Friday, April 30, 2010

Pages and Pages of Scrappy Goodness

I LOVE hosting art swaps. I love when the mail truck drives by and I know there must be at least one package bursting with goodness amid the bills and junk mail I know I can count on being there. Today was no different, yet another package arrived. YEAH!  These are journal pages created Remains of the Day style as taught by Mary Ann Moss over on her wonderous blog. And if you have a little bit of time to spare. Her craft monkey's have been busy creating their own visual journals and they will blow you away. Take a peek at what Mary Ann inspires in the littlest of thriving artists in training. Find them Here and here. 

Here are some of the pages going out in my swap, just a small sampling of scrappy yumminess. I will have fun sorting these all out and getting them ready for their journey back to their new homes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Wish for your deepest desires, she said & when I asked if they'd come true, she said they always do, so you might as well get them out in the open while you're still young enough to correct any serious mistakes.
Brian Andreas

These are some of the journal pages thus far for the journal I will be giving away here on my blog.

And these are some of the journal pages I am making for the ROD page swap inspired by Mary Ann Moss's Remains of the Day class
Left side of the above pages opens up to this:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stitched and Stenciled

Now that the weather is nice and I can be outside, I pulled out the spray paints and stencils and worked on art journal pages. So much fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sneak Peek & Giveaway

I am excited. Last week I was the recipient of an amazing journal from a giveaway hosted by Carole Brungar and so I decided it would be fun to 'pay it forward' and host a giveaway of my own. Pictured above is a 'Remains of the Day' style journal. I am in the process of making the pages for this journal and once it is finished I will be hosting a giveaway for it. So stay tuned. I will share details on the giveaway as soon as it is finished. Consider this a sneak peek. The journal is 6" by 6" and the pages are 5.5". The cover features 2 pockets on the inside and I will be sharing page peeks here and in my Flickr album as I create them. 

Ordinary Life Extraordinary Dreams

It is raining here, a gentle, steady tapping on the window panes, creating a symphony all it's own. I LOVE rainy afternoons, a perfect day to create and play inside.

 I have been working on a canvas the past week. And yesterday as I was glueing down elements I knew exactly what direction I wanted to take it. It is is a combination of vintage wallpapers I recieved from Roben-Marie in a swap, a torn page of vintage ledger paper and an old photo. I had intended on using the original photo because all of the other elements are original pieces, but it is so old, curled and brittle it refuses to lay flat on the canvas so I had to settle for a photo copy of the photo instead. (SIGH) As I was working on the canvas I had a personal "aha" moment; 'i have an ordinary life but extraordinary dreams'. That is so completely true to who I am and as bare-naked, honest as it gets. I DO DREAM BIG, BOLD and in COLOR and those dreams are extraordinay. Here is a peek at the canvas, unfinished and still a work in progress.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fragments of an Ordinary Life

Life is unrelenting sometimes. Just when you think you have a handle on things as they are, everything falling where it needs to; rolling along and almost 'perfect', well as good as it gets anyway and then WHAMO, something unexpected comes along, knocks you over and then dares you to get back up. That is what the past week has been like around here. Some good stuff and a few challenges. So here are a few fragments of an ordinary life and in no particular order. During the course of the general chaos I've started lots of different art projects. A really BIG canvas; big for me anyway. It's 24" by 30", a smaller canvas that is 11" by 14" that I will finish soon and lots of journal pages that seem to reflect me in all my 'ordinaryness'. I kind of like being ordinary. No performance anxiety to deal with and it takes all of the pressure off. Can't say that I don't dream of a little excitement tho. I just wish if things were going to be interesting that they at least be something enjoyable. I write that smiling. There is never a dull moment and it is never boring.

These pages are a mix of papers from Somerset Studio's 'art to borrow'. I gessoed them, used paints with abandon and then added everything else on the pages with my sewing machine.

And just because I was feeling a little bit silly,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Faux Rusty Fabric Part 2

As promised in my earlier post; photos of my faux rusty fabric trims. (see previous post for complete details and tutorial.)

silk ribbon

lace trim


Rusty Things (Rusty Fabric Tutorial)

I ADORE rusty things. I love the deep, golden tones and the texture; if it has rust on it I will probably want it. The rustier the better. Explains why I have an intense desire to re-create the process. I've rusted everything from metal to papers and fabric. I have used various methods, both chemical, natural and the use of dyes. My favorite and easiest way to rust fabrics is by using acrylic paints. I created these pieces of fabric using this method. It is quick, easy, and fast.

