Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Acts of Art

     What a crazy week it's been weather-wise! It began with a blustery, cold (very cold at night) Memorial Day weekend here in NE PA. Unusually cold for  this time of year. Now we're in the midst of HOT, humid summer-like weather for some days-lo 90's! No choice but to go with the flow and just keep a mix of clothing out for all seasons :)

     I joined a Yahoo group this week called Paper Traders. And it's thanks to Jo Murray ! I offered to send her the set of 3 napkin background ATCs I shared here because she mentioned how much she liked them. Jo suggested we trade ATCs- and well, knowing Jo's art I wasn't about to refuse :):) Jo then referred me to this group as a place to trade ATCs, etc. Paper Traders has monthly lottery drawings, challenges and swaps also. I mainly joined because I love making ATCs but don't want a pile of my own sitting around. And this is such a great way to trade for another artist's work! Click on the badge on the sidebar if you're interested. I added several for trade and already have one traded to another member.Fun!

   Here's another blotted napkin background ATC I added for trade in the group:

  The image is from Paper Whimsy. I added a bit of recycled dryer sheet behind the image. Added some mica flakes for some shimmer.

  Once again it's time for another calendar spread for Kate Crane's 2013 Calendar Challenge! We're half way thru the year now so I plan on finishing the year out (fingers crossed).


 The background began with the 12" x 12" Prima stencil I love using and Dylusions Ink Sprays in Bubblegum Pink, Postbox Red and Lemon Zest.

 And now it's all ready to get filled:

  Goddess is an UM stamp (source unknown.) Hearts are from Dylusions- Inbetweenies UM set. Alphabet, number stamps are Hampton Art. Days of week were taken from an old calendar page. Quote was printed using the AR HERMANN font. The hearts were filled in with a white uni-ball Signo pen to make them more noticeable on the pages.

   Here's a mosaic type collage I did in another journal:

   Collage squares were punched from magazines. I used the photos of the vintage girls as my focal points and glued them in place before adding the other squares, cutting some of them down to fit. A coat of soft gel matte medium was brushed over top. Once dry I dry brushed Bright Gold, Metallic Rose, Metallic Peridot, Metallic Plum and Pearl Blue paints (Lumiere) over top and around the edges of the squares.  I then used Jet Black Staz-On ink to stamp a quote randomly over the pg. It was then sprayed with an acrylic sealer.

  Linking up to Paint Party Friday, Art Journal Every Day, Mandarin Orange Monday and Creative Every Day. I'm also hoping to participate in some new challenges coming soon for fun and inspiration- including The Summer of Color 3 (see badge on sidebar)! What challenges are you participating in? I'd love to know! Perhaps I'll join you :)

  " Face new challenges, seize new opportunities, test your resources against the unknown and in the process, discover your own unique potential."  John Amatt


Friday, May 24, 2013

Creative Nourishment

    First I want to thank you all for your thoughts and concerns regarding my Mom. Everything she has been tested for has come back negative. It appears she has a low iron level tho which would explain her fatigue.

   This week I'll be sharing two projects I completed for this month so far thru my 52 Weeks Of Creative Abundance classes. Our word theme for the month of May is "Nourish". Our wonderfully creative instructor Christi gives us a tag project  for each word of the month, along with other ways to incorporate the word.

Here's my tag in my journal:

  Products used: Dylusions Ink Sprays-London Blue, Vibrant Turquoise. Yellow pigment ink pad. Stencil-Seafoam (Artists Cellar). Embellished with sequins pearl sticker and gold mica flakes.

  The theme around this word is about how important it is for us women to make sure we provide nourishment to ourselves-whether it's 15 min. a day or even 5 min by doing something that feeds our soul. We owe it to ourselves to stay nourished.

  The second project  is an 8" x 10" canvas:

   I applied a coat of baby blue paint on both canvases then lightly painted on some Silks acrylic glazes in African Jade and French Lilac. White paint was dry brushed on top. A foam stamp and Purple Lilac paint was used on top. The templates were given to us. I traced them onto cardstock/patterned papers. Edges were sponged with blue pigment ink. All was glued in place. Nails were hammered at bottom. Embellished with star gem stones and silk flower. Hung the tags. Love it!

  On a final creative and nourishing note, I received my complimentary issue of  Somerset Studio Gallery Summer 2013 because this project I had sent in (which , again I had forgotten about) was published !

  Although they messed up the instructions, the photo of it showed up nicely. It's a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" canvas ATC. Background is a napkin. Added tissue paper, silver threads, a scrap of sheet music, image from ARTchix Studio and some vintage buttons.

  I also want to give a shout out and congrats to fellow PPF'r  Kristin Van Valkenburgh who has several pages of her gorgeous painted portrait canvases in this edition!! I haven't gotten thru the whole issue yet so if anyone else reading my post is published in it let me know :).

  Linking up this week to Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, Show and Tell Saturday, and Creative Every Day. See you soon!

        " We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as  a meal does for the body." Paul Coelho.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Catching Up

  Greetings! I hope those of you who celebrated had a beautiful Mother's Day. I had every intention to post and share new art last week but unexpected circumstances changed that. My mom (who lives in her home with her dog and is VERY active and independent) hadn't been feeling very well so the Dr. ordered a repeat of lab work done a few weeks ago. She had some concerns over a repeatedly low platelet count. Long story short-within the last week I took her to a  gastroenterology/ liver specialist for a consult,  for a spleen/liver scan, and a consult with a hematology specialist besides my own appts.  Good news is that the scan was negative and although the specialist wants more testing done to rule out some causes she is not otherwise concerned as this has been a chronic problem over the years.

 I did manage to also take my mom to a local garden center to buy our annuals. Oh how I love all the colors in my yard now!!! And not only that , look at what visited for the first time on Thursday the 9th:

   Finally our hummers have arrived!!! It looks like we have one pair but I'm hoping for more. We've gotten about 4 or so in previous years-not very many but I will be watching :) I did have to cover, move and even take in some of my plantings because for two nights we had frost warnings and temps down to 32 F- in May? Really?

  Now for the art. I decided to play with the  paper towels and napkins I had laying on my table. They were used for wiping  excess paints and inks off my stencils.

 Sections were cut out, then I carefully peeled apart the plies. This is a paper towel. Diluted Collage Pauge was brushed on to my watercolor journal pages to glue the paper towel down and a brayer was used to remove any air bubbles. Once dry any excess was trimmed away.

  But don't throw away those colorful excess strips!!!  Glue them onto a watercolor ATC for a great background:

  Here's a really cool paper towel I'm saving for another page-hmm... I think I see  pair of eyes on an owl :)

  Here are pages and ATCs  from an ink spray blotted napkin:

  Although I didn't finish any of the journal pages yet I did finish the ATCs:

  Products used: flowers-Paper Whimsy , tag stamp- Collage Stuff . The little green strips of grass are from a gelli plate print.

  And here are two cards I made for two of my friends birthdays this week-happy birthday to LuAnn and Lynn!!!

  For LuAnn's card I used the new die and Flower Soft products I bought at a convention which I shared about in this post. I think this stuff would make for great texture mixed into gesso or paint don't you?

  I chose a different approach for Lynn's card:


  I put a dot of olive green, baby pink and gold acrylic paints next to each other on one edge of a credit card then swiped it over the card . The excess paint was picked up on bubble wrap and "stamped" on. A butterfly sticker was added and I stamped the words (Papertrey Ink) with Jet Black Staz-On ink. A gemstone was added to dot the i. I've made both masculine and feminine cards like this for some years now and like that you never quite know how the swipe will appear on the cards. It's a quick and easy go to idea for something a little different than my usual style.

  Linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, Creative Every Day, Mandarin Orange Monday. Please take some time to visit the talented artists linking up to these challenges-definitely worth your time!

  Have a wonderful, creative weekend!

  "The bud of a rose is just as beautiful as the full bloom. Appreciate what you have at the moment."   

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Journal Pages and a May Calendar Spread

   Hooray for May!! It is heavenly to be able to sit in the sun with a bite to eat, smell fresh cut grass, and wear flip flops. Of course, it does still get pretty cool at night and so it will be another week or so until I buy my annuals for planting. Still no sign of a hummingbird but I just know it won't be long. It was the 7th of May last yr. when we saw our first hummer arrive at the feeder.

  Of course, with the nice weather arriving I'll be spending less time in my art room. This week I managed to get my calendar spread done and I'm finishing up a project which I'm not able to talk about at this time-but fingers crossed I will have good news to share in the future :) So for now I will share some of my older journal spreads in yet another art journal.

  May's calendar spread for Kate Crane's 2013 Calendar Challenge:

  First I stamped a swirl design (DeNami) around the pages. I drew on leaves and sponged the pages lightly with green ink. The stencil letters were traced and made from cardstock. Days of the week are stamps by Magenta. I used images from Retro Café Art (Parisian Beauties collage sheet) along with a variety of stickers. The French quote on the lower left translates to "my soul lies in the sun".

  Here's a variety of journal pages:

    I used to use magazine clippings a lot but not so much anymore. On the clover page I actually used gel medium and glued/sealed fresh clovers to the page.The bottom two should be closer together but I have NO idea how this happened and couldn't figure out how to fix it (Todddddd I need you!!!) The first of the two is a scan of a poster I made. Both pages were done using watercolor crayons. I then vented with my words both horizontally and vertically on the pages. Can you tell it was a rough and stressful time?? Thankfully I haven't had to do a spread like this in a long time:)

   For this page I glued down paper scraps then used ink pads and crayons along with sequin waste for the background. I added a paper from a French cheese and used a real cupcake liner then painted my cupcakes. The French translates to "my little sin"- being a gourmand. How I adore French cuisine!

  These two pages also go side by side. How did I get the pages closer together this time?-oy vey! I love words and plays on words etc. I spotted the book "An Exaltation of Larks" by James Lipton at the library one day and got such a kick reading about the origins of sayings and plays on words. The torn paper on the top with the stamped image was a scrap I was going to toss. Thankfully I glued it on the page and painted the pages with colors to match it before writing.

 And this is one of my very favorite spreads:

  I gessoed the pages first and then used a pencil to make marks in it while still wet. Once dry I applied watercolor crayons. The stamp on the left is part of an UM set from Collage Stuff. The images are from ARTchix  Studio. Photo of Todd courtesy of hubby. This is so special because our son is the first in both our immediate families to have had the opportunity to go to college and graduate from DeSales University, formerly known as Allentown College of St. Francis DeSales. Years ago Bill and I used to go out there to the campus area often walking, biking and seeing some plays never EVER thinking one day that  this would be where a child of ours would go. I cried at HS graduation but this was SO much harder for me because I knew I really had to let him go. I think I've succeeded-somewhat. I mean, we are all very close and he lives nearby and now comes over most Sundays to have dinner with us since he broke up with his former girlfriend of 5 yrs. :) Nuff said.

"Dreams don't have to come true by age 20, 30, or 40: they often occur long past when you thought possible." Anonymous