Saturday, May 28, 2011

Home Sweet Home

This little piece was quite the adventure.  You would not believe how many layers of ink, paint and glimmer mists are under that paper background.  I learned a lot failing quite a few times before getting something I was happy with. 

I made this with the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge in mind.  This week Wendy Vecchi was the inspiration. Now, I did not know a ton about this artist and this style, so it was super fun to do some research.  I decided to try to incorporate some elements I thought fit her style: a house, polka dots, flowers and lots of texture. 

As I said, I messed with the background for a long time before resorting to simple torn paper.  The house was cut from a manila folder and embossed with a garage sale find, a polka dot embossing folder by Cuttlebug.  Distress inks were used to color the house.  I added a ticket, vintage watch face and a spinner as the focal point.  A tissue tape ruffle was added after it was misted with Glimmer Mists.  Trim and chain were attached to define the roof.  I love using metal elements, thus the gear flowers, a frame, letters and as well as a corner frame at the roof top.

Tim Holtz tissue tape finishes the edges.  I also added a touch of acrylic paint, which I wiped off to define the words on the metal tiles.  I actually added the paint and another layer of trim after taking the first set of pictures I intended to post here on my blog.  In taking the photos I was able to see that there were a few details that still needed to be added to really finish the piece.  I think I will send this away as a random act of kindness to a really wonderful gal.  I hope she enjoys!

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Jewelry and Charms too

Well I finished up my complimentary necklace for the pearl one I recently posted.  I despise having my photo taken, but I did it so you all could see how they work together. I really enjoy making sets of necklaces like this so that can be worn together or separate.  I also love how you can move the clasp around to change the looks. Very versatile!  I guess I did get a little bit of sun yesterday while doing some of that pesky yard work.

I also recently finished up a charm swap for a local group of crafty pals.  They ended up getting two from me, as I did not reread the swap requirements before setting down to make them.  My original charms were the metal found object ones made with Tim's stuff, watch parts, and various odd metal items.  Unfortunately they were bigger than the size limit of 1.25 inches.  I am just glad I caught it before getting a bad swapper reputation with my gal pals.  The participants get the prize anyway, as I am sending them both along.  The second charm was made using these fantastic glass domes, Graphics 45 paper, stickels and metal flashing tape.  I punched a circle of flashing tape to "seal" the back of the charm.  I hope everyone enjoys!

Lastly, for my trusty readers, thanks again for participating in my blog giveaway!  I had an amazing 59 entries in my contest to win a Chotski Pin.  I used to choose a winner.  The 27th commenter was B-Jo.   I have notified her via email and hopefully she will respond soon.  If I don't hear from her within a week, I will draw again. 



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back to my creative roots

I have to say that making all these Chotski pins had me hankering for bead work.  This is where I started on my creative path.  In fact, I have a very clear memory of the first time I beaded as a young girl.  I was at a baby sitters house and I made a white and clear seed bead bracelet on a piece of dental floss. 

Pictured above are some of the Chotski Pins I pins I have made.  I seriously can't stop making them.  The one on the bottom I had "completed" previously, but after blogging about it and seeing the pictures I decided it was not done.  I use hardware such as washers, nuts and bolts alongside charms, broken jewelry, Tim Holtz embellishments and found objects.  I have also used odd watch parts and hardware that I have no idea what the correct use is.  They are so fun and eclectic.   

As promised I will be randomly choosing one lucky winner for one of these pins, as promised on a previous post.   I will be doing the drawing this evening, so there is still time to enter. I think I may join in another round of swapping these dandies over at Red Lead too.

Since I was so inspired from the use of all my old tools, I stopped in a local bead shop and picked up a few strands of affordable pearls.  I whipped this out in no time and hope to make an additional complimentary necklace today. 

A huge thanks to Red Lead for all this inspiration!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A stitch in time

This week the theme of Simon Says Stamp and Show's weekly challenge is old wives tales.  At first I was at a loss and thought I would pass for the week.  But, I then decided upon "A stitch in time saves nine."  I do believe in taking time to produce quality results, so this saying fits me.  I also love to use clock imagery and the time theme in my work. 

