in progress shots.  Note the empty top corner of the lefthand set of pages, for reference of which page will be pasted to the book.
 Here are the completed components right before I assembled them with the paste.  Once I had them pasted together the entire book was placed closed under some heave books as shown below.  (One of the great uses for textbooks after college!)

Tomorrow I'll be taking photos of the finished book to create the GIF from.  The process of opening and showing each page of the book should make a great little animation.

Now for a couple other pieces I've mentioned being in process, but haven't shown:
This is the piece I've been working on for Healing Ceilings, a group that encourages making art on ceiling tiles so cancer patients here in Raleigh have something other than blank ceilings during treatments.  I have a second tile, but there's no paint on it yet so it doesn't photograph very well.  This piece still has a Celtic knotwork border to be added along with the roots and background sections.
This canvas is a household project I started to cover a particularly ugly fusebox adorning our hallway.  It's essentially an under painting that I'll be applying collage elements and other details to.

Beyond all that there's the Bianca piece, a half dozen tiny collages, the seashell still life, and some other solid colored under paintings I've prepped for collages.  All the ones that are worthwhile have been shown.  I anticipate having a couple finished pieces to share next week.

So, lots of things coming along and tons to look forward to over the next few weeks.  Thanks for reading!

Love, Lydia

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Days, Oh the Days...57-78

I'm sorry, dear readers, that most of a month has flown by without a peep.  The past few weeks I've been kept busy looking for jobs, and even showing up for a couple of interviews.  I get pretty absorbed when I'm working on that kind of thing.  However, nothing has come of it so far except two great interview experiences.  One with Anthropologie, a lovely women's clothing and home goods brand, and the other with Gann Memorials, a fantastic little family company that makes plush toys for people like - Nintendo, My Little Pony, and the giant bunny featured in Iron Man 3.  I would be happy to work for either company, though I'm no longer a candidate for one of them.  And I'm still looking and applying to places too, though I'm leaning towards not worrying about it as much as I have the past few weeks.

Other news:

We've had ice storms at least every other week, though at least it's given me a little relief from spring allergies.  haha  It's also kept us from trying out the fire pit we were given for Christmas.  I'm hoping we'll have a break in the weather soon so we can invite some people over to enjoy it with us.

We went to PA for my grandfather's funeral two weekends ago.  While I wanted a little trip for a change of routine it was sad that it was for an event like this.  He had dementia for the past few years, and really couldn't remember any of his family anymore.  After a recent fall he had stopped eating and within a short time passed away in his sleep.  He lived into his mid-90s and was fairly healthy right up to the end.  I think we all feel peaceful about how it all happened, and it was nice to see so many of the relatives I see so seldom.

Twitter, it's just been an awesome way to find out what's going on in the art world.  I've probably sunk some of the time I should've been writing here into that lately, but I'm trying to get things more balanced, so you all will see me here more consistently, twice a week minimum!

Speaking if posting more I'm exploring way of making this blog part of my work.  There were some interesting ideas Here at the blog Just Between Friends in regards to a lot of the areas I was curious about.  If you have a blog that you want to develop more I suggest you check it out!

In addition, I've been thinking I'll start doing a Pinterest experiment each week as part of my blog features (that would probably give me a third posting each week!).  I've got a ton of great ideas to try out from art techniques, recipes, DIY projects, and home cleaning fixes to photography challenges.  I've got over 4000 just waiting to be tried out.  And you can take a peek at my pin boards here at

In tomorrow's post stay tuned for an art update with plenty of pictures!

Love, Lydia