Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The New Year Fairy - Leslie Brier, Mixed Media Artist

Here at the Brier house we are winding down the Christmas festivities and starting to look ahead to the new year. I love my Christmas decorations, but when it's over, it's over and I actually start looking forward to Grinching the house and going back to a less cluttered existence.

It's kind of sad to have to put everything away, so my answer to the dilemma is the New Year fairy. She can stay on display for the whole month of January, which can be a very dreary month.

I vowed last year that I wouldn't just slap wings and a hat on every image that came along, but as I was working I convinced myself that a wand and a dictionary page ruffle are in a completely different category. I mean, she needed them, right?

This fairy will live in the window at the University Cafe for the month of January. I'm pretty attached to her, though, so if she sells I'll have to make one for myself. Look at her little feet:

They came off of a very pitiful bunny doll with stained ears. I am in love with them. In fact, I am going to go back to the thrift store to get the boy bunny, just so I can steal his tiny little boots!

I'll show you the rest of the cafe window when I have it finished.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Snow! Leslie Brier - snowed-in artist!

It's just beautiful here in Virginia. We had a blizzard that blew in Friday night, and left us with about two feet of snow on the ground by Saturday afternoon. It felt so good to know that we were all safe and sound and had nowhere to go!
Bordeaux loves being outside. She doesn't mind that the snow is up to her shoulders. Everytime she comes in, she is just covered in snow. Merlot prefers to be inside, like me.
This is the Christmas Tree I did for the Festival of Trees. This is an annual event held to benefit Hope House, a women's and children's shelter that helps them to break the cycle of homelessness.
I found some cardinal light covers at a thrift store about a year ago, and decided on a cardinal theme for my tree.

I looked for cardinal ornaments all year. In the beginning, I didn't have much luck. In August, I found a cardinal and poinsetta tree skirt (unused!) at a yard sale. Things started picking up from there. About a week before the tree was due, I hit the mother lode and was able to complete my tree.

My tree was called "Winter in Virginia". Had I known how snowy it was going to be this year, there would have been a lot more white on the tree!
I don't know who bought my tree, but I want to thank that person and everyone who bid on it for their contribution to Hope House. And thank you to the judges for awarding it "Best Small Tree"
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FCCA Annual Member's Show

The Annual Members Show at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts is going on now, and runs through January 8. The downstairs gallery is filled to the brim with an amazing variety of small works, including paintings, photography, jewelry and mixed media

This is "Seed Sower", one of the pieces that I submitted. It is a mixed media art quilt, in a three-dimensional frame. Can you guess what the frame is made of?

The bottom of the quilt is made from an antique seed sack that was attached to a machine called the Cyclone Seed Sower. I would like to do another piece called "Cyclone" that features a boy penny doll.

Here is a closeup of the top. I finally decided to use two of my bakelite bird buttons. I've had them for several years, but hadn't found the right piece to put them in until now.

This is "The Queen". Her face is an antique watch and her body is a ruler. (Get it, ruler?)

This beaded rivoli necklace is also at FCCA. I love making the beaded bezels for the rivoli. It's so satisfying when you have the rivoli snugged in its setting.

I beaded the necklace part, too and finished it with an antique steel-cut button. I am being very brave about digging into my button stash these days.

I apologize for the spacing issues. If anyone wants to let me know how to lay out my pictures and text so that they align properly, I'd be grateful.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thank you! Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening at the University Cafe on Friday night. It was so great to see everybody! And it was fun to spend time with the other members of the Mixed Media Experience, too. I am always amazed at how well our work goes together once a show is hung.
This is my Electrolux Baby. I found the vintage canister vaccuum at a thrift store, or course, and just had to have it. I took out the motor inside (and the wasp nest) and cleaned it all up with soap and a toothbrush.
Then I started adding my own touches to it. I didn't want to do too much to it, because I love the clean lines. The sled runners are original to the vaccuum. Interesting, hmmm?
I cut into the canister with my dremel tool and was able to fit a vintage French-fry maker down inside. At this point in a project, I am usually wondering what wholesome activities the other mothers are engaged in. Baking cookies? Reading stories to their children? I also wonder what the neighbor children say about what Mrs. Brier was doing while they were visiting.
After auditioning a few drivers from my collection, I decided that Sammy would be the new Electrolux Baby! He seems very happy in his new vehicle, don't you think?
Clara was the driver I chose for my rescue vehicle. Her fire engine rig was originally built for the top of the Electrolux piece, but it was a little too unweildy. It fit on top of the roller skate like it was made for it. I love it when a project comes together!

Little Clara was naked when I got her, so I decided she had to have some clothing for her big debut on the fire truck. I found a vintage handkerchief with a holly embroidered on it and went to town. Deck the dolls with altered hankies, fa la la la la la la la la. (Isn't that how it goes?)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Christmastime at the University Cafe

It's just the beginning of the season, but I already feel so Christmas-y! I've been working in my workshop just like one of Santa's elves, getting ready for the Mixed Media Experience show at the University Cafe. I have created a steampunk Christmas scene for the front window.
This piece is called Little Red Wagon. It is made from an antique seed broadcaster an old toy wagon, and some cool vintage tin litho wheels.

Sammy is the driver of the Little Red Wagon. He is an antique compositon baby from the 1930's or 40's.

Next to Sammy is one of my vintage Christmas tin creations. It is made from a vintage baking tin. The holes are not quite as deep as a cupcake pan, and are just big enough to hold vintage Chrismtas treasures.

I am off for a day of pre-holiday junking, so I will post more photos tomorrow!