Monday, October 29, 2012

Poppies Art Journal Page

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone on the East Coast in the path of Hurricane Sandy. It's scary to even think about a storm this size and severity let alone having to live through it. May it downgrade before landfall.  

Here is an art journal page of mine. I've long admired Donna Downey's gorgeous work with poppies and decided it was high time to sit down and take a crack at the theme myself. Since drawing scares the heck out of me, I did these on gessoed index cards with a pen and acrylic paint. As you know, I LOVE index cards. No risk! You can see more of my index card posts HERE

I made five poppies and chose my four favorites to include in my art journal.

 Left Side
Right Side

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Alt Girl Collage and a Peek into My Process

Hey Everyone, Happy Friday!

I was thinking you all might like to hear a little bit about how my collages come to be. Usually I start with an idea but sometimes I'll be flipping through catalog or magazine and I'll fall in love with an image.

Like this one from the Nordstrom catalog:

If it's a size I really like, I'll make a photo copy in black and white, trace the lines I'm interested in with a thick black Sharpie and then hold the copy and my patterned paper up to the window and trace out the general lines.

If they are different sizes (this is most often the case) then I have to draw out the pieces myself and trim them until everything fits together how I imagined it.

 it's important to remember that you don't need to use all the elements in a photo, for example, in a crowd shot you might like one person or even one person's dress - that's okay and that is what makes the work uniquely yours.

For this piece I kept the proportions very similar but changed the wardrobe, skipped the bracelets and shirt etc.

How do you like the results? I think it captures the mood and general concept in a brighter, more artistic respresentation.

Available on Etsy


As of this morning, my blog has 600 followers.

To celebrate, here is a 10% coupon for My Etsy Shop

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nobody is Impressed with How Good Your Excuses Are

I've been wanting to make a little run of "Honest Girls" my Modern Girls but with more... er... direct sentiments. My personality leans that way and sometimes a saying like,

"Nobody is impressed with how good your excuses are."

resonates with me, personally, a little more than,

" She flew with her own wings."

Which just makes me scratch my head and wonder how this winged woman would fly with someone else's in the first place. 

" It was just dreadful darling, the maid's wings were in the shop and I had to fly with my own wings."

I know - it's a metaphor but still.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mermaid Collage

I have been wanting to make a mermaid for a while now but I couldn't decide between a sweet, youthful mermaid, a scary one (the kind I think they would actually be if you made a creature half man and half fish) or a gorgeous siren who lures sailors to their death sort of gal. I think this style of art lends itself best to the first type so here we are.

Check out the glitter!

And if you're going to be a mermaid, you might as well be an undersea princess.

One interesting technical note,  I used a torn piece of paper as a stencil and did the edge distressing with spray paint instead of ink or acrylics. I kind of love the effect. Spray paint is my new favorite thing.

Did you see the Bombshell Stamps starfish in the bottom corners? One of my favorite things about Shannon's stamps are all the complimentary images that come in each set. They're always so versatile and handy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ballerina Collage: Introducing Modern Girl Skinnies

We've got skinny mochas, skinny jeans and now I've been making skinny Modern Girls.
 They're 3.5 x 12 and I love how the new proportion changes the look and feel.
Working with a new size is so fun. It just helps my brain think about collage in a new way.

Here's my first, I call her Sascha.

Did you see I got to use my new Hexi stencil by Balzer Designs for TCW

Sorry the pictures are a little less than perfect, we're expecting a big snow storm and the light is terrible. So exciting though, SNOW!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paint Your Story: Practice Heads

So... yeah... I have pretty much no talent for this. 

My faces are both not weird enough for the assignments and are too weird for my usual art. It doesn't matter if I make square or triangle head shapes - they all end up egg-shaped and humanoid. *sigh*

And I'm struggling with the supplies. As a person who prizes knowledge of water-solubility as her best art skill, I boggle at how a water-soluble caran d'ache pastel in turquoise is not going to turn my white paint turquoise when they meet (spoiler alert: it does!)

They kind of remind me of actors playing support group attendees in a movie like Fight Club. Sad, sickly and a little cracked-out. Or maybe just severely insomniac or hung over. And puffy.

I thought I'd share them though as:

 1. They're what I've been working on.


2. It's good to see that we all struggle. Not just shiny, happy, successful posts.

Just for reference, here's what I'm supposed to be making:

These are all by artist and art instructor Mindy Lacefield. You can see her work HERE

Next goal: to paint some people on top of a funky background. Wish me luck :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

From the Archives: Hershey Bar Haunted Houses

Here is a video Avery and I made for Hershey Bar Haunted Houses. I thought you might like to revisit it as making haunted houses from chocolate is a fun family tradition to do year after year and it's a crowd pleaser for all ages.

If a chocolate haunted mansion is too big, or too much sugar for you, you can always make a smaller house, which is just the left or right side of the mansion. For us, making the grounds with the pumpkin patches and tomb stones was always the best part anyway.

