Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Journal Pages

In addition to the many collaborative art journals I've worked in and continue to be a part of (and some new ones that haven't started yet), I recently began a smaller project....two art friends and I are trading journals back and rigid time lines or rules or themes.  When we get a journal, either our own or one of the others', we do one page, two, whatever comes to mind.  I'm enjoying this a lot; in my previous round robins there could be 15 or more participants, and everyone works in each journal once.  It has taken as long as 18 months for a journal to return home.  Very exciting, but a long wait.  In this one, with only three of us, we see our own journals regularly, work in them too, and I love that.

Here are some pages I've just completed.  In the first two I altered photocopied images with one of my favorite supplies, Portfolio Water Soluble Oil Pastels, and then used several stencils and paint over sections.

Close ups of each page:

In the next journal I raided my favorite scrap box and used bits and pieces left over from previous work, and some phrases from magazines I've been collecting.

The background, which is mostly covered was done with metallic paint (the very cheapest kind you can sometimes find at Michael's for way under a dollar a bottle) and stencils.  Close ups:

Although the pages in each journal are very different they all do reflect where I was at the time.  Though I have enjoyed working in themed books, there is something very liberating about just doing whatever comes to mind at the moment.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's About Time.....

That's what it says on the front of this birthday card I made.  Well, it's not actually a card; it's a 4x4" coaster.  Why?  Well, I'm in a birthday card club and one of my very clever friends suggested that instead of making cards, (which although lovely, tend to eventually be discarded or misplaced or damaged) we each make 4x4 greetings on sturdy material so that at the end of the birthday month, each recipient will be able to put them together to form a mini birthday book.....which will surely stand the test of time better than a bunch of random cards.  I do have very smart friends.

Anyway.....whenever possible, I try to do challenge pieces that serve double or even triple duty, and I turned this week's Making Art! challenge at the Wendy Vecchi yahoo group into a birthday 4x4.  Who will get it, I don't know, but I am accumulating a nice collection of these for future use.

The challenge (#20 already!), according to list mom (and my good friend) Lori,  is to do something with a divided background......4 separate designs/colors, etc. as shown on page 12 of Wendy's first book.  Beyond that direction, just make sure you've used at least one of Wendy's stamps.  And if you're still not a member of this lively group, now is a good time to join.  Next week Wendy will be giving some cool NEW things away to list members.  I'm just sayin'........

The background was done on Claudine Hellmuth's sticky back canvas.  I first stamped four different images (Wendy's, natch) on the canvas with coffee archival ink.  When it was dry I colored each image with Tim's distress stains.....scattered straw,  bundled sage, frayed burlap, and dried marigold.....I think.  There are now so many colors of these fabulous stains it's a little hard to keep track.  Anyway, I cut them into squares slightly less than 2x2", attached them to my previously painted black coaster and then enhanced the edges with some black from a sharpie.

The clock form is an Art Part by Wendy from the Watch Parts set.  I added the winder, which is from a different Art Part set (For The Guys),  and cut the handle down a bit so it would all fit on the coaster.   Oh, and I used black distress stain to color both art parts.  When dry I dabbed the tiniest amount of autumn gold and then green patina Rub-N-Buff on them to give a nicely aged look.

When the art parts were securely attached to the background (I used Claudine's matte multi medium for that), I filled the well of the watch with Glossy Accents and just sprinkled mini watch innards from my stash inside.  BTW, I didn't mention before, but before attaching the watch form I glued some black paper behind the opening, and that is why the area behind the watch innards looks so nice and black and shiny, like patent leather.

I added a few larger watch pieces and then finished it off with some copper colored ball chain.  The sentiment, "It's About Time....." was done on the computer and printed right on some sticky back canvas.  On the back I'll finish that thought with, " celebrate your birthday!" or something like that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rock On

So, the challenge on Grungy Monday is rock candy, not the cavity inducing kind, but what you find in Ranger's Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint and/or their Rock Candy Distress Stickles.  Both products are clear, but do very different things.  Check out Tim's video here to learn more.  To fulfill this challenge use one or both in a project.

