Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Even More Cards

Okay, I'm back to the card posting again! As you can see, here are a couple more cards using the same printed ephemera papers as the previous cards - these are lasting a long time and making quite a few cards! When I was organizing my papers recently, I decided that I had held on to this book of printed ephemera papers for too long, and that I should make use of them in some projects. What did I get myself into, and when will it all end? (Just kidding! I actually enjoy making cards, when I don't have other projects that NEED to be done, like now!) I've been thinking that when I'm through with this set of cards, I may add some words on the fronts of some of them, the ones that look a little plainer. I have an assortment of vellum words/quotes for many occasions that I could use. That's it for now, I need to get going on another project!

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Book!

I received this book yesterday (for my birthday). I picked it out myself, I've been wanting it for a while. The title is Mixed Media Explorations, authored by Beryl Taylor. It's a wonderful book. The author combines fabrics, papers, paints, inks, stamping, embroidery and much more in her projects. I probably won't make any projects exactly like hers, but I think that the book will inspire me and encourage me to try different media combinations in my work. If you enjoy using mixed media, or you use fabrics and/or papers in your art, or you like to browse art books for inspiration, then this book is for you! You can see the book here at Amazon.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yard Sale Junk

I enjoy haunting yard sales, looking for what I call "good junk". Today I found a "new" used office chair for sitting at my computer or work table. I also purchased four pairs of plastic doll arms. My favorite finds of the day were four needlework/craft booklets, shown here. I love the old photos and illustrations, even the old-fashioned ads!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Challenge To My Creativity

The weather has been HOT! Good news, though: it might be a little cooler the next few days. We also might get some rain, which we definitely need around here!
Here are two more collage cards, still using the printed papers from the ephemera book. On these two, even the person images are from the ephemera book. Ususally when I make cards, I'm used to adding a little bit of this and that from here and there, but with these, I've been challenging myself to use just the printed stuff, and occasionally some of those leftover transferred images. Sometimes it's harder for me to limit the materials used. Somehow it seems easier to allow myself to use any supplies I have available. I think that it's good not to do art/craft projects in the same way or with the same materials all the time. Change is good; it makes life interesting, also stretches our imaginations!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Collage Cards

These are a couple more of the cards I made recently. The backgrounds are still printed ephemera and the persons are transfers made from clip art images. The transfers were leftover from another project, and some of them are far from perfect, but sometimes that gives them a special charm, right? If you get a close look at the lady on the right, she has some mottling on her nose and neck. Gives her that "old photo" look, I hope! What with art room organizing, making cards and being tired, I haven't worked on any journal pages for a while. If you know Lia (Art Junk Girl), don't rat me out (this means you, Nance!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Garage Sale Find

This weekend, I found a couple good books at a garage sale. One is a book all about buttons (I'm keeping that one intact until I decide what to do with it), the other is an old-fashioned decorating book (which I took apart).
The decorating book had pages in a binder. I removed those, and I'm going to use them for collage and journal pages. The pages have pictures of sofas, curtains, etc. - these are medium-to-large areas of color, which will be nice for cutting shapes out of to use on collages. Sorry, I didn't scan the books this time!
You'll notice two more of my cards above, the person images are transfers, the rest is printed paper ephemera.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cardmaking Frenzy

One of my current favorite crafts is cardmaking. I went on a cardmaking rampage and created a bunch of cards today. I had a book of ephemera that I wanted to use on the cards. The book has copies of vintage items for use in creative projects. For these two collage-style cards, I used some inkjet transfers made from clip art people images over some copies of vintage items from the book.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

No Worries, Be Happy!

The best thing about participating in art/craft projects is that it can make a person feel better. I don't mean that arts/crafts can cure illnesses or anything like that, but they can help people forget about their pain or illness for a little while.

Likewise, creating art can help people temporarily forget about their troubles and concerns. Sometimes crafting can clear a troubled mind, almost like meditation. Making art can have a calming effect, allowing the artist to focus on creating rather than focusing on problems.

