To Think About

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."
Celia Thaxter

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Easter Postcard for 2007

This is the postcard I am making for Easter this year. The background is photo paper that has Pinata alcohol inks and some of the Pearl Mixative by Ranger on top. The transparency is a rubber stamp design that I had to scan and print since the actual stamping on the transparency wasn't working out, even using Staz-on ink. I attached the two together with eyelets. Hopefully they will make it through the mail all right!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Funky Journal Pages

Here are two samples of open pages of my sample funky journal. I used my painted papers cut into a variety of sizes and handstitched 3 signatures of 4 folded pages each, making a total of 24 individual pages. I used a linen thread for bookbinding and a bookbinding needle. I ordered those items from; an art supply store.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Painted Paper

Here a few samples of my painted paper ala Traci Bautista. What doesn't show up in the scans are the metallic copper on some and the glitter on the papers with turquoise. The paper towels also have copper and glitter on some.

Dyed Paper Towels

Here are 3 more dyed paper towels. Love how the colors changed from laying on top of one another!

Paper Towel Dyeing

I will post some samples of paper towel dyeing that I did yesterday along with some of the painted paper samples I have made. I will add a bit more to the painted papers. When I was finished with each paper towel, I laid them on top of one another so color form the towels would spread to those on top and beneath. I like how they came out. I didn't use two-ply towels, but the strong Viva brand. I wasn't able to separate them, but like the strength of the paper towel and can use this to sew or glue or whatever!
These towels and pages will show up in my Funky Journal for Arttechniques.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This is number 5 in the Lynne Perella Style series. I tried the "more layers" style of hers this time. I started with the same background as the others. I added one image and then covered it with a silhouette cutting from one of the images I used on another of the ATCs. I kept adding paint, pastels, punchinella used as a stencil (both positive and negative). Added a piece of spiral-top notebook paper; I then added another image and part of the silhouette from the same image. Again, more paint and pastels and stencilling of punchinella. I added a piece of old German text and added paint and some of my own writing on top of that. Some number stamps and decided to be done. I could have kept going and adding more and more layers. The choice is up to you!

Lynne Perella-style ATC Tutorial

Per a request, I will attempt to write the steps I took in making my Lynne Perella-style ATCs.
I began by reviewing Lynne's 2 books and also looking at her website. I will clarify this tutorial with the note that I am an intuitive artist. In other words, I don't plan out my work first, I just go with the flow as I begin to work. Whatever strikes me as "right" as I am working is what I use and do.
MAKING THE BACKGROUND-I started the artistic process with a 12 x 16 Kilimanjaro 140# cold press watercolor block. This is a nice quality watercolor paper. I used the Paint Scraping technique that Traci Bautista describes in her book, Collage Unleashed. The paints I used were cheapy Craft Smart Acrylic paints that I got at Michael's for only 50 cents each. They had a lot of bright fun colors that I originally bought for my Funky Journal (swap in the Arttechniques group). After letting the paint dry, I then used some of the same paints and applied them to a rubber stamp and randomly stamped the page. I also stamped with a gold metallic paint, but it didn't show up real well. I then randomly sprayed the page with some of the brighter of the Color Mist sprays (from Outside the Margins). Using some assorted number stamps, I then inked the stamps with dye inks and added those in a random fashion. I had noticed on Lynne's website that she had slashes of pastels in some of her work, so I lastly added slashes of soft pastels to the page. I cut the page into ATC sized pieces and a larger piece to use as a page in my Funky Journal. There is a sample of this background piece below on my blog. Scroll down and you will see it.
MAKING THE "PASSAGES OF TIME" ATC- I printed out onto HP Premium paper some vintage images that (to me) looked like images Lynne would perhaps use. The images were from a Tuscan Rose image CD. Choosing one of the backgrounds and one of the images, I attached the image to the background using a glue stick. I have found that even if you sand the watercolor paper first, Xyron does not adhere to watercolor paper. I dribbled some yellow India Ink (Dr. Ph. Martin's) onto the image and background. With "Passages of Time" (scroll down the blog and you will see it), I used a stamp I had recently gotten from Stampers Anonymous ( an arrow design), and stamped in two different directions onto the ATC. I chose the arrow direction as going into the ATC's center. This was a deliberate design choice to lead the eye inward rather than off the edge of the ATC. I then stamped more numbers (Lynne seems to have a thing for letters and numbers). I added a butterfly half to the lower right-hand corner. I wanted to incorporate this image into the composition so I used the Color Mist Spray in Tahoe Turquoise and sprayed the butterfly and lower half of the woman's image. I then added some pastel markings in pink and green. The woman had a semi-wistful expression so I found the "inchie" of the little girl that I had left over from a previous swap and added that to the upper right-hand corner. I chose straight alignments for both the inchie and the butterfly as opposed to angling them. This was a matter of design choice. I wanted a stable rather than active look. Angling images gives a more active feel to a piece. At that point I thought I was done and posted it to my blog. When I looked at the ATC later, I noticed that the inchie looked "stuck on" and not really incorporated into the design. So I took the pink and green pastels and added them to the corner of the inchie. This brought it into the composition and I was finished. I named it "Passages of Time" because I felt that the little girl could have been the woman when she was younger, and butterflies represent a metamorphosis. Something in this woman's past changed her from the happy-go-lucky girl to the serious woman in the image. (I love to give a story to my pieces!)
"LOOKING UP" ATC-I decided to add more color to this image. I used pastel on "Looking Up" and although it kinda messed up on her face, I kept it anyway. I liked the look of the yellow "glow" by adding yellow pastel around the image's outline. I added a scrap piece of the background with some brads (in one of Lynne's books she had done a similar thing). This one is pretty simple in design. I named her "Looking Up" since she is and to me is in an attitude of prayer.
"SHE DREAMED OF PEACE" ATC- Added the image with gluestick again. I then "dry brushed" some blue acrylic paint onto the image and background. I added some pink pastel to her cheek. I added a yellowish-gold pastel outline to her image and smudged the line outward to give a "glow" appearance. I then tore a piece froma spiral notebook and added some paints to it to give her a "crown." I added the wording and she was finished. See the piece below to see why I named it what I did.
"HEART"S DESIRE" ATC- Added some dry brushed paint to the background and image and some drips and drabs of a magenta India ink (Dr. Ph. Martin's). I painted a few letter stamps and added those as well. You can see the "E" on the lower portion of the ATC. I sprayed Color Mists in pink and blue. I covered her face with my hand to keep it free from the spray. I added some number stamps with black dye ink. Lynne uses a lot of tags and strings in her work so I incorporated a small tag onto this piece. I painted it first and stamped it, painting the strings as well. I attached it to the ATC with a stapler, and spread the string around her head as a "frame" of sorts. I thought she still needed something, so I used a small heart punch on the tag and then put the heart onto her head. I liked how the yellow paint on her hair made the purple on the heart stand out (this is using complementary color theory). I named this one "Heart's Desire" because she has a wistful expression. Perhaps waiting for her love to come back to her.
I hope this tutorial gives you an idea of my working process. Again, it is unplanned and spontaneous. I attach a piece, and then think "what does it need" and do the next step.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The crab apple tree is in bloom and so beautiful!

Here is a photo from our Crab Apple tree. It is so lovely right now!

Here are a few of the Salmon Parrot Tulips that are blooming right now. I got these bulbs from Washington. I fell in love with this variety last year when I got to visit the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley.

Heart's Desire

Fourth in the Lynne Perella-style ATCs. Lots of paint, Color Mists, etc.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

She Dreamed of Peace

This is the third in the Lynne Perella-style series. After hearing how a young girl who came to the United States to study was beaten after she returned to her muslim country because she had become a Christian, this theme came to mind. This happened this year, 2007.

This is the second in the Lynne Perella Style ATC series. I was adding pastel that kind of "smushed" on her face, but figured that was a good Lynne-look so let it remain rather than trashing the ATC and starting again.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Can You Tell the Difference?

Well, I think the inchie looks more incorporated into the composition now. What do you think?
This is an added comment to the ATC below. As I was looking at it on the blog, it seems like the inchie is kind of "stuck on" looking. Although I added the number stamp to blend with the background, it needs more. I think the pink pastel swoop that is under the corner on the bottom right would be good to do over the corner to incorporate the inchie into the composition more. Will try it and see.

Passages of Time

Here is the first of the April AOM Lynne Perella-style swap ATCS. I used the background from the previous post and added images, text, stamps, more Color Mists, pastels and even an Inchie!

This is a background page made to use in the Funky Journal Swap and to cut up into ATC size and further layer for arttechniquesatcs AOM for April; Lynne Perella-style ATCs. I began with some inexpensive bright color acrylic paints that i scraped on with the side of a credit card. I then used more paint to stamp some images. The metallic gold stampings don't really show up on the scan. Next came spritzes of Color mist sprays. I then used dye ink and stamped some numbers. Lastly I added some slashes with soft pastels. I love the cheery colors. Puts me in the mood for spring!

On the piece I have cut off to use in the funky journal, I used 4 harmonizing color misters to give some color to the inside of the signature.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another attempt at the Salmon Parrot Tulip. This one I just painted freeform, without trying to pencil it out first. The scan changed the greens to brighter than they were painted.

This is one attempt at trying to capture in watercolor a Salmon Parrot Tulip. They have such variety of color in each one. The tulip was opening as I painted, making it a challenge since the flower changed during the process. The painting is a bit stiff, but at least it got me painting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This series of postcards is different than others I have done. It is for an Antique-looking postcard swap. A few years ago at a flea market I bought an old ledger with German and Arabic newpaper articles (appear to be recipes), and old pattern instructions. I used some of the ledger pages as the background (German). I added some snippets of the old German newspaper found in the ledger. I then scanned some old German money from 1910 (from another source) and printed out small copies of it. Last embellishment is a German stamp, a little bit of distress ink (the page and paper already looked old) and a coat of gel medium. Simple arrangements, but fun to do. I wonder who owned this book- did they bring it with them when they fled Germany in WWII? I will never know. One of the reasons I love antique books is wondering about their previous owners and the lives they lived.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The scan doesn't really do these charms justice, but here they are. I made these for the AAO charm swap. They are made with pieces of sea glass that have been wrapped in wire. I added some beads to the wire as I wrapped. Small jump rings were attached at the top of each charm.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Here is another double transparency ATC. The other is below this one. I used a vintage-design background paper. The woman's image has "Stream" and "Bottle" alcohol inks. The frame has "Wild Plum" and "Cranberry" inks. After they dried, I added a bit of the Pearl Mixatives to the frame transparency. I used 3D Crystal Lacquer on the corners to attach the woman to the base card, and then used 4 small round black brads to attach the frame to the rest of the card.

This ATC was done using two transparencies; one layered over the other. I liked the woman being seen through the Statue of Liberty transparency. I didn't use any alcohol inks so this one won't be in the swap.

Another in the Alcohol Ink/Transparency series. I like using these black and clear images. I put two colors of the ink on. I wanted to give the impression of a shadowed side to her face.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Another scrunchy background. This one has "Copper Canyon" embossing powder from B'Muse. B'Muse has great embossing powders!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Alcohol Ink & Transparency ATCs

This ATC is being done for an alcohol ink & transparency swap for the new subgroup arttechniquesatcs. I figured out how to take my vintage images and turn them into black and clear designs for transparencies- use the "stamp" filter in Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.
For this ATC I used a Color Mists background with some vintage text. I lightly dabbed alcohol inks onto the back of the transparency since I wanted a light effect. I attached the transparency with 2 eyelets. The scan doesn't show the lovely shimmer the metallic Color Mists add to the background.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I love how flower pictures come out with this technique. I didn't feel the need to add metallic embossing to this one. Directions on how to do these backgrounds are below next to the orange scrunchy background sample.

Another scrunchy background similar to the one below. Again these two give me a landscape, mountainous feeling.

Another gold embossed scrunchy background. I have been making these all ATC size. The first three I made yesterday I coated with a gel gloss medium today. I like the way it looks. This one kind of reminds me of mountains.