Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moving Along Into September

  Hard to believe it's almost time to turn the calendar page again. I certainly hope our summer continues into  September! Monday is a holiday here in the US- Labor Day - and many will have an extra day off. Hope it makes for great outdoor weather wherever you are and whatever you do, whether it's a picnic or one more trip to the beach.

 This is the background I made for my Sept. calendar spread for Kate Crane's 2013 Calendar Project:

  Pages were sprayed with Dylusions Lemon Zest, Squeezed Orange and Vibrant Turquoise Ink Sprays. Added some Caran D'Ache water soluble crayons. Black Marble ink spray was used for the black spatters. Some were outlined with a uni-ball Signo white pen. I used an old Magenta foam stamp with white acrylic paint and a bottle cap with black acrylic paint for more mark making.

 Ready to go:

  The month and weekdays were cut from an old calendar. The card stock squares were outlined with Caran D'Ache water soluble crayons. Numbers are stamped and from an old rubber stamp set.


  One of the two art technique books I took with me on my beach vacation was Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton. LOVE this book! First of all I love the wabi-sabi (Japanese) theory of  "an approach to life and art that's in harmony with nature, one that values handmade and rustic and recognizes the impermanence of life." Embracing imperfection. That's a good thing. Serena's many techniques and projects provide great springboards in creating your own art using a wide variety of mediums-including cold wax (which I'd never heard of before). There are detailed step outs and product explanations through out, as well as lots of gallery art showcasing these techniques. Also, Serena has chosen the most beautiful haikus which are sprinkled over 120 some pages for further inspiration. Thumbs up!

  This is the first project/technique I pretty much followed on pg. 74:

                                                    Things Both Ancient and Modern (5" x 7")

  Products used: 5 x 7" canvas board; gesso; soft matte gel med.; Yellow Ochre Fluid Acrylic; water soluble crayons; walnut ink; coffee granules; champagne mica flakes; Distress Vintage Photo and Black Soot inks; white mulberry paper; fiber/yarn strand; found object.
  I found that rusty round object on the ground on a walk recently and immediately knew I wanted to work it into this particular project. Bet you didn't think I was capable of using such a muted palette eh??

  Besides the techniques from this book my next project came about because of this song:

  I recently played Keith Harkin's CD again and for some reason I could not for the life of me get this particular song " Orange Moon" out of my head! So I had to do something about it :)

                                                     Underneath An Orange Moon (8" x 10")

  Printed out map of the area mentioned in the song and adhered to the canvas. Outlined 'Sparta', 'Dover', and 'New York' with a black Sharpie. I then added many layers of glazes, reinker glazes and stains. An orange tissue paper circle was glued down then a bit of orange water soluble crayon was added to it. Now, my ? to all of you is- does this look finished or not, does it look disconnected because of the floating words, should I add something(s)? I'd SO appreciate your input. In the meantime, I'll just let it be-it did get the song out of my head so I could get to sleep ;)

  Do any of you own Serena's book? Tried any of the techniques? How do you embrace imperfection in your art? I'd really love to hear your thoughts.

  Linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, Show and Tell Saturday, Mandarin Orange Monday, Glue It Tuesday, Kate Crane's 2013 Calendar Project. I've got some serious art partying to do the next few days with my blogging artists peeps!

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
 There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in". 
                                                                                            Leonard Cohen

Monday, August 26, 2013

Artful Challenges

   I'm back with a few projects I'll be linking up to: Creative Every Day, Inspiration Avenue, Mandarin Orange Monday and  Glue it Tuesday. I do like a challenge when I have the time to get something done for it. And it's nice to know that whether or not you contribute, or how often, you can be inspired by what others share. So please do take some time to visit and say hello.

  First up are two cards I recently made:

  The heart grass (an old Hero Arts stamp-I cut away the words that were part of this stamp) was stamped on a panel with Antique Pewter pigment ink (Colorbox). Two hearts were colored in with a red marker. Sentiment (Stampa Rosa-another oldie) was stamped using the same red marker. The panel was adhered to the card with foam tape.

