Saturday, June 30, 2012

Random thoughts . . .

This journal page has had a long journey to completion.  
I painted a girl's head on some dictionary paper and then decided that I didn't like it and repainted it and then decided that I didn't like that one either. 
I had already put lots of quotes around the girl and then decided to put quotes directly onto her face -  
When all was said and done I wish I'd left the whole thing alone - Here's a picture of the first girl - 
who is definitely more interesting than what I ended up with - next time I will just give it a day or two before I rashly go painting over things - I do, however, love all the random thoughts some of which came from my old health books from the 1930s and 1940s.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2nd Floor Challenge - PENCIL

Time for a new Second Floor Challenge - this time it revolves around pencil.  I haven't done much drawing in my life but I do use pencil when I am sketching a girl but then trace over it with marker.  This time I doodled leaves in pencil and then added a pop of white with a white charcoal pencil.
Graphite is pretty shiny so it was hard to take a totally matte picture.  I liked the idea of neutral leaves while adding color around their perimeter with watercolor paints.  Even though you can easily erase pencil I tried to resist that desire and just draw it however it turned out and then just add depth and more layers to tweak it into something that looked good to me.  
I tend to be a bit of an organized "everything in its place" kinda gal so the drawn frame really appeals to me - keeps those wild watercolors from escaping and wreaking havoc!  LOL!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Illustration Friday - SPACE

The Illustration Friday topic this week is - SPACE
Like most people I instantly think of outer space but there are several ways to look at this word:


 [speys]  Show IPA noun, verb, spaced,spac·ing, adjective
the unlimited or incalculably great three-dimensional realm orexpanse in which all material objects are located and allevents occur.
the portion or extent of this in a given instance; extent orroom in three dimensions: the space occupied by a body.
extent or area in two dimensions; a particular extent ofsurface: to fill out blank spaces in a document.
Fine Arts .
the designed and structured surface of a picture: In Mondrian's later work he organized space in highly complex rhythms. 
the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface.

I choose to believe that my piece is based on the fourth definition.  This is the front of a small Moleskine journal - My friend, Kim, has been waxing poetically about these notebooks for like forever.  She keeps mumbling things:  "great paper. . . writes like butter".  Not sure if she means that writing on one  is like writing ON a stick of butter or writing WITH a stick of butter but frankly I've never tried either.  I'll let you know what I think once I've done something to the inside of this journal!
"Space is the breath of life." - Frank Lloyd Wright
The painting was inspired by Jenny Doh.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

PDCC137 - Color Splash: Blue

I am so glad that this tree isn't in my backyard - although if it were I might not need coffee in the morning!  This fun doodle tree started on a piece of paper torn from a children's dictionary (please note the matchy blue words on the paper) and then embellished with markers, acrylic paint, white gel pen, stickers and washi tape. 
"Art is the tree of life."  -  James Joyce 
The colors are from this week's Color Splash: Blue from The Play Date Cafe.  I am not a fan of blue and for this reason it was important for me to take part in this challenge - takes me out of my comfort zone.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Illustration Friday: Secret

More play on teabag paper.  This gal is funky - None of the males in my family like her but I think she is edgy cool with her Copic colored purple hair -  
Quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson (I took artistic license and changed "he" to "she").  Stamping a long quote with individual letter stamps is time-consuming in and of itself but stamping a long quote backwards and from the last word up takes even longer but is the only way to ensure that the quote lands where you want it to.
She looks like she has secrets of her own locked away (Illustration Friday - Secret).
The colors are from the Play Date Cafe Challenge #136 pictured below - 
Originally the page was just stamped circles (SU! Circle Circus), washi tape (A Muse Studio) and the quote but I felt it really needed the addition of a "girl" - 
 So. . . there she is and there she will stay - 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

May Arts Challenge -

May Arts Ribbon frequently holds challenges and I finally mustered up the courage to jump in and try my hand at one.  DCWV co-sponsored this particular challenge and provided patterned paper from the Snapshot Stack.  Click here to see the original challenge post and the supplies I had to work with. . .
Decided to try my hand at making a simple set of desk accessories which I think would make a fabulous teacher gift.  My favorite part is the reworked stenographer's notebook - used wire cutters to snip out the top binding and then recovered the front with pretty patterned paper - repunched the holes with a tiny hole punch and then rebound ("modified" blanket stitch - "modified" meaning that I was too lazy to look up the correct way to do blanket stitch) with May Arts twine folded in half for extra strength.
Probably the simplest project that packs a big punch is to customize your tape dispenser.  Take the tape off the dispenser and remove the paper label - you can either trace that onto your patterned paper and cut out or do like I did - glue it directly to the paper and then cut it out.  So simple that I may just decorate all the tape dispensers around here 'cause that is cute and sometimes cute is the way to go.  
Pop over to the May Arts blog to see the winners of this challenge!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lofty Aspirations

