Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Journal for Alex

My friend, Ann, asked if I could create a journal for her granddaughter, Alex, who would be traveling to France, Spain, and Italy in December of 2008 and part of January 2008. I couldn't pass up the challenge.
Ann and I talked about the size and color of the journal, and other items that were important to Ann. My friend Maggi came to the rescue as far as binding the book since Ann wanted the O-wire binding and not the type of binding that my machine does.
The idea, planning, and organizing can take me a long time, but I could sort of see this book in my head... so that was a good start.
I found some great decorative cardstock to use on the outside of the front and back covers. I had recently purchase grungeboard letters, for the first time, and was anxious to use them! And I had a stash of some embellishments that came in handy. I used my metal alpha and number embellishments on the front cover to spell 'adventure' and '2008/2009'. I found some Jolee Embellishments specifically for France and Italy, but I'd have to come up with something on my own for Spain. But one of the hardest things to do and something I am still struggling with as I write this is... how much to charge!!!! I can add up some of the expenditures very simply and others I need to quess at, but there is no way I can calculate the time or effort and put a price on that. And... I don't intend to. After all, it is for a friend and I enjoyed the time I spent working on it.
This is the inside of the book's front cover. I painted a piece of white cardstock with various golden fluid acrylic colors hoping to achieve a 'Tuscan look'. I didn't know at the time if this piece would be used for the outside or inside of the covers. After painting, I stamped with a texture stamp. I used half the sheet for the front cover and the other half on the inside of the back cover.

It only seemed appropriate to have maps of the 3 countries that Alex would be visiting while on this adventure.

This page signifies the start of the section for France. I used colored cardstock and sponged distress inks along the edges. Then I added a couple of corner flourish stamps before attaching the painted grungeboard letters and the Jolee embellishments.

This is the back of the section divider for France. I stamped a grapevine image along the left side of the page before attaching some images of France. The middle image is a sidewalk cafe and I had some Jolee Embellishments to go along with the picture. On the right is the start of the journal pages for France. In the lower right corner is a postal image with the eiffel tower.

After the journal pages I created a 'keepsake' page. I used double sided decorative cardstock and adhered a plastic sleeve to the bottom half of the page. This can be used for storing momentos that Alex picks up along the way. I printed an image of a French postal stamp and then also typed the word keepsake in both english and french.

On the left is the back of France's keepsake page. Just as on the front, I attached a plastic sleeve on the lower half of the page. I printed an image of the Arc de Triomphe and attached to the top. On the right side you can see some photo sleeves. There are 4 of them and I included some at the end of each country's section so that Alex could include some photos that she takes while on her adventure.

The begining of the Spain section. I used a piece of brick red cardstock and sponged the edges with distress ink. I stamped a couple of flourishes and then added the pictures of the Spanish flag and the bullfighter..... when I think of Spain, I think of bullfighters!!! The letters are painted grungeboard like the other countries, just a different color and a different style of letter.

The back of Spain's page is decorated with a strip of scrapbook paper and 3 notable places found in Spain. On the right you can see one of the journal pages that has an image of a bullfighter in the lower right corner. I know, again with the bullfighter!!! What can I say? It's an image stuck in my head!

Spain's keepsake page. The double sided cardstock worked well for this page... sturdier than the journal pages, but not as thick as the divider pages. A Spanish postal image in the upper right and some decorative ribbon laced down the upper right of the page. Actually, the ribbon is there to hide the mistake I made when punching the pages!!! At the end of the ribbon is a metal embellishment that says 'adventure'.

This is the back of the keepsake page for Spain. And you can see on the right there are, again, some photo sleeves for any pictures of Spain that Alex may want to include here.

On the right is the start for the Italy section. I used a rust cardstock and sponged on some distress inks along the edge. A couple of flourish stamps were used in the corners once I knew where the placement of the letters and embellishments would be. The letters are painted grungeboard.

Here is the back of the Italy page. Just as with the other 2 countries I printed images of 3 places in Italy. I stamped a couple of 'Italian images' that I have on the rust colored cardstock first. I also had a gondola (Jolee embellishment) to add next to the picture of Venice.

On the right you can see the first of the journal pages. Each page has an image of the Italy map in the corner.

This is the front of the keepsake page for Italy with the word 'keepsake' and the Italian equivalent typed and adhered near the top of the page along with an image of an Italian postage stamp.

