Monday, March 24, 2014

Slow Down and Enjoy the Colors

Click any image and you can scroll through them.
Well, have you? Slowed down? I'm trying to. We are finally getting into a rhythm here, and it's nice. So I'm trying to remind myself that some things can wait a few extra minutes or even a day. I want to focus on 'feeling' each minute instead of rushing through.

Part of getting back into a routine involves singing with my choir, and being refreshed by my church each week. There's lots of negative in the world, but we manage to set that aside when we come together. It's important to always put positive back into the world if you hope to get any back.

I want to remember to do it NOW. There's no time like the present, right? But we still put things off until one day we're standing with our hat in our hands waving goodbye to something or someone we should have held closer.

For me, ultimately, it's all about TRUST - trusting God, knowing my worrying won't change anything, but prayer can. Often, it really means I just have to LET GO of some things. That's so hard, even though it sounds simple.

I made this page in my art journal for the SplitcoastStampers mix-abilities challenge to use text in your mixed media piece. It's the outer layer on each kite. I also used the prompt from The Documented Life to incorporate something you've recycled. The centerpiece for the kites is cut from my table protector layer of butcher paper. The list of products is down below.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope I've inspired you to pull out your toys and play. Come share what you do on SCS - we'd love a chance to share with you!

Ta for now,

Process and products: Canson 98 lb 7x10 inch mixed media paper, sprayed with water, then Dylusions sprays (After Midnight, London Blue, Melted Chocolate over wet paper, and through Crafter's Workshop stencil). Edged using modeling paste colored with Dylusions sprays, pressed through Dylusions stencils, outlined with Pitt and Copic Multiliner markers, highlighted with Copic Opaque White), clear, colored and holographic sequins are topped with rhinestones and seed beads, and there's a bit of drywall tape, Tim Holtz washi tape, and snippets of words from Rhona Farreh digital bundle. There's random blobs of gesso, too, and a Plaid Fleur de Lis stencil. I think I used every color of Dylusions sprays that she makes up to this date. I see there are new colors coming very soon! Any questions about products? Please feel free to ask!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bag it!

Janelle is our hostess this week for the Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast Stampers, and boy is it a fun one. Lots of people are wanting to explore the glamour of a Gelli Plate, but can't commit to the expense of buying one. I showed you how to make a permanent, DIY plate in THIS POST, but I know some of you are intimidated, don't have the time, or are like me - just too busy/lazy. HA! So Janelle's challenge is to do the faux-gelli technique using a simple plastic baggie as demonstrated in:

Here's my take on using this technique and a few things I discovered. First, I put my plastic baggie on my glass cradle board. This is a piece of repurposed glass that I taped and use as a lap-desk while I'm stuck in bed - nothing you need to do this technique (I just didn't want you confused by my bedspread underneath).

Tip: You can click any picture and scroll through them in order for a more detailed view.

On my baggie, I put various sized paper circles and strips. I did this to preserve some 'white' space - areas where there won't be any paint. This is important if you want to see the paper you're printing over through the paint. I dropped blobs of paint, then brayered it over the baggie.

**First Grrrrr moment: these bits of paper do NOT stay put on the baggie like they will on an actual plate. The will stick to your brayer like dust on a black kitteh! Be aware of that, and skip this paper masking, or be prepared to fuss with them A LOT.**

This is my plastic baggie after a couple of prints have been lifted. You can still see some areas devoid of paint where my bedspread shows through. ** Second Grrrr moment: paint dries REALLY FAST using this technique and does not respond like it will on a plate. ** Minor technical glitch: I didn't get photos of some of the in-between printings, but if you watch Alisa's video, then my step-by-step photos, I think you'll get the picture.

Here are some of my prints - the one in the upper left was a straight pull - meaning I didn't reapply paint and press it onto the paper over and over. I applied all the paint I wanted (some is glitter paint) to the baggie, then pressed it to the paper only once. The others I pressed on 2 or 3 times. You can see the faint repeat of the big yellow flower on the bottom center cardstock. All of these were printed on Gina K Designs pure luxury cardstock. Paints were cheap craft stuff and some more expensive Golden Fluid Acrylics. The craft stuff actually performed better (and I have heard this from many other people using regular gelli plates).

