Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tunnel Book is DONE!!!

Ok, just let me start off with a disclaimer.  The swap for this month's (July) COF was a tunnel book.  I will state up front that I realize that this is no longer a tunnel, nor a book form.  But whatever right, it's art and art likes to break rules.  The host of this month was inspired by some tunnel books that Alpha Stamps had posted recently and a handful of us were excited to give it a try.  This is a one on one swap this month, and I was very excited to have the wonderful Caroline at Glitter Tart Designs as the person I am to send to.  I really wanted to step everything up a notch, or two, or three with what I ended up sending her, so I really pushed the boundaries of tunnel book.  I chose a circus theme (obviously I hope?...) and made it 3-dimensional like a tent.  I really struggled with how I wanted to put the top of the tent on, and after a few trial and errors and some Google searching, I decided on this shape.  Again, a lot of my images are from collage sheets from Alpha Stamps (I really need to branch out don't I?...) and I used a variety of scrapbooking paper for the interior of the tent.  I painted the outside, papered the back and the bottom and used my favorite mix of glitter (Blaze) for the floor of the tent.  (Caroline, if you're reading this, I have a nice coating of glitter all over my work surface :) )  Here's a look at the front, head on...

I actually had plans to go a bit more elaborate with this, but I am running out of time and frankly, I think that if I touch it anymore I'm just going to ruin it.  The top of the tent was made out of a paper substructure and then I paper mached the top to the sides and back onto the bottom to make sure that this piece would be solid and survive transport and be able to be displayed easily.  Here is side view look at the piece so you can get an idea of the dimensions...

Overall, I really had a lot of fun working on this piece and hope to do another one for myself maybe in some time of ocean theme.  I just picked up a really great set of ocean collage sheets that I think will work great, so we'll see!

Mermaid Bookmark

As I mentioned in the previous post, the COF is working on another journal go-round.  I just finished up Andrea's and will be sending it on soon, and her theme was fun to work with, Mermaid Bookmarks.  Fortunately, I had just taken advantage of the sale that Alpha Stamps was having on their sea themed collage sheets and I had picked up a mermaid sheet, so it all worked out!  The images on the sheet are gorgeous, and I had no trouble picking the ones I wanted to work with and enhanced the subtle colors in the image with metallic and glittery papers.  Here is the front side of the bookmark, and I didn't take a picture of the backside.  Andrea, it will just have to be a surprise for you and Sandi M., sorry, I didn't get a chance to take a pic of the work I did on your journal that I sent on already!  It too will be a surprise for you when you get it!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

COF Journal Swap

I am participating in the latest round of the COF "journal" swap.  I am using journal in quotes because my contribution this time really isn't a journal, but instead a set of empty boxes that each participant in this round is tasked with creating an inner world in.  The outside of the box (and sorry, I don't have any pictures of them) is just a plain rectangular, approx 4"6" white surface.  The inside and the outside can be designed/decorated/embellished in whatever way each person would like to.  I chose to keep my outside pretty plain, not really giving away any of what you would find in the interior...

Here is a picture of the outside with just a litte peek into the interior.  I chose a contrasting/complementary color scheme for the outside vs. the inside and used some leftovers I had from some collage sheets from Alpha Stamps and Art Chix.  And here is the inside...

Again I used the central image and text/supporting images from an Alpha Stamps Collage sheet.  She is from a Paris Showgirls sheet I believe...?  I've been really into using feathers lately, so I wanted to integrate those somehow and I used a lot of blingy paper and glitz.  The outside of the box seems demure, but inside this is an explosion of glam.  (the picture isn't doing that great of a job of capturing it...)  Here's another angle...

I wanted the central image to really take the stage, so I put a good thickness of dimensional foam behind her and also on the phrase plate at the bottom too.  I rimmed the inside of the box edges with a holographic paper so it acts almost as a mirror ( you can see that effect in the picture above this one) and extra light catcher.

So....I enjoyed working on this one a lot and think I will do a few more of these.  When I get the other pieces back from the participants in this round, I will post all of them for viewing!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

COF Altered Altoid ATC Swap

The May swap for the COF group was an altered Altoid tin with ATCs (one for each participant) inside.  You could choose your own theme and look for both components of the project swap.  This time only 4 people participated, so I felt I could embellish the ATCs a little bit more "thickly" lets say!  I had a lot of fun doing this one and I am thinking I'd like to take and make a spin on this for my Round Robin journal which will be starting again next month.  Here is a picture of the outside of the altered tin

And here is the tin open with most of the cards displayed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Altered TP Roll Swap

April's theme for the COF swap is hosted by Jess and is an altered TP roll theme.  I have been seeing ideas for altered TP rolls while perusing Pinterest, and was excited to join in on the swap this month.  I liked the idea of it so well, that if I have/had time I plan/planned to make two separate pieces.  This one that I'm sharing a picture of is my first piece (my second is still under construction).  Like is so often the case with me, I had to sit and think for awhile about what exactly it is that I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to cut it up in some way, but beyond that I didn't really know.  Recently however, I bought a digital collage sheet from Alpha Stamps of Vegas girls, and BAM, figured it out.  I made my version of a vegas showgirl reference.  It also gave me an excuse to buy some feathers, which I don't use often enough!  I went with a complementary theme so there would be extra punch and then some glitter that I  created by mixing three different shades I own.  Some embellishments, and fussy cutting the image and voila!  Here she is!  Now on to the second one I plan on doing, I only have a few days left to get them out the door!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Little Man's First Large Artwork

So, it's spring break for me this week and I've been trying to find things to keep me and my little man busy.  I don't know what inspired me to do it, but I had a flash of a thought and told little guy that we were going out to get him some paints.  (Yes, I had to go out and buy paints for this.  For anyone that knows me, yes, I do have a ton of paint, but nothing that was to Michael's we went!) And living in the art realm, you would think doing a painting would be an old hat for us, but it wasn't.  I guess because I do art all day long for my job, that by the time I get home and get wrapped up in whatever's going on, well, I forget or run out of time.  And that includes any art for myself too...:(  Anyways, little guy thoroughly enjoyed making his first large scale work, but didn't really care to get his hands messy, so there was a LOT of hand wiping going on, but I think it turned out GREAT!  And now we have a piece of artwork of his own to hang in our living room on a bare spot that had been begging to have something new go up there.  Maybe I will make this a yearly event for us!

Here's how we did it...

I picked up 9 sheets of identically colored scrapbooking cardstock paper in a 12"x12" size.  Very gently on the backside of the paper, I taped them together along the seams with removable tape.  When flipped over, it created a 3'x3' large paper space to work with.  Because I think mixed media is great, I had him work with crayons first.  Because it's a large paper and he's a little guy, I kept rotating the paper so he could have equal access to all areas.

He used a variety of colors, all his choice, and drew "pictures" and created lines.  As a side note, I really like the tin I'm storing his colors in.  It's a metal Crayola tin with an attached flip lid that stays shut pretty well.  I picked a couple of them up from Target. I cut pieces of paper sized to fit into the tin, so that way it's easy traveling and you've got everything you need.

Next, once he was done with the crayons, we moved on to the paint.  Again, Crayola, washable paint.  It's true, most art teachers really do love Crayola.  Even the ones that teach middle school and don't usually get the opportunity to use the more simplistic materials on a regular basis. :)

Here is the last stages of the work.  He's nearly done painting, and again, I kept rotating the work so he could reach all sides.  He's standing in something called a Learning Tower, it's a safety ladder/platform that they can safely stand in to do stuff like this.  I love the look on his face here, he's concentrating on what he's doing...

And here is the finished work.  I already had 9 12"x12" gallery style canvases (they have a deeper profile), that had previously been in this space.  I had taken them down awhile ago to change the images on them, and then never had a chance to put them back up.  After he was done painting and it had dried completely, I carefully pulled the tape away from the backs of the paper, and mounted each square individually.  I used good ol' Mod Podge Matte to adhere.  MP on the canvas and then the painted work on top and pressed into the MP paying special attention to the edges to make sure it wasn't going to peel off.

The finished work looks great I think.  Here's to hoping that he grows up to love art!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter Jar Swap

Caroline, over at Glitter Tart Designs, hosted her first jar swap, with a winter theme.  I love everything that this super talented girl does, so I of course had to join in!  Plus ever since seeing an artist at Alpha Stamps (Nicola, I'm sure I probably spelled her name wrong, sorry!) do small little jar scenes (and I'm talking small), I have been utterly fascinated with trying it on my own.

Here is an overall look at what I created...

I ended up using a rather large sized jar, in fact I purchased the Ball Art Jar just for this purpose...but honestly I would say that I was disappointed with the quality of the jar, and won't be using another one for something like this in the future.  It wasn't poured very well and is very wavy and warpy, which I didn't realize until I started putting my image into it and by that time, it was too late to do anything about it unfortunately... (live and learn right?!)

I wanted to add some pizzaz to the top of the jar, so I adhered some white felt, painted and glittered a chipboard snowflake and rimmed the top with a sliver braided fiber.

Inside of the jar, I put a vintage image of a lady decked out for the cold weather that I found and emphasized the feathers in her hat through the addition of tall white feathers in the background.  I used some iridescent buffalo snow on the base inside and also on the fluff around her neck.  I added some pearl stick pins to add a little variety to the colors and textures found inside.  

The bottom of the jar on the outside, I used the more of the fiber and another added another snowflake, accented the snowflake with a pearl (to tie in with the inside) and instead of white felt, used a white gathered crepe paper to finish the bottom of the jar and to disguise the lid.  I have really been fond of using crepe paper lately, I think it really adds a lot of nice volume easily.  

I was partnered with Tabitha who can be found at Kluckingbear.  She created this wonderful jar scene for me that I absolutely LOVE.  The pictures just do not even do it justice, but I will let her explain her work on her blog, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak of it!  


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentines Day Cards -- 2013 Edition

Hey all, it's been awhile since I've posted on here.  Don't ask me what I've been doing because I can't even tell you to be honest.  And whatever it was, I don't really feel like I have anything to show for it.  BUT, I did manage to squeeze out some time over the past week or so to make my valentine cards.  I do try and make cards for all the major holidays, and birthdays (although, I'll admit, I've REALLY been slacking on the bday cards...), but I'm really serious about getting back on track.

I just need to learn some serious time management skills...

Anyways, here are the cards that I made this year and sent out to my friends.  I hope they enjoy them!  I honestly was not really inspired by the product that I saw in the store this year.  The lines that the stores around me were carrying were just not that exciting, or they were the same exact stuff as last year...boring!  So, because I'm a classic overbuyer of materials, I had plenty to work with this year even though I had nothing significantly new that I purchased.  The only new item was some American Crafts foam letter stickers.  I have always admired these and really wanted to have an excuse to use them.  You can see how I integrated them on the "Sweet" and "Love" card in the top photo.  All of my stamps are from a variety of sources, as is the decorative paper.  If you have any questions about where I picked something up, please do ask and I will be sure to share my secrets...

I ended up making 8 different designs, so I had to split it into 2 pictures.  Enjoy!