Monday, March 29, 2010

MixedMediaMonday - Eggs!

This weeks Mixed Media Monday theme is "Eggs".  I knew as soon as I heard that I wanted to use this picture of a nest I took last summer. I scratched the nest part with rough sandpaper and scribbled over it with colored china markers. Something I learned in L.K. Ludwig's "Point and Shoot Journaling" class.  I then mounted it on an 8" x 10" canvas, stamped words around it and added some Ranger's crackle paint. I'm starting to love that crackle look! This stuff is so easy to use, comes with it's own brush in the cap, and comes in so many colors. I used Picket Fence, which is a white but then rubbed a cyan blue paint to darken the cracks and blend the white into the background.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What Exactly is an Art Quilt?

I'm wondering what exactly constitutes an art quilt. Are there any rules? Or is it whatever you make and call an art quilt? Because I was playing around with some Tyvek while I was working on a techniques page for a RR journal project. I think I might have made an art quilt, teehee.

Okay, here's what happened. I painted a 11 x 14 piece of Tyvek in pretty colors, very loosely painting a red flower amid blue and green and yellow background. I decided to put it under the sewing machine and free motion stitch all around the flower and very randomly stitch some circles and swirls. Then I thought "Hmmm. What would happen if I heat this with an iron?" So I did. But I heated it too much and it came out fragile and holey with large areas burned away. It almost hit the trash bin at that point. But since I'm a bit of a freak about throwing stuff away... it stuck around a few days. Then I found some fine red tulle on the remnant rack and I thought "Hmmm. What if I put the tulle over the Tyvek to 'capture and hold' it so it can't fall apart?" Guess what? I LIKED IT! After stretching the tulle over the Tyvek (which was placed on a piece of raw white canvas) I free motion stitched the entire piece using gold metallic thread. And I only broke the thread 5 times! Yes, I used a needle made for metallic thread... it just didn't like the thickness of the melted Tyvek and the thick canvas. To capture the edges, I just zig-zagged the tulle near the canvas's edges, which were left as fringe/fray. I'm considering adding some beading to it too... haven't quite made up my mind...

What do you think? Art quilt? or just a save of some junk better off in the bin?

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Boys Are Made Of (Mixed Media Monday)

Frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails... that's what little boys are made of!

These three boys are part of my "found" family. I found them hiding in a box in an antique store. I love to hunt for hidden treasures, especially old photos and Victorian cabinet cards. But I don't think I have one old photo where the person is smiling. They all look so serious and austere. I saw these three boys and fell in love and adopted them into my instant family. How can you not smile at these faces? How much mischief do you think they've caused over the years? I bet they gave their real mother a run for her money!

This is a 9 x 12 piece on acrylic paper. I enlarged the original photo to 8x10 and glued bits and pieces of vintage primers and picture books. One book is called "Book of Etiquette for Boys and Girls" and on the original you can read the rules of etiquette that were taught to children in the past. Things like:

"All children should stand up when an older person comes into the room, and remain standing until everyone is seated. But boys must stand whenever a girl comes into the room. And if there aren't enough seats to go around, he must always offer his seat to her."

"A boy holds a girl's chair when she is seating herself at the dinner table, pushing it in gently when she bends her knees. He never seats himself until all the girls are seated."

"Do not wave your knife and fork around or stick them in the air or bang them on the plate or table. Do not hold your knife and fork upright in your fist like a dagger ready to stab someone. Chew slowly, with your mouth closed. Don't gulp or make noises. "

Wow. What the heck happened to proper etiquette? Enjoy your Monday!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Happy First Day of Spring everyone! I woke up this morning to this: 

It was 62 degrees and sunny yesterday, all week as a matter of fact. My first Crocus's emerged with a burst of purple and yellow. Here they are: 

Can you see them buried under the snow? Along with the Iris shoots starting to grow? The Daffodils shot up this week as well. The flowers are fat little pods under a thin papery skin, ready to burst.

Yeah. Mother Nature sure has a demented sense of humor. I see where I get it from. Well, it's not supposed to last. 