This one is a little different. I printed on a used manila file folder, reapplied paint, and printed over my first one, etc. Next, I cut all of these pieces down to 8 1/8 inches square and turned them into envelopes as the Envelope Board instructs. This is where the magic begins.

These prints are a little flat, a little chaotic, and frankly, directionless. How do you figure out the next step? Decide on a focal point. For me, I wanted these envelopes to contain some random goodies - leftovers from past projects, bits of product laying around my studio, etc. to gift to another crafter via 'happy mail'. I have a really cool sentiment from Stampin Up! Trust God sentiment set. It says "God has given us two hands -- one to receive with and the other to give with. ~Billy Graham. Perfect!

I needed HEARTS to convey the love from one artist to another.  So I cut hearts out of those pesky pieces of circles that grabbed onto my brayer up in step 2. Ha! That'll teach you to mess with me!

I hope you can flip that image over in your mind, because I turned it when I decided the orientation for the envelope - the big pink flower that was lower left is now upper right. I put some gesso in a heart shape in the left corner, added some stamped washi tape (SU!'s Tape It set), rubbed more gesso through stencils (the white ghosted areas), shaded around the gesso heart to make it pop with some dimension, and over-stenciled with gold modeling creme. I used a variety of product - if you have a specific question, ask in the comments or look in the ingredients at the bottom of this post.

Isn't that FUN? Magical? It makes me giddy! I want to send envelopes like this to pay bills in - just because the job of opening bills and logging payments must get incredibly boring and those people deserve art, too! Here's some more:

This one was similar, but it has some extra glitter paint, different stencils, some pen work. Just go with the flow. I also used SU!'s Gorgeous Grunge set on this one. Love that! And finally....

BOOM! Heehee!! This one makes me so HAPPY! I wanna dance! That gorgeous color really pops on the black cardstock. This is one virtue of paint over ink on dark paper. It's opaque. It's rich. It's playful!

Did I say that was the last one? Well, it was. Sort of. I have a by-product fun piece for you too. I hate to throw things away. I blame my parents, who were children of the great depression and dust bowl era. We were taught to use every little bit of everything we had (#noIamNOTaHoarder). I saw all the beautiful bits of paint and glitter stuck to my now well-worn piece of plastic baggie, and me-thunk an idea. Packaging tape. I put packaging tape over the paint on my baggie. It's now sandwiched so the glitter can't rub off, and the paint won't get scraped off. And it's sturdy enough to go through my paper cutter. And my die machine... I now have...


for a better view.

YES I LOVE IT!! Can you see the little bits of white fabric showing through? Yes, those spots are clear, so you can glue it down and still see some of the fabulousness beneath it. Fun fun fun!

I'm running around throwing confetti, so I'd better step away from the computer. I hope you give this technique a try, and please share with us (even if it flops) over on Splitcoast. We celebrate trying things over there. Better to try and fail than to have a really clean, neat studio. Go make some magic and mail it to a random person!

Ta for now,

Paper - Gina K Designs pure luxury cardstock - ivory, warm cocoa, black
Paints - Golden Fluid Acrylics, Bella Acrylic (craft, from Home Depot) assorted colors including glitter
Artist's Choice gesso
General's charcoal pencil, 8B
Copic multiliner pens
SU! Stamp sets: Tape It, Trust God, Gorgeous Grunge
Dylusions stencils: Diamond of a Border; Letter Jumble; Chequered Dots; 
Crafter's Workshop stencils: Mini Punchinella; Microbial
Viva Colour for Creative Imaginations gold Modeling Cream
Inks: Archival Ink (Ranger) coffee, jet black; Gina K Designs turquoise sea, sweet mango, cherry red, and fresh asparagus; Versafine onyx black, and Memories white dye ink pad by Stewart Superior
Plastic kitchen baggie, 3M packaging tape

Monday, March 10, 2014

What a week!

This was my week. We had an ice storm that was phenomenal, luckily that's the only real damage we sustained. Dad's doing much better being home and getting back into his routine. He's almost to the end of physical therapy. Yay! Thanks so much to everyone who asks about him. 

Dealing with the aftermath of the storm and the comments of people who criticize, pretend to want to help, then back out, and those who completely blindside you when you try to take a moment to help someone else were all catalysts for creating this 2-page spread in my art journal.

Those who stop growing start barking at others.

