Friday, October 31, 2014

5 Things

...a craft challenge...

    An arty friend of mine, Sandy of Artfully Made 4 U, has asked me to do a 5 Things Challenge with her. This challenge is a good way to get rid of stuff that you just can't figure out what to make of it. ....and it's just plain fun! The rules are simple.....make artful items from the 5 items that your partner sends you. It can all be used in one project, or a bunch of little ones. Here are the 5 items that Sandy is challenging me with.....

I've got some lacy ribbon....and what I'm most excited about is this fish tray!

Next up, construction stickers and grunge board. I don't know anything about grunge board. Do you?

Last, but not least, stencil paint. I've never used stencil paint before....this will be interesting!

Well, those are the items. Hopefully in a few days...weeks? I'll have some completed projects. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


...trying out some Wonderstrange...

    A couple of days ago I was reading up on a technique featured on a fellow blogger's website. The post was about making a, "Masterboard." Some may call it other things, but this is what Ann D'Angelo calls it. :) Check out her post & site at ...then meet me back here for my stab at her technique. 

    I started off with 40lb watercolor paper and some drizzles of acrylic paint. With a scrap of paper, I scrape the paint across the page, until I have it covered. With a hairdryer, I dry off the first layer of color. 

Next, I drizzle in some blue and more yellow. Just like the first layer, I scrape it across the paper. Sometimes vertical sometimes horizontal. Each layer is then blow dried. 

I plan on making these birthday postcards, so I chose a Dr. Suess rhyme to jot down with a white marker. Next, I took several stamps and stuck them to a large acrylic stamping block. With black Stazon ink, I randomly stamped my images. I chose Stazon, because I planned on using wet mediums next. Stazon ink will stay in place. 

I have such a difficult time drawing on printed backgrounds, so I stuck to more familiar subjects. Birds and fish grace these postcards....I know, no surprise coming from me! I used a Sharpie to get my basic shape sketched in....The blues and white being colored in is from  water soluble wax pastels. With a wet brush, I blend the colors gently. When it was completely dry, I made bolder lines with a black Pentel Color Brush to line the bird. 

I've done three postcards. Here are the finished pieces....

Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Stretched Canvas

...and then there was four...

    Finally, I got the whole pack of canvases done. As you may recall, I did a fish and a bird. To finish up these 6x6 works, I did some sea horses and a rabbit. 

I want to open an Etsy store, but procrastinated for a long time on doing so. Hopefully, I won't wait too long to start a store with these works. I guess my hold up is figuring the shipping fees. It would be nice if everything fit in a flat rate priority shipping box, but I don't think that's the case. ...and figuring Parcel Post is a little confusing to me too. Does anyone have some suggestions?

Anyhoot, here are a couple of progression shots of the latest works. They start off like everything else, with a simple sketch.

I painted the area around the rabbit with Acrylic paint. I use my finger to apply the paint and a brush to get to the hard to reach spots. With a watercolor pencil, I colored the perimeter of the rabbit. A brush loaded with water, helps me to activate the color pencil marks.....I let the paint drip off the piece. 

The finishing touch is done with a white marker highlighting all of the drip marks. Unfortunately, I can't get this artwork to picture well. It sorta looks brown in the pic, but it's really three different kinds of purple. 

My sea horses were done the same way. 

The finished piece...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rolo's, Painting's and Postcards...oh my!

...just a little bit of what I've been up to...

    Seems that a lot of our group is back on the Rolo kick. I have to admit, I'm back in it too. Here is one that I did recently at ATC's For All....

I'm happy how it turned out. I think the person I traded with is too. :) 

Anyhoot, I've been thinking of all of the different cards that could be placed in a Rolodex. Most peeps get a little anxious of the thought of filling it up. We want it to be filled with art right away. What I have done to quench the Rolo addiction, is to fill it with eye candy that isn't necessarily art yet. I did up a lot of Gelli plate printed watercolor papers to jot down addresses of fellow art swappers. That was a helpful place to start. ...but here are some other ideas.....