Here's a funny story that just happened while I was typing. I sent my daughter outside to get the mail and she comes running in with a mitten-full of pink snow. She says "Mom! The snow on the front bush is pink! Look!" and she shows me a little pink snowball. I'm flabbergasted and go out to solve the mystery. Sure enough the bush has a spotty layer of light pink snow... Hmmm. Then I remembered that when it was sunny a few days ago, I had put a piece of paper on the bush and sprayed it with Cherry Red Glimmer Mist! It was the overspray that turned the snow pink. My daughter was incredulous. "You glimmer-misted the bushes??" I said "Yes. I thought they would look pretty all sparkly." LOL. Mystery solved.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mixed Media Monday (on time!)

Mark your calendar! This week's Mixed Media Monday is actually ON TIME! Woooot! 

This weeks theme was "Party Animals".  Of course my first thought was to take a picture of my dog and party her up... I actually started one. But then... I remembered this great picture I got at an estate sale and couldn't resist. Those twins just make me smile. You just KNOW that somewhere inside of them they are WILD women who love to have a good time!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mixed Media (last) Monday

Hehe. I made this little canvas in response to LAST week's mixed media prompt which was "It's not all black and white". I envisioned very soft white background with the black bird silhouette I got from a blog called "A Year in the Life of an Art Journal". Yah. Couldn't do it in black and white. But... it's not ALL black and white anyway, right? The birds have some Black Soot Crackle Paint on it. The background has many collaged layers consisting of napkins, music paper, sewing pattern paper, various tissue papers... I threw some thread snips on there that I found sticking to myself after a sewing project. In the upper right hand corner I grouped some buttons and put a BE in one of them and covered it with diamond glaze, stamped "2" in front of it. 

I used "found poetry" to add the words. I started ripping up a large print romance book (Don't tell Mom!) and using the larger text to find words I like. It's so much nicer that the normal tiny printed text. I blame it on Kelli Perkins, hehe. I'm working on some Thread Spool Poetry and needed larger words, but I wanted to use original found words, not made up and printed stuff. This particular book is a treasure trove of fabulous romantic words to use. I did finish my thread spool but it's drying at the moment. I'll post that soon. 

Now to see what THIS weeks Mixed Media Monday prompt is...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blog Award!

I woke up this morning to find blog awards from my friends Joanna, Kelly and Janet!  Thank you ladies for the honor! 

Now as part of the award I have to do seven things:

(1)Post the image of the award

(2)Thank the person who gave it to me.

(3)Link to the person who gave it to me

(4)Tell you seven things about myself that you wouldn't know

(5)Choose seven great bloggers to give this award to.

(6)Give a link to their blogs

(7)Leave them a message on their blog.

Hmm. I find that I'm pretty boring in general so I'll have to think a little about this one, lol.

1. I am addicted to books. I love the smell of them, the feel of them... I love to see them all lined up on my bookshelves. I have enough books to last me several years of reading, but I still love to shop resales and book sales for that special one I don't have yet.

2. I have a degree in landscape architecture from Arizona State University and worked for an architect designing million dollar homes. But when I moved back to Illinois I couldn't get a job here so I changed careers midlife. Now I am a teacher without a job!

3. I am a very creative person... if I see something I like, I simply make one for myself. But then I have little interest in making a lot of something. I just have to prove to myself that I can do it at least once.

4. I have a dream of living near the ocean some day. I mean very near, as in walk out the door and across the yard and be on the beach. I love the sea... the salty air, the fishy smell, the sound of the waves crashing, the tide pools and slimy seaweed, the gulls crying... aaaahhh. 

5. I have only one child and can't have any more... when my daughter was younger I was upset about this... but now I LOVE having only one child. Some people would call me selfish... some people have made me feel guilty... but I love my little family and wouldn't trade it for the world! 

6. I love music and have favorite musicians who I find very inspiring. But I have to be in the mood to blast the music. I also love silence and spending time alone.

