Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Experimenting with watercolor paints

I've been practicing my watercolor painting skills as I'll have the opportunity to teach a beginning watercolor class in 2018.  I'm still in the beginner skill set myself, so I try to practice on a regular basis.  I've already learned a lot by just playing around with the paints.   My biggest lesson is that watercolors react differently when applied to an area where I've erased.  This was a sad discovery for me as the eraser is my best friend.  For my next painting, I'm going to try to sketch with watercolor pencils and try to separate myself from my eraser.  Separation Anxiety, here I come . . .

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mermaid drawing

Here is the drawing I was working on during my patterns class.  I've just finished teaching the drawing portion of the class.  The focus now will be adding color to our patterns using colored pencils, markers and watercolor pencils. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Drawing Class

I've had a great opportunity to teach a weekly drawing class.  We've been meeting for six months now and it has become the highlight of my week.   Recently we've been practicing patterns and using those patterns in our finished drawings (think Zentangles).  I've been working on a mermaid and will post her shortly.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Beaded, Embroidered Purse

My girlfriend gave me this beautiful purse that she found at an artist co-op.  It's just the right size to put a few makeup supplies in.   I absolutely love it and wanted to share. 

This is the side of the purse.

Too cute!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Using Paperclay To Make Elements For Your Art Projects

I like to make my own elements using silicone molds and Plaster of Paris.  Recently I was re-introduced to the beauty of Paperclay.  Using Paperclay is easier to use than Plaster of Paris, is less messy, and the elements are stronger.  
All you need is a silicone mold
and Paperclay, which can be purchased at most craft stores, such as Michaels. 
Pinch off a small section of Paperclay and press it into the silicone mold.  Afterwards, scrape the Paperclay with a putty knife.  Doing this step will give your elements a flat surface for gluing.
Now you need to wait.  The Paperclay directions say it takes 1 to 3 days to dry (it took mine one day).  You know your elements are ready when the sides of your elements pull away from the mold.  If they don’t pop out easily, give them a little more time.
After the elements drop out of the mold, the backs will have a little bit of paper on the edges.  You can easily remove this with your fingernail.
Now they’re ready to be painted. 
I used Golden acrylic paints on mine. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Prep work for craft fairs

In the past few years, I’ve really enjoyed participating in Christmas craft fairs.  The challenge is that I procrastinate and then scramble at the end trying to make things to sell.  This year I thought I’d try to get ready a little earlier than October.  I sat down and experimented with bits and pieces I had at home to see if I could design pendants without purchasing any additional supplies.  So far, I like the pendant with the rhinestones the best.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Framed Bird Cage Collage

I have the habit of re-doing my art projects until I get them just right.  This piece came from one of my re-do’s.  I loved the bird, the wire cage and the bird’s wire “birthday hat.”  Unfortunately, I didn’t love the substrate which housed him.  While trying to find a new home for my bird, I was also trying to figure out what to do with the cool frame.  It was a little damaged and couldn’t hold glass in its present condition.  Then the two ideas came together.  . . . bird cage in a frame.  I’m rather happy with it.
I used very old wire to make the bird cage.  I twisted the wires together and made a loop for the top.  I then clipped the loop onto a clipboard, and formed the sides and front of the birdcage. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to create shipping tag collages

Along with vintage cigar boxes, I also inherited old shipping tags.  The warping of the shipping tags did concern me at first.  However, as soon as I started painting, the tags flattened out on their own. I love it when problems solve themselves. 

·      For this tag, I made a background using acrylic paint.  Click HERE to see tutorial. 

·      The bird is a stamp.  I stamped him onto card stock.  I then colored him in with colored pencils and glued him to the tag.  His eye is an enamel black dot, which I “dotted” using a white Signo uni-ball pen.  I also used the Signo uni-ball to make the dots on the inside of the circles. 

·      The black branch is a transfer rub from Tim Holtz.

·       The roses at the bottom are from a 1920’s Valentine postcard.

·       Finishing Touches:   I used a black marker to go around all edges and silk ribbon to tie it off.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Where To Find Silk Sari Ribbon

I'm very excited!  For Valentines Day, I received 80 yards of gorgeous silk sari ribbon.  The rainbow colors are so vibrant and I can't wait to use all of it. In fact, I  have several projects in mind, the first being an art journal I'm currently working on.  I'll post photos of it when I'm finished.
Anyway, the ribbon was purchased through Etsy from Victorian Gypsy Girl.  They have a huge variety of silk ribbon.  I definitely see another purchase in my future. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Altered Cigar Box

I was given a lovely selection of cigar boxes.  They were all similar in shape and size, except for the one above.  I liked the square shape and how it opened with a slant.  I decided to alter this cigar box into a Rolodex-style box to organize my yearly goals . . month by month.  To see how I attached the drawer pull click HERE

After decorating the box, I made monthly tabs out of background papers I had painted earlier. 

