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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 52

Week 52 - Dec. 19
Art Challenge: Hidden Journaling
Journal Prompt: The greatest gift I can give myself...

Since this challenge was for the week of Christmas I decided to go with a Christmas theme. Time was short so I just created on the left page and used the entire right page for the days of the week.

I took a few process photos along the way.  I started by glueing on a pretty printed tissue 
paper that a gift was wrapped in.

Then I "stamped" with white paint and bubble wrap all over to tone it down.

For the hidden journaling, I wrote in the area that would be covered by the angel's dress.

This shows the angel decoupaged on the background. I used music paper for the dress, manila paper for the head, and gold paper covered with a layer of loosely-woven white fibrous paper.

Once that was dry I painted the head a flatten, swiped Inka Gold metallic paste over the textured wings and painted the dress green. (Sorry, got in the zone and forgot to take photos of the final steps!)

To decorate the dress I used some white and black Christy Tomlinson scallop border rub-ons along with some very old white Recollections snowflake rub-ons. The Christmas ornament border and the large 25 are also from Recollections. (It feels good to use up some of these miscellaneous items in my stash!)

I sponged on a very light white paint border around the entire angel to make it stand out more from the background. I also doodled around the shapes with a black pen, used a white paint pen to draw scallops on the wings and a gold Krylon pen for the halo.

52 weeks down - one more to go!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Artsy Canvas Swap

I host a quarterly "artsy canvas" swap on my online group. The canvas can be a regular canvas or a canvas board and must be between the sizes of 4"x4" and 6"x8."  For December the theme was "Remember in your heart the whispers of winter."

This is the canvas I created for Gloria. It is 5" square.

I crumpled tissue paper and glued it to the background then applied a few blue paints along with white.

The "snowflakes" are made with modeling paste through a stencil. I added dry Distress Glitter while the paste was wet.  The 3D snowflake is a plastic one from the dollar store which I also glittered.

I printed the title on the computer and glued in place.

Below is the canvas 5"x7" canvas board I received from Roxie. I love the unusual and pretty color scheme. The snow is very realistic looking.

Swaps are so much fun - I love seeing what other people come up with for the same theme.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Documented Life Project - Weeks 50 and 51

December Theme - Storytelling with the Written Word

Week 50 - Dec. 5
Art Challenge: Words, Front and Center
Journal Prompt: Life is a book. We fill the pages.

For this week's spread I wanted to use this large "I Am Artist" stencil from Donna Downey. I've had it for awhile but never had the perfect place to use it.  For "words front and center" this fills the bill!

The background started out like this. I collaged many under paper scraps and also 
the text wrap from a candle.

Then I toned it all down with some brayered white paint. I topped that with lots of stamping in black ink and the stencil in black paint.

Week 51- Dec. 12
Art Challenge: Using Quotes and Lyrics as Storytelling
Journal Prompt: "One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter."  James Earl Jones

For this spread I didn't follow the journal prompt but concentrated on using a quote. 

The background is collaged "under papers". If you're not familiar with that term it's the paper used underneath a project while painting to catch the mess! Often it is prettier than the project itself!
I added white paint with a palette knife to tone it down and blend the background together. The black and white chevron is washi tape. There's lots of random stamping with black ink.

I found the quote on Pinterest - it is watercolored by Amy Tangerine. I simply printed it and taped it in place with more washi tape.

With these spreads finished, the end is in sight! I have last week and this week to finish before the end of the year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 49

November Theme - Stencils, Stamps and Masks

Week 49 - Nov. 28
Art Challenge: Combine all three
Journal Prompt: "Three things in human life are important - the first is to be kind, the 
second is to be kind, the third is to be kind." Henry James

Needless to say, my title this week was "Be Kind." 

For masking I originally intended to use masking fluid to write the title before doing any of the background. But when I discovered that my never-used-but-I've-had-it-for-a-few-years masking fluid was dried up I had to go to Plan B. Instead I used letter stickers and then, luckily, was able to peel them off leaving the white of the unpainted page. I also doodled with black pen around the letters to make them pop.

I used reduction stenciling as well as regular stenciling with paints on the background. Then I stamped with paints (diamonds, "raindrops" and diamond border). The scallop borders are portions of gelli® prints I had made.

