Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hats Off To Grungy Monday

After three very long days spent in overheated rooms, I have been officially released from jury duty.  I'm all for doing my civic duty, but do they really need to have the courtroom thermostats set to 90?

But, more to the point, I once again have the time to indulge in my favorite passtime....getting my hands good and inky.  Like many of you, I participated in all 35 weeks of Linda's Compendium of Curiosities challenge, and was saddened by it's end.  Fortunately, Linda anticipated that and has begun another set of challenges, called Grungy Monday.  Each week Linda will give us a link to one of Tim's videos or blog tutorials, and challenge us to use his techniques to make a piece that is uniquely our own.  Can you see me smiling?  And there even will be guest designers!

For our first project, we're going back to one of Tim's 2008 12 Tags of Christmas.  A great one (weren't they all?) with very doable techniques.  Click on the link to get all the details.  Of course, given the title, Tim's tag is all red and green and features a lovely reindeer.....not what I have in mind as March comes to an end.  This is what I came up with......and coincidentally enough, as it prominently features a hat, I'm also submitting it to Simon Says Stamp and Show.......a hat!

I had GREAT FUN doing this one......I love steampunk and I got to use products from many of my favorites.  The background technique, straight from Tim's tutorial used both his own gears masks plus some I made myself from his Gadget Gears die.  I made the spray with vintage photo reinker and green patina perfect pearls.  I added quite a bit of stamping over that, all from Oxford Impressions.  The torn paper down the middle is from Graphic 45's Steampunk Debutante line.  The bird's body is also an Oxford Impressions stamp, and for the technique I covered the black embossing with a mixture of both blue and green patina perfect pearls and water.  I replaced the bird head with the steampunk man from Wendy Vecchi's Seriously Art set, and he got the same treatment as the bird.

The hat was cut so that a bunch of watch parts (real ones, from my stash) could come pouring out.  I added a bowtie with a little watch part embellishment.   There are some additional touches (the pointing hand, the arrow and the two parentheses) that are actually stickers from Heartwarming Vintage.

I'm sure looking forward to the next set of challenges, and still have one to do for Everything Wendy Vecchi.  I've said it before, many stamps, so little time.....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This and That

This is what I've been up to this week;  a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.  I know, not much of a description, but this post really does fall under the category of miscellaneous.

First of all, when I did the tag with the sewing theme, I made a few extra backgrounds and came up with this variation:

The dress form is part of Tim's new set called Haberdashery, and I stamped it on some old text.  I gave "her" a scarf made of a ribbon and an old ribbon slide I had in my stash, and thought that made her look so dashing, I added the word style with my dymo label maker.

A while back, my friend Pam sent me a little charm she'd made for a swap at last year's Art and Soul in Portland.  I fell in love with the mini bottle cap she used, tracked it down and bought a bunch.  I finally got around to using some and made these pins (I put tie tack findings on the backs):

Last, but not least, the newest challenge at EWV (Everything Wendy Vecchi yahoo group) called for using a scallop frame and a small grungepaper flower.

The background on the coaster photographed waaaaay dark.  It's actually some peeled paint and wild honey distress stains covered with rock candy distress crackle paint.  The chipboard frame was painted white then covered with broken china distress stain (I'm loving experimenting with this new product, as if you can't tell), and then stamped with one of Wendy's background stamps using olive archival ink.  The sentiment if from Wendy's Homemade Art set, as is the roof you see above the frame.

The grungepaper flower is from Funky Flower Art, and layered over it is the same stamp, this time on clearly for art modeling film.  The cool flower in the center is a new one from Prima.  I'll add a little chain to the top for easy hanging.

If I seem to disappear for a while, I have to report for jury duty on Monday, and who knows how that will go.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Show Me A Word

Well, that's what Simon Says this me a word.  My piece is doing double duty for a change, as it is also my entry in challenge #5 at the Wendy Vecchi group.

And (drumroll, please) my word is...............QUEEN.  No, not a tribute to Freddie Mercury, but a fine little sign to place on the door of the studio, don't you think?

All of the stamps are Wendy's and the torso is one of her fab new art parts, which I painted white, dried, colored with broken china distress stain (LOVE Tim's new stains!), then covered with one of Wendy's backgrounds (using black archival ink).

Challenge #6 at EWV is to use only one of Wendy's sets on a tag.  I chose Fashion Style and Art, because I love the little stamps of clothing, and this is what I came up with:

First I used three Cuttlebug border embossing folders to create the tiny buttons and stitching you see in the background.  Then several blue and green distress inks, using Tim's wrinkle-free distress technique.  Sanded the embossing a bit and then darkened it with chipped sapphire.   In between the "stitching", mostly hidden by the dress, are two of the text stamps from that set.  The dress itself was stamped on a scrap of paper I found on my work table.  I made the hanger from black wire and it is hanging on one of Tim's hitch fasteners.  Find your style is stamped on a bit of ribbon.   I finished it off with some real buttons and on top, a bit of an old cloth ruler and a trinket pin.

And, speaking of challenges, in less than a week, a new one begins at StudioL3.  Just click on the logo on my sidebar for the scoop on that one.  Can't wait! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Charms, Trays, And Girls Gone Wild

Day 5

Day 5; it's Saturday, after our long day at The Paper Niche lots of people were sleeping in, but this is the day we set aside for working on projects without "outside" teachers, so all is good.  Everyone has the painter's trays from 7 Gypsies and we have loads of stuff we all brought to share to go into the little compartments.  This is how my tray looked, obviously unfinished, when it was time to pack up:

The pirate's treasure chest in the upper right hand corner was actually one of the gifts Val brought, and with a lot of glue and a little patience, I managed to fit it in that compartment, partially opened, so I could fill it with goodies.  The piece with the skull (left side, one up from the bottom) was inside the treasure chest, but it fit well in this section, and I just had to add some more sand to the edges to fill in.  Those colorful flip flops (I brought enough for everyone) are from Oriental Trading and are erasers!  

