This was the last thing I had to do to get done with presents ... one of my girls is in the habit of giving me framed pictures of her family each Christmas, so this year I figured I'd turn the tables on her. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I read a bit online about distressing frames but they all go for the french country look and I didn't want that. The big round frame is for myself - it was solid black too and the design didn't show up at all (click on the pic for a closer look). I used the same technique on this as I did on the little frame. I think the sepia pictures will look much nicer in these new old frames!
So here's what I did .. I took the plain black frame out to the belt sander and scratched it all up. Kind of fun but scary at the same time - I mean, I paid good money for this thing! (Well, it would have been good money but thanks to the Black Friday coupons at JoAnns it was actually pretty cheap.) Anyhow - I hit all the edges and just tried to make it look kind of beat up. I didn't follow the rules for wear and tear, I just did this pretty randomly.
Then I hit it with some paint. I used some brown and some buff, painted it on and then wiped it off.
Then I remembered that I had some gold rub-n-buff creme. Never really used that before and it's pretty cool. I kind of wiped it all over the whole thing. Tada ... easy peasy!
One million five hundred thousand children perished in the Holocaust. In an effort to remember them, Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies. I read about this project on another artist's site and it immediately touched my heart. I knew I had to make something for it!
I plan on making more butterflies and this one still needs a backing and to be cut out .. but I think cutting will be the last thing I do as it's safer to store them this way. My Zentangled Butterfly ...
Their website states:
The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for Spring 2013, for all to remember. The Museum has already collected an estimated 600,000 butterflies.
Please facilitate the "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" activity and create as many handmade arts-and-crafts butterflies as possible. This project may be completed by all ages as individuals or groups.
* Butterflies should be no larger than 8 inches by 10 inches.
* Butterflies may be of any medium the artist chooses, but two-dimensional submissions are preferred.
* Glitter and all glitter-related products should not be used.
* Food products (cereal, macaroni, candy, marshmallows or other perishables) also should not be used.
* If possible, e-mail a photograph of your butterflies, to email@example.com.
Please send or bring your butterflies to the Museum by June 30, 2012, with the following information included:
* Your name,
* Your organization or school,
* Your address,
* Your e-mail address, and
* The total number of butterflies sent.
Mail or bring your butterflies to:
Holocaust Museum Houston
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004
I took a Zentangle class last weekend. Lots of fun and I find myself doing some of these doodles every night. It's a good way to unwind after dinner and before I knit! The bottom one was done in class, and the top one I did the next night. I find that I have to slow down and be more careful in my drawing else I end up with a mess!
The doll I was working on? She is still giving me fits so she has been set aside for the moment. Maybe I'll get her done someday. If not she'll end up on the unfinished dolll shelf! Poor thing! Maybe that will give her an attitude adjustment though. :)
I got a lovely letter from Romona the other day asking where my blog had gone. I made some excuse about not having time or the inclination to create and she told me to set aside at least one hour a day for my art. So I will try that! I spend entirely too much time playing computer games and just web surfing - I need to cut that out! So yesterday I sat down and finished off the bookmarks I had started for my nieces and nephew. I was surprised that they photographed as well as they did since they are encased in heavy plastic. I use the self laminating pouches from Scotch and the reason I sew around them (besides the fact that I just plain like the way it looks) is that they barely fit two to a pouch and when I cut them out the glue doesn't hold. These bookmarks are way sturdier than the ones you can buy in the stores, I use some myself! I figured my nephew wouldn't want a little girl so I collaged one for him. We'll see how well I manage to stick to the hour for art a day!
I'm taking an online class with Suzi Blu at the recommendation of my friend Nat. The class is called Petite Dolls and is a beginner class - perfect for me! I've been practicing drawing these girls a lot - the ONLY way to get better! These are the first two full size sketches that I did that I like. I've been working in a tiny little sketchbook and when I get something I like in the little sketchbook I go ahead and transfer it to the big one. It never turns out exactly the same but I get the general feel of the piece right. I need to find my file of faces that I have somewhere or the other - or just go buy a new fashion magazine. I'm pulling blanks on hair styles without some kind of reference. But anyhow - here they are - I like the sad girl best but her legs look 'off' to me. We are our own worst critic!!
They scanned light but if you click on them you can see them better.
I had the tutorial for these hearts printed out for about two months now - just waiting for the time to be right to play with polymer clay. It struck this week! I had a lot of fun making these. I really needed bigger watch parts to make these look right, but I used what I had on hand and did my best with it. I'm not sure what they are .. brooches? necklace pendants? The tutorial is from christi friesen and you can find it here.
A long time ago I cut out a comic from the newspaper wherein a character made a statement that resounded with me. I changed the statement up a bit and made myself a little plaque. My imaginary childhood friend, according to my mother, was a cat named Patches. I'm pretty sure Patches didn't grow up to be my Muse, lol. I just really liked the idea behind the comic. My friend Judy L. said her imaginary friend's name was Gooeygoff; he wore a pink shirt, purple pants, and green shoes. Did you have an imaginary friend? Tell us about it by leaving a comment!
Did a bit more work on the collage - fixed the hair and did some 'decorating'. I'm up to the face but I haven't drawn one in 7 months. I traced the shape onto some tracing paper and tried to draw one. Ai yi yi. Not a good thing, LOL. I'm going to have to do some practicing before I lay down more paint on this.
It's been a really busy weekend! Lots of work got done around the house and somehow I managed to squeeze in time for myself too. I had my sox class on Saturday and I got the heel turned - the big test will be to see if I can do it myself on the 2nd sock! I still have a few more inches to knit on the foot section and then I'll be ready to learn how to shape the toe - but that's next Saturday. I have to say the best part of the sock class are the scones that my teacher, Kat, brings. OMG - they are to DIE for!
Today after I got done driving the four wheeler in circles ( I was dragging this 'thing' behind it to even out the dirt we put down in the dog yard - we're reseeding it), I screwed around making myself a few fancy stitch markers using beads and I roughed in the figure for my collage. Need to go back and read the next couple of lessons so I know what I'm supposed to do next.
Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there! I'm having a nice quiet day today and later the girls and their families will be coming over for supper. Should be fun. Haven't posted much lately but I have been quite busy. I have been working on writing my next online class - just have to finish one more chapter. I started a new class yesterday down at the yarn shop - learning to knit socks. At first using four little knitting needles was very awkward but it's getting easier as I go along. I have new canvases to make my collages for Linda's class over on Doll Street (the last batch had rips in them when I opened the package). Plus I have been working on the clock doll. This is the box she will be built around.
These are my results from messing around with the stencils I had cut when I etched the jar. I think it looks better when the stencil is inked over rather than through. You could make some cool candle holders this way - with personal messages or something.
Plushie fever has passed and I have been wondering if I wasted my money when I bought the die cut machine to use to make eyes. NOPE! I found another use for it - to decorate jars. I have no idea where this idea came from because I haven't etched glass in YEARS - probably 10 years. But I got out the contact paper and made 3 stencils using my new Flourish die (from Revolution). If you've never etched glass - it is soooo simple ...
I've been working on a whole bunch of bookmarks for a swap I'm doing - I needed to make 9 of them. I came up with three designs and I'm repeating them. That's pretty unusual for me; I don't normally work in series (unless it's mermaids, ha ha). Anyhow - the main images are made with packing tape transfers and I enclosed the whole thing in laminate (which I sewed on). I have taken enough photos to write a tutorial for these, so if anyone is interested in me doing that please leave a comment. I"m off to water aerobics now and then to the coffee house for a 'stitch'n'bitch' with some Fairbanks knitters I met through ravelry.com.
I actually made something today - probably the first time in a week that I've been downstairs to the studio! This cold kicked my butt and although I am still totally congested, I'm feeling better. My hubby is home too - he was gone for a week - brought me back crafty presents! Too sweet! In case you've never noticed, I totally love the vintage nude and pin up girl art. So it was a no brainer for me to sign up for a pin up girl ATC swap over at swap-bot. We get our partners tomorrow so I figured I'd get mine done today. Some of you might remember when I bought a bunch of pin up girl postcards to send to Sherry's son when he went to Army basic training - I figured that a soldier had to have pin up girls in his locker, LOL. I scanned them before I sent them out and those are the images I used for these cards. Probably violated a dozen copyright rules too, SHHHH.
