Thursday, July 31, 2008

Altered Book ~ Spread #2

Here are the next 2 pages in my altered book depicting my art journey. I used tinted gesso below all the layers here, and any remnant of owl photo and text have been obscured with all the other layers.

This process feels intense for me. On these pages I wanted to show the change in my heart, seeing everything in a new way, and growth. All of these things are important contributors to my art path ~ and a year ago it was all either hidden, or not ready for revelation.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's all about Black and White...

...this week at Crazy Amigo Challenge. I had so much fun with this I ended up with 2 pieces!

The background for both is a 6.5 " x 6.5" card, cut in half. I recently got a bunch of these cards on a clearance shelf at JoAnn's for about $6. I think there were a total of 75 or 100 cards in there, with envies, in various sizes, colors, and patterns. The cardstock is beautiful, sturdy with a linen finish. I have all ready made several thins with this and have RAK'd away quite a few :) The photos in both pieces are from a wonderful book of black and white photos of Paris - 'Picture Paris', published in 1998 by Getty. The fleur de lis is a chunky rubber stamp, dusted with Perfect Pearls. I did the lettering with a white Gelly Roll pen and a white paint marker. I took some artistic license with the statue and painted her blue with Stream alcohol ink from Ranger. 'Many Monas' uses Perfect Bronze dusted on the vellum. Brads are from Making Memories and the letter tiles are from an unknown source. I edged the tiles with copper Permaopaque pen. The photo (!) is a tower of Mona mugs in a window of the Louvre gift shop! I love the geometry of the cups ~ and the mystery of Mona's eyes!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Veil of Grace

Dans ma maison.. is a fun challenge and one which I have not participated in, but the theme for this week is an angel in the house. I've had an angel image for awhile that I have been anxious to use, and here's the right forum!

The house is cut from K & Co cardstock. The angel image is from an unknown source. The German text behind her was RAK'd to me, and I sponged on ColorBox turquoise pigment ink, and Printworks Sunflower ink. The vellum overlay was stamped with flourishes from Limited Edition stamps in Versamark gold ink. The gold lace trim is from JoAnn's fabrics and is absolutely gorgeous! Arrows at the roof are stamps from Inka, done in black StazOn. The watch pieces are from, and the roof is edged in gold leaf pen from Krylon.

Blessings to you all.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flowers for Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday is all about flowers this week - what a great topic.

'Sweet Spirit' is an arch made with Basic Grey cardstock, collage image from Altered Pages, stamps from a couple of unknown sources, as well as a stamp from Inka. The inks are Colorbox Pigment (white and turquoise), and Memories Chalk Inkpad in Creamy Coffee. The flowers are all Primas, the smaller ones were stamped. The brads and letter 'S' are from Memory Makers and the ribbon is American Craft.

The text piece is from a sonnet by William Shakespeare ~ "My Spirit is thine, the better part of me". So sweet and romantic!

The Great Snake Escapade

Summer in SoCal - hot, dry, and did I mention that it is hot and dry?? So my fearless Salon buddy was in the backyard awhile ago and starts barking like a maniac. This is a fairly regular occurrence (example: she barks at the gardeners who come every Friday; everyday is Groundhog's Day for her I think). I ignored her because I was BUSY in the Salon and typically her barks are a big NOTHING.

Then I heard a crazy noise, kind of like water running under pressure, like when a pipe bursts? I had the back door open with the screen door closed. Salon girl is still out there barking away, standing at the edge of the patio, hair straight up, the whole ferocious thing. So now I know something is up. I get her in the house and look through the kitchen window and RIGHT IN MY BACKYARD there is a rattlesnake, about 3 feet long, rattlin' away. YAAAAAAAYAAAAAA!

So where is my husband? Not home of course! My neighbor Bob appeared at the front door and offered to go back there and kill it (he has all ready killed 2 or 3 this season over in his yard). He took care of it - it has 12 rattles on it, they get 1 new one per year...

Then my husband returned home and was astonished (and horrified) by the whole thing. He wants to be a tough guy but he's not.

..... So now we're back in the salon, with the house hermetically sealed and the AC on. We've been here 4 years and this is the first rattler we've had (that we know about). I'm going to drink SOMETHING now, just not sure what yet.......

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Paradise Found

When I saw the current challenge at Layers of Color I knew I had to play... PLUS it has been a long time!

