Saturday, October 30, 2010

Things To Do With The Rosette Die On A Chilly Afternoon

Okay, so it doesn't have to be chilly, but it is here, and I'm happy being indoors with my creativity hat on.
I spent much of the morning and into the afternoon playing with Tim's fabulous rosette die.  I don't know what it is about making rosettes that is so much fun, but it's like an addiction.  You can't just make one....
And I love the challenge of finding new uses for things.
I started out by cutting some of the width off of the die cuts before assembling, so I could have some layers.
And here is my three tiered flower:

I'm reminded of those little cocktail umbrellas when I look at a rosette, so that was the next project.  I glued a circle on only one side of the rosette, weighed it down, and when it was totally dry, I formed the umbrella shape and glued a smaller circle on the other side.  I used a Maya Road stick pin as the umbrella handle.

Not that I have any immediate plans to use the umbrella; I just wanted to see if I could make one.  Right now both it and the layered flower are just decorating my bulletin board.

My final rosette challenge of the day....bird feathers.  Yep, you heard me right.

Start with a rosette strip.

Cut it into two pieces, one a little larger than the other.

Run a line of glue across the straight edge.

 Do the fan fold and secure the glued edge with an alligator clip.  Do this to both pieces of paper.

While secured by the clip, fully fan out the rosette piece.

On the smaller one, cut each fold on an angle and separate the paper at the perforations.

Use the larger piece as tail feathers and the smaller as head feathers.
I'm thinking this is only the beginning.  I just KNOW that there are even more things to do with the rosette die on a chilly afternoon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Art Journal Updates

The collaborative art journal groups I belong to have given me some of my most pleasurable moments in the studio.  Every time I see a priority mail box outside my door I am a very happy camper.  What will I be called upon to create.....pages inspired by a color combination, by dreams,  by the life and art of Frida Kahlo, or maybe by the opulence of Marie Antoinette?

Last week brought three arrivals, and I have completed pages for two of them.
First, for Jacquie's IDIC (I Dream In Colors) journal:

Jacquie's chosen colors are blues, browns, and a touch of metal.  I did these pages right after my Lynne Perrella workshops, and you can see that Edgar was still on my mind (and apparently still on my work table).

My backgrounds were done in the gesso/collage/texture style I've learned from Lynne and love so much, and most of the images are toner copies of internet graphics.  There are also some stamped images in there.  The color....mainly from my much used and loved Portfolio water soluble oil pastels, as well as my other favorite, distress inks.

The next project was for Marita's Marie Antoinette journal.  Instead of embellishing and altering an image of Marie, I decided to do something a little different this time: 

First, a few words about the backgrounds.  They are collaged and colored with the Portfolios and distress inks, but the papers I used for the collage are almost entirely papers I've received from friends.  Many were done by my good pal Lillian, and several were done by Nancy.  I love the idea of incorporating the work of my artist friends into my own.  Thanks Lill and Nancy!
Marie and the hot air balloon were both done with free hand paper piecing, again using scraps from my friends' papers as well as bits and pieces of my own backgrounds.  There are a very few fabric and metal embellishments, but I'd say 95% of these pages were done with paper scraps.

Waiting in the wings.....Gina's gorgeous Journal of Dreams.  Hmmmm......what will my dream be?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Something Spooky

Well, not really.  But I'm saying spooky because that's the theme for this weeks Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge.  I doubt anyone would be spooked by this tag, but since it involves spider webs and black cats, I think it will qualify.
And, of course, to make my life a tad easier, the tag also qualifies for the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge, Week 19, which is Extreme Masking.

And without giving away anything of the masking technique, the details are:

I used one of the spider webs from Tim's "haunted" mask, and made a custom mask of the cat from his "raven and scaredy cat" die.  The inks I used were dusty concord, spiced marmalade and a little black soot.
All the stamps I used (with black archival ink) are from the "haunted mansion" set.
My scaredy cat is standing on a fence which I cut using Tim's "on the fence" die.  I used black paint dabber on it, sanded it,  added some snow cap (white)decided I didn't like that, added more black, and finally called it a day.

Don't forget to click on the highlighted links above to learn more about both challenges, find out about the cool prizes, and see the wonderful work that has already been done.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What Do Edgar Allan Poe and Jane Austen Have In Common?

Probably not much, but I used both writers as inspiration in the two Lynne Perrella workshops I took last weekend.

Lynne is a fabulous mixed media collage artist, and I was fortunate enough to take workshops with her last year as well.  I credit those with transforming my own collages to a much higher level, and the journal pages I've done since then all do reflect the many things I've learned from Lynne. 

The classes were sponsored by The Ink Pad, and held in the very spacious community room at Westbeth, an artists' residence in Greenwich Village, right off the Hudson River.  We had lots of space to spread out and work.
And right outside, a beautiful spot for lunch.

On Saturday, the theme was Edgar Allan Poe.  Pat, my great pal and cruise roomie took this workshop with me, and it was wonderful to share the experience with her.

Lynne's preferred surface is a humble piece of red rosin paper, the kind contractors normally use to protect floors during construction.
We cover the paper with gesso and add a great deal of texture at this point.

