January 31, 2015

Clouds


Up in the Clouds is the Monday blog challenge this week at SSS. I had a hard time thinking of an idea so I began playing around with bits of book paper and stamp remnants cut in the shape of clouds. Eventually, I found an image that I thought would work and finished it off with some chit-chat text.

January 26, 2015

In the Balance


I used to love spending time flipping through picture books at the library. I'd grab a few National Geographics, perhaps a volume on a famous artist or some books on travel. Anything with lots of pictures.

Now, thanks to the Internet, I can do almost the same thing right from home on my laptop. And when I find an image that really strikes a cord, I feel I must print it and do something with it. I guess it's a way of savoring it just a little more--becoming more intimate with it.

I altered an image like this one last year (see here) and believe this recent discovery is its mate (I wish I knew who the artist was so I could give credit). It's almost identical and I strongly suspect both images were made by the same artist at around the same time.

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It was cut out and pasted on a tag whose background was made by stomping white paint through a nylon mesh bag, stamping with archival ink and tinting with Distress inks.

I'll be on the look out for additional work by this artist and perhaps, finally discover who created them. If anyone can steer me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it!

Stamp credit: Stamping Bella Eclectic

January 22, 2015

Buddies

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I've spent a lot of time, lately, working with the Idea-ology Found Relatives.

When I opened my first box I have to admit I was disappointed in how thick they were--a bit like playing cards.

In some applications, a thick photo is good but I use them most for collage and in this case, thinner is better.


But now I know it's SO EASY to modify them and I thought I'd share one of the ways I do it in case you'd like to give it a try.


First, peel off the back covering. Use your fingernail or a knife to get it started then just slowly pull it off (really easy).

Then get out some sandpaper (I use Tim's sanding block) and remove as much of the paper backing as you'd like.

For really thin photos, after sanding, spritz a little water on the back and rub off more paper bits with your fingers. Be gentle at this stage because the water weakens the paper and it becomes more delicate.

I've been able to get a photo so thin you can see through it! These guys are pretty tough and you'd never be able to do this with a regular photo.

It's also much easier to trim the photo after you've thinned it down a bit and I always tint the cut edges with a waterproof ink marker so they blend into my backgrounds better.

My "Buddies" came from the new Occasions series of Found Relatives and I created this tag for the winter theme at Simon's Monday blog challenge. I did some sanding, peeling and rubbing of the background paper, pasted on the boys, then used Simon's Falling Snow stencil with some white acrylic paint.

I didn't intend to create an avalanche but that's what it looks like!

January 20, 2015

Winter's Past


I haven't seen (or felt) snow for almost 15 years. But I do remember those bright, cold mornings when everything was quiet and peaceful in a frosty blanket of white.

Prompted by Simon's Monday blog challenge which is winter stamping, I've created this tag from watercolor paper, images stamped with archival inks and tinted with Distress stains and ink.

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I used a gel pen to frost the tree tops and a bit of white acrylic paint to blend out the snow drifts in the foreground.

Arches is a well-known brand of watercolor paper and full-size sheets are embossed with the lettering you see in the lower right-hand corner.

Stamp credits: LaBlanche (house), Inkadinkado (trees), Tim Holtz (car)

January 18, 2015

For Joseph

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Joseph Cornell was a brilliant artist and a pioneer of assemblage. If you are not familiar with his work, it's well worth your time to look him up.

Prompted by a challenge at Art Journal Journey to create something "inspired by the Masters," I collaged a page that mimics his Medici Princess box creation.

I used a frame from a magazine advertisement for a background filled with more magazine scraps, some rub-on letters and numbers, paint, gel pens, colored pencils, and embossed stamping.

I wish I could use symbolism more effectively in my art to give it a strong voice and invoke introspection. This is a skill Joseph Cornell mastered in a subtle, understated way and is what I appreciate most about his work.

Update:  I modified the original journal page posted here. Something was missing! The black vertical and horizontal lines in the original work were left out unintentionally. This simple addition made a difference and now I'm happier with it. (1/21/2015)

January 15, 2015

Peek-A-Boo

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An ink-resist technique was attempted to create the background for this tag which I later altered for better effect.

I stamped a piece of watercolor paper cut to the shape of a tag with archival ink. I brushed on tempera paint to resist the space in between the squares. Distress stains were used for tint then I washed off the tempera.

While the paint did resist the ink, I decided I wanted the spaces in between the squares black so I filled them in with a fountain pen.


I found an image that, thanks to the photographer, was easy to alter to fit this tag. Now the girls are smiling about more than just a game of Peek-A-Boo.

I'm linking to the Monday blog challenge at SSS where this week's theme is Inky Background.

