Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steampunk Soul

It has been a while since I have made a page for my book, so I decided to make this little 6x6 piece.  I was inspired by all the lovely feedback recently received on my book cover!  Thank you for affirming my creative spirit.  I think this will be the "title page" of my little challenge book.

This is my first attempt at a hybrid challenge piece.  I loved that I had two requirements to use in the project.  I combined lovely Linda's Grungy Monday challenge along with Simon Says Stamp and Show's weekly challenge.  Linda requested the use of Ranger alcohol inks as inspired by Tim Holtz. SSSS asked their followers to create something with a word.  Well as you can see, mine has two words...I hope this is acceptable!

I started out with an embossed piece of chipboard.  I did some great coloring with distress inks.  The gears were die cuts given to me, I sprayed them with Glimmer Mists and layered them on in a pleasing formation.  Small metal gears were attached to provide more texture and interest. 

The letters were eyelet type things that I failed to figure out how to correctly apply with my tools.  Instead, I altered them a bit in the back and glued them on.  I like that it gives a bit more depth to the lettering and I accept the imperfection (not really, but I am trying!) 

The winged heart was made from my vintage Spirofoil.  I used both silver and gold pieces.  The red heart was colored with a direct application of alcohol inks.  I combined three different colors to achieve the look.  Don't you just love the rich dark color?  The wings were left their natural silver and the background heart, the natural gold. You will also notice that I used several embossing folders on my foil elements to provide more depth and character.  A reproduction clock face, a gear and a spinner add a steamy touch to the heart.  A final spritz of water and a moment with the heat gun and I called this one done.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Under cover

This week over at Simon Says Stamp and Show their challenge is metal.  Boy, am I obsessed with metal right now.  I dream of someday expanding my repertoire of jewelry creation by stepping into metalwork.  For now, I just try to incorporate it via mixed media.  This time I made a book cover for my various challenge pages.  I only recently discovered this crafty online world and when I started doing challenges, I thought to start a chunky book to hold my collection.

The metal foil is from 10 Second Studio, I believe.  A lovely crafty pal gifted it to me, so I am not totally sure.  I embossed the foil and then sanded. The paper that frames out the metal is from Graphics 45.  I added a tiny bit of Tim's newer tissue tape, along with some ink here and there.  I also added corner shaped brads that I glued down and then hammered for texture.  Grommets were used on the cover as well as on each page to reinforce the holes for the bookbinding rings.  I love the fact that this allows me to easily add pages.

The inside cover has a great piece of embossed chipboard.  For this I simply inked it up with distress inks and glimmer mists.  I clipped another piece I did for a challenge inside.  Opposite the inside cover is my very first entry into a SSSSC, which just happened to make top three.  What a way to start with this lovely community!

Thanks for stopping by, I really do love to share my inspiration with you!



Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Late!

This mixed media piece was made for a swap.  I had made my "Down the rabbit hole" assemblage with this swap as the inspiration, however, I ended up deciding to keep that piece because there were so many sentimental things inside it. You can read more about that piece here.

Since creating that first Alice piece, I stumbled upon a lovely blog called Altered Alice.  This month they are having a tea party challenge, which I incorporated into this piece.  For this challenge, I am also bringing some vintage linens to the party. 

I started with an old book cover.  It was then covered with a bit of floral paper by Tim Holtz, after all it is a garden tea party.  I edged the outside with tissue tap.  This is the best for covering up any mistakes in aligning your paper by the way.  A few spritz of glimmer mists added a bit of sheen to the background. 

I used an image I cut from a sheet of Graphics 45 paper, the lovely white rabbit who is running late for the tea party.  The mosaic pieces were made from two different types of fragments by Tim and Graphics 45 Halloween in Wonderland die cut tags.  The edges were coated with a silver leafing pen.  I played with layout a bit to determine a pleasing design and glued them down.  I wanted the party to be central, so I was sure to put this image in the middle. 

