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Archive for 2014

50th Anniversary Scrapbook Present

Anniversary Scrapbook Binding

For my parent's 50th wedding anniversary i made a scrapbook of photos from their 50 years together. I wanted to give them something special and meaningful. I remembered that the best present i have ever received was from my parents on my high school graduation - a handmade scrapbook. As it turned out, this was absolutely the perfect gift.

Anniversary Scrapbook Cover

The covers are chipboard i covered in a fibrous handmade paper. My brother drew the picture that i framed with ribbon on the front cover. The back cover is simple, with the ribbon used to bind the book visible.

Anniversary Scrapbook Back Cover

The binding i chose is called Tape Binding even though there is no tape involved. Confusing name. I wanted to choose something simple and unintrusive, since i had never bound anything before, and that looked elegant. This looks awesome, but for such a substantially heavy book i probably should have chosen something a bit stronger.

Gelli prints for scrapbooking

The inside pages are heavy weight watercolor paper i used to make Gelli Plate prints on. There are 10 sheets i printed on front and back.

Gelli prints for scrapbooking

I used many colors, whatever i was feeling like that day really. This yellow and pink print ended up being my favorite even though it's so bold.

Anniversary Scrapbook

To mount the photos i used regular scrapbook paper, trying to coordinate colors.

Anniversary Scrapbook Macro

Anniversary Scrapbook Macro

Anniversary Scrapbook Macro

Anniversary Scrapbook Macro

The page edges were distressed and inked with distress inks.

Anniversary Scrapbook Macro

All in all this turned out better than i could imagine! I know it was appreciated by my entire family!

Anniversary Scrapbook Binding

Travels with Gelli

I love how portable Gelli Plates are. In my carry on bag I was able to easily fit the plate, a brayer, 3 2oz paints and some stencils.

Even though it's grey and cold here in Michigan, the porch at my parents house is enclosed and with a portable heater nice and toasty. Feels awesome to be working in this overcast light actually.
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Dance Like No One's Watching Mixed Media

Birthday Card - Dance Like No One Is Watching

A co-worker of mine who has seen a few of the cards i make for friends asked if she could commission me to make a birthday card for a friend of hers. After some thought i accepted which planted a little seed of idea in the old mind grapes...

Anyways, i asked her what her friend likes to do and colors and she said she likes to dance and loves bright colors... and this is what i came up with!

Birthday Card - Dance Like No One Is Watching

The background is gelli plate printing. This is one of those "throw away" prints i thought sucked because it was too busy and i just completely over did it, but good thing i've learned to never throw anything away because it worked perfectly as a backdrop for the other imagery i put on it!

Dance Like No One Is Watching Macro

See? The subtle design blends into the back as i layered light molding paste mixed with color pigments through stencils over the top. I actually dont believe i've ever done two layers of stencils with molding paste and since i let the first dry completely it worked like a charm!

Dance Like No One Is Watching Macro

The dancer was created using my, now, coveted, technique of glass bead gel and dylusions ink spray. I think i found my niche y'all! I also cut up another "throw away" gelli print to put as a shadow behind the silhouette adding extra depth and layer.

To finish it all off i added one of my all time favorite quotes (handwritten!!!!) and used the staples in double duty - to adhere the piece as well as provide a bit of a border/stop for the eye.

So, yeah, i'm thinking of taking commissions for more cards now. It's fun being stretched, and really i have discovered i am most inspired when i am creating something for someone specific.

More to come....????

And More Art Journals

Art Journal - Stars

This is one of my favorites now. I found this quote one day on facebook and already had the background done without the white splotches and start stamping. When i saw the quote i knew where it had to live. And it rings so true for me. The balance of life, experiences, emotions. I love the way the colors are dark with peaks of bright.

I finished it off with the white splotches with the Dylusions Spray Ink in White. Worked perfectly!

Art Journal - Stars Macro

All the paint layers added some really interesting texture!
Obviously, Im still loving these painted layer backgrounds i've been exploring.
90% are made from cleaning my brayer between Gelli plate layers :)

Art Journal - Afraid

A topic i keep revisiting is fear, and on this day it occurred to me one of biggest fears on a day to day basis (besides snakes and a loved one dying) is failure. I feel like i am constantly working towards something successful but quit at the last minute. Am i afraid to succeed or fail is the question. Seth Apter's stencils pulled this one all together.

Art Journal - It Will be Easy

The background on this page truly is a catch all for cleaning my shit off. Whether is be cleaning a stencil of extra paint, using excess paint through some punchinella or another stencil so not to waste it. its been a couple of months in the making and was so dark and chaotic i didnt know how i could ever use it.

