Saturday, March 28, 2009

Art journaling with wings

I got Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts from the library and began to do some of the projects. I found an old book for 10 cents and cut the covers off it to use in this project. I need to look for some more books. I followed Roberts's instructions using gel medium on the page to adhere the collage pieces but in the future I will use Mod Podge. I painted over the collages and drew the self portrait and then painted it. I wanted to follow Roberts's idea but at the same time, I wanted my image to be mine and not a copy of hers. I realized after I painted the image how large and round it was, and it was kind of a revelation to me because I am fairly thin - 5'5" and 127 lbs. That's actually a higher weight for me than what I have carried most of my life - when I graduated from high school, I weighed 98 lbs and was the same height. Most of my 20s and 30s were spent between 110 and 120. The winter that we lived in the trailer I gained 15 lbs. but became dedicated to lose it, and have been pretty successful. BUT all my life I have seen myself as overweight. When I growing up, my whole family was overweight and my father who was very authorotarian insisted that we eat big dinners so I would go all day not eating except maybe a coke so that I would never be overweight. Anway, it was strange to me that I still must see myself as round - although I could say that maybe I see myself as a well-rounded individual. LOL
I added lace and a heart and then tried to write on the page - it looked nasty so I wiped it away and wrote on paper and pasted it on. The poem is from Amy Lowell (just love her poetry. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of her complete poems for 25 cents). The lines are
"It was her wings,
Goddess! ...
I followed her for long,
with gazing eyes and stumbling feet.
I cared not where she led me.
My eyes were full of colours."
So perfect for the self portrait with wings. I drew my eyes closed and my mouth in a smile, just thinking about all the beautiful colours.
The three tags to the left are made of fabric, interfacing, more fabric scraps, gesso, paint, and stamped letters. They are meant to hang off the binding edge of the art journal.
Yesterday I read a great book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It's a YA book but really brilliant. I am so glad that many of the fantasy, SF books have feminine heroes. The book was so enthralling I ended up staying up till midnight to finish it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rak on Bluebirds blog

Be sure to visit She has a fabulous blog and is offering an incredible RAK for her blogversary.

Art journal and venting

I did this art journal canvas yesterday afternoon after reading Lucrecer's tutorial on the year of color blog about doing a monochromatic art journal page. So much fun and so stimulating, forcing myself to use only green. This is a great exercise in creativity.
And now a little venting - I have to admit I am getting pretty tired of entering challenges with time limits on them and then because someone whines about not finishing in time, the person running the challenge extends the time and invariably someone wins who was late with regard to the original deadline. My son who is a teacher told me that students today always ask for extensions and he is one of the few teachers who will not extend unless there are extreme circumstances. Aren't we teaching our children and ourselves that deadlines don't matter?
I am also pretty down on swaps as I entered a Valentine swap on a blog, corresponded with my partner, made her several items, mailed them off, and then nothing for me and she does not answer my emails. I finally emailed and told her to consider the items a RAK. And then I entered some atc swaps where the deadline is 4/1 and all of a sudden after I mailed my cards, people are cancelling.
I am not entering nearly as many challenges as I did for a while and actually I'm pretty down on challenges and swaps right now. I read a quote by Bruce Mau who said not to enter competitions as they are not good for your creativity and I am beginning to think he's right. (But I have to admit I plan to enter the Memory Makers Masters contest - I'm so glad it's via email this year and you don't have to mail layouts to them.)
Anyway, on to happier stuff. I am going to a luncheon today that is a thank you for the library book store volunteers. Should be fun!
Be back tomorrow in a much better frame of mind. LOL

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire inspired layouts

this layout is for the Category Stories challenge for lucky - you can't read the journaling on the "tv" so here it is: How does an average American woman find true love from all the millions of potentials mates out there and remain married to him for 28 years?
A. She's a genius C. She's lucky
B. She cheated & used a dating service D. It is written

I posted this layout on SIS for Lucy's challenge - I just love Lucy's style - totally free and so much anything goes. I took a class from her last fall and it was lots of fun. We spread paint on the paper and let it run, and then added photos and embellishments. Lucy wrote that many times she starts with a piece of patterned paper and then adds other papers under it so that's how I did this layout. I started with the hennaed hands and elephants paper and added the paisley (a postcard), the bluegreen (part of a Starbucks flyer for teas), and on and on. I have to admit to being very inspired by Indian patterns right now (probably from recently seeing Slumdog Millionaire) so the whole page has an Indian flavour. I handcut the silhouette from a thesarus page including "pursuit" using a self-photo. the flower centers are wine bottle caps.
Have a great day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Scrapping across the universe and Free shopping

