Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ancestor Pendant

This is one of my first soldered pieces. You can tell if you look closely! My soldering has definitely improved. But this pendant is dear to my heart. One side has a picture of my grandfather when he was quite young. I'd say early 20's. He was absolutely the dearest man I have ever met. He passed several years ago at the ripe age of 93. He lived long and well, and was loved by many. The other side is my great grandmother - my grandmother's mother. We called her Bopchi - I'm certain that is NOT how it's spelled, but that's how it sounded! It means 'Grandmother' in Polish. She was a very sweet woman. She spoke very little English, but we still managed to communicate and there was never any doubt about the love that was between us. She passed when I was 12 and she was in her 80's. It was quite common when I was growing up to hear lots of conversations taking place in Polish. I never learned - but I wish I had. I can count to almost ten and know a few words, but that's it. What a shame. I'm not a scrap booker - sometimes I wish I was. I envy people who have all those glorious books that document their lives and the lives of those around them. But this was my little bit of scrap booking that day. It preserves these two remarkable people in a pendant that lies close to my heart as they do. I always get comments on this piece when I wear it.

Itty Bitty With Wings Book

Yesterday I picked up my Itty Bitty With Wings book swap pages. The swap was done through a fantastic local store Frenzy Stamper. They were great! Traffic was bad, so I arrived about a half hour after they started. I got to meet a few of the participants, but I was hoping to meet more. The swap didn't fill and not everyone got their pages to the store on time, so it wasn't a full 25 pages. Even so, it made a substantial book! So may different styles and takes on a theme. Our youngest swapper was 10 years old - and the page was fabulous! Now Maddie wants to get in on the next one!

I put it together tonight with the Bind-It-All. It's the first time I've used it. I bought it in January as a birthday present to me. That thing works like a charm! I have chunky book from a few years ago that I never bound - you can bet I'll get after that one with this little machine! I watched Debbie use it yesterday and just followed along with what she did. It was a snap. I guess I'll take a look at the DVD to see what else they say about it. But it's easy to use and does a great job. The binding coils make it really easy to embellish the spine. It only took me about 15 minutes to complete the spine.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Journal & Charm Swaps Received!

I got my 4 x 6 journal swap in the mail yesterday! Woo Hoo! these are beautiful pages! They're much more 'fabricy' than mine. I didn't use too much, but the ones that arrived use fabric as the base and they are all nicely stitched and have inclusions. I guess I'd better get one of my six sewing machines out! Truly, I'm inspired to get going with some fabric and decorative stitching now. Thanks for the great artwork!

My charms arrived yesterday, too! These are amazing! I got 20 back and they all have their own draw. Some are fabric. S0me are beaded. Some are found objects. They're just gorgeous! I can't decide if I actually will make something of these or just display them. A lot of them came on display cards and I hate to remove them and lose their creator info. Oh well, I have time to decide.

Thanks to everyone who participated in these swaps - the work is beautiful. Sometimes it's a crap shoot with a swap, but I'm very pleased with what I received.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Stamped Molding Paste Backgrounds

This is a technique I'm very fond of. I love to spread molding paste around on things and dry brush it, but this lends itself to a much more rich look. It's really quite easy. I apply the molding paste to whatever substrate I'm working on. I most often use my finger, but other tools give a nice effect, too! Don't apply the paste too thickly or your stamp will sink in and you won't get a good impression. It makes a mess on your stamp and your piece. Let the molding paste skin over. Then just impress your stamp, remove it and clean it right away. Let the whole thing dry well and proceed with your project! You can get a lot of great looks with this technique!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Itty Bitty With Wings - Be Free

Another swap! Yes, I've been swapping a bit here lately! I don't have any more in the pipeline after this one though. I've never done an itty bitty before but I'm fond of the 3" format. I'm more inclined to do a larger original work swap if the format is small like this. The theme was 'wings' so this was what I came up with. I used the Industria technique from the recent article in Somerset Studio for the background. What a great effect! The hearts are done with molding paste and acrylics. Then German scrap for the wings. The image is from Paper Artsy and i embossed it on both side with Tim Holtz's distressed emmbossing powder - black soot. That powder look fabulous with the industria technique! I used mostly pretty heavy chipboard which allowed me to use my metal stamps for the lettering. That gave it a more 'metal' feel to me.

