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Friday, January 31, 2014

This could seriously freak somebody out! :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ta Da I Tried It Thursday...

...This week, mixed media art play.  I'm trying to quit listening to my left brain tell my right brain what to do and just live in my right brain for a while. It's happy there. haha  I actually tried several projects that got me inspired and in create mode.  I made 2 lace books like these by Scrappin Happyxo for friends over the past week or so. Each took several days for me to do solely because of not being able to make a decision on how the fronts should look. Rearranging them over & over.  Just Click on her name to watch her video.  I'm not going to share mine right now because they are in the mail as I type. Maybe a post for another day.  I will say that I really had a lot of fun constructing these with paper like her, however, I put cereal box cardboard in mine on front & back covers & pages to make them sturdier, a little more functional.  The more you create the better you will be at it.  It made me want to learn how to do different bindings & make lots of art journals to play with.  Honestly I have never painted an art journal. I have many many spiral notebooks with notes, lists of things to do, sketches, ideas, plans, etc... but never have really painted "art journal".  While I was daydreaming of starting one & looking for some inspiration & helpful tips, I came across this video by Alma Stoller. Painting on a magazine page.  This was a fun & partly a major fail project so I am going to share this one.  

As soon as the video started I knew I had to try this! I bet you want to now after watching and I hope you do!  I "needed" to try this because I feel like my backgrounds just got boring.  In 2008 I sold mixed media paintings (not glued paper though), very folk artsy, incorporating sand, but somewhere along the line I just got too simplified, or out of touch.  Anyway, I found an old Fine Cooking Magazine, I must have been saving it for some reason. After doing my first pages I decided to use it as a funky art journal. (I did end up ripping 1 page out but the rest will be left in tack)  I feel the need to explore new products & try new techniques. I almost feel like burning everything and starting all over.  Reinventing myself. I actually know of an artist who did just that - but then spent a little time in the hospital if you know what I mean. Happy to say she is back to work but she is also back to creating the same art. So can we ever really reinvent ourselves?
Doing this project/exercise, I found out that I love painting on magazine pages with acrylic paint! It turns the stiff paper into a fabric like texture with a matte finish almost suede like.  I love the feeling of it. Could it be varnished with acrylic & then sewn on? hum...
 I also learned that it doesn't adhere to canvas very well or I'm a bum gluer.
My first pages...

I started off having so much fun, no plots, no plans, then all of a sudden I am painting food! hahaha

 There was a pea pod on this page upper right corner -  I call this "Minding my Peas & Q's". haha

 I ripped out a page  (see below) so I looked to the next page for inspiration.

I left the backs of the painted pages unpainted for now but may end up painting over them. 

I love tomatoes.
The words on this page are  from the collage sheet in my last post. I'm glad I saved this magazine. :)

This portrait page I cut out to put on a canvas...  Also realized that since it's a cooking magazine that I will leave all the paintings food related.  I do like to paint some food. Love kitchen art.  (Sushi paintings & veggie paintings are in my Etsy Shop)
Major Fail. This canvas turned out to be a hot mess, I don't even want to show you how it ended up but I will.  I used Golden medium to adhere it to the canvas but as the magazine paper dried it began to lift off. Then as I started to paint over it, it began to wrinkle & bubble.  Perhaps next time I will gesso the canvas first, or use a different glue. 

 I have to admit I did feel a twinge of guilt for spending so much time on a go nowhere piece but I have to admit that I think it was worth learning what I did, and I must say that the background isn't boring! Some of these might find their way onto a canvas in my Etsy Shop.
I hope this inspires you to try something new.
Create a Great Day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Out of our Bubble...

...Hubby surprised me with a little get-away this week.  At first I thought he was joking or just talking but no! He wanted to take me to Sebastopol and to the ocean to get a breath of salt air. It's been a stressful time with deaths in our family & illness for us and others, so it was nice to get out of our bubble. He wouldn't listen to my protests & lists of things to do.  I'm so glad he didn't.
A few years ago we set out for Sebastopol after a get-away stay in Petaluma but taking a different turn (wrong turn) we ended up at Point Reyes Lighthouse & Drake's Bay.  I blogged about that get-away too. Click HERE to see that post & video. I'll share my photos, even though most were taken from our moving vehicle.
On our way to Jenner we made a detour to visit Occidental, home of the The Union Hotel.  My late Mother-in-Law used to go there when she was a little girl. His family used to take the long windy drive from San Francisco just to eat a dinner of duck at this out of the way tiny town on the Bohemian Hwy. It opened in 1879. They no longer serve duck but do still serve family style Italian food. Just click on the picture below to read more about it.