Participating in arts/crafts can also be a great way to relax and ease out of a stressful day. Make art, relax, feel better - you will be very glad that you did!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cool Molds

I have sculpted small clay items from scratch, I can do it if I'm highly motivated. Other times, I'm in a hurry, I need a bunch of pieces exactly the same, or I don't think I can do the subject justice. In those instances, it's good to have a mold to use.
The best molds I've found are from Sweetbrier Studio. These flexible art molds are made of silicone rubber, and are very easy to use. With proper use, molding materials are easily removed from the molds. Polymer clay, air-dry clays, silver metal clay, soap, plaster of paris, hot glue and UTEE may all be used in Sweetbrier Studios molds. (Release clays from molds promptly, do not allow to cure in molds. Release agents may be needed.)
The faces above were all shaped in Sweetbrier Studio molds, using various air-dry clays. Sweetbrier Studios has many other molds to choose from: birds, bears, flowers leaves, Christmas, dolphins, hearts, angels, with new ones created regularly. The standard size molds are 3 1/4" x 4", and the mini molds are3 1/4" x 2 1/4". Sweetbrier Studios website has ordering info., tips, techniques, projects and more.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Information Sites

The kind of websites and blogs I enjoy looking at the most are - you guessed it - arts and crafts related! This time, I have some information sites to share.

Craft Critique is website devoted to craft product reviews and product usage tips, provided by artists/crafters like you and me. The site is uncluttered, easy-to-read and find information.

Art and Craft Questions and Answers is a blog for Etsy shop owners, a place to discuss, ask questions and get answers, share ideas and techniques. You can sign up by join their Yahoo group, and you will receive an invitation to the blog.

Craftster is community where people share how they make things; they even have a "craftopedia", an encyclopedia of basic craft definitions and techniques.

CRAFT and MAKE magazines have a website which includes projects, a blog, a forum and preview of the current issue on the newsstands.

Whipup.net is written blogstyle, with the most recent entires at the top. For ease in finding topics, all the art and craft categories are listed along the right side.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bread Clay Angel

I made this bread clay angel quite a few years ago. She was simply baked and varnished. Looking at her reminds me of a favorite clay book that I have - it's called Dough Creations, by Pat Gardner and Kay Gleason, published in 1977. I bought it at a yard sale a long time ago. Besides going over the history of dough artistry, this book also has some edible dough recipes and four good inedible dough recipes. Each "craft dough" recipe has its own chapter, which includes not only the dough recipe with directions, but also several projects with complete instructions. Although I've had this book for years, I still go back to it occasionally. If you like working with clays ad you find this book, get it! It's a keeper!

Enjoy the weekend! If you find an opportunity, do something artsy or crafty!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Copyright links/Suede Pouch

If you do any sort of collage work or utilize "used" materials in your artwork, you may have wondered about copyright issues. There are so many misconceptions floating around about copyrights. To bring better understanding of these issues, I've found a couple websites that might help: Duke University put copyright law basics in easy-to-understand comic book form , and funnystrange.com has copyright law relevant to collage artists.
The pouch on the right is mine, made from soft turquoise suede w/ copper iron-on thread borders. In each curlique of copper thread, there is a clear rhinestone. In the picture, you can see a jewelry embellishment on the flap, which is not there anymore! After I colored a junk jewelry piece w/ copper metallic pen and changed its rhinestones to aqua and clear, I really liked this pouch. I wore it to conventions, etc. to put my biz cards and cell phone in. The last time I wore it, I lost the beloved embellishment, so now I need to replace it!
I am so tired, and I need to get some work done, so I'd better get to it! Bye for now!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Seven Things That ROCK!

Sneaky Lia of "Art Junk Girl" fame tagged everyone reading her blog to list seven things that ROCK, so here's my list:

1) Arts/Crafts - Just love 'em, I could spend all day and night working on all sorts of projects! Art really adds a lot to my life!

2) Lia's Artjunk Blog - Of course, Lia knew I would have her blog on the list, it was and still is my top favorite artsy blog of all time! If you haven't checked it out yet, you don't know what you're missing!

3) Old papers, books and magazines - My favorite stuff to use on my projects! Plus, hunting for those things is so much fun - I never know what "treasures" I'm going to find next!

4) New York Cheesecake Frozen Custard - I love cheesecake, so naturally my favorite flavor of frozen custard at Good Times is New York Cheesecake! That is, it's my favorite flavor so far - I haven't tried all the flavors yet!

5) Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons - I bought a 15-color set (actually, a 14-color set - one was missing) from a yard sale, and I think they are great! I think I'd better start saving up for the big set (84 colors)!

6) Summer - The warmth, the sun, the longer daylight, hopefully some extra time to do some fun, relaxing things - like art, maybe!