Luckily enough, over at my other favorite challenge site, Simon Says Stamp and Show, this week is an "anything goes" week, so I'm good to go there too.  Thanks, universe, for cooperating.

I did this piece, though I'm unsure how I'll use it.  It may turn out to be part of a larger project,  or a masculine card front, or the cover for a travel journal. 

Yes, this is a rather dark piece, but in person not nearly as dark as this photo.  Sorry about that!  I cut Umbrella Man from the advertising that came with some Graphic45 tags.  If you click on the photo to get a closer look, you might be able to see the writing, especially on the umbrella.  I inked it after cutting with stained walnut and black soot distress inks,  then applied a fairly thick coat of the crackle paint and allowed it to air dry.  After it dried I applied some additional black soot and worked it into the cracks.

As for the old jalopy.  I made a stamp using fun foam and the jalopy die, just like Tim showed us last December.  Click here for more on that.  The fender (or is it a bumper?) was cut with the die from some scrap Ten Seconds Studio metal.  I used the silver side but toned down the shine with some coffee archival ink.

All of the background was done with distress inks and a blending tool to get some depth and shadows.  And Umbrella Man was attached with foam so he has some extra dimension as well.

The sentiment is, of course, one of Tim's.  I think I have that in several sizes, and I find I use it a lot.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Tag, A Pendant, and A Question

I've been pretty much MIA in the Wendy Vecchi group, but this weekend I did manage to complete a piece for the current challenge over there.  If you're not yet a member, now would be a GREAT time to join, because Wendy is giving away NEW stuff from the latest CHA, both to folks who commented on her blog, and to some random members of the yahoo group.    Anyway, this week's inspiration comes from page 38 of Wendy's second book, and the directions from Lori, our fearless leader, are to include at least one of Wendy's stamps, and a bird.

I came up with this tag:

The background is some old text and a crumpled up piece of Tim's glasseine paper. The text was colored with two of the new distress stains, mustard seed and shabby shutters.  A stencil was laid on top and the whole piece was sprayed with Adirondack Color Wash, in lettuce and sunset orange.  On the glasseine side, one of Wendy's leaf stamps was done in olive archival ink.

As for the bird, it (and the leaves) are from a Stampin' Up! punch, and I punched them from some of the scrap paper that lines my spray booth.  Now doesn't that sound professional?  It's actually just a cardboard carton from a UPS delivery, but it does contain the sprays.  And by always having an assortment of scraps on the bottom, there is a never ending and always changing supply of sprayed paper in very cool (sometimes) color combinations.

After I finished, I decided that the deep pink of the bird was a bit overwhelming, but I liked the color.  My solution this time was not to alter it, but to add some more of it elsewhere on the tag.  Hence the three pink stones on the bottom.  That's an old decorating trick, sprinkling a bold color in more than one area of a room.  It works on tags too.

The next bit of art I played with this weekend is a pendant.  I used one of Tim's facets.

Can you guess what that black and white patterned paper is?  OK, I won't make you guess.  It's from the inside of a security envelope.  Are we green, or what?  The black and white dots were done with Ranger's Enamel Accents.  The dangly thingies on the top are just some baubles I made with some of the many beads in my stash of discarded, unwanted, unloved costume jewelry.  Friends, relatives and neighbors all contribute regularly to that stash and I welcome and appreciate all donations.

And now for a question:   Do you queue?  I'm in several art journal groups, I participate in many swaps and try to make something for favorite challenges every week.  There are also other things like birthday cards, presents, etc.  Often when someone in one of my groups receives a journal to work on, they mention that it has been added to the queue.  In other words, they work on things in the order in which they are received.  Others have calendars and work on projects in the order of their due dates.

I have trouble with that.  For example, there are some things that are due by the end of August.  But I've been working on the ATCs I'm making to swap on the Tim cruise in late September.  Why?  Because I got an idea and just had to go with it. 

So, I was you work on projects in some orderly fashion, either by date received or date due?  Or do you work on what you're inspired to work on regardless?  Do you queue?

