Saturday, June 30, 2007

"Piece" and Joy

No, I haven't lost my mind and started my Christmas cards! I am in a swap posted on CCSwaps - "Celebrity Swaps." One of our moderators, Chrissy B., finds details for submissions to various stamping magazines and runs a swap to encourage us to submit our work. A number of us have actually had our submissions published!
This card is for a swap called "Odds and Ends" - a challenge to use up those bits and pieces of things we save. I decided to recycle old Christmas cards. It was quite easy - cutting up strips of the cards and layering on sticker paper. The metallic piece is aluminum foil run through a brayer and colored with alcohol inks. Don't forget - Christmas is less than six months away!!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another Round Robin Book!

Got a chance today to finish up a second set of pages in the round robin board book swap for another UK friend. Helen, like me, shares a love of gardens and gardening. I enjoyed making this two page spread for her book using printed tissue as a base, then embellishing on top of it. It won't be long before it is returned to her.

Queen of Diamonds

I made the Queen for an altered playing card swap for a swap on CCSwaps, a wonderfully creative group of artists who regularly participate in swaps. The challenge was to alter a playing card (or in my case two). I used a Paula Best set of unmounted stamps to create this funky figure from two oversized playing cards. After stamping, I used Sharpies and other pens which would work on a slick surface to add the color highlight. The parts were cut out and glued together. I really enjoyed making this, especially since I have had the stamps for quite awhile and had never used them!

Women in Collage - Round Robin Board Book

I am in a round robin with a group of friends from both the UK and USA. Each of us chose a theme, and the fun began. This week I completed a spread for my friend Trish whose theme is "Women in Collage." I had saved the image from a recent Vogue magazine for "something special," and decided that this would be the place to use it. And since this image is so strong and powerful, I wanted to have it to be not only the center of the collage, but also to have very little else to detract from its power. The book is now off for the last addition before it is returned to Trish for final touches.

Friday, June 22, 2007

This Week's Challenges, June 18-23

This Week's Challenges

I belong to a small group of fun artists who are always looking for a challenge, a way to expand their creativity. In the last week we have had two challenges, both of which were a stretch for me. Here's what I did with a little explanation.


This challenge was to create a figure using elements cut from a magazine. We could also doodle and add other elements. I found some ads for beauty products, legs and arms from photos, and a page of product descriptions, all from a recent issue of Vogue. I stamped a Paula Best image and cut the head and wings off, then colored them in. Finally, I glued everything together to make this ATC. What fun!!!!!


The next challenge was to use a pencil eraser as a stamping tool! This sounded like fun, so I grabbed a pencil and tried it out. I used a piece of background paper created in the Traci Bautista class at A&S, a pencil with an eraser and a pencil topper eraser, acrylic paint, black and white markers, and a stamped image. I first used the topper to stamp the black circles, then the regular pencil eraser to stamp the green ones. Using the flat edge of the topper, I created the flowers and dragonfly. I added the red centers, stamped image, and then outlined the green circles, flowers and dragonfly. The final touch was the tiny white dots around the image to make it pop! Thanks, Trish, for the suggestions.

I wonder what next week will bring in the way of challenges????

Art and Soul - Virgina 2007

Finally! I have gathered my thoughts, a few pictures, and a little (very little) ability to manage posting on my blog. So, here are some of my adventures in Virginia with Kathy (SweetPea) Beringer.

We arrived in Virginia on a hot and humid day which was soon replaced with a thunderstorm and cool and windy conditions for the rest of the week. But we didn't mind - we were at Art and Soul and ready to have fun and make art! We had attended A&S in February 2006 and knew that we were in for lots of fun and little sleep.

After unpacking (a little) and picking up our registration materials, we attended the first of the Manager's Cocktail Hours, soon to be a regular meeting place with our friends during the rest of the week! In an hour or so, it was off to our first adventure, a reception which included tons of wonderful food and a project which was sponsored by Ranger. All of us had brought recipes to share and they were put into our vintage recipe boxes which each of us created that night with the myriad of products provided in our goodie bag. It was the perfect way to start A&S.

The following sections of my blog will tell you about the classes I took. I didn't take many pictures, but my trusty roomie did! She has documented her impressions of A&S on her own blog. You might be interested to check it out and see tons of pictures and lots more chat. Here's the link to her blog:

Tin Souls with Kathy Wasilewski

Tin Souls Assemblage

A picture of me with Kathy Wasilewski


My "Tin Soul"


Thursday night, my first class. I was excited to take the class, not only for the project and new techniques, but also for Kathy as an instructor since I had swapped with her in the past and just knew that this would be a wonderful way to start my Art and Soul journey.

Kathy is very organized, so all of us were given all of the materials she supplied, a list of all of her sources, and a detailed description of how to proceed. And what fun! I learned how to work with some metal techniques such as faux rusting and pounding decorative designs on to the metal wings. We shared ideas, materials, and suggestions. Kathy worked with us throughout the entire process. Assembling the final project could have been a disaster, but everyone was pleased with her icon and, of course, each was different, reflecting our own individual personalities. It was a lot of fun at the end to share what we had created.

