Sunday, June 27, 2010

May I brag a little?

I don't have any new artwork to publish this week, I've been busy doing some other Very Important Things, so I thought I would take the opportunity to brag a little bit. The artwork above is my daughter's work. She was chosen by her art teacher to be among a few handfuls of artists out of her whole school to display her artwork in a restaurant in downtown Glen Ellyn, called Bells and Whistles Snackery. I am so proud of her. Congratulations to my little artist! 

This is her second public showing of her artwork - at the beginning of the school year she was chosen to display her artwork at the district office public meeting room. I'm hoping that it will eventually get back to me because my house sorely needs quality artwork on the walls!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MixedMediaMonday (last week!)

So I'm only 6 days late for Mixed Media Monday! Last weeks theme was "Vintage Ads/Labels". I made this little tag out of those surface samples you get at Home Depot. You know when you're picking your counter top material? It's very sturdy and comes with a hole already in it and the backside is a pretty ivory colored fake marble veneer. (No, I never actually considered this for my counter tops!) Added some glitz and bling and there you have it.

My favorite vintage ads? Have got to be the bra ads. I love looking at the old bra/lingerie advertisements. That's what kind of sense of humor I have :-) 

On a different note, I took some pretty cool photos this weekend while I was at the farm. It never fails, there's always something to photograph. Most people would think I'm nuts (and some would be right) but there is a certain beauty is a rusted barbed wire fence or hanging S hook. 
Or a spiked rusty farm equipment thingy. (Meaning: I have NO idea what it is!) 
How about some rusted bed springs? It's used to grade the gravel driveway when things get rough. But look at the lines. Kind of like a mechanical spider web.
No one can argue that the day lilies aren't beautiful. Or the purple thistles. But what about the grasses waving in the wind? 
The beauty is in the details, my friends. Look around you, it surrounds you. You just have to open your eyes and open your mind. 

Note: All the pictures are taken with my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 point and shoot digital camera, which I LOVE. It has a super zoom (10X) and great macro capabilities. I give it two thumbs up, three if I had an extra hand!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Days 22-30 of 30/30 project

Wooohoooo! Project 30/30 is DONE! I think I can call it a success. I created, I cranked, I completed. Here are days 22-30. This was probably my hardest batch to deal with because there were other things going on in my life and some days I just didn't have time or energy to complete a project. But I did anyway. So there.

Day 22 was a spread for Carol's Marie Antoinette's Round Robin. Her theme is "Sensual Pleasures". Besides a bubble bath (which I already did for Lorena's spread) I thought of the Garden's of Versailles. 
Day 23 was a quick and dirty mini fabric book. The cover is a pounded flower on muslin my daughter made at a workshop (her book fell apart and she said I could use the flower). There's about 8 pages inside with various stamps and words. I hand stitched the binding.
Day 24 was a sketch of a Suzi Blu type face. I need to practice my faces so I don't forget how to draw them. Arlene is taking the class now and inspired me, hers are looking fabulous! Instead of hair I decided to put her in a head scarf. If I ever turn her into a painting I am going to make the scarf red with a wild pattern. That's what's in my head when I think of my girl in color.
Day 25 was a quickie. I was crunching numbers all day and would turn to the side of my desk and glue some text down. Crunch some more and glue some birds down. And so on. It was a desperate act of creativity. It's not easy switching sides of the brain back and forth, but I think it turned out well.
Day 26 I tried something different. I think it was Janet who started the jewelry thread on my group list... with a button bracelet someone made. Then Sox made her own button bracelet. I decided to use some charms I made a long time ago with vintage storybook characters in them. The charms are two pieces of glass with pictures between then wrapped in copper foil and soldered. I added some glass beads in between to give it some jangle. I really like the look of it, but realistically, I'll probably never wear it. It jangles too much for me and I rarely wear bracelets.
Day 27 was something very different. A year or so ago Kelli Perkins had an article in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine about how to make poetry spoons or spoon "books". She drilled holes in the ends and linked 4-6 spoons together. I only had two spoons in my stash. I gave one to my daughter and we did the project together. Mine is on the left, hers is on the right. I think they turned out excellently, if I may say so myself.
Day 28 was carving a stamp. I saw this design on Alisa Burke's blog about a stamp carving class. I drew it straight on the block and carved away. My very first hand made stamp. It was fun and might turn out to be slightly addicting. (I've already made another one...) I've had a handful of those rubber carving blocks and a carving tool in my stash for a few years now, I figured it was time to cut it up. The actual stamp is in the middle, with prints on white paper on the left and on a vintage text on the right.
Day 29 I made a page using the stamp. I had gotten the Creative Impulse Newsletter that day and loved the color combination of the project of the week. So I took it from there, adding my own carved stamp on dictionary text. I just taped it down (but not really, it's glued first) and added a small quote. A very quick page if you don't count all the drying time for the paint.
Day 30 (dun dun dun DUN as my daughter would say...) is a spread in my watercolor journal. I challenged myself by telling myself I had to use these two photo collage images I got from CollageVisions. Once I stamped the typewriter on the lady's side and the pen and ink on the man's side the words popped into my head. Eunice is ahead of her time. What a scandal to use a typewriter to write her love letters! Joseph prefers the safety of pen and ink.

