Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It's finished! I've done all I'm going to do - this is one of those projects you could keep adding to and never be done, but I decided this is it! This was a fun project, a great souvenir of a fab art retreat and a very chunky book!
This is the front of my book. We used portions of a pair of jeans, using the pocket on the front and some strips within the book. I found the letter tiles at the stamp convention that weekend - serendipity! That's a real miniature horse horseshoe that Jeri provided! (I said I was done, but I might just add some fabric strips and ribbon to the coil binding...)
This is the first spread - see the wooden boot on the left that I posted about earlier. This spread has a small pocket insert, the front of which you can see on the right. There are two cowgirl tags inside the pocket and I added my nametag on the front.The pocket flap opens like a book and these cowgals are inside. They are blanket-stitched on the edges.On the left is the back side of the "pocket-book-insert". Those are real rusted horseshoe nails. On the right is a tag insert stamped with a cowgirl stamp I borrowed from a friend. I love that stamp! At the lower right is a button pin Jeri gave us.This shows the back of the tag with the next page. The hat is a little felt hat that came in our "kit" from Jeri which I had to hammer a bit to squish it to fit inside the book. In the upper left corner is a yellow rose made out of two layers of torn, distressed and rolled paper circles and inside is a little rose made out of fabric.
This spread is mainly pictures of famous cowboys and cowgirls, notably Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley on the left page.
Next we have a very handsome dude on the left. The right page has the other tag I made with Linda's instructions with a grungeboard scroll which was gessoed, painted and inked. The rusted star at the bottom is from Candy - she rusted those cheap little silver sheriff badges from the party store!
And, last but not least, the final spread. The left page has a pocket which holds a cute tag copied from one Autumn had made. She provided the darling photo of the little guy on his horse and the wording "Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys." I love it. On the right is the "wanted" page with copper foil tape surrounding the pony express poster and a grungy tag with a transparency image. Don't you love that barbed wire printed twill tape? The "don't fence me in" was cut from a Cosmo Cricket paper.
And so, another year, another Gathering, another book. I wonder what the theme will be next year!?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This is the front - real turquoise bits were added to the skull and NM tag, twine was knotted and glued to the top of the ristra and a concho added to the lower right with strips of suede laced through.
On the back I added a scrap of suede and an arrowhead that Candy made for each of us out of polymer clay! It looks like a real one. I was recently in a "row house" swap and will display this unique NM casa with those houses.Whew, I think that's everything except for the western book. Can you believe all we fit in in just a few days? I have a few more little bits to add to my book, then I will post it tomorrow.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
We all made nametags with the kits Autumn brought - these included the pre-cut cardstock, images, words, mica and fibers. I am going to add this to one of the pages in my western book.
Autumn also did a canvas hanging project which I loved. First we glued old book pages to the unstretched canvas and, after drying it, peeled portions off by sticking tape in places and peeling off. This gave a great texture. We then added pieces of torn fabric and an image with fusible webbing. Embellishments are paper or fabric flowers, buttons, and hand-stitching. The hangers were made from regular wire coat hangers! These two were her samples - I haven't finished mine but will post them later.
Linda showed us how to make two large tags using a Tim Holtz embossing technique and Cosmo Cricket papers. This is one of mine - the other is in my book.
Cher brought wooden boot cutouts and papers for us to embellish a cowboy boot. See the boot decorations on either side? These are actually made with a maple leaf punch! I've added this to a page in my book as well and you will see a better photo when I post the book pages.
You can see we were busy, busy, busy! But what fun we had. More tomorrow...
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Every year we do a swap of small art keeping to the given theme. These are the western 3"x5" "skinnies" we did this year. When they are all attached with the binder ring, it's such a cute, fat booklet to remember the gathering.
Here is the awesome western altered wand Joan made for each of us! Imagine making 21 of these things. Thank you so much Joan! Can you see the empty bullet casings on one of the strings and folded beer bottlecaps on another? I just love all the details she managed to incorporate.
I will share more tomorrow!
I was so overwhelmed that this is all I bought - two darling ribbons I've never seen before. You really need to go prepared with a list! The top ribbon is like a measuring tape and pleated - love red and white. The other one I couldn't resist since I am in a round robin book swap and one of the themes is "cupcakes."
Monday, July 21, 2008
Some of the things I'm most excited about:
Stickles in all Distress Ink colors
Metallic Crackle Paint
Versamark in champagne and frost
new Donna Downey stamps for Art Declassified
Claudine Hellmuth's new art supplies including paints and medium
I'm sure we will be hearing about lots more!
The retreat was amazing - 21 creative and fun women from an online group, some of whom had never met in person - all creating wonderful western-themed projects together. We made the western assemblage that I had created and posted here awhile ago, as well as a huge western matboard book, some great western tags and some hanging fabric canvases with cute hangers made from, yes, regular coat hangers. I will post photos of all these fantastic projects when I return.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Because my swap partner reads my blog regularly, I had to wait til tonight to post my altered scoop. Here is what I did, using alcohol inks, a stamped image for the background sprayed with Glimmer Mist (hard to see the pretty irridescent shine in the scan), a vintage image and pearl and alpha bead embellishments. The color in the scan is faded out, but the background matches the ribbon and is a lovely shade of green.
