Saturday, December 3, 2016

My Gracie Girl

Just so tired

Mom? Put that phone down!

The hell with it.

This is at Meijer's in Avon IN
I finally succeeded in wearing the dogs out yesterday. They had spent the middle of the day at Puppy Playground, then we went for a short ride. Once home, I fed them and started to bake cookies for the Sunday cookie exchange. In dog language, that means they were running around the house barking at absolutely nothing to get my attention. Exhausting. To give them something to do that didn't involve me, I opened the front door, locked the storm door, and let them lay there to survey the neighborhood. That did it. My own Homeland Security regiment.

Amos, Cathy's oldest dog, has been a pistol this holiday season. Every night he tries to steal her remote so she has to chase him into the kitchen. Once there, he will exchange the remote for a piece of hot dog. Fair trade agreement. The other night she put the remote in her robe pocket, and the little shit stole her craft scissors. Cathy was not happy. I had to run into the grocery store yesterday, and saw the above stocking in the pet section. THAT is so Amos. Oh, yes it is!

Have a good one.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Done. I think. Not sure.

So this was fun, and came together very rapidly.

The background paper is one that I made. I started with an 8x8 piece of watercolor paper. Ran the brayer through some different colors of paint, and blended on the paper. Then did some stenciling with black and darker red. Decided that was too much, so adhered some Tim Holtz tissue paper with gel medium. THEN (I am never done) took a palate knife and ran some white paint over the top of all of it for added texture.

The patina on the spoon is the way it came from the antique mall. There are kits out on the market to achieve that look, but nothing says "old" like the real thing.  The spoon has been glued to the wood frame with E6000 glue. I always let that set to cure for at least 24 hours.

I need to find more stuff. Yep. Another obsession has been born.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New Assemblage

Trying out background paper

Different paper

After a glaze of Raw Umber
I now have another container of shit in my studio. This is an old basket that is rapidly filling up with metal bits and pieces. Some are found at flea markets, some are purchased in the craft sections of Hobby Lobby and Michael's. This particular iced tea spoon came in a bundle from a local antique market.

The frame is wood, and I purchased it at Michael's. I think it was a buck. I used Americana craft paint in Butterscotch all over, including the back. It came with a small wood dowel to insert in one of the pre-drilled holes on the back for display.  Nice. After the paint was dry, I sanded it with a paper bag (an old crafters trick), then applied Light Molding Paste through a Tim Holtz stencil. When I lifted the stencil, I didn't like how uniform it was, so I pulled some of the wet paste back off in random spots. After that was dry, I did some stamping and added some tiny splatters with black paint and an old tooth brush.

I have been working on the background paper for awhile, trying to get the look of graffiti. Almost there. Now down to attaching metal bits and the spoon. For the smaller pieces I'll use E6000 glue. If you've never tried it, this stuff works. Really, really well, so make sure what you are attaching is where you want it forever. You can buy it anywhere, but cheapest at Walmart.

I don't know why this appeals so much to me. Maybe the look of grunge, but I am having a lot of fun with this, the latest obsession. The dogs are feeling neglected. Uh huh. Right. Photos of the finished project will be up this week.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Tags

The kitchen gate that changes with the seasons
I have an abundance of Christmas tags. I made them last year for a craft show, and they didn't sell. So I put them away. Yes, I did. Do you think I can find them? No. No way. Uh huh. I have looked, twice, and now give up. Someday I will come across the 30 some tags, and say something appropriate to myself.

In the meantime, I needed something seasonal for the kitchen metal gate. I did have 2 Halloween tags up past Halloween, so time for a change. The Primitive Pines sign came from The Gingerbread Shed. It's metal and has a vintage look that I like, so fits right in.

Sorry for the underexposed photos. It is raining in central Indiana, and I could not find any good natural light in the house.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


First conception

Finished piece

Close up of metal on cardboard

Close up of bottom collage piece

Close up of hand painted and embossed paper
As I have stated before, I have always, always loved collage. As a kid I did poster size collages of the Beatles, cutting black and white photos out of fan magazines and fitting them together like a jig saw puzzle. So it was no surprise that recently I became involved in following the work of Seth Apter. Mr. Apter teaches and is a working artist. His website/blog is The Altered Page. I am adding a link to the side bar. A friend and I came within a hair of signing up for classes next July in Paducah, KY. The class sold out in minutes. Damn it. In Paducah! We were upset.

I kept looking at his blog, and reading posts, following his work on Instagram, and collecting "found objects". I knew the day would come when I would stop being intimidated and actually put an assemblage together.

First step was painting some paper to create the look I wanted. I used a variety of craft type paints. When dry, I went through my stash of old scrap book embossing folders, and found 3 from Tim Holtz that fit the bill. The main piece with the die cuts is a grunge style page folder. Mixed up numbers is on the side piece, and if you look closely, the small piece of painted paper at the bottom has been run through a tiny checkerboard style folder. This just adds the right amount of texture. I further grunged it up with Vintage Photo distress ink from Ranger.

In the finished project, the very bottom piece is the front cover to a 1953 yearbook. I bought two old yearbooks at a flea market. The other book cover is off one of my collection of old textbooks. The cardboard came from an Amazon box. I tore off the top layer, then started putting Dale Rowney inks on it, spritzing it with water to make the ink run. Metal pieces: top one I found a jar of at a flea market. Nope, no idea what the hell that is but I like it. Bottom two are from Hobby Lobby out of a pack of metal embellishments. I lightly painted them with craft metallic paint.

The X and circle die cuts are from Seth Apter's collection at Spellbinders. I cut 2 sets out of black card stock, layered them together for a bit more height. Next project I will try for more pronounced dimension. This was an experiment, but I am so totally hooked now... my latest addiction. Or as Cathy likes to say, this week's mental illness!

Go have some fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

What do you mean we can't have turkey?
Gracie, in a totally pissed off pose.

Sending out dog kisses and good will wishes to all for this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Art Journaling

Kind of done spread

Then I added words

And flipped the page and started on a new spread
I have been watching a lot of videos on YouTube. In particular, Christy Sobolewski. She has a ton of free videos, some quite long. The above is a technique that she was doing in several studies for a new painting. Don't ask me why I never thought of this, because DUH! I should have.

In the first spread of red and pink, I used a brayer to apply Martha Stewart craft paints randomly over the page. No water was added. I stand up, and work that brayer with a lot of muscle behind it. The paint is medium in thickness, and can be manipulated if you don't wait. This gives the "skips" and "misses" in the application, resembling stucco walls. I happen to love this effect. I then went through my zillion stencils, and did I have a motif like the above? Hell, no. Stopped at Hobby Lobby with a friend, and found two stencils that fit what I was looking for. All of the stenciling was done with Ranger's Dylusions paint. Dylusions is thick, perfect for application with a cosmetic sponge. I liked how this spread turned out, but wasn't satisfied. Onward.

The bottom spread in orange, yellow, red, and green was done in steps. I used Dylusion paints for all of this, applying the base coats with a one inch brush, not cleaning the brush, and working the paint into the next color with just a touch of water on the brush. I then started to stencil, this time starting with the white and overlaying that with the darker colors.  I then randomly added some light green. After the bright yellow went down in the center, I thought it was too bright, so I put some Gesso on my brayer, and lightly went over the entire spread to tone it down.  After that was dry, I did the final stencil with Pomegranate Seed, my favorite color in the entire Dylusions line. It is so intense, just makes me happy.

While trying to decide if this spread is done, I started another late yesterday. Applied 3 shades of teal/blue from Dylusions heavy, with a brush. Will start the stenciling this morning.

I am having way too much fun.