We went into a few beautiful shops, actually there are only a few, because this town is tiny.  I'd like to go back one day to eat at the Union Hotel or Nigri's Italian Family Style Dinners We then headed to the coast to Jenner to get some of that salt air.  The drive & the day were gorgeous. 

*used a zoom
Jenner, CA

And we found a few surprising places...
"Amusements" Park ?
When we entered this fork in the road & I read the sign I have to admit that I felt like I entered the Twilight Zone, not a Wonderland, suddenly feeling like a character in a horror movie, potential victim actually. Silly as it seems, I'm glad we are keeping to the right! haha If anyone knows & loves this place forgive me & please tell me it's not creepy.  Certain towns and places in this neck of the woods give off a "Alfred Hitchcockie" kind of vibe to me, a "disturbance in the force".  Then, coincidentally, when we were eating supper, the couple in back of us were talking about the same thing.  I'm not the only person that feels this way! The man was telling the woman that "There are roads you wouldn't want to go down around here."  Not that I was eavesdropping but we were the only people in the cafe at the time (eating a late lunch/early dinner) and the food was so good we weren't talking at our table!  Popping into the  East West Cafe in Sebastopol was a tasty treat. Hubby is still talking about his Lamb Kabobs. 
When checking out of the hotel a local free travel/area magazine caught my eye.  My right brain quickly noticing a man painting on the front.  That man/artist is Thomas Arvid. Inside was a really nice article about him and his art. He paints realistic wine inspired paintings, bottles, corks, etc... Click on his name to view his bio & art. Anyway I grabbed 3 free local info magazines for the Wine Country, Sonoma & Napa Counties. 

Last night I read them all then cut them up so I could throw them away.  (The way I deal with my magazine addiction. haha) I made a collage from what I found in these periodicals.  Using Golden Matte Medium I glued my cutouts to heavy card-stock.  If you plan to do this using the same medium beware that the paper grabs right to the card-stock so there is no moving around once you lay it down.  I laid it out before I glued it down. Now I can print it out or re-cut the pieces out & use mounted on the card-stock. That is what I might do if I make a little memory book from our trip. Speaking of bookmaking, stop by next Thursday for Ta Da Thursday
 I scanned it after it was dry and cleaned it up a little. 
You are free to use this page. Print or for inspiration.
So next time you are on a adventure don't overlook those free area guides! 
They are great for inspiration, art projects, mixed media, collage, journal or scrapbook projects!

Just right click on the picture and save to your computer.
If you use it, please don't forget to share your creation with me and I will share whatever I end up creating with this collage page.

God Bless & Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Nuts For These...

...Peanut Butter Cookies. I am not a cookie person but Hubby is & he has to eat cookies every night. Makes me mad he stays so thin too.  It used to be HoHo's but that's another story. haha He is a cookie connoisseur and I was surprised he loved these cookies I made today.  For years, I have made my "cake mix cookies" -  Devil's Food Chocolate cookies, not his favorite really, but I will make them because they are quick & easy and it's usually when he is out of store bought cookies, so I throw them together in a hurry. My sons & other people really like them though.  I experimented with other flavors of mixes with the oil & eggs but he never liked them. I never thought of adding peanut butter either.  I stumbled onto this recipe and had to try it since it was my recipe with peanut butter added to it & using a Yellow Mix rather than Devil's Food, which might be good too.  Peanut butter cookies are probably my least favorite cookie, but they were so pretty I had to taste one. I have to say these were pretty good!

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 C Peanut Butter
1/2 C Oil
2 Eggs
Mix together well.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
Super Simple, Quick & Easy! Aren't they pretty?!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ta Da I Tried It Thursday!...

