Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stone of the Week


Let there be peace on earth



And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step i take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let ther be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth

And let it begin with me.





Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With god as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth

And let it begin with me.
Wishing all a happy holiday filled with peace and joy!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stone of the Week


I am back after recovering from oral surgery. I am glad I took the whole week off, I was not functional until Thursday and there is no way I could have worked or been able to see patients. I can't believe how much time I needed to recover and get my "sea legs" back. I have been lucky that the pain has been minimal, but I have bruising that showed up on my face today! Good timing with starting a new job, they are going to think I have domestic violence issues! To celebrate the beginning of what may be my dream OT job and honor the loss of a tooth, I have picked another double sided stone that resembles a tooth. This stone has the word BELIEVE on one side and DREAM on the other. This is also a new stone in my shop added this past weekend. Two very important words in my world!

The past 3 years have been very difficult years for me on top of an already difficult time. In 2006 I had taken a position of Director of Rehab at a skilled nursing facility. I thought it was the opportunity of my life. Well it ended up being my biggest mistake. I left that facility in the winter of 2007, after spending months interviewing up and down the seacoast not finding work anywhere close the the town in NH I live (and was adamant about continuing to live). I took short term contract work in various parts of the state while continuing to interview (I have plenty of headhunters). After a lot of soul searching I decided to change my focus from administration back to clinical and refocus on out-patients/hand therapy. Then the economy tanked. After 4 months of unemployment, I basically have been surviving on contract work that can be very unstable, along with starting my Etsy shop. I have been exhausted commuting 1.25 hours in 1 direction and the work environment of acute care is stressful and physically demanding. I am too tired for my art, and too tired for Etsy.

Well I have been saved by a dream opportunity! A wish I made in January has been granted for me: I as of today, I will be working in out patient/hand therapy at the local hospital in my town(temporary for now with possibility of becoming permanent). Yes! And the coolest thing is that this opportunity came to me, I was not searching (I kinda gave up) one of my recruiters found it for me. So I must honor the words "Believe" and "Dream" on 1 stone.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Stone of the Week




This week's stone is a unique double faced stone of Ancient Egyptian images that stands up by itself. I was lucky to acquire a handful of stones that "stand on their own." These stones are flattened on one side allowing he to "stand" or have height to them. Because of the unique shape I can put a different image on each side of the stone, creating a two-in-one beach stone! To me this stone looks like a giant whale tooth. The colorization of a light granite gray speckled with dark grey granite. The unique shape of this stone gave me two work surfaces for creating. Playing around with some of my images I wanted too combine two great Ancient Egyptian icons: the Eye of Horus and Isis. In another time-space dimension I would be an Egyptologist. My beach stones allow me to create artwork based on one of my passions. The Eye of Hours is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities. The Rx sign for pharmacies is derived from the Eye of Hours. Isis is a goddess from Ancient Egypt that was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patron of nature and magic. Isis is the mother of Horus. She was instrumental in the resurrection of her husband Osiris when he was murdered by Set. Isis is usually portrayed as a woman, wearing a headdress shaped like a throne. I love his stone because of the natural beauty of this stone. But I love it more because it allowed me to combine two images on one stone. The Isis image is delicate, fine and detailed contrasted to the bold and simple Eye of Hours. The cool shape of the stone allows it to sit flat on a desk or alter an either image to be displayed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stone of the Week




So far, so good. I am keeping up my end of the bargain here, a weekly entry about a stone listed in my Etsy shop. Today I am picking my Sasquatch Beach Stone. Two summers ago I started traveling down to Rockport, MA with a good friend who introduced me to the coolest beach. It is completely covered in stones! The stones I find here have the most amazing colors and are incredibly smooth. This particular stone has a lovely milk-like translucency with a hint of yellow veins. The symbol is a right footprint. The footprint has many meanings from the celebration of a birth, inspiration or hope, or a super-natural creature. My little joke is that my brother had a very particular nick-name for me as a child and as a teenager, I used a footprint as my "symbol." The unique thing about my "symbol" footprint is that mine only had 4 toes!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stone of the Week




7 Circuit Labyrinth 1.75x2.5" Beach Stone: This unique stone was collected from a beach in Rockport, MA. It is oval in shape and fits nicely in the hand. It is colored light sandy brown with black inclusions throughout. It is decorated with a seven circuit square shaped labyrinth. This labyrinth image is very primitive in nature, and is similar to the types that have been found in cave paintings.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stone of the Week



To get me to blog more regularly I have decided to add some structure to my blogging. I am one of those people who work hard but I am also a great procrastinator; I do great when I have a deadline or someone else is involved. So to add structure and a sort of "deadline" I have decided to create a weekly blog entry: "Stone of the Week." Each week I will pick a beach stone from my shop and blog about it. My description's for my beach stones are pretty plain, this will allow me to tell you stories about each stone. When I create my stones it is a truly intuitive process; each stone tells me what design it wants before I decorate it. The rock tells me if it wants a word or an image. And if it is not meant to be, the design falls apart and I have to start over. I am always surprised at how lovely they turn out. I have so many favorites! You will find lots of beach stones tucked away in various corners in my home!

