Monday, March 30, 2009

Altered Library Pocket- Collaborative Art

Just when I think I am alone in my library pocket card obsession, Linda finds me a link to Jeanne who happened (a few weeks ago) to be calling for artists to decorate card pockets, illustrating a story she wrote. I, of course, joined in(!) duh! and used one of my local library pocket cards in the process. Here is the result. I got installment #8 wherein our hero sees Allison speaking to someone named Raymond and of course the jealousy pot gets stirred. Scroll down in Jeanne's blog to see posts about the project.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Altered Art Altered Again

This is a re-done piece whose photo was a computer generated sepia print that had sun faded to a ghastly green. This time I used an actual vintage photo, added some buttons and the Bingo call number. Voila! Altered altered art.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Vintage Moth

While browsing Blogland, I stumbled upon a generous woman who shares her image collection FREE on her blog. She even has a badge to post on your own blog to spread the word. I am all about free, especially when the items are beautiful and useful. Take a look!

Missouri Spring Camping...

Is not for the weak of heart. Yes, we had a heated trailer to warm up in, so we weren't really, truly, roughing it. But it's all relative. Most tent campers would't have been out in this weather (drizzly, overcast and in the 50s), but we were part of the 30 or so brave souls who ventured out to Cross Creek RV Park Campground for their 5th annual spring clean up. We were rewarded with lunch and free camping. The last time we helped with the clean up, I was pregnant with Rebecca. It was cold then too!

Sorry my photos are so dreary looking. Doesn't look much like spring yet, does it? The brightest color in the campground was Sylmon's firefly butt yellow sweatshirt. You can't miss him (pictured at top getting warm in our trailer)!

We raked leaves, got to test drive the cleaned out mini golf course and just enjoyed the campground in the off season. When you have a big dog to walk (and scoop after), it's nice to be where there is no crowding!

Lake Ozark is just 10 minutes away, but Cross Creek boasts its own little 10 acre, stocked lake that doesn't require a drive to get to. Seth didn't catch anything (because Rebecca was usually around scaring off the fish by flinging rocks into the water) but he had fun trying.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

What could be better than enjoying a spring day in March at the City Park?

Going to the park dressed as a princess!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stretch Your Own Canvas (How To)

The long awaited tutorial has finally materialized! You will need: a small stretcher frame (mine is a 10 cents thrift store find used for stretching embroidery), a piece of heavy weight muslin or linen (unwashed, so it will shrink a little as it dries), staple gun (1/4" staples- this is a light duty project), gesso and a cheap brush.
Trim your cloth so there is enough frabic to pull and stretch over your frame (stretcher bars).

Put a staple in the middle of one side, then on the opposite side, with your fingers, pull tightly and staple in the middle again. Repeat. Now the center of your canvas will be nice and tight.

Now, from one of your center staples, pull and staple to the right (I am right handed so I naturally start to the right), all the way to the end. I place my staples about 1/2" apart. Rotate your canvas and repeat on the opposite side you started from. ie: If you started on a long side, you will go to the other long side to pull and staple next, each time stapling to the right. This insures that your cloth is stretched tightly on the diagonal as well as from side to side. You will have staples running from the middle of each side, to one corner. Go all the way into the corner- it will make folding the corner easier later on.

You will finish stretching by starting at the middle staple, going to the left. Again, long side, long side, short , short side. I cannot stress enough that you must pull the cloth as taut as possible. My first attempt netted a saggy canvas as I started to gesso it, so I tore the wet cloth off and started again. Learn from my mistakes! ;)

I chose to fold my corners so that the fold showed on the long sides. Then I just tucked it as neatly as I could so the cloth caused as little lumpiness on the back as possible.

One staple should do it.

This is my canvas after I trimmed the excess cloth away (I used dull scissors, my nice sharp fabric cutting scissors being buried in my sewing machine's cabinet)

The relaxing, easy part- paint with gesso! I use the gesso watered down- one part water to two parts gesso (an approximation). Let the first coat dry, then paint again. This is called priming your canvas. If you are a stickler for beautifully smooth work surfaces, by all means sand the first coat before applying the second.
Don't forget to paint the sides of your canvas too!

Voila! A stretched, primed canvas ready for painting or collage.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Asian ATCs

Or "How to Make Scented Swaps". I started with wrappers from these beautiful soaps. Perhaps you've seen them at your favorite health food store or imports shop? BUY THEM! They smell good and make great art!
Voila! Asian ATCs! All I added was some rubber stamping. The ancient Chinese script is by Hampton Arts (2001) and the little geisha is by Rubber Dub Dub (1999). Anna is hosting this 7 for 7 swap for Christian Paper Artists.