I was right - this was the perfect beginning of a wonderful time at Art and Soul!

Traci Bautista - Macrame Journal

The One and Only Traci Bautista!

Imagine walking into a classroom which is covered with bubble wrap! No! We weren't the artists in a bubble but artists getting ready to literally immerse ourselves in liquid watercolor, glue, paper towels, and much, much more!

I knew ahead of time that this would be a fun class, lots of action and new techniques. Kathy had taken Traci's class the previous evening, so she had alerted me to what the day held. Armed with our supplies, we entered and claimed our spots near the back of the room so we would have time for our papers to dry!

The techniques were simple: take paper towels, fold, then dip into liquid watercolor. They were placed between a sandwich of paper, then set aside to dry. It wasn't long before the room was filled with wet paper and colorful artists. Next we created text paper using by scribbling, stamping, and otherwise enhancing our pages. Just before lunch we used some of our dried paper towels to create cover board for the journal we were going to make.

The next step was to create "sections" for our books using the covers we had created and the text paper. Traci demonstrated her "macrame" technique, a variation of the buttonhole stitch, and we worked away on our journals. A few beads were added to the binding, and our journals were complete!

What fun! It was a class where everyone rediscovered the kindergartener still lurking inside!!!!!!!!!!1

Passion Book - Leighanna Light ( Saturday)

Passion Book
I was intrigued by the description - a book with secret pockets, tags, and much more, so I looked forward to just what "passion" I was going to explore! Class began with assembling our book which meant gluing pages of an accordian strip together to form the pages. Next came decorating the covers and cutting a hole into the front cover, a very scarey operation!The pages were so much fun to do. Using paint, paper, glue, and many other items, we created backgrounds while thinking about what our passion to explore and document. Part way through the morning, I had the idea: dedicate the book to the "passion" of the Art and Soul conference! I had collected bits and pieces of ephemera, trades, post cards, all sorts of things from the retreat, and decided to use them for my book. I needed to created pockets, hidden items, and use a quote - my work was cut out for me!As you look at the scans of my book, you will see that I tried to reference the classes I had taken (and Monday's as well.) Looking carefully you will find a list of my classes on a pocket, an ATC from my artful friend Margaret Rogers who lives in California, a postcard with Traci Bautista's beautiful work (back page), and other little mementos. I had used a bird as the picture to view through the window on the front, and borrowed a bird image which connects the pages. Other images were cut and glued down, and the scariest part was stamping the quote.I really like the final project, a very personal keepsake of a wonderfully inspiring week!

Here is the cover of my "Passion" book with a window to what lies within.

The next few scans will show some of the work I completed in this treasure.


Here's the first two page spread.
You can see the window I created in the cover,
the beginning of my "bird/wing" motif using
the images,
a feather,
and a phrase.


The second two page spread features a hidden message under the tag. I found a feather to add to the tag continuing the "wings" motif from the previous page. The image after this one reaveals what is hidden.

Here is what is hidden unter the tag on this page,

an image from and Art and Soul postcard.


Below is a detail from page three. The ATC was a trade from Margaret Rogers. Her ATC was perfect for my theme and the recurring image of wings.
I listed all of my clases on the library pocket.


Last two page spread with the quote I used as my theme.


Back cover featuring a Traci Bautista postcard

Juliana Coles - Diarist's Sectional (Monday)

The Diarist's Sectional was such an intersting class. Again, the project was created quickly which didn't give me a lot of time to think about it, just create. It is difficult to imagine what the final project looks like, so imaging that you are looking the page, but see three separate sections. What was the process?

We first deconstructed a hard back book, removing the pages in sections, leaving about an inch wide piece of the beginning and end of the individual sections. You can see it in both pictures - in the center of the left pic, and stamped along the left side of the right.

Next was to create pages. We used large pieces of paper and followed Juliana's directions, creating very quickly using many different techniques including washes, scribbling, stamping. It was great fun! The parent sheets were cut to size and then glued into the individual sections.

Each section contained a "flag," a smaller page a little more than 1/3 of the size of the original page. These were assembled in the following manner: top, bottom, and middle; when this was completed, we started over. We were then ready to journal.

Juliana took us through many different journaling techniques. We used pictures, words from poems, and our own thoughts on both the fronts and backs of each flag. To prepare for the journaling, each of us journaled previously,so this journaling was more of a reflection on experiences rather than reporting. I had journaled a vacation to Arizona in April with some friends and my husband. I was amazed at what I discovered about the meaning of the vacation, more than just sight seeing.

While I will probably not use this technique exclusively, I am glad I took this class, another artful journey.

Finished Puzzle!


Here's the finished puzzle. I decided that I wanted to showcase the pieces made for me, so I painted the corners and frame rather than add other embellishments.