Wednesday, July 28, 2010

El Corazon

Translation:  the heart, and it's what I've called the page I just completed for Tracy's Frida Kahlo journal.
It's full of texture and rich color and my current obsession, transfers.
The packing tape transfer of Frida and the monkey allows the inked and stamped background to show through.
The three Fridas are not technically transfers.   They're stamped images on tissue adhered to the page with gel medium.  Again, because of the thinness of the paper, the background peeks through.
That's what I love most about transfers.
This Frida quote was stamped on ExtravOrganza, a product I read about in one of my many transfers-for-dummies type books.  It's actually silk on a paper backing, and you can run it through your printer, stamp on it, paint or draw on it....and when you peel it off the backing you have an incredibly sheer piece that can be glued or sewn onto your project.  It has very nice texture, which of course is lost in the photo.

Because of her many physical ailments, Frida often did paintings with fairly graphic representations of human organs, which is why I put the realistic heart within the romantic heart.
And here is the page as a whole:

Further details:
  • background began with some distress inks applied directly to watercolor paper, then sprayed with water and blended with a paper towel.
  • next, I did some stamping with archival inks (coffee and olive), most of which has disappeared under the ensuing collaging, but you can see the blades of grass peeking through Frida's face in the lower right corner
  • all the images were applied with soft gel medium, and strips of stamped tissue were added here and there, in addition to bits of colored paper towels.
  • I gave one of the Fridas a real earring to wear, and yes, to continue the theme, it does have a heart shaped bead.
I love all of the work that Tracy does in the various collaborative art journal groups we're both a part of.  I'm hoping she enjoys what I've done for her here too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge - Week Seven

Week 7 already!  If you need more information, click on the title above, and you'll be taken to Linda's blog and all the details.

This week we're told to turn to page 55 in Tim's book and work on the technique called "tinted vision fragments."  Had fun doing that this morning, and have a few finished fragments for future projects, and one completed tag.

As usual, no specifics on the technique (sorry, you just have to get the book....and you'll be happy you did anyway, so why am I apologizing?), but I will tell you what I did on the tag.

The background is a piece of paper from Tim's Retro Grunge stack, and I embossed it with a Ten Seconds Studio plate.

The tinted fragment is glued to a clock face image from Tim's circus set.  Oh, and under the fragment is a bit from a stamp in the mini muse collection.

The words are rub ons I've had forever and have no idea where they came from.  I tucked some black netting behind the clock face and finished it all off with some satin ribbon.

I'm not sure if we can share the colors we used on the fragment, so I won't....well, truth be told, I used many, and don't remember which anyway.

Jump in on this addition to the chance to win something from Gloria at ATT, great prizes are also given away from Linda's blog....and this week the prize package comes from Arizona.  Can you guess who sent a big box of goodies for Linda to dole out to some lucky winners?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Evolution of an Idea, or....... my mind works ('ve been warned), I get inspiration from jumping around from blog to blog.   Here's how it all started.  Wendy was blogging about the newest wonderful additions to her product parts.  Chipboard frames, shapes, other goodies, perfect to use with her stamps.  One in particular caught my eye....a kind of pedestal thingie....looks a bit like a mini cake plate.  You can see it here.  Things started spinning in my head.....

A few days later, I'm visiting Linda Cain's blog and she's busy making spools.  I love old wooden spools; thread these days comes wrapped on plastic mostly.  But I digress.  Linda is whipping out these fantastic spools.  Made me think back to Wendy's pedestal.  After all what is a spool but a cylinder and two circles.  Different sizes and proportions, but the same elements.  See Linda's beautiful spools here.