7) Art/Craft Blogs, Swap & Discussion Groups - So much fun chatting and swapping with like-minded creative individuals - it's great to get to know more and more of you nice, sharing, friendly people!

Okay, there's my list! You read this, I'd sure be interested to see what's on your list! (Am I nosey, or what?)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Needle Felting

Have you tried needle felting yet? The silly-looking bear and the heart on the right are both needle felted.

Described simply, needle felting is stabbing through fibers repeatedly with a barbed needle. Doing this causes the fibers to hook together to create a fabric of sorts.

Wool roving or felt pieces can be needle felted on knitted garments, felt, fleece or other fabrics. Fashion items like hats, purses, sweaters and scarves can be decorated with needle felting. Clever artists needle felt imaginative dimensional pieces such as dolls, toys, ornaments and jewelry.
To find out more, check out these links: The Silver Penny and Craftlog have how-to's, Clover has some great needle felting tools, National Nonwovens has luscious colors of wool felts and Wool Wisps (roving) for needle felting, C & T Publishing has needle felting books.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Recurring Themes

Looking through pictures of projects I've created, I wasn't surprised to find that I've made many projects using a heart theme. Hearts are one of my favorite designs/themes to use. I don't create with hearts only around Valentine's Day, I make use of them all year around. Think back to some of your past projects - you may find a recurring theme, probably several of them! I also like to use angels in my art, and to a lesser extent, flowers and butterflies.

Here is an unusual heart project, at least for me. It's a papier mache' heart, painted and collaged with papers and charms, filled with potpourri, then the hole is covered with lace.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Great Art Journal Links

Journal page with wrapping paper flowers and punched cardstock flowers over acrylic background. It was fun to keep going and totally fill up the page!

My favorite art journal link is Aisling's Artists Journals. This site has everything you want to know about journals - basics, ideas and tips on creating and keeping your own artist journal.

Another good one is Illuminations -this site has good ideas for using illustrations and pictures to help our journaling and to gain insights into ourselves.

Here, Teesha Moore has tons of her journal pages to look at, plus you can click the link to an article about her journaling techniques and products used. I could look for hours and hours at all her pages!


Friday, July 6, 2007

So Many Arts/Crafts, So Little Time!

I don't know what kind of art/craft project I'd like to work on today! After doing a few things that needed to be done and completing a project that will be due soon, I realized I had some time on my hands. The problem is, I love too many arts and crafts! Over the years, I've tried (and enjoyed) so many different techniques and supplies. At the moment, I have quite a few favorites. By the time I run through the favorites list in my head, there probably won't be much time left for working on a project. Hurry up, brain, decide - I want to do art NOW!

Necklace Pouch

This is a small pouch necklace. The images from Vintage Workshop Click-n-Craft(R) CD were printed on fabric with an inkjet printer. The fabric was sewn together by hand, with lace added around the top edges. (It was sprayed with acrylic sealer, then brush-on varnish was applied to protect the design.)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Art Room Chain Reaction

Have you ever heard of an art room "chain reaction"? That's what I call it when I clean or organize a section or area of my art room, which in turn causes something else to be moved or reorganized.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like having my art/craft supplies neat and orderly. It's great to be able to find what I need when I need it. It's also wonderful to know what I have and where it is located. The part I don't like is the chain reaction, the turmoil that results from reorganizing. I've found that in order to straighten things out, I have to start out with an even bigger mess. I really hate the bigger mess!

I'm in the middle of an art room chain reaction right now - and it isn't pretty. Let this be a warning to you - it's a big commitment of time and energy! Okay, I've given my warning, now I'd better get back to messing up, (ah, I mean organizing) my art supplies!

AB Page Additions

Here is the altered book page from the other day, after a few additions. Red rick rack was added along the top. Wrapping paper heart glued to right page and outlined with red paint. These pages might be done - for now!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Altered Book Pages

Another set of altered book pages here. So far, I cut a heart-shaped hole for the face to show through, I dry-brushed red ink over the pages, and I placed a clear red heart over each "love" word. The arrow was created by placing an arrow-shaped sticky paper on the page before brushing on the ink.

The great thing about altered books is that they are finished unless you say they are. I did these pages quite a while ago, and I was finished with them at the time. Now I want to add something else - maybe some fibers and other embellishments, I'm not quite sure. One thing I know is that I don't want to cover all the "love" quotes on the left and upper right. Stay tuned and see what happens!