The background for my skinny is a napkin (just happened to have recently gotten these tropicals for 60% off :). Dark pink vellum is layered on (Hot Off the Press) and the exotic bird comes courtesy of Miss Mary's Free Collage Sheets. The border stamp is from Inque Boutique, as well as the word 'paradise'; both are done in Timber Brown StazOn. The bead is from Blue Moon Bead Co.

Thanks for looking. I'd love to be heading to Lanikai Beach, which is Hawaiian for 'heavenly sea'.

Jingle Bell Rock

That's right everyone, it's Christmas in July!! What better time to think about Santa, snow, sleds, sleigh rides, carols, cookies, and, of course, THE MISTLETOE? Our monthly lottery at Altered Start has this theme, and here is my entry!!

As you will see, I am a Christmas maven. I just love it - ask my kids, my friends, especially my sweetie (he LOVES helping get down those decoration boxes hehehehehe). I have a significant collection of Santa ornaments, they will be sending holiday wishes to all of blogland this year...but I digress.

These altered coaster ornaments began looking like the first pic and ended looking like the next 2. They were sanded and gesso'd, as they were covered in some sort of sealer. The background papers are from Cloud 9 (polka dots) and Current catalog. The green flourish tissue pieces were torn from a holiday napkin border (thanks endlessly to Sharon at Norah's Art for instruction and inspiration :), and the letters are by K & Co. The red tissue ~ from the same napkin ~ was stamped with images from Stampington's Holiday cube in white pigment. The "joy" definition is a stamp from a Hero Arts set, done in green and black StazOn on the tissue layer below the print - still faintly red! Love that! Both sides edged with green pigment ink and embossed with clear Kaleidoscope powder. The loops are made with iridescent gold trim from JoAnn's, with buttons and gold glitter hiding those cut ends;).

Now to the other extreme...stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Butterfly Day

Here's another butterfly ATC for my Art Tech ATC group.

There's polka dot paper underneath, then a piece of stamped napkin tissue - cool process which I just tried today! The stamp is from Outline Rubber Stamp Co, stamped in pumpkin StazOn. I added a blue German scrap butterfly ( and made corners from orange polka dot ribbon. The text fragment came from a book and the edges were chalked in blue. Then the card was edged with a blue Sharpie.


Altered Book Progress Report

This month the challenge at Bluebird 1 2 3 is to alter a book to reflect your art journey. I posted previously about the actual book I chose for this project. Today I finished my first spread and entry in here. It has been very difficult for me to do this - I have lots of ideas but the execution is either disappointing or lacking. I think part of this is mental for me, as I am a lifelong book collector and reader, as well as a professional educator. Altering and messing with books has not been part of my program!

I am pleased with what I did today though. This art feels intensely personal to me, much more than most of my other creations. I thought and thought about the book and what I would like to express in here. Finding the right images has been a challenge but I'm getting there. I also tried a painted background a couple of days ago but hated it. The pages today were gesso'd, colored with inks, used a stencil for the dots, and some collage images I have. I hand lettered the word 'transformation' - another area of immense arty anxiety for me!!

In putting this book together I have decided a couple of things: I'm going to make the cover after the inside of the book is finished, as I think I'll be better able to make the cover more reflective of what is inside; and I do each spread according to the text and illustrations/photos contained there.

Thanks for looking but please don't look TOO closely ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

ATC's inspired by Chagall

The Art Techniques ATC group runs a monthly swap with an "Artist of the Month" theme. July's AOM is Marc Chagall, and the intent of the swap is to make ATC's inspired by the particular artist or incorporating some of the art itself. I had not entered any of these swaps due to the fact that I can't draw anything!! I am very intimidated and anxious about the entire prospect of drawing anything... I Google'd Chagall and looked at many images of his paintings. I like them very much, they are colorful and vibrant, a cross ( to me) between impressionistic and abstract. He definitely has themes that run through things, and hides some images in the background in many of the paintings I looked at.

Here are the 4 ATC's I did. All of them began with colored cardstock glued down onto a piece of bristol board. The cardstock has a very nice linen texture, which I hope mimics canvas here! All colors were done with oil pastels - I love working with them as I can easily control the color and depth with my fingers. I put down the color and looked at each piece to see what came into view. On all the cards I added stamped images with black StazOn, and I DREW lines and other small defining details with a black Sharpie, then edged the entire card in black. All cards have been sprayed with Matte sealer to 'fix' the pastel.

This was not an easy challenge but I'm glad I did this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Retro weekend underway!!

I am all excited!! It all began this morning with going to a couple of garage sales. Here are pics of what I scored.... By the way, the newest book/mag is from 1962 (except the Children's Dictionary). Check out the uber cool Schnaps cabinet from Germany!! It is in PERFECT condition and the bottles are all unopened.

