03 February 2009

Teetering on the edge

Forget waterboarding. Real torture is watching your child be sick. And I'm just talking bad cold/ear infection sick here, realizing that many parents suffer through so much worse. But seriously, V woke up crying "It hurts, Mama! It hurts!" then coughed until she threw up. Twice. There is just nothing good about starting a day that way. Add in sleep deprivation and grading, and you've got one distressed Mama.

But I'm not going to dwell. Because if I dwell, I'm gonna lose my shit and start screaming my bloody head off, and then nobody wins.
Here's something I've been trying to think of how to share with y'all for awhile. It's my version of collage, or ATC, or some such thing. It started with this photo album, bought at a thrift store. It's so pretty, and was in such good shape. But nobody prints 2 1/2 x 3" photos anymore...so I decided to make little collages for each photo slot. I did this in fits and spurts, often while watching evening TV with Shauners after V had gone to bed. Using this method took me about four years to complete all the collages, so I'm not necessarily recommending it. But it was very satisfying: each is supposed to stand alone as a tiny artwork, but also as part of the page layouts. I've tried to find pleasing arrangements.
Sometimes they reflect what was going on in our lives at the time (like the V one with white roses, a few months after she was born, or the one on the bottom right, above, which has a butterfly and the words "Thinking of better jobs" made when I was six months pregnant and unemployed, having just interviewed for my current position), but often they just came together from the materials I had in front of me. The elements come from old calendars, National Geographics, rubber stamps, a prayer tract (I don't know where I got that...), some cool stickers I'd been hoarding, leftover copies of the program from our wedding reception, old Bingo cards... I used a glue stick, primarily, as adhesive, and the backgrounds are generally white or cream cardstock with oil pastels, acrylics, watercolors, or, on two occassions, oil paints. Almost every card has a word or phrase, or sometimes two.
Now that it's done, I'm not quite sure what to do with it. It's difficult to photograph as a whole, obviously, though this image led to this necklace, which was cool.
Beyond that, though, I mean, I make anyone who comes over look at it (those poor Jehovah's Witnesses are still praying for me...) and tell me what they think. And V thinks it's fascinating. I assume when I'm a famous artist this will be a primary exhibit...but until then, you'll have to come visit and see it in person. Trust me, it's totally worth it.


Megan said...

Just happened to wonder...did you mean to say "lose my shit" in that second paragraph? I started giggling uncontrollably, thinking maybe you meant "lose my shirt." But then I saw the next phrase: "...and scream my bloody head off..."

Can you picture what I'm picturing? A scantily clad Mama, stressed to the max, running around screaming her head off...

Oh dear, I needed that laugh. Thank you.

J. Beyer said...

Someday people will attend the unfurling (sort of) of your book. Probably at the Hjemkomst Center. Witty, chic, urbane, cool people will gather and wait for the book to be revealed! Between blogging, crafts and art, you find such creative ways to keep your shit together. Deep admiration is happening here.