Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cardmaking, Crochet Work, and a Play Page

  It's amazing how quickly a week goes by, and here we are -another Friday and weekend! This has been a busy week as I got the Spring cleaning bug and have been at it a bit each day. Not my favorite thing to do but what a difference fresh curtains makes, along with a super clean fridge (only had to discard 3 things-yay me!) and kitchen gadgets, and two bathrooms cleaned top to bottom. There's so much more to do but I'll get to it gradually. I mean, I do need to art and to take time outdoors now that Spring has sprung :) I'll have a busy weekend too as we're having friends for dinner and I'm cooking a French themed menu for them. Sunday I'll be cooking again for Todd- I know how much a home cooked meal means to a single guy on his own :)

 In my last post I shared my convention findings and I did take the time to play with my new Spellbinder's lattice-like custom die by making cards. First one is the card I made for my Mom for Mother's Day:


  Above this card is a pic of the die. I was pulling out the cut away bits and thought they were kinda cool looking so I kept them to use on my gelli plate etc. Then I got this idea and used 4 white bits as fill ins on the card above for some added interest.

  I used a silk poppy and a velvet leaf on this one.

  This card I made for my friend LuAnn whose favorite color is pink:

  The last card I made:

  Notice anything about these cards? I tried my hand at using a watermark in PSE for the first time. If you have any ? about the supplies etc. for these cards please contact me. I just didn't have the time to write everything up this week.

  As I was cleaning in the kitchen I came across a knitted cotton dish cloth my hubby's great aunt had made me some yrs. ago. It's still in perfect condition and I'm saddened that she's no longer with us and I didn't have her teach me to make my own. However, I am SO not good with knitting but do crochet so I bought a ball of 100% cotton 4 ply worsted weight yarn and crocheted one that looks very much like Aunt Louise's knitted one:

  Soo easy! All this takes is a J size hook and double crochets. Now I must go buy more yarn so I can crochet while watching TV and then replace my old bought cloths with some pretty new ones.

  I also got  a bit of time to play with my stencils albeit briefly:

  Leftover green, yellow and cobalt teal acrylics were scraped on the page. Then I used the Sea Fan and Mini Cubist stencils (Artist Cellar) with Dylusions Squeezed Orange and Bubblegum Pink ink sprays. I see a herd(?) of giraffes gathered on the page. Do you?

 I'll be linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, Creative Everyday and Show and Tell Saturday. Enjoy your weekend!

  "Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death, but to inspire yourself to life." Adele Brookman


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Convention Findings

  I cannot begin my post without mentioning that my prayers go out to all those affected by the senseless tragedy of the bombings in Boston on Monday this week. May the strength of our prayers, faith and actions allow us to be fearless, to continue towards peace.

  In my last post I mentioned going to an Heirloom Pro Rubber Stamp Convention being  held in town. Some of you may be familiar with this as they do hold events throughout the US each year. The downside to the show this year was that it was held in a much smaller space so there were only 23 vendors. It made for a madhouse crowd in the beginning, with some aisles so small it was impossible to get thru! Not to mention that many who were either in wheelchairs or pulling carry on suitcases were not so careful of the walkers feet! Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot of new product or demos.Considering all the fabulous new things that came out of CHA, it was disappointing.

  However, my friend LuAnn and I did manage to have a really fun time and make some purchases! Here are some things I picked up:

  I got three pkgs. of these darling brads from The Eyelet and Brads Outlet. They literally had hundreds! to choose from-anything you could think of- from mustaches to sock monkeys (LuAnn's fave) and everything in between.

  These Dylusions Ink Sprays are now a part of my growing collection-LOVE them!!!:

 I found this 12" x 12" stencil by Prima(for only $7.00 !!), one of only a very few seen at the show :(

 Further down this post I'll show you what I did with it so far. (if you last that long)...

 Another fun place to visit was Our Daily Bread where they featured Flower Soft and products to coordinate with it. Here are two pics of what Flower soft is:

  They come in many variations including sparkly colors, solids and mixes in teeny tiny bits meant to add soft dimension to flowers, trees etc.  Here is a sample detail on a card LuAnn and I each made there:

   It adds a special touch without any bulk. I've used this product before and plan on making a Mother's Day card using it.

   I have one more purchase to share along with some card samples I thought were just too cute to resist sharing here.I hope you'll agree :) At the same vendor my eye was completely drawn in by these gorgeous cards:

  Be still my heart!!! My fave is the one with the bright orange/red morning glories-YUM! I've never seen these flowers in this color, but who cares? Of course I bought the custom design die template (Spellbinders) to cut the lattice like pattern as many times as I wish! Yes, LuAnn bought it too:):)

  These card samples were displayed at the TooMuchFun Rubber Stamps booth:

    Great name for this company n'est-ce pas?? LOVE those shirts and jackets, and yes, besides the rubber stamps, they sell tiny buttons, bits, hangers and zippers- way cute!! Tempting as it was we didn't buy anything. I just found out they are going to offer their stamps in unmounted only beg. Sept. :) :)

    For those of you who follow along here you know I'm taking the 52 Weeks of Creative Abundance online course. At the beg. of each new month our wonderful instructor Christi gives us a new word to set the month's theme along with a new tag to create. Here is mine in my moleskine journal:

   Again, I pretty much followed Christi's idea. I used my new stencil above to create the page along with yellow acrylic, twinkling H2O, Sunburst Silks acrylic glaze and a mix of Ceramicoat Pearl Finish and Olive Green acrylic paint. The shimmer is beautiful. The patterned papers I used are all from my gelli plate prints. I just loved Christi's idea to use threads for the water!!! Our word for the month is "cultivate" and I chose these words representing what I wish to continue to grow and cultivate. Of course there are material things I'd like also but my thought is that if I focus on these non material things the rest will come.

 Anyone here yet???? One more photo:
  Background page in my large journal, playing with my new stencil and new Dylusions sprays in Lemon Zest, Dirty Martini and Calypso Teal.

  Please join me in linking up and/or visiting the talented artists at Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, Inspiration Avenue, Creative Everyday, and Mandarin Orange Monday.

  Thank you dear friends for all your encouraging and supportive comments regarding my "artful" birds in my last post. It means so much .

  "Until you commit your goals to paper, you have intentions that are seeds without soil." Anonymous

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Summertime...And The Livin' Is Easy...

    First I want to say a huge thank you all for your many uplifting comments! I appreciate it so much. What an awesome community this is!

    This week we had a GLORIOUS bit of summer weather beg. Mon. with 75 degrees and increasing up to 85 on Wed.-heavenly!!  I relished every moment I could outdoors walking, reading, etc. Needless to say not much got accomplished this week.  We did get a severe thunderstorm or two later Wed. and look what happened:

   It hailed-with ice stones the size of peas and peas on steroids!! Thank goodness there was no damage here because of the small size so I thoroughly enjoyed it-I love a good thunderstorm!

  I did manage to get a little art done to share. First up are two backgrounds I started in my watercolor journal:

 This one is a gesso resist where I brushed on and sponged on some gesso a bit thickly, let dry, then painted on some watered down acrylic paints. I really like the texture you get from this.

 Same journal. This is a technique from Dina Wakley's book Art Journal Freedom in which you gesso a page, paint over the dried surface then use a stencil and baby wipe or paper towel to remove some of the paint-pretty cool!


  This is a 5 x 7 canvas board I used to try out another technique in Dina's book on creating "artsy birds". No step outs here-you'll have to go to Dina for that :) I've talked about this book before and shared another of the techniques in this post. Quite honestly once I finished this I thought it was one hot mess! I was going to share it anyway but you know, after I looked at it the next day I didn't think it was all that bad. I'm definitely going to practice this more as I do love birds-and if I can make them fun and not so technical-well that's just in my best interest :)

  This weekend I'll be meeting up with some friends at the Heirloom Productions Stamp Convention  which is being held nearby. Each year there are sadly fewer venues and not very many new things but it's still fun to see what might inspire. I'm REALLY hoping to see new Dylusions sprays and new stencils and I know I have to pick up some reinkers. I'll let you know my findings in my next post.

  Enjoy the weekend wherever you are and do take some time to enjoy some of the other fab artists inspirations where I'm linking up to this week:  Art Journal Everyday, Paint Party Friday, Creative Everyday, Show and Tell Saturday.

           " All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life." M.C. Richards

Friday, April 5, 2013

Playing With Silks

  Hi! Since the weather has taken an unseasonably cold and windy turn I was "forced" into staying inside...and got some play time with the Silks Acrylic Glazes I mentioned in my last post.

  First I went to the LuminArte website Dreaming In Color to get some tips on using their paints. Then I began creating.

  These are just simple backgrounds on dictionary pages. This photo just doesn't do justice to the wonderful shimmer on these pages so you'll have to take my word for it. The one on the left was painted with Pink Azalea, Sunflower and Ocean Wave twinkling  H2Os. I then applied Emerald Silks glaze thru a Crafter's Workshop words stencil. On the right page I stippled Apricot Nectar Silks glaze thru the Dylusions Dotted Flowers stencil. Once dry I applied Sky Blue Twinkling H2O,blotting off the excess. The Silks acts as a resist.

  I had several emails and a commenter mention that I should try them over gesso-thank you! And looky what I got after I painted a tag with black gesso then used Silks:

  This time the camera was able to catch some of the shimmer-LOVE IT!! I placed the Paris Cathedral stencil (Artists Cellar) over the dried tag and stippled with Sunburst and Plumeria Silks glazes.

  One word of caution- since these paints are highly pigmented they will really stain your hands!! My hands looked like dyed Easter eggs for awhile :).

  Now of course I had to create some finished projects too. Here is a simple prayer flag I made:

  I def. need much more photography practice! I had this scrap of muslin on my table which was perfect for a flag. I painted on African Jade and French Lilac and allowed it to cure 48 hrs. as suggested at Lumin Arte then heat set it for permanency. I stamped the Chinese image (an old stamp by Ducks in a Row) with Jet Black Staz-On ink. It needed a little something so I grabbed a scrap of gelli printed cardstock, cut it up and then stitched the pieces on. I think you can click on it to get a better view and see the beautiful shimmer.

  Since I had my box of Asian stamps and supplies out I decided to continue with the Asian theme for my next project, a canvas triptych:

 For each 3" x 3" canvas I painted on Sunburst and French Lilac Silks glazes.Once dry I stencilled a few spots using the Plumeria glaze. Images used are from Hero Arts Poetic Prints set-Chinese Wishes. I stamped them onto tissue paper with Jet Black Staz-On ink,carefully trimmed around them then adhered them to the canvases with Perfect Paper Adhesive. This was the really tricky part because you have to place it on right the first time and ever so gently smooth it with your finger. You can see a few areas where the Plumeria bled a bit from the PPA so  next time I''ll seal the canvas first. I finished the canvases by adding stencilled circles with black acrylic paint.

  Well, I hope you've enjoyed my Silks play, and if anyone has product they'd like to send my way-I'd be most happy to play with them too! Just sayin' :)

 Linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, Show and Tell Saturday.

  " Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream."   Debby Boone