Friday, February 25, 2011

Quick Update

It has been a whirlwind week for me. I travelled to Atlanta, GA for a work conference and only returned yesterday afternoon.  The very bright spot in my trip was that my best friends live down that way, and I was able to meet up with them and hang out after the conference was finished a couple days.  I am exhausted, and I want nothing more than to stay home all day and nap, paint, and sew.  I do have to go to work, however, and I'm reaching down deep to find the motivation to get ready to go to work today.

Thought I'd give a quick update on the week thus far though.....and no, I'm not procrastinating on getting ready for work.....ok, well yes I guess I am.  :)

I'm working on some trades and a couple projects for the very quickly-approaching Art and Soul retreat.  I cannot wait for this!!!!  I am going with Heather, and I know we will have the best time ever.  I can't wait to learn some new things.  I just signed up for a fat book swap, which will be the first fat book I have ever done.  I hope I get it right!  I'm also making a lot of ATC and ephemera swaps to take with me for random trades. 

I'm learning a lot about sewing.  I am working on a project for Art and Soul which has heavily used my sewing machine, but I don't want to share that until it is finished.  :)  But, the point is I am LOVING it and so far I have not stitched any finger together, lol. 

This weekend we don't have travel plans (Yay!!!!), so I hope to have lots of art time.  You know how frustrating it is when your creative muse is silent and you have a creative block?  I think it's almost equally frustrating when your creative muse is compelling you to create, and you're full of all these ideas but have no time to work on them. 

Hope you have all had a beautiful week.  Here's 3 cheers for FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :)


Friday, February 18, 2011

Finished M3 Course Angel

I am thoroughly enjoying my Magical Mythical Makings (M3) class, but I have gotten a bit behind on the schedule.  Luckily, it's a self-paced course, so it's all good. 

I shared my Goddess a little while ago, but I also wanted to share my Alphonse Mucha-inspired Angel.  Prior to this course, I had never heard of Alphonse Mucha, but I quite like his style.  See some google images of his work here.  Notice the ornate backgrounds, the architectural-esque (is that even a word?  lol) elements, the intricate loveliness....well, my description doesn't do it justice.  Go google him!

This piece is on 11x15 watercolor paper.  It is truly mixed media....and I say that because I pretty much used everything but the kitchen sink to create this, lol.  Some of the materials included watercolor crayons, acrylic paint, stamps & ink, gold leaf, oil pastels, prismacolor markers, and loose confetti-type stuff. 

The theme for the week was unconditional love and protection.  I'm pleased with how the piece conveys that feeling to me.  See what you think:

Somewhat unrelated, I discovered JoAnn's Fabrics store today.  OMG, I LOVE that place.  I went there during my lunch hour today and got so wrapped up in shopping heaven that I was almost late going back to work.  :)  I can already see that I'm going to have to enter that store with a budget in mind.  My sewing adventure is going well.  I have many plans, lol.  I'm really enjoying learning to sew, and it has opened up all kinds of crafty ideas and notions for me.

Happy Friday everyone, and hope you have a lovely weekend planned!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Week in Art

In this week's art-related news I have completed some cute backgrounds on canvas boards, finished several ATCs for swapping, did some sketching, and received a wonderful present from my Husband!  I have some photos to share, and what I noticed is that a lot of what I've worked on this week has a Valentine's Day feel to it.  And yet....I still am behind on my Valentine's day gifts.  *sigh*  My initial thought isn't going to work out so now I'm brainstorming about what plan B should be. 

Here's my lunch time sketch from earlier this week.  She's a little shy, and clearly besotted with an unknown love interest.  I like her, and I think I would love to finish it on canvas with some paint.

Here are the backgrounds I've been playing around with.  I am now totally lost about what to do with them, but as they are all laid out here together I love the colorful appearance.  :)  It looks like a confetti explosion, lol.  Underneath the confetti explosion on these canvas boards are some old pieces that I hated.  This is one way to give them new life.  Now I just need some inspiration about what to do with them next, lol.

I wanted to share the ATCs I finished.  These are not committed to any swaps yet, but I thought I should get a head start on making ATCs for the upcoming Art and Soul retreat.

Here is Amore:
Next is Bloom:

Below is Vintage Love:
And lastly Chrysalis:

Today I got the bestest present for Valentine's Day.  My Husband got me a sewing machine and all the accessories!!!!  I want to learn to sew so bad (not to make clothes necessarily, but more to do art and mixed media stuff).  I am so excited that I got the sewing machine, and I plan to start learning how to use it later today.  Here's my present:

Now I need "Sewing for Dummies" or something, lol.  To be honest this thing intimidates the heck outta me!!  Wish me luck on the learning curve!

Off to go learn to sew.  Have a happy Sunday everyone!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Some Finished ATCs

I finished several ATCs yesterday.  3 were for a swap, 1 was for the swap hostess, and 1 was just 'cuz I was on a roll, lol.  Have a look:

Life's Roses

She's a Little Vixen!


Be Fierce!


So I was happy to get my swap mailed out today.  I hope someone will enjoy what I've created.  I mailed off all of these except Destiny.  That one will go in my album for perhaps a future swap. 

You may notice my blog has a new look!  I totally love it!  I grabbed the background & the header from a very cool blog  (Cute n Cool Blog Stuff).  I encourage you to visit and check out all the FREE stuff for your blog.

My mission for the rest of this week is to finish my Valentine's day gifts.  I am so behind on those.  I know what I want to do, I just need some hours to focus on working on them. 

Happy Valentine's Day (early) everyone!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Something From Nothing

I just got back home from an absolutely wonderful weekend visiting with my parents, sister, and my little nephew Aidan (who is 4 weeks old now).  He is too adorable for words, and he has stolen my heart so completely.  I'm glad to be home though.  I have been travelling for what seems like every weekend this past month.  I'm ready for a weekend at home, and hopefully we will have one of those at the end of this week.

I have finished my latest piece.  I posted a WIP picture of her in my last post, but I thought I'd show some pictures of how she evolved and the sources that inspired me along the way.  I started with the intention to create something beautiful from "nothing".  I really enjoy making art from junk.  There is beauty in the process of altering something of no value and making it something that is beautiful to the eye.  So this piece started with a trip to the salvation army, where I found tons of stuff to use in art for very little money. I used the following youtube videos as a model for technique and for inspiration:


Go check out these videos!  They are great tutorials.

So, here's how it all started:

There's my record from the salvation army, my old friend gel medium, and some really old hoop earrings that were too tarnished/worn out to wear anymore.  They will ultimately be covered up, but they do add great texture.

Here's the next step:

I've covered the whole thing with a couple layers of aluminum foil, and used a stylus tool to bring some of the details to the front.  I love all the texture this has.  :)  Now I'm ready to add some color:

I put down a base of gold with some brushes of hot pink (cuz how can you go wrong with hot pink?).  Then I hit the high parts with some dry brushing of black just to make the texture more prominent.  At this point the base is pretty much done, and I can start on my doll:

Keeping with the theme of making something out of nothing, I used an old cardboard snack box and sketched out a form for my "doll".  I cut it out and applied a base coat of color and inked the edges:

And at this point, since I'm a huge fan of texture, I decided to add some texture to her skirt using egg shells and wood glue:

And at this point I started pulling together the finishing touches.  I formed a face out of polymer clay and a mold.  After baking it in the oven I applied a bit of color with some simple markers.  Then I painted her skirt and applied some paper flowers and leaves.  I also decided that she needed some buttons for her lady parts, lol.  :)  I created her wings with coffee filters, dressed up with some paint and bling.  I also added some paper flowers to the record to integrate her with the background better.  I used some letter tiles to spell out "create" to remind myself that opportunities to create are everywhere.  And as a final step, I glued her to the record with E6000, which is truly awesome stuff.    So here she is, and I called her simply "Something from Nothing":

This same look could probably have been achieved in a much simpler fashion, but I really had a good time trying out new techniques and just simply playing around to see what I could make out of items that would normally just be trash. 


Friday, February 4, 2011

A Quick Post to share a WIP

Funny that I haven't blogged this week because I've been just CONSUMED by working in my art room.  I've made some ATCs for a mixed media swap (not entirely happy with those yet....they still need some work before they are swap-able) and I've started working on an altered record.  I totally scored with a lunch time trip to the salvation army near my work.  I got tons of items that I can alter or use for assemblage for $20.  What a great deal!

So one of the items I purchased was an old album.  I think it was titled Songs of America or something.  I thought it would be a great base for something to alter and hang on my wall in the art room!

I've been playing with this thing all week.  What fun I've had creating this, and it's by no means done.  Just wanted to share a quick pic of the work in progress.  She is my creative muse...the one who won't shut up this week, lol, ....the one who sees possibilities for beauty in junk.....the one who loves color and texture and grunge and flowers.  I like her.  So she's not done, she still needs wings I think.  But here she is so far:

I've been taking photos of the process along the way.  I'll post more later on how she was "born". 

Going to my mom's tonight to meet up with  my sister and visit my new little nephew.  He is the newest little man in my life, and such a heart stealer.  I can't wait, it's going to be so much fun.

Have a great weekend!!