So what am I going to do now? Well for starters I have another Marie Antoinette RR spread to finish in the next few days. Then before the end of the month (where DID June go??) I have another RR journal to finish. Theme is "In My Zen Garden". I have an Altoid tin swap due at the end of month over at MMartFriends. Maybe the charm swap at FiberArtTraders. I want to get back to Mixed Media Mondays. And I want to try some of Michelle Ward's challenges over at Green Pepper Press. And I'm SURE that my sketchbook group will come up with something new VERY soon. They always do! (Crazy ladies, but I love you anyway!) Wow. Did I just really list all that stuff I wanted to do? Am I nuts?? 


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Days 17-21 of 30/30 project

Well, here it is, all caught up! At least for a few more hours until it's tomorrow... I've been working hard on my Layer Love class with Julie Prichard. I fell behind one day because I had to let the paint dry. So to make up for it, I painted two paintings at the same time. Hah! Take that, wet paint! Shall we begin? 

Day 17 was Lesson One from the Layer Love class "The Red Page." It is a background for a mixed media painting. (Don't ask me what... I have NO idea yet!) We are learning how to layer the paint to create depth. There are about 6 or 7 layers here of different colors, from blue to red to black. And what does Julie say? Blend blend blend! I tell you, it looks MUCH better in person. My scanner doesn't do it justice unfortunately.
Day 18 was a day of journaling in my watercolor book. One of my favorite songs is called "Ugly Side" by Blue October. I decided to see if I could come up with some images for the lyrics... my apologies to Barbie. (Seriously, doesn't the "pretty" side look like Barbie Doll?)
Day 19 was back to Layer Love, lesson 2 "The Old Sea Calls to Me." It really reminds me of the deep sea. The light part of the canvas seems to glow from within. Again, a million layers and blend blend blend. I think this one is my favorite one so far. Probably because I love the sea... dream about the sea... want to live by the sea. 
Day 20 was Layer Love lesson 3. "Old World Golds" I really like this one too. We played with texture using gel medium. Yummy. I love texture you can feel as well as see. I love the color palette. And the weird thing is, there is no gold paint anywhere on the canvas! It's all yellows and ochres and Nickel Azo Gold (but no metallic gold) and burnt umber. Lots of washes and glazes. It's probably not as glossy as it's supposed to be because I didn't have the gloss medium she recommended. (Have to wait until I have a coupon for Michael's Craft Store for that one!) I did have some GAC100 which I used instead. But it's really amazing in person.
Day 21 was a repeat of Day 20's lesson but done in my watercolor journal. (While the canvas was drying I painted in the book. And vice versa.) I wanted to see how it would work on paper. I think it turned out pretty well. I added some script rubber stamping, and chandelier and dragonfly. 
All of these paintings are supposed to be backgrounds for journaling or mixed media paintings. But that's where I get stuck. I don't know how to "finish" them. Hopefully in time something will inspire me and I'll get an idea and go for it. My friend Janet painted a beautiful mermaid on her Sea background. Maybe someday... but for now... on to Lesson 4. Although who knows, maybe I'll take a break and work on something different tomorrow... Only about one more week to go for the 30/30 project! Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Days 10-16 of 30/30 project

