Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Treats

Today I am sharing a quick post with you all.  I have not been all that productive the past few days, busy with life I suppose.  I have a really great group of gals that I meet up with once a month.  Our Halloween meeting is right around the corner and we are exchanging ATC's.  I am really looking forward to getting a little piece of art from my pals.  I am also extra excited because I won a treat on Laura Carson's blog. It is a small hand made book, perfect for displaying ATC's.  Talk about perfect.  Laura's art is awe inspiring and she is quite generous, sharing her creations with her followers regularly.  Please check out her blog, you won't be sorry!

It has been a while since I have worked on a canvas this small.  I have to say, I have gotten used to a larger space to express myself.  I love the holder I have these displayed in.  I picked this up at a really cute shop called Elements, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It is worth checking out for sure. 

Another tiny Halloween project I completed some time ago is this small altered tin. 

I think the lid needs something, now that I have really observed the photos.  I also see that one of my ATC's needs more work.  I find it interesting how much a picture can reveal about a piece of art.  It can really give you another prospective!

Happy Halloween to all my loyal followers! 



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sugar Skulls

A recent theme I have been enjoying in my creations is Day of the Dead style art.  This all started with one little charm swap that I recently participated in.  While researching, I learned a lot about this holiday and found tons of inspiration in the theme.  It also reminds me to celebrate my ancestors, who have passed and I don't think I do that enough. 

While shopping one day at a big box store I noticed some paper mache skulls that were on sale in the Halloween section.  I did not purchase them at that moment.  Upon going home, I could not get the idea out of my head to create my own "sugar skull" with one of these.  I went back the next day and bought two skulls all for the bargain price of three dollars.  I knew I wanted to incorporate some flowers for dimension, so I also bought a few stems that were on sale.  Here is what I created.

I started by simply coating the skulls with a very heavy duty gesso.  I then aged the skulls with a "magical potion" that was given to me by a colleague at work.  I have no idea what it is, I only know that it is a homemade concoction that she uses in her Mexican folk art.  It provides the perfect aged look to any piece. 

I then planned out my use of flowers and glued them on.  Very simple really.  

Then came the stickels, and I mean a lot of stickels.  I wanted these pieces to have a lot of texture and a bit of shine, so this is the medium I decided to try.  This took some time and some patience.  Stickels take a long time to dry, so I could only add a little "doodling" at a time, for fear of messing it up.  I did not plan the whole design out, just added my different line patters bit by bit.  

I hope this entry inspires you to try something new with stickels or skulls.  I am truly amazed that my perception of skulls has changed so much due to learning more about Day of the Dead and by creating beauty from something I would not normally gravitate too.  Because of this project, I am also using stickels in a few more works in progress and I am really happy with the results.  What do you think???



Friday, October 14, 2011

Time Flies

For this piece I was inspired by the weekly challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  Their theme this week:  things with wings.  This piece has been lingering in my mind ever since I splurged on those giant Dresden wings which were purchased at Alpha Stamps.  I knew one of the vintage clock faces I had from an estate sale would make a perfect match, at least in my mind. 


The face was a bit too large, but I was able to cut the thin metal with shears.  I felt it needed some sort of border and I had a light bulb moment, thinking of my weathered clock die from Tim. I created the frame with heavy chipboard, distress stain and gold rub and buff.  A few trinkets add some interest and cover a hole in the face, perfect because the spinner can still move.  I love incorporating movement and interaction in my art. 

The background was tons of fun.  There are a bunches of layers and techniques.  I used dictionary pages, gesso, distress stains, acrylic paint, stencils and stamps.  I managed to use the same die in three totally different applications in this project.

I hope you enjoyed taking in a part of my process.  Thank you so much to all my readers for stopping by, it really means a lot to me.  My blog provides me much joy, I appreciate that you choose to share the experience.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

A bit of time

I finished up a mixed media canvas today that had been stalled for quite a while.  A swapping pal of mine sent me a bunch of goodies, and this parcel was just the stash I needed to complete this project.  One of the items I received was a Wendy Vecchi art part shaped like a pocket watch. I got this just in time to have something to enter into Simon Says Stamp and Show's challenge this week, as the theme is Wendy Vecchi style.

Here is a close up of the art part pocket watch.  I really had fun layering all kinds of goodies inside.  A bunch of the watch images I used were from an amazing sheet of paper I purchased at a specialty paper store in Ann Arbor called Hollanders. 

I used these great little mica flakes here and there to add texture.  I also raided my depleting stash of clock movements to add more metal elements. It was worth the sacrifice, but I am definitely going to have to find more of these.   

I am so happy to have finished up a UFO...unfinished object. :)  I challenge you readers to do the same.  Find something that you have been stalled on and see if you can find the inspiration to finish it up!



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pure Michigan

It has been a bit quiet around here because I have been off enjoying the splendor of the Keweenaw Peninsula.  I have loads of family that resides up here and I try to come up this way at least annually.  This trip was amazing as it always is. I spent time exploring, going to a hockey game, making pasties with family, taking in nature, gathering apples and plums, canning, shopping, checking in on my ancestors and spending quality time with family.  A beautiful trip overall, but as I type, I am anxious to get home tomorrow. 

Perhaps the biggest surprise on this trip was my discovery of the love of the art of canning.  I made tomato sauce, apple plum chutney, bruschetta, salsa and a wonderful apple spread.  I found the process very similar to creating art.  I just love to transform things into something else.   

I poked around a few mining ruins that are off the beaten path.

I found inspiration and art in churches and art galleries.


I took in the stunning peak of color season in the UP.


This is the monastery where the monks of the Jampot reside.  Heading up here has become part of my annual pilgrimage.  They sell delightful baked goods, jams, jellies and candies.  Not too far from the Jampot is one of Michigan's lovely waterfalls.  



Just one of the beautiful views from atop Brockway Mountain.


I even managed to get here...

I can't wait to put all the inspiration I gained in motion when I return to my creative space.  Thanks for joining me for a tiny sample of my UP journey.