I love scoring these books as I am slightly image-challenged. Suzan Buckner's blog (Thrifty Collage Artist) has added daily freebie images this past week - check it out! I know many of you are familiar with Suzan and her freebies are wonderful - she has real style and a great eye!

Now to really start my art day, waiting to go the '70's Soul Jam show tonight, at the outdoor Greek Theater - Stylisitics, Chi-Lites, Billy Paul, and a couple others on the bill. Thanks to my friend Robin yesterday for a heads up about getting half price tickets for this fun show!

Have a great (retro) day!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Don't Give Up... what I've decided to call this ATC for a swap in my Altered Art group. The background is beautiful butter colored handmade embossed paper, glued to a substrate of Bristol board. The butterfly was cut from double-sided cardstock from the 'Bohemia' line by My Mind's Eye - absolutely wonderful papers!! I added the floral vine stamps (source unknown) in Ranger Denim ink, and the musical body piece came from Digital Collage Images. The butterfly is edged with Marvy Ochre ink, DTP. I used the same ink on a Qtip to make the markings on the wings. The antennae are made from 26g jewelry wire and some nice blue beads that were RAK'd to me. The label is from K & Co, heart beads are by Blue Moon Bead Co. The card is edged with the blue ink.

Everything changes, just like the butterfly, but there is always HOPE.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bluebird 123 Altered Book Challenge

The monthly challenge over at Bluebird 1 2 3 is to alter a book and have it reflect your art journey. I have been wanting to alter a book and this challenge seemed just right for my first time.

Here's the book I have chosen - it has only 38 pages and I will be gluing some together. I love the cover and the fact that it focuses upon owls. Owls are traditionally associated with the adjective "wise", and my book will be altered to reflect my journey (toward) wisdom, particularly through my art. The book has some wonderful photos which I will use portions of. I got the book at a used bookstore for $2. Apparently the man who sculpted the owl piece in the third photo had these books published to accompany the sculpture. This is one in a series of four sculptures by Irving Burgues, and the book carries a signed Certificate of Authenticity, dated February 1976.

Love and Romance for Theme Thursday

A great theme this week for Theme Thursday; I just had to play!

"The Wedding Remembrance" is a 4 x 4 is done on black cardstock, with an overlay of cream and gold tissue. The tissue has a gold Cupid outlined on it, which you really can't see very clearly now. I painted over the tissue with 2 shades of Twinkling H2O's, and painted over the cardstock with one of the shades. The collage image is from Altered Pages, cut into an arch shape and edged with gold flourishes from Inque Boutique. Th e 'Fragile' stamp is done in Black StazOn on gold vellum with a stamp by Michelle Ward for Stampington. The photo of the couple is outlined with black Sharpie and the entire piece is outlined with a gold paint pen (Krylon I think). Flowers are all Primas and brads are from Making Memories.


Rock Show!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE rock and roll, always have, always will...

We are going to see THE WHO in November: Nokia Theater, center seats immediately behind the orchestra section!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have seen them 4 times before, my hubby has seen them twice (both with moi).

Now if only Sir Paul would come back out on tour.......

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gel Medium Transfers and Mini-Canvases!

The 'In This House' Yahoo group is having a mini-canvas swap - requirements are to use a small stretched canvas (not canvas board) no larger than 3" x 3", along with text from a song, poem, or text fragment. YIKES! I signed up right away, all enthused and excited. The canvases arrived from Dick Blick and I love them, they are so cute! THEN THE STRUGGLE BEGAN: what was I thinking, I can't possibly do anything on CANVAS that is so TINY...

So I got busy with other things... but the canvases have been nagging at me for FOUR WEEKS. The swap deadline is upon me so I decided to try gel transfers on them. Now I am no whiz with gel transfers... but I became inspired by some of the flowers and colors in my back yard last week, so I was taking quite a few pictures.

The first picture shows the transfers I did last night, along with the original photo (upper right). I came in here this morning and started playing... using tissue, napkin images, glossy copper paint, and copper foil recently RAK'd to me. The other 2 photos are what I finished today - the 3 collages in one picture are for the swap, the text came from a James Thurber short story. The other collage, with the butterfly stamp, did begin as a transfer, although you can't see much of it now. This measures 2"x 2", and the larger collage in the other pic is 3" x 3".

I have 2 more transfer collages in process which I will probably finish next week. I'm pretty happy with the results and learned a LOT in this process :)

Happy daydreaming to all!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer Color!

