Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I've been playing with some of the new art media I purchased recently. In the Yahoo group called art techniques, members were raving about this stuff called glass beads gel medium. This was a couple of weeks ago and I remembered seeing some of this at Michael's. Everyone was really excited about some of the effects you could pull off with this stuff, so the next time I visited Michael's I bought some.

It doesn't photograph too well (my bad), but if you look closely at the bottom of the page you'll see the glass beads. This stuff is pretty cool. When you open the jar you have to stir it up a little bit and you spread it on with a knife, like frosting a cake. You can put it on as thin or as thick as you'd like. I drew a winter tree, painted it and then added the glass beads to the bottom. After it dried I decided to add some to the branches, too, to give them a snowy effect. The glass beads dry to a spongy texture. I like this stuff and will use it in my skinny book scene I'm working on.

The other medium I was curious about was something called, "iridescent medium". I ordered this from DickBlick since nobody here had any. It's really cool, too. You add it to your paint and it makes the colors iridescent. Very pretty. I glazed some of my new Golden Fluid Acrylic Phthalo Blue and then added the iridescent medium to it. I loved the color. Again, it doesn't photograph very well, but the blue turned out with some iridescent pinks and greens to it. Very nice against the background. If you click on the photo, you may be able to see a better view.

Then, of course, I had to add some Swarovski crystals to finish the job. I think this does mimic a small part of a winter wonderland. Now back to playing...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beautiful Season

I love Christmas cards. They are so ornate and are like little works of art. I have a whole box of cards that I've received through the years and decided it's a shame to keep them boxed up. I thought I would make mini-artwork out of them. This is ATC-sized (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") and backed onto illustration board. I embellished it a little bit and now it's perfect for setting on one of those little display easels they sell with the picture frames.

I received this card from my BFF Sharon. Now, I'll always have it to admire; even when it's not Christmas. And when I want to change these out, I can keep them in little ATC albums. They fit perfectly into the sleeves!

I think Winter is a beautiful season; Christmas time, especially. All of the lights, decorations and colors truly make it a wonderland. Thank you Sharon for such a beautiful card!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vintage Lady Button Fairy

Here is the final button fairy ATC. I think I like the second one best. She kind of looks like Princess Di. I loved this old photo and thought she would make a pretty little fairy. I do like how this one turned out. I finally learned how to coil the ends of the wire like I've been trying to do! You can't really see it on this photo, but that was something I'd been trying to get right. I am learning to manipulate the wire better.

So, tomorrow these little gals go off to California for the swap. I'm sure the ones I get back will be much better, but I wanted to try my hand at these. I'm going to TRY all kinds of new things in the coming year. No more letting my insecurities hold me back. So what if they don't turn out perfect. I'm ready to jump in and see what I can do! More on that later...

I went to Hobby Lobby today and found some really nice beads on clearance. They are amethyst colored Czech glass! Very pretty! Hope to show them in something soon. Stay tuned...

Vintage Button Fairy

Here is the second button fairy ATC I made. I like her a lot better. I think I'm getting the hang of this now. I love these vintage images that have just a touch of color to them. I gave her a little more color in her cheeks and a nice pink crystal for her hair ribbon. I found these wings in the Bridal clearance aisle at Micheal's. They are the perfect size! They are made of vellum with pretty glitter swirls on them.

I have one more to make and then off they go. I was searching through my huge baggie of buttons and came up with a multicolored one that looked nice. The first crystal underneath her chin is actually a crystal brad. It could pass for a button and I'm not telling! I love that second button. Its made of glass and I got two sets of those. They are much prettier than their photo shows.

After I get a few more of these ATC swaps out of the way, it's on to the larger projects. I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Visit From A Button Fairy

I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday! I had a good visit with my family and now am trying to get started on a ton of projects I have signed up to complete in the next couple of months.

This is my first attempt at a button fairy ATC. I signed up for a swap that needs to be postmarked by 1/5. I think I like her OK. She's the right size; they have to fit onto an ATC card. I like the buttons. I guess maybe she needs some more embellishing.

I downloaded some different directions for making one; most are made without adhering to an ATC, so that makes the size a challenge. The dots in the background (didn't photo well) are green Swarovski crystals as are the ones on the wings. I colored her face in with some colored pencil for her cheeks and hair. Not bad for a first try. I'll post another one when I'm finished.
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa's Helper ATC

Why is this little guy smiling? Because I finished my December art doll ATC's! Finally!! I decided to make this little elf and then make another of the snowman (he seemed to be very popular with my friends and family). That fulfilled my obligation to make four cards. So, they were sent off in the mail yesterday. I really struggled making these, as I mentioned before. You would think they would be the easiest to make. They really were, it's just I wasn't inspired. Hubby had it right, I think. He said I'm more creative thinking "outside the box" and being locked into the "Christmas" theme, I struggled with creating the "usual suspects". Whatever the case, it's done!