Having said that.....I am pretty obsessive about never being late for anything, so even though I may not do things in any logical order, I do get them all done before the due date.  Just thought I should mention that, because inspiration or not, being late for something you signed up for is not a good thing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tiny Houses, Made of Grungeboard.....

I've had to steal a moment here and there, and it took me three days, but I do have a piece that fits the themes of both Grungy Monday (grungeboard/grungepaper) and Simon Says Stamp and Show (embossing). 

Using plenty of goodliness from Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi, I created a nameplate for my desk.  Not that I work any more (retired) and need to identify myself to anyone, but I thought it was cool and wanted one. 

First I cut up some grungeboard using Tim's Artful Dwellings die, then added a few of Wendy's Art Parts from her Residences set.  Let me tell you, the Dwellings and Residences play very nicely together.

Allow me to take you on a little guided tour of this grungy village.....

First of all, I wanted you to see that all the buildings are arranged and glued (Claudine Hellmuth's matte multi medium rocks!) onto an old Scrabble tray,  colored with peeled paint distress stain.

The first artful dwelling was embossed with Tim's burlap folder and inked with scattered straw and forest moss distress inks.  The opening was cut with a keyhole mover and shaper die, and I stuck Mona Lisa in that window, covered by a bit of mica.....just because.  The roof is topped with Tim's wings and some foliage.  Now, on to the next structure:

This one was embossed with Tim's bricked folder, and colored with fired brick and aged mahogany distress inks.  A bit of scrap paper from one of Tim's paper collections tops the roof.  As for the number......well, I love Tim's plaquettes and in fact have them, but you know, sometimes you just may want a number that is not in the set.  80 is my house number, and that's what I wanted.  So, I covered a plain metal disc with clear embossing ink and white embossing powder and heat set it until the surface was nice and smooth like porcelain.  BTW, I needed two coats to achieve that.  When cooled, I distressed the edges with some black archival ink and used it to stamp the numbers as well. Archival ink dries quickly and is permanent.

This house was embossed with Tim's checkerboard folder and inked with tea dye and vintage photo distress inks.  The large keyhole opening is also a mover and shaper die and behind it, a bit of text from the scrap pile.  Defining the roof is an Art Part....painted with snowcap, then colored with peeled paint distress stain, which gives it a softer more pastel look.  Over top, some random dots from an old SU! stamp, inked with sepia archival ink.  You can't see it in this picture, but if you look again at the shot of the full village, you'll see I used a hitch fastener as the doorknob of this building.  I love the versatality of the idea-ology line.

This little house is an Art Part, colored with monarch orange archival ink, then stamped with one of Wendy's background stamps with coffee archival ink.  The opening was covered with one of Tim's keyhole idea-ology pieces.  A teeny light bulb I had in my stash fit perfectly in the opening.

Lastly, this tall skinny Artful Dwelling had the three squares cut into it with a Sizzix mover and shaper die.  Behind the openings, some leftover paper from the dryer sheet background I showed you the other day.  Held in place with staples and Tim's tiny attacher. The grungeboard was inked with saffron archival ink and stamped with another of Wendy's background stamps with sepia.  Yet another idea-ology keyhole decorates the peak of the roof.

As for my name.....I used a variety of letters from my stash.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Got Inky.....Finally!

I had the chance to get a little inky yesterday and it sure does feel good.  Until I get my family stuff squared away it will be hit and miss, but I'm determined to steal some creative moments when and where I can.

I've been in a background technique swap, and did this easy and (I think) interesting one for my friend Inge in Belgium.  I'm calling it Dryer Sheet Delight, because we're supposed to give our creations a name and that one, though admittedly kind of dorky, at least gives you a hint as to what's involved.

Glue used dryer sheets to a light colored piece of cardstock, overlapping and leaving some wrinkles in for texture.  You should be able to cover an 8 1/2 x 11" piece with 2 or 3 sheets.  Use a white glue that dries clear, and cover the dryer sheets with another coat of it.

