Sunday, March 31, 2013

Metal Etching

I recently heard about a new Meetup group right here in my hood.  Not something that happens every day; I generally have to do some commuting to get to a class.  Furthermore, the class being offered was to be given by Jen Crossley, a wonderful Australian artist, and the samples shown on the site just blew me away.  Oh, and  by the way, the group is called Art Carnival, and the leader (or ringmaster, as she puts it) is Cindy Dean. 

If all this wasn't enough, several of my regular art class buddies were also in attendance, and I met a few new ones.  A really great group, held in a lovely apartment, and we were also VERY WELL FED.  Could anyone ask for more?

We cut metal, we stamped on it with permanent ink, we submerged the metal in etching solution, we added patina, we punched holes and inserted eyelets, and voila!  Two covers were created.  Then we cut the paper we had brought, folded it and made signatures, and learned how to put the book together with an exposed spine using a coptic stitch.  Lots and lots of charms and other do-dads were added, and this is what my book looks like.

Many of the charms I've acquired over the years in swaps or as gifts.  Some I made.  Some were bought.  I don't find charm bracelets or necklaces to be particularly comfortable to wear, so this use of the charms really pleases me.
The only thing I did not complete in class was the addition of the framed photo on the front.  (Cindy and Jen had already very graciously allowed the class to go well over the published end time, so that everyone was able to leave with a put together book).  When I got home, I looked through my stash, found the metal frame I used, distressed it a bit with ink and paint, and inserted the photo of my parents when they were very young....a full year before I was born.  I wanted to cover the photo with some mica but all I got for my troubles when I tried to cut it was a table full of mica shards.  This is my faux mica solution:  I covered the photo (which was already in the frame) with Ranger's Glossy Accents, and then smooshed a piece of very thin acetate (cut to fit exactly) over the photo.  Somehow the smooshing created the irregular look of mica.  At least in my mind it did. 
I'm trying to figure out some sort of closure, but until that happens, I jazzed up a binder clip with paint and ink and that keeps the book closed.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vintage Ancestors - A Jilted Lover

Karen's Vintage Ancestors book begins with two lovers, separated by the Civil War.  Sarah and Lawrence write to one another, professing their undying love, until.....Elena gets her hands on the book, LOL.  Then, it's all about Sarah leaving Lawrence for his brother Timothy. 

As I continue the saga, Lawrence responds to Sarah's "Dear John" letter, and I do believe he takes the high road (while getting in a few well deserved zingers).

First, the two-page spread.

I used fabric and paper scraps to create what I thought a journal made by a young woman might look like. 
On the left, a pocket (a Tim Holtz glasseine envelope covered with 7 Gypsies tissue paper) holding the letter Lawrence wrote after receiving the bad news from Sarah.  Pinned to the fabric below is a bauble I had in my stash.  Yes, the heart opens, and yes, there is something inside.  A lock of hair, perhaps?  Too creepy?  Well, how about a lock of doll hair, then?
I did some research, and my friend Google found a photo of a Confederate officer.  Not a general (they all seemed so old); I think this one is a lieutenant.  And his sword is a Confederate foot officer's sword.  I printed it out and covered it with Glossy Accents and then cut it out with my trusty craft knife.  What I really liked about it is that the site where I found the sword said that it was made by a sword maker in New Orleans.  Karen's characters are from southern Louisiana.  Fate!
Although I have Tim's rosette dies, I made this one the old school way, by doing accordian folds.  I wanted it to look like it was made by hand, as I'm reasonably sure that Sarah did not own a die cutting machine.  In the center is a button from my stash.
The two brads on the cabinet card are from Stampin' Up, and I've had them for years.  I thought they kind of looked like the buttons you might find on a military uniform.  Speaking of cabinet cards.....the holder for the photo is not authentic; it is a replica, also courtesy of Mr. Holtz.  Because the back of the holder had cool stuff on it, I separated it from the front and will use it in another project.
And, lastly, here is the letter that broken-hearted Lawrence wrote.  If you have trouble reading it, click on it and it should get large enough to decipher.
Will Lawrence survive the war and find fortune and love in California?  Will Sarah and Timothy actually marry?  Will we ever even know?  Well, that all depends on those who receive the book after me.  They may continue the story or go off on another track.  And someone further down the line may decide to go back to the current story line.  That's one of the things I love most about this particular journal;  you just never know who might turn up in a family tree, and what they will be doing.


Keys4Art 2013, Part V

The Last Installment
(this time I mean it, really)
I know I said I was finished with the Keys retreat, but a funny thing happened.  Carla, who does NOT blog, shared her photos with us, and there are some amazing ones I just had to show you.  I mean, just look at this perspective.  (I never did; me + heights = unhappy me)

Every table laden with gifts.
One special gift from Karen to all of us was a supply holder.  It didn't make it into my first blog post because it was packed in a box that has not yet arrived.  (No only just got mailed yesterday!)
See the mug covered with fabric, holding the paintbrushes?  So pretty, so useful.  Thanks again, Karen!
A couple of my housemates thought they were in Vegas or something.

Just to give you an idea of how much everyone loved making gelli plate prints.  At one point every bit of floor space was filled with drying prints.
Another gift (thank you Elena!) that was packed in that delinquent box was EVERY single one of Julie Nutting's new stamps.....a set for each of us!  Thanks to Julie too.
All of us (except Jacquie, who was called away for a family emergency.....but she came back for our farewell dinner at The Marlin).
Daisy, Teri, Lill, Karen, Pat, Elena, Me, Carla, Jen, Sue
Some random shots.