I especially loved using the seals and wrapper (cumberbun) from the soap packaging. All of the paper retained the scent of the soap it wrapped so my ATCs smell delightful. They could even be used as sachets to sent a box or drawer!

On each ATC I also added some of the English endorsement from the soap's packaging (also written in French and Chinese). Things like, "made from selected materials", but the ingredients are never listed, so you just have to trust that it's good stuff. My favorite is, "our sincere recommendation is rather convincing". heehee
Now go make some art! I sincerely recommend it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Last Un-Made ATC *HOPE*

I had signed up for 3 envelopes of "stuff" and was wondering if I was being an art glutton. Now I am SO glad I did! This was such a fun swap!
The last envelope of raw materials was from Linda. No "before" photo today, just a fabulous "after" picture. I love the model she sent as well as the ticket (there were two options) and compelling words (I had a few phrases to choose from). She had written a note saying I didn't have to use everything, but I still managed to use a lot! A saucy model, ticket, lacy trim, paper flowers, crown (there were 3 of those too!), words, and the round seals in the background. Somehow it all works!
D'avantage est rarement suffisant.
More is rarely enough.
~Ophelia B. Clise
Now go make some art!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Un-Made ATC

I wish I could take credit for the spiral cut hidden picture trick in my last post, but I took it from the book, "Alter This! Radical Ideas for Transforming Books Into Art" by Alena Hennessy (Lark Books, 2007). I just borrowed the book from the library last week and the spiral surprise was what got me inspired to get started on Anna's book. Thank you for all of your positive feedback nonetheless!

So here's my next installment in the continuing saga of the un-made ATC swap. The materials came from Sharon Carmorlinga (I love her last name!) and the phrase "Child of God" stood out at me for the very reason that she did not include a child image in her materials.

There was nothing for it but to transform the ATC into an art doll (see Mar/Apr 2009 Somerest Studio for my original inspiration). Notice that all of the brads show up in the original ATC. They were not just poorly placed embellishments! ha! The body parts all fold in behind so the card can travel incognito. heehee. I am hosting an ATC paper doll swap for Christian Paper Artists so, in this case, one swap is doing double duty for another!
The doll parts are from a piece of Somerset Studio clip art (from their CD sent free with a 2 year subscription). It was an illustration of a group of girls which I printed out on card stock and then I just cut out the parts I needed.

Now go make some art!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Altered LOVE

Anna, if you want your book to be a surprise, do not read any further!

I have the privilage of creating the first "guest" pages in Anna's first altered book-- a little pocket book of Shakespearean sonnets she is altering about "love". I also added some lines from The Song of Solomon to my spreads. What's so great about a small book (this one is 3 1/2"x 5") is that the pages can be completed quickly. I wanted to give her examples of different formats, so I made Anna a pocket page with tags...

a peek-a-boo pages using a spiral cut out to reveal....
a hidden picture (a great way to preserve a great sonnet and illustrate it at the same time!)

And finally, a series of shortened pages that create different spreads as you flip through them (actually I was just dying to use my tab punchy).

Some people paint in books with wild abandon. I default back to dryer mediums. Anything that can be stuck down with a humble glue stick like printed napkins,...

tissue paper with rubber stamping...

and my personal favorite, dress pattern tissue. Yes, the tissue can tear easily as I rub it with a glue stick, but it is dry immediately as I put it down. And I can get beautiful transparent layered effects. And I don't care if it wrinkles.
I just need to do a sign in page and then the book is off to Linda to add her personal mark. I saved some pages. It was hard, but I showed some restraint!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Unmade ATC Swap- MADE

So what is an unmade ATC swap? It's something Donna K. cooked up at Christian Paper Artists. A frugal swap costing little in postage but is big on creativity. I sent out 3 envelopes with raw materials and ATC blanks, and in turn I am getting back envelopes of raw materials and ATC blanks. The first envelope I got was from Anna. She sent me a brownish ATC blank, paper flowers, a scrap of cork, a lovely pearl stick pin, a K & Co. "legacy" sticker (a nod to my blog's name), a piece of velvet ribbon, a piece of toile designed paper, a couple pearly flower buttons and a scrap of Shakespearean sonnet. I decided to go with the "more is more" idea and used EVERYTHING except the toile, ribbon and one flower button. I certainly couldn't pass up the pin and cork! My own additions were the rubber stamped image background and a couple tiny buttons to use for flower centers. Ta-DA!
Let me tell you, this is the lumpy-est ATC I have ever made.