Saturday, August 15, 2009

Family Vacation 2009

We have been renting a cabin in northern Wisconsin for a few years and really enjoy it. It is on Lower Gresham Lake and the fishing has always been FANTASTIC! Here are just a few pictures from our stay:

Absence makes the ART grow fonder ? ? ? ?

Yeah, well, whatever . . . . LOL! Sorry I have been gone so long. Guess the batteries just needed some old fashioned recharging. I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. Had a nice family vacation in July that really helped. So I think I am back in the land of blogging!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Adrienne is September's "IT" Girl

and her theme is Medieval . . . . . hhmmm, THAT really got me thinking. I had purchased some tins for use in my 12 Days of Christmas swap and made sure to purchase some extras. I covered the bottom with what I hope is appropriate medieval paper and then found an image I thought would work. I raised the image with pop dots and added a raven at the bottom and two swords on the cover . . . . and VIOLA!! A medieval tin . . . . I can't wait to see what others create as I didn't have ANY stamps that would work.

Bird, Bird, Bird, Birds the Word Swap

I am hosting a bird swap on CCSwaps and decided to try my hand at some more painting. I started out by applying gesso to my canvas board. Next I added some blue, green, pink and blue acrylic paints to the background, using a glossy scrunched magazine page to blot it around until I was happy. I had a nest that I knew I wanted to use, so my idea was to paint a bird that was flying, but sort of coming in for a landing in the nest. Believe me, the image in my head was PERFECT . . . . LOL! I used a pencil to draw a bird outline and then used my Shiva Paintstiks to color it in. I only have the primary set of colors, so I was a bit limited in what I could do (sounds like an excuse, doesn't it . . . . . ) I used a small flourish on two corners with pearl metallic acrylic paint and found the words to Mary Poppins "Feed the Birds" and cut out some select lines - adhered to canvas with gel medium, added the nest. Next I sponged some blue ink on the edges. I showed it to my youngest son, who said "It's okay Mom, birds are really hard to draw". I guess that said it all:
I scanned and showed it to my fellow moderators and one of my VERY good friends, Chrissy, said (and I JUST love this . . . . . . )

"I am impressed!!! That is a pretty good bird. I think the wings and tail are good, but there is something about its neck (do birds have necks??). My first impression is it is too fat. I'm trying to picture it with a skinnier neck, but can't tell if that will make it better. Cool bird's nest!!! What are you planning to use this for??"

So diplomatic . . . . obviously not wanting to hurt my feelings, points out the good parts first, is VERY curious about it's neck, tries to give some sound advice (without saying BIN IT!), focuses in on the birds nest (the only thing I DIDN'T make) and might be just a bit worried that I am going to send it to her!!! ROFL!!!


So . . . . last night I got out my GESSO (my new best friend!) and lathered it over the entire canvas - taking care around the nest as it was already FIRMLY attached!!! Can't live without my E6000!!

I started again, using the same process, revised my drawing, used a different flourish stamp, lost one line from "Feed the Birds" (didn't fit properly) and below is the new scan. While I like the bird much better, I don't care for the background as much as the first time. I "think" it is done . . . . Suggestions and comments are welcome, I have thick skin :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

August "It" Girl - Theme "Quotes"

Carol was our August Art-Venture "It" girl and she picked quotes as her theme. I printed a number of different quotes on colored background papers and placed inside a tin. I placed a alcohol ink background paper stamped with a large "Friendship" quote on the inside bottom of the tin. On the outside I used some clear sticker quotes.

Board Book Project

Trish has started us all on a board book project. She is giving us step by step instructions to follow - and it is very interesting to see how they are all turning out. Step one including finding a childs board book and prepping it for paints, by sanding and applying gesso to all of the pages. Then we had to paint the background of the first two page spread blue. Next we were to go through a magazine and tear out a piece that would cover 25% of one side of the pages and adhere in our book. I used gel medium to attach the piece. We then took some watered down gesso and lightly brushed over and around that piece. Using a credit card and black paint, we were then told to create criss cross lines over the pages, but not over the piece from the magazine. Again using some watered down gesso, using a sponge, we we told to blot it on, covering some of the black lines, but not all. The final instruction of step one was to paint a bold, thin, white strip somewhere across one page, vertically or horizontally. Below is a scan of my first step:

Instructions for Step two were to water down the same blue paint used to create the background until it was a glaze like consistency and brush completely over both pages. Using this same blue glaze, we were also told to rip some pages out of a book and apply over them, saving to use later on in the board book project. After the glaze had dried in our books - we were to stamp in light metallic green a bold image three times on our pages. I used a large diamond pattern and green lumiere paint. We were then told to find a letter stencil and use black paint to sponge through it somewhere on one of the pages. I used the letter "K". Af ter this was all dry, the next instruction was to water down some black acrylic paint and brush completely over both pages, after which we rubbed most back off with a dry paper towel, creating a light stain. Next we sponged a grungy border around the entire outside of the two pages. After this we were told to tear a page from a book, rip it to the desired width and attach it vertically to one side of our spread. I again used gel medium to adhere it. The final instruction for Step two was to outline our stencil letter with white - I used my Signo Uniball pen!! Below is my scan of Step Two:

We have received our final set of instructions for this spread in our board book. Step 3 involved finding a quote we liked that began with the letter we stenciled on our page. Well, I decided to be "K"reative with this . . . LOL . . . . just can't quite help myself! We were told to print this out in a font we like and cut out each individual word and adhere to our page. Next we were to find a main image that would compliment our choosen quote. I love Teesha Moore and have some of her collage sheets. I choose my image from one of those sheets. We were then to layer this image on black card stock and adhere to our pages. The final instruction is this final step was to find 3 complimentary silver charms and adhere in a row on our pages. Below is my scan of my finished two page spread.