This week I am picking one of my favorite stones in my shop right now. My "Shanti" beach stone turned out so lovely. It is very smooth and fits nicely in your hand. It photographed nicely showing off it's unique colorization. I like how the font compliments the foreign nature of the word. Shanti means peace, so this stone is special by he message it conveys.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Collages





Today I posted several more of my Halloween collages bringing the total up to 5, a number requiring blogging. My Halloween collages are made on 4.5x6 inch by 1/4 inch thick plywood. I take images of my mother as a young girl alone and with her family and alter them with silly hat or outfits. Some earn text! I then make a paper collage of vintage images and di cut shapes of current paper and other found halloween based items. Glow in the dark glitter was used on several of the college pieces & look very cute glowing in the dark. Each collage is topped off with a hanger accented with a raffia or satin bow and wooden beads.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Current Projects





Here are a few samples of my newest creation for my Etsy shop. These are called Collage-Assemblage Wooden Tag Ornaments. The tags are plywood wood shapes including a traditional star, primitive star, traditional heart & primitive heart. Each piece is first painted with Jacquard Iridescent acrylics. Once dried I decoupaged torn papers over the shape, I accent this with a word cloud quote about love, life, laughter & friendship (the most important ingredients to life). The tags are further decorated with glittered paper hearts, stars, dragonflies, cupids, butterflies & sun & finally embellished with various beads & ephemera including butterflies, birds, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, leaves & MORE! Finished with an organza ribbon for hanging.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Photo Light-Box






I did it, I finally made a light photo-box. After himming & hawing for several weeks, I finally made myself a photo light-box. I looked at it as investment for my Esty shop. I picked up supplies from my local Staples: a box, poster board & packing tape. Once home I gathered all my supplies plus the several sets of instructions I acquired from Etsy's Storque & various blogs. I glanced over all the instructions once then I went to work.

There are some great instructions out there including my sources: http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/fortys-foto-tips-2-make-a-light-box-244/ and http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent . I am not going to re-create the wheel here, but share my experience of making the box.

I chose the size box, 12"x18"x12" because I wanted a large field & the ability to change the background & be able to use my 13" Ott Lite table lamp. To allow the flexibility I wanted I made the windows large & completely cut off 2 sides. I made an accident right off the bat & completely cut off the wrong side; that's what happens when you are dyslexic! Besides being the wrong side, it left the box too unstable. I ended up resolving this by making a foam board window for that side & eventually L brackets on the outside. I made a total of 4 windows. The next step was to line the inside with white poster board. You could make the whole box out of white foam board & eliminate this step. I decided not to attach diffusing fabric to the windows for several reasons so I used a curtain draped over the box as a make-shift diffuser. I forgot to purchase fabric & I want to be able to have access through all the windows to change to layout. I think it turned out pretty nifty. Another feature that was necessary was that it had to be compact, I live in a studio apartment & shoot pictures in my very large window. My photo box allows me to take nice pictures & not depend on the weather or time of day & keeps my workspace relatively neat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Labyrinths 101





Believe it or not, i just realized I have never blogged about labyrinths and that is a focus of my artwork... this deceased estrogen stuff is getting to me. What exactly is a labyrinth? Labyrinths are ancient, sacred, symbols, that have 1 path in and the same path out. They are one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools known to human kind. Labyrinths have been used for centuries for prayer, ritual, initiation and personal and spiritual growth. It is a form of moving mediation that engages the the body, mind and spirit together. I have a difficult time staying still, so this concept worked well for me! Walking the calming circuitous path addresses many psycho-spiritual needs: it can be a path to healing and wholeness in the face of change, facilitates the flow of creativity, provides inspiration, acts as a mirror to our life - reflecting an image of ourselves or serve as a moving mediation or form of prayer. Labyrinths are identified by the number of circuits or concentric paths with the the most familiar being the 7-circuit Cretan and the 12-circuit Chartes Cathedral Labyrinths. A finger labyrinth is a portable version of the full sized walking labyrinth, providing all the same benefits of a labyrinth in an accessible package. One of my missions as a healer and an artist has been to create accessible labyrinths initially for my self, now for others. Creating with the image of the labyrinth has been a healing mediation for myself.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You Rock #1



YouRock#1
Originally uploaded by jmliss
Well this makes blogging very convenient. Over the past several weeks I have been posting my beach stones on my etsy site. I have been making my beach stones for 4 years now. The very first set I made were gifts to friends at my 39th birthday. I was caught up in "The Lord of the Rings" fever, so I followed the hobbit tradition of giving gifts away on your birthday. I also made up a bunch of labyrinth and word stones, something I had been wanting to try for a while. Several stores in Dover carry them & they have been quite a hit.

