Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Artistic Evolution

My latest collaborative art journal project, The Artistic Evolution is under way, and I've been working on pages for Ali.  She included a  color guide with her book, so though I could do anything, my first page was to be done with dark red, purple, mustard, and olive.  The second (facing) page would be dark red, mustard, olive and turquoise.  An interesting idea.  Each page dropped one color and added a new one.  By the time her book is complete, Ali will have the entire rainbow, but each page will evolve gradually and beautifully into the next.

If you need reminding, this journal is made up of pages of different sizes so that you can see bits of them behind one another.  Click here to see my original post on this project.

There is only a bit of paper on my pages.  I mainly used fabric, ribbon, trimmings, netting, and some beads.  Here are the two pages as they will appear in the book (I haven't glued them in yet):

Page one:

Basically, I covered a piece of  cardstock with mustard colored fabric, then added strips of other fabrics, a bit of purple netting and tacked them down with some machine stitching.  The tag and ATC were done on a recent weekend art retreat (which I have yet to blog about....coming soon!), and they just so happened to be the right colors to use here.  Don't you love when that happens?

Page two:

This page started with the same mustard colored fabric.  Then roughly cut squares of dark red and turquoise, a bit of 7 Gypsies paper on the left, a strip of Japanese fabric down the middle, and then the whole thing covered with olive netting.   More machine stitching and some beads on the right edge, and another ATC from the retreat.

My next journal to work in will be Elena's, but I won't be getting that in the mail.  I'll be picking it up in person NEXT WEEK when I fly to Key Largo (well, I'll actually be flying to Miami if you want to be technical) for our second annual Keys4Art.....six days of wonderful art, fabulous friends, great food, and more than a few excellent mojitos.  Click here for the first of several posts I did last year.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Sketchbook Project And A Little Piece of Paradise

I returned from Punta Cana on Friday, slept for a few hours, then headed out on Saturday to meet Pat for our visit to the Brooklyn Art Library, temporary home to the Sketchbook Project.  We both submitted books, and several of our ATT friends did too, and we were anxious to see them before the exhibit leaves for its tour of the US.

Here are the books (about 28,000 of them), all scanned and cataloged and waiting to be looked at.

To view books, you can ask for a specific artist, a theme, or just tell the folks behind the counter to give you any books of their choosing, and you can look at four at a time.  I first requested my own book and Inge's (she's a long-time online friend and artisitic collaborator, and she lives in Belgium).  We each had the same theme, Dirigibles and Submersibles, and did very different things with many of the same materials.

On the left, Inge's book; on the right, mine.  Notice the same stamp?

Inge's book on top....this time, notice the same Graphic45 paper on both our pages?

Inge requested a photo of me holding our books.....sorry that Pat caught me without a smile!  I really was having a good time.  Honest!

The turquoise tag was for me!  Inge tucked it into the inner pocket of her book and I have to tell was a real hoot to open it up and see the little ticket on it that said, "for Eileen Bellomo in New York."

I had a list of ATTers who told me they had submitted books, but sadly, I couldn't see all of them.  Either they were not yet cataloged and on the shelves, or were submitted under different names, or I had the spelling wrong.  We tried and tried, but several were never found.  So sorry!  But here are the books by Lisa, Barbara, Pat, and Paula:

And after a bit of a search I also found Marlene's:

I don't know this artist from California, but fell in love with his sketches:

Here's Pat, engrossed in a sketchbook:

And this is in no way a commentary on my experience, just a bit of Brooklyn graffiti we saw on our way home.

As I said, I just returned from 5 glorious days in the warm Dominican Republic sun, and not to rub it in for those of you still experiencing this awful winter,'s a little bit of paradise:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Winner, A Wall Hanging And A Whoopeee

Just after midnight I closed my OWOH blog post to new comments, and after eliminating a few odd examples of spam, I was left with 215 comments.  I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to visit, and for the nice things you said about my angel pin.  So many of you expressed that you needed some healing either for yourself or for a loved one, and no way could I make that choice.  So, I left it up to my impartial friend, Mr. Random Dot Org.   In a blink he came up with the winning number, I counted down, and what do you know?  The winner is one of my internet buddies, and someone who has big talent and an even bigger heart.  So, congratulations Diann; my angel couldn't be going to a better home.  She'll be winging her way to you shortly.

