Thursday, January 31, 2008

Catherine Matthews Scanlon is giving away two copies of her book, Art from the Heart and YOU could be the lucky winner.
If you are interested in winning a copy, all you have to do is post about her give away on your blog and you'll be entered to win one of the two copies. Be sure to post a comment here so she knows you're playing along!
GOOD Luck everyone! oh, the deadline will be Monday, February you've got to hurry!

Always Learning

I have finally figured out how to add links to the right hand side of my page. I've added a couple but plan to add many more. Stay tuned.

Time's Up!

Well, I didn't make it. I will have to carry December over to February but it shouldn't take too long now.

Getting ready to take a picture of how far I got, my dog Brandy had to have a look.

The ornament is being done in a stylized way. I saw some beadwork done in one of my magazines but don't know which one. Perhaps one of you know the artist who does much of her work in circles like this. This isn't my usual way of doing the work on these pages but since it's a round ornament I thought I would have fun trying out her method.

Well, on to February via December and January!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another TIF Update

I got another page done. This one took a bit more time for finding a picture of a jeep or truck from WWII that I could use than for any other reason.

My mother never tired of telling us kids her marine stories. She would sing the songs she learned in boot camp and the only line I can remember now is "....and it'd take Lana Turner, to fill the front of mine" referring to the bust area of her uniform! She would tell us how all women marines were patted down before leaving base (through a women's only gate) to make sure they had their girdles on! My mom was gleeful when telling about taking the governor's off the jeeps so they could go as fast as they wanted and said she flew down the hills into San Diego on her trips there. She really only had good memories that I recall.

The background of this card is acrylic paint and acrylic medium mixed together, spread over the whole card and then combed through. I had a picture of just the shoulders and head of my mom in her uniform so added some arms and
legs. You won't find any finesse in those limbs but they serve. I put the jeep in for body/clothing as that was one of the things she so enjoyed. Then I used medium to glue some sequin stars on the page and ran a blue ink pad around all the edges.

TIF update

I've got another page done in my ATC book for the Take It Further Challenge. This page commemorates my mother's wedding day. She got married two weeks after my dad returned from WWII. Back then, you had to wear your military uniform at all times when you were in public so she didn't get to wear a white dress and veil. She got married in her marine uniform.

My mom and dad grew up knowing each other. My dad's best friend was my mom's brother. During the war my mother wrote to my dad occasionally but they never dated till he came home from battle. My dad took my mom to see a movie called "The Best Years of Our Lives". While waiting in line a plane flew overhead. My dad threw my mother to the ground and covered her with his own body as he had flashed back to bombers just then. Maybe that's what showed my mom he cared about her!

I took the white page and layered it with light turquoise tissue paper. Over that I placed a piece of my wedding veil since my mother never got one (she made mine). Then I added the hearts and cut-out image of my parents wedding portrait. Only the lace ended up showing up, not the veil material. Then I topped it with the wording and edged the card with chalk ink. I am happy with the way it turned out.

Hopefully, today I can make at least one of the other two pages I'd like to include in this book. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mosaic Star

I was over at Stacy Alexander-Listen to my Art Beat blog where she shows some beautiful mosaic hearts she is giving away for the One World One Heart blogger's giveaway. I told her I'd made one but it turns out I never took a picture of the hearts I made but I did take a picture of the star so I am showing it here.

I used seed beads and shells for my tiles. I feel like the beads look like sea glass. I edged it with shell beads. I turned it into a magnet for my fridge.

I've ordered some mosaic glass tiles and tile nippers so I can try some more mosaic projects. I want to make some polyclay tiles too and try doing some projects in the Mixed Media Mosaics, Techniques and projects book by Laurie Mika. In fact I have a cross stitch picture I designed and made that needs a frame and I thought I might use the techniques in this book to make a frame for it.
I made this cross stitch almost 2 years ago for my bathroom to go with my shower curtain. I made it square never worrying about a frame until it was completed. I never seem to remember I don't live in a large metropolitan area anymore and square frames to fit my picture or even pieces from which to make one just don't show up on WalMarts shelves. So it's been sitting and now I have a book that has inspired me to make my own frame. When I get it done, I'll post it but please don't hold your breath - you'll turn blue long before I get this project done!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One World, One Heart

Today is Valentine's Day and I had my husband draw two names from the "hat". The first winner is Jacq who gets first choice of which pin she wants and the second winner is Robin Krieger who will receive the remaining pin. I so wish I could have offered a prize to each and every one of you. I hope to revisit all the blogs and get to know everyone a bit better. I had a good time with this event; I hope you did too.

I decided it would be fun to join in with the One World, One Heart group. For my give-away, the winner will get to choose from these two pins. One is more refined and one a little wild. I made them both; I like them both and I hope you like them too.

Now, remember to leave a comment so I can put all the names in a hat for the drawing on Feb. 14th. Good luck to everyone and I hope you all enjoy seeing new blogs and getting to know the authors through them. Note: one of the rules is that you have a blog of your own that can be visited. I left this part out before and ended up causing some confusion.

Notice!!!! I am amending my giveaway. I am giving both pins away. I will draw two names. The first will get to pick the pin they want and the second gets the other pin. So two people will get to win on my blog. This will be more fun
since there will be more winners!

Busy Day

Today was a busy, productive day for me.
I worked on many different projects for a change.

One of my new year's resolutions was to work from front to back in a good beadweaving how-to book to get my skills a little better all around. Today I started a bracelet in green and purple peyote. This is lesson one in the book Mastering Beadwork, A Comprehensive Guide to Off-loom Techniques by Carol Huber Cypher. I liked the pattern so that made it real easy to give my plan a try. I haven't looked ahead as I want it to be more like a real class.

I painted the faces on four sheets of paper stamped with this image of a woman. These are going to be used for cards I am making for my nieces business. I will be layering the hands and face over the base layer of the same stamp. She wanted some 3-D effect. Tomorrow I'll add more colors but it felt good to get so many copies done of just the face today.

As I did some of this work today, I thought of MaryTafoya's advice to get up and move about every so often and to sit so we don't strain our necks and backs. (She gave this advice at the beginning of the BJP). Needless to say, I thought of it when my neck started to hurt!

The decorative background paper started as a paper I stamped extra ink off of my face stamp onto. I added more stampings, chalk ink over paper strips, then tore up the paper strips and added them. I glazed over the whole thing and smushed plastic wrap over that while it was wet and then removed it to dry. Some more rubber stamping in gold and silver which needed embossing now that the paper was sealed with
glaze. I don't know whether I want to use this for ATC's or note cards but I'll get several out of it either way.

The red piece is for my TIF project. I need to add blue stars but the red is the basis for the marine page for my mother. Not a lot done on this page but a start is a start.

Last, but not least, I got some beading done on my BJP page for December. My eyes must not have been doing too well as I can see I should have added a bit of a darker green for the deeper shadows. I'm not going to change it now though. It's looking reasonably like the cookie jar in the photo under it.

That was my day of crafting. Hope your day went well too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

December BJP Plan

I'm moving on! This is my idea for December. You can see the pictures but the story comes later! Still hoping to get this done and January started before January is finished but this looks more involved than I intended so we'll see. At least I am moving along again.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another TIF Page

This is the second page to go in my ATC book for my mother. She was a very smart woman with a lot of common sense.

Since she used her head a lot I used a bigger copy of her head for her body/dress. I glazed over the print with black since she had to wear black or blue for her job (the one I remember most). I used the same printed tissue as on the cover and first page to make her flower brooch. A piece of blue wire became the blue pencil she held behind her ear. (Managers at May Co. back then were called blue pencils as they okayed things with them - you know, long before computers). I bought my mother a couple of large flower brooches when I got to go to Disneyland for field trips in junior high school. They gave her variety and brightened the two dresses she had.

The background was colored with blue pencil markings from a blue pencil left from the days she worked. I couldn't

believe it when I found the pencil in a few leftover items my father had saved of hers after she died (many years ago at age 56). I smeared a little black chalk on the background as it was too bright and stamped stars all over which were heat embossed with gold. They didn't stamp well on the glossy surface but I like how they don't dominate, just add a bit to the background.

You'll notice her hands are behind her back. Think of women back then whose "hands were tied" when it came to moving ahead.

My writing is atrocious and I always make mistakes. Next book I make I'll plan better and mark out the sections so I can type what I want to say. I'll bet I could say more in the same space that way too. Well, my paper figures are crudely done so my writing fits in anyhow.

I was very proud of my mother. People listened to her. They liked and respected her. I can't do half what my mother did.

Friday, January 18, 2008

November BJP Completed

Happy Birthday to me....

This is my birthday month so I did a page on that subject. It's true that in every life a little rain must fall but remember that every cloud has a silver lining!!

This page is a reflection on three of my birthdays. The first is the birthday I turned six years old. I was a first grader and rather timid. My mother said my sister and I (her birthday was pretty close to mine) could each invite a few school friends for a birthday party. I took the invitations to school and when others than the ones who got them asked if they could come I didn't know what to say so I said "sure!" I never said anything to my mother as details have never been something I have been good with. On the day of the party my mother was REALLY surprised when all the kids showed up! I don't remember details of the party (of course) but I do remember it was the last real party I ever had. So this was one reason for the cloud.

The next birthday I'll tell you about is my tenth. It's a very simple story; I was playing with my dolls on our front porch. Our house was very small especially to hold eight people so I escaped to the porch to play. Back then (too many years ago) the rainy season actually started around October and so it was a beautifully (if not too damp) rainy day for me, my dolls, and my musings. I was hoping so badly my mother would have understood all my hints and would give me the Italian doll I accidentally found on the shelf in her closet. She did and the doll became Dolly and was my favorite forever. See clouds do have silver linings!

The last birthday is recorded only because it happened while I was part of the BJP. So, there are 54 candles around the edges of this page to commemorate this year. I made them in many colors as I just love color and the more of it the better. I don't know whether this is a "rain must fall" or "cloud with a silver lining" event. It's been a good year getting to be a part of a good group on the internet but it is my 54th year and that is not small stuff so you decide for yourself which it is.

Hope you enjoyed my musings and now I need to start December before I get further behind!!

Pink for the Cure

On Monica Magness' blog Girl Gone Thread Wild, I found a request for 2" squares to be attached to an art doll for an auction to benefit The Susan G. Komen Cancer charity. She has only asked for one square but is game for more. I made two today and will mail them off next time we head to town.

This is a good time to try something new as she doesn't care what media you use as long as she can sew it to the doll. So click on the link above or on the Pink Artist picture on the right side of my blog and get your own squares going!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

TIF update

I have the cover done except for the binding which will be a spiral wrapped hopefully, around this blue pencil (I'll tell you why on one of my pages).

I am happy with the way the cover turned out but almost wasn't as the red Sharpie penwork started to smear when I added acrylic medium to glue on the tissue edging. I should have known better as others on the BJP have mentioned the red sharpie wasn't colorfast but I got caught up in what I was doing and didn't think about it till too late. It didn't smear so much that it ruined it; perhaps I shouldn't have said anything as it would have seemed like part of my "plan". LOL on that one!

First I gessoed two pieces of cardboard I had cut for the covers. I tore around one picture of my mom and edged it with Color Box's chalk ink. I used markers to do the checkerboard (and should have stayed with the Marvy ones for the red - you are now WARNED). A dryer sheet was dabbed with paint, dried and torn to fit a corner with a tad to go somewhere else. Then I glued the picture, dryer sheet bits and a part of one of my mother's old earrings to the front. My email address and web name were glued to the back.

I painted the inside of the covers with yellow acrylic paint to which I added pearl white. Then I toothbrush flicked some red paint across. When dry I added a purple glaze which was mostly rubbed off right away. I added flowers punched out from another section of the print tissue paper and rubber stamped butterflies on each half.

I wanted to use the same tissue for the edges as I did for my first page on the heart/body but I didn't want it to disappear on the background as tissue has a tendency to do when glue is applied so first I glued the printed tissue to plain white tissue. When it was dry I cut my strips and glued them with medium over the edges. I like how it turned out.

November BJP Started

At last! I have begun to work on my November page. I really have a bit more done but I took the picture while I still had some sunlight or I would have had to use a flash which doesn't work too well as you all know. I feel SO good to be back at it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Since I am a collector of frogs, my daughter gave me a picture of some very strange looking ones this Christmas!

I guess there is a park near my daughter's house that has these lily pads in the pond there. Can you imagine asking someone to take a picture of your family while you all pose as frogs?

She put the picture in a green frame and gave it to me to add to my collection. I laughed out loud when I saw this picture. It certainly belongs in my collection, whether of frogs or of the eccentrics in my family though, I am not sure!!

TIF update

I was really getting worried as, once I had set my
heart on an ATC book of paper dolls, I found I couldn't come up with a good figure. Finally I decided to skip the idea of a real looking figure and use the spirit of my mom instead.

So my first page of the book is of my mother's heart. On the front side I used chalk to color the white page (which is from the blank part of the photo paper as I only printed heads on part of it). Then I stamped music notes and a butterfly on top. I cut out a heart and covered it with tissue paper and placed threads under it (left from making my Christmas cards for arms and legs. The blue thread seems to have a permanent kink in it which I decided fit the image perfectly.

On the backside I wrote how I felt my mom's heart fit the image I made.

I felt good when I finished this page. It wasn't realistic and it started out with a real struggle but I like how it flowed once
I got started. I hope my other pages flow like this one and that it isn't a one time only deal.

The reason I worry is because I can't recall just making art for it's own sake before this past year after I joined the BJP. I have always been a Necessary Artist - if I needed something, I made it and if I didn't I didn't make it. So this challenge I have entered is a real challenge for me in more than one way!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

TIF Planning

I finally found 3 photos of my mother that I can use to give a face to my paper dolls. I woke up last night realizing I hadn't thought about the face but only about the personas I saw in my mom. I started to panic thinking perhaps this challenge would be too much. I think I am starting to breathe again.

I cut some thin corrugated cardboard into ATC sized pieces as I am hoping to turn this into an ATC book. I printed out some faces but they are too big so need to do it again. At least I have started.

Now I need to decide if I will do all the dolls in black and white to go with her pictures or add some color to the pictures and make the dolls in color. Enough for today; I am still getting over a cold I got from the grandkids and I have other projects that are plenty behind that need some work too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Spirit Doll Update

It's January and it's time to get busy on my projects again.
This is how my doll looks at present. I've beaded the front sides of the wings and now have to do the back sides. Then I can move on to making a fringe at the bottom of the doll and a beaded cord to attach to her head so she can be hung. I think of her as more of a tassle-to-be.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Take It Further Challenge

I have joined the Take It Further Challenge I found on Sharon B's In a Minute Ago page. This month she asked us to use the concept of admiration for someone as the idea for "something" out of paper or fiber.

I think I am going to do a piece on my mother. I've never done anything on her before. I've beaded a page for my father for the Bead Journal Project but not for my mother as yet. I think I am going to use paper for this project. In fact, I think I will make paper dolls to show the many things she was during her somewhat short life (she died at age 56). Hmmm, now just to work out the fine points and get started.