Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thank you inkspillers attic!

Thank you to Ink Spillers Attic for giving me the Kreativ Blogger Award.
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Link to their blog.
3. Copy the logo and put it on your blog.
4. Post about seven things no one else would know about you.
5. Nominate seven other blogs.
6. Link to them.
7. Leave a comment on the blogs telling them you've nominated them.
I think I did this all ok - had some difficulty posting the logo but had fun thinking of the seven things.
Seven things about myself that no one would know? That's tough, but here goes:
1. I like the Underworld movies. Not all vampire movies - I refuse to embrace Twilight. But there's something about the Underworld series that taps in to my dark side.
2. I think about getting a tattoo - of a phoenix. I go back and forth and really can't commit.
3. I once competed in a blueberry pie eating contest - speed round. It was just me, one blueberry pie, and the competiton. It was close, but he finished his first.
4. I like knitting socks. A lot of them. No fancy patterns, just the basic sock in lots of pretty colors.
5. I may have seen every Law and Order episide that exists. I even watch reruns. There is something comforting in its predictability.
6. I really like guacamole. I tend not to share it but will guiltily enjoy it on my own, say on a Friday night, maybe watching episodes of Law and Order.
7. Purple is my favorite color not simply because it looks good but because it often symbolizes royalty and I like to think of myself as the Queen - of what, I'm not that sure.

7 more bloggers I'd like to nominate:
1. e14studio
2. Princess Bubbles Creates
3. Altered Artifacts
4. Altered Expressions
6. Craftside
7. Val's altered heart journey

A Christmas Post card

Watercolor background with clip art from Somerset Studio magazine. Getting in to the spririt of the season.

Finally some more post cards

Clearly I missed out on my own challenge:( Since my busy-ness was caused by a great new job and my master's thesis, I'm not surprised my art has dropped off. But I do have some new post cards and some new good news. My master's thesis . . . . (drumroll) passed with flying colors and rave reviews! Whew! NOW I can look forward to some work from the Stitch Alchemy book - I had to put that on hold with the thesis. So, here's a thank you post card to a friend who had me over for a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. There is a picture passed on via internet from another artist, the earring bling is from Somerset Studio magazine, some blue glossy paper with some interference Pearl-Ex on it, and if you look really close, a special Hersey's candy wrapper.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Watercolor wishes and anticipating Stitch Alchemy

So my self-challenge has become a bit sluggish, but to be fair, it is because of a very wonderful new job. So I'm adjusting to the routine of the new job with my other activities of weekly knit club, church activities, keeping up with friends and family, writing daily, and making art daily. In the past at this point in a project I've dipped into beating myself up about being behind . . . and then I just get more behind and stop creating all together. That's not productive, so my goal is to keep going. I'm going with the Stitch Alchemy book study on the mixed media art yahoo group that starts Oct 4th (already ordered the book CAN'T WAIT!) so I think continuing the post cards is a good plan until that starts. I decided to put a little more effort into this postcard, for a friend who has been extremely supportive and is just an all around great gal. I firstwatercolor painted this card (just red from a Crayola school paint tin - a freebie from a retiring art teacher years ago). But then I used some art masking tape (which removes easily) to create some different areas. I then overpainted some of those areas in light turquoise. The words are stickers and gel pen, and one clipped from a magazine. Of course some heart punch outs from some handpainted papers and scraps of other papers. It was really fun to see how the masking would turn out. This was all done on a large piece of watercolor paper, and then I cut it down to postcard size. I hope she likes it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

a bit behind in the challenge, but still DOING ART!