I tried to represent each part of the saying.  The ledger paper was my nod to "save."  I love a good play on words.  One thing I did to add interest to the page, was weave washers along the edge.  I like the texture that this adds.  I was inspired to do this after seeing Ingrid Dijkers journals at a private workshop I recently took.  Another trick I used on this page was the technique used to color the number.  I started with a direct application of alcohol ink, but then added Perfect Pearls before the inks were dry.

I am excited to add this to the book I have been creating from my challenges.  It has been a while since I added a page, so I was long overdue.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Celebrating a milestone!

I have decided to host my very first blog giveaway.  I recently hit a blog milestone, by gaining over one hundred followers!  I am humbled everyday by the feedback I am provided by my readership and I thought this would be a fun way to thank you.

So I recently joined a swap for Chotski pins through Red Lead and All Things Tim, both wonderful crafty resources and communities.  The problem is, I cannot stop making these little pins!  Since I have several, and more on the way, the thought emerged to host my happy celebration with a give away.  Interested?

It is a very simple entry process, simply be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post.  I will randomly choose a winner this Sunday evening.   

Thanks to each and every one of you for fueling my creative spirit!   

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Really Mixed Media

Well, I have to say that since starting to blog and attend a few altered art groups, my creative circle has expanded considerably.  I just love spending time with and learning from like minded individuals.  I am so grateful for my growing artist community.  Recently, via the wonderful world wide web, I connected with a fantastic steampunk artist named Tashera Jean.  We decided to set up a swap, lucky me!

She reported to me that she likes robots, cute robots.  Now, I am not into robots, but I knew I had some goodies from my latest estate sale that would make for a good robot.  I did send her a mock up to ensure that he was "cute" enough.  Here is what I came up with.

I started with a 12x12 canvas.  I used several spray inks, glimmer mists, distress inks and perfect pearls in the background.  I then added my bits for the horizon.  When doing this I realized I needed a sealer, as the glue was lifting the color from the canvas.  I used wax for postal seals and dripped it all over for more texture.  I really like this little touch.  The body was wired on.  This is a backing from a large clock movement.  In fact, most of the metal pieces are all from clocks.  I love the bell.  To make this piece interactive I tied on a charm that is able to move so you can ring the bell.  Cute!

I have no idea what the head was.  It was in with my watch parts from the estate sale and makes a fair robot head, in my humble opinion. It is made of wood.  Texture was added with inks and glimmer mist.  Large metal buttons layered with gears, washers and beads make for some industrial eyes.  The object the robot is holding is a former pendulum.  Perhaps it is a balloon, an umbrella, a robot toy, who knows...I am just happy to have found a use for it!

I also made a small trinket box for Tashera, the robot loving recipient.  I want to be sure that it is a fair trade, as her stuff is just awesome.  This was an old vintage tin that I embellished with embossed metal and tissue tape.  Easy peasy.  I sincerely hope she likes her stuff.  She has been amazing to work with, as we have had a ton of communication about the owl necklace she is making for me. 

Another project I just completed is a Chotski Pin.  This was created for a swap sponsored by Red Lead.  This was so super easy and quick to create.  I was so happy to dip into my jewelry making strategies and stash.  I see a few more of these in my future.  I am not sure I will send this one for a swap, or hang on to it as I really like the result.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quick fix Pocket book

This was a super quick and easy project.  I made a small book from one sheet of 12x12 paper. To embellish the outside I covered it in strips of tissue tape.  A hitch post from Tim Holtz was added to create a closure.  I found an old bit of ball and chain and used  a grommet to reinforce the hole where it is attached.  It works perfect.  A metal frame outlines one of Tim's tiny stamped quotes.


The inside was quickly decorated with stickers, also from Tim.  I filled the pockets with all kinds of vintage ephemera for my swap partner.   I hope they like it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A show of hands...and a few other details

Well folks, I have to say, the response to my late night post yesterday has been simply amazing!  I was blessed with 25 comments from my lovely readers when I arrived home from work tonight. Wow!!!  It just means the world to me to get feedback on my art.  I also recieved several personal messagess asking to see a few parts a bit closer.  I thought I would post again as this will provide opportunity for me to enter this piece into Simon Says weekly challenge and allow me to share a few more details that I left out in yesterday's post.  I was just so excited to share what I had been working on!

