Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I had so much fun making this. It was one of those creating experiences that fed on itself. As I thought about the punchinella (the waste product from making sequins - for those of you who didn't know), I thought of using it like a fence with an animal. After that, it was just a matter of following the various associations that my mind made. I love when things like that happen! And I'm ready for the January challenges because I cut enough 4x4 pieces of matboard to do five more challenges. So bring it on!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Did you notice my affirmations that I painted on the walls before the actual painting began? So many people talk about the need to believe in your dreams and the power of affirmations so I just couldn't resist to put my own mark on the world (or the wall) when I was making my new work space "home".
Monday, November 12, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I had posted this in my gallery at ILove2Create.com and I had a request for directions....so here they are (from a newbie beader). The items I used were the following:
- Needle-nose plier
- Round-nose plier
- Wire cutter
- 7.5 inch large link chain w/clasp
- pre-mixed Czech glass beads (66 grams-but I have some left over)
Since I was using a pre-sized bracelet chain, all I did was make the indivdual dangles that are on the bracelet (which, if you remember, was why I decided to make this in the first place). Each dangle is between 1/2 inch and one inch long. Each link on the bracelet has two dangles attached to it. One is longer and one is shorter. Each dangle is made by threading the desired number of beads on a headpin and then the headpin is cut and the end shaped to form the loop that allows the dangle to be attached to the chain link. For my dangles, I simply started with a larger bead directly above the head and then added additional beads, alternating colors. The tricky part to the process is forming the loop. Here are a couple of links that show the process: Bead and Button magazine and WigJig.com. I particularly like the example in the second link but since I didn't leave a neck on my headpin like they show in the example, I wanted to include both. The process is really the same. Here is another picture of my bracelet that shows it in more detail. Also, I made sure to add the two dangles that were on each link to the opposite sides of each link. I think that after making more than 50 dangles, I feel much more confident in my wireworking abilities. The unexpected benefit of this bracelet has been the soothing sound it makes. It has been compared to the sound of a rainstick.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
This shrine began life as a capiz shell bowl I bought on clearance at Target. I actually bought three of them because I thought they would make lovely candle holders on some black bookshelves I have in my living room. It wasn't until I got them home and was removing the labels that I found that one of the labels was actually embedded in the finish of the bowl. I decided it wasn't worth the $1 or less per bowl to return them to Target but I just shoved them in a drawer and forgot about them. That is until about a month ago when I came across them and immediately had a vision of cutting the part of the bowl with the label off and using the remaining part of the bowl for a shrine. I'm sure part of my "vision" came from my recent acquisition of a Dremel tool and my discovery of all the wonderful things it can do. But anyway, the point of my story is that even when I first started this project, I had little more envisioned than a piece of a bowl on its side. The rest of the piece grew as I worked. So I don't think I ever "give up" on a project. I just haven't found the right starting inspiration. I truly hope that my enthusiasm picks of for the book. I am to be the discussion leader for chapter three, "Belligerent Commitment: Starting Your Work", which I chose because it seemed to encompass my feelings for the book at the time.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The other event it the return of the Scrappin' Survivor Contest. This is our third season (in television terms) and it promises to be better than ever. You can sign up through noon EST on Sunday, September 16th and the contest is open to EVERYONE. The only requirements are to register at the website (which is free) and have at least 10 posts (which can be on the message board, comments to work in the gallery, or posting your own work in the gallery). I have been part of each of the Scrappin' Survivor Contests and have loved every minute of them. And we have learned from the past to make the contest more about scrappin' and less about surviving (because there were a few sleepless nights that first year :-o ). Did I mention that the top THREE winners of this year's contest get to be guest designers for the Scrapbook Society kits in the following months? Love that!!!
One last update...my jury duty was a bust. I sat through the selection process only to be eliminated. Oh well, maybe next time.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Moving on to the vacation, it was the first time the boys and I had ever been to Arizona. Kurt had been to the Grand Canyon when he was a child and was really looking forward to showing it to the boys. We ended up going on Monday, August 27th. Before leaving Sedona, we knew that there were storms near the Grand Canyon but after looking at the radar, we decided to go ahead since it looked like it would be clearing out. We did run into rain on the way, between Flagstaff and the South Rim but by the time we reached the first viewing point in the park, it was clearing up. Our first view turned out to be incredibly special -- including seeing a rainbow below us in the canyon.
We had a great time in Arizona. The boys really seemed to enjoy hiking, even though it was pretty hot while we were there. I have to add one more picture from the trip. This one just cracks me up. You just never know when you will find a sign with arms!
