6 Players - 6 Months

We'll, Leonardo bunny has joined in a little Round Robin with six other folks. They are making a set of custom pages for each other, one a month for six months. Each player chose their theme and format and the others make them pages for their books.

Leonardo started the round with one if his favorite people, Elizabeth and her theme was Rust. Now if there is one thing we know a lot about living below the ground it is the effects of oxidation on metals.

So Leonardo was casting around and found a great little rusted tin can that was all falling apart and knew he had to include that in his art work.

Here's his description of what he created:

"I love the colors in rust and metals in general, so it was a great gift that E wanted rust pages. I started with a half sheet of Arches 300 lb cold press rough watercolor paper. I tore it down to the 8 1/2 by 11 size and painted it with acrylics. I used raw sienna, burnt umber, mars black, iridescent copper and iridescent b ronze paints to create a basic underpainting on all sheets. Arches is such a fabulous paper, 100% cotton rag mould made in France on machines which have been in production since before the US was a country. The 300 lb (640 g/m2) paper is somewhat like the thickness of multiple cereal boxes combined, but the texture is pure heaven to an artist.

On the sides where I knew I would be including the rusted metals I added a fine coat of a gold glitter acrylic polymer is some sweeping strokes.

I love the Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg and I remembered the one about the hydrangeas, so I painted the turning hydrangeas on the front page to embrace that. The petals were painted with some tiny poly 'berry' brushes and they really came out neat. I bronzed up the leaves a bit to echo the turning of the petals.
Whenever I think about rust I think about diamonds - thanks to Joan Baez. So I made the inside two page spread for the first part of the quote from her song. Using a heavy coating of acrylic polymers I glued the rusted metal to the recto side and used the verso side for the quote. I embedded a few of the crystals on the metals page, but saved most of them for the final verso.
The song chronicles a time in her life when Bob Dylan (a former lover) called one evening from a booth in the Midwest. She originally ended the song with the phrase, "if you're offering Diamonds and Rust, I already paid." In the past few years she has changed that lyric to read, "I'll take the diamonds."

So my pages take the best of some wonderful poetry and include a simple composition, but complex media choice to bring some diamonds to a good friend I have never met.

I also included one of my signature ATC type cards which are painted on retail store gift cards and a candle shelter made from handmade batik papers.
Thanks E for inviting me to participate in the group."

Leonardo Rabbit

(click the pictures for a closer look)

Zig Zag Binding Tutorial

Dymphie has been kind enough to share her video on completing the Zig Zag binding. Subtitles are in English and Dutch. I'll post a stitching diagram later.

Spirit of the Trees - handpainted purse/netbook/iPad carrier

Spirit of the Trees is a vintage purse which has been upcycled with original acrylic art to make your statement about Earth Day. The classic pigskin leather has been carefully prepared and then lovingly embellished by Frida with the Tree Spirits. The front of the purse shows a loving sun shining down on a large tree and a small grove. The back shows a single large tree in all its wondrous glory.

This purse originally had a strap which ran through it to make an extra closure. That strap is missing, but the magnet button closure on the interior is as good as new.

An extra bonus with Spirit of the Trees is that it not only holds the normal purse items, but it can be used as a carry bag for your netbook or iPad(c)*. We show it accepting the Dell netbook in either vertical or horizontal position. Plenty of room for the electronics and it still can hold your keys and wallet and that urgent hard-copy report.

Frida used artist quality acrylic paints for the trees, on a gesso prepared surface. The paintings have then been sealed with a polymer acrylic coating. This coating means you can easily wipe off any spills or errant dirt. We do recommend gentle handling overall as this is a piece of traveling fine art.

The inside of the purse contains one small zippered pocket and a quality lining. There are no signs of wear on the purse body, the shoulder strap has very slight fraying on the end. You have Surfbunny's satisfaction guarantee - see our ETSY shop policies for details on purchasing Spirit of the Trees and our guarantee

* iPad is copyright by Apple Computers

Palm Leaf Structure Book

Phred was into his meditation one evening last week and although mindfulness was not on his mind, this book came to him. He tells me "Spirit Guide" is a palm leaf structure book like the Buddhist texts in Tibet and Nepal. Each leaf (page) is a separate sheet of handmade paper. The paper includes recycled mail bits, rose petals and Darjeeling tea leaves.

The cover is hand lettered by Frida with the Tibetan script for the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra. Each leaf contains one of the names of the Dalai Lama and the Om mantra. Turning the leaf is expressive of releasing the mantra into the air and contributing to the betterment of the planet.

The book is bound with auspicious red silk cord adorned with pearls.
It is really quite beautiful in person. Phred did an edition binding of 4 to share with some friends.

Tools of a papermaker

We have some inventive souls here in Surfbunny Warren. Last week young Alexander was twiddling his thumbs watching Phred and crew go through all the gyrations to cook some vegetable matter to make some paper pulp. After soaking the goo in lime water and soda ash it needed to be rinsed, BUT the rinse water couldn't just go out in the garden or the stream as it was far too alkali. So Phred was taking little bits at a time and using a cast off kitchen strainer from Mrs. Farmer Brown's trash pile. Well, next think you know Alexander has hopped on out to the used stuff pile where Farmer Brown keeps things that might one day be useful and low and behold he ups and invents an industrial strainer for Phred and company. Two buckets, some leftover curtain material and a few clamps and now Phred can strain 5 gallons of goo at a time with the rinse water all captured to take to the proper part of the field. Needless to say, Alexander is the current hero of the papermakers.

Accordion Books in Kalamazoo

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center in Kalamazoo Michigan has a call out for artist accordion style books.

Phred made up just the thing today and we have inserted it into the mail system.
The paper is all handmade right here in the warren. Banana fibers from the plantation were cooked and chopped and formed into the luscious cover papers. The pages are a mix of banana fiber and recycled office paper from Farmer Brown's recycle box. A small bit of blue construction paper was mixed into one batch to make the pale blue pages.
The book is bound with three pamphlet style signatures totaling 96 pages. Phred calls this Canoe Notes and hopes it will receive a warm reception in Michigan.

Art Art ART

Seems the artist warren over the hill has effected more than just Phred. Two of our youngsters are getting up to some real craziness with colors. I guess it was partly in their blood and partly enhanced by some visits over that hill.
Little Diego is doing some great flowers. Seems he likes to just focus on the blossom part and usually presents a macro view. Color rendering seems to tend toward the wild and bright, but I must admit he sure can make them look yummy.

Frida, the young lady who seems to always be by his side, is doing some great stuff too. She seems to be focused more on watercolors at the moment. Not sure where she got this idea of a tree, but it works for me.

DIY Postcard Swap from iHanna

The most amazing postcard swap is taking place around the globe right now. Hosted by iHanna there are well over one hundred people sending ten postcards to others. That makes over 1500 postcards flying around the world - ALL IN THE NAME OF ART!

My postcards went out Tuesday the 16th and since then I've received three. The first was from Tari in Germany with a cute little pretzel surprise. The second from Shannon in Burnaby BC, Canada and the third today, complete with glittery tidbits from Tracey in Denver Colorado, USA.

It's now 2/22 and today I received cards from Jenny in Salem OR, Robin in Fairfax, VA, Jennifer in or near Fairbanks, AK all in the USA and Jaana in Sweden

And now on 2/23 two more cards - Melissa in or near Lansing MI, USA and a great fabric art card from pippa in Ausralia.

You can see hundreds of the cards at http://www.flickr.com/groups/postcards2010/pool/show/

I hope my cards get around, let me know if you receive one! Thanx, Surfbunny