When the glue dries, spray with 2 to 4 colors of your favorite spray.  On this one I used Adirondack Color Wash in lettuce and sunset orange, and Perfect Pearls Mists in blue smoke.

As a final touch, I loaded a paintbrush with Golden Fluid Acrylics in raw umber, smacked it against my hand to create the splatters and dots.

I also had a chance to work on Jacquie's Marie Antoinette journal.  Jacquie challenged us with her theme.....Sex And The we were free to place Marie in more modern times.  I think that Marie Antoinette and Carrie Bradshaw share a shoe obsession, so I went with that.  Oh, the other challenge, is that Jacquie's entire journal is made of canvas.  (By the way, Ranger's Glue N Seal worked perfectly on this material).  We each had two facing pages to do, and here are mine:

I found the image of Sarah Jessica Parker (AKA Carrie Bradshaw) on google, and those red heels called to me.  To make the very trendy Ms. B more Marie-like I plunked a bunch of flowers in her hair.  On the second page I created some special shoes from some very pretty Prima paper, and paraphrased a quote from the TV show.  The actual quote was about it being hard to walk in a SINGLE WOMAN'S shoes, so I just changed it to a QUEEN'S shoes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm Back.....Sort Of

I am home, but not really back in the swing of things.  Still have quite a few family issues to sort out, and it feels like AGES since I've gotten any ink on my fingers, but I am home, and that is a good thing.

On July 3, the older of my two nieces was married, and we all trekked upstate to be a part of this joyous event.  I just want to share a few photos, not of the wedding so much as to show off some of the talents of these young women.

Julianne, the younger niece finished college (RPI no less) in three years, did a semester of law school, then became a pastry chef, and is now doing something in the business world.  And she hasn't even hit age 23 yet.  She did the cake for the groom at the rehearsal dinner:

It was delicious, and I thought using cupcakes as billiard balls was very creative.

Elise (the bride) and her "team" did the invitations, the table centerpieces, the sashes for the chairs, and probably lots of other things I don't know about.  Elise herself did her own bouquet and all the flowers for the bridal party.  And no live flowers were harmed in the creation of these masterpieces.

Here is her bouquet, made entirely of vintage and not so vintage costume jewelry:

The wedding party had beaded flowers and I'm sorry I didn't get any shots of those. 

Elise is creative and definitely moves to the very original beat of her own drum.  Check out the shoes she wore:

White dress, yes.   White shoes, not so much.

And after the obligatory formal pictures, both bride and groom got comfy:

The bride and groom, Elise and Jason, followed by the maid of honor, Julianne, and her fiance Chris.  Another wedding this January!  My poor brother, LOL!

I hope to be in a position to do some art and post it soon, but you know, family first. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

:Leavin' Town, But Had Time For A......

......threefer!   Here are the challenges I think I've met:

Grungy MondayTim Holtz    alcohol ink techniques

Simon Says Stamp and Show:  a word

Everything Wendy Vecchi Making Art!:  red, white and blue

And here is my piece.....and a Happy Fourth of July to all!

For the alcohol ink technique I did the splatter, which is what you see on the bottom layer.  You're supposed to use compressed air, but I couldn't find the can in my stash, so I blew through a straw instead.  Maybe not as much fun, and I think I collapsed a lung, but it worked well enough.
The next layer features one of my favorite images, Lady Liberty, a Viva Las Vegas stamp.  I used a little flourish/flower stamp from Wendy Vecchi's Botanical Art set around the edges.  That stamp has always reminded me of fireworks, so it seemed appropriate.  I used two of the new archival ink colors:  vermillion and manganese blue.  That takes care of the red, white and blue portion of our program.
As for "show us a word,"  well, I showed a few, but used Jenni Bowlin mini stickers to spell out LIBERTY.  The sentiment on the bottom is from Wendy's Evidence of Art set.
And since I'm using this piece as a way of wishing you all a happy and safe Independence Day, I'm thinking I actually accomplished a fourfer, or maybe let's just call it a quad.
Take care, and I'll be back as soon as I can!