Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Zentangles


I am still tangling in my spare time. I find it very relaxing - great stress buster. I am working in a hard back journal so I can keep them all in one place. Not sure what I'll do with them other than open the book and flip thru. I think they may look cool on notecards or gift tags if I make some adjustments in size on the scanner. Currently I'm tangling a cat and I am going to try a Christmas tree.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn Swaps

Autumn Swaps

Fall is my FAVORITE time of year! I just completed two projects for autumn swaps; a small altered notebook and a 4"x4" fall themed "anything goes". For the notebook, I used one from my stash of books that I bought up at Michael's after Christmas clearance. I covered it in brown bag collage, smeared some ink and zentangled pumpkins and a fairy. I am crazy addicted to zentangles. My parents gave me a zentangle book for my birthday last week and it has been a great inspiration. I also got a cool set of Micron pens to draw with. The 4x4 is a coaster covered in a piece of sheet music (opera). I painted a simple autumn tree and and made a hanger out of rose colored wire.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August/September Journal Pages

August/September Journal Pages

I amazed myself and got this done early. When an idea hits, I just work and work. Fortunately three out of four kids were away today and the youngest was happy to get her paints out and work along side me. The theme for this journal is "Our Bodies, Our Selves." I painted a Picasso inspired woman and wrote on the journal page "Turned in different directions." I always seem to be going in several directions at once and have a difficult time just standing still. I really hate to be idle and I know that I need to slow down, but it is very hard!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

July/August Journal Page

July/August Journal Page

In this journal, the book owner chose a color theme for all her pages. I decided on orange because I find that it is my new favorite color this summer. It must be the warmth and boldness. The page before this had an image of Frida Kahlo - Mexico's most famous female artist and the page following mine had an Asian feel. I decided to bridge the three pages together by painting my version of Frida complete with Asian accents. I also wanted to poke fun at perspective by having everything out of perspective. After frustration with the background - it took me three times of covering over to get something I was happy with - I was pleased with the finished page.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nature's Art

Nature's Art

Once in a while I include some personal photos. We recently spent four days hiking in Ricketts Glen State Park in PA. My hubby captured the beauty of the park's waterfalls. There are 21 in all along a 7.5 mile, rugged, often steep trail. We visited each fall during our stay there. The park also has some of the oldest Hemlock trees in the state - 200-400 years old! Our boys are pictured trying to wrap their arms around a very large, old tree. This is truly God's art!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

June/July Round Robin Art Journal

June/July Round Robin Art Journal

Here is the June/July spread for the art journal project I'm working on. This journal belongs to Kas in my group. She hand dyed all her pages with different berries, and the help of her young son. I chose two violet pages - my fav color. The bold flower or sun - depending on how you interpret it - is filled in with zentangles all having a flower and heart in them. The girl is painted in fluid acrylics with scrap book paper dress. Various papers and paint complete the page. The 8x12 mailing envelope has a sun flower painted using basic craft acrylics and sealed with gel medium. I already have the next journal waiting on my work table. Can't wait to get started!

Friday, July 2, 2010



Here is a journal in another form - a scroll. I saw this idea in Cloth, Paper, Scissor Magazine and thought "how cool is that." It was fairly simple to make, especially since I had some canvas on hand. I used a 4" x 10" piece of canvas. It was left over from our Civil War re-enacting days so I'm not sure where I got it (maybe at Joanns). I used my Caran Neocolor II watercolor crayons to color the front and back. I took gel medium (Liquidtex) and smeared it all over with my fingers, but you could use a brush, and blended the colors together. After the first side was dry, I flipped it and repeated. I think you could also use acrylic paints especially if you added a bit of gel medium to make the paint glide better.

I then chose a front and used a dolphin stamp followed by some white acrylic paint on bubble wrap. For the inside papers, I used some off white paper that I had ripped out of another journal project I'm working on. I wanted some text pages. I pulled some out of my Book of English Prose that I got at the library sale. I coated with some gesso to tone down the text. I rubbed some ink pad on the edges of the pages for a bit of color. Using gel medium to fasten, I added the pages by beginning on the right hand side, running some medium down the edge and pressing. I layered the ten pages working right side out to the left side. To finish, I hand sewed some ribbon to tie it closed when it is rolled up.

I have two more canvases painted and drying. One is oranges/yellow/reds and the second in purple and black. I'm going to use these to record our summer vacations - we have four mini ones planned. I think they will look super cute rolled up in some kind of holder, available to unroll and relive our adventures over the summer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dolls & Mail Art

Dolls & Mail Art

The envelope is another mail art swap. The sun is a favorite image that I like to paint. She looks so wise and warm - like a mama. The girl in the black dress went inside the envelope. She had an Irish Blessing written on her. The other doll - pardon the poor scan - was a card for my son's end of the year teacher gift. I'm bummed that I didn't look at the scan better before I sent it off to school with him.