That concludes the "winner" portion of our program.  Now on to the wall hanging.  Yesterday was Wednesday, and if it's Wednesday that means it's time to be inspired by Wendy.  Well, she inspires me every day, but it's Wednesday when Lori posts the new challenge for us in the EWV yahoo group.  If you have Wendy's first book, the inspiration piece is on page 14.  If not, these are the key words Lori provided:  wall hanging (you knew that), heart, and junk jewelry.  I didn't look at Wendy's project until I'd finished my own, and I'm satisfied that no art was harmed or copied in the making of this piece:

The base is a square of wood covered with some of Tim's retro grunge paper.  Both hearts were cut from Tim's dies out of grungeboard.  The large one has one of Wendy's background stamps in coffee archival ink over a mix of dried marigold, mustard seed and rusty hinge distress inks.  The smaller hearts are layered; the one of top was inked with rusty hinge and embossed with clear powder. The one peeking through was first inked with broken china, embossed with clear, and then stamped with Wendy's German script stamp, using black and embossed with black powder.  In the center, an old clip on earring from my huge stash of costume jewelry.

The scallop border on the top, added primarily so I'd have a way to attach the chain, is one of Wendy's art parts, and it is just inked with rusty hinge and attached with Claudine Hellmuth's matte multi medium.  The sentiment is another Wendy stamp.  I think that's about it.  The lace trim on the bottom was a last minute addition; I thought the scallop needed something on the bottom to balance it.

As for my know every week I participate in both the Compendium of Curiosities and Simon Says Stamp and Show challenges.  Yesterday I found out that my embossed gift box was chosen by the Simon Says team as one of their three top projects from the prior week.  Maybe you noticed the blinkie I now have on the top of my sidebar.  Yep, a major whoopeee came out of my mouth when I saw that.  I'm very honored (and happy).

One World One Heart 2011

***NOTE:  This post will remain at the top for the duration of OWOH.  More recent posts can be found by scrolling down.  Thank you!***

It's OWOH time again, a very special event in the blogging community.  If you've not heard of it, or need more information, just click on the logo and you'll be taken to Lisa Swifka's (the creator and organizer) blog, where you'll learn everything you need to know about it (including how to participate.....and it's not too late for that).

If OWOH has led you here for the first time, let me tell you a bit about myself.  I live in the greatest city in the world, NYC, and I'm a lifelong crafter/artist.  I work with paper, fabric, metal, other words, I'm into mixed media.  I especially love to create little treasures from what others might consider trash.  I hope you'll come back for a visit, even after the OWOH event is over.

There are very few rules.  Leave a comment on THIS POST only, and you'll be in the running for a prize (or maybe prizes, depending on how many comments are left).  You do have to leave the comment here; I won't be checking facebook or twitter.  If you're also participating, please let me know in your comment so I can be sure to visit your blog as well.  I also must have a way of contacting you if you are a winner.  So please include your email address in your comment.  If you don't feel comfortable with that, write it out like this example, which will keep you safe from spam:  

                           janedoe at yahoo dot com

If your name is picked to win a prize and I can't contact you, I will pick another name.  The winners will be announced on February 17.

For those of you who are already regular visitors here (and I thank you for that), you might know that I'd been saying that I was going to be too busy to participate this year.  Well, I just couldn't resist.  So many of the wonderful blogs I follow I only know about because of past OWOH events.  And I know that many of the kind folks who follow this blog and are so generous in the comments they leave, found me because of OWOH.  It is definitely something worth supporting.  And Lisa has already announced that this will be the final year.  So do get on board if you can.

The purpose of this is communication, friendships, networking and more.  But as a little enticement, prizes are part of the deal.  One of the things I like to make are what I call art angels, pins or pendants made of bits of metal, charms, and keys.  I made one especially for OWOH, and this is the first prize I'm offering.  If there are more, I'll edit this post.