COLOR is the challenge this week for Think Monday Think ATC. Like many of you, I'm sure, I LOVE color! so here's an entry...

The background paper is from an unknown source. The flower image is from a personal photo which has been gel transferred to another substrate - what you see here is what is left behind of the original image following the transfer. The bird is made from my own template, and the patterned paper for the bird was done using a modified 'bandanna' technique, inspired by Elizabeth G's Blog - check this out if you haven't seen it, she has lots of wonderful art there as well as a myriad of other creative things! The bird 'eye' is a jewel from Me and My Big Ideas, and everything has been outlined with a black Sharpie.

Sweet summer....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hey I cleaned up in here!

The Salon has been a busy place since last week - even though it may not show by the number of posts hehehehe. The main reason is that I have been trying to remain creative along with finishing hosting an ATC swap in one of my groups. I don't like maintenance stuff but I enjoyed it yesterday, reorganizing, regrouping, and regenerating! I do like to organize things, please don't tell anyone, I don't want to be thought of as a NERD, GEEK, etc.:)

The picture is more paper play this week. I'm off to Staples later to make copies.

Have a great productive day!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Playing with Paper ~ Again

A couple of weeks ago I posted a page I made from scraps laying around on my worktable. Here's the next one.

I actually had photos of the process but accidentally deleted the early ones before I got them out of my camera!!!!! DUH!

Began by painting a 9" x 12" piece of cardstock pink. On Sharon T's blog, Norah's Art, she has a wonderful tutorial on using napkins in your work - click the link and you'll get right to it! Her work is gorgeous, spend some quality time looking at her blog!! I used a decorated napkin and overlaid the entire piece of cardstock with it. OOOOH I like this! Then I added a couple of alpha fairies from Lisa's Altered Art, and a sheer piece of green paper/fabric which was RAK'd to me awhile ago. Got my stencils out from Retro Cafe Art and used Titanium White acrylic to paint the spots. Added color with permanent markers and circled in sepia Prismacolor Premier pen. I took a page of text from a great vintage book and tea stained it, tore it, and added some pieces.

Soon I'll be off to Staples with this (they KNOW me at Staples now, I have friends in the color copy Dept., hehehehe) to make copies so I can use it for other stuff.

I love working with paper!! What is with me??!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to the USA

Hope all of you are having a wonderful and safe Independence Day! Our freedoms are the best!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Literary Heroines ATC Series

The second color theme swap is underway in the Art Techniques ATC group ~ the color this time is red. I was seriously stumped for quite awhile as to what I would do with this. I began digging around in my red paper, vellums, stamps, and then - inspiration. It is still so strange to me how this process unfolds and reveals itself. I sure don't get it but I'm learning to question less and accept more.

The first card is "Jo March". Background paper is from Prima and was sanded and distressed. Background flourish stamp is done in ColorBox pigment green, the stamp is by Technique Tuesday. It was also stamped with green StazOn on the shell button (from The girl is a stamp from I Brake for Stamps, done in black StazOn on vellum that was colored with Tim Holz Distress Ink, Worn Lipstick DTP. Collage images are from an unknown source as well as Tuscan Rose. Trimmed at the bottom with black embroidery thread and edged with green pigment ink.

The next one is "Elizabeth Bennett" ~ of course!! Same background as before. An Avery shipping tag was overlaid with paper by Melissa Frances. The tag was edged in Tim Holz Distress Ink, Antique Linen, DTP. The gold scrap 'frame' was cut from a gold paper doily and glued in place. The woman image is a stamp from I Brake for Stamps, done in black StazOn on striped vellum and then colored with the Antique Linen ink. Collage image is from Tuscan Rose, stamped with Stampington's Postal Cube. Shell button is stamped with flourish from Autumn Leaves, using Blazing Red StazOn. The gold fiber is from On the Surface, and the ribbon on the tag is from an unknown source. The card is edged in gold metallic pen.

Next is "Beatrix Potter". Background paper is by Prima. The girl image is stamped on heavy vellum and cut with decorative blade, then edged in black Sharpie. Collage image is from Tuscan Rose and photo corners are by Canson. All edging is done with a black Sharpie.

The final one is "Eleanor Dashwood". Same background as above. Collage images are from LunaGirl and Stampington. Gold scrap is cut from a gold doily. The stamped woman is done on striped vellum and then colored with Tim Holz Distress Ink, Worn Lipstick. The number stamps and border stamp are from a set by AdornIt.

These literary heroines are all strong memorable women. Peace.