Birds & Words

Friday, December 30, 2016

Song Lyrics Challenge - Pancho & Lefty

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  It's my turn to host the challenge this month and I hope its been fun for all of you.  I love music, I love words, and Song Lyrics seemed a good fountain of inspiration for us this time.  So to wrap up this challenge and to finish the year, grab a cup of something good to drink and enjoy.

Pancho & Lefty
Song Lyrics

There's something about this song that just carries me away.  The melody, the romantic story told in the lyrics, the dusty Mexican desert, I don't know.  But it evokes images for me that easily translate into an art journal page spread.

This song has been covered many times, made famous by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, but this recording by the writer of the song, Townes van Zandt, is for me the most charming.  Unpolished and a little flat at times, I think it captures the spirit of Pancho & Lefty more than any other.

I began this background way back with Yvonne's challenge, "Sun, Moon, and/or Stars".  It grew and evolved and I ended up deciding to save it for this challenge.
You may remember that in last month's challenge I covered over a practice page with gesso and did the October Wishy Woman art journal spread.  It was the practice page for this art journal spread that I covered over.  I love this about art journaling.  I can work out colors and spacing and lettering without necessarily committing to that page as the final product.
I painted the pages with DecoArt Media Acrylics.  I sprinkled a bit of water on the paint before it was totally dry and got this speckled look that reminded me of a night sky.  I accentuated some of the spots with Diamond Stickles for stars.
I downloaded some images from the internet for the hat and guitar.  I looked for images of a worn, beaten looking guitar and sombrero.  I cut them out and layered them.
"Lefty, he can't sing the blues all night long like he used to..."
I tried writing the lyrics around the edge of the pages.  Fail.  No really, epic fail.  But awesome opportunity to use music washi tape around the edges to continue the "music" theme.
I hid a cross in the background to represent a grave marker.
"Pancho met his match, you know, on the deserts down in Mexico...."
For some reason, this repeated lyric is so endearing to me.  I think its that little pause.  

If you'd like to hear the song again in a more produced and well known version, here it is.  This one's pretty good, too.

Our good friend, Susan Mostek is going to kick us off for 2017 on January 3 with a new challenge.  Thanks so much to all of you who have followed with us and created with us this year.  As I look at and reminisce over all the art we've created this year, I smile at this journey we're on.  Hopefully, you've been encouraged and are continuing to find your own unique, creative voice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November Creative Challenge - Stitches

You Keep Me in Stitches!!
November Creative Challenge

Art is a lovely diversion just now, isn't it?  I loved it when Annette announced her theme for this month.  If you follow Annette's blog, which you absolutely should, you know the outstanding quality of her art and her joyful embrace of life.  She's an amazing artist, a wonderful friend, and a beautiful person all around.  I'm a little jealous and fighting bitterness.  #dontjudgeme

Wink, wink.  Kidding!!!

You really oughta join us for this one, the possibilities are endless.  Just visit the Creative Carte Blanche website for the guidelines for our monthly Creative Adventures and link your project.  What does "stitches" mean?  That's for you to decide.  Carte blanche!!  Here's my interpretation:


 I'm finding myself using fabric more and more in my art and I have just gotten a fantastic new stash of ribbons and ephemera from Creative Impressions.
This was a REALLY backward process for me.  I cut a piece of linen to work with.  This was going to be just a practice piece, but when I was done I loved the flowers so much, I wanted to use them.  I wish I'd cut a bigger piece of linen!!!  Oh well, make it work, right?

I have a stash of "ready to altar" items and found there a zippered pencil bag my friend and fellow Creative Cohort Yvonne Blair had given me.  BOOM!  This linen panel would trim the front of my pencil bag.

I stamped the flowers with the big daisy from Cling Daisy Mix from Stampendous.  I just got this set and it's SO cool!  It comes with pre-die cut masks of all the images which makes it super quick and easy to get a layered look.  I used Eggplant 3/4 Crepe ribbon from Creative Impressions to stitch my flowers.  The brads are embossed with Cement EP from Ranger and I added just a touch of Fossilized Amber Distress Paint with my finger.  The brads didn't quite cover the circle left for the flower center, so i experimented with punching some leftover bits of painted lace, which didn't thrill me.  I punched circles out Creative Impressions 2" Gray Web Ribbon and liked the effect.  
I used Distress Crayons on the outline of the stamped leaf image and then used a water brush to spread the color.  Absolutely loved it, I didn't know I could use Distress Crayons on fabric!  I also used black Web Ribbon behind the panel to edge the entire piece.
It needs a frame, no?  I used black embroidery thread to stitch a border all around.
I totally, totally love these Words Remnant Rubs from Tim Holtz.  This phrase reminds me that when it comes to art, I must be brave, experiment, practice and not be afraid of failure.  I don't claim to be brave yet, but I recognize the value of this encouragement.
This dragonfly brad, and all the metal pieces used here, are from Creative Impressions.
Yvonne included a little collection of charms on the zipper pull when she gave this to me.  The "C" is my initial, so cute!!
Okay, you're up!!  Link up your project, we wanna see it!!!!

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="">