With a die and a "Big Shot" machine, I cut out a variety of Rolo's.  At the top left I cut out some greeting cards. To the right, paint chips, free from the store! Bottom left, magazines....and to the right again, scrapbook paper. These can fill up your Rolodex with something interesting. When you are ready to art them, use Gesso or white paint on one side to do up your art. This way you will have something interesting on both sides of your card. 

In this pic, I cut up a wall map that I got at Goodwill. Below it are some other card maps that I got there as well. At the top right are some Rolo's that came with vintage holder that I bought. Don't throw them out! I love the handwriting of the previous owner and the fact that they are aged. They look tea stained. :) Just remember to paste them to some thing sturdy like card stock. 

So, I've been thinking for A LONG TIME, that I would try my hand at selling on Etsy. Maybe I will start with these paintings?.... I had these 6x6 stretched canvases on hand and just started painting. Muse came outta no where. I started by tearing out phrases from a re-print of an old Sears catalog and pasted them down with matte gel medium. I drew in simple sketches and painted them with my fingers and acrylic paint. 

I'm thinking they would go well in a kids room, or maybe someone who just likes whimsical things. I have two done....then my muse bailed!

So, here is the last thing that I have been up to. I did up a birthday postcard. ...just noticed...whimsy seems to be every where with me. Anyhoot, here it is...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


...a flip through...

    A lot of crafter's are in the know about Rolodex art, but if you are not, COOL! Lemme get my hands on you! Rolodex cards, or as most call them, "Rolo's," are just another small piece of art that is perfect for trading. What makes them a little more fun to trade are, their nifty holders. They're more easily displayed than a binder. :) There are a few different sizes that you can get, but the most popular seem to be the business card size (2.25 x 4.25 inches) and the 3 x 5 inch size. 

   I have three Rolodex' embarrassing! I didn't mean to get so many, but it just happened! I wanted the typical round Rolodex, but just couldn't find one. Sure, they have them at the office supply stores, but they cost about $40 bucks, sometimes more! So, I went snooping around Ebay. To my amazement, there were several types of Rolodex's out there....and some pretty kewl vintage ones. I ended up getting a vintage Rolodex called a V-File for $15 dollars. Here it is below...

I liked the fan shape of this Rolodex and the vintage metal tag on the side. This particular model has a lever that will kick up one side of the Rolodex for an easier flip through. The sides can also be moved up or down. Little handles, are at the sides so that you can lift it away. I use this one for storing addresses and trades. For peeps that I do a lot of trades with the first card is their address and the following cards have their art. :) 

Here are some of my cards. The top left is by Tandy, top right by Neener, bottom left by me and when there is no trading going on.....I like to add anything that catches my eye! Hence the candy bar wrapper! I also have some cut outs from Christmas cards...better than throwing something beautiful away! 

Next, I found this vintage Zephyr Rolodex. The sides don't move on this one, but it does have a little kick stand like my first one. I haven't made any plans on how I was going to use this one yet, so it just holds some blanks. I bought this one on Ebay as well. ($13 bucks)

    So, after all that searching, I found the one I was originally trying to get. I found it when I gave up looking for it! (Isn't that how it usually works?) I found the roundy one at Goodwill! I paid $3 dollars! 

My plan for this particular Rolo will be to store my favorite quotes and poems. I often add them to art....and get annoyed with myself when I want to reuse some of them. I end up looking for them on line all over again. Doing it this way, will ensure that they are at my finger tips. :) 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Breaking In The Mail Carrier!

...a housewarming moment...

    A good friend of mine has been spending, what seems like years, building a new home. (I think it's been about one year.) Anyhoot, my friend Juanita and her husband are finally in their new home! She and I had a discussion about how she thinks her mailman is gonna think she's a crazy person for the type of mail he's going to start delivering to her house. I told her it'll be fun to break him in. :) Juanita gave me her new address for a mail trade that we were doing, so stinker that I am, I asked our group to help me surprise Juanita and trip out the mail man! 