As if that wasn't enough, Linda supplied a link to the blog that had inspired her to make the spools, so of course I visited there, watched a video tutorial, and hatched a plan.  If you really want to follow my journey, click here to see it too.  (even if you aren't interested in following along, you should click there because it will take you to a really interesting and creative blog)
Now, let me make it clear that I am NOT trying to tell anyone that they shouldn't get Wendy's art parts.  Hell no!  I'll be first on line to buy some.  It's just that I had this notion and I have no patience, so how could I wait for the weeks, maybe months before these beauties hit the stores?  So, I had to make a version of my own, just to try out my idea.
Following me?  (remember, I did warn you!).  I bet about now you're wondering if I'll ever show you a photo.  LOL!  Yep, here goes.  I found the components to make my squat pedestal (or I suppose it could be a giant sized spool, now that I think about it).  (the proportions of Wendy's art parts pedestal are waaaaaaay better and more elegant, trust me!)
Very high tech....a paper towel roll and two chipboard circles.  I cut the roll down and covered all three parts with some Graphic 45 paper and glued them together.  Of course I did some artsy stuff to them...sanded the edges, distressed them with some ink.....
This is the idea I had when I first saw Wendy's blog post.  I wanted to make a little display stand, but one where I could change out what was being displayed very easily.
I have some of these plastic thingies:
I'm sorry I don't remember where I got them, but they're meant to display an ATC.  (there's a little slit in the middle for the card to slide in).  Not too gorgeous, but when covered with some of the same G45.....
Much better.  Now, a long time ago, back in March in fact, I was visiting Hels' blog and saw her tutorial on faux porcelain flowers.  I made some then, but never used them.  They're the right color, so I thought they'd make a nice decoration for my display pedestal.  (I also added some lace and fiber to the bottom of the cylinder).  The plastic thingie and the flowers were all adhered with glossy accents, by the way.
And although at first I thought this would just be a good place to pop an ATC, I discovered that it can hold a greeting card, a postcard, an altered coaster.....just about anything.  It could also be a place to put a work in progress as you contemplate the next step.  And I just think it is so much nicer than those little easels that are always falling over on my work table.
I'm having another thought for a future project....what if I pierced the rim of the top circle with a bunch of little holes, all the way around....wouldn't that be a fab way to store/display a collection of danglie earrings?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Birthday Cards, Studio 490 Style

In case you don't know, Studio 490 is the name of Wendy Vecchi's line of stamps for Stampers Anonymous, and I love them.  Lately I've been reaching for them more and more when I need to make a birthday card.  I've done two recently that I'm pleased with, one for my SIL, and one for Irene from EWV, who has an early August birthday. (We have a birthday club going on there).
 This is the one for my SIL, and I think she should have received it by now.  I stole borrowed the idea of using bingo numbers from Miz Wendy herself.  Can you tell the birth date is July 26th?  Clever, huh?
Don't know how much you can tell from the photograph, but I really threw it all at the bottle to make it look more glass-like.  First I applied rock candy crackle paint.  That didn't seem to be doing it, so while the paint was still kind of wet, I sprinkled on some UTEE and blasted it with the heat gun.  I think it's fairly glass-like. Wendy had a sneak peek on her blog of a brand new product that will make achieving the look of glass really easy. 

I used the bottle once again, this time in green instead of blue.  I skipped the crackle paint and went straight for the UTEE.  I doubt if you can see it, but I bent the bottle after it cooled for that cracked glass look.
The background is some Core'dinations paper run through my Big Kick in Tim's Dot Matrix embossing folder.
The two very cool brads in the flower centers are brand new from Stampin' Up.  Love the tiny one especially; if you look closely you'll see the two little holes, so it looks like a button.
Something else that Wendy previewed recently has been on my mind, and I've been experimenting.  Maybe tomorrow it will be ready to share......

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Journal of Dreams -- Words/Art

I've been thinking a lot lately about the way I journal, wondering if relying mostly on visual images is a cop-out, a way to avoid writing about feelings.  Well, maybe I'm kidding myself, but I've come to the conclusion that the opposite might be true.  I'm actually very comfortable with words and writing and maybe in journals I choose my words a bit too carefully.
When I work in journals, my own or any of the collaborative ones I'm involved with, I don't over think....until it's time to add the words.  My art, I believe, is more emotional and more honest than my words. 
And this little debate I've been having with myself is what has led to the pages I just completed for Tracy's Journal of Dreams. 

Page One:
Page Two:

What I did:   the backgrounds are very layeredI started with some Adirondack Color Washes (stream and lettuce) on watercolor paper, then bits of color-stained paper towels, ledger paper, old dictionary pages.  More color added with Portfolio water soluble oil pastels and some copper and green glazes.
The head and class picture in the corners of page one are transfers done with stamps and clear contact paper (head) and clear packing tape (class picture).  The head is a Tim Holtz stamp, the class picture is from Red Lead. 
I stamped Wendy Vecchi's artchick head on white tissue paper with black Archival ink (which is what I also did with the kimono), cut it out and attached it to the page with gel medium.  Works a lot like a transfer but minus the heartache transfers often cause (for me).  
Some bling, lots of glaze pen doodling, some more stamping, even a few subtle stencils, and done.  LOL!  That makes it sound like instant art, but actually this was one of the few things I've done that I actually worked on for several days.
With two page spreads, the second page is where my journaling usually goes, and that's when I started thinking the thoughts voiced at the start of this post.  Normally I'll google a theme and search for quotes, or (rarely) just write a few sentences about what I've just created.  
This time, if you read between the (sparse) lines, my journaling is just telling me to shut up and let the art speak for itself.  And that really tickles me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge - Week Six

