Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The 12 Tags of 2013

I actually did my January tag at the start of the month, put it aside to think about adding more to it, and then promptly forgot all about it.  I found it this morning and realized I'd never posted it.  Duh!
Well, first of all, click HERE to be taken to Tim's blog so you can see his January tag.  As usual, I don't like to copy his work exactly, but I do like to incorporate as many of his techniques as possible.  Don't ask me why, but for some reason I was inspired to do a very Valentine kind of tag, quite a departure for me, and not a bit like Tim's beautiful time themed tag.  Hey, I've said it before, and I'm saying it again.....it doesn't pay to argue with your muse.  So, here it is:
The techniques that Tim demoed, that I also used:
An embossed background, inked with distress inks, then splattered with water.....check!
Grungepaper/board, covered with metallic stains and then distressed with inks (seen here on the  bow and arrow; also on some of the hearts).......check!  {NOTE:  I tried every which way to include the cupid that was holding this bow, but he just didn't fit no matter what I did.  I kind of like having to imagine him instead.}
Stamping on ribbon with archival ink......check!
Coloring ribbon with distress stains (I actually did a bit of stamping on these ribbons too, but it barely shows up in the photo)......check!
Finishing the tag with metal embellishments.......check!
It's almost time for Tim to post his February tag, and I'm guessing it will have a Valentine theme.  Wonder what I'll come up with for that.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Butterflies A Poppin'

The most recent challenge at the Wendy Vecchi yahoo group was to make something that included some sort of pop up (could be done with the Sizzix Pop N Cut die), hearts, glitter, and at least one of Wendy's stamps.  This coincided with my needing a birthday card for a friend, and I had immediate inspiration.

After completing the card (which was more involved and took longer than I normally take in my card making), photographing it, putting it in an envelope for mailing, and posting it on the group site, I realized one tiny little problem.  Oh dopey me....instead of using hearts, I used butterflies.  LOL!  Well, I appealed to a higher authority (that would be list mom Lori), who assured me in her unique style that there would be no challenge po po coming after me, and my entry could remain.  Phew!

Although I do have the Sizzix die, I was intrigued by an accordian fold pop up card by Sandi Genovese (remember her?).  You can find the video here. (Thanks Vic for sending us the link!)      So that is what I used as my inspiration.

Here is the front of the card.  Deliberately plain, because all the action is on the inside.

The background is Graphic 45 paper, over which I stamped four of my many butterfly stamps (the two on the right are Wendy's).  The very top one was cut from another Graphic 45 paper, and attached only in the center, so the wings could flutter a bit.  The stamped butterflies were colored with distress markers.
The inside.....which, you'll have to trust me, is more impressive in person.  A little difficult for me to photograph well.

The largest butterflies are stamped images which were colored and cut out.  The four in the front row and the one in the middle of the second row are from that same Graphic 45 paper from which I cut the one on the card front.
The birthday greeting is a Wendy stamp.
The bottom of the inside is a strip of Tim's tissue tape.  The two stamped butterflies are Wendy's again, and those were covered with Glue N Seal and then sprinkled with distress dry glitter in clear rock candy.
Oh, and all of the paper on the inside is Graphic 45 as well.  I'm not sure of the collections they came from as I was just grabbing papers from my stash.....my not terribly well organized stash.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Tale of Flags and Quilts

What a wonderful weekend at Michele's studio! Two fabulous classes with Sue Pelletier.  I remember lusting after Sue's flag collage at Art Is You last summer, and on Saturday I got to make my own version....twice.

I tried to remember to snap photos at each step of the process, and did get most, though not all. Gesso encrusted fingers kept me from touching my phone on more than one occasion.

**NOTE re the photos:  Some I snapped with my phone, some with my camera, and some I swiped from FB.  So there will be differences in quality, and probably not all will enlarge when you click on them.

We started with a 16x20" canvas and applied old book pages to block out the area where the stars will be.

Then we added tissue paper over everything else.

We had lots to choose from when it came to creating the stripes---burlap, muslin, crinoline, wrapping paper, strips of Braille writing, and more.

Taking the time to arrange the stripes to my liking.

You can see we also blocked in some color for the stars background. On this canvas I opted for non-traditional green.

The stripes were adhered with heavy gel medium.

The raised squiggles which roughly outline parts of the flag were made with dimensional paint.

Here is Sue!

And look who came by to visit.  Seth Apter!

And here's Michele.

And Heidi.

And now for the steps I didn't photograph. The stars were made with stamps and paint, texture was created by scribbling into the wet paint with a fat pencil, and after that layer dried, more color and definition with a graphite crayon.

Then, coloring the stripes, and adding text.

My two canvases, one a bit more traditional than the other.  Also one done on a canvas with a small profile, the other having a very wide profile.

There is text on this flag.  I wanted it subtle,  so I wrote it with a poster paint pen that is just barely darker than the stripes.  The text on the red, white and blue flag is obvious, and I may have to tone it down a bit.  The jury is out on that.

That's Michele hiding behind her wonderful flag (with the lyrics from "Born in the USA" written on the stripes).
Sue brought this product in case someone wanted to glitter their stars.  Do you believe such a thing actually exists?  Ceiling Glitter?  Who does this? And the directions involve tossing the glitter onto a painted ceiling.  And it's not like she bought it in 1980.  It's being sold in Loews.  Now.

This is not a staged photo; I was looking for my star stamp, and this is where it was hiding.

 And as we always do at the end of class, a group photo.

That was Saturday.  On Sunday, also working on a 16x20" canvas, we did a non-sew quilt.
First we covered the canvas with old dress pattern paper, just because Sue says she hates starting on a white canvas.  Most of this will be covered, but it is a nice place to start, and we also covered the sides.
We set the canvas aside to dry, and then drew simple shapes on index cards, shapes that had meaning to us.  Some we cut out around the outline, some we cut out only the inside of the shape, which created a simple stencil.
We had six index cards and also cut out pieces of fabric roughly the same size as the cards.  I used muslin, colored burlap, printed burlap, cotton, and crinoline.  The ones we turned into stencils (like the fish you see above on the orange burlap) were used to fill the shape with modeling paste.  The others (like the palm tree) we used to draw an outline on the fabric pieces.
On this one, I applied the paste over the whole thing, lifted off the scissors template, and was left with stripey looking snips:

Next step, arranging the six pieces on the canvas, and glueing them down with heavy gel medium.

Then we used an air dry clay to add some dimension.  I used it on the tail of the fish, and on part of the paint brush.  The clay was covered with either gel medium soaked crinoline (the fish) or tissue paper (the brush).

See how the fabrics all have frayed edges?  I saved the bits that came off in the fraying and used them to add texture in different parts of the "quilt."  Burlap fibers to define the trunk of the palm tree, and others just for the sake of texture.

We also added bits of vintage ribbon, or stitched crinoline (or anything else we could think of) to add interest to the piece.

We broke for lunch and gave everything a chance to dry, and then spent the rest of the day adding paint, oil pastels, graphite crayons, ink, etc.
I consider this to be almost finished.  I want to add some subtle stenciling on the backgrounds, and maybe define each section with something dark.....graphite pencil marks, black paint, modeling paste painted black....something along those lines.
Finally, some shots around the studio, and the class photo.



If you missed these classes, Sue will be back in a few months.  Check out Michele's site for the details.