I then made cards out of cardstock, to go behind the monthly tabs.  Each card represents one category of my monthly goals.  I used fine tip Sharpies to draw the lines and finished the cards by stamping titles on each. 

I didn’t touch the image on the inside of the cigar box as I felt it was perfect as is.

Here’s what my goal box looks like on the inside: 

Now I have no excuse for not working towards my goals.  Well, none right now, anyways. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Seattle Snow

It's not often we get snow in the Seattle area.  Here are some pics from my backyard of the beautiful scene we woke up to.  With schools closed today, it's also a perfect day for the kids.
As for my Chihuahua, she wasn't that impressed with the snow.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

How To Transfer an Image using a Blender Pen

Using a Blender Pen is the easiest way to transfer an image.  Some of the pens are toxic, so you’ll need to use them outdoors or in a ventilated area.

Blender Pen
Photocopy of image you wish to transfer
Paper, fabric, or wood to transfer image onto.
Burnishing tool such as a bone folder, plastic spoon, or even the TV remote. 
Optional:  Masking Tape

1) Pick the image you want to transfer.    
2) Lay your image face down on the surface you want to transfer the image onto.  I tape mine in place, just to ensure success.

3) With a blender pen, swipe across the backside of the photocopy repeatedly, overlapping your strokes.
4) Burnish this area. 
5) If you have a large image to transfer, do it in sections (swipe then burnish). 
6) Lift a corner up and see if you’re happy with the transfer.   If not, reapply the blender pen and burnish again until you’re happy with the results. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to Make a Stencil Using Hot Glue

I’ve been brainstorming ways to get more use out of my hot glue gun.  I was trying to put texture onto a canvas when I realized I could make stencils with my gun.  First, I sketched what I wanted my stencil to look like. 
I then covered my paper with a piece of parchment paper.  Be sure to use parchment paper, rather than wax paper.  It’s probably obvious that the hot glue will stick to the wax paper.  Well, let’s just say that I double checked that theory and yes, indeed, hot glue does stick to wax paper.

Then I traced the lines of my sketch with the hot glue gun.  Here’s what my stencil looked like when I was done. 

The possibilities are endless.  I’ll be using this stencil in an upcoming project. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My mom taught me a trick that I used for my current project.  If you need to glue a hollow object to a flush surface, a hot glue gun will make things easier.  This trick gives your hollow object a flat surface to glue securely to another object.

 Simply fill the hollow object (mine is a dresser handle) with hot glue. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

In a catalog I found a sweet hummingbird Zentangle that I wanted to sketch for myself.  After I finished sketching him, I decided he needed color.  In the past, I’ve always used markers, which make my Zentangle sketches pop.  I wanted a softer feel for my humming bird, so I decided to use Prisma colored pencils.  To blend the colors, I used the white colored pencil.  I’m planning on using the colored pencils again for my next Zentangle, this time using mineral oil to blend.  I have a photo of a seahorse I took at the Seattle Aquarium that is just begging to be Zentangled.  I’ll post the sketch and share how the mineral oil worked for blending.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Crystal Clay Rhinestone Necklace

I typically create jewelry pieces from broken, vintage bits.  It’s becoming more difficult to find quality vintage pieces to use, so I decided to change things up and make a necklace using new elements.  To adhere the chatons and rhinestones to the bezels, I used Crystal Clay.  Crystal Clay is a two-part epoxy clay that cures without heat.  This clay allows you to design your own unique pendants – and can be used on other art projects as well.  Simply flatten the clay into the bezels and then add your bling.  The only downside to Crystal Clay is that you need to wear gloves to work with it.  I sometimes find it difficult to wear gloves while doing intricate work.  However, the end result is certainly worth it.  Elements and instructions from Nunn Design. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Framed Charlotte Doll

I don’t know what it is about odd art, but I absolutely love it and seem to be drawn towards creating it.  I came up with the idea for this piece while brainstorming projects I could make using items I already own.  This piece was easy to make and can be assembled within minutes.  I used a frame by Two’s company, measuring 4” X 3”.  The background paper is from a very old Latin book I found at Value Village.  The pages have aged beautifully on their own, but you could easily use new paper and age it with tea or Walnut Ink.  Finally, I used glue and a Charlotte doll head.  If you need a Charlotte head, they can be found on Etsy or eBay.   VoilĂ  – you have your own piece of fabulous, odd art.