For the last two months i've been sidelined by some internal health issues which has basically put me back at step zero at the gym. And i was doing really well for about six months, going to bootcamps 3-4 times a week. But now that i am starting back i find i have lost so much of my strength and conditioning. Like an insane amount of conditioning and it feels horrible and some days even impedes me from wanting to get up and work out.

I took some photos of myself boxing to see just how crappy i look and whether it looks like a joke that i am even attempting to box, but after i saw a couple of the photos (not all mind you), i thought to myself "this fatty can kick some ass!" I got on pinterest as i have been doing to look for motivational fitness quotes and found the perfect one for where i am at "everything is hard before it's easy" because thats exactly how it feels every time i step foot into the gym. I made my own meme with one of the boxing photos. And so it wouldnt just live on my computer or on facebook, i printed it and incorporated it into this page. That target in the center works perfectly.

Art Journal - But Your Hopes

Lastly a vertical page, which i rarely rarely do! This was mostly to test out the Dylusions sprays through different stencils. Again, the words jumped out at me one day and i wrote them down to remember them. I was able to mask the area off and stencil around them. Again, with the fear... but more importantly ... again with the hopes and dreams!
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Mixed Media Canvas - CAT

Mixed Media - Cat

I created this piece for my brother for his birthday and yes, he is a huge fan of cats.

I am really really getting off with this combination of texture and found object collage lately. And now that i have a better collection of tools it's really starting to come together!

Mixed Media - Cat Macro

The kitty silhouette is made with a whole assortment of objects I have collected throughout the years. Some are from garage sales, some from Scrapbox in Ann Arbor (my mecca), some from Gauche Alchemy, some from junk drawers and some from sidewalks and streets.

The cat is outlined with hot glue to give me a good area view and then i used Golden's heavy gel to adhere everything since it dries clear. After that i painted white gesso over everything to make the colors a little obvious and then sprayed the crap out of it with Orange/Yellow/Pink Dylusions Ink Sprays. These work so much better then what i had been using previously with other pieces (Glimmer Mist or Homemade pigment sprays).

Mixed Media - Cat Macro

Finally, the background is made of two layers of texture - molding paste through stencil and masking fluid. I couldnt tell you how many layers of paint and sprays - i kinda went crazy on that until i just had to stop.

Art Journal Pages - Further exploration in layering paint

Art Journal - Be Brave

I am continuing to explore layers of acrylic paints and gelli prints in my art journal. Each of these pages started out as a place to clean my brayer off of between Gelli Prints. When i thought it was good and layered i added some additional highlighting of areas and a quote that inspires me.
  Art Journal - Gratitude

This guy used some Dylusions ink over the top. After i was done, the only word i could think of was Gratitude. The colors and the movement made me feel pretty elated and right now in my life i feel so much gratitude to so many people.
  art journal - Reality

Exploring texture and dylusions inks some more. Can you believe i just started using these brilliant things?! Scraps of paper were glued to the background, some braile scraps too and then stencils were used with light molding paste. After it was all dry i kinda went spray crazy! I only used three colors - yellow, pink and blue, and i love the way they all combined to create other colors of the color wheel!
  Art Journal - I Found Love

Finally, a more subdued page expressing emotions i've recently discovered i had. Lots of painty layers with stamps and ink over it!
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Studio Space Revealed

Work Table Sept 2014

Seth Apter over at The Altered Page challenged his readers to post photos of their workspace to show that artists get down and dirty - for me, that's where the magic is!

My art table is my old kitchen table because it's waist high - I like to stand when i work because i move around alot, whether it be dancing, lip synching or just reaching for the myraid of materials i have all around the room (not pictured). It's cool i don't have a kitchen table anymore...

I like taking photos of my workspace periodically to document the tools and materials i am obsessed with at the time. I suppose this one illustrates well my obsession with the Gelli Plate and my art journal - it's pretty much all i can do these days. Also love me some stamps, sprays (there's Glimmer Mists and Dylusions) and stencils.

But, yeah, i need to be in a pretty dirty space to create. When it's pristine and clean i don't know which way to go!

Mixed Media "Quilting" exploration - Believe!

Mixed Media - Receive Macro

This month's gauche alchemy's mixed media challenge was sort of a shabby chic theme.

Mixed Media - Receive

I've been wanting to explore more mixed media sewing - i.e. what kind of fabric and non-fabric materials can be sewn together and how, and while i'm still obviously quite the novice, this little piece i put together does make me feel fuzzy.

My lace collection has grown really out of control so i was curious what lace sewn together would look like, especially when put on top of other things since it would be somewhat transparent still. I also decided to use some punchinella as it is so much like lace, just made out of plastic not fabric. And it sews delightfully!

I think sewed the whole piece onto a printed shopping bad and cut it would into some hearts. The edges are lightly gesso'd and washi taped to make them a little more prominant. Then to put on the finishing touches to make it more like a mixed media quilt, I suppose.

Mixed Media - Receive Macro

I used staples and floss for highlights, buttons, a few little scraps of lace, then the letter beads to make it a little more meditative for me, and i have hung it up over my bed.

Art Journal - Be Fearless

art journal - be fearless

Gauche Alchemy is now having monthly challenges which I am taking part of! This month, our inspiration is Frida Kahlo.

I've got to admit, I've never actually really looked at her stuff with an artistic eye. For me it's just always been "ok portraits moving on..." (as i usually am attracted more to abstract).

However after looking at her paintings and reading quotes from her and about her life, well, i really love how strong and bold and unique and passionate she is. My art journal page just had to reflect that!

art journal - be fearless macro

I decided to do some experimentation which worked out so incredibly well i cant wait to do more. I chose a page in my art journal that was started but completely undone and well just kinda crappy. I stenciled over it with glass bead gel from Golden. As you can see, the gel holds the stencil lines incredibly well! I then sprayed over it with three Dylusions sprays to make the beautiful mess it turned out to be: turquoise, yellow and pink. I also gave it a very very light sprtizing of bronze glimmer mist to make it shimmer a bit more.

It's so 3D and tactile, its such a joy to touch and reflect on.

art journal - be fearless macro

I already knew what words i wanted to put on there. Words that not only described Ms Kahlo but incorporated a word i've been doing alot of thinking and art around - fear. And in this case fearless.

art journal - be fearless macro

From the Unconcious

In the 1990s Adam Yauch would constantly appear in my dreams. I was obsessed with Beastie Boys and he was the one who would always visit my subconscious.

They were never sexual, it was always us just talking. I wrote him a letter explaining the dreams and he wrote me back and eventually we met briefly.

When he passed two years ago, that night he visited me again for the first time in years, and it woke me up and I swear I felt someone squeeze my feet.

Lady night he visited my subconscious in dreamland again. we were walking around a park and he wanted to know why I was following him and I said I had no interest in sex, just talking.

So we decided to go on a little road trip and before we left in the car he grabbed a ladder and put it on the roof.

That's about when I woke up surprised and so happy to have dreamt about him again.

The ladder seemed so significant as it was completely out of place so I looked it up on the google dream interpretation. 

To dream of climbing a ladder symbolizes a step up in terms of accomplishments and greater consciousness. A ladder may likewise suggest that you evaluate and observe situations from a different angle. Alternatively, it symbolizes contemplation and prayer. You are reaching greater heights in reference to your spirituality. 

This interpretation delights me! I have always claimed Adam as a spiritual leader of mine and in addition the last year or so I have been working hard and conciously on my spiritual growth and soul. This dream kind of gives me confidence I am on the right track!

This weekend I'm in N. Carolina taking a weekend workshop with Anna Dabrowska. 10 hours making art must have not only been good for my soul but something I really needed for my well being!

The 2014 Bono Birthday Card

2014 Bono's Birthday Card

Every year the African Well Fund has a fundraiser in honor of Bono's Birthday. Anyone who donates may sign an online card and then i download all the messages and compile them into something handmade.

2014 Bono's Birthday Card

This year is a book of sorts - it ended up being about 4" x 6" and was stitched together using a coptic binding - my first time doing it!

The background is made with duct tape, stencils, masking fluid, acrylic paint and Luminarte Primary Element Pigments. The objects on it are things I found in my collection, i have no idea where they came from at this point but everything seemed to fit together rather perfectly!

2014 Bono's Birthday Card

To see some of the past cards, click here

To visit African Well Fund, click here

Mixed Media Canvas - Whatever You Dream

A 12" x 16" mixed media piece on canvas I made for a friend using a song lyric that was part of the soundtrack of our lives in the early 90's in college.

Lot's of yummy texture using all sorts of paints, mists, mediums, scraps and beads.

The bike gears were given to me by a friend and the grease that remains on them adds just the right amount of grunge! I also got myself a alpha punch kit for metal and this was the first time using it on copper. LOVE this and can't wait to do more!

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Art Journal - Exploring Orange

I just noticed when i put my last couple of art journal pages together, that they are all oranges! I never considered that color, well, inspiring, but something about it these days apparently is.

This art journal page was done for Gauche Alchemy using various stencils and my Gelli Plate. Punchinella was used to make the various circles. Even though it's crazy to look at, there's also something a bit meditative about it, which is why i chose that fortune to center it.

This page was also done in the Moleskine journal using various stencils and stamps.

Lastly, this page was done for a art journal challenge for A year in the life of an art journal - to create a page with flowers with an eye peering through. Also heavily used was my Gelli Plate and other stamps.

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