7.  A BIG pet peeve of mine is cell phones and the people who can't go through life without them. People who talk on the phone while dining with a friend, or walk through the grocery store like they are talking to themselves but have those little ear pieces on. Or TEXT in a movie theater. Or talk and drive. I could go on and on... but you get the picture. What ever happened to being by yourself with your thoughts?

Now to pick seven blogs for you too check out... besides the ladies who nominated me (and the other six each of them also nominated! I'm going to try to avoid doubles and triples :-) here are a few of my favorite blogs I enjoy visiting: 

Elizabeth always has great pictures and great tutorials posted on her blog.
Cheryl has inspiring projects and cool drawings.
Valerie is such a generous soul and offers beautiful pictures to download and use in your art.
Rita intersperses pictures of her beautiful artwork with creative writing and interesting stories.
Toni because she's an amazingly strong and intelligent and inspiring young woman and I love her!
Vicki because she updates her blog more often than anyone I know and it's FUN to read :-)
Fran has some truly lovely art and art journal pages and is an inspiration!

Oh gosh I can think of so many more... I've got about 100 blogs on my blogroll! (Don't even think I can keep up with it all!) I just can't believe all the wonderful people I've met through blogging and the wonderful inspiration I've gotten from everyone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Sentiments Exactly

This canvas was abandoned a long time ago when I did a transfer experiment on it. I transferred three Da Vinci images... one fell right off, one is just to the right of the leaf and is barely visible and the last one is the reversed Mona Lisa on the left. Then I threw the canvas in the corner, hehe. A few months later I found this quote by Da Vinci and I thought it was perfect. I also needed to try out my Golden's Crackle Paste and Iridescent Bronze paint. Wham bam slap stick. Is it finished? Probably not. But it's being abandoned again.

I think spring is finally rearing it's muddy head. I found some daffodil buds poking through the ground. Almost all the snow has melted. Now I have a winter's worth of defrosting dog poop to clean up!

I was visiting the parents down on the farm a few weeks ago. This time I brought my snow boots so I could wander around outside. It was a full moon that weekend. 

This looks a little like a blob of ice or a snow ball but it's the moon, I swear. I just pointed my little camera at the sky and zoomed in as far as I could and this is what I got. Have I told you how much I LOVE my camera? In case I didn't... I LOVE my camera! 


In this shot I stuck my camera out the door at about 10:30 at night and took a picture. The clouds were really cool and the moon shadows were awesome!

The next day I walked around the property right before sundown. The lighting was beautiful... soft and warm. I couldn't resist some shadow shots!

And I leave you with an Iris. I mean ORCHID! (Thanks Janet!) One of nature's most exquisite forms... Have a wonderful week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

If I joined the Circus...

I love my sketchbook group friends. I have never seen such enthusiasm and joy spread so quickly from one day to the next. One day last week someone mentioned the circus and WHAM. A great prompt was formed, ideas were born, art was created. Kind of like a tidal wave of creativity. 

I never really got into circuses when I was a kid. But I fell absolutely and wholeheartedly in love with Cirque du Soleil when I saw them the first time I went to Vegas in 1997. I saw Mystere first. A few years later I saw O, front and center, close enough to get splashed with water. It was breathtaking, magical, inspirational. I saw Quidam in Chicago, and then Verakai.  The costumes, the music, it's a feast for all the senses, almost overwhelming for the emotions. I have the programs for the shows. I have books written by the creators. Talk about motivational and inspirational. They taught me what "audacity" means.

I am so sad... I just found out a new show is playing in the suburbs about 45 minutes from here. I really want my daughter to see a Cirque show. But it would cost us over $250 for three tickets! I just can't justify the cost at this time...

If I joined the circus... I would fly through the air with the greatest of ease. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Goddess of Spring

I thought that if I made a pretty picture for the Goddess of Spring, She would be pleased and Her happiness would spread sunshine and warmth and Joy across the land...

Okay, seriously, this is the first spread for the Round Robin journal I'm participating in. This is for Janet's book "The Sacred Feminine". I'm taking Suzi Blu's "The Goddess and the Poet" class and thought I'd paint my very first Goddess for Janet. I hope you like it Janet!