Thursday, March 6, 2014

Just {Playing}

 I'm continuing to have fun playing with different art supplies and trying new techniques. Sometimes it's really nice to make something that doesn't have an intended purpose- it's not to sell, it's not for someone else, it's simply making art for the sake of being creative.


I dug through my collection of vintage books and tore out pages to free-hand cut feather shapes in order to make this skirt. The pink parts are actually from handwritten notes for a Geography class taken by Gail Perkins in 1934! She left a wonderful stash of handwritten notes tucked in the pages of her text book! Thanks for the inspiration, Miss Gail Perkins, where ever you are!


            This sketch was inspired by a pinterest photo and I used NeoColor II to color it in. I think she's so pretty- despite her giant left eyelashes. I'm thinking she forgot to put on a fourth coat of mascara to her right eye. LOL.


 I'm often drawn to paintings that have large, loose brush strokes, lots of color and less detail. It's more about capturing the idea of the bouquet or arrangement instead of the look of each specific flower. Plus, I had 12 new Liquitex Acrylic colors I wanted to try!


These next two are journal pages from my LifeBook 2014 class, using spray inks and white space. It was neat watching this page evolve. It wasn't until all of my spraying and techniques were completed that I realized the "splats" would make great dream catchers, so I added some feathers and a little doodling.

The dream catcher page was my warm-up before the actual lesson, making this girl with flowing hair. Thank goodness her eyes were closed, because drawing a profile of a face was completely new to me and was challenging enough! And then to make the spray ink look like flowing hair...wow! Look what I can do!

There is something so freeing when I try something I haven't done before. I seem to go through a similar pattern of emotions with each lesson I take through LifeBook. At first I'm eager and excited to get started. Then the lesson starts and I see my blank page and the Artist Instructor's finished page and I think "No way I can do this- I believe that for a bit- I'm vulnerable and questioning myself. Then I start...and...what?! Oh, look, you can do this! My self-talk gets a little nicer and I feel motivated and excited to continue. Often, I get going on my own path and will turn off the video lesson and just let myself continue to be inspired and finish my journal page on my own. Typically I'm left feeling really proud of myself and my confidence has been re-replenished. This feeling is what ultimately leads me to venture into "play-mode."  I end up coming full circle with both my emotions and my art!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Scrap It {School Pics}

 
 

 
 I just love these "Daily Flash" mini collections by October Afternoon! I got all three for Christmas: "Apple Cider," "Milk Money," and "Eggnog." They couldn't be ore fun! "Milk Money" was perfect for the kids' school pictures.
 
 
 Look at all these pieces! It would be hard not to layer! ...I love the wood grain Tin Pin- it's perfect for this photo of Ella because I think it totally looks old school. I feel like that could have been my school picture from 1986.
 
 
I'm completely in love with this moment. <3 p="">

Monday, February 3, 2014

Deer Silhouette Heart Canvas {Cosmo Cricket}


I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to just sitting down and creating something without a specific purpose. If there's not a reason, I usually feel like there's something else I should be doing. I let myself just play with this project- no theme or special purpose...just because.

 
Here's what I used:
 
Cosmo Cricket:
Heart Canvas, Self-Adhesive Glitter Paper, Wood Charms: Feathers, Glubers, Tiny Text
 
Other:
Paper Doily, Burlap Ribbon, Vintage Lace trim with eyelets, wire (I used "Wind it Wire" by Purple Cows- it's thick but easy to bend). Ribbon, Pop Dots, Glue, Black Ink, Deer silhouette.

 
 
I loosely sketched my deer silhouette, folded it in half vertically and cut it out to make sure it was symmetrical. Feel free to use my template or perhaps you have the perfect die-cut just for this occasion :)

1. Trace your heart canvas onto the back of the glitter paper, careful to preserve the excess for our deer bust. Cut both the heart and deer out. Ink the edges of your deer. Set aside and let dry.


2. Now we're going to make our ribbon "wreath." I started with about 20" of wire and folded it half then twisted the two pieces together to create one piece.

 
3. Take your eyelet ribbon and begin threading the wire through it, skipping holes to give it a ruffled look. Bend your wire and ribbon into a circle shape. (I used a small jar to wrap mine around.) Twist the wire ends together and move the ribbon to cover your ends.

 
4. Adhere the glitter heart onto the canvas, followed by the doily and burlap ribbon, adhering those with the Glubers. Adhere the ribbon wreath with glue (my fave is Mixed Media Glue by Canvas Corp that I bought at Hobby Lobby). Do the same with the deer, careful to glue only the areas that will touch the ribbon. I put a couple Pop Dots stacked on top of one another in the middle of the bust to keep it from sinking or bending.  