Recently, I came across a fabulous blog - Letting in the Light by Kim Henkel.  Her work is gorgeous and she often paints on teabag paper.  Loved that idea so much that I had to give it a try.
This is a family size teabag opened up and laid flat to dry - Look closely and you can see the staple and a bit of the string left over - One of my favorite parts are the bits of dried tea flakes that are stubbornly clinging to the paper.
Do you like this fern?  It was made with paper clay and Martha Stewart molds that I picked up.
Here's an important tip - I only got the fragile fern to stay in shape by letting it dry completely overnight before removing it from the mold.  
The teabag paper totally soaked up the paint and it bled through and started to stick to the paper behind it - next time I will paint on top of my Ranger craft mat.  I really like that dreamy look on her face - she's thinking about all the exciting things that she'd like to try.
Some bits of Seven Gypsies gaffer tape and a computer generated sentiment (Impact Label from dafont) finished up this page - 
Linking to Paint Party Friday

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

iPhone Case Design Challenge - Please help me win!!

Do you think this would be a cool iPhone case??  
Uncommon Goods recently issued a iPhone case design challenge and MY entry (Dictionary Page Leaves) was chosen as one of the 15 semi-finalists!!  
This design originated in my art journal last November - wet, shiny leaves in my backyard inspired a page with sketched shiny leaves embellished with my handcarved chevron stamp, paint splats and white gel pen.
I'd be thrilled if you'd go directly to my page and give my design a THUMBS UP!!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

AJED - The art of being happy. . .

This is a rather busy page - Started with the theme of OPPOSITES from the Creative Every Day blog - in this case the opposites are the colors.  A good challenge for me since I rarely use blue colors although I am rather partial to orange (all earth tones really). 
At the time when I drew the big hair I thought to myself, 
"Self, wouldn't it be a great idea to fill the entire hair with your favorite tangle - Paradox?"   
That is why it is never really a good idea to talk to yourself - Sometimes your own ideas give you a crick in the neck!
Quote is courtesy of Henry Ward Beecher.  Do you like the funky orange background?  I stamped that with my very own newly carved stamps!  Kim came over yesterday and, since we are both taking Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's online stamp carving class, we carved up a storm.  This is truly a fabulous class!!  LOVING every minute of it -  Lesson 2 is learning how to carve stamps that nest within each other - that's what the two smaller square stamps are - 
The larger stamp is a total knock-off of Julie's example stamp but that is okay until I get my bearing with the whole carving thing - then I will branch out on my own more.
Anyhoo - I think my lady is pretty fabulous - very different from anything I've done before which seems to be a repeating theme lately - "TRY SOMETHING NEW" 
It is hard to tell in the pictures for some reason but there are two colors of blue in the hair fitting into the Play Date Cafe Color Challenge for this week.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2nd Floor Challenge #5 - Found Object

Time for a new Second Floor Challenge - this time the challenge is to create something that incorporates or is inspired by a found object.  Can you guess what my found object is?
10 points if you guessed paint splat!!  I was splashing paint around on a big canvas outside a while back and when I got done I saw this little splat - it is less than 1" big but it looked just like a bird.  Go figure!  
How serendipitous!!  I had some background papers that I made on a slow day for fun (squirt three colors of acrylic paint onto paper and then scrape around with an old credit card for an interesting background) and the aqua/yellow/peach one called out to me.  I drew on a bird/branch silhouette with a pencil and then painted all around with white paint.  Thick right by the silhouette and lighter toward the edges so that the texture of the background would show through.  A fun technique that I will definitely revisit sometime in the future!
Linking to:  Artists in Blogland June theme - DREAM and
Paint Party Friday.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Illustration Friday: HURRY!

"We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think its forever" - Carl Sagan
That's a problem of mine - I see butterflies and think they need to hurry - they have so much to do and so little time.  They, however, seem perfectly content fluttering slowly from flower to flower taking their time and enjoying the day.  I'm thinking I could learn a lot from a butterfly.
Inspired by the Illustration Friday theme of Hurry! this very simple art journal page has no paint!  Just stamped images, sticker letters, the "hurry" section from my French dictionary and Washi tape.  So simple - black, white and cream - I like it.
Linking to Creative Every Day and Art Journal Every Day.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger: Man-Tastic!

Hadn't made a card or played along with my favorite challenge blogs in too long so I thought I'd remedy that with this card made for my husband.  He definitely works hard to support his family and I am truly thankful for all he does for us.
The inspiration comes from the Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger pictured above that was simulated with an A Muse stamp (masked and inked) from the Friend to Friend set in Eucalyptus, Ocean, French Roast and Cranberry inks.
This card is also for the One Layer Wednesday #90 - Dudes Rule challenge.  Hope you've had a great weekend - sure has been beautiful here!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Art Journal Every Day -

Guess who is the guest poster on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog today??!!   ME!  Can you believe it - I've been pinching myself ever since she e-mailed me and asked me - ME - if I wanted to do it!!  WHOO HOO - I am super excited about it - if you want to see more pictures of this layout just click here and check it out!