Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Surprise Weekend!

  I want to thank those of you who left comments on this past week's post and for the anniversary wishes. I never had the chance to respond or visit anyone BECAUSE MY HUBBY TOTALLY SURPRISED ME WITH  A 4 DAY ANNIVERSARY GET AWAY HERE :

  It truly was the surprise of a lifetime because Bill doesn't do these things-at least up until now! He hand made a framed card which he presented to me last Fri AM once I got up. I was laughing at him because he was giving me a card a day early and I was preparing for the morning grocery shopping. He had me turn over the card and that's where it said what he had planned and that I needed to get packing. Guess who was laughing now:) I was so beside myself I don't know how I managed to get myself and bags together. He arranged for our son Todd to stay at the house and dog sit knowing I'd be worried about Annie.

   Cape May- a quaint Victorian seaside town full of "Painted Ladies" filled with vintage furnishings. As you come into the main street of town you suddenly feel like you're really in another era. We were sitting at an outdoor restaurant for a late lunch and I sat there still not believing what was transpiring and where I was and what he had done. I'll share a few pics once I have them all together and edited. It was a gorgeous, warm and sunny four days in a place we used to call our second home because we went  so often. The last time we were there though was 12 yrs ago (when we got our Annie). Thank you Bill for a very special 30th anniversay. XO

  Here's the card I made for him:

  Products: 5 x 7" white card, printed papers from Valentines Scrap Pack (Canvas Corp), Vintage Photo and Black Soot Distress inks (Ranger), alphabet/number sets (PSX).

  I returned home to find this lovely pkg. from Aimee who hosts  "Glue It Tuesdays" on her blog Artsyville :

 and inside was a wonderful, vibrant assortment of washi tapes!! I had won a set as part of Aimee's generous giveaways of her new tapes presented in lots of creative ways thru a blog hop:

 I had a bit of time to play around with the tapes the other day:

          Here I put strips of the tapes on cardstock then used a variety of punches for some fun bits.

 For this tag I simply decorated a formica chip sample ( the kind you get free at a home improvement store).

                                                          A quick and easy greeting card.

 And here are two patterned note cards I simply added a bit of washi for some added pizazz:

 Thanks so much Aimee; I love these tapes! If you wish to purchase them you can find them at Aimee's shop.

 Lastly is a canvas I made last week again using techniques from the Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop book by Serena Barton (chapters one and three) and another Keith Harkin song- "Take It Away Boys".

 The canvas board was prepped by using both a palette knife and a sea sponge to apply a thick coat of Golden Light Molding Paste, creating a rough base for the scene:


  A coat of My Studio Vanilla was painted on the dried surface. Americana Pineapple acrylic was added on the upper third. Some of it was wiped back with a paper towel. Several drops of Adirondack Butterscotch reinker was added and brushed over the lower area. I wrote some of the lyrics in pencil.

The Open Road   (5" x 7")

  Adirondack alcohol inks in Stream, Citrus, and Watermelon were dropped and blotted to form the trees. I mixed my own concoction of reinker glaze using a drop of Adirondack Watermelon, Burnt Orange and Ranger Distress Tea Dye along with Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid and lightly brushed it in areas and wiped away. The edges of the canvas were sponged with Distress Tea Dye ink.

 This will be another busy weekend as the Celtic Classic festival will be in town for three days. Woohoo!!! This is one big party I never miss! I will be filling up on all things Celtic-food, Guinness, jewelry, clothing, gift items, Highland games, Border Collie events, Parade of Tartans, bagpipe competition, fiddle competition, a haggis eating contest(yuck!),  Irish dancing and of course lots of Celtic bands and music! Believe it or not this is a free event-you only pay for the food and drink :) We're expecting perfect weather too. And, it's walking distance from our home :)

  Of course, in between I will be visiting blogs linked up to these challenges : Paint Party Friday, Simon Says Wednesday Challenge (who's theme this week is "anything goes"), Show and Tell Saturday, Creative Every Day, Mandarin Orange Monday, Glue It Tuesday. Happy weekend!

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
                                                                                         Ashley Montagu

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last Hurrah Of Summer

   Fall arrives on Sunday and the signs are all around us. The leaves are rapidly falling and changing colors, the garden veggies are dwindling as are the flowers. The ducks are migrating, along with the butterflies and hummingbirds. The squirrels (oh those darned squirrels) are all over the place gathering. Mornings have been chilly enough to warrant putting the heat on a few hours here and there. But the sun is still warm enough to allow for an outdoor morning coffee and here's who joined me a few days ago:

  Oh joy that I was able to get a few photos for the first time this year! Last year they were gone by Sept. 24th so I know they could be gone any day now. These are two females. Haven't seen the males in the last week. Thank you little ones for keeping me company Sunday morning.