As I said, Jacquie drove down from Miami for our farewell party, and she brought her adorable son Luca.

Me and my tablemates.  What a fun week, making art and laughing together.

Well, that's it.  I think.  LOL!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eclectic Vintage Gentlemen

The title refers to the theme of Stephen's book in the Kindred Souls round robin.  NOT to my social life.  The book was waiting for me when I returned home from Key Largo, and in between posting about the retreat, I worked on my page for him.

The pages that were already done were so interesting and different (eclectic is the right word!).  I had an idea of what I wanted to do, and for a change it didn't take me too long to figure out how to accomplish it.  I wanted a steampunk feel and a bit of humor.  Oh, and it had to be easy to look at too.

So, here are the brothers Boeing, imaginary founders of Boeing aircraft, in the early days of air travel.

The background started with paper from Graphic 45's Steampunk Debutante line.  I liked all the hot air balloons on it, but the paper was very dark.  I lightened it up by scraping some Ranger picket fence distress paint over it with an old credit  card.  It was then light enough to add some stamping, stenciling, paint splattering, embossing, and so on.

The three gents are from a Tim Holtz stamp (embossed with walnut stain distress embossing powder). I did have to cut them apart and squish them together again to fit them into the basket.  Also from Tim is the compass (embossed with black powder), as well as the small images on the bottom right and the two balloons on the upper left. (All from the new Tiny Things stamp set).
The balloon carrying the brothers off is from Oxford Impressions, stamped on glossy paper, embossed with black powder, and colored with a variety of alcohol inks.  There are also some other balloons from Oxford Impressions, but I'm not sure if you can see them.  Both the balloon and basket are raised up off the page; the basket with pop dots and the balloon with a wiggly springy thingy.  It bobbles when you touch it!

The metal scallop border is by 7 Gypsies.  The balloon's basket is from me.  I just cut a shape, covered it with some scraps from my gelli plate print pile, and added some gold embossing.  The ticket on the top is also one of Tim's stamps.  Oh, and there is a tiny compass glued to the center of the compass stamp.  There are also two air travel related charms dangling from the page that you can't see much of in the photo.

The back of the page in this round robin is supposed to be finished, not highly decorated, and contain our information.  On the page Stephen did, he put Laurel and Hardy on the back, and everyone who followed did the same.  Who am I to argue with success?  I found an image from a film in which the funny men flew a plane.  Perfect!  And you can still see most of the Graphic 45 paper I used underneath.
If Stephen likes this even half as much as I enjoyed making it, I'll be satisfied.

Keys4Art 2013, Part IV

This is it.....the final Keys4Art 2013 post.  I'm a little sad because blogging about the retreat is reliving it, and I can't get enough of that!  I hope some more of the ladies decide to do the same so I
can experience it all yet again.  (Speaking of which, click here for Teri's blog post).

One of our Keys regulars who did not attend this year was Val, and she sent along a bunch of chipboard houses, and asked us to decorate them using red, white, and aqua.  The completed houses will help decorate her new vacation home.  (If you click on Val's name above, you'll be taken to her blog where you'll see that home and the decorated houses she's already received from other artsy friends.  I know she'll love ours too).  I'm not sure if all the houses made it into Lill's camera, but here's what I was able to snag from her.  Click on Lill's name and get her perspective on the retreat.

BTW, mine is the one with the stylized flag, and on the roof it says, "Home Is Where The Art Is."  Which is for sure true for us.  And thanks to the wonderful Sue Pelletier whose artful flag class has inspired so many flags that have found their way into my art.
We spent a lot of time in the kitchen, either cooking, cleaning, eating, or watching others cook, clean or eat. This is what it looked like when we arrived, and when we left.  In between, not so much.
Thanks to everyone who kept us very well fed (and that does include Elena's and Bernie's restaurant, The Marlin).   Jacquie, Karen, Pat, Daisy, Sue....many thanks for the extra 3 pounds I brought back home with me.

We celebrated Lill's birthday with a cake and Bernie's spectacular ribs.  Yes, that is me wiping rib residue from my lips.  Unflattering, yet accurate.

And lest you think I was just one of the watchers, I helped shred the chicken for Karen's awesome gumbo, and I did make a pretty mean chopped salad a few times.  Actually, everyone pitched in.  And though we might have wanted to, we did not keep Karen chained to the kitchen churning out southern Louisiana treats.  This next photo proves that she had some down time.
Relaxing on the deck was one of the greatest pleasures of having the retreat at this house.

You've already seen what our work spaces looked like as we did our thing.  This is what it looked like when we arrived.  I can't even begin to imagine the work that went into readying the place for us.  Elena, Jacquie, you rock!  And a shout out to Patty and Linda, two other Keys regulars who didn't attend but helped with the set up.
Teri took this photo of the view from the roof of the house.  I don't do heights very well, so thanks for climbing that circular staircase, Teri!
One afternoon we witnessed a school of jumping mullets passing by.  We were so excited and the fish so fast, we couldn't get a shot off in time.  But this picture I found online gives you an idea of what we saw.  It was this city girl's idea of Wild Kingdom.
Our last night was spent partying at The Marlin.  Good food, great company, and some interesting dance moves.  Not to mention the duet between the entertainer and our Jen.

The next morning we headed out to the airport early enough for Jen to get this shot of the a fast moving van, mind you.
We're already talking about Keys4Art 2014, which Elena is determined to Cuba!