I'm still going at it. And there's a good reason I'm behind - a new job has gotten me a bit more busy. I'm very excited about it; it's a great opportunity. But I can't forget the post card challenge - even if it's just one that I've set myself. I want to keep going so I can keep the creativity flowing. Not every card is fabulous, but the point is to keep creating. And, as I sent happy back to school post cards to every niece/nephew but one, I can't forget the last nephew! The blue card is wishing him "MORE fun in this new school year," though I don't know if he sees it as an opportunity for fun, exactly. But I'm a school teacher, so I'm sort of a big nerd where school is concerned. The blue paper on the right side is handpainted. My background hand painted papers kind of come down to scraps at the end, so it becomes difficult to remember how they started out, but I think this one was part of the series of papers I had fun making when I was reading Traci Bautista's Collage Unleashed book. I did have a lot of fun making those papers. The pink card is a thank you to a dear friend of mine, with scrapbook paper background, and scraps of handmade paper (some from fusion dyed paper towels). So the post card challenge continues. The goal of this, as I said is to keep me creating even when the rest of life intervenes, so that I get in the artistic habit. Also, by the time this challenge is finished, I hope to have some new inspiration for other projects. The fact that this is a good idea was confirmed for me when I began reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. She talks at one point about the importance of writing practice, by which she means writing every day, even if some of it, or a lot of it, the writer looks at later and thinks it's garbage. The importance is getting the writing flowing. I've begun doing this with writing, too. This kind of activity is not "practice" in the sense that it's not the real thing, it doesn't matter. In the sense of this work, I think practice means literally "doing the craft" and, well, I like it because it doesn't mean I have to commit to great writing or great art or I'm a failure. I just means I have to commit to doing writing and doing art. So . . . think about challenging yourself to just DO ART. And give yourself permission for it to not be fabulous.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

fun with lacy paper

I got the blue lacy paper with white slotches in a package of a bunch of papers - don't remember when. The dragonfly punchouts are from watercolor paper. One has Dr. Ph Martin's watercolors dropped on them. This post card is for another one of my nieces wishing her good luck in school. The face is a stamp I have and the crown is from an Artchix Studio collage sheet. I love their stuff!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2 new cards and good news

I got home late last evening so I am posting 2 cards today. One is a happy back to school/good luck for my nephew. The orange colored pieces are tissue paper that was dyed and then layered and painted with a glue or PPA- check out Traci Bautista's work (look for old Cloth Paper Scissors article) or her book Collage Unleashed for fusion dyed collage. I think she also uses paper towels for this technique. It is a totally fun and easy technique for making some cool background papers. The pink post card is for a friend of mine struggling with chronic illness, and this one contains yellow and pink paper towels that were dyed and layered. You dip dye the paper towels or tissue paper, then layer it with watered down glue or PPA. When dry it will form a paper that can be cut and layered on to other papers. The blue-ish hearts and the dragonfly punchouts are also from this paper. The pink heart is cut from a special Hershey's chocolate wrapper. I am having a bit of a creative surge because . . . I was offered a job!! It needs to be wrapped up on Monday, but I don't anticipate any problems and I am delighted and extremely thankful!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Post card 6

The top post card from my last post and the one in this post are going to my nieces, very creative young ladies themselves. The base card here is a real rich gold, and I have a bunch of these shoe stamps. The red stripes are from card stock of artists' paper I got from a Somerset Studio magazine. I am having a LOT of fun doing these as they force me to create, and I do enjoy taking a break from writing (or trying to write) my graduate thesis. I have found myself putting some of these in envelopes because I want to protect some of the items on them, but I think that's ok. I may keep doing that because it will allow me to put some heavier pieces on the cards. Well - now it's off to watch the Project Runway premiere and hopefully get some more creative inspiration!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

revised post card, new post card, giveaway winner

Thanks to all who've commented on possible improvements to my card. I'm adding the new version here - I decided to add more of the color that is on the heart punchout to other areas of the card. This one is going off to Stephanie. Thanks for your encouraging words! And the ephemera giveaway winner is Cindy B! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments, Cindy. Email me with an address and I will send you your ephemera package. I'm also posting here a new post card. This was originally off white, but I used direct to paper application of some Ranger inks to get the warm brown colors. (I love that these ink colors are called butterscotch and caramel, but then it just makes me hungry!) I'm really into this heart punch, as you can tell. Thanks again to all those who have checked in on the blog and commented.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New post card

I see I've got several comments on the last post card already - thanks to everyone who's checking it out and commenting. I really appreciate it. Sorry for any confusion: this post card is a paper one, no sewing involved (although I know you can sew on paper with the machine, I'm just a bit wary of doing it). So far the comments from other artists have been helpful - thanks! I heard from the person who received the fabric post card and she really likes it:) Here is a post card I am sending to my sister- my hero! She has been such a wonderful friend to me on this journey of life. The cool paper background is some neat scrapbook paper. Please keep commenting on the previous card!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The challenge continues