This layout is for the Scrapping across the universe challenge "I wanna hold your hand". I thought of this idea immediately when I read the challenge but kept thinking I should do something a little more, actually a lot more less inflamatory, but the idea would not leave so here it is. I feel very strongly about the prevention of HIV and other STDs, but I know many people do not want to talk about it or get tested. I am afraid that with the economic issues right now things like HIV are on the back burner. I got these paper dolls and the fan top when I worked at Kids Connected by Design, a non-profit devoted to maternal and infant issues. The main foci were to lower the infant mortality rate in Florida and to insure that all babies born in Florida were healthy. These interests expanded to include prevention of child abuse, prevention of drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse in pregnant women, testing of all women for HIV, and counseling for women so they could educate their partners about HIV and STDs.
And now for something totally different - a frivolous layout for the SIS free shopping weekend challenge. The photo is of my DH when we were stranded with a non-operable boat in Nassua in the spring of 2001. We had walked to the remains of a small fort on the east end of New Providence island. We spent approximately 6 weeks in a Nassau marina which was terrribly expensive trying to get parts so my husband could repair our engine. After disassembling and reassembling it two times, he and some other boaters determined the engine was dead so we somehow made it out of the marina being towed by some dinghys and actually left Nassau by timing the tide and just going out via the super strong current through it. I had listened to the VHF radio to determine when the cruise ships would arrive and we left the mooring just after 2 had arrived and the third sat outside the harbour until we got outside and could get our sails up. Of course, when you need wind, there is very little so it took us 3 days and nights to sail from Nassau to Fort Pierce Fl where we called Towboat US and they towed us in the Inlet and to a marina. A scarry time, but it's amazing what you can do when you have no other options.
I used some lines from a Jimmy Buffett song - so funny when I think of it. We used to be Parrotheads (we were really good friends with a couple who named their boat Parrothead) and loved to listen to Buffett's music but after we went sailing and were actually out there, we almost never listened to it. Even now, we rarely listen to his stuff. It's fun sometimes to reminisce.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Art under the Oaks

Every year at this time we have a stunning art show called Art under the Oaks sponsored by the Art Club. It is out on Orchid Island in the park by the Intercoastal and, of course, is under the live oak trees. I went yesterday morning to see all the beautiful pieces of art. My watercolor teacher, Dawn Mills, had a booth but she was selling mostly oils and acrylics. I have a cruising friend named Lillie Taylor who began painting in 2002 and she also had a booth selling her landscapes. There were several "big Floridian names" including the Rogers - Steve and Janet - and Sue Archer. I was very inspired to see all the beautiful paintings, got to talk to several painters and got some tips, and hope I can progress along that path. Also in attendance were two other watercolor teachers from the Art Museum and I hope that I can take classes from them in future years. You cannot take photos of the art works and it was a very sunny day anyway which does not make good photos. I did try to take a few of the river and park but deleted most of them.

I began scrapping like mad yesterday afternoon after I read in A-gCA the Cynthia was calling for experimental scrapbooking layouts. I stayed up till after midnight, which is totally unusual for me but I now have 2 layouts done and a 3rd laid out. I also did the "free shopping" on SIS this morning and will do a layout for that with a paper bag, Japanese fabric, and houndstooth. I found a great photo of Dan in Nassau that I have never scrapped and will use that. I'll post it tomorrow.

Have a great Saturday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A pink day!

Guess what? My little cream colored felt and button dress made the Catwalk at SIS! I am thrilled, and as promised, here is the little pink 60s sheath with its own Barbie hanger. These are so fun and easy to make.
This is the newest page in my art journal (for the Art Journal 102 class) and it's all about texture. I gessoed the page and just couldn't wait for the gesso to dry to begin so I stuck the buttons in the gesso, painted the green paint on, stuck the paper pieces on(torn from a watercolor practice page that I did yesterday), and suddently the page became a rose garden so I made roses from paint, tried to stamp on leaves but basically they became embossed, wrote on some journaling about reading Amy Lowell poetry, and used a pencil to draw a stem and leaves in the gesso. What fun! To tell you how obsessed I became with the garden theme, I even sprayed some rose cologne on it. It is amazing how these pages are helping me become less editorial and critical of my work - after all, this is fun and what if it is awful: at least I learned something and it's only paper and paint supplies, and I have a big trash bin in the garage. LOL