Stamp credit: #8346 by Dawn Houser for Inkadinkado

January 11, 2015

CHA 2015

I spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year creating pieces for the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Booth at the Craft & Hobby Association's 2015 Annual Show at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

It was not possible to make them public until the show started yesterday, January 10th, so I'm proud and happy to be able to share them now. Click on the images to see a larger view.


I was asked to create a Configurations Shadow Box and it was my first time using this product. I was very impressed with the sturdy construction--it really held up well during my alterations and I had so much fun!

There are many ways to "configure" the box inserts but I settled on a combination of front and back facing surfaces, some whittled down a bit to vary the height.

Found Relatives and the Wallflower Paper Stash were fussy-cut and layered to create a secret garden, some boxes were transformed into windows with rafia curtains, and a stamped and embossed clock and picture frame reside on the walls inside.

Acrylic paint was used on the Foundations Metal Box Feet and I topped it off with a Curio Door Knob and some Linen Ribbon tinted with Victorian Velvet Distress Stain.


Tim's Burlap panels provided the support for the remaining pieces starting with my brave and patriotic heroine who's a Found Relative from the new Occasions series.

The background is a page from the Crowded Attic Paper Stash and I embellished with Industrious Sticker Trim, an Arrow Adornment Metal Charm wrapped with thread, a piece from the Thrift Shop Ephemera Pack and a Curio Door Knob. Small Chit Chat Stickers were used for the text.


I think I found the perfect Small Chit Chat Sticker for this piece which was covered with gesso before applying a page from the Wallflower Paper Stash, a fussy-cut Found Relative and a Nature Adornment Metal Charm.


I call this one "Luigi" (another Found Relative) who was placed on Tim's new Postale Tissue Wrap along with cut-outs from the Wallflower stash, Industrious trims and a Plaquette that was altered with an image transfer.

The Chit Chat stickers come in black and white, the black background worked great for this piece. The border on the top and right-hand side was cut from the pretty background paper found on the back of a Found Relative card.


Gesso was used to alter this panel and then I applied Postale Tissue Wrap, a Found Relative, some fussy-cut Wallflowers (which wrap around the left side of the panel), a piece of Foliage Metal Hardware painted to match and Tim's new Big Chit Chat Stickers.

It was an honor and a privilege to participate in this event. The Idea-ology product line is genius with an amazing variety of quality pieces that are really a pleasure to work with.

January 10, 2015

Together


"Make New Friends and Keep the Old" is the Monday blog challenge this week at Simon Says Stamp. It's also the name of a song I learned in Girl Scouts which was sung "in-the-round" (like Row Row Row Your Boat). I hadn't given it a thought since I was a Brownie xxx years ago ☺ and now I'm having major flashbacks. For you youngsters out there, here's what our uniforms looked like back in the day:


Imagine girls (of any age) wearing gloves today and why did the Brownies wear a manly bright orange neck tie? Strange, yes, but I liked them. Mom, not so much as they were a pain to iron.

The challenge prompted using something old or new so I grabbed the very first stamp I ever purchased, a vintage sunflower from Inkadinkado. It is based on this original engraving:

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I applied an image transfer of the girls to a blank tag and before rubbing off the paper, I stamped the background. This way the transfer acts like a mask and saves a step or two. I used distress inks and colored pencils to tint and washi tape for embellishment.

The "new" feature on this tag is the Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs text which I recently acquired and used for the very first time.

If you'd like to know more about the image transfer technique, you can find my tutorial here.

January 04, 2015

Take Aim


Here is my January tag inspired by Tim's 12 Tags of 2015. This month, it's a play on words and I chose mine from the pages of a book. The background is his new tissue paper and I modified one of his index labels to make a bull's eye.

I really like using Tim's tissue paper: It's tough but thin so it's great for pasting, it stands up to abuse and I like that it's barely transparent. But initially, I found it a bit challenging to tint (especially with dye inks) under certain circumstances.

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So I'd like to share a new technique I worked out which you may also wish to try. The tissue colors on this tag are distress stains applied to the back of the paper. Since the paper is transparent, they show through and won't be disturbed when you paste or paint on the top side.
I'm so happy the tag tutorials will continue again this year, it's great to see everyone's creations and it makes me feel part of something really special. And, of course, I love making tags! 

January 01, 2015

Giselle in Print


Giselle was the name my French teacher gave me in the 8th Grade. All my classmates received a French name and it was the only one we were allowed to use (no English of any kind spoken ever, please). This is why, when it came time to name this piece, Giselle came to mind.

I'm proud to say she's on Page 121 of the January/February, 2015, issue of Somerset Studio magazine, a publication that features mixed media artwork. The call I responded to was the color lilac which may help to explain why there's so much of it!

I've blogged about this work previously (here) where you can read about the techniques I used. I almost hate to mention it because you'll see the drastic difference in the quality of the photos. Granted, Somerset has professional photographers but I REALLY must improve my skills. No more excuses!