I've made many of these for friends who were ill or recouperating from surgery.  I don't claim they have any special powers, but everyone I've sent one to has made a full recovery.  I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Marie's New Gig

I received Tracy's Marie Antoinette journal the other day, and it was such fun to look through (and ultimately work in).  Her theme is to place Marie in any period of time doing anything we choose.  There were several pages of Marie channeling her inner Madonna or Lady Gaga (fun!), Marie as a dog walker, fashion model, bike rider.  You get the idea.

After much thought, I left Marie in her own time period, but made her a dress designer instead of a queen.  What better occupation for this fashionista?  I think you'll get a kick out of her headpiece.  It's an actual working pin cushion!

I started out with a paper doll of Marie and dressed her by cutting and piecing together bits of scrapbook paper and fabric trims.  It took a while, but I somehow managed to wrap her fingers around that scissors charm.

As for the headpiece....I cut the shape from cardboard, stuck some cotton balls on top and wrapped the whole thing with a piece of gauzy ribbon.  Topped it with some felt flowers and added the same trim from her dress.  And yes, those are read stick pins popping out of it.

Marie's work space includes that impressive wall of trimmings in the background.  Don't tell anyone (just in case I'm violating someone's rights), but I swiped that photo from an old issue of one of those magazines that show where people do their creative thing.

The facing page, the journaling page, continues the designer theme, with more trimmings, buttons, and a dress pattern stamp in the background.

Considering how it all turned out for her, Marie would have been better off being the Vera Wang of her day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Monday, Another Twofer

We're up to the 32nd technique in the Compendium of Curiosities challenge.  Can you believe it?  This week we're to try inking and stamping masks, found on page 59 of the book.  If you click on the link above, you'll be taken to Linda's blog for all the details.

At Simon Says, the challenge is to use a tag, so combining both was easy, and got me another twofer.

The background was the "B" side of one of Tim's papers, and I just added some distress inks to it.  I made a mask of Wendy's queen stamp and used that for my stamping/masking technique.  Of course those are Tim's gorgeous flourish stamps in the back.

I stamped one of Wendy's single eyes on paper, gave it plenty of black soot and rock candy stickles, and attached it to a double layer of scrap grungeboard to give it some lift.  It was glued right over the existing eye on the queen.

What I'm most excited about though (clearly in doesn't take much) is the new (or some might say backwards) way of using the memo pin.  I noticed that the memo holder part was just the same size as the eyeball, so thought it would be cool to highlight the eye even more by attaching the pin that way.  The pin side just pierces the sentiment (also a Wendy stamp) and holds it in place.  By the way, my current favorite adhesive, Claudine Hellmuth's matte multi medium holds the pin in place perfectly.

Distress ink colors used:  black soot, broken china, crushed olive, chipped sapphire.  Archival ink in black was used to stamp the queen and the sentiment, and coffee archival ink was used on the flourishes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Altered Ancestors

No, I realize you can't go back in time and change your forebearers (is that even a word?), the title refers to a page swap going on at ATT

We had to use photos from the 1950's or earlier and alter them in some way and remembering the group we're in, making them Tim-like in materials and/or style.  And no, the photos don't have to be of our actual ancestors.  Oh, and the pages are only 4x4!

Well, I came across a photo online of five of the grimmest, most constipated looking women I've ever seen, and I just had to use it.  Because these old girls were the polar opposite of happy go lucky, of course I felt compelled to invite them to a party.  So, I hope everyone in the swap is OK with me going whimsical instead of vintage, romantic or otherwise serious.  I couldn't help myself!

Here's the front:

Do these ladies like to party, or what?  Anyway.....the background is lettuce color wash on watercolor paper, and on the top half, one of Tim's script stamps, embossed with peeled paint distress embossing powder. 

Party girls #1 and 3 are wearing hats made from paper embossed with two of Tim's folders and colored with several different sprays.

Party girls #2 and 4 are wearing headgear made from foliage pieces treated with the chipped enamel technique.

Party girl #5 is wearing goggles made from two brads, and her headdress is a Maya Road rub-on.

The sentiment is courtesy of Cyndi Lauper.

The back of the page just had to be finished and contain our information.  I used the same photo, printing it right over some of Tim's paper.  The letters are Jenni Bowlin.