This is the back of the keepsake page for Italy. The set up is the same as for the other 2 countries with a plastic pocket attached to the bottom half for holding various momentos. On the right you can see the photo sleeves.

I used the same paper on the inside of the back cover that I used on the inside of the front cover. I used 3 images, that I found on the internet, from each of the 3 countries that are represented in the journal.

The outside of the back is covered with scrapbook paper. I found 3 'poster type' images on the internet to represent each of the 3 countries.
Well, it's done.... And I am very happy with it!!! There is at least one thing Iwould have done differently; it has to do with how I incorporated and punched the photo sleeves. BUT, I really like it and I sure hope that Ann and Alex do too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shrine for Molly

Finally Finished!!! And finally blogging something again; it's been a while!
I took a class with Laurie Mika at the Raevn's Nest Art Retreat in Cedarburg, WI in October. I didn't finish my piece in the all day class because I didn't have enough clay tiles, or ceramic or glass tiles that I liked. So I brought the unfinished project home, made more tiles of my own, and finished the shrine. I like it, but I did learn quite a bit and will do some things differently on my next attempts.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fishing Memories

I just completed these 2 small fishing books. On the left is the front cover and on the right is the back cover. Back in August my husband and Ken, a friend of ours, took Ken's son and son-in-law on a fishing trip to Canada. Their hopes were to have the 'boys' catch large Muskies... and they were successful. I thought it would be a great way to remember the trip with these small books. I had made a similar book for my husband a couple of years ago. Each book contains some pictures of the group and then pictures specific to the fish caught by each of the boys.
These are a couple of pages in the books. I used a graphics program to size the 4 x 6" photos so they would fit in this small book. The book on the top shows the inside front cover where I copied a map of the lake where they were fishing.

Here again are a couple of the pages from each of the two books. Since my husband loves to fish, I tend to have a few fishing related stamps that I can use to embellish projects like this one.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I found some paper mache boxes at Hobby Lobby about a month ago; they were so cute with the reindeer on them. I thought they would be easier to paint than they were. The reindeer are raised images and I planned to paint the background first and then with a light touch go over the reindeer with the metallic paint...forget that!!! It worked best to paint the reindeer with a very fine brush first and then paint the background with some acrylic paints I mixed together to get the red and green I wanted. What a pain it was to paint in all the small areas surrounding the antlers and legs!!! I bought some wood pieces to use for the feet on the boxes and for the handle on the top...painted those with metallics to match the reindeer. They turned out pretty good...not perfect, but pretty good. Now, I just need to decide who I will give these to for Christmas???!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Altered Mannequins

I wanted to make some birthday gifts for my friends Pea and Maggi, and found a great idea in the book Paper Transformed by Julia Andrus. Here are the 3 mannequins I created; the one in the middle was my 'practice' lady. I have lots of painted/inked papers to use in future projects as I tried various water color mediums to create the petals of the skirts. Not only was finding the right colors and issue, but also the right kind of cardstock. But I finally found what I liked when I got out my Aileen's color mist sprays and some very thick cardstock. Both sides of the cardstock need to be colored so the cardstock has to be pretty sturdy. Another tip I can pass along is color both sides of the paper before you cut out the petals for the skirts. Based on the template I created for the petals, I was able to cut 5 petals from each 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper. And I used 10 petals on each of the skirts. The upper torso is draped with plain white tissue paper that I sprayed with the same colors I used for each of the lady's skirts. The flower petal corsages on each was also color sprayed.
This mannequin is still in my possession. I'm not sure if I'll keep her or give her to someone. I would work each step on this one first and then move on to the other two. For this one I sprayed a base coat of Asilomar Sand color mist first. One side I left just adding a little gold, but the rest of the sides of cardstock I then applied a different color once the base was mostly dry.

This is the mannequin I gave to Pea. Each side of the cardstock was sprayed with a color and once they were mostly dry I then sprayed over lightly with tungsten carbide. I like the deep rich colors that were created with the combinations.