... Today is my first Ta Da Thursday. I decided I would share & demo all of my messes  projects that I do on a regular basis.  I have tried a lot of quick projects & recipes because of Pinterest.  (You can click on the word Pinterest to view & follow my boards) I can't promise I will do this every Thursday but I will "try". :)

I am working on 2 mixed media/collage projects for 2 friends.  I might share these projects at a later date.  I don't do a lot of mixed media/collage but I love it. I had forgotten how it sets you free & really turns the light on in your right brain, your creativity really gets turned up a notch.  Because I don't do a lot of mixed media or journaling I don't have a lot of stamps.  So this week I tried the Styrofoam Faux Lino Carving I had in my Crafty Cravings Board.  After a great supper of take-out Chinese Chicken & Eggplant from our local favorite, I cut out & washed the lid of my Styrofoam container.  BTW I hate eating food that have been in those containers, I always take it out of those before I store it in the frig. I used to wish they would use paper cartons, now forget about it, gimme that Styrofoam.   Here is the "Pin" that was the inspiration for me to try it...

I drew a little portrait. You can see I messed up on her eyes. This taught me that there are no do-overs on this foam. If you want a clean cut, then I suggest you draw your image on thin paper & trace onto the foam. If it isn't deep that's ok you can always go over it & make it deeper. Obviously  I didn't take care to wash the stamp between colors, just went crazy stamping. 
You can see  by the print in the upper left corner in pink how you can paint only a portion of the stamp, even get fancy and add several colors. (those eyes! haha) Humm... if I took my time, a new world of possibilities... 
After printing this, honestly I dug through the garbage to get my son's carton to try writing on it. Thankfully it wasn't buried or I'd be calling in another order! haha  I knew it would print backwards but does anyone really read the printing anyway? Next time I will slant my writing to the left so that it will print out slanted to the right more like the stamps that you purchase. 

I didn't use ink. I used acrylic paint (Americana craft paint) for this experiment & old Bristol vellum coated paper that I used for charcoals.  I think you would definitely get a smoother print with ink & different papers. The acrylic paint picks up the grainy texture of the Styrofoam so most likely it would with ink as well...

So all in all I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I didn't feel like it was a waste of time to try it. It's definitely easier to carve than lino.  Also I think in a pinch that Styrofoam could work nicely as a quick stencil as well if you pressed the foam to flatten it out.  I plan to make some stamps for mixed media, journaling or collage with Styrofoam... Hum... a good excuse to eat out. I need another doggie bag!
If you try this I'd love to see it!  Is there something new you have tried lately? 
Create a Great Day!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Little Word On Wednesday

"Letting Go"
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Friday, January 10, 2014

This New Year...

... is so welcomed! Last year wasn't great for me physically or mentally. I lost a lot of people that I love. So I'm glad to let last year go. I can feel it, this year is gonna be great! I'm ready to get back to work! After a long recouperation, it feels so good to be able to sit, lift my arm (for hours) and paint.  Every morning before my feet hit the floor I praise God.  It's been a year & 1/2 since I re-injured my back. Not only did I suffer from so much pain, my painting also suffered, and this blog, not to mention my housework, however, there was enormous good that came from this terrible time, so God is really great.  It's like waking up from a fog.

I finished a portrait commission early in December, then had fun with the Freeform figures, did some collage, and while my creative juices were flowing I came up with my next series.  I didn't have anything new last year at all.  I mostly painted commissioned pieces & sold a lot of prints, & things on Zazzle, which I was so grateful for.   If I went in the studio to paint it would be for very short periods of time. Now I'm losing track of time in there! I can paint for hours! It's wonderful!

My new series is Big Bears, Big Circus Bears! I have been having so much fun drawing them in different scenarios.  I painted a ballerina bear for my niece several years ago.  I love bears. I have a few black bears in my kitchen.  I started drawing them and couldn't stop.  I have 30 so far but can think of some more.   I want them to look old timey, so back to my roots & hand me the antique solution.  Oh man do I get nervous to antique a piece.  I am always afraid I am going to ruin the painting which looks perfectly fine. I have 2 paintings on canvas done & they are antiqued.  I was thinking I really should have had them scanned first for the sake of prints before I antiqued them.  Oh well it is what it is.  First I drew them out... (example using "The Tourist")

then I painted them on paper...
then I painted them on canvas...
"The Tourist"
I love the paintings in ovals and on paper. I love painting on paper. What do you do with all the trail pieces, or practice pieces? I'd like to hear from you Artist out there. I would like to learn to digitize these bears for the embroidery sewing machine.  I am still trying to figure out how to incorporate my art & sewing together which would = Utopia.