Then acrylic paint.

Then more texture, more color with portfolio water soluble oil pastels, ink....

Then additional collage elements, stencils, altered graphics.....
Above is the Edgar Allan Poe piece I left with on Saturday.  It isn't finished (I plan to add some machine stitching and possibly some further images), but gives you a good idea of what can be done in one day with Lynne.  BTW, it is a 24" square.

The following day, the theme was "A Novel Approach," and we were to choose a favorite novel and bring images with us to support our choice.  Mine was Sense and Sensibility, and my work here was totally different from the Poe piece.
The background technique was the same, but my color palette was way different, and I chose to do a book rather than a painting.

Front cover:

Inner pages:

Back cover:
In May, my friend Teri and I are headed for Connecticut for an entire weekend with Lynne.  Yippee!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Creative Exploration to Canada & New England - Last Sea Day/Farewell/Odds & Ends

It is Saturday, October 8th, our last day at sea. last class, our farewell cocktail party, packing (yuck!), goodbyes, and lots of "keep in touch," and "see you next year."
My group had our class at 8am.  
Tim calls it Shabby Patchwork, and it consists of a medium sized rectangular canvas and three smaller ones.  We created grids and covered the sections with a variety of papers.
The areas with the  X  are where the smaller canvases will eventually be attached.
At times this project seemed like a geometry lesson!
This was another one that I finished at home.  We received plenty of doo-dads to complete it, but I had some things at home that I knew would be perfect with my color palette.
Here's the finished piece with close-ups of each section.

Tim referred to the technique below as a fossil.  We glued a plastic butterfly to one of the smaller canvases, covered the whole thing with a lot of multi medium, then adhered a dictionary page, pressing the paper into the details of the butterfly.  When dry we highlighted the raised areas with ink.  Very cool.

Tim showed us how to define the edges of each grid with graphite pencil and bling.

The optical piece is one I added at home:

This is one of my favorite sections.  The UTEE heart was in our class kit, but when we received it, it was black.  Back home I covered it with white gesso, then aqua paint.  The same paint went on the flower button on the bottom left.
 We received a whole pack of prima flowers, and I altered them all a bit with tumbled glass distress ink.  The pearl centers were also in our class kit.
Another great class, another wonderful piece of art!
Had a fab lunch in the dining room with Pat, Lori, Maurene and Wendy.  GREAT chopped salad!
After lunch Pat and I packed.  It was a difficult task, but we could then enjoy the rest of the day and evening without that added pressure.
Late afternoon, our farewell in the Maharaja Lounge.
Remember those tickets we received with our purchases in Mario's Shop?
Tickets would be drawn; people would win fabulous prizes.  Last year I won zilch.  Would I be any luckier this year?
That's Tim in the picture, in front of tables of prizes, and behind a table full of ticket stubs.  Mario is ready to run to the winners to deliver their prizes.
People won all sorts of goodies donated by the very best companies. There were even three winners of the Vagabond, including my friend Nancy!  And for one lucky cruiser, next year's Caribbean cruise would be free.
As for me.....well......
YES!!!!!  I was a winner!  Above my winning ticket, three of Tim's acrylic stamp sets, the line that is exclusive to Hobby Lobby.
As we left the lounge to go to dinner we were each given a stamp of the cruise logo.  How cool!
Odds & I forgot to post, things I forgot to say.......

Another photo op with Tim:
Some cool gifts I received (apart from all the wonderful swaps):
From Gloria, a new Lady Liberty stamp
and an old printer's type in my initial

From Pat, a fab necklace and ring with
the cruise logo

 From Lori, this wonderful box!  She made it
a while back, and told me she had me in mind 
all the time!
This is how it looks closed, just like a real

Opened (I'd sent Lori the vintage
NY postcard!): 

On the back:

The cabin door sign I made, and the back-up Pat made (in case mine went missing).  Same great logo on our t-shirts, which somehow or other I don't have photos of.

If you've never been on a cruise, you might not know this, but most every night when you return to your cabin you'll find your bed turned down and a creature made from towels (and sometimes napkins), courtesy of your steward.  Instead of posting them day by day, I thought you might enjoy this parade:

The evening meal in the dining room can take up to 2 hours to complete, and the right waiter and assistant waiter can make all the difference in your experience there.  We were lucky this year to have Stoyan from Bulgaria, who provided great service, much humor, and always, "three recommendations" for each course.

Assisting Stoyan, was the always cheerful Ravi from India, who took care of our bread and beverage needs

Some things I'd picked up at our shopping expedition to Tinsel Trading in NYC:

The little books I found in the antique shop in Bar Harbor:

A pair of tacky Lady Liberty earrings I found in a consignment store in Portland (well, actually, Pat found them for me; I bought them):

Random shots of friends:

The monument on the pier at Port Liberty, a gift from Russia, made of debris from the World Trade Center:

And last of all, some shots of NY harbor as the ship headed towards Port Liberty and home.

Well, that's it, folks!  Hope you enjoyed the cruise right along with me!  Hope to see many of you next year as we cruise with Tim in the sunny Caribbean!