I have designed the Doll Street logo in my head - you'll never guess what style the doll maker in it will be drawn in? Not vintage nude! Now I just have to get it made! Li Hertzi is supposed to do it for me but she's getting ready to move to Ohio and is too stressed right now. I haven't decided if I really need it right now or to wait for Li. Anyone know a good illustrator?
I was cleaning off the top of a bookcase and I found this painting I had made for an exercise in transparency 4 years ago. Instead of throwing it out I figured I'd cut it up into ATCs. A couple of these can stand on their own, the rest will make great backgrounds. I wonder if you bought paintings at garage sales if you could cut them up and use them this way, LOL. Well, of course you CAN, but would you???
I made a few more ATCs today - after I got home from a terrifying trip into town. The ice fog was so thick and it was so hard to see, it was a white knuckle drive. I am so grateful that the sun came out and it warmed up enough to burn the fog off for the drive home. I was dreading it.
Let's talk about the cards ... these are for a Vintage Photo swap over at swap-bot. This is my Aunt Sandy when she was a little girl. She's one of my favorite subjects. I have lots of photos of her. I have a contact sheet of myself when I was her age in lots of the same poses. I need to find it and scan it.
The two cards on the right are made with a mosaic background based on a tutorial my friend Dr. Zh wrote. I painted the cards with a flesh colored gesso to mute them, so you have to look pretty close to see the mosaic! (Click twice on the photo) Because the backgrounds were so busy I had to keep the cards pretty simple. The top one has a frame cut from a piece of paper lace. The bottom one has the leftover from cutting a heart out of a folded paper. The two on the left aren't mosaic - one is an old paper and the other is a mix of different papers. As usual I got out the sequin waste and dabbed dots on them. I don't know why I like that so much but I do. Nothing earth shattering but they do have the Vintage feel and I'll be happy to send them out!
Anyone ever go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the midnight show at the movies? Where everyone dressed up and interacted with the movie? I have really good memories of doing that (uh, except dressing up - I didn't do that - although I probably would have if I could). Today my movie soundtrack came in the mail and, although it is very strange, it just makes me happy. I can't believe I remember most of the words to the songs! My husband ran out to the garage when I started blasting it. I love Tim Curry!!!!
Today I had to make a domino magnet for a customer and since I had the dominos out I figured I'd try one of those domino books. Pretty simple to make. I used watercolor paper for the accordian book part - painted it with metallics and interference paints. My friend and I are supposed to start going to water aerobics so I made this for her.
First of all I want to thank everyone for their suggestions on how to fix my faerie godmother - although I have to publicly state that I am not going to put clunky orthopedic shoes on her. She would die of mortification. It seems that the original stuffing was part of the problem and my friend Denise (from Doll Street Dreamers) is going to send me some of the stuff that I should have used - stuffing that Pam uses on her dolls. Mine was probably too soft. So I will probably cut her at the back of the knee (thanks, Patti Ann) and then restuff her. Hard. As. A. Rock.
Now on to today's photo ... I hosted another charm swap - I think this is the third one now. These are the ones I get to keep - and aren't they just fabulous! This is the second swap with my FabricDollArt group and it seems that most of us used polymer this time. I'll be adding these to my Charmed One doll's bracelet. I love swapping!
I have been trying to get a decent photo of this chair for days - but it's not gonna happen! The flash is washing out the photos. I need to take the photos outside in natural light but it's freakin' 40 degrees below zero and there's no way I'm going outside! Besides which the chair would probably freeze and break. I know my hair would if it was wet - but that's a story for another day. So without further ado ... here's the sucky pictures ... click to enlarge
I have to admit that I'm loving this chair! Each time I sit down to add more I am so tickled with what's happening to it. My brother said he thinks the chair is deeply weird! He said it's Tim Burton-ish. What a compliment! I face a hard decision now - should I go with the gold colors the class calls for or should I go with what a reader suggested - keep it white. I think it might be really beautiful if it was white with different iridescent colors. I'll have to think about it. I could always try it and then paint over it if I didn't like it!
I added the faces, the chair spout and leaf pools. Gave the faces hair. It's an interesting process - not the easiest thing for me,this working with apoxie sculpt. I can sit for hours playing with it. Mixing one little ball after another to use. I'm pleased with how everything looks so far. Except the horns - I'm going to try to fix that tomorrow.
I have an airbrush starter kit that my husband bought me last year - haven't done more than read the instructions. I think this piece is going to force me to get it out and give it a go. I have to add blobs of hanging fibers before it is supposed to be painted and I think the air brush would make it soooo much easier! We will see!
I'd been waffling about taking Jean Bernard's fantasy chair class for a while now but when Shashi posted her finished chair it blew me away. I went and signed up right then and there, LOL. So here is the first stage of my chair - the armature is built and covered in apoxy sculpt. I'm not sure what the business at the center top is ... some kind of skewed Viking horns?
I decided that I''m not going to put the magnets up on Etsy because by the time I pay all the Etsy fees and PayPal fees there won't be anything left for me, LOL. So here's the deal ... I will sell you the magnet for $6.00 which will include shipping. I will also include instructions on how to change the magnet into a necklace. The magnet is removable so it can be used in other art projects too. Just click in the sidebar under the mermaid's photo where it says 'Write to me via' and list the number of the magnet(s) you want. I'll send you a PayPal invoice. PayPal takes credit cards now too so you don't have to have a PayPal account anymore. Fair enough? Click on the photo - I left it really large so you can see the domino magnets close up. Actually, click twice - wait until the new window opens and then click the photo again. Thanks!!! OMG .. THEY ARE ALL GONE! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST .. IT'S A GREAT FEELING TO KNOW THAT YOU APPRECIATE MY WORK ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU ...
I decided to make one more thing for the craft fair. These are fragments of old AOL advertising compact disks (CDs) that have been made into pins (brooches?). Easy peasy. They are way prettier in person than in the photo (which you can click to enlarge) because the top layer is enameled. There are about 5 layers each with different elements which make for great depth. Click the 2nd photo and you can see the depth a bit better. My favorite is the one at the top you can barely see - it is stamped Dream - has a clock face - and a beaded 'pendulum' - to me it says Dreamtime! I even made little cards to mount them on - how's that for professional, LOL. If these don't sell at the fair I think I can approach a couple of boutiques with them. Although there are a few tutorials here and there on the web, I am thinking of making these and the domino necklaces/magnets into an online class. What do you think?
I am making domino magnets to sell at the craft fair. Here's the first dozen that I've finished. These are full sized dominos (last year I sold mini's). I'm not sure how much to charge for them though - $3 or $4. What do YOU think?
Inked and ready to be stamped and made into magnets. If my new stamps ever get here. I ordered from Stampers Anonymous on October 27th and still nothing in the mail ... I'm not used to waiting this long for crafty happiness! Grrrr ....
I am doing my third charm swap; I just love these things! I wanted to do something different this time but was having a hard time thinking of what. The other day I watched An Altered Journey - which is a craft DVD put out by Tim Holtz of Ranger Industries. He has some really neat projects in there - I actually learned quite a bit. One of the projects was what he called Fragments - so I did a variation of that for the charms. This is black polymer clay rolled out and stamped. Cut it into a shape following the stamping and then put it on top of another piece of clay which I either tore the edges of or rolled. Brushed everything with Pearl Ex powders and baked. Came out okay except the silly jump rings didn't fit and I had to make my own. But I'm pretty happy with them. It's actually easier to see the stamped image in the photo than in person - how's that for backwards!!!!
I said yesterday that I would take a photo of Kate's paper doll and post it. So here she is ... isn't she sick!
Drop down about four posts and check out how this fish tank looked when I bought it - with little Nemo's on the sides and seaweed waving to and fro. It's kind of changed now. I'm not sure if I like this or not -it's really busy, maybe too busy, on the border of messy. But I'll live with it for a while and see what it tells me. I do know I want to add more orange to the top part (with the antennae). I think I will refrain from adding any 3-D embellishments though. They would probably just get lost. But this is the first thing I've done in nearly a week, art wise, and it felt good to play!
