"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Recent Swaps

I recently hosted an "Old Techniques are New Again" swap. We revisited a marbling technique using shaving cream which has been around for years.  Basically the technique uses shaving cream sprayed into a pan and leveled out like frosting. Then drops of a few colors of acrylic ink, paint, alcohol ink, or even food coloring are dropped onto the shaving cream and "combed" through with various tools. A sheet of paper is placed on top and rubbed gently. After removing the paper and scraping off excess shaving cream, it is left to dry and you end up with some amazing background papers!

For this swap we had to make a card using one of our marbled backgrounds.

This was the one I sent off. I used a second marbled piece to die cut the bird.


And I received this one.  I think we were all thinking "spring" as the cards were all bright and colorful.


If you haven't tried this technique before, give it a whirl. It's expensive and fun and the papers smell amazing. I've even seen this on Pinterest used for coloring Easter eggs, which would be fun to do with kiddos!

I am also participating in a "Divided Postcard" swap where we each divide a postcard into thirds and decorated one section. We then send it to two more people and, when completed, gets sent on to a fourth person. This is truly cooperative art!

Here is the postcard I started with. I decorated the address side with stamps and watercolors.




For my section on the reverse side, I used modeling paste through a floral stencil and then added Color Burst powder watercolors. I finished with a stamp and some spritzes of gold paint.



This is the first postcard I've received. The left section was already completed. I used Distress Ink on my background and stamped a Ken Oliver daisy stamp in Archival ink.  I colored with regular colored pencils, white paint for the flower and used gold Stickles for the flower center.




It will be fun to see how these postcards progress and what they look like finished!




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - March 12-18

 I was out of town all weekend with girlfriends for a mini-art-retreat. It's always fun getting together and creating with friends!

So I had to play catch-up to get last week's spread done.



I used mainly watercolors, washi tape, stickers and a stencil with acrylic paint on these pages.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - March 5-11

This is last week's spread in my planner.  I added two "tip-ins" - one for an order that arrived on Wed. and a ticket stub from the Ft. Worth Symphony on Sat. They flip to reveal the remainder of those days' postings.


For the right page I did a "zetti-type" collage - it's kinda funky but it's something different 
and I like it.

I'm getting ready to go out of town for a girls' art weekend. Three of us are meeting at another friend's house near Waco and spending the days eating, crafting, talking and just enjoying each other's company. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Altered Address Labels - Tutorial

Do you get so many address labels in the mail that you don't ever use them all? Or, in my case, I keep receiving ones for my daughter who hasn't lived with us or in Texas for ten years! I was about to throw them away but then had an "aha" moment and decided to alter them! I used a few in one of my recent weekly spreads and promised to share a tutorial. So here goes:




1. Cover the label sheet with one or two coats of gesso. You can see that they aren't totally covered but the following steps will take care of that.


2. Paint with two colors of acrylic paint with a paintbrush or old key card or your fingers. (I used a hot pink and light blue which combined to make a violet.)


3. I added more pink.


4. Then more blue.



5. "Stamp" with white paint and bubble wrap.


6. Stamp with black permanent ink (I used a chevron roller stamp).


7. The black stood out too much so I applied more white paint with bubble wrap to soften it. (Can you tell that this is a back-and-forth process? Put something on, add something to cover that, add more, etc...)


8. Add small dots with pink paint and a piece of shelf liner.


9. Add more white with corrugated cardboard (a coffee cup wrapper).


10. Stamp script randomly with black permanent ink. Finished - or just keep going until you like it!


 Here are a few of the labels from the finished sheet. Each one looks different, but they coordinate.





And here are a few more I have done.



Sometimes the labels are bigger and you could even punch shapes from them.

The possibilities are endless and you can recycle and use something that would have been thrown in the trash! I hope you will give it a try!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Home Again and Planner Update

We returned from Mexico late Saturday night. This is the fourth trip we've made to Los Algodones which is just across the border from Yuma, AZ. I would call it the dental capital of the world - a tiny border town with over 300 dentists! It is completely safe - if it wasn't, everyone would go out of business and the town would cease to exist! It is invaded by mostly Canadians, snowbirds and Americans for inexpensive (compared to the states) dental care.

