Birds & Words

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October Creative Adventure - "Wishy" Woman

Hello, friends!  Thanks for stopping by my blog.  The lovely and talented Candy Colwell came up with a sweet Eagles song title to give us our October theme: "Witchy Woman".  I know a lot of you have so much fun this time of year, but its just never been my thing.  So.....  Creative Carte Blanche, right?  So I just altered the theme a little and came up with an art journal spread....  Wishy Woman.

My art journal pages began on previously used pages.  I had worked out some ideas and then went to new pages for the completed project (which you will see in December).  I've been waiting for a chance to gesso over and work these practice pages into a new art journal spread.

 I layered some strips of masking tape for texture.  I mixed a bit of black gesso into white gesso and covered the prior practice pages.

 Here I've glued down some strips of old ledger paper for more texture and painted over with Dina Wakley's Sky, Turquoise, and Lapis paints.
 I experimented with rubbing white paint into a stencil with my fingers, but didn't really get enough definition.  I replaced the stencil and used my foam applicator to apply the paint through the stencil.

 I did some framing with the stenciling and with a favorite Seth Apter text stamp.  
"What will happen in the story next?"

 A little Stabilo pencil helps set off my Wishy Woman.
 A little star rub on is perfect to dot the "i".
Since I saw Tammy Tutterow making die cut flowers with crinoline, I'm hooked!  Die cut flowers sprayed with Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain and then stamped with text.  French knots embroidery make the flower centers.
I used a LOT of Tim's Small Talk stickers for the wishes.  The prolific Yvonne Blair's Journal Buddy tool was a fun way to add lines in the deeper blue paint (Lapis) on which to set my word stickers.  

Journal Buddy was chosen as an Editor's Pick in the current issue of Stamper's Sampler magazine.  WAY TO GO, YVONNE!

I signed this piece with my little signature bird from B Line Designs.  I can't live without this stamp.  If I ever lose it, y'all are going to have to call 911 for me.

I took my liberty with this challenge and hope it encourages you to truly enjoy your own Carte Blanche and get creative with us!  The details and upload link for our challenges can be found on the October Creative Challenge page.  

Your turn.  GO!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Video Inspiration - God Only Knows

Here's the thing:  I think Linda Ledbetter deserves the Oscar for the Most Original Challenge Theme. Ever.  Just amazing!!  The music video she has chosen for us as a launching point for art is so richly imaginative and visually stimulating!  You can go a thousand different ways with this.  It would be easy to do several projects from this one, brilliant idea and none of them would look the same!  I got caught up right away in the opening vignette and it stuck with me through the whole song.  It could be because I sort of have a thing for unique lamps and I've got a dozen mismatched lamps all over my house.

I did a tag this time.  Pretty simple project but I guess I focused more on composition than technique. The tag is just covered with blended Distress Inks, Crackle Embossing Paste, and bits of Tissue Wrap.

I "discovered myself" by discovering that I didn't have any lamp stamps!  At least I couldn't find any and so I just drew some simple lamps.  This hanging lamp is cut out of Wallflower Vellum.  I adhered at the sides of the lamp shade and left popped out a little in the middle.  The shade is hanging from a die cut flourish.

 This shade is a bit of Tissue Wrap glued to card stock, and watercolored with Distress Ink.  Touches of Liquid Pearls on the lamp base and a little mini ball chain for a pull.

Tim Holtz rub ons give me my message.  I thought these phrases linked together nicely and that they sort of capsulized the song "God Only Knows", as well. 

Here's the actual lamp in our house and the one I drew.  I'd love to be able to draw!!  I think I'll keep trying and maybe someday will have enough time to really improve.  ;-)

Want to try your hand at this one?  Watch the video several times and then leave it and think a bit. See what images stay with you.  Or maybe something will speak to you immediately, like it did with me.  You can see the challenge here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sun, Moon, & Stars..... August Challenge

What a brilliant theme for our challenge this month with Perseids meteor showers right now.  Pretty smart, Yvonne Blair, did you do that on purpose??  
The original post for this month is here.  Click through and join us!
SO, so many ways to go with this one and I hope you'll all give it a go.  There's plenty of time left in August and you have inspiration all around you.  I had this beautiful quote pinned for a while.  For me, it always begins with words and these words inspired me.

