Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Come Fly With Me

I'm trying to sneak in right before the deadline of Rubber Dance Art Stamp's monthly challenge.  I whipped up this lovely little ATC this morning using their vintage-y colors: Vintage Brown, Dusky Blue and Faded Rose.

I love to use old book pages as backgrounds.  I tried to grunge this up a bit by using Distress Tumbled Glass and Vintage Photo on the background and then ripping it to size.  (The background didn't photograph well.  Looks much bluer in real life.) When I checked it against the embossed kraft base I decided a peek through to the back would be nice too so ripped that edge off.

The little butterfly was stamped on a piece of gelli printed paper.  It's hard to see it here, but she also has dusty rose glitter on her wings.  Very pretty in real life.


Happy creating!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Needed to 'Art' Today...

I felt the need to get some paints out today.  I grabbed an index card out of my ICAD stack, pulled out some ugly scrap papers and went to work...

This started as a piece of phone book paper that I had oversprayed and mopped up spray inks with.

 It wasn't very attractive.  I glued it to the index card and rubbed some matching paints over it, doodled a bit, etc.  Better.

It's so hard for me to cover up a background that I like.  I'm working on that. :)  I pulled out one of my hand-carved stamps...

... and painted around the image.  It was too plain for me so I rubbed off some of the paint through a stencil.

Still a little plain, I drew around the stencilled images with white pen and added a bit of color back in with watercolor crayons.

To finish off, I stencilled a little bit more (the subtle pink bits) and added some shading around the pod (black charcoal pencil) and a bit of white (white charcoal pencil - though that sounds like a misnomer, doesn't it?) to make it pop even more.  To finish off I rubbed some Distress Black Soot around the edges.  Wah-lah!

Supplies used:
Acrylic paint
Sharpie, black
White Signo pen
Neocolor Crayons
Black & white charcoal pencils
Distress ink
Archival ink
Metallic gel pen

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Postage Stamp People ATCs

One of my art trading groups has a postage stamp people theme for this month.  It's been quite a while since I've done any art with postage stamps so this sounded like fun. (HERE, HERE and HERE are ones I did before.)

Ever since my first attempt at art using postage stamps I've been a bit of a stamp hoarder.  When I see one on an envie that strikes my fancy I cut it off and stash it for future use.  Since my creative space is a bit of a disaster right now I have no idea where my stamp collecting envie is.  However, I was lucky enough to stumble upon my dad's collection (which I never knew he had) when we were going through his things a few years ago and I used some of his collection on these ATCs. (Thanks, Dad!)

Title: Abe Likes Big Books
Title: Daddy's Little Princess

Title: Bored

Thanks to Smithsonian magazine for providing supporting images and backgrounds.  :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mistakes, the Creative Process, and the Spirit of Transparency

Sigh...I really debated not sharing this, but then decided it's all part of the process.  The SDC challenge this week is to create without ANY black.  Sounds simple, yes?  It's trickier than you might think.  Like Samantha, our hostess for the challenge, I almost always grab for the black first.  Here's what I came up with and how it went down.

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm doing the ICAD challenge this year.  I have a bunch of backgrounds all ready to go and grabbed a pretty blue and green one.  Sadly, I don't have a picture of what I started with, but trust me when I say it was pretty.  :)  I was hoping I could get it to show through some tissue so stamped my mermaid on the tissue first with the intent of coloring her in with alcohol markers and letting the tissue kind of bleed into the background by ripping it around the image and gluing it on.

Um...yeah.  Kind of blurry and meh.  That's okay.  I decided to stamp the mermaid on the background in a deep teal so the detail would show through the tissue.  After I stamped I dabbed on some mat medium to adhere the tissue to the image and...

Damn!  Dylusions are reactive.  I forgot the background was Dylusions sprays.  And trying to get the tissue to fit perfectly over the stamped image = One Hot Mess.  Time to regroup.

I nixed the whole tissue idea and re-stamped over the background image...imperfectly as it turns out.  I decided to make her stand out with some white pen highlights (well, stand out and camouflage the not-quite matching stamping).  Still meh.  What to do?  I pulled out my trusty ol' metallic blue gel pen (which I haven't used in YEARS).  Hey...pretty... shiny... it works!

My mermaid is funky.  This whole process was certainly funky.  AND I was forced to improvise and just go with the flow.  A good day in the studio after all.  Yay!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

ICAD 2016: Warm-Up #10

Ugh, this card gives me the heebie jeebies.  My office/creative space is a disaster.  In January I decided that I would do the whole 'Word of the Year' thing and picked Declutter.  Quite a few things in the house have found their way to the recycle bin, Goodwill, the trash but I still have a long way to go - especially in my studio.

The ICAD Warm-Up #10 is to write your name or word of the year in doodly letters.  I don't know how 'doodly' these are, but it was kind of therapeutic to to do the scribbly bits.  :)

I've decided to use index cards as my paint palette, brush cleaner-off-er (I'm sure there's an official word for that somewhere, but if so I don't know it), etc.  This one started with some black paint and watercolors smudges on the background.  Seemed appropriate for 'declutter'.  After I wrote the words I enthusiastically scribbled bits of crayon around.  Not to get overly dramatic, but the jagged edges around the border reminded me of menacing teeth gnawing at my creative soul.  You know, kind of like all the crap that's constantly sitting all over my desk which I have to shove out of the way every time I want to art.

6 more days until ICAD officially begins...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ICAD Storage and Another Warm-Up Card

I posed the question on Facebook, to those more experienced than I, asking what to do with these altered index cards once you've completed them.  There were great responses: add them to an art journal, save them to re-work next year, use as postcards, enjoy the process and then toss them.  I decided (for now at least) to use one responder's suggestion to use a Celestial Seasonings box to store them; it's the perfect size and I can wander through them down the road when The Muse is snoozing.