Charm Swap

I recently finished a charm swap on the Mixed Media Arts group. It was really fun! I can't wait to see what comes back from this one! The first batch was pretty labor intensive, but they came out great. The second batch went together more quickly but aren't as eye catching. Still, I think they'd be a nice addition to any charm bracelet. One from each batch will go into a bracelet that will be submitted to LK Ludwig's call for collaborative efforts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beeswax Collage

This is a pair I did a while ago, but they're some of my favorites. They're done on 5 x 7 canvases. The background was a page from a vintage ledger. I love how the wax made it somewhat translucent and the text is visible from the backside through the paper. I enjoy how the pair plays off positive and negative space. I started out doing just the girl and the other one was a very happy accident! I love the beeswax from Crockett's Honey. They're local to me and it smells awesome! It's great in handmade lip balms as well! The pieces are edged in a vintage eyelet twill tape. I have used this very sparingly in the past because it was quite a find, but now I see you can buy it new at several places. So I guess it's time to break it out and use it up! It's cotton though, and takes coloring quite nicely - I'll have to check on the new stuff and make sure it isn't synthetic. It might be time to break out that wax pot again!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Journal Swap

I've been doing a few swaps lately and it's been a great motivator. I seem to get more done when I have a deadline. I recently sent off 6 pages for a journal swap on the Mixed Media Yahoo Group. They had to be 4 x 6 with paint, paper, metal and fabric on them. I had a whole set of backgrounds done and then I scrapped them all and started over! I like the backgrounds, but they just didn't jell with what else I had in mind. So, I'll use them for something else. This was a nice manageable number of pages. When it gets up around 40 pages or so for fat books - I can't do that. I could just slit my throat after doing 40 of the same thing! LOL! That gets too boring and tedious for me. I like the lower number of items. The pages didn't have to be the same for this swap either, so I did each one differently. That was a nice change as well. One page is being sent off in a collaborative to Cloth Paper Scissors. It would be nice to be published. We'll see how it works out. Below are the other pages I submitted for swapping. Can't show the one being sent in for submission though.

This lizard was fun. I found this great batik fabric and I just had to do an embossing powder lizard to go with it. I like the contrast of the glitzy lizard and the rusty metal.

This turquoise and copper background was done using Kelsey's Credit Card Technique. It's fun, easy and produced great results! I just LOVE these little pieces of rusty metal that I have. I keep my eye out for them everywhere we go! The bead came from Barbara Matthiessen. I really hated to part with it, but it was just perfect for this page!

The beaded scroll technique I learned from Barbara. It's fun to do and you can't really screw this up! I have all sorts of ideas for variations on this technique and the fabric beads. This page has some heft to it but it's very tactile.

Mageia is a favorite or mine. First off, I really love some of those Paper Artsy images. And being a 'Fall,' this settles into my preferred color scheme. Sometimes it's really hard to get me away from the fall colors. That's definitely my comfort zone. This was done with techniques I learned from Bernie Berlin. It's a great look!

Faith just came together out of nowhere. As I post these, I see that there are some themes running though them. And I thought they were all different! LOL! Like I said, LOVE the rusty metal, but it seems I've got a bondage thing going on here, too! Poor little worry doll. All trussed up with no one to save her. I guess she'll just have to have a little faith...

Here We Go!

Well, here it is. After much trepidation, I've finally jumped in with both feet (fins?) to start a blog. We'll see how it goes, but I think it's going to be fun! There are some blogs out there that I check most every day and it's great fun to see what's going on in other people's lives. What a great way to stay in touch! And I love to read Artist's blogs. They are so inspiring and so free with sharing their techniques and ideas. It's a true community - one that I hope to become a more participatory member in...

The banner picture is one of my favorite pieces of art. I just fell in love with that fish! The background was done with Dr. Ph Martins concentrated watercolors and Peerless watercolors. It took awhile to get the right affect, but boy was that worth it! The fish were printed on my inkjet in mirror images and then I used a simple water transfer technique to get them on the pages. I wrote a poem to accompany these guys, but I just don't have the heart to put words on those pages. I have not refined my lettering skills to the point where I want to chance it. And I may just take the poem (it's not fantastic, by the way!) and turn it into a little book by itself. Regardless, the opening line is "If you were a fish, for what would you wish?" So I thought it'd be fun to title the blog with that line. For now, anyway. This spread is part of my Digressions Journal . This is a fabulous hand-bound book I made with Tracey Moore . It's really nice to work in, but I'll post that another time.
For now, that's enough.

First post under my belt - let's see where this takes us!