Liberate Your Art 2015: A Quick View of the After Party

This year, like last year, I engaged in a little post-Liberate Your Art swapping and received more beautiful artwork to add to my LYA collection. Although many started swapping even before Kat Sloma sent the postcards, I preferred to wait till the blog hop to begin swapping–I like the element of surprise.

Here are the post-swap cards I’ve received so far.

Shelia Delgado

Watercolor by Shelia Delgado

Sheila of Sheila’s Corner Studio shared this pretty watercolor.  Instead of having her postcards professionally printed, Sheila printed her own, front and back.  She shared a personal note wishing me a “fantabulous” day and included a couple of quotes:

One eye sees, the other feels. Paul Klee.

Imagination needs moodling–long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering. Brenda Ueland.

“Crow in Flight” by Marsha

Marsha of Winnipeg, Canada sent this “heavily textured” photograph of a crow in flight.  She shot this photo a year ago. Marsha works with various art forms–photography, quilting, watercolor, gelatin monoprinting and more.  You can see more of her work on her blog, Coolquilting.

“Shipyard of Camaret,” by Louise Mamet Photography

Louise sent these ships with best wishes from Brittany, France. You can find more of her photography at Drops of Everything: Sharing Steps From My Path of Life.

Mixed Media by Heli

“Old Ways Do Not Open New Doors,” Art Journal Page by Heli

This one wasn’t exactly a direct swap.  Heli’s postcards took the long route from Finland to Kat’s address in Oregon and didn’t arrive until after the swap and blog hop were over.  Kat called for five volunteers to send Heli a card and she sent cards to the volunteers on Heli’s behalf.  Poor Heli. She even paid for expedited shipping. I’m pleased that I volunteered.  This is such a beautiful work of art. It is likely a reproduction of an art journal page.  Heli’s blog, Art Journal – Coloured Stories, features many of her art journal pages.

Finally, I received two mixed media cards from Janice who challenged herself to break out of her usual mode of art (photography) and ventured into mixed media this year.

“Love, Peace, and Joy” by Janice

This dreamcatcher postcard will be framed and placed in my office at work.  I was secretly coveting the image (below) when I saw it in a number of LYA blog posts and Facebook posts, so I was thrilled to find it in the envelope with an encouraging message written on the back:  “Share your passion!”

“All You Have to Do Is Fly,” by Janice

Check out all six of her LYA 2015 creations on her blog: Janice Darby: Photography Through My Eyes.

Thanks, ladies, for the cheer you added to my crazy May and hot June days. Thanks for creating art and for having the courage to liberate it!

Haven’t had enough? Check out the video Kat put together (of one postcard from each participant):  LYA Video.  The video is in the middle of the post.


[Note: A few people requested a swap, but forgot to share contact information.   Please leave your email addy in the comments section and I’ll be in touch today. Thanks!]

Fun with Teddy Bears in Monochrome!

I decided I should start June off with a post, and hopefully, set the stage for regular posts this month.  I slacked last month.  I needed the downtime–time to do no more than what was required of me.  I even let my camera have a bit of rest. Even though a longer hiatus would be fine with me, the things I want to share with my blog audience are beginning to pile up pretty high!

So I’m back with another monochrome photos post.  This time, teddy bears!  Way back in February, I organized a “Teddy Bears and Dolls in Monochrome” swap, part of the series of monochrome swaps I’d put together for the “A Thousand Words” group on swap-bot. This was a super fun swap for me (and my son).  At first, my son and I organized the Beanie Baby War, “The Bears vs. The Others” to be exact.   Not a very creative title, we know.  We have just as many bear beanie babies as we have “others” combined, so we were a bit challenged to come up with a name for the “non-bears.” They made a motley bunch of fish, fowl, furries, creepy crawlies and other winged creatures.  We also worked on a Beanie Bears Family Portrait.  That didn’t go so well.  The bears kept getting into tiffs over who should be seated on the front row.

But it was when Mr. Cuddly A. Bear got his hand on my camera that we knew we had a winner.  I’ll wait and tell you about that one.  Let me introduce you to some new teddy bear friends.

Camille Bear by Castlequeen

Camille Bear by Castlequeen

Meet Camille Bear. Her owner, “Castlequeen” on swap-bot, has had her for 18 years.  A dear friend gave it to her as a birthday gift.  This (above), obviously, is not the monochrome shot. These are:

Camille Bear in Monochrome Pose 1 by Castlequeen

“Camille Bear” in Monochrome, Pose 1 by Castlequeen

I like the antique look of this photo and how the crop brings the teddy bear up close and personal. Camille looks perfectly at home in color or in sepia.

Camille Bear in Monochrome Pose 2 by Castlequeen

“Camille Bear” in Monochrome, Pose 2 by Castlequeen

Adorable, isn’t she? This one reminds me of the teddy bear and doll displays I often see in antique shops.

Cakers, my “send-to” partner and photog friend, shared her beary goodness with me just because she knows how much joy teddy bears carry!  She got a little frustrated with the “creation” process and in her frustration tossed her bears aside with the hat, and voila! Behold the cuteness!

“Who? Bear,” Photo by Cakers

Cakers found this cuddly bear in a closet, and doesn’t remember who gave her this bear.  So I named him “Who?”  🙂

And now, look at this sweet little knit bear named George.

“George,” Photo by Cakers

George is named after Cakers’ maternal grandfather whom she loved fiercely.  She purchased “George” from Gregory Patrick of Mad Man Knitting.  If you’re interested in knitting bears or in connecting with another soul, check out his site.

Unfortunately, I’m not brave enough to post “The Beanie War”–it was pretty gruesome.  But I am willing to share Mr. Cuddly A. Bear’s story. Cuddly A. got a little bored with his “beary” existence the afternoon we were working with the beanie babies’ photo shoot.  My son and I set up the camera and tripod, but were using the iPad and iPhone for test shots.  While we were distracted, Cuddly A. decided to take control of the camera.

Here’s his story in pictures.

“Cuddly A. Bear Gets a Time-out”

As you can see, he used the camera without permission and “got busted.” Notice the look on his face when he realized he was caught. We placed him in “time-out” for eight minutes to mull over his naughty actions.  He listened carefully as I explained to him why he shouldn’t touch the camera without permission and promised he wouldn’t do that again.

As you can see, Cuddly A. was a willing participant in our bear shenanigans.  Converting him to “monochrome” was a fun exercise. Adding texture was bonus fun. Cuddly A. (not his real name) was actually my son’s first bear. He’s had him since “before he was born.”

Oh–remember this lovely doll and bear I found in a Nashville shop window? I converted them to black and white and sent him to Cakers too.

Honky Tonk Bear and Boy in Black and White

“A Boy and His Honky Tonk Bear” in Black and White

For more monochrome goodness, see my January 20, January 21, and January 22 posts.

I haven’t organized a monochrome swap in a while, but I think it’s time. Let’s see what we come up with next!