Birds & Words

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.  

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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.

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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.  ;-)



Friday, April 8, 2016

Cigar Memory Box

Happy Spring, all!!  I'm here in Texas visiting my family and I am LOVING the temperatures and, of course, the bluebonnet wildflower show.  Good for the heart!

April's Creative Adventure is brought to us by Annette Green who has challenged us to create something using a cigar box.  You can see Candy Colwell's take on this theme here.  Fresh inspiration will be coming Tuesdays and Fridays through April 26!


As always, I check Creative Carte Blanche first thing every morning to see what art you all have added.  Just click the "Add Your Link" box at the bottom of Annette's introduction post and follow the prompts.  The challenge is simple:

Okay, on to this month's adventure. Let's Think Outside the Box! Namely, a cigar box. They come in all sizes and are made of tin or wood in most cases, and you can find them everywhere. I find them at my local Goodwill, thrift stores, and of course cigar shops where they'll practically give them away just to get rid of the empties.


As a crafter/artist, I am drawn most often to 3D projects. Getting off the page, so to speak, and this is why I chose this adventure. All you have to do is take that cigar box and turn it into (or incorporate it into) art. So think outside the box, inside the box, all over the box. Whatever your heart desires!

***NOTE***
If you don't have and can't find a cigar box, please feel free to improvise!   Use another box OR make your own box, put a cigar in it and call it a cigar box!  If you don't have a cigar, roll up some card stock, burn the end of it and its a cigar.  (Ha!  Just kidding about the cigar stuff.)

REMEMBER - You have carte blanche!!

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I guess I've learned something on this Creative Adventure.  When you don't have a clue how to begin, rejoice!  That means you are about to find a new level of inspiration and creativity.  Turns out getting outside your comfort zone is a pretty cool place.

I don't know why this was so hard for me to begin, but it was.  I'll complete the backstory below.  But for now, here's what I did.


I picked up this cigar box from my friend, Carissa.  She and her husband own and run a year round Christmas store in downtown Estes Park, Colorado.  I was surprised when I saw it.  It was much nicer than I expected.  I thought cigar boxes were made of chipboard and hinged with paper and you kept crayons in them.  I guess I need to get out more!  This was a wooden box with pegged hinges.




I gave the box a light sanding and then dry brushed some black paint with the wood grain.  I rubbed in the paint and then waxed it with Annie Sloan dark wax paste, which gave it a rich glow.  It was really amazing how just these simple steps transformed the look.


I lined the inside with Tim Holtz Crowded Attic Paper Stash papers.  My husband cut me some short walnut pegs for the corners on which to suspend a shelf.


This was to be a Memory Box for Carissa's little boy, Tavin.  Tavin was just a baby when his grandfather suddenly passed away.  He was a wonderful, fun loving family man and the whole community was saddened at the loss.  Hopefully, this will help Tavin know his granddad a little bit with pictures and mementoes that will prompt stories of the things he loved from the people who loved him.

I put a picture on top that is the only picture taken of Tavin with his grandfather.  The hinges at the top are non functioning, decorative only.  The word band says "know in your heart that you are loved" and the little heart charm says "beyond measure".  Double click on any of these pictures for a closer look.


I covered a piece of chipboard cut to fit just inside the box with Sticky Back Canvas with an image transferred from another page from Crowded Attic.  If you haven't done image transfers with SBC, here's a video tutorial showing you how.


I put Tim Holtz' Hinge Fasteners in the corners for a lifting mechanism.  I collaged a few bits of memorabilia to the shelf and some loose items for story prompts about Carissa's dad. He loved to play squash and loved to drink Jack Daniels and smoke cigars.  One of Carissa's fond memories is of her dad making her pancakes on Saturday mornings while they listened to the Beatles.


You can lift out the shelf to reveal a section for loose photographs, letter and cards.  I mounted on card stock and fussy cut pics of a New York Jets logo, BMW motorcycle, and Joe Montana, all favorites of Carissa's dad.



This picture always moves me.  Much thanks goes to Carissa's husband, Josh, who gave me guidance on who Kurt was and what he loved.  What he loved most was his daughters.

Carissa gave the cigar box to me and I gave it back to her and to Tavin.  She is the one who really has all the memories and items that ought to fill this box.  My hope is it will become a place to tuck things that will one day go to Tavin and maybe he'll know his granddad a little bit more.