Monday, September 29, 2008

My Queendom for Some Homosote

I have this project I’ve wanted to do for months, since before our move. But I’ve needed a special kind of board to do it on. It’s called homosote, a heat proof pressed fiber board. I need it to do some soldering on for some three inch by three inch panels I want to make.

So employing my “shop local” philosophy I went down to the local stained glass supply shop. They were out of homosote again. The last time I went there for this purchase they were out and did not expect a shipment for a month. So I waited, I guess a bit too long because they were sold out again. So to heck with my ethics. I ordered some online and gritted my teeth all the way through it. I’m trying, people.

It arrived today in about ten times as much packing material as was necessary. The box measures 18” x 24” x 6.5” for a piece of board that measures 16” x 24” x 0.5”. Inside was also twenty feet or so of that brown kraft paper wrapping. At least it’s all recyclable.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Road Trip, Anyone?

I was invited to join a group on flickr called Altered Dominos & Other Altered Game Pieces. This group has some very talented people involved, and group forum discussions are lively and helpful. To be totally honest I had not altered a domino yet when I joined. The invitation to join was based on my bingo collage pendant, as it is an altered bingo card.

One of the group discussions was that of a swap for an altered domino keychain. The theme for the swap was “travel”. I signed up because I had yet to participate in a swap of any kind and have really wanted to connect with other artists like this for a while. I guess I jumped into this group with both feet being new to both domino altering and swaps. But I needed a challenge so I went for it.

My grandmother gave me about 700 very old black wood dominos to work with as well as some plastic white dominos. But they have collected dust in my studio for years. Now I had a reason to bust them out and get to work!

When I think of travel I think “road trip”. My parents had this huge old station wagon when I was growing up and we would take road trips all over the place in it. I practically grew up in the back of “Old Blue”. So my travel domino needed a car image.

Road Trip Domino Keychain

I found a clip art piece I really liked and colored it in using Photoshop. The words came from an old book. The back of the domino has a map collage. The Route 66 charm is actually a button I’ve been hoping to use in my art for some time. It was just waiting for this project! I ordered the little license plate charm from theginghamgirl on Etsy as well as the keychain part from SimplyCrafting, whose shop has since closed. The domino is sealed with Mod Podge first then a generous coating of clear acrylic spray sealer. The blue on the domino is made with alcohol inks.

Off into the mail it went yesterday to takeabreak, the organizer of the group on flickr. I hope she likes it as much as I had fun creating it! I have signed up for more swaps in the future so I’ll have more dominos to share!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Art Journal: 9-24-08

Art Journal: 9-24-08
(click to see bigger over at flickr!)

This page was created with real puzzle pieces. I put part of a puzzle together and painted the pieces. The background is torn paper covered with gel medium and gesso. It was then painted in red, yellow and teal. The words were written with a Sharpie thin marker. Twine attempts to hold my pieces together.

I wish I had done this on better paper than in my art journal.

Felted Artist Trading Cards

I got this idea from a magazine that I now cannot remember the name of or I would link to it here. This woman made the loveliest Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) from felt and wool roving. So I decided to try it out as some of my work has leaned me toward fiber arts and felting. The ATC biz is something I’ve been interested in as well.

Flowers : Felted ATC

Pink Flowers

This is the first one I made. Needle felted simple round flowers with French knot details and embroidery on a purple felt base. “Hey,” I’m thinking to myself. “This isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be!” 

House : Felted ATC


Needle felted onto black craft felt. Embroidered with glass beads. I added the little bird because the house looked lonely.

Bird Nest : Felted ATC

Bird’s Nest

I got a little wild with this one. The brown roving nest needle felted onto the cream was boring to my eye. My mother gave me some brown sparkly eyelash yarn from a project she had done. I wasn’t sure if it would stick, but I tried it anyway. I’m really pleased with the results. The green leaves and other beads just makes this one pop. It’s my favorite so far. 

All of these still need a backing sewed onto them with my information for an ATC swap I might try. I just cannot decide what fabric to sew onto them. Plus getting out my sewing machine is hard when my studio is such a mess.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Art Journal: 8-28-08 :: “Circles”

Art Journal: 8-28-08 :: “Circles”
(click image to see bigger over at flickr!)

This page started without any real direction or thought out plan for the finished page. In my stash I have this great polka-dotted blue tissue paper that I’ve been looking for something to do with.

I employed Golden Regular Gel Medium (matte) to secure the tissue to the page, and let that dry overnight as I decided on how I wanted to use the page.

Lately, some health problems have been plaguing me, and I feel like I’m getting nowhere quickly. I get a little better, and then it gets worse again. Up. Down. Up. down. Round and round. Can I get off the merry-go-round now, pretty please?

The circles were filled with images that struck me at the time. The clenched fist image represents me holding on for dear life, as well as a symbol of my strength. Some images were rubber-stamped and some were stenciled. The words “REVEAL”, “SHARE”, and “GAIN” reflect the purpose of this art journal. There is no exploration or learning unless I reveal myself to myself and share it in order to gain.

Creating this page reminded me that I am not truly just going in circles. It just feels that way sometimes when I am frustrated. In truth, I am much better than I was just six months ago, and I continue to do better everyday. My situation is possibly more akin to an upward spiral where I get close to where I started as I come around again but I’m not at the start.

So, I’m just on page two here and I’m already gaining some insight into my art imagery and myself. Thanks, art journal!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Art Journal: 8-27-08

the beginning: 8-27-08
(click to see bigger over at flickr!)

I honestly didn’t know where else to start but at the beginning. This page is kind of an introduction to my project. A welcoming, if you will, to the pages behind this one.

Pieces of torn old book pages were collaged with gel medium. Then I panted it with gesso and some brown and green paints. A fancy rubber stamp was impressed randomly about the page in dye-based green ink. The typewriter keys lettering was stamped and embossed onto vintage Sear’s catalog pages and cut out. I hand stitched around the border of some funky Basic Grey paper, and then glued on the letters. White pigment ink was used to stamp the same fancy stamp I used for the background along the edges of the lettering background.

The same book page collage technique was used to make a smaller journaling piece and was painted the same way. I edged it with dark brown and olive green pigment ink that I then heat set. Another strip of different Basic Grey paper was added down the side along with some very vintage lace my grandmother gave me.

I’m rather happy with the result of my first art journal page. This work produced some nice ideas for other work I want to get finished for my next craft show in November.