Tag Archives: flowers

The Best of Both Worlds

I’ve been stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone and striving to learn new things.  My mantra this week has been “where there is fear there is no creativity”.  I first heard this statement years ago on a how-to decorating show on television.  I think it was called “Interior Motives” and it was hosted by a delightfully funny man named Christopher Lowell.  He shared so many skills and in such a non-intimidating and empowering way that I was able to decorate my whole house using his ideas.  For someone with their first home and a limited budget and being paralyzed at the thought of making a bad decorating decision this was huge.   It is not a stretch to say that by following his Seven Layers of Design and creating all sorts of home projects I was opening the door to my art creativity.  I realized what a joy it was to use my hands to create things.  From making cornice boxes and curtains and painting baseboards and draping fabric and becoming intimately familiar with my staple gun (that does not sound quite right does it?) I started to think creatively.

Fast forward a few years and I discovered scrapbooking.  I always made photo albums of our family vacations and tucked in all the ephemera and room keys and little comments about our adventures.  I never knew there was a whole UNIVERSE out there of people decorating these scrapbooks and creating layouts around all this stuff.  I went into an Archivers store that I passed by dozens of times and it was GAME ON.  I could not get enough of it–the paper, the stickers, the stamping–all of it.  I would spend days working on a single layout.  Agonize over every decision.

Fast forward another couple years and I had stopped scrapbooking and had moved on to a small and sporadic papercrafting business.  I was using my scrapbooking skills on cardmaking, giftbags, bookmarks, and journals.  I had small-scale success at holiday gift fairs and word-of-mouth sales.  I took a stab at an etsy site but my heart wasn’t in it.  It felt like I was forgetting how to create things with my own voice and I was becoming paralyzed by worrying about what other people would like.  I was second guessing every idea.  My happy creative mojo was nowhere to be found.  During this time I started taking classes and attending art retreats that featured lots of mixed media art.  I had my cool little art shack and every art supply I wanted but wasn’t feeling it.  I was creating a whole lot of nothing…nada…zip.

Fast forward to October, 2012, and I saw an ad in the paper for a paper crafting fair on the weekend.  I decided to go and see what was new in the paper crafting world.  Well the answer was ALOT.  The scrapbooking world has finally started incorporating more mixed media techniques and embracing more imperfection and less cookie-cutter-ness (new word!).  It seems there is room at the table for both scrapbooking and mixed-media to co-exist comfortably.  I’ve noticed mixed-media artists using some of the tools of scrapbooking and they aren’t even holding their noses!  I’ve noticed scrapbookers embracing the drippage and splatters and textures of mixed media without frantically diving for paper towels!  It is thrilling!  There are throngs of artists who like me enjoy having a paintbrush and an inkpad in both worlds.  Yippy skippy!

All that said–here are my creations from the past week.

Created from ribbon, lace, string pearls

Created from ribbon, lace, string pearls

Mixed media and photo

Mixed media and photo

Glass bead gel, Dylusions, handcut leaves

Glass bead gel, Dylusions, handcut leaves

 

Small Wall Hanging

All of these were created using both scrapbooking and mixed-media tools and techniques and were loads of fun to make.  TFL!

Art Out With Your HeART Out!

 

 

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Filed under Mixed Media Mania, Musings

Healthy Easter Wishes

Ikebana 2013-03-16 002

Easter colors!

Isn’t that a beautiful Ikebana composition?  It was made by an artist from The Sogetsu School in Denver, Colorado.  I attended a home and garden show a couple of weeks ago and there was a huge display of many, many Ikebana creations.  There were also live demonstrations.  This was my first exposure to this beautiful art method.  During the live demonstration there was a narrator who described the process and techniques as the artist worked on their composition.  Sometimes it was a pair of artists who had to work in tandem to create the piece; one holding while the other anchored or twisted stems and blooms.  The narrator also spoke of the meditative quality of doing these arrangements.  I was only able to spend a few minutes watching and listening to the demonstration because I was with another person who wasn’t quite as enamored of Ikebana as I was but I really enjoyed it and I plan to learn more about this ancient art form.  I snapped a couple of photos of arrangements I thought were exceptional.

Beautiful weaving

Beautiful weaving

I have been a little under the weather this week and it was a reminder to me that “if you don’t have your health, then you don’t have anything”.  I wish you a healthy (and happy) Easter!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Second Act–Tags Brought to Life

As promised, here are the tags from my previous post brought to life as part of a couple of Mothers Day cards.

Tag Card 1 (469x600)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.

Tag card 2

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!

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Spring Tag Tutorial

Tag Tutorial 2013-03-18 002 (500x415)

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

Tag Tutorial 2013-03-18 004 (600x435)I first covered the Calvin Klein tag with gesso and then painted it with craft paint.

Tag Tutorial 2013-03-18 007 (421x600)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.

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I like the distressed look so I roughed up the edges of my accent tag using my old school Making Memories distress tool.

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I also did some inking of some of my elements to get that grungy distress look.

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Then it was time to start putting all the pieces together.

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I really like the way my background looks like painted wood with all the texture and the graining highlighted by the ink.

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I use PVA glue to adhere most things.  It dries clear and is virtually indestructible once it dries.

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I added leaves and layered the flowers and a bit of raffia.  Also added a butterfly stamp to the accent tag.

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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!

Tag Tutorial 2013-03-18 023 (413x600)

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Spring Has Sprung

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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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I added butterflies.

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I added the trim.

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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!

First Canvas 2013-03-18 008 (372x500)

 

 

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Ode To Art

Jan RR layout 2013-01-27 008

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…..

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The heART Exchange Experience

I want to start off by saying that I so admire bloggers who blog regularly.  It seems no matter my intentions I have thus far been unable to make it a regular habit!  I feel like I have to be in a certain frame of mind and I have to have the right pictures to accompany my post so !voila!–a perfect recipe for no regular posts.  Perhaps I also need to quit playing Words With Friends online too…but that’s another story.  I am determined to keep veering back onto my blogging path until I get it right!

I had a very fun experience doing my first heART Exchange through the website http://yourheartmakesadifference.com/about/about-the-movement/.  I swapped with “an artist, dreamer and believer” named Leanne Wargowsky at fromchaoscomeshappiness.com.  We were matched by the swap coordinator at Your HeART Makes a Difference after we joined the swap.  Here is the piece of art I received from Leanne

 

It is a really fun collage piece on painted canvas!  I am thrilled to receive it from Leanne!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sent her a piece I had previously posted here in one of it’s incarnations.

  It was really fun to send a piece out into the Universe without knowing one thing about where it was going or anything about the person to receive it.  Sending it out only for the sake of doing it and to give it wings.  I will probably participate in other heART Exchanges because this one gave me so much pleaure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have an artsy day!

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Happy Colors!

I like to doodle.  I doodle when I’m on the phone, when I’m waiting for things, especially when I’ve been in long training sessions or staff meetings in the office.  It’s a form of listening for me.  If I doodle I can listen and pay attention better.  I don’t start reading labels or handouts or whatever I can get my eyes on.  My mind doesn’t wander away.  My doodles are somewhat aimless and very stream of consciousness.  I have no particular plan when I start and I generally won’t stop until I’ve filled up the space.  Many times I will date them and save them because I particularly like one or sometimes they inadvertantly get saved in my notes and I run across them later.

In the past couple of years I’ve been embracing my creative bent and mixed media art and learning lots of techniques.  I’ve recognized that my doodles can be used in my mixed media creations.  I have been experimenting with coloring them with various mediums.  The one above I doodled with a Copic marker and then colored with colored pencils.

I am a fan of several artists who use a lot of happy colors and images and at times some colorful language!  I adore them.  These people inspire me in so many ways; their art, their knowledge; their fearless creativity; their wonderful big personalities and most certainly their boundless energy!  I aspire to be just like them when I grow up in my artistic endeavors.

One of my favorite artists is a wonderful woman named Joanne Sharp ( http://joannezsharpe.blogspot.com/).  I have admired her gorgeous spirited work even before I knew her name.  I would see it in publications and instantly be drawn to it.  I had the great pleasure of meeting her in person this summer and getting to know her a bit.  Her work is endlessly colorful and squiggly and lighthearted.  It is inspiration I get from her that made me think I should try colorizing my doodles.  Enjoy!

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Fancy Schmancy Paper Transformed

As promised I am going to show you what I did with the painted papers I did the other day.   drum roll please……haha..that may be a bit too much of a buildup!

I had these small white pots I purchased in the knockoff bin at the grocery store for $1 and they had been taking up space in my studio for a project “someday”–you know how that goes!  I tore the paper into random strips and used glossy Modge Podge to adhere the strips to the sides of the pot all the way around.  I wasn’t too calculated about this.  I’m not one to measure and plan every move.  I added some gold paint pen in some areas.  So far so good as far as I’m concerned.  Then I had the brilliant idea to use some gold Shiva paintstick on some areas.  I figured if a little gold is good then a lot more must be better right?  no no no…this did not turn out the way I thought and I began to hate this pot!  I’ve had this happen before where I just can’t seem to leave well enough alone.  I began wiping as much of the paintstick off as possible and there may have been some cussing involved.  Once again my brain whirred into motion and I thought I could mix some pigment powder into the ModgePodge and add another layer over everything.  I used some brilliant yellow/orange pigment powder and liberally slathered it over everything.  After it dried I liked the sheen and added the layers of ribbon around the top.  I used round orange rhinestones as accents.  But why stop there??  I decided to add some silk blue flowers.  Flowers make everything better right??  I first tried putting them on with Modge Podge but that didn’t work as I hoped.  They wouldn’t stick except to my fingers—grrrr.  I decided to use some PVA glue to get them to stick and then Modge Podge over them when they were dry.  It was a battle but I was not about to be beaten by some blue blooms!  Several layers of ModgePodge and more orange rhinestones later this pot was finished!

On this pot I first stamped some bold swirls on the painted paper before I tore it into random strips.  Once again used glossy Modge Podge to adhere the strips.  Added some cool mesh ribbon I’d been saving for a special project!  Added silver paint pen and silver Stickles for some sparkle.  Coated the whole thing over with glossy MPodge and remembered I had some big chunky rhinestones!  Who can resist those???  Not me.

This one is probably my favorite of the ones I’ve done.  I love the vibrant colors and patterns.  Same theory as before–rips random strips, glossy MP all around.  Added gold paint pen in areas, added two layers of ribbon around the top.  Purple Stickle dots and then orange silk flowers.  I learned that flowers with larger and fewer petals are MUCH easier to adhere to a rounded surface like this pot.  Used the last of my orange rhinestones for the flower centers.  I’ve debated adding some gold paint pen dots to the orange flowers but haven’t because I’m alittle gun shy after the paintstik debacle on the first pot.

These next two pots I did not use the painted paper I made.  They were actually the first two of the white pots I embellished.  I used Copic markers.  Also the first time I used my Copic markers.  My crude rendition of a beach scene on this one.  I sealed it with glossy ModgePodge because I like the shine!

Experimented with combining colors of Copic markers and I love sunshiny yellows and oranges!  Added a couple of rubons to the sides and colored them in.  Now I have a couple cheery cups for my markers and paintstiks!

Still have about 5 of these bargain bin white pots.  Who knows what I’ll do them??!!  Thanks for looking!

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Filed under Flash Trash & Glitter, Mixed Media Mania, Paper Beauties