I have been very very busy these past few weeks. I can't quite say WHY yet but it's BIG. And school is winding down for the summer. Husband's last day was today. And C has to go until June 10th. It's always a big adjustment to go from being alone all day to having the family home all day. But it'll be a busy summer too. My Irises are done blooming already but I thought the greens were pretty the way the light was shining through them.

For now I'll just post my days of creativity for the "30 project in 30 days" challenge. Days 10-16 were interesting in that I just did them. I think there comes a point where if you do something for about 14 days in a row it becomes a habit? Like... exercising every day. Or not eating sugar for two weeks. Or making time for art every day. I think I like it. 

Day 10 is a spread in my wc journal. I started out with the blue background and added swirls of puffy clouds and decided it needed a house. The words say "and in the door was a golden key" Hmm. Wonder where that door will lead to? 
Day 11 came out when I was cleaning up my studio and was organizing my ATC box. I just couldn't resist this face. Words are from an actual vintage text and the background is dyed paper towels.
Day 12 is another ATC I finished. I started with a card with an alcohol ink background. My personal symbol seems to be stars and once I glued the stars on I thought they looked like they were dancing a bit. I was testing a product called Byzantia Bijoux which is a crushed glass, quartz and marble blend of glitter. It looks like crushed gemstones. If you want more information about this product you'll have to email me and I'll tell you more.
Day 13 was the Wabi Sabi Round Robin Journal I had to work on for the month of May. I saved this one until the last minute. I had NO clue what I was going to do until I started it. I guess that's what wabi sabi is all about, right?  The words read "Nothing is Perfect. Nothing is Finished. Nothing Lasts." and on the right it says "I cling to my imperfection as the very essence of my being." A quote by Anatole France.
Day 14 was prompted by a short conversation I had with my daughter while outside waiting for her bus that morning. I love the great outdoors. I really do. I love all of God's creatures. Except Mosquitoes! I hate the little bloodsucking things. And I am super paranoid about biting/stinging insects. Some of you know my latest ordeal... I woke up one morning with 30 (yes, 3-0) bites on my arm from about 4" above and below my elbow. By the next day I was ready to gnaw my arm off from the itching. And swelling. And redness and pain. I ended up having to take steroids for 3 days and using a prescription topical hydrocortisone. I have NO idea what bit me. But mosquito bites usually trigger my immune system to go crazy. So when this sucker was buzzing around my head and my daughter said that, I had to make a journal page about it, in Teesha Moore style of course!
Day 15 is a mini art quilt I finally put together. The picture is a liquid polymer clay transfer I saw Kelli Perkins do on Quilting Arts TV one day. You just shmear the liquid polymer clay very thinly on a laser copy with the back of a spoon, heat it with a heat gun until it cures (or you can bake it in the oven) and then soak it in water to take the paper off. I put book text behind it and sewed right through it. The doily came from a secondhand shop find. Score!
Day 16 is another mini mixed media canvas. The background was painted with a deliciously shimmery intense blue paint, layered with cheesecloth, and a gorgeous piece of silk Sari I cut up. (I'm so Sari!) The medallion is a polymer clay piece I made and I just used silver rub n buff to shine it up. And I'm happy to say that despite it being dried out a bit at the top, there were NO rub n buff accidents this time! The colors really are amazing in real life.
Well, that's it for now. I don't want to make this post so long that I lose you toward the end. But today was actually day 19 so I will post again in a few days to catch up. Have a great weekend!