What you need. Plastic gloves; (i don't use 'em but not everyone wants paint tinted fingers) VBG. Acrylic paints. ( I used Golden's fluid quin gold and transparent iron oxide) the paint has a high pigment level, so the colors end up being rich and true, however you can use any acrylic paint in similar colors. Your results will vary depending on how much paint you use. A quart sized glass jar. I like the kind with a wide mouth. Fabric you want to rust. (Cut the fabric into small sections or a 1/4 of a yard cut will work for this method. The fabric should fit easily into the jar without completely filling it when wet. This process works with any fabric. Cotton tends to work the best but I have also rusted silk and combination synthetic fabrics with varying results. You can do this with ribbons, trims and dollies too. I do this entire process on my kitchen counter by the sink so if you have a nice counter top you wish to protect, cover it with plastic. Layers of newspaper or paper towels work fine. If you use paper towels; they can be laid out to dry and you will have some faux rusty papers as well. (tip; if you put book pages with text on them underneath your work area, you will get some faux rusty text too. Just allow it to dry fully.)
Step 1. Wet the fabric and squeeze out excess water. (if your fabric is new, I suggest washing it first, to remove any sizing)
Step 2. Lay out wet fabric and squeeze some paint onto the fabric in several places. You don't need alot of paint, don't worry if the paint splatters being a little thick; as they will bleed out in the following steps. Use both paints in various places on the fabric.
Step 3. Put on your plastic gloves. Fold over the fabric several times to spread the paint around and then roll it and squish it up into a ball. Work the paint through the fabric with your fingers. Set balled up fabric aside.
Step 4. Fill the jar a little less than half, with water. Squeeze some paint into the water and mix it up with the wrong end of the paint brush. Again you don't need a lot of paint, how much paint will determine how dark the fabric will end up at the end of the process. Most fabrics dry lighter than they look wet.
Step 5. Put the balled up fabric into the jar with the painty water and use the end of the paint brush to squish it down into the water. Allow the water to cover the fabric and work the fabric into the water so it saturates it fully. The fabric may absorb most of the water. That is OK. Set aside for about 15 minutes or so. The longer it sits in the jar, the more the fabric will stain.
Step 6. Put on the gloves again. Remove the fabric from the jar and squeeze out any excess water. It will be full of paint so keep that in mind. You may want to do this outside. Unfold, unroll the fabric and lay it out on your protected surface to dry. ( Now that the weather is nice, I drape the fabric on an old lawn chair I use for such purposes and set it the backyard in the sun to air dry.) Within a few hours you will have some faux rusted fabric to play with.
A few things to keep in mind. This process basically is staining the fabric more than dying it. It will be a little bit stiff, but you can still easily sew through it with ease both by machine or hand. The water bath allows the paint to seep into the fabric while breaking up the paint that you put directly onto the fabric. If you want to soften the fabric more, it can be washed after it has completely dried the first time. It will end up being lighter in color but much softer if that is the desired look and feel you want. This process works with any color paint for staining fabrics.

 I faux rusted some trims this morning that are currently outside drying in the sun. I will post some pics of those once I bring them in later this afternoon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Field Trip & April Fools

Today me and my girls went on a field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to check out our artwork in the Foot In The Door exhibition. We had a blast first looking for our pieces and then exploring the various galleries. Here are a few photos of our day. The above text was written in chalk on one of the gallery walls that had been turned into a giant chalkboard.
Brittney & Meg in the gallery & being goofy; April fools.
Brittney's turtle sculpture. We had to smile at the juxtaposition of the
'Please Do Not Touch' sign right below her piece.
My canvas amid other amazing pieces.

Huge white dog in the rotunda of the gallery.
Ceiling of the rotunda. Looks like a giant eye.
And spending a few moments soaking up the spirit of Vincent Van Gogh
'Olive Trees'

All in all it was a very fine afternoon and time well spent.