I have been going crazy now with art envelopes. Nothing I mail out goes naked - no matter what the size envie. I have used oil pastels, water color crayons, colored pencils, crayons, sharpies on my envelopes. I try not to spend more than 15 minutes per envelope. Having the time constraint forces me to make a quick, simple image - more drawing whatever comes to mind rather than pondering over it trying to make it perfect. The results have been some good looking envies! I had another positive remark from a postal worker. She didn't want to put my delivery confirmation sticker on the envelope because she didn't want to "mess it up." I assured her that it was o-k and that it was meant to be used as well as looked at. I love that such a simple thing can make people happy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Junk Mail into Mail Art

Junk Mail into Mail Art

How many pieces of junk mail do you get that come with a return envelope? I counted - six in one week. What do you do with the return envie? Probably recycle it. Well, how about taking the recycling one step further and actually reusing the envelope? The photo above is an envie I did in about ten minutes. Ten minutes from throw-away to super cute with minimal effort. And you only need some simple supplies that you probably have around already. I covered the envelope with a piece of scrap book paper. I added butterfly images from a magazine, a few flowers cut from scrap book paper and a "butterfly" definition from an old dictionary that I picked up at the thrift store. Slap everything on with a glue stick and WOW you have a good looking envelope that will bring a smile to the receiver's face!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Art Journal

Art Journal

I have an addiction. One to paper and journals. I just can't resist buying artful paper, hand made journals, doing handmade journal swaps, making art journals. I have a stack of writing journals on my dresser. My biggest downfall is that I tend to not write in them. All these pretty books begging for words to fill them. Ahhhh, I'm getting better.

I am starting an eight month long project - another art journal round robin. I was in one, on another art group, and got burned before - never got my journal back. I really like and trust the women in my altered art group, so I decided to join in. Robin, the hostess, sent out a 12 month, 6" x 8" calendar to each participant. We are responsible for getting the pages prepped, do a front (pictured) and back cover and one page of our own art work. The pages were a pain to cover. I tried sanding the shine off, gesso, paint... Finally I resorted to covering a bunch with different neutral papers; maps, tissue paper, paper bag. I added some gesso to tone them down. I didn't really want to influence the artist's choice on the page, but it was the only was to get them covered.

I am mailing my journal off today to the first artist that will work in it. I am waiting to receive one. We have until the 21st of each month to get two pages of art done and get it mailed to the next woman on the list. We even had an international artist participating. I'm looking forward to the project.

Meanwhile, I have three other art journals going for my personal use. One is filled with art and I am going back and writing in it. The other two are works in progress. I like to have a place to experiment with different techniques. Some pages are good and some stink, but I don't care because it is mine. It is relaxing to go down to my work room and start a background between dinner, laundry, homework, errands. It is my little oasis during a busy day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mail Art

Everyday you get your mail. Most times it is full of boring bills, ads and occasional letter - yes some people still write letters! Now image opening your box and seeing these envelopes. Much more exciting! These two envies are for a mail art swap. The fronts and backs are shown. The mermaid/fish is painted with a crayon backbround. The owls, a favorite of my daughter, is done in sharpie.

Yes, people do actually take the time to art up an envelope. I am hooked. After doing these for the swap, I painted a large padded one for my art journal round robin and started doodling on some business size ones. This is very portable and something I can work on whenever I get a few minutes. I doodle on napkins and paper, why not envelopes. Maybe your day will be brightened by one of these or try your own! I figure it at least may make a postal worker smile.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sadly Neglected!

Wow - four months since a posting! I need to get back into the habit of posting my art work. I have slowed down a lot in regards to swaps and my art has taken a back seat to color guard competitions, baseball, teaching, new business, housework and my newest adventure with my hubby - soap making. We will have different hand made, cold pressed soaps for sale soon (they take weeks to cure). If you are interested in natural soap, contact me to see what is available.

Here are two photos. The button fairies were for a swap I hosted on my Yahoo art group. They have hand painted faces and wings and are strung on wire with buttons. I think they are so happy and colorful! The tea pot was my contribution to a tea pot fat book recipe swap. It has a collage background with layers of paint and a hand painted mug. The recipe is on the back for my very yummy chocolate chip muffins - a favorite around here.

Our family continues to "green up" and eat better (mostly without knowing). We joined a new CSA (community supported agriculture) farm so we are looking forward to fresh veggies all summer. I'm running a craft table for the kids during the open house this weekend, at the farm, and will be teaching a journal making class next month to the member's kids. We are also hosting an art night for our small group, so I'm looking forward to see how creative they are! So even if I can't get some personal art done, I get to share what I love with others! Look for some more frequent posts!

Monday, January 4, 2010

One Small Change Challenge

I have two new favorite sites, SouleMama and Hip Mountain Mama. Hip Mtn Mama has issued a challenge to make one small change each month to help the environment. Here it is:

"Our vision with Hip Mountain Mama is much larger than selling environmentally friendly products. We are passionate about educating others about sustainability and passsionate about building community. Our desire to create a community of individuals who want to make a possitive change has led to the creation of our One Small Change project.

We want to challenge each of you to make 1 change each month leading up to Earth Day (April 22, 2010). It can be small or it can be huge, but all we ask is that you decide on something you will do to make a positive green impact and follow through with it. If everyone makes 4 changes between January and April, this can have a huge effect. If you want to be a part of this amazing and life changing challenge, please see below for details.

How does it work? On January first (or soon after) you will decide on what change you want to make for that month and blog about it. For the entire month you will be conscious of this decision and follow through with what you decided on. Then on Feb. 1 you will write another blog post explaining how the month went with your new green change and also write about what you will change for that month. You will do the same on March 1st and April 1st, then will have one final post on April 22nd listing all the changes you made and the differences it made in your life

I have several ideas in mind. One for this month, I use recycled bags at the grocery store, but nowhere else. I feel guilty bringing home all that plastic from Target or WalMart. I pulled out some pretty fabric yesterday and am going to sew up some bags to take to non-grocery stores. My sister gave me a book for Christmas from Soulemama on recycled sewing projects, including shopping bags. She knows how I comb the thrift stores looking for things to repurpose. If I didn't have such a large fabric stash from when a fabric shop went out of business, I would be buying old curtains or sheets for this project. I'll post some photos when they are made