   A few post back, I had another friend Nan send me a canvas through the mail to finish. She painted the canvas background and sent it "naked" as is, through the mail. I figured I would send a completed work on canvas to Juanita. Here is a progression of how I made her 8x10 mail canvas...

I started by ripping away the shrink wrap. It tore on the left and right sides, leaving shrink wrap down the middle. So, I went with that. I left it on as a mask. It also goes to show, you don't need to plan these things. Just go with what comes up.  I took what ever colors of watercolor appealed to me and splattered and blotched it on. "Swish" came from the TV show Big Bang Theory. One of the characters said it when he won an argument. :)

Next, I outlined some of the watercolor blobs with black Sharpie. Under the "Swish" I included a definition. With Matte Gel Medium I glued down some gift wrapping tissue. Why? I dunno, just some interest. 

It's a housewarming gift, so I added houses, duh! LOL! ...and to re-enforce my obsession with drawing birds, I've included one. To make it stand out, I did some shading with water color around it. I wanted it to look like it was really belting out a tune, so I added splatters of paint flying from it's singing area!

I couldn't find any quotes on line to add to this work, so I made up my own. The number means something, but only to those that know about it. I'm slowly filling in the background with colors and additions of wax pastels with stencils.

At this point, it's almost done. I keep it in front of me to think, "What can I add to it?" Swirls come on the scene. More stenciling...I added, "Tweet." With my broken Sakura gold pen, I slashed in some gold. (Looks brown in the pic, but shines like gold in person.) I darkened the edges with dark blue watercolor and then a dark gray with a Spectrum Noir pen. Sorta went too crazy in the middle, so....

I rubbed it out with my finger and some yellow acrylic paint! I'm showing you because, I want you to know that you can fix it. Like the saying goes, "It's just paint. If you don't like it, paint over it." The above pic is the final draft.

I sprayed a fixative to the front. Slapped some stamps and her address down on the back....and sent it "Naked." Hope this helps to break in the mail man. :)

All the crap I used....again, including the junk mail stencils I made. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What's You're Opinion? please...

    So, I've been working on some art for the header of my blog. The one at the top now, with the Cherry Blossoms, is mail art that I had done ages ago. I used it because it was all that I had at the time. I knew that I wanted to do something with a Mynah bird on it, but they are pretty mean looking birds....and they ARE mean too! LOL! Anyhoot, I was hoping that I could get your opinions on what I should use as my header art. Should I keep it the way it is, or should I use this...

Or...should I use number two?

The other choice is to go back to the drawing board and use none of the above! Please post your thoughts.  Thanks!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Le Petit Peeps

...The Little People...

    Small share this time around. As you might have seen in my last two post, the paper dolls that I was working on. I now completed the four mini paper dolls. Amanita, Strawberry, Kumquat & Olive. :)

They are tiny buggers! They all can fit in the palm of my hand. ...Here is what a normal sized doll looks like with the mini...

I'm done with paper dolls for a while...time to switch things up. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Completed Set

...Keyhole Paper Dolls...

    On my last post, I showed you how I made one of my paper dolls. Since then, I have finished the required four dolls for the swap that I'm in. Here is the finished set. 

Here they are, made to stand when the sides are folded back. 

Titled, "Butterfly Beauty," I figured this gal can be the cousin of the original that I made at the beginning of the year. I believe I'm using the original doll as my Pinterest button.

Re-made this one as well, "Persimmon." The original, which I believe is in my Flickr gallery, looks like she has a horse face! LOL! So, I'm happy to have this as it's newer version. 

So, there has to be a new idea in the mix right? Perhaps a year or so from now, I'll be re-making Ginkgo.
...What will I be working on next? Mini Keyhole Dolls of course! Yep, there's a swap for those too. They are teeny tiny buggers! Hopefully I will be able to get a lot of details on them.

They fit in the palm of your hand....