Ah, if it's Monday morning it must be time for another Compendium of Curiosities challenge.  I have to say, I really do look forward to them each week.
Click on the link above to be taken to Linda's lovely blog and get all the details, plus, that's where you have to go to share your challenge piece.  If you have Tim's book, play along.  It is fun, it gives you a focus, and it will give you something really special to do every Monday.  And, did I mention there are prizes involved as well?  Linda explains all this better than I would, so hop on over there to get the scoop.
Anyway, this week's technique is one I do use quite often and was happy to use again.  Here is a front-on view of my piece:
(If you click on the photo you'll see more detail)
Now, by now you know that we CCC participants are not sharing the actual technique details, but we can talk about materials and other things we did.  
First off, I found a very thick chipboard tag that I ran through my Big Kick inside Tim's "woodgrain" embossing folder.  I have to tell you, as thick as the tag was, the embossing was deep and gorgeous.  I inked it twice, once all over with vintage photo and then again with walnut stain, hitting only the raised areas with the darker color.
The bit of old dictionary page was inked with rusty hinge and brushed corduroy. 
As for the main attraction, the birdie....he's covered with some old sheet music and the crown is covered with a bit of old advertising.  The edges of the bird are inked with some black soot.  His crown is inked with crushed olive and edged with forest moss.  Love those two greens together.
What is he perched upon?  A bit of that rusted barbed wire I received from my Montana pal Julie.  I attached the bird to the wire by wrapping some linen cord around both.  I used LOTS of foam dots to bring all the layers to the same level.
Here's a slanty sort of sideways view so you can see the dimension:
I'm likin' it, and can't wait to see what all my crafty friends come up with for this challenge.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Altered Tins, Oh My!

So, the Gotham City Stampers had an altered tin swap.  I already shared the tin I made for my friend Heidi, but it was not until we met Friday night that I got to see the FABULOUS tin(s) that Pat, my good friend and future cruise cabin-mate made for me.  Pat is extremely talented and creative (and very funny), and for this project she outdid herself in all three categories.
Here is what I saw when I first unwrapped the package:
A great mix of grunge and vintage.....would love it if there wasn't any more to it, but there is.  Lift up the lid and what did I see, attached to the inside of the lid?
Yep, it's another tin, attached with velcro for easy removal, and inside, a little vignette that tickled me so......
 In case you were wondering why there are some little holes in one
side of the tin.....
Pat says they're air holes so Tim and I can breathe. 
Need I say more?
Well, if that wasn't enough, at the bottom was yet another altered tin, this one an altoids, and quite beautiful.
I guess by now you realize that Pat loves surprises, so it should come as none to find something inside.....I lifted off the cover and attached to ribbon, letters that spell out my name.
And on the other side of the letters, the makings of a party.
Pat is crazy, and I mean that in only the very best way.  We are going to have so much fun on the cruise this fall!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Buried Treasure

Seth at The Altered Page has organized his second year of Buried Treasure. Here's the deal:   Starting Thursday July 15 all participating bloggers will re-post one (or more) of their favorite posts that ever appeared on their blog.
You know which is mine?  Any of the ones I posted after my Key Largo retreat, but especially the one where I shared some of what I learned of Lynne Perrella's techniques.  I think that's because it was a perfect combination of teaching, sharing, collaboration, and friendship, not to mention the art of others.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Keys 4 Art - Day 3, Part 1

The whole morning, and part of the afternoon was spent finishing the Lynne Perrella inspired project.  I was happy to share what I could with everyone, and even happier with how much they seemed to enjoy it.  We added color with paint, ink, paper.  I showed some of the techniques I'd learned for using the Portfolio water soluble oil pastels....awesome product!  I also shared some of Lynne's tips for making the images you find on the internet your own, through altering and coloring.  
The picture above shows all 12 of us holding our completed creations.  I know, I'm getting ahead of myself, but this is the only picture I have of everyone....from left to right, artist and home base (I hope; the picture is small and my eyes, well, they're 62 like the rest of me):   Jacquie, Florida; Sue, Illinois; Marita, Oregon; Linda, Florida; Juliet, W. Virginia (or maybe just Virginia); me!, New York; Jen, California; Patty, Florida; Val, Michigan; Elena, Florida; Gina, Oregon, and Lillian, Canada.
First, some shots of artists at work, and works in progress:

I love the way each and every piece came out.  Some turned theirs into books, and some left them as is, planning on having them framed for display.  Who could blame anyone?  Look how gorgeous:
We went outside and posed for closeups with our creations, in a suitably beautiful setting, by a hibiscus (bush? tree?).



And last, but surely not least, our wonderful host, Elena

Well, this was a long and full day, so even though it isn't over, I'll end now, and pick up in the afternoon of Day 3 for my next post.