I have two more weeks' spreads to share in another post. I'm trying to get them all finished before the end of the year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday spending time with loved ones. We have had a very busy December and I have lots of catching up to do!

We returned Saturday from a week in Austin with Kelly, Josh, Carl and Mitchell. It was great to be with the littles - this is the first Christmas that Carl has really gotten into it. So much fun experiencing it through a three-year-old's eyes! His Elf-on-the-Shelf, Hermie, kept Santa updated on his good behavior and he received a very stuffed stocking and lots of good presents.

I received the remaining six gifts of my online group's "12 Days of Christmas Gifts." Each and every one was so unique and lovely.

Day 7
Denim cuff bracelet from Nancy

Day 8
corner bookmark, decorated clip, ribbon bookmark from Barb

Day 9
beaded icicle ornament from Judy

Day 10
Sewn cardinal ornament from Teresa

Day 11
Beaded drop earrings from Darlene

Day 12
Acrylic frame calendar from Laurie

I love all my gifts and it was so much fun opening one per day!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"12 Days of Christmas Gifts" Swap - Days 1 - 6

The online group I've a member of does an annual "12 Days of Christmas Gifts" Swap. We are placed in groups of 12 and assigned one day. We then make 12 gifts - one for each participant - and send them out. 12 days before Christmas we start opening our gifts - one per day. This is one of my favorite activities of the group and it's always amazing to see the creativity and thought that goes into these gifts.

I was the first day of my group and created a little art quilt hanging. I used a base of canvas cloth and layered music paper, ticking, laces, buttons, ruffled ribbon and a favorite vintage Christmas image. I dyed the seam binding ribbon hanger with Distress ink.

I love how they look all lined up before mailing!

And this is what I've received so far:

Day 2
from Julie
tiny canvas ornament

Day 3
from Alice
canvas star ornament

Day 4
from Joan
vintage Bingo card banner

Day 5
from Shellie
Cd case calendar

Day 6
from Gwynn
beaded bracelet

Thanks to all these gals for the lovely gifts. Can't wait to open the next 6!

Friday, December 18, 2015

I'm back - and Documented Life Project - Week 48

November Theme: Stencils, Stamps and Masks
Week 48 - Nov. 21
Art Challenge: Masks
Journal Prompt: Masquerade

I had this spread finished beforeI left for Albuquerque last week but had no time to post!

For this spread I painted a random backgtound and then used a new geometric circle foam stamp with white paint and a chevron-pattern roller stamp with gold paint. I wanted to make a colorful page that would pop when I used the masks on it. Here is the background:

I then laid down several old masks (from Tim Holtz) and painted the page with Dina Wakely "Night" paint. This color is a very dark navy - not quite black and is less stark than using a black paint.  I added "Masquerade" in gold glitter stickers and added a photo of my daughters from a trip to Venice in 2006 during "Carneval."  I journaled a bit with a gold gel pen and added gold dots for a border.

One of the reasons I'm behind on my page spreads is this little cutie. We've been keeping him for over three weeks - both at his house in Albuquerque and here in Tx. (Love those non-rev Southwest benefits!) His babysitter took a 6-week break for the holidays and left them in the lurch - not that we minded filling in!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week #47

November Theme - Stencils, Stamps and Masks

Nov. 14 - Week 47
Art Challenge - Use Hand-carved Stamp
Journal Prompt - Tapestries

I'm a few weeks behind - story of my "documented life" it seems.

I decided to use this iconic photo of my hometown (Stowe, VT) in the fall and create a "tapestry" of sorts.

I first spread yellow, gold and orange paints across the pages with an old gift card for a random background.  Then I printed out the photo and cut it into vertical strips. I attached the strips, leaving a  small space between each to insert a thin metallic sticker strip. I then wove fine gold thread into the bottom portion, glueing as I went. I had intended to do this for the entire photo, but it was so tedious I scrapped that idea quickly.

I hand-carved 2 leaves and stamped them with copper, brown and orange inks and orange paint. I also added three "silk" fall leaves for a bit of dimension.

The title is: "Autumn is a tapestry of color." I gold embossed "autumn" and wrote the rest with a gold pen. Finished this up yesterday and I'm now on to the next week!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Busy, busy, busy!

My life has been crazy busy since Thanksgiving!