When I got home, I put the tray on my work table and have been adding to it bit by bit.  It is still not finished, but we're getting there.

Here are a couple of not so clear (sorry!) closeups so you can see just how dimensional that treasure chest is:

Here are some snaps of other finished trays.  The first is Elena's, the second is Val's (photo swiped directly from her blog), and the last.....I don't know.  Artist, identify yourself!

Aren't they fabulous?!!

The other activity we set aside for Saturday was charm making.  There are some members of this group, who shall remain nameless, who have all but issued death threats on Val and I for coming up with this idea.  Who knew that charm making, something I find so relaxing, could cause otherwise reasonable women to get so emotional?  Then again, I have a friend here in NY, who breaks out into a cold sweat at the mere mention of the words "jump ring."

Val demonstrated several techniques; she even had 7 melt pots shipped to Elena's so we could make UTEE charms.  Again, I raided her blog for this photo:

Gorgeous!  We poured black UTEE into memory frames and added the metallic color with rub n buff.  Since the surface is slick, you could also color them with alchol inks, stazon ink,  and if memory serves, perfect pearls works too.

Here is Val hard at work turning bullet shells into charms. 

For my part, I demonstrated three of the easiest charms I could think of, and even the charm haters seemed to be won over.  I hope.  I really don't want to have to keep looking over my shoulder.  A certain someone from the great northwest seems to have some good tracking skills.  Anyway, the first is a bottlecap charm, made simple by using images that were self adhesive and sized just for bottle caps.  The cool technique I added (inspired by my good friend Pat) was a band of ballchain to really finish them off.  This is the sample I brought:

The next easy easy one was inspired by the great Wendy Vecchi.  With a teeny 5/16" punch and some glossy accents, you can use Tim's little memo charms to make this:

Last of all, for those who own no metal whatsoever, a circle of sturdy chipboard, some scraps of paper, clear embossing powder and a glaze pen are all you need to create this modern looking charm:

Later that night we all headed to The Marlin, a local restaurant (and the place that provided almost all of our food for the week) for our farewell dinner.  There was a DJ, there was alcohol, and (some would say unfortunately) there were cameras.  LOL!  Gina may think that what happens in Key Largo, stays in Key Largo, but we know better.  It winds up on facebook, twitter, countless blogs, and probably youtube.  Let the festivities begin:

Naturally, at one point a conga line appeared.

This is NOT what you think.  Gina is not trying to earn her airfare home.  She was actually drumming up some tips for the DJ.  I speak the truth.

But Daisy sure got into the spirit of things:

Gina makes new friends wherever she goes:

Happy faces, all around:

And there was some very serious vocalizing:

We settled down long enough for this group photo.  Or maybe we just collapsed.

Here's The Marlin's owner/cook Manny, followed by some of the seemingly endless platters of food that kept appearing at our table:

I do hope Elena realizes that she's stuck with us forever now.  Keys4Art2012, here we come!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Waxing Poetic

I'm not quite finished with my Keys4Art posting, but had to pause to share some photos from the wonderful class I took on Saturday with Claudine Hellmuth.  Claudine called it Waxing Poetic, and we learned many techniques for creating collages using only beeswax as our "adhesive."

The class was sponsored by The Ink Pad, and held in the community room of Westbeth, which aside from being an affordable residence for artists (high ceilinged loft style apartments), it also contains many such spaces for classes, exhibits, performances and the like.  A very nice place to come and make art.  We arrived early and hung out in the courtyard.

Claudine began the class with a long demo, in which she showed us the many ways to use beeswax in collage making, as well as the tools and supplies.  We'd all brought copies of photos and collage elements, and there was a large pile of various papers and fabrics on the share table.

Before long, our work table looked like this:

After the demo, Claudine circulated around the room offering help where needed.  Below, Teri and I using the quilter's irons to apply wax to our surfaces.  Teri is working on a box, covering it with wonderful photos she took of horses on a trip to Wyoming.     I am working on a 6x12 stretched canvas that will include an old photo of my grandfather Abraham.

Towards the end of the class (we worked from 10am to 5pm) we put our pieces on the floor so we could ooh and aah over each other's art.

Pat is understandably pleased with her whimsical piece.

Corris did a wonderful series of tiles, applying her images right over the existing ones, repurposing tiles she might have otherwise discarded.  I think these will look fantastic hung together on a wall.

My completed (maybe) canvas:

The great thing about a beeswax collage is you can always remove unwanted elements by reheating them, or add new ones, so who knows if this is actually finished.  And as Claudine pointed out, a workshop is for experimenting and learning, not creating masterpieces.  Having said that, I think everyone did a fantastic job.

After lunch, I worked on a second piece, an 11x14 canvas board.  I used lots of tissue paper, patterned napkins, old text and music sheets as my background.  I added some bird clipart and in the center, a combination of dark paper and fabric, over which I placed some old family photos.

 Claudine poses with my friends; a great ending for a great day.

                    Back row:  Michelle, me, Claudine, Pat, Teri      Front row:  Heidi and Corris