I had a blast with this; hope it made you smile too.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another Challenge

Just as Timoholics (fans of Tim Holtz) have a weekly challenge (The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge),  Vecchians (devoted followers of Wendy Vecchi) now have theirs, thanks to the EWV (Everything Wendy Vecchi) list mom (and my friend), Lori.  Like many of my artsy pals, I am a mixed breed, a hybrid, for I am both....a Timovecchian maybe?   Anyway, the EWV challenges begin each Wednesday, for which I am thankful.  One more Monday challenge and I might feel stress.   Wendy has written four books (the latest hasn't shipped yet) and the challenges are based on the projects in those books.  Lori gives us a theme or technique or format and we create something inspired by (but not a copy of) one of Wendy's projects from her books.

Last week was the launch of this new challenge and our first piece was an ATC and had to include both a scallop and a butterfly.  Of course, all challenge pieces also must use at least one of Wendy's stamps.  Not a problem for me.....I have three binders full of 'em!

Here is mine:

Almost everything on this little piece is from Wendy....the background stamp, the house, the stamped leaves.  The scallops were cut with a SU! border punch and the butterflies were cut with a Sizzix die.  All color, courtesy of distress inks.

Challenge 2 was inspired by a greeting card Wendy did, and our pieces need to include chipboard flowers and the pigment ink resist technique, which involves white pigment ink and distress inks.  Very cool, and click HERE to get the details from Miz Wendy herself.  I also did a greeting card, since I need some new ones to send out.

The very lovely background paper was sitting on my work table and I have no idea who makes it....sorry!  All the chipboard is from a SU! sheet I've had forever.  The sentiment and all the background stamps used with the technique are Wendy's.

If these challenges appeal to you (and a randomly selected artist from the week 1 group won Wendy's latest book.....I'm just sayin'), why not join our yahoo group

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To Dream The Embossible Dream

Combining this week's Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge with the current Compendium of Curiosities challenge is an embosser's dream for sure.  There's wet embossing, which involves ink, embossing powder and a heat tool, and then there's dry embossing, which generally means a machine and an embossing folder.    So I've done both in my challenge piece.

Linda of Studio L3 (and the mastermind behind CCC) has directed us to use Tim's Rusted Enamel technique, and Simon just says to show some embossing.

I made a special gift for an artsy friend, and a special gift deserves a special gift box.  So I altered a plain old one and used lots of embossing on it.  It's also pretty much equal parts Tim and Wendy, which in my world is an unbeatable combo.  Enough blah blah blah.  Here's my entry:

The Rusted Enamel is on the top of the box.  I used dusty concord and stained walnut distress inks.  All edges of the box, top and bottom were wrapped with tissue tape which was then inked with faded jeans.

Here's a head on look:

The flower was made from both paper and Wendy's Clearly For Art modeling film.  All the layers were cut using Tim's Tattered Florals die.  The bottom (paper) layer was then embossed with the Damask embossing folder (then inked with faded jeans).  All the Clearly For Art layers were embossed with the Dot Matrix folder.  It doesn't show up in the photo, but I colored one side with one archival ink color and the other side (the raised side) with another.  I alternated using olive, mustard, and berry purple.

I made the band on the bottom by attaching tissue tape to a length of cardstock, embossing it (again with the Damask folder), and hitting the raised areas with faded jeans.

Of course, the sentiment is a Wendy stamp, and it's a great wish to have for any artsy friend.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

OMG, Don't Tell Me I Have A New Art Obsession!

Yep, it's true.  I do.  At least it's not one that requires electronics, toxic chemicals or other expensive/dangerous supplies.  It's stamp carving and I AM HOOKED!

Last Saturday I went downtown for Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's awesome stamp carving class, sponsored by The Ink Pad, and held in Westbeth's awesome Community Room.

You know that art friends are the best friends, so this was even more fun because I went with two of my best buds, Heidi and Pat.