I have decided to overcome my fear of journaling and I've started a gratitude journal. I am using a fabric covered journal that my friend Heather (who I really miss) made for me. I thought it very appropriate. Here is today's page ... I really am grateful for all my online friends and all of you who visit my blog ... so this one's for you!
I got the round robin doll that has been living at my house for the last few months ready to hit the road. I am SO glad that this group is not anal about timelines. We kind of get to the dolls when we get to them. I have another one heading my way so I knew I had to finish the current one up. I can't show a photo because I don't want to spoil the surprise so what I will show you is the 'disk' that I made to hang on the outside of the journal. Nat .. don't look ... if you want to be surprised ...
Everyone seemed to have used some type of face mold or actually sculpted a face for their disk. I thought I would keep the theme going but the only faces I had looked terrible. I did have this little plaster fairy though that I received as a gift. So I decided to paint her as my 'sculpt'. Yeah. I had to use a freakin' magnifying glass to see what I was doing. I don't know how people do the miniatures. Must have better hand/eye coordination than I do, ha ha. Anyhow - this is my pathetic little attempt at it. It actually looks better in person because a lot of the paint is Lumiere -which you couldn't tell at all with this photo.
Just a quick ATC made from some goodies that came in a bag of 'stuff' that arrived with an art pillow I bought on eBay. I was told to 'make art' ... so I tried. LOL. I have one more ATC to make for this month's swap. Other than that I'm playing with my computer - trying to get some new hardware to work. Oh - and I taught myself to make stencils with a light-sensitive plastic (it's for my husband so he can etch his logo onto his knives). That was fun - spent most of yesterday afternoon doing that. Had to turn my bathroom into a 'darkroom'. Now I'm thinking of what *I* can etch, LOL.
My friend Sherry Goshon's power has been out due to the winter storms in Iowa and she has been staying with her Mom, Jacque Uetz. These two super talented artists put their heads together and came up with the idea of Artist Trading Dolls. You need more than two people to swap though, so they have started a new group over at Yahoo. I offered to help co-moderate the technical end and one thing led to another and now I'm a co-owner of the group. The group is for trading artistic paper dolls, leaning new techniques, and we'll even have some challenges. We'll be making different styles of Artist Trading Dolls - this is one I came up with.
It is the size of a standard Artist Trading Card and when all the extremeties are folded up it will fit into the plastic sleeves that hold baseball cards (and ATCs). I came up with this one because I am so out of room to store anything! The pieces that Sherry and Jacque created are about 8 1/2" tall. I asked if we could do a smaller format as an option. It's a participation only group - no lurkers allowed!
UPDATE: This group no longer exists (4/28/2008)
I made this little accordian book for my daughter as a stocking stuffer. I think she'll get a kick out of it as she is getting married next year and is already talking about having a baby (yes! I'll be a grandma!!! ) The photos are of my daughter from when my husband was a single dad and that's why these are Dad's tips. Enjoy the photos and I'll give the technical details afterwards. Click photos to enlarge.
Now the technical details ... these are made with book board covered with fabric. The interior is one large piece of watercolor paper that has been painted with acrylics. Notice I've used bubble wrap again as a paintbrush. I learned how to make these this summer at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. I made my other daughter one too but it doesn't have a theme - just baby photos with captions. There are lots of books you can buy (or get out of the library) that teach how to make these - the accordian book is the basic beginner's project in most of them. I buy my book board and PVA bookbinding glue online from Paper Source. They are great to deal with.
As today is Christmas I'd like to wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas!
My daughter came over today and wanted to make some presents for her friends. I had told her she could use my 'stuff' since she's flat broke. While she tried to figure out what to make I made this little gallery wrapped canvas collage which is available at my Etsy shop for the small price of $20 ... (SOLD - THANK YOU DE-DE!)
Love the little girl and her baby ...
Oh, and my daughter never did figure out something to make.
I finished another batch of mini domino magnets today. These are 1/4 inch bigger than the last set. I think it's time for a light tent though - I'm tired of having to fight with the glare from the flash. I hear you can get good deals sometimes on eBay, I'll have to go look. Some of the dominoes have jingle bells on them - the ones that say Believe. I thought it was just perfect for the red and green dominoes; after all they will be for sale at a holiday craft show!
The box for the art gallery in Houston is done. I brought in a touch of red to it - which warmed it up a lot. I didn't add much to it in the way of embellishments - just a bunch of vintage buttons. I think I just had too much texture medium on it to do much else to it. I'm not super happy with it but what can you do. Nothing seemed to work. That happens sometimes. On to other things. Which just happens to be MORE severed hand pincushions. I received an order for two from a gal in Canada so I'll be working on those next. I think it's funny that they are so popular. But i won't complain!!!
This is a box in progress .. do you call those BIPs? I just added the stockinette around the faces. I used Paverpol so it should be stiff as a board by tomorrow and then I can paint it. This box will be going to an art gallery in Houston, Texas for a fundraiser. They have an annual $100 Box show and I thought it would be fun to do. If it sells I'll get $50 - but it cost me $10 to buy the box and it will cost at least $10 to mail it back .. so .... I'm doing it more for fun than profit.
Here is how I made the background. I glue crumpled tissue paper to the whole thing. Then I squeezed on Texture Magic in white (you get the stuff in tubes at the craft store) and I used my fingers to smooth it and then pull upwards to get the peaks. When everything was dry I painted it with 14K Gold (Delta Gleam) acrylic paint, gave it a wash of black, and highlighted it with blue/green lumiere paint. All the faces are Bliss - a mold by Fran Parrigan-Meehan.
I'm going to be really busy creating 'stuff' this weekend so stay tuned !!!
I finally got a picture of the mini-magnets I talked about last week. These are TINY !! They are 1 inch long by 1/2 inch wide. I didn't know what to display them on so I used the top of the domino tin - painted, of course.
I am hosting an ATC swap over at Swap-bot with a theme of "Vintage Ladies in Hats". It is a 3 for 3 swap - you make 3, mail them to your partner, and get 3 back. I like Swap-bot because the computer does all the work of assigning partners. You can sign up here.
I think this guy is finished, but maybe not. I used a stamp I just received from Judi and some Etal from Sharyl. The Etal is actually metal but it can be cut like paper and sewn like fabric. It can be distressed with heat and painted. It's pretty cool stuff.
I had to make three Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) which incorporated bar codes into the artwork. I wanted to make three completely different types of cards. My favorite, which should be no surprise, is the one with the vintage lady.
The middle one is supposed to be the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland - it probably would have worked better if I could have found a wider, longer bar code. The little girl is my Aunt - she's getting to be a regular feature in my work, LOL. The bar codes on the fish are actually blue and they came from the back of paint chip samples. This was a fun exercise and they are already winging their way to their new owner.
I got a great surprise in the mail yesterday - a deco I sent out into the world a year ago. It's my first homer (that's the term used when a deco is ready to send back to the owner). It's really fun to see how everyone interprets a theme.
The theme for this deco is blue and silver. I did the cover art. Five other artists contributed to this piece; all of them are from my Embellished Circus art group. Thanks, ladies! I love it!
I needed to make three art magnets for a swap I'm in. They all have to go to the same person so I had to really think to make them different. Have you noticed how everyone is making the same kind of art lately? Vintage photos of people with butterfly wings and party hats? They all look great but they are getting old. I love using the vintage photos too but I'm trying to find a different way to do it.
The first magnet is a business card magnet. Kind of blah - but I found out that you can use your paper punches on them - notice the corners. Just had to turn the punch upside down and lean on it.
I am the Member of the Month for one of my art groups - which means it's my turn for fabulous, fun presents. It's like having a birthday all month long! Today I received this Vintage Faery from Kelli Perkins - isn't this absolutely to die for! The little fairy is sooooo cute! I just love it!
Thanks to everyone for their insightful suggestions about fixing the cowgirl. I went to the copy store today and got a couple of color copies to test some ideas out on. Thanks for that tip, Kathy! It was a good one as I was afraid to do ANYTHING to her in case I really messed it up. I probably should have made copies of the flyleaf before I cut it up and used it. Oh well. Too late for that! Here's what I ended up with ...