I am really loving this theme.  I think I may have a few more Alice inspired pieces in my future.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vintage Cannibal

So I love to seek out cool stuff.  It is becoming more and more of a passion as my mixed media addiction evolves at an alarming rate.  It is probably not a coincidence that my dad is an antique dealer and organizes estate sales. 

Well today I was working in my Charlotte office.  On the way into work I noticed a large sale.  Of course I had to run over there at lunch.  I made two purchases. I got this old typewriter (for three dollars!) as well as an very large printers tray (boy does it need cleaning).

I could not wait to get home to start taking this guy apart.  I have to say, it was way more work, and way harder than I would have imagined.  My hands are aching for sure.  It was so worth it though.  I not have a ton of cool typewriter junque to make neato steampunky stuff with. 

The keys are going to be great, they are not glass ones, but they are cool nonetheless.  The carriage I will probably keep mostly intact. The metal "ruler" for margins is awesome.  I think the key arms and the stamp arms will be able to be used for something, I have a creepy project in mind.  The tops of the ribbon holder will make good pieces as well.  There are a few gears, brackets and other objects I intend to incorporate into some steampunk projects. I did not get it all the way apart yet.  I still have a little way to go, but I am almost there.    

Speaking of steampunk, I was hopping around the blogiverse and stumbled upon a giveaway for a book that looks really cool.  It is over at Aileen's blog, she is giving away a copy of 1000 Steampunk Creations.  I am hopeful to win a copy so I can be inspired to use some of my new junque.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Well folks, fate indeed.  The piece I posted previously has already sold!  I am so blessed and happy about this progress.  The only problem is that I had intended to send it along to the crafty market for my experiment.  The solution was to try and get busy creating post work today.  Typically I am a weekend artist, but with this little deadline, I changed my typical habit and I am glad.  I am calling this one "Found."

I was inspired to add this week's challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and Show of incorporating distressed torn edges to this project.  I used some torn inky bits of really lovely paper I purchased at a speciality paper store and attached them to my vintage wooden spools.  I used lots of found objects, vintage finds and a few of Tim Holtz's goodies too.  Assemblage is just so much fun. It gives me a reason to search for all kinds of random stuff.  Hopefully this piece will sell and fund another shopping trip. :)

My intention is to turn out a few more pieces by Friday so stay tuned.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fate it is...

In my life I have heard the question many times, but in the past month the volume has significantly increased.

"Do you sell your art?"

I typically say no and list a few of the many excuses my ego makes up.  Well not this time.  I am going to say yes for once and see what happens.  I imagine it will be fun, simple and easy. 

This is the first piece I have made with the pure intention of selling.  I am calling it Fate.  Sometimes it is hard to let go of my work, this time I am.  It can also be difficult to let go and just trust fate, this time I am. 

Don't you just love a beautiful metaphor? 

I love the imagery and the thought of "home."  I also am finding I like to weave this theme into my work.  This was the jumping point of this assemblage.  The clock, ever present in my art, represents time as well as the proverbial biological clock.  The box contains a tiny secret of mine.  The light represents ideas and energy.  The crow for me is the spiritual aspect of death, change, transition.  I chose the small compass to symbolize direction and forward movement.  The pencil, a reminder that you can always rewrite your life, as I am doing now by starting a new chapter.  I have had a "thing" for the winged heart since back in the 80's.  To me this is love in motion, a joyful spirit, divine love. 

The bottles each contain some tiny bits.  One of them, another nod to time with watch parts. This also reminds me that there are many pieces that make up the whole, or all that is.  The other bottle contains a little sand and a bit of parchment.  The number 13 to me is like the crow, it is the spiritual aspect of rebirth.  While many may think of the bad omen of both these totems, I choose to see them in another way, much like the junk I uses in my art. The key to me is a nod to knowledge, a rite of passage, mystery.  The jacks are there to remind us of simplicity and fun.  I topped the piece off with a quote that befits the piece well, "Sometimes fate and your dreams can collide."  Will they this time?

I am going to do my best to make this a joyful experience and I will try to not be attached to the outcome.   After all, if it does not sell, I get to keep it and I happen to think it is pretty cool.  I think this will be a fun experiment. 

