Monday, September 2, 2013

Prayer Flags

The side trade for last month, (yes I am late again) was a prayer flag. I had never done one before and stupidly went searching on the internet for examples. Well there are some beautiful examples out there and before I knew it, I was too intimidated to try. That's not entirely true. I did start but forgot what direction I was going with it and stopped. I stopped for the whole month! Deadlines are wonderful motivators to finish things off. That and school starting, a new job and less time.

The piece started with a dark painted background in indigo and burgundy. I decided it needed some more lively colors and added in lemon yellow, hot pink, lime green and sky blue. There was quite a bit of paint on that so I scratched in the words peace, hope, love and prosperity. I think that covers the bulk of prayers. I added in a metallic burgundy heart at the top but didn't want it so cutesy and added in some dark blue to add dimension. I also added additional burgundy into the background of the flags for more interest. The only thing I did wrong with this was not to make one for myself. I guess this means I have to try it again.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August ATC Trade - Butterfly

This was a theme idea that I was excited about but worried about. I loved the idea because butterflies are so colorful and fun but didn't want to do an ATC with a picture of a butterfly. I have promised to stretch myself and these trades are very helpful. If you google images of butterflies, you get so many different types and it amazes me that I only see a few versions! But a few caught my attention when looking at them up close. The patterns on some have spots on the bottom wings that look to me like eyes. I love eyes and I love drawing them. They are so expressive. There was my starting point!

Each piece is on card stock. The eye was sketched in first with a light pencil and then a pattern was created around each. I colored in each with Sharpie markers! I never thought I would ever draw with markers but I love the details and colors I can get when overlaying. If I ever win lotto, I will buy sharpies in every color! Well after the color went on, I outlined everything with a finepoint black micron pen. For the eye centers, I used black puffy paint but left it flat so it would be shiny black. Additional details were made using glitter glue. I just couldn't pick a favorite to showcase so you only get the group shot.

Next up is my prayer flag trade but still struggling with ideas so it may be a while!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I think I have a problem!

One of the side trades in our group was to do a 6" x 6" mixed media piece which included hand stitching. The inspiration came from the challenge posted in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. If we love what we made, then we could in turn, enter it into the challenge.

I was not prepared for how much I would love the size! I have finished four and have another four more in the works!

This one was inspired by all the rain we have had. At the end of my driveway is a small hole that fills with water whenever it rains. I noticed a leaf at the bottom and was intrigued to recreate it. I drew the shape of the puddle first and using tissue paper and gel medium, I created a rock texture around the hole. After it was dry, I used various acrylic paint colors to get the color I wanted. The bottom of the water was painted in dark blue with a wash of brown over it. The leaf was created from a cotton face pad. Did you know you can dye them?!! I have a bunch so cut out a leaf shape and using my sewing machine, I sewed veins. I actually hated the top side and flipped it over. This was much better. A few beads and then dimensional magic by Modge Podge created the water. I love this stuff! I hand sewed a few leaf shape beads on top for the complete finish.

Was playing around with sketching on canvas for this one. Then I was coloring it with oil pastels. You know that point where you hate what you are doing so you cover it up?! Don't lie. OK go ahead. Well I hated it and painted over it with white acrylic paint. Don't you love crazy things like that? I loved the look because some of what I had was still peeking through! So back in with pencil and oil pastels. I loved how it looked! Yes her eyes look cross eyed and one is bigger than the other, but the technique was very cool. I will be trying it again.

So my sister thinks this is creepy because she is green. Well that's because she is a mermaid! In my world, mermaids are green! I sketched her out on the canvas and well yes she is disproportionate too. Try drawing on untreated canvas. Not so easy. I painted her with fabric paints and then sewed in details on my machine. Her eyebrows look like small caterpillars but I still like them. In face reading, big eyebrows indicate intelligence! So she's smart! I added more details with fabric markers and then added dimensional magic all the way around her face. When it dried, I added in rings of the dimensional magic. After that was dried, I used interference blue paint on top and dark blue markers around the edges to create ripples of water. Is she looking up from the water or down at her reflection?

This was actually the first one I made. It was a bit like my ATC I created. This is actually canvas, thin batting and then brown fabric on top. I free motion quilted the rocks and sand. Then using sheer fabrics in brown and blue, I sewed them down to make waves. Using fabric paint, I added details into the rocks and created a sandy section using sand gel medium. Fabric paints finished off the sand. The waves were touched with the interference blue. I wanted to created water sloshing up onto the shore and used, you guessed it, dimensional magic! Interfence paint was applied to the edges of the water waves.

So those are my first four attempts. Stay tuned as more are coming!

Graffiti ATC - Typography

Yeah! New trade theme! Typography! Wait what?!! Oh man. Now I have to move outside the comfort zone again! (insert moaning and gnashing of teeth here!) Don't get me wrong. I love typography - when someone else does it. But when I have to do it - well it has to be perfect and I can't do perfection . . . .   Ok OK so the award for best dramatic performance goes to  ME!! LOL

I am actually pretty pleased with my interpretation of this theme. If you want to check out the others versions, swing on by our blog!

Graffiti is a cool version of typography that I can't really screw up too badly, so I sketched in the words heARTist trading group with a pencil and then traced with an embossing pen. Black embossing powder was sprinkled on top, then heat set. Sharpie markers added the colors. I outlined everything with a black sharpie to add dimension and with oil pastels to highlight. They were pretty good but I can never leave well enough alone. I painted Patty was here because I'm in the group, because I can and in graffiti, someone always comes along and messes with the masterpiece.

Friday, June 21, 2013

June Side Trade - gift tags

Have you ever seen something really cool and think you want to try it. So you go to the store and buy all the materials to make it and then chicken out or just forget about it? No? Me either! Well that's not true. Digging through my supplies, I found packages of different sized gift tags. Whoops. Good thing this challenge came along! So we had to make two different styles to trade. Easy enough. Uh no. It's something new so I have to suffer anxiety over it.

Time to just count out what I need and plow in with materials!

This first set evolved over my dismay at not having achieved a summer day yet! I mean it's almost the end of June and we are barely above 70 this summer! Well my card worked. The projected temps for the next week are in the 90's! 
The sand is from the liquitex sand medium, then dye painted over it. The sky is ink and clouds painted in with acrylic. A hand carved bird stamp and grass stamp complete the look.

Now this tag was a technique driven design. I had some metallic paint from my faux finishing days. It was a sage green color and I troweled it on and stamped into it. That part kind of disappeared. I painted a sunflower yellow ink over the top. Still boring, so I used a stencil in dark purple along the edge, then splattered white acrylic paint with a toothbrush. Next a rubber stamp in sunflower yellow on the opposite side. Dragonfly kept running through my head the entire time I worked on this piece. On a separate piece of paper, I stamped a bunch of dragonflies and used embossing powder in black. When dry, I heat set then colored with markers. I trimmed around the outside edges and glued them to each tag. Still needed just one more element. Black glitter glue to bring out the stenciled dots. That was it. Add a decorative string and ta da!

June ATC Challenge - Zetti

What? Zetti? I never heard of it! Google it! Oh wow! Not my style but truly a challenge. That was my thoughts on the next challenge. If you do a search for the term Zetti, a ton of remarkable art shows up. You can spend hours sifting through and get the feel of the art form.

Well I was intimidated to try which means stretching myself. Oh man. This is going to be hard. So I broke it down into small steps. First came the quote. I remember reading the quote or partial quote on Gisela (Towner? can't remember her last name!) It was a quote by Mark Twain:

She was not what you would call refined,
She was not what you would call unrefined.
She was the kind of person that kept a parrot.

Well this quote reminds me of my daughter Maddy. So I found a picture of her and scanned it. Made a bunch of copies and printed it out. Two elements done.

After I glued her onto the card stock, I was off and running. Sketched in the parrot and started coloring. I think that was my favorite part. I love color!

My daughter caught sight of what I was doing so I had to make some extra for her! Small price to pay I suppose!

Happy Solstice!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

New Work

Are you having a heart attack yet? Three posts in less than a month. I think it may be a record for me! But I am so excited to be sharing a piece I have been working on for the last 4 months.

Full size

I created this from an image I had in my head one morning when I woke up. Not sure where it came from but I knew I had to make it.

I started with a brown batik for the center of the piece. Then sewed a brown satin material onto each side of it. I made folds for the lines made in the sand when water washes over the sand. This was sewn down by a machine. The waves are different sheers that were sewn on in folds and then I used a wood burning tool to cut them apart. I have to clean them up a little as there are tiny brown spots where the tool was on it a little too long. The rocks were applied after I free motion quilted circles to create sea foam. The rocks were from material my friend Christine sent me that she hated. Perfect for rocks! They were hand sewn on and then stuffed with batting so they pop off the surface. The sand was created first by hand stitching and then different beads and small shells to mimic the waters edge. The final part was a dark brown sheer sewn in to create water over the sand. I added in some more details with shiva oil sticks.

I am linking up my post with Nina Maries Off the Wall Friday Blog. Check out what everyone else did this week creatively :

I am loving how this turned out. It is an abstract representation of the different elements of water. Its very textural and the colors blend so nicely. I have named it "Opposing Forces" because it represents the world we now live in. So many people think that we are either one side or the other and yet when you talk about the problems, everyone seems to be of like mind and upset about the same things. Its the fixing of the problems that we all differ. Until we find a way to work together again for solutions, we will be forever butting heads or "crashing" into one another.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I am putting up a second post within a months time. I know, scary right?!! This group decided to stretch it's wings and try new types of projects. I joined this one and obviously didn't finish on time. But they are a great group of woman and are not beating me up over it! So the additional trade the last month was called a thrinchie. I had to google for info. It's like the trading cards but 3" x 3" and the basic theme was spring. See the others here:

When I work on new pieces, I find myself being pulled in the direction of playing it safe and make the same type of pieces. It's okay I guess as it is my style but I wanted to bust out a little bit. So I fused white fabric to peltex and colored it with neocolor crayons. I used a paintbrush with water and blended the colors. Then I stamped a funky flower in the center. Immediately I hated the piece.

So I did what I usually do. I put it off to the side and ignored it. I was cleaning up my studio and ran across my stamps and thought that would be cool! I used my hand cut leaf stamp and stamped in lime green. Then went back over them with dark green. Then a commercial tree stamp was used in dark blue ink over the top of the whole piece. Very nice! The pale green stripe is a ribbon sewn down using the machine. I hand sewed the gold washer with red thread. The edges were done in a dark red on the sewing machine.

I love them and of course did a crummy job of photographing them. They are way more vibrant in person. Also never use a shiny surface to photograph pictures. Bad idea!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Midwest Memories ATC

Our trade this month was actually a theme I picked. Everyone seemed to really push the envelope on the theme Sticks and Stones! See the others work here

Mine was based on the fencing used by along beaches. The idea came to me while driving through the midwestern farm belt! A little bit of a leap but still keeps with the theme.

The sky was a hand dyed blue fabric while the sand was made from rust dyed fabric. The fencing was a piece for brown netting I had saved from a potato bag. I used black thread and free motion stitched wood posts and wire to keep the fencing in place. The rocks were made from white puffy paint. I tried to puff the paint without melting the plastic. It worked in some areas and not in others. I think it adds to the rustic quality of the piece. Then I used different inks to get the coloring in the rocks and finished with walnut ink overall. I also used it to create shadow effects. The final touch was using glitter glues in browns and blacks for the sandy texture.

I framed each by sewing around the outside edges and painting the edges with red gold fabric paint by Jacquard. I think that color was a perfect match for the rest of the card. I am much happier with this round than last months!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sky ATC-Reflections

The sky is one of my favorite things in the world. But when it came to this trade, I was kind of stuck. I guess I had too many ideas of which way to go, that I just couldn't pick one. Inspiration struck one morning as I was walking out to my car, on my way to work. It had rained and a puddle of water was in the street. I saw the reflection of the sky and trees and well, that was my idea. The execution was a little more difficult.

Digging through my fabrics, The perfect fabric presented itself. A batik in mainly white with blues, greens and golds running through it. I stamped the fabric with a tree stamp I had on hand using a purple ink. Once dry, the background was painted in using a light gray acrylic. The fabric part was then given two coats of glossy accents, with a few drops around on the "pavement". It was kind of boring, so I added in a purple ink around the water to make it pop more.

It was still boring and needed a pop of color. So back to my drawer of odds and ends, yielded these paper leaves. I added them using the glossy accents and it gave another layer of interest to the design. The edges were finished off using a copper shiva paintstik.

Happy Spring Everyone! We are still waiting for it to "spring" here!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Verdigris ATC - Year of the Snake

I thought this color idea paired nicely with the Chinese New Year. This is the year of the Water Snake. I did something a little different this time. I took pictures of my process in creating this ATC. Why? I have no idea but I have had quite a few questions on how they were created so this will give you a visual step by step.

This is step 1. I fused pink fabric to peltex and used puffy paint to create a snake.

Step 2 is puffing up the paint and then painting over the whole piece with copper paint.

This was step 3. I painted the verdigris color over the top in a mottled kind of way to recreate the patina.
I didn't take pictures of the process after this. I used chinese stamps for prosperity and double happiness using red and gold inks. Then hand painted in the Chinese symbol for the snake (I love the internet!) and Year of the Snake.

Here are the final finished pieces:

The group shot

There was too much black so I used orange glitter glue over the top for a little extra punch.
Happy Chinese New Year!