5. Glue your wood feathers and Tiny Text stickers to the bust. Take 16-20" of thick ribbon, fold in half and knot both ends. Glue the ends of the ribbon to the back of the heart.  Hang and enjoy...


 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

{Trending} Feathers

 
This is what I can't get enough of: this beautiful color palette, faces and feathers. How many times can a girl fall in love...with art supplies? Often. Truly.  Since I 've started my Lifebook class, I've learned about so many new-to-e supplies and techniques. I used Neo Color II and Letraset Aqua Markers the owl (I ordered more colors of  both just yesterday). I used Liquitex modeling paste several times on this page and I'm thrilled at the texture and how well it took the color.  I also fell in love with my charcoal pencil, it definitely is not limited to simply sketching!

 
This girl kind of came out of no-where. I've been really inspired by the feathers and head-dresses I've been seeing on Pinterest and I knew I wanted to do a girl with braids. I just started sketching and this is what it turned into. She's by no means perfect, her eyes are too big, her neck is too small- but I think she's so pretty. Drawing eyes really makes the art come to life. There's really something special about creating something that's looking back at you. I used my treasured new Neo Color II's, white Sharpie paint pen and Black Faber Castell PITT pen for outlining and a Letraset Aqua Marker for her eyes.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mixed Media Cupcake {Faber Castell}


Are you ready to make a super-textured mixed media cupcake? Come on, get your supplies out! Let’s play!

Here's what I used:
6x6 inch wood box or canvas

Patterned Paper Scraps: Grey, Orchid, Pink, Purple, Teal, Brown.

Texture Paste (*Faber Castell Whipped Spackle, when it comes out!)

White Craft Paint

Faber Castell Gel Medium

Big Brush Art Pens:
White 101
Warm Grey III 272
Warm Grey IV 273
Walnut Brown 177
Crimson 134
Pink Madder Lake 129
Purple Violet 136
Light Cobalt Turquoise 154
 
Faber Castell PITT artist pen Black XS
Small flat paint brush
Water
Heat tool

1.      Cut it: Starting with your PP, layer four sheets together and cut out the bottom half of the cupcake. Make four horizontal cuts, making the colored layers of the cupcake holder. Cut a scalloped edge from the Turquoise paper for the top of the cupcake holder. Cut a thin strip of Brown paper, 6 inches long, this will be your table. For the cupcake, cut a semi-circle out of scrap paper. Cut a small circle for the cherry and punch out 9 small Orchid and Purple circles using a hole punch.


2.  Adhere it: Using the Gel Medium, adhere all of your layers (minus the 9 circles), beginning with the table strip. Let Dry.

 
  3.      Frost it: To make the frosting, mix a small amount of paint with the texture paste. (About a 1:3 ratio- it should be thick). For the background and sides use about a 2:3 ratio, this should be thinner so that the frosting pops out more than the rest. Using a wooden tongue depressor or popsicle stick, slowly spread the texture paste around the cupcake and all four sides of your canvas. Use small stokes, or your finger to make a rougher texture. (Long strokes will give you a smoother texture). Let dry.

4.      Color it: Starting with your darker Grey, scribble in one direction all over the background. Scribble in the opposite direction using the lighter Grey. Wet your paintbrush with water and blend your Greys to make a really beautiful stucco-type finish. Add layers of Grey to make it darker, letting it dry completely in between layers. Do this for the sides, as well.


 
(The right side is the “scribbled” side and the left is what it will look like once you blend it with your paintbrush and water).

 
5.      Seal it: Scoop out a small amount of Gel Medium into a dish and mix it with 3-4 drops of white paint. Smooth this over the top of the dry texture paste and the very thinly over the cupcake holder. This will give you an opaque look.  Let dry.
 
6.      Color it: Color your PP with the coordinating Big Brush Pens, smoothing the color around with your finger. Add a layer of just the Gel Medium all over. Add your small circles to the frosting for sprinkles. Let dry and add color with the markers. Using the darker Grey, loosely outline each color, smoothing with your finger as you go. Do the same with your White marker, making even smaller, looser outline. (If you find that your white is mixing too much with the Grey, just seal the Grey with Gel Medium, let dry and then add your white). Let Dry.

 
(Here you can see the difference between the colored areas and the non-colored areas, teal and bottom gray).
 
7. Outline it: Using the XS Black Artist Pen, outline as though you were sketching and soften the color with your fingers as you go. Add a final layer of Gel Medium to the entire piece and you are all finished!  


Go ahead; enjoy a cupcake (they’re calorie-free!)