I gave this mannequin to Maggi. Even though her birthday isn't until November, I couldn't wait to give this to her. As with the mannequin created for Pea, I used 2 color mists for each side of the cardstock.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Raevn's nest chunky book page

I'll be attending the Raevn's Nest Art Retreat in Cedarburg, WI in October. I've signed up for the chunky book that my good friend Pea has organized. Here's a look at the page; I've made 43 of these 4 x 4" pages. I started with some scrapbook paper that I thought would be a great background. But I didn't have enough of the paper so I scanned a sheet and made my own. Next I used a mini mask made by Heidi swap and sold on Suze Weinberg's site. I sponged Aged Mahogoney Distress Ink around the mask. I had a stamp that said "Let your spirit dance" from Angi B, but the word dance didn't fit with my theme. So I inked up only part of the phrase and then created the word "fly" with my scrabble letter stamps and shrink plastic. I made 43 "f's", and 43 "l's", and 43 "y's"...I am crazy, but I sure do like the result!
Here is the back of my page. I applied ink from 3 different colors of Distress Ink pads to a craft sheet. Then I sprayed with copper colored Moon Glow Glitz Spritz. I layed the water color paper down onto the craft sheet, placed pressure across the paper with my hand, and then gave it a little twist. When I lifted, if there was an area with no color I placed the paper back down onto the craft sheet where there was some ink left. I dried the paper with a heat gun and then went outside to spray them with a fixative; the Moon Glow product needs a fixative. After the papers were dry from the fixative I stamped the bird in the tree image, but decided the page needed more. So using various colors of ink I stamped the 4 words around the image.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Embossed Tiles

This is the Embossed Tile Technique that I found in 'Altered Surfaces' book by Chris Cozen (working artist for Golden products)....
I started with some mini canvases (2 x 3") that I found in a local art store. Apply Golden's Light Molding Paste evenly across the entire canvas with a palette knife. I then stamped an image using a foam stamp; I also added some wavy lines along the 2 sides of the canvas. I then let the paste dry overnight.
I experimented with wood mounted and unmounted stamps, but was not successful with them. Even using this foam stamp I sometimes found the image not sharp enough so I would respread the molding paste and stamp again. I was working on several canvases at one time and needed to clean the foam stamp after each canvas to ensure a sharp enough image.

After the molding paste had completely dried, I wet the entire surface with water using a brush. Don't soak it, but use enough water to allow the paint, you are about to apply, to flow. Using a brush and a small amount of paint, drop the paint in several places on the canvas. The colors should spread across the canvas. I used 2 colors: Golden's fluid acrylic ultramarine violet and phthalo green (blue shade). Do not cover the entire canvas.
I let the canvases sit overnight to make sure the first application of paints was dry. Then, again wet the surface of the canvas and apply an iridescent color to the areas that were left unpainted. I used Golden's fluid acrylic iridescent bronze. The paint must be dry before proceeding to the next step so I let them sit overnight again.

Using a palette knife, Golden Clear Tar Gel is applied over the entire canvas. The gel will appear milky when wet, but it does dry clear. The humidity was very high when I was working on this step of the project so I let the canvases sit for 2 days to dry thoroughly.

To complete the canvas some embellishments were added. Decorative braiding was glued around all four sides of the canvas using red line tape. Then 3 small shells were adhered to the corner of the canvas using glossy accents.

Here is the mini canvas displayed on a mini easel!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

More altered tins

I bought some cute little tins at the local stamp store. They were painted white to start with so I used various colors of alcohol inks. They look great, but they need something else to add interest.
And here are the finished tins. I created an embellishment using hot glue and a stamp. After they cooled I applied inks and rub ons until I achieved colors that I thought looked good on the tins. But that wasn't enough.... So I got out my fibers and beads and this is the result.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Altered Tin

Back in May I started working on some tins. At that time I posted a picture of the tin after I had sanded and painted it. I finally found the embellishments I thought would work .... I used a glue gun to apply the decorative braiding around the edge of the top.

Here's a better view of the top...
Two decorative leaves, one gold and one copper, along with a bee (button).
I think it is finished; although, I'm not sure if I should add something on the right side. I don't want to clutter it up! I'll let it sit and look at it again in a week or two.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Mermaid for Autumn

Autumn is "IT" for the month of June. And at her request we are all to create something with a mermaid or merman. Here is the bookmark I created. I started by spraying Aileen's color mists onto watercolor paper; then I sprayed on a little extra water to get the colors to run. After stamping the mermaid image, i colored some parts of her with gel pens.

I stamped a Paula Best saying on the back of the bookmark, colored in some of it with gel pens, let dry, and then laminated it. An eyelet was added to the top for the tassel and 3 eyelets at the bottom for the shrink plastic charms. Now all I need to do is send it off to Autumn.

Art Venture Deco page

I received Margaret Rogers' deco book from Pea. My first attempts were a disaster and so the only thing left to do was cover everything up with paint. I LOVE the way these backgrounds turned out!! Then I stamped the 'eye' image directly onto the painted background, but it wasn't bold enough so I stamped it on matching vellum...and much better!
Here is the back of the page for Margaret's book. I loved the color, but it needed more interest than just the main image so I stamped with crimson copper brilliance using a texture stamp. Then I added the little swirls and the 'art' stamp. I wish I wouldn't have stamped with the 'art' stamp; I think it takes away from the other image.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Altered Game Piece

I joined an altered domino swap and this is what I am going to send to my partner. This game piece is double the size of a domino; I have no idea what game this piece is from!!!
I colored it with alcohol inks and then stamped the image. Even though I used black stazon the image looks like it was stamped with blue ink!!! I used a krylon pen on the edges and then I finally used some of the mica flakes that I had bought quite a while ago. I like it and I hope the person that receives it does also.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Charms for the Raevn's Nest Art Retreat

I've signed up for a charm swap to be held at the Raevn's Nest Art Retreat I am attending in October. Here are 2 of the types of charms I've made so far. I haven't decided whether to make more of these or go with a different design.
I stamped on shrink plastic to make the piece at the bottom and then added some colored beads and a die bead to each charm using some red-colored wire.

Altered Tin in progress

This altered tin is still a work in progress. I sanded it, painted with white gesso, and then used a sponge to apply 3 colors of Golden Fluid Acrylics (iridescent gold, quinacridone burnt orange, and iridescent bronze). I needed to stay with colors that would work with orange because of the plastic handle on the tin. I'm not sure what will be next, but it needs more work.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Altered Puzzle Piece

I joined an 'altered puzzle piece' swap on CCSwaps and this is what I plan to send to my partner. I started with a blank gift card holder, painted it with acrylics and a sea sponge, and then applied a darker shade of paint to the puzzle piece. It may be hard to see, but I stamped a background image onto the puzzle piece before wrapping beaded wire and attaching various other embellishments. The item on the upper left off the puzzle piece is a glass leaf charm that I strung onto the beaded wire. I hope my partner will like the results.

Pea's Art Venture deco

This is the front page for Pea's "ART" deco book. I had used Aileen's Color Mists for the background. The colors spoke to me of Spring so I went with the nature theme. I hope Pea likes this because I know her preference for theme may have been more of the bold and/or bizzare!!! But I had already used some of my limited "arsty and bizzare" images on other projects for Pea so I went with this theme. Are you laughing Pea???
After stamping the 2 Stamp Zia panels I colored them with a water-filled brush and lyra water color crayons. I like the way it turned out. I can't remember who makes the verse I used. The diamond images that border the panes came with some other stamps I had ordered...just extras.

Here is the back page ....

After stamping the 2 images I thought of framing them with the ribbon. Then in the other 2 spaces I stamped the words. The ribbon worked well with the color and the theme of the page.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Trish's altered egos deco book

I received another of the Altered Ego's deco books this week. This one belongs to Trish. Pea and Maggi have had it before me and only Adrienne is left to 'do her thing' after I am done. Both Pea and Maggi had been stamping images in black ink and then adding some white highlights with a gel pen. I LOVED how this book was evolving so I wanted to continue with the same scheme. The pages are envelopes and Trish gave us the option of gluing down the flap or working it into our design. I chose to work my design around the flap and make something to go into the envelope.
I happened to have some large playing cards, so to I decided to use one and alter it to blend in with the theme of 'playing'. It fits perfectly into the evelope on the right side of my page! The only thing that could have been more perfect was if my domino embellishment would have had a 5 and a 3 to match the stamped image, rather than a 6 and a 4.

Art Venture Deco's

Here we's another round robin of deco books!!!! This time the artists playing are members of the Art Ventures Group..... and there is one requirement - the word "ART" must appear somewhere on the page.
This is the front page I did in Denise Rand's book. She indicated that she loved the 'people and animal' theme that is being used for a Tall and Skinny chunky book on CCSwaps; and, she also likes a recent challenge issued by our List Mom, Trish, ... 'off with their heads'. So I decided to combine the 2 themes and I came up with this silly image for her.

This is the back of the page I did in Denise's book. I used a piece of background I had created with shaving cream and reinkers. Then I stamped over with one of my favorite 'artsy' stamps. I added just a little sparkle with some gel pens. Now it's on to another of the Art Ventures members. I hope Denise likes it!!