  Got into a bit of digital play again. It began when I had a bowl of glass pebbles on a newspaper drying out on a table outside. thought they looked kinda cool so I took a few pics.

  This is the first pic-the original:

and here's the same shot after some photoshop play:

   Added orange color, "multiply" under the layers tab, then "craquelure" under the effects tab.

  Original photo 2:

and after first layers of digital manipulation:
   Added orange/red color, "color burn' under the layers tab, then "twirl" under the effects tab. Changed opacity to 77%. On top of this I then made more changes:

   Here I added more orange, changed opacity to 89%,, then added "luminosity" under the layers tab. This one reminds me of marbled paper.

  Photo #3;

  And another photoshop manipulation:

   Here I chose gradient fill-Diamond, then orange color layer, then "linear burn" under the layers tab, "extrude" under the effects tab, and changed opacity to 62%. I'm continuously amazed at what photoshop can do and yet have only touched the tip of the iceburg so to speak-what fun!!

  I'm also continuing my series of wabi-sabi canvases inspired by Serena Barton's book and Keith Harkin's original songs. You can see my previous projects here, and here.

  This week I chose techniques from Chapter Two along with this song:

  Background Layers:

  Layer 1 began with a combination of Golden transparent Iron Oxide, Iridescent Bright Gold and American Bright Yellow mixed together. Layer 2 I added My Studio Vanilla and wiped back. Layer 3 I added Country Accents Soldier Blue and as I was wiping away a happy accident occurred . I had my fingertips on the canvas and when I lifted them away they also lifted the paint, causing the whitish blotches you see. In true wabi-sabi form I embraced it and left it be :). Next I mixed Adirondack Watermelon reinker with water and with an eye dropper allowed the mix to drip from top to bottom then from side to side. A wet cloth was used to spread some of the color and add into the background. A heart shape was painted in the center with US Artquest Duo Adhesive then a scrap of gold leaf sheet was applied over it. A little more tweaking with paints. Stamped compass (Judikins) onto tissue paper with Jet Black Staz-on ink, torn and adhered to lower right. Typed sentiment (the song title), aged it with inks and paint then adhered it to the heart:

"Don't Forget About Me" -  5" x 7" canvas

  On a final note, Bill and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary this Saturday. Not bad considering we only knew each other 5 months before eloping and it was the best decision I ever made. Love you dahling ;)

  Have a great weekend all, and happy arting!

  Linking to: Creative Every Day Paint Party Friday, Mandarin Orange Monday, Glue It Tuesday
                                               "Departing summer hath assumed
                                                An aspect tenderly illumed,
                                                The gentlest look of spring;
                                                That calls from yonder leafy shade
                                                Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
                                                A timely carolling."
                                                                             William Wordsworth

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Creative Work Is Play

  Oh yeah, it's (almost) Friday again. Good thing I have something to post. Several wabi-sabi art projects are in the works (yes, I'm still on that kick :) and will be coming soon. But for today I have some special photos to share before the journal pages.

  Just happened to catch on the local news the other day that the infamous Budweiser Clydesdale horse team would be in our area for a few days and we'd be able to see them in their stalls practically up the road from where we live. Until 5PM. So at 4:40PM we got in the car with our cameras and were not disappointed.

                                      Click on the image for a larger view if you wish to read this.

                                    This is one of the three trailer trucks that came to town.

 This is the youngest horse-and the only one(of the ten) to look toward everyone with his beautiful expressive eyes.        "An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language." Martin Buber

                       Even the official Budweiser dog was only interested in getting his food :)

 A women there told us that the horses usually get walked out in the open in the lot next to this makeshift stable at 8AM. Of course we hopped in the car the next morning to watch-very few people around :)

                                     These magnificent creatures average about 2000 pounds!
  We were told that the next day (today, Thurs.) they would be "dressed" and hitched to the wagon for a short parade in town, but that there'd be a good chance for it being cancelled due to the threat of heavy thunderstorms and high winds. Couldn't reach anyone or find out this afternoon -and fortunately we were spared the storms up to this point so I hopped in the car at the last minute, parked and ran down the way just in time to see them pass!

