March 25, 2013 · 3:27 am
Flora in Cozumel–January 2013
Spring brings renewal not only to nature but also the opportunity for renewal to us citizens of life. We have choice about how we live our lives and how we choose to see beauty in the world. Some days it is harder to choose to see the light. Certainly some circumstances make it MUCH harder to choose to see the light. I believe the beauty and light is always there somewhere. It may be a glimmer–it may be nearly camouflaged with the detritus of everyday living–but it is always there waiting to spark our spirit.
I choose to live an artful life. I choose to make art and to share it. I choose to feed my spirit. I choose to never stop learning. I choose to look for the beauty in my daily chores, to appreciate the presence of good people in the world, to show my heart in my art. I choose light and love. I choose to dance.
March 23, 2013 · 7:23 pm
As promised, here are the tags from my previous post brought to life as part of a couple of Mothers Day cards.
I added the first tag to the front of this hand-made card with a few embellishments and a bit of lace.
The second tag also became the front of a hand-made card with a few embellishments and some bits of lace and trim.
I really enjoy giving second life to items that are normally thrown away without a second thought—in this case the hang tags from purchased clothing. I encourage you to think about even small ways you can make use of an item and give it a second life. TFL!
March 20, 2013 · 10:48 pm
Hello Hello! Today I have a tag tutorial that features another SPRING theme. In spite of the snow that is forecast in the next couple of days I am moving headlong into spring. So–alittle background for this tag–
I have a thing for recycling. Not unusual–recycling is very popular right? I recycle cans, and paper, and glass, and all the usual stuff but I have a couple of less usual things I like to recycle art-wise–non-styrofoam packing materials and clothing hangtags. I’m not sure why I’m so enamored of these two items but I am. Sometimes when I unpack a new item I’m almost more excited about the packing than the actual item. When I look at packing materials I see all the texture and layers and it makes my heart go pitty-pat. Sometimes it’s hard for me to put packing material in the recycling bin and I can totally see myself hoarding it but as you know my art shack is small so I can’t.
Hangtags are my other weakness but on these I’m a bit more discerning. I don’t go for just any hangtag. They have to be a certain weight and it helps if they have interesting texture or pics or graphics or shape. It’s amazing how creative companies are getting with their hangtags these days! I really enjoy upcycling these tags into little works of art that I then use on greeting cards or presents.
So I made one spring tag and then decided to do a step-out photo tutorial and make another one. I started with these items
I first covered the Calvin Klein tag with gesso and then painted it with craft paint.
I used a couple of coats of gesso and then covered the tag thickly with paint. I applied the paint with a foam brush and let ridged brush marks form for extra texture.
I colored my flowers with Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst dye using the foam stamping applicator tip. I then spritzed with water to allow the color to blend a bit.
I like the distressed look so I roughed up the edges of my accent tag using my old school Making Memories distress tool.
I also did some inking of some of my elements to get that grungy distress look.
Then it was time to start putting all the pieces together.
I really like the way my background looks like painted wood with all the texture and the graining highlighted by the ink.
I use PVA glue to adhere most things. It dries clear and is virtually indestructible once it dries.
I added leaves and layered the flowers and a bit of raffia. Also added a butterfly stamp to the accent tag.
Put a few touches of gesso on a few areas to add a bit of shabbiness.
Here’s a couple of sprigs of spring! In my next post I’ll show you what I did with these tags! TFL!
March 20, 2013 · 4:54 pm
This is a link to my new blog. Feel free to visit and see what I’m doing! Adios.
Spring Tag Tutorial.
March 18, 2013 · 8:49 pm
Well at least in MY art shack! I am loving that there are warmer and sunnier days popping up more often. It has put me in the mood for vibrant colors and fresh new starts. I am so energized by sunshine. After the shorter and darker days of winter I love the renewal spring brings in nature and in my spirit as well.