The beach stones range in size from 1"- 8". Each stone is hand picked from the NH, ME or MA seacoast. Most recently I have been making my beach stones out of stones collected at an incredible beach in Rockport, MA. Appropriately named Pebble Beach, it is loaded with tons of well worn beach stones. The colors of the stones are quite amazing, ranging from white, to butterscotch, to blue gray granite. The images I use transverse a variety of spiritual symbols including: labyrinths, Celtic motifs, Egyptian icons, Ohm & various uplifting & meaningful words. I have added some new words (words that were suggested by my tweeters) and images including animal totems and some new labyrinth shapes and will be posting them soon. I let each stone tell me what it want's to be decorated with. When finished it is then covered with 2 layers of environmentally friendly varnish to protect the image. The most minimal amount of varnish is put on the body of the stone to maintain its natural qualities.

I love making my beach stones. They are fun to create and people really just love them! I have me many individuals that have bought my stones and was always pleased to hear they went to good homes or locations. Anyway, I posted a slide show of what I have listed on etsy so far. I hope you enjoy it. More to come.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Goodbye to a Friend...




It's been some time since I updated my blog. I was all set to catch up this week and post some of my recent activities, but I was sidetracked. Wednesday morning I received an e-mail telling me one of my dearest childhood friends had suddenly died. Remember when you were in grade school and you made friends with someone you instantly felt in sync with that person, that was my connection with Robert. We met in 4th grade, I can remember the very moment, well at least one of our first interactions. Robert had seriously lacerated his hand the evening before, his entire palm was in stitches. I had vivid memories of him describing his injury, it was so intriguing... we were forever friends from that moment on. College takes you away from home and paths seem to drive people to various locations. We met up at our 20th High School Reunion in 2004 and spent some good time together. Robert had 2 children and a lovely wife. Several years earlier a very close friend was killed by a drunk driver, Robert named his son after Joe. He was a doctor and (as beautifully stated by a friend on FB today) a warrior. A very talented and successful man with a great sense of humor. We promised to visit each others homes and remain in contact but time seemed to take over again. Then 1 night, after returning from a Beatles's tribute show (1964 The Tribute, they are amazing) I returned home to a FB greeting from Robert. How wonderful... I had just come across some old photos of him the day before. We chatted and made promises to call... I posted the funny pictures and notified a bunch of friends that he was on FB. I knew we would have plenty of time to catch up... My deepest sympathy for Robert's wife Lisa and family. Always in our heart's and deeply etched in mine... from 4th grade and forever.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blog Neglect...Guilty!


My poor neglected little blog... you have not been forgotten. Been busy working the day job (occupational therapy) & making a batch of beach stones for my etsy shop. Have hope, that over the weekend you will receive plenty of TLC from me! Until then, you must hold fast to hope!  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Experimenting

 Its fun to play with the features that come with photo softwear.  Here I was playing around w/Picassa,  I took my Beatles Green-Love Collage- The Word & just went all crazy with the effects. I think it looks pretty cool. I will have to create something out of this...
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Loneliness


Loneliness
Originally uploaded by old76/suezq
This is a great piece I saw on Flickr. This artist has some wonderful Beatles colleges I will probably blog about them in the near future. This one hit me hard because of my issues of loneliness. To think that somebody so loved by the public was so alone. I have been trying to figure out how to create a piece that would show feelings of loneliness & this one captures that emotion perfectly. Funny thing is that MM does not sad or in despair in this picture, & the information states it was one of her last soots. I think her pain is hidden deep in her eyes. Like John Lennon , deep in the soul, slipping out when they thought no one was looking that little child came peeking out. There are several songs I refer to as my theme songs due to the topic of loneliness & this line from the song "Candle in the Wind" has been one that hits deep in the heart. What a lovely tribute to a talented & sad person. You will never be alone again MM.

