Saturday, December 20, 2014

Travel Art Kit

So there's this thing that goes around on Facebook. It says something trite like, "There's really some shitty things going on in the world, and in times like these, we need a small good thing." I'm paraphrasing, of course. The next part of the Facebook message says that, within the next year, you'll send something to the first 5 people to respond to the blog post. It might be homemade. It might be something baked. It might be something purchased. You get the idea.

And in return, these schlubs agree to host a similar Pay-It-Forward-type giveaway on their Facebook page. 

I'm a sucker for that sort of thing because it feels nice to get something for free.

So five of my friends gleefully commented on my Facebook post. 

And they waited. And waited. And waited.

Long story short: I'm a procrastinating ass.

I have great intentions, and then I put things off because I've got quality standards. I don't want to just toss something out. I want to give awesome people something awesome.

So here it is December 20, and I'm just now sending out ONE of the five promised things.

This is for Nancy. I don't know Nancy from Adam. That's not quite true, but almost. I think I met her via one of the Facebook art journal groups. She may be a stranger, but damn if she isn't awesome. From what I can tell, she's bad-ass, gun-toting, former New Orleans cop, with a heart for coffee, antiques, art, and animals, particularly giant dogs. So she's a-okay in my book. Ya know?

Nancy seems to travel quite a bit, so I thought it would be neat to make her a travel journal. This travel journal began its life as a thrift store planner. You know. It's for those super anal-retentive folks who are always on time and who even plan ahead. 

Kind of ironic? Yes!

So I ripped of the faux leather and adhered music sheets to the naked cardboard. I added triangular chipboard pieces leftover from all my aqua-red wedding stuff. I didn't realize the remaining spine would be so ugly. There was residual foam. It looked pretty terrible. I entertained sewing some ribbons together like one of my favorite artists does. She makes that seem incredibly easy...and it's not.  Trust me, I tried...and cussed. 

So I had to go to plan B, which was to adhere some leftover strips of paper to hardcore double adhesive. I'm not in love with it, but it's sturdy and colorful. And it had to be done because I didn't want the poor lady to wait another year.

I thought I was done, but it seemed too simple.  That's when I decided that one of those triangles looked like the roof. To complete the house look, I adhered a postcard I made. The postcard is one of my favorites and features tons of Gelli print scraps.

 I kept the planner insides as-is. In the inside pocket, I tucked some letter stamps I got at Tuesday Morning. I love 7Gypsies. I included a water brush, a bold black Signo and a white Signo.

 Next I decided to give her a Washi wardrobe. This essentially means wrapping playing cards with the insane number of Washi tapes that I own. There's about a foot and a half of each pattern.

 I tucked these washi tapes into an envelope that I adhered to the front page of the art journal. Just so it didn't get raggedy, I coated the envelope with clear packing tape.

 I replaced the planner calendar pages with 140 lb. watercolor paper.

 On the last pages of the watercolor paper, I adhered swatches of watercolor. I placed a clear envelope in between. The clear envelope can also serve as a palette.

 Finally, I inserted a clear envelope full of bits and pieces I've made throughout the last year.

These bits didn't fit in the clear envelope, but I wanted to include them because I think they're awesome. I used a glove form and the 6-pack ring from soda to spray inks through.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Studying the Blues

When I get in a creative rut, my first instinct is to sort through the "grab bags"--

You see, I separate my scraps and painted papers into Ziploc baggies according to color. I randomly choose a bag and begin to paw through. By the time I'm done, I'm an admirer of that particular color, and the color suggests a mood.

This week, I chose the blue bag. I found myself drawn to the aqua and turquoise scraps. One of those scraps had the tiniest bit of hot pink. That pop of color suggested a second and third color I could pair with the aqua and turquoise.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It Takes a Village

On Friday, I worked to complete two swaps: a "mini banner" swap and a "Home" swap. Here they are:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Robbing The Scrapbook Graveyard

I'm not sure when scrapbooking became popular, and I'm equally unsure when it stopped. All I know is that I jumped on that bandwagon and rode it along with all the other ladies. And boy, was it an expensive trip! 

Where did it get me? For my efforts, I have a bunch of jazzed-up photo albums stored in plastic bins beneath my bed. 

I have hundreds, maybe thousands of sheets of 12 x 12 paper.

I've been trying to figure out what to do with that paper. It's clear I'll never use it for its intended purpose. When I go thrift store shopping, I see it packaged for sale, so obviously there are other ex-scrapbookers out there who made the decision to part with their paper by giving it to charity.

But the hoarder in me can't bear to give perfectly good supplies to a thrift store. After all, I still work with paper, only now I make my own paper. I paint paper. Thus, it dawned on me that I could use all that paper when doing Gelli prints--my current artistic obsession.

These are the texture plates I've made. They are basically cardboard shapes I glue onto another sturdy cardboard rectangle. I press them down into the paint on the Gelli plate and take positive and negative prints.

And here are some of the prints I've made lately:

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Handful of Vintage Ladies, a Fox, a Raccoon, and a Flying Pig

It sounds like the punchline to a bizarre joke, doesn't it? What could those things  possibly have in common?


I am just too lazy to create separate posts just for the sake of continuity. 

In reality, I've been working on a serious of postcards feature vintage ladies, AND I also recently participated in art swaps wherein it was my job to create animals.

 This is for a "Woodland Creatures" swap. I made the fox and raccoon out of Gelli prints. I also threw in extras that reminded me of the woods.

 I made this little lady for a "Cardboard Animals" swap. I laid down a bunch of pink bits and pieces first then drew the pig over the top.

Once I cut out the pig, there was some extra cardboard, so I created this ATC (Artist Trading Card).

I usually spend at least one hour per day creating something. It soothes me. It make me feel less lonely when I'm away from my house, my husband, my cat during the week.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Collage Collaboration

 I belong to several collage collaboration groups. Each member begins with a background, and then 3 or 4 others add to that background.  These are 3 out of the 4 collaborations I've worked on this week:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Homage to Red and Aqua

Do you have a color combo that makes your heart sing?

For me, that is red and aqua. Look in my closet, and you'll find at least half the clothes are red. These are live-out-loud colors. These are colors for the brave of heart. These colors are my opposite. When I look at all the red in my wardrobe, I wonder why. I'm fairly reserved. I don't like to call attention to myself. And yet there it is: Pop! Zing! Take THAT world!

Pairing it with aqua becomes a matter of yin and yang. Fire and water. Sweet and sour. Hot and cold. I love the balance. Red is passionate, and aqua is the relaxed feel of tropical waters.  I hadn't thought about it before now, but I suppose that balance is why it made perfect sense that those colors should be our wedding colors.

This week it also found its way into the pages of an accordion album I made for a swap. Here are a few of the pages:

I also made a vintage woman postcard for a swap. I'm now wishing I hadn't doodled on the image of the woman...but sometimes the hand does what it wants to do before reason can step in: