Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gel Medium
I have been experimenting with gel medium ever since Jan sent me some journal pages that had some gel medium on it.  Then, Martha goes and takes a class where they talk about all sorts of mediums, and I get totally blown away.
So, now I have irradescent medium, gloss gel medium, and glass bead medium.  The first two I have used with great success!  The gel medium gives everything a richer color, like it is wet.
No, I haven't tried to do any fancy techniques with it like transfers or anything.  But, I do plan to.  For now, I am using the gel and irradescent medium like paint or collage glue.  
One thing I did learn, though.  The gel medium dries so slow that I don't know how successful I will be using it in my journaling adventures.  Even after pre-drying it with a heat gun and letting it sit for an hour, it was somewhat tacky.  Although, it wasn't tacky enough that I noticed it by touching it with my finger.  When I did notice was when I went to open my journal and the pages were stuck together and the gel medium page tore an image on the facing page as I tried to seperate the two.
If I can be very patient, I should be able to use it in my journal.  Maybe next time, I will do my musings on another page with the gel medium and just glue it in my journal.

Hobo Chicken
As Joseph and I were driving into town, it occured to me that "Hobo Chicken" would be a great name for a band.  Then, I got to thinking about the images that "Hobo Chicken" might conjure up.  I soon drew Joseph into my funky musings and we discussed it at length.  
First thought it brought to my mind is a chicken carrying a stick over his shoulder with a knapsack hankerchief tied to one end.
The second thought was a bunch of hobos sitting around a fire eating a roasted chicken they snatched from someone's chicken yard.
Joseph's first ideas was a vagrant chicken riding a train.  
But, the best image was the last one Joseph came up with.  "Hobo Chicken" made him think of a hobo that always runs away.  
I laughed a long time at that one.

Clean Desk Collage
I have been stopping and starting several times trying to clean up my craft room.  As I clean, I find something and think "I know just what to do with this!"  Next thing I know, I have stopped cleaning and have started a new artsy project.
This page started that way.  I committed myself to use a bunch of images that I had scattered around my desk.  If I could not put them up, I was going to use them up.  
Actually, I shouldn't even be showing you this.  This page is in a journal I am creating for a project:  30 Things I Want to Remember.  This project ends in May, but I am sort of keeping my creations under wraps until the great unveiling.    
I liked how it turned out so well and thought it might inspire someone else to do a "Clean Desk" collage.  Each image has a meaning to me and reminds me of things important to me.  I think it made a nice graphic for my journal.

Drawing Time
Joseph has been doing a lot of drawing lately.  I am encouraging him to put some up on his blog:  He hasn't yet, but I think he might.
He was showing me some stuff he drew, when I got inspired to give it a go.  I snatched his beloved Moleskin away from him and teased out this beauty.  I named her Methy Bethy because there is something seriously wrong with that stare she has going on.  :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Once Upon a Time
I did this page for my personal journal.  At the moment, I have 3 different journals going.  My personal journal has not been visited in a while.  I would love to contribute something to it everyday, but I have not found myself that reliable with it.
In this journal I put whatever suits me at that free moment.  I have a story, dear diary type entries, doodlings, and collage.  I was inspired to do something with this nice lady here.  She was part of a piece of cool old wallpaper that my friend Jennifer shared with me.
This paper roll has been setting on my desk for a while, and today I cut out this individual and gave her a home.
The background is a combo of my blue irradescent calligrapher's ink and my gold acrylic paint.  I am definetely in a shiny, make-it-sparkle phase.  I have been for most of my life.  :)

Asian Dragon
Here is a page I did for a book in my sketchbook group.  The theme was Asian dragon.  The dragon came from a large souvenir sticker from a museum.  I cut him in two pieces to make it appear that he is even bigger than he orginally was.  Let's give that Samurai something to think about, don't you agree?
All the other images are from various Asian inspired stamps I have in my collection.  The black card in the middle was a failed ATC attempt, but I think it turned out nice as an addition to this page.