This week the theme for the challenge is hands.  My piece has vintage clock hands actually embedded right into the canvas. I topped off the hands with a cute little watch part that looks like a flower.  As I look at this area of the collage, I think it would be really cool to try and find a fine chain to wrap around those two gears. 

I did get a request to try to show off my "alternate" Grungy Monday dimention technique with a bit more detail. Sorry Tim, but I had a terrible time with the techique Linda challenged us on, so I reinterpreted the idea.  Anyway,  the picture in the previous post really did not capture what I accomplished.  Hopefully this image will allow you to see the effect this technique had on the piece.  It really is easy, if you can get your detailed cutting done well.   Again, I simply used two sheets of the same paper, cut the central image out and mounted it on top of the other sheet of paper.  Craft foam serves as the barrier to provide the dimension. 

I received another reader request to see a closer view of the other mosaic piece that inspired this whole project. I love to sprinkle Perfect Pearls and set them exactly how they fall.  You can see a bit of this technique on the background of my mosiac piece.  I  have also included a close up of another Art Nouveau gal, complete with gears in her hair.  I don't think you could see this very well in the larger pictures and she is another one of my favortie images from this collection.

Well, that takes care of the requests and the questions. Here are two more close ups of the tiny chipboard pieces I added to spots that just needed "something" but were too small for another canvas.  Yet again, a piece of craft foam helps to provide just the right amount of depth to these small additions.  The embossed chipboard was really fun to ink up too.  I just love the texture it adds. 


Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Steampunk Mosiac

I started this project by making this tiny canvas.  I had no idea, at that point how this piece would evolve.  I had a bunch of die cut tags from Graphics 45 and the scale was perfect for Tim Holtz's fragments.  I made a bunch of them and needed to do something, so i made mosaic on a tiny canvas.


I had enough to make another so I did.  That is when I had the thought to mirror the idea of a mosaic with canvases.  I had a stash of Steampunk Debutante paper that I had been "saving" and this seemed to be the perfect project.  I had a random few pieces of 12x12 and I also had an 8x8 stack.  

I recently hit an estate sale for a clock repair man where I found a ton of steampunky goodness, some seen in this piece.  My favorite image from this collection of paper is the gal with the gears in her hair.  It was a simple game of match up and her hair was soon embellished with real vintage gears. Many of my canvases also have altered tissue tape surrounding them.  This is a technique I recently discovered with alcohol inks with perfect pearls and it achieves amazing results.    

The next panel I made with Linda's recent Grungy Monday Challenge in mind.  I struggled with this technique for sure.  This was probably due to my thin foam frame.  I still made it work and also used the technique in another way.  I used the craft foam to make the image pop off the page to add dimension.  It may be hard to see here, but the girl on the top with the hat shows this alternate interpretation of the dimension technique. Since I had two sheets of paper, I fussy cut one of the images of the lady and backed it with foam before mounting in on another sheet of the same paper.   

I found a few ways to add texture.  Bits and pieces of clocks are scattered all over the piece.  I also used a few scraps of fiber to soften things up.  

I scored a bunch of the apothecary bottles from 7 gypsies at a really good deal.  I used a few of them along the top of one canvas and filled them up with the metal sticks that many of the gears were once pressed into.  The bottles were embellished with some scraps of paper.  A few of my gear sticks were also bundled with wire and used to frame out one of the images as well. I was pleased to use some bolts and screws since I had planned to toss them. 

I love the clock hands I embedded in this panel too.  I had to poke a hole in the canvas to get them to lay properly.  I also made another time charm with a pair of wings, and old clock face and a spinner.  

One thing that really stuck me when creating this layout was a memory of Yearbook class from junior high.  I recalled some of the principles that were taught in terms of the direction people are looking for good design.  How funny for me to remember that!

Thanks for stopping by!