Alternatively, the whole family could work together and make one large house to share.

These are some of the houses the boys have made over the years:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Evolving Card Design: Part Two

So, yeah... since I needed to straighten out all the mixed-up chaos, and I'm still having fun playing with this design, I made a second card, this one is for the WCMD 2012 Challenge 4: Scene It Challenge.

I really want a unicorn, but to be honest I think a Pegasus would be even better - you could fly! Or maybe a dragon... gosh, the strep throat has gone to my head and you're hearing my thought patterns now... You're welcome!

For this card I used the heat embossed chevrons again but all in tumbled glass distress ink going much darker on the card base edges. I chose a sunny colored washi tape and added a unicorn. I think the unicorn and the dirt path he's running on really brings the scene together. This card will be going to UT MD Anderson Cancer Center to cheer up someone who's fighting breast cancer (or whose mom is). There was a Hope You Can Cling To challenge to make a card for kids and I really enjoyed it. I don't often make kids cards and it's a lot of fun.

Okay, if you're still reading, THANK YOU.

It takes a certain type of AWESOME to plow through this sort of Monday Morning meandering.


Evolving Card Design: Part One

Since I'm down with making seventy of these cards for Christmas this year, I think it's safe to say that I like the design. Something about the simple layers just gets me.

But, as usual, I got a little bored after six in a row and decided to treat myself with mixing it up a little.

So I made this:

It was still pretty easy.
Step 1: Stamp Chevron on card base in Versamark Ink
Step Two: Sprinkle with Clear (or white) embossing powder and heat.
Step Three: Apply distress ink somewhat randomly with foam pad. I used Tumbled Glass, Mustard Seed and Spun Sugar
Step Four: I'm assuming the top layer is pretty self-explanatory, cut out clouds. Attach some on top with dimensional tape. Cut a few extras and make them into trees by coloring them green - layers of mustard seed and tumbled glass makes the green pictured - add your sentiment.

Here's a better look at the rainbow chevron layer - my Versamark ink is just filthy with glitter but I decided not to worry about it. 

A little sparkle is a good thing!

So I was all excited as the challenge (in my mixed-up mind) for WCMD at Ellen Hutson was


See what happens when I read on little sleep with no coffee???

In reality, there were challenges (PLURAL) so this one is for

"It's time to get your trend on - this challenge is to use a trendy shape such as the chevron, hexagon, triangle, etc on your project.

And Ranger has a challenge to go with the release of individual Distress Seasonal Distress Ink Pads:


Please check out my next post for the latest version of this design.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Origin of a Christmas Card Design

When I saw a christmas card by Kristina on the Simon Says Stamp blog I fell immediately in love with it.  It was clean and simple but so elegant. 

So I ordered the supplies and tried to make sure it was easy enough my family could help make them with me. This always takes a few tries and a little tinkering.

Here's the original, as close to Kristina's as I could make it.

But it felt a little barren. So for the next card I added a sentiment:

Better, but how about kraft for #3?

Hmm. Washi doesn't pop on kraft... maybe cream? Yeah... cream. 

What do you think? Which style is your favorite? 

I loved this design so much I made some funkier ones...
posting soon :-)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

World Card Making Day: Two for the Time of One

 Happy World Card making Day.

As you know, I like to be efficient and one of my favorite crafty habits is to make more than one of something if I've gone to the effort to haul all my supplies out. In the end you save time and money plus you usually get ahead a bit, especially if it's a card as you make the card you need and a second one for later.


My thanks (and possible apologies) to Kate Crane who was where I first saw the idea of cutting Hunk's head open to let his thoughts show.

And this one is for the Moxie Fab World "Love" challenge.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mixed-Media Quote Tutorial

When I saw this month's Faber Castell's 'October Take the Challenge! with Mou' was word art I was so excited as making art with the sentiment as the main focus  is one of my favorite styles.

I thought it would be fun to make a quick, easy project that would be a great gift. I used Faber-Castell products but I'll be letting you know what supplies you can substitute.

Start with an 8x10 piece of watercolor paper and color sections with different colored gelatoes. Don't stress too much about how it looks, just have fun. If you don't have gelatoes, watercolor paints, Inktense blocks and Neocolor will work well too.

Brush with water using a wide paintbrush

Apply gesso through a stencil using a brush.

Move the stencil around to cover the whole page.

Cut a heart from a piece of paper. I used some home made paper that I'd decorated with paint, stamps and stencils but any patterned paper works great.

Add washi tape arrow and printed quote. 
Seal well with Mod Podge. Be extra careful to glue down the seams.

Use Pitt Pens to add details to your piece. 
If you don't have Pitt Pens, use Copics, sharpies or any other marker you like.

Scribble on a craft mat with your marker 

Add a little water with your paintbrush.

And flick splatters all over the open parts of the piece.

Let dry and add any finishing touches

 Thanks so much for stopping by. 
If you make something similar please let me know, I'd love to see it.