And this is the one I received from Karen. I love it - on the back (which I didn't photograph), she attached a piece of yellow and white checkered fabric with the imprinted words "all things grow with love" and she also used the same fabric to wrap the little package for presentation. Thanks Karen!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I went to my chiropractor and while he was adjusting me he asked if I'd had trouble with one of my feet. Confused, I answered no. He then told me I was wearing two different shoes! I was so embarassed! At least they were both black and about the same kind of sole - hence why I never noticed while walking. Needless to say, I will be checking my feet in the future before leaving home for a morning appointment!
I've been busy kitting for a class I taught this week as well as for the assemblage project I will be teaching at my online group's retreat next week. Time consuming and definitely not as much fun as making the projects.
Finished a project for a local swap but can't post until these are exchanged.
Hope everyone is having a fun weekend. Today it's supposed to get to 103 and North Texans are advised to stay inside!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Now that I'm off my soap box from the post below, I can post the ornament I made last night for a collaborative gift for a friend. Everyone is making small ornaments to be put on a specially-made tree to thank her for all her work and support of a group we are in. (I can't say more as this is a surprise.)
I used an image from one of Kris Hubrick's digital collage sheets (check them out here at Retro Art Cafe) adding the handwritten "queen" for the front of the charm. The back has a piece cut from a Graphic 45 patterned paper called "Copacetic." The crossword pattern and cherries are part of the paper. I just added the words which I cut from an ad in a magazine - they were perfect and just the right size and color.
The charm was soldered and I then added a crown charm to the jump ring and tied on black and white polka dot ribbon. I love doing these soldered charms, but I need to practice more - adding the jump ring is the hardest part!
Plastic bags - if you do any shopping at all, you know that these just seem to multiply. We even use them for doggie pick-up bags, but there are always more. I take them to the recycling boxes around town too.
Did you know:
that plastic bags are a petroleum product and, hence, increase our dependence on oil?
that 500 Billion to 1 Trillion(! ) of these are used worldwide each year?
that 100 Billion are used annually in the US alone?
that only 2% are recycled in the US and only 1% worldwide?
that it takes 450 to 1000 years for plastic bags to break down?
that it costs $.17 in San Francisco to "handle" each discarded bag, i.e. litter?
There's lots more unnerving information, but I think I've got your attention. So, PLEASE, recycle these things or, better yet, buy some earth-friendly reusable bags and take them with you every time you shop.
Now here are two women I found that are reusing plastic bags very creatively by upcycling them into handmade handbags! Check out this store in Milwaukee, Paper Boat, which features the crocheted purses of Cara Taylor. You can find out more about them and purchase them online at Cara Taylor Handbags here. And this gal, Kristin J, is doing the same thing, but knitting the bags. It takes about 50 bags to make each purse, so that's 50 more kept out of our landfills. (Disclaimer: I don't know either artist nor do I profit from this - I just find it very interesting!) And, if you send 50 colored bags to Cara (see more info on her site), she will make you a small change purse for free!
Here's another creative gal - and she's still a teenager to boot! She made her prom dress out of 101 recycled Skittles wrappers - and it's actually pretty cute! You can read about it and see photos here. Watch out "Project Runway" - this girl is creative!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Since I am the last of four people to work in this book, I was at a loss as to what to do for the next spread, as it seemed that all the "games" had been used. Then I started thinking of ballgames and I came up with this baseball spread. The background was painted with a watery wash of green acrylic paint. On the left page I used a baseball printed paper and attached a copy of the song sheet cover for the song "Take me out to the ballgame." I sewed this on with red embroidery floss to mimic the stitching on the balls. The right page has two different baseball-themed papers with the lyrics of the song attached. The various words which are scattered mostly on the left page were cut from another patterned paper. I "tipped in" the Cracker Jack packaging and "prizes."
Still one more spread to do before the July 15th deadline!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
This year the theme is "Western" and I will "teach" a small assemblage in the top of an Altoid mint tin. I was having trouble coming up with a central image for this piece until I went back to my mom's recently and was going through old family photos. Lo and behold, I came across this photo of my dad from the early 1940's. I knew instantly that I wanted to use it in my Western assemblage.
I rusted the tin with a two-part Rust Antiquing kit from Sophisticated Finishes. Then I added Cosmo Cricket "Amarillo" red paper, a torn piece of corrugated cardboard and a small piece of Wild West ribbon (from Michael's $1 spot last year). The rusty star is wired on through the two holes in the tin; a piece of twine was wound in a circle and tied with a torn strip of bandana print fabric; the boots are a decorative button with the shank removed; and a piece of "barbed wire" cording was glued in the upper left corner.
I hope everyone will enjoy this project.