Here is a photo I swiped right off of Julie's blog. (Please click on Julie's highlighted name above to visit her wonderful blog and read her take on the class). That's Pat, me, and Heidi very busy carving away:

Julie taught us a very cool three step process for producing stamped images that look very much like screen prints.  All you need is the carving material and the tools, all of them very reasonably priced.  You print with the paints and inks you already have, so no special items needed there.

Basically you draw or transfer the same exact image on three separate carving blocks, and cut away different parts on each.  I won't give any more details than that.  You really should try to take Julie's class if this interests you.  She's funny, talented, and a very thorough teacher.

I will show you one of the stamps, just so you get an idea of what it looks like.

Maybe it doesn't look like much, but when combined with the other two stamps, I think it produces a pretty neat image.

My second set of stamps were of a sort of weedy looking plant.

When I got home I printed a series and put it together to create this wall hanging.  I think repetitions like this are nice and dramatic.

And now I think I need to order some more carving blocks.  As obsessions go, this one is pretty sane.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Marie Takes A Chance With A New Designer

Elena's theme in our Marie Antoinette journals is Marie's Diary.  I decided to have Marie write about her anxiety over an upcoming gala.  She's to wear a gown created by a new designer and she fears it may result in a scandal.

Well, truth be told, she's not all that worried about the scandal part, but she doesn't want any more ridicule coming from the snobbish members of the royal court.

So, here in mainly black and white, is Marie's dilemma.

The background is a piece of scrapbook paper from Creative Imaginations and I barely did a thing to it.  It was already full of gorgeous patterns and black flocking.  I just added some ribbon, flowers and bling, and, of course, Marie herself.

The base of my Marie is an image from a collage sheet (by Itkupilli),  which I altered by cutting away the voluminous dress in the original and adding the form fitting one made of layers of black lace ribbon.  I also fashioned a headpiece for Marie with bits of paper, fabric, ribbon, feathers, and other blingy scraps.

Next, is the page with Marie's diary entry.  In case you can't read what she wrote, her concern is that the dress might not be received well at court.  While the tops of dresses in those days were revealing, the skirts were generally quite full.  This new dress of hers hugs the hips and that worries (and intrigues) her.

Of course, all of this is totally made up, so don't send the history police after me.

The background on this page is some scraps from the previous page's paper over a piece of Stampin' Up scrapbook paper.  The diary page was printed on vellum, and more blingy flowers embellish it.

So, do you think Marie's wardrobe choice was met with appreciation or derision?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Showing Some Love With Painted Metal

Wow, it's getting harder and harder to be clever combining the weekly challenges into a snappy blog title. 

So, the Compendium of Curiosities challenge is Tim's altered metal with paint technique, and over at Simon Says Stamp and Show, the topic is LOVE.  That's it.  Just  LOVE

If you read my pal Lori's blog (she's on the Simon Says design team) you know that she struggled with the topic.  We share the same aversion to things that are too pink, too girly, too lovey dovey.  But I think I managed to circumvent all that with my own interpretation of the theme.   But enough about that.  Here's my piece.....a mini magnet board with an altered metal with paint frame.  The purpose of this board, which sits on an easel, is to hold your love letters and other expressions of adoration.  See how I managed to make it fit the theme?  I'm not sure how Director Linda E. and Co. will feel about it, but I say it does.  That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

The frame measures 5"x7" and I used Ten Seconds Studio rock star black metal to make it.  It was cut and embossed with a stunning Cuttlebug folder called Brocade Window.  I glued it onto a piece of magnet board, and then attached the whole thing to chipboard (covered with nice paper so the back looks finished).

Here's a bit of a close up so you can see how cool the paint looks on the metal:

The paint I used for the technique is Lake Mist (an Adirondack paint dabber).  I also used the technique on the little binder clip, the word sticks, and the embossed heart (also TSS metal), though on those I used Snow Cap and Red Pepper dabbers.

Oh, and to answer your unasked question, yes, there is an actual love letter in that tiny envelope.  Yep.  Sure is.  Prove otherwise.

And, if you haven't already visited my OWOH blog post, please do, leave a comment and maybe win something.  And that does it for the self  promotion portion of this program.  LOL!  (If I have a mission in this stage of my life, it's a two-fold one.  First, to not take myself too seriously, and second, to encourage the same in everyone else).