Ready for our next two page spread!

Step one instructions had us draw a wavy line across both pages - closer to the bottom than the top. We were then told to paint the top BRIGHT orange and the bottom lime green.

Step Two instructions

Paint a wavy red line where the orange meets the green and let dry. Meanwhile tear a page from a paperback and cover it with a light coat of gesso. Let dry. Cut into thin strips and attach to the green, leaving approximately the same amount of thickness of your strips in between. Using a pencil eraser we were then told to make dots using gesso in the orange area and let dry.

The final set of instructions had us use a very light brown stain over our entire two page spread and allow to dry. We then drew flowers on scrap paper and cut out flowers from three different background papers. Alternating which color was on top for each one and affix a brad in the center and glue on pages.

We then found a quote, printed and glued to the pages. The final instruction was to finish it off how we choose.

Because my quote was by Lady Bird Johnson, I decided to add a pair of birds and then outlined the words. I wanted to keep them bright white to jump out!
I forgot to take step by step pictures of our 3rd page spread. Below is the finished page. The first step was to take multiple scraps and adhere them to both sides, filling all spaces. I followed that with a light wash of gesso to blend all the scraps together. Next we were to use gold embossing powder and sprinkle over both sides and heat it. I then stamped on a piece of masking tape and adhered it to the left side. I then created a heart using UTEE and burgundy embossing powder - I poured the heated UTEE onto the same stamp I used on the masking tape and used some gold rub n buff to highlight. I attached the heart over a piece of blue mesh to match some of the blue of my scraps. I next found a quote, printed, cut out, adhered to the left side and outlined in black. Ta da . . . . FINISHED!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Raevn's Nest Art Retreat, Cedarburg, Wisconsin October, 2008

I have been very busy preparing for a brand new Art Retreat being held in Cedarburg, Wisconsin this coming October. I am hosting a chunky book swap and participating in a charm swap, as well as making personal trades for the retreat. As the host of the chunky book swap, I thought it would be fun for every book to contain a page from each instructor. Two of the instructors created their own pages and emailed them to me to copy and finish. The other instructors gave me permission to use their photos, personal information and scans of projects from the retreat website to create their pages. Behind the instructor pages I am including a blank page for retreat members to record any info from their classes, emails of new friends made, perhaps a photo of their completed project, etc. I thought these would made great memory pages of the retreat!

Below are some of the things I have been working on for the last month or so:
These are the charms I created for the charm swap. I used various color ink pads for the backgrounds and then stamped a raven image in black India Ink and sealed them. Punched a hole and added a feather charm. I stamped the entire image that included the raven on card stock and used glue dots to adhere the charm in the proper spot. To date we have 23 signed up for the charm swap.
Below are some of the Art Journals I decorated for the swap. I found the blank journals at a dollar store in my area. I stamped the bird image using black India Ink on white glossy card stock and then colored in each individual feather. Added a rhinestone eye, the name of the retreat and placed on a black glossy background and adhered to cover.
Close up of one of the journals, front and back.

On the inside of the back cover I added another stamp and my information:
Because I can never seem to turn off my brain . . . . I thought it would be fun to put the chunky books in a neat black funky bag for everyone. I searched EVERYWHERE and couldn't find anything I liked. I ended up purchasing these kraft bags and decorating them. If I never cut out another bird or made another white dot, it might just be too soon :) (In case you can't tell, the raven in the party hat has a paintbrush in it's beak!) The back of the bag has my signature "SweetPea" stamp and another raven with "Cedarburg, Wisconsin 2008" written on it. Not sure if I am completely done or if I will add more . . . . because for some reason I never seem to think anything is finished!! I thought that attendees could also use these bags to hold their trades, charms, etc.
Here are two of the front covers of the chunky book. I used all different types of backgrounds but the images are all the same. I couldn't decide if I wanted to use "Got Art?" or "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures", so I did half and half :) Problem solved!! As some of you will recall, I had a very difficult time finding a white pen that would show up WHITE on these covers (the dots!). I finally broke down and got out my white acrylic paint and some toothpicks. Each cover has anywhere between 75 and 90 dots . . . . . . . . and I made 45 covers . . . . you do the math! ROFL! You will be glad to know that about 1 week after finishing these covers I did find a PERFECT white pen . . . better late than never! It is a Signo Uniball #UM-153 and it is WONDERFUL! I used that pen to create the dots on the fronts of the bags above!! No more toothpicks for me!
Here are the backs of the front covers. You will note that there are NO white dots!!
Now that I have finished these projects . . . . until I start binding the books . . . . I can go on to some other projects that have been waiting in the wings!