Friday, September 28, 2012

Journal Play With Scraps

  It's Friday and that means I'll be getting tons of inspiration over at Art Journal Everyday and Paint Party Friday! You don't have to have something to link up - it's a treat just to visit the other artists links. You never know what you might discover or what will inspire you next.

  I am really enjoying my new 8 1/2" x 11" art journal. Why I was afraid of the larger format I'll never know. You can see my very first page in this book here.

 On the day I worked on this week's page I decided I wanted to play more with an abstract theme in mind. Jane Davies is such an inspiration to me in this regard and she so generously shares tips and techniques on her blog Collage Journeys. Unfortunately I couldn't find the specific post I had seen a few months ago that made me take note to try something similar.

  I do remember that Jane started her project by making a scribble collage then cutting it into squares and rectangles. I chose to cut pieces from my scrap papers lying on my desk.

  There were no marks or scribbles on my scrap pieces so I layed them out and did some mark making with watercolor crayons, a White-Out pen and a red Signo pen.

  The I began loosely laying down my papers and rearranging them until I was pleased with the design before gluing them down.

  And this is my finished practice page:

  Watercolor crayons were used to cover the white space and unify the collage squares. A fun way to fill a page using scraps. I may journal in the spaces or I may just leave it. This is also a good way to create a page when nothing in particular has you motivated. Just play with your scraps!

  Have a happy, artful weekend everyone!

   " Act as if you are worthy to have what you want, and the universe will prove you correct."
                                                                                                       Alan Cohen

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Soup To Nuts

  After taking the summer off from Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger Challenge I felt it was high time I get back into some paper crafting challenges by way of cards. I really did miss it-it's my favorite challenge of all of them at Moxie Fab!

 This week's trigger is this graphic and delightful paper by Cavallini titled "Soup to Nuts" :

  And here's the card I made:
  Products used: olive cardstock (finished card size is 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" ); corner rounder; mini stapler (Tim Holtz); bird punch (Stampin Up!); dotted ribbon (Offray); sentiment (clear stamp-Think Big Favorites #4-PTI); ric rac clear stamp (Limited Edition); Jet Black Staz-On ink (Tsukineko); Lettuce Adirondack dye ink (Ranger); and the patterened papers are from Studio Calico-the Take Note Paper Pack (which I had won over at Moxie Fab World - yay!  along with a slew of other new Studio Calico products!).
 I didn't want to leave without sharing two other cards I had made for friends recently:
  I began cardmaking sometime in the mid to late 1980's and I still get such  joy out of creating handmade cards even though I have ventured into other areas such as mixed media art, collage, and fabric art. My first published  projects were cards and tho I don't submit very often anymore I still get such a thrill when I receive an issue with something of mine in along with so many talented card makers!
 Thanks for stopping by. If you have any ? about the cards or products feel free to contact me anytime.
                  "Sometimes you just gotta go all out and put two sugars in your coffee."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A New Batch of Prayer Flags Blowing in the Breeze

  I recently participated in my second prayer flag swap-this one hosted by my friend Lenna Andrews.
It was a 3/3 swap and my flags arrived over the weekend. Today is such a beautiful sunny day and was perfect for photographing them on my washline. As a seond part to the swap Lenna has asked that we share a picture of the flags hanging and she has set up a place to link on her swaps blog. Feel free to check out all the fabulous artwork from Lenna's various swaps, along with this one on Creative Swaps.

  The flags left to right are from: Jan Brown -love the repurposed embroidered cloth, and the lavender wand is heavenly! The affirmation is "imagine the possibilities". Thank you Jan!; Kim Tedrow painted and printed her beautiful, vibrant flag and added a felted house and heart to match the "home sweet home" message she wrote around the flag. Thank you Kim!; Julia Wolcoff made the "explore" flag and I do believe it was meant for me-the base of the flag has a transfer of a map of Paris on it and on the back is a transfer of part of a story (in French!) along with an Eiffel tower image. Thank you Julia! The last one is an extra I made for myself. I made similar ones for the swap and you can read more about how I made them and see the others in this post.