Since we've been back home, I've been busy cleaning (and decluttering) the basement, working on plans for the ILove2Create.com anniversary celebration, getting the boys back into the school routine, and doing laundry. Things aren't going to be letting up anytime soon since I have been summoned for jury duty for the next two weeks. I am desparate for some creative time so I'm trying to think of what I can take with me to do while I wait through the jury process. Hopefully I will have something to show later in the week.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on this post and you win. What, you ask? The winners get something home-made and crafty from me within the next year, but you have to promise to post the same on your blog and follow suit for 3 new people. If you think this sounds like fun, just leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you.
As soon as I read her entry, my mind was a flurry of ideas that I could make to pay-it-forward(PIF). So if you would like to be one of the recipients, post that you are interested and I will get in touch with you. Now, I think I will go hit the studio.
Friday, August 3, 2007
I thought I could get all these images lined up but it is late and I just give up. The good news is that after all my ATC work, I got the bug to print out some pictures for one of the scrapbooks I started awhile ago, so hopefully tomorrow will see several more pages added to it. But for tonight...th,th,that's all folks!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
After an exhausting three days walking for floor of the CHA trade show, I'm finally home and ready for a good night's sleep. But first I have to share a bit about my post-CHA stops in Chicago before I headed for home. Both Melynda (from ILove2Create.com and I love vintage stuff so I promised her a trip to a great place that I had been to many, many years ago before I took her to the airport. So we finished up at CHA before noon and headed to Salvage One. We had a great time browsing through the store (okay, I did purchase some really cool vintage printing blocks). We also discovered a couple of other VERY COOL shops. Right next door, was a great shop called El Paso Import Co.. If you are ever in Chicago, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND checking out this place if you need any furniture or home decor items. Jon, the manager is an awesome guy! As we were looking around the store, I spotted a wicker mannequin that was fabulous and immediately checked for a price. When he saw me looking at it, he said "Do you want that, take it!" It turned out that someone had left it in front of his store just a couple of days before that. So he literally "gave" it to me. Of course, he now has my undying devotion. Don't you just love it?
By the way, if you haven't checked out the ILove2Create blog lately, definitely do. Melynda has posted tons of sneak peeks from CHA and is giving away fabulous prizes. Okay, time to for me to get some sleep...
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Some of the other open studios we have had were to Play in the Mud pottery studio where we could do hand-building or wheel work, Wisconsin Center for Book and Paper Arts where we learned paper pulp painting, and a workshop on Soul Collage. The picture on the right is one the soul collage card I made at the workshop. I can honestly say that each open studio has expanded my creative toolbox. Next month we will be making mosaics, which is another thing I've always wanted to try.
Tomorrow I am heading to the Craft and Hobby Association trade show in Chicago. I am really excited to spend time with Melynda, the owner of ILove2Create.com. We will be spending the next 2 1/2 days planning for upcoming Scrapbook Society kits and website events. The monthly Scrapbook Society kits are what started me on my recent installment of my creative journey and Melynda inspires me more than I can ever say.
Before I end this, I also want to mention that two of my recent ATCs were selected to be featured on the home page of the Artists of the Round Table Yahoo Group. I have been having so much fun with the ATC workshop (based on Bernie Berlin's book) with the group and there are so many incredible artists participating that I feel truly honored to have mine on the home page. I am also really glad that this week we had a break from our "studies" because I needed a little extra time to get caught up.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Here are this weeks lesson, image transfer and using fun foam. I did two image transfers by printing pictures using my Epson inkjet photoprinter. I printed the photos on some cheap photo paper that I picked up at the dollar store awhile ago. As soon as it was done printing, I placed it face down on a piece of wet watercolor paper. I brayered over the back of the photo to transfer the image. The top card shows an underwater scene that I added some acrylic paint to the bottom edge smooth the transition of the edge of the photo transfer. I also added the words "Go with the Flow" over the paint, embossing the words with clear embossing powder that contains glitter. Because the words were written in Versamark watermark ink, it is only visible at certain angles. The second image transfer photo was from Art-e-zine. I love the way it turned out and this photo transfer was the second printing from one photo. My last ATC was supposed to use fun foam to create the dimension but I happened across some chipboard letters that I thought would be perfect and used them to create "SPLASH".
Creating definitely helped me absorb my test results but waking up this morning brought news that one of my closest friend's father had passed away. I was glad to hear that she had time to go see him before but I also knew that she had been under a lot of stress with other things in her life. I spent time this afternoon working on some things for her and came away with a new appreciation for my life situation. I must say that I am very fortunate to have the life I do and I have a new gratitude even for things that I used to feel stressed about.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Couldn't ask for better
Pros: Ample Storage, Efficient, Convenient, Easy to Move
Best Uses: Garage, Space Saver, Storage, Organization
Describe Yourself: Homeowner
I get a smile on my face everytime I go into our garage now. My 6 and 10 year old sons and all their friends never even need to be told to put things away.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
One of my favorite parts of this week's lesson was that I finally got some color copies of some antique advertising cards that I had bought and used two of them for two of the cards. The first card was to incorporate a page from the telephone book. I had this image of the man and was trying to come up with an appropriate concept when I happened across the yellow pages section for "Process Servers". It seemed to be destiny for this man so the card was born. I used the section from the yellow pages and covered the unrelated part of the page with black ink to draw attention to the "Process Servers" section. I added some stenciled and stamped "$" over the background and then finished off the piece with the man and a piece of gold german scrap.
The second ATC is my version of the tissue paper background. I had some tan tissue paper with line drawings of dragonflies on it and started with that as my base. I attached a piece over black matboard, allowing a few wrinkles to form in the tissue paper. I colored the background with LuminArte Twinkling H2Os and then outlined the dragonfly with a black gel pen, adding highlights with a white gel pen. The flower was lighly brushed with Twinkling H2Os as well.
My last ATC was the hardest for me to come up with a concept. The assignment was to use string but I needed to have the string make sense in the context of the card's topic. That was when I spotted the advertising card that I had copied that was for a corset. I used the add for the background, distressing it with two colors of ink and then stamping the word "CORSETS" at the top with Distress Ink. I added eyelets along the edges and laced the card with copper cording. It is funny how once you find a concept you like, things just flow.
My goal for lesson five is to post it before next Sunday. Wish me luck. :-)
So in order to keep things in order (okay, that just sounds weird), I am going to post my lesson three cards in this post and write a separate one for the ones I finished today. Without further adieu, here they are...
The first ATC, "ROAR", is simply a collage of bits of magazine pictures. The background is made up of three "visually textured" photos and then a center of a large flower (from a Macy's advertisement) was cropped to form the "aura" behind the lion. I added the words "I am woman...hear me ROAR!" in a gold leafing pen.
The second card is a magazine/gesso technique where a magazine photo is covered in gesso and the basic outline of the photo is recreated with a marker. I used watercolor pencils to add my own colors.
The last card is a fascinating technique that Bernie Berlin referred to as Nevr-Dull in her book Artist Trading Card Workshop. Nevr-Dull is a solvent type of product that is marketed for automotive use. Since I didn't want to buy something new if I had a suitable substitute, I tried a few of the things I had around. My first attempt was with a citrus-based solvent that I have used for blending wax-based color pencils. It did work but my samples were nothing that really inspired a finished ATC. I also tried using Transfer Ink by Stewart Superior. This product worked beautifully to remove the ink from the magazine pictures. I had used Glossy Accents by Ranger Industries to create a resist on the magazine picture, outlining some of the major lines. After the Glossy Accents dried, I sprayed the Transfer Ink on the picture, saturating it, and then wiped it in one direction with a paper towel. I like the way that because of saturating the magazine paper, there were slight wrinkles that formed during the wiping process. A packing tape transfer of a Buddha figure and the word "breathe" were added to finish off the ATC.
Okay, now that I finished explaining last week's assignment, it is time to work on this week's....Stay tuned!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The last part of the lesson required one of the backgrounds to be used to create an ATC. Because I was running late on finishing the assignment, I don't feel that the two ATCs I created are my best work but they are okay.
Now I'm off to work on my newest project. I joined a book group that is working through The Collage Discovery Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth. I need to work on developing my own definition of "collage". Watch for more of my studies related to this book in the future. :-)
Monday, June 11, 2007
These are the rules.... each player starts with 7 random facts about themselves on their Blog. People who are tagged need to blog 7 facts about themselves and post the rules as well. At the end of their blog list 7 people you are tagging. Let them know that they are tagged by leaving them a comment.
So, time for my 7 random facts:
1. I've become obsessed with watching "The Starter Wife" on the USA network (and it has only had two episodes!).
2. I have a small scar below my bottom lip from when I fell off the sofa when I was 1 1/2 years old and my tooth went through my lip.
3. My "baby" is graduating from kindergarten on Friday.
4. I have developed a sunflower seed habit when I go to my sons' baseball games. If it is a particularly stressful game (like when my son is pitching), I can have a two bag a game habit. I blame my original addiction on my dad and sister. They are the ones who taught me how to crack a sunflower seed and eat the nut in one quick twist of the wrist. :-)
5. I take a two-hour nap almost every day (which will be ending this week since the boys will be home on summer vacation).
6. I hate giving up -- a case in point is the current ATC workshop I'm doing through the Artists of the Round Table Yahoo Group. I made an ATC background using a baby wipe (see my last post) according to the first lesson plan but I really didn't like it. Today I decided that I was going to use it on an ATC and I have to say, I LOVE THIS CARD!!! Check it out for yourself.