Speaking of The Muse, she's been whispering to me the last couple of days and  I've been spending some time in the ol' studio of late.  Love that.  While the pan's hot, so to speak, I went to work altering my new ICAD storage box.  (I hope I remember that the random bag of tea on the shelf is Lemon Zinger.)

I layered random bits of paper and washi tape on the box and then gessoed over the lot  I added paint over that using stencils, my fingers, pens, dots and dabs, etc.

I have another ICAD Warm-Up card to share too; Theme: Haiku.  I'm not really sure how this came to be.  I think I just decided to use something besides acrylics and so pulled out my watercolor crayons.  And swirly circles are fun so I drew some.  Eventually it became this...

Just in case your school days are way back in the rear view mirror, a haiku poem is one that has 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second and 5 in the third.  I know mine is random.  But that's so me, ya' know?

Still a week to go until we officially start.  Plenty of time to join...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Index Card A Day (ICAD)

Clear the decks.  I sense a new addiction headed my way.  I reluctantly decided to join the altered index card phenomenon known as ICAD 2016 (deets HERE).  Still in the warm-up phase (it officially runs June 1st - July 31st), I have tentatively applied paint to 2 warm-up cards.  Oh yeah, baby.  I like this!

I've been out of town for the last couple of days so missed the first few warm-ups.  Hooked though, I'm sure I'll have no prob catching up.  Using junk mail was the prompt for this.  I randomly grabbed a couple of pieces of mail that were sitting on the counter.  Having nothing in mind I grabbed and cut to get this.  Behold, my first ever altered index card.

ICAD 2106 Warm-Up #5

The next prompt was to pick 3 interesting leaves and sketch them.  This morning I got lost in Brigit Koopsen's gallery and you can definitely see her influence here. So fun!

ICAD 2016 Warm-Up #6

After staring at it for a few, I decided it needed a little something extra.  I added a little subtle stenciling on the orange background.

I'm really loving this.  The index cards I'm using are super cheap 3"x 5" ones that I stole, er...permanently borrowed, from the kids' school supply stash. 

I am so used to working on the smaller ATC size that I thought this was going to be a leap.  Not so!  Just throwing this out there...why don't you join us?!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Her Castle

A trading group that I belong to threw out a challenge this month to make a house(s) postcard.  I have been woefully busy with non-artsy things of late and jumped at the chance to participate to get the ol' juices flowing.

Surely I've mentioned in the past that my husband accuses me of being a hoarder.  Those hoarding tendencies came in handy as this is entirely made of scraps: chipboard backing from a used pad of paper, gelli prints, an artsy envie from a friend, cast off scraps from other projects, the bottom of a receipt...  :)  The quote cracks me up; you know I love a little tongue-in-cheek humor.  Using this stuff counts as a good day in my book.


Friday, May 6, 2016

"Oh...Mothers' Day is THIS Sunday?!?"

Actual conversation.  The hubs and I were sitting on the back deck soaking up some rays and relishing the thought that it is Friday, the sun is shining and the grill is beckoning to us.  Suddenly I exclaimed, "Oh,{profanity}!  I made a card for you to send to your mom and this Sunday is Mothers' Day!" (She lives across the country.  No way USPS can help us out here.)

I'm just not into it this year.  It's been years since I actually celebrated Mothers' Day with my mom in person, and since she passed away in November I've decided to ignore it this year.

However, I thought this little conversation was good fodder for the card I just finished (which may end up going to my MIL rather than the other card now that we kinda blew the whole 'mailing it in time' thing).

Lost Coast Designs is hosting a "Women Rule the World" challenge right now.  I know.  You're looking at my card and thinking it's a bit of a stretch, but let me explain.

1) I don't have girlie stamps from LCD (though they have loads that I WISH I had!)
2) Look at these guys.  They are clearly in fear for their very lives since they almost forgot Mothers' Day (except the guy on the left.  He's a little slow.)  Hence, their mother clearly "rules the roost" as it were.

Check out the great LCD stamps I used: the three borders and the handsome trio.

Have a delightful weekend and give your mothers a hug on Sunday.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Creepy alert!

As my dear daughter said, "Ewww...that's creepy.  I love it!"  Uh...thanks?  But admittedly this is a little creepy and I love it too.

I've had this background sitting in my stash for a long time - long enough that I don't remember how I made it - guessing Distress inks and acrylics.  I made this for fun and then realized I can add it to this challenge:  Little Miss Muffet Anything Goes.

Sweet!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Super Mom

All of the mothers I know where many hats - CEO, treasurer, doctor, taxi driver, cheerleader, psychologist, policeman, mediator, chef and maid are just a few that come to mind right away.  My mom was a Super Mom for sure.  This will be my first Mothers' Day without her and it makes me sad that I don't have to send her a card this year.  She loved to receive my handmade cards.  This one's for you, Mom!

I'm entering this in the SDC 'Motherly Love' challenge this week.  Happy Mothers Day to all of you amazing moms out there.  :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hey, Handsome!

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has a hard time with cards for the guys.  It seemed like a good idea to try my hand at it for Kathi's challenge over at the SDC blog.

'Eric' is one of my go-to stamps.  Love this guy!  I gave him a festive party hat to get him in the mood.  The bottom border is a piece of gelli print I had in my stash and I used a piece of washi tape to ground him a little more.  Sprinkles of Distress stains (in masculine colors, of course) dot the background. 

My bro-in-law's birthday is coming up next month.  I'm all ready to go - woo hoo!