 Thank you Lenna for another fabulous swap! You truly are the best hostess! I look forward to catching your next swap in the future.

  " It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters."
                                                                                                                Mother Theresa

Friday, September 21, 2012

An Anniversary

  Today happens to be my 29th wedding anniversary.  Twenty nine years ago life took me down an unexpected path when I fell in love with Bill - enough to elope within months of our first date. Nobody knew of our plans or marriage until after the fact and  I wouldn't change a thing.

 This is a photo at my parents' home just after we were married in the next town and came to give them the news:

   Happy anniversary Bill. Je t'aime beaucoup!

             " Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you'. Mature love says
                         'I need you because I love you.' "    Erich Fromm

 An addendum to this previously prepared post:
  Typically we don't go out for dinner or exchange gifts or anything, we just celebrate at home with a nice dinner and champagne so there are no stresses or expectations or disappointments. I know how much he loves me regardless of how practical he is. BUT, once in awhile he totally throws me off guard and blows me away with a surprise, along with such  thoughtfulness and love that I'm moved to tears. That happened today. It began with a fairly big wrapped box and what I found inside was this beautiful water fountain I had (well, we both did) so admired in a local shop months ago. They didn't have any available at the time and even the display one was sold. This piece had so captured me and I thought about it a lot, not to mention I love the sound of trickling water in our sitting room and the fountain we had had broken.

  This was taken with a flash. The water is cascading down the steps and a light is shining from a bowl he's holding. I really don't know much about all the symbolism and I must research it but something about it took my breath away.
  And here it is without the flash:

  This is a closeup: if anyone can shed any light on this statue and symbolism please let me know.

  And this wasn't all I received. Bill bought me a special little soapstone box inlaid with abalone from a fair trades shop in Delaware...not done it was a note asking me to drinks and dinner at a really nice restaurant in town which has excellent food and service - a place we only get to for special occasions once in a great while.  The "darling" is an ongoing joke we have . We both love the old 30's and 40's movies and they're always calling each other "dahling" so we started doing the same.

 So, after 29 years he can still surprise me and move me to tears. I think we'll make it. :)

A New Found Art Addiction!

    On a previous post I mentioned seeing so many posts on other blogs lately about the Gelli Arts Gelli Plate. The results I've been seeing with this printing plate by those whose blogs I regularly follow such as:
Patty (Magpie's Nest),   Penny (A Penny for your Thoughts),  Dina Wakley (Ponderings), Jenny (Texterial),  Jane Davies (Collage Journeys), and  Kate Crane(The Kathryn Wheel)
had me dying to own one of my own!! If you click on their links it should take you right to their posts on gelatin printing, along with their fabulous examples. I'm sure I've seen other bloggers post examples but I can't remember them all unfortunately (note to self to jot things down as I see them!). If any of those who visit here would like to share a link I'd be happy to post it.

   I ordered mine from but you can also order it from Gelli Arts website. Gelli Arts also has a fabulous blog full of tips, techniques, tutorials and videos! Of course as soon as it arrived I readied my space and materials for first thing in the morning.

  The following are samples of my very first results. All prints were done on Staples cardstock as recommended to start but I plan on playing with lots of other substrates including fabric-the possibilities are endless!

  These are the supplies I used for mark making :

  I also used a handful of acrylic paints in various colors, along with a brayer. These are the results:

 These are first prints.

These are "ghost prints" meaning that after making the original prints I used these cardstock sheets to pick up any remaining paint on the plate before going on to other colors.

   I typically love lots of color but I think these are my favorite so far!

  These are 8 1/2" x 11" so I plan on cutting them into 4 small pieces and using them to add more inks and things over top using techniques form the Gelli Arts blog. I'll post them once I'm done. If they turn out OK I'll use them as backgrounds for cards.
  I hope you've been inspired to check out this wonderful product along with the artists' links at the top of this post. I'm linking this to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Art Journal Everyday blog challenge along with a "new to me" challenge blog:  Paint Party Friday. here's to new discoveries and new inspirations-cheers!