I  experimented a little with Ken Oliver's Color Burst on burlap.  I dry brushed some DecoArt Titanium White paint on the burlap canvas first to give a bit of foundation for the pigments.  I used Indigo, Violet and Ultramarine Blue Color Burst powders.  I sprinkled a bit of powder and then spritzed with water.   The burlap absorbed quite a bit of the Color Burst, so next time I'll change the technique some, which I'll describe below.
Then I added some Embossing Paste.  I mixed some Diamond Stickles into the Embossing Paste to see if the sparkle would come through. 
 It did come through but not enough so I tapped some extra Stickles on the canvas with my finger to give it some night sky sparkle.  It was really interesting so see how the Embossing Paste picked up some of the Color Burst.  I'll have to play with that some more.
 I tried to use Tim Holtz rub ons onto the burlap, but NOTHING sticks to burlap willingly.  So I put the rub on onto a bit of tissue and then glued to the burlap with matte medium.  Next time, I'll probably cover the entire burlap with tissue to provide a base for the Color Burst.  
Love experimenting!
These stars are Yvonne Blair Impression Obsession stamps.  I LOVE them.  So fun to cut and layer them.  They gave me a little dimension to this piece.  I used a manila page from my Ink Art Journal, added some Lemon Yellow Color Burst and spritzed with Sunflower Perfect Pearls Mist.  


Be sure and check and and leave some love for my art sisters Candy Colwell and Annette Green for their Sun, Moon, and/or Stars challenge pieces.  Susan Mostek is up next!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bookpages & Blossoms

Greetings, artists!  Its a good day for art, isn't it?  I decided to encourage myself in my art journal.  Hope YOUR art journal is a place where you talk to yourself and give yourself the messages and reminders that you need.

Thanks SO much, Hels Sheridan, for this fabulous Creative Adventure.  It just resonates with me and I wanted to do a dozen projects.  Barely had time for one.  Ha!  But the others are bouncing around in my head.

Please be sure and see art from Candy Colwell and Annette Green if you haven't already.  Susan Mostek is up next July 15 with her always beautiful art.  


As I said, I loved this challenge.  I worked out what I'd do on a tag first and then recreated in my art journal.  I think I'll repeat this again on the next page and make a few tweaks, but I was generally happy with this one.  I added a photo for each layer so you can see the transformation.  It always amazes me how much another addition of paint or ink can change the look and feel of an art journal page spread.

I began with a layer of gesso and embossing paste through a stencil.  Sorry I didn't capture that photo, but I'm sure you get the idea.  I used matte medium to layer a patchwork of pages from "The Pocket Book of Modern Verse".
Here I've blended Fossilized Amber Distress Ink all over both pages.  I applied some Distress Paint of the same color to random areas, especially where the pages didn't completely cover. 

Wet paint was dry brushed this over the pages in a crosshatch fashion.

I brushed over the pages with Titanium White DecoArt paint thinned down with a little water to subdue the text.  I love using this paint because of its matte finish.  The embossed areas begin to appear a bit more.  Then I spritzed some random areas with Picket Fence Distress Spray Stain.

After drying,  I inked the edges with Ground Espresso Distress Ink.

Using Distress Crayons in Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry, and Vintage Photo, I added some random color around the perimeter.  I pick up some Dina Wakley "Penny" paint with a foam blending tool and hit the high embossed areas and a few other random places.  This was a lot of fun because any place Distress Ink or Crayon was is sort of erased as you blend over the paint as it reacts with the moisture.  I hit some of those areas with a bit of black paint, and then another layer of Penny.

Tag words for emphasis.

Its fun to try to use text from book pages for subtle messaging.

A fallen bloom.

My ever present bird friend from B Line Designs.

Microbeads flower centers.
I am so abusing my art journal because I put too much dimensional stuff in it.  I can't help it!!  I keep taping it back together and promising to do better.   ;-)

Thanks for viewing my blog, I so appreciate your comments left, every one.  <3 div="">

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Winged Things - Make a Difference

Winged Things!  Thank you, Susan Mostek, for a soaring new adventure for the month of June.  I love all things birds, but wanted to find something different for the "winged things" theme.  Something whimsical, maybe, or an obscure meaning.   However, feeling pensive, and finding myself inspired by this quote from John F. Kennedy, these lovely birds from Tim's Wallflower Paper Stash seemed right.  I don't know what kind of birds they are supposed to be but they're beautiful, aren't they?  I use them again and again.

I covered a piece of chipboard wth tissue from a sewing pattern, gluing it down with Matte Medium, wrapping the edges around the back.  I covered that with gesso and then rubbed DecoArt Transparent Yellow and Cobalt Blue paints over the gesso after it dried.  I rubbed Raw Umber Antiquing Cream over the entire surface to tone down and unify the colors.

I tore the two birds from the corner of a page from Wallflower Paper stash.  I really needed that paper to be thinner and more workable than it was so I used a trick I learned a long time ago from Stamping' Up.  Pull the paper between your thumb and your bone folder, like you would if you were stripping a ribbon to make it curl.  Turn the paper over and repeat on the other side.  Keep pulling the paper through on both sides and at different angles and you begin to break down the fibers in the paper and it starts to separate.   

Pretty soon you can separate an entire layer of paper, making the bit you want to work with thinner.

Here was a bit of genius.  I had completed the background, painted, positioned and glued down the black letters and had to just stamp onto tissue and glue down the last words.  Almost finished.  Got all that done and oops!  Misspelled difference.  Seriously???  I restamped it on a scrap and ended up liking it that the word got a little more emphasis done this way.  How often do we fall in love with our mistakes???  Ha!!

Using just my finger, I tapped just a little bit Dina Wakley Penny paint onto the word "everyone" to give it emphasis.  Over that, I tapped a little DecoArt Quinacridone Gold.  LOVE that paint.  It gives a gorgeous detail and is perfect for rust elements.  The words "can make a" and "should try" are stamped on tissue and glued down with matte medium.  I found that rubbing a bit of Transparent Yellow over the tissue made it just melt into and become one with the whole.

The compass spoke to me of making sure I have my moral compass ever at the ready, prayerfully trying do what's right, trying to make a difference.  

So what do you say?  Let's see how "winged things" speaks to you.  I know several of you are in studio, working away, giving voice to YOUR creative spark!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Wood..... a Word...... and Something Wild and Small

Golly, this has been a fun challenge, hasn't it?  I have SO enjoyed seeing all the different ideas you all have come up with, your own interpretation of the theme.  Especially "wild".  There's a BUNCH of ways to interpret that one!

I've had fun with my own project, too.  I did a little mini book made with playing cards.  Sometimes I like to just pour out my little mini bits of collected ephemera and work them into a piece.  I keep a small jar on my desk and collect little things in it that I just don't want to throw away.  Every now and then I just pour it all out and see what I can use.
This is a photo heavy blog, so grab a cuppa and enjoy.
Click on any of the photographs of my mini book to see an enlarged image.
For those of you who were around in the late 70's, you may be a aware of an important philosopher poet who is a favorite of mine.  I have been thinking of him lately while I've been designing some projects.  If you haven't thought about him in a while, go back and remember this:

Let's Get Small
My project is very small this month.  It's fun to work on this scale.  Every page spread of my mini book incorporates wood, a word and something wild.  It was fun to interpret the words repeatedly.

Most of the page spreads use the nature for the "wild" element.  Here I've stamped a tag using my favorite wood grain stamp from Tim Holtz. 

For this spread, I cut out the butterfly from an extra playing card and layered it in the same position over the painted butterfly.

Some very small layered bits of fabric and some embroidery.  

A picture of my little sister on a clip is my "wood" element.  Our maiden name is Wood.  Isn't she sweet?

The cameo is a wooden embellishment from Prima.  I painted her black and mounted her on a scalloped oval die cut from a Paper Loft page.

I'm obsessed with this saying right now.  I saw it on Pinterest and I think of it every day.  2016 is the year of letting go of some old habits for me and this is just the encouragement I need.  The little wooden bird cage is something I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  I don't know who makes it.

Such a tiny little feather!  We found a bunch together outside.  Some little bird must have met with tragedy, but we collected and saved his pretty feathers.  This spread is inspired by Emily Dickinson.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers - 
That perches in the soul - 
And sings the tune without the words - 
And never stops - at all - "

I LOVE this quote.  I saw it in Pam Carriker's book and copied it into my commonplace book.  I designed a stamp for it for B Line Designs.  The bird is from one of Tim Holtz Vellum Ephemera packs.  The twigs are from my yard.  ;-)

My last page spread got a heavy dose of my little "bits and pieces" jar.

That little label fell off a jar of perfume I bought when Linda Ledbetter and I were shopping one night after a day at CHA.  I kept it and put it in my jar to use sometime.  It always makes me think of her.

The last lyrics from a Beatles album.  I think I reversed the words, but I don't care.  I like them this way.

I absolutely love charms on the spines of books.

I layered over the cover with some vintage hand crotched lace.   I left the ends long so they hang over the edges.

There wasn't much technique to my project, but I will share this.  I used washi tape as the hinge between each card.  We love washi tape, don't we?  Yes, but sometimes its not very sticky.  I used a strip of adhesive from my ATG gun to help it be stronger.  I love that thing!!

I sanded and dry brushed some DecoArt Titanium White paint on the cards front and back.  Once dry, I assembled the cards into a book and made a Sticky Canvas spine for it.


Many, many thanks to all of you who participated in this challenge.  Much, much encouragement to those who are watching but who haven't yet entered.  Maybe you still trying to figure out your project.  Maybe you are looking everywhere, searching for your mojo.  

Maybe your life is a bit crazy and creative time is hard to find.  (Can I get an amen?)  If this is the case, please know:  its okay.  Leave us a comment and let us know you are watching.  Believe me, we understand.  Sometimes life surprises us.  But we're gonna surprise it right back.  ;-)