I will be sending this, along with a few other pieces off with some friends at the Rusty Rabbit who are going to be doing summer sales the French Markets in the Chicago area.  Stay tuned to see more pieces heading out...and see what fate has in store for my inner artist.   

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Down the rabbit hole

Wow, it feels like it has been a while!  I guess my creative mojo took a little break, probably because my work life has been a bit challenging of late.  I made the time to check out  Linda's Grungy Monday challenge which is always inspired by none other than Lord Tim.  This week was a Distress free for all and I really enjoyed it.

I was inspired to make this project for a swap I am enrolled in, but this is another project I kind of grew attached too.  It just may live with me for a bit, we shall see as I have some time.  I just love how I was able to really flesh out this theme with supplies I had on hand.  

I started with this box I had on hand that was ready to alter.  This was sent to me in a swap and had been filled with a ton of lovely hand carved stamps.  I still have to move the hangers on the back because I had to change the orientation in order for the images I had to fit properly.  As I look at this, I realize quite a bit of the materials used were from swaps.  People send me the coolest stuff! 

The background paper was glued inside of each part of the background.  Tim Holtz's tissue tape frames out the inside of each square.  Then came the Distress inks. I used a bunch of brown tones and buffed them into the front and sides of the raw wood.  Since Distress inks react with water, I spritzed the inks to get them to intensify and blend more.  I also added a touch of rub and buff along the front for a little sheen. 

At this point, I added some metal corners from Tim.  Then it was stash scavenging time, fun.  I had just received the faux Alice stamps in a mail art swap.  They were a bit bright for the project, so enter a bit more Distress inks along with some additional colored pencil.  The mushroom was recently picked up at an antique show for a dollar.  The faux moss also just arrived in the mail from a swap as did the tiny bottle filled with "the sands of time" (shielded by the open door.)  I really like to have movement in my work.  To this end I also attached the heart shaped lock with a tiny eye bolt, yep, someone sent me that lock too.  

In the middle area I knew I wanted to use some of my small brown bottles.  I bought oodles of them at a good discount.  I bit of paper, some ink and a "drink me" label and I had some potion for my project.  A philosophy tag from Tim also goes with the theme.  I looked and looked for something that said "dream," but I could not find anything on hand.  I later did add this word from a bit of paper on an inner wall (not seen.) I knew I also wanted a playing card  in this piece too.  Due to the waxy coating it would not accept ink, I got around this by sanding and I love the texture this process achieved.  A few random wooded chess pieces that arrived in my mailbox (from a swap) fit perfect with the theme.  The metal heart was a garage sale find I believe.  I really wanted to fill the metal heart with red distress stickles. I did this, but I lost my patience as they take a while to dry, so I altered my plan and moved forward.  The flourish was sent to me and the key, I think I had.

Now, I have a tiny heavy metal printers "Q" that I wanted to use, but I was supposed to send this internationally, so I did not add it.  It probably made a good choice as the scale of the large grungboard letter works better.  It was colored with Distress Inks and coated in stickels.  I glued it down when the glitter was still wet, I am so impatient with my art at times! A cheap plastic heart shaped locket was tucked in and a royal button add some interest in this taller box.  

I knew I wanted something to do with time.  I used a Spare Part clock face and a few spinners from Tim.  The tiny teacup I just received in a swap as well.  In fact, I think this little cup and the faux postage really inspired the whole project.  When trying to add elements, I read the wiki entry of the plot synopsis to refresh my memory of both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  I found that Alice in sighted "rule 42" at the royal court. I searched my vintage bingo pieces and lucked out.  

There is room for a few more trinkets in my opinion and there are a few story elements I would like to add.  Some red and white roses and a rabbit would be nice for sure.  A tiny pair of gloves or a fan would also complement the theme.  This is an image rich tale for sure, there are so many things I could see doing with this theme in the future.  So this is what the "Alice" hub-bub is all about!  Now that I have fallen in love and plan to keep it, I just may be able to continue my search and find the finishing touches.