We should all be focused on growing ourselves, and lending helping hands to others that are trying to find their way. It's just too sad to see people bent on tearing someone else down because they don't desire, or are frustrated by their own growth. Yep. Even in the art world there are those that want to nip at others as away to elevate themselves (hint: that never works!). And no. This isn't aimed at anyone in particular. And yes, it goes beyond the art world. I'm doing it all wrong, caring for my Dad this way. Hahahaha! Bugger off.

She really has an attitude of perturbment (lookie, a new word!). Honest - she came out of my pencil that way. I didn't even have to encourage her any. She's just minding her own business, running her own little world of nightmares and inspiring chaos when this clashing noise shatters her focus. Hahaha! Sort of like SXSW, eh Lydia?

Now, some of you know I am one of the design team members for Splitcoast Stamper's Mix-Ability Challenge. We challenge you each Friday to learn and grow into mixed media art, and it's not scary or demanding. In fact, we'll hold your hand every step of the way if you need it. Jeanne Streiff is our hostess this week, and she's challenged us to use watercolors, blended and run together, to create our background. I chose Dylusions water-based ink sprays for the back ground. That's when it developed a life of its own and I was merely along for the ride.

Then the Documented Life Project challenge came, asking for a bird or wings, so suddenly I had butterflies from a Heidi Swapp stencil showing up, and a bird that sang to me about the art of Sunny Carvalho through a die cut of Tim Holtz. It got psychedelic, man! (George Carlin would be so proud)

The zendoodle bug hit (thanks, Kelli Jo!), and these graphic tails and swirls started popping up and turning into random bird cats and fern coils. Wow! What an adventure I had! I couldn't put someone in this spread without a nod to Alice (see that really long neck?).

Some random cat-woman named Lydia asked about the sharp lines and vibrant color. Lydia, this is my process: I started with Dylusions spray. I overlaid a couple of stencils (the ovals on the left, the florals on the bottom of both pages, the butterflies), 'cut in' with watered down gesso, then outlined with Copic multiliners, and shaded with Sennelier oil pastels, fixed with a quick light coat of Mod Podge. I kept layering things, shading around them, smudging them into the background with a little paint, some stamps, a bit of gesso.

I created a couple of images on separate paper (barking dog, annoyed artist, fern tails, bird) and glued them in, smudging them with charcoal pencils, smeared Copic markers, Faber Castell Pitt pens, and the like. Then I randomly applied some texture paste through stencils, colored them with Prismacolor pencils, oil pastels, Dylusions spray on a brush.

When things settled down and looked calm, I rocked the boat with some Golden fluid acrylics in a variety of colors. I stamped SU! images using Archival inks, and colorized with Inktense pencils. I, in plain, bald-faced fact, PLAYED. Once the chaos began to settle and reduced to smoldering embers, I went back in with letters cut by hand, using QuicKutz squeeze handle and dies, the sentiment. I adhered it, then cut it into the page with Copic multiliners, charcoal pencil, and popped them with a Gelly Roll white souffle pen. More SU! stamps, this time in Memories white ink. Finally, on the seventh day, I rested and called it good.

Seriously - it's all about the shading and brilliant colors. If the colors were soft it wouldn't work. If there were no shading, it would be flat. Sharp lines and vibrant colors blossom when detailed, lined, and shaded. POW.

I hope you enjoyed the drama and the art of this piece. I hope you will take a chance to step out on the limb and allow yourself to play. Just play without worry about the result. You never have to show it to anyone, but you won't learn anything if you tuck your safe supplies into their safe beds and safe and unused. Go. You deserve it. Play. Now. Then hug a kitteh and NO BARKING.

Big smooches!

Kitchen Sink.
(ok really)
Pan Pastels
Dylusions Sprays
Heidi Swapp, Prima, Dylusions, Plaid and Crafter's Workshop stencils
Acrylic paint (cheap and Golden fluid acrylics)
Sennelier and Crayon oil pastels
Mod Podge matte
Liquitex light modeling paste
QuicKutz dies and squeeze tool
Copic multiliners, markers
Faber Castell Pitt markers
Gelly Roll and Pilot pens
Koh-i-Noor charcoal pencils
Canson mixed media paper (7 x 10 inches per page, base)
SU! Stamps: Gorgeous Grunge, Tape It
Archival Ink, coffee
and a dozen other things I probably forgot...