       "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." T.S. Eliot

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Halloween Projects and More!

   Before I post my latest projects I just have to share these two photos I took a half hour ago. I was fascinated watching the house finches having so much fun in my flowers! I had never seen anything like it. Sorry the pictures aren't the greatest but it's a very dark ,rainy day. Also I had to zoom in a bit and take the photos from my back door as the birds never would've stayed if I had to open the door-they were so close.

  You can see two of the four of them that have been munching away at what, I don't know, but it must be pretty good as  they were so enjoying it!

  A closer view. There were several more in the flowers but I scared them away. I just checked and they're still in the flowers-too funny!

  Halloween! Yes the time is approaching and I was inspired by a challenge being offered on Retro Café Art's Facebook page. This is the second time I'm participating. The first time I took the challenge I was inspired by a Parisian themed collage sheet- a free download from the Retro Café Art website.  You can see the projects I created on this post. The first one on the post was chosen as a winner and for it I received 6 awesome collage sheets of my choice from their shop! They are now offering a free downpload of a Halloween themed collage sheet. The challenge is to create up to 3 projects using images from the sheet and post it to their FB page for two chances to win prizes.

  These are my  projects:

  For the first one I  started with a wood window, painted the base black, painted over the top with several acrylic paints, then applied a coat of one step crackling medium by Plaid. Once that dried I added a coat of black acrylic paint and watched the crackles appear.

  And this is the finished window project:

  I placed images from the collage sheet to the back of the windows then covered it with a piece of cardstock for stability. I added two little sparkly spider stickers and black pearl stickers.
  For the second project I decided to make a paper doll. Meet "Peter, the Pumpkin Eater"! (it's all I kept thinking while putting him together:)
  I cut out all the images I wanted to use and backed them with cardstock (I know, I should've just printed it out onto the cardstock in the first place). Each piece was sponged with black dye ink before connecting. The copper hand charms are from ARTchix Studio.  The witch shoes are stickers by Jolee's.  Tiny black brads were used to attach the limbs and I finished him off with a big dimensional spider sticker on the hat and a little spider sticker on his cheek.
  One more project I recently completed was two more stamp carvings just for fun and practice. The inspiration actually came from Dina Wakley who mentioned using a motif and adding it to your art in different ways each day. I thought that was such a great prompt! You can read her post about it  here. I had already had my drawings of the stamps I wanted to carve so I finished carving them and made a tag for Lenna and I just playing with the patterns. I made stencils out of these stamps too and as soon as my Gelli Arts Printing Plate (thanks to all the many inspirations lately by a number of fellow bloggers who have been creating fascinating prints with this plate including Dina)  arrives I plan on playing with these motifs in a variety of ways. It's a gift I bought myself for our upcoming anniversary. Now hubby doesn't need to buy me flowers-I'd SO rather have another "much needed" art supply :).
  I've been wanting to carve out a pea pod like stamp and that other thing, well, not sure what it is exactly but it was good carving practice and I thought it might be fun for backgrounds . I put a coat of gesso on the tag then stamped on a script stamp from Papertrey Ink. I then repeatedly stamped my carvings using Jet Black Staz-On ink and Festive Berries Distress ink.
  Off to get more 'puter work done before the storms come but as Dolly Parton said "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
  Thanks to you all for your comments and for all the inspiration you provide me with!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Be Open To Whatever Comes Next

  I'm starting a new art journal as my other two are about filled. I've been using the PRO ART sketch books for about 7 years now.  These books come in several sizes and personally I love the spiral binding which allows me to open the book completely flat. I've slowly and gradually progressed from the smallest size to the next and the next but found that in order to have more space for my calendars for Kate Crane's Calendar project  I needed to go even bigger-yikes!! But time to take the plunge. So I bought the 8 1/2" x 11" book. The pages are somewhat thin so I glue two pages together. I used to use UHU glue sticks to glue the pages but with these large pages I decided to go with spray adhesive.

  Usually I just open to a random place in the book to begin a spread but in this case I wanted to start on the first page and wanted to set a kind of tone. Given I've been doing so many pages lately with freedom and abandon I chose to reel it in a bit and try a more balanced, thought out, minimal approach.

 It began with three acrylic paints-yellow, peach and pink. I wanted to add a little more color so I cut and tore shapes from tissue paper. I kept thinking how the turquoise bit reminded me of a mountain.  There was a magazine clip out on my desk, along with the sentiment and it was all the page needed.
 I cut out the image and painted it with black gesso as I wanted a silhouette. The sentiment was stamped with two different alphabet sets in Jet Black Staz-On ink. And you know, just as when I do pages with wild abandon and the energy is in harmony with it, the same can be said for this page.It was done with a calm and peaceful energy. Does this happen to you too??
 Linking this up to Art Journal Everyday.
  I cannot end this post without mentioning two  special young ladies I had the pleasure to "meet" simply because they left me a comment on one of my posts and thankfully left me a link to their blogs. I'd like to introduce you to these lovlies from Pakistan. Please stop by and leave them a comment. There is nothing like leaving a kind and encouraging word or two to support these very young talented ladies.
  Welcome to blogland: Hadiyah-
                               and: Duaa-
                              "Don't go through life, GROW thru life." Eric Butterworth

Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer Inspiration Giveaway Winners and Stamp Carving

  Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a good weekend. We had a nasty storm come thru Saturday for a few hours and it took out our power (yet again!) but thankfully only for an hour this time, and fortunately we didn't get the hail predicted.

  Here are the winners of my giveaway:

The necklace goes to: Joanna!

"Hello Linda, I came here for a look at your hand carved stamps :) I'm now your newest follower.
Both the necklace and the flag are BEAUTIFUL - but I've got to choose one so please put my name in the hat for the necklace, THANK YOU!"
And the prayer flag goes to: Jenny!
"It is a difficult decision! The necklace is beautiful, but I think I will throw my hat into the ring for the prayer flag. I know someone who needs it!"
  Congratulations ladies! Please email me your mailing addresses.
  I couldn't let it at this and although I couldn't make something for everyone who left a comment I did make an extra prayer flag and an extra necklace yesterday which I'm going to send out to two other commenters as RAKS whom I won't reveal because it's to be a surprise! 
  Thank you all so much for your kind words and for playing along!
  I just finished Lesson 8( which is titled "One Little Word") of Julie Balzer's online Stamp Carving 101 class. I carved out three words (yes, it was a challenge for sure!) and a ribbon scrap inspiration had me carve another extra stamp. I need ALOT more practice with the curves of the scripted letters but they turned out OK and as Julie says "practice,practice,practice". One piece of advice I'd add is to start with a much larger image than those I carved-it would be SO much easier to start with :)
  And here is the ribbon inspiration that inspired me to carve this stamp:

  See that tool on the left? I used it to make the holes in the rubber! It's one piece of a two piece eyelet setter set.
 This is a close up. It's used like an awl to punch a hole for placement of an eyelet. Makes perfect circles in the rubber!
  And these are the tags I made for myself and Lenna Andrews, who's playing along with me:
  I simply stamped the torn ribbon image (kinda looks like a bandaid too doesn't it?) with light inks and then the words over top. Kept the background undone to showcase the stamps. One more lesson to go before class is over. I'm gonna miss it.
 Now that September is upon us and Autumn is approaching along with Halloween and Thanksgiving I guess I'll have to shift into gear and start creating for the season-how about you?
         "Find the gift behind the challenge and it will become your friend." Alan Cohen

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Another Stamp Carving Lesson and AJED

  Just a quick reminder that I'm having a Summer Inspiration Giveaway ! You have thru this Sunday, Sept. 9th to leave me a comment here  and let me know which giveaway you'd like.

  It's Saturday and that means it's time to link up to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's AJED (Art Journal Everyday). She posts the challenge along with the linking up on Fridays. Whether or not I have something to link up with I really love checking out the participating artists links-there's always something new to learn and be inspired by! Check it out for yourself.

  This is my journal play this week:

  I can't even begin to tell you all that went into/onto the pages but I can give some insight -(sometimes you just get into the zone and don't even know what all you're doing-know what I mean?) It began with pages already partially covered with leftover paint, spray inks and stencilling. I added more Dylusion sprays, Dylusion stamping (punchinella and alphabet), script circles I stamped on white cardstock and cut out. Then I did some flower-like doodling with markers and paint pens. Added the lg. UM stamp image (Tim Holtz stamp) at upper left and an older Stamper's Anonymous shadow image on the lower right after finding the quote I wanted to use. I was SO going to type the quote and put it on the page as I don't like my writing but then I gave myself a quick talking to. If I could create a page with such abandon, why not just write with abandon too? So in case you can't read it-" Don't ask what the world needs. Ask for what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Truman

And here's a detail photo:

  It's been awhile since I last worked on my online class Stamp Carving 101 (also with Julie Balzer) and decided I needed to get back to it lest I forget the  lessons I've been learning.

  I finally completed my alphabet and number set of stamps, along with a border I carved for fun and practice. So here are the completed stamps:

  My friend Lenna Andrews is taking the class with me and we decided to do a project together by making tags for each other representing each week's lessons. We'll get to see each others' carvings and have a nice fat tag book of samples when we're finished! My previous carvings and tags beginning with the first lesson can be found on previous posts or on my Flickr photostream.
  Here are the tags:

  Dylusion spray inks on the background. The buttons are vintage with the exception of the blue ones.
I'm working on Lesson 8 which is definitely more challenging-scripted words.

  Have a fabulous weekend! See you Monday with the names of the winners of my giveaway.

             "A bird only flies. It does not turn to another bird and ask 'am I doing this right?' "
                                                                                          Mary Anne Radmacher

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A New Month and a New Calendar Spread

  I just can't believe it's now September but so long as the summer weather continues I'm happy!

  I've been participating in Kate Crane's 366 Calendar Project on her blog The Kathryn Wheel since January of this year and it's time to share my completed August pages and my September pages all set to go. You can view my previous calendar pages on older posts beginning in March. January and February's are in my Flickr photostream as I didn't have a blog then.

  I chose to make contact sheet size copies of some of the friends we spent time with during our extended vacation this month to complete the little bit of space I had left. You can see how the pages began in this post.

 Here's how my Sept. pages began:

  I brushed lime green, turquoise and yellow acrylic paints over the pages. When dry I took a piece of plastic canvas and sponged orange acrylic paint thru it halphazardly for making marks on the pages with a grid-like pattern.

  I continued adding pattern to the pages by sponging gesso thru punchinella, using several size bottle caps to make the black and white circles and using a foam dauber and orange acrylic for the larger dots. Then I spritzed the pages lightly with Dylusions ink sprays in Black Marble and Squeezed Orange. I took the spray top off the bottle of the Bubblegum Pink and used the pipette attached to it to add some random splatters. I liked the way this turned out so much , and knowing that most of it would be covered I saved individual page scans to be used in the future. Actually, it didn't take me long to use them as you can see here on one of several prayer flags I made:

  I simply resized my scan, typed the sentiment over it, made a mirror image, printed it out on t-shirt transfer paper, then ironed it onto muslin. I'm giving this one away so check the end of my post with the info for your chance to win, along with a necklace giveaway.

  And last but not least here's my Sept. calendar spread ready to go:

  I'm linking this up to Kate's blog and then will visit the other inspiring links there. Anyone is welcome to play at any time, whenever they can, so take a look-perhaps you will be inspired to record your days in an artful way.

 Please be sure to check out my Summer Inspiration Giveaway  on this post. You have thru Sunday Sept. 9th to leave a comment telling which giveaway you prefer.I will randomly choose a winner for each sometime Monday Sept. 10th. Good luck to all!

                                                    "Follow your heart. It knows the way."