Scary Stories
Emma came to me yesterday wanting to write a scary story.  She was frustrated because she had tried to imagine a scary story where the bad guy was a beaver, but, in her words, "Beavers just aren't very scary."  I told her that if she were a tree she would feel that beavers were very scary indeed.  She conceded that, but still insisted she wanted some help to make up a scary story.
I told her that I would help her by writing down her story.  I started her off with "It was a dark and stormy night..."  The rest is her doings.  She composed two stories and illustrated them herself.  
What you see above is a copy of the original manuscripts.  Read on if you dare!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dancing Is the Poetry of the Foot
Dancing Is the Poetry of the Foot was the theme of another sketchbook I received.  Most of the pages were done with stamps of dancing folks.  I had no such stamps, but I did have a stamp of foot placement instructions.  Of course!
My cutting area is currently littered with all sorts of heart die cuts.  I painted a few gold, let them dry, then stamped them with the foot placement stamp.  I then started building up layers of UTEE on top of them.  I think the extra depth gave just the right look.
The background made me think of a ball room floor.  It is a diamond background stamped in silver and clear embossed on a black patterned paper scrap.
I really liked how this turned out.  The silver, black, and gold together makes a statement.

Midnight Scene
I have not done very much scene building with rubber stamps.  I have seen it done beautifully, but it hasn't appealed to me yet personally to really delve into it.  
When I saw the theme for this sketchbook, Midnight Scenes, I immediately thought of needing to do some scene building stamping.  I still could not find the enthusiasm for it, so I decided to do it differently.
I used one of my favorite stamps of all time.  I love them owls!  I embossed him black and then pulled out gold acrylic paint and various colors of irradescent ink.  I used my new white charcoal pencil to add the white on the face and breast.  I painted the rest of him up robotozoid style and here he is in all his metallic glory!

Earl Grey Sketchbook Page
This is a page I made for one of the sketchbooks I received from the sketchbook group I belong to.  The theme was "Drinks that Give You Energy."  
I have recently started adding an Earl Grey tea bag to my everyday Lipton brew at home.  It gives it a nice zing without overpowering you.  Thus, the inspiration for my sketchbook page.
My poor letter spacing.  I looked like I was drinking something much harder than tea when I laid those letters out.  Wood mounted letter stamps are a bear to line up.  The acrylic stamps out there will spoil you fast.
After this botch job with the lettering, I think I will pif this letter set.  :)

Cadaver Card
I am thinking of suggesting a new line of cards to Hallmark:  Cadaver Cards.  I had this brilliant idea after taking a step back and looking at this creation.
It started out innocent enough....a lady wanting to make something gender neutral and to get to use a little gel medium.  I've never used gel medium before, so I wasn't going to do anything fancy.  I just planned a little collage fun.
It all was going together well.  I chose the "Nice Knowing You" stamp because it sort of reflects my sense of humor.  This phrase is usually said with ominous undertones, but my "voice" was saying it the Kay way....Nice Knowing You!!  (With lots of hearts and rainbows popping out.)
I had the background, the symbolic head, the sentiment...but it still needed something.  I thought about my fly stamp.
Element wise, I think the flies balanced my card.  But, it also tipped the balance from fun to freaky.  It struck me that this looked like a card you might send to someone who had just died.  Not their family, but the corpse.
If you get this card from me, you are either a really good friend who I know won't be offended, or you have passed away.  Check your pulse.

A Dirt Stomping Good Time
The kids found a small piece of plastic out in the yard and really went with it.  In the dirt, they built Castle Grayskull (We recently got Masters of the Universe books at the thrift store.) to hide the magic plastic.  The dug it up and buried it MANY times...all in race-like fashion.  A video would have done this process better justice.

Journal 13's Last Gasp
Here is the last page I did for the Journal 13 Project at Snagging Stampers.  I don't know why this one was so hard to do.  I suspect because I originally planned to do it about myself.  I just wasn't inspired by that.  Then it occurred to me to do it about Emma.  
The fact she relishes her title "Momma's Precious Little Angel" inspired me to add the wings.  I feel a wings-on-everything art stage coming.  They were really fun to do.  

Art Lessons
Each week, the kids take an art lesson at Grammy's.  For these projects, Grammy sketched some pictures using water color pencils.  Then she had the kids use wet paint brushes to color in the pictures.  
Here are some of their latest creations.
Emma on Rap Music
The other day, as we started our walk in the woods, we heard a car coming down the road blaring some loud music.  Emma stopped short and asked, "What's going on!?"
I replied, "Someone is playing their music too loud."
She said, "I don't think so.  It sounds like someone trying to kill a sweet little lost kitten."
Perhaps we have a critic on our hands?

Cat Portrait
Emma has seemed to have made a small leap in her artistic abilities.  The other day, she brought me this picture of a cat that she drew.  I was impressed.  I told her, "Momma has been drawing cats for over 30 years, and I have never drawn a better looking cat."
Emma smiled and nodded her head.  "I know, " she said.  

Fun with Friends Blog Challenge
We spent the evening with friends last night.  Chas and her crew came over and we chowed down on tacos and lemon pie.  The kids got to go crazy, and we let them wind down with a walk in the woods.  
Everyone got to talk, laugh, and fill their bellies.  It was a perfect bit of fun.
Simple things like a shared meal or an afternoon chat seem to be disappearing in the world.  Everyone feels too busy or too tired.  
For my First Official Blog Challenge, I challenge you to invite over a friend for a simple meal or take a friend a covered dish.  Share your experience on your blog and leave a comment here.  I will select a winner at the end of the month and send you a selection of my favorite make-n-share recipes.  

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Water Travel
Here is a page I did for a book in the sketchbook club I belong to.  The theme was Water Travel.  I searched for days for a boat image.  I finally found this little gem in some Asian ephemera I had snagged at Snagging Stampers.
The pages of this book are paint chips.  The name of the paint chip I used is called "Hidden Spring."  I really think the image I found kind of goes along with that title.
It is difficult to see in this scan, but there is a gold shimmer all over the boat image.  I just "discovered" that using some thinned gold acrylic paint makes a great glaze over an image like this.  Just enough sparkle...not too harsh.

For My Friend Martha
For my friend who inspires generosity in me...who amazes me with all she can accomplish...who quickly makes any situation into an opportunity.  Thanks for inspiring me.  Hope you enjoy your little heart-felt goodie.

Playing Card Boxes
I am making goody boxes for a little project.  Jan pifs these little card boxes on Snagging Stampers that she makes with her die cutter.  I love them!  They are just the right size for playing cards and, thus, ATC's.  She always uses a beautiful selection of front/back printed cardstock.  
While the kids were at art class with Grammy, I spent a little time making some art of my own.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

1,000 Artist Journal Pages:  Personal Pages and Inspirations
I treasure my art books.  This book is no doubt within my Top Ten art books I own.
This book is not a how-to.  It is a collection of a very diverse selection of pages from people from all sorts of backgrounds.   All sorts of styles and techniques are used.  More than you can imagine, without the aid of this book.
It certainly expanded my world on ways for personal expression.  From detailed drawings and water color to doodles and collage, you will get all sorts of creative inspiration to fuel you.  
Each artist's name and location are placed near the journal.  It is very interesting to see all the populations that are part of this book.
Some artist's work had special appeal to me.  Here is a sampling of those.
Adolfo Serra (Spain, p. 26), Andrew M. Wilson (US, p. 40), Anastasia Beltyukova (Russia, p. 99), Ingrid Dijkers (US, p. 141), and Teesha Moore (US, p. 239).  All of these artist's had something about their style that appealed to me.  Although, I don't recall many, if any artists, that I could not appreciate something about their work.
This is one of the best things about journaling.  I consider it something I do for myself and not for the appreciation of others.  I do hope that one day my children can look back through my journals and glean some enjoyment from them.  But, ultimately, it is a little bit of my soul pouring out on paper.  Wether it is messy or a visual delight, it has served an important purpose to me.   And, it is not required to live up to anyone else's expectations of what a journal or art or myself should be.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I am ready for spring.  I am itching to get my hands in some dirt.  I have been running the kids up and down greenhouse aisles.  I have been been avoiding my Burpee seed catalog as not to too much yearning.
The daffodils have already bloomed.  Now the red buds and plum trees are opening up.  On really warm days, I am even seeing crickets and frogs hopping about in the grass.  "It won't be long now,"  I keep telling myself.
But, I don't know if I believe it!