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday art time

Today I did another art journal page. I am so inspired by some of the pages done by my classmates - so beautiful and filled with brilliant colors, tantalizing textures, and deep thoughts. So happy I signed up for this class! This page has 13 layers and was inspired by the piece of the Publix flyer for their Italian foods week (I used the other part of that ad for the scrapbooking layout that I posted yesterday). Then I found the wine tops and added some tickets and ribbons. I listed lots of my favorite Italian dishes and then painted some and finally added the eat pray love letters.( I loved the first section of that book but got bored in the second. The third part was okay. I guess I am one of the few American women who didn't really groove on that book. It continues to retain its popularity at the used book store.)
I started another little felt and button dress yesterday afternoon - pink this time - sort of 60s sheath chic. I have a hot pink Barbie hanger for it - so cool!
I am so grateful that I live in a society and time when I can do frivolous things like art journal pages, and felt and button dresses. I have been truly blessed in my life to have been born in the US into a middle class family, to have found a wonderful and loving husband, and to have such a loving and responsible son. Through this blog I hope that I can share my love of art, fabric, paper, food, books, and life with others. I know that a lot of what I write about is so frivolous compared to what is happening in the world at large and to the economies of many countries but we also need a release from the stress of that reality, and I hope my blog inspires readers as much as it provides a release for me. And now - off the soapbox...
Have a great day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The early bird ...

Good morning! My DH is volunteering at the Honda Classic golf tournament in West Palm this weekend so he had to get up at 5am to go down - unfortunately or fortunately I also woke up and actually got up then so I have been webbing and creating this morning. I actually made this little felt, lace, and button dress yesterday afternoon. I was totally inspired by Ranjini Manhoti 's(sp) tutorial on button dresses in a year of color blog. I can see myself making these for presents this year. I have lots of buttons for lots of color monos or combos.
I made this layout this morning - for both the Category Stories blog (precious) and the Lotus paperie blog (format) - I used a paper towel that I had used to blot glimmer mist, a doily I had used as a mask for glimmer mist, part of a Publix flyer, 7 gypsies words, and Heidi Swapp old rub on letters (the ones that don't work very well) The totally awesome flower came in the RAK that I won from Flotsom and Jetsom blog - so cool!

This is my assignment to do layers for the Art Journaling 102 class - it has 11 layers: gesso, green and turquoise paint, blue paint on bubble wrap, lavendar paint on cardboard, living planet sticker (from some new capris), dictionary pages, image stamping, writing, yellow paint (I used a Heidi Swapp old old star mask but it didn't stick so I just smeared the paint), letter stamping, and charms. What a fun project - I ate breakfast and did some tasks while letting the paint dry between coats.
Looks like it will be a beautiful day - it's 9:30 am so I'd better get dressed and make a pot of tea - with getting up at 5am, breakfast seems a long time ago. LOL!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lucky day! Lucky week!

On Monday I won a RAK from the Flotsom and Jetsom blog as it was her 100th posting and I received the wonderful prize today (see photo). The vintage buttons are stunning, the flowers just call out to beused as an inspiration for a project, the valentine is so cute, and the book is beautiful. I feel so grateful to Stacey (owner of F&J) and this prize has really made my week!!
Yesterday I spent the day at my BFF's house and we made tote bags (see photo). Mine is finished (and the only thing I had to purchase was 1 fat quarter and a piece of interfacing) except for a little decoration on the flap. We had so much fun - her sister and niece were visiting from Pennsylvania and we ate lunch out on the lanai in the sun. Later we met our DHs at a barbeque restaurant and had baby back ribs. What a perfect day!

We are in the second week of Dina Wakley's Art Journal 102 class. I finished this altered self portrait last night and am ready to start on the "layers" for this week. I have been very busy doing ATCs - I made the mistake of signing up for several exchanges and I am now discovering how much time is necessary to produce the cards. At least I have 4 sets finished. I need to finish one more set this weekend.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A favorite book

I made a layout celebrating one of my favorite books, the Moon-Spinners by Mary Stewart. I read this book as a teenager and it (and Mary Stewart's other books) set the standard by which I judge romantic suspense and mystery novels - unfortunately the vast majority don't measure up. This book and the other books that Mary Stewart wrote about Greece and its islands instilled in me a love of Greek culture - food, interior and exterior design, and mythology. I was reminded of this the past weekend when I got the dvd Mamma Mia from the library and even though I thought the movie was pretty awful, I adored Donna's house and especially her bedroom. I am seriously thinking of painting my bedroom blue - I already have sheer white curtains and a brass bed with lots of white linens. Last summer to make the bedroom look cooler (as we live in Florida) I put blue sheets on the bed and hung blue quilts on the walls. It definitely helps mind-wise but the blue walls in the movie set bedroom were so inviting - maybe....
I am continuing to use up my supplies on hand but I really lucked out - in Jan I won the Inspired by Amelie challenge and received a great kit from Create my keepsake, items of which I used on this layout. I even cut out pieces from the BG urban prairie stuff in the kit and used that. I also did a first in this layout - I actually painted on some Heidi Swapp patterned paper. Woohoo! The art journaling class is really freeing me and I am trying new things every day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A page a day (LOL)

In this journal page, I am trying out a method in which you alter a self portrait - not quite Frieda Kahlo. I used a craft knife to scratch the photo and then painted it with acrylic paint and wiped off most of the paint. What remained rested in the grooves.