In the past I've had an "All-On-4" implant procedure that involved four implants on the top of my mouth with a permanent "denture" over that. It was very successful, except one of the teeth broke off in the back (warranted) so we went back to have that replaced. I also had a loose bridge I thought would just need glueing. Surprise - when they took x-rays, they discovered infection and tooth deterioration under the bridge, so the net of it was I had 2 extractions, infection removal, 3 implants and a bone graft. Ouch (more financial than physical)! After 8 months' healing time, we will go back for the permanent crowns.

So, I have not been very artsy this past week! And not feeling up to much this week either.  Working on some upcoming swaps and have updated my planner for the past two weeks.

Feb. 26-28



I used the "reduction stenciling" technique for the background of this spread. I painted with pink and yellow Distress Paints and, while it was still wet, wiped through a stencil with a baby wipe to remove some of the color. The borders between the days are border-punched paper strips and the days of the week are handmade stickers (I'll do a post on those later). On the right page I added a tag which was made with strips of washi tape, watercolors, and stamped butterflies. The largest one is dimensional: I stamped on a scrap of clear packaging with permanent ink, painted the back to add color and then heated and manipulated to give it form.

March Monthly Calendar




March 1-4





I scraped blue and light green paints on the background and used new Jane Davenport washi tape to divide the days. I used both pages for the spread since we were in Mexico and there were lots of appointments to document.  I embellished with lots of stickers and images cut from brochures. 


Now to get back on schedule!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - February

As you read this, I will be in Mexico having some dental work done. I scheduled this to post while I'm gone as I'm not sure what connectivity I'll have there.

I've caught up on the last few weeks of February in my "planner."

Feb. 12-18



For this week I used the entire spread for the calendar portion as we were going to be in Austin visiting and babysitting the grand boys and I knew there would be more to document.


Feb.. 19-25




And this calendar is back to one page as it was a pretty boring week! For the other page I made a watercolor background and added some scraps of gelli printed deli papers. The focal image is from a magazine that I've saved for a long time. I did a packing tape transfer to add it to the page. I journaled a bit with white pen. Simple, but I like it.



Monday, February 27, 2017

30-Day Art Marks Challenge - Days 24-28

I'm finished! I've done the 28 prompts for the month of February. (Since we are leaving for Mexico tomorrow, I went ahead and did the last day today so I could post.)

Day 24 - Primary
Day 25 - Hidden

On the left is the "primary" page. I glued tissue paper in red, blue and yellow to the base page, overlapping a bit to also create the secondary colors. Once dry, I brayered white paint lightly over all. I had a happy accident - I had used bleeding tissue (Spectra) so it tinged the white paint in all the colors.  Then I doodled lines and circles in blue, red and yellow over the page. Finally, I glued on three round labels and doodled them into flowers.

For hidden, I glued a bit of printed tissue paper to the background and then journaled all over the page. To hide the journaling, I glued on pieces of dried paper towel left over from a painting session and scraped over with white paint to tone it down.  The butterflies are stamped in black Archival ink.


Day 26 - Singular
Day 27 - Continuous




For the singular challenge, I watercolored the background and then stamped the leaf in dark green paint. I accented it with white pen. 

For the continuous prompt, I painted the background and then made a continuous line with a black Sharpie.  Then I doodled white and black marks within the circular shapes created by the line.

Day 28 - Painterly




For the last day I painted blocks of pink and orange paint with a flat brush and then used a palette knife to spread white paint. The white paint marks were made with a small round paint brush.






And, finally, I decorated the front and back covers with randomly cut-up scraps of mostly gelli printed papers. The "Make your Mark" is something I'd cut out of a magazine ages ago but it's just perfect!  




And here, again,  is the before photo, in case you've forgotten what this little throw-away calendar looked like to begin with. I think it's quite a transformation!

I had lots of fun doing this challenge. Most of the time the prompt was helpful and it certainly challenged me to sometimes think outside of the box. I would certainly do this again. It is so good to have a daily art exercise.