I have not forgotten my self challenge! I was dog sitting for the weekend at a friend's house. This post card includes some of my favorite things: my swirl stamp in blue, my sand dollar stamp in tourmaline dream embossing, and use of the dragonfly punch out. This one is going to a new internet friend who has encouraged me in this challenge. But I still think it needs something before I mail it. Hmm. . . I'm off to mull it over and hopefully find some inspiration. Check this image out and tell me if you have an idea about what it needs : another layer, another color, words, etc.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quilted post card

Here is my final quilted postcard. It is still a bit floppy, so I will mail it in an envelope. I appliqued some pink hearts and gave Angelina fibers a try for the shiny blue heart. The Angelina turned out very cool (color: Blue Calypso). I hand quilted lines across the post card and then machine zigzagged around the outside. Finally I zigzagged around the heart. To melt the Angelina fibers together I turned the iron on medium and placed the fibers between parchment papers and ironed. Then I folded the piece over and cut out a heart. Not perfect, but it turned out better than I imagined. So here it is.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Continuing the post card journey

So as promised I'm posting my quilted postcard in progress here. The fabric is white that I hand painted with . . . like I can remember. I think it was paints from Dye Na Flow sampler pack. I know I dropped paint on and sprayed with water to make it bleed. I used iron interfacing for one side, but it seems to light for me - the post card may still be flimsy. So I'm thinking I can add a little bit of batting I have - it's not to heavy, and I can cut it smaller than the 4x6 shape. That added to the interfacing I think will give the card more strength. I haven't gotten very far on this card yet, but I will post more tomorrow. Also posted here is an anniversary post cards to some dear friends who are missionaries and are back in the States for a furlough and possible change of direction. Years ago I met them when I was looking for a church small group that was located nearer to where I had moved. Most of the other group members were married with kids or planning to have them, and single me showed up on their doorstep. They welcomed me into their home with open arms and never made me feel out of place. It's been great to watch their family grow with new births and it is good to have them back in town. The red hearts on this card are from cardstock that I painted yellow, then crackle painted, then over painted with red.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Off and running - post card challenge

So here is the first postcard as promised. This one is a get well for a friend recovering from an accident. I'm not totally delighted with it, but it did get me working. And of course my friend could use the get well wishes - it's not all about me :). Now I did realize yesterday that I have signed up for a quilted postcard on the mixed media art yahoo group, so that will fit great into this self challenge, although I'm a little nervous about making it. But I will plan to post that one tomorrow in whatever stage of creation (or destruction???) it is in.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

banishing self pity - new project

It's been too long . . . but then it's hard to make art when you are wallowing in self-pity. The job search has definitely been bringing me down, but I got a reality check when visiting my family recently. My sister has a chronic degenerative respiratory condition, and is awaiting organ transplant. She lives on a lot of oxygen each day and has not worked for a few years. And while I'm boo - hooing she's off to volunteer organization meetings, book groups, dinners with friends, knit clubs, visiting shut ins for the church. Not that any of us should engage in comparing our lives to others; only resentment comes of that, but I'm alive, I'm here, I have friends, family, and art. Most of all, my sister reminded me, I have hope, even though I may not always feel it. So the week I spent visiting home was comforting, and inspiring. My dad and I saw the movie "Julie and Julia" before I left. Not that I am ready to take off on a Julia Child extravagansa of my own (the movie made me mostly laugh and feel really hungry). But I did think that having a goal of things to produce would make for more interesting or at least more frequent blogging - and some consistent art making. I am posting here some atcs I made before my visit, but I have a different idea for a challenge for myself. I found a stash of blank colored postcard sized cardstock, so I'm off on my 30 postcards in 30 days project. I plan to create a postcard every day, even if I feel a bit unispired. And then here's the thing: I'm gonna mail each one to a different person. I think the deadline to mail will force me to keep creating. Of course, when I was thinking this idea over I wondered if I know thirty separate people to whom I could mail something I created and not have them cross me off their address book. But I'm goin' for it. We'll see what happens. I'll post my first postcard tomorrow.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday yahoo AB group

