Handsome Ransom

More Books, More Crafts, More Miscellaneous

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
Muriel Rukeyser

One of my favorite magazines is UPPERCASE Magazine, a quarterly publication printed in Calgary.  I had the opportunity to meet editor / publisher / designer, Janine Vangool when I attended a conference in St. Paul two  years ago.  I fell in love with the eclectic mix of articles and photography, and I wait anxiously for it to arrive in my mailbox each season. It’s such a work of art, that I can’t bear to part with any of my issues, and I can’t imagine it not being on paper.  It just wouldn’t be the same in a digital format.  (There’s the traditionalist in me coming forward!)  Here is a brief description of UPPERCASE from their website:

UPPERCASE publishes books and magazines for the creative and curious: products that spark the imagination and inspire creativity…Our books profile up-and-coming artists or explore emerging trends in design and creativity….A playful exploration of creativity, an affinity for vintage ephemera, and a love of typography are some elements common to many of our publications.”
Last spring, I noticed a “call for participation”  – a challenge if you will- to submit something for their collage-themed issue.  They called it the “Handsome Ransom” project, and they wanted readers to come up with a creation using cut-up words and letters in a “ransom note” style.  I just couldn’t resist trying my hand at something fun like this.  After all, I’ve been a huge fan of collage over the years and have made a few found poems using cut words from magazines.  I’ve always found it very enjoyable, as it combines my love of words with visual creativity. (I also can’t resist a good challenge!)  So, I spent my spring break this year working on my “masterpiece.”  Imagine my surprise when I returned from vacation yesterday to find my issue of UPPERCASE waiting for me.  I eagerly thumbed through it and voila’, there it was, my version of a “Handsome Ransom.”  I used a page from a falling apart novel, and words from a vintage copy of the Saturday Evening Post to spread a message that I hold dear to my heart…  I hope you like it!
2013-07-22_0758A big thank you to Janine Vangool and UPPERCASE Magazine for printing my creation.  It was a ton of fun to make, and I hope others will enjoy it!  In the meantime, head over to the website at UPPERCASE, and subscribe to this inspiring and visually stimulating publication.  If you appreciate art, words, photography and interesting bits-and-pieces of this-and-that…. if you have an affinity for nostalgia and appreciate traditional ways of doing things… you will love UPPERCASE!

My Sheldon Rose

More Decorating, More Miscellaneous, More Treasures
“All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.”         — Ernest Hemingway

I was poking around in one of my favorite consignment/antique shops in Bigfork, MT, when I saw……THIS.  My Sheldon Rose.  It’s huge, it’s amazing, it weighs a ton, and I had to have it.  This is a large piece of art made of typography letters arranged in this cool shape. IMG-0658

I chatted with the seller, and she said that she was selling it for her aunt, who was elderly, but had purchased it with her husband when they were young and living in Seattle.  Apparently it was a gallery purchase, and she was always particularly fond of it, but now had to downsize to move.   I found some auctions sites who have a few of his other pieces for sale.  They’re quite pricy, so I’m thinking that I got a fair deal on my piece.  If anyone knows anything about this artist, please fill me in.  Whatever the case, I get happy every time I look at this above my couch.  It’s full of letters, my favorite thing, because letters make words, and words make stories, and what could be better than that?!

Books are my passion….

More Books, More Crafts, More Miscellaneous

A beautiful book by Terry Taylor

“A dream collage is pictures of your goals. It is like your future photo album.” Bo Bennett

What is my dream “gig”?  It’s writing book reviews.  For magazines, blogs, books, you name it!  I want to write about fiction, non-fiction, how to, memoir… no genre is off limits. So, I grabbed a book off the shelf, and want to share it with you.

It’s not a brand new, hot-off-the-press book, but it’s a classic.  I fell in love with Terry Taylor’s Altered Art the first time I thumbed through it.  The layout is simple …. easy to take-in.  The pictures are stunning, and there is a perfect balance between images and text. “Altered art is simply the result of taking a found object and changing it in some intriguing or surprising way to make an artistic statement of your own.”

Because I’m a librarian, I was drawn to the chapter about altered books.  I am constantly stashing aside books that no longer have an audience.  It’s just too hard to throw them out, when you’ve been trained to buy and promote them!   I am dying to create a “niche.”  By carefully cutting away the center of the book, Terry shows me how I could display a three-dimensional object inside. Such a simple idea, but so, so, so, so creative!  I’m picturing a book with a travel theme, holding a small object that’s been sitting in a box in my craft room – a tin globe toy that I found in my grandmother’s “junk.”

I am drooling over the creative tag ideas.  They could be attached to gifts…. worn as jewelry…. hung as artwork.  I am dreaming of ways to use old photographs that have been hidden away.  The shoebox of old postcards I inherited from my grandmother?  Oh there are so many things they could become.

Find a copy of this beautiful book and add it to your collection.  You will be inspired.