ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quoting - MYSELF

sarah fishburn

These are just a few of the Tibetan-inspired prayer flags I made for a recent project...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Off with the old

So this morning, me and my downtown hair girl "Lisa" cut off basically (we think) about 5-7 years of old growth. Woeshemana. That doesn't sound good! I'm psyched, though the bangs do seem kinda short...
Whaddya think??

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I want THESE

These spoons were stirringly altered by the brilliant Magie Hollingworth. Thought even though autumn has only just begun I would start dreaming of things that would make lovely holiday gifties.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Memory of

The piece above is by the artist
Janice Lowry -
spiritual daughter of Joseph Cornell.
She stepped out of the box, and kept
right on moving, on down the road...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Taking your (my, our) time

Still cleaning up in the studio (notice how I cleverly don't say OUT?)...have been informed by Those Who Care that super fast book giveaway (hey, I needed to feel like I was making progress and not just rearranging the piles) yesterday was just A BIT too precipitous, so I will try to make up for it by announcing a couple more giveaways/contests later today. After the market, laundry, dishes...

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quick studio clean-up giveaway

This giveaway is for a large format photo art book, written in French, 150 pages, and perfect for any of you closet (or out of the) doll lovers out there --- nothing to do really, except leave me an intriguing comment if you want it --- it's quirky, whimsical, quite darling actually. You can see it here:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


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Monday, September 14, 2009

Flash from the past/Yesterday

This was a page made for a self-portrait journal RR hosted by Teesha Moore a couple of years ago. My Modus Operandi? Use only scrap pieces that happened to be laying on the table still from a previous project...spray paint optional...Oh and by the way, I would love it if you play the Beatles cover I included below as an accompaniment while you consider the art.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Good Mail Day

Carolee and Jennie are too dang cute for ANYthing!

So excited to have Carolee Gilligan Wheeler with us today for a fabulous Author *Interview* --- Yay!! Makes me want to not just write y'all a letter, but pretty it up for you with some of my art...
My friend and sometimes art comrade Shirley Ende-Saxe has been doing pretty swell mail art for the 10 years that I've known her --- maybe I need to get a clue. Love this book - it's written in a breezy, encouraging style, and delves into the subject with brio! Okay, enough digression. Without further ado, onto the show!

What's the name of your book?
Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal ArtWhat's your book about?
Good Mail Day is about all of the wonderful ways to utilize the postal service (a medium that many have thought fallen out of favor) to send creative, unique mail and mail art to friends and strangers all over the world. We take new users through simple ways to create more individual and interesting pieces of mail, from the humble postcard to mail-able sculptures, and then we introduce them to the finer points of working within the Mail Art network.

How long have you been doing this type of craft or art?
I would honestly say that I have been making mail art since high school, when I had a variety of pen-pals that I discovered through the pen-pal section of my favorite band’s Fan Club. Those people introduced me to the idea of friend books (essentially an add-and-pass in the fine mail art tradition) and the idea of making one’s mail as distinctive and artistic as possible. Within were letters, yes, but also drawings, mix tapes, and even things like 100 plastic ants. People prided themselves on how unusual they could make their mailings, which were essentially to complete strangers. The only comparable level of dedication I’ve seen since has been with mail artists. I became more interested in mail art as its own medium (separate from mere letter-writing, in which I was still engaged) when I met Jennie in 2004 and we started sending things to one another.

What inspired you to write Good Mail Day?
Jennie {Hinchcliff} and I have been engaged in our project, Pod Post, since we met, and Pod Post is, purely and simply, correspondence-obsessed. We have sold stationery sets and mail art kits, as well as mail art bentos filled with tags, labels, stickers, and postal rubber stamps that we bought on a trip to Japan and assembled in little bento boxes (complete with fake sushi grass!). Our Pod Post logo incorporates the international symbol for Post. Pretty much everything Pod Post does has to do with mail and mail art. So it was a natural fit, and since we continually meet people who say, “Oh my gosh, people still SEND MAIL?” we jumped at the chance to show them all of the wonderful ways they can incorporate their love of collage, or typography, or illustration—you name it—into making and sending exciting mail art. Doesn’t everyone love to get REAL mail? Most people I know do. And the first rule of the Mail Art Network is that if you want to get great mail, you have to send great mail. We thought maybe people just needed a little nudge, and the book could serve that purpose.