New Magnets of my OOAK Collages


Today I added to the repertoire of shop items on my etsy site today. I created magnets from images of several of my OOAK collages. The Horse Whisperer paper sculpture & the Green Beatles-Love Collage-The Word are now available as magnets.  I am a sucker for magnets, my fridge is covered w/them.  Some hold up notices or things I want to remember, but the rest are there to show off my interests (like a local Beatles Tribute Band), favorite take out places & inspirational words for the day. Now I have 2 replicas of my artwork staring at me whenever I get a glass of milk.  More to come including the 2nd Green Beatles-Love Collage-The End.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Etsy FP: So Summery


Loving this summer  based treasury. I want the red bathing suit; how hot it is! Proof that you don't need to show a lot of skin to be soooo sexy!

Almost forgot this listing...



 I almost forgot about this listing... The Architect is a 14" x 11" mixed media OOAK collage. In all honesty the idea of this piece came about  by accident. I am infamous for sitting, working & leaving things on the floor. My studio is a giant stepping game, look out for this & watch out for that. Well what happens when you leave plaster labyrinths on the floor... I eventually step, sit or kneel on them, breaking them into pieces. Looking at the broken pieces of one particular labyrinth (it  was unpainted, so it was white as polished marble) I thought of the ruins of an ancient, iconic piece of architecture like the Roman Coliseum. Then the idea came for making these pieces into a collage,  making it appear as if a master labyrinth plan was created before it was built into existence. I used my favorite Jacquard Lumiere paint (at the moment) halo blue-gold for the background & majority of the labyrinth pieces. I just love how iridescent it is... it seems to change color from different angles.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Involuntary Electricity Sabbatical


A day without power. NH power decided to turn off my electricity today, well I guess I started it by not paying my bill. Oops! All caught up now. Funny thing is that they are so quick to turn it off, but so slow to turn it back on... 10 hours  later!! I was in the middle of posting a few new items to my Etsy store when the lights flickered out. Good thing I took a long nap, got the whole evening in front of me.  After a hot bath of course. Ah, luxuries of electricity. Once the evening arrived I began to think about my favorite Jane Austen books & about how life was so different living by candlelight. This was to distract me from coming up w/various ways to function while holding a flashlight! As an occupational therapist I am quite proud of my 1 handed skills, still lack of light has it's frustrations. At least I was finally able to find my headlamp & be a little bit productive. Limited in my choice of activities: my craft projects were limited & reading was out (especially w/my aging eyes) I resorted to cleaning. In Jane's time,  life was encompassed w/in the little light that was given off by a candle. I imagined being in a room w/various friends clustered around their smelly smokey candels: Maryanne Dashwood staring out the darken window dreaming of Willoughby, Elinor Dashwood & Lucy Steel attempting to have a private conversation, Margret Dashwood trying to read her atlas, &  Mrs. Dashwood,  Mrs. Jennings & company playing a game of cards. Well luckily I have my soy lilac scented candles... oh, my bath is ready... time to warm my chilled fingers. Back to modern living! Oh, well, c'est lavie!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Too Impatient


She's up & swimming. Go to my store: www.jmliss.etsy.com to see  my 1st ever paper sculpture. Back in December as I was waiting in the lobby of a hospital for my employee physical I checked  out an art showcase that was on display. I saw amazing pieces made of paper created by an artist named: Santa Maria. I came home & search the internet for more info on this artist & her work. What was it called, how could paper be manipulated in ways that looked like clothes blowing in the wind? I spent a week surfing the internet about paper sculpture & found a couple of good library books too. Within a week, I kept hearing this siren calling me... next thing I know I am creating this collage piece. It all fell into place, no real plan just a little of this & a lot of that. I am really proud  of her & hope you will love her too.  Watch my slideshow & see more images of her along w/one of her favorite songs. BTW, didn't like how the frame turned out...

Under the Sea!

I am finishing the frame & hoping the sun stays out so I can take 1 more picture & then she is going up on my Etsy store. This bathing beauty is my 1st paper sculpture EVER! Now she screaming for attention. I love this magical lady, she loves Bobby Darin & even has her own playlist on my mp3. Check out the slide show of her & I will let you know when she has been listed!
video

Just Need the Hair




OMG! Lovin this Farrah Fawcett Jumpsuit listed today by Thrush on her iconic vintage Etsy store: www.thrush.etsy.com. The bridal gown caught my fancy too. All I need is a big blonde wig & a man & I am set!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fractured - just added to etsy



My latest addition to my Etsy site. This piece is called "Fractured." It is an OOAK collage/assemblage created from a paster 7-circuit or Creatan Labyrinth. The background is textured using acrylic gel medium, my newest & most favorite acrylic medium! Applying it is like putting icing on a cake.