7. My favorite thing to wear is The Perfect Tee from Old Navy. I think I own over a dozen in a variety of colors.
So, now it is my turn to tag people. :-) Here are the people I've tagged:
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The June kit contains a Maya Road mini-album that comes in a chipboard book and a package of chipboard shapes that coordinate with the kit paper. As I sat looking at all the goodies in the kit the night it came, I had a vision -- a vision of an angel. Everything that was used to make this project came in the kit except for some rubber stamps (the face and the letters), ink and the feathers. Even though the subject of the mini-album are women that have touched my life but died too soon (hence the name "Girlfriends and Guardian Angels") invokes a certain sadness, looking at this tribut to them makes me smile. I'm sure that each of the three women currently memorialized in the album would smile as well.
Thanks for stopping by...I promise to start posting more regularly (Girl Scout's honor).
Friday, April 27, 2007
Here is a sneak peek of one of my challenges for the CyberCraft Weekend. It is a needle-felted background with beading. For the beaded mermaid, I didn't have directions, only a picture of one that had been made. That was my first attempt at recreating a beaded piece that was that detailed.
Since some of my creative time was also spent working on my kitchen, I have to also share a picture of the wall that had been "in progress" for about five years. And yes, I am embarrassed about it (even though my mother wouldn't think so). Eeek! I thought I had a picture but I don't so I'll have to share that later.
The other thing that I am very excited about is that tomorrow I can go put the glaze on two pottery pieces I made during an Open Studio that my local Artist's Way group had on the 15th of April. I made a small bowl on the wheel and a small mask that will probably find its way into an assemblage piece at some point.
Well, that is all for now. I need to go finish a couple of beeswax pieces for ILove2Create.com. And the boys will be home from school any minute.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I'm sure most people can't understand my ecstasy over my new reversible tote bag made from a placemat. I think it is not the item itself but when you have a vision of something that you want to make and it turns out even better than the original vision -- that is why I am feeling euphoric. So here it is...my reversible tote. I'd love to know what you think so please leave me a comment. I will be sporting this new tote to my Artist's Way group meeting on Sunday. You can see that the book and my morning pages notebook fit perfectly along with my wallet.
So now that one vision is completed, I plan to work on my needlefelted collage. Today is the search for the perfect focal image and transfering to my waiting piece of canvas. Stay tuned for further developments on THIS VISION!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
About a month ago I saw directions for making a purse using a placemat. I was very intrigued by it but forgot about it until I saw a Target ad that had a gorgeous placemat. As soon as I saw it I began to obsess on making it into a tote bag, but not just a tote bag but a reversible tote bag. Well, I finished it tonight and am so psyched by how it turned out. I will take some pics tomorrow to post.
We are heading into spring break so I'm not sure how cooperative the boys will be with my artistic time. Hopefully, I can do the felted project that I have been thinking about lately...stay tuned.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I have been really focused on the changes going on at The Scrapbooking Society alot over the past few months. Yesterday was the big day that the I Love 2 Create went live. There are still some glitches to be worked out, but it is looking great. I am so excited about the kits that Melynda is offering in the store. She has always been such an inspiration and the Scrapbook Society monthly kits have given me the confidence to explore so many different avenues with my art. Right now I am eagerly awaiting the April kit that will feature Stampbord as the technique. This is one of those products that I fell in love with it the moment I saw it (plus I got to play with it at CHA). Even though I bought some after returning from CHA, I am still really excited to get it in the kit. This weekend will be dedicated to work with the kit and making the samples for in the gallery (at least when I'm not driving the boys to soccer games).
Tomorrow I plan to spend some time in my studio so hopefully I will have some fresh artwork to post tomorrow night.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
This is a picture I took at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco
This is a picture of the State Capital building in Madison.
Even though you separate the polaroid paper early when doing image transfers, the pictures were both developed enough to allow me to try my hand at emulsion lifts. Thursday night, I had time (and the distilled water I needed) to try it for the first time. I am in love with this technique. I did both of the same images but using hot press watercolor paper for the base.
Emulsion Lift of Palace of Fine Arts (San Francisco) photo
Emulsion Lift of State Capital (Madison) photo
That was the end of my playing with the Daylab for now. I want to read more about the various techniques that can be done with Polaroid film. I got a book that was recommended by Carol Wingert and Tena Sprenger during a chat at The Scrapbooking Society. The name of the book is Polaroid Manipulations by Kathleen Carr. I have skimmed through it and found so much that fascinated me that I need a weekend to dedicate to reading it. Maybe when the boys have spring break...
Yesterday, I did get a chance to play in the studio. I needed to make 9 ATCs for a swap at The Scrapbooking Society. I decided to try a new background technique called paint scraping. I felt like such a kid swooshing paint across the paper! I love the results and plan to make some more (including one that I plan to use for the background on my blog). Anyway, I ended up making 10 ATCs (the number you can make from an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cardstock. This is a scan of the one that didn't make the cut for the swap (I didn't get the word "Easter" aligned where I wanted it).
And with that, I say goodnight....