What makes your book different?
Most of the mail art books I’m familiar with have been out-of-print for a long time, and other correspondence-related books seem to focus on either card-making or penmanship or something of a more specific nature. With mail art I think you get the entire package. At its best, it’s 100% handmade, completely unique to the sender, and definitely the kind of thing you want to keep. And unlike more traditional fine arts, mail art is still really affordable, especially in the United States, where you can send off a gorgeous piece of mail art for as little as a postcard stamp. I also hope people will notice the incredible variety of the mail art we received for submission, all of it received through a traditional mail art call-for-entries. There are so many styles in there that it’s my hope that everyone who sees it will understand that anyone can make mail art, it can take as little as ten minutes, and there’s room for everyone’s personal vision.

Who will most enjoy or benefit from this book?
Everyone! Seriously. Well, anyone who likes making things. A wood-whittler could make really exciting mail art! The most natural extensions of their crafts will be for calligraphers, illustrators, collage and scrapbook artists, printmakers, photographers, painters, typography and design nerds, philatelists, junk-hoarders, origami enthusiasts…. Honestly. Name a craft, and I could probably think of a way that it could be applied to mail art. Beyond that, we’re just looking for the people who say, “I remember when I used to get the best mail…”.

When and where will your book be available?
It's available right NOW! You can get it at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, and any number of craft stores.

Were there contributors to this book? If so, who were they?
We received a very large number of contributions through a call-for-entries and included nearly every one in this book. They run the gamut—from friends and acquaintances who said “What’s mail art, again? Well, I guess I could do that…” to seasoned mail art network-ers and paper crafters. There are far, far too many to list here.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Who's Got the Button?

I used to sew. Daily. I made clothes for myself. The kids. The shirt Colin wore when we got married. Curtains. Toys. Costumes. Quilts. I'm hoping to start again soon. So I recently went to a fabric store, coupon in hand to actually invest in a real, final, for good and all never to be used for ANYthing else, pair of cloth cutting scissors. Even with the coupon they cost --- well, a lot. I told myself I wouldn't even look at another thing. Except. When I sewed I was a button addict. The overalls I made for the kids never had plain buttons; I searched high and low for the grooviest ones to be had for Small Change. I replaced all the standard ones on thrift store finds with motley and sundry. So, back to my foray at the fabric store. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the latest buttons and knock me over! La Mode, one of the original button manufacturers is at the artistic edge with a line of fabulous, inexpensive graphic plastics. AND far effing out! They have brought back some of the coolest of the cool - popular vintage styles, labeled as to era, and manufactured in Italy. Buttons. They're SO worth the splurge.

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Suzi Blu ROCKS the Pasticcio comm ---

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Me. You? A fabulous retreat...but wait, there's more

+ Ragtags Studio Central: Artist Books and the Elements of Design +
my weekend workshop this December at KC Willis' Studio Retreat
in historic Longmont, Colorado -

and a chance to win some beautiful and evocative art to boot! KC is giving away a $300 Lipstick Ranch shopping spree! All you have do to enter is simply mention my upcoming December 2009 workshop at the Studio Retreat on your own blog (and how psyched you are that I'm doing it of course), then get on over to Ms. KC's blog and leave her a comment to that effect...Easy as pie! Oh, and I hope some of you will be signing up for the workshop, too!

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Contest Winners announced, woo-hoo, and News!

Thank you all SO much for playing in the August +ragtags studio central+ contests everyone! Today names were drawn...there are 3 winners: Elizabeth Golden, Seth Apter (inveterate guesser) and yes, you Lisa!!! I hope you will all come back and play again in September, with a new contest TBA shortly. In the meantime, if the winners can please send me your mailing addys, I will send prizes out this weekend...

AND. In case you never got a copy of the very first issue of Pasticcio, the LULU price is now dropped back to what it was when we first offered it for sale --- and will remain so indefinitely.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Here I come...

KC Willis, artist extraordinaire and soul friend, has invited me to teach at her brand spankin', newly set up and gorgeous {Lipstick Ranch} KC Willis Studio where her Studio Retreat retreats are THE happenin' thing - and it's just a hop, skip, and jump "down the road" from me in funky, hip, Longmont, Colorado! I am ever so delighted, honored, humbled.
I'll be there at the beginning of December, for an entire weekend of workshop and FUN. Stay tuned for details...

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Nothing Else Matters/You are always near

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