Now, new projects: Button fairies. What are they? You need to Google them to get an idea. Here is a link for a real elaborate one:
The button fairies that I make have to fit on an ATC card (2 1/2" x 3 1/2"). I bought some really nice buttons to decorate my little fairy. I will post one as soon as I finish.

Other projects: Altered Christmas cards, fat book swap, skinny book swap, and jewelry making! Stay tuned for further details...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Welcome to the Zettihood!

I've been playing with my Zetti stamps and collage sheets. I thought it would be fun to mix them with digital art. This is what I came up with. I'm glad we only have to make one page for our Zetti zine (and then 10 copies of that so every person will have a copy). I'm not sure what I'll end up with for a final product but this is just playing around with different elements today. Yes, this is what I'd rather be working on than the other two cards that are due. Stay tuned for more...

Snowman ATC

This is the second ATC I made for the December art doll swap. I don't know why, but I'm having to force myself to get these done! I still have two more to go...I guess it's because I would really rather be working on other things. But I think that if you sign on to do something you should finish it and do the best job you can. I'm having to gut this out, though. The cards are due to the hostess by the end of the month. If I make myself do one a day, I should get these in the mail by Monday. Maybe tomorrow I'll be more motivated and finish up the other two.

I think it could be the pressure of Christmas and all that goes with that. I haven't finished my gifts for the family yet. I still have to get something for all of the guys (brothers, brother-in-law, nephews). Ugh. Could be just the winter blahs setting in.

I'm trying to complete at least a few items on my to do list today. This little card was one thing marked off. Sometimes if you can just mark off one thing, that will motivate you to finish a few more items and you won't feel so bad by the end of the day. I am just holding off on the different projects I've got lined up until I finish these other commitments first!

Back to work. I keep telling myself that other, more exciting things await...just press on!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Angel ATC

Here is the latest art doll for the Art Doll ATC Swap. This is the first one for December. Of course, the theme is Christmas. I have a digital version of her that I bought in a digital kit, but I wanted to make a 3D version for the swap. I call her a snow angel. She's flying around, not only at Christmas, but whenever there is snow! And, there is snow here today. Not much accumulation is expected, but it's been coming down all afternoon. I think the snow is pretty; I just don't enjoy having to get out in it. Happily, I didn't need to leave the house today.

I'm not making as much progress as I'd like on some other things. The days go by and there are "real life" situations that take up chunks of time. I hope to have at least some uninterrupted days toward the end of the week.

Hubby helped me put together an awesome workshop in one of the rooms of our basement. It already had a workbench built in when we moved in. We added a pegboard wall for tools, a nice sturdy work stool, my new Dremel drill and Dremel workstation and a ton of tools (both his and mine).

Why do I need a Dremel and accessories? You'll have to stay tuned to find out! That's it for today. Stay warm...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different...

This is one of the images from a collage sheet I just got from the artist Teesha Moore. Her website features all of the Zetti stamps I've been using lately. I show this to tell you about the new projects that are taking up my time. I don't have any finished pieces to show yet, so I thought I'd put up one of Teesha's collages.

First, I'm participating in an international collage challenge based out of New Zealand. It's a collage swap/challenge. You create 13 collages that are 8" x 10" in size. You send them to the artist Dale Copeland (who is hosting this swap) and she will, in turn, send you 13 collages from all around the world! Cool, huh? Here is the link that explains more about this fun project: Also, you will have one of your collages chosen to be included in the exhibit at a museum in New Zealand. She hosts this challenge every year and this is her 11th year. I read about this in the Artella Daily Musepaper a while back and decided to give it a try. I've already talked two other people into joining in the fun: my sister and an art buddy at Artella.

Your collages can be on any theme you wish, so it's pretty open. I'm thinking of doing part of them on a fashion theme (kind of grungy, Gothic style) and the other half on a "masks" theme. We'll see what shakes out. Stay tuned...

I'm also getting serious today with the art techniques background swap I mentioned earlier. My first batch of fabric paper is coming up. I've just received a new shipment of fun Zetti images, some iridescent medium, clear tar gel medium, and glass beads medium. Oh my! What will I do with all of that? You'll see...

And, finally, my good art buddy at Artella, Mr. Billizetti, is hosting a ....Ta Da! Zetti Zine swap! This one will be pretty simple. We all have to create one page (8 1/2" x 11") from any medium we choose, embellished however we like. Then, based on the number of people who sign up for the swap, make that number of copies of our page (or make them all originals, your choice) and send them off to him. This will be fun! He's already created a cover for the zine! I'll post that later.

Now off to work. Just wanted you to see what's going on behind the scenes. By the way, we had our annual Christmas party for hubby's students on Tuesday night. All of them seemed to really like their ornaments!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ornamental Angels

This is one of the 25 angel ornaments I made for hubby's students that are coming to our Christmas Party Tuesday evening. You can click on the image to get a larger view.

First, I'll state that I have NEVER done any beading before attempting this, so excuse the funky wraps. But after looking at it, I like how it adds to the homemade charm. Second, I've NEVER used this type of polymer clay before: FIMO glitter clay. I love it! It's perfect for holiday crafts.

I found a small angel cookie cutter and just used her to cut my clay. Then I used my rubber stamps and stamped different images throughout. The middle of the body is stamped with an Asian symbol for the word "Love". I thought that was a nice touch. I then colored it in with different Pearl Ex powders and baked it.

Then came the beading. I used as a model the "paper doll" made of clay that I received in the paper doll swap a couple of weeks back (see previous post). I added a small heart charm at the bottom that says, "Made with Love". Finally, I adhered some pretty ribbon to the top. On the back of the ornament I stamped with my, "Handmade For You By" stamp, signed my name, then dated it.

Now I must get back to beading the rest of these. Maybe by the time I get to the last few I'll have it down. I do have a few beading books to look at. I think part of the charm of a handmade piece is adding your signature touch. Funky beading is mine! (at least for this project)

Stay tuned for more little projects I have in the works...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Follow Your Bliss

This is the second ATC I created for the "Winner Takes All" game in a Yahoo Group I belong to. This person specified that she liked as her theme: anything shiny and sparkly. The background is a holographic paper I found at JoAnn Fabrics in the scrapbook section. Who knew? It's plenty shiny! The woman is a clay tile I made a while back. She's really a deep magenta color. For some reason she photographed more of a copper.

A dear friend of mine always has this advice: "follow your bliss". I like that! So, for this winner I chose that as the name of the card. I gave her some bling with a queen's crown that I embellished with pink Swarovski crystals. I added a clear Swarovski crystal near the top of the crown and at the top of the card just inside the heart cutout. That should take care of the sparkly part!

Just for fun I added a 3-D heart sticker and placed a cut out crown around it. Hopefully she'll like what I did. I'm off now to the post office to send it off.

Feeling much better today. It's a good thing because I have a ton of stuff to do to get ready for a gathering we are having here on Tuesday evening. It's a Christmas party for some of hubby's students. Have I even taken my Christmas tree out to decorate? NO! Have I made the students their little gifts? NO! So, enough chattering. Must get busy. Stay tuned to see what I make for the students...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Zettiland Dreams ATC

This is an ATC I created for one of the winners in a "Winner Takes All" drawing from an ATC Yahoo Group I belong to. Each month you put your name in and your preferences of themes for an ATC. Through a random generator a name is drawn and whoever has their name drawn gets an ATC from everybody on the list! There are usually about 25 to 30 people on the list, so the lucky person gets that many ATC's coming their way in the mailbox. As you can see I was not a winner. But the lucky lady did specify she likes Zetti! Yay!! Another chance to play with my Zetti stamps. By the way, in this particular group, there are two winners chosen each month, so I still have to make another card. That person likes anything shiny/glittery. Hmm. Still thinking.

For this card, I made all of the charms myself! The background is this really cool fabric. It has that dark feel I was going for. The house is one of my polymer clay creations colored with some Pearl Ex powders. The little girl and the flying Zetti creature are charms I made, colored and adhered.

I'm almost at 100 percent, healthwise. Sinus issues are compounding things. Jeez, it's no fun getting old! Well, back to work. Must find something shiny/glitzy... Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Out of Whack

I've been fighting a stomach virus since Thanksgiving. Thought I'd put up a little image of what I feel like today. Kinda funky...out of whack. Bluesy... Hope to be back in good form soon. I'm on the mend, just not all the way there yet. I have my family and my art to help me heal. See you soon...