                    This is our local mayor sitting along the side and our state senator sitting up front.

  I just want to hug them all!! Pictures aren't so great because it was like bedlam all over!! LOTS of people running about for photo ops  in the midst of traffic-including school buses trying to get thru-OOPS!! There def. should have been blockades up to keep the vehicles away for that short period of time. Glad I didn't miss it though.

   Felt like just playing with color in my "mop up" journal when I had just a little time.

   I turned to this pg. which looked like "flowers" to me. Immediately it brought to mind one of the flower techniques in Traci Bautista's book Doodles Unleashed.

  I tore some tissue papers into circle shapes and glued them to the centers. Spaces around the flowers were filled in with orange watercolor and oil pastel. next I used a pipette to spiral around the flowers with Higgins Black Magic ink. More oil pastels were rubbed into the flowers.

  Spatters were added using the same black ink. Finished for the time being. It's not meant to be a masterpiece or anything; it was only meant for pure play.

  One more journal page:

  No step outs this time- I didn't even think about the camera once I began this. It's in a watercolor journal and the background had been done awhile ago. I've been so inspired by the fabulous faces/portraits so many have been doing lately for this challenge that I just had to paint one too! I love how as I was painting, some of the red (which was also on the top left of the page to begin with) bled into the wet paint giving her face some added color. Chalks were used for some shading on her face. Then a charcoal pencil was used and smudged with my fingertip.

  Won't you join me in the fun at Art Journal Every Day, Glue It Tuesday, Mandarin Orange MondayPaint Party FridayShow And Tell Saturday , and a new to me challenge- Blue Monday?

          " Creative work is play. It is free speculation using materials of ones chosen form."
                                                                                                        Stephen Nachmanovitch


Friday, September 6, 2013

Daisy Fields

  Happy Friday all!!  In my last post I mentioned my latest  obsessions passions for both Serena Barton's book on Wabi-Sabi art and the songs from this album. There is no you tube official vid for "Daisy Fields" so if you want to hear a bit you'll have to go to the link.

   I was thrilled when I  heard from Serena because she wanted to share my art on her blog! How cool is that? And BTW if any of you purchase her book and create art inspired by it, she would love to share it on her blog anytime.

   Here is my third in a series (how many it will be is yet to be determined. I don't know what I'm going to do with it all:) of wabi-sabi art. My inspiration is from pg. 52 in the book although it looks nothing like Serena's project. I'm happy to say I'm able to apply the concepts and make the projects my own.

  My canvas began like this:

  The green is mulberry paper and the off-white is this textured handmade paper I got at Dick Blick some years ago but I don't know what it is:

                                                                    isn't it yummy though?


                                                              "Daisy Fields"  5" x 7"

 Once the papers were glued on and dried I began adding the following paints-Americana Hauser Light Green and Baby Blue; Golden Hansa Yellow Medium and Pthalo Blue Green Shade; and some Caran D'Ache water soluble crayons. I used the blending/wiping away method as described  in the book. " I met her by the daisy fields" was lightly and loosely written in pencil. White acrylic paint and Golden Iridescent Bright Gold Fine was spattered over the lower half. A small flower punch and vellum was used to create the flowers glued on in random places.

  Here is a detail pic:

 I also  just finished and mailed some Halloween tags for a swap I was invited to participate in (thanks Sallie!) It was a 6/6 swap but I made a few extras including one for her.

  Tags were covered with Flocked Spider Halloween paper (Making Memories) given to me by my friend LuAnn (thank you!!). I watered down Golden Permanent Violet Dark Fluid Acrylic and dripped it down the tags. Main images on the first set of tags are ARTchix Studio and on the second set they are from Retro Café Art. I sponged black ink around the tags, images and typed words. Stamped the Halloween ticket (Craft Smart-Michael's), trimmed and glued to tags. They were then embellished with a variety of stickers and fibers. I can't wait to see my returns and have them to display banner style for the season!

  Are you creating anything to get into the upcoming fall season?? We are still having really gorgeous summery weather but without the humidity. LOVE.

  Linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Glue It Tuesday, Mandarin Orange Monday and Paint Party Friday. Thanks to all the awesome hostesses of these challenges!

  Many thanks to everyone for your comments, thoughts and opinions/input regarding my "Orange Moon" canvas in my  last post. I decided to leave it as is.

                    "There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart." Celia Thaxter