Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tulip: Perfect Love

More time!
This piece is on a 4" X 5" stretched canvas. A piece of torn cardstock pressed using the dot CB folder was layered onto the canvas. The piece was painted with ivory acrylic paint and allowed to dry. A laser-printed tulip was added after the dots in that area were pressed down a bit. Layers of acrylic paint in ivory, greens and reds were blended into the canvas with a slight sanding throughout the process. The words Tulip and perfect love were computer-generated and added. Watered-down acrylics were used to blend the words into the piece. Distress inks were used to emphasize the dot pattern. The canvas was completed with a layer of Mod Podge.

Art Time


I had a bit of time last night and this morning to work in my art room and it feels sooo good! After being 'away', I didn't really know where to begin. So I reached for some of my favorite things and just let it happen.
I painted a paper mache canvas with medium victorian teal acrylic paint. I love using paint so that was a good beginning. The next thing I used is my tried and true diamond stencil. I've used this thing so many times that I have to occasionally soak it and scrape all the built up paint away. With the diamond stencil, I used more of the teal paint blended with ivory acrylic to give it a contrasting color. The angel and doves image is from a vintage diecut sheet sold by rockcandystudios.com and the the dresden foil in teal is also available from rockcandy. I decided to crackle the piece and worked brown acrylic into the cracks.


This was a true 'comfort zone' piece and a good way to start the morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Decoupage Under Glass

This is a little something I made using a vintage diecut and background paper from RockCandyStudios.com . The "bird" stamp is from Oxford Impressions. I plan to use this piece as a paper weight although it could be used for a votive candle too. RockCandy has been up and running for about three weeks. Check out their 'new' section to see the latest offerings.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ATC Book

If you were reading my blog during the early summer, you probably recall seeing lots of pictures from our Mackinac Island trip. I've used an atc book kit from Debbie's Die Cuts to create a little book using a few of those photos. Debbie's kits can be seen and purchased at http://thestudioinpreston.blogspot.com/
The pages are colored using Tim Holtz Distress inks, chalk inks and Brilliance inks. We had just arrived on the Mackinac City side and dh was tired from the driving so he was glad to just kick back. The water was super chilly but that didn't keep Clarissa out of the water.
The swirl is a piece of a diecut also sold by Debbie. I spray painted it with a textured paint that reminds me of sand. I love the view of the church on the island. We had been on a buggy tour that day and at the end of the tour we were dropped off and walked back down into town. This is the view from that drop off point.

It rained a good part of the time we were there and the bikes and buggies were at a sit still in this photo. Also on this rainy day, Clarissa is relaxing at the small public library on the island.

The pages are enclosed in clear page protectors. Now I'm longing to go back to Mackinac Island. I've sort of promised Clarissa that we'll go back in the fall of '09.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Work and Fun

Well, it's official. After fifteen years, my maternity leave is over. I worked for sixteen years at our manufacturing company and during that time I modified my schedule after having our son and then worked for a year from home after Clarissa was born. It was a difficult year and I became a stay-at-home mom. Who started calling unemployed mothers that, I wonder? Oh well...I was blissfully unemployed and I had no desire to return to an office. My husband has wanted me to return for a few years now but I have resisted quite successfully. Recently, I've had a change of heart and decided I'd be willing to work at the office for maybe two days a week and also do a bit here at home. I'll continue to work on a couple of websites and will NEED to do art more now than ever!! The art time will remain the same. No art=insanity...know what I mean?

I've spent this week cleaning and organizing my workspace and now all it needs is some art work. There's a very cool site that allows you to create art using words; http://www.wordle.net/ . The piece that I did for my wall was made at wordle. Another awesome site is http://typogenerator.net/. I played at both sites for much too long this morning but managed to come up with something to show for it.


The key to using wordle is that the words you use the most times will print the largest. So, the word 'accounting' was typed maybe eight times, 'credit' and 'debit' maybe six times down to the smallest words being typed once. The generator can rearrange the words until you're satisfied plus there are color choices. I was pleased with the simplicity of this one and printed it out on good old columnar paper. It's mounted on black matboard and in an 11X14 frame. That will give you an idea of how large the wordle prints out. Another option is to enter your blog address and the wordle will pick up words from your blog and create a piece for you. You've got to try it! Work can be saved in a public gallery but I don't think it can be saved to your harddrive. As I said this piece is simple because I wanted that look but check out the gallery to see some of the awesome possibilities there.