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Heart {Cosmo Cricket}


I recently had the pleasure of meeting Julie Comstock of Cosmo Cricket at Winter CHA. She was doing a short presentation for Crafter's Home and at the end she made a joke and then doubled-over, laughing at herself. "Oh my goodness," I thought, "I love this girl!" Later, I found Julie at her booth and gushed over the eye-candy that made up her catalog of new releases. The canvases, mason jars, wood veneers and colors...all right up my creative alley. I walked away with a few new products that I hugged tightly against my chest, willing something beautiful to become of them. I brought them home and set them out so I could look at them until I finally had that ah-ha! moment. Junelle Jacobsen did a paper-roll technique in one of her art journal pages and I new then that I needed to incorporate that onto my heart canvas. I just love how it turned out! Here's what I did:
 
 
Gather your supplies:  
Cosmo Cricket: Creative Canvas- Heart
Wood Charms- Feathers
Self-Adhesive Glitter Sheets- Tinseltown
Tiny Text Stickers
Glubers
Other: Patterned paper scraps (similar colors), book paper, music paper
Paper Doily
3 pieces of twine (6"-12"long)
Resin flower or button
White Cardstock scraps
 Small piece of burlap
2 label punches or die cuts
White Ribbon (about 24")
 
 
First, trace your heart on the back of your glitter paper. Cut it out and adhere to the canvas. Next, we need 11 rolls of paper for our heart. Pick your middle color, it will be your longest piece. Crinkle it up, smooth it out and roll. Use a small amount of adhesive to secure the roll to itself. I didn't use scissors for this part- I just tore off what I needed. Once you have your roll, you can tear off the ends to make it the size you need for your heart. For the doily wrapped piece: fold and tear your doily in half and layer it on top of the patterned paper and roll it up. Tie your twine around three of the rolls.

 
To adhere the rolls to the heart, I carefully laid 1.5" Glubers all over the heart and started with the middle piece. Don't push anything down, yet. Get all of your pieces on the canvas and arranged how you want it- now you can push down on the paper to adhere to the Glubers. Don't worry about smooshing your rolls, you can re-shape them once they are secured to the canvas. I squeezed a little bit of glue under all of the ends of the paper rolls, just to make sure nothing moved.


Using your label die-cuts, cut the a glitter shape and a white shape. Layer those cut-outs on top of your piece of burlap, adhering each layer with a Gluber. Attach the three layers to the rolls using another Gluber. Using glue, adhere the wood "Love" word and glue the resin flower in the center of the "O."  Pick out a couple words from the Tiny Text stickers and stick to white CS; cut out; trace around words with black pen. Use glue or adhesive to attach to the paper rolls.

Now for the really hard part (*wink): fold your white ribbon in half and attach to the back of your heart with scotch tape. Voila! An artsy + elegant project that's just perfect for Heart-day or any day.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year! {2014}

I can't believe how long it's been since I've been on my blog! Well, here's what I've been doing with my creative time: re-evaluating it. I know I have it in me to be a successful artist- but that's just it, it's still with-in and it's time to draw (lol) it out. So, I've studied other artists techniques and styles. I've tried new products. I've worked with mediums I didn't have a clue how to use. I've taken several on-line art courses. I am expanding my horizons and it has been so much fun! I can't believe the things I'm drawing! Scenes. Animal. People. People!! I can't wait to apply all of this goodness into my folk art!
 These top two, I was experimenting with my backgrounds and with texture by adding modeling paste to acrylic paint. It was the perfect medium for frosting!

 For these two cutie sheep, I used Coarse Texture gel. What could be more perfect for wool?!

 Here's one of my six or so Holiday scenes that I made. I loved doing all of the little details. I also loved the smaller scale- I was able to start and finish a page rather quickly. Which is great, because when I get goin', I help but day-dream about the next 2, 3, or 4 projects I'll work on.
 My first girl! I'd never been more nervous. Or determined. I worked so hard on her! She's no where near perfect, but I love her. I wanted to quit so many times while I was working on her and now that I'm finished she's more of a trophy than anything else.
And this, my Artist Guardian with my word for the year: Mindful. I'm taking Life Book 2014 this year and the journey has only just begun- but I can feel it deep down in my soul that this class will change everything for me. Just thinking about it warms my heart.

This doesn't even include the clay houses I made and decorated and also the cardboard little village I cut-out, assembled, painted and aged. I've been busy, despite the little hiatus I've taken from amber engelh{art}. I'm so looking forward to combining all of this new knowledge to my folk art. In the meantime, the lessons I'm learning about myself, well, it's invaluable. And, I'm just plain thankful.