Thanks to Corinne, who has generously agreed to host the page swap and put together color copied books for us! A swap deadline always gets my juices going. This page is a book page (three glued together actually for support). Painted with crimson fluid acrylics (Golden) and softened with titanium buff. The words are the things that the AB yahoo group has provided for me (though it's been a while since I participated in a swap): dreams fulfilled, inspiration, joy. The last word is drawn into some Texture magic paste. The very first swap I ever participated in through the site was a technique swap. It was wonderful to see the work of other artists - everytime a new book came to my P.O. box I would huddle in the car and open the box right away because I couldn't wait to get home. It was the best treat, flipping through the pages, oohing and ahhing and thinking what I could do with that month's technique. I treasure the book that I got out of that swap, and enjoy flipping back through it to see the work of the talented and creative contributors. That fist technique swap got me on the road to altered art, and I am always thankful!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


spring comes to my soul

My, my, my, where have I been? Really, I'm asking. It feels like I have been under a cloud since my last post. Graduate class and work have kept me busy, but in truth there has been a critical cloud. Since March, I have been job hunting again, as I am doing a great job where I am, but am just the odd man out at this time. It has felt so unfair, so out of my control. I don't know where I am going to end up . . . I often feel unmoored. The upshot is I really haven't been creating art. I've often said difficult times in my life are like trying to put together a puzzle, but God is holding the box with the picture on it, and He's not sharing. Recently, I got really angry at that, even at God. My most recent graduate paper has been about the writings of Julian of Norwich, a late medieval anchoress who became known for her writings about God's love and the oft quoted "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." Today's readings at Mass were about God's love for us, which the sermon also recognized. During the sermon, I kept thinking of the opening line of one of Julian's manuscripts: "This is a revelation of love." It is indeed. As angry and frustrating as I get, God's love for me is sure. So I upload here ATC's that deal with the renewal of spring and JOY - because I know there will still be joy in my life. Here's to joy through art!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I heart art2

I heart art

So I don't really make resolutions per se (sooooo disappointing when they don't work out, and really, who needs that downer?) but I do try to set goals. My problem comes when I have so many good ones that I am trying to work on all at once. You know, exercise more, eat healthier, do some art every week and post it on the blog, watch less tv and be more productive, knit a pair of socks a month, build up my savings . . . you see where I'm going with this? Whew! All of this to say that I am hoping to create once a week and post once a week because, well, it really makes me happy and seems to provide incredible relief of that stress/steam that builds up in my life with all the "musts" and "shoulds" that take over. I had this board book (some Bob the Builder Gives a Valentine or something) that I had painted the pages. I just kept staring at it thinking I should get back to altered books, but I didn't really know where to start. So finally I just thought of things I like, and well, doing art came up. So here are some scans of I Heart Art.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

atc's that represent me

I finally looked closely at the mail date for an atc swap I'm in a realized - it's comin' right up! So yesterday I worked on creating atcs that have something that represents who I am and what I like. I started by gessoing some playing cards, and then covering them all with purple, because, well, it is the color of royalty and my very favorite. One of these has a crown, because I am very fond of it as a symbol. I realize some people are tired of them, but I still like it. I think many of us are too hard on ourselves and we all owe ourselves a chance to be queen for a day. The other card bears the face of the Bard of Avon because, well, I'm an English teacher and a big fat nerd, so I do kinda like my Shakespeare. I did have fun making these and others and am trying to finish them up. I didn't realize how difficult it might be to think of somethings that represent me, but then I just decided to relax and go with it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy anniversary

I believe it has been a year for the blog. I'm just glad I'm still hangin' in there. Yes, my New Year's Eve was hangin' at home, but at least I got to make some art! Here is a new canvas I finished today. This is acrylic paint, a black and white copy of a picture of the inside of a church, some vintage paper, and some goodies from Somerset Studio magazine. The red paint was done over a layer of vaseline so that it would wipe away from the first layer of blue. (Note to self, less vaseline. That was messy.) I did have fun melting droplets of blue crayon on to the final layer; I'm not sure if it shows up. Around the edge I wrote "Love is the gift that gives back to you the more you give it. You cannot become impoverished by giving away all you have.