To update:

Early Thanksgiving morning we flew to Austin to be with my oldest daughter, Kim, and her significant other. Spent the night and then returned home early the next morning.

Early Saturday morning, flew to Albuquerque and babysat Grant until Wed. (His babysitter is taking an extended vacation and we are covering for that, even though John and Dana are in town and working.)

Wednesday morning Bill flew in to relieve me and I came home to teach all day Thursday.

I was sick all Thursday night and spent most of Friday sleeping (after the carpet cleaners came).

Slept 12 hours Friday night!! And, thankfully, felt 100% better today.

Spent most of today putting things back (anyone who has had carpets cleaned will relate) and then picked up Bill and little Grant at the airport this evening. (So thankful for non-rev benefits on SW!) 

Grant will be spending this next week here with us, so I don't expect I'll be getting much done this week either!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

12 Days of Ornaments - Days 9-12

I've neglected posting the cute remaining ornaments from the LBH 12 Days of Ornaments, so here's a catch-up of the last four days.

Day 9

Pretty Paper Ornaments
Designed by me!

Day 10

Chalkboard Block Ornaments
Designed by Dee Dee Roe

Day 11

Snowman Shutter Ornament
Designed by Tracy Pounds

Day 12

Santa and Angel Altered Paintbrush Ornaments
Designed by Lynette Chiles

Have you enjoyed this year's ornaments? They certainly fill our little tree at the Little Blue House and look so festive!

A full tutorial for each ornament is posted on The Little Blue House blog so be sure to check them out. Component kits for several of the ornaments are also available at the store.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone - enjoy your families and great food tomorrow and give thanks for all your blessings!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

12 Days of Ornaments - Day 8 - Glitz and Sparkle!

Another member of the LBH Media Team, Valerie Bishop, designed and created these darling sparkly tree ornaments today.  The photo doesn't do them justice as they are very glittery and gold!  

Check out the LBH blog for a full tutorial on how to make these cute burlap trees. What I like most is that you can use up some of those one-of-a-kind little trinkets and bits of special ribbons you've been hoarding!

Only a few ornaments to go... Hope you're enjoying these pretties!

DLP Project - Week 45

November's theme - Stencils, Stamps and Masks

Week 45 - November 7

Art Challenge: Stencils, Made or Bought
Journal Prompt: On the edge of uncertainty ... what are you afraid of?

The art challenge was right up my alley this week as I love using stencils and building up layers with them. But the journal prompt??? These always make me stop and think... Many this year have been very challenging!

I started out with turquoise acrylic paint and the "reduction" technique with a stencil. You lay a stencil over the paint while still damp and use a baby wipe or wet paper towel to rub off the paint through the stencil. This gives a lot of texture and interest to that first layer.

Then I used a slightly darker ink pad and rubbed through the same stencil giving more texture.

Then came a diluted wash of a violet paint. At this point I hated it! But journal pages usually go through many transformations as layers are added so I kept going, though I must admit I was toying with the idea of tearing out the page and starting over!

I decided it needed to be lightened so added white paint through a small squares stencil, then darkened by a small circle stencil and very dark midnight blue paint.

I added the scalloped border (also a stencil) with white paint as well as the feather stencil with white.

For the prompt I decided that when things are uncertain or you are afraid of something, it's best to just  "Be brave...Dare to fly". These letters were cut out of a catalog and glued on. Because of the word "fly," the bird just had to go on the spread - it's also a stencil. 

Some outlining with black Stabilo pencil and a water brush and a white pen and I called it done!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day #7 Ornament

We're back today with two more beautiful ornaments.

These were created by Nadine Carlier, one of the LBH Media Team members. She used an image transfer technique and has a video tutorial over on the LBH blog.

Visit the blog, watch her tutorial and leave her some comments. If you are local, you should stop by the store to see how pretty our tree is decorated with all these fun ornaments!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 6 - LBH "!2 Days of Ornaments"

These are the darling little clothespin clip-on ornaments Kristyn McElroy created for Day #6. Aren't they adorable and so many variations! Not only would they be cute on your tree, but they could be used alone on a shelf or even attached to a frame.

The full tutorial is over on the LBH blog and, while you're there, be sure to leave a comment - you might be the lucky winner!

We're already halfway through the 12 days - what other cute ornaments will be featured?