  Products Used: 5" x 7" white note card (Canvas Corp); white card stock; hydrangea patterned paper (Paper Studio); birthday greeting (source unknown); Onyx Black Versa Fine ink (Tsukineko); Heather Flower Soft; hand dyed ribbon; felt butterfly (Michaels); Grand Calibur die cut machine and lattice die (Spellbinders).

  This altered book spread I thought fit perfectly for Inspiration Avenue's "harvest" theme:

 The background is a paper napkin that depicts some harvest fruits. The images are vintage, except for that luscious dessert I clipped from a French magazine. The words at bottom left translate to "my little sins". At top left it is French wines, and top right is French cuisine-yum!

 I have two special ATCS to share next:

  Back in March I had a giveaway. Shahrul ( who lives in Malaysia) was one of the winners. Sadly, despite the fact that I made sure the envie was flat, correctly addressed and stamped Shahrul never got her mail. We emailed back and forth and decided to swap two ATCS-she having chosen a pink and green theme. These are the two I created for her . I know how she loves her kitties so I knew I wanted to use the one on the right by ARTchix Studio. She never got these either. And this time I specifically did not decorate the envie and typed the addies to look more business-like. I also added a note about how sorry I was that if it was not the intended recipient opening and keeping this , that how would they feel if they had a far away friend or family member that wanted to be in touch but never received the mail (something to that effect). I was so hoping I'd hear from Shahrul telling me she received my mail even after so many months. NOPE. I never received hers either. Sad. So dear Shahrul  enjoy your cyber art. XO

 And here are a few digital plays for Mandarin Orange Monday (Lori got me playing with photoshop again:)
Not much time to get in depth with layers but I still liked  the bit I did.

 I started with this abstract painting I did on watercolor paper and India ink (inspired by Jane Davies):

On the following one I chose the color, then under the layer tab I chose "render":

  and on the next one below I chose a color then under the layer tab chose "Vivid Light". Each time I began with the black and white version at the top.

 I think these would make great papers or fabrics-so much fun and so many things to explore yet! I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to inspire me. Have a great last week of August!

" Love is to the heart what summer is to the farmer's year- it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul." Unknown

Thursday, August 22, 2013


 How could it possibly be the end of another week already? I can't believe how fast the days seem to go during the summer...but I still found some time to share some new things :)

  I got a bit behind with my weekly online class during my time away, so although our instructor gives us a new word to focus on the beg. of each month along with a tag project I just completed mine this week.

  On the left side a napkin was glued to the page and I added my thoughts on indulging. It says "I will indulge by continuing to grow and learn thru books, classes and new experiences that speak to my soul."  On the right side I used Distress inks over the page and added a border of dots with a hot pink Sharpie paint pen. I created the tag by stamping the word and painting a floral frame with Twinkling H2Os and drawing on the stitches with a Pitt pen. I have been obsessed with painting these flowers since discovering a wonderful tutorial for this technique. You can find the details and links in this post. 

  The Summer of Color challenge that was hosted by Kristin earlier this summer for 6 wks. had me so inspired I decided to challenge myself with a few of the color combos that didn't get voted in. I chose a combination that proved to be a challenge but once it started to come together I was glad I did it! The color combo I chose was hot pink and navy.

  This is how the journal spread started:

 On one of the pages I randomly glued down patterned paper scraps then whitewashed it with gesso.

 Then my dilemma began. I had outlined the pg with a hot pink Sharpie paint pen and blue paint pen border. I had the words and a magazine pic on my desk and wanted to use it. These are some of the words I cut out. I was playing with placement (more on the owl below) but that background did nothing-ugh!!! So, I painted over the background with black gesso and began again.

  Here is how I completed this page:

  The owl shape was cut out from a gelli plate print and the edges were sponged with some Jet Black Staz-On ink. Punched circles from another gelli print for the eyes and embellished with a marker, google eyes and the hot pink paint pen. The beak is a scrap of felt. Next the words were glued in place and outlined with that pink marker. I embellished the page with Nail Jewels pink stars (Dollar Store). I also used a liner brush dipped in white paint to create stars.