I added a lot of red into it .. there is a lot of spatter which is hard to see .. I added red into the snakeskin as well as gold and brown on the edges. I also added some gold around the cards and one side of the cowgirl but you can't see it in the photo. It's a pretty subtle change but I like it. Near impossible to photograph though!
My husband reads western novels and a while back one of the pages fell out of his book. He was reading a vintage 1950s book and the page was from the flyleaf and it absolutely captivated me. I've been wanting to do something with this page for a while now, but now I'm not happy with what I did.
The values are all so similar that the piece kind of blends together. I'm not sure what to do with it to make it pop. I can't do a whole lot to it because everything is glued down, LOL. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
and yes, that is real snakeskin, LOL. But it is a shed skin, no actual snakes were harmed in the process of making this piece.
I haven't made these in years! We are going to be having a paper bead swap through my Embellished Circus art group and a couple of the girls have been posting photos of their beads. I just had to try my hand at it after seeing theirs.
I hadn't tried dipping into melted UTEE (Ultra thick embossing enamel) before so I thought I'd give it a go. I had bought a little glue melting pot when our JoAnn's went out of business so I used that to melt the UTEE. I think it got too hot because my clear UTEE turned brown. It made my dark blue papers look black. But when I wrapped those with holographic sliver thread it looked really cool. I even figured out how to stick holeless beads on some of the beads. It was fun.
I had an order from a gal in Canada for one of the Barbara Willis 'Sew Lovely' corset wall hangings. She wanted it in baby pink. I didn't have baby pink anything so I had to go shopping, LOL. Gosh I just hate when that happens. I think she will be happy with this ...
I made a few more altered business card magnets. They are fairly plain but I did learn a thing or two. Let me tell you about them ...
I learned that you really have to have a good puddle of melted UTEE (Ultra thick embossing enamel) in order to stamp into them. I also learned that an extra fine tip Sharpie marker fills in blank spots really nicely. The stamp will leave an impression in the UTEE even if the ink doesn't transfer well so you can just follow along the impression with the pen. Even though I was using a low temperature heat gun with very little fan the pearl ex powders tended to blow off this time. My piece of wood laminate that I use to heat things on is turning really pretty colors though!
Today was a very good art day, things just flowed. Some days are like that and other days you just stare at a blank piece of paper/fabric/whatever. I made two beeswax collages as well as an ATC - photos of the collages follow.
I really like the one with the rose quote - it makes me think of an Impressionist painting for some reason. The background was wax with blue/green crayon melted and swirled into mud (ha ha). The next layer was a printed tissue paper - it had that French wording on it. Then I added a piece of paper lace, a vellum oval, the bird, and the saying, but it still needed something in the lower left. Remember everything is held in place by beeswax. I tried to put a silk rose on it but it didn’t like it and refused to let me stick it on there. Literally. I used two different glues and nothing held. So instead I took yellow and magenta crayons and shaved slivers off of them with a craft knife, then I took my heat gun and melted them into little puddles. I love the way it came out. Oh - I nearly forgot - all the raised areas have gold ink from running a stamp pad over them, as do all the edges, but you can't see it in the photo, darn it. The other collage is okay but kind of blah compared to the rose one. I never have a good idea of where I’m going with these things. I just take a dozen images and start playing with them - some I use and some I discard. These are for Member of the Month presents for an art group I’m in. One for April and one for May. Not saying I’m late or anything, ha ha ha.
This is the last of the projects I made at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. It was supposed to be a book that held all the ATCs we traded in class but I doubt I will use it for that. The cover is a piece of watercolor paper that has umpteen layers of paint, stamping, and even fabric snippets on it. The end paper is another piece of watercolor paper that I painted - but with way less layers. This one only has about 5 layers. The black wiggly stuff is the Krylon Webbing Spray - that stuff is way cool! I have to buy some! I actually like the end paper better than the book cover!
... or maybe I should call today's posting 'Look - no boobs!". No drag queens, no vintage nudes. Just something fairly normal. I must be losing my touch, LOL. I think today's project has been my favorite so far. I can see lots of possibilities for these little books. They will make great gifts and they make up fast. I made this one for my Aunt Sandy ...
after all, these are all photos of her! We started by covering some sort of mat board with fabric. Then I decorated a piece of watercolor paper (for the inside) by doing a tissue paper/acrylic paint job. Folded the paper into fourths (more or less). Cut out the photos of my aunt, glued them to the watercolor paper, and colored them with inks. Added metal word art bits. Then glued it into the book and decorated the front. I used my alcohol inks to color the scrabble tiles so they matched. Maybe too well - could have used a bit of contrast. Oh well. I still like it and I'm sure my aunt will too! You need to try these. Oh - got to try a new tool called the Crop-a-dile - it punches holes and sets eyelets. Very cool - no hammering. I think I need one of them!
One girl quit the class because she took a bookbinding class recently and she turned up her nose at what we are doing. She sniffed that she took the bookbinding class as “Fine Art��?. Too bad - she could have just stayed and enjoyed herself and the camaraderie. It’s a nice bunch of women and our instructor is great!
I know I said that I'd take another photo of the queen today but I decided to add another element to it and I won't be doing that until tomorrow. Today we took the lid from the cigar box that was yesterday's project and used it as the base for a wax collage. Take a look at my lovely little project ...
... Sherry will recognize this image. I use this vintage gal a lot as I just think she is gorgeous. We learned how to make wax transfers and wax collage. To do the transfer we put melted beeswax on the lid and then laid a photocopy image face down. Then we wet cotton pads with acetone and applied it to the back of the paper. Rubbed a lot and the ink transferred to the wax. I got kind of a ghost image on mine - it was a gate. But it gave the piece a nice background. Then I added the paper elements and waxed over them to 'glue' them down. All the little embellishments were added using gel medium as a glue. I also used melted brown crayon around the edges to create a little frame of sorts. This piece was fun and it went together easily. I'm really pleased with it!
Since I couldn't get down to any of the doll conferences this year I decided to treat myself to a class at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. I am taking Collage and Mixed Media from Brenda Milan. This is a week long class - from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. Lots of art time! Three girls that I know are taking the class and we're sitting together and having lots of fun. Today we made a collage inside a cigar box. Learned some fun paint techniques and then we started to build our little people for inside the box. Most everyone did something family oriented - Susan made a collage of her pets, Kris made a collage of her son, Dalonna made a shrine to her grandmother, and me? I'm out in left field as usual. I made a drag queen. Tomorrow we finish it up by covering it with a piece of clear plexiglass that we will transfer words onto. I will take a better photo of this piece tomorrow. There is a lot of innuendo that you can't really see, such as a peacock in one of the window frames. Kai - Dom would appreciate this one!
My Paper Dollz round robin made it back home yesterday - I was SOOO happy. I always worry that these things will get lost in the mail. After all look what happened to Bella Donna - she was lost at sea for a couple of months on her way to Israel. This little project didn't travel as far though. We had to decorate a paper blank and also do journal pages. Here's what everyone did ...
The first one out of the gate is from Helen G - she used a 3D head on hers - neat idea!
This is from Sherry Dawn - don't you love the extra little kimono?
This is from Cherie - sorry about the glare - lots of glitz on this one!
Thanks to everyone who was in the project! We are probably going to send our RR paper doll project around to a new bunch of artists later this fall.
I'm moving right along with my swaps and round robins. Today I finished up a little paper elf for Helen in NY. This was for a round robin that I'm doing with Sherry Goshon's group - FabricDollArt. This is the last month of this project so I should be getting my journal and little girls back home soon. Let me tell you what this little elf is made of ...
it's not sugar and spice and everything nice. It's green ink and stamps, pieces of paper napkins, flowers and leaves, and lots of holeless beads. I used Aleene's Paper Glaze as the glue for the beads. It has a nice long conical spout that allows you a lot of control over the glue. You can actually draw designs with it because it is a fairly thin glue. If you look at the face you'll see some silver around it - those are silver beads. Try it, you'll like it. I also used it to make the gold stars on the torso ... but ... I used embossing powder and the glue bubbled when it was heated. But I'm pleased with it and I think Helen will like her too!
I made one more of those Sew Lovely wall hangings - this one is a bit smaller than the others - the skirt is shorter. Although it is still 20" long. I am just about out of the sheer gold material with the glitter and the holeless beads. I'd been hoarding that material for a long time .. too pretty to use ... you know how that goes! Here she is ....
This one is for sale at my Etsy store ... only $29.99 or something like that ....
I have close-up photos of this at the Etsy store if you want to see details. Why is it so hard to take photos of glittery stuff?
I don't know what to call these ... they aren't really dolls but they aren't really paper dolls either. What they are is pretty! Tell me what you think these should be called ...
The gold one is going to be donated to the Elks Lodge for their charity auction. The red one is for my daughter's birthday present. Barbara Willis pattern.
I've only got one more month with this paper doll round robin, it's been fun. This month I decided to do a traditional type paper doll. I made a set of clothes with tabs for the basic doll to wear. Here's the basic doll .. an old lady in her underwear... and her hat.
Had a blast today making these artist bio's. I decided they really aren't artist statements as they don't have the usual pretentious artist blather. They just talk a little about us - so they are more of a biography. Karen and I got ours done but Susan forgot her photo and her statement so she will finish at home. They came out great!
I taught the girls how to paint a layered background. It was just like I was teaching a class - I stood up the whole time, LOL. This is Karen's - she took a baby Bendi doll and used the limbs for her body parts. It's bright and fun and just like her dolls!
I had to do a couple of art squared pieces for my April swaps over at Embellished Circus. I hadn't done any art squared pieces before but it's not any different from ATCs or decos - just a different size. These two pieces are 4" x 4". I like the first one but not so much the second.
I used the same background technique I tried with the artist statement piece - I really like the way they come out. This piece is Live for Love .. pretty self explanatory. Kai should get a giggle out of the dictionary word I put across her lap. I didn't do it on purpose, it kind of happened that way.
Dalonna and Kris, two of the girls in my doll club, came up with an absolutely brilliant way for us to do our artist statements for our gallery show in June. I’ve actually started on mine - which is bad - because two of the girls are coming over on Sunday so we can work on them together. I just couldn’t wait, LOL. This will give you an idea of what we’re doing.
Dalonna's grandmother had made a few dozen dress appliqués for a quilt that never got made and Dalonna inherited them. At club this past Monday we each got to pick a dress. That was tough because there was a red checked dress I really liked! I couldn't decide between that one and this one. In the end I took this one, (duh, obviously) a cool retro polka dot fabric but then I did the fantasy fabric and free motion stitching thing all over it. It blended with the background so well I had to fuse it to a black piece of material so you could see it, LOL.
The base is foam board - I did a fairly complicated background following instructions in an article in the current issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Great fun even if I did end up wearing as much paint as the board did! I always use iridescent paints so the pictures are nearly impossible to take. To finish the dress, we are all taking a photo of our faces and we will be 'wearing' the dress. It will have arms and legs of some sort - beads, charms, paper - who knows. I’ll wait until Sunday for that.
The actual artist statement will be typed and glued to the page. At least mine will, my writing stinks. We’re doing bullet statements. These will look so cool on the wall - everyone’s board will be different but all the dresses will be the same shape. Neat, huh! I'll post another photo when it's done on Sunday.
ummm... caught another of those silly little fairies in the bedroom this morning ... this is Chrystene .. Louella is teaching her to resize clothes ...
I made a huge discovery today! It's a boon for all women and will totally astound you!
Have you ever gotten dressed in the morning and found your clothes didn’t fit? Bet you thought it was you! HA! It was Louella, the dress size fairy. I caught her in my bedroom this morning. She changes your clothing, sometimes shrinking them, sometimes enlarging them, but always leaving the labels alone. Then she hides in a corner and laughs, and laughs, and laughs. I am sorry to say that she got away from me while I was trying to zip up my pants with a pair of pliers. So keep an eye out for her!
I bought a box lot of bisque and porcelain doll parts on eBay for an upcoming project. Unfortunately when they got here a lot of them were smashed. Enough that it made the whole lot unuseable to me. Luckily I had bought insurance on the package so I took them to the post office to file my claim. The post office kept all the parts but they let me take one little broken doll head home. For some reason this little head really speaks to me. I took some photos of her and I made this collage. It is on a 5"x7" canvas panel and is done in acrylics and paper, with an artist-made glass heart and beaded trim.
I have to make a hand drawn/hand painted postcard for a swap I'm in. I tried to do some watercolor landscapes today but they didn't come out very well. Then I tried to draw a rabbit - I couldn't copy the picture worth a darn. I was getting pretty frustrated. But there is one thing that I *can* draw fairly well - faces! So I gave up on the other stuff and fell back on old reliable. So ... here's my postcard.
I drew it in pencil on watercolor paper, then went over the lines with pigma pen. Erased all the pencil lines. Ummm - then I got the paper nice and wet and went at it with the watercolor pencils. When dry I used gel pens for details. Sprayed it with Krylon Workable Fixative when done. I don't know if that was the right thing to use but it should work.
I really thought twice about sharing this photo with you. I worked on this piece for two days and I don't like it. It's butt ugly. But one of the premises of my blog is that we can learn from each other so .... if you dare ... keep reading.
First off - the clock body is a paper mache box. The legs are dowels with wooden toy wheels. The arms are porcelain with wooden beads and spools. The head is a 2" wooden ball with a wooden candle cup for the neck. The cone headpiece is just paper.
There are some major problems in my mind with this clock. I stamped the woman's image on tissue paper and then glued it to the wooden ball for the head. I think it lost some of it's femininity - actually a lot of it - when it curved. Now it looks like a guy who needs to shave. I also think the image is too large. So - this is fixable - I can decoupage papers on top of the stamped image and try something else. Next - the arms. I think they are in the wrong position - too low. So that's easy to fix. Just means that I have to add embellishments to the side of the box to cover the existing holes (oh bummer - embellishments). Then after they are moved they will probably get to hold something and be positioned somehow other than just hanging down (thanks, Judy!). I also think it might do better with a bit more color - it's kind of bland. So that's my take on it. What's yours? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
This is my first canvas collage. I had bought a couple of canvases before Christmas thinking to make something for my daughters - but never got around to it. So when Sherry was here I pulled them out and we spent a day playing with them.
This uses the peeling paint technique. After we put all the papers down and sealed it with gel medium (and it dried) we put vaseline on the areas we didn't want paint to stick to. Then after it dried we wiped off the excess paint. I didn't get a photo of Sherry's canvas but it's really cool!
Remember I said that I had made some hand carved stamps? They are pretty primitive looking because I tried to get rid of the negative space around the design. These are pretty easy to do and you can make much cleaner stamps if all you do is carve out your lines and leave the background. I made some like that at our doll club meeting this past Monday. If you want to try this yourself just get a Speedball Linoleum Cutter kit (I don't think they are really expensive) and a couple of erasers or the linoleum specially made for carving. The erasers are good for practice but they can crumble around the edges of your lines. Then draw your design - remember that the image will be mirrored when you stamp it on something. Also be aware of the positive/negative aspects of your design - for instance if you are going to stamp in black on a white paper - do you want your image to be white on a black background (carve only the lines of the design) or black on a white background (carve around the lines - take out all of the background). That's how I did these stamps - carved out the background and left the design raised.
You can make all sorts of stamps and use them with fabric paints to make unique fabric for your dolls. You could make a border for a dress or just stamp right on the body itself. Lots of uses for these. Plus it's just plain fun.
One of the swaps I'm doing this month with my Embellished Circus mail art group is Funky Figures. At first I tried making a figure using a wine cork as the body but it didn't work out very well. I mean, it worked, but I didn't like it. So then I dug into my embellishment box and came up with two metal pieces that I decided to work around. I think they came out okay.
The first one is a traveler; the head is a half globe with the map of Australia, the banner says Travel, one hand is a charm shaped like Alaska (it's sideways in the photo, oops), the other is a Chinese coin. What's fun is that all the pieces traveled to get to me -- I got the globe from a mail art friend, the travel banner came from Heather in Michigan, the Alaska charm was bought down in Anchorage by my daughter, and the Chinese coin - well, maybe it came from China, LOL.
The second figure is pretty self explanatory. Both the metal body pieces are scrapbook embellishments (from Heather - thank you very much!)!. It really is fun trying to find things that will work with your visions!
I've had quite a few inquiries about the dominos .. they are $15 each and shipping for one or two is is $4.25 for priority or $2.00 for first class. I have a PayPal account so if you pay that way I can ship right away. I can ship overseas too but it won't get there in time for the holidays. I'm told the deadline for mailing is Dec 12th for the states. Well, that's if you want it to get there in time for Xmas/Channukah.
I've also been asked about how I make these ... so ... I'm taking photos as I go along and might make it into an on-line class. It's just too complicated to write up as a tutorial. Especially if you haven't worked with some of the supplies before.
That said - as of this evening I have all 70 dominos stamped and glossed and only have about 25 more to bead. Then it's on to making 70 necklaces! The end is in sight!!!!!!!!
Finished stamping about 25 dominos today and inked up another 25. I took everyone's advice and made more of certain types and none of others, LOL. I did use the Staz-on ink this time and I ended up with 3 that I didn't like so I collaged them. I thought I'd take a photo of them before they were enameled .. less glare. Here's the latest bunch ...
and here's my niece's treasure box that I made for her holiday present. I actually got to do something today besides doms for a little bit! Yay!
I have been working on dominos like mad the past few days. I am going to try to sell these at a Christmas bazaar one Saturday in December. Of course I really should go sign up for it. It's a small bazaar held every weekend in December in a half-empty mall in North Pole. It never fills so it shouldn't be a problem. If I can't get in I'll just open an Etsy shop on the web and see if I can move them that way. Anyhow - you know that saying that there are no mistakes, only opportunities?
I had the opportunity to do a couple of collages on this batch of dominos. I discovered that you can't make a dark background and expect the black ink to show up. I might try silver next time. I also found out that pigment ink does not dry on these things no matter how long you leave them. I was trying to avoid using the Staz-on permanent ink because I hate how it won't clean off the stamps. I ended up having to spray these with a light coat of polyurethane to seal it before I enameled them. Live and learn!
Oh, oh, oh .. almost forgot ... also learned that a husband who was given green glow in the dark powder will bug you to death until you agree to put some on a domino. One of the doms with the Japanese characters has a 2nd character stamped on it that only shows up in the dark. Crazy.
My daughter called me the other night and asked me to make her a lap quilt for Christmas/Chanukah (we celebrate both). I haven't made a quilt in years! My mother-in-law is quite the prolific quilter and she has given me so many quilts that I just quit making them. Luckily I didn't forget how! My new sewing machine is an absolute dream to piece on too - I'm actually enjoying this! But I did take a break tonight from sewing to work in a couple of decos. I really like how this piece came out.
This is for a deco called Shades of Blue. I bought a sea sponge today and I thought I'd try it out. BTW, buying from the bath section is much cheaper than the paint section - plus you get a way bigger and softer sponge. I figured if it looks good on paper maybe I'll try sponge painting a wall again. Did it once and it looked HORRIBLE - plus it was red - which made it EVEN WORSE! So I sponge painted this and it was okay. Then I stamped on top of it. I wonder if I could do that to the wall? Just think how LONG it would take... forget that idea!
Haven't blogged for a few days so I thought I'd post a photo of an Art Card I made and put on eBay to see if it would sell. Not so far, LOL.
The idea is that sometimes you can't get your answer out. It was fun to make and if it doesn't sell, well, I do owe a couple of people ATCs so it won't sit at home!
Oh - the ribbon-eating puppy is one year old today .. does that mean I can't call him a puppy anymore?
I had one more domino from my friend Michelle that was predrilled. This one had four holes so I had to be a bit more creative when making the necklace.
I used Wild Wire to string the beads on the bottom but I'm a little worried that it will break. I gave up on making jump rings for the top too - just ended up stringing ribbon through it. I'm going to have to do an Internet search to see if I can find big jump rings. But I think these are pretty and as soon as I get some more dominos I'll be making more.
In honor of Halloween ... a Zetti deco page.
One of the gals in the Embellished Circus suggested that I make pendants to put inside the boxes I embellished yesterday. So I did!
This is that domino that I painted using alcohol inks a couple of weeks ago. I stamped it with a permanent ink - nasty stuff! Then just melted three layers of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) on it. Twisted some wire and added a couple of beads. I don't think this will end up in a box - I think it's going to end up around my neck!
I didn't plan for the green ink to be where it is .. the shading was totally serendipitous - but it's just perfect!
Been working on some presents the last couple of days. Saw a neat project on an episode of the Carol Duval show so I took the basic idea and ran with it. I've made four of these little treasure boxes .. but only took pictures of three since two are the same.
These didn't take long to make. I timed it today thinking these might be good craft fair items, they only took 50 minutes to make - not counting drying time, etc. So that's not too bad. They begin with inexpensive plain wooden boxes I bought at the craft store, then I painted the outside black, and the inside in a color that matched the papers used on the outside. I did various faux paint treatments on all the boxes with lumiere paints, they look much prettier in person. Then stamped the faces and used my new big square punch to get the portion of the image I wanted to use. I've never used one of those punches before and I really like it. Then used the rotary cutter to cut the white background squares and my thumb. How I managed to cut myself on the hand that was HOLDING the cutter I don't know. You know how you are supposed to put pressure on a cut to make it stop bleeding? I figured if I kept cutting while pressing on the rotary cutter with my thumb that would be the same thing. Thought it was working well until I put the cutter down and both it and my thumb were covered in blood. But the good news is that I didn't get any blood on my work! So where was I? Oh, okay, after making three boxes I figured out that it's much faster to put all the little squares through my Xyron machine instead of painting glue on each piece. So all the paper pieces are on the box and I gave everything a coat of Paper Glaze. Which, after a special trip into town to buy it, I found out is the same thing as Plaid's Dimensional Magic, which I already had. Guess I won't run out of the stuff. The Paper Glaze works great as glue too - that's what I used to stick the jewels on the lid. The feet are little wood pieces I had in my stash - just painted them and glued them on.
My husband thinks I could get $5.00 for them. I couldn't see selling them for less than $15.00. But they are kind of small - only 3 1/4" tall and about 4 1/2" in width. What do you think?
I'm supposed to have lunch tomorrow with a few of my old girlfriends - we've known each other for about 17 years but we rarely get together. We all were in the dance troupe together and I just thought it would be nice to make them little presents. Although they seem strange at first glance there's a story behind why I did what I did for each of them.
This one is for Angie - I guess it might seem odd to call your friend a 'Shameless Hussy' but this is a scan of a button that she bought. She actually bought one for each of us.
This one is for Anne. I used the same photo but used a distortion effect to make us taller and thinner, LOL. The longer I look at this the less I like the letter stickers - so I'm just going to stop looking! The gold paper doily gives this a nice Victorian feel - I had to use some burnt umber glaze to tone it down. Reminds me of a story Sue used to tell . We had just finished a show for the Chamber of Commerce at a hotel ballroom and had gone to the adjoining bar to cool down and have a drink. She overheard a woman calling us 'soiled doilies' instead of 'soiled doves'. Guess we weren't what the tourists expected, LOL.
The photo was taken back in, oh, 1990 or so. Our whole troupe had gone to Alaskaland where we were having photos taken by a professional photographer to be used for the cover of the Fairbank's Visitor's Guide. It was my birthday that day and after the photo shoot we had cake and took these pictures of our little clique. We sure don't look like that anymore, sigh.
Got done with everything Paris today! The final thing I had to do was to make two decos, one for me, one for my swap partner. Although they both get mailed to my swap partner, she'll work in mine before she mails them both out. I made them pretty small - about 4 1/2" by 2 1/2". Here they are:
Collage with Eiffel Tower embellishments.
I've decided I really need to cut back on all the mail art I've been doing. I seem to be making things I need to make to meet commitments but not things I want to make. I like making these things but I'm hearing the call of the dolls. So I'm going to concentrate on finishing up everything for this month in this next week. Today I made two paper Artist Trading Cards that had no theme for one of my swap partners. I got this image in the mail today from Penny and I liked it so much I used it right away.
I used a paint color sample that I picked up at Home Depot the other day for the background. They are big enough that you can cut a whole background out of it without getting any of the writing on it.
Finished up a present for my best friend today. For about 8 years we were in a dance group that performed for tourists, for local events, and we even got to travel to perform. It was a lot of fun and a huge part of our lives. We haven't danced for about 10 years now but we have fond memories. She recently sent me a photo of us in costume - our can-can costume. So I thought I'd use the photo to make a wall hanging for her.
First, I took the photo she sent and changed it to sepia tones in my Paint Shop Pro program. Then I covered a CD in papers - you can't see it really well but some of the words are "old friend", "memories" and "the language of friendship isn't words". Added some microbeads in a couple of spots, an old rhinestone earring, and edged it with gold pearls. Had a hard time getting the pearls on - tried two different glues but they didn't work. Finally figured out that if I made a circle of cardstock a tiny bit bigger than the CD the pearls would have a ledge of sorts to sit on. Had to break out the hot glue gun to stick them on though - it's been a long time since I've used one of those! The hanger is funny - it's the top piece of a garter. Yep, using underwear in my art now.
Oh - that's me on the left.
Seems like I have a lot of projects this month that have a Parisian theme. I have two decos yet to make, worked in another Parisian deco, and I just finished up my Paris ATCs. This is my 2nd Paris ATC. It's simple but effective. I think a good background is key to a decent ATC. I've tried different techniques but I keep coming back to direct-to-paper with the stamping pads. On this one I glued on crumpled up white tissue paper then sponged on three different color inks then added some colored gauze fabric. The rest is obvious. I like it - too bad I couldn't keep it,LOL.
The new JoAnn Fabric superstore opened yesterday. So I went and checked it out today. I was very good - I didn't do too much damage to my checkbook. I did buy some more of those alcohol inks - got the last package left in the store (love that 40% off coupon!). They have tons more stuff, plus a huge scrapbooking section, so I can see myself saving money on shipping now, yay!
When I got home I tried to get some deco work out of the way. I don't have many left to do now, yay. Of course, someone will send me more as soon as these move along to the next victim, er, artist. But I got to play with something that was new to me today so that was cool.
This is a page for a vintage lady deco - it's about 3 1/2" x 3". The heart was dull metal and I put some blue alcohol ink on it. It was still dull so I thought I'd try putting some UTEE on it. That's Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. It's like coarse embossing powder - I'd never used it before - it's neat stuff. Took three layers to get a nice finish and then I smooshed it around with my finger to give it texture. It's nice and shiny now! Everyone always does vintage with browns and beiges so I thought I'd do something different.
This is a tag for another deco. It was 'free expression' so I decided to do another vintage lady since I have a bunch of those images already printed out. Yeah, yeah .. browns and beiges, LOL.
Lastly, I'm supposed to be doing some Paris ATCs for a swap next month and these dancers are painted by one of the Impressionists. I always associate them with Paris so it works for me! I scanned the dancers from some notecards I have and they don't say who painted this .. if YOU know please leave me a comment.
Oh - this was too much fun! One of the girls in the Embellished Circus made a magazine and told us where to go to make our own. So here is the first edition (okay, so it's just the cover) of The Godmother Gazette!
Make your own magazine cover or trading card or art stamp! It's fun! Hope it works for you - it didn't work on my laptop, something must have been interfering with the program - I ended up having to use my desktop computer to get it to work. But I'm glad I did! I see more magazines in my future, LOL.
I've wanted to make an ATC about the tragedy in New Orleans and I found this quote on a piece of paper in my kitchen. I'm not sure where it came from - obviously it came in an envelope of mail art but I don't know whose. So I decided to use it on a paper ATC. I made a montage of some photos from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and this is how it ended up.
Here's a very simple ATC ... background was pieces of a sunflower napkin torn up and glued down, on top of that are various papers and a vintage fruit crate label with mini brads in the corners. Some gold ribbon, copper trim and an iron-on stone finish it off.
I have lots of bright cardstock and cutesy papers from when I scrapbooked a few years ago. I worked really bold and bright when I scrapbooked but I seem to use softer colors on my ATCs. So I'll have to see if I can break out of this mold! Anyway, I finally got the Vintage Sewing Artist Trading Cards finished up today. I made 9 of them so I should get 9 back. That should be fun! I found some images of vintage trade cards that I used for some of them. Here's the two I made today.
This one is pretty plain but it's really pretty in person. It has a trade card for the White sewing machine company. In case you're wondering what a trade card is ...
Over a century ago, during the Victorian era, one of the favorite pastimes was collecting small, illustrated advertising cards that we now call trade cards. These trade cards evolved from cards of the late 1700s used by tradesmen to advertise their services. It wasn't until the spread of color lithography in the 1870s that trade cards became plentiful. By the 1880s, trade cards had become a major way of advertising America's products and services, and a trip to the store usually brought back some of these attractive, brightly-colored cards to be pasted into a scrapbook. Some of the products most heavily advertised by trade cards were in the categories of: medicine, food, tobacco, clothing, household, sewing, stoves, and farm. (Ben Crane, www.seedsofknowledge.com)
So now you know what a trade card is. Both of these cards have one. This card has some great background paper that looks like old wallpaper, some lace and ribbon. I got the paper as a gift but I imagine if you got to a scrapbooking store (instead of the hobby store) you could find these - you can find papers that are a heavier stock than what's normally at the hobby shop. I have some Steam-a-Seam that is 1/4" wide and it worked a treat for attaching the ribbon. Way less messy than glue.
Next, is a Singer card. I tried to put more elements on this one. I used the same 'wallpaper' plus some of the 7 Gypies tape measure paper. The Singer logo looks a bit blurry because it lost some resolution when I made the illustration bigger. Let's just call it a dreamy glow! The trade card says "Tired and Nervous? No need for it" .. yep, advertising never changes, buy a better machine and you won't be frustrated! Now don't get upset that I have a little metal tag that says 'wife', I'm sure it was politically correct back then, LOL. I had thought of putting a button there but even though I have tons of buttons none looked quite right.
So that's today's productivity. I think we should have a contest to see who can guess when the next time I work on a D*O*L*L* will be !
I belong to a select group of artists who make quality mail art. One of the projects we are doing is making business cards so we will have each others addresses handy for mailing. Right now I seem to keep everyone's addresses on post-it notes which I constantly lose! One of the women posted a link to a site which makes �typo posters� - it is a very interesting little application which takes text you write, searches Google images for pictures that correspond to the words and then makes a little poster for you. You can change the text attributes, the colors, and backgrounds until you get one you like. This is what I chose for the background for my business card. The group is called Embellished Circus and I think the program did a great job of combining all the elements. The website is called TypoGenerator. It really makes cool little collage images - you�ll have to try it. But be prepared to spend some time there playing!
I've been just the busy little bee the last couple of days. Today I finished up my paper doll for a challenge on Doll Street and I got the fronts done for a couple of fabric postcards. After these are finished I'll only have two postcards left to make for the international swap that I've been doing for the last 5 1/2 months. I'll miss getting them in the mail! But then it's on to fabric artist-trading-cards - I've got three swaps to make them for. No rest for the wicked! Anyhow - here's Queen Bea - my paper doll. I used an illustration from a Dover Book for the torso and drew everything else.
Still not working on that on-line class! Instead I made a set of vintage sewing themed artist trading cards for a swap. We can do a total of 9 cards, with each set being different, I might just do that if I can find some more vintage images that would work. The idea was to incorporate fabric, trims, lace, buttons, etc. in your work. This is what I came up with...
This one is my favorite .. it has a fabric background, then a piece of mulberry paper that you can barely see. On top of that is the image, some glossary terms from a pattern piece, and some tape measure pieces. 7 Gypsies has a 12"x12" piece of scrapbooking paper that is just rows and rows of different size tape measures, the name of the paper is Mesurement. It's great for this type of thing. Oh yeah - buttons. Getting the needle through the fabric, cardstock, and all the rest was a pain - probably would have been easier if I hadn't used an embroidery needle - it has a rounded point instead of a sharp one!
This one has a painted background with pattern tissue over it. The pattern tissue isn't as sheer as regular tissue paper. I wish it was. This one has some rick-rack on it that I dabbed with acrylic paint to tone down the red. Look at that machine - looks heavy as hell! Back when sewing machines were metal not plastic! I wonder what she was making.
Mimi Kirchner sent me some vintage sewing emphemera from the 70's. Pages from sewing booklets, the ones with photos of the clothes and the pattern numbers, plus how to articles. Think this one was put out by McCall but I don't have the cover just a bunch of loose pages so I can't really tell. The photos are a riot! It even has those stupid jumpers that I had to sew in Home Ec. Boy, does that bring back memories! But they are great for cutting out words and sayings, etc. This one has a sewing article as background, covered with tissue paper, then stuff glued to it. Technical term there .. stuff! It has lace on the bottom but it doesn't show up too well.
Back to the grind!
My folks left this morning. We didn't do much and I was able to get a couple of projects finished while they were here. Here's the flat doll that I made as a thank-you gift.
I couldn't find lace that I liked for the skirt - our JoAnns is closing and the choices right now are pretty dismal. So I bought some off white lace and just colored it using Jacquard dye-na-flow fabric paint. I used two colors of blue and two colors of green - mixed both with white so I had four blues and four greens to dye with. I soaked the lace in water so the colors would blend and just brushed the colors on randomly. I think it turned out really pretty. I left some places with a hint of white since there is white on the torso. Boy - you should have seen my hands! One of these days I'll learn to wear gloves when I do this!
These are the dangles - they are the fun part of making this thing. You get to go through all your 'stuff'! The first and last dangle are metal words backed by abalone colored buttons - they say Thanks and Friend. I just glued the word onto the button - the ribbon is between the two pieces. There are two paper tags - both have a napkin background and one is stamped New Ideas, the other is stamped Creative Juices. One tag has a couple of buttons glued to the ribbon and the other has a large bead threaded on the ribbon to give it weight. Middle piece is a bit of paua shell and the last two dangles, which you can't see, are a heart and a little metal tag that says Inspire. The metal tag has two of the diamond shaped jewels that are on the torso to help it hang.
I'm mailing it out today - so I'll let you know in about a week what she thinks of it!
My parents are here visiting - we're doing the tourist thing and my girls have been coming for dinner every night - it's been great! I'm busier than I thought I'd be though and haven't had any time to write. Nor any time to play. My folks brought up the Prismacolor pencil set I had ordered online and had delivered to their house (another office supply company that won't ship to Alaska). Wow - it's the entire set - great colors - but now I have like 140 pencils to sharpen. Ugh. Don't know what that has to do with anything. I wanted to show you the ATCs I finished right before the folks got here.
This first one is for an Anatomical ATC swap. I chose lips because I really like the photo I used. It's inset inside a photo mount - painted with gold acyrlic paint and stamped with black. The words were off this awesome tissue paper that Heather sent me and the silver wire coils were from her too. I scanned this and the colors aren't right (again) - the background is brown, the photo mount gold, and the coils silver. Sigh.
This is just an odd one. I started out with the japanese soldiers, found the words (which is actually the name of a painting) and then added the woman's image.
Who said fairies always fly themselves? This one is flying Alaska Air.
Today I received the most incredible box in the mail - it was packed full of goodies for making paper art. It was from Heather who I met through swapping mail art on Nervousness. I can't begin to tell you how amazed I am at the friends I have been making via email lately. The level of thoughtfulness and sharing exceeds anything I've ever known. I was going to take a picture to show you the stuff she sent but it covered my table and I couldn't get it all in. I�ll be sending her a goodie box too but I wanted to make her a thank-you gift too. So I started making one using some of the stuff she sent me. This is based on the Barbara Willis Sew Lovely paper doll pattern. The base was an off-white highly textured paper from Heather - I think it might have been a wallpaper sample. It is wrapped around a piece of illustration board so it has substance to it. I - guess what - stamped it with dye inks, then I colored it with water soluble oil pastels and blended them together. Then I added some metallic rub on and then some metallic blue paint. I never seem to stop at one type of media to get the look I�m going for. After that I threaded some ribbon through eyelet trim and ruched it along the top of the bosom - it looks like it was gathered with thread but it was just squished with glue. Great trick that Barbara taught us. Put more of the same down the middle and then covered it all up with jewels that Heather sent me. The bottom is a pre-pleated dark green trim on top of which I put some �pearl� trim. I think this is off to a good start!
I wish I could figure out why my camera just doesn�t do colors properly indoors. The background was a bright yellow folder - but it sure doesn�t look that way in the picture. Oh well. Maybe some day I�ll get proper lights to take photos under. But I doubt it.
What's nice about making these ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) is that when you want to be a little creative you can be. After all - they are pretty small! I had bought a couple of note pads with little angels on them, a label maker, and had read about a new technique to make backgrounds. So I figured I'd put them all together. This is what I came up with...
The background started with my usual - dye inks dabbed on with makeup sponges. Then I took some Stitch Witchery and placed some strips on the cardstock. Heated it with the heat gun till it stuck. Then sprinkled some embossing powder on it and heated it again. Put down a couple more strips and used a different color of embossing powder. Interesting effect. Then I cut the little angel out and dabbed on a bit of vintage type ink to age the paper. Found a striptease ad in a book and put them together. Then I had to think of some words to add to explain the composition. I tried Loss of Innocence but it was too wordy and didn't fit on the card so I settled for Fallen Angel. To be honest I think that fits the arrangement better anyway. The look on the little angel's face says it all.
I'll have to figure out how to photograph these without getting the reflection off of the tape. Maybe I should scan it. Another experiment for another day.
I showed this to my husband and he said that I'm getting weird. I disagree, but if I am then I'm enjoying every minute of it!
Okay, maybe I shouldn't have done this but that journal was crying out to me to be altered. Three of us have worked on the journal now and it has some nice work on the inside. The outside was, well, undecorated. It didn't speak to the beauty and joy being created inside. I couldn't help myself.
So I took some decorative paper and made a cover for it. Then I cut out a heart shape from some extra heavy cardstock and did my usual background. What's the usual? I take makeup sponges and rip them so they are textured rather than smooth and then sponge color on from stamp pads. I usually use two or three colors. On top of that I put some words that were fabric stickers - they say Friends Together Forever. Thought that was a nice sentiment for a round robin journal. Punched a hole in the heart, added one piece of eyelash yarn and a couple of beads. I did make sure they were long enough to get out of the way when other people write in the journal. Simple but appealing, at least I think so.
Thought I'd share just one more of the vintage nude ATCs I've been making. I keep deciding to keep them so I have to keep making them so I have enough to trade. Now I understand why the house is filled with dolls! I can't stand to see them go either! I lost a little resolution as I resized the image down but I think it still looks okay. This is one I've decided to keep:
I finally got some time tonight to play and I whipped out some vintage nude ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for ANOTHER swap I'm doing on Nervousness. I think I'm getting hooked on these things .. at least for this go-around. But this particular piece is of a dual nature - not only did I make it for the swap but I did it for an assignment in my Creative Voices online class. We were supposed to make an ATC about our favorite outfit .. well ... I don't have one. What I do have is clothes in many different sizes that I've saved over the years as my weight goes up and down. So without further ado ...
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day! We got our kitchen garden planted, I brushed out the dogs, and just enjoyed myself outside. I did end up having to hide from the sun after a while though and I worked on a couple of paper ATCs that I'm doing for a swap on Nervousness. It's a Faces ATC swap and I thought I'd try drawing them. So here they are ...
Click on image to enlarge
I drew the faces with pigma pen, colored them with pencil and gel pen. Then made the hair and hats from pieces of scrapbook background papers. I think the blue girl looks Tyrolean! Yes, that is a fish on the hat of the other girl. I have one more to make for this swap. I'm getting caught up though, little by little.