Recently I created a mixed media canvas. The first one I’ve ever done completely on my own. I created one other mixed media canvas a couple of years ago at an art retreat class I attended, but that one was under the guidance and supervision of a wonderful and talented instructor (Kim Geiser of Persimmons Studio). This time I was under the influence of only myself and my sunshine energized spirit…. and, well, some chocolate. Rich, creamy dark chocolate….but I digress–back to the story of my canvas. A few months ago I was introduced to the Faber-Castell Gelatos by the Swirlydoos Kit Club (swirlydoos.com). I’d heard of gelatos and actually even had one in my possession from a gift bag I’d received at an art retreat, but I’d never actually tried it out. I received several gelatos in the kit from Swirlydoos and I’d had a chance to experiment with them and had fallen in love with them. Gelatos are water-soluble creamy crayon-type yummy goodness that come in many colors–many rich, vibrant, and very tempting colors. I knew I wanted to use gelatos to make a background for whatever I was going to do on my small (half-off clearance bin) canvas and I knew I wanted to use a particular flower stem that I had in my stash–again from Swirlydoos–so I set about working on my canvas. I primed my canvas with white gesso and used a combination of coloring and spritzing with water and blended with a brush.
I had no firm plan so I kept experimenting with the water and combining the different gelato colors and was finally satisfied with my background.
I wanted to add some texture so I got out my Golden Crackle Paste and a couple of Crafters Workshop stencils and some Luminarte Silks acrylic glazes. Here is the result:
I liked that the elements of the stencils I chose were of similar size and had a similar pattern.
Once I finished my background setup I wanted to incorporate my flower stem inspiration piece, some textured packing material, and some delicate butterflies I had previously misted. Over the next few days I worked on my canvas off and on in between other projects. I arranged, I rearranged. I added, I subtracted. I adhered my flower inspiration but I just couldn’t decide WHAT NEXT??? So I did what I often do when I’m troubled by
anything a major dilemma—retail therapy. Art supply retail therapy. During the course of my “therapy” I found some really gorgeous and so so so beautiful trims in the color palette I was using on this project. It was the inspiration I needed and my project FLOWED!
I added my packing material.
I added butterflies.
I added the trim.
I coated the background with a layer of spray matte finish and then topped it off with a coat of Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam (in Chandelier)…
and it was finished. TFL!
March 13, 2013 · 4:41 pm
On your left when you walk in the door. Art made by me and others.
A work surface with craft mat and paper cutter. Storage on the bottom shelf. This table is on wheels so it can be moved easily.
When I sit and work at the armoire’s pull-out desk I can see my garden and the path leading to my art shack.
I love my small chandelier and my floating lady and my wall sentiments.
These storage carts are on my right when I sit at the armoire pull-out desk. All are on wheels for easy movement.
Most of the time I sit at the armoire and work at the pull-out desk. Everything is within arms reach. I have my stereo up top and I have a remote control for it so I don’t even have to get up to use it.
This is my armoire. There is a pull-out desk on the left. This thing has LOADS of storage. When the doors are shut it looks very nice but I leave them open all the time.
Another storage option that has my Vagabond die cutting machine on top. It is on wheels for easy movement.
A closeup of my pretty chandelier and my booby floating lady!
This is my creative space. My place of serenity and calm. In here I am surrounded by happy things. There is nothing in this space that I don’t love.
I have art from other artists that I find inspirational. There is art that I’ve created that has given me hours of happiness and joy and sometimes the giggles. The shelves and drawers and stacks and tubs of art supplies give me the feelings of possibility, curiosity and discovery. Art = Happiness. Art Out With Your Heart Out.
March 7, 2013 · 7:01 pm
This is my own little slice of heaven. It is an 8′ x 12′ slice of heaven but my slice nonetheless. I have two windows and a nice high ceiling and it is well-insulated and heated and air-conditioned. It meets my needs perfectly!
Inside it is fun and functional and there are lots and lots of art supplies. Would you like to have a peek?
March 5, 2013 · 6:22 pm
Art–how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: I love flowers and paint and textures. I love bling and baubles and buttons. I love masking and mists and layers. I love inks and gesso and gelatos. I love stamps and stencils and paper.
Oh how I love paper. I love to look at it, I love to cut it into shapes, I love to tear it and place it just so. I love all of it’s many colors and designs, and how some is sparkly. Sparkly is especially nice. There is a paper for every artistic situation. There is bold paper, demure paper, gossamer thin paper, thick and chunky paper, paper with glitter, paper with fibers and paper that you can see through. There is paper made from other pieces of paper.
A new piece of paper makes a bad day good. A new piece of paper makes a good day better. A new piece of paper can be so beautiful that I don’t want to use it for anything and I have to save it for awhile and admire it from time to time. A new piece of paper can open the door to my imagination and become a part of something special. A new piece of paper can hold all the creativity I can muster and then alittle bit more.
And the love affair continues…..