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.