The typogenerator is so much fun and I plan on making some things with it. Here's a sample of what I did rather quickly this morning. I only used two words "Be Accountable" and this is just one of dozens of generated choices. There are so many ways to use this site. I think you could come up with some great inspirational pieces using the typogenerator. This site does allow your work to be saved to the harddrive so that's a plus.

I'd love to see any creations you make using either of these sites! Be prepared to spend some time at it when you get started.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where did the time go?

Tonight, Clarissa and I will go for orientation for her sophomore year. It seems this photo was just taken. It's not like I haven't been through this before. My son is 24 and it went just as quickly but Clarissa is the baby. There won't be another one in my nest. I'm thankful to watch her grow up and become a wonderful woman but I'm missing my little girl. Guess I'm in a bit of a mood today.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's Just Junk Mail


These samples were created using junk mail. Actually, they are from a slick, glossy catalog similiar in weight to that of a really nice postcard. Like.........maybe the latest Vera Bradley catalog. The first piece was CB embossed only. The second sample shows the result of a light sanding with fine sandpaper. I really think it is cool at this point but also like the third result which is covered using metallic rub-ons. I see this as a good border on a guy card....lots of possibilities.


The mosaic CB folder is one of my favorites. Again, these are done on high quality junk mail. Each piece began at step #1 which was to emboss and paint using Plaid's bronze glaze. The excess was blotted. Step #2 was to lightly sand allowing the white base of the paper to show through in places. Now for the fun...

After completing the first two steps, each of the next four pieces were treated differently. The top right sample was colored using Brilliance ink in violet. The excess ink was blotted and then beeswax was melted and spread into the impressed area. Love this one! The first sample on the bottom row was colored with Adorondack lettuce ink...very simple. The middle one received a second coat of glaze in blue bell also by Plaid and was then lightly sanded again. The last sample was colored with red chalk ink. I know these are super simple but they really make fun backgrounds.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cuttlebug and Fabric Experiment

I used fabric as another example of the Cuttlebug folders' possibilities. The scan doesn't do a great job of showing the embossing detail, but in person, the embossed patterns are very distinct. I chose lightweight cottonblend fabrics. The red has spotches of red shades and the brown is a solid shade. The first step was to stiffen the fabric so it would hold the embossed pattern. Crafter's Pick Fabric Stiffener was the product...actually the only product...I could find locally. Each swatch of fabric was placed on wax paper and I used my finger to rub the stiffener into the surface. I then turned the fabric over and worked the stiffener into the back as well. After the fabric was completely dry, I ran it through CB folders just like paper. Note that the center sample is mounted on cardstock. I did this just to see if the embossing would hold up better verses no backing. Time will tell.

I love the texture of the treated fabric. It is somewhere between vinyl and leather and although 'stiff', it can definitely be manipulated. My next experiment will be to use these pieces on a project and to see how it endures. Also, the fabric stiffener didn't seem to affect the color of the red fabric but it did darken the brown. Be sure and test your fabrics if color is important. More later...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cuttlebug Play

Tomorrow is stamp club Sunday and it is my turn to do the project. I've decided to take my Wizard and Cuttlebug folders and dies and have an afternoon of making backgrounds and cutting out alphabets.

Here are some samples I did to inspire my friends. Although using duct tape was an original idea, I'm sure I'm not the first to try it.
The above pieces are on the original, gray duct tape. I put the tape on a piece of cardstock before running it through the Wizard in the CB folder. The sample on the left was lightly sanded and the rough areas were colored using distress inks. The excess was blotted. The piece on the right was also sanded and then colored using rub-ons.

These pieces were made using the bright silver or 'Chrome' duct tape. Each sample shows the top half sanded only. The bottom of the snowflake has blue Enamel acrylic rubbed into the surface allowing the paint to remain heavy around the images. The mosaic is colored using Adirondack ink in bottle color with the excess wiped away. The hearts were colored using red chalk ink. After the paints or ink had dried, I lightly sanded again allowing a bit more of the duct tape to show through.

So...what do you think?

It was a fun day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's a Grand Opening!

Today is the day that online store RockCandy celebrates its grand opening. Be sure and check out all they are currently offering at http://www.rockcandystudios.com. There's more trinkets and treasures that will be appearing in the very near future so check back often!