  Here's the completed spread:

 The left page was painted with black gesso before gluing on the Reader's Digest page and words. I added more painted stars and -voila! Are any of you continuing to challenge yourselves since the SOC project? I'd love to know!

  I had some nice and exciting surprises regarding my art (small goals I made for myself for this year) recently. I can share one of them now. This came in the mail this week:

  Again-no clue as to what project of mine could have been added to this edition but yippee!! One of those small goals I had written down was to have something published in a magazine I'd never been published in before.Check :)

  Here's what was published:

 This is one of 3 similar pieces I had sent for the "aqua" theme Somerset Studio had going for one of their issues awhile back. I always get the Holidays and Celebrations issue whenever it comes out and have considered submitting specifically for it but just never did. There are always such wonderful projects through out these editions-and speaking of-don't you just LOVE that fabric birdie hanging on the cover??? I'm going to have to make some! This issue is not in the stores yet but should be arriving in the next few weeks. If any of you that visit here are in it please let me know. I haven't taken the time to look through it yet.

 Linking up to my favorite places! Looking forward to see what everyone's been up to this week.

 " I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."   Pablo Picasso

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back From The Beach!

 We recently returned from Delaware and it was an awesome 11 days resplendent with great weather, lots of fun, friendship and great food!! Now that all is caught up at home it's high time I get caught up with all my blogging peeps. First I'll share a few beach pics but if you just want the art scroll down a bit.

  On the day we arrived there were some thunderstorms. Despite the dark clouds and rain over the ocean side, on the bay side the sun was shining brightly thru some blue skies. I just knew we'd find a rainbow. We not only found one, but a double one and these rainbows extended end to end over the ocean-pure magic! It was so moving I wrote two haikus:

                                       Storms over the sea
                                       Sun breaks over the bay side
                                       Magical rainbows

                                       Calls from a distance
                                       Sounds of joy and crashing waves
                                       The beach life's for me

   On our first walk on the beach I found three heart shaped stones in a row and my friend Lynne found a sand dollar (not so common to find in these parts). The next day I found a sand dollar and the tiniest little conch shell. Though everyone else searched high and low there were no other sand dollars to be found.

   We ate and drank very well...

                                           Friend Chad and I preparing for our lobster feast :)

  Good thing I got a good LONG walk on the beach each day. I also attended my first drumming circle (something I was looking into going to at home this fall) and it was such an incredibly freeing and exhilarating experience!! Lynne and I went with her two drums but we all tried out different drums and shared with each other. I see a drum in my future ;)

                                             Here I am using Lynne's beautiful shaman drum. Linking this to Inspiration Avenue -Native Arts theme this week.
  One last pic I couldn't resist:

 Annie decided to take my spot and pillow as soon as I was up. She was royally spoiled with attention and special treats and was happily exhausted.

  The art part: Just before leaving, my last lesson in the 52 Weeks of Creative Abundance online course supplied us with a video on making origami butterflies. I made one for each of the ladies along with leaving an Irish blessing in their rooms ( I'll link this to Glue It Tuesday since I did use some glue :):

                                                  May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
                                                  And find your shoulder to light on,
                                                  To bring you luck, happiness and riches
                                                  Today, tomorrow and beyond.
                                                                                  ~Irish Blessing

   And about a week or two before I left I came upon this blog ( I believe I found it thru the Summer of Color challenge) . Tammy does these amazing watercolor flower paintings and generously shares her techniques on her blog. I decided to try one of her techniques and these are the first two I made:

 On the first one I just used watercolors and on the second I experimented with twinks (Twinkling H2Os). I was tickled pink with how well these turned out thanks to Tammy's wonderful tutorial. I packed a kit and played at the beach making a card for each of my girlfriends.

  These are WIPs showing the beginning layers of colors using the twinks. I took some inspirational quotes to stamp in the centers.


   I LOVE painting these and they can be finished in no time! If you have any inclination to try painting flowers please do visit Tammy.

   Linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Glue It TuesdayInspiration Avenue, Mandarin Orange Monday, Paint Party Friday and Show and Tell Saturday. Looking forward to visiting you again!

  "My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me."   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow